The Bodyguard is a 1992 romantic thriller starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. I have never seen it. I would like to take this opportunity to make public my strongly felt views that this movie should be remade with Kanye West in Whitney Houston’s role and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne on Game of Thrones) in Kevin Costner’s. It is my understanding that Kanye West would make a deeply charming and vulnerable actor, and I would like very much to watch Gwendoline Christie fall slowly and sternly in love with him.
Below are some notes from my (extensively doodled upon) spec script. Thank you for your time.
An old-fashioned lawn sprinkler lazily waves water back and forth over the freshly cut grass. Throwing knives lay scattered nearby. A wooden post is sticking out of the ground in front of the fence at the back of the yard. BILL DEVANEY, fiftyish, a distinguished-looking gentleman stands nearby trying to engage Briana in a conversation that up to this point hasn’t been going well. He’s Kane’s personal manager.
DEVANEY So, you won’t protect Kane Woods just because he’s in show business?
BRIANA I don’t do celebrities.
DEVANEY But the biggest money’s in show business people.
Briana says nothing. Her eyes are closed behind the sunglasses. Devaney picks up one of the throwing knives. He holds it carefully by the blade and throws it. It misses the post by three feet and clatters against the fence. Briana opens her eyes, sees what’s going on and closes her eyes again.
DEVANEY (picking up another knife) Do you really do these things?
BRIANA Isn’t he the one who collects dolls?
This is enough to distract Devaney from his knife-throwing.
DEVANEY (exasperated) Farmer, Kane Woods is one of the most famous people in America. He’s won every music award invented. He’s got the number one song in the country right now and he’ll probably be nominated for an Oscar in his very first picture. And you want to know ‘Isn’t he the one who collects dolls?’ Christ, man, where’ve you been?
BRIANA You mean he doesn’t collect dolls?
DEVANEY (defeated, sarcastically) Yes. He collects dolls.
BRIANA I thought I knew who he was.
Devaney tries to size up whether Briana is kidding him or not. Briana’s face betrays nothing. Devaney gestures with a knife.
DEVANEY You’re probably deadly with these things, aren’t you?
DEVANEY Show me.
Briana doesn’t move.
DEVANEY Why are you resisting this job? $2,000 bucks a week. (No response) $2,500.
BRIANA There are several good men available for that kind of money. Have you talked to Fitzgerald or Racine? Portman?
DEVANEY Yeah. Portman was interested…
He senses an opening and sits down beside Briana for what he takes to be the first serious talk.
DEVANEY …but we’re told you’re the best.
BRIANA There’s no such thing.
DEVANEY Farmer, we’re talking about a very concerned superstar. With a young child. Believe me, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think this was for real. (long pause) Farmer, he begged me to get you.
Briana sits up finally and looks at Devaney a long time. She picks up five throwing knives and stands up.
BRIANA All right. I’ll come and I’ll look the situation over. If I take it, it’s three thousand a week.
DEVANEY (whistles) Okay. You must be very deadly for three grand a week.
Briana is now about twenty feet from the wooden post. She throws one of the knives. It misses the post and clatters against the fence.
Devaney’s face drops. Briana examines the next knife.
BRIANA (mumbling) I know it’s something like…
The second knife gets away from her at the top of her arc and disappears into some bushes about three feet from Devaney. Devaney stands up in a hurry and moves behind Briana.
Briana raises her hand to throw again, then stops and motions Devaney off to the side.
BRIANA Better not stand right behind me.
Devaney smiles weakly. Briana lets the third knife go with one smooth motion. The knife sinks an inch into the center of the post. THUMP. Briana’s hand arching again. Throwing the remaining knives. Both knives stick in the post forming a straight vertical line with the first one.
Devaney is now facing the unseen Kane.
DEVANEY Kane, Briana Farmer is here.
Devaney nods in Briana’s direction. Nicki looks at Briana.
KANE (O.S.) Who’s here?
DEVANEY Briana Farmer. (getting no response) The bodyguard.
KANE (O.S.) I think Rory should be my bodyguard. (to designer) Let’s see the back again…
DEVANEY Kane, get your butt out of there and meet this woman.
KANE WOODS finally rises from the sofa. It’s a bit of a shock to see that he is only about thirty years old. A young man. Not beautiful, not ugly. Unique only in that he is immediately interesting. A superstar.
KANE Well, I’m up.
Briana and Kane look across the room at each other. Briana comes forward.
DEVANEY Briana Farmer, Kane Woods.
Kane offers his hand and they shake. Kane looks her up and down.
KANE You don’t look like a bodyguard.
BRIANA What did you expect?
KANE I don’t know. Tough guy, maybe.
BRIANA This is my disguise.
KANE (smiling) Well, her timing’s good.
KANE (to Briana, indicating the open booth) Farmer, do you want to come in here with me? Just to be safe?
Briana glances at him, then resumes her surveillance of the shop. Kane’s head bobs up and down above the curtain as he changes.
KANE You probably won’t believe this, but I have a reputation for being difficult.
Briana says nothing. She gazes outside through the store-front window and sees Henry and Tony horsing around next to the limo. A few small boys stand around the car. One of them is climbing onto the hood.
KANE I didn’t used to be. But you get known for being a certain way — a way people think you are — and pretty soon you get like that. Can’t help it.
Briana smiles knowingly. Kane notices.
KANE You don’t think so? You’re such an expert on famous people?
BRIANA I’ve seen a few.
KANE And you disagree?
BRIANA (very flat) You can be as you choose to be. It’s an act of discipline sometimes, but it can be done.
Kane stops in his tracks…then opens the curtains and looks at himself in the mirror. Also reflected in the mirror is Briana.
KANE Is that why you never stay with one of your clients? They’re too undisciplined for you? Or is it you’re afraid you’ll start to care about them?
BRIANA (without interest) That’s right.
Kane turns to Briana.
KANE Can’t you answer straight just once? Why don’t you talk to me? I’m not such a bad guy.
BRIANA You’re too clever for me. I can’t keep up.
Briana continues to search the shop and street with her
gaze. Kane steps closer to her.
KANE Look at me, Farmer!
Briana turns and looks at him.
KANE You don’t approve of me, do you?
BRIANA Disapproval’s a luxury I can’t afford. Gets in the way.
KANE Don’t like emotions getting to you, huh? Never mix business with pleasure?
BRIANA That’s right.
It’s a stand-off. After a moment, Kane motions to an outfit on a rack just behind her.
KANE Grab that, would you?
Briana takes a beat. Looks out the window.
BRIANA I’m here to keep you alive… not to help you shop.
Kane sizes things up, then grabs it himself, whipping the curtain shut behind him.
A smile plays across Briana’s face.
KANE Farmer… I have this problem. This minor little problem. You see, I’d like to go out for an
evening. Just me and a girl. You know…(makes a funny face)…like a ‘date.’ But I can’t go out on a date because you have to be with me every minute. I mean, what if she invited me up to her
place afterwards? Are you going to come, too? (a beat) So the only thing I can figure is for you to go out with me. (pause) So…that’s what I was wondering…you know. What do you think? But only if you want to.
BRIANA What do you mean?
KANE You know what I mean.
Briana knows he’s driving at. But she’s not at all happy to relinquish this information.
BRIANA A long time ago.
KANE What happened? Do you mind if I ask?
BRIANA Do you mind if I don’t answer?
KANE I don’t want to pry…
Briana smiles at that.
KANE (begins to laugh, can’t help himself) She didn’t die, did she? You weren’t like…protecting her and she got killed?
Briana is silent, grim. Kane looks stricken.
KANE Oh, my god! That’s it, isn’t it?
BRIANA Nobody’s perfect.
Kane is taken aback.
KANE Oh, Briana, I’m sorry.
BRIANA No…Nice try, though. (pause) It was less dramatic than that. She didn’t love me anymore. Can you imagine such a thing?
Briana puts a smiling spin on this last; it’s pretty charming. Kane looks at her.
KANE No, not really.
A SONG comes on the JUKEBOX — ‘WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKEN HEARTED.’ Briana smiles as Kane begins to sing.
KANE So, is this a full service date, Briana?
KANE I’m just asking you to dance.
Briana runs onstage at terrific speed and leaps through the air at Kane, twisting her body as she does.
ON STAGE – PODIUM
Kane turns his head, sees Briana leaping at him and shouts with a mixture of fury and terror.
CLOSE ON PORTMAN
The silenced PISTOL taped to the side of the camera FIRES.
Briana and Kane tumble over on the floor. The podium topples. There are screams from the audience.
Pandemonium breaks out. Men run on stage from all directions. Guns are drawn. Everyone is shouting. TV cameras whip-pan in all directions, security men shout into walkie-talkies.
QUICK CUT TO:
INT. MOBILE TV CONTROL VAN – NIGHT
Chaos on all screens.
TV DIRECTOR What the fuck?
OTHER VOICE (O.S.) Go to commercial…
INT. MAIN AUDITORIUM – NIGHT
CLOSE ON PORTMAN
Totally calm and, as he gambled, invisible in the commotion. Camera still on his shoulder, he slowly backs away from the scene. Ushers and uniformed security men rush past him towards the stage. People leap from their seats. A woman screams piercingly behind him. Portman doesn’t blink.
INT. STAGE – NIGHT
Dozens more helpers pour onto the stage around Briana and Kane. Kane starts to rise on all fours and sees, as hands reach out to help him, the blood on Briana’s shirt. She has taken the hits for him. But she’s still on the job, gaze alert. Without taking her eyes from the auditorium, her left arm stretches out, with some pain, to push Kane back down.
EXT. TARMAC – DAY
The steps start to fold down out of the plane, but not fast enough for Kane.
He jumps the last six feet, staggering slightly as the plane’s jet wash hits him, whipping his clothes, probably something amazing that he designed himself.
Without pausing, he runs to Briana, who takes him in her arms. They embrace and kiss. They kiss again and again. Finally, slowly, Kane draws back; his eyes are filled with tears.
KANE Remember when you said you’d risk your life for me?
Briana tries to break in, but he won’t let her interrupt.
KANE I didn’t really believe it then. Nobody means what they say. But you did, Briana. You did it. You laid it all on the line for me.
Briana tries to speak; he puts his hands to her lips.
KANE Don’t wreck this for me. I don’t want to hear any bullshit about you just doing your job. You did more than save my life, Briana. You showed me a way to be. And I love you for it. (a beat) There, I said it. (looks at him) I’ll never forget what it felt like to be under your eye. Never.
BRIANA (smiles) I won’t be forgetting you either.
He presses something into Briana’s hand.
KANE Here. I want you to keep this. If you ever need me, you just put this on and no matter where you are I will find you. I promise.
He gives her a quick kiss and walks back toward the plane, his eyes holding Briana’s.
Briana opens her palm to reveal the little enamel cross.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.