‘THE ISLANDS’ MOVIE WRAPS FILMING
Production has wrapped on the high-profile movie, ‘The Islands’ set to hit theaters in November 2018.
The film, shot entirely in Hawaii, is based on the incredible true story of Chiefess Kapiolani who descended into an active volcano to demonstrate her new-found faith and ushered in a new beginning in Hawaii.
Newcomer Teuria Shanti Napa plays the Chiefess along with Academy-Award winner Mira Sorvino and legendary actor John Savage who play early missionaries.
‘The Islands’ is one of four movies that are being shot on Hawaii’s epic history.
“I’m so delighted that we could tell the world about Chiefess Kapiolani through cinema,” says director Tim Chey. “What she did is still considered one of the greatest acts of moral courage by any world leader.”
Over 13,000 actors submitted for ‘The Islands’, including over 800 Native Hawaiian actors. The casting team sought actors in Hawaii, LA, NYC, Toronto, and Guam.
“We’re super excited that millions around the world will hear a story that has never been told in the movies,” continues Chey. “This will honor Hawaiian history and all the Hawaiian people.”
Chey also produced ‘Freedom’ (Cuba Gooding, Jr., William Sadler, Sharon Leal) that was shot on the Amistad and ‘David and Goliath’ filmed in North Africa and London. He also produced and directed Sony Pictures ‘Slamma Jamma’ (Michael Irvin, Chris Staples) which had a national theater release on March 24, 2017. The film hit 502 theaters in 281 cities across the U.S.
We will open with a thousand canoes gliding silently off Oahu in magic hour.Preparing
for war. Caption: 1802
Push in on one canoe. We see King Kamehameha getting off. He searches for his
arch-rival Kalanikūpule. He fearlessly battles Kalanikūpule’s forces on the beach.
A huge battle on the beach ensues. We find out Kamehameha’s right-hand man,
Kaʻiana, has defected to Kalanikūpule. Kaʻiana assists in the cutting of notches
into the Nuʻuanu Pali mountain ridge that will serve as gunports for Kalanikūpule's
We see a series of epic skirmishes among the Hawaiian warriors, as Kamehameha's
forces are able to push back Kalanikūpule's men until the latter is cornered on
the Pali Lookout.
[Historical Note: As the eldest son, a chief of high rank, and the designated heir,
the claim of Kiawala'o to the island of Hawai'i was "clear and irrefutible." However,
although Kamehameha was of lower rank, and only a nephew of the late king, his
possession of the war god was a powerful incentive to political ambition. Thus the
old chief's legacy had effectively "split the political decision-making power between
individuals of unequal rank" and set the stage for civil war among the chiefs of the
island of Hawai'i. Although Kiwala'o was senior to Kamehameha, the latter soon
began to challenge his authority. During the funeral for one of Kalani'opu'u's
chiefs, Kamehameha stepped in and performed one of the rituals specifically
reserved for Kiwala'o, an act that constituted a great insult.]
Push in on Kamehameha’s determined face as we freeze his face and cut to-
Queen Liliuokalani story
Queen Liliuokalani’s face staring at King Kamehameha’s face on the wall of the
We pull back to see her with an American reporter discussing King Kamehameha.
The reporter follows her to her next meeting.
We see scenes of Queen Liliuokalani at the meeting battling the business landowners
over the new Hawaii Constitution.
[Historical Note: By the time she took the throne herself in 1891, a new Hawaiian
constitution had removed much of the monarchy’s powers]
“You’re the last queen,” says a landowner. “Your reign is over.”
“I will always stand for the people of Hawaii, “ Queen Liliuokalani says.
Queen Liliuokalani next begins to rally the local farmers to support her return to
the throne. At the same time, the forces calling for her abdication grow.
In the cool evening of Hawaii, inside the palace, the reporter asks her about
Captain Cook and where he stands in Hawaiian history. As the trade winds hit
her face, she reminisces about Captain Cook.
Captain Cook Story
A British tall ship coming to the port. Push in on the tall ship.
We see Captain Cook coming out of his cabin. He scans the Hawaiian warriors as
hundreds of canoes line up to do battle. A first mate races up. “Should we bring
out the canons, sir?”
“No,” Captain Cook says. “Let’s try peace first.”Cook gets on his dingy and heads
to the island with gifts.
[Historical Note: Cook and his men had learned a bit of Tahitian months earlier.
Tahitian was close enough to the Hawaiian dialect so the two groups could
communicate, and when Cook gave gifts, the Hawaiians realized he had come in
Cook drops anchor off Maui, where a meeting with King Kahekili goes well. The
Hawaiians trade valuable iron nails to fashion into fishing hooks, as well as iron
tools, in trade for food and water.
[Production Note: We will have hundreds of extras to really re-create the time. We
will have an Academy-Award nominated Production Designer who will go into every
intricate detail of historical accuracy. See ‘Dances with Wolves’ picture’]
Near Hana, Cook's ships are met by King Kalaniopu'u, who had been warring
against Kahekili, but because of the makahiki, the fighting suspends.
They take Cook to a heiau, the same rock temple called Hikiau, to take part in an
elaborate ceremony, at the conclusion of which he is made to bow to the ground
and kiss an image of the war god Ku. He realizes now they think he’s God.
Cook was not the only one to be treated with honor; Captain Clerke was also led
to the temple, and a small pig was sacrificed to him, accompanied by an elaborate
ceremony and chanting.
Push back to a young Kamehameha who watches the festivity and then Cut Forward to:
King Kamehameha story
His forces continue to push Kiawala'o’s warriors deeper into the forest of Lanai. We
see his forces winning.
“How far should we push them?” asks Kamehameha’s aliʻi , Ka’iana.
“All the way,” says Kamehameha.
While Kamehameha moves to the ridge of Pali, his troops take heavy fire from the
cannon. In desperation, he assigns two divisions of his best warriors to climb to the
Pali to attack the cannons from behind; they surprise Kalanikūpule's gunners and take
control of the weapons. With the loss of their guns, Kalanikūpule's troops fall into
disarray and are cornered by Kamehameha's warriors.
[Historical Note: Over the next four years, numerous battles took place as well as a
great deal of jockeying for position and privilege. Alliances were made and broken,
but no one was able to gain a decisive advantage. The rulers of Hawai'i had reached
a stalemate. Kamehameha's superior forces had several times won out over those of
other warriors. He took the daughter of Kiwala'o, Keopuolani, captive and made her
one of his wives; he also took the child Ka'ahumanu (once mentioned as a wife for
Kiwala'o) and "betrothed her to himself." He thus firmly established himself as an
equal contender for control over the Hawaiian lands formerly ruled by Kalani'opu'u.
Eventually Kiwala'o was killed in battle, but control of the Island of Hawai'i remained
A fierce battle ensues, with Kamehameha's forces forming an enclosing wall. By
using their traditional Hawaiian spears, as well as muskets and cannon, they kill most
of Kalanikūpule's forces. Over 400 men are forced off the Pali cliff, a drop of 1,000
feet. Kaʻiana is killed during the action; They capture Kalanikūpule and sacrifice him
to Kūkāʻilimoku. They continue to chase Kalanikūpule's remaining men as we
-Push in on Kamehameha’s face as he watches from a mountain top.
Captain Cook Story.
We see a mast being hauled ashore; all the while, Islanders continually pilfer from
Cook's ships. Cook hears about it and can’t decide what to do. When another Islander
is spotted making off with a pair of blacksmith's tongs from the Discovery, British
sailors row ashore in pursuit using Cook’s canoe.
They try to confiscate the thief’s canoe until their tongs were returned, but the canoe's
owner comes out to fight. He’s struck with an oar and falls unconscious. Some islanders
retaliate by throwing stones at Cook’s men.
Cook, with Lieutenant King and a marine, come down the beach to intervene. The
three men set off in pursuit of the man with the tongs. Cook orders the sentries to
reload their fine-shot to the more deadly ball ammunition.
When Cook's second in command Charles Clerke tells Cook that the natives have
now stolen the Discovery's cutter it’s the last straw for Cook.
The British fire cannons at canoes in the bay and Cook goes ashore with some sailors
to try to bring Kalaniopu'u back to the Resolution as a hostage. A crowd gathers by the
water's edge. A shot rings out from one of the British boats killing chief Kalimu. The
islanders now don their war clothing and approach Cook and his men. When one of the
islanders challenges Cook, he turns and fires his musket. Then his men fire. The king's
guards charge and Cook is killed.
The king’s men and the new Captain Clerke end in peace and regret the flare-up that
took the life of one of the greatest explorers.
“Will there ever be peace on this earth?” Clerke asks.
“Not while man inhabits it,” King Kalaniopu'u responds.
Captain Clerke, suffering from tuberculosis, takes command of the ship and has
repairs completed to the foremast on deck. And the ship sets sail. A young Kamehameha
watches from a distance.
Cut Forward to:
After the victory at Nuʻuanu, we show scenes of King Kamehameha reuniting the
islands with the other kings, including making peace with the king of Kauai.
An amazing scene shows King Kamehameha forgiving those who attacked him with
shovels when he was a young boy.
At the palace, we push in on a young woman who watches him who becomes Chiefess
Queen Liliuokalani with the American reporter. She finishes discussing King Kamehameha
and turns to the story of Chiefess Kapiʻolani.
Cut Forward to:
Chiefess Kapiʻolani Story
We see Christian Missionaries led by Rev. Asa Thurston arriving into Kailua-Kona on
the ship Thaddeus. They see Kapiʻolani for the first time as she sunbathes naked.
[Historical Note: The death of Kamehameha in 1819 puts the kingdom into turmoil. The
period, ʻAi Noa (literally, "free eating"), after one king's death was traditionally followed
by the new king imposing similar Kapu rules. However, this time, powerful women such
as Queen Kaʻahumanu (then Regent), Keōpūolani (mother of the new King Kamehameha
II), along with Kapiʻolani, were not satisfied with the old ways. Chief Keaoua
Kekuaokalani attempts to gather followers of the old system at the temple near where
she was living, but he is defeated at the battle of Kuamoʻo.]
We show scenes where she follows the missionaries to Honolulu in 1821, where a
school is set up. She quickly learns to read and write. She returns to Kealakekua Bay
sends boats up to Kailua to pick up a preacher for Sunday services.
In the fall of 1824 she decides to show her people a dramatic demonstration of her
faith. She heads to the infamous volcano where the angry god Pele waits to kill her.
As Kapiolani stands at the edge of this molten abyss, she declared the superiority of
her new faith and (it is said) ate the sacred `ohelo berries without first giving some to
goddess. Although the priests of Pele tell her she will die, Kapiolani stands her
ground and defies centuries of tradition, to the awe and amazement of the onlookers.
Her act at Halema`uma`u is a defining moment in time.
The guardians of Pele warn then warn her that if she does not make the customary
human sacrifice, she will certainly be killed. They remind her their relatives were
wiped out by an explosive eruption in 1790.
Kapiʻolani says a prayer to Christ instead of the traditional one to Pele, and descends
about 500 feet down into the main vent of Halemaʻumaʻu!
No eruption occurs and she survives coming out of the volcano.
Cut Forward to:
We see the reporter and Liliuokalani discussing Kapiʻolani when the U.S. Marines
now enter the palace of Liliuokalani. She surrenders as the reporter attempts to intervene.
We see her signing a formal abdication with her telling everyone she will appeal to
President Grover Cleveland.
We see her refusing to accept an invitation to a carriage, but instead heads to the
beach where she looks into the sky for a prayer and leaves Hawaii and it’s incredible
history in the hands of the newcomers.