Treatment for an episode of the Pirate Princess.

Every film starts life as a 'Treatment' which gets changed into a script and becomes a film. I was approached by a Hollywood Producer to provide creative input for a series about a Female Pirate starring Jennifer Lawrence. At that time I gave some enlightenment and indeed wrote the following treatment for a single episode, unfortunately the series never got off the ground. So instead of putting it in the bin I have parked it here for you to enjoy.

By Anthony B Cummins. (March 13, 2014. )

Opening scene.

South China Sea. The lookout on Pirate Island sounds the alarm as he sights a lone ship sailing slowly towards the island. JL, (Jennifer Lawrence), sends out her two Moro fast boats to intercept the ship. When challenged, the Captain of the ship shows them a letter of free passage signed by Cheng Pao the son of Ching Shih, which he was given for delivering an emissary. The ship is allowed to sail on and the emissary is taken to Pirate Island. The emissary dressed in black with a scarlet red headband is welcomed in pirate fashion and delivers an invitation for JL to attend and urgent meeting with Chang Pao at a secret location on the Chinese coast. JL readies her ship and sails north following the emissary’s instructions.

Scene 2

Directed by the emissary they arrive off the Canton coast and entering a river in a late afternoon mist they drop anchor. Almost immediately three large battle Junks silently slide downriver and also dropped anchors to position themselves surrounding JL’s ship. Two Dragon boats silently appear out of nowhere, each boat with more than a dozen crew all of whom were dressed in black with a scarlet red headbands. The Dragon boats take JL, her trusted companions and the emissary to the largest of the Battle Junks, the Hēi méiguī or Black Rose. Once onboard the Junk, JL and her men are greeted with smiles and friendship as they make their way to the Captains quarters where large double doors opened before them into an enormous Captains saloon, the likes and size of which JL had never seen before. The huge saloon was murky in places and dark in others with dark red curtains stopping further light from entering. In the centre and quite well lit was a large oval table and standing there with open arms in a welcoming gesture was Cheng Pao himself. At the table, gifts, food, drink and niceties are exchanged with the small talk. “I would have liked to have met your mother” says JL, adding “Do you look like her?” “Is fortune he look like father.” Says a voice from the shadows. The voice came forward into the light saying, “Is fortune he my son.” As the voice came into the light everyone could see it was Ching Shih herself ! Although now over 60 and using a black and silver stick Ching Shih looked far from frail, in fact her strength flowed out from her and JL could feel it as she and her crew stood up and bowed their heads. Ching Shih glided to the table and asked them to sit. JL: “How honored we are Ma’am, I am so happy to be in your presence but I thought you were no longer allowed at sea.” Ching Shih: “On sea not allowed, we on river now.” JL: “Even so Ma’am, the fact that you are here secretly and on one of your ships tells me this meeting is not just to say hello.” Ching Shih: Not for say hello, for ask question. Why you in Philippines? JL: Why? Well it’s what we are used to, no one knows those waters like us, of course with the Eastindia company and other competition it’s not like it was but we are free and make a living. Ching Shih: Spanish lose Mexico, galleon trade finished, Spanish go home. JL: We only get pennies from the Spanish now, so what are you saying? Someone will take over the Philippines? Yourselves? The Brits or the Moros or could it be us? Ching Shih: Take over America. JL: America!?! Ching Shih: Will be so. JL: And this has something to do with me being called here? Ching Shih: Yes, you are chosen one by Peiran, you next in line to be keeper of chest. JL: Chest? What chest? Ching Shih: I old now, I hold chest many year, before me my husband hold chest, before him Zheng. Have many reason why Peiran choose you, you young, you new for new time, is right you new keeper of chest. Ching Shih beconned and a small black chest with the sign of the Peiran inlade with silver on the top was put on the table infront of Ching Shih who then pushed it across the table in front of JL. Ching Shih: You will embrace me now. JL moved around the table and stood infront of ching Shih who then put a silver chain around JL’s neck, on the chain was the key to the chest. Ching Shih: My son he take one ship and return to your island with you, he will explain everything about the chest on the way. Thank you for make an old lady happy today. JL: No one could be happier than myself Ma’am.

Scene 3.

Cheng Pao’s battle junk and JL’s ship sailed together south to pirate island. On the way some of JL’s crew transferred to the battle junk to learn Chinese marshal arts and some of the Chinese crew were aboard JL’s ship to learn sail techniques and other things. Sometimes JL would be on the Junk with Cheng Pao and at times he would be on JL’s ship. (Romantic possibilities abound for writer here.) Following his mothers instructions, Cheng Pao relates the story of the chest only to JL. Cut to historic scene of Cheng Pao’s story. Many years before the Spanish came to the Philippines a Peiran Templar Pirate ship arrived at the island of Samar. The Templar ship carried the 13th of the 18 chests of Solomon and buried it there. These Templar Pirates took wives, bore another generation of pirates and educated the local people becoming close to the Queen of Samar. When the Spanish came, the pirates advised the Queen to hide all the gold and relics. The Queen and her elders hid the Samar treasures in a very sacred place and after doing so committed suicide so no one could ever tell where they were. The pirates could only stand by and watch and for generations they have watched forced to do so by the Spanish search for the Queens gold which could lead to the chance discovery of the 13th chest. Cut back to scene 3. JL: I’ve heard this legend since I was a child, the Queen of Samar and the true Peiran pirates and you are telling me it’s true? Cheng Pao: Yes very true. JL: So as long as the Queens treasures remains intact and hidden so will the chest remain hidden? If we are not looking for the Queens treasures what are we looking for? Cheng Pao: We are hopefully looking for nothing, I must assure my mother that the chest remains hidden. You have the key now you can open the box my mother gave you. JL opens the box and it contains two maps, one a sea chart and the other of underground tunnels, as she studies the maps Cheng Pao: We must go there together and check that nothing has been disturbed. Then you will be the Keeper of the chest and my mother can be at peace.

Scene 4.

Back on pirate island, the two small Moro craft were readied and loaded with equipment, ropes, lamps and picks and sailed across the Visayan sea towards Samar. Sohoton Point, Samar. They arrived as planned at low tide, and there, just above the water line was a small entrance to a cave. JL and Cheng Pao entered followed by the assorted crew and equipment. JL spread the map of the tunnels and led them through a crack in the rock wall to the main tunnel. They could see that the tunnel had been explored and used. They got to the entrance of the secret tunnel of the chest and saw it was intact and looked like a rock wall, JL and Cheng Pao smiled at each other, everything was in order no one had discovered the tunnel. The Spanish had obviously searched the tunnels for years and had opened up another tunnel some 20 paces further on. JL. Followed it to investigate, she found another entrance to another tunnel, the Spanish had started to dig it out but the area had been abandoned before they could break through. JL: Do you think we could get through? Her crew smiled and got to work with the picks, they broke through but the tunnel was tiny and could only be crawled into. JL pushed a lamp through the hole and crawled in, she had only crawled forward a few feet when the tunnel opened up and she could stand up and there before her were dozens of white monkeys. They silently stood there before her blocking her way. Two monkeys went behind her to block anyone else from crawling in. The crowd of white monkeys in front of her parted and two others came and stood in front of her, took her by the hand and led her through the short tunnel to a great cavern as big as a house. From the top shone two tiny slithers of light from the rocky jungle above. A slither of light fell on a large flat rock and on the rock was a giant skeleton, the skeleton was 10 feet tall. White monkeys were crowded all around the rock with the skeleton, JL was taken even further towards the rock and then monkeys around the rock parted and revealed vast amounts of gold and silver, jewels and plates. JL could see there were maybe a hundred monkeys, they were all looking at her and unlike usual monkeys they remained completely silent, gesturing only by hand and eye. Then a strange magical flash back came to JL’s mind, she somehow know that this was the false trail of the Queens treasure, the Queen hoped that if this was found by the Spanish they would be satisfied and stop looking any further for the real relics.. The two monkeys led JL back to the tunnel and a third came with a young white monkey not more than a baby, the baby monkey almost knowingly jumped onto JL’s shoulder, then using their eyes the monkeys asked her to go, then other monkeys each holding rocks came ready to close the tunnel by filling it up with rocks. JL with the baby monkey squeezed back over the rocks to the small hole and climbed out. Everyone: So what did you see, what’s in there? JL: Monkeys, lots and lots of monkeys, all white. Everyone: Is that all? Only monkeys? JL: and a skeleton on a rock but so many monkeys! Cheng Pao: And all white you say? JL: Oh yes just like this one here. She strokes the baby monkey still clinging to her. They made their way back to the cave entrance but they had been inside so long that the tide had risen and they would have to swim for it to get out. As they swim up to the surface they find their two boats being attacked by a giant octopus and as they scramble aboard an octopus tentacle grabs hold of JL, the bedraggled monkey bites into the tentacle hard enough to stop it for a moment, taking advantage of the moment, Cheng Pao chops the tentacle off with one sweep of his sword and drags JL back onboard. The giant octopus goes back to the deep to heal its wounds, the boats leave immediately with a giant octopus leg to take home for the BBQ. JL dries the monkey and inspects it more closely, Ah ! you are a girl! I will call you ‘Soho’ so you will remember where you come from. JL: Who would have thought to find a giant octopus there. Cheng Pao, Well I didn’t have enough time to tell you that part of the story and anyway the Giant octopus is only a legend. JL: What! You mean you knew about the octopus!! Look at that octopus leg there! That’s no legend! With Soho the monkey no longer clinging but sitting proudly on JL’s shoulder, the Peiran black box tied safe to the bottom of the mast they made speed for home.

Scene 5.

When they were halfway home they were come upon by a large ship of the East India Company. Cannons fired warning shots across their bow and they were now in musket range. Onboard the East India ship the Captain was sick and bedridden. The First officer was in command and orders were to rid these seas of pirates. As the ships drew nearer the first officer lifts his eyeglass and to his surprise see’s that one of the boats was commanded by a woman. Through his eyeglass he inspected the boat further and saw a very large octopus tentacle hanging to dry and then he saw at the bottom of the mast the Peiran box. Dropping his eyeglass the first officer shouted orders to belay all weapons, then as the boats moved nearer he hailed, “Good morning Ma’am.” JL: Good morning to you Sir, as you can see we are simple Filipino traders and fishermen, why did you fire on us? First officer: To ask if you were in need of assistance or anything. JL: Thank you but we need nothing. JL Crew member: Some rum and fresh tobacco would be nice. First officer: Well, we bid you good seas Ma’am. The ship picked up speed and pulled away infront of them, the first officer called for a barrel of rum and a waterproof pouch which was filled with tobacco and strapped to the barrel, he then took out a knife and inscribed something on top of the barrel which was then dropped overboard. The sick Captain called for him and asked why they had fired cannons. The first officer reported to him that they had only crossed routes with some Filipino traders and there were no pirates in the area. Minutes later JL’s two boats caught up to the barrel of rum and it was hauled aboard. On top of the Barrel was inscribed the sign of the Peiran, JL smiled and explained that the first officer was in fact one of them ! A Pirate onboard an East india Company ship.

Scene 6

Back on pirate island. Feast, BBQ octopus, rum and fresh tobacco ! It had been a good exploit. In a moment alone Cheng Pao came to JL as they watched the giant fruit bats pass infront of the moon. Cheng: Tomorrow I must go back, my mission is done, I will be a pirate in another form like that first officer. JL:I will be sad to see you go, I’m sure I will miss you but I know what has to be done. Cheng: Before I go, tell me, what was in the cave? JL: In the cave, lots of white monkeys and a skeleton. Cheng: And something else. JL: Yes, I saw many things, I saw change, I saw a blurred future and I’m still trying to understand exactly what I saw but I’m sure most of all I saw myself. Cheng Pao: My mother will understand your words fully. JL: Oh I am sure she will. They embraced. Cheng Pao’s ship set sail on the night tide, JL sat alone with Soho watching it sail northwards.


NOTES: Cheng Pao was the adopted son of Ching Shih, in our time frame he would be 33 to 38 years old. Templar Pirates did indeed arrive in Samar prior to the Spanish. Samar was ruled by a Female principal society and always had a Queen. The Sohoton cave complex exists as does the giant skeleton. White monkeys have often been seen at Sohoton. Giant octopus is local legend although sea monsters do exist there as seen by the writer.

TODAY: The CIA/Mormons in full collaboration with the Vatican have presently 'surrounded' and control the Queeen's sacred place.