In a cyber world, even virtue is virtual
By Mike Wise,
Somewhere in the cybersphere, around 1 a.m. Wednesday:
@SofCoppola to @MikeWiseGuy: Hi Mike. Didn’t have an email for you, but looked you up on Twitter. Can you follow back and I’ll DM [direct message] you?
@MikeWiseGuy: Sure. Just followed back.
D@SofCoppola: We’d like to commission a screenplay for my new movie and we’d like to speak with you about it. Interested?
D@MikeWiseGuy: I’m flattered. Definitely interested.
D@SofCoppola: Great! Have you done this kind of work before?
D@MikeWiseGuy: Technically no, but I did help pitch a basketball movie to Bob Weinstein once at Miramax. (He passed on it.)
D@SofCoppola: No worries. You’ll be a natural. Would your bosses at The Washington Post be okay with you working for my film company?
D@MikeWiseGuy: They’ll be fine with it. They let me do a radio show for 31 / 2 years. Since that sort of, well, “ended” recently, I’ve been looking for something else.
D@SofCoppola: Good. Do you have an agent?
D@MikeWiseGuy: I work with a literary guy but no film agent.
D@SofCoppola: We pay a flat rate of $500,000 per accepted manuscript, so I wouldn’t bother with an agent if I were you.
D@MikeWiseGuy: Okay. So what’s next? Conference call with your film company people?
D@SofCoppola: We’ll get to that. Right now I just want you sit down and write, pour your heart out like you do in those long-form stories you write.
D@MikeWiseGuy: And e-mail it to you?
D@SofCoppola: You could, but I prefer you just paste a Twitter link here. More personal.
D@MikeWiseGuy: Okay. Have to be honest. This sounds fishy. I’m sure you’re legit and all, but how did you end up choosing me for this project?
D@SofCoppola: I read the story of you and your dog falling through the ice several years ago. Since then, I’ve probably read 20 stories a year from you. You have the gift.
D@MikeWiseGuy: I’m speechless, especially because I’ve really respected your film work. I haven’t seen “Bling Ring” yet.
D@MikeWiseGuy: But your adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’ “The Virgin Suicides” novel was masterful. I’m sure you’ve been told that.
D@SofCoppola: Never. : ) Let’s just say I have an eye for spotting unknown talent. Your career is “Free Willy” to me. I want to buy scuba gear, unchain you and let you be all you can be.
D@MikeWiseGuy: Your mouth to my boss’s ears. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say you are responsible for reviving Bill Murray’s career in “Lost in Translation.”
D@SofCoppola: I always thought leading men did their best work in middle age. Hint, hint. : )
D@MikeWiseGuy: Yeah, well, I loved you in “The Godfather III.” I don’t care what anyone says. You actually read my Post columns?
D@SofCoppola: Yes, though I think you were too hard on Mike Shanahan earlier this year.
D@MikeWiseGuy: Okay, this is too unbelievable. Sofia Coppola reads my columns about Redskins coaches? I’m not buying this.
D@SofCoppola: Told you, after the dog story I was hooked. I’ll be in touch. Off to the Super Bowl for a location shoot.
D@MikeWiseGuy: I’m in New Orleans all next week. You want to grab coffee or food at some point?
D@SofCoppola: Sorry, can’t. I’m in and out on Monday. Back to L.A. and the editing room.
D@MikeWiseGuy: You mind if we talk on the phone for a couple minutes, just so I know this is real?
D@SofCoppola: I’m crazy busy and getting a new cell tomorrow. But is next week okay to talk?
D@MikeWiseGuy: Sure. While we’ve been messaging, I looked up your Twitter account and it says you have just 2 followers while @Scoppola_News has 5,000. Kinda weird.
D@SofCoppola: I just got a personal account literally Monday. It’s me, I assure you.
D@MikeWiseGuy: Just curious, are you at home in Paris now?
D@SofCoppola: No. I’m in Italy at Palazzo Margherita, the family villa where I got married. We go back to Paris tomorrow. So glad I got ahold of you.
D@MikeWiseGuy: Me too, Sofia. Okay, again, this sounds too good to be true. An academy-award winning screenwriter wants me to write her next movie?
D@SofCoppola: I know it’s random, but I have felt strongly your voice is what’s needed for this project to really work and feel 100 percent believable.
D@MikeWiseGuy: I guess we can take care of contractual things later, but tell me one thing: What sort of screenplay do you want me to start writing?
D@SofCoppola: The Manti Te’o story.