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GoatLord

Possible "Doom" script idea--need feedback!

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With the possibility of a new Doom movie in the works, I have found myself writing a script that's been slowly evolving in my head for years. As an amatuer filmmaker and writer, I don't think whatever I come up with will be gold, but I have a desire to see my favorite franchise made into a decent movie. With that in mind, I wanted to present a summary of what my vision of Doom is, in order to get the kind of feedback that matters the most: fan feedback. Whether it's "that's really stupid" or "that's awesome," it's important to me, to know whether or not my concept would actually please the Doom audience.

The year is 2145. The United Aerospace Corporation, a massive commercial entity, has several off-world colonies established, including several on Mars and its two moons. UAC Mars is interested in weapons resarch/development, teleportation, terra-formation and replication among other subjects. Most significant is an archeological find--fragments of ancient machinery.

The exponential technological progress afforded by this discovery has resulted in UAC's finest achievevment: The ability to link hundreds of minds together into a massive wireless network capable of controlling all electronic signals on Mars, Phobos, and Deimos, through the use of electronic telepathy. However, the intense mental drainage, and possiblity of using the network to breach security, left UAC with no choice: enslave all network users (mostly technicians and engineers) in a special subconcious, zombie-like state, where they "work" 18 hour shifts, and have had free will relinquished.

Despite this foolproof plan, an inevitable mental mutiny results in a choatic, massive freakout. The network's creator, not wanting to see his work destroyed, sacrifices himself to his own creation, resulting in an unholy union of man and macine. Suddenly, all electronic signals are subject to wild fluctuations as the struggle between slave and creator ensues. The manifestation of their combined negativity creates a number of horrors, especially in the spawning vats (labs for duplication), where both man and animal, and even nanobots and service bots, are duplicated with horrific deformities and demonic-looking features. With half functioning brains and under the ultimate control of the network, these monstrous creatures eventually make their way to the teleportation gateways, spreading their influence through all of Martian territory. As the network's power increases, Phobos becomes a hellish landscape of nightmares manifested into physical form.

The Marine, on Earth, has assaulted a superior officer for ordering his men to fire upon civilians. Instead of being discharged, the Marine, along with several other commandos, are instead dispatched to Mars, to wipe out a possible threat, after hearing various reports of unexplainable and fatal activity. The team, starting on Mars, must exterminate all threats, make their way to Phobos and destroy the spawning vats. However, the existence of the network is eventually revealed, and UAC, wanting to save its most precious creation, attempts to extinguish the team before they can reach the network's secret chambers.

As you can see, a it's a bit different than what you'd normally expect from a Doom-based story. I approached it more scientifically than the movie or games did, but kept Doom's core elements: Mars, its moons, demonic creatures, a hellish realm, and of course, marines with guns. I couldn't find a satisfactory way to make the demons ACTUAL "demons," but I think the idea of horrifically mutated humans and animals, as well nightmares being manifested into reality, are close enough. I think if paced right, this possible script idea could have a good mix of intelligent plot, awesome visuals, violent action sequences, and science fiction horror. Thoughts? Questions about the story, or incorporating other elements from the game?

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GoatLord said:

The exponential technological progress afforded by this discovery has resulted in UAC's finest achievevment: The ability to link hundreds of minds together into a massive wireless network capable of controlling all electronic signals on Mars, Phobos, and Deimos, through the use of electronic telepathy. However, the intense mental drainage, and possiblity of using the network to breach security, left UAC with no choice: enslave all network users (mostly technicians and engineers) in a special subconcious, zombie-like state, where they "work" 18 hour shifts, and have had free will relinquished.

Despite this foolproof plan, an inevitable mental mutiny results in a choatic, massive freakout. The network's creator, not wanting to see his work destroyed, sacrifices himself to his own creation, resulting in an unholy union of man and macine. Suddenly, all electronic signals are subject to wild fluctuations as the struggle between slave and creator ensues. The manifestation of their combined negativity creates a number of horrors, especially in the spawning vats (labs for duplication), where both man and animal, and even nanobots and service bots, are duplicated with horrific deformities and demonic-looking features. With half functioning brains and under the ultimate control of the network, these monstrous creatures eventually make their way to the teleportation gateways, spreading their influence through all of Martian territory. As the network's power increases, Phobos becomes a hellish landscape of nightmares manifested into physical form.


I'm gonna be really honest, and say that I flat out hate these two paragraphs entirely. It seems like you took your own sci-fi ceoncept(hiveminds) and tried to jam it into Doom's setting. It doesn't fit at all, and would make for a horribly disjointed film.

Yeah, you have a "hellish" theme...but with all the crap around it, it just seems that you're screaming "IT'S HELL...BUT NOT REALLY HELL SERIOUSLY GUYS". It's way too complicated, way too obtuse, and extremely uninteresting.

You're trying to imitate the film, whether you know it or not. That script tried to make Doom into a sci-fi adventure and failed. This will fail in the same exact way. Ask yourself: What would Doom gain from removing a core element of it's story (Hell)? I- and I speak for many fans when I say this- say *nothing*.

All a Doom movie needs is: "Marine goes to Mars after fucking his NCO up. Shit happens". Boom, the first 10 minutes surmised in a single sentence. No Hell, no sell.

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Funny that you mentioned the imitation of the movie, which I have not seen, except for a few snippets, but I get what you're saying. This is the kind of reaction I was kind of afraid of. I'll probably abandon this idea because I don't think it interests Doom fans. I don't know if I can really find a way to make an intelligent story surrounding Doom, and actually make it worth watching. Maybe the source material just doesn't work for that kind of thing. I wanted to avoid a literal "Hell" because I think Judeo-Christian based mythology being a central theme in a science fiction setting is really silly. I'm open to the idea of it being more Lovecraftian, but again, making it both an intelligent and immersive story may be too difficult an undertaking.

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I'd argue against that. Doom CAN work as a movie...it's just that Doom only works "as is". Meaning, if you take Hell and stuff out of the equation, it just isn't Doom.

If you're that committed to writing a Doom movie, you could write it kinda like Doom 3, with the focus on horror and claustrophobia. Include the dig site, include Bertruger, include Hell as a kind of plane...the possibilities are definitely there.

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The hivemind gone wrong thing instantly reminded me of the story behind the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games.
I think that a big part of a doom movie might be spent telling the backstory, both Doomguy's and of the hell invasion. All that stuff about teleportation tests, test subject crazyness, Deimos vanishing. I always thought that was really cool. And have a bit of classic surreal stuff. Also never EVER change the origin of the monsters to something that isn't "a hell dimension with skulls, pentagrams, and tentacles". I thought Event Horizon did this really well, no reason it can't be repeated or topped. After all, that's what makes Doom what it is. You'll just have to accept that. Although your "sci-fi silent hill"-esque justification is nice, it simply is not Doom.

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Mr. Freeze said:

I'd argue against that. Doom CAN work as a movie...it's just that Doom only works "as is". Meaning, if you take Hell and stuff out of the equation, it just isn't Doom.

If you're that committed to writing a Doom movie, you could write it kinda like Doom 3, with the focus on horror and claustrophobia. Include the dig site, include Bertruger, include Hell as a kind of plane...the possibilities are definitely there.

Yeah, I agree entirely. I dislike all the faggots that claim Doom's story can't be maid into a movie. Well, Doom 3 just did it. You can make Doom 3 into a great little action/horror film. It has characters, but it still leaves with with a feeling of lonely-ness. It has some of the most interesting concepts for Demons and it does have a villain.

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Hey there Goaty... there's an art / creativity forum you can put this in. Otherwise there's fanfiction.net or fanfics.net whichever it is.

Personally... I say have imps kill people and Arch-Viles ressurect them as mindless zombies.... but don't reveal that until the end.

Or stick with Doom's version of it... when humans pass through the portal or other dimension they turn into zombies days before they explode.

Or "infected" humans turn into zombies, turn into imps turn into knights turn into barons... but I think the movie did that already.

Anyway...

Goaty...

Write a 4 page outline. Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 sort of thing.

What are your characters, settings, and challenges? If you can write out those using bullet points the people would get behind your ideas :-) Are you telling the small story of a few people (like Tom Cruise's War of the World) or are you telling a big story (like Independence Day with Will Smith)?

If your outline makes sense people will get behind it. Until then its just 5 paragraphs.

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I was thinking about this while mowing the lawn (it's one of those activities that is surprisingly good for mental stimulation), and you're all right: Whether or not my idea is actually interesting, "Doom" it ain't. I think ultimately the invasion of demonic entities from a Hellish dimension MUST play a major part, no questions asked. With that in mind, I made this modification to my summary:

The machinery found at the archeological sites is part of an ancient teleporter, which when reconstructed would supposedly allow for humans and cargo to teleport freely between Mars and its two moons. However, an unkown force becomes aware that its technology is being tampered with, and decides to use the newly constructed gateways to invade Martian territory.

I think that if this type of setup was used, then all of the classic imagery could make its way into the movie--all the monsters, fleshy architecture and demonic imagery could be part of whatever force is spilling forth from the gates. It would probably be even more satsifying if the full story behind the invasion was never disclosed; that the audience is as bewildered as the people on-screen.

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And geo, thanks for the criticism and support. I want to craft something that fans can get behind, but that is also smart and avoids the cheese of the games (not that my vision of Doom would be devoid of humor). In my vision it's a story centered around a few central characters, with a lot of focus on the Marine, showing his backstory (such the infamous incident that led him to Mars), the isolation he feels being so far away from home, and dealing with the horrific images and events surrounding the invasion.

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Oh and here is an interesting interview with Doom's script writer Dave Callaham. Here he explains his writing process when writing films like Godzilla and Doom.

Fresh Voices
FV: How do you approach the blank page? Where do you go to find inspiration?

DC: I watch recent movies that I like. I read a lot of comic books because to me it has the right combination of text and story-telling and visuals. If I’m writing a small character piece I could read fiction and be fine. But on Godzilla I wanted to always be thinking in giant, sweeping science fiction terms. So I was watching a lot of those types of movies. You know, I could be watching Star Trek and it would help me with Godzilla just because it put me in the right mindset of “the universe is yours to play with.” I watch a lot of Discovery channel stuff, History Channel and that always helps.

On Godzilla as an example and Doom I did this too. I watched a lot of nature documentaries because I felt like I’m writing about an animal; it’s just a giant animal. But if I can get some cool set pieces out of behavior that I see animals doing in the wild in the show, then I can maybe translate that into something. Just whatever’s appropriate. And then I read a lot. I’ll be reading fiction for the sake of constant creativity, but I also I feel like on everything I write there’s research I could be doing.

The dumb prick doesn't even look at the source material when adapting a franchise to film. No wounder Doom sucked.

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I'm working on another idea for a doom script that recreates the events of the first doom. Perhaps I'll post what I've got in another thread.

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Sorry if I rained on anything or if I was trollish. Chances are fans will never get 100% behind something. Heck even if something is a mainstream success people will feel its too mainstream. I honestly think only the comics had cheese stolen straight from Evil Dead and Duke Nuke'em stole a lot from Evil Dead and They Live!

But just make a bullet point outline and people will get behind it. It might take a day or a weekend to get some bulletpoints and people will help you out from there too. I hear James Cameron wrote a 4 page movie outline for Aliens in a weekend.

There's a legend I've heard that says the Doom movie script writer was or is a member here. I also think that the Doom movie was a prequil to Doom 1 itself. Where you're left as a lone man after your team gets killed like in the Doom 1 backstory.

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After reading that interview that technitian posted...

I know why that guy got the honor of writing Doom... he was the cheapest guy who had ever written a major motion picture script. They blew all their money on the Rock. I can remember interviews with the Rock where he was saying he's the Doom Guy. A year later he was not :-)

Heck they should've spent more money on a metal soundtrack. A 90s metal soundtrack, not a 00s soundtrack. NIN is great and all, but Metadeath, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pantera, Slayer, Metallica & AC/DC would've signed for cheap and brought people in and I'd say they're more valuable than the Rock for this movie.

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geo said:

Heck they should've spent more money on a metal soundtrack. A 90s metal soundtrack, not a 00s soundtrack. NIN is great and all, but Metadeath, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pantera, Slayer, Metallica & AC/DC would've signed for cheap and brought people in and I'd say they're more valuable than the Rock for this movie.

Why they haven't added some modern Doom OST covers to the film is beyond me. Some Doom tracks are legendary to the community.

Also, I'm glad they fired this guys ass. He'd make a terrible Godzilla film.

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They don't even need covers, those songs are 20 years old. The older they are, the cheaper they go for. Sure its fun to have an ambient soundtrack, but that doesn't spell out what people want from Doom. Ambient soundtrack screams run of the mill... and Doom 3 to be honest, and people care more about DOOM.

Like just having one of those DOOM 1 songs played will bring back people's memories and release happy endorphines so they think better of what they're watching. Movies like Terminator and Star Wars all have iconic music. Music sells everything. Everyone in those movies have themes like an opera.

Maybe I'm crazy.

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Having inspiration bands cover their respective songs would be pretty awesome--Megadeth for Running from Evil, Metallica for At Doom's Gate, etc etc.

But that's a pipe dream I think =[

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It should follow Doom 1's storyline, primarily the first episode Knee-Deep In The Dead, opening up where he assaults a superior officer for ordering to fire upon civilians. In the first part of the movie he spends his time in the rec room watching restricted flicks and sucking vacuum with nothing to do for fifty million miles in the ass-end of space. Then it shows the Union Aerospace Corporation and their Gateway experiments on Mars' two moons, Phobos and Deimos. It should also show the hilarious consequences of what happens when someone teleports on top of one another or the result of someone going mad (similar to Berserk) before exploding.

After 35 minutes into the movie something goes wrong with one of the Gateways and a message beams down from Phobos onto the ship where the protagonist is situated on for standby. "Something fucking EVIL is coming out of the Gateways! Computer systems have gone berserk! Requesting military support! Repeat! Requesting a squadron of marines with full artillery! This is- AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH" Doomguy and a squad go down to the moon surface to investigate. The Doomguy is with a friend who after the squad enters the shell of the base, immediate screams, gunshots, bones cracking and men yelling orders can be overheard on the comlink. In a matter of seconds, they are cut down by an unforeseen enemy.

Doomguy and his friend unfortunately were late to arrive onto the scene leaving the squad to take most of the heavy artillery, leaving them with only their sidearms, the pistol. In the midst of going inside to find out what's going on, the first monster introduced in the movie can be the Pinky demon, as it lunges from the shadows at Doomguy's marine buddy, who then has his "fraggin' head ripped off" by the Pinky's powerful jaws. Doomguy, whose sidearm is ineffective against the monster makes a break for it as the Pinky chases him and discovers a shotgun off one of the dead marines who appears to be partially consumed. Doomguy shoots at the Pinky, blowing it away.

Then after Doomguy catches his breath, the dead marine behind him slowly begins to rise up and is now possessed by the demonic influence within the base. Doomguy turns to see him and then blows off his head with his shotgun. Throughout the film he is alone, his communications are cut off from his flagship, and the situation becomes increasingly more volatile by the second. He obtains various weaponry, such as the man-portable minigun, the rocket launcher, plasma rifle and eventually a BFG9000 (however that may be incorporated since it is based on E1). The assorted monsters should be Doom 1 oriented, that being zombies, Imps, Pinkies, Lost Souls, Cacodemons and the Baron of Hell.

The Berserk Pack is introduced by Doomguy discovering one of the UAC-condoned experiments that involves utilizing similar effects that the Gateway was causing, to use it as a sort of agent to create a killing machine (ala Agent Orange). Whatever's in the stuff, he thinks it's just regular medical supplies when he patches himself up, only to find out the stuff that's in the syringe makes him temporarily go insane (ala Doom 3) and literally rips and tears a swath through possessed humans and low-tier demons alike.

The Chainsaw has it's say sometime in the middle of this as well, especially when the Doomguy becomes more derranged/crazy from the isolation and the fear of these monstrosities as he goes deeper and deeper into the base, to find the horrible secret. The movie comes to it's climax when he discovers a strange shape on his automap device that reveals a pentagram shaped location ahead of him. This is where the Barons of Hell (or Hell Knights if it's D3 style) come through a Hellish portal. To where they see the Doomguy and exchange their feelings for him by unleashing an unnerving growl similar to the Blair Thing in The Thing. Of which, after all the Doomguy has gone through up to this point, he promptly racks his shotgun, spits to his side and looks them in the eyes while yelling out back "YEAH?! FUCK YOU TOO!" (heh)

And the big showdown occurs as he's dodging projectiles and having more than a few close shaves with these big badasses. The film ends when he discovers that beyond the gate lies the Deimos base, infested with Hellspawn, and that there is much more to be done, as he must eventually discover the source of the demonic hoard. He steps through the Hell portal, and the credits roll shortly thereafter.

If it doesn't rely solely on one movie based on E1 and leaving the rest to interpretation/the game etc. then Doom would have to be split into three movies similar to the three episodes of the game, each film based on an episode. Because of episode 4, there may be a fourth film, if not, then eventually the fourth/fifth/final film will be set on Earth. And the Doom movie becomes a franchise.

And the director has to be John Carpenter. Seriously, John Carpenter's Doom, doesn't that ring real nicely? The man could do Doom justice when it comes to isolation, tension building, and if the monsters were as good as the animatronics in The Thing they would be amazingly real and convincing. The film would also have a synthesized/rock score based on the game's music by Bobby Prince.

But hey, I can dream on for a really faithful Doom movie because one already happened, in 2005, and it was nothing like Doom at all. And now there's another one coming with the whole 3D garbage tacked on. There's simply no hope now.

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