Many people to this day still don’t know that two men are largely responsible for the timeless enjoyment that Aladdin, Shrek, and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies have blessed millions with. Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio have been working together for two decades and have plenty of other good movies (The Mask of Zorro, The Road to El Dorado, Treasure Planet, National Treasure 2) under their belt, with their occasional duds still having a few memorable scenes and characters to boast. With their deep understanding of the adventure genre, to me they’re partially a modern day virtual Lewis and Clark.
To be fair, the writing credits have been crowded with Jim Kouf, Oren Aviv, Charles Segars, and the Wibberley siblings since the first film, which the Pirates writers were not involved with. Hearing that Rossio and Elliott may not be involved with the third film is still worth being concerned about, but it’s somewhat reassuring to discover that Brian Koppleman and David Levien — the writers responsible for Rounders, Runaway Jury, Ocean’s Thirteen, and Solitary Man — have begun working on the script for National Treasure 3 now that they’ve finished their adaptation of the book City of the Sun.
Hit the jump to read a summary of David Levien’s novel, City of the Sun.[Via Dark Horizons]
Summary taken from the highest rated Amazon review:
Screenwriter Levien’s debut crackles with raw intensity as it hurtles from a placid Indianapolis suburb to a dingy Mexican outpost. Paul and Carol Gabriel are devastated when their 12-year-old son, Jamie, disappears on his paper delivery route one morning.
Fourteen months later and with the police no closer to finding Jamie, they hire PI Frank Behr, an imposing ex-cop with a checkered past. Behr soon discovers that Jamie’s disappearance was no random grab but part of a larger operation run by Riggi, a real estate tycoon who deals in everything from drugs to stolen children. Reluctantly allowing Paul to accompany him, Behr tracks Riggi’s men to Mexico, where he and Paul discover the true extent of Riggi’s depravity as they race against the clock to find Jamie.
Levien expertly weaves a subplot involving the tragic death of Behr’s own young son into the complex kidnapping story, and the moments shared between the two grieving fathers are heartbreaking. Fans of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch will be particularly delighted.
P.S. I just discovered that Levein is the same guy who wrote the discouraging novel, Wormwood, which wasn’t amazing, but the first half about how Hollywood scripts are often picked was deeply intriguing — and horrifying — to read as a fellow writer.