Being famous and powerful in film and TV production ain't all it's cracked up to be. You might known Brian Koppelman for his work on Billions, but his family knows him as Brian Who Works In Hollywood. Koppelman probably gets pitched every fifteen minutes when he's at a family reunion, and also when he's at Starbucks, or walking the dog, or basically anywhere a person with a bold idea and no boundaries can approach him. But some of these encounters are much worse than others, as he shared on Twitter recently.
I'm in a doctor's waiting room (nothing bad, routine check up), so I will tell you a true story about a man who would stop at nothing to pitch me his movie idea. (If I get called to appointment, I will have to stop, but will finish later.) Ready? No. You're not. I promise.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
When Koppelman says we're not ready to read this tale, he's not lying. It's a doozy.
It begins just after Koppelan's mother passed away (many years ago). He was already pretty successful. His family lived not far away, so he returned to their home on Long Island to be with his dad and sisters. The rest of their family didn't live far either, so it wasn't long before everyone descended on the house.
1) So this begins the day my mother died. I got the call from my sisters and drove out to my parents house on long island. When I got there, my dad, sisters and I hugged and cried and all the stuff you do. And then, wonderfully, friends and family began showing up. https://t.co/a2PQbgMjXC— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
2) Now, my dad and mom had been married 40+ years. Since they were very young. We were a close family. My mom's death really sucked for all of us. My dad is a super strong person with a ton of internal fortitude. But I was still worried about how my dad would handle the day.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
Koppelman tried to stick by his dad's side, because even though it's great to have loved ones close in times of grief, it can also be kind of overwhelming. They ended up taking a break together on the porch, sitting quietly and alone. ALONE.
3) So I stuck with him. And as the people began piling into the house, and the noise level rose, and it all became a bit much, I saw it was getting to him. And then I saw he was heading to the front steps to sit in his favorite chair, just outside the front door.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
4) I followed. And sat in the chair next to him. This is how he and my mom sat all the time. When you'd drive to see them, and pull up, 90% of the time, that's where they'd be. So this was sad but nice. The two of us, in the evening air, just sitting, silently, together.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
But then Allen entered the scene.
6) And it was a great escape from the madness inside. There were sat. Thinking. Breathing. Absorbing. My mom had died 4 hours earlier. Hold onto that as I get to the good part.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
7) The door behind us opens. I feel a presence standing there. Hovering. Right behind my dad, the new widower, and me, the guy who just lost his mom. And I can feel it isn't my sisters or someone there to offer support, you know...— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
8) Out of the corner of my eye, I see it's the father of one of my brother's in law (now ex). This man and I are not close. I keep looking straight ahead. I don't say hello. I hope that as a human person, he will recognize the situation, the intimate and private situation.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
Allen! We all have an Allen in our lives—someone with absolutely no sense or propriety or appropriate behavior. Though this was obviously a terrible, terrible time to talk to Koppelman, Allen was on a mission. He had... a movie idea.
10) And then I hear it. "Hey, Brian, not for nothing, but I got a humdinger of a movie idea."— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
"Not now Allen."
"But it's a really good idea."
"NOT NOW ALLEN"
"Okay. Your loss."
And he goes back inside.
(It gets better)
Koppelman mannaged to chase Allen away, but not for long. He would not be deterred.
11) So he leaves. My dad, whose neck had gotten as red as a fire truck, exhales, and we keep sitting there. Then we go back inside. As soon as I hit the door, the guy is on me again.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
And Allen was convinced his movie idea was pure gold. It had to be shared, no matter how bad the timing.
12) "It's just this is a once in a lifetime idea. And if I don't tell you, none of us profits. But if I do, you could really make out. And I could make out too."— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
Understand, that even as I wanted to hit him, I knew this was one of the best things ever, and I'd tell it for years.
13) so I say: “Allan, look, man, this is crazy. My mom just died. I can’t listen to your idea.”— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
And he says:
“Yeah. Ok. But when. This is my one chance to tell you before it’s too late.”
So I say: at the end of the shiva”*
*Jewish version of wake. Takes 3 days.
Koppelman asked Allen to give him three days as the family sat Shiva, and Allen took it seriously. He waited three days to the second before trying to pitch again.
14) so for 3 days he keeps eyeing me. Watching me. Following me. Almost speaks. Doesn’t. Then...— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
15) at the end of the last day, a Rabbi friend of my dad’s came over and led us in a ritual walk around the house that closed out the shiva. We walked, all of us, 3 times, which was emotional. The end of this mourning moment. And so we were hugging, and talking and remembering.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
16) and then, as I break a hug w my little sister, I feel a gross hand on my shoulder. And I turn. And there he is.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
Allen was so eager, but not so eager that he wasn't looking out for his money. He knew his idea would bring in cash and he wanted protection for his intellectual property.
17) “Now?”— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
“Okay, Allan, now.”
“If you weren’t family, I’d get ya to sign a non disclosure first, you know? To protect myself. “
Also, his eyes are funny and don’t look at you, really, and that’s true and @jennyhutt will confirm (not her ex father in law).
18)”allan, you have 5 seconds.”— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
“Ok. Here goes. You ready? And you gotta cut me in on it.”
Here's the humdinger of an idea:
19) “...The idea is: Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. Superheroes.”— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 6, 2018
“That’s the idea? The humdinger?”
“Yeah. Good, right?”
“Allan, you go talk to them, their rights, I’ll make the movie.”
Have a good morning folks. That story is #100% true.
I mean, I would watch that movie. But I think it needs to be fleshed out? And also, I'm betting Tiger Woods is a terrible actor? And also they probably would not agree to it ever?
Koppelman wanted to be clear that Allen is not a terrible person. Just a goofy one.
And he did give Koppelman a great story in the end—he just didn't know it would be about himself.