Interview with Winning Screenwriter Luke Penn (THE PERG)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Luke Penn: The Perg is about a fallen angel on an obsessive quest for redemption and an avowed atheist with newly-awakened psychic powers teaming up to battle the forces of Hell in Los Angeles.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action-Horror. Similar to the BLADE franchise due to its frenetic pace and dark horror elements.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Honestly, it’s the angels and demons story I’ve always wanted to see (but no one has ever made yet). For as much as I love some of the other angels and demons IP that’s out there, I’ve always wanted an action story that follows the original mythology a little more closely while still being accessible to a mainstream audience. I feel like THE PERG achieves that.

Another reason is because I’ve depicted demons in a way that’s never been done before. Traditionally, demons are usually resolved in their decision to rebel against God and don’t seem to fear their pending fate. THE PERG shows demons in a way that makes them relatable. They are looking to escape Judgment Day just like we humans try to escape death. They want to live just like we do, and will stop at nothing to achieve that end.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Action packed.

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Highlander because there can be only one!

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I started THE PERG in October of 2017 and finished the main version in July of 2018. After that it’s been minor tweaks here and there as stuff has come up from readers. For the most part, though, I’m working on other projects at this time.

7. How many stories have you written?

Lets’ see… Nine novels, seven features, a bunch of shorts, three pilots, a comic book script, and now bridging into video games. I also write long form articles for Comic Book Resources (CBR), one of the largest comic book news sites on the internet.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)

Princes of the Universe by Queen. Those who know, know why.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The toughest part about writing THE PERG was deciding which POV to enter the story. In the original version, we followed the events of the pilot through Orias’ eyes. The show was much more of a traditional procedural in nature that way; and while it worked just fine, we didn’t get to organically learn as much about the world as we did entering via Sophia’s perspective. After much trial, error, and beta test feedback, I decided to go with the latter.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Comic books! I’ve been reading and collecting comics for a long time now and absolutely love the medium. It’s a blend of both the literary and cinematic, drawing from the strengths of both.

Also, I’m into letterboxing. Basically, scavenger-hunting for rubber stamps hidden throughout the world. Yes, it’s a real thing. Yes, it’s super fun!

11. You entered your screenplay via Coverfly. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

Coverfly is awesome because it keeps me organized, and is a trusted platform by the community.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings
on the initial feedback you received?

A friend of mine who won her category had a great experience with WildSound Film Fest. Thought I’d throw my hat in the ring and see what happens. Glad I did.

The feedback I received was sharp, insightful, and made me feel even more confident in the project. Highly recommend this competition!


Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

When a skeptical psychologist with dormant psychic abilities finds herself targeted for blood sacrifice by the forces of Hell, her only hope of survival becomes teaming up with the most unlikely person imaginable: a renegade demon on an obsessive quest for redemption.


Narrator: Allison Kampf
Junkie: Bill Poulin


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


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