Downtown Oklahoma City has seen a lot of weird changes over the years, most of them very positive. I remember going to concerts at the Cox Center back when it was called the Myriad and there was nothing else to really do in the area. You’d just go and see a package tour of nu-metal bands or a Blazers game or whatever and go home.
With the ‘Peake coming along and also the new MAPS Convention Center opening soon, Cox has become obsolete. What to do with it now? Oklahoma’s growing film production scene has given that empty shell of a building that you’d only walk through during freezing nights to get from your faraway free parking spot and turned it into a film production studio! In the fact, shooting for their first picture begins this week!
Via The Oklahoman:
After striking an agreement in September with the Oklahoma City Council to market the convention center as a film studio, Prairie Surf Media co-founders Rachel Cannon and Matt Payne began talks with Amazon, Disney, Hulu, Apple and Hallmark.
The first tenant, Kingdom Story, is making the move into the Cox Center this week with plans to start filming “American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story” within the next three months. The film, starring Zachary Levi, will tell the story of the NFL Hall of Fame quarterback.
Listen, this is a great and creative use for an OKC landmark that could have met the fate of several other downtown buildings, but the Kurt Warner Story??? His sacking groceries to riches story is nice, but we can do better than that! Here are some Okie-centric film and streaming series projects that are much better:
The Brandon Weeden Story
They said he was too old to play college quarterback. He was out to prove them wrong.
The Great Oklahoman Rap Off
The baking trend during quarantine has waxed and waned, but The Great British Bake Off remains a popular series. What if there was a similar series, but it would pit local rap legends like Barbie Doll and Knuckles against each other, competing for the prize of finely aged legal blends from 2008?
Easter on Venus with The Flaming Lips
Wayne spent years making Christmas On Mars, a science fiction movie that I, and most people, have never actually seen. But if a studio wanted to throw down a couple million and let him make whatever weirdo fantasy that he wanted, Easter on Venus could be a hit. There would probably be a bunch of rainbow vaginas and glitter and over-the-top costumes, and probably even a virgin birth.
Growing up, Sesame Street was one of my favorite shows. It was fun and gentle and educational. And there were puppets! We could film a gritty reboot that took place on 23rd and Penn, behind the 7-11. The streets can be tough, and kids gotta learn that somewhere, and who better to lead it than the Jim Henson Company?
Oklahoma Passage, Part 2
Oklahoma Passage was an ambitious five-part OETA-produced mini-series filmed and released in the late 1980s. The show was supposed to educate our state’s residents about their own state’s history, but based on the most white cast and storyline, the only thing today’s kids would learn from it is just how tone-deaf and un-woke even public television was in 1980s. As a result, maybe it’s time OETA gets around to making “Oklahoma Passage, Part 2.” It could take a look at the rise of the Oklahoma people who were here first, and then assimilated into an unforgiven white culture that would work hard to keep them at the bottom.
This is a deep throwback, but Barney Miller was a 1970’s sitcom that solely took place in a police station. With all of the recent talks about defunding the police, this could provide a way to reform our brutal police department into trained actors. They would just need to sit in the studio, work on their lines, and make us laugh instead of cry and march in the streets.
Celebrity Real World OKC
This show hasn’t been on-air for years, but it was a staple for MTV, a series that helped transform the network from Music Television into 24 hours of vapid reality shows. It’s time to bring it back with local celebrities who don’t fit in with each other. Imagine Christina Fallin, Steve Lackmeyer, Barry Switzer, and an Edmond housewife all clustered together. ‘Find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real!’
What Oklahoma productions would you like to see? Fire em off in the comments.