Here's my pick of the scripts for upcoming 2009 films, courtesy of Raindance.
NOTTINGHAM (click to download):
I know one of the makeup artists doing preproduction on this. She spent days and weeks making loads of dead medieval soldiers with arrows through their necks and stuff. Then the production was shut down due to economic problems. Shame, because this is quite an intriguing, tricksy little script that paints Robin Hood as a murderous outlaw, and Russell Crowe as the 'good' Sheriff of Nottingham. But in a world of collapsing finances, was the timing really right for a film that said robbing from the rich and giving to the poor was "a bad thing, mmkay?" It's still a very good script, if a little too reminiscent of Kingdom of Heaven. Wonder if it'll ever get made?
SHERLOCK HOLMES (click to download):
Now THIS was another film that made me do a little wince when I first heard about it. Guy Ritchie directing? Robert Downey Jr as Holmes? Jude Law as Watson? The stills of a barechested RDJ didn't fill me with hope either. The ones with his clothes on weren't much better - he looks like Charlie Chaplin. But guess what? This is actually a pretty good script. It's got magic, wall to wall Victorian period detail, a good baddie, some martial arts, and a sexually charged bromance between Holmes and Watson is nicely sketched too. I'll await this one with cautious optimism.
THIS SIDE OF THE TRUTH (click to download):
I have an ambivalent relationship with Ricky Gervais. Used car salesman pissing into the open grave of comedy? Fat bloke from Reading? Comic genius who captured lightning in a bottle with The Office and never looked back? Or some combination of the three. But to be honest, any guy who takes pics like this and then posts them on his blog, is basically alright by me. And his script is absolute genius. It's a high concept movie about an alternate universe, in which lying does not exist. Then a down at heel screenwriter (who only writes feature length Jackanory style narratives about The Black Death, as Hollywood movie mimicry's dishonest, you see) who loses his job hits upon the novel concept of, well, lying. He goes on to invent a religion, make millions of pounds and become world famous. But what he really wants, you see - is to be loved. And that's where the script dies on its arse. It's 90% genius, then has an ending that makes no sense. Hopefully it'll work on screen, cos this film is hilarious in its use of painfully honest dialogue.
Last but not least, you should read this. It's the The Black List (click to download), a pamphlet listing the best screenplays of 2008, some of which are in production or have been optioned. Some fascinating stories here.