How Has This Not Happened Yet: Natalie Portman in a Sequel to The Professional

This is another guest post, the second in the new guest author series. This post is authored by Russ Ball, a haiku writer and film fan.

Okay, film fans. There’s something we need to talk about: the universe owes us a debt.

There are things that are simply supposed to happen.  When you place bread in a toaster, you expect toast.  When Natalie Portman establishes herself as an A-list celebrity and Hollywood finally starts making movies with strong female protagonists, we are supposed to get a sequel to Leon: the Professional.

Great poster, great film,
Great poster, great film,

I know you’ve seen The Professional (as it was released in the United States). But allow me to refresh your memory anyway:

Natalie Portman made her feature film debut in 1994 as “Mathilda” a 12 year old girl who befriends a lonely hitman (Jean Reno, aka the really cool French guy from Mission Impossible and Ronin) after the death of her family at the hands of a corrupt DEA agent (Gary Oldman, aka Commissioner Sirius Gordon-Black).  The movie saw a few different releases, as some of the vibes between Portman and Reno were deemed too ‘Lolita-ish’ for middle America.  The film is fantastic.  Go watch it (again).  Right now.  I’ll wait.  Here’s the trailer:

The rest of this depends on you knowing the movie, so seriously go watch it.

Back?  Yeah, it’s great, right?  So here’s what needs to happen.  

Natalie Portman returns in Mathilda: The Professional II.

Hear me out.

Mathilda, having been orphaned first by her sleazy parents and again by her adopted killer father figure grows up to be an assassin too. Because obviously.  Consider that part montage-d, probably during the opening credits.

It's not like the idea of her playing an assassin is a stretch.
It’s not like the idea of her playing an assassin is a stretch.

Now, she’s blown through Leon’s cash, having traveled the world as a mercenary of sorts.  Her traumatic childhood made it difficult to settle down.  She’s beholden (as a #1 badass hitwoman) to the same mob that controlled Leon – a mob now headed by Mafioso Tony’s son – let’s call him James. He’s gonna inevitably be played by Gioavanni Ribsi, so actually let’s just call him Ribsi.

This guy is just really good at playing bad guys. But other people who could play this role include Casey Affleck, David Schwimmer, etc.
This guy is just really good at playing bad guys. But other people who could play this role include Casey Affleck, David Schwimmer, etc.

At a mob gathering where she’s been hired to provide security, she meets Tommy, the 8 year old autistic nephew of Bad Guy Ribsi.  Tommy has an uncanny ability to recite any conversation he’s ever heard.

Do you see where this is going yet?

  • Mafia party gets raided by DEA (including head DEA Agent Willem Defeo)
  • Firefight breaks out – Tommy’s father & mother get killed.
  • Mathilda saves little Tommy,

Turns out he’s heard some interesting conversations about Uncle Giovanni Ribsi, regarding some backroom deals with a corrupt DEA agent.

Ribsi, in an effort to get into politics, has staged the raid to cut ties with anyone who could smudge his reputation (like Matilda). He’s made a deal with the DEA to lock down the drug trade, giving Agent McCorruption (Willem Defoe, really) some of the action.

Tommy doesn’t understand what he has heard, but can recite it all.  

Also, he’s a hacker. 

Mathilda and Tommy find themselves on the run from the bad guys.

Mathilda, remembering all too well her times with Leon, decides to help Tommy avenge his parents.

There would be a scene identical to this.
There would be a scene identical to this.

HOW HAS THIS NOT BEEN A MOVIE YET??!?

Things to consider:

  • Since Jurassic Park, everyone has enjoyed hacker kids saving the day. Maybe an Edward Snowden cameo?
  • Natalie Portman.
  • Many gun battles
  • Visiting Leon’s grave.  Sad part. 
  • Also, if you don’t recall, she planted a tree at the end of the original film. They go visit that tree too. Second sad part. (Edit: it’s actually a houseplant. Okay, so maybe the houseplant is still in the ground and they visit it?)
  • Also, Tommy’s eight – and eight year olds are funny.
  • Lots of ‘lets uncover the awesome stash of guns’ bits, where the eight year old pulls out a heavy one and almost drops it.  You’ll laugh.
  • Could be an on-the-run exotic travel movie.  Let’s say Capri because I want to go there.
  • Maybe when they go to visit the tree (or houseplant) from the first movie, that’s where one of the shoot-outs is.
  • So many feels – revenge, loss, bonding, Natalie Portman.
  • This simply must happen.  Natalie, this part was the part you were born for.  
  • It ends with Natalie dying, and in a few decades we can get the third installment in the trilogy.

Universe, we’re waiting.

Guest Post: The Five Most Haunting Films to Watch This Halloween

The following is written by guest blogger McLong, as part of a new guest writer series in which we will be featuring various writers:

As children, we overloaded on candy. Now we overload on horror movies. All of them: the good, the bad, the gory.

I’m a poster child of desensitized America, unscathed by what an average movie goer would deem horrific. It takes a lot to freak me out, afraid to have the lights off and go to the bathroom by myself. In the moment of viewing, the demonic possessions take my breath away, but, five minutes later, I’ve forgotten it and moved onto the next plot point.

But some horror resonates.  These are the movies that haunt me during the day, whether sitting in a cubicle or on a walk or at the grocery store. The ones where, watching the credits ascend, you’re unsure how you’ll ever live a normal life again.

These five films are each horrific in a different way, but these are for those of you with a high tolerance, looking for a soul-rattling watch,

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Terrifying.
Terrifying.

Sure, getting pregnant with the devil’s baby is scary. But what’s really terrifying in this film is the complete lack of control that Mia Farrow’s Rosemary has over her life. She’s drugged by her neighbors and raped by her husband, who justifies it with “but you’re ovulating, baby.” As if that doesn’t happen ever month? He then dictates every step of the pregnancy, including insisting on the devil-worshiping doctor of his choice. It’s the misogyny in Polanski’s masterpiece that haunts you longer than the idea of mothering the spawn of Satan.

The Ring (2002)

A contemporary horror movie that confines itself to a PG-13 rating is a rare and intriguing film, as they can’t rely on heavy violence or gore to rattle their audience. But the really great ones work within the limits of PG-13 and still burn images into your head, like The Ring‘s infamous murder tape and its random clips: a finger going through a nail, a horse’s eye, centipedes, maggots, an upside down chair, and that chill-inducing static (that irritates anyone who has ever had a television) at the end.

The story might be erratic, but the images within the film are positively frightful. Ambiguity can hurt a story but, in this case, the viewers are haunted by the questions they have, mulling over a sick family who killed each other, their pets, and ultimately themselves.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

This movie tells the story of aliens waging a quiet biological warfare, unlike the aggressive invasions we’ve become accustomed to. What begins as a woman picking a pretty flower for her boyfriend results in an intense shift of human life. The main characters find themselves in a strange world where those closest to them seem slightly off. The horror comes from the intense paranoia of not being able to trust your loved ones and the sadness of losing them forever to a new creepy alien society. It becomes a chase reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, making the viewer ask: is it worth it to stay awake? or should I let go and fall asleep to join everyone else? 

The protagonist... for now...
The protagonist… for now…

And then there is the ending. The final scene is ingrained in my mind and just won’t go away. That face, that shock, that scream…

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

I know: I praised The Ring for its subtlety and ability to work within a PG-13 movie, and then I put an R-rated gore fest remake on this list?

This guy.
No, not the one with McConaughey in it.

But does it get more brutal than this re-imagining of the horror classic? What is it about hillbillies acting like they have nothing to lose? Is anything scarier than a murderer with no fear of consequence? Unlike the original, this version opens with a disturbing suicide that sets the tone for the rest of the movie. We’ve seen suicides on screen many times before, but this one and its level of violence and intensity is unparalleled. And as this film goes on, it becomes hard to have any optimism for the traumatized potential survivors, our hope dwindling as each character is picked off in a seriously gruesome fashion.

Eraserhead (1977)

Mention this movie to anyone who has seen it and watch the blood drain from their faces. And I’m not even sure if it’s technically a horror film.

Yikes.
“a dream of dark and troubling things.”

Eraserhead is declared a ‘surrealist body horror’ film, whatever that means.  Basically it’s trippy and messed up and you have no idea what is going on but you want it to stop. The actual plot is the story of Henry Spencer, the women he is involved with, and the bizarre child that results from their relationship. The film has the ability to be disturbing on a level which has never been explored in film before. I only recommend this movie to people seeking a sadistic challenge and a new scream to infect their nightmares.    

How I submit a guest post to WWBD?

Interested in submitting to WWBD? Send it to WhatWouldBaleDo@gmail.com.