In his non-fiction books about Hollywood (“Adventures in the Screen Trade”, “Further Adventures in the Screen Trade”), prolific screenwriter William Goldman has always lamented the plight of the screenwriter in Hollywood — specifically, that screenwriters are worth less than the caterers on a movie set, and appreciated about the same as the guy who scoops up horse crap. So I’m a little surprise to run across this Hollywood Reporter article talking about how the original writers from the first “Transformers”, along with a third guy, are in negotiations to be paid anywhere from $5 million to $7 million to write the “Transformers” sequel. Wait — they could DO that? Apparently so.
Scribe Ehren Kruger and the writing team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are in negotiations to team to write the screenplay for DreamWorks/Paramount’s “Transformers 2.”
The teaming of A-listers to write such a huge project might be an industry first and could have been necessary because Kurtzman and Orci — who wrote the $315 million-grossing first “Transformers” movie — also are busy writing J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” movie for Paramount and producing “Eagle Eye” for DreamWorks.
Sources are pegging the writing deal, which is not yet closed, in the $5 million-$7 million range, which also might be an industry high for a nonoriginal screenplay. Reflected in the price is the pressure to perform: With the studio hoping to make the movie before a potential talent strike, the writers are going to have to type fast.
I’m for giving more respect to writers. I think they’re grossly underappreciated in Hollywood. Hell, half of my family members STILL think the actors “make up their lines” in the movies!