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Hollywood got into the Halloween spirit this month, with several horror and thriller projects moving forward. Rob Zombie will direct his own script 31, a Most Dangerous Game-esque story with murderous clowns hunting carnival workers (what, you expected something else?). Sam Raimi producing A Man in the Dark, written by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues, in which teen burglars break into a psychopath's house. Comedian Jordan Peele sold Get Out, a horror script that focuses on the fears of being a modern black man, to Darko Entertainment. Radar Pictures picked up Travis Baker and Richard Tanne's spec horror/thriller Midnight. Shawn Levi will produce Andrew Barrer and Gabe Ferrari's spec Low Tide, and Original Film optioned Eric Heisserer's pitch Exposure, a supernatural thriller in the vein of The Ring.

Other script sales include:

- Emma Thompson has been tapped to rewrite Bridget Jones' Baby. Hopefully, things will work out better for Bridget than they did for Rosemary.

- Seth Grahame-Smith will write Lego Batman, a spinoff from The Lego Movie. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (the writer/directors of the first movie) will produce.

- Steve Pink and Jeff Morris sold their comedy pitch Cop Swap to MGM.

- Katie Dippold and Paul Feig to write the Ghostbusters remake/reboot.

- Peter Warren will write Thrill Ride, a horror-comedy based on an idea by Neighbors' Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien.

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The Vault - Produced Scripts

Collateral - Screenplay

November 5, 2014

collateral-poster

In a way, one of the more underrated, or at least slightly-less-than-discussed, screenplays in the genre. Collateral encompasses most every element you need--er, prefer--in an action/thriller. A ticking clock, high stakes, an innocent protagonist we can pull for, a "heartless" and dangerous villain. . . . Screenwriting 101, right?

But Stuart Beattie's script is a richly-layered psychological study of character (yes, really) as much as it is a popcorn crime tale. As the story behind the story goes, apparently Beattie came up with the idea, or at least the seeds of the idea, when he was 17. A classic "what if __?" scenario that developed into a treatment, followed by a script, and the final product, which apparently hardly resembles its original incarnation. A testament to the screenwriting process in itself, by the way--rare is it when a writer's first draft, or initial concept, sees the light of a projector.

When reading this draft, ignore the camera specifics and director notes and zero in on the plot, the structure, and how each character is developed in the first act. What's said and what's not said in dialogue, and how a reliance on action, on what we see and hear, push the story forward. Top-tier example of writing overall, and a script that should be considered one of the great thrillers of the modern era.

Read the Collateral Screenplay

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