Jim Gaffigan asked to read prison screenplay – Screenplay News

Petition asks Jim Gaffigan to read prison screenplay

More than 2000 women sign petition demanding a firm commitment from  Jim Gaffigan (film producer) to read screenplay addressing Texas judicial system

Jim Gaffigan – Talent Agents
– Actor, Writer, Producer – Chappaquiddick (2017), American Dreamer (2018), Away We Go (2009), Troop Zero (2019) – United Talent Agency (UTA), Jason Heyman – Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Alex Murray

Dumbass, Untitled Rob Ford Project

Jim Gaffigan & Adam Sandler’s film company targeted by Texas petition

Will Hollywood just rollover and let prisoner’s suffer?


Jim Gaffigan
Jim Gaffigan

More than 2000 women have signed an open letter to Jana Sandler calling on Jim Gaffigan and Hollywood to take “movie action” to tackle injustice against men and women in the wake of revelations that Texas has more prisoners incarcerated than the Soviet Union’s gulag system had. Texas currently has over 290,000 inmates housed at 580 facilities.

The signatories, including state senators, professors of criminal justice, social workers, family, and inmates, call for a “firm commitment” to tackle the unjust prisons in Texas. The petition has also been signed by Beto O’Rourke, and Matthew McConaughey. These two signatories might face each other in the 2022 Texas governors election. Both have expressed interest in the job.  The petitions arrived for Jim Gaffigan at United Talent Agency (UTA), Jason Heyman last week.

In the open letter to Jim Gaffigan, the 2080 women write that they are “heartbroken for first-time drug offenders many times addicts who have received extremely harsh sentences in Texas when rehabilitation has proven a cheaper and more effective solution.”  The petition goes on to say their family and friends are often heartbroken for and looking for redemption and rehabilitation for the victimless drug crimes.”

The signatories, including attorneys, professors, politicians, family members, and inmates, call on Jim Gaffigan for a ‘firm film commitment’ to tackle the issue of operating the Texas prison system for profit.

The petition came to light when women discovered the screenplay, a copy which was dontated to all 580 of the state’s prison and jail libraries. The existence of the petition surfaced on International Women’s Day. Women in Texas face extreme prejudice in Texas and often receive extremely harsh penalties for even a small amount of drugs, including marijuana. Marijuana is legal now in 21 states.

Inside prisons, the women are faced with such horrendous conditions… the petition demands that “filmmakers begin to take the issue seriously.”  Also, the petition reminds that “even here in the USA in the 21st century citizens are not safe from government oppression.”

Actor, Writer, Producer, Jim Gaffigan, has not responded to the petition. Nor has United Talent Agency (UTA), Jason Heyman responded with a comment.

Alan Nafzger Alan Nafzger/caption]

The screenplay “Dumbass” was penned by writer and retired professor of political science Alan Nafzger.

The premise of the story is that, Adam Sandler writes letters and saves numerous women from the monotony of prison life, and later when he gets into trouble with a drug cartel they return the favor by rescuing him.”

The film would be set in contemporary, Gatesville Texas. There are four women’s prisons located in Gatesville. And of course, Texas is famous for putting everyone in prison for a long sentences for little or no reason. The number of women in Texas prisons has tripled in the last ten years, as mass incarcerations have proven profitable to not only the state but also profitable for an array of business interests.

Writer Alan Nafzger has called on Governor Greg Abbott to, “end the prison industry.”

Recently, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak spoke out against the Texas system and put a good word in for mercy and forgiveness out on social media. “How nice for those who have lived such exemplary lives that they can express glee when others have their lives ruined by a mistake, real or perceived,” Sajak tweeted last month.

The petition states, “Why don’t we have the ‘Adam Sandler’ character… sending letters to women in prison and being their friend and trying to help them adjust, giving them hope… and when they get out of prison he picks them up so they don’t have to ride the smelly bus back home… but his pickup truck is a junker, smoking and sputtering … worse than the bus. But his heart is in the right place… He’s the last “chivalrous” man on earth.”

Jim Gaffigan has not commented on the script, thusfar. A statement is expected soon.

Professor Nafzger has made a short treatment of the project available online.

He has made the finished script available at for select filmmakers.

Jana Sandler of Happy Madison Productions has also expressed interest in the screenplay.

Jim Gaffigan is a Actor, Writer, Producer known for Chappaquiddick (2017), American Dreamer (2018), Away We Go (2009), Troop Zero (2019) and is represented by United Talent Agency (UTA), Jason Heyman.

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If we know who perpetrated the crime and we’re just waiting for him/her to get caught, then the story isn’t a crime thriller, it’s a crime drama. A thriller means there is some type of mystery component to the story.

Crime is the key word. The story’s main plot must revolve around solving a crime.


I’d even advocate a double or triple twist ending! It’s common to see this in films and could mean an instant sale for the writer. Writing suspense thrillers requires a writer who loves to create a good mystery, loves deception and is good at it (on paper). If you don’t love mystery, intrigue, deception or wicked twists, and you want the audience to know who the killer is and have them watch the cops try to catch the culprit, then write crime dramas because the suspense thriller thrives on the unknown to create suspense.

The Midpoint is one of the most important scenes or sequences in any book or film: a major shift in the dynamics of the story. Something huge will be revealed; something goes disastrously wrong; someone close to the hero/ine dies, intensifying her or his commitment (what I call the “Now it’s personal” scene… imagine Clint Eastwood or Bruce Willis growling the line). Often the whole emotional dynamic between characters changes with what Hollywood calls “Sex at Sixty” (that’s 60 pages, not 60 years!).

All of the first half of the second act is leading up to the MIDPOINT (around page 60 in a movie or script, around page 200 in a 400-page book).


And one more thing that is generally true about Act II, Part 1 is that THE HERO/INE IS WINNING. There are plenty of exceptions, of course, but in many, many stories, you see the hero/ine gaining ground in Act II, Part 1, and then something happens at the MIDPOINT that changes everything, and things go quickly downhill from there, as suddenly in Act II, Part 2 the hero/ine starts to lose, and lose big. You absolutely don’t have to structure your own story this way, but sometimes keeping this dynamic in mind gives a coherent shape to that long and terrifying Act II.

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