MISSION TO MARS
The Abridged Script
EXT. A HOUSE
There is a PARTY being held. DON CHEADLE, GARY SINISE and TIM ROBBINS are there.
DIRECTOR BRIAN DE PALMA
Look, I'm doing a long tracking shot! I start every movie this way now! Remember how good Snake Eyes was?
Wow, it's still hard to believe that I was picked to lead the Mars mission instead of far more famous actors like Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins.
Yup, looks like we're stuck on Earth for the duration of this movie.
Let's not forget that I would be leading the mission except that
(turning to audience)
my WIFE DIED and I am UPSET ABOUT THAT.
They blab on for a while, clumsily revealing their sketchy character backgrounds, until finally DON CHEADLE goes to MARS.
DON CHEADLE and his EXPENDABLE CREW have found an unusual structure.
Perhaps we should check out this unusual structure.
Yes, who knows what may lie inside?
Well, for many weeks we've watched trailers that tell us exactly what the big secret inside is. Hell, the tag line on the damned poster tells us what the big secret is. Life on Earth came from Mars. Whoopee. Why don't you guys just play Mars baseball or something?
Let's bounce radio signals off it. Since this movie so heavily rips off 2001, nothing worse should happen than a louder signal comes back and we all get a mild headache.
Perhaps, but in the trailer we saw guys in spacesuits getting sucked into this big wormhole sandstorm thing that was left over from The Mummy. That might be us.
Or it could be Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins.
But the only reason they'd be on Mars would be because we were.....
Oh the hell with this.
(activates radio signal)
Predictably, all the EXPENDABLE CREW get killed by the giant sandstorm leaving only DON CHEADLE to send the traditional half-garbled distress signal.
INT. SPACE STATION
ARMIN MUELLER-STAHL is briefing TIM ROBBINS and GARY SINISE.
Go rescue Don Cheadle and find out what happened down there.
Well the poster says that....
(to TIM ROBBINS)
You know, having Armin Mueller-Stahl in a movie doesn't pack quite the punch that it used to. And he and I are in a movie together. Should I be having career worries?
Nah, after all he's not upset about his dead wife.
I am UPSET about my DEAD WIFE.
(to TIM ROBBINS)
Thanks, that feels a lot better.
INT. RESCUE SHIP
TIM and GARY have been joined by CONNIE NIELSEN, playing TIM's wife, and the SLIDERS SCHMUCK whose name nobody ever remembers.
Look, I can build a model of human DNA using M&Ms.
Big fucking deal.
The AUDIENCE all goes to the lobby to buy M&Ms. When they get back they find they have missed NOTHING AT ALL. Suddenly the ship is PUNCTURED by METEORITES.
If only there was some practical way to find this leak.
Well, sure, you could release a water droplet and follow it, or even spitting into the air would do, or any free-floating small particle in fact....
Wait! We can use this... DR. PEPPER!!!
They release the DR. PEPPER, making sure the LOGO is facing the AUDIENCE, who then stampede to the lobby to buy lots of DR. PEPPER to wash down their M&Ms. When they return they find the crew has had to abandon ship only to find themselves in a preposterously contrived life-or- death situation.
The only way the three of you can land safely is if I gallantly sacrifice myself.
But you'll never find out the big secret!
It's OK, I saw the poster, remember? And by doing this I might create a scene that people won't have forgotten five minutes after the movie ends.
TIM ROBBINS begins to remove his helmet.
Cool! His head's going to explode!
But instead, TIM ROBBINS'S head turns grey and a few icicles form on it.
Huh? What a ripoff! I wanted to see Tim Robbins's head explode!
The others proceed to land on MARS and find DON CHEADLE, who leads them to the UNUSUAL STRUCTURE which turns out to be a GIANT HEAD. GARY SINISE feeds the M&Ms and DR. PEPPER into it, and it OPENS.
Well, this is it. We'll finally find out the big secret.
But since we all know it already, the movie is essentially over, is what you're saying. We can go home now.
A CHEESY ALIEN appears and begins showing the TRAILER.
Wow, this is incredible. In fact I can even ACCEPT the DEATH of my WIFE.
Now that I am at peace with my DEAD WIFE, I will embrace my destiny to get in this alien spaceship and be taken to another world, in a manner that strikingly resembles Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
But I lost my husband to get here, and really have just as much reason to do this as you...
... my DESTINY...
Maybe we could both go...?
GARY gets into the ship and it BLASTS OFF in a hail of DEBRIS that almost KILLS the other characters.
Ah, don't let it get you down! Have some M&Ms!!!!