It was recently announced that Little House on the Prairie, the only TV show that has not yet been turned into a movie, will be turned into a movie. It will be directed by indie favorite Sean Durkin, known for the creepy, ambiguous 2011 art-house hit Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Durkin'’s a fine choice, we're sure, but we couldn't help wondering which other filmmakers applied for the job. So we dug through the trash behind the Sony offices and found these scribbled, discarded Notes from Various Directors' Pitches for a Little House on the Prairie Movie.
Michael Bay's Little House on the Prairie
- House is gigantic, prairie is in Beverly Hills.
- Set in 1875, but an 1875 with bikinis.
- Bay: "Laura is kind of a bowser, but Mary, the blind one, she's got some tig ol' bitties.”
- Nicolas Cage to play Charles Ingalls, a rogue farmer who discovers that Mr. Oleson's (Richard Jenkins) mercantile is a front for a Mexican drug cartel.
- Covered wagons turn into robots.
- Comedy scene where snotty Mrs. Oleson (Margo Martindale) gets chased through a pasture by an amorous bull, which humps her leg.
Quentin Tarantino's Big Ham's Justice Fist
- Former slave Hamilton "Hambone" Washington (Samuel L. Jackson) comes to Walnut Grove with a sexpot daughter (Beyoncé), a bag full of Confederate gold, and a score to settle with Charles Ingalls (Christoph Waltz).
- Flashback: Pa and Hambone fought over a woman during the Civil War; dispute involved the 19th-century version of a gimp (Irish immigrant in a burlap sack).
- Hambone and daughter tear Walnut Grove apart, give locals an excuse to say the N-word a lot.
- Caroline Ingalls (Uma Thurman) turns out to be badass who saves her husband and family from Hambone, and does it barefoot.
- Flashback: Caroline as a girl in Wisconsin, secretly trained by itinerant ninjas passing through town.
Tim Burton's Little Steampunk House
- Charles and Caroline Ingalls (Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter) move to Walnut Grove with their quirky family, are ostracized by locals for their big-city ways (they wear shoes).
- Mary Ingalls is blind but has a pet raccoon that guides her. Laura's pigtails spin like helicopter blades, enabling her to fly. Baby Carrie is a CGI creation.
- Charles builds a device that converts creek water into energy, which he uses to fuel his elaborate invention, an automated contraption that puts tobacco into your pipe and lights it for you.
- Townsfolk dislike the weird Ingallses, change their minds when Charles' inventions save the town from a marauding band of whimsical Indians.
Tyler Perry's Tyler Perry's Laura Ingalls Wilder's Diary of a Mad Half-Pint
- Perry entered the conference room dressed as Mrs. Oleson, was immediately removed from the premises.
Disney Animation's Plowed
- Laura Ingalls has magic powers, can plow a field with her mind. Townsfolk think she's weird, nothing more. Laura wants to leave this place for something bigger.
- Nellie Oleson is jealous of Laura's power, wants it for herself so she can rule Walnut Grove like a tyrant.
- Pa (who's a widower, of course) supports Laura unconditionally, sings a song about it with the film's comic relief character, a living scarecrow named Stuffins.
- Laura, blind Mary, adopted Albert, and good old Mr. Edwards team up against Nellie's gang of prissy girls, defeating them with love and tolerance.
- It's possible all of these characters will be talking animals.
Michael Haneke's Small Dwelling
- Blizzard traps Ingalls family in their cabin for weeks.
- They go insane with boredom and hunger, as well as existential angst.
- Ends with Mary smothering Laura with a pillow.
- Black-and-white, German, no musical score.
- Haneke believes it is a comedy.
Terrence Malick's Upon the Prairie
- Charles Ingalls (Casey Affleck) has an affair with Mrs. Oleson (Jessica Chastain). Laura (Mia Wasikowska) finds out, thinks about it for a long time, does nothing.
- All dialogue whispered.
- Screenplay is 150 pages long, including 45 total pages of Laura twirling in a wheat field.
- Voice-over narration described by Malick as "vague," "wholesome," and "unceasing."
Eric Snider is a contributing writer and film critic. He's got jokes.