The Stranger

Created by Eduardo Arcelus, The Pitch 2023

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Prologue: A gathering between 3 friends in their late 20s: Dan, Seb and Tom. They\'re planning a trip together. We get a sense of their strong bond. Cut to: Time has passed. Seb and Tom are hiking through a mountain. They look weary and have lost their way. They reach the road and try to hitchhike, but cars just pass them by. Out of nowhere, a stranger approaches them. He offers to take them to their hostel. He is kind and relaxed and oddly familiar. Tom mistrusts him, but Seb becomes friendly with the stranger. He starts to open up to him and tell him about their dear friend Dan, who recently died in an accident. They\'ve decided to travel together to honour him. The stranger listens and empathises. Once they reach the hostel, the stranger asks them to join him for dinner. The friends are tired, but agree. They’re the only people at the dining area. Suddenly, as they’re having dinner, Jake and Seb finally realise. They look at the stranger. It’s been Dan all along. He smiles. By the time they react, he’s gone. Both friends hug each other in a cathartic moment. Now they can finally grieve.

Biblical Connection

Road to Emmaus, from the Gospel according to Luke. I\'ve always been intrigued by this particular passage in which Jesus practically disguises himself and walks with his disciples before revealing he\'s actually come back to life. To me, this is one of the simplest and most effective representations of what it is to be living with grief. In my adaptation, the storyline and structure are almost identical to the biblical source. However, in order for the film to work, I\'ve added that extra scene at the beginning. We need to watch these three friends interacting so that the loss is clearer once we see the other two on the road later. Also, I\'d like for Dan and the Stranger to be played by different actors altogether, so the surprise is genuine. I imagine this film taking place in nature. Beautiful landscapes, huge mountains, the woods. These young men feeling tiny against the world, then once they\'ve met the stranger and they\'re having dinner together, it all becomes more intimate and hopeful. As for the setting, I\'d like it to be present-day, but without pushing any unnecessary technology. An ideal location would be a village in the middle of nowhere.