Friday, November 12, 2010

X-23: The Movie and Why Hollywood needs to do it now, and How.

I've tried for weeks now to reach someone at Marvel or Fox to discuss with about this. I have a more professional condensed business proposal letter with all this ready to go, but the system itself is denying the possibility that it'd ever be seriously considered or even read.

I have a script that I've yet to submit as I need the information of who to send it to, to make sure it is actually read and my plan seriously considered. Due to how Hollywood is now such a closed circuit (agents, entertainment lawyers, and more hoops than even that if you aren't already in the biz and that's just for self-created properties, don't even get me started on trying to use something complicatedly established like X-23 is), this has been nigh impossible. I've yet to reach out to Hugh Jackman's Production company, but that would be the next step since I've yet to hear anything back from Marvel, or Fox.  So I'm going about this the 'Densha Otoko' way.

I have gone about this not as well as I should have, and for that I apologize. With the system setup as it is, I wasn't left with much of an option. I'm drowned out by thousands of fans who want what typical fans do. They want her shoe-horned into any random movie, they want Summer Glau to play her, they want Fox to give the rights back to Marvel, they want all these things that are counter-productive to making a successful franchise movie or is counter-intuitive to drawing a large audience.

This needs to be done right to become a franchise and a hit. I know, saying all this on an X-23 fan blog, outright complaining about fans is counter-intuitive to the very thing I need, which is fan hits. My goal isn't the same as theirs. I want an X-23 film to be made, and I want it to be true to who she is and what she's experienced. I want it to be a franchise that's rich with possibilities, and not simply some minor cameo that's forgettable. I want to push X-23 to Twilight level stardom; to Transformers level box office returns. Marvel has already created the ground work for this potential with the magnificent origin mini-series written by Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle, so that's exactly what should be adapted. It's not that I know better than the thousands of fans out there, it's just that I want something different than what they keep proposing from their fanboy bias and tunnel vision.

To this end, I've realized I'm going to have to take an alternative route to reach my goals. This blog has always been here for me to celebrate the character X-23, and toss around these ideas, so I thought it might finally be time I did just that. So remember, this is a blog, not how I'd write to send something professionally. This is just me rambling off all of what I want to do in my more casual and natural written voice as opposed to what I call 'business speak' or 'professional writing.' I like to keep things on this blog more casual to avoid arrogance or being pretentious.

The script itself is mildly under-wraps, it does have changes from the two mini-series it's based on(Innocence Lost, and Target X), but they are changes for time constraints, and for character usage to fit as well as getting the rating to remain at PG-13 due to the subject matter. It is essentially 90% the same, 5% for time and character changes(film rights issues), and 5% to heighten the emotional impact and attempt to keep the rating within needed parameters. Due to the nature of the biz; I don't want my ideas stolen, but to gain an actual dialogue with Marvel or Fox. I am keeping the script to myself and the few I've let read it as a blind test audience for how it would play out on general audiences. I would like for it to only be in Fox & Marvel's hands, but even without that, it is their intellectual property I'm using, just as the mini-series it's derived from are their property. So I understand whole-heartedly they could do this without me. To be frank, if they do, I'm fine with that so long as they do it right, and cast appropriately as they have in the past. My main fear here is if they do the opposite of what I'm saying here and it bombs so they blame the character, and not the choices. Hence why I offer the dual scapegoats of doing it accurately, AND being able to blame it all on a fan not in the biz for pushing it. To be fair though, I'm only willing to take the blame if I actually have a credited hand in it. That's fair isn't it? They take the credit for the success it will be, I take the blame if by some random chance it flops.

The pitch: X-23 is Nikita meets Splice, with a dash of Life Unexpected. It has overtones of Pinnochio but in the modern world, along with elements of Cinderella, but a Cinderella not saved by a prince, but by her own hand and family.

Proposed Release Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 (The Year of X-23's Ten Year Anniversary. It'll have been ten years since her premiere on X-Men Evolution in August of 2003.)

Synopsis: Laura Kinney is a girl unlike any other. Her father is Wolverine, a man she's never met. She was born into a world that makes her kill so they get money. She's never known what being a real girl is like. That is, until one day her mother sends her away to her extended family, but will Laura's "owners" be okay with this?

Marketing: The marketing plan is crucial to this attaining Twilight or Transformers level stardom and returns.

First, start off by announcing where the script came from: a fan who was born on 10/23, and did ample amounts of research to make sure it maintained accuracy for fans, and yet still would be able to appease general audiences.  Going this route on attaching a 'fan' under the set criteria above also lessens the impact of piracy because the fans would be hurting one of their own. Granted that's never stopped them before, but at least it could make some hesitant. It also gives studios an out if it unexpectedly does poorly. It was written by a 'fanboy' and would be the end of this just starting career in film writing. (Mind you, I'm fine with this as X-23 is one of only 3 things I'd like to actually write a film for.) This angle also yields a new promotion manner, being the person behind this marketing plan, and so involved in the choices of the film lets this person be perfect for the Morning Show/Talk Show circuit to push the chance the studio is taking doing this and the chance they are taking with this lone fan. The drawback here is that this person will be thrust into the limelight themself. Something I'm opposed to as I've only ever wanted to live my life with privacy and solitude. Fame isn't what I personally want. What I want is to be able and go to the theater and see this movie in glorious IMAX or 3D. I believe in this so passionately that I'm willing to give that up to attain my goal and to ensure a success. There is also a symmetry here of X-23 attaining a life outside of what she was confined to, as this movie would give this 'fan' a chance to attain a new life they never dreamed of. (Sigh, can you say prime reality tv fodder? Cause I can, and it scares me to no end. I'm a staunch supporter of the fact reality tv came into existence because of a deal with the devil...)

Second, an as-yet-undetermined amount of profits should go to a charity for abuse victims. The story itself deals with this heavily, and what better way to respect the story than to do just that; help those in situations as bad. This also hopefully will curtail another piece of the piracy puzzle, and show the people who made this to be caring individuals out to help the world, the economy, and fans by doing it justice and keeping its soul intact to do so.

Third, a promise from Fox to maintain as much accuracy as they can, since this story has minimal to no real superhero costumes. It is simply the story of a girl growing up, making a friend, and dealing with family.

Fourth, the casting can reflect the parallels of a child star or pop idol. X-23 was created as a weapon to be used, so an actress who was raised in the limelight to be a star would allow this parallel to be pushed, and add a layer of symbolism that could, if done right, give Marvel an actual Oscar contender.

Fifth, pushing in trailers about the daughter wolverine didn't know he had. This angle, and general 'sisterhood of the traveling pants' type familial focus could help gain female viewers as Twilight has. Unlike Twilight, Laura is a postive role model for women as she's trying to improve her life and live inspite of what the people who created her want her to be. She's choosing her own destiny thanks to her mother, what daughter could ask for more when the world is pushing them down?

Sixth is the release day. October 23rd, 2013. This date falls on a Wednesday in the heart of a season full of horror movies. It is not your typical big budget release date, but this isn't exactly a big budget action movie either. The date reflects the title being 10/23 itself and gains them 2 extra days on the box office weekend returns. It also allows for a big push from Marvel to have 'Daughter' variant covers on all the Marvel titles released that day. They can even call it 'X-23 Day'. 2013 itself is the perfect year because if you switch the 2 and the 1 in 2013 you get 10-23 or X-23. X is the roman numeral for 10 after all. Oh, and speaking of 10, 2013 is also the ten year anniversary for X-23 since her creation in X-Men Evolution. Seriously, talk about convenient.

Seventh is the budget. This film doesn't require ample amounts of money thrown at it unlike Iron Man, or Captain America, or any other comic adaption's price tag. This film could be comfortably done at around Scott Pilgrim's 60 Million, or at most around the first X-Men movie's budget (depending on the cost of 3D if used). Using practical effects to make it look better would also curtail chunks of the budget to be marketed. This makes the risk less on the studio, and the returns higher for all those associated, including the chunk that goes to charity.

Speculative Casting:

Laura Kinney AKA X-23 - The starring role. A brunette caucasian actress who can pass for a 14-17 year old girl. Being a child-star a plus. Someone who can convey innocence and a childlike nature, while still capable of conveying an eerie level of violence in just a look. This role needs someone with star power behind it that can play to a modern generation and not solely the Firefly generation.

Lucy Hale
Selena Gomez
Malese Jow
Indie Eisley
Phoebe Tonkin
Victoria Justice
Elise Gatien

Dr. Sarah Kinney - Laura's Mother and creator. A caucasian brunette actress who can play the age ranges of 24-35. Someone preferably with a lyrical voice that's suitable for narration. This is pivotal to the first half and its narration. It's reminiscent of A Diary of Anne Frank stage play type narration.

Eliza Dushku
Summer Glau
Alyson Hannigan
Pauley Perrette
Daniela Ruah
Angela Sarafyan
Renée Felice Smith

Dr. Zander Rice - The man who fashioned Laura Kinney into the weapon she is. He has an unhealthy loathing for all things James Howlett for what happened to his own father. A caucasian actor who ranges from 24-40.

Barrett Foa
Joshua Jackson
Chris O'Donnell
Eric Christian Olsen

Kimura - X-23's invincible field handler in charge of keeping her in the project and following orders. An actress with looks that can range from 18-25. Someone who can do sadistic, abusive, cruel, and revel in it well.

Naya Rivera
Mila Kunis

Megan Kinney - Dr. Sarah Kinney's niece, Debra's Daughter, and Laura's cousin. She shows Laura what it's like to be a normal girl. A blonde caucasian actress who can play a 13-16 year old girl. Unknowns are welcome.

Ashley Benson
Britt Robertson

Debra Kinney - Megan's mother, Dr. Sarah Kinney's sister, and Laura Kinney's Aunt. She plays a key role in helping Laura start to become a 'real girl'. She's your typical single-mom who hasn't experienced any real form of adventure or horror outside of your typical real world matters. A brunette caucasian actress that looks in the range of 25 to 38. Unknowns are welcome.

>a href="">Ginnifer Goodwin
Shiri Appleby
Delphine Chanéac
Summer Glau
Alyson Hannigan
Pauley Perrette
Ellen Pompeo
Daniela Ruah
Angela Sarafyan
Renée Felice Smith
Jenny Wade

James Howlett AKA Wolverine - Need I say more?

Hugh Jackman is the only choice for this. He IS Wolverine, and no actor could do it better.

Megan's French Teacher - Used for one of the comedic scenes to break the tension of the film.

Jamie Hyneman

Megan's Biology Teacher - Used for one of the comedic scenes to break the tension of the film.

Adam Savage

There are other roles too of course, but these are the basic headlining roles with the most screen time. Well besides the teachers, they only have one scene each, but I had to 'fan' cast those for the obvious references in the mini itself anyway.

The Spin: Having this movie adhere to the origin mini-series closely gives much respect to the character and work that should make fans happy, while still at the same time proving to Hollywood that an accurate adaption can still fit in continuity to movies that have diverged and appease general audiences. It shows fans that just because a universe is completely different, doesn't mean that things that were changed, can't be used by writers with tact who know what they are doing and have researched the subject. Yes, Marvel themselves are proving this with the Avengers Assemble line-up of movies, but Fox has yet to prove themselves capable of this. This is changing hopefully with Wolverine 2 coming soon, but that shouldn't be the only one to do it to push the point. A multi-fire approach gains the fans multiple examples of accuracy to prove it works on the off-chance one of them doesn't.

This movie idea is one that plays up the classic era of sci-fi cinema that is lacking in Hollywood today. A story focused on character drive, with a climax and resolution that would make audiences discuss it without bowing to shock value to attain it like Splice attempted. It'd raise the question of human rights, what a weapon is, and what she's guilty of or should be held responsible for. A thought-provoking movie that would keep making audiences come back for more to catch every detail as it would be talked about for decades to come. Is she a child, or a weapon; the daughter Wolverine never knew he had.

Production Materials:
This concept work does not reflect what the final title could or should be, the title is only tentative if this idea even gets off the ground.

So far, all I have is the one spec poster, but more are to follow to depict each candidate, as well as the various tag lines and other characters. I also have trailer music I've spliced together and am working on getting a spec trailer together to also put here. So that will come someday, probably not soon though sadly as I have to gather clips and alter clips to use under fair use and research what the limits are associated to that.

Why Hollywood needs to do this now:
X-23 will be making her first splash to general audiences (outside of traditional animation) in the upcoming Marvel vs Capcom 3 video game. Many idle fans of those games have no clue who she is, but it gives them an awareness of the fact she's a Marvel character. X-23 currently has her own on-going comic which this movie could help bolster the sales of. Right now, we're knee-deep into a season of strong female protagonists that cater to all audiences again, and while in this trend the iron needs to be struck while it's hot. This movie would prove the superhero genre is long from dead so long as it is in capable hands and the material well-warranted. With movies like Bubblegum Crisis in the works, Sucker Punch about to be released, the anime NOIR being made into a series by Raimi, Buffy the Vampire Slayer being remade, and other iconic women in film history that have paved the way, it's time for one to stand out and show that a strong female protagonist can be both a role-model, and a film audiences will gobble up faster than the Turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. This film also does what classic cinema does, preying on the modern fears of cloning prevalent in society. By making the audience think, it does what very few modern movies do today, and like inception did, would get audiences coming back repeatedly for more.

With using as close adhesion as possible to her origin in the first one, it allows the sequels, if warranted, to diverge freely. Any sequel to this can be as open ended as they like to continue the potential without worry. This would be the Fox Universe X-23 and not the comics afterall, and really for now, only her origin is needed to be accurate. The rest can go any direction needed so long as it continues the motif of making the audience ponder the predicament. This also alleviates the issue of NYX on-screen, or her other random appearances until an Academy X movie, or tv series. The premise is to introduce Laura Kinney AKA X-23 to world-wide audiences accurately, and leave the door open to go any which way they want afterwards. In fact, it'd be prefered that everything after her Origin is different; to allow X-23 to define herself as a self-sustaining franchise. If Fox sits idly on their hands, this sweeping trend will pass them by.

If Marvel, Fox, or Hugh Jackman's production company is interesed in pursuing my idea they can reach me at my e-mail address here where I can divulge whatever contact info is needed to seriously discuss this and the possibilities once I've verified that it truly is them contacting me. Yes, I've even pondered the burning question about this: What makes me think I'm uniquely qualified over the thousands of fans that attempt this everyday for fun.

So please, if you feel this is a good plan, spread the link to this blog entry as much as you can to reach the masses. Maybe, just maybe, if I'm lucky, it'll finally be seen by someone at Marvel, or Fox since nothing else has worked. If enough news can be generated about this very entry, maybe this idea can actually move forward in a timely enough manner to reach the projected prime marketing release date of 10/23/2013.  So any news outlet carrying a link to this would be graciously thanked for their help, just as I understand that if Marvel or Fox do this without me, it is within their right.  I'll still be the first in line to see it if that happens!  Doing it that way, I cannot guarantee the success of it though personally, and will not accept any blame if it does poorly at the box office or on DVD.  As it shouldn't though, that's a risk they could be willing to take. Here's hoping Fox does have a heart, and grants this 'Flake of Snow' simply the chance to be heard.

Gah. Okay, I've been working on this for 2 days, and just need to publish it. Minor bits may change later to make it flow better and all that jazz.  For this exact moment though, my brain is just fried times 23.  For now life is calling to come back to it instead of dreaming about something that will never happen. I may take a break from this blog itself for awhile because of just how much this entailed and I need a break from X-23 to remain clear headed for other ventures.


  1. "What makes me think I'm uniquely qualified over the thousands of fans that attempt this everyday for fun." This.

    And isn't that what agents are for to act as a barrier from crap and good?

  2. Yes, that's what agents are for. Agents won't handle established material though. All submissions have to be original, and I don't want to be in the biz either. Just a one hit wonder if even. More-to-the-point, I just want this movie made period.

    As for the answer, it's simple. I'm not uniquely qualified. I'm just an average person that could do as any average person could. I've just put too much forethought into this lone topic. It's not that I know better than others, it's just that I have the will to push this through any method I have to, to get it kick-started.

    As for the Agent. This is an established property that was unsolicited without the original rights holders okay. I do believe that the angle of a 'fanboy' and the birthdate can be used as a marketing means though that other movies haven't used yet. As I stated, it also gives them a scape goat to use as well. The birthdate is just convenient and speaks nothing to trying to buy these two mini-series in tpb form to get them. What writer in their right mind would spend 80 dollars apiece for 2 books? The real angle is just the fan boy angle. The fanboy angle is something hollywood would never do, which is exactly why it'd make a great gimmick.

    In a time when someone on the internet can become a pop-idol, and artists can work on marvel comics as far away as Berlin, why's it ubelievable that a writer from the internet can do the same? This is why I've approached it like this, as opposed to the appropriate channels. More or less, it's an experiment.