Alex Kurtzman

Steven Spielberg has been working with screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci for a few years now. Introduced through Michael Bay with the DreamWorks produced 2005 film The Island, the screenwriting duo went on to pen the Spielberg-produced Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and were put in charge (ie produced) of DJ Caruso’s Eagle Eye which was based on a Spielberg idea. They’ve been developing projects for Spielberg and preaching the tone of Steven’s old Amblin films. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Kurtzman and Orci would be developing a television series based on Locke & Key. It seemed inevitable that one of the scribes would be interested in moving beyond writing and producing and actually direct his own film. Now is that time.

Vulture has learned that Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks will give Alex Kurtzman his first big screen directing gig, an “intimate dramatic script” titled Welcome to People, which he co-wrote with his partner Orci and Jody Lambert (the documentarian who made the 2008 documentary Of All the Things). Here is the plot synopsis from the article:

Welcome to People tells the story of a struggling twentysomething man who, after flying home to L.A. for the funeral of his estranged record-producer father, discovers that the will stipulates that he must deliver $150,000 in cash to a 30-year-old alcoholic sister he never knew existed, and her troubled 12-year-old son. Determined to keep the money to solve his own problems, he’s nonetheless fascinated by his unknown kin and makes contact with the two without revealing who he really is.  … The title Welcome to People refers to a child anger-management program in which the nephew is enrolled after blowing up his middle school’s pool with a sodium chunk stolen from chemistry class; the grown son is a damaged goods broker — a fitting metaphor for his emotionally crippled relationship with his father; and the illegitimate daughter is an alcoholic who tends bar at The Standard Hotel on Sunset Blvd.

Apparently the script was first written six years ago, and Kurtzman chose it to purposely fight against the action/sci-fi label that has become attached to him as a screenwriter. It definitely sounds a lot more complex, character-wise and emotionally, than anything Kurtzman has been a part of thus far.

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