Scriptwriters: Sequel Prequels

Sequels get made because the original film did well. Sometimes the sequels do well too. What could be more natural than picking out a successful sequel and squeezing in a prequel between it and the original film. You can do this with just about any blockbuster of the last ten or twenty years and sell your script tomorrow. Prequels are just meltdown hot at the moment.

Don’t spend more than four hours, say, on your script, or it will lose its sponteneity and begin to show evidence of actual thought, which is boxoffice poison.

I just made a couple of nice scores with Alien and Terminator sequel prequel scripts. You put in that thing coming out of the guy’s stomach, or a famous robot shooting up L.A., and you’re pretty much done. I did have scenes set in St. Kitts, on the off chance that I might get a trip down there to doctor the script during shooting. There’s something about that name that suggests fun goings on. Kitts. Look, down on the beach.. A gaggle of young frisky Kitts in bikinis.


1. Any slasher movie – Between movies 1 and 2 in the franchise, or between 2 and 3, or 3 and 4, or whatever, the psycho killer murders a batch more young folks, especially when they’re having sex, perhaps while the killer is on vacation in a Mexican resort town.

2. Any superhero movie – Between any two films in the franchise, the superhero falls in love, we learn. Perhaps he’s (it’s a he) on vacation.  In Paris, if you’ve got the budget, or Fort Lauderdale otherwise. Needless to say, his fiancee gets killed tragically. This why the second entry in many superhero movies is so lame – the guy is still mourning.

3. Any Star Wars or Harry Potter or Indiana Jones or Lord of the Rings movie – If you can get the rights. Don’t spend four hours, or even half that, on the script. You can literally write anything. It doesn’t matter. They will come when it opens. Examples: POTC 1, 2, 3, 4. Consider a vacation setting for it.

4. Infernal Affairs/The Departed – Yeah, one is a remake of the other, but the thing is, you can make another one in between, half Chinese/half Mafia, again with good guys working for bad guys and bad guys working for good guys, a lot of plot, who knows what the f is going on? A classy project! Get that Chinese guy Mifune in there, head to head with Nicholson, if he’s over the Lakers tanking yet. You could set it in Hawaii.

5. Rocky – You don’t need any help with this one. Rocky fights. But not in Philadephia, for Christ’s sake. Vegas. Set it in Vegas.

Screenwriters: Prequel Sequels

While you’re working on your scripts for the industry’s hottest prequels, don’t forget to get started on the sequels to those prequels. Here are the templates:

5. Moby Dick: The Champ – Moby is now the champ. The Great Black Whale has become his bitch. Moby fights a giant squid, then either Mega Shark, Sharktopus, or Dinoshark, whichever has grossed highest by the time the script is written. Then Moby faces his biggest challenge, set up by his manager (they got back together), Ahab. He’s fighting a whaling ship. Ahab will captain the ship to ensure that the fix is in. During the bout, Moby accidentally bites off Ahab’s leg, setting up the tension between Peck and the whale in the original film.

4. After Sunrise, but before Sunset 2 – Being a Hallmark effort, you can count on a lame title for the sequel. Hawke is unfaithful. Delpy tries to kill herself. Hawke becomes an addict. Delpy gets him into rehab. Hawke recovers. Delpy forgives him. Delpy again tries to kill herself.

3. Toy Story: The Cave – Woody the stick and Buzz the rock are stolen by a couple of Neanderthals. (Don’t let the voice talent do that stupid “Neandertall” thing.) Set most of this movie in Werner Herzog’s cave, which is getting a lot of high-class buzz. Include the albino alligators. You can also introduce some comical character – say, a pile of dinosaur dung – that is voiced by a sound-alike Klaus Kinski.

2. Look Who’s Talking: Almost Born! – Spermatazoons Fred and Harry hook up with ova Mildred and Rachel at the fallopian party. These crazy zygotes head over to the local womb, turn into blastocysts and burrow into the uterine wall for nourishment. Write them out of the script at this point, because now the cute embryonic twins John and Mary take over the movie. It’s Dinner with Andre meets The Savages. Talk, talk, talk, followed by the light at the end of the tunnel.

1. The Bible: God Tries to Make Up his Mind – The studio heads got their way with “The Bible: Before the Beginning,” but in this sequel, Jesus Christ shows up. Let’s face it, He’s a major draw. Voiced by Mel Gibson. The Cisalpinian Monks have been pushed out of the scriptwriting derby; the new front-running script consortium is Gibson’s Blood, Thorns, and Some More Blood of the Lamb Christian Congregation of the Barrier Reef. If Thor grosses well, we might add some Norse stuff here.

Screenwriters: Top Prequel Projects

Prequels are the hottest topic in Hollywood right now. Here are the top five still open for independent submissions:

5. Moby Dick: The Contender – Starts when Moby is still a little fish, not yet The Great White Whale. Ahab is his trainer. Moby takes on The Great Black Whale (aka The Dick) and gets his butt kicked (figuratively speaking). Before the rematch, Moby and Ahab have a falling out. Ahab loses it completely and bites Moby’s head off (again, figuratively speaking). You know the rest.

4. After Sunrise but before Sunset – A Hallmark project. No sex. Do anything else you can think of to ensure that the script is no more boring than all the other Hallmark movies. Pays $250.

3. Toy Story: The Beginning – The invention of toys. Woody is a stick and Buzz is a rock.

4. Look Who’s Talking: Within the Organs – Prenatal. Talking spermatozoons and ova. Following the climax, they meet at a party in a fallopian tube.

5. The Bible: Before the Beginning – The monks of the Cisalpinian Order of the Catholic Church, working out of a tenement in Queens, currently have their legs up on this project with their prequel draft, but the die has not yet been cast. Studio heads are looking for something a little more eye-for-an-eye-ish.

Guest Post: Goodbye

Dear joem18b. I am using this guest post to say goodbye. Sayonara, baby. I have been your girlfriend for three years now and I still don’t know what you look like or how old you are or where you live or what you do or nothing.

I am out of here.

Don’t comment me or email me or write on my wall. Do not tweet me. Do not leave a message on my home phone machine in a disguised voice, Mr. Invisible Man.

I’m going out tonight with a real person, a guy that I found on a dating site. He may turn out to be a serial killer, but at least I’ll feel his hands around my throat.

We had some good times, you and me, especially after we met on Phoenix University’s online campus. Those were the days, snugglebuns. Do you know what I’m doing right now. I’m in the bath and… Aw, nuts. Forget it.

Those “personal items” I sent to your anonymous postal-service box? I want them back. Laundered.

Is anything that you told me really true? My friend Trudy has been out with a hundred guys and she says that you are way exaggerating. Have to be. Trudy says that if you’re telling the truth, she’d be willing to wait three years for you herself, or even four, to hook up.

So goodbye. Unless you want to get together later or something. Let me know what you think.