What information is there about the alternate March 10th script for LEGEND?

Geoff Wright discovered a script for LEGEND, dated March 10, 1984 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Library in Hollywood. This version of the script was different in several ways from the March 10th script found at Hollywood Book and Poster and on the web.

UPDATE (5/28/08) : This script can now be found here : LEGEND script from March 10th, 1984 - Second Draft with September 25, 1984 Revisions

The Academy does not allow anyone to make xerox copies of the scripts so the major differences from the March 10th script are described below.

This version of the script has dates on the pages that are long after principal photography was completed. Some of the dialogue that is missing from this version of the script is included in both the March 10th script AND in the European version of the film.

We can surmise that this represents the film as cut at one point rather than as filmed. Keep in mind these differences will not mean much to those who don't have the March 10th script for comparison.

[A subsequent trip and more careful reading of the script in the library revealed that the differences were much greater than those outlined below. The greatest differences have been mentioned, but to detail them all would add a tremendous amount to an already large FAQ. -Geoff]

  1. "New Opening Sequence" dated September 25 1984, after principal photography was completed. This new opening is similar to but longer than the opening in the European release of the film. Following this is the segment where the 4 goblins encounter the unicorns in the woods much like in the March 10th script where the goblins, unable to catch them, manage to find a magical hair from one of them and return to Darkness with it. The sequence is different in small details (for example Blix participates in the killing of Tic by causing him to fall into the abyss near the entrance to Darkness' Tree rather than have him eaten by Meg at the swamp). The lines about Lili being the bait that never fails, i.e. innocence, comes after this segment when the goblins meet up with Darkness again at the Great Tree. There is less rhyming in the goblin dialogue in this version.

  2. As in the European cut, Lili does not see a vision of the icy future on the clock as she does in the American version. Also the dialogue between Lili and Nell is changed somewhat.

  3. The dialogue in the forest after Jack tells Lili he has something special he has been promising to show her and before he blindfolds her is shortened a bit.

  4. No snake is seen in the water when the two come to the stream, but the part about the alicorn purifying the water is there.

  5. Jack and Lili's dialogue at the stream is much like the film (the page is dated May 1 so perhaps this is what was filmed). Lili does tell Jack she wants to touch one before leaving to do so, followed by "you can't stop me" in answer to his objection.

  6. As in the film, some of the dialogue between Jack and Lili at the stream was moved to a point following the fleeing of the unicorns shown here:

    [after Lili asks Jack why it was wrong to touch the unicorns]
    Jack: It is known, Lili. They're sacred animals.
    Lili: I don't care.
    Jack: You risk your immortal soul talking like that.
    Lili: And you sound just like my confessor. I only wanted to touch one...Oh Jack, where's the harm in that...? Don't be such a scold...It was magic...thank you.

  7. Lili sees many frozen animals around the grounds when she returns to the cottage after the disaster. She has no encounter with a house brownie. The brownie was most likely written out before filming.

  8. The dialogue at the fire is slightly different but almost as long as in the March 10 script and therefore much longer than that shown in the film. For more information see the article LEGEND - What's Wrong with this Picture?.

  9. At the unicorn death site the dialogue is slightly shortened, but still there is the question whether Jack is truly human and not immortal.

  10. The faeries blindfold Jack when taking him to the cave much as Jack did earlier when taking Lili to see the unicorns. This scene at the cave is very much like the film--not Gump's house as in the March script. Jack is disturbed by the fact that they intend to rob a grave, but Gump says, "What can you steal from a man who's lost his life?"
    Jack sees a corpse of a beautiful knight there and decides he cannot go through with it and starts to leave. At this point Oona reveals herself to him and pleads with him to help them.

  11. The encounter with Meg Mucklebones is very much like the longer film version (seen in Universal's longer cut for TV).

  12. Blix calls the screaming pygmies away to help with something and this is why Jack and Gump escape them (they are both trapped in a small room or closet as in the March script).

  13. Lili does not turn into an animal and Screwball does not go into the great hall to steal food though he is trying to run away as in the March 10th script. There is a page missing from the script in the library at this point, so the lines where hear Screwball say he is getting out are gone. But from the subsequent dialogue, we can assume that he said this. When he collapses at the top, this script attributes it to exhaustion.

  14. Jack is not explicitly shown to be immortal and the fight between him and Darkness is very similar to the one we have in the film (although he doesn't throw the alicorn into Darkness' stomach as in the film).

  15. The ending was very different (see the end of next section for a description.)

In all there were fifteen rewrites to the script.

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