Alex Kurtzman's Directorial Debut May Be 'Welcome to People'
Interesting story on Vulture tonight. Reportedly, Steven Spielberg's new DreamWorks is giving screenwriter Alex Kurtzman, one half of the Roberto Orci/Kurtzman writing duo, his chance to become a director on an intimate dramatic project called Welcome to People. Vulture got the big scoop early on Super 8, so I trust their DreamWorks sources. Kurtzman actually co-wrote the script with Orci and Jody Lambert (Of All the Things) around six years ago, but recently "pulled it out of his drawer when he was starting to be offered… big-budget movies." He didn't want to labeled an "only action" director, so he went for this project instead.
Welcome to People tells an intriguing story of a "struggling twentysomething man who, after flying home to LA for the funeral of his estranged record-producer father, discovers that the will stipulates 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." Sounds solid, it could be good, depends on who they cast. But are we going to see this as an indie at festivals or as a major feature? I'm not yet sure.
Vulture adds that the title Welcome to People refers to a "child anger-management program" the rowdy 12-year-old nephew gets enrolled in after blowing up his middle school's pool with a sodium chunk stolen from chemistry class; the illegitimate sister is an alcoholic who tends bar at The Standard Hotel on Sunset Blvd. Almost seems like a reverse version of Coppola's Somewhere, which takes place just down the street from the Standard. I've been a supporter of Kurtzman for a while and I'm very interested to see what he can do behind the camera beyond just writing, so bring it on. I'm looking forward to seeing this come together.