a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Friday, August 18, 2006

Alligators In A Helicopter - The Pitch

The setting is a producer's office on a studio lot. On his desk, a copy of Variety -- "Snakes Bite Off $80 million Weekend". The producer looks at the writer. He wants the next SoaP. Everyone does. The writer clears his throat.

"Okay, picture this. There's this guy, the mob is after him. He's going to testify in a trial, he saw the mob boss whack some dude. I'm thinking big opening setpiece; mob boss on the roof, pushes nerdy accountant, who goes flying off the building, falling 20 floors, lands on a car, car alarm, ouch. Plus it's foreshadowing, you see? Because later on other things will be falling out of the sky.

So our hero is on the roof too, and he sees all this. Why is he on the roof?.... Better cellphone reception. He's trying to patch things up with his wife, she's pissed that he's working all the time. He's an ex-cop, but she got him to quit, but now he's a... bond trader, and it's worse, he's never home. What's his name? Stone. Stone Rockford. Think Bruce Willis, in a suit, but really pumped, like he works out all the time. Sure Bruce will do it...

So Stone sees the killing, he goes to the cops, he agrees to testify, they put him in protective custody. His wife is there, too, she can be hot, I'm picturing Eva Mendes; when they aren't looking out windows for hitmen, then can be having sex or showering.

But then the hitmen come, they kill Eva, and Stone flees, into the woods, but there's like 150 bad guys, he's cornered, he doesn't have a chance. But then there's this loud sound, and this huge helicopter is hovering above him, dropping a rope ladder. Stone knows he has no chance on the ground, so he climbs up that rope ladder, as bullets zing around them. But he doesn't see that the bad guys are missing on purpose.

So he gets up to the helicopter, which quickly zooms higher, and Stone is stunned to see that the helicopter is full of alligators. There's at least a dozen 10-footers, and... no, no, this is a BIG helicopter. I mean it's HUGE. It's like the size of a really big living room.

So Stone sees that he's in trouble, because it's just him, a dozen hungry alligators, and the pilot, who is in some sort of unbreakable glass bubble; there's no way to get to him.

And Stone starts shaking, and we wonder why, because this is Stone, we've seen he's pretty badass, but then suddenly we're in a flashback, see?

Turns out when Stone was 18, he and his girlfriend were hiking in a swamp -- picture Jessica Alba -- when she got her leg bitten off by an alligator. No, no, of course she'll have a lot of bikini scenes first. So she's got no leg, and Stone's trying to save her; he's carrying her through the swamp, fighting off anything that gets in his way -- there's a lot of freaky stuff in those swamps. But there's blood in the water, and the alligator finally eats the rest of her.

Yeah, of course young Stone can have a tearful scene when he talks to her head before it's gulped down. It's an Oscar caliber role for Jessica.

Anyhow, we have this whole sequence, and then we're back in the helicopter, and only an instant has passed, because we were in Stone's mind. The alligators see him now, they smell his fear, they are moving towards him. Stone looks behind him, to the open door; he realizes that that's his one way out. But now it's 1000 feet down, and he has no parachute.

And he realizes that that's the bad guy's plan. The mob boss wants Stone to jump, because then it will be suicide, and not murder. "Brilliant fucker" mutters Stone.

He looks at the pilot, who gives him the finger. And then Stone will say the line. "You think you have me beat. But I won't stop breathing, until I get these motherfucking alligators off this motherfucking helicopter."

I know. Trailer shot, right? It gives me shivers.

So he starts taking on the alligators. I can see giving them little differences, to tell them apart. There's one really big one, he's the leader, he waits in the back. One's albino, one's darker, one's got someone's sneaker poking out of its mouth, because that's messed up, right? He's already eaten someone, and he wants more.

So Stone starts going off on them. He stomps one, kicks a few others in the head. It's a combination of Jackie Chan and that Australian guy on TV. The albino alligator takes a chunk out of Stone's leg, but Stone picks it up by the tail, spins it around, and throws it out the door.

Comic moment. There's some redneck below, yelling at his wife. Then the alligator lands on him.

What? Is there enough action? He's in a helicopter, fighting alligators. Did you see World Trade Center? Nic Cage spends most of the movie pinned under rubble. He can't move. Compared to that, this is huge. This is Braveheart.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Redneck. Anyhow, back on the helicopter, Stone fights a couple more alligators, and his shirt gets ripped off in the process. And he's built; I mean, Bruce is really going to have to work out for this one, but I bet he will, because this is the comeback movie he's been waiting for.

Then the one alligator with the sneaker in its mouth comes after him. Stone grabs it by its head, and pulls its jaws apart. You can see the muscles in Stone's arms bulging; this would have been a great role for Stallone about 40 years ago. Anyhow, he pulls the alligator in half, and he's stunned, because the sneaker is attached to a woman.

Stone performs mouth-to-mouth on her, while holding off the alligators by kicking them. She starts breathing; she's okay. And she's hot, and we can tell, because the alligator's digestive juices have left her with almost no clothes. I'm picturing Scarlet Johannsen. That's right. You get it now. Bra at the most.

So Scarlet pulls herself together, and she's helping Stone fight the alligators. More alligators go flying out the door and land on people below; it's funny. Plus the movie gets padded out with flashbacks, as Scarlet tells Bruce her story. She was a stripper, and we see some of this. She saw the mob boss kill someone else; she was in protective custody too, and the helicopter stopped at her house first. So it's all there now; it's not contrived at all.

Anyhow, eventually it's just them and the last alligator, the really big one. Maybe it only has one eye, and Stone realizes that it's the same alligator who ate Jessica Alba, because after they said their dying goodbyes, he poked the alligator in the eye. I know, great, right?

So they take it on, and there's this huge battle, because now with only one alligator left, this helicopter is positively cavernous. I mean, you get rid of 11 big alligators, you're talking a lot of room to move around.

So the fight goes on for like 20-30 minutes. It's like the King Kong T-Rex fight in the last King Kong movie, only this will be cheaper, because there's no digital effects; I'm thinking that Bruce can make most of it work with a rubber alligator. Or a midget in an alligator costume. Or a puppet.

Anyhow, Scarlet gets knocked down, and the alligator is about to gobble her leg. And Stone gets really mad now; we see Jessica's death flash before his eyes. Of course more bikini shots. And Stone grabs that alligator, picks it up, and throws it into the pilot.

The pilot's glass case explodes. The alligator eats the pilot, and turns for Stone. But now the alligator is fuller, and a little more sluggish. He and Stone have their final face-off, while Scarlet jumps in the pilot's seat; Stone yells at her how to fly it, while also telling her where to go.

Stone and the alligator battle. The alligator slams him with his tail, and Stone goes flying out the door, but holds on. Stone dangles outside, the alligator drools on him, Stone looks down. New Jersey. The mob boss' estate.

So then Stone pulls himself up, as the rockin' theme music plays. Stone hits the alligator 3, 4, 5 times. The alligator is dazed. Stone picks it up, and throws it out the open door.

The mob boss is below. He looks up, and sees this huge alligator coming at him. Splat. Happy ending.

Scarlet lands the copter at some cabin in the middle of nowhere, and when the feds finally show up, they find Stone and Scarlet in bed, smoking cigars. Just like a James Bond movie.

Of course the sheet doesn't have to be pulled up.

The writer looks at the producer, hopefully. The producer looks at the writer, and smiles....


At 10:51 AM, Blogger Cathy Krasnianski said...

*Sniff sniff*

I've never been so moved! Here, PLEASE take this blank check!

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

I'm sold. I'd watch it.

I'd make one adjustment.

Before battling the last gator, our hero somehow manages to get to the pilot, but the pilot either jumps or is accidentally knocked out by our hero. The battle ensues as the copter plummets.

Somehow the copter crashes without severely injuring anyone. The one-eyed gator gets away opening up the doors for a sequel.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger deepstructure said...

the scary thing is i'd believe this was a real movie.

actually, this sounds more like the kind of good bad movie than even snakes on a plane.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Brett said...

Seems thin-- we're gonna need a bit moe in the third act to keep the kid from zoning out.

Can we work some "virtual reality" into this? Maybe these alligators are hackers, see, and they're trying to hack into an international diamond mine website account network fund or something. We have a relationship with Dell-- see if you can work some Inspirons into this fucker.

Also, we're gonna need something to appeal to the graybeard over-25 set, so see if we can work in a small part fo a Michael Caine/Sean Connery/Alan Arkin/Kris Kristofferson/Burt Convy type.

Work me up a quick 40 page scriptment and get it on my desk by next week. I smell tentpole!

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your head must be sore from all the big freaking checks falling out of the sky in your general direction.

*boom - check drops from the sky*

Exec: will it have titties?

you: uh...sure.

*boom - another check from the sky*

Exec: and, what will these titties do?

you: I don't know. Jiggle?

*Boom - another check*

Exec: you're a freaking genius.

(loosely paraphrased from Bill Hicks)

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

Our market research shows that since the Croc Hunter came on the scene, alligators aren't that scary anymore. Is there a way we can change it to a pride of lions? Those fuckers are scary. And we really can't have a hellicopter battle without somebody getting sliced to bits by the blades. And you don't really have any explosions. Studies show people like explosions.

What about a hot-air balloon? Shit could explode more that way.

We could still leave in the alligator flashback. That's good cinema.

Snakes on a Plane two: Revenge of the Alligators by way of Mountain Lions in a Hot-Air Balloon.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Bill Cunningham said...

The Producer shakes his head then mumbles to himself, thinking:

"I'm not seeing the alligators. Wait! I got it...SPIDERS! They are, after all, the fiercest predator in the insect kingdom..."

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Bill Cunningham said...

"Unless you could get laser beams on top of the frikkin' alligators' heads... Now THAT'S a gator story I can sell."

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Chesher Cat said...

Nice work, Scott.

I trust you registered it with the WGA before posting.

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Spanish Prisoner said...

This could be a pitch Samuel L. Jackson will tell a producer in a Snakes on a Plane sequel. Of course he curses a lot during it, just to spice things up to Samuel standard. After the pitch the producer tells Jackson to fuck off and Sam will get furious: "I've had it with these motherfucking producers on this motherfucking studiolot!".

At 6:27 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

Actually, the post itself, is a copyright. I'm sure it could be successfully argued in a court of law that Scott's post predates any claim to copyright that might be submitted.

Afterall, copyright is entitled on creation, not submission to the office.

At 3:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This would be great, so long as right at the end both the hero and the alligator falls from the helicopter through the air hurtling towards another helicopter beneath them... the hero then pulls on a ripcord and deploys a parachute, leaving the alligator to roar as it falls back first onto the helicopter's twirling blades, splattering alligator meat everywhere.... at this point the hero quipps "You're luggage!" or worse, "Anyone for steak?"

The helicopter crashes into an oil tanker truck and then violently explodes.


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