When the stills finally were leaked, fans realized just why they fired the original directors of Solo.


When the stills finally were leaked, fans realized just why they fired the original directors of Solo.

THE MASK OF ZORRO

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. HOLLYWOOD STUDIO

STUDIO EXECUTIVES 1&2 looks over the script for Mask of Zorro.

HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE 1

That is a... lot... of latin names.

HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE 2

Maybe we should hedge our bets and get a white star to co-headline this thing. But who?

HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE 1

Well, Zorro gets locked in a cell for twenty years and then stages a murderous escape to get revenge on his captors. Can you think of a white guy who won an Oscar for doing that in the past ten years?

HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE 2

I started dialing Anthony Hopkins's agent while you were halfway through that line.

EXT. MOVIE SET

DIRECTOR MARTIN CAMPBELL is meeting with ANTHONY HOPKINS.

DIRECTOR MARTIN CAMPBELL

So... How do you want to handle playing a Spaniard?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Well, since Catherine Zeta-Jones is playing my daughter, I've decided to try to sound as much like her as possible.

DIRECTOR MARTIN CAMPBELL

So you're also going to work with a dialect coach to develop the tone and mannerisms of an 19th-century upper-class Spaniard?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

What are you talking about? Catherine Zeta-Jones is Welsh.

DIRECTOR MARTIN CAMPBELL

Okay, whatever - who do you think we should cast as the young version of you before you're sent to prison?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

I think I'm perfectly capable of playing myself twenty years ago.

DIRECTOR MARTIN CAMPBELL

That may well be, but 40-year-old Anthony Hopkins didn't exactly cut a dashing figure. Have you seen Magic?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Look, I'm not going to play Zorro without wearing the Zorro costume for at least one day. So let's just shoot this.

EXT. FORT

Three innocent civilians are about to be hanged in the square. Villain STUART WILSON and his friend TONY AMENDOLA watch.

STUART WILSON

When Zorro arrives to save them, I'll wait until he kills like twenty of my guys, and then spring my trap - snipers who'll spring out of turret and fill him with holes!

TONY AMENDOLA

Since you don't care about your men or the hostages, couldn't you just have the snipers shoot him the moment he arrives?

STUART WILSON

Actually, that's a good idea. Go and tell the snipers.

But ANTHONY is already there! His STUNT DOUBLE leaps about slicing and stabbing a dozen bad guys in a virtuosic display of swordsmanship, while CLOSE-UP ANTHONY sort of swings his sword up and down a bit and occasionally leans forward to poke someone dead.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

You know, someday films will be so watered down that if filmmakers want to get this level of violence into a PG-13 film they'll have to laboriously explain that the bad guys are drones, clones, or robots!

While ANTHONY is busy stabbing more soldiers in the heart, the SNIPERS prepare to shoot him!

But at the last moment he's rescued when JOSE MARIA de TAVIRA and DIEGO SIERES, two ZORRO FANBOYS, drop a stone statue on them.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

See? Here in 1998, even children get to kill people! Now, boys, which one of you grows up to be Antonio Banderas?

DIEGO SIERES

Well, I'm the one who had the idea to save you, so probably me?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

In that case, take this medallion so I can identify you later on!

ANTHONY slices up STUART's neck with the Z-symbol.

STUART WILSON

Thanks for putting that on my neck, where I can easily cover it with a scarf, rather than the traditional cheek placement, where it would serve as a constant public reminder of this humiliation, and give me a reason to stoke a fire of hatred for you in the decades to come.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

No problem. And hey, since I did you that favour, could you not make me immediately regret choosing not to kill you, even though I've obviously got no problem killing as evidenced by the 50 corpses out in the courtyard?

STUART WILSON

I promise nothing!

Anthony flees to the Fox Cave!

INT. ANTHONY'S HOUSE

ANTHONY reads bedtime stories to his daughter MARIA FERNANDEZ CRUZ/MONICA FERNANDEZ CRUZ.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

And then the heroic bandit killed twenty soldiers who were just doing their jobs, and rode off into the sunset!

ANTHONY's wife JULIETA ROSEN arrives.

JULIETA ROSEN

Anthony, I'm worried that you're giving our daughter some fairly toxic ideas about heroism. Aren't you worried she'll grow up with a fetish for sleazy criminals?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, now that California is free of Stuart's tyrannical rule, I've decided to retire from being Zorro. It's about time anyway; I certainly don't want to be still doing this when the years start to catch up to me, and the edge starts to wear off of my razor-sharp senses and keen powers of observation-

STUART WILSON

Ahem.

ANTHONY turns his head THREE DEGREES TO THE LEFT and sees that STUART and about TWENTY SOLDIERS have entered the room without him having noticed.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Ulp! Er, hi there Stuart! How, ah... how much of that did you hear? Don't suppose you missed the part where I made that silly joke about being Zorro, ha ha, ha...

STUART WILSON

Actually I already figured it out. I mean, do you know of any other Spaniards with Welsh accents?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Damn, maybe I should have called that dialect coach after all.

Despite there being 20 armed soldiers in the room, and his wife and daughter being just a few feet away, ANTHONY attacks STUART rather than just surrendering.

In the melee, JULIETA is SHOT! ANTHONY rushes to her.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

No!

JULIETA ROSEN

Don't weep, I died doing what I love, providing a male character with motivation.

STUART WILSON

Male characterS!

STUART kills the soldier who shot JULIETA.

STUART WILSON

She was the only woman I ever loved! So now, as my ultimate revenge, I'm going to lock you away and steal your daughter to raise as my own, providing her with a loving home and promising future! Are we sure that I'm the bad guy here? That actually seems like a pretty good deal.

One of the soldiers, ALEXANDRE DUMAS, takes out a notebook and starts writing.

ALEXANDRE DUMAS

Could you say that again? This is good stuff!

STUART WILSON

Now, off to your prison, Anthony. And hey, since I'm going to provide your daughter a more comfortable and opulent life than 99% of the world could dream of experiencing, could you do me a favour and not make me regret leaving you alive?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

I promise nothing!

EXT. DESERT - 20 YEARS LATER

ANTONIO BANDERAS and VICTOR RIVERS are being dragged to jail by LQ JONES. VICTOR RIVERS wears the Zorro medallion.

VICTOR RIVERS

So, did I grow up to be Antonio Banderas after all?

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Sorry, but no.

VICTOR RIVERS

Well, this doesn't bode well...

LQ brings them to JOSE PEREZ.

JOSE PEREZ

Finally I can live out my dream of arresting these villainous brothers who steal honest men's horses and rob payroll wagons, ensuring that hard-working Mexicans and their children will go hungry!

LQ JONES

Yes, except IT'S A TRICK! I'm working with the brothers and now we're going to rob you!

JOSE PEREZ

What? But if you were only pretending to be their captor, why were you taunting and tormenting them half a mile up the road, where nobody could even see you guys?

LQ JONES

Uh, it's called commitment to a role?? Geez, it's like nobody's serious about the craft anymore.

The BANDITS rob the GUARDS.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

And now we should probably make an expedient getaway, but oh, we just can't pass up the chance to torture and sexually humiliate you and your men for the sheer sadistic glee of it, by tying you naked in a circle around some cactuses!

JOSE PEREZ

I'd say that the punishment was worse than the crime, but my only crime was trying to enforce the law!

The bandits ride off, but soon run straight into bland human placeholder MATT LESCHER and his company of SOLDIERS!

MATT LESCHER

Aha! I knew if we just gathered our horses on some random street and stared blankly into space for long enough, that eventually a group of criminals would just stumble right into us.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Holy fuck, the protagonists of this movie are TERRIBLE at not getting ambushed.

ANTONIO flees but LQ and VICTOR are captured!

MATT LESCHER

For your many varied crimes I sentence you to-

VICTOR RIVERS

No! I refuse to be killed by a man so anonymous that you forget he exists even as you're looking at him!

VICTOR shoots himself in the chest.

MATT LESCHER

What a pity. Cut off the head so we can prove he's dead.

SOLDIER

What about this valuable-looking silver necklace?

MATT LESCHER

Leave it. We're honorable soldiers doing our legal duty, not sleazy thieves just looking to line our own pockets.

The moment the soldiers leave, ANTONIO scurries out of the brush to grab the silver necklace, rather than burying it with him, which would have been the classy thing.

INT. SECRET PRISON

STUART meets with prison warden MAURY CHAYKIN.

STUART WILSON

I need to know that Zorro is dead - he's the only man who could stop my evil plans!

MAURY CHAYKIN

Well, he's probably dead. And even if he's still alive, there's no way he would be here.

STUART WILSON

How can you be sure of that?

MAURY CHAYKIN

Think about it, even if he were still alive, why would he have hung out in this prison for two decades, when he knew that his daughter was in Spain, being raised by his worst enemy? A man with his skills, one universally beloved by the common people of Mexico, would have had no trouble escaping this prison and coming after you for revenge. I mean, why would he still be here? Was he planning to just hang out in prison until you came back to California? How would he even know that happened - it's not like we give them newspapers or keep them up to date on the goings-on of the Spanish nobility.

MATT LESCHER

He makes a strong case. Maybe we should just leave.

STUART WILSON

Agh! Where did you come from?

MATT LESCHER

I've been here the entire time. We rode here together.

STUART WILSON

Really? Huh. I swear this is the first time I've seen you.

They leave. ANTHONY waits five minutes.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Now, how to escape a prison... What would Hannibal Lecter do?

ANTHONY murders a guard then pretends to be a dead body so that the other guards will carry him out.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Works every time.

ALEXANDRE DUMAS

(scribbling furiously)

Man, this guy is a goldmine!

EXT. BEACH

STUART arrives to give a speech to the assembled PEASANTS.

PEASANTS

(waving torches and pitchforks)

WE REMEMBER DECADES OF OPPRESSION UNDER YOUR RULE, BOOOOOO

STUART WILSON

Okay sure but, what if I rattle off thirty seconds worth of rhetoric about making California its own country so we don't have to put up with Spain and Mexico's crap any more?

PEASANTS

(waving tiny flags with Stuart's face on them)

YAAAAYYYYY

Meanwhile ANTHONY sneaks through the crowd, holding a knife.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Now to publicly stab Stuart to death, then immediately get killed by his dozens of guards! Then my plan will be complete! Except, of course, that my daughter is still out there somewhere, and I'll never see her again, and she'll live out the rest of her life thinking that a madman killed her actual father. You know, every part of this story would make sense if I thought my daughter was dead, from the sitting on my ass for twenty years, right up until this planned suicide run.

Suddenly CATHERINE ZETA-JONES arrives.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

I look remarkably composed considering we spent the last two to six months on a boat getting here!

A girl gives her a local flower.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

I know this flower! Which is strange, because I've been told that I've never been to California!

STUART WILSON

Which is a pretty crazy thing for me to have told you. Presumably my story is that I was married to Zorro's wife and she died in childbirth, and the date of my leaving California is public knowledge - have I been lying to you about your age? What's the downside in telling you that you were born in California before having to flee to Spain? Since it's my lifelong passion to return to California one day, wouldn't telling you that it was your rightful homeland only bind you closer to my cause?

EXT. BAR

ANTONIA is getting drunk and feeling sorry for himself when he sees MATT LESCHER!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Wait, no, that's just a signpost.

But then MATT really does arrive.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Vengeance!

But before he can stagger over and get MURDERED, who should appear with super-convenient timing but ANTHONY, who spots the MEDALLION.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Oh, so you're grown-up Diego Sieres?

ANTONIO BANDERAS

No, I'm the other one. That man killed my brother, and I want vengeance!

ANTHONY HOPKINS

What, that featureless mannequin?

ANTONIO BANDERAS

No, it's actually Matt Lescher, but I understand how you made that mistake.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

In an amazing coincidence, I've been looking for a vengeance-apprentice, join me in the Fox Cave!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Huh, so you're a very Welsh man named Anthony, and the guy who's going to be the hispanic version of you is called Antonio? That's usually the kind of thing these scripts make up as a dumb joke.

INT. THE FOX CAVE

ANTHONY and ANTONIO enter the cave.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Wait, a cranky retired superhero has brought me, a brash youth, into the secret cave hideout below his ruined mansion so that he can train me to be his replacement? Did Batman Beyond steal its premise from a Zorro movie?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

It wouldn't be the first time.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

You know, for a room that's been left alone for twenty years, with a huge gaping hole in the roof to expose it to all the elements, it's in surprisingly good shape.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

I guess this means that Stuart's men never found it. Which would suggest that there's a horse skeleton lying around here somewhere...

In the course of FIVE CUTS they've completely restored all of the training apparatus and purchased clothing and weapons.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

That was easy.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

I guess I must have hidden a bunch of money down here? Anyway, it's time to teach you the secret technique of Zorro-style swordfighting!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Which is?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

That Zorro is always slightly better than whoever he's fighting, to make sure that it looks dramatic on film.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

So if I fight a drunken soldier I'll be slightly better than him, but if I fight a master swordsman I'll also just be slightly better?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Exactly!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

What if I fight like thirty guys at once?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

You'll be slightly better than all of them put together!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Doesn't that suggest that Zorro is such a brilliant fighter that the vast majority of the time he's just showing off and toying with his opponents before killing them?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Dude, my whole thing is cutting my initial into the flesh of my opponents. Cruel taunts and showing off is my brand. Now, let the montage begin!

Three minutes later ANTONIO is the best swordfighter on earth.

EXT. GUARD BARRACKS

ANTONIO dons a mask and rushes up to the building in hopes of stealing a new Zorro horse, and runs into CATHERINE, who already has a horse.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

Can you give me a reason not to call the guards and foil your plans?

ANTONIO BANDERAS

By any chance did a childhood trauma leave you super-horny for criminals in masks?

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

Amazingly, yes.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Then I'll head in to the barracks and leave you alone so you can wipe down that saddle in privacy.

INT. GUARD BARRACKS

JOSE PEREZ is relaxing after a long day of keeping the peace in a troubled land.

JOSE PEREZ

Ah, inexpensive wine and good conversation with my friends. It's a tough job, but worthwhile.

ANTONIO bursts in on a horse, wrecking the place!

JOSE PEREZ

Oh my god!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Zorro is back! I couldn't be bothered to put on a black costume or anything, but trust me!:

JOSE PEREZ

If you're really Zorro, you should have no trouble beating up thirty soldiers!

ANTONIO easily beats up 30 soldiers, then blows up the barracks for good measure.

JOSE PEREZ

Why did we store a cannon and stacks of gunpowder in the same room where we sleep?

INT. CHURCH

ANTONIO goes to hide out in a CHURCH.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Help me, priest! I'm-

WILLIAM MARQUEZ

I know who you are! You're Zorro! Of course I'll hide you, Zorro!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Um, what? Earlier in the movie it was shown that you'd met Zorro, like, a bunch. Aren't I clearly about thirty years too young and thirty pounds too light to be him?

WILLIAM MARQUEZ

But you have a black mask, ergo, Zorro. Have anything you want from me, Zorro!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

You're a moron. But a kind moron. Out of gratitude, I will do my utmost to not do anything to profane the sanctity of this church within the next five minutes.

But then he hides in the priest side of the CONFESSIONAL, and who should come to confess but CATHERINE.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

I find myself inexplicably attracted to a sleazy horse thief that I met earlier tonight.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

You should totally bang him.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

Note taken.

Suddenly MATT bursts into the room.

MATT LESCHER

Is Zorro here?

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

Aaah! Sorry for screaming, but I thought you were an unusually bland Jesus statue, so hearing you speak was something of a shock.

INT. FOX CAVE

ANTHONY yells at ANTONIO.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

You'll never defeat Stuart by attacking his military! You need to infiltrate high society!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Does this mean we're about to get a four-minute comedy montage of me learning how to bow and which fork to use?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

No, the movie's already over two hours.

EXT. MANSION

ANTHONY and ANTONIO arrive at the party.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Stuart says that he wants to achieve Californian nationhood, but I know he must have something more sinister planned. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get close to him and find out his evil scheme!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

So he's just going to tell his evil scheme to a complete stranger?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

I've prepared a cover for you - you'll be the well-known scion of a family so powerful and influential in Spanish court that he'll have no option but to confide in you!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

But what if Stuart has met the real guy I'm pretending to be?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

I'm completely sure that hasn't happened.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Even though you've been in prison for twenty years.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

It's because I was in prison! There's no topic more popular among secret prison guards than courtly intrigue and society gossip.

INT. MANSION

CATHERINE is approached by MATT.

MATT LESCHER

Would you care to dance?

ANTONIO barges between them.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Stop talking to that fountain ornament and dance with me!

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

Sure!

They share an elaborately-choreographed SEXY DANCE. As it concludes, CATHERINE notices a strange look on ANTONIO's face.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

What are you thinking about?

ANTONIO BANDERAS

I probably shouldn't say.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

Come on...

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Fine, I was just thinking that during the 'getting fancy' montage we skipped over your father definitely taught me sexy dancing so that I could use it to seduce you.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

That's really creepy.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

I probably shouldn't have brought it up, really.

STUART motions to ANTONIO.

STUART WILSON

You! The guy who just dry-humped my daughter in the middle of a fancy dress party! You're exactly the kind of man I need in my council of supervillainy!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Score!

INT. EVIL BOARDROOM

STUART gathers all of his EVIL COHORTS together. Recognizing this kind of scene, the COHORTS all nervously check under their chairs for trapdoors.

STUART WILSON

So, here's my evil secret plan: We're going to buy California from Mexico and turn it into a country.

EVIL COHORT

Isn't that exactly what you told the peasants on the beach?

STUART WILSON

Yes. You see, the Americans believe in boundless western expansion, which will one day lead to a bloody war with Mexico over this land - but if we can establish a strong nation now, we'll prevent horrific bloodshed as well as create a proud homeland for Spaniards, Mexicans, and Californios alike, freeing them from the whims of foreign oppressors!

EVIL COHORT

That's your whole plan?

STUART WILSON

What's wrong with it?

EVIL COHORT

Well, when a villain gets a bunch of people into a room with a giant map, he's supposed to explain your plan to rob Fort Knox, poison gotham, or corner the world microchip market? You seem to sincerely want to make California into a country, and given its size and natural resources, that's a pretty reasonable goal.

STUART WILSON

I certainly think so. And with all of our resources pooled together and the help of some Spanish investment, we should be able to afford California with no trouble!

EVIL COHORT

I get it, it's just... We need the audience to hate you, so...

STUART WILSON

Fine. Instead of using our vast finances, I'll buy California with local gold dug up by slaves, and then I'll kill all the slaves, but only after Matt convinces me that it's the only way that we can keep the country safe from Mexico. Is that good enough?

EVIL COHORT

Well, that's considerably less evil that the actions the United States government took in seizing the west, but for the purposes of this film, sure. You're the bad guy again.

STUART WILSON

Thank you.

EVIL COHORT

And thank YOU for just saying there's a mine! In the actual movie you waited until the next day and had us all go out to the ass-end of nowhere to show us the mine, instead of just saying "there's a mine", I mean fuck man, we've got lives of our own you know?

INT. MATT LESCHER'S OFFICE

MATT stands as soldiers lead ANTONIO into his office.

MATT LESCHER

I need to show you something...

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Agh! Oh, sorry, I thought a painting has just come to life.

MATT LESCHER

That's enough! No more cracks about me being wooden, stiff, or forgettable! You want character? I'll give you character!

MATT plonks a jar with VICTOR's HEAD IN IT on the table. Then he drinks some of the alcohol out of it!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

You may have over-corrected slightly.

MATT LESCHER

Not so boring now, am I?!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Maybe not, but why do you have that head? Like, I get that you suspect I'm actually Victor's brother, but you killed him months ago, and it's not like you ever expected to see me again. Do you just keep the heads of everyone you've ever killed?

MATT LESCHER

Yes. There's like eighty jars in the next room.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Oh. I'm free to go, right?

MATT LESCHER

Yes, even though I'm obviously sure that you're famous criminal Antonio Banderas, I won't tell anyone my suspicions or make any effort to reveal your plans.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

And you wonder why people think of you as a complete nonentity.

INT. MANSION

That night, ANTONIO sneaks into STUART'S SCHEMING ROOM, and finds the MAP which shows where the MINE is.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Bingo! Now to just look at and remember the basic location of the huge-ass landmark we need to find, then leave the map where it is so that nobody is the wiser.

(pause)

OR, I could just swipe the map altogether, so that its disappearance is noticed and all the guards are alerted and Matt tries to kill me. Then I'll kill Matt, because if I'm fighting him anyway I might as well wrap up that whole revenge thing.

(pause)

OR, I could just fight him for a little bit then run away! Sure, why not!

He DOES THIS then tries to escape through the BARN, but CATHERINE is waiting for him with a SWORD.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

En garde, Antonio! I should warn you, that since Stuart wanted me to grow up to be a demure and refined society lady, he naturally arranged for me to take stabbing lessons since I was four!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

So wait, you're trying to kill me now? I thought I made you moist?

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

Don't worry, this is a sexy, flirty, nearly coital swordfight!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Well sure but, every second I spend fighting you is a second that fifty guards could spill through the door and slice me into confetti, so...

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

(waving sword anxiously)

C'mooonnnn, stop being a twat-tease.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

(sighs)

Fine.

CATHERINE and ANTONIO swordfight, and ANTONIO WINS! For the finale he makes a few strategic cuts in CATHERINE'S LINGERIE.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

Oh my! And now I suppose the last few threads will give way, and this sheer, lacy undergarment will float delicately to the floor...

With a DEAFENING TEARING NOISE, her clothes are JERKED SUDDENLY TO THE GROUND as though attracted by a SUPERPOWERFUL ELECTROMAGNET.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

What the fuck was that thing made out of?!

INT. NEW GUARD BARRACKS

Finally finished rebuilding his barracks, JOSE PEREZ has settled in for a good night's sleep.

SOLDIER

Jose! The evil Zorro has attacked our men, and appears to have indecently assaulted Stuart's daughter!

JOSE PEREZ

I must regain the honor of my troop and avenge my master's beloved daughter!

JOSE leads a group of soldiers in a horse chase after ANTONIO, who humiliates them with FANCY TRICK RIDING until JOSE winds up shattering his ribs on a fallen tree.

JOSE PEREZ

(wheezing)

I'll get you yet, Zorro!

INT. THE FOX CAVE

ANTONIO and ANTHONY are scheming.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

We have to save the people at the mine!

ANTHONY HOPKINS

No, we have to kill Stuart and get my daughter back! I may have had the patience to postpone my revenge for the past few months, but I'll be damned if I can wait an additional twelve hours just to save hundreds of lives!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Just spitballing here, but can we not do both? I mean, Stuart and Matt are the ones who are going to blow up the mine tomorrow, and we each have good reason to murder one of them, so why not just kill them both tonight, then get around to saving the slaves whenever, since the only two people other than us who know where the mine is will be dead?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

No, I'm going to insist that this is a point of conflict between us and head off on my own!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

And I'm not going to follow and help my beloved mentor, even though I've got nothing to do for the next few hours, because my plan is apparently to wait until broad daylight to attack the mine!

INT. MANSION

ANTHONY confronts STUART.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Now, vengeance will be mine!

STUART WILSON

But can you really kill me in front of Catherine, who's right over there?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Wow, considering I already balked at killing you in front of my daughter once, maybe coming to the house that the two of you share was a tactical error. I probably should have just ambushed you at the mine tomorrow with Antonio.

STUART WILSON

Maybe we can arrange that, since I'm going to once again prove what a great guy I am by not killing you when I absolutely should!

STUART and MATT head for the mine.

EXT. EVIL MINE

CATHERINE has unlocked ANTHONY!

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

Quick, the fuse has been lit on the explosives! Let's save all the miners!

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Actually I thought I'd just run off and stab that guy I hate. I'm sure Antonio will save the miners, right Antonio?

ANTONIO BANDERAS

I hear where you're coming from, but I also thought I'd prioritize my personal revenge fantasy ahead of hundreds of people who are literally being murdered as we speak.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

(sighs)

Fine then, I'll go do the actual saving of the people, while BOTH versions of the so-called hero of the people fuck off doing their own thing.

She starts freeing all the MINERS. Meanwhile ANTONIO battles a SCARECROW! No, wait, it's MATT LESCHER.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Why are you even here? Was William Fichtner not available or something?

ANTONIO stabs MATT, leaving him incapacitated on the side of a cliff!

At the top of the cliff ANTHONY is winning the fight by being slightly better than STUART - so STUART cheats and grabs CATHERINE, threatening her with a gun.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Last time I didn't surrender when I should have my wife died, and I don't need any more motivation, so okay.

He throws his sword away.

STUART WILSON

Really? You should have totally called my bluff, there was no way I'd ever shoot my beloved daughter.

STUART shoots ANTHONY!

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Stop being so reasonable!

Anthony sets a cart full of gold rolling, which drags STUART very slowly towards a cliff!

STUART WILSON

No! Why did I leave this gold wagon right next to a cliff on a steep incline! I mean, it looks pretty flat, but since two tons of gold would keep a cart from rolling unless it was on very steep ground it must actually be at a sharp angle. Also, why is this gold way up here? You get in and out of this area down in the valley, so it makes no sense for the gold to be here unless we built the molding furnace at the top of the cliff, but why would we do that?

ANTHONY HOPKINS

So that you two can be killed by a physical manifestation of your greed!

STUART WILSON

Two?

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Yes, in an amazing coincidence, Matt is wounded on a scaffolding directly below you!

STUART WILSON

Hey, that's some pretty good irony! I guess that also explains why we just left fifty million dollars worth of gold lying in a place where it would be destroyed in a huge explosion.

STUART finally falls off the cliff! The MINE then goes up in EXPLOSION which is probably visible from SPACE, but luckily not a single person is EVEN SLIGHTLY INJURED!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Well, you know, except for Anthony. Fortunately we were still able to successfully flee the explosion while lugging a hundred-and-fifty pounds of limp stabbed dude!

ANTONIO and CATHERINE comfort a dying ANTHONY.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Don't be sad for me, go and live a happy life together...

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

We will, but just to be clear, though, I'm only attracted to Antonio because he reminds me of an idealized version of you that I've had since childhood, and Antonio only reminds me of you because you transformed him into a younger version of yourself to become my perfect partner.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

Is that a problem?

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

No, I just through we could all sit in that idea for a moment.

(beat)

Now I'm good.

ANTHONY HOPKINS

I have one last request... Name your first-born son after me.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

That would be nice, but it's just, I've got a dead brother, so...

EXT. MANSION

Everyone is gathered for ANTONIO and CATHERINE's wedding!

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Thanks for coming to our celebration at this wonderful mansion, which I guess we own now?

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

It seems like Stuart had no other family, so I inherited his entire fortune, and as my husband, presumably you're in charge of this part of California?

ANTONIO BANDERAS

That seems fair.

JOSE walks up to him.

JOSE PEREZ

Thank you so much for inviting me to your joyous celebration, Don Antonio, I look forward to continuing my military career under your guidance.

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Of course, Jose.

As JOSE walks away ANTONIO trips him into the WEDDING CAKE.

Then he STUMBLES INTO A POOL.

Then a cart of MANURE is DUMPED ON HIM.

END

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