‘We’ll Never Make That Kind of Movie Again’

I’ll tell you one other thing about this story that nobody gets. One day, a friend of mine at the studio comes by pushing a two-wheel cart. It had three or four legal boxes on it. He goes, “Okay, Reynolds, thanks for this.”

I go, “What’s that?”

He goes, “This is the Groove, these boxes. This is everything you’ve written.” Anytime you write something and you hand it in, they stamp it and it goes into a box somewhere, because Disney owns it. It’s like that last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. [Some time later,] the movie’s out, and a guy knocks on my office door and says, “Are you Dave Reynolds? I’m from archives. I just need the final script for Emperor’s New Groove. They didn’t send one down.”

I go, “What’s that?”

He goes, “The final draft, the whole final script.”

I go, “No script.”

He goes, “There’s no script? What are you talking about?”

I go, “We don’t have a script. We never wrote a script. We just made the movie.”

He goes, “You’ve got to have a script. Archives has to have a script.”

“I don’t know what to tell you. Tell them to go see the movie. It’s in theaters right now.”

He goes, “You guys don’t have bound pages?”

I go, “Nope. We have no bound pages. There’s three or four legal boxes. You can have all you want. I saw them the other day.”

They had a couple interns just take all the pages and put them into a document, and then they wrote interstitials, and they slapped my name on it. This is the honest-to-God truth: The first and only draft of The Emperor’s New Groove was handed in two weeks after the movie was in theaters.