Bionicle #5 Treatment

Posted by GregF on
Someone asked if I would post the original screen treatment for the planned 2010 movie (which, of course, is not getting made). Since this story will never get used for anything, I saw no reason not to share it. Please note, though, that this was a first draft -- it would almost certainly have been changed, maybe a lot, once it was run by TLC and Tinseltown Toons and Universal. But this was the original version.

A few things to emphasize before you read:
1) This is NOT official story, as it was never approved by TLC, though the very general outline did come from the story team as a whole.
2) The names of new characters are NOT approved BIONICLE names, and nothing exists on these characters beyond what is noted below.
3) Due to the fact that the overall story had to be changed with the decision to end the line, none of the events below ever happened in official BIONICLE continuity. This should be read as a curiosity, nothing more.

We open with a fast recap of how we got where we are – Mata Nui, exiled from his universe by an evil power, arrives on Bara Magna. He finds himself allied with the small villages that dot the region against fierce invaders from the north, the Skrall. In the end, Mata Nui leads the villages and their glatorian to victory, and discovers their shelters were in fact pieces of a giant robotic body. As a thank you to the warriors who helped them, he bestows new elemental powers on them and dubs them Toa.
We then include the “coin” scene from the end of Legend Reborn, as the coin becomes important. Mata Nui states that he needs to find a source of power for the body they have built, and that perhaps that source lies to the north – the Skrall, after all, had technology unlike anything the other villages have. But if he and his new friends are going to make this journey to an unknown land, they will have to be alert every step of the way.
Cut to Ackar, at night, sitting on the jungle floor with his back against a rock, sound asleep. The next moment, a burst of water hits him in the face and he wakes up, sputtering. Cut to Kiina, water still dripping from the end of her weapon. She tells him it’s time for his watch. Note that Kiina looks different than how we saw her last, with her armor and weapon changed.
The explanation for this becomes obvious. Mata Nui, Ackar and Kiina are camping in an abandoned Skrall outpost. There’s a cache of armor and weapons there. As Ackar outfits himself, he speaks to Mata Nui about their absent comrade:
You know, Berix was really hurt when you said he had
to go back to the village. It was just a bad sandstorm,
and he got a little banged up. Nothing he hadn’t been
through before.


He was here because of me … in danger, because of me.
I can’t be responsible for his safety.

Their conversation is cut off by a noise coming from the path behind them. Ackar volunteers to go scout and see what – or who – is back there. He starts back the way they came, his feet leaving molten footprints in the ground. He is trying to be stealthy … but as he gets close to the source of the noise, he loses control of his new fire power again and a nearby tree bursts into flame. Revealed in the light, he is an easy target for a Skrall warrior who was hiding behind a rock. The Skrall fires his weapon and hits Ackar, who goes down (though he is not badly hurt, just bruised).
Seeing this, Mata Nui flips out. His eyes glow, his voice as he shouts “Ackar!” takes on a weird echo effect – and suddenly the rock the Skrall was hiding behind becomes animated and grabs the Skrall, starting to squeeze. Ackar gets up at this point, looks from Mata Nui to the Skall and back, and says, “Hold it!” Startled, Mata Nui returns to normal, the rock goes back to being a rock, and the Skrall drops to the ground.
Ackar grabs the Skrall and asks him what he’s doing here. The Skrall explains that there is nothing left for him back in Roxtus and he wanted to go back home. He was hoping to join up with Mata Nui’s party, but got startled by the flames and thought Ackar was attacking. Kiina, awake now, doesn’t believe the Skrall for a second, but Mata Nui overrules her, saying he understands what it is to just want to go home. Kiina says that home is the last place she ever wants to see again.
Ackar has other things on his mind – like how Mata Nui just did what he did (Mata Nui has no idea). He’s also pretty sick of these new fire powers Mata Nui gave him, which almost just got him killed. Kiina laughs, wondering how any Glatorian can not want a powerful new weapon? At that moment, she loses control of her water powers and it starts to rain … but only on her.
Mata Nui asks the Skrall what his name is. The Skrall replies he has no name … he is just a Skrall warrior. Complaining that he can’t just call the Skrall “Hey, you!” the whole way, Ackar gives him a name. (This should be something along the lines of “bucket head,” insulting but not vicious.) The Skrall assures him he will carry the name with honor.
As they move out, Mata Nui asks the Skrall why his people left their homeland to invade the territory to the south. The Skrall reveals it was not by choice – they were forced out by invaders they could not defeat. As best as they could guess, the invaders came from inside a massive volcano, a place of great power. Sometimes in the night, the skies were lit up all around by the energies given off by the mountain. Skrall warriors were sent out to try to attack the volcano to stop the invaders, but none ever returned.
Mata Nui tells the others he is convinced this volcano may be what he is looking for – a source of power for the new mechanical body. But it is his fight, not theirs – they can turn back. He reminds Ackar that he was chosen to lead the defenders of the new city, and should be back there. Ackar cuts him off, saying any number of Glatorian can lead the force – only one is Mata Nui’s best friend. Mata Nui is touched, but obviously a little uncomfortable to be leading his friends into danger. As they walk away, none of them notice something emerging from a nearby mountainside to follow them … something that wasn’t there one moment, then appeared the next.
The party moves on, Ackar keeping a careful eye on the Skrall. The terrain changes from jungle to ice forest, marked by trees that make giant redwoods look like twigs. It’s only when they find one whose base has been partially exposed that they realize these are not “trees” – they are dozens of legs of beings like the Mata Nui robot body – just legs and feet from past Great Being projects, resting here, abandoned. They are in, in effect, a snow-covered junkyard, littered with massive BIONICLE pieces all in a jumble.
A perfect setting for an ambush.
The attack that follows is furious and frustrating for the heroes, as they are up against mechanicals with an advanced chameleon power and the ability to shapeshift. The enemy appears, attacks, and vanishes. This particular attack is primarily fire bolts, but strangely, they never seem to hit their targets – or do they? It’s Kiina who realizes the truth in the midst of the fight – the enemy isn’t aiming at them. They are aiming at the natural features around them, bringing down avalanches and felling “trees” to box the heroes in. And they’ve done a great job – all but one of the paths out of the region they are in is now completely blocked.
Don’t you see? They’re not trying to capture us
or kill us … we’re being herded, like sand grafs into
a pen.

These things forced my people from our lands,
pushing us south.

South … away from the volcano. But the only
route they left open to us is to the north.

So we’re being shoved toward the volcano.
That’s never a good thing.

Wonderful. We can’t turn back … and going
forward doesn’t sound like such a great idea

Then stay here! No one asked any of you to come!

The party is taken aback by Mata Nui’s outburst – and so is he. He apologizes, saying he is not sure what is wrong – the further north they travel, the stranger he feels.
The group travels on, finding themselves at the edge of a mountainous area that is sort of Monument Valley meets the the Grand Canyon times 100. Massive mountains tower high in the air for as far as the eye can see, and in the center, bigger than all the rest, is the volcano. There is only one pathway leading into the mountainous region – we see the group go in and watch them as they disappear over a rise. Then the two mountains that flank the entrance suddenly slam shut.
Inside, the party hears the noise and reacts. But before they can go back and check as a group, Ackar points up ahead. There’s a clearing where it looks as if nature has gone to war with itself. Earth and rock are churned up everywhere, plant life is all over, either burned black or frozen solid. Hearing a groan, Mata Nui finds a jungle glatorian half buried under rubble. This is Oris, and he seems not at all surprised to see the group, though he is grateful for the rescue.
Oris explains he got caught in a “worldstorm” and just barely survived – “they happen here sometimes.” He asks Mata Nui how long he and his friends have been lost. Mata Nui replies that they aren’t lost. Oris smiles and assures Mata Nui that they will be.
The Skrall, who had run off briefly, now returns to say that the path they took to get into the region is now blocked off and he can’t see any other exit. Going forward is once again their only option. Oris offers to travel with them, and as they start off, Mata Nui idly asks him just how long he has been lost here. Oris’ answer startles and shocks the group: “Oh, 20,000 years or so.”
That night, the group makes camp, with Ackar providing a campfire. Now we see the group from the fire’s POV – and what we see is plant tendrils emerging from the ground and creeping toward the sleeping heroes. Sparks suddenly fly from the fire, igniting the vines and burning them up. As the fire awakens the group, we see eyes in the flames slowly fade away. We see the Skrall surreptitiously collect a piece of the fire’s kindling and stash it away.
The next day finds the party in an area of dense jungle – please note that all of these areas are still within the maze, so there are mountains all around forming the walls of said maze. The heroes are attacked by thick jungle vines – with teeth – and struggle to fight them off. It looks like a losing battle until Orsis says that he knows these plants, they hate water. Kiina is able to use her powers to drive the plants away. Again, we spot the Skrall snatching up a piece of plant and putting it away with no one seeing.
Once they withdraw, the team spots two Glatorian trapped high in the trees, wrapped up in vines. The Skrall hurls his shield and slices through the vines, freeing them. They are Tera and Likus, earth and ice Glatorian, respectively. They are also comic relief and con artists – they make their “living” hiring themselves out to competing villages, then staging mock combat and splitting the pay afterwards. They have only been stuck in the maze a short time. Both see the Skrall as a ticket to fortune – faked fights in which they beat him would do wonders for their reputations and the prices they could ask.
During the fight, the coin Mata Nui carries was knocked loose and ended up on the ground. When Mata Nui picks it up and turns, he is surprised to see the pattern on the coin rotate as well. A few more turns confirms that, yes, it happens every time, with the coin acting almost like a compass. Then, even more surprising, the entire pattern of the coin changes (a result, though Mata Nui does not know it yet, of the maze changing configuration). As he and the others move off, we see the face of the elemental plant lord appear in a tree trunk, watching them balefully.
As they continue through the maze, they emerge from the jungle area to an area where the terrain between the mountains is completely flooded. Mata Nui suggests using the nearby trees to make a raft. We next see the party sailing through the channels on their makeshift craft.
The waters suddenly become very violent. The raft overturns and shatters, dumping everyone in the drink. A huge hand made of water emerges from the river and grabs Mata Nui and Kiina, pulling them below the surface.
We follow them down, down into the depths and into the presence of the elemental water lord. Kiina wonders how it is they are able to breathe – the elemental lord replies that the waters answer to him, and drown only those he wants drowned. Asked by Mata Nui who he is and what’s going on, the EL explains that he is one of six ELs who dwell in this region. More than 100,000 years ago, they went to war with each other. All six came here in search of the power source in the great volcano, and all six became trapped.
The water EL senses that Kiina has an affinity to water and that Mata Nui is a being of great power. He offers them sanctuary in his domain, if they will agree to serve him, and tells Kiina she can be in command of his forces. Mata Nui asks about their friends up above. The water EL replies that they do not matter - -they are, after all, only “beings of earth and rock, flame and frost.”
Mata Nui immediately says no, but Kiina hesitates. (After all, isn’t what she’s always wanted to get away from the desert of Bara Magna?) The water EL states that since Mata Nui chooses not to agree, he can live with the consequences … if not very long. Mata Nui starts to drown. This makes Kiina’s decision for her – she attacks the EL. She reveals that she remembers him well – she once served in his army, and she remembers what that conflict did to this planet. Now she fights only for herself … and for her friends. She grabs Mata Nui and heads for the surface.
Behind them, the river starts to freeze from the bottom up, including the elemental lord. Kiina must swim rapidly to outrace the spreading ice. Once on the surface again, she finds the others have already made it to “high ground” – a small strip of stone against a stone barrier that blocks the river’s progress. She makes it there with Mata Nui just as the river freezes, but is injured in the process. Ackar uses his power to hold back the ice long enough for the two of them to make it to safety, but again it goes wild and almost fries the others.
Mata Nui checks his coin. As he looks at it the pattern changes completely on it (as the maze changes its configuration). Likus asks what it means. Mata Nui thinks he has put it all together – real mountains don’t change their locations, so these aren’t real mountains. They’re the walls of a maze, with the volcano in the center. Since the maze changes its form, it could be close to impossible to find your way out once you’re in.
Kiina says that explains why the elemental lords are trapped here, but not the strange things they have seen – burnt and frozen plant life, rivers freezing in seconds, etc. Mata Nui says there’s a very simple explanation – they said they were at war more than 100,000 years ago – and they’ve never stopped fighting, even in here.
That doesn’t address the immediate problem – the barrier. Ackar uses his flame power to melt a big hole in it, but stone immediately reforms to close it again. Frustrated, Ackar smacks the wall with his melee weapon, saying the blade is worth more than this fire power is. He tells Mata Nui that he understands his desire to go back and help the people he left behind, but that maybe that’s not what he was meant to do. Maybe he should think about the welfare of the friends he has made here, and stop worrying so much about the ones he’s left behind.
Oris, Tera and Likus know nothing about what Ackar is talking about, but they do see that Mata Nui is apparently the leader of this band. What are we going to do now, they ask? What’s the plan?
Mata Nui is torn. He looks at the ragtag party around him, including the injured Kiina, stranded between a frozen river and a rock wall. There’s no chance to send them back and go on alone, since they would never find their way out. And the pressure of leadership is getting to him – when the three new members continue to press him, he snaps, “I don’t know!” And at the same time, unknowingly sends out a wave of gravity power that makes the barrier explode.
The others all back away from him, afraid of Mata Nui for the first time. The others rush through the gap, not waiting for him.
They find themselves on a river, but not a river of water – a river of rock, jagged boulders moving at the speed of a rushing torrent down a slight incline. As they try to decide how to negotiate this passage – still staying far away from Mata Nui – Oris notices that the Skrall has disappeared. Ackar is concerned – he thinks the Skrall has run out on them, and that he never should have been welcomed into the group in the first place. Mata Nui intercedes, saying the Skrall offered potentially valuable information – Oris says it doesn’t seem like the party is doing any better than he did on his own, and he had no Skrall to “help” him. Ackar does not come to Mata Nui’s defense.
The party hears cry for help. It’s the Skrall. He is out in the middle of the river of rock, but has stumbled and is in danger of being crushed. Tera and Likus, unwilling to lose a potential meal ticket, team up to rescue him. After they are safe again, Kiina blasts Ackar from behind with a jet of water, slamming him into the side of the mountain. Mata Nui rushes over to help him back up. Both demand to know just what Kiina thought she was doing.
“Teaching him a lesson,” she replies.
(to Mata Nui)
Ackar says he’s your friend – your best friend –
but I guess that’s only when he likes the gifts you
give him or he agrees with all your decisions.

So you attacked me from behind??

I thought you’d like to see how it felt.

This gives Ackar pause. He apologizes to Mata Nui, saying he knows that everything MN does is with his friends in mind – all his friends, here and back where he came from. Sure, he hasn’t quite mastered this fire power yet, but that’s not Mata Nui’s fault. He should have remembered how hard it is to find a good friend – and that friendship isn’t just about standing by each other when it’s easy to do, but when it’s hard, too. And, by the way, what the heck was with lifting up that stone barrier??
Mata Nui explains to the group that he once had a great deal more power than he does now. For reasons he doesn’t understand, some of that power is coming back the further north he goes. But he can’t control it, and it could be a danger to the others, so maybe Ackar and the rest were right – maybe they should stay away from him.
It’s the Skrall who answers first, assuring Mata Nui that the party wants no one else for their leader, and that he is sure Mata Nui will lead them through this strange place. He tells them that the only way down the river is by skipping from stone to stone – but if you slip and fall in between them, you’ll be crushed for sure.
The team travels downriver in just that way, Ackar having some difficulty because his feet keep melting the rocks, and the Skrall being the most skillful. But waiting at the end are “rock falls” – the equivalent of a waterfall, where the rocks drop from a high ledge into another part of the maze. The team goes over – but this time, Mata Nui is able to control his power, using it to lower the group gently to the ground (controlling gravity is a handy thing, indeed).
They find themselves on a lava plain, with the volcano not very far off now, according to the coin map. Jets of fire shoot up from the ground at random intervals. Mata Nui calls for everyone to stay close together, but the Skrall is off collecting one of the small stones. He hurriedly rejoins them.
As they move through this hellish landscape, dodging bursts of flame and sudden lava flows, they come upon a strange sight: a large brazier, alight. Before anyone can stop him, the Skrall rushes forward and throws what he has collected – the stone, the kindling, a flask of water, a bit of vine, a piece of ice, and a handful of sand – into the brazier. As energies swirl from the brazier, he explains that he was not here on his own, as he had claimed. He was sent here by Tuma to make an alliance with the elemental lords. In exchange for gaining access to the volcano, they will help the Skrall crush the Agori and seize control of the planet.
The energies spread out – the flames grow into the fire elemental, vines grow from the ground into the plant elemental, the rocks form the stone elemental, etc., until all six are present. The bad news is, now that Mata Nui’s team has led the Skrall to the brazier so they could be summoned here, they have no use for any of them – the good news is, the elemental lords don’t like each other much either. So their attacks on the team evolve into attacks on each other, with the team caught in the middle. The team gets pounded, and while Mata Nui is able to save some of them, Tera and Likus are in danger. At the last possible moment, the Skrall has a change of heart and saves the two of them.
This becomes a running battle, with Mata Nui’s team doing a fighting retreat and trying to make their way to the volcano. They manage to briefly lose the ELs in the maze and make it to the volcano. Okay, so now they’re here – the general feeling is, now what?
Mata Nui staggers. He senses that the power in this volcano is the same power that once energized his old body. On a hunch, he hacks away at the stone of the volcano, and exposes metal underneath. The volcano is fake, he reveals. It’s not a true volcano, but a power plant. And somehow, they have to get that power back to the robot body in the desert and keep it away from the elemental lords.
Just then, the volcano rumbles and a big spark of energy shoots out the top – and Mata Nui and Ackar realize simultaneously that what they need is an eruption.
Mata Nui clears away an entrance to the volcano. The entrance has six spheres on it, each in a different color – black, green, white, red, blue, and sand – and a seventh in the center with the “yin-yang” symbol on it. Kiina and Oris, impatient, try various combinations, but nothing works and the ELs are getting closer.
Mata Nui suddenly stops them and points out that it took the two of them working together – his knowledge, and her power – to help the team escape the jungle. It took her skill in water and Ackar’s flame power to help them escape the frozen river. Maybe that’s what the symbols mean – the unity of the different elements. And all of them must be pressed at the same time.
But what about the seventh symbol, wonders Tera?
Mata Nui says he has been seeing that symbol since he got to this world … and though he isn’t sure what it means, he remembers it from his past life. So perhaps …
He reaches out and touches the center symbol, even as the others touch theirs. And the entrance slides open, revealing a metallic tunnel.
The party goes inside, but the entrance is blown apart before it can close. The ELs are closing in, and the team is harried by elemental attacks. The Skrall volunteers to stay behind and fight them off to buy Mata Nui time, and Tera, Oris and Likus volunteer to do the same. We cut between their desperate struggle outside of the volcano and Mata Nui, Ackar and Kiina racing through the complex tunnel system. They come upon an abandoned vehicle probably used in the construction of this place – it’s equipped with a powerful blaster on the front that could carve through rock. Ackar suggests they could use that to blast the core of the volcano and trigger an eruption, but it could mean their deaths.
They race to the core in the vehicle. Meanwhile, the fire and ice elementals have made it past their three allies and into the tunnels. Flame and frost attacks follow them as they fly through the tunnels.
At last, they make it to the core. Mata Nui asks Ackar and Kiina if they are sure they are ready to risk this – Ackar looks at Kiina, then back to Mata Nui and says, “Hey, that’s what friends are for.”
Mata Nui triggers the blast. The core overloads, sending sparks everywhere. Just as the fire and ice elementals reach the core, the place erupts! A massive amount of energy is shot up through the volcano as the core is destroyed, and with it goes the vehicle our heroes are in. The waves of force push out from the volcano, crumbling the walls of the maze. Oris manages to help Tera and Likus before they are crushed to a place of relative safety, but the elementals are not so fortunate. Even as Mata Nui’s craft disappears into the sky, Oris and his new allies taste freedom once again as the maze collapses.
The power emitted from the volcano arcs through the sky and strikes the robot body, fusing the pieces together and powering it up, as the Agori look on in wonder.
Meanwhile, we see the ship cartwheeling through space, and finally crash landing on a heavily forested world. After a few moments, the hatch opens and Mata Nui, Ackar and Kiina emerge, relatively unscathed. Ackar wonders where they are now – Mata Nui says what’s important for the moment is that they are whole and this place looks like a safe haven for now.
Suddenly, there is a terrible roar .. and as the camera pulls back, we see bio-mechanical dinosaurs roaming through the landscape …

All I heard were biomechanical dinosaurs.

All I heard were biomechanical dinosaurs.


So if im correct - he leaves (mata nui)

Interesting movie...rather light on the plot, though. Makes me wonder what non-movie story there could have been...

When you say Tera is an Earth Glatorian, what do you mean? Is he supposed to be from the Rock Tribe? Sand? Iron? Some new tribe?

Does this mean the Element Lords were planned as 2010 sets?

What happened to the Skrall at the end?

So the vague 2011 set plan was "dinosaurs"?
Thanks, Greg. I hope you will write similar stories after BIONICLE has ended. Maybe the web serials could now become more epic stories like this one. A shame it was never made into a movie, though.

Hmm.. Intresting. Though I second those questions asked by Cathexis.

It sounds like this movie would have been a lot better than TLR, if they hadn't cancelled the line, unfortunately.

Also, biomechanical dionsaurs FTW :P !

To bad this isn't canon, Bio-mechanical Dinosaurus would be awesome.
Greg, you did a great job writing this :)

~Blue Dragon~

That could´ve been great. How about Gresh, though? Was he just left back at the Agori City? And if so, why not mention it like you did with Berix?

Anyway, it´s very good, and would definitely have made potential for some great sets, so I look forward to seeing GA´s and BBC´s reactions on this.

Also, the ending was a rather confusing plot twist. Dinosaurs? Are we speaking Bota Magna here? Or have they magically travelled backwards in time? :P

Man, this sounds more interesting than TLR, but oh well. :P Glad you were able to share it, Greg. Thanks!

though I wonder, if Sand was represented on that door, and it required all elements to open it, was Tera basically a Sand Glatorian? Yeah, I don't really think that's possible either, but it is the closest thing we have to Earth on BM. =/
Maybe some part of that could be re-canonized later, especially the dinosaurs on Bota Magna.

Anyway, this would be a great story. 3 new Glatoran, 6 Element lords, and a vehicle. And then we get to Bota Magna, where bio-mechanical dinosaurs are livng.

Too bad this won`t be a movie... but will we still see the Element Lords at any point? Like, in a comic or something like that?
That sounds like it would've been an interesting movie. It's a shame that the Skrall turned out to be evil at the end; he's not really good about dispelling the stereotypes about his own people. :P
Me Grimlock squaaash Glatorian Toa!
Halfway through I was thinking YEAH! GOOD GUY SKRALL! And then it was ruined. Even in a short written form, it completely outdoes TLR.

I however, didn't care much for this biomechanical dino things. Unless, of course, they were '01 Rahi-esque.

Now I'm not so sure I like the idea of sets being canceled. This sounds awesome. But it's too late now.
I want this canon-ed V_V
Aww. This would have made an awesome movie! Thanks for sharing it with us Greg, even not canon, it's still epic.

Fantastic work. Such a terrible shame Bionicle had to end just as things were getting this good; still can't say I understand what Lego was thinking.

BTW, how was there an Earth glatorian?
Very cool. I felt that it gives more to the characters than TLR did... although since this is a rough draft, it probably would've been limited in further production, I guess. But still, it was a fun read. I like this description of the maze better. :)

It must be Cannon. It's great.
2010 sets. Mata Nui , Kiina , Ackar (with new armor) Oris ,Terra and Likus.
Lego made a big mistake. It would be great and Bionicle would have continued for many years.