Monday, November 24, 2003

Great idea for a screenplay, but....

I had this great idea for a screenplay. See if you like it. It's a thriller. It begins with an explosion in a hotel room in Mindanao. A man is severely injured and sent to hospital. A young detective is on the case. Evidently the man accidentally set off the explosions himself. What was he doing with explosives in his hotel room given the recent spate of bombings and bomb threats in the country?

The detective looks into the man's past. He is American, or maybe South African. He has told everyone he is a "treasure hunter" and spends a great deal of time in the Philippines looking for WW2 era hidden caches of currency and T-bills. In fact, he claims to have found billions worth already. Or maybe he hasn't. It turns out, this guy keeps very unusual company, including with both extremist Islamic groups and rightwing, white supremacist organizations. Just as the detective begins to look into the man's history, he is hustled out of the the United States FBI. Now, the FBI is denying any involvement and the man's whereabouts are unknown. I kinda see Chow Yun-Fat (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as the detective, though I'm sorry to say, that's because I don't know any Filipino actors. Maybe Gene Hackman as the mysterious "treasure hunter".

I've run into one problem with this screenplay idea, though. You see...this is a true story that happened just last year. It was barely noticed here, but made big news in the Philippines. In fact, the twists and turns to this story are SO incredibly elaborate, that a film probably couldn't track them. There were many bombings in the Philippines, this guy did blow himself up, did have all of these contacts and was hustled away by the FBI much to the dismay of the mayor of Davao City. Read about it yourself here: Meiring Mystery.

The reporters on this case got some off-the-record confirmation that this guy was probably CIA. So why is the CIA setting off bombs in the Philippines? Read the story and decide for yourself. I couldn't make this kinda thing up if I tried. If I could, I'd be a famous thriller writer by now.


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