Jeremy was dismayed to discover that yes, some people did remember The Bourne Legacy.


Jeremy was dismayed to discover that yes, some people did remember The Bourne Legacy.

TAG

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. OFFICE

FANCYPANTS BUSINESSMAN JON HAMM is being interviewed by WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTER ANNABELLE WALLIS.

JON HAMM

We're a family here at Hammcorp. We believe in contributing to the community. We're always looking to the future. We're, uh, just a second...

(secretly consults pamphlet entitled "CEO Pablum for Beginners")

ANNABELLE WALLIS

Ugh, something else happen that I can write a story about, I will write a story about literally any stupid thing other than this.

Then ED HELMS bursts into the office.

ED HELMS

Knock knock, motherfucker! I actually got a goddamn job at your company so that I could be in your presence! Rather than, say, just showing up at your house.

JON HAMM

That's so needlessly over-elaborate!

ED HELMS

Yeah well, things being over-elaborate is the main joke of this movie, so if you're not entertained by this you might as well just bail on the whole movie right here and now.

(tags Jon)

Anyway, you're It!

ANNABELLE WALLIS

Um, what the fuck is this?

ED HELMS

You see, there's this cool and heartwarming story about real-life group of childhood friends who've managed to keep in touch ever since by playing a never-ending game of tag. And now they've agreed to be immortalized on film as a bunch of idiotic manchildren with fucked-up priorities.

JON HAMM

Every May the game resumes, and we all try to trick, trap and ambush each other... but this year May's nearly over and we haven't started playing until now, because that's the only way the plot can function.

ANNABELLE WALLIS

And it didn't occur to you to postpone this important interview a couple of days, so that it didn't happen in the month where your life disintegrates into chaotic bullshit?

JON HAMM

Uhhh - hey, why don't you write a story about our game of tag?

ANNABELLE WALLIS

What, for the Wall Street Journal? The serious, Pulitzer-drenched publication which focuses on in-depth analyses of business and finance is gonna do a story about grown men running around playing a children's game? Even for a wacky comedy that's kinda-

JON HAMM

That is what actually happened in real life.

ANNABELLE WALLIS

...Wow. So long, journalism. It was nice knowing you. Fine, let's do this thing.

INT. JAKE JOHNSON'S HOUSE

JAKE JOHNSON is getting thoroughly STONED when there is a knock on the door. He answers to find ISLA FISHER standing there.

ISLA FISHER

Hi, Jake! I'm Ed's wife, as you know, and I'm here to provide a crafty distraction. I mean Ed himself could have been standing here and could have easily tagged you the second you opened the door, but-

JAKE JOHNSON

Needlessly over-elaborate, I know, I got the memo. So you're totally into Ed's annual tag thing?

ISLA FISHER

Hell, I'm even more into it than he is! Why of all the comedy action thrillers of 2018, I'd say we're definitely the best "guy with self esteem issues who takes games too seriously and his even more intense and competitive wife" couple!

JASON BATEMAN AND RACHEL MCADAMS

Like FUCK you are!

ED HELMS AND ISLA FISHER

Are too!

JASON BATEMAN AND RACHEL MCADAMS

THAT'S IT! We can settle this with a race around the world! Meet us at Leicester Square at noon-

(shot at)

FUCK! This isn't over!

(exit, pursued by Michael C. Hall)

JAKE JOHNSON

Well anyway, I'll now evade you using the athletic prowess common to all out-of-shape schlubs who are baked out of their skulls!

(parkours)

ED HELMS

Nice try, but what you don't realize is that I too am a distraction, Jon's actually the one who's It! The audience has known this all along; presumably they've just been waiting for us to stop dicking around.

JON lunges out of nowhere to tackle JAKE.

JON HAMM

Now you are the one who is It.

JAKE JOHNSON

Understood. So I guess we should now go find Hannibal Buress, the eccentric one of our group.

ANNABELLE WALLIS

Real-life eccentric? Or Hollywood eccentric, where you're so disconnected from reality that you should probably be medicated?

HANNIBAL BURESS

hey guys i tried to build some orange juice back into an orange but it didnt work

ANNABELLE WALLIS

Figured as much. Okay, so now that we've got you guys together, I assume you'll all be battling it out in an every-man-for-himself chaotic chase full of constantly-shifting power dynamics, like a regular game of tag but writ extremely large? That should be awesome!

ED HELMS

Pfft, do you have any idea how hard that would be to write? No, from here on out the four of us are permanently on the same team as we work together to tag Jeremy Renner.

ANNABELLE WALLIS

Oh. So instead of one person chasing the whole group, it's the whole group chasing one person? That's not tag. That's the OPPOSITE of tag.

JAKE JOHNSON

Well that's the game we'll be playing for the remainder of the movie, so just deal.

JON HAMM

Jeremy's NEVER been tagged in the entire thirty-year history of this game. But this year we have an edge on him because we know where he's going to be: he's getting married, and the wedding is scheduled on the last day of May by a wholly contrived coincidence!

ED HELMS

This is our last chance to get him. He's retiring from the game after this year, which he told ME and ME ALONE for some reason. In fact, if we're ever sitting down and talking with Jeremy, you guys should probably not even bring up the subject. EVERYBODY JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR IT AND MOVE ON.

HANNIBAL BURESS

we got possums and opossums but no other such animal pairing

if we discover more animals we should name them like otigers and oelephants and ctopuses

The TEAM head to their home town of SPOKANE to hunt JEREMY RENNER.

INT. RECEPTION HALL, SPOKANE

JEREMY is lured to a RECEPTION HALL. Suddenly ED rushes at him and he goes into SHERLOCK DOWNEY JR. MODE.

JEREMY RENNER

(mentally)

Ed. Thinks just running at me is good strategy. Despite thirty years of history making it obvious this is a terrible idea. Will continue this exact approach for remainder of movie. Why not bring taser. With taser I would have been well fucked.

He casually uses his NINJA SKILLS to dodge and humiliate ED. JAKE, HANNIBAL and JON all come at him also.

JEREMY RENNER

Gang ambush. Must employ intricate strategy based heavily on my understanding of who exactly is It right now. Therefore the same "tricking me into thinking somebody else was It" plan that Ed successfully used against Jake would have easily defeated me now. Ed is not a smart man.

He meticulously hands all their asses to them and escapes out a WINDOW.

ED HELMS

Damnit, once again we're all outclassed by Jeremy Renner! Curse you Jeremy, you really are by far the most impressive and powerful member of this entire group!

JEREMY RENNER

Aw yeah, THIS is more like it! Who needs those other assholes and their stupid Infinity War anyway.

LESLIE BIBB

(showing up)

By the way, hi guys, I'm Jeremy's fiancée! I just wanted to say, first of all, it's so nice to meet you, I've heard so much about you guys! And second of all, IF THIS STUPID FUCKING GAME FUCKS UP MY FUCKING WEDDING I WILL EVISCERATE YOU FUCKING FUCKS.

JEREMY RENNER

Okay, how about we all agree to some terms? Nobody's allowed to tag anybody at the ceremony OR at the reception.

ED HELMS

Well fine, but that seems unnecessarily specific. Why not just say the wedding day is off limits? It's like these rules have been deliberately worded to set up a loophole or something.

JEREMY and LESLIE depart, and the OTHERS regroup to strategize.

JAKE JOHNSON

So, how do we find Jeremy now? There's nobody in Jeremy's life who will ever willingly divulge his whereabouts, because we're running with the premise that all of his friends, family, neighbors and colleagues take this ridiculous game seriously.

JON HAMM

What if we just go to his house?

ED HELMS

His house?! Why that's just crazy enough to work!

ANNABELLE WALLIS

Er, why are you guys acting like this is a totally new strategy you've never thought of before? Thirty years of this game, it's never occurred to you that Jeremy might sleep in his own house?

ED HELMS

Look, this is all new for the audience, so we're allowed to act like it's all new for us as well. Let's go!

They go to JEREMY'S HOUSE. But then ED gets a FACETIME CALL from JEREMY.

JEREMY RENNER

Nice try asshole, but I'm not in my house, as you can see I'm in YOURS!

ED HELMS

Fuck! Come on guys, let's go to the location he's given us! He will definitely be sitting waiting for us in the place he says he's going to be!!

They go back to ED'S HOUSE, but JEREMY isn't there.

JEREMY RENNER

PWNED! I'm not in your house after all, I'm in an overly-elaborate simulation of your house in my basement!

ED HELMS

DAMNIT! We lose this round, guys. Let's not go to Jeremy's actual location, which he's just revealed to us.

JON HAMM

Boy we suck at this game.

INT. MALL

The next morning, JEREMY is picking up his TUXEDO when he espies ED disguised as a LITTLE OLD LADY.

JEREMY RENNER

Flimsy disguise restricts mobility. Could easily evade Ed. But will attack and humiliate him instead because I'm a sadistic fuck.

He BEATS ED UP and PINS HIM TO THE GROUND with his own OLD LADY WALKER.

ED HELMS

Curse you, I can't reach you unless I just slip my arms out from under the walker, which I clearly could do but will never attempt!

JEREMY RENNER

Give it up, Ed. You just don't have the psychotic level of commitment to children's games that I have. Remember the time we played Hide and Go Seek, and by the time you "Olly olly oxen-free" I'd been declared legally dead for six months?

ED HELMS

(sighs)

You'd been hiding out in Guatemala under the name Maria Castellano. I should have thought to check there!

JEREMY RENNER

That's right. And I haven't set foot on the first floor of my mother's house since I was six, because the floor is still officially made of lava. Don't you see? I cannot be beaten, because I am TOTALLY FUCKING INSANE.

(pause)

Also I seem to have Daredevil powers. I don't even know what's going on with that.

(leaves)

INT. COUNTRY CLUB

The gang are attending JEREMY AND LESLIE'S REHEARSAL PARTY.

ISLA FISHER

Okay, this party falls under the no-tagging-allowed agreement so we can use this time to throw together some half-assed character stuff. Jon and Jake, how about we cover you both by saying you're both vying for the affections of Rashida Jones.

JON HAMM

Sure, that just barely qualifies as a thing. Hey Rashida, pick me, the handsome millionaire philanthropist CEO!

JAKE JOHNSON

No, pick me, the divorced, unemployed, middle-aged stoner who looks like a forgotten Belushi!

HANNIBAL BURESS

what about me do i get any character stuff

ISLA FISHER

Dude, you're the wacky guy, of course not. Just keep saying random shit.

HANNIBAL BURESS

(pause)

sometimes i wonder what the inside of my nostrils smell like and then i get all confused

ED HELMS

All right, the party's about to officially end, so we have to be prepared! There are PRECISELY five exits from this building, is everybody in position?

JON HAMM

(off trying to bang Rashida)

JEREMY RENNER

(escapes)

ED HELMS

DAMN YOU, JON, YOU SCREWED US! We would totally have had Jeremy trapped if we'd just stood at the official exits, there's no way he would have just jumped out a window like he did earlier!

ED, JAKE and HANNIBAL jump on a GOLF CART and chase JEREMY into the WOODS. There they are led astray by various DECOY JEREMYS and are taken out by LOG TRAPS, NETS and CHLOROFORM.

JAKE JOHNSON

Damn, Jeremy must have hired some guys to help him set this up! Guys who apparently have no problem with committing straight-up felonies? Is he working with the Russian Mafia or something?

ED HELMS

But hey, with this unstoppable entity stalking us through the forest and taking us out one by one, I think we just became the best Predator movie of 2018! Not that that's saying much.

INT. GYM

Next they try JEREMY'S WORKPLACE.

ED HELMS

Oh yeah, the place he goes for hours every day in order to have an income. We probably should have thought of this place much earlier.

THOMAS MIDDLEDITCH

Hi, I'm the weedy nerd from Silicon Valley, cast as a guy who works at a gym for some reason! How can I help you?

ED HELMS

Tell us where Jeremy is or we'll waterboard you.

THOMAS MIDDLEDITCH

Fucking WHAT?! Well this movie just got a thousand percent darker, Jesus!

ED HELMS

No no, it's okay, we wind up chickening out and not actually waterboarding you! No, we just drag you off, tie you to a chair, and make you THINK you're about to be tortured, so this is all still fun and wacky!

(smiles weakly)

So come on, tell us what fun, wacky location we can find Jeremy in.

THOMAS MIDDLEDITCH

Fine. He's at an AA meeting.

ED HELMS

You're killing me, Tom.

INT. CHURCH

JEREMY is attending an AA MEETING.

RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC

...and I don’t know if my daughter will ever speak to me again, but at least I’ve reached out.

(sighs)

Let me just say, it’s meant so much to me these past two years to have a safe place where I can come to heal-

ED HELMS

(bursting in)

MEETING OVER RUMMIES, FUCK OFF! OH WAIT YOU CAN’T BECAUSE WE BARRED ALL THE EXITS, NOBODY LEAVES UNTIL EITHER WE TAG JEREMY OR WE ALL DIE, HA HA NOTHING MATTERS EXCEPT US AND OUR STUPID FUCKING GAME!!

JEREMY RENNER

Well fine then, I’ll just jump out the window like in our first encounter - oh look, you’ve spread rat traps under the window, how cute. Guess I’ll just use my crazy acrobatic skills to make sure I land square on a few with the soles of my shoes, then kick the others out of the way and leg it.

ED HELMS

No, they thwart you!

JEREMY RENNER

What, really? My ninja powers and psychotic force of will are no match for a few rat traps?

ED HELMS

Apparently!

JEREMY RENNER

Well fine then, guess I’ll just hide in a locked room.

(does)

ED HELMS

Damnit! I guess all four of us will sit here waiting for you to come out. Rather than having one of us fetch a locksmith, or a church official with a key, or anything useful like that. Hell, I could ask Isla to do it. But nope, just gonna sit here.

(sits)

JAKE JOHNSON

(sits)

JON HAMM

(sits)

HANNIBAL BURESS

has there ever been a fictional character who was like a reverse king midas

where every gold he touches turns to things

touch a gold filling and it turns into a ball-peen hammer

touch an oscar and its gold plating turns into a copy of the chicago tribune from july 12th 1996

Eventually LESLIE bursts in, FREAKING THE FUCK OUT.

LESLIE BIBB

You FUCKERS! I asked for ONE THING! The only thing I asked was, “Don’t fuck up my wedding”, and what are you doing?!

ED HELMS

(mumbling)

...Fucking up your-

LESLIE BIBB

YOU’RE FUCKING UP MY FUCKING WEDDING IS WHAT YOU’RE DOING! WHERE IS THAT ASSHOLE JEREMY, WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE GETTING MARRIED IN LIKE AN HOUR AND-

(doubles over)

Oh shit - yep, that’s a miscarriage - this is really shaping up to be one of those days.

ED HELMS

Uhhhh I’m sorry, what the fuck did you just-

JEREMY RENNER

(rushing out)

Oh God no not a miscarriage we need to get to the hospital right away!

(whisks Leslie away)

ED HELMS

Hello?! A fucking MISCARRIAGE?! THAT’S what we’re putting in our wacky comedy now?!?

JAKE JOHNSON

Okay, yes, it is a bit on the, uh, tonally problematic side, but you know what, maybe it works as character development? I mean, clearly all of us have a serious problem with perspective. This jarring mood shift could be important as a means of making us recognize the real harm we’re doing in pursuit of something that ultimately doesn’t matter.

ED HELMS

Well... I guess if it’s used with sincerity in the name of creating a dramatic climax to the movie, I can let the miscarriage thing slide-

ISLA FISHER

You idiots, according to social media the miscarriage was a made-up ploy to get Jeremy safely out of the church! That sensitive, comedy-annihilating subject wasn’t introduced for thematic purposes, it was thrown in to set up a minor plot twist!

ED HELMS

WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK.

EXT. WEDDING

ED, JON, JAKE, HANNIBAL and ISLA show up at the WEDDING. LESLIE comes over to POINT AND LAUGH.

LESLIE BIBB

HA HA HA HAAA, we got you good! That’s right guys, it turns out I’m even more of a horrible tag-obsessed crazy person than Jeremy is!

ISLA FISHER

It really says a lot about how this game has fucked these guys up, that seemingly the only way any of them can get into a happy relationship is if they find a fellow hyper-competitive nutjob.

They head inside and the CEREMONY commences. Some EXTREMELY CONVENIENT VENUE EMPLOYEES materialize behind ED’S SEAT.

VENUE EMPLOYEE #1

Now remember, once the “man and wife” part has been said, the CEREMONY is officially over.

VENUE EMPLOYEE #2

I see, so at that time the CEREMONY is finished, and it’s only later that the RECEPTION begins?

VENUE EMPLOYEE #1

Yes indeed, in fact you could say that there exists a brief null period where NEITHER THE CEREMONY NOR THE RECEPTION IS HAPPENING, and therefore during that period any behavior which has been prohibited DURING THE CEREMONY and DURING THE RECEPTION would be technically permissible.

ED HELMS

Omigod omigod, Isla, there’s gonna be an opportunity to tag Jeremy after all!!!

ISLA FISHER

Except now it won’t count. Since the agreement was that we wouldn’t even TALK about tag during the ceremony, which you just did.

ED HELMS

FUCK YOU I’M DOING IT ANYWAY

The vows are finalized, and ED sprints down the aisle. The others stare in amazement as he takes JEREMY unawares and finally TAGS HIM!!

ED HELMS

YES! That was SO CATHARTIC!

JEREMY RENNER

It sure was! And the writers actually found a way for you to plausibly tag me despite my superhuman powers!

ED HELMS

Yes, and this time we ARE resolving some character stuff! No longer does my lack of self-confidence undermine my will to succeed!

JEREMY RENNER

This really is an awesome way to bring this all to a close! Shame it’s entirely imaginary.

ED HELMS

Wait, what? NOOOO-

The scene cuts back TEN SECONDS and this time ED misses JEREMY and falls flat on his face an is knocked unconscious and is hauled off to hospital. And on the way to the hospital somebody probably spills a SPITOON on him or something.

INT. HOSPITAL

Everybody is gathered around ED’S HOSPITAL BED.

ED HELMS

So the reason I passed out so easily is that I have cancer.

JEREMY RENNER

...Okay, so THIS is the character development, where you fake me out about cancer and thus succeed in tagging me, showing that you had the stones to go all-out and-

ED HELMS

Nope. My character absolutely has cancer. I lied to the other guys about you quitting, because I really wanted to tag you this year in case next year I’m dead.

JEREMY RENNER

(long sigh)

Dude. What the fuck is happening to this movie. It’s supposed to be a nutty comedy about a children’s game. It’s called “Tag”.

ED HELMS

Yeah well, test audiences didn’t respond well to the working title, “Waterboarding, Alcoholism, Miscarriages and Cancer”. Now come over here and let me tag you.

JEREMY RENNER

THAT’S how we end this? I just let you win out of pity? We’re doing the fucking Mass Effect 3 ending?

ED HELMS

It’s not just pity! It’s also good for our character relationship! You’ve never gotten close to the rest of us because you’ve always been running away so much.

JEREMY RENNER

What, even during the eleven months of the year when we weren’t playing the game?

ED HELMS

I guess. Come on man, let’s just wrap this up.

JEREMY goes and gets anticlimactically TAGGED by ED. Then the whole gang goes running through the halls of the HOSPITAL, laughing and tackling each other past rooms where people are DYING.

JON HAMM

All right, tonal problems aside, this was pretty fun! And it sure was different. Can’t imagine there’ll ever be another movie about a group of childhood friends who, decades later, are still getting all worked up running away from whoever’s It.

JAMES MCAVOY, JESSICA CHASTAIN, BILL HADER, JAY RYAN, ANDY BEAN, JAMES RANSONE AND ISAIAH MUSTAFA

Funny you should say that...

END.

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