Fans rioted when casting was announced for the Half-Life movie.


Fans rioted when casting was announced for the Half-Life movie.

THE ARRIVAL

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. POPPY FIELD

SCIENTIST LINDSAY CROUSE is examining a sunny field full of healthy POPPIES.

LINDSAY CROUSE

Bizarre! I have so many science questions about how these flowers could be comfortably growing here-

EXT. ANTARCTICA

LINDSAY CROUSE

-IN ANTARCTICA!!

(pause)

Mostly about what this says about the climate, sure, but also things like: where the hell did the poppy seeds come from? Why did the soil have the nutrients and active bacteria in it necessary to support plant growth? And above all, why was there even any soil in the first place when-

EXT. THE ARCTIC, ACTUALLY

LINDSAY CROUSE

-this scene doesn’t really take place in Antarctica, but in THE FUCKING ARCTIC. You know, the one where there isn’t even any land mass? Oh well, at least the audience can’t complain about how dumb this movie gets after this point. I think we’ve just given them very fair warning.

INT. DEEP SPACE COMMUNICATIONS COMPLEX

SETI RADIO ASTRONOMERS CHARLIE SHEEN and RICHARD SCHIFF are pointing their BIG-ASS SATELLITE DISH into OUTER SPACE to see if they can find any RADIO BROADCASTS from ALIENS, which is a REAL FUCKING JOB IN REAL FUCKING LIFE.

CHARLIE SHEEN

(on phone)

Sorry, honey, I’m gonna be home late. No, there’s no particular reason I need to keep listening to space right now, I pretty much just couldn’t be assed to make time for you. Go fuck yourself.

TERI POLO

(on phone)

You know, usually when movie characters are shown as neglecting their girlfriends, it’s because they’re doctors or police officers or CEOs or in some other kind of high-stakes, high-pressure, important and demanding job. You’re literally sitting in a chair and listening to static. No wonder people ask me why the hell I put up with you.

CHARLIE SHEEN

People?! Does that include MALE people?!? IF YOU COME WITHIN TEN FEET OF ANOTHER MAN I WILL KILL HIM THEN YOU THEN MYSELF.

TERI POLO

Seriously. You’re just terrible. I must be stupid and insane.

Suddenly the STATIC turns into LOUD STATIC!

CHARLIE SHEEN

Yikes, gotta go, Teri! This 1982-era computer readout is showing a spiky thing on the thing!

(hangs up)

RICHARD SCHIFF

Quick, let’s do the stuff!

CHARLIE SHEEN

Check the Faraday calibrations against the wavelength dispersion output! TECHNOBABBLE TECHNOBABBLE!

Eventually the signal STOPS.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Hot dog, that was the biggest spiky space thing I’ve ever seen! We gotta show this to our boss at JPL, Ron Silver!

RICHARD SCHIFF

Our boss is played by Ron Silver? Okay well, try and act surprised when he turns out to be a colossal wanghole.

INT. NASA JET PROPULSION LABORATORY

CHARLIE explains to his boss, DEAD-EYED REPTILIAN HUSK RON SILVER, about the space noise.

RON SILVER

Hmmm, that is indeed an interesting find. In fact it’s exactly - you might say exclusively - the kind of thing SETI is here to investigate. So: you’re fired, hand over the only copy of that recording, this is a non-suspicious way for me to behave.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Well crap. I guess I’ll just go quietly, get a new job elsewhere, and be completely understanding about all this.

(pause)

Of course if you immediately start telling everyone in the radio astronomy field that I’m a crazy person who fakes alien signals, then I’d be pretty much guaranteed to realize that you’re up to something, become infuriated, and dedicate myself to unveiling the truth.

RON SILVER

True, that’d be a counterproductive thing to do.

(does it)

Well I’m hardly gonna NOT take an asshole course of action, am I? I’m Ron Silver!

RON then sends some GENERIC HEAVIES IN SUITS to steal all the DATA about the SIGNAL, because that too is a TOTALLY UNSUSPICIOUS thing to do.

RICHARD SCHIFF

Very well sirs, you may take every copy of everything, even the secret backup records I didn’t have to tell you about. I’m cooperating completely.

(pause)

This does seem a little fishy, though.

GENERIC HEAVY #1

A little fishy?! He knows too much! We have to kill him!

GENERIC HEAVY #2

What about that guy, should we kill him too?

CHARLIE SHEEN

(running past, flailing arms)

IT’S A CONSPIRACY!! I’LL REVEAL EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY!!

GENERIC HEAVY #1

Nah, he’s fine.

INT. SECRET ATTIC LAB

CHARLIE SHEEN

I know, I’ll get a job as a TV satellite maintenance guy, hijack a bunch of people’s satellite dishes to make my own personal array, and recapture the signal in my own secret lab! People are sure to trust a recording of a signal from a known signal-faker!

TONY T. JOHNSON

But won’t your secret experiment be discovered and shut down as soon as you realign all those dishes and everybody’s TV turns to static?

CHARLIE SHEEN

Who the hell are you?

TONY T. JOHNSON

I’m your nineties-homeboy-stereotype teenage neighbor! You needed somebody to explain all this sciency crap to, so I got hastily invented.

(aside)

Psst, readers of the abridged script. If you haven’t seen The Arrival - and let’s face it, who the fuck has - you should know that, at the end of the movie, it turns out I was an evil alien all along. Just thought I’d let you know now, so you can see for yourself the opportunities I have to easily just kill Charlie.

(pause)

Like right now, for example.

Suddenly the SIGNAL returns!

CHARLIE SHEEN

Sweet, let’s record - wait, what’s that interference?

(listens, frowns)

I understand just a little... no comprende, it’s a riddle... I’m on a Mexican radio! Damn, some Mexican radio station must be broadcasting on the same frequency!

TONY T. JOHNSON

How the hell is the signal from a radio tower in Mexico being picked up by satellite dishes in California?!

CHARLIE SHEEN

Don’t you see what this means? That Mexican radio station must be sending secret messages to the aliens! They’re talking to each other, at the same time on the same frequency, which just plain doesn’t work!

TONY T. JOHNSON

Seriously, we invented interstellar travel before we invented full-duplex radio?

(pause)

I mean - THEY did?

CHARLIE SHEEN

I should go to Richard, and tell him about my conspiracy theory about Mexican DJs working for space invaders, so he can have me sectioned!

He goes to RICHARD’S HOUSE, only to find him being taken away in a BODY BAG.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Fuck, the generic heavies killed him! ...After I got that satellite job, got sent out on all those service calls, and set up my secret lab, so I guess it took them a month to actually get round to that assassination?

(shrugs)

Oh well, I’m off to Mexico, to find out who’s been communicating with the aliens.

TONY T. JOHNSON

And I’m going to just let you, once again without killing you.

EXT. MEXICAN RADIO STATION

CHARLIE arrives in MEXICO only to find that the RADIO STATION has been burnt to the ground.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Shit, they must have known I was coming! I wonder how they found out? Could it have anything to do with Tony, the only person I told about my plans? Naw, I see no reason to mistrust that stranger who wandered into my house as soon as I started investigating the aliens.

He goes back to his HOTEL ROOM, followed by some CREEPY DUDE.

CREEPY DUDE

NOW. Now is the logical time to kill him. Not yesterday, so that we didn’t have to burn down our radio station, but now. What shall we go with? Hit-and-run car accident? Botched mugging? Carbon monoxide poisoning like Richard?

(snaps fingers)

I know! I’ll wait until he’s having a bath, then overfill the bathtub in the room directly over his, so that the floor gives way and the tub falls down and kills him! What an elegant, practical solution!

CHARLIE SHEEN

What if I’m that odd kind of person who actually notices and gets up to investigate when copious amounts of water start gushing out of cracks in the ceiling?

CREEPY DUDE

Aw, don’t be that guy, that’d ruin everything!

CHARLIE avoids getting SMUSHED. He then chases the CREEPY DUDE, but then the CREEPY DUDE just turns his KNEES BACKWARDS and LEAPS TO A ROOFTOP and ESCAPES.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Woah, he was an alien! The aliens are already here! Funny, somehow I came under the crazy impression that this movie would actually involve their ARRIVAL.

EXT. POWER PLANT

CHARLIE’S INVESTIGATION next takes him to a POWER PLANT, where he runs into LINDSAY.

LINDSAY CROUSE

I’m here trying to prove that something weird is going on with global warming. Apparently I’m the only climatologist who thinks that flowers blooming in the arctic is somewhat unusual.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Wait a minute, earlier at JPL I happened to pass through a lecture where a guy was conveniently explaining the concept of terraforming. The aliens must be terraforming us before they invade!

LINDSAY CROUSE

Dear God! Although, actually, could you explain to me, a person who studies climate-related science for a living, what this “terraforming” is?

They head back to LINDSAY’S HOTEL, where CREEPY DUDE awaits.

CREEPY DUDE

I’m here to kill Lindsay, and this time no fucking around with some impractical bathtub idea. Time for a straightforward, surefire, pragmatic way of murdering somebody and making it look like an accident.

(pulls out case of scorpions)

SCORPIOOOOONS

(fills Lindsay’s room with scorpions)

LINDSAY CROUSE

Well this is my room. You can sleep on the couch if you want.

CHARLIE SHEEN

For some reason I’ll react to that innocuous suggestion as though you just started humping my leg like a horny terrier. Back off lady, I have a horribly-neglected girlfriend.

(pause)

Wait, did I just glimpse in your room a fuckton of scorpions, climbing on the furniture and out of drawers and dripping off the ceiling fan?

LINDSAY CROUSE

How and why would scorpions climb on top of spinning fan blades? You’re just being silly. Nighty night!

(goes inside)

(scorpioned to death)

INT. SECRET ATTIC LAB

Meanwhile the GENERIC HEAVIES break into CHARLIE’S LAB and put in some kind of HOVERING DISCO BALL which turns into a BLACK HOLE and absorbs everything in the room, leaving it EMPTY.

GENERIC HEAVY #1

See now, if we’d just had Tony do this while Charlie was IN the room, we’d have no more problems.

INT. POWER PLANT

CHARLIE’S INVESTIGATION brings him to a POWER PLANT. Sneaking inside he finds a giant GREENHOUSE GAS MACHINE being run by a bunch of undisguised ALIENS.

CHARLIE SHEEN

So that’s what these guys look like without their human disguises on! Yeugh, backwards legs, exposed brains - nature’s engineers were clearly drunk when they designed these piles of garbage.

Suddenly he’s spotted!

CHARLIE SHEEN

Whuh-oh! Um, I know, maybe the disguise-alien-as-human machine has a disguise-human-as-different-human setting?

He jumps in the MACHINE and gets transformed into CHARLIE SHEEN WITH LUMPY PROSTHETICS ON HIS FACE.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Sweet, it put fake skin on my skin, but not fake eyeballs on my eyeballs even though surely it usually does eyeballs? I’m sure glad I get detected one minute later anyway and this piece of rampant absurdity is completely pointless.

Indeed the ALIENS identify him and he FLEES THE BUILDING and DRIVES OFF.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Well, now that I’ve learned that the aliens are doing the thing that I already figured out they were doing, and gathered zero evidence against them, I should get real tangible results if now I tell the cops!

INT. POLICE STATION

CHARLIE is talking to the POLICE.

CHARLIE SHEEN

How many times do I have to explain this?! Global warming is real and it’s an alien conspiracy! My boss is a space alien wearing fake skin! WHY WON’T THE MEXICAN POLICE ACT ON THIS INFORMATION?!?

POLICE OFFICER

For a scientist you seem very vague on the concept of people needing evidence before they believe stuff. Also, I’ve just got a report that you were the last person seen with Lindsay before she drowned in scorpions.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Dang, I guess now I’m stuck in a foreign country on the run from both evil aliens AND the cops. I should just undercut any potential tension this brings by simply materializing back in California and confronting Ron.

EXT. NASA JET PROPULSION LABORATORY

CHARLIE, now looking like HOMELESS GEORGE MICHAEL, shoves a POCKET GUN in RON’S FACE.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Believe my laughable claim that my poking-out pocket has a gun in it, and say something vaguely incriminating about being an alien!

RON SILVER

Considering you’ve already learned about our weakness to the cold, you probably should have foregone the pretend gun and just brought a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. But fine, we are aliens and we will kill you all, bwa ha ha.

CHARLIE SHEEN

HA HAAA, GOTCHA! I got that on camera, and now I’m gonna go broadcast it and your secret will be out! EVERYBODY will be persuaded aliens exist once they see footage of a guy in a suit saying they do!

(runs off)

RON SILVER

Geez, good thing he didn’t just reach out and tear my paper-thin human mask off, that would have been about a billion times more incriminating. Well, better go thwart him anyhow.

EXT. SATELLITE UPLINK

CHARLIE goes to a SATELLITE DISH to broadcast the VIDEO, accompanied by TONY and TERI.

TERI POLO

Yes, I’m still Charlie’s girlfriend, even after he went crazy and vanished off to Mexico without telling me.

CHARLIE SHEEN

It’s going to be complicated using this dish to hack into national television broadcasts, but with my attic lab black-hole-erized, this is the only way we have of distributing this video!

TERI POLO

Is it, though? I vaguely recall hearing about some kind of interconnected network of computers which allows digital information to be rapidly disseminated on a global scale...

CHARLIE SHEEN

Well I haven’t heard of such fanciful notions, I’m just a guy who works in communications technology after all.

As they get ready to broadcast the VIDEO, RON and the GENERIC HEAVIES show up in a VAN.

CHARLIE SHEEN

What?! How did they find us?!? OH FUCK! We have an alien traitor in our midst! Isn’t that true... TERI?!

TERI POLO AND TONY T. JOHNSON

...Seriously?

CHARLIE SHEEN

You were an alien plant sent to monitor me! It explains everything! By which I mean, it explains how a paranoid, jealous, uncommunicative, unavailable, moody and irrational dickweed such as myself could possibly have kept any girlfriend for this long.

TERI POLO

That’s a fair point, but come on, if I’d been an alien spy, why would I have passed up the innumerable opportunities I’ve had to just kill you and have you out of our way for good?

TONY T. JOHNSON

Actually that does sound like something we’d do.

(pause)

I mean THEY. DAMNIT.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Well I don’t trust you, Teri! Here, Tony, I’m gonna give you the tape and put you in charge of the “broadcast tape” button.

TONY T. JOHNSON

(facepalms)

CHARLIE and TERI go off to do some other TECHNICAL SHIT in a neighboring BUILDING, but then on CCTV, CHARLIE sees TONY giving the tape to RON.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Oh. Ohhhh. Man I’m the world’s dumbest scientist.

RON SILVER

Excellent! And now since we’re committed to the pathetic premise that this video is indeed bad news for my people, I should just smash it with a hammer right now.

(pause)

Barring that, I should just take it away with me right now, far from the people who want to broadcast it and the equipment with which they intend to do so.

(pause)

What I absolutely should NOT do is hop in the van with the generic heavies and take this tape at high speed DIRECTLY TOWARDS CHARLIE, THE ONE PERSON WHO I DON’T WANT GETTING HIS HANDS ON THE TAPE, but guess which of those three options I’m going with?

RON and the HEAVIES try to attack CHARLIE, but he sprays them with LIQUID NITROGEN, thus FREEZING THEM TERMINATOR-STYLE!

CHARLIE SHEEN

Yes, they’re snap-frozen! But surely I can trust the tape, which is contained within Ron’s frozen-solid pocket, to still be in perfect working order, right?

He retrieves the TAPE. Then RON and the HEAVIES start coming UNFROZEN, but then they accidentally absorb themselves to death in another BLACK HOLE DISCO BALL.

CHARLIE SHEEN

All right, we’re free and clear! Oh, I guess we have to deal with Tony. HEY TONY, FUCK OFF! That should be sufficient.

TERI POLO

And now to release the video and supposedly convince the world of alien infiltration, thus presumably causing worldwide panic as everybody starts suspecting everybody else of being an alien in disguise and we all try to rip each other’s faces off.

CHARLIE SHEEN

Yeah, well, we don’t really have to think about those implications, it’s not like we have to consider the realities of a They Live-type alien takeover, it’d never happen in real life.

(chuckles)

I mean, if suddenly our trusted media personalities started saying things which were straight-up INSANE, then maybe there’d be cause for concern.

FAMOUS MOVIE CRITIC LEONARD MALTIN

(reviewing The Arrival)

“Clever, intelligent sci-fi thriller of the old school, with many bright ideas!”

FAMOUS MOVIE CRITIC ROGER EBERT

(reviewing The Arrival)

“A science-fiction film of unusual intelligence that keeps on thinking all the way to the end!”

CHARLIE SHEEN

RUN FOR THE HILLS WE’RE ALL DOOMED!!

END.

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