This is an excerpt from a long email I received today from an aspiring writer.
I thought perhaps you may be interested in a project that I am contemplating. Or perhaps give your input on the idea? The idea involves a new Bond movie but not with James, rather "Jane Bond" his estranged daughter? WithAngelina Jolie as "Jane", and Sean Connery as the "Retired" Bond, I really think it could be a blockbuster movie…I would really appreciate your feedback and any information or advice you can give me as to what you think of the idea and how to go about making it happen?
Here’s how I replied: Don’t waste your time on "Jane Bond." For one thing, you don’t own the Bond
character and the people who do are very litigous. For another,
it’s hardly a fresh idea. If you are going to write a screenplay, write
something that is entirely original…not based on any existing characters or
movies. Write something that will showcase your creativity, your ability to
create characters, and your unique story-telling instincts. Don’t write "Daughter of
Bond" or "Sister of Superman" or "Brother-in-Law of Buffy" or a sequel to
"Bullitt." Also don’t think about boxoffice potential or casting possibilities or ad campaigns right
now…just think about telling a terrific story. Good luck!
That was the end of my reply. Bet you thought I’d be snarkier, didn’t you? Must be my sinus medication mellowing me out. Here’s the thing that really struck me, though, about his email: The guy says he’s a film school graduate… you’d think they would have taught him, at some point, that it isn’t a good idea to write a script based on a property you don’t own.