After a three-year run of Mission: Impossible III, Transformers, and Star Trek, the screenwriting team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci became the go-to guys for mega-franchise hopefuls (see: Cowboys & Aliens). Kurtzman and Orci are now notably prolific producers, particularly in television where they oversee Fringe, this fall’s Hawaii Five-0 remake, and a recently announced adaptation of the comic Locke & Key.
That last project reunites the duo with their Transformers boss Steven Spielberg, a relationship that continues to bear fruit — at least for Kurtzman. Spielberg has set up Welcome to People at DreamWorks to be Kurtzman’s directorial debut. Kurtzman co-wrote the script with Orci and Jody Lambert six years ago, resulting in a low-key family drama rather than the tentpole fare the duo is known for. Details after the jump.
Here’s an outline of the script courtesy of Vulture:
Welcome to People tells the story of a struggling twentysomething man who, after flying home to L.A. for the funeral of his estranged record-producer father, discovers that the will stipulates that he must deliver $150,000 in cash to a 30-year-old alcoholic sister he never knew existed, and her troubled 12-year-old son. Determined to keep the money to solve his own problems, he’s nonetheless fascinated by his unknown kin and makes contact with the two without revealing who he really is.
According to Heat Vision, Kurtzman has been vocal about his desire to direct for some time. He spent recent months fielding offers, including a spot on the shortlist for the Jack Ryan reboot that eventually went to Jack Bender. Fearing the stigma of an action director, Kurtzman used his clout to unearth this years-old drama script to ensure a distinct debut. Spielberg liked his vision, and you can expect similarly impressive talent in front of the camera thanks to the three substantial lead roles.
I really hate the title, but given the context, I think I’m supposed to. “Welcome to People” is the name of an anger-management program that the “troubled 12-year-old” attends. In this instance, “troubled” means that he blew up his middle school’s pool with chemicals he stole from the school lab.