May 14 – Hereditary

(registration deadline: Friday, May 11)

Meet on the Fox Studios backlot on May 14th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay HEREDITARY.

Logline: Ancestral spirits haunt a family after the death of their secretive and private matriarch.

The Screenwriter: ARI ASTER received his MFA in Directing from the AFI Conservatory. His controversial 2011 incest-themed AFI short, The Strange Thing About the Johnsons, went viral last year, spawning dozens of polarized “reaction” videos on YouTube. Hereditary, which The Hollywood Reporter called “two breathless hours of escalating terror that never slackens for a minute,” is his feature film debut as writer and director.

Academy Award nominee Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine) stars alongside Gabriel Bryne (The Usual Suspects), Alex Wolff (The Naked Brothers Band, My Friend Dahmer), Milly Shapiro (Broadway’s Matilda), and Ann Dowd (Compliance).

Producers and Production Companies: Hereditary was produced by Lars Knudsen (Beginners) and PalmStar Media CEO Kevin Frakes (Collateral Beauty) in association with Buddy Patrick (Lee Daniels’ The Butler), founder and president of Windy Hill Pictures.

Festivals and Release Date: Premiered in the Midnight section of this year’s Sundance Film Festival on January 21, followed by a command performance last month at South by Southwest on March 11. Opens wide June 8 (A24).

Rated R. 126 minutes. 118 pages. Horror.

pamelajayesmithPAMELA JAYE SMITH will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. A mythologist and award-winning producer/director with over thirty years experience in features, TV, music videos, and more, Pamela is the author of five books, including The Power of the Dark Side: Creating Great Villains and Inner Drives: How to Write and Create Characters Using the Eight Classic Centers of Motivation. Her company, MYTHWORKS, offers consulting and coaching and, through her Pitch Proxy service, pitches writers’ projects at pitch festivals they cannot attend. Visit pamelajayesmith.com for more information.

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June 12 – The Mummy

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Friday, June 9)

Meet on the Fox Studios backlot on June 12th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay THE MUMMY.

Logline: An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Screenwriters: JON SPAIHTS first gained industry attention when his sci-fi spec script Passengers found a spot on the 2007 Black List. Produced nine years later with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in the lead roles, the film was released in December of last year, making over $300 million. Before that, Spaihts had writing credits on Ridley Scott’s first Alien prequel, Prometheus (2012), and Marvel’s Doctor Strange, released a month before Passengers. The two franchise films made over $400 million and $600 million, respectively. We will be reading Sphait’s 7/11/13 draft of The Mummy. On the finished film, he shares a writing credit with CHRISTOPHER MCQUARRIE, who won an Academy Award in 1996 for his second produced feature screenplay, The Usual Suspects. The Mummy reboot marks his fifth outing with Tom Cruise, having also written the scripts for Valkyrie (2008) and Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and written and directed Jack Reacher (2012) and Mission: Impossible–Rogue Nation (2015).

Directed by Alex Kurtzman, co-writer of such hits as Transformers, Mission: Impossible III, and Star Trek, The Mummy launches the new Universal Monsters shared universe series of films that is expected to include re-imaginings of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, and The Invisible Man, among others. In addition to Cruise, The Mummy stars Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) in the title role, Annabelle Wallis (BBC’s Peaky Blinders), Jake Johnson (New Girl), Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson), and Academy Award winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind) as Dr. Jekyll.

Producers and Production Companies: At age 34 in 1985, Sean Daniel became the youngest head of production in the history of Universal Pictures. After leaving the studio, he went on to produce the previous Mummy franchise for them through his company Alphaville Films, and is now producing the reboot franchise under his new banner, The Sean Daniel Company. Chris Morgan, screenwriter of several Fast and the Furious movies, and Kurtzman have been put in charge of development for the entire Universal Monsters shared universe series under Kurtzman’s new Secret Hideout banner, which is also producing the new series Star Trek: Discovery. Kurtzman’s former writing partner, Roberto Orci, also produced The Mummy via K/O Paper Products, the production company he started with Kurtzman.

Release Date: June 9 (Universal Pictures)

Rated PG-13. 120 minutes. 123 pages. Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Horror.

pamelajayesmithPAMELA JAYE SMITH will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. A mythologist and award-winning producer/director with over thirty years experience in features, TV, music videos, and more, Pamela is the author of five books, including The Power of the Dark Side: Creating Great Villains and Inner Drives: How to Write and Create Characters Using the Eight Classic Centers of Motivation. Her company, MYTHWORKS, offers consulting and coaching and, through her Pitch Proxy service, pitches writers’ projects at pitch festivals they cannot attend. Visit pamelajayesmith.com for more information.

August 10 – Sleeping with Other People

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Monday, August 3)

Sleeping With Other PeopleMeet on the 20th Century Fox studio lot for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE.

Jason Sudeikis (SNL, Horrible Bosses) and Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men) are a monogamy-challenged couple attempting to maintain a platonic relationship while sleeping with other people in this award-winning romantic comedy from Will Ferrell’s Gloria Sanchez Productions and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

Written and directed by Leslye Headland (About Last Night).

Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2015 and was runner-up for the narrative audience award at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Also starring Natasha Lyonne (American Pie, Orange Is the New Black), Amanda Peet (The WB’s Jack & Jill), Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), and Marc Blucas (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Release date: September 11 (IFC Films).

Rated R. 92 minutes. 103 pages. Romantic Comedy.

pamelajayesmithPAMELA JAYE SMITH will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. A mythologist and award-winning producer/director with over thirty years experience in features, TV, music videos, and more, Pamela is the author of five books, including The Power of the Dark Side: Creating Great Villains and Inner Drives: How to Write and Create Characters Using the Eight Classic Centers of Motivation. Her company, MYTHWORKS, offers consulting and coaching and, through her Pitch Proxy service, pitches writers’ projects at pitch festivals they cannot attend. Visit pamelajayesmith.com for more information.