I have had several people reach out to me over the past weeks about an upcoming movie titled, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Some have asked if it is based on my book, Scouts of the Apocalypse. Some have asked if I’m going to go after the studio for stealing my idea.
I have long known that ideas were the easy part of the story. Everyone has ideas about things all the time. It is the execution of the idea that makes it both unique and valuable.
Since I first told the story of Scouts of the Apocalypse around the campfire and then podcast it I have seen evidence of several similar ideas. Scouts having zombie camps seems to be a popular one. In fact, during the World Scout Jamboree I traded one of my books for a Zombie Camp t-shirt.
Are these copycats of my book? Are they inspired by my book or are they simply coincidental?
For the sake of my ego, I’m going to believe my book inspired them all. 🙂
Now, back to the movie.
I’ve seen a trailer for the movie. A first glance it has nothing in common with my book…except Scouts and zombies, of course. In fact, and this has nothing to do with sour grapes, I’m not sure this is a movie I want to see.
The Scouts are presented as the outcast element of society – misunderstood losers who everyone hates. Not the Scouts I know to be sure. Then there is the gratuitous nudity and violence.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no prude. But this is nothing more than another in a long line of movies where the outcasts save the day and become heroes. Think about The Goonies, Revenge of the Nerds and so on. Just with Scouts this time.
Is one take on this idea better than the other? I would say, “No.” Some people will prefer one and some will prefer the other. My only suggestion is to try out both to decide for yourself. At the very least the exercise will show you how much a simple idea can be executed differently.