"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 ]

"DONNIE DARKO"

by

Richard Kelly

PRODUCTION DRAFT



FADE IN:

We descend upon Carpathian Ridge, a crescent-shaped cliff
that extrudes from the dense Virginia evergreens above a
deep rock canyon. The cliff marks the end of a dirt road
that winds down from above.

Donnie Darko (sixteen) is asleep at the edge of the cliff.
With his bike collapsed next to him, he is shivering, curled
up on the foetal position.

He slowly opens his eyes and looks around, disoriented by
the morning light. He then stands up, looking down into the
expansive rock canyon. After a moment of hesitation, he takes
his bike back up the hill.

EXT. MIDDLESEX - MORNING (11 A.M.)

Montage is choreographed to 'Never Tear Us Apart' by INXS.

Donnie pedals down into the suburban village of Middlesex,
Virginia... passing by a large rock 'Middlesex' rock-pattern.

Donnie pedals past two neighbourhood women who are
speedwalking with handweights. They smile at him.

A Pontiac Trans-Am speeds by.

EXT. NEIGHBOURHOOD STREET - DAY (SATURDAY 1 P.M.)

Donnie turns the corner and heads towards the garage.

We pan over to the Darko house... moving through the front
yard where Eddie Darko (forty-four) pulls the cord and his
gas-powered leaf-blower roars to life.

Elizabeth Darko (nineteen) comes out the front door. She
approaches her dad from behind. Eddie turns and aims the
leaf-blower at her face... blasting her with air.

EXT. DARKO DRIVEWAY - NEXT

Donnie parks his bike and goes inside.

EXT. DARKO BACKYARD / PATIO - NEXT

We pull back from Samantha Darko (ten) as she is jumping on
a trampoline and pan over to Rose Darko (forty-two) as she
sits at a table reading a paperback copy of Stephen King's
"IT". She glances over to the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN - NEXT

Donnie walks into the kitchen. He then goes to the
refrigerator.

Printed in magic marker on the refrigerator notepad is the
phrase:

WHERE IS DONNIE?

INT. FAMILY ROOM - EVENING (5 P.M.)

The opening theme of "Who's the Boss?" begins as we see Tony
Danza's blue van and the title card. We reveal Samantha,
sitting on the floor, singing softly to the theme song "Brand
New Life" performed by Larry Weiss.

We pan over to Donnie, sitting in the La-Z Boy.

INT. KITCHEN - EVENING (6 P.M.)

The Darko family has convened for dinner. They eat silently
for several moments.

ELIZABETH
I'm voting for Dukakis.

EDDIE
Perhaps when you have children of
your own that need braces, and you
can't afford them because half of
your husband's paycheck goes to the
federal government, you'll regret
that decision.

ELIZABETH
(amused bitterness)
I'm not gonna squeeze one out until
I'm thirty.

DONNIE
Will you still be working at Yarn
Barn? 'Cause that's a great place to
raise children.

ROSE
No, a year of partying is enough.
She'll be going to Harvard this fall.

ELIZABETH
I haven't been accepted yet, mother.

ROSE
(smiles)
If you think Michael Dukakis will
provide for this country prior to
the point when you decide to squeeze
one out, then I think you're
misinformed.

SAMANTHA
When can I squeeze one out?

DONNIE
(to his sister)
Not until like... eighth grade.

ROSE
(to Donnie)
Excuse me?

ELIZABETH
Donnie? You're a dick.

DONNIE
Whoa, Elizabeth. A little hostile,
there. Maybe you should be the one
in therapy. Then Mom and Dad can pay
someone two hundred dollars an hour
to listen to all of your thoughts...
so we won't have to.

ELIZABETH
Maybe you'd like to tell Mom and Dad
why you stopped taking your
medication.

An awkward silence.

ROSE
(surprised)
You've stopped taking your medication?

SAMANTHA
When can I squeeze one out, Mom?

DONNIE
(glaring at Elizabeth)
You're such a fuck-ass.

ROSE
When did you stop taking your
medication?

ELIZABETH
(laughing)
Did you just call me a fuck-ass?

ROSE
That's enough.

ELIZABETH
(to Donnie)
You can suck a fuck.

DONNIE
Oh, please tell me, Elizabeth, how
exactly does one suck a fuck?

ROSE
(disgusted)
We will not have this kind of language
at the dinner table.

They are all silent for a moment.

SAMANTHA
What's a fuck-ass?

Despite his brave efforts to hold back laughter, Eddie Darko
lets out a slight guffaw.

INT. ELIZABETH'S ROOM - EVENING (SATURDAY NIGHT, 9 P.M.)

Elizabeth talks on the phone, getting ready for her Saturday
night. Rose knocks and then enters.

ELIZABETH
(into the phone)
No. I took a year off to be with
you.
(beat)
Of course I care. Don't get angry.
(covering the phone)
What?

ROSE
How did you know --

ELIZABETH
(cutting her off)
I didn't realise it was such a big
deal.

ROSE
It is a big deal.

ELIZABETH
I caught him flushing pills down the
toilet. He knows you check the
container.

INT. DONNIE'S ROOM - NEXT

Donnie lies on his bed, reading "Collected Short Stories" by
Graham Greene. His room is an organised wreck.

Rose enters and begins to pick things up of the floor.

DONNIE
Get out of my room.

Rose bitterly turns to leave, but stops at the door.

ROSE
I wish I knew where you went at night.
(beat)
Did you toilet paper the Johnson's
house?

DONNIE
(still reading)
I stopped rolling houses in the sixth
grade, Mom.
(beat)
Get out of my room.

ROSE
You know... it would be nice to look
at you some time... and see my son.
I don't recognise this person today.

DONNIE
Then why don't you start taking the
goddamn pills?

Donnie leans over and turns off his lamp. Rose turns and
leaves her son alone in the dark, closing the door behind
her.

DONNIE
Bitch.

INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NEXT

Rose stops in her tracks, hearing this. She then walks into
her bedroom and closes the door.

INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NEXT

Rose goes into bed with Eddie, who is reading a hardback
copy of Stephen King's "The Tommyknockers".

ROSE
Our son just called me a bitch.

EDDIE
(beat)
You're not a bitch.

INT. UPSTAIRS BATHROOM - NEXT

Donnie removes his pills from the medicine cabinet. We see
insert that reads: L. THURMAN M.D.

He looks at the bottle for a moment, and then takes three
pills and swallows them... staring at his reflection in the
mirror.

INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT (12 A.M.)

Eddie sits up in bed, unable to sleep.

INT. FAMILY ROOM - NEXT

The TV pops on. Eddie drops into the La-Z Boy.

They are replaying a Bush/Dukakis debate. Eddie laughs.

INT. FOYER - NEXT

We pull back and pan over to a grandfather clock... as the
hand reaches midnight.

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 2 1988

INT. DONNIE'S ROOM - NIGHT (EARLY SUNDAY MORNING, 1 A.M.)

VOICE
(whisper)
Wake... up... Donnie.

Donnie jerks upright in his bed, awakened from a bad dream.
He looks over at his alarm clock: 12:50 a.m. His expression
is distant... confused.

INT. FOYER - NEXT

Donnie walks downstairs.

INT. FAMILY ROOM - NEXT

Donnie stares at Eddie, asleep in the La-Z Boy.

INT. KITCHEN - NEXT

Donnie walks into the kitchen, removes the magic marker from
the refrigerator message board.

INT. FOYER - NEXT

Donnie walks to the front and exits the house.

EXT. DARKO HOUSE, FRONT YARD - NEXT

Donnie walks down the front walk to the street.

EXT. NEIGHBOURHOOD STREET - NEXT

Donnie walks down the street.

EXT. SEVENTH HOLE - NIGHT (1:30 A.M.)

Donnie arrives next to the pin and stares off into the
distance.

VOICE
Helluva night for a walk... huh,
Donnie?

Donnie stares off into the distance.

VOICE
Tonight is very special, Donnie.

DONNIE
What?

VOICE
I've been watching you.
(beat)
Do you believe in God, Donnie?

Donnie doesn't answer. He holds his stomach, taking deep
breaths.

VOICE
God loves his children, Donnie. God
loves you.

There... standing on the seventh hole is a six-foot-tall
figure dressed in a grotesque bunny suit.

Donnie stares at the Bunny nervously as a wave of nausea
overcomes him.

BUNNY
My name is Frank.
(beat)
I want you to follow me.

DONNIE
Why?

FRANK
I'm here to save you.
(beat)
The world is coming to an end, Donnie.

Donnie doesn't answer.

FRANK
Look up in the sky, Donnie.

He looks up into the black night.

FRANK
28 days... 6 hours... 42 minutes...
12 seconds. That is when the world
will end.

Donnie looks back at Frank. His expression is a vacant expanse
of confusion.

INT. FOYER - NIGHT

Elizabeth comes through the front door, leans back against
it, closes her eyes.

INT. FAMILY ROOM - NIGHT

Eddie Darko sleeps reclined in the La-Z Boy. The final notes
of the Channel 12 National Anthem fade away to static.

From above... a thunderous crash. Plaster rains from the
ceiling ...Books fly off the bookshelf as the entire wall-
mount collapses to the floor.

Eddie jerks awake.

INT. FOYER - NEXT

Elizabeth falls back in horror as plaster rains down from
around the chandelier... debris falling in the dining-room
doorway.

EXT. SEVENTH HOLE - MORNING (SUNDAY MORNING, 10 A.M.)

Donnie is curled up, asleep on the green. A golf ball lands
on the green and rolls within inches of his head.

A golf cart filled with four older men arrives. Dr. Fisher
(forty-five) gets out first.

DR. FISHER
Donnie Darko?
(beat)
Son? What's going on here?

Jim Cunningham (forty), the man riding shotgun, gets out of
the cart and walks over.

JIM CUNNINGHAM
Who is it, Don?

DR. FISHER
Eddie Darko's kid.

Donnie gets up and brushes himself off. On his arm he sees
something written in black magic marker.

Numbers... 28:06:42:12.

Donnie stares at the numbers on his arm, confused.

DR. FISHER
(to Jim, kissing his
ass)
Sorry about this, Jim, just a... a
kid from the neighbourhood.
(back to Donnie)
So let's stay off the greens at night,
OK?

Jim Cunningham stares at Donnie with a friendly grin.

DONNIE
Sorry, Dr. Fisher. It won't happen
again.

EXT. NEIGHBOURHOOD STREET / DARKO HOUSE - MORNING (11 A.M.)

Donnie walks down the street towards his house.

A fire engine. Two police cars. A news van... All parked in
front of his house.

There are dozens of neighbours in the street surrounding a
barricade. Donnie moves through the crowd where a Police
Officer is standing.

DONNIE
Hey, I live here!

POLICE OFFICER
Are you... Donnie Darko?

DONNIE
Yeah!

The Officer lets him through.

Near the cul-de-sac there is a large caterpillar crane lifting
something from inside the house. There are firemen roaming
around. Two Police Officers are speaking with Eddie and Rose.
Donnie looks over at the house.

A crane lifts a gigantic jet engine over from the house
towards a large flatbed truck. Firemen kick pieces of wood
and shingle from the roof.

He turns and sees his entire family standing there. Eddie is
holding Samantha.

SAMANTHA
It fell on your room.

EXT. CUL-DE-SAC - LATER ON

Two men in suits approach from a black sedan. A police officer
directs them to Rose. One of the men removes a badge from
his pocket and holds it up for Rose to see.

MAN
Mrs. Darko, my name is Bob Garland
and this is David Coleman. We're
with the FAA. If you don't mind,
we'd like to speak with you and your
husband privately.

Elizabeth looks over at Donnie with a grin.

ELIZABETH
(whispering)
They don't know where it came from.

Donnie looks over in awe as the mammoth engine is now strapped
to the flatbed truck. A man in a silver firesuit sprays the
engine down with water.

EXT. CUL-DE-SAC - MOMENTS LATER

Eddie is signing some documents in front of Garland at a
table that has been set up. Another FAA guy is there.

FAA MAN
(pointing to the
document)
And then here as well.

Eddie signs off, and Garland takes the documents.

GARLAND
We've arranged for you to stay at a
hotel, get some sleep. We'll take
care of things here.

Eddie picks Samantha up into his arms. He stands with Rose
and Elizabeth... turning towards Donnie... who seems lost in
a trance.

EDDIE
Come on, Donnie... we're going to a
hotel.

INT. HOLIDAY INN, ROOM 614 - SUNDOWN (SUNDAY NIGHT, 5:30
P.M.)

Donnie lies in bed, watching television. Elizabeth is spread
out on the other bed. Samantha sits on the edge of Elizabeth's
bed, holding a stuffed unicorn named Ariel.

SAMANTHA
If it fell from a plane, then what
happened to the plane?

ELIZABETH
They don't know, Samantha.

SAMANTHA
Is there any way that we can make
money from this? Couldn't we get on
television if we sue the airline?

INT. HOLIDAY INN, ROOM 615 - NEXT

Rose and Eddie lie awake in the dark.

ROSE
So let me get this straight. No
airline will claim ownership of the
engine. So we have to wait for the
FAA to decide who fixes my roof.
(beat)
Fuck that. We're taking the money
out of savings.

EDDIE
(quoting Rod Serling)
You are entering a new dimension of
sight and sound...

Rose begins to laugh.

INT. HOLIDAY INN, ROOM 614 - NEXT

SAMANTHA
Why do I have to sleep with Donnie?
He stinks.

DONNIE
When you fall asleep tonight, I'm
gonna fart in your face.

SAMANTHA
(walking to the door)
I'm telling Mom.

ELIZABETH
Samantha, don't go over there.

INT. HOLIDAY INN, ROOM 615 - LATER THAT NIGHT

EDDIE
Frankie Feedler.

ROSE
What?

EDDIE
Frankie Feedler. You remember him
from high school?

ROSE
(long beat)
He was a year ahead of us?

EDDIE
He died, remember? On the way to the
prom.
(beat)
He was doomed.

Rose lies there silently.

EDDIE
Jesus Christ. They could have said
the same thing about Donnie. Our
Donnie.
(beat)
But he dodged it. He dodged his
bullet, Rose.

Rose rolls over to embrace him.

EDDIE
That's my boy.

Moments later, the door to the adjoining room opens. It is
Samantha.

SAMANTHA
Mom, Donnie said he's gonna fart in
my face.

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 3 1988

EXT. BUS STOP - MORNING (MONDAY MORNING, 7 A.M.)

Rose drops Donnie and Samantha off at the corner.

ROSE
Ms. Farmer will pick you up from
recital. Bye, now.

She pulls of in the Taurus.

Already waiting at the bus stop is Joanie James (eleven).
Also Cherita Chen (fifteen).

SAMANTHA
Hi, Cherita.

CHERITA
Chut up.

Also there are Donnie's two best friends, Sean Smith (sixteen)
and Ronald Fisher (fifteen)

RONALD
(raising his hands in
victory)
DARKO CHEATS DEATH! Man... you're
famous! I called you, like, a jillion
times last night!

DONNIE
We went to a hotel.

RONALD
My dad said he found you on the golf
course. Are you sleepwalking again?

DONNIE
I don't wanna talk about it.

SEAN
Now that you're famous, you gotta
have a smoke.

Sean hands Donnie a Marlboro Red and he takes it, looking
over at Samantha and Joanie.

DONNIE
What happens if you tell Mom and Dad
about this, Samantha?

SAMANTHA
You'll put Ariel in the garbage
disposal.

JOANIE
So... grody.

Sean, Ronald and Donnie light up. Ronald is the most amateur-
looking.

SEAN
Hey, Cherita... want a cigarette?

CHERITA
Chut up.

RONALD
(mimicking)
Chut up!

SEAN
Go back to China, bitch!

DONNIE
Leave her alone, man.

Cherita looks over at Donnie... her quiet devastation poorly
hidden.

EXT. / INT. MIDDLESEX RIDGE SCHOOL - MORNING (8 A.M.)

The following montage is three long Steadicam shots in the
main school hallway and courtyard.

We follow Donnie and his friends as they pour out of the
back of the emergency exit of the school bus to 'Head Over
Heels' by Tears for Fears.

We pick up teachers Karen Pomeroy (twenty-seven) and Dr.
Kenneth Monnitoff (thirty) and Kitty Farmer (forty-two),
with Jim Cunningham, as they make their way through the
hallways.

Swarms of girls surround Donnie as he makes his way to his
locker. There is a huge smile on his face.

We reveal Gretchen Ross (fifteen)... we see Principal Cole
(thirty-eight) and then Samantha's dance team (Sparkle Motion)
practising their routine in the courtyard.

We follow Ms. Pomeroy into English class... then time-lapse
dissolve through the doorway...

INT. ENGLISH CLASS - DAY (8:30 A.M.)

Ms. Pomeroy has been reading from "The Destructors" by Graham
Greene.

MS. POMEROY
"There would be headlines in the
papers. Even the grown-up gangs who
ran the betting at the all-in
wrestling and the barrow-boys would
hear with respect how Old Misery's
house had been destroyed. It was as
though this plan had been with him
all his life, pondered through the
seasons, now in his fifteenth year
crystallised with the pain of
puberty."

Donnie sits in the front.

MS. POMEROY
What is Graham Greene trying to
communicate in this passage? Why do
the children break into Old Misery's
house?

Joanie James raises her hand.

MS. POMEROY
Joanie.

JOANIE
They wanted to rob him.

MS. POMEROY
Joanie, if you had actually read the
short story... which, at a whopping
thirteen pages must have kept you up
all night, you would know that the
children find a great deal of money
hidden in a mattress. But they burn
it.

The class gives an "Awwww." Joanie blushes.

MS. POMEROY
Donnie Darko, perhaps, given your
recent brush with mass destruction,
you can give us your opinion?

DONNIE
Well... they say it right when they
are ripping the place to shreds.
When they flood the house. That
like... destruction is a form of
creation. So the fact that they burn
the money is... ironic. They just
want to see what happens when they
tear the world apart.
(beat)
They want to change things.

Gretchen Ross stands at the doorway to the classroom.

MS. POMEROY
May we help you?

GRETCHEN
I just registered, and I think they
put me in the wrong English class.

Ms. Pomeroy studies her.

MS. POMEROY
You look like you belong here.

GRETCHEN
Umm, where do I sit?

Ms. Pomeroy thinks for a moment. There are several empty
chairs.

MS. POMEROY
Sit next to the boy you think is the
cutest. Girls, get up.

The whole class begins to freak out. The girls all get out
of their seats... eating this up. Ronald fixes his hair.

MS. POMEROY
Quiet! Let her choose.

Without hesitation, Gretchen scans the class for every guy.
As she gracefully takes her seat next to Donnie, they make
eye contact. Donnie grins ear to ear.

The class freaks out laughing.

INT. TAURUS - SUNSET (MONDAY NIGHT, 6 P.M.)

Eddie drives Donnie down Old Gun Road, a windy back-road
that goes towards the country.

EDDIE
So how was school today?

DONNIE
It was great. We had peanut-butter
sandwiches and apples and honey at
snacktime. And then during show-and-
tell, my stuffed walrus was a big
hit.

EDDIE
Good Lord.
(beat)
So the construction guys say it'll
take about a week to fix the roof.
Damn airline better not fuck us on
the shingle match.

DONNIE
Do they know yet?

EDDIE
Know what?

DONNIE
Where it came from?

EDDIE
No... apparently they can't tell us
what happened yet. Something about a
matching serial number that got
burned.
(beat)
But I had to sign a form saying I
wouldn't talk to anyone about it.

DONNIE
So we're not supposed to tell anybody
what nobody knows?

EDDIE
You tell Dr. Thurman whatever you
want.

Suddenly, Eddie slams on the brakes and the station wagon
comes to a sudden stop.

EDDIE
Oh, shit!

DONNIE
Grandma Death.

Standing in the road directly in front of the car is Roberta
Sparrow (101 years old, a.k.a. Grandma Death).

Grandma Death lives in a modest brick house that sits back
in a huge grassy field that overlooks the entire town. Her
mailbox sits on the edge of Old Gun Road.

EXT. OLD GUN ROAD - NEXT

Donnie gets out of the car and takes Grandma Death's hand,
walking her back towards her mailbox. He opens it for her.

DONNIE
No mail today.
(smiles)
Maybe tomorrow.

Grandma Death smiles back at him... and begins to walk slowly
back to her house. She then turns and takes Donnie's hands
into her frail grip.

GRANDMA DEATH
(speaking slowly)
Every living creature... on this
earth...
(beat)
...dies alone.

Donnie stands there silently for a moment, and then Grandma
Death turns back towards her house.

EXT. DR. THURMAN'S RANCH - SUNSET

We see a large colonial rancher in the distance.

INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - EVENING

Dr. Lilian Thurman (fifty-eight) is a beautiful older woman.

DR. THURMAN
Your mother said that you've been
skipping cycles of your medication.

DONNIE
I've been taking it. I just like to
make her feel guilty for all of this.
You know, abuse her. Psychologically.

DR. THURMAN
All of this... certainly isn't your
mother's fault, Donald.

He is quiet for a moment.

DONNIE
So, I met a new friend.

DR. THURMAN
Would you like to talk about this
friend?

DONNIE
His name is Frank.

DR. THURMAN
Frank.

DONNIE
I think he saved my life.

DR. THURMAN
How so?

DONNIE
Don't you watch the news?

DR. THURMAN
I don't own a television.

DONNIE
A jet engine fell on my house...
landed on my bed. While I was talking
to Frank on the golf course.

Dr. Thurman looks at him for a long beat, analysing whether
or not he is telling her the truth.

DONNIE
I'm not kidding.

Concerned, Dr. Thurman leans in closer.

DR. THURMAN
Frank... instructed you... to get
out of bed... just before this
happened.

DONNIE
He said to follow him.

DR. THURMAN
Follow him where?

DONNIE
Into the future.
(beat)
Then he said that the world was coming
to an end.

He rubs his arm, where the numbers are still lightly drawn.

DR. THURMAN
Do you believe that the world is
coming to an end?

DONNIE
(long beat)
No.
(beat)
That's stupid.

INT. MIDDLESEX RIDGE SCHOOL - HALLWAY

In the empty school hallway... a gigantic tidal wave forms
in the distance and comes crashing towards us between the
lockers.

INT. FAMILY ROOM - NIGHT (EARLY TUESDAY MORNING, 2 A.M.)

Donnie lies on the couch... fast asleep. His eyes slowly
open.

There, standing in the corner of the room in the shadows is
Frank.

FRANK
Wake up, Donnie.

INT. MIDDLESEX RIDGE SCHOOL - NIGHT

In the dark school hallway, Donnie rounds the corner with a
flashlight, a can of spray paint, and an axe. Frank stands
in the same hallway where the tidal wave crashed.

INT. SCHOOL BASEMENT - NEXT

Donnie shines the flashlight through the basement. He
approaches some old piping.

Donnie puts the axe back over his shoulder and then lowers
it fiercely. The smashing of metal against metal echoes
through the huge room.

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 4 1988

EXT. BUS STOP - MORNING (7:45 A.M.)

The same group stands and waits for the bus. The guys smoke.

Cherita stands alone. Samantha is reading something to Joanie.

SAMANTHA
(reading)
"And then the prince was led into a
world of strange and beautiful magic."

JOANIE
Wow.

Donnie grabs the piece of paper from his sister.

DONNIE
(reading out loud)
"The Last Unicorn!" By Samantha Darko.

SAMANTHA
Donnie! Give it back!

He pushes her away.

SAMANTHA
You're wrinkling it!

SEAN
Hey, it's 7:45. The bus shoulda been
here, like, twenty minutes ago.

RONALD
Maybe Martha Moo finally went nuts
and hijacked the bus.

SEAN
(excited)
You know, there's, like, this rule.
We get to go home at 7:55.

RONALD
There's no rule!

SEAN
Fuck yeah there is! If the bus doesn't
show up in thirty minutes, you're
supposed to go straight home.

DONNIE
Yeah... he's right. Because if we
keep waiting, some guy in a van might
pull up and try to molest us. And
then our parents could sue the school
board.

Everyone starts to get excited... looking down the road to
see if the bus is coming.

Sean's watch hits 7:55. No bus.

SEAN
All right! 7:55. Everybody goes home.

RONALD
Let's go to Donnie's house. His
parents are both at work.

The three guys begin walking.

DONNIE
Come on, Sam, you can call Joanie's
mom from home.

The two girls follow them. Cherita stands at the corner.

DONNIE
Hey, Cherita... you should go home.

SEAN
Yeah, if you're still here and the
bus comes, we'll get in trouble.

CHERITA
Chut up.

SEAN
Hey, porky pig. I hope you get
molested!

Suddenly, Emily Bates (ten) and Susie Bates (eight) run up
to the bus stop.

EMILY
Hey! Our mom said that school is
cancelled today because it's flooded!

JOANIE
No... way.

A horrible expression appears on Donnie's face.

INT. MIDDLESEX RIDGE SCHOOL - MORNING

A janitor named Leroy (fifty-five) stands at the end of the
hall with Principal Cole. Water rushes past their feet down
the steps.

LEROY
I got twelve classrooms full of water.
All coming from a busted water main.

PRINCIPAL COLE
What else?

LEROY
What else? Shit, Principal Cole, you
ain't gonna believe what else.

EXT. BACK COURTYARD - MORNING

They stand before the bronze Middlesex mongrel. Spray-painted
on the concrete before it is the phrase: THEY MADE ME DO IT.

There are papers strewn everywhere. Embedded in the head of
the mongrel is an axe.

PRINCIPAL COLE
Christ. Is that an axe?

LEROY
Yep.

PRINCIPAL COLE
How did this happen?

LEROY
(beat)
I guess they made him do it.

Leroy can't help himself. He has to laugh.

PRINCIPAL COLE
You're fired.

Principal Cole walks off.

EXT. BUS STOP 2 - EARLY MORNING (8:15 A.M.)

Donnie, Sean, Ronald, Samantha and Joanie, Emily and Susie
walk from their bus stop.

RONALD
School's closed! Everybody go home!

EMILY
Nuh-uh.

SAMANTHA
Yeah-huh. A cat burglar broke him
and trashed everything.

Susie talks with Emily. Joanie and Samantha listen in.

EMILY
Mom said that the boys' locker room
looked like a swimming pool... and
that they found faeces everywhere.

SUSIE
What are faeces?

EMILY
Baby mice.

SUSIE
Aww.

JOANIE
Oh my God, that is so grody.

EXT. BUS STOP 3 - NEXT

Sean looks down to another bus stop down the street.

SEAN
School's cancelled!

A bunch of young kids scream out... jumping up and down.

EXT. BUS STOP 4 - NEXT

Donnie approaches another corner alone. Ricky Danforth
(seventeen) and Seth Devlin (eighteen) stand with Gretchen.

SETH
(smoking a cigarette)
Has anyone ever told you that you're
sexy?

RICKY
I like your boobs.

Gretchen looks at them with disgust.

Donnie walks into the group.

DONNIE
Hey...

GRETCHEN
Hey...

DONNIE
School's cancelled.

They look at one another, surprised.

GRETCHEN
(to Donnie)
Wanna walk me home?

DONNIE
Sure.

They quickly begin to walk off. Seth and Ricky look off at
them, furious.

GRETCHEN
Don't look so freaked.

DONNIE
I'm not. But you should check your
backpack 'cause those guys like to
steal shit.

GRETCHEN
Fuck them.

Gretchen smiles at Donnie, and then turns back and gives
them the middle finger.

EXT. NEIGHBOURHOOD STREET - NEXT (8:30 A.M.)

Donnie and Gretchen walk along the sidewalk together.

DONNIE
So... you just moved here?

GRETCHEN
Yeah. My parents got divorced. My
mom has a restraining order against
my stepdad.
(beat)
He has... emotional problems.

DONNIE
Oh, I... have those too.
(beat)
What kind of problems does your dad
have?

GRETCHEN
(long beat)
He stabbed my mom four times in the
chest.

Donnie is shocked.

DONNIE
Wow. Did he go to jail?

GRETCHEN
He fled. They still can't find him.
(beat)
My mom and I had to change our names
and stuff. I thought Gretchen sounded
kind of cool.

DONNIE
I'm sorry. I was in jail once.
(beat)
I accidentally burned down this house.
It was abandoned. I got held back in
school again. Can't drive until I'm
eighteen.
(babbling)
I think when I grow up I want to be
a painter. Or maybe a writer or maybe
both. Then I'll write a book and
draw the illustrations like a comic
book. You know, change things.

GRETCHEN
Donnie Darko is a cool name. Sounds
like a superhero.

DONNIE
What makes you think I'm not?

Gretchen smiles. She looks over at her house.

GRETCHEN
I should go. For physics. Monnitoff
says I have to write an essay on the
greatest invention ever to benefit
mankind.

DONNIE
That's easy. Antiseptics.

She gives him a look.

DONNIE
I mean, the whole sanitation thing.
Joseph Lister... 1895. Before
antiseptics there was no sanitation,
especially in medicine.

GRETCHEN
You mean soap?

DONNIE
Don't knock soap. Without it, disease
would spread rapidly. If we ran out...
you and I would never live to see
the year 2000.

GRETCHEN
Wonder where we'll be then.

DONNIE
The best thing about soap is that
it's the only thing on earth that
can never get dirty. No matter what
crap you throw on it... it always
rubs off. And there it is again...
perfect.

GRETCHEN
Until it withers away.

She stares at him for a moment.

DONNIE
It's a good thing the school was
flooded today.

GRETCHEN
Why is that?

DONNIE
We never would have had this
conversation.

She smiles.

GRETCHEN
You're weird.

DONNIE
I'm sorry.

GRETCHEN
That was a compliment.

DONNIE
Will you go with me?

GRETCHEN
Where are we going?

DONNIE
No... I mean, will you GO with me?
That's like... what they call it
here. Going together.

GRETCHEN
(beat)
Sure.

She gets up and begins to walk up the hill.

DONNIE
Where are you going?

GRETCHEN
I'm going home.

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 6 1988

INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - EVENING (THURSDAY, 6 P.M.)

Dr. Thurman sits next to Donnie. His eyes are closed.

DR. THURMAN
And when I clap my hands twice, you
will wake up. Do you understand?

DONNIE
Yes.

DR. THURMAN
So, tell me about your day, Donald.

DONNIE
I met a girl.

DR. THURMAN
What is her name?

DONNIE
Gretchen. We're going together now.

DR. THURMAN
Do you think a lot about girls?

DONNIE
Yes.

DR. THURMAN
How are things going at school?

DONNIE
I think about girls a lot.

DR. THURMAN
I asked you about school.

DONNIE
I think about... fucking a lot during
school.

DR. THURMAN
What else do you think about during
school?

DONNIE
I think... about... "Who's the Boss?"

DR. THURMAN
Who is the boss?

DONNIE
I just turn the volume down and think
about fucking Alyssa Milano.

DR. THURMAN
What about your family, Donnie?

DONNIE
No, I don't think about fucking my
family. That's sick!

DR. THURMAN
Donnie... I want to hear about your
friend Frank.

Donnie is now undoing his belt. He is no longer paying
attention.

Dr. Thurman quickly claps her hands. Donnie jolts awake...
disoriented.

INT. ENGLISH CLASS - DAY (FRIDAY, 8:30 A.M.)

Donnie sits with his eyes wide open, staring at something.

POLICE OFFICER
(out of shot)
Aaron Armitage... Cherita Chen.

Donnie's face has gone white.

PRINCIPAL COLE
Donald Darko.

We reveal on the blackboard the phrase, "They made me do
it", written over and over again.

We reveal two Police Officers standing next to Principal
Cole in the corner of the classroom.

Donnie gets up and walks over to the board and writes the
phrase.

He then sits down again without hesitation.

The Police Officer hesitates for a moment, lingering over
Donnie's penmanship. He then places a '?' next to Donnie's
name on the roster. Ms. Pomeroy makes eye-contact with him.

INT. HEALTH CLASS - AFTERNOON (FRIDAY, 1 P.M.)

We pull back from a television: a cloud formation blows across
the screen revealing a logo that reads: CUNNING VISIONS
PRODUCTIONS. A series of interviews follows.. infomercial
style.

LINDA CONNIE
And what I realised was that my entire
life I was a victim of my own FEAR.
I was FEEDING FEAR WITH FOOD... and
finally... I looked in the mirror.
Not just IN THE MIRROR. I looked
THROUGH the mirror. And in that image
I saw my EGO REFLECTION.

Donnie's health class is assembled in uniform rows in front
of a television cart. Ms. Farmer paces in front of them.

SHANDA RIESMAN
(with her arm around
her geeky son)
...and for two years I thought it
was NORMAL for a fifteen-year-old to
wet the bed.

Laughter from the students.

MS. FARMER
QUIET!

SHANDA RIESMAN
(choking up)
We tried everything. But the solution
was there... all along.

LARRY RIESMAN
(burst out emotionally)
I'm not AFRAID anymore!

A montage of "family" imagery follows.

NARRATOR
All across America... people have
come together to join hands. People
who believe that human life is too
important... too valuable to be
controlled by FEAR.

A middle-aged man walks out onto a country patio. It is Jim
Cunningham... the guy from the golf course.

JIM CUNNINGHAM
Hello. My name is Jim Cunningham.
And welcome to "Controlling Fear".

The title CONTROLLING FEAR appears on the screen... followed
by PART ONE: ATTITUDINAL BELIEFS.

FRANK (V.O.)
Pay close attention, you could miss
something.

Donnie stares at the screen... at Jim Cunningham.

EXT. OLD GUN RUINS - AFTERNOON (FRIDAY MAGIC HOUR, 4:30
P.M.)

The ruins of a brick chimney sit in the middle of a field.
Donnie, Sean and Ronald have lined up several empty beer
bottles, cans and stuffed animals on the hearth.

They take turns blasting these targets with a BB gun.

Blam! A can falls over. Ronald hands the gun to Donnie. Sean
pulls out a bottle of Raspberry Night Train and takes a sip.
He hands the bottle to Ronald.

RONALD
What is this shit?

SEAN
Raspberry.

He takes a big sip... which results in a dry heave.

RONALD
Raspberry. That's good shit.

Donnie aims the crosshairs on Smurfette's head. He pulls the
trigger. Smurfette falls over.

RONALD
Wicked.

SEAN
No more fuckin' for her.

RONALD
Smurfette doesn't fuck.

SEAN
Bullshit. Smurfette fucks all the
other smurfs. That's why Papa Smurf
made her, 'cause the other smurfs
were getting too horny.

RONALD
Not Vanity. He's a homo.

Blam! A bottle shatters.

SEAN
Then she fucks 'em all while Vanity
watches. And Papa Smurf films it.

Ronald takes another sip of Night Train... followed by another
dry heave. Blam! A bottle breaks.

DONNIE
First of all... Papa Smurf didn't
create Smurfette. Gargamel did. She
was sent in as Gargemel's evil spy,
with the intention of destroying the
smurf village. But the overwhelming
Goodness of the Smurf Way of Life
transformed her into the Smurfette
we all know and love. And as for the
whole gang-bang scenario... it just
couldn't happen. Smurfs are asexual.
They probably don't even have
reproductive organs down there under
those little white pants. The only
reason they exist is because of magic
spells and witchcraft... which is
all a bunch of bullshit if you ask
me.
(beat)
That's what's so illogical about the
smurfs... what's the point of living
if you don't have a dick?

Donnie aims the gun... pulls the trigger. Blam! A bottle
breaks.

RONALD
Dammit, Donnie! Why do you always
gotta get all smart on us!

Donnie takes the bottle of Night Train and takes a small
sip.

Their conversation is interrupted by the squealing of tyres.

EXT. OLD GUN ROAD - NEXT (MAGIC HOUR, 5 P.M.)

Down the hill, a Dodge minivan is stopped on Old Gun Road.

Grandma Death is once again in the middle of the street.

DONNIE
Grandma Death.

Ms. farmer leans her head out of the window.

MS. FARMER
Excuse me!

Grandma Death doesn't hear her. She wanders around in circles.

Furious, Ms. Farmer gets out of the car and walks over to
the old woman, walking her by the shoulders back to her
driveway.

MS. FARMER
Please stay out of the road, Ms.
Sparrow. If this happens again, I'm
going to call social services.

Ms. Farmer gets back behind the wheel and they drive off.

Grandma Death lurks around her mailbox.

RONALD
How old is Grandma Death?

DONNIE
A hundred and one, I think. Every
day she does the same thing. But
there's never any mail.

Grandma Death approaches the mailbox.

SEAN
Here we go... this could be it.

She opens it... then closes it. Walks away.

RONALD
Awwww. That sucks.

She approaches the box again...

SEAN
Wait a minute... we may still have
mail...

Opens it... closes it. Walks away.

RONALD
Noooo!

They continue to watch her, sipping liquor into the sunset,
as Grandma Death repeats this act like an ancient wind-up
doll.

INT. FAMILY ROOM - EVENING (FRIDAY, 7 P.M.)

Donnie lies on the couch watching television... where there
is a news story about the flooded school. Several construction
workers are packing up their things.

INT. UPSTAIRS BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER (7:15 P.M.)

Looking nauseous, Donnie opens the medicine cabinet and
retrieves his pills. He takes four of them. Donnie takes a
drink of water, closing his eyes. He puts the pills back and
closes the cabinet.

In the mirror's reflection is Frank. Donnie jumps.

FRANK
You got away with it. Don't worry.

Donnie reaches his hand out towards Frank and it presses
against an invisible wall, as if he were pressing his hand
against liquid glass.

DONNIE
How can you do that?

FRANK
I can do anything I want... and so
can you...

Donnie stares closely at Frank. He then removes his hands
and moves back away from him.

EXT. MIDDLESEX SCHOOL AUDITORIUM - EVENING (7:15 P.M.)

A sign reads: EMERGENCY PTA MEETING TONIGHT.

INT. AUDITORIUM - EVENING (7:15 P.M.)

Parents and teachers convene in front of the auditorium
entrance.

Kitty Farmer hands out Xeroxed images of something.

Eddie and Rose chit-chat with other concerned parents.

Ms. Pomeroy approaches Kitty Farmer.

MS. POMEROY
What are you trying to accomplish
here?

MS. FARMER
(indignant)
There was urine and faeces flooded
in my office.

INT. AUDITORIUM - LATER ON

The crowd settles... Principal Cole takes the stage.

PRINCIPAL COLE
In co-operation with the county
police, we have begun an active
investigation into the cause of the
flooding... and our suspects include
several of our own students.

Kitty Farmer stands up in her seat near the front row.

MS. FARMER
I want to know why this FILTH is
being taught to our children.

The crowd stirs.

PRINCIPAL COLE
Kitty, I would appreciate... if you
could wait...

MS. FARMER
Mr. Cole... not only am I a TEACHER...
but I am also a PARENT of a Middlesex
child. Therefore, I am the ONLY person
here who transcends the parent-teacher
bridge.

PRINCIPAL COLE
Kitty...

MS. FARMER
The bottom line... Mr. Cole... is
that there is material being taught
to our children that is cause for
this destructive behaviour.

She stands up.

MS. FARMER
I have in my hand Graham Greene's
"The Destructors". This short story
is part of my daughter's English
assignment. In this story, several
children destroy an elderly man's
house from inside out. They destroy
his house without motive, without
moral consequence. They destroy
private property... and they get
away with it.

Ms. Pomeroy shakes her head bitterly.

MS. FARMER
And how do they do this? They FLOOD
the house... by breaking through the
water main!

PRINCIPAL COLE
(trying to calm her)
This meeting of the PTA was called
to inform the parents of our ongoing
investigation...

MS. FARMER
(enraged)
I AM THE PTA! And I say that this
FILTH is directly related to this
vandalism.

Applause from the crowd.

MS. FARMER
I think this garbage should be
removed.

Several shouts of approval come from the crowd.

INT. UPSTAIRS BATHROOM - EVENING

Donnie continues to converse with Frank.

DONNIE
Why did you make me flood the school?

FRANK
We just want to guide you in the
right direction.

DONNIE
Who is... we?

FRANK
You'll know soon enough.

DONNIE
(desperate)
Where did you come from?

FRANK
(beat)
Do you believe in time travel, Donnie?

A moment of silence.

SAMANTHA
Who are you talking to?

Donnie turns to see Samantha is standing in the doorway.
Frank is gone.

INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

A heated debate among the parents is under way. Frustrated,
Rose stands up. Karen Pomeroy is furious.

ROSE
Excuse me... but what is the real
issue here? The PTA doesn't ban books
from school.

MS. FARMER
The PTA is here to acknowledge that
there is pornography in our school's
curriculum.

MS. POMEROY
(standing up)
My GOD... woman, are you drunk?

MS. FARMER
Excuse me? You need to go back to
grad school.

ROSE
(to Kitty)
Do you even know who Graham Greene
is?

MS. FARMER
(to Rose)
I think we've all seen "Bonanza".

Ms. Pomeroy is disgusted. Rose and Eddie burst out laughing,
grab their coats, and leave.

EXT. WIZARD'S ARCADE - AFTERNOON (SATURDAY, 1 P.M.)

Donnie and Gretchen play a Sega race-car driving game. Donnie
drives a souped-up red Ferrari through the Grand Canyon.

GRETCHEN
So when you sleepwalk, can you
remember afterward? Like, do you
dream?

DONNIE
No. I just wake up and I look around,
try to figure out where I am... how
I got there.

GRETCHEN
My dad said never wake a
sleepwalker... because they could
drop dead.

The Trans-Am crashes head on into a tree. Game Over.

DONNIE
It's like this big force... that's
in your brain. But sometimes it grows
bigger... and it spread down into
your arms and legs... and it just
sends you someplace.

GRETCHEN
So when you sleepwalk, you go
somewhere familiar?

DONNIE
No. Every time I wake up somewhere
different. Sometimes my bike is laying
there next to me. Like once when I
woke up on the edge of this cliff up
on Carpathian Ridge.

GRETCHEN
And you'd never been there before?

They sit silently for a moment.

GRETCHEN
Donnie?

DONNIE
Yeah?

GRETCHEN
Do you ever feel as though there's
always someone watching you?

DONNIE
Why?

GRETCHEN
Well... maybe someone is, like...
giving you these dream steroids. And
sleepwalking ...is someone showing
you the way.

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 13 1988

INT. ENGLISH CLASS - MORNING (THURSDAY, 8 A.M.)

Donnie stands in front of the class. Ms. Pomeroy sits behind
her desk. On the chalkboard is "Poetry Day".

DONNIE
"A storm is coming, Frank says. A
storm that will swallow the
children... and I will deliver them
from the kingdom of pain."
(beat)
"I will deliver the children to their
doorsteps. I will send the monsters
back to the underground. I will send
them back to a place where no one
can see them... except for me. Because
I am Donnie Darko."

Donnie returns to his seat. Ms. Pomeroy stares at him
intensely.

MS. POMEROY
Who is Frank?

DONNIE
A six-foot-tall bunny rabbit.

The class begins to laugh. Donnie looks over at Gretchen.

INT. HEALTH CLASS - AFTERNOON (THURSDAY, 1 P.M.)

Ms. Farmer stands next to the television where Jim Cunningham
narrates the Lifeline tutorial.

JIM CUNNINGHAM
And so, let us begin Lifeline Exercise
No. 1.

"PLEASE PRESS STOP NOW" appears on the screen.

Ms. Farmer stops the tape and moves to the blackboard. On
it, she has drawn a horizontal line book-ended by the words
"Love" and "Fear".

MS. FARMER
As you can see, the Lifeline is
controlled by two polar extremes:
"Fear" and "Love". Fear is in the
negative energy spectrum. Love is in
the positive energy spectrum.

SEAN
(to Donnie)
No duh.

MS. FARMER
Excuse me?
(defensive)
"No duh" is a product of fear.

She stares them down for a moment... shaking her head.

MS. FARMER
(handing out cards)
Now, on each card is a CHARACTER
DILEMMA which applies to the Lifeline.
Please read each character dilemma
aloud... and place an X on the
Lifeline in the appropriate place.

The students read their cards.

KITTY FARMER
We'll start in the front.

Cherita Chen stands up and walks over to the blackboard. Ms.
Farmer pulls up large white cards that have black-and-white
animated cartoons on them.

CHERITA
Juanita has an important maths test
today. She has known about the test
for several weeks, but has not
studied. In order to keep from failing
her class, Juanita decides that she
will cheat on the maths test.

Cherita places an X near the "Fear" end of the lifeline.

MS. FARMER
Good. Next.

Donnie watches as several more students interpret their
respective human dilemmas.

Finally... it is his turn.

DONNIE
Ling Ling finds a wallet on the ground
filled with money. She takes the
wallet to the address on the driver's
license but keeps the money inside
the wallet.

Donnie looks at the blackboard.

DONNIE
I'm sorry, Ms. Farmer, I just don't
get this.

MS. FARMER
(impatient)
Just place an X in the appropriate
place on the Lifeline.

DONNIE
I just don't get this. Everything
can't be lumped into two categories.
That's too simple.

MS. FARMER
The Lifeline is divided that way.

DONNIE
Well, life isn't that simple. So
what if Ling Ling kept the cash and
returned the wallet? That has nothing
to do with either fear or love.

MS. FARMER
(impatient)
Fear and love are the deepest of
human emotions.

DONNIE
Well, yeah... OK, but you're not
listening to me. There are other
things that need to be taken into
account here. Like the whole spectrum
of human emotion. You're just lumping
everything into these two
categories... and, like, denying
everything else.

Ms. Farmer stares at Donnie vehemently. She can't believe
what she's hearing.

DONNIE
People aren't that simple.

MS. FARMER
(not knowing how to
argue with him)
If you don't complete the assignment,
you'll get a zero for the day.

Donnie thinks for a moment... and then raises his hand.

INT. PRINCIPAL COLE'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON (2 P.M.)

Donnie and his parents sit in front of Principal Cole.

PRINCIPAL COLE
Donald... let me preface this by
saying that your Iowa scores are...
(looking down at the
file)
...intimidating.
(rubbing his temples)
So... let's go over this again. What
exactly did you say to Ms. Farmer?

Donnie does not answer. We reveal Ms. Farmer standing in the
corner.

MS. FARMER
(furious)
He asked me to... forcibly insert
the Lifeline exercise card into my
anus.

Silence. Rose looks down, furious. Eddie lets out a snort
laugh which he tries to conceal with a cough. It doesn't
work.

INT. TEACHERS' LOUNGE / OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER (2:15 P.M.)

Eddie and Donnie exit Cole's office, moving on while Rose
approaches Kitty, who looks visibly shaken.

ROSE
Kitty, I don't know what to say.
They've suspended him for two days.
(beat)
Ever since this jet fiasco, I honestly
don't know what has gotten into him.

MS. FARMER
Rose, I'll tell you this because our
daughters have been on dance team
together for two years and I respect
you as a WOMAN. But after witnessing
your son's behaviour today, I have...
significant doubts...
(stopping herself)
Our paths through life must be
righteous. I urge you to go home and
look in the mirror and pray that
your son does not succumb to the
path of fear.

Kitty Farmer turns and walks away.

EXT. DARKO BACKYARD / PATIO - SUNSET (MAGIC HOUR, 5:30 P.M.)

Samantha jumps up and down on the trampoline.

INT. DONNIE'S ROOM - NIGHT (5:30 P.M.)

Donnie walks into his room again for the first time since
the accident, looking around at the new furniture, paint and
carpet. Everything is perfect.

Elizabeth appears in the doorway behind him with a cordless
phone in her hand.

ELIZABETH
(into the phone)
Oh my God, remember that gym teacher,
Ms. Farmer?
(beat)
Yeah. Well, I guess my brother called
her a fat bitch today in class and
got suspended. And my parents just
bought him all of this new shit.
(beat)
Yeah, I know. I wish a jet engine
would have fallen on my room.

INT. MARINO'S ITALIAN BISTRO - NIGHT (6 P.M.)

Eddie and Rose sit across from one another at the bistro
patio... having a quiet dinner to themselves.

ROSE
He's too old to be behaving this
way.

Eddie considers this.

EDDIE
Oh, I say we buy him a moped.

INT. DONNIE'S ROM - NIGHT (7 P.M.)

Donnie lies in bed... looking up at the ceiling. He then
rolls over and looks at the calendar on his wall. The days
of the month of October are marked off with an X in each
square. Tacked onto the calendar is a drawing of Frank.

DONNIE
28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12
seconds.

INT. PHYSICS CLASS - DAY (FRIDAY, 2:30 P.M.)

As everyone is leaving class, Donnie stays behind.

DONNIE
Dr. Monnitoff?

DR. MONNITOFF
Donnie.

DONNIE
I know that this is gonna sound kinda
weird... but do you know anything
about time travel?

Dr. Monnitoff pauses, turns and looks at Donnie. He seems to
know something.

INT. PHYSICS CLASS - LATER ON

Dr. Monnitoff has drawn a diagram on the blackboard. In his
hand he holds a copy of Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History
of Time".

DR. MONNITOFF
So... according to Hawking...
wormholes might be able to provide a
short cut for jumping between two
distant regions of space-time.

DONNIE
So... in order to travel back in
time, you'd have to have a big
spaceship or something that can travel
faster than the speed of light --

DR. MONNITOFF
Theoretically.

DONNIE
-- and be able to find one of these
wormholes.

DR. MONNITOFF
A wormhole with an Einstein-Rosen
bridge, which is, theoretically... a
wormhole in space controlled by man.

DONNIE
So... that's it?

DR. MONNITOFF
The basic principles of time travel
are there.
(beat)
So you have the vessel and the portal.
And the vessel can be anything. Most
likely a spacecraft.

EXT. SCHOOL COURTYARD - NEXT

Cherita Chen listens to this conversation intently.

INT. PHYSICS CLASS - NEXT

DONNIE
Like a DeLorean.

DR. MONNITOFF
(smiling)
A metal craft of any kind.

Donnie stares at him intently. Dr. Monnitoff walks over to
his desk and picks up a book.

DR. MONNITOFF
Don't tell anybody that I gave you
this.
(beat)
The woman who wrote it... used to
teach here a long time ago. She was
a nun for many years and then
overnight she just became this
entirely different person. She up
and left the Church, wrote this book,
and started teaching science.

Donnie takes the battered book... we see the cover.

INT. SCHOOL MAIN HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER

Donnie stands before an array of old photographs. We zoom in
to a black-and-white photograph of a young Robert Sparrow
standing in a class photograph dated 1944.

Donnie looks down at the book, and then at the photograph.

DONNIE
Roberta Sparrow... Grandma Death.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT (FRIDAY, 6 P.M.)

Donnie sits down for dinner with his family.

DONNIE
It's called "The Philosophy of Time
Travel".

ELIZABETH
What does time travel have to do
with philosophy?

DONNIE
Guess who wrote it?

No one seems to know.

DONNIE
Grandma Death.

ROSE
That is a terrible nickname.

EDDIE
Grandma Death.

DONNIE
(to Eddie)
You know, Roberta Sparrow. We almost
hit her with the car the other day.

ROSE
I've heard she's loaded.

The family is taken aback.

EDDIE
You're right. Roberta Sparrow was
famous for her gem collections. Kids
used to try and steal stuff from her
all the time. Over the years... as
she got older, she became more and
more of a recluse... now she just
likes to stay up there all by herself.

DONNIE
I guess she just lost faith in the
world.

EXT. DARKO BACKYARD - SUNSET (SATURDAY, 5:30 P.M.)

Slow motion. Donnie and Gretchen jump up and down on the
trampoline, lost among falling autumn leaves.

INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - DAY (SUNDAY, 12 P.M.)

Donnie is back on Dr. Thurman's couch.

DR. THURMAN
How many times have you seen Frank?

DONNIE
Four times... so far.

DR. THURMAN
Can anyone else see him?

DONNIE
I don't think so. It's like a TV
station. And they're tuned into mine
and no one else's.

DR. THURMAN
Who is they? Is Frank part of some
larger group?

DONNIE
I don't know. Gretchen has a theory.
That Frank is a sign. I told her I
thought it was ridiculous.

DR. THURMAN
A sign from whom?

DONNIE
(changing the subject)
I think that Frank wants me to go to
this woman.
(holding up the book)
She wrote a book about time travel.
Frank asked me if I believed in time
travel. That can't just be a random
coincidence.
(beat)
My dad almost hit her with the car
the other day, and she said the
creepiest thing. She said that every
living creature on this earth dies
alone.

DR. THURMAN
How does that make you feel?

DONNIE
It reminded me of my dog Callie.

DR. THURMAN
Is Callie still around?

DONNIE
No. She died when I was eight. We
couldn't find her for days. She went
and crawled underneath our back
porch...

DR. THURMAN
Do you feel alone right now?

He looks at her for a moment.

DONNIE
I'd like to believe that I'm not...
but I've just never seen any proof.
So I just choose not to bother with
it. It's, like, I could spend my
whole life thinking about it...
debating it in my head. Weighing the
pros and cons. And in the end, I
still wouldn't have any proof. So...
I don't even debate it any more.
Because it's absurd.
(beat)
I don't want to be alone.
(beat)
So, does that make me, like, an
atheist?

DR. THURMAN
No. That makes you keep searching.

Donnie takes this in for a moment.

INT. FAMILY ROOM - EVENING (SUNDAY, 7:15 P.M.)

Eddie and Dr. Fisher watch the Redskins game. Ronald and
Donnie watch the game in the family room.

EDDIE
Ahh... we need Theisman.

DR. FISHER
We need a miracle.

INT. KITCHEN - NEXT

Rose and Anne Fisher (forty-five) share a bottle of wine at
the kitchen table.

ANNE
And so, his tapes made me realise
that for forty-five years I have
been a a prisoner of fear. Rose, you
have to meet Jim Cunningham.
(taking a sip of wine)
I can't believe he's not married.

Samantha bounces through the kitchen and into the family
room, wearing a Dorothy outfit from "The Wizard of Oz".

INT. FAMILY ROOM - NEXT

Donnie sits back in the La-Z Boy, dozing off...

John Madden's CBS chalkboard unfolds on the TV screen. Madden
traces his electronic lines across the screen, tracing the
movement of the players... as their images are frozen in
time.

Donnie's eyes close... and then re-open.

Donnie turns his head and sees that the room is momentarily
bathed in artificial white light, as if God hit the slow-
motion button during a flash of lightning.

Donnie turns his head and sees that protruding from his
father's stomach... is a thick spear made of silvery plastic
gel.

As Eddie gets up from the couch to walk over to the
refrigerator... his spear precedes him... morphing into an
extruded arrow that reaches the refrigerator several seconds
before him.

The spear traces the exact geography of his movement through
time... using his centre of gravity as its axis point.

Donnie turns and sees Samantha skipping from the kitchen...
as her spear bounces several feet in front of her like a
caterpillar.

Her spear... smaller than her father's... is proportional to
her mass.

SAMANTHA
(her voice echoing
through the silence)
Follow the yellow brick road...

Donnie looks down at his stomach and sees his own spear
protruding outward. It then begins to extrude forward towards
the foyer.

He does not follow it. It then retreats back in and beckons
him to follow.

Like a child transfixed by a firefly... Donnie follows the
path of his spear into the foyer.

INT. FOYER / UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NXT

Donnie and his spear round the corner and arrive in his
parents' bedroom.

INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT

His spear leads him to the closet. He opens the closet door...
and the spear leads him down to a box hidden beneath his
father's shoe rack.

Donnie removes the box from the closet and unlatches it.
Inside is a gun. Donnie removes the pistol from the box...
staring at it with the same childlike expression.

Suddenly... Donnie's universe snaps back to normal. The white
light strobes... the spear has vanished.

Donnie still holds the gun. His expression changes to nervous
shock.

His eyes linger over the gun for a moment, he then quickly
puts it back in the box... and carefully places the box back
under the shoe rack.

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 18 1988

INT. ENGLISH CLASS - MORNING (8:30 A.M.)

We see the students placing the Graham Greene books on Ms.
Pomeroy's desk.

MS. POMEROY
It gives me no pleasure to deny you
the right to read one of the great
writers of the twentieth century.
But... alas, I have not yet been
elected Queen of the Universe. And
until that day, I will be forced to
obey the rules... and so will you.
So... if anyone is found carrying
this book in school, they will be
suspended.

Donnie slips his book into his backpack.

MS. POMEROY
But let's not worry. Someone has
already pre-ordered several dozen
copies at Sarasota Mall Waldenbooks.
now, in Mr. Greene's absence, we
will be reading another classic.
Richard Adams' "Watership Down".

She begins to hand out copies of the paperback novel. Beth
Farmer smiles when she sees the cover.

BETH
Awww. Bunnies.

MS. POMEROY
(whispering in his
ear)
Donnie, maybe you and Frank can read
this one together.

INT. SCHOOL BATHROOM - MIDDAY (11:30 A.M.)

Donnie walks along the edge of the school. Suddenly, a figure
approaches, grabbing him from behind, placing a switchblade
next to his throat It is Seth Devlin.

SETH
Did you tell them that I flooded the
school?

DONNIE
I didn't say shit.

SETH
That's not what I heard. Now they
think I did it.

DONNIE
Well, if you're innocent, then you
have nothing to worry about.

SETH
You know what? I think that you did
it.

Seth takes the knife and pokes the tip softly into the flesh
of Donnie's neck, drawing a small amount of blood.

He pushes Donnie away. Donnie touches his neck in shock.

INT. PHYSICS CLASS - DAY (2:30 P.M.)

Donnie walks into the classroom and takes his seat next to
Gretchen. He is sweating profusely.

Dr. Monnitoff is handing out papers. The bell rings People
shuffle out.

DR. MONNITOFF
Don't forget tomorrow we'll be meeting
with our partners for the Young
Inventors Fair.

Donnie rubs his finger over his neck wound.

GRETCHEN
What happened to your neck?

DONNIE
I don't want to talk about it.
(changing the subject)
So what happened to your neck?

EXT. GOLF COURSE FOREST - THAT AFTERNOON (3 P.M.)

Donnie and Gretchen walk around the trail.

GRETCHEN
Were you ever afraid of the dark?

They pull over to a stop.

DONNIE
Why?

She thinks for a moment.

GRETCHEN
Babies cry because they're afraid of
the dark. And because they have no
memories... for all they know...
every night could be the last forever.
Like, perpetual darkness.

DONNIE
Why not just buy your baby a night
light?

GRETCHEN
That's not good enough. You've got
to go back in time and take all those
hours of darkness and pain and replace
them... with whatever you wanted.

DONNIE
With, like, images?

GRETCHEN
Like... a Hawaiian sunset... the
Grand Canyon. Things that remind you
how beautiful the world can be.

Donnie stops and takes Gretchen's hand.

DONNIE
You know... we've been going together
for a week and a half...

GRETCHEN
And what?

DONNIE
Well...

GRETCHEN
You want to kiss me...

Donnie goes in for an awkward kiss... but Gretchen turns and
denies him.

Donnie turns away, embarrassed.

DONNIE
That's alright... I understand.

GRETCHEN
(embarrassed)
No... Donnie, wait. I've never...

DONNIE
I always wanted it to be at a time
when... when it reminds you how
beautiful the world can be.

GRETCHEN
Yeah. And right now there's some fat
guy over there watching us.

A man in a red jogging suit is standing there in the forest
smoking a cigarette. He turns away... disappearing into the
woods.

EXT. NEIGHBOURHOOD STREET - LATER THAT AFTERNOON (4 P.M.)

Donnie rides along the sidewalk... and skids to a stop, seeing
a wallet lying there.

Donnie opens the wallet, looking at the ID. It reads:

JIM CUNNINGHAM 42 POWDERHAM DRIVE MIDDLESEX, VA 23113

FRANK (V.O.)
(echoing in Donnie's
head)
Now you know where he lives.

Donnie looks over and sees that he is in front of Cunningham's
Tudor mansion.

INT. KITCHEN - EVENING (7:15 P.M.)

Donnie sits at the kitchen island with Elizabeth, carving a
pumpkin.

ELIZABETH
So I hear you have a girlfriend.

DONNIE
Yeah.

ELIZABETH
What's her name?

DONNIE
You're not gonna tell Mom, are you?

ELIZABETH
(defensive)
Why would I tell Mom?

DONNIE
Because you tell Mom everything.

ELIZABETH
No I don't.
(long beat)
She worries about you.

DONNIE
Well, don't worry... I'm taking my
medication.

ELIZABETH
It's not that. I mean mouthing off
to your teachers. I'll admit... when
Dad told me what you said to Ms.
Farmer, I laughed my ass off.

DONNIE
I was just being honest.

ELIZABETH
Yeah... well, that's not the way the
world works. If you keep being too
honest, the world will eventually
find a way to destroy you.

DONNIE
Her name is Gretchen.

ELIZABETH
That's a nice name.
(beat)
OK, let me see it.

Donnie turns the carved jack o' lantern around and we see
that it looks remarkably like Frank.

INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - NIGHT (8 P.M.)

Rose and Eddie sit in front of Dr. Thurman.

ROSE
Thank you for seeing us... We...
just felt that it was time to
discuss...

DR. THURMAN
What I think is going on with your
son.

ROSE
Well, you know about his past. And
when you said to look for signs of
aggression... He was recently
suspended from school for insulting
his gym teacher.

EDDIE
She deserved it.

DR. THURMAN
Rose... let me just lay out what I
believe is happening here. Donnie's
aggressive behaviour seems to stem
from his increased detachment from
reality. His inability to cope with
the forces in the world that he
perceives to be threatening.

Rose smiles nervously.

DR. THURMAN
Has your son ever told you about
Frank?

ROSE
Come again?

DR. THURMAN
Frank... the giant bunny rabbit?

ROSE
Frank?

DR. THURMAN
Donnie is experiencing what is
commonly called a daylight
hallucination.

ROSE
You're telling me my son has an
imaginary friend?

DR. THURMAN
He has described lengthy
conversations... physical encounters
with what I believe to be a
manifestation of his subconscious
mind.

Rose looks over at Eddie with an expression of panic.

ROSE
I... What can we do?

DR. THURMAN
I would like to put him through more
hypnotherapy... and increase his
medication.

Eddie looks at Rose... who nods in approval.

ROSE
If that's what you think is necessary.

DR. THURMAN
But let me remind you that this
treatment is... experimental.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT

Donnie walks into the kitchen and removes a butcher's knife
from a drawer.

INT. UPSTAIRS BATHROOM - NIGHT

Donnie stands in front of the bathroom mirror... catatonic...
looking at his reflection.

Frank stands behind him.

Suddenly, Donnie turns around with the butcher's knife and
lunges at Frank with all of his weight.

The knife collides with Frank's invisible force field as if
it were liquid steel. Donnie lunges repeatedly at Frank with
psychotic rage... but the knife bounces off.

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 20 1988

INT. SCHOOL AUDITORIUM - MORNING (10 A.M.)

The auditorium is packed with Middlesex mongrels. Jim
Cunningham takes the stage.

JIM CUNNINGHAM
(shouting)
Good morning, mongrels!

AUDIENCE
(scattered voices)
Good morning...

JIM CUNNINGHAM
That's all the gusta you can musta?
I said, "Good morning!"

AUDIENCE
(yelling louder)
Good MORNING!

JIM CUNNINGHAM
Now that's better... but I still
sense some students out there... who
are AFRAID... just to say GOOD
MORNING!

AUDIENCE
(screaming)
GOOD MORNING!

JIM CUNNINGHAM
Are you AFRAID?

AUDIENCE
(screaming louder)
GOOD MORNING!

JIM CUNNINGHAM
Now that's what I like to hear!
(suddenly serious)
Because too many young men and women
today are paralysed by their fears.
They give in to their feelings of
self-doubt... they surrender their
bodies to the temptations of drugs,
alcohol and premarital sex. Empty
solutions. These are toxic
chemicals... and disease-spreading
behaviour.

A large screen lowers behind him.

JIM CUNNINGHAM
I would like to tell you a story
today about a young man whose life
was destroyed by the instruments of
fear. A young man searching for
love... in all the wrong places.
(shaking his head
tragically)
His name was Frank.

On the giant screen, an image slide appears of a young cartoon
teenager whose eyes are whacked out on drugs. The title
appears:

HIS NAME WAS FRANK.

Upon hearing the name Frank, Donnie falls into a paranoid
trance.

Gretchen, who looks extremely bored, leans over to Donnie.

GRETCHEN
Let's get out of here.

Donnie ignores her. His eyes are locked on Jim Cunningham,
who begins his rousing re-enactment of the sad, unfortunate
downfall of Frank.

Within minutes, Jim Cunningham has the crowd laughing...
enamoured of him with his cartoon slide show.

Note: during this sequence, the camera speed ramps to 4 bps.

INT. SCHOOL AUDITORIUM - NEXT (10:30 A.M.)

Donnie is in a trance.

DONNIE
We're moving through time.

GRETCHEN
What?

The huge screen rises upwards and Jim Cunningham takes
questions from the crowd from portable mike stands in the
back of the auditorium.

Several students get up and go to the mikes.

DORKY GIRL
Hi. Um... my stepsister... like... I
sometimes worry that she eats too
much.

OVERWEIGHT GIRL
(mortified; yelling
at her sister from
the crowd)
Shut up, Kim!

DORKY GIRL
I'm just trying to help you!

JIM CUNNINGHAM
There's no need to be embarrassed.
Many times we eat because we are
afraid to face the reality of our
ego reflections. We shouldn't just
look INTO the mirror. We should look
THROUGH the mirror.

DORKY GIRL
Thanks.

Kitty Farmer runs out onto the stage and hands Jim Cunningham
a bottle of water and a towel. She gives him the thumbs-up
sign, and runs back offstage.

LANKY KID
Um... How can I decide what I want
to be when I grow up?

JIM CUNNINGHAM
I think you should look deep within
yourself... deep within your heart...
and find what it is in the world
that makes you feel LOVE. Just pure
LOVE. And then go to that. In your
studies... in your athletics... go
towards love.

LANKY KID
Thank you.

Donnie gets up from his seat and goes to the mike.

LARRY RIESMAN
What can I do to learn how to fight?

JIM CUNNINGHAM
Violence is a product of fear. Those
who love themselves enough should
have no need to fight another person.
Learn to truly love yourself... and
the world will be yours.

LARRY RIESMAN
Okay.

Donnie steps up to the mike stand.

DONNIE
(furious)
How much are they paying you to be
here?

JIM CUNNINGHAM
Excuse me? What's your name, son?

DONNIE
Gerald.

JIM CUNNINGHAM
Well, Gerald, I think you're afraid.

DONNIE
Well, Jim, I think you're full of
shit!

There are rumblings from the faculty. Some laughter from the
student body.

DONNIE
Are you telling us this crap because
you want us to buy your book? Because
I'll tell you something, that was
some of the worst advice I've ever
heard!
(to Dorky Girl)
If you want your sister to lose
weight... tell her to get off the
couch, stop eating Twinkies... and
maybe go out for field hockey.
(to Lanky Kid)
You're never gonna know what you
want to be when you grow up. Most of
the time, nobody does. How about
you, Jim?
(to Larry)
And you... Sick of some jerk shoving
your head in a toilet? Then go lift
some weights... take a karate lesson.
And when he tries to do it again...
kick him in the balls.

More rumblings from the faculty... Laughter from the students
gets louder.

JIM CUNNINGHAM
(getting angry)
I think you are afraid to ask me for
advice. I think that you are a very
troubled... confused young man. I
think you're searching for answers
in all the wrong places.

DONNIE
(long beat)
Well, I think you're the fucking
Anti-Christ.

The crowd is stirring. Students break out into applause.
Principal Cole approaches Donnie and removes him from the
auditorium.

Gretchen watches him go with a smile.

EXT. OLD GUN ROAD - AFTERNOON (3:30 P.M.)

Donnie and Gretchen walk down the wooded road.

DONNIE
(mumbling)
They suspended me for two days.

GRETCHEN
(stopping)
Are you okay?

DONNIE
(long beat)
I've been seeing stuff... a lot of
really messed-up stuff.
(beat)
Do you know who Grandma Death is?

GRETCHEN
Who?

DONNIE
The old crazy woman who lives off
Old Gun Road.

Donnie takes out the book by Roberta Sparrow.

GRETCHEN
Oh, yeah.
(taking the book)
"The Philosophy of Time Travel".
What is this?

DONNIE
She wrote it.
(beat)
There are chapters in this book that
describe the stuff I've been seeing.
It can't just be a coincidence.
(beat)
Will you come see her with me?

EXT. OLD GUN ROAD - NEXT (3:45 P.M.)

Donnie and Gretchen stand at the end of Grandma Death's
driveway.

Gretchen leads Donnie up to the front porch of the decrepit
house. She then rings the doorbell. They wait for several
moments... nothing happens.

Gretchen then goes and peers through a window.

DONNIE
I know she's here. She never leaves
the house.

GRETCHEN
Maybe she's asleep.

They walk to the end of the driveway, and Donnie stops at
the mailbox. He opens it... empty.

GRETCHEN
(pointing at the house)
Donnie, look.

In an upstairs window of the house, the silhouette of Grandma
Death peers down at them ominously.

INT. DONNIE'S ROOM - AFTERNOON

Donnie sits at his desk, sealing an envelope. The address
reads:

MS. ROBERTA SPARROW 22 OLD GUN ROAD MIDDLESEX, VA 23113

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 23 1988

INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - EVENING (6 P.M.)

Dr. Thurman looks at a diagram from Sparrow's book. Donnie
is pacing around her office.

DR. THURMAN
And they grow out of our stomachs?

DONNIE
It was just like she described them
in her book. Like they were alive.
The way that they looked... moved...
smelled. They were like workers...
assigned to each one of us.
(long beat, then
distant)
I followed my spear... and I found
something...

DR. THURMAN
What did you find?

Donnie is silent for a moment.

DONNIE
Nothing.

DR. THURMAN
Have you told Gretchen about the
spears?

DONNIE
Yeah, but if I told her about the
other stuff about Frank...

DR. THURMAN
Are you embarrassed by these things
that you see?

DONNIE
You know... every week I come in
here and I tell you stuff... and
it's all embarrassing. I tell you
stuff that I don't tell anyone else...
and you know what? It's your turn,
Dr. Thurman. I'm not saying anything
else until you tell me something
embarrassing about yourself.

Donnie makes a "zipper lip" gesture.

DR. THURMAN
(long, stubborn beat)
I once had an extended sexual fantasy
involving Mr. Rogers.

Donnie just stares at her.

DONNIE
Whoa.
(beat)
That's OK, Dr. Thurman, it's nothing
to be embarrassed about. I have sexual
fantasies all the time too.

DR. THURMAN
I know.

DONNIE
I mean... Gretchen... She won't even
let me kiss her. She says because
it's our first kiss... she's, like,
waiting for this big... moment or
something. I just don't get it. I
just want to get it over with so we
can move on to the good stuff.

DR. THURMAN
The good stuff.

DONNIE
Yeah... you know...
(whispering)
Fucking.

DR. THURMAN
(cutting him off)
Have you ever made love, Donald?

Donnie looks at her... and we know the answer.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT (7:15 P.M.)

The entire family is having dinner. Donnie is lost in a
trance.

SAMANTHA
Donnie, are you coming to my talent
show tomorrow?

Donnie ignores her.

ROSE
He can't, Samantha. He's been
suspended from after-school
activities. Donnie... are you still
with us?
(beat)
How was your therapy session tonight?

DONNIE
Fine. You know, Dr. Thurman isn't so
bad a lady. I can tell her anything.

Rose appears surprised and then sad at this comment. She
looks at Eddie, who just looks down at his plate of food.

EXT. PHYSICS CLASS - DAY (12 P.M.)

Donnie and Gretchen are at the front of the room, presenting
their invention. Dr. Monnitoff presides.

DONNIE
So, we call them... IMGs.

GRETCHEN
Infant Memory Generators.

DONNIE
Yeah. So the idea is that... you buy
these glasses for your infant, and
they wear them at night when they
sleep.

GRETCHEN
And inside these glasses are these
slide photographs. And each photograph
is of something peaceful... or
beautiful. Whatever pictures the
parent wants to put inside.

DR. MONNITOFF
What effect do you think this would
have on an infant?

DONNIE
Well... the thing is, nobody remembers
their infancy. And anyone who says
they do is lying. We think that this
would help develop memory earlier in
life.

DR. MONNITOFF
Did you stop and think that maybe
infants need darkness? That darkness
is part of their natural development.

Seth Davis raises his hand.

SETH
What if the parents, like... put in
photographs of Satan... pentagrams,
dead people... stuff like that?

GRETCHEN
Is that what you'd show your kids?

SETH
I mean, didn't your dad, like, stab
your mom?

Dr. Monnitoff looks over at Seth calmly.

SETH
Get out.

Seth begins to walk out. Gretchen doesn't answer. There is
only the 80 IQ grin... staring back at her face. The room is
silent.

EXT. SCHOOL FRONT ENTRANCE - NEXT (2:15 P.M.)

Gretchen walks out the front door. Donnie comes chasing after
her.

DONNIE
Gretchen! Gretchen... wait up!

She turns and faces him, tears in her eyes.

DONNIE
I'm so sorry.

They embrace... kissing for the first time.

EXT. BYRD THEATRE - MAGIC HOUR (5:30 P.M.)

The old-fashioned theatre marquee reads:

HALLOWEEN FRIGHTMARE

THE EVIL DEAD / THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST

Donnie and Gretchen approach the box office.

DONNIE
Two for "Evil Dead", please.

INT. BYRD THEATRE - NEXT

Donnie and Gretchen sit in the middle of the huge, empty
theatre.

"The Evil Dead" unfolds. They eat popcorn and watch silently.

Donnie looks over and sees that Gretchen is asleep.

Donnie turns back to the movie... beginning to look ill.

FRANK
Feeling sick?

Donnie turns his head over and looks across Gretchen. Frank
is sitting next to her.

FRANK
I want to show you something.

DONNIE
You have to do something for me first.

FRANK
You have a request?

DONNIE
Yeah. Tell me why you're wearing
that stupid bunny suit.

FRANK
Why are you wearing that stupid man
suit?

DONNIE
Take it off. I want to see you.

After a moment, Frank slowly reaches up and removes the rabbit
headpiece.

Donnie's eyes widen.

Underneath the headpiece is the human face of a handsome
young man. His left eye does not exist, because it has
imploded into the socket. There is blood oozing from the
wound.

FRANK
Satisfied?

Donnie just stares at him.

DONNIE
What happened to your eye?

FRANK
I am so sorry.

DONNIE
Why do they call you Frank?

FRANK
It is the name of my father... and
his father before me.

DONNIE
How much longer is this gonna last?

FRANK
You should already know that.
(beat)
Watch the movie, Donnie. I have
something to show you.

Donnie looks at the screen.

On the screen, "The Evil Dead" morphs into a Time Portal.

FRANK
There's a storm coming.
(beat)
Have you ever seen a Portal, Donnie?

Suddenly... the screen morphs into an image of a large Tudor
house.

FRANK
Burn it to the ground.

Donnie pulls out Jim Cunningham's wallet from his pocket.

Donnie contemplates his fate for several more moments, and
then gets up and walks out.

EXT. BYRD THEATRE - NIGHT (6:30 P.M.)

Donnie walks slowly past the theatre marquee.

INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT (7 P.M.)

On the stage, among blowing autumn leaves, Cherita Chen
performs a strangely beautiful mime act to Symphony No. 3 by
Henryk Gorecki.

When her act is finally over, the crowd is indifferent, with
scattered applause and laughter. Ms. Pomeroy stands up and
applauds enthusiastically.

Clearly affected by the laughter, Cherita walks offstage.

In the front row, the entire Darko family has assembled.

INT. AUDITORIUM BACKSTAGE - NIGHT (7:15 P.M.)

Kitty Farmer stands with the five-member dance team in a
huddle.

MS. FARMER
Now girls... I want you to
concentrate. Failure is not an option.
And Bethany... if you feel the need
to vomit up there. Just swallow it.

BETH
OK, Mom.

Jim Cunningham walks past them towards the stage. He stops
and touches Samantha on the shoulder... smiling.

JIM CUNNINGHAM
Good luck out there.

She smiles nervously back at him. He exits onto the stage.

INT. AUDITORIUM STAGE - NEXT (7:20 P.M.)

JIM CUNNINGHAM
Thank you... Cherita Chen. That was
Autumn Angel.
(clearing throat)
Next... it is my distinct pleasure
to introduce to you... Emily Bates...
Suzy Bailey... Samantha Darko...
Beth Farmer... and Joanie James.
They are... SPARKLE MOTION!

The audience roars with applause as the lights dim.

The following montage alternates between the auditorium stage
and Jim Cunningham's house.

The stage lights slowly raise as the opening beat of 'West
End Girls' by the Pet Shop Boys begins.

Under the soft stage lights... Sparkle Motion unfolds.

Donnie approaches Jim Cunningham's house.

Sparkle Motion... in perfect synchronicity.

In the living room of the house... Donnie walks through,
dousing gasoline all over the place with psychotic force. A
trail of fire spreads.

A mystery woman emerges from the back wall of the auditorium.

A couch and curtains become engulfed in flames.

Middlesex girls are jumping up and down in the aisles.

Eddie and Rose are smiling ear to ear.

Elizabeth Darko is cracking up at the entire scene.

Kids are going bonkers in the aisles.

The mystery woman takes off her glasses.

Slow motion: fire engulfs a deer taxidermy.

Ms. Pomeroy gets into the groove.

The parents are now on their feet.

The crowd roars even louder.

Slow motion: Sparkle Motion stands triumphant.

Slow motion: Donnie stands before a wall of flames.

EXT. SCHOOL AUDITORIUM - NIGHT (8 P.M.)

Cherita sits alone in the courtyard at the base of the mongrel
statue... defeated and alone.

INT. BYRD THEATRE - NIGHT (9 P.M.)

Donnie walks into the theatre and sits next to Gretchen, who
is asleep. As the credits to the film roll, Donnie wakes
her.

GRETCHEN
(disoriented)
What? How long was I asleep?

DONNIE
The whole movie. Let's go.

INT. JIM CUNNINGHAM'S HOUSE - NIGHT (9:45 P.M.)

Firemen walk through the charred room shining flashlight.

A Fireman shines his flashlight onto a mysterious door with
smoke emerging from it.

He kicks the door in... and shines the flashlight into the
dark hole.

EXT. CARPATHIAN RIDGE - SUNRISE (5 A.M.)

Donnie and Gretchen lie awake on a pile of blankets... staring
out into the abyssal canyon.

Helicopter shot: we swoop down over Carpathian Ridge... past
Donnie and Gretchen... over the canyon and the endless expanse
of evergreen forest.

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 22 1988

EXT. DARKO HOUSE BACKYARD / PATIO - MORNING (11 A.M.)

Donnie and Eddie are in the backyard raking leaves onto a
giant sheet.

DONNIE
I know everyone thinks I'm a nutcase.
I've been getting a lot of weird
looks from people lately.

They rake in silence for a moment.

EDDIE
(angry)
Who's been giving you weird looks?

DONNIE
A lot of people. Teachers. Younger
kids. It's like they're afraid of me
for some reason.
(beat)
But that's OK... because I know I
deserve it.

Eddie stops raking.

EDDIE
You're my only son...

DONNIE
I know, Dad.

EDDIE
I know I'm not the best...
communicator.
(beat)
But whatever happens in your life...
whatever obstacles you come up
against... you just say... and do
whatever is in your heart. You be
honest... and tell the truth... even
if they look at you funny... and
they will. They'll tell you that
you're wrong. They'll call you a
fool.
(beat)
But what you've got to understand,
son, is that almost all of those
people are full of bullshit... and
they're scared of people like you.
Because you're smarter than all of
them.

Donnie smiles at his father.

INT. DONNIE'S ROOM - AFTERNOON (1 P.M.)

Donnie sits on his bed and stares at the calendar on his
wall.

Each day is marked with an X.

He takes his pills from his nightstand... and downs three.

There are noises coming from downstairs.

INT. FAMILY ROOM - AFTERNOON

Donnie comes downstairs to see Elizabeth glued to the TV.

ELIZABETH
Oh my God, that's him. That's the
guy from last night.

On the television: a Newscaster stands in front of the charred
heap of what was once a large suburban house. Firefighters
mill about behind her.

NEWSCASTER
As firefighters continue their
investigation, arson has not been
ruled out as a cause of the fire,
particularly because of the shocking
discovery made earlier today among
the burned ruins. In the basement of
the house, authorities have discovered
what has been described as a kiddie-
porn dungeon.

Policemen emerge from the basement with several large boxes
of evidence.

NEWSCASTER
Cunningham, who has become a recent
celebrity for his motivational books,
audio tapes and videos, ducked his
head from cameras when he was arrested
at the Sarasota Heights Golf Club
this morning. In a vicious statement,
Cunning Visions executive Linda Connie
attacked the Middlesex Fire
Department... claiming a vast
conspiracy.

Donnie stares at the television... speechless, horrified. On
the TV, Jim Cunningham hides his face from the camera.

ELIZABETH
Oh my God. Dad played golf with that
guy.

Donnie says nothing, turns around... and walks upstairs.

INT. PHYSICS CLASS - DAY (2 P.M.)

Donnie and Dr. Monnitoff are having another in-depth
conversation.

DR. MONNITOFF
Each vessel travels along a vector
path through space-time... along its
centre of gravity.

DONNIE
(to himself)
Like a spear.

DR. MONNITOFF
Beg pardon?

DONNIE
Like a spear that comes out of your
stomach?

DR. MONNITOFF
Uhh... sure. And in order for the
vessel to travel through time it
must find the portal, in this case
the wormhole, or some unforeseen
portal that lies undiscovered.

DONNIE
Could these wormholes appear in
nature?

DR. MONNITOFF
That... is highly unlikely. You're
talking about an act of God.

DONNIE
If God controls time... then all
time is pre-decided. Then every living
thing travels along a set path.

DR. MONNITOFF
I'm not following you.

DONNIE
If you could see your path or channel
growing out of your stomach, you
could see into the future. And that's
a form of time travel, right?

DR. MONNITOFF
You are contradicting yourself,
Donnie. If we could see our destines
manifest themselves visually... then
we would be given the choice to betray
our chosen destinies. The very fact
that this choice exists... would
mean that all pre-formed destiny
would end.

DONNIE
Not if you chose to stay within God's
channel...

DR. MONNITOFF
(cutting him off)
Donnie, I'm afraid I can't continue
this conversation. I could lose my
job.

INT. TEACHER'S LOUNGE - AFTERNOON (2:30 P.M.)

Ms. Pomeroy sits across from Dr. Monnitoff. They both grade
papers silently.

Dr. Monnitoff stares at her for a long moment.

DR. MONNITOFF
(incredulous)
Donnie... Darko.

She stares at him for a while, haunted by something.

INT. PRINCIPAL COLE'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON (3 P.M.)

Ms. Pomeroy sits across from Principal Cole.

PRINCIPAL COLE
I'm sorry, Karen, this is a
specialised school. We don't think
the methods you've undertaken here
are appropriate.

MS. POMEROY
"Appropriate".
(trying to contain
her anger)
With all due respect, sir, what
specifically about my methods do you
find inappropriate?

Principal Cole stares at her for a moment.

PRINCIPAL COLE
I don't have to get myself into a
debate about this, Karen, I believe
I have made myself clear.

MS. POMEROY
You call this... clarity? I don't
think you have a clue what it's really
like to communicate with these kids.
You don't think that they can smell
your bullshit from a mile away? Every
day that goes by... that we fail
to... inspire them... is another
moment that we all lose. And we are
losing them to apathy, and this...
prescribed nonsense. They are slipping
away...

PRINCIPAL COLE
I am sorry that you have failed. Now
if you'll excuse me, I have another
appointment. You can finish out the
week.

INT. SCHOOL OFFICE / TEACHER'S LOUNGE - NEXT (3:15 P.M.)

Ms. Pomeroy steps out from Principal Cole's office. She sees
Kitty Farmer and the Sparkle Motion girls milling about. The
mystery woman is there as well.

Ms. Pomeroy glares at Kitty Farmer before leaving.

EXT. MIDDLESEX RIDGE SCHOOL - NEXT (3:30 P.M.)

Ms. Pomeroy steps outside through an emergency exit. She
stares out at the beautiful forest. Her eyes are filled with
tears.

MS. POMEROY
FUUUUUUUCKKKKKK!!!!!

Hearing the scream from the distance, we see Cherita Chen
turn her head in shock as she walks alone along the edge of
the school building, eating her lunch.

She and Ms. Pomeroy share a moment of eye contact before she
turns and heads back into the school.

INT. MAIN SCHOOL HALLWAY - NEXT (3:45 P.M.)

Ms. Pomeroy walks slowly through the hallway, wiping tears
from her face.

PRINCIPAL COLE
(over the intercom)
Good afternoon. It is my great
pleasure to announce that the
Middlesex Middle School dance team
has been invited to perform on Ed
McMahon's Star Search '88 in Los
Angeles, California...

INT. PRINCIPAL COLE'S OFFICE - NEXT (3:45 P.M.)

The Sparkle Motion girls squeal with excitement... jumping
up and down. Kitty Farmer pumps her fist in victory.

Suddenly... Linda Connie bursts into the office, grabbing
Kitty by the arm. The teacher holds up a newspaper... where
there is a headline that reads: JIM CUNNINGHAM CHARGED.

Kitty's facial expression goes from elation to horror.

INT. ENGLISH CLASS - MORNING (8:30 P.M.)

The classroom is dark. The students watch "Watership Down",
the movie.

Donnie is asleep. Gretchen stares at him. Ms. Pomeroy stares
at Gretchen.

Suddenly, she turns on the lights, turning off the TV.

Donnie wakes up... with dark circles under his eyes.

MS. POMEROY
And when the other rabbits hear of
Fiver's vision, do they believe him?
(cough)
It could be the death of an entire
way of life, the end of an era.

DONNIE
Why should we care?

MS. POMEROY
Because the rabbits are us, Donnie.

DONNIE
Why should I mourn for a rabbit like
it was a human?

MS. POMEROY
Is the death of one species less
tragic than another?

DONNIE
Of course. A rabbit is not like us.
It has no history books... it has no
knowledge of sorrow or regret. I
like bunnies and all. They're cute...
and they're horny. And if you're
cute and horny... then you're probably
happy that you don't know who you
are... or why you're even alive. But
the only thing I've known rabbits to
do is have sex as many times as
possible before they die.

He looks over at Gretchen, who looks angry at this.

DONNIE
There's no point in crying for a
dead rabbit... who never feared death
to begin with.

The class is silent for a moment.

GRETCHEN
You're wrong.
(beat)
You're wrong about these rabbits.
These rabbits can talk. They are the
product of the authors imagination.
And he cares for them. So we care
for them too. We care that their
home has been destroyed... and that
their lives are in danger.
Otherwise... we've missed the point.

MS. POMEROY
But aren't we forgetting the miracle
of storytelling? The dea ex machina.
The god machine. That is how the
rabbits are saved.

Gretchen looks across the room at Donnie with a disdainful
expression.

INT. MAIN SCHOOL HALLWAY - LATER (9 A.M.)

Donnie approaches Gretchen at her locker.

DONNIE
You want to skip fourth period and
go to the Ridge?

GRETCHEN
(angry)
What's wrong with you?

DONNIE
What do you mean?

She turns and walks off, leaving Donnie broken and dejected.

INT. DONNIE'S ROOM - NIGHT (6:30 P.M.)

Donnie sits at his desk looking at an intricate drawing of a
cloud formation. On it he has written: THE PORTAL.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT (7 P.M.)

Rose and Eddie are in the kitchen. He is getting ready for a
business trip.

Samantha is jumping up and down. Elizabeth is jumping up and
down, dancing with her.

Donnie looks into the kitchen from the foyer, catching his
family in a serene, contented moment of happiness. A moment
that he chooses not to interrupt.

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 25 1988

INT. / EXT. FOYER / FRONT PORCH - DAY (3 P.M.)

Doorbell rings. Rose answers the door.

Kitty Farmer is there on the front porch. She is wearing a T-
shirt that reads: GOD IS AWESOME!

MS. FARMER
Rose.

ROSE
Kitty...

MS. FARMER
Rose, we have a crisis.
(beat)
I am sure that you are aware of the
horrible allegations against Jim
Cunningham.

ROSE
Yes, I saw the news. Something about
a kiddie-porn dungeon.

MS. FARMER
(holding up her hand)
Please! Don't say those words.
(shaking her head)
Well... as you can see... many of us
are devastated by this news. This is
obviously some kind of conspiracy
meant to destroy an innocent man.
And I have taken it upon myself to
spearhead the Jim Cunningham defence
campaign. But unfortunately my civic
duties have created a conflict of
interest... which involves you.

ROSE
Beg pardon?

MS. FARMER
Rose... I have to appear at his
arraignment tomorrow morning. And as
you know, the girls also leave for
Los Angeles tomorrow morning. Now,
as their coach... I was the obvious
choice to chaperone them on the trip.

ROSE
But now you can't go.

MS. FARMER
Yes. And believe me, of all the other
mothers I would never dream of asking
you, given the predicament with your
son. But none of the other mothers
are able to go.

ROSE
Oh, Kitty, I don't know. This is so
last-minute... Eddie is in New York...

MS. FARMER
Rose... I don't know if you realise
how great an opportunity this is for
our daughters. This has been a dream
of ours for a long time.
(beat)
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to
Sparkle Motion.

INT. DONNIE'S ROOM - NIGHT (7 P.M.)

Rose is standing in Donnie's room alone. She stares at a
drawing of Frank that he has tacked onto his bulletin board.

Donnie appears in the doorway. Rose jumps.

DONNIE
I feel like... I'm approaching
something horrible.

Donnie walks over and sits on his bed. Rose goes and sits
next to him.

ROSE
I have to take the girls to Los
Angeles tomorrow.

DONNIE
Do you get to meet Ed?

ROSE
If I'm lucky.
(beat)
So... I won't be back until the first.
Your dad will be back on Sunday, so
I've put Elizabeth in charge until
then. She has the car... so she can
drive you to your therapy tomorrow.

DONNIE
How does it feel to have a wacko for
a son?

ROSE
(embracing him)
It feels wonderful.

EXT. DARKO HOUSE DRIVEWAY - MORNING (10 A.M.)

Rose brings her luggage out to the airport van. Mystery Woman
loads Beth Farmer into the van.

Donnie sits on the back-porch steps, watching everyone
silently. Elizabeth gives Samantha a hug.

ELIZABETH
You're gonna win. I know it.

SAMANTHA
So do I.
(to Donnie)
Bye, Donnie.

Donnie waves goodbye.

ROSE
Here are the keys to the Taurus.
There's plenty of groceries in the
fridge. And I left money on the
kitchen table. And don't forget...

ELIZABETH
Don't worry, Mom. Just go, you'll
miss your flight.

Rose turns... wanting to say goodbye to Donnie, but not
knowing how. She smiles and waves goodbye.

Donnie waves back.

Rose turns and goes to the van... handing the driver her
last bag.

DONNIE
Mom...

Donnie stands up and reluctantly approaches from the porch.

DONNIE
There's nothing broken... in my brain.

Rose stands there for a moment, looking at her only son.

SAMANTHA
Come on, Mom!

ROSE
(to Donnie, holding
back tears)
I know.

She gets into the van, as Donnie and Elizabeth watch them
drive off.

INT. SCHOOL MAIN HALLWAY - AFTERNOON (3 P.M.)

Donnie walks up to Gretchen, who stands at her locker with
several other girls. The girls whisper to each other as he
approaches.

DONNIE
Will you please talk to me?

GRETCHEN
Not now, Donnie. It isn't a good
time.

DONNIE
Then when? I have to talk to you.

Gretchen walks away, looking back at him with apologetic
eyes.

INT. ENGLISH CLASS - MOMENTS LATER (3:15 P.M.)

Donnie walks alone through the hallways... lost.

He stumbles upon Ms. Pomeroy's room. She sits behind her
desk... which has been packed up into a cardboard box.

DONNIE
(knocking on the door)
Ms. Pomeroy... what's going on?

MS. POMEROY
Donnie... it's Friday. Shouldn't you
be off with your friends, scaring
old people?

DONNIE
Where are you going?

MS. POMEROY
I don't know. That's a good
question... but suffice to say that
I am no longer your English teacher.
They fired me.

DONNIE
That's bullshit. You're a good
teacher.

MS. POMEROY
Thank you, Donnie. And you're a good
student. Lazy... but a good student.
Unlike most of the others, you
question Mom and Dad's rules.

DONNIE
What do I tell the rest of the class
when they ask about you?

MS. POMEROY
(long beat)
Tell them that everything is going
to be just fine.
(beat)
It is up to the children to save
themselves these days. Because the
parents... they don't have a clue.

Donnie looks at the blackboard. On it she has written in
perfect penmanship: "Cellar Door".

DONNIE
What's "Cellar Door"?

MS. POMEROY
(spaced out)
A famous linguist once said... that
of all the phrases in the English
language, of all the endless
combinations of words in all of
history... that "Cellar Door" is the
most beautiful.

She is silent for a moment.

DONNIE
Cellar door.

MS. POMEROY
Sometimes it's the only thing that
keeps us going.

She takes the box and crosses the room towards Donnie.

MS. POMEROY
So... will Donnie find his Cellar
Door?

DONNIE
I think I already have.
(beat)
But now she won't even talk to me.

MS. POMEROY
Then go find her, Donnie. Don't let
her get away.
(stopping at the door)
She was right about the rabbits. Go.

INT. MAIN HALLWAY - NEXT (3:15. P.M.)

And with that... Ms. Pomeroy turns and walks down the hallway
with her career in a cardboard box... heading towards the
bright Friday afternoon sunlight.

Donnie walks back down the hallway... lost in his own
introspection.

Across the way... at her locker... as Cherita Chen. Donnie
approaches her slowly like a cat.

She turns from her locker... and they make eye contact.

She looks at him warily, frightened. A book falls from her
arms onto the floor.

Written in large letters on the brown book cover is his name.

DONNIE DARKO.

He comes face to face with her, grabs her earmuffs with both
hands, and touches his forehead to hers as if he were going
to kiss her.

DONNIE
(long beat)
I promise that one day things will
get better for you.

Cherita holds still for a moment, trembling, and then jerks
back from him. Her earmuffs come off in his hands.

She backs away from him slowly. A single tear rolls down her
cheek.

CHERITA
Chut... up!

She then turns and runs down the hall... disappearing from
sight.

EXT. OLD GUN ROAD - AFTERNOON (4 P.M.)

Donnie walks by himself... thinking... wearing Cherita's
earmuffs.

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 29 1988

INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - DAY (1:30 P.M.)

DONNIE IS UNDER HYPNOSIS

DR. THURMAN
And when I clap my hands together
twice, you will wake up. Do you
understand?

DONNIE
Yes.

DR. THURMAN
So, your parents... why did you
disappoint them?

DONNIE
I... I was playing with fire.

DR. THURMAN
Is it Frank who wants you to destroy
the world, to set the world on fire?

Donnie doesn't answer.

DONNIE
People get hurt.

DR. THURMAN
But it was an accident. The house
was under construction.

DONNIE
People get hurt. I don't want to
hurt anyone.

DR. THURMAN
But you were punished.

DONNIE
Yes. I went to jail.

DR. THURMAN
Do you wish that you were punished
by your parents instead?

DONNIE
They... didn't buy me what I wanted
for Christmas that year.

DR. THURMAN
What did you want for Christmas that
year?

DONNIE
Hungry Hungry Hippos.

DR. THURMAN
How did you feel... being denied
those Hungry Hungry Hippos?

DONNIE
Regret.

DR. THURMAN
What else makes you feel regret?

DONNIE
That I did it again.

DR. THURMAN
(alarmed)
You've done it again?

DONNIE
Yes. I flooded my school... and I
burned down that pervert's house. I
think I only have a few days left...
before they catch me.

DR. THURMAN
Why did you do these things, Donnie?
Did Frank tell you to commit these
crimes?

He does not respond.

DONNIE
I have to obey him... because he
saved my life. He controls me and I
have to obey him or I'll be left all
alone... and I'll never figure out
what all of this means...

DR. THURMAN
If God exists?

DONNIE
I think now that he might...

DR. THURMAN
Why?

DONNIE
Because I'm so horny.

DR. THURMAN
God exists because you're horny.

DONNIE
I think so. I think that's one of
the clues. It's a clue that tells
us... to keep going.

DR. THURMAN
Where are we going?

No answer.

DR. THURMAN
Where are we going, Donald?

DONNIE
I have the power to build a time
machine.

DR. THURMAN
How is that possible?

DONNIE
Grandma Death will teach me how.
Soon.

DR. THURMAN
Then how is time travel possible?

DONNIE
It would have to be God's portal.
They will lead me to it. Then I will
go back in time... and I won't feel
regret anymore.

DR. THURMAN
When will this happen?

DONNIE
Soon. Time is almost up.

Donnie gets up on his feet, staggering around the room. He
looks frightened... childlike.

DONNIE
It has to happen soon, it has to
happen soon.

Dr. Thurman gets up and tries to control Donnie... following
him around the room.

DR. THURMAN
What is going to happen?

DONNIE
(freaking out)
Frank is going to kill.

DR. THURMAN
Who is he going to kill?

Dr. Thurman grabs him, trying to get him under control in an
awkward embrace.

DR. THURMAN
Who is he going to kill?

Donnie stares across the office like a frightened child...
as the room becomes white with artificial light.

Frank is there in the office... staring back at him.

DONNIE
(freaking out)
I can see him right now!

DR. THURMAN
Where is he, Donald?

DONNIE
He's right there... He can read my
mind and he'll show me the way out
of this. The sky is going to open
up... and then He will reveal himself
to me.

DR. THURMAN
If the sky were to suddenly open
up... there would be no law... there
would be no rule. There would only
be you and your memories... the
choices you've made and the people
you've touched. The life that has
been carved out from your subconscious
is the only evidence by which you
will be judged... by which you must
judge yourself. Because when this
world ends, there will only be you
and him... and no one else.

DONNIE
It's too late. I've already ruined
my life.

DR. THURMAN
You will survive this... Donald. I
promise you that you will survive.
You must let me help you.
(beat)
And when I clap my hands together,
you will wake up.

She claps her hands together twice... and Donnie snaps out
of his trance.

INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON (2 P.M.)

Donnie, calmed down and putting his jacket on, walks slowly
to the doorway.

Dr. Thurman stands looking out the window.

DR. THURMAN
Donald?

Donnie turns back and faces her. Beat.

DR. THURMAN
Your medication. They're placebos.
Just pills made out of water.

DONNIE
Thank you.

DR. THURMAN
Donald, an atheist is someone who
denies altogether the existence of a
God. You are an agnostic. An agnostic
is someone who believes that there
can be no proof of the existence of
God... but does not deny the
possibility that God exists.

DONNIE
Goodbye, Dr. Thurman.

DR. THURMAN
Goodbye, Donald.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Donnie walks into the kitchen, where Elizabeth is sitting at
the table.

ELIZABETH
(in shock)
I got in. I'm going to Harvard.

DONNIE
Congratulations.

Donnie sits down across from her.

DONNIE
Mom and Dad won't be back until Sunday
night. It's Halloween Carnival. We
should throw a party. We could totally
get away with it.

ELIZABETH
(long beat)
Okay, but it has to be a small one.

DONNIE
Everything is going to be just fine.

EXT. DARKO HOUSE - NIGHT (9 P.M.)

Neighbourhood kids are trick-or-treating. The man in the red
jogging suit shines a flashlight towards the house.

There are at least two dozen cars parked in front... and
somebody is already throwing toilet paper in the trees.

INT. FOYER - NIGHT (9:30 P.M.)

The doorbell rings. Donnie answers the door... only to find
Sean and Ronald dressed in black with monster masks. They
are both carrying backpacks.

Donnie is dressed in a black skeleton suit, and his face is
painted white like a skull.

SEAN
We got eggs, water balloons, and a
dozen rolls of toilet paper.

RONALD
I stole four beers from my dad.

DONNIE
There's a keg here.

SEAN
Only pussies drink keg beer.

They go back into the house towards the kitchen. There are
at least forty people, already quite wasted, many carrying
their own twelve-packs of beer under their arms.

Almost everyone is wearing a costume. Donnie and his friends
weave through the crowd toward the patio.

EXT. BACKYARD / PATIO - NEXT

Donnie and his friends watching the party unfold.

The party grows larger.

INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Dr. Thurman paces around her office with the phone to her
ear.

INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT

The phone is ringing. The answering machine picks up.

INT. FOYER - LATER ON (11 P.M.)

The doorbell rings... and once again Donnie is the one to
answer it. To his surprise... it is Gretchen standing on his
front porch.

GRETCHEN
(very upset)
Hey.

DONNIE
Hey. You OK?

GRETCHEN
(walking inside)
My mom is gone.

DONNIE
Where is she?

GRETCHEN
(close to tears)
I don't know. She didn't leave a
note. The house is all messed up.

DONNIE
But you're OK?

She nods yes.

DONNIE
Did you call the cops?

GRETCHEN
Yeah, they told me to get out of the
house.

Donnie takes Gretchen into the hallway and gives her a hug.

GRETCHEN
I'm so scared... I just keep thinking
that something awful has happened.
It's my fucking stepdad. I know it.

DONNIE
(embraces her)
It's safe here.

Donnie takes Gretchen upstairs. We reveal Elizabeth watching
them go.

INT. FAMILY ROOM - NEXT

Elizabeth walks over to a friend.

ELIZABETH
(yelling over the
music)
Have you seen Frank?

FRIEND
No. I think they said they were going
on a beer run.

INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NEXT (11:15 P.M.)

Donnie and Gretchen sit on the bed. Gretchen takes a sip of
beer.

GRETCHEN
Some people are just born with tragedy
in their blood.

He kisses her. He then pulls back.

GRETCHEN
What?

DONNIE
There's something you have to know,
Gretchen.
(beat)
Everything is going to be just fine.

They lie down together... silently listening to the party
below.

The phone is ringing. The answering machine picks up.

ROSE
(on the answering
machine)
If you're there, please pick up.
(beat)
Oh well... there's good news. The
girls... they got three and a half
stars... and they get to come back
for the quarter-finals.

INT. LAX TERMINAL - NIGHT (9 P.M. PST)

Rose stands at a payphone while the Sparkle Motion girls
wait at the terminal.

SAMANTHA
Semi-finals, Mom!

ROSE
Sorry... semi-finals. Anyway... we're
taking the red-eye back tonight and
we should arrive around six a.m. I
hope everything is alright. Bye.

INT. FOYER - NIGHT (12 A.M.)

We move towards the grandfather clock and see the minute
hand reach midnight.

INT. FOYER - NIGHT (12:30 A.M.)

Donnie and Gretchen walk downstairs. They kiss, and she goes
towards the family room.

Donnie walks towards the kitchen, but then doubles over
against the wall in pain.

Suddenly... the room blows out with a strobe of white light...
as costumed teenagers and their vector spears intersect in a
shimmering maze of chaos.

Donnie slowly follows his spear as it leads him through the
crowd... directly towards the refrigerator.

Donnie stares blankly at what he sees... scrawled in magic
marker on the memo board.

It reads: FRANK WAS HERE... WENT TO GET BEER!!

Donnie stares at the board for several moment... he then
turns his head and sees a teenager with a Ronald Reagan mask
walk by.

He then sees another spear come towards him. Gretchen rounds
the corner, coming in from the family room.

Donnie falls to his knees and puts his face inside the end
of Gretchen's spear. We see his P.O.V. -- an abyssal tunnel
of light.

DONNIE
Come with me.

GRETCHEN
Where are we going?

He grabs her and pulls her out the back of the kitchen into
the back yard. Ronald and Sean follow.

EXT. BACKYARD / PATIO - NEXT

They move through the backyard.

GRETCHEN
Donnie, what's going on!

She stops him.

DONNIE
Time is running out. We have to go
see Grandma Death. We have to talk
to her.

GRETCHEN
Why? Is this about the book?

DONNIE
No. Frank.

GRETCHEN
Who's Frank?

Ronald and Sean approach.

SEAN
Donnie? Where are we going?

Donnie looks at Gretchen... This is it.

DONNIE
She knows. I know she knows.

EXT. NEIGHBOURHOOD STREET - NIGHT (1:15 A.M.)

The group of hour ride their bikes down the street.

EXT. FOREST - NIGHT (1:45 A.M.)

They ride their bikes through the forest.

EXT. GRANDMA DEATH'S HOUSE - NIGHT (1:30 A.M.)

They stand in front of the dark house. It is pitch-black. No
lights anywhere.

SEAN
There's nobody here... Just forget
it.

Then... there is a clanking noise from somewhere around the
side of the house. Everyone hears it.

Donnie looks towards the lower front of the house where there
is a cellar door.

GRETCHEN
Is that a cellar door?

DONNIE
(his eyes widen)
Yeah...

The cellar door is ajar... and there is a dim light coming
out from inside.

RONALD
Don't open it, Donnie. Let's just
leave.

INT. GRANDMA DEATH'S CELLAR - NEXT

Donnie and Gretchen open the door to the cellar... and descend
down into a murky pit with a stone floor.

Inside... the room is quite large... filled with row after
row of boxes, paintings, antique furniture and chandeliers.
There is even an ancient piano in the back.

Gretchen slowly reaches her hand out and places her finger
on the deepest piano key.

Suddenly a figure emerges from the shadows and slams Donnie
into the wall. He then grabs Gretchen by placing an arm around
her neck with a butcher's knife.

It is Ricky Danforth. Seth comes out from another corner...
also brandishing a butcher's knife. Both have pantyhose pulled
over their heads.

RICKY
Get the fuck out! Now!

Ricky drags Gretchen out. Seth drags Donnie out.

EXT. GRANDMA DEATH'S HOUSE - NEXT

The four of them come bursting out of the cellar.

Seth holds Donnie's arms down with his knees and places the
butcher's knife against his throat.

Ricky throws Gretchen down hard onto the shoulder of Old Gun
Road.

She lets out a gasp of pain as her head hits the gravel.

RICKY
Motherfuckers!

SETH
I have... a bigger knife now.

Sean and Ronald watch... dumbfounded, backing away.

Seth just stares down at Donnie with his dead eyes... pushing
the knife down harder, cutting off Donnie's air supply.

SEAN
Hey... there's someone coming! Look,
there's a car coming!

Seth slowly turns his head and sees... far down Old Gun
Road... approaching headlights.

DONNIE
(barely audible whisper)
Dea ex machina...

SETH
What did you say?

DONNIE
Our saviour...

The headlights are getting close.

RICKY
They called the fuckin' cops!

Gretchen struggles to breathe on the shoulder of the road...
the wind knocked out of her, semi-conscious.

SETH
That's no cop...

The headlights are getting close.

GRETCHEN
(in a hoarse whisper)
Donnie...

Even closer...

DONNIE
You better run.

RICKY
Forget it... let's go!

Seth doesn't move... He just stares down at Donnie.

RICKY
Come on! Let's go!

SETH
You're dead, Donnie Darko.

Seth gets up and runs off with Ricky into the forest... just
as the approaching car crests the top of Old Gun Road at
breakneck speed.

Suddenly, in the bright glow of the car's headlights... is
the silhouette of Grandma Death... standing in the middle of
the road.

In her right hand she is clutching a letter.

Donnie's letter.

GRETCHEN
Donnie...

The car swerves left, barely missing Grandma Death.

The Pontiac tries to brake hard... but the wheels lock...
and it goes skidding onto the shoulder.

Gretchen raises her head from the gravel... into bright
headlight beams.

The Trans-Am goes barrelling over her like a speed-bump...
and her limp body rolls off into the grassy ditch.

The Trans-Am skids off into the grass and collides head-on
with the crumbling stone chimney... which explodes into the
crumpled hood of the car... as it eventually comes to a stop
in a fury of smoke.

Donnie staggers to his feet... regaining his breath. He runs
over to Gretchen and kneels down next to her.

DONNIE
Gretchen... wake up. Wake up.

Her neck is broken. She has no pulse.

The passenger door to the Trans-Am opens, and a passenger in
a clown costume gets out.

The driver's side door opens and the driver gets out.

He is wearing a rabbit suit. A Halloween costume.

He is holding the grotesque rabbit helmet in his hand.

It is Frank.

PASSENGER
Frank... what'd you do... what'd you
do!

Frank approaches Donnie... who raises his head from Gretchen
to see him for the first time... face to face... with an
expression of shocked horror.

PASSENGER
She's dead. You killed her, Frank!

Frank is in shock.

FRANK
She's dead.

Donnie slowly nods his head. Sean and Ronald approach him
slowly.

Grandma Death looms behind them.

FRANK
What the fuck. Look at my fucking
car!

PASSENGER
Let's get out of here. Let's get out
of here, Frank!

FRANK
What were you stupid fucks doing in
the middle of the road?

DONNIE
Waiting for you.

Donnie raises the gun from his father's closet with his right
hand, and to his own surprise, he pulls the trigger.

Frank's left eye implodes as the bullet passes through his
head. His body falls limply to the ground.

PASSENGER
Holy shit...

The Passenger turns and runs off into the woods.

RONALD
What'd you do, Donnie? What'd you
do!

DONNIE
(very calm)
Go home. Go home and tell your parents
that everything is going to be just
fine.

After contemplation of the recent events... Sean and Ronald
turn and run off in the opposite direction.

Donnie is left alone... with the dead bodies.

He turns and stares at Grandma Death... who is calmly standing
there... with his letter in her hand.

GRANDMA DEATH
A storm is coming.
(beat)
You must hurry.

Donnie is still in shock.

EXT. NEIGHBOURHOOD STREET - EARLY MORNING (4:30 A.M.)

Donnie carries Gretchen home.

INT. FAMILY ROOM - NEXT

Donnie looks down at Elizabeth asleep on the couch. He then
leans down and gives her a kiss on the forehead.

EXT. DARKO HOUSE DRIVEWAY - NEXT

Donnie walks out to the Taurus, then stops and looks up at
the sky.

EXT. DARKO HOUSE - DRIVEWAY - NEXT

The Time Portal begins to form above the house.

Donnie touches his stomach... feeling sick once again.

Donnie then steps into the car, where Gretchen sits in the
passenger seat. He turns on the engine and peels out of the
driveway.

INT. FORD TAURUS - EARLY MORNING

Donnie drives the Taurus up Carpathian Ridge.

EXT. CARPATHIAN RIDGE - EARLY MORNING (5:30 A.M.)

Donnie sits on the roof of the Taurus looking out.

He smiles, lighting a cigarette.

DONNIE
28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12
seconds. We're almost home.

EXT. SKY - NEXT

We see the Time Portal in the distance, forming.

INT. FLIGHT 2806 - DAWN (6 A.M.)

Samantha Darko is fast asleep. Her head rests on Rose's
shoulder.

She looks out of the window at the rising sun.

EXT. DARKO HOUSE - DAWN

The Portal continues to form above the Darko house.

Police cars pull up in front of the house.

EXT. CARPATHIAN RIDGE - DAWN

Donnie continues to stare out at the canyon.

EXT. SKY - NEXT

We see the Time Portal once again.

INT. FORD TAURUS - NEXT

Donnie steps off the hood and gets into the car.

He takes Gretchen's hand.

INT. FLIGHT 2806 - NEXT

On the plane, Rose looks out of the window as the jet wing
explodes (audio only... we don't see it). She screams out as
the cabin shakes violently.

EXT. DARKO HOUSE - DAWN

The Time Portal continues to form over the house.

EXT. SKY - NEXT

The left jet engine from Flight 2806 falls downward through
the sky. Beneath it, the Portal forms itself.

EXT. SKY - NEXT

The falling jet engine approaches the hexagonal plate of
light which accelerates downwards... forming a tunnel with
walls made of swirling liquid marble.

The jet engine passes into the hexagonal plate.

INT. / EXT. VARIOUS

In a series of inter-velometer time-lapse shots... the entire
suburban landscape retreats backward in a fury of speed.

Shot 1: a time-lapse of the mongrel statue.

Shot 2: a time-lapse of the main school hallway.

Shot 3: a time-lapse of the main school building.

Shot 4: a time-lapse of neighbourhood street/Darko house.

INT. FOYER - NIGHT

We Steadicam up the stairs.

INT. DONNIE'S ROOM - NIGHT

We move towards Donnie's empty bed.

TITLE CARD:

OCTOBER 2 1988

INT. VARIOUS BEDROOMS - NIGHT (1:30 A.M.)

Dr. Thurman wakes up.

Jim Cunningham wakes up... sobbing.

Kitty Farmer wakes up... coming to a horrible realisation.

Karen Pomeroy and Dr. Monnitoff wake up together.

Cherita Chen wakes up.

EXT. SKY - NIGHT (1:30 A.M.)

The jet engine falls silently through the night down towards
the Darko house... having travelled back in time.

INT. DONNIE'S ROOM - NEXT

Donnie wakes up. He is laughing hysterically.

The engine crashes through his ceiling... engulfing the room.

INT. FAMILY ROOM - NEXT

Eddie jumps up from the La-Z Boy... startled awake by the
impact.

INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NEXT

Rose sits up in bed, hearing the crash.

ROSE
Eddie?

INT. FOYER - NEXT

Elizabeth leans against the wall, screaming.

INT. DONNIE'S ROOM - NEXT

The mammoth jet engine has plummeted all the way down through
the house, creating a cavernous hole that splits Donnie's
room in half. The smoke from the wreckage begins to clear.

Above the engine is Donnie... impaled through the stomach by
a wooden beam that was once part of the floor beneath his
bed.

There is blood gushing from his mouth, as his face is
contorted into an expression that could almost be a smile.

EXT. NEIGHBOURHOOD STREET - MORNING (11 A.M.)

The same disaster scene as before... only more media, more
neighbours, and a Coroner. People stand around in shock...
disbelief.

From the other end of the street, a girl comes riding along
on a bike... slowly taking in the entire scene. She pulls up
to the kerb where a kid named David (eleven) is standing
around.

It is Gretchen Ross.

GRETCHEN
Hi... what's going on here?

DAVID
Horrible accident. My neighbour...
he got killed.

GRETCHEN
What happened?

DAVID
He got smooshed. By a jet engine.

She stares at the house, where paramedics wheel a body out
of the front door.

GRETCHEN
What was his name?

DAVID
Donnie. Donnie Darko.

They stare at the front yard for a while. We see Elizabeth.
We see Eddie, carrying Samantha... who is crying.

DAVID
I feel bad for his family.

GRETCHEN
(long beat)
Yeah.

DAVID
Did you know him?

She stares at the family for several moments... and then
shakes her head slowly as if trying to locate a memory that
is slipping away.

GRETCHEN
No.

Rose, leaning against a tree while smoking a cigarette,
notices them. She seems to recognise Gretchen... from
somewhere in the vast reservoir of her memory.

She waves at her.

She waves back.

Fade out.

THE END

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