Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice may be getting mixed reviews (even on the 100th episode of our Pop Confidential podcast), but there's no denying the clash of the DC Comics titans is a monster hit, raking in a tidy half a billion dollar global box office so far. While watching the flick last weekend, I was struck with certainty that if Bob Guza was still writing General Hospital, he would totally rip this yarn off for one of his hit-or-miss mobgasms. You know what? I think the movie's central plot — holes and all — could make for a fun, compelling tale on GH.
Okay, here's your WARNING. If you haven't watched Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, stop reading. SPOILERS ahead!
What if one of the mutual enemies of mafia don Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and his amnesiac ex-hitman Jason Morgan (Billy Miller) set up the two former best friends to kill one another? Both rage-filled good fellas have already proven to be fairly gullible at times, much like Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) are in this particular movie.
Sonny let Ava Jerome (Maura West) trick him into offing AJ Quartermaine (Sean Kanan), before AJ could out her as Connie Falconeri's (Kelly Sullivan) true killer. As for Jason, the brain-damaged blue blood let a snooty prince and a mild-mannered nurse keep his real identity from him for months! It wouldn't take a LexCorp rocket scientist to get these two squabbling. How about Robert Frank?
A sane and tamed Franco (Roger Howarth) isn't much fun. I say let the whack job get back to doing what he does best — wreaking unholy terror in Port Charles, New York!
What if Jason turns Liz (Rebecca Herbst) and Jake against their kooky new pal by simply reminding them he was once a homicidal maniac? Perhaps Sonny inadvertently brings harm to Franco's beloved Nina (Michelle Stafford)? The Dimpled Don could set up a bomb at Jerome Publishing meant to take out Julian (William deVry), only Nina is the one who walks into the office.
With Liz and her son scorning him and Nina once again in a coma, a distraught Franco would be consumed by an all-too-familiar and unquenchable blood lust. He starts sneaking out of town late a night to see if any of his old animal instincts were left behind, post the removal of that gnarly brain tumor. Franco quickly finds out his killer instinct is still intact. Like riding a bike, murdering and maiming are skills one doesn't just forget.
In a fit of calculated rage, Franco kidnaps Monica (Leslie Charleson), Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Liz. He sends Jason pictures of all three in dire straits. Franco warns Jason if he doesn't kill Sonny — and bring off a severed piece of the mafioso's face complete with a dimple — the women Jason loves most in this world will die.
Sonny gets a similar message with images of Carly (Laura Wright) and Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) in harm's way. The only way they'll survive the night, Franco warns, is if Sonny brings Jason's brain to Franco on a platter!
As Sonny and Jason are deciding if they can go through with Franco's macabre requests, FBI Agent Jagger Cates (Antonio Sabato Jr.) arrives in Port Charles. He was assigned to Franco's case years ago and reports to Anna (Finola Hughes) and Jordan (Vinessa Antoine) that a rash of serial killings very similar to Franco's artsy fartsy M.O. have been occuring in the nearby towns of Corinth and Collinsport. Anna wonders if Franco has started a new killing spree.
Sonny and Jason meet up on the docks. They talk briefly, with Sonny recalling a friendship Jason doesn't remember. They share the gory instructions they've been given, marveling at what a sick If You Seek Amy Franco is.
Both men know what they have to do. Before they can draw weapons, they receive video chats from Franco directing them to one of the abandoned Zacchara family warehouses.
Spinelli (Bradford Anderson), who has been recruited by Anna into the WSB, manages to hack into Franco's phone. He lets Anna, Jagger, Jordan, Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) and Nathan (Ryan Paevey) know where Franco is keeping his prisoners.
At Franco's Lair, dozens of his obsessed fans stand guard. The Francophreniacs will do whatever their Master tells them. They've been following his every move online for years, praying he will one day resume his artistic calling to rid the world of the unworthy. Monica and the others are all chained to big wooden panels set up on what appears to be giant artist's easels.
Franco assures the horrified women they will all be part of a beautiful new collection — his best work yet! Monica tries to comfort a hysterical Kristina. Sam and Carly posture and talk crap to Franco. Lots of "You'll never get away with this, you sick mofo" type chatter from the two gutsy dames. Liz tries to reach Franco's human side. Too late, Nurse Webber. It's gone.
Sonny and Jason arrive on the scene. Franco's men force them to hand over their weapons. They hesitate until Franco has one of his men aim an assault rifle at Carly's head. Franco quips that Carly has already been shot in the head due to Sonny once. Does he really want to risk a second head wound for his wife?
Sonny says they'll comply with Franco's demands as long as he doesn't hurt Carly or anyone else. Franco mocks Sonny, saying his days of calling the shots in Port Charles are over.
Franco has no plans to kill Carly. On the contrary, Mrs. Corinthos will be the one who decides who dies this particular evening. No one follows.
The Francophreniacs tie Sonny and Jason to chairs facing away from one another. One of the goons rushes out with a machete for Franco. The women are terrified. Franco wouldn't?
Franco tells Carly it's her choice. Who should he behead, Jason or Sonny?
Carly loses her shiznit. She begs Franco to stop this. Kill her instead.
Isn't that romantic, Franco gushes. The bar-hopping slut from Florida wants to sacrifice herself for the two thugs she duped into loving her. Franco says since she can't decide, he'll kill them both.
He raises the machete, aiming it for Sonny's neck. A shot rings out. Anna shoots the machete out of Franco's hand. The Francophreniacs return fire. Anna, Jordan, Jagger et al. engage in one nasty fire fight.
Franco beats a hasty retreat. Jagger and Jordan are in hot pursuit.
Nathan rushes over to set the captives free. Dante covers him.
A Francophreniac almost gets the drop on Anna. Dante shoots him dead. He can't cover both Anna and Nathan. Nathan is hit in the chest. He forgot to put on his bullet proof vest.
Once Jason is free and makes sure Sam, Liz, Carly and Monica are safe, he heads out looking for Franco. It's time to end this.
Anna calls for back up and paramedics. She begs Nathan to stay with them. It doesn't look good.
Jason tracks Franco and two of his henchmen to a waiting boat. Jason gets the drop on one henchman and snaps the other one's neck like a twig. Franco takes off running. Jason catches him and tosses him to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Suddenly, Jason begins flashing back to all the heinous things Franco did to him, Sam, Liz and the rest of Port Charles.
Jason begins mindlessly pummeling Franco. He draws his piece. It's time he stopped Franco from ever hurting anyone else he loves ever again.
Jordan and Jagger arrive on the scene. They train their weapons on Jason. They order him to let Franco go. Sam and Liz have made their way to the docks. Jason looks up. Sees their faces. He stands up and lets the authorities arrest Franco.
A frantic Maxie (Kirsten Storms) and Lulu (Emme Rylan) arrive at the hospital. Epiphany (Sonya Eddy) tells them Nathan has been rushed into surgery. Dante blames himself. As well he should, Dr. Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) blasts. If her son doesn't make it, she's holding Dante personally responsible!
Maxie refuses to think the worst. She knows Nathan will be fine. Spinelli shows up to comfort her and wait with their friends.
Obrecht demands to be let into the O.R. Dr. Finn (Michael Easton) refuses. It's unethical for her to be in there while they're operating on her son. Obrecht finds an odd comfort waiting with Maxie.
Obrecht begins singing one of her melodic German hymns. Nathan flat lines in the O.R. In a private hospital room, Nina wakes up from her coma. Her first words: "Franco". The bars at PCPD lock-up clink as Franco is caged. Nathan is dead.
Which big screen plot would you like to see General Hospital or one of the other daytime soaps rip off? Sound off in the comments!