TREASURE ISLAND - SCREENPLAY
One man has been guarding the existence of a parchment that contains clues to the location of Edward Teach's secret treasure trove on an Island in the Caribbean, said to be guarded by a macabre human spirit manifesting itself with a golden human skull. But the parchment is missing a vital code, to decipher the clues.
M O V I E : S T O R Y - M A P (SYNOPSIS)
PLOT SUMMARY: At the request of Blue Shield (UNESCO), John Storm surveys the sunken Caribbean city of Port Royal, Jamaica, with the Elizabeth Swann, in his capacity as marine archaeologist, following a worrying earth tremor, when he discovers the resting place of former buccaneer Sir Henry Morgan who passed in 1688. This news reaches England (BBC Jill Bird - world service) where Lord Huntington believes that the engraving John Storm has found puts them on a parallel course, where the ocean adventurer could help unravel a parchment his family have been guarding since Blackbeard's death in 1718, 300 years earlier. In London, Lord Huntington, of the British Geographical Society (BGS), learns of this, and realizes the find could help him decode a parchment handed down through generations of his family, as a map, that once belonged to Blackbeard, telling the whereabouts of the buried treasure that remained undiscovered on Skeleton Island; thought to be an unmarked island. Commander James Maynard RN, & the BGS fund Operation Hispaniola, doomed to failure, but Storm is persuaded by Huntington to assist further, then reveals his map, taking them to Santa Catalina & Isla Providencia, unfortunately ravaged by Hurricane Iota, where mutineer John Long kidnaps Cleopatra and Dan Hawk, and Maynard joins forces with the Spanish Navy to capture the Elizabeth Swann, along with the Aztec Gold and Skull. John Storm finds Morgan's treasure and secures a salvage deal with Panama and Mexico, evading a blockade by British and Spanish warships, and retaking the Swann. Maynard is then charged with misconduct and absconds, while the pirates sail into the Bermuda Triangle, not to be seen again.
Aiming for a screenplay 90-100 pages max.
PROLOGUE: ROYAL AFRICAN COMPANY - King Charles II, grants a Royal Charter to his brother James Stuart II, giving him and other partners, the exclusive right to transport goods from Africa, updated in 1663 to include the exclusive right to trade in slaves from the Gold Coast, in supply to British colonies, as cheap labour for plantations in the Caribbean, Virginia and Carolina - the so-called Bloody Triangle.
SCENE 1. THE BATTLE OF OCRACOKE - North Carolina Historic flashback - 1718, 22nd November, a British naval taskforce led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard lay in wait for Edward Teach (Blackbeard), beheading the troublesome pirate after a long and bloody swordfight, including severval gunshots wounds by way of a torturous interrogation. As Blackbeard expires on the deck of the Adventure, he curses the English sailors and their kin, taking the secret of his treasure with him to the Devil.
SCENE 2. EARTHQUAKE JAMAICA - Present Day - An earthquake hits Port Royal, disturbing the sunken city. Underwater scenes of chaotic movement ripples, what is left of buildings rocking. A Palisadoes cemetery opening an entrance to Henry Morgan's mausoleum.
SCENE 3. BLUE SHIELD ENGLAND - England - Blue Shield, Newcastle University. John Storm is called to Jamaica urgently, requested by UNESCO, to catalogue the archaeological remains of the underwater city, using the Elizabeth Swann's ultra modern array of subsea survey sensors, worried that another quake threatens to wipe out all records. They plan to make the submerged city a UNEP World Heritage Site.
SCENE 4. HENRY MORGAN'S DEATH - Historic flashback - Henry Morgan musing taking of a prize ship as a pirate off coast of Venezuela and Panama, while he is working his sugar cane plantation in drunken condition, he has a heart attack. Cut to his funeral ceremony at Palisadoes cemetery, old Port Royal.
SCENE 5. SUNKEN CITY SURVEY - Caribbean Sea Present Day - The Swann's sensors scan the ocean bed, revealing what turns out to be the mausoleum and tomb containing remains of the former Governor of Jamaica. It is under threat of imminent and dangerous collapse.
SCENE 6. JUNE 1692 TSUNAMI - Jamaica Historic flashback - June 7th, an earthquake hits Port Royal, then a tsunami washes the pirate haven under the sea, covering Henry Morgan's mausoleum. Washing clean the sins of the wicked city.
SCENE 7. HENRY MORGAN'S COFFIN - Jamaica Present Day - John Storm investigates target underwater areas using an ROV, then dives the site, coming face to face with Sir Henry's macabre skeletal remains. Then discovering secret compartment in his coffin, and interesting wooden engraving.
SCENE 8. BBC JILL BIRD - London. "The intrepid conservationist, Mr John Storm .." News of the archaeological find and condition of lost Henry Morgan, pirate's remains - saved. "And for those of you wondering, there was no treasure."
SCENE 10. SHIP'S COOK - William Gray helps John Long and his band of cut-throats to crew for Huntington's Hispaniola, on the basis of purloined data from a UNESCO report on a description of Henry Morgan's wooden engraving. John Long poses as a cartographer, but proves to be a dab hand on the galley. He is elected ship's cook.
SCENE 11. ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOS - Huntington contacts John Storm, asking for help with the supposed shipwreck survey - meet in the Caribbean. Asking for ES assistance as portable lab, appealing to Storm's general interest in such matters. At this stage John has no idea about the parchment Huntington has been keeping a secret, thinking he is cosher, as a BGS bigwig.
SCENE 12. SKELETON ISLAND - Intrigued as to the map now proffered by Lord Huntington, John agrees to switch attention to the new location, even though not that far off the cost of Panama. The map, though not the original parchment recovered from Blackbeard's Adventure, is sufficiently alluring after checking historical accuracy, as to be believable. John keeps the information recovered from Morgan's casket to himself, genuinely unsure if it relates to the mysterious map - and just in case there are any heritage assets to safeguard, though both men probe each other for more clues continuously. Commander Maynard has bugged the Hispaniola, so knows of their intended location. Speeds to Caribbean.
SCENE 13. SANTA CATALINA - The Colombian Archipelago including San Andreas, Santa Catalina and Providence Islands, is swarming with naval ships. Colombian, Mexican, Panamanian and Nicaraguan navies routinely patrolling close by, triggered by the discovery of Henry Morgan's ship 'Satisfaction' at Lajas Reef between 2008-10, the military of these countries have been alive to the possibility of a claim on the Aztec gold, looted by the Spanish Conquistadors. Then re-acquired by the Welsh privateer momentarily in 1671, to be lost again in time again.
SCENE 14. TREASURE ISLAND - Rendezvous at Muelle de Barcos, crew asked to remain on docked Hispaniola. Dan and Cleopatra to remain on Swann. But Long shadows Huntington and Storm, as they seek to identify map landmarks. Mostly erased by Hurricane Iota. Huntington is forced to reveal other clues, not included on duplicate map. They find a cave full of pirate skeletons, and a golden skull. John Longstride thinks this is location of Blackbeard's/Morgan's treasure. He noted John's strength in moving some large rocks, impossible for an ordinary man to move. Huntington also surprised at the extraordinary feats.
SCENE 15. KIDNAP - Longstride orders Black Jack and Billy Bones to kidnap Dan and Cleopatra going onboard as supposed friendlies - then lock in Hispaniola (then anchored in new location) cabin tied up with Tremaine, to be used as hostage leverage. Then, to steal the Elizabeth Swann. The pirates think they have control of the Swann, but Hal allows that illusion, not wanting to Taser the illicit guests until Dan and Cleopatra are safely recovered. Hal alerts John to events via BioCore, when Longstride tips his hand, give us the map, golden skull and cave contents and we'll release hostages Hispaniola and return Swann.
SCENE 16. DOUBLE CROSS - Maynard does deal with Spanish Navy to blockade south-west Caribbean & Santa Catalina/Providence islands, to prevent John or Huntington returning to Atlantic with Blackbeard's/Morgan's gold - which they consider to be theirs - split 50-50. They are prepared to board or sink Swann and/or Hispaniola - to take as prize ships. Nicaragua remains neutral. Mexican and Panamanian governments decline offer to join group. Express concerns, as to cultural heritage, where technically a Colombian Archipelago surrounded international waters, hence they consider blockade, a pseudo act of piracy. Hal intercepts messages as watching brief. Maynard offers Longstride a deal for Aztec Golden Skull, but John Long will will not agree to harming of Dan or Cleopatra. He does secure safe passage through blockade.
SCENE 17. BLACKBEARD'S CURSE - Threatened once again, John retakes Swann, actually Hal immobilizes Black Jack and Billy Bones. They (JS & Swann) then rescue prisoners on Hispaniola. Hal locating new anchorage. Huntington and Tremaine clap Longstride, Boon and Bones in irons on Hispaniola. The Hispaniola heads to Muelle de Barcos, to hand pirates over to authorities. But, the pirates escape, purloin a boat from dock, then go to cave and take the Golden Skull, despite Blackbeard's Curse - pushing on to Maynard's ship to deliver Golden Skull, thence through blockade, into Caribbean.
SCENE 18. MORGAN'S TREASURE SHIP - John deciphers code on wooden carving with help from Dan and Cybercore Genetica. Putting the Swann into stealth mode, so invisible to blockade, John dives to find the privateer's sunken treasure, thinking in cave, but actually discovers a whole ship, laden with gold, silver and gemstones; huge cargo. He videos ship in water, and holds as evidence and schedule of contents. But does not remove anything from the wreck.
SCENE 19. BILLION DOLLAR DEAL - John opens negotiations with Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama, keeping Blue Shield in the loop. He plays them video of wreck, all astonished. Panama (owners of wreck) offer 10% to John for location. John accepts 5%, on proviso wreck is preserved as heritage site, and treasure Aztec treasure is recognised, in museum displays, to be divided appropriately, himself as final arbiter with guidance from Blue Shield.
SCENE 20. BLOCKADE RUNNER - The Swann navigates a course through a blockade, proceeding in stealth mode, invisible to radar. Not wanting to harm Spanish Armada or Royal Navy ships collaborating to capture John's ship. He reports events to US President. US remains neutral. John goes public with Jill Bird world service broadcasting the find of Morgan's treasure with exclusive footage of: 'Blade Runner.' Commander Maynard is relieved of command, due to be charged with misconduct. He absconds with Aztec Golden Skull. Spain declines to comment on their involvement. An embarrassed UK reserves their position.
21. BERMUDA TRIANGLE - Pirates boat last reported heading into the
Bermuda Triangle, Colombian Navy in pursuit - the mutineers disappear in
a freak storm, presumed loss of all hands: BBC and Sky News. Never to be seen again,
or so one would think.
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