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Old 02-16-2011, 01:09 PM   #926
punisher5150
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City of the Gods script

My thoughts on Darabont's Indy 4 script. First, I just finished reading it last night. Being the Indy fan that I am, I am not sure why it took so long to get around to reading it, but I am glad I did. My overall impression: probably would have been received slightly better than KotCS by fans, but not by much.

SPOILERS FOLLOW!

Things I liked:
Marion's character was written more like the Marion from Raiders. I read some complaints about Marion's marriage to the rival archeologist. I thought the story would have been better with her just being the girlfriend of the rival archeologist, but the marriage didn't detract from the story for me.

Yuri as the friend turned enemy ala Mac was better developed. Replace Yuri with Mac in the script and it would be better. You'd have to write out the communist ties.

The quest was better written, but Indy's involvement in it seemed a bit contrived (mistaken for another agent and travel to Peru under that guise).

The government's case against Indy as a communist was resolved.

The warehouse/area 51 scene was pretty good, but some of KotCSs elements were better. The Doomtown scene was almost the same, but resolved better. The fridge still gets nuked, btw!

Indy's dismissal from Marshall College was better written.

When Indy revealed Oxley's captivity by the rival archeologist, I thought it was a great way to show Marion her "perfect" husband had a sinister side and may not be what she thought. Overall, though, I liked Crystal Skull's Oxley better. (I am delighted in the fact that this script made it clear Oxley was more of an associate of Indy's father and his age was closer to Indy's dad, backing up my argument in another thread that Oxley should have Abner in the story).

Indy breaking into the museum was humorous, although possibly out of character. I liked the fact the idol from Raiders was there though. it lets us know that little piece of the story from Raiders was resolved and also serves as a tie-in to the first movie.

Generally, the script was better than KotCS, but the ending I felt was weaker because of the "dream" sequence for each character. Why Indy was released by the alien made no sense to me. He said he chose Marion as his deepest desire. I guess it wasn't considered greed by the alien??????

What I didn't like:
The aerial dogfight could have been tailored into a great action sequence. As written, though, it was far to unbelievable (moreso than the drop from the plane in a liferaft from Temple). Indy makes a hop from plane to plane in midair not once, but twice. The pilot of the enemy plane starts intentionally chopping the wing of Indy's plane with his prop while Indy is standing on it. Not physically possible! This sequence needed a rewrite.

The pale man with the scar was underused and killed off far too early.

The plot to steal the plutonium by the Russians seemed a little contrived and not well explained. The Ruskies paid the scientists who orchestrated the theft with a Crystal Skull. Why did these guys have access to the plutonium? were they nuclear scientists or archeologists or what?

The giant snake swallowing Indy was pretty lame. As they got closer to the city animals and insects became larger, but never really explained why. I guess the science that powered the city caused things to grow immense, but not really explained.

The drop into the tree during the jungle chase is still there, with Indy driving a truck into the tree and then slowly riding the bending tree to the ground. Then the tree snaps back up and crushes some commies. I thought this scene and the variation in KotCS was LAME.

A variation of the Tarzan vine swinging is still in the draft, but this time it's Indy chasing Oxley through the trees. It was better in City of the Gods, but still lame to me.

The assistants who turned on Escalante at the end were just thrown in at that point to capture all of the players and make them work together. They proclaimed they were capitalists, but they were lame and seemed out of place to move the plot. Yuri could have filled that role, and he was a character we were already familiar with.

It never explained what drove everyone crazy that entered the City EXCEPT for Indy and crew. The alien killed those that sought the knowledge they possessed at the end. It did not make them crazy.

"Welcome to Earth." dialogue.

Sorry for the long post, but that's my two cents. I think I would have liked another rewrite. I know GL and SS wanted to shoehorn Mutt into the screenplay. I think they could have done that with Darabont's, made a few changes to a couple of scenes, and Darabont's script would have made a better movie.

As for the movie we got, I like it but do not LOVE it. I think, with Darabont's script going through another polish or two, I would have LOVED the movie it could have been.
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:30 PM   #927
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A professional review.
http://scriptshadow.blogspot.com/201...-darabont.html
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:35 PM   #928
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Scriptshadow's a professional?

In the words of Cameron Frye, "A professional WHAT?"
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:14 PM   #929
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Professional reader. Such people exist.
A little more about him.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:30 PM   #930
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Not having read the Darabont script, it's hard for me to judge that critic's comparison, except to say I dislike both scripts. Having seen the filmed version of one of them just confirms my feelings about that script, which of course by then I didn't have to read. Aliens, ineffectual villains, unfulfilled characterisation or 'decharacterisation', no suspense, no bloodshed, unbelievable action and family viewing orientation. Darabont's script may have been a better movie, who knows, but the biggest problem seems to be what GL and SS wanted out of the movie or didn't want in the movie.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:03 PM   #931
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moedred
Professional reader. Such people exist.
A little more about him.

Scriptshadow is a douche, a phony and a, what's that word, oh yeah - a thief.

Here's some far more enlightening reading on the subject -

http://johnaugust.com/archives/2009/...-screenwriters

and

http://artfulwriter.com/?p=1018
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:26 PM   #932
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Quazar
Scriptshadow is a douche, a phony and a, what's that word, oh yeah - a thief.
Welcome to Hollywood!

He no longer posts scripts by the way, since they're so easy to find.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:42 PM   #933
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moedred
Welcome to Hollywood!


Heh.

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Old 01-19-2013, 12:36 AM   #934
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Nothing to do with his script, but just a little snippet relating to the man.

When my Sideshow 1/6 Bossk arrived yesterday it came with a glossy little booklet from Sideshow Collecibles.

There's a double page titled "Look who collects!" featuring quotes from Guillermo del Toro and Darabont:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Darabont

You're born with a love for something, movies, comics, whatever that thing is, and then you want to be closer to it. And the coolest way to do that is to have something that reminds you of the thing that you love when you walk in the room.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:53 AM   #935
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The recent news that Darabont is rewriting the script for the new Godzilla is noteworthy because when his Indiana Jones script got scrapped he declared that he would never again be a writer-for-hire, and would only ever write for projects he was directing. Now granted, that was already like ten years ago, which is plenty enough time to have a change of heart, but it's still nice to see that he has. Since he recently got a new show greenlit it's hard to believe he's taking the job out of desperation to eat; he must really be passionate about Godzilla.

All this to say, it's probably safe to get a little bit excited about Godzilla, maybe.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:49 PM   #936
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
The recent news that Darabont is rewriting the script for the new Godzilla is noteworthy because when his Indiana Jones script got scrapped he declared that he would never again be a writer-for-hire, and would only ever write for projects he was directing. Now granted, that was already like ten years ago, which is plenty enough time to have a change of heart, but it's still nice to see that he has. Since he recently got a new show greenlit it's hard to believe he's taking the job out of desperation to eat; he must really be passionate about Godzilla.

All this to say, it's probably safe to get a little bit excited about Godzilla, maybe.

A lot of that has to do with "The Walking Dead" on AMC leaving a bad taste in his mouth. He was the Shepard and nurturer of that project and led the show to become the success that it was... Until the suits at AMC decided to can Darabont.

And from what I hear the guy who replaced him for a year or so has now left the show. What the hell is going on down there at AMC?

So after all that Frank has given these other "polish" jobs a second chance.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:22 PM   #937
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Gonzo
And from what I hear the guy who replaced him for a year or so has now left the show. What the hell is going on down there at AMC?

The way I heard it, the suits at AMC are happy to micromanage The Walking Dead because it's the one show they can. Unlike Breaking Bad, Mad Men, or The Killing, which can threaten to shop to other networks if AMC starts throwing their weight around, Dead is a show they own lock, stock and barrel. So if a showrunner is griping too loudly about budget cuts or is otherwise pursuing a vision for this cash cow series that's too interesting for comfort -off with his head!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:29 PM   #938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
The way I heard it, the suits at AMC are happy to micromanage The Walking Dead because it's the one show they can. Unlike Breaking Bad, Mad Men, or The Killing, which can threaten to shop to other networks if AMC starts throwing their weight around, Dead is a show they own lock, stock and barrel. So if a showrunner is griping too loudly about budget cuts or is otherwise pursuing a vision for this cash cow series that's too interesting for comfort -off with his head!

That's a damned shame...

Who negotiated that deal?
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:48 AM   #939
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I read this script a while ago and kept meaning to comment on it here. I'll keep it brief.

I really enjoy KotCS. It's the weakest of the four, easily, but I still like it.

That being said, I thought this script was much better. It made sense where KotCS felt like a hodgepodge of previous scripts. The only things I would have changed were the aerial dogfight, which was just that bit too over the top (though Harrison would have been a couple of years younger...) and the "Welcome to earth," line, which was just weird (has Darabont really never seen Independence Day? Or maybe it was a subtle wink at the fact that Independence Day's success was what made up Spielberg's mind about the possibility of the Saucer Men from Mars script in the 90s).

Other than that, I thought it was great. I wish we could find out exactly what it was that bothered Lucas. And which of them wasn't prepared to make any changes so that they'd both be happy...
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:16 AM   #940
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toht's Arm
I read this script a while ago and kept meaning to comment on it here. I'll keep it brief.

I really enjoy KotCS. It's the weakest of the four, easily, but I still like it.

That being said, I thought this script was much better. It made sense where KotCS felt like a hodgepodge of previous scripts. The only things I would have changed were the aerial dogfight, which was just that bit too over the top (though Harrison would have been a couple of years younger...) and the "Welcome to earth," line, which was just weird (has Darabont really never seen Independence Day? Or maybe it was a subtle wink at the fact that Independence Day's success was what made up Spielberg's mind about the possibility of the Saucer Men from Mars script in the 90s).

Other than that, I thought it was great. I wish we could find out exactly what it was that bothered Lucas. And which of them wasn't prepared to make any changes so that they'd both be happy...

Agreed. KOTCS is an acceptable Indy adventure, but City of the Gods would have been a bona-fide great Indy adventure.

I agree on the "Welcome to Earth" line. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, considering the aliens in that script have been here for centuries...
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:51 PM   #941
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toht's Arm
I wish we could find out exactly what it was that bothered Lucas. And which of them wasn't prepared to make any changes so that they'd both be happy...

Actually Lucas re-wrote Darabont's script and that revision was called Indiana Jones and the Phantom City of the Gods (no joke, really) Spielberg read it and passed on Lucas' revision...

For me, I'd like to see Lucas' revision and see what was so bad that made Spielberg pass on ole' uncle George's version.

I believe it is discussed in the Complete Making of Indiana Jones book.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:57 PM   #942
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Spoiler Alert!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Gonzo
Actually Lucas re-wrote Darabont's script and that revision was called Indiana Jones and the Phantom City of the Gods

I heard it had Billy Zane and Indy's evil brother, questing after the same artifact...



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Old 01-25-2013, 03:47 PM   #943
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I doubt even Lucas intended his revision of Darabont's draft to be the produced vision. It was probably more of an exercise for him to indicate what he considered the "problem areas" (which I suspect had more to with re-aligning to his preferred storyline rather than actual quality objections) for the next professional screenwriter, which would have been Nathanson.

There are telling quotes to be mined from the news archives. From an Esquire article in 2004:

Quote:
By all accounts of those who have worked with [Lucas], he isn’t one to multitask when he’s making a film. That left Spielberg and Darabont to work out the script. Imagine Darabont’s joy when Spielberg pronounced that he liked Darabont’s draft, except for some quibbles with the third act. Darabont reworked the screenplay, and a few weeks later—last fall—Paramount was told that Spielberg would shoot the picture in July 2004.

From an interview with John Rhys-Davies in the wake of the Darabont draft being rejected and him having had a meet-up with Spielberg:

Quote:
"George Lucas had reservations about the script and he said, "The only way I can express my reservations is making another pass at the script myself", so it's gone back at least a year.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:35 PM   #944
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Gonzo
Actually Lucas re-wrote Darabont's script and that revision was called Indiana Jones and the Phantom City of the Gods (no joke, really) Spielberg read it and passed on Lucas' revision...

For me, I'd like to see Lucas' revision and see what was so bad that made Spielberg pass on ole' uncle George's version.

I believe it is discussed in the Complete Making of Indiana Jones book.

I didn't know that. I thought Lucas said no and that was the end of it. I would love to see that Phantom City script. Geez - Lucas was obsessed with longwinded titles around that time, wasn't he? And the fact that he'd use the word "Phantom" again beggars belief...
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:49 PM   #945
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pale Horse
I heard it had Billy Zane and Indy's evil brother, questing after the same artifact...




touchť
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:59 PM   #946
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Gonzo
So after all that Frank has given these other "polish" jobs a second chance.

I thought that TNT had agreed to pick up his "LA Noir" project for a limited run of six episodes.


I read the first LA Noir script - it was very solid, but almost nothing happened. It was all set-up. Would love to see where it goes.

Makes it feel more like a mini-series than a proper series, but I'll take what I can get.

That would obviously mean a tightly plotted narrative. Having been INCREDIBLY disappointed by "Gangster Squad", I'd like to see an actually literate write take a crack at the same subject matter.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:09 PM   #947
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Quazar
I thought that TNT had agreed to pick up his "LA Noir" project for a limited run of six episodes.

You are correct sir... that is the case as well but what I meant was after The Walking Dead incident Darabont came to his senses and went into "I'll take what I can get -- now accepting offers" mode... He thought he was going to be with "The Dead" for a long foreseeable future. When it all went south he started taking jobs again.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:10 PM   #948
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He arranged is pilot with TNT pretty quickly, though. I dunno, I prefer to think he just really wants to work on Godzilla.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:15 PM   #949
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Frank's had a slow decade, which could turn profitable if he successfully sues Walking Dead for $280M for letting him go.
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Old 10-07-2016, 09:48 AM   #950
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Still a long way from a decision, but I know it's one the industry will be paying attention to. If this "vertical integration" BS can be used to screw the likes of Frank Darabont, people with a lower profile really have no chance at getting the profit participation they are owed. Hopefully the judge rules in Frank's favor and strikes a righteous blow to Hollywoood accounting.

In a recent interview Frank addressed his lack of output:

Quote:
Youíve been busy this decade with TVís The Walking Dead and then Mob City, and you consequently havenít made a film since The Mist. Any urge to get back to movies?

Iím thinking about it. Coming to grips with the fact that the business has changed vastly and dramatically, and that nobody quite knows where itís going, has been like trying to get your bearings on shifting ice. I was very proud of Mob City, and I really devoted a very intense year to it. And that came on the heels of several very intense years on The Walking Dead. At the end of Mob City, I came in for a bit of a rough landing. I had to go in for spine surgery because I had two discs rupture while we were posting Mob City. And I realized that, from that first gig of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 to the end of Mob City, I hadnít really stopped for 28 years. It was 28 years of just ruthless pressure, and three decades just blew by me in a blur. I felt like a guy on a bullet train.

And so I married this amazing woman, and I decided to take some real time off. We moved out of L.A., up to the central coast in Monterey, and I love it here and Iíve just been recovering from the last 28 years. Itís a sabbatical. Who knows, it could be retirement ó ask Hollywood! [Laughs] Whether they invite me back in or not, who knows? But Iím now at the point where Iím thinking that Iíve still got a few good movies left in me, and maybe itís time to get back into it and see what I can do.

Iíll tell you one thing ó this is like crying over the fact that things arenít what they used to be, but I sure am sad that there isnít a Castle Rock anymore, because Castle Rock was the platinum standard of a studio, in terms of how to treat filmmakers, and how to gracefully go about your business. They made so many great movies, and had a great run of success, and I was so spoiled, without really knowing it, when I started directing. I didnít realize how privileged a position I was in, and how well I was being treated. I knew I was being treated well, but looking back on it, they treated everyone like gold ó so respectful and supportive and loving.

And thatís not how everybody does it, soÖ [Laughs] Itís not that easy to get anybody to say, ďYes,Ē for starters. Hollywood is an endless series of obstacles and roadblocks, basically. Whereas at Castle Rock, if you handed them a script and they really liked it, they said, ďOh, great, letís make this!Ē It was that simple to get Shawshank green-lit. The Green Mile, same thing.

So Iím sorry that theyíre not around anymore, and I wish there was a place out there that had that same vibe. But thatís what you get when you have a company thatís founded by filmmakers [Castle Rock Entertainment was co-founded by Rob Reiner] who are nothing but supportive and respectful.
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