"I think we all know who skipped their daily spacesuit cleaning, don't we, DON."

MISSION TO MARS

The Abridged Script

[ssf]

FADE IN:

EXT. A HOUSE

There is a PARTY being held. DON CHEADLE, GARY SINISE and TIM ROBBINS are there.

DIRECTOR BRIAN DE PALMA: Look, I’m doing a long tracking shot! I start every movie this way now! Remember how good Snake Eyes was?

DON CHEADLE: Wow, it’s still hard to believe that I was picked to lead the Mars mission instead of far more famous actors like Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins.

TIM ROBBINS: Yup, looks like we’re stuck on Earth for the duration of this movie.

GARY SINISE: Let’s not forget that I would be leading the mission except that (turning to audience) my WIFE DIED and I am UPSET ABOUT THAT.

They blab on for a while, clumsily revealing their sketchy character backgrounds, until finally DON CHEADLE goes to MARS.

CUT TO:

EXT. MARS

DON CHEADLE and his EXPENDABLE CREW have found an unusual structure.

EXPENDABLE CREWPERSON: Perhaps we should check out this unusual structure.

DON CHEADLE: Yes, who knows what may lie inside?

AUDIENCE: Well, for many weeks we’ve watched trailers that tell us exactly what the big secret inside is. Hell, the tag line on the damned poster tells us what the big secret is. Life on Earth came from Mars. Whoopee. Why don’t you guys just play Mars baseball or something?

EXPENDABLE CREWPERSON: Let’s bounce radio signals off it. Since this movie so heavily rips off 2001, nothing worse should happen than a louder signal comes back and we all get a mild headache.

DON CHEADLE: Perhaps, but in the trailer we saw guys in spacesuits getting sucked into this big wormhole sandstorm thing that was left over from The Mummy. That might be us.

EXPENDABLE CREWPERSON: Or it could be Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins.

DON CHEADLE: But the only reason they’d be on Mars would be because we were…..

EXPENDABLE CREWPERSON: Oh the hell with this. (activates radio signal)

Predictably, all the EXPENDABLE CREW get killed by the giant sandstorm leaving only DON CHEADLE to send the traditional half-garbled distress signal.

INT. SPACE STATION

ARMIN MUELLER-STAHL is briefing TIM ROBBINS and GARY SINISE.

ARMIN MUELLER-STAHL: Go rescue Don Cheadle and find out what happened down there.

TIM ROBBINS: Well the poster says that….

ARMIN MUELLER-STAHL: Go!

GARY SINISE: (to TIM ROBBINS) You know, having Armin Mueller-Stahl in a movie doesn’t pack quite the punch that it used to. And he and I are in a movie together. Should I be having career worries?

TIM ROBBINS: Nah, after all he’s not upset about his dead wife.

GARY SINISE: That’s true. (to audience) I am UPSET about my DEAD WIFE. (to TIM ROBBINS) Thanks, that feels a lot better.

INT. RESCUE SHIP

TIM and GARY have been joined by CONNIE NIELSEN, playing TIM’s wife, and the SLIDERS SCHMUCK whose name nobody ever remembers.

SLIDERS SCHMUCK: Look, I can build a model of human DNA using M&Ms.

GARY SINISE: Big fucking deal.

SLIDERS SCHMUCK: (to audience) Mmmm…. M&Ms.

The AUDIENCE all goes to the lobby to buy M&Ms. When they get back they find they have missed NOTHING AT ALL. Suddenly the ship is PUNCTURED by METEORITES.

TIM ROBBINS: If only there was some practical way to find this leak.

AUDIENCE: Well, sure, you could release a water droplet and follow it, or even spitting into the air would do, or any free-floating small particle in fact….

GARY SINISE: Wait! We can use this… DR. PEPPER!!!

They release the DR. PEPPER, making sure the LOGO is facing the AUDIENCE, who then stampede to the lobby to buy lots of DR. PEPPER to wash down their M&Ms. When they return they find the crew has had to abandon ship only to find themselves in a preposterously contrived life-or- death situation.

TIM ROBBINS: The only way the three of you can land safely is if I gallantly sacrifice myself.

CONNIE NIELSEN: But you’ll never find out the big secret!

TIM ROBBINS: It’s OK, I saw the poster, remember? And by doing this I might create a scene that people won’t have forgotten five minutes after the movie ends.

TIM ROBBINS begins to remove his helmet.

AUDIENCE: Cool! His head’s going to explode!

But instead, TIM ROBBINS’S head turns grey and a few icicles form on it.

AUDIENCE: Huh? What a ripoff! I wanted to see Tim Robbins’s head explode!

The others proceed to land on MARS and find DON CHEADLE, who leads them to the UNUSUAL STRUCTURE which turns out to be a GIANT HEAD. GARY SINISE feeds the M&Ms and DR. PEPPER into it, and it OPENS.

CONNIE NIELSEN: Well, this is it. We’ll finally find out the big secret.

AUDIENCE: But since we all know it already, the movie is essentially over, is what you’re saying. We can go home now.

A CHEESY ALIEN appears and begins showing the TRAILER.

GARY SINISE: Wow, this is incredible. In fact I can even ACCEPT the DEATH of my WIFE.

AUDIENCE: (leaving) Yeah, yeah.

GARY SINISE: Now that I am at peace with my DEAD WIFE, I will embrace my destiny to get in this alien spaceship and be taken to another world, in a manner that strikingly resembles Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

CONNIE NIELSEN: But I lost my husband to get here, and really have just as much reason to do this as you…

GARY SINISE: (not listening) … my DESTINY…

CONNIE NIELSEN: Maybe we could both go…?

GARY gets into the ship and it BLASTS OFF in a hail of DEBRIS that almost KILLS the other characters.

CONNIE NIELSEN: Bastard.

SLIDERS SCHMUCK: Ah, don’t let it get you down! Have some M&Ms!!!!

END [/ssf]

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