Spider Therapy

Here’s a quick and fun story I wrote this morning in one sitting. For those who follow me on social, you’ll know I have a tumultuous relationship with spiders in my house. I thought it would fun to sit down with a spider and hash out our differences. If I were the spider, what would I say? From this, perhaps there is a way for me to show more empathy toward my unwanted housemates.

“I understand you two are having a bit of tension in your relationship,” the therapist said.

“Oh no, we don’t have a relationship,” Gary was quick to point out.

“Here we go,” the spider scoffed.

“Very well then,” the therapist said, sitting back in a large armchair, looking at the two as they sat across from each other, forced to make eye contact. “Gary, why don’t we start with you? What’s on your mind?”

“Yes, what’s on your mind, Gary?” the spider said with pent up frustration. “Let’s hash it out once and for all.Tell the good doctor here what’s your problem with me.”

“What’s my problem with you? Where do I start?” Gary said, letting out a deep breath. “You climb up walls and show up places where I’m not expecting you.”

“So?”

“So? You’re the only bug that does that. I hate it.”

“First of all, don’t call me a bug, okay. That’s rude. Second, I’m not the only insect that does that. Silverfish, ants, centipedes, cockroaches and other kinds of beetles, moths… and in some parts of the world, they even have geckos that climb on walls.”

“We’re not talking about geckos and beetles or moths, we’re talking about you. You’re fast—”

“Okay, so you’re getting upset at me because I’m fast? I didn’t know being fast was a crime.”

“You interrupted me, I wasn’t finished making my point,” Gary said.

“Go on, Gary,” the therapist said.

“Thank you. Like I was saying, you’re fast, you stick to stuff, you dangle from webs. You make webs that I walk into and have to clean up. You scare the cat—”

“We were playing.”

“He’s not playing with you. He doesn’t even like you, bro!”

“Whatever.”

“You know what, this is another one of your problems, you don’t listen. You’re stubborn. You’re never willing to admit when you’re wrong or when something is your fault.”

“Are you?” the spider retorted.

“Plenty of times.”

“Please.”

“Alright, let’s not get too heated,” the therapist interjected. “Why don’t you address each of these issues one by one?”

“The way I look at it,” the spider began, “is that I have to do all those things to survive, okay? You would do the same thing if you were me. How about you show a little empathy.”

“Empathy? What are you even talking about?” Gary said with a furrowed brow.

“The webs — they help me catch food and get around. A fish needs to swim, a squirrel’s gotta get a nut, right? Well, I need my web. Without it I die. But, that’s really not your concern is it… if I die?”

“You bite!”

“I have to.”

“Silverfish don’t bite.”

“Come on, bro, are you really comparing me to silverfish?”

“You brought up silverfish earlier!”

“They’re simpletons, half-wit scavengers, living in walls and only coming out at night like cowards. I bite to survive. In case you haven’t noticed, you are a million times bigger than me. What am I supposed to do when you come at me, bro? You don’t think I have things to do later? You don’t think I have places to be? You don’t think I have others who care about me? I have a family — a family that loves me and wants me to come home safely with some dinner, which by the way is doing you a favour.”

“A favour?”

“You know how many more creepy crawlies would be in your house, in your bed, buzzing around laying eggs and multiplying. You should thank me.”

“HA!”

“Look, at the end of the day, I’m exhausted and I just want to return home, see my wife and my kids, kick my feet up and relax. If I bite you, it’s because you were trying to take me from my family. Just because you grew up without a father, doesn’t mean my kids have to.”

“What did you just say?”

“All, I’m saying is that it was self-defence.”

“Ah, so it was self-defence?”

“Exactly.”

“What about the time you bit me in my sleep? I didn’t do anything to you.”

“Okay, here he goes again,” the spider said in an exaggerated tone. “He keeps talking about the one time I bit him in his sleep. First of all, that was a lifetime ago.”

“It was last week.”

“Some of us don’t live as long as you.”

“Whatever.”

“No, don’t whatever, you brought it up, so let’s talk about it. Was I in your bed? Yes, but your bed takes up most of the room. I needed to get home and that was the quickest way. You rolled over and I may have acted in haste, I’m willing to admit that, and I bit. I’m not going to sit here and say that I’m proud of what I did, and I already apologized to you. Besides, I didn’t even inject you with any venom.”

“Like that matters.”

“It does matter. It shows intent. I didn’t want to see you get hurt, I just wanted you to roll over and get your leg off me. I think that should be noted. If I was trying to hurt you, you would know. In fact, you weren’t even aware that I bit you until like two days after. I was in the bathroom when you noticed the bite mark. You thought it was a pimple.”

“No I didn’t, I knew right away you bit me and I was pissed. You’re lucky I didn’t find you, I would have squashed you.”

“Hence why I have to hide. You see now what I have to deal with, doc?” the spider looked over at the therapist, trying to win sympathy.

“It’s my house! You’re in my house, I have every right,” Gary shouted.

“Your house? Really? I’m glad you brought this up, let’s talk about it. You humans are so entitled, aren’t you? My family has been in this neighbourbood before it even was a neighbourhood. There were trees, and bushes, and endless food. Then one day you humans come along and put up some walls around my spot and suddenly it becomes your home. What about me? Where is my family supposed to live?”

“Outside where you belong.”

“Ouch, I’ll pretend you didn’t just say that.”

“What was offensive about that?”

“You basically just gave me the ‘go back where you came from’ speech. I thought you were above that. Guess I was wrong.”

“No I didn’t.”

“You did and I have a witness. Doc, back me up?”

“Okay guys, stop,” the therapist said. “What does each of you hope to come from this?”

“Respect. Plain and simple,” the spider said. “I want to be able to live comfortably, spend time with my family, pursue my ambitions, nurture my talents.”

“Pff, talents,” Gary scoffed under his breath.

“I’m sorry, do you have something you’d like to say to me?” the spider shot back. “You ever try making a web? I assure you it’s not as easy as it looks. It’s a skill like any other that requires a great deal of patience and focus, but I wouldn’t expect you to know anything about that.”

“You see what he just did? No respect. How can you demand respect when you don’t give it?”

“He’s right, you know?” the therapist said. “I’m not taking anyone’s side here, but from what I have seen today, you both have shown a lack of respect toward each other.”

“Better put some ‘spect on my name,” the spider said.

“Okay, spider.”

“You know how derogatory it is to call me ‘the spider’. I have a name… it’s Gary.”

“Wait, I thought you were Gary,” the therapist said, pointing to the human.

“My name is Gary, he copied me.”

“I didn’t copy no one, my mother gave me this name.”

“Oh, your mother, the one who lived rent free in my basement for three years. I wonder where she came up with that name?”

“Yes, my mother, the one that you sucked up in your vacuum. Had a really great Christmas by myself that year. Thanks a lot.”

“Better I do the sucking that she.”

“Yo, what did you say about my mother?”

“Gentlemen, please. Gary, what do you hope to come from this meeting?”

“I want that spider out of my house. I don’t want to constantly be checking over my shoulder, being paranoid that he’s hiding under my covers, on my pillowcase, crawling on me at night. I don’t want to be reaching for something and he thinking I’m trying to kill him and biting me again.”

“That was one time.”

“You’re missing the point!”

“Okay, everyone needs to take a deep breath and calm down. There’s far too much hostility between you today and I don’t feel we will resolve anything in this one session. May I propose we put a pin in our conversation and reconvene the same time next week?”

“Fine.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

“Alright then. In the meantime, try not to kill each other.”

cropped-blog-banner1.png

Advertisements

Guns n’ Roses Movie Pitch | Movie Pitch Monday

Welcome to another episode of Movie Pitch Monday, I am your host – Edward Mullen. In today’s movie pitch, I’ll be pitching a movie for Guns n’ Roses.

Now, I grew up in the 80s and 90s and am a huge Guns n’ Roses fan. I was always curious as to why there is no Guns n’ Roses movie.

I should preface that while I take a lot of the stories from real life, I am sculpting and structuring it in a way that would make a cohesive and entertaining movie. That means, I have to have some creative liberty to slice and dice, leave out, or embellish certain parts to fit it in two hours.

So without further ado, here is my Guns n’ Roses movie pitch!

Act One

The movie opens with a young Axl Rose, known at that time as William Bailey, or Billy Bailey. It’s late 1970’s, Lafayette, Indiana, and so I would want to show what that time period looks like. Billy is from a lower-class family, has a brother and a sister, so we see some of their home life. They live in a tiny house about the size of a trailer home, and there is a lot of abusive – a lot of yelling and violence, but they put on a brave face for their church friends.

Billy sings in his church choir and he thinks it would be funny to amuse his friend, Izzy, and turn a Christian song into a rock and roll song. So while everyone is singing Amazing Grace, Billy steps out and belts some power vocals that we know and love. While it sounds amazing, the church people don’t know what to make of it and Billy gets in trouble. At home, his step father takes a belt to him and begins to beat him. But at 17, Billy is nearly a grown man at this point and so he fights back. He beats the hell out of his step father and then leaves in huff with a backpack full of clothes.

This incident prompts Billy to drop out of high school, and run away with his friend Izzy. Billy is close to eighteen at this point so it was nearly time to leave the nest as it was. I really want to establish early on that he has issues with authority, grew up in a strict religious household with lots of abuse. These experiences make him who he is.

With less than a hundred dollars between them, they take a bus from Lafayette to St. Louis then hitchhike the rest of the way to Los Angeles. They’re young kids who’ve never even left their hometown before, and here they are, all the way across the country on their own with no money, no place to live, and no plan. When they arrive to LA, a homeless man sees the fresh face kids and attempts to scare them, he says, “Do you know where you are? You’re in the jungle, baby. You’re going to die!”

axl rose

Billy and Izzy go to a bar, meet some girls, and end up crashing at their place. In the morning, Billy sees one of the girls has a keyboard. He sits down at it and begins playing, and he’s really good. The girl sits down next to him and they have a little flirtatious moment. Billy begins to sing a ballad to her and she is really impressed.

She says, “You should come out to the bar tonight and watch my friend’s band.” So that night, they all go out and that’s where they meet Tracy Guns.

Billy and Izzy eventually get jobs and move in with Tracy. Billy is a waiter and Izzy gets a job at a bar. On one of Billy’s shifts, Billy gets discovered by a modeling agent and invites Billy to his hotel to take some photos. As it turns out, the guy is gay and is trying to seduce Billy. Billy loses his cool and beats the man up before fleeing.

From that experience, he really opens his eyes to what he came to LA to do, which is to pursue music. He doesn’t want to be a waiter or a model. He changes his name to W. Axl Rose and begins to put a band together. Axl has some iconic tattoos so I think it would be cool to have a scene where he gets some of those tattoos. At this point, he has his own place while Izzy continues to live with Tracy Guns. Izzy joins a band as a guitarist with Tracy called LA Guns.

Meanwhile, Axl puts ads in the newspaper and meets other musicians at clubs. He creates a band called Hollywood Rose. The two bands begin to play gigs, but some of the members in each band aren’t really treating it seriously. For some, it’s more of a hobby.

Izzy and Axl begin to talk with Tracy and they end up combining the remaining members of both bands to create the first iteration of Guns n’ Roses.

Act Two

The band is practicing a lot and getting the odd gig around town. They get into the party scene, start doing drugs, exploring other temptations such as groupies, and it’s a really good time.

In one situation, Axl leaves a gig and another man calls him pretty and insinuating that he is a woman, which sets Axl off. Axl attacks the guy and beats him to a pulp. The police come and Axl is arrested.

The band is back and Tracy Guns leaves so they put out another ad. This time, a talented musician shows up to their studio. This guy had just moved to LA from Seattle a few months prior and was already in a band, but the band had since broke up. The man was really talented and seemingly could do everything from vocals, guitar, bass, and keyboard. He introduces himself as Duff and everyone really likes him. They offer him spot in the band. Two months later, Duff introduces his former band members Slash and Steven Adler to the group and they too join the band.

Duff Mckagan Guns n Roses

The guys get started practicing all day and really honing their sound. They get gigs around town and really hustle to get their name out – making flyers and handing them out.

There are some minor squabbles that arise such as ballads that Axl wants to sing, but Slash isn’t feeling it. Other times people would show up late to rehearsal or be high on drugs.

In one scene, Axl falls asleep on Slashes grandmother’s couch and Slash feels he has to confront the issue. He approaches Axl about it one day while they are driving in a car down Santa Monica Boulevard and Axl gets so offended that he jumps out of the car at 40 miles per hour.

They eventually make up when Duff comes to the band with some good news.

“I got us a gig,” he says. “We’re going on a tour to Seattle.”

They get a van and drive up to Seattle and stop along some other venues along the way. They’re partying, doing copious amounts of drugs, there are girls, fights, debauchery.

At one point, their van gets stolen with all their gear, a promoter rips them off, and they end up hitchhiking back to LA. They are at a low point, until they receive a phone call from Geffen Records.

Act Three

The band signs a record deal with Geffen in March 1986 and they take some time off playing gigs to record their first album — Appetite for Destruction.

The enthusiasm has returned and they are eager to write some songs, but don’t know where to start. Until one day, Slash was messing around with his guitar and playing some riff. Everyone freaked out and was like, “Play that again.”

Axl began with the first phrase he heard when he arrived in Los Angeles. “You know where you are? You’re in the Jungle, baby. You’re going to die.”

Right then, they wrote their first single, ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, which was all about Los Angeles. They then wrote ‘Paradise City’, ‘It’s So Easy’, ‘Nightrain’, ‘Mr. Brownstone’, ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’, ‘Rocket Queen’, and many more, creating one of the best rock and roll albums of all time.

Axl meets an actress named Erin Everly and the two begin dating. I would show some nice moments between them, another side of Axl – he opens up about his childhood abuse and being kidnapped and him and his siblings being sexually abused by their father.

When the album comes out, it immediately explodes. Erin is conflicted because she knows what happens on tours, but Axl must go and follow his dreams.

The band goes on tour, they play sold out shows, party, trash hotels, and get arrested. It’s a wild time. I would also plant more seeds of dissension in the band as money, fame, and egos start to come into the picture. But now they are all rich, living lavish lives, spending money, living in mansions, dating celebrities.

axl rose arrested

They tour with Iron Maiden and Aerosmith, and the magazine Rolling Stone meets up with the tour to interview Aerosmith, but they end up meeting with Guns n Roses as well. When the issue comes out, it is Guns n’ Rose who make the front cover instead.

guns n roses rolling stone

Axl also gets married to Erin around that time so I would want to show that. The relationship is volatile and there are many fights. I would like to show Erin saying something that Axl uses in his song November Rain, such as, ‘Nothin’ lasts forever and we both know hearts can change.’

guns n roses axl rose erin everly wedding

To speed the story along, I would do a montage showing their lives on tour, photo shoots, shooting music videos, partying. I basically want the final act to build up to the Use You Illusions Tour. I would show them writing, rehearsing, fighting as tensions flare up.

Steve Adler was doing so much drugs that he would pass out in recording sessions, not show up, lie about doing drugs. They finish the album, but fire Steve. Steve sues them, they settle for a couple million dollars, and put Matt on drums and Dizzy Reid on keys.

The double album comes out and it tops the charts — holding both spots 1 and 2 on Billboard 100. They then spend a ton of money on three music videos before the Use Your Illusion Tour — November Rain, Estranged, and Don’t Cry.

guns n roses use your illusions guns n roses use your illusions

Axl and Erin’s marriage dissolves as the pressure of dating a rock star becomes too much for her to handle.

In the end of the movie, I would show some behind the scenes of the band on tour, then taking the stage, rocking out and end it with a heart felt performance of November Rain.

guns n roses november rain

Fade to black. Credits.

Additional Pitches

Back to the Future 4 thumb a quiet place
home alone

See more pitches…

See more pitches…

cropped-blog-banner1.png

Rounders 2 | Movie Pitch Monday

Welcome to another episode of Movie Pitch Monday — a show where I pitch hypothetical movie ideas. If you don’t know who I am, I’m Edward Mullen, I’m an author, blogger, and YouTuber.

In the past, I have done pitches for Avatar 2, Back to the Future 4, Ready Player 2, A Quieter Place, and dozens of others.

In today’s movie pitch, I want to pitch a sequel to one of my favourite movies — Rounders, staring Matt Damon, Edward Norton, and John Malkovich.

I’ll briefly recap the first movie so that we’re all on the same page.

  • Mike McDermott (Matt Damon), law student, living in NY
  • To pay for law school and his bills, he goes around to different tables around town and plays no limit Texas Hold’em
  • In the beginning of the movie, he’s cocky and plays Teddy KGB (John Malkovich) in which he loses all his money, three stacks of high society aka 30 grand
  • He takes a regular job and focuses on his studies, he has made a commitment to his girlfriend, to not play poker again
  • His friend Worm (Edward Norton) gets out of prison and uses him name to rack up debt
  • They both get in over their heads and need to come up with the money quick
  • Matt Damon’s girlfriend finds out that he’s playing poker again and leaves him without question
  • Mike and Worm go to every game in town, including some outside of town
  • They lie, cheat, and collude to give themselves every advantage
  • Worm gets greedy and uses poor judgement
  • Eventually Worm is caught bottom dealing by a bunch of off-duty police officers and they beat Mike and Worm up
  • With no other options, Matt Damon goes to his Prof and borrows the money to pay back Teddy KGB
  • But instead of using the money to pay him back, he uses it to play poker with Teddy KGB
  • Mike spots Teddy’s tell and wins back his debt as well as enough to pay back the Prof, and the 30 grand he original lost at the beginning of the movie
  • In the end, Mike goes to Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker

Okay so that’s where we left off. My movie pitch takes place in present day, 20 years after the first.  We follow the story of Jason (Miles Teller), a young kid who has saved up some money, like four or five thousand dollars, and has moved to Las Vegas with dreams of competing in the World Series of Poker. He has won a number of online tournaments and has done quite well, but it has always been his dream to play with the big boys in Vegas.

Act One

The opening of the movie, I would do a montage of Vegas, upbeat music playing, cards being dealt, dealers raking chips, large stacks of chips being accumulated, and poker pros sitting around until early hours, playing hands.

When we first meet Jason, he has just arrived to Las Vegas for the first time. He walks down the Vegas strip and into a grand entrance of one of the casinos and has his back toward us. He is in awe of the grandiose opulence of the hotel / casino. He’s only ever seen it in movies. The camera pans around and we see a look of awe and excitement on his face.

He enters the casino timidly, and just checks out the scene a bit. He finds a table that doesn’t look that intimidating and takes a seat. He pulls out a wad of cash and gets dealt in.

He folds a lot at first, plays a few hands, takes a small win. An hour later, he gets a little more comfortable and begins to get on a roll. At the end of a long night, he looks exhausted and is up like four or five thousand dollars.

He walks out of the casino, gets a hotel room, and crashes for the night.

The next day, he returns to the Casino and someone recognizes him from the day before. They tell him they were watching him play and invite him to sit at the high-limit table, minimum buy in 10,000. The kid doesn’t have enough money, but agrees to go and watch. When he goes there, he sees some of the pros he’s seen on television like Daniel Ngreanu, Phil Ivey, Phil Helmuth, etc.

After an hour or so, he gets the itch and really wants to play. The guy who invited him to play says that he will bankroll him and they will split the winnings. Jason agrees and takes a seat. He’s up and down and back up again. He has over 100,000, which seems like a lot, but not at this table.

The bankroller tells him to fold and exit the game, but just then he’s dealt pocket Aces. As the hand continues to play out, Jason pushes all-in for one last time to hopefully double his money.

He eventually gets a bad beat and loses it all in one hand, including his earnings from the night before. He now has no money and is completely crushed. He feels sick to his stomach.

The guy who bankrolled him is furious and begins to yell at Jason, but security is quick to step in.

The next scene, we see Jason in a uniform, cleaning backyard pools and he looks miserable. He earns enough to pay his bills and play a couple hands at the low limit tables, but the excitement is missing. He’s tasted the big leagues so going back to the kids’ tables is tough.

One day, Jason is called to a big mansion. He arrived at a gate, gets buzzed in, drives up the winding driveway and gets let in by the maid. He’s carrying his gear through this lavish house, and he’s gawking at all the dope art on the wall, the furniture, the staircase, the entire place is the kind of house you only see in movies. He walks through the house and into the back to the pool area. There’s a guy talking on the phone with his back to the camera.

He turns around and we see that it’s Matt Damon. Now, Matt Damon’s character Mike McDermott is a legend in poker. He’s won a bunch of major tournaments, appeared on TV, has endorsement deals, amassed a fortune, and he’s even in talks of turning his life into a movie.

Mike turns around and sees the kid staring at him and he tells the person whom he was speaking to on the phone that he will call him back.

“You’re Mike McDermott,” the kid manages to say, with his mouth agape.

“Last time I checked. How are you?” Mike responds. He’s really nice and is used to fans. He can tell the kid is star stuck and wants to create a good impression.

Jason then proceeds to tell him how much he respects him and begins recalling famous hands that Mike played to win the World Series of Poker similar to how Mike did in Rounders with Johnny Chan.

Jason proceeds to tell him about himself and his poker accolades. He tells him about losing his money and Mike tells him to stay away from that guy. He’s a shark and a hustler.

Jason offers a deal, he will clean his pool for free anytime he wants, pick up his dry cleaning, drive him to the airport, “anything you need, give me a call.” He gives Mike his business card and Mike says, “for now, just clean the pool.”

Jason cleans the pool and goes on about his day. Later in the week, Jason receives a call from Mike saying that some pump in the pool is broken and Jason drops everything and goes to Mike’s house. Jason’s employer receives a complaint that Jason left one job midday through and went to another job. Jason explains that Mike is a very important customer, but his employer isn’t having it and fires Jason.

Jason shows up at Mike’s house unannounced and is standing outside the gate. Mike buzzes him in and learns that his company fired him.

Mike feels bad and apologizes. He offers to call the company and get his job reinstated. Jason refuses and says, what I really want to do is play poker. Can you teach me?

Mike feels a little guilty about getting him fired and agrees to take him on.

They go around and play games much like we saw in Rounders. Mike shows this kid a life he could only dream of — girls, pool parties, private clubs. Jason is living at the Mike’s house and they have become friends.

We are also led to believe that Mike is teaching Jason how to play and soon Jason is at the high-limit table, playing big hands, despite Mike’s warning to stay away.

Act Two

Of course, Jason doesn’t listen and ends up losing all his bankroll, over 100k. He goes to Mike for a loan and Mike refuses to loan him any money. He says, what about that time when your professor loaned you money. How is this different.

Mike goes, “What did you say?”

“Your professor loaned you money so you could play Teddy KGB. But instead of paying back your debt, you took a bet on yourself and won back your debt, enough to pay back the professor, and keep 30k.”

“How do you know about that?”

The kid goes, “I read about it online.”

“No, you didn’t because I didn’t tell that to anyone. Only three people in this world know where I got the money, me, the Professor, and…” just as he says that, Edward Norton, Worm himself shows up with his sinister, up-to-no-good grin.

“Mikey McDermott. How the hell are you buddy? You know, I have to say, you’ve changed. I was a little disappointed that you weren’t waiting for me when I got out of prison this time.”

Mike is speechless. He’s not sure what’s going on. Worm comes up and puts his arm around Jason and says, I see you’ve met my boy.

“Jason’s you son?”

“Look at us, isn’t the resemblance uncanny?”

“Worm is your dad?” Mike says with a look of betrayal. “Why didn’t you tell me? What angle are you two working?

“Mike, trust me, we’re not working an angles.”

“I found out you two were hanging out and I told him not to tell you because I knew you would think I’m working an angle. See I told you he would think that. You know, you’re so predictable, Mike.”

“I think you two should leave.”

“Oh come on Mike, we’ll leave, but come with us. Let’s grab some beers and catch up. What do you say, Mikey?”

Mike agrees and they all go down to a bar and shoot the shit. They tell a lot of amazing stories, some from the first movie, and others from their lives post Rounders that we didn’t get to see such as Mike coming to Vegas and winning tournaments to becoming a celebrity.

Worm talks about his life and some of his wins and losses.

Then Worm asks if Mike is going to play in the World Series of Poker.

Mike says no, he retired from competition.

Worm and Jason talk him into it.

As Jason goes to the restroom, he gets punched in the stomach, dragged outside, burlap sack over his head, and tossed in the back of a van.

The next thing he knows, he’s being marched out in the middle of the desert, bag ripped off him, gun to his head. It’s the guy from the beginning of the movie. He wants his hundred grand that Jason lost.

Jason explains that he cannot come up with the money, but he plans to play in the WSOP and if he wins, he will pay him back, even though he feels that he doesn’t really owe him.

The bankroller takes off, leaving Jason out in the desert. He is eventually picked up by someone and taken back into the city. He decides not to tell Mike or Worm about this event.

Act Three

In the final act, the World Series of Poker is underway. I think it would be cool to do a lot of celebrity cameos from Dan Bilzerian to Ben Affleck, and all the current pros like Daniel Ngraneau and Phil Ivey. Even Teddy KGB makes a cameo and says a few lines to Mike.

We’re seeing a lot of really great poker action and Mike and Worm end up at the same table. Nobody knows that they know each other and they’re doing a lot of tricks from back in the day. Worm ends up intentionally dumping all his chips to Mike as a way to redeem himself for some past mistakes he made.

Mike is now the chip leader and he makes it to the final table with Jason. It’s heads up and Jason makes a move on Mike, but Mike is a vet. He outplays Jason, takes him out and becomes the World Series of Poker champion. Jason takes the second place prize, which is 200,000 grand. He sees the bankroller, but decides instead to leave town without paying him.

In the post-credits scene, Teddy KGB shows up and asks Mike if he wants to play some cards.

So there it is, my Rounders 2 pitch. Let me know in the comments what you think of the pitch. If you liked it, please hit the like button, if you want to see more pitches like this, please subscribe to my channel. Thanks so much for watching, I will see you next time.

Additional Pitches

Back to the Future 4 thumb a quiet place
home alone

See more pitches…

See more pitches…

cropped-blog-banner1.png

My X Files Pitch | Movie Pitch Monday

Welcome to another episode of Movie Pitch Monday, this is a show where I pitch hypothetical movies. For those who don’t know who I am, I’m Edward Mullen, I’m an author — most notably The Art of the Hustle and the Prodigy series, but I’ve written a bunch of other ones as well. I’m also the host this show.

In today’s pitch, I’m going to be pitching an episode of the X Files, a show I love and grew up watching. When I was younger, a lot of the stuff kind of went over my head and I wasn’t really paying attention and I didn’t really understand the show as much as I thought I did. Now going back and rewatching some of the episodes, I really appreciate the show so much more. The beauty of the show and the brilliant writing is something to marvel. Some fantastic episodes are the Season 2 finale (episode 25) and then Season 3 episodes 1 and 2. That mini story arc is fantastic, it’s classic X Files episodes, which are filmed in my hometown, I mean it’s my hometown now, which is Vancouver, but I didn’t grow up in Vancouver so I didn’t make the connection. Now when I watch it, I see Vancouver in every shot, which is really cool.

So few days ago, I came across this news story about this little village called Lake Anjikuni. The story described an event that happened sometime in the past and is about this little village mysteriously vanishing. It was discovered by this fur trapper named Joe Labelle who arrived one day to find the village completely deserted. According to Labelle, all the weapons and the food where still there, fur jackets where hung up, incomplete tasks where abandoned midway. There was an open fire with a pot of food cooking. All the dogs were still there. So where did everybody go? It was very unusual to say the least.

When I read this story, it captured my imagination and I thought it would be really cool to do an X Files episode based on it. I did a little bit of a research and this has actually come up a few other times where villages or towns mysteriously vanish. You can Google it if you are interested.

So I think it would be cool if Mulder and Scully show up to this village in Alaska in the middle of winter. They receive a report from a sheriff of a neighbouring town, this town has mysteriously vanished. I’d put in a lot the same things as we saw with the Lake Anjikuni story such as there’s a fire cooking, weapons and gear left behind, the dogs still chained up, and the people just disappeared without a trace. It’s a real head-scratcher as to where these people went.

As Mulder and Scully begin their investigation, they go around to talk to some of the neighbouring towns people just to get a vibe on the situation. They hear stories of strange lights in the sky, unusual weather phenomenon, legends of sky people coming down to visit, abductions, and cattle mutilations. Mulder suspects that it could be aliens, but Scully’s not buying it. She thinks it’s just folklore deriving from ancient times. They didn’t necessarily have the means to explain a lot of natural phenomenon such as thunder and lightning and Aurora Borealis so they would make up stories that have been passed down for centuries. In the absence of scientific explanation this is where legends and mythology come from. Also, this tribe has been relatively preserved for hundreds or thousands of years, being isolated in a rural part of Alaska. They were not near any sort of civilization so it stands to reason that they would pass along these kinds of legends and folklore, and it just spread. But that’s all it is, according to Scully.

Mulder is like, “You know what, I think there may be some truth to some of these stories.”

They then receive a call from the sheriff and he’s like, “Hey, I have something here for you you. You’d better get down here.”

So Scully and Mulder do down to the sheriff’s office and he’s like, “You should see this. See that kid over there.” Scully and Mulder look over at some teenager sitting there. “He’s from the tribe that disappeared. He just turned up.” They are like, “That’s incredible, let’s talk to him.”

The problem is, he’s not talking to anyone. This kid is naturally distrusting of outsiders and since Mulder and Scully are from the FBI, he’ not talking.

They take their eye of the kid for one second and he somehow disappears.

Mulder and Scully then get an expert tracker, someone who’s good at looking at foot prints, broken twigs and branches, using dogs to track scent, they go back to the village and begin to track this kid.

They go all through the woods and it’s getting dark. It’s cold and sketchy, and they have to spend the night outside. They think they might die, but they work together, build a fire and make it to the morning. They’re still following the tracks and it leads them to this monolithic structure that looks old. Some kind of ancient ruins, almost like Stonehenge.

They’re looking at this ancient site and are like, what the hell is this, how did it get here?

They begin checking out the site further and find a cave dwelling with these big like monolithic stone pillars, which is over a 1000 year old. They take out their flashlights and see all these intricately carved stones and cave paintings. They appear to tell a story of visitors coming from the sky and interacting in some way. Perhaps giving them technology, showing them how to cut the stones and whatnot.

Then there’s another image that’s not really sitting right with Mulder. As he’s analyzing it, the tracker yells out to them. He’s like, “Hey, the kid is outside, let’s get him.”

So Mulder and Scully quickly abandon the cave and begin to chase after the kid. They eventually capture him and his dog. They’re like, “Look man, we’re not here to hurt you, we just want to talk. What happened with your village, did you see anything? How did these stone pillars get made, and what’s with these paintings that appear to show aliens visiting?”

The kid eventually talks, he’s like, “Look, I’m a hunter so I went out to try and procure meat and some other sources of food for my village. As I was coming back, I saw men take my people.”

Mulder is like, “What do you mean by men?”

The kid is like, “You know, men wearing black suits, they had vehicles.”

Mulder then asks, “Were they aliens?”

The kid responds, “No, not aliens, but I have seen some stuff.”

“What have you seen?”

“Strange lights. Cattle disappearing.”

“What do those paintings mean? Are those aliens?”

The kid is like, “I dunno, they were here when we got here. From our ancient ancestors.”

What about these large stones, how did you guys move those?”

The kid shrugs and says, “No clue.”

So they make their way back to the village where these people disappeared and they’re starting to analyze the ground a bit more carefully. They find boot prints and tire treads. It appears as though this kid’s story is checking out — some covert government agents came to this village and took everyone. But why? It doesn’t make any sense and things are just not adding up.

They’re now back at their hotel, some kind of crappy, dingy motel in middle of nowhere, and they are perplexed. Mulder recalls the strange image he saw in the cave and says, “At the time, I didn’t really get a good look at it, but now thinking back, it kind of looked as though aliens interbreed with humans, or maybe genetically modified humans.

This is actually a theory that to Zechariah Sitchin put forth in his Earth Chronicle books, which I won’t go into. So Mulder is bringing up some of that stuff and is like, “All around the world these kind of stories appear from South America, to India, and Egypt.” He’s dropping some facts to support his claim that alien visitors came to Earth at some point in the past and either interbred with humans, or genetically modified humans, or gave us knowledge, or advanced technology, or played some role in the evolution of human beings.

“If the images depicted on the cave walls are true, that some kind of sky people, as they call them, came to Earth and genetically modified them, then we should be able to prove it with a sample of that kid’s blood. This is probably why the village was taken. Someone discovered the cave, figured out what we figured out, and took them to study them. That kid may be the proof we need that aliens exist and they came to Earth.”

Now, Scully is a medical doctor, a scientist, and is of a rational mind. She says, “Even if we analyze the kid’s blood and it shows some sort of anomaly that is incongruent with modern humans and biology, it doesn’t mean that their DNA has been altered or mixed with alien DNA. This tribe of people has been living in relative isolation for thousands of years. It’s very possible that they could have evolved completely different and their genetic make up or code is different in a significant way to humans and that doesn’t necessarily mean alien intervention. It could just mean that they perhaps took a different path, or used selective breeding, or whatever the case may be.

They get a sample of the kid’s blood and send it off to their lab back in DC, and they are awaiting the results.

Back at the village, these rogue militants return. They capture the kid and want to wipe this tribe from existence. So they are swarming and take the kid. Mulder and Scully are sitting back from afar, watching this whole thing go down.

They put the kid in the back of a truck and take off. As the convoy of vehicles are driving off, the SUV that the kid is in, lifts up off the ground and slams down. The wheels fold out to the sides and doors come off. The kid bolts out into the forest with his dog.

Mulder and Scully are left dumbfounded. They are like, “What the hell was that?”

They eventually leave and fly back to their headquarters in Washington DC. In the end, they get the blood results back and it does show like some weird anomaly that modern medicine or biology can’t explain. Mulder is convinced that the boy is a human / alien hybrid. He’s like, “Yo, we saw some crazy stuff out there. How do you explain the cave paintings, the monoliths, the stone carvings, the levitation?”

The episode wraps up and they never hear from the kid again. But they know he’s out there.

So there it is, my pitch for the X Files. If you like the pitch, please hit the like button if you want to see more pitches like this, please subscribe to my channel and leave a comment for me if you want to give me any suggestions for a future movie pitches. Thanks so much for watching and I will see you next time.

Additional Pitches

Back to the Future 4 thumb a quiet place
home alone

See more pitches…

See more pitches…

cropped-blog-banner1.png

The Marvelous Ones TV Series | Movie Pitch Monday

Much like Mad Men, I would like to do a TV series about Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, set in the 50s and 60s, at Marvel, creating some of the most iconic characters we know and love today.

For those don’t know, Stan Lee was born Stanley Lieber in Manhattan New York, December 28th 1922.

With the help of Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others, which I’ll mention, went on to create Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Spider Man, Iron Man, Thor, Dare Devil, Dr. Strange, and many others.

The challenge with creating this TV series is the timeline. Many of these important events happened over decades, so I would need a little creative freedom with the timeline in order to tell a compelling narrative in a condensed amount of time.

The last thing I’ll say before we get into the pitch is that I want to try something that’s never been done before. I would like to incorporate comic book animation into the show. So I was thinking about every once and a while, I wouldn’t want to overdo it, I would have comic book animation crawl across the screen almost like we’re seeing the world through Stan’s eyes. As the animation moves across the frame, everything it touches turns to comic book art — the street signs, buildings, people, etc. and then back again.

So, for instance, if he’s walking down the street and sees a man in suit holding a briefcase, as the animation crawls, the man turns into a warrior with armour and a battle axe, then back to a man in a suit. This is almost like the muse hitting him, this moment of inspiration.

We could have one scene where his boss is yelling at him, and then the boss turns into J. Jonah Jameson. We could then show a slight smirk on Stan’s face and have him jot some notes down in his notebook. I think that would be really cool to see.

Anyway, without further, here is my pitch for The Marvelous Ones.

S01E01

Okay, so season one episode one I would open with a panning shot of New York city with a text overlay appearing in the lower third that says, New York City, 1941. It’s the tail end of the great depression, so I would show a little montage of what the city and people look like at that time. I would have old timey newspapers, cars, clothes, dock workers, etc.

That would be my establishing shot.

I would then go to a Manhattan apartment building, inside one of the small two bedroom units. The camera would pan around Stan’s room, around his bookshelf are classics like Mark Twain, Sherlock Holmes, and Superman. Perhaps there are little army men figurines and a movie poster hanging on the wall.

The camera pans around to a young, 18 year old Stan Lee standing in front of the mirror, slick hair and fumbling with his tie. In his frustration, he goes to his father, who is eating breakfast at the kitchen table, reading a newspaper. His father tells him to go to his mother. His mother helps him with the tie and gives him some inspirational message about how talented he is and how he will do great. Stan has a younger brother who’s nine years younger than he is, so his mother is about to take him to school and wishes Stan good luck at his first day of work.

Since this is a period piece, I need to establish the social, economical, and political climate of the time, as the world was heading into World War II. Stan’s father was a dress cutter and worked in Manhattan where they lived, so he and Stan leave the apartment together and walk to the subway station. His father gives him some parting words — be kind to everyone and whatever you do, never leave before your boss.

Now, Stan Lee had a distant relative named Martin Goodman, who founded a small publishing press called Timely Comics. That’s how Stan was able to get a junior level position there running errands and doing odd jobs.

When he arrives at the office, he gets a tour and meets the team, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. Stan gets brought into Goodman’s office and is explained a brief history of comics.

“Do you know where comic books came from?” Goodman asks.

Stan shakes his head.

Goodman then proceeds to tell him that in 1933 this cat named MC Gains started running comic strips in newspapers, which were popular among readers. On the weekends, he would look to make more money when there wasn’t a newspaper and reprint all the daily comic strips from the week into comic books.

1938 Superman came out and was widely popular among kids and teenagers. Two years later, Timely comics was formed and artists Jack Kirby and Joe Simon worked at Timely and created Captain America, which was also a popular book.

So Stan gets to work and he’s learning the business. He’s in meetings, taking notes, and doing basic stuff. He works a full day and well into the night and is the last to leave.

When he gets home, there’s a plate of food waiting for him, he eats it, and goes to bed.

To speed up time, I would show a montage of him working all day like a dog, coming home late, exhausted, and repeating. During the montage, I would show him trying to offer his opinions and suggestions, but nobody is willing to listen. He’s relegated to proofreading and erasing pencils from the finished pages.

So he comes home and complains to his father who tells him that this is just part of life, nobody cares about your ideas. You have to pay your dues.

For episode one, I’d probably end it there. Nothing crazy, no cliffhangers, but really just an introduction into Stan’s life.

I won’t go through every episode in detail, but I’ll paint with broad strokes.

The Rest of Season One

Episode two, we see a young Stan Lee finally getting some copywriting experience.

In this episode, we see some issues arise at Timely Comics. After 10 issues of Captain America, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon leave over a dispute about financials.

Goodman didn’t really respect comics and thought that anyone could write them, so he puts 19-year-old Stan in charge of writing Captain America.

Comic books is considered low status at the time and Stan is so embarrassed that he uses a pen name “Stan Lee” instead of Stanley Lieber so that nobody would associate his real name with comics when he someday writes the great American novel.

This went on from 1941 to 1942 so in order to speed up the timeline, I’d probably do another montage. Every time we jump ahead, I would put the year as an overlay at the bottom.

As Stan continues to plug away, he gets enlisted in the army, holding the title of playwright. World War II was 1939 to 1945, so after the war, he returns to writing comics.

Stan returns from the war and falls into the only thing he has really ever known, which is writing comics. He writes whatever comics are trending — war stories, romance, horror, monster, humour, whatever is the trend at the moment, that’s what he writes.

By this time, he has found an apartment of his own, and perhaps I would take some creative liberties and have him roommate with Jack Kirby. Somewhere in Queens perhaps.

We’d see him write comics, visit with his parents, hang out back at the apartment, go to movies, and go to parties. According to Stan, comics at that time was an industry that lacked prestige. Whenever he would go to social events, he would be embarrassed to tell people what he did because they were considered to be for kids.

On one particular party, he meets a young actress / writer named Joan. However, he actually went there to meet someone else, a blind date if you will. But when Joan opens the door, he sees her and says, “I think I’m going to fall in love with you.” Stan tells her that as a kid he always drew faces, and more specifically idealized faces. When he meets Joan, he was astonished that she was the face of this girl he had been drawing all these years.

So they get together and there’s some drama there because she was married at the time. I would flush that out in the show.

They eventually marry in 1947 and apparently Stan proposes to her only two weeks after they meet. And when they get married, she had only been divorced for an hour prior. In fact the same judge who divorced her, marries her.

We’re now near the end of the season and Stan has been working in comics at this point for over half his life and always thought he would quit at some point.

By 1954, comics were violent, full of monsters and crime, and parents were upset. A senate subcommittee for juvenile delinquency meet to discuss if comics are appropriate for children. I would play out this drama and show the creation of a self-regulatory committee established called the Comics Code Authority, which stripped away all the violence and gore from the books. By the late 50s, the only comics that remained were safe and boring. Nobody was more bored and uninspired than Stan Lee.

Goodman thought comics were for children and didn’t want there to be vocabulary that was above what children would understand, which really frustrated Stan. He was in a slump, growing dissatisfied of his job and felt as though he couldn’t continue like this.

So one day he wife Joan says to him, “Why don’t you create characters that you like? You’ll get it out of your system and if you get fired, not a big deal, because you were going to quit anyway.”

In the season finale, I would have Stan and his roommate Jack Kirby create the Fantastic Four. The year 1961.

Season Two

Now, in season two, this is really the start of Marvel comics. This is where the show really picks up. I basically needed to get all that season one stuff out of the way and I thought about omitting it and starting the story while he’s already established at Marvel, but I chose to show these early beginnings to allow the audience to grow with this character.

Timely turns into Marvel comics on the back of Fantastic Four, which is a huge smash. Stan and Kirby ride this wave and come up with their next idea — Incredible Hulk, which is first published in May 1962.

Stan says to Jack, “I need you to draw me a monster, but a good monster, a good-looking monster that audiences can sympathize with.” As he said it out loud, he realized how stupid it sounded, but nevertheless, Jack delivered as usual.

The Incredible Hulk animated show came out in 1966 and Hulk and Fantastic Four were hugely popular. It attracted top tier talent like John Buscema, John Romita, Steve Ditko, and even his younger brother Larry Lieber.

They came up with the Marvel Method, which is where Stan would discuss the story without a script or formal guidelines, and the artists would draw it. Using this system, Stan was able to create many books very quickly.

From 1961 to 1962, Marvel’s sales exploded from 7 million to 13 million copies sold. Season two would be all about this journey. Then in the season finale of season two, I would have Stan pitch an idea for another superhero.

He says to Jack, “You something that’s always bothered me. I hate the idea of a teenager sidekick. Why can’t the teenager be the hero? He should be like us, from where we live in Queens.”

We essentially see him come up with the idea of Spider-Man and as he’s describing the idea, Kirby is sketchy what would later become Amazing Fantasy 15, which was published in August 1962.

Season two would be about the comic book wars with DC, creating new superheroes such as Thor, Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Dare Devil, Ant Man, and others. As Marvel grows in popularity, they have more licenses, more money, and move to a bigger office. I think it would be really cool to document that journey.

Of course, if this thing ever did get made into a TV show, the people involved would be able to fill in a lot of the gaps that I missed. There’s probably a ton of cool stories that fans would love to know, a peek behind the curtain if you will.

So that’s about as far as I got. Let me know if you like this concept or if you can think of ways to make it better, leave me a comment.

As always, thanks for checking out my pitch. Please don’t forget to like and subscribe to my YouTube channel, and I will see you next time.

Additional Pitches

Back to the Future 4 thumb a quiet place
home alone

See more pitches…

See more pitches…

cropped-blog-banner1.png

%d bloggers like this: