After the rather crappy box office performance of BATTLESHIP, we decided to present you with a possible scenario that led to its creation and shine the spotlight on a trend we’d like to see die a quick death…
FADE FROM BLACK.
TITLE CARD: 2011
EXT. TOYS R’ US PARKING LOT – DAY
A bus comes to a stop in front of a run of the mill TOYS R’ US store. Nothing significant about it. The bus door opens and a group of people in SUITS shuffle out, led by DICKY MACK, Hollywood Studio Exec extraordinaire.
DICKEY: So, listen up, kids. We’re going to go inside the store here and I’m going to show you where ideas are simply waiting on f*cking shelves for you. Every step you take is a Hollywood landmine ready to explode onto the big screen. You just have to pay-the-f*ck-attention. Take notes. Each of you owes me a script on something you see here today by the end of the motherf*cking week!
INT. TOYS R’ US – DAY
The SUITS stand nervously, some holding notepads, others taking photos with their smartphones. DICKEY stands before them, facing the boardgame aisle of the store. He opens his arms wide, eyes closed, taking in a deep breath and exhaling with a big, toothy grin on his face.
DICKEY: You smell that? That’s goddamn box office magic entering your lungs right there, kids. That cheap plastic smell of a Toys R’ Us is like a car freshener scent of untapped Hollywood gold.
DICKEY turns around to face them, making eye contact, his brow furrowing. He’s a kettle about to blow. The SUITS brace for impact.
DICKEY: No one wants fresh and original anymore, people. They want what they know. They want the things that remind them of a time before their lives got shitty and their dreams went down the toilet. They want movies that emulate the one time in their lives when the world was open to them; childhood.
That’s right, people. The world doesn’t want to be challenged, they want to be coddled. And this is how we do it. Look at these games. This is where they grew up, where their dreams were born, where their countless hours were spent. Candyland, Connect Four, Scrabble, Sorry, Monopoly, Battleship, Uno, Yahtzee, Risk…motherf*cking Play Doh! That’s right, Play Doh the movie.
He makes his hands into a rectangle and emulates “watching a movie” as he talks.
DICKEY: “Kids discover a substance that allows them to make whatever the hell they want. They use it to defeat an alien invasion or some such shit.” Will Smith and one of his kids play the lead. (matter-of-factly) That’s a f*cking franchise, people.
DICKEY starts pointing out games:
DICKEY: Just look there! Hungry, Hungry Hippos! I can see it now, the hippos are mutated from some space alien shit and attack Africa where we have Digimon Hinsou and Gerry Butler working as a big game hunting team. They’re the only ones who can stop the wild beasts! We cast Nicki Minaj as some stereotypical tribeswoman wearing nothing but a bone in her nose and some pasties. Perfection!
DICKEY points to another:
DICKEY: Uno. Every kid loves Uno. It’s a freakin’ card game. You cast Matt Damon and Tobey Maguire as opponents. Get that USUAL SUSPECTS guy to write it. Shit, they can just play the game for 90 minutes and call it Uno and they’ll come in droves!
DICKEY: Connect Four! It’s a strategic mindfuck of a game to outwit your opponent. Think TRON as directed by Robert Rodriguez. Put some fucking no name kids in it with some overblown cheap special effects, Ben f*cking Kingsley as the villain and Jessica Alba in a bikini and it’s a $40 million opening weekend!
DICKEY moves to BATTLESHIP.
DICKEY: Look at this. Naval warships. Explosions. The box sells itself! You get Liam Neeson and some up-and-coming sexpot stars to sweeten the deal, make it look like the f*cking Transformers and we’re swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck! I’ll get Peter Berg on that shit, he owes me one anyway.
A hand suddenly, hesitantly goes in the air. It’s Jonathan, the newest member of the SUITS, freshly promoted from being an intern.
JONATHAN: Uh, sir…W-what if…y’know…we just had an original screenplay made about Naval warfare without the board game…o-or…out of a historical novel…wouldn’t that be a more…(he gulps) original…concept?
DICKEY literally turns red. His fists clench.
DICKEY: You’ve completely missed the f*cking point. You’re beyond fired, you’re f*cking incinerated. Take your corpse away from this place and never be seen again.
Jonathan steps back, disappearing into the background of the store. DICKEY looks around at everyone else.
DICKEY: Now, who else has an original idea? (long beat)
Nobody moves an eyelid.
DICKEY: Good. Now get out your notepads and start tearing this place apart. We’ve got franchises to build and billions to make.
CUT TO BLACK.