(Video) Interstellar: How a Screenwriter and a Physicist Teamed Up to Write a Blockbuster

My god, I love this. Interstellar‘s Jonathan Nolan (which he co-wrote with Christopher Nolan) explains the process of working with a physicist on a science-fiction screenplay. If Han Zimmer’s score, Matthew McConaughey’s voice, and Hoyte van Hoytema’s cinematography doesn’t inspire you to make good art, then clearly I can’t help you.

Kick-Ass — single drama review

Kick-Ass
By Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn.

I don’t think if I’ve ever felt more deceived watching a motion picture than I did by the end of Kick-Ass. Which is a shame, because the first half of Kick-Ass is a delightful film. Not a great film, no. But it’s still a good time. We begin with David Lezewski in an almost self-aware teen film that’s so clichéd it’s actually pretty impressive. But it does so to establish the world of Kick-Ass, even if there’s a bit too much narration.

By the half-way point, Kick-Ass feels like Not Another Teen Movie (Mike BenderAdam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson ,Phil Beauman and Buddy Johnson) with the presence of Kick-Ass being the twist. Whereas Spider-Man (David Koepp) shows us that Peter Parker’s a teenager while being a masked vigilante, Kick-Ass takes place from that teen-genre-half of the dualist world present in all superhero films, rather than zero-ing in on the superhero aspect itself. Which is a relief, for reasons we discover in the second half, as the Kick-Ass character, and that half of the story, is not a pleasant film at all.

Imagine if The Dark Knight (Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan) suddenly decided to become a quirky comedy just as things are getting interesting. Because that’s effectively what’s going on here.

When it started, Kick-Ass was an original genre-twist, because it was about the way society would react to a real superhero. That’s the unique selling point of Kick-Ass, and makes it different from other superhero films that focus so-much on the character to the point of diluting everything else. But no, this is about the other people that aren’t superheroes, including those who’d try to mimic it. But after about an hour, Kick-Ass turns into something so desperate to be a “real” superhero film, so eager to be like the others, that it becomes not just generic, but patronising to anyone who was enjoying the fun originality of what it was.

It’s almost as if director Vaughn only wanted to spend an hour establishing the world and its characters in such detail just so he didn’t have to worry about it later. Because once we get past that, the tone shifts so suddenly that it turns into an impotent impersonator of other comic book adaptations. The grittiness, the darkness and overall tone is completely inconsistent with what’s come before that I felt a victim of the ol’ bait-and-switch. And the worst thing about that is that it makes no sense, because it comes across as being ashamed of itself. The best part of the film, which is a different take on a common genre, is the part it doesn’t like about itself. But when Kick-Ass was doing that, it didn’t come across at all. It felt natural, and confident. And yet, when it pulls the rug under your feet, you can tell. You’re aware of it. And what follows is a gratuitous montage of the most disturbing images possible – Nicolas Cage burning in close-up, for instance. A man being crushed in a car compactor in an unbroken shot. The kind of thing that legendary action director Matthew Vaughn loves. But what I find it totally objectionable is that it wasn’t honest. It wasn’t prepared to be that straight away. Instead, it wanted to make you believe you were watching a completely film before throwing that it and “coming out” as the very thing it was intelligently satirising. Its comedy is cannibalistic, it’s style its self-consuming, and all of that results in on overblown finale that implodes the narrative.

I might not mind if it were a natural transition. But that sudden “kink!” is so tangible, so forced, so mishandled, that it’s – intentionally or otherwise – manipulative to the audience. And I reject it on that basis.

Feature film’s future

Recently, a lot of debate’s arisen over the state of modern cinema and whether it can provide the kind of quality people are prepared to pay for and sit in an auditorium with other people.

Personally, I find this is still the best way to watch a feature for numerous reasons. Mainly because doing it alone is still fun, but it’s even better when there are other people involved. It’s a better way to gauge the reaction from the audience, and if a film’s good, you find yourself feeling it together. And that’s what cinema has the power to do; bring people together.

Gone With the Wind is the highest-grossing film when adjusted for inflation, meaning that it’s the feature film people were most interested in seeing. To this day, no other feature has beaten the number of tickets sold. But that was 1939, and the industry’s moved-on since then. Now, cinema has to compete with television and videogames. Nobody expected videogames to become popular enough to legitimately challenge entertainment consumers’ attentions. Within three days of release, Grand Theft Auto V became the highest-selling and fastest-selling entertainment product. And that was only two years ago. Television is also now a legitimate threat; Games of the XXIX Olympiad is officially the highest-rated television broadcast, with an estimated peak of five billion viewers – nearly seventy percent of Humanity. Compare that with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs Manny Pacquiao, which became the highest-grossing pay-per-view television event, to the point that Avengers: age of Ultron, the fourth highest-grossing feature film of all time and third highest-grossing feature film of 2015, opened to less numbers than expected because of the audience divide caused by television.

So what’s to be done? Is the public going to be divided into those that game, watch television or go to cinemas? Will cinema become less of the phenomenon that it once was, and now becomes smaller compared to the competitive media? The answer to that is to be determined by whether cinema can be innovative than those other three. Whereas before different distributors and feature films would compete with each-other for what would generate the highest opening weekend, cinema itself is if anything united by the other media it needs to compete against. Cinema needs to offer something videogames and television cannot, or… television and video games themselves.

My local cinema allows customers to book console parties, where they can bring a games console and a video-game and play on the big screen. And it’s been announced that Sherlock Special will be livestreamed in cinemas worldwide. But it’s more than that. People are no longer able to just experience feature films, television and video-games in cinemas, because cinema is adapting those things into feature films. This April, Focus Features brings us Ratchet & Clank, based on the PlayStation 2 video-game Ratchet & Clank. And this month will be closed-out with Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, based on the television series Mission: Impossible. But is there anything that’s soon to exist across all three media? Is there a feature film coming soon that’s also a videogame and television series?

Probably not. But there are still adaptations of at least one of those things. Coming soon is:

  • Warner Bros. Pictures’ The man From U.N.C.L.E. (Guy Ritchie) based on NBC’s The man From U.N.C.L.E.
  • 20th Century Fox’s Hitman: Agent 47 (Aleksander Bach) based on Square Enix’s Hitman: Codename 47
  • Universal Pictures’ Jem and the Holograms (Jon M. Chu) based on Claster Television’s Jem
  • BBC Films’ Dad’s Army (Oliver Parker) based on BBC One’s Dad’s Army
  • Columbia Pictures’ The Angry Birds Movie (Clay Kertis and Fergal Reilly) based on Rovio Entertainment’s Angry Birds
  • Columbia Pictures’ Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune based on Sony Computer Entertainment’s Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  • Universal Pictures’ Warcraft (Duncan Jones) based on Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft: Orcs and Humans
  • Paramount Pictures’ Star Trek Beyond (Justin Lin) based on NBC’s Star Trek
  • 20th Century Fox’s Assassin’s Creed (Justin Kurzel) based on Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed
  • Lionsgate’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Dean Israelite) based on FOX’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
  • Paramount Pictures’ Baywatch (Seth Gordon) based on NBC’s Baywatch
  • Farscape creator Rockne S. O’Bannon has said he’s adapting the Nine Network series.
  • Battlestar Galactica (Bryan Singer) based on ABC’s Battlestar Galactica.

So where does this leave us? Is the future of feature films in adaptations of video-games and television? It’s not as if it’s anything new, but is it the future? That will be determined by the relative success of these feature films, and nowhere else than 2016. The current dominating trend in feature films is comic book adaptations, Fantastic Four (Josh Trank) being the next upcoming release. But in 2016, with Warcraft and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune currently releasing on the same weekend, it’s an in important question, especially given the upcoming Hitman: Agent 47, coming out in the same month as Fantastic Four. All trends end, but in their place something new will begin. What’s more interesting is the behind-the-scenes story. How do these videogames and television series make it to being a feature film, and what kind of brand recognition is required for it to work?

One of the major differences between directing a television episode and a feature film is the creative control a director has. In television, the showrunners have that control, in feature films, the director generally has control and will be hired based on his vision, which he’ll create for the producers. In a Breaking Bad episode, the director will have been overseen by showrunner Vince Gilligan, whereas a feature film would give the director more control (although in Breaking Bad‘s case, Gilligan would probably be directing anyway). If a television series is to be adapted well, it requires a director with cinematic creativity, who won’t just direct a feature-length episode. Universal Pictures’ Serenity (based on Fox’s Firefly) scored high critic ratings but low grossing, despite being directed by creator Joss Whedon. A popular choice of adaptation amongst television audiences is The CW’s Supernatural, and Ron Howard claims to have been signed to direct a feature film of Netflix’s Arrested Development. The BBC One series Doctor Who‘s already had two feature film adaptations: Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (directed by Gordon Flemyng), but at eighty minutes, these were arguably not feature-length. Nevertheless, they were adaptations of two original serials, rather than connected to the television continuity. This is often seen as necessary in feature film adaptations, as it would be the best way of being accessible to a wider audience not familiar with the television series. That said, some Game of Thrones fans claim that a feature film set during the early years of the show’s mythology could be so far removed from the television continuity that it wouldn’t matter, while also introducing new audiences to the television series. But it would still require a cinematic director to work.

In terms of videogames, popular selections to become feature films include Dead SpaceAlan WakeTomb Raider and The Last of UsTomb Raider‘s already been adapted into Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Simon West) and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life (Jan de Bont) with a reboot planned by GF Films after the videogame series was rebooted with Tomb Raider, and an adaptation of The Last of Us has already been announced by Sony and Screen Gems.

What this is doing is putting the feature in a similar situation to the early 2000s, when comic book adaptations were on the rise. The comic book adaptation is the highest box office draw currently; Marvel’s the Avengers (Joss Whedon) is the highest-grossing of them. Spider-Man 2 (Sam Raimi) and The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan) are those often considered the best. But this was not always the case. There was a time when comic book adaptations were considered a bad idea. But this wasn’t out of ignorance. The track record showed why – Howard the Duck (Willard Huyck), Superman IV: the Quest for Peace (Sidney J. Furie), Batman and Robin (Joel Schumacher) – Catwoman (Pitof)! But comic book feature films are now, arguably, the most anticipated.

Video game feature films currently hold the reputation once shared with comic book feature films. Alone in the Dark (Uwe Boll), for instance, is considered the worst of them all. The two Tomb Raiders are also thought of as being inferior to the source material. No video game adaptation has ever been successful. But there’s hope yet. WarcraftHitman: Agent 47Assassin’s Creed and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is amongst those coming out soon. Pixels may have underperformed and yes, The Angry Birds Movie will probably be horrible, but the rich source material of these adaptations have such potential that eventually all videogames will be trying to get themselves adapted.

With comic book fans wondering what the next line to be adapted will be, eventually video gamers will be anticipating the announcement of their favourite video game’s adaptation. I myself have an idea for how to adapt Grand Theft Auto V, which I’d love to write into a treatment for the property’s Rockstar owners. The series itself is becoming the subject of a feature film, Game Changer, about creator Dan Houser and the video game lawyer who accused him of making them too violent. If there’s a popular video game, it will be adapted into a feature film, and it will probably be good. Jones is a very good director, and someone like him working on Warcraft is a good sign. All that’s required is for publishers to understand that a feature film adaptation will make even more money when it’s good. Yes, filmmaking is an art, but cinema is a business. And if those two things can be combined, drawing from the interactive art that is video games, feature films could be transformed.

And as for television? That looks less certain. A feature film is a different style of storytelling, which requires a narrative to be established, developed and resolved in some form between ninety and one-hundred-and-fifty minutes. Ninety minutes is generally considered the minimum duration to be “feature length”, but that doesn’t mean a television series can create two episodes and just combine them. This year, we’ve had

  • Warner Bros. Pictures’ Entourage (Doug Ellin) from HBO’s Entourage
  • 20th Century Fox’s Spooks: the Greater Good (Bharat Nalluri) from BBC One’s Spooks
  • Paramount Pictures’ The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water (Paul Tibbitt) from Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Squarepants
  • StudioCanal’s Shaun the Sheep (Richard Starzak and Mark Burton) from CBBC’s Shaun the Sheep.

But the reason so many television series aren’t adapted into feature films is because there needs to be enough substance. Most television series wouldn’t work as feature films, and many that do are already part of a franchise that includes the feature film medium.

Rotten Tomatoes criticised Entourage for feeling “less like a film than a particularly shallow, cameo-studded extended episode of the show”. Of note is that the television series had already been cancelled, and that was for a reason. That’s a good point, and one that Wittertainment’s Mark Kermode said of comedy actor Harry Hill vehicle The Harry Hill Movie (Steven Bendelack): “It is funny how small screen comedy works on the small screen, and when you take it and transpose it up on to the big screen, it’s like watching an articulated lorry trying to do a three-point turn. There’s something about the mechanism of cinema, which is so much weightier … just to do with the scale. All that stuff that Harry Hill does – the asides, the strange little surreal interludes, the puppets, the catchphrases – all that stuff is perfectly suited to the medium of television, on which he does brilliant, and on which he is, and quite rightly so, very successful. In the case of a film, it was just like going behind a tapestry and seeing all the bits hanging out from behind it. It was suddenly, you become crushingly aware of the mechanism.”

Spooks: the Greater Good was met with more positive reviews, but still received a mixed response. Many critics felt that its weakness was in the elements carried-over from the television series. Scotsman’s Alistair Harkness said, “The big screen proves an unforgiving canvas: for both the show’s hitherto high-end production values and its topical urgency”. The Express‘ Allan Hunter said, “it does not feel much different from an above-par television episode but then that is probably no bad thing”. Radio Times‘ Andrew Collins said, “the first big-screen spin-off, which revisits familiar Central London locations and similar dramatic territory, is essentially an extended bonus episode that will please fans but may leave cinemagoers spoilt by Bond and Bourne”. IGN’s Leigh Singer said that it was, “neither big nor smart enough to justify its big screen incarnation”. List Film’s Angie Errigo said, “this is very enjoyable, but cinematically pedestrian, looking and feeling like a long TV episode”. And that’s the main problem with Spooks: the Greater Good – in a world where Spectre‘s released next October and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation‘s released next week, a television series in the same genre can’t justify itself just for being in that same genre – it actually has to be good. A Game of Thrones feature film could happen, but it would need to work as a fantasy piece capable or rivalling The Lord of the Rings. Just because something’s the best of a genre on television, remove the medium from the equation and it just comes across as weak imitator.

And of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water, Rotten Tomatoes said, “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water won’t win over many viewers who aren’t fans of the show”.

And yet, Shaun the Sheep scored 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Irish Times’ Tara Brady saying “The gorgeous big-screen version of Aardman’s TV hit has been carried off with faultless professionalism”.

Clearly, then, television feature films are rarely of a quality to be considered legitimate in their own right. Unlike video game adaptations, which are considered to just be bad films. Television feature films are more common, but video game feature films are going to become the next trend based on the expected quality of Hitman: Agent 47Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed. The difference is that television is already a motion picture, and therefore has a guaranteed level of quality, even if it isn’t very high, whereas videogames are interactive motion pictures, and that’s the difference. With a television feature film adaptation, the way it’s consumed is only a difference of situation; you have to pay for a ticket and go to a cinema, and watch it on a big screen with other people. Video game feature film adaptations don’t have that interactivity, but the desire to recreate it is often the downfall. There are video game “movie”s on YouTube which are perfect playthroughs in feature-length videos, but that’s not what a motion picture should be. It’s like comparing a novel with a comic book – totally different thing.

But there’s still no denying that video games and television series are now challenging feature films, and to catch-up, there’s going to be a lot of adapting to do. But there’s nothing wrong with that. Art builds on art, and since the largest feature film draw was from a novel, it’s clearly what the people want. And what the people want is what the feature film needs…

Screenwriter’s Dispatch: James Gunn’s The Belco Experiment

On his Facebook page, James Gunn announced his new project, The Belco Experiment. South America’s The Belco Company is sealed-off and the employees told to kill each other or be killed themselves, leading to an escalation of violence revealing truths about The Belco Company’s employees. Gunn said

It’s a script I wrote a few years ago, for which I have always had a deep love. Believe it or not, it’s a film that first came to me in a dream, and I woke up and wrote the first draft in a two-week fugue state binge. One of the first people to ever read the script, Jonathan Glickman, carried it around with him for years until becoming President of MGM, when he approached Peter Safran and I about financing it. I was all for it, providing two things: 1) Although it has the heart and humor my films have all had, it is also the most intense and uncompromising script I’ve ever written. It would need to stay true to that. 2) I’d only do it if we found the right director – which, in some ways, I thought was unlikely.

Reporting on producer Beryl Vertue’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Radio Times mentioned Jed Mercurio‘s next project to be an adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

According to The Hospital ReporterG.I. Joe 3‘s added Aaron Berg to join D.J. Caruso.

Deadline reports Alex Ross Perry has been hired by Disney to write a Winnie the Pooh feature with an adult Christopher Robin, who imagines the characters, returning to the Hundred Acre Wood.

Bill Prady and Bob Kushell are reportedly writing a pilot episode of a new Muppets show, in-which the Muppets gather at ABC Studios to discuss their new show. Miss Piggy needs to sign on for production to go ahead, but her relationship with Kermit The Frog is becoming complicated. Fozzie’s girlfriend and her parents are said to be guest stars.

Stephen Volk is writing a three-part adaptation of Midwinter Spirit. Vicar Merrily Watkins’ investigations into the occult and supernatural lead her to helping police investigations with a crucification connected to a hospitalised animal abuser while dealing with her failing marriage. Producer Kieran Roberts said

We’re very excited to be going into production on Midwinter of the Spirit, especially with such an amazing cast. We’re also thrilled that Stephen Volk’s superb adaptation of Phil Rickman’s gripping and chilling novel is one of the first original commissions for ITV Encore.

Ricky Gervais is writing a remake of satire French Correspondence about journalists who fake their own kidnappings during a South American uprising. Gervais said

It’s great to be part of the changing future

The British Television Academy have announced the nominations for the House of Fraser British Academy Television Awards:

  • Jeff Pope‘s Cilla is nominated for Mini Series.
  • Peter Morgan‘s The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries is nominated for Mini Series.
  • Sally Wainwright‘s Happy Valley is nominated for Drama Series.
  • Harry Williams and Jack Williams‘ The Missing is nominated for Drama Series.
  • Jed Mercurio‘s Line of Duty is nominated for Drama Series.
  • Chris O’Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy‘s Moone Boy is nominated for Scripted Comedy.
  • Harry Enfield‘s Harry & Paul’s Story of the Twos is nominated for Scripted Comedy.
  • Mackenzie Crook‘s Detectorists is nominated for Scripted Comedy.
  • James Cordon and Matthew Baynton‘s The Wrong Mans is nominated for Scripted Comedy.
  • Andrew Davies‘ A Poet in New York is nominated for Single Drama.
  • Regina Moriarty‘s Murdered by my Boyfriend is nominated for Single Drama.
  • Jimmy McGovern‘s Common is nominated for Single Drama.
  • Peter Bowker‘s Marvelous is nominated for Single Drama.
  • Nick Pizzolatto‘s True Detective is nominated for International.
  • Beau Willimon‘s House of Cards is nominated for International.
  • Jenji KohanSara Hess and Sian Heder‘s Orange is the New Black is nominated for International.

Screen Daily reports James McEachen has written climber George Mallory biopic In High Places. Mallory’s body was discovered in 1999 800 feet from Mt. Everest’s summit from a 1924 expedition. McEachen said

I have been fascinated by George Mallory for as long as I can remember. That led directly to my own Himalayan climbs in the 90s, including leading an expedition to 27,766 foot Makalu in 1992. It was this direct experience that gave me a deep-seated respect for the bold imagination and war-hardened bravery that Mallory and his companions displayed in their quest for the summit of Everest – long before the age of Gore-Tex and titanium.

It’s been described as “an epic story about the uncompromising nature of character and the sometimes overwhelming power of dreams”

Deadline report Carl Ellsworth has been hired to write the remake of Gremlins.

They also report Peter Craig is writing an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey.

The Guardian report Sky has commissioned Simon McDonald‘s Fortitude for a second season, featuring characters that survive.

According to The Hollywood ReporterJames Wood has adapted Jacked: the Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto, chronicling Grand Theft Auto executive producer Sam Houser’s battle with anti-videogame activist attorney Jack Thompson, and the rise of the series into populist infamy as a world of controversy and satire.

Radio Times report Peter Bowker has written a three-part adaptation of the novel Capital by John Lancaster, about the accomplished and unaccomplished of Pepys Street receiving a note reading “We Want What You Have”. Executive Producer Derek Wax said

John Lanchester’s wonderful, comic epic of London life, Capital, has been brilliantly adapted by Peter Bowker. I am so delighted that our production has attracted such a terrific cast.

Badass Digest report Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are writing Avengers: Infinity War Part I and Avengers: Infinity War Part II.

Deadline reports Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner are writing the first draft of an adaptation of The Gunslinger, Stephen King’s first book in the Dark Tower series, based on the relationship between Roland and Jake, blending horror and fantasy.

Variety reports Brad Bird has begun writing The Incredibles 2. They quoted him, saying:

I’m just staring to write it, so we’ll see what happens

According to The Hollywood ReporterJ.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have rewritten Flash Gordon.

TIME have voted Richard LinklaterAmy SchumerJill SolowayKevin HartChristopher Nolan and John Oliver as their most influential artists of the year.

At Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, the amended title and synopsis for Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta‘s Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One has been released:

A rogue band of resistance fighters unite for a mission to steal the Death Star plans and bring a new hope to the galaxy.

Mark Gatiss has spoken to Radio Times about the upcoming Sherlock special, set in 1895, which he’s co-written by with Steven Moffat:

Over the years we’ve always been across each other’s Sherlock scripts because we want it to be holistic, but the upcoming episode is the first time we’ve actually written together. It’s been a real joy. I think it will carry on for the next series.

At the Tribeca Film Festival, Meryl Streep revealed she’s funding a writing laboratory for over-fourties females run by New York Women in Film and Television and taking place in North New York. Named the Writing Lab, it will be accepting from 1st May to 1st June, with eight winners to be announced 1st August. Mentors participating this year are Gina Prince-BythewoodKirsten Smith and Jessica Bendinger.

Deadline reports Jeffrey Bell and Paul Zbyszewski are writing the pilot of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s spinoff.

They also report Wes Craven is adapting We are all Completely Fine, about psychologist Dr. Jan Sayer gathering five horror scenario survivors, and discovering their dark past through support groups, as well as the monsters within and around them. Universal Cable Productions Executive Vice President Dawn Olmstead said

Wes is an icon whose films have captivated audiences for decades. We’re thrilled to be working with him and to be able to bring his enormous talent and unique blend of horror, humor and intelligence to television.

Craven’s also co-producing an adaptation of The People Under the Stairs, written by Michael Reisz, which reveals the secrets of a manor house after a death occurs there.

According to The Hollywood ReporterChad Hayes and Carey Hayes are re-writing The Conjuring, allegedly the true story of Carla Moran, who was physically and sexually abused by a supernatural demon, despite a doctor considering the abuse self-inflicted based on past trauma.

Entertainment Weekly reports Akiva Goldsman is collaborating with a new team of writers to expand the Transformers series into a cinematic universe. Hasbro Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner said

We have in fact brought in Akiva Goldsman to lead a group of writers to really create a strategic plan around Transformers. We think there are any number of stories to be told from the brand that has been around for 30 years with amazing canon and mythology.

Deadline reports Simon Beaufoy has written Battle of the Sexes, based on the tennis match between Billie King and Bobby Riggs, after several years of writing in collaboration with King. Meanwhile, David Auburn has also written a screenplay around the same event, as is Steve Conrad.

Indian Country Today Media Network reports the Navajo actors of The Magnificent Seven spoof The Ridiculous Six walked-off the set due to what they interpreted as an offensive script by Adam Sandler and Tim Herlihy. Examples given include the character names Beaver’s Breath and No Bra, a Navajo character sitting and squatting while smoking a peace pipe and feather inappropriately positioned on a teepee. Actor Loren Anthony said

One thing that really offended a lot of people was that there was a female character called Beaver’s breath. One character says “Hey, Beaver’s Breath”. And the Native woman says, “How did you know my name?” When we did speak with the main director, he was trying to say the disrespect was not intentional and this was a comedy.

Goldie Tom said

We talked to the producers about other things in the script and they said “It’s in the script and we are not going to change it.”

Marvel Entertainment have announced Captain Marvel‘s being written by Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve.

The Hollywood Reporter claim Fifty Shades Darker is to be adapted by the source material’s writer’s husband, Niall Leonard, and that he worked in Fifty Shades of Grey but was uncredited. Producer Michael De Luca said

Niall is an outstanding writer in his own right, with multiple established credits, and we are lucky to have him join Team Fifty.

Doctor Who Head Writer Steven Moffat‘s commented to Radio Times on the way the Doctor will be written in Series 9 and the decision to make the season consist of two-parters:

There is a temptation if you go into a second series with a Doctor, you think, “last series, that’s major”. You’ve got a new guy – what’s he going to wear, what’s he going to be like, is he good in those scenes, is that close up working for him? Everything is new and you solve all that. And there could be a danger that you go, “ah, it’ll be easy now”, because you’ve got an established Doctor so you’ve got to make it difficult again. You’ve got to do something different. What you always have to do with Doctor Who is not relax, is not to think we’ve cracked it now. We’re continuing to develop his Doctor which is a thing he’s very keen on. He doesn’t just want to come back being the same Doctor. He wants to move it on. That 45-and-out rhythm has served us incredibly well for ten years, but there is a slight sense sometimes – about 35 minutes into the episode, you expect the hero music. They’re not all two-parters – sometimes they’re just linked episodes. It’s just making you slightly unsure you’ll get through the story by the time the music comes up. We’ve all got to be on our toes, can’t be relaxed.”

Deadline reports Thomas Schnauz is writing Beanstalk, the Jack and the Beanstalk installment in Disney’s live-action universe.

The Verge reports Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are writing the treatment for an animated Spider-Man standalone.

Variety reports Robert Gordon‘s adapting Galaxy Quest for television.

After Valiant Entertainment announced its plans to adapt its comic books, details have now emerged from Variety:

  • Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer are adapting Bloodshot, a government-resurrected soldier turned into a memoryless killing machine.
  • Heisserer is also adapting Harbinger, philanthropist Toyo Harder’s foundation pursuing superpowered beings.

The CW Television Network’s released the synopsis for Ben Sokolowski and Brian Ford Sullivan‘s Arrow: This is Your Sword:

AL SAH-HIM TAKES HIS FINAL STEPS TO ASCENSION; ROY AND THEA REUNITE — Oliver/Al Sah-him finishes his training and is left with two final tasks to become the next Ra’s al Ghul. Ra’s threatens Nyssa and delivers some shocking news. Meanwhile, Malcolm makes a surprising offer to Team Arrow and Thea goes to see Roy.

Radio Times report Julian Fellowes is adapting Anthony Trollope’s Doctor Thorne into a TV drama trilogy, about the character as he lives in Greshamsbury with his wife Mary, who grew up with her siblings Auguster Beatrice, Alexandrina and Frank, who mother Arabella’s discovered desires Thorne’s niece after his father abandoned the family with no money. Fellowes said

My own favourite among the great nineteenth century English novelists and certainly the strongest influence over my work that I am conscious of. It is tremendously exciting and satisfying to know that my adaptation of one of his best-loved novels is coming to ITV. I could not be more delighted.

ITV Drama Director Steve November said

We’re delighted to be working with Julian once again on the drama Doctor Thorne. It’s a rich and multi-layered story of class and social standing and a timeless love story which Julian has brought to life brilliantly with his inimitable wit and warmth.

The Daily Mail report Peter Morgan‘s writing a two-seasoned, twenty-episode bio-drama of the royal family, The Crown. Subjects covered involves the relationship between Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street and co-operation of constitutional matters. One such topic is King George Windsor granting Princess Elizabeth Windsor permission to marry her third cousin and deposed Greek heir apparent Lieutenant Philip Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, which generated controversy for being considered a financial deal or an untraditional mix of nationalities within British royalty. Episode one is focused on the wedding and its drama. It’s hoped the twenty-episode run this will begin will expand to sixty episodes to cover Elizabeth’s entire reign as Queen, and George’s heir apparent. A decision is reportedly still being made on whether to write Elizabeth’s mother and George’s husband, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon as comic relief or a tragic figure.

The BAFTA TV Craft Awards have awarded Writer: Drama to Sally Wainwright‘s Utopia and Writer: Comedy to Mackenzie Crook‘s Detectorists.

Avatar composer James Horner’s revealed to Hey U Guys James Cameron‘s screenplay details for the rest of the the series:

A lot of it will take place underwater. Right now, Jim has a script that he’s got – he’s got four sequels, script-wise, and he’s trying to keep it to three. He’s got so much going on, how do you keep that from expanding into a fifth sequel?

Netflix have announced Jared Stern‘s adapting Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham into a thirteen-part series.

Jeff Pope will be awarded The Alan Clarke Award on 10th May, it’s been announced by BBC News. British Television Academy Committee Chairman Andrew Newman called Pope

one of the finest exponents of his craft

while Pope said

I tend to always to be moving forward onto the next thing, so if ever there was going to be a moment to stop and look back at the work I’ve done, this is it. Writing is all about facing down the tyranny of the blank screen, but my message to all aspiring writers is that once you’ve hit that first key, you discover it’s really not so difficult as you’d imagined.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed allegations relating to the approach taken to screenwriters by DC Entertainment:

In the early going, some in Hollywood are questioning whether Warner[ Bro]s has acted too much in haste without having fleshed out the world on which so much hinges. Grumbling among talent reps came especially in response to the studio’s strategy of hiring five writers to compete for a job on Wonder Woman, which has a June 2017 release date. On Aquaman, set for 2018, sources say Warner[ Bro]s commissioned scripts from three writers, one of whom followed the studio’s direction only to be told the rules governing the universe had changed and his work no longer was usable. Another writer has been on hold for the film for months as the studio works to define its vision. “They just haven’t been thorough about their whole world and how each character fits and how to get the most out of each writer’s time by giving them direction,” says a rep with knowledge of the process. On Wonder Woman, Warner[ Bro]s hired five writers not to work together but to compete. Each was given a treatment and asked to write a first act. Based on those efforts, the studio winnowed the number to two: Jason Fuchs (Pan) and another writer whose name the studio declines to reveal. A source not involved in the films but with close ties to the studio says the process on Wonder Woman “felt like they were throwing shit against the wall to see what stuck.” Before the five writers were brought aboard, sources say [producer] Roven asked Kelly Marcel (Fifty Shades of Grey, Saving Mr. Banks) to work on the script, though a Warner[ Bro]s insider says she was never officially hired. Sources say she decided not to proceed based on her concern about the number of players who were involved — particularly when Warner[ Bro]s hired director Michelle MacLaren, whose vision contrasted sharply with Marcel’s. MacLaren subsequently left the project and was replaced quickly by Patty Jenkins, who, ironically, had been dropped by Marvel on Thor: The Dark World after being heralded as the studio’s first female director. Warner [Bro]s has had several writers pen scripts for Aquaman, set to star Jason Momoa, who will feature in November 2017’s Justice League movie. Those writers include Will Beall, Jeff Nichols and Kurt Johnstad, who now is on hold until the studio is ready to proceed.

The Wrap reports Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs have been hired by Sony to each write the next two installments of the Jump Street series: an all-female version and a crossover with Men in Black21 Jump Street was a satire of reboots, 22 Jump Street of sequels and 23 Jump Street is to be of shared universes.

IGN reports Michael Green‘s been hired as the newest Wolverine III screenwriter, working either to or from a draft by David James Kelly.