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Simonson Says: If we (The Signpost) were a movie

As approximately zero of you need reminding, the close of the school year is imminent. With finals upon us and summer break around the corner, I think it can safely be said that the foremost thing on everyone’s mind is: I should turn this school year into a movie.

I, along with several of my co-workers, have given a great deal of thought to the matter. I harbor ambitions to be a director and screenwriter of great vision, and think this year at The Signpost has great potential to be, if not its own movie, then an extended chapter of the sprawling, 12-hour epic that will be the movie of my life. With help from my fellow columnist Jennifer Sanda and our editor-in-chief Nathan Davis, I have already cast the parts of this year’s Signpost staff for the film. The greatest care went into the casting process, and we’d like to thank the many extraordinary actors who auditioned and just barely missed the cut. Denzel, Meryl, Leo — you did great, but we’re just going in a different direction for this film.

Congratulations to those who have been cast as Signpost staff members: Jennifer Lawrence as me, Nikki Blonsky as Jennifer, Jonah Hill as Nathan, Emma Stone as news editor Cozette Jenkins, Jay Baruchel as faculty adviser Shane Farver, Charice Pempengco as copy editor Michelle Paul, Amanda Bynes as sports editor Corie Holmes, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as assistant managing editor Thomas Alberts, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as features editor Jerrica Archibald, Haley Joel Osment as arts & entertainment editor Kory Wood, Selena Gomez as business & science editor Jessica Klemm, Ashley Greene as A&E reporter Briana Drandakis, Kellan Lutz as former news editor Eric Jensen, Michael Angarano as former editor-in-chief Spencer Garn, and Alexander Ludwig as former business & science editor Cole Spicker. Also starring Topher Grace as my husband and Teri Garr as my aunt Candy Stevens. We’re not counting our chickens before they hatch, but we plan on every one of these actors being nominated for an Oscar, or at least a Golden Globe, for this film.

The script is being kept under tight wraps, to generate intrigue about our artistic angle for the film. I enjoy the numerous threads of speculations on IMDb, all so far off the mark about what we’re going to do with this story. However, I’m going to grant you here an exclusive sneak peek of the main plot. (Bear in mind that some artistic license has been taken with the facts to lend the story more cinematic gravitas, per the studio’s recommendations.)

Steph (Lawrence) is a new student at Washington State University, having transferred from a small-town hick school. She feels disoriented and vulnerable in a big-city party school like WSU, but lands a job on the student newspaper, The Watchpost. An underdog publication that hasn’t won any awards since the year it was founded, the underdog staff has just about given up hope, but when a greedy, gun-toting Texan (Robert Duvall) threatens to shut the paper down and use the funding for a new mega-mall, the ragtag band of underdogs pulls together and learns what journalism — and teamwork — is really about. We plan to play up the fact that this movie is, in fact, about underdogs. Teamwork, and underdogs.

Lest you think it’s all poignant drama, though, a great deal of comedy stems from a supporting role by Betty White as a foulmouthed, washed-up former editor who grudgingly agrees to mentor the staff as her final foray into the world of journalism. Also, along the way, Steph falls in love with an adorkable snarker named Dannon (Grace), whom she hasn’t already been married to all year, and who teaches her to let her hair down and not be such an uptight academic, like by doing cannonballs into the WSU duck pond and rappelling off the bell tower.

Stay tuned for more details. The Signpost, naturally, will be providing exclusive coverage on the film — working title is Reporting on Hope: An Underdog Story — leading up to its release. I would tell you more if I didn’t have to go write romance fanfiction about Jennifer Lawrence and Topher Grace now.

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