The Black Spitfire – a spec script that’s learning to fly… UPDATED WITH REVIEWS

Feast your eyes on this (clicken to embiggen)…

A girl, a gun and a Spitfire...
A girl, a gun and a Spitfire… Artwork by Brian Taylor

The Black Spitfire is a script project that Paddy Eason and I have been working on for a couple of years now. Here’s our logline…

May, 1940: Headstrong young pilot Ginny Albion crashes in France as the Nazi Blitzkrieg sweeps across the country. Her passenger is Winston Churchill, and the fate of the world is in her hands.

Who could resist that, eh?

It’s a spec script – meaning that it’s not been commissioned by any entity – and we’re doing this in the hope that a producer or director will take it under their wing and make it fly (apologies for the abundance of flying metaphors throughout this post).

Spec scripts are nigh-on impossible to get off the ground these days: the studios are more interested in building on their existing brands, and anything original is branded as “untested”, putting the fear of God into those clutching to the studio purse strings.

But we’ve had a fantastic response from those who have read the script, and we’ve already met with a few eager producers. It’s still early days, but Paddy and I commissioned artist Brian Taylor to put together a poster concept (these things help when you’re pitching to producers and directors) and he blew our minds with the results, perfectly capturing the adventurous spirit of the film and our heroine Ginny Albion. Our model was actress Claire Garvey, who gamely posed for photos as I wafted slabs of polystyrene at her to make her hair billow (no budget for a wind machine, sadly) as Paddy snapped the pics.

If you’re in the industry and want to read the script, it’s over on the Black List, if you want the latest news do please follow us on Twitter @GinnyAlbion, and if you’re a producer with, say, £30 million handy, we’d like to buy you lunch.

We hope you like it, and we hope to see Ginny in action at the movies soon.

UPDATE: We’ve had some great reviews over at the Black List. Here are a few choice quotes…

“What a terrific read! The script starts off with a bang and our brilliant Ginny anchors a wonderful story about courage, self-actualization, love, and friendship. As our charming heroine, Ginny is flawed but never lacking in gumption or charisma. She leaps off the page and lights up an otherwise monotonous time period. Her rapport with Kit is absolutely darling, and the friendship that develops between her and Churchill is deftly written. Churchill himself is captured beautifully – from the wry commentary on his unlikely guide to the humor that arises from his verbosity, he’s all there and with a pout to boot. Although at times the narrative feels a bit predictable, it’s a delight to read. Tonally, it’s similar to INDIANA JONES, but this time we get a kickass female protagonist. Overall, a well structured story with engaging, dynamic characters, a commercial tone, and strong dialogue.”

“A great piece of writing and a killer idea, demonstrating excellent world building and character work… it’s a fantastic read and at the very least, the writers should have no problem getting hired off of this.”

“This script is rooted first and foremost in a strong and engaging lead with Ginny… She’s brave, funny, and moody all at once. She’s compelling to follow. The action is also quite exciting throughout. It’s cleanly written and easy to envision from what’s on the page. Later on, Ginny saves a number of Allied prisoners from German executioners at the last moment. It’s tense and fun all at once. Ginny’s relationship to Churchill is also cannily drawn and entertaining. The two bicker and fight and like each other. At one point, he excoriates her for radioing details to the enemy in a panic, and they argue and she shoves him down. He then stomps off in the middle of a war. It’s memorable and gives the piece a good sense of personality.”

“This is an invigorating and original concept that is sure to catch the attention of industry readers. The dialogue stands out as the major macro strength to the project as it’s upbeat, quick and natural throughout. The banter between Ginny and Churchill is funny a lot of the time, but in a very grounded way — especially after they land. It adds a comedic relief, that is extremely dry and grounded… Churchill’s voice and character development overall is fantastic and will prove to be captivating for readers as his dialogue is accurate to portray his place in history, but shown in an exciting way. One of the coolest things about his character is the standard he holds Ginny to the entire time, but also how he begins to trust her and respect her more and more as they continue on and it’s a fantastic moment when she holds the knife to his throat… physically and emotionally. Ginny’s character gets comfortable around Churchill as well and it’s tracked nicely alongside her growth as a character. It’s very triumphant in the end when Winston’s calling out for Ginny over the radio and along with being extremely cinematic it ties up their story well for the audience.”

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Author, screenwriter, and co-founder of the Bestseller Experiment podcast.

8 thoughts on “The Black Spitfire – a spec script that’s learning to fly… UPDATED WITH REVIEWS”

  1. I’m guessing Ginny was not flying the “black Spitfire” when she had Churchill as a passenger, since there was no such thing as a two-seater Spitfire in 1940 (unless it was a sooper-seekrit, hush hush, wink wink project). The very first “official” two-seater Spitfire was N32, which first flew in 1946. It was repainted yellow in 1947 and given the civil registration of G-AIDN. Prior to that trainer, 4 Squadron of the South African Air Force converted several Spitfires into two-seaters in 1943, but they were exclusively flown in North Africa.


      1. I’m sure you’ve done your research, but I thought the ATA Spits were single-seaters until much later. I’d be happy to be wrong about it, though. That said, it is my understanding that the only two-seaters prior to N32 were unofficial conversion jobs where they ripped out the reserve fuel tank and stuck a bubble canopy on top of the rather small hole it left. It would’ve been a rather tight squeeze for a portly fellow like Winston! May 1940 would be around the time the Mark III (Type 330) came out, I guess.


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