If you’re not familiar with the lingo of a spec script in the entertainment world, it is an original unsolicited and unpublished screenplay written by a screenwriter who hopes to have the script purchased by a producer, production company or studio. Last night was the night for specs as Warner Bros. and Universal both closed deals on two spec scripts that had a lot of other studios foaming at the mouth.
According to Deadline, Warner Bros. had purchased the script ‘The End’, a science fiction/drama spec script written by Aron Eli Coleite. Coleite is best known for his work as the writer and producer of the NBC series ‘Heroes’.
‘The End’ comprises of three different storylines that are interconnected by the fact that each person in the story-lines are trying to reconcile with the fact that the world is going to end in 6 hours. One storyline deals with a London veteran broadcaster, a 16 year old girl and her boyfriend in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a devoted family man in Shanghai. Each person tries to make peace with their lives before it all ends.
Granted, this sounds more of a drama than sci-fi, but since it is set 6 hours before the end of the world, it fits in the genre. There is no producer yet attached to this project.
The big win, however, goes to Universal for their purchase of ‘Grim Night’. Brandon Bestenheider and Allen Bey (who wrote the script) were brilliant in the way they marketed the script as they put together a promo trailer to entice interest from the studios. Apprently it worked as their spec was in such high demand that it prompted a bidding war with 6 other studios (which makes me believe that Warner Bros may have taken ‘The End’ because they lost out on ‘Grim Night’). The spec was purchased for the amount somewhere in the “high six figure” range.
‘Grim Night’ is about an event that takes place onec a year. Everyone on Earth prepares for this night when the Grim Reapers come down to collect souls. In the promo video that was shown, so far over 90,000 souls have been taken. The originality and eerie premise of the story is such a great change as it begs the question ‘What would you do if you knew Death would be walking the streets to take your soul?’ You can watch the trailer of ‘Grim Night’ that was shown to the studios below.
There seems to be a lot of buzz with ‘Grim Night’ and the project already has producer Bryan Bertino attached to it. If Universal is smart, it would start getting the film into production soon.
So what do you think of the two new projects? Is either of them one you would go see in the theaters?