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By Rutger Oosterhoff

GENRE: Adventure

Twin vigilante sisters track down a copycat murdering students on a college campus in Austin, Texas.


View screenplay
Rutger Oosterhoff

Jerel Damon

The Introduction: What makes a hero? What does a hero’s face look like? That is the inspiration for The Gavel. These avengers come in all shapes and sizes, whether it is an officer of the law or a vigilante in a mask. The courage behind these people to right wrongs, even when they are chastised, is what makes them heroic.

1. WORKING TITLE: “The Gavel”

2. FILM GENRE: Action/Adventure/Crime

3. NUTSHELL: Daredevil meets Hanna

4. LOGLINE: Twin vigilante sisters protect the streets of Austin, Texas. A copycat

frame’s them for murders and they’re forced to hunt down the culprit.

Opening scene: University of Texas campus grounds, A janitor finds a young male student, strangled to death, in the shower room of the gymnasium. The word “GUILTY” has been spray painted with a stencil on his forehead. A group of young punks are assaulting a homeless man in an alley. One by one they’re knocked out by a blinding shadow. The rescuer spray‑paints “GUILTY” on their foreheads. The homeless man is given some money and utters, “It’s you... The Gavel.” From the lip of the building in the alley we see another Gavel look down, there are two vigilantes, both wearing identical black ninja outfits.

Later, back at their apartment, KATHRYN (mid‑20’s, intelligent, reserved) and MEGAN (mid-20’s, outspoken, witty) strip off their ninja outfits, muscles and scars. They are stressing over paying the rent, criminal’s pocket change won’t cut it. The news reports about the series of “GUILTY” criminals subdued by The Gavel and the first murdered committed on the University of Texas campus, “The Gavel, friend or foe?” Megan says that their greatest advantage is, no one knows, The Gavel is TWO people.

To search for suspects, the twins enroll in the college late in the semester, investigating the criminology class the murdered male student was taking. The teacher lecturing the class is MR. HAMILL, (late- 50’s, stern, sarcastic) the subject is “vigilantism”. He illustrates how when one person takes the law into their own hands, the justice system will root them out as a criminal too. Megan and Mr. Hamill get into heated discussion about vigilantism and the death of the recent student. She and Kathryn are both dropped from the class but find leads on suspects in the classroom. As the twins do surveillance, scratching suspects off their list they both get flashbacks of their disturbing childhood upbringings.

Flashback: Kathryn and Megan’s eighth birthday, A SWAT team raids the house and arrests Jake and Karen, charges of multiple murders. Their parents abducted them at infancy and were serial killers at large for many years. Police officers take the girls into their custody and place them in Catholic orphanage in the mountains of Colorado ran by a wickedly cruel nun. They are repeatedly tortured along with the other girls over the years. The twins 13th birthday, the head nun decides to make them pure in the eyes of the Lord and arranges for them to have their virginity taken by a priest. The twins kill both the nun and the priest and escape setting all the other orphans free. They struggle to survive in the snowy forest until rescued by SAMUEL (late‑40’s, burly, hermit).

He takes them in and trains them in hand to hand combat, martial arts, and how to survive in the wilderness; as an ex‑military but opposes ever fighting again. Over the years he raises them into young adulthood in his cottage. He feels they are ready for the real world and if they stay longer they will be as lost as he is. The twins ask why he looked after them in the first place, Samuel confesses it made him feel human again. Righting his wrongs through the girls, that is why they must never kill. He gives them words to live by, “Be the Gavel that criminals and even justice fear.” The twins set off into civilization looking for a new identity even though legally they are still “Missing”".

Present Day: The twins have narrowed down their suspects to a girl on the swim team but when Kathryn follows her to her dorm she is thrown off the balcony by The Gavel copycat. An intense chase ensues across the campus only to lose the suspect but discover a revealing facial detail that leaves only one person to be the murder, Mr. Hamill. The news reports a warrant has been issued for The Gavel.

The twins hatch a plan to trap him by setting up a date with the teacher at his house. Kathryn goes to his house for dinner and is caught snooping around, she becomes dizzy, her drink has been poisoned. Mr. Hamill says he knew it was Kathryn after the chase at the campus. He planned to frame the vigilante, to draw The Gavel in, and then have the law make the arrest. The end result being the justice system still works for the people. He’s trying to mold cops, not vigilantes. Kathryn passes out and The Gavel (Megan) comes to the rescue, crashing through the window. The Gavel begins fighting Mr. Hamill whom is skilled in martial arts but is no match and is knocked out.

The Gavel calls for an ambulance to save her sister whom is beginning to pass out. Mr. Hamill discreetly called the police and sirens can be heard racing towards his house. The Gavel flees and an intense chase by numerous cop cars and a helicopter throughout Austin ensues. She climbs over neighborhood fences avoiding guard dogs, rides on top of a city bus dodging a spotlight from a police helicopter, hi--‐‑jacks a biker’s chopper and is shot at, saves an old lady having a heart attack, and gives the authorities the slip in a junkyard, diving over a barbed wire fence and into a reservoir.

Mr. Hamill is arrested and convicted of the murders and The Gavel’s warrant is lifted, becoming a hero of Austin and an internet sensation. Kathryn recovers in the hospital and Megan visits, “We’re going to die someday if we keep working outside the law.” Megan looks deep into her sister’s eyes, “We’ve been missing since birth, we were made into outsiders. And that’s what will be whenever the law fails.” Kathryn is released and the sisters start up their own Private Investigator’s business. Later that week, two officers are called to a crime in progress, when they arrive, the victim tells them “The Gavel saved me.”

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