Script Has Been Floating Around Hollywood For 75 Years

Top Headlines


Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history

Netflix To Temporarily Remove Every Movie Except ‘Hard Eight’

‘Everyone Should See It At Least Once,’ Company Says

LOS GATOS, CA—Saying that everyone, including all 65 million of its subscribers, really ought to see the film at least once, Netflix announced Tuesday that it will suspend all streaming content except Hard Eight for a full month.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of September 15, 2015

ARIES: Some things only become funny when you look back on them years later. Conversely, the events of next week will seem funny at the time, but as the years go by, society will gain sensitivity and learn to outgrow that sort of thing.

Your Horoscopes – Week of May 1, 2012

ARIES: You will experience unbounded happiness and success in every area of your life this week, unless of course there is something fundamentally and irreversibly wrong with you.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 18, 2015

ARIES: Your feeling of impending doom shall come to nothing again this week as the world continues to turn and your life goes on as normal. Perhaps you should consider feeling useless and stupid instead.

Highlights From ‘Go Set A Watchman’

Harper Lee’s buzzed-about new release, Go Set A Watchman, went on sale last week, taking the world by storm with its new investigations of Scout Finch as a grown woman and its divisive portrayal of her father, Atticus Finch, as a racist figure. Here are some highlights from the new book:

Leonardo DiCaprio Agrees To Donate It-Factor To Science

LOS ANGELES—Saying the gift would immeasurably improve their understanding of the ineffable quality that makes certain big-screen stars positively radiate, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles announced Tuesday that A-list actor Leonardo DiCaprio has agreed to donate his it-factor to science.

How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Comic-Con Survival Guide

San Diego Comic-Con is expected to draw more than 130,000 fans to Southern California this year to participate in cosplaying, attend panels, go to film screenings, and learn more about their favorite series. Here are some tips for surviving the four-day conference

Your Horoscopes — Week Of July 7, 2014

ARIES: Your belief that nothing can stop you will be tested this week by depression, procrastination, concrete barriers, dysentery, armed gunmen, and the unanimous passage of several laws targeted specifically at stopping you.

Disney Unveils First Virgin Princess

LOS ANGELES—In an effort to better reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their audience, Disney officials this week introduced Lily of Hazelberry, the company’s first virgin princess.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 23, 2015

ARIES: The universe, in all its wisdom, has a plan for everyone. Strangely, you’re supposed to be the nun who holds up a distributor cap and winks while the Nazis try to start their car.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 9, 2015

ARIES: Your death next week will seem in­explicable until people remember the ill-advised 1985 “cross your heart and hope to die” pledge you made to be best friends with Jenny Bosben.

New Music Festival Just Large Empty Field To Do Drugs In

Declaring the event a rousing success so far, organizers confirmed more than 45,000 people turned out Wednesday for the first annual Cavalcade Folk and Roots Festival, a four-day gathering that consists solely of a big empty field to do drugs in.

Director Seeking Relatively Unknown Actress For Next Affair

LOS ANGELES—Saying that he’s going for a certain look and will know it when he sees it, feature film director Peter Hastings, 52, confirmed to reporters Wednesday that he hopes to find a relatively unknown actress for his next extramarital affair.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of May 26, 2015

ARIES: You’re not sure if your new mousetrap is better, but due to its horrifying use of liquefying blades, the world will beat a path to your door out of sheer morbid curiosity.

Famous Television Finales

The award-winning AMC series Mad Men ended its seven-season run on Sunday night and drew critical acclaim for its final episode, a conclusion that many felt was poignant and satisfying. Here are some other memorable TV finales across the years

Plan For Future Still Involves Drumming For Lifehouse

SOUTH BEND, IN—Fifteen years after first envisioning the path he hoped his professional life would take, local man Brent Gibbs is still planning his future around being the drummer for Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Lifehouse, sources confi...

Fox Revives ‘X-Files’: What To Expect

After months of speculation, Fox has announced that it is bringing back its hit ’90s TV show The X-Files, about a team of FBI special agents investigating unsolved cases about strange and paranormal phenomena, for at least six new episodes...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 24, 2015

ARIES: Your belief that everything happens for a reason may remain unshaken in the face of personal tragedy, but you'll certainly be upset when you find out the reason is "to get the Zodiac some chicks." 

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 10, 2015

ARIES: As long as people don't look too long and the lights aren't too bright, no one will be able to see where they tried to fix your face from what will happen to it this coming Thursday. 

Nation Delighted As Many Famous People In Same Room Together

HOLLYWOOD—Expressing their immense personal satisfaction at the gathering appearing on their television screens, millions of Americans across the country were reportedly delighted Sunday night upon seeing many famous people in the same room together...

Half Of Hollywood Test Group Screened Placebo Film

LOS ANGELES—Saying the methodology helps them ensure unbiased results in their marketing research, studio executives at Paramount Pictures confirmed that during a Hollywood test screening this week they showed half of all theatergoers a placebo film...
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage


Script Has Been Floating Around Hollywood For 75 Years

Has Had More Than 250 Stars And 300 Directors Attached, Been Rewritten 600 Times

Warner Bros. now owns the rights to the script for the first time since the 1960s.
Warner Bros. now owns the rights to the script for the first time since the 1960s.

BURBANK, CA—According to Hollywood sources, Warner Bros. Entertainment officially acquired the rights this week to the long- unproduced film project entitled The Final Symphony, which has reportedly been floating around in various states of production with seven different studios since 1935.

The script, believed to have been originally written seven and a half decades ago as a vehicle for Clark Gable, has since undergone at least 600 drafts by 2,250 different writers, and was at various times attached to hundreds of different Hollywood stars, including Spencer Tracy, Paul Muni, Tyrone Power, Montgomery Clift, Sidney Poitier, Burt Reynolds, Dudley Moore, Cher, Liam Neeson, and Justin Long.

Film historians said the script has been making the rounds as a hot Hollywood property for so long that no one currently working in the American film industry can remember its exact genesis.

"It's impossible to say who the original screenwriter was, because the original director, along with most of the people who worked at the studio at that time, has been dead for well over 30 years," film historian Richard Schickel said of the movie, which has been known variously over the years as The Vengeance, Hearts On Fire, Final Symphony 3D, ¡Arriba, Arriba!, Finding Billy Harper, Boogly, and Untitled Eric Roberts Project. "Besides, so much has changed since then that the original script would probably be pretty hard to recognize."

"It supposedly had a crackerjack supporting role written for Basil Rathbone in it, though," Schickel added. "Which was subsequently rewritten for Mickey Rooney, and later Gene Wilder and then Chris Tucker."

Continued Schickel, "And then Rob Schneider, Wanda Sykes, and Jonah Hill."

According to dozens of sources who have read some version of the script in the past 75 years, the film concerns a soldier coming home from war and, depending on which version of the script sources saw, is either a "seriocomic love story," a "brooding psychological thriller," a "wild cinematic joyride for the post-Tarantino generation," or "a propaganda film financed by the War Department."

Nearly every major Hollywood movie studio has previously owned the rights to the script, including Warner Bros. itself, which bought the screenplay from MGM in 1951 when it was an unproduced Vincente Minnelli musical, sold it to Paramount a short time later, and then bought it from MGM again in 1962 before selling it back to Paramount as a Jerry Lewis army comedy the following year.

"There was a period in the late '60s where nobody knew who had it, and it turned out Darryl Zannuck had sold it to a Hong Kong studio that tried to make it into some sort of martial-arts costume drama," said Final Symphony scholar and onetime would-be Final Symphony director Peter Bogdanovich. "But the funding fell through and it eventually found its way back to America, where, oddly, Charlie Chaplin, I believe, who was quite old at the time, tried to make it as a sort of comeback project."

Throughout the 1950s, Orson Welles famously attempted to helm the project under the title The Reckoning Of Madison Creek, funneling millions of dollars of his own money into the project and eventually bankrupting himself, an experience chronicled in the Oscar-winning 1978 documentary The Reckoning Of Orson Welles.

"This being America, we all have our white whales, so to speak, and that script was mine," Welles said in the documentary. "I still believe it would make a great picture, though. The third act needs work, sure, but goddamn it I'd love to take a crack at it again if I could just get the financing."

While Warner Bros. executives are reportedly happy with the shape the script is in, they said it would receive one final last-minute rewrite from screenwriters Scott Frank and Steven Kloves, as well as a polish from veteran writer William Goldman, who drafted a full rewrite of the script in 1966 when it was being conceived as a buddy picture for Robert Redford and Paul Newman, and did so again when it was being considered as a possible California Raisins claymation feature film in 1989.

"It's been a bit of a rocky road for this project, but we intend to begin shooting very soon," Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer said. "David Fincher had to pull out due to a scheduling conflict, but we are currently looking at a number of other directors, including Danny Boyle and David O. Russell."

"Although Russell will only do it if we can get Jack Nicholson to commit for the role of the father, which is unlikely considering he passed on the part of the son in 1969," Meyer continued. "In any event, we should be all systems go for sometime around spring 2015."