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GEMINI STUDIO

Wolverine "A Samurai Story"
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Script by Russ Anderson

Page 1/Panel 1

We're looking at a row of derelict buildings in New York City. Former apartment buildings, maybe, or an abandoned office block. It's night, and there isn't much light except what's coming from the streetlamps. Title and credits go here.

CAPTION

All I ever wanted was to die as a samurai would.

 

Page 1/Panel 2

Pull in closer, closing in on one building in particular, and one darkened window in that building.

CAPTION

How long since we both studied under Master Ogun, old friend? You were his greatest student, werent you? And I

CAPTION

I was his greatest failure.

 

Page 1/Panel 3

We're inside the window now, and looking at a man kneeling on the bare wooden floor of an empty room, with his back to us and to the window. He's probably shirtless. He's Japanese, and lean, very fit. There is a wooden board, about the length of a katana, laying across his lap (though we probably can't see that very clearly yet). This is KOZUE.

KOZUE

Still, even the lowest of Ogun's pupils is far mightier than those who never walked the path.

KOZUE

Really, all I had to do was wave my sword in that fool's general direction, and he split open like a rotten fruit.

 

 

Page 1/Panel 4

Pan around him so we're looking at him in profile now. From the back he could have been 25-30 years old, but now that we can see his face, his age is apparent. Late middle-age, probably, though he's in extremely good shape. He's looking at the plank in his lap.

KOZUE

But his dead body held onto my sword, you see. I'd planned to take my own life afterward, to die like the samurai Ogun swore I would never be, but I have no weapon.

KOZUE

Which is where you come in, old friend.

 

Page 1/Panel 5

Continue panning around. Now we're looking directly into KOZUE's face. His eyes are closed, as if he's meditating. Behind him, we can see WOLVERINE for the first time, standing in the shadows. WOLVERINE is watching KOZUE closely, but he doesn't seem ready to attack or anything. His claws aren't out.

KOZUE

Logan-San.

Page 2/Panel 1

WOLVERINE lights a cigar.

WOLVERINE

Kozue, I ain't your friend, and even if I was, I ain't here now to hold your hand.

KOZUE

You came when I called. You found me.

WOLVERINE

It was easy after that bloodbath at the Hyatt. A blind man coulda followed your trail.

 

Page 2/Panel 2

KOZUE stands. WOLVERINE seems unconcerned by this.

WOLVERINE

The cops'll be here any minute.

KOZUE

The men I killed tonight... they deserved to die.

WOLVERINE

Yeah?

 

Page 2/Panel 3

Close in on WOLVERINE. His eyes have narrowed. Suddenly he looks pissed.

WOLVERINE

What about the woman? She deserve it too? Or'd she just get in the way?

 

Page 2/Panel 4

The two men stand facing each other for a moment. WOLVERINE's still smoking, but he looks mad enough to fight. KOZUE appears serene, though he's still holding the plank of wood. (No dialogue.)

 

Page 2/Panel 5

Same shot as last panel.

KOZUE

That woman was my granddaughter.

Page 3/Panel 1

WOLVERINE looks shocked and disgusted.

WOLVERINE

Your granddaughter? You sick--

KOZUE

I did not kill her, Logan-San. I have done enough ill in this world without it, but I swear to you I did not kill her.

WOLVERINE

Then who did?

 

Page 3/Panel 2

KOZUE's turns away, his expression becoming wistful.

KOZUE

Ah, Logan... still so young, even after all these years. Do you know what became of me after I left Ogun's sword school? I wandered for a time, destitute, homeless, and then I hired out what skills I possessed.

KOZUE

I became a kenshi, a sword for hire.

 

Page 3/Panel 3

Flashback panel. We're looking at a much younger KOZUE. He's standing over two dead bodies, and there's blood on his sword.

CAPTION

Despite what Master Ogun thought of my abilities... I was very good at it.

 

Page 3/Panel 4

Back to the present. KOZUE is still talking.

KOZUE

I lived comfortably for many years in that fashion. Eventually, I married and had children.

KOZUE

But then my employer and I had a... misunderstanding. He said he could no longer trust me, and demanded I make an offering to prove my loyalty. And to cement it.

 

Page 3/Panel 5

Flashback panel. We're looking at a traditional Japanese wedding of a young, pudgy, stern-looking Japanese man and a beautiful young Japanese woman. Maybe we even see a distressed-looking KOZUE in the background.

KOZUE

That offering was my granddaughter, married to my employer's evil son.

 

Page 3/Panel 6

Close-up on KOZUE's hand, gripping the end of the wooden plank like it's a sword. He's clenching his hand so hard that it's trembling.

KOZUE

His treatment of her was appalling. For five years he battered her and took mistresses and used every opportunity to grind her spirit to powder.

KOZUE

So today, while that scum was here in New York seeing to his fathers business, I secretly boarded a plane and followed him here.

 

NOTE TO OZZY: I'm trying to stay loose with most of the plot, but I've got a specific idea of how I want this page to look. If you think you can get it across more powerfully by doing it differently, please feel free to try it out--you're the expert--but this is the only way I can picture it working.

We're looking at four long horizontal panels stacked one on top of the other.

Page 4/Panel 1

On the left side of this panel, KOZUE stabs the plank forward, as if driving a sword into an opponent's chest.

KOZUE

He had bodyguards, of course. They tried to stop me.

 

Page 4/Panel 2

Flashback panel. On the right side of the panel, we see two or three men slumped against a wall inside a hotel, obviously dead. Their blood is all over the wall. Since the action moves from the left (panel 1) to right (panel 2), it should almost look like KOZUE is killing the men as he's telling the story.

CAPTION

They couldn't.

 

Page 4/Panel 3

Again, KOZUE is on the left. He swings or jabs his sword again, whichever looks cool.

KOZUE

When the boy realized who I was and what I intended to do, he threatened to kill my granddaughter if I hurt him.

KOZUE

I struck anyway, confident that I was fast enough to kill him before he could pull the trigger.

 

Page 4/Panel 4

Flashback panel. The husband and bride from the previous page are shown dead now. If possible, show the bullethole in the woman's head and the gun in the man's hand. It should be clear that he was the one to kill her. A sword is buried in the dead man's chest.

CAPTION

I... misjudged the speed that desperation would give him.

 

Page 5/Panel 1

Back to the present. KOZUE's shoulders are slumped. WOLVERINE is watching him closely.

WOLVERINE

I'm... sorry, Kozue.

KOZUE

I don't want your pity, Logan. I want your help.

 

Page 5/Panel 2

KOZUE wheels on him, thrusting the plank out to show him.

WOLVERINE

I know what you want, bub. But I aint gonna do it. You wanna die, youre gonna have to do the wetwork yourself.

KOZUE

I don't have a weapon, damn you! Oh, I could find a gun somewhere, or a kitchen knife, but that is not how I want to die! It is not how I deserve to die!

 

Page 5/Panel 3

KOZUE is still yelling, but WOLVERINE looks sharply to the side and puts up a hand as if he hears something.

KOZUE

You are the only one in this city I can trust! You must kill me! Let me die instead of rotting away in one of your prisons!

WOLVERINE

Wait... you hear that?

 

 

Page 5/Panel 4

KOZUE looks around anxiously. WOLVERINE grabs his arm.

KOZUE

What? What is it?

WOLVERINE

We gotta go now, Kozue. We can finish this somewhere else.

 

Page 5/Panel 5

KOZUE yanks his arm out of WOLVERINE's grip and crosses the room to the door.

KOZUE

Ah. I see. The police have arrived then.

WOLVERINE

What're you--?

 

Page 5/Panel 6

KOZUE opens the door. He's still holding the plank in one hand like a sword. His face is serene again, like it was when he was meditating on Page 1. WOLVERINE calls out, but doesn't make a move to stop him.

WOLVERINE

Kozue, you don't gotta do this!

KOZUE

It is already done, old friend.

Page 6/Panel 1

KOZUE steps outside the room. He's on a small landing, facing half a dozen armed SWAT cops as they're coming up the stairs. It's only a little brighter on the landing than it was in the room. In this light, the cops are likely to mistake the plank in KOZUE's hand for a sword.

KOZUE

It is already done.

SWAT COP #1

Freeze! Get your hands in the air!

 

Page 6/Panel 2

KOZUE leaps into the air, the plank held high over his head. One of the cops shoots off a round, but it misses him.

SWAT COP #1

Look out! He's attacking!

SWAT COP #2

Fall back! He's got a--!

 

Page 6/Panel 3

KOZUE lands on SWAT COP #1 and slams the plank down on the head of another cop.

SWAT COP #1

--Uk!

SWAT COP #3

Get out of the way! Give me a sh--!

 

Page 6/Panel 4

KOZUE drives his foot into SWAT COP #3, driving him back into his comrades.

SWAT COP #3

huh!

 

Page 6/Panel 5

The SWAT COPS tumble down the stairs together. (No dialogue.)

 

 

Page 6/Panel 6

They're all lying in a jumble at the bottom of the stairs. KOZUE lifts his arms over his head, waving the plank. We can see one of the cops in the pile lifting his gun.

KOZUE

What do you think of your failed student now, Ogun! What do you think--?

 

Page 7/Panel 1

KOZUE is shot by the officer who raised his gun in the previous panel. The impact throws him backward, making him drop the plank. (No dialogue.)

 

Page 7/Panel 2

KOZUE is standing (barely) with one hand against the wall. The other hand is soaked in the blood pouring out of his chest, and he looks at it in surprise and shock. We can't see the SWAT COPS in this panel, but we can hear them from off-panel.

SWAT COP #1

Cripes, he's still standing.

SWAT COP #2

Shoot him in the leg!

 

Page 7/Panel 3

KOZUE pushes his way back through the door into the room he'd been in before. He doesn't seem to notice a bullet striking the doorframe near his hand. Again, we can't see the police, but we can hear them.

SWAT COP #1

How in hell is he still standing?

SWAT COP #2

Just shoot him again!

 

Page 7/Panel 4

KOZUE shuts the door behind him, cutting off the voices of the SWAT COPS. WOLVERINE is nowhere to be seen.

SWAT COP #2

He's getting aw--*

 

Page 7/Panel 5

KOZUE falls to his knees in the center of the room.

KOZUE

Logan-san... tell them

 

 

Page 7/Panel 6

Close-up on KOZUE's pained face. Behind him, over one shoulder, we can see WOLVERINE step out of the shadows and pop his claws.

SFX

snikt

KOZUE

... I died...

 

Page 8/Panel 1

Blood splashes across one of the room's walls.

KOZUE

... honorabl--*

 

Page 8/Panel 2

WOLVERINE stands over KOZUE, maybe with a little fresh blood on his claws (unless you think it looks cheesy). All we can see of KOZUE is maybe his arm lying across the floor. We don't need to show it, but the implication is that Logan beheaded him. (No dialogue.)

 

Page 8/Panel 3

WOLVERINE looks back at the door as the cops begin pounding on it. He can hear their voices from the other side.

SWAT COP #2

He's in here.

SWAT COP #1

Give me some cover! I'm gonna knock it down!

 

Page 8/Panel 4

The SWAT COPS burst through the door, weapons drawn.

SWAT COP #1

This is the police! Lay down your weapon and--

SWAT COP #1

--and--

 

 

Page 8/Panel 5

SWAT COP #1 kneels next to KOZUE's body. The others are still alert, searching the room. WOLVERINE is gone.

SWAT COP #2

I don't think he can hear you, chief.

SWAT COP #1 (staring at the corpse)

God... we've got another nut with a sword in the building, don't we? I'll radio the second team.

SWAT COP #1

It's seppuku.

 

Page 8/Panel 6

SWAT COP #1 pulls out his radio. SWAT COP #2 looks thoughtful as he squats next to the corpse.

SWAT COP #1 (into the radio)

It's what-hoo-too?

SWAT COP #2

Seppuku. It's how samurai atoned for dishonor. Gutted themselves, and then, when they'd suffered enough, a second man lopped their head off.

SWAT COP #1

Samurai, huh? He's a samurai, alright...

 

Page 8/Panel 7

Return to the establishing shot from Page 1/Panel 1. The only thing that's changed is we can see WOLVERINE standing on a nearby rooftop, watching the building. He looks like you would expect somebody to look after they'd just killed a friend.

CAPTION

A dead samurai...

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