Series Finale - My Take

Discussion in 'Misc. TV Series' started by RakuMon, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. Zo Knows Registered

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    First of all, AgentPat, I'd be careful of your sources, especially when it comes to traditional media reporting on comic book happenings because their track records for research are incredibly shoddy. The fact of the matter is that Birthright was a story Waid had developed over many years which was initially meant to re-introduce the Maggin version of Superman with modern sensibilities. DC had made known they were looking for a modern revamp project and Waid tailored his concept to that notion. This was not a story Eddie Berganza mandated for Waid to write, though I'm sure editorial had input. Bottom line is that Mark Waid did not sit down to write Birthright with any thought of creating a Smallville-friendly origin.

    Again, I stand by my initial assertion that the Birthright continuity is simply incompatible with that of Smallville AS IS. With some considerable rewrites, of COURSE Birthright could be used to cap off Smallville, but there needs to be a good amount of thought invested to how to reconcile numerous and striking differences. You'll notice, though, that at no time did I actually attempt to dissuade or discourage lokmon from his undertaking, though. I was simply pointing out the need for rewrites, as I did not know his level of familiarity with Birthright, his skill as a writer, his consideration for character arcs, etc. So rather than getting into a long discussion about his writing, I simply made a statement of something I thought he needed to seriously consider. Obviously, my statement was misconstrued. Let me further clarify.

    You seem so intent on refuting me that you obviously didn't realize that was exactly what I ****ing said. I don't see how you could've interpreted "other than Superman" in any other way. "Other than Superman in the name"? Well, obviously not. "Other than including the character of Superman"? Well, seeing as how he'd be the main character in both, it's pretty safe to say they're both "ABOUT Superman".

    Look, Birthright was not written as a way to link the comics to Smallville, only marketed that way by DC in an attempt to cash in on the show as it was at the height of its popularity. And the proof is in the pudding. Just look at the content of the damn story. I really don't need a magazine article to tell me differently when I can examine two things firsthand and compare them. I know you are probably too busy defending the sanctity of Smallville's influence over Superman, DC Comics, science fiction popular culture as a whole, and all of teen drama television to have objectively done so, but it's not that hard to see.

    So I will now do it explicitly and at length to hopefully illustrate the correct side of this argument.

    My conceit regarding characters' appearances. Realize, the same dialogue could've easily come in the exact same context from folks 10 or 20 years older. Hell, the parents in BR may have actually been intended to be in their late fifties to early sixties, just not as worn down looking as how they've been portrayed before. I have an aunt and uncle in that age bracket who you could argue look younger than the Kents did in BR. Waid MAY have specifically described them in his script (we don't know), but ultimately Jonathan and Martha's appearances are a purely visual issue, which I already alotted for in my original argument.

    Okay, so the ignorance of an audience segment is in what way an explanation for the reasons for a creative decision? You failed to link A to C. Waid has admitted his biggest influences for Superman to be Elliot Maggin's work in the Silver Age, which at times dealt heavily with Superboy and young Luthor's relationship and falling out. Seems that could be a definite reason for Waid's inclusion of that element in his own story. And even IF DC editorial asked for that element to be included, the execution in BR is a FAR cry from how Smallville handles it. Stop reaching.

    Look, even ignoring the previously established relationships between Clark & Lois, Lex & Lois, and Clark & Perry in SV, which would necessitate some changes in dialogue but not a whole lot in demeanor from BR, there are still heavy differences. Even ignoring the nitpicky things like Martha's UFO obsession in BR, the heavy use of the Kryptonian tablet in BR, the fact that the Planet is solidly a newspaper in SV, and the lack of blankets to construct the costume in Clark's ship (or even the lack of ship now) in Smallville, there are still heavy differences. A lot to rewrite.

    They're already turning Clark from someone who wants no part of Krypton into someone genuinely curious about his origins. There's a start, but you definitely have to finish it to gel with BR. You also have to get the kid to accept that Kryptonians were a great people to use any of the origin motivations BR uses. You also have to turn Clark from someone who just wants a normal life into someone yearning for something more, a greater meaning, a greater place. Lots of work to be done there. You also have to turn his character into someone who wants to leave Smallville, which is seemingly contradictory to "aw shucks" SV Clark as he is now. SV Clark is far more akin in character to For All Seasons Clark.

    Then there's the problem of Clark already knowing about his origins in SV. That takes away the great Luthor revelation moment, and a lot of that internal yearning for an identity.

    Lex Luthor...There's a toughy. For any of Luthor's plan to work, to at all keep him a credible threat and central villain, and to make his backstory as it is in BR work AT ALL, Lex needs to be ostensibly the smartest man on the planet. To me, that's pretty much impossible to do with the SV Lex without making changes to the BR story. Of course, he could just be bankrolling all that wormhole research and astrobiology, but then he seems more like some kingpin-esque hood than the greatest arch-villain on the planet. And of course not making him the smartest man on the planet completely changes his motivations, as the BR Lex was a narcisstic introverted recluse thanks to feeling forever superior to and resultantly ostracized from humanity. It is pretty much these feelings alone which drive his research and his hatred of Superman in BR, and you obviously lose them in translation. Sure, you could try to use the hole "bald son of a billionaire" thing as an out to the same character development, but SV's already shown us a Lex that is at least quite well adjusted socially, and is more than capable of humility (hell, he's probably the character who apologizes most to people who are not Lana, as Clark obviously holds the "apologies to Lana" crown). Major changes necessary concerning Lex.

    Then there's also the question of why Lex breaks ties with SV and refuses to recognize a past relationship with Clark. Obviously BR is shot in translation to SV, for all the aforementioned reasons. You'd have to do a good portion of tweaking/rewriting to make that part jive.

    Of course Clark and Lex's relationship as it is in BR is completely different from SV. The whole backstory which takes up a good chunk of BR, is null and void in SV.

    How about the ridiculousness of what it would take for folks, specifically Lex, not to recognize Clark? In BR, he and Lex had a rocky relationship for a few months when they were pretty young, characterized by long periods of time in which Lex would isolate himself and they would not see each other, and ending when Lex experienced a fantastic trauma. Not too much of a stretch that after 10+ years and hundreds of insignificant people crushed in his rise to power, Lex wouldn't recognize Clark. Then you have SV in which the 2 are literally best friends for at LEAST 4 years until Clark is 18 (not much room for further physical development either, what with 28-yr-old Tom), seeing each other on a semi-daily basis, with Lex continually professing his hetero man-love for Clark, not to mention an extensive knowledge of wierd facts and miraculous life saves all leading back to our young Mr. Kent. But after a few years, I'm sure he wouldn't recognize him at all. Implausible much? Even by comic book standards.

    Then there's the revisions lokmon's already directly admitted to, such as the Lana stuff and giving Lex the mysterious tablet.

    What does this all amount to?

    Basically, the only directly usable portions of BR, other than the Africa subplot, are the introduction of Superman and the staged alien invasion. Otherwise, they are patently CONTRADICTORY.

    And since lokmon already said he probably won't even use the staged invasion, the only real segments from BR he can use with faithfulness are the Supes intro and Africa. If you can honestly call that an adaptation, more power to you. Me? I say it's "inspired by". But that's not even the point any more. On another level, this all is a clear indication that BR only jives with SV when it covers ground that SV yet hasn't. Otherwise, they're flat out contradictory!

    Well, there's no accounting for ignorance until you give an explanation, eh?

    Certain = many. So you end up with a very loose adaptation, which was my point to begin with!!! Argh.

    Again, lokmon, none of what I said is in any way a dig against you or your writing. I applaud your efforts and look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    Well, seeing as I never once even insinuated that the Donner film had any similarities to Smallville, seeing as it's quite clear that S:TM, SV, and BR are all different interpretations of work others have done in the comics, and also seeing that your comparison b/w S:TM and SV has no bearing on this argument anyways (AND seeing the fact that one can argue Tom Welling basically picked up the character Jeff East was playing, and that all of SV is in some ways an exploration of "what if Pa Kent didn't die in S:TM"), I can say only this to you:

    Oh ye fair and level-headed Smallville fan, way to use a completely inappropriate and nonsensical moment to take the obligatory "snicker snicker, intepret it however you want" dig at Singer's film and his vision for it. If nothing else, it will rally the troops behind your otherwise baseless argument, eh?

    :supes:
     
  2. The Sage The World's Finest

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    LOL, that's a joke, right? Because I could definitely point out the similarities of Smallville with STM, the amount of "inspiration" taken from the Donner film. In fact, I'd argue that Smallville has more in common with the Donner film than it does with Birthright. But that's for another time.
     
  3. RakuMon Registered

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    Jeez, how did this thread become the "Birthright has nothing to do with Smallville" thread?
    I appreciate the dissertation, but I gotta admit, I didn't expect my feeble attempt to craft Smallville SERIES FINALE would lead to such a heated argument about Birthright's relevance to Smallville.

    Being a fan of both incarnations, I must say, Birthright more than lends itself to be adapted into Smallville continuity. Like anything that is "adapted" from something else, there is bound to be changes. But those changes are minor.

    You've already seen the African journey incorporated, but there are plenty of other aspects of Birthright (and another Superman story that I'm gonna keep secret until I post that particular scene ;) ) that will fit seamlessly.

    Remember, my goal is to write a SMALLVILLE SERIES FINALE using Birthright as a template. Lois, Perry, and Lex's past with Clark WILL be addressed, don't worry. That doesn't mean it'll negate their interaction in Metropolis. And besides, being this script represents THE END of Smallville, there are things that'll need to be excised (since BR is an origin story after all).

    Also, remember this is supposed to take place once Season Five has ended. There will probably be some revelations between now and then that could make my script moot or not. You WILL get closure to some of the things that Smallville has raised. Also, to jive with the rest of the series, the ultimate ending SHOULD be Clark revealing himself as Superman. He may perform ONE heroic deed, but the jist of the finale will be that he's fully arrived at his destiny.

    Also, I have a plan for how Perry and Lex don't recognize Superman. They'll recognize Clark. But not Superman.

    Point is, for all intents and purposes, this is still a fanfic. So don't get too upset if BR and SV contradict each other or not.
     
  4. triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    Yeah, really.

    It's an entertaining excercise that I'm enjoying reading... Keep up the good work, lokmon!

    :up:

    Don't worry about what other people think.
     
  5. AgentPat Squeaky wheel

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    LOL! Same way your other post got lost in the shuffle of a HWSNBN debate, I guess. Hee! Sorry, guess it was just the way the wind was blowing. Don't worry though, I have no intention of continuing a pointless debate and would rather focus on the tread topic anyway. To wit...

    I very much enjoyed Birthright and believe it would make great source material for a SV film, mini or extended series adaption. It falls into that gray area between Clark's early life and his experiences post marriage to Lois many years later. I like the fact that it has origin elements, but doesn't spend unnecessary exposition on events that SV has already established.

    It's been a while since I read BR, so I'm going completely from memory here, but were you planning on including some of the other events from the first two issues, such as Clark's e-mail volleys with Martha, his ability to see the living aura (or however that was described), or Jonathan's bullheadedness and subsequent flight with Clark over the farm (great scene btw)? Just curious; those were great moments.

    One of the benefits of using the SV cast is that they *can* go back and show "flashbacks" of events that weren't covered in the show. So you could add in that hysterical flashback scene where Lex is fiddling with his new alien detector machine (I forget what he called it) and all the bells and lights go off after he points it at Clark.

    "You know what this means?"
    * Cut to a look of sheer panic on Clark's face. *
    "It means it DOESN'T work!! ARGH!!!"

    LOL!! Humor. All good stories have a little humor.

    Getting back to your script, does Clark have *any* concern over folks seeing him exhibit his powers openly? He may be an adult now, but he would have learned from his days in Metropolis wearing the RedK ring that rumor travels fast. That was one of the things that bothered me about BR - he was too open with his abilities in front of people. The suit idea comes up as a means of disguise after rescuing the plane, but why wouldn't the folks in Africa have similar reactions? It's not every day that you see a man FLY or be completely unscratched after being shot a few hundred times LOL. If he does all this stuff out in the open in Africa, then I'd like to see more realistic reactions from people who witness his utterly godlike abilities. It was touched on a little after Clark flys Kobe's sister to his side. (I forget the character names and relations, but you know which scene I'm talking about.) Basically, there should be *some* fear there - it's only human nature.

    I love how you snuck Lois into the first act. Slick. Her and Clark's love/hate relationship adds so much to the big picture every time they're together. And here you've set up Clark's exasperation with Lois without her even being in the scene. Bravo!

    Lana presents a different "problem" though. I think Waid was smart by ignoring her for the purposes of BR. With SV being spun off using BR as framework however, we can't just ignore 1/3 of the show's lead cast and a big part of its popularity. That said, I have no words of wisdom of how to make Lana more integral without making her more loathed by some fans.

    At this stage of Clark's life (BR/Metropolis), I think the focus should be on his world travels, his acquisition and subsequent reasoning for donning a familiar costume, his taking Perry up on his offer for a job at the Planet, and finally the sparks that start shooting between him and Lois. Intercut that with Lex's rise to power and being elected mayor of Metropolis, along with his fascination and discovery of a long since dead extraterrestrial civilization, and you have a recipe for some great entertainment. Depending upon how "deep" they want to go (read: how much money they have to spend on production and contract salaries LOL), this could form the basis of an entire season of material. Putting aside the fact that most folks see SV continuity as elseworlds, none of this should interfere with Singer's film(s) since those stories come afterwards.

    Anyhoo, I like what you've done so far. Keep writing. We should have a fan fiction thread here. :D
     
  6. RakuMon Registered

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    Finally!



    ACT TWO

    FADE IN:

    INT. CORRIDOR — LUTHORCORP — NIGHT

    From a LOW ANGLE, we follow Lex’s steps as he makes his way down a dark corridor deep within the bowels of LuthorCorp. He is heading for an illuminated doorway at the end of the hall.

    He is carrying the KRYPTONIAN TABLET in his left hand.

    CLOSE ON: Lex’s eyes as he is retina-scanned.

    LEX
    Luthor. Alexander.

    LEX’S POV: The doors slide open dramatically. Inside, men and women in lab coats and gas masks work feverishly on mysterious experiments.

    Lex makes his way toward one of the scientists. Though he wears a protective mask over his face, he seems particularly familiar.

    Lex
    It seems our hard work has come to an end…

    He shows the tablet.

    OFF Lex’s smugness, the scientist — eyes wide in amazement — lifts his mask to reveal…

    He is DR. HAMILTON!

    HAMILTON
    (stammering)
    Mr.… Mr. Luthor! We weren’t expecting you till Tuesday!

    LEX
    You can skip with the pleasantries Dr. Hamilton. What’s our status?

    HAMILTON
    We’ve just finished analyzing the last of the meteor rocks. And for your information, we have successfully and completely excavated all of the remaining meteors left in Smallville. Down to the last green pebble.

    LEX
    Have we finished decrypting the Swann files?

    HAMILTON
    Uh. We’re still working on that, sir.

    LEX
    It’s quite funny actually. Ever since my time in Smallville, I’ve been fanatically trying to solve the mysteries of that godforsaken hell hole. I now understand the purpose of my being there.
    (beat)
    We all have a destiny, Dr. Hamilton. Mine just happens to be greater than most. It was Nietzsche who said “the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and greatest enjoyment is — to live dangerously.”

    Lex flashes his trademark smirk.

    LEX
    You know what those fiery rocks rained down on Kansas twenty years ago? MY greatness.

    HAMILTON
    Lex, I don’t understand.

    LEX
    The answers we’ve been searching for have been right under our noses.

    OFF Hamilton’s shocked reaction as Lex drops the tablet at the scientist’s feet.
    HAMILTON
    Careful, Mr. Luthor!

    LEX
    I’ve already closely examined the alloy that makes up this miraculous piece of work. You may recognize its composition. There’s nothing on Earth like it.
    (beat)
    Well. Not nothing.

    Lex punches a combination of keys on a nearby laptop computer.

    LEX
    There is only one other object that rivals the complexity of the tablet. You’ve seen it before.

    He rotates the monitor toward the camera.

    CLOSE ON: The screen displays a virtual OCTAGONAL KEY rotating endlessly.

    The CAMERA PANS UP to a tight shot of Lex’s face.

    CUT TO:

    EXT. GRAVE SITE — GHURI VILLAGE — DAWN

    A makeshift tombstone draped in flowers and ceremonial garb reads:

    KOBE ASURU — A CHARGE TO KEEP

    Clark and Abena stand above the stone. He is solemn.

    CLARK
    You’re not the first, Abena. You’re scared of me. Don’t worry. I won’t stay. I can only apologize. I should have stopped them.

    ABENA
    (solemn)
    You had no choice, Clark. Even with your abilities. You chose to save OUR PEOPLE. This is what Kobe dedicated his life to. He will be remembered…

    CLARK
    And the world will be a better place for it.

    The SUN begins to rise over the African plain. Clark is bathed in its yellow and orange wash. He is luminous.

    ABENA
    We will always be in your debt.

    She looks up at Clark. Her watery eyes are in awe now as she sees a NEW CLARK. A realization sets in on his face. A new sense of purpose.

    ABENA
    You have saved us.

    Clark looks at Abena with a fierce since of determination in his eyes.

    CLARK
    (adamant)
    Abena, I promise you. I will never allow innocent people to be hurt. Ever again.

    CUT TO:

    EXT. BARN — KENT FARM — DAY

    A familiar RED PICKUP TRUCK is parked in front of the farm’s barn. Barrels of hay fill the pickup’s bed to the brim. And JONATHAN KENT methodically lugs each barrel into the barn.

    JONATHAN
    (muttering)
    Jonathan Kent, you’re getting a little long in the tooth for this…

    OFF Jonathan’s strained expression, as we follow him from the truck to the barn. He is dripping with sweat in the hot, Kansas sun.

    While Jonathan drops one of the hay barrels, a loud WHOOSH is heard. The CAMERA PANS BACK to the truck, which is now EMPTY! Not a hay barrel in sight!

    JONATHAN
    Clark?!

    He looks around eagerly and a familiar voice drifts out from the barn.

    CLARK
    I also fixed the fence posts behind the house, and harvested the north forty.
    (beat)
    In case you were wondering.

    OFF Clark’s beaming smile, father and son embrace warmly.

    JONATHAN
    It is good to see you, son.

    CLARK
    You too, Dad.

    JONATHAN
    When did you get back? Does your mother know you’re here?

    CLARK
    I just FLEW IN five minutes ago. But, you know, I had chores to take care of.

    JONATHAN
    I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that.

    CLARK
    What’s that?

    JONATHAN
    You. Flying.

    CLARK
    Well, Dad. You and Mom have always been able to keep my feet on the ground.

    With that, Jonathan puts his arm around Clark. Though this is indeed a happy day on the Kent Farm, a hint of concern is flashed on Jonathan’s face as they make their way toward the house.

    INT. KITCHEN — KENT FARM — DAY

    MARTHA KENT is rifling through an old shoe box. Inside are photos of Clark’s travels, printouts of emails between mother and son, clippings from international newspapers, etc. Martha comes across a picture and stops.

    She smiles.

    CLOSE ON PHOTO: It’s a picture of Clark and Lana. Together. The tattered photo is a sign of happier times between the two estranged friends.

    The door opens behind Martha.

    MARTHA
    (slightly jarred)
    Jonathan?! Done so soon?

    When she turns around, Clark Kent is framed inside the door.

    MARTHA
    (excited)
    Clark! You’re back!

    She rushes to embrace her son.

    CLARK
    It’s good to be back, Mom!

    MARTHA
    When did you —

    JONATHAN
    He FLEW in.

    Clark flashes his father a look of exasperation.

    CLARK
    Dad, don’t worry. Nobody saw me.

    JONATHAN
    You know how sophisticated satellites are these days. I’m just concerned.

    CLARK
    Told you before, I can see the transmissions. All I have to do is weave between them.

    Clark catches out of the corner of his eye the photo Martha was looking at earlier.

    CLARK
    So… Uh… How’s everything? I hear the Talon’s been shut down.

    MARTHA
    Clark, you don’t have to beat around the bush. No one’s heard anything since she left. Lana’s her own woman now.

    CLARK
    And Lex?

    Jonathan and Martha give each other a knowing glance.

    MARTHA
    Lex hasn’t shown himself in Smallville. Not since the mansion burned down.

    JONATHAN
    Even a man like Lionel Luthor, as despicable as he was, didn’t deserve to die that way.

    CLARK
    Dad, there’s no proof Lex had anything to do with that.

    JONATHAN
    Trust me. Lex is not the same person you knew in high school. He’s become his father in more ways than one.

    MARTHA
    There might be some truth to that.

    CLARK
    What do you mean?

    MARTHA
    Before he left town, LuthorCorp made a big deal about ridding Smallville of KRYPTONITE.

    CLARK
    (shocked)
    What?!

    JONATHAN
    Lex claimed the meteor rocks were "adversely contaminating the environment." The mayor AND the town council went along with the plan. Personally, I think LuthorCorp is just covering up their own environmental record and shifting the blame onto the meteors.

    MARTHA
    Or worse. Lex could be COLLECTING Kryptonite.

    CLARK
    Why would Lex do something like that?

    SMASH CUT TO:

    INT. VAULT — LUTHORCORP BUILDING — NIGHT

    The vault is glowing an eerie shade of GREEN as dozens of REFINED KRYPTONITE line its walls, as Lex enters with his tablet.

    In the middle of the vault is a highly advanced piece of machinery. A computer unlike any ever seen.

    Lex places his tablet into a slot in this SUPER COMPUTER.

    It’s liquid screen lights up, adding RED AND YELLOW hues to the green room. Lex smirks.

    CLOSE ON COMPUTER SCREEN: A RED & YELLOW SHIELD with what looks like a stylized ‘S’ in its middle rotates endlessly on the screen…

    FADE OUT.

    END OF ACT TWO
     
  7. RakuMon Registered

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    As you can see, the first two acts have been completed. I didn't include the emails (though I did hint at them, if you look at Martha's shoebox), and Kobe dies off-screen. But the Jonathan/Clark fight? Hmmmm.... you'll see. :)

    Actually, I'm keeping in mind that this is intended as a SERIES FINALE; therefore, flashbacks would be unnecesarry considering the finale will be referencing events viewers had already seen. But that doesn't rule out any Lex/Clark scenes in later acts!

    Realistically, the only people who witness Clark are villagers. This is intended to be the first time Clark's ever had to display his abilities in such a large manner. Though he's saved people in the past, he's never done it on this scale. As far as people who'd know him, the only people who knew Clark Kent was there would be Kobe's inner circle (and they were all at the rally) so the villagers wouldn't recognize this person as Clark Kent. Though they would all be justifibly in awe of this godlike savior.


    Thanks! :up:

    Don't worry. I won't ignore Lana. (As proven by her oh so brief scene in ACT ONE. How to reconicle Lana being in what is ostensibly an adaptation of Birthright? Easy, there are other stories and ideas to cull from. Longtime Superman readers will recognize the scene when they see it! ;)

    It's coming. Wait and see.

    Thanks! This is the first time I've ever even attempted a fanfic. Pretty fun!
     
  8. RakuMon Registered

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    Since it's been juggled around a little, here's my take on how the Smallville SERIES finale should be. For easier reading purposes, I shall repost the teaser and Acts one & two:

    “BIRTHRIGHT”

    TEASER

    FADE IN:

    WHITE TITLE ON BLACK: Three years later…

    EXT. A DUSTY TOWN SQUARE — DAY

    The words dissolve to reveal a hot African sun beaming down onto a SMALL RALLY of cheering people. On a small stage in front of the group stands a man older than his age would suggest. His charisma shines through a pair of small glasses as beads of sweat drip down his brown skin.

    He is KOBE ASURU, leader of a small democracy movement in the WEST AFRICA.

    KOBE
    We GHURI have long been subservient to the neighboring TURAABA Tribe. Thus, we have raised a generation of children who spend their days steeped in Turaaba culture while their own is marginalized.

    The crowd is transfixed on every word.

    KOBE
    That is what we must change… WILL change! When we lose pride in ourselves, we lose ourselves.


    The audience cheers loudly. Kobe beams from the stage. At that moment, gunshots ring out. The crowd disperses and scatters as panic sets in. Another gunshot.

    As the bullet screams toward Kobe, we see the leader as he realizes his fate is upon him. His wide eyes close but a RED & YELLOW BLUR races into frame faster than the speeding bullet.

    BLUR (O.S.)
    Get down!!!

    Kobe is knocked to the ground, unscathed as a small car screeches away. The blur is REVEALED as a dark-haired young man, his back still to the camera, he holds Kobe’s head, checking to see if he’s okay.

    KOBE POV: The bright sun obscures the mysterious man’s face.

    MAN
    Mr. Kobe Asuru?

    KOBE
    (stammering)
    I — I am… But who are—?

    MAN
    Later. I need to follow that car!

    Asuru’s bodyguards surround the mysterious savior, guns drawn.

    BODYGUARD
    No! Move and we will shoot!

    With his hands up, the figure turns around and the CAMERA REVEALS that

    IT’S CLARK.

    Looking much more mature and seasoned since last we saw him. Clark is without question a MAN. Confidence exudes from his being.

    CLARK
    (smiling)
    That really won’t help anybody.

    BODYGUARD
    Who do you think you are?

    CLARK
    I’m Clark Kent. A friend.
    (beat)
    I’m here to help.

    OFF this revelation…
    FADE OUT.

    END OF TEASER
     
  9. RakuMon Registered

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    ACT ONE

    EXT. METROPOLIS — DAY — TO ESTABLISH

    The city is a glowing beacon of perfection. Its glass and metal buildings sparkle like jewels in the day’s sunlight. Its largest gem is the…

    LUTHORCORP BUILDING.

    INT. LUTHORCORP OFFICE — DAY

    The CAMERA PANS around the computer monitor on the desk to reveal the recently anointed KING OF METROPOLIS, LEX LUTHOR. He is intently reading something on the monitor. Something in his eyes tells us this is not the same benevolent Lex we’ve come to know in SMALLVILLE.

    LEX’S POV: Through the giant glass doors comes a stunning young woman with golden hair cropped close to her face and a barely-there skirt that reveals legs that go on from May to December. She is holding a parcel the size of a large book.

    WOMAN
    Mr. Luthor. The package you’ve requested.

    She tosses the parcel onto Lex’s desk.

    LEX
    Thank you. I believe you know the way out, MERCY.

    CLOSE ON PARCEL: As Lex rips open the packaging, the parcel’s mysterious content is revealed as a metallic tablet. LEX SMILES as he fingers the delicately inscribed KRYPTONIAN SYMBOLS.

    SMASH CUT TO:

    INT. SMALL CAFÉ — WEST AFRICA — DAY

    CLOSE ON TWO GLASSES CLINKING: Clark is sharing a drink with Kobe. As they toast to TRUTH and JUSTICE, a woman is eyeing the both of them closely.

    CLARK
    (raising his glass)
    To the Ghuri Tribe.

    KOBE
    But not to TRIBALISM.

    CLARK
    Defined as? I didn’t think racial barriers existed here.

    KOBE
    They don’t; therefore, in the absence of racism, man — sadly — tends to find other ways to discriminate. Divisions are drawn; battles are fought…

    CLARK
    Is that what that shooting was about?

    CUT TO:

    The woman emerges from her corner booth. In a flowing dashiki, her dreaded locks of hair are wrapped tightly into a ceremonial head wrap. She is ABENA, Kobe’s sister.

    ABENA
    Probably. But the real threat is more insidious. In the end, who we are is all we are. Which begs the question, Mr. Kent… who exactly are you?

    KOBE
    HA! Abena, MANNERS!

    CLARK
    It’s okay. I don’t blame her for being suspicious.
    (reassuring)
    I’ve been traveling the world for the last three years. Freelancing for different newspapers on different continents. To be honest, this is my biggest assignment yet! The Ghana paper sent me here to profile Kobe, maybe investigate the rash of assassination attacks…

    KOBE (smiling)
    And dive in the path of bullets.

    CLARK
    It’s a living.

    KOBE
    That’s what the other one said. What was her name? Lois something…?

    CLARK
    LANE? LOIS LANE?

    KOBE
    As I recall. She too came through here last spring. Filing a story for the DAILY PLANET, I believe. Do you know her?

    OFF Clark’s flustered look…

    CUT TO:
    EXT. TALON — NIGHT — TO ESTABLISH

    The once bustling coffee house has now become a dusty house of memories…

    LUTHORCORP LOGOS are visible emblazoned on the shop's boarded up windows.

    INT. APARTMENT — TALON — NIGHT

    The studio apartment above the coffee shop has not changed, save for a buildup of dust. Sheets are draped over the furniture. Boxes piled high against the walls. The doorknob rattles, and the door opens to reveal…

    LANA LANG.

    Lana has returned HOME, to SMALLVILLE. Venturing into the world to find her place, the prodigal daughter has returned to her roots. Finally, she has come to accept this strange leafy little hamlet as her home.

    She approaches an open box filled with old photo frames and old friends. In one, Lana, CHLOE and LOIS are mugging for the camera.

    Lana smiles.

    In another, Clark has his arm around Lana. They are smiling, broadly.

    LANA (whispering)
    Clark… Whatever happened to you?

    SMASH CUT TO:

    EXT. WEST AFRICAN PLAIN — DAY

    A low rumbling can be heard. In the distance, what looks to be a small dust storm swirls as a herd of zebras makes its way across the plains.

    Above them…

    CLARK KENT ZOOMS BY…

    Hands out at his sides, he clearly revels in this liberating ability to be free of earthly constraints. His hair and the pockets on his red back pack flap in the wind.

    A sense of peace and contentment is on his face.

    He is enjoying this. With that, Clark angles his body past the camera, speeding toward his destination…

    CUT TO:

    EXT. CAPITAL STEPS — GHURI TRIBE RALLY — DAY

    Where we find CLARK is now taking notes as KOBE delivers another emotional speech. At that moment, ABENA frantically makes her way through the crowd of reporters, looking for Clark.

    CLARK (concerned)
    Abena, what is it?

    ABENA
    CLARK! Clark, the village… They… They’re back!

    CLARK
    “They?” Abena, calm down. Who are you…

    ABENA
    It’s the Turaabans! They’re burning us to the ground!

    CLOSE ON CLARK’S EYES: As Clark listens to Abena’s pleas, his eyes grow narrower, concentrating as he focuses his vision clear across town.

    CLARK’S POV: THE CAMERA ZOOMS through trees and houses to reveal a group of militia men opening fire on women and children.

    CLARK
    (whispering)
    Oh my god!

    ABENA
    We must tell Kobe!

    Clark wraps his massive arms around the sobbing woman.

    Clark
    (comforting)
    No! That’s exactly what the Turaabans want: to send your brother running home. Abena, please. Let me handle it.

    Clark drops his notepad and camera, and SUPERSPEEDS out of frame…

    OFF Abena’s look of AWE…

    CUT TO:

    FIVE MEN in MILITIA GARB surround Kobe on the steps, guns drawn. The audience is murmuring…

    SMASH CUT TO:

    IN CLARK TIME: He races at full speed to the GHURI village. Clark’s face has never been so determined.

    Once he arrives, he grabs a car full of militia men and in one motion, tosses it with ease.

    The other soldiers begin turning their guns on Clark.

    CLARK
    (forcefully)
    LEAVE! NOW!

    SMASH CUT TO:

    EXT. CAPITAL STEPS — GHURI TRIBE RALLY — DAY

    Kobe is being hauled away in a throng of supporters, militiamen, and reporters. There is a lot of commotion.

    CLOSE ON: A hand in the crowd reveals a small knife.

    ASSASSIN
    Senator Asuru…

    CLOSE ON: Kobe’s frightened face.

    ASSASSIN
    …Shut up.

    He lunges forward.

    SMASH CUT TO:

    EXT. GHURI VILLAGE — DAY

    Clark, his shirt now ripped to shreds from thousands of bullets, scans the village.

    CLARK
    That’s the last of them.

    The villagers, still in shock from witnessing Clark Kent’s SUPERHEROICS, talk amongst themselves.

    Suddenly a scream is heard, though it is only audible to Clark’s ears.

    CLARK
    Oh, god. Kobe…

    Clark superspeeds out of frame…
    FADE OUT.

    END OF ACT ONE
     
  10. RakuMon Registered

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    ACT TWO

    FADE IN:

    INT. CORRIDOR — LUTHORCORP — NIGHT

    From a LOW ANGLE, we follow Lex’s steps as he makes his way down a dark corridor deep within the bowels of LuthorCorp. He is heading for an illuminated doorway at the end of the hall.

    He is carrying the KRYPTONIAN TABLET in his left hand.

    CLOSE ON: Lex’s eyes as he is retina-scanned.

    LEX
    Luthor. Alexander.

    LEX’S POV: The doors slide open dramatically. Inside, men and women in lab coats and gas masks work feverishly on mysterious experiments.

    Lex makes his way toward one of the scientists. Though he wears a protective mask over his face, he seems particularly familiar.

    Lex
    It seems our hard work has come to an end…

    He shows the tablet.

    OFF Lex’s smugness, the scientist — eyes wide in amazement — lifts his mask to reveal…

    He is DR. HAMILTON!

    HAMILTON
    (stammering)
    Mr.… Mr. Luthor! We weren’t expecting you till Tuesday!

    LEX
    You can skip with the pleasantries Dr. Hamilton. What’s our status?

    HAMILTON
    We’ve just finished analyzing the last of the meteor rocks. And for your information, we have successfully and completely excavated all of the remaining meteors left in Smallville. Down to the last green pebble.

    LEX
    Have we finished decrypting the Swann files?

    HAMILTON
    Uh. We’re still working on that, sir.

    LEX
    It’s quite funny actually. Ever since my time in Smallville, I’ve been fanatically trying to solve the mysteries of that godforsaken hell hole. I now understand that the purpose of my being there.
    (beat)
    We all have a destiny, Dr. Hamilton. Mine just happens to be greater than most. It was Nietzsche who said “the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and greatest enjoyment is — to live dangerously.”

    Lex flashes his trademark smirk.

    LEX
    You know what those fiery rocks rained down on Kansas twenty years ago? MY greatness.

    HAMILTON
    Lex, I don’t understand.

    LEX
    The answers we’ve been searching for have been right under our noses.

    OFF Hamilton’s shocked reaction as Lex drops the tablet at the scientist’s feet.
    HAMILTON
    Careful, Mr. Luthor!

    LEX
    I’ve already closely examined the alloy that makes up this miraculous piece of work. You may recognize its composition. There’s nothing on Earth like it.
    (beat)
    Well. Not nothing.

    Lex punches a combination of keys on a nearby laptop computer.

    LEX
    There is only one other object that rivals the complexity of the tablet. You’ve seen it before.

    He rotates the monitor toward the camera.

    CLOSE ON: The screen displays a virtual OCTAGONAL KEY rotating endlessly.

    The CAMERA PANS UP to a tight shot of Lex’s face.

    CUT TO:

    EXT. GRAVE SITE — GHURI VILLAGE — DAWN

    A makeshift tombstone draped in flowers and ceremonial garb reads:

    KOBE ASURU — A CHARGE TO KEEP

    Clark and Abena stand above the stone. He is solemn.

    CLARK
    You’re not the first, Abena. You’re scared of me. Don’t worry. I won’t stay. I can only apologize. I should have stopped them.

    ABENA
    (solemn)
    You had no choice, Clark. Even with your abilities. You chose to save OUR PEOPLE. This is what Kobe dedicated his life to. He will be remembered…

    CLARK
    And the world will be a better place for it.

    The SUN begins to rise over the African plain. Clark is bathed in its yellow and orange wash. He is luminous.

    ABENA
    We will always be in your debt.

    She looks up at Clark, in awe now as she sees a NEW CLARK.

    ABENA
    You have saved us.

    OFF Clark's fierce look of determination, as realization sets in on his face. A new sense of purpose.

    CUT TO:

    EXT. BARN — KENT FARM — DAY

    A familiar RED PICKUP TRUCK is parked in front of the farm’s barn. Barrels of hay fill the pickup’s bed to the brim. And JONATHAN KENT methodically lugs each barrel into the barn.

    JONATHAN
    (muttering)
    Jonathan Kent, you’re getting a little long in the tooth for this…

    OFF Jonathan’s strained expression, as we follow him from the truck to the barn. He is dripping with sweat in the hot, Kansas sun.

    While Jonathan drops one of the hay barrels, a loud WHOOSH is heard. The CAMERA PANS BACK to the truck, which is now EMPTY! Not a hay barrel in sight!

    JONATHAN
    Clark?!

    He looks around eagerly and a familiar voice drifts out from the barn.

    CLARK
    I also fixed the fence posts behind the house, and harvested the north forty.
    (beat)
    In case you were wondering.

    OFF Clark’s beaming smile, father and son embrace warmly.

    JONATHAN
    It is good to see you, son.

    CLARK
    You too, Dad.

    JONATHAN
    When did you get back? Does your mother know you’re here?

    CLARK
    I just FLEW IN five minutes ago. But, you know, I had chores to take care of.

    JONATHAN
    I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that.

    CLARK
    What’s that?

    JONATHAN
    You. Flying.

    CLARK
    Well, Dad. You and Mom have always been able to keep my feet on the ground.

    With that, Jonathan puts his arm around Clark. Though this is indeed a happy day on the Kent Farm, a hint of concern is flashed on Jonathan’s face as they make their way toward the house.

    INT. KITCHEN — KENT FARM — DAY

    MARTHA KENT is rifling through an old shoe box. Inside are photos of Clark’s travels, printouts of emails between mother and son, clippings from international newspapers, etc. Martha comes across a picture stops.

    She smiles.

    CLOSE ON PHOTO: It’s a picture of Clark and Lana. Together. The tattered photo is a sign of happier times between the two estranged friends.

    The door opens behind Martha.

    MARTHA
    (slightly jarred)
    Jonathan?! Done so soon?

    When she turns around, Clark Kent is framed inside the door.

    MARTHA
    (excited)
    Clark! You’re back!

    CLARK
    It’s good to be back, Mom!

    MARTHA
    When did you —

    JONATHAN
    He FLEW in.

    Clark flashes his father a look of exasperation.

    CLARK
    Dad, don’t worry. Nobody saw me.

    JONATHAN
    You know how sophisticated satellites are these days. I’m just concern.

    CLARK
    Told you before, I can see the transmissions. All I have to do is weave between them.

    Clark catches out of the corner of his eye the photo Martha was looking at earlier.

    CLARK
    So… Uh… How’s everything? I hear the Talon’s being reopened.

    MARTHA
    Clark, you don’t have to beat around the bush. No one’s heard anything since she left. Lana’s her own woman now.

    CLARK
    And Lex?

    Jonathan and Martha give each other a knowing glance.
    MARTHA
    Lex hasn’t shown himself in Smallville. Not since the mansion burned down.

    JONATHAN
    Even a man like Lionel Luthor, as despicable as he was, didn’t deserve to die that way.

    CLARK
    Dad, there’s no proof Lex had anything to do with that.

    LEX
    Trust me. Lex is not the same person you knew in high school. He’s become his father in more ways than one.

    MARTHA
    There might be some truth to that.

    CLARK
    What do you mean?

    MARTHA
    Before he left town, LuthorCorp made a big deal about ridding Smallville of KRYPTONITE.

    CLARK
    (shocked)
    What?!

    JONATHAN
    Lex claimed they were the meteor rocks were adversely contaminating the environment. The mayor and the town council went along with the plan. Personally, I think LuthorCorp is just covering up their own environmental record and shifting the blame onto the meteors.

    MARTHA
    Or worse. Lex could be COLLECTING Kryptonite.

    CLARK
    Why would Lex do something like that?

    SMASH CUT TO:

    INT. VAULT — LUTHORCORP BUILDING — NIGHT

    The vault is glowing an eerie shade of GREEN as dozens of REFINED KRYPTONITE line its walls, as Lex enters with his tablet.

    In the middle of the vault is a highly advanced piece of machinery. A computer unlike any ever seen.

    Lex places his tablet into a slot in this SUPER COMPUTER.

    It’s liquid screen lights up, adding RED AND YELLOW hues to the green room. Lex smirks.

    CLOSE ON COMPUTER SCREEN: A RED & YELLOW SHIELD with what looks like a stylized ‘S’ in its middle rotates endlessly on the screen…

    FADE OUT.

    END OF ACT TWO
     
  11. Serene Registered

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    And here I was hoping that you were posting Act Three.

    I'm really enjoying reading this. What a great idea, to blend BR with SV for a series finale. Someone call A&M.. or maybe we should all print this off and send it to them. :)

    I agree that the nod to Lois is a nice touch. I'm curious to see how you weave in Lana. Thanks for not killing her off or something similar. ;)

    One teeny bit of feedback. The following line seems, I don't know.. a bit over the top? I understand the sentiment and the sincerity, but it borders corny, IMO.
    CLARK
    (adamant)
    Abena, I promise you. I will never allow innocent people to be hurt. Ever again.
     
  12. triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    Yeah, I agree....

    Clark would know, of course, that he can't save everyone. That's a bit too grandiose a statement for Clark to make.
     
  13. RakuMon Registered

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    Thanks for the critique!!

    Any suggestions on how to improve the line?
     
  14. Serene Registered

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    Looking at the scene again, in context.. I wonder if it would be more effective to just have a lingering close-up of that look of realization, determination and purpose in his eyes as opposed to throwing a line in there.

    Note the errant "since" instead of the word, "look" that needs editing.

    **************************************
    ABENA
    We will always be in your debt.

    She looks up at Clark. Her watery eyes are in awe now as she sees a NEW CLARK. A realization sets in on his face. A new sense of purpose.

    ABENA
    You have saved us.

    Clark looks at Abena with a fierce since(?) of determination in his eyes.
    (Long lingering beautifully lit close-up of Clark's face)
    ***************************************

    Btw..I think I deserve credit for not suggesting he be naked for this scene. My SV script would undoubtedly earn an NC-17. ;)
     
  15. triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    I like that but with the formatting that Smallville uses in mind, I think it'd be more like this:

    **************************************
    ABENA
    We will always be in your debt.

    She looks up at Clark, in awe now as she sees a NEW CLARK.

    ABENA
    You have saved us.

    OFF Clark's fierce look of determination, as realization sets in on his face. A new sense of purpose.

    **************************************

    I think you should also end strong with the new sense of purpose being the last thing... That brings home the point more, IMO.
     
  16. RakuMon Registered

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    I guess what I was going for was that this is the moment Clark decides to be Superman. (Though he doesn't know that name yet.) I think it's insinuated in BR that Clark's experience in Africa was the first time he'd ever used his powers to help people. Since he saves people every other day in SV, I had to come up with a reason for Clark to decide to become a hero.

    Unlike the movies (and presumably Smallville too), instead of Jonathan's death as the catalyst, I wanted his "failure" to save Kobe to be the reason why he chooses to be a "superhero." That's why he goes back to the farm; Act 3 will adapt the scenes with his parents formulating the suit and arguing w/ Pa.

    I figure that Clark Kent, though he knows he can't save everyone, he's still going to try, and ultimately, that's why he makes that grandiose statement to Abena at Kobe's grave. Kind of similar to Batman's vow to erase Gotham of crime. It is a futile mission, but one he must do.
     
  17. Serene Registered

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    I think that what you have here does convey that perfectly. A grand statement is just really hard to do without sounding cheesy. Sometimes a "look" particularly in the hands of a good director and actor can convey the same powerful message without the words spelling it out being necessary.

    It's your script.. I'm just throwing stuff out there. :)

    And trip, I don't know from formatting, babe. That's your job, not mine. ;)
     
  18. RakuMon Registered

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    Cool! I like it! Thanks Trip!
    In fact, I've edited to include your revision!
    If G&M see this and decide to use the script, you can have co-teleplay credits!! ;)
     
  19. Serene Registered

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    Why do I suddenly feel invisible? :confused:

    Anyway.. I just thought of something else... How about having a few bars of the John Williams score weaved into the background music of that close-up?
     
  20. triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    Well, I think what you need to go for is that Clark finally realizes that if saving people is the right thing to do, even that it's his destiny to save people, that he shouldn't be afraid of doing it out in the open.

    In Birthright, yes: this is the first time he saved people but for Smallville continuity, so far anyway, this would be the first time he would do it so openly...

    In mythic plot structure (Okay, I'm writer-geeky here for a moment, so hold with me) like an origin tale would have, your hero has to answer his call to duty. The series finale would be where he finally answers that call and flies off to be Superman and finally wear the tights.

    Like Luke deciding to learn about the force and going on "some fool mission" with Obi Wan.

    I think Waid maybe didn't do that quite right, actually. There wasn't a point of no return for Clark in BR, really, and for Luke (and in mythic plot structure) there has to be.

    Is him saving the village the point of no return where he has no choice but to be the hero? I his path set from that point on?

    I dunno... Doesn't seem like it, but if it is then you give that line about his saving people from now on to Abena not to Clark.

    It's stronger if you give lines about the lead's purpose to the supporting characters.

    I read this very interesting article on mythic structure in the LOTR trilogy and giving the theme lines to the supporting cast and how that strengthens the message.

    For example: At the end of The Two Towers, it's Sam that gives the line about there still being good left in the world to fight for. Not Frodo. If Frodo had said all that stuff, it would have come off more preachy.... with Sam saying it, it was more like a rallying speech to the troops...

    Do you see what I mean?

    I was recently rewriting on my first feature with that in mind and the primary thematic scene played out much better with the supporting character telling the lead why things happened the way they did (the theme that lies at the heart of the script).

    I'm not sure I'm explaining that right, but if you want Clark to have a new determination, then let her be the one to say it out loud not Clark.

    Clark doesn't need to say, he's already feeling it.
     
  21. Zo Knows Registered

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    Just wanted to chime in and say excellent post, Triplet.
     
  22. RakuMon Registered

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    My bad Serene! As you were the one who pointed it out in the 1st place! :up:
     
  23. triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    Thanks.
     
  24. triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    Yep, I totally agree. The look is all he needs.

    Yeah, the formatting is minor detail in doing fan fic, but for me if I'm going to bother to do it, I'll do it the right way inasmuch as I can, anyway.

    :D
     
  25. triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    LOL!

    Doubt that'll happen, but sure. I'll take my fifteen any way I can get them...
     

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