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Script Pipeline

May 2019 Script Sales

By Script Sales

For this month in script sales, we start off with Voicemails for Isabelle. The romantic comedy spec, written by Leah McKendrick, was picked up by Escape Artists and Sony and follows a woman dating in Los Angeles. Sharon Maguire is in talks to direct, and Hailee Steinfeld will star. Next we have the suspense/horror spec Don’t Go in the Water, which was written by Peter Gaffney and found a home with Universal Pictures, 21 Laps Entertainment, and Lit Entertainment Group. The story follows an alcoholic in an isolated cabin who contends with a massive tentacled creature in the nearby lake and fights to survive. Other script sales: – Miss Universe found a home with, appropriately, Universal Pictures. Abe Forsythe’s script is described as Miss Congeniality meets Men in Black. Forsythe will direct, Lupita Nyong’o is set to produce and star. – Jane Campion is adapting Thomas Savage’s novel The Power…

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Big Little Lies – Pilot

By Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

Melodrama is perhaps the most derided genre there is. Often, critics use the word as a euphemism for entertainment with poorly written, on-the-nose dialogue and exaggerated emotions and performances. But when done right, melodrama draws audiences in and establishes an irresistible tone while exploring narratives with rich themes. Written by David E. Kelley from Liane Moriarty’s novella, Big Little Lies certainly has large emotions. At certain times, it feels like scenes exist solely for the murderers’ row of actresses (which includes—deep breath—Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, and Shailene Woodley) to chew every piece of scenery in sight. However, every emotion is grounded and true to character. The show’s central characters—later dubbed the “Monterey Five” in season two—each has her own issues and conflicts to work through, including rape, spousal abuse, and bullying. Big Little Lies deals with these themes sensitively and insightfully, elevating what could have been…

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“Child’s Play” Written by Script Pipeline Contest Winner

By Slider

Winner of the 2011 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition with his screenplay Henchman, Tyler Burton Smith’s career has soared in recent years, most recently with the Child’s Play reboot starring Aubrey Plaza and Mark Hamill. Previously, Tyler worked with Gil Kenan (Poltergeist) on an adaptation of the popular video game Five Nights at Freddy’s and co-wrote Kung Fury 2 with David Sandberg, the original creator of the Kung Fury short. The film wraps production in 2019 and stars Michael Fassbender, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eiza Gonzalez.

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April 2019 Script Sales

By Script Sales

With most of the WGA having fired their agents, things slowed down a little in terms of script sales. Red Wagon Pictures and Sony Pictures have scooped Thomas O’Donnell’s spec I Heart Murder, a female-driven horror crime/thriller. Meanwhile, Lionsgate and Temple Hill Productions have picked up Matt Lieberman’s comedy spec Meet the MacHines. The story follows two robots who try to find a family for their recently deceased creator’s son as they to blend in modern suburbia. Good Fear, BRON Studios, and Kituufu Films have picked up Sabrina. The script, written by Kristen Buckley, tells the true story of Sabrina Greenlee, single mother to four children (including NFL wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins) who was attacked and left for dead but nevertheless persevered. Sam Bailey will direct. John Wikstrom’s 2018 Black List thriller AMA (Ask Me Anything) found a home with Assemble Media. Zelda Williams will direct. Other script sales: –…

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The Favourite – Screenplay

By Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

Perhaps the biggest surprise at this year’s Oscars was Olivia Colman taking the Best Actress trophy. In the lead up, most pundits assumed the competition was between Lady Gaga and perennial nominee Glenn Close, but Colman managed to swoop in and nab the prize. It was an unexpected moment, but one that was incredibly well-deserved. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite takes historical figure Anne, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and uses her life to craft a compelling story of loss, romance, and the pursuit of power. Davis and McNamara place Anne at the center of a love triangle as Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz), and Sarah’s estranged cousin Abigail Hill (Emma Stone) compete to curry Anne’s favor. Sarah is the Queen’s current “favourite”—she’s Anne’s righthand woman and also lover, and Abigail envies her for it. What pursues is a…

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March 2019 Script Sales

By Script Sales

Paramount Pictures and Temple Hill Productions won out in a bidding war for Kay Oyegun’s comedy spec Assisted Living. The story follows a thief who hides out from her old crew in a retirement home. Entertainment One and The Picture Co. picked up the sci-fi/thriller Out There. Ian Levy’s spec follows a family fighting to survive after a mysterious event changes the world. David Bruckner is attached to direct. Finally, Zach Baylin’s King Richard, a spec based on Richard Williams’ efforts to bring his daughters Venus and Serena to tennis superstardom, found a home with Star Thrower Entertainment and Overbrook Entertainment. Will Smith is attached to star and produce. Other script sales: – Sony picked up Derek Kolstad and Gerard McMurray’s pitch Booker, described as a John Wick-esque thriller with an African American lead. – Ian Nelms and Eshom Nelms are set to adapt Carol Burnett’s memoir Carrie And Me…

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Screenplay

By Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

It’s always nice when the Oscars get it right. It doesn’t happen every time, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s Best Animated Feature win was incredibly well-deserved—it was one of last year’s best movies, animated or live-action. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman and written by Phil Lord and Rothman, and based on Marvel’s Spider-Verse comics, the story follows Miles Morales as he explores his nascent spidey-powers after (spoiler) Peter Parker’s death and helps other Spider-People from elsewhere in the multiverse return to their respective universes. One issue superhero movies can run into is stakes. Unless, for example, Chris Evans wants to retire from the role, you’re not gonna see Captain America die (apologies for the potential Avengers: Endgame spoiler). So it’s necessary for writers and directors to include compelling relationships for the hero to raise the stakes. In Into the Spider-Verse, Miles’ relationships with his father and…

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The Other Two – Pilot

By Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

Perhaps the most important element for every television show is concept. Unlike movies, television shows need to convince audiences not only to watch the pilot but also to watch two or three or more seasons. This means combining a high-concept premise with compelling characters. Breaking Bad had that “wow” factor, as did stuff as diverse as Weeds, The Wire, and Killing Eve. But perhaps my favorite recent example is The Other Two. Here’s the premise in a nutshell: Imagine a teenager who becomes famous overnight after his Youtube music video goes viral (not unlike Justin Bieber). The show isn’t about him; it’s about his two older siblings, who are well into their late twenties and are not even remotely successful. It’s about them—the “other two.” Written by Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, the pilot’s teaser does an excellent job depicting that disparity. The show opens with 13-year-old sensation Chase Dubek…

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February 2019 Script Sales

By Script Sales

Spenser Cohen’s spec Distant found a home with Amblin Partners, Automatik Entertainment, and Six Foot Turkey Productions. The sci-fi/romance follows a miner who has crash-landed on a hostile alien planet and must rescue the only other survivor, a woman trapped in an escape pod, as they run out of oxygen. We’re sure the movie will leave us breathless. Universal Pictures picked up Chris Borrelli’s action/thriller spec, which will be directed by Simon Crane. Although details are being kept under wraps, this marks Crane’s directorial debut after an impressive career as a stunt coordinator (credits include Salt, World War Z, and Edge of Tomorrow). Finally, Paramount Pictures and LuckyChap Entertainment are moving forward with Big Gay Jamboree, written by Jonathan Parks-Ramage and Maria Mindelle. The musical follows a raunchy woman who finds herself stuck in a 1940’s musical, sort of like Isn’t It Romantic? meets Judy Garland. Margot Robbie is set…

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Script Pipeline Named a Top Contest by No Film School

By Press

No Film School listed Script Pipeline as one of the top 5 screenwriting competitions worldwide. Previous Script Pipeline winner Evan Daugherty, who was introduced to management by Pipeline execs, sold Snow White and the Huntsman to Universal in one of the biggest spec sales of all-time. The success reverberated throughout the industry soon after and helped other contests gain more traction and legitimacy with producers. Read the full list of top screenwriting competitions here. Submit to the Screenwriting Competition Submit to the TV Writing Competition  

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January 2019 Script Sales

By Script Sales

January was unfortunately a lighter month for script sales (you can blame holiday recovery and Sundance for that), so here’s a list of the most notable stories: – Unburdened Entertainment and SB Projects have tapped Alyssa Hill to adapt Elaine Brown’s memoir A Taste of Power. The story follows Brown’s time as the first and only female leader of the Black Panthers from 1974–77. – Lisa Joy (Westworld) is set to direct Reminiscence from her 2013 Black List screenplay. Her Westworld co-creator Jonathan Nolan is set to produce. – Universal Pictures optioned Kim Liggett’s novel The Grace Year, set to be published this fall. Elizabeth Banks is set to direct. – Pete Davidson, Judd Apatow, and Dave Sirus’s untitled comedy script has been picked up by Universal and Apatow Productions. Based on Davidson’s own life, the film is set to star Davidson and will be directed by Apatow. – Amblin…

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Russian Doll – Pilot

By Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

When it was released in 1993, Groundhog Day became a critical and commercial success, but its real legacy is its narrative. In the years since, countless movies and TV shows have played with the temporal loop structure Groundhog Day helped establish, in such diverse works as Edge of Tomorrow, Happy Death Day, Run, Lola, Run and at least one episode of nearly every sci-fi show the last two decades. The second most-recent example (barely beat out by Happy Death Day 2U—now in theaters!) is also the one that best exploits the premise from a thematic and philosophical perspective. Created by Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, and Amy Poehler, Russian Doll takes the basic Groundhog Day premise and exploits it for all the existential dread it can muster. Although ostensibly a comedy (there are plenty of laughs to be had at the expense of NYC hipsters and with the dark comedy death…

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Script Pipeline Co-Produced Short Wins Best Screenplay in 2018 Brooklyn Film Festival

By Slider

Biophilia, co-produced by Script Pipeline, won the Best Screenplay award at the 2018 Brooklyn Film Festival. Written and directed by Marina Michelson, the short is “inspired by the effects of the 2008 recession” and serves as a commentary, in part, on self-reliance and our intimate connections to nature. The story: “Rachel, a former Brooklynite, has persuaded her boyfriend to take a stab at farming on his family’s abandoned sheep ranch. But the dream of self-reliance reveals itself to be a harsher reality and strains their relationship. When a sheep dies under their watch, Rachel becomes determined to deal with the remains and in doing so, prove her worth.” Biophilia was also accepted to three other festivals in North America. View the trailer. Read Marina’s interview with Women & Film and Film Pipeline. Follow: Facebook | Instagram

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