An excerpt from Reals’ script review for The Wolfman (Dark Universe) which will be available 01/23/23:
What Needs Work
So Many Camera Directions – Just on Page 1, we have everything from: CLOSE ON, to ANGLE WIDENS.
You don’t need to do this in a spec script, and especially not on the first page.
Theme Stated – On the bottom of Page 3, King Kekoa says:
Deo, someday you’ll be king of this island — but first you have to learn that you can’t change the world to fit your vision. Being king, means doing things you don’t want to do for the sake of your people. There is great honor in it, but often little joy. It’s not about you.
Talk about on-the-nose. And also lifted directly from The Lion King.
Right Place, Wrong Time– Look, there were so many better ways to introduce the werewolf. The way the writer chose to do it, however, was too full of coincidences.
The werewolf just happened to be on a ship, that just happened to crash into a beach that Deo just happened to be standing on at exactly the right moment?
And, once you learn who sent the werewolf and why it was there, it doesn’t make anything better. In fact, it makes the whole thing worse!
Big Blocks of Description – The action is not broken up into easily digestible segments and so I found myself skimming more than actually reading the action scenes.
Shooting It? – There is so much wrong with this script, but one thing that really bugged me – why did Deo shoot the thing on Page 9, when he’s seen that shooting it, and stabbing it, and sticking an axe into its skull, does nothing?
It just seemed really dumb and could have been a great opportunity to show us how cunning our hero is – when he realizes that regular fighting won’t take the beast down, he improvises.
But no. Sadly, Deo does not improvise, and he… shoots the thing. Which doesn’t work.
The Time-Jump – After about 17 full pages, we get a big time jump. Why? Why did we need to do this?
Just start us in the present day and have Deo wolf-out. Then we could do some quick exposition or flashbacks here-and-there.
There really was not much added at the beginning and our main story takes place after 2008, which begs the question: why did we need to do the expensive period piece introduction?
Forced Connections – I was never actually against them creating a universe for these classic monsters. In theory, that is. It’s just that I knew they would do something stupid and it would feel extremely forced. Which it did.
For example, on Page 21 when Nestor says:
He’s a biotechnologist. Recently fired from a German firm called Frankenstein corp.
I mean, come on. At this point, you’re not even trying.
The Descriptions of Women – They are all “Sexy,” “Beautiful,” “Stunning,” etc.
I won’t harp on this too much, but don’t do this. The script already feels dated, and this just makes it seem as out-of-place in the modern world as our immortal protagonist.
Invincible Protagonist – Look, this is a silly script. That’s not always a bad thing, as I have said before. However, when your protagonist is basically invincible, and can do everything the script needs him to do – like fight, be a ladies-man, swim super-fast, etc. it gets boring for the reader.
I mean, really boring. Because there are no stakes. And that’s even putting aside the fact that we know Wolfie is going to be in the sequel, and in the Frankenstein solo movie, and that he’ll make a cameo in The Creature From the Black Lagoon.
In this script, it was things like when Deo is surprised by another werewolf on Page 32, but he just turns into a larger wolf and smacks her away.
No threat, no tension, nothing.
Making your protagonist superman is not doing them any favors, because they quickly become white bread: flavorless and bland.
The Most Cliché Plot Ever – I will let this line on Page 34 speak for itself:
That psycho’s trying to synthesize the virus — make werewolves in the lab.
They’re trying to make Super-Werewolves? Aren’t werewolves, by definition, already super creatures?
Also, how many times have we seen this exact thing? Where is the originality?
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