Hey, remember that weekend last October when it was announced that Tom Cruise would be playing Methuselah, the biblical warrior who lived to be more than 900 years old? Yes, we all had ourselves a good chuckle at the implication of life imitating art imitating life again, but don’t pretend like you weren’t also a little excited to see what Cruise and company could bring to the film. Take one part Forrest Gump, one part Benjamin Button, and one part Highlander, and you had yourself the recipe for a pretty great action-adventure movie with Hollywood’s most bankable star. Admit it: you knew you were going to see it.
Screenwriting can be a thankless lot. Aside from visionaries on the level of Charlie Kaufman or Aaron Sorkin who cultivate their own celebrity with distinctive storytelling, most scribes labor in obscurity while actors and directors get the credit and accolades. The work of a writer takes place in darkness and isolation, fueled by a carefully calibrated combination of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and anxiety. But that thankless lot gets a whole lot less thankless when the writer stands to become a multi-millionaire once he completes his efforts.