Saturday, March 19, 2022

Middle Grade Ninja Episode 157: Authors Don Handfield and Joshua Malkin

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Don Handfield, Joshua Malkin, and I talk about the differences between writing screenplays and collaborating to write a graphic novel, such as their newest, UNIKORN. We talk about acting with Robert Duvall, getting around lawsuits from McDonalds for THE FOUNDER, persevering to make KNIGHTFALL, being a videogame architect, guest staring on SAVED BY THE BELL: THE NEW CLASS, a potential rift in time/between universes, ghost hunting, and so much more.

Don is the co-creator of History Channel's drama series Knightfall and produced The Founder, starring Michael Keaton, and Kill The Messenger, starring two-time Academy-Award nominated actor Jeremy Renner. Don also wrote and directed the Saturn Award-winning film Touchback starring Kurt Russell and Christine Lahti. His first comic series The Rift was produced by Steven Spielberg/Amblin Entertainment as an episode for the upcoming Apple reboot of Amazing Stories. His second series, The Mall, was optioned by Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) for development into a TV show. Don was named one of the top new faces of independent film by Filmmaker Magazine and has written screenplays or produced films for all the major studios.

Joshua has written feature projects for Sony, Warner Brothers, Cross Creek Entertainment, Universal Pictures as well as for more than a dozen production companies, both big and small. These include: an adaptation of the 80's cult franchise Beastmaster, a supernatural thriller for Australian company See Films and a “re-boot” of the franchise Buck Rogers In the 25th Century. He also wrote and produced three documentaries: two about the art of puppetry, and the other about underground comics. In 2008, his screenplay Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever completed production for Lionsgate. He is currently developing an animated family film for Intrigue Entertainment, a horror movie for Traveling Picture Show, and a TV series for showrunner Jonathan Glassner (Outer Limits, Stargate SG-1.) Joshua is a professor of screenwriting at the University of California Riverside, a story architect for the video game industry, and the proud father of twins.

A middle schooler inherits an old horse from her long lost mother she believes is a unicorn with a broken horn in this heartfelt coming-of-age story of hope, faith and magic. 


Young Mae lost her mother in a tragic accident a few years back, although mother's body was never recovered from the raging river into which their car crashed. Mae is devastated because her father, now that enough time has elapsed for proof of death, must sell off his wife's farm, along with her wild stallion Percy, who seems dangerous to anyone who comes near him. However, when Mae realizes that Percy is really a unicorn with amazing powers, she teams with a group of her young friends to save the creature from an age old billionaire who sustains his life through unicorn blood -- and who is now determined to get Percy in his clutches. But unless Mae can find Percy's missing unicorn horn, and restore the full extent of his magical powers, it appears that he is doomed -- unless Mae can pull off a last-minute miracle to save Percy from a terrible fate...

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