Rewriting A Film Made In 95



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  • Rewriting A Film Made In 95

    Hello how are you.
    As i have said a few times on here and other Message Boards i want to rewrite a film already done.
    If i do who do i have to contact the company who made it , the directed , writer ? Who ?

    If its from a novel do i contact them ?

    Please write back thankyou.

  • #2
    The studio that made the original probably owns the rights. Be prepared to pay them lots of money for the right to script a remake, unless they're already planning a remake -- in which case, they've probably already hired an established screenwriter.

    If you're just trying to break in, it's a bad idea to start with a remake of someone else's material. Especially of a movie that was only released in 1995; I can't imagine a studio wanting to remake a movie that's only six years old -- unless the original was a foreign film and was a big hit.

    You should start by writing something entirely original, a strong spec script that can attract interest from producers and agents. If, some years down the road, you're a really successful screenwriter with lots of connections, then you might let it be known that you'd like to remake this 1995 film and see if anyone's interested....


    • #3
      out of curiosity,

      what film?


      • #4
        Ah sorry i cant say what film it is.

        Also how much are we talking to buy the rights to make a remake.

        And no this isnt my first script either its my third.

        So please write back thanks.


        • #5
          ... if you've never written a script that's sold before, the next one you write, if it sells, will be your "first"

          I'd suggest against doing a remake of a 95 film...just why can't you say what it is?


          • #6
            Okay, it's your third script -- but have you sold any? Have any been produced? Are you an established, bankable screenwriter?

            With all due respect, TG, you shouldn't worry about saying what script you want to rewrite. It's unlikely that there are a lot of writers out there working to beat you to a rewrite of a 1995 movie.

            I was kidding about buying the rights to a movie from the studio that produced it. They might toy with the idea of selling the rights if they were sure they'd never do a remake or sequel themselves -- but since studios aren't in the business of selling the rights to their "backlist," they'd only do it if they could get a ton of money from you. Like millions of dollars.


            • #7
              Why can't you say what it is? You don't own the rights and it's not likely that you're competing with someone else to rewrite a 5-year-old movie. I can't see any writer slapping his head going, "I wish I thought of remaking that!"

              There are exceptions of course. Point of No Return (1993) was a remake of La Femme Nikita (1990), but the latter was a french film and the former was an American film.

              Dangerous Liasons (1988) and Valmont (1989) were both based on the same book --the former film was actually based on Chris Hampton's play Dangerous Liasons which was based on the book Dangerous Liasons.

              You can judge for yourself if the remakes in both of these examples are worthy of the originals and then think about the effort you want to expend.


              • #8
                1) You'd probably contact the studio (or producer if it was made independently).

                2) It's their property, so you'll have to buy it from them. Who knows what they'll want for it - but probably they'll want whatever they paid originally for the film rights to the book and all of the screenwriters they hired to work on it... expect to pay millions.

                3) But even if you paid the millions and wrote your script, a film made in 1995 isn't due for a remake... everyone still remembers it! Nobody would want to buy your script... there's already a film with that story! Now, if the film had been made in 1975, that would be a different story - there's a whole generation who never saw that film on the big screen... plus everyone in that film is wearing bell bottoms... so a studio would be interested in remaking it.

                4) But any film from 1975 that a studio is interested in remaking is probably already being explored. They OWN the rights, so they're probably working on a remake right now. Heck, we're getting a remake of 13 GHOSTS this month! That was a silly little B movie from the 60s!

                I had a meeting with Kopelson's company when they were at Fox. I pitched them a remake of a brilliant book made into an awful film (by Fox) 25 years ago. Nana's problem with the project was that the film SUCKED 25 years ago, so Fox had no interest in a remake. Even though the book won a ton of awards and was a best seller!

                Similarly, I had a meeting with a company at MGM and pitched a remake of KILLER ELITE. The novel is brilliant, the movie sucks (but made money). I found out that MGM is already working on a remake with an A list writer. The original made enough money that MGM was interested in remaking it... just not with some nobody like me as the writer.

                So you're kind of damned if it was a bad movie and damned if it was a good movie.

                Best bet is to find some completely forgotten hit from at least 25 years ago that is suddenly topical and pitch that...

                To pitch it you'll need a really hot spec that will get you studio meetings all over town. Are you getting studio meetings on the scripts you've written? If not, you need to write a script that opens those doors.

                - Bill