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So Are We Ready for “The Sky is Falling” Yet?

Paul Bettany from Legion

Before we do anything else, check out the trailer for Legion.

Direct link for the feedreaders.

Okay, so I know what you’re thinking. “Widge, so it’s Michael Bay’s The Prophecy (and yes, we mean the Christopher Walken killer angel movie not the killer mutant bear movie). So what?”

[ad#longpost]Well, on the one hand I think I might actually want to see this, just because I really like Paul Bettany (and have ever since he was the best bit in A Knight’s Tale). And having Dennis Quaid and Charles Dutton on board doesn’t hurt either.

But on the other hand, when you’ve got a movie in which God decides that he’s had enough of mankind and sends his army of angels to wipe us off the map–and also in said movie you have people machine gunning angels–then I think you’re ready for one of the greatest, craziest unproduced scripts of all time: The Sky is Falling.

I first encountered this script nearly ten years ago. And here’s what I wrote about it in my old, old column The Phantom Grimace back in October of 1999:

Two priests discover proof–irrevokable proof–that God isn’t. Just isn’t. So they snap. Kajoing. And proceed to go on a murder, drug, sex spree like no other. Using every drug known to man, a veritable crapload of artillery–and a large sledgehammer. Oh yes, and a fanny pack. It’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas meets Milk and Cheese with Tom Waits lyrics thrown in at random and a bit of Terrance and Philip. The two priests run amok until finally the Church has to call an assassin in to take them out. And then things get really nuts. The script I have is designated “First Revision” and has a date of October 27, 1995.

This script is insane. It is so over the top, so completely out of control, so heavily caffeinated that it is at turns: disturbing, disgusting, and hilarious. This would make the ultimate road trip movie from hell and become an instant cult classic the likes of which have never been seen before. The script simply rocks. It has a bit of a weak ending considering the sheer chaos of the first hundred pages. And the assassin in question, Frank, has a bit of an affliction that I thought bore a bit more explaining. You can only have so much left open information-wise before the ideas go from clever to feeling anemic. Like I said, this is a first revised draft four years old, so probably this was all fixed.

Here’s the problem though–it’ll never get made. In a world where parents blame movies for their kids’ violence, and in a world where the Catholic Anti-Free Thought League isn’t smart enough to realize that protesting only gives things publicity that studios dream they could purchase, this film won’t be made. However, that could change. Fight Club opened #1 at the box office, and if Dogma proves a success then perhaps it might have some life in it. But unfortunately, the script will probably end up watered down immensely. Which is a crime, since it’s such a fun read at present. And what’s crazy is that if you do actually read it, you discover that instead of the statement “nothing is sacred” being true, it actually has a great message about faith that reminds me somewhat of Morrow’s Towing Jehovah, another fine story about heartache and the loss of God. That’s for those who actually take the time to ponder before they lash out.

Now the script is by Howard Roth and Eric Singer (now, from what I can tell, Eric Warren Singer) and had both David Fincher and Gore Verbinski attached to direct at one point. Where is it now? No idea. I tried to find reps for both Roth and Singer with no luck. If anybody knows anything about this project or knows how to find either of these gentlemen, please let me know. Because seriously: after seeing that trailer, I think you could probably get away with making the film. It’s been a while since I read the screenplay, but I think my assessment above stands: mad cult classic in the making.

1 comment

  • Saw the edited trailer and first became aware of this flick LEGION when I saw District 9. “How the hell did we not know about this?” my friend and I simultaneously asked each other, after the shock and laughter had settled. I really can’t wait to see what those crazy Christians have in store for this, not to mention that they alone will drive the box office returns unnacceptably high for this glorified Troma disasterpiece.