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DC Movie Treatments

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DC Movie Treatments

Postby Caleb » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:43 pm

As a few of you know, I like to pretend that I'm a screenwriter. It's been a hobby of mine since sixth grade, and my scripts have actually gotten some decent exposure over on Trigger Street Labs (Adult Content Warning applies, should any interested parties check them out). Anyway, the more I read about Batman Vs. Superman, Arrow, the impending WW project, Hourman, and all of DC's projects...well, it makes me really want to share this stuff.

Anyway, awhile ago, I wrote treatments (basically a description of the movie's story) for a couple Green Lantern films. No, they weren't sequels to that Ryan Reynolds thing with the cartoon characters and the big diarrhea space cloud at the end. I took a sci-fi epic approach to GL. I also wrote one for Superman while I was at it. Posting them here is something I'd LOVE to do, if anyone is interested in reading them. Smallville has already read a couple of them, and his reaction was positive. Anyway, I'm just looking to see what my fellow fans think. Thing is, they're a bit long. But I'd love to get the community's opinion on these things.

For the record, I also have one for an MOTU film.

I don't want to get in any trouble for posting these. There's not a copyright issue if I post my treatments for a couple Green Lantern films and a Superman film, are there? Don't wanna get anyone - AcidDragon, looking at you - in trouble here.
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby AcidDragon » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:52 pm

Hey Caleb,

I don't think there are any copyright issues at all as long as you're not profiting off of their characters. If we ever get a cease and desist letter from Time Warner/AOL/DC, then we'll just take it down at that point. I know that in the past, they've actually attacked Jin Saotome for selling DC customs but we're not actually selling anything. I think it may qualify as fair-use. We're not actually selling/distributing actual copyright content. In any event, we'll cross that bridge if/when it happens so in the meantime, post away. You should be able to attach them to your posts just like anything else. :batwink:

P.S. Speaking of writing, have you made headway on the secret project? *hint hint wink wink nudge nudge oink oink*
"Finally got all the way through that 'Death of Superman' video game...as Steel. Play Superboy and you're history by level three, right? But Steel..." - Kon-El AKA Superboy
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby secondwhiteline » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:33 am

I'm not a copyright expert, but I'm pretty sure just sharing fan-created work is fine if you're not making money. Or at the very least, it's not something DC/Time Warner really care about. And I'd love to read your treatments!
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby Caleb » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:51 pm

Oh, okay. Cool. Just making sure before I proceed. I figured since I'm not trying to profit off of these...

Anyway, I'll post my first two Green Lantern ones initially and go from there. I was going to paste full-text, but these things are a few pages each, so that seems kind of...ridiculous. I'll attach Google Docs links instead. However, if anyone can't read these things - I know Docs ain't everyone's cup of tea - let me know, and I'll post the treatments here (in lengthy form, natch) too. I had some cool ideas for further DC films, so I guess it won't hurt to post 'em here either.

I HAVE scripts for the first two, and have a partial completed for my own Superman film - where he doesn't ruthlessly destroy Metropolis and break Nelson Van Alden's neck. And if I sell a script one of these days - which is wishful thinking, I know - you can damn well believe I'm going to kick in WB / DC's door. Or write them a very nice letter. Or make a test animatic.

Okay, a couple behind-the-scenes things. Since, remember, I have scripts for these two.

Yeah, I took some liberties with story elements. I tried to respect the source material as much as possible, but, being as I don't think Direct Translations are all-inclusive in some cases (as far as audiences go), changes were made. The Green Lantern Corps are very much Police Officers - not "Intergalactic Peacekeepers". Same thing, but I tried to emphasize the police aspect of things a lot more, with a superhero-y edge.

The primary inspiration behind the first film is the Rebirth storyline (when Johns took on GL), the animated film First Flight, and the 90's run of GL (which, yeah, had Rayner in charge - sorry, Hal did a lot of sucking up to the Guardians back in his day), as well as chunks of Green Lantern Corps. The second film drew a lot from the DCaU as well, with nods to a bunch of different GL books - most notably, again, GLC, as well as pieces from the SC War. Inspiration, not direct translation, mind you. Actually, the first script was heavily inspired by Training Day as well, with the second script taking a surprising amount of inspiration from The Wild Bunch and Band of Brothers. I'm weird, I know.

In addition, the romance with Carol takes a backseat here. I think we can all agree that RR and Blake Lively making moony-eyes at one another, while great for their real-life relationship, was not great for a Green Lantern film. I hate that superhero films feel the need to shoehorn in awkward romance just to sate teenage girls. In Iron Man, it felt natural. In Green Lantern, it felt like it detracted from the story. So, no offense to the ladies who enjoy that stuff, I didn't burden my movies with relationship drama and angst any more than necessary. Hunger Games can do that just fine.

Practical effects. When you read these, if you're one of those guys who pictures the story in his head, picture the aliens as humanoid as possible. If Hellboy can make Abe Sapien look unreal and human at the same time, Green Lantern doesn't need a bunch of aliens that look like they got rejected from a crap Activision title.

Initially, I wrote endings that had stinger scenes (like the Marvel films). I cut those out of my scripts because I'm not into the whole open sequel ending thing. Still, I described 'em in my treatments so you guys can get a general idea.

And yes, I had an ideal cast in mind when I was writing these scripts. No, it did not include Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.

Anyway, hope you guys enjoy! Feel free to offer any thoughts or feedback on them. And, on the off-chance that you work for DC/WB, I work for cheap.

Green Lantern treatment:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/17gIBocGiV7L_5tfNXMyQhxxmcXtFRQU-70bXyeKQCz0/edit?usp=sharing

Green Lantern 2: Reign of the Manhunters treatment:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JTCIKXKbb5a-jNf_ccXbDflJN4AWyaA4N6xyBaCPIXg/edit?usp=sharing
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby Caleb » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:58 pm

Oh, and AD, I should have something to zap to you later this week. Been on a rushed schedule with the honeymoon impending and all that.
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby secondwhiteline » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:39 pm

I think the best response I can give is that, even as the board's resident Lantern Hatah, I really enjoyed both of these. Some great imagery (the floating, deactivated Manhunters in Part 2 really stands out), and some nice moments of actual complexity and vulnerability from Hal that go beyond the usual grief for his father - I was reminded a bit of Cooke's portrayal of him in The New Frontier. That fight with Sinestro was a particularly interesting take on him; his reactions just aren't the toolbox Hal I'm used to, and that's a good thing.

I also enjoy that the off-world stuff doesn't always take place in a soundstage representing Space. The more weird bars and marketplaces we can get in sci-fi movies, the better.

The villain switchup in the first one is surprising, but necessary - Atrocitus really can't anchor a whole movie by himself. My only concern is that the Cadmus appearance/alien autopsy come a bit out of left field and aren't really followed up on. I think it'd probably work better if Atrocitus said or did something in battle to set off Sinestro, and Sinestro killed him or just wrecked up the scene without concern for bystanders. Maybe that's a bit cliché, though. I just think that if Cadmus is going to make so significant an appearance, it's got to be a story element (probably trying to track down Hal and figure out what the GLs are, something like that) rather than just a hint at the future.

The second is a rad war story, but man, the budget for that one...Granted, if the first movie's a hit, studios are more amenable to a big-budget sequel.
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby beastovjudgement » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:51 pm

Caleb wrote:As a few of you know, I like to pretend that I'm a screenwriter. It's been a hobby of mine since sixth grade, and my scripts have actually gotten some decent exposure over on Trigger Street Labs (Adult Content Warning applies, should any interested parties check them out). Anyway, the more I read about Batman Vs. Superman, Arrow, the impending WW project, Hourman, and all of DC's projects...well, it makes me really want to share this stuff.

Anyway, awhile ago, I wrote treatments (basically a description of the movie's story) for a couple Green Lantern films. No, they weren't sequels to that Ryan Reynolds thing with the cartoon characters and the big diarrhea space cloud at the end. I took a sci-fi epic approach to GL. I also wrote one for Superman while I was at it. Posting them here is something I'd LOVE to do, if anyone is interested in reading them. Smallville has already read a couple of them, and his reaction was positive. Anyway, I'm just looking to see what my fellow fans think. Thing is, they're a bit long. But I'd love to get the community's opinion on these things.

For the record, I also have one for an MOTU film.

I don't want to get in any trouble for posting these. There's not a copyright issue if I post my treatments for a couple Green Lantern films and a Superman film, are there? Don't wanna get anyone - AcidDragon, looking at you - in trouble here.


Having read some of the controversy and legal issues involving fan fiction, I can answer this, to a degree. Generally, "work for hire" characters like comic book heroes are acceptable, as long as no profit is being made. Authors' personal intellectual properties, like George R. R. Martin's (to use an example of a very outspoken critic of unauthorized fan fiction) Westeros cast, are more frowned upon by the owners, who sometimes take legal action to stop it. The reasoning is, a character like Superman is depicted by countless different writers, each with their own take. Whereas, the likes of Jaime Lannister has only one creative source, or those the author explicitly permits. Some authors are more forgiving than others, but unauthorized use of a privately owned character can, rightfully, be called intellectual property theft. I don't think Warner would have any issues with fan-made depictions of DC's superheroes, especially when well-written and respectful - qualities lacking in a sizable portion of fan fiction.
"The bestial screams, a life devoted - to the occult.
The flickering lights, my dream came true.
And now I'm dead.
Find me, take me. To the void, to the crooked nest, to Nekrohaven."
Satyricon, "Nekrohaven"
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby secondwhiteline » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:04 am

Wow, is Martin really a critic of unauthorized fan fiction? I just don't understand why. I recognize it's his property and he has the right to choose what can be done with it, but...it just seems petty. I mean, if you're a professional author at that level, do you really feel like DanyRulz98's short stories on FanFiction.net are in any position to compete with you? Fanfiction fuels fandom. No one's out there saying, "Man, this Steampunk Game of Thones story with the Zombie Khal Drogo is really all the GoT I'll ever need. I won't even bother with the next book!"
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby secondwhiteline » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:06 am

I should really post my DC reboot outline sometime just to be a total nerd.

My favorite fanfiction scheme, though, was Michel Fiffe's Deathzone! comic. It was a straight-up Suicide Squad comic, with the actual characters and everything, that you got as a free gift with a $5 art print of something of his own creation. Genius idea.
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby beastovjudgement » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:30 am

Martin's opposition to fan fiction stems partially from having attachment to his characters and not wanting them misused, and, probably more significantly, from a problem another author (her name escapes me right now) had. Someone wrote fan fiction of this author's characters, with story elements similar to those the author had planned for a sequel. This fan sent the story to the author, and the author asked the fan to desist the fiction out of respect to the author. The fan not only refused, but demanded payment from the author for use of the independently written story elements. The author was then forced to start all over with writing the sequel. It is a real problem; a fan could conceivably write a story in some obscure site, entirely unknown to the author. Then, if the author publishes a novel with elements similar to the fan fiction, the "fan" could prove his work had been "published" first, while the author could not conclusively prove he had no knowledge of it. The author would probably win legally, but why should an established writer be forced to defend the authenticity of his own creations? Also, characters like Martin's have a very specific history and series of life events, without much room for extra adventures and relationships outside the books.

I get that a good amount of fan fiction is written with enthusiasm for the source, but - no dispespect is intended toward anyone; this is just my opinion - I have never been interested in it. I don't even like the Star Wars "Expanded Universe" stuff, as I feel it badly watered down and weakened the integrity of the original trilogy to the point the movies themselves are now less interesting to me. I don't begrudge anyone who enjoys reading or writing fan fiction, but I have read enough bad stuff to sympathize with the opposing authors. It is definitely a different story with comic characters, though. Comic book superheroes are more archetypes than straight-up characters, and are much more conducive to wildly differing interpretations.
"The bestial screams, a life devoted - to the occult.
The flickering lights, my dream came true.
And now I'm dead.
Find me, take me. To the void, to the crooked nest, to Nekrohaven."
Satyricon, "Nekrohaven"
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