Movie News

Harry looks at Richard Kelly's script for DOMINO a film by Tony Scott!

Published at: Feb. 13, 2003, 5:52 a.m. CST

Tony Scott hasn’t made a GREAT film since TRUE ROMANCE around 10 years ago. At the time the script was coming from one of the hungriest best fairly unknown talents around. Quentin Tarantino, and for that matter some wonderful unaccredited work by the equally damn fine unknown talent, Roger Avary. For years now I’ve been going to Tony Scott films hoping that I was going to find a film as alive and borderline insane as TRUE ROMANCE.

Tony Scott is currently prepping to shoot MAN ON FIRE, a film starring Denzel Washington from a screenplay by Brian Helgeland. I have no idea if that project is going to be great. It has some nice possibilities, but it isn’t the script I’m here to talk about.

DOMINO by Richard Kelly.

The first I had heard about this project was a mention from Roger Avary nearly two years ago from a meeting he had with Tony Scott. At the time, I didn’t know any details, well.. ex-Ford Model turns into bad ass Bounty hunter – based on a true story.

Then the trades announced that Richard Kelly would be writing DOMINO for Tony Scott to direct… and my interest skyrocketed. Richard Kelly is a hobby of mine. I found the script to DONNIE DARKO a million years ago it feels like. As soon as the script sold and he got repped by CAA, I made it my duty to keep tabs on Mister Kelly. Right now the world kinda knows DONNIE DARKO. Film geeks discovered the film and it is an absolute fave amongst those that found it. It is quickly becoming one of those films that the really cool people show the people that haven’t seen it so that they can step away from the unwashed masses whom we’ll refer to today as “THOSE THAT KNOW NO BETTER”.

I’ve seen 3 other Richard Kelly movies. KNOWING, BESSIE and DOMINO. Not a frame of all three of these titles have been shot, but the scripts absolutely paint the films in my head.

KNOWING will most likely be Richard Kelly’s next directorial effort and the last thing I had heard was that the film was having problems over at SONY because the executives over there felt it was too smart for the public. SIGH!!! I hear that the producers have been taking the project and Kelly to some other SMARTER companies, let’s hope it isn’t TOO SMART for any company in Hollywood.

BESSIE is the crowning genius of Richard Kelly’s future career. Brilliant on levels that make me giggle and shake. This is a very naughty secret film. A project that would instantly elevate Richard Kelly to Terry Gilliam status. With this script, you can see everything that is absolutely perfect about Richard. There’s a vitality and a breathless imagination at play that makes me cheer while reading. YES, HE GETS IT! YES!

Then there is DOMINO.

DOMINO is very different. It isn’t a Richard Kelly film. It is a Tony Scott film. The Tony Scott film that Tony Scott is capable of making with the reins off. The Tony Scott movie that if you were going to dream of a Tony Scott movie, it’s the movie you’d dream.

This movie is not politically correct. It isn’t “For All Audiences”. I haven’t read a script that made me more want to time travel with a group of 5 friends, 4 cases of beer and access to the Alamo Drafthouse since I read Tarantino’s KILL BILL. DOMINO is that good.

What is Domino?

Well at some bizarre glib level, I suppose you could call it a BIOPIC. (giggle) The script is… um… BASED on a true story. You see, once upon a time there was an actor named Laurence Harvey – he played the guy that Denzel Washington’s character has to stop in the remake of the original MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. Anyway, this Laurence Harvey character married a woman named Paulene Stone – a fashion model of the sixties that produced Laurence Harvey’s only child… DOMINO HARVEY.

She was raised a Catholic School Girl. She was supposed to be part of that whole BEVERLY HILLS 90210 scene… not the show, but the lifestyle. She had access to the parties and the glamour and the drugs and the fun. She found only emptiness there. She preferred the Sex Pistols type of crowd. But even there… even there she was a bit more hardcore. She ceased to be a Model and a socialite and became a Los Angeles Bounty Hunter. A really badass one.

Her opening scene in the script DOMINO… wait, hang on a second.

About the script for DOMINO, I think there’s probably a CD that is supposed to go with this script. I didn’t get one, but the inside front page has a definition for the word, “Accompaniment” and notes that you should play the track and song signified. Given the tracks listed throughout the script… this film could have an AWESOME soundtrack. Ok…

Her opening scene in the script DOMINO (to the tune of some Johnny Cash & U2 song) begins with Choco (named after his penchant for choking folks) and Ed (named probably by his parents) bust down this door as a woman is in the midst of watching THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. As Choco and Ed part… in saunters Domino, I imagine the light blindingly silhouetting her… The lady lets loose her pit-bull who leaps to rip out Domino’s throat. The dog’s head explodes in mid air as we trail to the smoke from the barrels of Ed’s shotgun. The woman wails in mourning for here sweet little pooch. That doesn’t even touch the disarming of this woman’s son or her desperate bit of decoding or her remarkable preparation of Folger’s Crystals. Wow.

The script reads… How to put this? Hmmm… Imagine if Charlie Kaufman had written CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND as a predominant ACTION film, but with the exact same sense of bizarre, weird and imaginative flair. Imagine if you would, what TRUE ROMANCE would look like had Kaufman had a go at it. Though, I don’t want to say Kelly is Kaufman-esque… He’s actually his own brand of insanity. Having the BEVERLY HILLS 90210 characters be her mental Greek chorus – but entirely in character. Imagine if those voices in your head were vacuous Fox Heart Throbs and Bikini Fillers.

This film has Steve McQueen toughness. A Lee Marvin dose of grit, but with a surrealist flair. There’s a bit of that OUR MAN FLINT absurdity, but it is set in the truth and consequences of modern crime hell. As mean as NARC and as nutty as ADAPTATION and with the hip-swaggeringly cool sexiness of KILL BILL… This script kicked my ass hard.

Now what could go wrong?

They could change a word.

I mean, this script is crying to begin shooting this week with Cameron Diaz. I mean it. Put her in and let’s get started. EVERYTHING is cool about this. From the brilliant opening title descriptions (which I won’t describe for fear of someone else ripping off) to the NOTE PERFECT wrap up…

To me, this script is a gauntlet tossed at the feet of Tony Scott beckoning… “Do you have the balls to shoot me?” I mean it. My only fear is that Tony gets a severe case of the scaredy cats, and picks rewriters A, B and C.. through at least L, to tweak and groom a masterpiece of HOLY SHIT CINEMA.

This is a script filled with great characters… From the Blacktino woman that wants America to recognize various racial sub-groups as their own types to well hell, I’m not good enough to describe them all… This thing is chock full of sex addicts, crazies, gangsters, mafiosos, producers, agents, lawyers, frat brothers, rockers and rollers, and on and on and on. Each vividly drawn and sketched by Kelly’s letters.

I’m just anxious. I haven’t been this excited about a Tony Scott project in years, and that’s a shame. He’s got gold sitting on his desk, can’t wait to see it made. Now excuse me, I have to track down all these tracks to re-read with.

Readers Talkback

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  • Feb. 13, 2003, 6:03 a.m. CST

    woo

    by Justoneoftheguys

    domino

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 6:04 a.m. CST

    There is only one band that can soundtrack this film

    by KID AB

    OUEENS OF THE STONE AGE AND PJ HARVEY, WITH THE HARVSTER PLAYING A GUN TOTING ROCKSTER!!!!

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 6:10 a.m. CST

    Schwing-a-listic info download, Harry

    by BAMF

    Nice. Been dying to see what our little wunderkind, Richard, would be up to next. This is like waiting for Wes Anderson's followup to Rushmore, or Payne's followup to Election, or fill in your own visionary auteur and the project he or she first did that made you really excited about the next film.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 6:11 a.m. CST

    Yeah yeah, but did you like it?

    by Silvio Dante

    Wow, it's contagious, Harry's exitement. Got me interested. But since there is such a strong movement of dumbing down American pop-culture, chances of seeing intellectual action movies are slim. Unless, unless Kill Bill turns the tide.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Tony Scott is getting old so he is getting PC

    by Aronld Scazziger

    I don't see this happening headgeek. Tony lost it. Crimson Tide was his last watchable flick and from than on all his other stuff is utter shite. Richard Kelly should not waste his talents with big studios (just like Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan are doin it right now) he should do stick to small independent procuction companies so he does not lose his integrity. Out.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Nice

    by reni

    Is Kelly referring to The Wanderer at the start of the film? Making the boys sound cool, I like it already.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Bring the smart films!

    by Heleno

    Some of us have an IQ over 80, and STILL go to the cinema! When will the executives realise this? All the best programmes on TV are the smart ones - Buffy, Fraiser, ER, 24, West Wing, whatever. So how come when people go to the movies their brains are supposed to fall out of their bottom? Oh dear, ranting this early in the day. I think I'll just go take my pills.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Harry, Harry, Harry....

    by Max Rockatansky

    After reading Alexandra DuPont

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Lucky Pierre ... a lot of french people need some more education

    by Aronld Scazziger

    Cause Blade Runner was directed by Tony's brother ... RIDLEY Scott. If you don't know THAT fact bout Blade Runner... it just can't be your top hot dog.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Soundtracks, but slightly off topic

    by earthworm

    ...I was watching Backdraft on Satelite last night and something occured to me, there just aren't enough homoerotic scenes of men in tight t shirts exerting themselves, preferbly with water or a very bright sun, to the sound of a power balled. Also, Skazzinger (sp?), i think you may have been had. No Frenchman would admit to the fact that he can speak English, much less compliment another culture. Also also, Michelle Forbes, tough as fuck and fit too. But it'll go to Garner anyway.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Cameron Diaz???????????

    by EdHairless

    Harry, Cameron Diaz is too goofy and gawky to play it tough. Plus, her tits are way too small. I know she comprises 99% of the masturbatory film collection in your noggin', but come on.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Interesting

    by DannyOcean01

    Darko didn't suggest this level of weirdness. Not that I'm dissing Kelly or anything. It's just great to see such a rapid evolution in his storytelling. Nice.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 8:55 a.m. CST

    And Harry

    by DannyOcean01

    just because Diaz has a magical swirling ass doesn't mean she can do magical weirdness. I think there is a difference.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Keep "The Wanderer." Lose Cameron Diaz.

    by Vegas

    The U2/Johnny Cash song is called "The Wanderer," Harry, and it's from their horribly underrated album ZOOROPA. As for Cameron Diaz, I'm sorry, I just don't get the appeal. She was hot back in THE MASK (you know, back when she still looked female), but she's starved herself into your typical Waify Generican. Instead, go a bit younger, and make a star out of someone on the verge. Not every movie needs to be a star vehicle.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 10:17 a.m. CST

    opening scene

    by bobleeswagger

    Harry, maybe I'm just dense, but i read that description of the opening scene a few times and it's just not making sense. maybe you could clarify, or just read it and see if i'm right. And DannyOcean01, Cameron did pull off magical weirdness pretty well in Malkovich.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 10:28 a.m. CST

    bob

    by DannyOcean01

    I concede your point to some extent, but in my opinion she wasn't all that hot in the film. Her starry image kept pulling me out of the picture. It seemed like some desperate attempt to show she could look ugly and be real serious...MAN.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Domino sounds good, but...

    by decypher44

    Please, dear God, tell me this is a hoax...http://www.fromjustintokelly.com/ Please someone tell me that the movie at the end of the link is NOT real!!!

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 11:42 a.m. CST

    STATION......

    by EdHairless

    ....Couldn't agree more about Ms. Milano and Pressley. I also think Leah Remini(from King of Queens on CBS would be a good choice.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Why doesn't Harry review the script for THE UNCHOSEN ONE?!?!?!

    by Monkey_King

    A possible vehicle for John Cusack and Harvey Keitel.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 1:08 p.m. CST

    ease up on the hyperbole, big guy, Darko sucked

    by vealchop

    it's gonna take a hell of a lot more than one film, no matter how self-consciously weird and hip, to elevate a wannabe like R. Kelly to Terry Gilliam status. why is everyone in such a hurry to 'call' the next big thing? fuckin' jon landau syndrome....

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Brent Spiner has told BBC Radio Swindon he will play Domino in d

    by Lord Shatner

    It worked in Some Like It Hot

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 2:08 p.m. CST

    criMsOn tiDE bAby

    by Louis P.

    that movie is the shit and the last GREAT submarine movie. not BELOW, not K-19, and for the love of God not U-571. Tony Scott made an excellent sub flick on par with Das Boot. How soon we forget Harry, how soon we forget.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 3:09 p.m. CST

    What is this CRAP?!!

    by slaterc3

    This site is really starting to suck unwashed, communist Mao balls. Moriarty, why the fuck do you get to know what Bessy and the other Kelly script are about, but all we get is "crowning genius" and "will rank him with Terry Gilliam"? What are these about, dammit!? If the scripts are that friggin' cool, there's no WAY the studios will turn them into movies, so I guess will never know. This site completely ran out of moxy a while ago. But this is the most blatant pussyfooting-around-Hollywood I've seen here yet.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 3:41 p.m. CST

    SPY GAME was Fantastic.

    by Caleb

    well.. it was, probably one of the best constructed and acted Spy Movies of the last 5 years.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Modern Romance

    by Lamprey

    I also had fond memories of True Romance; but I watched it recently and was disappointed by its technical mediocrity. The script is good, the cast is an entertaining mix, but as for the movie itself, there was nothing new to discover in it. It has not aged well.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Heh: True Romance

    by Lamprey

    I also re-watched Modern Romance recently. It held up a lot better.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 5:26 p.m. CST

    cameron diaz has a hard enough time trying to learn how to read

    by MiltonWaddams

    god damn she's fucking idiot. i wish the best for richard kelly, i just hope he doesn't fall into arthouse obscurity. i just hate those writers that get their foot in the door with a good movie, then turn around and make absolute shit, which seems to be their intention since day one.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Is this "Based On A True Story" the was Fargo was?

    by oceansized

    I've been searching online for information on the real Domino Harvey and haven't found anything. I found biographical info on Laurence Harvey saying he had a daughter named Domino born after 1972, but that's it. So is this a "true story" like Fargo and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind? Harry seemed to insinuate this saying its a biopic on "some bizarre glib level". Anyone out there who knows the real story, a post in this talkback or an email would be appreciated.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 8:04 p.m. CST

    The Soundtrack

    by Oompacabra

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 8:08 p.m. CST

    The Soundtrack

    by Oompacabra

    I'm confident in Kelly as a writer and director. As far as his music choices, they were mostly good in Donnie Darko. He made a huge error for me playing that particularly whiney tune at the end. That song made me wish the film had just ended. Actually, the film could have ended there and been a more solid piece.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Scrotum Jerky & DARKO soundtrack

    by Ray Davies

    Your referring to the Tears For Fears classic MAD WORLD, I assume, redone for the film. It worked huge for me. The whole soundtrack just enhanced the whole "alienated teen" theme, seeing as how my teen years were spent listening to Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, The Church, and Tears For Fears. You know, hiding in my room being all melodramatic and doomy and self-centered....would it have hurt to throw in something by The Smiths or Jesus & Mary Chain?? Sorry, I'm regressing. Did you mean you wanted the film to end before the multi-character montage, or immeadiately after that (trying not to give out spoilers)? I felt the MAD WORLD sequence drove it home, despite the fact that I honestly , after 4-5 viewings, STILL don't fully understand what happened. Unlike, say, MULLHOLLAND DRIVE, I'm not sure all the information needed to solve the riddle is in the movie. But I didn't care. the craftmanship and acting and writing were so overwhelming, it still moved me. The unsolved mystery just adds to the spookiness.

  • Feb. 13, 2003, 10:33 p.m. CST

    MAN ON FIRE was made already with Scott Glenn back in the 80's

    by Monkey_King

    and featured a Natalie Portman lookalike. Nice film, but could use some updating/rewriting, but with Denzel?

  • Feb. 14, 2003, 12:40 p.m. CST

    cameron diaz can't act

    by AAJ SATAN

    CAMERON DIAZ CANNOT ACT. SHE IS A FUCKING MODEL. WHY CAN'T YOU SEE THIS. IN GANGS OF NEW YORK SHE WAS PITIFUL. CAN SOMEONE FROM THE US PLEASE TELL ME WHAT ACCENT SHE WAS TRYING TO DO. I'M FROM THE UK AND IT SOUNDED LIKE GUTTER FRENCH TO ME

  • Feb. 15, 2003, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Rabbits

    by JimmyRabbit

    The key to a friggin' good movie is three words: Fucked Up Rabbits (FUR), I mean Donnie Darko maestro movie, reason: FUR, Sexy Beast, cool flick, why: Fucked Up Rabbit, 8 Mile : Fucked Up Rabbit, Gangs of New York: Fucked Up Dead Rabbits, The Two Towers: Gollum-eats-Fucked Up Rabbit.

  • Feb. 15, 2003, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Richard Kelly

    by Jamaica

    Donnie Darko is easily the best film I've seen in a few years. I was lucky enough to see it the same week as "Mulholland Drive" which I also loved. Needless to say, that was a good week of movie watching.

  • Aug. 3, 2004, 1:23 a.m. CST

    Keira Knightley?

    by AlwaysThere

    Damn it, thats the worst choice possible.