POPES AND FISHERMEN

I don’t have the resources to make film or even a trailer out of this script, so I’m just posting the screenplay.

 

POPES AND FISHERMEN

A Trailer Screenplay by Charles Lupia

EXT.  THE FAÇADE OF ST. PETER’S BASILICA.  ROME.  DAY.

Many of the faithful and unfaithful are gathered outside in the square.  They look upward as if expecting to see the Pope.

VOICEOVER

The Vatican.  An ancient faith.  Source of many secrets.

EXT.  BY THE SEA OF GALILEE.  ROMAN-OCCUPIED PALESTINE.

Fishing boats spot the coastline.  Fishermen, including Simon and Andrew, cast their nets out onto the water.

VOICEOVER

Some going back two thousand years.

Jesus stands on the shore watching Simon and Andrew.  We see Jesus only from the back.

To a time when Israel was under the yoke of Roman rule.

Roman soldiers march swiftly, knocking Jesus in their march.  Sinister music.

Andrew is exasperated with Simon.

ANDREW

Simon!

But Simon has his own problems.  He looks in frustration at his net.

SIMON

The net is broke!

Jesus calls to Simon from the shore.

JESUS

Simon.

SIMON

That’s why I can’t catch any fish.

ANDREW

We can’t stay out here all day.

JESUS

(again)

Simon.

ANDREW

Would you go see what Jesus wants?

Yet Simon looks only at his net.

SIMON

The net is broke.

INT.  A room located at an inn.  Jesus, whose face is still unseen by us, sits directly across the table from Simon.

VOICEOVER

And so He gathered his apostles.

Simon holds his hands out to signify the size of a fish.

VOICEOVER (cont.)

But there were trials.

SIMON

It was this big.

JESUS

(to Simon, chastising him)

Peter…

Quickly Simon gestures to signify a smaller fish.

SIMON

All right… maybe like this.

EXT.  A STREET IN ROME.  SOME YEARS LATER.

Simon now is a bit older.  His beard is gray.  He has a small group of Romans gathered around him.  He holds his hands out to signify a large fish.

VOICEOVER

A myth was started….

A Roman soldier sees Simon.  Simon, too late, becomes aware of the soldier.  The Soldier approaches Simon.

SOLDIER

Hey!

Simon and the Romans take off running in various directions.

INT.  A ROMANESQUE CHURCH.  AROUND THE YEAR 700 A.D.

We hear the chanting of monks.  A Bishop walks in procession down the aisle.  A few monks walk behind him.  Parishioners stand watching him on both sides of the church.

VOICEOVER

…And continued…

Although holding his mitre, the Bishop, looking toward his congregation, gestures with his hands to signify a large fish.

INT.  THE SISTINE CHAPEL.  RENAISSANCE.

Michaelangelo is up painting the Sistine ceiling.  Pope Julius II looks up toward his newest painting.

VOICEOVER

…Down through the ages…

Julius sees that Michaelangelo has painted the picture of Simon holding a small fish.  Julius frowns.  Michaelangelo quickly paints over the picture, blotting it out.

 

INT.  A CASTLE IN SPAIN.  TORTURE CHAMBER.

The Grand Inquisitor Torquemada interviews a Prisoner who is stretched out on a torture rack.

VOICEOVER

Protected ruthlessly.

TORQUEMADA

(to the Prisoner)

How big?

VOICEOVER

Viciously.

The Prisoner’s limbs are further stretched out.  He screams in agony.

EXT.  ROME.  THE PRESENT DAY.  THE PAPAL BALCONY.

The Pope, whom we also see from behind, stands waiving at the large crowd in the square.

VOICEOVER

…Down to the present day.

Behind the Pope, Cardinal Ferrari looks with concern at Monsignor Falcone.

The Vatican’s dark secret.

The Pope holds his arms out to signify a large fish.  Cardinal Ferrari nods approvingly at Monsignor Falcone.

INT.  A DARK STUDY.

CAPTION: BOB LANGFORD.

Bob stands surrounded by old books and other writings.  On the walls are pictures of ancient fishermen.

Near Bob is a young Italian Woman.

VOICEOVER

But there are skeptics.

BOB

I don’t believe it.

Bob goes to one ancient script, its pages yellowed and tattered, and looks again at it.

I have proof here…

The Italian Woman becomes nervous.  She looks quickly about to determine whether anyone is hearing them.

…that the fish Simon caught-

ITALIAN WOMAN

Don’t say it!

EXT.  THE SEA OF GALILEE.  THE PRESENT DAY.

Bob and the Italian Woman are aboard a modern fishing ship.  Bob has been questioning a Palestinian Fisherman.

VOICEOVER

Some people seek the truth.

The Palestinian Fisherman gestures with his hands to signify a small fish.  This is seen by an Israeli Fisherman, who is also working on the ship.

No matter the consequences.

The Israeli Fisherman gestures to depict an even smaller fish.  The Palestinian Fisherman quickly responds, and the two fishermen argue with each other in Arabic and Hebrew, respectively.

EXT.  THE SQUARE OUTSIDE ST. PETER’S.

Bob now stands with the Italian Woman outside St. Peter’s.

VOICEOVER

Facing danger.

INT.  A DARK CHAMBER.  INSIDE THE PAPAL PALACE.

Bob and the Italian Woman stand in front of Monsignor Falcone, who shakes his head.

BOB

Cardinal Ferrari!

Monsignor Falcone continues to shake his head.

VOICEOVER

To the secret’s center.

EXT.  A STREET IN ROME.

Bob and the Italian Woman stand questioning two nuns.  One nun shakes her head as the other one watches her.

VOICEOVER

Not taking no for an answer…

INT.  THE SAME DARK CHAMBER AS BEFORE.

Bob and the Italian Woman stand in front of Cardinal Ferrari.  On each side of Ferrari is a Swiss Guard.

VOICEOVER

…until finally…

BOB

(to Ferrari)

We have proof here…

Ferrari looks at one Swiss Guard so as to give him a directive.  Both guards now approach Bob.

….that the fish your first pope caught…

The guards grab Bob, and pull him toward the exit.

…were not that big!  They were small fish!

Ferrari grins at Bob as he is taken out of the Rome.

EXT.  THE SQUARE OUTSIDE ST. PETER’S.

The Swiss Guards are still pulling Bob away from the Papal Palace.  The Italian Woman follows behind them.

BOB

This will get out!

EXT.  A ROAD IN ROME.

Bob drives an Italian sportscar.  Beside him is the Italian Woman.  They are stopped at a traffic light.

The Italian Woman turns nervously to look behind them.

BOB

What’s-?

ITALIAN WOMAN

We’re being followed.

The light turns.  Another car rams Bob’s car from behind.

INT.  INSIDE THE CAR THAT IS BEHIND BOB’S CAR.

A Small Old Nun, her face barely up to the steering wheel, sits behind the wheel.  Another nun sits beside her, and a third in the back seat.

The Small Old Nun yells at Bob.

SMALL OLD NUN

Face bruta!

She rams Bob’s car again.

The nun in the back seat crosses herself.

INT.  INSIDE BOB’S SPORTS CAR.

Bob quickly puts his car into high gear.

INT.  INSIDE THE SMALL OLD NUN’S CAR.

SMALL OLD NUN.

Scostumato!

EXT.  IN FRONT OF ROME’S COLOSSEUM.

CAPTION: POPES AND FISHERMEN

The Small Old Nun’s car chases after Bob.

VOICEOVER

The secret may not get out.

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About jalesy55

Charles Lupia is a playwright, freelance writer and lawyer. His blogs cover a range of topics, from politics to entertainment.
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