The writer of “Motor City” Chad St. John talks about his script in an old interview

I stumbled across this interview with Chad St. John, the writer of Motor City. As much as I don’t fancy the trite revenge story line, the idea of a silent revenge is kind of intriguing.

SS: You also wrote a script called “Motor City” that is 75 pages and has almost no dialogue. Can you tell us why you decided to write that script and why you think it was received so well. Also, what’s the status on the project?

CSJ: Honestly, it wasn’t my idea. Greg Silverman over at Warner Bros., one all around bad ass dude, tossed that one my way. After they bought DAYS and I had rewritten it based on their notes, Greg offered me a two script blind deal. I was definitely salivating for the chance, but I really wasn’t keen on the blind aspect of it. I wanted to have at least one of the scripts spelled out before I said yes. I thought it was crucial to follow DAYS with something just as unique. So, Greg throws this idea at me. Then, he says the magic words…“and there’s no dialogue.” A “silent” revenge movie.

I said yes before he finished the sentence. The artist in me leapt at the chance. Beside, when the hell is another Exec this far up the food chain in a studio going to ask me to write a “silent” movie? I was all over it. It was audacious and ballsy. Of course, then I spent a week banging my head into a desk in front of my computer thinking, “What the hell have I done?”

Why was it received so well? I was just humbled that it was. Truly. I still am. I think part of it is definitely that it was just so ballsy and different. Maybe it was a reminder that a script doesn’t need to have an explosion a minute. Or, even dialogue. You’ll have to ask all those cats who like it. I just aim for “Don’t Suck”.

I rewrote it for Dark Castle. And, yes, added dialogue. I’m really happy with how it’s coming along. We still go back and forth as to which version is the right one to get made. I suspect it might be a version that combines the no dialogue and dialogue versions. We’ll see.

He says that dialogue has been added, though. Dare I say I hope not too much? Jake relying mostly on his facial expressions, thus showing at last and without fear of contradiction how skilled he is, is bound to have a dramatic success.

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2 thoughts on “The writer of “Motor City” Chad St. John talks about his script in an old interview

  1. Sometimes the synopsis of a movie can be unappealing even though the final result is amazing. Without going into detail, Kill Bill had a rather generic plot and look at how that turned out. I remember Source Code sounded confusing and silly to me and Love and Other Drugs sounded boring. I was wrong both times. I won’t make any serious judgments until I see a trailer. I just wish they would recast Amber Heard. I’m not impressed with her acting and I think Jake deserves a bigger costar.

    • I agree about the costar, Jake is on a higher league, as is Gary Oldman.

      When I read about Source Code I was instantly thrilled, probably because I dig sci-fi. Same thing happened for Rendition (not for Brothers or Love and Other Drugs), I couldn’t wait to see it and was glad that Jake chose to play those roles. When I read about Motor City I was instantly disappointed, I was hoping for something a tad more original, at least.

      But like I said, I trust Jake’s instinct that this is a good choice for him and if he really gets this part, I know he will do a great job.

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