Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

This Month in History - April Roundup

  • On this day in history

    Nickelodeon

    • Happy 41st Anniversary!

    Nickelodeon -

    Nickelodeon, which was one of the first cable channels for children, launched on this day in history in 1979. Many of its animated TV shows and scripted series have become pop culture icons, including "SpongeBob SquarePants," created by the late Stephen Hillenburg, and "All That," which helped launch the careers of Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. The name, Nickelodeon, comes from the first five-cent movie theaters, called nickelodeons.

  • On this day in history

             2001:
          A Space Odyssey

    screenplay by

    • Stanley Kubrick
    • Arthur C. Clarke

    2001: A Space Odyssey -

    Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick wrote the screenplay for "2001: A Space Odyssey," which debuted on this day in 1968 at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C. Critics were split on the film, with some calling it unforgettable, and others walking out of the theater. Clarke and Kubrick intended to write the science fiction piece as a novel first but ended up writing a screenplay and novel simultaneously. The pair wrote many drafts, and early versions even had a prologue that included interviews with scientists about extraterrestrials. Once shooting started, Kubrick had removed most of the dialogue and narration from the script. The movie went on to win a number of awards and is now considered Kubrick's masterpiece.  

  • On this day in history

               Cahiers
                     Du Cinéma
            Magazine

    Founded

    • 69 Years Ago

    Cahiers Du Cinéma Magazine -

    Cahiers du Cinema Magazine was founded in April 1951 as an iteration on a previous magazine called Revue du Cinema. It is the oldest French film magazine still around today, although its future is now uncertain following a buyout in February 2020. On a single day that month, the magazine's entire editorial staff resigned over the new ownership, which includes eight producers. The team felt like the producers created a conflict of interest when it comes to the content of the magazine. While the future is unknown, Cahiers du Cinema will go down in history as the magazine that brought the French New Wave to the forefront, introduced the world to the word "auteur," and launched the careers of many well-known filmmakers and critics.

  • On this day in history

                    All the
           President's
    Men

    screenplay by

    • William Goldman

    All the President's Men -

    "All the President's Men," written by William Goldman, debuted on this day in history in 1976. The political thriller is based on the Watergate scandal – specifically, the non-fiction book by the same name – written by the two journalists at the center of it all, Carl Berstein and Bob Woodward. Robert Redford bought rights to the book and hired Goldman to write the screenplay. But neither author nor Robert Redford was happy with Goldman's first draft. So, Woodward and his then-girlfriend Nora Ephron wrote a draft of their own, and one of their scenes actually made it into the film, despite it not being true to real events. In the end, Goldman is the only one credited with writing the screenplay.

  • On this day in history

    King Kong

    screenplay by

    • Ruth Rose
    • James Creelman

    King Kong -

    While James Creelman and Ruth Rose were ultimately credited with the screenplay for "King Kong," British mystery author Edgar Wallace wrote the initial version. Directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack planned to leverage Wallace's fame to promote the film, but before Wallace could begin revising his first draft called "The Beast," he passed away. Cooper brought in Creelman but felt his draft was too slow-paced. He later hired Ruth Rose, a writer who had no screenplay experience, to tighten the script. Rose also happened to be married to Schoedsack.

  • On this day in history

       12 Angry
     Men

    screenplay by

    • Reginald Rose

    12 Angry Men -

    Named the second-best courtroom drama film ever by the American Film Institute ("To Kill a Mockingbird" is #1), "12 Angry Men" debuted on this day in history in 1957. Reginald Rose initially wrote the screenplay for TV, and after its success on CBS, it was adapted for film. The black and white film didn't perform well at the box office, though, which some attributed to new widescreen formats and color film. The story follows 12 jurors deliberating whether to convict an 18-year-old defendant. The film is preserved in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

  • On this day in history

       Singin' in
           the Rain

    screenplay by

    • Betty Comden
    • Adolph Green

    Singin' in the Rain -

    "Singin' in the Rain" is one of the most beloved musicals, and its story is rooted in its songs. Betty Comden and Adolph Green were hired to write the script based on a backlog of songs written by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, who was responsible for many of MGM studios' fancy musicals at the time. Comden and Green tied the songs together through a romantic comedy about three performers transitioning from silent films to talkies. The musical wasn't an immediate success but has since become known as one of the best films of all time. Comden and Green won the Writers Guild of America award for their screenplay.

  • On this day in history

       Walter
         Salles

    • Happy 64th Birthday!

    Walter Salles -

    Happy Birthday, Walter Salles! Salles is a Brazilian director, producer, and writer, best known for his movies "Central Station,” "The Motorcycle Diaries," and "Foreign Land." Salles has been nominated for a number of awards, including two Golden Globe nominations and one win for Best Foreign Language Film for "Central Station.” "The Motorcycle Diaries" won the award for Best Film Not in the English Language at the BAFTAs in 2005.

  • On this day in history

    The Cabin in
      the Woods

    screenplay by

    • Joss Whedon
    • Drew Goddard

    The Cabin in the Woods -

    "The Cabin in the Woods" premiered at South by Southwest in early March 2012 and was widely released on this day in history in 2012. The horror-comedy was written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard in just three days, and Goddard directed the movie as well. The writers, who had previously worked together on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel," said they wanted the film to revitalize the horror genre – both what we love and hate about it. The movie won or was nominated for at least six best screenplay honors at various awards ceremonies.

  • On this day in history

          Fruit
          Chan

    • Happy 61st Birthday!

    Fruit Chan -

    Happy Birthday, Fruit Chan! Chan is a screenwriter, filmmaker, and producer from Hong Kong. His most well-known film is "Made in Hong Kong," which won the Best Picture Award at the 1998 Hong Kong Film Awards, as well as several other awards and nominations. The movie is made from leftover film reels from other productions and has been praised as a realistic depiction of life in Hong Kong.

  • On this day in history

       Charlie
      Chaplin

    • Born 131 years ago

    Charlie Chaplin -

    HBD, Charlie Chaplin! Actor, filmmaker, and composer, Charlie's career spanned more than 75 years. He brought laughter to millions of people through his screen persona, "The Tramp," and went down in history as one of the world's most iconic figures in the film industry. He would have been 131 years old today.

  • On this day in history

      All That

    created by

    • Brian Robbins
    • Michael Tollin

    All That -

    Brian Robbins and Michael Tollin originated the idea for Nickelodeon's sketch comedy series, "All That," which debuted on this day in 1994 and ran for a decade. However, Dan Schneider was the head writer and showrunner on the show, and he went on to have a successful career in writing children's television for Nickelodeon. The show's cast launched the careers of several child and teen actors as well. In 2019, two of those stars, Kenan Thomspon and Kel Mitchell, became executive producers on a revival of the series.

  • On this day in history

      Game of
             Thrones

    screenplay by

    • David Benioff
    • D.B. Weiss

    Game of Thrones -

    David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are credited for the bulk of the work on the "Game of Thrones" scripts, but there were actually seven writers on the show over six seasons. Benioff and Weiss reportedly assigned certain characters to other writers, who'd then go off and write in-depth character outlines and arcs. Later, Benioff would write one half of the script, and Weiss the other. All of the episodes are based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy novel series, "A Song of Ice and Fire." The show set many records, including a record 58 Primetime Emmy Awards, and 161 Emmy Award nominations.

  • On this day in history

    The Passion of
    Joan of Arc

    screenplay by

    • Joseph Delteil
    • Carl Theodor Dreyer

    The Passion of Joan of Arc -

    On this day in history, "The Passion of Joan of Arc" debuted with one of the greatest performances in cinematic history by actor Renee Jeanne Falconetti. This silent, black and white film continues to rank in the top 10 international films of all time by Sight and Sound Magazine. It was written by Joseph Delteil and Carl Theodor Dreyer.

  • On this day in history

     Avengers:
         Infinity War

    screenplay by

    • Stephen McFeely
    • Christopher Markus

    Avengers: Infinity War -

    “Avengers: Infinity War” is one of the most expensive films ever made. Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus wrote the screenplay based on Jim Starlin’s 1991 comic book “The Infinity Gauntlet” and Jonathan Hickman’s “Infinity.” The movie broke many records as the highest-grossing superhero film, the highest-grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe film, and the fourth highest-grossing film of all time with $2.048 billion at the box office.  

  • On this day in history

            The Handmaid’s
    Tale

    created by

    • Bruce Miller

    The Handmaid’s Tale -

    “The Handmaid’s Tale” TV series debuted on Hulu on this day three years ago. The series is created by Bruce Miller, based on Margaret Atwood’s novel by the same name. The story follows the handmaids, who live in a totalitarian society where they’ve been subjected to child-bearing slavery. In its first season, “The Handmaid’s Tale” won eight Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes for Best Actress (Elisabeth Moss) and Best Drama Television Series. Season 4 began filming in March 2020.

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