Film treatment: “Reynardine”

I recently submitted a pitch for a low-budget movie about fairies. Unfortunately, my fairies and their fairies don’t seem to have matched and the production company turned me down. So it goes. I’m about a quarter of the way through it at this point, and it’s not without charm.


Synopsis by Sean Demory

“REYNARDINE” is a dark, postmodern fairy tale set in an unnamed metropolis. A kinetic, atmospheric story, “REYNARDINE” uses few special effects and easily-reproduced sets to provide an exciting genre film on a limited budget.

“REYNARDINE” is the story of Jack Reposa, an unsuspecting man who finds himself the quarry in an ancient game. After a strange dream, Jack is confronted by an old man who gives him a battered fox-head pin and advises him to run quickly before disappearing in a crowd. Jack ignores the man’s advice, only to be cornered by a pack of well-dressed, bestial-acting men who chase him through back alleys and side streets, barking and baying as they call out “Reynardine!” Jack escapes the men, finding reserves of agility and cunning that he didn’t know he had, before finding a moment’s rest in a small flower shop run by an old woman.

The woman sees the pack go by and explains Jack’s predicament: he’s been chosen to be the entertainment of the Gray Lady, a creature that the woman is loathe to call a “fairy” for fear of catching her attention. The Lady chooses people to serve as playing pieces in vast, elaborate games that she invariably wins, the woman says, explaining that she’d been chosen to play Beauty when she was young in a game that killed her fiancé. Jack has to survive the hunt against him, find his true face and sword (most likely still held by the last Reynardine) and present himself to the Gray Lady in order to win… maybe.

As Jack makes his way through an increasingly otherworldly city, he runs into past and current “gamepieces,” both helpful and dangerous, and learns that the world that he thought he knew was a scrim covering a reality stranger, more beautiful and infinitely more dangerous than he’d ever imagined. Before it’s all over, Jack will transcend his own limitations, becoming something more and less than a man in order to win this dangerous game.

“REYNARDINE” is a high-energy, richly-textured story of betrayal, suspense and high adventure. It’s a fairy tale writ fast and dark, with a memorable cast of characters and an ending that is both grand and damning… because, like any good fairy tale, no one comes away clean.

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2 Responses to Film treatment: “Reynardine”

  1. Ben Trafford says:

    Reynardine — he’s a fox of some sort, I take it?

    • Sean Demory says:

      Got it in one. “Reynardine” is an old English folk song about a fox-thing that lures young women away for reasons best left unsaid. That’s part of the overarching story, or at least it will be by the end.

      If you look at the Reynard stories, he rapidly presents himself as being a) crafty and powerful and b) a vicious, horrible bastard. There’s an edge of meanness to him that you don’t see in the standard tricksters, which stands to reason as real foxes are sort of nasty. Still, that edge interests me.

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