The Treasure of Zeus Production Draft
|« Back to "1.01 - Treasure of Zeus"|
The Treasure of Zeus
Story by: Robert Tapert & Liz Friedman
Teleplay by: Mark Edens
Directed by: Chris Graves
Production Draft April 20, 1998 - May 22, 1998
Pacific Island Pictures, LTD, All Rights Reserved © 1998
Iolaus - (ee-OH-lus)
Cheiron - (KI-ron)
Strife/Nysus Gaius - (NICE-us GUY-us)
Alcmene - (alk-MAY-nee)
Cheiron's Academy - Classroom
EXT. ARES' TEMPLE - DAY (STOCK)
To establish. But we hear a strange sound: the CLASH OF METAL AGAINST METAL.
INT. ARES' TEMPLE - CONTINUOUS
ARES, armed only with a sword, is fighting coolly and calmly against a Warrior who isn't there: helmet, shield, sword, body armor, but no body inside them. (If this effect is too difficult, an alternative would be a faceless warrior completely swathed in black cloth.) STRIFE is sitting in a chair, watching the fight. He seems nervous, bored, restless.
You know, being a god, living in Olympus -- it's not a job for a weakling. Take me, for example. To be the God of War, even I have to work hard. It's a constant battle.
Ares strikes to the center of the Warrior with his sword -- and the armor CLATTERS to the floor. Where the Warrior had been there is only a wisp of smoke.
I'm tired of being a nobody, Ares. I mean, 'Strife, the God of War's nephew' -- what does that say to anybody? I'm ready for the big time -- you know what I mean? Why can't I be 'Disaster,' or 'Catastrophe'? Well, okay -- that one's hard to spell --
With a CLATTER, the armor and weapons rise up off the floor, and the shadow warrior reassembles. Ares begins fighting again.
If you want to be a real god, you have to prove yourself worthy.
Yeah? How do I do that? What's the trick?
You have to act like a god -- and make mortals suffer.
Been there, done that. Hey -- I'm Strife. I'm bad.
Try naughty. If you were any good and being bad, you'd dare what no god has dared before. To destroy a mortal son of Zeus.
You mean Hercules?
Ares puts his hatred into his blows, striking harder and harder against the shadow Warrior --
My half-brother. Alcmene's brat. The apple of my father's all-seeing eye.
Ares smashes the shadow Warrior, which CLATTERS to the floor again, leaving only a wisp of smoke. Ares relaxes.
Hera wants him gone, and so do I.
Whoa -- time out.
The Warrior starts to reassemble, but Ares raises a hand --
Don't get up.
-- and the armor CLATTERS to the floor again.
No god can do Hercules in without getting fried for eternity by Zeus -- am I right, or am I right?
Half-right. We can't attack him directly. But sometimes a little Strife can bring on a major -- catastrophe.
Ares moves away. Strife chews his fingernails nervously, thinking. Then his eyes light up and he smiles.
Hercules, here I come!
INT. ALCMENE'S BARN - DAY
Sweaty and grain-dusty, naked to the waist, HERCULES swings a heavy sack of grain onto his back, spins around a couple of times, and heaves it onto a pile of grain sacks. Playfully he bounds up the heaped grain sacks, leaps in the air, and grabs a rope hanging across a rafter. He climbs hand-over-hand to a loft filled with hay: he's left a rake in the loft. He picks it up -- and notices a knot hole in the wall across the barn. He hefts the rake like a spear (handle tip pointed away), taking aim. Then he closes his eyes. Eyes closed, he hurls the rake. It sticks in the wall, dead-center in the knot hole. Hercules smiles. Then he jumps off the edge of the loft, grabbing the rope and swinging into the center of the barn. He does a couple of flips, and lands near the sack on the wall. The rake is gone. Hercules looks around, puzzled. The rake is lying on a nearby haystack -- must've fallen off the wall. He reaches for the rake -- and a hand shoots out of the hay and grabs his wrist.
A HOODED MAN rises up out of the hay and flips Hercules across the barn. As Hercules rolls to his feet, the man grabs the rake and twirls it in front of him, martial arts style. Hercules grabs a coiled rope and tosses one end into the twirl, catching the rake. He jerks the rope, and the rake flies out of the man's hands. Bare-handed, the man runs toward Hercules, attacking. Hercules grabs a grain sack and flings it into the man: the sack knocks him backwards. Hercules hefts an even bigger sack and launches it at the man, who rolls out of the way. The man grabs a ladder and charges Hercules, using the ladder like a battering ram. Hercules catches the end of the ladder and flips it up, lifting the man off the ground and tossing him into the loft. Hercules starts up the ladder after him. When he nears the top, the man shoves the ladder away from the loft. Hercules teeters, then manages to walk the ladder towards the opposite wall. He's almost made it when the man grabs a rope and swings over to the ladder. Now both of them are at the top of the ladder, on opposite sides, each trying to push the other off as the ladder walks around the barn. The ladder comes apart under the strain, leaving each of them clinging to one of the side poles as the rungs CLATTER to the floor. They sway for a moment, and both of them reach for the same rope, grab it. A brief struggle clinging to the rope -- and then suddenly it snaps under their combined weight.
They land on a huge sack of feathers, which bursts in a pillow-fight blizzard. They roll onto the floor, wrestling, through a pile of muck, through the dust, crunching over baskets -- until a bucket of cold water is thrown on them. They stop, surprised, gasping for breath. ALCMENE stands over them, smiling with an empty bucket.
Like two bulls, knocking your heads together to see how thick they are!
Mom, he attacked me!
Alcmene snatches the hood off Herc's attacker, revealing IOLAUS.
'Expect the unexpected.' I was mopping the floor with you, till your mom saved your pitiful hide.
How about mopping the floor with this?
Alcmene smiles as she tosses a pair of brooms to Hercules and walks out. Hercules looks around at the mess. Feathers are still drifting in the air. Herc offers a broom to Iolaus.
Iolaus grasps the broom -- and Hercules flips him overhead. Iolaus lands in the muck.
'Expect the unexpected.'
Smiling, Hercules sets to work.
EXT. ALCMENE'S HOUSE - DAY
Hercules and Iolaus wash up beside the well.
You missed a spot.
Iolaus splashes water at Hercules. Hercules grabs a bucket, ready to throw the water on Iolaus.
Hercules quickly puts the bucket don as Alcmene walks from the house, carrying a bundle.
I've packed your things for the academy.
I stashed mine behind the house. Be right back.
Iolaus gives Hercules a last flick of water, then runs off behind the house.
There's still a lot of work left to do, mom.
How do you think I get by when you're at the academy?
I don't know. I know Zeus doesn't lend a hand.
Hercules, I wish you weren't so obsessed with your father.
Alcmene and Hercules walk slowly toward the house, with Hercules carrying his bundle.
Since you were little, you've taken every dare, no matter how dangerous -- or how foolish. Always trying to prove yourself worthy of Zeus.
(it is true)
That's not true!
(turns away; to himself)How can I be obsessed with somebody I've never met?!
You can't escape your birthright. But what you become -- That's in your hands.
(She takes his hands)
To be a good man, a good friend -- it's hard work, Hercules.
(showing him his hands)I know you're not afraid to work hard.
You're the one who's worked hard all your life. Because Zeus abandoned you.
Zeus gave me the thing I treasure most.
She brings his hands up and kisses them. Herc looks embarrassed -- especially as Iolaus returns, carrying a bundle for traveling.
Well, I guess we'd better get going.
(turns to Iolaus)
You know, Iolaus, when I was little, my mother would bake cakes and put them in the window to cool, and I'd always sneak up and steal them. When I got older, I realized she was baking the cakes for me.
As Alcmene speaks to Iolaus, Herc's dog, BEAR, comes up to Iolaus and sniffs and whines hungrily at Iolaus' bundle.
Interesting story. I guess there's like a moral in there somewhere.
Don't strain yourself looking for it. Now get going, both of you -- before I put you to work again.
Alcmene embraces Hercules. Iolaus studies the ground as he pushes the insistent sniffing, whining Bear away.
Take care, Hercules.
They part. Hercules looks over at his dog.
Down Bear! Come 'ere!
The dog rushes to Herc, who gives him a quick hug/rub.
So are we goin' or not?
See ya, buddy.
Alcmene waits by the door, waving as Bear ambles up beside her. Hercules looks back, then forward, eager for the road. Iolaus pulls the cake from his bundle.
You want some cake?
EXT. ON THE ROAD - DAY
Hercules and Iolaus hike across an impressive landscape.
INT. KORA'S INN - NIGHT
A pair of shaggy-legged SATYRS are snarfing down food from a shared plate, with atrocious table manners. They pause and look up suspiciously as Hercules and Iolaus enter.
I hear thus inn's got a new owner.
(indicating the Satyrs)The old one wouldn't serve anybody without shoes.
JASON gets up from a table as Hercules and Iolaus hurry over. Jason and Hercules exchange a back-slapping embrace.
How are things in Corinth?
Same old, same old. How's your mother?
Jason and Iolaus exchange a similar embrace.
Hey -- you been working out?
Just enough to kick your royal backside.
The embrace ends with some good-natured push and shove.
You and who else?
Iolaus grabs an item of Jason's clothing (a vest or a belt) made of leather. He's needling Jason.
Hey, is that new? Fine Corinthian leather -- fit for a king.
Comes with a matching crown.
Are you going to start that already?
Jason sits down at the table.
His highness is displeased!
Would you knock it off?
Iolaus and Hercules sit down, laughing.
That's what I like about Cheiron's Academy -- I'm not a prince there, I'm just another student.
A beautiful young woman named KORA appears with Jason's food.
Did I hear that right -- you some kind of prince?
Well -- actually I'll be a king soon. The King of Corinth.
Hercules and Iolaus look at each other.
Just another student.
If you're ever in Corinth, I could show you the palace.
Kora leans in seductively, giving Jason her best smile:
(breathy, overdoing it)
Gee, a palace! I -- I think I might faint.
(back to Herc and Iolaus, snappy)Now are you two arch-dukes gonna order, or are you just waiting for the king's leftovers?
We'll have what he's having -- and put all three of 'em on my bill.
Iolaus tosses his money pouch onto the table. There's no chink of coins.
Sounds empty. No dinars, no dinner.
It's okay -- I'm buying tonight.
Hey, I'm tight with the owner of this place. He always gives me credit.
Nice try, curly. I'm the owner.
Kora walks away. The guys stare.
She's got a really great --
Iolaus retrieves his money pouch.
The academy tuition's due this week. How are you going to pay it if you're broke?
Who says I'm broke?
Hercules and Jason exchange looks. Iolaus whisks his money pouch off the table -- it says he's broke.
A teenager wearing a rather dorky-looking hooded traveling cloak enters the inn. As he walks past the satyrs, one of them sticks out a shaggy leg and trips him. The boy falls headlong to the floor, and the Satyrs laugh (their mocking laughter ends in goat-like bleating). Hercules stands up.
Why don't you keep your hooves to yourself?
The Satyrs stand up. Jason stands up beside Hercules. The teenager gets to his feet -- and we see that it's Strife.
Please, no violence. We're all human beings here, more or less.
Iolaus pulls Strife aside.
If I were you, I'd get out of the way.
But then Iolaus takes his place beside Jason and Hercules.
Too bad I'm not him.
The Satyrs and the three guys start toward each other --
Hold it right there!
They react with surprise as Kora steps between them.
If you kiddies want to play, take it outside. When I want things broken around here, I'll hire a dishwasher.
The Satyrs lock eyes with Kora -- and back down, looking away, cowed. Hercules notices, and reacts curiously. As the Satyrs leave, Iolaus gives them a mocking wave.
(a goat bleat)
I'm gonna have to put up a sign: 'No shirt, no feet, no service.'
Kora walks off. Strife looks at Hercules.
Thanks for standing up for me. You can sit down now.
Who are you?
Nysus -- Nysus Gaius. I'm on my way to Cheiron's Academy.
(sudden pride)I'm gonna be the new top student there!
Hercules, Jason, and Iolaus look at each other -- and burst out laughing.
INT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - TRAINING HALL - DAY
Weapons twirling in exert hands, a wooden practice sword banging against a moving target, Young Men doing martial arts routines. ACADEMY STUDENTS, doing drills. Jason throws Iolaus while wrestling. Iolaus grabs Jason's ankle and jerks him off his feet. Hercules and Strife work out with padded spears, doing precarious footwork on crisscrossed ropes stretched taut as few feet above the ground, like a net with very large spaces. As they "fight":
You know that the hardest thing is here at the academy? The ground.
Hercules trips Strife with his spear, and Strife tumbles to the ground. He rolls -- into a horse's legs.
What is it with hooves in this burg?!
He looks up -- and sees Centaur CHEIRON looking down at him.
Uh, sorry, sir. I didn't recognize you.
Strife scrambles to his feet as Hercules jumps down, joining them.
I see you're showing the ropes to our newest cadet. I trust you're being gentle with him.
As gentle as if you were teaching him yourself, Cheiron.
Cheiron almost smiles. It comes out as a grumble.
The tree that grows on stony ground as the strongest roots.
Cheiron moves away. Herc and Strife climb back up onto the ropes.
And my uncle ways I'm hard to understand. Does he always talk in tree roots?
You get used to it. Come on -- let's try that work-out again.
They vault up onto the ropes again, and start working out: thrust, parry, counter-thrust, parry.
My uncle's the reason I'm here. He used to tell me about this place. The academy, and that cave up on the mountain.
He said it used to be famous. They got a chalice up there made by Zeus himself.
Distracted, Hercules slips and almost falls. Cheiron sees him from across the room.
Watch your footwork, Hercules!
INT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - TRANING HALL - LATER THAT DAY
A sweaty Jason and Iolaus get a drink from a big clay jar of water. Strife comes over.
Hey, guys. I just want you to know -- you're looking good.
Yeah. You too.
Jason and Iolaus roll their eyes -- what a weirdo -- and walk away. Strife begins playing the side of the jar like a bongo drum. Hercules comes over and dips some water.
That chalice you were talking about -- the one in the cave. You say Zeus made it.
That's the story. Wedding present for Hera. But they say he wants it back, you know, now that they don't see much of each other.
If Zeus wants it back, why doesn't he just take it?
Maybe he promised not to. Even Zeus has to keep his word.
(shakes head)What a shame. All this fuss over an ugly old cup she probably never used.
(lost in thought)
Yeah... probably never even used.
Hercules moves away, thinking. Strife keeps drumming.
Strife stops drumming, looks around. Then he peers into the jar. The face of Ares is reflected in the water.
Is my dear brother hooked?
Like a little fish, uncle -- ready for Hera to filet.
Strife smiles, wickedly, as we --
EXT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - NIGHT
Hercules, wearing a BACKPACK, sneaks out of the academy dorm -- and suddenly someone leaps onto his back.
Hercules flips Iolaus off his back. Iolaus lands on his back. He raises up on his elbows.
I gotta quit doing that.
Jason appears beside Hercules.
If Cheiron catches you sneaking out after curfew, he'll kick your rear -- and he can really kick.
I bet he's sneaking off to see that girl at the inn.
She liked me more than him.
She didn't like any of us.
Good point. But if you're not going to the inn, where are you going?
Yeah. There's nowhere else to go around here.
There's a cave in the mountains with a -- a treasure hidden inside it.
The old treasure in a cave story. This guy'll believe anything.
It's dangerous. I don't want to get you guys hurt.
Hercules walks away. Iolaus and Jason exchange looks.
He's trying to get rid of us.
And keep all the glory for himself.
He can have the glory. I just want the treasure.
They hurry after Hercules, catch up with him.
So what exactly are we talking about here? Gold, silver --
It's a chalice.
A goblet -- a drinking cup.
I know what a chalice is.
Is it gold?
I don't know what it's made of. All I know is, it belongs to Zeus.
Hold it -- time out, guys.
You're going to snag a chalice that belongs to Zeus? Is this one of those father-son things?
I'm not taking it from Zeus -- I'm taking it back to him.
You mean we're going to spend all night climbing a mountain just so you can get a pat on the back from your dad?
I didn't ask you to come with me. I can do this myself.
Hercules walks on. Iolaus and Jason exchange a quick look, then follow him.
All right -- but if there's something in the chalice -- like gold -- we split it three ways.
Two ways. All I want is the chalice.
One way -- I'm just coming along to keep you jerks out of trouble.
I love these guys.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - NIGHT
Pan across a magnificent moonlit landscape, toward mountains.
EXT. OUTSIDE THE CAVE - NIGHT
Hercules, Jason, and Iolaus move cautiously toward the cave.
The cave looks unguarded. How hard could this be?
There's a CLUNK, and they all stop and look at their feet. There is a pile of old bits of tarnished armor and bent and broken weapons. (BS&P: A FEW BONES, PLEASE.) The guys get the message:
They look at each other, then each bends and picks up a spear (bent, broken).
Just in case.
Yeah. Just in case.
They ease forward again, carefully.
What kind of cave is this, anyway? Is there anything slimy living in it? I hate those slimy things that live in caves.
(nervous, sees something)
What about those things that live just outside of caves?
All three look ahead, take in surprise, and stop dead.
It's as big as a house!
Silhouetted in the mouth of the cave is a huge, dark, motionless bird of prey. (PS&P: they can tell it isn't human.)
(hoping, not sure)
It's just a statue to scare people away.
The guys are all scared: In the dark the thing looks terrifying.
There's one way to find out.
The guys gently lift up their spears to throw them.
On the count of three. One, two, three.
They throw their spears -- and we hear the hollow THUNK of the spears hitting wood.
That sounded like wood.
Jason taps Iolaus on the head.
Iolaus slaps Jason's hand away, good-naturedly. The bird has the three spears sticking out of it: it's made of wood, like a carved statue. The three guys walk up.
It's just a statue, to scare people away.
Imagine the ducks you could catch with a decoy like that.
Jason shoves Iolaus: get outta here. Hercules pulls his spear out of the wooden bird --
INT. THE CAVE - NIGHT
Light moves on the cave walls. Hercules, Jason, and Iolaus venture cautiously into the cave, with Hercules in the lead, carrying a torch.
Hercules crouches low, holding the torch close. A thin string is stretched across the cave, at knee height.
It's a booby-trap.
That's easy enough to get past.
Iolaus uses his spear to help him vault over the trip-wire -- and as soon as his feet touch the floor of the cave beyond it, the ground gives way and he falls into a pit trap. Iolaus SCREAMS -- and Hercules grabs Iolaus' spear. Iolaus dangles from the other end of the spear, with sharpened stakes below.
Hercules tosses the torch to Jason, then uses both hands to pull Iolaus up to safety.
Did I say easy?
Deeper in the cave, the guys move along again -- with Iolaus tapping the ground in front of him with his spear. Hercules sees up ahead a high stone dais with a red gleam atop it: a large chalice made of red crystal.
There it is -- the chalice!
Hercules steps forward eagerly --
-- and Jason tackles him from behind, as a mass of razor-sharp swords bound with rope (the points stick in all directions) swings across the cave, right where Hercules had been standing. As Jason and Hercules get to their feet, Iolaus cuts the rope with his sword, and the ball of blades CLATTERS to the floor.
I guess I got a little eager.
Better watch that.
The red chalice gleams in the torchlight as they approach.
What do you think's in it?
He starts to peer inside --
Could be a snake.
-- but jerks his head back.
Have a look.
Hercules approaches the Chalice and peers cautiously inside. What looks like water, but with a faint fiery red flicker inside it. Just the light through the red crystal?
It looks like water.
Maybe the cave leaks.
Let me see that.
Iolaus takes the chalice and looks in it.
You telling me I came all this way for a drink of water?
Disgusted, he pours the water out. The water splashes against the rocks -- which immediately burst into flame and roiling smoke. Iolaus gasps in surprise.
Suddenly I'm not thirsty.
Iolaus tosses the chalice to Hercules.
Let's get out of here!
As they take off running, the flames erupt in a huge fireball. Hercules, Jason, and Iolaus sprint through the cave, with the fireball right behind them. They leap the stake pit without slowing down.
EXT. OUTSIDE THE CAVE - CONTINUOUS
Hercules, Jason, and Iolaus run past the wooden Phoenix and dive for the ground. The fireball rolls out of the cave and over them, missing them. Then it disappears, vanishing into thin air. The guys dare to look around, get up. The wooden statue is scorched and smoldering. But Hercules has the chalice.
Remember the time in the dining hall when they served beans for a whole week straight?
They look at each other, and burst out laughing.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DAWN
The sun is rising over the mountains.
EXT. OUTSIDE THE CAVE - DAY
The scorched wooden statue of the giant bird is still smoldering. A tiny flame leaps up. Then another one. Then suddenly the whole statue bursts into roaring flames. The wood is transformed by the fire, as if instantly burned away -- revealing a real, living PHOENIX inside. The Phoenix spreads its wings and gives a tremendous eagle-like cry. Then it takes off.
EXT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - DAY
Hercules, Jason, and Iolaus sprint across an open space and flatten themselves against the wall of a building. Hercules carries the chalice inside his backpack.
Everybody'll be in the training hall by now.
Oh, great -- we missed breakfast.
Iolaus snatches the chalice out of Herc's backpack and looks at it.
All for this dumb cup.
Suddenly they hear a tremendous bird of prey SHRIEK. They look back -- and the Phoenix swoops down and grabs Iolaus.
Hercules sprints across the courtyard. He bounds up onto a cart, grabbing a coiled rope off of it as he goes, and leaps through the air and catches hold of the Phoenix's leg as it flies away with the struggling Iolaus.
Did I say we missed breakfast? I meant we are breakfast!
Hercules swings himself up and kicks the Phoenix in the belly. The Phoenix SQUAWKS ANGRILY, belching a ball of fire, and lets go of Iolaus (NOTE: THEY AREN'T FAR UP -- MAYBE 20 FEET.) Iolaus lands on Jason -- a comical effect. The Phoenix dives straight at us, SHRIEKING, trying to shake Herc, who struggles to stay on.
Jason and Iolaus grab at the bird as it swoops just over them, but they miss. The Phoenix flies up and away, carrying Hercules. Strife watches from the corner of a building as Hercules is carried away. Strife holds his sides as he grins with glee.
Unc is gonna love this.
Strife gives Hercules an innocent little wave.
Have a nice flight.
TO BE CONTINUED...