This is my entry in the third installment of the Hollywood Fantasy Draft hosted by Anomalous Material. To learn more about the draft please visit this pre-pitch post about the event and some background on why I choose this story for my pitch.
Sisters in the Sky
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Linn Svendsen (Blake Lively) is Annas younger sister. She works as a clerk at General Mcallisters office. She was taught how to fly by her and Annas dad Michael and we learn that one of the reasons she’s stuck on the ground besides being a female is that she has a hot-head when being in the cockpit.
Gretchen Skreck (Noomi Rapace) is the Nazi counterpart to Jeffrey. She also goes by the infamous nickname the Deathrose from Celle. Her plane is tattooed with thirteen black roses. One for every plane she has shot down during battle.
Michael Svendsen (Christian Bale) is Anna and Linns late father. He fought as a fighter pilot in world war one and flew together with Major Brennan. After the war he became one of the first flying crop-dusters in the US. When the girls were small he used to take them with him in his plane learning them how to fly. He died in a flight accident 7 years before the film when Linn was 15 years old.
The film starts out with Jeffrey leading his squadron of Mustangs in battle with the Nazis when Gretchen Shreck appears. After a long dogfight she kills Jeffrey by exploding his engine. Lydia who is the sole survivor of Jeffreys squadron makes it back to the base. At the base Anna finds out what has happened and is devastated. Anna takes out her Anger on Trinity by forcing her to replace all the bolts in her training plane. Vince shows up saying he has been transferred to her hangar.
Linn is trying to get back on the flying rooster by convincing Sheila and Mcallister. In that scene we find out in a flashback that the reason she was sidelined was because a hot-head move she pulled during a mission that actually caused them to fail and one of her co-pilots got killed because of it. Anna who was the squadron leader in that mission made sure Linn was side lined but Anna also got canned as squadron leader and was demoted to test pilot because of that mission. When Linn has left them Sheila tries to convince Macallister by saying that she has never seen such a talented pilot as Linn neither male or female and that she flew with her father in wolrd war one. Mcallister ends the discussion by saying that he cant have rouge fighters in the air.
Vince and Trinity tries to get along in the hangar but its obvious that they don’t get along. We find out that Trinity is a very experienced mechanic while Vince more or less is an alcoholic.
Now we see a montage of Gretchen killing of fighter pilots in dogfights, attacking and destroying transport convoys and submarines.
Its obvious that the alliance are running short on pilots and Sheila tries to convince Mcallister that they should get Anna back on her squadron since she is the far most experienced of the ones that are left. Mcallister refuses. We find out that Vince has been through some rough times because his wife was killed by the Nazis and he tells Trinity about his daughter Lindsey who now lives with her grandparents. Its obvious that Trinity is on her way to change her mind about him.
Another attacking montage where Gretchen is seen leading a bomb raid on London. In that dogfight the last big squadrons are eliminated. Mcallister realizes that they are running out of people and that they need to do something about Gretchen. Sheila convinces him that they need to bring back Anna to lead a squadron of fighters. Anna is approached with this but she is still devastated for the loss of Jeffrey and says she can’t do it. Sheila then goes to Linn and says that she must talk Anna into it. Linn finds Anna sitting at the shore and she tells Anna about the moment when their dad taught her that hot-head stunt that she did in the earlier flashback. We see an emotional flashback when Linn sits in Michaels lap as a 7-year-old while he is doing a dangerous run while looping repeatedly in both directions. They reunite in the memory of Michael and Anna goes to talk to Mcallister.
Anna tells Mcallister that she will fly again and they offer her a bunch of co-pilots all being really young and unexperienced boys. We see a quick training montage of how bad pilots they are. Anna tells Mcallister that she wont work under these conditions and that she needs to name her own crew. After getting reports about Gretchen attacking another submarine Anna gets her way. The first name on her list is Linn. Macallister gets furious but realize its the only way to go.
Trinity and Vince finally gets a moment together when he helps her with a plane engine that she couldn’t fix. She finally manages to see beneath his surface when they are about to kiss they are interrupted by Anna. Anna comes to ask Trinity to fly with her she says that they have elaborated a trap for Gretchen that will take place in within a week. Since trinity is the only person she trusts after Jeffrey was killed Anna wants her on the squadron. Trinity tells her that she should have thought about that when she had her replace all the bolts on the plane. Anna finally get what she has done earlier and walks away but Trinity runs after her and says she’ll do it.
Trinity starts training to fly and we get a lengthy training montage with her in simulated flying and flying with smaller planes while Vince is supporting her. Anna, Linn, Mcallister and Sheila has a sit down with Lidya who survived Gretchens attack that killed Jeffrey. Lidya tells them that Gretchen has no weaknesses and that she fought her when being back in Russia as well with similar devastating results. Lidya becomes the fourth girl in the squadron. They will go for a sneak attack on Gretchen who is escorting a train which is carrying a neutron bomb that is to be used on the Russians.
On the day of the mission Trinity and Vince finally get their romantic moment. He says that he will be waiting for her no matter what the outcome of the battle is before they kiss in the sunset. When the girls rende vouz at the air strip they are greeted by Sheila in her jumpsuit she will also be joining the mission.
They go off on the mission and after some jumpy moves from unexperienced Trinity they finally encounter Gretchen. A long dogfight occurs where Anna and Lidya kills of two of Gretchens wing-men but Gretchen kills Sheila. Anna realizes that the only way to stop Gretchen is if Linn can pull off her hot-head stunt. She tells Linn to go ahead with it while she and Lidya covers her. Trinity keep track of the train that has been damaged during the battle and is running free. Linn visualizes her memory of Michael and pulls of the stunt which sets Gretchen up for Anna and Lidya who both dive on her and finally killing her off in a large explosion.
They get Intel from Macallister who tells them that they have to stop the train which is now heading towards the polish labor camps to be detonated. Their only chance to stop it is by blowing up a bridge that the train will pass over. The water will contain and limit the damage of the neutron bomb. Anna is the only one that still has a bomb on board. When she does her dive she realizes that the release mechanism has malfunctioned. The only way to stop the train is for her to dive into the tracks detonating the bomb. She gives an empowering speech directed to each and one of them before telling Linn that their dad would have been proud of her. Anna dives toward the track and detonates the bomb causing the train to drown in the river.
The final scene is Vince running towards Trinity’s plane when she has landed and lifting her up in the sky. Macallister is also on the airstrip greeting Linn: ”You want to teach us that move kiddo?”.
This film is dedicated to all the Sisters in the Skies
For more images from my Sisters in the sky exhibit visit see this flickr set.
If you liked the pitch/story please head on over to Anomalous Material and vote for me or one of the other pitches in their poll!
Footnote: This is a fictional pitch where I’m not aiming for the most truthful and accurate history depiction. There are documentaries for that.