Greetings. The financial agreements having been finalized, I am now at liberty to publicly announce my big new media project for 2013 — my first movie deal!
Many of you have asked me, "when are we going to see a movie of one of your books?" Secrecy and a non-disclosure agreement have forced me to evade and misdirect callers, but I can now reveal the surprising truth; it could well be on a screen near you as early as fall 2014! However, it's not going to be based on one of my existing novels. My existing long-form fiction has always been problematic from a cinematographic perspective; plot complexity is not an obstacle, but too much introspection and time spent inside my characters' heads is, and unreliable narrators are notoriously hard to convey in film — especially with today's pressure to deliver an action-packed adventure for the short attention span generation. Films are made or broken in their first weekend box-office receipts, and I see no reason to make my first movie my last. So I'm determined to start my new career as a producer with a property that is so hot it glows in the dark.
Yes, I'm going into production. Scriptwriting is not my strong point, but thanks to a happy accident of fate I have connections in the financial sector (notably former colleagues from Datacash PLC who now operate the fund processing infrastructure for online casinos based in Cyprus. These businesses are bankrolled by the offshore asset management vehicles of Russian investors, who are now urgently seeking opportunities to realize a return on their assets that take them out of the reach of the Cypriot banking sector). I have the ideas, and I have entered into a strategic partnership with Machinima/CGI special effects house Strange Company to leverage our business synergies in pursuit of this project.
The success of "Iron Sky" demonstrated that kickstarter assisted low to medium budget SFX-dominated movies with a largely unknown cast can achieve cult success and a decent ROI via streaming download distribution without access to the usual studio-dominated theatrical release cycle and retail DVD channels. The existence and enduring popularity of the low-budget gorefest horror sector with plausible non-supernatural monster threats also suggests an option. My analysis of the sector, conducted with the assistance of my agent and production associates, suggests that one particular area is oversubscribed and ripe for creative disruption.
There is a glut of Shark-related wildlife horror on the market at present, from "Megalodon" to "Shark vs. Giant Octopus" and "Sharktopus", not to mention the immortal "Sharks vs. Tanks". Why sharks? Well, they have teeth, and they inspire primal fear of being eaten — especially when accompanied by a John Williams score. So I'm not going to produce a shark movie; instead I'm going to go back to basics, with another popular wildlife phobia. Take a primal threat, inflate it to massive proportions, riff off a parasitic life-cycle that Ridley Scott used to great effect in his most enduring horror creation, and add a high concept. I present to you ...
At a shadowy genetic research lab in the corn fields of Arizona, white-coated scientists are tampering with nature. Bees are dying out, so what will pollinate our crops? The researchers, including idealistic whistle-blower Amanda Powers (performed by [TO BE ANNOUNCED]) are transplanting bee genes and useful growth factors into another flying insect species in the hope of allowing their corporate employer to continue to profit from their GM crop line after the bees it is killing become extinct.
(The researchers are unaware that the evil CEO of their employer, the Mandrake Corporation, has other plans for his genetically modified wasps; he is working on a fat DARPA contract to develop wireless-controlled cyborg insect predators to use as drones in the War On Terror and to patrol the Mexican border to keep wetbacks out.)
Amanda makes covert contact with ruggedly handsome undercover EPA Agent Garrison Ambrose (played by [TO BE ANNOUNCED]) who is also, unknown to his employers, a deep cover Greenpeace mole inserted into the US government agency a decade ago to uncover evidence of corporate corruption of the civil service.
Mandrake Corporation is, unknown to everyone else, working with DNA samples stolen from Jurassic Park. They're building some really big wasps — wasps the size of pigeons — with turbocharged biology that enables them to fly (and sting).
A Greenpeace sympathizer at the EPA leaks word of the experiments to a group of idealistic PETA activists, but the message gets mangled: they think Mandrake Corporation are trying to breed GM beagles for medical research. They organize a night-time break-in and open the containment airlock on the dome that holds the wasps before realizing their mistake — in a very terminal manner.
At this point Ambrose is called in in his official capacity, along with local good ole' boy Sheriff Bill O'Rourke, who is in the pay of Mandrake Corp (with a remit to hush-up the leak). Ambrose wants to spray with insecticide to kill the feral wasps before their queen starts laying eggs; O'Rourke is more concerned with protecting Mandrake assets and finding the source of the leak. Powers tries to warn them about the danger posed by the wasps but O'Rourke isn't listening. She and Ambrose hole up to try and work out where the wasps might be nesting.
Meanwhile: a hitch-hiker is found dead by the roadside, bloated up and stabbed repeatedly. "Looks like a pack of rattlesnakes," observes O'Rourke.
A helicopter circles around the research station, spraying a proprietary experimental insecticide. Wasps fly through it and fail to die. Instead, they begin to grow, shedding their exoskeletons and metamorphizing into a new, larger, deadlier instar.
Spraying completed, O'Rourke begins to hunt down the source of the leak. He works out that it's probably Powers, and sends his men to arrest her. Ambrose remonstrates with the small-town cops while Powers escapes; they arrest and beat him instead.
CUT TO: A mini-bus full of protestors from the GOD HATES QUEERS church are found stung to death, with horrible gaping wounds. (A stinger has punched right through the windshield and impaled the driver through his fricking face.)
O'Rourke holes up to interrogate Ambrose. Ambrose warns him: "you have no idea how bad this is going to get." O'Rourke beats him up.
CUT TO: a twin-engined airliner flies into a swarm of giant wasps, loses both engines, and makes a successful crash-landing ... only for the traumatized survivors to be stung to death and eaten as they crawl from the wreckage.
Meanwhile, Powers escapes into the desert. She sees wasps, in the distance. With her camera, she photographs one of them chewing off a tree branch to carry back to its nest. She uploads the photo to the internet: SOMETHING TERRIBLE IS COMING.
Next morning, a Gulfstream full of men in black from the EPA lands at the nearest airfield and heads for O'Rourke's jail. They spring Ambrose, haul him off to their HQ in Phoenix — then tell him he's suspended pending an investigation. He tries to warn them. His boss, Schaeffer, tells him that the USAF is lending them a surveillance asset to track down the wasps' nest.
CUT TO: A predator drone being bitten in half by a wasp with a 20 metre wingspan.
CUT TO: Gigantic wasps peeling back the roof of the Mandrake Corporation research center, picking up their screaming victims, stinging them into paralysis, and flying them back to the nest.
Powers is trying to drive to Phoenix. Her ipad is filling up with frantic questions from journalists, over the breaking story; but O'Rourke has sent his men after her. A Highway Patrol officer on a motorcycle pulls her over and is about to haul her out of her car when she looks in the rear-view mirror and sees a squadron of giant wasps hurtling towards them. She warns him to take cover just as the first wasp roars overhead and spears the motorbike on its stinger. The cop dives into the back seat, and a car chase of a different kind ensues. Powers finally reaches town, driving on her front wheels after a vexatious vespulan has bitten the back half off her car. She's met by a national guard unit armed with stinger missiles who shoot down the insects ...
The men from the EPA reveal to Ambrose that the national guard have found the nest and are about to douse it with insecticide. Ambrose warns them that it won't work, that they need Powers' special insight into how to kill the wasps.
CUT TO: Another Predator drone firing missiles, trailing clouds of gas, at a WASPS' NEST THE SIZE OF A SKYSCRAPER CLINGING TO THE EDGE OF THE GRAND CANYON.
CUT TO: ENRAGED GIANT WASPS FLYING INTO SKYSCRAPERS IN CHICAGO AND TOKYO. ONE OF THEM TRAILING FLAMES FROM A MISSILE WOUND INFLICTED BY A FIGHTER JET. SKYSCRAPERS COLLAPSING IN FLAMES.
Powers explains to the EPA that the wasps are breeding up a new batch of super-queens, which will be invulnerable to anything short of nuclear weapons. A crack team of special forces will have to abseil into the giant nest, find the encysted, paralysed, still-living human victims in whom the eggs have been laid, and incinerate them with flame-throwers before the nest's Guards can stop them. Otherwise the problem will arise again.
The President has taken an interest by this point and is ordering the spill-ways on the Grand Hoover Dam to be opened, in hope of flushing the giant nest all the way out to sea. There is therefore a forty-minute deadline in which to accomplish the mission.
CUT TO: A GIANT WASP BITING THE BARREL OFF A FRICKING TANK.
CUT TO: A GANG OF GIANT WASPS STINGING GODZILLA TO DEATH THEN ADVANCING ON MEGA-TOKYO.
CUT TO: A GIANT WASP WITH STRAP-ON BOOSTERS MENACING THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.
CUT TO: WASPS WITH GIANT FRICKEN' LASERS STRAPPED TO THEIR STINGERS SHOOTING DOWN BOEING 747's OVER LA.
CUT TO: IT'S KIND OF LIKE 'ALIENS' ONLY WITH GIANT WASPS AND THE WORLD'S BIGGEST FLUSH TOILET INSTEAD OF A NUKE AND IF THEY FIND THE CUTE KID WHO'S CARRYING THE CHEST-BURSTER MAGGOT THE SIZE OF A FOOTBALL THEY'RE GOING TO INCINERATE HER WITH A FLAME-THROWER FOR HER OWN GOOD.
WASPS. WASPS. WASPS EVERYWHERE!!!!1!!
You may hate my project, but the Russian Cypriot casino owners who are backing it like it. So it's going ahead, unless you contribute to my innovative KickStopper campaign! You see, we anticipate a net profit of £1.34M after residuals, DVD releases, games tie-ins and spin-offs (giant plush velour baby-friendly wasps with realistic ichor-dribbling stinger action), and providing our backers with the return on investment they
expect deserve. So if you want to avoid being subjected to two or three years of WASPOSAURUS REX saturation media bombardment — if, say, you happen to suffer from sphexophobia — all you have to do is pay money into the KickStopper campaign. Once the pledged funds exceed £1.34M, we promise to stop production immediately, return the seed capital to the investors, burn the script, and go on a long vacation while we plan our next crime against decency.
(The KickStopper site is currently under construction. In the meantime, all enquires should go to Frail Pool Productions. You know where to find us.)