Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Would you Write Your Favorite (Pre-Existing) Character?

This is something I've been thinking about recently, as part of my fantasizing about being a working screenwriter. In theory, a new writer's ideal (or most common) career path is to sell a spec, and then make a living writing on commission in the genre he/she first broke into. My specs are all big action right now, so, playing along with the theory, once I sell something, I would start pitching my take on projects that major studios want to develop.

Let's just play with the example of my favorite comic book hero - Batman. In this dream world (we all have one), I've sold something at high six or even seven figures, and I'm the "go to" new action writer on the block. Warner Bros. comes to me asking if I'd do a Batman adaptation. (Yeah, Zombie, we know. Not gonna happen. But play along, would ya?) I love Batman. They know this. My manager knows this. It looks like it should be a done deal, right?

I'm not sure I'd take it. I enjoy the character so much, rather, enjoy being a fan of his so much that I'm not sure I want to become anything more than that. It'd be awesome to work on a film like that, sure, but a lot of the fun for me comes in sitting down with a hundred other people in a dark theater and watching Bats do his thing, completely unaware of what's going to come next. The enjoyment I get from watching the entertainment might outweigh the satisfaction I get from creating it, in this instance. I'm not going to answer the question here, because I don't know the answer. It's just something I toy with late at night when I should be sleeping instead. Onyx, they want you to do Predator 2010. Do you?
So, how about it? Would you write your favorite pre-existing character if given the opportunity?


Zombie said...

I would kill to write Transformers. I'll say that now. KILL. I've got story ideas, pitches... Just send me a check and you'd have the best Transformers stories we've seen in 20 years.

I feel like the lack of surprise when seeing the film or reading the comic would be more than offset by seeing my totally kick-ass Transformers story in all of its glory.

Onyx said...

The answer is yes. I'd probably write my mother as a prostitute if it meant getting paid as a working screenwriter.

And even if you screwed up Batman your mistake can't erase the good work that's already been done. I'd go for it, especially seeing that we're still in fantasy land.

OutOfContext said...

I'm a huge Daredevil fan from my childhood-I've got the first 200 issues of the comic--and after the movie they made--yes, I would take a shot. Also, one of my favorite books is "Paths of Glory" and it's one of my least favorite Kubricks, so if were talking real fantasyland, Yes-I'd remake a Kubrick.