Friday, September 15, 2006

The Back Page" by Steve Martin - Notes on "The Passion

The Back Page by Steve Martin


Dear Mel, We love, love the script! The ending works great. You'll be
getting a call from us to start negotiations for the book rights.
—Love the Jesus character. So likable. He can't seem to catch a break!
We identify with him because of it. One thing: I think we need to
clearly state "the rules." Why doesn't he use his superpowers to save
himself? Our creative people suggest that you could simply cut away to
two spectators:
Why doesn't he use his superpowers to save himself?
He can only use his powers to help others, never himself.

—Does it matter which garden? Gethsemane is hard to say, and Eden is a
much more recognizable garden. Just thinking out loud.

—Our creative people suggest a clock visual fading in and out in certain
scenes, like the Last Supper bit: "Thursday, 7:43 P.M.," or "Good
Friday, 5:14 P.M."

—Love the repetition of "Is it I?" Could be very funny. On the eighth
inquiry, could Jesus just give a little look of exasperation into the
camera? Breaks frame, but could be a riot.

—Also, could he change water into wine in Last Supper scene? Would be a
great moment, and it's legit. History compression is a movie tradition
and could really brighten up the scene. Great trailer moment, too.

—Love the flaying.

—Could the rabbis be Hispanic? There's lots of hot Latino actors now,
could give us a little zing at the box office. Research says there's
some historical justification for it.
—Possible tide change: "Lethal Passion." Kinda works. The more I say it
out loud, the more I like it.

—Is there someplace where Jesus could be using an iBook? You know, now
that I say it, it sounds ridiculous. Strike that. But think about it.
Maybe we start a shot in Heaven with Jesus thoughtfully closing the top?
—Love the idea of Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene (yow!). Our creative
people suggest a name change to Heather. Could skew our audience a
little younger.

—Love Judas. Such a great villain. Our creative people suggest that he's
a little complicated. Couldn't he be one thing? Just bad? Gives the
movie much more of a motor. Also, thirty pieces of silver is not going
to get anyone excited. I think it'd be very simple to make him a "new
millionaire." Bring in the cash on a tray. Great dilemma that the
audience can identify with. —Minor spelling error: on page 18, in the
description of the bystanders, there should be a space between the words
"Jew" and "boy."

—Merchandising issue: it seems the Cross image Has been done to death
and is public domain—we can't own it. Could the Crucifixion scene
involve something else? A Toyota would be wrong, but maybe there's a
shape we can copyright, like a wagon wheel?

—I'm assuming "The dialogue is in Aramaic" is a typo for "American." If
not, call me on my cell, or I'm at home all weekend.

By the way, I'm sending a group of staffers on a cruise to the North
Pole, coincidentally around the time of your picture's release. Would
love to invite your dad!

See you at the movies!
| Stan

Sourced from Steve Martin's official website:

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