New Sleeping Beauty will turn the title character into a stalker

There is going to be a new "take" on Sleeping Beauty from producer Neal Moritz (Fast & Furious, 21 Jump Street), because these re-tellings of fairy tales are going so well lately. But while some adaptations have been underwhelming, Moritz has a project that is sure to hold on to our attention: he would like to turn Sleeping Beauty into a stalker. In other words, when the "beauty" wakes up, she becomes obsessed with finding the man who gave her that fateful kiss and she stalks him. And it's a comedy! And now I'd like to introduce my new segment entitled CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE, THEN.

Moritz, producing under his Original Film banner, hopes to turn this fairy tale adaptation into a comedy in which the smoochy male lead kisses a woman who is under a spell -- and then he can't get rid of her! And criminal hilarity ensues! Sexist arguments aside (because you could easily switch the genders and everyone would look equally horrible and crazy, so that's a big "whatever" for me), um, this is a stupid idea.

In case it's been a while since you read the original fairy tale or saw the 1959 Disney movie, Sleeping Beauty is about a princess who is cursed upon her christening by an evil fairy who condemns her to death by spindle-prick. The curse is downgraded by one of the good fairies, and the death sentence is commuted to a 100-year sleep, from which the princess will be awakened by her true love's kiss. Meanwhile, King Dad orders all the spindles and spinning wheels in the land burned, the textiles industry goes under, the unions call for the king's head. (That part was, obviously, not mentioned in the original story.) In the movie, the infant is then whisked away to the fairy tale version of witness protection -- the woods -- where she lives in blissful ignorance of the whole "prick" thing until she turns 16. Ahhhh, those precious days before Facebook.

Around the time of her 16th birthday, a nice-looking dude about the same age shows up and since they are teenagers, they are totally digging on each other. But the dude is a prince, and the dudette is a peasant, and they can't have a royal feel even though she is really a princess and they have been part of an arranged marriage this whole time (to unite their fathers' respective kingdoms). It's like if Prince William met Kate Middleton, and the latter had no idea she was a princess, but she was a secret princess, and they were supposed to be in lerve since they were babies! (And maybe they were also distant cousins, GROSS.) Anyway, the evil fairy gets word that these two are giving each other the horny eye and has the prince kidnapped after our secret princess stupidly touches a spindle in a secret room. ("Hey, what's this thing? I hope it's something I'm not forbidden from touching!...zzzzzzzzz.") She falls asleep, the entire kingdom is placed under a magical spell that puts everyone else to sleep too, because otherwise they would all die before seeing the hot, hot awakening action.

The story ends with the princess waking up after getting her kiss, which, under any other circumstances, might be considered to be of a molesty nature. (In fact, no one should ever kiss a sleeping person. That is just creepy.)

And then that's it. They live happily ever after. In the fairy tale, they have two kids! And the prince's stepmother is an ogress! So that's fun!

Probably because the girl didn't have to stalk the guy who was already in love with her. And that is why this is a stupid idea, and why, if Moritz really wants to make a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, this stalking idea has to be the first thing to go. Page one rewrite, kids. Unless you're not going to call it "Sleeping Beauty" anymore. The whole point of the kiss that wakes the girl up is that it's from her one true love. If she is only convincing herself that this guy is her one true love, then the kiss never woke her up in the first place. And if he's her one true love, he isn't going to go anywhere, so the stalking is unnecessary.

Unless we're talking about a dream, or a nightmare. Or she's in a coma, and a part of her mind is still awake and screaming to get out, and she is being made out with left and right by all these dudes while she's asleep (GUHHHHHHHHH, so wrong), and none of them are waking her up, and it's driving her mad. And then, if she dreams that she's been woken up and she tries to find the guy who woke her up in her dream, then that imagined pursuit can be really creepy and perhaps be a wicked psychological thriller.

But it can't be called Sleeping Beauty. Because that movie is about a cursed princess and the love story between her and the prince who doesn't realize she's a princess, plus the evil fairy's castle-sized chip on her shoulder and the evil bootleg spindle with the painful prick. (Go ahead, that was an opening. See? I did it again!) It's about all the stuff that would happen before this adaptation. No, the title of the movie I just described can only allude to an element of Sleeping Beauty (see: Mirror, Mirror, even though that was a straight adaptation of Snow White). A loose adaptation of something is fine, but it has to be made very clear that it's really loose. As in, if not for that one little thread, this pair of pants is going to fall off and we're seeing something that is no longer pants. But there's still that one thread, so it's still "pants" enough to be considered pants.

So, what should a psychological thriller loosely based on the story of Sleeping Beauty (that I just freaking wrote, so maybe Neal Moritz should be giving me a ring) be called? Besides Spindle Prick, which gives the porn parody industry one less thing to do today.

True Love's Kiss: I'm sorry, is Reese Witherspoon in this stupid movie? No one wants to see a movie with the word "kiss" in the title.

The 100-Year Sleep: Only good if the movie ends with a 116-year-old woman talking about this mysterious guy she met on a boat once, then throwing away a really expensive piece of jewelry.

Nighty Night: Only if it goes straight to DVD.

Good Night, Sweet Princess: Will turn off all the male humans who were supposed to be turned off by John Carter and the Princess of Mars.

The Sleep: Might confuse people who have heard of The Big Sleep, because those particular people are stupid enough to be confused.

ZZZZZZZZ: Obviously, this one wins. Unless there's one with a better "prick" joke.



        1. You missed the joke.  He’s referring to a famous story told by Kevin Smith about working on a Superman movie with Jon Peters.  It’s a pretty funny story and is up on youtube.

  1. Kissing a seeping person creepy, sure, but did you know in some early versions of the Sleeping Beauty tale, she woke up pregnant…?

    Disney’s version isn’t the real version by any stretch of imagination.
    As for using the fairly tale (sleeping beauty, not Disney’s Sleeping Beauty) that’s just lame. Just make all of these characters different characters and say stuff happened that was *like* sleeping beauty. 

    That would make me feel much better.

    1. The two versions that claim to be the “original” that I’m familiar with are:

      It’s not exactly true loves first “kiss” that wakes her up, so much as “true loves first awkward sexual encounter with a narcoleptic”, which is a very long way of saying “rape”


      The pains of giving birth wake her, or even having finished giving birth, the sound of the infant crying or the feel of the infant struggling for her breast.

      For which I was given no evidence at all, and would have to do research before claiming either is really older than Grimm. Something interesting to do with my evening I suppose.

      1. Honestly, the one I’m most familiar with as the “original”, it’s not even childbirth that wakes her. She has twins and one of them suckles her finger lookin’ to suckle somewhere else and pulls out a piece of flax or hay from under her nail which apparently was the reason she fell asleep in the first place.

        1. This is the one I’m more familiar with. It also ends with the king’s wife (yes, he was married already) being fed her own murdered children.

          If you’re going to remake it, remake this version. I mean… it’s interesting.

        2. This is the version I grew up with.

          While we’re at it, can we address Snow White & Rose Red?It always bothered me that they just did away with her sister wholesale!

      2. Im sure there cant be an ‘original’ original, since most cultures have versions of the same tales before they were all written down, but I guess that’s why I love fairy tales so much, they are ridiculously  violent, sexiest, unfair and cruel. And old!

    2.  Perhaps this retelling is more honest as an allegory to modern loss of innocence…  Somewhat experienced boy meets virginal girl and ‘cures’ her of that.  To him it’s just another sexual experience, but to her it’s the world and she feels something that he does not and doesn’t understand his position…

      1. You mean allegory to horrible forced middle ages sex? 
        Where’s the giant thorny rose bush that grew up around the castle in 100 years and was only PENETRABLE by the prince with the MAGIC SWORD?

        Disney left those parts out eh?

        Don’t even get me started on the Frog Prince!

        1.  Honestly it’s been probably twenty-plus years since I’ve seen the Disney version of the story, and I never saw The Princess And The Frog as the story didn’t appeal.

          I guess the flipside was the situation with the female lead in Kill Bill, where she’s in the coma at the beginning…

        2. IIRC, the whole “impenetrable thorny bush” (snigger) thing was actually retained in the Disney version.

    3. There’s a nice bit of Sleeping Beauty (Booty?) in Dan Simmons’ Olympos.  A male character must awaken a hundreds of years sleeping beauty by, um, putting his chocolate in her peanut butter.

  2. Maybe he’s her one true love, but she’s not his? Ever think of that? Happens all the time.

    1. The text is still available at

      As you said, a great take on it – very creepy.

  3. It seems churlish to criticise the new film for using the name ‘Sleeping Beauty’ when the Disney version would have been more accurately titled ‘Stepford Necrophile Re-Animator II’.

  4. This would really set a terrible precedent for Hollywood by being unfaithful to the original story,  and introducing logical inconsistency into fairy tales.  It must never happen.

    1. Set a precedent? ;) I think you mean “Slightly raise the precedent”. I remember an absolutely horrible Hollywood Live-Action adaption of a Japanese Manga/Anime.
      Hollywood already has terrible precedents with adaptions.

  5. This BoingBoing website is not the same as the similarly-named Boing Boing zine. Perhaps the website should be called something else? (No, I’m not serious.)

    1. >This BoingBoing website is not the same as the similarly-named Boing Boing zine.

      …since this girl and her penis jokes appeared here. What is she trying, to beat Maggie’s four-pronged echidna dick?

  6. What part of “strange man walks up to sleeping-in-magical-castle-girl and kisses her” involves ‘true love’? Her quasi-necrophilia aside, the only way it would be love for her (of any sort), at the moment she is kissed is if the spell that put her to sleep actually enforces the love on her part. Or a reasonable facsimile thereof. This isn’t much of a stretch at all.

    Also, and far more importantly… there’s more than one ‘traditional’ version of the story. Actually, there’s a lot of them, but as you seem to be borrowing the Disney version (as most people do), I’ll point out that Disney bases their fairy tales on the Perrault, who himself copied the tale largely from Basile, in which the lead character (named Talia in that verison) actually gets raped…

    (Technically, Disney may have actually borrowed from Grimm on this one as they end in the same place. That said, the Grimm version is widely recognized to be itself derrived from Perrault)

  7. I think it might make for a good dark romantic comedy actually.  The prince is drawn to kiss this sleeping beauty (he realizes it’s creepy as hell what he’s doing) and runs when she wakes up rather than stick around.  She then stalks him knowing he’s really her true love. Misunderstandings occur… they finally get together. It follows the romcom rules perfectly and taking a borrowed titled from the past but setting it in modern day…. is fine by me.

  8. I’m not sure we’re supposed to understand all of the free-association stylings here but I really can’t figure out the dig against people who are aware of the excellent Bogart film noir The Big Sleep (based on a Chandler novel). I guess it’s supposed to be a joke, but…?

  9. Not approving this kind of thing (obvious sexual assault fetish, just without the violence) but there’s a thing for this kind of thing, if one cares to google “sleep creep.”  (them ladies are some heavy sleepers.)

    I hate to admit this, but I can kind of understand the appeal, if only cause my wife, when she actually says yes at all usually says “fine go ahead, but I’m going to sleep.”  :(

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