Friday, April 20, 2007

Side After Side Of Rory's First Kiss

I've received this evening, in my e-mail, several pages of the Rory's First Kiss script by Johnathan Nolan. Isn't that the secret code name for...?... well, you know what. The thing about the grown man in the rubber bat suit.

A number of the sides deal with the scene being filmed in the post office/bank down Chicago way right now, while others hint at other plot elements. Intriguing stuff. I'm not sure if I can name my source... if you want to be named, send me another e-mail and I'm give you a mention.

Let me walk you through these script pages a little. This will obviously be riddled with spoiler material. And I've no idea if the order I've been given the pages in corresponds to the film or not...


The first page deals with four thugs in masks - clown masks, no less - preparing to break into a bank. Only two speak, and they're named Grumpy and Chuckles. I'm thinking that, under his mask, Chuckles is The Joker - even though he discusses The Joker in the third person, as though he isn't him. The scene is all dialogue, no action, but ends with a promise of blammo. Here's the bottom half of the page:

Don't forget the guy who planned the job.

Yeah? he thinks he can sit it out and still take a slice - he's out of his mind.

You gonna tell him that?

Grumpy flashes a gun.

Right after I put two in his heart.

If you can find his heart. Some say he ain't even human.

You mean the chicken shits who believe in ghost. That you?

Hey, guys harder than the both of us are afraid of him...

Look, you wanna hang back and tell scary stories, be my guess. Just means a larger share for me.

You know what? You're onto something.


Chuckles aims his weapon at Grumpy.

Less guys. Larger shares.

And that's how that particular excerpt ends. Some pages later, however, these sides do return to the bank. This contains some serious spoiler material - indeed, a character gets offed.

One of these mask wearing goons is stuffing cash into a bag. He's interrupted by the manager, who seems to think he can intimidate the 'masked thug'. He obviously realises from the masks that these guys are in the employ of The Joker. What he doesn't realise soon becomes crystal clear:

You idiot. What makes you think the guy who hired you isn't going to kill you, too?

The Thug STOPS. Crouches over him. In the distance: SIRENS.

Call it a hunch.

The man PULLS off his MASK. The Bank Manager GASPS, horrified at the face staring back at him.

It's rude to stare.

The bank manager doesn't last much longer... but he does get a little bit of speachifying in first:

What are you? You freak. Criminals in this town used to believe in things. Honor. Respect. What do you believe in, huh? What do you bel-

Hmmm. Really not impressed with that line of dialogue myself... hard to see how it fits... but okay, I'll give the Nolans the benefit of the doubt for now. We'll later see how a bank manager ended up with this point of view, maybe.

So, how about that schoolbus we've seen inside the bank. It suggested to me that there was a hostage situation afoot. Was I correct? Another page seems to suggest I was.

The bus is surrounded by a Swat Team. The Joker appears to have collected all of his hostages in a large building with lots of glass windows - is this the bank? Very probably.

We have clear shots on five subjects. Snipers take them out, smash the windows - a team rappels in, a team moves in by the stairwells. 2 or 3 casualties, max.

I think you're underestimating the situation, Sergeant.

Maybe. But we either take'em now, or they dig in and things get complicated.


Deadly, sir. Very.

The Chief nods.

Tell your men good luck.

Red team, you're up. We're going in is sixty seconds.

So, a Swat team are heading into a booby trapped situation, I'm assuming. And it will take the batty chap to fish them out.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the idea of a kind of 'Bat Day Afternoon' is a good one. Like Super Max taking the format of Alcatraz or, I suppose, Prison Break and retrofitting it with comic book logic, characters and events, doing the same with a hostage or heist movie has a lot of potential. Imagine Reservoir Dogs kicking off in Gotham City - things would have turned out very differently. And Batman does work well in that kind of context. It will be to the credit of the Nolans and Mr. Goyer if this is indeed the approach they've formulated.

The very next excerpt seems to suggest that parallels are being drawn between The Joker's reign of terror and America's fear of, well, real life terrorists. A move that reminds me of some ideas in Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, really.

The Mayor is taking calls on a radio show. We've heard this kind of thing too many times in the last few years:

... hell, you got half the army on the streets - I wanna know when you're gonna catch the sonofa-

Okay. The guy's got a point - what can you say to people about their safety when this maniac's running around free?

The national Guard is here to reassure everyone that law and order is not under threat in this city. the Chief has assured me that -

You get the idea.

So what else goes down? W
here else do we go? We go into a tense hostage situation (another one or an extension of the same one...? Hard to tell, but I'd guess it's a different set up entirely) onboard two ferries, one carrying prisoners, another civillians; we get to meet a wannabe Batman, dressing up in his own makeshift Bat costume and landing in a whole heap of trouble; and we meet Harvey Dent and his wife. There's more, too, some of it quite unexpected. But that's the end of this installment. You can subscribe by e-mail (don't forget to verify your subscription with the first e-mail; be aware it may end up in your junk) or by RSS or simply bookmark the film ick front page to ensure you don't miss a thing.

[EDIT: You can see the second installment right now. But don't let that put you off from subscribing for installments three and beyond]


Anonymous said...

This is awesome!

Anonymous said...

This feels like the middle of the film perhaps. I thought the beginning as it would be a perfect reveal for the Joker. But then I remember reading that the Joker might not appear until the middle of the film. Much like Batman did from begins. So maybe we are looking at the beginning of the second act that leads to a major action event at the end of that second act at this bank.

Brendon said...

The Joker is existant from the end of Begins... where would he go for half of Knight?

Anonymous said...

I've got two theories. 1. He can't be caught based on the crime at the end of Begins. Batman has other issues for the 1st act of the film. The 2nd act would be the one everyone remembers, in which the Joker creates a hostage situation in a bank. 2. The film is completely involved in this massive bank heist, and exposition is thrown between scenes in flash back. I still would not expect Joker to pull off the mask until it is built up quite a bit. Though that scene could top off the first act. You've got part of the script, you know better than I, this is just my speculation.