Max Landis keep publishings his unlikely-to-ever-be-made screenplay ideas, so I figured I’d share one of my own. This was the full story outline for my “Motormouth” movie which I mailed to Disney/Marvel. Motormouth is a wholly obscure character from the UK division of Marvel, which had a brief boom of new characters in the mid-1990s. I took it upon myself, as a personal challenge, to come up with an appealing story for Motormouth, and I think I succeeded.
Since it’s looking like this will never see the light of day (I never completed the screenplay, and I can’t sell something that doesn’t belong to me to begin with anyway), I figured I’d share it with my Facebook friends, and see what they think.
If you want to see this movie, write millions of letters to Disney.
Harley “Motormouth” Davis – 17 years old. Brash. Punk. Mean. Ultra-cool. Drinks and swears. Passionate about life and music. Homeless. Thief.
Julius “Killpower” – 10 years old in the body of a twentysomething bodybuilder. Built in MysTech labs. Feckless, innocent, violent. Loves killing and kung-fu. Loves movies. At first, he is heartless, but is moved by Harley’s compassion.
Bronwen Gryffn – Over 1000 years old. Looks about 40. Entered into a pact with the Devil to be immortal, and to rule over whatever she saw fit, along with six others. They run multiple dimensions as MysTech.
MysTech – An ancient order of ambitious humans who have used their Satanic influence, and have blended magic with technology. They rule secretly over multiple planets and dimensions, draining souls to Satan.
Dr. Oonagh Mullarkey – The creator of MOPeD (Mind-Operated Personal Dematerialization). Young and eccentric. Also helped to create Killpower.
DeBurgh Haldane – Often referred to as “the brat.” The son of Ranulph Haldane, MysTech’s CEO. Kept alive through a series of magic spells and advanced surgeries. Fleshy and kind of gross. Unctuous and callow. Whiny and entitled.
Molly “Shamrock” Fitzgerald – 21 years old. Ultra-hip Irish hairdresser. Sought after by all of London’s hipsters.
Guido Carasella – The head of the Italian fashion underground in a distant dimension, ruled by a fashion-controlling elite. He has been amassing clothing for years, in a planned takeover.
Outline, scene by scene:
1) Harley breaks into a suburban home in Manchester and has a lovely evening, eating their food, using their bath, and perusing their music collection. Because she’s so loud at this crime, the cops are called. Harley flees into the night. Song cue: “Soul Kitchen” by X. Opening title song: “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill
2) Dr. Oonagh Mullarky, an ambitious scientist working for MysTech, explains MOPeD to Bronwen Gryffn, one of the board members of MysTech. MOPeD is a technology used to teleport physically among various dimensions. It can only work with certain kinds of DNA, and the technology isn’t advanced enough to be attuned to specific DNA, making appropriate users hard to find. Mullarkey and Gryffn argue over MOPeD’s use. Mullarky thinks it was intended merely to be used for travel, but now learns that MysTech intends to use MOPeD to infiltrate other dimensions physically. MysTech is, at the film’s outset, planning to expand their evil magical interdimensional empire by infiltrating other dimensions with physical supersoldiers. MysTech can already infect minds all over this dimension and even minds in other dimensions, but they cannot yet physically travel to other dimensions.
3) Harley goes to a bar to hide out from the police. She drinks, trades music trivia with friends. The denizens of the bars are old guard rock snobs who hate Harley’s outsize personality, but respect her knowledge of music. They give her booze for fun. Harley talks about her punk philosophy, and how personal freedom is the ultimate power. In her mind, her life is perfect. The bar owner says she can have the really cool leather jacket high on the wall (it allegedly once belonged to Sid Vicious), but only if she can steal it. They talk about how curse words are just words, and Harley argues that all words are meaningful. Cursing especially. Her constant cursing is an ethos. Also present in the She also tries to convince an Irish hairdresser, Molly “Shamrock” Fitzgerald to give her a cool hairdo for free. Molly refuses. The cops arrive outside, and Harley flees again. Song cues during the bar scene: “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!” By X-Ray Spex, “Lexicon Devil” by The Germs
4) Mullarky, in an act of defiance against Gryffn, goes to a pawn shop to buy various items (including a bike wheel, a pair of skis, a flying V guitar, a Nintendo Power Glove, and a pair of sneakers) in order to hide MOPeD units inside of them. The MOPeD units are magically infused inside each of these objects. They can only be activated by people possessing certain DNA. She uses MysTech computers to scan for potential candidates. Knowing this will set off Mys-Tech alarms, she installs widgets near his heart and brain. MysTech tracks her, and gets suspicious.
5) Harley falls asleep in an alley, barely out of the cops’ reach. She is still dirty and alone.
6) Mullarkey is caught scanning for MOPeD candidates, and is promptly confronted by a MysTech assassin, in actuality, Killpower (in a mask). Mullarkey begs for her life, asking why her own son would kill him. Killpower murders her without a word. When Killpower leaves the room, the widgets installed in her body activate and revive Mullarky, although she is clearly not going to survive very long. The widgets are intended to keep her alive until she can reach the nearest MOPeD candidate. She stumbles a bit, barely alive, but alert. She flees into the city in a van, and easily finds Harley asleep in an alley. She dies dropping all the MOPeD stuff in front of Harley’s sleeping body. Her last words are “Fuck ’em!”
7) It is early. Harley awakens and immediately digs through the bag of MOPeD stuff, largely ignoring the dead woman, baffled by the grinding machines in her chest and head. She puts on the sneakers and takes a flying V guitar. She rises and takes the rest of the stuff back to the pawn shop.
8) Harley is spotted by the police, exiting the pawn shop. She runs, swearing, activating the MOPeD in her shoes. She kicks down a door while cursing, and the door vanishes into another dimension (Each time something vanishes, we see where it ends up). She eludes the police again, astonished at her shoes. In an empty room, she makes several other things vanish by kicking them, testing out the shoes.
9) Harley uses the shoes to break into the pawn shop vault, stealing money and a gun. She waits until after hours, and breaks into the aforementioned bar with the cool jacket, stealing it. The bar owner arrives just as she’s putting it on, but says that she stole it fair and square, allowing her to flee.
10) Harley goes to Shamrock’s apartment in the middle of the night, and takes her hostage, forcing Shamrock to give her a really cool hairdo. Shamrock secretly calls the cops at a moment when Harley isn’t looking.
11) Back at MysTech, Bronwen Gryffn, using magical monitoring equipment, sees that the MOPeD has been activated, but can’t exactly pinpoint the origin of it. The MOPeD is tied into Harley’s DNA, and Harley needs to teleport her own body for the tracking computer to find her.
12) Harley and Shamrock share a drink, despite the hostage situation; Harley and Shamrock have kind of bonded through usual hairdresser conversation. Harley’s hair is now clean. It’s short and white and has a blue streak in it. The cops arrive. Shamrock apologizes for the call she made earlier, and Harley flees out the window. She falls four floors onto her feet and is safe. The shoes can protect her from large falls.
13) The cops see her outside the building, and she runs swearing. The running, paired with the curse words, activate the MOPeD in her shoes, and she teleports! The teleportation is immediately noted by the MysTech magic computer.
14) Harley arrives in a futuristic super-mall. She passes out from the shock. Music cue: “Warm Leatherette” by The Normal
15) MysTech sends a shiftless immortal brat, DeBurgh Haldane, after Harley to kill her and retrieve the MOPeDs she has on her. DeBurgh is immortal, but fragile. He is kept alive by magic, and constantly applies makeup so as not to look rotten. He can only drink rancid wine. He can magically follow Harley using a stripped-down version of MOPeD, but each time he does, he rots a little more. Teleportation, it turns out, is massively difficult and bodily harmful without a properly-attuned MOPeD.
16) Harley comes to in this new dimension, and looks around the mall. It’s so large, she learns, it’s a country unto itself. The bulk of the stores are clothing stores. She wants some of this clothing, and kicks open an ATM, stealing thousands of pieces of currency. She uses the money to improve her jacket (it gets cooler looking and is is enhanced to be bulletproof), and gets a special earpiece installed that can pick up on every radio signal from anywhere, allowing her to hear music everywhere she goes. Her flying V guitar is now sealed to her back, and can only be removed when she wants it. Damn, she’s cool. Music cue: “Shove” by L7. She is found by the local police, however, and runs away. She is constantly on the run.
17) Harley runs into DeBurgh, who has arrived in this dimension. Harley and DeBurgh have a brief struggle. Harley immediately hates this creep. She slams him with her guitar, and he vanishes back to his home dimension. Harley teleports to another dimension to evade capture.
18) DeBurgh ends up in darkened a desert landscape. This is the MysTech prison dimension. He tells MysTech (via a communicator) that he found Harley, but she escaped. They threaten to unleash Killpower. DeBurgh talks them out of it. Bronwen teleports him out of the prison, needing to rip a “hole” in the prison dimension. DeBurgh lands in Bronwen’s office.
19) Harley appears in yet another dimension, this time in a modern city where everyone wears gray, and no one’s outfit looks at all distinguishable from anyone else’s. Her outfit is noticed by even more cops, and they begin chasing her. Being on the run is getting tiresome. When she ducks into an alley, Harley is pulled into a secret passageway by a shadowy figure. The figure leads her deep underground while explaining that her flashy outfit makes her a criminal. He will keep her safe. In this dimension, he explains, the fashion police run everything, and only high-ranking politicians are allowed to dress well.
20) In the MysTech armory, DeBurgh gears up for another attempt on Harley’s life. He takes weird weapons, including a “screaming” weapon that attaches to his throat (he puts it on, and it burrows under his skin), which will allow him to scream holes through walls. He also attaches a giant blade on his arm (in a reference to Die-Cut). He teleports to the dimension where Harley is. He arrives with grunts and strains, and clearly can’t take too much more.
21) Harley is spirited off to a vast underground lair by the shadowy figure, who is named Guido. This dimension, Guido tells her, is under very strict fashion laws. Only government agents are allowed to dress well, he reiterates, and cool clothing is illegal. Guido spotted her and took her in immediately because of her ultra-cool clothing, sensing her fashion and attitude will be a great help in their struggle. In the underground, people have been secretly collecting cool clothing for years, hoping for a coolness uprising. They even have a traveling modular rock stage, where rock music will be played, setting the people free. Guido also explains that all the cops and politicians on this planet are secretly under the aegis of something called MysTech, who has mind-controlled lieutenants in many dimensions. The cops are all “seeded” with inter-dimensional MysTech spells, controlling their consciousnesses. In this dimension, the “seeds” cause them to bristle whenever they see someone cooler than they are. Guido asks for Harley’s help in fighting the anti-clothing menace, but she outright refuses. She only looks out for number one. Harley takes to the streets.
22) In the streets, the local police find Harley quickly, apprehending her. When it looks like Harley will be taken into custody, DeBurgh appears and kills the cops with his throat-mounted screaming device, and his giant blade weapon. He is practically a zombie at this point, rotting and gurgling.
23) DeBurgh stuns Harley with his screaming device. He uses his blade to cut her arm. He takes some of her blood and runs it through a machine, shutting off her central MOPeD, effectively freezing her in this dimension. As her MOPeD is still in the midst of powering down, however, she shakes off the stun, and kicks him DeBurgh the head, teleporting it away. His screaming device is left sticking out of his neck. Harley takes it as a souvenir. When she puts it around her neck, it burrows in.
24) MysTech immediately senses that DeBurgh has been killed, and Killpower is immediately activated to go after Harley. Killpower is an enormous armored thug in a helmet.
25) Harley seeks out the underground, but they refuse her because of her earlier brusqueness. She is destitute.
26) Harley finds herself in the same position as at the beginning of the film. Homeless and angry and alone, hiding from the police, stuck in this dimension. She listens to music. In a montage (music cue “Song from Under the Floorboards” by Magazine), she finds a hospital and stitches up her arm. The local medical technology is very good, and it doesn’t leave a scar.
27) Killpower arrives in this dimension. He is MOPeD equipped!
28) Harley wanders through back alleyways, trying not to be seen by anyone. She recognizes some of the underground members on the street, and begins to see how badly the police treat the locals, and how they beat up anyone who shows even the slightest individuality. They punch a small girl who thinks to put a flower in her hair. She now knows how insidiously MysTech operates. They stifle creativity and individuality. Fashion becomes a basic human freedom.
29) Killpower finds Harley. He grabs her and teleports her to an empty drive-in theater in the same dimension. There is a fight. Harley manages to deflect his bullets with her shoes, sending them to funny places (the bullets can be seen killing JFK). Whenever Killpower tries to hit her with something (a drive-in speaker, a large gun), she teleports that thing away. She kicks him in his armor, teleporting it away piece by piece. Eventually she kicks off his helmet, revealing a regular guy underneath. She doesn’t kill him, not ready to commit murder. She is sad and shaken by DeBurgh’s death, and doesn’t want any more killing.
30) Killpower, bred to be a killing machine, is baffled by the notion of mercy. He is touched. He begins to speak to another person (other than MysTech people) for the first time in his life. Killpower reveals his real name is Julius, and he’s only 10 years old. He was grown by MysTech to be an assassin. He loves killing, but finds that he likes Harley more. He asks about her outfit and about mercy. Harley explains mercy to him, and how helping others is better than just killing them or taking stuff from them. In the speech, she realizes she’s been kind of a bitch, learning the lesson as she teaches it. Killpower easily decides to betray MysTech.
31) Killpower, using the remaining pieces of his suit, unlocks Harley’s MOPeD, allowing her to teleport again. He teaches her how to more accurately operate it. Even though she can now teleport away, Harley decides to stay in this dimension and help the fashion underground. Killpower also fixes the device in her neck, letting her scream powerful blasts. Training montage. They watch movies at the drive-in. They spend a few days there. Music cue: “Going Underground” by The Jam
32) MysTech can peer through magical spy portals to see what Killpower is up to. Bronwen looks on and is disgusted with his betrayal. Rather than send any more assassins, she decides to take the nuclear option, and totally erase the dimension that Harley is in altogether. MysTech can do that by essentially “exploding” all the “seeded” operatives in that dimension. The MysTech inter-dimensional seeds are the devices that sap people of their free will and livelihood.
33) Killpower calls MysTech and explains that he wants to quit. Bronwen says she’s very disappointed in him, and alludes that MysTech is going to erase that dimension. Killpower tells Harley what’s going on: MysTech can explode entire dimensions using the seeded agents, and that the “seeds” are placed psychically, and grow inside their hosts until they are robbed of their free will and livelihood. The only way seeded people can fight the psychic implants is to express soulful activities like dancing and listening to music. Harley and Killpower resolve to stop MysTech.
34) Motormouth and Killpower first teleport back to the underground, and informs Guido that he needs to distract the MysTech police in his own dimension, winning them over to music and coolness, as to break their DNA links to MysTech. The underground achieves this by dressing in their coolest clothes and listening to their coolest music (all punk and hard rock), and taking to the streets in a rave/riot. They hope the cops will dance along, weakening the MysTech implants.
35) Motormouth and Killpower try teleporting to the MysTech headquarters in London on Earth.
35.5) BADASS DRIVING SEQUENCE. Killpower gets behind the wheel of a stolen car, and they begin barrelling across town. To help out, Harley kicks the roof off thew car (it vanishes) and she climbs out onto the hood of the car. She can stick in place, thanks to the sneakers. She whips out her flying V, and begins rocking out, using the rock to blast obstacles and cars out of the way. Music cue: “Surprise! You’re Dead!” by Faith No More.
…but when they arrive at the MysTech building, they cannot get in; When they try to get in the building (Harley sits on the hood of the speeding car, sneakers first, to teleport through the wall) , they are teleported to the prison dimension seen earlier.
36) Killpower forgot to mention this part: He explains that this is a prison dimension is parallel to the MysTech tower, only one tiny shift removed from Earth. If they try to teleport out, they’ll find themselves right back in the same place. The only way out is through an dimensional “hole” hundreds of feet above their heads, leading straight into Bronwen Gryffn’s office (the one that Bronwen tore open earlier to retrieve DeBurgh). Harley begins teleporting around the prison dimension to gather materials for a tower (there is trash and dead trees and the like). Killpower fuses the sticks together with a powerful torch in his remaining armor. They begin building a rickety 30-foot tower.
37) Back in the fashion dimension, the locals seem to be gaining on the local cops, using loud music and slick clothes. They beat back the cops by producing cooler and cooler stuff. The music is awesome! Back at MysTech, Bronwen sees the MysTech influence weakening, and is having trouble instigating the nuclear option.
38) Harley and Killpower complete the tower (it’s rickety), and climb through the dimensional hole, into the Bronwen Gryffn’s office (the tower immediately collapses afterwords). Bronwen Gryffn was working on the seeding, when she sees them in her office. Harley tries hitting her with her guitar, but Bronwen is protected by a spell. Bronwen uses a spell to stun Killpower. Bronwen seems invincible. She talks to Harley, trying to lure her into the MysTech fold by making her an agent, giving her freedom to travel in time and space and collect rock paraphernalia for herself. She will be allowed to kill cops, see whatever concerts she wants, and have total autonomy as well as wealth and immortality.
39) Harley says no, saying that punk rock is not about violence and theft, but freedom. Punk rock is about doing what you choose to do, even if it’s violent. It’s not about doing mindless violence, but pointed violence intended to challenge the status quo. Mindless violence under orders is what “seeded” cops do. Since she can’t his Bronwen directly, she wails on the MysTech computers in Bronwen’s office with her guitar, teleporting pieces of them away. She screams at stuff, breaking it all.
40) Bronwen freezes her with a spell, and explains mockingly that MysTech got their powers from the Devil himself (gasp!), and that any sort of creative human endeavor will eventually be wiped out, especially music and fashion. In her speech, Killpower falls to the floor; Bronwen was distracted, and his stun has worn off. Killpower punches Bronwen, and she drops Harley. Harley unleashes a holy rock ‘n’ roll scream/powerchord of “Fuck you,” blasting her through the wall. The Devil is killed with the power of rock.
41) The cops in the fashion dimension immediately begin partying with the rave riot. It turns into a celebration. Music cue: “Love is All Around” by Joan Jett
42) Epilogue: Hours later, Harley and Killpower are at Molly’s (Shamrock’s) apartment, having beers and talking. Harley says that she had decided to use her powers for good and not evil, and will stop stealing and treating people so poorly. But she won’t stop swearing. Killpower convinces Harley that she should pay back all the people she robbed from in her life, a long and complex task. They all resolve to stop all of MysTech’s endeavors in all the dimensions, by spreading the power of punk and awesome fashion. Credits music: “Rise” by Public Image, Ltd.
(The sequel is called “Motormouth Goes to Vegas.”)