Unless you have been living under the rock, Final Destination is a huge financial success that started back in 2000, spanning four sequels that concluded in 2011. Not to mention movie tie-ins and other related medias. (Final Destination 5 is a prequel whose final scene was directly connected with the events of the first movie that sets off the franchise)
The story resolves around a teenager who must cheat death in order to survive. Using his premonition of the upcoming calamity, he or she tries to save life of those who were supposed to perish on a particular accident. Final Destination was first conceived as a spec script for X-Files TV Show entitled : “Flight 180” , written by Jeffrey Reddick.
The main protagonist is supposed to be Dana Scully’s brother who has some sort of premonition, an asset that would be essentially used by the protagonists of the franchise to cheat death.
Dated all a way back in 1994, Jeffrey Reddick wrote Flight 180, using Word processor instead of Final Draft. The spec script is available right here.
“I decided to use the basic concept of people cheating Death as the catalyst,” said Reddick, “But when you write a spec for a series, you want to follow the framework of the show and go deeper. So, I had Scully’s brother have the premonition, which made the story more personal. I won’t spoil the rest, but for the spec script, the concept isn’t front and center, it’s more about Scully, Mulder and her relationship with her brother.
“But when I decided to write it as a feature [Final Destination], I made the story all about the concept. And tweaked it.”
Reddick continues :
I think fans will be most interested in seeing how the kernel of the concept started in 1994. Death worked differently in this version. Since Mulder and Scully had the believer/skeptic relationship, I had to keep Death vague enough, but clear enough, to fit the concept and investigation in to a one-hour show.
“But it’s interesting to see how this kernel evolved in to the original draft of Flight 180 in 1997 – and finally the finished version of the 2000 Final Destination.”
Reddick revealed he’s been carrying some frustration for the past 15 years. Here, he clears the air about rumors that Final Destination was inspired by the real life crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996.
“The biggest misconception about the original spec script is the one that has bothered me the most… When the movie came out in 2000, a lot of reviewers said the story was inspired by the real life crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996. I got flack for that,”