Medieval England. In a besieged city four soldiers play dice to wile away the hours. They outdo each other with funny, harrowing tales. One soldier Ned is desperate to see his betrothed who lives beyond the city walls and plans to sneak out under cover of darkness to visit her. His three starving comrades decide to join him, hoping to find food somewhere. As the four chancers creep past the enemy camp they see that it's inexplicably deserted. They feast and fill their pockets with enemy loot, but then return to the city to share the amazing news. In the script I've been writing the group dynamic is key. These bickering rascals would die for one another. Like many experiencing trauma their conversation is littered with gallows humour but also questions of whether the siege will be retold by following generations, is their demise worthy enough? The story throws up lots of questions about God's providence, fate and destiny and the classic questions of human suffering. Comedy is a great vehicle to explore these.
I love films that follow the underdog and the understudy – the "important" heads of state are elsewhere making decisions while we spend time with the everymen, the salt of the earth men, soulful, funny, needy, inconsistent, desperate and brave. The lepers in 2 Kings are at the heart of the story, but the siege of Samaria has some other key players, the prophet Elisha for example. I've shifted the context to a medieval siege but much of the biblical story remains intact. It's hard to beat the ironic death of the officer on whose arm the king was leaning, so that will all be in there. With the popularity of Game of Thrones and other medieval-esque films, audiences over the last decade are much used to empathising with non-contemporary characters and the harshness of 15th century life is perfect for dark humour (including the use of some actual jokes and quips for that era).