About a year ago rumors hit the internet that Jordan Peele, fresh of the scucess of his social commentary written and directed psychological horror film, Get Out (2017), was looking to get the rights to adapt a live action feature film of the 1990’s Disney animated afternoon cartoon show Gargoyles, created by the acclaimed writer-producer of comics and cartoons Greg Weisman.
So who would play who and how would you structure the stories I have to ask? Obviously you would basically make a live action movie that retells the Gargoyles pilot movie “Awakening” which was cut into five episodes for rebroadcasting and streaming. This movie would be a Macbeth (2015) conspiracy , Jim Henson’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) heroic misunderstood creature hero feature, meets Captain America the First Avenger (2011) / Avengers (2012) hero displaced in time story. The plot line of this first movie would just be an adaptation of the first movie / 4 part pilot episode just brought to a new medium. Giving as much homage to the great script and story telling already established by Weisman.
The basic story is as follows. The opening scene is a very healthy well dressed man with dark haired pony tail, peak early 90s looking at a massive 4 foot tall while kneeling stone gargoyle on the tallest tower turret facing out above a gatehouse of a very old and rundown castle with lower third text in Times Roman text saying “SCOTLAND – 1992”. The man is met by a younger blonde hair in glasses man who holds himself very stiff and serious, he states, “Mr Xanatos the final paperwork for Castle Wyvern purchase needs you attention before crews can start the deconstruction.”
“All right Owen, I just wanted to see him first”, the man referred to as Mr Xanatos says with a coy smile.
“Very well sir, I will go and let them know you are coming down.” the blonde haired personal assistant we now know as Owen responds
Mr Xanatos walks up to the kneeling gargoyle, “finally I get to see if the stories were true, I really look forward to getting to meet you …. Goliath”
Xanatos puts his hand on the back of the gargoyle and smirks as the scene cuts to the gargoyles face, partially covered with moss and years of dirt
The scene changes to two years later with a text card saying “NEW YORK CITY – 1994”, its raining and foggy we follow behind a female detective driving down a curiously empty Midtown NYC street as a police radio is going in the car saying “A four block perimeter has been established around Xanatos tower in midtown, all officers be be advised take extreme caution suspects are said to be armed with advanced military weapons as well as explosives, do not go in, we repeat no go until SWAT teams from 1 police plaza, 99th and 23rd precincts arrive we repeat, Its like a sci fi light show out here, its pandamonia! …. BZZT -cuts out-” the female detective turns a street sharply and comes up to massive debris falling hits the ground just in front of the car and it stops. As the camera exits the car from the rear we are introduced to a war zone of debris and massive stone chunks and glass from broken windows skies. A late twenties to mid 30s Long black haired biracial Native American Black Hispanic female detective in plain clothes red leather bomber jacket and jeans and black shirt and White Reebok sneakers pulls up in a classic 1960s four door red car with soft top with wipers turning off.
Looking up you to see the tops of the building you only see mist and fog, blocking the view. But in that fog of the city skyline flashes of lights and explosions and what sounds like lasers blasts match to the changes of colors and glow of the fogs colors from Reds and blues like a neon fog light show. Several dozen old hand cut massive stones bricks fall from the sky, one massive size keystone has a single massive and deep five finger claw mark across it.
The Female Detective gets out and runs over to pair of cops standing at the corner of the building under cover the side of an adjacent building to the one with the sign XANATOS INDUSTRIES . The female detective ask whats going on to a black cop on the scene she seems to be familiar with in police issued poncho and rain clothes, she asks him “Officer Burke, whats the situation?”
The claw marks on a massive stone block, obviously not cut or shaped by modern tools, draw her with a look of intense bewilderment.
Officer Burke, played by original goliath voice actor Keith David, responds, saying, ” We got calls with reports of heavily armed advanced private military storming and taking over Xanatos Tower Detective Maza, SWAT is 15 minutes out.”
As officer Burke tells Detective Maza the sit-rep, Maza puts on latex gloves from a sealed bag in her pocket and goes to look at the massive old keystone with the claw mark. Detective Maza touches the claw marks looking up at where the explosions are coming from in the sky in the fog perplexed, turning back to Officer Burke who also has a growing pensive worry on his face.
“What could have left claw marks in solid stone … “, she asks Burke. Just then both look shocked as you hear a loud unnatural animal like roar echo all the way down from the fog covered sky and more explosions go off and officer Burke pulls Detective Maza back as more debris hits crushing the stone and destroying the claw marks and she looks up with Burke still holding her asking if she is ok, to which she nods, and says, “We need to get up there now.”
The scene zooms up the building through the fog The the scene transformers to shows us the Castle Wyvern in all its classic glory under attack from Viking hoards, A blonde viking in a helmet orders the attack barking, “Come on you fools we need to take the castle before Sundown or the demons will get us!”
Text shows “SCOTLAND – 984 CE” as Castle Wyvern castle sits on a cliff side protected by all sides with only the front entrance open to potential breach. It is under attack as the sun sets. This 2nd act of the film would then introduce us to how the gargoyles got put in perpetual stone. This flashback concludes with the destruction of the Castle Wyvern clan and Goliath crying into the night at the death of his mate he finds upon returning to the castle
Back to the modern times we see Xanatos reading some spell from a boo during a rainy stormy night. The spell causes a massive shock wave as the stone around the Gargoyles cracks and they awaken for the first time in 1000 years. David Xanatos welcomes them up introducing them to the modern world. This has the gargoyles learning about TV and electronics and modern gadgets and on one of the TV shows the Gargoyle Lexington starts watching a show called “The Pack” leading him to say “I think I’m gonna like it here! Goliath”. Goliath befuddled and confused talks to David Xanatos. This is when the castle is attacked.
We move forward to the Female detective as she has run into the building where the chaos is coming from in the sky and after she goes to the security guard at the front desk and introduces her self and pulls out her badge saying Detective Eliza Maza I’m going up there! We cut to her as the elevator doors open gun drawn she runs out to make an arrest in the courtyard but runs up some stares to evade laser fire, a blast from a dropped rocket hits the area under the ramparts where Eliza is standing sending it crumbling and her falling off the building. Goliath in his natural protector mode jumps to saves her and this is when we get a quick tour of the city as Goliath glides with her to Central Park. They touch safely down on the roof tower of the castle in NYC Central Park . The Mercenaries attacking the castle then are ordered by Xanatos to stop over a whispered mic in his wrist. Leaving the other Gargoyles at wits end as the oldest almost them the elderly warrior says, “Suns about to come up” This is when you start to see the sun start to change the color from black to growing colors of red and orange and then light blue. The music swells as Goliath is pensive to find a spot to hide and Eliza is confused and bewildered. Goliath is talking to her explaining the best what he can as she explains what she does as a “Police Officer” an alien concept to Goliath who had been asleep for 1000 years, but he trusts her he says and asks for for her in turn to please watch out for him, he is vulnerable during the day and is not going to be able to move around till night fall later that day while off camera. The camera is focused on Detective Maza, as she is still confused and turned around as she is looking back to the building skyline where they came from and then turns to see Goliath turned back into a kneeling statue as sunlight has broken then New York City skyline. and hit him. Det Maza is shocked but laughs. They are on top of the NYC Central Park Castle with no way to get out now she says, so Det Maza takes a seat and leans up against Goliath’s stone back to wait it out.
During this time you flash back to the gargoyles in Middle age Scotland. They are going to go and rescue the people the viking’s killed and also get revenge for the death of their friends and family. This plays out then the The story of their betrayal and curse. It would be tightened up to make it so it could be done in 30 minutes. When turned to stone the shot would turn back to night at the top of the castle as maza wakes up as the stone statue starts to crack apart and we see goliath awaken. Det Maza is in awe. Goliath looks at her after he stretches from his slumber and says, “We have to get back to the castle to find out what happened.” Det Maza agrees and they glide off the Park Castle tower and to a tall old building alley. Maza asks, ” Can’t you fly up there?” To which he replied, “My wings are only capable for me to glide with, but I have a way to get up there do you trust me … Detective?” with a confused smile as he says Detective. Maza nods at which point goliath picks her up from her waist and says,” Put your arms around my neck and get on my back.” As Goliath puts Det Maza on his back he begins to crawl up with his massive claws up the side of the building. And Maza exsapters, “I’m not gonna get use to this at all” They get to the top of the building fast enough for them then jump off with goliath taking hold of maza caring her in his arms. It cuts back to the Castle and Xanatos as you see him see Goliath with Detective Maza land in the Castle Court yard. Xantos then spins a tale about how he said something was stolen they need to get back. Maza says, “That’s a job for the police.”. But Xanatos cuts her off and says, “and look how well you did. Good thing Goliath was there to catch you.” Mift Maza grumbles. This is when Xanatos would would introduce us to a character we thought had been dead from the flashback, Goliath’s mate the Gargoyle who now goes by the name Demona. They then get Goliath to join her to “take back” the tech that was “stolen”. This then also introduces us to Halcyon Renard and his sky fortress. Which sets us up for later interactions as Goliath sees he realizes this whole thing was a setup so he would destroy Renard’s Sky fortress. fourth act ends with Goliath becoming friends with Renard, as the machinations of Demona and Xanatos are made clear to the Gargoyles this leads Xanatos to being arrested and Demona grabbing a page from the spell book that Xanatos used to awaken Goliath.
With the 5th act its a wrap up of all the characters. Det Maza goes back to the police station as the gargoyles go to sleep in the morning. We are introduced to her Captain who introduces her to her new partner, ex-fbi agent Matt Bluestone. Xantos is now being put in to jail at Riker as the bars close his Assistant Owen, who it turns out is also his Lawyer, is talking to him and says are you ok with with this and Xantos smiles, saying “It couldn’t be better own, this is how it was all planned”. It then cuts to Demona as she steals a mirror from the musume and returns to her home and laughs saying the spell from one of the bunch of pages she ripped out. Leading to a shadow of a sprite to emerge from the Mirror. Cue Credits.
After the credits for the main actors and title comes down for the first film I would show a man sitting at large control table board / computer watching a screen with a mask of some sort in his hand. His face is obscured and all you see is the back of his white haired head. He is strong and holds himself up like a king. And on the screen is images of Demona and Goliath and the other gargoyles a top Xanatos’s building and Castle from stolen security footage. He clenches his fist on the mask saying, in a deep scottish accent, “Demona …” He then puts on the mask with the distinct red claw mark design across the face, “The hunt has begun you cursed witch”, he says as he reaches under the mask and scratches his bearded face.
And that is how I would play out the first movie in a 3 to 6 part Gargoyles summer blockbuster Tentpole fantasy action adventure film.
The following movies would cover several other key moments in the show
The second movie would be a merger of the Season 2, Episodes “The Mirror” as well as “The Pack” as you have Demona trying to distract the gargoyles while introducing us to the fact the shakespeare characters of Puck, Titanian, Oberon, and the myth of Avalo. This movie is a distraction and heist film. Demona is in a race with Xanatos, still in prison, as both are trying to steal the Eye of Odin and Phoenix gate. Xanatos hires the Pack to get the Eye of Odin. Demona goes after the Phoenix Gate during the chaos she makes with the mirror hoping to turn kill the humans but turning them into gargoyles with pucks help. The gargoyles stop The Pack, but Demona is stopped by the masked figure from the first movie end credits which is in fact MacBeth. This is where we learn about how they both are connected and the weird sisters of the Scottish play. In the end she and MacBeth are transported out to places unknown by the Weird sisters just as the Gargoyles come and undo the magic from the mirror after they defeat the Pack. David Xanatos somehow in true american corrupt fashion gets out of jail on a technicality and it ends with the the Gargoyles moving to the clock tower at the Police Station Maza is based out of. The movie ends with David meeting up with Fox from the Pack to get the the eye of Odin and ask her if she would be interested in a merger. They had been flirting through the entire film as she has talked to him via a video call owen sets up. I also want to play up to the idea they knew each other when they were younger too. That is how he knows to go to them as well for the job to steal the loot. Fox doesn’t get Arrested though and the pack splits up.
The third movie would be a merger of the episodes “Avalon” as we go further into the past of the character Demona and where she was as well as how she knew the archmage who is now taking over. I just want epic battles of magic in this one. It is only stopped, with some plot change, Oberon is awoken from his slumber on Avalon after the defeat of the Archmage. This movie also sets up backstory as Oberon calls for the gathering. Which the 4th movie will lead up to.
The fourth movie is Goliath and Det Maza floating three different stories as they try to get back to new york, setting us up to introduce more mythological characters. Personally I would love this more as a 15 episode show on Disney+. You can focus on Maza and her biracial native american black american family. You can do episodes with Det Maza’s brother Derek as he gets mutated as well as the evil Goliath clone Thailog. We get introduced to the different pack members who left. We also get introduced to other stories and ideas that could be spun off for new shows or new movies. Also we get introduced to Renard again as well as His wife and find out they are Fox’s Mother. It would also allow us to flash to the development of Xanatos and Foxes relationship and her getting married and pregnant and time traveling which set all this in first place, I’m a sucker for self fulling time loops, See episode Season 2, Episode 8 “Vows”. With the final episode of the 15 part show being the fever nightmare dream future hellscape from Gargoyles episode, Season 2, Episode 43 “Future Tense” in which Goliath is shown a vision of the future if he and Det Maza don’t get back to New York in time. This ultimately leading to the final movie in my planned list
Movie five or as I like to call it “WHEN OBERON SAYS KNEEL YOU KNEEL!!!!!” Basically just a live action version of the Season 2, Episode 44 and 45 called “The Gathering”.
So we have the basic outline for the movies plus a TV show. Who do we have play these parts?
Well here goes Plan8’s picks for majority of the roles:
- Eliza Maza = Tessa Thompson / Zoe Saldana
- Goliath = Keith David VO
- Brooklyn = Oscar Isaac
- Lexington = Rami Malek
- Broadway = Dan Folger
- Hudson = Ed Asner
- Angela = Naomi Scott
- Bronx = Frank Welker / Bradley D Baker
- David Xanatos = Jon Hamm
- Demona = Rosario Dawson
- Captain of the Guard of Castle Wyvern = Clancy Brown
- Princess Katharine = Jennifer Connelly
- Magus = Paul Bettany
- Viking Hakon = Travis Fimmel
- Fox = Jessica Chastain
- Anastasia Renard / Titania = Kate Mulgrew & Emily Blunt
- Oberon = Benedict Cumberbatch
- Puck = Andy Serkis
- Owen Burnett = Jimmi Simpson
- MacBeth = Michael Fassbender
- Captain Maria Chavez = Salli Richardson
- Petros Xanatos = Jonathan Franks
- Halcyon Renard = Brent Spiner
- Mary = Marina Sirtis
- Derek Maza = Michael B Jordan
- Matt Bluestone = Sebastian Stan
- Diane Maza = Nichelle Nichols
- Peter Maza = Michael Horse
- The Archmage = David Warner
- Odin = W Morgan Sheppard / Mark Sheppard