I set the TiVo to grab SciFi Channel’s “The Lost Room” mini-series, largely because it co-stars Elle Fanning, who is also in The Nines. The two projects seem to overlap thematically: in my movie, Elle plays the key to a dark conspiracy; in the series, Elle is a player in a dark conspiracy about a key.
It’s a giant relief to see The Lost Room, because it’s very similar to a show I nearly pitched this season — which would have involved Elle getting kidnapped, a cult, and mysterious goings-on. Since The Lost Room effectively precludes my idea, why do I classify it as a relief?
Because now I don’t have to write it.
Many of the projects I write — and the majority of the projects I produce — begin because an idea will present itself and I’ll think, “Wow, someone should really do that.” I’m sure a sizable portion of the American public has similar “why doesn’t somebody…” ideas. The difference is, I am that somebody. I can call up ABC and pitch a show and get a fair chunk of money to write it. But it’s not always the best use of my time.
“Someone should do a crime show set in Alaska” — six months writing and shooting the Alaska pilot
“No one’s ever done a show about private military contractors” — a year and a half writing three different versions of the pilot for Fox
“Prince of Persia would make a great movie” — going on three years executive producing an adaptation, which still doesn’t have a start date
So that’s why, sometimes, I’m delighted when someone else has the same good idea. I recently had 30 projects on my “To Write” list. Now I have 29. Actually, 28…
I just saw in the Slamdance catalog a listing for American Zombie. That’s a title I’ve had on my list for three years, without any real story to go with it, just a sense that, “Someone should make a movie called American Zombie.”
Now someone has. The director’s name is Grace Lee. I hope her movie’s terrific. Either way, I thank her deeply.