Fox lands M Night's THE HAPPENING - it's a helluva script!
Published at: March 8, 2007, 4:28 p.m. CST by headgeek
Hey folks, Harry here... Well Tom Rothman did the right thing here - There's a pretty strong anti-M Night movement out there in the world right now. Personally - I'm 100% on the other side of the tracks. I love the work that M Night has done - and I completely understand why the films that so many seem to vocally dislike - play that way towards them - I just don't share that opinion.
With THE HAPPENING, I predict if Fox stays out of M Night's way, that this will be seen as M Night's 'comeback'. Right now, I'm 40 pages into reading the 106 page draft of M Night's THE HAPPENING, which on this draft was known as THE GREEN EFFECT. THE HAPPENING is a much stronger title in my opinion... For one, THE HAPPENING is a phrase that feels and oozes 1960s. And what M Night has constructed thus far in this script is a very 1960's End of the World scenario. If you've ever seen NO BLADE OF GRASS - combine that to the premise of something like Stephen King's THE CELL - and you're heading in the direction that this movie goes in.
The script begins with some haunting violent imagery. The sort of imagery that instantly scares the shit out of you. This isn't a long slow build up to something, right at the beginning, the shit has hit the fan. It's downright scary nightmare scenarios. Everything the media makes us afraid of - it's happening all around us. I won't spoil what's causing things to happen, but I will say that by page 40 - the thing we're led to believe is happening... is a SCARY FUCKING THING.
It isn't often that I can pat Rothman on the back, but good job picking this script up. It's going to be an amazing film.
Ok - just finished the script. This has the potential to be the best film M Night has made. It depends on the casting, but he's always done well with his casting. As with all of Shyamalan's films - at the heart of the script is spiritual healing and hope. However, unlike everything he's done - there's a mean streak. I see why so many studios were scared by the film, as there is definitely a fatalistic vibe pulsing through this film. However, I've always loved stories about the end of civilization as we know it. They always make for interesting conversations after you see the film. The "what would you do, if you were among the last survivors of a global pandemic? This is an awesome "fear" story. We'll follow this production as closely as we can.