I don’t have a lot of spies in Hollywood, but when you’re a world famous author (having sold books to the UK and Japan markets [I think]), you’re bound to cross paths with others in the biz [I can legitimately claim to have a picture of me and Chuck Norris, and I got a signature from Mr. T . . . but then threw the autograph away because it was just on a piece of notebook paper, and that seemed like a silly thing to have an autograph on].
But anyway, my associate informs me about a script being shopped around, to production teams that would like to build on the success of recent hit reboots like Star Trek and Star Wars Episode VII. here’s what I saw from my associate:
“Lord of the Rings: Episode 1: the Ring Awakens”
Country Music playing. Bilbo (played by Daniel Craig) working on a rap in his shire house about his first battle on the side of mount Doom. He’s there in stylish hobbit armor, a sword in one hand, a piece of cheese in the other, as he fights an orc three times his side.
Gandalf knocks on the door, begin Taylor Swift song; Gandalf played by Samuel L Jackson (for more racial appeal). “Bilbo!?!? You gonna make an old wizard stand on the doorstep, all day long? Get your butt out of your chair and open the door!”
Bilbo wanders to the door: “Hey, Old Dude! You still look old, but not a day older than you looked way back when when you were still old! I figured by now your hair might have changed back.”
Gandalf: “You haven’t aged either. You on a new diet or something?”
Bilbo: “You know me, always eating granola and low-fat cheese. Limiting myself to two or three ales a day.”
Gandalf: “Listen shorty, I know about the ring.”
Bilbo, feigning confusion: “What ring?”
Gandalf: “The one ring that’s came from Sauron and you use for playing hide and seek.”
Gandalf: “A long time ago–”
Frodo, Merry and Pippin and Sam come flying in through a window knocking over poorly placed cabinets. A keg of hard liquor breaks on the floor and runs into the hearth. Fire explodes out narrowly missing all of the major characters.
Merry (played by Ben Affleck): “That’s was close. But at least we’re all right.”
Bilbo: “This looks like an adventure for younger people. Here Frodo, my boy. Have a ring!” He hands the ring of power to Frodo.
Frodo (played by Chris Pratt): “What’s this?”
Bilbo: “Oh, just some bling. And don’t mind the old man with all the Sauron talk. It’ll give you indigestion.”
Fire from the keg explosion ignites a rack of other similar kegs.
Pippin (played by Anne Hathaway for more gender diversity appeal): “At least we’ll get a good view.”
Samwise (played by Kevin James): “Guys, we gotta get out of here!”
Gandalf: “Darn straight!”
The characters jump out through a window, but Samwise gets stuck. They all pull until Bag End explodes, throwing them and a section of wall onto a wooden raft floating on a river.
Frodo: “Why were you guys running anyway?”
Pippin (pulling out his LG Smartphone): “Well, we were at the bar talking with these gents in black robes. I was telling them about you and instagraming back and forth, along with Frendlo, my third cousin–have you met him? He’s my cousin twice removed on my father’s side, when–”
Gandalf: “Wait, dudes in black? Motherhobbit, why didn’t you tell me! I’ve got to talk to an old white guy about old things.”
Frodo (as Gandalf jumps off the raft and onto a white horse): “Wait, a dude older than you?”
Samwise: “Look out!” He grabs Bilbo and yanks him away from the edge and shoves off as Black Riders come galloping up.
The Black Riders shriek than start throwing swords at the hobbits.
Merry: “Ha fools! Now we have swords. Do you bleed, undead servants of Mordor! You will!!!”
Samwise: “Kind of unhobbitish a thing to say there, Merry. And how do you know they’re undead?”
Merry: “Well, I had a feeling when they didn’t eat any of the cheese rolls with mushrooms at the tavern.”
Frodo: “Yeah, you’d have to be undead to pass those up.”
Samwise: “Another volley, boys!”
Daggers come whizzing through the air. The hobbits dive for cover behind packs that were conveniently left on the raft.
Pippin: “What do we do?!?!?”
Aragorn (played by Tom Hardy) pops out of the water: “Now is not the time for fear. That comes later.”
Aragorn begins batting the daggers away. Orcs also start popping out of the water (proceeded by reeds used for snorkels). As he fights, the Hobbits get better and better until they are fighting on his skill level. But then a half-sea monster, half-warg, half-balrog: yes, three halves! appears from the surf!
Merry: “Oh, shire folk!”
Pippin: “Bring it! Is that all you brought?”
Frodo, Merry, Samwise and Aragorn: “Shut up, Pippin!”
At that moment, Arawen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) jumps onto the raft (on her horse), and puts a sword under Aragorn’s muscular throat: “What’s this? A ranger caught off his guard?”
Aragorn: “You think wit is your ally? You merely adopted it. I–”
Samwise [Sea-warg-alrog tentacle around his throat]: “Maybe, we could save catching up for later?”
Arawen [looking longingly into Aragorn’s eyes]: “Right.” She hurtles her sword, which splits the sea-warg-alrog’s head, followed by an explosion ring, filling the screen with a wake of smoke and mist.
The fog clears, Frodo is down, having caught shrapnel from the exploding monster, half-way a wraith, already. The other hobbits busy over him, lots of crying, (except for Merry who swears undying vengeance against the forces of Mordor). Arawen and Aragorn are in the other corner making out.
Samwise: “Aragorn, what do we do?”
Aragorn tosses them a Morgal-Narcan, and Frodo is right as rain.
Pippin: “That was close. So, where are we going?”
The darkness suddenly peals away into choral singing and golden sunshine. The raft bumps into a shore of white sand and frosty cedar. Elrond (played by Hugh Jackman) standing on the shore, looks down at Aragorn and Arawen: “Ahem . . . ”
Aragorn shoves Arawen off and starts straightening his clothes: “Nothing happened.”
Elrond: “I know. I forsaw it.”
Arawen: “You were future-spying on me?”
Elrond: “No . . . I was future-spying on the mortal, dying, future dead man, Aragorn.”
Aragorn: “Uh, was that a threat or a prophecy?”
Elrond: “Pick one.”
Aragorn is pondering, when Gandalf returns, brought by an eagle. “Why are you still here? The ring has to get to Mount Doom.”
Elrond: “You have a plan? Because so far your guys have done a bang-up job. And–wait, did you just say the ring? You brought the ring, here? To my house?”
Gandalf: “Why you got a flying eagle that can take it away or something?”
Eagle’s (voice by Simon Pegg) eyes widen, takes off, waving at Gandalf: “Have a good one, G-man. Send me a flutterby, anytime, you need another lift!”
Frodo: “An eagle like that?”
Everyone shouts: “Wait, we need you to take the ring into the heart of Sauron’s realm and toss it into a super-magically hot place, behind the lines of his entire army!”
Eagle looks confused and holds a talon up to it’s ear: “What? What’s that? Can’t hear you! Sorry, can’t turn around, too many calories on lift off, you know. But I’ll catch you later!”
Gandalf: “Son of a down jacket.”
Pippin: “So, what’s the ring? And where are we going?”
Montage set to I Came In Like a Wrecking Ball, directly into the council seating area, comes Boromir (played by Adam Baldwin): “I hear we’ve got a thingy that helps us kill bad guys. Count me in to the end worthy of songs.”
Pippin: “I thought we were going to melt the ring?”
Boromir: “Who’s the retarded dwarf?”
In comes, Gimli (played by Jack Black): “The air must be rare up there, big guy. Dwarves have beards, how could you miss the lack of awesome?”
Boromir: “Then who is the retarded elf who wants to melt the ring?”
Legolas enters (played by Zachary Qunito): “Have you heard nothing, Lord Elrond has said? The ring must be destroyed.”
Boromir: “No, I just got here. Straight from the front!” Lifts up his shirt to show a jagged scar from sternum to below the belt. “See! This thing still seeps puss! I got puss keeping your lands safe! And if this ring will let me put a gondorian boot up Saurons even darker parts, then I’m going to use it!”
Aragorn: “Bro! We’re all on the same team here. Except me, I’m the king–so I’m like the captain over the team. But don’t worry, man, I don’t really want it. So we can still be cool.”
Boromir, shakes his head: “So who’s the retarded man who thinks I’m going to help him take my job?”
Frodo gets up to leave.
Gandalf: “Frodo, where are you going? You almost got wraitherized! You shouldn’t be out of bed.”
Frodo: “It’s ok. I had some of Elrond’s Re’d Bu’ll, and I feel like I have wings. And all I know is, this ring has to be destroyed of else the shire will never be safe. And I may be small, but I know if I don’t do th–”
Legolas: “Come on hobbit! We must not linger.”
Frodo: “But Boromir was just saying–”
Legolas: “He got over it.”
Frodo: “How’d you convince him to change his mind?”
Legolas: “That’s a good question for a time when we can linger. Now, move it.”
The fellowship sets out to epic music from the team behind Fast and Furious, with them running. Arawen and Aragorn exchanging smoochy good-bye’s, while running.
Still running, the fellowship heads up a hill that gets blizzardy fast.
Gandalf: “It’s Saruma–” He’s cut off by a head-swallowing snowball.
Boromir: “We should get off this mountain before the half-lings–” Snow plasters him to the mountain wall.
Merry: “This looks bad!”
Aragorn looks up at a scream on the wind: “Nazgul!”
Boromir: “Snow Wargs!”
Legolas: “Nazgul on Snow Wargs!”
A flurry of exploding clouds of snow, mixes with screaming Nazgul, and snarling white wargs. Swords are drawn, lightning arcs off of steel and the hillside explodes. The nazgul are buried in an avalanche that the fellowship rides down a slope that becomes a snow tube that becomes a volcanic tube that ends in a slide across a polished floor.
Pippin: “Well that worked out all right.”
Gandalf: “Welcome to Moria.”
Pippin: “Sounds cheery.”
Gimli: “Yes, if by cheery you mean thousands and thousands of my kin dead, at the hand of ten thousand thousand goblins and orcs!”
Gandalf: “And Balrogs.”
Legolas twitches. “Balrogs?”
Gandalf: “Elite warrior Balrogs.”
Legolas glances around for an exit. “Elite warrior Balrogs?”
Samwise: “But they’re all gone now, right?”
Gandalf stares at him with blank eyes. “Uh, yeah. Sure. All gone.” He turns to Aragorn, “If any of them happen to have hung around . . . or come back . . . ”
Aragorn: “We’ll fight them to the end. We’ll never break the bonds of fellowship. We’ll—“
Gandalf: “Easy there tiger. Let’s save the death and glory stuff for when the chances of glory are higher than the chances of death.”
Aragorn: “You want me to . . . not fight?”
Gandalf: “You got it all wrong, Arie baby. You know you’re the man . . . but this situation might require a little more subtlty.”
Pippin in the background: “What’s this shiny thing do?” Suddenly the room is filled with disco light and lasers.
Gandalf: “That’s stupid hobbit has chanced way too much light.”
Burning ropes fall from the ceiling, and balrogs rapel into the room, while orcs and goblins pour out of every crack and hole.
Gandalf: “Now. This is no time for fear.”
Legolas breaks into hysterical screams, and runs in circles.
Gandalf: “Nevermind. Run!”
The fellowship runs for the bridge of Kazadun as the hall around them explodes beneath the samurai-like swords of the Balrog as they tumble and attack like giant fiery ninjas. Explosions get louder and bigger, until it’s a firestorm consuming the hall. They get to bridge, Gandalf barely makes it, striking the bridge with his staff causing it to shatter behind him as he slides across it. But one of the Balrog jumps after them, Gandalf turns and leaps back across the gulf: “Yipee kayaaaaaaaaaaaa!”
And down he goes.
Frodo: “Well that bites.”
Legolas, screaming: “We must not linger! We must not linger!”
The fellowship is in the woods.
Gimli: “Nothing like fresh air to take the mind off the death of your friends. Or your kin. Thousands and thousands of your kin.”
Boromir: “Well, you know if we’d used the ring . . . ”
Galadriel [played by the girl from Divergent] drops from a tree in a skimpy two-piece: “Your mind is always on the ring Boromir of Gondor. Get your mind on something else? Why are you such a weak-willed sissy of a Westernen man?”
Boromir: “Well, now I feel bad.” He looks dejected.
Galadriel: “And I didn’t even get to the part where your city burns down.”
Boromir: “Wait, what?!? You have the gift of foresight. Tell me what you–”
Frodo: “Look out!”
Black arrows fall from the trees, from black bows, fired eight at a time by giant spiders. Galadriel picks up two bows at the same time, loading each with four arrows and fires back. The arrows go through multiple different targets, at different trajectories, richochet and take out more spiders that explode as they come down in black gew that hits everyone but Galadriel.
Galadriel: “You’ve brought great evil here, ring-bearer.”
Frodo: “Now wait a second, I was just trying to do a good deed for the third age. This is my first quest, so I hardly feel I should be blamed for this.”
Galadriel rolls her eyes. “Hobbits . . . Where’s Gandalf.”
Frodo, pauses: “Also not my fault.”
Gimli: “Fault? Gandalf did this awesome flying, fire attack of the the Valenor. Writing himself a legend that he carved with the smoldering bones of a balrog. I still get choked up thinking about it.”
Pippin: “I know! Why don’t the elves sing a song for him?”
Galadriel: “That’s a great idea!”
Legolas: “Look out!”
The spiders have lit barrels of oil and are using their webs as giant sling-shots. Lothlorien is quickly aflame. Trees full of elvish cultivated sap, explode, sending shrapnel and concussive blasts through the woods. The air is filled with charred leaves, that tumble in slow mow, set to songs by Adele.
Galadriel: “Get that stupid ring out of here and torch it in Mt Doom.”
Frodo: “But it’s so far. How will I know how to get there and who I can trust? I don’t think I can do this.”
Galadriel: “Get your soft-cheese butt, out of my forest before I stick an arrow so far up it, you can pick your teeth.”
Samwise: “Well, that’s a side of the elves you don’t hear about.”
Galadriel turns all stormy: “GET OUT!!!”
Running from Lothlorien, they grab some boats that have shiny bottles. At first they think they’re for light, but Aragorn pulls outboard motors out of stealth elvish hiding spots and poors the Elendil light-juice into an elegant opening. Next thing, they’re cruising down the river, bouncing hard over choppy water. Aragorn at the bow, his clothes knocked about by near gale-force winds. But undeterred. Statues rise in the distance of ancient men.
Aragorn: “The Argonauth. Long have I desired to–”
Legolas: “Look out!”
From the cliffs, Uruk-Hai, with a captain played by Dwayne Johnson, jump from the rocks. And land on the front of the boats. Others splashing in the water.
Boromir: “Quick, Frodo, give me the ring for safe-keeping.”
Frodo: “No. You’d never do that in your right mind!”
Boromir: “If only I’d brought a grenade the ring would already be mine!”
Pippin: “Aragorn, help Frodo!”
But Aragorn can’t hear because he’s too busy fighting five Dwayne Johnson-copies at the same time, on a boat, speeding along at close to sixty miles an hour!
Merry: “Men aren’t brave. Hobbits are brave!” He grabs a sword and drives Boromir into the water.
Boromir, thrashes in the water and comes to his senses: “I’m sorry. What was I thinking?”
But Frodo has already abandoned ship, swimming away invisibly. Samwise follows on a water-tight food basket that he’s paddling along: “Mr. Frodo! Mr. Frodo!”
The fellowship boats crash into the shore. Some explode as they skip over the sand and impact the trees and rocks. Boromir screams primally and wades ashore. Uruk-hai attack, but he slaughters them in sprays of black blood, until the water looks like an oil-slick and the white shores look like volcanic sand. But the captain of the Uruk-Hai lifts a gatling gun-crossbow and drills Boromir. Arrows stick in him and also pass through. But he keeps fighting. Until Aragorn attacks the captain and then kicks him back, into the path of a late arriving boat (piloted by Pippin) which then spears the captain into a tree which attracts a bolt of lightning that ignites the tree, boat, and sand, scorching it into a crater.
Gimli: “The fellowship has failed . . . but awesomely.”
Legolas: “You only say that because Boromir’s dead, the ringbearer is lost, and the half-lings have been kidnapped by murderous Uruk-Hai to suffer unspeakable torture before they die, giving up the only secrets they know, like where to find shrooms. But at least, we got to meet Lady Galadriel. Let me tell you how amazing that was. I could think and talk about her all day. I think I’ll compose a song right now.”
Gimli: “Ugh. I wish I’d died too. Wait, the other hobbits were taken?”
Aragorn: “You didn’t notice?”
Gimli: “Well . . . a dwarf is used to looking up . . . I don’t really pay attention to things shorter than me.”
Aragorn: “Well, we can’t leave them to their fate.”
Gimli: “I know I joked about wanting to die, but . . . taking on a band of Uruk-Hai outnumbering us thirty to one, wasn’t what I had in mind.”
Legolas: “He’s just worried I’ll kill more of them.”
Gimli: “In your dreams, blondie.”
Aragorn: “Would you rather track Frodo, through Emon-Muir, and into the Black Land?”
Gimli: “Well, I’m not a racist. I don’t care what color the land is.”
Aragorn: “Mordor, Gimli!”
Gimli: “Hmm. . . The Uruk-Hai were heading into Rohan, and I hear there are some interesting caves over there . . . so sure, let’s go save those half-lings, whatever their names.”
Cue epic rock music to a split scene of Frodo and Sam doing free-running along a rocky ravine, with dark things in the shadows chasing them; alternating with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli hacking their way to Rohan over the falling corpses of Wargs, Orcs, and man-eating, rolling, swarming, plants!
If you were worried because this sounds like a script hollywood might accept . . . then there’s really only one way to know and that’s to actually circle it around hollywood. . . I write very cheaply if they ask.
But alas, you are the only fortunate souls to have seen me channel my inner-hollywood-disneyish-script writer. Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed. Rest assure no one has managed to shop such a script . . . that I know of.