A soldier fighting in Vietnam is blackmailed by US Government agents into assassinating anti-establishment rock stars Jim Hendrix, Jim Morrison and John Lennon.
Ooooh… that’s sparked my interest.
In a plot involving blackmail, it’s essential you tell us what’s on the table. What does he lose if he doesn’t?
Is there any truth to this? Conspiracy theory? Or your own original idea?
There is most definitely a story here and a strong hook! I wonder though, if it would be stronger if we followed an FBI agent/journalist in charge of investigating the murders and he starts uncovering the conspiracy. It could potentially be a dual protagonist story but going into it knowing who the killer is and that he is being blackmailed by the government takes away a huge chunk of story. By the end of Act I, the soldier would begin his assassinations… where does the story go from here? Instead, imagine it starts with the FBI agent investigating the death of Jimi Hendrix and he has no idea what’s going on. But something fishy is going on. Then Jim Morrison turns up dead too….! Then we get this “All the President’s Men” style investigation. Lots of shady dealings, drip fed information. But the case goes quiet until 1980 when John Lennon dies. Suddenly the investigation picks back up. All this is interspersed with a story about the soldier that gradually reveals his situation and the blackmail. Only for the soldier to be assassinated too at the end of Act II.
Over 10 years, an ambitious journalist investigates the deaths of anti-establishment rock stars Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and John Lennon, uncovering a huge government conspiracy as he searches for the lone assassin and undeniable proof.
This has David Fincher all over it!
The logline is listed as an historical genre story. In historical genre stories, the plot is based upon or inspired by real events, by real people.
Did US agents actually blackmail a soldier to assassinate anti-war celebrities? (And that is the more relevant way of tagging the targets. The context of the story world is the Vietnam war . These celebrities weren’t just anti-establishment, they were antiwar.) And what kind of “agents” were they, FBI , CIA or…?
If the story is not founded upon an actual historical character and incident, then it should be listed in another (fictional) genre category such as drama or action.
And why would the government guys have to resort to blackmailing someone (a negative incentive) when there were plenty of gungho, pro-war soldiers who would be all to willing (positive incentive) to target anti-war celebrities? And after all, the carrot is a more effective and reliable incentive than a stick.