When adapting a video game, first make sure your screenwriter knows what a "glitch" is.


When adapting a video game, first make sure your screenwriter knows what a "glitch" is.

NEED FOR SPEED

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. GARAGE

AARON PAUL and his MECHANIC BUDDIES are listening to MICHAEL KEATON’S INTERNET RADIO CALL-IN VLOG...THING.

MICHAEL KEATON

Hey there street racing fans! You may know me as the guy who runs the biggest annual illegal street race in the world, which the cops have apparently never been able to shut down despite the fact that I announce exactly when it’s going to be and who is going to be there and then stream live footage of the entire thing.

AARON PAUL

Man, I oughta be in that race, but I don’t have a good car. All I can afford is a modest street racing team with a couple of decent cars. And a computerized mission control which is fed live traffic updates from our fucking aerial support.

RAMON RODRIGUEZ

If only we were good enough mechanics to build a world-class racing machine ourselves, as will very shortly turn out to actually be the case!

HARRISON GILBERTSON

Or it’d be great if it were possible for a brilliant racecar driver to get hired to legally race cars that were owned by some kind of professional racing team. One can only dream.

(pause)

Wait, am I seriously supposed to be a full-time auto mechanic and street racer? I look like somebody cloned all of One Direction simultaneously.

EXT. STREETS

AARON and HARRISON go out STREET RACING. As they TEAR ILLEGALLY through ORDINARY SUBURBAN STREETS, they repeatedly come within INCHES of KILLING INNOCENT DRIVERS AND PEDESTRIANS.

AARON PAUL

Ha ha ha, did you see how I crashed into that homeless guy’s shopping cart as my car swept right past his face at a hundred and fifty miles an hour? Ha ha ha ha, I’m actually laughing about this!

HARRISON GILBERTSON

The best part was his look of abject terror as you sent his meager possessions spilling into the street! Ha ha ha ha ha!

AARON PAUL

Ha ha ha, nearly committing vehicular manslaughter is hilarious!

They win the RACE.

INT. GARAGE

The next day RICH STREET RACER JERK TURNED RICH PROFESSIONAL RACER JERK DOMINIC COOPER pays a visit.

DOMINIC COOPER

Guys, I’ll pay you half a million dollars to finish building a Shelby Mustang for me. I hope you can be professional and look past the thing I did, back then.

RAMON RODRIGUEZ

Don’t do it, Aaron! You know we can’t trust him, remember the thing he did? Back then?

AARON PAUL

Unfortunately the garage is deep in debt, so I have to work with him, despite the thing he did back then.

DOMINIC COOPER

Okay, if we’re really not going to clear up exactly what I did, I’m going to go ahead and decide that I farted on your corn flakes.

INT. SWANKY EVENT

DOMINIC unveils the finished MUSTANG to a bunch of RICH NOBS, including IMOGEN POOTS, whose name will NEVER STOP BEING FUNNY.

IMOGEN POOTS

Duh, why is the wheels on the bottom and not the roof?

AARON PAUL

Um. It’s technical, I doubt you’d understand.

IMOGEN POOTS

Actually I can clearly see that this car has a six barrel Holley Carb, Edelbrock intakes and Meyerhoff Lifters, HA! And you thought I was just some car-dumb English toff!

AARON PAUL

...Yeah, I guess that teaches me not to judge people by appearances. Or, you know, the things they say to deliberately trick people into thinking they’re idiots.

IMOGEN POOTS

Wait, you don’t like this “don't be fooled by my looks” routine? Oh. You might want to skip the remainder of my scenes then.

EXT. RACE TRACK

AARON gives a demonstration of the MUSTANG to IMOGEN and her RICH CAR-BUYING CLIENT.

DOMINIC COOPER

Hey, why were you the one showing off my car? You think you’re faster than me, is that it?

AARON PAUL

I just drove that car fifty miles an hour faster than you said was physically possible, so yyyyeah?

DOMINIC COOPER

THAT’S IT! You and me, street race, right now, wagering our shares in the Mustang, to determine which of us is the better driver!

HARRISON GILBERTSON

Ooh, and I’ll race too just because!

DOMINIC COOPER

That doesn’t make any sense.

HARRISON GILBERTSON

Dude, you just revealed precisely three European racecars. We all know where this is going.

AARON, DOMINIC and HARRISON race against one another. AARON messes up and finds himself driving into oncoming traffic at two hundred and fifty miles an hour.

AARON PAUL

Ah fuck, and I can’t get back into my lane because there are trees on the median! I mean, I could get through them if I slowed down briefly. But I’d rather risk killing myself and others than lose like five seconds in this race!

(pause)

Holy shit. I’m making Jesse Pinkman look like the fucking upstanding citizen of the year.

He gets back on the right side of the road and he and HARRISON pull ahead of DOMINIC. A frustrated DOMINIC lightly nudges HARRISON’S REAR BUMPER, causing HARRISON’S CAR to SPIN OUT and FLIP INTO THE AIR and DO A MILLION SOMERSAULTS and BURST INTO FLAMES and GO FLYING OFF A BRIDGE and CRASH and BURN and EXPLODE.

DOMINIC COOPER

Oh shit, look what happened because I drove in a reckless manner risking injury to other drivers! What a villainous thing to do!

(speeds off)

AARON hurries back to the wreckage of HARRISON’S CAR.

AARON PAUL

All right, now to show off the trademark Angst that’s made me such an acclaimed actor. Ahem:

(drops to knees, clutches head in hands)

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN- NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN- NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN-NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN-NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN-NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOO-

(deep breath)

-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DOMINIC COOPER

(miles away)

That’s some good angst! Also, OW, MY FUCKING EARS!

INT. POLICE STATION

AARON has been ARRESTED.

AARON PAUL

Come on, man, this is all Dominic’s fault!

COP

Unfortunately there’s no evidence there even was a third driver.

AARON PAUL

No evidence? Are you fucking kidding me, we were driving a million miles an hour in broad daylight, there should have been hundreds of reports from eyewitnesses before the crash even happened!

COP

Yes, well, just your bad luck you happened to be driving right through the annual Motorists Who Can't Count Up to Three Parade. As for the cars you and Harrison were driving, they were reported stolen. Like two minutes after the crash took place.

AARON PAUL

...

COP

I hear ya, but you can’t arrest somebody on the basis of “Wow you couldn’t have been more obvious about that”.

AARON is sent to PRISON for THREE YEARS.

EXT. GARAGE - THREE YEARS LATER

IMOGEN brings the MUSTANG to a recently-released AARON.

IMOGEN POOTS

So here’s the three-million-dollar car my employer agreed to loan to a guy who just got out of prison for vehicular manslaughter and car theft. I’ve been ordered to come with you to make sure you don’t try anything.

AARON PAUL

Sure, cause if an ex-con who endangers six lives before breakfast feels like getting up to something shady, who better to thwart him than a waifish blonde who buys things for a living?

IMOGEN POOTS

Now now, don’t be fooled-

AARON PAUL

-by appearances, uh huh, SHUT UP ALREADY. Come on, we’ve got to get from New York to California in two days.

IMOGEN POOTS

What?! Why the hell didn’t you call from the prison and have me pick you up in the car as soon as you were released? Or hell, have my boss put you and the car on a plane? Rich people can do that, you know. Jesus.

They SPEED OFF. AARON does a bunch of CRAZY STUNT DRIVING which NEARLY GETS EVERYBODY KILLED.

IMOGEN POOTS

SHIIIT!! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? SLOW DOWN AND STOP DRIVING LIKE A LUNATIC, THIS INSTANT!

AARON PAUL

Pfft, or what, you’ll call your boss and he’ll say the deal’s off and I have to give the car back?

(pause)

Actually, as the person whose job it is to make sure I don’t mess this car up, you should probably do that.

IMOGEN POOTS

Would that I could, but sadly all my boss authorized me to do to protect the car was have whiny panic attacks. AAIIIEEEE!!

AARON starts driving more SANELY, so that he and IMOGEN can start having what passes for BANTER in this movie.

IMOGEN POOTS

So you’re off to get payback against Dominic, huh? It must be some revenge, to be worth breaking parole and getting sent back to prison.

AARON PAUL

You bet it is! I’m gonna BEAT HIM IN A RACE.

IMOGEN POOTS

...Okay, I’m no expert, but it seems to me that that’s less of a revenge, and more just the thing that racers do, like, normally.

AARON PAUL

Yeah well, by doing this I’m going to show everybody that he was responsible for Harrison’s death! No I don’t know how that’s supposed to work IT DOES BECAUSE WE SAY IT DOES ALRIGHT.

EXT. DETROIT

AARON pulls up outside the workplace of his former mechanic RAMI MALEK.

RAMI MALEK

Awesome, we’re getting the band back together! I mean, the racing team. Now I can quit my boring office job - wait, my what? I built a fucking three million dollar car! Those aren’t marketable skills all of a sudden? For fuck’s sake.

On his way out he STRIPS NAKED and SEXUALLY HARRASSES A COWORKER, because whoops, we almost went THIRTY SECONDS without anybody IDIOTICALLY BREAKING THE LAW.

AARON PAUL

Excellent, Rami’s in. Now I must antagonize some cops and get them to chase me, so I can send some badass chase footage to Michael Keaton and get invited into his race!

IMOGEN POOTS

Excuse me? This movie started with Michael gushing like a fanboy about you and saying the only thing holding you back was a lack of a decent car, and now you’re in a car that YOU said he’d want in the race no matter who was driving. So if he loves you and wants you in the race, and he loves your car and wants it in the race, why the hell do you have to get into a police chase to get into the fucking race?!

AARON PAUL

I dunno, but we might as well. I mean, it’s not like we’re likely to run into heavy traffic in the middle of a workday in Detroit's central business district!

AARON does a bunch of CRAZY STUNT DRIVING which NEARLY GETS EVERYBODY KILLED.

IMOGEN POOTS

OMIGOD THAT WAS AWESOME! YOU’RE SUCH A COOL GUY!

AARON PAUL

Wait a minute, what happened to “you’re an idiot and a maniac”?

IMOGEN POOTS

Oh, well, I just came to the realization that you were never going to grow or mature in this movie, so if I was supposed to wind up as your love interest I’d have to change my mind about you for no apparent reason. Just pretend I had an offscreen stroke or something.

MICHAEL KEATON

(on radio)

So I just got some awesome footage of Aaron Paul being a sociopathic fucktard! He’s in the race!

DOMINIC COOPER

(calling in)

Ooh, good timing. I was just trying to think of the best way to let street racing fans everywhere know I was a humongous scaredycat asshole who is pants-shittingly terrified of facing Aaron Paul in a fair race, and now I have the perfect opportunity. A fancy European sports car to whoever destroys that Mustang!

MICHAEL KEATON

(on radio)

...Well there you have it. Dominic Cooper, offering on live radio, under his real name, a substantial material reward in exchange for public acts of violence. I say if he’s not arrested in the next ten minutes, we can finally conclude that the police haven’t even figured out this show exists.

EXT. UTAH

AARON and IMOGEN are DRIVING when suddenly an SUV starts chasing them! They try to speed off but then two other cars are bearing down on them head-on!

AARON PAUL

Oh my God, what a fiendish pincer manoeuver! ...Which they could only have pulled off if they knew we were going to be exactly here exactly now, which makes no fucking sense!

IMOGEN POOTS

Go for the one on the left, I can tell from the type of car he’s driving that he’ll definitely chicken out first!

AARON PAUL

So much for not judging people by appearances.

IMOGEN is CORRECT and they get past the oncoming cars! But the SUV manages to maintain pursuit.

AARON PAUL

Goddamnit, I’m in a RACECAR, how am I not managing to outrun a fucking FOUR BY FOUR?!

But then AARON’S PILOT FRIEND SCOTT MESCUDI shows up in a STOLEN ARMY HELICOPTER.

AARON PAUL

The fuck? Scott, where’s the Cessna you’ve been flying all movie? Why are you in that thing now?

SCOTT MESCUDI

Same reason I’ve brought along like forty feet of steel chain - because apparently I’m fucking psychic and foresaw that you would be in the exact predicament which has arisen in the past five minutes and need to perform the exact ridiculous stunt we’re about to perform.

They LOOP THE CHAIN THROUGH THE MUSTANG and FLY IT TO SAFETY, causing no structural damage to the car because of course it’s been designed so that the whole vehicle can be lifted by the WINDSHIELD.

EXT. CALIFORNIA

AARON and IMOGEN finally arrive in time to CHECK-IN FOR THE RACE at some HOTEL.

AARON PAUL

Hey, you’ll never guess who I met while I was in there. Dominic!

IMOGEN POOTS

Who, the guy with lots of contacts and resources, who’s made it clear he’ll go to any lengths to destroy this car? The car we’re sitting in now?

AARON PAUL

Yeah, he knows exactly where we are now! Small world, huh? Anyway, let’s just drive off in a casual, leisurely-

They get SMASHED BY A TRUCK. The MUSTANG is TOTALLED and IMOGEN is HOSPITALIZED and AARON is SLIGHTLY SCUFFED BUT OTHERWISE CONVENIENTLY FINE.

EXT. BRIDGE

AARON meets with DOMINIC’S GIRLFRIEND/HARRISON’S SISTER DAKOTA JOHNSON.

DAKOTA JOHNSON

So I just today became the last person in the world to figure out that Dominic was the one who killed Harrison. I can get you a new car - the one Dominic was driving in that fatal street race.

AARON PAUL

The one that Dominic told the cops didn’t exist? Where did you find it?

DAKOTA JOHNSON

On his computer desktop there’s a folder of all the cars he owns. That car was listed there along with photos of it and an address for where he’s keeping it.

AARON PAUL

...Wow. He must have been surprised when the “just say there's no such car and hope the cops take my word for it” plan actually worked. Let’s go get the car so I can get to the race in time!

DAKOTA JOHNSON

The race? Aaron, we have the car. The car that Dominic lied about to the police, the one that shouldn’t prove Dominic’s guilt just by existing but we’re claiming it somehow does. That’s your revenge, right there! If you can just get him thrown in prison, what does the race mean anymore?

AARON PAUL

You people with your stupid “logic” and “motivation”! This movie climaxes with a street race because it just does, all right?

EXT. STARTING LINE

AARON shows up to the RACE in DOMINIC’S CAR.

DOMINIC COOPER

Gasp, it’s that guy I’ve been perfectly willing to put in a car accident for most of this movie! He’s driving that car that I have good reason to destroy! Somehow these two facts will fail to intersect at any point of this race.

The RACE BEGINS. But then the COPS SHOW UP and start PURSUING THE DRIVERS! Everybody except DOMINIC and AARON start CRASHING HORRIBLY ALL OVER THE PLACE!

IDIOT COP

Say, since this here race is basically in a straight line maybe we should have gone ahead and set up a road block a couple miles down the road. You know, instead of trying to chase down the fastest, most expensive racing machines on the face of the planet.

MORON COP

Duhhh, what’s a road block?

Finally DOMINIC and AARON are neck and neck in the final leg of the race!

AARON PAUL

Huh, I’m struggling to pull ahead of Dominic even though the car I’m in is about forty miles an hour faster than the Mustang was. I guess that means my original revenge plan was never gonna succeed in a billion years! That's kind of depressing.

DOMINIC gets pissed off and tries to SIDE-SWIPE AARON, but AARON quickly DROPS BEHIND, causing DOMINIC TO SPIN OUT AND CRASH. AARON stops his CAR about FIFTY YARDS FROM THE FINISH LINE, and goes back and pulls DOMINIC out of the BURNING CAR.

AARON PAUL

I didn’t let a guy die in a fire! Isn’t that heroic of me, hm? I could have won the race - I mean, I’m the only one left with a working car, so I guess I’m still going to win the race - but I could have done it sooner, and instead I decided not to let you get killed by an exploding gas tank! Aren’t I noble and selfless? By the standards of this movie, I mean.

DOMINIC COOPER

Yeah, you’re a fucking saint. Can’t help but notice you didn’t go back for any of the other drivers, all of whom also suffered terrible wrecks.

AARON PAUL

Whatever, dude. You’re going to jail!

DOMINIC COOPER

I know. The cops just busted our super illegal street race, I would have gone to jail even if you never left New York.

AARON PAUL

Well, uh... huh. Surely I accomplished SOMETHING in this whole movie.

DOMINIC COOPER

You got yourself a bunch more jail time, for what that’s worth.

AARON PAUL

...Okay, yeah! I managed to get a remorseless menace to society put behind bars where he belongs! Take that, Aaron Paul, you cocky, idiotic, irresponsible douchebag!

The studio slaps on the name of a RANDOM RACING GAME in a vain attempt to stop people from noticing how hard they're ripping off THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS.

END.

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