Jeff Nussbaum is a partner in the speechwriting and strategy firm West Wing Writers and a cofounder of the Humor Cabinet.

While Sunday night’s Academy Awards were once again a celebration of coastal elites and liberal values, the critical and box office success of films such as “Hell or High Water” and “Sully” has Hollywood increasingly attuned to an audience more inclined to see government as the villain. Could the 2018 Oscars be more in line with the Trump era? Here are several films being considered for reboot in an attempt to appeal to the nation’s cultural commentator in chief and his millions of supporters.


In this reboot of “Erin Brockovich,” we see the heroic but ultimately losing battle of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) against the titular Vich (Meryl Streep, overrated) a wannabe trial lawyer who is hellbent on neglecting her maternal duties and making a name for herself outside the home. PG&E, meanwhile, only wants to bring affordable energy to California’s ratepayers. In the process, they release a little bit of hexavalent chromium into the water, drawing the attention of this “nasty woman” who doesn’t understand that chromium, which is almost the same as hexavalent chromium, is essential for human health.

“Heart of Bravery”

A new take on “Braveheart,” in which King Edward “Longshanks” (Gary Busey) seeks to extend his empire into Scotland under the management of his loyal but not particularly impressive son, Prince Edward (Scott Baio), in the eminently reasonable belief that if only the filthy locals would get out of the way, the place could someday be home to some really special golf properties. Their plans hit a snag when violent radical William Wallace (Sean Penn) fails to see how much more valuable his lands would be if managed by Edward.

“One Good Man”

Col. Nathan Jessup (Stephen K. Bannon, stepping out from behind the producer’s chair to act) runs the American prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. When some sad lawyers start looking into a case of “extrajudicial punishment,” it’s up to Jessup to convince a so-called judge that “in a world that has walls,” he has what it takes to put America first.

“Schindler, Inc.”

Mel Gibson writes and directs this reimagination of Steven Spielberg’s 1994 Best Picture Oscar winner. Jon Voight stars as Oskar Schindler, a small-business man who comes to Poland seeking a business-friendly environment in which to make enamelware. Schindler immediately struggles with profitability, as World War II inspires him to hire workers who are not qualified for the task, but are in danger of being victimized by the Germans for no particular or defining reason.

“Blue vs. Green”

In this remake of “Avatar,” the Na’vi are revealed not to be a gentle species inhabiting the planet Pandora, but rather killers — of jobs. In his big-screen debut, Willie Robinson of “Duck Dynasty” fame portrays Jake Sully, a former Marine called again to serve his country by convincing the Na’vi to see the real value of their native land: its ability to sustain employment in the extractive industries.

“If You Can”

A dramatic retelling of “Catch Me If You Can.” It tells the story of Frank Abagnale (Stephen Baldwin) who, by dint of his very good brain, is able to occupy jobs such as doctor, lawyer and pilot — jobs that “the establishment” would tell you require professional degrees and specialized training. Because of this, Abagnale is relentlessly pursued by a bumbling FBI agent (Alec Baldwin), who, in a display of misplaced priorities and wasted taxpayer dollars, is unable to catch him.

“One Way Out”

In this remake of the 1987 suspense thriller, Scott Baio (enjoying a remarkable career resurgence) takes over for Kevin Costner in the role of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Tom Farrell, who is placed in charge of the hunt for a long-rumored Russian sleeper agent. Spoiler alert: Farrell actually is the Russian sleeper agent. As the investigation closes in on him, Farrell decides there’s only one thing to do: admit that his loyalties lie with Russia and explain to the secretary of defense that there’s a lot to be said for Russia’s less democratic form of government. When the secretary ultimately agrees that concerns about Russia are a product of the fake news media and that we should listen to people who know better and ignore the whole thing, the two share a laugh and cement an important bilateral bond.

“You Had Mail”

The classic rom-com is reimagined as a tragedy when local bookstore proprietress Kathleen Kelly (Tila Tequila) begins an email relationship with Joe Fox (Stephen Baldwin, also enjoying a remarkable career resurgence), a man she later finds out is the head of a large corporation. In an attempt to win Fox’s affection, Kathleen admits that although she is perfectly happy hanging out with the type of people who frequent independent bookstores, she has a soft spot for big corporations, too, and sometimes gives speeches to them. Upon realizing that she needs the indie types to support her candidacy to become the first female president of the Independent Bookstore Association, Kelly deletes all of the emails. In a twist, the emails weren’t really deleted, and when they show up on a Tumblr blog, her friends read them and refuse to speak with her anymore. This is problematic, because many of them live in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, all of which are important states in determining who becomes the leader of the Independent Bookstore Association.

“War of the Worlds”

In this remake of the remake of the classic H.G. Wells alien invasion story, the aliens are Mexican.