Johnny Depp was having a great day. These days, he always seemed to be on the moon, feeling like everything was possible in the world.
One of his neighbours had even told him that with that attitude, he would soon try to jump up a building, thinking he could fly. Even if the comment itself was sarcastic, that was what Johnny felt.
All this was because he had just completed his first movie, and even in it, he was the lead guy. The one who would be the centre of attention. He knew this could be his big break and just that thought of this had him gushing in excitement.
Just a few months ago, he was struggling to make ends meet, and now here he was, about to meet one of the most famous directors within the industry from recent years.
June, through whom he was going to meet this man, was the one who had offered him to act in the movie and was also the director.
Although the movie itself was of the horror genre and had the found-footage technique throughout, Johnny always felt he could give his best and in the end, he was satisfied with his performance.
However, he knew that shooting the movie was just the beginning of an uphill battle.
The next stage would be the screening, and it would be in front of the director he was about to meet, Will Evans.
Johnny had followed Will Evans’ rise through the industry in the last few years religiously, and the latter became his inspiration to strive for his dream of becoming an actor in Hollywood.
Early morning he received a message from John, June’s assistant, regarding the screening confirmation at the Dream Studios. So, after wearing his favourite suit, Johnny walked out of his apartment and met with the others waiting outside in an SUV.
To his surprise, John, who would usually be the one driving June around and taking care of her matters, wasn’t around this time, and June herself would be the one driving them to the studio.
At the front seat was a middle-aged woman, Emilia, whom Jhonny had long become familiar with. She was in charge of the post-production editing, and it would be she who would become the biggest reason behind today’s outcome, be it a failure or a success.
Although Jhonny was confident that Will Evans would surely like their movie, he had a feeling something would definitely crop up and this uneasy feeling was why he was quiet almost throughout the ride.
Beside him was his co-star, but they barely talked outside of work matters, so he didn’t really start a conversation here.
Although both knew how important this day was, Will Evans was now an established director, and the Dream Studio was slowly becoming a household name.
If Will Evans liked the end result, both these artists were confident they would get a huge headstart in their respective careers.
Both of them knew this would be a life-changing opportunity and thus were anticipating Will Evan’s reaction to the movie.
A few hours later…
“The ending ruins it.”
The words resonated through the small theatre-like screening room, and a few heads turned towards the source of the voice.
In front of them was a screen, and what appeared to be end credits were rolling up, although there were not many.
“You didn’t like the ending?” June asked as the lights were turned on by one of the assistants.
Will, who had spoken earlier, clarified, “It’s not that I don’t like it, but I feel like the whole ending makes this movie weak.”
“What do you mean?” The others looked at Will with interest.
Even Jeffery, attending this screening, was a bit surprised by Will’s words but chose not to interrupt and listen to what Will had to say first.
Will gestured at the movie screen and said, “First of all, even though the movie was only around an hour long, it will perhaps be one of the most realistic haunted house movies the world would ever see. One can genuinely feel they are watching an actual couple in a real relationship going through a real haunting. It is truly harrowing to watch and does it without fighting for any brownie points. But.
“There is one thing that affects the whole flow of the movie. But before we talk about that, I have something to ask you first, June.”
“Well, I want to know what your actual plans for this movie is. Do you want to make this a franchise, or are you planning to make this movie a standalone?”
“Standalone.” June replied without hesitation and continued to add, “Although the franchise sounds interesting, and if the movie is a success, it will become a huge cash cow, I don’t want this film to lose its uniqueness. Also, I don’t believe the future additions of this movie would be able to create the same impact as this one because it will lose the ‘reality’ effect.”
Will nodded, “Yes, but are you taking your future plans into thought too? What will be your plan after this movie release?”
June shook her head, “There’s no fixed plan yet, mainly because we don’t know how far this movie will take us. But, anyway, you haven’t told us what you don’t like.”
Will turned towards the screen, and after a moment of thought, he replied, “The ending. Especially that jumpscare, it wasn’t done well. For the whole movie you picked an unconventional route, but near the end, you have thrown all that out of the window and given a jumpscare.”
“Hm?” June frowned, “But doesn’t that end the movie on a high note? Also, we foreshadowed his death many times, so how is it unexpected?”
“Yes,” June nodded, “Like, there’s a scene where the demonic entity smashes only Micah’s half of the couple’s framed picture. This suggests that the demon was plotting to kill Micah from the very beginning. Moreover, the fact that Katie was always a victim of its hauntings and even her burnt picture was found in the cellar suggests that the demon was only looking for the right opportunity to find her in her most vulnerable state and then possess her.
“Things got so bad towards the end of the film because Micah kept gaslighting Katie into believing that he is the man of the house and nothing can get past him. There are moments in the film where it almost looks like he’s willing to get into a fistfight with the evil spirit, which obviously is not even possible. Moreover, by using the Ouija Board, he gives the entity a doorway to enter their world.
“And thus, she eventually became the victim of the possession. As for Micah’s death in the ending scene, Katie killed him, and he was clearly asking for it all along.”
Will thought for a moment and then replied, “I think you misunderstood me. I am not talking about the death of the male lead,” Glancing at Johnny, he added, “No offence intended, Jhonny.”
Will turned his head toward June and continued, “The jumpscare. It gives the cliche end to the movie and breaks the whole rhythm. Also, do you intend to keep the female lead, Katie, alive?”
June shook her head, “She’s already dead. The demon possessed her.”
Will nodded, “Not to the audience.”
June thought for a moment and asked, “Do you have an alternate ending in your mind?”
Will smiled, “Yes.”
June squinted her eyes, “I knew it. Alright, what’s it about?”
Will shrugged, “It won’t be free.”
“Hm?” June crossed her hands, “Oh? What will be the price?”
Will rubbed his hands together while replying, “Two things. First, Dream Studios will handle the distribution of the movie.”
“Oh?” June smiled, “I thought you would never ask. Alright, what’s the second?”
Will turned his head towards the man standing behind June, “I want him.”
As mentioned previously, the releases will be uneven for this fanfic, but this won’t be dropped. Hope you guys understand 🙂