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Post  Admin on Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:48 pm

SPLINTER CELL film written by Stuart Beattie! Stuart wrote a cool little flick you might have heard of called Collateral. Yep! Nobody knows he wrote the latest draft (9/1/05) of Splinter Cell and this script ROCKS! I like Stuart Beattie’s writing. He has style and his work flows and progresses quite nicely on the page. This dude can flow. Since Collateral, Beattie has become one of the busiest and in demand writers in town. He’s become the go to guy on a lot of projects and the simple reason is because this guy can deliver.

Splinter Cell has a structure that kicks a lot of ass. The movie read like one of the Splinter Cell games. Kellvin finished all 3 games. I only played the 1st one briefly because I moved to Los Angeles in November 2002. Now I am getting back into gaming and all 3 Splinter Cells are at the top of my list. But I do know enough about the game and seen it in action to know that Beattie’s script is a very faithful translation of the hit game.

Here it goes.

Splinter Cell opens with haunting images of the World Trade Center Bombings, the London Bombings, the Madrid Train Bombings, and the Bali Nightclub bombings. The nature of warfare has changed. The open battlefield has been replaced by surgical terrorist strikes on civilians. Three small lights switch on a trident. To gather the intelligence necessary to prevent these attacks, the National Security Agency formed Third Echelon. A Human Face materializes behind the lights now aiming a silenced pistol. Though it’s very existence is denied by the U.S. government, Third Echelon deploys elite combat units known as SPLINTER CELLS to seek out and prevent terrorist strikes by any means necessary. The SPLINTER CELL OPERATIVE stops before us and scans with his electric-green TRIDENT GLASSES then moves out of frame.


In a warehouse, FOUR ARAB SURGEONS work on the forearm of MASSUD HASSAN. His lieutenant YAKOUB stands nearby with FOUR ARMED GUARDS. One of the surgeon’s assistants, a nervous SADIQ AL-QUMAR leaves the room. Meanwhile, back in New Jersey SARAH FISHER and her AUNT KATHY attend the funeral of REGAN MARGARET FISHER. BLOVED WIFE OF SAM. MOTHER OF SARAH. Sarah is pissed that her dad isn’t there. Back at a storeroom in the warehouse in Dhaka, Sadiq hooks up with SAM FISHER who creeps out of the shadows. Fisher is the paragon of the 21st century warrior, calm, silent, and efficient. Sadiq is the mole in Hassan’s operation and is nervous that Hassan knows something is up. Fisher reassures Sadiq that the mission is still a go. Fisher disappears into a pipe. His trident glasses lead the way. He crawls through until he is above and opening to the operating room below. He spots Hassan on the operating table. Fisher speaks out loud that he is in place, has eyes on the target and that the mission is a go. He has no mike, no headset. Who is he speaking to?


In a secure underground room, THIRD ECHELON STAFFERS wearing MICROPHONED EARBUDS type furiously at keyboards and stab at touch sensitive screens. They’re tracking satellites and scouring noise for signal, while pony-tailed, wizard hacker, DERMOT BRUNTON, scans lines of data on his monitor. Other monitors around him show satellite surveillance images of Dhaka. Sitting near him at her own station is ANNA GRIMSDOTTIR, an attractive, no-nonsense communications expert. She scans Fisher’s vitals. Fisher instructs Anna to cut the power on his mark. Anna rogers that. She says to arm the charge on the power grid now.

In an alleyway, a battered extraction van sits in an empty alleyway near the warehouse. Field runner, VERNON WILKES, primes a REMOTE DETONATOR in the back of the van. As a field runner, Wilkes is responsible for coordinating equipment and transportation for Splinter Cell. He’s a little bookish, not a combat operative. He arms the charge and awaits a signal. Fisher counts down. IRVING LAMBERT steps up behind Anna, sipping a coffee as they listen to Fisher give the count. Lambert’s the Operations Coordinator of Third Echelon. This is his mission. At the end of Fisher’s count, Wilkes keys the switch on the remote detonator and – POP! – The lights in the building all go off. A grenade drops from the pipe. A blinding flash of light accompanies a sonic boom. Everybody is stunned.

CLICK-CLICK! One of the guards drops dead. Fisher systematically cuts the remaining guards down as they panic. One of the scared surgeons opens a cell phone, illuminating the room in an eerie BLUISH GLOW. All four guards lie dead where they were standing just seconds ago but Hassan has vanished! Snatched them from right under their noses!

I am not going to spoil the rest of the opening sequence but we met all the major characters of the script in the 1st blazing fast 8 pages. There is more to the sequence and to Fisher’s escape with Hassan, which goes on, for another 7 blazingly fast pages full of nail biting action.

On page 16 it is now two months later after the mission back in New Jersey. By the way what is it now with all these movie heroes living in Jersey? Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds lives in Jersey and now Sam Fisher lives in a modest two-story house in a suburb of Jersey! Jersey drivers are the worse! lol

Anyway, CNN plays in the kitchen while Fisher tries to takes a shot at domesticity and makes breakfast for his bratty daughter Sarah who is not feeling her father for missing the funeral of her mother. She doesn’t even stay for breakfast and bounces for school. Meanwhile on CNN a news anchor reports that Officials have just confirmed the high-profile capture of Egyptian terrorist, Massud Hassan, a little over two months ago. The Pentagon claims Hassan’s capture is a major victory in the war on terrorism. He is currently being interrogated at an undisclosed location. We cut to that interrogation room at Third Echelon headquarters and SMACK! A MILITRAY INTERROGATOR punches Hassan in the face. Apparently they’ve been beating the shit out of Hassan now for 2 months and he isn’t giving up anything as Lambert, Anna, Wilkes and Brunton watch through a two-way mirror in an adjacent room. Hassan can take a licking. It’s like he’s got ice water in his veins. Lambert wants to know about Hassan’s “hammer.” Hassan tells Lambert that he will tell him about the hammer when Lambert lets Hassan face the man who murdered his son – Sam Fisher.

Back in Jersey Fisher is alien to the whole stay at home dad thing. He is in a supermarket trying to buy groceries and is at a complete loss. On the way back home he busts Sarah and her friends cutting school and smoking weed. A pissed Sam asks Sarah how long has she been toking up and Sarah responds since he’s missed mom’s funeral. Sam decides he needs to bond with his daughter so he takes her to the Florida Keys for some bonding and a little vacation. While Sam feeds sharks he apologizes to his daughter Sarah for missing mom’s funeral. He wanted to be there. Type of work Sam does, he doesn’t get to choose his hours. He goes in when they say he has to go. Sarah is like, “You kill people don’t you?” Sam responds, “Only when I have to.” He also responds that he works for the government and can’t say much more than that and that her mother knew and wanted her to know because he loved her so much and now he wants Sarah to know.

On page 23 vacation time for Sam and Sarah is over as a V-22 OSPREY military plane/helicopter hybrid swoops in above the boat. Its dual propellers rotate allowing the plane to hover like a massive helicopter. Sarah watches her dad climb a rope ladder into the Osprey as Lambert waits in the hull for Fisher to give him his call to adventure.

Apparently, Lambert is out of options after beating Hassan senseless for two months. Hassan still got dangerous boys out there. Lambert tells Fisher that Hassan will tell Lambert about the hammer and a supposed “endgame” once he faces Fisher. Massud Hassan is capable of and is motivated to unleash some serious damage on the world. Fisher is going to need 48 hours.


On page 26, a freight truck smuggles Yakoub across the border into New York. Back in Jersey, Fisher drops off Sarah with his sister Aunt Kathy and thanks her for looking over Sarah. We next see an Air Force C-130 Hercules land in Germany. Fisher arrives in Germany, goes to the interrogation room where Hassan is holed up and both men go at is verbally. Hassan shall visit Fisher’s child with the same viciousness that Fisher showed Hassan’s son back in Zurich! At that moment back in Jersey, Yakoub takes out Aunt Kathy and kidnaps Sarah! End of Act 1. Apparently, Sarah is part of Hassan’s terrorist plot. An “endgame.” Stopping it is Fisher’s best chance of saving Sarah.

And that is the setup of what Splinter Cell is about. It’s a really well written cool globe trotting spy stealth adventure movie which will have Sam going on various missions to locations like Monte Carlo, Monaco – the slums of San Paolo Brazil – and Guilin China. The structure is solid and all the fans of the game won’t be disappointed. The script plays out just like the game with Fisher going on one mission to the next making key discoveries along the way. We get to see Fisher’s keen sense of stealth, agility and strength. He does that famous Jean Claude Van Damme leg split move from the game. All his gadgets and weapons are here like the subdermals (which play an important part to the plot), his silenced pistol, his silenced SC-20k to name a few. A very entertaining read which I banged out in under an hour. Beattie is a master storyteller. We also got his WITHOUT REMORSE, which we will be taking a look at in a later script review. Without Remorse is the Tom Clancy story about operative John Clark, a spin-off from the Jack Ryan universe. Willem Dafoe played Clark in Clear and Present Danger and Liev Schrieber in the Sum of All Fears. It is also a matter of time before we get Beattie’s Spy Hunter.

Since it is video game month here at Latinoreview, on November 9th, two weeks before the launch of Xbox 360, we have another script review of its flagship title! Yes we got the script folks. Can you guess what it is? It is (or was until we got it) one of the most guarded scripts in Hollywood of one of the biggest video game properties out there. I’ll give you a big hint.

Year 2552.

A coalition of alien species are waging a genocidal holy war against mankind.

Mankind is losing.


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