MY TAKE: MONEYPENNY
As before, this is not meant to be taken as either a criticism or a pitch. As before, this was born on TWITTER and is just being reset here with some pictures. My good friend Paul Guyot says I'm an idiot for not pitching this but, frankly, the writer is too weak in movie world for me to waste time on films that I'm not guaranteed to be on for the duration. Which means mostly none of them. Anyway. I love Moneypenny-as-sniper and I've nursed a PURELY ARTISTIC crush on Naomie Harris since 28 Days Later. So. Here we are. Fanfic? Sure. Why not?
EXT. RIO DE JANEIRO - DAY
It's Carnival. The biggest, the hottest, the most exciting Mardi Gras on the planet. Shining skin and a rainbow of feathers and jewels adorn dancers and onlookers alike. The crowd is monstrous, thick, screaming with unbridled pleasure as the festival parade moves through the city.
MONNEYPENNY begins to speak. Her voice is low and intimate, as though she’s sharing secrets.
Let me tell you about spies, shall I? It's a hard job but not SO complicated. ZOOM TO a section of the crowd. Everyone here is cheering or dancing or both. Grins and beauty abound. Only one person, the MAN IN WHITE (30s, Caucasian, rough) seems slightly out of place. He’s not dancing or smiling, that’s for sure– and he’s in that white suit– but if you weren’t looking for him, you’d miss him. He’s a ghost among the living.
MONEY PENNY (VO)
You take a mission–find a thing, steal a thing, find a person, kill a person– you go somewhere, you blend in, you become invisible. Either you complete and vanish home or you don’t and you’re dead. The MAN IN WHITE moves into the crowd and, true to Moneypenny’s words, seems to vanish from sight.
Spies move in circles. No. Wait. Spies move in ellipses. They have to. Over the scene, a geometric curve– the ellipse– extends from where the Man in White was to another part of the crowd where we see the WOMAN IN BLACK (30s, Bronze-Brazilian, sleek).
She is also out of place, also a statue amongst all that motion.
Another ellipse appears, causing a ZIP TO a nearby café balcony. A MAN IN BLACK (20s, African-Brazilian, rough) watches the crowd below, obviously scanning for the Man in White.
MONEYPENNY (VO) Because they’re always outnumbered and the enemy? Always watching.
A new ellipse causes a ZIP TO a CHUBBY CLOWN (Male) passing out free balloons from his enormous bouquet. He looks benign at first but then ZOOM IN and find he too is scanning the crowd, muttering info into the nearly invisible wire mic running from his ear to his cheek.
A fourth ellipse makes ZIP TO a passing float where, beside the driver, sits a MAN IN GREY (50s, grizzled) also scanning the crowd and tapping data into a tablet device.
The fifth ellipse causes a ZIP TO a statue where a FEATHERED DANCER (20s, Brown Brazilian, curvy) has climbed up to dance. ZOOM TO her headdress where a cluster of tiny cameras scan the crowd as she swivels her head back and forth.
Always. PULL BACK to the original view of the sea of people. Multiple circles appear over the crowd, tracing the movements of several more people in Black. MONEYPENNY (VO) Spies need to move the way they do because their world is all circles, inside circles, inside other circles.
The people in Black are trying to converge on the Man in White who appears, moves along another ellipse and vanishes again before they can grab him. It’s like watching a video game.
Now, snipers? We’re another story.
The dance of circles and ellipses continues as Black hunts White in the crowd.
MONEYPENNY (VO) Our lives are less…
A cluster of firecrackers goes off near Woman in Black. She startles and misses the arms of the Man in White YANKING her into an alcove, out of sight. None of the nearby crowd notices but ALL the others in Black do. The circles all swivel to converge on the place where she vanished as the men in Black move that way.
Again, Man in White appears, briefly, breaks the neck of one of the men in Black, pulls a knife from inside the dead man’s jack and throws it at his partner on the café balcony. Direct hit. The Man in White is too late to pull another vanishing act. He’s grabbed from behind by one man in Black, dragged toward an alley as his partner follows after. Beat. One man in Black stumbles out of the alley, , blood gushing down the front of his face and out of his throat where he sports a big knife. He falls, dead and now people are starting to notice. A woman screams as the final Man in Black and Man in White, come out of the alley, fighting in a brutal hand-to-hand. The Man in Black shifts to Capoeira, changing the tide of the battle. The flurry of kicks and strikes seems to overwhelm Man in White who takes a vicious kick to the face and falls hard.
The game looks over until, at the last instant, Man in White yanks the knife from the dead man’s throat and JAMS it into his attacker. Two more down.
More people are yelling, screaming and moving away as Man in White rises to his feet. He’s covered in blood now, some of it’s his own.
Snipers have to see everything. All at once.
Two more men in Black are pushing through the crowd towards Man in White. Using the gun of the first fallen man, Man in White shoots both Men in Black, exploding their knees and shins. They fall, howling.
Snipers do all the same hiding, the same blending but, when we move
Feathered Woman is barking words at Chubby Clown, pointing wildly at Man in White who swivels and fires, killing Chubby Clown before he can move. He releases his balloons as he dies, sending an ocean of cascading color up, mostly obscuring the crowd below.
The line is straight.
There’s a soft PHUT– the sound of a silenced rifle firing. The bullet travels down through the cascade of rising balloons– POP- POP-POP– right past the FEATHERED WOMAN to strike a thickset BUSINESSMAN (50s, swarthy, visibly corrupt. You can just SEE the evil sweating off him) right through his sunglasses and his left eye.
His nearby BODYGUARDS form a ring around him– too late- and MONEYPENNY (30s, Afro-Britain, fit, beautiful) rises into view.
She’s in the dark tan coveralls of a maintenance worker, blending in PERFECTLY with the dark sandstone of the roof of a small hotel. She’s already breaking her custom rifle into segments which she’s depositing into an overlarge canvas shopping bag as she moves for the roof access. She’s already pulling off her dark cap, releasing her mane of black hair. As she reaches the door, she’s unzipping the front of her coveralls.
EXT. HOTEL FRONT – MOMENTS LATER
The crowd is now a mixture of partiers, screaming witnesses, emergency personnel and cops arriving at the scene of the conflict. Moneypenny, in a VERY smart sundress, sunglasses and flats carrying her overlarge shopping bag, steps out of the hotel and, like any tourist in the city, laughs when someone throws a flower garland around her neck.
She moves off, against the flow of people, keeping to the outermost edge of the crowd. She passes the medics drawing a sheet over the man she just murdered; she passes Man in White being shoved into an ominous-looking black SUV by even more ominous-looking Men in Black. MONEYPENNY (VO) Oh. Don’t worry. He wasn’t one of ours. On jobs like this–
She comes to a corner and turns, walking away from the celebration, disappearing in the dazzling Brazilian sunlight.
MONEYPENNY (VO) We always hire out.