Original LEGEND OF DARKNESS script - First Draft By William Hjortsberg
LEGEND OF DARKNESS
CLOSE ON a finely-worked Medieval tapestry. In the
background, beyond the intricate foliage, stands a moated
castle where a troop of mounted hunters set out for the chase
with dogs and lances. In the foreground, a lovely young
maiden heads for the forest, carrying an armful of flowers.
The forest, stylistically rendered by the weaver's art, has
numbers of small animals cunningly worked into the warp and
woof. A Green Man, clad only in leaves and vines, hides
behind a tree, watching a stately pair of unicorns grazing on
EXT. FOREST GLADE - DAY
The woven image on the tapestry gives way to a pair of white
unicorns browsing in a sun-dappled glade. A male and a
female, these animals are of surpassing beauty, their
tapered, spiralling horns glowing like precious metal. Their
movements are so graceful that every other living creature
seems clumsy by comparison. The SOUND of a distant hunting
horn makes them pause. A second trumpet NOTE is heard. The
unicorns drift, silent and languid, into the farther reaches
of the forest.
EXT. HILLSIDE OVERLOOKING CASTLE - DAY
The hunting horn SOUNDS a third time. A young woman still
close to childhood, fifteen at most, turns back to look at
the castle in the distance. A troop of armed men rides out
hunting, accompanied by braying hounds and the blare of
horns. One of the company is masked and dressed all in black.
The girl's name is LILI. She is a princess of the distant
castle and dressed in splendid brocades and silk. In her
arms, she carries a bouquet of wildflowers wrapped in a lace
napkin. Like these blossoms, she herself is young and fresh
and innocent. She sings a simple country air as she runs
through the waving grass toward the deep woods.
EXT. DEEP WOODS - DAY
On an emerald patch of moss in the shade beneath the
spreading limbs of chestnuts and oaks, numbers of small
animals gambol. Squirrels and rabbits, hedgehogs and foxes,
all manner of creatures leap and frolic about the feet of a
curious young man. This is JACK 0' THE GREEN. His hair is
long and unshorn and he wears a costume woven from ivy
leaves, skins and vines. On his feet are bark sandals. His
features are tanned berry-brown and woven into his tangled
locks is a wreath of flowers. He is a legendary "Green Man"
or "Wild Man" who lives the free life of a hermit alone in
the deep woods.
Jack, the "Green Man", feeds morsels of bread and fruit to
the animals dancing around his feet. He is a friend to all
the beasts of the forest and carries food for them in a split
willow basket. Birds fly down and land on his head and
shoulders, taking seeds and nuts from his lips.
The musical sound of someone approaching alerts him. His eyes
have an animal quickness and his instincts are as finely
tuned as any creature of the wild. The birds fly from his
shoulders to the treetops. His furred companions dart for
cover. In three quick bounds, Jack is himself up a nearby
tree, clinging to a high branch like a cat.
The Princess Lili comes singing down the path. She spots the
fallen willow basket and looks around for the Green Man.
Jack ... Hello, Jack ...
There is no answer. Puzzled, Lili sits on the moss, puts
aside her flowers, and rummages through the contents of the
basket. The dried apples, walnuts and sunflowers don't occupy
her for long. She is annoyed. A princess is not someone to
Jack-o'-the-Green?...Green Jack? Oh
bother, I know you're here. Why are you
Unseen, high in his tree, Jack-o'-the-Green watches the young
princess. He is amused by her anger but there is nothing
malicious about his smile. He climbs quietly to a lower
branch, hangs suspended for a moment, then drops.
Jack lands close to the unsuspecting girl. Startled, she
screams in surprise. Jack laughs at her unwarranted terror.
Greetings, my lady, the green wood is
Oh, Jack, you are a wild man to use me
Jack spies the bouquet of wildflowers and reaches for it.
These for me?
If you like.
Jack gathers up the bouquet, bowing low as he jumps to his
feet. A blue bird flies out of the greenery and lands on his
(to the bird)
She brings a gift as fair as herself.
EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST - DAY
The Green Man and the Princess wander together down a
meandering path. Birds circle about them and numbers of small
animals scamper shyly at their heels.
But you did ...you did!
I may have said perhaps...
The distant BLARE of a hunting horn interrupts them. The
animals freeze, wild-eyed.
It's my father, gone a-hunting. The Baron
Couer de Noir is his guest and must be
provided with some sport.
The Baron is a frightful man. They say
he's an ogre. He wears a mask so none may
see his face.
Blackheart. Aptly named.
Oh, fie. What about the unicorn?
A promise is a sacred oath.
All right. I'll show you something
EXT. A CLEARING BY A STREAM - DAY
A small meadow: a sun-gilded amphitheatre within the darker
confines of the forest. At its edge flows a gentle stream. An
evil-looking viper moves sinuously along the grassy back as
Jack and Lili step from the concealing shrubbery nearby.
Let's rest a minute. I'm so thirsty.
A gentleman would offer water.
Only were he a fool to boot.
See yon viper?
I detest serpents.
That viper has envenomed the water. No
animal will drink here now.
What shall we do?
They crouch together behind the shrubbery.
What's the matter?
I've lost my napkin. It was all elf-work
and lace...I must have dropped it when
you startled me so.
I'll go search it out.
Don't leave me now. I fear the unicorn
won't show himself without you.
I'm not its master.
(touching his arm)
The napkin will keep. I'd rather not be
(with a smile)
Your command is my wish, Princess Lili.
EXT. DEEP WOODS - DAY
A pair of ferocious hounds bray under the tree in which Jack
was hiding. Another sniffs at a few scattered blossoms and
Lili's lace napkin lying forgotten on the moss.
The hunting party rides up at a gallop. At the head of the
troop are Lili's father, KING GODWIN, pink-cheeked and
whitebearded; a kind-hearted, elfish man, though weak and
ineffectual; and BARON COUER DE NOIR, a powerful knight on a
black charger. His greaves and breastplate are black as
midnight as is the heavy cloak which envelops him. His hands
are covered with black gauntlets and a horned black hood with
a wolf's lupine features masks his face. His voice rumbles
with dread authority as the party reins to a stop.
What spoor have the hounds for us?
A lance-bearer dismounts and takes the lace kerchief from the
dog's foaming mouth.
My daughter's napkin. That's certain.
The Baron unstraps a crossbow from his saddle leathers.
We proceed. Have three men restrain the
dogs. Don't come until you hear the
The hunters ride on, leaving the dog handlers to control the
EXT. CLEARING - DAY
Lili and Jack wait behind the bushes, watching the stream.
How much longer?
I am a princess. You have no right to
order me about.
In these woods you are a commoner. Now be
quiet. True royalty approaches.
ANGLE: THE STREAM (LILI AND JACK'S POV)
The pair of radiant white unicorns pushes through the
undergrowth to the edge of the stream.
Ohhhh...they're so beautiful...
The male unicorn bends his head and dips his golden horn into
the stream. Soon after, the female begins to drink and
numbers of small animals, rabbits, mice, and squirrels, creep
from under cover to drink as well.
The alicorn purifies the water, purging
it of all poison.
ANGLE: (JACK AND LILI)
The princess is entranced. A look of utter rapture
illuminates her features.
Such grace ...and their smell; it's
They rival the angels of paradise.
Oh Jack, mightn't I touch one? It would
thrill me so.
Are you honest?
Tis a fair question. If you be a virtuous
maid the unicorn will lay his head in
He'll not flee if I show myself?
Not if you be chaste. Tis an
awesome test of virginity.
Jack turns to leave.
I've no fear of failure. Your
implications are most unbecoming.
I'm not your judge ... nor have I any
desire to witness the trial.
Where are you going?
To fetch your napkin.
Jack pushes through the underbrush and is lost from sight.
For a moment, the princess is confused and nervous at being
left alone in such circumstances, but she peers out at the
unicorns and the sight of such beauty rekindles her resolve.
Princess Lili steps out of the concealing underbrush and
walks slowly to the center of the clearing. Her bearing is
noble and proud, her carriage utterly dignified.
The unicorns lift their heads from the stream and watch the
girl's progress. The other smaller animals cease drinking and
scatter into hiding.
Lili sits on the grass in the center of the clearing,
spreading her gown around her. She smiles at the staring
The male unicorn grows agitated. His nostrils flare; the
strong neck arches. Sunlight gleams on the shaft of his
golden horn as he prances across the stream to the meadow,
sending multi-hued clouds of butterflies aloft from the
Lili smiles at the nimble dancing of the unicorn, seemingly
drawn to her by an invisible lead. He rears up, whinnying in
protest, but the lure is too strong, something unspoken
compels him toward the smiling girl.
EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST - DAY
Jack hurries along the overgrown path, running as nimbly as a
wild stag. The SOUND of approaching HOOFBEATS brings him up
short. With the instincts of an animal, Jack darts into
concealment. After a moment, the hunting party rides past,
sunlight glinting on the steel lance-tips. The Baron holds
his crossbow at the ready, as black and grim as Death
When the hunters are gone from sight, Jack hurries from his
hiding place. He realizes something is terribly wrong and
runs back through the woods, leaping rocks and deadfall logs
in a desperate attempt to reach the clearing before them.
EXT. CLEARING - DAY
The princess makes no move as the trembling unicorn stands
before her, the tip of his rapier-sharp horn pressed against
her breast. At this moment, he could kill her in an instant,
yet she does not resist or show any fear. Instead, she smiles
Slowly, the unicorn kneels; first folding his forelegs, then
settling his hindquarters onto the grass. His limpid eye
meets Lili's adoring gaze. Without a sound, he settles his
great head in the virgin's lap, his long white mane spreading
over her like a shawl.
ANGLE: (CLOSE ON LILI AND THE UNICORN)
The girl strokes the unicorn's head, running her hand
lovingly down the spiraling horn. The animal seems totally
in her power. He closes his eyes and nuzzles her bodice.
Almost without thinking, Princess Lili unbuttons the top of
her gown, exposing her pale breasts. The entranced unicorn
immediately begins to suckle like a newborn creature. Lili
hugs the white head to her bosom, consumed by ecstasy and
EXT. EDGE OF THE CLEARING - DAY
King Godwin, the Baron and his cohorts ride silently up to
the edge of the clearing, screened from view by the
surrounding trees. The Baron holds up his gloved hand and
hisses a whispered command:
The other riders rein to a stop. The Baron guides his horse
closer to the edge of the clearing, parting the branches
which conceal him.
ANGLE: (BARON'S POV)
Through a fringe of leaves the Baron sees the Princess
nursing the reclining unicorn, a tableaux at once reminiscent
of the Madonna and the Infant Jesus.
ANGLE: (THE BARON)
As he inserts a bolt in his crossbow and cranks back the
string until it is taut. Placing the weapon to his shoulder,
the Baron takes careful aim.
EXT. CENTER OF THE CLEARING - DAY
Lili croons to the unicorn resting on her breast, a primitive
melody born of joy. All at once, the sibilant SOUND of an
arrow's slicing passage rends the still air. The crossbow
bolt strikes the unicorn in the neck. The startled outcry of
the wounded beast is far more scream than whinny.
The unicorn bounds to his feet, spraying the Princess with
his bright blood. She is torn from her happy reverie by the
violence of the act. Her own outcry merges with the animal's
wail of pain.
The wounded unicorn, followed by his mate, gallops for
freedom across the clearing.
The black Baron bursts from the far side of the meadow and
thunders after the fleeing unicorns. King Godwin is right
behind, followed by his retinue of lance-bearing hunters.
Lili leaps to her feet, blood-spattered and horrified.
No! God! Father, no!
The horsemen gallop out of sight, accompanied by the call of
the hunting horn and much eager shouting.
Jack crashes through the underbrush surrounding the clearing
and rushes to the side of the anguished Lili, who cowers,
relacing her blood-soaked bodice.
I don't know. They've hurt the unicorn.
My father and the Baron.
Damned hunters. It was a trap, and you
were the bait!
I didn't know...I didn't ...
It was so lovely...he was in my lap
like...like a baby... and...I...
They tricked you.
My own father...
How bad was the unicorn's wound?
It happened so fast. He was hurt and ran
He did run?
Oh, yes, and the mare with him.
Good. They'll never catch him. There's
not a mount in the kingdom can outrun a
EXT. DEEP IN THE FOREST - DAY
Flecked with froth and blood, the male unicorn bursts from a
thicket in full flight. Wild-eyed, the female is right
behind. They pause for a moment, sides heaving as they gasp
for air. In the distance, the SOUNDS of braying hounds and
the musical NOTE of the hunting horn start them running
EXT. FOREST - DAY
Led by the Baron and the red-eyed hounds, the hunting party
thunders through the woods in full pursuit of the unicorns.
One of the riders has a hunting horn coiled round his
shoulder. He blows a single, sustained NOTE as he gallops
EXT. POND IN THE FOREST - DAY
The pool is a crystalline jewel, surrounded by moss-covered
stones, the tranquil water reflecting the overhanging trees.
Lili kneels by the edge, washing the blood from her
embroidered dress. Jack watches her, reclining on a gnarled
There are many would pay a king's ransom
for a few drops of unicorn blood.
I don't want it on me.
Its powers are strong.
I don't want to be reminded of what
Do you think memory can be washed away
like a few spots of blood?
EXT. FOREST STREAM - DAY
The war-like SOUNDS of the hunting party grow nearer as the
two unicorns pause in their flight to drink from the stream.
Tenderly, the mare nuzzles the stallion's neck near where the
dart cruelly rends his flesh. The two animals exchange a look
of understanding. The situation is desperate, their pursuers
very near. The stallion motions upstream with his head and
his mate sadly comprehends. She starts slowly upstream,
looking back over her shoulder. The hunting horn BLARES,
nearer still. The stallion whinnies at the mare and she
replies before plunging up the stream to safety while her
mate remains behind awaiting his destiny.
EXT. NEAR FOREST STREAM - DAY
The hounds are frantic now, the scent very strong. They lope
ahead of the riders, baying like demons from hell. The Baron
is right behind, leading the hunters in a daredevil chase
through the woods. In their helmets and chain mail, with
steel-tipped lances glinting on high, they are as fearsome as
an army of fiends.
ANGLE: (HUNTER'S POV)
Ahead, through the trees, the wounded male unicorn is
glimpsed standing alone by the stream. The dogs' howling
grows furious. The hunters SHOUT and BELLOW.
EXT. FOREST STREAM - DAY
The dogs break from the forest and hurl themselves at the
unicorn. With a swift jab, the stallion impales the first
hound on his horn and sends him flying. Just as the pack of
hunters emerges from the woods, the unicorn takes off,
leaping over the heads of the snarling hounds, darting away
between the trees. The hunters and their dogs are in close
pursuit, eager now for the kill.
EXT. POND IN THE FOREST - DAY
Lili and Jack sit among the roots and mossy rocks bordering
the still pool. A shaft of golden light angles down through
the cathedral arching of tree limbs above them. Lili's dress
is cleansed of blood and she reclines against a tree trunk,
sadly singing a simple ballad in a clear, soprano voice. Jack
is entranced. His teasing look has transformed into a gaze of
Once there was a lady fair,
Rode out on her milk-white steed; Roses
and dewdrops woven in her hair And in her
heart: the devil's seed.
Sweet William did a-hunting go, All in
the deep wood where faeries dwell. From
dawn til dark roamed he to and fro Lost,
0 lost, all under their spell.
Came he at last to where bluebells grow,
And he heard them ring, tis true to tell.
And he lay him down and did not know. The
flower's sound was his own death knell.
For while he slept came the lady fair,
And gathered him up behind her saddle.
Now, all ye young hunters, of bluebells
beware; For Sweet William rode straight
through the gates of Hell.
EXT. RIVER ESTUARY - DAY
A broad river flows toward the sea, divided into multi
branched channels across acres and acres of mud flats. The
surf curls and crashes in the distance. Shore birds probe the
muck with their curved bills.
The wounded unicorn breaks from the green line of trees along
the edge of the estuary. The SOUNDS of dogs and hunting horns
can be heard close behind. Without pausing, the stallion
gallops frantically out onto the mud flats.
The unicorn's sides are streaked with blood and sweat. A
bright red froth bubbles on his nostrils. His eyes are wide
The thick mud underfoot sucks at the unicorn's galloping
hooves. All at once, the unicorn stumbles and falls,
cartwheeling in the muck. He struggles to regain his feet,
but slips again, floundering.
The hunters ride out of the trees and rein-in at the edge of
the estuary. The howling dogs struggle across the mud toward
the fallen unicorn.
EXT. POND - DAY
Lili and Jack under the tree. The princess smiles at the
adoring boy, toying with her golden ring, which she pulls on
and off her finger.
Not even the birds sing sweet as you.
Jack...Green Jack, you mustn't flatter me
Tis the truth.
A maid must beware of flattery...Me
thinks you want to kiss me.
There's no happier thought under heaven.
If I were your bride, would the kissing
ever stop?...Do you wish to marry me,
My lady mocks me.
Nay, Jack, I'm but wary of your
My heart intends no more than that you
love me as I do you.
EXT. ESTUARY - DAY
The unicorn struggles in the mud, hopelessly mired, when the
dog pack converges upon it. Baying and snarling, the dogs
surround the stallion, nipping and harrying. The unicorn
fights back, thrusting his terrible horn, impaling an unwary
hound that ventured too close.
The hunters watch from the bank, awaiting their leader's
command to close in for the kill. The Baron dismounts,
holding his crossbow. He hands his reins to King Godwin.
The quarry is at bay. Attend me here
while I make the kill.
Black cloak whipping in the wind, the masked Baron strides
out onto the mud flats, relentless as the spectre of Death.
The sky above darkens. Black storm clouds gather and the
ominous RUMBLE of thunder troubles the grim landscape.
EXT. POND - DAY
The light has changed. It is darker now. A distant peal of
thunder is HEARD.
I'm afraid it may storm.
Let it. Haven't you a cozy
bower we might hide in?
Tis not fit for a princess.
Be it fit for your wife, Green Jack?
I have no wife.
Then, perchance you'll marry me.
If wishes were horses even beggars would
Do you wish it, Jack?
(showing him her ring)
Wish you this our wedding band?
What if I answer yes? Will my wish come
Laughing, Lili throws her ring high over their heads. Tracing
a golden arc through the air, the ring lands with a splash in
the center of the pond.
Fetch my ring and you may take me for
It is obvious from her mocking attitude that Lili is teasing,
but Jack is serious. He strips off his leaf-and-fur vestments
and dives headlong into the pond.
EXT. ESTUARY - DAY
The Baron's heavy black boots splash across the shallow water
of the estuary as he bears down on the harried unicorn. The
frantic trapped stallion is within range now and the Baron
lifts his crossbow to his shoulder, the wolf mask leering and
demonic as he takes aim.
The Baron fires. The bolt strikes the unicorn's flank,
piercing his ribs. A froth of lung-blood foams into the mud.
The stallion screams. His frightened eye is bright and
EXT. BENEATH THE SURFACE OF THE POND - DAY
Slowly, the golden ring drifts downward, tumbling end-over
end in a lazy spiral to the dark and muddy bottom.
Jack's pale, near-naked form stabs through the crystal water,
a trail of silver bubbles streaming in his wake like a
comet's tail. He strokes down into the murk, tendrils of
water-weed swirling about him. In the distance, the
tantalizing glint of the drifting ring lures him on.
The ring settles into the mud on the bottom, concealed by
waving weeds and algae. Jack searches blindly for it, groping
with his hands as billowing clouds of silt rise about him.
EXT. SKY - DAY
The black clouds boil and crash, thunderheads mounting one
upon another in a dark maelstrom. Jagged lightning splits the
sky. The heavens are in a tumult.
EXT. ESTUARY - DAY
The Baron's dark figure looms over the fallen unicorn. His
gloved hand reaches out and grasps the ivory horn, wrenching
back the animal's head. The Baron's glove smolders and burns
as if the horn was a white-hot poker. The stallion's shrill
whinny is cut short when the Baron lops off his head with a
single, brutal stroke of his broadsword.
The ROAR of thunder seems to crack the sky apart. For a long
moment, the Baron stands holding his grisly, dripping trophy
by the single horn, staring up at the raging dark sky as his
black cloak whips about him in the ferocious wind.
EXT. BENEATH THE POND - DAY
His lungs about to burst, Jack can no longer continue the
search for the ring. He turns and looks up at the surface
which has grown quite dark. With frantic strokes, he races
upward only to bump his head into something solid at the top.
Terribly frightened, he finds the surface covered by a sheet
Jack pounds his fist against the obstructing ice and succeeds
in punching through it, thrusting his gasping head out into
EXT. POND - DAY
Bewildered, Jack crashes through the ice toward shore. The
woods have changed utterly. In place of the bountiful foliage
of midsummer, the trees are stripped and bare. The wind
howls, driving a fine stinging snow through the naked
branches. Overhead , the sky is dark and ominous. Jack
stands, confused and shivering, realizing in his bewilderment
that the girl is gone!
Where are you?...
There is no answer other than the hollow echo of his words
lost on the wind. It is bitterly cold. Jack's wet hair
freezes into strands of icicles. He finds his clothing,
wrapping himself in his fur vest.
His leafy cloak is inadequate for this weather and he hurries
off, calling for the girl as he searches for shelter.
Lili...answer me...Lili ...
EXT. DEEPER IN THE FOREST - EVENING
The snowstorm has built-up into a full-scale blizzard. Jack
staggers into the wind. A large rock overhang provides
shelter and Jack scrambles underneath.
Jack scrapes together a small pile of twigs and leaves.
Taking a flint and steel from his shoulder pouch, he starts
busily striking sparks.
A small fire burns vigorously under the overhang. Jack warms
himself and feeds sticks into the flames. It grows darker.
EXT. A TREE NOT FAR AWAY - EVENING
Princess Lili hides shivering behind the tree, watching Jack
and his fire. Her hands are out of sight, tucked in the folds
of her gown for warmth. Although she is cold and frightened
she makes no move to expose herself or to join the Green Man
under the overhang.
ANGLE: (CLOSE ON LILI)
Lili's lovely face contorts with sorrow. A single tear starts
in her eye and drops to her cheek, where it freezes like a
diamond beauty spot. Lili reaches up to wipe away the frozen
tear. Her hand is horribly transformed. Coarse black hairs
sprout along her wrist and down her slender fingers. In place
of delicately tapered nails grow wickedly curved claws. It is
a hand more animal than human. Lili regards it with disgust.
EXT. FOREST - EVENING
With Jack's small fire flickering faintly in the distance,
Princess Lili slinks away into the deep forest, eager to hide
herself and her shame.
EXT. OVERHANG - NIGHT
Jack is sleeping. He leans back against the rock wall,
wrapped in his cloak. The fire crackles brightly before him,
casting animated shadows in all directions.
A high-pitched, cackling LAUGH causes Jack to sit bolt
upright; wide-eyed and completely awake.
ANGLE: (JACK'S POV)
Glowing like foxfire in the darkness, a semi-circle of
luminous green eyes surrounds Jack's campfire.
JACK (0. S.)
Who is it? Speak up.
A second odd LAUGH is his only answer
Jack is afraid. He reaches into the folds of his cloak for
his knife, a small practical affair, hardly a weapon at all.
Who are you?...Answer me!
Laughing still, a small man, an elf no more than knee-high
steps into the firelight. He carries a tiny harp and a pair
of pointed ears sprout from the wild tangle of his hair. His
bright clothing is everywhere tassled and embroidered with
flowers. At first glance, it is hard to tell whether his face
resembles a new-born babe or a wizened old man. His name is
So, Jack...think you be a Green Man and
not know Gump.
Gump, is it?
Aye, Honeythorn Gump, come to serenade
you, Jack... come to make you dance.
I'm in no mood for dancing.
Oh, but you will be, Jack... Think you to
sleep in a faerie ring and not spend the
To be sure.
Gump steps back and sweeps away the snow with his cap like an
overzealous house porter. A ring of red toadstools is
A lively reel twill warm your bones.
Gump throws a handful of herbs onto the fire and the flames
leap high, revealing the watchers whose eyes glowed in the
dark. Sitting in a semi-circle just outside the faerie ring
are a number of foxes, wild goats, hares, weasels and
Here be your partners, Jack.
Gump begins to strum a wild, haunting melody on his harp. The
animals leap into the faerie ring and, linking paws, start a
frantic circular dance around the bewildered Jack.
No! Tis not the time! I want no part of
Dance, Jack! The night's but begun.
Jack cannot resist. He is drawn into the wild dance. Grabbing
hold of a fox's paw, he joins the circle, leaping and
cavorting to the maddening music.
The tempo increases; the music growing ever-more manic as the
crazed dancers whirl and caper. Jack seems in a panic, dancing
against his will, a prisoner of the frenzied harp-strumming.
Stop it!...No more ...
Gump pays no attention to his pleas, jumping wildly up and
down as he flails at his harp.
Round and round and round and round,
Before you're lost ye must be found.
Jack's face is a mask of agony; the dance pure hell. With a
supreme effort of will, he wrenches free from the fox's grasp
and hurls himself to the ground by the fire.
The rhythm disrupted, the other animal dancers continue
awkwardly as the music stops. Gump is furious.
And how is it a mortal dare dictate to
the faerie folk? Is me music not to your
liking? Mayhap the dance
of death be more your pleasure.
No...I...I need to rest.
You'll have a long, long rest in the
tomb, me lad.
I meant no disrespect.
Didn't you now? Well then, answer me this
riddle and all be forgiven.
And if I cannot?
Why, Jack, then tis your death song I'll
The animal dancers have stopped their frolic and stand
solemnly watching the bewildered Green Man.
Ask away, and pray God my answer pleases
Gump grins maliciously and strums a melancholy chord on his
What is a bell that does not ring, Yet,
its knell makes the angels sing?
Gump laughs, knowing full-well Jack can't solve his riddle.
Jack frowns in concentration, then breaks into a broad grin
as the memory of Lili's song rushes back to him.
The flower. Bluebells. To hear them
ringing means your life's at an end.
Gump hurls his harp to the ground and stomps on it.
Damnation! Codfish and cockles! Gammon
and trotters! You've bested me, Jack.
A riddle without an answer is but an
empty cup when you're thirsty for wine.
(pleased with this)
Well spoke. True to the mark. And if it's
wine you're wanting, it's wine we shall
Honeythorn Gump strides to the rear of the overhang and,
brushing away the concealing cobwebs, ferns and moss, reveals
a small wooden door built into the rock itself. Gump throws
open the door and bows low for Jack to enter.
You be our guest, Jack.
(returning the bow)
I'm honored, Honeythorn Gump ...but no
You have me word, lad. To answer a faerie
riddle deserves as much.
Twas the Princess Lili gave me the
answer...have you seen her, by chance?
I've laid eyes on no mortal but you this
I fear she's lost.
Mayhap you be the one what's lost, and
she safe by the castle hearth...but, come
Jack, we'll warm your bones.
Gump moves to the fire and pulls a burning brand from the
flames. As he does so, the animal dancers subtly shift and
change, their forms dissolving like mist in the morning sun,
transforming into faerie creatures. The fox becomes a lithe,
winged female wood nymph; the badger, a squat goblin. The
other animals change into a variety of pixies, gnomes and
brownies, all chattering and singing in an ancient, musical
Gump leads the way through the door in the rock, followed by
Jack and the teasing faeries.
There was a wee faerie lived
under the hill, Hey, riddle-diddle and
nickety-noo; And if he's nae gone he's
living there still, Nickety, nackety, noo
INT. TUNNEL - NIGHT
A narrow tunnel winds under the hill, twisting down between
gnarled tree-roots and projecting splinters of ancient bone.
A rickety set of wooden steps has been built in this tunnel
and Gump leads the precarious way down into the earth,
holding his torch on high and singing for all his worth. The
other faeries tease Jack, jabbering and twitting and they
pull his hair and tug at his clothing. Jack does his best to
ignore them and, at the same time, maintain a brave demeanor
as he struggles for balance on the creaking stairs.
The name of this faerie was
Honeythorn Gump, Hey, riddle diddle and
The sound of his harp made the mortals
Nickety, nackety, noo-noo-noo.
At the stroke of midnight, in the light
of the moon, Hey, riddlediddle and
nickety-noo; All the faeries dance to
Honeythorn's tune, Nickety-nackety, noo
INT. SUBTERRANEAN HALL - NIGHT
Gump guides the procession in to a vast underground hall,
hung with fine tapestries and filled with all manner of odd
and ancient wonders: Roman armor, bits of mosaics and marble
statuary, etc. A long wooden trestle table stretches down the
center of the hall, set with burning candles, bowls of fruit
and nuts, golden goblets of every shape and size.
Gump tosses his torch into an open, glowing fire-pit, the
smoke drifting up to the shrouded tree-roots above.
Here we be. And fit for a king if I say
Jack is properly awed.
Tis splendid. I feel I must be dreaming.
This delights the faeries, who twitter with laughter as they
buzz around Jack, guiding him to the carved High Seat at the
head of the table.
Indeed, me lad. And if life is a dream,
better you dread the waking.
Several rows of wine casks are ranked against one wall. Gump
seizes a large flagon from the table and fills it with
sparkling elderberry wine.
Jack sits somewhat uncomfortably in the High Seat with its
ornately carved dragons and basilisks entwined about him. The
beautiful wood nymph hovers by his side, smiling and
whispering in his ear.
Gump fills Jack's goblet from the flagon and sets about
filling the others in turn down the table. Jack is
embarrassed by the wood nymph's obvious attentions.
Make her stop it, will you Gump...please!
Why, Jack-lad, she likes you, is all. And
what hot-blooded hero wouldn't welcome
the affection of a fair nymph like Oona
here?...If your blood runs so cold, boy,
you be a corpse before your time.
What does she want from me?
OONA, the wood-nymph giggles wildly and covers Jack's cheek
with kisses as she hovers at his side.
Fool question, lad. Drink up and warm
your blood. You'll find the answer at the
bottom of your cup.
Gump motions with his flagon for Jack to drink, but the Green
Man merely lifts his goblet and stares dolefully at the
Elderberry wine. No finer drink under
It looks...er, delicious...
(sniffing his cup)
Such a fine bouquet...very aromatic ...
Are ye afraid of me wine? Did your momma
tell ye never to take food nor drink from
the Wee Folk? Think if ye sup with the
faeries you'll be enchanted?
Well...I...I don't want to be rude,
but...it's generally known that ---
Generally known! What general ever knew
more than to lace up his boots?
Please don't misunderstand. I am grateful
for your hospitality and --
He is afraid of enchantment! Will you
listen to the fool prattle on.
All the faeries and goblins burst into raucous laughter.
Here the world is turned upside down;
precious summertime frozen into a wintry
the underworld unleashed and all spirits
walk the earth at will...this be the
state of things and the blamed fool won't
take a sip of wine for fear of
Jack swallows his fear. He stares hard into his cup and in a
single decisive moment, drains it to the bottom. The faeries
all clap and cheer. Oona gives him a big hug.
Big question that, lad. Why, what?
Why has this happened to the world? Why
is it winter now, and dark?
Aye. Honeythorn Gump'd be a powerful
wizard indeed could he answer.
Don't you know?
If you're looking for enchantment, Jack,
that I can give thee ...
Gump screws up his face with concentration and gestures with
his emerald ring. All at once, the carved dragons and
serpents on Jack's chair seem to come alive. They writhe out
of the woodwork, sinuous and evil. Jack is terrified as they
wrap about him, pinning his arms and chest to the chair as
Oona and the other faeries laugh with malicious glee.
No!...Stop it now ...please!
Gump snaps his fingers and the chair is but a chair again,
the carved snakes mere decoration.
That much magic I can offer ye, a small
measure of entertainment at best. Making
the world a frozen hell is beyond me
Then, what's gone wrong? Why did it
If ye want more tricks, I'm your man, but
for big questions ye must go elsewhere.
Don't you care about what's happened?
Course we care. What good's the world
locked in a season of death. Frozen up,
no folks to scare out of their wits on a
summer's night; no babies to tickle; no
more spells to cast...Think that's an
There must be an answer somewhere.
True...But it won't come easy or free. If
ye want to ask, ask Jenny Greenteeth.
Jenny Greenteeth? Who's she?
At the mention of the feared name, all the faeries jabber and
Someone worthy of respect, lad. She be a
water spirit, lives in a bog down at sea
side. Hideous creature to look at, even
by my doubtful standards; devours little
children, she does, when she can catch
How is it this hag knows the truth?
Think there be truth only in beauty, lad?
If you've the courage to ask and take
care to avoid her terrible claws, Jenny
Greenteeth has the answers you seek.
Will you lead me to her?
Aye. On the morrow we go, but tonight...
(he lifts his flagon high)
tonight is for making merry.
Gump drinks the flagon down. The other faeries and Jack join
in the festivities, lifting their goblets in a single,
EXT. FROZEN STREAM - DAY
It is shortly after dawn, but the feeble winter sun provides
little warmth or light. The gray day has the appearance of
perpetual twilight. From the rear, we easily recognize
Princess Lili as she moves toward the frozen stream. Her fine
embroidered dress is soiled and torn, her long, unbound hair
matted and stuck with burrs and twigs. She's had a rough
night in the open. At the stream's edge she kneels, her back
still to the CAMERA.
ANGLE: (CLOSE ON THE FROZEN STREAM)
Lili's furred, claw-like hand reaches out and wipes a
covering of snow from the ice. The frozen surface of the
stream provides an uneven mirror which makes the reflection
of Lili's face appear even more monstrous.
The distant SOUND of LAUGHTER and SINGING, causes Lili to
look up from the ice. Her face is hideously transformed.
Sharp fangs jut out over her lower lip. Her nostrils are wide
and flaring. Patches of hair sprout on her cheeks. Her ears
She reacts to the strange sound like an animal, sniffing the
air. And, like an animal, she stealthily creeps off, ducking
between the frozen trees like a carnivore stalking her prey.
EXT. WOODS BY ESTUARY - DAY
The SOUNDS of SINGING grow nearer as Lili creeps through the
woods, hiding herself behind the trees.
ANGLE: (LILI'S POV)
Out on the marsh, the troop of elves and faeries is led by
Gump and Jack. The procession shimmers and sparkles, and Lili
shrinks back from the joyous proceedings, hiding herself in
EXT. ESTUARY - DAY (C.U. UNICORN'S HEAD)
The severed head of the stallion unicorn lies, half-buried,
in the muck. A croaking raven perches on the small stump of
horn remaining, probing his beak into the hollow eye-socket.
At the sound of the faeries' MUSICAL approach, the bird
spreads his wings and flies off.
ANGLE: (THE FAERIES)
Jack and the faeries hurry to the spot where the dead unicorn
lies. The body is stretched out several yards away from the
severed head. No one speaks. The awesome spectacle silences
the procession's glad singing. Even some of the magic sparkle
seems to have left the faeries as they stand, grouped like
mourners, around the dead unicorn.
Mortals at their foolish pleasures,
Rob the Earth of all her treasures...
Jack kneels beside the dead unicorn, dumb with sorrow. He
runs his hand along the hollow flank of the fallen animal.
One of the evil Baron's barbed bolts stands straight out of
the unicorn's neck and Jack yanks it free with a sudden pull.
He is about to hurl the weapon far out into the swamp when he
thinks better of it and pushes the bolt into his belt.
Gump silently motions with his head and starts away from the
unicorn's body. The other faeries follow dejectedly. Jack is
the last to leave, staring down at the mutilated animal as
the anger inside builds to a fury.
EXT. JENNY GREENTEETH'S BOG HOLE - DAY
A fearful slimy place. The roots of a rotted oak twist down
into the murky water like dead men's fingers. A foul green
slime floats on the surface. Several splintered bones
protrude from the mud at the water's edge.
Gump and the faeries stop a good ways off. They can feel the
potent evil of the spot and dread it. Any semblance of joy
has left them. Gump's demeanor is as dour and severe as a
Are we here?
That foul wallow be where Jenny
Greenteeth dwells. Oona...lure her out.
Play the part of a girl-child.
What do I do?
Don't get caught, that's what! She'll
suck your bones like honey-comb.
Gump reaches into his jerkin and produces a small ivory
mounted hand-mirror. He gives this to Jack.
Here now. Toss her this when
you've the chance. Jenny
Greenteeth can't resist the sight of
herself in a glass. She's terrible vain.
Praise her beauty and you'll lull her
sweet as a babe in a cradle.
(not so sure)
And if she thinks me a liar?
Fie on what she thinks! You mind her
claws and teeth... Cast your spell, Oona.
At Gump's command, the faerie Oona begins to spin. She twirls
into an iridescent blur, surrounding herself with a Cocoon of
light, and when she slows, she has metamorphosed into the
image of a four year old girl with pink cheeks and golden
Skipping and singing, the transformed Oona makes her way
around the edge of the bog. Jack follows, somewhat unsurely,
at a safe distance.
The apparition of the little girl kneels by the bank. There
is a slight disturbance on the scummy surface of the water,
as if a sudden, localized wind had sprung up. All at once,
like a serpent rising from the depths, a bony, mottled-green
arm thrusts up through the slime, the clawed fingers
clutching for the child.
Even as the fierce talons close on their prey, the "child" is
gone in a dazzle of light and the winged, laughing Oona
hovers high above the bog, looking down on the fearsome and
outraged JENNY GREENTEETH.
The water hag is the color of a decomposing corpse. And like
a corpse, her ragged flesh and hair seem to be peeling in
tatters from the emaciated body. Her nose has caved in, and
her rotted lips betray a mouthful of fearsome fangs. She is
furious at having been tricked and rails at Oona.
Rat-spittle and toad-breath! Damned,
accursed cross twixt a she-bat and a
bullfrog! How dare you use Jenny
Jack takes advantage of the hag's distracted fury to rush up
and toss the hand mirror in front of her.
Forgive us...er, fair one,
we wanted only to bring a gift.
Jenny seizes the mirror as eagerly as if it were food.
What's this now?
I bring you the only treasure worthy of
your loveliness...for naught else in the
universe rivals the reflected glory of
Well spoke, boy. You have discerning
taste for one so young...Just who might
They call me Green Jack, ma'am.
Come closer then, Jack, that I might give
you proper thanks.
Your fair smile be thanks enough. Better
I stand afar to admire your beauty
Jenny Greenteeth cannot resist the mirror and preens before
it in a hideous parody of a young woman at her toilette.
Think me fair, do you, Jack?
The moon herself would hide behind a
cloud rather than dare comparison with
The moon is too round of face, methinks.
The sight of you makes flowers seem like
dross. All the heavenly angels must envy
I like well your conceit, Jack. Tis rare
to find an honest lad in this troubled
Aye. And it is the trouble befallen us
that brings me here. I entreat you to
tell me the cause of our surrounding
sorrow, most lovely of the lovely.
Dear lad, what does winter bespeak but
death? It is a time of mourning. This
calamity is a curse. Something wondrous
and beautiful has been taken from the
A unicorn's been slain. The last stallion
in all this country.
Why then, there thou hast. We be lucky
worse has not befallen us.
Jack pulls the Baron's crossbow bolt from his belt to show to
Here be the death weapon; the unicorn's
blood dry upon it.
Couer de Noir! A demon if the Devil ever
He chopped off the horn and left the rest
That would be the Baron's way. There'll
be no light or life in the world until
the alicorn is taken from him and he
How do I get the horn back?
You'll need the fastest steed alive, for
Couer de Noir's castle rests at the very
edge of the earth. Only the sharpest
sword and the golden armor of Achilles
will protect you from his fury.
Where do I find the Baron's castle?
Follow the raven in her flight, Follow
old black wing to the edge of night...
Not very precise directions.
Come sit beside me, sweet boy, and I'll
draw you a map.
Nay. Tempting as your invitation be. Tell
me one thing more.
Ask away, sweet man.
What became of the princess?
Princess? I know of no princess.
Princess Lili, Godwin's daughter. She was
with me when calamity struck, but after I
could find no trace of her.
Is she fair, this princess?
(angry and jealous)
As fair as me?
T'would be to compare one star with
another in the summer sky.
Dead, dead, dead.
I don't believe you.
Far as you're concerned she's dead,
believe it or no.
Jack is deeply struck by this disclosure even though he
This is sad news, be it true.
Don't be sad, Jack, not with me here to
give you cheer.
Tis not the time to speak of cheer.
You'll visit again?
As a hummingbird returns to the fairest
(with a sigh)
What a fine meal you'd make, be the rest
of you sweet as your tongue.
Jenny Greenteeth slips abruptly back under the foul surface
of her bog hole. Jack returns to Gump and the other faeries.
The princess is dead.
Lamentable news, Jack...but -tis the fate
of the living concerns us now.
Did you hear? Twas the killing of the
unicorn caused it.
Aye. Black Baron's mischief.
If the horn be restored the curse is
Time for a champion. Can you do more than
pick acorns and rob bird's nests, Jack?
I'll do what I have to do, for Princess
(clapping Jack on the back)
Bravely spoke. You've the heart of a
champion, true enough.
Twill take more than heart. Where do we
find the armor of Achilles, for a start?
I know where to find it. Taking
possession be another matter.
EXT. LINDFARNE MOUND - DAY
The Lindfarne Mound, an ancient tumulus, covers almost an
acre and rises, domed and treeless under a sullen sky. Wispy
smoke curls from the top of the mound. A pair of black ravens
The rag-tag procession of elves and faeries appears
cautiously from out of the frozen forest and stands gazing,
somewhat apprehensively, at the distant tumulus.
There it be, lad. The Lindfarne Mound.
Kings long forgotten lie there, lost in
their final sleep.
Have we turned grave-robber, then?
A tomb it once was, boy, and a tomb it
may yet be. There's another in residence
at Lindfarne now.
And who might that be?
No less a creature than the Lindfarne
At the mention of the dread name, Oona and the other faeries
cringe and chatter fearfully.
So I'm to be a dragon-slayer, is that it?
Now, Jack-lad, no one's asking ye to
skewer the worm. Even St. Michael'd have
a job on his hands for all that. But the
serpent hoards a pile of booty, Achilles'
armor among his treasures...if we
find our way within the mound and him
Knaves and robbers...
EXT. TOP OF MOUND - DAY
The faeries gather around a circular opening atop the
tumulus. Quantities of smoke issue from the interior. Gump
ties one end of a coiled rope to a large stone. The other end
is lowered into the mound.
Better pray the worm's a sound sleeper,
You do the praying. I've work ahead.
There's the spirit, lad. If ye run into
trouble, give a yank here and we'll haul
What's left of me...How do I recognize
the armor of Achilles?
You'll know it when you see it...tis a
splendid sight, all covered with gold...
Don't fear making noise. Dragons be deaf
as tree stumps.
Jack takes hold of the rope and lowers himself into the
smoking hole. Oona flutters over and kisses him on the cheek.
I pray God grants it me.
No need. There be no more potent charm
than a faerie's love.
Embarrassed, Jack slides from sight into the hole.
INT. MOUND - DAY
The tomb is vast, like the arched dome of a cathedral. The
curving sides are built from exquisitely fitted blocks of
stone, moss-covered and dripping moisture. Suspended like a
dangling spider on his filament, Jack slides down the rope
into the drifting smoke.
ANGLE: (JACK'S POV)
Far below, the floor of the tomb is everywhere heaped with
treasure. Great stacks of gold plate gleam in the half-light;
mounds of gem-stones sparkle. The treasure of the faeries is
a trash-pile compared with this hoard.
In the midst of the splendor, the DRAGON lies sleeping,
surrounded by clouds of smoke. With its horned, whiskered
head and reversed, golden scales, the beast greatly resembles
the symbol used in the Chinese zodiac.
INT. MOUND FLOOR - DAY
Jack comes to the end of his rope and drops into the treasure
with a loud CRASH. The CLATTER is alarming and Jack dives for
cover behind a chest brimming with rubies.
The dragon has not heard a thing and continues to snore,
belching smoke like a miniature volcano.
Cautiously, Jack begins his search. It's a bit bewildering as
there is such a quantity of wealth. Everywhere he looks more
remarkable treasure is revealed. Casks of jewels, weapons
worked in gold and silver, golden plates and goblets, ropes
of pearls in snake-like coils. There is armor of all
description, from the breastplates of ancient Rome to the
winged helmets of Viking marauders. Jack is puzzled by
mysterious Japanese samurai armor and amazed by the heft and
weight of a huge Arabian scimitar.
Search as he will, Jack can find no sign of the armor of
Achilles. He burrows under mounds of gems and opens a
sequence of treasure chests, discovering only more gems and
yet again more treasure.
The dragon MOANS unexpectedly in his sleep, causing Jack to
make a terrifying discovery.
ANGLE: (JACK'S POV)
The sleeping dragon looms larger than a house. Smoke coils
above his massive head. One scaled forelimb is extended,
gleaming talons hooked like scythe blades. Gripped in the
evil claw something extraordinary glitters. Wrought from pure
gold and embossed with ancient and beautiful designs: it is
the breastplate of Achilles!
Jack approaches the sleeping monster, like a mouse creeping
up on a snoring cat. But, the beauty of the golden
breastplate calms him. The legendary armor is so wondrously
made that Jack can only gaze upon it with awe.
A fiery snort from the dragon brings him back to his senses.
There's work to be done! With all the delicacy he can muster,
Jack takes hold of the breastplate and tries to pry it from
the dragon's grip. It's not easy. The giant serpent is fitful
and groans in his sleep, grasping the armor all the tighter.
Jack tugs at the breastplate with all his might and suddenly,
it comes free, sending Jack tumbling over backwards. The
NOISE is deafening, but it is not the sound that wakes the
The mighty talons clench, disturbed by the missing armor. A
single green eye, large as a dinner-plate, slides open. The
whiskered mouth widens, belching fire and smoke.
Enraged, the dragon rears up, venting its spleen in a torrent
of unrecognizable words. The mysterious language sounds
somehow Oriental, perhaps Japanese or Chinese!
Jack cowers in terror, trying to dig himself into the heap of
jewels like a mole scratching for cover. The dragon spots him
instantly. Addressing Jack in English, he sounds like a sing
song Confucius, a Grade-B Fu Manchu.
What you do, boy? You be velly solly,
come here intellupt my sleep.
I didn't know...I -
What? Speakee loud! No hear velly good.
I said, I mean no harm...I thought this
an empty tomb.
You come stealee tleasoo ?
Oh, no, never...nothing like that...never
crossed my mind.
No need lie, boy. I no hurt you. Do I
look like I wanna hurt you?
Well, er...no. I mean, you don't look
like dragons I've heard of.
Course not. I no flum here. I come flum
County fa' fa' away. To the
East, beyond the lising sun...
East of Mercia?
You got no idee. People there lookee
diffelent; speakee diffelent. Nothing
the same. In my countlee I bling good
luck. Makee lain and thunder.
You don't ravage the countryside,
devouring maidens and burning the crops?
Dlagon not like that. Dlagon is spilit of
life...spilit of stlength and goodness.
Then you'll understand my quest. An ogre
named Blackheart has killed the last stag
unicorn and stolen his horn. The world
outside is cursed, plunged into eternal
winter. Unless I return the alicorn, the
earth will be frozen forever.
Flozen foleva not good.
An, how you do it? How you rift cuss?
I need your help. In order to fight
Blackheart, I must wear the armor of
You come stealee tleasoo?
Oh no...Don't you understand?
The dragon roars and swells. Flames issue from his gaping
mouth and an iridescent light shimmers along his scales as
his form suddenly alters and shifts, transforming from the
benevolent Eastern dragon to the more familiar winged monster
of Western folklore. When he speaks now, all trace of accent
Stupid, puny mortal! Do you think I
suffer pilfering gladly?
The dragon belches a sheet of flame straight at Jack, who
rolls aside just in time, but not quickly enough to keep his
clothing from being singed.
No, wait...please...listen ...
No more listening! Your time
is at an end, insignificant whelp!
The dragon slashes at Jack with his fearsome claws, batting
away the breastplate held before him as protection. Jack
jumps back, hurling a helmet at the dragon. It bounces
harmlessly off the gleaming scales.
Pray to whatever worthless god you
revere! You're no more than meat to me
Jack scrambles frantically through the piles of loot, ducking
behind chests of gold as the dragon stalks him in the
shadows. In his frenzied flight, his groping hand chances
upon an ivory bow and a quiver of silver arrows. The dragon
rears up on his hindquarters, lashing his terrible tail,
towering above Jack.
Quickly, the Green Man notches an arrow and lets it fly at
the dragon's throat. It bounces harmlessly off the glistening
scales. Jack fires a second, and a third. Both arrows are
easily deflected and fall clattering back into the treasure.
Are those gnats come to trouble me? Me
thinks this pesky gadfly needs swatting.
The dragon leaps for Jack like a tiger pouncing on his prey,
but somehow the nimble boy eludes his pursuer, diving
headlong under a golden chariot. Furious, the dragon crashes
about, flipping over anything in his path as he searches for
ANGLE: (THE ROPE FROM ABOVE)
Honeythorn Gump hangs from the dangling rope like a monkey,
observing the mayhem below. Oona hovers at his side, her
transparent dragonfly wings a-blur.
Mind them claws, Jack. Stay out of his
Oh dear...oh dear...
ANGLE: (GUMP'S POV)
From above, the dragon's search for Jack resembles a raccoon
flipping over rocks in a streambed hunt for crayfish. A large
pile of silver and gold shields is stacked like roof-tiles
and the dragon tosses them aside looking for Jack.
Keep one jump ahead, lad.
Don't waste time looking back.
ANGLE: (JACK AND THE DRAGON)
The dragon wrenches away a suit of jeweled armor and
discovers Jack cowering underneath. A lungful of fire sets
Jack's clothing aflame as he scurries out of the way. There
is no other place to hide. Jack is trapped, his back up
against a massive shield. Enraged, the dragon rears above
him, poised for the kill.
The dark shadow of doom falls across Jack as he cowers
Running with the rope, Gump pendulums into the air, swinging
back and forth across the interior of the mound. Snatching up
a jeweled war-club, he swings past the dragon's head,
belaboring him with the mace as he passes.
Filthy worm! Have a taste o' that!
Furious and distracted, the raging dragon turns his
attentions to this new annoyance, swatting out with his
talons as Gump swings by him. Oona buzzes round and round his
smoking, fearsome head, staying just out of reach as the
dragon slashes at her.
Leg it, Jack! Move lad, while there's
As his companions occupy the dragon's attention, Jack crawls
away on his hands and knees, searching for a new hiding
place. Sticking straight out of the heaped treasure before
him, a splendid swordhilt catches his eye. It seems to glow
with some inner force. The golden pommel gleams.
Jack grasps the sword with both hands, rising to his feet as
he draws it from the pile of jewels. The blade is near long
as he is, awesome and shining with its own special light.
Jack holds it in front of him like a crucifer in a religious
procession. The light from the blade shines on his face,
imbuing his spirit with courage and resolution.
Gump and Oona continue to annoy the dragon, swinging around
his head and taunting him with the insignificant blows. The
dragon lashes out at them, ignoring Jack.
Jack swings the mighty, shining sword back over his shoulder
and rushes forward, a fierce WAR-CRY issuing from his
snarling mouth. With one mighty swing, like a woodsman
chopping an oak, he strikes at the dragon's hind leg,
severing it at the joint.
The dragon's WAIL of pain is abrupt and piercing. Blood
fountains from the amputated limb as the giant serpent sways
The dragon falls forward, toppling like a felled tree
directly toward Jack. The Green Man stands his ground,
holding his gleaming sword above his head with both hands.
The dragon impales himself on the tip, driving the keen blade
deep into his breast as he crashes to the ground. The sword
is wrenched from Jack's hand and he jumps clear, the dragon
writhing on his back in his death throes.
The mighty tail continues to lash about, wreaking havoc among
the treasure. Jack nimbly avoids the random slashing and
leaps up onto the dragon's scaled stomach. With a mighty tug,
he draws his sword from the beast's chest. A geyser of
steaming blood follows the blade.
The talons on the dragon's forelegs grasp and clench
spasmodically but Jack ducks between them, avoiding the
terrible claws. With a single backhand swing, he lops the
dragon's snarling head from his neck. Copious quantities of
boiling blood flush across the spread jewels.
Jack lifts his sword above his head and lets out an exultant
victory CRY. Above him, Gump and Oona CHEER, shouting "Bravo"
The dragon's head lies in a pool of blood, the forked tongue
still probing the air. The great green eye slides closed.
EXT. FROZEN FOREST (C.U. RABBIT)
A young hare sits timidly in the sear grass, ears twitching,
his large frightened eyes blink.
Several yards from the crouching rabbit, the Princess Lili
stalks through the tall grass. We do not SEE her face, but
her embroider gown hangs in tattered rags about her. She
moves with great stealth, like an animal, drawing ever-closer
to the rabbit. Her limbs are completely covered by a shaggy
fleece of dark hair.
The rabbit is very close now. Lili's movements are like a
cat's as she creeps closer and closer. All at once, in a
sudden, wild movement, the girl leaps from the concealing
grass and pounces on the unsuspecting hare, killing it in an
ANGLE: (C.U. LILI)
We SEE the Princess's face for the first time now as she
tears at the dead rabbit with her teeth. Fangs actually, for
Lili's features are now far more animal than human. Her eyes
gleam ferociously and blood smears her whiskered mouth as she
eagerly devours her kill.
to SEE Lili's hunkering form, totally bestial in its spread
leg attitude. The tattered dress seems merely a ludicrous
refinement on so savage a creature. Her nails have lengthened
into claws and she makes small animal noises as she tears at
the rabbit's flesh.
The SHADOW of a mounted rider falls across her form and she
looks up, cat eyes widening in terror at what she sees.
The Black Baron sits on his dark charger, staring down at the
cowering girl. He laughs dryly under his horned wolf mask,
the black cloak whipping about him in the wind. At his side
is a deadly rapier fashioned from the long twisting ivory
length of the alicorn.
A child of nature...How delightful.
ANGLE: (LILI'S FLIGHT)
Terrified, Lili drops what's left of the rabbit and sprints
for the woods. She is very agile, running freely like a feral
cat. The Baron watches for a moment, then digs his spurs into
his horse's flank and is after her.
Lili runs for all she's worth, darting and zig-zagging in a
frantic effort to avoid capture. For all her speed and
agility she can't outrun a horse, and in moments the Baron
bears down upon her, reaching low to catch the back of her
torn dress and swing her up in front of him on the saddle.
ANGLE: (BARON AND LILI)
Lili claws and scratches, ripping at the Baron as she fights
to be free. Her efforts only elicit laughter from her captor
as he easily pins her struggling arms.
I like your spirit. I like things wild
and free. More of a challenge...Don't
worry, my pet, I'll soon have you
Laughing his evil laugh, the Baron clutches the struggling
animal/girl tightly to his chest and gallops away into the
INT. LINDFARNEMOUND - DAY
All the faeries have gathered for a great feast. The
dragon's severed head is set upright on a pike. Haunches of
spitted dragon meat turn slowly over a bed of coals. Much of
the treasure has been gathered into sacks and stands by the
rope like harvest grain awaiting transport. Several gnomes
and elves are busy hoisting the sacks up out of the mound.
Jack and the other faeries sit on the dragon's carcass,
feasting and swilling wine from golden goblets. Jack wears
the armor of Achilles and in it he is transformed from a wild
hermit to a valiant knight. The others wear bits and pieces
of bejeweled armor p1ucked from the treasure hoard. Gump has
on a horned Viking helmet which fits him badly. Another imp,
a monkey-faced elf named SCREWBALL, wears the helm of a Roman
legionnaire. Everyone is singing.
FAERIES (ALL TOGETHER)
The dragon's breath is made of fire,
His heart be black with sin, sin, sin.
But, his meat's as sweet as any desire,
After you've lifted his skin, skin,
The faeries laugh and cavort. Gump waves a sizzling lump of
dragon meat in the air.
There be no finer victuals than worm
Better we eat him than the other way
Keep me belly full, Jack. Kill us another
Hush up, Screwball. Do your own worm
sticking if you like the taste so well.
Nay. Jack's the dragon-slayer, ain't you,
By the grace of God.
No false modesty, lad. You're a proper
champion. Achilles' armor sits on you
like it was forged to fit.
And the sword...surely that was
They don't come no sharper
Jack lifts the incredible sword, studying its length before
laying it against the fallen dragon.
I believe this is a sword such as the
archangels wield. Surely St. Michael had
so fine a blade when he drove the serpent
Well then, you've got the sword and
you've got the armor; all's lacking is
The fastest in the world.
I know where to find him... He lies out
on the marsh, raven-fodder; his horn torn
from his head.
True, lad, the stallion's gone, but the
mare still lives.
Jack smiles: this is a happy truth.
She be fastest now.
Can you find her, Jack?
I know where to look.
EXT. GLADE IN FOREST - DAY
An isolated glade deep in the frozen forest. Icicles hang
like frozen daggers from the surrounding trees. A light
dusting of snow powders the ground. No birds sing. All is
silent and still.
Jack, Gump, Screwball and Oona creep through the ice-coated
underbrush. Screwball is clumsy and crashes over several
gelid ferns which break like shattering crystal.
Screwball! You dolt! I've a mind to
change you into a toad.
He's already half toad, if you ask me.
This is not the time for squabbling.
The foursome, all clad in armor, continue silently to the
edge of the glade. They conceal themselves behind the trunk
of a huge, gnarled oak. The glade is empty.
What do we do now?
Disgruntled, the faeries settle down to wait. Jack removes
his helmet and rests against the tree trunk. Oona nestles by
his side, tittering softly and tickling his neck. Jack does
his best to ignore her. Oona grows more playful, whispering
and giggling at Jack's annoyance.
What is it?
Indeed, an animal can clearly be heard approaching the glade;
a crunch of footfalls on the frozen ground and the icy crack
of branches snapping. Jack and his companions peer around the
ANGLE: (JACK'S POV)
A shaft of pale sunlight pierces through the cloud-cover and
angles down into the glade at the moment the mare unicorn
steps out of the underbrush. The light glows on her milk
white hide and her rounded, swollen flanks. Slowly, with
modesty and a certain dignified stride, the mare moves to the
center of the glade and settles herself down, drawing her
legs beneath her.
What's she doing?
I think she's about to foal.
ANGLE: (JACK AND THE FAERIES)
as they stare in awe at the resting unicorn. Even the
demented Screwball has a silly smile on his face.
Pregnant, is she?
It would appear so.
They are suddenly interrupted by the LOUD HOWLING of wolves.
The plaintive WAIL stabs through the cold air like a cry from
They want the mare.
Jack draws his gleaming sword.
The wolves' HOWLING grows LOUDER.
Evil brutes. Shant work their mischief
Sword in hand, Jack steps out into the clearing. The mare
unicorn is startled by his sudden appearance but makes no
effort to rise.
It's all right, girl. I won't hurt you.
The unicorn is soothed by Jack's words and seems to recognize
Jack places the tip of his sword on the ground and stands
waiting, hands folded on the pommel, patient as a statue.
Ghostlike in their silent stealth, the wolves materialize
along the edges of the glade. Large and gray, their amber
eyes glowing, the wolves begin to circle, moving closer to
their prey. Jack readies himself holding his sword in both
With his tail curled high, the leader of the pack snarls and
rushes for the mare. Jack cuts him off, sending him flying
with a swift sword stroke.
The leader's charge provokes an all-out attack. The wolves
close in HOWLING from all sides. Jack wields his great sword
like a berserk, chopping and slashing, driving the furious
wolves away from the mare. Busy fighting three of the brutes,
he doesn't notice the wounded leader creeping behind him.
The leader springs, jumping on Jack's back, tearing at his
neck with his fangs.
ANGLE: (SCREWBALL IN TREETOP)
Screwball has climbed one of the surrounding trees, bringing
his bow and arrows with him. He SEES the wolf attacking Jack.
Screwball draws his bow, aims quickly, and shoots.
Jack is powerless against the huge wolf mauling him from
behind. Only the golden armor he wears protects him from the
terrible claws. Screwball's arrow finds its mark, straight
between the animal's shoulder blades. The wolf cries out once
and drops lifeless from Jack's back. Jack waves gratefully at
I'm in your debt, Screwball.
Watch behind or I'll never collect on it!
Jack spins about in time to see the leader's mate charge
savagely. The wolf leaps, a high, acrobatic arc whose
trajectory moves from a blur of gray fur to the precise
delineation of cold yellow eyes, lolling tongue and wicked,
Jack lifts his sword as the wolf lands on his shoulders and
chest. Falling backwards, Jack thrusts up and the tip on his
blade impales the wolf as they drop to the ground.
Tossing the squirming animal as a farmer would a fork-load of
hay, Jack flips the wolf over his head. Scrambling to his
knees, he delivers the death-stroke with swift efficiency.
Standing over the dead wolves, sword in hand, his breastplate
drenched in their blood, Jack is terrible to behold. The
others in the pack sense they have been beaten and slink
whimpering back into the woods, tails abjectly hooked between
Gump, Screwball and Oona dart from their hiding places. They
jump and leap about Jack, chattering happily.
Well done, lad. Stout heart.
Wolf-slayer, worm-sticker ...give a cheer
for the champion!
Were I a mortal girl, Jack,
methinks I'd be in love with you.
Then I'd kiss you without turning my
garments inside-out and sewing bells all
No need for bells, Jack. I'll nay enchant
Oona stops her teasing and points to the unicorn, a look of
utter wonder replacing the mischief on her face.
ANGLE: (THE UNICORN - OONA’S POV)
A baby unicorn has been born; coal black with the first stump
of a horn showing on his forehead. The foal lies beside his
mother, who licks the blood from his shining, moist coat.
OONA (CONT. O.S.)
Isn't he beautiful.
ANGLE: (FAERIES AND UNICORN)
Jack and the faeries move closer to the unicorn. There is
something holy about the scene, like an Adoration.
A wee stallion.
Jack drops to his knees before the mare.
Praise be to God.
Small miracles better than no miracles...
Such a sad world, be there no unicorns to
No fear of that now.
Aye. This wee stud'll beget a line of
The faeries kneel with Jack before the unicorn and her foal.
The mare regards them without fear, recognizing friends.
Stretching out her neck to Jack, she allows him to pet her
and scratch behind her ears.
You're shy and pretty, little
mother...You deserve a pretty name...I'll
call you Sapphire, for your eyes shine
EXT. FAERIES' CAMP - DAY
The SOUND of swords clashing and the SHOUTING of tiny voices
CARRIES OVER to the faeries' make-shift military camp.
Colorful tents stand under the frozen trees, pennants
snapping in the icy wind.
A small army of elves, imps, goblins, gnomes and faeries has
gathered, all decked out in various odd bits of armor
recovered from the dragon's lair. Groups of these tiny folk
are engaged in martial training, practicing with swords,
lances and bows.
As we MOVE through the camp amid this mock mayhem, certain
isolated incidents attract our attention:
Two goblins duel furiously, sweating and panting under the
weight of their ill-matched armor. They are clearly
exhausted. As the other elves continue slashing at one
another, these two take time out; one leaning against a tree
trunk while the other folds his arms in repose. But, their
swords CONTINUE to duel, alone in midair, the blades crashing
together MAGICALLY like iron birds.
Another group practices archery, aiming their tiny arrows at
a straw scarecrow some distance away. They are extremely
accurate, puncturing the dummy in a dozen vital spots. When
the last arrow strikes, instead of retrieving them, the
faeries stand their ground. One-by-one, the arrows PULL FREE
from the scarecrow and FLY back unaided through the air to
land safely in their owner's quivers.
Two huge knights, each over seven feet, slug it out in full
armor with battle axes. They bash away at one-another, until
a fearsome blow literally cuts one in half. The upper portion
of the bisected knight topples to the ground with a LOUD
CLANG. The two armored legs remain erect, swaying slightly
like trees in the wind. Suddenly, a tiny head appears above
the left cuisse. It is an elf! He is LAUGHING. Another elf
pops his head out of the right-hand cuisse and the two "legs"
hop off in opposite directions.
The fallen armor also comes apart: one gnome in the
breastplate; another lifting the helm from the gorget.
The victorious "knight" likewise begins to disassemble,
revealing a number of LAUGHING elves within, like clowns
performing a carnival prank.
EXT. HILL ABOVE CAMP - DAY
Jack surveys his elfin army from the crest of the hill. He is
mounted bareback on Sapphire, the mare unicorn, and rides
easily without reins or bridle. The tiny black foal trots
alongside his mother, and beside it pants an angry GUMP.
Don't see why I can't ride, too! I'm
second in command, damn it!
The colt's still too small.
I'm small...and I can make myself smaller
still...Small as a bee! Small as dust!...
Want to see me do it?
We've no time for tricks this day,
Tricks, is it? Why I'll trick ye!
Ungrateful whelp! I'll sour your milk and
bird dropping'll fall from the sky
wherever ye walk.
Save your mischief for the Black Baron.
Aye! That too.
You'll need more than bird droppings for
I'll drop a cow on the knave!
Drop a mountain on him and we won't need
They laugh together, feeling confident.
We march on Castle Couer de Noir within
How do you plan on finding this here
castle, if ye don't mind me asking?
A true and troubling question,
Gump...We'll start from where the unicorn
was killed. The Baron must have left a
Track the demon to his lair.
Aye. And hang his foul hide up like dirty
laundry for the drying.
EXT. THE FROZEN WOODS - DAY
The rag-tag army of faeries on the march. Jack rides at the
head of the column on Sapphire. Gump has had his way and is
mounted on the colt, who trots obediently by his mother's
side. The other elves and faeries are either on foot or
mounted on an odd array of wild animals. Deer, foxes,
rabbits, each serves as a steed for a tiny warrior. Bright
banners undulate from numbers of lance tips. A variety of
armor glistens in the pale wintry sun.
Overhead, Oona and several other small nymphs ride on flying
As they march and ride, all the faerie folk are singing,
their voices high and clear, shimmering like wind over a
moonlit lake; precise as birdsong; haunting as an echo.
The sky is high, the world is wide,
Beneath the flowers faeries hide. The
ocean's deep, the moon's asleep; In
Oberon's care our souls will keep.
The stars are cold, the Gods are old, Our
heroes all be brave and bold. The Devil's
sly, the end is nigh, Wicked ogres too
EXT. ESTUARY - DAY
The SINGING CARRIES OVER as the faeries move out of the woods
onto the frozen estuary. Jack urges the mare unicorn ahead of
The trees are green; spirits unseen,
The world we know is but a dream...
ANGLE: (THE DEAD UNICORN)
Jack rides Sapphire near where the body of her mate lies
decomposing As before, a black raven perches on the
stallion's skull. The bird emits a vile CROAK as Jack
Alarmed by the raven and the sight of her dead mate, the
unicorn rears on her hind legs. Jack clings to the animal's
mane. The raven CROAKS.
ANGLE: (C.U. RAVEN)
The large black bird spreads his wings, RASPING and CROAKING
at the rearing unicorn and rider. For a single, horrifying
moment, the raven appears to alter and change, transmuting
into a HARPY. In place of the bird's head and bill is a
visage resembling both skull and snake. Talons appear to be
gnarled feet and a pair of distinctly human breasts sprout
from between the sooty feathers.
The harpy takes wing, CROAKING.
Jack struggles to control the frantic unicorn. Gump and the
other faeries ride up as Jack quiets the animal.
Jack points at the raven flying high over the treetops.
We must follow that bird.
Jenny Greenteeth said: "Follow the raven
in her flight...
Aye. Said to follow it to the edge of
night. But is this the right bird?
I'm sure. It spoke to me.
Birds speak to me all the time. What did
Sounds like the bird we want.
(calling to troops)
All right lads, follow yon raven!
The troop of faeries shout and laugh, eagerly pursuing the
EXT. EDGE OF THE FOREST - DAY
The faerie troop rides to the edge of the wintry forest.
Their spirits are still high, but something about the mood of
the place takes hold. The singing stops. Bright laughter
Screwball, a WORRIED ELF and a NERVOUS GOBLIN ride side-by
side into the frightening forest. They make an odd trio,
mounted as they are upon a fox, a hare and a badger.
Arthritic tree branches twist grotesquely above them in the
Something I don't like about this place.
Me too. No babies to pinch. Haven't
pinched a baby in so long, probably lost
Everything's a joke, Screwball? Laugh
your life away.
Laugh's better'n stubbing your toe.
Go on. Joke it up while evil magic weaves
a spell about you.
What's the matter? Fraid of the big, dark
The elf points to a gnarled tree trunk. At a second glance,
it appears to be the body of a man, twisted in petrified
pain, his mouth open and howling a silent scream.
The three riders draw up short, staring in amazement at the
curious shapes of the trees surrounding them.
Over there! Another!
This is sorcerer's work!
All the trees bear an uncanny resemblance to human figures
contorted by severe pain. These are not the curious
deformities of nature but actual, living beings transformed
Terrified, Screwball gallops his fox frantically back to the
rear of the column.
Help! Jack! Gump! Preserve poor me!
The other two faeries are quick to follow.
ANGLE: (REAR OF COLUMN)
Jack and Gump ride at the rear of the column, threading
single file along the narrow trail through the dark,
How do we follow a raven we can't even
Sent Oona up above the tree tops. She be
Good plan that.
All at once, Screwball and his two frightened companions come
charging down the trail, causing the other faeries to
scramble out of their way.
This precipitates a certain grumbling: "Watch out! Be
careful! Mind where you're going, etc."
Master Jack! Master Jack! These woods are
alive! They're alive!
Of course they're alive. All nature is
Barely living, from the looks of it.
No, no, no...this is different!
This is evil! Black magic!
Come on, Gump, let's have a look at this
Jack nudges the mare unicorn and she sprints ahead in a
gallop. Gump is right behind, trotting on the colt. The other
three follow, less enthusiastically, on their animal mounts.
Once again, the other faeries have to make way on the trail.
This time there is fist shaking and outright epithets as they
Maggots!...Vermin! etc. etc...
EXT. DEFORMED TREES - DAY
Jack pulls the mare to a stop in the grove of malformed
trees. He jumps to the ground and has a closer look at these
curiosities. Gump and the others ride up behind.
You see! You see!
These chaps'll need a woodpecker to pick
Jack pauses before a familiar tree, studying the grieved
features molded into the bark.
Why, this is King Godwin, Princess Lili's
father. King Godwin and all his hunting
party...even the hounds. See the lymers
Jack points to several tree stumps shaped like frantic
Never cared much for dogs. Always chasing
the wee folk, they are...Think I'll lift
my leg on one; see how he likes the
Screwball saunters over to a dog-shaped root, untying his
codpiece as threatened.
Jack draws his gleaming sword.
This is ogre's magic.
Aye. He's enchanted the lot of them. His
reward for delivering the unicorn.
Foul fellow, this Couer de Noir
The foulest. Mayhap I can cut them free.
Gump's warning comes too late. Jack swings his mighty sword,
driving the blade deep into a tree trunk resembling one of
the hunters. The air is rent by a piercing SCREAM! Bright red
blood gushes from where the sword cut the bark, flowing in a
crimson stream down the trunk.
Dear God, forgive me.
The sight of the rushing blood unnerves even the boldest
faerie. Screwball fumbles with his cod piece, full of
embarrassment and fear.
Oh dear...oh dear...I hope dogs have
shorter memories than trees.
Jack scrambles on the ground, grabbing up handfuls of moss
Hurry! Gump, lend a hand.
Gump rushes to assist him and they press gobs of moss into
the flowing wound. At first it is like attempting to stem the
flood of a leaking dam, the blood continues to ooze through
their fingers and pour down the tree. The contorted
expression of the hunter imprisoned within the bark looks
Worse than the battlefield.
What know you of fields of war?
Ofttimes, the wee folk come out to tend
the wounded... staunch bleeding with
cobwebs...give a parched mouth a sip of
dew...cool a fevered brow...
The applications of mud and moss begin to work. The bleeding
from the bark abates.
There...it seems to quit... I'll wager
that war held other attractions quite
apart from nursing.
Well...if the knight be already dead;
what harm is there in...borrowing a thing
Stealing his arms?
What can you steal from a man already
lost his life?
His honor, I suppose... seeing he no
longer can defend it.
Jack is disgusted with the faeries. He picks up his sword and
stalks away, leaving Gump and Screwball perplexed by his
EXT. SKY - EVENING
The feeble sky is setting, like the pale-yellow yolk of a
diseased egg. A small, swift bird, perhaps a swallow, clips
along erratically through the cloudless, pearl-gray sky.
ANGLE: (C.U. BIRD)
Oona clings to the back of the darting bird. Her own gossamer
wings, still and half-folded now, resemble those of an exotic
butterfly. She rides the bird as one would a flying horse,
hanging on to the neck feathers and shading her eyes with her
free hand as she strains to observe something moving in the
ANGLE: (OONA'S POV)
She is watching the raven, which no longer resembles a harpy,
but is now simply a large, black bird. It flies with
determined wingbeats, straight for a sharply pointed stone
pinnacle rising above the treetops. The raven circles this
monument once, then lands on the uppermost crag, folding his
wings for the night.
ANGLE: (OONA AND THE BIRD)
Holding tight with both hands, Oona urges the bird into a
sharp dive. It swoops like a falling arrow straight into the
tangle of tree branches below.
EXT. FOREST TRAIL - EVENING
Jack rides silently at the head of the procession. He seems
locked deep within himself. Gump and Screwball trot
alongside, obviously uncomfortable with Jack's somber
brooding. Neither of the faeries has the heart to break the
All at once, the bird darts down out of the trees above,
circles twittering, and glides in for a perfect landing on
Jack's shoulder. Oona dismounts;
rather, she herself flutters delicately into the air and
flies over to Jack's other shoulder. She caresses his cheek
and whispers softly into his ear.
What's she say?...What's she say?
Oona makes a disagreeable face at Gump. Jack reaches up and
she hops into his hand with a smile.
Oona tells me the raven has roosted for
the night on a sharp stone spire some
half-a mile distant.
That would be Devil's Needle. Last
landmark I know in these woods.
Ogg lives there!...and Thurgis!
Screwball! Be quiet!...We have friends
live 'neath the Needle. They'll no doubt
provide safe refuge for the night.
Beyond Devil's Needle, all is unknown.
EXT. CAVE MOUTH AT BASE OF NEEDLE - EVENING
The Needle towers up above the trees straight and smooth, a
curiosity of nature resembling a man-made structure. At the
base of the rock is the opening to a cave. With its yawning
shape and sharp overhanging row of teeth-like stalactites, it
has the appearance of a gigantic, devouring mouth.
The faerie troop rides up and dismounts. A number of human
skulls litter the ground, grinning through the curved spokes
of several bleached ribcages.
T’would appear other travelers preceded
Nay, Jack, It is not what you're
I trust our own welcome will be more
Jack, Jack, it's dwarves live here. Hard
working chaps. Hammering in the forge all
the live-long day. Make the most wondrous
things, they do.
Jack stoops, picking a skull off the ground.
And this? Some of their handiwork?
Nay. That's but to distract the casual
visitor. A dwarf is too busy to suffer
Better to kill than be disturbed.
Your imagination runs away with you,
Jack...Those bones be but battlefield
gleanings, like I mentioned. A wee bit of
carrion to frighten off the uninvited.
Here is a bold champion's reward; to
serve as a dwarf's doorstop.
Jack tosses the skull back to the ground, his face flushed
What care the bones when the soul is
Gump leads the way into the cave. Jack and the others follow.
INT. CAVE - EVENING
Bah! You faeries have the morals of
You do the ferrets grave injustice, Jack.
(staring into the cave)
But come...best settled 'fore dark.
This be inhospitable country at night.
All manner of spriggen and banshee and
bogies walk these woods after sunset.
Stalactites twist down like fangs from above as Gump leads
the way through the underground labyrinth. Screwball walks at
his side, a flaming candle-stub stuck to the top of his
outlandish Roman helmet. Jack is right behind and the other
faeries are strung out in the rear, some carrying torches,
some candle-lantern others merely lighting the way with their
own mysterious foxfire glow.
Turning a final corner, the procession comes to a huge golden
gong hanging on the cave wall, a wooden mallet beside it.
We wait here. Those that come this far be
considered guests. The others...well,
many false twists and turns lure them
Gump delivers the gong a smart mallet blow. A-surprisingly
musical note echoes and re-echoes down maze-like passage.
Nice piece of work.
Pure gold it is...plays a different note
Gump strikes the gong again. The pure, musical sound is
indeed different as it reverberates among the stalactites.
Gump strikes it a third time. Another note, even more
beautiful, echoes with the second, forming a melodic chord
within the cave.
From around the bend a dwarf suddenly appears. This is OGG.
He is a short, muscular fellow with a gray, waist-length
beard covering his naked chest. His leather blacksmith's
apron reaches all the way to the ground, concealing his feet.
Enough...enough...Do you mean to deafen
us with your infernal hammering?
Gump steps forward and takes the dwarf fondly by the hand.
Friend Ogg. Excuse our enthusiasm,
occasioned as it was by a fondness for
Honeythorn Gump, is it? I've not seen
your ugly face since you sold me a jug of
cow piss claiming it was dragon's tears.
Well, bygones’re bygones, I always say.
Or was it the time you and Jimmy
Squarefoot stole the golden apples I'd
Twas Jimmy done that, I merely stood for
the blame unfairly... but, here now, Ogg,
this be no time to rehash old
differences, I've friends along in need
of safe haven for the night.
Who might these friends be?
Screwball you know, and many other of the
wee folk. We serve as escort for our
grand champion, Jack o' the Green.
Gump nods at Jack who bows politely.
Honored to make your acquaintance.
Grand champion, is it? And what great
cause leads you to me?
We seek the ogre, Baron Couer de Noir. He
slew a unicorn and plunged the world into
Thought the weather terrible of late.
We seek to undo the curse.
Gonna make ogre-stew!
Any enemy of Blackheart's a friend of
mine...Come on then, there's a bit of
soup left and clean straw to lie in.
Ogg vanishes, abruptly as he came. Gump motions for the
others to follow, leading them around the corner.
INT. FURTHER ALONG THE CAVE - NIGHT
Ogg is far in the distance. Although his looks are deceptive,
he is very agile and makes much better time underground than
the other faeries.
Suddenly, Jack stops short. He grabs Gump's arm and points to
the sandy cave floor.
My God! Look!
Something the matter?
ANGLE: (C.U. FOOTPRINTS)
Etched cleanly in the sand are Ogg's peculiar footprints,
leading forward into the depths of the cave. They are quite
obviously the three-pronged prints of a large bird, such as a
Shhh! Not so loud, mayhap he'll hear ye.
ANGLE: (JACK AND GUMP)
Dwarves be very sensitive about their
Very secretive, they are. Keep their feet
covered up. Best if you don't mention it.
Far down the passage, Ogg waves his arm impatiently.
Step lively now!
His feet shall never cross my lips.
I should hope not!
Gump, you're putting words in my mouth.
The two hurry along the passageway to catch up with Ogg and
Words be a far sight better than a
INT. DWARVES WORKSHOP - NIGHT
An underground Medieval factory. A row of glowing open hearth
furnaces cast a vivid molten light across a dozen forges.
Everywhere, dwarves are at work, hammering on anvils, heating
metal with tongs, pumping bellows and trip-hammers; all
wearing beards and floor-length leather aprons. The ROAR and
CLANG of industry fills the air.
The faerie troop reclines in shadowy niches along the back
wall, eating and getting ready for sleep. Candles flicker,
contrasting with the occasional will-o'-the-wisp dazzle of
Ogg guides Jack and Gump on a tour of the workshop, past
bellows and furnaces without a word. Jack has a bowl of gruel
and a wooden spoon. He eats with relish. Gump slurps at a
INT. THURGIS' FORGE - NIGHT
Ogg leads Jack and Gump to a forge set somewhat apart from
the others. THURGIS is a hunch-backed dwarf busy shaping a
white-hot sword blade on his anvil. A barely perceptible nod
is his only greeting to the visitors.
Rows of impeccably finished weapons, spears, swords and axes,
stand stacked along the wall. Hanging above are magnificent
golden shields and helmets. Jack puts down his bowl and
examines the weapons as Thurgis plunges his glowing blade
into a vat of blood. The HISS of steam is like a cry of pain.
Can't beat dragon's blood for curing a
blade...Cousin Thurgis be co-master here.
Thurgis studies the newly-tempered sword-blade, then arches
an eyebrow as he regards Jack inspecting the finished goods.
Each fit for a hero...My uncle fashioned
a hammer for Thor. Twas he named it
Mjolnir. Grandfather forged
Excalibur...You won't ever see finer
Oh, but I have.
Smiling, Jack draws his sword and hands it, pommel first, to
Thurgis. The dwarf examines the weapon, admiring the keen
How came you by this blade?
I slew the Lindfarne Worm with it.
Jack's a grand champion.
He wields a champion's sword, true. I
know the work...fine work...
Stagnar's work. This is the sword called
Thurgis hands Jack back his sword. He regards it with wonder.
The Avatar. I like the sound of it.
Sigurd the Volsung slew Fafnir with that
blade...See the line where Regin welded
Jack runs his thumb over the weld.
Another hero's hand-me-down...Thurgis,
note the armor; 'tis Greek work.
Thurgis runs his hands over the decorative bas-relief
hammered into Jack's breastplate.
Achilles wore it before the gates of
You're well equipped, I'd say. Legendary
Takes more than a good sword to make a
Jack slides the sword back in its scabbard.
I pray always to be worthy of it.
Stoutly spoke, lad. These dwarves be sore
grouches... Pay no heed to their spiteful
Gump grabs Jack by the arm and leads him away from the forge.
I do thank you for your hospitality.
The dwarves make no reply, but stand solemnly watching as
Gump and Jack leave the workshop.
INT. JACK'S SLEEPING NICHE - NIGHT
Jack sits on the straw-pile unbuckling his breastplate. Gump
helps him to remove his greaves. The fabled sword leans an
arm -length away.
Don't let this talk of heroes upset
you, Jack. Sigurd's sword is no great
thing. The Volsung killed Fafnir. You
That's one worm apiece...I'd say you and
Sigurd were neck-and-neck.
We're not in a tournament, Gump.
(lying back in the straw)
Ah, but a sword twice tempered in the
blood of living dragons...
Tis not the sword that counts, but the
man what swings it.
(Gump rises to leave)
Rest easy, Jack.
God protect you, Honeythorn Gump.
Your strong right arm's all the
protection I'll need this night.
Gump wanders off. Jack arranges his bedding so it suits him.
He places his sword close by the pillow and turns to blow
out the candle. He is distracted by the glow of faerie light
and a musical presence. This is Oona.
Do you always sleep with your sword,
Oona kneels beside his bedside.
Never even had a sword in my hand until
Then, tis not for chastity? Methought you
kept a naked blade twixt you and any
maiden chanced spend the night.
I live in an abandoned fox den neath the
roots of a thousand-year-old oak. My bed
is pine boughs and rabbit skins. There's
no need of weaponry to keep the maids
I'm partial to oaks, as are all faerie
folk. Mayn't I come visit sometime?
I'd be honored.
And charmed, of course.
Fie! Don't speak of charms. I should
charm you for being so dullwitted.
I had no thought of offending you, Oona.
Do I not please you, Jack?
In every way.
And am I not fair?
Then why do you speak sweeter words to
That was in jest.
Jest with me then.
Tell me I'm fair, as you did the hag.
You are fair as the first new flower of
Sweeter than bee pollen on a summer wind.
Pray you be sweet as your words, dear
Oona moves close to Jack, kissing his lips as a soft cocoon
of faerie light engulfs them. Nearly enchanted, Jack pushes
Nay, Oona, tis not possible.
A faerie's love makes anything possible.
I'm promised to another!
What shape I take matters not. Long you
for another? I'll give you your heart's
The faerie light burns brightly around Oona, surrounding her
like a chrysalis as she alters and shifts, transforming into
a grown woman. When she steps forward, parting the curtain of
light like a naiad stepping through a waterfall, it is the
Princess Lili who appears.
Come then, Green Jack, you've promises to
Oona/Lili moves closer to Jack, running her hand behind his
neck, embracing him.
No...this isn't real..
Oh but it is I'm warm and alive and
happy to be in your arms.
Furiously, Jack thrusts her aside.
ANGLE: (C.U. OONA/LILI)
I'll not be enchanted! This is foul
magic!...What an abhorrent creature would
I be to dally with faeries guised as my
beloved when the Princess herself has
suffered God knows what fate.
(harsh and spiteful)
I wish I could show you that fate...Your
precious princess! I wish you could see
INT. BARON'S CASTLE (C.U. LILI) - NIGHT
Lili has completely transformed into a savage beast. Fur
covers her face, her ears are pointed. Sharp fangs punctuate
her lips. Only her eyes still seem human and afraid.
Please...kill me if you must...It would
be a gift.
PULL BACK to show the dark room, windows shrouded by heavy
black drapes. Thousands of candles drip and sputter, casting
a flickering light across the clammy stone walls. The Baron
stands before the cowering Lili, wearing his mask and wrapped
in his cloak. In his gloved right hand he holds a whip.
My generosity is not so large as that.
What do you want with me?
Your words sting more sharply than your
I speak of love, and you think only of
You are cruel! Your heartless jesting
worse than torture! How can you speak of
love when you see what I am!
I like well what I see. It pleases me.
But I'm hideous!
On the contrary! The puling, pallid
creature you were before was truly
something disgusting. Now you are
splendid...a fierce goddess...the
embodiment of all that is strong and
You lie! You wish to humiliate me, as if
the form I'm forced to bear were not
You should glory in your animal nature.
It is your triumph! None know that better
The Baron rips off his mask. Beneath is a savage face, half
wolf, half goat, with a pair of curling horns poised above.
God protect me!
Not from me, surely...
You...you're a beast!
We're all of us beasts, my dear. Only
most are afraid to show it.
And you are you not also afraid?
I am afraid of nothing.
Then why hide behind a mask? You are
I know no more of shame than I do of
fear. I wear this mask not for
concealment but protection.
I am a creature of darkness. I require
the shadow's solace and the black of
night... Sunlight is abhorrent to me...
I cover myself completely when ever I
venture forth in daylight. Sunshine is my
Like some vile toadstool.
I prefer to think, more like the
Do you feed on mice and rats?
I prefer a plump capon, but will happily
serve you rats if they're to your liking.
Why have you brought me here?
To be my bride, of course.
I'd sooner die.
The Baron uncoils his sinister whip.
That is your choice, my dear, A wedding
will be far more swift, I assure you.
The Baron strikes out at Lili with his whip. It cracks in the
air close by her and she leaps back.
We're both of us damned, my beauty.
Lili rushes to the window and pulls apart the heavy black
drapes. A shaft of sunlight knifes across the shadowy room
and strikes the Baron like a bolt from Heaven. He reels from
the force, grimacing in pain. There is a note of triumph in
Lili's shrill laughter.
The Baron cringes in the light. He lifts his thick cloak to
shield himself and quickly pulls on his mask. This done, he
retrieves his whip and advances on the cowering princess.
Bold and plucky. I admire your spirit,
Princess, almost as much as I lust for
your savage, feline beauty.
Princess Lili jumps up onto the window ledge, glancing down
at the rocks far below.
I'm not afraid to jump. I'd prefer that
to being with you!
The Baron makes no reply, but strikes unexpectedly with his
whip. The lash coils around Lili's neck and pulls her off
balance, yanking her back into the room. She falls on her
knees at the Baron's feet.
When the time's come, you won't need to
jump, I'll throw you out myself!
Do it now!
No. Now is the time for discipline. Some
lessons in obedience for the future
The Baron slashes Lili cruelly with the whip.
Not as sweet as my caress.
The Baron strikes her again.
Jack...Oh, Jack...help me...
She CRIES OUT in pain.
Too bad your precious Jack can't hear
you...the damsel in distress...A rescue
attempt would be most amusing...We could
flay sweet Jack alive as an after-dinner
The Baron punctuates each bitter phrase with a stroke of the
lash. Lili lies bleeding on the floor, WEEPING helplessly.
INT. JACK'S SLEEPING NICHE - NIGHT
The SOUND of Lili's weeping CARRIES OVER as we SEE Oona,
huddled in the corner of Jack's niche, crying softly to
herself. She has resumed her faerie shape and the light which
emanates from her fragile wings and body is of a tender,
delicate hue. Jack kneels solicitously before her.
Oona...don't cry...please, you mustn't...
You...you...you mortal you!
Why should I feel such pain? Should be
the other way round...I could vex you...
make you dance your life away...
Threats won't make me love you. Tis not
the way of the human heart.
Oona rises in a rage.
What care I for the human heart! Such a
soft, spiritless thing it is. I prefer
the hearts of hawks and wolves; fierce
and free and keen as steel!
And as barren of love as stone.
I would build a wall around me with such
stone, so the likes of you might never
Be fair, Oona.
You beware, Jack! You and your porridge
There is a bright whirlwind of faerie light, and in a
brilliant, pyrotechnic moment Oona is gone.
Oona? Oona, are you still here? Blast!
Jack arranges his cloak as a bed-cover and settles down for
the night, drawing his sword and resting it beside him.
Hard enough to fathom a woman's mind,
what chance has one with a faerie?
Jack blows out his candle. Blackness.
INT. CAVE MOUTH - DAY
It is the next morning. The faerie army is preparing for the
march, donning armor and putting a keen edge on their
weapons. Jack is mounted on Sapphire, resplendent in
Achille's armor. Gump brushes the coat of the foal. Ogg,
Thurgis and several other dwarves have assembled to see them
Make haste! We've a hard day's march
Be gentle with them, Jack. They only
march to please you. Were this a faerie
journey, we'd ride the wind on
thistledown and ragwort stems.
Thurgis and Ogg approach. Thurgis carries a large, round
golden shield. Ogg has something concealed behind his back.
(clearing his throat)
Ahem!...I'm naught for fancy words, work
as I do with my hands The world needs
champions and I favor that...
Thurgis hands the gleaming shield up to Jack.
I wrought this shield for noble Tristan
ere fate o'ertook him...No blade nor axe
can dent it. I believe it will serve you
Jack straps the shield over his back.
I pray always to be worthy of it and
thank you well, Thurgis.
Ogg steps forward and hands two glittering objects to Gump.
Baron Couer de Noir is a blight 'gainst
all nature. We dwarves be not fighters;
still we are with you in this battle.
Some of our handiwork may be of
We be honored, friend Ogg.
There's a coil of golden thread fine as
spider web yet naught can break it... and
a silver key no lock can resist.
You're with us in battle.
May God protect you.
Aye, and valor select you.
Oona flies down abruptly from above the trees. Without
looking directly at Jack, she addresses the assembled faerie
The raven has taken to wing and flies due
Jack waves his arm at the assembled troop of faeries and
urges the unicorn to the head of the column.
Onward to victory!
The entire troop gives out with a rousing CHEER as it sets
forward on the final trek through the forbidding forest.
EXT. DEEP IN THE FOREST - DAY
The trees are twisted and grotesque. A dense undergrowth of
tangled vines studded with six-inch thorns blocks the troop's
progress like over-sized concertina wire. Jack rides at the
head of the column, hacking a pathway through the vines with
his enchanted sword. Gump rides just behind, doing his best
with his tiny battle-axe to clean up the excess.
...this rate...we'll all be in our
graves...'fore we reach the Baron's
We'll surely be in our graves if we
Going grows slower...we've not
made...half a mile in two hours.
Jack continues slashing at the serpentine vines. A final,
vigorous sword-stroke reveals a frozen meadow; broad, open,
Jack urges the unicorn forward into the meadow. Gump and the
remainder of the troop follow. At the far end of the clearing
a row of cliffs stand like the ramparts of a city. Sheer and
impassable, save for a narrow defile across which something
very like a vast silver curtain hangs.
There's the way, mates.
Jack gallops forward across the meadow, followed close behind
by the cheering faeries.
EXT. DEFILE IN CLIFFS - DAY
The faerie troops rein in a hundred yards from the opening.
The silver curtain is now quite clearly SEEN as a gigantic
spider web, the gossamer strands inches thick.
What make ye of that, Jack?
It bodes evil.
Oona swoops down from above, hovering in the air before the
Is this a May Day pageant? Are you all
off on a lark?...The raven passed this
way hours ago!
Heading north still?
True north ...
Straight up that pass, through the net.
Is it a net, then?
Some sort of net...I'll see.
Oona flies rapidly away, straight towards the web.
Willful creature, that one...
ANGLE: (OONA'S FLIGHT - JACK'S P.O.V.)
Oona makes a bee-line for the web. She drives fearlessly
ahead, without caution, flying straight into the center of
the weave. Landing on the strands, she is immediately stuck.
ANGLE: (OONA IN WEB)
The more Oona struggles, the more entangled she becomes. Like
a trapped fly, her frenzied attempts set the entire web
Help! I'm stuck!...Oh please help!
A giant spider the size of a man makes his way along the web
towards the helpless Oona. There is something especially
repulsive about the creature's monstrous shape. His movements
are a coordinated ballet of evil.
Please!...Jack! Help me!... Don't let it
ANGLE: (JACK AND THE FAERIES)
Jack draws his sword, calling to his troops.
Hurry! Save her!
Suddenly, a staghorn beetle large as a rhinoceros lumbers out
of the concealing bushes at the base of the cliff. Its black,
armored wing-plates gleam like polished steel. The forked,
six-foot horn towers above its head.
A young goblin lance-bearer hurries forward with Jack's
lance, handing it up to him.
Archers! Bring down that spider! I'll
deal with this other creature...
Stay on your guard, Jack. The bug is
Jack sheathes his sword, lowers his lance and, spurring the
unicorn with a kick of his heels, charges straight at the
The goblin archers rush forward shouting towards the cliff.
Jack rides straight at the big beetle. His lance strikes the
hard carapace of the thorax and glances off, doing no harm.
Jack wheels the unicorn around and charges a second time. The
lance hits the wing-casing and shatters. Jack is thrown from
his mount. The evil beetle closes on him, pincers opening and
closing like some grotesque engine of war.
ANGLE: (THE WEB)
The spider is nearly upon Oona as the archers line up below.
A hail of arrows hit the mark. The spider reacts with spasms
of pain as they stud into him.
...Kill it...Kill it!
The arrows don't stop the spider and it reaches Oona, biting
her in the leg. She screams into unconsciousness. The spider
sets to work spinning filament and wrapping the stunned
faerie up like a cocoon.
ANGLE: (JACK AND THE BEETLE)
Jack scrambles to his feet, drawing his sword just as the
beetle is upon him. A furious backhand slash lops off one of
the insect's antennae. This doesn't slow it down; it
continues to pursue the back-pedaling Jack, pincers clicking
together like twin scythes. Jack parries and stabs, slashing
at the beetle with his sword.
A well-aimed thrust takes off half the beetle's foreleg.
Quantities of foul, black blood gush forth onto the ground.
ANGLE: (THE ARCHERS)
The goblin marksmen continue to pour a steady rain of arrows
into the spider. The swollen abdomen bristles with dozens of
Two oversized wasps, each with a six-foot wingspan, dive down
on the archers. They scatter much as soldiers of a later age
will react to a strafing by aircraft.
One unfortunate pixie bowman is seized by a wasp and borne
aloft. The wasp curls his abdomen beneath him. The barbed
stinger emerges like a harpoon. The helpless, screaming pixie
is stung through. The wasp releases the lifeless body and it
drops back to earth.
ANGLE: (JACK AND THE BEETLE)
Jack continues to retreat before the beetle's advance,
slashing with his sword. The second antennae is neatly
amputated, without any effect on the giant insect.
Stepping backwards, Jack's foot goes into a hole and he is
twisted off-balance and falls. The big bug's shadow darkens
over him. The wicked pincers CLINK.
ANGLE: (THE MARE UNICORN)
as she lowers her horned head and charges the beetle. Running
straight and true as a fighting bull, the unicorn drives into
the side of the bug. The long, spiraling horn catches the
join between abdomen and thorax, sliding easily into the
creature's side. The massive insect whips about in agony,
snapping at the unicorn. Sapphire dances adroitly back out of
The interlude gives Jack the time to regain his feet. Rushing
forward, he stabs his sword into the space between the
insect's head and thorax. The pincers open and close
helplessly. It is all over. Jack stabs the sword in a second
time. The big bug collapses.
Jack runs to Sapphire and vaults onto her back. With a
victorious WAR CRY he charges forward to help the beleaguered
ANGLE: (ARCHERS AND WASPS)
Jack is attacked from above by one of the wasps. It hovers
above, seeking either to sting him or pluck him from his
mount. Jack wheels the unicorn about in a tight circle. The
wasp circles overhead.
With a sudden, overhand slash, Jack strikes the wasp's
basketball-sized head from his droning body. The head drops
like a stone. The body continues to fly in erratic circles,
like pilotless aircraft, until it crashes, BUZZING, to earth.
The disorganized faeries CHEER loudly as Jack rides up to
assist them. The surviving wasp harasses them from above.
Don't aim for the body, the armor is too
strong...aim for the chinks...shoot at
the spaces between...
The archers rally and aim as Jack instructed. Although the
first arrows miss the mark, a second round is more accurate.
The wasp is hit repeatedly between its body sections.
Mortally wounded, it falls thrashing to the ground.
ANGLE: (JACK AT THE WEB)
Jack urges Sapphire to the base of the cliff as the goblin
archers dispatch the wounded wasp. Sword high, he leaps down
and rushes to where several of the web's anchor strands are
fastened. From his life in the wild, Jack knows certain
strands are not sticky so the spider won't get caught in his
own contrivance. Jack checks a strand but gets stuck and only
pulls free with difficulty. He tries another and finds it
Sheathing his sword, Jack climbs the web, hauling himself up
the uncoated strand like a sailor ascending the ratlines of a
The spider, though wounded, spins a shroud for the hapless
Oona and does not notice Jack's approach. Jack draws his
sword and thrusts up into the arachnid's arrow-studded belly.
The huge spider whips about in pain. Jack strikes him again,
slicing off one of his eight legs. Frantic, the spider
charges. The Green Man stands his ground and splits the
spider's head in two with a mighty stroke.
The spider drops, falling past Jack, hanging-up in his own
web below. Jack climbs to where Oona is bound, cutting her
cocoon free from the web.
Jack carries the silken-wrapped Oona back down.
ANGLE: (JACK AND FAERIES)
Jack lays Oona's shrouded form on the ground and is
immediately surrounded by the faeries.
Well done, lad.
Three cheers for our champion.
The faeries give out with a hearty HOORAY as Jack works
deftly with his sheath-knife, slicing the gossamer webbing
from around the unconscious Oona. He severs the last strand
and lifts her from the confining cocoon.
No, thank the Lord, but she be sore
envenomed by the spider's bite.
We're blind now, man. Oona was our eyes
and ears. How do we find Castle Couer de
Noir without her?
We'll find it.
Easily said...the raven passed this way
Heading true north. We continue in that
Never knowing when it takes a turn or
We'll trust in faith, Gump.
Aye, lad...we've little else to go by.
The goblins and faeries have prepared a small litter from two
lances and a woolen cloak. Three faeries lift Oona and place
her on the litter. Her face is serene, as if she were
Gently, boys...go easy with her.
Jack draws his sword and chops through the bottom of the web,
opening a passage into the defile.
All right, men! Let's bury our dead and
be on our way!
EXT. DEFILE - DAY
The column of armed faeries marches steadily up the defile.
Jack rides at the head; Gump beside him on the colt. Four
faeries bear the litter, carrying Oona on their shoulders. In
the distance behind them are four small, flower-decked
mounds: the freshly dug graves in which their fallen comrades
EXT. BARON'S CASTLE - NIGHT
Like some deformed and dying organism, the towers and twisted
turrets of the Baron's castle are silhouetted against the
night sky. Utterly sinister in its malformed splendor, the
building's shape suggests the embodiment of pure evil. High
in the uppermost tower, a single light gleams through a
Winging silently towards the castle, the coal-black raven
glides through the night like an angel from Hell.
INT. TOWER ALCHEMICAL LABORATORY, BARON'S CASTLE - NIGHT
Dripping tallow candles cast flickering shadows across the
mossy walls of the Baron's lab. All manner of arcane
instruments; astrolabes, crucibles, retorts and furnaces, are
crammed into the narrow room. Stuffed owls and crocodiles
hang from the ceiling. The Baron, unmasked and wearing the
flowing black robes of a master magician, is busy with an
experiment. The table he works on crawls with toads and
lizards; a large crucible drips blood. Several IMPS and
DEMONS serve as the Baron's assistants, scurrying about the
lab like characters from a Bosch painting. All are deformed,
mutant creatures. They cackle and snigger like the
inhabitants of a zoological madhouse.
The Baron takes up a glass container filled with eyeballs and
pours them into his bloody cauldron, muttering to himself,
his horned, lupine head fierce as Lucifer..
Blind eyes, blind eyes, what do you
see?...The future's secrets belong to
A deformed imp with the head and goggling eyes of a fish,
fidgets at the Baron's side. His evil master cuffs him and
barks an order:
Batwing!...Bring me batwing, oaf, Be
quick about it!
The imp scampers off, searching among the musty jars and
And leper's thumb!...Be swift, before the
All at once, the raven flies into the room, flapping in
circles around the lab before coming to rest on the Baron's
The raven rasps into the Baron's ear like a back-fence
gossip. The Baron listens and nods, completely familiar with
the language of birds. His reaction is one of vast amusement.
An army of faeries!...How very droll...Do
they carry flowers stead of spears?
(the raven croaks)
Oh, real spears, they mean to be taken
(the raven croaks again)
A boy riding a unicorn?...things are
getting serious indeed.
The Baron paces his laboratory, the raven riding on his
shoulder. He pauses by a shelf where a bouquet of black roses
stands in a vase crafted from a human skull. The Baron
selects a single ebony blossom and sniffs it pensively.
So...the faeries are marching...if by
some miracle they get past the insects
we'll have a surprise ready...
The Baron crushes the black rose in his fist. When he opens
his hand, the blossom has been magically transformed into a
hideously deformed bat. The bat unfolds its wings, revealing
toad-like gargoyle's features and a long, forked reptilian
tail. The grinning mouth is studded with tiny, needle-sharp
Yes...you'll do nicely... very nicely.
Just the sort of creature to rip a faerie
to shreds ...
The bat-demon takes wing and circles the lab, diving suddenly
at the fish-headed imp, who SCREAMS in terror. The bat
fastens himself on the shrieking imp, tearing with his tiny
teeth. The imp waves his arms frantically in a futile effort
to dislodge the creature. Blood flows. The Baron's cruel
LAUGHTER ECHOES in the vaulted room.
EXT. FOREST - DAY
A heavy mist shrouds the twisted trees, blunting their
agonized shapes as if in pity. The Baron's demonic LAUGHTER
CARRIES OVER and merges with the raucous CALLING of crows. A
flight of the black birds passes through the fog, appearing
suddenly, then fading just as abruptly into the gray.
The SOUND of marching men is HEARD. A moment later, the
faerie troop is glimpsed, trudging forward out of the mist.
Jack and Gump ride at the head of the dispirited column.
Why not admit it, Honeythorn
Gump. We've lost our way entirely.
Long as we don't lose heart, Jack...
We'll never find the Baron's castle.
Once you thought we'd never find the
Greek's armor and look at ye now, decked
out like a proper hero.
ANGLE: (JACK'S POV)
The wind parts the mist ahead on the trail and for just a
moment a hideous form is glimpsed. Shaped like a hunchback
with overlong arms, the creature has the head of a boar, with
a long, flattened snout and curved tusks. This is JIMMY
JACK (0. S.)
Hold! What manner of demon be this?
ANGLE: (JACK AND GUMP)
Jack draws his gleaming sword.
Nay. This time we strike first!
Jack kicks the unicorn's flanks and gallops ahead down the
trail, brandishing his sword.
Gump urges the colt into a fast run and hurries after Jack.
The pig-headed creature darts off the trail and sprints into
the woods. Jack is right behind, the unicorn swift as the
wind. Whichever way the creature turns in his frantic effort
to escape, the unicorn leaps ahead, cutting him off.
A projecting tree-root catches the creature's foot and sends
him sprawling. Jack leaps down, sword in hand and rushes up
for the kill.
The creature snuffles and grunts with fear as Jack stands
over him, poised for the killing thrust.
No hurt Jimmy, sir...oh no, please,
I'm sending you back to Hell!
Gump gallops up breathlessly on the colt.
Hold, Jack! Don't strike!
Nay. I show no pity to imps
I know the rogue, Jack. Tis Jimmy
Yes, poor Jimmy...never hurt no one...
He be a frightful-looking sod, tis true,
but harmless for all that.
Is he a friend, then?
Yes, yes...Jimmy Squarefoot good friend
to one and all...
He's no enemy, that's sure.
Jack relents and sheathes his terrible sword.
Forgive my blood haste, Jimmy Squarefoot,
but I want no more surprises from Couer
The Black Baron, you say?
Aye. We be on a quest to set the world
But seem to have gotten lost on the way.
Much good we do the world, for all our
Jimmy Squarefoot no lost.
Well, clap yourself on the back then,
mate, and point the way to Castle Couer
Jimmy Squarefoot gets to his feet, dusts himself off with
dignity, and with exaggerated formality, extends his arms and
points into the distance.
Simple as that, eh?
Castle Couer de Noir built with
magic...simple as death...strong as
You do know where it is?
Hear him out, Jack.
Many time Jimmy Squarefoot try find a way
inside... many, many time...Plenty
treasure there, oh plenty, plenty...It a
bad place... blacker than the Baron's
Can you show us the way?
To Castle Couer de Noir?
There'll be spoils aplenty if you guide
us there. Once we breach the walls, help
yourself to all you can carry.
That very nice.
Will you do it, Jimmy?
No way over walls...too much magic.
Let that be our problem, just get us
Jimmy Squarefoot starts off in the direction he pointed, his
odd, loping gait more animal than human. Jack looks
doubtfully at Gump.
Can we trust him?
No...but what choice have we?
Follow Jimmy Squarefoot.
Jack waves his arm, signaling the troop to advance.
on to Castle Couer de Noir!
The troop follows Jack and Gump as they ride after Jimmy
Squarefoot into the fog-shrouded woods.
INT. DUNGEON, BARON'S CASTLE - NIGHT
The SNAP of a whip is as abrupt as the change of scene.
A vile stone cellar, walls dripping with moss and slime.
Human bones litter the earthen floor. Chains and shackles
hang between the instruments of torture: there is an Iron
Maiden, a rack and a charcoal brazier heating various tongs
The whip CRACKS again as the SHADOW of the Baron moves across
Princess Lili is chained to a stone pillar. Clothed only in
tatters, her glossy pelt striped with bloody welts from the
lash, she huddles helplessly before the fury of the Baron.
The Baron strikes again with the whip. Semi-conscious, Lili
can do little more than whimper when she is hit.
Your moans seem almost pleasurable, my
dear... developing a taste for the lash?
Kill me...I want...so nice...
Why should I kill you?
(strikes her again)
A simple course in etiquette. Something
your parents sadly overlooked.
The Baron slashes at her with the whip.
No more...please ...
I can keep a victim alive for
weeks...months, if I desire it...it's an
art. They beg for death...I
keep it just out of their reach.
(he strikes her with the whip)
The pain remains constant.
Don't, please...I'll do what you desire
The Baron coils his whip.
Sweet Princess, you begin to sound most
What do you want from me?
At the moment, very little. Your company
at my table...
The Baron beckons and a squat imp with the features of a
bullfrog scurries out of the shadows and unfastens the
shackles binding Lili.
We'll get you cleaned up, find a suitable
gown...I imagine you'll enjoy a good
A few day's nourishment will see your
What will become of me then?
When you are ripe for my pleasure, I will
enjoy the harvest.
I'm pleased you're not troubled by the
Do as you wish with my body, you'll never
possess my soul!
Your soul?...Why should I bother with
such a paltry trifle?
I don't expect you'd understand.
My dear Princess, the human soul is a
highly elusive commodity. I suggest you
spend some hours before the glass.
Contemplate your intriguing reflection
and consider whether such a creature as
yourself could possibly possess something
as fine and beautiful as a soul.
The Baron pulls a hand-mirror from beneath his robe and hands
it to Lili. She refuses to look at herself, casting the glass
aside in a rage.
You're a beast!
Indeed I am, my dear..that makes us a
The Baron's lupine features appear even more demonic as he
EXT. CAMP IN THE FOREST - NIGHT
A small fire blazes under an ice-coated tree. The faerie
troop huddles about it in their robes for warmth. Deformed
like a torture victim, Castle Couer de Noir is silhouetted
against the frozen sky.
Gump and Jimmy Squarefoot sit on a fallen log next to Jack,
who stares gloomily at the hideous fortress beyond the trees.
Never felt so cold in all me born days...
The chill is worse this night.
It be the castle...we feel the
castle...it be that close...
A castle's but stone and mortar -
Nay. Castle Couer de Noir is Devil's
work...built with sorrow and grief...
Don't like the feel of it, Jack.
It's your own fear troubles you...We're
here, aren't we? For all the dark magic
The walls be glued together with blood
and tears...the wind in the battlements
cries with pain...
Mayhap the Baron wanted us to find him.
What good is magic if you don't make use
Give in to despair and all is lost.
It feels wrong, Jack...like a trap.
There's more than one way to spring a
Aye, so long as you're not too greedy
for the bait.
Plenty treasure inside... Jimmy seen it
You've been inside?
In a dream.
Don't speak to me of dreams! I feel I've
been dreaming since the unicorn was
That be so, better you pinch yourself
On the morrow I'll be awake enough to see
if dreams come true.
Pray they don't turn out to be
Jack ponders this morbid thought as he and his companions
stare silently into the dwindling fire.
EXT. FOREST CAMP - MORNING
The dying embers of the campfire CARRY OVER and BLEND into
the blood-red blaze of the rising sun. Swathed in mist and
fog, the day star gleams dully, like the glowing eye of some
The faerie warriors prepare for battle. Moving like ghosts in
the mist, they gather weapons and carefully hone their swords
SOUNDS of HAMMERING and CHOPPING, as the elves and goblins
work at building ladders and siege equipment.
A pair of faeries fits together a catapult, the parts of
which were painfully transported all this distance.
Jack and Gump stand on a small rise overseeing the activity.
As the sun's warmth dispels the mist, the massive walls of
Castle Couer de Noir materialize before them.
ANGLE: (CASTLE, JACK & GUMP'S POV)
Shreds of mist are stripped away by the wind, like dead flesh
peeling from a corpse, as the true nature of Castle Couer de
Noir is revealed for the first time. The massive walls of the
deformed fortress are constructed not of blocks of stone but
with human bones! Like the catacombs of Paris, the skulls and
bones, millions and millions of them, are arranged in
geometric and decorative patterns, stacked one upon the
other, an ossuary reaching to the sky.
The battlements of Hell...
ANGLE: (GUMP & JACK)
The Green Man and the faerie stare in mute horror at the
walls of the castle. The monstrosity of the evil dwarfs them.
Tells you something 'bout him what lives
We'll need more siege machinery and
longer scaling ladders.
Why not mine the damned walls?
We do both. Our frontal attack a
diversion whilst we drive a tunnel
Gump is cheered by Jack's decisiveness and the boldness of
I'll set the dwarves to digging.
Gump hurries off down the hill, muttering and chuckling to
Together unto the breach...
storming the bastions of darkness...
EXT. CASTLE TOWER - DAY
His black cloak whipping in the wind, masked and gloved, the
unicorn horn mounted as a sword and strapped at his side, the
Baron stands gazing down from his tower at the frenzied
faerie activity below. At his side are two FISH-HEADED
DEMONS, made more hideous by the deformed armor they wear.
An army of mites...see them scurry...
ANGLE: (THE FAERIES, BARON'S POV)
From the height of the tower, the faeries indeed seem to be
mites, frenzied in their tiny activity. A battery of
catapults is aligned, scaling ladders laid out in even rows.
Gump barks orders as the faerie soldiers form ranks.
BARON (0. S.)
Even a wolf has fleas...
ANGLE: (BARON & DEMONS)
The Baron leans against the parapet, the armored demons at
Why so few?
Delusion...a kind of magic which works
against the magician.
Precisely. Faith has persuaded them a
pygmy with a sling can kill an armed
Dumb magic. Giant smash peewee.
We go out, smash 'em now?
No. Smashing is not required. I have a
surprise for our tiny invaders ...Raise
The Baron points to an iron grill covering a skylight. The
demons scuttle over and lift it off. Immediately, the DRONE
of thousands of tiny wings is HEARD within.
I love surprises.
The DRONING grows LOUDER and LOUDER until a dark swarm of
fanged frog/bats rushes from the keep like a dark whirlwind.
I doubt the faeries will admire their
beauty,...Come, this will be fun to
The demons lurch back to the parapet, peering over with the
Baron as the black cloud of SCREAMING frog/bats descends like
an angry tempest on the faeries gathered below.
EXT. FOREST CAMP - DAY
A FANFARE of trumpets as the faerie soldiers form ranks on
the plain before Castle Couer de Noir. Rows of catapults,
siege towers and scaling ladders are arranged along the edge
of the icy forest. Gump strides up and down in his armor
before the assembling troops, barking orders like a sergeant
Step lively now!...Pick up the pace,
lads...This is war, not baby-pinching or
Splendid in his armor, Jack rides the unicorn in review as
the faerie soldiers stand in proud formation before him.
Well done, Mr. Gump. A braver-looking
host I can't imagine...
Men, I'm not much on pretty speeches. In
a short while, the heat of battle will
test us all, and I know that each of you
will prove true and -
Jack is interrupted by the DRONE of thousands of wings
growing EVER-LOUDER. A shadow falls across the assembled
soldiers. Jack looks up to see the cause.
ANGLE: (THE SKY, JACK'S POV)
Like a tornado of utter evil, the dark storm cloud of
frog/bats swirls down from the castle tower, their high,
falsetto SCREECHING rising above the DRONE of wings.
JACK (0. S.)
What calamity be this?
ANGLE (THE FAERIE TROOP)
The cloud of fluttering frog/bats envelops the ranks of
faerie soldiers. Fluttering, screaming, the tiny winged
creatures swarm into the ranks biting and scratching. The
faeries strike futilely at them with swords and spears. It is
like fighting gnats with a teaspoon. There is no way to keep
order. In a moment, it's every man for himself. The formation
Screwball has a frog/bat attached to his face, the tiny teeth
ripping. He tears at the creature and falls to the ground,
rolling over and over and SCREAMING in pain..
A frog/bat zooms down on Gump. SEEN C.U., the gaping frog
mouth with its row of needle-sharp teeth is genuinely
Gump is already having problems with a half-dozen clinging
frog/ bats. They bite and tear through his clothing as he
swats at them.
The entire formation of faerie soldiers is in disarray. They
mill about in frantic confusion, helplessly fighting the
swirling myriads of frog/bats surrounding them.
In his armor, Jack is relatively well-protected from the
infuriating, creatures. Sword in hand, he hacks flying
frog/bats from the air as skillfully as a tennis player
returning a serve. Several of the evil winged creatures land
on the unicorn's rump, biting and drawing blood. Sapphire
rears and whinnies in fear and pain.
Jack swats them off with his free hand, doing his best to
soothe his mount at the same time.
Easy girl...easy now, Sapphire...calm
yourself, they're no worse than horse
flies in summer...
Men! Defend yourselves!... Form a shield
wall...hurry! Form a shield wall!
ANGLE: (THE FAERIE TROOP)
Struggling in panic against the aerial onslaught of the
frog/bats, the faerie soldiers take heart from Jack's
command. They rally with encouraging cries of: "Come on
lads, hop to it." "Get your shields up." And "All together
now, form the wall."
The savage flying cloud continues its torment as the
beleaguered faeries muster together and form a large shield
wall. The troops in the center lift their shields above their
heads, forming an armored ceiling against the dive-bombing
frog/bats. The outer perimeters are also ranked with over
lapping shields. The entire phalanx closes itself in behind a
solid wall of iron shields.
Jack and Gump, among the last to join the formation, hurry to
its protection as the fury of the frog/bats swirls about
them. Jack jumps down from the unicorn and pulls his mount
with him under the protection of the shield wall.
INT. UNDER THE SHIELD WALL - DAY
Jack urges Sapphire to kneel among the troops. He wipes the
blood from her flanks and calms her.
Down girl...kneel, my darling...it's all
right now...you're safe in here.
A steady, gong-like CLANGING resounds under the shield wall.
it is the SOUND of hundreds and hundreds of frog/bats diving
into the uplifted shields.
Gump, his clothing torn and face bloodied, crawls over to
Jack between the stalwart shield-holders.
A fine mess this is... horrid, nipping
creatures ...What do we now, Jack?
Defend ourselves. We've bested far worse
Don't lose heart...Assemble the archers.
Have everyone not holding a shield man a
bow. Shoot the damned things as they fly.
There aren't enough arrows.
Never mind. Just do it! Retrieve the
Gump thinks it's helpless but nevertheless musters up a
determined expression and begins barking commands in his most
Here we go then, lads. You heard Jack.
Every man with a bow, front and
center...Aim up through the shields. Send
these damn gad-flies to hell...
The archers scramble into position, kneeling between the
shield holders and aiming up through the intervening spaces
at the frog/bat tempest fluttering above them.
EXT. CASTLE TOWER - DAY
The Baron and the demons watch the frenzied commotion below.
The Baron enjoys the spectacle immensely.
Fight's over before it's begun...soon the
survivors will be in full retreat.
Then we smash 'em?
Anything left for smashing you may
We watch...good fun...
Indeed, the best of fun... Enjoy
The Baron wraps his cloak about him and starts for the
You go? Not watch fun?
I have something far more pleasant
More fun win battle?
This is another victory, my friends. What
began with the lash shall be concluded
with a caress.
You go to lady now?
To finish last evening's delightful work.
We come watch we come watch.
Nay. This is a private affair, no
audience welcome...Better you watch the
dismantling of our enemies...and, look
you, see the moat is set aflame.
Fire moat...why do that?
Purely a precaution...
The Demons bow low.
As you command, sire...
The Baron stalks off, sweeping down the circular stairs into
INT. CASTLE PASSAGEWAY - DAY
The passage is dark and windowless, lighted by occasional
flaming torches. The Baron strides the length of the hall. He
strips off his protective black garments, casting them aside
in his impatient lust. First, the heavy gloves, then the wolf
mask, last, with a flourish, the floor-length midnight cloak.
Stripped to a simple under-gown, the Baron pauses before a
thick iron-bound door. He is panting now, his nostrils
dilated, flecks of spittle frothing his whiskers. His eyes
narrow as he flings open the unbolted door and steps forward
INT. UNDER THE SHIELD WALL - DAY
Beneath the shield wall is a world of shadows, the shield
bearers dark and solid as tree trunks; the archers moving
between them like silhouettes of Sagittarius. Beams of light
stab down through the openings. The archers kneel, aim and
fire upwards into the light. The DRUMMING of dive-bombing
frog/bats rumbles like thunder.
The archers encourage one another with boasts and
compliments. "Good shot." "Right between the eyes!"
"Bullseye!" etc. etc.
Screwball kneels and fires next to Jack and Gump,
There! Straight on ...straight...
(his eyes widen with delight)
Bloody marvelous shot!
Something CLANGS on the shields above. Screwball's arrow
drops at his feet. Three frog/bats are impaled upon the shaft
like shish kabob.
Screwball grabs up the arrow and waves his trophy in front of
Jack and Gump.
Look at that shot! Three at once! I can't
Very thrifty. Even got your arrow back.
All at once, a bright BLAZE of orange LIGHT brightens the
interior of the shield wall.
Sweet slippers of Oisin!
They've fired the moat!
Water doesn't burn...
And frogs don't fly and bite like
tomcats. It be magic, Jack ...powerful
There isn't much time!
Been telling you that all along, lad.
What magic have we on our side?
Faerie magic's no match for a sorcerer's
power...We have Ogg's gifts, the key and
That's it! The unbreakable line! We'll
tie it to an arrow and fire it up into
the timbers above the portcullis...then,
I'll climb up and chop down the
Will you chance a miss?
There must be some way to get it up
Gump eyes Screwball, aiming through the shield-wall, and a
sly smile spreads across his elfin features.
Now, Jack, me thinks I have the perfect
EXT. PLAIN IN FRONT OF CASTLE - DAY
A wall of bright flames surrounds the castle, the black smoke
blending with frog/bats. Cowering beneath all this wall seems
a meager fortress at best.
INT. BARON'S BEDROOM IN CASTLE - DAY
Macabre walls of the Baron's, the swirling cloud of fury, the
It is very dark. A small fire on the heart provides the only
light, casting bold, flickering shadows across the spartan
Something moves in the shadows. Something sleek and swift.
There is another movement, sensual and predatory; a hunting
The shadows dance; animal forms glide through the flickering
light. They are not hunting, but mating. Their fur shines in
the firelight. Tails SWISH in erotic sinuosity. The low,
growling MOAN of their love language is the SOUND of pure,
Glimpsed through the shadows, the sensuous sliding animal
movement of the Baron and Lili becomes a passionate ballet.
Their dark bodies writhe and merge, a collision of clouds -
the mating of shadows.
Lili is no victim here, but a willing and eager participant.
She seems utterly feminine and feline, her back arched, a
vibrant MOAN purring from her throat.
The Baron mounts her, proud as a stallion, and their rhythmic
coupling casts lyric shadows across the bare stone walls.
EXT. SHIELD WALL - DAY
Drifting smoke swirls over the uplifted shields as Jack, Gump
and Screwball break from the cover and protection of the
phalanx. They sprint across the open plain. The smoke covers
them. Their escape goes unnoticed by the furious frog/bats.
EXT. EDGE OF FOREST - DAY
At the crest of the hill where the plain meets the wooded
forest, the faeries' siege machinery stands in martial ranks
facing Castle Couer de Noir. A row of catapults is front and
foremost. Jack and Gump run up the hill towards the engines
of war. Screwbal1 lags behind, complaining.
Why me, that's all I ask?... Why not
Gunner or Floki?... Someone who doesn't
bruise so easy...
Screwball reluctantly joins the others at the first of the
Someone like Floki...or Squarefoot or--
(full with authority)
You'll do it because I am your liege and
I command you to do it!
Screwball gulps back a complaint and kneels before Gump.
Rise, Screwball, and into the basket with
Screwball gets slowly to his feet, and just as slowly climbs
into the launching basket of the catapult.
Maybe there's a better idea...What about
birds... get a lift from some friendly
Haven't heard a bird sing in days...
Or a kite!...We could make a kite...Let
the wind do the work --
Screwball is instantly silent. Gump hands him the dwarves'
Start acting like you're worthy of this
mission... Here. Whatever you do, don't
dare drop it.
Nay, Sire, I'll cling to it as to life
Good, lad...Here, Jack, give me a hand
with the windlass...There's a good
Together, Jack and Gump labor at winding back the windlass on
the catapult. As they turn, the launching arm is drawn slowly
back, a cowering Screwball fearfully clutching the golden
line in the woven-leather basket.
One more turn...
The launching arm is bent back into a taut arch. Screwball
clenches his eyes shut. Jack stands by the release lever.
Have the engineers corrected for
alignment and trajectory?
Aye. Before the wee pesties attacked.
Then it's Godspeed, Screwball.
Oberon's hump protect me-eeeeeeee!
Jack pulls the lever releasing the windlass and the arm whips
forward, catapulting Screwball high into the air over the
castle. His cry is lost on the wind as his form diminishes
into a tiny dot arcing over the walls above the flaming moat.
EXT. CASTLE COURTYARD - DAY
A lean-to roofed with thatch is built along the inside wall,
sheltering a stable. The courtyard is deserted as Screwball
comes hurtling like a meteor. He lands in the thatch and
sinks from sight.
After a moment, Screwball's pixie face appears out of the
Someone what doesn't bruise, says
I...glorious mission, says they...
A CLATTER of armored FOOTFALLS alerts Screwball to the
approach of the Baron's demonic troops. A squad of hideous
Heironymous Bosch imps, fearful combinations of reptiles and
swine, long-beaked birds with insect wings, feathered
rodents, deformed jackals, trots NOISILY across the cobbles
Screwball ducks into the thatch.
Dear...oh, dear...straight from Hell by
the looks of 'em...
The grotesque armor the imps wear adds to their sinister
appearance They JABBER LOUDLY at one-another in a fearful
GOBBLEDYGOOK. The wicked points of their partizans glitter,
passing at eye-level as Screwball burrows deeper into the
After a moment, the echoes of the imps passage fades.
Screwball pops up out of the straw and has a look around, the
coiled golden line clutched tightly in his grasp.
Bet they eat elves for breakfast...
Screwball clambers to the top of the lean-to roof and climbs
up the protruding bones and skulls to the top of the wall.
EXT. TOP OF WALL - DAY
Screwball stares down the dizzying abyss into the flaming
moat. He waves at his beleaguered companions, but is hidden
from view by drifting smoke. This is a good thing, for
another squad of imp-goons troops across the courtyard below.
Get moving, Screwball, 'fore they serves
you up on a piece of toast!
Screwball scampers along the ridge of the wall, hopping over
the crenellations like a squirrel.
EXT. LEDGE - DAY
The wall abuts into the curving battlements of the central
keep, towering above. A narrow ledge leads away from the top
of the wall, arcing around the keep to the portcullis.
Screwball begins the traverse like a mountaineer, edging one
sliding foot at a time along the ledge, trying not to look
down into the flame and smoke, nor across at his comrades
huddled under the shield wall.
EXT. EDGE OF FOREST - DAY
Jack and Gump wait by the catapult, straining to see through
the smoke shrouding the facade of the ghastly castle.
There he is...out on the keep!
ANGLE: (THE CASTLE - GUMP'S POV)
At the distance, Screwball seems quite helpless, inching
along the outer wall of the keep like a mouse on the back of
a sleeping lion.
I see him.
As he stares, hawklike, at Screwball.
He'll be atop the portcullis ere long.
Best get down close to the moat, lad.
Aye. We're good as inside.
It's what we'll find there worries me.
Using the drifting smoke for cover, Jack runs down the open
hillside towards the flaming moat.
EXT. LEDGE - DAY
Screwball continues his cautious progress across the curving
facade of the keep.
I should be out sippin' fresh cow's milk
straight from the udder...that's what I
should be doing...
Screwball's progress takes him under a sealed iron shutter.
The SOUND of GROWLS and MOANING brings him up short.
What's this now?
Hooking his fingers into the eye-sockets of a convenient
skull, Screwball gets a good grip and clambers up the wall to
the window sill. Hanging like a bat, he peers through the
tiny slit between the bottom of the shutter and the sill.
INT. BARON'S BEDCHAMBER (SCREWBALL'S POV) - DAY
The SOUNDS of MOANING are LOW and VIBRANT. The room is masked
in shadows. Items of torn, discarded clothing lie in
contorted positions about the flagstone floor. The coals on
the hearth glow like the eyes of a demonic beast. Not far
away, the unicorn horn leans against the wall, bathed in the
ember's glow. Lili and the Baron lie together amidst a tangle
of quilts and featherbeds. They MOAN softly, bodies wrapped
in sinuous ease. Their dark fur gleams. Very tenderly, they
lick one-another, like cats.
EXT. LEDGE - DAY
Screwball carefully lowers himself back to the ledge,
grinning like a pixie.
Found the alicorn, I did, I did...Found
the Baron, too..hee, hee...
Screwball tip-toes away on the ledge, more sure of himself
Won't be the first caught on love's
EXT. ROOF OVER PORTCULLIS - DAY
A copper-sheathed arch rising over the entranceway. The
drawbridge is drawn-up tight underneath and serves as a
Screwball hops off the ledge onto the roof. A gargoyle
rivaling the Baron's impish cohorts juts out of the wall just
beneath. Screwball ties one end of the golden line around it.
EXT. EDGE OF MOAT - DAY
Jack hurries along the moat-edge, flames licking past him. He
looks up and spots Screwball tying the line to the gargoyle
Screwball, down here!
Screwball waves at Jack.
SCREWBALL (CALLING DOWN)
Done like a champion. Can you reach me
with the line?
EXT. ROOF OVER PORTCULLIS - DAY
Screwball ties his sheath-knife to the other end of the line.
Easy as eating pancakes.
Screwball tosses the weighted line out over the moat. It
clears the flames and lands at Jack's feet.
EXT. CASTLE WALL - DAY
Jack jumps with the line and pendulums across the moat
through the leaping flames. He lands with his feet against
the bones of the wall and proceeds to haul himself up, hand
EXT. DRAWBRIDGE WINCH - DAY
Jack reaches the top of the drawbridge. He walks the rope
like a man on a leash and gets a leg over the top. On a small
platform under the open roof stands a large wooden winch. The
thick cable securing the drawbridge is wound around it.
Jack climbs onto the platform and draws his sword. In three
swift strokes he hacks through the cable. The winch spins
wildly as the chains holding the drawbridge rattle out
Amid the clatter, the drawbridge slowly descends.
EXT. CASTLE - DAY
The drawbridge gathers speed and lands with a LOUD CRASH
across the flaming moat.
EXT. SHIELD WALL - DAY
Batting away bombarding frog/bats, Gump rushes up to the
shield wall, shouting for joy.
Lads...look!...The drawbridge is
down...The walls be breached...
The faeries under their shields give out with a single,
exultant victory CHEER, breaking ranks and running pell-mell
down the hill towards the lowered drawbridge. The frog/bats
fly after them like a swarm of pursuing bees.
High above the portcullis, Jack waves his sword in the air,
cheering them on.
EXT. DRAWBRIDGE - DAY
SHOUTING and YELLING like invading Vikings, the faerie
soldiers swarm across the drawbridge, swords and spears on
high. They are met by an alarmed contingent of the Baron's
household guard. A nightmare battle is joined, faeries
against fiends. The CLASH of steel on steel RINGS through the
stone courtyard. Sapphire gallops into the thick of the fray,
impaling a mole-faced imp on her long, spiraling horn.
The frog/bats, swarming in under the open portcullis, make no
distinction between friend and foe, biting and harassing the
Baron's troops as indiscriminately as the faerie soldiers.
This adds an additional element of confusion to the conflict.
The faeries gain ground, hacking and stabbing into the inner
reaches of the castle.
EXT. ROOF OVER PORTCULLIS - DAY
The ROAR and HOWL of battle drowns Jack's enthusiastic CHEERS
as he urges his men on from atop the roof over the
We SEE Screwball eagerly telling what he observed in the
keep, but the SOUNDS of the conflict below COVER his actual
words. It is obvious from Screwball's enthusiastic gestures
that he describes the location of the unicorn horn. Screwball
points along the ledge to the shuttered window in the keep.
A tremendous CRY OF VICTORY rises from below as the faeries
break through the ranks of imps and surge forward into the
INT. BARON'S BEDROOM - DAY
The room is dark. Lili lies in the Baron's arms surrounded by
tangled bedclothing. He strokes her soft fur gently. A
muffled CRY is HEARD outside and Lili, alarmed, sits up
What was that? Did you hear that?
It's nothing. My men take great delight
in routing the enemy. Don't trouble
It sounded like it came from the
From the parapets most likely. The men
are amused by a battlefield entertainment
of my own contriving.
Might we watch, too?
Later, beloved...Now I wish only to be
Lili snuggles against the Baron's chest, running her fingers
through the silky hair covering him.
And I with you...I never dreamed life
held such pleasures...
Pleasure is for those who seize it! Do
you think those insipid, pale skinned
mortals will ever know such rapture?
It's odd...when I first found
myself...changing... I was sick with
loathing and disgust. I thought I was so
ugly I wanted to die...
Now I want to live forever. I've never
felt so strong or happy.
Or looked so beautiful...
Yes. I feel that, too. Weakness is what
Precisely, my darling. Your animal
strength, your primitive power has
surfaced...you are what you desire.
To be strong and free...that is all I
So you shall be...Like our brothers, the
hawk and the wolf, our spirits know no
master...we are created in the pure image
of the savage God that set our turbulent
universe in motion.
Lili stretches languidly, rubbing against the Baron.
And what savagery would please you most,
The Baron's talons rake Lili's fur as he hauls her into a
Mating with you, beloved...to share that
exquisite pain once more.
The Baron bites her shoulder. Lili YIPS with animal delight.
The iron shutters are thrown open with a loud CRASH. A swath
of sunlight stabs into the darkened chamber. Sword in hand,
Jack stands on the window sill, silhouetted against the
The Baron SHRIEKS and falls off the bed, GROANING with pain
on the floor.
The light!...The light!..
Yield, Couer de Noir, or I grant no
The Baron scrambles on all fours across the floor, seeking to
avoid the light. He snatches up the unicorn horn leaning
against the wall and ducks into the shadows.
Protect me, beloved!...I need your help!
as she reacts to the Baron's plight. Her eyes narrow; her
ears tuck back; a low GROWL rumbles from her throat as she
bares her fangs.
BARON (0. S.)
Defend me!...My darling, you must defend
With the ROAR of a savage jungle cat, Lili leaps down off the
bed as Jack jumps into the room.
Afraid to fight, Baron?
Claws hooked and gleaming, Lili stalks GROWLING between Jack
and the cowering Baron. Jack doesn't recognize her, so
monstrous is her savage appearance. He backs away a step,
holding his sword in front of him.
Any closer and I'll cut you down.
Lili GROWLS. With a sudden leap, she is upon Jack, raking his
face with her claws as she sinks her fangs into his neck
where the bare flesh shows above his breastplate. Jack
SCREAMS in surprise and pain, falling back under Lili's
Jack and Lili fall to the floor, rolling over and over in a
In the shadows, the Baron takes advantage of this
distraction. He creeps to the side of the fireplace and pulls
a hidden switch. A secret panel swings away from the wall.
Quickly, the Baron scurries inside the dark passageway
beyond. The panel slides closed behind him.
Jack pulls free from the wild creature assaulting him. He
struggles to his feet, grabbing up his sword where he dropped
it in the attack.
Lili crouches, SNARLING as Jack backs away. With a wild CRY,
she springs at him again. Jack thrusts defensively with his
sword. Lili is impaled, the gleaming blade run completely
through her body. MOANING, she sags into Jack's arms, his
golden armor drenched in her blood.
ANGLE: (JACK & LILI)
as she trembles in Jack's unwilling embrace, Lili's features
alter and transform. The fangs and claws disappear. Her fur
is gone. She is just a naked girl again, dying in her lover's
As gently as possible, Jack pulls the sword from Lili's body.
He drops the weapon to the floor and lifts the gravely
injured Princess in his arms.
What have I done?
Only what's right...
Jack carries Lili over to the bed and lays her gently down.
I thought you were dead...I--
I was bewitched...it's better this way...
They told me you were dead.
Lili is weakening.
I wish I were...will be soon...Don't be
troubled, Jack, tis a great gift you've
Jack buries his face in the bed-clothes, sobbing.
No! I won't let it happen...
You've freed me, Jack...
It's the Baron's damnable work! Too
cowardly to stand and fight he used you
to save himself.
No...it's not you he's afraid of,
Sunlight...It destroys him.
That's why he goes masked during the
So, he's hiding in the dark...
In the dark...where I join him...
No! Don't let go...you mustn't! I love
And I...love you...
The door to the bedroom crashes open and Gump, along with
Screwball and several other armed faeries, enter excitedly.
Jack! The courtyard's been taken...The
Baron's forces are besieged in the south
tower. No sign of...Jack? Do you hear
what I'm saying? We've won, lad.
It doesn't matter.
Nonsense! Course it matters.
...the Princess Lili...I've killed her.
Gump approaches the bed and examines the wounded Princess.
She's sore hurt, Jack, tis true, but not
The wound is mortal.
Nay. You've not reckoned with the powers
of faerie medicine.
Can you save her?
Easily...The question is, can we save
ourselves? Be a shame to win the battle
only to lose the war.
I don't ... understand.
The alicorn, lad. Come to your senses!
Unless we find Baron Couer de Noir and
bring back the horn the world is doomed.
Jack is himself again, eager for action. He grabs up his
fallen sword and starts for the sealed secret passage.
The Baron hides in the dark in a
passage...under the Castle...Quick, give
me the dwarf's key...the one which opens
In the dark, lad? Why should he do that?
Because sunlight will kill him. Quickly
now, give me the key.
Sunlight, you say?
Aye. Hurry now, Gump, the key!
Mean you to seek him out below?
I'm not afraid of the dark.
I admire your valor, Jack. By all means,
seek him out...But first, we needs visit
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
On stout shelves along the masonry walls are rows and rows of
brightly polished plates and pots. All sizes and shapes;
gold, silver and copper kitchen utensils shine and sparkle.
ANGLE: (JACK & GUMP)
They stand by the huge hearth, staring up at the cookware
shining all around them.
The kitchen be the most important room in
a palace, for if the victuals ain't
right, little else is likely to be so.
Did you bring me here to sup?
Nay, lad, we're here to collect a weapon
you'll need fighting the Baron.
Plan on carrying some away in a kettle?
Easier than that, Jack.
Screwball! Fetch me down a couple of them
Screwball scurries up to a nearby shelf and brings down two
large golden plates.
They'll do nicely.
Gump takes a plate and polishes it on his sleeve. He points
to the far side of the room.
Stand over there and hold your
Gump demonstrates how he wants the plate held. Screwball
grips it with both hands, holding it up before Jack like a
Will you explain what's going on?
Gump moves to where a beam of sunlight angles through the
high kitchen window. He holds his plate in the light, trying
different angles, until at last he manages to reflect the
sunlight, beaming it straight at the plate Screwball holds.
Instantly, it is reflected off Screwball's plate and strikes
Jack straight in the eye, blinding him.
Hey! Stop it! I can't see.
Ah ,but you will. And so will the Baron,
when we bring a little light to his dark
Gump aims his platter at Jack. A BLAZE of reflected sunlight
FILLS THE SCREEN with dazzling whiteness.
INT. SECRET PASSAGE - DAY
A DAZZLE OF SUNLIGHT FILLING THE SCREEN.
Very nice, Goldenrod.
A very young elf struggles to hold a giant golden salver,
sending a beam of sunlight scintillating down the meandering
Gump and Jack hold torches at the next bend. Gump positions a
lovely naiad with a copper pot lid, stealing a kiss on her
fair shoulder in the process.
Stand here, my dear...that's right...
Gump stands behind the naiad, guiding her arms so that the
pot lid catches the sun-beam properly.
Turn it just a wee bit...
The beam bounces on down the tunnel.
ANOTHER ANGLE: (PASSAGEWAY)
The passageway zig-zags up through the interior of the
castle, steep stone stairs leading from level to level.
Faeries stand at every bend, passing the sunlight one to
another like an astral bucket brigade. Standing in a long
soup-kitchen line in the darkness alongside, is a file of
elves, faeries and gnomes, each holding a platter, bowl or
ANGLE: (JACK & GUMP)
Drawn sword in hand, torch up-lifted, Jack stands at the head
of the procession, impatiently stepping forward into
Can't we move any faster?
Tis a delicate operation, lad. Requires a
bit of engineering...Next!
A hunched, long-bearded GNOME hurries forward, clutching a
copper frying pan polished to a mirror-finish.
Brown Tom o' Kirkdale reporting for duty,
Stand easy, Brown Tom. Right here is
ANGLE: (JACK - FURTHER DOWN THE TUNNEL)
Jack has moved quite a good way down the tunnel, a corona of
torchlight surrounding him in the darkness.
Seems to be some sort of vaulted chamber
Don't get too far!
INT. VAULTED CHAMBER - DAY
Torch in hand, Jack moves cautiously out of the passageway
into a vast underground room spacious as the nave of a
cathedral. Stone columns thick as tree-trunks rise into the
shadows above. Jack never relaxes his guard. He turns to
check behind him every third step.
From a distance, Jack shines like a multi-faceted jewel. His
every surface winks with reflected light: breastplate,
shield, helmet, even the long, tapered sword held before him.
Gump's voice ECHOES from FAR AWAY:
GUMP (0. S. )
Jack is mid-way into the chamber. He moves like a canny
warrior, pivoting, checking his rear, light on his toes.
The sibilant HISS of a sword-blade rending the air. The CLANG
of contact as the torch is knocked from Jack's grasp and sent
tumbling to the floor.
Jack whirls to face the challenge. It is the Baron! Enormous
in the flickering light of the fallen torch, like some horned
bear on his hind legs, the Baron advances, the unicorn horn
gripped in his sword hand.
Jack hauls his shield off his back, stepping forward to meet
the challenge. The Baron swings with both hands gripping the
horn hilt. Jack parries with the "Avatar". When steel hits
alicorn it is as if lightning strikes. Sparks fly. A second
exchange has Jack in retreat.
The Baron lunges with the alicorn. Jack receives the thrust
on his shield. The curling point of the horn punctures the
dwarf's handiwork like an arrow through a target. For a
moment, the two combatants are locked together, face-to-face.
Secure in his armor, Jack swings his sword at the unclad
Baron. He leaps back with the agility of a wild beast,
wrenching the shield from Jack's grip and flinging it
clattering aside into darkness.
Jack backs away as the Baron renews the attack. Again, the
lightning CLASH of swordplay. Jack strives valiantly to
withstand the onslaught but the Baron is too powerful. The
swordfall comes faster. Jack stumbles to one knee. The Baron
disarms him with a mighty blow. The "Avatar" RINGS musically
as it tumbles out of reach into the shadows.
The Baron's leering face is made more demonic by the unsteady
So, boy...Pray while there's still breath
The Baron draws back his arm for the death stroke. The torch
The Baron's CRY RESOUNDS in the BLACKNESS.
A blinding FLASH of LIGHT. The Baron SCREAMS, a wail of utter
pain as the beam of sunlight hits him.
Screwball stands by a pillar holding a silver plate. He
directs the sunlight at the Baron, following him as he twists
and writhes in agony.
Jack scrambles across the floor, seizing his fallen sword. He
leaps to his feet and rushes at the cringing Baron, caught in
the light like a hapless moth.
It is Jack's turn to wield a death-blow. He draws back to
strike and the LIGHT WOBBLES. The BEAM STRIKES Jack in the
eyes. He is momentarily blinded. He swings and misses, his
sword carving the empty air.
Gump rushes up to Screwball, cuffing him sharply on the back
of the head.
The CLATTER of HOOF-FALLS is HEARD galloping in the distance.
Jack rushes up, sword in hand.
He's getting away! He was at my mercy.
Never show mercy!
I could have struck off his head just
It's done...we'll never catch him.
Ever wondered why Jenny Greenteeth said
you needed the fastest steed on earth?
Gump turns brusquely to Screwball, grabbing his tunic.
Fetch the unicorn...pass it along...
Screwball runs up the vast chamber to an elf standing at the
entrance to the passageway.
Fetch the unicorn...pass it along...
The elf turns abruptly and runs up the tunnel.
INT. SECRET PASSAGEWAY - DAY
From elf to dwarf to goblin the word is passed. The wee folk
scurry like moles in the dark tunnel, their PIPING VOICES
taking up the cry:
fetch the unicorn...pass it along...fetch
the unicorn ...pass it along...fetch the
unicorn...pass it along...
The tiny VOICES MERGE and BLEND as the message is transmitted
more and more rapidly. The words are lost in the steady
rhythm. It is like the CHIRPING of crickets on a summer
INT. VAULTED CHAMBER - DAY
The CHIRPING VOICES CARRY OVER and become the CLIP-CLOP of
hooves. A graceful elf leads Sapphire, the mare unicorn, out
of the darkness to where Gump, Screwball and several other
faeries stand waiting.
Swift as thistledown on the wind, that's
the faerie way...
Jack has recovered his shield, now slung across his back. He
vaults effortlessly aboard the unicorn, clutching the long
Gump hands him up a blazing torch.
Ride like wild fire, Jack.
He'll not escape me.
You're on your own...like a true
Jack stabs his heels into the unicorn's flank and is lost
from sight as a single leap carries him into darkness. Gump
and the others stand watching as the SOUND of hoof-clatter
INT. CAVE - DAY
Jack gallops out of the vaulted chamber through a tall portal
leading into a winding cave. Torch held high, Jack races
between the tapered spines of stalagmites. The shadows of the
stalactites, hanging like daggers, shift on the stone walls
as the unicorn thunders past.
Up ahead, a distant gleam of natural light beckons.
EXT. CAVE MOUTH - DAY
Jack and Sapphire burst from the mouth of the cave in a spray
of dust. Jack wheels the mare around to a halt as he studies
the barren ground. A distinct set of hoof-prints leads off
into the distance. Jack urges Sapphire into a gallop along
EXT. DEMONIC LANDSCAPE - DAY
It is a landscape of Death, like some Breughel vision of
Hell. Ravaged by war and pestilence, all of the trees are
stripped bare. The houses are in ruins, broken walls and
tumbled towers stand like rotten stumps. Bones protrude from
the muck. Corpses lie bloated and moldering.
Wagon wheels are set atop naked trees, skeletons tied spread
eagled across them. Like hooded inquisitors, vultures perch
hunched along the rims.
Villages smolder in ruins in the distance. Smoke drifts like
fog between the blasted trees. Resolutely, Jack keeps up the
chase. The unicorn flies like a spectre across the moribund
landscape. Jack is riding towards the very gates of Hell
EXT. EDGE OF THE WORLD - DAY
The landscape is barren now even of destruction. Mud
volcanoes belch steam and fire. Grotesque buttes hunch under
an unforgiving sky.
A wall of sulfurous flames leaps like a vast curtain behind
the sudden precipice cleaving abruptly from the edge of the
The Baron stands alone like a Titan at the edge of this
cliff, his mount dead at his feet.
His silhouette is terrible against the flames. He holds the
alicorn like Zeus gripping a thunderbolt.
Jack trots forward on Sapphire to meet him. At twenty paces
distance, he dismounts and draws his sword.
The Baron smiles.
Welcome, Jack...I knew you'd be along.
Holding his shield before him, Jack closes on the Baron.
You are Jack, are you not?...The Princess
has told me so much about you...
Jack grimaces at the mention of Lili.
You cursed her!
I gave her a taste of such joy as her
wildest dreams never provided...even now
my seed takes hold in the fiery furnace
of her womb.
Jack rushes at him in anger.
Jack swings wildly. The Baron parries with the alicorn.
Sparks FLASH on contact. Jack is driven back.
Foolish boy! I take what I want and so I
took your Princess!
Jack leaps to the attack but the Baron holds him back, SPARKS
Yes ...exactly...damnation! Don't you
know me, Jack? Don't you know from whence
The Baron's form alters hideously. Huge leathery wings sprout
behind him. His eyes glow like coals.
Talons form on his hairy hands. Lizard scales armor his
chest. He truly appears to be a demon from Hell.
I bring your head as a gift to my Lord
Alicorn gripped in both hands, the Baron rushes forward. He
swings with all his might. Jack parries with the "Avatar".
There is an EXPLOSION of LIGHT. Jack's sword is broken in
two. The force of the blow knocks him to his knees. He is
The Baron raises the alicorn to strike.
For you, oh my master, Satan!
As the Baron stands, sword/horn uplifted like a sacrificial
priest, the storm-darkened heavens suddenly part. The clouds
open and a ray of sunlight strikes the Baron like a bolt from
The Baron contorts with pain in the bright light. The unicorn
horn glows white-hot. The fur on his hand smokes and he drops
the alicorn, SCREAMING with pain.
Without warning, Sapphire gallops up behind the Baron and
spears him through the middle. The unicorn lifts his writhing
form high in the air, impaled like some kicking insect. With
a toss of her horn, she hurls him to the ground.
The Baron hunches on his knees, gripping his mid-section in a
futile attempt to keep the foul black bile from spilling out
of him like a discharge of sewer water. He rears back his
fanged head and SHOUTS in pain:
Lord Satan...protect me!
Jack jumps to his feet. In three swift strides he has
snatched-up the alicorn. It is no longer incandescent with
Without pausing, Jack delivers a round-house swing, lopping
the Baron's head from his shoulders. A fountain of black
filth spews from his truncated neck as the body topples.
The severed head bounces off the edge of the cliff, tumbling
out of sight past circling buzzards into the haze of smoke.
Jack looks over and grins at Sapphire, who rears and whinnies
The Baron's body sags like a deliquescent pumpkin, leaking
rottenness. Smoke swirls around the cliff edge. Jack wipes
the alicorn clean of the Baron's black blood.
He's dead, Lili...he can't hurt you any
The Baron's body continues to melt away, seeping into the dry
dust like bubbling tar.
Sapphire sidles over and rubs against Jack. The Green Man
wraps his arm around the unicorn's neck. The two companions
stand at the edge of earth, staring out into the swirling
EXT. HILLSIDE OVERLOOKING CASTLE COUER DE NOIR - DAY
The world is lush and green once again! The trees billow like
deciduous cumuli. Bold spring flowers polka-dot the emerald
meadow. In the distance, the Castle Couer de Noir is in
flames, thick, black smoke staining the azure sky.
The faerie army marches across the meadow, singing
jubilantly. They carry their wounded away on litters.
Foremost of these are the biers bearing Oona and Lili. The
Princess's litter is festooned with blossom ; heaps of wild
flowers blanket the unconscious girl.
They sky is high, the world is wide,
Beneath the flowers faeries hide...
Mounted on Sapphire and her foal, Jack and Gump pause on the
crest of the hill to look back on the faerie procession and
the burning castle. Jack carries the alicorn like a marshal's
baton. The SOUND of the faeries' SINGING drifts musically up
across the meadow. Jimmy Squarefoot staggers along under an
armload of booty.
A good day for singing...
I've not heard a note out of you.
Not in the mood, I'm afraid.
Listen to him. Not in the mood...
On a day like none other the blessed
earth has ever seen ...A day so fair as
forty springtimes --
I'm not denying it's a joyous day -
Where's your joy if you cannot sing?
Were the Princess Lili to join me I would
sing till my lungs burst!
She lives...isn't that worth singing
She lives like all the world before the
Baron's curse lifted. Now the world's
reborn, yet still she sleeps ...
Across the way, the castle Couer de Noir collapses in upon
itself in a spasm of sparks and fire. Only the outer walls
and the keep remain. Cracks appear as the final ramparts
begin to crumble.
You're too impatient...See how long the
castle burns. Think you evil be purged in
an instant?...And remember: the quest is
Jack runs his hand along the spiraling length of the
Aye...We'll fetch it back, praise God.
EXT. MARSHSIDE MEADOW- DAY (C.U. UNICORN SKULL)
The skull of the slain unicorn has been reunited with his
horn. A band of silver filigree conceals the repair-work.
Bedecked with flowers, the skull rests on a velvet pillow. It
is being carried in a procession.
ANGLE: (FUNERAL PROCESSION)
There is nothing somber or sorrowful about the ceremony.
Screwball, dressed in flowers, carries the pillow bearing the
unicorn's skull. Behind him, beautiful winged faerie maidens
in gossamer gowns carry long, serpentine festoons of flowers.
Other elves and goblins toss handfuls of petals and pollen
into the air. They all sing happily as Sapphire and her colt
prance along with them.
The trees are green, spirits unseen, The
world we know is but a dream. The flowers
sing; all birds take wing, Life and Death
are an endless ring.
The procession approaches an underground faerie tomb,
beautifully constructed of fieldstone. The opening is like a
well, leading down to the beehive chamber beneath the earth.
At the bottom, on a blanket of blossoms, the unicorn's
bleached alabaster bones are precisely arranged.
Two winged faeries take the pillow from Screwball and fly
with it down into the tomb, placing it at the head of the
skeleton. A shaft of sunlight makes the skull and horn gleam
like polished ivory. All the elves and faeries, laughing and
singing, cast the flowers they carry down into the tomb.
ANGLE: (JACK & GUMP)
With the happy SOUND of the funeral as a counterpoint,
neither Jack nor Gump appear particularly overjoyed. They
stand beside Princess Lili's litter. Her still, pale form and
the surrounding profusion of flowers bear too close a
resemblance to the ceremony in the BACKGROUND. Jack and Gump
mourn the living.
The quest's at an end and where's the
good of it? A faerie festival over a pile
Tis not the wound, that's sure. Not a
scar remains... we're talking about a
spell; harder to repair than sword-work.
I'll do anything...face any challenge!
Might not need a gesture quite so grand.
What were you doing the very moment the
Baron's curse fell on the world?
I was with the Princess.
By the pond. She was teasing me.
Go on ... go on ...
She tossed her ring in the pond and bid
me fetch it. Said she'd marry me if I
And did you?
Nay. It was lost. When I came up for air
the pond was frozen over.
That's it then...the ring!
EXT. POND - DAY
As beautiful and serene as when first we SAW it. The Princess
is laid out under a tree, cushioned by thousands of flowers.
All the faeries stand about the edge of the water watching
Jack remove his armor.
Jack unbuckles the golden breastplate of Achilles and stacks
it next to his gleaming shield and helmet. Gump helps him
unfasten the greaves.
You must find the ring...It completes the
cycle; answers the riddle...
You're good at riddles... Find the ring
and the spell is broken.
Jack strips down completely. He steps to the edge of the
pond, pausing for a moment to look fondly at his faerie
friends gathered around him.
Your fond wishes give me strength, dear
No speeches! What's a little swim after
sticking worms and ogres?
The faeries applaud and CHEER. Blushing, Jack dives into the
EXT. UNDERWATER - DAY
The cheering is silenced by the rush of water as Jack streaks
down, streams of air-bubbles in his wake.
Jack strokes deeper and deeper, past undulating weeds and
At the bottom, he moves carefully, trying not to stir up the
muck. He gently parts the drifting tendrils, searching among
A winking gleam catches his eye. He reaches out an eager hand
to seize whatever it is.
A cloud of silt issues from his grasp as he open his fingers.
Centered on his palm, golden and perfect, is the ring.
Jack turns and strokes for the surface, a shining ceiling of
light far above him.
EXT. POND - DAY
Jack breaks the still surface with a happy SHOUT. He holds
the ring triumphantly above his head.
I did it! I found it!
LAUGHING joyously, Jack swims for the shore. The banks are
deserted. Not a single faerie remains. But Jack seems not to
notice. He takes hold of a tree-root and hauls himself back
on land. The golden armor of Achilles is gone. In its place
are Jack's old fur and leaf vestments.
And will my lady honor her word in
exchange for this bauble?
Jack stops short when he sees the Princess asleep under the
tree. There is no trace of the heaps of flowers upon which
she rested. Nor of the jeweled gown she wore on the litter.
She looks just as before. Only asleep.
Well, I see what an exciting spectacle
Tossing the ring abstractly up and down, Jack pulls on his
fur trousers and approaches the sleeping Princess. He kneels
before her, lifting her hand to his lips.
Beggars on horseback come courting the
Jack slips the ring on Lili's finger. Her eye-lashes flutter.
She is awake, looking him straight in the face.
Oh! Green Jack! What a dream I've
Whilst you were sleeping, I fetched your
Lili looks at her ring and smiles.
Sweet Jack. I'm so sorry you found me
asleep. Don't know what came over me.
I can't have been under much more than a
Seemed like weeks and weeks. Such a
terrible dream...I could never tell
Is what you said about the ring but
Oh no, dearest Jack...I meant every word.
You're teasing still.
Lili wraps her arms around his neck, kissing him.
Nay, dearest Jack you are to be my
husband. I want none other.
But I am a Green Man. I have
no title, nor lands scarce even a few
vines and threads to keep the cold from
You wear your weeds as well as golden
armor, Jack. Like a true Prince...a
Lili I love you!
And I love you, my husband.
They fall eagerly into each other's arms. Their long,
passionate embrace is interrupted by an unseen pest.
Jack swats at his legs.
What's the matter?
Ouch! Something's biting me.
I can't see a thing.
Nor can I. Damn! It's buzzing all around
me. Ouch! I can hear it like a fly
trapped inside my ear...Says its name is
Oona? Do you suppose it's a faerie?
Ow! Whatever it is, it hurts.
Princess Lili takes Jack by the hand and starts running,
pulling him along with her.
Hurry up then, Jack 0' the Green...
You'll be safe in the castle...We'll hang
out bells and crosses...strew the floors
with flax and salt...
EXT. FOREST PATH - DAY
Lili and Jack run together holding hands down a sunlit forest
path. The DIALOGUE is CONTINUOUS:
No faeries in the palace...We have our
own magician, knows lots of spells...
First, we'll tell my father the
news...you'll like my father, Jack. He's
not like most kings...
Watching from a high bank, unseen by Lili and Jack, the mare
unicorn and her black colt stand in sun-dappled silence. The
colt rubs against his mother's flank as she gently blows on
his mane with her delicate sea-shell nostrils.
Below, Jack and Lili run together up the path into a BLAZE of
...and we won't have to stay in some
stuffy manor all the time. When the
weather's fair we can live in the
woods...I'll wear homespun like a
They disappear into the GLARE and the screen goes WHITE.
This page was last updated on May 25th, 2008.
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