"Spec" Your Favorite Films

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  • "Spec" Your Favorite Films

    Let me try this again. I heard it said on a podcast as well. But basically the idea being that you want to write your own Halloween movie, but you don't own Michael Myers IP so you can either writer a sequel you can't sell or you can write your own version of Halloween and create a new slasher named Michelle Byers who kills people on Thanksgiving Dinner each year.

    Basically Star Wars was George Lucas making his own Flash Gordon. And Indiana Jones was because SS wanted to make a Bond movie... so basically when people talk about IP and wanting to write "their own MOVIE X" they should just be inspired by and create their own.

    I feel when people get stuck too, it's a great way to generate ideas. You love Goodfellas. Create your own version of that. Maybe it's Corky Romano. Or maybe it's The Sopranos.
    Last edited by Bono; 09-30-2021, 08:27 PM.

  • #2
    I have to respond first or no one will notice I edited this post.

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    • #3
      Mission: Impossible already stole my Bond pitch. They didn't literally steal it, but they did what I wanted to do: Bond is framed and must go on the lam with Q, Moneypenny, and M to clear his name (that's basically the plot of Ghost Protocol) while being hunted by a younger, hipper, stronger, and better version Bond (a bit like Henry Cavill in Fallout). Judging from the trailers, it looks like No Time to Die will be about an aging, declining, out-of-touch Bond finding a way to succeed one last time. Add it all up and my Bond movie is super dead. Every element that might have been unique has been used by now.

      The idea to write a variant of your favorite franchise could work and might lead to some fun new slants. The issue would be budget if you were doing your version of Bond, F&F, MCU, etc. Not impossible, but very hard to get a project like that off the ground without some kind of major IP anchor if you aren't Nolan or Cameron.

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      • #4
        A couple of years ago, in the wake of the atrocious new terminator movies I was putting some notes together for a idea with a provisional name of "NOT a terminator movie". It was basically what I wanted from a new Terminator movie (that wasn't a Terminator movie)

        Key was not mentioning any IP from the franchise - no skynet, no judgement day, not even terminators (technically speaking) and creating a substitute yet recognizable backstory. The simplest means of doing that I discovered was to start in a very naïve place where the protags knew "different things" so to speak

        In the end I had 15-20 pages that "tipped its hat" heavily at the original trio of movies (yeah I have no hate for "Rise of the machines") yet I believe could have survived a legal challenge for it's distinct differences. At best I might have had to put a "inspired by which in turn was inspired by" caveat. LMAO
        I heard the starting gun


        sigpic

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        • #5
          I think a key would be to make sure you are picking something that has been done a lot. For instance, slasher movie. So no matter what I"m "stealing from" there are 1000 movies. With Terminator, it's more specific, so it's harder to not be compared... And Ellison sued to get his name included in the credits, so it's already a franchise with baggage like that. Just like Jason Vorhees...

          I think Robocop was the writer trying to write his own Bladerunner? (Yes, I found it).

          https://www.newsweek.com/robocop-scr...versary-643502

          So something more along those lines.

          But I love Robocop, so I always wanted to write a comedy Robocop (it's on my list). But of course, I may have to make it like a Robot Dog instead, you know? Or make it a robot who is like Wall E, gets blown away and now is made into a killing machine. Who knows?



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          • #6
            I remember (vaguely) Pilar Alessandra had a podcast, after Evan Almighty came out in 2007, featuring one of the original writers of The Passion of the Ark, which was a bidding war in 2004 where the studio bought the spec and then converted it to a Bruce Almighty sequel titled "Evan Almighty." The seem to recall that after the film came out one of the writers of The Passion of the Ark made comments about their names not qualifying for any credit because it became a "sequel." Below it states that the original script was tossed completely, but wow what a way to make a splash. Granted, my recollection could be flawed. It's been a while.

            So, if you write a strong script it can lead to success even if you do not receive credit. So many different ways to break in.

            Screenplay[edit]


            The film's screenplay was originally titled The Passion of the Ark and was written by Bobby Florsheim and Josh Stolberg.[2] It became the subject of a seven-studio bidding war in April 2004. The script was sold to Sony Pictures in a deal worth $2,500,000 plus a percentage of the profits, a record for a spec script from previously unproduced writers.[3]Universal Studios immediately made a deal to co-produce the script with Sony and have Steve Oedekerk rewrite it into the sequel to Bruce Almighty. Steve Oedekerk had been involved with Bruce Almighty as an executive producer and co-writer of the screenplay (with Steve Koren and Mark O'Keefe, who wrote the story). The studio later discarded the original The Passion of the Ark script completely, and Oedekerk fashioned a new script from scratch (only he received final credit on the finished film as screenwriter). Jim Carrey was asked to reprise his role as Bruce in the sequel and, when he declined, director Tom Shadyac convinced Steve Carell to accept the leading role.[4] Shadyac, reflecting on the first film, stated "[Carell] delivered some of the funniest stuff in the movie. We thought, 'Why not take that character and spin him off into a different film?'"[1]
            "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
            Hollywood producer

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            • #7
              I remember (vaguely) Pilar Alessandra had a podcast, after Evan Almighty came out in 2007, featuring one of the original writers of The Passion of the Ark, which was a bidding war in 2004 where the studio bought the spec and then converted it to a Bruce Almighty sequel titled "Evan Almighty." The seem to recall that after the film came out one of the writers of The Passion of the Ark made comments about their names not qualifying for any credit because it became a "sequel." It was a 7 studio bidding war the resulted in a $2.5 million deal. Below it states that the original script was tossed completely, but wow what a way to make a splash. Granted, my recollection could be flawed. It's been a while.

              So, if you write a strong script it can lead to success even if you do not receive credit. So many different ways to break in.

              Below is a link to the information from Wikipedia.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evan_A...20April%202004
              "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
              Hollywood producer

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