IP Picks🔎: Wingnuts, a Wrexham-Style NBA Team; a Forgotten Mutiny
➕ a twisty-turny women-led mystery
Welcome to The Optionist! As always, thanks for reading. After hearing the sad news that 98-year-old former president Jimmy Carter has entered hospice, I found myself thinking back to one of the first stories I ever considered for The Optionist. It was a super-cool story about how a young Navy Lieut. Carter was sent to Canada to prevent a nuclear meltdown at one of the world’s first civilian reactors.
Portraying our nation’s chief executive in Air Force One, Harrison Ford kicked some major on-screen terrorist butt, while in Independence Day, Bill Pullman delivered a presidential speech so stirring that it galvanized what was left of humanity to wipe out the invading aliens. But consider this: A future president, active military, uses his nuclear scientist smarts to single-handedly avert a possible Fukushima. Consider also, that this saga happens to be entirely true, and you’ve got yourself some mighty fine IP.
The Carter story didn’t make the cut ultimately because I learned that one of his biographers was developiong a young Jimmy bio-series. (Note to self: Follow up on what happened to its development and report back.) Of course, in the ‘80s or mid ‘90s, Jimmy Carter was still regarded as damaged goods, even in liberal Hollywood. But with Habitat for Humanity, peace efforts in the Middle East and a slew of good works post-presidency, he’s more highly regarded now than ever. Plus, how many past presidents — real ones — can match Jimmy Carter’s action-hero bona fides?
It just so happens that this week’s picks include another episode from America’s past involving the Navy — we’re talking pre-Civil War — that’s far less heroic than Carter’s nuclear operation, though just as ripe for adaptation.
Also featured are:
A domestic thriller about two women — one filthy rich, the other homeless, who somehow become besties and cook up a plot to escape the rich one’s abusive husband
Another female-centered thriller — this one about one woman out to prove that her sister didn’t commit suicide by solving the cold case her sibling had been digging into
A deep dive into the history of QAnon, full of scams and fresh outrages
A throwback sports story about the worst team in the history of the NBA, the Wrexham of its day