FOR LOVE OF THE GAME
The Abridged Script
INT.NIGHT--KEVIN COSTNER'S BEDROOM
COSTNER is kneeling by his bed, making his nightly prayer.
God, I need a hit and I need one bad. I need something familiar yet new, something audiences know me for but different. Please, God, are you out there?
Phone rings. It's COSTNER'S agent.
Kevin, baby, how about doing another baseball movie?
Baseball? I don't know.
It's a long fucker. Endless, you might say. Nearly three hours. Filled with the thrills of baseball and lots of heartfelt romance. You might say that this movie's about America, really. It is America. That's right up your alley, isn't it?
(standing in his best Zero Mostel pose)
I'm back baby! I'm back!
COSTNER is waiting for his girl to show up and to kill time has found the mini-bar. Suddenly, there is a knock at his door.
JOHN C. REILLY
Hi, Kevin. I'm your catcher and the picture's comedy relief.
You're my catcher? But you're odd- looking and are obviously overweight. There's no way in hell you could pass for a professional athlete.
JOHN C. REILLY
Yup. I can't believe it either. I mean, but hell, if I could pass for a porn star in BOOGIE NIGHTS, I suppose being a catcher isn't too far off, is it?
COSTNER smiles knowingly, proving to the audience that he is knowledgeable, aged, a wise ol' trooper.
You know, when Costner smiles like that, he sure does look knowledgeable and wise. A real trooper, even.
JOHN C. REILLY
Oh, by the way, despite you being the pride of the Detroit Tigers and a definite Hall of Famer, I'm here to let you know that the team's been sold, you're being traded, and KELLY PRESTON, your girlfriend of five years, is leaving you for London in the morning.
(smiling, appearing wise and knowledgeable in the) process)
Yes. I suppose so. That's really quite tragic, isn't it.
Damn, he's a real trooper.
EXT.BASEBALL STADIUM - THE NEXT DAY
COSTNER'S on the mound. He "CLEARS THE MECHANISM," which involves him removing all the sound in the movie to show his CONCENTRATION in the game, a gimmick that becomes increasingly tiresome as the film continues. COSTNER pitches. Just as he throws the ball, he recalls moments of his troubled relationship with KELLY PRESTON, just as most ball players do in the same situations.
EXT.HIGHWAY - FIVE YEARS EARLIER
COSTNER drives by PRESTON on the highway. Her car isn't working and she kicks it in an attempt to fix it. COSTNER finds this HILARIOUS and pulls over.
Can I help you?
I wish people wore signs around their necks that told other people what they're thinking. That way, there'd be no games with people, you know?
I don't know much about cars, but lemme see what I can do.
I have a daughter named Freedom. No, I'm just kidding. It's Heather. And when she holds her balls, and I hold my balls, and you hold your balls, it's like we're all holding balls.
Huh? What the hell is she talking about?
Can't you see I'm a complex person with a thousand thoughts in my head?
EXT.BASEBALL GAME - PRESENT
Pitch number two in the game. Forty minutes of sappy flashback have already passed.
MEN IN AUDIENCE
This is about baseball?
WOMEN IN AUDIENCE
This is about romance?
DIRECTOR SAM RAIMI
Don't you see? He's lost everything he loves in the world, and through the flashbacks we see how all those things were important to him. Thus, it gives the game he's pitching IMPORTANCE. It's his path towards salvation.
MALES IN AUDIENCE
Is CHILL FACTOR still playing?
FEMALES IN AUDIENCE
Or maybe BLUE STREAK. That Martin Lawrence, he so crazy.
(bowing his head in realization)
What the hell was I thinking?
EXT.MOUNTAINS - FLASHBACK
For reasons unknown to anyone involved in making the movie, COSTNER and PRESTON somehow end up at a mountain cottage. While here, COSTNER, for more unknown reasons, decides to do some woodwork and CUTS HIS HAND BADLY on a BANDSAW.
SAM RAIMI FANS
Yes! Yes! Look at that blood! Now his hand's gonna come to life and kill him! Rock on! This is movie is the best!
No, I'm a serious director now. Remember A SIMPLE PLAN? None of that fun blood and guts anymore for me, okay? I'm serious.
(numb, but still looking wise)
Kelly, take me to the hospital, will you?
Is this not America? Do we not love baseball? Is this not what we're all about?
What the hell? What doesn't she just take him to the hospital?
That's it, I've had enough.
DIRECTOR SAM RAIMI enters the scene, rips off COSTNER'S bleeding arm and beats PRESTON to death with it. Then he puts her on the bandsaw and slices her to bits. The AUDIENCE APPLAUDS.
EXT.STADIUM - PRESENT
COSTNER pitches his third pitch of the game. Two and a half hours have passed. Still, we have no idea what BASEBALL or KELLY PRESTON mean to the wise, knowledgeable COSTNER. And instead of getting on with things, the movie starts moving in slow motion. COSTNER winds up, and throws. SLOWLY. He CLEARS THE MECHANISM forty times. The batter turns to him. It's BRUCE CAMPBELL and he has a chainsaw in his hand. Behind him is the umpire, SAM RAIMI. He's holding a baseball bat covered with rusty nails.
Lock and load.
No, you can't. I've won Oscars. I brought the Native-American culture into the mainstream. I'm important.
CAMPBELL and RAIMI descend on the mound and trade blows.
That's the MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE.
That's for WATERWORLD. And the fucking POSTMAN.
That's for THE WAR.
And the fucking BODYGUARD.
The crowd at the baseball stadium starts doing the wave.
(doing his best Zero Mostel impersonation)
I'm back, baby! I'm back!