Logline: A loner sorcerer from the time of Christ, cursed to be reborn every ninety-nine years, hunts down his former followers to atone for his past sins and avenge the murder of his one true love. When one of his descendents becomes their next target, he races to Detroit to save her and discovers salvation comes in many forms. (Fantasy/Action-Adventure, ‘R’ for language, violence).
Even while I’m hard at work on another script, and revving up for a collaboration with fellow writer David Burton, I’m super jazzed about this script.
When I first decided to start writing scripts, I had a handful of ideas. Most of them I had originally intended as novels, short stories, formats I had worked with before. ‘The Gospel of Simon Magus’ was always very visual though. I could see the action on the screen of my mind.
I didn’t want to tackle ‘Simon Magus’ till I felt I had the skills to do it justice. Hopefully I have done that. This is my fifth completed script, and while I love them all, I am especially proud of my latest child.
It has lots of cool stuff in it: spells, magical guns, sword fights, and monsters galore. At its heart though it’s a story of self-forgiveness, and dare I say, one man’s search for God. For thematic purposes, I was able to “write what I know” with this one.
It also helped that ancient Biblical apocrypha is a special interest of mine. I’ve been reading about Simon Magus, “the father of all heresies” for over twenty years now. Who was this man? Did he even exist? Some scholars speculate ‘Simon Magus’ was merely a code name for the Apostle Paul. Other sources are very vivid in Simon’s notorious adventures. Indeed, if you were a Christian living in the first five centuries of the religion, you would have been very familiar with Simon Magus and his magical battles with Saint Peter.
And then he more or less became lost to history. Where once there was a treasure trove of information about him, now he is mentioned in one scanty passage (Acts 8: 9-24). I believe that Simon Magus represented an alternative Christianity, a more mystical, gnostic flavor, and that philosophy eventually lost out to the ‘orthodox’ dogma we have today.
I once wrote a friend is that I would like ‘Simon Magus’, the script, to be a kick-ass Christian tale that really made people think. Perhaps I was too narrow in my initial goals, though. Because I think that Simon’s tale is relevant to people of all religions, and the message is timeless: you have to forgive yourself before you can move on. For Simon, that’s a tall order. He created and then unleashed a cabal of evil sorcerers upon the world. The rest of us have our demons as well though. I know, at least, that I have mine and maybe they are a little more excised now.
I really enjoyed writing ‘The Gospel of Simon Magus’. For those of you who helped me with the early drafts, my deepest gratitude and sincerest thanks. Simon really shines, in part, because of your friendship with me and your willingness to read a script written by a construction worker in Alabama.
My deepest gratitude lays with my wife, Tess, for her patience and understanding while I gave birth to my latest child over the course of many weekends and the emotional roller coaster that is part and parcel of the creative process.
Up next: Who I was thinking of when I wrote the characters!