(formerly known as Dead Reckoning)
disaster thriller/action-adventure/science fiction
When a rogue “Star Wars” satellite attacks the GPS navigation network, the Space Shuttle crew must overcome the weapon’s lethal defenses before thousands of planes run out of time.
Silver Prize, Page International Screenplay Competition (action-adventure category); finalist (top 3), Harvardwood screenplay competition; Semi-Finalist, Best Script Award, Amazon Studios; rated 8 out of 10 by The Black List
Black List feedback
The script’s biggest strengths are its tight, exciting pacing and its cool, five-minutes-into-the-future premise. It is technically a sci-fi script, but all of the “science fiction” elements felt believable and real, like something that could actually happen in the next 5-10 years. Likewise, the action was well-written and authentic feeling throughout. The scenes on the space shuttle / International Space Station felt well-researched and realistic, as did the harrowing crash-landings portrayed during the “crisis on the ground” moments. For the most part the characters behaved rationally and professionally, and their plans to avert disaster never felt forced (i.e. Armageddon) or too improbable to be realistic (i.e. Independence Day.)
Coming on the heels of realistic, Near Future “hard sci-fi” films such as Moon and Gravity, Dead Reckoning could certainly see life as a summer action thriller, though the title doesn’t seem to have much to do with the story. The script hits many emotional beats that would resonate with American audiences in this Post-9/11, Post-Drone, Post-Arab Spring world. Even so, the script never lays the social commentary on too thickly (except for the scientist’s freakout early in the story), which allows the audience to draw its own conclusions as to what happened and how it could have been avoided. The pulse-pounding air and space disaster scenes are likewise vividly written and the right director could make them into truly thrilling action sequences as the heroes race against time to prevent a worldwide catastrophe.