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How teaching English in China led 'The Wall' screenwriter to his big Hollywood break

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John Cena, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Doug Liman and Dwain Worrell at a Q&A following the premiere of "The Wall."
The Wall Movie (Facebook)
John Cena, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Doug Liman and Dwain Worrell at a Q&A following the premiere of "The Wall."

Dwain Worrell was teaching English in China when he submitted a screenplay through Amazon's open submission site. Weeks later he was headed back to the US with a movie deal in hand.

It's a harsh Hollywood reality that many aspiring screenwriters never end up getting their big break.

Like many before him, Dwain Worrell shared a longing to make movies. Only he was working in China— more than 6,000 miles from Los Angeles— with no connections in the entertainment industry. 

Now his film "The Wall" starring John Cena and  Aaron Taylor-Johnson is in theaters. It's the first movie that Amazon Studios has produced through its open submission site:

Set in 2007, “The Wall” is about two U.S. Army rangers who have been sent to investigate a sniper attack in Iraq. They believe the enemy shooter has left the area, but they are mistaken. The two are quickly wounded and pinned down, with a small wall offering the only protection between safety and death. The film was directed by Doug Liman, who made the first "Jason Bourne" film.

When Dwain Worrell joined us on The Frame, we asked him about how living in China affected his writing and how the online submission form at Amazon Studios changed his life.

Interview Highlights

So how did you first get connected to Amazon Studios?

And what were you doing in China at the time?
So you submit through Amazon Studios' online submission system, and then how long does it take to hear back about your script?
What was the initial germ of the idea for this story?
A couple years ago, you were teaching English in China. Now you've got "The Wall" coming out and you're working on "Iron Fist," so it sounds like things have changed about 180 degrees in a very quick amount of time.
To hear the full interview, click the blue player above.
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