Craig Mazin

Pacific Rim Charlie Day

Charlie Day joins us this week to talk about the inventive offensiveness of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as well as what it was like to play a hipster scientist for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Plus, Sasha Grey gives us some romance tips after scaring us in Would You Rather, Craig Mazin shares the creation of four Identity Thief script pages, and we answer a listener question about finding viable production partners. That’s a lot of ground to cover, and we’re all hung over on discount champagne, so let’s get started. Download Episode #6

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Han and Greedo

There were far too many news stories about Star Wars this week. It was a shock and awe campaign of rumors, half-truths and legitimate plans that all pointed to Disney making 29 new films featuring all our favorite characters for the next seventy years. To help dig through it all, Full of Sith podcast host Consetta Parker and Jovial Jay from TheForce.net join us to explain whether a movie about Yoda, Boba Fett or Han Solo should shoot first. Plus, Identity Thief screenwriter Craig Mazin explains how to make an uninteresting character interesting, and Geoff and I tackle a listener question about overcoming the fears of rejection and imperfection by talking about our own biggest failures. Download Episode #5

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History of the World Critic

“Asking a writer what he thinks of critics is like asking what a fire hydrant feels about dogs.” No one has portrayed that Ann Landers quote better (or more directly) than Mel Brooks in History of the World: Part 1 in the sketch where a caveman critic pisses all over a newly envisioned cave drawing. Not only is the relationship between creator and critic as old as man, it’s also always involved urination. On the most recent edition of the Scriptnotes podcast, screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss the looming spectre that is The Critic – a terrifying boogeyman for some, a knock-kneed weakling to others, and a complete non-entity to more. “Well this isn’t going to endear me with many critics,” begins Mazin (who recently explained the depressing state of screenwriting as a career to Reject Radio listeners). “I don’t care. I do not care. I don’t write movies for critics; I write movies for audiences. My entire focus is on what the audience thinks of the film.” The thing is, that outlook does endear him to me. That may sound counter-intuitive coming from a critic, but it’s an excellent mindset to have as a creator. Here’s why.

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Adaptation Nic Cage

The Writers Guild of America‘s latest survey of screenwriters [PDF] shows that the world of storytelling isn’t that sunny. From the bother of late payments to the difficulty of sweepstakes pitching, the overall number of screenwriters is down along with the overall money their industry is able to make. So what happened? For former WGA board member Craig Mazin, it seems like the movie industry is less and less interested in making movies. He joins us to explain a key business shift that created a huge work gap between screenwriters, to dissect the results of the survey, and to define some of the technical jargon. Oh, and if you’re looking for a happy ending, this particular Hollywood story might not have one. Fair warning. Check out the entire 24-minute interview below: Download This Interview Enjoy More Reject Radio

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Last August, during that first rush to pin down Bridesmaids stand-out Melissa McCarthy, we reported on a McCarthy-starring project that would pit her against Jason Bateman. The film was then titled ID Theft and was set to revolve around McCarthy’s character stealing Bateman’s character’s identity. Hijinks would, of course, ensue. The film has now gotten a slight title change and a not-wholly-unexpected director. Identity Theft will be directed by Seth Gordon, who has already directed Bateman to reasonable hilarity in Horrible Bosses. Written by The Pursuit of Happyness scribe Steve Conrad (with a rewrite by Craig Mazin), the project already has a bit of notoriety, as Bateman (who is also producing) reportedly asked that the film’s script be tweaked to see a man and a woman face off (it was previously a dueling dude affair) after being bowled over by McCarthy’s performance in Bridesmaids. Gordon’s name has already been bandied about for the Horrible Bosses sequel and he’s currently set to direct that bizarrely inevitable War Games remake. [Deadline Plainfield]  

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Since her hilarious, Guy Fieri-inspired turn in Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy has been flooded with praise (including an Emmy nomination for Mike & Molly) and offers for new work (including a part in Judd Apatow’s next and a role written for her by Bridesmaids helmer Paul Feig), along with selling a pitch to Paramount with Bridesmaids scribe Annie Mumolo. If that wasn’t impressive enough, McCarthy’s work in the summer smash was apparently enough to get Jason Bateman to flip the script on his next film, ID Theft. Bateman will star in and produce the film, which gave him the clout to ask that the script (from Steve Conrad with a rewrite by Craig Mazin) be tweaked to focus on a male lead and a female lead, not the dueling males it first called for. Bateman will star as a guy who gets his identity stolen by McCarthy’s character. Bateman reportedly asked not only that the sex-changing rewrite happen, but that it happen specifically for McCarthy to take the role. We can only guess that Bateman will play a hapless everyman who gets his identity jacked by McCarthy’s thief, which sounds like a battle of the wide-eyed goofball titans, and the only way that identity theft could ever be even somewhat amusing. The film is set to start filming in April of next year when McCarthy’s Mike & Molly is on hiatus. [Deadline Scottsdale]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that’s a little tired, a little wired and it thinks it deserves a little appreciation around here! Alright, so that’s the insomnia talking. For now, lets just do the news like we always do, shall we? The headline photo of the night is a shot of two morons Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin in Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages, a film that will combine major Hollywood names with an infamously terrible director and a slew of over-the-top musical numbers. It’s so ridiculous that it just might work. But probably not.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with The Hangover Part II screenwriter Craig Mazin and continue the screenwriting/sequel theme with Kung Fu Panda 2 writers Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger. Plus, Katey Rich from Cinema Blend battles Jordan Raup of The Film Stage in the Movie News Pop Quiz Arena of Death. The result? You’ll have to listen to find out, but we end up talking about the bad week that 3D has been having. Reject Radio brings it on home this week, so kick off you shoes and stay awhile. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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Despite your stately pipe, Josh Olson will not be reading your fucking script, sir.

The Village Voice lists the man who recently penned I Will Not Read Your F*cking Script as the “A History of Violence screenwriter,” but I prefer to think of him as the writer/director of direct-to-DVD masterpiece Infested.

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Drake Bell and Sara Paxton in Superhero Movie

Allow me to say this before you jump all over me like a pack of wild paparazzi chasing a drunk Lindsay Lohan out of a club: you probably haven’t seen Superhero Movie yet, and I have. The fact that you haven’t seen it makes your opinion completely erratic and irrelevant.

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Let’s see how many more genres we can spoof this year…

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