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Our Vince Mcmahon Biopic Feature Script - from 1999

Posted on the 05 May 2017 by Thehollywoodinterview @theHollywoodInt
OUR VINCE MCMAHON BIOPIC FEATURE SCRIPT - FROM 1999
by Terry Keefe
Just noticed that a Vince McMahon biopic called PANDEMONIUM has been set up at Sony, with Vince’s authorization. It’s a great title and as old school wrestling fans know, “Pandemonium is breaking loose!” was one of Vince’s catchphrases as an announcer going back to at least the early 80s. At the age of 13 or so, I shouted that phrase a lot myself when I played Vince in our backyard wrestling league on Long Island — Jim Erhardt will attest to this. I just wasn’t agile enough for the dropkicks, but I could announce and had an early consumer-level Betamax camera, with a separate camera that had a cord attached to a bulky deck, for dual-duties as wrestling film auteur.
Wayyyy back in 1999, Michael Wechsler and I took an unauthorized stab at the Vince biopic subject matter with a script called MAT WARS. Here’s a link to the MAT WARS script on Scribd:
https://www.scribd.com/document/346846602/MAT-WARS-by-Terry-Keefe-Michael-Wechsler
Today, I sure don’t think we can complain that Vince is making his own biopic. Our script opened a few doors back in the day for us, and again, we didn’t have the life rights. It placed in Nicholl and got read all over the place. There was a brief dance with the MTV around 2000, where the script was sent directly to the McMahons for their possible approval, and we never were told the exact outcome of that, only one day MTV just stopped calling. One can guess!
It sounds like the writers in this announced project experienced some of the same initial reaction that we did when we sent our script around: while it was certainly possible to make an unauthorized biopic, no one wanted to do so when it came to Vince. What was told several times to us by executives, was that no one wanted to alienate someone with programming that valuable. But if you could get Vince’s authorization, everyone told us we were gold. Understandable. Making matters even more difficult was that Ted Turner, at the height of his power, is also a major character in this story.
Our script has been online before at the Black List site, but I figured we might as well just put it out there for good now, for anyone’s reading pleasure (or otherwise — hey, I can take criticism on an 18-year old script!) I was protective of the research for a long time, but with this authorized project being made, it might as well at least live on on the web. It’s been years since I’ve even read it, but you want your writing children to have some life, even if it’s a limited one.
A ton of research was done on this one, back in the early internet days when insider wrestling info was pretty hard to come by, but this still isn’t to be viewed as exact history, more of how our version of Vince saw things, as they happened. Our Hulk Hogan “origin” story is, particularly, in that vein, and only partially based on a very condensed reality that happened over several years. I will have to say that, after all this time, McMahon is still a bit of a cypher to me, and it’s been a bit of a relief to hear the same thing from people who have worked with him for decades. He’s often simply a bundle of contradictions in his actions. If there was a “Rosebud” in understanding what drives him, we focused on the very early years in a trailer park in Havelock, North Carolina, but real life doesn’t always have a screenwriter’s clear character arc.
Before posting, we updated the script a few lines to include a Donald Trump cameo. As much as this is the first reality television president, there is also a lot of the McMahon universe in him. And as he “cuts a promo” on North Korea, may god save us all. I have a feeling Kim Jong-un watches WWE on satellite himself.
Here’s a link to the MAT WARS script on Scribd:
https://www.scribd.com/document/346846602/MAT-WARS-by-Terry-Keefe-Michael-Wechsler

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