"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"BEING JOHN MALKOVICH"

by

Charlie Kaufman



INT. CHEERLESS ROOM - DAY

The room is bare, dusty. A ceiling fan turns. The wall clock
ticks. Craig, 30 years old and small, sits at a collapsible
card table. The only item on the table is a book. Craig picks
it up, looks at the jacket. It's entitled "Sit." Craig opens
the book. It reads: "sit sit sit sit sit..." over and over,
page after page. Craig closes the book. He begins to stand,
but thinks better of it, sighs. He looks at the book again.

It is now entitled "Die." He opens it up. "die die die die
die..." A rooster crows.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Craig jolts awake. A rooster stands on Craig's chest, crowing.
Lotte, also 30, in the middle of dressing for work, hurries
in and pulls the bird from Craig's chest.

LOTTE
Sorry, hon. I didn't know Orrin Hatch
was out of his pen. Good morning.

Lotte leans down and kisses Craig on the forehead.

CRAIG
Morning.

LOTTE
Gotta run. Shipment of grub worms
coming in first thing.

CRAIG
Enjoy.

LOTTE
Craig, listen, honey, I've been
thinking... maybe you'd feel better
if you got, you know, a job or
something.

CRAIG
We've been over this. Nobody's looking
for a puppeteer in today's wintry
economic climate.

LOTTE
Well, you know, maybe something else
until this whole puppet thing turns
around.

CRAIG
(bitterly)
The Great Mantini doesn't need a day
job.

LOTTE
(sighs)
Craig, everyone can't be Derek
Mantini.
(beat)
Well, grub worms are waiting. Do me
a favor?

CRAIG
What?

LOTTE
Would you check in on Elijah? He
seems to be a little under the weather
this morning.

CRAIG
Which one is Elijah again?

LOTTE
The monkey.

CRAIG
Yeah. Okay.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S GARAGE - MORNING

The place is a mess. Vivaldi blasts through cheap speakers.
A small marionette stage stands in the back of the garage.
The stage is lit and on it is a finely sculpted puppet version
of Craig. The "Craig" puppet paces back and forth, wringing
its hands with incredible subtlety. We see Craig, above and
behind the stage. He is manipulating the puppet. His fingers
move fast and furious. The puppet breaks into a dance, a
beautiful and intricate balletic piece. Soon the puppet is
leaping and tumbling through space, moves that one would
think impossible for a marionette. Sweat appears on the real
Craig's brow. His fingers move like lightning. The puppet
moves faster and faster. Sweat appears on the puppet's brow.
We see that the sweat is being piped from a special device
that the real Craig controls. The Craig puppet collapses on
the floor of the stage. It puts its hands up to its face and
weeps. Craig hangs the puppet, and comes down around the
front of the stage. He is heaving. He switches off the music,
picks up a beer and takes a swig.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

The room is filled with penned and unpenned animals of all
kinds: snakes, lizards, birds, a dog, cats, etc. Craig sits
on the couch and looks at the want ads, the TV is on in the
background. Elijah, the monkey, sits next to Craig holding
his stomach and moaning weakly. On the TV, Derek Mantini is
working a 60 foot high marionette from the top of a water
tower. The assembled crowd is enthralled.

TV ANNOUNCER
The crowd is enthralled as Derek
Mantini, arguably the greatest
puppeteer in the history of the world,
performs "The Belle of Amherst" with
his 60 foot Emily Dickinson puppet,
directed by the inimitable Charles
Nelson Reilly.

Charles Nelson Reilly floats by in a hot air balloon.

CHARLES NELSON REILLY
Beautiful, beautiful! Nyong-nyong.

CRAIG
Gimmicky bastard.

Craig switches off the TV. He comes across an ad for a female
puppeteer to teach at a girls school. Craig rubs his chin in
thought, then stands with great determination.

MUSIC IN: TRIUMPHANT

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BEDROOM - DAY

Craig searches through Lotte's closet, looking for the right
dress.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BATHROOM - DAY

Craig waxes his body, shaves his face.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BEDROOM - DAY

Craig paints his nails while he chats on the phone. Craig
pulls stockings and underwear from Lotte's drawer. Craig
picks a wig from a mannequin head on Lotte's dressing table.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Craig, at the sewing machine, is sewing padding to go onto
his chest and around his hips.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BATHROOM - DAY

Craig applies make up in the bathroom mirror.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BEDROOM - DAY

Craig, now looking very much like a woman, admires himself
in the full length mirror.

CUT TO:

EXT. STREET - DAY

Craig hails a taxi in his get-up. Men on the street turn and
leer at him.

CUT TO:

INT. HEADMISTRESS'S OFFICE - DAY

Craig and the headmistress chat over tea. Craig is quite
animated and charming. The admiring headmistress smiles and
nods her head in approval.

CUT TO:

INT. CLASSROOM - DAY

Craig instructs a class of uniformed girls. He draws complex
diagrams of puppets on the blackboard. The students are
transfixed, except for one troubled girl who eyes Craig
sullenly from the back of the room as she plays with a
switchblade.

CUT TO:

INT. THEATER - DAY

Craig guides the hands of the troubled teenage girl, who is
trying to manipulate a marionette. The girl looks up at Craig.
Her tough facade crumbles and she smiles. Craig smiles back.

CUT TO:

EXT. SCHOOL GROUNDS - DAY

The girls carry Craig on their shoulders. Everyone is joyous.

CUT TO:

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

Craig leads the girls in a bike race. Everyone is laughing
and screaming. One of the girls notices that Craig is riding
a man's bike.

MUSIC OUT.

CUT TO:

INT. JAIL CELL - NIGHT

Craig sits in a holding cell with several other men. He is
still in the dress, but the wig is in his lap and the make
up is smeared off. Lotte appears with a cop outside Craig's
cell. The door is opened, and Craig, Lotte, and the cop head
down the hall.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR - NIGHT

Lotte drives. Craig looks out the window. Both are silent.

LOTTE
(finally)
Is the trial date set?

CRAIG
May 11th.

More silence.

LOTTE
Why'd you do it, Craig?

CRAIG
I'm a puppeteer.

They drive in silence.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - MORNING

Craig sits on the couch in his bathrobe and studies the want
ads. He sees an ad for a company called "WOMYN-TEERS", looking
for "an African-American, Lesbian Separatist Puppeteer for
Community Outreach."

Craig rubs his chin in thought, stands with determination.

MUSIC IN: SAME AS BEFORE.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BATHROOM - MORNING

Craig applies a dark pancake make-up to his face.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Craig pulls an afro-style wig off a mannequin head on Lotte's
dressing table.

CUT TO:

EXT. STREET - MORNING

Craig, now made up to look like a black, lesbian separatist,
hails a cab. Women look at him longingly.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR - NIGHT

Craig, dressed as the black lesbian and beaten to a pulp,
sits in the passenger seat. Lotte drives.

LOTTE
(finally)
Why, Craig. why?

CRAIG
(through fat lip)
I... puppeteer.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Craig reads the paper. He comes across an ad: "Female
puppeteer wanted for nudist colony marionette staging of
'Oh, Calcutta!'" Craig rubs his chin.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR - NIGHT

Craig sits in the passenger seat. He is made up as a woman
and wears a full-body rubber "naked woman" suit. Lotte drives.

LOTTE
(finally)
You know, maybe you should speak to
someone about this.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Craig sees a personal ad: "Male puppeteer looking for
attractive female puppeteer for friendship, travel, and much
much more." Craig rubs his chin, then thinks better of it
and sighs. He finds a want ad calling for a "short-statured
file clerk with unusually nimble and dexterous fingers needed
for speed filing." Craig writes down the address.

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE BUILDING LOBBY - DAY

Craig. in sport coat and tie, studies the business listings
board. He finds LesterCorp, and sees that it is located on
floor 7 1/2. Craig presses the elevator button and waits.
Another man comes and waits next to him. The doors open, and
Craig and the other man get in.

CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR - CONTINUOUS

The other man presses "9." Craig studies the buttons. There
is no "7 1/2."

MAN #1
Seven and a half, right?

CRAIG
Uh. yeah.

MAN #1
I'll take you through it.

The man picks up a crowbar leaning in the corner. He watches
the floor numbers light up in succession. After "7" and before
"8", the man hits the emergency stop button. The elevator
slams to a halt. The man pries open the doors with the
crowbar. Revealed is a standard office building hallway,
except that from floor to ceiling it is only about four feet
high. Everything is scaled down accordingly. The number on
the wall across from the elevator is 7 1/2.

MAN #1
Seven and a half.

CRAIG
Thank you.

Craig climbs out onto the 7 1/2 floor.

CUT TO:

INT. SEVEN AND A HALF FLOOR - CONTINUOUS

Craig, hunched-over, makes his way down the hallway looking
for LesterCorp. He passes a hunched-over man walking in the
other direction. They nod to each other. Craig finds a door
marked "LesterCorp -- Meeting America's Filing Needs Since
1922." He enters.

CUT TO:

INT. LESTERCORP RECEPTION AREA - CONTINUOUS

All furniture is scaled down to fit into this low-ceilinged
space. A few other short men sit reading tiny magazines.
Craig approaches Floris, the receptionist.

FLORIS
Welcome to LesterCorp. May we meet
your filing needs?

CRAIG
No, uh, my name is Craig Schwartz. I
have an interview with Mr. Lester.

FLORIS
Please have a seat, Mr. Juarez...

CRAIG
Schwartz.

FLORIS
Pardon?

CRAIG
Schwartz.

FLORIS
I'm sorry, I'm afraid I have no idea
what you're saying right now.

CRAIG
My name is Schwartz.

FLORIS
Money, Miss Warts?

CRAIG
Forget it.

Craig takes a seat next to the other applicants.

FLORIS
(calling across the
room)
Fork ah did?

The intercom buzzes. Floris picks it up.

FLORIS
(to Craig)
Mr. Juarez?

CRAIG
Yes?

FLORIS
Yex?

CRAIG
I said "yes."

FLORIS
You suggest what? I have no time for
piddling suggestions from mumbling
job applicants, my good man. Besides,
Dr. Lester will see you now. I think
that's what he said.

Craig stands, opens Lester's door, and enters.

CUT TO:

INT. LESTER'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Craig enters. Lester, a giant of an old man, sits hunched
behind his tiny desk.

LESTER
Come in, Mr. Juarez. I'd stand, but,
well, you know.

CRAIG
(extending his hand)
Actually, my name is Craig Schwartz,
Dr. Lester.

Lester flips an intercom switch.

LESTER
Security.

CRAIG
No, it's okay, sir. Just a mixup
with your secretary.

LESTER
She's not my secretary. She's what
they call an executive liaison, and
I'm not banging her, if that's what
you're implying.

CRAIG
Not at all, Dr. Lester. I simply
misspoke.

LESTER
Tell me, Dr. Schwartz, what do you
feel you can bring to LesterCorp?

CRAIG
Well, sir, I'm an excellent filer.

LESTER
(crafty)
You think so, eh? Which comes first,
L or... Glooph?

CRAIG
Glooph is not a letter, sir.

LESTER
Damn, you are good. I tried to trick
you. Okay, put these in order.

Lester hands Craig a bunch of index cards. Craig orders them
with amazing speed and dexterity. Lester watches, eyes wide.

LESTER
(flips intercom switch)
Floris, get Guinness on the phone.

FLORIS (O.S.)
Gehginnis ondah foam?

LESTER
Forget it.

FLORIS
Fork ah did?

LESTER
(flips off switch)
Fine woman, Floris. I don't know how
she puts up with this damn speech
impediment of mine.

CRAIG
You don't have a speech impediment,
Dr. Lester.

LESTER
Flattery will get you everywhere, my
boy. But I'm afraid I have to trust
Floris on this one. You see, she has
her doctorate in speech
impedimentology from Case Western.
Perhaps you've read her memoirs, "I
can't understand a word any of you
are saying."

CRAIG
No.

LESTER
Pity, it tells it like it is. That's
why the eastern, read Jewish,
publishing establishment won't touch
it. That's a quote from the book
jacket. George Will, I think.
(beat)
I apologize if you can't understand
a word I'm saying, Dr. Schwartz.

CRAIG
No. I understand perfectly.

LESTER
(choking up)
Thank you for being kind enough to
lie. You see, I've been very lonely
in my isolated tower of indecipherable
speech. You're hired. Any questions?

CRAIG
Just one. Why is this floor so short?

LESTER
Low overhead, m'boy. We pass the
savings on to you.
(laughs heartily)
But seriously, that's all covered in
orientation.

CUT TO:

INT. ORIENTATION ROOM - DAY

It's a small screening room with red velvet seats. There are
a few people scattered about the squat theater. Craig is
among them. He looks around the room and his eyes rest
momentarily on Maxine. She is in her late 20's with close
cropped black hair. Her eyes are opaque, her face
expressionless, her countenance trance-like.

She glances over at Craig, then turns back to the screen.
The lights dim. A projector whirs and the screen is
illuminated.

CUT TO:

EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY

We tilt up the building.

MUSIC: Perky Industrial Film Music.

TITLE: THE 7 1/2 FLOOR

NARRATOR (O.S.)
Welcome to the 7 1/2 floor of the
Mertin-Flemmer building. As you will
now be spending your work day here,
it is important that you learn a bit
about the history of this famous
floor.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. 7 1/2 FLOOR - DAY

Don and Wendy, two office workers, crouch in the hall and
chat. Both hold cups of coffee.

WENDY
Hello, Don.

DON
Hello. Wendy.

WENDY
Don, I was wondering, do you know
why our workplace has such low
ceilings?

DON
It's an interesting story, Wendy.
Many years ago in the late 1800's,
James Mertin, an Irish ship captain
looking to invest in the future of
our great country, came to this town
and decided to erect an office
building.

CUT TO:

OLD FOOTAGE OF CONSTRUCTION CREW WORKING.

DON
He would call this building the Mertin-
Flemmer Building, after himself and
someone else, who, local legend has
it, was named Flemmer.

CUT TO:

INT. 19TH CENTURY OFFICE - DAY

An actor playing Mertin sits at a desk and writes with a
quill. He appears very stern and has mutton chop sideburns.

DON
One day. Captain Mertin received an
unexpected visitor.

There is a knock at the door.

MERTIN
Enter ye, if ye dare enter.

A tiny woman enters.

TINY WOMAN
Captain Mertin?

MERTIN
What want ye, girl child?

TINY WOMAN
I am not a child, Captain Mertin,
but rather an adult lady of miniature
proportions.

MERTIN
(taken aback)
I see. Well, it is not my fault that
thou art tiny. So if it is charity
yer after, then be gone with ye, ye
foul demon.

TINY WOMAN
I am not asking for alms, but rather
the ear of a kind man with a noble
heart.

MERTIN
(sighs)
Aye. Speak then if ye must.

TINY WOMAN
Captain Mertin, surely I am a God-
fearing Christian woman like yourself,
but alas, I am afraid that the world
was not built with me in mind. Door
knobs are too high, chairs are
unwieldy, high-ceilinged rooms mock
my stature. Nor am I a married lady,
Captain. after all, who would marry
a person of my diminutiveness? So I
am forced to work for my few pennies
a week as an optometrist. Why cannot
there be a place for me to work safe
and comfortable?

Mertin wipes a tear from his eye.

MERTIN
Woman, your story moves me like no
other. Me own sister was tiny and
then died. Therefore, I shall make
ye me wife. And I shall build a floor
in my building, between the 7th and
8th, which will be scaled down, so
from now on there shall be at least
one place on God's green Earth that
you and your accursed kind can live
in peace...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. HALLWAY 7 1/2 FLOOR - DAY

Don And Wendy crouch and talk.

DON
So that's the story of 7 1/2. Since
the rents are considerably lower
this floor has been adopted by
businesses which for one reason or
another are forced to cut corners.
After all... the overhead is low! Ha
ha ha!

WENDY
Ha ha ha!

TITLE: THE END

CUT TO:

INT. ORIENTATION ROOM - DAY

The screen goes dark. The lights go up. Craig looks over at
Maxine. She stands and walks past him.

CRAIG
Moving story.

MAXINE
Yes. Unfortunately it's bullshit.
The real story of 7 1/2 is so evil
that it could never be revealed to
Americans raised on sitcoms and happy
news anchors.

CRAIG
Is that true?

MAXINE
Well, truth is for suckers, isn't
it?

CRAIG
Listen. I'm Craig Schwartz, just
starting out at LesterCorp.

MAXINE
How dreary - to be - Somebody / How
public - like a Frog / To tell one's
name - the livelong June / To an
admiring Bog!

CRAIG
(proudly)
Emily Dickinson.

MAXINE
I wouldn't know.

Maxine walks away.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

Lotte chops onions. A parrot sits on her head. Craig stirs a
pot on the stove. A monkey leaps from the top of the cabinet
to the top of the refrigerator to the kitchen table. A dog
watches the monkey and barks at it.

PARROT
Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

CRAIG
Shut up!

LOTTE
(to Craig)
Sorry, honey.

The dog continues to bark.

PARROT
Sorry honey. Sorry honey.

An offscreen neighbor pounds the wall.

NEIGHBOR (O.S.)
Shut up!

LOTTE
(yelling)
Sorry!

Lotte grabs the parrot off her head and leaves the room.

PARROT (O.S.)
Help! She's locking me in a cage!

Lotte reenters.

LOTTE
Isn't that cute? I just taught her
that.

CRAIG
Adorable. What time are they supposed
to be here?

LOTTE
Seven-ish

CRAIG
We have to make it an early night.

LOTTE
They'll understand. Besides I've got
a morning appointment tomorrow with
Elijah's shrink. We're getting to
the bottom of this acid stomach.

CRAIG
(not paying attention)
Hmmm.

LOTTE
Some sort of childhood trauma, she
thinks. Possible feelings of
inadequacy as a chimp. Interesting,
huh?

CRAIG
Hmmm.

The doorbell rings. The dog barks. The parrot screams. The
neighbor pounds on the wall.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

The dining room table is set up. Craig and Lotte and their
friends Peter and Gloria are seated and eating dinner. There
is an obvious lull in the conversation.

PETER
Good food, Lotte.

LOTTE
Thanks. Craig helped, too, by the
way.

PETER
Vegetarian, right?

LOTTE
Yes. All vegetable. all the time.

PETER
Amazing.

There is another lull. Everyone eats.

PETER
No kidding about that 7 1/2 floor.
Craig?

CRAIG
No kidding, Peter.

GLORIA
That's great. It almost sounds like
make-believe.
(beat)
Like a storybook.
(beat)
like a fairy tale.
(beat)
It's really great.
(beat)
So Lotte, when you say all vegetable,
do you mean all vegetable entirely?

CUT TO:

INT. PETER AND GLORIA'S CAR - NIGHT

Gloria and Peter drive in silence.

GLORIA
Lotte told me that Eskimos have a
lot of words for snow.

PETER
How many?

GLORIA
Ten, I think.

PETER
I wonder why so many.

GLORIA
Because they have a lot of snow.
Isn't that interesting?

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

Craig washes the dishes. Lotte dries them. They don't look
at each other.

CUT TO:

INT. LESTERCORP FILE ROOM - MORNING

Craig in a cream colored suit, pours over the file cabinets.
Floris watches from the doorway.

FLORIS
You're good.

Craig turns.

CRAIG
(over-enunciating)
Thank you, Floris.

Floris shrugs, shakes her head.

FLORIS
You're not like the other boys we've
had here. Granted, I can't understand
what you're saying either, but your
soft palette resonates tremendously
well and you never ever constrict
your epiglottis.

CRAIG
I am a trained performer.

FLORIS
(swooning)
Music to my ears! Whatever you said.
Speak, speak, speak, my magnificent
friend, speak!

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY 7 1/2 FLOOR - DAY

Craig pours himself a cup of coffee. Maxine approaches with
an empty cup.

CRAIG
Hello again.

Craig fills her cup.

MAXINE
Yes, well...

CRAIG
You know, I've been thinking about
what you said yesterday, about the
orientation film being a cover-up. I
think you're on to something.

MAXINE
And fifty other lines to get into a
girl's pants.

CRAIG
No, really.

MAXINE
You know, if you ever got me, you
wouldn't have a clue what to do with
me. That's the thing, Romeo.

Maxine walks away.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S GARAGE - NIGHT

Craig is at his workbench, painting the finishing touches on
a new puppet. It is beautiful. It is Maxine. Lotte watches
quietly from the door. A Lotte puppet hangs from a hook,
tangled and dusty.

LOTTE
New puppet?

Craig is surprised, caught.

CRAIG
Yeah, just an idea I had.

LOTTE
She's very beautiful.

CRAIG
(shrugging)
Just an idea I had.

Craig hangs the puppet, stands, and switches off the light.

CRAIG
C'mon, let's go to bed.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The room is dark. Lotte snores lightly. Craig lies there
with his eyes open. Quietly, he gets up and leaves the
bedroom. Lotte watches him go.

CUT TO:

INT. GARAGE - NIGHT

Craig stands above the puppet stage. He is working both the
Craig puppet and the Maxine puppet at the same time. The two
perform a beautiful and graceful pas de deux. They finish in
a passionate embrace.

CRAIG
(quietly)
I would too know what to do with
you.

CUT TO:

INT. FILE ROOM - MORNING

Craig files. Floris watches him from the doorway. Dr. Lester
watches Floris from behind a cabinet.

FLORIS
Oh, what magic those fingers could
work on the right "cabinet."
(strokes Craig's neck)
Alphabetize me, baby. And don't
forget, I comes before U.

Floris laughs long and hard. Too long and too hard.

CRAIG
Floris, you're very nice, but I'm
afraid I'm in love with somebody
else.

FLORIS
(upset)
I'm afraid I... have no idea what
you are saying... you bastard!

Floris runs from the room. Lester pokes his head out from
behind the cabinet.

LESTER
Don't toy with Floris, Schwartz.
Why, if I were eighty years younger,
I'd box your ears.

CRAIG
I wasn't toying with her, sir. I was
just... How old are you?

LESTER
One hundred and five. Carrot juice.
(beat)
Lot's of it. I swear, it's almost
not worth it. I piss orange. Oh, and
I, have to piss sitting down... like
a godamn girly... every fifteen
minutes. But nobody wants to die,
Schwartz.

CRAIG
I'll keep that in mind, sir.

LESTER
No sir-e-bob, I don't die. But what
I do is get older, wrinkled like a
former plum that's become the wrinkled
prune you see before you. Oh, to be
a young man again, maybe then Floris
would care for me.

CRAIG
The elderly have so much to offer,
sir. They are our link with history.

LESTER
I don't want to be your godamn link,
damn you. I want to feel Floris'
naked thighs against my own. I want
to know passion. I want my body to
inspire lust in that beautiful,
complex woman. I want her to shiver
in a spasm of ecstasy when I penetrate
her. Oh, God, the agony of the flesh,
Schwartz.

CRAIG
Dr. Lester, while I am flattered
that you share your feelings with
me, I believe perhaps the workplace
is not the most suitable environment
for this type of discussion.

LESTER
All right. Meet me at the Juicy-Juice
Juice Bar after work today and I'll
spill my goddamn guts for you.

Lester exits.

CRAIG
Shit.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY 7 1/2 FLOOR - DAY

Craig squats next to a payphone.

CRAIG
(into phone)
I won't be late. I just have to listen
to Lester's sexual fantasies and
drink carrot juice for a little while.
It's a job thing.

Maxine walks by. Craig grabs her arm, signals for her to
wait a minute. She waits.

CRAIG
(into phone)
I gotta go back to work. Yeah, okay.
You too. Okay. Bye.

Craig hangs up.

MAXINE
What?

CRAIG
I just wanted to say "hi." Did you
know I still don't know your name or
where you work?

MAXINE
Yeah.

CRAIG
How about this, if I can guess your
first name within three tries, you
have to come out for a drink with me
tonight.

MAXINE
Why not?

CRAIG
Great.
(watches her face as
he guesses)
Buuuhhppaahhhhnnn... Muhhhahhhhh...
ahhhnnnaaa...
nollltuuukkkaaaaralllll...
tashabararassssssuuuuusaaaaaaa...
nnnnnnnaaaaaannnnnnnnncccccceeeeeee
Mwaaaaaa... Mahhhhhkkkkk...
sssseeeeeen. Maxine?

MAXINE
Who told you?

CRAIG
I'm right?

MAXINE
Who told you?

CRAIG
That's incredible! Nobody told me! I
swear! It's kismet. Maxine! It's a
beautiful name. There's a psychic
connection. Don't you see? It was
meant to be! Maxine! Maxine! Maxine!
I will shout it from the rooftops!

MAXINE
Somebody told you.

CRAIG
Oh, Maxine, nobody told me. Maxine,
Maxine. It just came out of me like
a song, Maxine. A beautiful crazy,
song, Maxine. Maxine. Maxine!

MAXINE
I am dubious, but I don't welsh.
Meet me at The Stuck Pig. Seven
o'clock. You're late, I walk. So
help me, if I find out you cheated.

CRAIG
(in heaven)
Maxine.

Craig walks down the hall. A tiny smile flits across Maxine's
face.

CUT TO:

INT. JUICY JUICE BAR - EVENING

Lester and Craig sit at a table. There are several emptied
glasses of carrot juice in front of Lester. Craig nurses one
glass, and keeps checking his watch.

LESTER
Imagine a room full of women. Nubile,
blonde, wet with desire, Schwartz. A
harem, if you will. Me in leather. A
harness, if you like. I am the object
of this desire, and all eyes are on
me as I speak. "Ladies," I begin. "I
am the love god, Eros. I intoxicate
you. My spunk is to you manna from
heaven...

CRAIG
(standing)
Dr. Lester, it's been really
fascinating, but I'm afraid I have
to get home to my wife now.

LESTER
Wife, huh? I'd love to meet her,
Craig.

CRAIG
Yessir.

LESTER
Shall we say dinner on Friday. Just
the two of us?
(afterthought)
You can come too if you like,
Schwartz.

CRAIG
(checking watch)
That's sounds fine, sir. Gotta run.

Craig hurries to the door. Lester downs Craig's juice, signals
the waiter for more.

CUT TO:

INT. THE STUCK PIG - NIGHT

Maxine sits at the bar, watching her watch. Craig rushes
into the room, frantic, out of breath. He spots Maxine and
plops himself next to her.

CRAIG
Made it. Maxine. Maxine, Maxine,
Maxine.

MAXINE
Just.

CRAIG
Buy you a drink, Maxine?

MAXINE
You married?

CRAIG
Yeah. But enough about me.

Maxine laughs. The bartender approaches.

CRAIG
What'll you have?

MAXINE
(to bartender)
The usual, Barry.

CRAIG
(to bartender)
I'll have, like, a beer. Like a
Budweiser, or something.

The bartender walks away.

CRAIG
I like you. I don't know what it is
exactly.

MAXINE
My tits?

CRAIG
No, no, it's your energy or your
attitude or the way you carry yourself
or...

MAXINE
Christ, you're not a fag are you?
Because I don't want to be wasting
my time.

The drinks arrive. Maxine's is in an enormous fishbowl of a
glass. It's bright blue, with fruit and marshmallows swimming
in it. Paper umbrellas stick out of it, an plastic monkeys
hang from the rim.

CRAIG
That's the usual?

MAXINE
Don't let the girly shit fool you.
It'd blow your shorts off.

Maxine downs it like a shot of whiskey. She pushes the empty
glass to the bartender.

MAXINE
Set me up again, Barry.

The bartender walks away with the empty glass.

CRAIG
I'm not a homosexual. I just like
women for more than their bodies. I
guess you could say I'm the new
American male.

MAXINE
You're a fag or a liar.

CRAIG
(backpedaling)
I mean, I am really attracted to
you.

MAXINE
(mocking)
I mean, I am really attracted to
you. Jesus, you are a fag. We can
share recipes, if you like, Darlene.

Maxine gets up.

CRAIG
(at a loss)
No, wait! I like your tits.
(beat)
I love your tits. I want to fuck
you.

MAXINE
(sitting)
Good. Now we're getting somewhere.
(beat)
Not a chance.

Maxine's second drink comes. She downs it, pushes the glass
toward the bartender.

MAXINE
So, tell me about yourself. If you
can get your mind out of the gutter
long enough, dog-boy.

CRAIG
Well, I'm a puppeteer...

The bartender comes back with Maxine's drink.

MAXINE
(to bartender)
Check.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Lotte is combing Elijah. Craig enters.

CRAIG
Hi.

LOTTE
Hi.

CRAIG
(nervous, talking too
much)
Sorry, I'm so late. Lester just
wouldn't let me go. We're supposed
to have dinner with him on Friday. I
can get us out of it if you want.
He's really amazing, this insane old
lech. It's actually sort of amusing
when you get past just how disgusting
it is.

There is a silence. Lotte continues to comb out Elijah.
Finally:

LOTTE
Did you eat?

CRAIG
Nah. I'm not hungry. I'm sorry I
didn't call. It was just, you know,
hard to get away.

LOTTE
I was worried.

CRAIG
I'm sorry. How was your evening?

LOTTE
Tom-Tom's puncture wound is infected.

CRAIG
The ferret?

LOTTE
The iguana.

CRAIG
Right.

LOTTE
I dressed the wound. Then I've just
been feeding everyone, putting
everyone to bed.

CRAIG
Yeah. You want a beer?

LOTTE
No thanks. I'm going to turn in.

CRAIG
All right. I'll be in my workshop
for a little while. I'll be in in a
little while. I need to unwind a
little.
(beat)
I'll be in soon. A little while.

LOTTE
'kay.

Lotte exits.

CUT TO:

INT. GARAGE - NIGHT

Craig works the Craig and Maxine puppets. The puppets sit on
the edge of the small stage and chat. Craig does a pretty
fair impersonation of Maxine's voice.

CRAIG
(as Maxine, fascinated)
Tell me, Craig, why do you love
puppeteering?
(as Craig)
Well, Maxine, I'm not sure exactly.
Perhaps it's the idea of becoming
someone else for a little while.
Being inside another skin. Moving
differently, thinking differently,
feeling differently.
(as Maxine)
Interesting. Would you like to be
inside my skin, Craig? Think what I
think? Feel what I feel?
(as Craig)
More than anything. Maxine.
(as Maxine)
It's good in here, Craig. Better
than your wildest dreams.

The puppets kiss.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY 7 1/2 FLOOR - DAY

Craig waits at the coffee machine. Checks his watch. Finally
Maxine approaches.

CRAIG
Hi.

MAXINE
You're not someone I could get
interested in. Craig. You play with
dolls.

CRAIG
(rehearsed)
Puppets. Maxine. It's the idea of
being inside someone else, feeling
what they feel, seeing what they
see...

MAXINE
Yikes.

CRAIG
Please, let me explain.

Craig grabs Maxine's hand and drags her into an empty office.

CUT TO:

INT. EMPTY OFFICE - DAY

Craig pulls Maxine in closes the door.

CRAIG
It's just, and I've never done this
before, Maxine, but it's just that I
feel something for you. I've never
felt this before for anyone, not
even my wife. My future is with you,
Maxine.

MAXINE
You might want to check those tarot
cards one more time.

Maxine heads for the door. Craig sits on a box. He puts his
head in his hands and sighs. Across the room he notices a
very small door with a two by four nailed across it.

CRAIG
Another evil secret of the 7 1/2
floor.

Craig pries the two-by-four off and opens the door. It's a
dark and wet membranous tunnel inside.

CRAIG
Holy shit. Maxine is gonna love this.

Craig lets go of the door and it slams shut.

CUT TO:

INT. LESTER'S OFFICE - DAY

Lester sits at his desk studying an instruction manual for a
juicer. The spanking new juicer sits on his desk. There is
an urgent knocking at the door.

LESTER
Yes?

Craig rushes in.

CRAIG
Dr. Lester...

LESTER
Ah, Craig. Just the fellow I wanted
to see.
(proudly spreading
his arms)
Juicer! Easy as pie. Just keep your
fingers clear of the blade, and never,
never use it while bathing in a tub
full of water.

CRAIG
Dr. Lester, I have a question. I was
in that vacant office down the hall
and I stumbled upon a little door
and...

LESTER
Ah. yes, the little door.
(checks watch)
There is a short film on the little
door in the orientation room in
exactly two minutes. If you hurry,
you'll just make it.

CRAIG
Thank you, sir.

Craig exits. Lester waits a moment. then dials the phone.

LESTER
Put up reel 752.

CUT TO:

INT. ORIENTATION ROOM - DAY

Craig sits in the otherwise empty screening room. The lights
dim, the film begins.

TITLE: THE LITTLE DOOR IN THE VACANT OFFICE

CUT TO:

INT. VACANT OFFICE - DAY

Wendy crouches in the vacant office and studies the closed
little door. Don enters. smiling.

DON
Hi. Wendy! What're you up to in this
vacant office.

WENDY
Well, Don, I peeked in here, even
though I know it's against floor
policy. and I discovered that there's
a little tiny door in here. Isn't it
cute? It's almost like a little
dolly's door. I wonder what it's
for.

DON
(laughing)
That's right, Wendy, it is against
floor policy, but as long as you're
here, let me tell you what I know
about our cute little door friend.
Many years ago, this very office was
occupied by a kindly old watchmaker
named Mr. White.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. WATCHMAKER'S WORKSHOP - DAY

An old man toils away in the dusty office.

WHITE
Hmmm. I must have a small store room
to store my merchandise when I am
through working on it. I know, I
will build a tiny store room. How
cute!

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. VACANT OFFICE - DAY

WENDY
Wow! That's some story, Don.

DON
Truth is stranger than fiction, Wendy!

They laugh.

TITLE: THE END

CUT TO:

INT. ORIENTATION ROOM - DAY

The lights go up. Craig sits there for a moment. An usher
pushes a broom down the aisle.

CRAIG
Bullshit.

Craig exits. The usher mumbles something into a walkie-talkie.

CUT TO:

INT. VACANT ROOM - DAY

Craig opens the little door and climbs into the membranous
hallway. The door slams shut behind him.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY - MORNING

It's dark and wet. The walls are soft and membranous. There
is a dripping sound. Craig crawls along. Soon something starts
to pull Craig as if he is being sucked through a straw. There
is a flash of light.

CUT TO:

INT. FANCY DINING ROOM - MORNING

The POV of someone reading a newspaper. The person lifts a
cup of coffee to his mouth. There is a slurping sound. The
person puts down the coffee cup and the newspaper, and stands
up.

CRAIG
(losing his balance)
Whoa! What the hell? Where am I?

We're still in POV. The person walks across the room, picks
up his wallet from a coffee table. looks in a mirror and
checks his teeth for food. It's John Malkovich.

CRAIG
Holy shit! It's that actor guy. Shit!
What's his name? That actor guy!
What's happening? Am I inside him?
Am I in his brain? Am I him? Is he
me? Does he know I'm here? My brain
is reeling! Is his brain reeling?

Malkovich walks to the front door, opens it, exits his
apartment.

CUT TO:

INT. MAXINE'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Maxine sits at her desk, eats a sandwich. looks at a fashion
magazine, and chats on the phone.

MAXINE
The puppeteer told me he loves me
today.
(laughs)
I know. I can't think of anything
more pathetic.

CUT TO:

INT. TAXI - CONTINUOUS

John Malkovich's POV from the back seat of the cab. The cab
pulls away from the curb.

MALKOVICH (V.O.)
(resonant throughout)
The Broadhurst Theater, please.

The cabbie studies Malkovich in his rearview mirror as he
drives.

CABBIE
Say, aren't you that actor guy?

MALKOVICH
Yeah.

CABBIE
John Makel...

CRAIG (V.O.)
John Malkovich! Of course!

CABBIE
Mapplethorpe?

MALKOVICH (V.O.)
Malkovich.

CABBIE
Malkovich!

CRAIG (V.O.)
John fucking Malkovich!

CABBIE
Yeah. I liked you in that one movie.

MALKOVICH (V.O.)
Thank you.

CABBIE
The one where you're that jewel thief.

MALKOVICH
I never played a jewel thief.

CABBIE
Who am I thinking of?

MALKOVICH
I don't know.

CABBIE
I'm pretty sure it was you. Hey,
could I get your autograph now? It's
for... oh, what the hell, it's for
me! I'm your biggest fan!

MALKOVICH
Yeah, okay.

The cabbie hands a pad back over the seat. Malkovich reaches
for it. There is a slurping sound.

CRAIG (V.O.)
(panicky)
Ahhhh!

The image starts to fade, then suddenly goes black.

CUT TO:

EXT. DITCH - DAY

It's on the side of Jersey Turnpike. There is a "pop" and
Craig falls from nowhere into the ditch. He is soaking wet,
and now dirty from the ditch. He stands, looks confusedly
around, sees a N.J. Turnpike sign. After a moment, he goes
to the side of the road and sticks out his thumb.

CUT TO:

INT. MAXINE'S OFFICE - LATER

Maxine sits behind her desk with her feet up, and talks on
the phone.

MAXINE
Absolutely, doll. I'm just about to
close up here.

Craig walks in disheveled and exhausted. Maxine sees him,
keeps talking.

MAXINE
(into phone)
Meet you at "The Pig" in twenty
minutes.
(laughs lasciviously)
Oh yeah, maybe I'll keep my legs
closed till then.
(hangs up. to Craig)
I'm splitting for the day. Lock up
for me, won't you, darling.

Maxine stands, puts some stuff in her purse.

CRAIG
Don't you want to know what happened
to me?

MAXINE
(considers)
No.

Maxine heads for the door. Craig grabs her arm.

CRAIG
This is important!

MAXINE
(looking at his hand
on her arm)
It better be.

Craig sits Maxine down in a chair, lets go of her arm.

CRAIG
There's a tiny door in that empty
office. It's a portal, Maxine. It
takes you inside John Malkovich. You
see the world through John Malkovich's
eyes, then, after about fifteen
minutes, you're spit out into a ditch
on the side of The New Jersey
Turnpike.

MAXINE
Sounds delightful. Who the fuck is
John Malkovich?

CRAIG
He's an actor. One of the great
American actors of the 20th century.

MAXINE
What's he been in?

CRAIG
Lots of things. He's very well
respected. That jewel thief movie,
for example. The point is that this
is a very odd thing, supernatural,
for lack of a better word. It raises
all sorts of philosophical questions
about the nature of self, about the
existence of the soul. Am I me? Is
Malkovich Malkovich? Was the Buddha
right, is duality an illusion? Do
you see what a can of worms this
portal is? I don't think I can go on
living my life as I have lived it.
There's only one thing to do. Let's
get married right away.

MAXINE
Is this Malkovich fellow appealing?

CRAIG
Yes, of course. He's a celebrity.

MAXINE
Good. We'll sell tickets.

CRAIG
Tickets to Malkovich?

MAXINE
Exactly. Two hundred dollars a pop.

CRAIG
But there's something profound here,
Maxine, we can't exploit it.

MAXINE
Fine. I'll do it myself. I was going
to offer a partnership to you, but
this way it's more money for me.

CRAIG
You wanted to be partners with me?

MAXINE
(bored)
Sure. It'd be fun.

CRAIG
(pleased)
Really?
(then:)
But, Maxine, can of worms! End of
the world! Illusory nature of
existence!

MAXINE
I'll protect you, Dollface.

Maxine reaches over and squeezes his lips affectionately
between her thumb and forefinger.

CRAIG
(in love)
Oh. Maxine.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Craig and Lotte are getting into evening clothes.

LOTTE
Don't be ridiculous. There is no
such thing as a portal into someone
else's brain.

CRAIG
Brain, soul, I'm telling you, Lotte.
I was right inside him looking out.
We're going to be rich.

LOTTE
I want to try.

CRAIG
What?

LOTTE
I want to be John Malkovich. Tomorrow
morning. Plus I'd like to meet this
partner of yours.

CRAIG
(nervously)
Well, you know we're going to be
very busy tomorrow. I'll tell you
what. Let's do it tonight. Right
now.

LOTTE
Now?

CRAIG
Yeah. We'll do it right now. On the
way to Lester's house.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND MAXINE'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Craig holds open the small door as Lotte climbs in.

CRAIG
I'll meet you on the turnpike.

LOTTE
I'm scared.

The door slams shut.

CRAIG
Me too, babe.

Craig hurries out the door.

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT

Malkovich is in the shower. We watch from his POV as he soaps
himself. He does this in a sensual manner.

LOTTE (V.O.)
Holy cow!

Malkovich steps out of the shower, slowly towels himself
dry.

LOTTE (V.O.)
Oh, yes. Yes.

CUT TO:

EXT. DITCH - NIGHT

Lotte lands in the ditch. She is wet and ragged. Traffic
whizzes by. Craig turns on the headlights in his parked car.
They shine on Lotte. Craig steps out of the car.

LOTTE
I have to go back.

CRAIG
Okay. Maybe tomorrow.

LOTTE
I have to go back now.

CRAIG
We'll talk about it in the car.

Craig helps Lotte up and toward the car.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S CAR - NIGHT

Craig drives. Lotte looks distractedly out the window.

LOTTE
I have to go back, Craig. Being inside
did something to me. All of a sudden
everything made sense. I knew who I
was.

CRAIG
You weren't you. You were John
Malkovich.

LOTTE
(tickled)
I was, wasn't I?
(yelling out the window)
I was John fucking Malkovich!
(laughs, then intensely)
Take me back, Craig.

CRAIG
Tomorrow. We're late for Lester.

CUT TO:

INT. LESTER'S DINING ROOM - NIGHT

It's a posh place with flocked wallpaper and candelabras.
Lester, Craig, and Lotte sit around an elegantly appointed
table with all different sorts of juices in front of them.
Lotte is still wet. Lester sits quite close to her.

LESTER
Tell me, Lotte, can you understand a
word I'm saying?

LOTTE
Yes, of course, Dr. Lester.

LESTER
Oh, be still my heart.

LOTTE
Dr. Lester, would you point me toward
the restroom?

LESTER
With immense pleasure, my dear. Down
that hall, ninth door on the left.
Watch the step down. It's sunken,
you know.

Lotte smiles, and heads down the hall.

CRAIG
Dr. Lester...

LESTER
More beet-spinach juice, my friend?

CRAIG
No thank you sir. It's delicious,
though. I just wanted to thank you
for the opportunity to work at
LesterCorp, but I'm afraid I'm going
to have to tender my resignation
effectively immediately.

LESTER
I see. Are you unhappy at our little
company?

CRAIG
No sir, not at all. It's just that
I'm going to open my own business
and...

LESTER
And what sort of business will this
be? If you don't mind my asking.

CRAIG
Uh, import-export. Olive oil. Right
on 7 1/2 actually.
(beat)
In the vacant office. So we'll still
be seeing each other.

LESTER
The vacant office. I see. Olive oil.
Interesting. Be warned, Schwartz,
there are certain "doors" which should
never be opened.

CUT TO:

INT. LESTER'S HALLWAY - NIGHT

Lotte walks down the ritzy hallway. She is counting closed
doors in search of the bathroom. She opens a door, looks
inside, gasps, then enters the room.

CUT TO:

INT. LESTER'S ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Lotte enters the room. It is dark. At the far end there is
what amounts to a candle-lit shrine to John Malkovich. The
centerpiece of the shrine is an enormous photograph of
Malkovich bordered by a garland of flowers. Lotte stares at
it for a moment, then drops to her knees in front of it.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BATHROOM - NIGHT

Lotte has just taken a shower. She towels herself dry in
much the same way as Malkovich. Her eyes are closed. She
opens them slowly and sees herself in the mirror.
Disappointedly, she drops the towel and heads out of the
bathroom.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S GARAGE - NIGHT

Craig sits at his work table. He is pulling the heads off of
the Craig and the Maxine puppets. He puts the Maxine head on
the Craig puppet. He sighs.

CRAIG
My kingdom for your portal, Maxine.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND MAXINE'S OFFICE - MORNING

Maxine sits at her desk composing an ad. Craig stands behind
her, ostensibly looking over her shoulder, but actually
studying the back of her head. He sighs.

MAXINE
Okay. Here it is.
(reading)
Ever want to be someone else? Now
you can. No kidding. Only two hundred
dollars for fifteen minutes. Visit
J.M. Inc., Mertin-Flemmer Building.
etc., etc.

CRAIG
Sounds good. Oblique but intriguing.
Phone it in.

Maxine dials the phone. Lotte enters.

CRAIG
Lotte! Why aren't you at the pet
shop?

LOTTE
Fuck pets. Is this your partner? I
had to come back and do the Malkovich
ride again. Fuck everything else. Is
this her?

MAXINE
(into phone)
Yes, hello, I wanted to place an ad.
(to Lotte)
Hi, are you Craig's wife?

LOTTE
Yes, Hi.

CRAIG
Lotte, Maxine. Maxine, Lotte.

Lotte and Maxine shake hands.

LOTTE
Hi. Have you done Malkovich yet?

MAXINE
Hi, uh.
(into phone)
Hi. I wanted to place an ad. Yes.
"Ever want to be someone else?" No,
that's the ad, but let's talk about
you in a minute. "Ever want to be
someone else? Now you can. No
kidding..."

CRAIG
(to Lotte)
Why aren't you at work?

LOTTE
I've been going over and over my
experience last night. It was amazing.
(beat)
I've decided I'm a transsexual. Isn't
that the craziest thing?

CRAIG
What, are you nuts? That's Oprah
talking.

LOTTE
Everything felt right for the first
time. I need to go back to make sure,
then if the feeling is still there.
I'm going to speak to Dr. Feldman
about sexual reassignment surgery.

CRAIG
This is absurd. Besides Feldman's an
allergist. If you're going to do
something, do it right.
(beat)
It's just the thrill of seeing through
someone else's eyes, sweetie. It'll
pass.

LOTTE
Don't stand in the way of my
actualization as a man, Craig.

MAXINE
(hanging up the phone)
Let her go, Craig. I mean "him."

CRAIG
(anything for Maxine)
Yeah, okay.
(opens the portal
door)
I'll pick you up.

Lotte enters. Craig closes the door. stands there.

MAXINE
You better hurry. Traffic.

Maxine tosses Craig his car keys. He heads out the door.
Maxine dials the phone.

MAXINE
(into phone)
Davey? Max. Get me John Malkovich's
home phone? That's great. Love ya
and owe ya.

CUT TO:

INT. JOHN MALKOVICH'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Malkovich's POV. He sits on the couch. drinks coffee, and
reads a copy of Awake and Sing. Bach plays on the stereo in
the background.

MALKOVICH
(reading aloud)
So you believe in God... you got
something for it? You worked for all
the capitalists. You harvested the
fruit from your labor? You got God!

LOTTE (V.O.)
What raw, animal power!

MALKOVICH
But the past comforts you? The present
smiles on you, yes?

The phone rings. Malkovich puts down the script, and picks
up the phone.

MALKOVICH
(into phone)
Yeah?

MAXINE (O.S.)
(telephone voice)
Mr. Malkovich?

MALKOVICH
Who's calling?

MAXINE (O.S.)
You don't know me, but I'm a great
admirer of yours.

MALKOVICH
How'd you get this number?

MAXINE (O.S.)
It's just that I fantasize about you
and, well, speaking to you now has
gotten me sort of excited and...

LOTTE (O.S.)
(turned on)
Oh, I like this.

MALKOVICH
Listen, this is not amusing. Please
don't call here any...

MAXINE (O.S.)
(giggling)
Oho, such authority! MY nipples are
at attention, General Malkovich,
sir. So I'll be at Bernardo's tonight
at eight. Please, please meet me
there. I just adored you in that
jewel thief movie...

Malkovich hangs up the phone.

LOTTE (V.O.)
My God!
(attempting
thoughtcontrol)
Meet her there. Meet her there. Meet
her there. Meet her there. Meet her
there...

Malkovich goes back to his script.

LOTTE
Meet her there. Meet her there. Meet
her there...

Malkovich picks up a pen and writes: Bernardo's 8:00.

CUT TO:

EXT. DITCH - MORNING

Craig waits. Lotte pops into the ditch. She's wet and slimy.

CRAIG
How was it?

LOTTE
I have to go back tonight. At eight
exactly.

CRAIG
Why?

LOTTE
Don't crowd me, Craig.

CUT TO:

INT. BERNARDO'S - NIGHT

Malkovich's POV. It's a busy Italian restaurant. Malkovich
looks around, checks his watch: 8:03. A guy walks up to him.

GUY
Excuse me, are you John Malkovich?

MALKOVICH
Yes.

GUY
Wow. You were really great in that
movie where you played that retard.

MALKOVICH
Thank you very much.

GUY
I just wanted to tell you that. And
say thank you. I have a cousin that's
a retard, so, as you can imagine, it
means a lot to me to see retards
portrayed on the silver screen so
compassionately.

The guy walks away. Malkovich scans the room. Maxine enters
the restaurant. We see her, but Malkovich doesn't single her
out of the crowd. She looks around.

LOTTE (V.O.)
Maxine!

Maxine spots Malkovich. and heads over. He focuses on her.

MAXINE
Hi. I'm so glad you decided to come.
I'm Maxine.

Maxine holds out her hand. She is charming. Malkovich takes
her hand.

MALKOVICH
I'm John. I didn't think I was going
to come, but I felt oddly compelled.
I have to admit I was a bit intrigued
by your voice.

LOTTE (V.O.)
God, she's beautiful. The way she's
looking at me. At him. At us.

MAXINE
And the funny thing is. Mr. Malkovich,
my voice is probably the least
intriguing thing about me.

LOTTE (V.O.)
I've never been looked at like this
by a woman.

MALKOVICH
Can I get you a drink?

MAXINE
Whatever you're having.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S CAR - NIGHT

Craig drives. Lotte is soaking wet. She stares out the window.

CRAIG
So how was it? What was he doing?

LOTTE
Oh, you know, not a lot. Just hanging
around his apartment. I think he
must be a lonely man.

CRAIG
You see, men can feel unfulfilled,
too. I'm glad you're realizing that.
You shouldn't be so quick to assume
that switching bodies would be the
answer to all your problems.

LOTTE
You're right. You know I was thinking
that we should have Maxine over for
dinner. Since you two are partners
and all. It might be a nice gesture.

CRAIG
I don't know. There's some tension
between us. I'd hate to expose you
to that.

LOTTE
It'll be okay. I'll fix my lasagna.
We'll smoke a joint.
(dreamily)
Tensions will melt away.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Craig, Lotte, and Maxine are seated at the table and eating
lasagna. Lotte eyes Maxine. Craig eyes Maxine. There is an
awkward silence.

LOTTE
(to Maxine)
Did you know that Eskimos have not
one, but fifty words for snow. It's
because they have so much of it.

CRAIG
After dinner I'll show you my puppets.

MAXINE
Ah.

LOTTE
After that I'll introduce you to my
favorite monkey, Elijah. He's got an
ulcer, due to a suppressed childhood
trauma. But we're getting to the
bottom of it.
(whispers)
Psychotherapy.

There is another silence.

MAXINE
(to no one in
particular)
The way I see it, the world is divide
into those go after what they want
and those who don't. The passionate
ones, the ones who go after what
they want, may not get what they
want, but they remain vital, in touch
with themselves, and when they lie
on their deathbeds, they have few
regrets. The ones who don't go after
what they want... well, who gives a
shit about them anyway?

Maxine laughs. There is another silence. Suddenly, at the
same moment, both Craig and Lotte lunge for Maxine and start
kissing her passionately about the face and neck. They stop
just as suddenly and look at each other.

CRAIG
You?

Lotte looks away.

MAXINE
Craig, I just don't find you
attractive. And, Lotte, I'm smitten
with you, but only when you're in
Malkovich. When I looked into his
eyes last night, I could feel you
peering out. Behind the stubble and
the too-prominent brow and the male
pattern baldness, I sensed your
feminine longing peering out, and it
just slew me.

CRAIG
(disgusted)
My God.

Lotte strokes Maxine's face. Craig clears dishes from the
table.

MAXINE
(to Lotte, removing
her hand)
Only to John, sweetie. I'm sorry.
(gets up)
Thanks for a wonderful dinner.
(walks past kitchen.
to Craig)
No hard feelings, partner.

Maxine exits. Craig and Lotte look at each other.

LOTTE
I want a divorce.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND MAXINE'S OFFICE - MORNING

It is deadly silent. Craig and Maxine sit at their desks.
The wall clock ticks. Craig whistles tunelessly, every once
in a while looking up and discreetly checking out Maxine.

Eventually there is a knock at the door.

CRAIG
(a little too urgently)
Come in!

Erroll, a sad, fat young man enters meekly.

ERROLL
Hello, I'm here about the ad.

CRAIG
Please, have a seat.

Erroll sits in a chair in front of Craig's desk. He glances
nervously over at Maxine.

ERROLL
When you say, I can be somebody else,
what do you mean exactly?

CRAIG
Exactly that. We can put you inside
someone else's body for fifteen
minutes.

ERROLL
Oh, this is just the medical
breakthrough I've been waiting for.
Are their any side effects? Please
say no! Please say no!

MAXINE
No.

ERROLL
Long term psychic or physiological
repercussions?

MAXINE
No. Don't be an ass.

ERROLL
Can I be anyone I want?

MAXINE
You can be John Malkovich.

ERROLL
Well that's perfect. My second choice.
Ah, this is wonderful. Too good to
be true! You see, I'm a sad man. Sad
and fat and alone. Oh, I've tried
all the diets, my friends. Lived for
a year on nothing but imitation
mayonnaise. Did it work? You be the
judge. But Malkovich! King of New
York! Man about town! Most eligible
bachelor! Bon Vivant! The Schopenhauer
of the 20th century! Thin man
extraordinaire!

MAXINE
Two hundred dollars, please.

ERROLL
Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes!

Erroll takes out his wallet.

CUT TO:

EXT. DITCH - DAY

Craig waits by his car, checks his watch. "Pop!" Erroll plops
into the ditch, wet and unkempt. He looks around, sees Craig,
charges him with a yell and gives him an enormous bear hug.

ERROLL
Oh, thank you! Thank you! Thousand
times, thank you!

CRAIG
(gasping for air)
Tell your friends.

ERROLL
Oh, I will, and I have many, many
friends and associates, my friend.
All, by the way, in Overeaters
Anonymous. All of them fat and alone
like me, all of them dream of being
someone else, all of them with John
Malkovich as their second choice!

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY 7 1/2 FLOOR - DAY

The hall outside Craig and Maxine's office sports a long
line of crouching fat people, all clutching cash in their
hands.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND MAXINE'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Craig kneels at the door and peeks out through the mail slot.
Maxine sits at her desk and files her toenails.

CRAIG
This is amazing! We're gonna be rich!

MAXINE
So unbolt the fucking door, Einstein.

Craig unlocks the door. Lester steps in, closes the door
behind him, locks it.

LESTER
You're making a big mistake, Schwartz.
(nods to Maxine)
MA'AM.

CRAIG
Dr. Lester, I don't know what you're
talking about.

LESTER
There are rules, boy, procedures,
etiquette. This is not a toy. I've
been waiting seventy years to utilize
this room, grooming myself, quietly
setting the stage, performing
ablutions, paying tribute, seeing
all his motion pictures again and
again. Worshipping, Schwartz,
worshipping properly.

CRAIG
You're insane.

LESTER
I am not alone. There are others. We
are legion. You will pay for this
blasphemy. You will pay dearly.

Lester exits. Craig looks at Maxine. There is a moment of
tension. Finally:

MAXINE
Crackpot.

Craig opens the door. The first few fat people move noisily
into the room.

CUT TO:

INT. DR. LESTER'S ALTAT ROOM - NIGHT

Many cloaked people in the room kneeling with candles in
hand before the lit photo of Malkovich. Lotte kneels in the
back row. They chant:

DISCIPLES OF MALKOVICH
How much do we love you? We loved
you in "Making Mr. Right." That is
how much we love you. We even own
the director's cut on laser disc.
Please accept us into your head as
we have accepted you into our hearts.
Please let us be you. Amen.

CUT TO:

INT. LESTER'S DINING ROOM - A BIT LATER

The worshippers mill about, chatting, drinking coffee,
nibbling on cookies.

LESTER
May I have your attention, please.
We have a new disciple among us
tonight.

DISCIPLES OF MALKOVICH
Hallelujah.

LESTER
She is the wife of Schwartz.

A stunned hush falls over the group.

LOTTE
(apologetically)
I'm getting divorced.

LESTER
No you mustn't, my child.

LOTTE
But why, Son of Malkovich?

LESTER
We need you on the inside, my child.
To report on his comings and goings,
and if need be, to... destroy him...
(hands Lotte a gun)
...for lack of a better word.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Craig is putting stuff in boxes. Lotte enters in her cloak.

LOTTE
What are you doing?

CRAIG
I'm moving. Remember? What's with
the hooded cloak?

LOTTE
Nothing. Don't go, Craig. I've been
thinking. Let's try to work this
out. We've got so much history.

CRAIG
(still packing)
You should feed your animals. They're
looking peaked.

LOTTE
I'm getting rid of the fucking
animals.

CRAIG
What?

LOTTE
I'm getting rid of the animals. I've
lost interest. Besides, they're
standing between you and me.

CRAIG
No they're not.

LOTTE
You've always hated the animals.

CRAIG
You've always loved the animals.

LOTTE
I'm giving them up. I've changed.
I've found a new focus.

CRAIG
What's that?

LOTTE
(beat)
Us, of course.

Craig looks up from his packing. He and Lotte stare at each
other for a long while.

CRAIG
(tenderly)
Oh, Lot...

They hug.

CRAIG
What about Maxine?

LOTTE
Fuck Maxine.

CRAIG
We wish.

They look at each other and laugh, them fall back into the
embrace. They both get faraway looks in their eyes.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S GARAGE - NIGHT

The clock reads 3:00 AM. Craig, in his pajamas, is working
the Craig and Maxine puppets. They make love on the bare
puppet stage. Craig seems possessed.

CUT TO:

INT. MAXINE'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

The phone rings. Maxine sleepily picks it up.

MAXINE
Yes?

LOTTE (O.S.)
I have to see you. Can you call him
and invite us over?

MAXINE
When?

LOTTE (O.S.)
Give me one hour to get inside him
exactly.

Maxine checks her alarm clock. The time is 3:11 AM.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S CAR - NIGHT

Lotte drives.

CUT TO:

INT. MAXINE'S APARTMENT - A BIT LATER

The doorbell rings. Maxine, in a sheer black nightgown,
answers it. John Malkovich stands there.

MAXINE
Thanks so much for coming over.

MALKOVICH
Oh, I'm really glad you called.

Maxine gestures for him to enter. As Malkovich passes by
her, she checks the wall clock. The time is 3:50.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND MAXINE'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Lotte sits on the floor in the dark. She leans, out of breath,
against the wall next to the portal and checks her watch.
The time is 4:10. She pulls open the door.

CUT TO:

INT. MAXINE'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Maxine and Malkovich sit a bit awkwardly next to each other
on the couch.

MAXINE
So, do you enjoy being an actor?

MALKOVICH
Oh sure. It's very rewarding...

The digital clock on the VCR clicks over to 4:11 AM. Maxine's
look softens, and she kisses Malkovich hard on the lips. He
seems surprised, but quickly warms to it. We shift top

Malkovich's POV as Maxine begins to unbutton Malkovich's
shirt.

LOTTE (V.O.)
Oh my darling. Oh my sweetheart.

MAXINE
I love you, Lotte.

LOTTE (V.O.)
Maxine...

MALKOVICH
(stopping)
I'm sorry, did you just call me
"Lotte"?

MAXINE
Do you mind?

MALKOVICH
(thinking)
No, I guess not. I'm an actor.

They get back to it.

MAXINE
Oh, my sweet, beautiful Lotte.

MALKOVICH
(thinks he's
playingalong)
Yes, Maxine, yes.

LOTTE (V.O.)
This is too good to be true.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

A sweaty and spent Craig sneaks back into the bedroom. He
sees that the bed is empty.

CUT TO:

EXT. DITCH - NIGHT

With a gasp and a wail of release, Lotte pops into the ditch.
She is soaking wet and breathes heavily. She just lies there.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S KITCHEN - MORNING

Craig is hunched over a cup of coffee. The front door can be
heard to open. After a moment Lotte appears in the kitchen
doorway. She is caked with dirt. Craig looks up at her.

CRAIG
You were him last night, weren't
you?

LOTTE
(quietly)
Yes.

CRAIG
And he was with her.

LOTTE
We love her, Craig. I'm sorry.

CRAIG
We?

LOTTE
Me and John.

CRAIG
Don't forget me.

LOTTE
Well, you have the Maxine action
figure to play with.

Craig looks down at his coffee.

LOTTE
I'm sorry. That was nasty.

CRAIG
Life is confusing, isn't it?

LOTTE
Sometimes we're forced to make hard
decisions.
(beat)
I'd like for us to stay together,
Craig. You know, platonically, if
that's possible. I truly value our
friendship.

CRAIG
I feel that somehow my parents never
prepared me to make this particular
decision. Not that I blame them. How
could they know? Today's world is so
complicated.
(beat)
No. I have to go away now. I'm sorry,
Lotte. I'm so sorry.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND MAXINE'S OFFICE - MORNING

Craig enters with red-rimmed eyes. Maxine sits at her desk,
actually looking kind of radiant.

MAXINE
You're late.

CRAIG
Are you torturing me on purpose?

MAXINE
(matter of fact)
I've fallen in love.

CRAIG
I don't think so. I've fallen in
love. This is what people who've
fallen in love look like.

MAXINE
You picked the unrequited variety.
Very bad for the skin.

CRAIG
You're evil, Maxine.

MAXINE
Do you have any idea what its like
to have two people look at you with
total lust and devotion through the
same pair of eyes? No I don't suppose
you would. It's quite a thrill, Craig.

Craig turns and walks out the door.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY 7 1/2 FLOOR - CONTINUOUS

Craig hurries past a long line of fat people, all looking
eager, all clutching cash.

CUT TO:

INT. LESTER'S OFFICE - MORNING

Lester sits at his desk. The intercom buzzes.

LESTER
(depressing switch)
Yes, my dear?

FLORIS (O.S.)
(intercom voice)
Someone names A Lot of Warts on line
two.

LESTER
Thank you, Floris.

FLORIS (O.S.)
(intercom voice)
Think, Jew florist?

LESTER
(pressing line 2)
Good morning, Lotte!

LOTTE (O.S.)
Dr. Lester, everything's falling
apart.

CUT TO:

INT. GUN SHOP - MORNING

Craig is at the counter buying a pistol.

CUT TO:

INT. JUICY-JUICE JUICE BAR - MORNING

Lester and Lotte sit at a table. They both have really large
glasses of carrot juice in front of them.

LOTTE
I blew it, Dr. Lester.

LESTER
You followed your heart, my child,
and that is not necessarily a bad
thing.

LOTTE
But now we've lost access to Craig.

LESTER
(laughs)
My child, I don't think its a great
mystery what Craig's up to.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Craig stands still and tense, with gun in hand. We hear the
front door unlock. Lotte enters. She does not see Craig. He
grabs her from behind as she passes. Lotte screams. Craig
holds the gun to her head.

LOTTE
I'm your Goddamn wife. Once you vowed
to cherish me forever. Now you hold
a gun to my head?

CRAIG
Yeah, well welcome to the nineties.

LOTTE
Suck my dick!

CRAIG
(slapping her)
Shut up!

Lotte is stunned. She feels the muzzle against her forehead.
She shuts up. Keeping the gun trained on Lotte, Craig dials
the phone. He hands the receiver to her. He holds his ear to
the receiver also.

CRAIG
Tell her you need to see her.

LOTTE
(to Craig)
You bastard.

Craig cocks the pistol.

MAXINE (V.O.)
J.M. Inc. Be all that someone else
can be.

LOTTE
(looking at Craig)
I have to see you.

MAXINE (V.O.)
Sweetie! Oh, but we can't. It's
business hours. I need to keep the
membranous tunnel open for paying
customers.

CRAIG
(sotto)
Tell her, what the hell, close early
today, live dangerously.

LOTTE
What the hell, darling. Close early
today, live dangerously.

MAXINE (V.O.)
Oooh, doll. I love this new devil-
may-care side of you. Alrighty, I'll
track down Lover-boy, and I'll see
both of you in one hour. Exactamundo.

Maxine hangs up. Lotte hands the phone to Craig, who hangs
it up. Craig opens up the big cage where Elijah is housed,
and motions with the gun for Lotte to enter.

LOTTE
(screaming)
Help! He's locking me in a cage!

Craig slaps Lotte hard. She looks at him, almost sadly.

NEIGHBOR
Shut up!

PARROT
Shut up!

CRAIG
Lesson number one: Be careful what
you teach your parrot.

Craig tapes Lotte's mouth, ties her hands and feet. Elijah
watches him tie her. He becomes somewhat agitated, and holds
his stomach.

CUT TO:

INT. BROADHURST THEATER - DAY

Malkovich is rehearsing some business on stage. Maxine watches
from the house. She anxiously checks her watch, then points
to it so Malkovich can see.

MALKOVICH
Tommy, can I take fifteen?

CUT TO:

INT. MALKOVICH'S DRESSING ROOM - DAY

Malkovich and Maxine are having sex on the make-up table,
against the mirror.

MAXINE
Oh, Lotte... Oh, sweetie...

We now watch the scene from Malkovich's POV.

MALKOVICH
Maxine...

CRAIG (V.O.)
I can't believe it. This is too good
to be true.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND MAXINE'S OFFICE - DAY

Craig is toweling himself off, hurriedly combing his hair.
Maxine enters.

CRAIG
You're glowing again.

MAXINE
A girl has a right to glow if she
wants. It's in the fucking
constitution.

Maxine sits. Craig smiles to himself.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - EVENING

Craig is feeding the various caged animals. He puts two plates
of food in Elijah's cage. Lotte is ungagged and unbound now.
She eats as Craig slumps down next to the cage, gun in hand.

CRAIG
It was lovely being you being
Malkovich, my dear. I'd never seen
the passionate side of sweet Maxine
before, or her actual tits for that
matter. If only, I've been thinking
to myself, if only I could actually
feel what Malkovich feels, rather
than just see what he sees... And
then, dare I say it, if only I could
control his arms, his legs, his
pelvis, and make them do my bidding.

LOTTE
It'll never happen, fuckface.

CRAIG
Ah, but you're forgetting one thing,
Lambchop.

LOTTE
What's that?

CRAIG
I'm a puppeteer.

Craig picks up the phone and dials. He smiles as he holds
the receiver up to Lotte's face.

CUT TO:

INT. MAXINE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Malkovich and Maxine are having sex on Maxine's couch.

MAXINE
Lotte, this is so good...

CRAIG (V.O.)
(tense, commanding)
Move right hand across her left breast
now. Move right hand across her left
breast now. Move right hand across
her left breast now.

Malkovich clumsily, awkwardly moves his hand across Maxine's
breast.

CRAIG
Holy shit, yes!

MALKOVICH
Holy shit, yes!

CRAIG (V.O.)
Holy shit! He said what I said!

MALKOVICH
Holy shit! He said what I said!

MAXINE
Lotte? Is that you?

CRAIG (V.O.)
Yes, yes, sweetheart, yes!

MALKOVICH
Yes, yes, sweetheart, yes!
(scared)
What the fuck is going on? I'm not
talking. This is not me!

MAXINE
Oh, Lotte...

Maxine kisses Malkovich hard on the lips. There is a sucking
sound.

CUT TO:

EXT. DITCH - NIGHT

There is a pop and Craig lands in the ditch.

CUT TO:

INT. MAXINE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

A panicked Malkovich is pulling on his clothes.

MALKOVICH
Something was making me talk. Some
goddamn thing was making me move. I
gotta get out of here.

MAXINE
Oh, Dollface, it was just your passion
for me taking hold.

MALKOVICH
No, Dollface, I know what my passion
taking hold feels like. I gotta go.

He leaves. Maxine falls back on the couch and sighs
contentedly.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

A wet, mess Craig sits next to Lotte's cage. Lotte is bound
and gagged.

CRAIG
I did it, sweetie. I moved his arm
across your girlfriend's glorious
tit. I made him talk. And, oh, there
was the beginning of sensation in
the fingertips. Ummmm-mmmm! It's
just a matter of practice before
Malkovich becomes nothing more than
another puppet hanging next to my
worktable. Coffee?

CUT TO:

INT. MALKOVICH'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Malkovich paces nervously, a glass of whisky in his hand.
Kevin Bacon sits on the couch and fiddles with a Rubic's
Cube.

MALKOVICH
It's like nothing I've ever felt
before. I think I'm going crazy.

KEVIN BACON
I'm sure you're not going crazy.

MALKOVICH
Kevin, I'm telling you... it was
like nothing I've...

KEVIN BACON
Yeah yeah yeah. Yadda yadda yadda.
Were you stoned?

MALKOVICH
Yes, but you see, someone else was
talking through my mouth.

KEVIN BACON
You were stoned. Case closed. End of
story. How hot is this babe?

MALKOVICH
I think it might've been this Lotte
woman talking through me. Maxine
likes to call me Lotte.

KEVIN BACON
Ouch. Now that's hot. She's using
you to channel some dead lesbian
lover. Let me know when you're done
with her. This is my type of chick.

MALKOVICH
I'm done with her now. Tonight really
creeped me out.

KEVIN BACON
You're crazy to let go of a chick
who calls you Lotte. I tell you that
as a friend.

MALKOVICH
I don't know anything about her.
What if she's some sort of witch or
something?

KEVIN BACON
All the better. Hey, Hot Lesbian
Witches, next Geraldo, buddy boy. Ha
ha ha.

MALKOVICH
I gotta know the truth, Kevin.

KEVIN BACON
The truth is for suckers, Johnny-
Boy.

CUT TO:

EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - MORNING

Malkovich, in a baseball cap and sunglasses, leans against
the wall. After a moment, Maxine emerges from the building
and walks down the block. Malkovich follows at a safe
distance.

CUT TO:

INT. 7 1/2 FLOOR - MORNING

The elevator doors are pried open. It's packed. Maxine and a
few other people climb out. The last to emerge is Malkovich.
He is astounded by the dimensions of the floor. He turns the
corner and sees the long line of crouching fat people. Maxine
goes into the office and closes the door. Maxine sees "J.M.
Inc." stenciled on the office door. He turns to the first
fat man and line.

MALKOVICH
Excuse me, what type of service does
this company provide?

FAT MAN
You get to be John Malkovich for
fifteen minutes. Two hundred clams.

MALKOVICH
(quietly flipped)
I see.

FAT MAN
No cutting, by the way.

Malkovich pounds on the door.

FAT MAN
No cutting!

Several fat people jump on Malkovich, and start beating him.
Craig steps out of the office.

CRAIG
Hey! Break it up! Break it up!
Everybody gets a chance to be...

The fat people climb off Malkovich. His glasses and cap have
been knocked off and everyone recognizes him.

FAT MAN
It's him! Oh, we're so sorry Mr.
Malkovich! I hope me and my associates
from Overeaters Anonymous didn't
hurt you too terribly.

MALKOVICH
(to Craig)
Inside.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND MAXINE'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Craig and Malkovich enter. Maxine looks up, startled, but
controlling it.

MAXINE
Darling!

MALKOVICH
What the fuck is going on?

CRAIG
Mr. Malkovich, my name is Craig
Schwartz. I can explain. We operate
a little business her that...
simulates, for our clientele, the
experience of... being you, actually.

MALKOVICH
Simulates?

CRAIG
Sure, after a fashion.

MALKOVICH
Let me try.

CRAIG
You? Why I'm sure it would pale in
comparison to the actual experience.

MALKOVICH
Let me try!

MAXINE
Let him try.

CRAIG
Of course, right this way, Mr.
Malkovich. Compliments of the house.

Craig ushers Malkovich to the portal door, opens it.

MALKOVICH
(repulsed by the slime)
Jesus.

Malkovich climbs in. The door closes.

CRAIG
What happens when a man climbs through
his own portal?

MAXINE
(shrugs)
How the hell would I know? I wasn't
a philosophy major.

CUT TO:

INT. MEMBRANOUS TUNNEL - DAY

Malkovich crawls through. It's murky. He's tense. Suddenly
there is a slurping sound.

CUT TO:

PSYCHEDELIC MONTAGE

We see Malkovich hurtling through different environments.
It's scary: giant toads, swirling eddies of garish, colored
lights, naked old people pointing and laughing, black velvet
clown paintings.

CUT TO:

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Malkovich pops into a chair in a swank night club. He's
wearing a tuxedo. The woman across the table from him is
also Malkovich, but in a gown. He looks around the restaurant.
Everyone is Malkovich in different clothes. Malkovich is
panicked. The girl Malkovich across the table looks at him
seductively, winks and talks.

GIRL MALKOVICH
Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich
Malkovich...

Malkovich looks confused. The Malkovich waiter approaches,
pen and pad in hand, ready to take their orders.

WAITER MALKOVICH
Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich?

GIRL MALKOVICH
Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich
Malkovich.

WAITER MALKOVICH
Malkovich Malkovich.
(Turning to Malkovich)
Malkovich?

Malkovich looks down at the menu. Every item is "Malkovich."

He screams:

MALKOVICH
Malkovich!

The waiter jots it down on his pad.

WAITER MALKOVICH
Malkovich.

Malkovich pushes himself away from the table and runs for
the exit. He passes the stage where a girl singer Malkovich
is singin sensuously into the microphone. She is backed by a
'40's style big band of Malkoviches.

SINGING MALKOVICH
Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich
Malkovich...

Malkovich flies through the back door.

CUT TO:

EXT. DITCH - DAY

Malkovich lands with a thud in the ditch. Craig is waiting
there with his van. On its side is painted "See The World in
Malk-O-Vision" followed by a phone number. Malkovich is
huddled and shivering and soaking wet.

CRAIG
So how was it?

MALKOVICH
That... was... no... simulation.

CRAIG
I know. I'm sorry...

MALKOVICH
I have been to the dark side. I have
seen a world that no man should ever
see.

CRAIG
Really? For most people it's a rather
pleasant experience. What exactly
did you...

MALKOVICH
This portal is mine and must be sealed
up forever. For the love of God.

CRAIG
With all respect, sir, I discovered
that portal. Its my livelihood.

MALKOVICH
It's my head, Schwartz, and I'll see
you in court!

Malkovich trudges off along the shoulder of the turnpike.

CRAIG
(calling after him)
And who's to say I won't be seeing
what you're seeing... in court?

Cars whiz by Malkovich. Someone yells from a passing car.

MOTORIST
Hey, Malkovich! Think fast!

Malkovich looks up. A beer can comes flying out of the car
and hits him on the head.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Craig is feeding the animals. His gun is stuck in his pants.
He gets to Lotte's cage. She is bound but ungagged. She looks
haggard.

LOTTE
Once this was a relationship based
on love. Now you have me in a cage
with a monkey and a gun to my head.

CRAIG
Things change. Anyway, you gave up
your claim to that love the first
time you stuck your dick in Maxine.

LOTTE
You fell in love with her first.

CRAIG
Yeah but I didn't do anything about
it. Out of respect for our marriage.

LOTTE
You didn't do anything about it out
of respect for the fact that she
wouldn't let you near her with a ten
foot pole, which is, by the way,
about nine feet, nine inches off the
mark anyway.

CRAIG
(beat)
That's true. Oh, God, Lotte, what
have I become? My wife in a cage
with a monkey. A gun in my hand.
Betrayal in my heart.

LOTTE
Maybe this is what you've always
been, Craig, you just never faced it
before.

CRAIG
Perhaps you're right. I can't let
you go though. Too much has happened.
You're my ace in the hole.

LOTTE
I need a shower.

CRAIG
I'm sorry. Oh God, I'm sorry. I'm
some kind of monster. I'm the guy
you read about in the paper and go,
"he's some kind of monster."

LOTTE
You're not a monster, Craig. Just a
confused man.

CRAIG
I love you so much.

She dials her phone, opens her cage, puts phone to her ear.

CRAIG
But I gotta go now. I've got to go
be Johnny.

MAXINE (O.S.)
J.M. Inc. Be all that someone...

LOTTE
We have to meet.

MAXINE
One hour.

Craig hangs up, tapes Lotte's mouth.

CRAIG
I'll tell you all about it when I
get home.

Craig exits. Lotte fiddles with the ropes on her hands Elijah,
slumped in the corner of the cage, blankly watches her moving
hands. Suddenly his eyes narrow. Something is going on in
his brain. We move slowly into his eyes.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. JUNGLE - DAY

It is a memory: blurry and overexposed, the color washed
out. We see a weathered wooden sign which reads "Africa."
The sound of running feet, huffing frantic breathing. We
watch from up in a tree (Elijah's POV) as two men in safari
suits chase a couple of chimps across the jungle floor. The
chimps are screaming as the safari men tackle them and tie
them up. The safari men laugh.

SAFARI MAN
Well, there monkeys ain't going
nowhere. Let's get us a couple a
brews 'fore the boss comes back...

The safari men leave the chimps on the ground. We descend
from the trees to the ground next to the bound chimps. One
of the chimps looks at the camera. He grunts and squeals.

CHIMP ONE (DUBBED VOICE)
Son, untie your mother and me!
Quickly! Before the great bald chimp-
men return.

A small pair of chimp hands enter into the frame and struggle
to untie the ropes, but to no avail. Chimp two speaks.

CHIMP TWO (DUBBED VOICE)
Hurry, Elijah!

SAFARI MAN
Why you little bastard!

Elijah is wrestled to the ground amidst much screaming.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S APARTMENT - DAY

Elijah shakes off the memory and looks determinedly at the
ropes on Lotte's hands. He attempts to untie the knot. He
works furiously and succeeds. Lotte pulls the tape from her
mouth.

LOTTE
Oh, Elijah, you are magnificent!

Elijah beams and screams for ecstatic joy. Lotte unlocks the
cage, and dials the phone.

LOTTE
Maxine! Listen: It hasn't been me in
John the last three times. Craig's
had me locked up in the apartment.
He made me call you at gunpoint.
It's been him! Oh, God, it's been
him!

MAXINE (O.S.)
(beat, calmly)
Really? Well, you know, he's quite
good. I'm surprised. Anyway, I have
a session with Malkovich I have to
attend. I'll speak with you soon.

LOTTE
But Maxine, I thought it was me you
loved.

MAXINE (O.S.)
I thought so too, doll. I guess we
were mistaken.

Maxine hangs up. Lotte, visibly shaken, dials the phone.

LOTTE
Hello, Dr. Lester?

CUT TO:

INT. MALKOVICH'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The doorbell rings. Malkovich answers it. Maxine stands there,
dressed in an evening gown.

MALKOVICH
Come on in.

MAXINE
I can explain about the portal,
darling.

MALKOVICH
Don't con me, Maxine. We're over. I
just let you up here to tell you
that, and to tell you that I'm taking
you and Schwartz to court.

MAXINE
Oh shut up.
(beat)
Craig, darling are you in there?

Malkovich tenses up, then shakes his head in an awkward,
puppet-like manner. When Malkovich speaks, it seems to be
against him will.

MALKOVICH
Yes. How did you know it was me?

MAXINE
Lotte called me.

MALKOVICH
Oh, so the bitch escaped.

MAXINE
Apparently you can control this
Malkovich fellow now.

MALKOVICH
I'm getting better all the time.

MAXINE
I'll say you are. Let's do it on his
kitchen table, then make him eat an
omelette off of it.

MALKOVICH
(as Malkovich)
No... damn... you...
(as Craig)
Oh shut up, you overrated sack of
shit.

Malkovich begins undressing, and does a lewd bump and grind
while looking mortified. Maxine giggles. Malkovich (Craig)
laughs wildly.

CUT TO:

INT. LESTER'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Lester's hand is in a bloody bandage. The juicer sits on his
desk. Lotte sits across from him looking nervous and hollow-
eyed.

LESTER
You know I think it pays to leave
juice-making to the trained
professionals. You look terrible, my
dear.

LOTTE
Craig stole Maxine from me, Dr.
Lester.

LESTER
Hmmm, a lesbian, are you? I must
inform you that I find that highly
arousing.

LOTTE
No, you don't understand. I've been
inside Malkovich when I'm with
Maxine...

LESTER
(slaps Lotte furiously)
What?! That is not allowed. My God,
you are supposed to be one of us.
You know you must never partake of
Malkovich by yourself!

LOTTE
No, I didn't know that.

LESTER
Oh, didn't anyone show you the
indoctrination video?

LOTTE
No.

LESTER
Oh, sorry. Right this way.

CUT TO:

INT. SCREENING ROOM - NIGHT

Lotte site next to Lester in the darkened auditorium. The
projector whirs. The screen lights up.

TITLE: SO YOU WANT TO BE JOHN MALKOVICH

A much younger Lester addresses the camera in this black and
white film, which seems to have been made in the 50's.

LESTER ON FILM
Welcome, my fellow Malkovichians. As
you may already know, today a baby
was born into this sad world.

We see a shot of a newborn.

LESTER ON FILM
His name is John Horatio Hannibal
Malkovich. And we are the keepers of
the door to his soul. One day, when
his brain is big enough, we will all
journey into his head and live there
for all eternity. Following the
teachings of our leader Karl Marx,
we will build the ultimate communist
community, one body and hundreds,
maybe thousands, of brains inside
working together to form a super
human intellect capable of curing
disease, stopping all war, and ruling
the world with a benevolent fist. We
will take a wife, a woman of uncommon
beauty and intellect, who is, as
yet, still an infant herself.

We see a photo of another infant, this one with a ribbon in
her hair.

LESTER ON FILM
Her name is Floris Horatia Hannibella
DeMent.

LOTTE
Does Floris know that she's the
chosen?

LESTER
Well, I tried to explain it to her,
but...

Lester points to his ear and shrugs.

CUT TO:

INT. MALKOVICH'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Malkovich and Maxine lie naked on the bed, looking quite
relaxed.

MAXINE
You still there, sweets?

MALKOVICH
Yeah. I've figured out how to hold
on as long as I want. Oddly enough,
it's all in the wrists.

MAXINE
Wow.
(little girl pout)
Do a puppet show for me, Craig honey.

MALKOVICH
You mean with Malkovich?

MAXINE
I'd love to see your work.

MALKOVICH
(pleased)
Really? Yeah. Okay.

Malkovich leans over and kisses her, then gets up.

MALKOVICH
I'll do something I call "Craig's
Dance of Despair and Disillusionment."

Malkovich performs the same dance that the Craig puppet did
at the beginning of the film. It is exactly the same, complete
with impossible somersaults and perspiring brow. He finishes
by falling to his knees and weeping.

MAXINE
(moved)
That was incredible. You're brilliant!

MALKOVICH
You see, Maxine, it isn't just playing
with dolls.

MAXINE
You're right, my darling, it's so
much more. It's playing with people!

Malkovich kisses Maxine. She snuggles close to him.

MAXINE
Stay in him forever?

MALKOVICH
(as Malkovich,
screaming)
No!
(as Craig, calmly)
But how will we make a living, my
love, if our clientele doesn't have
access to our product?

MAXINE
Well, we'll have all the money in
Malkovich's bank account, plus he
still gets acting work occasionally.

MALKOVICH
(as Malkovich, breaking
through)
No! Please!
(as Craig, to Malkovich)
Shut up, will you? We're trying to
think here.
(to Maxine)
It is sort of like being a puppeteer.
I like that about it.

MAXINE
No one would ever have to know its
not him.

MALKOVICH
(an idea)
Wait a minute! What if everybody
knew? What if we presented Malkovich
as the world's most complicated puppet
and me as the only puppeteer
sophisticated enough to work him?
We'd wipe the floor with the Great
Mantini!

MAXINE
Oh, Craiggy, that's brilliant!

CUT TO:

INT. LESTER'S SHRINE ROOM - NIGHT

The worshippers are assembled. Lotte stands before them.

LOTTE
I have sinned, unwittingly, against
the community. And for this I am
truly sorry.

MAN #2
W-w-what's it like on the inside?

LOTTE
Oh, it's glorious. It's indescribable.

MAN #2
Oooh, I wanna go. I wanna go. I say
it's time.

LESTER
Perhaps you're right, Terry. We're
all prepared, and perhaps this
Schwartz fellow is forcing our hand
a bit. We will enter the portal
tonight!

Everyone cheers.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND MAXINE'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Maxine and Malkovich are furiously filling the portal with
cement. Suddenly Malkovich stops and runs to the office door
screaming a bloodcurdling scream. He stops just as suddenly,
begins to strangle himself.

MALKOVICH
(Craig to Malkovich)
Shut up!
(to Maxine)
Sorry, dear, I lost control for a
minute.

MAXINE
(kissing him)
It's okay, my sweet.

They go back to filling the portal. There is the sound of
many shuffling feet in the hallway. The door flies open and
the Malkovichians led by Lester and Lotte burst in. Malkovich
and Maxine turn with a start.

LESTER
Aaaahhhh, the portal!

LOTTE
(to Malkovich)
You bastard!

Lotte lunges for Malkovich. Lester grabs her arm, holds her
back.

LESTER
No! Don't harm the vessel!

LOTTE
It's Craig in there, I can tell.

LESTER
I understand, but we must protect
the vessel at all costs.
(to Malkovich)
Please, Craig, please step aside and
allow us to have what is rightfully
ours.

CRAIG
Squatter's rights, Lester.

Craig laughs somewhat maniacally. Maxine slips her arm through
Craig's, joins him in his laughter, and glances triumphantly
over at Lotte.

MAXINE
Now excuse us, we have an
entertainment legend to create.

LESTER
(to the cult members)
Clear the way for them, my friends.
They will be dealt with in due time.

The Malkovichians grumble and let Malkovich and Maxine exit.

LESTER
Now, let's see what we can do to
salvage this portal... for the sake
of all that is good.

The Malkovichians converge on the sealed portal, and begin
clawing desperately at the quick-drying cement.

Fingers are scraped raw, and we see smears of blood and skin
on the rough gray surface.

CUT TO:

INT. AGENT'S OFFICE - DAY

A slick-looking agent answers a buzzing phone.

AGENT
Of course, send him right in. Don't
ever keep him waiting again. Do you
understand?

Malkovich and Maxine enter. The agent stands, holds out his
hand.

AGENT
John! Great to see you! Sorry about
the cunt at reception.

MALKOVICH
This is my fiancee Maxine.

The agent shakes Maxine's hand.

AGENT
Great to see you, Maxine. Sorry about
the cunt at reception. Please have a
seat.

Malkovich and Maxine sit.

AGENT
Can I get you anything? Coffee? Water?

MAXINE
No thanks.

AGENT
(into phone)
Teresa, get me a chicken soup.
(to Malkovich and
Maxine)
Chicken soup?

Maxine and Malkovich shake their heads "no."

MALKOVICH
I'll get right to the point, Larry.
I'm a puppet now...

AGENT
Okay.

MALKOVICH
I'm being controlled by the world's
greatest puppeteer, Craig Schwartz...

AGENT
(no clue)
Oh yeah, he's good.

MALKOVICH
...and I want to show off his skills
by performing a one-puppet
extravaganza in Reno.

MAXINE
Vegas.

MALKOVICH
Vegas. Can you arrange that?

AGENT
Sure, sure. Just let me make a couple
of calls.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND MAXINE'S OFFICE - DAY

The cult members are still there, now with picks shovels.
They are worn out and sweaty. The portal is excavated, but
it seems ragged and destroyed. Man #2 emerges from the hole,
a rope tied around his waist.

MAN #2
That's the last of it, boss.

Lester peers through the door.

LESTER
Well, let's see what we've got here.

Lester crawls into the tunnel, the door slams behind him.

CUT TO:

INT. PORTAL - CONTINUOUS

Lester crawls through. There is a slurping sound and a flash
of light.

CUT TO:

INT. BUNKER - DAY

The scene is in black and white. Bombs are dropping. There
is a blonde in forties clothes there. Lester views the scene
through somebody's POV.

LESTER (V.O.)
My God, where am I? This seems so
familiar.

The person walks past a mirror. It's Hitler.

LESTER (V.O.)
My God, I'm Hitler in the bunker!
Aaaahhhh! Aaaah!

DIRECTOR
Cut!

We look over to see a director and camera crew.

LESTER (V.O.)
Oh, I'm just the actor in that
Twilight Zone episode.

There is a popping sound.

CUT TO:

EXT. DITCH - DAY

Lester pops into the ditch. One of his cult members is waiting
with a car, and looking hopeful. Lester sadly shakes his
head "no."

CUT TO:

INT. LESTER'S SHRINE ROOM - DAY

The cult members mill about, drinking coffee, chatting. Lester
enters with the cult member who picked him up at the ditch.
All quiet down and look over at him.

LESTER
Thank you all for your efforts, but
I'm afraid we can no longer get into
Malkovich through the portal.

LOTTE
(panicky)
Why not? I need to get in there!

LESTER
I'm not certain, my dear, but I
believe your husband has somehow
psychically diverted the route.

LOTTE
That bastard! I'll gladly dispose of
him in the name of the order, Son of
Malkovich.

LESTER
I'm afraid that no physical harm
must come to him as long as he
inhabits the vessel.

MAN #3
(raises hand)
Oooh, I got an idea! What if we build
another portal to Malkovich, like
around back, and sneak in that way?

MAN #4
Only Captain Mertin knew how to build
a portal, dummy, and he's dead!

LESTER
Actually, my friends, I suppose its
time I told you, I'm Captain James
Mertin.

The members fall into a stunned silence. Lester takes some
refrigerator magnets and spells out L-E-S-T-E-R on a board.
He then rearranges them for a while.

LESTER
You see, Lester is an anagram for
Mertin.

Lester continues to rearrange the letters, getting a little
tense now.

LESTER
It used to work, I'm sure of it.

Several members check their watches.

LESTER
Oh, damn it to hell. Anyway, I am.

L-E-S-T-E-R has been left as E-L R-E-S-T as Lester turns
from the board to face the congregation.

MAN #3
How can this be? I thought you were
only one hundred and five years old.
Mertin would have to be...

LESTER
(chuckles amiably)
I'm two hundred and five, truth be
told.

WOMAN #1
(flirtatiously)
You don't look a day over one hundred
and five, Captain. What's your secret?

LESTER
Lots of carrot juice, little lady.
That, and a deal with the Devil.

There is a lot of murmuring in the room now.

MAN #2
So what exactly are you saying? Are
we in cahoots with the Dark Master
here?

LESTER
Surprise.

The cultists get tense, start to leave en masse.

LESTER
Wait! It's not that bad! When we get
into Malkovich, we still get to rule
the world, just like I told you. The
only difference is that we rule in
the name of evil, instead of good.

People stop in their tracks.

MAN #3
That's the only difference?

LESTER
Absolutely.

The cultists think about is, then shrug and stay put.

LESTER
So anyway...

Lotte stands.

LOTTE
Well, I for one, am resigning. I
will not serve evil. I am ashamed of
all of you.

Lotte heads for the door.

LESTER
My dear, let me assure you that when
we attain power, it will be much
more pleasant for those inside
Malkovich, than for those outside.

Lotte stops and turns.

LOTTE
I'll take my chances.

She exits.

LESTER
Anybody else?

WOMAN #1
Do we get to wear a crown?

LESTER
But of course.

WOMAN #1
Count me in.

LESTER
Good. I think its time to beckon Mr.
Flemmer. Perhaps He can help us out
of this pickle.

FLIP TO:

INT. LESTER'S SHRINE ROOM - A BIT LATER

Mr. Flemmer, a silver-haired gentleman in turtleneck and
blazer, scratches his head. The cultists patiently watch
him.

FLEMMER
Boy, this is a toughie. To be honest,
I didn't anticipate this.

LESTER
And as I said, sir, we can't very
well exert physical persuasion upon
the sacred vessel Malkovich.

FLEMMER
Right, Lester. I heard you the first
time. I'm not a dummy.

LESTER
Didn't mean to imply that you were,
sir.

FLEMMER
Look, I'm going back to my house to
ponder this. So stay calm and keep
track of Schwartz's comings and
goings. Oh, and somebody dispose of
Schwartz's wife, will you?
(to cultists)
Nice to meet you all.

The cult members ad-lib "same here, sir."

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Lotte site in the living room, in her pajamas, softly sobbing.
The caged animals watch her.

LOTTE
Oh, my friends. Be thankful you're
not human. People are treacherous
and greedy and corrupt. I've lost my
heart to two of them and I almost
lost my soul to another. And I'm no
better. Look at the way I keep you,
locked in cages, for my own enjoyment.
Well, I've been in a cage too, my
friends. Literally and figuratively.
So tonight I set you free.

Lotte opens the windows and the front door, then unlocks all
the cages. The animals scurry and fly out of their cages,
and out of the house. Lotte watches silently until she is
alone.

LOTTE
Good-bye, friends.

A hand reaches for hers. She looks down. Elijah is still
there and holding her hand. She smiles.

LOTTE
Hello, friend.

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

We see the menagerie of animals on the otherwise deserted
street, dispersing into the night. A lone dark figure turns
the corner, and walks slowly up the street to Craig and
Lotte's building.

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS

Lotte and Elijah see the dark figure coming up the steps.
The buzzer rings. Lotte and Elijah jump.

LOTTE
They've come to kill me, Elijah.
See, I know too much. I should get
the door. It's impolite to keep death
waiting.

Elijah looks at her sweetly, a great sadness in his eyes.
Then he leads her by the hand out the window.

CUT TO:

EXT. VEGAS HOTEL - NIGHT

The marquee reads: World's Greatest Puppeteer Craig Schwartz
and his Magical Puppet John Malkovich.

CUT TO:

INT. DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT

Malkovich sits in a tuxedo and watches himself in the dressing
table mirror. Maxine, in a tight black number, reclines on
the couch.

MAXINE
This is it, lover. You're stepping
onto that stage a nobody and presto-
change-o, you're coming back the
greatest puppeteer the world has
ever seen.

MALKOVICH
I'm nervous. Malkovich is fighting
me hard today.

Malkovich jerks a bit, gets it under control.

MAXINE
Doesn't he know how important tonight
is to us?

MALKOVICH
He's a selfish bastard.

CUT TO:

INT. LAS VEGAS THEATER - NIGHT

The house is filling with formally dressed audience members.
The cultists and Lester, also in tuxes and gowns, are among
them. The lights go down.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
Ladies and gentlemen, it is the great
privilege of the Luxor hotel and
Casino to present Craig Schwartz and
his magical puppet John Malkovich.

The orchestra starts up. The curtains part.

LESTER
Blasphemous bastard.

Malkovich tap dances out onto the stage. He is amazingly
nimble and the audience "oohs" and "aahs."

LESTER
(grudgingly)
Pretty good though.

Malkovich does an amazing triple somersault, lands on one
knee and, with spread arms, begins singing: "Kiss Today
Goodbye." in a beautiful tenor. The orchestra catches up
with him. The audience goes wild. A pretty-boy young man
with a big tousle of black hair and a shiny, tight suit
appears at the back of the house. An usher glances over at
him.

USHER
Oh, Mr. Mantini! We weren't expecting
you tonight, sir. Um, I'm afraid
there's not an empty seat in the
entire house.

MANTINI
(not taking his eyes
from the stage)
Make one empty.

USHER
Y-y-y-es sir.

The usher looks nervously around for someone to boot. Martini
waits in the back. On stage, Malkovich is now performing the
"back of the car scene" from "On The Waterfront." He
alternates between the Marlon Brando part and the Rod Steiger
part, moving back and forth from one stool to the another.
He performs it magnificently. We see Lester in the audience
wiping a small tear from his eye.

LESTER
Not too shabby.

Mantini is now sitting in a good aisle seat next to a
beautiful woman. Her boyfriend is being hauled toward the
exit by the usher. The beautiful woman watches, with some
concern, as the boyfriend is taken away. Then she turns and
smiles flirtatiously at Mantini. Mantini smiles back. On
stage Malkovich is dressed in a ringmaster's outfit and
juggling chainsaws.

MANTINI
Nothing more than a Goddamn clown.

At this point the entire audience stands and gives Malkovich
a spontaneous standing ovation. All except Mantini. Even the
cultists get up.

CUT TO:

INT. SEWER - NIGHT

Lotte sits sadly in the wet tunnel. She is scrunched-up
against the damp cold. A small fire smolders in front of
her. We hear footsteps approaching. It is Elijah, carrying
supplies: food and blankets. He covers her with a blanket
and sits down next to her.

LOTTE
They're going to take over the world,
Elijah. Evil will reign. But, then,
evil already reigns, doesn't it? So
what difference does it make if John
Malkovich is wearing the fucking
crown while it's reigning?

Elijah sighs, then holds his stomach. The ulcer is returning.

CUT TO:

INT. FLEMMER'S APARTMENT - DAY

It's a conservatively furnished upper westside apartment.
Looks like it belongs to a Columbia professor. The walls are
lined with books. Mr. Flemmer sits at his desk, his head in
his hands, deep in thought. The doorbell rings.

FLEMMER
It's open.

The door opens and Lester pokes his head in.

LESTER
It's just me, boss. I brought
croissants.

Lester enters with a greasy white paper bag.

FLEMMER
Have a seat. I wracking my brain
over this Malkovich thing.

LESTER
We saw his show at the Luxor last
night.

FLEMMER
(impressed)
Vegas? What'd you think?

LESTER
The kid's got talent. You've never
seen Malkovich like this. Schwartz
had him up there singing and dancing.
Impressions.

FLEMMER
Impressions? Those are hard.

LESTER
Very talented son of a bitch. Too
bad we can't kill him.

FLEMMER
I suppose I could come to him in a
dream. I don't know. That's the best
I can think of right now.

LESTER
A scary dream?

FLEMMER
No, a sexy dream. Of course, a scary
dream.

LESTER
(noncommittally)
I like that.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

Malkovich sits on the floor in silk pajamas. He is surrounded
by newspaper clippings. He is drinking champagne from the
bottle. Maxine is at a dressing table, brushing her hair.

MALKOVICH
They love me, darling! "Craig Schwartz
is fantastic!" The New York Times.
"If only Craig Schwartz had always
been inside Malkovich!" Women's Wear
Daily. "Craig Schwartz -- The world's
greatest puppeteer!" Paul Wunder,
WBAI Radio.

MAXINE
Oh, darling. It's a dream come true.
We're going to ride this straight to
the top.

MALKOVICH
Sleepy suddenly.

MAXINE
Busy day, my little fire chief. Why
don't you climb into bed, and I'll
meet you there in just...

But Malkovich is already passed out on the floor on top of
his clippings. Maxine smiles maternally, gets up and puts
blanket over him. We stay on Malkovich's face.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. HELL - NIGHT

Craig wanders across a jagged, rocky landscape. Geysers of
flame shoot up around him. The sky is red. He is frightened.
He arrives at a desk. The man behind the desk is facing away
from him. He swivels to face Craig. It is Flemmer, looking
the same as usual except for little red horns and a sinister
grin.

CRAIG
Who are you?

FLEMMER
I am the Devil.

CRAIG
Oh.

FLEMMER
Leave Malkovich. He is mine.

CRAIG
Okay. Sorry. I didn't know.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL SUITE - CONTINUOUS

Malkovich awakes with a start. Maxine looks over at him.

MAXINE
Bad dream, darling?

MALKOVICH
I've got to leave Malkovich.

MAXINE
You've got to be kidding.

MALKOVICH
I just had the most horrifying
nightmare. The devil was in it.

Flemmer crouches behind a bureau and listens. He is pleased
with himself.

MAXINE
Malkovich is our meal ticket. You
can't back out because of some stupid
dream.

FLEMMER
(to himself)
Shit.

MALKOVICH
Honey, we can be happy and poor
together.

MAXINE
(laughs derisively)
Perhaps you'll want to consult that
Ouija board again.

There is a knock at the door. Maxine opens it, angry.

MAXINE
Yeah what?!

MALKOVICH
Derek Mantini!

Mantini enters. Maxine is suddenly interested. Mantini and
Maxine give each other the once over.

MANTINI
(still eyeing Maxine)
Hello, Schwartz. I saw your show.

MALKOVICH
Did you see the reviews?

MANTINI
Yeah, I saw them.

MALKOVICH
Because if you missed any, I just
happen to have copies here you can
take with you when you leave now.

MAXINE
I'm Maxine. I produced the evening
with Malkovich.

MANTINI
Very impressive. I could use a
producer with your vision. And other
outstanding attributes.

MALKOVICH
She's not available.

MANTINI
We'll see, Schwartz. We'll see.

MAXINE
Yeah, we'll see, Schwartz. We'll
see.

MANTINI
I won't waste your time Schwartz, or
more importantly, mine. Here's my
proposal: There's only room in this
world for one "World's Greatest
Puppeteer." Correct? So let's allow
the puppet-going public to crown
their king.

MALKOVICH
How do we do that?

MANTINI
A friendly competition, if you will.
Your Malkovich puppet and my Harry
S. Truman puppet appear opposite
each other in a play. Not some Vegas
Burly-Q pyrotechnics, but a real
play that requires actual acting.
The audience decides who is more
deserving of the title. The losing
puppeteer bows out graciously. Goes
back to obscurity as a file clerk.

MALKOVICH
What's the play?

MANTINI
Say... "Equus"? It's got everything.

MALKOVICH
Never heard of it.

MANTINI
Broadway's finest three hours. It's
about the suppression of the
individual. Conformity as God in
modern society.

MALKOVICH
Sounds boring. Are there any songs?

MANTINI
Nothing but acting to hide behind,
buddy-boy.

MALKOVICH
I'm not afraid. I toured for a year
with the National Puppet Company's
production of "Long Day's Journey
Into Night."

MANTINI
Great then.

MALKOVICH
Is there dancing?

MANTINI
No.

MALKOVICH
Who needs dancing?

CUT TO:

INT. FLEMMER'S APARTMENT - DAY

Lester is watering Flemmer's plants. A key is heard in the
door. Flemmer enters, a small carry-on bag slung over his
shoulder.

LESTER
How'd it go? Did you say the
philodendron gets water or no?

FLEMMER
No, for God's sake, I just watered
it yesterday.
(beat)
It almost went well. I gave a pretty
good dream, but circumstances arose.

LESTER
What kind of circumstances?

FLEMMER
Maxine says she'll leave him if he
leaves Malkovich, plus he's been
challenged to a puppet-duel by
Mantini.

LESTER
The Great Mantini?

FLEMMER
No, the Mediocre Mantini. Of course
the Great Mantini!

LESTER
Oh, he's good! Great, actually. I
saw him do "Tru" with his sixty foot
Robert Morse puppet. Sensational.

FLEMMER
But I think I have another plan.

LESTER
(snippy)
Do tell. I love a good plan.

FLEMMER
Why are you being like this?

Lester shrugs.

LESTER
I missed you. I'm sorry. Tell me the
plan.

FLEMMER
Well, if Mantini wins, Schwartz will
leave Malkovich, right? So, if he
needs it, I help Mantini's performance
a bit, give him an edge. Spice up
the show.

LESTER
Can you do that? I mean, do you know
anything about puppetry?

FLEMMER
I am the Devil, Lester. I think I
can handle it.

LESTER
I was just asking. No disrespect
intended.

FLEMMER
Fine. Let's drop it.

LESTER
Fine. I mean, it's not like I was
doubting you, it's just that I know
puppetry is a skill that takes a
long time to acquire.

FLEMMER
Fine. I'm not mad. Let's just drop
it.

LESTER
Fine. Your mail's on the kitchen
table. Mostly junk. Oh, there's a
letter from Alex Trebek.

CUT TO:

INT. SEWER - NIGHT

Lotte and Elijah, now dirty and drawn, are talking. Elijah
uses sign language.

ELIJAH (SUBTITLES)
You've got to tell Craig what's going
on. He must never leave Malkovich.

LOTTE
I'm glad you learned sign language,
Elijah, but I'm tired of your nagging.
I'm tired of this conversation. I'm
tired period. What has the world
ever done for me that I should feel
personally responsible for saving
it?

ELIJAH
It is better to light one candle
than curse the darkness. I learned
that from you.

Lotte turns away, shaken. A tear rolls down her face.

LOTTE
What have I become?

CUT TO:

EXT. BROADHURST THEATER - NIGHT

The Marquee reads: Derek Mantini's sixty-foot Harry S. Truman
puppet and Craig Schwartz's actual-size John Malkovich puppet
in Peter Shaffer's "Equus."

CUT TO:

INT. BROADHURST THEATER - NIGHT

The house is packed. On stage is a minimalist set: wood planks
and metal poles. Six guys in brown turtlenecks and stylized
wire horse heads mill about. The 60 foot Harry S. Truman
puppet is pacing, his strings extending up into the flyspace
and out of sight. Malkovich sits on a bench. Truman and
Malkovich both take stabs at British accents.

HARRY S. TRUMAN PUPPET
Do you dream often?

MALKOVICH
Do you?

HARRY S. TRUMAN PUPPET
It's my job to ask the questions.
Yours to answer them.

MALKOVICH
Says who?

HARRY S. TRUMAN PUPPET
Says me. Do you dream often?

MALKOVICH
Do you?

We see the audience fidgeting in their seats, coughing.

CUT TO:

INT. BROADHURST BACKSTAGE - CONTINUOUS

The dialogue drones on as Maxine watches coolly from the
wings. She drags on a cigarette. Mr. Flemmer, dressed as a
stagehand, stands behind Maxine. He also watches the actors,
with an occasional sideways glance at Maxine.

MAXINE
(without turning around)
Keep your eyes in your pants, old
timer.

CUT TO:

INT. THE BROADHURST LOBBY - A BIT LATER

It's intermission. The lobby is crowded. Maxine moves through
the crowd listening to snippets of conversation. Flemmer,
now in a tuxedo, moves about also. First couple:

THEATERGOER #1
That Truman puppet is downright boring
as the psychiatrist.

THEATERGOER #2
It's a wooden performance, really.
Get it? Wooden?

Second couple:

THEATERGOER #3
What's with the Malkovich puppet? He
was much better in Vegas when he
played the piano with his feet.

THEATERGOER #4
I hate it when they try to stretch.
It's like Woody Allen.

Third couple:

THEATERGOER #5
They both stink! I'm going across
the street to second act Miss Saigon.

CUT TO:

INT. DRESSING ROOM - A FEW MINUTES LATER

Malkovich watches himself in his dressing table mirror. Maxine
enters, flops herself down on the couch and lights up a
cigarette.

MAXINE
You'd better turn on the pyrotechnics,
lover, 'cause right now you're running
neck and neck with the dead president.
And you're both in last place.

Malkovich continues to watch himself in the mirror, nods his
head.

CUT TO:

INT. CATWALK ABOVE STAGE - CONTINUOUS

Mantini leans against a rail and smokes a cigarette. Charles
Nelson Reilly, in a tuxedo, confers with him in hushed tones.

CHARLES NELSON REILLY
You're doing beautifully, my boy. I
wept at the speech about your wife.

Flemmer materializes behind Mantini

CHARLES NELSON REILLY
What the hell? Nyong-nyong!

Mantini spins around to face Flemmer. Reilly makes a break
for it. Flemmer points a finger and Reilly freezes in mid-
strut. Flemmer then points a finger at Mantini, and he, too,
freezes. Flemmer picks up the giant wooden controls for the
marionette, and pulls a copy of the play from his pocket.

CUT TO:

INT. BROADHURST STAGE - NIGHT

We watch the second act in progress. The Truman puppet pace
as he delivers a monologue. Somehow he doesn't even seem to
be a puppet anymore, so subtle and graceful are his movements
and the changes in his facial expressions. It's as if there's
a giant actual Harry Truman on stage.

HARRY S. TRUMAN PUPPET

I can hear the creature's voice. It's calling me out of the
black cave of the Psyche. I shove in my dim little torch,
and there he stands -- waiting for me. He raises his matted
head. He opens his great, square teeth and says

(MOCKING)
'Why?... Why me?... Why -- ultimately --
Me?... Do you really imagine you can
account for Me? Totally, infallibly,
inevitably account for Me?... Poor
Dr. Dysart!'

Malkovich watches impressed and a little scared by this
bravura performance. He glances out into the audience and
sees a silent, rapt crowd.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BROADHURST STAGE - A BIT LATER

Malkovich is delivering a monologue. Acting up a storm. During
Malkovich's speech, Truman repeatedly attempts to upstage
him, nodding his head, looking thoughtful, raising his ten
foot eyebrows in surprise...

MALKOVICH
Eyes!... White eyes -- never closed!
Eyes like flames -- coming --
coming!... God seest!... God seest!...
NO!

CUT TO:

EXT. NEW YORK STREET - CONTINUOUS

A man hole cover is pushed off. Lotte climbs out onto the
street. She is dirty but determined.

CUT TO:

INT. BROADHURST STAGE - LATER STILL

Malkovich is in convulsions on the floor. Big dramatic
convulsions. Truman scoops him up, and places him on the
bench. Malkovich continues with the convulsions, milking it.
Truman speaks.

HARRY S. TRUMAN PUPPET
Here... Here... Sssh... Sssh... Calm
now... Lie back. Just lie back! Now
breathe in deep. Very deep. In...
Out... In... Out... That's it... In.
Out... In... Out...

Malkovich is breathing insanely now, trying to keep the focus
on himself. Flemmer is in the catwalks, watching the crowd.
The audience is watching Malkovich.

AUDIENCE MEMBER
(to his wife)
That Malkovich puppet is a damn fine
actor.

FLEMMER
(blood boiling)
Bastard is stealing my thunder.

Malkovich and Truman on the stage. Truman is pacing, swirling,
dancing, juggling enormous bowling pins as he talks.

HARRY S. TRUMAN PUPPET
All right! I'll take it away! He'll
be delivered from madness. What then?
He'll feel himself acceptable! What
then?

Malkovich has upped his convulsions now. He watches Truman
out of the corner of his eye while writhing tormentedly on
the bench. He levitates. Spins in mid-air. Falls on all fours
and does an uncanny impression of a yelping dog. Truman
watches Malkovich, continues to speak. But now, when he talks,
fire comes out of his mouth.

HARRY S. TRUMAN PUPPET
I'll heal the rash on his body. I'll
erase the welts cut into his body by
flying manes.

The audience "ooohs" at the flames. Malkovich rips off his
clothes and convulses into the dying swan-bit from "Swan
Lake." The audience applauds. Truman continues his speech,
now transforming himself into an actual 60 foot swan and
flying around the auditorium as he speaks.

HARRY S. TRUMAN PUPPET
You won't gallop anymore, Alan. Horses
will be quite safe. You'll save your
pennies every week, till you can
change that scooter into a car...

The audience watches the giant swan overhead, necks craned,
in awe. Malkovich sighs. He is out of his league. He goes
into a remarkable tap dance routine and sings "Mr. Bojangles",
but nobody even looks at the stage. The giant swan bursts
into flames, flies back onto the stage, burns to a crisp,
then rises from his ashes as the actual Harry S. Truman.
Truman looks confused and disoriented, as if just raised
from the dead.

ACTUAL TRUMAN
Where am I? Aren't I dead?
(possessed)
Vote for Mantini!

Truman grows and grows until he is again just a giant puppet.
The audience bursts into applause, then delivers a standing
ovation. Truman bows. Flemmer laughs wildly in the catwalks.
Malkovich walks dejectedly from the stage.

CUT TO:

INT. BACKSTAGE - CONTINUOUS

Malkovich walks past Maxine. She doesn't even look at him.
Thunderous applause is heard in the background.

MALKOVICH
Good-bye, Maxine.

MAXINE
Whatever.

Malkovich drops limply to the floor. He lifts his head.

MALKOVICH
(weak but relieved)
I'm back! My nightmare is over.

CUT TO:

INT. CATWALK - CONTINUOUS

Flemmer watches Malkovich from above. He pulls out a walkie-
talkie.

FLEMMER
(into walkie-talkie)
Okay, now!

CUT TO:

INT. CRAIG AND MAXINE'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Lester is surrounded by all the Malkovichians. He holds the
walkie-talkie, has just received word. He nods, and the
Malkovichians crawl in single file into the portal, while
shrieking a war cry.

CUT TO:

INT. BACKSTAGE - CONTINUOUS

Maxine watches as Malkovich pulls himself up off the ground.
Suddenly, he is again possessed, first by one person, then
by two, then by three, his body jerking and pulsating with
each new occupant. It's almost like popping corn, starting
out slowly, then going faster and faster, until Malkovich is
possessed by all fifty Malkovichians. He shrieks a war cry
and runs out onto the stage.

CUT TO:

INT. STAGE - CONTINUOUS

The Truman puppet now hangs limply from the catwalks.
Malkovich hovers just above the stage and addresses the
audience.

MALKOVICH
(now sounding like
fifty voices)
I am your earthly king! Kneel before
me!

The audience scoffs at first, but then are compelled to their
knees.

CROWD
(like automatons)
Hail Malkovich, king of the damned.

Malkovich laughs, gives the thumbs up sign to Flemmer in the
catwalks. Flemmer gives the thumbs up sign back.

Lotte appears in the back of the theater, an out-of-breath
figure in shadows. It is too late. She runs from the theater.

CUT TO:

INT. BACKSTAGE - CONTINUOUS

Maxine watches, somewhat amused. She turns and heads for the
exit.

CUT TO:

EXT. NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE - NIGHT

A dejected Craig walks along the shoulder. He is wet and
cold. We hold on him for a long while until he eventually
merges with the landscape.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

EXT. MANHATTAN STREET - DAY

CHYRON: LATER THAT WEEK

Something is wrong. It's a typical midtown street, but
everything is painted gray: the buildings, the streets, the
sidewalks, the cars. People walk along the streets, carrying
gray briefcases, wearing gray jumpsuits. Nobody talks, nobody
smiles. Gray birds fly silently in the sky. There is no noise
whatsoever. There are several movie theaters on the block.
All marquees advertise John Malkovich movies. Around the
corner comes Malkovich. He is floating about ten feet off
the ground on an enormous, bright red, jeweled throne. He
wears a gold crown and purple silk robe and smiles
condescendingly, majestically. Floris sits on his lap. She
is dressed in an orange satin gown. Nobody on the street
looks up.

MALKOVICH
(fifty voices)
Greetings, my lowly subjects.

FLORIS
Great things, my lonely subtext?

MALKOVICH
(rolls his eyes)
Boy, be careful what you wish for.
(to Floris)
Never mind, dear. Just enjoy the
ride, will you?

Floris shrugs, picks at her finger nails.

MALKOVICH
(to the people on the
street)
I am bored. You will dance for your
king now.

Without pause the entire street of gray clad people breaks
into a meticulously choreographed production number. Totally
silent, totally joyless, but exquisitely executed. We see
that Maxine is one of the anonymous dancers. Her face is
void of expression. Malkovich laughs.

MALKOVICH
Faster! Faster, my little trained
monkeys!

The crowd dances faster and faster. Older people fall over,
exhausted, clutching their hearts. Nobody stops dancing to
help, nobody dares.

CUT TO:

EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY

Bird's eye view of the park. It's all painted gray. Every
tree, every leaf. There's no sign of life. The camera moves
in, through some gray trees and gray brush to:

A LUSH GREEN OASIS CAMOUFLAGED ON THE TOP AND SIDES WITH
GRAY PAINT

This place is filled with life: Colorful birds, lizards,
cats, a rooster. All the animals are active, happy, but
totally silent, as if they know the precariousness of their
position. Lotte and Elijah sit among them. These are the
animals that she freed earlier. Lotte and Elijah hold hands
and look into each other's eyes. We see that they both wear
gold bands. They are husband and wife. Elijah signs.

ELIJAH
Must you take this terrible demon on
yourself, my love?

LOTTE
Yes. I'm the only one. I have to
enter Malkovich and destroy him from
the inside. If not me, who?

ELIJAH
If there was any way I could go in
your place. But I'm only a monkey
and...

LOTTE
(puts finger to his
lips)
Hush, sweetheart.

Lotte slips into a gray jumpsuit. She stuffs a homemade bomb
on her pocket. She and Elijah kiss passionately, then embrace.

LOTTE
(to the animals)
I'll be with you always, my friends.
Who knows, maybe if I'm lucky, I'll
rejoin you with wings and a beak.

ELIJAH
Wings and a halo, my darling. Wings
and a halo.

Lotte turns quickly. This is too much to bear. She descends
into a storm drain. The animals stop what they're doing.

PARROT
(softly)
Good-bye. Good-bye.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MERTIN-FLEMMER BUILDING - DAY

A man-hole cover lifts. Lotte pokes her head out. The coast
is clear. She emerges. Assumes the dead-eyed expression of
the others, and enters the building.

CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR - DAY

Lotte watches the floors change. After seven, she presses
the emergency stop button. The elevator jerks to a halt. She
picks up the crow bar in the corner, pries open the door.
The 7 1/2 floor is gone. Nothing is there but pipes and wires
and beams. She climbs out onto the floor.

CUT TO:

INT. BETWEEN FLOORS - CONTINUOUS

Lotte searched the floor for some sign of the portal. It is
nowhere to be found. There is a noise behind her. She turns
with a start. It's Craig, ragged and ill-shaven.

LOTTE
My God!

CRAIG
I'm so glad you're safe. You look
really wonderful.

LOTTE
I'm in love. For the first time.
It's funny, but when it happens to
you, there's no question.

CRAIG
He's a lucky man.
(beat)
Do I know him?

LOTTE
It's Elijah.

CRAIG
The iguana?

LOTTE
The monkey.

CRAIG
Oh, right. As long as you're happy.
I'm sure he's a better lover than I
ever was.

LOTTE
A better friend.

CRAIG
(beat)
I'm sorry for everything.

LOTTE
(pecking him on the
cheek)
It's okay, Craig. It all worked out,
in an odd sort of way.

CRAIG
You came up here looking for the
portal?

LOTTE
Yeah. I was going to kill him from
the inside.

CRAIG
And yourself too in the process.
God, you're so beautiful. Why couldn't
I see that before?

LOTTE
You saw it once. Now you see it again.
That's life, isn't it? And you were
up here to try the same thing, weren't
you?

CRAIG
I suppose. But they got here first,
the lousy bastards. So now it's all
over, I guess.

LOTTE
I don't know. There's a small
community of us. We have a place
they don't know about. We're happy.
We'll keep trying to figure out a
way. Come stay with us. Join the
struggle.

CRAIG
You'll have me, after all I've done
to you?

LOTTE
People make mistakes.

CRAIG
I'm through with puppets, Lotte. I
just want you to know that.

LOTTE
I know.

CRAIG
I'd like to be a farmer. I want to
help things grow, to encourage life.
Do you and your friends need a farmer?

LOTTE
Sure. We could really use a farmer.
We'd be grateful for the help.
(beat)
Also, I think, you know, if you
wouldn't mind too terribly, a little
puppet show every once in a while,
would do a lot to lift our spirits.
You know, if you wouldn't mind too
terribly.

Craig's eyes well up with tears. Lotte looks at him sweetly.

LOTTE
Oh honey. It's gonna be okay.

She puts her arm around him and leads him toward the elevator.

CRAIG
I love you, Lotte.

We come on very close to Craig's arm as he lifts it to put
it around Lotte. We see a thin almost invisible filament. We
follow it up, and discover that Craig is now a marionette
being controlled from above by an emotionless Mantini in a
gray jumpsuit.

MANTINI
(in Craig's voice)
I can't wait to see where you and
your friends live, Lotte.

LOTTE (O.S.)
It's beautiful, Craig, like Eden.

Now we see filaments attached to Mantini's arms, and we follow
them up to find that Flemmer is controlling Mantini.

FLEMMER
One serpent, coming up.

Flemmer throws his head back and laughs. The camera moves
into his mouth and down his throat, which, oddly enough,
looks exactly like the membranous John Malkovich portal
tunnel.

MUSIC IN: "Put Your Hand Inside The Puppet Head" by They
Might Be Giants. It plays throughout the credits.

FADE OUT:

THE END

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