Cinematic Children of Men

In Hollywood‘s current cinematic dystopia, there are no original screenplays. No hope. But all that can change in a heartbeat.

Screenplays Meme of Children of Men

Screenblogging [ skreen-blawg ] (noun)

  1. A form of blog writing that utilizes the art of screenwriting.
  2. Writing articles in screenplay format using dialogue, characters, and storytelling elements.

INT. BURPZ PUB — EVENING

It’s crowded and loud on a Friday night. At the bar, WE SEE LEON HELVETICA, 27, nursing a fancy glass of dark beer. He looks back and sees his girlfriend, MILDRED MCNAMEY, 25, sitting with two other friends. Mildred raises her eyebrows and gives a look of impatience. Leon rolls his eyes and turns around to meet the bartender, who hands him a fancy cocktail.

LEON

Keep it open. Thanks.

Leon walks hurriedly toward the table, passing by a small stage against the far wall, where karaoke is going on. Leon hands Mildred the fancy cocktail and sits next to her. At the table are PERCY POTTS and HERBERT HARDY, who are in the middle of a heated discussion. Both are drinking cheap beer straight from the can.

PERCY

So then write a stupid comic book.

HERBERT

But what if I just like movies?

PERCY

Then watch a stupid movie. Just don’t write one.

Herbert softens.

HERBERT

Fair enough.

LEON

Wait, what are you guys talking about?

MILDRED

That new Avengers movie we saw. I mean it was still amazing, I don’t see how you can argue that.

LEON

Oh dude, are you kidding me? It was incredible!

HERBERT

Yeah, exactly. Now agree with all of us or I’ll ball my right hand into a tight fist and make you disappear. I swear I’ll do it.

Herbert slowly closes his hand.

MILDRED

Quick, there’s still time. Apologize to Robert Downey Jr. and he might ask Dr. Strange to let you use his quantum leap.

LEON

Yeah, then you can travel back in time where there was no Internet, and pay the cost of a Netflix subscription to watch one movie in some crappy theater.

PERCY

Do you think we could quantum leap back to 1993 so I can take your mom to see Jurassic Park after giving her an abortion?

Herbert stops closing his fist.

HERBERT

Wait, can we make that happen? I wanna come!

LEON

Dude, we get it. You’re an aspiring screenwriter, you like original ideas. But just because something is remade from something original doesn’t automatically put it in the suck pile.

PERCY

Look, we all appreciate cinema for what it is and always will be, right? It’s a vivid, spectacle-filled form of entertainment. All I’m saying is that these days, because of all the reboots, remakes, sequels, sequels to remade reboots…

MILDRED

Sequels to remade reboots?

HERBERT

It’s trueJust look at Spiderman: Homecoming.

PERCY

…It has become crucial, nay, imperative that we instead remind ourselves what cinema can and should be.

LEON

Which is?

PERCY

True, one-of-a-kind vision, born from the writer’s inception and brought to life before the masses.

LEON

But we have that. There’s a ton of original movies being made.

MILDRED

Yeah, Knives Out was awesome. So was that one that came out like last month on Netflix.

LEON

Atlantics?

MILDRED

No, the one we saw after we had huge fight about whether we would ever have kids, then we smoked a bowl after we made up.

LEON

Oh, Marriage Story.

MILDRED

Yes, that one!

Percy and Herbert give them a weird look.

HERBERT

You guys watched Marriage Story after you had an argument?

Mildred

Sure, I guess.

Herbert

Did you put on Blue Valentine while you’re having make-up sex?

PERCY

Wait, no one is saying original screenplays are dead. Actually, they’re constantly being produced, and the market for screenwriters couldn’t be better. What I am saying, though, is that the original screenplays that reach the masses — the ones that hit the big screen — are virtually nonexistent.

HERBERT

That is true. Jurassic Park would never see the light of day in 2020. You’d have Deadpool 5 instead.

PERCY

Okay — Children of Men. Please tell me you guys have seen Children of Men.

LEON

Yeah, what about it?

PERCY

Watch it again. But this, time, replace the children with original screenplays. That’s Hollywood today.

MILDRED

Okay that’s a little bleak. Come on.

PERCY

Yes, it’s that bleak, and I’ll prove it. Check this out.

Percy pulls up his phone and shows her a website.

PERCY

This is a list of the ten highest grossing movies for each year since 2000. Start at the year 2000, and look how the number of original movies just shrinks and shrinks until 2016, where all you see are reboots and sequels.

LEON

Let me see that.

Percy hands Leon his phone. Leon looks over the list.

Top Grossing Moves of 2016
Courtesy: https://the-numbers.com/market/2016/top-grossing-movies

LEON

Okay, top ten movies of 2016. Finding DoryRogue One: Star WarsCaptain America: Civil WarThe Secret Life of PetsSecret Life of Pets was original.

HERBERT

Dude, you can’t count children’s movies. You never count those.

LEON

Fine, then you have The Jungle BookDeadpoolZootopia.

HERBERT

Kids’ movie.

LEON

Batman Versus Superman, Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange.

MILDRED

Guess we can forget about that quantum leap

HERBERT

Damn, I was really looking forward to that date with your mom. This dystopian film industry just keeps bringing down the little guy!

LEON

So what? Hollywood’s always pretty much been this way.

PERCY

No it hasn’t. Look.

Percy touches the phone to go to another page.

Top Grossing Movies of 1998
Courtesy: https://the-numbers.com/market/1998/top-grossing-movies

PERCY

1998. You had TitanicArmageddonSaving Private RyanThere’s Something About MaryThe WaterboyDoctor Dolittle, which yes, I know that’s a remake. But keep going. Deep ImpactRush HourA Bug’s Life, and Godzilla.

LEON

Dude, Godzilla’s also a remake.

PERCY

True, but it’s considered one of the worst movies of all time. And the industry wasn’t on a freaking binge of awful reboots and sequels. They were few and far between, then suddenly they start cranking out The Nutty Professor 2 and masturbating into every comic book they can get their hands on, until you had the inevitable merger between Disney and Marvel Comics.

The table goes silent, each person contemplating the knowledge that was just spoken.

PERCY

Look, back to the Children of Men example. Think of everyone as citizens in the film industry’s dystopia, where we haven’t seen an original blockbuster motion picture in ages, to the point where it seems hopeless that we’ll ever see one again. The British government in Children of Men, you know the one’s imprisoning all the refugees and executing everyone? They’re the people in Hollywood — the distributors, production companies, executives, and everyone beneath them who fall in line. Then you have the insurgents, or the terrorists, who carve out their little corners with indie films and small productions, hopelessly hoping to one day fill the executives’ shoes, but would end up falling in line and making awful reboots.

Screenplays Meme of Children of Men

LEON

Oh, so let me guess. You’re the savior in Children of Men? you’re gonna be the first person in twenty years to be pregnant with an original screenplay.

PERCY

No, I’ll just be a victim of the epidemic. Someone who tries to get pregnant, but never has any luck. But I’ll tell you one thing. Just like in Children of Men, someone’s gotta get pregnant, right? One special person is gonna write a screenplay, and a few decent people are gonna read the rough draft and realize it’s the real deal. And if I’m lucky enough to come across that script, I will go full-on Clive Owen and help that writer deliver their baby. And if that writer successfully gives birth and if by some miracle that baby survives and is revealed to the world, then and only then, will the pendulum swing the other way, and other writers will become pregnant, and they’ll pop out amazing stories, and the film industry will finally go back to what it once was.

MILDRED

Okay, I’ll admit that was deep. Can I be in your movie?

HERBERT

Nah, someone already wrote Marriage Story.

Leon and Mildred look at each other, defeated. Leon thinks for a second, then whips out a line from Marriage Story.

Leon

Every day I wake up and I wish you were dead. Like, if I could guarantee Henry would be okay, I’d hope you get an illness, and then get hit by a car and die!

The table goes silent. Herbert is shocked. Speechless.

Percy

Okay, see that was actually a good reboot.

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