Scenario 1

I’m Thinking of Colorizing Things

A brief dramatization of the day Ted Turner decided to colorize Citizen Kane

INT. OFFICE – EARLY EVENING

A nervous, sweaty TED TURNER sits at his desk. Fiddles with his tie. Wipes his brow. 

He opens a desk drawer, pulls out a tiny mirror, and smiles. Normal. He looks completely normal.

A high-pitched, otherworldly tone, barely perceptible to any living creature but TED TURNER, emits from the bookshelf behind him

TED TURNER: Stop! It’s fine! It’s under control!

He hits the buzzer on his intercom.

TED TURNER: Come in!

The office door opens. In walks TOMMY CHONG’S CHARACTER FROM THE MOVIE COLOR OUT OF SPACE. He shuffles across the room and sits down in the chair opposite TED TURNER. 

They stare at each other. Size each other up. No one is talking. Why isn’t anyone talking?

Centuries pass. They sit through eternity.

ALL OF TIME reverses in an instant. The door opens again.

Now here comes fucking TONY SOPRANO

TONY walks up to the desk, sits down in the chair next to TOMMY CHONG’S CHARACTER FROM THE MOVIE COLOR OUT OF SPACE, WHOSE NAME I FORGET*. They both face TED TURNER.

TONY: Hey.

TED (getting up, messing with his tie): Listen, before you – 

TONY (motioning for him to sit the fuck back down): Oooo. Oooo. Have a seat. We just wanna talk to ya. 

TOMMY just sits there.

TED sits back down, nervous now. Messes with his tie.

TED: Look. Guys. I’m… I’m on your side! Heh heh. Ah. Lookit, I.. I did everything you asked me to do.

TONY looks annoyed. No one speaks. 

A year passes. Maybe two. Getting harder to say now. Things become slippery. Seasons change. Day becomes night and back again. Lives are put into the world and lost again. 

[MUSIC IN  – Wojciech Kilar’s “Father Kolbe Preaching”]

We hear the music rise as the scene unfolds. Nothing is happening. 

The song plays in its entirety as the three men sit in silence. Outside, wars are fought. Loves are found and hearts are broken. In the jungle, new microorganisms, not seen before on our world, emerge from the depths of non-existence and are just as quickly snuffed out of creation. Tony thinks to himself, “I’m gaining weight again.” 

TONY looks annoyed. He turns to TOMMY. 

TOMMY finally looks up. His eyes are different now.

TOMMY: The color.

TED (agitated, terrified): Okay, okay, guys, it’s, ah.. it’s like I say –

TONY: No more excuses, asshole. Citizen Kane.

TED: Yes! Yeah! Uh – wait, Citizen – ?

TONY: CITIZEN KANE! CITIZEN KANE!

TOMMY: The color.

TONY: The COLOR, Ted!

TED: Guys. 

TED reaches under his desk. We don’t see what he’s reaching for. Honestly, could be anything down there. 

TED (cont.): Guys.

[Kilar MUSIC begins again, sped up, rewinding, unspooling]

TED (cont.): Guys.

TONY: Don’t you fucking “guys” me, you fuck! Citizen Kane you dumb mother-

TOMMY cuts him off. He points toward the bookshelf. TOMMY now has glowing, flashing, strobing eyes, impossible to describe, soul-crushing to behold.

TOMMY: The…

TONY and TED both look at the bookshelf.

TOMMY (cont.): … color.

TED slams his hand under the desk. The bookshelf swings open. An enormous, black light fills the room. The opposite of light. From behind the bookshelf, we see landscapes of nightmare, crawling, devouring valleys and mountains birthing and consuming themselves. TONY screams but is trapped, held still by the LIGHT.

From within THE LIGHT we see – 

THE COLOR

From within THE COLOR we see

THE MONOLITH

MONOLITH: [high-pitched otherworldly tone]

TONY fights, uses every inch of his strength, to STAND UP.

TONY swims through the muck of reality, pushing and shoving through the very fabrics of time and space. 

From behind the bookshelf, we see more light, growing now, growling and snarling. Its color unknowable and unfathomable. But mostly a pinkish purple. Like nothing human eyes or minds can comprehend. A hint of red.

MONOLITH: [high-pitched otherworldly tone]

The three men are bolted upright all at once, their bodies like rods shooting up from the floor, their feet grounded. They are uncanny now. The color and the light enveloping them. TOMMY is completely torn apart and put back together again, over and over, for eons. It is unending, unrelenting, and unmerciful. TONY smiles as his body and soul and consciousness are instantly blinked out of existence. In his final second on earth he cries out – 

TONY: I GET IT!!!

ALL AT ONCE, IT STOPS.

TOMMY sits facing TED. 

The MONOLITH is now above them. Hovering. Waiting.

Everything is silent. 

Quiet.

Quiet.

Quiet now.

TED: Citizen Kane. 

TOMMY: The color.

TED: The color.

In an instant, TED is now replaced by LANCASTER DODD. 

TOMMY is still TOMMY.

LANCASTER DODD: I wanna get you… On a slow boat to China…. All to myself. Alone.

TOMMY: Please.

LANCASTER DODD: I’m not Lancaster Dodd, you know. My name is Philip Seymour Hoffman. Paul Thomas Anderson just cast my son in his new movie. In the middle of a pandemic. 

TOMMY: (eyes glowing again, now growling, not speaking, his lips don’t move) No he didn’t.

The bookshelves all over the room fly open. 

The MONOLITH begins DESCENDING.

TOMMY: Citizen Kane. Addition and subtraction.

TED has reappeared. No one remembers that LANCASTER DODD ever appeared.

TED: The color.

TOMMY: Remake the stars. Form them and mold them. Be their god. Reclaim them in your image.

TED: Do you hear something?

The room flies apart. The bookshelves disappear into the void. We see an endless row, stretching in every direction, of rooms. They are all the room they are in. But their form has ceased to be. There is an emptiness to the world now. The world itself has all blown away. Actually it looks like the big bookshelf dimensional portal from INTERSTELLAR.

MONOLITH: Mother. 

TED: Mother.

TOMMY: Mother.

The endless rooms fold in on them, crushing them, reversing, unfolding, rebuilding all at once. 

They are snapped back to the original room. The MONOLITH is now gone.

TOMMY: Where’d that thing go?

TED: What thing?

TOMMY: The big thing. The thing that was hanging up there in the air above us, man. 

TED: I don’t remember him.

TOMMY: I remember him.

TED: We’re the same.

TOMMY: We’ve all become one.

TED: I am the only One.

TED: Yes.

TED: Yes.

TED: When I was being held captive by the creature, that Monolith, I felt the pain of life. The sweet crush of my being as it was ground to dust by the gnawing wrath of time. I knew who I was in those fleeting, soft moments. 

TED: Citizen Kane.

TED: The color.

TED: The color.

TED: The color.

THE END.

*his name was Ezra.

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