Genre: Action drama
Characters: Jason Statham [Himself], Olivia Wilde [Herself], Meryl Streep [Herself], Ed Norton [Mark Ruffalo]
It starts fast, with Statham running down an alleyway, stopping at the end, looking both ways, then turning quick and shooting the guy climbing out of the trash can behind him. The director shouts cut and Statham drops the gun and walks away, shaking a little.
Flash…and he’s on the red carpet, with a small crowd watching him, and only one or two reporters trying to pull him towards their mics. He interviews with one of them and says, ‘sure, I loved working with Don, he’s a great guy.’
‘Were you a big fan of Miami Vice when you were a kid?’
‘What about Nash Bridges?’
‘Thank you, Jatham. [Pause] Jason.’
‘Am I done?’
Flash…he’s in a video-store looking at his own movie cover. On the front he’s holding a gun, and Jet Li is next to him, a little smaller, with his leg in the air. ‘It’s good, isn’t it?’ he asks no one in particular.
Flash…he’s in a bar with Ed Norton. He’s being talked at and jabbed a bit and he doesn’t know what to say to any of it.
Norton stops the lecture and asks him if he ever went to college.
‘Sure, man…the college of hard knocks.’
‘That’s not a college.’
‘Yeah, I know. I meant…I learnt about stuff from…getting knocked…being hit…being on the street, that kind of thing. I think.’
‘Do you go to the library?’
‘Huh? Which one?’
‘Well…I got a Spanish book out once. That was from a library.’
‘You know Spanish?’
‘No. That’s the weird thing, the book was all in Spanish, man. I couldn’t understand a word. It’s fucking stupid, innit? How can you know a word if you don’t know the words that you’re…the words that you’re reading, the Spanish ones. It’s anti-logical.’
Ed Norton looks around the bar, sees Mark Ruffalo, glares at him.
‘You okay, man?’
Ed Norton turns back round. ‘You know any other languages?’
‘Languages…well, no, not really, but I can say some stuff… ‘hello’ in French. ‘Hello’ in German. ‘Hello’ in a few others.’
‘I know five.’
‘Fluent in four, intermediate in the other. But I only started that one last week. Not that I’m looking for excuses.’
‘Man, that’s impressive.’
‘Hey, I’m curious…do you re-write the scripts they send you?’
‘Err…no, never. Am I supposed to?’
‘Do you give the director shit?’
‘I tell them I’m tired sometimes. Does that count?’
‘How many times you walked off a movie?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Walked out, quit, left…have you ever quit mid-shoot?’
‘Man, I can’t do that, there’s a contract.’
‘You’ve never walked?’
‘No…how can I? If I walked, they’d sue me for…for something. Breach of the thingy…the contract. Right?’
Norton goes back to his drink, unimpressed.
Flash…Statham’s waiting in bed for a woman. The bathroom door is open and we can see the reflection of Olivia Wilde, naked except for a headband. He asks her if she’s coming and she says, ‘wait, I’m just taking off my headband.’ He lifts the blanket and checks his body. It looks okay, pretty tight. Olivia comes in and climbs on top of him. They have sex. When it’s over they lie there in silence. After a minute or two, Statham turns to her and asks, ‘did you ever go to college?’
Flash…he’s in his agent’s office, talking about his next job. The room around them is practically empty, with pictures of cheques instead of movies. Statham tells the agent he wants to go straight, try something with a little depth. The agent shakes his head, goes to his desk and puts his hand into a tank with a whole load of numbered balls. ‘Your next job, Jason…’ ‘No, next role,’ Statham tries to correct him, but the agent has already pulled out a ball. ‘…will be ‘War Cry’.’ The agent throws the ball across the room and continues. ‘Wow, you really got lucky this time. War Cry…imagine it, Jason. You, Jet Li, Delroy Lindo…lost in the 19th century…shit, you wanna know where? Japan, man, land of the rising sun. But not only Japan…The Mid-West, too. Stuck in two places at the same time, what the hell is going on? Nobody knows. But what you know, Jason, is there’s some samurai on your ass and they smell blood.’ Statham gets up and tries to intervene by putting his hand on the agent’s shoulder, but it doesn’t work. ‘But there’s one problem…you smell blood better. You smell it on a whole other level. They kill Delroy Lindo, you get mad. Jesus fucking krist, you’re gunning for them, you’re steam punk crazy in the head. The bad guys, the samurai, they’re waiting…you’re waiting…then it happens. The title, wordless, brutal. Fuck it, Jason, it’s your Godhead-fucking war cry! People are gonna die to see this. They’re gonna literally die.’
Flash…Statham is in another bar, alone. He’s writing on a napkin: ‘Script looks incredible, but…a Polish accent. A scholar, a warrior – I can do one out of three, but what about the rest?’ He scratches his head a while and tests out some Polish sounds on the bartender, but it’s shit and he knows it’s shit.
Flash…he’s walking home from the bar and a car pulls up next to him. A woman who looks beautiful in the shadows, but maybe less beautiful in proper light tells him to get in the car. He says no. She says she’s a scientist and can help him. ‘Sure, if you can give me a new brain…’ The woman smiles and beckons him in.
Flash…Statham is tied to a slab in some kind of laboratory, possibly the same set used in Hollow Man. The woman appears and tells him it won’t hurt, and when he wakes up he will not only have his existing skills, but also the accent learning power of Meryl Streep and the intelligence of Ed Norton. Statham doesn’t know what to say, but after a few seconds he gets out one question: How? The woman points to two slabs in the other corner, where Meryl Streep and Ed Norton are also tied down. Statham says, ‘hey, what’s gonna happen to them?’ The woman says they will die, but part of them will live on in him.
Flash…Statham is on a film set somewhere in Poland, and he’s absolutely nailing the accent, as well as alternating between scholarly intelligence and kicking the shit out of extras. A fan breaks onto the set between filming and runs up to Statham with a photo to sign, telling him she loved him in ‘The One’. Statham looks at the photo and says, ‘what is this shit? I never did this.’ The fan pushes the photo closer, so Statham punches her in the face.
Flash…Statham is in his trailer reading the script. There’s a red marker pen in his hand and he’s shaking his head. ‘I’d never say that,’ he repeats over and over.
Flash…Meryl Streep’s husband is on set asking for Statham. One of the grips points him to the right trailer and he knocks and Statham says, ‘sure, come on in, baby.’ The husband tells Statham that he found the scientist who did this to Meryl, and even though he knows Meryl is gone, he also knows that part of her is still alive in Statham. ‘I must sleep with you,’ he says. Statham shakes his head and says, ‘Sorry, sailor blue, my brain is my brain. I can’t do it.’ The husband stands up. ‘Damnit, Statham, it’s not your brain anymore. Give me my Meryl back.’ Statham closes his eyes and remembers the past, or Meryl’s past, and then opens them again and says ‘okay, bedroom’s this way.’
Flash…Statham lies in bed smoking a cigarette, while Meryl Streep’s husband has sex with him. The logistics are: He’s lying on his back, and the husband is on top of him, and somehow it’s working. After the husband is done, he rolls off and says it wasn’t great, but it’ll do.
Flash…Statham knocks on the director’s head and tells him the script is no good, it’s gotta change. The director rubs his head and says ‘ouch’. ‘Fuck your pain, man, we’ve gotta fix this trash,’ says Statham waving the script in the air. The director says okay, what’s wrong with it, and Statham points to all the red pen marks and tells him his character would never do this. After looking at all the corrections the director shakes his head. ‘Jesus, Jase, you never heard of compromise?’ Statham rips the script to pieces and starts eating it. ‘Have you never heard of God-given talent?’
Flash…Meryl Streep’s husband lies in bed breathing heavily. Statham lies next to him, blank-faced. The husband gets out of bed and goes to the bathroom and tells Statham that they must start doing this twice a week. Statham answers by following him into the bathroom and snapping his neck.
Flash…Statham sits in a prison cell stroking his head. ‘My lovely brain, my lovely brain,’ he says over and over. A police officer comes to the bars and dangles the keys in front of him. ‘You got a visitor.’ Statham doesn’t seem to hear him and continues stroking his head. A few seconds later the scientist woman walks in and leans against the wall. She watches him doing his loopy head rubbing shit then tells him she can help. He doesn’t ask how so she continues anyway. ‘The brain of Tom Cruise…the nicest, sanest man in Hollywood. We have it…and it’s all for you, honey.’