If you need your daily reminder to never give up on your dreams, today’s lesson comes from Scott Frank. The writer/director has no shortage of terrific credits to his name (“Minority Report,” “Out Of Sight,” “The Lookout,” “Get Shorty“), but for over a decade, he’s been looking to get his 1888-set western “Godless” made, in particular convincing directors to take it on, including Steven Soderbergh.
“He didn’t want to shoot people on horses,” Frank told us in 2014 about Soderbergh turning down the gig, also adding that Sam Mendes had looked at the project too. “I begged him to direct it. And by the way —that’s happened twice now. I wasn’t going to direct ‘The Lookout.’ I had gone through two other directors, and the last one was [David] Fincher. When he left, I couldn’t get my heart broken with another director. And the same with ‘A Walk Among The Tombstones.’ There were lots of people who came in and out, and finally I said I’d do it. It seems to be a pattern with me.”
Now, two years after that interview, it’s happening. On the latest episode of “The Moment” podcast with Brian Koppelman, Frank revealed “Godless” will go forward.
“I had the idea in 2000. And then I started researching it and I wrote it in 2002-3. What I’m doing now is expanding it into six hours. It was a three hour script. And it will be Netflix’s first official, in-house, miniseries,” he said. “I’m directing all six, and the goal is to start shooting sometime in July.”
As for the plot, Frank laid it out in 2007, but bear in mind, he’s now expanding it.
“It is essentially the story of a severely wounded outlaw who ends up in this mining town in New Mexico, where all the able-bodied men have died in the mine. It’s run all by women,” he told Collider. “He ends up on a ranch just outside of town with the one woman the other women have ostracized and who’s nursing him back to health. Who he realizes are coming after him are his old gang members or fellow outlaws, laying waste to every town they come to, and you realize they’re coming here soon and it’s really that’s sort of the bare bones of the plot. It would be like me telling you ‘The Lookout’ is about a guy who robs a bank. It’s all about these characters and the relationships between all these people, and his relationship with the guy who’s coming for him. It all comes to a head in the middle of this town full of women.”
No word yet on casting, but with a summer shoot looming, we’ll likely get news soon. Listen to the full podcast below.