I'd like to open this discussion to everyone here at Mania and not just a few people. For the past few weeks, if you keep up with our various comments attached to articles, you would have read an occasional open dialogue between our readers and myself on the value of "script" news on the web. While some script related news are factual and credible, the majority of news is something closer to the unsubstantiated category. A news site will come along saying "Hey, I got the script for the DARK KNIGHT and this is what happens" and three weeks later, another news site will pop up saying they too have read a script for the film and the previous site was dead wrong. This happens in the world of entertainment news and the majority of these scripts are hardly ever accurate when it comes to the final print which hits the theater come release time. The reason, other then the script itself being outdated and news sites falling over each other in hopes of the next breaking scoop, frequently happens because of the direction the studio desires vs. what the director and screenwriter wants.
Case in point is the script review and script thoughts I'm about to link to you loyal readers. Before I do that, I'll provide a little back history to the LOGAN'S RUN remake history. Be patient with me, I just want to walk you through this from beginning to end. This project has been gathering dust on the shelves in development hell since around 1995 when Warner Bros first expressed their interest in remaking this 1976 cult classic. For years, they tried getting it out of the planning stages and time after time, they failed to reach a point where pre-production was even close to getting off the studio executive's boardroom floor. Then, in the spring of 2000, director Skip Woods entered negotiations to remake this classic in hopes of making it more accurate to the 1967 novel by authors William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. This too, readers, fell through in the end delegating it back to development hell for a few more years.
While everyone was celebrating the new year of 2004, Warner Bros executives were planning two highly anticipated projects on their respective horizons. One was the return of SUPERMAN to the big screen after such a long hiatus from the silver screen. The other film on their minds at the time was this long shelved remake of Logan's trials against his dystopian future society. Who did they have in mind to lead both projects? In point of fact, it was the same man. By March of 2004, Bryan Singer was entering the planning stage of SR while also being hired to develop the remake of Logan. At this point, Warner Bros and Singer hoped to have the remake in theaters at the latest by 2005. As you know, this didn't happen. Singer first hired X2 scribe Dan Harris as well as scribes Ethan Gross and Paul Todisco to pen the script for the remake alongside him. Around December of 2004 (while SR was still in its planning stages but being near to production), scribe Harris told the media that a completed script was ready to go for the Logan remake from him and Singer for Warner Bros. Their script would feature more action sequences then the original version directed by Michael Anderson. For reasons we do not know, this script fell through in the end though it is believed due to budget concerns and differences of opinion between WB and Singer's vision. Now, we're reaching the point which involves the script review below. The film as it could have been had Warner Bros approved of the film and kept Bryan Singer as director. In February of 2006, Chris McQuarrie was hired to do rewrites on the script treatment for Warner Bros. At this same time, it was announced that production would begin on this remake by no later as that fall (after the summer release of Singer's SR) but as we also know, this too didn't come true. By August of that year, the production offices dedicated to this remake were turned over to the pre-production of the SPEED RACER films for the Wachowski brothers. Now, here we are, readers. A new director(Joseph Kosinski) has been attached and a new screenwriter (Tim J. Sexton) has been brought aboard to perform yet more rewrites or a different take on the 76 cult classic.
You know the backstory for this project. Now, it's time to see the version you would have seen had Bryan Singer and his screenwriters had their chance to lead the project for Warner Bros. Patrick at Back Row Chatter had a chance to read the script as it could have been and reviewed it for everyone to read. To read it, click here.
This is why you can never tell how a script will translate to the final version even when the film itself is in pre-production or filming (JLA and Indiana Jones respectively). You never can tell if script details have been changed or if the version a news site is pronouncing knowledge on is outdated or has been changed/rejected by the studio itself. Once upon a time, studio executives were telling George Lucas how his SW script is a recipe for disaster & failure in the mid 70s. Even when they finally greenlit the production for his first film, they expressed their doubts on the concept and the film. I guess we can consider ourselves lucky on that score because if that experience didn't distance GL from the normal attitudes of Hollywood executives, we may have never seen Skywalker Sound, Industrial Light & Magic or Pixar (with the help of Ed Catmull, George Lucas and Steve Jobs) being created on Skywalker Ranch.
This same kind of attitude from what some people call the suits has occurred many times throughout cinematic history and it will continue to happen in the future. As a Carpenter fanatic, I can point to one very clear example towards the Escape from New York franchise. I'm sure all of you have your own thoughts on the sequel to his cult classic, Escape From L.A. Well, would you like to read how the Escape sequel could have been? If you want to, read here.
Enough from me though...Let's hear your thoughts on scripts.