Monday, February 22, 2010

Flawless Logic and Lawless Logic

Finally picked up the DVD of “Law Abiding Citizen” and screened it last night. I can only imagine the development meetings behind this gem.

Okay people we don’t have much time to act. I just got word that both Gerald Butler and Jamie Foxx are available to star in our next Wasted Talent Production. Of course the script doesn't yet exist, but that has never stopped us before. We have to get something, anything for them or we lose our window of opportunity. What do we have in the slush pile?
Remember that western written for Lee Marvin after "Cat Ballou?" I think it was called “When Billy met Jesse." It’s about the years Billy the Kid rode with Jesse James when both were scouting for Custer. I guess we can make one of them black. The original writer left the business or shot himself or became a doctor.
Who's Lee Marvin? Maybe this has potential -- and we do have a bunch of Native Americans still on contract from the "Dancing with Wolves" sequel we optioned back in the previous century. Check to see if we’ve placed it in turnaround yet. On second thought, westerns don't appeal to the young unless we can attach vampires and video games somewhere. Kids today have no understanding of history.
I read a script during my last stint in rehab that has two lesbian detectives working out of Cleveland, Georgia going undercover to break up a white supremacy ring that deals crystal meth. We could get some A-list writer to do a quick touch up and pitch it to their reps. You know like a "Bad Boys" type thing.
I got this great script called "Boyd and Lloyd" about two gay guys who battle each other in court to adopt this kid from Tibet who might or might not be a reincarnated god. Hijinks ensue throughout. Doesn’t Jackie Chan have a kid we could use here? Maybe we can get Gary Marshall to play the judge?
Don’t both of these guys sing and dance? I know that musicals aren’t in right now because of "Nine," but I read a couple of blogs that explained "Nine" tanked because it was about a bunch of foreigners. Let me check to see who has the film rights to that Huck Finn musical written by Glenn Miller. I remember from my Spark Notes reading that there are both white and black characters.

Butler might be too young to play Finn. Doesn’t Finn always scream out the word "mendacity" at his son Brick? I hate it when writers use big words unless they're English and it's a show for PBS. Anyway, wasn’t "Showboat" about guys floating down the Mississippi? It might work for our bottom line. Let’s check the tax credits for all the states that the river flows through. Better yet, see if we can borrow Cameron's green screen.
Science fiction is hot right now. Maybe we can do an updated version of "Alien Nation" or some other kind of buddy film set in outer space. I’ll post a log line on some bulletin boards over at UCLA and USC. Some student has to have a script like that lying around.
I’m just vamping here, but how about if we throw away Butler’s singing ability and his good looks and make him a crazed serial killer. He works as a brain for the CIA so he knows everything and can build the Panama Canal in his living room using tin foil and margarine if he needs to. But his family gets killed in a bungled home invasion, although we really don’t know why his place was picked and it is only the catalyst for the entire movie reprisal motif. Am I using the word "motif" correctly? Butler’s character is so smart that he spends 10 years planning his revenge on all the lawyers who helped get one of the bad guys off. He sets car bombs, murders a judge with an exploding cell phone, and buries someone with just the right amount of oxygen pumping into his nose to keep him alive until 30 seconds before rescue. Butler's character has accumulated enough C4 to rival Blackwater -- or maybe that's where he buys it all from. He digs into a maximum security prison by himself and knows exactly which cell in solitary will be his after he kills his prison bunk mate. And he goes in and out of prison without anyone suspecting anything even though he is on 24-hour lockdown.

We make Foxx an obsessed hot shot prosecutor who is married to a beautiful woman and has a cello-playing daughter to whome he pays very little attention. In fact, let's make sure no pianos are around for him at all. Viewers might then ask questions about why he isn't playing duets with his kid. We have Butler’s character go after Foxx’s character when all the other characters relevant to the case are killed in extreme ways. The audience will believe Butler has a partner on the outside but the surprise is he doesn't. It's like "Saw" meets "Phantom of the Opera," except no one sings anything. Maybe over end credits Butler and Foxx can perform an old standard like "Me and My Shadow" -- unless you guys think that might have some racial overtones attached to it. We can set it in Philly because that’s where I come from and I can visit my folks on the production’s dime. And…
Enough. I love it. Tight. Concise. Energetic. That’s why I hire kids with math degrees. You guys put everything down so logically, and I don't even need to understand the difference between algebra and trigonometry. Okay, we’re shooting next week. Where’s the rewrite already?

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