18 February 2013

Starring Samuel L. Jackson..

It seems there are three big stories that have everyone tweeting, lately: the Valentine’s Day tragedy of Oscar Pistorius, the Russian meteor, and the constantly developing story of Christopher Dorner. While I would like to talk about a story that puts all other bad Valentine’s Day stories to shame or a YouTube video that isn’t the (still confusing) “Harlem Shake,” I can’t seem to get away from Christopher Dorner.

I have a professor who talked about how people in Hollywood are jumping at the rights to produce a movie that covers this story. I laughed in my typical “good one, professor” tone but the more I think about it, the more I enjoy the idea of this movie. This could be the perfect “hero turned villain through an obsession over self-pride” story, which happens to be my favorite genre.

Hear me out.

The movie could start out with Dorner being represented as this respectable officer in the LAPD. Maybe he can bust a few high profile crimes to really win over our admiration, early on. However, because cops can get a sense of pride by power, corruption begins to make its way through the force. Dorner sees this and maybe even dips his hand in the sweet nectar of adrenaline, but he is immediately ridden with shame and regret. He tells his colleagues that he won’t turn them in, but he can’t justify doing that kind of thing any longer. They pretend to be cool with it, like any cool cop would. They can’t take it, though. Maybe they are offended that Dorner sees himself as better than them. It could just be that the walls of corruption are closing in on them and they need somebody to throw under the bus. They decide to work together and begin building a story against Dorner. Since he was involved at one point, they have evidence linked to them that could make his counter argument pointless. Then comes the dramatic trial scenes. There are headlines that read his name everywhere. Dorner tries to move on with his life, but he can’t. He is a man of pride. He can’t stand to carry such a shameful label throughout his life. His friends, family, and even loved ones leave him because of the negativity that surrounds him. He has to make a statement that can really get his message out to the world. He changes from a man of good conscience to a man of anger, with a desire for revenge. Through careful planning (with occasional scenes of him sitting at a desk writing something), he begins to take out the officers that put him in this place, he even takes out their loved ones in hopes of causing a larger impact. The headlines begin making their way around the nation, there is a huge build-up to the moment he is in the cabin and surrounded. The audience begins to hear a voice-over from Dorner himself. He is reading his manifesto that he wrote while he was planning out his rampage. The scene ends with shots of tear gas into the cabin and footage of the cabin engulfed in flames. The movie closes out with actual footage from the news conference and the final words uttered by the captain, “This is not a cause for celebration..”

I think we have a hit on our hands. However, there is controversy with adapting such a tragic story for Hollywood, and even more controversy in portraying his character as a hero, at points. What do you all think? Should Hollywood be allowed to cover a story with such tragic consequences? If so, how should they portray Dorner’s character? Do you have any changes that would put my brief plot to shame?


  1. That actually wasn't bad, Zach! Copyright it! I think Hollywood directors should have the right to cover this story because it's what America wants to see. I mean, "if it bleeds, it leads" right? I still can't seem LLC Cool J out of my head as the character of Dorner.

  2. I think it's okay for Hollywood to do a story on this and portray the different sides of Dorner. There are a lot of tragic movies out there, and there are a lot of tragic stories in life. Like Jasmine said, that's what America wants to see. Some people like watching tragic movies because they can relate to them in some way or find them interesting.

  3. Agreed. Brian DePalma did The Black Dahlia. Some people were offended, but it was a hit. Tragedy sells. Plus if you have this film so specifically planned, you know it's something you're interested in as a consumer, so most other college kids probably would be too.

    Amazing scripting, by the way. Do you do this often?

    1. I don't know that I have ever done this, actually. However, with a strong imagination and an inability to focus my attention on things of actual importance, I've had a lot of time to think this one through.

  4. Zach, as always your creativity and imagination amaze me. Christopher Dorner has been covered by the media for a few weeks and it was breaking news when he was found. While this would be a great story, I can see how the media could twist it. With the Newtown and Aurora shootings being portrayed in the media, some people are concerned of the copy cat theory. By giving these shooters national media attention it may make people who are unstable proned to try to "top" the last tragic event. While this script is a great idea and would be highly entertaining, that theory is always in the back of my mind that someone is going to want to be glorified in the same way.

  5. I think that this would be a really great movie; I could see it happening, especially with the right writers. We have that same class together and our professor made me into a believer, she really sold the concept. But right now, guns are a sensitive topic in our society because they have caused so much tragedy recently. So I’m not sure if Hollywood will be in a rush to produce a movie about him or any other of the most talked about shooters that have emerged within the last year or so. But Dorner’s story just seems so interesting; I would love to know MORE! So if an actual movie isn’t made, maybe Law and Order will do an episode based on him (but of course the opening credits will say that the story is not based on actual events and blah blah blah). But we all know that Law and Order will snatch a high profile criminal case straight from the headlines. Sooo, maybe.

  6. I don't think it would be a problem for Hollywood. Like Sarah Davis said, tragedy sells. Am I saying everyone will like it? Probably not, but I believe there is a certain audience that will appreciate the controversy and also the change in cinema (or route, rather). If the movie is done correctly, it could potentially be a hit.

  7. A movie about tragedy may not be the best idea right now with all that has been going on. On the other hand, tragedy is and always will be all around us, so it would definitely make money. People love to watch movies that pull at their heartstrings, even if it is sad.