Around a month ago, Anomalous Material hosted the 3rd edition of our Hollywood Fantasy Draft. Each person was given $50 million (Castor has some deep, deep pockets), and held an auction style draft, fighting for actors and directors that we wanted for our specific project.
This is the second time writing a pitch for the Hollywood Fantasy Draft, with the first time resulting in Payback in Spades. This movie shares a couple similarities, most notably director Steven Soderbergh, as well as bringing back both Marion Cotillard and Tom Hardy. If they work for you the first time, might as well bring them back. And so here it is.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Story and Screenplay written by Red Georges
The Setup (which really should have its own movie, but I digress)
The year is 2045, and America is still trying to recover from a war that split the country in half 25 years earlier. The start of the 21st Century turned Americans against each other on many issues, most notably foreign policy. It became extreme enough that in 2019, the states west of the Mississippi River decided to leave the Union and form Louisiana, a tribute to the name of the territory back in the early 1800s. The United States obviously wasn’t going to sit idly by and let this happen, so they declared war on the west. North America was never the same.
War ravaged on, with ugly battles pitting brothers and friends against each other, much like the Civil War of 150 years earlier. Many families fled either north to Canada or south to Mexico, looking to escape the dangers that war brings with it. It became quite apparent that the United States was the more powerful side, with Fort Knot, Kentucky quickly becoming the largest and most powerful post in the Western Hemisphere. This allowed the East to control the newly formed border, and prevented the West from advancing.
With many people fleeing to Canada, states like North Dakota and Minnesota became extremely important to the East. With the East on the verge on victory, several battalions were sent up north to seize a growing North Dakota. Just south of the Canadian border was Devil’s Lake, where Louisiana had built a base to resist the East. An intense battle lasted for an entire month. And then, the day after the East had sent in their second battalion, every single East soldier simultaneously dropped dead without reason. Having had two of their best battalions lose in such a manner sent the East into panic mode, pulling back all of their troops back across the Mississippi, and calling a truths with the West. And so it stayed that way for over 25 years.
After the end of the 2nd Civil War, Devil’s Lake became a place of worship for the West, and a place of fear for people of the East. While some people moved back home after the war ended, many had stayed in either Canada or Mexico, leaving both countries on their way to becoming economical and military powers, with Canada progressing at an uncontrollable rate. The United States now shared the continent with several legitimate foes, as well as China rising to a Superpower in their aide of Louisiana during the battle. North America, was on the verge of war once again.
The Players (Once again using the actor’s name to minimize confusion)
Ben Foster- A solder in Louisiana’s Army, and stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. A charismatic and natural born leader, Foster has earned the trust of many of those around him. There is a secret about him that only a few people know, and have worked their entire lives to ensure that it remains secret. Fiance of Samantha Morton, but has a growing relationship with Vera, a fellow service member. His unit is selected to head south once the Chinese invades Mexico.
Michael Shannon- Had fought in the 2nd Civil War for Louisiana, and became a spiritual leader for a new religion that manifested because of the events of Devil’s Lake. Shannon is an aggressive, no holds barred leader who still resents the East after much of his family was killed during the war, with a few surviving relatives in Mexico. Becomes a mentor for Foster. Goes to Mexico as a mercenary as the war in the south breaks out. A fearless and reckless fighter.
Tom Hardy- A special forces solider stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Although he’s still young, has grabbed the attention of several of the East’s military leaders and advisers in Kentucky. Is part of the a unit that is sent to Mexico to aide Louisiana in their war efforts against the Chinese.
Jon Hamm- A Colonel in the East Army. Hamm fought in the 2nd Civil War as a private, but in the years since it ended has commissioned as an officer, and has become a battalion commander in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Has kept a watchful eye on Hardy as has moved up the enlisted ranks. Is very stern, and isn’t very trusting of the Louisiana soldiers that he is to train.
Marion Cotillard- Forced to leave Texas during the Civil War as a teenager, and fled to Mexico. Since then she has had three children, only to have them two of them die soon then after. Has become extremely protective of her last child, and often seek assistance from Shannon, and childhood friend and relative.
Samantha Morton- The fiance of Foster, she moved with him to Texas once he was assigned to the base. Things are still rocky, however, as their time together is very limited. Spends most of her time at work helping soldiers recover from the troubles of war.
Vera Farmiga- A member of Foster’s platoon, the two have grown together very quickly in their few years together. Although she is much older than Foster, the two share a questionable amount of time with each other, and Morton starts to wonder whether she can trust her or not.
The Pitch (I decided to keep this brief. I had a more detailed story typed out, but as I was approaching 2,500 words, I realized it was going to be too long. So instead, a very quick overlook of what will happen during the first portion of the movie, and previewing the choices characters must make, as well as future potential conflicts.):
The movie begins as the Chinese have invaded southern Mexico, and are pushing north, hoping to take over Louisiana, and eventually, the United States. Both countries, fearing the worst, team up together to push the Chinese out of Mexico. Most a Louisiana operation, the East offers up guidance and training by way of their special forces units. As the two sides work together, Foster and Hardy become very close as they work together, even though they come from completely different backgrounds and ideologies. Hardy teaches Foster everything he knows, and they have saved each others lives many times in the war. Foster is still heavily influenced by Michael Shannon, however, which is something that pleases nobody from the United States.
As the war in Mexico comes to a close, it is revealed that Foster was born in Devil’s Lake on the very day that the East soldiers dropped dead, and has become a deity of sorts for those few who know about it. Shannon, fearing that the United States is still conspiring against Louisiana, makes this news public, which then sends the entire country of Louisiana into a frenzy. As the soldiers are heading home, Hamm orders a hit on Foster, fearing that he might become to powerful of a figure for the United States to go against. The attempt is botched, and Foster is able to retreat back to Devil’s Lake with his wife and Michael, not knowing if the United States wanted him dead or if it was just a rogue Colonel barking out orders. Devil’s Lake has now become a sacred holy ground for the majority of Louisiana, and Foster is thought of as being the second coming.
Soon after both sides are home, it is revealed that Canada -which has grown immensely in the past 25 years- has decided that the two countries to the south have never been more vulnerable, and is ready to strike. The United States, fearing the worst, sends troops at posts all along the Canadian border, both in their land as well as Louisiana’s. Among these posts, is Devil’s Lake. The United States is still very weary of this town, but knows that it’s positioning is crucial to holding off the Canadians. Louisiana believes that they would be able to handle the threat from the north by themselves, and resists U.S. assistance, especially in Devil’s Lake. The East sends troops there nonetheless, which in turn creates a bloody three way battle between the countries. The characters are then faced with decisions of whom to fight, how to go about doing it the right way, who to trust, and what to believe in world that has gone utterly mad.