Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Why I worry about Zombieland

If you haven't yet seen the trailer for Zombieland, watch it. It's both funny and explodey, just like the screenplay. It looks like they've changed a few things but for once it looks like most of the greatest bits of the screenplay made it to the screen.

I'll be there opening night because this is right up my alley. A little too much up my alley, unfortunately.

The more I think about this movie, the more nervous I get. One of the reasons I switched from TV to film was because I was tired of constantly having to create new material when two weeks after I wrote a spec it became outdated. A film script never goes out of style, right?

Yeah. Well when I first wrote Not Dead Yet nobody had really embraced action over horror in a zombie flick. Even Resident Evil and 28 Days Later are still by and large horror films. Well maybe not that last Resident Evil movie. I'm not sure exactly what that's supposed to be.

But even though zombies are obviously nothing new, I was at least taking it to a place nobody had really thoroughly explored. It was about a post apocalyptic zombie world where people had to learn to survive because this is how it is, not more humans anywhere. And then one group of humans finds another group of humans in California.

I thought I was going to have to worry about being a copy cat of World War Z, but that appears to be mired in preproduction.

Instead, it was Zombieland that may render me impotent. A story about a couple of guys in a post-apocalyptic zombie world who find another pair of survivors as hijinks ensue. And more importantly, it's straight action, barely any horror at all.

This one's a comedy. Nobody would ever call mine a comedy, but no matter what I do it will look like I'm a shadow of Zombieland. If I had a lower budget, I could sell my script as a knockoff to one of those companies that likes riding the trends. That is, if Zombieland is successful. If it's not successful, nobody will want to touch my screenplay because clearly zombie action flicks are a bad investment.

But I have a huge budget so I can't even sell my script as a cheap copy. I could try to offer it as a sequel, but it's not nearly funny enough so I'd have to rewrite it big time, and that's unlikely to matter anyway because that's dependent on a ton of factors out of my control.

In other words, I have until October. When Zombieland hits, I think I may be out of opportunities with Not Dead Yet. It's still a good work sample, which was its original purpose anyway, but with all the zombie scripts on the market these days, I'm worried about getting thrown aside by a zombie-fatigued reader.

The Beefcake says I worry too much. About everything, not just this, which I find interesting since I am a consummate optimist. I am an oxymoron.

Anyhow, it's just another reminder of why I need to get off my ass and finish my next project. I wrote a screenplay since Not Dead Yet but I don't like it, so I need this one to be good.

I guess I should stop writing here and go write over there.


  1. Anonymous8:06 PM

    Well, your script has the same chance now as it does when ZOMBIELAND comes out -- everyone in town knows about Zland already anyway. You could be in luck, though, if the movie is a massive hit.

    But it's really not a big deal. My script went out as a sample a script with the same logline sold. I still got a ton of meetings and jobs.

  2. Same logline? Huh. Okay I'll stop worrying.

  3. you worry too much. You'll be fine. For all we know, Zombieland might help give you a better chance of getting your script read and passed around.

  4. http://www.firstshowing.net/2009/07/15/check-this-out-awesome-teaser-poster-for-zombieland/

  5. Oh Tavis that is fantastic.

    I'm so goddamn jealous of those guys.

  6. The trailer for this is awesome. But I can't seem to figure out when this is coming out?

  7. October, I'm not sure what date.


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