BroJackson has obtained the exclusive transcript of the pitch meeting between writer Boaz Yakin and an unnamed executive at Summit Entertainment for the magician-caper film “Now You See Me”.
INT BOARDROOM – SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT OFFICES – 7 AM
A well dressed EXECUTIVE walks into a conference room that has clearly been occupied for some time by writer BOAZ YAKIN. Heaps of scrapped paper, discarded Red Bull cans, a stack of Criss Angel DVDs, two empty pizza boxes, and a hand mirror with white residue are littered around the room.
Boaz is jittery, twisting in his seat at the head of the table.
BOAZ: I got it. Big summer blockbuster.
EXECUTIVE: Boaz, how long have you been awake?
BOAZ: I know I took a nap on Sunday.
EXECUTIVE: It’s Tuesday.
BOAZ: Good, good. Listen, I have a (he winks) magical idea.
EXECUTIVE: You have five minutes.
BOAZ: Three word. Ma-gi-cians.
EXECUTIVE: (blank stare).
BOAZ: Magicians. Three–no! Four of them! They’re like superheroes–no! Supervillains! Maybe something undefined in between so you don’t know who to root for!
EXECUTIVE: I’m listening.
BOAZ: Ok. Four magician bank robbers.
EXECUTIVE: They’re bank robbers or they’re magicians?
BOAZ: Both! It’s like “The Prestige” meets “Tower Heist” meets “Fantastic Four.”
EXECUTIVE: Those movies were not good.
BOAZ: Nothing wrong with aiming for the middle, boss.
EXECUTIVE: True. Any ideas on casting?
BOAZ: Woody Harrelson. Jesse Eisenberg. Someone that looks like Anna Kendrick. And, wait for it, James Fucking Franco.
EXECUTIVE: We can’t get James Franco.
BOAZ: Dave Fucking Franco.
EXECUTIVE: I like what I–
BOAZ: Morgan Freeman! Mark Ruffalo! Michael Caine!
EXECUTIVE: You’re just hitting the ‘Random Actor’ button on IMDB aren’t you?
BOAZ: You haven’t even heard the best part. Half the movie is written already. (Starts pulling scraps of paper and more than a few napkins toward him. He begins reading them, waving each one wildly). Car chases! New Orleans! Conspiracies! Queens! Magic fights!
EXECUTIVE: You’re just throwing random ideas out there with no sense of narrative or character progression. And we’ll have to get all white extras. Even for New Orleans and Queens. That’ll track better.
BOAZ: The genius part is that anything that doesn’t make sense is explained away as an illusion.
EXECUTIVE: Won’t that lessen the stakes significantly and cause the audience to distrust every character’s motivation? And why isn’t there a main character we can follow?
BOAZ: Single main characters are so 2011. Didn’t you see “The Avengers?” We’re going to have five–no! Six. Six main characters. Let’s throw in a love interest that spells out the themes of the movie in every line of dialogue, but otherwise has no personality.
EXECUTIVE: Six main characters doesn’t leave a lot of room for characterization or–
BOAZ: Seven. Seven main characters. It’s is my lucky number. Cannot do six. Seven.
EXECUTIVE: I assume you have a director in mind.
BOAZ: J.J. Abrams.
EXECUTIVE: He’s a little busy.
BOAZ: Well, we need to have an excessive amount of circular tracking shots and a big bowl of lens flares. Let’s edit it like a bad music video too.
EXECUTIVE: What about the guy that did “The Transporter” and that poorly directed Hulk movie?
BOAZ. Louis Leterrier. Love him.
EXECUTIVE: I’m still worried, especially with such poor direction, that the movie will make very little sense, or, at best, feel ridiculous on almost every level.
BOAZ: (In a moment of lucidity, he leans forward and his voice drops to a whisper). You forgot the magic word. ‘Magic.’ ‘Magic’ is the magic word. Distraction is the first element of magic (Pauses to write down that line). The audience will be distracted by action scenes that don’t fit into the plot. The characters, so thin as to be interchangeable, will get by on cocky line readings.The themes, shoehorned in, will be hollow and trite. No character’s motivation will make any sense. The camera work will leave much to be desired. And yet, this movie will come together like (does a weird gesture with his hand) magic.
EXECUTIVE: I sincerely doubt that. It sounds like something that could only be enjoyable if you’ve stayed up for 36 hours doing coke. How much do you need?
BOAZ: $70 million.
EXECUTIVE: I’ll give you $75 million if you put Common in a tiny bit role. I love that dude.
BOAZ: Done. (passes out on the table).