Petition asks Keenen Ivory Wayans to read prison screenplay
More than 2000 women sign petition demanding a firm commitment from Keenen Ivory Wayans (film producer) to read screenplay addressing Texas judicial system
Keenen Ivory Wayans – Talent Agents
– Writer, Producer, Actor – In Living Color (1990), White Chicks (2004), Little Man (2006), I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) – State of the Art Agency, William Rodriguez –
Dumbass, Sunny D, Untitled Diarra Kilpatrick/Keenen Ivory Wayans Project, It Takes a Village
Keenen Ivory Wayans & Adam Sandler’s film company targeted by Texas petition
Will Hollywood just rollover and let prisoner’s suffer?
More than 2000 women have signed an open letter to Jana Sandler calling on Keenen Ivory Wayans 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 Keenen Ivory Wayans at State of the Art Agency, William Rodriguez last week.
In the open letter to Keenen Ivory Wayans, 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 Keenen Ivory Wayans 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.”
Writer, Producer, Actor, Keenen Ivory Wayans, has not responded to the petition. Nor has State of the Art Agency, William Rodriguez responded with a comment.
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.”
Keenen Ivory Wayans 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.
Keenen Ivory Wayans is a Writer, Producer, Actor known for In Living Color (1990), White Chicks (2004), Little Man (2006), I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) and is represented by State of the Art Agency, William Rodriguez.
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Think franchise potential. Todays producers are looking to capitalize on material that has franchise potential, which means they can produce part I, part II and part III – maybe even a TV spin-off series. This means to end the story in a way that leaves it open for a potential sequel. A word of warning: this does NOT mean to leave the conflict unresolved! Watch franchise films to see how the first movie in the franchise ended and how it technically leaves open the possibility for the hero to return.
Check the page length. If Act III is less than 10 pages long, its too short. A short Act III means the hero wasnt given a strong enough external conflict to resolve. By this point in the story, the heros reached his arc and has changed internally. Go back and work on Act Is setup and Act IIs conflict. Beef it up, stay focused on resolving the heros internal conflict and leave Act III for the hero to resolve the external conflict.
Dont kill the hero! This is one of the toughest sells on the spec market. I know movies have been made where the hero dies, but unless you know Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond) or Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator and Ladder 49), then Id refrain from this approach because itll take a big, A-list actor attached to get made and in todays economy, audiences dont want downer stories! Plus, its unlikely this type of script would sell from a writer without a track record.
Give the hero the last scene and the last line. Big, name actors want the big moments and there is no bigger moment than closing a film. Give the hero the last scene and the last line. Another tip is to use a repeat-line to reinforce the heros arc. This is when we hear him say something he said earlier, but it now has new meaning. Well be discussing all of this in more detail in the chapter on CHARACTERS.
(Im giving that its own, bold line to make sure it sinks in.)
This continual opposition of the protagonists and antagonists plans is the main underlying structure of the second act.
Also throughout the second act, the antagonist has his or her own goal and plan, which is in direct conflict or competition with the hero/ines goal. We may actually see the forces of evil plotting their plots (John Grisham does this brilliantly in The Firm), or we may only see the effect of the antagonists plot in the continual thwarting of the hero/ines plans. Both techniques are effective.
Now, if the hero/ine were able to carry out the plan without a hitch, it wouldnt make for very good drama, would it? So once youve got your initial plan, you need to be constantly blocking that plan, either with your antagonist, or the hero/ines own inner conflict, or outside forces beyond her or his control.