Greasing the Squeaky Deal

I'm writing a screenplay. The first and second acts are finished, but I'm not sure how to end it yet. Help me out.

FADE IN
INTERIOR -- MOVIE PRODUCER'S OFFICE -- DAY
A fat, cigar-chomping MOVIE PRODUCER sits behind an opulent desk. He rises to greet MEL GIBSON as the actor enters the room. They exchange the usual Hollywood B.S. pleasantries before getting down to business.

PRODUCER: Mel, baby, what can I do for you?
MEL: I want to direct a movie.
PRODUCER: Are you willing to star in it, too?
MEL: If I must.

PRODUCER (smiling as he hands over gobs of cash): Here's your money. By the way, what's it about?

CUT TO
A MONTAGE: Still shots of a disfigured Gibson from The Man Without a Face, a slow-paced character study wherein Gibson plays a reclusive ex-schoolteacher with a scarred kisser. These shots give way to closeups of lukewarm reviews, and then to closeups of trade papers reporting The Man Without a Face's disappointing reception at the box office.

CUT TO
INTERIOR A MOVIE PRODUCER'S OFFICE A TWO YEARS LATER
Same office, same producer, same desk. Enter Mel.
PRODUCER: Mel, baby, what can I do for you?
MEL: I want to direct a movie.
PRODUCER: Are you willing to star in it, too?
MEL: If I must.
PRODUCER: What's it called?
MEL: Braveheart.
PRODUCER: What, Indians? Like Last of the Mohicans?
MEL: No. I wear war paint, but it's more like Robin Hood meets Gallipoli.

PRODUCER: Great picture, that Gipoli. Like Robin Hood, you say? Heroic outsider, evil English ruler, that sort of thing?

MEL: Exactly.
PRODUCER: Any battle scenes?
MEL: A couple. Really gory. Hand to hand. Lots of blood. Spears. Swords. Horsemen. Battle-axes. Burning oil. Beheadings. Arms and legs cut off with a loud "Thwack!" Eyes gouged. Bad guys impaled. Heads bashed in.

PRODUCER (warming to the idea): Uh-huh. Love interest? You got a Maid Marian?

MEL: Better. Two of 'em. A beautiful princess torn between her sense of duty to England and her lust for our hero, and an equally beautiful peasant girl whose murder at the hands of a nobleman sets our hero off on his quest to overthrow the tyrants.

PRODUCER (stroking his chin reflectively): Two Maid Marians, huh? Any skin?
MEL: Mine or theirs?
PRODUCER: Both.

MEL: Two love scenes, one with some partial nudity. But tasteful, you know. Moonlight. A breast in silhouette.

PRODUCER (stroking his chin reflectively): Hers or yours?
MEL: Both. Plus I wear a kilt and a sleeveless top throughout, so you'll get plenty of shots of my bare arms and legs. And I wave a six-foot sword and race around on horseback.

PRODUCER: With your legs showing.
MEL: Legs showing.
PRODUCER (smiling as he hands over gobs of cash): Here's your money.
CUT TO

Well, that's what I've got so far. Trouble is I can't decide which of two scenarios I should close with. The first ending, in the best Hollywood tradition, is upbeat. Braveheart is a smash. Men get a visceral kick out of the battle scenes, while women get a visual kick from the sight of ol' Mel bouncing around bare-legged. The closing scene of my movie essentially would be a repeat of the opening scene, wherein the next time Mel decides he wants to direct a film, the producer just hands him the money.

But my second alternative is more of a downer. Braveheart tanks. The excruciatingly slow opening, the masochistic ending with Jesus-on-the-cross overtones, and the nonstop cliches in between overshadow even the kinetic battle sequences. In this scheme, the final meeting between Gibson and his producer takes an unexpected turn:

PRODUCER: Mel, baby, what can I do for you?
MEL: I want to direct a movie.
PRODUCER: Great. But first, let's talk about Lethal Weapon 4...

 
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