Monday, January 16, 2012

The "Poseidon" That Should Have Been May or May Not Have Existed

I've reached the end of my notes I've transcribed from my visit to the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library, looking right now at the brief notes I took on the Poseidon script by Mark Protosevich, though how much by Mark Protosevich could be debatable based on the number of people who wrote revisions. Did Protosevich step in after all those revisions, or was he responsible for the huge set pieces?

The front page of the bound script I opened at the library states "Previous revisions by David Scarpa, D.B. Weiss, Stuart Beattie, The Wachowski Brothers, Andrew Marlowe, Paul Attanasio, Akiva Goldsman, Kieran Mulroney & Michele Mulroney." Chances are that the Mulroneys were the first to write a Poseidon script, but it was deemed unsuitable and then Akiva Goldsman was put on it, followed by all the others. Too many viewpoints, too little coherency it seems. Andrew Marlowe is an interesting choice, being that he wrote Air Force One and Hollow Man, so he knew confined spaces.

Did any of these writers have the idea of the survivors being rescued in the opening minutes, followed by massive media exposure, and flashbacks to what had happened? It's something I may never know, but it is interesting that on that front page, it also says "Current revision by Akiva Goldsman." So they went back to him.

At the top right corner of the page is a list of future revisions, being that this particular script was the "Final White Draft - June 17, 2005." Future revisions happened on June 27, July 5, July 25, August 11, and September 12, in blue, pink, yellow, green, and gold pages respectively, most likely expanding on what there already was.

It turns out that even though some of the character descriptions are still shoddy, and didn't fare any better on the screen, Poseidon reads better on the page. Not surprising, but there was still a lot of wasted opportunity here. Undoubtedly, though, there will be books written about the current cruise ship crisis with the Costa Concordia and I'm sure Hollywood producers will try for the rights to various stories now. It's the way they are. But then, after the total failure of Poseidon when it was released, books might have a better chance.

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