Earthquakes in Japan, flooding in the United Kingdom, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria! One of the clearest signs yet that the apocalypse is approaching is the news that Netflix has actually turned down a project.


Hollywood’s hottest script doctor is Scott Frank. If you have a problem with a script, you send it to him. He has fixed the scripts for movies including Saving Private RyanNight at the MuseumUnfaithfulRise of the Planet of the ApesThe RingThe Hunger Games: Catching FireGravity and, in his words, “…a lot of the X-Men movies”.

All this for the very reasonable fee of $300,000 per week.

He is also known for screenwriting his own original projects and directing, including two highly acclaimed series on Netflix. Western series Godless, and the multiple Emmy-winning The Queen’s Gambit which pushed Anya Taylor-Joy onto the world stage.

In an interview with The New Yorker he dropped the bombshell. Netflix has rejected, not one, but three of his projects, including one where he would have been back working with Taylor-Joy.


That would have been an adaptation of the 1938 novel Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov. This is often discussed in the same bracket as Lolita, with a middle-aged art critic becoming infatuated with a 17-year-old girl. Maybe they are wary after their experiences with Cuties, and are steering clear of this sort of subject matter.

According to the writer’s co-collaborator Mary Abbott, the approach was to be a film noir:

“We talked about the femme fatale as this character who gets short shrift. But really great noir is always toying with that. Scott wanted the female point of view to be foregrounded.”

Frank’s next project is Monsieur Spade starring Clive Owen. Netflix has said yes to another project of his, an adaptation of Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen’s crime novel Department Q.

Netflix, meanwhile, refuse to take our calls and have threatened to call the police if we don’t stop trying to get them to take a meeting by just turning up at their offices. We don’t think they liked our exploitation script.

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