So I’m almost finished writing the first draft of the Syrup
screenplay. I did mention I was working on that, right? No? Oh. That’s
weird. I thought I did. Maybe you just forgot I told you. Yeah, I bet
Actually what happened is I was waiting until there was a signed deal
before I announced it—since until there’s a bit of paper,
there’s always the chance that an agreement will fall apart. But that
took so long to get finalized that I just started writing. Now I
have 90% of a first draft, and the bit of paper is on its way from
Fortress to me.
Working on the script has
been an amazing experience. I wrote Syrup (the novel)
in 1997, and eight
years later I get to go back and fix the parts I wish I’d done
differently. I still feel very close to the two main characters, Scat
and 6, and I love being able to play with them again. Then there’s
the challenge of deciding which parts of the story should make it to
the screen and which should be left on paper. I’ve never had to confront
that before, and it’s been
I also have a hard deadline, in the shape of Jen’s ballooning belly.
Once those contractions hit I don’t expect to touch a keyboard for
a couple of weeks, so my draft had better be finished by then. I’ve
been working pretty intensely for a while now, which is probably why
these blogs have been a little less frequent than usual. (You noticed,
right? Come on.)
I wish I could post some of my script here, because, well, I’m damn
excited about it. But I’m not allowed to. So I guess you’ll just have
to take my word for it: it’s going really well, and I’m loving it.
It’s a good-news-bad-news kind of situation, except the good news is all for
me and the bad news is all for you. That’s the best kind of good-news-bad-news,
so long as you’re me. Which I am. So that’s great.
Here’s the good news. I got this e-mail from Fortress:
I am trying to talk to Siberell about hiring you. We want to give you a
shot and want to make sure that Brian is open to making a creative deal.
Brian Siberell is my film agent. So I’m pretty sure this translates as:
“Dear Max, Without wanting to invite you to pull down our pants and steal
our wallets, we intend to hire you to write the Syrup screenplay.”
My reaction is: “Ohhhhhhh yeah!” I am so fired up to write this
thing, I tell you. And now I don’t have to fly to L.A. and kneecap
The bad news is
the sample script
I posted on this site, then pulled down at Fortress’s request, is going
to stay down. Sorry if you would have liked a look at that. But the
idea now is not to expose my naked raw drafts to the world, but to
keep things under
wraps until I have a script that’s cool and
polished and gleaming with edgy goodness. (Which it so will.
But first, an update on the Syrup film situation. Here’s where we’re
at: Fortress liked my draft script, but wanted to hear more about my vision for the
last two thirds of the film. I said, “That sounds a bit like you want me to
sketch out the whole screenplay for no money,” and they said, “Well…” and
proceeded to flatter me until I agreed to do it. So right now I’m putting
the finishing touches on a draft structure for the film, on the understanding
that they’ll then decide (Donald Trump-style) whether I’m hired
or not. If they turn me down, we have agreed that I get to fly over to LA and
beat them to death.
But back to the headline story: finally, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston are
splitting up! I was thrilled to hear this, because finally that bit in Syrup
where Cindy’s goal is to marry Brad Pitt will make sense again. This has been
bugging me for years, and I’m really glad Brad (or I guess it was Jen) had the
decency to make things right.
Maybe everyone knew this already, but I just found out that those two originally
met on a blind date. I tell you what,
if a friend sets you up on a blind date with Brad Pitt or Jennifer Anniston,
you’d be fairly happy, wouldn’t you? I keep hearing these
dating horror stories; how come nobody ever tells the ones where their blind
date turned out to be one of the most desirable human beings on the planet?
Which, I reckon, was Brad and Jennifer’s problem. I mean, imagine you’re Brad
Pitt. Okay, I’ll give you a few moments. Now imagine waking up one
morning, perhaps after a particularly big night, and wandering to the bathroom.
You’re halfway there and you realize that Jen is looking at you from the bed.
You’re standing there, your hair all flat and stupid-looking, your eyes bloodshot,
caught in the middle of scratching yourself in that place where men scratch when nobody’s
around, and you can totally read Jen’s expression. It’s: “So this is the
world’s sexiest man.”