One of the coolest screenplay ideas I’ve seen all year. But does the execution match the concept?

Genre: Sci-fi
Premise: A former criminal is convicted of killing his ex-wife and young daughter, who’s gone missing. Looking at life in prison, he participates in a unique experimental program where he will scientifically “hibernate” during the entirety of his sentence.
About: This script was picked up for Fast Five director (and future Terminator 5 director?) Justin Lin to direct. The script has been getting a lot of buzz lately. Let’s find out why.
Writers: Geneva Robertson-Dworet & Will Frank (story by Dave Hill and Geneva Robertson-Dworet & Will Frank)
Details: 112 pages – undated

I’d been hearing about this one for a couple of weeks now. Dozens of people have read it and almost all of them have e-mailed me with the same reaction: “Wow.” It’s not often that I see universal support for a script. There’s something about the art of storytelling that divides people. Some people want their stories to be direct and over-the-top. Others want them to be reserved and subtle. That’s why you get so many divided reactions and why Hollywood has such a hard time figuring out that elusive formula for box office success. How do you appease two polar opposite audiences? Isn’t that the definition of impossible?

But as I opened up “Hibernation” and read its first line: “Anna Bagnehold was skiing the first time she died,” I got goosebumps. Talk about roping the reader in immediately. Writers spend years trying to come up with a line like that – something that instantly gives you 20 pages with a reader. And then, once you get to the first act turn of Hibernation, it gets even better. This is a REALLY clever idea – one of those ideas that makes you groan and go, “Oh maaaan. Why couldn’t I think of that???” And I bet you’re all wondering what this idea is exactly. Well, may I tempt you with a story that pulls its inspiration from Scriptshadow favorites The Disciple Program and Source Code? Yeah, I have your attention now don’t I?

34 year old Sean Quinn is a big guy, the type of dude you’d see working on the docks, lifting heavy boxes. He used to be an enforcer for some not-so-nice criminal types, but has since left that life so he can be closer to his daughter, 5 year old Chloe. It’s not an ideal circumstance. His choices have put him and his ex at odds. But at least he gets to see his little girl every once in awhile.

If only Andrew Moran would see it that way. Moran is Quinn’s thuggish former employer. And as these thuggish boss-types usually go, he’s not a fan of Quinn quitting on him. And he lets him know it. But Quinn reiterates that he’s left that world behind. Sorry dude. Gonna have to find yourself a new rat.

Turns out that wasn’t the best idea by our guy Quinn. Because that night, after a couple of drinks, he passes out. And when he wakes up? His wife has been killed and his daughter, Chloe? She’s nowhere to be found. Before Quinn can even figure out what’s going on, the cops show up. And it isn’t difficult to see how this is going to shake down. All the evidence points to him as the killer.

So off to a lifetime jail sentence Quinn goes. Which would normally suck but there’s a new program the prison is trying out and it’s looking for volunteers. In order to lower the cost of upkeep, prisoners can choose to enter the “Hibernation Program,” which allows them to go into a state of stasis, sort of a cryogenic freeze, for their term. Go to sleep, wake up in 50 years. You’re still young when you’re released. Not a bad deal.

As a perk, they take you out of hibernation every five years, give you six hours of parole to reboot yourself, and back to sleep you go. With the alternative being growing old and dying in prison, Quinn decides to take a chance. So asleep he goes. For five years.

After waking up, he’s given his first six hours of parole. And you know what Quinn is doing with that six hours. He’s looking for information on what happened to his daughter. So he snoops around, asks a few people what they know, with most of the focus centering on his former employer, Moran. Did he kill his ex-wife and daughter because he wouldn’t work for him?

But just as he’s starting to make progress, his time is up and he’s forced to come back to prison, where he’s put back in hibernation. And five more years pass. And he wakes up. And he’s let out. With six more hours to look for clues about what happened to Chloe. Except now it’s five MORE years in the future. And he’s less familiar with the world. And the evidence is getting older. And when those six hours are up, he goes back to the prison, is put back to sleep, and five MORE years go by. And the world is even more different. He’s even LESS familiar with it. And the evidence is five years older. And so on and so forth.

I mean, just stop and think about that for a second. “The Fugitive” except that with every fifteen minutes of screen time, the world reboots into something more futuristic and less familiar to our hero. How freaking awesome of an idea is that??? It ain’t going to be cheap to make. But unlike a lot of flashy ideas out there, the production of this one would actually warrant the cost. It’s that good.

Now, I’m not going all in here YET because, at least with this draft, things are still messy. This is the kind of idea that you have to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. When you have something this good, you don’t want a single messy plot point, a single bad choice. Reading the opening of Hibernation, before I knew the hook, I was getting a little impatient. The dialogue in particular was really…plain, and a little bit clunky. When characters speak to each other, I never want to think about the writer. I don’t want to think, “Ooh, they tried too hard on that line.” It has to be seamless. And the dialogue here wasn’t seamless.

I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the secondary characters either. I thought Sorenson (the main doctor) was strong. I thought Lara, the love interest, worked. But Andrew Moran, the bad guy, wasn’t bad enough. The bad guy’s gotta be memorable in your movie and this guy just felt thin. Austin, the brother of the bad guy, was a little more memorable, but felt like the kind of guy you’d be afraid of at the schoolyard, not as a criminal. Then Raj, the cab driver, well, I mean you got a guy named “Raj” who is a cab driver. So you can see why that choice isn’t very inspired.

And while I liked some of the futuristic stuff, I think it could’ve been pushed further. A lot further. That’s the big draw here – how this mission extends across many time periods, with each time period getting more and more futuristic. That’s cool! I mean I can see the trailer already, cutting between these time periods. But as you cut, each time period needs to be noticeably different, noticeably more advanced. And I wished we would’ve seen more advancement, especially in the last time period, where the futuristic aspect is barely even breached.

My final issue is one I just can’t ignore. Six hours? Huh? Why would this program give someone six hours of parole every five years? It’s so little time as to seem insignificant. And with Quinn being such a high commodity asset, I’m having a hard time believing they’d just let him walk around willy-nilly. The explanation for this could’ve been much cleaner. As of now, it sticks out like a candy cane at a Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m assuming that many of these problems are due to the script still being in its early stages, but the pillars to build the empire are there. Also working in “Hibernation’s” favor is its ending. Whenever you have these time-bending narratives, you gotta have a stellar ending. There’s nothing worse than going through 2 hours of a really cool time-travel script only to have some pedestrian climax. I won’t spoil it here but Hibernation definitely delivers on that front. There were a couple of quick “But wait a minutes,” but nothing that couldn’t be fixed.

Hibernation is the kind of script that stands out in the spec world. It’s got a catchy hook and an exciting fast-paced narrative. More writers need to be studying scripts like this as a way to break into the industry. I wasn’t thrilled with the execution in places, which I’d probably rate as “worth the read,” but since this is one of the best spec ideas I’ve run across in awhile, I’m bumping it up to “double worth the read” status.

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[xx] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: I’m always wary of forced ticking time bombs. They pop out at you like flaming roman numerals. A man gets six hours of parole every five years when he’s woken up from hibernation? Why six hours? Why every five years? What’s the point of it? I mean, yeah, this works great as a ticking time bomb. Only having six hours to do something as complicated as catch your daughter’s killer is intense. But it’s GOTTA make sense. So add your ticking time bombs, yes. But build them into the story in an organic way so we’re not questioning them.

  • carsonreeves1

    I kind of hate WordPress beyond words. I spent twenty minutes trying to create a paragraph break between the title of the article and the article blurb. It lets me either create 2 paragraph breaks or no paragraph break. If I put “br” in the htmi code to try and create a break manually, it just disappears when I save it. Same thing with trying to create a break between “Details” and the picture. I want to kill someone. Ahhhhh!!!!

    • klmn

      Perhaps you should take an anger management class.

      • carsonreeves1

        Yes, I should!

  • Thomas A. Schwenn

    I’m really surprised for all the love for Hibernate. I could only get through the initial 30 pages. This just seemed like a half-assed concept strung out to a feature length. This is so illogical, and never vetted.

    -Why would the prison system agree to this technology? WHY???? What is the benefit?

    -Why wait only 5 years for the first cutoff? Why give 6 hours of total freedom? If you’re going to allow the 5 year periods, why not just wake them up and keep them inside? Why the hell would you let these criminals, who’ve been asleep for 5 years, to be let out in public? These are violent criminals!

    For example, in Demolition Man, there is an explosion, which releases the Wesley Snipes character, so that HAVE to release the Stallone character (who knows Snipes best) in order to catch Snipes.

    There is absolutely NO motivation behind this program to exist.

    • William Mandell

      This was exactly my issue with the script. It’s a cool idea, I’ll give it that. But the suspension of disbelief was really pushing the limits of what I could accept.

    • Logline_Villain

      When the cool idea which everyone loves also happens to be the plot hole equivalent of the Grand Canyon, there’s a problem – and while for the most part I enjoyed this script, the core concept as presented here is utterly preposterous (and moreso than just about any pro script I’ve read in recent years). As it turns out, Dr. Sorenson went to great lengths to keep the daughter hidden from everyone all those years for one reason: because the daughter was so important – BUT Dr. Sorenson allowed her father Sean, who was equally important, to walk around free. Dr. Sorenson may as well have been named Jeckyll and Hyde – because her only consistency was to serve the script, not the character…

    • JakeMLB

      While I really disliked this script, I do think that the premise is (maybe) workable. But that would require some groundwork:

      i) this is a privatized prison

      ii) the prison needs money and will receive a nice chunk of change from participating in this trial

      iii) by participating in this trial prisoners will have their life sentences reduced (e.g., prisoners with 40-year sentences can participate for 20 and then receive full pardon otherwise why the hell would any prisoner want to participate!?–they’re essentially giving up their lives for 6 hours of freedom?)

    • tom8883

      They could include a scene or two showing how America’s prison system is broken. How it’s too expensive and how it’s not working, then find a way to have this connect to the plot, explaining why the government agreed to this technology.

  • Poe_Serling

    This is the perfect script to kick off the upcoming holiday. Hibernation: to be in an inactive or dormant state…. that pretty much sums up what I want to do at the end of Turkey Day.

    A couple of my favorite films to watch during this time of the year: Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Miracle on 34th Street. One site even called PTA – the ‘Citizen Kane’ of Thanksgiving movies…. it’s hard to disagree with that assessment.

    And for horror fans?

    Check out ThanksKilling. Here a ‘homicidal turkey axes off college kids during the Thanksgiving break.’
    Is it any good? Well, it’s as tasty as 7-day old leftovers.

  • blogwalker

    Similarly, I enjoyed the heck out of this. Though I don’t agree with Carson regarding building up the world more.

    I thought the writers did a spectacular job in the world-building department. They chose to highlight details about the ever-evolving world that had an impact on the story. For example, the trampoline floors (or whatever they call them). It’s a setup in one sequence and a payoff in the next.

    I think enriching the evolving world beyond what directly impacts the story is a mistake. In my opinion there are plenty of these details already enriching the screenplay. Any more will just take up space.

  • gj_d

    I’m guessing Justin Lin is attached to this script with the idea of working with Vin Diesel again. It’s a hardcore action part that screams for someone with that physicality. It also suits Diesel’s dark persona of the misunderstood loner you wouldn’t want to scrap with in a dark alley.

    This script is a textbook at creating a clear-cut goal for the hero then slowly piling on the grief scene by scene, basically throwing the hero into one impossible situation after another, which is your job as a dramatist. But the real cleverness of the script is all the hibernation business. Throwing in the huge five year time jumps would trip up a lot of writers. If anything could have been exploited a little bit more it would have been the time gaps.

    So, basically, the hibernation twist gave the story flashes of something new while the rest of it was dressed in conventional action script clothing. But with all that said, still a movie exec’s (studio’s) wet dream.

    Besides the hibernation twist I didn’t see any streaks of wild originality (there’s a little bit of twist at the end). What the script did well was keep this locomotive on the track at all times. The story was constantly moving forward, something always happening, at times mildly surprising. The main characters were just engaging enough. The supporting characters weren’t even that. My feeling is that this script was outlined to within an inch of its life, and then the writers stuck to that road map right up to the satisfying ending and our hero re-united with his pseudo family again.

    The script showed a little more cinematic flair than usual with the dramatic use of cuts and character POVs. All and all… sort of a SOURCE CODE-lite.

    Be interesting to see what someone like David Twohy could do with this material…

    Worth the read.

    • Poe_Serling

      I’d love to see this thing in David Twohy’s hands… a quick rewrite and then him directing.

      • craigfeag

        Definitely agree about Twohy, love his films. Also, I do see Vin as the Sean Quinn lead…not the most cerebral character in the universe, but seems to fit the one in this story.

  • NajlaAnn

    ““Oh maaaan. Why couldn’t I think of that???”” EXACTLY what went thru my mind as I read it. I loved Hibernation. The time tick was very clever and I liked the characters. I’m gonna agree with the review on the bad guys. Andrew and Austin just didn’t seem bad enough. Regardless, this is a movie I’m gonna watch when it comes out.

    • craigolopolis

      Same here, as I have a couple ideas that are pretty much the same concept as Hibernation.

      It sucks to have one of my first visits to the new ScriptShadow site be followed by the realization that this script kills not one but two kick ass story ideas I have sitting in the old idea filme, but just didn’t get around to writing yet.

      Besides that though, the new ScriptShadow site layout looks nice. I love the imagery of the guy in the chair in the header art. It reminds me of those old Maxell high fidelity commercials from the 80’s.

      Pardon me, but would anyone have any Grey Poupon?

      • carsonreeves1

        Where’s the beef?

        • Nicholas Budd

          Hi – would anybody please be able to send this me script? I would love to read it, thanks.

  • IcouldbeAaron

    100% agree with Carson on this one. Really interesting concept that needs a lot of rewriting. I had some more extended comments but they are basically point for point the same as his review. The biggest problems for me were definitely the dialogue and the parole setup which I also found pretty unbelievable.

    The only thing I’ll disagree about is that the concept isn’t, in my opinion, stellar. It felt like they were trying too hard for something really cool along the lines of Minority Report or Eternal Sunshine but came up with something only half as good. It’s a concept that inherently lacks some of the built in emotional resonance you find in these really great high concept ideas. Perhaps this will be fixed with the rewrite. But I personally think the hibernation concept works better if the focus is on what he’s missing by making this choice – ie. kids growing up, never getting to say goodbye to parents, etc – rather than as a time travel device.

    • William Mandell

      Yeah, this idea could be easier to swallow as a drama of what the inmate is losing. The path they took as an action movie makes it difficult to buy into.

      • carsonreeves1

        yeah but it also makes it a lot less marketable!

  • grupo tres

    It would be cool to see how Quinn takes advantage from the gradual advances in forensic technology every time he wakes up in the future to get information about new evidence that gradually become more and more scarce with each new awakening, like a DNA sample unrecoverable with current technology but some type of Star Trek futuristic device could recreate as a 3D hologram or something else. Anyway, a great premise. I can see the poster.

    • ChristianSavage

      That’s actually a pretty cool idea. The writer can definitely exploit his premise even more. This draft is a great place to start, though. I really enjoyed reading it, and I’m excited to see what direction they take for the final movie.

  • thescreenplayman

    This screenplay is that amazing because the premise is something we haven’t seen. I didn’t think the characters were utterly original (characters we would remember in a few years), but the premise is something you won’t forget.

    I also agree with some plot-holes – if this guy was that valuable, they wouldn’t risk losing him like that, giving him six hours of parole. Plus, I don’t understand why they would give him parole at all. If he was so valuable, they wouldn’t even wake him up – that’s how I saw it. (Now people might say, well, they can’t just kidnap a guy – what happens when the experiment is done, they would have to release him. But, the company already framed the murder – plus, I don’t think the private corporation (Hemetach) would make the guy go into federal prison, risking the chance that these “convicts” are willing to sacrifice their body.

    Again, as readers, we are going to question this. As an audience member, drawn by the visuals, entertained by the premise, I don’t think we’re going to question this initially. I mean, every film has plot holes no matter what (if you especially like Derridean deconstruction (ENGLISH majors know what I’m talking about)), but I think this script is really good. It doesn’t get better than this.

    However, there is one reason why I think people would be discouraged to make this script: one, the budget is going to be huge. Six different cities, six different time periods. But the Lachoskis did it – look how that turned out in Cloud Atlas – they lost a lot of money. Plus, this script is not the next Star Wars – I don’t see a trilogy coming out of this.

    Question to anyone willing to answer: does every producer think that a sequel (or a triology) could be in the works for every project they touch? Is that a question every producer thinks, especially when they see this project?

    Premise: Amazing
    Characters: Passable
    Setting: Potential to be Amazing

  • fragglewriter

    The 6-hour forced time constraint is what bothered me about the script. I like the concept, but it reminded me a little of the movie Death Race meets Crank, but minus the logic. Quinn is sentenced to jail because he killed his ex. So instead of finding out who framed him, he wants to find his daughter? I understand about wanting to see your child, but no desire to understand who put you there is bizarre. And if you find your daughter, then what? You’re a criminal and with the advancement of techology, how would you hide and support yourself.
    Also, I think this script would of benefited from less characters. I felt Raj was underutilized and basically there as a stock character. Also, the same for Lara. I could of dealt without her. Quinn’s waking every 5 years seemed like with the advancement in technology, he didn’t miss a beat. I don’t believe it. Quinn had no walls or barriers to get to his task. It’s like when one wall comes up, he goes over it, and is on to his next task. I would love to see some type of level of difficulty.
    The ending with Sorenson wss just blah. I think the writer has a great concept, but it just seems that it went from mystery/sci-fi to sappy in a heartbeart.
    {x} Wasn’t for me.

  • rosencrantz

    Looking forward to reading this later. The logic issues are a huge red flag, though. Wouldn’t the prison end up releasing a load of unreformed criminals sixty years down the line?! It seems to completely defeat the point of prison. A lot of people would probably pay for the hibernation service, in fact. Supposing that this can be resolved in script development seems like a big suppose. Still, I will withhold judgement till I’ve read it.

  • SeekingSolace

    “HIbernation” has its charms and whatever the antithesis of charms is. I was confused about the 6 hours of parole, especially since we find out in the end **spoiler alert** that he has a rare protein in his body that makes hibernation possible.

    Why would anyone let him out of the lab, or even wake him up? Then to let Quinn put his life on the line going after Moran and Austin in search of Chloe knowing that Moran could have had him killed with ease just seemed silly. But the mystery of what happened to Chloe and the world built around this mystery kept me reading. The technology slightly changing every five years was great attention to detail. It always changed just the right amount so it always felt believable.

    The script did begin to feel repetitive with the constant blackouts after six hours and the bulk of the action stemming from a lot of running, running into a bad situations (i.e. Guards) escaping only to end up in a similar situation. Though it was never revealed as to how Quinn’s ex, Amy, was killed, I was pleased with both the revelation of Chloe’s whereabouts and the twist involving her, her father, and Sorenson. “Hibernation” is definitely worth a read.

  • BM

    I like the concept and the screenplay was pretty good. There are definitely things in the story that need to be revised, but overall the is a quality screenplay.

  • Colenicks83

    This was such a great concept that it was hard to screw up the rest of it. But like Source Code, another great spec, Sex Tape and Glimmer, which I liked and I know a lot of people didn’t, sometimes the best specs aren’t the best scripts.
    But this script is a great way to do a version of Taken with a twist. And yes, I wish I would’ve thought of this idea.

  • JakeMLB

    Really surprised at the love this is getting…

    Great premise but the execution was lacking for me. So much of it just felt forced and silly. Stock characters. Six hours on parole? Quinn filling out “Have you seen me?” ads in prison (pg 10)? Quinn who we’ve been told cannot afford a lawyer somehow having one seven years later (pg 7/13)? Quinn not caring who put him in prison and thinking his daughter will testify that he’s innocent (pg 17)? Quinn who has been sentenced to life still owning his home (pg 18)? Same three vicious guard dogs present and alive seven years later (pg 19)? Quinn inexplicably finding Raj seven years later (pg 22)? Brilliant hacker Raj now working as a cab driver (pg 22)? Raj’s out-of-place character only existing because the writers needed Quinn to have outside help? Hematech re-waking Quinn after he violated the terms of his first parole which expressly stated that he would be withdrawn from the program for violations (pg 14/31)? Absolutely zero setup to allow the audience to think or care about a) Quinn’s daughter and b) why Quinn was setup? Quinn once again inexplicably finding Raj at Fenway park (pg 34)?

    And some of the dialogue…

    But doc, you need to treat my friend here. Some bastard tried to rob me, but he showed up and saved my life!

    I’ll stop there. I can’t imagine this going into production without a full rewrite. Someone help me out: beyond a great premise and solid structure, did anyone actually enjoy the words on the page? I seriously feel like I woke up among aliens.

    [x] Wait for the rewrite.

    • JakeMLB

      Just wanted to add that the writers should really extend the time-frame to 12 maybe 24 hours. I get the CRANK-ness of it all, but realistically, you can’t accomplish anything in 6 hours. You’d lose 2 hours just commuting to and from the prison.

    • Keith Popely

      And I don’t like not being able to see who gave a comment a thumbs up. I thumbed you up, Jake. Great comment, expressing frustration but not ranting, with great dissection. However! I rather agree that the concept is there enough to stick with it. I think things like the six hours release can be explained credibly enough with a bit more work, something like that’s all the brain needs to reboot. After that, blah blah blah. You know, just give it an explanation. This is sci fi, after all. Is a giant lizard realistic? Well, no. But we get an explanation that Godzilla is the result of genetic mutation brought on by nuclear blah blah blah. And we think, “Yeah, okay.” and are on the for the rest of the ride. I think in any kind of fantasy environment, you’ve got a loooot of leeway, but you’ve got to think it out and provide reasonable explanations.

      Every problem you pointed out is spot on. I just think they can largely be fixed with some elbow grease.

  • Lee Matthias

    I agree with everyone who likes the concept. But then we have those details: why would Sorenson allow him out, knowing what he wants to do, essentially (SPOILER!) undo what she and Hematech are really doing. And, as has been said, why would any prison system want to undercut the punishment by letting the prisoner sleep through it? The devil is in those details.

    I admit I was surprised by the third act reveal.

    And I kept thinking he was gonna find out Lara was his daughter, somehow having traveled back in time and trying to re-write history because she knows something that would happen to him ahead in the story. So she never tells him who she is while she works behind the scenes. That seemed a really cool idea to me. But it also would’ve stretched the suspension of disbelief too far by adding a whole other sci-fi concept to the hibernation concept already in play. And there’s an unofficial rule in sci-fi that you never have more than one “big” idea going on or the credibility will fail.

    As an action script, if you check your brain at the door, it is very effective.

  • Cavewriter

    I’m on the fence abut this one–thought the structure was brilliant, but the characters seemed derivitive– Quinn was fine but the rest of the lot could’ve had a little something unique to them– and the future world time period seemed uninspired. Futre fare we’ve seen before. Also, spoiler alert– Lara was way to conveniently able to help him because of her son’s special situation involving hibernation. Had we met Lara after the fact it would’ve made sense but since we met her before she was even pregnant this one was hard to look over. Way too many convenient turns but I really liked it outside of that.

  • Nobodyphilip

    Agree with some of the others that the weakest part of the script is the lack of rationale for letting a criminal wander free on parole every five years for participating in the study.

    That said, I can see most people accepting that at face value and just enjoying the ride. It is a cool concept.

    That opening line is great, but the opening IMAGE made me laugh – a skier face down in some ice, legs and skis sticking up in the air. I guess it signaled this wasn’t a serious, hard sci-fi script, but something more along the lines of Lockout or the Crank films, which was fine with me.

    Interested to see how this progresses in development. Definitely a strong starting point.

  • BananaDesk

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Carson. While the idea was great the characters were a bit boring and a lot of the technicalities of the Hibernation Program didn’t make a lot of sense. I also felt like his ex-wife dies and his daughter goes missing a bit too early. We meet them, they have a conversation and suddenly, in the next scene, she is dead and the daughter is missing. Felt rushed.

    But man, what a great idea.

  • Péter Palátsik

    What if at the beginning he is given e.g 20 hours of parole after 5 years, because this technique is new and not that advanced. But after ten years he wakes up and is informed that this time it’s only 10 hours, because they fixed some bugs and solved some technical problems and the program of course advanced during the last couple of years.

    So every time he is waken up, he gets LESS TIME for his investigation – more pressure, the time clock ticking faster – thanks for the Associate Producer credit. ;-)

    • carsonreeves1

      Ooh, I like that. He gets less time each time out. Then again, you run into the same problem of making this whole “go out and do whatever you want for 5 hours” thing seem plausible.

      • William Mandell

        Something that they could introduce is to give him a chaperon, like a guard that is with him so he has to first deal with his guard somehow before he can get to continue his investigation.

    • ripleyy

      Or the prisoners are tagged and kept-watch while they go for parole, which would make it considerably more better because if he tries to run, he’s tracked and he has to get information somehow while being kept watch by a personal guard.

      As the years go on, the tracking becomes much more advanced (and extremely fine-tuned) while the guards become far more advanced and less human, coming to the point it gets much more difficult with time to get information he wants.

  • kevin thomas

    I liked this script quite a bit for some reasons, but it turned me off for others as well…

    The concept is quite striking, and that’s exactly what’s being present – an interesting, attention-grabbing concept. Almost IMMEDIATELY we’re presented with stakes. The story definitely has a certain weightiness to it which keeps you invested – and that’s a plus. You want to know WHY this is happening to Quinn and piece together the mystery throughout the ever-changing setting. The constant leaps in technological advances were a treat but at times they felt a little too drastic and unrealistic, though on screen they’d be fascinating to watch, of course – but again, this is a CONCEPT movie.

    Some of the characters did feel kinda weak, though. I never seemed to care for Lara from the moment she was introduced. I liked Quinn and some of the writing definitely is effective in drawing you, but as the script wore on… something didn’t stick right with me. Yes, the limited 6 hour parole was ridiculous, although it was obviously used a means to keep the “ticking time bomb” going. I was waiting for an explanation for why Quinn was only given that time-frame but it never happened. In that time-frame, there were a lot of pieces at play which kept things interesting, but after “Adult Chloe” hits Quinn with the big reveal… it just starts to unravel a bit. I understand the need to keep the reader/audience invested with as many plot twists as possible but when we begin to feel like the people running the program are playing Quinn than the journey starts to wear out its welcome. I could barely comprehend what was going on the final chase at the end, and again, so much was happening so fast.

    I liked the ending though… for a while I was really beginning to think Quinn was just chasing a ghost.

  • steve wiz

    I understand the visual appeal and thriller/evidence appeal of this, but it comes up against the same logic flaw that existed in LOCK OUT. Imprisonment has two goals: rehabilitation and punishment. Putting a guy in hibernation for the length of his sentence allows neither. You can’t rehabilitate because you can’t communicate, and you don’t actively punish because the guy is unaware of what is happening to him – he’s hibernating. So all you would have would be guys getting out 50 years later with all their friends and family dead and their world changed, and guess what? They burn everything down, because now they’re really pissed. They would have been totally screwed over by society, which would be okay if they deserved it, but society would have to put up with their payback, which would be psychotic and endless.

    This leapt out at me in Lock Out and the same thing happens here. Psycholgists and sociologists would rail against hibernation. It is against all logic. But since when do scripts have to be logical?

    • carsonreeves1

      I thought about this too but remember, survival through the hibernation was a gamble. So they are giving up something important (possibly their life).

    • Dianne Cameron

      Imprisonment has three goals. The third is keeping the bad guys away from society at large.

      Also, 50 years later, it won’t be their problem.

  • Jamie Irvine

    I liked this. About as original as it gets.

    A bit jerky in the opening with regards to the tone. I didn’t think it was going to be the genre it was with regard to the first ten to fifteen. I had it down as a crime thriller of sorts.

    Some of the story comes across as implausible even as we travel into the future. Some of the new technology the writers had come up with was cool, even believable at points, but on occasion was just to fit the story.

    The ticking clock techniques could use some more plausible backstory.

    I still can’t figure out why our protaginist runs on page thirty. Escaping through the rubbish chute has been done a million times as well.

    On page sixty two the writer mentions a Jay-Z classic. Need to cut all references to previous years to make this work I would say. Generic music to keep us in the world. We wouldn’t know it was a “golden oldies” radio station from the way it is written either.

    Overall – cool concept and for the most part captivating. If this is an early draft I can only see this going from strength to strength.

  • soussok

    I don’t understand why so many people have a hard time with the 6 hours parole. It starts as an incentive for the inmates to take part in the experiment. Then when they start defrosting they see that after 6 hours outside the cooler the guys need a sort of transfusion to remain stable the reason why the parole is cut from 24 to 6 hours. Now why don’t they let the guys in during 25 years? because you just can’t wait 25 years to see if the guys survive the dehibernation, if they all die when you unlock the door what do you do? you go for another 25 years experience! That’s not the way Science progresses. They let the guy out of the cooler every five years to run tests on them, check their metabolism to see if they need to fine tune their hibernation cocktail. Even if Quinn has that gene it needs to be tested through time. And they send them in the open because you also need to test the reaction of the metabolism outside a sterile environment like the premises at Hematech. They know they can let the guys loose for 6 hours, they can not escape because of the need for that transfusion which of course no street doctor can provide. I don’t think that the world of the future should be futher developped. Quinn in the end has made a 30 years leap. You won’t have flying cars or an alien nation ruling earth in 30 years from now. Look what changed between 2000 and now. Yes there is Ipad, Iphone 5 but no major science breakthrough has happened. 2030 will be closer to the world depicted by Michael Bay in The Island than to an episode of Star Trek. Regarding the critics about the plot holes, every movie has some. Minority report is an absolute awesome movie but do you really believe Cruise’s wife could break him out of a high tech/high security prison simply by showing up with a gun and the eyes of Cruise in clear plastic?? When you take a look at the weakness of recent scripts that made it to the screen (Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall) Hibernate is a breathe of fresh air. My only critic goes to the title, HIbernate is too weak.

    • Nobodyphilip

      Definitely agree on the title. Very weak. Makes me think it’s a cartoon involving bears.

  • carsonreeves1

    I think the urgency is that the longer it goes, the older his daughter gets or the older the evidence gets, so it becomes harder and harder to crack his daughter’s case. But I think the Hibernation is supposed to go on for 50 years. I was hoping that the last hibernation sleep would be like 200 years or something. That could’ve been cool.

    • Yuri Laszlo

      If that’s how it works, then it’s an even bigger plot hole. Assuming his body stays in the same condition when he’s hibernating, after 50 years all Quinn will have lost is 60 hours of his life. So he’s jailed on sunday, serves all the required time and is released in time to take his daughter to see the Lions get trashed by the Texans on Ford Field. Sure, she’ll be sixty by then, but I’d rather take that than waste six hours of my life every five years putting myself and my daughter in danger trying to find out what really happened.

      I definitely agree that the final step of hibernation should be much longer in order to raise the stakes for Quinn (if he fails to solve the crime, he doesn’t get to see his daughter ever again).

      • Murphy

        His daughter will be sixty, twice his age, if of course she has not died by then, which is highly likely, no?

        What if she has been kidnapped and sold into a sex slave gang? Do you think she would be okay about Daddy deciding to not bother with all of that running around to try and find her and deciding to just wait until she is sixty.

        Maybe there is a holiday camp that retired ex-sex slaves go to when they are no use anymore, so she is easy to find then of course.

        Do you know what a plot hole is?

        • Yuri Laszlo

          His daughter could be in two hundred differente places. But unless the script shows her being in actual danger of dying, with actual people making actual threats to her, or in any other way makes the 6-hour parole absolutely vital for Quinn to solve that mistery, I will not cheer for the guy because I think it’d be stupid of him to waste all that energy when he could just wait three days and be done with it.

          I need to believe Moran is going to completely destroy Quinn’s daughter’s life for the story to work for me, and that doesn’t happen. I probably am not the kind of guy a movie like this is aimed at anyway, so maybe I’m just spouting crap.

  • sheebshag

    What do you mean? The urgency stems from him having to find his daughter before it’s too late.

    • Yuri Laszlo

      But he’s interned in a public federal facility. Surely his daughter can find him there if she wants to see daddy.

      • carsonreeves1

        The implication is that someone may have taken her. So she’s been kidnapped and therefore might not be able to come to her dad.

        • Yuri Laszlo

          In that case, he should just wait ’til his time is up and go look for her then. Assuming Moran is a bit older than Quinn, he’ll be 90 by the time Quinn’s hibernation ends. So with all the bad guys dead, all Quinn has to do is a put an ad on Craigslist and Bob’s your uncle! Or Chloe’s your daughter!

          I really, really, really struggle to feel emotionally linked to this character when the rules of the game are as ridiculous as that. If Quinn must choose the lesser of two evils, then make at least one of the options REALLY bad. Here, the trade-off in serving all the time in jail before going out to look for his daughter is much more attractive than trying to figure out what happened in just six hours every half-decade.

          • sheebshag

            Yea, and his daughter might be dead too.

            You didn’t think this through did you?

          • Murphy


      • sheebshag

        Uhm, he’s suspecting her life of being in danger. Potentially kidnapped.

  • The_Hopeful_Pessimist

    I can understand why this sold, but…

    …a bit Shane Black-lite at times and it never quite made the most of its conceptual potential.

    Also, the writers should think of more ways of shoehorning the line “But you can’t bet on forever. It only gives the rest of the world forever to fuck it up” more often than the sixteen or so times it already appears in the script. Aim for every 3rd page, if poss. Great lines never get old.

    Carson, loving the new look of the site, but those shady photos of you make you look shorter and less feminine than you are in real life

    • sheeb

      I only recall reading that line twice. Which is pretty standard in a setup/payoff scenario. Was it really used that often?

      btw. I still need to read the last 15 pages…

  • yeebarr

    I too would have loved to see more clues found along the way; every time
    Quinn jumped into the future there seemed less and less chance of him
    finding his daughter (or his daughters killer) which starts to get very frustrating; especially if you’re selling this as a sci-fi action film. Still, a very solid script which sustained my interest all the way through.

  • Ken Glover

    OMG! IT’S A MOVIE! Makes just as much sense as LOOPER or friggin’ CLOUD ATLAS. Here is why on page 11

    Ours will be the first long-term study
    of hibernation in human beings.

    Prisoners are getting restless. One yells —

    What do we get?

    For undergoing forty years of
    hibernation, you will have one day of
    monitored parole every five years to
    visit your loved ones —

    For the first time, Quinn’s eyes flick up from his book.

    There — reason enough? Because Quinn needed an excuse to get out of there! And that’s it! Why five years, not six? C’MOn! Who cares why? The point is this is a well written HIGH CONCEPT screenplay that just got BOUGHT. And the majority of people ‘liked’ it enough to say hey, check this out. And Carson already said it will need to be ‘fixed’ as this is a first draft. And Justin Lin is a BADASS and this will look COOL. May not make 1Billion, but it will be cool! It goes to show what HIGH CONCEPT is and what we need to strive to create BEFORE we make our Lifetime movies!

    • RayFinkleLacesOut

      Why wouldn’t they just lie? Oh guess what you participate and you get a break every 5 years. The people go into hibernation. Psyche! You’re stuck in there ’til we’re done with you!

    • sheebshag

      Relax. I gave this a Double Worth The Read.

      I went a little overboard when I said it made “zero” sense.

  • Mr A

    Regarding this…:

    “And I wished we would’ve seen more advancement, especially in the last time period, where the futuristic aspect is barely even breached.”

    Isn’t that the art designer’s job? Or are you specifically talking about plot-related stuff?

    And as for the “why 6 hours/5 year parole” thing…easy fix: *insert quasi-scientific mumbo jumbo about how the human body needing to re-active from time to time in order to stay alive*

  • moponda

    i personally think it would have been better if the script would open with him waking 5 years later after his sentence and they remember him why he’s in hibernation and give him 24 hours outside. and maybe they could have strap around his wrist a device that would allow them to know where he is all the time, a device that allow prisoners to get back to hibernation sooner than 24 hours just by pressing a button that call the police.

  • jared111

    I feel like some of these plot holes could be fixed.

    1.) How about he gets released for six hours every five years because they’ve determined it necessary to do so or the person dies. Seems obvious. Six hours wouldn’t exactly be a hard cap then though.

    2.) He gets released so that he can be acclimated to the changes. If he wakes up in fifty years without the five year intervals, it could be impossible to process, and would drive the person into insanity, they could explain.

    3.) Why would they release someone who was a violent criminal after being in stasis and remaining the same age? Tougher problem. Maybe people are released as “cures” are found for their violent behavior, such as pills or surgical procedures, yet they still have to serve their fifty year sentence.

    4.) Maybe there should be a “buddy”, a guy who takes the criminal around and monitors him. First Quinn would try to find his daughter without the guy and try to elude him, then he would eventually enlist the guy in finding out what happened as they slowly grow to trust each other? Just a thought.

    • Citizen M

      Maybe he gets revived every five years because it’s a commercial procedure and people who pay for hibernation want to see someone who’s been hibernated to make sure they can be revived and won’t be gaga when they wake up. Or the investors need evidence the procedure is working and they aren’t prepared to wait for fifty years.

      PS. Why are my comments always moderated? The old Disqus never did it to me. Put me back to sleep and wake me up when Disqus improves. (Gonna be a loooong sleep, I guess.)

  • Somersby

    “Of this much I am certain: If you write a good script with a great premise, you’ll have a big hit. If you write a bad script with a great premise you’ll still make money. But if you write a great script with a bad premise, success is not likely.”

    Don’t know who said that — some Hollywood bigwig, just can’t remember who. I copied it to the cork board above my computer years ago. Seems like a logical assessment. And seems particularly relevant to today’s script.

    I don’t think it’s a bad script, but it ain’t a great script either. So, according to the above maxim, it’s likely to make money… but not likely to be a big hit.

    • carsonreeves1

      This is a very true statement. Now, you CAN still find success with the third option. However, like you said, it’s just “not likely.”

  • Xarkoprime

    Well, I really thought this was going to get an “impressive” rating, but I’m happy with the “worth the read”.

    I guess I’ll address my take on the 6 hour dilemma that has been debated in the comments section quite a bit already first. I don’t think the numbers were particularly random… There had to be incentive for the prisoners to accept the offer. Missing their whole jail sentence and not aging is great and all, but you still have to consider the fact that each prisoner would be given a 15% chance of living, so there had to be something. Six hours is just enough time for a guy like Quinn to accept the offer. Also, the rest of this paragraph will be filled with spoilers, but since Sorensen knew that he was one in however many million people that hold that protein gene, she could construe the experiment around him. That kind of explains why. I didn’t see it as a plot hole.

    That being said, the dialogue was pretty poor. I felt like the conversations were very blotchy, meaning that they didn’t flow as normal human beings do when they talk. It felt like I was reading more than I was listening to characters.

    I did like the screenplay however, and I thought it tied together nicely in the end. I’m excited to see what this will turn out like on screen because I feel it could make a lot of money and with the right touch on a rewrite of dialogue, the movie could score pretty well with critics.

    JakeMLB pointed out numerous flaws that I didn’t catch, so it’s pointless for me to repeat them, but I hope those get fixed also. Most of them anyways.

    Someone mentioned Vin Diesel starring. Knowing Justin Lin was attached I had him in mind the entire time, but the dialogue just didn’t suit who vin disel usually plays. Even PACIFIER Vin Diesel lol. He also worked with Dwayne”The Rock” Johnson too, and I could see him getting this role if he really pushed for it. Oh well, well see. He needs to be pretty big.

    Entertainment- impressive.
    Learning – worth the read.

  • TheRealMWitty

    Sky-high concept and it kept me interested from start to finish. But I share a lot of the frustration here who find it wanting for character depth and concept grounding. For example, the Eighth Amendment forbids infliction of cruel and unusual punishment. I’m not going to start argument by proposing that the hibernation option is cruel (“But he chose it!” you say) but it is plainly unusual. I need a character making the moral argument against the whole idea of hibernation; or at least character who forces a moral defense of the program, like the Colin Farrell character in Minority Report.

  • RayFinkleLacesOut

    Two things:

    1. Carson you must not read novels very much because”Anna Bagnehold was skiing the first time she died,” is a huge cliche in novels. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a line like that. “It was a sunny day the day that soandso died.” “Soandso was playing in the sandbox the day he died.” etc etc.

    2. The whole waking up to find his wife dead and daughter missing and being arrested for the murder is literally the exact same thing that happens at the beginning of Death Race (the one with Jason Statham never saw the original) and working to find out what happened while in prison is the exact same plot. The only thing they changed was in stead of racing cars to your death, the writer changed it to hibernating and getting out for a bit.

    • carsonreeves1

      I don’t read nearly as many novels as I should.

    • sheebshag

      Uhm, those lines you mention from novels are different. It’s not about “someone dying”. What creates the punch is “THE FIRST TIME she died.”, implying that there’s going to be a second time. Which creates interest. Because normally people only die once. So either you misunderstood the intended effect of the line or you used some poor examples.

      • RayFinkleLacesOut

        Okay, how about the Jacket? “I was 27 the first time I died.”

  • JakeBarnes12


    I can see why this sold and why it got green lit; you have the same (father seeking to clear his name and find his daughter) with a twist of different (he only has a few hours every five years so the case gets colder and, as Carson pointed out, he [supposedly] knows increasingly less about how to operate in the future world).

    And there’s some good ideas here — the motion-sensitive street lights (a real-world development) allowing Quinn’s pursuers to track him, the Cinetacts, searching his old house which is now underwater (will make a good visual).

    But there’s also a lot that’s not working.

    1. Quinn’s character; he’s one-dimensional and just plain dull. It’s not just that he has no inner life (i.e. no internal struggles), no flaw to overcome, no development throughout the script; there’s simply nothing unusual or unique about this blank slate. He’s an ex-criminal who will do anything to find his daughter. I’ve seen such tough guys a million times before.

    His one ability seems to be to charm people into doing things for him that no sane human being would ever do for a real convicted criminal.

    2. The dialogue is functional at best; it does the job, in a completely on-the-nose way. Everybody talks about what the scene’s about, usually just moving the plot forward, or else hitting obvious emotional beats really hard. No finesse, no subtlety.

    3. Carson raises this issue yet gives this script a recommend based not on what’s on the page in this draft but on supposed fixes which may never come; the central conceit makes absolutely no sense. We’ll buy the hibernation stuff, but this idea that you’re going to release a murderer into society even for half a day without having him in chains and accompanied by armed guards is utterly ludicrous. He has these rare proteins in his system that billions in research is riding on — what if he’s hit by a car, or kills someone (which he constantly tries to do!)? The entire plot hinges on us accepting this.

    4. The Morton brothers are simply red herrings; Sorenson could have hired other thugs to frame Quinn, so Morton threatening Quinn before Quinn is framed is actually a coincidence. That’s not good. Furthermore, once Sorenson figures out Quinn is going after Morton, she’d immediately have these cheap thugs killed (as she eventually does, but no need to wait) so that Quinn couldn’t link her to them. And of course back to point #3; she’d make sure that if Quinn is released for a few hours he’s closely guarded so he can’t start digging into the guys he suspects set him up. The writers haven’t thought this through from Sorenson’s perspective.

    5. A huge bunch of coincidences and conveniences plague this script. Lara happening to be called away before putting Quinn back into hibernation, so she just leaves him alone so he can escape. Yeah, right. Raj happening to have an old-school gun collection, Sorenson explaining her whole conspiracy to Quinn because, well, that’s just what villains do, The whole security team sees him, um, you might say break the terms of his temporary release by getting involved in a running gun battle through city streets, but all he gets is a slap on the wrist. Etc. Etc.

    6. A general level of sheer ludicrousness which soars with the bouncy ground (so lame, so heavy handedly set up) but then goes further with the silver bullet bike that Quinn instantly knows how to use. We also have the old “trapped under ice” trope and the “water riddled with bullets but the hero isn’t hit” dodge.

    Challenge to the writers; dive into an icy river. Give me an AK-47. Let’s see if I can kill you. (Bet I can.)

    By the time we’d gotten to the silver bullet bike speeding along the curving monorail track, then diving off and through a skyscraper window my eyes were rolling so hard I thought I was having a seizure.

    This is where Carson mischaracterizes the script. It would be cool IF the protag faced real challenges negotiating the tech world as he wakes further and further into the future. But when he can figure out and master a futuristic motorcycle with no indication how or what skill set would allow him to do this, then he’s just a superman who can do almost anything and who doesn’t face any real challenges.

    Some of this can be fixed. Hire someone who can go in and give this guy a pulse. Scale back all these people helping this hardened criminal for no good reason. Lose the trampoline ground (Worst. Idea. Ever.)

    But the basic absurdity of six hours unsupervised release for a murderer remains. And beyond that, there’s an even bigger problem.

    Look at it this way. The daughter’s disappeared. He’s got 72 hours before she’s sold into the sex trade. Oh, wait. That’s “Taken.” And while the idea that gangsters aren’t going to drug and rape a girl within 72 hours is ridiculous, at least it gives a real sense of URGENCY to that movie.

    But here, dude’s sleepin’ for FIVE YEARS. Yeah, it’s urgent for him to find his daughter, but after five, ten, TWENTY YEARS, she’s either dead or leading another life. She’s can’t have a knife to her throat for all that time. So the urgency feels kinda manufactured, artificial. I mean, for him it’s important, sure, but for the girl herself, whatever’s happened has happened. It’s all over. In the past.


    The problem this script faces is similar to that of Dragon Tattoo, which was a snore-fest because it’s about investigating a cold case. Sure, for the old guy who’s going to die soon, it must seem urgent. But not really. Whatever’s happened to his niece has already happened, so if Blompkvist investigates ten years from now, so what? She’s still dead (or as it turns out, living another life in Australia).

    Not sure if I’m explaining this well, but I think this long timespan is going to cause urgency problems in the finished movie. We’ll just think, again, whatever happened, has happened a long time ago. And even when we eventually find out the kid’s fate, well, again, if it had taken Quinn another twenty years to find her, IT WOULDN’T HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE.

    I think these last two problems (unsupervised parole, little urgency in a cold case) are hard-baked into the project.

    I’d put this one in hibernation for a loooong time.

    • sheebshag

      “water riddled with bullets but the hero isn’t hit” dodge.”

      What’s wrong with this one? Do you realize how much resistance water provides to a speeding bullet?

      See this video for instance:

      You can literally see the bullet dropping a few inches after leaving the muzzle. Granted, this gun was fired under water and is only a hangun, but the idea that you can dive down into water to escape bullets is not that far-fetched.

      In fact, I think Mythbusters did an experiement on this and found that at a water depth of merely 3 feet you’d be safe from the bullets of a hunting rifle.

      • sheebshag

        And if the bullets enter the water at an angle the penetration is even smaller. In fact, the bullet might skip on the surface or have its trajectory bent upwards.

      • JakeBarnes12

        Below is how the script describes the scene. It’s a logical mess.

        You’ll note that at the moment all these bullets are aimed at Quinn, he has punched a crack in the ice (think of the water resistance on his arm; the ice is supposedly thick enough to stop bullets, but Quinn can crack it enough to put his mouth against this “tiny break” and apparently suck in air (so the idea is his mouth forms a vacuum over this tiny break, not letting in water but bring in air from the surface?). Yeah, right..

        But then we’re told that this “tiny break” is in fact a “hole into the water” through which bullets “streak like comets.” Guy’s just had his mouth pressed to this tiny break/hole to suck down air and now bullets are streaking through but none of them hit him.

        So I guess it’s not worth either of us worrying about “reality” since in the course of a few lines the writers change the description to suit themselves.

        And he’s UNDERWATER — an endless ceiling of ice above him. The

        cold searing through him like electricity.

        The MEN leap onto the wall. They FIRE as Quinn swims toward the

        far side of the river. The bullets sound like a hail storm,

        ricocheting off the river’s frozen surface.

        But Quinn NEEDS AIR. He punches at the roof of ice over his

        head. Can’t get through. He’s going to suffocate. He punches

        again and again until —

        A TINY BREAK IN THE ICE. Just big enough for him to put his

        mouth against and suck down the air.


        ghostly shadow beneath the surface.

        MASKED MAN #3


        They fire. Bullets streaking through the hole into the water

        like comets, tails of bubbles behind them.

        Quinn tries to swim further away, but there are so many bullets

        that the ICE ABOVE HIM CRUMBLES. Suddenly his head bobs above


        He gasps a breath and RE-SUBMERGES. Swims on.

        BACK AT THE JEEP — Quinn’s out of range of the flashlight.

        MASKED MAN #1

        We’ll take the other side.

        • Dianne Cameron

          swimming below ice is pretty far-fetched. hypothermia sets in pretty fast and then you’re dead…

          • Murphy

            It seemed to work out okay for James Bond in Skyfall.

      • Dianne Cameron

    • tom8883

      A big change that could be made to fix the issue of the long time span is to have his daughter also hibernating. But this may be too big a change to make without completely changing the whole script.

      • Tor H

        How far did you make it before bailing on the script?

  • klmn

    In the 1968 Planet of The Apes Charlton Heston and his fellow astronauts were in hibernation, although I don’t believe cryogenics was mentioned.

  • TruckDweller

    I wasn’t in love with this script. The concept is fun and I don’t remember seeing it on screen before. But as a whole, I feel like this concept is wasted on Quinn and his limited search for his daughter. There’s a book out there called Worthing Saga -I’m sure the science fiction aficionados have at least heard of the author, Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game fame). It plays with the same concept only bigger. One of the twists I love in the book that this script could really use is (spoiler alert) when the person hibernates, they do not just sleep. They feel every passing moment, and it’s agony. Now, while some might not want the agony, I’d at least want to use some of this time to build a case for his daughter. I just found his journey so lackluster in comparison to the concept. He barely has to do anything other than sleep a lot.

    Add to that a need for another red herring and a bulked up villain so we can decrease the easily predictable aspect. Overall, this is a quick read that is fun and light. But at the end of the day, it’s too light and slap-dash for what could be an extremely strong and original picture.

  • Mr T

    This is a great concept that, like Carson says, has huge potential so long as execution issues are worked out in later drafts. Right now it definitely feels like a 1st draft where characters and dialogue and some of the plot points haven’t been fleshed out properly or given enough thought. Like many others, I thought the 6 hours parole every 5 years seemed forced. 8 or 12 hours would have even made more sense since you could call it a day’s parole. That said, the story rocketed along at a great pace and I enjoyed it for the most part so it gets a “worth the read” from me. I’ll see it at the theater for sure.

  • tom8883

    A high-concept commercial hook that stands out is one that has a plot content and structural form which necessitate one another. This script may have a lot of things to work out, but its form and content are connected and that is why its hook is effective.

  • Brendan Gore

    I thought it was “okay”. But yeah, cool idea. Really cool.

  • courlo

    have you guys read Kill Switch yet?

    • carsonreeves1

      Which one is that?

    • courlo

      a thumb down means i’m doing things right! salud!

  • Malibo Jackk


    Where can I buy one of those?

  • Citizen M

    The point is, the myth was confirmed. You can evade bullets by swimming underwater, provided you are 2′-3′ below the surface and they are firing at an angle, not straight down on you. And funny enough, the Barrett .50 cal had less penetrating power than handguns, because the bullet disintegrated in the water.

    • sheebshag

      I think you meant to reply Dianne because we seem to be in agreement.

  • Colin Mummery

    The similarities with Source Code are obvious but after the second 6 hours of freedom I had plot fatigue and gave up. There was a feeling of “who cares, his daughter is grown up and probably getting on with her life”. The repeated ticking clock seemed to lose its punch. Not that I should expect much character development in an action script but the hero also felt like the same old rough diamond stereotype seen in so many other scripts like White House Down. It just couldn’t keep my interest but it could probably be a movie that people will go to see.

  • sheebshag

    Considering some people can hold their breath under water for more than 20 minutes, I can accept that. Granted, they’re not moving and may have received pure oxygen prior to diving, but again, we’re talking over 20 minutes (!).

    – sheeb

  • sheebshag

    I opened your script. The one Carson sent out. Then I couldn’t understand why the title said “RED” on the title page when both Carson and you referred to it as “THE EVENT”. Like, what’s going on here? And Courtney Love? Really? Then, confused, thinking there must have been a mistake, I closed the script again.

    Maybe you can clarify? Preferably in English, not Spanish…

    • courlo

      sure, sheebshag, but why? if you wanted to read it, you would have read it, irrespective of the name of the work, or the writer attached to it. you should learn some spanish too. enjoy the turkey, my friend.

      • Joe Marino

        courlo I didn’t know you had a script in consideration! Looking forward to reading it! Curious to see how your vocabulary and general storytelling sensibilities take shape. Good luck!

  • DD

    sounds really stupid. But i’ll check it out.

  • Don Santiago

    Did not like the ending at all. It was an easy way out for Sorenson and in my mind, no doubt iit will be rewritten. Rose could also be a little more developed- her marriage ending did not resonate with me.
    Easy read and quick with lots of action scenes. No wonder this script was picked up.

  • Poe_Serling

    You’re more than welcome. I’m glad it was worth your time!

  • ChadStuart

    I found this script interesting because it’s the definition of director bait. It’s simple minded and there’s actually very little plot. The entire development is a red herring for God’s sake, so we actually spend the majority of the movie following a false thread. But with each of teh day’s the director gets to design a completely new world, and that’s very attrative to auteurs.

    With that in mind, there was a lot to learn from reading it, and it was very worth the read.

  • Tor H

    At first blush, this seems an odd match for a Fast and the Furious director, but as I read on, I thought, “this is right up his alley”. I mean this in the nicest way.
    I liked it. Good dialogue (“I’ve never heard of a cop who’s corrupt.”). Well-plotted mystery. Intriguing look at technology of the future (though the writers seemed to be a little enamored of concocting crazy ideas for it; no shit, this won’t be cheap). The ending was a tad too chaotic (and the twist at the end – not the frame-up’s mastermind, but the other thing – reminded me of what you said about writers being too in love with their twists; re: SOMNIA). Still, a good read and if they nail the casting (sorry, but I don’t see Vin Diesel like some of you), this could be a fine movie.

  • Uchi

    [x] wasn’t for me

    I liked the idea that is set in the begging, was into it during the 1st time he wakes but then when he wakes the second time I started to wonder if the whole will keep me interested till the end… And it didn’t, I was bored and took me a few tries to finished it.

    Liked the ‘twist’ though and probably if they sell this to me with a good trailer I would wanted to see the movie.

  • Theron Barney

    I know I’m coming late to the party on this one but wanted to chime in anyway as I just read this the other day before I read Rose In The Attic.

    Overall I liked this script despite some of the logic questions that came up during reading it and I’m sure as many pointed out here already. But what I learned with this and in reading this and in Rose In The Attic, is that if the goal is strong enough and the stakes are high enough it ALMOST, almost doesn’t matter what the logic is. Just like a strong scene doesn’t live or die on great dialogue 90% of the time, a solidly constructed story and characters don’t live or die on the logic 90% of the time.

    There were times where my attention wandered while reading this but yet I just HAD TO KNOW if Quinn was going to get his daughter back. I thought some of the action scenes were sloppily written and the main bad guy – Moran I think – wasn’t all that… bad. And ultimately I don’t think the execution is as good as the promise of the premise and you could argue that the character of Quinn is kind of off the shelf. But despite all of that this story had a strong gravity to make me want to get to the end and that’s more that can be said for most movies.

    I think this site is great for really breaking down scripts and getting a mass poll of the mechanics of a script (which is ultimately great for writers pro or amateur looking to improve) but I think what a lof of us as writers are forgetting to do is to look at these scripts in two ways: one – the aspiring screenwriter looking to earn street cred by pointing out all the flaws of a piece, and two – the Joe Blo moviegoer POV.
    For the most part I think Carson knows this and approaches most of his reviews in this manner. He can break a script down like nobody’s business which is why he’s ‘Scriptshadow’, but even he will point out (even with Django Unchained) that sometimes he just ‘went with it’. And I believe this is how most movie executives are thinking as well. The bottom line question of – is Joe Blo movie goer going to give a shit about why the prison complex would agree to such experiments? No, they’re not. And I don’t think it’s an insult to the intelligence of the mainstream audience in the slightest.

    So in the end the aspiring screenwriter in me was a little skeptical throughout the read but the Joe Blo moviegoer side of me just wanted to see the guy get his daughter back. You can change many things about Hibernation but it’s dangerous to change anything in relation to that basic goal / plot element of the story because it’s the heart of the damn thing.

    Now, the trick question is when you see this trailer, are they going to overload you with gadgets and cool futuristic effects that ultimately water down and make a generic mockery of a father desperate to find his daughter? Probably so.

  • Guest

    i agree on making the moran character more evil. for the ending to really work i feel like you have to believe he did it. i was never sure he did. he wasn’t evil enough. i enjoyed the script. but it took me a while to read. i didn’t think it was an amazing story. i think i would have liked to feel all of the characters more. great idea. but needs more life brought into it. just snazzy things in the future doesn’t do it for me

  • hankmtz

    i liked the screenplay. agree that moran needs to be fleshed out and a lot more evil. i need to feel like he did it. i need to hate him for the ending to work. characters could breathe a little more. i like raj the most. but why do we care about his family. he just had some uniqueness. i got confused with the scientists as they got older. would be cool to drop some clues as the story moved along. something you could look back on and be like – oh damn