'Aquaman' Nets a Pair of Writers

Posted 1:01 PM August 13th, 2014 by Jeff Giles
He Sucks

Why worry about whipping one screenplay into shape when you can worry about two? That's the question Warner Bros. seems like it's about to answer with Aquaman. The long-mooted comic adaptation appears to officially be in gear at the studio, where execs are readying a slew of superhero films to debut in the years following 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Jason Momoa is attached to star as the ocean-dwelling do-gooder, and now, attention is turning to the script.

To that end, Warners has hired not one, but two screenwriters -- and they aren't co-writing, either. Kurt Johnstad (300: Rise of an Empire) and Will Beall (Gangster Squad) are both on board, but they're working on separate scripts, and the apparent plan is that whichever one's best will ultimately win out.

In economic terms, this isn't as crazy as it might seem, since studios routinely throw money at writers to scrub, polish, and overhaul drafts that have already been turned in, and what the hey, you might as well just hire two guys to give you a pair of them right up front. But it's also easy to interpret this as Warners having the same lack of faith in the idea of an Aquaman movie as everyone else.

If nothing else, this move highlights the absurd lengths to which Hollywood screenwriters are routinely expected to stoop in search of a buck. Throwing your heart and soul into a project while knowing someone else is doing the same thing in another room? Kind of degrading, but in today's franchise-hungry film industry, it's also whatever passes for a prestige gig.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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