Exclusive: Screenwriter Marti Noxon on THE DEFENDERS; Says John Hamburg is Now Involved and it’s a Sci-Fi Comedy

     July 19, 2010

Marti Noxon image slice

About a year ago we first covered a project called The Defenders.  The project was set up by Masi Oka (Heroes) at DreamWorks where he landed Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Transformers) as producers with D.J. Caruso possibly directing.  The story (from our original article):

“Centers on a group of mostly teenagers from around the world who are involved in a multiplayer video game, each unaware of who they really are behind the cover of their consoles and avatars. They are forced to come together for a real adventure, becoming inadvertent heroes in the process.”

Since posting the story, we haven’t had any updates. Until today.  That’s because an hour ago I got to speak with screenwriter Marti Noxon (I Am Number Four, Fright Night) and towards the end of the interview she revealed she’s writing the script.  The interesting news is she mentioned John Hamburg (writer/director of I Love You, Man) is also involved and she called it a sci-fi comedy.  More after the jump:

While it’s not clear is Hamburg’s involvement means D.J. Caruso is out of the picture, I think it does.  Also, when you look over the synopsis and hear Noxon calling the film a sci-fi comedy, you can’t help but think of The Goonies in terms of tone. In addition, Steven Spielberg produced Goonies and the project is set up at DreamWorks….so it’s not exactly a stretch to reach that conclusion.

Anyway, here’s what Noxon said about The Defenders and another project she’s doing called Bad Baby – which she said is in the tradition of John Hughes and Home Alone.  Look for my full interview later today or tomorrow where she talks about I Am Number Four, Fright Night, Comic-Con and a lot more.

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Collider: What other stuff are you writing that I might not know about?

Noxon:  I just started working on a project.  Um, I, the, with, um, Kurtzman and Orci and John Hamburg, um, which is, you know, a ways off in terms of production and that kind of stuff.  It’s in the script stage.  Um, and has been real exciting, ‘cause–

Does it have a title?

Noxon:  I think it’s called, right now it’s called The Defenders, but it won’t stay The Defenders.  Um, and that is a big science fiction comedy.

Okay.

Noxon:  Awesome.

Right.  I’m a huge fan of Orci and Kurtzman.

Noxon:  Yeah.

You don’t have to, and Hamburg, so you don’t have to sell me on this.

Noxon:  Yeah.  It’s fantastic.  Um, so I’m doing that.  I’m doing a couple other projects with them that I sold as pitches.  So, those will have to be written.  And one of them I’m really excited about.  I can only say that it’s called Bad Baby.  (laughs)  Kind of in the John Hughes tradition.  Um, kind of Home Alone.  But that’s really all I can say about it.

Um, well, um, I definitely have to do a follow-up on The Defenders.  Is this an original… is this an original thing that someone came up with or is it based on existing material?

Noxon:  It is an original thing.  Um, Masi, um, I can’t remember his last name, who, um, from Heroes.

I know that guy, Masi Oka?

Noxon:  Yeah.  Masi Oka, um, he pitched them the concept.  Um, so it came from him.  And it has to do, it’s, it’s in the world of, um, of gamers and, you know, guilds and that kind of thing.

Right.

Noxon:  Um, it’s, it’s awesome.

Uh, is this something that Masi is thinking he could star in or is just an idea he had?

Noxon:  Um, I don’t know what he thinks about, and I could totally see him doing that, but, um, but he’s, Masi’s, um, Masi is, um, really acting as a producer, too.  He’s got other projects in development.  He’s been super active and pro-active and….

He, he’s a smart guy, actually.

Noxon:  He’s a totally sharp guy.

Yeah, I know.  He used to be a programmer at ILM before he got into acting, which is crazy.

Noxon:  Yeah.  No, he’s the real deal.  So, um, so he’s, he’s maximizing this opportunity, as he should.  You know.

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