ACTION MYSTERY POLITICAL CRIME SUSPENSE/THRILLER
THE EFFORTS OF A HOTEL MOGUL AND HIS WIFE TO FOIL A TERRORIST PLOT AND SAVE THE USA.
WHITE HOUSE DOWN, OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN
ELDON DAVIS, 62, FIT, DISTINGUISHED, A WEALTHY AMERICAN HOTEL MOGUL.
KIMBERLY DAVIS, LATE 50S, ELDON'S LOVELY SECOND WIFE,, A FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE.
ZARA AHMED, IRAQ, LATE 40S, LEADER OF AN ISLAMIC TERRORIST GROUP.
CATHY DAVIS, 30S, ELDON'S DAUGHTER, A DOCTOR.
PRESIDENT CLYDE TRENTEN, 60S, A BLUSTERY, DIM-WITTED TRUMP TYPE;
BILLY, EARLY 60S, ELDON'S FAITHFUL FRIEND AND PRIVATE JET PILOT;
PETE JERICHO, 40S, TRENTEN'S LONG-SUFFERING CHIEF OF STAFF.
International terrorists embed secret code into the Egyptology of a newly opened mega-resort at the pyramids. The Protagonists; Eldon and Kimberley (hotel owners) must break the code before the terrorists can awaken sleeper cells in the USA and rain havoc on America.
Target Gender: Universal
Cairo, Baghdad, and Washington D.C.
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Publisher: FRANK JULIUS BOOKS
Year Published: 2018 (ebook) 2019 (Paperback)
Eldon and Kimberley are surveying their newly opened hotel and area from their helicopter, overflying the Great Pyramid of Giza when they witness the bombing of three tour buses carrying the US exchange students they arranged in bringing to Cairo. Horror and mayhem ensue.
The secret code to deciphering the hieroglyphics is discovered to be held in a game played by the daughters of the terrorist group leader who were injured in the bombing. The two girls are being cared for by American surgeons and Eldon and Kimberley (hotel owners). The clock ticks.
Information not completed
Hard Copy Available
Mature Audience Themes
Plot - Other Elements
Twist,Meaningful Message,Happy Ending
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Name: Eldon Davis
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Faithful,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Patriotic,Selfless,Skillful,Visionary,Sophisticated,Strong Moral Code
Additional Character Details
Name: Kimberley Ashton-Davis
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Gracious,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Sophisticated,Romantic,Visionary,Skillful,Selfless,Patriotic
Additional Character Details
Name: Zara Ahmed
Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Complex,Confident,Criminal,Decisive,Desperate,Engaging,Faithful,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Lone Wolf,Strong Moral Code,Secretive,Visionary,Religious,Patriotic,Obedient,Villainous,Masculine
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aggressive,Complex,Criminal,Decisive,Desperate,Educated,Naive,Visionary,Patriotic,Power Hungry
THRILLER, ACTION, DRAMA
Eldon and Kimberley head to Egypt to see to the beginning of a new resort. The site happens upon an encoded message for the terrorist group ISIF. Eldon and Kimberly must find the source before ISIF can activate their international sleeper cells. Eldon and Kimberly's search is a careful game of diplomacy as the sensitive objective often requires leaving governments in the dark.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes the book profile has much of the correct information reflecting the book. The character detail ages seem to be off as Eldon describes himself as 62 in the story but he is still only 55 in the profile. The development pitch mentions previous books in the series, but could be more streamlined to just talk about Inn Formation and add the themes that make this story special regardless of setting.
Draw of Story
The crime fighting couple ends up being the spokesperson for a terrorist group in order to stop the governments from creating further civilian deaths and they must outsmart the leaders on both sides to get ahead and stop the organization.
The themes and message are less clear than the historical nature of the settings. For example the history of Ancient Egypt's greatest feats are more focused on in the intro rather than the political atmosphere that leads to ISIF in the opening. By removing some of the setting the scenes (although keepign some as the visuals are great ant vivid) the pacing might feel faster in the middle.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that Eldon's and Kimberley's new resort being built gets them involved in stopping international terrorists independently from any government. By showing the motivations of each side there will be greater emotional investment.
The setting of Egypt is known to be popular as is Middle Eastern terrorist antagonists due to the recent US wars. So these factors coupled with the action genre definitely has the ingredients to make a popular movie. The novelty of the piece is that the protagonists are older so could be played by esteemed dramatic actors as action heroes which is also a current market trend.
Due the same action genre that would make the film popular, it is unlikely to garner prestige awards.
Similar Films/TV Series
BRIDGE OF SPIES, BLACK WIDOW, QUANTICO, DEVIL'S DOUBLE, JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT
What’s New About the Story
The originality stems from the protagonist being hotel owners in their sixties. They are action heroes by default while remaining realistic. Giving the characters flaws outside of just the antagonists would make them feel even more three-dimensional.
Eldon is skeptical, persuasive, and independent. Katherine is knowledgeable, kind and supportive. Zara is bold, secretive and polarizing.
Uniqueness of Story
The concept without a novel theme about terrorism is not are rare as the protagonist. The rarity stems from the dynamic and identities of the older protagonists.
Film: Streaming, Indie, Studio
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
Adding to the protagonists with more flaws and clearer inner conflicts will make them feel even more dynamic. The emotional investment in the protagonists' goals would be increased with more nuanced characters.
An American hotel mogul and his wife witness a horrific terrorist attack and find themselves used as mouthpieces by an Islamic jihadi group who have pledged to destroy the States in revenge for the war in Iraq. The couple must crack the Egyptian hieroglyphic code embedded in their hotel's restaurant menu decoration to help stop them from activating sleeper cells in the US.
What We Liked
Politically current theme of terrorism striking at the heart of the States makes this a potential tent pole screener. Two good leads in the husband and wife team who help crack the terrorists' code, and a decent bad guy, plus the very real horror of the US infrastructure being destroyed with bombings.
Film: The concept has the potential for a big tent-pole actioner, with plenty of suspense and terse political dialogue. There are numerous scenes of terrorists attacking major US transportation targets, with resulting loss of life, that will grip an audience. The Egyptian hieroglyphic codes make an intriguing visual device.
TV: Although it's on a grand scale, this could be adapted for television, or a streaming series about sleeper cells embedded within the US who are activated to simultaneously destroy major transportation targets. It resonates with a very real fear American citizens have of Middle Eastern refugees hiding their terroristic intentions.
Topical political subject matter (Islamic terrorism).
Exotic backdrop (Cairo).
Fast paced global setting.
Gripping action set pieces.
The urgency of the leads cracking the code before the terrorists can do any more damage.
Cairo, present day. ELDON DAVIS (62) and his wife KIMBERLY (late 50s) are flying over the pyramids in a helicopter flown by their long-time buddy, BILLY (50s).
They have recently built a stunning hotel with a view of the ancient ruins, as part of their global Jewel Hotels. They have even helped organize several bus loads of American children to tour the site, and notice that the Egyptian government has paired them with several other buses of underprivileged Egyptian children.
So, they are horrified when the buses explode, the result of a terrorist bombing attack. Billy quickly sets down the chopper and Eldon and Kim rush to help the kids but there are, tragically, very few survivors.
They take two injured Egyptian sisters, TALIA and AFRAA (12-13) and one American teenager boy to the hospital. They soon meet the girls’ worried parents, ZARA and NAWAR AHMED (both 40s). Eldon’s daughter CATHY (30s), a doctor, calls in from Miami and offers to treat them with the top restructuring surgery. A few days later, Nawar and her daughters are flown to Miami and put up in Eldon’s Jewel hotel there on his dime.
Meanwhile, a Trump-style president CLYDE TRENTEN (60s) is foaming at the mouth to ‘nuke the terrorists’ except his security heads don’t know who the assailants are until an Islamic radical group, the ISS, takes responsibility. They quickly put a plan together and, using a new high tech surveillance data, they target the leaders and drone bomb them.
What Eldon doesn’t know is that Zara was raised by FAAZ (50s), the founder of ISIF (Islam Saddam Iraq Forever), created after the US invasion of Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction. However long it takes, they will get revenge on the States.
To that end, they have trained and smuggled thousands of Iraqis into the US under refugee status. These men have infiltrated every branch of American commerce, from airports, trains, oil refineries, malls and shipyards.
Their instructions come coded in the Egyptian hieroglyphics that decorate the menu of the main restaurant in Eldon’s Cairo hotel and that change as needed. The myriad sleeper cells in the country are prepped and ready for action.
With tourism suddenly devastated in Egypt, Eldon comes up with a plan, to persuade Helsinki, where the first anti-terrorism conference is to take place, let them move it to Cairo. Luckily, Finland agrees, if nothing else to show the terrorists they will not win.
However, Eldon and Kim are shocked when they receive an anonymous letter from ISIF informing them that they want justice and revenge for America’s ‘unfair’ war on Iraq. ISIF have chosen Eldon and Kim to be their mouthpiece. They are not to go to the authorities or their daughter Cathy will be harmed.
They are given as sheet of hieroglyphics and a decoder to follow messages directed to Eldon and Kimberley only from the terrorists.
In the States, the President is in Miami giving a gung-ho anti-terrorism speech when the airport behind him explodes! Multiple other major airport hubs are also targeted – from Boston to Seattle.
The President is rushed to Air Force One and sped to an underground bunker in Colorado. It is proof that the threats outlined in the letter sent to Eldon are real.
The attacks obviously cause mayhem across the States; all commercial traffic is halted and goods and services run dry. But the next attack is just round the corner as ISIF hits several major rail hubs, followed a few days later by attacks on secondary airports.
ISIF send Eldon another letter with a coded message which he is to read out in public. ISIF demands that all US troops leave the Middle East and that President Trenten should resign and hand himself over to Iraq to go to prison.
The UN calls a panicked meeting of major global leaders to discuss what to do. All Western countries will support the US financially – but they urge Trenten to play along and pretend to concede as everyone hustles to track down the terrorists.
The heads of the CIA, FBI, DHS and NSA are terrified of requesting Trenten to step down but to their great surprise, Trenten grows a pair and offers to follow the ISIF demands as a way to stop them attacking his country.
Eldon and Kim secretly fly back to the States and meet with the above agencies, telling them about the hieroglyphic codes.
They also meet up with Cathy to talk about her two young patients. They are agog when they spot some childhood drawings in her briefcase – and she tells them that their father taught them how to write in hieroglyphics.
They realize Zara must be behind it – he is connected to ISIF! The girls’ work also help them figure out some remaining unsolved clues, which prove to be specific target locations.
Back in Cairo, Eldon invites Zara over to the hotel to give him the update about his daughters’ medical status – but once he’s in the room, the security guard tasers him and cuffs him.
Eldon calls the US authorities and tells them of his scoop. Then he and Kimberley lay into Zara, reminding him that he’s defending a former leader (Saddam) who brutally killed his own people. Kimberley even slaps his face!
Having got to the bottom of the terrorist cell targeting the States, Eldon and Kimberley fly off in their private jet to their private villa in Bermuda for some well-earned R&R!