L E G E N D O F D A R K N E S S
Reformatted by Zelos, Screenplays-Online.de, 16-Apr. 2004
CLOSE ON a finely-worked Medieval tapestry. In the background, beyond
the intricate foliage, stands a moated castle where a troop of mounted
hunters set out for the chase with dogs and lances. In the
foreground, a lovely young maiden heads for the forest, carrying an
armful of flowers. The forest, stylistically rendered by the weaver's
art, has numbers of small animals cunningly worked into the warp and
woof. A Green Man, clad only in leaves and vines, hides behind a
tree, watching a stately pair of unicorns grazing on the greensward.
EXT. FOREST GLADE - DAY
The woven image on the tapestry gives way to a pair of white unicorns
browsing in a sun-dappled glade. A male and female, these animals are
of surpassing beauty, their tapered, spiraling horns glowing like
precious metal. Their movements are so graceful that every other
living creature seems clumsy by comparison. The SOUND of a distant
hunting horn makes them pause. A second NOTE is heard. The unicorns
drift, silent and languid, into the farther reaches of the forest.
EXT. HILLSIDE OVERLOOKING CASTLE - DAY
The hunting horn SOUNDS a third time. A young woman still close to
childhood, fifteen at most, turns back to look at the castle in the
distance. A troop of armed men rides out hunting, accompanied by
braying hounds and the blare of horns. One of the company is masked
and dressed all in black.
The girl's name is LILI. She is a princess of the distant castle and
dressed in splendid brocades and silk. In her arms, she carries a
bouquet of wildflowers wrapped in a lace napkin. Like these blossoms,
she herself is young and fresh and innocent. She sings a simple
country air as she runs through the waving grass toward the deep
EXT. DEEP WOODS - DAY
On an emerald patch of moss in the shade beneath the spreading limbs
of chestnuts and oaks, numbers of small animals gambol. Squirrels and
rabbits, hedgehogs and foxes, all manner of creatures leap and frolic
about the feet of a curious young man. This is JACK O' THE GREEN. His
hair is long and unshorn and he wears a costume woven from ivy leaves,
skins and vines. On his feet are bark sandals. His features are
tanned berry-brown and woven into his tangled locks is a wreath of
flowers. He is a legendary "Green Man" or "Wild Man" who lives the
free life of a hermit alone in the deep woods.
Jack, the "Green Man," feeds morsels of bread and fruit to the animals
dancing around his feet. He is a friend to all the beasts of the
forest and carries food for them in a split-willow basket. Birds fly
down and land on his head and shoulders, taking seeds and nuts from
The musical sound of someone approaching alerts him. His eyes have an
animal quickness and his instincts are as finely tuned as any creature
of the wild. The birds fly from his shoulders to the treetops. His
furred companions dart for cover. In three quick bounds, Jack is
himself up a nearby tree, clinging to a high branch like a cat.
The Princess Lili comes singing down the path. She spots the fallen
willow basket and looks around for the Green Man.
Jack... Hello, Jack...
There is no answer. Puzzled, Lili sits on the moss, puts aside her
flowers, and rummages through the contents of the basket. The dried
apples, walnuts and sunflowers don't occupy her for long. She is
annoyed. A princess is not someone to trifle with.
Jack-o'-the-Green...? Green Jack?
Oh bother, I know you're here. Why
are you so cruel?
Unseen, high in his tree, Jack-o'-the-Green watches the young
princess. He is amused by her anger but there is nothing malicious
about his smile. He climbs quietly to a lower branch, hangs suspended
for a moment, then drops.
Jack lands close to the unsuspecting girl. Startled, she screams in
surprise. Jack laughs at her unwarranted terror.
Greetings, my lady, the green wood
Oh, Jack, you are a wild man to use
Jack spies the bouquet of wildflowers and reaches for it.
These for me?
If you like.
Jack gathers up the bouquet, bowing low as he jumps to his feet. A
bluebird flies out of the greenery and lands on his shoulder.
(to the bird)
She brings a gift as fair as
EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST - DAY
The Green Man and the Princess wander together down a meandering path.
Birds circle about them and numbers of small animals scamper shyly at
But you did... you did!
I may have said perhaps...
The distant BLARE of a hunting horn interrupts them. The animals
It's my father, gone a-hunting. The
Baron Couer de Noir is his guest and
must be provided with some sport.
The Baron is a frightful man. They
say he's an ogre. He wears a mask
so none may see his face.
Blackheart. Aptly named.
Oh, fie. What about the unicorn?
A promise is a sacred oath.
All right. I'll show you something
EXT. A CLEARING BY A STREAM - DAY
A small meadow: a sun-gilded amphitheater within the darker confines
of the forest. At its edge flows a gentle stream. An evil-looking
viper moves sinuously along the grassy back as Jack and Lili step from
the concealing shrubbery nearby.
Let's rest a minute. I'm so
A gentleman would offer water.
Only were he a fool to boot.
See yon viper?
I detest serpents.
That viper has envenomed the water.
No animal will drink here now.
What shall we do?
They crouch together behind the shrubbery.
What's the matter?
I've lost my napkin. It was all
elf-work and lace... I must have
dropped it when you startled me so.
I'll go search for it.
Don't leave me now. I fear the
unicorn won't show himself without
I'm not its master.
(touching his arm)
The napkin will keep. I'd rather
not be alone.
(with a smile)
Your command is my wish, Princess
EXT. DEEP WOODS - DAY
A pair of ferocious hounds bray under the tree in which Jack was
hiding. Another sniffs at a few scattered blossoms and Lili's lace
napkin lying forgotten on the moss.
The hunting party rides up at a gallop. At the head of the troops are
Lili's father, KING GODWIN, pink-cheeked and white-bearded; a kind
-hearted, elfish man, though weak and ineffectual; and BARON COUER DE
NOIR, a powerful knight on a black charger. His greaves and
breastplate are black as midnight as is the heavy cloak which envelops
him. His hands are covered with black gauntlets and a horned black
hood with a wolf's lupine features masks his face. His voice rumbles
with dread authority as the party reins to a stop.
What spoor have the hounds for us?
A lance-bearer dismounts and takes the lace kerchief from the dog's
My daughter's napkin. That's
The Baron unstraps a crossbow from his saddle leathers.
We proceed. Have three men restrain
the dogs. Don't come until you hear
The hunters ride on, leaving the dog handlers to control the straining
EXT. CLEARING - DAY
Lili and Jack wait behind the bushes, watching the stream.
How much longer?
I am a princess. You have no right
to order me about.
In these woods you are a commoner.
Now be quiet. True royalty
THE STREAM - LILI AND JACK'S POV
The pair of radiant white unicorns pushes through the undergrowth to
the edge of the stream.
Ohhhh... they're so beautiful...
The male unicorn bends his head and dips his golden horn into the
stream. Soon after, the female begins to drink and numbers of small
animals, rabbits, mice, and squirrels, creep from under cover to drink
The alicorn purifies the water,
purging it of all poison.
JACK AND LILI
The princess is entranced. A look of utter rapture illuminates her
Such grace... and their smell; it's
They rival the angels of paradise.
Oh Jack, mightn't I touch one? It
would thrill me so.
Are you honest?
Tis a fair question. If you be a
virtuous maid the unicorn will lay
his head in your lap.
He'll not flee if I show myself?
Not if you be chaste. Tis an
awesome test of virginity.
I've no fear of failure. Your
implications are most unbecoming.
I'm not your judge... nor have I any
desire to witness the trial.
Jack turns to leave.
Where are you going?
To fetch your napkin.
Jack pushes through the underbrush and is lost from sight. For a
moment, the princess is confused and nervous at being left alone in
such circumstances, but she peers out at the unicorns and the sight of
such beauty rekindles her resolve.
Princess Lili steps out of the concealing underbrush and walks slowly
to the center of the clearing. Her bearing is noble and proud, her
carriage utterly dignified.
The unicorns lift their heads from the stream and watch the girl's
progress. The other smaller animals cease drinking and scatter into
Lili sits on the grass in the center of the clearing, spreading her
gown around her. She smiles at the staring unicorns.
The male unicorn grows agitated. His nostrils flare; the strong neck
arches. Sunlight gleams on the shaft of his golden horn as he prances
across the stream to the meadow, sending multi-hued clouds of
butterflies aloft from the flowers underfoot.
Lili smiles at the nimble dancing of the unicorn, seemingly drawn to
her by an invisible lead. He rears up, whinnying in protest, but the
lure is too strong, something unspoken compels him toward the smiling
EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST - DAY
Jack hurries along the overgrown path, running as numbly as a wild
stag. The SOUND of approaching HOOFBEATS brings him up short. With
the instincts of an animal, Jack darts into concealment. After a
moment, the hunting party rides past, sunlight glinting on the steel
lance-tips. The Baron holds his crossbow at the ready, as black and
grim as Death himself.
When the hunters are gone from sight, Jack hurries form his hiding
-place. He realizes something is terribly wrong and runs back through
the woods, leaping rocks and deadfall logs in a desperate attempt to
reach the clearing before them.
EXT. CLEARING - DAY
The princess makes no move as the trembling unicorn stands before her,
the tip of his rapier-sharp horn pressed against her breast. At this
moment, he could kill her in an instant, yet she does not resist or
show any fear. Instead, she smiles with joy.
Slowly, the unicorn kneels; first folding his forelegs, then settling
his hindquarters onto the grass. His limpid eye meets Lili's adoring
gaze. Without a sound, he settles his great head in the virgin's lap,
his long white mane spreading over her like a shawl.
CLOSE ON LILI AND THE UNICORN
The girl strokes the unicorn's head, running her hand lovingly down
the spiraling horn. The animal seems totally in her power. He closes
his eyes and nuzzles her bodice. Almost without thinking, Princess
Lili unbuttons the top of her gown, exposing her pale breasts. The
entranced unicorn immediately begins to suckle like a newborn
creature. Lili hugs the white head to her bosom, consumed by ecstasy
EXT. EDGE OF THE CLEARING - DAY
King Godwin, the Baron and his cohorts ride silently up to the edge of
the clearing, screened from view by the surrounding trees. The Baron
holds up his gloved hand and hisses a whispered command:
The other riders rein to a stop. The Baron guides his horse closer to
the edge of the clearing, parting the branches which conceal him.
Through a fringe of leaves the Baron sees the Princess nursing the
reclining unicorn, a tableaux at once reminiscent of the Madonna and
the Infant Jesus.
As he inserts a bolt in his crossbow and cranks back the string until
it is taut. Placing the weapon to his shoulder, the Baron takes
EXT. CENTER OF THE CLEARING - DAY
Lili croons to the unicorn resting on her breast, a primitive melody
born of joy. All at once, the sibilant SOUND of an arrow's slicing
passage rends the still air. The crossbow bolt strikes the unicorn in
the neck. The startled outcry of the wounded beast is far more scream
The unicorn bounds to his feet, spraying the Princess with his bright
blood. She is torn from her happy reverie by the violence of the act.
Her own outcry merges with the animal's wail of pain.
The wounded unicorn, followed by his mate, gallops for freedom across
The black Baron bursts from the far side of the meadow and thunders
after the fleeing unicorns. King Godwin is right behind, followed by
his retinue of lance-bearing hunters.
No! God! Father, no!
The horsemen gallop out of sight, accompanied by the call of the
hunting horn and much eager shouting.
Jack crashes through the underbrush surrounding the clearing and
rushes to the side of the anguished Lili, who cowers, replacing her
I don't know. They've hurt the
My father and the Baron.
Damned hunters. It was a trap, and
you were the bait!
I didn't know... I didn't...
It was so lovely... he was in my lap
like... like a baby... and... I...
They tricked you.
My own father...
How bad was the unicorn's wound?
It happened so fast. He was hurt
and ran away.
He did run?
Oh, yes, and the mare with him.
Good. They'll never catch him.
There's not a mount in the kingdom
can outrun a unicorn.
EXT. DEEP IN THE FOREST - DAY
Flecked with froth and blood, the male unicorn bursts from a thicket
in full flight. Wild-eyed, the female is right behind. They pause
for a moment, sides heaving as they gasp for air. In the distance,
the SOUNDS of braying hounds and the musical NOTE of the hunting horn
start them running again.
EXT. FOREST - DAY
Led by the Baron and the red-eyed hounds, the hunting party thunders
through the woods in full pursuit of the unicorns.
One of the riders has a hunting horn coiled around his shoulder. He
blows a single, sustained NOTE as he gallops past.
EXT. POND IN THE FOREST - DAY
The pool is a crystalline jewel, surrounded by moss- covered stones,
the tranquil water reflecting the overhanging trees. Lili kneels by
the edge, washing the blood from her embroidered dress. Jack watches
her, reclining on a gnarled tree-root nearby.
There are many would pay a king's
ransom for a few drops of unicorn
I don't want it on me.
Its powers are strong.
I don't want to be reminded of what
Do you think memory can be washed
away like a few spots of blood?
EXT. FOREST STREAM - DAY
The war-like SOUNDS of the hunting party grow nearer as the two
unicorns pause in their flight to drink from the stream. Tenderly,
the mare nuzzles the stallion's neck near where the dart cruelly rends
his flesh. The two animals exchange a look of understanding. The
situation is desperate, their pursuers very near. The stallion
motions upstream with his head and his mate sadly comprehends. She
starts slowly up stream, looking back over her shoulder. The hunting
horn BLARES, nearer still. The stallion whinnies at the mare and she
replies before plunging up the stream to safety while her mate remains
behind awaiting his destiny.
EXT. NEAR FOREST STREAM - DAY
The hounds are frantic now, the scent very strong. They lope ahead of
the riders, baying like demons from hell. The Baron is right behind,
leading the hunters in a daredevil chase through the woods. In their
helmets and chain mail, with steel-tipped lances glinting on high,
they are as fearsome as an army of fiends.
Ahead, through the trees, the wounded male unicorn is glimpsed
standing alone by the stream. The dogs' howling grows furious. The
hunters SHOUT and BELLOW.
EXT. FOREST STREAM - DAY
The dogs break from the forest and hurl themselves at the unicorn.
With a swift jab, the stallion impales the first hound on his horn and
sends him flying. Just as the pack of hunters emerges from the woods,
the unicorn takes off, leaping over the heads of the snarling hounds,
darting away between the trees. The hunters and their dogs are in
close pursuit, eager now for the kill.
EXT. POND IN THE FOREST - DAY
Lili and Jack sit among the roots and mossy rocks bordering the still
ponds. A shaft of golden light angles down through the cathedral
arching of tree limbs above them. Lili's dress is cleansed of blood
and she reclines against a tree trunk, sadly singing a simple ballad
in a clear, soprano voice. Jack is entranced. His teasing look has
transformed into a gaze of utter adoration.
Once there was a lady fair,
Rode out on her milk-white steed;
Roses and dewdrops woven in her hair
And in her heart: the devil's seed.
Sweet William did a-hunting go,
All in the deep wood where faeries dwell.
From dawn til dark roamed he to and fro
Lost, O lost, all under their spell.
Came he at last to where bluebells grow,
And he heard them ring, tis true to tell.
And he lay him down and did not know
The flower's sound was his own death knell.
For while he slept came the lady fair,
And gathered him up behind her saddle.
Now, all ye young hunters, of bluebells beware;
For Sweet William rode straight through
the gates of Hell.
EXT. RIVER ESTUARY - DAY
A broad river flows toward the sea, divided into multi- branched
channels across acres and mud flats. The surf curls and crashes in
the distance. Shore birds probe the muck with their curved bills.
The wounded unicorn breaks from the green line of trees along the edge
of the estuary. The SOUNDS of dogs and hunting horns can be heard
close behind. Without pausing, the stallion gallops frantically out
onto the mud flats.
The unicorn's sides are streaked with blood and sweat. A bright-red
froth bubbles on his nostrils. His eyes are wide with panic.
The thick mud underfoot sucks at the unicorn's galloping hooves. All
at once, the unicorn stumbles and falls, cartwheeling in the muck. He
struggles to regain his feet, but slips again, floundering.
The hunters ride out of the trees and rein-in at the edge of the
estuary. The howling dogs struggle across the mud toward the fallen
EXT. POND - DAY
Lili and Jack under the tree. The princess smiles at the adoring boy,
toying with her golden ring, which she pulls on and off her finger.
Not even the birds sing sweet as
Jack... Green Jack, you mustn't
flatter me so.
Tis the truth.
A maid must beware of flattery...
Methinks you want to kiss me.
There's no happier thought under
If I were your bride, would the
kissing ever stop...? Do you wish
to marry me, Jack?
My lady mocks me.
Nay, Jack, I'm but wary of your
My heart intends no more than that
you love me as I do you.
EXT. ESTUARY - DAY
The unicorn struggles in the mud, hopelessly mired, when the dog packs
converges upon it. Baying and snarling, the dogs surround the
stallion, nipping and harrying. The unicorn fights back, thrusting
his terrible horn, impaling an unwary hound that ventured too close.
The hunters watch from the bank, awaiting their leader's command to
close in for the kill. The Baron dismounts, holding his crossbow. He
hands his reins to King Godwin.
The quarry is at bay. Attend me
here while I make the kill.
Black cloak whipping in the wind, the masked Baron strides out onto
the mud flats, relentless as the specter of Death.
The sky above darkens. Black storm clouds gather and the ominous
RUMBLE of thunder troubles the grim landscape.
EXT. POND - DAY
The light has changed. It is darker now. A distant peal of thunder
I'm afraid it may storm.
Let it. Haven't you a cozy bower we
might hide in?
Tis not fit for a princess.
Be it fit for your wife, Green Jack?
I have no wife.
Then, perchance you'll me.
If wishes were horses even beggars
Do you wish it, Jack?
(showing him her
Wish you this our wedding band?
What if I answer yes? Will my wish
Laughing, Lili throws her ring high over their heads. Tracing a golden
arc through the air, the ring lands with a splash in the center of the
Fetch my ring and you may take me
for your wife.
It is obvious from her mocking attitude that Lili is teasing, but Jack
is serious. He strips off his leaf-and- fur vestments and dives
headlong into the pond.
EXT. ESTUARY - DAY
The Baron's heavy black boots splash across the shallow water of the
estuary as he bears down on the harried unicorn. The frantic trapped
stallion is within range now and the Baron lifts his crossbow to his
shoulder, the wolf mask leering and demonic as he takes aim.
The Baron fires. The bolt strikes the unicorn's flank, piercing his
ribs. A froth of lung-blood foams into the mud. The stallion
screams. His frightened eye is bright and staring.
EXT. BENEATH THE SURFACE OF THE POND - DAY
Slowly, the golden ring drifts downward, tumbling end- over-end in a
lazy spiral to the dark and muddy bottom.
Jack's pale, near-naked form stabs through the crystal water, a trail
of silver bubbles streaming in his wake like a comet's tail. He
strokes down into the murk, tendrils of water-weed swirling about him.
In the distance, the tantalizing glint of the drifting ring lures him
The ring settles into the mud on the bottom, concealed by waving weeds
and algae. Jack searches blindly for it, groping with his hands as
billowing clouds of silt rise about him.
EXT. SKY - DAY
The black clouds boil and crash, thunderheads mounting one upon
another in a dark maelstrom. Jagged lightning splits the sky. The
heavens are in a tumult.
EXT. ESTUARY - DAY
The Baron's dark figure looms over the fallen unicorn. His gloved hand
reaches out and grasps the ivory horn, wrenching back the animal's
head. The Baron's glove smolders and burns as if the horn was a
white-hot poker. The stallion's shrill whinny is cut short when the
Baron lops off his head with a single, brutal stroke of his
The ROAR of thunder seems to crack the sky apart. For a long moment,
the Baron stands holding his grisly, dripping trophy by the single
horn, staring up at the raging dark sky as his black cloak whips about
him in the ferocious wind.
EXT. BENEATH THE POND - DAY
His lungs about to burst, Jack can no longer continue the search for
the ring. He turns and looks up at the surface which has grown quite
dark. With frantic strokes, he races upward only to bump his head
into something solid at the top. Terribly frightened, he finds the
surface covered by a sheet of ice.
Jack pounds his fist against the obstructing ice and succeeds in
punching through it, thrusting his gasping head out into the air.
EXT. POND - DAY
Bewildered, Jack crashes through the ice towards shore. The woods have
changed utterly. In place of the bountiful foliage of midsummer, the
trees are stripped bare. The wind howls, driving a fine stinging snow
through the naked branches. Overhead, the sky is dark and ominous.
Jack stands, confused and shivering, realizing in his bewilderment
that the girl is gone.
Lili...! Princess Lili... Where are
There is no answer other than the hollow echo of his words lost on the
wind. It is bitterly cold. Jack's wet hair freezes into strands of
icicles. He finds his clothing, wrapping himself in his fur vest.
His leafy cloak is inadequate for this weather and he hurries off,
calling for the girl as he searches for shelter.
Lili... answer me... Lili...
EXT. DEEPER IN THE FOREST - EVENING
The snowstorm has built-up into a full-scale blizzard. Jack staggers
into the wind. A large rock overhang provides shelter and Jack
Jack scrapes together a small pile of twigs and leaves. Taking a flint
and steel from his shoulder pouch, he starts busily striking sparks.
A small fire burns vigorously under the overhang. Jack warms himself
and feeds sticks into the flames. It grows darker.
EXT. A TREE NOT FAR AWAY - EVENING
Princess Lili hides shivering behind the tree, watching Jack and his
fire. Her hands are out of sight, tucked in the folds of her gown for
warmth. Although she is cold and frightened she makes no move to
expose herself or to join the Green Man under the overhand.
CLOSE ON LILI
Lili's lovely face contorts with sorrow. A single tear starts in her
eye and drops to her cheek, where it freezes like a diamond beauty
-spot. Lili reaches up to wipe away the frozen tear. Her hand is
horribly transformed. Coarse black hairs sprout along her wrist and
down her slender fingers. In place of delicately tapered nails grow
wickedly curved claws. It is a hand more animal than human. Lili
regards it with disgust.
EXT. FOREST - EVENING
With Jack's small fire flickering faintly in the distance, Princess
Lili slinks away into the deep forest, eager to hide herself and her
EXT. OVERHANG - NIGHT
Jack is sleeping. He leans back against the rock wall, wrapped in his
cloak. The fire crackles brightly before him, casting animated
shadows in all directions.
A high-pitched, cackling LAUGH causes Jack to sit bolt- upright; wide
-eyed and completely awake.
What...? Who's there?
Glowing like foxfire in the darkness, a semi-circle of luminous green
eyes surrounds Jack's campfire.
Who is it? Speak up.
A second odd LAUGH is his only answer.
is afraid. He reaches into the folds of his cloak for his knife, a
small practical affair, hardly a weapon at all.
Who are you...? Answer me!
Laughing still, a small man, an elf no more than knee-high steps into
the firelight. He carries a tiny harp and a pair of pointed ears
sprout from the wild tangle of his hair. His bright clothing is
everywhere tasseled and embroidered with flowers. At first glance, it
is hard to tell whether his face resembles a new-born babe or a
wizened old man. His name is HONEYTHORN GUMP.
So, Jack... think you be a Green Man
and not know Gump.
Gump, is it?
Aye, Honeythorn Gump, come to
serenade you, Jack... come to make
I'm in no mood for dancing.
Oh, but you will be, Jack... Think
you to sleep in a faerie ring and
not spend the night a-dancing?
To be sure.
Gump steps back and sweeps away the snow with his cap like an over
-zealous house porter. A ring of red toadstools is revealed.
A lively reel twill warm your bones.
Gump throws a handful of herbs onto the fire and the flames leap high,
revealing the watchers whose eyes glowed in the dark. Sitting in a
semi-circle just outside the faerie ring are a number of foxes, wild
goats, hares, weasels and badgers.
Here be your partners, Jack.
Gump begins to strum a wild, haunting melody on his harp. The animals
leap into the faerie ring, and linking paws, start a frantic circular
dance around the bewildered Jack.
No! Tis not the time! I want no
part of your frolic.
Dance, Jack! The night's but begun.
Jack cannot resist. He is drawn into the wild dance. Grabbing hold of
a fox's paw, he joins the circle, leaping and cavorting to the
The tempo increases; the music growing ever-more manic as the crazed
dancers whirl and caper. Jack seems in a panic, dancing against his
will, a prisoner of the frenzied harp-strumming.
Stop it...! No more...
Gump pays no attention to his pleas, jumping wildly up and down as he
flails at his harp.
Round and round and round and round,
Before you're lost ye most be
Jack's face is a mask of agony; the dance pure hell. With a supreme
effort of will, he wrenches free from the fox's grasp and hurls
himself to the ground by the fire. The rhythm disrupted, the other
animal dancers continue awkwardly as the music stops. Gump is
And how is it a mortal dare dictate
to the faerie folk? Is me music not
to your liking? Mayhap the dance of
death by more your pleasure.
No... I... I need to rest.
You'll have a long, long rest in the
tomb, me lad.
I meant no disrespect.
Didn't you now? Well then, answer
me this riddle and all be forgiven.
And if I cannot?
Why, Jack, then tis your death song
I'll be strumming.
The animal dancers have stopped their frolic and stand solemnly
watching the bewildered Green Man.
Ask away, and pray God my answer
Gump grins maliciously and strums a melancholy chord on his harp.
What is a bell that does not ring,
Yet, its knell makes the angels
Gump laughs, knowing full-well Jack can't solve his riddle. Jack
frowns in concentration, then breaks into a broad grin as the memory
of Lili's song rushes back to him.
The flower. Bluebells. To hear
them ringing means your life's at an
Gump hurls his harp to the ground and stomps on it.
Damnation! Codfish and cockles!
Gammon and trotters! You've bested
A riddle without an answer is but an
empty cup when you're thirsty for
(pleased with this)
Well spoke. True to the mark. And
if it's wine you're wanting, it's
wine we shall have.
Honeythorn Gump strides to the rear of the overhang, and brushing away
the concealing cobwebs, ferns and moss, reveals a small wooden door
built into the rock itself. Gump throws open the door and bows low for
Jack to enter.
You be our guest, Jack.
(returning the bow)
I'm honored, Honeythorn Gump... but
no more tricks.
You have me word, lad. To answer a
faerie riddle deserves as much.
Twas the Princess Lili gave me the
answer... have you seen her, by
I've laid eyes on no mortal but you
this day, Jack.
I fear she's lost.
Mayhap you be the one what's lost,
and she safe by the castle hearth...
but, come Jack, we'll warm your
Gump moves to the fire and pulls a burning brand from the flames. As
he does so, the animal dancers subtly shift and change, their forms
dissolving like mist in the morning sun, transforming into faerie
creatures. The fox becomes a lithe, winged female wood nymph; the
badger a squat goblin. The other animals change into a variety of
pixies, gnomes and brownies, all chattering and singing in an ancient,
Gump leads the way through the door in the rock, followed by Jack and
the teasing faeries.
There was a wee faerie lived under the hill,
Hey, riddle-diddle and nickety-noo;
And if he's nae gone he's living there still,
Nickety, nackety, noo-noo-noo...
INT. TUNNEL - NIGHT
A narrow tunnel winds under the hill, twisting down between gnarled
tree-roots and projecting splinters of ancient bone. A rickety set of
wooden steps has been built in this tunnel and Gump leads the
precarious way down into the earth, holding his torch on high and
singing for all his worth. The other faeries tease Jack, jabbering
and twitting and they pull his hair and tug at his clothing. Jack
does his best to ignore them, and at the same time, maintain a brave
demeanor as he struggles for balance on the creaking stairs.
The name of this faerie was Honeythorn Gump,
Hey, riddle-diddle and nickety-noo;
The sound of his harp made the mortals all jump,
Nickety, nackety, noo-noo-noo.
At the stroke of midnight, in the light of the
Hey, riddle-diddle and nickety-noo;
All the faeries dance to Honeythorn's tune,
INT. SUBTERRANEAN HALL - NIGHT
Gump guides the procession in to a vast underground hall, hung with
fine tapestries and filled with all manner of odd and ancient wonders:
Roman armor, bits of mosaics and marble statuary, etc. A long wooden
trestle table stretches down the center of the hall, set with burning
candles, bowls of fruit and nuts, golden goblets of every shape and
Gump tosses his torch into an open, glowing fire-pit, the smoke
drifting up to the shrouded tree-roots above.
Here we be. And fit for a king if I
say so meself.
Jack is properly awed.
Tis splendid. I feel I must be
This delights the faeries, who twitter with laughter as they buzz
around Jack, guiding him to the carved High Seat at the head of the
Indeed, me lad. And if life is a
dream, better you dread the waking.
Several rows of wine casks are ranked against one wall. Gump seizes a
large flagon from the table and fills it with sparkling elderberry
Jack sits somewhat uncomfortably in the High Seat with its ornately
carved dragons and basalisks entwined about him. The beautiful wood
nymph hovers by his side, smiling and whispering in his ear.
Gump fills Jack's goblet from the flagon and sets about filling the
others in turn down the table. Jack is embarrassed by the wood
nymph's obvious attentions.
Make her stop it, will you Gump...
Why, Jack-lad, she likes you, is
all. And what hot-blooded hero
wouldn't welcome the affections of a
fair nymph like Oona here...? If
your blood runs so cold, boy, you be
a corpse before your time.
What does she want from me?
OONA, the wood-nymph giggles wildly and covers Jack's cheek with
kisses as she hovers at his side.
Fool question, lad. Drink up and
warm your blood. You'll find the
answer at the bottom of your cup.
Gump motions with his flagon for Jack to drink, but the Green Man
merely lifts his goblet and stares dolefully at the contents.
Elderberry wine. No finer drink
It looks... er, delicious...
(sniffing his cup)
Such a fine bouquet... very
Are ye afraid of me wine? Did your
momma tell ye never to take food nor
drink from the Wee Folk? Think if
ye sup with the faeries you'll be
Well... I... I don't want to be
rude, but... it's generally known
Generally known! What general ever
knew more than to lace up his boots?
Please don't misunderstand. I am
grateful for your hospitality and --
He is afraid of enchantment! Will
you listen to the fool prattle on.
All the faeries and goblins burst into raucous laughter.
Here the world is turned upside-
down; precious summertime frozen
into a wintry memory; the
underworld unleashed and all spirits
walk the earth at will... this be
the state of things and the blamed
fool won't take a sip of wine for
fear of enchantment!
Jack swallows his fear. He stares heard into his cup and in a single
decisive moment, drains it to the bottom. The faeries all clap and
cheer. Oona gives him a big hug.
But... but, why?
Big question that, lad. Why what?
Why has this happened to the world?
Why is it winter now, and dark?
Aye. Honeythorn Gump'd be a
powerful wizard indeed could he
Don't you know?
If you're looking for enchantment,
Jack, that I can give thee...
Gump screws up his face with concentration and gestures with his
emerald ring. All at once, the carved dragons and serpents on Jack's
chair seem to come alive. They writhe out of the woodwork, sinuous
and evil. Jack is terrified as they wrap about him, pinning his arms
and chest to the chair as Oona and the other faeries laugh with
No...! Stop it now... please!
Gump snaps his fingers and the chair is but a chair again, the carved
snakes mere decorations.
That much magic I can offer ye, a
small measure of entertainment at
best. Making the world a frozen hell
is beyond me modest powers.
Then, what's gone wrong? Why did it
If ye want more tricks, I'm your
man, but for big questions ye must
Don't you care about what's
Course we care. What good's the
world locked in a season of death.
Frozen up, no folks to scare out of
their wits on a summer's night; no
babies to tickle; no more spells to
cast... Think that's an enjoyable
There must be an answer somewhere.
True... But it won't come easy or
free. If ye want to ask, ask Jenny
Jenny Greenteeth? Who's she?
At the mention of the feared name, all the faeries jabber and chatter
Someone worthy of respect, lad. She
be a water spirit, lives in a bog
down at sea-side. Hideous creature
to look at, even by my doubtful
standards; devours little children,
she does, when she can catch them.
How is it this hag knows the truth?
Think there be truth only in beauty,
lad? If you've the courage to ask
and take care to avoid her terrible
claws, Jenny Greenteeth has the
answers you seek.
Will you lead me to her?
Aye. On the morrow we go, but
(he lifts his flagon
... tonight is for making merry.
Gump drinks the flagon down. The other faeries and Jack join in the
festivities, lifting their goblets in a single, raucous toast.
EXT. FROZEN STREAM - DAY
It is shortly after dawn, but the feeble winter sun provides little
warmth or light. The gray day has the appearance of perpetual
twilight. From the rear, we easily recognize Princess Lili as she
moves toward the frozen stream. Her fine embroidered dress is soiled
and torn, her long, unbound hair matted and stuck with burrs and
twigs. She's had a rough night in the open. At the stream's edge she
kneels, her back still to the CAMERA.
CLOSE ON THE FROZEN STREAM
Lili's furred, claw-like hand reaches out and wipes a covering of snow
from the ice. The frozen surface of the stream provides an uneven
mirror which makes the reflection of Lili's face appear even more
The distant SOUND of LAUGHTER and SINGING, causes Lili to look up from
the ice. Her face is hideously transformed. Sharp fangs jut out over
her lower lip. Her nostrils are wide and flaring. Patches of hair
sprout on her cheeks. Her ears are pointed.
She reacts to the strange sound like an animal, sniffing the air.
And, like an animal, she stealthily creeps off, ducking between the
frozen trees like a carnivore stalking her prey.
EXT. WOODS BY ESTUARY - DAY
The SOUNDS of SINGING grow nearer as Lili creeps through the woods,
hiding herself behind the trees.
Out of the marsh, the troop of elves and faeries is led by Gump and
Jack. The procession shimmers and sparkles, and Lili shrinks back
from the joyous proceedings, hiding herself in shame.
EXT. ESTUARY - DAY (C.U. UNICORN'S HEAD)
The severed head of the stallion unicorn lies, half- buried, in the
muck. A croaking raven perches on the small stump of horn remaining,
probing his beak into the hollow eye-socket. At the sound of the
faeries' MUSICAL approach, the bird spreads his wings and flies off.
Jack and the faeries hurry to the spot where the dead unicorn lies.
They body is stretched out several yards away from the severed head.
No one speaks. The awesome spectacle silences the procession's glad
singing. Even some of the magic sparkle seems to have left the
faeries as they stand, grouped like mourners, around the dead unicorn.
Mortals at their foolish pleasure,
Rob the Earth of all her treasure...
Jack kneels beside the dead unicorn, dumb with sorrow. He runs has
hand along the hollow flank of the fallen animal. One of the evil
Baron's barbed bolts stands straight out of the unicorn's neck and
Jack yanks it free with a sudden pull. He is about to hurl the weapon
far out into the swamp when he thinks better of it and pushes the bolt
into his belt.
Gump silently motions with his head and starts away from the unicorn's
body. The other faeries follow dejectedly. Jack is the last to leave,
staring down at the mutilated animal as the anger inside builds to a
EXT. JENNY GREENTEETH'S BOG HOLE - DAY
A fearful slimy place. The roots of a rotted oak twist down into the
murky water like dead men's fingers. A foul green slime floats on the
surface. Several splintered bones protrude from the mud at the
Gump and the faeries stop a good ways off. They can feel the potent
evil of the spot and dread it. Any semblance of joy has left them.
Gump's demeanor is as dour and severe as a schoolmaster's.
Are we here?
That foul wallow be where Jenny
Greenteeth dwells. Oona... lure her
out. Play the part of a girl-child.
What do I do?
Don't get caught, that's what!
She'll suck your bones like honey-
Gump reaches into his jerkin and produces a small ivory- mounted hand
-mirror. He gives this to Jack.
Here now. Toss her this when you've
the chance. Jenny Greenteeth can't
resist the sight of herself in a
glass. She's terribly vain. Praise
her beauty and you'll lull her sweet
as a babe in a cradle.
(not so sure)
And if she thinks me a liar?
Fie on what she thinks! You mind
her claws and teeth... Cast your
At Gump's command, the faerie Oona begins to spin. She twirls into an
iridescent blur, surrounding herself with a cocoon of light, and when
she slows, she has metamorphosed into the image of a four-year old
girl with pink cheeks and golden ringlets.
Skipping and singing, the transformed Oona makes her way around the
edge of the bog. Jack follows, somewhat unsurely, at a safe distance.
The apparition of the little girl kneels by the bank. There is a
slight disturbance on the scummy surface of the water, as if a sudden,
localized wind had sprung up. All at once, like a serpent rising from
the depths, a bony, mottled-green arm thrusts up through the slime,
the clawed fingers clutching for the child.
Even as the fierce talons close on their prey, the "child" is gone in
a dazzle of light and the winged, laughing Oona hovers high above the
bog, looking down on the fearsome and outraged JENNY GREENTEETH.
The water hag is the color of a decomposing corpse. And like a
corpse, her ragged flesh and hair seem to be peeling in tatters from
the emaciated body. Her nose has caved in, and her rotted lips betray
a mouthful of fearsome fangs. She is furious at having been tricked
and rails at Oona.
Rat-spittle and toad-breath!
Damned, accursed cross twixt a she-
bat and a bullfrog! How dare you
use Jenny Greenteeth so?
Jack takes advantage of the hag's distracted fury to rush up and toss
the hand mirror in front of her.
Forgive us... er, fair one, we
wanted only to bring a gift.
Jenny seizes the mirror as eagerly as if it were food.
What's this now?
I bring you the only treasure worthy
of your loveliness... for naught
else in the universe rivals the
reflected glory of your beauty.
Well spoke, boy. You have
discerning taste for one so young...
Just who might you be?
They call me Green Jack, ma'am.
Come closer then, Jack, that I might
give you proper thanks.
Your fair smile be thanks enough.
Better I stand afar to admire your
Jenny Greenteeth cannot resist the mirror and preens before it in a
hideous parody of a young woman at her toilette.
Think me fair, do you, Jack?
The moon herself would hide behind a
cloud rather than dare comparison
The moon is too round of face,
The sight of you makes flowers seem
like dross. All the heavenly angels
must envy your grace.
I like well your conceit, Jack. Tis
rare to find an honest lad in this
Aye. And it is the trouble befallen
us that brings me here. I entreat
you to tell me the cause of our
surrounding sorrow, most lovely of
Dear lad, what does winter bespeak
but death? It is a time of
mourning. This calamity is a curse.
Something wondrous and beautiful
has been taken from the world.
A unicorn's been slain. The last
stallion in all the country.
Why then, there thou hast. We be
lucky worse has not befallen us.
Jack pulls the Baron's crossbow bolt from his belt to show to Jenny.
Here be the death weapon; the
unicorn's blood dry upon it.
Couer de Noir! A demon if the Devil
ever made one.
He chopped off the horn and left the
rest to rot.
That would be the Baron's way.
There'll be no light or life in the
world until the alicorn is taken
from him and he vanquished.
How do I get the horn back?
You'll need the fastest steed alive,
for Couer de Noir's castle rests at
the very edge of the earth. Only
the sharpest sword and the golden
armor of Achilles will protect you
from his fury.
Where do I find the Baron's castle?
Follow the raven in her flight,
Follow old black wing to the edge of
Not very precise directions.
Come sit beside me, sweet boy, and
I'll draw you a map.
Nay. Tempting as your invitation
be. Tell me one thing more.
Ask away, sweet man.
What became of the princess?
Princess? I know of no princess.
Princess Lili, Godwin's daughter.
She was with me when calamity
struck, but after I could find no
trace of her.
Is she fair, this princess?
(angry and jealous)
As fair as me?
Twould be to compare one star with
another in the summer sky.
Dead, dead, dead.
I don't believe you.
Far as you're concerned she's dead,
believe it or not.
Jack is deeply struck by this disclosure even though he doubts it.
This is sad news, be it true.
Don't be sad, Jack, not with me here
to give you cheer.
Tis not the time to speak of cheer.
You'll visit again?
As a hummingbird returns to the
(with a sigh)
What a fine meal you'd make, be the
rest of you sweet as your tongue.
Jenny Greenteeth slips abruptly under the foul surface of her bog
hole. Jack returns to Gump and the other faeries.
The princess is dead.
Lamentable news, Jack... but tis the
fate of the living concerns us now.
Did you hear? Twas the killing of
the unicorn caused it.
Aye. Black Baron's mischief.
If the horn be restored the curse is
Time for a champion. Can you do
more than pick acorns and rob bird's
I'll do what I have to do, for
Princess Lili's sake!
(clapping Jack on
Bravely spoke. You've the heart of
a champion, true enough.
Twill take more than heart. Where
do we find the armor of Achilles,
for a start?
I know where to find it. Taking
possession be another matter.
EXT. LINDFARNE MOUND - DAY
The Lindfarne Mound, an ancient tumulus, covers almost an acre and
rises, domed and treeless under a sullen sky. Wispy smoke curls from
the top of the mound. A pair of black ravens circles overhead.
The rag-tag procession of elves and faeries appears cautiously from
out of the frozen forest and stands gazing, somewhat apprehensively,
at the distant tumulus.
There it be, lad. The Lindfarne
Mound. Kings long forgotten lie
there, lost in their final sleep.
Have we turned grave-robber, then?
A tomb it once was, boy, and a tomb
it may yet be... There's another in
residence at Lindfarne now.
And who might that be?
No less a creature than the
At the mention of the dread name, Oona and the other faeries cringe
and chatter fearfully.
So I'm to be a dragon-slayer, is
Now, Jack-lad, no one's asking ye to
skewer the worm. Even St. Michael'd
have a job on his hands for all
that. But the serpent hoards a pile
of booty, Achilles' armor among his
treasures... if we find our way
within the mound and him asleep...
Knaves and robbers...
EXT. TOP OF MOUND - DAY
The faeries gather around a circular opening atop the tumulus.
Quantities of smoke issue from the interior. Gump ties one end of a
coiled rope to a large stone. The other end is lowered into the
Better pray the worm's a sound
You do the praying. I've work
There's the spirit, lad. If ye run
into trouble, give a yank here and
we'll haul ye up.
What's left of me... How do I
recognize the armor of Achilles?
You'll know it when you see it...
tis a splendid sight, all covered
with gold... Don't fear making
noise. Dragons be deaf as tree
Jack takes hold of the rope and lowers himself into the smoking hole.
Oona flutters over and kisses him on the cheek.
I pray God grants it me.
No need. There be no more potent
charm than a faerie's love.
Embarrassed, Jack slides from sight into the hole.
INT. MOUND - DAY
The tomb is vast, like the arched dome of a cathedral. The curving
sides are built from exquisitely fitted blocks of stone, moss-covered
and dripping moisture.
Suspended like a dangling spider on his filament, Jack slides down the
rope into the drifting smoke.
Far below, the floor of the tomb is everywhere heaped with treasure.
Great stacks of gold plate gleam in the half- light; mounds of gem
-stones sparkle. The treasure of the faeries is a trash-pile compared
with this hoard.
In the midst of the splendor, the DRAGON lies sleeping, surrounded by
clouds of smoke. With its horned, whiskered head and reversed, golden
scales, the beast greatly resembles the symbol used in the Chinese
INT. MOUND FLOOR - DAY
Jack comes to the end of his rope and drops into the treasure with a
loud CRASH. The CLATTER is alarming and Jack dives for cover behind a
chest brimming with rubies.
The dragon has not heard a thing and continues to snore, belching
smoke like a miniature volcano.
Cautiously, Jack begins his search. It's a bit bewildering as there
is such a quantity of wealth. Everywhere he looks more remarkable
treasure is revealed. Casks of jewels, weapons worked in gold and
silver, golden plates and goblets, ropes of pearls in snake-like
coils. There is armor of all description, from the breastplates of
ancient Rome to the winged helmets of Viking marauders. Jack is
puzzled by mysterious Japanese samurai armor and amazed by the heft
and weight of a huge Arabian scimitar.
Search as he will, Jack can find no sign of the armor of Achilles. He
burrows under mounds of gems and opens a sequence of treasure chests,
discovering only more gems and yet again more treasure.
The dragon MOANS unexpectedly in his sleep, causing Jack to make a
The sleeping dragon looms larger than a house. Smoke coils above his
massive head. One scaled forelimb is extended, gleaming talons hooked
like scythe blades. Gripped in the evil claw something extraordinary
glitters. Wrought from pure gold and embossed with ancient and
beautiful designs: it is the breastplate of Achilles.
approaches the sleeping monster, like a mouse creeping up on a snoring
cat. But, the beauty of the golden breastplate calms him. The
legendary armor is so wondrously made that Jack can only gaze upon it
A fiery snort from the dragon brings him back to his senses. There's
work to be done. With all the delicacy he can muster, Jack takes hold
of the breastplate and tries to pry it from the dragon's grip. It's
not easy. The giant serpent is fitful and groans in his sleep,
grasping the armor all the tighter.
Jack tugs at the breastplate with all his might and suddenly, it comes
free, sending Jack tumbling over backwards. The NOISE is deafening,
but it is not the sound that wakes the dragon.
The mighty talons clench, disturbed by the missing armor. A single
green eye, large as a dinner-plate, slides open. The whiskered mouth
widens, belching fire and smoke.
Enraged, the dragon rears up, venting its spleen in a torrent of
unrecognizable words. The mysterious language sounds somehow
Oriental, perhaps Japanese or Chinese.
Jack cowers in terror, trying to dig himself into the heap of jewels
like a mole scratching for cover. The dragon spots him instantly.
Addressing Jack in English, he sounds like a sing-song Confucius, a
Grade-B Fu Manchu.
What you do, boy? You be velly
solly, come here intellupt my sleep.
I didn't know... I --
What? Speakee loud! No hear velly
I said, I mean no harm... I thought
this as empty tomb.
You come stealee tleasoo?
Oh, no, never... nothing like
that... never crossed my mind.
No need lie, boy. I no hurt you.
Do I look like I wanna hurt you?
Well, er... no. I mean, you don't
look like dragons I've heard of.
Course not. I no flum here. I come
Country fa' fa' away. To the East,
beyond the lising sun...
East of Mercia?
You got no idee. People there
lookee diffelent; speakee diffelent.
Nothing the same. In my countlee I
bling good luck. Makee lain and
You don't ravage the countryside,
devouring maidens and burning the
Dlagon not like that. Dlagon is
spilit of life... spilit of stlength
Then you'll understand my quest. An
ogre named Blackheart has killed the
last stag unicorn and stolen his
horn. The world outside is cursed,
plunged into eternal winter. Unless
I return the alicorn, the earth will
be frozen forever.
Flozen foleva not good.
An' how you do it? How you rift
I need your help. In order to fight
Blackheart, I must wear the armor of
Achilles. I --
You come stealee tleasoo?
Oh no... Don't you understand?
The dragon roars and swells. Flames issue from his gaping mouth and
an iridescent light shimmers along his scales as his form suddenly
alters and shifts, transforming from the benevolent Eastern dragon to
the more familiar winged monster of Western folklore. When he speaks
now, all trace of accent is gone.
Stupid, puny mortal! Do you think I
suffer pilfering gladly?
The dragon belches a sheet of flame straight at Jack, who rolls aside
just in time, but not quickly enough to keep his clothing from being
No, wait... please... listen...
No more listening! Your time is at
an end, insignificant whelp!
The dragon slashes at Jack with his fearsome claws, batting away the
breastplate held before him as protection. Jack jumps back, hurling a
helmet at the dragon. It bounces harmlessly off the gleaming scales.
Pray to whatever worthless god you
revere! You're no more than meat to
Jack scrambles frantically through the piles of loot, ducking behind
chests of gold as the dragon stalks him in the shadows. In his
frenzied flight, his groping hand chances upon an ivory bow and a
quiver of silver arrows. The dragon rears up on his hind-quarters,
lashing his terrible tail, towering above Jack.
Quickly, the Green Man notches an arrow and lets it fly at the
dragon's throat. It bounces harmlessly off the glistening scales.
Jack fires a second, and a third. Both arrows are easily deflected and
fall clattering back into the treasure.
Are those gnats come to trouble me?
Methinks this pesky gadfly needs
The dragon leaps for Jack like a tiger pouncing on his prey, but
somehow the nimble boy eludes his pursuer, diving headlong under a
golden chariot. Furious, the dragon crashes about, flipping over
anything in his path as he searches for Jack.
THE ROPE FROM ABOVE
Honeythorn Gump hangs from the dangling rope like a monkey, observing
the mayhem below. Oona hovers at his side, her transparent dragonfly
Mind them claws, Jack. Stay out of
Oh dear... oh dear...
From above, the dragon's search for Jack resembles a raccoon flipping
over rocks in a streambed hunt for crayfish. A large pile of silver
and gold shields is stacked like roof-tiles and the dragon tosses them
aside looking for Jack.
Keep one jump ahead, lad. Don't
waste time looking back.
JACK AND THE DRAGON
The dragon wrenches away a suit of jeweled armor and discovers Jack
cowering underneath. A lungfull of fire sets Jack's clothing aflame
as he scurries out of the way. There is no other place to hide. Jack
is trapped, his back up against a massive shield. Enraged, the dragon
rears above him, poised for the kill.
The dark shadow of doom falls across Jack as he cowers helplessly.
Running with the rope, Gump pendulums into the air, swinging back and
forth across the interior of the mound. Snatching up a jeweled war
-club, he swings past the dragon's head, belaboring him with the mace
as he passes.
Filthy worm! Have a taste o' that!
Furious and distracted, the raging dragon turns his attentions to this
new annoyance, swatting out with his talons as Gump swings by him.
Oona buzzes round and round his smoking, fearsome head, staying just
out of reach as the dragon slashes at her.
Leg it, Jack! Move lad, while
As his companions occupy the dragon's attention, Jack crawls away on
his hands and knees, searching for a new hiding place. Sticking
straight out of the heaped treasure before him, a splendid sword-hilt
catches his eye. It seems to glow with some inner force. The golden
Jack grasps the sword with both hands, rising to his feet as he draws
it from the pile of jewels. The blade is near long as he is, awesome
and shining with its own special light. Jack holds it in front of him
like a crucifier in a religious procession. The light from the blade
shines on his face, imbuing his spirit with courage and resolution.
Gump and Oona continue to annoy the dragon, swinging around his head
and taunting him with the insignificant blows. The dragon lashes out
at them, ignoring Jack.
Jack swings the mighty, shining sword back over his shoulder and
rushes forward, a fierce WAR-CRY issuing from his snarling mouth.
With one mighty swing, like a woodsman chopping an oak, he strikes at
the dragon's hind leg, severing it at the joint.
The dragon's WAIL of pain is abrupt and piercing. Blood fountains
from the amputated limb as the giant serpent sways for balance.
The dragon falls forward, toppling like a felled tree directly toward
Jack. The Green Man stands his ground, holding his gleaming sword
above his head with both hands. The dragon impales himself on the tip,
driving the keen blade deep into his breast as he crashes to the
ground. The sword is wrenched from Jack's hand and he jumps clear, the
dragon writhing on his back in his death throes.
The mighty tail continues to lash about, wreaking havoc among the
treasure. Jack nimbly avoids the random slashing and leaps up onto
the dragon's scaled stomach. With a mighty tug, he draws his sword
from the beast's chest. A geyser of steaming blood follows the blade.
The talons on the dragon's forelegs grasp and clench spasmodically but
Jack ducks between them, avoiding the terrible claws. With a single
backhand swing, he lops the dragon's snarling head from his neck.
Copious quantities of boiling blood flush across the spread jewels.
Jack lifts his sword above his head and lets out an exultant victory
CRY. Above him, Gump and Oona CHEER, shouting "Bravo" and "hooray!"
The dragon's head lies in a pool of blood, the forked tongue still
probing the air. The great green eye slides
EXT. FROZEN FOREST (C.U. RABBIT)
A young hare sits timidly in the sear grass, ears twitching, his large
frightened eyes blink.
Several yards from the crouching rabbit, the Princess Lili stalks
through the tall grass. We do not SEE her face, but her embroidered
gown hangs in tattered rags about her. She moves with great stealth,
like an animal, drawing ever-closer to the rabbit. Her limbs are
completely covered by a shaggy fleece of dark hair.
The rabbit is very close now. Lili's movements are like a cat's as
she creeps closer and closer. All at once, in a sudden, wild
movement, the girl leaps from the concealing grass and pounces on the
unsuspecting hare, killing it in an instant.
We SEE the Princess's face for the first time now as she tears at the
dead rabbit with her teeth. Fangs actually, for Lili's features are
now far more animal than human. Her eyes gleam ferociously and blood
smears her whiskered mouth as she eagerly devours her kill.
to SEE Lili's hunkering form, totally bestial in its spread-leg
attitude. The tattered dress seems merely a ludicrous refinement on
so savage a creature. Her nails have lengthened into claws and she
makes small animal noises as she tears at the rabbit's flesh.
The SHADOW of a mounted rider falls across her form and she looks up,
cat eyes widening in terror at what she sees.
The Black Baron sits on his dark charger, staring down at the cowering
girl. He laughs dryly under his horned wolf mask, the black cloak
whipping about him in the wind. At his side is a deadly rapier
fashioned from the long twisting ivory length of the alicorn.
A child of nature... How delightful.
Terrified, Lili drops what's left of the rabbit and sprints for the
woods. She is very agile, running freely like a feral cat. The Baron
watches for a moment, then digs his spurs into his horse's flank and
is after her.
Lili runs for all she's worth, darting and zig-zagging in a frantic
effort to avoid capture. For all her speed and agility she can't
outrun a horse, and in moments the Baron bears down upon her, reaching
low to catch the back of her
torn dress and swing her up in front of him on the saddle.
BARON AND LILI
Lili claws and scratches, ripping at the Baron as she fights to be
free. Her efforts only elicit laughter from her captor as he easily
pins her struggling arms.
I like your spirit. I like things
wild and free. More of a
challenge... Don't worry, my pet,
I'll soon have you housebroke.
Laughing his evil laugh, the Baron clutches the struggling animal/girl
tightly to his chest and gallops away into the frozen woods.
INT. LINDFARNE MOUND - DAY
All the faeries have gathered for a great feast. The dragon's severed
head is set upright on a pike. Haunches of spitted dragon meat turn
slowly over a bed of coals. Much of the treasure has been gathered
into sacks and stands by the rope like harvest grain awaiting
transport. Several gnomes and elves are busy hoisting the sacks up out
of the mound. Jack and the other faeries sit on the dragon's carcass,
feasting and swilling wine from golden goblets. Jack wears the armor
of Achilles and in it he is transformed from a wild hermit to a
valiant knight. The others wear bits and pieces of bejeweled armor
plucked from the treasure hoard. Gump has on a horned Viking helmet
which fits him badly. Another imp, a monkey-faced elf named
SCREWBALL, wears the helm of a Roman legionnaire. Everyone is
FAERIES (ALL TOGETHER)
The dragon's breath is made of fire,
His heart be black with sin, sin, sin.
But, his meat's as sweet as any desire,
After you've lifted his skin, skin, skin...
The faeries laugh and cavort. Gump waves a sizzling of dragon meat in
There be no finer victuals than worm
Better we eat him than the other way
Keep me belly full, Jack. Kill us
Hush up, Screwball. Do your own
worm-sticking if you like the taste
Nay. Jack's the dragon-slayer, ain't
By the grace of God.
No false modesty, lad. You're a
proper champion. Achilles' armor
sits on you like it was forged to
And the sword... surely that was
They don't come no sharper.
Jack lifts the incredible sword, studying its length before laying it
against the fallen dragon.
I believe this is a sword such as
the archangels wield. Surely St.
Michael had so fine a blade when he
drove the serpent from heaven.
Well then, you've got the sword and
you've got the armor; all's lacking
is the steed.
The fastest in the world.
I know where to find him... He lies
out on the marsh, raven-fodder; his
horn torn from his head.
True, lad, the stallion's gone, but
the mare still lives.
Jack smiles: this is a happy truth.
She be fastest now.
Can you find her, Jack?
I know where to look.
EXT. GLADE IN FOREST - DAY
An isolated glade deep in the frozen forest. Icicles hang like frozen
daggers from the surrounding trees. A light dusting of snow powders
the ground. No birds sing. All is silent and still.
Jack, Gump, Screwball and Oona creep through the ice- coated
underbrush. Screwball is clumsy and crashes over several gelid ferns
which break like shattering crystal.
Screwball! You dolt! I've a mind
to change you into a toad.
He's already half toad, if you ask
This is not the time for squabbling.
The foursome, all clad in armor, continue silently to the edge of the
glade. They conceal themselves behind the trunk of a huge, gnarled
oak. The glade is empty.
What do we do now?
Disgruntled, the faeries settle down to wait. Jack removes his helmet
and rests against the treetrunk. Oona nestles by his side, tittering
softly and tickling his neck. Jack does his best to ignore her. Oona
grows more playful, whispering and giggling at Jack's annoyance.
What is it?
Indeed, an animal can clearly be heard approaching the glade; a crunch
of footfalls on the frozen ground and the icy crack of branches
snapping. Jack and his companions peer around the tree trunk.
A shaft of pale sunlight pierces through the cloud-cover and angles
down into the glade at the moment the mare unicorn steps out of the
underbrush. The light glows on her milk-white hide and her rounded,
swollen flanks. Slowly, with modesty and a certain dignified stride,
the mare moves to the center of the glade and settles herself down,
drawing her legs beneath her.
What's she doing?
I think she's about to foal.
JACK AND THE FAERIES
as they stare in awe at the resting unicorn. Even the demented
Screwball has a silly smile on his face.
Pregnant, is she?
It would appear so.
They are suddenly interrupted by the LOUD HOWLING of wolves. The
plaintive WAIL stabs through the cold air like a cry from Hell.
They want the mare.
Jack draws his gleaming sword.
The wolves' HOWLING grows LOUDER.
Evil brutes. Shant work their
Sword in hand, Jack steps out into the clearing. The mare unicorn is
startled by his sudden appearance but makes no effort to rise.
It's all right, girl. I won't hurt
The unicorn is soothed by Jack's words and seems to recognize him.
Jack places the tip of his sword on the ground and stands waiting,
hands folded on the pommel, patient as a statue. Ghostlike in their
silent stealth, the wolves materialize along the edge of the glade.
Large and gray, their amber eyes glowing, the wolves begin to circle,
moving closer to their prey. Jack readies himself, holding his sword
in both hands.
With his tail curled high, the leader of the pack snarls and rushes
for the mare. Jack cuts him off, sending him flying with a swift
The leader's charge provokes an all-out attack. The wolves close in
HOWLING from all sides. Jack wields his great sword like a berserk,
chopping and slashing, driving the furious wolves away from the mare.
Busy fighting three of the brutes, he doesn't notice the wounded
leader creeping behind him.
The leader springs, jumping on Jack's back, tearing at his neck with
SCREWBALL IN TREETOP
Screwball has climbed one of the surrounding trees, bringing his bow
and arrows with him. He SEES the wolf attacking Jack.
Screwball draws his bow, aims quickly, and shoots.
is powerless against the huge wolf mauling him from behind. Only the
golden armor he wears protects him from the terrible claws.
Screwball's arrow finds its mark, straight between the animal's
shoulder blades. The wolf cries out once and drops lifeless from
Jack waves gratefully at the faerie.
I'm in your debt, Screwball.
Watch behind or I'll never collect
Jack spins about in time to see the leader's mate charge savagely.
The wolf leaps, a high, acrobatic arc whose trajectory moves from a
blur of gray fur to the precise delineation of cold yellow eyes,
lolling tongue and wicked, gleaming fangs.
Jack lifts his sword as the wolf lands on his shoulders and chest.
Falling backwards, Jack thrusts up and the tip on his blade impales
the wolf as they drop to the ground.
Tossing the squirming animal as a farmer would a fork-load of hay,
Jack flips the wolf over his head. Scrambling to his knees, he
delivers the death-stroke with swift efficiency.
Standing over the dead wolves, sword in hand, his breastplate drenched
in their blood, Jack is terrible to behold. The others in the pack
sense they have been beaten and slink whimpering back into the woods,
tails abjectly hooked between their legs.
Gump, Screwball and Oona dart from their hiding places. They jump and
leap about Jack, chattering happily.
Well done, lad. Stout heart.
Wolf-slayer, worm-sticker... give a
cheer for the champion!
Were I a mortal girl, Jack, methinks
I'd be in love with you.
Then I'd kiss you without turning my
garments inside-out and sewing bells
No need for bells, Jack. I'll nay
Oona stops her teasing and points to the unicorn, a look of utter
wonder replacing the mischief on her face.
THE UNICORN - OONA'S POV
A baby unicorn has been born; coal black with the first stump of a
horn showing on his forehead. The foal lies beside his mother, who
licks the blood from his shining, moist coat.
Isn't he beautiful.
FAERIES AND UNICORN
Jack and the faeries move closer to the unicorn. There is something
holy about the scene, like an Adoration.
A wee stallion.
Jack drops to his knees before the mare.
Praise be to God.
Small miracles better than no
Such a sad world, be there no
unicorns to brighten it.
No fear of that now.
Aye. This wee stud'll beget a line
The faeries kneel with Jack before the unicorn and her foal. The mare
regards them without fear, recognizing friends. Stretching out her
neck to Jack, she allows him to pet her and scratch behind her ears.
You're shy and pretty, little
mother... You deserve a pretty
name... I'll call you Sapphire, for
your eyes shine so...
EXT. FAERIES' CAMP - DAY
The SOUND of swords clashing and the SHOUTING of tiny voices CARRIES
OVER to the faeries' make-shift military camp. Colorful tents stand
under frozen trees, pennants snapping in the icy wind. A small army
of elves, imps, goblins, gnomes and faeries has gathered, all decked
out in various odd bits of armor recovered from the dragon's lair.
Groups of these tiny folk are engaged in martial training, practicing
with swords, lances and bows.
As we MOVE through the camp amid this mock mayhem, certain isolated
incidents attract our attention:
Two goblins duel furiously, sweating and panting under the weight of
their ill-matched armor. They are clearly exhausted. As the other
elves continue slashing at one another, these two take time out; one
leaning against a tree trunk while the other folds his arms in repose.
But, their swords CONTINUE to duel, alone in mid-air, the blades
crashing together MAGICALLY like iron birds.
Another group practices archery, aiming their tiny arrows at a straw
scarecrow some distance away. They are extremely accurate, puncturing
the dummy in a dozen vital spots. When the last arrow strikes,
instead of retrieving them, the faeries stand their ground. One-by
-one, the arrows PULL FREE from the scarecrow and FLY back unaided
through the air to land safely in their owner's quivers.
Two huge knights, each over seven feet, slug it out in full armor with
battle axes. They bash away at one- another, until a fearsome blow
literally cuts one in half. The upper portion of the bisected knight
topples to the ground with a LOUD CLANG. The two armored legs remain
erect, swaying slightly like trees in the wind. Suddenly, a tiny head
appears above the left cuisse. It is an elf. He is LAUGHING. Another
elf pops his head out of the right-hand cuisse and the two "legs" hop
off in opposite directions.
The fallen armor also comes apart: one gnome in the breastplate;
another lifting the helm from the gorget.
The victorious "knight" likewise begins to disassemble, revealing a
number of LAUGHING elves within, like clowns performing a carnival
EXT. HILL ABOVE CAMP - DAY
Jack surveys his elfin army from the crest of the hill. He is mounted
bareback on Sapphire, the mare unicorn, and rides easily without reins
or bridle. The tiny black foal trots alongside his mother, and beside
it pants an angry Gump.
Don't see why I can't ride, too!
I'm second in command, damn it!
The colt's still too small.
I'm small... and I can make myself
smaller still... Small as a bee!
Small as dust...! Want to see me do
We've no time for tricks this day,
Tricks, is it? Why I'll trick ye!
Ungrateful whelp! I'll sour your
milk and bird droppings'll fall from
the sky wherever ye walk.
Save your mischief for the Black
Aye! That too.
You'll need more than bird droppings
I'll drop a cow on the knave!
Drop a mountain on him and we won't
need our troops.
They laugh together, feeling confident.
We march on Castle Couer de Noir
within the hour.
How do you plan on finding this here
castle, if ye don't mind me asking?
A true and troubling question,
Gump... We'll start from where the
unicorn was killed. The Baron must
have left a trail.
Track the demon to his lair.
Aye. And hang his foul hide up like
dirty laundry for the drying.
EXT. THE FROZEN WOODS - DAY
The rag-tag army of faeries on the march. Jack rides at the head of
the column on Sapphire. Gump has had his way and is mounted on the
colt, who trots obediently by his mother's side. The other elves and
faeries are either on foot or mounted on an odd array of wild animals.
Deer, foxes, rabbits, each serves as a steed for a tiny warrior.
Bright banners undulate from numbers of lance tips. A variety of
armor glistens in the pale wintry sun.
Overhead, Oona and several other small nymphs ride on flying
As they march and ride, all the faerie folk are singing, their voices
high and clear, shimmering like wind over a moonlit lake; precise as
birdsong; haunting as an echo.
FAERIE TROOP (ALL TOGETHER)
The sky is high, the world is wide,
Beneath the flowers faeries hide.
The ocean's deep, the moon's asleep;
In Oberon's care our souls will keep.
The stars are cold, the Gods are old,
Our heroes all be brave and bold.
The Devil's sly, the end is nigh,
Wicked ogres too must die.
EXT. ESTUARY - DAY
The SINGING CARRIES OVER as the faeries move out of the woods onto the
frozen estuary. Jack urges the mare unicorn ahead of the procession.
FAERIE TROOP (ALL TOGETHER)
The trees are green; spirits unseen,
The world we know is but a dream...
THE DEAD UNICORN
Jack rides Sapphire near where the body of her mate lies decomposing.
As before, a black raven perches on the stallion's skull. The bird
emits a vile CROAK as Jack approaches.
Alarmed by the raven and the sight of her dead mate, the unicorn rears
on her hind legs. Jack clings to the animal's mane. The raven
The large bird spreads his wings, RASPING and CROAKING at the rearing
unicorn and rider. For a single, horrifying moment, the raven appears
to alter and change, transmuting into a HARPY. In place of the bird's
head and bill is a visage resembling both skull and snake. Talons
appear to be gnarled feet and a pair of distinctly human breasts
sprout from between the sooty feathers.
The harpy takes wing, CROAKING.
struggles to control the frantic unicorn. Gump and the other faeries
ride up as Jack quiets the animal.
Jack points at the raven flying high over the treetops.
We must follow that bird.
Jenny Greenteeth said: "Follow the
raven in her flight..."
Aye. Said to follow it to the edge
of night. But is this the right
I'm sure. It spoke to me.
Birds speak to me all the time.
What did it say?
Sounds like the bird we want.
(calling to troops)
All right lads, follow yon raven!
The troop of faeries shout and laugh, eagerly pursing the raven.
EXT. EDGE OF THE FOREST - DAY
The faerie troop rides to the edge of the wintry forest. Their spirits
are still high, but something about the mood of the place takes hold.
The singing stops. Bright laughter fades.
Screwball, a WORRIED ELF and a NERVOUS GOBLIN ride side- by-side into
the frightening forest. They make an odd trio, mounted as they are
upon a fox, a hare and a badger. Arthritic tree branches twist
grotesquely above them in the gloom.
Something I don't like about this
Me too. No babies to pinch.
Haven't pinched a baby in so long,
probably lost my touch.
Everything's a joke, Screwball?
Laugh your life away.
Laugh's better'n stubbing your toe.
Go on. Joke it up while evil magic
weaves a spell about you.
What's the matter? Fraid of the
big, dark woods?
The elf points to a gnarled tree trunk. At a second glance, it
appears to be the body of a man, twisted in petrified pain, his mouth
open and howling a silent scream.
The three riders draw up short, staring in amazement at the curious
shapes of the trees surrounding them.
Over there! Another!
This is sorcerer's work!
All the trees bear an uncanny resemblance to human figures contorted
by severe pain. These are not the curious deformities of nature but
actual, living beings transformed into trees.
Terrified, Screwball gallops his fox frantically back to the rear of
Help! Jack! Gump! Preserve poor
The other two faeries are quick to follow.
REAR OF COLUMN
Jack and Gump ride at the rear of the column, threading single-file
along the narrow trail through the dark, forbidding woods.
How do we follow a raven we can't
Send Oona up above the tree tops.
She be our eyes.
Good plan that.
All at once. Screwball and his two frightened companions come
charging down the trail, causing the other faeries to scramble out of
their way. This precipitates a certain grumbling: "Watch out! Be
careful! Mind where you're going, etc."
Master Jack! Master Jack! These
woods are alive! They're alive!
Of course they're alive. All nature
Barely living, from the looks of it.
No, no, no... this is different!
This is evil! Black magic!
Come on, Gump, let's have a look at
Jack nudges the mare unicorn and she sprints ahead in a gallop. Gump
is right behind, trotting on the colt. The other three follow, less
enthusiastically, on their animal mounts.
Once again, the other faeries have to make way on the trail. This
time there is fist shaking and outright epithets as they charge
Swine...! Toad eaters...!
Maggots...! Vermin...! etc. etc...
EXT. DEFORMED TREES - DAY
Jack pulls the mare to a stop in the grove of malformed trees. He
jumps to the ground and has a closer look at these curiosities. Gump
and the others ride up behind.
You see! You see!
These chaps'll need a woodpecker to
pick their teeth.
Jack pauses before a familiar tree, studying the grieved features
molded into the bark.
Why, this is King Godwin, Princess
Lili's father. King Godwin and all
his mounting party... even the
hounds. See the lymers and alaunts!
Jack points to several tree stumps shaped like frantic hounds.
Never cared much for dogs. Always
chasing the wee folk, they are...
Think I'll lift my leg on one; see
how he likes the tables turned.
Screwball saunters over to a dog-shaped root, untying his cod-piece as
Jack draws his gleaming sword.
This is ogre's magic.
Aye. He's enchanted the lot of
them. His reward for delivering the
Foul fellow, this Couer de Noir.
The foulest. Mayhap I can cut them
Gump's warning comes too late. Jack swings his mighty sword, driving
the blade deep into a tree trunk resembling one of the hunters. The
air is rent by a piercing SCREAM. Bright red blood gushes from where
the sword cut the bark, flowing in a crimson stream down the trunk.
Dear God, forgive me.
The sight of the rushing blood unnerves even the boldest faerie.
Screwball fumbles with his cod-piece, full of embarrassment and fear.
Oh dear... oh dear... I hope dogs
have shorter memories than trees.
Jack scrambles on the ground, grabbing up handfuls of moss and mud.
Hurry! Gump, lend a hand.
Gump rushes to assist him and they press gobs of moss into the flowing
wound. At first it is like attempting to stem the flood of a leaking
dam, the blood continues to ooze through their fingers and pour down
the tree. The contorted expression of the hunter imprisoned within
the bark looks evermore tormented.
Worse than the battlefield.
What know you of fields of war?
Ofttimes, the wee folk come out to
tend the wounded... staunch bleeding
with cobwebs... give a parched mouth
a sip of dew... cool a fevered
The applications of mud and moss begin to work. The bleeding from the
There... it seems to quit... I'll
wager that war held other
attractions quite apart from
Well... if the knight be already
dead; what harm is there in...
borrowing a thing or two?
Stealing his arms?
What can you steal from a man
already lost his life?
His honor, I suppose... seeing he no
longer can defend it.
Jack is disgusted with the faeries. He picks up his sword and stalks
away, leaving Gump and Screwball perplexed by his piety.
EXT. SKY - EVENING
The feeble sun is setting, like the pale-yellow yolk of a diseased
egg. A small, swift bird, perhaps a swallow, clips along erratically
through the cloudless, pearl-gray sky.
Oona clings to the back of the darting bird. Her own gossamer wings,
still and half-folded now, resemble those of an exotic butterfly. She
rides the bird as one would a flying horse, hanging on to the neck
feathers and shading her eyes with her free hand as she strains to
observe something moving in the distance.
She is watching the raven, which no longer resembles a harpy, but is
now simply a large, black bird. It flies with determined wing-beats,
straight for a sharply pointed stone pinnacle rising above the
treetops. The raven circles this monument once, then lands on the
uppermost crag, folding his wings for the night.
OONA AND THE BIRD
Holding tight with both hands, Oona urges the bird into a sharp dive.
It swoops like a falling arrow straight into the tangle of tree
EXT. FOREST TRAIL - EVENING
Jack rides silently at the head of the procession. He seems locked
deep within himself. Gump and Screwball trot alongside, obviously
uncomfortable with Jack's somber brooding. Neither of the faeries has
the heart to break the oppressive silence.
All at once, the bird darts down out of the trees above, circles
twittering, and glides in for a perfect landing on Jack's shoulder.
Oona dismounts; rather, she herself flutters delicately into the air
and flies over to Jack's other shoulder. She caresses his cheek and
whispers softly into his ear.
What's she say...? What's she say?
Oona makes a disagreeable face at Gump. Jack reaches up and she hops
into his hand with a smile.
Oona tells me the raven has roosted
for the night on a sharp stone spire
some half a mile distance.
That would be Devil's Needle. Last
landmark I know in these woods.
Ogg lives there...! And Thurgis!
Screwball! Be quiet...! We have
friends live 'neath the Needle.
They'll no doubt provide safe refuge
for the night.
Beyond Devil's Needle, all is
EXT. CAVE MOUTH AT BASE OF NEEDLE - EVENING
The Needle towers up above the trees straight and smooth, a curiosity
of nature resembling a man-made structure. At the base of the rock is
the opening to a cave. With its yawning shape and sharp overhanging
row of teeth-like stalactites, it has the appearance of a gigantic,
The faerie troop rides up and dismounts. A number of human skulls
litter the ground, grinning through the curved spokes of several
Twould appear other travelers
Nay, Jack, tis not what you're
I trust our own welcome will be more
Jack, Jack, it's dwarves live here.
Hard-working chaps. Hammering in
the forge all the live-long day.
Make the most wondrous things, they
Jack stoops, picking a skull off the ground.
And this? Some of their handiwork?
Nay. That's but to distract the
casual visitor. A dwarf is too busy
to suffer fools gladly.
Better to kill than be disturbed.
Your imagination runs away with you,
Jack... Those bones be but
battlefield gleanings, like I
mentioned. A wee bit of carrion to
frighten off the uninvited.
Here is a bold champion's reward; to
serve as a dwarf's doorstop.
Jack tosses the skull back to the ground, his face flushed with anger.
What care the bones when the soul is
Bah! You faeries have the morals of
You do the ferrets grave injustice,
(staring into the
But come... best settled 'fore dark.
This is inhospitable country at
night. All manner of spriggen and
banshee and bogies walk these woods
Gump leads the way into the cave. Jack and the others follow.
INT. CAVE - EVENING
Stalactites twist down like fangs from above as Gump leads the way
through the underground labyrinth. Screwball walks at his side, a
flaming candle-stub stuck to the top of his outlandish Roman helmet.
Jack is right behind and the other faeries are strung out in the rear,
some carrying torches, some candle-lanterns, others merely lighting
the way with their own mysterious foxfire glow.
Turning a final corner, the procession comes to a huge golden gong
hanging on the cave wall, a wooden mallet beside it.
We wait here. Those that come this
far be considered guests. The
others... well, many false twists
and turns lure them astray.
Gump delivers the gong a smart mallet blow. A surprisingly musical
note echoes and re-echoes down maze-like passages.
Nice piece of work.
Pure gold it is... plays a different
note every time.
Gump strikes the gong again. The pure, musical sound is indeed
different as it reverberates among the stalactites.
Gump strikes it a third time. Another note, even more beautiful,
echoes with the sound, forming a melodic chord within the cave.
From around the bend a dwarf suddenly appears. This is OGG. He is
short, muscular fellow with a gray, waist- length beard covering his
naked chest. His leather blacksmith's apron reaches all the way to
the ground, concealing his feet.
Enough... enough... Do you mean to
deafen us with your infernal
Gump steps forward and takes the dwarf fondly by the hand.
Friend Ogg. Excuse our enthusiasm,
occasioned as it was by a fondness
Honeythorn Gump, is it? I've not
seen your ugly face since you sold
me a jug of cow piss claiming it was
Well, bygones're bygones, I always
Or was it the time you and Jimmy
Squarefoot stole the golden apples
Twas Jimmy done that, I merely stood
for the blame unfairly... but, here
now, Ogg, this be no time to rehash
old differences, I've friends along
in need of safe haven for the night.
Who might these friends be?
Screwball you know, and many other
of the wee folk. We serve as escort
for our grand champion, Jack o' the
Gump nods at Jack who bows politely.
Honored to make your acquaintance.
Grand champion, is it? And what
great cause leads you to me?
We seek the ogre, Baron Couer de
Noir. He slew a unicorn and plunged
the world into eternal winter.
Thought the weather terrible of
We seek to undo the curse.
Gonna make ogre-stew!
Any enemy of Blackheart's a friend
of mine... Come on then, there's a
bit of soup left and clean straw to
Ogg vanishes, abruptly as he came. Gump motions for the others to
follow, leading them around the corner.
INT. FURTHER ALONG THE CAVE - NIGHT
Ogg is far in the distance. Although his looks are deceptive, he is
very agile and makes much better time underground than the other
Suddenly, Jack stops short. He grabs Gump's arm and points to the
sandy cave floor.
My God! Look!
Something the matter?
Etched cleanly in the sand are Ogg's peculiar footprints, leading
forward into the depths of the cave. They are quite obviously the
three-pronged prints of a large bird, such as a goose.
Shhh! Not so loud, mayhap he'll
JACK AND GUMP
Dwarves be very sensitive about
Very secretive, they are. Keep
their feet covered up. Best if you
don't mention it.
Far down the passage, Ogg waves his arm impatiently.
Step lively now!
His feet shall never cross my lips.
I should hope not!
Gump, you're putting words in my
The two hurry along the passageway to catch up with Ogg and the
Words be a far sight better than a
INT. DWARVES WORKSHOP - NIGHT
An underground Medieval factory. A row of glowing open hearth furnaces
cast a vivid molten light across a dozen forges. Everywhere, dwarves
are at work, hammering on anvils, heating metal with tongs, pumping
bellows and trip-hammers; all wearing beards and floor-length leather
aprons. The ROAR and CLANG of industry fills the air.
The faerie troops recline in shadowy niches along the back wall,
eating and getting ready for sleep. Candles flicker, contrasting with
the occasional will-o-the-wisp dazzle of faerie light.
Ogg guides Jack and Gump on a tour of the workshop, past bellows and
furnaces without a word. Jack has a bowl of gruel and a wooden spoon.
He eats with relish. Gump slurps at a dripping honeycomb.
INT. THURGIS' FORGE - NIGHT
Ogg leads Jack and Gump to a forge set somewhat apart from the others.
THURGIS is a hunch-backed dwarf busy shaping a white-hot sword blade
on his anvil. A barely perceptible nod is his only greeting to the
Rows of impeccably finished weapons, spears, swords and axes, stand
stacked along the wall. Hanging above are magnificent golden shields
and helmets. Jack puts down his bowl and examines the weapons as
Thurgis plunges his glowing blade into a vat of blood. The HISS of
steam is like a cry of pain.
Can't beat dragon's blood for curing
a blade... Cousin Thurgis be co-
Thurgis studies the newly-tempered sword-blade, then arches an eyebrow
as he regards Jack inspecting the finished goods.
Each fit for a hero... My uncle
fashioned a hammer for Thor. Twas
he named it Mjolnir. Grandfather
forged Excalibur... You won't ever
see finer craftsmanship.
Oh, but I have.
Smiling, Jack draws his sword and hands it, pommel first, to Thurgis.
The dwarf examines the weapon, admiring the keen edge.
How came you by this blade?
I slew the Lindfarne Worm with it.
Jack's a grand champion.
He wields a champion's sword, true.
I know the work... fine work...
Stagnar's work. This is the sword
called "The Avatar."
Thurgis hands Jack back the sword. He regards it with wonder.
The Avatar. I like the sound of it.
Sigurd the Volsung slew Fafnir with
that blade... See the line where
Regin welded the break?
Jack runs his thumb over the weld.
Another hero's hand-me-down...
Thurgis, note the armor; tis Greek
Thurgis runs his hands over the decorative bas-relief hammered into
Uhm... fine work.
Achilles wore it before the gates of
You're well equipped, I'd say.
Takes more than a good sword to make
Jack slides the sword back in its scabbard.
I pray always to be worthy of it.
Stoutly spoke, lad. These dwarves
be sore grouches... Pay no heed to
their spiteful grumbling.
Gump grabs Jack by the arm and leads him away from the forge.
I do thank you for your hospitality.
The dwarves make no reply, but stand solemnly watching as Gump and
Jack leave the workshop.
INT. JACK'S SLEEPING NICHE - NIGHT
Jack sits on the straw-pile unbuckling his breastplate. Gump helps him
to remove his greaves. The fabled sword leans an arm-length away.
Don't let this talk of heroes upset
you, Jack. Sigurd's sword is no
great thing. The Volsung killed
Fafnir. You killed Lindfarne.
That's one worm apiece... I'd say
you and Sigurd were neck-and-neck.
We're not in a tournament, Gump.
(lying back in the
Ah, but a sword twice tempered in
the blood of living dragons...
Tis not the sword that counts, but
the man what swings it.
(Gump rises to leave)
Rest easy, Jack.
God protect you, Honeythorn Gump.
Your strong right arm's all the
protection I'll need this night.
Gump wonders off. Jack arranges his bedding so it suits him. He
places his sword close by the pillow and turns to blow out the candle.
He is distracted by the glow of faerie light and a musical presence.
This is Oona.
Do you always sleep with your sword,
Oona kneels beside his bedside.
Never even had a sword in my hand
Then, tis not for chastity?
Methought you kept a naked blade
twixt you and any maiden chanced
spend the night.
I live in an abandoned fox den neath
the roots of a thousand-year-old
oak. My bed is pine boughs and
rabbit skins. There's no need of
weaponry to keep the maids away.
I'm partial to oaks, as are all
faerie folk. Mayn't I come visit
I'd be honored.
And charmed, of course.
Fie! Don't speak of charms. I
should charm you for being so dull-
I had no thought of offending you,
Do I not please you, Jack?
In every way.
And am I not fair?
Then why do you speak sweeter words
to Jenny Greenteeth?
That was in jest.
Jest with me then.
Tell me I'm fair, as you did the
You are fair as the first new flower
Sweeter than bee pollen on a summer
Pray you be sweet as your words,
Oona moves close to Jack, kissing his lips as a soft cocoon of faerie
light engulfs them. Nearly enchanted, Jack pushes away.
Nay, Oona, tis not possible.
A faerie's love makes anything
I'm promised to another!
What shape I take matters not. Long
you for another? I'll give you your
The faerie light burns brightly around Oona, surrounding her like a
chrysalis as she alters and shifts, transforming into a grown woman.
When she steps forward, parting the curtain of light like a niade
stepping through a waterfall, it is the Princess Lili who appears.
Come then, Green Jack, you've
promises to keep...
Oona/Lili moves closer to Jack, running her hand behind his neck,
No... this isn't real...
Oh, but it is... I'm warm and alive
and happy to be in your arms.
Furiously, Jack thrusts her aside.
I'll not be enchanted! This is foul
magic...! What an abhorrent
creature would I be to dally with
faeries guised as my beloved when
the Princess herself has suffered
God knows what fate.
(harsh and spiteful)
I wish I could show you that fate...
Your precious princess! I wish you
could see her now!
INT. BARON'S CASTLE - NIGHT (C.U. LILI)
Lili has completely transformed into a savage beast. Fur covers her
face, her ears are pointed. Sharp fangs punctuate her lips. Only her
eyes still seem human and afraid.
Please... kill me if you must... It
would be a gift.
PULL BACK to show the dark room, windows shrouded by heavy black
drapes. Thousands of candles drip and sputter, casting a flickering
light across the clammy stone walls. The Baron stands before the
cowering Lili, wearing his mask and wrapped in his cloak. In his
gloved right hand he holds a whip.
My generosity is not so large as
What do you want with me?
Your words sting more sharply than
I speak of love, and you think only
of the lash.
You are cruel! Your heartless
jesting worse than torture! How can
you speak of love when you see what
I like well what I see. It pleases
But I'm hideous!
On the contrary! The puling, pallid
creature you were before was truly
something disgusting. Now you are
splendid... a fierce goddess... the
embodiment of all that is strong and
You lie! You wish to humiliate me,
as if the form I'm forced to bear
were not punishment enough!
You should glory in your animal
nature. It is your triumph! None
know that better than I!
The Baron rips off his mask. Beneath is a savage face, half-wolf,
half-goat, with a pair of curling horns poised above. Lili SCREAMS.
God protect me.
Not from me, surely...
You... you're a beast!
We're all of us beasts, my dear.
Only most are afraid to show it.
And you... are you not also afraid?
I am afraid of nothing.
Then why hide behind a mask? You
I know no more of shame than I do of
fear. I wear this mask not for
concealment but protection.
I am a creature of darkness. I
require the shadow's solace and the
black of night... Sunlight is
abhorrent to me... I cover myself
completely whenever I venture forth
in daylight... Sunshine is my
Like some vile toadstool.
I prefer to think, more like the
Do you feed on mice and rats?
I prefer a plump capon, but will
happily serve you rats if they're to
Why have you brought me here?
To be my bride, of course.
I'd soon die.
The Baron uncoils his sinister whip.
That is your choice, my dear. A
wedding will be far more swift, I
The Baron strikes out at Lili with his whip. It cracks in the air
close by her and she leaps back.
We're both of us damned, my
Lili rushes to the window and pulls apart the heavy black drapes. A
shaft of sunlight knifes across the shadowy room and strikes the Baron
like a bolt from Heaven. He reels from the force, grimacing in pain.
There is a note of triumph is Lili's shrill laughter.
The Baron cringes in the light. He lifts his thick cloak to shield
himself and quickly pulls on his mask. This done, he retrieves his
whip and advances on the cowering princess.
Bold and plucky. I admire your
spirit, Princess, almost as much as
I lust for your savage, feline
Princess Lili jumps up onto the window ledge, glancing down at the
rocks far below.
I'm not afraid to jump. I'd prefer
that to being with you!
The Baron makes no reply, but strikes unexpectedly with his whip. The
lash coils around Lili's neck and pulls her off balance, yanking her
back into the room. She falls on her knees at the Baron's feet.
When the time's come, you won't need
to jump, I'll throw you out myself!
Do it now!
No. Now is the time for discipline.
Some lessons in obedience for the
The Baron slashes Lili cruelly with the whip. She CRIES OUT in pain.
Not as sweet as my caress.
The Baron strikes her again.
Jack... Oh, Jack... Help me...
Too bad your precious Jack can't
hear you... the damsel in
distress... A rescue attempt would
be most amusing... We could flay
sweet Jack alive as an after-dinner
The Baron punctuates each bitter phrase with a stroke of the lash.
Lili lies bleeding on the floor, WEEPING helplessly.
INT. JACK'S SLEEPING NICHE - NIGHT
The SOUND of Lili's weeping CARRIES OVER as we SEE Oona, huddled in
the corner of Jack's niche, crying softly to herself. She has resumed
her faerie shape and the light which emanates from her fragile wings
and body is of a tender, delicate hue. Jack kneels solicitously
Oona... don't cry... please, you
You... you... you mortal you!
Why should I feel such pain? Should
be the other way round... I could
vex you... make you dance your life
Threats won't make me love you. Tis
not the way of the human heart.
Oona rises in a rage.
What care I for the human heart!
Such a soft, spiritless thing it is.
I prefer the hearts of hawks and
wolves; fierce and free and keen as
And as barren of love as stone.
I would build a wall around me with
such stone, so the likes of you
might never enter.
Be fair, Oona.
You beware, Jack! You and your
There is a bright whirlwind of faerie light, and in a brilliant,
pyrotechnic moment, Oona is gone.
Oona...? Oona, are you still here?
Jack arranges his cloak as a bed-cover and settles down for the night,
drawing his sword and resting it beside him.
Hard enough to fathom a women's
mind, what chance has one with a
Jack blows out his candle. Blackness.
INT. CAVE MOUTH - DAY
It is the next morning. The faerie army is preparing for the march,
donning armor and putting a keen edge on this weapons. Jack is
mounted on Sapphire, resplendent in Achilles' armor. Gump brushes the
coat of the foal. Ogg, Thurgis and several other dwarves have
assembled to see them off.
Make haste! We've a hard day's
Be gentle with them, Jack. They
only march to please you. Were this
a faerie journey, we'd ride the wind
on thistledown and ragwort stems.
Thurgis and Ogg approach. Thurgis carries a large, round golden
shield. Ogg has something concealed behind his back.
(clearing his throat)
Ahem...! I'm naught for fancy
words, work as I do with my hands.
The world needs champions and I
Thurgis hands the gleaming shield up to Jack.
I wrought this shield for noble
Tristan ere fate o'ertook him... No
blade nor axe can dent it. I
believe it will serve you well.
Jack straps the shield over his back.
I pray always to be worthy of it and
thank you well, Thurgis.
Ogg steps forward and hands two glittering objects to Gump.
Baron Couer de Noir is a blight
'gainst all nature. We dwarves be
not fighters; still we are with you
in this battle. Some of our
handiwork may be of assistance.
We be honored, friend Ogg.
There's a coil of golden thread fine
as spider web yet naught can break
it... and a silver key no lock can
You're with us in battle.
May God protect you.
Aye, and valor select you.
Oona flies down abruptly from above the trees. Without looking
directly at Jack, she addresses the assembled faerie warriors.
The raven has taken to wing and
flies due north!
Jack waves his arm at the assembled troop of faeries and urges the
unicorn to the head of the column.
Onward to victory!
The entire troop gives out with a rousing CHEER as it sets forward on
the final trek through the forbidding forest.
EXT. DEEP IN THE FOREST - DAY
The trees are twisted and grotesque. A dense undergrowth of tangled
vines studded with six-inch thorns block the troop's progress like
over-sized concertina wire. Jack rides at the head of the column,
hacking a pathway through the vines with his enchanted sword. Gump
rides just behind, doing his best with his tiny battleaxe to clean up
... this rate... we'll all be in our
graves... 'fore we reach the Baron's
We'll surely be in our graves if we
Going grows slower... we've not
made... half a mile in two hours...
Jack continues slashing at the serpentine vines. A final, vigorous
sword-stroke reveals a frozen meadow; broad, open, and inviting.
Jack urges the unicorn forward into the meadow. Gump and the
remainder of the troop follow. At the far end of the clearing a row
of cliffs stand like the ramparts of a city. Sheer and impassable,
save for a narrow defile across which something very like a vast
silver curtain hangs.
There's the way, mates.
Jack gallops forward across the meadow, followed close behind by the
EXT. DEFILE IN CLIFFS - DAY
The faerie troops rein in a hundred yards from the opening. The
silver curtain is now quite clearly SEEN as a gigantic spider web, the
gossamer strands inches thick.
What make ye of that, Jack?
It bodes evil.
Oona swoops down from above, hovering in the air before the faerie
Is this a May Day pageant? Are you
all off on a lark...? The raven
passed this way hours ago!
Heading north still?
Straight up that pass, through the
Is it a net, then?
Some sort of net... I'll see.
Oona flies rapidly away, straight towards the web.
Willful creature, that one...
OONA'S FLIGHT - JACK POV
Oona makes a bee-line for the web. She drives fearlessly ahead,
without caution, flying straight into the center of the weave.
Landing on the strands, she is immediately stuck.
OONA IN WEB
The more Oona struggles, the more entangled she becomes. Like a
trapped fly, her frenzied attempts set the entire web trembling.
Help! I'm stuck...! Oh please
A giant spider the size of a man makes his way along the web towards
the helpless Oona. There is something especially repulsive about the
creature's monstrous shape. His movements are a coordinated ballet of
Please...! Jack! Help me...!
Don't let it touch me...!
JACK AND THE FAERIES
Jack draws his sword, calling to his troops.
Hurry! Save her!
Suddenly, a staghorn beetle large as a rhinoceros lumbers out of the
concealing bushes at the base of the cliff. Its black, armored wing
-plates gleam like polished steel. The forked, six-foot horn towers
above its head.
A young goblin lance-bearer hurries forward with Jack's lance, handing
it up to him.
Archers! Bring down that spider!
I'll deal with this other creature...
Stay on your guard, Jack. The bug
is enchanted surely.
Jack sheathes his sword, lowers his lance, and spurring the unicorn
with a kick of his heels, charges straight at the giant beetle.
The goblin archers rush forward shouting towards the cliff.
Jack rides straight at the big beetle. His lance strikes the hard
carapace of the thorax and glances off, doing no harm.
Jack wheels the unicorn around and charges a second time. The lance
hits the wing-casing and shatters. Jack is thrown from his mount.
The evil beetle closes on him, pincers opening and closing like some
grotesque engine of war.
The spider is nearly upon Oona as the archers line up below. A hail
of arrows hit the mark. The spider reacts with spasms of pain as they
stud into him.
... Kill it... Kill it!
The arrows don't stop the spider and it reaches Oona, biting her in
the leg. She screams into unconsciousness. The spider sets to work
spinning filament and wrapping the stunned faerie up like a cocoon.
JACK AND THE BEETLE
Jack scrambles to his feet, drawing his sword just as the beetle is
upon him. A furious backhand slash lops off one of the insect's
antennae. This doesn't slow it down; it continues to pursue the back
-pedaling Jack, pincers clicking together like twin scythes. Jack
parries and stabs, slashing at the beetle with his sword.
A well-aimed thrust takes off half the beetle's foreleg. Quantities of
foul, black blood gush forth onto the ground.
The goblin marksmen continue to pour a steady rain of arrows into the
spider. The swollen abdomen bristles with dozens of accurate hits.
Two oversized wasps, each with a six-foot wingspan, dive down on the
archers. They scatter much as soldiers of a later age will react to a
strafing by aircraft.
One unfortunate pixie bowman is seized by a wasp and borne aloft. The
wasp curls his abdomen beneath him. The barbed stinger emerges like a
harpoon. The helpless, screaming pixie is stung through. The wasp
releases the lifeless body and it drops back to earth.
JACK AND THE BEETLE
Jack continues to retreat before the beetle's advance, slashing with
his sword. The second antennae is neatly amputated, without any
effect on the giant insect.
Stepping backwards, Jack's foot goes into a hole and he is twisted
off-balance and falls. The big bug's shadow darkens over him. The
wicked pincers CLINK.
THE MARE UNICORN
as she lowers her horned head and charges the beetle. Running straight
and true as a fighting bull, the unicorn drives into the side of the
bug. The long, spiraling horn catches the joint between abdomen and
thorax, sliding easily into the creature's side. The massive insect
whips about in agony, snapping at the unicorn. Sapphire dances
adroitly back out of harm's way.
The interlude gives Jack the time to regain his feet. Rushing forward,
he stabs his sword into the space between the insect's head and
thorax. The pincers open and close helplessly. It is all over. Jack
stabs the sword in a second time. The big bug collapses.
Jack runs to Sapphire and vaults onto her back. With a victorious WAR
CRY he charges forward to help the beleaguered archers.
ARCHERS AND WASPS
Jack is attacked from above by one of the wasps. It hovers above,
seeking either to sting him or pluck him from his mount. Jack wheels
the unicorn about in a tight circle. The wasp circles overhead. With
a sudden, overhand slash, Jack strikes the wasp's basketball-sized
head from his droning body. The head drops like a stone. The body
continues to fly in erratic circles, like a pilot-less aircraft, until
it crashes, BUZZING, to earth.
The disorganized faeries CHEER loudly as Jack rides up to assist them.
The surviving wasp harasses them from above.
Don't aim for the body, the armor is
too strong... aim for the chinks...
shoot at the spaces between...
The archers rally and aim as Jack instructed. Although the first
arrows miss the mark, a second round is more accurate. The wasp is
hit repeatedly between its body sections. Mortally wounded, it falls
thrashing to the ground.
JACK AT THE WEB
Jack urges Sapphire to the base of the cliff as the goblin archers
dispatch the wounded wasp. Sword high, he leaps down and rushes to
where several of the web's anchor strands are fastened. From his life
in the wild, Jack knows certain strands are not sticky so the spider
won't get caught in his own contrivance. Jack checks a strand but
gets stuck and only pulls free with difficulty. He tries another and
finds it clean.
Sheathing his sword, Jack climbs the web, hauling himself up the
uncoated strand like a sailor ascending the ratlines of a ship.
The spider, though wounded, spins a shroud for the hapless Oona and
does not notice Jack's approach. Jack draws his sword and thrusts up
into the arachnid's arrow-studded belly. The huge spider whips about
in pain. Jack strikes him again, slicing off one of his eight legs.
Frantic, the spider charges. The Green Man stands his ground and
splits the spider's head in two with a mighty stroke.
The spider drops, falling past Jack, hanging-up in his own web below.
Jack climbs to where Oona is bound, cutting her cocoon free from the
Jack carriers the silken-wrapped Oona back down.
JACK AND FAERIES
Jack lays Oona's shrouded form on the ground and is immediately
surrounded by the faeries.
Well done, lad.
Three cheers for our champion.
The faeries give out with a hearty HOORAY as Jack works deftly with
his sheath-knife, slicing the gossamer webbing from around the
unconscious Oona. He severs the last strand and lifts her from the
Is she... dead?
No, thank the Lord, but she be sore
envenomed by the spider's bite.
We're blind now. Oona was our eyes
and ears. How do we find the Castle
Couer de Noir without her?
We'll find it.
Easily said... the raven passed this
way hours ago.
Heading true north. We continue in
Never knowing when it takes a turn
or changes course.
We'll trust in faith, Gump.
Aye, lad... we've little else to go
The goblins and faeries have prepared a small litter from two lances
and a woolen cloak. Three faeries lift Oona and place her on the
litter. Her face is serene, as if she were sleeping.
Gently, boys... go easy with her.
Jack draws his sword and chops through the bottom of the web, opening
a passage into the defile.
All right, men! Let's bury our dead
and be on our way!
EXT. DEFILE - DAY
The column of armed faeries marches steadily up the defile. Jack
rides at the head; Gump beside him on the colt. Four faeries bear the
litter, carrying Oona on their shoulders. In the distance behind them
are four small, flower-decked mounds: the freshly dug graves in which
their fallen comrades lie buried.
EXT. BARON'S CASTLE - NIGHT
Like some deformed and dying organism, the towers and twisted turrets
of the Baron's castle are silhouetted against the night sky. Utterly
sinister in its malformed splendor, the building's shape suggests the
embodiment of pure evil. High in the uppermost tower, a single light
gleams through a slitted window.
Winging silently towards the castle, the coal-black raven glides
through the night like an angel from Hell.
INT. TOWER ALCHEMICAL LABORATORY - BARON'S CASTLE - NIGHT
Dripping tallow candles cast flickering shadows across the mossy walls
of the Baron's lab. All manner of arcane instruments; astrolabs,
crucibles, retorts and furnaces, are crammed into the narrow room.
Stuffed owls and crocodiles hang from the ceiling. The Baron,
unmasked and wearing the flowing black robes of a master magician, is
busy with an experiment. The table he works on crawls with toads and
lizards; a large crucible drips blood. Several IMPS and DEMONS serve
as the Baron's assistants, scurrying about the lab like characters
from a Bosch painting. All are deformed, mutant creatures. They
crackle and snigger like the inhabitants of a zoological madhouse.
The Baron takes up a glass container filled with eyeballs and pours
them into his bloody cauldron, muttering to himself, his horned,
lupine head fierce as Lucifer.
Blind eyes, blind eyes, what do you
see...? The future's secrets belong
A deformed imp with the head and goggling eyes of a fish, fidgets at
the Baron's side. His evil master cuffs him and barks an order:
Batwing...! Bring me batwing, oaf.
Be quick about it!
The imp scampers off, searching among the musty jars and canisters.
And leper's thumb...! Be swift,
before the mixture cools!
All at once, the raven flies into the room, flapping in circles around
the lab before coming to rest on the Baron's shoulder.
The raven rasps into the Baron's ear like a back-fence gossip. The
Baron listens and nods, completely familiar with the language of
birds. His reaction is one of vast amusement.
An army of faeries...! How very
droll... Do they carry flowers stead
(the raven croaks)
Oh, real spears, they mean to be
(the raven croaks
A boy riding a unicorn...? Things
are getting serious indeed.
The Baron paces his laboratory, the raven riding on his shoulder. He
pauses by a shelf where a bouquet of black roses stands in a vase
crafted from a human skull. The Baron selects a single ebony blossom
and sniffs it pensively.
So... the faeries are marching... if
by some miracle they get past the
insects... we'll have a surprise
The Baron crushes the black rose in his fist. When he opens his hand,
the blossom has been magically transformed into a hideously deformed
bat. The bat unfolds its wings, revealing toad-like gargoyle's
features and a long, forked reptilian tail. The grinning mouth is
studded with tiny, needle-sharp teeth.
Yes... you'll do nicely... very
nicely. Just the sort of creature
to rip a faerie to shreds...
The bat-demon takes wing and circles the lab, diving suddenly at the
fish-headed imp, who SCREAMS in terror. The bat fastens himself on the
shrieking imp, tearing with his tiny teeth. The imp waves his arms
frantically in a futile effort to dislodge the creature. Blood flows.
The Baron's cruel LAUGHTER ECHOES in the vaulted room.
EXT. FOREST - DAY
A heavy mist shrouds the twisted trees, blunting their agonized shapes
as if in pity. The Baron's demonic LAUGHTER CARRIES OVER and merges
with the raucous CALLING of crows. A flight of the black birds passes
through the fog, appearing suddenly, then fading just as abruptly into
The SOUND of marching men is HEARD. A moment later, the faerie troop
is glimpsed, trudging forward out of the mist. Jack and Gump ride at
the head of the dispirited column.
Why not admit it, Honeythorn Gump.
We've lost our way entirely.
Long as we don't lose heart, Jack...
We'll never find the Baron's castle.
Once you thought we'd never find the
Greek's armor and look at ye now,
decked out like a proper hero.
The wind parts the mist ahead on the trail and for just a moment a
hideous form is glimpsed. Shaped like a hunchback with overlong arms,
the creature has the head of a boar, with a long, flattened snout and
curved tusks. This is JIMMY SQUAREFOOT.
Hold! What manner of demon be this?
JACK AND GUMP
Jack draws his gleaming sword.
Nay. This time we strike first!
Jack kicks the unicorn's flanks and gallops ahead down the trail,
brandishing his sword.
Gump urges the colt into a fast run and hurries after Jack.
The pig-headed creature darts off the trail and sprints into the
woods. Jack is right behind, the unicorn swift as the wind. Which
-ever way the creature turns in his frantic effort to escape, the
unicorn leaps ahead, cutting him off.
A projecting tree-root catches the creature's foot and sends him
sprawling. Jack leaps down, sword in hand and rushes up for the kill.
The creature snuffles and grunts with fear as Jack stands over him,
poised for the killing thrust.
No hurt Jimmy, sir... oh no, please,
I'm sending you back to Hell!
Gump gallops up breathlessly on the colt.
Hold, Jack! Don't strike!
Nay. I show no pity to imps and
I know the rogue, Jack. Tis Jimmy
Yes, poor Jimmy... never hurt no
He be a frightful-looking sod, tis
true, but harmless for all that.
Is he a friend, then?
Yes, yes... Jimmy Squarefoot good
friend to one and all...
He's no enemy, that's sure.
Jack relents and sheathes his terrible sword.
Forgive my blood haste, Jimmy
Squarefoot, but I want no more
surprises from Couer de Noir.
The Black Baron, you say?
Aye. We be on a quest to set the
world aright --
But seem to have gotten lost on the
Much good we do the world, for all
our noble quest...
Jimmy Squarefoot no lost.
Well, clap yourself on the back
then, mate, and point the way to
Castle Couer de Noir.
Jimmy Squarefoot gets to his feet, dusts himself off with dignity, and
with exaggerated formality, extends his arms and points into the
Simple as that, eh?
Castle Couer de Noir built with
magic... simple as death... strong
You do know where it is?
Hear him out, Jack.
Many time Jimmy Squarefoot try find
a way inside... many, many time...
Plenty treasure there, oh plenty,
plenty... It a bad place... blacker
than the Baron's heart...
Can you show us the way?
To Castle Couer de Noir?
There'll be spoils aplenty if you
guide us there. Once we breach the
walls, help yourself to all you can
That very nice.
Will you do it, Jimmy?
No way over walls... too much
Let that be our problem, just get us
Jimmy Squarefoot starts off in the direction he pointed, his odd,
loping gait more animal than human. Jack looks doubtfully at Gump.
Can we trust him?
No... but what choice have we?
Follow Jimmy Squarefoot.
Jack waves his arms, signaling the troops to advance.
On to Castle Couer de Noir!
The troop follows Jack and Gump as they ride after Jimmy Squarefoot
into the fog-shrouded woods.
INT. DUNGEON - BARON'S CASTLE - NIGHT
The SNAP of a whip is as abrupt as the change of scene.
A vile stone cellar, walls dripping with moss and slime. Human bones
litter the earthen floor. Chains and shackles hang between the
instruments of torture: there is an Iron Maiden, a rack and a
charcoal brazier heating various tongs and pincers.
The whip CRACKS again as the SHADOW of the Baron moves across the
Princess Lili is chained to a stone pillar. Clothed only in tatters,
her glossy pelt striped with bloody welts from the lash, she huddles
helplessly before the fury of the Baron.
The Baron strikes again with the whip. Semi-conscious, Lili can do
little more than whimper when she is hit.
Your moans seem almost pleasurable,
my dear... developing a taste for
Kill me... I want... so nice...
Why should I kill you?
(strikes her again)
A simple course in etiquette...
something your parents sadly
The Baron slashes at her with the whip.
No more... please...
I can keep a victim alive for
weeks... months, if I desire it...
it's an art. They beg for death...
I keep it just out of their reach.
(he strikes her with
The pain remains constant.
Don't please... I'll do what you
The Baron coils his whip.
Sweet Princess, you begin to sound
What do you want from me?
At the moment, very little. Your
company at my table...
The Baron beckons and a squat imp with the features of a bullfrog
scurries out of the shadows and unfastens the shackles binding Lili.
We'll get you cleaned up, find a
suitable gown... I imagine you'll
enjoy a good meal?
A few day's nourishment will see
your strength returning.
What will become of me then?
When you are ripe for my pleasure, I
will enjoy the harvest.
I'm pleased you're not troubled by
Do as you wish with my body, you'll
never possess my soul!
Your soul...? Why should I bother
with such a paltry trifle?
I don't expect you'd understand.
My dear Princess, the human soul is
a highly elusive commodity. I
suggest you spend some hours before
the glass. Contemplate your
intriguing reflection and consider
whether such a creature as yourself
could possibly possess something as
fine and beautiful as a soul.
The Baron pulls a hand-mirror from beneath his robe and hands it to
Lili. She refuses to look at herself, casting the glass aside in a
You're a beast!
Indeed I am, my dear... that makes
us a pair!
The Baron's lupine features appear even more demonic as he LAUGHS.
EXT. CAMP IN THE FOREST - NIGHT
A small fire blazes under an ice-coated tree. The faerie troop
huddles about it in their robes for warmth. Deformed like a torture
victim, Castle Couer de Noir is silhouetted against the frozen sky.
Gump and Jimmy Squarefoot sit on a fallen log next to Jack, who stares
gloomily at the hideous fortress beyond the trees.
Never felt so cold in all me born
The chill is worse this night.
It be the castle... we feel the
castle... it be that close...
A castle's but stone and mortar --
Nay. Castle Couer de Noir is
Devil's work... built with sorrow
Don't like the feel of it, Jack.
It's your own fear troubles you...
We're here, aren't we? For all the
dark magic protecting it.
The walls be glued together with
blood and tears... the wind in the
basement cries with pain...
Mayhap the Baron wanted us to find
him. What good is magic if you
don't make use of it.
Give in to despair and all is lost.
It feels wrong, Jack... like a trap.
There's more than one way to spring
Aye, so long as you're not too
greedy for the bait.
Plenty treasure inside... Jimmy seen
You've been inside?
In a dream.
Don't speak to me of dreams! I feel
I've been dreaming since the unicorn
That be so, better you pinch
yourself now, Jack.
On the morrow I'll be awake enough
to see if dreams come true.
Pray they don't turn out to be
Jack ponders this morbid thought as he and is companions stare
silently into the dwindling fire.
EXT. FOREST CAMP - MORNING
The dying embers of the campfire CARRY OVER and BLEND into the blood
-red blaze of the rising sun. Swathed in mist and fog, the day star
gleams dully, like the glowing eye of some half-mad creature.
The faerie warriors prepare for battle. Moving like ghosts in the
mist, they gather weapons and carefully hone their swords and spear
SOUNDS of HAMMERING and CHOPPING, as the elves and goblins work at
building ladders and siege equipment.
A pair of faeries fits together a catapult, the parts of which were
painfully transported all this distance.
Jack and Gump stand on a small rise overseeing the activity. As the
sun's warmth dispels the mist, the massive walls of Castle Couer de
Noir materialize before them.
CASTLE - JACK AND GUMP'S POV
Shreds of mist are stripped away by the wind, like dead flesh peeling
from a corpse, as the true nature of Castle Couer de Noir is revealed
for the first time. The massive walls of the deformed fortress are
constructed not of blocks of stone but with human bones. Like the
catacombs of Paris, the skulls and bones, millions and millions of
them, are arranged in geometric and decorative patterns, stacked one
upon the other, an ossuary reaching to the sky.
The battlements of Hell...
GUMP AND JACK
The Green Man and the faerie stare in mute horror at the walls of the
castle. The monstrosity of the evil dwarfs them.
Tells you something 'bout him what
We'll need more siege machinery and
longer scaling ladders.
Why not mine the damned walls?
We do both. Our frontal attack a
diversion whilst we drive a tunnel
Gump is cheered by Jack's decisiveness and the boldness of his plan.
I'll set the dwarves to digging.
Gump hurries off down the hill, muttering and chuckling to himself.
Together unto the breach... storming
the bastions of darkness...
EXT. CASTLE TOWER - DAY
His black cloak whipping in the wind, masked and gloved, the unicorn
horn mounted as a sword and strapped at his side, the Baron stands
gazing down from his tower at the frenzied faerie activity below. At
his side are two FISH- HEADED DEMONS, made more hideous by the
deformed armor they wear.
An army of mites... see them
THE FAERIES - BARON'S POV
From the height of the tower, the faeries indeed seem to be mites,
frenzied in their tiny activity. A battery of catapults is aligned,
scaling ladders laid out in even rows. Gump barks orders as the
faerie soldiers form ranks.
Even a wolf has fleas...
BARON AND DEMONS
The Baron leans against the parapet, the armored demons at his side.
Why so few?
Delusion... a kind of magic which
works against the magician.
Precisely. Faith has persuaded them
a pygmie with a sling can kill an
Dumb magic. Giant smash peewee.
We go out, smash 'em now?
No. Smashing is not required. I
have a surprise for our tiny
invaders... Raise that hatch!
The Baron points to an iron grill covering a skylight. The demons
scuttle over and lift it off. Immediately, the DRONE of thousands of
tiny wings is HEARD within.
I love surprises.
The DRONING grows LOUDER and LOUDER until a dark swarm of fanged
frog/bats rushes from the keep like a dark whirlwind.
I doubt the faeries will admire
their beauty... Come, this will be
fun to watch.
The demons lurch back to the parapet, peering over with the Baron as
the black cloud of SCREAMING frog/bats descends like an angry tempest
on the faeries gathered below.
EXT. FOREST CAMP - DAY
A FANFARE of trumpets as the faerie soldiers form ranks on the plain
before Castle Couer de Noir. Rows of catapults, siege towers and
scaling ladders are arranged along the edge of the icy forest. Gump
strides up and down in his armor before the assembling troops, barking
orders like a sergeant-major.
Step lively now...! Pick up the
pace, lads... This is war, not baby-
pinching or curdling milk...
Splendid in his armor, Jack rides the unicorn in review as the faerie
soldiers stand in proud formation before him.
Well done, Gump. A braver-looking
host I can't imagine...
Men, I'm not much on pretty
speeches. In a short while, the
heat of battle will test us all, and
I know that each of you will prove
true and --
Jack is interrupted by the DRONE of thousands of wings growing EVER
-LOUDER. A shadow falls across the assembled soldiers. Jack looks up
to see the cause.
THE SKY - JACK'S POV
Like a tornado of utter evil, the dark storm cloud of frog/bats swirls
down from the castle tower, their high, falsetto SCREECHING rising
above the DRONE of wings.
What calamity be this?
THE FAERIE TROOP
The cloud of fluttering frog/bats envelops the ranks of faerie
soldiers. Fluttering, screaming, the tiny winged creatures swarm into
the ranks biting and scratching. The faeries strike futilely at them
with swords and spears. It is like fighting gnats with a teaspoon.
There is no way to keep order. In a moment, it's every man for
himself. The formation is broken.
Screwball has a frog/bat attached to his face, the tiny teeth ripping.
He tears at the creature and falls to the ground, rolling over and
over and SCREAMING in pain.
A frog/bat zooms down on Gump. SEEN C.U., the gaping frog-mouth with
its row of needle-sharp teeth is genuinely terrifying.
Gump is already having problems with a half-dozen clinging frog/bats.
They bite and tear through his clothing as he swats at them.
The entire formation of faerie soldiers is in disarray. They mill
about in frantic confusion, helplessly fighting the swirling myriads
of frog/bats surrounding them.
In his armor, Jack is relatively well-protected from the infuriating
creatures. Sword in hand, he hacks flying frog/bats from the the air
as skillfully as a tennis player returning a serve. Several of the
evil winged creatures land on the unicorn's rump, biting and drawing
blood. Sapphire rears and whinnies in fear and pain. Jack swats them
off with his free hand, doing his best to
soothe his mount at the same time.
Easy girl... easy now, Sapphire...
calm yourself, they're no worse than
horse-flies in summer...
Men! Defend yourselves...! Form a
shield wall... hurry! Form a shield
THE FAERIE TROOP
Struggling in panic against the aerial onslaught of the frog/bats, the
faerie soldiers take heart from Jack's command. They rally with
encouraging cries of: "Come on lads, hop to it." "Get your shields
up." And "All together now, form the wall."
The savage flying cloud continues its torment as the beleaguered
faeries muster together and form a large shield wall. The troops in
the center lift their shields above their heads, forming an armored
ceiling against the dive-bombing frog/bats. The outer perimeters are
also ranked with over-lapping shields. The entire phalanx closes
itself in behind a solid wall of iron shields.
Jack and Gump, among the last to join the formation, hurry to its
protection as the fury of the frog/bats swirls about them. Jack jumps
down from the unicorn and pulls his mount with him under the
protection of the shield
INT. UNDER THE SHIELD WALL - DAY
Jack urges Sapphire to kneel among the troops. He wipes the blood
from her flanks and calms her.
Down girl... kneel, my darling...
it's all right now... you're safe in
A steady, gong-like CLANGING resounds under the shield wall. It is
the SOUND of hundreds and hundreds of frog/bats diving into the
Gump, his clothing torn and face bloodied, crawls over to Jack between
the stalwart shield-holders.
A fine mess this is... horrid,
nipping creatures... What do we now,
Defend ourselves. We've bested far
Don't loose heart... Assemble the
archers. Have everyone not holding
a shield man a bow. Shoot the
damned things as they fly.
There aren't enough arrows.
Never mind. Just do it! Retrieve
the arrows somehow.
Gump thinks it's helpless but nevertheless musters up a determined
expression and begins barking commands in his most military manner.
Here we go then, lads. You heard
Jack. Every man with a bow, front
and center... Aim up through the
shields. Send these damn gad-flies
The archers scramble into position, kneeling between the shield
holders and aiming up through the intervening spaces at the frog/bat
tempest fluttering above them.
EXT. CASTLE TOWER - DAY
The Baron and the demons watch the frenzied commotion below. The
Baron enjoys the spectacle immensely.
Fight's over before it's begun...
soon the survivors will be in full
Then we smash 'em?
Anything left for smashing you may
We watch... good fun...
Indeed, the best of fun... Enjoy
The Baron wraps his cloak about him and starts for the stairs.
You go? Not watch fun?
I have something far more pleasant
More fun win battle?
This is another victory, my friends.
What began with the lash shall be
concluded with a caress.
You go to lady now?
To finish last evening's delightful
We come watch... we come watch...
Nay. This is a private affair, no
audience welcome... Better you watch
the dismantling of our enemies...
and, look you, see the moat is set
Fire moat... why do that?
Purely a precaution...
The Demons bow low.
As you command, sire...
The Baron stalks off, sweeping down the circular stairs into the keep.
INT. CASTLE PASSAGEWAY - DAY
The passage is dark and windowless, lighted by occasional flaming
torches. The Baron strides the length of the hall. He strips off his
protective black garments, casting them aside in his impatient lust.
First, the heavy gloves, then the wolf-mask, last, with a flourish,
the floor-length midnight cloak.
Stripped to a simple under-gown, the Baron pauses before a thick iron
-bound door. He is panting now, his nostrils dilated, flecks of
spittle frothing his whiskers. His eyes narrow as he flings open the
unbolted door and steps forward into darkness.
INT. UNDER THE SHIELD WALL - DAY
Beneath the shield wall is a world of shadows, the shield- bearers
dark and solid as tree trunks; the archers moving between them like
silhouettes of Sagittarius. Beams of light stab down through the
openings. The archers kneel, aim and fire upwards into the light.
The DRUMMING of dive-bombing frog/bats rumbles like thunder.
The archers encourage one another with boasts and compliments. "Good
shot." "Right between the eyes!" "Bullseye!" etc. etc.
Screwball kneels and fires next to Jack and Gump.
There! Straight on... straight...
(his eyes widen with
Bloody marvelous shot!
Something CLANGS on the shields above. Screwball's arrow drops at his
feet. Three frog/bats are impaled upon the shaft like shishkabob.
Screwball grabs up the arrow and waves his trophy in front of Jack and
Look at that shot! Three at once!
I can't miss!
Very thrifty. Even got your arrow
All at once, a bright BLAZE of orange LIGHT brightens the interior of
the shield wall.
Sweet slippers of Oisin!
They've fired the moat!
Water doesn't burn...
And frog don't fly and bite like
tomcats. It be magic, Jack...
powerful ogre's magic.
There isn't much time!
Been telling you that all along,
What magic have we on our side?
Faerie magic's no match for a
sorcerer's power... We have Ogg's
gifts, the key and the --
That's it! The unbreakable line!
We'll tie it to an arrow and fire it
up into the timbers above the
portculis... then, I'll climb up
and chop down the drawbridge.
Will you chance a miss?
There must be some way to get it up
Gump eyes Screwball, aiming through the shield-wall, and a sly smile
spreads across his elfin features.
Now, Jack, methinks I have the
EXT. PLAIN IN FRONT OF CASTLE - DAY
A wall of bright flames surrounds the macabre walls of the Baron's
castle, the black smoke blending with the swirling cloud of frog/bats.
Cowering beneath all this fury, the faeries' shield wall seems a
meager fortress at best.
INT. BARON'S BEDROOM IN CASTLE - DAY
It is very dark. A small fire on the hearth provides the only light,
casting bold, flickering shadows across the spartan chamber.
Something moves in the shadows. Something sleek and swift. There is
another movement, sensual and predatory; a hunting animal.
The shadows dance; animal forms glide through the flickering light.
They are not hunting, but mating. Their fur shines in the firelight.
Tails SWISH in erotic sinuosity. The low, growling MOAN of their love
language is the SOUND of pure, primal pleasure.
Glimpsed through the shadows, the sensuous sliding animal movement of
the Baron and Lili becomes a passionate ballet. Their dark bodies
writhe and merge, a collision of clouds -- the mating of shadows.
Lili is no victim here, but a willing and eager participant. She
seems utterly feminine and feline, her back arched, a vibrant MOAN
purring from her throat.
The Baron mounts her, proud as a stallion, and their rhythmic coupling
casts lyric shadows across the bare stone walls.
EXT. SHIELD WALL - DAY
Drifting smoke swirls over the uplifted shields as Jack, Gump and
Screwball break from the cover and protection of the phalanx. They
sprint across the open plain. The smoke covers them. Their escape
goes unnoticed by the furious frog/bats.
EXT. EDGE OF FOREST - DAY
At the crest of the hill where the plain meets the wooded forest, the
faeries' siege machinery stands in martial ranks facing Castle Couer
de Noir. A row of catapults is front and foremost. Jack and Gump run
up the hill towards the engines of war. Screwball lags behind,
Why me, that's all I ask...? Why
not Gunner or Floki...? Someone who
doesn't bruise so easy...
Screwball reluctantly joins the others at the first of the catapults.
Someone like Floki... or
Squarefoot... or --
(full with authority)
You'll do it because I am you liege
and I command you to do it!
Screwball gulps back a complaint and kneels before Gump.
Aye... my Lord...
Rise, Screwball, and into the basket
Screwball gets slowly to his feet, and just as slowly climbs into the
launching basket of the catapult.
Maybe there's a better idea... What
about birds... get a lift from some
Haven't heard a bird sing in days...
Or a kite...! We could make a
kite... Let the wind do the work --
Screwball is instantly silent. Gump hands him the dwarves' golden
Start acting like you're worthy of
this mission... Here. Whatever you
do, don't dare drop it.
Nay, Sire, I'll cling to it as to
Good, lad... Here, Jack, give me a
hand with the windlass... There's a
Together, Jack and Gump labor at winding back the windlass on the
catapult. As they turn, the launching arm is drawn slowly back, a
cowering Screwball fearfully clutching the golden line in the woven
One more turn...
The launching arm is bent back into a taut arch. Screwball clenches
his eyes shut. Jack stands by the release lever.
Have the engineers corrected for
alignment and trajectory?
Aye. Before the wee pesties
Then it's Godspeed, Screwball.
Oberon's hump protect me-eeeeeeee!
Jack pulls the lever releasing the windlass and the arm whips forward,
catapulting Screwball high into the air over the castle. His cry is
lost on the wind as his form diminishes into a tiny dot arcing over
the walls above the flaming moat.
EXT. CASTLE COURTYARD - DAY
A lean-to roofed with thatch is build along the inside wall,
sheltering a stable. The courtyard is deserted as Screwball comes
hurtling like a meteor. He lands in the thatch and sinks from sight.
After a moment, Screwball's pixie face appears out of the
Someone what doesn't bruise, says
I... glorious mission, says they...
A CLATTER of armored FOOTFALLS alerts Screwball to the approach of the
Baron's demonic troops. A squad of hideous Heironymous Bosch imps,
fearful combinations of reptiles and swine, long-beaked birds with
insect wings, feathered rodents, deformed jackals, trots NOISILY
across the cobbles below.
Screwball ducks into the thatch.
Dear... oh, dear... straight from
Hell by the looks of 'em...
The grotesque armor the imps wear adds to their sinister appearance.
They JABBER LOUDLY at one-another in a fearful GOBBLEDYGOOK. The
wicked points of their partisans glitter, passing at eye-level as
Screwball burrows deeper into the thatch.
After a moment, the echoes of the imps passage fades. Screwball pops
up out of the straw and has a look around, the coiled golden line
clutched tightly in his grasp.
Bet they eat elves for breakfast...
Screwball clambers to the top of the lean-to roof and climbs up the
protruding bones and skulls to the top of the wall.
EXT. TOP OF WALL - DAY
Screwball stares down the dizzying abyss into the flaming moat. He
waves at his beleaguered companions, but is hidden from view by
drifting smoke. This is a good thing, for another squad of imp-goons
troops across the courtyard below.
Get moving, Screwball, 'fore they
serves you up on a piece of toast!
Screwball scampers along the ridge of the wall, hopping over the
crenelations like a squirrel.
EXT. LEDGE - DAY
The wall abuts into the curving battlements of the central keep,
towering above. A narrow ledge leads away from the top of the wall,
arcing around the keep to the portculis.
Screwball begins the traverse like a mountaineer, edging one sliding
foot at a time along the ledge, trying not to look down into the flame
and smoke, nor across at his comrades huddles under the shield wall.
EXT. EDGE OF FOREST - DAY
Jack and Gump wait by the catapult, straining to see through the smoke
shrouding the facade of the ghastly castle.
There he is... out on the keep!
THE CASTLE - GUMP'S POV
At the distance, Screwball seems quite helpless, inching along the
outer wall of the keep like a mouse on the back of a sleeping lion.
I see him.
as he stares, hawklike, at Screwball.
He'll be atop the portculis ere
Best get down close to the moat,
Aye. We're good as inside.
It's what we'll find there worries
Using the drifting smoke for cover, Jack runs down the open hillside
towards the flaming moat.
EXT. LEDGE - DAY
Screwball continues his cautious progress across the curving facade of
I should be out sippin' fresh cow's
milk straight from the udder...
that's what I should be doing...
Screwball's progress takes him under a sealed iron shutter. The SOUND
of GROWLS and MOANING brings him up short.
What's this now?
Hooking his fingers into the eye-sockets of a convenient skull,
Screwball gets a good grip and clambers up the wall to the window
sill. Hanging like a bat, he peers through the tiny slit between the
bottom of the shutter and the sill.
INT. BARON'S BEDCHAMBER - DAY (SCREWBALL'S POV)
The SOUNDS of MOANING are LOW and VIBRANT. The room is masked in
shadows. Items of torn, discarded clothing lie in contorted positions
about the flagstone floor. The coals on the hearth glow like the eyes
of a demonic beast. Not far away, the unicorn horn leans against the
wall, bathed in the ember's glow. Lili and the Baron lie together
amidst a tangle of quilts and featherbeds. They MOAN softly, bodies
wrapped in sinuous ease. Their dark fur gleams. Very tenderly, they
lick one-another, like cats.
EXT. LEDGE - DAY
Screwball carefully lowers himself back to the ledge, grinning like a
Found the alicorn, I did, I did...
Found the Baron, too... hee, hee...
Screwball tip-toes away on the ledge, more sure of himself now.
Won't be the first caught on love's
EXT. ROOF OVER PORTCULIS - DAY
A copper-sheathed arch rising over the entranceway. The drawbridge is
drawn-up tight underneath and serves as a massive gate.
Screwball hops off the ledge onto the roof. A gargoyle rivaling the
Baron's impish cohorts juts out of the wall just beneath. Screwball
ties one end of the golden line around it.
EXT. EDGE OF MOAT - DAY
Jack hurries along the moat-edge, flames licking past him. He looks up
and spots Screwball tying the line to the gargoyle above.
Screwball, down here!
Screwball waves at Jack.
Done like a champion. Can you reach
me with the line?
EXT. ROOF OVER PORTCULIS - DAY
Screwball ties his sheath-knife to the other end of the line.
Easy as eating pancakes.
Screwball tosses the weighted line out over the moat. It clears the
flames and lands at Jack's feet.
EXT. CASTLE WALL - DAY
Jack jumps with the line and pendulums across the moat through the
leaping flames. He lands with his feet against the bones of the wall
and proceeds to haul himself up, hand over hand.
EXT. DRAWBRIDGE WINCH - DAY
Jack reaches the top of the drawbridge. He walks the rope like a man
on a leash and gets a leg over the top. On a small platform under the
open roof stands a large wooden winch. The thick cable securing the
drawbridge is wound around it.
Jack climbs onto the platform and draws his sword. In three swift
strokes he hacks through the cable. The winch spins wildly as the
chain holding the drawbridge rattle out through embrasures.
Amid the clatter, the drawbridge slowly descends.
EXT. CASTLE - DAY
The drawbridge gathers speed and lands with a LOUD CRASH across the
EXT. SHIELD WALL - DAY
Batting away bombarding frog/bats, Gump rushes up to the shield wall,
shouting for joy.
Lads... Look...! The drawbridge is
down... The walls be breached...
The faeries under their shields give out with a single, exultant
victory CHEER, breaking ranks and running pell- mell down the hill
towards the lowered drawbridge. The frog/bats fly after them like a
swarm of pursuing bees.
High above the portculis, Jack waves his sword in the air, cheering
EXT. DRAWBRIDGE - DAY
SHOUTING and YELLING like invading Vikings, the faerie soldiers swarm
across the drawbridge, swords and spears on high. They are met by an
alarmed contingent of the Baron's household guard. A nightmare battle
is joined, faeries against fiends. The CLASH of steel on steel RINGS
through the stone courtyard. Sapphire gallops into the thick of the
fray, impaling a mole-faced imp on her long, spiraling horn.
The frog/bats, swarming in under the open portculis, make no
distinction between friend and for, biting and harassing the Baron's
troops as indiscriminately as the faerie soldiers. This adds an
additional element of confusion to the conflict. The faeries gain
ground, hacking and stabbing into the inner reaches of the castle.
EXT. ROOF OVER PORTCULIS - DAY
The ROAR and HOWL of battle drowns Jack's enthusiastic CHEERS as he
urges his men on from atop the roof over the portculis.
We SEE Screwball eagerly telling what he observed in the keep, but the
SOUNDS of the conflict below COVER his actual words. It is obvious
from Screwball's enthusiastic gestures that he describes the location
of the unicorn horn. Screwball points along the ledge to the
shuttered window in the keep.
A tremendous CRY OF VICTORY rises from below as the faeries break
through the ranks of imps and surge forward into the castle.
INT. BARON'S BEDROOM - DAY
The room is dark. Lili lies in the Baron's arms surrounded by tangled
bedclothing. He strokes her soft fur gently. A muffled CRY is HEARD
outside and Lili, alarmed, sits up abruptly.
What was that? Did you hear that?
It's nothing. My men take great
delight in routing the enemy. Don't
trouble yourself, beauty.
It sounded like it came from the
From the parapets most likely. The
men are amused by a battlefield
entertainment of my own contriving.
Might we watch, too?
Later, beloved... Now I wish only to
be with you...
Lili snuggles against the Baron's chest, running her fingers through
the silky hair covering him.
And I with you... I never dreamed
life held such pleasures...
Pleasure is for those who seize it!
Do you think those insipid, pale-
skinned mortals will ever know such
It's odd... when I first found
myself... changing... I was sick
with loathing and disgust. I
thought I was so ugly I wanted to
Now I want to live forever. I've
never felt so strong or happy.
Or looked so beautiful...
Yes. I feel that, too. Weakness is
what is ugly.
Precisely, my darling. Your animal
strength, your primitive power has
surfaced... you are what you desire.
To be strong and free... that is all
So you shall be... Like our
brothers, the hawk and the wolf, our
spirits know no master... we are
created in the pure image of the
savage God that set our turbulent
universe in motion.
Lili stretches languidly, rubbing against the Baron.
And what savagery would please you
most, my Lord?
The Baron's talons rake Lili's fur as he hauls her into a rough
Mating with you, beloved... to share
that exquisite pain once more.
The Baron bites her shoulder. Lili YIPS with animal delight.
The iron shutters are thrown open with a loud CRASH. A swath of
sunlight stabs into the darkened chamber. Sword in hand, Jack stands
on the window sill, silhouetted against the brightness outside.
The Baron SHRIEKS and falls off the bed, GROANING with pain on the
The light...! The light...!
Yield, Couer de Noir, or I grant no
The Baron scrambles on all fours across the floor, seeking to avoid
the light. He snatches up the unicorn horn leaning against the wall
and ducks into the shadows.
Protect me, beloved...! I need your
as she reacts to the Baron's plight. Her eyes narrow; her ears tuck
back; a low GROWL rumbles from her throat as she bears her fangs.
Defend me...! My darling, you must
With the ROAR of a savage jungle cat, Lili leaps down off
the bed as Jack jumps into the room.
Afraid to fight, Baron?
Claws hooked and gleaming, Lili stalks GROWLING between Jack and the
cowering Baron. Jack doesn't recognize her, so monstrous in her
savage appearance. He backs away a step, holding his sword in front
Any closer and I'll cut you down.
Lili GROWLS. With a sudden leap, she is upon Jack, raking his face
with her claws as she sinks her fangs into his neck where the bare
flesh shows above his breastplate. Jack SCREAMS in surprise and pain,
falling back under Lili's attack.
Jack and Lili fall to the floor, rolling over and over in a fierce
In the shadows, the Baron takes advantage of this distraction. He
creeps to the side of the fireplace and pulls a hidden switch. A
secret panel swings away from the wall. Quickly, the Baron scurries
inside the dark passageway beyond. The panel slides closed behind
Jack pulls free from the wild creature assaulting him. He struggles
to his feet, grabbing up his sword where he dropped it in the attack.
Lili crouches, SNARLING as Jack backs away. With a wild CRY, she
springs at him again. Jack thrusts defensively with his sword. Lili
is impaled, the gleaming blade run completely through her body.
MOANING, she sags into Jack's arms, his golden armor drenched in her
JACK AND LILI
as she trembles in Jack's unwilling embrace, Lili's features alter and
transform. The fangs and claws disappear. Her fur is gone. She is
just a naked girl again, dying in her lover's arms.
Jack... Forgive me...
As gently as possible, Jack pulls the sword from Lili's body. He
drops the weapon to the floor and lifts the gravely injured Princess
in his arms.
What have I done?
Only what's right...
Jack carries Lili over to the bed and lays her gently down.
I thought you were dead... I --
I was bewitched... it's better this
They told me you were dead.
Lili is weakening.
I wish I were... will be soon...
Don't be troubled, Jack, tis a great
gift you've given me...
Jack buries his face in the bed-clothes, sobbing.
No! I won't let it happen...
You've freed me, Jack...
It's the Baron's damnable work! Too
cowardly to stand and fight... he
used you to save himself.
No... it's not you he's afraid of,
Sunlight... It destroys him.
That's why he goes masked during the
So, he's hiding in the dark...
In the dark... where I join him...
No! Don't let go... you mustn't! I
And I... love you...
The door to the bedroom crashes open and Gump, along with Screwball
and several other armed faeries, enter excitedly.
Jack! The courtyard's been taken...
The Baron's forces are besieged in
the south tower. No sign of...
Jack? Do you hear what I'm saying?
We've won, lad.
It doesn't matter.
Nonsense! Course it matters.
... the Princess Lili... I've killed
Gump approaches the bed and examines the wounded Princess.
She's sore hurt, Jack, tis true, but
not dead yet.
The wound is mortal.
Nay. You've not reckoned with the
powers of faerie medicine.
Can you save her?
Easily... The question is, can we
save ourselves? Be a shame to win
the battle only to lose the war.
I don't... understand.
The alicorn, lad. Come to your
senses! Unless we find Baron Couer
de Noir and bring back the horn the
world is doomed.
Jack is himself again, eager for action. He grabs up his fallen sword
and starts for the sealed secret passage.
The Baron hides in the dark in a
passage under the Castle... Quick,
give me the dwarf's key... the one
which opens any lock...
In the dark, lad? Why should he do
Because sunlight will kill him.
Quickly now, give me the key.
Sunlight, you say?
Aye. Hurry now, Gump, the key!
Mean you to seek him out below?
I'm not afraid of the dark.
I admire your valor, Jack. By all
means, seek him out... But first, we
needs visit the kitchen.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
On stout shelves along the masonry walls are rows and rows of brightly
polished plates and pots. All sizes and shapes; gold, silver and
copper kitchen utensils shine and sparkle.
JACK AND GUMP
They stand by the huge hearth, staring up at the cookware shining all
The kitchen be the most important
room in a palace, for if the
victuals ain't right, little else is
likely to be so.
Did you bring me here to sup?
Nay, lad, we're here to collect a
weapon you'll need fighting the
Plan on carrying some away in a
Easier than that, Jack.
Screwball! Fetch me down a couple
of them plates.
Screwball scurries up to a nearby shelf and brings down two large
They'll do nicely.
Gump takes a plate and polishes it on his sleeve. He points to the
far side of the room.
Stand over there and hold your
plate... like this.
Gump demonstrates how he wants the plate held. Screwball grips it
with both hands, holding it up before Jack like a mirror.
Will you explain what's going on?
Gump moves to where a beam of sunlight angles through the high kitchen
window. He holds his plate in the light, trying different angles,
until at last he manages to reflect the sunlight, beaming it straight
at the plate Screwball holds. Instantly, it is reflected off
Screwball's plate and strikes Jack straight in the eye, blinding him.
Hey! Stop it! I can't see.
Ah, but you will. And so will the
Baron, when we bring a little light
to his dark hideaway.
Gump aims his platter at Jack. A BLAZE of reflected sunlight FILLS
THE SCREEN with dazzling whiteness.
INT. SECRET PASSAGE - DAY
A DAZZLE OF SUNLIGHT FILLING THE SCREEN.
Very nice, Goldenrod.
A very young elf struggles to hold a giant golden salver, sending a
beam of sunlight scintillating down the meandering tunnel.
Gump and Jack hold torches at the next bend. Gump positions a lovely
niade with a copper pot lid, stealing a kiss on her fair shoulder in
Stand here, my dear... that's
Gump stands behind the niade, guiding her arms so that the pot lid
catches the sun-beam properly.
Turn it just a wee bit...
The beam bounces on down the tunnel.
zig-zags up through the interior of the castle, steep stone stairs
leading from level to level. Faeries stand at every bend, passing the
sunlight one to another like an astral bucket brigade. Standing in a
long soup-kitchen line in the darkness alongside, is a file of elves,
faeries and gnomes, each holding a platter, bowl or pot lid.
JACK AND GUMP
Drawn sword in hand, torch up-lifted, Jack stands at the head of the
procession, impatiently stepping forward into darkness.
Can't we move any faster?
Tis a delicate operation, lad.
Requires a bit of engineering...
A hunched, long-bearded GNOME hurries forward, clutching a copper
frying pan polished to a mirror-finish.
Brown Tom o' Kirkdale reporting for
Stand easy, Brown Tom... Right here
JACK - FURTHER DOWN THE TUNNEL
Jack moves quite a good way down the tunnel, a corona of torchlight
surrounding him in the darkness.
Seems to be some sort of vaulted
chamber up ahead...
Don't get too far!
INT. VAULTED CHAMBER - DAY
Torch in hand, Jack moves cautiously out of the passageway into a vast
underground room spacious as the nave of a cathedral. Stone columns
thick as tree-trunks rise into the shadows above. Jack never relaxes
his guard. He turns to check behind him every third step.
From a distance, Jack shines like a multi-faceted jewel. His every
surface winks with reflected light: breastplate, shield, helmet, even
the long, tapered sword held before him.
Gump's voice ECHOES from FAR AWAY:
Jack is mid-way into the chamber. He moves like a canny warrior,
pivoting, checking his rear, light on his toes.
The sibilant HISS of a sword-blade rending the air. The CLANG of
contact as the torch is knocked from Jack's grasp and sent tumbling to
Jack whirls to face the challenge. It is the Baron. Enormous in the
flickering light of the fallen torch, like some horned bear on his
hind legs, the Baron advances, the unicorn horn gripped in his sword
Jack hauls his shield off his back, stepping forward to meet the
challenge. The Baron swings with both hands gripping the horn hilt.
Jack parries with the "Avatar." When steel hits the alicorn it is as
if lightning strikes. Sparks fly. A second exchange has Jack in
The Baron lunges with the alicorn. Jack receives the thrust on his
shield. The curling point of the horn punctures the dwarf's handiwork
like an arrow through a target. For a moment, the two combatants are
locked together, face-to-face. Secure in his armor, Jack swings his
sword at the unclad Baron. He leaps back with the agility of a wild
beast, wrenching the shield from Jack's grip and flinging it
clattering aside into darkness.
Jack backs away as the Baron renews the attack. Again, the lightning
CLASH of swordplay. Jack strives valiantly to withstand the onslaught
but the Baron is too powerful. The swordplay comes faster. Jack
stumbles to one knee. The Baron disarms him with a mighty blow. The
"Avatar" RINGS musically as it tumbles out of reach into the
The Baron's leering face is made more demonic by the unsteady
So, boy... Pray while there's still
breath in you...
The Baron draws back his arm for the death stroke. The torch flickers
The Baron's CRY RESOUNDS in the BLACKNESS.
A blinding FLASH of LIGHT. The Baron SCREAMS, a wail of utter pain as
the beam of sunlight hits him.
stands by a pillar holding a silver plate. He directs the sunlight at
the Baron, following him as he twists and writhes in agony.
scrambles across the floor, seizing his fallen sword. He leaps to his
feet and rushes at the cringing Baron, caught in the light like a
It is Jack's turn to wield a death-blow. He draws back to strike and
the LIGHT WOBBLES. The BEAM STRIKES Jack in the eyes. He is
momentarily blinded. He swings and misses, his sword carving the
rushes up to Screwball, cuffing him sharply on the back of the head.
The CLATTER of HOOF-FALLS is HEARD galloping in the distance.
Jack rushes up, sword in hand.
He's getting away! He was at my
Never show mercy!
I could have struck off his head
It's done... we'll never catch him.
Ever wondered why Jenny Greenteeth
said you needed the fastest steed on
Gump turns brusquely to Screwball, grabbing his tunic.
Fetch the unicorn... pass it
Screwball runs up the vast chamber to an elf standing at the entrance
to the passageway.
... Fetch the unicorn... pass it
The elf turns abruptly and runs up the tunnel.
INT. SECRET PASSAGEWAY - DAY
From elf to dwarf to goblin the word is passed. The wee folk scurry
like moles in the dark tunnel, their PIPING VOICES taking up the cry:
... fetch the unicorn... pass it
along... fetch the unicorn... pass
it along... fetch the unicorn...
pass it along...
The tiny VOICES MERGE and BLEND as the message is transmitted more and
more rapidly. The words are lost in the steady rhythm. It is like
the CHIRPING of crickets on a summer evening.
INT. VAULTED CHAMBER - DAY
The CHIRPING VOICES CARRY OVER and become the CLIP-CLOP of hooves. A
graceful elf leads Sapphire, the mare unicorn, out of the darkness to
where Gump, Screwball and several other faeries stand waiting.
Swift as thistledown on the wind,
that's the faerie way...
Jack has recovered his shield, now slung across his back. He vaults
effortlessly aboard the unicorn, clutching the long mane.
Gump hands him up a blazing torch.
Ride like wild fire, Jack.
He'll not escape me.
You're on your own... like a true
Jack stabs his heels into the unicorn's flank and is lost from sight
as a single leap carries him into darkness. Gump and the others stand
watching as the SOUND of hoof- clatter FADES.
INT. CAVE - DAY
Jack gallops out of the vaulted chamber through a tall portal leading
into a winding cave. Torch held high, Jack races between the tapered
spines of stalagmites. The shadows of the stalactites, hanging like
daggers, shift on the stone walls as the unicorn thunders past.
Up ahead, a distant gleam of natural light beckons.
EXT. CAVE MOUTH - DAY
Jack and Sapphire burst from the mouth of the cave in a spray of dust.
Jack wheels the mare around to a halt as he studies the barren ground.
A distinct set of hoof- prints leads off into the distance. Jack
urges Sapphire into a gallop along this track.
EXT. DEMONIC LANDSCAPE - DAY
It is a landscape of Death, like some Breughel vision of Hell.
Ravaged by war and pestilence, all of the trees are stripped bare.
The houses are in ruins, broken walls and tumbled towers stand like
rotten stumps. Bones protrude from the muck. Corpses lie bloated and
Wagon wheels are set atop naked trees, skeletons tied spread-eagled
across them. Like hooded inquisitors, vultures perch hunched along
Villages smolder in ruins in the distance. Smoke drifts like fog
between the blasted trees. Resolutely, Jack keeps up the chase. The
unicorn flies like a specter across the moribund landscape. Jack is
riding towards the very gates of Hell itself.
EXT. EDGE OF THE WORLD - DAY
The landscape is barren now even of destruction. Mud volcanoes belch
steam and fire. Grotesque buttes hunch under an unforgiving sky.
A wall of sulfurous flames leap like a vast curtain behind the sudden
precipice cleaving abruptly from the edge of the earth.
The Baron stands alone like a Titan at the edge of this cliff, his
mount dead at his feet. His silhouette is terrible against the
flames. He holds the alicorn like Zeus gripping a thunderbolt.
Jack trots forward on Sapphire to meet him. At twenty paces distance,
he dismounts and draws his sword.
The Baron smiles.
Welcome, Jack... I knew you'd be
Holding his shield before him, Jack closes on the Baron.
You are Jack, are you not...? The
Princess has told me so much about
Jack grimaces at the mention of Lili.
You cursed her!
I gave her a taste of such joy as
her wildest dreams never provided...
even now my seed takes hold in the
fiery furnace of her womb.
Jack rushes at him in anger.
Jack swings wildly. The Baron parries with the alicorn. Sparks FLASH
on contact. Jack is driven back.
Foolish boy! I take what I want and
so I took your Princess!
Jack leaps to the attack but the Baron holds him back, SPARKS FLYING.
Yes... exactly... damnation! Don't
you know me, Jack? Don't you know
from whence I come?
The Baron's form alters hideously. Huge leathery wings sprout behind
him. His eye glow like coals. Talons form on his hairy hands.
Lizard scales armor his chest. He truly appears to be a demon from
I bring your head as a gift to my
Alicorn gripped in both hands, the Baron rushes forward. He swings
with all his might. Jack parries with the "Avatar." There is an
EXPLOSION of LIGHT. Jack's sword is broken in two. The force of the
blow knocks him to his knees. He is helpless.
The Baron raises the alicorn to strike.
For you, oh my master, Satan!
As the Baron stands, sword/horn uplifted like a sacrificial priest,
the storm-darkened heavens suddenly part. The clouds open and a ray
of sunlight strikes the Baron like a bolt from God.
The Baron contorts with pain in the bright light. The unicorn horn
glows white-hot. The fur on his hand smokes and he drops the alicorn,
SCREAMING with pain.
Without warning, Sapphire gallops up behind the Baron and spears him
through the middle. The unicorn lifts his writhing form high in the
air, impaled like some kicking insect. With a toss of her horn, she
hurls him to the ground.
The Baron hunches on his knees, gripping his mid-section in a futile
attempt to keep the foul black bile from spilling out of him like a
discharge of sewer water. He rears back his fanged head and SHOUTS in
Lord Satan... protect me!
jumps to his feet. In three swift strides he has snatched-up the
alicorn. It is no longer incandescent with heat.
Without pausing, Jack delivers a round-house swing, lopping the
Baron's head from his shoulders. A fountain of black filth spews from
his truncated neck as the body topples.
The severed head bounces off the edge of the cliff, tumbling out of
sight past circling buzzards into the haze of smoke.
Jack looks over and grins at Sapphire, who rears and whinnies in
The Baron's body sags like a deliquescent pumpkin, leaking rottenness.
Smoke swirls around the cliff edge. Jack
wipes the alicorn clean of the Baron's black blood.
He's dead, Lili... he can't hurt you
The Baron's body continues to melt away, seeping into the dry dust
like bubbling tar.
Sapphire sidles over and rubs against Jack. The Green Man wraps his
arm around the unicorn's neck. The two companions stand at the edge
of earth, staring out into the swirling flames.
EXT. HILLSIDE OVERLOOKING CASTLE COUER DE NOIR - DAY
The world is lush and green once again. The trees billow like
deciduous cumuli. Bold spring flowers polka-dot the emerald meadow.
In the distance, the Castle Couer de Noir is in flames, thick, black
smoke staining the azure sky.
The faerie army marches across the meadow, singing jubilantly. They
carry their wounded away on litters. Foremost of these are the biers
bearing Oona and Lili. The Princess' litter is festooned with blossom;
heaps of wild-flowers blanket the unconscious girl.
FAERIES (ALL TOGETHER)
They sky is high, the world is wide,
Beneath the flowers faeries hide...
Mounted on Sapphire and her foal, Jack and Gump pause on the crest of
the hill to look back on the faerie procession and the burning castle.
Jack carries the alicorn like a marshall's baton. The SOUND of the
faeries' SINGING drifts musically up across the meadow. Jimmy
Squarefoot staggers along under an armload of booty.
A good day for singing...
I've not heard a note out of you.
Not in the mood, I'm afraid.
Listen to him. Not in the mood...
On a day like none other the blessed
earth has ever seen... A day so fair
as forty springtimes --
I'm not denying it's a joyous day --
Where's your joy if you cannot sing?
Were the Princess Lili to join me I
would sing till my lungs burst!
She lives... isn't that worth
She lives like all the world before
the Baron's curse lifted. Now the
world's reborn, yet still she
Across the way, the castle Couer de Noir collapses in upon itself in a
spasm of sparks and fire. Only the outer walls and the keep remain.
Cracks appear as the final ramparts begin to crumble.
You're too impatient... See how long
the castle burns. Think you evil be
purged in an instant...? And
remember: the quest is not
Jack runs his hands along the spiraling length of the alicorn.
Aye... We'll fetch it back, praise
EXT. MARSHSIDE MEADOW - DAY (C.U. UNICORN SKULL)
The skull of the slain unicorn has been reunited with his horn. A
band of silver filigree conceals the repair-work. Bedecked with
flowers, the skull rests on a velvet pillow. It is being carried in a
There is nothing somber or sorrowful about the ceremony. Screwball,
dressed in flowers, carries the pillow bearing the unicorn's skull.
Behind him, beautiful winged faerie maidens in gossamer gowns carry
long, serpentine festoons of flowers. Other elves and goblins toss
handfuls of petals and pollen into the air. They all sing happily as
Sapphire and her colt prance along with them.
FAERIES (ALL TOGETHER)
The trees are green, spirits unseen,
The world we know is but a dream.
The flowers sing; all birds take wing,
Life and Death are an endless ring.
The procession approaches an underground faerie tomb, beautifully
constructed of fieldstone. The opening is like a well, leading down
to the beehive chamber beneath the earth. At the bottom, on a blanket
of blossoms, the unicorn's bleached alabaster bones are precisely
Two winged faeries take the pillow from Screwball and fly with it down
into the tomb, placing it at the head of the skeleton. A shaft of
sunlight makes the skull and horn gleam like polished ivory. All the
elves and faeries, laughing and singing, cast the flowers they carry
down into the tomb.
JACK AND GUMP
With the happy SOUND of the funeral as a counterpoint, neither Jack
nor Gump appear particularly overjoyed. They stand beside Princess
Lili's litter. Her still, pale form and the surrounding profusion of
flowers bear too close a resemblance to the ceremony in the
BACKGROUND. Jack and Gump mourn the living.
The quest's at an end and where's
the good of it? A faerie festival
over a pile of bones?
Tis not the wound, that's sure. Not
a scar remains... we're talking
about a spell; harder to repair than
I'll do anything... face any
Might not need a gesture quite so
grand. What were you doing the very
moment the Baron's curse fell on the
I was with the Princess.
By the pond. She was teasing me.
Go on... go on...
She tossed her ring in the pond and
bid me fetch it. Said she'd marry
me if I did.
And did you?
Nay. It was lost. When I came up
for air the pond was frozen over.
That's it then... the ring!
EXT. POND - DAY
As beautiful and serene as when first we SAW it. The Princess is laid
out under a tree, cushioned by thousands of flowers. All the faeries
stand about the edge of the water watching Jack remove his armor.
Jack unbuckles the golden breastplate of Achilles and stacks it next
to his gleaming shield and helmet. Gump helps him unfasten the
You must find the ring... It
completes the cycle; answers the
You're good at riddles... Find the
ring and the spell is broken.
Jack stripes down completely. He steps to the edge of the pond,
pausing for a moment to look fondly at his faerie friends gathered
Your fond wishes give me strength,
No speeches! What's a little swim
after sticking worms and ogres?
The faeries applaud and CHEER. Blushing, Jack dives into
EXT. UNDERWATER - DAY
The cheering is silenced by the rush of water as Jack streaks down,
streams of air-bubbles in his wake.
Jack strokes deeper and deeper, past undulating weeds and curious
At the bottom, he moves carefully, trying not to stir up the muck. He
gently parts the drifting tendrils, searching among the weeds.
A winking gleam catches his eye. He reaches out an eager hand to
seize whatever it is.
A cloud of silt issues from his grasp as he opens his fingers.
Centered on his palm, golden and perfect, is the ring.
Jack turns and strokes for the surface, a shining ceiling of light far
EXT. POND - DAY
Jack breaks the still surface with a happy SHOUT. He holds the ring
triumphantly above his head.
I did it! I found it!
LAUGHING joyously, Jack swims for the shore. The banks are deserted.
Not a single faerie remains. But Jack seems not to notice. He takes
hold of a tree-root and hauls himself back on land. The golden armor
of Achilles is gone. In its place are Jack's old fur and leaf
And will my lady honor her word in
exchange for this bauble?
Jack stops short when he sees the Princess asleep under the tree.
There is no trace of the heaps of flowers upon which she rested. Nor
of the jeweled gown she wore on the litter. She looks just as before.
Well, I see what an exciting
spectacle I've provided...
Tossing the ring abstractly up and down, Jack pulls on his fur
trousers and approaches the sleeping Princess. He kneels before her,
lifting her hand to his lips.
Beggars on horseback come courting
Jack slips the ring on Lili's finger. Her eye-lashes flutter. She is
awake, looking him straight in the face.
Oh! Green Jack! What a dream I've
had... proper nightmare.
Whilst you were sleeping, I fetched
Lili looks at her ring and smiles.
Sweet Jack. I'm so sorry you found
me asleep. Don't know what came
I can't have been under much more
than a minute.
Seemed like weeks and weeks. Such a
terrible dream... I could never tell
Is what you said about the ring but
Oh no, dearest Jack... I meant every
You're teasing still.
Lili wraps her arms around his neck, kissing him.
Nay, dearest Jack... you are to be
my husband. I want none other.
But... I am a Green Man. I have no
title, nor lands... scarce even a
few vines and threads to keep the
cold from my body.
You wear your weeds as well as
golden armor, Jack. Like a true
Prince... a champion!
Lili... I love you!
And I love you, my husband.
They fall eagerly into each other's arms. Their long, passionate
embrace is interrupted by an unseen pest.
Jack swats at his legs.
What's the matter?
Ouch! Something's biting me.
I can't see a thing.
Nor can I. Damn! It's buzzing all
around me. Ouch! I can hear it
like a fly trapped inside my ear...
Says its name is Oona!
Oona? Do you suppose it's a faerie?
Ow! Whatever it is, it hurts.
Princess Lili takes Jack by the hand and starts running, pulling him
along with her.
Hurry up then, Jack o' the Green...
You'll be safe in the castle...
We'll hand out bells and crosses...
strew the floors with flax and
EXT. FOREST PATH - DAY
Lili and Jack run together holding hands down a sunlit forest path.
The DIALOGUE is CONTINUOUS:
No faeries in the palace... We have
our own magician, knows lots of
spells... First, we'll tell my
father the news... you'll like my
father, Jack. He's not like most
Watching from a high bank, unseen by Lili and Jack, the mare unicorn
and her black colt stand in sun-dappled silence. The colt rubs
against his mother's flank as she gently blows on his mane with her
delicate sea-shell nostrils.
Below, Jack and Lili run together up the path into a BLAZE of
... and we won't have to stay in
some stuffy manor all the time.
When the weather's fair we can live
in the woods... I'll wear homespun
They disappear into the GLARE and the screen goes WHITE.