Saturday, September 16, 2017

Production Memorandum 2: THE LUBYANKAN CANDIDATE

Novograd Republic

From: Richard D. Erlich, Director of Development
To: Boris Badenov, Writing Team Coordinator & Executive Producer
Subject: Trump Project (working, "Lubyankan Candidate") Draft 6
            cc: Natasha Fatale, Extra-Special Thanks

Boris, sweetheart!

            Congratulations on your upgraded title, improved credit, and the draft for Acts I and II The Lubyankan Candidate. I talked with Natalia from the Money people, and she loved it, loved it.

            Now about your team's suggestion for "opening up the film for an international epic of apocalyptic proportions, ending with the live-action/CGI destruction by massed artillery fire and/or nuclear bombardment of Seoul, Pyongyang, Tokyo, Kyoto, most of Guam, Burbank, Beijing, and Vladivostok, climaxing a neoMabley/McKee five-act structure." Natalia says she is happy your team has read a book — I pointed out it was at least two books — and she says she'll appropriate the budget if we can attach the Strugatsky Brothers for the final draft and Eisenstein and Kubrick to co-direct. I pointed out they were all dead, and she responded with "Da" and a long silence while she glanced through your team's receipts for "development," especially the research into Kompromat by "honey trap." (And, by the way, my name is spelled "Erlich," not "Ehrlich," and you and your crew have one week to pay back the 500,000 rubles I did not approve for "Sonia Shlyukha, consultant.")

            Anyway, you're not getting blockbuster budgeting, so figure one more act, giving a Beginning, Middle, and now End. Let me suggest, very strongly, a climax where Fearless Leader decides the point of the exercise was to show the world he can make an American President — and then, pardon the pun, trump that by unmaking him.

            You've already established some "buyer's remorse," in a manly sort of way, in Comrade Supreme Commander. The peripeteia, as the Greeks said, will be an intimate but powerful (and cheaply shot) scene of the Leader's watching one last meandering speech by Trump, taking a thumb drive out of a secret compartment and holding it up — and handing it over while saying quietly but manfully to The Aide, "Destroy him."

            We test-marketed some of the actual Kompromat (with faces masked) and got thrown off X-Tube for violating community standards, so tone down glimpses of the salacious stuff. What remains is an expandable or contractible "procedural" and "courtroom drama" as Mr. Trump's money affairs are spread over the Internet, and steely-eyed accountants "follow the money." This could become boring, but given the sheer chutzpah of the scams it will be fascinating … or will be unless your crew really are as dumb and untalented as Natalia thinks you are. (Get that money back, or heads will roll figuratively and knees broken literally.)

            The denouement — the final tying up of loose ends — can be a large-ish or small scene of the swearing in of the former VP as President Pence, or the former Speaker of the House, as President Ryan, depending on how many people you want implicated in the "procedural" and "courtroom drama." It should be in the Oval Office, watched on television by President Putin, with the last shot of Putin watching the show in his private office, and the preceding shot making clear that there are no cameras visible in the Oval Office.

            I have tremendous enthusiasm for this project, and I'm sure you and your team will come up with an End of The Lubyankan Candidate every bit as fascinating as the Beginning and Middle.

            Or else.

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