Movie Fact #42 - September 28th, 2020

 

The screenplay for the 1984 film Romancing the Stone has a certain Cinderella story behind it's creation. It was written five years earlier by a Malibu waitress named Diane Thomas and while it's confirmed that her her agent, Norman Kurland, to sold it within a week, there is a fascinating rumor of how it was sold. While it's confirmed that actor/producer Michael Douglas and Columbia Pictures bought the script (Though later made by 20th Century Fox), the rumor is that Thomas actually pitched the story directly to Douglas herself, when the actor happened to come into her café as a customer. It's been disputed often, but Douglas did praise Thomas's writing at the time of the film, quoted saying the following:

"It just had a spontaneity about the writing. She was not cautious. The script had a wonderful spirit about it. ... There was a total lack of fear to the writing. It worked."

Sadly, this would be Thomas only screenplay made into a movie as she died in a car crash shortly before the sequel, The Jewel of the Nile, was released (Although that film was written by Mark Rosenthal and Lawrence Konner). She had a number of projects in the works though, including an original work titled Blonde Hurricane. She also wrote the first draft to what eventually became Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, although her idea was setting it in a haunted house which Steven Spielberg reportedly didn't like because it reminded him too much of Poltergeist. Still, she was a writer going places and it's sad she died in her prime. Stay tuned!

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