Rodeo Clown

Log Line
Bullfighter competing in the shadows of his father struggles to make the World Finals.

Script Info
Script Type: Feature
Genre: Action
Est. Budget: Less than $6M

Screenplay Synopsis
Open on an outdoor arena in Oklahoma City 1987 where a young boy, seven year old Daryl, watches his Champion Bull Rider father Cal Weathers get on the back of a monster bull – one more ride and Cal is off to the National Finals Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chute gate opens and Cal is jumping into the arena in a whirlwind of dust and snot, the bull bucking like crazy, wide-eyed Daryl watches Cal best the bull – then suddenly rear and fall over sideways against the arena fence right in front of Daryl, older brother Tommy and their terrified mother. Cal is crushed underneath and gored, his hopes and dreams of becoming a Champion bull rider destroyed in a moment….

Modern day – fade back onto the face of a grown man, 36 year old Daryl sits in the bucking chute on top of a mad crazy bull, he nods "Let’s go!" -- gate opens and Daryl rides the bull into the arena, bucking twisting, turning -- 5 seconds, 6 seconds -- Daryl looks to win, then suddenly loses his seat – and is tossed into the dirt. Crowd politely claps, as Daryl disgusted with himself, slowly rises from the dirt floor and hustles from the arena. His riding partner and best friend Rory, who always pays the bills, scolds Daryl for not having his head in the game. This has become the norm for Daryl, riding only when he needs to stay in the bull riding game. The fun life of partying and chasing Buckle Bunnies.

Daryl’s father Cal, owns a cattle ranch in the middle of Texas with older brother Tommy. Cal’s only way to stay close to the sport. Cal and Daryl don’t see eye to eye, and constantly fight, Cal thinks Daryl is a bum, a bull rider with tons of talent, who won’t apply himself to be a champion. Daryl thinks Cal only wants him to live out his own dream that died in the arena 25 years earlier.

Daryl has a nemesis, Rex, who challenges him at every event, Rex is good, Daryl actually has more natural talent and they clash. Daryl drinks too much and Rory protects him when he can, but Daryl is injured on an easy bull that he should have won against Rex. Back at the ranch to recuperate, Daryl and Cal clash, to the point Cal has a sudden heart attack and dies. Daryl is devastated, Tommy blames Daryl for Cal’s death. Daryl begins to drink heavier, distancing himself from the people trying to help him. Daryl is done riding bulls and a mess, until Rory forces Daryl to sober up. He introduces him to a former champion rodeo clown – a modern day bull fighter, who teaches Daryl the craft.

Daryl gets into the arena for the first time and it doesn’t go so well, he’s clumsy and awkward. But for some reason he likes the challenge. He sticks with it, fighting bulls at small time rodeos, then starts getting a following. He meets single mom Christy and her young son Cody, they fall for each other, Daryl becomes happy and starts to fulfill his father’s dream of Daryl becoming a champion – bullfighter.

Daryl is signed by the PBR, they send him to the biggest cities and bull riding events, and soon he has a gimmick, leaping high in the air with talcum powder hands and slapping bulls on the ass, as he fights them. “Slap Them Bulls!” becomes a trademark and is shouted by the crowds at every event. Daryl makes the World Championships in Las Vegas, he asks Christy to marry him, and he makes amends with Tommy. In Las Vegas Daryl meets the biggest challenge of his career – a killer bull named Justice. Rex is there as well, Daryl saves Rex’s life when Justice throws him into the dirt – then the big bull comes for Daryl. Christy, Cody, Tommy, and the entire packed arena watch the greatest bull fight ever fought between man and beast, as Daryl must fight for his life!