By Eli Osei:
1. FADE IN
2. INT. CHEESECAKE FACTORY. DAY
We open to a factory constructed solely of cheese. MINDY, the cool (Persian, by breed, Australian, by birth) cat steps out her office. She looks around the factory floor, searching for mice and union leaders – not knowing which she fears more. PING. She looks down at her phone. “Rat Pack strikes local brewery,” reads the Chew York Times article, “Democats once again question President Nyan Cat’s unexplained loyalty to prohibition.” Mindy sighs. She mutters a phrase of resignation. Maybe: ‘LSD, whatchyagonnado?’ or ‘Silly little world, silly little world of mice and men’ or ‘Those three blind kids sure are lucky’. And steps back into her office. We’re definitely in the wrong movie.
3. INT. CHEESECAKE FACTORY. DAY
We're inside the very heart of American life: a dimly lit, sparsely furnished Cheesecake Factory restaurant. The Stallones, exchanging stories about the past few days, walk in for their weekly brunch. SYLVESTER (known also as SLY) leads the group. Across the restaurant stands SMICHAEL, the branch manager. Smichael is thirty-three going on fifty and tries to go about life with a spring in his step, but is forever haunted by memories of losing the 1999 St. Michael’s Middle School Dance-a-thon. Smichael, compartmentalizing his sad thoughts and putting on what his mother used to call “a smiley-wiley” face, stands ready for the Stallones.
SYLVESTER (TO FAMILY)
So then this guy's like "Dude, come on, dude just tell me the truth. You're totally him, dude. We used to work at the Shake Shack together, dude."
Sylvester's children: SISTINE, SAGE, SEARGEOH, SCARLET, and SOPHIA all laugh.
And whatya say to him, dad?
What do you think he said, doofus?
He obviously told him that those years in the Shack were home to some of his greatest memories.
They name a chapel after you and suddenly you can't string together a logical thought?
(In an Italian accent)
I just came-a here to eat the cake.
I told him, "listen, 'dude', I've never worked at a 'Smoothie Shack' before. A milk shack? Sure. But we don't talk about that. It was pretty dark man... Udders."
"But a Smoothie Shack? Who do you think you're talking to? I'm S-"
Stimmy, get out here!
4. INT. CHEESECAKE FACTORY KITCHEN. CONTINUOUS
TIMMY, an 18 year-old rising (waiting) star places the $0.50 cherries he bought from his dealer earlier that day atop their signature cherry cheesecake. He turns towards the kitchen door and prepares himself to deal with Smichael. Timmy inhales, Timmy exhales.
I am a strong and independent woman. I am a strong and independent woman. No boundary will stop me. No opportunity will drop me.
(He inhales and then exhales)
I am a strong and independent woman. I will renew my Cosmopolitan subscription. I love this magazine. These affirmations work. These affirmations work. I am a strong and independent woman.
Thinking about how lucky he is to have found a magazine so relatable and an affirmation section so affirming, Timmy walks through the door and into...
5. INT. CHEESECAKE FACTORY. CONTINUOUS
Stimmy won't you seat Mr. Stallone and his family?
It's Timmy, sir.
What I tell you!? What I tell you!? You can be Timmy at home, you can be Timmy on your lunch break, you can even be Timmy at those little comic-con gatherings of yours. But when this man and his family are here, it's Stimmy, Stimmy, Stimmy. You think my parents named me Smichael?
Stimmy? I don't get it.
It was a campaign lie and a twitter myth. No one did.
Why don't we get you folks seated?
How much is a table?
The tables, do you, uh, charge
extra for them?
Oh, oh well I don't know. It's
probably a flat rate.
Five, maybe ten dollars? Say but Mr.
Stallone, aren't you r-
We'll be standing.
What are today's specials?
Specials by price or quality?
What do you think?
Well, our eco-cakes are on offer
today. We've got the Kermit
Cupcake, the Green Granadilla
Gelight, and the "I Just Won The
Lottery, Where's My Money?" combo
Um, alright? And what exactly makes these eco? 'Eco-cakes, you said? Ec-
cakes. Eco-cakes. Pretty self-
Okay and what exactly makes them
They're all green.
He means environmentally friendly, dad.
No, they're all green. Green as in green the colour. It's about solidarity. We stand with mother nature.
SMICHAEL (OFF SCREEN)
Attaboy! Now bring it home.
Well I ought to-
SPAM and SSAM, formerly known as... you get the bit, have been listening from across the room. Spam, is a twenty-five-year-old self-proclaimed 'film connoisseur'. Ssam is the twenty-six-year-old who famously said "television is the new graphic novel, or maybe novel, or maybe it's podcasts are the new graphic novel, or cartoon, are those the same thing? Movies are the new spaper, I mean newspaper, the new newspaper." Now, Spam and Sam have reached Stimmy and the Stallones. They insert themselves into the conversation.
Junk mail. Junk mail. Jun-
The name's Ssam, that's Spam.
That's great. It's great to meet
you Sam, but we're just trying to
have a little family lunch here.
It's Ssam. Long S.
If you know what I mean?
She did not.
I do not.
Anyway, we saw you guys standing over there and, well, we recognised him immediately. How could we not?
I mean he's a bit older now, but
he's still got those cheeks.
Sylvester looks uncomfortable.
He's still got that smile.
Anyway, we just wanted to come over here and invite you all to our table.
We get it. The economic climate's
worse than the real one.
So we buy eco-cakes.
And we loved Rocky II.
Well thanks, thank you. That means a lot to me.
Everyone always talks about the first, but never the second. Sometimes I get a "You were great in Creed" comment, and then I've got to say "Different guy, different name, different complexion. Not that complex." They don't get it though.
Sorry but wh-
Rocky II. Rocky II. Boy, what a movie. You think boxing looks difficult, try being a movie star. You think being a movie star looks difficult, try being a movie star in a boxing movie franchise. That's like Korea happening in Vietnam. Oh, those were the days.
6. EXT. ROCKY STAIRS. A 1979 MORNING
The sun makes its way up, over Philadelphia. Panting, A young(er) Sylvester Stallone makes his way up the Rocky Stairs. A camera crew follows him. His panting becomes louder and his pace slower. TINA, the focus puller, laughs. Sylvester stops.
Who was that?
I said who was that?!
Do you guys want to try running up these stairs?
The whole crew, realizing Sylvester may not be a whole lot smarter than his character, are close to laughter. MICHELLE, the camera operator, replies.
Oh no, I couldn't imagine that.
These stairs?! We could never.
You're a better person than us, Sly.
Thanks, Michelle. But no apologies necessary, you're all forgiven. Let's do it again.
He begins to run back down the stairs. Then after battling down about five of them, he stops.
After a break or something. We should probably check the footage.
He slowly walks down the rest of the stairs. The crew do not move. Tina laughs.
7. INT. BOXING RING. A 1979 AFTERNOON
Sylvester moves up and down the ring, pumping himself up. CARL WEATHERS nonchalantly stands in a corner on the other side.
Apollo, are you ready for this!?
Oh Sly, you don't have to call me
I said are you ready, Mr. Creed!!?
Sylvester stops pacing. Looks at the camera. Inhales.
Exhales. Then jumps up once.
Let's roll. Aaand, action
Sylvester walks up to Carl, Carl walks up to Sylvester. They touch gloves. Sylvester takes a step back. Carl takes a step forward. Carl throws a punch.
Carl stops, mid-punch, and holds his position.
Stanley, Stanley, get in here!
STANLEY, Sylvester's stunt-double, gets into the ring and taps in for Sylvester.
Ready, Mr. Stallone.
Oh come on Stanley. No need to be
that formal. 'Mr. Rocky' will do
Ai, sorry Mr. Rocky, it's the
Carl finishes his punch and it connects with Stanley's jaw.
Stanley drops to the floor.
8. INT. SYLVESTER'S APARTMENT. A 1979 EVENING
Sylvester, at the Rocky II wrap party, stands on a coffee table delivering a speech to the whole cast and crew.
When I first had the idea for 'Rocky' I didn't have any friends, I didn't have a house, and I certainly wasn't an actor. But look at me now.
ROBERT, ARTHUR, AND IRWIN, the film's producers, look at each other and laugh. Robert nods.
Still waiting on those friends.
At least you've got the home!
But you're certainly still not an
Sylvester, assuming that this was the light-hearted 'banter' his mother used to warn him about, continues.
I'm grateful to all of you.
Who is this guy?
I'm grateful and I'm proud.
We want Stanley!
I'm proud and I'm grateful.
Listen to that, he's so backwards.
I'm grateful and I'm proud!
We want Yelnats!
The entire cast and crew break out into a chant. They shout "Yelnats, Yelnats, Yelnats!" over and over again. Sylvester steps off the coffee table and runs into the bathroom. Stanley gets on the table. It immediately breaks.