1. FADE IN: EXT. BLACK FOREST NATURE RESERVE - DAY SUPERIMPOSE: BLACK FOREST, GERMANY - OCTOBER 1615 The leaves of autumn dance through the air on a light breeze. Trees and boulders dot the landscape of the rolling countryside. The hills and valleys show signs of the approaching winter; gray skies, bare trees, grass losing its green. PHILLIP DE VALOIS looks the part of a storybook prince... rugged physique, squared jaw and dark eyes to match his perfectly coiffed, short chocolate-colored hair. He carries himself nobly, but wears the browns, greens and blues of the Elizabethan-era lower-class. Royalty runs through his veins, but politics of the day deny him his noble status. He appears to be in his late twenties. Phillip, mounted on a sturdy steed, rides confidently; a man on a mission. He crests a small knoll and halts his horse. Phillip surveys the scenery with apprehension. Across a shallow dale, atop the next ridge, is a thirty-foot high impenetrable hedge dense with razor-sharp thorns and prickles. It stretches in both directions as far as he can see. He pulls his coat close to his chest and urges his mount forward. Upon reaching the green wall, Phillip dismounts his horse, who paws the ground anxiously. A low bush proves to be a satisfactory hitching post. Sword drawn, Phillip moves forward slowly. Reaching out, expecting the mini stab wounds of the spines, he is pleasantly surprised to feel the feathery, almost downy caress of the greenery. He proceeds into the hedge. Several steps in, the gray daylight is blocked as the vegetation closes in on Phillip. His vision diminished, he continues cautiously. CRUNCH! Phillip stops short, searching for what he stepped on. Bending down slightly, a partially-decayed skeleton becomes visible. The former knight has hundreds of spiky thorns sticking in him.
2. Phillip jumps back in shock, dropping his sword. A knife-like barb rips a jagged gash the length of his left forearm. The pain makes him swing around again, where another barb tears a parallel gash in his arm. He quickly cradles his injured arm and stills himself, preventing more damage. Phillip looks closely at the large thorn covered with his blood. With a cracking noise, the thorn suddenly explodes in a black cloud of wispy smoke that rises quickly through the canopy of the hedge. Another cracking noise a second later and the other thorn is gone too. Collecting his sword, a deep breath gives Phillip the courage to move forward. He hacks at the bush, but hits nothing as the branches dodge and avoid his sword.
EXT. KINGDOM VILLAGE - DAY A final slash meets air as Phillip falls through the other side of the hedge to the ground with a thud. The pain of his cut arm makes his recovery a bit slow. Phillip opens his eyes to be face to face with a squirrel, poised on back legs, surveying the landscape. They stare at each other for a long moment, neither moving. PHILLIP Boo! The squirrel doesn’t move, doesn’t blink, nothing. Phillip blows on it. Nothing. Phillip slowly gets up, eyes on the squirrel. After an expectant moment, he reaches down and knocks the squirrel over. It falls over without objection. He is perplexed by the odd behavior. Phillip looks around. A quiet, bright, sunny spring day greets him. He looks around in awe. He is in a village just outside an open castle gate. There are people and animals who appear to be going about their daily business, except that no one or thing is moving. Everything is frozen in time, including the kingdom’s flag flying high on a spire - a Triskelion design on a field of yellow. Phillip takes a couple steps toward the gate, but stops. He quickly puts the squirrel back on its feet.
3. Phillip walks through the village, passing and avoiding sentinels, gentlemen and ladies in fancy attire, peasants and vendors, horses, dogs and chickens, all suspended in a frozen slumber. The only noises heard are Phillip’s own footfalls and the occasional snore. Phillip sneaks up on a woman and guiltily removes a light shawl from around her shoulders. He wraps it around his arm, as a bandage.
INT. KINGDOM CASTLE - DAY Inside the castle, he crosses a court paved with marble. Winding through the hallways and stairways, he comes to a lavish apartment, gilded with gold. A bed fashioned of gold and embroidery stands in the center of the apartment. On the bed, lies a sleeping woman, PRINCESS ROSE, 20, Grace Kelly features, porcelain skin, silky hair, dulled only by a thin layer of dust. PHILLIP (in a whisper) The story is true. Phillip approaches the bed and, struck by her beauty, instantaneously falls in love with her. He gazes at her for a long time. He reaches out to touch her, but being a gentleman of the times, pulls back several times. PHILLIP If I may, your Highness. Phillip bends down, as if to kiss her, but blows the dust off her face instead. He hovers slightly for a few moments, then delivers the most gentle true love kiss to the princess’s plump, ruby lips. Nothing. She still sleeps. He’s confused. He kisses her again. Nothing. Maybe he did it wrong. He kisses her forehead. Nothing. He quickly looks around to see if he has missed something and to be sure no one is looking, then kisses her several times all over her face.
4. Nothing. PHILLIP I’m not the one. Dejected, he plops down on the bed. He stares at her still figure, disheartened. Phillip stands, touches her hair lightly and turns to leave.
EXT. KINGDOM VILLAGE - DAY Phillip walks, head down, disappointed, back to the hedge. He accidentally bumps into a snoozing sentinel. PHILLIP Pardon me - whoa. The sentinel almost falls over. Phillip catches and steadies him back to his original position. A heavy sigh before continuing on. Upon reaching the green wall, he stops. A glance at the squirrel and a swift kick sends the squirrel soaring across the yard. Phillip proceeds into the brier, but is abruptly halted. His entire body is inside the hedge except his left arm. He tries to pull his arm in. It won’t go past the thorny barrier. He pulls again. Stopped. Phillip steps back out of the hedge. Studying his arm for a moment, he pulls the shawl off and tosses it to the ground. He tentatively puts his left arm into the brier. No problems. Phillip steps into the hedge again. Nothing pulls at him and he moves through it quickly. Upon exiting the hedge, the gray sky seems a bit darker and the chill hits him in the face.
EXT. BLACK FOREST - DAY Two ANGELS, HOPE and JOY, pace back and forth outside the hedge. They are beautiful androgynous beings, similar in looks to each other, but not twins. They’re dressed in swirled light pink and blue robes. Upon noticing Phillip, they rush to him.
5. JOY Where have you been? Are you alright? HOPE We were worried. You’ve been in there so long. Phillip puts his hands up defensively at their questions. JOY Shush, Hope. Shush. Give him a minute. Both Angels take a step backward and a deep breath. JOY Hello, Dear. HOPE Yes, hello, Prince Phillip. PHILLIP (tentatively, on guard) Um, hello? JOY We’ve been expecting you. PHILLIP (suspiciously) You have? HOPE Oh, yes. You’re Rose’s prince. PHILLIP (shaking his head) No. No, I’m not. HOPE Oh yes, you are. JOY We’ve been watching you. PHILLIP Then you know I failed. JOY You’ve just begun. Silence as Phillip regards the Angels.
6. PHILLIP Who are you? JOY We have been called many things. HOPE Fairies, Godmothers, Angels... JOY We have protected this kingdom for a millennium. HOPE Is she safe? PHILLIP Safe? HOPE Yes. Rose. Is she safe? PHILLIP The princess? Her name is Rose. Yes. She’s safe. They all appear to be safe. Dead, but safe. JOY Oh my! HOPE He’s jesting, Joy. Of course, they appear dead. They’ve been asleep for a hundred years. JOY Oh, yes, of course. That wasn’t funny, Phillip. Hope glares at the hedge. HOPE Of course, we would check ourselves, if we could. JOY We can’t get past the thorns. Only you can. Nothing in. Nothing out. PHILLIP Me?
7. HOPE Yes. You’re Rose’s prince. (to Joy) He doesn’t listen very well, does he? Joy guides Phillip to a large boulder and urges him to sit. JOY My sweet, valiant prince. Your fate has been predetermined for you. Rose and you are destined to be together. PHILLIP My fate? HOPE Future. Fate. Karma. Call it what you will. You now have a job to do. JOY Let’s start from the beginning. When Princess Rose was born, the world stood still for a moment to drink in her radiance. HOPE She was such a precious child. JOY Her parents, the King and Queen of Baar held a grand celebration of her birth. All were invited. HOPE All, but one. JOY (to Hope) She was invited, Hope. (to Phillip) Only she was having a bad year. Our sister, Mallory, was not right in her mind. HOPE She was quite ill-tempered. JOY Mallory cast a spell upon little baby Rose, so that she would prick her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel and die.
8. HOPE See! She was cracked. Of all things to die from, she chose a spindle? JOY We were able to counter the curse with a sleep spell. HOPE And that’s where you come in. PHILLIP Yes, I know. I must kiss the princess to awaken her. But I have tried that. I failed. I’m not the one you’re waiting for. A white misty cloud suddenly swirls up from the ground a few feet away. From the mist, another Angel, PATIENCE, just as beautiful as the others, with bright purple eyes, materializes. She carries a grapefruit-sized object wrapped in white cloth. All attention goes to Patience. Hope rushes to Patience and takes the object, unwrapping it quickly to reveal a crystal, broken in three pieces. PATIENCE Three. HOPE Three? Oh dear, this will take a while. Joy turns her attention to Phillip. JOY Are you hurt? Stand up! Phillip doesn’t move fast enough for her, so Joy takes his left hand and pulls him to his feet and spins him around, inspecting him. A quick pat up the inside of his leg makes him jump a bit. JOY Where are you hurt? She looks at the arm she has been holding and stops to inspect it closer. The two gashes have become angry red. Hope and Patience come in for a closer look.
9. HOPE Oh my! Two. JOY Did this happen in the hedge? PHILLIP Yes, but they’ll heal. I’ve had worse. JOY They may heal... Joy turns to Patience, concerned. JOY Are you sure? PATIENCE Yes. I believe in him. Faith did too. Joy turns back to Phillip. JOY Sit. Phillips obeys. Hope fiddles with the crystal. JOY Our sister, Mallory, was unstable to say the least. When we were able to foil her plan for Rose’s death, she got... irritated -- HOPE Irritated? She was -- JOY Hope! She is still our sister, bless her soul. There’s no need to paint her as a monster. Hope turns her back on Joy, disgusted. Joy sighs heavily. JOY (slowly, deliberately) Mallory was jealous of the Queen and Rose more so. She did what she could to make things miserable for them. We were constantly on alert, waiting for Mallory’s next curse or malediction. In the end, the only way to stop her was to destroy her.
10. PHILLIP You killed your own sister? HOPE NO! We didn’t kill her! PATIENCE Sadly, she destroyed herself. HOPE Along with Faith. JOY Our other sister, Faith, sacrificed herself for the greater good. PATIENCE She created this crystal to contain the magic that compels the curses. JOY Faith was able to figure out how to lock down the curses, so Mallory couldn’t alter them any further. Unfortunately, the magic it took to create the crystal was more than Faith could handle. It was too much for her and she... They lower their heads in honor and respect of their dead sister. PHILLIP (quietly) My sympathies. HOPE The crystal wasn’t what killed Faith. Mallory did. She found out what Faith was doing and, out of spite, concentrated all her magical power into the crystal, overloading it. Mallory was sick. She knew she didn’t have long for this world. She wanted to go out with a bang. PATIENCE Hope. Peace. Please. JOY Mallory did cast one final curse before she... expired. In a final effort to prevent you from getting to Rose, she planted evil thorns in the hedge. For every thorn that touched you, a piece of you would be torn away; shattering the crystal. If the crystal isn’t whole, if you aren’t whole, you can’t fulfill your destiny.