Lucky breaks were a hot topic at Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch talk at Canada’s Whistler Film Festival. Five of the screenwriters chatted with Variety exec editor Steven Gaydos Saturday, along with Melissa Rosenberg.
The “Twilight” screenwriter, who has spent over two decades toiling in the biz, called her career leading up to the vampire franchise as “One of the longest overnight success stories in Hollywood.”
Regarding the screenwriters to watch, Reid Carolin said his “Magic Mike” script owed some of its success to Carney’s hot dogs, a focal point of a meeting with Steven Soderbergh. “We thought Steven’s interest was kind of a joke but it turned out to be very real,” said Carolin.
The fate of a spec script is never certain, and is often graveyard-bound. But Patrick Aison’s “Wunderkind” had a secret weapon: “It’s set up at J.J. Abrams’ ‘Bad Robot.’ He read it. He made Paramount buy it,” said Aison.
Football comedy “Draft Day” had enough clover power to hook both Ivan Reitman and Kevin Costner, but “the bad news is that we sold it to Paramount,” explained Scott Rothman, “and they decided not to do it.”
Scribe Ted Melfi was eventually able to get his “St. Vincent de Van Nuys” script to Bill Murray, who said, “I’d love to do it.”
“That will be great,” replied Melfi. “Can you tell someone other than me? ‘Cause no one’s going to believe this whole thing.”
When scribe Katie Dippold heard that the budget for “The Heat,” directed by Paul Feig, was $40 million dollars, she couldn’t believe it. But her mom asked, “Oh, what chunk of that do you get?” “I already got paid.” “Oh,” said Mom, “just that one thing?”