Transcript from an actual pitch meeting:
Hey, thanks a lot for seeing me today. You know what a big fan I am of the movies you guys make here. I grew up on this stuff! I think the critics can go stuff it on the new one, you know? Look at the box office – you’re making movies for the audience, the movies that people want to go see. I appreciate that.
And it’s why I think you’re going to love this one. I mean, I feel like I could just tell you the title and you’d totally understand the vision behind it, but I’m too excited about the whole thing to just leave it at that. So let’s start with that title:
iPhone: The Motion Picture.
I know, right? It’s all right fucking there. Pardon my language. It’s just a brand that jumps out at the ticketbuyer. ‘Hey, I love iPhones and other Apple products, so I would probably love this movie!’ I mean, there’s like a whole generation of kids today who see iPhone as synonymous with hip and cool and with it.
But I know there’s gonna be someone out there who says, ‘iPhone: The Motion Picture? Where’s the story?’ Sure, stories are important. So we should have one, right. And boy do I have one.
You know those apps? The ones that you download and that add all the functionality? There have been ONE BILLION APP downloads. Think about those numbers for a second. You like numbers with that many zeroes, am I right?
So anyway, there’s this guy, he’s a captain of industry in the making, you know? Works late hours, type-A personality, making it to the top. But he’s lonely. His fiancee left him. He’s got nobody left. He has this assistant who hates him, he has friends who only deal with him because they want a ride to the top. He goes home to an empty apartment at night – he’s still in an apartment because he hasn’t had time to find a house – and watches TV all by himself.
One day he finds this new app on his iPhone. He didn’t download it. How did it get there? He looks at it, realizes that it promises to help him find old friends and relatives. PeopleFinder or something – we’ll check to see what’s copyrighted. Anyway, he’s been thinking about the fiancee lately, and he opens the app and… zoom! He’s sucked INTO the phone, and then things get really weird.
See, he’s brought back to a moment in time with the girl, the big moment where she decided to leave him because the job was more important to him than she was. And he gets a chance to do it over. There’s this new feature on the iPhone 3.0 software called ‘Shake to Undo,’ and that’s the option he gets. If he shakes the phone he gets a do-over on this moment in his life.
When he’s done the do-over he’s transported back to the present day and you can already see the world around him is different. He’s in the same office, but it’s brighter, he has a ring on his finger, there’s a beautiful honeymoon picture on his desk. He has a baby name book on his desk!
Now he realizes that he can Shake to Undo any moment in his life, and that’s the story. He goes back to these moments in his life and has to figure out which will make his future better or worse. We can get a real Back to the Future II vibe in some of these scenes.
If you don’t think that’s big enough, we could go crazier with it. Our guy is a history buff, and he wakes up to find some Explore History app on his phone. What if he uses that and gets sucked into the phone and winds up at the Kennedy assassination, and he can Shake to Undo that? He pops up in Austria in 18 Whatever the Hell when Adolph Hitler is CONCEIVED! Then he pops back to the present and sees how his changes have screwed everything up, or made everything better. See where I’m coming from? We can go fucking anywhere with this. It can be the heartwarming comedy about a guy who realizes love is more important than anything or it can be a fucking time hopping adventure about a guy who tries to fix the worst fuck ups in history and learns you can’t play with destiny! This is either a Michael Bay movie OR a Nick Cassavetes movie! And we can get Nic Cage to star in either version. He can do his Weather Man schtick or his National Treasure schtick.
See, all that matters is the title. We get the iPhone property and this shit just writes itself. I can have a draft – either the action or the heartwarmer – in two weeks.
In related news, Universal will be making a movie out of the plotless, nearly graphics-free video game Asteroids. Lorenzo di Bonaventura will produce.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey