Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scooped again!

A few years ago (okay, many years ago), I wrote a play about a high school shooting as a response to several of the incidents that occurred--not just at Columbine but elsewhere.  The play was workshopped and a respectable downtown theater and was even optioned for the movie rights.

Then Gus Van Sant started showing ELEPHANT to various film festivals.

And the project died a slow death...

As a playwright, I was pretty inexperienced and I'm actually not bitter or surprised that the project didn't get off the ground.  I learned a lot from that experience, and I know that my play was a lot different than the Van Sant film.

Yet, this kind of thing happens to writers again and again.  It's true that trying to come up with something completely original and unique that no one has seen before is pretty much impossible.  What is unique about your story, is that YOU are the one telling it.  If I gave the Three Little Pigs story to ten different writers, I'd have ten very unique plays.

It is with mixed feelings, then, that I saw the recent trailer for Hugh Jackman's new movie (coming out in 2011), the robot boxing movie REEL STEEL.  While it looks cool, its also a very similar premise to the radio script I'm writing right now, which features a robot boxing match set in the future of 2050.  Of course, my story bears more resemblance to Astroboy and Futurama and Jackman's just looks like Rocky with robots.

Am I going to see the Jackman movie?  Um...yeah!  In fact, I'm hoping that any buzz on that movie and robots in general will help with the new play project I'm doing next summer.

Will 2011 be the year of the robot?

One can only hope.

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