Exclusive: WINGMEN Story Details
Am I obsessed with Channing Tatum? Maybe. One of the most exciting projects I’ve seen in the past year is called WINGMEN. Joseph Gordon-Levitt will star and direct this film written by Michael Bacall (Project X, 21 and 22 Jump Street). Joseph Gordon-Levitt had previously helmed the severely underrated Don Jon. My buddy Channing will join him in what can only be described as a modern-day musical. Producer Marc Platt (La La Land, Into the Woods) is shepherding the film for Universal Pictures.
Airplane pilot Captain Aaron Alpine (Channing Tatum) and first office Ben Betan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) manage to save the flight they’re piloting from catastrophe by emergency land in Las Vegas. Thanks to Aaron’s Instagram account, Ben becomes a viral sensation dubbed “Young Sully.” While stuck in Vegas for the next 24 hours, Aaron decides that the two wingmen should obey a new checklist:
Task #1: Dress to Impress
Task #2: Hit the tables, win large stacks and show it off on Instagram.
Task #3: Fight a bigger dude and win.
Ben reluctantly agrees to this list even after meeting and connecting with nerdy Jules Jacobs (who’s in Sin City for her sister’s Divorce party). Meanwhile, Aaron is obsessed with Vegas social media icon Jessica Minx and desperately wants to meet her. Will the guys manage to check off everything on their insane checklist?
I know what you’re thinking… It sounds utterly ridiculous and completely insane. But wait there’s more. Here is the musical setlist currently featured in the film:
- Taylor Swift – Shake it Off
- Katy Perry – Roar
- Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody
- The Divinyls – I Touch Myself
- Judy Garland – Do It Again
- Jay-Z – 99 Problems
- The Lion Sleeps Tonight/Nine Inch Nails – Closer/Guns N Roses – Welcome to the Jungle
- Michael Jackson – Beat It
- Lady Gaga and Beyonce – Telephone
- Roxette – It Must Have Been Love
- The Temptations – Ain’t Too Proud to Beg
- Elvis Presley – Burning Love
- Queen – We Are The Champions
Guess what? It works! It’s fun, silly and quite funny. I’d compare it to a musical mash-up of 21 Jump Street and The Hangover. The bromance between Channing and Joseph is well written, and we believe in the friendship between the two. This project would have been scrapped if LA LA LAND had not been a success. This is the next logical step for modern-day musicals. The film also uses the current obsession with Instagram in a way we haven’t seen on the big screen. There’s also a very entertaining B storyline with the divorce party crew who dubbed themselves the “UNICORN F**K SQUAD”. The musical choices are exciting and well used throughout the story.
Screenwriting Tip: Just go for it! If you’re writing a Rated-R modern-day musical, just go NUTS. You’ve gone this far, just take as many creative risks as you want. Being different in your screenwriting is what will make you stand out from your peers.
WINGMEN has the almost perfect mix of heart, laughs, romance and music. UNIVERSAL, please make this movie. We need more original projects like this one. Who else is tired of sequels, franchises, IP, reboots??? The success of movies like Baby Driver and Get Out proved that original Rated R films could find an audience. You just need to sell this as 23 Jump Street: The Musical and the large stacks will fly your way…