An excerpt from Reals’ script review for The Invisible Man – Unproduced 2010 David Goyer which will be available 02/27/2020:
What Needed Work
The Opening – I didn’t like how we started with a voice-over describing how every kid dreams of getting superpowers one day. Is this a horror script, or another Goyer superhero project? It just felt tonally very strange to start with what we now view as a generic superhero origin story.
We even get this line right on the first page:
My name’s Nathan MacGuire. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I’m humanity’s last, best hope.
This may be harsh, but I was sitting at my computer reading this and my initial reaction to this line can best be summed up below:
The Time-Jump – Then, after we meet Nathan freezing in the snow, on the very next page (page 2 of this script) we cut to ONE MONTH EARLIER to learn how he got there.
See my reaction to this narrative choice above.
The Invisi-Wolves – Page 9 + 10. Invisible wolves. Enough said.
Invisible Ink – It was clever the first time the writer used it, as Nathan cheats at cards using invisible ink (because he will soon become the Invisible Man, get it?) but then the author decides that EVERYONE is going to use invisible ink so that he can make sure the audience will get the joke.
Mrs. Abernathy – Not only does this script steal from the Marvel Phase One Playbook, but the writer is not content to stop there, going so far as to include an obvious rip-off of Mrs. Hudson from Sherlock Holmes.
Nathan’s Father – Look, it seems like I’m harping on the Marvel Phase one similarities, but the ripoffs are so blatant that I have to say something.
For example, Daddy Issues. Tony Stark has them, Thor has them, Loki has them, Ant-Man kind of has them (I know, I know, Ant-Man’s issues are with his mentor. BUT, both Hank Pym’s and Scott Lang’s daughters have plenty of Daddy Problems) and so, of course, Nathan has them.
Oh, and did I mention that Nathan’s father was also a famous scientist who was working on matters of “optical density”? And who just so happened to create the tech (or a fluid, to be specific) that our hero will use to become Iron — I mean, Invisible Man?
* Side Note: I know that Tony’s dad didn’t create the Iron Man suit in the films, but Iron Man 2’s whole plot revolves around the fact that Tony has daddy issues and that Daddy Stark figured out the answer to Tony’s chest reactor problem, which he then uses to defeat Justin Hammer and Whiplash (Spoilers for IM 2… I guess)
Checkov’s Invisible Gun – I have made this joke before, but it always makes me chuckle. On pages 14 + 15 Nathan is literally given an invisible gun and told he only has a few invisible bullets. Do you think that will come back and be important later?
Not necessarily a major criticism, but it was noticeable and, honestly, the gun feels very uninspired and shoehorned in. I mean, the writer can make anything invisible… and goes with a gun.
Nathan’s Voice-Over – We didn’t need this throughout the script. While a Voice-Over can be an effective tool if used correctly, here it is a lazy writing technique that adds nothing to the plot and is a severely uninspired way to deliver exposition and switch scenes.
* Note – Honestly, there was a lot more wrong with this script, but here is a quick list of several other things that I took issue with:
- We get the requisite “Learning Your Powers” montage, which is boring and we’ve seen it done better in other films/scripts
- Queen Victoria is forced in here for some reason
- There is a generic doomsday machine
- The cut-copy-and-paste “Bad Guy”
- The required love interest who must be that because… well, she’s about the only female in the script, besides Mrs. Abernathy, of course.
- Would not age well. What I mean by this is the scene in which Nathan sneaks up on Fairfax (Love Interest) to creep on her and see her naked. When she catches him, instead of scolding him, she shares a deeply intimate story with the guy just trying to get in her pants. I am not sure how well that would play in 2020.
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