Is today’s script a spiritual sequel to yesterday’s entry? They’re both about bubbles. As long as we’re on the topic, David Lynch should ditch Saliva Bubble and direct this. It would be EPIC!

It’s finally here! The culmination of Weird Scripts Week! On Monday you saw us deal with James Bond and robot sharks. On Tuesday, talking cows. On Wednesday we went into the mind of a man living his own musical. Yesterday’s script was about spit. But today is truly the pinnacle of weirdness. Get the drugs out and enjoy…

Genre: Biopic
Premise: I told you I was saving the craziest for last. How ‘bout a biopic of Michael Jackson told through the eyes of his chimpanzee, Bubbles!
About: This script went out earlier this year, and while it’s got about as much chance of getting made as Uwe Boll does helming a Star Wars movie, it wins the “Oh I’ve gotta read this” premise of the year award. While writer Isaac Adamson doesn’t have a legendary list of IMDB credits, he’s far from a stranger to Hollywood. His first novel, Tokyo Suckerpunch, has been in development for years at Sony. If Allan Loeb’s Collateral Beauty is ending up number 1 on this year’s Black List like everyone is telling me it will (I still haven’t read it – saving it for when I can relax and enjoy), my guess is that Bubbles ends up at number 2.
Writer: Isaac Adamson
Details: 122 pages

michael-jackson-wind-david-lloyd-glover

Isaac Adamson, I don’t know who you are. But you’re a genius, my friend.

This is one of those ideas you and your screenwriting friends come up with at 3 in the morning after a night of drinking, laugh uproariously about, then after the laughter’s died down, you proclaim, “No, but really, what if I ACTUALLY wrote it?” And then everyone laughs and says, “Yeah, you should TOTALLY write it.” “Oh my God. Yeah. That would be hilarious!”

And then the next morning through the foggy haze, before you’ve emptied your loose change on three Sausage McGriddles, you remember your crazy premise about telling Michael Jackson’s story through his chimpanzee’s point of view and you grimace and say, “Was I bananas??”

Isaac Adamson must have put down the McGriddles because he not only wrote it, he committed to it. And really, that’s the only way to do it. When you come up with a gimmick premise, you quickly find that there’s nothing to really say past page 15. You’ve introduced the gimmick. What’s left to do?

If you want to extend an idea like that into feature length, you have to embrace and treat the characters like real people, with real problems and real conflicts. And with the exception of Bubbles’ thoughtful meanderings, that’s exactly what Adamson does.

“Bubbles” opens up with a voice over from Bubbles himself. It’s present day and Bubbles lives in a cage along with a number of other animals. He’s not thrilled about it, but as he explains to us in the coming pages, he’s not sure he prefers his previous life either.

Flash back to 1985, the height of Michael Jackson’s fame. Michael has just come out with Thriller, the biggest album of all time! And he wants more. He wants his next album to do the impossible – to sell 100 million records.

He also doesn’t want to be alone during that journey. When you reach that kind of fame, it’s difficult to find friends. This is usually where your family comes in, but Michael’s family, particularly his evil father, Joe, is more interested in using Michael’s fame to jumpstart their own careers than support and love their son/brother.

So Michael buys a monkey! Whereas Michael is childlike and simplistic, Bubbles is a cross between an overly-educated Oxford graduate and a Roman philosopher. He ruminates about Michael’s life choices with such voice over lines as: “Should I have been alarmed that the notion of myself as sovereign provoked such laughter from The King? Or that seeing me festooned in the regal accouterments induced only befuddled discomfiture from these hirsute gentlemen of New Jersey?”

Michael and Bubbles become fast friends, and Bubbles takes pride in that a man who everyone refers to as “The King” has made him his prince. We follow the two through Michael’s struggles to make that impossible 100 million copy album, and during that time, Bubbles, too, becomes a celebrity (particularly in Japan).

But things start to change when Michael moves into Neverland Ranch, a place where he’s finally free of his blood-sucking family. Neverland brings with it many children, distracting Michael from Bubbles. And when one particular child, Jordan Chandler, becomes Michael’s best friend, Bubbles feels like he’s on the outs.

When Jordan’s father (who happens to be a screenwriter!) threatens to sue Michael for molesting his child, Michael’s kingdom, as well as his friendship with Bubbles, unwinds to a point where it can never be salvaged again.

Michael-Jackson

We always talk about how once you find your idea, or your subject, you need to find your angle. Your angle can take what’s, at face value, a generic idea, and bring it to life. I mean, imagine if this was just another Michael Jackson biopic. Adamson would be lucky if Lifetime requested it. By exploring Michael through the angle of his pet chimpanzee, we get a completely unique perspective of the pop star. What was once dull is now fresh. This was the first great choice Adamson made.

The second was to treat everybody here like real people. Once you treat your characters like real people, your reader will actually invest in them. This doesn’t work if you play everyone as a farce. This was my problem with yesterday’s script. Nobody in One Saliva Bubble was real. They were all goofy gimmicks, and therefore we could never get inside of them. For a short movie, gimmicks are fine. For a feature, though? If you’re going to ask someone to sit still for two hours? You need to give them something to invest in.

With that said, I was surprised how far Adamson went down this path. I was curious how he would treat the child molestation charges on Michael but he faces them head on – to the point where they’re the climax of the story (okay, that was unintended, I swear). And because we’d invested so much in Michael by this point – seen how everyone around him existed only to take advantage of him – we really cared about what happened next.

Bubbles the character is a mixed bag. His high-brow observations do get a little tedious at times, but more often than not, they’re fun. For example, when Michael leaves the house only to come back with bandages on his face, Bubbles assumes that his “King” must have gone off to battle, defending his kingdom and defeating his many foes.

And it’s not like he’s unconnected to the plot. His jealousy of the people who hang around Michael are what drive his actions, and it’s why (spoiler), in the end, he’s forced to leave Neverland Ranch.

My issues with “Bubbles” are tempered by the commitment to the idea, but I did have a problem with the script length. This is the kind of premise you want to get in and out of faster than a Hollywood and Vine escort. There’s an entire “Michael in the UK” section that Bubbles doesn’t even participate in that easily could’ve been excised.

I also wished there was more Joe. When you have any script that doesn’t fit nicely into a movie-like structure (which is the case with most biopics), a great villain can be a huge help. You get the audience so wound up about the antagonist and so obsessed with seeing his demise, that they don’t even notice the movie’s flying by. From everything I’ve read, Joe Jackson is a terrible person, especially to Michael. So I would’ve loved to have seen that conflict explored more.

This script will probably never sell and most definitely will never be made. But it does so much more. It shows Hollywood that you’re not afraid to think outside of the box. And while Hollywood loves its formulas, the people who work within it secretly pain for these new voices, for new ideas, for new angles. Those angles may never make it to the big screen, but those writers are admired and called upon again and again for potential writing assignments because they showed that they could go where other writers were too afraid to. So while Bubbles isn’t a perfect story, it’s perfect in its uniqueness, which is why I’d be an idiot not to call it impressive.

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

What I learned: As simplistic as this sounds, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this week, it’s that if you want to write something weird, utilizing animals in some unique way is a good place to start. Especially if you want to make the Black List, which thrives on celebrating weird stories. High-ranking Black List scripts The Beaver, The Muppet Man, and The Voices all focused on animals in some weird way. Add Bubbles to that list.

  • rodneybr23

    Honestly, I was expecting something much weirder. Like “The Lobster”. This premise isn’t too far off from “Look Who’s Talking Now”. But you’re right, this won’t get made. And even if it does, no way I would watch this.

    • carsonreeves1

      Oh man, I forgot about The Lobster. Yet another script based around animals though.

    • romer6

      I was also expecting “The Lobster” to get friday spot. Maybe Carson can review it some other time. I´d love to read about it some more.

  • S.C.

    I got this script but haven’t read it yet. Impressive? Wow!

    mr.scottcrawford @ hotmail

    Read the script and tell us what you think of it.

    • carsonreeves1

      I actually teared up at the end. That was all the proof I needed that it worked.

    • S.C.

      Reminds me of this spoof autobiography:

      http://www.listenerslibrary.co.za/covers/me_cheeta.jpg

    • Randy Williams

      I’m emailing you for the script. I want to see if Michael spanks his monkey.

    • klmn

      kenklmn AT yahoo dot com

      Thanks, Scott.

      • S.C.

        Sent!!

  • Maarten

    Carson,

    Off topic question:
    Can you do a book review of alan arkin: an improvised live

    This is a really great book inside the mind of the actor.
    You should read it or hear it ( got the audiobook version).

    • carsonreeves1

      I don’t usually do autobiography reviews. Is there anything about it in particular that would help writers, you think?

      • gonzorama

        Roger used to review books. That was a great addition to the script posts. Maybe a guest reviewer can do a book once in a while?

    • Midnight Luck

      Alan Arkin is amazing to me. He is just a genius. Brilliant and hilarious and yet so low key and subtle. Everything he is in I go see. And he always brings it.
      He lifted Argo into genius category. That movie was great, but with him it really shined.

      Haven’t read the book, but will definitely check it out.
      Thanks for the heads up!

  • Paul Schellens

    Finish on a high, or a tear in the eye!

    I haven’t been too excited about these weird scripts, but I’m feelin particularly motivated right now.

    Carson works in mysterious ways…

  • charliesb

    OT : BUT/THEREFORE

    I was reminded of a great quote from Trey Parker and Matt Stone about writing this week when I caught up on some EVERY FRAME A PAINTING VIDEOS. If you’re not watching these, I highly recommend it. We spend a lot of time watching videos that show us everything that is wrong with a movie, but it’s nice (and probably a lot more helpful) to watch someone point out what’s right.

    The specific thing I really liked in this video is the use of BUT & THEREFORE instead of THEN when crafting your narrative. It’s not a new idea, but maybe a nice reminder for the weekend.

    P.S. I would totally watch the shit out of this BUBBLES movie.

    • Levres de Sang

      Thanks for posting! I was initially lured in by F for Fake (a wonderful Orson Welles film), but stuck around for the neat analysis. Well worth watching.

  • Snowman Cometh

    I wasn’t a fan of Thriller. But, young Michael and the 5 were genius. I felt bad for Michael, and if you put Jackson against a picture of Disney’s Peter Pan, you can see where he was going with the surgery.

    I can’t even imagine how lonely it must have been for him. While I felt under the first accusations that he was a pedophile, I changed my mind after the arrest and trial. People are vultures and I guess that screenwriter felt more about getting cash than he did with justice for his child. Either way, who is worse?

    I wasn’t a fan, but when he passed it actually touched me as only people who I respect and admire have. He’s at peace.

  • S.C.
  • Poe_Serling

    Thanks for the today’s review, Carson… and quite an entertaining Weird Scripts Week aka Animal Planet Goes to the Movies (robot sharks, cows, and a primate).

    Writer Adamson also scored the No. 14 spot on last year’s Hit List. The project:

    How High the Moon

    “A young man inherits a ’57 Chevy from his eccentric, reclusive uncle that allows for a bizarre form of time travel and complications ensue when an entrepreneurial octogenarian
    decides to use this magical fountain of youth for her own selfish agenda.”

    • http://apairoftools.wordpress.com/ Sebastian Cornet

      Anybody says entrepreneurial octogenarian, and this lovely old lady comes to mind:

      • Poe_Serling

        I haven’t had the opportunity to watch very many episodes of Futurama – Is she the Monty Burns of that show?

        • IgorWasTaken

          Maybe more like Fat Tony.

        • http://apairoftools.wordpress.com/ Sebastian Cornet

          In that she is a greedy, materialistic megalomaniac, yes she would be. The beauty of the character is that she’s only like Burns in private. In public, she plays the part of cute, doting grandmother because that’s how she can sell her products.

          Same formula, different flavor basically :)

  • walker

    Like a few other commenters, I was expecting either Balls Out or The Lobster today. But it has been an interesting week, with the “what I learned” being that the writers basically used outrageous premises in an attempt to reenergize traditional story structures.

    • Nicholas J
      • walker

        Wow thanks for The Lobster. Could you recommend a nice Chardonnay?

    • IgorWasTaken

      Like a few other commenters, I was expecting either Balls Out or The Lobster today.

      I’m certainly glad this isn’t a restaurant review.

    • Mike.H

      I read BALLS OUT years ago, if memory serves, wasn’t that weird. It was a sensible read.

      • http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrismulligan/lunch-meat?ref=live Chris Mulligan

        That the Lebron biopic I’ve been hearing about?

  • klmn

    Does anyone have the script for Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie Grimsby?

    kenklmn AT yahoo dot com

    Thanks

    • S.C.

      No, just checked.

  • IgorWasTaken

     

    His first novel, Tokyo Suckerpunch, has been in development for years at Sony.

    vs. Sony Suckerpunch, about the N/ Korean e-mail hack?
     

  • klmn

    It’s an art house premise. I doubt if it would appeal to the Michael Jackson fan base, which is most of the world.

  • IgorWasTaken

    What I learned: As simplistic as this sounds, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this week, it’s that if you want to write something weird, utilizing animals in some unique way is a good place to start… The Beaver, The Muppet Man, and The Voices all focused on animals in some weird way.

    and Ted

    • klmn

      You’re probably better off writing a zombie script.

      • IgorWasTaken

        But I don’t even watch zombie movies.

        • klmn

          You don’t have to watch ‘em, just write ‘em.

          Grow up and sell out.

          • IgorWasTaken

            Selling out has never been a problem!

            I actually once had an idea for a zombie movie. But it seems there are certain genres that you just should not write unless you know the conventions. There was a discussion here recently about guns in scripts, about specifying them and doing that correctly. I’m all for that, but I think most readers will forgive you for naming the wrong Glock.

            OTOH, my sense is, if you write a zombie script and screw up a convention, that can be make the reader stop. Yes, you can change conventions in your script, but I think it’s one of those things: At least you need to know the convention, so you know you are breaking it.

          • Malibo Jackk

            You don’t need to be a zombie to write a zombie script.

            (Ok… I’m not sure about that.)

          • S.C.

            A zombie movie without zombies? (Been a long time since I’ve seen it.).

    • Randy Williams

      Maybe look into celebrities and their pets for inspiration? Didn’t Paris Hilton and her miniature dog, Tinkerbell give rise to “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and a host of look-a-likes in movies and TV? Justin Bieber and Johnny Depp had quarantine issues with their pets. Other celebs have exotic pets that often get into trouble as often as they do.

      • IgorWasTaken

        How about a painting of all of the pets sitting around a table playing poker.

        • klmn

          You need more than a painting. It should be a movie about pets playing poker. The cutest pet loses a bet he can’t pay off.

          Then the meanest pet extorts the cute pet to commit a crime. Pretty much a standard poker movie, but with animals.

          • Citizen M

            Title: SNIFF MY ASS

  • brenkilco

    It was clearly the best of the Star Trek movies. People can judge how high that bar was. Personally I always thought the script was a little hokey, with all the stuff about aging and sacrifice. The climax seemed lifted from some old submarine picture like The Enemy Below, And the wrap up probably only jerked tears from the faithful. Plus there was Montalban chewing scenery with his quotes and paraphrases from Melville. Shatner was chubby back then but was he a white whale?

    • Kirk Diggler

      It was a Star Trek film for the Star Trek faithful, which is what made it great FOR THEM. Star Trek TOS was always a little ‘theatrical’, always quoting Shakespeare and classic literature. It might come across as hokey to some, but this was part of the charm of the original tv show.

      As for lifting elements from classic submarine films like Run Silent Run Deep or whatever, I’m shocked! shocked I tell you!, to hear that a Hollywood director or writer may have borrowed something from an earlier film.

      Let’s hope it’s not a trend, people only want to see original content and Hollywood will soon go out of business if they keep stealing from each other. ;-0

      • Gregory Mandarano

        Love all the submarine talk. :-D

  • IgorWasTaken

    A key question about any script, as you read the opening pages – “What’s this story about?”

    This is a biopic. Which means Michael Jackson is the protagonist. Right? And on page 15, we learn his goal is to out-do Thriller; to create a new album that sells >100M copies.

    But Bubbles also has a goal, which we learn at the break into Act II, on page 28 –

            BUBBLES (V.O.)
    But by morning’s first light, I had
    resolved not to humbly submit to
    destiny. I would disdain fortune. I
    would rage against the prophecy
    through docility…
    [action/change location]
    …and assume steerage of my course
    through acquiescence.
    [action/change location]
    I would meanwhile redouble my
    nightly training regimen.
    [action/change location]
    And await the ideal moment to
    unleash my hard-won talents onto an
    unsuspecting world.

    And so if I have that right, the thing that drives the story into Act II is something protagonist Michael doesn’t know, something that doesn’t affect his story, and something he will never know. Or is that analysis wrong?

    So is Bubbles actually the protag? If not, ‘what’ is he as a character?

    Put another way, when the narrator is a character other than the protag, and when this narrator/character has his own arc, how do you describe that?

    Small item

    One cheat on page 1 (not that there’s anything wrong with it): How does the audience know that the opening V.O. is from the chimp on screen? The reader knows because BUBBLES is introduced and the V.O. says “BUBBLES”. But the writer skips the usual thing for the audience, “There I am…” or “That’s me. I’m Bubbles.”

    • Randy Williams

      The viewer wouldn’t really be sure, I think, until Bubbles takes that high perch on the jungle gym and exclaims that he is king in voice over and the connection is obvious.

  • Howie428

    I’ve not read this script, but it immediately strikes me as being the sort of thing that will work way better on paper than it does on screen. It has two huge obstacles to get over… Michael Jackson and a chimp.

    Audiences are very familiar with Jackson’s appearance, manner, and behavior. It’ll be tough for any movie to put that on screen in a way that’ll work. As if that isn’t awkward enough they also have to use a real chimp, a CGI chimp, or a mixture, and get all that to work as well.

    When we read something like this we are able to imagine the actual figures playing out the roles, so the practical issues fall aside.

    I know that biographies often work, but they are usually based on people who are less prominent to the current audience than Michael Jackson. They can show us the behind the curtain side of things, or the before and after they are famous. This script shows Jackson at the height of his fame, so it would be tough to depict without negative comparisons winning out.

    As a detail on the specifics, I’d ask which current actor can play this role? Thinking about it, the casting process would be fraught with difficulty. In principle the role should go to a young African American, but a reasonable case could be made for other ethnicities. I googled the question and it turns out that an Irish bookmaker had odds on possible options:

    http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/the-odds-on-who-will-play-michael-jackson-in-his-inevitable-biopic/

    4/1 Johnny Depp
    9/2 Zac Efron
    6/1 Usher
    6/1 Jaden Smith
    8/1 Will Smith
    8/1 Jamie Foxx
    10/1 Andre 3000
    12/1 Justin Timberlake
    12/1 Randy Jackson
    16/1 Crispin Glover
    16/1 Chris Brown
    20/1 Chris Tucker
    20/1 Jared Leto
    20/1 Adrian Grenier
    25/1 Derek Hough
    40/1 Denzel Washington
    40/1 Will.I.Am
    40/1 Eddie Murphy
    50/1 Kenny Wormald
    50/1 Pharell Williams
    80/1 Kevin Bacon
    100/1 Channing Tatum
    100/1 Keanu Reeves

    Given that they need mid-career Michael Jackson it seems like the favorite is Zac Efron, which seems to support the point that the number of viable options is narrow.

    • Howie428

      I’ve thought about it some more and the first person I’d screen-test for the role of Michael Jackson would be Lupita Nyong’o.

      • IgorWasTaken

        That’d make a great title: “Bubbles, with Lupita Nyong’o as Michael Jackson”

        Who wouldn’t open up that script?

      • wlubake

        Bruno Mars.

        • Howie428

          I can see that working. Give him the time slot after Lupita!

      • Citizen M

        The only person on Earth who looks remotely like Michael Jackson is his sister La Toya. Pity she’s already 59. She’d be perfect for the role.

  • Poe_Serling

    Here’s the logline that went out with the script when it hit the spec market. Courtesy of The Tracking Board.

    BUBBLES

    Logline: Now in an Florida habitat for apes, Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee Bubbles recounts his life spent by the King of Pop’s side and the unbreakable bond that they formed in this unique, tongue-in-cheek biopic told from the ape’s perspective.

    It almost gives me a classic crime saga vibe… just change a few words:

    Logline: Now in an Florida retirement home, a former co-hort of Jack “Legs” Diamond recounts his life spent by the notorious gangster’s side and the unbreakable bond that they formed in this unique, Prohibition-era biopic.

    • IgorWasTaken

      I can see why it’s presented that way, but is it actually a biopic of Bubbles? Seems to me that it is: It opens on Bubbles, it flashes back to his life with MJ, then it ends on Bubbles.

  • Midnight Luck

    This is probably too obvious

    but i think it should be a biopic from the perspective of his NOSE.

    what a rough life that must have been.

    or from the perspective of the skeleton of the ELEPHANT MAN kept who knows where in his castle (didn’t he buy it and have it in a sarcophagus in his house or something? maybe I am mixing up weird things with weird famous people).

    And why is he called “The King” when Elvis Presley had that moniker long before? Did he oust him as The King and took over the title?

    So do we now call TAYLOR SWIFT “The King” as I am pretty sure she as beaten all of Michael’s records by now, or doesn’t it work that way for women? can they not oust titles from men in the records biz?

    Anyhow, I am not sure if this is the pinnacle of “Weirdness” when it comes to scripts. I am sure quite a few others could be weirder.

    Speaking of freaking weird, I saw ALOHA and I have to say, the whole fact this was made and released and the fact it was an enormous pile of crap and edited in the worst and the most horrific and bizarrely terrible ways, is beyond one of the weirdest things i have ever seen.
    How can a fantastic writer and filmmaker turn out something so terrible it is like it came from someone else? It wanted to be another JERRY MAGUIRE, but with Space and Rockets and Jet Pilots, but instead it was like he took two (or three) different movies he was writing, threw all his index cards into the air, let them fall to the ground, pulled out 250 of the 500 cards he was using, and wrote the script in whatever order he picked up each card. It was so terrible i just can’t even find words, and it pissed me off so much, I have no idea what else to say.

    Bring back the great filmmaker who did SINGLES and SAY ANYTHING, and leave the one who did ALOHA and ELIZABETHTOWN.

    • Gregory Mandarano

      MJ was known as the King of Pop. Elvis was just The King.

      • klmn

        Elvis was known as The King of Rock and Roll.

        James Brown was The King of Soul

        And Elmore James was The King of The Slide Guitar.

        • Kirk Diggler

          and James Cameron was ‘King of the World’.

          • Midnight Luck

            And Kevin James is The King of Queens.

    • Kirk Diggler

      Did you get free movie passes or something? Or was it a bait and switch? Offered free flu shots and then suddenly you’re in a theater watching Aloha?

    • klmn

      Aretha Franklin is The Queen of Soul.

    • wlubake

      I feel Elizabethtown gets a bad rap. Mostly I think it suffered from casting Kirsten Dunst. There’s a good movie in there, though it’s hidden by the least authentic Kentucky accent I’ve ever heard. Plus, things that could come off as endearing given the right performer seem cheesy from her.

      • S.C.

        How DO people from Louisville pronounce Louisville? Anyone?

        • wlubake

          From my experience: Loo-a-vul.

    • DavydSC

      Thanks for the info on Aloha. I was going to give it a shot on $5 Tuesday but now maybe I won’t. Like you I was holding out hope for the great filmmaker who brought us Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous. I’ll always give Crowe a shot because of great films like those. But now me thinks I’ll pass.

      • Midnight Luck

        I would say with 99% certainty you would have serious troubles with it.
        It has consistency, editing, writing, well, all kinds of issues.

        It just doesn’t work in any sort of way.
        I would pass if I was you.
        Maybe give it a shot if it comes to TV for free at some point. Or if you really need to see it, rent it for $1 from redbox, or get it free from the Library.

        Yes, Say Anything, Almost Famous, and Jerry Maguire are some of the greatest movies ever. I am baffled how he can make those movies, and then make a movie like this as well.

  • BoSoxBoy

    And for the voice of the chimp…Steve Buscemi.

    • lonestarr357

      I think we’d all see that movie and anyone who says they wouldn’t is a damn, dirty liar.

  • Citizen M

    All in all, i thought it was a pretty good biopic. Choosing Bubbles as the narrator enabled a logical reason for selecting a limited but dramatic period in Michael’s life — from him on top of the world and trying to repeat the success of Thriller, to the molestation allegations and the closing of Neverland. Marriage and parenthood are still in the future as the script ends, mentioned only in a brief epilogue.

    I didn’t get Bubbles at all. Not why he speaks in a long-winded and stilted fashion, nor why he consider himself the heir-apparent to King Michael. There is never any conflict between them as to who is the alpha male, nor is it established through action that Bubbles wishes to be. I’d like to see him snarkier and more sarcastic; or maybe more animal-centric, comparing human life with animal life. At any rate, different from what he is now. Definitely he should be more entertaining.

    In fact, conflict is missing from most of the script. I thought the dialogue was really ordinary right until the final third of the script when the tone gets darker as things start going wrong for Michael and conflict enters his life, when the dialogue gets a bit more spark.

    Before that it was mainly routine factual biopic stuff, except for the scene where Bubbles parties with Bon Jovi in Japan which was really funny.

    That said, it’s well written and covers most of what I know of Michael Jackson in those years, like his changing appearance and color, family disputes, and wacky lifestyle. Telling the story from the chimp’s POV lifts a fairly ordinary biopic into the “interesting” category.

  • Levres de Sang

    Thank you for an interesting week, Carson! For me, the articles have contained several revealing insights into the craft and that’s a likely testimony to the nature of this ‘weird’ experiment.

    I also think it’s valuable to at least be conscious of the extremities — the places we could travel to with our writing. Chances are we’ll dial it back, but with the knowledge that we arrived at that place cognizant of the possibilities rather than by default.

  • Breezy

    The Michael art was the first thing I saw. And all I said was.. I knew it – Someone wrote a script about all the weirdest shit in Michael’s life and called it “Wacko Jacko”.
    How low can you go, I mean how sick can you be

    And how many bags of weed does it take to get through something like this…
    But then I scrolled up and saw “Bubbles”. Now that’s more like it!
    And here’s Mykahl being interviewed.
    Pixelation ahead.

  • Gojuice

    Off topic, but curious to what you think of Collateral Beauty, Carson. I definitely enjoyed it and was glad I went in knowing nothing of the story beyond what’s been posted in the trades.

    He does use this one device over and over that drives me crazy, which I’ve seen before in some scripts, used sparingly. Loeb does it almost every scene – at the end of the scene and before the next slug, he writes: we let that hang (referring to the last line of dialogue). I don’t particularly care about knocking or arguing over we versus not using it, and he can do whatever he wants, but that was asinine.

    • Citizen M

      “we let that hang” presumably means the dialogue bleeds into the next scene, which is the opposite of “pre-lap” where the next scene’s dialogue is heard over the preceding scene. I don’t know of a recognized term for it.

      • GoJuice

        Thanks! This is helpful. I thought it was just a different way to communicate BEAT. He does do the pre-lap on a couple of occasions, as well, so your explanation makes sense.

    • Tyler Givens

      Can you send me Collateral Beauty? Pretty please. tlrgivens@gmail.com

      • S.C.

        Sent!!!!!!!!!

        • Tyler Givens

          Got it! Thanks!!!!!

      • Gojuice

        S.C. is the man, as always. As of two or three days ago, it was online, as well. Search the title + reddit.

      • Kathyface

        Me too pllleeeeeaassseee?? kacharles11@gmail.com

  • DavydSC

    “Flash back to 1985, the height of Michael Jackson’s fame. Michael has just come out with Thriller, the biggest album of all time!”

    Not that I Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, and not that it matters unless you are a music history geek like I am, but Thriller was released in 1982. So by “has just come out with” you actually mean three years earlier.

  • bruckey

    bruckey@hotmail.com if anyone who has the script is in a generous mood.

    On the basis of the review I wonder is it best suited as a tv movie ?

  • S.C.

    Sent!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4290140/ Cal

    I’m really trolling hard for a good spec to read tonight. Even though ‘Bubbles’ landed on the top of the blacklist I still haven’t been able to bring myself to crack it open… I think I’ll have to be in the right mood for this one, preferably on copious amounts of ______