'Frank? Larry here. How are you? Listen, Andy and I are writing a new screenplay and we really want to sell this one. I'm thinking of writing a sci-fi piece
That's why I'm CALLING you, I was an English major and everyone I know but you is an English major. My mother was a nurse, that's the closest I've ever come to science. You're the only person we know with any scientific education at all
Well, we figure to sell, it has to have computers, and it has to have VIOLENCE. We're thinking about an eco-techno-cyberpunk-nuclear winter kind of thing with sequel possibilities
Well, something like Terminator meets 2001 meets WarGames with some Johnny Mnemonic and Blade Runner thrown in
It's, say, about 200 years from now, and the world has been laid waste and taken over by advanced computers. WHY did they take over the world? Who cares? Because they're bad! What? 'Colossus: The Forbin Project?' Never heard of it. Look, it's just an evil computer, okay? I know computers have no feelings, but it makes a good story
because it does, that's all.
So I have a question: If you had a worldwide computer network, how would you power it?
Huge farms of solar cells---talk about boring
nuclear power plants
Look, what about electricity from living things? I've been reading about lightning bugs, you know, how they make that light with their bodies? Well, here's what I've been thinking. The human body is the most efficient source of energy on the planet, right?
It isn't? It's an energy CONSUMER? Only about 12 percent efficiency? Well, what about the human brain? It produces electricity, right? Electrochemical? Is that different? And it's the most efficient electricity producer on the planet, right?
No? About the same as a 22-watt bulb? That's not very bright. What's that? Neither is my idea? Come on, work with me here! Okay, so what would be an EFFICIENT way to produce power for a worldwide computer network?
Vast facilities containing huge tanks filled with methane-producing bacteria that drive gas turbines
That may be EFFICIENT, but it's not EXCITING, Frank. You can't make a MOVIE about that. How about vast facilities containing HUMAN BEINGS who are all plugged into the Matrix
that's our working title, The Matrix. So they're all plugged into the Matrix because the computers of the Matrix are using them as a power source in their quest for control of the world
AGAIN with the nitpicking about why? See, we're thinking that the humans are kept in these vast hives of cells of, like, amniotic fluid, hooked up to tubes that feed them and wires that connect them to the Matrix
They're fed a nutritious liquid. I don't know where it comes from, or who produces it! I don't care and neither will the audience!
So the people spend their entire lives floating in these little pods
No, they don't exercise, they just float
Atrophy? Osteoporosis? How do they have babies? I don't know, special mating pods! You don't have to be awake to produce semen; every teenage boy knows that. How are they plugged into the Matrix? Wires, of course, you know, implants
I don't know who implants them---robots! It does seem pretty far-fetched, but if I didn't think of those things, neither will an audience
Well, you see, they're all living in this imaginary virtual world that the Matrix computers have designed to look just like real life in the real world
because the computers have found that the people produce more electricity that way than if they're just asleep. Why? To sell the screenplay, that's why! So I figure, if their MINDS think they're exercising, their BODIES will think so, too. You know, it's like if you dream you die, you really will die
pseudoscientific claptrap? No, what it is, is SHOWBIZ, Frank. But there is a small population of humans who have disconnected themselves from the Matrix and are alive and aware of the real world. They live in a secret city called Zion and are trying to overthrow the Matrix. How did they get disconnected? What do they eat if the world has been laid waste? Who cares? So they're looking for The One, who is the human who will have the power to control the Matrix instead of the other way around, and they find him, a guy named Neo. They manage to unplug him from the Matrix, and he awakens to the real world. It's really cool; we're going to put in all sorts of metaphysical Zen stuff about reality versus illusion and fate and stuff. Where did we learn about Zen? From our massage therapist
Neo joins them in their fight. How do they fight? No, they don't blow up the main computer, that's the neat part: They fight the Matrix in the VIRTUAL world. You see, they can plug back in to the Matrix and so enter and leave the virtual world at will. So they fight enemy COMPUTER PROGRAMS, not the physical computer. How? Get this: Lots of way-cool balletic kung-fu stuff like Jackie Chan and lots of balletic gunfights like Chow Yun-Fat, only computer-enhanced
Lots of mayhem from beginning to end. Why? Because it SELLS TICKETS, that's why!
The evil computers are looking for the rebels with machines in the real world, too, and Neo manages to block the computers from destroying the rebels in reality by fighting them in the virtual world
Because that's the way to plan for sequels, that's why
Well thanks, Frank, you've been really helpful. If we sell the screenplay and it gets produced, we'll get you some free passes. Then you can see all your great ideas on the screen.'