Phantasm’s End
Oct 30th, 2008 by mike

by Roger Avary
The fans’ desire for this one almost guarantees it won’t be made. That and it’s reported to be too costly to film on a low budget. The fact that the script has never been distributed online could be a good sign, though.

I Am Legend
Oct 30th, 2008 by mike

Everyone who has read Richard Matheson’s book wanted this movie done right. Previous versions featured Vincent Price (Last Man on Earth) and Chuck Heston (The Omega Man). This adaptation was in and out of development for awhile — Arnold Schwarzenegger was attached back before Will Smith took the role of John Neville. When Akiva Goldsman came on board as a writer, he went back to the Protosevich script and collaborated with him on a new draft. Hear a revealing interview with Goldsman on KCRW’s The Business.

Oct 30th, 2008 by mike

scriptment by James Cameron
Cameron was planning on doing this story of genetically altered life forms immediately after Titanic. He actually had 200 page scriptment written at that point, but it was put aside for a while.

Years later, Cameron’s mysterious Project 880 turned out to be Avatar after all. (This wasn’t surprising, since Lightstorm Entertainment asked us internet folks to stop hosting the Avatar materials online.)

Confused? See the Joblo story here.

Ain’t it Cool has a synopsis of the scriptment here.

There’s a neat run-down of creatures, locations, and crafts at

Star Wars
Oct 30th, 2008 by mike

Scripts by George Lucas
George wanted to do Flash Gordon. He couldn’t get the rights, so he created his own space mythology. These drafts fascinate me. In some ways, they’re very amateurish. But it amazes me to see how he formed the Star Wars galaxy through the course of rewriting.

The first three scripts are drastically different from one another, but there are certain elements that survived to appear in the movies. Some plot points and names were never used until The Phantom Menace. Unfortunately, some parts seem to have been discarded for good. I’d love to see the opening scenes from the rough draft on the big screen.

For more about these scripts, read John Flynn’s article, The Origins of Star Wars.  I’d also recommend the well-researched Secret History of Star Wars website and book.




Read the rest of this entry »

Planet of the Apes (Remake)
Oct 30th, 2008 by mike

This remake went through a few directors as well as writers. James Cameron was attached, then Oliver Stone, and finally Tim Burton.

Cameron gives his thoughts on the film in an Ain’t it Cool interview here.

Read about Oliver Stone’s involvement at

Read Mike White’s reviews of the Hayes and Hamm scripts in issue 10 of Cashiers du Cinemart.

I, Robot
Oct 30th, 2008 by mike

by Harlan Ellison
Ellison did a good job pulling Isaac Asimov’s stories into a cohesive script, but it was shelved anyway, never to be produced. Fortunately, fans can purchase the screenplay in book form, with many pretty pictures. You’ll have to go to the bookstore for this one. In the summer of 2004, director Alex Proyas brought us a shiny new version starring Will Smith, with a script by Akiva Goldsman.

Buy the illustrated screenplay

Oct 30th, 2008 by mike

by Alexandro Jodorowsky
In the mid 1970s, surrealist filmmaker Jodorowsky worked to put together his dream version of Dune – which would include many bizarre elements that author Frank Herbert understandably had problems with. He assembled a dream team of collaborators. French comic artist Moebius contributed some 3000 storyboards. British painter Christopher Foss and Swiss artist H.R. Giger were brought in as conceptual artists. Dan O’Bannon, who did sci-fi on the cheap with Dark Star, would do miniature effects. The film would be scored by Pink Floyd. And the mad Emperor of the Galaxy would be played by Salvador Dali. Unfortunately, big budget sci-fi was considered risky at the time. When Jodorowsky’s Dune fell apart, Moebius, Foss, O’Bannon, and Giger went on to work on Alien. Dune (directed by David Lynch) was eventually made after the success of the Star Wars movies, Alien, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Read Jodorowsky’s behind-the-scenes essay: The Story of Dune- ‘The Movie You Will Never See. Hosted by

Blade Runner
Oct 30th, 2008 by mike

Writing this one was torture. Once Ridley Scott came in, he wanted everything tailored to his style. I love the final result, plotholes and all. For more about the history, see Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner by Paul M. Sammon.

Blade Runner (July 24, 1980) by Hampton Fancher
Blade Runner (Feb 23, 1981) by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples

Aliens Vs. Predator
Oct 30th, 2008 by mike

by Peter Briggs
This script was written as a spec, based on the Dark Horse comic. Briggs didn’t option the property first (as is the accepted practice), but the script was actually purchased by Fox anyway. Things fell apart when they decided to go ahead with Alien Resurrection instead. The final Alien vs. Predator utilizes a new script by Paul W. S. Anderson. It takes place in Antarctica and has little to do with the Briggs screenplay. Notice the original title was “Aliens (plural) vs. Predator”.

Download screenplay

Alien 5
Oct 30th, 2008 by mike

Treatment by James Cameron and ???
After Alien Resurrection, Ridley Scott and James Cameron discussed doing another sequel. Cameron and another writer (name?) worked up some ideas, but the project was scrapped when Alien Vs. Predator moved forward. Cameron mentions his involvement briefly in an Ain’t it Cool interview here.

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