It's the Return of the Son of the Really Bad Movie, Part IV.
Yes, the screenplay is back. Last night I met with one of the producers and he's getting feedback on the script. Seems there are some problems. But before we get to what's wrong, let's take a look at how we got here.
This screenplay was born out of a strong desire to make a buck. The guy with the start-up money is an orthodontist who self-published a novel he wanted to see turned into a film.
I read the novel and met with the producers.
CUE Wayback SFX. FADE UP on earlier meeting.
There is nothing for the protagonist to do.
Make something up.
But this isn't the good guy's story.
It's the bad guy's story.
We have to keep the good guy.
But there's nothing for him to do.
It would be better to dump the good guy
and write the bad guy's story.
The orthodontist sees himself as the
good guy character and he's writing the checks.
FADE UP on present day angst.
VO: That was almost a year ago. I built the good guy into a love triangle with the bad guy's wife and it worked better than anyone expected. I still struggled to give the good guy something to do besides pine hopelessly for his lost love in the first two acts, but in the third he sprang into action and saved the day.
Now the feedback from distributors and possible directors is coming in and guess what? They want to dump the good guy because it's really the bad guy's story.
There's little money left for a rewrite. I could get points, but really, what's the point? And to fix this script I would have to dump 30 pages of the screenplay and come up with an entirely new subplot.
And I would have to stop working on my book. That would mean another long delay in a ms that is already 12 months behind schedule. That's not good.
So, I'm asking for advice. Do I squeeze a few extra bucks out of this turkey and write what might actually become a decent script? Or do I punt this thing into the cheap seats and move on with the work that is closer to my heart than my wallet.
I promised the producers I'd think about this.
(I posted this yesterday over at my place, but as some of you don't read A Dark Planet, a shocking fact in itself, I thought I'd cross-post this to get a range of views.)