From The MTA to the WGA: Brooklyn Subway Worker Becomes a Hollywood Hit

One day you’re a New York City subway toll booth worker, then you total your car in an accident that lands you in physical therapy, which is sort of boring (plus you have no cash to buy a new car). So, you enter a screenwriting competition on a whim, hoping to score some prize money. And the next thing you know, you’re rubbing elbows with Hollywood bigwigs who think you’re so good they ask you to write a sequel to a famous gangbanger flick!

This is the true story of Brooklyn resident Michael Martin, according to Reuters, which reports that Mr. Martin’s contest entry, Brooklyn’s Finest, is prepping for a May shoot in the very locations of his native borough that inspired him to write the script in the first place. It actually ended up coming in second, go figure, but caught the attention of a producer from Warner Bros. who happened to be looking for “a writer with an authentic and gritty voice” to pen a followup to 1991’s New Jack City. Mr. Martin was his man.

Aside from getting Brooklyn’s Finest ready for the screen (Antoine Fuqua is directing and Ethan Hawke will star), Mr. Martin is currently writing New Jack City 2 — on his lunch breaks, that is. Yes, he still works for the MTA, although he was recently promoted to construction flagger. Only in New York!