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Universal Brothers


Mike Carlin
Mike Carlin

A clearly jet-lagged MIKE CARLIN enters the
sumptuously-appointed office, and is met with great
enthusiasm by Project Developers THAD and BECKA.

THAD: (Firmly clasping Mike’s hand…) MIKE!
Oh, it’s SUPER to meet you…hey, that’s funny!
“Super!”, get it?

BECKA: Oh, Thad, you’re PRICELESS! That’s PRICELESS!

THAD: Thanks, Becks! Listen, Mike…We’re all BIG fans
of comics here at Universal Brothers, what with the
Ninja Turtles and Star Kid and Super Mario and all.
Really, it’s a thrill for us. FYI, I’m Thad, and this
is Becka, and we’re here in Special Projects to just
sort of “pick your brain.”

BECKA: That’s right, Mike! We want to peel
back that scalp and get at that juicy knowledge in
that brain of yours!

MIKE: Well, we’re always anxious to work with you
movie people…

THAD: Oh, sure…’cause when you get right down to it,
aren’t we ALL just storytellers? Isn’t that WHAT WE

BECKA: (Nodding sagely…) It sure is, Thad.
You’re REALLY onto something there…

MIKE: Um. I guess so…

BECKA: Mike, can we be honest here? Can we, you know,
(makes interlocked fingers gesture…) connect?
Thad and I know that some film adaptations have been
real underperformers. I’m thinking of, say, STEEL.
What did that gross, Thad?

THAD: (Shaking head…looking unconvincingly
Buppity million, Becka. A real
disappointment. I thought that was the Shaq’s
breakthrough showpiece.

MIKE: Well, it wasn’t a very good movie…

BECKA: (Pointing a finger at Mike…) EXACTLY,
Mike! You see where I’m going with this, right? Of
course you do. That’s why we’ve come to YOU,
DIRECTLY, as President of Superman Comics…

MIKE: I’m Executive Editor of DC Comics, Becka.

BECKA: …Right, Editor of …well, whatever. The key
here is SYNERGY. Am I right, Thad?

THAD: Couldn’t be righter, Becks! See, Mike, we want
to get YOUR input…what comics do YOU think would make
good movies? I mean real blockbusters. The kinds of
films that put asses in the seat, you know? Thoughts,

BECKA: Don’t hold back, Mike. We’re all friends, here!
We’re just riffing!

MIKE: Okay, well, one concept that we’ve been shopping
around that might be fun is The METAL MEN.

BECKA: Ooooh! Sort of a Stallone/Van Damme type

THAD: I can see the poster! It’s Bruce Willis, and his
shirt is ripped, and he’s PISSED OFF!

BECKA: He should wear a hat on the poster. That bald
head of his is SO unattractive…

MIKE: No no no. The Metal Men are ROBOTS. They’re a

THAD: (Clapping hands…) Ah! Like POKEMON!

MIKE: (Stunned…) Huh? Well, I guess, but, see
there’re six of them, and
they’re robots, and each one represents a metal, see?
There’s Gold, Platinum, Iron, Lead…

BECKA: Ah! Who do you see playing Gold, Thad?

THAD: Becka, I have two words: MATTHEW PERRY.

MIKE: (Interrupting…) I was thinking maybe an
animated film. See, the beauty of the series is
the way these robots work together, like a family.

BECKA: A family? Like on Family Ties? Is Tina
Yothers available? And Isn’t it awful that Mike Fox got that horrible leprosy or
whatever it was? He still looks great,

THAD: Oh, Mike Fox looks TERRIF! What a trooper. Say, you know who says “family” to me?

BECKA: Who, Todd?

THAD: Jennifer Lopez. To me, she’s just very
maternal. I don’t know why.
She’d be great as Silver. Hell, she IS Silver! I
honestly can’t imagine anyone else playing Silver at
this point.

MIKE: (Losing patience…) There’s no “Silver”
in the Metal Men,
Thad. There’s just Platinum.

THAD: Hmmm. (Frowning…) I don’t know, Mike.
Silver is MUCH sexier. Let’s not change course in the middle of the race,
here. Let’s stick to Silver, and maybe put a Platinum in the sequel, or the
cartoon tie-in. It might be a sticking point about makeup for Jennifer, though. Does Silver HAVE to be a
robot, Mike? Maybe she could be a jewel thief? A sexy jewel thief single parent with an adorable but
smart-talking kid?

BECKA: You know who ELSE might be good for Silver? Rosanne! Do a whole smart-ass vibe! And what about making two of
the robots gay? They ADORE gay robots upstairs.

THAD: Woah, Becka! You’re WAY ahead of yourself,
there, Tiger! We haven’t even talked SOUNDTRACK yet!
Now, I’m thinking it’d be GREAT to get a Metal
Soundtrack, for the Metal Men! What do you think, too
obscure? I wonder if KISS
would regroup for this?

MIKE: KISS has ALREADY regrouped.

THAD: NOW you’re cooking, Mike! EXCELLENT idea.


MIKE: Look, why don’t we forget about the Metal Men
for now…how about Jonah Hex? It’s the lonely story of
a former Confederate soldier, who loses everything,
and vultures tear off his face off. It’s a serious
piece about loss and redemp…

BECKA: (Eyes alight…)Thad, are you thinking
what I’m thinking?

THAD: I bet I am!


MIKE: WHAT?!?! Listen, JONAH HEX is a MAN! I mean, I
expect SOME liberties will get taken, but…

BECKA: LIBERTIES. What a sweet word. Mike, I think
you’ve really got something here. Sarah Michelle is
hot hot hot AND she’s PERFECT for Johnny Hex! She’s
BUFFY! She’s PROVEN she can kick vampire ass!

THAD: Oh, man…Johnny Hex Happy Meal toys…this is
GOLDEN, baby! A girl vampire-hunting cowboy! I have
GOT to start reading comics! These ideas are

DYNAMITE! Listen, Mike, about these vultures…how
about if, instead of vultures, what about if they’re
hookers? And instead of tearing Johnny Hex’s face off,
how about if they build her a fifty-foot tall giant
spider robot, so she can keep fighting those Indian
Vampires? I’m just talking here you know, just
shooting ideas back, trying to get into your world…


THAD: I stand corrected!

MIKE: Oh, for the love of…

THAD: You know who would be GREAT in the video?

BECKA: Oh, my Tai Chi instructor LOVES KORN! Oh man,
is Frank Sinatra still alive? I bet a duet with Frank
and Korn would KILL. It would simply SLAY.

MIKE: (Peeved…)Well, since you’re not going to
listen to what I say, why not just go ahead and do

BECKA: Oh, we LOVE Superman here. Maybe you’ve heard
of the FABULOUS work we did here with him before Tim
Burton and Kevin Smith got involved? Superman would
be…what’s the word I’m looking for here, Thad?

THAD: “Inspiring.”

BECKA: No, more like Independence Day, and yet not,
you know?


BECKA: EXACTLY! Like Con Air, yet different! Too bad
about Nicholas Cage no longer being attached to the
project. Hey, Mike! BRAINSTORM! Now, listen, this
just now hit me ­ I haven’t done any background on it,
but get ready for THIS image. Superman? WILL SMITH.

THAD: My mind is blown. You just blew my mind right
then, Becka. You GO, girl!

BECKA: Superman, yet hip and street! Do you LOVE it?
Tell me, Mike, do you just love it?

THAD: Stick in a couple of gay robots and you’re IN!
You’re GOOD at this, Mike!

BECKA: HEY! I just had an idea…how about ROBERTO
BEGNINI as Superman? Bring in that whole crazy EUROPEAN thing?

MIKE: Now, wait a minute…

THAD: Hey! How about if we had Lois and Jimmy
filming the whole movie on the spot? Do a whole BLAIR
WITCH thing?

BECKA: We could have the gay robots filming the whole
thing! Maybe bring in Johnny Hex to kick some cowboy
vampire ass!

THAD: Pokemon is hot, too…isn’t there something we
could do to make Superman a small creature that fits
in your pocket?


THAD: …?

MIKE: Goddammit, now you two listen here. I don’t know
what planet you came from, or how you got these jobs,
but you are NOT going to **** up Superman like you’ve
screwed up nearly every other comic book adaptation.
If you people are so much smarter than we are, how do

BECKA: Mike…we’re just trying to make a few changes,
to make your concepts more accessible to a wider

MIKE: RIGHT! And when you DO that, eventually, not
even COMIC fans show up! If there’s one thing comics
CAN do, it’s create a sense of wonder, and you guys
have NO ****ing CLUE how to reproduce that! Some of
these characters have been around for SIXTY YEARS.
People will still know who Superman is when you two go
back to your home planet! These characters have
MEANING. They’re ALREADY well-realized. They don’t
need YOU TWO to decide that REGIS PHILBIN should do a


BECKA: Is he available?

THAD: What if, at the end of the movie, Regis realizes
that he’s ALREADY DEAD? He’s been DEAD ALL ALONG?!?!

latte-drinking bastards! Why can’t you, for once,
just keep your grubby paws out of it, and afford these
characters the same measure of respect you give to a
bad John Grisham novel?!? That’s it…there’s no point
talking to you. I’m leaving. Call us when you want
to make a GOOD comic book movie.

Mike exits, slamming the door behind him…

BECKA: Well!

THAD: My my…little hissy fit, huh?

BECKA: Yeah. Wow. I didn’t realize those comic book
people were so scared of new ideas.

THAD: How do you suppose he figured out that we’re
from another planet?

BECKA: I don’t know. Weird. Listen, hand me another
one of those frozen human embryos, would you mind?

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