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By Mark LaFever

GENRE: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Film-noir, Historical, Horror, Other, Sci-fi, Thriller, War

As World War Two draws to a close, a chance drink from the wrong bottle transforms Archie Ziff - a hapless sailor and wanna-be movie star - into an almost-invisible spy for British Intelligence.


  • 2013 Quarterfinalist in Creative World Awards screenwriting contest


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Lauren Lindsey

this looks like it has potential but I feel like i want to know more about Archie and perhaps the conflict facing him but I really like the set up

Mark LaFever

Thanks Lauren! I'm thinking of maybe changing the Archie character to an American guy instead. The main conflict is meant to be sort of a combo platter of the fact that the "invisible man" protagonist a) is a super-handsome (and vain) guy who wants to be a movie star, not a spy, and b) he's more or less forced to keep working for his new bosses because they're really the only ones likely to find a cure for his new condition. So...he doesn't wanna be a spy, but he pretty much has to keep doing it. Maybe along the way, he'll discover he's good at some parts of the spy game, and actually become vain about THAT...I'm thinking if I make the dude an American, there'll be even more potential for conflict between him and his (British) bosses. Thanks again for checking it out!

Chanel Ashley

This is quite good, Mark, but I would refrain from changing Archie into an American, you would destroy too many good jokes and the Brit/Yank culture conflict - why not allow Archie to meet another fellow from the Secret Service, young Ian Fleming, where they become firm friends, partners/spies in crime - Ian could suggest a few gadgets as tools of the trade - they eventually meet an American counter-part from a new, or military, agency called Felix - do you get the picture I'm painting? You could have a field day here where all the characters we know are young and just getting started - introduce Q, the Aston Martin, the real/original M - your grasp of meaningful dialogue is excellent, the humour subtle - this could be anything and I would definitely PUSH the James Bond angle as your point of difference/interest to a studio/producer, etc. - good work, mail me a cheque when you become successful with this, it's a winner, LOL.

Mark LaFever

Chanel, the angle of making this a sort of prequel to the whole Bond thing is an awesome idea! I actually made Archie a Liverpool Jew because I was trying to do a similar sort of working my way toward Brian Epstein (manager of the Beatles if you're not familiar), but finally I decided there were just too many years between 1945 and 1960 or so - what TV series really lasts that long? I'm still kinda 50-50 on whether to make the protagonist British or soon as I started thinking the Brian Epstein thing was too much of a stretch historically/chronologically, that got me wondering - does Archie have to be Jewish? Or from Liverpool? Or even English/British at all? Then I got to thinking...the power relationship in 1945 was basically one of the U.S. surpassing or replacing the U.K. in a lot of ways. What if the protagonist was American and sort of under the control of British intelligence - thereby "flipping" that whole thing? Like I said, I'm 50-50 on this, but this is my thought process, for what it's worth. It's funny you should bring up Ian Fleming - one of my other completed screenplays, PIECEWORK HEROES, kinda leads up to at least a shout-out or maybe a flat-out inclusion of him. On its surface, PIECEWORK HEROES is all about this struggling comic book creator in 1930s New York City - think a sort of very much scruffier MAD MEN type of workplace drama. But NYC in the years leading up to WWII was so intriguing - you had gangster stuff, Soviet espionage, Nazis of both the German and American varieties running around...and of course, most of the creators of comic book superheroes were Jewish, with connections to all those worlds. U.S. intelligence was just in its infancy, but it got its start in New York...with a helping hand from the Brits, represented by Sir William Stephenson, who worked out of Rockefeller Center...with (that's right) Ian Fleming himself. Anyway, that was a very wordy way to work back around to your point - I'll have to think about working Fleming into Op BE instead of (in addition to?) PIECEWORK HEROES. Op BE might well be a more natural fit. Thanks again for taking a look, very much appreciate your insights.

Chanel Ashley

Should Archie be Jewish? You kidding? Look at most cinema/TV credits and count the Jewish surnames, LOL - the JEWS own Hollywood - yes, I would keep him a Jew, they have always had a place in history as being looked at with disdain and vitriol, this equals CONFLICT - Liverpool? Love the Beatles, perhaps you can make jokes about how nothing good comes out of that city, how no one of note can sing a note - you have a natural affinity with the British syntax and idioms, it would be a shame to waste the talent, plus as a Yank, you can see both sides of the coin re CONFLICT of culture - wow, you have so many avenues to explore with this concept, but for me, if Archie is American, what is his point of difference? He's the same as all the usual characters we currently see on the screen - Archie can be such a cool BRITISH character, remember John Steel from the Avengers on TV with Diana Rigg? How cool was he? Just a thought, Mark, it's your story - speaking of cool, link Archie as the prototype british spy we come to know as James Bond, Ian Fleming acting as his mentor re spy ideas and gadgets way ahead of their time - up to you kid, know you will make the right decision, but I think you are close to a winner, don't stuff it up, LOL.

Mark LaFever

Well, one way or the other, I definitely won't trash this version...I can always have "alternate protagonists" and pitch one to BBC America and one to HBO, or whatever. John Steel was totally awesome, Diana Rigg was too (she brings it in GAME OF THRONES as well - only monarch on the show who's more bad-ass than Tywin Lanister). Thanks again for the insights - it's great to put something out there and have people "get" it, especially when they're the smart people you WANT to be "gotten" by.

Iris Ebia

where can you get it? is it FDA approved, i want that! : )

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