It's with the utmost pride and excitement that I let you in on my next project: I'm writing a screenplay for the new Tom Cruise property*!
Here's a sneak peek, for those of you who just can't wait.
Int. shot: Extreme close-up of Tom's face, starting at his eyes, which manage to look intense and utterly baffled at the same time. He is either seriously injured or has lost his memory, or is seriously injured in such a way that he has lost his memory, or is trying to list the 50 United States in alphabetical order, which is really difficult. Regardless, the intensity of his gaze is impossible to look away from. Also, it's trademarked.
WOMAN'S VOICE:Jack... Jack...
Tom's eyes blink into focus in all their focused focal intensity (TM), because he knows, just like we do, that 90% of his characters are named Jack, and Jack means business. Tom-as-Jack sits up, manly brow furrowed, shirt conveniently gone. Probably he also has some sort of cut on his face or torso, and some artfully smeared dirt or grease on his cheek or forehead, depending on whether we are doing Trendy Long Hair Pretend I'm Still in My Thirties Tom or I Mean Business No Matter How Old I Get Short Hair Tom. His wrists are tied behind his back, because that ALWAYS works...
TOM-AS-JACK:You can do whatever you want to me, but know this: if you've hurt my [wife/girlfriend/daughter/world/pretty much anything incapable of defending itself without Tom-As-Jack's intense self-assurance and even more intense gaze (TM)], I will kill you.
ROBERT DOWNEY JUNIOR SAUNTERING BY IN A RANDOM CAMEO:You know, some of us also play the same character in every movie, but we have swagger AND humorous charm so no one minds.
TOM-AS-JACK:GET OUT OF MY MOVIE, RDJ, YOU ARE CRAMPING MY STYLE.
(Extensive flashback, where Tom-As-Jack has an ideal life with a beautiful [wife/girlfriend/daughter/world/etc]. Tom-As-Jack is given some sort of quirk meant to make him seem relatable and endearing, such as talking at length about traffic, or loving baseball, or otherwise being exceptionally normal save his VERY INTENSE GAZE (TM). But Tom-As-Jack is a man with skills, and no man with skills can go long without attracting the ire of some sort of Bad Guy. Sequence of events in which Tom-As-Jack appears to be losing control of the situation, but deftly takes matters into his own hands, nearly saving the day until Bad Guy kidnaps his [wife/girlfriend/daughter/world/etc]. Now it is time for ANGRY TOM-AS-JACK!)
Int. shot: Tom-As-Jack runs down a hall/through a spaceship/across a bridge as things explode around him and debris fills the air in super-sharp, slow-motion intensity. But not as intense as the expression on Tom-As-Jack's Face (TM), because when things start exploding, he is at his absolute best. However, since the director understands that Tom's PR has been suffering the last few years, he goes ahead and makes Tom-As-Jack miss a step to be thrown over the side of the bridge/against the wall/through the hull of the spaceship, so that audiences can feel smugly satisfied that Tom is getting beat up. Tom-As-Jack loses consciousness as the Bad Guy leans over and smiles maliciously.
Back to first shot, close up of Tom-As-Jack's face, all the more impactful now that we know exactly what he has lost, which is everything, as usual, but no worries guys, he's TOM CRUISE (TM).
BAD GUY:I'm going to smile while menacing you, and you are going to promise to kill me again, and I'm going to taunt you for your powerless state but rather than kill you I am going to leave you tied up in a room with decidedly incompetent underlings who are all armed with guns that you will easily strip them of while I go engineer the end of your [wife/girlfriend/daughter/world/etc] with this countdown device of plot convenience.
TOM-AS-JACK:[glowers] [also has his eyebrows insured for $2,000,000 against the loss of intensity]
Action sequence as Incompetent Underlings attempt to kill Tom-As-Jack but he gets out of his bonds and quickly dispatches them, now armed to the better-late-than-never-orthodontically-straightened teeth.
(Several scenes of Tom-As-Jack running, jumping over various obstacles, and failing to be blown up this time, because he has already done the flashbacks and we need to get a move on.)
Int. shot: Random room filled with random countdown device of plot convenience, as well as loads of very breakable furniture for Tom-As-Jack to be thrown against and through in his fight with Bad Guy. Bad Guy looms over Tom-As-Jack, gloating as he is about to shoot him.
BAD GUY:You're about to die. Why are you smiling?
Because unlike you, I've seen my movies. I know something you don't.
BAD GUY:What is that?
TOM-AS-JACK:I never lose when my name is Jack.
Tom-As-Jack suddenly remembers he can fight better than Bad Guy and dispatches the shocked baddie in a tastefully efficient, gruesome manner. He then frees his grateful [wife/girlfriend/daughter/world/etc], disables the countdown device of plot convenience, and, with a very manly limp, they walk home together.
ROBERT DOWNEY JUNIOR SAUNTERING BY IN A RANDOM CAMEO:Looks like someone needs some serious downtime. My friend Oprah has a nice, comfy--
TOM-AS-JACK:If you so much as think the word couch, RDJ, I will kill you, Iron Man or not.
*In a disclaimer the necessity of which breaks my sarcastic little heart, I feel the need to clarify that no, I am not writing screenplays. But I am thinking of insuring my eyebrows against damage that would render them incapable of communicating sarcasm.