Genre: Drama
Premise: A record executive in the 1970s suffers a mid-life crisis and goes back to his roots, hunting out new talent for his dying record label.
About: With Boardwalk Empire ending, Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter needed a new show to do for HBO. Enter rock n roll! And because it’s Scorsese, you better believe it ain’t set in modern day. Part of me thinks Scorsese hasn’t reached 2014 yet. He’s about 30 years behind us. So for him, he’s actually directing contemporary cinema. As for Terence Winter, besides creating Boardwalk Empire, he also wrote Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, a bunch of Sopranos episodes, the 50 Cent movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’, and even a couple of episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess.
Writer: Terence Winter
Details: 59 pages (Revised Draft, April 4th 2013)

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - July 17, 2014Bobby Cannavale will star in the new HBO project

Do I think Scorsese repeats himself a little too much? Ummmm, maayyyy-be? I mean, he definitely has a formula down for how he tells a story. And back in the day, when that approach was new, it was fun. But now, because it’s the only thing he does, you feel like you know all the beats of his stories before he does. Once the viewer is able to predict everything, there’s no reason to keep watching.

When you couple that with rock and roll as a subject matter, you’re walking on thin ice. Rock and roll is SO hard to do well because cliché is woven into its DNA. There’s a reason “sex, drugs and rock and roll” is one of the most popular phrases in history. Those things are always lumped together and as a viewer, there are only so many times you can see a musician ruining his career with drugs.

You gotta find a different way to do it. And, as I mentioned, with Scorsese directing, I was worried whether that could happen or not. Still, I held out hope that I’d be surprised. Let’s see if I was.

It’s 1973. 40-something Richie Finestra is a record exec at the dying American Century Records. The last remaining big band they have under their label is Led Zeppelin, and it looks like they’re going to jump ship too.

At American Century, we meet Richie’s team, which includes a combination of young A&R kids who aren’t finding enough new music and a bunch of middle-aged guys who are trying to hold onto the past.

Over the course of the pilot, we experience a group of flashbacks, when Richie was an up-and-coming exec, as he signed a talented young black musician named Lester. Richie promised Lester that if he made an album for him, he’d let Lester record an album of the music he loved, which was Blues. But that never happened, and now, sadly, Lester has become Richie’s driver, his musical dreams long forgotten.

As the days pass, Richie finds himself more and more frustrated with the direction of the company, and decides to make a radical change. He demands a divorce from his wife. Then he downgrades his position at the company to talent scout. He’s going back out there and do what these young bucks can’t – find music.

But the plan is thrown for a loop when Richie finds himself at the home of a couple of business associates and things get out of hand. During a fight, one of the men is accidentally killed, and Richie and the other associate decide to toss him into an alley in the hopes that the cops will think someone mugged him. Needless to say, a homicide detective shows up at Richie’s work the next day asking questions. We’ll see just how long Richie and his secret can last.

Okay, first question. Was it cliché? Yes. Pretty much every character here did some kind of drugs. Just once – ONE TIME – I’d like a character in a music movie not to do drugs. A character who shuns it. What’s the harm? Having one original character in this world? Because I’m pretty sure not EVERYBODY did drugs in the 70s. Although if they did, it would at least explain the fashion of the time.

The story itself was okay I guess. When you’re doing a period piece, you’re doing historical fiction. And when you’re doing historical fiction, you’re trying to educate (in an entertaining way) the viewer on the subject matter, whether it be casinos, money, the mob, whatever.

So I was really looking forward to learning new things about rock and roll in the 70s. I was disappointed. There’s nothing new here if you’ve seen Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous. And that’s not good. With a movie, you only have a limited amount of time to get into details. With TV, you have an unlimited amount of time. TV thrives BECAUSE of the details. I get that this was just the pilot, but seeing a hot young singer bang a chick then pull out a heroin needle and shoot up, or watch two executives binge on coke until they were clueless… I saw that stuff 40 movies ago.

And it’s tough. I realize that you have to show SOME drug use since it’s rock and roll in the 70s. But there’s got to be a more original way to do it.

The one original and memorable aspect of the pilot was the Lester storyline. You know right away something’s up with Richie’s chauffeur, since we never see his face. And you know pretty quickly that this up-and-coming singer in the flashbacks, Lester, is probably him. So the dramatic irony feeds this aspect of the story. We know Lester’s career is doomed from the get-go.

But I thought RICHIE was going to be the one to screw him over. In the pilot, it’s nobody’s fault. Stories become more interesting when your protagonist’s’ choices drive the drama. So if our main character isn’t responsible for this man’s dried up life, then where’s the conflict?

And I don’t like mushy main characters, protagonists stuck in that boring middle-ground. Jordon Bellforte (The Wolf of Wall Street) isn’t KIND OF a greedy crazy asshole. He IS a greedy crazy asshole. I wanted Richie to have more wrong with him. I wanted him to be that record exec who rips off artists for his own personal gain. He’s done it his entire life and finally, now, he reliazes it’s wrong. He wants to change. Instead, Richie has no conviction. He’s not responsible for much of anything that’s wrong here. He’s just around.

In the end, I’m looking for three things from this kind of TV show. I want to learn something new about the subject matter (we learn the intricate nature of how casinos work in Casino), I want strong interesting characters that I care about (like Henry Hill in Goodfellas), or I want a cool story. There were little flickers of that stuff here (a quick scene about how a record contract works, the Lester storyline, the murder) but for the most part, this felt like a retread of stuff we’ve already seen. I couldn’t get into it.

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

What I learned: Inner conflict. You have to look at your character and ask, “What is the main conflict within this man?” “What is the thing he’s at odds with every day of his life?” Because if you can find a strong conflict within a character, you’re 90% of the way to creating a complex character. So with Richie, I was hoping to see him battling the fact that he screws singers over every day. He signs them to contracts he knows they’ll never make a penny for, and reaps the profits for his company. And it seemed to be heading in that direction with the Lester subplot, but it never quite got there.

  • Johnny Boy

    “Do I think Scorsese repeats himself a little too much? Ummmm, maayyyy-be? I mean, he definitely has a formula down for how he tells a story. And back in the day, when that approach was new, it was fun. But now, because it’s the only thing he does, you feel like you know all the beats of his stories before he does. Once the viewer is able to predict everything, there’s no reason to keep watching.”

    I think Scorsese is more diverse than you give him credit for, story-wise. Goodfellas, Casino, and Wolf of Wall Street are all in the same fluid “three hour trailer” style, but, then again, they’re all explorations of a similar topic: the evolution of crime in the latter-half of the 20th century. The gangsters in Goodfellas go semi-legit by becoming the operators in Casino, who are, in turn, muscled out by the traders from Wolf of Wall Street. Plus, those movies were made five, eighteen, and twenty-three years apart, respectively. Hardly close together in the scheme of a career that goes back over forty years.

    Furthermore, The Age of Innocence, Kundun, Shutter Island, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Color of Money, et al. may share stylistic qualities (documentary detail, expressive camera work, relentless homage to cinema’s past), but to say that their material, in and of themselves, is formulaic comes across as misinformed. Two literary adaptations, a political biopic, a contained horror-thriller, and a sequel to a movie he didn’t make? That’s eclecticism for ya’.

    • ArabyChic

      Don’t forget King of Comedy — the most un-Scorsese movie ever (after Kundun, that is)

    • Logline_Villain

      And, IMHO, the underrated “After Hours”…

  • Armond White is my master now

    From the reviewer who said True Detective was doomed to fail… I’m sure Martin and Terence were laughing out loud after reading your review.

    • carsonreeves1

      I’m 1 for 2. I liked the Game of Thrones spec. This will be the tiebreaker!

      • Magga

        I’d still love to see you do a Mad Men retrospective. By far the best writing of our time, but I’ll concede that the earliest episodes were not on the level of what was to come

        • Kirk Diggler

          The first 3 seasons were the best part of the show. First season was phenomenal.

          • Cfrancis1

            Mad Men is incredible. I know Carson thinks Walking Dead is the best written show on TV and it is really, really good. But the writing is so inconsistent. Lots of talky, filler scenes in certain episodes keep it from being as great as Breaking Bad or Mad Men.

          • Kirk Diggler

            Yes the writing is inconsistent on TWD. The Governor became a cartoon character. Then they tried to redeem his character somewhat when he was ‘on the road’, which led to him turning into the same cartoon character he was previously. A terrible arc, glad he’s gone.

          • Magga

            Season four FTW

    • andyjaxfl

      I couldn’t get into The Walking Dead. I watched the first season and liked the first four episodes, though I thought the main character’s wife sleeping with his partner one full month after the zombie outbreak was a bit of a stretch. The episode that lost me was the zombie attack on the campground. In the aftermath, one of the main characters holds her turning-into-a-zombie sister and cries and hugs her and cries some more…all the while she’s is turning into a frigging zombie!… and I couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve heard mixed things about the following seasons, though the most common thread is that the first five minutes and the last minutes are usually great, but everything in the middle is a snooze fest.

  • Rachel Woolley

    I can see how Bobby Cannavale has the right look for this role, but it’s hard to imagine him carrying an entire series as the lead. Maybe I’m just too used to seeing him as the secondary, meathead character? I did like him in The Station Agent. But the premise of this doesn’t really grab me.

    • brenkilco

      Would not be surprised if he has a lot more range than he’s been allowed to show so far. Winter, after all, saw stuff in Steve Buscemi that nobody else had.

      • Randy Williams

        He’s had a Tony nomination for a Broadway show before. That should give you an idea he’s got it.

        Speaking of range, I’ll always see him as Will’s boyfriend on Will & Grace.

  • Scott Strybos

    One of the best pieces of writing advice I have read: “And I don’t like mushy main characters, protagonists stuck in that boring middle-ground.” This should have been bolded.

    There should never be “kind ofs” in you writing. Like his example, no one should be kind of an asshole—they should be a full-on, raging asshole…The character shouldn’t kind-of sleep around—he or she should sleep with everybody. The protagonist’s boss is not just kind of evil—his boss knowingly poisons orphaned South African children.

    No kind-ofs, no halfway. When you make choices in your story follow through with them ALL THE WAY. Commit.

    • Casper Chris

      Actually, please don’t make your villain all-out, over-the-top, caricature evil. Unless maybe you’re writing a cartoon. What made Hannibal Lecter so great is that he was polite, charming, witty and intelligent.

      • Scott Strybos

        True.

      • G.S.

        But Hannibal eats people and Commodus brags about his enemy’s child being crucified. This is EVIL. I think writers make the mistake (particularly with villains) of thinking that in order to “commit” as per above, they have to hit the trait on the nose with a sledgehammer. So we end up with caricatures of people embodying various characteristics. What we need to remember is that those characteristics should not be the DEFINING aspect of the character. As you pointed out, a well-defined character will engender a series of words to describe their uniqueness as do Hannibal and Commodus. It’s a a nuance, but an important one.

        The slow blade penetrates the shield.

        • Casper Chris

          Yes, they are villains (I realize that), but they’re three-dimensional. There’s other sides to them as well.

          I think we agree?

          • G.S.

            We definitely agree.

    • sotiris5000

      So basically your characterisation should have no subtlety to it whatsoever?

      • Scott Strybos

        None… WHATSOEVER!

    • Hans Reuther

      No way. This is some of the worst advice I’ve heard. Don’t make your characters just plain cliches, whatever you do. We’d never get movies like Taxi Driver, The Master, and pretty much any movie that includes an emotional portrayal of real humans that are believable.

  • Randy Williams

    Karen Carpenter didn’t do drugs. She didn’t eat either.

    I’m not enamored of this premise. I’d much prefer to follow one of the young A & R guys.
    Maybe one has a strong bond with one of the older guys holding on to the past. There’s lots of conflict in that. I’ve lived it. I had this job once in an industry that was changing dramatically. There was this old guy, mob type, who had sway there for years and years and suddenly new and young people were taking over. He suddenly became a relic. He tried to throw his weight around but he didn’t have it to throw around anymore and they treated him pretty badly and he counteracted by breaking whatever rule he could break. Smoking in the office was the least of them. He grew fond of me and I of him. I became the one to take the bullet for him. I could see the writing on the wall, however.So many times after they got rid of him in a humiliating fashion, I fantasized about getting back at that company with one of my many well thought out schemes. But it was only fantasy to get through another boring day without his stories.

    • Kirk Diggler

      ‘Karen Carpenter didn’t do drugs. She didn’t eat either.’

      A little dark humor this morning.

    • klmn

      I believe she did do drugs.

      Laxatives.

  • Magga

    I always get a little pissy when I hear people say that Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Terrence Mallick and so on keep doing the same thing, because at least they do their own thing instead of doing the same thing as everyone else, but Scorsese? Who did Taxi Driver and Raging Bull and Goodfellas and Kundun and Cape Fear and Shutter Island and Hugo? Really? In a world where every other movie has a superhero destroying a major American city? At a time when a new Godzilla movie AND a new King Kong movie have been greenlit? There are more ideas in Goodfellas alone than in all the blockbusters of the last ten years combined. You may be right about this pilot, but if we can get excited about “Groundhog Day meets Die Hard” we shouldn’t dismiss “Scorsese meets whatever damn genre he pleases, in this case the 70’s rock bio”. He is a God of cinema, the most respected, most daring director America has produced aside from maybe Welles and Kubrick. I think the dream of a large percentage of aspiring writers is to write for this man

    • Cfrancis1

      Exactly. I totally agree, Magga. Scorsese has a distinct voice but he has also directed a diverse selection of movies. And if someone’s gonna do a show about ’70s rock’n roll, I’d rather Scorsese tackle than anyone else. So maybe the pilot doesn’t set the world on fire… I have enough faith in Scorsese and Winter to make the series as a whole interesting. I mean, Boardwalk Empire is one of the best shows on TV. These guys know what they are doing.

  • brenkilco

    Judging from his past work, I think Winter would tell you that if you fully know the protagonist by the end of the pilot there’s no reason to keep writing the show. Was not a huge Boardwalk Empire fan but I stuck with it for the first season and a half. There was no way to predict from the opening episodes that Buscemi’s high living political fixer was going to end up shooting his surrogate son in cold blood a year or two down the road. Winter, like the best TV writers, deals in character growth. Speaking of which, you don’t talk much about the characters. Did they come across as types or fully fleshed individuals? In soap operas-and that’s what all these HBO shows are at bottom, no matter how sophisticated- it’s the attachment to character that keeps people watching, even more than the worlds they inhabit.

    • Magga

      My job used to be writing soap operas, and HBO shows are not that. Even Melrose Place really isn’t. The main goal of a soap is to move the story along as slowly as possible without making people bored. Usually you put a cliffhanger at the end, quite often it doesn’t really pay off. The closest a quality show has gotten to soap in my view is in the last season of Breaking Bad, when (spoilers) Jesse is arrested after throwing money around, the episode ends with Hank sitting down with him, the next week Jesse says nothing, then has his loyalty to Walt tested and ends the episode throwing gasoline all over his house. The next episode he doesn’t light the house on fire, but decides to collaborate with Hank, then changes his mind because he has a “better way”, and only then does what has been teased actually materialize (and in a big way, too). That’s close to soap opera, but a continuing story, told over several years, often “improvised in slow motion” is not by definition part of that genre. Especially Mad Men and The Sopranos have episodes that feel like completed explorations of a story or theme, even as they are parts of the ongoing lives of the characters, while something like The Wire uses a season to explore a subject from a number of angles. Another important aspect of a soap is that characters don’t change their nature, unless they are revealed to be villains or something else of shock value. You should be able to skip episodes and easily catch up with the ongoing story, which is just that, ongoing story. The fact that episodic TV explores themes, develops characters, engage in politics, embrace ambivalence, explore inner struggles and confronts it’s viewers with feelings of unease and confusion make them much closer to long-form novels. There’s a present school of thought that all genres and levels of ambition are equal and that all we can judge are how they meet the ambitions the creators have for their entertainments, but TV is respected now because many have rejected the virtue of going after low-hanging fruit.
      Otherwise we seem in complete agreement :)

      • brenkilco

        Wasn’t trying to compare Terence Winter to Agnes Nixon. Just suggesting that the base emotional appeal of a lot of these shows is akin to that of classic soaps. My wife is an intelligent professional and keeps grumbling that she wants to cancel the cable but not until after she finds out whether Sookie ends up with Bill on Tru Blood.

        Always sort of fascinated by the mechanics of soap operas. Granted nothing was happening most of the time. But having to grind out a couple of hundred pages of script per week, week in and week out. Assume there was a high burnout factor among writers.

        • Magga

          In my experience, and granted this was in Norway, there were some writers who came up with what would happen in the season, some who broke it down to what had to happen each week, others who divided it into days and others who divided it into scenes in the script based on the work schedules of the actors and which sets were used that day. My job was simply to write each event into a scene, and usually each conversation or confrontation was divided up into three or four scenes. There were five writers each week, some regulars and some freelancers, we’d all write the episode from monday to thursday, then meet on friday to get feedback, rewrite the script by monday morning and then be rewritten by the head of the writer’s department. The mantra from the editors was “remember that 80% of our viewers are (offensive description of mentally challenged people)” and much of what we had to do was remind people of what happened earlier so that you wouldn’t get lost if you hadn’t watched for a few days. This was right after college, and while I couldn’t really use much of what I’d learned in school it was fun to see my stuff on TV and the money was pretty good. But I still see working on a TV drama as an unfulfilled ambition so far

  • Scott Strybos

    Was the shift in story as jarring as it felt in the review. It seems like Terrence Winter promised one story, “a middle-aged man going back out there and do what these young bucks can’t – find music”, and then pulls a switcheroo halfway with a murder, will-he-or-wont-he-get-caught plot.

    • Randy Williams

      As described in the review (overall confusing, I thought) it was “an accident” and several people were involved. I don’t see the real stakes of him getting caught.

      Yeah, I don’t like “switcheroos” either. I’ll take a murder, though, any day over a child being left on their doorstep, someone else’s or their own and suddenly the character is all about parenthood. Well, I didn’t tune in to watch you deal with parenthood. I can do that on my own.

    • Rachel Woolley

      Couldn’t agree more. That show never got the viewership to match its quality writing and critical acclaim. Maybe they felt like they had to do something extreme as a last ditch effort to boost the numbers? I’m just glad they were ultimately commissioned to do the next 3 seasons, even if it was for somebody else.

      • Scott Strybos

        Jason Katims answers a question about the murder subplot in the second season of Friday Night Lights. He doesn’t really explain what his thinking was. He doesn’t think the storyline was all that odd….
        “I definitely think that it was that people rejected the idea of that story at a seminal level. I don’t think people were really responding to the execution of it. They just didn’t believe this was the show they’d signed on for, they leaped to, ‘This is the network forcing a story,’ which wasn’t true. I don’t know that doing differently would have really affected how people responded to it. But then again, I could be wrong about that. We told that story in a similar way as we tell other stories. It wasn’t that different. I think people just rejected it from the basic idea of it.”

  • Sebastian Cornet

    Hated “Wolf in Wall Street.” Not a bad movie in and of itself, but it pissed me off that it got so much praise when all it did was repeat the kind of story he did a much better job with in Goodfellas. I do think it’s a stretch to extend the accusation to the last years of his filmography, guys’s been diverse enough with Hugo, Shutter Island. Are those some of his best movies? Not by a long shot, but we can’t say the guy’s sleeping on his laurels all the time.

    • pmlove

      WOWS lacked any sort of redemption. Jordan Belfort never had to face up to his betrayal. Weak ending.

      • Sebastian Cornet

        True, but blame real life for that. Let’s see if he ever pays back all his victims.

        • pmlove

          True. But surely he has to face up to Jonah Hill and all his buddies he sold down the river? Nope. Just a book deal and a cameo in his own movie.

          I realise I’m mixing the film with life here, but same difference. At least the story could’ve seen him feel shame for a second. I guess humility was never his thing.

      • Magga

        That was sort of the point. Years later, few of the people who caused the world’s economy to tank suffered any consequences, not even financial ones. Amrica doesn’t punish rich people.

        • pmlove

          I think that’s a positive reading. For me, the film revelled in the excess of the story to such an extent that that reading is far too subtle and out of step with the tone of the rest of the film. Everyone is enjoying themselves way too much.

          Contrast with Goodfellas and the rise and fall story – “I’m an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.”

          • Magga

            At the end of Goodfellas, my all-time favorite movie, Henry Hill is pissed that he has to live like normal people, that he has to wait for bad takeout, NOT so much that he had committed crimes or betrayed his friends or whatever. He remained the same selfish guy he had been since he was a child. In WOWS, Jordan is terrified of his punishment, then remembers he’s rich, then teaches his tricks to people in an auditorium lit to look like a cinema with a projector light behind the crowd, telling them (us) “I know this is what you want in life”. Money, the power to do whatever you want, the American Dream. Having seen what it turned him into should give us some fuel to think about whether enormous wealth is really the pinnacle of achievement. After all, what is unlimited money for if not the license to do whatever you want, whenever you want to, regardless of other people? If others were your focus, NOT keeping all that cash would have done a lot more good. The film almost gleefully ignores consequences, informing us of deaths and suicide in quick asides before clips of The Equalizer. Brilliant! And if people watch the film and think “THAT’S what I want in life!”, fine. That’s the power of real art, it allows you to look into the mirror and see whatever you see.

          • pmlove

            Well argued – some great points. But I think my criticism is that in Goodfellas, as the viewer we get to see the fall and can make up our own minds about it, regardless of how Henry Hill feels. He might not be pissed about how he has to live a normal life but we, the viewer, still get to see the potential gamble being made in life as a mobster.

            In WOWS, I don’t need to see reconciliation with the families – I can believe Jordan Belfort couldn’t give a shit about that – but what about the friends who he promised he’d never give up. That’s the real betrayal he never has to face, giving up his comrades, his brothers in arms. He must have felt something about that. And I’m damn sure they did. It’s the shying away from that that I really object to.

            Money, power, the American Dream, it still might cost you your friends.

            That bit is skipped over here. And it shouldn’t be.

  • brenkilco

    Last weekend the box office was dominated by Luc Besson, Brett Ratner and a CGI cartoon sequel. And we’re going to dump on Martin Scorsese for being formulaic? Please.

  • klmn

    Anyone have this script?

    Please send to kenklmn AT yahoo dot com.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Brainiac138

    I remember there was a pilot script making its way around town a couple of years ago about Hollywood execs in the 70s, and it was definitely going for a ‘Mad Men of the West Coast’ vibe. Anyway, it had a very similar premise about a middle-aged exec who has begun to hate the industry that he fell in love with and sets out to the film schools to find the next big talent, but then a mysterious death occurs, secrets come out, and a lot of drugs are consumed. It wasn’t great, but it was obviously written by someone who knew a lot about the studio and agency system in the 70s.

    • Poe_Serling

      “…premise about a middle-aged exec who has begun to hate the industry that
      he fell in love with and sets out to the film schools to find the next
      big talent..”

      I don’t recall that one. But I do remember that producer Robert Evans was pushing his own TV pilot about the film industry during that same time period. It was loosely based on some of his own personal experiences as head of Paramount.

      “Set in the ’70s with a creative tone similar to Casino, it involves the last days before studios were taken over by conglomerates, when they were run by wily entrepreneurs, and where there was a mob influence, drugs, sex, excess, casting couches, and some of the best movies made in the 20th century. The protagonist is an outsider who against the odds rises to become a king in Hollywood in a tale of power, legacy, and the American dream.”

      • klmn

        There was a book written about the Cotton Club murder. Something about some drug dealer trying to get into the movie biz as a producer. I read it, but I’ve mostly forgotten it.

      • Brainiac138

        Yeah, what I read was definitely not this, but in the same ballpark.

        If I remember the show bible correctly, season one was going to focus on the discovery and fostering of film school talent, two about the pre-production of the film, three deals with production and post-production, and season four would be about the birth of the blockbluster.

        I can see why a Robert Evans series would have more traction, it would be insane, and probably mostly true.

        • Poe_Serling

          A few years back, I had the opportunity to hear Evans speak at one of those FadeIn pitching events. And yes, he’s a great storyteller… with a million Hollywood tales to tell.

  • andyjaxfl

    Anyone else think Cannavale was a tremendous villain on Boardwalk? I had no idea how any scene with him was going to play out… Bone for Tuna!

    • Sebastian Cornet

      I liked him only after the writers revealed his home life and all the abuse he takes from his wife and mother (or mother-in-law?). Before that he was too goofy violent in my book. I trusted Winter and staff, though, so I waited, and got, a reasonable explanation.

  • Poe_Serling

    OT: Just saw were former friend of SS, F. Scott Frazier, sold another spec yesterday.

    From the Hollywood Reporter:

    Universal has picked up Berliner, an action spy thriller from F. Scott Frazier for Chris Morgan to produce.

    The script is set in 1961 and centers on an agent from the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to today’s CIA) who is tracking an assassin targeting Americans.

    The script was sought after by several companies… Sources say the deal was preemtive in nature with the sale price being $400,000 against $750,000.

    Frazier is known for his action specs, among them Line of Sight, set up at Warners with Mike McCoy (Act of Valor) attached to direct. He also has Day One, a sci-fi thriller housed at Universal that first teamed him with Morgan.

    • Casper Chris

      Former friend? He’s an enemy now, or?

      • Poe_Serling

        Oh, nothing like that… I just meant that he used to be an occasional commenter on here back in the day.

  • Malibo Jackk

    That photo of Scorsese is amazzzz-ing.
    First he yanks down the kid’s jacket, then he gives Bobby a karate chop,
    knocking him back against the car.

    • Rzwan Cabani

      That sh*t made me spit up my coffee… LOL — Damn that was good (wiping tears).

  • fragglewriter

    This writer has a good track record so when I heard about this show a while back, I was curious about a new project with scorcese. Scorcese’s films might be predictable but I think the show would shine with the writer & director.

  • SinclareRose

    No article yet. :(
    I assume Carson’s preparing for the big premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One!

    • Poe_Serling

      Looks like he’s traveling today. Per his twitter acct:

      Today is Scorsese’s latest on HBO. And tomorrow I’m going to Porrrrt-land!

    • walker

      Oh man. If I wanted to see the same old thing I could have just opened Final Draft.

      • G.S.

        *rimshot*

    • IgorWasTaken

      The newsletter said today would be one of three – and that we should vote. But vote WHERE?

      Wednesday – YOU VOTE!

      So, Carson announced an eLection but then hid his poll?

      • Poe_Serling

        “…Carson announced an eLection but then hid his poll…”

        My guess – it’s in Porrrrt-land! ;-)

        • IgorWasTaken

          So he’s sexing an Oregonian with a speech impediment…?

  • klmn

    I finally got the chance to read this. It has a few good parts, but looks to be pretty mild. It drops the name of a few blues guys who were more interesting than anyone on the rock and roll scene.

    On p23 there is a mention of Skip James and Kokomo Arnold. James had the most tragic story of any performer I can think of. If you google his name, you can piece it together.

    And Arnold? He was fucked over in the thirties and retired from playing, taking a job in a steel mill. He was rediscovered during the sixties blues revival and had a chance to come back, but declined, preferring the steel mill.

    Arnold wrote the best lyric ever in the history of music. Also the most offensive and funniest. Listen for it in SISSYMAN BLUES/ at about 1:48 to 2:17.