|Lurchi - 2014-11-18 |
The Immortal is really a story that starts from my frustration. All the stories that weíre doing come from my head, and this one is really deeply personal, because it started two years ago when my kids were getting ready for Christmas, and all they could talk about was presents, toys, and Santa and elves.
And I kept trying to come up with some way to work Christ into it. You know, can we stop with the, you know, fat magic fairy that gives you everything you want for Christmas? Letís actually talk about what it is. Now, I donít want to be the guy who complains about the giant corporations. I donít want to be the guy whoís complaining about Santa. I donít want to be that dad, because I remember growing up Santa was important. That was cool. Itís magic. Itís magic.
Santa is an important part of Christmas, but itís become nothing more than a racket. If the kids just think that Santa just shows up and just dumps a whole bunch of presents, and you donít even know why weíre getting gifts anymore, is that the lesson you want to teach your children? Because itís not mine. And so it bothered me and bothered me all through Thanksgiving and all through Christmas, and I started writing a story called the Immortal.
Itís coming out as a book, not this Christmas but next Christmas, and then it will be a film. The premise behind it was how can I take a guy, Santa, and completely reshape him and make him into something even more magical than what we already think. How can I tell the story of Santa and place him into the actual first Christmas story without damaging the actual Christmas story? I canít do any damage to that. I canít have kids go yeah, well, that was Santa that was feeding the sheep. I canít do that.
So how do I place this figure there so he is forever pointing to that moment? It wasnít easy, but this story started to download, and I wrote it over the Christmas vacation. And we have been working on it now ever since, and we have come up with something that I think is game changing. Clement Moore was the guy who did ĎTwas the Night Before Christmas, and he was the first guy that really changed the look of Santa
And then Coca-Cola did it, changed the look of Santa. And then Montgomery Ward did it with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and then weíve been off to the races and off to the malls ever since. How can we reshape? My Santa, the Immortal is a very different guy. He starts out right before the birth of Christ, and he is up in the mountains. And he is a warrior. He has lost his wife, and heís a sad individual. And heís got a son who loves dearly, and he lives up in the mountains, and he hunts for food.
But whatís interesting about him is heís also good with his hands, and the way he hunts is completely different. He actually goes up in the mountains, and he makes these giant puppets that he actually gets inside. And he is trying to kill these wild boars by being inside one of these puppets, if you will, of a boar. And he roots around as the boars come in. That way heís close enough to kill them.
And he takes his son and leaves him in his sledge up on the mountaintop and tells him to be careful. You know, he has taught him to be smart and wise, but as Agios, the main character, comes down, and he is hunting for these wild boar, he hears a scream up by the sledge, and the wolves have come and dragged his boy away. Let me just give you a little bit.
This is from the book:
Agios is now trying to go hunt the wolves because he has seen that his son has been dragged away. ďThe ridge led downward and beneath a rocky overhang. He spotted two wolves, huge animals, snarling as they fought over something they were devouring. Agios leapt from the sledge before the animals could react, spear in one hand, knife in another. The startled wolves whirled and snarled. Both ran at him like gray ghosts speeding from the gathering gloom.
Agios leaned back on the spear, planting the spear deep inside the lead wolf as it leapt. The blade lodged between the shoulder muscles. The wolf jerked the knife from his hand. In blind fury, Agios grabbed the savage creature, held her muzzle in one hand, lower jaw in the other, and wrenched. Bone and sinew cracked, and the wolf fellÖand retrieved the knife as he sank it into the animalís heart.
He saw the male, mortally wounded, on its belly, making its way towards him. He saw the fallen mate dragging the spear, spilling its own blood. He gave no thanks. Sobbing, cursing himself, he scrambled to the small ripped body beneath the overhang. ďAlec,Ē he moaned, and then he screamed, ďMy son!Ē But no living thing could hear. Night enclosed him. The pines creaked in sudden gusts. The mountain storm did not care. Agios screamed again a wordless sound of agony, guilt, and grief. The wind whipped his anguished cry into the darkness.Ē
Thatís how our story begins. Thatís Santa? Yes, because what does a man do when heís in that position where he has no hope, no resurrection, nothing? What does he do? He goes on an amazing journey as a hunter, as a gatherer. He eventually is hired by three wise men because he can negotiate, because nobody is going to rip them off, and he knows how to get the very best gifts. And so he negotiates with gold, frankincense, and myrrh and then has to go protect that gold, frankincense, and myrrh and then through a series of events is left there to protect the Christ child, never interacting, just watching.
He doesnít know who he is, and he goes darker and darker in his whole life as he watches this boy grow, but heís always touched by him, but he doesnít realize it until the Sermon on the Mount. As this now 75-year-old man who has spent 30 years just following this little boy, as heís listening to the Sermon on the Mount, he finally breaks. He knows who he is, and he falls to his knees, and he says Lord, let me serve him. Let me protect him. Let me point the way towards him until his mission is finished.
He makes a pact. Little does he know in that pact he has now become immortal, because as he watches the crucifixion from afar and cannot get close to it, cannot stop it, he feels he fails again. He runs off before the resurrection. A thousand years pass until he meets another little boy, a little boy that happens to grow up to be what we know as Saint Nicholas.
Iím going to leave it there.