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Script Pipeline

July 2018 Script Sales

By | Script Sales

July was a slower month for script sales. David M. Crabtree’s script Plane has found a home at Mandalay Pictures. The thriller follows a traveling salesman who is trapped alone in a small airborne plane after the pilot dies. John Moore (Behind Enemy LinesA Good Day to Die Hard) is set to direct. Twentieth Century Fox is moving forward with the comedy Stoned Alone, an adult version of Home Alone that follows a stoner who misses his flight and must deal with thieves inside his home. Kevin Burrows and Matt Mider are on the script, based off an idea from Fox’s Matt Reilly. Ryan Reynolds will produce, and Augustine Frizzell will direct. Screen Gems and Brownstone Productions have picked up Savion Einstein’s comedy Superfecundation, which is a rare situation that occurs when twins have two different fathers. Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman will produce. Makeready, Hillman Grad Productions, and De La Revolución Films will produce Lena Waithe’s crime thriller Queen & Slim. Based on an idea by James Frey, with a story by Waithe, Andrew Coles, Michelle Knudsen and Frey, the story follows a black couple on a first date who kill a police officer in self-defense and have to flee to Cuba. Melina Matsoukas will direct, and Daniel Kaluuya will star.

Other script sales:

– Erin Cressida Wilson has been tapped to write the Indecent Proposal adaptation/remake for Paramount. The 1993 film was written by Amy Holden Jones and based on the novel by Jack Engelhard.

– Patrick Ness will write a Rumpelstiltskin movie for Sony. Peter Dinklage is set to star and produce.

– Disney has picked up Ola Shokunbi and Lindsey Reed Palmer’s pitch Sadé. The film will follow a young African girl named Sadé who accepts her newly discovered magical warrior powers to protect herself and her people, and Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) will produce.

– Liz Hannah and Jennifer Niven are adapting Niven’s YA novel All the Bright Places for The Mazur/Kaplan Company and Echo Lake Productions. Brett Haley will direct, and Justice Smith and Elle Fanning are set to star.

– Michael Younesi to write/direct the family adventure MakerForce 5 for Studio71.  The story follows five kids who band together to fight off a mysterious invasion that happens after all of their town’s parents suddenly disappear.

–  Focus Features and Carnival Films & Television are teaming for the Downton Abbey movie, to be written by series creator Julian Fellows and directed by Brian Percival.

A Quiet Place – Screenplay

By | Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

There’s no way around it: To make an effective horror or thriller movie, you need tension. Lots of it. (You also need characters the audience will care about, but that should be a given for any screenplay.) One of the classic horror set pieces is the killer stalking a potential victim, who then hides in the closet or in the bathroom or under the bed and struggles not to make a single sound. Dozens of movies probably just popped into your mind with that brief description. But what if that classic horror moment became the premise of an entire feature?

A Quiet Place, written by Bryan Woods & Scott Beck and John Krasinski and directed by Krasinski, makes that premise a reality. In the near future, Earth has been attacked by extraterrestrials and most of the world’s population has been wiped out. The catch? These aliens have ultra-sensitive hearing, so if you’re too loud—well, good luck with that. The result is ninety of the tensest minutes in film history. Suffice it to say, there’s a reason this movie became a surprise hit upon its release. (It holds 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and 84/100 on Metacritic, and it made over $300 million on a $20 million budget.)

One of the screenplay’s greatest assets is its willingness to ask what’s the worst that could happen. The answer: Make one of the main characters pregnant and have her go into labor early. How many birth scenes have you seen on film? And how many of them feature a woman who has to remain absolutely quiet or else face certain death? Yeah…. And it doesn’t help that once the baby’s born, all the newborn wants to do is cry.

Although this draft of the script is an earlier one (this draft is Woods and Beck’s spec script that caught Krasinski’s attention), the bones are all there. It’s a quick, electric read—because the story necessitates it, the script lacks much dialogue, so it comes in at a brisk 67 pages. It’s easy to see how the script attracted Krasinski in the first place, and why Emily Blunt (Krasinski’s real-life wife) agreed to star in it with him.

In recent years, horror movies have experienced a strong creative resurgence (see Get Out, Hereditary, Annihilation, and the Unfriended movies for some of the most recent ones). A Quiet Place undoubtedly earns a place on that list and will surely go down as bonafide classic in the genre. Read the script and see the movie. It’s a masterclass in effective cinematic tension.

Read A Quiet Place‘s Script

Script Pipeline Contest Winner “Standoff” Premieres at 2018 Toronto Film Festival

By | Slider, Success Stories

Henry Dunham’s The Standoff at Sparrow Creek wrapped production in 2018 with an ensemble cast featuring James Badge Dale (Rubicon), Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker), Happy Anderson (Mindhunter), Robert Armayo (Game of Thrones), and Gene Jones (The Hateful Eight). Dallas Sonnier, Jonathan Brownlee, and Amanda Presmyk producing. Dunham is making his feature directorial debut, and the film will premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

The project, originally titled Militia, won the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition. Henry was connected with representation less than a month after contest results were announced, signing with Pipeline industry partner Madhouse Entertainment.

“Without the momentum my win gave me, I don’t know where my screenplay would be. I owe Script Pipeline for everything.”
– Henry Dunham (writer/director, The Standoff at Sparrow Creek)

The script was a unanimous pick amongst Script Pipeline staff for top honors. Both CEO Chad Clough and Senior Executive Matt Joseph Misetich pegged the screenplay as a fresh, relevant spin on the genre, and an “unquestionably strong calling card” for the up-and-coming Dunham.

“Couldn’t be happier for Henry,” said Misetich. “One of the most astute young writers I’ve met. He has such an incredible head start now. . . . Looking forward to seeing his career evolve in the years to come.”

Read Henry’s Script Pipeline interview