Before Star Trek Into Darkness, before Lost, JJ Abrams wrote a draft of Superman. This is that draft.
Premise: A slightly reimagined Superman origin story which includes an enemy from his home planet coming to earth to take him down.
About: This is JJ Abrams Superman entry, written in 2002, back when JJ was just your average TV show producer, finishing up work on Felicity and starting up work on Alias. The show that would make him a household name, Lost, was still just a twinkle in his eye.
Writer: JJ Abrams
Details: First draft (July 26, 2002) – 138 pages
Superman is still stinging from its horrible previous installment, which very well may have destroyed Bryan Singer’s reputation. The film was just so…forgettable. And badly written. Nothing made sense. Superman, who looked 25, had supposedly left earth for ten years? So he left when he was 15? Already I’m confused. Then nothing really happened. I couldn’t tell you what the story was about. There were no stand-out scenes. Superman was horribly miscast, as was Lois Lane.
I think the scene that epitomized the screw-up for me was the shuttle scene. It didn’t have anything to do with anything. What I mean by that is: it wasn’t woven into any sort of plot. It was just this standalone short movie of Superman saving a shuttle.
I said then that if they were ever going to reboot Superman and get today’s audiences interested, they were going to need to go darker like Batman. I know, I know. That’s “not Superman.” But it’s what audiences are digging, and Superman needed a makeover to appeal to today’s youth. I haven’t seen the movie, of course, but Zach Snyder’s version already looks a thousand times better than that previous abomination.
Which brings us to this draft, which I’ve heard at least partly inspired the most recent movie. But let’s face it. That’s not the reason I’m reviewing it. I’m reviewing it because it’s the JJ Abrams draft. I just had to know what he would’ve done with Superman. And the results are both encouraging and…not so encouraging with an ending so sacrilegious and “out-of-left-field” that I’m pretty sure it was born out of JJ’s first experience with peyote.
JJ’s Superman is basically an origin story with a few twists. It starts out with an awesome battle between Superman and an alien baddie named Ty-Zor from his home planet. They’re throwing each other through buildings, that sort of thing. And Superman is basically getting his ass handed to him.
Eventually we cut back to Krypton and get a detailed look at the civil war going on there, with 100 foot tall robot machines shredding up Kryptonians like a top chef. We get the familiar scene with Supes’s dad putting him in the spaceship, sending him to earth, where he lands at the Kents’ farm, where he grows up with them and yadda-yadda-yadda.
Where the script starts deviating from lore is that it makes Lex Luthor the head of the CIA. Lex is obsessed with UFO phenomena and is trying to convince his bureau to spend more time and resources on it, convinced that little green men are going to become a threat to earth at some point and they need to be ready for it. When a young new reporter, Lois Lane, writes an article about Luthor’s exploits, he has no choice but to tell the world that the U.S. has actually FOUND a UFO.
This freaks Superman (now Clark Kent) out, since he figures Luthor may be referring to him. And he doesn’t want any part in being exposed. Eventually, Luthor’s obsession with UFOs starts to piss the bureau off, and they fire him. Well, you don’t fire Lex Luthor and not expect consequences. Luthor eventually finds and teams up with Ty-Zor, who’s come to earth specifically to kill Superman. Superman may be super and all but (spoiler) he’s apparently no match for these two and is KILLED. Yes, Superman dies.
Or does he?
Eventually we learn that Superman isn’t dead at all, and comes back to take down Luthor, who’s since been awarded the planet by Ty-Zor. Finally the truth is revealed about Lex Luthor and the reason he’s so obsessed with aliens. Turns out Lex Luthor IS AN ALIEN. He’s from Superman’s home planet and has been hiding here. Which results in a final flying city-wide battle between Superman and… Lex Luthor? Holy origin-destroyer Batman. What the hell just happened??
Oh sheesh. Where to begin…
First of all, I’m convinced my man-crush JJ Abrams had nothing to do with this bizarre choice to make Lex Luthor an alien. Some producer came up with that idea. I know it. One thing good writers know is when they’ve gone too far. Or when a choice is too ridiculous or not believable. They just have an intricate feel for what works and what doesn’t. JJ had been working as a screenwriter for a decade at this point. I just don’t think he would’ve personally incorporated this bizarre choice into the story. Maybe I’m in denial. But I can’t accept it. And whoever DID come up with that idea needs to be escorted out of Hollywood permanently.
As for the rest of Superman, I think the challenge for this franchise has most recently been about making it current. It was designed in a different time. We don’t have the “aww shucks” newspaper photographer anymore. Heck, we don’t even have newspapers anymore! Combined with this need for comic book nerds to keep Superman “pure,” it’s just really hard to update it. JJ does his best, but the story still seems stuck in the past.
In particular, the gears of the screenplay seemed more focused on getting in all the necessary “lore” as opposed to just telling a story. Gotta get in the introduction of the suit and cape! Gotta get in that Lois Lane-Superman interview for the paper! Gotta get in the kryptonite intro! Instead of just a naturally flowing story, the screenplay seems designed around artificially incorporating these elements.
The truth is, when you’re telling an origin story, you’re dedicating 40-70 pages of your script to setup alone. And no matter how interesting that setup is, it’s still setup. The audience wants to see the plot get going. Singer tried to do this in the last Superman, by nixing the whole origin story in favor of sending Superman home then bringing him back again, but it was the wrong story element to use, as it was simply too confusing and clunky.
When JJ’s plot gets going, it sort of loses its way as well. Part of the problem is we have two villains here. Now I’m all for double the villain-ry. It’s fun to see a superhero have to take down two assholes instead of one. The problem is these villains never quite gelled together. It felt more like JJ was trying to decide which villain he liked best as he went along. And that may have been the case. Remember, this was a first draft. But I didn’t know where to focus my attention. Was Luthor the more important guy to take down? Or was Ty-Zor?
I think what Nolan did with Batman Begins was kind of genius. He didn’t introduce the best villain of the franchise in the movie. He waited until the second movie to do that. While it’s hard to imagine a Superman movie without Lex Luthor, Ty-Zor was a pretty damned worthy adversary. I mean this guy is throwing Superman through buildings ‘n shit. We just should have built a story around him and brought in Lex for the sequel.
Despite the unending amount of setup here, JJ does manage to plug in a lot more action than Singer’s abysmal version. We have the Air Force One scene (which has since been ripped off numerous times), the Ty-Zor/Superman battle, the Superman mech-machine battle, and just some really imaginative cool scenes back on Superman’s home planet. Those things almost saved the script, but in the end, this messy first draft hadn’t figured itself out yet. Maybe JJ did it with the next one. But any script that has Lex Luthor with the same powers as Superman is going to be a fail in my book.
[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[x] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius
What I learned: I love reading scripts like this because they remind me of how influenced we are by the moment. Whenever we write a script, we write through the filter of “right now,” of what the world is talking about, of what movies everyone’s watching, of how the writers of these movies are approaching their stories. JJ’s Superman feels very much like someone writing a script in 2002. It’s an origin story (just like X-Men from 2000 and Spider-Man of 2002). Just like X-Men, Superman’s flaw is that he believes he’s a freak, which is the reason he doesn’t reveal himself. There’s not a lot of originality here. For this reason, I encourage you not to be too influenced by the moment. Don’t write what everyone else is writing, or be swayed by the current trends. Try to write something that’s wholly unique, that, if looked back at 10 years from now, would stick out as its own thing, as opposed to just another version of what everyone else was doing.
So I just read a cool story the other day (I believe on Slash-Film) about how George Lucas was stressing out over the release of Star Wars. He visited buddy Spielberg on the set of his current production, “Close Encounters” and was so impressed by the grandiosity of it all and was so convinced Close Encounters would do better than his film, that he begged Spielberg to trade profit points with him on the two films. Spielberg figured, “Why not?” and he’s reportedly been collecting ever since, to the tune of more than 200 million dollars. Nice little trade there (though I’m sure Lucas isn’t losing any sleep over it. According to “Celebrity Net Worth,” he’s worth 7 billion dollars – Spielberg is at a paltry 3 billion). Close Encounters went through a lot of different iterations before it got made. Spielberg was originally going to shoot it before Jaws with only a 2.5 million dollar budget. He had UFOs landing on Robertson Boulevard, which nobody seemed to like (ironic since that’s all they want nowadays). After Jaws’s success, every studio was willing to let Spielberg make any film he wanted, but the script for “Close Encounters” still wasn’t there. The main character was a Project Blue Book agent, and then a police officer, but Spielberg said he couldn’t identify with those people. Hence, he eventually settled on an everyday normal blue collar worker for the protag. This is what finally allowed him to see the movie clearly. Though a ton of people worked on the screenplay, Spielberg ended up with sole credit.
1) If possible, the audience should identify with the hero – One of the keys to Spielberg’s mega-success is his penchant for building a story around a character everybody can identify with. Here, we have the everyday working man. And typically Spielberg uses a boy as the main character, as it’s instantly identifiable to the core audience, boys and men. I mean, who doesn’t remember the innocence and wonder associated with being a young boy?
2) Know the everyday man’s limitations – To be honest, you don’t find many movies today focusing on the everyday man in the extraordinary situation. Instead we have police officers and secret agents and former agents and former Navy Seals being placed in extraordinary situations. The reason for this is that when the action heats up, producers want your main character to be able to keep up. We have to believe that our hero can take down a military trained baddie or escape a building surrounded by the FBI. It’s hard to buy that a “normal guy” would be able to pull that off. Thus, we get “exceptional guys.” So, if you are going to write an “everyday man in an extraordinary situation,” make sure all the extraordinary stuff he does is believable and logical, which “Close Encounters” does a good job of.
3) The Teaser – The “teaser” is something that’s typically used in a TV pilot. It’s that first scene that creates a sense of mystery or wonder or suspense or shock or all of the above. “Teasers” are also often used in big splashy blockbuster-y type movies, such as Close Encounters, where we start with air traffic controllers tracking a strange blip on the radar that eventually disappears into thin air. A teaser is a great way to grab the reader’s attention immediately so it’s highly advisable if it fits your story (but please, avoid the cliché, “Cut to X weeks ago” after the teaser. It’s so overdone and should only be used if it’s absolutely essential to the story).
4) When writing a big set-piece scene, pretend that the producer nixed it because of budget. What would your replacement scene be? – The opening of Close Encounters has several planes coming in contact with a UFO. We could’ve seen this play out up in the air, but instead we see the scene exclusively through the eyes of air traffic controllers. The scene is tense and exciting for the very fact that we DON’T see what’s going on. It’s the difference between a 2 million dollar scene and a 20,000 dollar scene. And I’d argue the 20,000 dollar scene is better. You see, most big set piece scenes tend to be obvious. Cars chasing after another. Explosions. Shootouts. Space battles. We’ve seen all that stuff before. When you ask yourself to come up with the “low budget version” of a scene, you often have to be more creative, and that creativity results in something way better.
5) The second act is all about STRUGGLE – Remember that the second act boils down to your hero struggling. He should be struggling inside, outside, with the world, with the people in his life. Struggle struggle struggle. Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss), our hero, is struggling with this thing that he saw. He’s struggling with his wife, his kids, with what he should do. Every step of his life becomes a struggle. Struggle results in drama, and when done properly, anything dramatic will keep an audience interested.
6) Get those “marketing scenes” in there – Spielberg is a master at thinking of the marketing while writing his script. He looks for those 4-5 scenes that are going to look great in a trailer, that are going to make people HAVE TO leave their homes to drive to the theater and see his film on opening night. You get it here with the little boy being summoned by the big giant lit-up UFO outside the house. You get it with the headlights behind Roy’s truck going UP ABOVE instead of AROUND him. You see it, obviously, in Raiders of the Lost Ark with Indy running from the boulder. As “sell-out’ish” as it sounds, you need to be thinking of the marketing of your film as you’re writing it. Never let it dictate the story. But be aware of how important it is.
7) Explore your second act in your first few drafts, then streamline it for the final draft – Close Encounters actually has a very slow and wandering second act. This makes sense, as they rebooted the story several times during development. Spielberg likely threw his shooting script together with time running out. Hence this draft has a second act with a first draft feel. Tons of scenes with Roy driving around for his job, at home talking to his family, all mixed in amongst an unending amount of UFO sightings all over the world. I encourage you to use a few drafts to explore your second act. This is where you find those unexpected storylines and snazzy subplots. But at a certain point, you have to streamline: That means cutting out all the stuff that doesn’t relate directly to the protagonist’s goal – and that goal here is Roy trying to find an answer to these UFOs. If that’s not the focus of a scene, it should probably be cut.
8) A passionate main character – I believe that we, as people, are drawn to passion. Whether it be the butcher down the street who loves chopping meat for you, the musician who couldn’t imagine himself doing anything else with his life, or the blogger who wakes up every day excited to write about screenwriting. Movie characters are no different. We love to follow and root for passionate people, people who are driven by their goals and dreams. Roy becomes so passionate in his pursuit of these UFOs (who can ever forget the model mountain he builds in his own living room?) that we can’t help but root him on and hope that he achieves his goal.
9) Once the aliens show up, so what? – Another genius thing about Spielberg’s movies is he understands that once the cat’s out of the bag, the cat’s no longer interesting. He famously held the cat back with Jaws (despite it being by necessity), but does it even more so here, waiting until the very last scene to reveal the aliens. He knows that if he reveals the aliens early, that sense of mystery and intrigue and suspense is gone. It’s getting harder and harder to do this in a day and age where audiences require eye candy as soon as their butts hit the seats, but executed well, it can still work.
10) Close Encounters is a great reminder that you have to continually take chances to succeed in this business. Sci-fi was NOT popular at the time this movie was made. Hollywood thought a movie about UFOs would be stupid. People who claimed they saw UFOs in the 70s were considered to be loonies. Spielberg could’ve made anything he wanted after Jaws, but he took a chance on something he was really passionate about. I’m a firm believer that you have to take a big chance with every screenplay you write if you want to succeed. If you’re just following the latest trends, you’re not going to stand out.
The new Star Trek film underperformed. But all we at Scriptshadow care about is, “How was the writing?”
Premise: Captain Kirk and crew go after a mysterious villain who performed a terrorist attack on the Federation. After chasing him down, they learn that it’s actually someone within their own ranks that they need to worry about.
About: This is likely JJ Abrams’s last foray into Star Trek, as he’s been asked to take over the most glorious awesomest greatest franchise ever (coincidentally both mine and JJ’s favorite franchise): Star Wars. One other thing of note here: Current screenwriting whipping boy Damon Lindelof contributed to “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” That makes TWO huge summer movies he’s written (with the other being the troubled zombie flick “World War Z.”). If you want to read a great article about Lindelof and his insecurities as a writer and how he was terrified to come in and save World War Z, check out the article here.
Writer: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof
Details: 132 minutes
Where are all the Star Trek fans? I heard the studio was hoping to make 100 million dollars this weekend and only made 70. Trekkies, wuddup?? We even got to see the Klingons in this episode. And the previously established greatest Trek villain ever!
I don’t know why I’m getting all upset. I was never a Trek fan. I’m just a JJ fan, who was also not a Trek fan (I’m still confused why someone who hated a franchise would choose to direct a movie for that franchise). But I guess all I really care about is, “How was the writing?” and, “Is Trek 2 better than Trek 1?”
Unfortunately, those aren’t easy questions to answer. There was definitely something exciting about getting to see a re-imagined Star Trek the first time around. It was new. It was fresh! That freshness is gone. And some of that Star Trek luster is gone with it. On the flip side, you don’t have to spend half the screenplay setting up the world, like the first did. You can jump straight into the story. Which is what Into Darkness does. But was it successful??
Into Darkness has our Trek crew doing what it was created to do – explore new worlds. That’s THE PLAN anyway. But when Kirk finds a neophyte civilization about to be wiped out via an active volcano, he and Spock decide to save it. They barely do so, but in the process alert the civilization to their presence (a big no-no) AND almost die. This leads to Kirk being relieved of his command.
Meanwhile, a terrorist blows up a Trek archive building, (MAJOR SPOILER) who we later find out is the infamous Trek villain, Khan! Khan then jets out to the Klingon home planet, where he know he’ll be safe, since the humans and the Klingons are on the brink of war. But Kirk and crew go after him anyway, capture him, and find out the truth: that the President of Star Federation (played by the original Robocop!) is trying to kill this dude.
When Kirk won’t follow orders and kill him himself, then, Robocop comes after him, hellbent on destroying not just Khan, but everyone on Kirk’s ship as well. Kirk will have to decide who’s more dangerous here – Khan or Robocop – and stop them. All while trying to protect the thousands of crew on his ship.
99% of the time, I can get a sense whether a movie or a script is going to work within the first scene. How that scene is constructed tells me a ton. Is there drama involved? Intrigue? Suspense? Is it original? Is the scene meticulously plotted out? Or is it sloppy? If it’s sloppy, for example, that usually sets the tone for the rest of the movie. I mean, if you can’t make your very first scene clean, how can I expect you to make the following 59 scenes clean?
Into Darkness started out… wrong. It wasn’t entirely clear to me what was going on. You had Kirk running from these natives. Then we were cutting to Spock being lowered into some lava pit. For the first 60-90 seconds of the sequence, I thought Spock was on a completely different planet. I wasn’t linking him to the native stuff.
Eventually I figured it out, but if you look at a similar opening sequence, Indy going into the cave in Raiders of the Lost Ark (which clearly influenced JJ in this scene) – that’s a sequence you’re never confused by. I suppose JJ may have been doing this confusing cross-cutting on purpose? Maybe he wanted you to be be curious about how the two related to one another? But I think that’s the wrong move. Like I said – the opening scene sets the tone for the movie. It’s gotta be clear. There are instances where you want things to be confusing to establish intrigue (the layered dream sequence opening of Inception), but this wasn’t one of those times. And for this reason, I was really scared for Into Darkness.
But the script does rebound. The mystery terrorist put the story on a clear path: Find the terrorist, take him down. There were also quite a few of the mystery boxes JJ is known for. Like a) who is this terrorist? And b) what’s in these missiles that everyone seems so up-in-arms about? (Spoiler) – We eventually find out that the missiles are holding humans inside, which was a nice unexpected surprise. Although I thought for sure when the first one was revealed, as it appeared to be holding a bald guy, it was going to be Captain Jean-Luc Piccard (from the Next Generation). I had no idea how they were going to make that make sense, but it got me revved up (alas, it was not to be).
And I think that’s where JJ really excels. He keeps putting those mystery boxes out there so that you always have to find out what’s inside of them. Even when you’re not 100% into the movie, you still want to see what happens next. But I think the real feat here with the writing was how “follow-able” the writers were able to make the plot, despite how much it jumped around.
We talked about plot points a month ago, and how you want to keep changing up your story in order to keep it fresh. But (at least in my opinion) the plot point changes in Into Darkness were pretty severe, to the point where I wasn’t sure where the story was going. Or really what the main plot was. I mean first “Darkness” is about Kirk getting canned. Then he’s reinstated as a second-in-command on another ship. Then the terrorist attack happens. Then the terrorist runs away. They have to go chase the terrorist, with some foreshadowing of a potential Klingon war. But there is no Klingon war. Then the Federation President comes after them, as he’s revealed to be the bad guy. Then Khan kills the bad guy, and becomes the reinstated bad guy.
The writers do a good job keeping all of this clear, but it’s a huge gamble, as at a certain point, your reader/audience may throw up their arms and scream, “Dude! What the f*&k? is this movie about?!” When you write a script, you can write it two ways. You can establish the goal right away and spend the rest of the script showing your main character trying to obtain it. Or you can constantly keep changing the storyline and the goal, with new twists and turns dictating the narrative.
So with Raiders Of The Lost Ark, for example, we know the goal from the outset – find and bring back the Ark. Into Darkness, we’re not sure. We’re not really ever sure. And that’s what’s so dangerous about writing these types of scripts. They’re a bag of mysteries. And it takes a tremendous amount of skill to keep a story interesting that doesn’t have that constant. Whenever I see amateurs try to pull this off, it’s a guaranteed fail. They’ll keep throwing in new surprises and twists every ten pages or so, but it feels like it’s being made up as they go along. They only know how to change the variables. They don’t have an overall game plan.
I think that’s the difference when a professional takes on one of these scripts and when an amateur does. The professional outlines and makes sure it all makes sense, that there is something underneath that’ll support all these twists. Whereas the new writer will simply make up twists on the fly and believe that’s enough. At least, that’s what it feels like to me.
In the end, Into Darkness was sort of a strange, daring film, in that it did have a weird, constantly changing plot. But it found a way to make it work. The natural conflict between Kirk and Spock always kept things interesting. The “flying through debris” action sequence was really well executed. Khan was an interesting (if not exceptional) villain, who had a lot more meat to him than Eric Bana’s villain from the first film. And after a bit of a slow section following the opening scene, the script never lets up, pounding us with immediacy – an ingredient essential for any good summer popcorn film. I liked it. I mean, it wasn’t amazing, but it was solid.
[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[x] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius
[ ] what the hell did I just watch?
[ ] not fit for a Klingon
[x] worth the price of admission for anywhere but the ridiculously expensive Arclight
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius
What I learned: If you’re a new writer, I’d suggest mastering the “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” model before you move on to the “Star Trek: Into Darkness” model. Establish a goal for your protagonist right away, then have them go after it, repeatedly running into obstacles during their pursuit. If you keep changing your character’s goal and keep rearranging the plot’s purpose the way “Into Darkness” does, you’re going to find your plot a lot harder to wrangle in. It can be done, but you need a lot of practice before you’re ready for it.
What I learned 2: I don’t know why this particular movie made me think of this, but I think IMDB should start including a section for “Contributing Writers” on each project. We know, of course, that they can’t get an official title card for the movie. But there should be a place where these writers are recognized so an internet search can bring their names up. IMDB seems like the perfect place to put this information. They’re not obligated to only include the “official” writers, and as long as it’s properly noted, I don’t see how this could do anything but help the non-top-tier writers in the business.
Hey guys. In celebration of, well, all of us being alive, I’m making Scriptshadow Secrets just $4.99 through the weekend! Many of you have asked when the book is coming out in hardcopy. It will, I promise. I just have to carve out some time and get it done. In the meantime, remember, you DO NOT have to have a Kindle device or an Ipad to read the book. You can download, for free, the Kindle for PC (or Mac) app, and use that to read the book right on your computer.
Note: Stores outside the U.S. may have a slight delay in the updated price. But it should show up soon.
This is your chance to discuss the week’s amateur scripts, offered originally in the Scriptshadow newsletter. The primary goal for this discussion is to find out which script(s) is the best candidate for a future Amateur Friday review. The secondary goal is to keep things positive in the comments with constructive criticism.
Below are the scripts up for review, along with the download links. Want to receive the scripts early? Head over to the Contact page, e-mail us, and “Opt In” to the newsletter.
LOGLINE: A young Jewish woman in occupied France escapes the Nazis by changing places with a shop owner. But as her love grows for the other woman’s husband and child, so does her guilt.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ (from writer): My screenplay finished in the top 6% of last year’s Nicholls, perhaps you can tell me why it didn’t crack the top 5. It was also the Screenplay of the Month on both Zoetrope and TriggerStreet.
TITLE: A Call To Respond
LOGLINE: A first responder is the target of a madman, but his greatest enemy may be the public he vows to protect.
LOGLINE: In a world overrun with monsters, a futuristic city thrives behind a massive wall. But when a conspiracy threatens to destroy it all, the city’s last hope rests on the shoulders of a criminal in a stolen combat suit.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ (from writer): You mean besides the guy in the armor punch fighting monsters? Well. There is some solid character work, themes dealing with duty and what makes a hero, and a few twists and turns. It’s something that Hollywood flips for: something that feels familiar but isn’t.
TITLE: The Golden House
GENRE: Period Drama
LOGLINE: A young Roman risks his life and his friendship with the emperor when he secretly pursues a woman who has sworn allegiance to the cross, a crime punishable by death.
TITLE: Drug War
LOGLINE: A US Marine enlists the help of a Mexican journalist to rescue his father who is being held hostage by a powerful drug cartel.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ (from writer): I was a finalist in the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest immediately following Tyler Marceca. I even had the same mentor. It wasn’t hard to accept that following Tyler’s path was a real long shot when hit by the reality of turning a solid 15 pages into my first full length script and juggling writing deadlines between the pull of work and family commitments. I learned a lot from the mentoring and script notes, but did not win. Based on the script I submitted, I knew the only way I would win is if the other scripts were not good. Seven months and several versions later, I believe it’s ready for an Amateur Friday review–comments and all.