War of the Worlds

Steven
I want to make a big film … something huge, something epic.
David
What about Exodus?
Steven
I just knew I should have kept that one for myself.
Josh
How about War of the Worlds?

Pause.

Steven
Aliens are big.
David
Right. Really big.
Steven
Actually, we could make them bigger.
David
Really?
Steven
With special effects and stuff.
David
Cool.
Steven
So what else happens in the book?
David
Aliens come down … I dunno, I never read it.
Steven
Me neither.
Josh
I have …
Steven and David
Shut up, Josh.
Steven
Can it have a dysfunctional family in it?
David
Yeah, and they can be reunited at the end!
Steven
Survival through adversity!
Steven and David
It’s about the human spirit!
Josh
No it’s not, it’s about unwarranted aggression by a superpower.
Steven and David
Shut up, Josh.
Steven
It’s about the human spirit.
David
And there’s got to be a kid.
Steven
Make it a girl this time, boys freak me out.
David
Okay – a super-smart girl who pays attention to everything.
Steven
And screams.
David
And we can have a bit where they all have to be really still because if they move the monster will know where they are.
Steven
I like it – and people can be plucked off the ground by the monsters –
David
Bellowing monsters.
Steven
– bellowing monsters, right. And sliced in two, yeah.
David
Can it have someone killed while they’re on the toliet?
Steven
This is, like, a national emergency! No one’s going to the toilet in this film!
David
Right, sorry. Oh, this is going to be so cool!
Steven
It’s missing something, though.
Josh
Hope?
Steven and David
Shut up, Josh.
David
A train! It needs a train, where people are trying to get vital information out to, to – to the military. But it’s being attacked by the monsters, and the phones keep on going wrong –
Steven
Can’t it just be on fire?
David
(Grumpily) Okay.
Steven
So we’ve got an underdog hero guy, with a broken marriage and kids who can’t stand him, he’s attacked on all sides by huge monsters that kill people indiscriminately and can’t be stopped. He’s got to get his kids through this – I don’t know, this huge part of America where these monsters are, and back to the safety of the kid’s grandparents.
David
And at the end, the kids respect him.
Steven
Cool. Thanks, guys.
Josh
Erm … what about the monsters?
Steven and David
Shut up –
David
No, he’s right. We’ve got to get rid of the monsters, otherwise like New York belongs to the aliens.
Steven
Is that such a bad thing?
David
I like New York. (Shrugs)
Steven
Okay … how about they die.
David
Well duh.
Steven
Don’t ‘duh’ me, David.
David
Sorry. How about they die because … because there’s something they need to eat, but they can’t get it on earth.
Steven
Something essential to the life process …
David
I’m thinking something chemical. An amino acid?
Josh
In the book they get killed by bacteria.
Steven
I knew I should have read the book.
David
That’s great! It’s like not eating something you need, but the other way round. And it kills them off just in time for our hero to get his kids home. No, wait a minute – that sounds too quick, too clunky.
Steven
I like it.
David
How about he gets the kids to safety, and then the creatures start to die, and we see the lead characters flying away from the wreckage as the military starts the cleanup operation?
Steven
I said, I like it.
David
(Grumpily) Okay.
Steven
So, who do we get to play the lead role?
Josh
Tom Cruise?
Steven and David
Shut up, Josh.
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