Posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 by Peter Sciretta
Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black, Get Shorty, Pushing Daisies) has signed on to direct The How-To Guide for Saving the World for MGM. BenDavid Grabinski‘s action comedy screenplay appeared on the 2008 Black List, a list which ranks the hottest screenplays making the rounds in Hollywoodland, compiled by a poll of 250 development executives and high-level assistants.
The story follows a 30-year-old loser named Sylvester, who discovers a mysterious red unmarked book with the instructions on how to stop an alien invasion. And of course, the unlikely hero is thrust into action, along with a woman who hates him, to stop a real alien invasion.
I have only read the first 30 pages of BenDavid’s screenplay, but everything I have read so far is uniquely original, overly absurd and laugh out loud funny. For example, the book left by a secret organization that had been protecting earth is setup like a choose your own adventure novel.
Lets forget for a second that Sonnenfeld directed Addams Family Values, Wild Wild West and Men in Black II, and focus on Pushing Daisies, Get Shorty and Men in Black. Bottom line is that Sonnenfeld can produce magic, but he usually just needs the right material. And while I’m impressed by what I’ve seen of BenDavid’s script thus far, I am convinced that this film could live or die based on the tone and direction. Sonnenfeld better bring his A game.