Family & Companions
This screenwriter and his partner, Larry Karaszewski, struggled through several unsuccessful projects before hitting gold with self-described "weirdo biopics" of director Ed Wood Jr. and porn king Larry Flynt.
Born and raised in Southern California, Scott Alexander began shooting Super-8mm films as a teenager, becoming in his own words, the "Joseph Levine-Ed Wood of Palisades High." While attending film school at USC, he met Karaszewski whom he discovered also shared his love for low rent horror films like those of Herschell Gordon Lewis. While an undergrad, Alexander began a script about porn publisher Larry Flynt but it was a senior project written in tandem with Karaszewski that helped them become established in the industry. Within two weeks of graduating in 1986, the pair sold their first spec screenplay, a crime comedy called "Homewreckers," to 20th Century-Fox for $300,000. Although it was never made, it provided a calling card for the duo. In the meantime, Alexander wrote and directed an episode of the syndicated series "Monsters" (1988), and did some directing for Nickelodeon and MTV. The writing partners then sold Universal a script for a dark "Bad Seed" comedy. The result, however, was "Problem Child" (1990), re-written by others into a cloying and critically-panned film. The two reluctantly agreed to co-write the sequel, imaginatively called "Problem Child 2" (1991), which turned out to be even worse.
While there were other projects that didn't reach fruition or went through the Hollywood mill of rewrites, Alexander and Karaszewski turned their focus to the man generally considered as one of the world's worst directors. The result was "Ed Wood" (1994), an odd, touching and warped biopic directed with care by Tim Burton. Their script managed to both laugh at and with Wood and also depicted a haunting Bela Lugosi (played by Martin Landau in an Oscar-winning turn). Burton asked them to work on his next feature, the big-budget "Mars Attacks!" (1996), but their efforts went unrecognized when the Writers Guild denied them credit.
With the critical success of "Ed Wood," though, the duo was able to sell an even more subversive biopic, "The People vs. Larry Flynt" (1996), produced by Oliver Stone and directed by Milos Forman. Described by the writers as "Frank Capra with porn," the film took an outrageously vile character and made him a hero of sorts. As in "Ed Wood," the script provided strong roles for Woody Harrelson (as Flynt), Courtney Love (as Flynt's wife, Althea) and Edward Norton (as Flynt's attorney). The duo went on to co-write and co-direct the Norm McDonald comedy "Screwed" (2000), which spent more than two years in post-production and underwent several name changes. The end results, though, failed to impress critics or audiences. Alexander and Karaszewski, however, enjoyed kudos for their script "Man on the Moon" (1999), which Milos Forman directed. Another in their series of biographical dramas about eccentric characters--in this case comedian Andy Kaufman--the film proved their strengths perhaps lay in that genre. As such, the pair have been attached to film versions of the lives of other showbiz oddballs ranging from Liberace to Groucho Marx to the disco group, the Village People.
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Within two weeks of graduating from college, sold first spec script "Homewreckers" to 20th Century Fox for $300,0000
TV writing debut, an episode of the syndicated series "Monsters"; also directed an episode
First produced screenplay, "Problem Child"; co-written with Larry Karaszewski
Had first critical hit with "Ed Wood", directed by Tim Burton; co-written with Karaszewski
Won critical and popular acclaim with the controversial "The People vs. Larry Flynt", directed by Milos Forman; co-penned with Karaszewski
Co-wrote the screenplay for the remake of Disney's "That Darn Cat"; credited as S M Alexander
With Karaszewski, made co-directorial debut with "Screwed", also co-scripted (released theatrically in 2000)
Pair reteamed with Forman to script biopic of Andy Kaufman "Man on the Moon"
Co-wrote the teen adventure, "Agent Cody Banks"
With Karaszewski, adapted a Stephen King short story called "1408"