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“Okay. Wow. Wow-wow-wow. Thanks for meeting, everyone. I got your script revisions, and I’d love to chat through them real quick. There’s a lot of good stuff in here. I know I specifically asked for some heightened conflict, but I just think we need to talk through some of these decisions before we turn in the script to the studio.

Let’s start with the main characters.

Specifically, I am confused by the villain and his motivations. Think about Hannibal Lecter or Darth Vader or Voldemort… the best villains in film history were driven by a specific intention or fatal flaw. Your antagonist seems to pop in and out of conflicts without rhyme or reason. It’s just not believable that someone with so much power would get into willy-nilly Twitter squabbles. And what’s his main drive? Is he trying to tear families apart by putting children in cages, or is he more focused on helping dastardly corporations drive the world into environmental ruin?

I just don’t think we’ve thought through this character. He reads more like a bipolar hyena with arrested development, than an actual president.

In the end, what does he want? I believe we really need to hone in on what he hopes to gain from all of his villainy. I’d also like to see a little more maturity in how we’ve described him physically. “Fat slob with terrible hair” feels lazy and underdeveloped.. Some of you went to NYU, didn’t you? Let’s uphold those high standards.

Okay, now let’s talk about the plot.

When it comes to our conflict, we need to focus more on editing. There is just far too much happening at once. So, I love what you’ve done by combining a global pandemic with the worldwide economy collapsing—in an election year! That’s an inspired Act III! But adding a total uprising against the police is just too heavy-handed.

Moving on, I gotta ask. What in god’s name were you thinking with the murderhornets? Who came up with that? In pursuit of those sexy CGI effects, you’ve totally lost the thread of the Russian spy storyline.

Also does that border wall thing ever pay off or is it just symbolism? Either way, it’s really confusing and I don’t get why we wasted so much time on it in Act I.

I just don’t think this could sell without changing the entire project from a political thriller to a post-apocalyptic dramedy. And god knows the studio has enough of those on its plate right now!

There are also places where the dialogue leaves something to be desired.

It seems like most of you missed a lot of punctuation and general grammar. And specifically, I was wondering about the phrase “Kung flu.” On one hand, it shows me the character is a vile racist, but puns are too accessible. We need it to be a little more sinister and not such low-hanging fruit. Can we find anything else?

Having said all that, my biggest concern is with the ending. It lacks clarity. Why didn’t anyone stop this bumbling miscreant? Where were the safeguards? You know, the “checks-and-balances” we all learned about in 5th grade. Do I need to remind you all about how the U.S. Constitution works?

So, I think we have some good ideas, but it just needs some work. It kept seeming like things were about to combust but never really did. I appreciate that suspense—and you know how I love a good ambiguous ending—but I know people will want to know if good persevered or if evil won out.

Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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