Aging hacker gets out of prison and plots an act of sabotage to impress a Dutch hacker chick and reclaim his status as the terror of the Internet.

JOSH LEOPOLD is a "Kevin Mitnick"-style twisted genius who did six years in prison for his now-legendary attacks on U.S. government systems, major corporations and global financial institutions. Josh even spent a year in solitary because of fears that he could use a pay phone or other electronic communications device to wreak havoc. Josh's nickname was Grizzly because of a rumor that he had planted hibernating viruses within defense and military systems that he would one day awaken. Josh, now older and "rehabilitated," discovers that the world has changed since he went in. He is no longer "bleeding edge" and is largely forgotten except as "where are they now?" trivia. His mother died of cancer while he was in prison and his father blames Josh for shortening her life. He has to live with his father and his brilliant idealistic sister Jonquil who still believes in Josh. Despite his prison term and loss of stature, Josh is still idolized by a nest of hackers in Amsterdam, who spend their time making mischief and asserting their political agenda. Josh still suffers with his Asperger's awkwardness and OCD, but he has a crush on the hacker chick, SOPHIE, who flirts and manipulates him, but is really trying to get money from him to come to America.

Josh is seething with frustrated ambition and the need to prove himself. He is disgruntled that other hackers are grabbing the limelight. He feels he gets no respect. When he learns that his father had manipulated a low-level job for him with a friend, he loses all self-respect. He is desperate to show that he is still the most brilliant and dangerous hacker out there.

Meanwhile, Sophie sends Josh fake mash notes and sexy videos of herself and her buddies, all of which Josh, with his linear, literal mind, takes very seriously. Sophie maintains a “romance” via texting, email and webcam, and Josh becomes increasingly obsessed with her. SOPHIE is pretty, careless and promiscuous and her Dutch hacker boyfriend, REX, disapproves of her leading Josh on, but goes along with it. When Josh discovers she is screwing Rex, he decides he is going to impress her with an act of sweeping, headline-grabbing cyber-terrorism that cannot fail to win her over.

While the rest of the world seems to have forgotten Josh, one of the cops who pursued him for years and finally arrested him, is not so sure that Josh has reformed. GUS DUNCAN, although he is now retired, insists on shadowing and keeping tabs on Josh.

Gus takes a lot of ribbing for this, and friends remind him that he should be playing golf and relaxing in his golden years. But Gus is convinced that he knows Josh better than anybody in the world, and he suspects that Josh is going to do something extremely dangerous one of these days...

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Starring Roles For:
Ethan Hawke
Jesse Eisenberg
Carey Mulligan
In the Vein Of:
Red Eye
Andromeda Strain
Skeleton Key
Author Bio:
I’m a fiction writer and a produced screenwriter. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English.

My first novel, a suspense thriller called The Remnant, was recently accepted for publication. My dystopian novel, Twisted Fate, is currently with agents Janklow & Nesbit in NY. I have a collection of short stories coming out with Adelaide Press in July (if the pandemic doesn't affect the schedule).

I wrote the feature film, Murder in Fashion, about the murder of designer Gianni Versace, which played at theatres and festivals and was reviewed in the NY Times and L.

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