blcklst. Bullets we extracted from reviews

  1. In this prequel to CASABLANCA, RICK BLAINE flees the wrath of a Harlem gangster and winds up using his skills as a smuggler in a globe-trotting adventure across Europe and Africa.
  2. RICK BLAINE has adventures around the world, running guns in Africa and fighting in The Spanish Civil War before going to Paris and meeting ILSA LUND in the years leading up to “Casablanca”.
  3. A prequel to the 1942 American classic “Casablanca” that traces the globetrotting adventures that lead to Rick meeting Ilsa in Paris.
Comments from the 3 reviews we got on blacklist:
  1. “prequel to CASABLANCA” may sound like peak IP-mining to some, the premise actually has some potential
  2. the writing style in this draft is so poor it undermines everything the writers are trying to accomplish.
  3. display an inability to understand visual storytelling, making even the simplest story elements either underwhelming or downright incomprehensible.
  4. the writers lazily include backstory without thinking about how to communicate it to the audience
  5. rendered almost comically inert
  6. writing sucks drama out of compelling ideas.
  7. the writers don’t feel like they’re honoring Humphrey Bogart with the Rick character
  8. This draft is not professional work
  9. unlikely to be taken seriously by anyone in the industry in its current form.
  10. entertaining, engaging screenplay
  11. interesting story, with some fun adventures and memorable characterizations.
  12. Rick Blaine is done justice here, and even without the context of the timeless classic this precedes, he stands out as a complex and compelling antihero.
  13. The line “Redemption’s for chumps”
  14. episodic and sometimes rushed.
  15. the story is lacking in direction or a strong driving motor.
  16. not always clear where we’re going or why.
  17. audience would understandably be skeptical about a prequel to “Casablanca”,
  18. this script doesn’t really give us anything more about Rick we don’t get from the original.
  19. The modern mature content also takes us out of the general classical tone. The profanity is conspicuous, as is the crude humor, such as Rick making an oral sex joke after seeing a pair of busy camels.
  20. little chance of getting made. Along with rights issues, the general public would naturally be skeptical, if not outright hostile
  21. perhaps turning Rick into a similar pragmatic and tenacious antihero might be a worthy idea for a standalone film.
  22. The script’s dialogue is its strongest aspect, deftly capturing Bogart’s portrayal of Rick with many deadpan one-liners.
  23. fun role for Antoine de Saint-Exupéry as Rick’s sidekick but it’s a shame when he drops out the plot half way through.
  24. Zumaya is the emotional heart of the movie but they definitely need more scenes together to justify the second act of the script.
  25. formatting is unorthodox to say the least and the script proved a very challenging read.
  26. initial flashback scene is very jarring and the information could be conveyed faster and later in the script once the audience has their bearings.
  27. Cutting this sequence would also bring the inciting incident on page 40 to around the 25 minute mark which would probably help improve the script’s pacing.
  28. The montages (e.g. on p.43) need to all be much more more detailed and on the bottom of page 47 there’s a description of a scene that seems to be missing.
  29. the script becomes very, very confusing, bordering on unreadable and reads more like an initial sketching of half-finished ideas than a coherent, finalized screenplay.
  30. Warner Brothers television actually produced a short-lived television prequel series back in the 1980s so there’s a slight chance they may be interested in reviving this idea with an actor like Ryan Gosling in the Bogart role.
  31. However, this draft is nowhere near the standard required to justify the large budget required to shoot this script and the main focus in future rewrites should be turning these notes into a completed screenplay with proper formatting so that it is much more easily digested.

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