The pitch: To create a movie (based on a concept from the existing French movie, ‘Jean-Philippe’) in which Bruce Springsteen would play himself as a part of a new, wholly-compelling narrative.
Logline: A die-hard Springsteen fan wakes up in a world where Bruce Springsteen never made it as a rock star.
Synopsis: Jack is a prototypical modern young man living in Los Angeles; he has a steady but unfulfilling job, a crush on the girl living across the hall and a comfortable, if dull, social life. The only thing that gets him through from day to day is his love of all things Bruce Springsteen. He listens to his music constantly, collects Bruce Springsteen memorabilia and, on the weekends, sings lesser-known Springsteen songs to an apathetic crowd at a dive bar karaoke. Coming home one evening from such a night, he gets into an altercation with a large, tough-looking homeowner who objects to Jack’s singing Thunder Road at the top of his lungs at two in the morning. The homeowner punches Jack, knocking him out.
Jack wakes on his couch with a black eye and a headache. He starts his day as normal but quickly realizes that something strange has happened. His memorabilia is gone, all his music has been wiped off of his devices and no one he talks to has heard of Bruce Springsteen. After a series of misfortunes he is forced into the realization that in this world Bruce Springsteen — the rock star — does not exist. After a frantic search of the internet and social media, in which he learns that electronic pop has filled the vacuum left by Springsteen’s music, Jack tracks down Bruce Fredrick Joseph Springsteen in a small working town in Jersey. He buys a plane ticket, convinces his best friend to join him, and flies out to discover what happened in this past to deprive the world of Springsteen’s rock.
Bruce (playing himself) is wary, but after Jack reveals an astounding knowledge of his early life, he invites Jack for a drink. Over the course of their conversation it becomes apparent that in this reality Bruce got his high school girlfriend pregnant and had to drop out of school in order to support his new family. He never began playing on the bar circuit and never wrote his iconic songs. Jack convinces Bruce to start playing again (Bruce kept up the guitar with what little time he had not working) and they get a gig playing at a bar. Meanwhile Jack (who became moderately musical in order to emulate his hero), begins to transcribe some of Bruce’s most famous songs. The newly-formed band begins to get some traction but comes up against a few seemingly impossible-to-overcome obstacles (such as there being no market in this time and reality for rock music and a certain shyness that Bruce developed in his private life). Eventually, after a series of lucky and improbable breaks, Bruce finds himself opening for one of the few true music stars left. After an initial bout of stage fright and an uncertain response from the audience (who have never heard his brand of music) Bruce electrifies the stadium with a thunderous performance. He is recognised for what he is and begins to impart his music to the world once again. Jack finds a fulfilling role as a manager of up-and-coming musicians and wins the love of his beautiful neighbour.
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