David Twohy

Not Coming Soon: The Top Unproduced Action Scripts Part 3

By Sean Tuohy

We're happy to see that you've all returned to Part 3 of our ongoing series "The Top Unproduced Action Scripts." If you're just joining us, you might want to catch up with Parts 1 and 2.

Let's not waste any time here, folks. Below are five more scripts that were written by some talented souls, but for one reason or another Hollywood decided not to make them into a movie. What a shame.

Let the show begin!

"Apogee" by Andrew W. Marlowe

There have been a lot of "Die Hard"-like movies over the years, but Marlowe's script set in space is one of the most original. Who wouldn't want to see "Die Hard In Space?" As over-the-top as that plot line sounds, Marlowe keeps the story grounded and keeps you turning the page in this well-paced script. The bad guys have ice water pumping through their veins and they are armed with microwave guns. Yeah, that's a thing. The good guy is a damaged soul trying to set things right in his life while saving the world at the same time. Throw in some zero gravity fight scenes above the Earth and you've got a great action movie.

Will this ever see the light of day?  I hope, but a movie like this cannot be done as a straight to DVD movie. It has to be a summer blockbuster. A movie like this is meant to be watched for thrills and chills while wolfing down popcorn and sipping ice cold cola. In a world where one-off movies are dying(or already dead) I don't know if a movie like this would be considered by Hollywood executives. However, put in the right hands of the right filmmaker, this movie would be stellar. Oh, and since it is set in space Ed Harris has to be in it as the head of  NASA mission control.

"True Believers" by Doug Richardson


This is Mr. Richardson's second appearance on our list. Hats off to him.

As you all know here at Writer's Bone, we are big fans of Doug Richardson as both a screenwriter and novelist. The story behind True Believers is almost as interesting as the story itself. It started life as a thriller novel—one that kept me up at night and made me miss my bus stop more than once—before Richardson turned it into a screenplay. The screenplay is tight, fast-paced, and filled with strong, well developed, and sinister female characters that leap from the page. You are pulled into a dark world filled with evil souls from the opening paragraph of the screenplay. I highly recommend reading the book before you pick up the script because it provides you a chance to see a writer approach his craft in two different ways.

True Believers the novel is filled with multiple characters' point of views, settings from coast to coast, and intriguing subplots. Most of those elements are removed from the screenplay, but the core of the story stays intact.

Will this ever see the light of day?  Well, they already tried once and you can read what happen at Richardson's blog about the mess that it became. I hope that a director picks this up and does it right if given the chance. The lead role of Will Sullivan would be a great part for a young, up-and-coming male actor and the  mischievous character of Izzy has to be filled by a drop dead looker with an evil twinkle in her eye.

"Gunslinger" by John Hlavin

Westerns are dead for the most part in Hollywood, but every once in a while a gifted writer comes along with a new spin on the genre. That's the case with "Gunslinger." This action script tells the tale of a Texas Ranger pulled into a bloody war with drug cartels. The main character is a man of few words who goes through hell during the end of the second act to beat the bad guys. The script is not long, but carries one hell of a punch. This fast read is one of the best westerns I have read in a long time.

Will this ever see the light of day?  I hope, but I have a feeling that Hollywood may take this and turn it in to a low budget straight to DVD kind of movie. They may put in a second tier action actor and take out a lot of the character building moments and replace them with bland action scenes.

"Killing Pablo" by Joe Carnahan

I love Joe Carnahan! "Narc" is on my top five favorite films of all time and top ten scripts of all time. Carnahan is an incredible writer and, when given the chance, writes fantastic dialog. I was thrilled to hear he was going to tackle the international best selling story about drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.  Carnahan did a great job of taking tons of facts and many characters, most of them Spanish speakers, and fitting them into a great script.

Will this ever see the light of day?  Carnahan left this project so I am not sure if it'll ever get made. If Carnahan had stayed involved we would have seen an epic crime drama. Carnahan has a talent for putting real characters in very violent worlds and making you root for them. This is a story we all know—well a powerful crime lord hunted down by law enforcement—but the story of Pablo Escober is legend status and needs to be captured on film.

"Uprising" By David Twohy

David Twohy knows how to write fast-paced sci-fi thrillers with a great human element and "Uprising" is no different. Starting with a bang that you can only find in sci-fi, "Uprising" combines  "The Great Escape" with "Independence Day." The story follows a group of soldiers held in a POW after an alien race invades Earth and the captured troops must find a way to break out of the alien prison.

Will this ever see the light of day? It looks like it may get made, but I am not sure by which studio. Twohy goes into the history of the alien race, giving them a little more backstory than your normal alien invasion movie. This could be a summer blockbuster with big cast of well-known older actors mixed with young newcomers and some great special effects thrown in. That's a recipe for a great movie.

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Not Coming Soon: The Top Unproduced Action Scripts Part 2

By Sean Tuohy

Hollywood spends millions of dollars to have scripts written for movies that will never been made or even read by actors. However, we're are lucky enough sometimes to find them and enjoy them (Check out Part 1 of this series). The scripts below were pulled from my private collection for this list and were penned by some of Hollywood's best and brightest screenwriters.

Enjoy the show!

"Aliens 3" by David Twohy

"Alien 3" was made into a movie in the early 1990s, but there are many versions of the script out there. Several different writers at different stages of production tried to make a third story line for the film series. There are some scripts that had no Ripley in them; one had monks in a wooden space ship fighting the Alien, others had Hicks and Newt on Earth fighting the Aliens. The producers tried to mix elements from all of these to create the final version of "Alien 3." David Twohy's script stood out among them. Twohy is not new to the sci-fi genre—the grand master screenwriter has penned other top notch movies over the years—but this was one of his finest. In Twohy's script, the reader follows a group of convicts in a space station prison who must fight aliens while trying to escape back to Earth. Parts of this script were used in the final film, but, unfortunately, not the good parts. The characters pop off the page, the villains send chills down your spine, and the gory scenes make you wince. It's an awesome script.

Will this ever see the light of day? No. They already made "Alien 3," so this script has sadly been scrapped.

"The Extractors" by James DeMonaco and Kevin Fox

It’s rare to find an original action/thriller script, but this movie fits the bill. It mixes elements of "The Great Escape" with a James Bond thriller. The film follows a group of ex-cons who can break anyone out of prison for the right price, but after a failed job they have to work with the CIA to regain their freedom. The script had great characters with developed back stories and great action scenes.

Will this ever see the light of day? I hope so. They have been talking about making this movie since 2000, but nothing has happened yet.

"Til Beth Do Us Part" By Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Scholossberg

This script is funny. Not "ha ha" funny, but "I just peed myself because I was laughing so hard" funny. The script tells the tale of two best friends and a woman who gets between them. The opening scene of this script had me toppling out of my chair. It is fast, witty, smart, and has a big heart.

Will this ever see the light of day? I hope so. These guys made "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle," one of the funniest movies to come out in 15 years, so I believe they can pull this off.

"Untitled Channing Tatum" by Doug Jung

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum

Not a great title, but at least it helps to be able to picture the main character. This was an old school buddy cop/revenge movie. An LAPD cop and a Korean gangster team up to find the mobster that killed their partners. The script has some great moments and delivers them perfectly. Also, the dialogue is above average for an action script.

Will this ever see the light of day? Doubtful. Tatum is an actor (somehow…) and he can do whatever movie he wants. This was written before "Magic Mike" and "G.I. Joe" were blockbuster hits, so I don't think it’s likely that Tatum will do this script. Can they do it with another young actor? Maybe.

"Without Remorse" by Stuart Beattie (Based on the novel by Tom Clancy)

I am fan of Tom Clancy's CIA agent John Clark, a real life spy with ice pumping in his veins. However, they have never been able to bring the cold blooded spy to the big screen. This script updated Clark’s backstory from Vietnam to the Middle East and was able to keep the core of Clancy's novel while at the same time cutting out the fat.

Will this ever see the light of day? Maybe. This script has been floating around for years with different actors and directors attached to it. In an era of "Taken"-like action/revenge movies "Without Remorse" would fit right into the market.

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