Friday, May 21, 2010

Good Script Gone Bad

A common question that comes up in my line of work:  after watching a movie, someone will ask, "How in the world did that script get made into a movie?"

There are many answers, in many colorful varieties.  Sometimes it is the writer, or the re-writers, or the development process.

Sometimes it's hiring a bad director, or a bad cast.

And sometimes, sadly, it's because a good director or good actor got hired.

Here's a case study of how the script Nottingham went from being the hottest script in town to the drab movie called Robin Hood:

A summary.

The long version.

A lot can happen after a production starts moving.  Puts me in mind of another recent movie.

Script got greenlit -- everyone very excited.

Big star hired to play the lead (a very good actor), everyone more excited.

Big star decides he wants to play a side character instead of lead.  Been done - think Arnold turning down the lead in Terminator so he could play the villain.  Everyone still excited.

Big star decides the side character's part is too small.  Rewrites commence, making the side character into a co-lead character.  Everyone starts to worry a little bit.

Big star's part overshadows the original lead part, everyone starts to wonder what the movie is about.

Movie is made, as is the decision to put all emphasis on big star, making original lead more or less a subplot. Sorta.  Everyone wondering why they were so excited at the start of the project.

Movie comes out, critics bash it in part because the main story was kinda boring compared to the subplot (the original main plot) which, according to the critics, should have been its own movie.  Everyone blames the writer.

And the circle of life goes on...

Just my thoughts,


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