Hidden Easter Eggs in the Screenplay I Haven’t Written Yet

Woman Writing on Laptop

I’ve been working on this screenplay for almost a year now, and even though it’s still in the brainstorming phrase it’s going super well. It’s kind of a neo-noir action-y thriller with a dash of black comedy about the fine line between love and hate. It’s also a metaphor for the way technology has eroded our communication. I think I’m going to call it When the Night Falls, or maybe A Homecoming. Denzel or Tom (Cruise, not Hanks) would be perfect for the lead, and I’m definitely going to send the script to them once I write it.

The best part is, it’s not just a straightforward story. There are going to be all sorts of twists and turns you didn’t see coming, but once they happen you realize that you should have seen them coming. And there are also going to be all kinds of hidden “easter eggs” that add texture to the story. Like for instance:

The identity of the killer is actually revealed in the first scene.

We don’t find out who the killer is until the detective (Tom or Denzel) does – at the end of the second act (that’s around 80 pages in). But, in the very first scene, Tom’s mother says something about how “there’s something off about that Denise girl.” Tom (and the audience) brushes it off at the time because his mother has Alzheimer’s. But it turns out Denise is the killer, and Tom’s mom was right all along!

The setting is based on the small town I grew up in.

This egg’s more for the people who know me, but pretty fun/cool nonetheless. The setting’s not exactly the same: I grew up in Pennsylvania, and I’m thinking the movie’s set in Ohio. But the diner where Tom’s girlfriend works is gonna be based on the one we would go to when I was growing up – although as far as I know, they never found a body in their freezer! Oh, and I’m naming the sassy old waitress who works there after my eighth-grade English teacher, ’cause she’s the one who inspired me to be a writer.

The film is full of references to Fellini.

I had to watch 8 1/2 as part of an undergrad film class, and it really influenced me and my style of writing. There are going to be dream sequences that illuminate Tom’s state of mind as he delves deeper into solving the case and starts to go mad. The images will be reminiscent of Fellini without smacking you in the head – you really have to be in the know to get it.

The idea for my next movie is hidden in this one.

I have another idea for this romance thriller that’s also a takedown of the way women are expected to “choose” between having a career and having a family. Well, the main character of that movie is also going to appear in this movie! Yeah! Tom’s going to go meet with a crime reporter and that’s going to be her! Like with the Fellini business, it’s going to be super subtle. She’s just going to mention how she’s frightened “sleeping alone now,” and finger the spot where a wedding ring used to be. (Bonus – that means we’ll be able to get someone famous to play this really small part. I’m thinking Jennifer Lawrence?)

Sounds great, right? I’ll send it to you as soon as I finish! Once I have time to sit down and focus, I’ll probably get it done in, what, a week?



Sarah James

Author: Sarah James

Sarah James (@cryingbaseball) is the only writer currently living in Los Angeles. She has a cat.

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