Ghost Mayor – Chicago

TITLE: Ghost Mayor

PREMISE: The ghost of a man killed in senseless violence runs for mayor of Chicago with the agenda of ending the gun violence.

GENRE: African American drama, political drama

TIME: Contemporary



WRITER: Alan Nafzger



OTHER INFORMATION: This is a complete and ready to shot screenplay.

When African-American Calvin Palmer (58) arrives in Heaven he discovers that it isn’t much different than the line he has been waiting in at the DMV. He collapses at the DVM (presumably of a heart attack), but he awakes in something like a processing center for Heaven. There is a line for Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindi etc. Everyone is patiently waiting, but the line isn’t moving. So Calvin turns around and exits the building and finds himself back in Chicago.

Ghost Mayor

There are two reasons a ghost remains on earth – 1) to seek some sort of revenge and 2) the other to so some great good.

Ghost Mayor

Exiting and returning to Chicago, Calvin is warned about the rules. He is told he has the ability to reveal himself, but that he must not be seen and if he is (the first time) he must roam the Earth twenty-years. If it happens again (a second time) he will be forced to roam forever. He is warned that some children can naturally see ghosts and those sightings don’t count toward the sanctions.

Ghost Mayor

Calvin wonders the city for weeks without a purpose. Occasionally the loneliness gets to him and he tries to communicate with someone. This never works out well as they become terrified and run away screaming. Amid the depression Calvin witnesses the crime, poverty and political corruption. As a ghost he sees the city’s ugly side from closeup.

Calvin is about to return to the afterlife processing center, when he meets a latch-key kid – Adonis (10). His mother is a simple hardworking single mother. The kid, Adonis Baker, is a genius but without friends and without guidance. His mother, Karyn, works three jobs so Adonis can have a decent future.

Adonis and Calvin’s ghost become close friends. Calvin helps Adonis win friends on the baseball diamond. Adonis introduces to politics. When the corrupt Mayor, Adam Carothers, closes down Adonis’ charter school, they decide they need a new mayor.

Mayor Carothers sits at the head of all Chicago’s problem; he is a former criminal who is now a corrupt politician.

After an fruitless and exhaustive search they decide that Calvin will run for mayor. Adonis will be his campaign manager and treasurer. To help they recruit a failed lawyer, Frank, who has been too nice a guy to be successful practicing the law.

There is construction on a highrise building that has been abandoned. A workers was killed because he was a OSHA safety whistleblower. The construction ghost now has halted construction with his antics. The building has a new owner and he is willing to pay Adonis money if construction can resume. Calvin persuades the construction ghost to haunt some other place as the men who killed him aren’t associated with the building project anymore. Construction begins again.

Frank and Adonis takes the payment to the bank and starts a campaign account.

Adonis and Calvin walk the city solving problems. Almost all are associated with corrupt government. They learn about a corrupt government official at the coroner’s office. The Official refuses to issue death certificates without a bribe. Families can’t get the life insurance without the certificate. Calvin uses his ghostly powers frighten him into being honest.

Adonis and Calvin come across a truck broke down in the middle of a street. The suspension is broken and he doesn’t have the money for repairs. They learn that the streets official has been embezzling the money meant to fix the potholes. The city street’s official lives in a huge house in a neighborhood with perfect streets. Calvin put potholes through the neighborhood.

An auto factory is being closed by over regulating officials. “Gasoline engines are an unnecessary health risk.” The workers will be unemployed. The auto corporation would rather keep the factory in Chicago, but will move the factory to Mexico if they must. Calvin saves the factory from the regulators.

In the process, they come to know why the ghosts died, and help their families get insurance money by scaring corrupt insurance officers.

The Republican’s approach Calvin and this isn’t a good alternative either. Calvin travels to the mansion of an industrialist and is lectured on compassionless conservative values. The Republican industrialist only want his bank labeled “too big to fail.” Calvin is more resolved to win the election as an independent. There is a legal case where the legality of Calvin’s candidacy is questioned. To remain on the ballot, Calvin must reveal himself. He faces a 20 year penalty which he accepts.

Calvin does not appear on television. But he is frequently on the radio.

Calvin’s strategy is to win with people who have dropped out. And Adonis has calculated that he can win if people vote. The money they have in their campaign account buys simple “vote” signs. Their entire media campaign is designed to persuade people to vote. Calvin is selfless. Frank, the lawyer, is selfless. Adonis however, has seen his mother suffer and wants revenge on the politicians, especially Carothers.

Calvin on the radio, always asks the callers if they are registered to vote; if they aren’t then he feigns being hard-of-hearing. The idea he is communicating is that if they don’t vote.

To fund their campaign and their good deeds they begin taking down drug dealers. Slowly they work their way up the chain of commend to the importer of the drugs and the god father. Most of the money is invested in creating jobs and Calvin’s popularity soars. Almost every wrong they come across links back to the current Mayor Carothers. When told about the new jobs, the mayor famously states, “No, I don’t want them to have jobs; what will they need me for if they have jobs.”

Carothers laughs at his Republican competition. But the current mayor is threatened by the independent candidacy of Calvin. He has goons follow Adonis thinking he will lead them to Calvin and the plan is to kill Calvin. However, when they can’t find (or see) Calvin, they revert to the next best thing; they beat the hell out of the kid. Calvin is put in the hospital and is on the brink of death.

When the goon’s injure Adonis, Calvin leaves his “Change Rally” to be with him and his mother at the hospital.

Calvin travels to the afterlife processing center and begs for Adonis’ life. He becomes irate and demands a meeting/deal with God. Peter takes the message to God… God agrees to spare the life of Adonis if Calvin wins the election.

Carothers uses Calvin’s absence at the rally to his advantage and tries to influence the audience to vote for him.

Calvin must go on television and this will be his second appearance. He will NOT be allowed to exit the Earth. He will be a Ghost wondering the world forever. He makes the appearance be brings the election to an apparent tie.

Carothers has a plan to steal the ballot boxes from Calvin’s strongest neighborhoods. And for a time they are successful.

On election night as the votes are counted, the television news reports that the majority of the public has vote for Carothers.

Adonis’ heart stops and a sheet is placed over his body. But we learn from the television that “the people” have overwhelmed thieves and the ballot boxes have been counted. This makes Calvin the Mayor-elect.

Adonis’ heart begins again. The heart monitor begins to beep.

Carothers and his goons are arrested. The goons point their fingers at Carothers, implying they will testify against him.

The film ends with Adonis regaining consciousness and everybody celebrating the election of the new Mayor.

Ghost Mayor

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