(EXT. COURTHOUSE -- Cue jazz music; WOODY ALLEN is led up the stairs as REPORTERS and PHOTOGRAPHERS swarm around him.)
Announcer (voice-over): On the eve of the release of his latest motion picture, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Woody Allen goes on trial for making the same movie over and over again, testing the endurance of a once-faithful audience, and hanging his toilet paper in under-the-rod fashion.
(INT. COURTROOM - Woody Allen stands before the JUDGE, as JURY and SPECTATORS watch.)
Woody Allen: Your Honor, this is a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham. Do you realize there isn't one Oscar-winning Jewish director on the jury?
Judge: Actually, there are two.
Woody Allen: Really?
(ANGLE ON JOEL and ETHAN COEN in the jury box.)
Woody Allen: Hey, could you explain the ending of No Country for Old Men?
(The PROSECUTOR questions Woody, on the witness stand.)
Prosecutor: Mr. Allen, isn't it true that the diminishing grosses of your films have forced you to go abroad for funding?
Woody Allen: If I may so kindly interject a concept at this remote juncture in the narrative, there's an old saying: those who can't do, produce. And those who can't produce, produce my films.
Prosecutor: But, in the current market, your films no longer fit the requirements of today's studios, their parent conglomerates, and the synergistic marketing strategies of merchandising, cross promotions, and optical disc media.
Woody Allen: Synergistic-what? Cross-who? Are we talking about films or cloning? Maybe you should get Timothy Geithner to direct my films; I hear he's big in Italy. Listen, it's very simple -- I write and direct what I want. If I make a movie and it earns a dollar, I make another movie. If it earns nothing, then I make three more movies.
Prosecutor: Mr. Allen -- no one has cared about your films since the early, funny ones.
Woody Allen: That's not true! My audiences are loyal. They're mostly deaf and drooling into paper cups, but they're loyal.
Prosecutor: Do you actually believe that anyone on this jury saw Cassandra's Dream or Whatever Works?
(Woody stares at the jury.)
Woody Allen (voice-over): God, look at them -- they're repulsive. They don't deserve my films. I can only imagine what they do for a living...
(Jury members stand.)
Juror #1: I'm a temp at Walmart.
Juror #2: I make sculptures out of coat hangers.
Juror #3: I clean the ceilings at adult book stores.
(CUT TO MARTIN SCORSESE, on the witness stand.)
Martin Scorsese: I don't care what anyone says. I've known Woody for years and he's a warm, wonderful, brilliantly talented man whose films are more relevant than ever.
Woody Allen: Could you read that back?
Court Reporter (reading): I've known Woody for years and he's a lying, child-molesting scumbag who hasn't made a good film since Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Woody Allen: Okay, just making sure you got it all down.
(The Judge bangs his gavel.)
Woody: Your Honor, there's a quote attributed to Jean Renoir -- or was it The Situation? -- that states, "A director makes only one film in his life. Then he breaks it into pieces and makes it again." Of course, what do the French know? Hey, wait -- they're bankrolling my next seven films.
Announcer (voice-over): Woody Allen was found guilty today on counts of fraud, outliving his usefulness as a filmmaker, and appearing in Scenes From a Mall. He was ordered to pay back the equivalent of all the money spent by patrons on his last eight movies: thirty-six dollars. The judge suspended the sentence in return for his promise to never kiss any woman onscreen ever again.
(EXT. MANHATTAN STREET -- Woody walks alongside the ghost of INGMAR BERGMAN.)
Woody Allen: I just don't understand -- Clint Eastwood makes a film every year and everyone loves him. I could have done Invictus. Alan Alda would have been perfect as Mandela.
Ingmar Bergman: Pull yourself together, kid. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks.
Woody Allen: That's easy for you to say. You're the greatest filmmaker who ever lived!
Ingmar Bergman: Are you kidding? You think you have problems? No one from my own country ever liked or understood my films. The Swedish government accused me of tax evasion, I had a nervous breakdown, and I had to move to Germany.
Woody Allen: Thanks for the pep talk. You should have really considered a career in motivational speaking.
(Woody addresses camera.)
Woody Allen: Oh, maybe he's right. Maybe none of this matters. So what if people voluntarily see Resident Evil: Afterlife? So what if critics no longer care about me or the affluent, neurotic New Yorkers I write about, no matter what country they're in? After all -- time is the only critic that really counts. Of course, if it turns out that time looks like Harry Knowles, then we're all in trouble. The important thing is not to be bitter. There's nothing wrong with going to the multiplex for escapism and popcorn entertainment. However, if all thirty screens happen to feature guys kicking midgets in the nads, I would definitely start to worry. (long pause) Can I go? Is this over?