In the year 2013, I was an active user on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. It was a site I joined because at that point in my life, I was really starting to get into film and appreciate the medium, and I wanted to share my love, and my opinions on movies, with the world. It was a part of my life that had its high points and its low points — as an embarrassing example of the latter, when I first joined, I pretended to be a man in their late 20's with a fictional wife that I even created, but eventually deleted, a second account for (and yes, this is just as unbelievably sad, cringe-inducing, and pathetic as it sounds) — but overall, I don't regret the experience.
Of course, with all that being said, as the years went on and on, the forums of Rotten Tomatoes eventually collapsed and I moved, along with other users, to another forum: the Movie Watcher's Oasis. In 2018, I ended my relationship with the other users on unfortunately poor terms. I just got tired of every ounce of toxicity and cynicism that was plaguing the forum. I was essentially a punching bag, having taken more beatings than anyone else on there, and finally, I had enough of it all. I came to the conclusion that I didn't need the Oasis anymore and that I have much better things to do with my time and with my life. I felt it was time to make a change, and that change began with my departure. I turned away and never looked back — aside from a couple of times accidentally, but that's about it.
Getting back on track, during my five years worth of forum participating, I became part of this little group known as, “the Trollfighters.” When this all began, obnoxious trolls were infesting the Rotten Tomatoes forums. They weren't even funny most of the time; they were mainly try-hard dullards. So us “brave warriors” ended up flag spam-bombing the living daylights out of them on numerous threads and thus, “victory” was ours. We even had an IndieWire article written about the various dumb shit we've said and done — and no, I am not making that up, I'm being serious right now. The fact that we were all treating it like it was this epic war is what gave me the idea, “What if this actually was a war?” and I thought it would make for an interesting film. I had the concept in my head for such a long time, but now, I think I finally cracked the story.
TYPE OF STORY:
Trollfighters is classified as a satirical action comedy. I envision it having a hard-R rating, specifically for sequences of strong bloody brutal violence and gore throughout, pervasive language, crude and sexual content, some graphic nudity, and brief drug use. The projected length of the production is approximately two and a half hours.
The target audience for Trollfighters is people of any and all genders, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations, who are fans of comedy, action, or both; frequently use social media; who aren't in any way squeamish towards intense depictions of graphic violence and gory imagery; and are aware of and up to date on the current social and political landscapes in the United States of America.
Five Internet friends must band together outside to prevent Earth from feeling the wrath of a group of extremist trolls who seek to purge the world into extinction after losing a forum war.
The story is set in the year 2019. The film starts off in the city of New York, which initially looks as sleek and fabulous as it usually does, until it's revealed that the city is actually under attack by our villains, the Trolls, who all loudly chant “Long live the Trolls!” over and over. Buildings are collapsing and people are dying left and right. A man's severed head flies towards the camera before the film cuts to black. The opening credits begin, revealing a quick-cut series of disturbing imagery, grotesque videos, and fear-mongering headlines, all of which relate to various attacks by the Trolls, set to Queen's “Seven Seas of Rhye.”
After the credits end, the film cuts to a mansion in Cuba where Matthew Preston lives. Matthew, who looks shaggy and unkempt, with greasy hair and skin, sickly pale white skin, and unnervingly bug-like eyes, stares at a large series of monitors and screens right in front of him, all of which show maps of the fifty United States and clips of the attacks and news reports related to the attacks. He's revealed to be the leader of the Trolls. He starts fondling two of the screens like they're a pair of human breasts and closes his eyes.
In a sepia-toned flashback, Matthew lives in a prestigious estate in Boston, during the summer of 2018. Matthew's sleeping on his bed, in a hideously untidy room. His frustrated parents, Sheldon and Antonia, enter to wake him up and have a chat with him. Antonia tells him that they want him to move out. When Matthew is lost as to why, Sheldon goes stark-raving mad and tells him that it's because of how he's humiliated him and his company due to his insensitive comments on social media, ranging from calling people of color degrading slurs, sending pictures of his genitalia to minors, and encouraging other minors to commit suicide. Sheldon strangles him, but Antonia stops the madness. Matthew is quietly devastated.
Out of guilt, Antonia puts a large wad of cash in Matthew's suitcase. He moves out of his parents' home, depressed and feeling lonely. He can't help but get increasingly angry at, and driven worryingly insane by, the incredibly diverse culture he's surrounded by wherever he goes. At a coffee shop, he checks out an Internet forum he's a member of on his laptop and sees that he's been banned and kicked off the site. Clenching his fist, he's about to punch the person serving him coffee before the film cuts back to the present day, where he punches one of the screens. He looks furious, breathing heavily and letting the glass cut into the skin of his hand, oozing and dripping blood.
One of the Trollfighters, Graham Kirkman, who lives in the Windy City of Chicago, has gotten back from a film he didn't like and thinks having a drink at the local bar and grille will be able to calm his nerves. He entertains the barkeep and his fellow patrons with his dry, sarcastic, at-times cynical sense of humor. But a gang of troublemaking rough-housers, who just so happen to be familiar with his blog, come up to him and threaten him with assault, as well as make biphobic and offensive comments towards him. Graham pays the barkeep $300 for “the damages.” He splashes his drink all over the gang, causing them to fall over and damage the tables and glasses. Graham makes a run for it, bolting out of the bar and escaping the gang before they can catch up to him.
Another Trollfighter, Samantha Bell, who lives in Buffalo, has a day-job as a page for a public library, where she puts books back on the shelves and rearranges them back in the correct order. A teenage girl goes up to her and asks for her help with finding a book, to which she happily accepts. But she soon encounters trouble with the girl's father, a faux-feminist who insults her with transphobic language. When Samantha rightfully calls him out on his bigotry and abusive behavior, her boss comes out to defend her and demands that he leave and never come back. Samantha appreciates her boss sticking up for her and goes back to her job.
At night, Samantha is a sex worker, hooking up with clients as a means of making money to pay rent, but it's a job she enjoys even more than being a page due to not having to put up with any bigotry and prejudice. Her latest client is a wealthy, pretty young woman named Jane. The two have intense, passionate sex that night and they both enjoy the experience. Jane pays her a grand total of $800. Samantha keeps $150 to herself while using the remaining $650 to pay rent and keep her apartment.
Another Trollfighter, Dani Rivera, who lives in Atlanta, works as a mechanic for an auto workshop and is ridiculously good at what they do, getting things done very fast and with great skill. One day on the job, they comfort a fellow mechanic, Santino, who confesses to having been sexually harassed by another mechanic, Naylor, and when she tried to file a report, he bullied and threatened her into staying silent. Dani, believing her and feeling sorry for her, decides to give Naylor a taste of his own medicine. They secretly fumble around with the car he's fixing up, sending a large stream of oil down his throat. He swallows some, causing him to be sent to the hospital.
Another Trollfighter, Alex Wright, who lives in South Central Los Angeles, is purchasing drinks at a convenience store with black and Latinx friends of his. The racist clerk, feigning suspicion, calls the cops on them and they're assaulted by the police and arrested. Alex's father Thomas gets his son out of jail and drives him back home, knowing he did nothing wrong. He bemoans the current state of law enforcement in the United States. Alex goes back to his bedroom, where he's looking over two video projects (a horror short and a film review) and editing them back-to-back.
The last of the Trollfighters, Carly Hannah, who lives in Boston, is a high school student on the verge of graduation who yearns to be a writer. She writes various stories during study hall and her English teacher compliments her on her abilities, acknowledging she has real potential. However, Carly is very shy, having difficulty making friends, and feeling sad about it, due to sharing little of the same interests that the other students have. At night, when the five are all back home, they participate in a Skype call. They each have a friendly, lengthy chat about film, music, politics, and what's going on in their personal lives (with the exception of Samantha's sex work). Graham, Samantha, Dani, and Alex are the closest to real friends that Carly's ever had.
The next morning, the Trolls attack once more, this time around the whole country, in a sequence set to R.E.M.'s “It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” They shoot people down and blow vehicles and buildings up with machine guns, rockets, and attack helicopters. Graham's attacked while walking around a video store, Carly's attacked while eating breakfast with her parents, Alex is attacked while riding his bike around town, and Samantha and Dani are attacked while at their respective day jobs. All five are knocked out unconscious and the Trolls use teleportation devices to kidnap them and take them back to Cuba.
The Trollfighters wake up in an underground bunker below Matthew's mansion's basement, introduced to each other for the first time outside of the Internet. They're stuck in the bunker for weeks, making various failed attempts to escape that all instantly go wrong. During their time, they're tortured by the Trolls and are further punished whenever they attempt to insult or rebel against them. The Trolls also have a tendency to mock and pull malicious and offensive pranks on the Trollfighters, targeting their respective races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations. One prank involving a spiked drink results in Carly getting violently sick, being taken care of by Samantha.
When the Trollfighters ask Matthew why he's doing this, he reminds them that they have a history and have all participated in “the great war,” confusing them. Matthew was considered on the Internet to be a “king” of extremist trolldom, with many successful attempts at causing maximum disruption and arguments on various forums and social media platforms. He eventually started chatting with lonely involuntary celibates all over the Internet and he convinced them to help him dominate the Web with pervasive trolling. Eventually, they found themselves running out of ideas.
The Trollfighters, whom they had been harassing for a while, took advantage of this and “defeated” them in the great war, rendering them worthless. As it turns out, the Trolls had been taking their antics far too seriously and they had all vowed revenge on the Trollfighters, as well as the world that “supported” them. Matthew even admits to using a teleportation device to break into his former home, brutally murder his parents in a fit of rage, and rob them of their money and use it to gather weapons and assemble a massive army in the span of a year, as well as burning the estate down.
The Trollfighters are all flabbergasted by this revelation. Graham drunkenly destroys the room around him, while the others responds with a harsh tirade about how Preston is a deranged, loathsome man-child who took the whole thing too seriously and is now bent on destroying everyone and everything solely because people got tired of his antics, confessing to him that the Trollfighters never took it seriously and only did it for fun. This makes Preston and the rest of the Trolls angry, refusing to believe they’re in the wrong, and decide to further punish them, leading to Samantha taking one of their guns and killing a Troll, which shocks everyone.
During their time together, the Trollfighters take the opportunity to get to know each other better. Samantha confesses to being a sex worker and her fellow Trollfighters are all perfectly fine with it, much to her pleasant surprise. Dani frequently talks about their love for and appreciation of technology and how it constantly evolves. Carly discusses her issues with loneliness and having trouble making other friends and takes comfort in realizing that the Trollfighters are her real friends regardless of whether they met on the Internet or away from the Internet. Alex entertains everyone with his video content and shares his experiences of being racially profiled and discriminated. Graham, who finds himself developing a crush on Samantha, admits that his overly sarcastic humor and cynicism is a coping mechanism he uses to alleviate the stress and discomfort he feels while in bad situations.
One day, after witnessing Matthew holding an uncensored rally on live television — a dark and twisted homage to the neo-Nazi fantasy sequence from “Pink Floyd: The Wall” — and convincing his fellow Trolls to attack and kill people, Carly has an emotional breakdown, lamenting the possibility of them never being able to see their friends or families ever again. Having finally had enough, they all decide to train and prepare themselves for combat and escape, in a montage set to Robert Tepper's “No Easy Way Out.”
After taking out several Trolls in a sequence set to The Offspring's “All I Want,” they find a teleportation device which ends up sending them to New York. An enraged Matthew officially declares war on the Trollfighters, and sends his army to where they're at.Once the Troll army arrives, they participate in a car chase with the Trollfighters in a lengthy set-piece set to Deep Purple's “Highway Star,” with both parties causing massive collateral damage along the way.
The Trolls eventually decide to shake things up by driving a tank and teleporting it to the highway, but Alex, having snatched a rocket launcher from them before they escaped, uses it to destroy the tank and kill a massive amount of Trolls. One of the Trolls uses a teleportation device to send the car with Graham and Samantha inside driving off of a collapsing skyscraper, but Carly saves them by using another device to transport them to a deserted parking garage. Carly, Dani, and Alex meet up with them and transport back to the streets, where the other Trolls start chasing them.
The Trollfighters, seeing more and more of the chaos and destruction in the city, suddenly find themselves split up into two groups after an explosion, with one group consisting of Samantha, Dani, and Carly and the other consisting of Graham and Alex. As the two groups try finding one another, they both come under attack by more Trolls. Samantha takes down several of them in hand-to-hand combat and Graham kills some others in a bloody sword fight. Graham also manages to save Samantha from one of them, and as a means of thanking him, she kisses him, leaving him stunned. Dani gets in a standoff with a Troll that results in both of them being shot, with Dani surviving and the other dying from having his head blown clean off. Alex shoots down more Trolls using a machine gun turret, with Carly using another turret to blow up an attack helicopter.
The Trollfighters reunite and use a tall, abandoned building as a temporary hideout, where Alex and Carly tend to Dani's wounds. Graham and Samantha have talk privately, with the latter discussing when she first came out to her mother as trans and how sick and tired she is of her existence being described as “brave” when she wants it to be axiomatic. They’re interrupted by more Trolls, who attack them. Dani convinces them to escape while they and Samantha take the Trolls down one by one, the former riding a turret-attached motorcycle and the latter shooting from behind with a machine gun.
The fight ends with Dani burning the last of the Trolls to death with a rocket launcher that blows up and collapses the building. They escape and rejoin the Trollfighters, trying to help them convince Matthew to take the fight elsewhere as cities around the world have been undone by too much damage, to which he childishly refuses. An army of Trolls then teleport to where they are to kidnap Samantha and bring her to Matthew in his mansion in Cuba. The Trolls then come back to ruthlessly attack the rest of the Trollfighters for the whole world to see, including brutally pummeling Graham and Alex, shooting off one of Dani's toes, and burning Carly's right hand.
In the mansion, Matthew launches into a discriminatory rant against Samantha, specifically her transness, nonsensically projecting his intolerance and hatred onto her. After she sucker-punches him in the throat as a response, the two participate in a brutal fight that ends with him shooting off both of her middle fingers. Matthew comes close to killing her, but Samantha catches him off-guard and blasts his genitals off with one of his shotguns. In a sequence set to Electric Light Orchestra's “Fire On High,” she teleports them both back to New York and tackles him out of a tall building, where she reunites with the Trollfighters and they overpower the massive army of Trolls. They reveal to the scared crowd watching that Matthew is the one responsible for the attacks, resulting in him being beaten mercilessly.
In an homage to “Deadly Friend,” Graham finally kills Matthew by exploding his screaming head with an especially strong basketball, much to the crowd's shock and amazement. The headless body then stumbles around the streets before eventually collapsing onto the ground, set to Argent's “Hold Your Head Up.” A young boy in the crowd declares the Trollfighters heroes and everyone rejoices in the fact that the attacks have finally come to an end. The Trollfighters find multiple teleportation devices and use them to go back to their respective homes, while promising that they'll keep contact with each other. Graham compliments Samantha on her kissing him earlier and asks her out on a date, to which she happily accepts. As Carly reunites with her parents, the film cuts to black, with the end credits set to Pete Townshend's “Life to Life.”
FANCAST & CHARACTERS:
• Hayden Christensen as Graham Kirkman (early 30's, white cisgender male, bisexual): A cynical cinephile and blogger who uses a sarcastic tone and humor as a coping mechanism to help deal with stress and unfortunate situations.
• Jamie Clayton as Samantha Bell (early 30's, white transgender female, pansexual): A kind-hearted, quick-witted woman who works two jobs — library employee by day, call girl by night — to pay the bills.
• Indya Moore as Dani Rivera (late 20's, Afro-Latinx, nonbinary, pansexual): A feisty, whip-smart auto-mechanic with a great love for and knowledge of technology, dreaming of putting their skills to good use some day.
• Ashton Sanders as Alex Wright (early 20's, black cisgender male, heterosexual): A young horror fan who makes a living by posting short films, comedy sketches, and movie reviews on YouTube and is distraught over being a recent victim of racial profiling.
• Sophie Giannamore as Carly Hannah (18, white cisgender female, heterosexual): A shy high schooler who yearns to be a writer and struggles making friends with others outside of the Internet.
• Domhnall Gleeson as Matthew Preston (late 30's, white cisgender male, heterosexual): The villain of the story — a bigoted, foul, unpleasant, sad man born to extreme wealth and privilege who kickstarts the world's end and is too stupid and immoral for his own good.
I feel it's important for the Trollfighters to be diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation given the world we live in today, and how anything having to do with those things are wrongfully deemed atrocities and mocked ruthlessly by real-life online Trolls bemoaning “liberal SJW propaganda.” In very sharp contrast, the Trolls in this story all consist of cisgender heterosexual white men. This is especially helpful for the satirical approach to the story, as I intend to mock and condemn such extremism and hatred. The way the Trolls are characterized is inspired by the portrayal of the Sun Gym Gang in Michael Bay's Pain & Gain; they're very stupid, deranged, entitled man-children who think that they're owed something, that they're genuinely smarter than everyone around them, and that what they're doing is actually ethical and beneficial.
The film would incorporate a wide variety of camera shots and production techniques. Ideally, I'd want the action sequences to be put together by utilizing a multitude of different styles that would help make them stand out from each other, such as the smooth dolly shots, slick trucking shots, and long, wide takes of a John Carpenter film (like “Escape from New York”) or a John McTiernan film (like “Die Hard”), the gritty handheld medium and close-up shots of a Michael Mann film (like “Collateral”) or an Adam McKay film (like “The Big Short”), and the more stylized, fast-paced sensibilities of filmmakers like Baz Luhrmann, Sam Raimi, Zack Snyder, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, John Woo, and Edgar Wright, what with fast, energetic editing and zany, comic book panel-esque camera angles. The film would make extensive use of both practical and computer-generated special effects.
The soundtrack would take a page from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films and incorporate rock-and-roll songs, mostly from the 1970's and 1980's, but have them incorporated in a way that makes sense for a particular story arc, plot point, character moment, or general mood and tone of a particular scene, like say capturing the excitement and energy of a fight or chase sequence or even bringing a bit of dark humor to the proceedings.
10 years earlier 10 years later 80s 90s action Adaptation adventure aliens Animated Animation Based on Animated Series based on book based on comic based on comic book based on tv series Based on video game batman biopic Book character by name title christmas comedy comic adaptation comic book crime crime fighting superhero Crossover DC DC Comics Disney drama epic family fantasy Game History horror Idea-for-TV kids Live Action live-action martial arts Marvel Marvel Comics Music Musical mystery reboot remake romance Sci Fi sci-fi science fiction scifi Sequel Spy Superhero supervillain suspense teens thriller videogame adaptation war western