A lovesick scientist clones his estranged wife, but when she unexpectedly comes out nine years younger, his broken marriage gets a magical reboot.
Remember when movies were fresh and fun? Big colorful premises that mixed comedy with drama and that needed touch of soul? Classic films like Splash and Big – such tales don’t grow old; they still charm and entertain today. Let’s face it, folks: gross out comedy like The Interview has a (very) limited shelf life. But Honey I Shrunk the Kids? That stuff stands the test of time…
And speaking of goofy scientists… There’s always room for one more. Especially when they’re wrapped in a warm n’ heartfelt rom-com, with action and drama on the side. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, timing doesn’t get better than this.
Readers, meet Travis Wonders. A classic inventor type with his nose buried in textbooks and computer screens… his head perpetually in the clouds. For ten years, he’s been hard at work in his basement lab, attempting to clone woodpecker DNA. Assisting in the process: a little fluffy white dog named Algernon, and a pair of robotic arms nicknamed Eli and Emma. Then there’s Travis’ wife of nine years, Renee. Though she’s gone the corporate route, Travis can always depend on her support.
At least, that’s what he thinks.
Unbeknownst to the poor professor, marital trouble’s a-brewing. Tired of Travis’ never-ending tinkering, Renee’s accepted a position in Japan. An extended separation. Probably divorce. She just… hasn’t quite told her husband yet.
The couple heads to dinner at Montana Tony’s, a restaurant owned by Renee’s flamboyant brother Stig. Renee’s whole family’s there. Her acerbic mother Astrid throws barbs at Travis and sips martinis. And mentions Renee’s ex-boyfriend – Guy Ducharme. The successful author of Marry Your Prom Queen (hint, hint), Guy’s in town for a book signing. Not to mention the upcoming high school class reunion. Wouldn’t Renee just love to see him again? After a tense exchange, Renee’s secret spills. She’s leaving Travis. And there’s nothing he can say.
Not that Travis doesn’t try. He does: epically. But the day of Renee’s fateful departure arrives all too soon. Despite her husband’s pathetic pleas, her mind hasn’t changed. Renee drives off to the airport with Stigs, leaving a forlorn Travis with Algernon. Struck by a sudden misgiving, she forces a promise out of her brother. Check up on Travis. Make sure he’s okay?
Left alone, the professor falls into a funk. And far deeper into his research. Until an accident results in breakthrough! Doggy Algernon is cloned. Voila: Clone Al (dubbed “Alfredo.”). But what good is success without someone you love to share it? Renee still won’t return Travis’ calls. A drunken Travis extracts a lock of Renee’s hair from an anniversary photo album. It’ll take years to sequence her DNA – but he vows to start over again, rambling into a video to record his thoughts. Leaving the lab, he heads upstairs to sleep.
But a storm’s abrewing. Literally. As Travis slumbers, a bolt of lightning hits the backyard… supercharging robot arms Eli and Emma. And resulting in – Clone Wife.
A nine years younger model. With all of Renee’s memories up to that time (including a still unsullied love for Travis). And – thanks to the video – Clone Wife’s quite aware of who she is.
Needless to say, Travis receives a rude awakening… and one hell of a dilemma. A second chance – with a younger woman. Who in the world wouldn’t want that? But is Clone Wife really Renee? Where does Travis’ love and alliance really lie?
And the equation’s about to get more complex. Struck by unexplainable twinges, Renee boards a flight to the States to see Travis again. Then there’s the upcoming reunion. And slippery, sleazy Guy Ducharme, who’s coming home to claim his ex-prom queen. And nothing’s gonna stop him this time….
Chock full of over-the-top comedy and colorful characters, Clone Wife is the kind of classic comedy ride that audiences crave. But – like all true clones – CW is more than a sum of its parts. Because under the gloss and slapstick, there beats a far more poignant theme, embodied in the characters of Renee and Clone Wife: learning to face yourself (literally) – all your choices and mistakes. And blazing your own path in life and love… no matter who you’ve been “programmed” to be.*
* And speaking of the titular character – that’s a major strength to this script as well. *TWO* strong, meaty female roles in one? Get Jennifer Aniston on the phone! 🙂 Orphan Black ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!
About the writer: (story by Brett Martin and Ben Liska) Brett Martin is an unrepped screenwriter and freelance reader living in Los Angeles. He sold an action/thriller to Quixotic Entertainment, which is associated with Zack Snyder. Once optioned by Destiny Pictures, his comedy feature, CLONE WIFE, just underwent a major face lift. He’s also developing a tentpole action feature & cartoon web series as he continues his quest to be a professional screenwriter.
Budget: Mid-range. Yes, there’s the lab to create – but most of the scenes are set in simple locations. Houses, school auditoriums, a restaurant. Locations that can be obtained easily. The most important factor – getting a crew of actors with terrific comedic timing.
About the writer: (story by Brett Martin and Ben Liska) Brett Martin is an unrepped screenwriter and freelance reader living in Los Angeles. He sold an action/thriller to Quixotic Productions, which is owned by Brett Stimely (Watchmen, Transformers 3). He’s also developing a tentpole action feature & cartoon web series as he continues his quest to be a professional writer.
Budget: Mid-range. Yes, there’s the lab to create – but most of the scenes are set in simple locations. Houses, school auditoriums, a restaurant. Locations that can be obtained easily. The most important factor – getting a crew of actors with great comedic timing.
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