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Tin Gods

Set in the near future, two robots, the Monitor and the Merrimack, train for an arena battle to decide who will control the United States during the second civil war, only to develop awareness and question why they must fight at all as they clash in the largest attended, biggest pay-per-view event in history.

In the near future, the two-party political system breaks down to such a degree that the United States government becomes frozen in gridlock. Without compromise, the country swiftly hurtles toward civil war.

Fed up with the situation, MASON and ULRIC - two of America's wealthiest billionaires - offer a solution: they will direct all of their companies' wealth and technology to creating a pair of robots, each representing one of the political parties. The winner will take full control of the country and be able to govern.

And thus, MONITOR and MERRIMACK are built, fighting for the Democrats and Republicans, respectively. Named for ironclad ships that dueled during the First Civil War, the robots are the most advanced fighting machines ever devised. Because they are so evenly matched, a victory will only come from training and strategy.

To that end, Ulric recruits his father BUCK to train Merrimack, who in turn brings in Ulric's brother SHILO. Mason persuades TAMARA, a brilliant robotics engineer who left his company to become a billionaire in her own right, to train Monitor.

Working closely, the trainers become very attached with their robotic fighters. Training and strategizing leads to a higher level of awareness in both Monitor and Merrimack. They become curious about humanity, and their place in the world. As the big day approaches, they question why they must fight at all.

None of them know that U.S. PRESIDENT HUNTER PETERSEN plots their destruction. Angered that Mason and Ulric forced his hand with this contest, he plans to have an explosive detonated at the fight that will destroy the robots, kill many in the audience, and forever solidify his autocratic power.

RATING: PG-13

Script Excerpt Interview
Written by:
Format:
Screenplay
Budget:
Modest
In the Vein Of:
District 9
I, Robot
Real Steel
Posted:
04/06/2013
Updated:
07/04/2020
Author Bio:
Writing samples available on www.mtolbert.com

Short stories published in: "Puppy Pushers," non-fiction, published in Inkwell Journal, Spring 2012 "Everything Known," fantasy, published in parABnormal Digest #2 "Forever Fallen," fantasy, in Worlds Apart #1. "Soul of Invinco." science fiction, in Hadrosaur Tales #14. "Creator," fantasy, in Dreams & Visions #31.

Comic books for Marvel, Malibu, Valiant, New Visions, and Power Station.

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Contest Results:
BlueCat Contest (Finalist, Title contest) [2011]
trackingb.com Feature (Semifinalist) [2015]
Austin Fest Film (Semifinalist, 2nd round, top 10%) [2010]
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