"Dover": the movie
Paramount Pictures has hired Ron Nyswaner to pen the screenplay for "Dover," based on the landmark 2005 trial that stopped a Pennsylvania school board from teaching "intelligent design" . . . .
Nyswaner, who penned upcoming Naomi Watts starrer "The Painted Veil," said he will rely on trial transcripts, interviews and news coverage in writing the script for "Dover."
Nyswaner's statement that he will rely on trial transcripts, interviews and news coverage could be an indication that he is planning to write a screenplay of verifiable historical accuracy. I think that would be a mistake -- I think that most people would not be interested in just seeing a politically correct rehash of what they saw in the news. The movie "Inherit the Wind" was highly fictionalized, so why shouldn't this new movie also be?
Below are some ideas for this screenplay. All of these ideas except the last one have some connection with verifiable historical fact:
1. Judge Jones actually said that he was considering re-watching the movie "Inherit the Wind" for "historical context" that might help him in his decision. So show Jones watching the movie and making a monkey of himself by guffawing at the caricatured fundies in the movie.
2. Jones is booed and hissed at his "Founders' true religion" speech at Dickinson College. Someone points out to Jones that the college seal that he is standing behind, which was designed by the two Founders who started the college, has a picture of an open bible.
3. There were actual charges that the newly elected board members were in cahoots with the ACLU. This could be played up in the movie.
4. In a collusion scheme with the plaintiffs, Judge Jones is promised a kickback of part of the attorney fee award. The following actions are part of this scheme:
a. Jones accepts an excessive number of plaintiffs' attorneys of record -- 9-10, with at least 5 in the courtroom on every day of a six-week trial.
b.. Jones accepts a huge number of plaintiffs' expert witnesses in order to help create a long trial.
c. The plaintiffs' attorneys wait several months before subpoenaing the Foundation for Ethics, the publisher of the book Of Pandas and People, in the hope of delaying FTE's filing of a motion to intervene. When FTE finally files the motion after receiving the subpoena, Jones rules that the motion was "untimely" (Jones also gave other phony reasons for denying the motion).
d. By saying that the school board election results would have no effect on his decision, Jones gives the newly elected board members another excuse to not repeal the ID policy prior to the release of the decision. Jones privately concedes that he would be obliged to dismiss the case if the new board repealed the ID policy prior to release of the decision.
5. The plaintiffs and Judge Jones bribe someone in exchange for a copy of a confidential memo that the school board's original attorney sent to the board. When this memo is introduced in court, a defense attorney leaps to his feet and indignantly shouts "obbbb-JEC-shun!" -- just like in the Perry Mason shows.
6. The plaintiffs and their attorneys renege on their promise to pay a kickback to Jones. Jones can do nothing without risking exposing his own guilt.
Any other ideas for the screenplay -- as well as ideas for the name of the movie -- would be welcome.
Labels: Kitzmiller v. Dover (2 of 2)