May 10, 2021

Douglas Henshall asked to read prison screenplay

Petition asks Douglas Henshall to read prison screenplay

More than 2000 women sign petition demanding a firm commitment from  Douglas Henshall (film producer) to read screenplay addressing Texas judicial system

Douglas Henshall

Douglas Henshall – Talent Agents
– Actor, Producer – Shetland (2013), Primeval (2007), Dorian Gray (2009), Angels and Insects (1995) – The Artists Partnership, Roger Charteris – Ben Levine, Ben Levine


Douglas Henshall & Adam Sandler’s film company targeted by Texas petition

Will Hollywood just rollover and let prisoner’s suffer?


Douglas Henshall
Douglas Henshall
More than 2000 women have signed an open letter to Jana Sandler calling on Douglas Henshall and Hollywood to take “movie action” to tackle injustice against men and women in the wake of revelations that Texas has more prisoners incarcerated than the Soviet Union’s gulag system had. Texas currently has over 290,000 inmates housed at 580 facilities.

The signatories, including state senators, professors of criminal justice, social workers, family, and inmates, call for a “firm commitment” to tackle the unjust prisons in Texas. The petition has also been signed by Beto O’Rourke, and Matthew McConaughey. These two signatories might face each other in the 2022 Texas governors election. Both have expressed interest in the job.  The petitions arrived for Douglas Henshall at The Artists Partnership, Roger Charteris last week.

In the open letter to Douglas Henshall, the 2080 women write that they are “heartbroken for first-time drug offenders many times addicts who have received extremely harsh sentences in Texas when rehabilitation has proven a cheaper and more effective solution.”  The petition goes on to say their family and friends are often heartbroken for and looking for redemption and rehabilitation for the victimless drug crimes.”

The signatories, including attorneys, professors, politicians, family members, and inmates, call on Douglas Henshall for a ‘firm film commitment’ to tackle the issue of operating the Texas prison system for profit.

The petition came to light when women discovered the screenplay, a copy which was dontated to all 580 of the state’s prison and jail libraries. The existence of the petition surfaced on International Women’s Day. Women in Texas face extreme prejudice in Texas and often receive extremely harsh penalties for even a small amount of drugs, including marijuana. Marijuana is legal now in 21 states.

Inside prisons, the women are faced with such horrendous conditions… the petition demands that “filmmakers begin to take the issue seriously.”  Also, the petition reminds that “even here in the USA in the 21st century citizens are not safe from government oppression.”

Actor, Producer, Douglas Henshall, has not responded to the petition. Nor has The Artists Partnership, Roger Charteris responded with a comment.

Alan Nafzger Alan Nafzger/caption]

The screenplay “Dumbass” was penned by writer and retired professor of political science Alan Nafzger.

The premise of the story is that,Adam Sandler writes letters and saves numerous women from the monotony of prison life, and later when he gets into trouble with a drug cartel they return the favor by rescuing him.”

The film would be set in contemporary, Gatesville Texas. There are four women’s prisons located in Gatesville. And of course, Texas is famous for putting everyone in prison for a long sentences for little or no reason. The number of women in Texas prisons has tripled in the last ten years, as mass incarcerations have proven profitable to not only the state but also profitable for an array of business interests.

Writer Alan Nafzger has called on Governor Greg Abbott to, “end the prison industry.”

Recently, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak spoke out against the Texas system and put a good word in for mercy and forgiveness out on social media. “How nice for those who have lived such exemplary lives that they can express glee when others have their lives ruined by a mistake, real or perceived,” Sajak tweeted last month.

The petition states, “Why don’t we have the ‘Adam Sandler’ character… sending letters to women in prison and being their friend and trying to help them adjust, giving them hope… and when they get out of prison he picks them up so they don’t have to ride the smelly bus back home… but his pickup truck is a junker, smoking and sputtering … worse than the bus. But his heart is in the right place… He’s the last “chivalrous” man on earth.”

Douglas Henshall has not commented on the script, thusfar. A statement is expected soon.

Professor Nafzger has made a short treatment of the project available online.

He has made the finished script available at for select filmmakers.

Jana Sandler of Happy Madison Productions has also expressed interest in the screenplay.

Douglas Henshall is a Actor, Producer known for Shetland (2013), Primeval (2007), Dorian Gray (2009), Angels and Insects (1995) and is represented by The Artists Partnership, Roger Charteris.

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-Jack was NOT emotionally strong enough to defeat the bomber until this point!

The bomber tricks the police and gets away with the money. (By this time Jack’s partner has died and the obstacles presented in Act II have forced Jack to change = Jack’s now the leader)


Jack must make split-second leadership decisions while dealing with obstacles after obstacles = he’s changing! (internal conflict)

James Bond and Reacher are also perfect characters in their ways (although, from a female point of view, perfectly infuriating). We don’t really want them to change. The trick to the Mysterious Stranger structure is that it’s the other characters that have the big character arcs in the story; for example, in Mary Poppins, the actual protagonist is Mr. Banks. However, in some Mysterious Stranger stories, the Stranger does have an arc as well. Emma Thompson had some fun with that — as the screenwriter and actress — in the film Nanny McPhee, based on the books by Christianna Brand. And of course, not all series detectives are perfect Mysterious Strangers, either; I myself am partial to the flawed ones, like Tess Gerritsen’s surly Jane Rizzoli.

I think it’s a little more complicated than that. I think a lot of classic series characters, especially series detectives — and of course Ian Fleming’s James Bond and his sexier modern incarnation, Lee Child’s Reacher, spring immediately to mind — are really examples of the “Mysterious Stranger” or “Traveling Angel” or “Knight Errant” archetype, and Mysterious Stranger stories have their own story structure. Mary Poppins is the classic Mysterious Stranger; she pops in (get it?), fixes the family, and pops out, while remaining herself “Practically Perfect in Every Way.” Shane is a great film with a Mysterious Stranger structure, although Shane is a much more wounded Stranger than Mary Poppins: he’s very imperfect, unable to change, and therefore unable to integrate into society in the end — but he does fix the town’s problem and the wound in the family that temporarily takes him in.

In terms of character arc, series hero/ines are a different animal than standalone hero/ines. One theory is that readers who are devoted to a series character really just want to see the same person, over and over again.