Coca Cola Company’s disastrous attempt to re-brand itself for a younger generation in the mid-’80s with its “New Coke” soft drink was one of modern American history’s biggest corporate marketing flops. Now, the kerfuffle is going to be the subject of an upcoming film developed by Zombieland and Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
According to Deadline, the pair acquired the big-screen rights to author Thomas Oliver’s nonfiction book The Real Coke, The Real Story with plans to write and produce a feature film based on the story of Coca Cola’s decision to change the formula for its bestselling soft drink in order to compete with rising competition from Pepsi. The decision was met with an aggressive outcry from longtime Coke drinkers, and ultimately failed so dramatically that it threatened the company’s hold on the soft-drink market for years to come.
The book’s author was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution during the debacle, and chronicled what many regard as one of the greatest examples of corporate decision-making ruining a brand’s reputation.
On the official website for the Coca Cola Company, the decision to change the formula for Coke and release the “New Coke” soft drink is described as follows:
To hear some tell it, April 23, 1985, was a day that will live in marketing infamy.
On that day, The Coca-Cola Company took arguably the biggest risk in consumer goods history, announcing that it was changing the formula for the world’s most popular soft drink, and spawning consumer angst the likes of which no business has ever seen.
Reese and Wernick are expected to set the film in the ’80s, and begin work on it after their work on Deadpool is completed. That film, which stars Ryan Reynolds as Marvel Comics’ popular mouthy mercenary, is scheduled to hit theaters February 12, 2016.