17

 

 

...so the screenwriter is a real cad, a funny guy, well respected, but he treats the people close to him like crap. Then one day he meets a beautiful young girl named Naomi...
That's the part you wrote for me?
Right. And he's just smitten, he falls head over heels in love. But he's still the same old guy deep inside, and before long he's trying to manipulate Naomi, he's putting her down in front of her friends, he's treating her like a child. What he doesn't know, though, is...
She's smarter than she looks. Does she break his heart?
Why, yes. Yes she does. So will you do the picture?
Oh, Woody, I would love to work with you, but I'm afraid I've got to say no. I won't be taking on any new projects for a while.
But... But... Why?
You've got to promise not to tell anyone... I'm staying in Washington for a while. I'm doing some very important work for the government.
What? You're not some sort of a secret agent, are you?
No. I'm the Secretary of Wishes.
To make a long story short, the president got mixed up with this Genie, and they ended up trading brains. Now the president is trapped inside of a box on a table in the Oval Office and the Genie is running the country...
And I'm kind of like the real presidents personal envoy... I don't know... I don't really have a job description...
I don't know how to break this to you, Reese, but your story has a certain air of unbelievability to it.
I know. It is unbelievable. Here's a picture.
Oh my God, you're right. The president has turned into a Genie! Somebody get me a typewriter, I feel a script coming on. Soon Yi, come here and take a look at this.
Oh look, Woody. It's Jambi, the most powerful Genie in all of Indonesia.
Except he's not very powerful anymore. The only thing he's able to do is open and shut things with his mind. And travel through space by thought. But only for a few seconds at a time.
That's amazing. I wish that I could see him for myself.
=poof=
Did somebody here say 'wish'?
Hi.
Oh my God, it's the president of the United States. Can I just...
No time for idle chatter, Woodman. I've got to ask you to do something for your country.
Anything.
You've got to get my story out. You've got to tell the world how traitors have...
=poof=
Freaky.
Oh my God, this is amazing, this is unbelievable, I don't know what to say. The president wants my help, but how? what does he want me to do? I mean, there are so many possibilities. The mind boggles when I...
You can ask him your self. He's usually able to pop up a couple of times before he has to rest.
But if I only knew what...
=poof=
I need you to make a film, Woodman. Explain this nefarious plot to the world and tell them...
Nefarious plot, that's good. The Nefarious Plot. Okay. I've already got my title. But what kind of movie would it be? A comedy? Somehow that just doesn't seem right. But then nobody goes to see my dramas...
Nobody goes to see any of your movies anymore.
I know, I know, and it's starting to make me mental. How can untalented hacks like the Cohen Brothers continue to get financing while I have to go to the studios with my hat in my hand and tell them...
Will you cut the chatter before I...
=poof=
I guess we didn't give him much chance to talk.
I understand, but these are questions that need to be answered. I mean you can't just go about these things willy nilly. Sure I've got the outline but what's the tone? I haven't even begun to think about the screenplay. And is he thinking of playing himself in this film? I'm thinking more along the lines of Will Ferrell, but only if it's a comedy, otherwise I think I'd lean much more in direction of...
A simple yes or no would do.
...and then there's my shooting schedule. I'm already shooting The Square Circle in London, then I'll be back in New York for Cave Judy. And then there's the new script that I was telling you about...
=poof=
Well? What'll it be?
Yes, Mister President. I'll do it.
Great. When can we start?
I'm probably looking at Fall '08 but that's not a definite... I mean if shooting goes long on Cave Judy or I feel so emotionally compelled by my new script that I have to shoot it right away or, God forbid, if I have to...


=poof=

Not a word of gratitude from the man...

 

2006, Mark Hoback