I don't care how well-known you are or how many scripts you've written, for a writer to be offered $4 million -- heck, that's pretty damn impressive. And it's great for screenwriting in general. No, you're not reading that wrong (though, trust me, I had to read it more than once myself before it became believable) -- apparently, Akiva Goldsman has been hired to write a $4million script: Angels & Demons.
As most of you are well aware, Angels & Demons is a book that was written by Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code. Demons follows the same main character as Da Vinci, Robert Langdon (as played by Tom Hanks in the film), as he once again finds himself all wrapped up in a bizarre life-altering mystery that involves the church. Pic is currently on target to be released at some point in 2008, and in order to make that date, Sony is willing to throw an enormous amount of dough (the most ever offered to a screenwriter for a script) at Akiva Goldsman. And for a script based on a book, no less. (You think Goldsman wore his Superman costume to Thanksgiving dinner, or what?)
What does this mean for screenwriting? Well, writers now have a new bargaining chip. Up until this point, the most amount of money offered for a script (usually an original piece of work) has been between $2-2.5 million. Sure, you have to be a writer with a hefty set of balls (and be represented by an agent with an even heftier set) to demand that kind of moolah. But the stakes have been raised, and it's nice to see people realizing just how valuable the writer really is.