PORTLAND, ORE. — Am I the only person in America who's thinking outside the box when it comes to the subject of entertainment overlapping politics? I know Hollywood stars drop hints about running for governor, but let's not forget that the street runs both ways.
Are you listening, casting agents? Numerous famous faces from high offices around the country could produce boffo box office numbers if given the right role. No need for original scripts. Nothing generates buzz like remaking a classic, and here are a few ideas that would surely cause a boxoffice sensation:
• In a 1950s sci-fi favorite, an extraterrestrial visitor comes to Earth with a warning about the potential for mass destruction posed by our development of nuclear weapons. His message is compelling. He knows more than we do and he is also very handsome. With the cold war over, the plot could be tweaked so that his area of concern is now global warming.
Al Gore stars as the benevolent, all-knowing Klaatu in this environmentally based update of "The Day The Earth Stood Still."
• Early in their careers, Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier electrified audiences with a dramatic tour de force about two escaped convicts shackled together, forced to overcome suspicion and racial animosity in their quest for freedom.
In the modernized version, the lead characters are now rival cabinet officers, handcuffed by their chief executive and sent into the White House basement with orders not to come back until they have devised a unified doctrine of US foreign policy. Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell battle for supreme Oval Office influence in a gripping new rendition of "The Defiant Ones."
• A young girl's erratic behavior causes emotional stress for her family. Just when the situation appears hopeless, a calm, confident woman appears and takes control of the situation. With her help, anger and recrimination are replaced by hope and empathy, and an almost certain feeling that the compassionate teacher will one day run for president. Monica Lewinsky and Hillary Clinton team up in this politically charged presentation of "The Miracle Worker."
• A longtime Democratic precinct organizer, portrayed by former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, is alarmed by sudden attitude changes among her neighbors. Anxiety turns into horror when she looks into her backyard and sees giant seed pods bursting open to reveal living replicas of her closest friends, except that all of them are now registered Republicans. This latest incarnation of "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers" also features a guest appearance by House Speaker Tom DeLay as the shadowy, sinister Pod Master.
Have at it, Hollywood. If anyone wants to do lunch, my calendar is wide open. Too bad Chasen's isn't around anymore.