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WILD CARGO

Updated take on "Key Largo", character-driven underdog actioner for a male star. A maverick ex-convict drifter and habitual thief, alienated from society and prone to violence, bonds with the pacifist woman owner of a Louisiana monkey sanctuary. When animal smugglers invade her wildlife preserve, the ex-con is forced into a confrontation that finally redeems his lost humanity.

Ex-convict and career thief JACK FARGO, a young drifter alienated from society and prone to violence, is released from a Louisiana prison with nothing but the hope of getting his share of the jewelry heist he served five years for. The victim of a sadistic convict who made his life hell, haunted by traumatic memories of prison, Fargo is an angry anti-hero torn between good and the evil he grew up with. He just wants to retire and be left alone.

On his first day out of prison, Fargo breaks parole, a human “wild cargo” refusing to be caged again, now a fugitive from justice. In the Bayou, he reunites with his ex-partner REGGIE, a larcenous con man who invested both their shares of the stolen loot in an expensive boat with plans to cash in on the animal smuggling trade. Furious with Reggie, Fargo has no choice but to see it through until he can recoup his lost share of the money.

They buy a boatload of illegal monkeys from Colombian wildlife smuggler ROBLES and his venal, gringo-hating skipper JUAREZ. When an animal trader refuses to purchase the caged monkeys, the two ex-cons venture into remote Gulf Coast islands to sell them to the “Sanctuary”, an island wildlife refuge owned by a dedicated animal-people lover...

MIRANDA, an earthy, attractive nature girl who distrusts outsiders, a pacifist who shuns violence, the opposite of Fargo. She runs the refuge with a motley crew of teenage dropouts and misfits, protected by her lover, U.S. Wildlife Agent D'ANTONI, a tough swamp man who avenges the cause of wildlife like a modern-day Jeremiah Johnson of the Bayou.

Their wards are all monkeys, except for Miranda’s prized pet “Misha”, a caged, wild white Bengal tiger that can only be tamed by Miranda. To Fargo and Reggie, a rare exotic cat worth a fortune. To their dismay, Miranda takes their monkeys only as a donation, leaving them no alternative, then expels the two would-be smugglers from her refuge.

Broke and frustrated, Fargo returns alone to the island in the guise of needing a job, his private plan to steal the tiger and recoup his loss. He befriends Miranda, fascinated by her love for Misha, but makes an enemy of D’Antoni who suspects his motives. Fargo grows conflicted over his agenda, more drawn to Miranda and her refuge, only worsened by...

A raid of the refuge by Robles, Juarez, Reggie and armed smugglers out to seize the tiger. They hold Miranda and her Sanctuary teenagers hostage. Fargo secretly steals and hides Misha, torn between his own thieving nature and his compassion for Miranda. In a stormy confrontation, D’Antoni invades the smugglers’ seige – both he and Robles murdered by Juarez who takes control and threatens to kill Miranda over the missing tiger.

A crazed Fargo virtually takes D’Antoni’s place as an avenging predator, launching a one-man attack against the smugglers like a deadly wild animal. Only Miranda keeps his rage in check, trying to change his violent ways and trade her tiger for the lives of her Sanctuary people. Hard as he tries, Fargo can’t change his own animal nature. He finally snaps.

In the style of Key Largo, the violent action escalates into an all-out war of nerves between Fargo and his own kind. In an unexpected climax, he finally redeems his lost humanity.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
Screenplay
Budget:
Low
Starring Roles For:
Robyn Wright Penn

a young Colin Farrell type
In the Vein Of:
The Edge
Key Largo
Posted:
09/04/2009
Updated:
12/31/2020
Author Bio:
ANTON DIETHER is the writer of the Hallmark TV miniseries Moby Dick, the highest-rated long-form show in basic cable history, nominated for five Emmys and two Golden Globe Awards; ABC-TV miniseries Cleopatra; and Hallmark miniseries Stranded. Anton developed Beauty and the Beast for Fox, Land of Oz for Disney, Gold Fever for Phoenix Pictures, Operation Greylord for Showtime, Lost At Sea for TNT; currently Gang of Dreams TV miniseries for Little Studio Films, The Revolt for Revolt Prods, Taj Mahal for Threshold Ent.

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