From The Files Of Development Hell – Waiting For Man Of Steel

Some years back a friend of mine, Eoin Mason, mentioned in passing the absurd nature of the creative collaboration of two unique, wildly polar-opposite auteurs working on a single motion picture. Man Of Steel. We talked for a while about the ins and outs of each individual artist’s styles and how they really cannot fit together, and the end result being what it is must have had a strange backstory. We made jokes, and those jokes ran longer and longer, and the ideas got bigger as to what could have happened, and eventually Eoin roped in a friend of his, Shawn Cain, to throw jokes too, and it developed into a concept for a sitcom. It’s a perfect Odd Couple set-up with a strong ticking clock element as a film has to come out at some point.

From there, we three worked on the series as story beats, joke ideas, character arcs, and developed 10 episodes of a show. We then made a pilot and asked to get funding, we barely made scratch and then.. well… things shat the bed all over.

What I’m presenting now, as we three writers are so proud of the stupidity and heights of the show, are the final drafts of each episode’s teleplays for your enjoyment. With a guide, of course.

The pilot, as filmed, and written. Literally a premise pilot, setting up the world, the two key characters of Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder, and their forced-together situation. Hard to bring in too many jokes because it’s all about establishing things that will develop beyond, a little more scattershot as it lays threads.

SH S01E01 Final Draft Mar2020

Episode 2, a clean, simple dialogue piece to re-establish the core foundations of both characters, and the conflict between them. A light, fun piece.

DH S01E02 Final Draft Oct2016

Episode 3 where things step up a little, plot-centric, and mostly an excuse for Michael Shannon jokes, because Michael Shannon jokes are the only thing inferior to Michael Shannon himself.

DH S01E03 Final Draft Oct2016

Episode 4 with the tension mounting, two strong-minded people grinding up against one another to find small victories in the war of art.

DH S01E04 Final Draft Oct2016

Episode 5 bringing the reminder of the over-arching ticking clock, and the outside forces putting pressure on the two characters, and heightening their wills to work together.

DH S01E05 Final Draft Oct2016

Episode 6, both as far from a bottle episode as the show would go, and in some ways a bottle episode, two drunken people lose inhibitions and form bonds, a breaking of the ice, evolution of relationships in the show.

DH S01E06 Final Draft Oct2016

Episode 7 getting a little goofier, as the newly-founded bond has both positive and negative ramifications, and the chipping away of little bits and bobs leads to some zaniness. And, of course, the introduction of the mirror universe. All good things involve multi-verses.

DH S01E07 Final Draft Oct2016

Episode 8 brings in the kind of one-sided addition of key casting, which shifts the balance of the core relationship, with all the jokes and stupidity anyone could want to muster.

DH S01E08 Final Draft Oct2016

Episode 9, where our characters are spinning out alone, remembering what it was like before they met, and how their togetherness has changed them in many ways, good and bad.

DH S01E09 Final Draft Oct2016

Episode 10, the big finish, bringing everyone back together for a celebration of the show, and the final output. A double-sized episode to bring the show to ground, and give everyone the gift of closure.

DH S01E10 Final Draft Oct2016

I am mighty proud of these scripts, and what Eoin, Shawn and I made up (From a veritable tableau of ideas and threads we called the ‘Nolan Notes’. I wish we could have made these a reality, but life is cruel and harsh, and silliness is never as easy as you want it to be.

Thanks to everyone who tried, who helped, who gave time, funds, advice, talent, ability, care, consideration over all these years.

We won’t get into what we were looking at for season 2…