Extraordinary Attorney Woo, ENA/Netflix Summary (from Netflix): Attorney Woo (Woo Young-Woo) is an extraordinary attorney who has Autistic Spectrum Disorder. This fact offers her unique perspectives on her cases, but is also limiting.  This Hero’s Journey breakdown is for the first episode of this awesome series. Hero– Woo Young-Woo, the first autistic attorney in the Republic of Korea, a graduate of Seoul, South Korea. She did not speak until she was 5 years old, and when she did speak, it was citing law and criminal code from the mountains of books her father has.  Ordinary World— Woo Young-Woo is hired as brand new rookie attorney at Hanbada law firm. Things about her: She struggles to look people in the eye She must count to three before walking into a room/new space She only eats gimbap (it’s predictable in look and taste) She is passionate about whales Call to Adventure– Young-Woo enters the law firm ready to begin her career, but knowing she …

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It’s fun to revisit a hero in a sequel. This time around, our Hero’s Journey is about Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the hero from Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick. Maverick has a clear Hero’s Journey in both installments. It’s easy to think that the completion of the mission is the climax, or resurrection, in this film, but read the WriterSpark breakdown of The Hero’s Journey.  When you’re done here, check out the Hero’s Journey Database! Hero– Maverick (Top Gun: Maverick), Pete Mitchell Ordinary World— Maverick is part of a program that is going to be shut down because the plane they’re testing didn’t mock 10. Radm. Chester ‘Hammer’ Cain (Ed Harris) arrives to find Maverick in the sky pushing the plane to Mock 10… then Mock 10.1, then 10.2. 10.3. He ejects when the plane tears apart. Maverick is a distinguished pilot, but has remained captain because he is where he belongs. The Navy sees him as a liability and …

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Have you heard of the hero’s journey? It’s at the core of the mythic structure. Here it is for mysteries! The hero’s journey is an incredibly intuitive story structure. It is the Go To for Hollywood screenwriters. I have adapted the Hero’s Journey for mysteries below.  Hero lives in the ORDINARY WORLD CALL TO ADVENTURE REFUSAL OF THE CALL MEETING OF THE MENTOR CROSSING THE THRESHOLD (to some magical or new world, which is entering the (6) ROAD of TRIALS). At this point, there is no return. The hero faces TESTS, ALLIES, & ENEMIES The APPROACH TO THE INMOST CAVE s a huge test for the hero. There are setbacks, but the hero grows stronger as a result. The CENTRAL ORDEAL is the second major turning point. It is a win for the hero. REWARD Whatever the hero has been after has been ostensibly won. THE ROAD BACK The hero has succeeded in the journey (or so he/she thinks) and heads back toward the …

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Charlie, Marry Me (Owen Wilson, with Jennifer Lopez and Meluma) Summary (from IMBD): Music superstars Kat Valdez and Bastian are getting married before a global audience of fans. But when Kat learns, seconds before her vows, that Bastian has been unfaithful, she instead decides to marry Charlie, a stranger in the crowd. Hero– Charlie Gilbert, an school teacher and head of the mathalon (math club and competition) Ordinary World— Charlie is a divorced dad trying to connect with his daughter, Lou, who thinks her stepdad is awesome. To get out of his funk, friend and coworker, Parker (Sarah Silverman), invites him to go to the Kat Valdez concert with her. Charlie does not want to go. He says he has Lou that night. Parker convinces him to go with the line: “Maybe she’ll think you’re fun.”  Call to Adventure–  Charlie goes to the concert. He ends up holding a sign that says “Marry Me”. Unbeknownst to him, Kat has just found …

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Kat Valdez, Marry Me (Jennifer Lopez, with Owen Wilson and Meluma) Summary (from IMBD): Music superstars Kat Valdez and Bastian are getting married before a global audience of fans. But when Kat learns, seconds before her vows, that Bastian has been unfaithful, she instead decides to marry Charlie, a stranger in the crowd. Hero– Kat Valdez, a singing superstar Ordinary World— Kat is set to marry Bastian in front of their legion of fans, but she’s not sure about it. In some ways, se feels she has lost herself. But the wedding plans are set and the concert where 20 million people will watch her sing Marry Me to Bastian, and they take their vows, is set. Call to Adventure–  (15:00) Kat sees people backstage looking at their phones. She knows something is up. She demands Colin give her his phone learns Bastian betrayed her. Refusal of Call– Kat is stunned. She doesn’t know what to do. She stops the concert and …

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Jonah Byrde (Ozark, 2017-2022 with Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hubiltz, Julia Garner, and Skylar Gaertner as Jonah) Summary (from Netflix): The Byrdes and their teenage kids, Charlotte and Jonah, are, for all intents and purposes, an ordinary family with ordinary lives. Except for the job of Marty, a Chicago financial advisor who also serves as the top money launderer for the second largest drug cartel in Mexico. When things go awry, Marty must uproot his family from the skyscrapers of Chicago and relocate to the lazy lake region of the Missouri Ozarks. Hero– Jonah Byrde (Skylar Gaertner). He’s smart, quiet, introverted. Approximately 11 years old. Ordinary World— Jonah is approximately 11 years old in season one. He’s an ordinary kid living with his parents and sister, Charlotte, in Chicago. Call to Adventure– Jonah’s parents tell the kids they will be moving to the Ozarks. This is the first hint to Jonah that his life may be changing. Refusal of Call– Jonah (and …

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Have you heard of the hero’s journey? It’s at the core of the mythic structure. It basically goes like this: Hero lives in the ORDINARY WORLD CALL TO ADVENTURE REFUSAL OF THE CALL MEETING OF THE MENTOR CROSSING THE THRESHOLD (to some magical or new world, which is entering the (6) ROAD of TRIALS). At this point, there is no return. The hero faces TESTS, ALLIES, & ENEMIES The APPROACH TO THE INMOST CAVE s a huge test for the hero. There are setbacks, but the hero grows stronger as a result. The CENTRAL ORDEAL is the second major turning point. It is a win for the hero. REWARD Whatever the hero has been after has been ostensibly won. THE ROAD BACK The hero has succeeded in the journey (or so he/she thinks) and heads back toward the ordinary world. RESURRECTION is the CLIMAX. The Central Ordeal was a false win. THIS is the true test of the hero’s mettle. This is the moment when …

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As a teacher, there are some topics I find so fun to teach. The Hero’s Journey is one of those topics.    Joseph Campbell originated the idea of The Hero’s Journey, or the Monomyth, in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces.   It has since become THE template for screenplays, and so many writers use it to guide them as they write their books, as well.    I got a little joyful jolt a few weeks ago when I was listening to Will Smith’s new memoir, Will. He mentions going to see Stephen Spielberg when Will didn’t want to take the role of Jay in Men in Black. He talks about Spielberg giving him a copy of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and how The Hero’s Journey changed his life and his approach to developing the characters he played and the roles he chose (and still chooses). I was like, Will Smith knows about the monomyth! Cool!  …

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