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Since I was a teenager, one of my favorite science-fiction writers has been Norman Spinrad. Of course, to call him a science-fiction writer is tremendously reductive, because his writing has encompassed historical fiction, political commentary and cultural critique. But when I encountered him, he was part of a renegade group of science-fiction writers who were pushing the genre’s boundaries of form and content. He was collected by Harlan Ellison in his Dangerous Visions series, which is where I first read him. Later I stumbled across a signed copy of Norman’s excellent and now astonishingly prescient tale of the media and government conspiracy, Bug Jack Barron (once set to be adapted by Costa Gavras starring Jack Nicholson!) in a used bookstore, and I was hooked.

Spinrad has a blog, and in a posting this week he posed a human mystery. I’ll let him explain, and if you can help solve this you may have a great film on your hands.

From Norman:

OK, this is going to sound crazy, and maybe it is. While rooting around in old files for something else, I found a complete and very good screenplay adaptation of my novel PICTURES AT 11, written about 10 years ago. The crazy part is that there’s no name on it, and I think I wrote it, but I’m not sure.

All options on PICTURES AT 11 having expired, I own all film rights myself for sure, and no one else can do anything with this screenplay even if I didn’t write it. If I wrote it, of course, the rights are mine. But if someone else did, and can prove it, we’d have to be partners. So if anyone out there did, let me know.

If you’re a film producer, director, or bankable actor, this is a good screenplay whoever wrote it, and PICTURES AT 11 would be a winner at the box office these days because of what it’s about. And the budget necessary to make the movie would be quite low by current standards, certainly less than $25 million.

Read or download the screenplay at the link.

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