Category Archives: Movies

Wu Tang TV Series | Enter the Wu Tang


When I found out there was going to be a Wu Tang TV series, I was super excited. I immediately wanted to try my hand at pitching what I think would make a great series. For some background, I’m a massive Wu Tang fan — I have every album, including the solo projects of each member, I’ve read The Wu Manual, The Tao of Wu, I’ve listened to every interview and freestyle I could find, especially from the RZA, and I even still have my original 36 Chamber cassette.

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What makes this series so interesting, not necessarily my version, but just speaking in general, is that there is so much history about Wu Tang that a two-hour movie really won’t do it justice. As you will see with my pitch, I really take my time diving into the backstory to create a compelling narrative. Some of the stuff is true, and some isn’t, which I will disclose.

Obviously, if the actual members were involved with this series, it would be way better than anything I come up with since they have first-hand knowledge and can inject some really amazing behind-the scenes stories. For my pitch, I won’t focus so much on the specific details, although I will introduce some of that stuff. I’m more painting with broad strokes here and really want to focus on what I think would be a cool arc, structure, and pacing. I would be interested to see how close I get to the actual TV series, which at the time of this writing, is not out yet, not even a trailer.

So without further ado, here is my Wu Tang pitch.

s01e01

First episode, opening scene, we see New York City, early 90s. I would have some dope rap playing in the background while I do establishing shots of New York during that time period. We see graffiti, breakdancing, the smoke coming through the manholes, brothers in the hood with the baggy clothes and gold chains. The old Benzos with rims.

The music would grow louder as we focus on a studio session. We see a young RZA, aka Rakeem, in the studio tweaking the dials of the audio equipment while his cousin GZA laying down some bars in the booth. Rakeem and GZA were signed artists at that time — RZA released an album under the name Prince Rakeem and GZA released Words from the Genius.

Although they were signed artists, Rakeem and GZA were struggling musicians. They were barely scraping by and had some illegal side hustles to make ends meet.

So they’re in the studio, there’s girls, they’re partying a little bit, and GZA comes out of the booth. He’s feeling off. He sits down and has a conversation with Rakeem.

Rakeem is like, “Yo, bong bong, what it does what it do?” He’s speaking that RZA slang that we know and love.

GZA is upset because he thinks the direction the label wants him to go is wack. He’s like, “Yo, I want to drop that fire.”

Rakeem is like, “Word is bond, kid.”

GZA begins talking about supreme science and divine mathematics, really dropping that knowledge on him. Rakeem is loving every minute of it, relating it to numerology and some other esoteric concepts.

The next scene, they’re in a movie theatre watching a Kung-Fu flick. They’re both super into it. After the movie, Rakeem and GZA go to a record shop and they seem to know everyone. They are signed artists and well respected. People are giving them daps, but they aren’t exactly famous. So they’re digging through the crates and they find some Kung Fu records.

“Yo, this is that joint we just saw, yo.”

Rakeem is really excited and grabs a stack of vinyl.

They take the train back to Rakeem’s crib and he begins sampling a lot of those Kung-Fu sounds that we know from his albums — “Shaolin shadow boxing, and the Wu Tang sword style. I’d like to try you’re Wu Tang style, let’s begin then.”

As the day goes on, people start showing up at Rakeem’s crib. Many of them we don’t know. One is ODB. He’s drunk and acting crazy. He gets on a table with his shirt off and starts singing and rapping, swaying back and forth and slurring his speech.

Someone says, “Yo, your man is bugging.”

Rakeem is like, “You know what, it’s actually kind of hot.”

The party continues and Rakeem is in his room making beats. There’s a lot of drinking 40s and smoking blunts.

Then someone comes into Rakeem’s room, a gangster who is in trouble. Here, I want to establish that Rakeem is someone people go to. He is a bridge that connects people. He drops some wisdom like, “A samurai should make every decision inside of seven breaths.”

Later that night, Rakeem and GZA perform on stage at a local club and the crowd is wil’ing out. It’s not the radio stuff, it’s more rugged and hard.

At the end of the episode, they’re chilling in the club and they are introduced to Ghostface. They are told that he is a dope emcee. He goes up next and raps, and as the episode comes to a close, the camera is focused on Rakeem standing in the crowd observing Ghostface’s lyrics and swagger. It appears as though wheels are turning in his head. He’s formulating an idea.

s01e02

The next episode, I would focus on a new cast of characters. I would focus on Ghostface and Raekwon. They’re not signed artists, they are street hustlers, robbing people and selling drugs.

I would have Rakeem going on these long walks, just contemplating life. In his book Tao of Wu, he talks about going on these long walks. I used to do that and put it in my book The Art of the Hustle. I later read that RZA did that too, which I thought was cool. I would focus on RZA making music with ODB, helping ODB see the vision of a better tomorrow. I would show RZA’s baby momma struggles.

In the end of the episode, I would introduce another character like I did with Ghost. Then in the next episode, we follow another set of guys and learn about their storyline.

s01e03

In the next episode, I would show another set of guys — let’s say Method Man and Inspectah Deck. We learn about some of their hopes and dreams. See what they are up to.

We seem them come together at Rakeem’s house, because Rakeem always had people over at his house. It wasn’t always a party, sometimes they would get high and watch Kung Fu movies and play video games. Each of the guys would call out, “Yo, that’s me!” “I’m that guy.” — they would essentially be living through these people.

s01e04

By episode four, Rakeem gets into a bit of trouble, his girl gets pregnant, some people try to shoot him, and he catches a case. In the Tao of Wu he tells a story about giving a girl a ride home in his sister’s car and the girl he was with, her boyfriend pulls up next to them at a red light. The boyfriend gets out and smashes up the car, they speed away and lay low.

After a couple of hours, RZA creeps into that girls block and drops her off. But she lives on a dead-end street and those guys are waiting for him. It’s an ambush. There’s a shootout and Rakeem gets arrested for manslaughter or second degree murder, I can’t remember.

Later the case gets dropped, but Rakeem realizes that staying in these projects, trouble has a way of finding him. He needs to make a move and get out.

Again, we see him talking to GZA, maybe playing chess, and going on these long walks. Rakeem starts to piece together a plan. He invites all these emcees back to his crib to make music together. The whole crew is there, Meth, Ghost, Deck, Rae… They’re all trying to out rap each other, speaking slang, reading comics and coming up with nicknames. It’s really dope stuff.

There’s another scene from the book that I would put in where RZA was with Raekwon at 160 Park Hill Avenue and they see Method Man, they called him over and just as he’s crossing the road, gunshots ring out. This dude Poppy was shot and killed right in front of them and RZA basically saved Method Man’s life. If it wasn’t for them calling him over, “Yo, Shaquan!” (nickname for Method Man), Meth would have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and potentially got killed.

Near the end of the season, Rakeem now calls himself the RZA — Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah, Bobby Digital, the Abbott, RZA-recta. All the other members have solidified their names and rap personas. RZA sees what each of them brings to the table.

Season 1 Finale

In the season finale, RZA gathers eight unique emcees, sits them down and is like, “Yo, I have a plan. I’m driving this bus. If you commit to me for five years, I promise you we’ll be number one in this rap game. You can’t ask me where we’re going, you can’t ask me to drive, don’t question my authority, I have to run this like a dictatorship, yo.”

RZA gets them to all sign contracts to RZA’s production company and on that night, the plan is officially in motion.

I would then show them rapping and making beats, putting finishing touches on records like Protect ya Neck. They’re all really proud of it, and are like, “Yo, when this shit drops it’s going to be fire.”

I would end the season there.

Season 2

In season two, I would have Protect ya Neck on the radio, them starting to gain a little buzz in the streets. They’re screen printing shirts, putting up flyers, doing little concerts around town. They’re still very much underground. RZA is busy making beasts and directing everyone, meanwhile shopping the group around to different labels and negotiating an unprecedented record contract, allowing the group to sign to one label, but the option for each member to branch off and do solo projects and still use the Wu Tang moniker.

The arch in season two would basically be the making of 36 Chambers, the release, and them blowing up.

Season 3

They are now a global sensation. They’re making music videos, performing in big venues, magazine covers… They’re taking the world by storm and it’s crazy. We see real money start to come in and focus on that dynamic, how that changes them.

We could also focus on Method Man begin working on his on project Tical and RZA pulling him aside and telling him this is all part of my master plan, bong bong.

With so much history and characters, the saga could continue. Each season, shine the light on a new member, some of their internal squabbles.

Anyway, there it is, that’s my Wu Tang TV series pitch. Please let me know in the comments if you liked it or if you can think of ways to make it better. If you like these pitches, please subscribe to me on YouTube and my blog, and check out some other ones, below!

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Return of The Mask | Movie Pitch Monday

Recently, I read the original Mask comic and it got me inspired to pitch a Mask sequel. Now, I understand there is a Mask sequel called Son of The Mask, but I haven’t seen it, nor have I seen the Mask cartoon, so admittedly, I don’t know much about The Mask other than the Jim Carrey movie, and issue 1 of the comic.

My pitch is set in modern day, so it has been nearly 25 years since the 1994 Jim Carrey movie. The opening scene we see an underground, black-market auction with several items up for bid — weapons, stolen art, trade secrets, etc. The auctioneer is some pompous-looking guy on a little stage, surrounded by different groups that are keeping their distance from each other.

There are four main groups:

  • The Russians
  • The Chinese
  • The African-Americans
  • Caucasian Americans

“The next item up for bid bestows god-like powers to the wearer,” the auctioneer states. “This item has been in a private collection for over two decades, but its origins date back even further.”

As the auctioneer continues, the camera pans around to the Mask of Loki that we all know from the first movie. This is also where I can insert some exposition about the mask and its powers.

“The origins of the Mask are unknown,” the man says, “but it is believed to be created between the 4th and 5th century by the Norse god Loki. Some historians describe Loki as a night god, which is fitting since the Mask only works at night. Let’s open up the bidding at ten million dollars, do I have ten million?”

The men from the different groups begin bidding like crazy. Little do they know, the cops have the place surrounded and before the bidding ends, they burst through the doors and storm the place.

One of the Chinese guys grabs the mask, puts it on, and starts to attack his enemies. They fire back and it turns into an all-out fire fight with everyone ducking for cover.

The cops hold back and wait for the violence to play out. Their thinking is like, if these guys want to kill each other, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

The Chinese guy eventually escapes and takes off in a fleet of Mercedes. The police give chase along with the other groups, and now they’re racing through the city. The Russians, the Americans, everyone is chasing after this convoy of vehicles.

The Chinese can hardly contain himself, he’s drunk with power. He climbs out the car, which mind you is swerving in and out of traffic. He’s now on the roof of the car. He leaps off like he’s in the frigging Matrix, landing on one of the cop cars. It smashes. He then bounces from vehicle to vehicle, caving in the hoods of all the enemies vehicles, causing them to flip end over and and spin out of control. There’s a massive pile-up. People are firing at the guy in the Mask, but the bullets do nothing.

My friends, I remind you, this is the opening scene of the movie!

So the Mask eventually gets away.

Everyone’s pissed. The cops arrest some of the gangsters and haul them off to jail so it’s not a complete waste. This becomes the biggest news story around the world. People recorded all this footage with their cellphones and it’s blowing up on social media.

Here, we follow the lead cop. He’s never been in such a high profile case before. Camera crews are showing up at his house, wanting to interview him. He goes inside and just wants to escape. He has a teenage daughter, who hangs around some friends. They’re over at the house and they’ve been following the story online. They’re into comics and fantasy, and have done a little bit of research about the mask. They explain to the dad what they know about it.

Act Two

The police are trying their best to apprehend the mask and are going after all the usual suspects. It’s all hands on deck. They’re receiving pressure from the public to put a stop to this chaos so everyone is working double shifts.

Now, the other storyline we’re following is the African-Americans. One of the guys who got arrested was Chris Warner – a nineteen year old kid who is from a rough part of town and does what he has to do to survive. He got caught up in the gang life early and doesn’t want to see his little brother get caught up in it.

Chris has a little brother who’s 15 — Let’s call him Devin. Devin is sad that his brother Chris got arrested because that’s his hero. The dad is gone and Chris has really been the only stable male figure in Devin’s life. Now that he’s locked up, he’s pissed.

Devin and his friends come up with a plan to roll up on the Chinese gangsters and steal the Mask and use it to break his brother out of jail. So that’s what he does. He and his homies squad up and kidnap the Chinese guy’s daughter. They hold her ransom until her dad hands over the mask.

The Chinese guy loves his daughter is forced hand over the mask.

The African-American gangsters go back and forth, each using the mask. They run amok, causing lots of crime, revenge, and property damage. But before they can do that, the sun comes up, the powers of the mask are nullified. This is when the Russians show up and take the mask. Then all hell breaks loose.

The Russian guy is the worst. He’s doing some really bad things and there’s all these interconnected storylines.

Then, from seemingly out of nowhere, a new dude shows up to town, wearing a red mask. Nobody knows who it is. He smashes the Russian guy, takes out the Chinese guys, and crushes the Americans. This guy is badass. But just like the green mask, the power subsides when the sun comes up.

The city is freaking out and nobody knows how to stop this guy.

Act Three

Nobody knows where the green mask is. Turns out, Devin has it. He picked it up when the Russian guy was defeated by the red mask. He snatched it off of him and ran. Now, he wants to make a deal with the lead cop to let his brother out. The cop takes that deal and they meet in a public place. The cop, the brother, and the little brother. He hands over the mask, which is wrapped in a cloth. The brother is free to go.

Now, nobody knows the cop has the mask. After he gets it, he goes up to the jail to pay someone a visit. As the cop shows up to prison, I would have some reveal and it’s none other than Jim Carrey — Stanley Ipkiss himself. They have a little chat and the cop asks him about any long-term effects with wearing the mask. Stanley seems normal and this satisfies the cop.

Later that night, the cop is at home, in his room, and he’s staring at the mask. He becomes overcome with curiosity and puts on the mask. He bounces around the house and backyard, scares the neighbour’s cat, and causes a lot of commotion.

The kids show up and the dad restrains himself. He takes the mask off and apologizes for his behaviour. The kids are like, “Can I try it?” The dad says, no. They are like, “Please!” He says, “Okay, but only for a second.”

The daughter is the first to try on the mask and it takes control of her. She’s too young. She runs away with it. The dad and all the friends chase after her. Just as he’s about to apprehend her, the red mask villain shows up again. The dad is really worried because this red mask character is going to kill his daughter.

But then, the skies part and the Guardians of the Galaxy show up. Here, we learn about the backstory of the two masks and how one is good and one is evil. They were both forged from wood made with Groot’s face. Groot is pissed, he’s all, “I am Groot” and he takes the mask back.

The red mask has gone around town causing havoc. There’s an epic fight between the Guardians and the red mask. After a crazy battle, the sun comes up and red mask gets away, we never learn their identity.

Star-Lord and the gang say some parting words before they take off. The cops have the green mask and are not letting it out of their site. The main cop is about to take his daughter and her friends home when another cops walks up and informs him that the prison was one of the places the red mask hit and some of the inmates escaped.

In the closing scene, we see a man’s feet walking down a sidewalk. He’s wearing a new suit. As camera pans up, it’s Jim Carrey aka Stanley Ipkiss. He’s looking dead into the camera and smiles. Then the camera pans over to a car. He gets in and says to the driver, “It’s good to see you again. Did you get my mask?”

The camera pans over to reveal none other than Cameron Diaz — she’s had the red mask the entire time! She says, “Not yet, but we will.”

Credits.

What I like about this pitch is that the mask changes hands so many times, and each time we get a new version. We saw a little bit of that in the Jim Carrey movie, but I would do more of that.

Anyway, there is my Mask pitch, let me know in the comments if you like it.

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Avatar 2 Movie Pitch | #MoviePitchMonday #MPM

Avatar 2 is supposedly coming in December 2020, so I thought it would be fun to put out a pitch of what I would do in the sequel.

Now, this was surprisingly difficult because what made Avatar so great wasn’t necessarily the plot. It had more to do with the following three elements:

  1. The 3D — which was revolutionary at the time
  2. The visuals — it was filled with rich colours and imagery
  3. The world — the philosophy or message behind how the natives interacted with nature

While it did have a powerful, heartbreaking story, it wasn’t all that intricate or even original. I read somewhere that Avatar was essentially Dances with Wolves meets Pocahontas.

So I definitely had a challenge ahead of me while attempting to make an interesting and engaging pitch, using nothing but my words. In this pitch, you will not see the 3D or the bright colours, or the spectacular world, so bear with me.

To recap what happened in the first movie:

  • Humans, part of the Resources Development Administration (RDA) go to Pandora, a densely forested planet inhabited by a native tribe called the Na’vi, looking for valuable mineral called unobtanium
  • They discover the richest deposit of unobtanium under a giant tree called Hometree, where the Na’vi live
  • Jake Sully is sent to infiltrate the Na’vi and convince them to leave Hometree so that the humans can mine the unobtanium
  • Jake Sully grows sympathetic to the Na’vi and changes his allegiance
  • Parker Selfridge, head of RDA orders the Hometree to be destroyed
  • There’s a battle and many of the Na’vi are killed
  • With the exceptions of Jake, Norm and a few others scientists, all humans are expelled from Pandora and are sent back to Earth
  • Jake is permanently transferred into his avatar with the aid of the Tree of Souls

That’s where we’re at. So without further Ado, here’s my Avatar 2 pitch.

Act One

After toppling the Hometree, The Resources Development Administration (RDA) flee Pandora with the unobtainium and has taken it back to Earth. So I would open the movie on Earth. It’s a futuristic world, but it’s in a state of disrepair. As the original story goes, much of Earth’s natural resources have been depleted, which has led to a severe energy crisis.

The unobtanium is being studied and they find it is wildly unstable. There’s an episode of the X-Files where these boys have some sort of power that accelerates the growth of anything they touch, so when they put their hands on a doorknob, for instance, all the bacteria on the doorknob grows like crazy. So the unobtanium does this and the room that it’s in is growing all this weird fungus and bacteria and is threatening the world. If this thing escapes quarantine, it could completely take over the planet, which they assume will turn Earth’s atmosphere poisonous to humans as it has done to Pandora.

We cut to our first look of Pandora and it doesn’t look as we remember it. With the Hometree dead and all the unobtainium stolen, the planet is dying. Destroying the Hometree has damaged the biological neural network of the planet and they desperately need to get it back. Plants and animals are dying, and the Na’vi are unable to procreate so if they don’t act fast, they will face extinction.

We said that Jake, Norm and a few others scientists have remained on Pandora. In fact, Jake is permanently transferred into his avatar so he has really taken a leadership role within the tribe and wants to figure out how to fix this problem that he feels somewhat responsible for (guilty by association).

Jake is hanging out with Neytiri who has become pregnant with his child. Let’s say the baby was conceived before the tree was destroyed. After it was destroyed, nothing could become pregnant. The life of her unborn baby also hangs in the balance since it needs nature to nurture it (see what I did there!).

Neytiri and others explain to him that the unobtainium is vital to the planet’s survival and without it, everything will perish. To keep the unobtainium stable, it needs to be buried under a Hometree. That’s why the Hometree is so large, because it feeds directly off this life enhancing mineral.

Jake has come to learn of another tree of life on the moon planet, but it’s being guarded by an aquatic tribe of Na’vi. Here we get some backstory of the two tribes and how they’ve been at war for centuries. If only they could acquire another Hometree seed, then they could in theory, plant a new tree and hope will be restored. However, the forest Na’vi can’t exactly go up to the water Na’vi and ask for a seed from their tree. They are sworn enemies!

As mentioned, Sam feels responsible and guilty for what has happened to his new people and he vows to make right. He also has a baby on the way and considers Pandora home, so it is vital for he and his family’s future to get that seed.

While Neytiri stays at home, pregnant, Sam convinces some of the other Na’vi to go with him. They don’t steal and don’t want to risk going to the aquatic Na’vi’s turf, but they agree to show Sam the way to this underwater civilization. Sam convinces one of his fellow human scientists, Dave, to go with him.

The plan is that once they have the seed, they can plant it under the small amount of remaining unobtanium they have, which they are guarding with their lives, and hopefully a new Hometree will flourish and the planet will be saved. We also need to establish that the seeds must come from this other tree because otherwise they would just get one from their own tree. Maybe the forest people have the male part of the seed and the water people have the female part, and you need both. Something like that.

Act Two

Back on Earth, the humans figure that to keep the unobtanium in balance and in harmony with nature, they need a Hometree. This means they need to make another trip back to Pandora and steal a seed.

Now, we said that Sam is permanently transformed into a Na’vi, but some of the other scientists are still using Avatars. They can unplug and chill in the base in their human form. Here, we learn a little about Dave’s backstory — he has a wife, who’s also a scientist on the ship. She has developed cancer and is in dire need of treatment. Turns out, the unobtanium can cure her. The main RDA guy cuts a deal with Dave to obtain the seed, rendezvous with them at some location, and save his wife. Dave takes that deal unbeknownst to Sam.

So Sam and Dave, perhaps some others, go to this underwater place and attempt to steal a seed from the last remaining Hometree on the planet. Here we see a lot of really cool visuals that we haven’t seen before since it’s underwater. I’m talking new animals, new plants, crazy colours, etc.

The mission is really risky and as it turns out, the aquatic Na’vi discover the forest Na’vi’s plan and are after them. There’s a really suspenseful chase and in the end, Sam gets captured, but not before giving the seed to Dave. He think he can trust him so he’s like, “Take this to Eytukan,” (Neytiri’s father and clan leader).

Dave comes up and tells the tribe that Sam failed and they did not get the seed. He said that he was captured and most likely killed. Several of the Na’vi clan ignore the risks and stage a rescue attempt for Sam, who may or may not be dead. Since the Na’vi are not violent by nature, their plan is to meet with the aquatic leaders and negotiate a deal to get Sam back. There’s actually something of value they have that the aquatic tribe doesn’t, and they are willing to trade it for Sam.

Here we learn more backstory of the Tree of Souls, which is of extreme spiritual significance and allows the Na’vi and humans to connect with it and be at one with nature. There have been many battles fought over this tree and the forest Na’vi have been the guardians of it since the beginning of time. Now, for the first time, they are willing to share it with this aquatic tribe, not only for Sam, but also for the Hometree seed.

One of the other human scientists, let’s call her Paula, learns about Dave’s deal with the RDA and that he double crossed everyone. So they argue and fight. Dave gets knocked out, and is detained in a holding facility while Paula brings the seed to the Na’vi tribe.

Act Three

The planet is dying and the Na’vi need to plant the seed asap. Plants and animals are dying, birds are falling from the sky, and the Na’vi are feeling weak. Sam and Neytir’s baby is also at risk with each passing minute. Just as the seed is en route, the RDA folks show up, and unplug Paula from her from her avatar. They then go out to retrieve the seed.

Jump back to the negotiation, it goes well and the water people accept the forest people’s trade. They agree to give Sam back in return for the Tree of Souls seed. Sam returns and figures out that Dave double crossed him. They go back to the ship to stop Dave and save Paula, who they assume is in danger

Just before the humans leave the planet, the Na’vi arrive just in time to stop them. There’s another epic battle between humans and Na’vi and again there are many casualties. This time, however, the underwater tribe comes up and lends a hand since they too need unobtainium and want to show an act of solidarity with the forest Na’vi.

With the help of the aquatic Na’vi, the humans are defeated and detained. The Na’vi are becoming weak suddenly. They need the seed to be planted and the unobtainium put back. In a suspenseful race against the clock, the Na’vi along with Jake and Paula take the unobtainium from the ship and put in back in the ground. They also plant the new Hometree seed, which they recently acquired. They do a ceremony and something crazy happens. Maybe the sky parts and it rains or something cool, I’m not sure what, but it should be visually stunning and unclear to Sam and us as the audience what is happening. But later we learn that this a good thing. It means the planet will be saved.

We show a scene of the RDA humans captured somehow and Dave reunited with his wife. Maybe he’s forgiven, I’m not sure.

In the end, Neytiri gives birth and we see a cute little Na’vi baby.

The end.

Perhaps movie three can be all about the new baby growing up and discovering s/he has powers, or that this teenager Na’vi falls in love with one of the aquatic Na’vi so we can continue that story line.

So there it is, my Avatar 2 pitch. Let me know in the comments if you liked it. If you like these pitches, check out more of them below!

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Nightwing TV Series | #MoviePitchMonday #MPM

In today’s video, I’m going to be pitching a Nightwing TV series. Now, I know there is a Teen Titans TV series coming, which I didn’t know about prior to preparing for this pitch. I just watched the trailer an hour ago and my concept is much different. I want the tone of my series to be similar to Iron Fist. I have a guy in mind to play Nightwing called Charles Melton that could be good for this role, depending on how well he can fight.

The story takes place post Robin, maybe two years later. Batman and Dick — by the way, Dick Grayson’s initials are DG so maybe we’ll agree to call him Diggy or something — any way, he had a fallout because Batman was at war and wanted Diggy’s total devotion. Diggy was busy with college and messing around with Teen Titans and Bruce had enough of him, essentially firing him as Robin. This part comes up in the comics so I would follow that story line.

So Diggy leaves, doesn’t accept any help from Bruce, and has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He makes his way on his own and becomes fully independent, continuing his studies, finding an apartment, etc. He finds work and eventually opens up his own martial arts academy.

Act One

Opening scene, we see Diggy teaching kids at his studio. Remember, he’s an expert gymnast, weapons specialist, and martial arts expert. He isn’t Nightwing yet. One of his students asks him if he’s ever been in a real fight where he’s had to use his skills. He says, “Yes, plenty of times. In a combat scenario, I can teach you what works and what doesn’t work. Most of the stuff you see on TV and movies doesn’t work, but remember, we learn these skills to master confidence and discipline, not to beat people up. We are the good guys, not the bullies. We use it if we have to… and hopefully we never have to.”

After class, Diggy pulls one of the kids aside and asks him why his brother hasn’t been coming to class. The kid says some lie, which Diggy picks up on. He then offers to walk the kid home. The kid lives in a rough part of town, as does Diggy. They get close to the house and the boy stops, and says “Oh, I … uh, I forgot something back at the studio. I need to go back to get it.”

Again, Diggy knows the kid is lying and senses fear in him. He looks up ahead and sees a group of gang bangers hanging around outside his building.

Diggy crouches low and says, “We cannot live in fear. It’s okay, they won’t harm you.” He then takes the kid by the shoulder and escorts him up to his apartment. When he gets there, the house is chaotic. The mum is cooking in the kitchen and screaming at the brother to set the table.

Diggy notices the brother has a black eye. Diggy greets the mother and talks to the brother. He asks, “What happened?”

The kid replies, “It was nothing. Just a misunderstanding at school.”

He goes, “Did those guys downstairs do this to you?”

The kid looks up and nods.

Diggy stands up and is pissed. The brother tries to warn him. He’s like, “Wait, those guys are bad news, you don’t want to mess with them.”

Diggy storms outside and confronts the dudes, there’s like five of them, and they look sketchy — neck tattoos, gold chains, most likely strapped. Diggy says, “Which one of you low-lifes touched my brother?”

They all get up and confront him, they’re like, “Yo, homey, you better check yourself.”

“Maybe you didn’t hear me — which one of you losers touched my brother?”

They all surround him and pull out knives and brass knuckles. This is when Diggy notices a familiar tattoo on one of the guy’s neck. Diggy doesn’t back down — he pulls out two batons from his back and says, “Who wants to go first?”

The gang bangers are looking at this guy like he’s crazy and decide they don’t feel like getting into it with him at the moment.

“These are my brothers,” he says, “You mess with them, you mess with me. And, trust me, you don’t want to mess with me.”

The gang bangers walk away and Diggy turns to the two brothers and says, “You let me know if they come after you again, okay?”

Act Two

Later that night, Diggy pulls up to the club with an all-black motor cycle. He gets a drink and starts talking to some hot girl. Those gang bangers show up, all sporting the same tattoos, and Diggy is observing them. The girl starts dancing with him and kissing him, but part of his attention is focused on the table of street thugs.

I’d cut to a sex montage back at the girl’s apartment. When the scene catches up, the girl is passed out in bed and he’s putting a shirt on and slipping out the fire escape window. He gets on his bike and speeds away back to his apartment.

When he gets back to his crib, he stays up for another two hours listening to the audio that he recorded from the club. He put a bug at the table and that’s one of the ways he’s been spying on these guys.

He has a two-bedroom apartment and one of the rooms is dedicated to crime fighting. That’s where he has all his gear and weapons. So he’s sitting in this room late at night under the glow of a computer screen, and as the camera pans out, it shows he has been mapping out a whole network of criminal activity. There’s cork boards with faces and string connecting people, news clippings, crime reports, etc.

Although he hasn’t been Robin in two years, and isn’t Nightwing yet, he has been staying up to date with what’s been happening in Gotham.

Act Three

The next scene, we see him back in his dojo, teaching a class, and the homies show up. They’re looking to hurt him and even humiliate him in the process. It’s five on one and they surround him. Some of his senior students step up to get his back, and Diggy tells them to stand down and he will handle it. “I need the practice.”

They all attack and we see a spectacular ballet of violence as Diggy handles these guys while hardly breaking a sweat. They all scramble to their feet and take off.

Out of the corner of his eye, Diggy sees Bruce Wayne standing off to the side. They haven’t seen each other in two years and there’s still some resentment and tension there. Diggy says to his class, “Okay, everyone, pair up and practice the lesson we just drilled.”

Jon Hamm wants said he wants to be Batman, well guess what, Jon Hamm. You’re Batman, get in there! I think it would be cool to have Bruce Wayne in the entire season, but not as Batman, just as Bruce Wayne.

So Diggy walks up and sees Bruce with a cane. Diggy makes a comment about the cane and Bruce says, “I fell off a roof. I’ll be out for a while. I came here to tell you that the city needs you.”

Bruce is getting older and wants Diggy to take over as Batman, which is what he thinks he wanted. But Diggy never wanted to be Batman, he just wanted to be his equal.

“Right now my focus is on helping these kids,” Diggy says.

“What you’re doing is noble. I respect that. But there are forces at play that need to be brought to justice.”

“It’s good to see you Bruce, but if you don’t mind, I have a class I need to get back to.”

On his way out, Bruce says, “You should come by the manor some time.”

Diggy says, “Maybe I will.”

So that is the end of season one episode one. We saw a little bit of Diggy’s character, we saw some bravery, some espionage, a spectacular fight scene, his life style, and Bruce Wayne! I think that would be the perfect teaser to open up the series.

Season one is all about Diggy transforming into Nightwing, which doesn’t happen until like episode four or five. We learn about his backstory with his parents, the Flying Graysons. Maybe we show a little flashback of Bruce taking care of him, training him, and teaching him lessons. We see some Batman and Robin stuff, even them just hanging around the Batcave in their costumes.

The basic premise is Diggy finding a connection between the Red Hood gang and the death of his parents and being really determined to bring them to justice. We see him hooking up with girls, using his super intellect, and showing off some amazing acrobatics and fighting skills.

Midway through the season we get this amazing scene where he goes to Wayne manor and says, “I want back in… but on my own terms. I need gear, a new suit, intelligence, weapons, a mobile.”

Bruce says, “Welcome back, Robin.”

Then Diggy goes, “No, I no longer want to be your side kick. I want to be your equal. You taught me everything I know and I am forever indebted to you. But it’s time this Robin flies away from the nest and becomes his own man.”

“You have a name yet?”

“You’ll will know it soon.”

He then goes to Batman’s chief mechanic and costume maker, Harold to get a new suit. Then it’s on.

In the season finale, Nightwing fights the leader of the Red Hood gang, aptly called Red Hood, and it goes back and forth. Then some of Red Hood’s homies jump in and it’s unfair. Just when he thinks he’s outnumbered, Batman shows up and they fight side by side once again.

The leader gets away, but many of the other gang members get arrested and Nightwing prevents a large drug shipment from coming in. Batman takes off, allowing Nightwing to get all the shine. That’s Nightwing’s big coming out party. Gotham now celebrates him.

In season two, I wouldn’t necessarily bring in any of Batman’s villains like Joker, Bain, Penguin, etc. I would just make up new ones. Maybe some of the neighbourhood kids who were his students become involved in gang activity and he has to deal with that. Meanwhile he’s getting closer and closer to learning the truth about his parents.

So there it is, my Nightwing TV series pitch. I hope you like it. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything I missed that you’d like to see. Also, check out some of my other pitches.

Additional Pitches

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Sly MOVIE PITCH | #MOVIEPITCHMONDAY #MPM

Welcome back to another episode of Movie Pitch Monday — a show where I pitch fun movie ideas. For those who don’t know who I am, my name is Edward Mullen, author of The Art of the Hustle series, the Prodigy series, and some other books.

In today’s video, I’ll be pitching a movie called Sly — a biopic about Sylvester Stallone. I grew up watching Stallone movies and he has a really inspirational life story that I think would be great to see in film.

Now, unlike many of my other pitches where I do whatever I want with the characters, this one is a bit different. Since these events are based on an actual person, they are less about my ideas and creativity and more about pacing and structure. Although I did help myself to make up any parts I didn’t know.

Of course, I did a bit of research prior to making this pitch and I came across some really powerful videos, one of Tony Robbins telling a story of how Sylvester Stallone went from being a broke, down-and-out, struggling actor / screenwriter to becoming Rocky. There is also a video series with Stallone telling that same story. There are some differing facts between the two stories so when in doubt, I went with Stallone’s version. I encourage you to check them out.

The beautiful thing about this movie concept is that it’s in some ways a Rocky movie. It’s about Sly, but Rocky is his alter ego. They are basically one and the same. It’s an underdog story about an underdog story.

So without further ado, here is my movie pitch for Sly.

Act One

This movie is a period piece set in New York City during the 1970s so it’s gritty, it’s got that 70s feel to it — old cars, old clothes, etc. The opening scene, we meet a young Sly Stallone, 24 or 25, played by none other than Noah Centineo.

He exits his apartment building early in the morning, like 5 or 6 in the morning, the sun is just coming up and we can see his breath in the brisk morning air. He’s bundled up, wearing a beanie on his head, a hoodie, and a thick jacket. When he steps outside, he pulls his collar up, blows hot air into his hands before rubbing them together, and then stuffs his hands into his pockets. He then walks several blocks to the subway.

As he rides the train, he keeps to himself, but occasionally glances around the other passengers. He sees a pregnant lady and gets up and offers her his seat.

So in the opening sequence, I really want to establish four things right off the bat:

  1. He’s from a lower income neighbourhood
  2. It’s early in the morning so he’s hustling
  3. He’s observant about the world
  4. He’s friendly despite the way he looks

These are things that will later define him. So he takes the train to downtown Manhattan and goes to an audition. They take one look at him and then say, “Sorry, pal. This role isn’t right for you. Next!” They don’t even let him read. “He begs them to audition. He says, I know all my lines, please.” Again, they said, “Next!” and Sly walks out of the office feeling defeat.

Sly continues to be persistent and meets with agents, but they all tell him the same thing. The nice ones politely decline. The mean ones tell him all the reasons why he’ll never make it as an actor. One of them says, “The only job I could get you is unloading a delivery truck with my uncle,” as he laughs in his face and slams the door on him.

In his pursuit to become an actor, he had received over 1500 “nos” and was thrown out of every agent’s office multiple times. Nevertheless, he was determined. He continues to go back.

He goes to open audition casting calls, and in one case, he gets to play a thug in a movie. In the scene, he essentially gets beat up for 20 seconds, but otherwise has no dialogue.

Every morning he leaves and tries to make something happen and then comes home late at night exhausted, but his spirit is not broken. He’s hopeful and optimistic. He thinks his big break is coming. He tells his wife about his day on set and he’s smiling and exited, but she’s not reciprocating those feelings. She asks him how much the gig paid and when he tells her, she gets on his case about finding a real job. There’s a stack of mail of unpaid bills. He then says, “Why is it so cold in here?” She replies, “They cut the heat off today.” He’s like, “That’s okay, we can keep each other warm.”

We then see Sly visit his mother. I really want to establish this relationship in the movie where he can pore his heart out to her and she can be that pillar of encouragement he needs. She reminds him of a story about how he’s always been a fighter. When the doctors delivered him, they used two pairs of forceps to pull him out and they were so forceful that they severed a nerve and caused paralysis in parts of his face. So even though he looks a little different and speaks a little different, that hasn’t stopped him. It’s given him drive and contributed to making him into the man he was.

His mum also talks about the time his parents got divorced when he was 9 and how that was a lot for him to deal with, but he made it through. She says, “I knew you were special from the moment you were born. I believe in you, you can do anything.”

He then visits his dad, with whom he has a good relationship with. Through my research, I know his dad was a hairdresser and I have no idea their father / son dynamics, but for the movie, let’s make him work as a low-level clerk, stocking shelves in a grocery store. Sly comes in unexpected and says, “Hi pops, working hard.” They have some banter and he gets some advice about not caring what people think and working hard.

So the next scene we see Sly and his wife really struggling and getting at each other. His wife is screaming at him to get a job, but the reason he doesn’t is because he knows that if he were to get a job, he’d end up like his father — working some humdrum job and he will eventually lose his hunger and his dream would gradually disappear. He knows the only way he will be successful is if he has no other options. He wants it to be a sink or swim situation. He wants to keep that hunger as he feels that gives him an advantage over his competition.

Now, his wife doesn’t understand this at all, and they get into these vicious fights. They are broke, have no money, and have no options.

One day Sly goes to the New York Public Library, not to read anything, but to stay warm. As he’s hanging out, he happens to sit down in a chair and see a book that someone left behind.

He looks down at this book and it was book of poems by Edgar Allen Poe. He starts reading it and becomes obsessed. He later reads everything about Edgar Allen Poe and learns a very valuable lesson. One of the lessons he took from Poe was to get outside of himself and think about other people. He also considers becoming a writer.

Sly tries his hand at writing some screenplays, but nothing really worthwhile comes out.

At this point, he has less than 50 dollars to his name, but he finally sells a script — a movie called Paradise Alley. He sells it for 100 dollars, but back then that was good money for him and more importantly, he had restored his hope that it will lead to more projects. But over time, it didn’t lead to anything.

Finally, he reaches a point where he was so broke that he sells his wife’s jewelry. This upsets her so much that she hated his guts and that was pretty much the end of their relationship. She moves out and goes to live with her family.

Now Sly is all alone, he has no heat, no food, and no money. The last thing he has is his dog, the love of his dog, for which he would receive unconditional love.

He was so broke that they couldn’t even afford to feed his dog. So with no other options and a heavy heart, he walks his dog to a liquor store and stands outside trying to sell his dog to strangers. This is truly the lowest point in his life, but he’s desperate. It’s either sell the dog, or start robbing people. He finally finds someone to buy his dog, and sells him for 50 dollars.

There’s a really sad goodbye and as the man is walking away, Sly is telling the man to scratch him behind the ears because he really likes that. The dog is looking back and yelping and Sly walks away and just cries.

When he comes home, Sly is there in an empty apartment in a rundown neighbourhood, alone. There’s no food in the house and it’s cold. He goes to bed with his beanie and jacket on.

He gets a few odd acting gigs to pay the bills, but he eventually gets evicted from his apartment and becomes homeless for several days. We see him reach a new low, living on the streets, hungry, and trying to make something happen.

Two weeks later, he’s watching a fight between Mohammed Ali vs Chuck Wepnar on March 24, 1975. Wepnar was a white guy that was getting beaten pretty badly by Ali, but no matter the beating Ali put on him, he kept on coming. In one of the later rounds, Wepnar ducks a punch and lands a shot to Ali’s body and drops the champ.

That’s when Sly gets an idea.

As soon as the fight ends, he begins writing furiously on a legal pad. He writes for 3 days straight and could hardly sleep. By the end, his hands were shaking, but he had a finished a script called Rocky. The idea for the character was inspired in part by Chuck Wepnar, but also by himself. Rocky is a guy with rugged and tough looks, and people judge for it, but he was actually a sweetheart. Sly was Rocky. Life continued to kick him in the dick, but he would always get back up.

With the script finished, he shops it around, but again experienced nothing but rejection. Hardly anyone would read it, and those who did rejected on the premise that it was too predictable, stupid, or too sappy.

People commented on the way he looks, which is dopey, and also the way he talks, which is unusual to say the least. They were like, “Go do something else. You’ll never work in TV or film. It will never happen.”

Sly knew his whole life, ever since he was very young that he wanted to be in the movie business. He wanted to create art not only for people to escape, but also to inspire people.

For three weeks he would sleep in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. That’s where he saw yet another ad for an open casting call.

Act Two

While on this casting call, he does his audition and on the way out, he happens to mention to one of the producers that he does a little bit of writing as well. They spoke briefly and the producer says, “Bring it around sometime.”

We see more scenes with him talking to his mum about the script, his visits his wife and she informs him that she’s pregnant. She had no way of getting a hold of him. At this point, he has 160 bucks to his name. He visits his dad and updates him on what’s been happening.

The next day, Sly meets the producers from open casting and brings them the Rocky script. They eventually read it and believe in the script. They call him in and offer him 25,000 dollars. He was ecstatic, but says, “There’s just one thing,” and they say, “Oh yeah, what’s that?” He says, “I have to star in it. I have to play Rocky.” They immediately lost interest and say no.

At this point, Sly has managed poverty very well. He had it down to a science. He knew he didn’t really need much to live on and if he sold the script and it did well, he would jump off a building or leap in front of a bus. He would be very upset if he wasn’t the lead in the movie.

So he decided to roll the dice and walk away from the offer.

The producers call him back and make him another offer, this time, $100,000. Sly then says, “I need to be the lead.” They say, “No way!” They weren’t prepared to put some funny looking no-name actor as the lead. That would be throwing money away. They were looking for a star.

So again, he walks away. They called him back a third time, then a four time, then a fifth and a sixth time. Each time the offer was substantially more. It started off as $25,000, then went to $100,000, then $150,000, $175,000, $250,000, $330,000.

On the last visit, they say, “Okay, no more playing around. This will be our final offer — $360,000 for the script. Take it or leave it.” Sly thinks for a moment, considers how much money they are offering him, and says, “Only if I can play Rocky.” The producers looked at him like he was crazy, but they weren’t budging. They were firm on their offer. Sly then says, “If that’s what you believe, then you don’t get my script,” and he left.

A few weeks later they call him back into their office and they finally compromise a deal where bother parties could get what they want. They offer him $35,000 and make him the lead in the movie. This way, they could at least mitigate the risk. If the movie flopped, they would likely recoup the initial investment since they didn’t spend a bunch of money on him.

Sly accepts the offer of $35,000, which was still a lot of money in the mid-seventies, especially when he had less than 100 dollars. Instead of celebrating, the first thing he does is go back to the liquor store and wait for the guy who bought his dog. He figures the man is bound to show up eventually. So he waits at the liquor store for three full days until one day, the man who bought his dog shows up.

When Sly sees the man, he says, “Sir, remember me, I sold you my dog a month and a half ago.”

The guy was like, “I remember you. I love the dog.”

Sly says, “Look, I was broke, I was starving, he was my best friend. I’m sure you love him too, but I have to have him back. Please, I beg of you. I’ll pay you 100 dollars for the dog. I know you only bought him for 25 so let me have him back, I’ll give you $100.”

“The man says, absolutely not, no way. He’s my dog now, you can’t buy him back.”

Sly then says, “500 dollars for the dog.”

Again, the guy says, “No way. He then says, $1,000 dollars.”

The guy then says, “No amount of money on Earth will make me sell this dog to you.”

Sly was persistent and eventually gets his dog back, which ends up costing him $3,000 and giving the guy a part in Rocky.

It’s a really happy moment in the movie. Sly is crying and the dog is jumping around with joy. Later, Sly ends up putting the dog in the movie.

Act Three

In the third act we see them putting together the movie from casting to shooting, and all the physical demands of playing the character.

In one scene, we see a man come in and audition for Apollo Creed. He stands opposite of Sylvester Stallone and proceeds to slap him around a bit. He also says to the producer and the casting director, “I would have been better in the scene had I worked with a real actor.”

He unknowingly insults Sylvester Stallone. Then the casting director says, “Actually, that is the guy who will play Rocky. He wrote the movie as well.”

Then Apollo Creed says, “Well, maybe he’ll get better.”

Sylvester then says, “Hire this man.” It was the exact attitude they were looking for in an antagonist.

On the first day on set, Sly walks out of his trailer for the first time of time on the cold streets of Philadelphia, and he knows this is the moment of truth. The director asks him, “Sylvester, are you ready?” and he replies, “No, but Rocky is.”

So we see a lot of really great iconic scenes from the movie from running through the streets of Philadelphia, punching the slabs of meat, running up the steps, and fighting Apollo. We see some really great behind-the-scenes footage.


We see a lot of early mornings, some great moments with his dog, living in a tiny apartment, talking to his pregnant wife and parents over the phone.

The movie takes month to film and there’s a wrap party. It’s a really great moment, but too soon to celebrate. None of them have seen the final cut of the movie and have no idea how audiences will respond to it.

When the movie is done, there’s a private screening with nine hundred members of the Director’s Guild and industry insiders. Sly brings his mother and his wife and they sit in the theatre and watch the movie with everyone for the first time. It plays terribly. The laughs don’t come when they expect and the fight scenes lack energy and excitement.

In the end, everyone just gets up and leaves. Sly is not only embarrassed, but devastated. He sits there was his wife and mum and waits for everyone to file out. They are the last to leave.

As they exit, there are three flights of stairs. They walked down the first, the second, and by the time they round the last set of stairs, all 900 people are there celebrating the film. They look up at Rocky and start clapping. In that moment, Sly completely comes apart, he’s elated and beings to cry tears of joy. He leans over to his mum as says, “How could you doubt me, mum? I’m shocked.”

Credits.

As the music plays, I would have text on the screen that says the following:

Rocky opened on November 21, 1976 (New York City) and December 3, 1976 (United States).

It was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay nominations for Stallone. The film went on to win the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing.

The movie cost a million dollars to make and ended up grossing over 225 million dollars.

I would then do a post-credit scene where Sly is sitting in his agent’s office, maybe they’re smoking cigars, and the agent is really excited with the success of the film and with all the offers coming in. The agent then asks, “Sly, what do you want?”

Sly says, “I want to be an action star.”

The agent flips through a stack of scripts and slides one across the desk. “A script just came in this morning that you may be interested in. It’s based on a novel by David Morrell, perhaps you’ve heard of it.

Sly picks up the script and reads the title page, and says, “First Blood.”

I would make reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger, something like, “I think they’re talking to this other guy, some bodybuilder from Austria with a name nobody can pronounce, but I think you’d be perfect for this role.”

In the last frames we see Sly reading the script and then says the name, “Rambo”, I like the sound of that.

Credits.

So there it is, my Sylvester Stallone biopic called Sly. Let me know in the comments below if you liked the pitch. Please like the video and subscribe to my channel, and I will see you next time.

Additional Pitches

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Ready Player Two Movie Pitch | #MOVIEPITCHMONDAY #MPM

James Halliday, creator of the Oasis promised to bequeath the Oasis to whichever player solves his obscure riddles. In the end of the first movie, *spoilers*, Wade Watts aka Parzival does just this.

To make a powerful sequel that people will love, we first must understand what made Ready Player One interesting and exciting, and then give them more of those things. So I’ve identified three things that people loved in the first movie:

  1. Nostalgia for 80s and 90s pop culture references — one review I read called it a trash heap of cultural nostalgia
  2. The Oasis — a virtual-reality world where anything is possible, you can be anyone and do anything
  3. Gunting — hunting for pop-culture Easter eggs

I feel a sequel would have to incorporate each of these elements as well.

Act One

The movie opens with Wade and friends in some adventure in the Oasis. They’ve created a private world where nobody else can enter, and they can basically do anything. One guy is on a yacht with a bunch of bikini clad women, another is deep sea diving, another is flying around like a bird, and then we have Parzival and Artemis hiking in some rainforest and they come up to this waterfall with a rainbow. This is a completely made up world in the Oasis, so there are no bugs and they have complete privacy.

As they approach this waterfall, Artemis is completely blown away by the beauty. Parzival created this moment and it’s truly a work of art. In the middle of a meadow filled with flowers is a picnic. They sit down, enjoy the view, have some food, and talk about the future. It’s a really romantic setting.

But then, out of the corner of his eye, Parzival sees a black cat, which is weird because he created this world, and he didn’t put any black cats in it. Then, he sees it again. Artemis sees the confusion on Parzival’s face and looks over, but doesn’t see anything.

“What is it?” she asks.

“I think I saw a black cat. It walked by twice.” he says.

“Glitch in the Matrix!” Artemis says.

“I’m familiar with the movie, but why is it here?”

Parzival stands up and follows the cat through the tall grass. Artemis follows. They eventually come upon an impossibly high, terror-inducing cliff. It’s so high they can’t even see the bottom. It’s above the clouds. Again, another thing he did not put in this world.

Artemis is standing with Parzival and asks, “Where did the cat go?”

“I think it went over the cliff.”

Then she says, “There’s only one way to find out” and then dives off the cliff.

Parzival shouts after her, but within seconds she disappears in the clouds. He then looks around, summons some courage, and jumps over himself. He begins to free fall and the wind is racing passed him so fast that he has to squint. His hair is blowing every which way and his clothes are flapping.

As he punches through the clouds, he ends up in a room. It’s Halliday’s room as a child.

Artemis is there as well and they are both looking at each other with confusion. In walks Halliday. He greets them and says, “I have a game for you if you choose to accept.”

Artemis asks, “Is it two player?”

Halliday smiles and answers ‘yes’.

Halliday explains that this game is unlike any other. It’s about temptation. He says a few more words that are cryptic and don’t mean much to them to them at the time, but will make more sense as the game progresses.

Halliday gives them their first clue and they are off to the races.

Now, as they are going through the game, they discover a portal that takes them to another part of the Oasis, a secret world if you will. Thinking this is part of the game, they willfully enter said portal and get trapped there. They respawn but when they go back into the Oasis, they begin to experience other glitches along with many others as well.

As it turns out, the bad guy from the first movie is hell bent on destroying the Oasis and has unleashed a virus into the Oasis, which is causing all sorts of problems. And wouldn’t you know, they have their own Oasis, which they are promising people an unparalleled experience, all for a monthly subscription fee of 3.99, which is an early bird price. If you are late to join, the fee becomes substantially more like 59.99 per month.

Frustrated with the Oasis, and curious about this new world, many people opt to join this new world and take advantage of the deal.

The fact that people are jumping ship doesn’t necessarily matter to Parzival, it doesn’t threaten him in any way. The Oasis for him is not a business so he doesn’t care what people choose to do, whether they login or not, or join some competitor’s virtual world. What he cares about is getting rid of this virus. But every time Parzival and Artemis go into the Oasis, they get jammed up or it glitches, so they end up spending a lot of time in the real world and hardly login at all.

Act Two

Their entire squad is chilling in some basement somewhere with posters on the wall, a mini fridge, an old school video game console. They’re bored and not really sure what to do with themselves.

One thing that Parzival keeps replaying in his head is the message from Halliday. He must have gone over it a thousand times in his head, studying each line and each word of the cryptic message. But Parzival knows that things aren’t always as they seem. While he was spending so much time with the message, he was overlooking something that was staring him right in the face — Halliday’s room. Something was off about it.

Unable to visit the virtual room, Parzival packs up the car and takes Artemis and the gang to Halliday’s actual house, the one he grew up in as a kid. The gain entry and the room is still set up exactly as depicted in the virtual world. They almost expect Halliday to walk through the door at any moment.

Upon studying the room, Parzival discovers a clue that puts the cryptic message into context. Using this clue from the real world, they enter the Oasis, and go to a world and see Halliday standing there with a prize — $10,000,000. There’s a huge celebration, I’m talking fireworks and streamers, and Halliday congratulates him. Halliday then extends a tablet in front of Parzival and says, “As soon as you choose to accept this, ten million dollars will be deposited into your account in the real world.”

Parzival is beyond excited as are his friends. Everyone is standing there smiling and are so happy for him. As he is about to press the accept button, Artemis says, “Wait! Remember what Halliday said, this is a game unlike any other. It’s about temptation.”

This gets Parzival thinking. His friends are looking at him like he’s crazy, but he looks at Artemis and knows what the right thing to do is. He chooses to decline the transfer of money. Then he waits. Halliday retracts the tablet with a smile and says, “Congratulations on passing level one, welcome to level two.” Then gives him another clue.

So the movie continues to be this Easter egg hunt filled with 80s and 90s cultural references; however, unlike the first movie, the clues exist in the real world, which then tell the players where to go in the Oasis. It’s basically like Da Vinci Code and National Treasure meets the Matrix. The reason the clues are in the real world is to protect the prize from AI or virus that cannot go there, only humans can.

With the virus inside the Oasis running rampant, it’s a real race against the clock. As they race to find these clues, more and more of the Oasis is being destroyed by the minute.

Each round is like a level and at the end, there’s a prize designed to tempt them to leave the game. The next level is only revealed upon completing the previous level and rejecting the prize.

The first is money, but there are four other levels.

  1. Money
  2. Power
  3. Freedom
  4. Love
  5. ???

Act Three

After rejecting all four, they wonder what could possibly be next. They receive their final clue by Holliday and he says something cryptic that again doesn’t mean to them at the time.

One of Parzival’s friends asks, “What’s better than money, power, freedom, and love?”

“What about fame?” someone suggests.

“Legacy?”

“Life?”

Then it hits him. “The thing that is better than all those other things is time. It’s the one resource that you cannot get more of so how the hell is Halliday going to grant me more time?”

Following a hunch, Parzival and his squad go to Holliday’s place of birth, which reveals a clue that takes them to a secret underground facility once owned by Halliday. Inside they find a system of high-tech looking machines that they’re not sure what they do.

It then occurs to Parzival that this whole thing started at the cliff by taking a leap of faith. He realizes what the last clue means.

“The only way Halliday can grant me more time is by making me immortal, and in what way can you guys think Halliday can make me live forever?”

In unison, they say, “By uploading your mind into the Oasis.”

“But that will mean…” someone says, drawing the obvious conclusion.

“I’m taking a leap of faith,” Parzival says. “With this machine, you can upload my consciousness into the Oasis and I can live forever. Of course, my physical body will die, but I think that’s what Halliday did. Halliday isn’t dead, he just exists in another, non-physical form.”

“Why now?” someone asks. “Why not do it when you’re 80 so you get to enjoy both?”

“If I don’t do it now and fight this virus, then there may not be an Oasis when I’m 80. Also, we spend most of our lives inside the Oasis as is. We only unplug to feed and maintain ourselves. There is some physical pleasure, but that can be had with the Oasis.”

“I’m coming too,” Artemis says.

There are some tears, some hugs, and then both Parzival and Artemis upload themselves into the Oasis. Their dead bodies still hooked up to the machine. Once inside, they meet Halliday himself and the rest of their friends plug in.

Parzival says, “See, this isn’t goodbye, it’s the start of something new.”

Credits.

So the implication here is that they destroy the virus, restore the Oasis to its former glory, and live happily ever after.

Now, if you really want to get crazy, you could do a third movie that has them trapped inside the Oasis by some super intelligent AI, and the squad has to extract their minds from the Oasis and put them back into the real world. Of course, their bodies are decomposed and gone by now, so their minds are uploaded inside robots.

When they get into the real world, their friends are in their 80s and the world is completely different. Time has moved much differently for them than it has in the real world. This new world could be unfavourable to AI and robots and they find themselves on the wrong side of a human vs machine war. At the helm is that bad guy from movie one and two.

Additional Pitches

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Miles Morales MOVIE PITCH | #MOVIEPITCHMONDAY #MPM

Let’s suppose for a moment that Marvel allowed me to write a book for them where I could do anything I wanted, use any character, and come up with any story line. I did a similar pitch with Superman in a previous video which you can check out after.

I heard from Kevin Smith on a podcast once that when directing an episode of Flash in my hometown of Vancouver, he was told that the show aims to hit three elements in every episode: heart, humour, and heroics (spectacle). So I will use this same formula as well in my Spidey story.

Act One

The story begins with Miles doing typical high school stuff. He’s been Spider Man for less than a year, he trains martial arts, he has a girl that he likes, he hates school, he hangs around with Ganke, and we see a bit of his home life. On occasion he fights the occasional criminal, which causes him to duck out of dates and miss school projects. This creates a lot of problems in his life.

With graduation in sight, his parents ask him what are his plans for the future. His dad is a cop and suggests that perhaps Miles look into that as an option, so he’s leaving pamphlets on his pillow and whatnot. It seems as though it’s a hot topic since Ganke, his girl, councilors, everyone is talking about it their future. Truth be told, Miles hadn’t really given it much thought. He had been so consumed with other matters in the present, that the future seemed too distant to worry about.

After being bombarded with these conversations seemingly everywhere he went, he begins to shift his focus and wonder what his life will be like beyond being Spider Man. Will he attend college? Will he have a career? A family? He wonders how being Spider Man fits in with his long term life goals? This just adds to his already stressful life.

Coveting a new Jordan shoe release, Miles links up with a shady character named Dax Price who sells sneakers and other highly sought after streetwear brands. Anything you need, Dax is the guy. He can get anything. Ordinarily, he wouldn’t hang around Dax, but he wants the sneakers so he does what he has to do. Dax takes Miles’ money and meets up with his underground connection for all things illicit. Miles watches from a distance and follows the vehicle to a warehouse.

Donning the Spidey costume, Miles climbs in through a skylight and eves drops on a conversation with a guy with a Russian accent. Aleksei Sytsevich is the man’s name. Miles has never heard of him, but he seems like he’s in charge of the entire operation, and he seems like a bad guy. Likely involved in some illegal operations.

As Miles sneaks out the window, Aleksei catches a glimpse of him out of the corner of his eye. He doesn’t care much for people spying on him. Who knows what he heard or what kind of trouble he’s going to cause Aleksei. So Aleksei sends some goons after Miles.

Now, for those who don’t know, Aleksei Sytsevich is the Rhino. And for those who remember Batman the animated series, there was one episode that breathed new life into Mr. Freeze, which was previously a very one dimensional villain. But in the Heart of Ice episode, they told this really sad backstory and made the character a little more rounded. I would love to do that with Rhino.

For me, there are two problems with Rhino:

  1. He’s dumb, and I don’t like dumb characters. I know there’s a story line Marvel did once which gave Rhino super intellect, so I would go back to that
  2. Logistics. If Rhino is always in this hulking 10-foot tall rhinoceroses suit, then that’s a little weird, right? Living in New York City would be a nightmare. First of all, summers would be brutal. That heat. Also, how would he get around? Could you imagine him riding the subway or taking an Uber, it would be ridiculous. And does he go out and get groceries or go to the bank ever?

So I would tell the Rhino backstory, saying that he’s a result of Russian scientists, which gave him these abilities of super strength and super intellect. I would also give him the ability to become Rhino at will so most of the time he’s just a regular guy like Bruce Banner and the Hulk. He somehow has a way to turn his Rhino suit on and off. I would also do the traditional suit, not the battle armoured mech suit with guns and whatnot that we saw in Spider Man Homecoming.

Now we have a really strong, intelligent Rhino, that can change into beast mode at will. I would also set up the backstory, talking about his wife and kid, him being an immigrant, running a number of crime rings in the city, etc. This of course doesn’t sit too well with the Kingpin aka Wilson Fisk.

Act Two

Picking up with Miles, Rhino’s men are after him. They don’t know his identity, but have concluded that he is a kid and have narrowed it down to a neighbourhood and a school that he likely attends.

One day, these bad men show up to Miles’ school and start causing trouble, looking for Spider Man. They’re shooting up the place saying things like, “If Spider Man doesn’t show up, we’re going to start killing kids.” The school is on lock down and Miles is told to remain put with the rest of the class, which is barricaded in a room and hiding under the desks. He can’t exactly run out of the room at the same time Spider Man shows up, that would be super obvious.

So the men are going room to room, threatening everyone, holding them hostage, attempting to lure Spider Man out. Eventually cops show up, including Miles’ father, an FBI hostage negotiator, the SWAT team… you name it.

At this point in the story, we haven’t seen the Rhino, nobody has. Next thing you know, there’s a rumble as the ground shakes. The cops are all confused and on guard. Then from around the corner, comes Rhino, hulked out and charging at full speed. He puts his head down and smashes into one of the cop cars. Nobody as any idea what this thing is. The cop car goes flying through the air and smashes into another set of cop cars. There’s an FBI command post and Rhino plows into that, knocking it over. The cops scatter and take cover. They begin to fire at this enormous beast, but the bullets are bouncing off of him.

“Hold your fire!” the police captain shouts.

Many of the kids and teachers in the school are pressed up against the window, looking at the action. They too can’t believe what they’re seeing. How can this be happening right outside their school? Miles sees his father and really wants to run into the action and make sure he’s okay. Ganke sees Miles about to bust and decides to create a diversion to help his pal.

He says, “Come on everyone, now is our chance to escape.” Then he exists the classroom. Half the kids remain where they are, but the other half, including Miles, run out of the room.

And wouldn’t you know, Spider Man shows up. He swings into action and plants two feet square into Rhino’s chest, sending him flying. His enormous frame sails through the air and crashes down on the pavement and skids to a stop. He then takes care of the other goons with ease, wrapping them up in webbing and leaving them hanging upside down.

By now, Rhino returns to his feet and the cops have backed off. They know their weapons are useless and don’t want to risk a stray bullet hitting a bystander. Rhino and Spidey square off and it goes back and forth. This is a really intense fight and everyone has their cellphones out recording. There’s even a live broadcast streaming the action around the world. Rhino smashes Spidey and is really giving him trouble.

At a certain point, Miles uses his invisibility suit and becomes invisible. When Rhino is confused, Miles uses this as an opportunity to crawl to safety. Rhino decides to leave and runs a few blocks, turns a corner, and then returns to a normal man, allowing him to blend in with the crowd and escape.

Miles is now back at home, in bed, resting. Ganke is on the computer watching the footage and celebrating Miles’ victory, reliving certain moments.

“That wasn’t a victory, Ganke,” Miles says.

We see more of Miles’ home life with his parents and his father talking about what he’s seen that day and thinks that perhaps a career in law enforcement is not such a good idea for his son. It’s dangerous, you work long hours, the pay stinks, and you see things you cannot unsee. He wants a better future for Miles.

By now, Rhino is the talk of the town. He’s on the cover of every newspaper, magazine, news story, and social media. People are wondering who he is, what he is, where he came from, etc. The police arrested the two goons, but they’re not talking.

Kingpin is obviously feeling some kind of way about this new guy in town, getting attention and seemingly running New York. Through his connects, it doesn’t take long before Kingpin and his squad go looking for Rhino and his squad.

Meanwhile, Rhino is pissed. He’s been humiliated as the battle between him and Spidey is showing up everywhere on social media and news outlets. Gifs are being created of Spidey kicking him in the chest and tossing him around. The people of New York love Spider Man and don’t seem to be sharing any posts where Rhino gets the upper hand on him.

Rhino realizes that he had underestimated Spider Man and needs to figure out an easier way to deal with him. He recruits three guys to deal with this situation: Shocker, Kraven the Hunter, and Mysterio… some of the members of what will later become the Sinister Six. But I wouldn’t do any cheesy costumes from Shocker, Kraven, and Mysterio, I would redo the costumes and make them look more realistic.

Act Three

Tension between the two rival gangs escalates and it quickly becomes an all out war between these two juggernaut forces, which is making global headlines. Miles soon realizes the magnitude of what he’s caught up in. People are getting murdered, including innocent bystanders, there’s massive amounts of property damage, and Miles doesn’t really know how to get involved, or how to help. This warfare requires intelligence to know all the players and moving pieces, and Miles isn’t a detective. He more or less shows up to a scene of a crime and arrives just in time, but these crimes and mafia-style hits are sporadic, and mostly discreet. Once you find out about it, it’s too late.

In one scenario, in an exchange gone bad, a homeless man comes across a trunk full of money totaling $500,000. He does what you would expect and starts going on a crazy spending spree, buying cars, staying at the fanciest hotels, ordering glutenous amounts of room service, etc. This naturally attracts media attention, including the guys whose money it is. Spider Man needs to protect him so he goes to the man and offers him protection so we see a bit of that subplot.

In another scenario, a little boy gets caught in the crossfire and dies. Miles visits the mum and younger brother to see what he can do, if anything. He offers his condolences, but the weight of the situation is weighing heavily on him. Even Miles’ dad gets injured on the job for which he requires medical treatment and an overnight stay in the hospital.

Now it’s personal.

Spider Man is clearly in over his head. After all, he’s just a kid and there’s one of him. While this war is between Kingpin’s squad and Rhino’s squad, Spider Man is actively being hunted — one of which is Kraven the Hunter!

The melee continues and it’s now night time. Spider Man is hunted down on the streets of Queens and is facing off against Shocker, Mysterio, and Kraven. It goes back and forth, and we see some spectacular fighting and heroics.

Then, to make matters worse, a black SUV pulls up and Aleksei Sytsevich steps out. Everyone is taking a little bit of a breather from fighting. There are some words exchanged and it appears as though Spider Man has his hands full. Even if the cops show up, what are they going to do? Nothing. He is screwed. His only real solution here is to go invisible and run, but of course, he can’t do that, he’s Spider Man!

So he’s bloodied and bruised, his suit is torn, and he settles in for round two. Aleksei makes a comment about it being four against one and how unfair that is. Then shrugs as he turns into the Rhino.

Then, from the sky, the clouds part, and Iron Man shows up, saying “What’s up, kid. I thought you could use a hand.” Then in walks Bruce Banner, looking like a regular guy before hulking out and his clothes being ripped apart. So now it’s four against three, and hulk and Rhino are flexing hard at each other. There’s a brief pause before both sides charge at each other. Hulk smashes Rhino with ease, and swats Kraven into a building. Iron Man blasts the Shocker and Spider Man swings into action, taking out Mysterio. It’s an epic battle and both sides are having their moments.

Then, an all black SUV pulls up. Then six more, all filled with guys. We see a panel with the point of view from under one of the vehicles. Out steps a man, we see the man’s shoe step into frame, it’s a nice shoe. Next panel, we see Kingpin himself. All his men exit their vehicles. They look badass and are ready for a fight. Kingpin then cuts the power to the block and everything goings black. In the confusion, a shot is fired, Rhino goes down, and Kingpin is there holding a rifle and a smug look. He says, “This’ll make a nice trophy on my wall.” Meanwhile, Rhino has been sedated, he’s shrinking back down to his normal self. He’s out cold being dragged into the back of Kingpin’s SUV. Everyone gets back into their vehicles and takes off, including Mysterio, Kraven, and Shocker.

Hulk goes back into Bruce Banner, and Iron Man’s mask goes up. They exchange some encouraging words to Spider Man saying, “You fought well, you are brave, know that you are never alone. If you need help next time, call us.”

We then see Miles talking to Ganke about his future and how he’s still undecided about what he wants to do as a career, but whatever it is, it cannot get in the way of being Spider Man. He knows now more than ever that he has great power and a great responsibility. His girl FaceTimes him and is giving him shit for not picking up his phone. She’s all like, “Where the hell were you?” He’s all like, “It’s been a crazy day.” Miles’ mum is on him about homework, his dad is on him about taking out the trash, and we see a panel of Miles’ room from the exterior of the building.

In the closing scene, we’re in some discreet warehouse somewhere, Aleksei is tied to a chair, he’s been beaten to a pulp, his family is off to the side at gunpoint, illuminated by a beam of light. Around Aleksei’s neck is a spiked collar so if he becomes Rhino, the spikes will dig into his neck and kill him. Then Kingpin walks into frame, his face painted in light, creating dope shadows, and he says to Aleksei, “You work for me now.”

The end.

So reiterating what I stated earlier, I was going for humour, heart, and heroics. I didn’t really get into the humour part, but there would definitely be some moments. Let me know in the comments below what you thought, and check out some of my other movie pitches.

Additional Pitches

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