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 shit 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 legitimately 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.
After “losing” an Internet forum war, a group of Trolls – a rare breed that don't even know they're really Trolls and take everything they do completely seriously – plan on bringing forth the end of all life as we know it, so it's up to five strangers – the Trollfighters, the users who “won” the war – to prevent the world from feeling their wrath.
In 2013, Matthew Preston, a lazy, pretentious, dim-witted man, is considered on the Internet to be a king of Trolldom, with many successful attempts at causing maximum disruption and argument on threads and forums. After getting kicked out of his home by his frustrated parents, Preston currently resides in Cuba, where he meets Katrine Namani, a woman who is a pretentious, dim-witted Troll like him. Preston, taking a strange liking to Namani, has an unconventional friends with benefits relationship with her, contradictory to his blatant apathy and misogyny. Together, they gather people from all over the world, brainwash them, and convince them to participate in Trolling. However, a group called the Trollfighters notices their consistently decreasing originality and wit and thus defeat them in an Internet war, rendering them worthless. As it turns out, the Trolls have been taking their antics far too seriously, not even knowing that they’re Trolls at all, and vow revenge on the Trollfighters, as well as the world that “supported” them, gathering a multitude of weapons and assembling a massive army within six years.
However, the Trollfighters are ordinary people who participate in arguments for fun, even making Troll threads of their own, and also enjoy serious discussion on relevant topics as well as forms of media such as films and television. The Trollfighters consist of Graham Kirkman, a cynical writer and blogger; Samantha Bell, a kind-hearted and intelligent transgender woman who works at a library; Alex Wakefield, a feisty auto mechanic and technology expert; David Rivera, a horror fanatic who makes comedy sketches, film reviews, and short films for a living; and Carly Hannah, a teenage girl who has just been accepted into college.
In California, where Graham lives, the Trolls launch their first attack, resulting in utter chaos. They continue their assault in Pennsylvania, where David lives; Illinois, where Samantha lives; Georgia, where Alex lives; and Massachusetts, where Carly lives. Their attacks result in the injuries and deaths of thousands of people and cities damaged by destruction. The Trolls end up finding the Trollfighters, knocking them unconscious, kidnapping them, and taking them away to their headquarters in Cuba, where the Trollfighters eventually awaken and meet for the first time in real life, away from the Internet. They are tortured and enslaved by the Trolls and are further punished whenever they attempt to insult or rebel against them. During their time, the Trollfighters find themselves getting to know each other better while trying to survive their ordeal and deal with the fact that the world is collapsing around them. The Trolls also have a tendency to insult and pull malicious and offensive pranks on the Trollfighters, targeting their respective skin colors, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations.
When the Trollfighters ask Preston why he’s doing all of this, he tells them about their history and why they felt defeated and ashamed when they lost the great Troll war six years ago. Preston sees that their reaction isn't the one he was expecting, as his motives completely flabbergast and dumbfound them. While Graham responds with a sudden burst of laughter followed by drunkenly destroying everything in the room, the rest of the group responds with a justifiably harsh and angry tirade about how Preston is a whiny, deranged, entitled man-child who took the whole thing too seriously and is now bent on destroying the world solely because people got tired of his antics, reminding him that the Trollfighters never took it seriously and only did it for fun. This makes Preston and the rest of the Trolls even more angry, refusing to believe they’re in the wrong, and decide to further punish them, resulting in Samantha taking one of their guns and killing a Troll, which shocks everyone.
While the Trollfighters are all stunned by the situation and they acknowledge that killing someone for being an Internet troll is fundamentally wrong, they all agree that these Trolls are beyond saving seeing as they intend on destroying the world. They decide to train and prepare themselves for combat and escape. After taking out several Trolls, they find a teleportation device which ends up sending them to New York. Preston and Namani are enraged by this, officially declaring war on the Trollfighters, and send their massive army to where they’re at.
Once the Troll army arrives, they participate in a wild car chase with the Trollfighters, with both parties causing massive collateral damage along the way. The Trolls eventually decide to shake things up by driving a tank, but David, having snatched their missile launchers away from them before they escaped, convinces Alex to reprogram them so that their targets are the Trolls and not the Trollfighters, with surprising success. This results in the missiles destroying the tank and instantly killing a massive amount of Trolls. With their car broken down, the Trollfighters run off to find a hideout. However, their attempt proves fruitless when it’s infiltrated by another group of Trolls, resulting in a shootout. When they escape, they’re confronted by a Troll who finds his machine gun jammed. Samantha kills him by taking a basketball launcher and exploding his head with it, amazing her and the others.
As the other Trolls witness this and subsequently chase them through the streets, 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, Alex, and Carly and the other consisting of Graham and David. 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. Alex gets in a standoff with a Troll that results in both of them being shot, with Alex surviving and the other dying from being shot in the throat. David and Carly shoot down the rest of the Trolls using two of their machine gun turrets.
As Graham, Samantha, David, and Carly tend to Alex’s wounds when the Trollfighters reunite and find another hideout, they’re interrupted by more Trolls, who attack them. Alex convinces them to escape and she takes the Trolls down one by one, ending with her hanging the last of them and burning him to death with a rocket launcher that blows up and destroys the building while she rides a motorcycle. She rejoins the Trollfighters and tries to help them convince Preston and Namani to take the fight elsewhere as cities around the world have been undone by too much damage, to which they childishly refuse. They then basically force them to when they find another one of the teleportation devices and transport themselves to the desert in Pakistan during night. The two parties then participate in an epic brawl, with the small band of Trollfighters overpowering the massive army of Trolls.
Namani decides to betray Preston and use one of the teleportation devices to ensure her safety and survival, enraging him and resulting in him cursing her. Graham and Preston teleport to an abandoned apartment complex in Cuba where they fight to the death. Preston comes close to delivering his finishing blow to Graham and killing him, but Graham then catches him off-guard and blasts his genitals off with a shotgun. He then tackles Preston out the window and watches him get graphically impaled on a massive pole, landing all the way down.
Graham, teleporting back to the desert, discovers that all of the Trolls are dead, thus their reign of terror and destruction is over, and he reunites with his friends. When Carly mentions the possibility that there might be more Trolls out there somehow, Graham declares that they will give them hell when they eventually decide to rise up. They find multiple teleportation devices and use them to go back to their respective homes, while promising that they’ll keep contact with each other and not before Graham compliments Samantha on her kissing him and asks her out on a date, to which she happily accepts.
* Graham Kirkman, a cynical writer and member of the Trollfighters.
* Samantha Bell, a compassionate transgender library employee and member of the Trollfighters.
* Alex Wakefield, a quick-witted auto mechanic and member of the Trollfighters.
* David Rivera, a prolific video-maker and member of the Trollfighters.
* Carly Hannah, a shy teenager and member of the Trollfighters.
* Katrine Namani, a simple-minded, bad-tempered co-leader of the Trolls.
* Matthew Preston, an entitled, pretentious, attention-seeking co-leader of the Trolls.
I feel it's important for the Trollfighters to be diverse in terms of race, 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 “toxic ultra-liberal SJW propaganda.” In very sharp contrast, the Trolls in this story all consist of cis het white men (with the exception of Katrine Namani, who's a woman, which allows me the opportunity to comment on internalized misogyny). 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 they're owed something, they're genuinely smarter than everyone around them, and what they're doing is actually beneficial.
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, like say the smooth camera movements of a John Carpenter film like Escape from New York or They Live or a John McTiernan film like Predator or Die Hard, or maybe even a gritty handheld – not shaking the camera a la the Bourne films, mind you – style specifically like how Michael Mann uses it in Collateral, or the more stylized, fast-paced sensibilities of filmmakers like John Woo, Edgar Wright, Baz Luhrmann, Zack Snyder, and the Wachowskis. I would utilize extensive amounts of both traditional practical special effects and computer-generated imagery.
The musical score, like the action, would also ideally incorporate several different styles, again as a means to make it stand out from the crowd. I’d say the perfect composer would be Daniel Pemberton. From King Arthur: Legend of the Sword to Molly’s Game to All the Money in the World to Ocean’s 8 to The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Pemberton is a master at taking different musical styles and working wonders with them, putting his own unique flavor in every one of them and shifting from one to another with grace and finesse. As for the soundtrack, I’d take a page from Guardians of the Galaxy and incorporate classic songs, from the 60’s to the 80’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.
I want this to be a hard R all the way. Not necessarily in regards to language or sexual content, or even humor, but mainly in regards to the action and violence. I don’t want to hold back on anything. I want to show it in all of its gory glory. From decapitations to head explosions to eviscerations to gunshot wounds, I want this to be as over-the-top and insane as possible.
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 christmas comedy comic adaptation comic book crime 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