I have an idea for a movie based on this insane newspaper article

It's called 'Billionaire Bunker,' at least for now, and it's about the super-spy girlfriend of a tech billionaire... Also, 7 other things worth a click...

There was a time, going back almost two decades ago now, when I thought I wanted to be a screenwriter.

I packed all my stuff in a used Kia Sportage, and I moved with my girlfriend at the time to Los Angeles.

I did all the things that people out there do: took writing classes at UCLA Extension, joined writing groups, worked a terrible day job.

Life had other plans. I happened to arrive in LA just a few days before 9/11, and while I stuck it out in Hollywood for a year, my heart wasn’t really in it.

I was already in the Army Reserve … let’s just say that after the country was attacked, the idea of building a career where success might mean being Rewrite Guy No. 6 on American Pie 9 didn't hold quite the same appeal.

The other road I took instead is full and fun, and I’m pretty fulfilled and happy. But I still dabble in screenwriting — or at least in dreaming up movie ideas.

My movie idea

Here’s one, based on a news article I read last night. We’ll get to the article below, but first the movie idea.

I’m calling it “Billionaire Bunker.”


An ex-MI6 agent fights back, after her tech entrepreneur boyfriend (and other billionaires who think the end of the world is coming) are all convinced to hide in a fortified, underground, luxury condominium complex at an old Air Force bunker in Nebraska.

Basically, we find out the whole thing is a scam.

The bunker developer stages a fake Armageddon, and he tricks all these uber-rich people into hiding—clueless and cut off from the world—while he robs them blind.

The girlfriend’s super-spy instincts kick in, she saves the day. We probably do sequels.

(I'm not sure why I made her MI6 instead of CIA, except that I'd like her accent to make her stand out.)

‘A former missile silo near Concordia, Kansas’

Now, unless somebody on this email list happens to be a Hollywood agent or producer who wants to help me sell this script, I doubt you'll see this on Netflix anytime soon.

But you can still read about the real-life impetus for this fictional scenario. From the Daily Mail in London:

The idea of post-apocalyptic prepping has become more and more alluring, especially for the super-rich who are fighting to get their hands on a luxurious nuclear bunker.

Larry Hall is the brainchild behind such luxury developments, which he refers to as 'Survival Condos.' The project is a luxury complex housed 15 stories below ground in a former missile silo near Concordia, Kansas.

All of the apartments in Hall's first complex sold out, but people have the option to buy a full-floor, half-floor or a penthouse unit in a second Survival Condo that is currently under construction.

Honestly, these condos don't look that luxurious to me.

They're sort of "windowless, basement recreation room” meets “the Residence Inn in Framingham, Massachusetts."

Maybe when the alternative is nuclear winter, it might look better, but it all seems kind of bleak.

The beginning of the end of the beginning

Perhaps you can see where this is going.

Talk about a nihilist existence: Make billions of dollars just to outlast the rest of us by a couple of years, and then spend the extra time underground, watching old DVDs and riding a Peloton bike.

Or maybe it all turns into an orgy, or Lord of the Flies.

I don’t know. I'll let Rewrite Guy No. 6 figure it out.

I feel like this is about the fourth day in a row I’ve closed by wishing you some kind of positive thing for the New Year, and I don’t want to become a cliche.

So let's wind up with a final one.

During 2020, I hope you find true meaning and fulfillment in whatever you spend your time doing.

Better to be a pauper with purpose, than a billionaire in a bunker.

7 other things worth a click

  1. If he wins the presidency, Mike Bloomberg says he'll do the same thing he did as mayor of New York: create a giant open office, and only use the Oval Office for ceremonies. (Inc.)

  2. A former Navy SEAL who beat a murder charge but was convicted of posing with a dead body, and then had his punishments set aside by President Trump, says he's launching a military themed clothing line. (NY Times, via MSN)

  3. Pope Francis apologized for slapping away the hands of a woman who grabbed him and pulled him off balance. "We lose patience many times," he said. "I apologize for the bad example." (France 24)

  4. The U.S. Army just followed the Navy, and banned its soldiers from using the social app TikTok. (Military.com)

  5. The Australian wildfires are getting worse. Here's a summary of what's been happening. (CNN)

  6. Former NBA commissioner David Stern, credited with building the league into an international powerhouse, has died. (ESPN)

  7. A Starbucks customer died after thieves stole his laptop and he chased after them, only to be hit by their car. (KTVU)

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