I know it wasn't as popular as the Netflix one, but this seems a little harsh.


I know it wasn't as popular as the Netflix one, but this seems a little harsh.

LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

The Abridged Script

EXT. TIM BURTON BEACH

A lone SILHOUETTE strolls across the BEACH.

SILHOUETTE OF JUDE LAW

I'm sorry to tell you this, but the adaptation you're about to watch...is extremely uneven. If you're looking for the Netflix adaptation, with its deadpan black humour and greater focus on characterization, then look elsewhere. But if you can stomach a movie filled with distracting over-acting, rushed storylines, and jarring tonal shifts...then stay.

EMILY BROWNING

Well, at least we still have the humorously morbid narrator. He was the main reason every child bought the books.

SILHOUETTE OF JUDE LAW

I mostly disappear after this scene. They didn't even give me a FACE.

EMILY BROWNING

Oh.

SILHOUETTE OF JUDE LAW

Anyway, I should probably introduce each of the Baudelaire children and skills they bring to the party. MOVIE. Forget I said party.

EMILY BROWNING

I'm Emily and I'm a mechanical genius!

LIAM AIKEN

I'm Liam and I'm a walking library of knowledge!

KARA (OR SHELBY) HOFFMAN

I'm a baby who can bite through metal!

EMILY BROWNING

One of us doesn't quite fit in here.

LIAM AIKEN

Yeah, it's me. Why am I the only one not dressed like I'm off to the nineteenth century?

TIMOTHY SPALL emerges from the fog.

TIMOTHY SPALL

Children...I'm afraid I have some horrifying news. Your parents have perished in a terrible fire that destroyed your entire home and all of your possessions.

EMILY BROWNING

(tears welling up)

Oh...Oh my God.

TIMOTHY SPALL

Yes, I can imagine this would be the worst moment of your entire lives.

(beat)

Well, off to the wacky comedy shenanigans!

EXT. INNER CITY

TIMOTHY is driving the BAUDELAIRE ORPHANS to their new GUARDIAN.

TIMOTHY SPALL

In just a few minutes I'll be dropping you off with your new caretaker, Count Olaf.

LIAM AIKEN

Count Olaf? Oh boy! He's one of the best villains in modern children's literature!

EMILY BROWNING

I wonder who they got to play him? Someone really understated and menacing, I'll bet!

TIMOTHY SPALL

Er...

EMILY BROWNING

Anthony Hopkins? Nah, that's too obvious. Maybe Christoph Waltz?

LIAM AIKEN

It's 2004. His star hasn't really risen yet.

KARA (OR SHELBY) HOFFMAN

Ralph Fiennes? No wait, make it Tim Curry. PLEASE BE TIM CURRY.

TIMOTHY SPALL

You know what? I'm just going to drop you off and then drive away as quickly as I can.

Their new GUARDIAN turns out to be...

JIM CARREY

HELLLLLOOOOOOO OOOOOOOORRRRRPPHHHHAAAAAAANNSSS!!!

(strikes pose)

WEEEEELLLLLLLCOME to my humble abode!

EMILY BROWNING

...

JIM CARREY

(screams gibberish)

LIAM AIKEN

...

JIM CARREY

(Jim Carrey)

KARA (OR SHELBY) HOFFMAN

...help.

EMILY BROWNING

This is going to sound strange, but...I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a LITTLE funny.

LIAM AIKEN

Yes, but how does this fit with the tone we've established so far? Where is his performance going?

SILHOUETTE OF JUDE LAW

(narrating)

...and so the Baudelaire orphans realised that the movie they in was wildly uneven, a phrase that here means "contained plenty of scenes that worked well, but didn't work well together".

EMILY BROWNING

Hey, you said you were barely going to be in this movie. Get off screen!

SILHOUETTE OF JUDE LAW

(being dragged away by best boys)

I'm the title character! The TITLE CHARACTER!

JIM CARREY

(sticks two celery sticks up his nose)

JIM forces the ORPHANS to do disgusting chores.

LIAM AIKEN

Why did we keep this scene? It's shorter than the one where Jim pretends to be a dinosaur.

JIM CARREY

You're scrubbing floors to prove that I'm a horrible person!

LIAM AIKEN

Couldn't you just show us "Yes Man" to do that?

JIM CARREY

Don't talk back to me, you insolent brat!

(strikes Liam across the face)

EMILY BROWNING

(crying)

You monster! How could you beat a child?

JIM CARREY

(dinosaur impersonations)

KARA (OR SHELBY) HOFFMAN

Could we stick to the same mood for five seconds?

JIM CARREY

(talks out of his buttocks)

EXT. COUNTRYSIDE

JIM is driving the ORPHANS across a backlot.

JIM CARREY

So it turns out I couldn't get my hands on the enormous fortune your parents left behind just by adopting you! I have to wait until Emily turned eighteen or you all suddenly die! Isn't that funny?

EMILY BROWNING

Yeah, it IS funny how you didn't do the slightest bit of research for your get-rich-quick scheme. Why are we supposed to be afraid of you?

JIM CARREY

(underneath his breath)

Wait two minutes.

EMILY BROWNING

What was that?

JIM CARREY

Nothing! Nothing!

JIM parks the car on some TRAIN TRACKS.

JIM CARREY

I'm just going to calmly step outside the car, lock all the doors and windows, and then innocently walk in that direction to get us some snacks.

(does so)

Psyche! You're all going to hit by a train! I'm gonna be rich!

EMILY BROWNING

So long as no one asks why you parked on a railway line, dipshit!

JIM CARREY

Bullshit! No one cares about the deaths of reasonably-attractive, white children!

(this is sarcasm. Please do not fill the comments with "All Lives Matter")

LIAM AIKEN

You gained official custody of us fifteen minutes ago! Not fifteen minutes in screen time, LITERALLY fifteen minutes. You're getting the chair for this!

JIM CARREY

I'M NOT LISTENING! LA LA LA!

(ducks into a nearby store)

LIAM AIKEN

What do we do!? What do we do!?

EMILY BROWNING

Is there a way we could use each of our special skills to escape this trap?

LIAM AIKEN

Remarkably, I think there is!

They switch the TRAIN onto a different track just as TIMOTHY SPALL drives up.

TIMOTHY SPALL

Hello, I just happened to show up just as the evil plot was being foiled and now I'm going to take the children out of Jim's custody!

EMILY BROWNING

Hooray!

TIMOTHY SPALL

...because I saw Kara (or Shelby) in the front seat and I assumed she was driving the car even though it was in park and Jim has the keys and please don't hate me I needed to end this segment of the movie as quickly as possible please please please?

LIAM AIKEN

...couldn't you have removed us because Jim is a child abuser?

TIMOTHY SPALL

(slapping forehead)

D'oh! That makes much more sense!

EXT. DIFFERENT COUNTRYSIDE

TIMOTHY SPALL is driving the BAUDELAIRE ORPHANS to their new GUARDIAN.

LIAM AIKEN

Wait, what? Is the movie starting over again?

TIMOTHY SPALL

Brace yourselves children. We're adapting three different books into one story. And all three of those books are the same story. It's going to get very repetitive.

The BAUDELAIRES meet their new guardian BILLY CONNOLLY.

BILLY CONNNOLLY

Hellochildrennicetomeetyoucomeseemyroomfullofreptilesdon'tmindtheincrediblydeadlyviperwho'supforsomemusic?

(beat)

Sorry if we're rushing through this. We have twenty minutes to make you feel for my character before my death. Anyway, we need to leave for Peru tomorrow!

EMILY BROWNING

Why?

BILLY CONNOLLY

Reasons!

LIAM AIKEN

Why do you have the exact same spyglass I found in my father's desk?

BILLY CONNOLLY

Reasons!

KARA (OR SHELBY) HOFFMAN

What's the significance behind your family dying in a mysterious fire exactly the same as our-

BILLY CONNOLLY

Twenty. Minutes. Remember? Ten of those minutes are up!

JIM CARREY arrives, disguised with a FALSE MOUSTACHE and a MARX BROTHERS ACCENT.

JIM CARREY

Hello, I'm here to be genuinely be menacing and funny at the same time.

(beat)

Why didn't we start with this?

EMILY BROWNING

You're not a real herpetological assistant! We're telling Billy Connolly about this!

JIM CARREY

Aha! But I'm going to spend every minute with Billy so you don't tell him about my plan to murder him and kidnap you!

EMILY BROWNING

But...if you're already planning to murder him, why not just do that and kidnap us?

JIM CARREY

Great idea!

(murders Billy)

The POLICE and TIMOTHY SPALL arrive to investigate the murder. And also CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER is there for some reason.

TIMOTHY SPALL

Jim! I thought you'd have fled the scene of the crime with the children a long time ago.

JIM CARREY

Actually, since the death of Billy was so distressing I'd like to ask if I could take the children on a holiday with me, a complete stranger.

TIMOTHY SPALL

THAT'S your kidnapping plan!?

JIM CARREY

I need you to go along with it and think Billy's murder was due to a snake bite. Thanks.

EMILY BROWNING

This is bad. How do we get out of this?

LIAM AIKEN

Well, last time we escaped by pooling the unique talents of each of us into a cunning plan. I'm sure if we put our heads together-

KARA (OR SHELBY) HOFFMAN

(releases snake)

JIM CARREY

FUCK!

(runs away)

EXT. LAKESIDE TOWN

TIMOTHY SPALL is driving the BAUDELAIRE ORPHANS to their new GUARDIAN.

LIAM AIKEN

Wait, what? Is the movie starting over again?

TIMOTHY SPALL

Brace yourselves children. We're adapting three different books into...have we had this conversation before?

The BAUDELAIRES meet their new guardian MERYL STREEP.

MERYL STREEP

HellochildrenwatchoutfortherefrigeratoritmightcrushyouflatdoyoulovegrammarIlovegrammarwho'supforsomechilledsoup?

(beat)

Sorry if we're rushing through this. We have a very short time to make you feel for my character before my death. AND to hand out the plot-relevant foreshadowing. AND to sketch out the dark conspiracy linking your parents, Jim, Billy Connolly and me.

EMILY BROWNING

Oh God, NO. Not a conspiracy! This movie is crowded enough with a conspiracy!

SILHOUETTE OF JUDE LAW

(narrating)

Liam was shaken by Meryl's words. He had already spent the entire movie tracing the conspiracy and-

EMILY BROWNING

What? Why is Liam the only one who gets to piece together the mystery?

SILHOUETTE OF JUDE LAW

You children need SOMETHING to differentiate you aside from your party-tailored skills.

(dissipates into the atmosphere)

MERYL STREEP and the CHILDREN visit a NINETEETH CENTURY MARKETPLACE.

LIAM AIKEN

I know we haven't brought this up before but seriously, what time period is this?

JIM CARREY

Hi there!

LIAM AIKEN

Aaaah! It's you!

JIM CARREY

Yep! And I've brought along my evil acting troupe!

EVIL ACTING TROUPE

(stands around awkwardly)

JIM CARREY

(laughing)

What a bunch of cutups!

EMILY BROWNING

Meryl! This is Jim Carrey in disguise!

MERYL STREEP

Nonsense! You're letting you fears run away with you.

KARA (OR SHELBY) HOFFMAN

In ten minutes you've shown crippling irrational terror over doormats, doorknobs, stoves, refrigerators, chandeliers, realtors, a Jane Lynch cameo, and avocados, but a murderous criminal... is completely fine?

MERYL STREEP

Oh, just go shopping with your siblings. Jim and I have a date!

(leaves)

The BAUDELAIRE ORPHANS return home hours later to find MERYL has thrown herself over a CLIFF.

EMILY BROWNING

(buries face in hands)

I can't believe this.

LIAM AIKEN

Yeah, Meryl would never commit suicide.

EMILY BROWNING

No it's just...this movie won't slow down for five seconds.

LIAM AIKEN

I found a hidden message in Meryl's suicide note! It's in these grammatical errors I know she'd have never made, because I know everything about her from less than an afternoon!

SUDDENLY, a huge HURRICANE tears up the HOUSE around them!

EMILY BROWNING

It's 2004! How does this look a hundred times more realistic than the Netflix version!

They ESCAPE!

SILHOUETTE OF JUDE LAW

(narrating)

...and so the Baudelaires set out to find Meryl Streep, by sailing a stolen sailboat through a vicious hurricane. It was an exciting, treacherous journey that I'm describing because we didn't show a second of it onscreen.

EMILY BROWNING

Meryl! You're alive!

MERYL STREEP

Yes, I'm planning to hide in this cave from Jim Carrey for the rest of my life.

EMILY BROWNING

Come back with us.

MERYL STREEP

Okay.

But while SAILING across the LAKE, they are attacked a swarm of LEECHES!

MERYL STREEP

Oh no! It's the man-eating leeches that attack you if you've eaten in the last hour! And I just had a banana!

(beat)

I really should have mentioned that before seeing how I desperate I was to stay in that cave.

LIAM AIKEN

(fighting off leeches)

YEAH! YOU SHOULD HAVE!

JIM CARREY

HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAAAAAY!

JIM rescues the CHILDREN and leaves MERYL to get eaten!

LIAM AIKEN

Alright. This is it. Us and you. The final showdown. At last. It's not like Timothy Spall is going to show up completely out of fucking nowhere and take us to a new guardian for a FOURTH-

TIMOTHY SPALL

(sailing past)

Orphans! I've decided to put you back in Jim Carrey's custody!

LIAM AIKEN

FFUUUUUCCCC-

INT. JIM CARREY'S HOUSE (AND BACKYARD THEATRE)

JIM is forcing EMILY BROWNING to take part in his new play.

EMILY BROWNING

(sighs)

At least we're starting out mid-scheme.

JIM CARREY

BWA HA HA! When you pretend to marry me in this play, you'll actually be marrying me in real life! I'll have control over your entire inheritance!

EMILY BROWNING

And if I don't marry you...?

JIM CARREY

Then I'll have my henchmen drop Kara (or Shelby) from my tower!

EMILY BROWNING

The play seems kind of unnecessary...

JIM CARREY

Get into makeup!

(dinosaur impressions)

LIAM AIKEN

Kara (or Shelby) is in a cage dangling from a fourth-story window. But if I build a grappling hook, I can scale the outside of the house to rescue her!

(does so)

Whew!

(looks around)

This room doesn't seem to have any guards. I could have just taken the stairs.

HENCHMAN

(rushing in)

Sorry I'm late! I-

(falls out window)

LIAM AIKEN

(sighs)

(checks watch)

Well, there's no more time for another scheme. I guess Jim's been defeated for good.

SILHOUETTE OF JUDE LAW

(narrating)

...and so Jim was arrested and the court decided to shred any half-hearted attempts at realism this movie made by placing him in a series of deathtraps involving leeches, hurricanes, oncoming trains...

EXT. INNER CITY

TIMOTHY SPALL is driving the BAUDELAIRE ORPHANS to their new GUARDIAN.

LIAM AIKEN

Wait, what? Is the movie starting over again?

TIMOTHY SPALL

Shut up.

(pulls over)

Before we meet whatever poor bastard looks after you next, we have just enough time to look over burnt remains of you old home! Isn't that exciting!

The BAUDELAIRES look over CHARRED REMIANS of their CHILDHOOD HOME and remember all the GOOD TIMES they once had.

EMILY BROWNING

This is...this is genuinely heartbreaking.

TIMOTHY SPALL

Indeed.

(beat)

Cue the cheesy inspirational music!

The BAUDELAIRES drive off into the SUNSET.

EMILY BROWNING

Wait, what about the conspira-

END.

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