One of our favorite genre shows is FOX’s “The X-Files,” while one of our favorite horror movies is New Line Cinema’s 2000 Final Destination.
What if the two were nearly one in the same?
We got in touch with Final Destination creator Jeffrey Reddick (@jeffreyareddick) who had a shocking never-before-seen relic to share exclusively with Bloody Disgusting readers.
Dated 1994, Reddick has made available (exclusive to Bloody Disgusting) the unused script for his “X-Files” pitch, ‘Flight 180.’
“I was really exciting to find it on old floppy disc,” Reddick tells us. “I typed it in Word…since we didn’t have the luxury of Final Draft back then.
“It’s definitely fun to read…but I wrote it over 20 years ago, so I read some of it and cringed a little,” he added, explaining that as a screenwriter “You get better as you get older.”
‘Flight 180’ was written as a spec for an agent as “The X-Files” was Reddick’s favorite show at the time.
“I decided to use the basic concept of people cheating Death as the catalyst,” said Reddick, “But when you write a spec for a series, you want to follow the framework of the show and go deeper. So, I had Scully’s brother have the premonition, which made the story more personal. I won’t spoil the rest, but for the spec script, the concept isn’t front and center, it’s more about Scully, Mulder and her relationship with her brother.
“But when I decided to write it as a feature [Final Destination], I made the story all about the concept. And tweaked it.”
Reddick continues: “I think fans will be most interested in seeing how the kernel of the concept started in 1994. Death worked differently in this version. Since Mulder and Scully had the believer/skeptic relationship, I had to keep Death vague enough, but clear enough, to fit the concept and investigation in to a one-hour show.
“But it’s interesting to see how this kernel evolved in to the original draft of Flight 180 in 1997 – and finally the finished version of the 2000 Final Destination.”
While talking to Reddick, he revealed he’s been carrying some frustration for the past 15 years. Here, he clears the air about rumors that Final Destination was inspired by the real life crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996.
“The biggest misconception about the original spec script is the one that has bothered me the most… When the movie came out in 2000, a lot of reviewers said the story was inspired by the real life crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996. I got flack for that,” Reddick explained, “but I actually wrote this in 1994. I do think the director may have used news footage from the crash in the film, so that’s where that rumor came from.”
So, without further adieu, here’s the spec script for ‘Flight 180’ (Reddick notes that this was never submitted to the show, but was expanded into a feature at the interest of New Line executive Mark Kaufman.)