Red Planet Screenplay
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NEWS FLASH ... 20 JULY 2017 ... RUSSIANS HIJACK MARS MISSION ... CLAIM RED PLANET IN NAME OF OLD SOVIET EMPIRE!
RED PLANET
Original Movie Screenplay by Tom Wakefield
LOGLINE

The Soviets are back. But if you've been reading the news lately you know they were never really gone. They were just waiting for the perfect opportunity....

LOGLINE: The Russians murder their American counterparts on the first manned mission to Mars and claim the Red Planet in the name of the old Soviet Empire.

Project Type: Feature Film
Genre: Action/Science Fiction
3 acts, 120 pages
Status: Completed, Seeking Sale
WGA Registration #: 765887

QUOTABLE
"I hereby claim the planet Mars in the name of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Untouchable from American aggression and subterfuge, we will build a new empire, with the pure doctrines of communism and the pure Russian blood of my fellow cosmonauts. One day we will return to reclaim the land, Mother Russia, that was stolen from us. The Soviet Empire lives again on the Red Planet."
 - Colonel Vladimir Trotsky, July 20, 2017

SYNOPSIS

In the year 2017 an ambitious joint U.S./Russian space mission arrives in orbit around the Red Planet to land the first humans on Mars. The Russians, however, have a secret plan.

Under the charge of their ultranationalist leader, the Russians murder their American counterparts and claim Mars in the name of the old Soviet Empire. One hundred years later, the grandson of the coup leader initiates a sinister plan to reclaim Earth. 

Earth's only hope is a U.S. Marine Force Recon Team, led by Naval Academy grad Lt. Jack Evans, that must escort a beautiful Russian scientist to the Red Planet on a daring and desperate mission. Evans had always dreamed of a heroic and adventurous life, but this mission may be more than he or anyone else bargained for. 

High in concept, RED PLANET has a unique story, a well-developed future world scenario, strong characterization, original action, and a Chess-like plot with a high-tech Chess game ending. 

I already know what you're thinking -- a movie poster with Mars and the Soviet Hammer and Sickle -- and a video game, book, technical manual, and more. RED PLANET is a franchise concept. 

Kirk Sullivan, a Hollywood insider, says this screenplay is "very well written and executed" and "given the strength of the script would have a high chance of being a finalist in the Nichols competition."

Every now and then a movie concept comes along that is highly original and high in concept, and the screenplay literally writes itself.  RED PLANET is such a concept. When you hear the logline for RED PLANET, you immediately see the movie. RED PLANET is everything a successful movie should be:

Provocative and big
An event movie (4th of July opening)
A fresh and marketable concept
Unique, but with familiar elements*

*The Screenwriter's Bible, by David Trottier

QUOTABLE
"It's the twenty-second century, yet mankind still can't get it right. Whatever brand of religion, politics, or economics man tries, it always ends in failure. Look at the world today. Ethnic strife, religious and racial hatred, civil wars, insurrections. Technology has only given man new and more efficient ways to kill his fellow man."
 - Svetlana Ulnovich, November 12, 2117

Hollywood Lit Sales Talks Red Planet
"Red Planet's premise is fresh and pitchable with its Tom Clancy meets sci-fi hook."

RED PLANET has a lot going for it, including the opening hijack sequence.  You always want to start a story with an attention grabber, and this is it.  It also quickly establishes the premise. 

Kudos should also go to the structure, which is tripwire tight.  It also generates plenty of rising tension.  The First Act crisply sets-up the mission, the Second Act sends the team to Mars only to be double-crossed, while the Third ends with a major land battle and the Earth itself threatened with extinction.

The action writing is lively and visual, carrying us along on a wave of excitement as Evans and his commandos get into one scrape after another.  You can almost feel the adrenaline during the Jet-Pack duel, while the bone-crunching battle between the SCAMPS and the Soviet forces is a major highlight.  Better yet, the action set-pieces are quite inventive, especially the final Chess Game where the commandos become game pieces themselves. 

The story doesn't skimp on the twists, either.  The triple-cross of Svetlana  leads the story in new and intriguing directions, and the secret space station  is a nice, unexpected touch. 

FAN MAIL

"Hi, Tom. My name is K. Taylor. I'm not an agent or anything but I just wanted to let you know that your synopsis posted on the LitSales board is by far the most intriguing I've seen so far. If it were a movie, I'd be the first in line to see it. And that's no b_llshi_t. I wish you the best of luck in finding a buyer."

QUOTABLE
"Worried about the landing? There's nothing to it. How'd the Briefing Officer explain it? Oh yeah, I remember. Your individual pods will enter the Martian atmosphere at seven kilometers a second and decelerate to a soft landing using a heat shield, a parachute, and actively guided propulsion to reduce vertical velocity."
 - Corporal Vincent Petit, USMC Sniper