Thursday, December 9, 2010

Heritage Auctions - The Transformers The Movie draft script

Last month, a group of dedicated fans pooled their resources to attempt to purchase a piece of Transformers history; scripts and other documents from Transformers movie writer Ron Friedman.  Many scripts were won by our coalition, but perhaps the most anticipated among the many documents we purchased was an early draft of The Transformers: The Movie, dated 4/27/1985.  I've scanned it in and done a preliminary OCR pass, so without further ado, here it is for download!

I've been way to busy to go through it, but there's definitely some neat stuff.  The battle for Autobot City would have involved all of the Ani-bots of the roboto-zoo, and other nifty stuff like that. 

as Ultra Magnus scans plan drawings on which show up on SPLIT SCREEN
VIEWS OF WAR SCREEN. Drawings show structure of city and levels
below ground at point of attack. Ultra Magnus runs his finger
along plans on screen and PENCIL THIN BEAM OF LASER LIGHT EMERGES
to trace lines on huge screen like a laser-light "pointer"
ULTRA MAGNUS
But it's in the same quadrant
as the Roboto-zoo lab!
(smacks fist onto
board decisively, shouts
order)
Activate the Ani-bots~

I look forward to perusing this document at my leisure, as I'm sure many of you are.  Oh, and soon we'll be auctioning off the original and giving the money to charity.  Transfans benefit, the Hasbro Children's Hospital benefits, everyone benefits.  There are times when I'm amazingly proud to be a part of this fandom.




Some more gems from this version of the script: Megatron was not to be ejected bodily from the shuttle.  Rather, his "Life-Spark" was to drift into space.  Yup, a decade before Beast Wars, we get something approximating Sparks.  Serendipidious!

MEGATRON (V. O. )
(weakly shouting over din)
Help me ...... My Life Spark is
flickering .....

ON MEGATRON
as he half crawls toward battling Decepticons, reaching out to them
but they're too busy clobbering each other to pay attention to
him

MEGATRON
You must place my Life Spark in
the urn and deliver it to my
resting place .....

ON STARSCREAM
as he viciously delivers forearm blow to Dirge driving him backward
into row of coffin-niches, BREAKING A HERO STATUE AND URN and
causing that Hero's Life Spark TO BREAK LOOSE AND DRIFT UPWARD like a spark from a fireplace. The freed Life Sparks EMIT A
GHOSTLY, PLAINTIVE MOAN as they start rising up into dark space

MEGATRON
reaching to touch Bonecrusher who is grappling with Thrust and
Hook, each trying to stab or blast the other

MEGATRON
(weaker still)
My ... Life Spark... quickly....

Bonecrusher BLASTS Thrust who FALLS BACK, BREAKING MORE HERO STATUES
and freeing more Life Sparks. Megatron is panting, groping to
grab at Hook who is now rolling over and over on the floor with
Dirge as Hook frees a laser weapon and tries to fire.

MEGATRON
(continuing)
..before it escapes into ...
eternity ....

ANOTHER ANGLE- STARSCREAM
as he MOVES INTO THE SHOT, BLASTS HOOK with weapon, KICKS Dirge
viciously but gets a thrust from a BRAZIER STAND which Dirge
uses like a lance. This makes Starscream spin back, his BLASTER
FIRING WILDLY, BREAKING ANOTHER HERO STATUE WHICH FALLS OVER ON
MEGATRON
THE FALLING STATUE FROM MEGATRON'S P.O.V.

MEGATRON (V. 0.)
Arggggghhhhhh

MEGATRON AND FALLING STATUE
as the BROKEN STATUE CRUSHES AND BREAKS MEGATRON into a thousand
metal shards in a SHOWER OF SPARKS AND SMOKE out of which Megatron's
LIFE SPARK suddenly RISES WITH A GHOSTLY, PITIFUL WAIL and joins
ASCENDING STREAM OF GHOSTLY LIFE SPARKS and we FOLLOW MEGATRON'S
LIFE SPARK which is brighter and more distinct than the others as
it moves to the lead of the "pack" - below, the battle for leadership
still goes on but we leave the SOUNDS of battle and argument behind
and move UP, UP, UP TO

DEEP SPACE - FEATURING MEGATRON' S LIFE SPARK
His Life Spark still looks like a little Megatron and he
turns and twists in "comet trail" of other old hero Sparks
and the DEBRIS OF HIS BROKEN BODY AND DEBRIS OF THEIR BROKEN
STATUES. Throughout this sequence, all Sparks keep moving up
and out to bleaker and deeper SPACE

MEGATRON LIFE SPARK
My Life Spark.... my precious
Spark.... It will decompose in
space and I shall cease to exist ....
Agggghhhhhhhhhhh ....

Megatron and the Sparks move up and out FASTER, FASTER to:
A "GHOSTLY" PART OF SPACE
Miasma like clouds - like the mist over a grnv~yard in an old
Frankenstein movie - swirl around Megatron's Life Spark and
other Sparks and debris

MEGATRON LIFE SPARK
(furious now)
If I could be restored to function,
what vegence I would take upon
those who denied me my destiny .....
I would do anything for that
satisfaction ...Anything!

GHOSTLY VOICE
(from infinite distance,
a fearsome, sepulchral
voice made up of many,
overlaid voice of menacewhispering)
Megatron!

MEGATRON LIFE SPARK
(startled, frightened)
Who calls "Megatron" here?

GHOSTLY VOICE
(louder, as if that voice
ITSELF could come and get him)
Come to me, Megatron ... Come to me!


More brutal deaths!

ON AUTOBOT BAND
as we see Blaster in command. With him are WINDCHARGER, MIRAGE and
GEARS and all are practically back to back, FIRING UP AT
SURROUNDING DECEPTICONS

BLASTER
Keep feed in , 'em fusion fritters
'n laser latkes! We ain't finished
yet!

GEARS
But not far from it! Our energy
is running low.

BLASTER
Then throw somethin' at 'em, babe!
Man, there ain't nothin' no Decepticon's
gonna get from me but flame and shame!
Yo!

ANOTHER ANGLE - GEARS
as Cyclonus swoops past and BOMBS GEARS TO PIECES, the force of
the blast THROWS WINDCHARGER UP and away from cover

BLASTER
Gears ! Oh, man ....
(looks up)

HIS P.O.V. - WINDCHARGER
as several of Cyclonus' planes JET THROUGH HIM, ~RING HIM TO
PIECES which rain down on Blaster's position

BLASTER
as arm, leg , torso of Windcharger rain down 

BLASTER
I think the time has come to
hide my pride and .... run!

Blaster RUNS followed by Mirage and other in Autobot party as
they dodge behind rubble and duck as WALL OF CITY COMES FALLING
in the way of their pursuers and we
CUT TO
HOT ROD, ARCEE AND DANIEL BEHIND COVER




Why Blaster didn't join the others in the shuttles:

ON BLASTER IN HIDING OVERLOOKING BURNING AUTOBOT CITY
Blaster is accompanied by other Autobot survivors, TRAILBREAKER
and SUNSTREAKER among others - all show battle damage but are
still armed and alert - guerrilla fighters now.


BLASTER
The shuttles made it through
but we still go lots to do we're
gonna play guerrilla
and make every day a thrilla whoa!

SUNSTREAKER
Why did Ultra Magnus and the
others abandon us?
(petulantly)
It isn't fair!

BLASTER
Fair 'n square ain't nowhere
when Decepticons're playin'
shake 'n bake with the universe!
(looks up)
Some thin , up there gobbled up
the third moon of Cybertron
and put the Decepticons back
together after we tore 'em apart ....

PAN UP INTO THE NIGHT SKY FROM HIS P.O.V.
There the stars are still visible through the smoke and flame of
battle glow below


BLASTER (V. O. )
Ultra and the gang got to
find that somethin' and unsomethin'
it! They are our
only hope! Yeah!

 


The last of the Blaster plotline, which would have upped the stakes of the movie considerably.

A ROADSIDE IN THE HOUNTAINS OF EARTH - NIGHT
in the distance we see the fiery glow of burning remains of Autobot
City and the COLD RAY "FEEDING STRAW" extending down from somewhere
in space. A beat and we CHANGE ANGLE TO SHOW APPROACH OF SCOURGE
AND SliEEPS in vehicular mode. Scourge is in mid-transform position,
his head sticking up from his vehicle, leading the ominous procession
which is accompanied by a BLEEPING, SCANNING NOISE as A SliEEP
ANTENNA TURNS AND BEAMS SONIC WAVES HERE AND THERE, COVERING THE
AREA. SOl~ OF BLEEPS BECOMES FASTER AND HIGHER PITCHED
ON SCOURGE

SCOURGE
Life forms sensed! Eliminate
at once!

ANOTHER ANGLE -ON SWEEPS VEHICLES
as they suddenly RUN UP OVER SIDE OF ROAD AND TURN, OPENING FIRE
in FLAMETHROWER LIKE BLAST at LINE OF TREES AND OLD STONE FARM
BUILDING IN THE SHADOWS. BUILDING EXPLODES AND TREES BURN AND
CRACKLE as section of wall FALLS TOW'ARD CAMERA AND WE CLOSE IN ON
OLD "SKELETON" OF DECEPTICON
which is now a flaming HULK as it FALLS FORWARD AND CLUNKS APART
in a HISSING PUDDLE OF WATER, STEAM AND DEBRIS RISING as the
head SEPARATES AND AN EYE ROLLS OUT and across dirt to
SCOURGE'S HAND
where Scourge, now in humanoid mode, scoops it up and looks at
it. The Eye BLINKS back at him.

SCOURGE
One of our Troopers. He must have
been terminated yesterday.
(tosses the eye to
a Sweep)
Take it back to the spare parts
bank. A functioning unit may
have need of it!
(shouts)
Sweeps, Transform!

Scourge TRANSFORMS followed by Sweeps vehicles and they ROLL OFF.
HOLD ON ROADSIDE A BEAT then CHANGE ANGLE as Blaster pops up from
hiding accompanied by other Autobots including Sunstreaker.

BLASTER
Those ugly suckers'll be back!
We got to keep rollin' until we
can put together enough muscle
to boot their bustle! Yeah!

(turns, looks off,
reacts, drawing weapon)
They doubled back to attack!
Sunstreaker and other Autobot survivors crouch, ready for battle,
weapons drawn, as SOUND OF APPROACHING VEHICLE DRAWS CLOSER
THEIR P.O.V. - SHADOWY TREES ON OTHER SIDE OF FIELDS - NIGHT
as DARK VEHICLE HURTLES TOWARD CAMERA and then almost fills screen

BLASTER (V. O. )
Mess 'em up!

ANOTHER ANGLE - SHOWING MYSTERY VEHICLE TO BE WHEELJACK
as Wheeljack TRANSFORMS to humanoid mode

WHEELJACK
Hold it!

Blaster, Sunstreaker and other Autobots react happily, adlibbing,
"Wheeljack! ... He's still functioning .....Bey, Wheeljack~" etc.

BLASTER
Wheeljack! I figured you got
incinerated in the city! I sure am
glad to be respondin' to your
image on my optic readout circuitry!
Yeah!

WHEELJACK
(grimly)
You might not be so thrilled when
you hear what I've got to say....
(a beat to regain
his composure)
I've been tracking the shuttles .
Ultra Magnus and the Dinobots .
ever since they blasted off, and .
(lowers his head)

SUNSTREAKER
Well, go on! I hate suspense! Are
they all right?
(a beat, understands, hangs head)

BLASTER
(to Wheeljack)
You could be wrong, Jack!

WHEELJACK
(shakes his head)
The Decepticons used moleculon
devices. There's no mistaking the readouts ....

Adlib reactions of sadness and sorrow ... 
"Ultra Magnus .. everybody ...
lost!" etc.

BLASTER
(a beat, then with
resolve)
I don't believe in readouts -
I believe in hope! So, far as
I'm concerned, everybody that
counts is still operational
somewhere~ Now let's get·us gone
whilst the gone-in' is good!
(shouts)
Roll, you Autobots!

ANOTHER ANGLE
as Autobots shout adlib "Roll:" "You got it:" etc. and some TRANSFORM
and start moving out as a SHUDDER GOES THROUGH THE LANDSCAPE,
the FIELDS AND HILLS UNDu~TE and there is a HUGE , SUBMERGED
ROAR AND CRACKING SOUND and then, all is still.

SUNSTREAKER
(breathlessly)
Wha... what was that?

WHEELJACK
The earth!s reaction to the
Decepticon energy drain .....
If depletion continues at its
present rate, this planet will
self-destruct within the next
forty eight hours.

On Blaster's reaction and reaction of others, the EARTH AGAIN
UNDULATES, SHUDDERS AND CREAKES OMINOUSLY

18 comments:

D.M said...

Wow!!! Guess the writer of Starscreams ghost got the idea from this draft. :D

I'm sooo gonna make a Mosaic based on Megatron part. :D

WOW!!!

D.M said...

Hey! The Prime's deathbed speech Rodimus quoted in 5 faces of darkness! :D

D.M said...

Hmmm... script says Unicron is GALAXY sized. Guess Ron meant solar sized like the model sheet indicates.

D.M said...

Autobots VS Unicron is somewhat cartoonish...

Patrick said...

Wow, thanks so much for posting this! It's a fantastic read. There are a lot of little things that I enjoyed from a fan perspective, such as the incredibly long and intricate battle of Autobot City, some of the oddities of TFTM making a bit more sense in the context of this draft, and some of the background casualties of the film not only living here but getting actual dialogue! Even some of the strange vocabulary of the Marvel UK issues turns up here.

Overall, the filmed script is a lot better...bizarre and difficult-to-stage sequences such as the "decoys" were vastly simplified, and the uniting plot device of the Matrix makes the story flow a lot more naturally than it does in this draft. Admittedly I giggled like a loon when Rodimus and Galvatron got an actual fight, and Jazz and Cliffjumper actually got to turn the tide. But overall the "Ingestor" battle is just painfully awkward, and I can't even figure out how those moons could have been saved. And the Daniel character is awful...he has no connection to Spike (who's not even in this draft) so he has no reason to hang out with the Autobots, and the exosuit makes him far too powerful.

Overall there is a LOT of imagination in this draft, things that probably couldn't be budgeted for like a much more organic-seeming "Ingestor," and granite and glass robots of all things.

Oh, and one more little thing that would never happen nowadays...Bumblebee has even more of a perfunctory cameo in this one than he does in the final version, and he's one of the few characters who outright disappears from the story! Sludge gets more lines than him.

Patrick said...

Oh, also worth noting that somehow Dirge became second-in-command of the Decepticons (before Megatron's thwacking anyway), and Astrotrain also has a much more prominent role. And apparently the Sweeps were originally designed as neither jets nor boats, but cars?

Springer's character also seems to have absolutely no connection with the design eventually used for him...i.e. he never flies and his triple-changing ability is never mentioned.

Caleb Barber said...

Thank you for posting this so soon after you received it, definitely a great chapter in Trasformers history.

TFG1Mike said...

Thanks for showing us this Jim. Can't wait to look it over.

Hans said...

First of all, very cool that it worked and that you made it available for everyone!

Second, the stand-out things to me are... Sparks in G1?!?! I'll have to rethink my hatred for them, then, I guess... :)

And second, I'm very happy that Wheeljack, my favourite G1 character, survived after all! (although his body hadn't turned grey in the movie anyway... and he appears again in a speaking role in victory).
But to me, that part of this script, at least, is official canon now ;)

Caitlin said...

aw, we could have had Anibots and Dragonbeast

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fantastic. Could this be an alternate continuity Hasbro? Pleaaaaase! Also, man lots of descriptions of death, this version was dark.

Jimmy Jangles said...

This is so cool! Nice work on sharing this with everyone out there! Makes me think I should put a certain DVD on tonight!

Anonymous said...

i am surprise that they did this for all us transformers fans. this is fantastic

watch movies online said...

I’m crazy excited about “Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon”, despite, once again, an idiotic title and Megan Fox being swapped with some pretty, but let’s face it, one-out-of-many supermodel chick.

Anonymous said...

The download didn't work, any where else I can get it?

Psychout said...

The files's been killed as it was hosted a Megaupoload. Do you have a mirror anywhere?

Anonymous said...

what do you mean mirror?

Anonymous said...

I cant download it!!! It wont let me!!!Can somebody out there copy/paste it to my email for me if possible??????
my email is pcventure@aol.com