Movie Pitch: Hotter Than The Sun

Title:       Hotter Than The Sun      


Genre:     Thriller

Logline:   Jake moves to China to give his soccer career a needed boost and ends up putting his life on the line as he searches for his missing wife.

Jake McAndrews falls in love with three things in his short life - 1. Elaine, his wife of two years, 2. playing soccer and 3. China – (the country, the people, the food, the scenery – the whole nine yards). 

When he was studying at Princeton, he was sent to Hong Kong on a soccer trip and that’s where the love affair started. He met both his wife and China - head on - although it took him a time to get back to both.

Jake is now 29 and from a wealthy family who occupy a large house and whole bunch of land that sits on the Hudson River in upstate New York. The McAndrews family plan is for Jake was to marry a local family girl – white, money, good family and for their son to work on Wall Street or, failing that, Madison Avenue.

Jake has other ideas and decides the only way to get the girl and the country is to move to China. He meets up with Chinese/American Elaine again, and to his surprise she is not hitched – they both move to Shanghai and that is where Jake sets up his sports agency. When he was last in China, he noticed just how much soccer talent was literally, kicking about the streets and his idea is to sign up and ship some of that talent back to the US, to the Major Soccer League teams who seem to ‘make do’ with local US and old Euro talent.

In China there is a wealth of talent that no one seems to have tapped into, Jake realises he can make a fortune. Shanghai is a city that’s sizzling – this is where the business is, this is where the heart is beating in the New China.

Instead of living in one of the new downtown apartments, Elaine and Jake rent a place in an old English street that was populated by the Europeans over a hundred years before. This is a couple saying that ‘we are going places’.

One day, while out at lunch, Jake sees Elaine talking to a Chinese man he’s never seen before. Elaine doesn’t know that Jake has seen her. He watches the two of them enter an American bar.

Jake waits for Elaine to exit the bar – he calls her on her cell and she tells him, she’s having English tea and cakes with one of their neighbours. It gets dark and Elaine has still not come back out, so Jake puts on a pair of dark shades and enters the bar. It’s full of expats from the US and they are watching an NFL game from back home.

The Chinese man who was talking to Elaine, is standing at the bar alone – so Jake buys a beer and sits in the corner, but there is no sign of Elaine. The Chinese man is about to leave the bar when Jake intercepts him and asks where his wife is. The man says he doesn’t know what Jake is talking about and that he should let him leave. Then the man tries the oldest trick in the book, he points to a woman coming out of the ladies’ toilet and asks ‘is that her?’ – Jake turns giving the Chinese man the opportunity to make his escape.

Jake chases the man through the streets of Shanghai but the man disappears onto a river ferry. Jakes runs back to the bar and bursts into the Ladies toilet checking each cubicle – nothing, he tries a couple of the back offices and apart from annoying the staff and customers, Elaine has disappeared.

Jake’s goes back to their house to check if she’s returned home. He searches through her wardrobe and clothing for clues – stuck underneath a drawer is a business card for the American bar in Shanghai and a phone number written in pen.

He calls the number and an American voice answers saying ‘Hi darling I’ve missed you’, Jake asks who it is and the man’s voice tells Jake that he is her husband and wants to know who Jake is and how he got his and his wife’s private number. Jake asks the American to describe his wife and it is 100% Elaine. Both Elaine and Chancy have a tattoo on their thigh that says ‘Hotter Than the Sun’.

Jake goes to the police but they have never ever heard of Elaine or her family or her life in Hong Kong. Jake uses a friend in the US consulate to trace the phone number of the man who claims to be Chancy/Elaine’s husband.

Jake tracks the man down to Beijing where he works in a press office for a US newspaper. He tells Jake that his name is Robert Goss and that he’s been married to his wife, Chancy for five years. He shows Jake a wedding photo and there is Robert and Chancy (Elaine) on their wedding day. Robert seems the genuine article which means he and Elaine, who ever she is are probably not married.

Jake receives a phone call from an unknown man to meet him on a remote part of the Great Wall – this turns out to be a trap and Jake is chased along the Great Wall and only escaping with his life because he manages to clamber down the side. Jake has upsets some important people.
Robert calls Jake again and says that he’s heard from Chancy/Elaine and could they meet up in town.

This is another trap – Robert and Chancy (Elaine) are in it together. Elaine had identified Jake as a possible partner all those years ago in Hong Kong and if he thought back it is was her idea for him to be a soccer agent. She wanted to use him to smuggle all sorts of crooks and gangsters out of China and into the West under the guise of sportsmen.

She hadn’t meant to disappear that night in the bar but Jake had gotten too close to the truth.

Robert and Chancy hold Jake prisoner and then decide to kill him – they’ll make it look like a robbery.

Jake escapes and is chased through Beijing, finally banging on the door of the American Embassy.

One helluva ride through China!

bobby stevenson  thoughtcontrol ltd 2017 

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