Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Getting Hancocked


"Now do I have a pitch for you!"

"Shoot."

"It's a homeless, emotionally ravaged alcoholic superhero, who's like, indestructible ala Superman except, except he's black!"

"I'm listening."

"And he's, he's, uh...he's a total mess, like a total, uh, anti-hero, he doesn't get along with anybody, has no friends, a total outsider."

"Costume?"


"Well, he's homeless, so it'd be something shabby, like a ski cap, and shorts...and he'd be carrying a bottle of liquor with him everywhere."

"We talking an 'R' here? Cause I'm not shitting money into some crappy adult superhero flick unless it's atleast a PG-13."

"No, no, it's definitely a PG-13. It's-"

"How to do plan to market an alcoholic superhero to kids? And no costume? No comic book tie-in? Don't waste my time with a superhero flick with no merchandising opportunities. Christ, what's the product tie-in: Colt fucking 45?! Get the fuck-"

"WILL SMITH WANTS TO DO IT."

(Beat)"Oh...uh, shit, in that case...I'm listening. Go on. We got a title?"

"Tonight, He Comes."

"You're shitting me. What kinda porn title-"

"Wait, wait, we could also go with...uh, 'Hancock.'As in, uh, John Hancock."

"Eh...keep going. So Will Smith's an alcoholic superhero..."

"Yes, yes. And he's coming to terms with his identity or lackthereof. Like he has no idea where he's from, how he got here, or anything and-"

"So why does he decide to fight crime and become a superhero? We gonna have another one of them long, drawn out origin stories with way too much exposition? Do we really need to explain everything or give any rationale as to how and why everything happens?"

(Casually discards the first 40 pages) "No, no, of course not. We just jump right into it. Action, funny, action, funny, more action."


"Hmmm. I'm beginning to like it. Who we got aside from Smith? I mean, if we're gonna make him an unlikeable drunken hobo, we need some nice, pretty faces. Preferably white. No, definitely white. And kids. Cute cuddly kids."

(Crosses off names and writes in new ones) "Oh, yes, yes, cute kids, of course. And uh...we got um...Charlize Theron."

"Ooo I like her. But she's not a big draw, not a Jolie type. Who else?"


"And...uh...Jason Bateman. He's hot right now, really hot. Lots of indie love press, Arrested Development...people love Bateman."

"Eh...I dunno. I put some money into 'the Ex' if you remember. That was a real clunker."

"Yes, I know, but that was Braff's fault. People hate Braff. People love Bateman. Besides, Will Smith wants Bateman."


"Oh, well in that case... Finish this off for me. Smith's a hobo hero, and...?"

"Uh, he rescues Bateman from death. And Bateman, a PR guy, tries to help Smith by rehabbing his public image. Kinda showing him how to be a real hero and everything."

"And where does Theron come into play? She gonna be some evil, leather clad super-villain? Cause I could definitely sell a hot girl in leather."


"Um...no there's no actual 'super-villain.' She's actually playing Bateman's wife, who doesn't trust Smith, and tries to keep him out of their lives."

"So she has no superpowers or anything? Nothing we could dress up and get her all sexy? Cause I can sell sexy."

(Scrambles to cross out and rewrite pages) "No, no, of course, we could do that, we definitely could. And uh...um...well, there's this storyline about abuse and statutory rape and-"


"Whoa, whoa, whoa! What the fuck kinda show do you think I run here? I'm in the business of making money. BIG MONEY. Statutory rape? First you want me to sell a black, alcoholic superhero, with no super villain? I don't care if you've got Smith. I've been down this road before; it was called 'Wild Wild West.'"

"No, no, no, no, no. No statutory rape, and uh...Theron's a super powered being too. Just like Smith. And uh...they're long lost lovers, and he doesn't remember it."

"Ah...there you go, now you're onto something. So it's a romantic-comedy-superhero-action-flick. And it's got an interracial love story. Hmmm...it's risky, but I like it!"


"Yes, and uh...so she's forcing Smith to stay away, cause uh...(scribbling furiously) when they're near each other they lose their powers and become normal people! And uh... that leaves Smith vulnerable to attacks from criminals he puts away in prison, who break out and uh... try to kill him! Yeah, that's it!"

"Okay quick rundown: Smith's our charming, likable anti-hero, Bateman's the comic relief, Theron's the hottie super long lost love...so how's the big ol' climactic ending? Big explosions, big fight scene, big grand, capper?"

"Yes, yes, all of that...and...uh...well...um..."

"What, you don't have an ending? What happens? He's gotta almost die, come back, beat the bad guys up...what about Bateman and Theron? Some magic alien Crystal Skull comes in and makes it okay for them to be together? Does Bateman step aside and let Smith and Theron get back together? How? How does it go?!"


(Stares down at blank last page of script) "Well...uh, Smith just decides to go away to New York, since they're in LA, and fight crime there."

"What about his relationship with Theron? And Bateman? Is there a resolution to why they're super powered? Does she decide to fight crime in LA?"

"Uh...no. She just goes back to her normal life as a mother and wife. And Bateman stays Smith's friend. Oh, and I have a cool final flying scene with Smith in a black leather superhero costume."


"So there's no real logical ending. Or explanation for anything."

"Um...nope."

(Long pause) "Book it. Who says we need a complete story? We got Will Smith, right? Tell 'em I'm in and let's shoot it. Hancock: 'Not Your Average Superhero.' July 4th weekend. I like it already."

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