The Great Beast

Midnight Run in Medieval Europe. With an elephant.

     Though set in Medieval Europe in the company of an elephant, The Great Beast is really the simple story of a disillusioned Englishman who has searched in all the wrong places for happiness.

     Simon has seen too much of the world.  Once a soldier in the Crusades, he deserted after witnessing the atrocities of war.  We meet him some years later, as a merchant captaining his own vessel, when a tempest shipwrecks him and he washes up bereft of all he owns on the coast of Egypt.

     With nothing left to lose, Simon agrees to serve as a guide for an Egyptian Princess en route to England, there to be married.  One catch: she travels in the company of her well-trained Elephant.

     Actually, one more catch: three mute, deadly Assassins pursue her.

     This is where the comedy sets in. After getting hurled overboard by superstitious sailors, they trudge overland from Italy to England.  Amid escalating bickering, Simon and the Princess discover that no one in Medieval Europe has ever heard of an elephant, let alone seen one in the flesh.  Lurching from one misadventure to another, they find themselves kidnapped by gypsies, nearly burned at the stake for witchcraft, and granted an audience with the Pope, all while fleeing the menacing Assassins dogging their every move.

     Only after dodging a dozen certain deaths and delivering the Princess safely to be wedded to a Duke does Simon realize that his lifetime of seeking fortune and glory has nearly cost him his humanity and blinded him to the one thing that will truly make him happy.

     And that’s when the fun really begins.


Analogs: Midnight Run, Romancing the Stone, Shakespeare in Love, Due Date, Superbad, French Kiss, Ice Age

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