Genre: Biopic/Comedy
Premise: (from Black List) Based on the confusing, sometimes offensive, borderline-insane memories of David Prowse, the irascible Englishman behind Darth Vader’s mask.
About: We just covered The Black List yesterday and this is the first NEW script I’m reviewing from the list. It’s written by two newcomers. Nicholas is a composer who worked in the music department for John Carter of Mars and Dalton is an actor. By the way, if you only came to the main Scriptshadow page yesterday, you did not see the full Black List post. For whatever reason, when I updated, it didn’t catch. So if you only saw the 5-line “Black List Holding Post” message, click here to get the full article.
Writers: Nicholas Jacobson-Larson & Dalton Leeb
Details: 117 pages

What’d you think I was going to choose for my first 2017 Black List review? It’s freaking Star Wars week, man. And by the time you read this, the review embargo for The Last Jedi will have been lifted. Which means we get reviews from people other than those looking to keep Disney happy so they continue to get pre-release access to their big films. Oh, Carson, you’re so cynical! I know. I hate it. However, I am hearing, from the few people brave enough to speak negatively about the film, that the big criticism is that it’s tooooo sloooooow. Hmm, I wonder who predicted that? Could it be the person who said 2 hours and 30 minutes is way too long for a Star Wars film? I wonder. :)

Not to worry. We’re going back in time to when Star Wars was pure. When studios could actually hide all of the negative stuff that was happening on their films. And one of the most infamous of those stories is that of David Prowse, the man who would play Darth Vader.

David Prowse’s career was looking up. He had a role in A Clockwork Orange, and was one of the only actors with the balls to stand up to Stanley Kubrick. At least that’s what Old David Prowse, now 80, is telling the journalist who’s come to interview him about why George Lucas banned him from representing Star Wars.

Prowse dives back into his life as a bullied kid who took up bodybuilding, grew to 6 foot 7, and became enamored with acting. He was in his 40s, with a wife and kids, when a young director named George Lucas wanted him to play the big baddie in his low-budget science-fiction film, Star Wars. Prowse leapt at the chance, especially because this finally seemed like his opportunity to show he could act.

Almost immediately, Prowse put people off on the Star Wars set. He was clumsy, always knocking down and breaking expensive props, and annoying, constantly assaulting George Lucas with pointless questions about his character. But even as the rest of the cast – especially Harrison Ford – turned on him, Prowse was driven by the promise to finally show off his acting skills.

So you can imagine his reaction when he went to the premiere only to find out his voice had been dubbed over by James Earl Jones. Prowse was furious, but encouraged when he learns in Empire that his mask will be coming off. At least now they’ll be able to SEE him. Except that doesn’t turn out the way he hopes either (they used another actor).

In a final grand act of defiance, Prowse informs the Daily Mail that Darth Vader dies in Return of the Jedi, spoiling the film well before its release. That’s the rumor anyway. Prowse claims he had nothing to do with the leak as our journalist wraps up the interview, not quite sure why he wasted the last 4 hours with this man. Did he really learn anything new? Was Prowse being truthful about anything? The only one who will ever know is Prowse himself.

Let me start by saying this. This script has a great final scene. It’s so damn powerful and moving that I was in tears. Unfortunately, the rest of the script doesn’t stack up to the ending, as it’s unsure of what tone it wants to strike and who it wants to portray David Prowse as. And it’s frustrating. Because there’s obviously a lot to work with here.

The script uses the interview framing device to tell its story. This is where an interviewer attempts to find some truth about the protagonist, and before the protagonist can give you that truth, he must tell you how he got there. And hence we have a reason to tell his life story. This device is most successful when the truth the interview is trying to get at carries with it high stakes. The golden example of this is Titanic. They interview Old Rose to find out where the 100 million dollar diamond they’re searching for might be. That’s stakes!

We don’t get stakes anywhere approaching that in Strongman, and this is one of the script’s primary weaknesses. The question that sends us into Prowse’s life is “Why do you think you were banned?” The stakes are so low with this question that within 20 pages, I’d forgotten what the question was. It wasn’t until the final ten pages, when we’re back in the interview room and the question is repeated that I remembered it.

This is a good double-tip for screenwriters using any plotting device. Make sure the goal has some stakes attached to it. And don’t be afraid to REMIND the audience what those stakes are. Even the most attentive audience member is going to have trouble remembering what the point of the movie is if you go 100 pages without mentioning said point.

However, this wasn’t a script killer. This script lives or dies on the depiction of Prowse. And that was a mixed bag. It’s strange. The script is told almost entirely as a comedy. We get lots of scenes like Prowse dressing up a mannequin like Obi-Wan with a mop and doing pretend lightsaber battles with him. There are a good 30 prat falls throughout the script. The goofy characters he played in previous films – like Frankenstein – start following him around in ghost form telling him what to do. And yet it wants you to take Prowse’s journey seriously. When he’s sad about being overlooked, it wants you to be sad too. And it’s hard to do that when Prowse is erroneously remembering Carrie Fisher saying stuff like, “I’m wetter than a Dogobah swamp right now.” (an admittedly funny line)

In fact, I could never tell whether the writers wanted us to laugh with Prowse or at him. But most of it plays like we’re laughing at him, and I don’t think you can do that with a biopic. We have to sympathize with the character, to believe he’s got a leg to stand on. And Prowse is mostly depicted as a clueless unpleasant asshole.

The script shines most in its final third when it begins to ditch its comedy aspirations and focuses more on a man’s struggle to be seen, to be taken seriously, to not have to hide behind masks for the rest of its life. It also covers the complicated fact that Prowse was taken advantage of and used every step of the way of the Star Wars trilogy, even if some of it was his fault. There’s a poignant moment late when Carrie Fisher comes to him and says, “David, maybe people would like you more if you were a little nicer.” And he doesn’t understand what she means. He sees himself as a good guy.

So I don’t know what to make of this. It’s a mixed bag. I will say this – on the comedy side, Harrison Ford is fucking hilarious. He has NO respect for Prowse whatsoever and constantly screws with him throughout the productions, his go-to move being to point his pretend laser at Prowse’s penis and say, “Pew pew pew!” which infuriates Prowse to no end.

And then that ending. You know what? Now that I think about it. That ending doesn’t work unless some of what came before it worked. So maybe I’m underselling this. But it’s a weird script. It’s good sometimes. Bad sometimes. And ultimately leaves you confused about what the point of it all was. Funny. That’s what I’m hearing about The Last Jedi as well. :)

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

What I learned: If you’re a writer writing about an era before you were born, don’t insert phrases and language from the current era. I’m pretty sure nobody was saying, “What’s up, bitches?” in 1977, as Harrison Ford says in this script.

P.S. Please continue to share your thoughts about any Black List scripts you read in the comments. I love seeing what you guys think about these scripts. It also helps me determine what I should review.

  • Bitches!

    First comment, bitches!

    • Citizen M

      “Pew pew pew!”

      • Scott Crawford

        M, could you post the link for me? Can’t do it from my iPad.

    • E.C. Henry

      Good to have you back, Bitches! From what I’ve read today you’ve had quite the affect on Harrison Ford.

  • Scott Crawford

    Couple of thoughts on the script. I haven’t read it yet, it’s more the IDEA of it.

    Where are the writers getting their information from? It sounds general stuff that’s widely known, BUT if they’re largely getting it from Prowse’s book or the documentaries I Am Your Father and Elstree 1976, then there are rights issues.

    Also, as with When Lightning Strikes, the Jo Rowling bio script, there’s the problem of exploiting the brand (in this case Star Wars, in that one Harry Potter). You don’t have the right to make a Star Wars movie.

    So this is a sample script, very definition, like DONT DO EVIL, since it can’t get made. There’s also, how difficult REALLY is it to just take events from a book (possibly) and put them in a script? Is this really showing off talent?

    Congratulations to the writers on making the Black List… hope their next script does someth8ng for them.

  • Citizen M
  • koicvjr

    I’m starting at the end of the list with White Devils and I’m going to say what I think made it for each script. It can’t just be solid screenwriting technique, can it?

    Similarly to Get Out, material like this is on page 23 is trendy: “White men… they won’t hesitate, son. They’ll kill you.”

    • Scott Crawford

      Reading every script will take you a while and distract you from other reading. Just read the ones you think sound best.


    That’s not even a 6-pack! Prowse is a weakling.

    *Somewhere on the internet you can find the shooting dialogue for Darth Vadar’s lines…

    He’s probably tougher as a Welsh rugby player from the valleys…

    • Scott Crawford

      He’s beefy!

      As well as Star Wars and the Green Cross Code Man, Prowse was also well known as the man wh9 turned Christopher Reeve from a tall, skinny man into a tall, musucular man.

      Dave Prowse talk starts at 2:53.

      • BMCHB

        Is Prowse not the 70s green cross code guy?

        A great title for this biopic could be:


        • Scott Crawford

          They dubbed his voice for THAT one, too. Until Star Wars came out and he INSISTED on using his real voice.

          • BMCHB

            Who is the great guy that posts here and wrote AND directed a recent movie?

            I owe him 20e. It wasn’t available… legally…

            Kinda contained. Driver. Boot/Trunk.

            I would love to read Carson or Link interview him…

  • Nick Morris

    I met Prowse once at a sci-fi convention back in the 90’s. It was immediately clear to me that he was slightly embittered about his whole Star Wars experience. Nevertheless, he was very friendly and more than willing to chat and share anecdotes about making the films.

    I still have an autographed 8×10 from him. It’s signed “Dave Prowse IS Darth Vader”. :)

    • BMCHB

      AND Prowse invented spoilers!

      I watched Rogue One and that Darth couldn’t walk. Prowse could walk.

      • Scott Crawford

        I believe on Empire they knew they had a leak and they traced it to Prowse. That’s why Prowse was never given that real line about being Luke’s father.

        I think, or I wonder whether they gave different members of the cast and crew different facts to see which one got leaked to the press (and thus trace the leak).

        • BMCHB

          SHUSH! That reveal is going to be the twist in the script!

          I haven’t given up on this concept – as long as there is lots of bitterness.

          “You think you’re hard, Crawford? I used to be Lord Vadar.”

        • andyjaxfl

          Even in the EMPIRE scripts that are available online, the line reads “Obi-Wan is your father” or “Obi-Wan killed your father.”

          Hamil said that Lucas came up to him shortly before they rolled and told him the truth, and only Lucas, Kershner, Hamil, and James Earl Jones knew the truth.

          (cue script that is about maintaining this secrecy)…

          • Scott Crawford

            I wonder if they kept other stuff from Prowse, though.

            Lorelei King, who voiced MOTHER in ALIEN COVENANT, said she only knew about half of what the movie was about before seeing it. With bit parts and voice over you can keep a surprising amount of the story secret.

        • BMCHB


          Old friends that watched it yesterday say it’s brilliant. A little bit too long but still great, said my last girlfriend!

          250 MILLION this weekend. Fact.

          • klmn

            “A little bit too long but still great, said my last girlfriend!”

            Are you sure she was talking about the movie?

            (You set ‘em up and I’ll knock ‘em down).

      • ThomasBrownen

        I thought the same thing about the Darth Vader in Rogue One. Prowse just had a way of projecting strength in his walk even under his suit that just wasn’t there in Rogue One.

    • Scott Serradell

      From what little I know of the story, Prowse contends he is the victim of Hollywood accounting; he has never seen a cent of royalties from “Return of the Jedi” because the movie, apparently, never made a profit. Sadly, I’m sure there’s some truth in that.

      And the only Star Wars actor I’ve seen up close was at a comic book convention in the 90’s. I was walking around and at a table by himself was the actor who played Uncle Owen in “A New Hope”. He looked like they had scraped him off the floor of a bar; I don’t think he knew where he was. That was a bit heartbreaking.

      • Nick Morris

        I met Billy Dee Williams a couple years ago. He looked…old. Tired and hobbling around on a cane. :(

        I was at New York Comic Con this year and Mark Hamill was there but I didn’t get anywhere near him. $300 for an autograph and they kept him out of sight behind a drape line.

        • Scott Serradell

          $300 bucks? Oof. I mean, I’d be willing to slide Mark a few bucks for cigarette money (so he doesn’t have to go picking butts out of ashtrays) but if it comes down to a signed photo of Hamill or a signed sketch by Jim Lee, sorry, Lee gets my money.

          • Pugsley

            Talk about career resurgence. i recall being at the San Diego Comic-con @ 2011 or ’12 and Hamill was there shilling for his role as the Joker in the animated Batman series. After the panel, he actually walked onto the Hall H floor and mingled with fans for at least a half hour. Now that he’s Luke Skywalker again, it seems the walls have gone back up.

    • E.C. Henry

      Wow, that’s real cool, Nick. Thanks for sharing!

    • Poe_Serling


      Just for the heck of it…

      I’ve checked out a couple of those conventions too. By the title above,
      obviously they tilted in the horror/creature direction.

      Even if you’re just a casual fan of the genre, it’s hard not to have a good
      time at these events.

      It’s almost a surreal experience to walk around and see so many familiar
      faces from memorable flicks from your past.

      In my particular case…

      Off to the right Julie Adams from Creature of the Black Lagoon… up ahead
      a prominent cast member from Invasion of the Body Snatchers… around
      another corner the bartender from The Shining and Mr. Tyrell from Blade
      Runner… at the end of the aisle William Smith from a ton of TV shows,
      Conan the Barbarian, and Atlantis: The Lost Continent.

      • Nick Morris

        I’m a sucker for these types of events. But we don’t get all that many here in Eastern Canada. So sometimes I have to go to them. :)

      • brenkilco

        Funny about Joe ‘Tyrell’ Turkel. He was so memorable in those small roles but the bulk of his career was mostly made up of bit parts. Success as an actor takes more than just being good.

        • Poe_Serling

          Yeah, it’s true… there’s an endless string of actors that for whatever
          reason shine bright in a role or two (whether leading or a scene
          stealing minor one) and just never catch that magic again.

          Perhaps it was a part right in their particular wheelhouse and
          they were able to hit a home run with it.

          After that…

          Probably offered less showy roles and therefore not as eye-catching for viewers.

        • Scott Serradell

          (Apparently I’m full of hearsay and trivia today but…) I had heard Turkel refused to learn lines; he needed his dialogue written, a la Brando, on big cards that he would read off. Now, to me, when watching say “The Shining” I don’t get a sense of that (especially considering how many takes Kubrick would put actors through; some of it had to sink in.) But watch him in “Blade Runner” — specifically when he’s explaining Rachel to Deckard — and notice where he puts his eyes. It looks like he’s doing exactly that (reading cards.)

          • brenkilco

            I cant imagine anybody nailing those gobbledygook lines about why they can’t extend the life of the replicants without reading em off cards.

            We regurgitated the transmutal polysulphate polymers but the subject still died. Yeah, right.

          • Scott Serradell

            I suspected as much. You don’t have a multi-decade career as an actor if you can’t memorize lines (Brando, again, being the exception.)

          • Poe_Serling

            I think there’s something wonderfully wacky about an acting
            resume (JT’s) with roles in films such as Paths of Glory, The
            Shining, Blade Runner…


            Village of the Giants

            After a handful of teens eat some ‘goo’ and sprout up faster
            than Jack’s beanstalk. they begin stirring up trouble in their
            neck of the woods (the studio back lot).

            And of course this type of pic could have only been directed
            and co-written by Bert I. Gordon.

            JT plays the sheriff in this one.

            Also, features Beau Bridges, Ron Howard, and other familiar
            teenage faces from that film era.

          • brenkilco

            Direction, screenwriting, special effects. Bert I Gordon could do it all. Unfortunately he couldn’t do any of it well.

          • Poe_Serling

            Gotta say this for the guy – he kept himself busy (almost ten
            pics made from ’55-’60) and his flicks seemed tailor-made for
            the drive-in crowd (a trip or two to the concession stand with
            no concern of losing track of the plot).

            Over the years my favorite pic from his heyday output is still:

            The Amazing Colossal Man

            And as a kid watching those sci-fi/horror B-movies on the rerun
            circuit of Saturday afternoon TV… that image of the bald-headed behemoth stomping through Vegas is unforgettable.


    • scriptfeels

      that’s dope

  • Scott Crawford

    Having a look at the firstfive pages of Wyler, the making of Mrs Miniver script, and it seems to have the same problem a lot of these type of scripts have; it doesn’t read true. It reads like snippets from various books and interviews put together and not natural.

    • brenkilco

      Don’t know who those guys are spewing exposition in the first scene of Wyler. But they’re a long way from the vulgar, malaprop-prone Goldwyn and notoriously inarticulate Wyler I’ve read about.

  • Dallas Cobb

    Tonight I read “WHERE I END” in its entirety. It was an intriguing, suspenseful plot — I enjoyed the extremely active main character — nothing groundbreaking in the genre itself — at times got a little bit of a “Source Code” vibe, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering I loved that spec (not so much the film)

    Although clocking in at 120 pages, the pace/emotional ebbs and flows of the narrative were well balanced. The various themes touched upon/addressed were relatable and thought-provoking — and I was incredibly impressed in the simplicity of the SET-UP of the WORLD/the executing of the complicated concept.

    Definitely a worth the read, at least, in my opinion. Would be interested to see what Carson thinks about: some of the more blatant/on-the-nose details, and if he thinks the concept is set-up effectively and then exploited effectively.



    For those of you that haven’t seen The Last Jedi

    The Pretty Girl goes BAD.

    I’m making this up, but that will happen.

    She is very pretty…

    • Scott Crawford

      Seriously, no spoilers. Just a few more days.

      • BMCHB

        He rose to the throne because his father jumped out of a window.

        Damn gravity!

        I’ve heard a SPOILER that Han comes back. As a robot. Like C3PO but less gay.

        ** Full Disco-losure! I have have no Star Wars connections and I have my tickets booked for Friday morning, in the posh cinema.

        • Scott Crawford

          I din’t think you were a spoiler guy! At THIS stage, with just a few days to go, I think it’s wrong to even speculate. I’m seeing it on Thursday, noon, posh cinema, posh seats (no riff-raff, hopefully).

          And I won’t be spoiling it.

          Afterwards, I’ll pop into Bentalls and see if I can pick up some new action figures to keep the others company.

          • Nick Morris

            I’m seeing it Thursday also. Taking the wife and kids. We’re all crazy pumped for it. Well, maybe not so much the wife. But the kids and I are counting the minutes!

            The reviews later today will be tough to ignore, but I must. So close now. I was fairly sure going into TFA that Solo was gonna die, but that was unceremoniously confirmed for me by a screenshot of him with the lightsaber through his chest posted in a facebook comment thread about 45 minutes before I saw the first showing. “NOOOOO!!!”

  • andyjaxfl

    I’m trying to think of anyone involved with Star Wars that doesn’t have a biopic script written about them yet…

    • brenkilco

      Even the craft services guy. That climax where the warming pans short out had me on the edge of my seat.

      • andyjaxfl


        (puts out fire; lunch is ruined)

    • Scott Crawford

      Carrie Fisher – Postcards From the Edge
      Peter Mayhew – Chewie
      Dave Prowse – Strongman

      Been a few years between them, too.

      • andyjaxfl

        Oddly enough, maybe Hamil and Harrison are the only ones without their own script, but are prominently featured in the others.

        • Scott Crawford

          Somebody wrote a making of Raiders script for AOW a few years back. I didn’t like it.

          • andyjaxfl

            I’d watch a making of HEAVEN’S GATE movie since that film’s production and failure is credited with killing a director’s absolute control over a movie.

          • brenkilco

            Now that might actually make a good movie. Bach’s book has tons of good stuff in it. I believe there already is a pretty comprehensive documentary on this ultimate movie disaster.

          • andyjaxfl

            Really… I was unaware and now searching for some light holiday reading. Thanks, bren!

          • brenkilco

            Yeah, Final Cut is one of the best behind the scenes movie books ever. Frightening and funny and probably the only such story told from the point of view of the frightened suits in the front office being held prisoner by an increasingly batshit ‘genius’. The postmortem after the execs sit through Cimino’s original five and half hour cut is the definition of dark comedy.

    • Scott Serradell

      I don’t know if it’s enough to elicit a feature-length script (though certainly a short) but I think there’s a story somewhere about the relationship between George Lucas and Alec Guinness.

      From what I’ve read: While Lucas was working himself into exhaustion — and while many around reacted cynically or confused to the material — apparently it was Guinness who saw through the sci-fi tech stuff and really understood what Lucas was trying to achieve: A classic tale of good vs. evil. Guinness, by his reputation and experience, corralled the other actors and helped elevate their performances. The rest, as they say, is history.

      Personally I’d be most interested in a story (or documentary at the very least) into the life and work of Ralph McQuarrie. I am convinced there’d be no Star Wars as we all know it without McQuarrie.

      • andyjaxfl

        If I ever become filthy rich, I plan on purchasing as much of the McQuarrie art as possible. It appeals to my sensibilities like few drawings/paintings do.

        • Scott Serradell

          Can’t agree more. I mean, his original paintings for Coruscant are so deceptively simple (really: just some skilled laying of four or five colors) but the effect as a whole is epic and elegant.

          I broke down and purchased that mega-coffee table book of his Star Wars art, figuring that’d be as close as I ever got to owning something original. That is enough for me (of course, that may change should someday I truly do become filthy rich…then I’ll be scouring eBay with a vengeance ;)

      • Nick Morris

        I’d always heard the opposite about Guinness on Star Wars. Maybe he sucked it up in the end and rallied the cast and crew to some extent. But, at least initially, I thought he hated it and didn’t get what Lucas was trying to achieve at all.

        Check this out:

        • Scott Serradell

          Probably my faulty memory ( as usual.) But I do remember an interview he gave after the film had come out and he was saying positive things about the “need for a story like this” or some such thing (let’s remember though he was one of the only actors receiving points off the gross! So given that he was making A LOT of money he probably found a few nice things to say in retrospect.)

      • jbird669

        I hope that’s true. This is what Guinness said about it publicly:

        “And he agreed with me. What I didn’t tell him was that I just couldn’t
        go on speaking those bloody awful, banal lines. I’d had enough of the
        mumbo jumbo.” – Guinness talking about encouraging Lucas to kill off

        • Scott Serradell

          Ever hear Alec Guinness speak about the time he met James Dean? Kinda spooky (sorry, I would link it myself but I’m working from a sketchy iPad here. But you can easily YouTube it.)

          • jbird669

            I have. Spooky, indeed.

  • Lucid Walk

    I think I’ll still read this regardless of the review. The making of Star Wars, any part of it, is worth reading about.

    In fact, it’d be cool if we did another Star Wars week. Am I right?

    Think I’ll read Dorothy Gale and Alice first. Oz meets Wonderland? Public domain characters? Time to jump on the fairy tale trend wagon.

    As for the rest of the Black List, I counted several biopics, Jane Wicks, WWII and abortion stories. Plus two of my ideas have now been used (the JK Rowling biopic, and the WWII boxer), so I’m scrapping them. Oh, well.

    • andyjaxfl

      Honestly, I thought the first go-round of Star Wars fan scripts was a waste of time, but I could use a breather between current script and next script — something that is fun, no chance of getting made, but lets me work on the technicals of screenwriting.

      • Lucid Walk

        Exactly. There’s nothing wrong with doing a little fanfiction every now and then. Even if it has no chance of getting made, we should ALWAYS be writing.

        • Scott Crawford

          I say keep fan fiction SHORT, short stories, maybe outlines, but don’t spend ages on scripts or, gawd forbid, NOVELS!

          • Lucid Walk

            Truer words have never been spoken.

        • andyjaxfl

          It’s one of those “fan scripts” that I’ve been writing in my head for ten years, so I could probably bang out a draft in a month.


    I thought I’d start with Let Her Speak as I don’t mind political material and combine it with a hot-button issue like abortion, I figured I’d give it 20 pages. Maybe 30. Well, page 82, and I’m only bailing because it’s after midnight and I have an early start tomorrow. It’s about 130-ish pages, and my main concern was, ‘Please don’t give us page after page lifted verbatim from the filibuster transcript’ because that would be boring. There’s a little of that, but it’s good. It’s emotional. It’s personal stories, and the protagonist’s story as to why this issue resonated so deeply with her. I can see why this one ended up on the B/L.

    • andyjaxfl

      Good to know. I was worried that it would be the equivalent of the movies in Ricky Gervais’ “The Invention of Lying”.

    • BMCHB

      That is very well written. It’s beautiful. So, passion is the secret sauce?

      I am anti-abortion BUT pro-choice BUT MORE men should have no opinion. It’s a major issue in Ireland now, and again it seems like male [ mostly homosexual] politicians will decide. ?

      • PQOTD

        Abortion’s always controversial, and I’m not particularly morally comfortable with the idea of terminating a pregnancy after the second trimester unless it’s medically necessary to save the mother’s life (which does happen).

        I knew a couple once that had to terminate at 22 or 23 weeks because the baby had some sort of malformation that would’ve meant no quality of life for the infant, and none for them unless they carried to full term then dumped the infant on the State’s doorstep to accept responsibility for. I’m even less comfortable with that idea. It was heartbreaking for them, but the hospital induced labor and they got to spend a couple of minutes with her before she died. I also knew a woman who terminated because she was young and didn’t have the father’s or her family’s support. She often wondered if she’d done the right thing, but her life would’ve been very hard and very different trying to manage so alone. She did the right thing for her circumstances at the time.

        Some years ago, New Zealand made the contraceptive pill available to all women for just the token price of filling the prescription and held a big public education campaign to sell the scheme. The abortion rate has been trending down ever since (although it’s still higher than, say, Scotland). The biggest cohort was age 20-24, and their rate’s halved, while amongst age 15-19, it’s down 2/3rds. It suggests poverty and/or lack of awareness of contraception had a lot to do with unwanted pregnancies. The stats and graph make it really clear what an impact the move had – the abortion rate’s still coming down. ( )

        In a perfect world, all pregnancies would be planned and viable. Oh, yeah – and chocolate would have no calories and wouldn’t rot your teeth. Suffice to say we’re not nearly there yet.

        • GoIrish

          Seriously, what the hell is up with chocolate? I’m really banking on scientists having it completely backwards when it comes to saturated fat.

  • GoIrish

    Up to p.37 of The Gadabout. It’s kinda…boring. And the writer seems to acknowledge some issues but will use a single line of dialogue to address it. For instance, the main character has concerns about providing time machines on a large-scale basis. His partner then says, “We’re about to give people the world at their fingertips. What could go wrong?” The main character seemingly accepts this saying “you’re right” and they then proceed with their sales presentation. It doesn’t take a genius to consider the implications of time travel and yet the point is just sort of glossed over.

    • BMCHB

      Is there a role for Gal Gadot? You have to pronounce the hard T. Like DOT-T.

      • Scott Crawford

        There was an actress named Gadot,
        whose name was mispronounced a lot,
        she’d say, “Hell, no!
        My name’s not Gadot!”
        and completely lose the plot.

        • Matt Bishop

          Last line suggestion – But it was all for naught.

          • Scott Crawford

            Do you pronounce it NOT? I say NAWT.

          • Matt Bishop

            Yes, rhymes with bought.

        • Citizen M

          Alt, although it doesn’t scan so well

          “And you’re not an idio, you’re an idiot.”

          • Scott Crawford

            It’s how SHE’D pronounce it! Id-EE-ot.

          • Citizen M

            In my line, it’s pronounced iddy-YOT.

      • Marija ZombiGirl

        Seriously? Gal Gad-O sounds like a name. Gal GaDOT sounds like, well, a place in a fantasy world like that of LotR. “Galgadot. That’s where the treasure is.”

    • PQOTD

      Far out. Just imagine what fun serial killers and rapists could have if they could flee the scene in a time machine.

      • GoIrish

        Really got a built in market for the product there.

  • Erica

    So I cracked open this script first and while I did like the first 10 pages I don’t think I’ll go on. It’s just one of those things that I have my childhood memories a certain way and I don’t want them to change. Regardless if they are the truth or not. I know Darth Vader and that’s all I want to know.

    Next I’m getting into Escape from the North Pole as I have a similar project I’ve started, but different enough not to make me want to curl up in a ball. Not sure but reading the logline makes me think this is would be an animation.

    Oh and no STAR WARS SPOILERS PLEASE. NO oh I heard it’s ______. Let us see the movie first, don’t plant thoughts or expectations.

    • Scott Crawford

      Your idea sounded better!

      • Erica

        Thanks Scott for the inspiration!

    • lonestarr357

      Re: Escape from the North Pole – I hate when that happens (I’m sure we remember my outburst some AOWs ago with the ‘pregnant superheroine’ script).

      There’s this script on the list, INNOCENT MONSTERS, that made me do a double take, as I’m prepping a script somewhat like it (hopefully, it’s different enough from my take – GOOSEBUMPS meets MISERY – that I don’t flip out again).

      • Erica

        Yeah, always sucks when that happens, best to do is work through it though as it’s bound to happen. I almost expect it to happen now. Not the expect story but a version of. That’s why I always try to focus on stuff I want to create and not try and chase trends.

  • Poe_Serling


    Thanks for the review, Carson. I really like how you dive right in and do all
    the heavy lifting by reading quite a few of these ‘hot off the press’ projects.

    For me, when I start looking down over these long lists of scripts (from Hit,
    Black, etc.), it tires me out pretty quickly.

    Much like going to The Cheesecake Factory, I begin flipping through a few
    pages of their small phonebook-like menu and soon give up after a few pages.

    I usually end up ordering the same dish or two each time.

    Now for the desserts…

    That’s a different story. Over the years I’ve sampled more than a few of
    their various cheesecakes… only 50+ to choose from there.


  • RS

    You know what struck me after glancing at a few of these? They are all well written and probably represent some of the best work these writers’ will do, but what percentage of these will ever be produced? These scripts, are, in essence, calling cards or writing samples for other jobs–movies that will probably be terrible.

    Isn’t it a funny business, that you write your best work to get jobs for inferior stories? Does a Nobel winning novelist produce a great work of fiction to get the job for the next Hunger Games series? Does a journalist write a piece for the New York Times to get that upcoming National Enquirer gig?

    What an interesting thing it would be to wipe out the slate of Star Wars movies, comic book fare, and summer blockbusters to see all these Blacklist scripts produced? Ok, that’s off the wall, but the majority of the big movies that drive everything won’t be especially well written whereas these BL scripts, whether you like the particular stories or not, are for the most part better work which likely won’t ever see the light of day.

    • Erica

      That’s because unlike a novel, it can take millions of dollars to bring a script to life only to find out there is no audience for it.

      Sure it cost money to print a book but nothing like a movie. What would be interesting is how well all the blacklist scripts would do if converted to a novel.

      • RS

        Yeah, but would you rather spend $300 million on a SW film or 3 million on STRONGMAN? I know which would be more interesting, have more depth, etc. Filmmaking should be about taking risks and telling interesting stories which is what these BL scripts are. Wonder Woman was neither deep or interesting, and I’ll even say it was less risky because most execs know a comic book movie will put butts in the seats. I’ll grant WW made a boat load of money and that’s what it is all about, but I think overall we just aren’t getting good stories out of Hollywood, which is odd because every year this list comes out and is ostensibly the best (or most liked) stories, but strangely no one seems to make a move to produce them.

        I just don’t like the fact that the career arc of a screenwriter is to get noticed with his/her best work to get the job to be writer #12 on some big budget movie that has nothing to say. That of course doesn’t happen all the time, but it does seem to be the rule rather than the exception.

        • Erica

          Oh I get what your saying and every year we hope Hollywood will change and start making more meaningful stories. They won’t, it’s too much of a gamble for them. It’s like going into McDonald’s every day hoping that today’s the day the Big Mac will be healthy for you.

          • RS

            That’s a good point, but I might counter by saying that McDonalds was always Big Macs. It’s not like much as changed. Hollywood may not have been serving filet mignon but it was better fare than what we see now writing-wise. That is, the biggest movies of the day and all those middle grade movies which are gone now were Black List type scripts. The best writing was on screen, not on some December list which will never see the light of day.

        • RO

          I agree. It’s a sad concept with this industry. But it exists to be sustainable. I may hate the Transformers films, but they make enough money to be used for smaller projects.

          It’s the conflict of balance between making something meaningful and being able to afford to make something meaningful.

          • RS

            You are right of course. I guess I’m just flummoxed by the purpose of the BL then. Bigger budget movies always existed to drive the revenue. Still, a movie like Raiders, for example, had writing style, class, wit, and a dramatic purpose. Transformers has none of that. So, if you compare dollars to dollars the writing is lousy at the highest levels, which you think would make the BL a great resource because hey, here are the great scripts that the industry insiders love. But then, out of what, 60 of them, will 5 get made? The contradiction is amazing to me.

          • RO

            I wish I had an answer or a glimmer of hope for that. All I know is that if my work gets my foot in the door and if I ever make it big because of that, I’m going to lobby to re-write and re-make Star Wars Episodes 1,2 and 3 as a trilogy that properly links with the original and using my clever trick still maintain the twist in Empire.

          • RS

            Love that idea. In fact, I’ve said that myself a few times. Re-write 1-3 as if the others never existed. Start with Palpatine. It all emanates from him. Will never happen of course but fun to think about it.

    • Scott Crawford

      Last year I might have agreed with everything you said, but THIS year I’ll only agree with MOST of what you said and dispute ONE thing:

      Theses scripts are NOT very well written.

      From what I’ve read, the first pages of maybe half-a-dozen scripts, I’m surprised at how pedestrian some of the writing is. Sure, it looks as if the writers have worked from an outline, or at least trimmed the fat from a bloated first draft. Each scene moves neatly to the next.

      But that’s screenwriting 101.

      Characters all sound the same, and not true to their character, there’s little of the writer’s personality shining through (expect for annoying, jokey asides).


      • RS

        Well, I’m sure you have me beat in the sample size. I started reading GREENLAND, which even though it felt just like the opening beats/characters of WAR OF THE WORLDS, was very smooth in its writing and hummed along nicely. I glanced at a few others, so I will have to go back and read more. But I will concede that I have not read as much as you, so you may be right.

        But putting that aside, I think my point still stands that these are supposed to be the best liked or best unproduced or whatever, but we will likely never see any of them. And what we will see will still be far inferior in terms of writing, creativity, etc. I don’t mean to keep harping on Wonder Woman. But I think a college sophomore could have written that.

      • Malibo Jackk

        One of my favorite painters was Henri Rousseau.

        If you were a painter you might say — he didn’t know how to paint.
        The mechanics of painting, proportions and perspective were completely amateur. His figures – crude, lacking skill.
        But the subjects of his paintings – wonderful.

    • Jarrean

      This is still the entertainment business.

      • RS

        True. I think it was Andre Bazin who said cinema was the only art form that was primarily a business. Painting. Poetry. Sculpture. Etc. Far, far less dominated by the business aspects.

  • 1st10

    In the “WTF? Casting News” of the day:
    Seth Rogen to Play Walter Cronkite in JFK Assassination Film ‘Newsflash’

    You can’t separate Seth from his voice. Seems really weird to choose him.



    … got your attention, bitches

    MEAT is still my favorite pitch

  • ripleyy

    Looking for these HITLIST 2017 scripts:

    When a paranormal investigator begins to explore the bizarre phenomena that drew him to a remote small town, he soon discovers that these instances have an eerie connection with his own past.

    Ten years after fleeing poverty on Earth to live illegally in a human colony on Mars, a young woman enters a spaceship race across the Martian surface that will determine what species, human or alien, will control the red planet

    After Pestilence, Famine, and War murder the man she gave up immortality for, Death fights to regain her powers and wreak vengeance upon them.

    In the midst of a hotly contested election, a newly created clone begins to suspect that his Original intends to assassinate the President of the United States.

    Two vampires fight to protect their livelihood from the monsters who invaded their farm searching for the only human left on earth: their daughter

    Set decades in the future, several characters – both human and virtual – are forced to reconcile their existence and purpose in a world where the ubiquitous Cloud One app provides users with virtual friends

    An interwoven tale that explores how love can play out in parallel universes if a couple were to meet at three different points in their lifetime.

    If you have any of these, send them to ellisrhsunday(at)gmail(dot)com. I will be extremely appreciative — ESPECIALLY if you deliver me “And Hell Followed” because Goddamn is that a movie. I’m craving to read it, so if you have it, or know WHERE I can get it, let me know. I must have it!

    • Levres de Sang

      Days We Met is definitely in the above folder (thanks to Scott C.). Not sure about any of the others, though. Hit List gets a bit lost in the shuffle so thanks for the reminder. Days We Met sounds intriguing.

    • Scott Crawford

      I’ll keep check8ng on the Hit Lis5 but there haven5 been any r3cent updates.

  • klmn

    Just change the name. Not “Wonder Woman.” Call her “Wonder Bitch.”

    Completely different.

  • Scott Crawford

    Sounds shit. Like an adaptation of one those “unauthorized biographies.” Guess the 275 people who voted included a few Potter fans.

  • Randy Williams

    I’ve picked a few with loglines that interested me.
    I’m starting with “Trapline”. I was abducted as a kid. The man was young, handsome, muscular. He took me from a motel where my family was staying. Put a knife to my throat at one point. I felt in retrospect, that he eventually let me go because, with a hand down my pants, he was surprised and disappointed that I wasn’t a girl. Blame the pretty face and long bleach blond hair. At one point when there were other people around, he took the opportunity to let me be.

    I loved the beginning to this. Right off the bat, a scene with a character at unease, and a sense of lack of control. Matches the subject matter. Then we get some different takes on similar stories we might have read. An interest in dead animals is not a serial killer violent tendency. An idyllic backwoods routine turns on a TV show.

    This is the boy’s tale and I thought we get nicely into his head by watching him, although at one point he feels tremendous guilt for his part in the death of baby bunnies and at that moment a world of resentment bubbles up towards his situation and he takes out a gun and threatens to kill himself. I didn’t understand why guilt on his part would relate to “hating it there”. I thought the writer missed an opportunity to show the effects of guilt, during and especially after someone experiences something like this.

    Honestly, I felt it fell apart rather quickly with the introduction of the second abductee. It was a bit unrealistic that they would take one boy in the company of others, but it was because the first boy was given the burden to choose the second. I thought it would play better both in terms of suspense and giving weight to that burden if they scouted out several candidates in a few scenes.

    The second boy’s dialogue, I thought, was awful. He became too with the first boy too soon, his questions didn’t seem realistic to the situation. The feeling of unease in the beginning was erased by his Hallmark type openness. Their relationship just didn’t have the tension I was expecting via the logline. And I felt a bit of a loss of the first boy’s point of view.

    The flashbacks, for me, were too explanatory. I would have liked a few clues and more mystery. The expanse of time in the script is better suited for a novel, in my view. In the end, I felt where first choices were eschewed in the beginning, they were welcomed with open arms in the end.

    Looking forward to reading more of these scripts. Congrats to all the winners and hopefully we will enjoy your talents on the big screen.

    • Scott Crawford

      Geez, Randy, I’ve not heard that story before. What a horrible thing to happen.

      On the script… not read it but the logline starts like ROOM then becomes, maybe distastefully, high concept. It’s like the writer(s) want a high-concept logline more than they want to be honest about this subject.

      Maybe if it had actually happened to THEM they wouldn’t write it like that.

      And although I would downplay the importance of dialogue at the BEGINNING of the writing process (because I think more focus should be on plot, etc,)… boy, can bad dialogue sink a script (see Wyler).

  • RO

    I wanted to read something out of my comfort zone so I picked The Other Lamb… It’s slow for 85 pages. No stakes. No plot. Neat characters but… like… so what?The protagonists change is sudden and it has tones of unfilmable lines. Characters whispering to other characters, but we don’t hear what is said, but in parenthetical the reader is told this is what they’re saying. But as an audience member, how am I to confidently interpret that? It has no weight. It’s a great sample piece for this writer to work on a show like The Handmaidens Tale or something like that. If you really really try hard you could make a comparison about rejecting one religion to create another. But you have to really reach for that. But other than that, I’m a little surprised this made the BL.

  • brenkilco

    From Variety’s Last Jedi review

    ‘Audiences could presumably skip this film and show up for Episode IX without experiencing the slightest confusion as to what happened in the interim.’

    For movie lovers and critics of soulless, corporate culture that might be dispiriting For Kathleen Kennedy and the Disney franchisers it’s a pull quote.

  • E.C. Henry

    Harrison Ford beat us all to the punch with, “What’s up, bitches?”

    Always thought Ford was the man. THIS confirms it!


  • klmn

    The title is Strongman but he doesn’t really look like a bodybuilder, powerlifter, or Olympic weightlifter. What was his claim to fame before he started acting?

    • Scott Crawford

      Bodybuilder, Weightlifter (commonwealth games), bouncer, according to Wikipedia. He WAS exceptionally strong and there are pictures of him wit( biceps as thick as thighs.

      • PQOTD

        For those not in the know, the Commonwealth Games are a British Empire hangover. It’s all the nations that were formerly in the Empire (well, for the 20th century part of it).

        • Scott Crawford

          Yeah, the Commonwealth. Bow before your queen!

          It’s a friendly enough contest but, yeah, it is a bit… you know, these days.


    Okay, yesh, calm down ShadyScripters!

    For a bunch of amateurs, it’s not a bad place to be.

    MEAT stands out in this BL town

  • Matt Bishop

    JELLYFISH SUMMER is definitely worth a read. I read it a while back when it won the Nicholl.

  • Malibo Jackk

    someone asked why some scripts did and didn’t appear on the list.
    thought i would re-post my guess:

    all you need to know is that biopics are popular now.
    (if you want to know why, ask a lemming.)

    dramas are considered serious work.
    a good drama is thought to belong on the list.
    (whether deserved or not.)

    if someone has a great thriller or comedy,
    it might not need to be passed around town from reader
    to reader in order to attract attention.
    And therefore may never appear on the Black List.

    One last point:
    It’s probably easier to criticize a bad thriller or bad comedy
    than a bad biopic or drama – which are thought to have more merit.

  • jbird669

    However, I am hearing, from the few people brave enough to speak
    negatively about the film, that the big criticism is that it’s tooooo
    sloooooow. Hmm, I wonder who predicted that? Could it be the person who said 2 hours and 30 minutes is way too long for a Star Wars film? I wonder. :)

    I’d watch a 4-hour-long Star Wars film.

  • Justin

    When I saw the video on Youtube with the original actor’s voice as Darth Vadar, I was convinced it was some kind of joke with a dubbed over voice. Now that I know the story behind it, I feel kinda bad.

    • Scott Crawford

      It’s a VERY thick Bristol accent. Many actors come from “the provinces.” Cary Grant came from Bristol. Ian McKellen from Lancashire, Patrick Stewart from Yorkshire. But they learned to temper their accents. Prowse never did. And that’s everyone’s fault but his.

      • RO

        I would have figures since they didn’t wire a microphone into the helmet that they weren’t going to use his voice.

        • Scott Crawford

          But they DID use Tony Daniels voice for C3-PO. They used Doug Jones voice for the SECOND Hellboy movie. Voices would have to be overdubbed, but they were useable.

          Prowse’s performance was abysmal.

          • RO

            The did, but as revealed by Mark Hamil and the rest of the original SW crew. Most, if not all of the audio in the original film was unusable for various reasons and had to be re-done. George Lucas also wasn’t sure if Anthony Daniels was going to be the voice of C-3PO until after principle photography began, and he was brought in with the rest of the cast to re-do their lines.

            Prowse’s performance was horrible. You can find more of his Vader lines from the other movies as well. Kind of cringe-worthy.

  • Scott Crawford
  • Matt Bishop

    WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES was very good. They should totally make this.

  • Matt Bishop

    It gets better.

    • Scott Crawford

      Sounds like it needs a rewrite! (Everything does).

      • Adam McCulloch

        That will be on my grave stone:
        “Solid first draft of life. Needs a rewrite”

    • Marija ZombiGirl

      A script shouldn’t “get better”, it should “be the best it can be” from p1.

      • Midnight Luck

        yes. word.

  • Levres de Sang

    It’s exactly what you were saying yesterday: “trying to generate interest by association…” Thing is, though, they’ve kinda succeeded.

    ** Rondo Hatton: there’s a name from the past…! Actually, I think a script about him would (oddly enough) garner some interest.

    • brenkilco

      Hatton’s life really did have the ring of tragedy. A good looking guy when young, he was voted handsomest in his high school class. The acromegaly that disfigured him, made his B movie fortune, and finally killed him was allegedly triggered by exposure to poison gas in WWI. Had a loyal wife who stuck by him to the end. Tell me there isn’t a movie there.

      • Levres de Sang

        Honestly, you should write it!

  • Adam McCulloch

    I’m reading RUIN. My feeling so far is that it starts too late in the story. Our protagonist is already a Nazi killer. His goal is clear but his arc suffers. It would be so cool to see him go from being a Nazi to a Nazi killer but all we get is the later part. What a massive mid-point shift that would be. Anyone else reading RUIN? Thoughts?

  • Scott Crawford

    ” After she is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, a former assassin must carry out one last assignment in order to ensure her daughter’s future.”

    It’s essentially 3 DAYS TO KILL with Kevin Coster replaced by a woman. The stakes are there, the conflict, but… that movie (which I really liked) is full of eccentric ideas. This sounds more straightforward.


    Not if The Rock stars in it!

    • Scott Crawford

      The Rock don’t do ice.

      • BMCHB

        Ice melts when it meets The Rock.

        Saw TR on Graham Norton last weekend. Such a cool guy. From now on, I’m only writing screenplays with a/the role for Dwayne. I want to hang out with him.

        • Scott Crawford

          That’s about the third time he’s been on there, he’s always great. When he was wrestling, he would refer to himself in the third person.

          But as Mike Caine once said of On Deadly Ground, the only thing worse than doing a bad movie is doing a bad movie in the cold.


    Hi SS. Please say a prayer for TMCH tonight. Big operation tomorrow.

    Be well. Hope to be back with good news on Thursday.

    • Scott Crawford

      Done. You stay strong, B, come back when you feel like it.

    • RO

      I’m not a praying man, but I’ll have good thoughts and hopes for a successful outcome.

    • Justin

      Fingers crossed. Will definitely keep TMCH in mind during prayer.

      Keep hopeful!

  • RO

    Just saw this on my feed. A ‘what it’ regarding the Star Wars. I think it’s based off of the late 1975 or early 1976 draft. Can’t remember which one has Luke as a girl.

    • andyjaxfl

      I’m surprised there hasn’t been an animated adaptation of the early screenplays, a nice companion “What if?” piece for the next home release.

  • Matt Bishop

    BREAKING NEWS IN YUBA COUNTY is for you if like Coen Brothers movies like FARGO.

  • Marija ZombiGirl

    As a big Sparling fan, I’m very disappointed to hear that :(
    Haven’t had time to read any yet but this one is still at the top of my list.

  • brenkilco

    That Cronkite covering the JFK assassination script Newsflash is apparently a go. Cronkite is being played by….Seth Rogen? What clinched it? The voice? The effortless gravitas? If he pulls it off it’ll be the greatest acting surprise since, well, what would you compare it to? Guess I need to read this. Has anybody already checked it out?

  • Erica

    So OT,
    Just testing another logline here.

    In a fight to save her life and that of the small town, a tenacious young woman must choose sides when the extraterrestrial warrior hunting her may be related.


    An orphan young woman reluctantly halts the invasion of an oppressive alien race after discovering she is a secret weapon engineered for this very purpose.

    • Jarrean

      1st: If she’s trying to save her own life, wouldn’t she automatically choose the side not trying to kill her?

      2nd: Its better than the first but still not clicking. Remove reluctantly from it altogether.

      What was the first move about? What logline did you use for it?

      • Erica

        Possibly saying she has to choose is the wrong way to go, I need to say she may be related to the alien or from the same spieces but your right, they are attacking her, there is no choosing sides here. I think I was trying to use it as a hook but it’s not working.

        Getting closer though I think.

    • brenkilco

      the sense I’m getting from the two loglines is this:

      When a seemingly ordinary young woman discovers she is not human, she must choose between the home she has always known and the invading alien species to which she truly belongs.

      If I’m way off base, you need to provide more info to clarify.

      • Erica

        I like it, the only problem is I want to convey is that the alien is trying to attack her even though she may be related.

        • brenkilco

          If she doesn’t have any choice but to fight the alien, then her lineage doesn’t really enter into things. She has to fight or die. Or does the alien not realize that they’re related? And would things be different if he knew? I think this is a case where I’d have a synopsis of the entire story before I could make logline suggestions. Still don’t quite have a handle on the dynamic here.

          • Erica

            Yeah, I think I may be adding twists from the story that shouldn’t be in the logline. As I said below, she doesn’t have a choice really and even if the Phobe knows, it wouldn’t matter. I trying to find that hook for the logline.

            So some details,

            What is their main goal? Is there any irony for the situation they are in?

            She is looking to find her birth parents when she is attacked by a warrior from another world only to discover she me be connected to this alien species. Her goal now changes to stopping this creature before more arrive.

            What obstacles (internal and external) stand in their way? The deadly alien species sent to destroy her. Plus her Professor who works for a company in a classified government lab trying to re creating the species from it’s DNA left behind from the first time this creature was on Earth. (Script is a sequel).

            What happens if they don’t achieve their goal? Is there anything they stand to lose? Ultimately, she could die and even worse, the world would be left open to an invasion by the species who sent the warrior and by the government/company that is trying to recreate the alien.

            Timeline is short as once the alien lands on earth.

            Logline possible:
            An extraterrestrial warrior is sent to destroy a young woman who is believed to be a legendary weapon created to defend against the invading species.

          • JakeBarnes12

            Totally agree. Central conflict here is muddied by two separate elements.

    • Ashley Sanders

      Top one, I just thought – may be related to what? Are there some words missing from the end? Didn’t quite understand it.

      Second one is better but makes me wonder why she reluctantly halts them if they are oppressive. Also, it states the outcome in the logline – she halts them, as in we know she succeeds in the end. Shouldn’t it be – attempts to halt – to maintain some suspense as to whether she succeeds or not?

      But yup, a few tweaks and it could totally work.

      • Erica

        For the first one, it’s May be related to her, but felt too many “her’s” in the logline. You’re right about halts, need to make it attempts to halt.

        So more playing around by I could be getting closer to a real logline.


    • JakeBarnes12

      Second one says the movie is over; she halts the invasion. Problem solved. Plus, English grammar; she was engineered to halt the invasion?

      First one, again, grammar trips you up. May be related to what? Also, somewhat muddled situation. On the one hand she’s fighting to save her life; on the other, she can choose to join the Predator.

      “may be” generally doesn’t work. It’s a weak sauce way to suggest suspense, yet if she’s not half-alien you have no story.

      • Erica

        I agree, I was looking for a better way, if I need to say at all, that she’s related to the alien. I think the hook is her being “related to” and that needs to come out better in the logline. The earlier version were focusing on her searching for her parents which is really Plot B. Plot A is fighting the Alien.

        • JakeBarnes12

          Here’s my issue with the story idea as expressed in your logline, Erica.

          Finding out you’re half-alien and those aliens are attacking earth is a dilemma to an extent, but, really, your loyalty is going to be with where you grew up.

          A much more compelling dilemma is if a) your protagonist has always felt like a complete outsider but never understood why and b) those aliens are invading Earth because they need our vital resources because their planet will die otherwise.

          Seems to me that scenario is much more dramatically interesting than finding out you’re related to intergalactic assholes.

          • Erica

            I think I’m focusing on the wrong items in the logline. In the story she does feel different and an outsider type thing. The aliens are not here to take our resources as with every other movie, they are here to use our resources as they are the one’s who have secretly started creating the Alien warrior on earth (similar to the one attacking our protagonist). Away from those who oppose such creations of these creatures.

          • JakeBarnes12

            I’m suggesting you reconsider your idea.

            If the aliens are attacking Earth basically for conquest reasons, then that REDUCES the dilemma for your protag. Her loyalty is more obviously with Earth.

            If the aliens are attacking Earth to ensure their own survival AND your protag has an emotional bond with one of them and now finally has a sense of belonging, then that greatly strengthens her dilemma.

            For this to work you must engineer your story so that your protag faces a genuinely difficult choice.

          • Erica

            I never know how to respond to these statements: “I’m suggesting you reconsider your idea” or “you must engineer your story”.

            I know you are only basing this off what I’ve given you and not the story itself.

            While you may bring up some excellent points and it’s something I need to look at, the script is written. Now that doesn’t mean it can’t change but I don’t want to change the script based off of logline feedback. A few people will hopefully read the script first and then say, oh this part isn’t working, or the whole idea doesn’t work. If enough people say that, then it should be looked at.

            Right now I’m having the difficulty like so many of us in coming up with a proper logline to hook you and make you want to read the story.

            The core of the story is a young woman fighting to save herself while being attacked by an alien species who she may share DNA with.

            I do appreciate the help of course.

          • JakeBarnes12

            Problems expressing the central conflict in the logline usually indicate problems in the script. Your posts explaining your story don’t put my mind at rest regarding my concerns.

            You’ll notice that several others are expressing the same or similar reservations.

            Since I expect to encounter the same issues baked into the script, I’m not tempted to read it for pleasure.

  • RS

    I praised this at first, after reading the first 10 pages because it felt really smooth even if it seemed like War of the Worlds, but when you finally get to the hook at about pg. 15 the whole set up is pretty hard to swallow. Our government can’t even keep a secret about low level investigations, but SPOILER ahead…

    …it’s known about an asteroid hurtling toward Earth for two years and has made all these massive preparations to save some people, and no one is the wiser until a few days from impact. They’ve commandeered cruise ships? I’m thinking all those people who were looking forward to going to the Caribbean would have had some pretty tough questions for Norwegian. Pretty far fetched.

    This does, however, make me wonder about believability in screenwriting. I mean, one of the criticisms I dislike the most from readers, managers, etc. is “I didn’t believe it when XYZ happened.” But here is a Black List script which has a whopping believability problem. So what’s a writer to think? How hard should you work to tighten up plot when major films, big sales, and list placements are full of holes?

    I myself used to work harder to shore stuff like this up, but should I really when other scripts that sell and get on these lists don’t come close to passing the believability test?

  • Jarrean

    I finished The Expansion Project this morning. Started it because I liked the idea, also because it sold! Its like a mash-up of Gravity and Predator.

    At 99 pages, the story keeps moving once it gets going. While I enjoyed it, I think the Main Character could’ve been more courageous in the beginning. I say this because the Writer starts the script telling use these are ELITE MARINES, but for most of the script the MC is literally running scared. I would’ve liked to have seen more variance like the end of the script.

    It got a bit cheaty during the 2nd act. And I think the ending becomes unbelievable after everything that’s taken place. Sheer will power will only take you so far…

    Nevertheless, this should be a script Carson enjoys, if for nothing else than the Writer constantly telling the MC “no” at every chance. I think it’ll be cheap and easy to shoot script. The director behind Happy Death Day is signed on, so this should be a walk in the park for him.

    OT: I finished my November Challenge script yesterday. It’s probably one of the ugliest first drafts I’ve ever completed, but I’m excited about the potential with this one. While writing it, I was gifted with two new ideas to start in 2018 — a pilot and feature. I’m thinking of taking a writing break for the rest of the year, and just pick back up come January. I still have to finish my sci-fi script. That’s all. Thanks again to the team: Marija ZombiGirl, Andyaxfl, PQOTD, ScriptChick, Nick Morris, and Frankie Hollywood for the drive, focus, and inspiration!

    • Nick Morris

      Nice! Congrats, Jarrean!

    • Justin

      No idea what this November Challenge is, but good for you!

  • Poe_Serling

    The reason for today’s late post…

    I got a feeling a certain someone was unable to Escape from the North


    And I don’t know how I missed this…

    The Wolf Man

    The original pic from Universal Pictures just turned a spry 76 yesterday.

    Fun fact: Lon Chaney Jr. would go on to play the Larry Talbot character
    in several more films.

    The best of the bunch after his first turn (in my opinion):

    Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

    • RO

      The greatest!