The Last Thunk
COMEDY SATIRE FUNNY
WOLF OF WALL STREET, MAD MEN, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
• PAUL CAVANAUGH: 30S. LEAD. AMBITIOUS AND PERSISTENT.
• MITCH BLAKE: 30S. PAUL'S BOSS, IDOL, AND EVENTUAL ANTAGONIST.
• DIANE: 30S. PAUL'S WIFE.
• SIMON: 40S. JOHN'S BOSS WHO WANTS TO HIRE PAUL.
• PAIGE: 30S. MITCH'S ASSISTANT AND PAUL'S FRIEND.
Inspired by a true big-budget magazine flop at the home of Vogue and Vanity Fair, The Last Thunk is the comedic story of one man's plot to take down a star publishing executive. Think "The Devil Wears Prada" of the advertising side of magazines.
Target Gender: Universal
New York City
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: with a Publisher
Publisher: Greenpoint Press
Year Published: 2018
It's 2007 at glitzy Carlyle Nash. Star Publisher Mitch Blake has just launched World Magazine with a bloated $120 million budget. Paul Cavanaugh, his marketing director, is quietly losing his grip as the magazine struggles. Fearing for his job, he steals an object which could destroy Mitch.
After a boardroom meltdown and an attempt to destroy Mitch via a tabloid writer, Paul edges closer to giving the object (a beach ball) to Simon Bell, Mitch's nefarious corporate rival. His conscience saves him. Also resolved is a love triangle involving Paul, his wife, and a vibrant new love.
Information not completed
Hard Copy Available
Mature Audience Themes
Plot - Other Elements
Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Twist
Plot - Premise
Internal Journey/Rebirth,Rebellion Against 'The One',Other
Main Character Details
Name: Paul Cavanaugh
Age: Late twenties to thirties
Key Traits: Aspiring,Complex,Crazy,Engaging,Insecure,Underdog,Funny,Sarcastic,Charming
Additional Character Details
Name: Mitch Blake
Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Heartthrob,Educated,Leader,Masculine,Power Hungry,Skillful,Visionary,Secretive,Sophisticated,Manipulative,Lone Wolf
Additional Character Details
Name: Simon Bell
Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Confident,Crazy,Engaging,Greedy,Insecure,Leader,Masculine,Villainous,Narcisstic,Sexy,Power Hungry,Outspoken,Skillful,Funny,Secretive,Seductive,Sophisticated,Manipulative,Unapologetic
Additional Character Details
Name: Emily Frazier
Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Sexy,Funny,Romantic,Seductive
Like "The Devil Wears Prada," THE LAST THUNK is inspired by the glamorous world of Conde Nast Magazines--home to Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, and The New Yorker (which also plays a part as the fictitious Bellwether Magazine). It's a world which consumers and filmgoers have always been intrigued by. The dialogue-rich story combines humor, romance, drama, and personal redemption, and has won raves from readers and critics. It was named a Best Book of the Week by The New York Post, was awarded the Gold Medal for Comedy by the National Indie Excellence Awards, and won a Bronze Medal in the Foreword Magazine INDIES.
Paul Cavanaugh will do anything for the appreciation of his boss, Mitch Blake. His loyalty gets tested, however, as it takes a toll on his personal life and he starts to see cracks in the facade at the top. Inspired by a true big-budget magazine flop at the home of Vogue and Vanity Fair.
What We Liked
- This is a very contemporary story about the downfall of the print industry as well as corporate greed and the false idol mentality that can come with a high pressure job;
- This story is relatable to anyone struggling under the current corporate system;
- As a film this would be like a funnier, less glamorous Wolf of Wall Street--people will want to watch these powerful men hit their breaking point;
- This would be a modern, funnier Mad Men--people would tune in every week for the schadenfreude of watching Paul deal with his bosses as well as to watch the drama of the corporate politics scene unfold;
- Timely and funny.
Paul Cavanaugh tracks his career in print magazine marketing from the early 2000s to 2007, right before the market crashed. Paul first started working for the magazine Bellwether under the supervision of John, a day drinker with a “work hard play hard” mentality, but Paul was always curious about Mitch Blake, Carlyle Nash's golden boy executive who seemed to be on the rise. When Mitch Blake takes over at Bellwether, John can see the end is near for him there, and encourages Paul to go with him to work at another Carlyle Nash magazine under Mitch Blake's foe, Simon, but Paul has his heart set on staying at Bellwether and winning over the new guy.
Tensions grow between Paul and his wife Diane, as he consistently chooses his job over her and their young son, Aidan. He works hard to prove himself to Mitch Blake and eventually follows him to their new magazine, World. Mitch promises his team a day off if they can beat the previous record for ad pages set by Simon, and the team delivers. Despite bad buzz about World magazine starting in the press, Mitch sets another high goal for the second issue - he starts giving the employees beach balls - representing days off for good performance - with “incentive cards” attached, and a frenzy starts at the office. The problem? The magazine isn’t doing that well, so there’s no way he can afford giving everybody that kind of incentive. He’s just using the team.
A few days later, Paige, Mitch's assistant and Paul's friend, is desperately trying to track down the beach balls. She tells Paul that there was a product recall. To pacify Paige, Paul grabs a beach ball from a pregnant woman on leave who left her ball at the office, and sees the incentive card. He realizes that Mitch doesn't care about the balls, and probably just wants the incentive cards back, so he doesn’t have to reward every single card holder. He’s been lying about the magazine’s situation all along.
Paul's uncle dies, and Paul is distraught, but chooses to skip the funeral so that he can go to an "offsite" retreat for work. At the offsite, crumbling from the pressure of work and his personal life falling apart, Paul has a public mental breakdown. Paul devises a plan to expose the beach ball and Mitch's failures to the publishers. Paul rekindles his relationship with Diane and learns to balance his life better.