Berman and Braga Reloaded: Episode II
Written by Jason Reichstetter
It is a joyous time for Rick Berman Productions. Rick Berman and his esteemed colleague Brannon Braga have completed negotiations and have signed on Ashton Kutcher to play Captain Jimmy Kirk in their Star Trek remake.
Location scouting has commenced by director Paul W.S. Anderson and the production team of Rob Cohen, Neal H. Moritz, Akiva Goldsman and The Wachowski Brothers, looking for a large skyscraper where the final battle will take place. Paul W.S. Anderson is hard at work on the script as well and several composers are in negotiations to compose the score. Among the candidates are Marilyn Manson, Jonathan Davis, and the Dust Brothers.
Meanwhile, on the Paramount Lot, some interesting events are occurring. During a costume fitting for Ashton Kutcher, some very strange goings on are, um, going on...
FADE TO BLACK...
INT. PARAMOUNT COSTUME DEPARTMENT, DAY
Rick Berman and Brannon Braga are in the costume department, talking with costume designer Robert Blackman while Ashton Kutcher is busy trying on several new Starfleet uniforms.
Ashton Kutcher emerges from the dressing room, dressed in a bright orange jumpsuit with a Star Trek-reminiscent chevron on it. He is also wearing some black jockey-pants and big black go-go boots.
Berman: Good God! Take that horrid thing off!
Braga: My eyes! My eyes! I can’t see!
(Ashton Kutcher goes back into the changing room and shuts the door)
Blackman: That was my original Star Trek uniform update.
Berman: Mr. Blackman, I want you to take the entire uniform design, including the entire sketchbook it was sketched in, and burn it. I will see to it that a large bonfire is erected in the backlot at 9 PM tonight.
Braga: Ooooooooohhh! Fire! I’ll bring the marshmellows and graham crackers and we can make S’Mores!
(Berman looks at Braga for a few moments.)
Berman: Continue with the fittings, Mr. Blackman.
Blackman: Ashton, come on out with design #2!
(Ashton Kutcher emerges from the dressing room clad in a horrid United States military jumpsuit/Star Trek: The Next Generation uniform hybrid. The upper part of the jumpsuit is red and the lower portion is green and the entire thing is covered with zippers and pockets and a name plate on the left side of Kutcher’s chest says, “Captain Kirk, USS Enterprise.” The right side also has a chest plate which proclaims “United States Aerospace Command and Exploration Services.")
Berman: Very impressive, Mr. Blackman. You will be commended.
Kutcher: Eh, I’m not too sure of this...
Berman: You’re right. Mr. Blackman, what were you thinking? I specifically asked for the new uniforms to be completely leather. There is no leather on this uniform.
Braga: The Matrix movies have people wearing all leather. Studies show that movies where people wear leather equal box-office success.
Blackman: But, overall, you do like this design?
Berman: With the exception of the leather issue, the design is nearly flawless. It is exactly what we envisioned.
Braga: They should also have black sunglasses that they wear when they’re on board the Enterprise.
Berman: Good thinking! Mr. Blackman, you have your orders.
Blackman: Leather and sunglasses, gotcha!
(The door to the dressing room busts open and Jolene Blalock emerges, followed by several men in black suits with black ties wearing black sunglasses.)
Man in Black #1: Mr. Berman, I need you to come with me.
Berman: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold your horses there, buddy. What’s this all about?
Blalock: Those are the guys. (Points to Berman and Braga)
Man in Black #2: Are you sure, Ms. Blalock?
Braga: Er, what’s going on here?
Man in Black #2: The California division of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received a complaint of unwanted sexual advancement toward Ms. Blalock by a Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.
Berman: Whoa, hold on there, slick. There must be some kind of mistake.
Man in Black #2: We take our jobs very seriously, and great care is taken to ensure that every claim is investigated fully. You and Mr. Braga have been under surveillance for the last two weeks and our records do indicate that uninvited sexual comments were exchanged.
Berman: What kind of unwelcome sexual exchanges?
Man in Black #2 pulls out a list that is folded about a million times and is about the same thickness as that of the novel War and Peace.
Man in Black #1: Mr. Berman, I’m going to need you and Mr. Braga to come with us. You have a lot of explaining to do.
Braga: He’s Mr. Berman, I’m Mr. Braga.
Man in Black #2: You are allowed to have a lawyer present during your interrogation.
Berman: (Grabs the list from the Man in Black’s hands and looks at it) “Telling a crude sexual joke?” “Creating a hostile work environment?” “Taking photocopies of my anal region and posting them all over the studio?”
(At this, Braga’s face turns red, and he puts his tongue in his cheek and starts examining the drywall of the room.)
Berman: I’m afraid this is bullshit. You have the wrong men.
Man in Black #2: I’m afraid you’re the one who is in the wrong, Mr. Berman. This information has been corroborated by several different sources. These sources are legitimate and they all point a finger at you.
Kutcher: Um, what does that mean?
(Berman looks furious)
Berman: You know what? You can take this list of complaints and shove it up your ass! I don’t have to take this, I’m Rick Berman!
Braga: (Weakly) Yeah! And I’m Brannon Braga!
Berman: I want to talk to my attorney! Then, I want to talk to my attorney’s attorney! We’re going to sue you for this false claim! Ms. Blalock, you’re fired!
Braga: Um, if you want, you could come to my office later and we can discuss some other employment options...
Man in Black #1: Mr. Berman, calm down. Everything will be all right.
Berman: Hey, screw you! You got yourselves into this mess, and I’m going to be the one to finish it! (Several veins in Berman’s head are sticking out)
Man in Black #2: Mr. Berman, seriously, calm down.
Berman: Why should I be calm? You come into my dressing room and slow down my production and toss these accusations at me? What reason should I have to calm down?
Man in Black #2: Because you’ve just been Punk’d!
(At this, the dressing room door busts open, and a camera crew enters, blinding Berman and Braga with their lights and the room is filled with Blalock’s and Kutcher’s giggling.)
Blalock: Gotcha, Mr. Berman!
The Men in Black start patting Berman on the back and assuring him it was all a hoax, and Ashton Kutcher’s face is turning beet red from his laughing.
Braga: .....(pouting) I knew it was a prank all along...
To be continued...