SCRIPTS

Get info on scripts we've read and download them as pdf below.
Scripts are in episode order.

Highlander Fan Script

by Shawn McBee & Trevor Thompson

The first script we read on Table Reads also happened to be the first script we ever wrote together, way back in about 1994, when we were 15. Highlander 3 had just come out and we were of the opinion that we needed to work to honor the original film, in the face of such a disrespectful sequel. Unfortunately, we drastically underestimated just how god-awful we were. This reading seeks to make up for that error, by showing the world just how incredibly terrible we were.

Aftermath

by Trevor Thompson

For our second script, we jumped forward a few years to a short film we wrote, based on another short film that we actually filmed, but which turned into a completely different sort of feature. This is a heist movie, very much in the Tarantino vein, but without any of his flair, talent or originality. The general idea is of a bank robbery, inspired by Shawn’s actual only-half-joking bank robbery plan from high school. He really wanted a DeLorean that was for sale in town…

Urban Folktale

by Trevor Thompson and Shawn McBee

This is the first feature written by Trevor and Shawn. In fact, it’s the only feature written by both of them. It started life as a short heist film (see Aftermath) and became a mopey teen angst feature instead. Shawn and Trevor came up with the story and characters together, Trevor wrote two drafts of the script and then Shawn did a full re-write based on those previous drafts, making this draft the most collaborative version of this script. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean it’s good.

Ghostbusters: Next Gen

by Trevor Thompson

It was the year 2000. Shawn and Trevor, having just watched Ghostbusters for the first time in years and voraciously consumed all the special feature content on the DVD, decided that they needed some awesome Proton Packs. But, for some reason, they felt they needed an excuse to make or buy them: So they began writing a script for a follow-up to the Ghostbusters films, center on Ray Stanz’s nephew and his Ghostbusters-obsessed best friend. It’s incomplete, but still barely tolerable.

Back to the Future (1st Draft)

by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale

For the first thing not written by us, we decided to read the First (and very different) draft of Back to the Future. The broad strokes are the same in the most general sense, but the overall story and, indeed, the time machine itself, are completely different. Had this been shot, we might not even remember it today, as a refridgerator as a time machine isn’t quite so iconic as a DeLorean. It’s worth it just for the batshit ending, honestly.

Batman vs Superman "Asylum"

by Andrew Kevin Walker

We discovered this script from 2003 right around the time Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was threatening to rape our senses with its terribleness. So we thought it appropriate to explore what might have been. It’s a strange creature, as some echoes from this script can been seen on BvS:DoJ, despite the fact that this is about as far a departure from that film as you can get. It’s a very weird blend of dark and camp, with a VERY healthy sprinkling of toyetic.

Carnivore

by The Wachowskis

We love The Matrix. The first one, that is. Lana and Lilly (née Larry and Andy) Wachowski have a great number of hugely successful and well-written films in their repertoire. This is not one of them. This is their first screenplay, a weird attempt at some sort of social commentary hidden in the satire of a horror film. It pretty much completely fails on all counts, but gets some points for effort. Had it been made, it would have cleaned up at the Razzies.

Ocean Child

by Trevor Thompson

This was a short film that Trevor wrote back in 2000 or 2001 as a way of showcasing the industrial music he had been working on around that time, much in the same way that The Wall was a vehicle for Pink Floyd’s music. It was an ambitious project, involving a lengthy animated sequence. Had that animated sequence ever happened, then this episode of the podcast would not be, as that would mean that this thing had been filmed. Because all the live-action sequences were filmed. But it wasn’t to be…

H20

by Shawn McBee

This was a script that Shawn found on his computer. As they started reading it, neither Shawn nor Trevor had any idea who had written it. Before too long, though, there are some content and style clues that inform them that it was actually written by Shawn, despite his still having no recollection of it. This is an attempt at making a workplace comedy taking place at a movie theater that Shawn and Jimie worked at for entirely too long. And Trevor worked at an affiliated theater. This is incomplete, but wasn’t going anywhere anyway.

Speaking of Quinn

by Shawn McBee

Calling this a script is a bit of a stretch. This is the first page of a feature-length script that Shawn had only the vaguest ideas about and never wrote another word about beyond what is on this one page. Seriously, there’s not even any dialogue. Yet, it still manages to induce the Douche Chills. It’s really pretty amazing how bad something can be in only a single page.

This was obviously a short read, but maybe you have 6 minutes to kill.

Streets of Amber

by Shawn McBee

While Trevor was going to Full Sail in Orlando, he relayed to Shawn an account of seeing a young boy sitting in a diner with a cop in Santa Monica. He told Shawn that he always wondered what their situation was. So Shawn took that and ran with it, coming up with a single-day story that takes these two from strangers to unlikely breakfast companions. Of course, whatever that story was has been lost to time, leaving behind only the unfinished script that takes the first tentative steps to establishing that story.

Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian

by Jonathan Gems

Reading this script was Trevor’s idea. Unfortunately, it just did not exist online. Not anywhere. At the time of this writing, the button below is the only place in the world you can download this script. Shawn had to put feelers out to some professional screenwriters to get his hands on this. And no wonder it’s so hard to find: IT IS TERRIBLE. This may be a podcast focused on reading bad shit, but this thing is special in its terribleness.  At least they were able to bring in a friend to experience it with them!

E.T. 2: Nocturnal Fears

by Shawn McBeeSteven Spielberg and Melissa Mathison

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was the first film Shawn ever saw in the theater, and it started his love-affair with cinema. That’s why, when he discovered the 9 page treatment for a torture-laden sequel, it seemed only fitting that it could feed the love-affair with BAD cinema. This treatment 100% misses everything that made the film endure. One can only hope that it was intentionally bad, so as to turn the studio off the idea of a sequel. In fact, it could be argued that the now-extinct Universal Studios ride had a better story.

A Sweet Kid

by Jimie Williams

Shawn and Jimie came up with a unique take on vampires and planned an ambitious film trilogy that would start with two exiled vampires from a long-lost vampiric civilization responsible for genetically engineering humans and culminating in the resurgence of that civilization and the subjugation of humanity… This script was to be the very beginning stages of that. A low-key introduction into that world and into the growing tensions of some of the characters that inhabit it. Don’t worry, it’s not good.

The Crow 3: Resurrection

by Steven E. de Souza

Shawn and Trevor have always been fans of the 90s cult classic The Crow, starring Brandon Lee. Since then, MANY shitty Crow sequels have been made. This is not one of them. No, The Crow 3: Resurrection was deemed too shitty even for a Crow sequel. Penned by the writer of Die Hard and 48 Hours, this Crow-as-an-80s-action-movie-cop couldn’t be more 80s if his partner were a canine convict. It’s a special kind of bad. OUR kind of bad.

Roger Rabbit 2: The Toon Platoon

by Nat Mauldin

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a smash hit in 1988 — the second-highest grossing film of the year which would go on to earn $330M worldwide. So a sequel written in 1989 would have to be terrible not to get made, right? Sadly for us: NO. This script is legitimately WONDERFUL. Fun, entertaining, well-crafted and, overall, FUNNY. We had a lot of fun reading it, and so will you. We know good scripts aren’t really our brand, but this was an absolute joy. 

James Cameron's Spider-Man

by James Cameron, Barry Cohen and Ted Newson

This one is a real mystery. James Cameron famously worked very hard in the 90s to make a Spider-Man film into a reality. There was even a pretty decent script for it by Ted Newsome and John Brancato. Cameron came and did a re-write of that script and made it AN INCOMPREHENSIBLE CLUSTERFUCK OF INSANITY. We can’t decide if he made it terrible on purpose or if he thought he was “fixing” it. You be the judge.

The Six Million Dollar Man

by Kevin Smith

Hot off the “success” of Mallrats, young up-and-coming director was tapped to re-launch the popular 70’s TV Show The Six Million Dollar Man as a blockbuster film. That… didn’t happen. One must wonder if part of the reason is 173 pages of the most clichéd, tired tropes of the action genre, cranked out with the fervor of a fat kid in a donut shop. Just be thankful we got Dogma instead of this. On the other hand, it was adapted as a comic book, if you want to experience it that way.

Termite Terrace

by Charlie Haas

Gremlins director Joe Dante really wanted to make a movie about the birth of the Looney Tunes… but using pseudonyms for all the major players, and only telling the story through the myopic viewpoint of his friend and animation great, Chuck Jones. While we love Chuck and the Looney Tunes in general, the script comes off as self-aggrandizing, somewhat bitter and incredibly boring. It’s competently written, so there’s not a lot to mock, the script just never really found a hook, so it’s pretty bland.

Shazam

by William Goldman

In 2003, William Goldman wrote what one director described as the best superhero script he had ever written. Thankfully, that guy was NOT permitted to direct this superhero movie, because that script–despite being written by two-time Academy Award winning screenwriter and utter fucking LEGEND William Goldman–was awful to a cringeworthy degree. In addition to weird logic leaps and really no coherent story, it also made us feel VERY uncomfortable. See for yourself!

Preacher

by John August

We have read a lot of scripts on Table Reads, and it is incredibly rare for them to be anything but awful. John August’s Preacher script marks only the SECOND script we’ve ever done that is genuinely good! 

In fact, it is so good that we rarely interrupt the reading to comment because we’re so absorbed in the content! Give this a listen AND a read, you’ll enjoy it!

Gladiator 2

by Nick Cave

After the stunning success of Gladiator, everyone wanted to dip their toes back into that world (of money), including Russell Crowe, who had definitively died in the original film. So he hired musician Nick Cave to write a script where he would “sort out” that whole death business and give Crowe another acclaimed role as Maximus the Gladiator.
Turns out, being a musician does NOT make you a great screenwriter! Could not have seen that coming…

Joss Whedon's Wonder Woman

by Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon has cultivated a reputation as a feminist writer, known for writing strong female protagonists. So, in 2006, he was the most obvious choice to write and direct the first big-budget Wonder Woman movie. It never came to be, but the script was leaked in the years hence and those who read it decried it as utterly sexist. While we think those assessments were a little heavy-handed, there is definitely a grain of truth to it. Give it a read and let us know if you agree!

Indiana Jones & the Monkey King

by Chris Columbus

Hot off the consecutive successes of Goonies, Gremlins and Young Sherlock Holmes, Chris Columbus was brought in to write the third installment of the Indiana Jones series. Though this was scrapped and we got Last Crusade instead, we thought we’d show you what might have been. Get ready for some bonkers stuff, including a haunted castle, immortality peaches, African Moat Sharks, monkey kings and, of course, Nazi machine gun arms! Only on Table Reads!

John Boorman's Lord of the Rings

by John Boorman and Rospo Pallenberg

Way back in 1970, John Boorman was entrusted the task of bringing to life a property that United Artists had just acquired the rights to: The Lord of the Rings. Rather than a trilogy, Boorman decided to go for one massive movie, with signing and dancing… and, of course, some hobbit-on-elf action. And that’s not half the craziness you’ll find in here… This is a truly bizarre take on Tolkien’s work, and we’re not sure if we’re happy or sad that it never got made.

Batman: Year One

by Frank Miller

After the failure of Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin, Warner Bros. decided it was time to re-boot the Batman franchise and turned to the obvious choice to write such a film… Frank Miller, the writer of the Batman Year One comics (and, of course, the seminal Dark Knight Returns). Miller gives us a Batman devoid of just about everything that constitutes a Batman… leaving us with a weird mixture of Falling Down and Taxi Driver…

Watchmen

by Sam Hamm

The first script we read on Table Reads also happened to be the first script we ever wrote together, way back in about 1994, when we were 15. Highlander 3 had just come out and we were of the opinion that we needed to work to honor the original film, in the face of such a disrespectful sequel. Unfortunately, we drastically underestimated just how god-awful we were. This reading seeks to make up for that error, by showing the world just how incredibly terrible we were.

If you'd like to read along with us, watch our episodes on YouTube, where we overlay the script while we read!