Opening shot: the Blue Settler (Russell Crowe) is standing at the edge of a wheat field, looking out over a barren plain. He crouches down to inspect the crop, and he’s pounced upon by a robber (Bobcat Goldthwait). They tussle, and eventually the robber escapes with a sheaf of grain. The Blue Settler balls his fists and screams at the sky in rage. The title appears: SETTLERS OF CATAN: THE MOVIE.
The Blue Settler returns to his settlement, where his advisors are in council. “We must build cities!” cries one advisor (Jeremy Irons). “Without cities, we shall be overcome!”
“No,” says the Blue Settler. “The prophecy tells that the Island of Catan shall be won by he who possesses the longest road. Our brick and lumber are plentiful, and we shall build west towards a port where we can make advantageous trades.”
As the meeting continues, the advisor slips quietly out of the tent and steals away with a sheaf of grain.
Cut to the compound of the Red Settler (Clive Owen), high on a mountain to the east. “Come,” he says when a knock is heard upon his door. The door creaks open, and in walks the Blue Settler’s advisor.
“I bring grain,” hisses the advisor.
“Very good,” replies the Red Settler. “For this grain, I shall trade you two ore.”
“Nay,” says the Blue Settler’s advisor. “I want no ore. Instead, I want your daughter’s hand!”
The Red Settler’s daughter (Emma Stone) recoils. “But,” she protests, “I will not bring you victory!”
“It’s not whether you win or lose,” cackles the advisor. “It’s how you play the game.”
“Never!” cries the Red Settler’s daughter. “I love another!”
Both the Red Settler and the Blue Settler’s advisor look on in shock as the Red Settler’s daughter leaps out of the window…only to land on the horse of a knight who gallops away into the darkness.
The next morning, the knight and maiden arrive at the compound of the Green Settler (Jon Hamm), who welcomes the Red Settler’s daughter into his arms. “I fear our bliss may not last long,” he warns. “I still have the largest…[pause for humor]…army, but my knights are exhausted, and the robber now stalks our fields, getting off with my sheep.”
[quick cut to shadowy scene involving panting robber and bleating sheep]
“We must make peace with the Blue Settler!” says the Red Settler’s daughter. “We must tell him that he has been betrayed by his trusted advisor!”
“So we shall,” affirms the Green Settler. “He is a good man, though he doesn’t have such vast…tracts of land.” [romantic music on soundtrack]
“Mmm,” murmurs the Red Settler’s daughter, looking significantly downward. “It looks like this is going to be my Year of Plenty.”
Cut to the next day, when two exhausted knights carry the Green Settler and the Red Settler’s daughter to the hut of the Blue Settler. “Greetings!” calls the Green Settler. “We bring news of your betrayal, and sheaves of grain.”
“I know of the betrayal,” says the Blue Settler wearily, “and I have no need of grain. What I have need of is brick.”
“But,” says the Red Settler’s daughter, “I was given to understand that you have brick in plenty.”
“Things,” intones the Blue Settler, “have changed.”
[quick cut to shot of robber cursing in field, flattened into ground by a load of brick on his back]
“I have brick for you, fool!” booms the Red Settler, suddenly appearing with a heavily-laden donkey. “But from you, I shall accept only grain.”
“I…” The Blue Settler pauses dramatically. “…have no choice. I must accept your offer.” He waves his arm towards his last sheaf of grain, and stumbles sadly over towards the donkey. “Come, boy.”
“And from you,” cries the Red Settler, pointing at the Green Settler, “I shall take my daughter! As well as all of your other resources, since with this grain I shall build a city that will make me the ruler of…what’s so funny?”
The Blue Settler’s advisor walks up, laughing wickedly. “I laugh,” he says, “because you mistook me for a traitor. In fact, I was only distracting you. We may have no cities or knights, but we have eight settlements, and with that brick my lord has gone off to complete our ninth segment of road. That gives us…”
A look of recognition, then a slow smile, appear on the face of the Green Settler. The Red Settler gasps in horror. “No!”
The Blue Settler’s advisor continues. “That’s right. We just built the longest road, bitch.”
Cut to the shore of Catan, where the Blue Settler, alone, lays the last brick connecting his kingdom to the sea. He grunts in satisfaction, then stands up smiling broadly. The music begins to soar, and it would seem the movie is over…but what’s this?
The Blue Settler lifts his eyeglass to look out to sea. Cut to the view through his eyeglass, where a sea captain (Johnny Depp) waves, then turns and drops his trousers.
“I knew it!” The Blue Settler lowers his eyeglass and spits on the brick he’s just laid. “Seafarers!”
- Jay Gabler