If you’re me, in some ways these are tough times: Bike Snob Chicago, Bike Snob Austin, and the Cyclelicio.us AutoSnob are all conspiring to make me redundant. Fortunately, I’ve got something to fall back on, and that’s my fake job as a cycling consultant to Hollywood. Despite the writers’ strike, things are going well on that front. Cycling has never been more fashionable or more politically correct, so everybody wants bikes in their movies. Not only that, but the bike companies have more money to spend, and they’re spending it on product placement. The result? Everybody wins! (Except you.) Here are some upcoming projects I’ve got on my pie plate:
The big-screen adaptation of the popular anime TV series, directed by the Wachowski Brothers (“The Matrix”).
Nitto anodized handlebars and stems
Speed Racer encounters a clan of hyper-fashionable alleycat racers in the backstreets of Tokyo. They are clad all in black and ride all-black bikes, except for their untaped and brightly anodized Nitto handlebars. Their leader lisps menacingly and strokes his pet gila monster when he talks. Speed Racer ultimately foils them when the gang is unable to follow him onto a KK Expressway on-ramp.
Tom Hanks’s son (played by his real-life son Colin), a UPS shipping executive, finds himself stranded on the same island his father was stuck on 15 years ago.
Performance Bicycle (mail-order retail outlet)
Shortly after the plane crash, a box from the shipment the plane was carrying washes up on shore. It is a carton of parts from Performance Bicycle. Inspired by Craig Calfee, Colin Hanks builds a frame out of bamboo and explores the island by mountain bike. Eventually he figures out how to make some really big pontoons and pedals his way across the high seas and back to civilization.
"Untitled Kate Hudson/Owen Wilson Romantic Comedy Vehicle"
Another in an endless series of light romantic comedies set in a picturesquely trendy city in which a series of misunderstandings eventually brings two people together.
Bianchi; R.E.Load messenger bags, top tube pads, and clothing
Zooey Deschanel plays Kate Hudson’s sarcastic and brooding fixed-gear-riding roommate. In one scene she comes home and tells Hudson about the crush she has on the local celebrity messenger and alleycat champion (played by Adam Brody from the “O.C.”), explaining that, “He’s really hot. He rides a Pista Concept, his sneakers match his rims, and his dreadlocks smell like kitty litter.” Then she sighs, pulls the hood of her R.E.Load sweatshirt over her head, and does a big bong hit.
"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"
The long-awaited fourth installment in the iconic “Indiana Jones” series.
Rivendell Bicycle Works
The producers have commissioned Grant Petersen of Rivendell to build a period-correct all-terrain bicycle for Indiana Jones to ride during his jungle adventures. Production was stalled for over two years while Petersen and George Lucas argued bitterly about the merits and chronological accuracy of 650B wheels. Petersen himself plays the reclusive framebuilder and black market artifacts dealer Jones finds in the Tunisian desert and hires to build his bike.
"Never Cry Wolf"
Jeff Goldblum plays a scientist whose calls for action go unheeded on the eve of the greatest natural disaster the East Coast has ever seen.
NiteRider lighting systems; Jandd panniers
Goldblum’s character is an avid bicycle commuter. At one point he encounters a colleague on a Cambridge, Massachusetts street on a dark night. “Man alive, those lights are bright!,” exclaims the colleague. “I could see you coming all the way from Somerville.” Goldblum replies, “Indeed. That’s the idea. And these panniers are quite capacious as well. I’ve got the load-carrying capacity of a Prius. And much better mileage!” They both guffaw heartily.
"Made in America"
An issue-driven drama about the dangers overseas outsourcing presents to America’s people and economy. Denzel Washington plays the idealistic Washington attorney fighting to change international trade law.
The paint on foreign-built bicycle frames sold by various US companies is found to contain dangerous levels of toxins, date rape drugs, endangered animal by-products, and natural male enhancements. In the climactic courtroom scene, Denzel Washington makes a dramatic point by licking a Cannondale road bike frame from headtube to rear dropout and exclaiming, “Thank God my bike was made in the USA!”