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INT. DFO PRODUCTION OFFICE – APRIL 2012
A pair of slick Hollywood producers are engaged in a “brainstorming” session.
DARKEST TIMELINE ZACH MORRIS: …and JJFozz was passed out on the couch THE WHOLE TIME!
RIKKI-TIKKI-DEADLY: [finishes snorting line of cocaine] And he never found out?
DTZM: Well, what, did you think SHE was going to tell him?
RTD: Ha ha ha ha ha!
DTZM: [takes residue from mirror, rubs it into his gums] Hey, did you remember to expense this?
RTD: Of course! I told accounting to put Dorian down as a script consultant for Tom Brady’s Inferno and pay him out of overhead.
DTZM: Perfect. Aw, jeez, sorry about your points on the back end, Mike Wallace & Gromit. But the project didn’t make any money!
RTD: Ha ha ha ha ha!
DTZM: Ha ha ha ha ha!
TRAYCEE: [via intercom] Sorry to interrupt, sir, but your ten o’clock is here.
RTD: Oh, good! [quickly tidies up cocaine mirror and slips a vial of powder into his lapel pocket]
— [door flies open] —
ASHLEY MANNING: [looks around with wide eyes] Oh my! I always wondered what one of these offices would look like.
DTZM: [winking at RTD] Ashley! Thank you so much for coming by. Can I have Traycee bring you something to drink? Some Vitamin Water?
ASHLEY: Oh, no, I’m fine. [still looking around the office, her eyes fixate on a poster] Hard Ride to Nowhere! You guys worked on that?
RTD: Worked on it? Well…
DTZM: We have executive producer credits.
ASHLEY: Executive producer! That sounds so…authoritative.
DTZM: Oh, it’s just a title – all it means is that we made all of the important decisions. But we’re not here to impress you by talking about all that Hollywood glitz and glamour, like last weekend’s cocktail party on Steven Spielberg’s yacht, or the safari we went on in Botswana with Charlize Theron. We’re here to talk about Peyton.
ASHLEY: [gulps, frowns] I figured. If this is about the promotional circuit you’ll have to talk to his agent Tom, he…
RTD: [soothingly] No, no, Mrs. Manning, that’s not what this is about at all.
DTZM: Your husband is a great actor…
RTD: A terrific actor.
DTZM: …and we’re all proud…
RTD: VERY proud.
DTZM: …of the work we’ve done together with the RQBOCOP franchise. But the test screenings for RQBOCOP: LEGACY CODE have come back and the results are…
DTZM: Yes, disappointing. And it pains me to say this, but a lot of the issues are with Peyton’s physique.
RTD: [reads aloud from a comment card] Peyton Manning looks like he’d lose an arm-wrestling contest to a piece of uncooked spaghetti.
DTZM: [reads from another card] RQBOCOP’s sidearm is a railgun? More like “frailgun” am I right?
RTD: [reads from a third card] Peyton Manning is so weak he makes Chad Pennington look like Jeff George.
ASHLEY: Oh my.
RTD: We don’t want to hurt Peyton’s feelings.
DTZM: We certainly don’t.
RTD: That’s why we asked you not to mention this meeting to him. You didn’t, did you?
ASHLEY: [shakes her head slowly] No.
RTD: Good. We though that maybe we could talk to you first. To get your help.
DTZM: Enlist you as an ally.
RTD: Yes, to enlist you as an ally. Peyton can be…a bit of a boy scout when it comes to some things. But at the end of the day we all want Peyton’s film career to be a success.
DTZM: We certainly do.
RTD: Now with regards to his training, I’m sure Peyton gets plenty of attention from his coaches in Denver. But all they care about is getting him into football shape. What we care about – and more importantly, what the fans of Peyton’s movies care about – is a bit different.
RTD: There’s someone we’d like you to meet.
— [door flies open] —
CHARLIE SLY: Hi, Ashley, how are you!
ASHLEY: [apprehensively] Hello.
RTD: Ashley, this is Charlie. He’s…
DTZM: A trainer. Of sorts. For movie stars. Charlie, would you be kind enough to tell Mrs. Manning who you’ve worked with?
CHARLIE: Oh, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg…do you remember Chris Hemsworth in Thor?
ASHLEY: [eyes light up] Oh, of course!
CHARLIE: I helped him bulk up for that. I’d like to do the same for your husband for his next film.
ASHLEY: I see…Charlie, it’s wonderful to meet you. And…[flustered]…it makes me uncomfortable to say this – oh my, I’m repeating myself – but…I’m feeling uncomfortable. Do you mind if I speak privately with these gentlemen?
RTD: Sure, that’s fine. Charlie, thanks for coming in. We’ll talk later.
CHARLIE shakes her hand and then leaves, and ASHLEY steps over to close the door behind him.
ASHLEY: [looks back and forth at them] Whose office is this?
ASHLEY: [takes a deep breath] Let me ask you something.
ASHLEY: You do casting in here, right?
ASHLEY: So…the last time you had some twenty two year-old ingenue from Des Moines in here, and you’d gotten her sitting there all innocent on that couch there, and you were telling her that you just might have a small part for her in the new Michael Bay picture that’s coming up, it really all depends on how comfortable she is with her body, and you were just about to seal the deal…DID YOU SEE ME WALTZING IN HERE AND SLAPPING THAT PENCIL YOU CALL A DICK OUT OF YOUR HAND AND TELLING YOU HOW TO DO YOUR FUCKING JOB? HUH? DID YOU?
RTD: Now listen here, we don’t…
ASHLEY: [slaps RIKKI in the face, hard] WAS I FUCKING TALKING TO YOU?
RTD: [whimpers] I thought you were talking to both of us.
ASHLEY: [makes a motion to slap RIKKI again, he flinches] INTERRUPT ME AGAIN AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. I DARE YOU! I DOUBLE FUCKING DARE YOU!
DTZM: Jesus, lady.
ASHLEY: THAT’S RIGHT, THAT’S WHAT YOU CALL ME FROM NOW ON: JESUS LADY. CAUSE I’M YOUR MOTHERFUCKING SAVIOR AND I’M HERE TO SAVE YOUR CAREERS.
ASHLEY: What. The. Fuck. [runs her hand through her hair] What. The. Actual. Fuck. [begins pacing quickly back and forth] You fucking amateurs. You want me to entrust my husband’s physical development to THAT asshole?
RTD: He’s one of the top trainers in…
ASHLEY: [turns on a heel] Are you serious? ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? I’ve dealt with meatheads like this before; he’ll put us on a cycle of Test and stack it with some Winnie-V and Dianabol, and in two weeks Peyton will have tits out to here and the skin on his back will look like it’s planning to open its own Papa John’s franchise. And then he’s pissing in a cup and then BANG it’s a four game suspension, and his legacy is right into the goddamned toilet. No thank you. No fucking thank you.
DTZM: [raises palms] In all honesty, Mrs. Manning, most of what our action stars use these days is human growth hormone. The NFL doesn’t have a test for that.
ASHLEY: Who do you think you’re talking to? Yes, there’s a reason that shit is all the rage around here but you think I’d trust one of YOUR suppliers? Your guy would import some off-label shit from Sri Lanka with inconsistent concentration levels and fuck the dosage all up and Peyton would end up with a big enough ‘slin gut that people would mistake him for Philip Rivers’ wife in her third trimester.
DTZM: With all respect, Mrs. Manning, we weren’t trying to pressure you, we just thought he could use some help bulking back up after his neck surgery…
ASHLEY: You think we weren’t aware of that? You really think there was anything we could have done? Oh, gee, Peyton hasn’t touched a weight in six months and he still looks like Captain Fucking America. You really think Roger Goodell is stupid enough not to notice? Don’t answer that. But honestly, you think the NFL didn’t have their nose so far up our asses they knew what kind of toothpaste Peyton was using?
RTD: We were just trying to help you meet someone who could…
ASHLEY: Who could what? Get me fucking arrested? Get Peyton popped? I can’t believe you even put me in the same room as that Charlie Sly idiot! You don’t think Greasy McCockstain won’t sing like a canary the second somebody flashes a badge at him? Jesus H. Fuck, he’s known me for ten seconds and he’s already slinging client names around like Derek Anderson throwing a football after losing to Johnny Fucking Failball in a game of Beirut. Is this REALLY why you called me in here? To waste my time like this?
RIKKI-TIKKI-DEADLY and DARKEST TIMELINE ZACH MORRIS look at each other, each waiting for the other to take command of the situation.
DTZM: [brightly] Okay! Well it sounds like you’ve got things under control! We certainly wouldn’t want to get in the way. We’ll be in touch.
ASHLEY: No. No, you won’t. And you know what? Your Colorado privileges have been revoked. Stay the fuck out of my state.
DTZM: But…the film festivals…it’s our job…
ASHLEY: WHAT? WHAT IS YOUR JOB? To get blackout drunk and pass out watching shitty art movies that will never even make it as far as Netflix? No. NO FUCKING WAY. If I see you assholes at Sundance I swear to God I will cut your fucking throats. Do you understand me?
ASHLEY: [gets right in his face] DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME, LORD FUCKINGHAM?
DTZM: [cowed] Yes, yes. Sure.
ASHLEY MANNING stomps out of the office, slamming the door hard enough to knock over a framed photograph of DTZM’s dogs.
RTD: [calmly, though his voice is shaking] Well good, it seems like she’s got a handle on Peyton’s training regimen. [takes out vial and mirror and taps out another line]
DTZM: And it’s not going to cost us a cent! Let me have some of that.
— [door flies open] —
ASHLEY: [storms back in and grabs the vial] What is this? You know what, I don’t care what it is, I’m taking it. Stay the fuck out of my business.