Treasure Road


In Panama, a former Texas Ranger recruits a mercenary army to protect travelers to the California gold fields – and help build the first transcontinental railroad.  (based on a true story)

Runner-Up (2nd place), Harvardwood screenplay competition;  Austin Film Festival Screenplay Contest, 2d round (top 10%);  Top 3 on; Nicholl top 15%

Black List Feedback:

“Treasure Road” is an incredible true story with a rich setting and a compelling lead. Panama in the 19th Century was a turbulent time, and we are taken right into the action, with all the violence and historical change that entails.

Randolph “Ran” Runnels is a complex and intriguing protagonist. By his own admission, he has been a sinner, but now he tries to be a force for good. His new life is not removed from violence, but we can sense his abiding decency. His thread with Angelique is especially stirring. We are appalled with Ran when we see this child prostitute, but he tries to save her, and his compassion is affecting before her tragic end.

“Treasure Road” is an exciting and engaging story, all the more compelling because it is true. Ran is a fantastic lead, with an interesting Christian arc and a complex background. The historical events are a draw, and the individual characters and their powerful threads should keep the audience engaged.


The concept being based on true events is strong with a unique setting in Panama that sets up a great environment for the character’s journey to take place.

Ran is a captivating lead character who juggles his moral compass with his unique set of talents that sustains entertainment in the script.

It’s entertaining to follow future President, Lt. Grant, when he arrives needing help from Ran.

Mrs. Seacole represents a bright light of morality and caring and her character has great moments, especially when she scolds the men regarding her skin color.

There is a large audience for an action, adventure story like this. The fact that it’s based on a true story will garner even more interest from producers and financiers.

The budget is reasonable enough to still work on an independent level that gives it more opportunities to get made. There are ripe roles for high end talent, and stars should be more likely to respond positively to portraying real and historical characters that have such unique journeys.

This will play well on VOD or streaming platforms with great potential at a theatrical release with star attachments. A great director will be needed to balance the unique setting and complicated character dynamics of a project that has a chance for award nominations as well.

Read script sample