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Writing the Superhero Movie Webinar contest

Ben Affleck Batman vs. Superman

Dear screenwriters,

It’s been quite a day for superhero news: we got a first look at Ben Affleck as Batman (pic above) from Zack Snyder and David Goyer’s upcoming “Batman vs. Superman” movie, the news broke about Channing Tatum starring as Gambit in an upcoming X-Men spinoff movie, and ABC announced another Marvel comics-inspired show, “Agent Carter,” will join its Marvel’s Agents of Shield in the 2014-2015 TV season.

Is it safe to say that superheroes are employing a lot of screenwriters? Sure looks like it. Read more

Peter Parker: Nerd, Love-Sick Teenager, Diehard New Yorker (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2-superhero-movies-scripts

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

Uncle Ben’s words have guided Peter Parker for decades, and they provide the thematic backbone of The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as well as the previous Sam Raimi-helmed Spider-Man trilogy. Uncle Ben’s wisdom and tragic death are an immutable part of Spider-Man’s origin, going back to the original comic book story created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962. Read more

Wolverine: Loner, Orphan, Wandering Warrior (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST)

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Wolverine a.k.a. “Logan” has been the most popular superhero in the X-Men universe for decades, which is why the first major feature film in Fox’s X-Men franchise, X-MEN (2000), chose to foreground him as the central protagonist of the narrative, and he’s been featured in several more films, including two solo adventures, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (2009) and THE WOLVERINE (2013) (with a third on the way) and this summer’s upcoming epic, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The films have mined the core elements of his original character construction from the comic books, which focus on three key aspects of his personality and history. Read more

Steve Rogers: A Man Out Of Time (before and after seeing CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER)

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[article first published in ScriptMag]

One of my favorite lines from THE AVENGERS occurs when Black Widow tells Captain America not to mess with Thor and Loki, saying “they’re basically gods.” With no hesitation, Cap replies, “There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.” Then he jumps out of a plane. Read more

Iron Man 3 bonus Story Map included with Summer Blockbusters webinar

Summer movie season 2013 launched with the record-breaking $175 million opening of IRON MAN 3 and I’m already busy in the labs mapping it for my upcoming webinar with The Writers Store: STORY MAPPING THE SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. PDT.

Sign up now at the Early Bird Price of $69 and your ticket will include my exclusive Iron Man 3 Story Map and my critique of your Basic Story Map.

If you aspire to write big popcorn movies, this webinar is a MUST. Read more

The Dark Knight Rises beat sheet speculation

The Dark Knight Rises Script

Originally published on May 7, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises has yet to open, and since I’ve been analyzing Christopher Nolan’s films for a larger project, especially the first two chapters in his Batman trilogy, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I can’t help but speculate about The Dark Knight Rises beat sheet.

I’ve seen a lot of predictions and theories online as to the story, but not any that attempted to break down the entire film or incorporated Nolan’s signature style of complex story structure, using templates like The Dark Knight and Inception. Below, you can download my Full Story Map for The Dark Knight Rises, before I’ve seen the movie.

I’m using a five-act structure which most closely resembles The Dark Knight, as that seems the obvious parallel, plus there’s so much content advanced in the trailers that a four-acter (my normal Story Maps structure) just won’t cut it. Read more

Superman Returns opening and other bad ideas


I recently found the deleted opening scene from Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, which is rumored to have cost $10 million (huh?) and was meant to show where Superman went and thus where he’s returning from (thus the title), so I was psyched to view it since I’ve always felt that this unanswered question in the theatrical release was the biggest thing that torpedoed the first half of the film (and the second half’s torpedo came in the form of Lex Luthor’s preposterous real-estate plan). Read more