Iolaus Goes Stag Shooting Draft
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Iolaus Goes Stag
Written by: Jan Strnad
Directed by: Andrew Merrifield
Shooting Draft - September 01, 1998
Pages 1-2, 6, 8, 10, 14-15, 22 - September 30, 1998
Pages 4-4A, 6, 10-12, 16, 18-21 - October 1, 1998
Pages 16-17A - October 7, 1998
Pacific Island Pictures, LTD, All Rights Reserved © 1998
Iolaus - (ee-OH-lus)
Artemis - (AR-te-miss)
Flatus - (FLAY-tus)
Cheiron's Academy - Dorm
Artemis' Temple *
+ Sacred Falls of Artemis *
Woods - Location #1
Woods - Location #2
Woods - Location #3
Woods - Location #4
Woods - Location #5
Woods - Near Artemis' Sacred Grove *
+ Woods - Near Artemis' Sacred Falls *
INT. KORA'S INN - NIGHT
HERCULES and JASON sit at a table. Herc is taking a drink, Jason, takes a bite from a turkey leg. IOLAUS enters behind them, SLAPS them on the back. With the SLAP, Hercules SPIT TAKES and Jason SPITS his turkey onto the table.
Hercules! Jason! Great news!
Iolaus pulls up a chair and sits between Hercules and Jason. Suring Iolaus' dialogue, Hercules wipes his mouth, then mops the table with a rag. Jason picks up the well-chewed turkey chunk between two fingers, inspects it with disgust, and tosses it over his shoulder.
I'm a free man! No more exams!
Did Cheiron finally expel you?
I thought it was the academy or jail?
I got a job -- with my uncle Flatus.
KORA enters bearing a glass of grape juice for Iolaus.
Who's Uncle Flatus?
He practically raised me while my dad was out soldiering. I wouldn't be the man I am today without him.
Iolaus notices that his friends aren't as excited as he expected them to be. They mask the sadness at his going with hard questions about his choice.
What's the matter?
Your Uncle Flatus... what exactly does he do for a living?
Nothing illegal, I hope.
My uncle's a hunter, the best in our village! He's gonna show me all the tricks of the trade!
You're going to be a hunter?
Yeah. What's wrong with that?
Going hunting is one thing, Iolaus. Being a hunter, that's something else.
They're away from their families for weeks at a time...
...living like beasts...
...grubbing for food...
...becoming like the animals they hunt...
You don't know anything!
Iolaus gets up and paces, gestures. Some PATRONS sitting near the door look towards it as it OPENS, revealing FLATUS, a large, rotund man. Flatus' hair is tangled and matted, even sports some twigs and small leaves; his boots are muddy; he has a string of dead birds slung over one shoulder.
My whole village worships my uncle! When he enters an inn, everybody offers him their seat!
As Flatus STEPS INTO THE INN and looks around, the Patrons near the door REACT to his body odor, wrinkling their noses. He strides over to the one vacant chair at the table. He plops the string of birds on the table.
This seat taken?
The TWO PATRONS at that table grimace, stand, and walk off, fanning the air as they leave. Iolaus looks over, sees Flatus, then beams at his friends as he gestures toward him.
See what I mean?
Flatus spies Iolaus and opens his arms wide. Iolaus does the same as he gets up to go over to him.
Hercules, Jason and Kora exchange skeptical looks as Iolaus and Flatus rush toward one another and embrace.
INT. KORA'S INN - NIGHT
Flatus, Herc, Iolaus and Jason sit at a table littered with empty glasses and dirty plates. Flatus slaps Iolaus on the back.
Yes, little Iolie and I have chased down many a stag together!
I'm not so little anymore, Uncle Flatus.
No, of course not! Your laundry shooting days are over!
We were on our way home from a hunt. Iolie saw his father's long underwear hung out to try. Thought it was a demon from Tartarus. ZING! Shot it clean through!
Flatus, Herc and Jason LAUGH uproariously as Iolaus cringes.
I don't do dumb stuff like that anymore, Uncle.
Of course not!
Hercules and Jason put on mock-serious faces, shake their heads knowingly at one another. Iolaus glares at them.
Flatus drains his glass and RISES, patting Iolaus on the shoulder.
I bet you bring down the biggest stag in the forest tomorrow!
Flatus strides off.
Kora enters and starts clearing the table.
So you're going to hunt deer tomorrow.
It'll be our first hunt together since I was a kid. I want to show him I'm not the goof-up I used to be.
Kora surreptitiously nudges Hercules.
Maybe you should take along some insurance.
Kora shoots Hercules an intense look.
Uh, yeah. Jason and I would love to go.
Sure! The three of us on one last hunt together -- it could be our last chance.
And Hercules and Jason can keep you from doing anything, you know --
Iolaus puts his arms around Hercules and Jason, smiles warmly at them.
Iolaus You guys are the best.
Kora motions Hercules aside. They speak privately.
The Golden Hind?
(smiles)Sure! Half-deer, half-woman, all gold.
She's been seen near here. If Flatus catches sight of her --
He'll go after her for sure -- like those hunters last time.
There are so few of her kind left. There's no telling what Artemis would do to anyone caught hunting them!
Where was the Hind seen last?
Near Artemis' sacred falls.
I'll keep the hunting party away from the falls, but you know Iolaus. He attracts trouble like a dog attracts fleas.
Something tells me Uncle Flatus attracts both.
INT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - DORM - NIGHT
Hercules and Iolaus lie in their bunks. Time for some "lights out" talk.
Iolaus, are you sure this is what you want to do?
You mean, becoming a hunter?
Yeah. I mean, it's okay. It's just not where I thought we were headed.
I guess I started thinking of us as a team. You and me and Jason against the world, you know?
We were going to go out and do great things. Being a hunter's okay, but it's... I don't know. Ordinary.
Iolaus thinks this over for a BEAT, looking for the words to explain this to Hercules.
Uncle Flatus was always there for me, Herc. When nobody else had time for me, he always did. He made the time. He never married, never had kids of his own. Now he's getting older and, well, I think he needs me.
(beat)I think maybe I need him, too.
Hercules thinks this over for a beat.
It won't be the same without you, Iolaus. For any of us.
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #1 - DAY
Flatus leads Hercules, Iolaus and Jason through the woods. Everyone carries a bow and a quiver of arrows.
We've been tracking for hours and we haven't seen a thing. Are you sure your uncle knows what he's doing?
Flatus freezes, SNIFFS. He smiles and proceeds slowly.
Come on. Quietly.
Flatus studies the ground as he leads the boys a short distance away. He smiles as he finds a pile of deer droppings. He bends and sniffs the droppings, feeing the warmth. Hercules and Jason make "yuck" faces.
Deer spoor. A stag, by the size of it. And judging by the warmth, he's close!
Flatus taps his forehead.
The key to tracking a stag, is to think like a stag! He'll seek out water soon. That's where we'll catch him.
Flatus leads them off. Iolaus shoots Hercules and Jason a look that says, "What'd I tell you?"
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #2 - DAY
Flatus leads the boys along, then stops as they enter a small clearing. He's a bit winded.
Good spot for a snare. We'll need some vines.
Iolaus steps forward eagerly.
Uncle Flatus, why don't the three of us keep following the stag while you set the snare? If we see it, we can chase it back this direction.
Flatus CLAPS Iolaus on the back, rattling his teeth.
Beaming, Iolaus leads Hercules and Jason off while Flatus rips a vine from a tree.
Remember: think like a stag!
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #3 - DAY
Hercules catches up to Iolaus and matches his stride.
Okay, what's the real plan?
To shoot the stag myself, of course.
Hercules and Jason exchange looks.
Iolaus, you don't have to prove anything to your uncle.
Iolaus turns to Hercules, determined:
Yes, I do. He has to see that all the effort he spent on me wasn't wasted, okay?
Hercules shrugs very slightly, giving in. He's not here to argue. Suddenly Iolaus REACTS to something O.S.:
We see the STAG, a beautiful specimen, nibbling on some vegetation. Iolaus slowly notches an arrow and takes aim. The stag REACTS, sensing danger, and BOLTS.
Iolaus' arrow lodges in a tree trunk. Iolaus' blood is up! He leads Hercules and Jason after the stag.
Come on! Don't lose him now!
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #4 - VARIOUS SHOTS - DAY
CUT BETWEEN SHOTS of the boys running through the woods and SHORTS of the stag doing the same but a lot more gracefully. The boys tear at branches and CRASH through undergrowth. The stag leaps easily over bushes and darts between the trees.
There he is!/Don't let him get away!/Where'd he go?
EXT. WOODS - NEAR ARTEMIS' SACRED FALLS - DAY
The boys are wearing out as the stag runs toward the Sacred Falls of Artemis. Hercules grabs Iolaus' arm, stopping him.
What's the matter?
He's heading for the Falls of Artemis. That's sacred ground.
You never know how the gods will take these things.
Hello? Artemis is Goddess of the Hunt... we are hunting...!
Hercules has a point. This could be her pet stag or Zeus in disguise or something.
Hercules looks at Jason, who realizes he may have hit a sore point with Herc with the "Zeus" comment.
Sorry. Anyway, I say we pack it in stag-wise and look for other game.
I saw a rabbit warren back there.
I am not reporting back to Uncle Flatus with a couple of bunnies!
Iolaus starts to head off alone. Hercules grabs his arm again, but this time Iolaus whirls and shoves Hercules, catching him by surprise. Hercules tumbles. Iolaus stabs a finger at him.
I've made up my decision! I'm going on... alone if I have to!
Iolaus strides off, exits. Jason gives Hercules a hand up.
We'll follow him at a distance.
Hercules and Jason follow after Iolaus.
Not letting Iolaus do anything foolish is turning into quite a challenge.
EXT. SACRED FALLS OF ARTEMIS - DAY
The stag walks slowly through the brush, approaching a pond at the base of the water fall. Iolaus stalks the stag. He notches an arrow, pulls back the string... and then a golden light strikes his eye, causing his shot to go wild. Iolaus looks toward the light and sees the GOLDEN HIND picking her way carefully through the brush.
The Golden Hind!
He grabs another arrow and notches it.
This one's for you, Uncle!
Iolaus smiles as he raises the arrow and sights along it toward the Hind. He freezes as suddenly the light goes very weird and energy FLASHES all around and we hear Artemis' enraged VOICE
Who dares hunt the Hind in the presence of Artemis?!
(to himself)I'm toast.
A bolt of the energy that's flashing around strikes Iolaus, turning him into an energy figure that MORPHS into the form of the stag. Another bolt strikes the stag, and it MORPHS into Iolaus. (NOTE: As an alternative to morphing, the energy can CLEAR TO REVEAL Iolaus and the stag in their new forms. But it must be ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that they've transformed into one another.) The Golden Hind watches the O.S. action, frightened. As the ENERGY SUBSIDES, the Hind races off. The stag, which is now Iolaus, shakes its head.
Man, that was close! Artemis must have let me off with a warning!
Stag-Iolaus walks toward the pond.
And my mouth tastes like the bottom of a bird's nest!
"Iolaus" (Iolaus' body with the stag's mind) is having a fit. He rolls on his back, tries to stand and falls down, rolls around some more before gaining his feet and running off on all fours.
Who's that idiot? And why's he... hey! That's me! But then --!
Stag-Iolaus steps up to the pond and looks in.
Who am I?
Stag-Iolaus sees his reflection in the pond water and freaks. He turns and runs.
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #4 - DAY
Jason and Herc react as they spot Stag-Iolaus running toward them.
There's the stag!
Jason takes out his bow.
I'll bag it, and Iolaus can claim the credit with his uncle.
Will Iolaus go along with a trick like that?
Jason shoots Hercules a look that says, "Are you kidding?"
Right. Take your shot.
Jason sights down his arrow at Stag-Iolaus, and, we:
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #4 - DAY
Stag-Iolaus walks toward Jason and Hercules. Jason aims his arrow at Stag-Iolaus as Hercules watches.
Uh-oh! I've got some faaast explaining to do!
Stag-Iolaus lets out some weird stag SOUNDS.
Big oops. Stags can't talk.
Stag-Iolaus turns and runs as Jason lets his arrow fly. The arrow zips over Stag-Iolaus.
I'm getting my hindquarters out of here!
Hercules spots "Iolaus" running off on all fours.
Look! There's Iolaus.
"Iolaus" bites at the grass and chews it. He looks up, registering Hercules and Jason, and freezes in mid-chew.
Why's he eating grass? He doesn't even like lettuce.
"Iolaus" bolts. He runs awkwardly on all fours, then accidently lifts his hands off the ground for a few steps. He finds that this works better and runs off like an ape, back hunched, hands dangling in front of him.
Something's seriously wrong here.
(CALLING)Iolaus! Hey! Wait!
Hercules runs after "Iolaus" as Jason follows.
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #5 - DAY
Stag-Iolaus walks through the woods.
So, I'm a deer, and it's deer season. How could things get any worse?
Flatus approaches, bow in hand.
I had to ask.
Flatus sees Stag-Iolaus. He slowly swings his bow off his shoulder and reaches for an arrow.
Gotta think fast! Okay! I could write my name in the dirt! Nope... no time.
Stag-Iolaus turns and runs.
Running... right! Running is good!
An arrow ZIPS by Stag-Iolaus as he flees.
No fair! Where's my weapon?
Flatus pursues as Stag-Iolaus runs off.
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #3 - DAY
Hercules and Jason have "Iolaus" backed against a tree or thicket. "Iolaus" is panicked, trapped.
Iolaus, it's us. Your friends.
He's gone crazy, Herc. Check that look in his eyes.
"Iolaus" tosses his head, snorts, "paws" the ground.
"Iolaus" charges Hercules and head-butts him in the mid-section. Jason tries to grab "Iolaus", but he spins, drops to his hands and kicks Jason in the chest, knocking him backward. Hercules and Jason back off, and "Iolaus" makes a run for it.
Iolaus is taking his uncle's advice to 'Think like a stag' a little too seriously.
It's more than that, Jason. He was acting like this when he came back from the Falls of Artemis.
You think Artemis messed with his mind?
My guess is, Iolaus stirred up her godly wrath somehow, and this is her revenge. We have to catch him before he disappears into the woods.
If he thinks he's a stag, we have to catch him like one.
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #3 - LATER
"Iolaus" nibbles at a tree branch. He rips off a twig, chews, it and makes a comic face of disgust. He spits it out, then reacts to the sound of a twig SNAP. Hercules and Jason leap out of the bushes, camouflaged with branches and twigs in their hair and clothes. They chase "Iolaus" toward a particular spot. "Iolaus" trips a trigger and a vine snare loops around his foot and yanks him into the air. He dangles in the air by one foot. "Iolaus BLEATS like a stag. Hercules and Jason look with satisfaction on a job well done.
What do we do with him now?
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #3 - LATER
Hercules and Jason laboriously carry "Iolaus" strapped (comfortably) to a pole on their shoulders. "Iolaus'" head is near Jason. Herc stumbles a bit, but recovers well.
How could someone so short weigh so much?
Just then, "Iolaus" nips a bite at Jason, who flinches.
Ow! Whatever Artemis did to Iolaus, I wish it would wear off.
Suddenly Hercules stops and looks at Iolaus.
(realizing something bad)
What do you mean, 'oh, no'?
I just thought of something. Maybe it's more than a curse. Maybe it's a switch.
I mean, maybe that's not just Iolaus acting weird. Maybe that's the stag inside Iolaus' body.
Which means --
The guys look at each other as the horrible truth hits them.
Iolaus is inside the stag's body --
-- that Uncle Flatus is shooting at!
Hercules and Jason start double-timing it.
C'mon! We have to find him first.
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #2 - DAY
Stag-Iolaus walks in.
(panting) I never knew what it was like to have everybody trying to kill you! No wonder deer always look so nervous!
Help me! Please!
It's the Golden Hind, one rear foot snagged by Flatus' snare. Stag-Iolaus sees her.
The Golden Hind!
Stag-Iolaus approaches the Hind.
I wonder if she knows I'm the guy who was trying to shoot her earlier?
Oh, it's you, isn't it? The one Artemis changed. The human.
Stag-Iolaus studies the snare.
Is this one of your snares?
If I could talk, I'd tell her how I've lost my taste for hunting anything, let alone Golden Hind.
Stag-Iolaus' hoof kicks at the vine holding the Hind's hoof.
At least I can lend her a hand -- well, a hoof.
The vine SNAPS, freeing the Hind. She runs off. Stag-Iolaus watches her go.
Don't mention it, goldie. My pleasure.
Stag-Iolaus raises his head, nostrils flaring.
Uh-oh! I know that smell!
Flatus rises from the brush, bow in hand, arrow ready.
A startled Stag-Iolaus takes in fear.
Sorry I can't stay and chat!
As Stag-Iolaus runs away, Flatus takes a quick, desperate shot. Stag-Iolaus FALLS OUT OF SHOT.
Flatus sees the stag on the ground. He smiles and pulls out his wicked-looking hunting knife, starts toward Stag-Iolaus.
You gave me quite a run, stag! Out of respect, I'll make the end quick!
Flatus advances on Stag-Iolaus, who lies there helplessly. He reaches Stag-Iolaus, their eyes meet, Flatus raises his knife.
Uncle, don't! It's me, Iolaus! Don't!
Suddenly Hercules leaps in from O.S. and slams into Flatus, knocking him away from Stag-Iolaus.
Hercules sits atop Flatus, pinning his hands to the ground. Flatus glares up at him.
I hope you have a good reason for this, boy!
Get ready for a shock.
EXT. WOODS - LOCATION #2 - MINUTES LATER
Flatus kneels, cradling Stag-Iolaus' head in his lap. Flatus is torn apart with grief. Hercules and Jason look on.
My favorite nephew, dying by my own arrow! I'll never forgive myself!
You couldn't know what Artemis did.
Hercules looks around as if searching the treetops for the goddess. He's ticked.
Artemis! Are you watching? Are you proud of yourself?
Jason looks around expecting godly wrath to rain down on them.
Uh, Hercules. Godly wrath? Remember?
Is this what you wanted, to take an innocent life?
The lighting effect that is Artemis appears. Flatus leaps to his feet, and they all back away a little, worried.
Here comes the wrath.
Your friend hunted the Golden Hind, Hercules. This was his punishment.
He did wrong, but he doesn't deserve to die for it! Change him back!
He has learned his lesson, it's true. I can undo the transformation, but it won't save his life.
Do it! At least let him die a man!
The ENERGY FLASHES as before. Bolts strike Stag-Iolaus and "Iolaus". They MORPH back to their normal forms. The stag bounds off into the forest. Flatus rushes over to his nephew, who is still dying.
Iolie, you know I never would have --
Can't you heal him, Artemis?
No, but there is one who can... though she has little sympathy for hunters.
Everyone looks as Helene cautiously steps through the bushes. They freeze, in awe, as she warily joins them. She pauses in front of Iolaus. Helene kneels and gestures over Iolaus. As her healing power works on him, she says:
You risked your life to save mine, Iolaus. You have a brave and caring heart.
Flatus watches as Helene heals Iolaus. Her words make him think.
Such character is rare among humans, and sorely needed in this world. Live, and fulfill your noble fate.
Iolaus sits up slowly, astounded. Helene eases back. Iolaus reaches a hand toward her, which startles her.
Wait! Don't go!
Helene TRANSFORMS INTO THE GOLDEN HIND, to the amazement of all present. Iolaus sadly watches the Golden Hind run off into the woods. Just as she vanishes from sight...
Iolaus turns to see Flatus regarding him warmly. Flatus opens his arms, they step toward one another and embrace gratefully. But Iolaus is troubled.
Uncle Flatus, about my becoming a hunter...
Don't say it, my boy.
Flatus is beginning to tear up as he holds Iolaus.
Your destiny is far greater than that of a mere hunter. Even a crusty old fool can see that.
Hercules and Jason smile at one another as Flatus and Iolaus part. Flatus holds Iolaus at arms' length, looks him in the eye.
I don't want to disappoint you.
You never have. You never will.
If you really need me...
I know. Now come on --
Flatus has his arm around Iolaus' shoulders as everyone heads back toward town. Hercules and Jason walk behind Flatus and Iolaus.
Buy me dinner and I'll entertain your friends with more of your early adventures!
I'll buy you dinner if you don't!
Hercules and Jason smile at one another as they pass us.
Remember the time you shot your own foot?
C'mon. I was six. And I seem to remember you restrung the bow too tight.
They all walk off, their voices FADING:
Too tight?! I've never strung a bow wrong in my life?
That's what Mom said.
Well, she wouldn't know a well-strung bow if she tripped over one!
Whatever you say, Uncle.