Well I got that wrong. This is nothing to do with the founding of the Marvel Comics, despite the misleading title. It’s because I first flicked through the script and saw names like Leiber, and Kirby and assumed it was a bio. I think that Leiber is supposed to be some kind of Stan Lee franchise hungry figure. Reminds me of the Stan Lee just before he left Marvel trying to get film companies interested in Marvel movies.
It is elaborate. You seem to have spent a lot of time creating this mirror version of a Marvel/ DC comic house.
WHAT I LIKED
You created a world where Comic Books are as important as Hollywood and are rich pickings (remind me of the days of Image Comics) I liked the way the streets and scenes are filled with cheap actors in superhero costumes trying to make a buck.
Archer at times is cynical messed-up odd asshole antihero that I like reading about. And although I had a lot of problems with the dialogue. There are some memorable lines, ”Gold is the currency of kings. Barter is the coin of peasants.” There is a lot of rambles, but it is entertaining.
I like the Max Ranger ads, and his cool weapon of choice, the ionised katana sword.
Something to interest comic book geeks or interested in comic industry. The idea may be too niche though, and it is going to be very expensive, a lot of sets.
It feels quite literary. You clear to have a lot of knowledge on the subject.
Archer talking about his dad and how Leiber took advantage of him, reminds me of the whole controversy of Jack Kirby working like a dog on several comics and not getting the recognition he thought he deserved. ‘
A lot of examining of superhero culture and lore.
I like the page 59 Shakespeare puking scene.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE SO MUCH
The biggest problem with I script I personally think, is the length, it allows it to be indulgent. Conversations and scenes go on much longer than they need to. It would be very hard to get anyone to read a spec script that is 144 page in length. People will see that length and immediately make a judgement that this is an amateur. A lot of trimming is needed and the dialogue has to be more succinct. 120 is the suggested limited, but I would retort that you should try and make this no more than 105 pages. This will force you to be economical with the pages.
It is a very complicated plot, I couldn’t mark where all the beats are. The three points that stand out to me 1) Archer meets Maddie. 2) Archer and Maddie make love. 3) Maddie is attacked in an alley. These points are around the latter section of the script, when they really should be spread out.
The script shifts too much in tone, sometimes it’s a comedy, then it’s a dramedy, romantic comedy sometimes and a straight drama.
You introduce Archer Shugel, as Archie Shugel. I actually prefer Archie, it is a more welcoming name. Archer makes him sound like a cold bounty hunter or the Green Arrow or something.
I think you overcomplicate Archer’s introduction, he is not such a great figure that we need to see bits of him. I think you should just have him in his apartment.
The other big issue I have with the script is the dialogue, particularly Archer. It is sarcastic and pompous. It does not really change, he continually says these clever lines of dialogue that make him the one to tell you about life. You are trying too hard to have clever dialogue at the expense of everything else; it is relentless. There was quite a few scenes in here that I thought you could have with no dialogue, just the expressions on the characters faces, or something else. There is a lot of redundant dialogue, things said that we can figure out ourselves from what is described.
The dialogue at times feels too sarcastic, too clever for its own good, at least too clever for me (if it wasn’t for Google, I wouldn’t know what Ann Rand Objectivism is). I would say it is too intellectual for how I like my stories, but that is just me, somebody else could think differently. Archer really comes off as an asshole who likes giving cheap sage advice, who likes telling others how the world works but doesn’t listen to others advice. It is clear that you built this as a quality of the character, but I don’t think he sufficiently changes in that regard.
You have a lot of scenes where you do not know a character is in that scene until you have dialogue from them.
The subplot regarding the ill child, which is actually a big part of the story felt like a separate story at times, it did not fit in seamlessly. Here are reporters talking about this seriously ill child and then we have these comic book people talking about what was hot and what was not, trivial compared to the child’s illness. The payoff comes at the very end, having Archer show his humanity. But it seemed there needed to be more.
That is a really heart-breaking and traumatic attack that Maddie goes through, but I did not find the relationship between her and Archer interesting at all. I felt she should have bolted from this asshole as soon as he started talking.
I would lose all the camera shots, leave that for the director and camera people. If they are important, find a way to indicate them in your writing.
You need to proof read. You spell secretary as ‘sexcertary’ a number of times.
Page 32 It’s a great day to be atheist – add ‘an’ between be and atheist.
Page 74 now you got ‘the’ wrong should be now you got ‘that’ wrong.
Page 138 EXT . NEWSTAND should be NEWS STAND