Petition asks Henry Simmons to read prison screenplay

More than 2000 women sign petition demanding a firm commitment from  Henry Simmons (film producer) to read screenplay addressing Texas judicial system

Henry Simmons asked to read prison screenplay

Henry Simmons – Talent Agents
– Actor, Producer – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013), No Good Deed (2014), NYPD Blue (1993), Taxi (2004) – Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), Dan Baron – Artists First, E. Brian Dobbins


Henry Simmons & Adam Sandler’s film company targeted by Texas petition

Will Hollywood just rollover and let prisoner’s suffer?


Henry Simmons

More than 2000 women have signed an open letter to Adam Sandler calling on Henry Simmons and Hollywood to take “movie action” to tackle injustice against men and women in the wake of revelations that Texas has more prisoners incarcerated than the Soviet Union’s gulag system had. Texas currently has over 290,000 inmates housed at 580 facilities.

The signatories, including state senators, professors of criminal justice, social workers, family, and inmates, call for a “firm commitment” to tackle the unjust prisons in Texas. The petition has also been signed by Beto O’Rourke, and Matthew McConaughey. These two signatories might face each other in the 2022 Texas governors election. Both have expressed interest in the job.  The petitions arrived for Henry Simmons at Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), Dan Baron last week.

In the open letter to Henry Simmons, the 2080 women write that they are “heartbroken for first-time drug offenders many times addicts who have received extremely harsh sentences in Texas when rehabilitation has proven a cheaper and more effective solution.”  The petition goes on to say their family and friends are often heartbroken for and looking for redemption and rehabilitation for the victimless drug crimes.”

The signatories, including attorneys, professors, politicians, family members, and inmates, call on Henry Simmons for a ‘firm film commitment’ to tackle the issue of operating the Texas prison system for profit.

The petition came to light when women discovered the screenplay, a copy which was dontated to all 580 of the state’s prison and jail libraries. The existence of the petition surfaced on International Women’s Day. Women in Texas face extreme prejudice in Texas and often receive extremely harsh penalties for even a small amount of drugs, including marijuana. Marijuana is legal now in 21 states.

Inside prisons, the women are faced with such horrendous conditions… the petition demands that “filmmakers begin to take the issue seriously.”  Also, the petition reminds that “even here in the USA in the 21st century citizens are not safe from government oppression.”

Actor, Producer, Henry Simmons, has not responded to the petition. Nor has Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), Dan Baron responded with a comment.

Alan Nafzger Alan Nafzger/caption]

The screenplayDumbass” was penned by writer and retired professor of political science Alan Nafzger.

The premise of the story is that,Adam Sandler writes letters and saves numerous women from the monotony of prison life, and later when he gets into trouble with a drug cartel they return the favor by rescuing him.”

The film would be set in contemporary, Gatesville Texas. There are four women’s prisons located in Gatesville. And of course, Texas is famous for putting everyone in prison for a long sentences for little or no reason. The number of women in Texas prisons has tripled in the last ten years, as mass incarcerations have proven profitable to not only the state but also profitable for an array of business interests.

Writer Alan Nafzger has called on Governor Greg Abbott to, “end the prison industry.”

Recently, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak spoke out against the Texas system and put a good word in for mercy and forgiveness out on social media. “How nice for those who have lived such exemplary lives that they can express glee when others have their lives ruined by a mistake, real or perceived,” Sajak tweeted last month.

During the winter’s deep freeze, the The Marshall Project, exposed the horrible prison conditions, “Inside Frigid Texas Prisons: Broken Toilets, Disgusting Food, Few Blankets.”

The petition states, “Why don’t we have the ‘Adam Sandler’ character… sending letters to women in prison and being their friend and trying to help them adjust, giving them hope… and when they get out of prison he picks them up so they don’t have to ride the smelly bus back home… but his pickup truck is a junker, smoking and sputtering … worse than the bus. But his heart is in the right place… He’s the last “chivalrous” man on earth.”

Henry Simmons has not commented on the script, thus far. A statement is expected soon.

Professor Nafzger has made a short treatment of the project available online.

He has made the finished script available at for select filmmakers.

Adam Sandler of Happy Madison Productions has expressed interest in the screenplay.

Henry Simmons is a Actor, Producer known for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013), No Good Deed (2014), NYPD Blue (1993), Taxi (2004) and is represented by Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), Dan Baron.

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Doesn’t the screenwriter have 30 pages to grab the reader’s interest? What happened to the 30-page setup? Here’s what the First Ten Pages either make or break your script really means:

But wait a minute…

There’s a huge misconception among aspiring screenwriters that producers or Hollywood readers read an entire script. This misconception is because writers believe the party reading the script is obligated to do coverage. This is true for union-backed studios and studio production companies, but that’s it. There are only five major studios in town each with a different number of contracted companies. Outside of this are roughly around 900+ independent production companies. It’s far more likely that a spec script from an unknown writer would be purchased outside the studio system by one of the independent companies. While many of these companies do coverage on requested material, many do NOT. Case in point: I was asked to read for a production company that makes 5-7 feature films a year. I arrived for the scheduled one day of work and was taken to a room with a stack of roughly 40 scripts. Even Hercules couldn’t read 40 scripts in a day. The company didn’t have any specific criteria they were seeking. What they said was ‘If the first ten pages grab you, then pass it on to the producer”. This might seem grossly unfair, but I can speak from experience when I say – and I bet producers will agree with me – that I can tell if a script works in the first ten pages 100% of the time! So if the stack is 40-deep, why should time be wasted? Either the writer grabs the reader or he doesn’t.



John Truby, in his story structure workshops and his excellent book: The Anatomy of Story, talks about creating a four-point opposition, and the Belloq/Toht/Dietrich/Hitler hierarchy is a good example of how that works.