conspiracy.jpgTom from Adjab just forwarded us an email from a guy named Shawn McAteer, who claims that both Syriana and last year's National Treasure stand in violation of his intellectual property: a screenplay he wrote called The Establishment. And what, you might ask, do Syriana - a twisted political thriller about America's unquenchable thirst for oil, and National Treasure – a Disney adventure film about a descendant of Benjamin Franklin who discovers a treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence – have in common? I'm not quite sure myself, but I have a feeling it has something to do with some sort of conspiracy. Oh - and the fact that McAteer claims he sent a copy of his screenplay to the production companies behind both films several years ago.

McAteer – of course – has a website devoted to the theft, from which you can download his screenplay (user name: producer; password: collaboration). I have not yet had a chance to read it, but I have read the story coverage; and from that, The Establishment looks to be a kind of political thriller, about Freemasons and the Rockefeller family and Big Brother-esque intellitechnology. Despite a vague thematic overlap with Syriana's concern for oil, McAteer's film wouldn't seem to have much in common with his accusees at all. Which leads me to believe that there might be a different kind of conspiracy going on here: If he really thinks he's been ripped off, McAteer is quite probably a crackpot. But if he's just using all this as a ruse to get attention for his screenplay, then he's maybe a genius ... a crackpot genius, perhaps, but a genius nonetheless.

categories Cinematical