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Second Story Man

I love thieves. I always have. Some writers love cops, some love mobsters, some love grifters. Some even love the muscle, the bruisers. For me it's always been thieves, so-called "cat burglars" in specific.

To Catch a Thief. It Takes a Thief. The Italian Job. Mission: Impossible. Thief. The Getaway (BOTH versions). Both Thomas Crown Affairs. Oceans 11 and 8. Catwoman (comics version). Robin Hood. And, oh, yes, LEVERAGE.

It's just possible the PROWLER was my first, my gateway thief. I've loved this character since I was a kid. Not because he's black - at least not consciously. I wasn't registering "race" that way or, really, at all when I was eight. But representation does actually matter so it's possible it was a factor here. Whatever. Hobie Brown, the Prowler is my lodestone, my True North. My guy.

I just loved how Hobie was smart, driven and, without ANY super-powers, able to roll with the big boys like Spidey.

He's had a lot of chances over the years and, for the most part, I've liked every one (except when some writer played him as a joke character. That crap used to boil my blood. ) For some reason none of those attempts ever caught fire.

Don't blame me. I did my bit. I bought the books. Even when I didn't exactly agree with the current spin, I still grabbed them up because THAT IS MY GUY.

Somewhere in the Before Time, between the beautiful glory that was BLADE 1 & II (we don't talk about BLADE III in this house) and the paradigm shift that was IRON MAN I, I got it in my head that what the Prowler really needed was his own TV series. So I wrote one. The pilot and a bible. FULL DISCLOSURE: During this same period, MARVEL COMICS had opened one of its incredibly rare windows where ANYONE could submit series pitches and, yep, I took a run at the Prowler. This run made it pretty far up the editorial food chain before, OF COURSE, the program was discontinued and the window slammed shut. This is how my life works. Mostly a bridesmaid, almost never-

Good writers are hoarders. We hold and store every idea, rejected or not, decent or not, because some time, some where, something from that notion can be recycled or cannibalized.

Transferring my original notion for the Prowler comic book series into the Prowler TV series was cake. All the heavy lifting had already been done. So I wrote it. It was one of my first TV scripts and, while it didn't sell, it got me some meetings and a lot of conversation but, like its comic book iteration, didn't go the distance. Maybe that was due to the script (it's definitely got flaws that I'd correct the hell out of now) or maybe it was me (there were precisely zero superhero series created and run by a black person about black superheroes at that time or at any time prior. and this one isn't played for laughs.)

Whatever. This version of the Prowler is dead (I've got better ideas now.) so I thought it was safe for a gander. Here is who you should picture playing these parts because this is who I pictured during the quick edit/polish I just did to make it presentable.

Meet the Browns. Hobie (Aldis Hodge). Mindy (Naomie Harris). Abe (Edwin Hodge). Casey (Dascha Polanco). I didn't have any of them in mind when I wrote it but these are the only people I see now. So you should too.

Here are the cops. Captain Priest (Jason Isaacs) and Detective Ramos (Wilmer Valderrama).

And, of course, the sinister representative of the even more sinister and shadowy Corporation.

Mr. Coleman (Mark Pelligrino).

The thesis of the series is pretty straightforward– Men Are Idiots. This version of the Prowler is about a guy who was once the Mozart of cat burglary, had his life shattered by it and is now trying to walk the line for love- of spouse and family- and he is FAILING. It's also a story about adrenaline addiction. And stealing stuff. So, here's the script, straight out of the past.

I still think it's pretty good.

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