Monday, March 31, 2014

Why I Should Write For Hollywood: Detective Beowulf (Outline)

      Ok, so almost all of these posts for Why I Should Write For Hollywood are bad ideas from high school, but this is one I created in grad school. And I think it could really work as a movie, just take out all the magic and supernatural elements. Whoa…put down the blade fanboy. Now I know most people think ‘mainstreaming’ something is removing the interesting parts, but hear me out.

I want to turn audible history’s first superman…

Into this.

      When in high school, I loved the Beowulf story. While at grad school I was always trying to write new ideas, but one of those wasn’t new at all; it was a retelling of the Beowulf story as if Beowulf was a celebrity detective, and altering the story to fit into a traditional 3 act structure so all 3 stories connected instead of being 3 separate stories.

      Now, here is the initial concept in one page from my old discontinued Microsoft Works file from 2004.

Detective Beowulf Concept

      A mighty celebrity detective (who has cameras follow him everywhere) is sent to stop the serial killer known as The Beast (Grendal). Beowulf boasts how easy it is for him to track anyone. The mayor holds a feast for him since the detective that has never lost a case is coming to help him. He tricks Grendal into attacking the mayor’s house, and rather than cuff him, finds Grendal’s arms too big for regular cuffs. Beowulf fights him and takes his arm, but The Beast gets away. Though he is not caught, they know Grendal will never return, but his mother does, and she brings a lawsuit against Detective Beowulf for the violence against her son.

      In the courtroom, it look like Grendal’s mother will win against the physical infliction that killed her boy, citing Beowulf used entrapment and didn’t attempt to arrest him and had intentions to kill her son. Later, Beowulf finds letters that show the mother actually taught her son how to kill, and finds a letter of The Beast, thanking her mother for traching him the thrill of killing others. Using this evidence, as well as a gun he found in her house that matched what Grendal had used to kill a few people on occasion. (However, Grendal wouldn’t use a gun, and what would the mother need it for, think so the gun can be the sword, or should the letters be the sword?) Grendal’s mother pounces at Beowulf and tries to cut him with a knife. Holding the evidence gun in his hand, it goes off and kills her.

      On the night of Beowulf’s retirement, the rising major crime kingpin has one of his front businesses robbed by a thief, and he declares war in the streets to find him. (This Kingpin also killed Beowulfs brother and was never brought to justice for it; thereby making an emotional investment in the story, and give Beuwolf some regret at not ever being able to take him down). Beowulf then leads a batch of new cops and detectives and trains them in crime prevention (some paid off by the kingpin which eventually leave or turn on him). He has a meeting with the kingpin at the beginning and is poisoned by him unknowingly. He kills the kingpin near the end of the story, but not before the kingpin tells him he poisoned him with a slow poison, that now takes effect. Now, many rival would be crime bosses will try to fill his position. With the death of their greatest officer, the city is left open for a giant crime wave/gang war.

      That is just the outline. I actually wrote the first chapter, as this was originally an idea for a book in my (I forgot) class, and I will put it up here when I am done with this blog series.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Murphy's Media Memories - Transformers: Battle For Earth (Kid's Book)

Murphy's Media Memories returns. Now, I will be making sure to get 8 episodes out each year, preferably every March through October, with any Top 10 lists or small bonus episodes in-between.

Now, see my gateway into the Transformers Universe, a children's book from 1984 that does a horrible job of connecting text to art, in what should be an important factor in a picture book. I do a brief run-down of all the Transformer characters in the TV show to show you just how off the book is when it comes to it's characters. Also, I look at the 2nd Marvel Hardcover book to see just what my younger self missed out on.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Why I Should Write For Hollywood: Marvel's Cloak & Dagger

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While reading Spider-Man comics, I came across the duo of Cloak & Dagger. Though I never came across their comic adventures, like Deathlok, I thought that this was one of Marvel's properties that could make the easiest transition to film. Below are my 2 (yes, 2!) Cloak & Dagger movie ideas from high school.

Cloak (Tyrone Johnson) is a teenage runaway with a speech impediment, who ran away when he felt guilty that his impediment prevented him from warning someone of danger that led to their death. Dagger (Tandy Bowen) had a neglectful mom and ran away from home as well. They initially meet each other, learn to survive on the streets together, but then become involved with a shady 'friend' who kidnaps and experiments on them with drugs. Said drugs at first kills them, then gives them powers.

Cloak found he had access to a dark dimension that increase his hunger for...souls? lives? The Darkness in men's hearts? Ok, that probably needs clarification for an audience. Anyway, Dagger's presence of intense light-powers she gained prevents him from acting on his impulses, so now he actually needs Dagger to survive. Dagger has the potential to explode with too much light over time, and Cloak can use his darkness to absorb it, preventing her from hurting people around her. However, Dagger does not need him as much as Cloak needs her, but helps him anyway because they are friends. This is where an interesting dynamic could be explored in a 2nd movie, especially a sequel where he develops an unrequited love for her (like in the comics), but in doing so might push her away.

The theme of drug-addiction should not be dumbed down. Cloak represents a drug-addict that needs help, and Dagger is the friend that tries to put him on the path of recovery and control. In fact, Dagger can not only shoot light-daggers that attack people, but they also remove physical and mental additions in drug users, which Cloak would, over the course of the movie, become really angry about since he doesn't have such an easy solution to all his problems.

Also, you can't do this movie without showing a family facing drug addition that Dagger helps them overcome and become a family again. Not just superheros punching each other here.

I always imagined a movie would be very simple; you see how their home like sucks, they run away, meet each other, become friends, then get experimented on, are thoughts to be dead, only to rise up with new powers that work well in tandem together, though only Cloak needs Daggers powers to remain in check. You have a dynamic where only one of them needs the other, which would be very interesting to work with, especially if Dagger contemplates turning home.

In the first movie (yes, 1 of 2), they should be friends only. And this isn't because Tyron is black and Tandy is white, but because they would need to be established as putting faith and trust in each other first to work together and have revenge on the drug dealers that killed. In addition, every movie is about a guy and a girl falling in love, and they originally start off as friends in the comic, so do that in the movie, which NEVER HAPPENS in Hollywood movies when there is a guy and girl character. Also, they should attempt to travel together to their parent's home and try to live a normal life, but find they cannot with their powers.

Also, I don't know any villains they fight, but it should also be a teen run-away (the one that betrayed them) who became the drug dealer that experimented on them but has developed a huge cartel and empire through it. He then uses the experimental drug on himself to become some villain and fight them at the end, Tyrone wants to kill him, and Dagger has to talk him down from his darkness.

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In a 2nd movie, you could have Tyron start to develop feelings for Tandy, but she does not return them. In fact, she could start to meet a fellow superhero and fall in love with him, and also learn to control her powers without Cloak, leading Cloak to feel hopeless and alone, and attempt to give more into the darkness. Maybe even evolve his powers somewhat to reflect an ex-drug user who relapse. Dagger, of course, will feel guilty, but Cloak will have to learn that he can't always rely on her for everything and bring her down with him all the time. In fact, her lover at the time should be slightly accepting of Cloak, but also a little jealous of how much Cloak needs her to survive. Drama! I don't have more than the first act for this film in my head, though.

So that is my high school Cloak & Dagger movies (before the year 2000)

Recently, in a Spider-Man crossover, Cloak and Dagger switched powers. That would make for an interesting premise, but you would need the foundation of a regular move )or 2!) for it to work. Also, Cloak and Dagger were supposed to have each other;'s powers in the first place, which made them previously weaker, so now, with Cloak having light power, and Dagger with Darkness, they are more powerful, but also more addictive, and now Dagger would need Cloak's help with the darkness that threatens to want her to consume people's...souls (or whatever it is his powers do;'s not very well established what it is, which is necessary for a film to work). Unfortunately, since this happened in the comics 2 years ago, Cloak & Dagger have yet to be seen anywhere to see how they deal with this new development.

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