Thursday, November 06, 2008

Screenwriting News & Links! 11/6/08


New Screenplays:

Universal Studios already has up-and-running their
For Your Consideration page, as does Paramount Vintage. Between the two, there are four new scripts available:



The Duchess


(The script for
Revolutionary Road is “coming soon.”)


Halloween IV - February 26, 1998, draft script by Alan B. McElroy

Halloween V - March 31, 1989, draft script by Michael Jacobs, Dominique Othenin-Gerard, and Shem Bitterman

Max Payne - August 24, 2007, draft script by Beau Michael Thorne

The Dragons of Krull – Nov, 1980, draft script by Stanford Sherman

Prince of Persia – June 15, 2006, draft by Jeffrey Nachmanoff


Politics & Movies Blog-a-Thon

Tyler Perry writes
a screenplay inspired by Michelle Obama.

Weinstein Company Blames Mystery Man For Spreading "False" Writedown Rumor
Harvey, be a man, for God’s sake. Own up to your losses.


MM in the news:

Anne Hathaway's new sexy Mystery Man revealed...
She's a lovely girl. She really is.

Mystery Man identified through cell phone.
Like I'm going to use MY OWN CELL PHONE. Morons.

Who Is The Mystery Man Behind Prop 8?
I would tell you, but I'd have to kill you.

Mystery Man cause for concern in the aftermath of 'emotional affair'
No need to get all upset about this. It was perfectly innocent...

Mystery Man's name sought by authorities
Yeah, you'll never catch me, ya frickin' morons. BRING IT ON!

Other news:

Say hello to the fabulous
Gena Blake.
She's a follower of the blog, a writer who strips for a living, and I wanted to quote her in my review of Kasdan's Clash but couldn't work it. In an e-mail, she wrote, "Noticed your post on Clash of the Titans. I attended a few panels at the Austin Film Festival this weekend, including one with Lawrence Kasdan. He says three of his recent screenplays aren't being produced because no one's interested in the "D" word -- Drama. He said he's less invested in Clash and Robotech, which is kind of good because he's not worried about the stories getting screwed up in production."

So long, Michael Crichton
While the world knew him as a great story teller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us -- and entertained us all while doing so -- his wife Sherri, daughter Taylor, family and friends knew Michael Crichton as a devoted husband, loving father and generous friend who inspired each of us to strive to see the wonders of our world through new eyes.

And here’s
the NYT on Crichton:
Most of his books relied on a simple formula. Like a scientist in a lab, Mr. Crichton (who had been a medical doctor before turning to fiction) would introduce some worrisome new specter into his fictional universe and then watch it run amok. Sometimes the menace was biological, like the space-borne plague in an early novel, The Andromeda Strain, or the genetically engineered dinosaurs in Jurassic Park and its sequel, The Lost World. And sometimes the problem was human beings, like the Japanese businessmen in Rising Sun intent on taking over the United States economy, or the rapacious female executive in Disclosure. The implicit prophecies embedded in those two books — a world run by sinister, unreadable Asians or castrating female honchos — proved to be wide of the mark, which was perhaps embarrassing to Mr. Crichton but that did not deter him from speculating in... State of Fear, that global warming might be a hoax.

"I write a lot of sonnets. One of my favorites is called Me And Clouds. And of course my most famous one, which you can read on my blog, Rain In My Heart."
- Paul Rudd on
why screenwriting isn't that challenging

The e-mail from Kristen about
Five Sprockets:
My name is Kristen and I work with, an exciting new virtual production studio for writers and filmmakers. I’m writing because I recently came across your blog, Mystery Man on Film, and I thought that you and your members may really be interested in our new site. We would love to invite you and your readers to visit to register for a free user account and take a look at what we have to offer. We welcome and appreciate all feedback, so please don’t hesitate to let us know what you think! Also, if you have any questions at all or would like more information, please feel free to send me an email to

NYT’s The Look of Australia
“Baz was very interested in the ethnic mix in Darwin, because Darwin is closer to Asia than it is to Sydney,” Ms. Martin said. “He started talking in a very literal and logical way: If you lost all your clothes on the drove and you had to get something made in 24 hours in Darwin, where would you go?” There were Chinese tailors working there, so she imagined a confluence of a cheongsam with a fashionable chrysanthemum print on organza.

David Foster Wallace’s Contribution to the Writer’s Thesaurus
One of the more interesting notes I came across was for pulchritude, which is a synonym for beauty. Wallace points out that this word is anything but beautiful: “A paradoxical noun because it means beauty but is itself one of the ugliest words in the language. Same goes for the adjectival form pulchritudinous. They’re part of a tiny elite cadre of words that possess the very opposite of the qualities they denote. Diminutive, big, foreign, fancy (adjective), colloquialism, and monosyllabic are some others; there are at least a dozen more. Inviting your school-age kids to list as many paradoxical words as they can is a neat way to deepen their relationship to English and help them see that words are both symbols... and very real things themselves.”

Jenny Lumet is STILL fabulous
But then, “I have a husband” she says, “I have an adolescent son, I have a 4-month-old daughter so nobody listens to me at my house. I’m thrilled to be interviewed. I’m also a schoolteacher. This year, I haven’t been able to go back to school yet. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back to school next year.”

Mark Twitchell: Canadian Murderer And Screenwriter!
We have a bizarre news story for you today about a Dexter fan who decided to write a screenplay about murder, and then murder people that way.

Huffington Post Writer is a Murderer!
Carol Anne Burger killed her former lover by stabbing her 222 times with a Phillips-head screwdriver and then took pains to hide her crime, police said Wednesday.

Don't fuck with writers. Hehehe...

“The desire for escapism that accompanies rough financial times is real, but boom times are also followed by painful and protracted cultural hangovers, and cultural hangovers are all about artistic reckoning,"
Carina Chocano wrote. "When good times give way suddenly to bad (or, in this case, when bad times give way suddenly to worse), fashion, materialism and excess suddenly become suspect. The arts revert temporarily (until there's money to be made again) to the starving, the angry and the ugly. There's something cathartic about this - the nihilism of film noir, punk rock, the 'pathetic aesthetic' of the early 90s constitute a jubilant 11th hour yawp against unreflective hedonism in boom times." You almost have to wonder if Chocano knew this piece would be one of the last, if not the last she'd write for the Los Angeles Times. As Anne Thompson notes, the paper cut 75 jobs in Editorial today, and Chocano's is one of them.

Bond seen as recession proof.

Writer: Expect a 'minimalistic' 007
Audiences should expect "a very minimalistic Bond" when Quantum of Solace hits cinema screens. Speaking at the Hollywood Film Festival's awards gala in Beverly Hills, Paul Haggis - one of the movie's writers - was keeping as tight-lipped as 007 himself when it came to dishing out details of what we can expect from the 22nd installment. He did, however, say fans won't be disappointed. "I think if you liked Casino Royale it's more of the same but the director Marc Forster put his own stamp on this," he said. "It's a very minimalistic Bond," he added.

David Geffen Makes a Sudden Exit

Studios Are Pushing Box Office Winners as Oscar Contenders

Milos Forman Searches For The Ghost Of Munich In Nazi-Era Epic
“Ghosts are everywhere,” Forman laughed when we caught up with him at the Director’s Guild Honors. “We’re just finishing the screenplay [for The Ghost of Munich] and I hope to be shooting sometime in the late spring.” Forman’s screenplay is by former Czech president Václav Havel, and it’s an adaptation of the book of the same name about the the Munich conference in 1938, when Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain, and... Edouard Daladier, convened, promising “peace in our time” only to see Hitler then invade Czechoslovakia.

Farrelly brothers to bring back Three Stooges
MGM, which showcased the comedy trio in shorts and features as early as 1933, is in the process of acquiring the film rights to the Stooges from Warner Bros., which has been developing a feature project for years. The Lion hopes to fast-track the most recent screenplay written by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly, which provides an origin story of sorts for Moe, Larry and Curly. The Farrellys are attached to direct. They also will produce along with Bradley Thomas and Charlie Wessler. Earl Benjamin and Robert Benjamin of C3 Entertainment, the executors of the Stooges' estate, will executive produce.

Screenwriter Announced for Spider-Man 4
When you’ve trained at Juilliard and won a Pulitzer Prize for your playwriting, there’s only one rung left for you to grab on the ladder of success: writing dialogue for a bespectacled nebbish who has been bitten by a radioactive spider. David Lindsay-Abaire, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the drama Rabbit Hole (as well as his breakthrough dark comedy, Fuddy Meers) will write the screenplay for Spider-Man 4, a representative for Mr. Lindsay-Abaire said.

Is David Fincher’s Torso Adaptation On The Fast Track?

What’s her name again? J.K. Roll-something?
But Rowling's astonishing track record as a writer is equaled by the string of successful adaptations. Magically translating and compressing Rowling's 870 page Order of the Phoenix, the longest book in the series, to the bigscreen takes more than a wave of Harry's wand. Rowling, as the 800-pound gorilla, could have gotten in the way ... but she didn't. Just ask Order of the Phoenix screenwriter, Michael Goldenberg. "I was really encouraged to find the best way to make it work as a movie," he says, "and often that entailed coming up with something that wasn't in the book. I ended up writing a lot more original material that I expected to."

A Conversation with Secret Life of Bees Writer/Director
It only took her 30 days to adapt the beloved novel into a screenplay.

iTunes to give credits or refunds due to WGA strike

Road to Perdition Sequels
Two sequels are in the works to the acclaimed 2002 graphic novel adaptation Road to Perdition, which starred Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig, Jude Law, and the late Paul Newman and was directed by Sam Mendes. An announcement picked up The Hollywood News and MTV reveals that Perdition author Max Allan Collins will direct the two films -- Road to Purgatory and Road to Paradise -- from his own screenplay adaptations. JBM Production Company and EMO Films will produce. Road to Purgatory will be dedicated to Paul Newman.

Interview with Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg

Life in Film
In an ongoing series, frieze asks artists and filmmakers to list the movies that have influenced their practice.

Straczynski Interview
"That's one of the things that was unusual about this script... usually when a writer is brought on to tell a true story, it's based on a book or other major document. Here, there was nothing," said Straczynski. "I had to go back and sift through thousands of pages of material to end up with about two thousand relevant pages of testimony, court documents, correspondence and the like." (Another one here.)

Gears Of War Screenwriter Aims For ‘Gritty And Real’ Big-Screen Version Of Video Game
“It would be a crying shame not to deal with Marcus and Dom,” Morgan told MTV News. “I would not be interested in the movie if we weren’t dealing with them. I want to see those guys. I want to see ‘Emergence Day.’ I want to see this stuff happen.”

Nichols 'High' on Kurosawa remake
Mike Nichols is set to direct a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s High and Low for Miramax Films. Written by David Mamet and produced by Scott Rudin, the film hasn’t started casting. Martin Scorsese originally commissioned Mamet to write the screenplay back in 1999; it took two years for Rudin to pull the rights together. Scorsese likely will executive produce. Kurosawa’s 1963 detective thriller starring Toshiro Mifune was based on the Ed McBain novel King’s Ransom, about a businessman who is ruined when he honorably pays ransom to kidnappers who mistakenly nabbed his driver’s son. (I watched this film last week coincidentally. The first hour was brilliant. The second hour and a half dragged quite a bit.)

Oh God, they’re
making Walter the Farting Dog
Another hot Disney Channel act is poised to make a bigscreen splash — at 20th Century Fox. Fox has locked the Jonas Brothers to make their feature starring debut in Walter the Farting Dog. Based on a bestselling series of books by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray, the film is being adapted by Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen into a family film that will revolve around Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas, as well as their younger brother Frankie.

Sam Mendes to Direct Preacher

MRC, Shyamalan dance with Devil
M. Night Shyamalan and Media Rights Capital have formalized the first project in their three-picture deal to hatch fright films. Brian Nelson (30 Days of Night) is set to write the first project, Devil, which Quarantine helmer John Erick Dowdle will direct and produce with his brother, Drew Dowdle. Supernatural thriller is based on an original story by Shyamalan, who'll produce with Sam Mercer under the Night Chronicles banner. The Dowdle siblings will be executive producers. The PG-13 film will begin production next year.

God, the Movie
The Bible contains what many consider to be the greatest story ever told. I realize that this particular phrase has been used as the title to a film about the life of Jesus, but I would like to suggest that even the life of Jesus, as recorded in the four gospels, is part of a bigger story that begins in Genesis and ends at the end of Revelation. Think of the larger story as The God Story. In my preceding article I made mention of the fact that the Bible is a book composed of sixty-six separate documents. We often refer to these individual documents as “books” of the Bible. Contained in those documents is a story that is truly miraculous. I say this because it is a story that perfectly fits the three-act structure of a great screenplay, and yet was written by forty different “screenwriters” over a period of sixteen hundred years!

Greatest Films Never Made
Floods put a stop to Terry Gilliam's pet project; Stanley Kubrick's studio pulled the plug on his; Orson Welles ran out of funds. Some of the greatest directors laboured over films that ultimately never saw the light of day. Killian Fox rounds up the potential classics that fell foul of fate. (You can read MM’s review of Kubrick’s Napoleon here.)

Vince Vaughn set for Sunny and 68
Universal Pictures is acquiring Sunny and 68, a spec script drama that Vince Vaughn will star in and Gavin O'Connor will direct. O'Connor, who wrote the script with Anthony Tambakis, will produce with Vaughn's Wild West Picture Show Prods. banner. Universal got first crack at the script because Vaughn has a deal there. He's currently starring in Couples Retreat, which he produces with Scott Stuber. O'Connor, whose Pride and Glory was released this past weekend by Warner Bros., said he and Tambakis wrote the script, a drama with comedic overtones, with Vaughn in mind for the lead character.

Paramount gets Agnes Quill
Paramount has acquired screen rights to Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery, a graphic novel by Dave Roman. Thor Freudenthal (Hotel for Dogs) is attached to direct, and Evan Spiliotopoulos is writing the script. Pic marks the first acquisition for Adam Goodman since transitioning from DreamWorks, where he shepherded Hotel for Dogs. Graphic novel’s title character turns 16 and inherits from her grandfather an estate and an ability to communicate with the dead.

Amy Adams is the Queen of Sheba
Script, penned by Karen Croner based on the bio of NPR correspondent Jacki Lyden, centers on how a woman uses her mother's madness and delusions to empower herself.

Universal bought a Skyscraper
Universal has preemptively bought Mike Sobel’s disaster-actioner pitch Skyscraper. Neal Moritz is producing via his Original Film banner. Project is described as a modern-day Towering Inferno, in which a Donald Trump-esque developer sets out to build a mile-high structure in Chicago. When the tower starts to falter, a crew must rescue the city from mayhem.

Rookie in charge of Lionsgate's Assets
Lionsgate has hired newbie screenwriter Andrea McCloud to pen its workplace comedy Cover Your Assets. Jon Shestack and Ginny Brewer are producing. Lionsgate vp production Jim Miller is overseeing for the studio. Described as a reverse Working Girl, McCloud's pitch explores modern gender-role complications in a story about a wealthy and powerful female executive who gets involved with a new guy. Assets had been in turnaround at New Line when Lionsgate picked it up.

A few more
Script Sales.

Chris Nolan’s first interview since The Dark Knight’s release
He says: "I have to ask the question: How many good third movies in a franchise can people name?"

Sure, no problem. Ever heard of James Bond? It was called Goldfinger. Also, LOTR: Return of the King didn’t suck. Harry Potter and Bourne upheld some consistency in quality. As a stretch, I might also include Last Crusade and Return of the Jedi. Plus, admit it. As a child, you loved Rocky III! It had Hulk Hogan and Mr. T! Hehehe...

Nolan dissects his favorite scene in Dark Knight
To be honest, it’s pretty easy for me. The scene that is so important and so central to me is the interrogation scene between Batman and the Joker in the film. When we were writing the script, that was always one of the central set pieces that we wanted to crack.

Beer for My Horses “Screenwriter” Rodney Carrington
Collaborating with Toby Keith to co-write the screenplay for the film, Beer for My Horses, was a lot of hard work, but Rodney Carrington says things got better after that. "Once the writing portion of it was done and we started shooting the movie, then it was just fun," he says and then adds with a laugh, "Fun and games -- liquor, pot, drinking, girls. Lots of stuff -- movie star stuff."

Orem screenwriter shoots new movie at Provo burger joint
Karen Peck, mother of three children and the holder of a graduate degree from Utah State University, completed filming on her first movie, Start with Nothing, at the former Broiler Express on Tuesday. A self-proclaimed "movie junkie" along with her children, Peck said her 1983 cinema experience seeing Return of the Jedi at age 12 was a pivotal moment in her silver screen education. "I thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen," she said.

The area screenwriter who wrote the script for the HBO movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and the London filmmaker who brought the story of Northampton's Young@Heart chorus to the screen, were
both recently honored for work that "affirms our individual and collective dignity, and reveals common humanity."

David Benioff on his novel and the upcoming Wolverine film
The screenplay I wrote for Wolverine, it’s pretty faithful to the source material. Fans who have read the Barry Windsor-Smith Weapon X or the other comics will recognize most of the story beads and certainly I hope will recognize the character. I think he’s much closer to the character we know from the comics than the character we know from the X-men movies. We’ve made him much more brutal and brooding and more like the Logan that I grew up with.

Darren Aronofsky Talks RoboCop Remake
“It's a real reinvention,” he told us, responding to those rumours that the movie would somehow follow on or be a direct sequel to Paul Verhoeven's 1987 original. “Me and David Self are working on the screenplay. He's a great, great writer and we're trying to do something new and fresh. We'll see what happens when the screenplay comes.”

Hollywood’s Hottest Mavericks

The Hobbit in 3-D? Del Toro Says "Maybe"


On the Contest Circuit:

Details Launches Screenplay Contest

Nicholl winners

Samuel Goldwyn Award Winners Announced

20/20 Competition Anounces Contest Winners

Script Savvy Announces September 2008 Contest Results

MoviePoet Announces September Contest Results

WILDSound Announces Fall TV and One Page Screenplay Finalists

RIIFF Announces Contest Winners

People's Pilot Announces Contest Winners

Spec Scriptacular Contest Winners Announced

Scriptapalooza Interviews 2008 Contest Winners

Writers on the Storm Announces Finalists


And Finally

Silence of the Lambs, baby!


Joshua James said...

you are a machine, you just are.

Mystery Man said...

Hey, Joshua - God, you have NO idea. I'm the most obsessive student on the planet. NO time for television. Just a little bit of time for girls and sex. It's a struggle to get my scripts done on time. I'll respond to your other e-mails shortly. Hope you're well.

Love you, man,


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