Q. For the purposes of practice only, I chose to write my own installment to the X-Men movie series, proceeding directly from the end of the third film. I chose this project because I thought that my familiarity with the characters would allow me to focus on other aspects of the screenwriting process with which I need work. Anyway, long story short, I finished the screenplay and was astounded with what I had. It turned out to be much better than I ever thought it would be.
I understand what you said in your books about writing and trying to sell screenplays for already-established (and big-budget) film series, but I was wondering if you can think of any innovative way that I might be able to get my screenplay into the hands of someone that might find it interesting. I thought that an agent would shy away from it, and sending it to a production company would probably get it tossed immediately into the trash can, but I am pleased with the story and would hate to not give it some kind of a try.
There's an odd difference between the TV biz and the movie biz. In the TV biz, writers are supposed to do exactly what you've done: spec an unsellable writing sample of a famous franchise. Had you written a spec episode of HEROES, you could now send it to an agent.
There is really not that much you can do with a spec X-Men script. An agent will be disinclined to read it because she can't sell it. A producer would be seriously disinclined to read it because they can do nothing with it. Any producer associated in any way with the X-Men franchise would treat your script like a jelly donut powdered with weaponized anthrax.
Why? Look no further than the recent silliness of Rebecca Eckler suing Judd Apatow because she wrote a novel about her pregnancy that also included a friend with kids, and she thinks he stole her plot.
So what to do? Pat yourself on the back for a good script, and now write something original that you can actually sell. Keep the sample handy for the future. If someone likes your next script and wants to see if you have range, you can show it to them then.
Labels: spec scripts