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JawsAngelina JolieZacEfron

Female-driven stories made a good showing in September. Anthony Jaswinski sold two specs: May You Live in Interesting Times, an espionage action about a female assassin, based on a story by Jaswinski and Luke Goltz, and In the Deep, a suspense/thriller about a young woman stuck 20 yards offshore with a great white shark. Element Pictures optioned Laird Hunt’s novel Neverhome, a Mulan-esque story about a woman fighting for the Union, with Lenny Abrahamson attached to direct. The horror/thriller spec Scarecrow by Mike Scannell, in which a mother defends her daughters from a psychopath, is moving forward at Screen Gems and Unbroken Pictures. And finally, Mourning Glory has found Karen Leigh Hopkins (Because I Said So) to adapt Warren Adler’s black comedy about a single mother who attends funerals and hits on the rich, newly-widowed husbands.

Other script sales include:

- John Phillips’ Dirty Grandpa is moving forward with Zac Efron and Robert De Niro attached to star.

- Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code) has been brought on to Robert Ludlum’s The Janson Directive.

- 23 Jump Street, Top Gun 2, and CHiPs have all found new writers for the adaptations.

- The Salon.com article “The Craziest OkCupid Date Ever” to be adapted by Adam Brooks (Definitely, Maybe).

- Angelina Jolie producing/directing Africa by Eric Roth, a biopic about paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey.

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The Vault - Produced Scripts

Modern Family - Pilot

October 6, 2014

ModernFamily

Stylistically, Modern Family seemed to catch the tail end of the declining “documentary-style” format. Creatively, it’s held its place as one of the best sitcoms on television.

One can accredit this rather noble network tenure to a variety of factors, not the least of which is a well-assembled cast flirting with television hall-of-fame status. But when you circle back to the core appeal of Modern Family and its glimpse into presumably typical American households, you’re left with the writing. Not necessarily bold, by definition, nor risqué. Nor generic or cliché. It’s merely “there.” Unapologetic and ordinary. Humor in the pilot episode feels seamless without falling into the trap of many network comedies inclined to spell everything out (“We’re being different! Look, look!”) or forcing one-liners without purpose.

Maybe it does go back to style, the idea that we’re casual observers into the daily conflicts of three different families united only by blood relation. Like most single-cam sitcoms, it’s inevitably different than a multi-cam as far as look and feel, even comic timing. That fly-on-the-wall approach helping achieve the goal of relevance and realism. Yet it’s a great model for aspiring writers crafting any type of comedy intended to span generations—and proof that writing always outweighs concept. Groundbreaking? No. Grounded? Yes.

Read the Modern Family Pilot

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