Fan Fiction: VIGILANTE: The Origins of Casey Jones (TMNT) by Justin Prince
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
After an injury put a halt to his plans of playing hockey in the NHL, Casey Jones doesn’t believe life can get much worse. He soon finds out just how wrong he is. Faced with a tragedy Jones takes justice into his own hands, becoming a hockey mask wearing vigilante. (Based on the character from Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
My screenplay works as a retelling of the origin story of Casey Jones, the hockey masked vigilante of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s fame. The story reveals who Casey is as a person and what events push him to take on his crime-fighting persona.
What genres does your screenplay fall under?
I would describe it as a graphic action/superhero film.
Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
Casey Jones is one of the most popular characters from the TMNT universe outside of the four turtles themselves. This script really just gives you an idea of who Casey Jones is, the hardships that shaped him and how he develops into the vigilante that goes on to become one of the turtle’s most trusted allies.
How would you describe this script in two words?
Gritty & fun.
What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
I’m not sure; there are a lot of movies I revisit, including the original 1990s live action TMNT film. But, the film I’ve probably watched the most in my life is probably “Raging Bull.”
How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I have been a TMNT fan my entire life but as I got older I began to identify more with Casey Jones than I did the turtles themselves. So I’ve been conceptualizing the script for a long time I’d say. But, it wasn’t until after the most recent TMNT film was released that I began to really sit down and outline the story. The TMNT of the comics are actually really dark and gritty with Casey Jones being one of its darkest and most gritty characters. I really wanted my script to reflect the comic universe more so than any of the film incarnations of the TMNT have.
How many stories have you written?
Oh, I could never put a number on it. I’ve been writing stories since I was a little kid. I’ve always enjoyed storytelling and have told stories in almost every format you can tell one in. As far as scripts go this is my fifth short script. I’m also currently working on the screenplay a feature length film.
What motivated you to write this screenplay?
I just really wanted to tell a story within the TMNT universe but tell it in a way that reflected the comics more so than the cartoons. The original TMNT comics are really quite a contrast from the other forms of TMNT media; they also started as a parody of the superhero genre. I wanted to bring the grittiness of the comics to life in a script and I also wanted to have that element of parody. So here that element comes with Casey’s obsession with action films and his penchant for quoting them in battle.
What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
The biggest obstacle was writing the action sequences. I haven’t ever really written any significant action sequences for a screenplay before and this one has several of them. So figuring out how to write them in a way that conveyed what I envisioned along with the pacing I had in mind was really something I had to experiment with to figure out.
Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I’m really passionate about all aspects of film. Lately, I’ve really began to delve into editing and learning the way that editors tell a story or alter how a story is told.
Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
My biggest tip is embracing the rewriting process. So many people like to write, but they don’t like to rewrite. You have to learn to love rewriting, especially if you’re going to choose to write screenplays.