Podcast Easter Egg: Millennium Movie Pitches
During a recent guest spot on the Back to Frank Black podcast to discuss IDW Publishing‘s Millennium comic book miniseries, I (that’s Fourth Horseman Press Associate Publisher Adam Chamberlain) happened to mention a drunken New Year’s Eve past with Brian A. Dixon from a few years back during which we swapped pitches for an imagined Millennium movie. On request, I vouched to share them for all the world to see, and so here they are.
It’s a fun game to play as a fan, of course: to contemplate what you might do if you were let loose with the creative toy box of a favourite universe. But I stand by them nonetheless, and think they each contain the nub of an idea that could make for an interesting and resonant return to the screen for Frank Black. (Incidentally, as you might expect Dixon’s own list of pitches contained some quite brilliant ideas all of his own.)
There are also elements here that cross over with strands of Joe Harris‘ storyline for the comic book, and—not coincidentally—also Chris Carter‘s remarks on the topic. In Back to Frank Black Carter teased his own ideas by saying of the potential for Millennium‘s return, “It would need to have that integrity from the original idea, but it needs to be a rethinking. I’ve had random thoughts about this and one was to use a character like Doggett [as played by Robert Patrick] and do a cross-pollination with The X-Files.” I was absolutely riffing off that in a couple of instances here.
Please do give the podcast a listen—not least to hear about Back to Frank Black’s new campaign drive to get Millennium streaming on Netflix—and also feel free to share your own movie pitches in the comments. Alongside revisiting this remarkable series on DVD and until we get a Chris Carter-penned onscreen return of Lance Henriksen as Frank Black, trust me when I say it’s the next best thing.
Millennium: This Is Who We Are
Frank Black is trying to relax into old age, and also to mend the relationship with his daughter, Jordan, who is about to leave home for college but is still marked by the emotional scars from the death of her mother—scars that have driven a wedge between her and her father. Whilst long retired from his previous career, Frank’s latent ability still haunts him, bringing nightmares and visions that start to increase in intensity once more. His very worst fears are realised when Jordan is abducted and held hostage by none other than Lucy Butler, who has emerged from the shadows one last time to come good on her threat to Frank at their last meeting. She taunts Frank, initially with Polaroids but increasingly with threats to kill Jordan, and sets him a series of tasks on the promise of sparing her life, tasks which push Frank’s morality to and beyond its limits. How far will Frank go to save Jordan? Might Jordan call on her own intuitions—an ability she has sought to deny and suppress—to help save herself? Frank Black would gladly give his life to save that of his daughter, but Lucy Butler doesn’t want his life: she wants his soul.
Millennium: The Cult of Lucy Butler
John Doggett, now an Assistant Director at the F.B.I., contacts a retired Frank Black regarding a case being investigated by Special Agent Monica Reyes. Due to her specialty in folklore, mythology and Satanic abuse, Reyes has been assigned to lead an ongoing investigation into the murderous activities of what has been revealed to be a well-established doomsday-type cult with an agenda that conspires to nothing less than a series of spectacular terrorist attacks. The identity of the cult’s elusive leader is their latest lead, and now the F.B.I. seek the help of the one man who knows the most about the mysterious figurehead, Lucy Butler, from their previous encounters: Frank Black. As the investigation gathers pace, Frank begins to suspect his role may not merely be to advise on the case, but that he is also being positioned by the F.B.I. to lure Butler out of hiding. Frank has cause to fear for the safety of his family once more, as Butler emerges for a final showdown with her nemesis. Can Frank Black defeat Lucy Butler now she has transcended herself to become an idea?
Millennium: New World Order
A killer that defies categorisation—part serial killer, part spree killer—undertakes a series of mass murders in Washington D.C.—each more spectacular than the last, and each aimed at targets he perceives to represent corruption and to be pushing society towards a tipping point: the stock exchange, a gun manufacturer, the Capitol. Assistant Director John Doggett seeks out retired profiler Frank Black to assist the F.B.I.’s investigation, which is floundering even as the nation reels in shock and fear of the killer’s next strike. Frank is an unwilling consultant as he struggles, too, to make peace with his estranged daughter, Jordan, but the situation suddenly becomes much more personal in the killer’s latest scheme as Jordan becomes caught up in a devastating attack on a shopping mall. As the case becomes personal, can Frank help identify and bring the killer to justice before it is too late to prevent anarchy from consuming the nation, and can he save his daughter in the process?
Millennium: Still Dark of Night
Frank Black wants to be left alone, even as he struggles to repair his relationship with his estranged daughter, Jordan. But an unsuccessful attempt on his life by necessity brings him out of the shadows as he draws a connection to the Millennium Group, whom he had believed to be disbanded. Frank must seek out what few allies he has left in law enforcement and the F.B.I.—notably including Emma Hollis—to help him uncover exactly who wants him dead, and why. But can he still trust Emma, and why exactly does the Group still see him as a threat? It becomes clear that members of the Owls faction are still intent upon pushing the world towards an Apocalypse of their own creation, and they do not intend to let anyone—and especially Frank Black—get in their way.
Millennium: Rushing Toward an Apocalypse
A biological terrorist attack in Washington D.C. bears uncanny resemblances to Frank Black of the Marburg outbreak that killed his wife. With the Millennium Group apparently gone, who can have gained access to the virus and produced this even more devastating strain? Haunted by new apocalyptic visions, Frank Black feels compelled to come out of retirement and offer his assistance. But will anyone listen to him—about the Group and regarding his suspicions—given his track record? Former friends and old enemies re-surface and battle lines are drawn anew, with the very future of civilisation at stake. Has a dangerous fragment of the Group survived into the new millennium, or do even darker, possibly otherworldly forces conspire to bring about the end of days?