The Thief of Dubai. by Mark Laing | Script Revolution

The Thief of Dubai.

A thief who sees himself as a smart antiquities collector finds himself in a fantastical place when he unearths a magic lamp and a genie inside that holds secrets of his past and present.



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Based On: 
The Thief of Bagdad and Aladdin.

Three thousand years ago in KING Solomon's Palace GRAND VIZIER BELGARES schemes to steal the Sword of Solomon and the heart of Solomon's favorite concubine at the same time. He lures our hero JACK STANFORD into stealing it for him and secreting his way into the Princess's bed-chamber, Solomon's harem.

Belgares pins the blame on Jack and Rezana, who is secretly in Love with Jack refuses to believe it and tries not to believe it.

EUNUCHS hold Jack's hands out as Solomon renders the judgment, swiftly using the Sword to slice off Jack's hands. He tells Rezana that: "If thou shouldst gain grace by granting one wish to bring back life then thy will gain thine own miserable freedom. Otherwise, spend eternity as slaves to those wretches who will find thee in thy tiny tombs." He removes Belgares' heart after he complains of Rezana breaking it and curses him to live forever without one. Then he casts Rezana and her twin sister into the Lamp and her father into a golden ring. In the dark shadows watches Iblis, the DEVIL, seen by no one except Belgares who even shudders at the sight.

In present-day Dubai, the authorities seek the Lamp, which, as a religious icon, is going to spark World War III. Ex-military officer MAJOR JACK STANFORD is blackmailed by DIA spook Edwina PEARCE to find the Lamp, which can grant three wishes for anything, or one love wish -- to bring back a life. Jack wants to use the Lamp to bring back his friend SABIA, killed during the second Gulf War.

Jack and his best friend NATE BELL, using Jack's secret keystone, find the lamp and REZANA, now a genie. Rezana seems to recognize Jack, who also seems smitten. After placing a homing tracker on the lamp, Nate, who snatched the Lamp from Jack, facetiously "wishes" he was in LA with 100 billion dollars and vanishes to a palatial mansion, leaving Jack alone in the cave. Jack is whisked out of the cave by helicopter and onto the top of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world where he fights off Belgares's henchman and survives a terrifying fall from the 160th floor.

Nate finally wishes Jack to LA, but Belgares follows, steals the Lamp, and wishes Israel and the United States to be thrown into the Sun.

Rezana, using Ramadan as an excuse, stalls and creates a massive hourglass that will trigger the holocaust in two days. Jack, banished to the Cape of Good Hope, stumbles across Moccio, a giant genie who tries to kill him. Jack tricks Moccio into sparing his life and is shown a hidden map of all the genies inside Jack's keystone and given the Sword of Damascus, hidden in a portal, to help his quest. Back at the palace, Belgares demands the location of Moccio, and Jack "relents," knowing Moccio will return in a fury. Meanwhile, Israeli F-16s are heading to Dubai, to nuke the Lamp. Moccio returns and tears up the palace looking for Jack. Jack finally gets back the Lamp to wish Sabia back but realizes he is now in love with Rezana and will lose her if he makes this wish. He is torn by guilt until Sabia recognizes the photo of Sabia as her sister, reincarnated to guide Jack to the lamp. After a furious fight, Moccio kills Rezana and disappears. Jack, devastated, chases Belgares to a warehouse filled with a million tons of gold dust.

With minutes remaining on the hourglass, Jack kills Belgares but sinks beneath the "sand" into a portal. Jack stops the hourglass, saving the US and Israel, and finds Rezana in a tent. She tells him his love has opened this portal and to meet her on the full moon at the "caravanserai." He gives her the lamp and as she and the Lamp disappear, the F-16s turn back.

Days later Jack heads for the caravanserai on a full moon. Sabia, in the form of the Oryx, leads him to a portal, where he disappears into the night.

Inside a Gulf Air Airbus Nate is actually turning down a glass of champagne. “I’m on the wagon,” notices Barbara Eden reading The Arabian Nights - she gives him the book for some peace. Nate feverishly flicks through "The Arabian Nights" until he comes to an illustration. He LAUGHS out loud. Barbara stares at the illustration. The book is Sir Richard Burton's "The Arabian Nights," and the page is open to a color litho of a man, in repose, surrounded by servants. At his feet sits a woman, a grape in one hand, rubbing his foot with the other. The man is Jack, the woman is Rezana. Nate closes his eyes as the air conditioning blows open another page. It shows Jack returning the Sword of Solomon to its rightful place. Barbara Eden notices it, and goes to show Nate but stops when she sees he’s already fallen asleep.

Inside the Temple of Jerusalem, Jack’s handless stumps gently replace the Sword of Solomon into its crystal case. His hands miraculously grow back.

The final image is a luxurious boat on the Tigris River in ancient times. Are our lovers going to Heaven on the Solar Barge of Khufu together or is this ancient Mesopotamia? As the heat shimmers off the river, a hand peels a grape, visible through silken curtains on the exotic river barge.

The hand is Jack's, feeding grapes to Rezana, recumbent on silk pillows. He sits at HER feet. She has a slight tummy. Jack rests his hand tenderly on her stomach. Jack flings a grape and it is caught by Cleo Cat, who paws it into the mouth of Pharaoh Dog. Rezana smiles and looks back towards the desert sands.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Semi-Finalist Script2Comic (2020)
Script Reader Pro "Recommend."

Submitted: January 20, 2021
Last Updated: December 24, 2022

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Mark Laing's picture

The Writer: Mark Laing

My dad was a journalist and managed to get banned by the racist Apartheid regime in South Africa - we escaped to America and I spent part of my childhood in New York and the East Coast. When I'm not writing I mentor students at UEA (The University of East Anglia) and help out photographing events at KITS (Kids in the Spotlight) - a charity to help foster kids by training them to write, cast, and star in their own short films. SAG and AFTRA actor. Graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Journalist, script reader, and screenwriter with four completed scripts, several treatments, staged readings. Script Reader, Edward Pressman productions, Beverly Hills... Go to bio
Agency: MZA Michael Zanuck Agency
Agent: Michael Zanuck

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