M. Night Shyamalan
DRAFT DATE: 10/08/99
INT. CLOTHING STORE - AFTERNOON
Women's casual wear department. J.C. Penny.
An African-American man carrying two J.C. Penny shopping
bags is ushered past the department store managers and
security guards on walkies that have gathered at the entrance
to the woman's dressing rooms.
INT. DRESSING ROOM - AFTERNOON
A bed has been formed by a chair and three benches.
A STRIKING AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN in her twenties lays across
it. Her face and clothes are covered in sweat. Her skirt is
She holds something wrapped in a soft sweatshirt on her chest.
We can't see it, but WE HEAR THE BABY CRYING.
She's just given birth.
There are three frazzled saleswomen in the dressing room
with her. They watch her with quiet smiles.
A fourth SALESWOMAN arrives ushering in the man with the
This is Mr. Mathison. He's a doctor.
DR. MATHISON looks over the scene and then directly at the
The woman nods, "Yes." Sweat trickles down her face. THE
BABY'S PIERCING CRIES ECHO IN THE SMALL ROOM.
An ambulance is on the way.
Dr. Mathison puts down his shopping bags and moves to her.
He kneels down and gestures for the bundle of sweatshirts in
Is there a name yet?
Beat. The woman smiles for the first time.
She hands him the wrapped child. We can't see the baby, but
THE PIERCING CRIES SEEM TO GET LOUDER.
Is he supposed to be crying like
The doctor lowers the baby to his lap and unwraps him.
The woman can't see her baby anymore. She watches Dr. Mathison
as he looks down and examines her child. Beat.
Dr. Mathison doesn't look up for the longest time.
Can I have him back?
THE BABY'S CRYING IS RELENTLESS. UNNERVING. Beat.
The doctor finally glances up. He looks shaken. He makes eye
contact with the woman for only a second. It's enough.
A chill goes through her body.
He looks to the three saleswomen who were in the room.
What happened during the delivery?
His hard stare unsettles the women. The OLDER SALESWOMAN
Nothing. It was very quick. The baby
just wanted to come right out. There
was no problems.
Did you drop him?
Everyone becomes very still. The mother looks like she stopped
breathing. THE BABY'S SCREAMING ENGULFS THE ROOM.
Did you drop this baby?
Jesus Christ, no.
The BABY SCREAMS.
The doctor whispers something to himself, we can't hear.
He looks up to the saleswoman who brought him in.
Please inform the ambulance we have
Dr. Mathison turns back to the mother. Beat.
I've never seen this... It appears
your infant sustained some fractures
while in your uterus.
His arms and legs are broken.
FADE TO BLACK:
EXT. TRAIN STATION NEW JERSEY - DAY
LEGEND "PRESENT DAY"
A fountain of humanity bubbles up from the escalators to the
Businessmen take their last desperate drags of their
cigarettes... Women traveling with children herd their luggage
and offspring into tight shapes as they move...
College students with backpacks look around dazed at the
various track numbers.
Last call track three, Amtrak Clocker
making it's final stop at
Philadelphia's thirtieth street
station. First two passenger cars
only. First two cars only.
A face inside the train watches the stream of passengers
emerging from the escalators. DAVID DUNNE, a man in his early
forties, rest his temple against the glass and quietly
observes the movement outside.
The train starts to pull out.
INT. PASSENGER CAR - DAY
David sits with his coat on his lap. He's wearing a tie.
He doesn't look very comfortable in it.
He feels a stare. He looks up to find a girl, six or seven
years old, peering at him from over the seat in front of
him. She just gazes at him blankly.
He gives her a small forced smile. She doesn't react.
David returns his head to the window.
His eyes begin to shut with the lulling movement of the train.
David looks in the direction of THE VOICE. A WOMAN with dark
hair and light blue eyes stands in the aisle with two bags
over her shoulder. She's wearing a tight white tshirt and
jeans. She's beautiful.
David nods "yes."
The woman starts putting her bags on the shelf above the
seats. She stretches to get them up. Her toned stomach is
exposed. She has a silver ring pierced through her navel.
David has a gold ring on his hand. He fiddles with it.
Beat. He gently slips off his wedding band. It goes into his
The woman takes the seat next to him.
Beat. A LOUD VIOLENT BURST OF SOUND. The passenger car shakes
as a passing train barrels by two feet from David's window.
It passes in a few seconds. The car returns to a QUIET HUM.
David pulls a magazine out from the seat pocket in front of
He holds the woman's fashion magazine out.
Someone left these. You want one?
The woman looks over the one being offered and then points
to the Sports Illustrated peeking out of the seat pocket.
David pulls the magazine out and gives it to her.
You like sports?
It's my field. I represent athletes.
I'm an agent.
What a coincidence? I'm a male
synchronized swimmer and I'm looking
Is that right?
But I'm afraid of water, so that's
been holding my career back a little
The woman laughs.
You represent someone in Philadelphia?
I'm meeting a player from Temple
University. He's a cornerback. You
This kid is six foot two, two hundred
and forty pounds. He runs the fifty
in under six seconds. He's going to
be a God.
Beat. David studies the excitement in her eyes.
ANOTHER LOUD VIOLENT BURST OF SOUND. David waits till the
opposing train passes. The woman goes back to her magazine.
I'm David Dunne.
The woman looks up.
She goes back to the magazine.
How long are you staying in Philly?
KELLY looks up from her Sports Illustrated. Her striking
blue eyes gaze at David.
She holds up her hand. Taps the diamond ring on her finger.
What are you talking about?
An awkward silence.
I think you got the wrong idea.
The woman stares at David. She looks down. Beat. Closes the
I'm going to find another seat.
Kelly gets up. She balances herself against a headrest as
the train rumbles. She starts to the back of the car.
David sits alone. He looks like he's drowning, but there's
He feels a stare. He glances up. The little girl spies on
him from between the seats.
David leans towards the window to avoid eye contact. His
hand reaches into his coat and slides out his wedding band.
He puts it back on.
His temple touches the glass. The vibration of the train
begins to lull his eyes closed... Beat.
David's head bounces lightly against the window.
The shaking of the glass never allows David's eyes to
He sits up when he realizes the shaking is getting stronger.
He looks out the window. The scenery blurs as it flies by.
David turns. Some of the other passengers start to react as
they realize the train is picking up speed.
The normal bumps of the tracks become amplified.
The WORRIED VOICES OF THE TRAVELERS START FILL THE CABIN.
The train goes faster.
AND THEN THE HIGH PITCHED METAL ON METAL SCREECHING STARTS
AS THE TRAIN BEGINS TO TAKE A CURVE.
David's eyes move to the seat in front of him. The little
girl is no longer watching him.
DAVID LOOKS TO THE PASSENGERS ACROSS FROM HIM. He sees the
ground slowly drop away in the windows behind them as
THEIR SIDE OF THE TRAIN STARTS TO RISE...
THE PASSENGERS SCREAM AS THE AMTRAK PASSENGER TRAIN BEGINS
TO TILT OFF THE TRACK...
INT. FAMILY ROOM - AFTERNOON
A boy, age ten, sits on his head on the family couch and
watches television upside down. His floppy brown hair spreads
out in a circle in front of his red face. He changes channels
with a remote control.
He moves past the upside down cartoons and the upside down
talk shows. He stops on an upside down picture of a crashed
His knees come forward as he flips over. He tumbles slowly
off the couch and onto the carpet. JEREMY DUNNE gazes at the
television screen... A LIVE AERIAL VIEW OF A TRAIN WRECK
SMOULDERING BELOW IS SEEN. Two trains are tangled like snakes.
Jeremy gets up and moves to a small table with a phone.
Next to the phone is a notepad. On it is written...
"Dad - Amtrak 177 - 3:40pm."
Jeremy looks at the television. At the bottom of the screen
in red block letters that move from right to left are words
and numbers... "The 3:40 Amtrak 177 has derailed... Amtrak
Emergency number is 1-800-777-4322... The 3:40 Amtrak 177
Jeremy doesn't take his eyes off the screen. He makes a small
desperate noise that no one hears.
INT. PHYSICAL THERAPY CENTER - LATE AFTERNOON
An elderly woman can't hold back any longer and SCREAMS.
An embarrassed, tortured helpless scream.
MEGAN DUNNE continues applying pressure to her arm which is
being pushed back as far as it will go.
She counts to three and eases off. She lays her arm back in
WE ARE IN A PHYSICAL THERAPY CENTER. About a dozen people
are on specialized weight machines.
The elderly woman is seated on an exercise table and breathes
You okay, Virginia?
Beat. VIRGINIA shakes her head, "No."
I'll put something on the t.v. Maybe
we'll find some almost naked guys to
Megan reaches up to the t.v. monitor mounted on the wall.
She turns it on and starts flipping channels. She stops on
ESPN where a swimming meet is underway. Men in bikini
swimsuits line the edges of the pool.
Virginia starts watching with great interest.
Megan's eyes move to the tiny print moving across the bottom
of the screen. Her face goes still as she reads the train
INT. EMERGENCY ROOM - AFTERNOON
DAVID DUNNE'S EYES SLOWLY OPEN. THE DULL WHITE OF THE OVERHEAD
TUBE LIGHTING BLINDS HIM AT FIRST.
He blinks his vision back. He realizes he's in a bed.
WE HEAR AGITATED VOICES, MOVEMENT.
David looks around. He's in an emergency room. There are a
half dozen prep areas and beds next to him. They're all empty.
DAVID FOLLOWS THE URGENT SOUNDS OF ACTIVITY TO A PREP AREA
DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM HIM.
He can only see glimpses of activity through the drawn
curtain. A group of emergency room personnel are treating a
man whose body is twitching violently on a gurney.
One of the group is a man who glances through the opening in
the curtain. He notices David sitting up from across the
THE MAN IN SCRUBS leaves the group and walks over.
MAN IN SCRUBS
How are you feeling?
He FLASHES A LIGHT in David's eyes.
MAN IN SCRUBS
You are in the emergency room of the
University of Pennsylvania Hospital.
You were in a serious accident.
How's your vision?
David stares across as the scene with the other patients
becomes more frantic and disturbing.
MAN IN SCRUBS
Where were you sitting on the train?
Against a window.
MAN IN SCRUBS
In the passenger car?
Yes. Where are the rest of the
MAN IN SCRUBS
Was your family traveling with you?
MAN IN SCRUBS
Did you get up from your seat?
David watches the other patient.
MAN IN SCRUBS
You're certain you were in the
David turns to the man.
Yes... Why are you looking at me
MAN IN SCRUBS
Your train derailed... Some kind of
malfunction... It took a curve way
to fast. A second train collided
with yours after it derailed. The
debris is spread over one mile. It's
unbelievable they said.
They only found two people alive so
far... You and him.
David looks to the other passenger now laying unnaturally
still in the desperate whirlwind of activity around him.
MAN IN SCRUBS
The man's skull was cracked open and
most of his left side was crushed.
MAN IN SCRUBS
And to answer your question, there
are two reasons why I'm looking at
you like this.
David turns and stares at the man.
MAN IN SCRUBS
One, because it seems, in a few
minutes, you will officially be the
only survivor of this train wreck.
And two, because you don't have a
scratch on you. You didn't break one
INT. EMERGENCY RECEPTION AREA - EVENING
David moves through the depressing milky corridors of the
hospital. He opens a set of double doors.
A room crammed with cameras and photographers explodes with
A CHILD'S VOICE BREAKS THEIR NOISE.
I told you!
Jeremy Dunne pushes forward through the mob of people and
cameras. He bursts out and runs to David. He wraps his arms
around David's waist. David just stands there, aware that
the cameras are catching it all. He's overwhelmed.
Hospital staff and a couple police officers push the media
Jeremy tugs David to lean down. He does.
They thought everybody on the train
David looks at his son's face. Wipes the tears on his cheek.
I told them they were wrong.
A woman moves to them. David stands up and faces Megan Dunne.
Mom even cried.
David looks at Megan's eyes.
Megan looks away.
Not a lot.
They stand there for a moment. David looks shaken. Jeremy
takes hold of his hand.
Let's go home.
Megan nods. They move to the exit. The pack of cameras and
reporters burst to life as they leave the building.
They jockey for position to get a last glimpse of David Dunne.
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
David eats a bowl of pasta alone in a modest kitchen. He
stares at his hand.
Opens and closes it slowly. Beat.
He rises and puts the bowl away in the sink.
INT. FRONT HALL - NIGHT
David stops just before rising the stairs. He glances into a
bedroom at the bottom of the stairs. The doorway is half
open. He makes eye contact with his wife. Beat.
I don't think I got the job in New
What does that mean?
I'm still going to New York. Just
not this second.
I don't want to drag this out too
long for Jeremy.
How about in the meantime, you don't
sleep in the guestroom anymore?
You sleep in our room. I'll sleep
It stopped being our room a long
You should go up and get some rest.
Beat. Megan slowly closes the door to the guest bedroom.
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
David looks at his son asleep in his bed.
Jeremy, why don't you go sleep with
I want to sleep here tonight.
I think it's be better if I was alone.
I won't make any noise.
How about your room then? If you get
scared like before, you can come
back in here?
Beat. Jeremy doesn't answer because he's asleep. David rubs
his forehead and gets up. He turns on the t.v., low volume,
as he moves into the bathroom.
INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT
Hot water rushes over David's face as he stands in the shower.
His attention is drawn to the t.v. which is seen through the
slightly open bathroom door.
He turns off the water to HEAR.
...Derailed approximately seven and
half miles outside Philadelphia. It
came to rest on its side on the
northbound tracks. It is train
officials belief that some if not
most of the passengers were still
alive at this time. The momentary
peace lasted only a few seconds. A
Boston bound freight train on the
northbound tracks was seconds away
from passing train 177 when it
derailed. The impact happened at
about three-fifteen p.m. The first
of the two occupied passenger cars
was severed in half and sent careening
in two directions. The second of the
passenger cars was crushed and dragged
for four hundred feet. Six crew
members were on the freight. One
hundred and eighteen passengers and
seven crew members were on the
passenger train... There is one
Rescue teams will be working for the
next forty-eight hours removing bodies
David steps out of the shower. He sees a glimpse of Jeremy
asleep in bed. David shuts the door. Locks it.
He gets back into the shower and turns the water back on.
He closes his eyes. His face tightens up. He slowly hunches
down and takes a seat on the tiled floor of the shower.
Water pours over him. Beat.
His muscular body begins to shake. Then we realize he's
FADE TO BLACK:
EXT. FAIR - DAY
A hazy afternoon. A fair has come into town. They have set
up in the vast parking lot of the local high school.
A line of women has formed in front of the portable bathrooms.
The striking African American woman we saw giving birth is
now standing in line. She is older and somehow more beautiful.
She stands with a skinny, almost ethereal looking African
American boy. The boy wears a metal brace on his leg. THE
EIGHT YEAR OLD ELIJAH holds two oversized stuffed animals in
his arms. He looks back over his shoulder as THE SOUND OF
VOICES YELLING IN EXCITEMENT FILL THE AIR. His eyes dance
over the many colorful rides in the parking lot.
The door opens to one of the portable bathrooms. A woman
Elijah's mother touches his head and enters the three foot
square plastic bathroom. She turns back and gives him a look.
We'll play the water pistol game
Elijah nods, "Yes" happily.
The mother closes the cubicle door. Elijah is left alone
amongst the line of women. They stare at him blankly.
Their eyes moves over his leg brace. Elijah doesn't like it.
He moves away from the line.
A CRESCENDO OF CHEERS RISES IN THE AIR FROM SOMEWHERE IN THE
FAIR. Elijah follows the voices. He carries the stuffed
animals through the crowds of people. CLICK.
CLICK. CLICK. His metal brace sounds as he walks.
For a moment, he sees nothing but bodies all around him.
He emerges amongst a huddle of teenagers who wait at a
A man in a red and white striped coat takes their tickets
and waves them in.
Elijah looks up and sees the sign above the turnstile...
He watches the teenagers giggle as they each into a grey cup-
like seat. They pull the metal bars down in front of them.
The man in the red and white stripes leaves the turnstile.
Elijah stares up at the multi-colored sign. Beat. He moves
quickly. Ducks under the turnstile and climbs onto the
Elijah finds and empty circular seat. He slips inside the
gray metal compartment and sits. He pulls down the rusted
metal bar in front of him.
He looks around at all the excited faces. His eyes fill with
His small hands feel the cold metal of the interior of the
compartment. His expression changes.
Elijah looks to the stuffed animals in his arms. He presses
them to check their softness. He places the stuffed animals
on either side of him on the seat. He's wedged in between
them. Feels good.
He reaches out and touches the hard rusted metal bar in front
of him. Elijah looks a little anxious. Beat.
He pulls off his sweater and wraps it around the bar. It
goes around twice before he ties the arms together. He checks
Elijah looks around the customized cup-like compartment he
sits in. He smiles an eight year old smile of pride.
AND THEN HE HEARS HIS MOTHER'S VOICE.
He searches around and finds her walking in the waves of
people. He hears her calling.
She moves in his direction by chance. She finds herself at
the entrance to The Hurricane ride. She looks up at the sign
above the turnstile. Her worried eyes immediately start
searching the young faces in the gray circular compartments.
Her eyes meet Elijah's. He waves. Her face goes very still.
A HUGE ROAR OF MACHINERY as the ride starts up.
Elijah yells to his mother as the platform starts running.
I won't get hurt momma! I'm safe!
HIS WORDS GET EATEN UP BY THE CHEERS OF THE TEENAGERS AND
THE GRIND OF MACHINERY.
The platform spins. He sees a glimpse of his mother and the
red and white striped man. She's pointing at Elijah.
The platform turns... Elijah sees a flash of the red and
white striped man's angered face as he yells at the frantic
woman next to him.
And then the ride speeds up.
The gray circular seats start to spin on their own. The
Elijah's eyes fill with joy as the wind plays against his
Suddenly the ride changes directions. The cup-like seats get
jerked. Everyone grabs the metal bars to hold on.
Elijah laughs as he smashes into the stuffed animal on his
right. It cushions him and then falls to the floor of the
compartment along with the other stuffed animal.
Elijah's expression becomes tense as his compartment spins.
His hands slide over the rusted metal bar as the sweater
Elijah looks around... a sudden panic enters his eyes.
THE BLURRING IMAGE OF HIS MOTHER NOW IN A GROUP OF RED AND
WHITE STRIPED MEN.
THE SOUND OF MACHINERY GRINDING IS HEARD as the ride changes
Elijah's hands rip away from the bar as he gets thrown to
the side of the compartment. His shoulder and arm takes the
brunt of the impact. WE HEAR SOMETHING CRACK.
TEENAGERS SCREAM IN EXCITEMENT. ELIJAH JOINS THEM WITH SCREAMS
OF HIS OWN.
The ride spins its passengers. Elijah's small face looks up
at the swirling clouds in a mixture of agony and terror.
The ride changes directions.
Elijah is thrust forward. He hits the rusted metal bar square
against his chest.
WE HEAR MORE CRACKS.
The world spins. Giggles and yells fill the air. Elijah slumps
down onto the floor of the compartment.
And then finally, the grind of the machinery slows and then
comes to a gradual stop.
THE TEENAGERS MOAN.
Elijah is facing directly up at the sky. The clouds now move
slowly over him.
WE HEAR COMMOTION. AGITATED VOICES. HIS MOTHER'S DESPERATE
His bones... He's not well...
HER VOICE GETS LOUDER AS SHE MOVES CLOSER TO THE PLATFORM.
Then her face appears as she finds the cup-like seat Elijah
is in. She begins to scream.
Elijah lays on the bottom of the compartment. One arm is
clutching his chest. The other is curved horrifically like
an "s". His mouth is open. His eyes are bulging. The last
thing we HERE ARE THE SHORT DESPERATE BREATHS of an eight
year old child about to black out from the pain.
FADE TO BLACK:
PRESENT: EXT. CHURCH - AFTERNOON
WE EMERGE FROM BLACK to find news vans and reporters lining
the street across from a church. They have been cordoned off
by a handful of police. Mourners are recorded as they emerge
from their cars and enter the church.
David is among the arriving crowd.
At hearing his name, David turns back as he walks. He can't
tell which reporter called his name because all of them seem
to react. A storm of camera movement as the group jockeys
for the best angle of his troubled face.
David passes a magnetic board as he enters the church. It
reads, "Services for the families and friends of train 177."
INT. CHURCH - AFTERNOON
A PRIEST stands before a podium.
Sarah Elaston, social worker at Broad
and Locust Community Center. We pray
for your soul.
Kevin Elliott, business man, father
of six. We pray for your soul.
Glen Stevens, researcher in the area
of Leukemia at Drexel University. We
pray for your soul.
David sits amongst the mourners in the standing room only
church. His eyes drift to a woman two rows ahead of him.
She's turned around, looking at him. Her eyes are red from
David looks away. His eyes stop on an old man far to his
left just a few seats away. Father, mother and daughter stare
David surveys the entire church... Desperate inconsolable
eyes question his existence from every direction.
David has to look down.
...Jennifer Pennyman, third grade
teacher at Jefferson Elementary.
We pray for your soul.
INT. BACK OF CHURCH - AFTERNOON
David and the priest who conducted the mass are alone in the
mass preparation room. The priest looks in his fifties, eyes
tired, blood shot.
I used to play football in college.
In my first year as quarterback, we
went on this winning streak. It just
went on and on. It didn't matter who
we played... I'd always win.
You get superstitious when something
like that happens. You give things
meaning. Like you wear the same color
socks each game or you listen to the
same B.B. King song before you leave
the apartment. I wouldn't even untie
the shoelaces on my cleats. I'd just
slip them on and off so nothing would
change... I gave things meaning that
had no meaning.
I'm here to make sure I'm not making
shoelaces into something they're not
I was the only person to survive
that accident. The only one... It
feels like it means something.
Are you a religious man, David?
David nods, "No."
The priest removes the sacred stoll from his around his neck
and kisses it before folding it carefully.
Good. Because I'm going to talk to
you as a man. Not as a man of the
Beat. The priest turns to David.
It was luck.
What do you mean?
Luck... Random... Without meaning.
David just sits awkwardly.
Three years ago, my cousin died on a
plane that crashed on take off at
Philadelphia International airport.
Do you remember that crash?
David nods, "Yes."
I prayed and prayed and finally found
some meaning in the event. It gave
me peace... And then not quite a
year later, an entire family from my
parish burned to death in a hotel
Again I prayed. Again I found meaning.
Just two days ago, my nephew rode
with you on that train back from New
York. He was traveling alone for the
first time. I'm sorry if I can't
react to your survival with the
appropriate 'It was the hand of God.
It was a miracle.' kind of answer...
I'm fresh out of those right now.
David is shaken. Beat.
The metal of the watch I was wearing
was crushed like a sledge hammer hit
Beat. The priest's eyes fill with emotion.
My twelve year old nephew's neck was
broken in four places... What's your
point? You were chosen?
I don't think so.
The priest turns and continues putting away artifacts from
the mass. Silence fills the back room.
INT. CHURCH PARKING LOT - LATE AFTERNOON
No cameras greet his exit. No people anywhere.
David walks across the now empty parking lot. His car is the
only one left.
He walks to the driver's side. Pulls out his keys. That's as
far as he gets.
His eyes catch sight of the GRAY ENVELOPE tucked under the
windshield wiper of his car.
David moves forward and gently pulls it out. His name is
typed on the front. He turns it over. Two embossed words on
He opens the envelope. One line, handwritten, gazes at him
from the gray index card.
The line reads...
"How many days of your life have you been sick?"
Nothing else is written.
David Dunne looks around the empty parking lot quietly.
INT. EMPLOYEE LOCKER ROOM - MORNING
A poorly lit changing room. A row of metallic lockers sits
against one wall. A bench splits the room. A brown folding
table with Dunkin Donuts boxes and bagels on it is crammed
in the corner. A puke colored concrete floor sets the tone.
David and three other large men are changing out of their
street clothes. They all put on the same yellow short sleeve
shirts. The same two words are written on all their backs...
This ritual goes on without a word.
INT. MAIN STADIUM CORRIDOR - MORNING
David walks along the massive curved wall around the outer
rim of the stadium. As he passes the different walkways we
get glimpses of the enormous and empty sixty-thousand seat
football stadium on the inside.
David stops at a door marked "PERSONNEL".
INT. PERSONNEL OFFICE - MORNING
David knocks on the door as he steps into the cramped
reception room to the personnel office.
The SECRETARY, an ancient woman with thick flabby arms never
stops typing and never looks up as she talks.
Is Noel in?
No sir he is not.
I read about you in the paper.
I was in an accident once too. A
horse almost trampled me to death.
I had to put him down.
That's a sad story.
Do you think you could ask Noel
something for me?
The ancient secretary's right hand immediately picks up a
pen and positions it over a blank pad. Her left hand keeps
typing. She never looks up.
Ask if he can check how many sick
days I've taken since I've worked
Is that the entire message?
EXT. STADIUM FIELD - AFTERNOON
Rain falls in sheets in the stadium.
David stands at the entrance to a tunnel that empties out
onto the field. He stands in an imposing dark green rain
poncho and hood. The poncho almost touches the ground.
The word 'security' on the back has almost faded away. We
can barely see David's face under the hood.
There is a football game in progress on the enormous field.
The players seem unusually small. There is no one in the
stands. About four hundred people are on the sidelines of
the field watching the players. A soggy limping banner
stretched behind them declares, "The Pennslvania Elementary
David's eyes scan the tiny figures on the field. His eyes
come rest on a surge of activity on the sidelines. Beat.
David steps out into the rain.
EXT. SIDELINES - AFTERNOON
A handful of red faced fathers are yelling at each other.
They're in each other's rain soaked faces. The scene feels
on the verge of physical violence.
David and another security guard jog over. David steps in
the middle of the tight circle. The men stop yelling in the
presence of stadium security. Everyone just stands in the
rain glaring at each other. Beat.
You know what I think about to calm
down? I think about those big fat,
hundred and twenty pound turtles
that live in the islands. Those
suckers never get angry, never get
in fights and live longer than all
of us and all they do all is sit on
the beach and hump other turtles.
Why don't we take a second and think
about the turtles?
Nobody moves. Rain washes over the agitated faces. A father
breaks the moment.
Yeah Jerry why don't you think about
the fat ass turtles... Like your fat
ass son on the field jeopardizing
the rest of our chances at a fucking
David tenses. Everyone looks to JERRY. A bald man who stands
just a foot away.
Jerry nods to himself. Looks like he's going to say something.
Instead he lunges forward and smashes a HEADBUTT to the man
who spoke to him.
David tackles Jerry hard and fast. He drives him into the
Blood starts rushing out of the nose of the dazed father who
took the headbutt.
The other fathers start yelling and pushing each other.
The remaining security guard calls on his walkie for
David keeps Jerry immobilized in a powerful arm and head
lock that holds the man's enraged face hard into the wet
surface of the field.
David's eyes are not on Jerry. They gaze out onto the field
where twenty two elementary school boys have stopped playing
and are standing frozen, helmets off, rain washing over their
faces. They watch in horror as their parents attack each
other on the sidelines.
INT. EMPLOYEE LOCKER ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON
David is the last one left. He's showered and back in his
street clothes. He sits in the dimly lit room on the bench,
lost in his thoughts when the door opens.
He turns to find a somewhat pregnant looking man with a tie
step in. This is NOEL.
Beat. He just stares.
David turns on the bench.
You're getting a forty dollar raise
per week... that's it.
I checked. You were right. You've
never taken a sick day.
Five years, no sick days. I get it.
You want a raise. You made your point.
The room is still. Beat.
All right fifty dollars and that's
the god damn limit.
Are we done here?
Beat. David nods, "Yes."
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
David is wide awake in his bed. He glances over. Jeremy is
in deep sleep next to him.
INT. GUEST ROOM - NIGHT
David knocks again quietly. The guest bedroom door opens.
Megan looks up at David. She's just woken up.
Is Jeremy okay?
Beat. They both stand awkwardly for a moment.
I wanted to ask you a question. It'll
sound strange, but just think about
it for a second.
Megan nods, "Yes."
When's the last time I was sick? You
Megan tries to mask her reaction to the oddness of the
I don't know. It's been a while.
I haven't been sick this year. I
Do you remember me getting sick?
Not a specific day. What's this about?
Megan, do you ever remember me getting
In the three years we've been in
this house?... In the old
apartment?... Before Jeremy was
born?... Before we were married?
...I can't remember.
That's strange isn't it? Not
remembering one fever... Or a cold...
Or a sore throat. What do you think
It means we're probably to tired to
David becomes quiet as he thinks. Beat.
Is that what you wanted to ask me?
Is there anything else you wanted to
ask me while I'm up?... When was the
last time you wore pink? When was
the last time you drank soup standing
up? Final call for strange questions
at two in the morning.
No that's it.
David seems lost in his thoughts.
Maybe you should go up. Jeremy might
see you're gone and get frightened.
The train thing, really shook him
up. He's scared something's going to
happen to you. He doesn't want to
let you out of his sight.
David stares at Megan. Beat.
Yeah. I know.
There's silence for a bit.
When was the last time I wore pink?
The Mitchell barbecue three years
Matching shirt and shorts. It was
David half-smiles as Megan turns and starts back into the
Megan looks back at her husband. Just for a moment. Then she
Megan closes the door slowly shut.
FADE TO BLACK:
INT. BEDROOM - AFTERNOON
WE EMERGE in a cramped sparse bedroom.
A thirteen year old Elijah sits in a chair with his arm in a
sling. He watches a small black and white television in the
corner of the room.
WE HEAR FOOTSTEPS. Elijah's mother walks into the room.
She looks around for a moment, and then moves to the
television. Turns it off.
The room GOES SILENT.
No more sitting in this room. I've
let it go on long enough.
I'm not going out anymore. I'm not
getting hurt again. This was the
last time. I told you.
You can't do anything about that.
You might fall between that chair
and this television. If that's what
God has planned for you, that's what's
going to happen. You can't hide from
it in your room.
Elijah just sits staring at the dark television screen.
They call me Mr. Glass at school.
Cause I break like glass.
Elijah's face is tense. Unyielding. Beat.
Elijah's mother says the next words in almost a whisper.
...You make this decision now to be
And you'll never turn back your whole
life. You'll always be afraid.
Elijah's eyes move from the television to his mother. He
sees the emotion in her face. Neither says anything for a
...I got a present for you.
Forget why. Do you want it or not?
Elijah thinks it over. He nods, "Yes."
Well, go get it then.
Where is it?
On a bench, across the street.
Elijah looks at his mother with disbelief.
You calling me a liar?
She points to the window. Beat. Elijah gets up and moves to
the only window in the room.
The view from his room looks out over a narrow street. On
the other side of the street is a public playground. A handful
of children are playing on it.
There are three benches to one side of the swings. On one of
them is a THIN PACKAGE wrapped in brown paper with a bow on
Elijah looks to his mom who has joined him at the window.
Someone's gonna take it.
Then you better get out there soon.
EXT. PLAYGROUND - AFTERNOON
Elijah walks across the playground. He's very wary of the
other children running about him.
He walks towards the bench with the present on it. Takes a
seat. Puts the package on his lap. It's flat. The edges of
the bend down over his thin legs.
He undoes the white bow. He peels off the clear tape holding
the brown paper together. He unfolds the paper.
Elijah stares down at the single comic book in his lap.
He feels the shadow of his mother. She takes a seat next to
I bought a whole bunch. They'll be
one of these waiting for you, every
time you want to come out here.
They said this one has a surprise
Elijah looks to his mother. His intelligent piercing eyes
take her in for a moment.
He looks back down at his lap. He opens the first page...
INT. STORE - DAY
The same intelligent piercing eyes, twenty-five years older.
Elijah has grown into a handsome, regal looking man. He leans
on a walking stick.
He's looking at an impressively framed charcoal sketch on a
wall. Two figures are depicted on the top of a building locked
in fierce battle. One figure is extremely muscular with a
mask. The other is half human, half animal.
This is from Fritz Champion's own
library. This is before the first
issue of the comic book hit the stands
Elijah glances at the BUSINESS MAN standing next to him and
then back to the sketch.
It's a classic depiction of good
versus evil. Notice the square jaw
of Slayer - common in most comic
book heroes. And the slightly
disproportionate size of Jaguaro's
body to his head. This again is
common, but only in villains... The
thing to notice about this piece...
The thing that makes it very, very
special... is its realistic depiction
of its figures. When the characters
eventually made it into the magazine
they were exaggerated... as always
This is vintage.
The business man rubs his face. Gazes at the sketch. Beat.
Wrap it up.
You've made a considerably wise
Elijah starts to the back of the store which we now see is
some type of art gallery where all the framed pictures are
images and sketches from comic books.
My kid's gonna go berserk.
Elijah jams his walking stick into the extra thick carpet
and stops. He turns.
Once again please?
My son Jeb. It's a gift for him.
How old is Jeb?
Elijah starts back to the businessman shaking his head
No, no, no, no no... You need to go
What did I say?
Do you see any Telletubbies around
here?... Do you see a slender plastic
tag clipped to my shirt with my name
printed on it?... Do you see a little
Asian child with a blank expression
sitting outside in a mechanical
helicopter that shakes when you put
a quarter in it?... No?... Well that's
what you see at a toy store? Any you
must think this is a toy store, cause
you're in here shopping for an infant
named Jeb. One of us has made a gross
error and wasted the other person's
Elijah's eyes pierce through the shaken man.
This is an art gallery my friend.
This is piece of art...
Elijah points at the sketch.
This is one of seventeen original
drawings by Fritz Champion remaining
in the world. It's value will triple
every year... This piece is to be
treasured. To be cherished... To be
coveted by every single one of your
banker friends that think they're
better than you.
The business man stares at the sketch with large eyes.
What if I kept it?
I'll keep it in my office room.
What about Jeb?
I have a lock on the door.
Elijah just stares.
Will it be near a window?
No direct sunlight will fall on it.
Elijah eyes the man for many seconds. Beat.
Come back in three days. I'll think
Elijah starts to the back. He passes the front door as two
customers walk in. Elijah talks over his shoulder to them.
We're by appointment only.
I received a card from your store.
Congratulations, you have a mailbox...
The sale isn't for two weeks.
This one was under the windshield of
Elijah turns and faces the customers for the first time.
David Dunne stands with Jeremy.
Elijah just stands staring for the longest time. Beat. He
walks closer to them.
When Elijah speaks, his voice has a whispery quality to it.
You've never been sick?
I don't know for sure.
...I don't think so.
David and Elijah quietly look at each other. Beat.
Well if this ain't a riddle worthy
of the Riddler?
EXT. LIMITED EDITION - LATE AFTERNOON
Three chairs have been placed on the walkway in front of the
bay window of the store. The words, "Limited Edition" are
etched in the window.
David, Jeremy and Elijah are seated watching the people stroll
by. Elijah's cane is on his lap.
Jeremy sips a drink in a paper cup.
So let's get some of the usual
questions out of the way. Why am I
using a cane? Raise your hand if you
were thinking that.
Jeremy raises his hand.
I fractured my leg. It's the fifth
time I've done that particular bone.
It didn't really heal well this time.
Raise your hand is you're wondering
who the hell breaks the same bone
Jeremy and David raise their hands.
I have something called Osteogenesis
Imperfecta. It's a genetic disorder.
I don't make this particular type of
protein very well and it makes my
bones very low in density, very easy
to break. I've had fifty-four breaks
in my life. I have the tamest version
of the disorder... Type one.
There are type two, type three, and
type four. Type four's don't make it
That ends our lecture on the medical
anomaly known as Elijah Price.
Elijah stares at his two rapt listeners.
How certain are you that you haven't
been sick in your life?
Seventy-five percent? That's not
nearly good enough for me. I'm
Skeptical about what?
Your answer to my question. It's one
thing to have never been injured in
your life, but to state that you've
never taken ill, well that's a whole
Dad's been injured.
What's he talking about?
In college. A car accident.
Was it serious?
He couldn't play football anymore.
Beat. Elijah looks shaken.
I assumed because of the train.
You assumed wrong.
Elijah closes his eyes. When his eyes open, the life force
in them has diminished. Beat.
You can go now.
Elijah uses his cane to get up and walk back through the
doors of the store.
INT. LIMITED EDITION - LATE AFTERNOON
David and Jeremy enter the store. Elijah leans on a walking
stick before one of the framed sketches. He gazes at it
I think you skipped a couple steps.
You forgot the "Now I'm going to
tell you what the hell is going on"
step. See usually that comes before
the, "It's over" Step. And it always,
always comes before the "You can go"
What is over?
The life of an idea that has lived
too long in my head.
David stares at Elijah impatiently.
There are probably only four or five
individuals in the world who can
claim more knowledge of comics than
myself. I've spent a third of my
life in a hospital bed with nothing
else to do but read. I have studied
the form intimately. I have seen the
patterns in them... The references
to social and cultural events and
the atmosphere that surrounded them.
I've come to believe that comics are
our last link to the ancient way of
passing on history. The Egyptians
drew pictures on walls about battles,
and events. Countries all around the
world still pass on knowledge through
I believe that comics, just at their
core now... have a truth. They are
depicting what someone, somewhere
felt or experienced. Then of course
that core got chewed up in the
commercial machine and gets jazzed
up, made titillating -- cartooned
for the sale rack.
Elijah gazes at David.
This city has had its share of
disasters. Well publicized ones. It
was around the time of that plane
crash, when it first entered my head.
And there it stayed, as I waited and
watched the news over the years...
And then one day I see a news report
on a train accident and its sole
survivor who was miraculously
And just like that, an idea blossoms
into the flower of possible reality.
What was your idea Elijah?
If there is someone like me in the
world, and I'm at one end of the
spectrum... Couldn't there be someone
the opposite of me, at the other
A person who can't be hurt like the
rest of us. A kind of person they
were talking about in those stories.
Elijah points at the framed comic sketches.
A person they believed was put here
to protect the rest of us. Guard us.
You thought my dad was a real--
Jeremy don't take another sip of
Jeremy looks down at the paper cup in his hands.
Throw it in the trashcan near the
door and wait for me outside. Do it
David waits for Jeremy to exit the store. Beat.
At the church... You were following
me weren't you?
Technically no. I gambled that you
would attend the church service. I
just waited for you.
David glares at Elijah.
What's this about? This is obviously
some scam. Is this where you tell me
one of those pictures is like an
I see guys like you all the time in
my work. You find someone you think
is emotionally vulnerable and you
tell them a fantastic story, utterly
convincing... and somewhere in there,
you slip it in... 'I just need your
credit card number','I just need a
small down payment.'
David shakes his head. He smiles out of frustration. Beat.
Did you know that this morning was
the first morning I can remember,
that I didn't open my eyes and feel
that sadness... Do you know what I'm
talking about? That little bit of
I thought the person that wrote that
note had an answer for me. For why I
survived that train. For why my life
feels so out of balance...
But I guess that's what you were
Elijah stares carefully at David. Beat. David glances over
to the entrance.
Jeremy watched through the window concerned.
I'm going to leave now.
Good luck with your sale.
Elijah watches David walk towards the front door.
What type of job do you have David?
David opens the door. He looks back at Elijah.
You mentioned you've met 'guys like
me' in your work.
What type of job would that be?
I work at the stadium as a security
Beat. David closes the door behind him. Elijah watches through
the window as Jeremy takes David's hand as they cross the
Elijah gazes out the window in a bit of a daze.
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
ALL LIGHTS ARE OUT EXCEPT THE SMALL BEDSIDE LAMP ON DAVID'S
David sits up in bed staring at a torn section of newspaper
in his hands.
Jeremy is asleep horizontally with his legs over David's
David doesn't blink as he gazes at the headline silently...
"TRAIN CRASH DEATH TOLL CONFIRMED AT 131 DEAD. 1 SURVIVOR"
Beat. David slides out from under his son's legs. Jeremy
stirs but doesn't wake up.
David moves to the darkness of the corner of the room. He
opens a closet door.
A NAKED HANGING BULB GOES ON as David yanks a chain. David
steps inside the narrow closet and closes the door slightly
so the LIGHT FROM THE BULB DOESN'T FALL ON JEREMY.
There's just enough room to stand and look around. David
reaches up and pulls a small travel bag out of the way.
David stretches as he feels on the top shelf.
His hand comes down with something wrapped in a t-shirt.
He unwraps it. It's a handgun.
He stares at it for a beat before wrapping it back up and
replacing it to the highest shelf.
He stretches even more. Reaches farther back. WE HEAR
SOMETHING SLIDE ON THE SHELF AS HE PULLS IT FORWARD.
He pulls down a folder jammed with clippings. He opens the
folder to reveal a young David in football uniform holding
his helmet in the air victoriously. The word "Champion" is
written over his head. David flips through the top clippings
all are images and stories of David and football.
He turns the pile over. Goes to the last clipping. This piece
of paper is folded over three times, unlike the others. He
It's a newspaper headline. It reads...
"CAR ACCIDENT LEAVES TWO INJURED"
David puts the new headline next to the old one... They look
like a set. Even the font is similar.
David stares at the old headline. Stares hard at the photo
of the bent and heavily damaged car laying upside down in
the middle of the highway... The bulb seems to flicker.
David is utterly still.
SOMEONE KNOCKS AT THE BEDROOM DOOR. David gets startled.
He puts back the clippings. Stuffing the new one inside with
them. He replaces it back to the top shelf and leaves the
ANOTHER SOFT SET OF KNOCKS as David moves across the bedroom.
He opens the door.
Megan stands in the darkened hall. Beat.
Megan nods. Beat.
I've come to a decision.
Let me just ask you something okay?
And you can be totally honest. I'm
prepared for any answer. It won't
David nods, "yes."
Have you been with anyone? Since we
started having problems? The answer
won't affect me.
Beat. David stares at his wife.
It won't affect me either way.
Beat. David doesn't say anything. He just nods, "No."
Megan's face starts to tremble. She starts crying. Tears
roll over her very affected face. She tries to wipe them
away, but there's too many. Beat.
...My decision is... I'd like to
start again. Pretend we're at the
It's a big deal you walked away from
that train. It's a second chance.
If you want to ask me out sometime,
that would be okay.
Megan nods and walks down the stairs as she wipes her face.
David watches her disappear into the shadows.
EXT. VETERAN'S STADIUM - AFTERNOON
Sunday afternoon. The cavernous stadium opens up into a
picture perfect blue sky.
The Philadelphia Eagles pro football players are in uniform
and doing stretches on the field. The opposing team warms up
on the other end of the field.
The sixty thousand seats are already half filled as fans
stream in on every level of the stadium.
EXT. ENTRANCE GATE 27B - AFTERNOON
A line of ticket holders snakes towards two turnstiles where
stadium crew are ripping tickets.
David Dunne stands to one side with two other security guards.
The fans moving through the turnstiles are clad in all types
of Eagles paraphernalia. A group of girls carries a homemade
banner that David reads as he tilts his head sideways. "We
sleep with quarterbacks," is written in block letters.
David stares at a woman carrying a newborn infant in her
arms. The baby is wearing an eagles uniform.
The WALKIE TALKIE on David's hip bursts to life. He pulls it
off his hip an listens.
Dunne, it's Jenkins, we got a guy at
gate 17C with a bogus ticket. Says
he knows you. He won't tell me his
What's he look like?
He's got the most beautiful eyes...
The hell kind of question is that?
He's a guy.
Send him packing. I'm not walking
all the way over there.
Consider him packed. I didn't like
his attitude... Struttin around with
a cane and shit.
Hold up Jenkins...
EXT. ENTRANCE GATE 17C - AFTERNOON
David finds Elijah waiting to the side as the crowds funnel
through the gate. Elijah offers his hand as he walks up.
David doesn't take it.
They said I couldn't get in with my
Elijah offers him the ticket. David inspects it.
It's for last week's game.
I've come to understand that...
An ill advised purchase in the parking
David hands Elijah back the ticket.
What do you want?
But I appreciate your healthy cynicism
in the manner. It will be wise for
both of us to proceed with greatest
We're not proceeding anywhere
We've already begun.
David looks around.
One more time. What is it you want?
Why is it, do you think, that of all
the professions in the world... you
Are you for real?
You could have poured coffee in
Starbucks, you could have learned to
install track lighting in office
buildings, you could have told people
their horoscopes on the internet...
You could have been one of ten
thousand things... but in the end,
you chose to protect people. You
made that decision... and I find
that very, very interesting.
Now all I need is your credit card
Beat. Elijah smiles.
That last part was a joke.
David fights it. But he smiles anyway. Beat.
I got this job because my college
coach called the guy who manages the
stadium. There's no hidden meaning
David's walkie makes NOISE on his hip.
They need me at the gate.
David stares at Elijah leaning on his walking stick.
Did you really want to see the game?
I can get you in.
EXT. ENTRANCE GATE 27B - AFTERNOON
The line of fans outside the gate has tripled in size and
David and Elijah move along the line towards the turnstiles.
It gets heaviest ten minutes before
David bumps a guy in line wearing an army jacket. David looks
backs at him and continues walking.
David moves to a security guard near the turnstiles.
Why don't we pat down?
David walks to his post near the gate and faces the crowd.
Elijah moves next to him.
Just give me a minute.
Is there a problem?
That guy in green. Sometimes people
carry weapons in here. Then they
drink too much. They're team isn't
doing so well, bad things happen...
We do random pat downs of the crowd
to discourage people from carrying.
If he's carrying, he'll step out of
Elijah observes as a security team pats down random males as
they move through the turnstiles.
The GREEN ARMY JACKETED MAN moves forward in the line.
His face is blank as he watches the pat down ahead of him.
He's twenty people from the turnstile.
David eyes him. Fifteen people away... Ten...
The man coughs and steps out of the line. Elijah watches the
green army jacket melt into the thick part of the crowd and
disappear as it moves away from the stadium.
INT. STADIUM TUNNEL - AFTERNOON
AN UNLIT arched concrete passageway. The SUNLIGHT from the
stadium streams in causing long shadows.
Elijah stands waiting in the ground tunnel by himself.
THE THUNDEROUS CHEERS OF THE SIXTY THOUSAND FANS IN THE
STADIUM ECHOES FROM THE FIELD INTO THE TUNNEL.
David enters the tunnel and joins Elijah. He hands him a
I got you a seat in the seven hundred
(points straight up)
It's nose-bleed territory, but at
least you won't get spit on.
How did you know that man you bumped
was carrying a weapon?
Probably the army jacket. Those guys
carry hunting knives and stuff for
You thought he was carrying a knife?
I thought he was carrying something.
But not a knife?
I got this picture of a silver handled
gun tucked in his pants.
Like on t.v.
Elijah stares at David. THE STADIUM CHEERS BOUNCE OFF THE
You have good instincts when it comes
to things like that?
Telling when people have done
Have you ever tried to develop it?
I don't know what you're asking?
Listen. I got to be on the sidelines
during the game... You can get to
your seat by taking the stairwell at--
Characters in comic books are often
attributed special powers. X-ray
vision, things of that sort.
David exhales slowly as he stares at Elijah.
Okay, I don't want to play this game
It's an exaggeration of the truth.
Maybe it's based on something as
simple as instinct. Like being able
to touch someone and tell whether
they've done something wrong... Or
the level of what they've done wrong.
The guy might not have been carrying
Or he might have been carrying a
silver handled gun tucked in his
David's WALKIE ERUPTS WITH NOISE.
I have to go now.
One last question.
The car accident you were in... Was
there anyone else involved?
The two men stand very still in the tunnel.
Yes. My wife Megan. She was in the
car with me.
David turns and starts down the hall. David talks back over
Have a good life Elijah and try to
buy your tickets at an authorized
Elijah watches as the silhouetted figure of David Dunne jogs
down the darkness of the tunnel.
INT. CAR - LATE AFTERNOON
We are inside a customized car. The dashboard is covered in
some sort of thin foam padding. The steering wheel and gear
shift have the same padding. Every corner and hard surface
has been safe guarded. Elijah sits behind the wheel of his
car in the parking lot of the stadium. He sits as thoughts
crash at his head. Beat.
He finally reaches for the keys and starts up the car. He
looks into the rearview mirror and sees the man in the GREEN
ARMY JACKET pass behind his car.
Elijah quickly turns and sees the man moving through the
parked cars heading out of the parking lot.
Elijah takes a deep breath and turns off the engine.
EXT. PARKING LOT - LATE AFTERNOON
Elijah's walking stick makes RHYTHMIC CLICKS on the concrete
The figure in the army jacket seems to move farther away
with every step.
Elijah starts breathing harder. He pushes himself to move
faster. He avoids the hard chrome bumpers and tailpipes that
jut out from the cars as he quickens his pace through the
He gains on the army jacket.
Hold up for a second!
The man in the army jacket turns as he reaches a subway
entrance that marks the end of the parking lot. He looks
back at Elijah for a beat. Doesn't like what he sees. He
disappears into the subway entrance.
Elijah quickens into a jog now. He hasn't done this in a
while and it's painful.
He makes it with great strain to the subway.
He looks into the entrance...
A steep flight of stairs leads to the subway floor. The tail
of the army jacket is glimpsed before it disappears.
Elijah breathes hard as he takes hold of the railing.
I just want to ask you something!
Elijah's VOICE ECHOES down the stairs. No response.
Elijah starts his descent.
THE SOUND OF A SUBWAY PULLING IN ROARS UP THE STAIRS.
Elijah has to move fast. He takes the steps with less and
less hesitation. He's moving with great agility... and then
his foot catches on a step.
His hand slips away from the railing...
He falls down the remaining part of the stairs. The FIRST
SICKENING CRACK is heard when his hand reaches out to stop
The SECOND CRACK IS MORE LIKE A CRUNCH AS HIS LEG LANDS
AWKWARDLY ON THE METAL STAIRS.
He comes to a stop in a pile on the dirty gum stained floor
of the subway landing. His jaw is locked in a
HORRIFIC SCREAM THAT GETS EATEN BY THE ROAR OF THE SUBWAY
TRAIN PULLING IN.
His contorted anguished face sees the turnstiles of the subway
upside down. The green army jacketed man looks back at Elijah
with a blank expression pushing through the turnstile.
The last thing Elijah sees before he blacks out, is the tail
of the man's coat riding up as he move through the turnstile.
The SILVER HANDLE OF A GUN peeks out from the belt of his
EXT. BUS STOP - DUSK
David's neighborhood turns crimson as the day comes to an
end. The Septa bus pulls to a stop in front of a public high
school. David steps off, still in his security clothes. The
bus pulls away as he hears his SON'S VOICE.
David turns to the high school football field behind him.
A group of children are having a touch football game.
Jeremy runs out from the huddle across the field to David.
Was it sold out?
David nods, "No."
You know how mad your mom would be
if she knew you were playing football?
Are you going to tell?
David nods, "No."
You want to play the last downs? We
got a big guy like you. You can play
on opposite sides.
David looks to the fields to see a very muscular college age
man in sweats who stands with the other children.
He's Potter's cousin. He's the
starting corner back for Temple
David stares at his son.
He going pro in the draft. They say
he can run the fifty--
In under six seconds.
David watches the cornerback being surrounded by kids.
He's letting a couple of the kids feel his flexed bicep.
I'm going to go in.
Just play one set of downs. I told
them you were great.
Why'd you do that?
I'm going in. I have to do some
I'm going to work out.
I'll help you.
There's nothing to do.
Jeremy turns back to the children and waves.
I can't play! I'm working out with
Jeremy turns back to his father and takes his hand. David
looks down at his son who waits patiently.
INT. BASEMENT - EARLY EVENING
The basement is dominated by storage boxes and Christmas
decorations. An old bench press and weights are in a cluttered
David sits and turns at the end of the bench as Jeremy
laboriously carries and places fifteen a pound weight on the
bar. David talks over his shoulder.
Why don't you rest now? I'll take it
from here. You've been a big help.
Jeremy goes to the opposite side of the bar and starts to
put on another weight.
You think you could beat up Mike
Tyson? I mean before he started wiggin
out and eating people's ears?
What if you worked out everyday for
six months? You think you could beat
What if you only ate foods that were
good for you and you worked out
everyday for a year?
Jeremy is breathing hard as he puts the safety collars on
the barbell and comes around to David's end of the bench.
David lays back.
David takes hold of the barbell. Beat. He takes a deep breath.
The weight comes off the armrests of the bench. David lowers
it to his chest and pushes it back up. He does just one more
rep with serious strain. He puts the weight back on the
armrest and sits up.
How much did you put on there?
David twists around and looks back at the barbell. He counts
up the black metal circles. He turns back to Jeremy.
You put too much. That's two hundred
and fifty pounds.
How much can you lift?
David looks back at the weights.
That's the most I've ever lifted.
That could have been dangerous Jeremy.
Why don't you go upstairs and let me
Jeremy starts back to the barbell.
I'll take it off. I'll help you right.
He slips off the safety collar.
You think you could have beaten up
David hears the SOUND OF THE WEIGHTS SLIDING OFF THE BAR
I mean if you knew karate?
What if he wasn't aloud to kick and
you were really mad at him?
Jeremy is breathing hard again as he finishes with the weights
and comes around to David.
David lays back.
David takes hold of the bar. Lifts it off the armrest.
Brings it down. His arms are straining hard again. He raises
it and lowers it two time; it takes a sizable effort. The
weights bang down onto the armrest.
David sits up.
How much did you take off?
Jeremy nods, "Yes" slowly.
David turns completely around and looks at the barbell.
He counts the black discs on the steel bar. Beat.
Nobody says anything for a long time.
How much is it?
Two hundred and seventy.
David just stares at the black steel circles on the metal
bar. Jeremy comes and sits on the bench next to his father.
They both stare at the weight. Beat.
Let's put more.
INT. BASEMENT - EARLY EVENING
David's fingers wrap around the cold metal of the bar. He
leans his head forward and looks to Jeremy.
Why don't you move back a bit? Just
to be safe.
Jeremy moves back to the bottom of the stairs leading up to
the house. He waits.
Another deep breath as David heaves. The weight CLINKS as it
comes off the arm rest. David is full out straining now as
he lowers and raises it. His arms begin to tremble as he
lifts it for the second time. BANG the weight lands back
safely onto the rest.
David sits up. He looks at his son whose eyes are wide.
Beat. David nods, "Yes."
INT. BASEMENT - EARLY EVENING
An enormous amount of black discs sits on the bar. David's
hands are gripping the metal.
He talks to Jeremy who stands in his position at the bottom
of the stairs without looking at him.
You should never try anything like
this. You know that right?
Jeremy nods, "Yes."
What do you do if something happens?
David nods, "yes" before starting his deep breathing. He
takes one last breath. CLINK the weights comes off the rest.
His arms are trembling immediately now. His face is locked
in a grimace as he brings the bar down to his chest and back
up again two times before dropping it onto the armrest.
He slowly sits up.
How many did you put on that time?
All of it.
There's no more left?
Jeremy nods, "no" in a slight daze. Beat. David looks around
What else can we use?
INT. BASEMENT - EARLY EVENING
A set of two unopened MAB satin finish paint cans are dangling
by their metal handles on the outside of each side of the
The fours cans sway a little as the bar is heaved off of
David's chest. His arms are shaking hard. He raises the weight
to it's apex and brings it down again. It touches his chest
and rises up again. David's red strained face exhales
powerfully as he straightens his arms.
The bar lands on the armrest with A CRASH. The paint cans
make METAL SQUEAKS as they swing to stillness, one at a time.
David sits up and turns back to the weights. His mouth moves
as he calculates the discs and the cans.
His lips stop moving. Beat.
How much is it?
David doesn't react.
How much is it dad?
It takes a second for David to register the question. He
looks to his son. Beat.
About three hundred and forty.
David turns and looks at his son. Jeremy's mouth is slightly
open. He gazes at his dad. Awe in his tiny eyes.
INT. BATHROOM - EVENING
David sits on the edge of the bathroom tub. He's just showered
and wearing jeans and a t-shirt. He sits still with his elbows
resting on his knees, staring at the white tiles of the floor.
THE PHONE RINGS.
David gets up and walks out of the bathroom. He picks up the
phone and stands in the bathroom doorway.
Is David Dunne there?
Yes. Is this David?
Yeah? Megan where are you calling
My name is Megan Inverso. We went to
David looks at the phone. The lights for line ONE and line
TWO are glowing RED. David squints his eyes as he pieces
together the situation. Beat.
He moves back into the bathroom. The cord stretches as he
takes his seat on the edge of the bathtub.
I remember you.
I was hoping you would call me, but...
Anyway I decided not to wait.
I was thinking, it might be nice to
go to dinner together.
Yeah it might be nice.
We hear A SOUND ON THE OTHER END OF THE PHONE. A SOUND MUCH
LIKE AN EXHALE.
INT. CHINESE RESTAURANT - LATE EVENING
The local Chinese restaurant. Red and gold plastic dragons
hang from the ceiling.
A couple late-nighters are at the bar. Megan and David are
two of a handful of people left dining in the restaurant.
They're a little dressed up. Megan looks kind of stunning.
...When you work with clients on
machines, do they sometimes just
jump up a level or two? Do something
they didn't know they were capable
Not often, but it is possible. Most
people get scared when they see the
shadow of their limits. They don't
know how long the shadow really is.
They don't know how far away the
real limits are standing... They
stop out of fear.
David nods as he takes it in. Beat. He looks down at his
plate and twirls his lo mein onto a fork. Megan watches him.
This is kind of strange isn't it?
David nods, "yes" before taking the bite.
We're not even acting like ourselves.
David touches his mouth with his napkin.
Like that. Your mouth's dirty. You
tapped your napkin to your lips. You
only do that when you're with someone
you don't know.
David looks down at his napkin.
What do I do when I'm around someone
You use your sleeve.
They both smile at each other. Beat.
David and Megan look over to the only other table of late
night diners as they get up from their table. A woman about
Megan's age walks over to her.
I thought it was you.
This is Claire. Her son is in Jeremy's
class. Claire and I worked on the
school food drive together.
CLAIRE smiles as she stares at David. She turns to Megan.
Claire turns back to David.
I'm very happy about this. Megan
mentioned to me she was considering
Megan becomes still.
I'm sorry, what's your name?
Beat. David doesn't look up.
This is my husband.
Beat. All three people become frozen in silence.
Claire looks to Megan.
I am so sorry.
Claire quietly walks away form the table and joins her group
as they leave the restaurant. Beat.
Megan and David are the last one's left. They sit silently
in their booth. Megan looks at David's face. He's shaken.
He slowly takes a sip of water and then taps his mouth with
INT. FRONT DOOR - NIGHT
It's late. NO LIGHTS ARE ON EXCEPT THE ONE IN THE HALL.
The babysitter has black dyes hair and Buddy Holly glasses.
David waits as she puts on her jacket.
DYED HAIR GIRL
He ate about six of those chocolate
covered doughnut holes with his milk.
He said he only had three, but I
know he had six.
David is not paying attention to the girl. He watches as his
wife takes off her coat and heads to the guest room.
She turns before entering the room. David and his wife make
David nods. Megan goes into her room. The guest door closes
David finds the babysitter looking at him with an odd
DYED HAIR GIRL
My parents sleep in separate beds.
David reaches into his wallet and hands the girl money.
David opens the front door for her.
DYED HAIR GIRL
By the way, Jeremy went to sleep in
his room tonight.
The baby sitter nods with a smile as she walks out the front
INT. JEREMY'S BEDROOM
David walks into the darkened child's bedroom. The lump on
the bed turns when he hears movement. He smiles when he sees
I'm sleeping in my room.
I'm not scared.
Do you know why?
David nods, "No."
I know now.
You're secret identity.
That man was right.
Beat. David just stares at his son. Jeremy's eyes start to
Jeremy opens his eyes.
There are big guys in almost every
gym who can lift that much.
Beat. Jeremy's eyes start to shut.
You could have lifted more.
(his eyes close)
...Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.
Jeremy Dunne falls asleep. David Dunne stands in the darkness
of his son's room.
Posters of comic book heroes don the walls around him.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT
Elijah's cheek rests against two pristine white pillows.
He looks exhausted. His eyes are fixed on some abstract point
in the room. WE HEAR SOUNDS OF A HOSPITAL.
The torso of a PHYSICIAN can be seen on the other side of
the bed. We hear him speak but never see his face.
...fracture of the proximal phalanx
of the little finger as well as
multiple fractures of the sixth,
seventh, and eighth ribs. The worst
of the injury, however, was sustained
to the left leg in the form of a
spiral fracture. There were fourteen
breaks. It simply shattered...
They call me Mr. Glass.
Elijah just keeps staring.
Shall I continue?
Beat. Elijah's head nods the slightest bit up and down.
Pins were placed throughout the length
of the leg. The use of a wheelchair
will be needed for a two month period.
The use of crutches will follow for
twelve to fourteen months. Hospital
stay will range from five to eight
days followed by nine to twelve months
of physical therapy. Prescribed
medication for pain management will
take the usual forms of...
The PHYSICIAN'S WORDS FADE AWAY as Elijah continues to gaze
at an abstract point in the room.
FADE TO BLACK:
INT. PHYSICAL THERAPY CENTER - LATE MORNING
WE EMERGE FROM DARKNESS TO FIND OURSELVES IN THE PHYSICAL
A CO-WORKER finds Megan working with an elderly gentleman
who's laboring on a stationary bike.
Your ten o'clock is here. The hospital
discharged him this morning.
The co-worker takes Megan's position by the elderly man.
Megan crosses the physical therapy center. A man in a wheel
chair waits by her office. She walks up to him with a smile.
Elijah's leg is immobilized by a metal brace and held
straight. Under his shirt we see the wrappings around his
ribs. His left pinky is in a splint. He smiles and nods,
"yes" to Megan.
INT. STADIUM LOCKER ROOM - LATE MORNING
David Dunne stands in security uniform by a set of double
doors that leads into the players locker room.
Three walls of the locker room are lined with shiny lockers.
One side of the room has benches and massage tables. The far
end of the room has work out equipment.
About twenty players and trainers are scattered throughout
the spacious room lost in their own pre-game rituals.
David watches as a massive muscular player takes a seat on
the massage table and removes his dress shirt. His body is
covered in old bruises. He lays down, wincing a bit from the
pain. A trainer begins to massage him.
David just stares at the battered athlete. His gaze moves
across the room. Beat.
David stares at something in the crowded room then he starts
He moves through the room of players and trainers. He moves
to the one area of the large room not occupied by anyone.
David comes to a step at the foot of an Olympic bench press.
Racks and racks of free weights sit behind the press.
David looks down at the thick silver bar. Three large black
plates are on either side. Six in all.
David looks back and glances at the double doors where he
should be standing. Beat. He looks to the twenty or so players
and trainers in the room. Some of the players have headphones
on. Some are staring into space. A couple are on cell
No one notices David Dunne as he reaches for a forty-five
pound black plate off the weight rack.
The huge disc slides onto the bar with almost NO SOUND...
A matching forty-five pound disc goes on the other side...
And then David adds another. He matches it on the other
THE BENCH CREAKS just the slightest bit as David takes a
No one notices the security guard lay back on the bench.
David's hands take hold of the shiny bar.
He closes his eyes...
David's arms become tense. He pushes against the weight.
It doesn't move.
His face turns deep red. He opens his eyes and stares at the
bar as he keeps training. His face and arms are shaking...
He keeps staring... focusing.
And then, without any fanfare, the bar lifts off the arm
The weight hovers over David. He lowers it to his chest for
a second time. His arms aren't shaking anymore. He pushes
the weights back up.
He carefully brings the bar back to the arm rest. It touches
down with the smallest of CLINKS.
David's fingers uncurl from the bar.
David lets out two slow soft breaths as he counts the thick
Four ten... four forty-five...
Beat. David sits up in a daze.
He finds the entire room of athletes and trainers staring at
him. Some of the players have stood up. Everyone stares as
David Dunne with the same quiet disbelief in their eyes.
INT. PHYSICAL THERAPY CENTER - AFTERNOON
Megan and Elijah are in the far corner of the room. They're
separated from the other clients. Megan is seated on an
exercise machine. Elijah is in his wheel chair facing her.
We're going to prevent any substantial
atrophy of your good leg with this.
(She taps the machine)
It works the quadriceps.
How long have you been married?
Megan is taken off guard by the question. She stares at
How did you get together?
Elijah smiles warmly. Megan smiles softly back.
A car accident.
Elijah smiles even bigger.
Now you're going to have to tell me
...See my husband was a big football
star in college and we were in an
accident together. Our car flipped
on an icy road. We were both injured.
He couldn't play football anymore.
If that hadn't happened, we wouldn't
have been together.
Football wasn't the kind of life I
wanted... For ten years I'd be by
the phone waiting for a call telling
me he broke his neck in a practice
game. And if it wasn't that call, it
would be a call telling me he blew
out his knee or suffered his third
concussion. I've seen way too much
of it in my job... I can barely take
it when my clients are in pain.
I don't hate the game. I admire the
amount of skill it involved and,
like everyone else, I was in awe of
how he could play it, but I couldn't
give him my heart and then have
something happen to him. And it always
does with that game.
It's not a thing many people would
You and my mother would have a special
Any way, fate stepped in and took
football out of the equation.
...And everyone lived happily ever
What part of David's body was injured?
Beat. Megan's eyes become utterly still.
Who said my husband's name is David?
INT. STADIUM - AFTERNOON
Eleven football players in white and green battle eleven
football players in blue and gray on the field. A sold out
stadium watches the event.
David stands at the lip of a tunnel that opens out onto the
upper section of the second level. Waves of people move from
their seats through the tunnel to the bathrooms and concession
stands and back again.
David stares to the side away from the movement, his shoulder
leaned up against the wall. He looks over at the constant
movement of spectators through the tunnel.
Beat. His shoulder leaves the wall. He STEPS OUT into the
stream of people.
Shoulders and arms bump into him and brush by him as they
David's eyes are looking down -- his expression still --
like he's listening.
He continues into the dead center of the tunnel. He's in the
heaviest part of the movement now. Fans continue to brush
against him as they pass.
And then it happens... A stocky woman bumps into him.
FLASH CUT: AN IMAGE OF THE STOCKY WOMAN IN A BATHROBE STANDING
IN A KITCHEN.
SHE'S HOLDING THE SHOULDER OF A FIVE YEAR OLD BOY STANDING
NEXT TO HER. HE'S CRYING UNCONTROLLABLY.
THEY BOTH ARE LOOKING DOWN AT THE KITCHEN TABLE WHERE THREE
THINGS ARE LAID OUT... A BELT, A HANGER, AND AN EXTENSION
SLAM CUT BACK TO PRESENT:
We're back with David in the crowd. He turns and watches the
stocky woman walk down the tunnel. She's holding the wrist
of her five year old son. She yanks it quickly and violently
to keep the boy close at her side. She and the boy dissolve
into the crowd.
INT. PHYSICAL THERAPY CENTER - AFTERNOON
Elijah and Megan sit very still.
There have been three major disasters
in this city over the last four years.
I've followed each one of them... A
Seven-three-seven crashes on take
off. One hundred and seventy-two
die. No survivors... A hotel fire
downtown. Two hundred and eleven
die. No survivors... And am Amtrak
train derails seven and half miles
outside of the city. One hundred and
thirty one die. One survivor. He is
I've spoken with your husband about
his survival. I suggested a rather
unbelievable explanation. Since then,
I've come to believe, that my
explanation, however unbelievable,
is in fact, true.
And what was that explanation?
It's a mediocre time Mrs. Dunne.
People are starting to lose hope.
It's hard for many to believe that
extraordinary things live inside
themselves as well as others... I
hope you can keep an open mind?
Is this a religious thing?
I own a comic book museum. It's called
the Limited Edition.
For a second there I thought you
were a fanatic.
I believe comic books are based
loosely on reality -- I believe there
are real life equivalents of the
heroes in those books that walk the
earth -- I believe your husband is
one of those individuals.
Beat. Megan becomes utterly still.
I'm glad you brought up fate Mrs.
Dunne. I'm becoming a strong believer
in it... See, David refuses to speak
with me any longer... And when I saw
your name on my insurance list of
approved physical therapists... It
was like fate had intervened...
We were meant to speak to each other.
INT. STADIUM - AFTERNOON
David lets the waves of people move by him in the tunnel.
A MAN WITH GRAY EYES and wearing a dark blue sweat shirt
carries a cardboard tray of nachos and drinks. He brushes
David's arm as he passes.
FLASH CUT: THE IMAGE OF THE GREY EYED MAN WEARING A BLOOD
SPLATTERED T-SHIRT IN A MEN'S BATHROOM. HE'S VIOLENTLY KICKING
ANOTHER MAN CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR OF A TOILET STALL.
HE STOPS KICKING. HE GLARES DOWN WITH POWERFUL GRAY EYES.
SWEAT SHIRT MAN
This is my house, bitch. These are
SLAM CUT BACK TO PRESENT:
The gray eyes man in the blue sweat shirt pauses with nachos
in hand at the top of the stairs to locate his seats. Beat.
David walks the five feet between them and taps him on the
shoulder. People continue to stream by as the man turns to
face David. The man's GRAY EYES go from David's face to the
security emblem on his shirt. The man's face becomes still.
GRAY EYED MAN
David stares hard at the man in front of him.
We've had some problems with drug
selling in this stadium.
Would you mind if I checked the
pockets of your sweatshirt?
The gray eyed man stands eerily still with his nachos and
drinks. The two men just stare at each other, evaluating the
situation. People move in both directions around them,
The gray eyes man holds his tray of food to the side and
raises his arms slowly.
David steps forward and reaches into his pockets. Beat.
David pulls his hands out from the pockets. They're empty.
The gray eyes man brings his arms down. Beat.
The walkie on David's hip COMES TO LIFE. David reaches down
and pulls it off his belt without removing his eyes from the
man in front of him. David brings the walkie to his mouth.
There's a message for you at the
office. Your kid was hurt.
David's face changes.
Just now. They want you to come down
to his school.
David lowers the walkie from his face. The gray eyed man has
a slight smile on.
GRAY EYED MAN
Why don't you go take care of your
The gray eyed man takes a bite of a nacho as he stares at
GRAY EYED MAN
And dude, no one carries their
merchandise on them any more. They
got messengers for that shit now.
That's what they tell me.
The gray eyed man in the blue sweat shirt turns and starts
down the stairs to his seat. He raises his fist in the air
as someone scores a touchdown on the field.
INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NURSE'S RECEPTION AREA - AFTERNOON
Jeremy is seated in a chair with abrasions and cuts on his
face. He sits next to a smaller boy with a thermometer in
They're both looking at the glass window of the nurse's
private office. There are tow people inside talking. David
and A WHITE HAIRED NURSE.
The THERMOMETER BOY pulls the thermometer out of his mouth.
Is that your dad?
Jeremy nods "Yes."
I bet my dad can beat up you dad.
Jeremy turns to the thermometer boy.
I don't think so.
INT. NURSE'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON
...No, he insisted we only call you.
Though it took us a while to track
down your number. It's not on file
Megan handles that type of stuff.
What stuff is that?
David feels uncomfortable as the nurse just stares at him.
Beat. David rises from his seat.
So do I need to put any smelly
ointments on him or anything?
The white haired nurse nods, "no."
It's more emotional damage. It wasn't
very serious physically.
Nothing like when I sent you to the
David stares at the white haired nurse.
What was that?
My office was on the other side of
the building back then.
You don't remember me do you?
David nods, "no."
I had red hair.
David stares at the woman. He doesn't recognize her.
I think you were a little younger
than Jeremy when it happened.
Did you know we changed the conduct
rules of the pool because of you?
David nods, "no" slowly.
The kids still talk about it like
some ghost story... "Did you know
there was a kid that almost drowned
in the pool? He got pneumonia and
The nurse shakes her head.
We let them tell it... It helps keep
Are you still phobic of water?
David seems lost in his thoughts. He looks up at the nurse.
Yes I am.
EXT. BUS STOP - AFTERNOON
David and Jeremy are seated on a bench at a Septa bus stop.
No one else is waiting with them.
Jeremy talks without making eye contact with his dad.
It was Potter and another guy I play
football with. They were messing
with this Chinese girl. She's kind
of fat. She doesn't talk to anybody.
I tried to make them stop. They kept
pushing me down and wouldn't let me
Beat. Jeremy's VOICE STARTS TO TREMBLE SOFTLY.
I thought maybe cause you were my
dad, I thought I might be like you.
Jeremy finally looks up. Tears in his eyes.
I'm not like you.
David moves closer to Jeremy on the bench.
You are like me. We both can get
hurt. I'm just an ordinary man.
I'm not what you think I am.
Jeremy just stares at his father. Beat.
Why do you keep saying that?
INT. KITCHEN - EVENING
David stares at his bowl of pasta. He sits alone in the
He gets up, slides the pasta in the trash and moves to the
David is rinsing out the bowl when Megan walks in. David
turns off the water.
He's just laying in bed. He's pretty
upset. He won't talk.
He's dealing with a lot of things.
I think he needs to find answers
It's weird to hear you tell me about
A good weird.
David looks at Megan. They stand silently in an awkward pause.
Would you like to try going--
Beat. David smiles.
But if we see another mother from
Jeremy's school, me name is Juan. I
always wanted to be a Juan.
Megan smiles softly back. Beat.
Oh. Elijah Price came to visit me at
the center today.
Megan sees David's shocked expression.
He didn't do anything. He just told
me his theory... It's sad when
patients get like that. They loose
Jeremy what the hell are you doing?
Megan suddenly realizes David is looking over her shoulder.
Megan turns around. She SCREAMS.
Jeremy is standing in the doorway to the kitchen. He's crying
hard. In his outstretched hands is the HAND GUN FROM DAVID'S
CLOSET. It's pointed directly at David.
You don't believe. I'll show you...
You can't get hurt.
Oh my God.
Jeremy did you load that gun?
Jeremy nods, "Yes." Crying harder now.
YOU WON'T GET HURT...
Elijah was wrong.
Sometimes when people are sick or
hurt for a long time, like Elijah,
they're mind gets hurt too.
David shoots a tense glance at Megan.
They start to think things that aren't
true. He told me what he thought
about your father. It isn't true.
I'll show you.
David starts moving a little to his right. Jeremy follows
him with the barrel of the handgun. David stops moving.
You know the story about the kid who
almost drowned in the pool?
Jeremy stops moving.
That was me they were talking about.
I almost died. That was me.
I'm not. I just didn't connect it.
Jeremy, your father was injured in
college -- you know that. You know
all about that.
Jeremy's small face tenses. Confusion mixes with the
desperation on his face.
Don't do it. He'll die Jeremy.
Beat. Jeremy looks up, tears streaming down his cheeks.
I'll just shoot him once.
Jeremy listen to what--
Jeremy starts pressing the trigger. The hammer clicks back.
Don't be scared.
Jeremy if you pull that trigger I'm
going to leave! I'm going to go to
Jeremy freezes. David flashes a desperate glance at Megan
then back to Jeremy.
You're right... If you shoot me,
that bullet is going to bounce off
me and I won't get hurt... but then
I'm going to go upstairs and pack.
And then leave to New York.
Jeremy's hands are trembling. He starts to close his eyes as
he raises the gun level with David's chest.
Jeremy's eyes open.
You're about to get into big trouble!
I'm your father and I'm telling you
to put that gun down right now God
Jeremy puts the gun down on the floor in front of him and
Megan leans against the refrigerator and slides down to a
sitting position on the tiled floor.
David walks over and picks up the gun. He unloads the bullets
in his hand. David bends down very slowly and takes a seat
on the kitchen floor.
Jeremy is the last to sit down. He takes a seat in the doorway
of the kitchen.
Beat. He wipes his eyes with the back of his hand. Beat.
...You didn't have to yell.
The Dunne family sits in silence on the floor of their
EXT. LIMITED EDITION - AFTERNOON
People move up and down the streets outside the storefronts.
David is one of them. He waits to cross the street. He sees
movement inside the Limited Edition window.
INT. LIMITED EDITION - AFTERNOON
Elijah opens the door. It takes him a bit, because of the
David stares at Elijah's damaged condition. Beat.
Joined a rugby league. Turned out to
be a bad idea.
Come here I want to show you
Elijah wheels over to one of the framed sketches on the wall.
It's a charcoal drawing of a muscular figure shielding himself
from a blow about to be delivered. A huge ominous shadow is
covering him, as if something unspeakable and evil is just
out of frame.
Look at this. I just noticed this
David steps in close and studies the drawing.
This is from the Sentryman series. A
color version of this was actually
used in the second issue.
Elijah points up to the drawing's face.
Look at this eyes. What do you see?
David looks right at the intense eyes of the drawing.
He was scared. They were being honest
in the beginning you see. They let
him be human.
They turned him into a garden variety
hero later... Then he was brave all
Elijah turns to David.
I followed the guy in the army jacket.
David becomes still as his words register.
He had a silver handled gun tucked
in the back of his pants.
Were you really injured in that car
accident in college?
David looks unsteady all of the sudden.
Because I think you faked it. I think
you took the opportunity to end your
career -- no questions asked.
And I think you did it, of all things,
for a women...
Not only do you have the physical
traits of a hero, down somewhere in
there, you have the moral code of
one too. You were ready to sacrifice
everything for what's right. Where
can you find that these days?
Only thing you didn't realize is
that you were giving up a part of
yourself when you gave up football.
The physical part. And you need that
part desperately to feel balance
You can have it back now.
This was all just make believe before.
What if there was someone the opposite
of me? What if?...
I now believe you are the genuine
article Mr. David Dunne. The kind of
person we knew existed, from our
Elijah points to the room full of pictures.
It's time for someone like you.
Bad is winning. I can feel it.
Elijah looks at David with deep admiration. His voice cracked
a little at the end of his words. Beat.
David doesn't take his hands out of his pockets.
I must have felt some lump in his
back when I bumped him. Most guns
have a black or silver handle. I had
a fifty-fifty shot at the color.
That's not what I witnessed David.
Stop messing with my life Elijah. My
son almost shot me last night. He
wanted to prove you were right.
I never said you couldn't be killed.
I never said that.
You have a problem, Elijah. My wife
is right. Somewhere along the line
one of your bones broke and your
mind just broke with it.
Are you finished?
No. And I have been sick. I spent a
week in a hospital when I was a boy
recovering from pneumonia and almost
drowning. Two skinny eight year old
kids were playing around the pool.
They were dunking me. I swallowed
water. They didn't know it and they
almost killed me.
Heroes don't get killed like that.
Normal people do.
Beat. Elijah seems shaken for the first time. David stares
at him coldly.
I don't want to see you again okay.
Now I'm finished.
David turns and starts for the entrance. The BELL OF THE
DOOR CLANGS as David Dunne leaves the store.
EXT. STREET - AFTERNOON
David exits the Limited Edition and moves down the street
lost in this thoughts.
He bumps a man in a jacket and tie walking in the opposite
FLASH CUT: THE SAME MAN STANDS IN A BAGGY SWEATER. AGAINST A
PARKED CAR HE'S HOLDING SOMETHING SHINY AND METALLIC IN HIS
HANDS. HE INSERTS IT IN THE HALF INCH GAP BETWEEN THE GLASS
OF THE DRIVER'S WINDOW AND THE DOOR. THE DOOR UNLOCKS.
THE MAN LOOKS AROUND QUIETLY BEFORE ENTERING THE CAR.
SLAM CUT BACK TO THE PRESENT:
David looks over his shoulder at the conservative looking
man in a shirt and tie walking down the street.
David Dunne is shaken. He turns and keeps walking.
INT. JEREMY'S ROOM - NIGHT
A superhero action figure and a plastic villain do battle on
David sits dressed up in a white shirt and dress pants.
He holds the villain.
Jeremy holds the superhero.
Megan enters the room in a beautiful brown dress.
The sitter's here.
David nods, "yes." Megan studies his tense expression.
We can do this another time if you
want? I'm fine with anything.
David looks from the action figures, to his son's face to
the face of his wife.
They both have the same quiet anxious expression. Beat.
But I put cologne on.
Is that what that smell is?
INT. DOWNTOWN COMIC BOOK STORE - NIGHT
An overweight man in sweats and a ponytail counts the cash
in the register. We are in a low-end comic book store.
The walls are lined with shelves of comic books. The more
expensive issues are kept in a glass case.
THE PONYTAIL MAN looks at his watch and then to far back of
the store where one head is visible behind a low rack.
Hey man it's twenty after. It's time
to close. I gotta head.
The top of the man's head doesn't move. Beat.
You better not be jacking off to the
Japanese comics. I swear to God.
No response. Ponytail man closes his register and walks
towards the back.
As he gets closer to the customer, he realizes that the man
is in a wheelchair. The Ponytail man walks ups to Elijah.
Listen man, I didn't know you were
Just choose something all right?
Elijah doesn't react. He sits in his chair in a quiet daze.
Ponytail man leans over.
Hello. You understand English?
Ponytail man makes fake sign language gestures in front of
Look man, I'm just gonna wheel you
out. You can think about things
outside on the sidewalk. I gotta get
some chicken in me, you know what
Beat. The Ponytail man shakes his head moves behind Elijah.
He starts wheeling him towards the front of the store.
They move down a narrow aisle of comics.
Elijah suddenly grabs the left wheel and turns the chair.
His immobilized left leg hits a rack of comic books. A handful
of comics tumbles to the ground.
The ponytail man straightens the wheelchair and starts down
the aisle again.
After a couple of feet, Elijah jerks and grabs the other
wheel sending the wheelchair ramming violently into the
opposite wall. Comics are knocked free and fall onto the
wheel chair and the nearby ground.
Dude, I don't care if you are in a
wheelchair. If you do that again,
I'm calling Five-O.
Beat. The Ponytail man takes Elijah's silence as a, "Yes."
He straightens the chair.
They move down the aisle. All is quiet... and then Elijah
jerks the wheelchair to the left again. His metal brace and
the wheelchair crash into two racks. Elijah gets covered in
That's it crackerjack! You're going
to sit your ass in jail now.
The Ponytail man moves to the front counter.
Elijah sits in a trance -- slightly hunched over. His eyes
stare at a comic book in his lap. His expression changes for
the first time.
The Ponytail man finishes dialing. He looks over to Elijah
as he waits for a voice on the other end. Elijah raises a
single comic book in his hand.
How much is this one?
INT. RESTAURANT BAR - NIGHT
LATE EVENING. A trendy restaurant. Not enough light to read
David and Megan are on stools at one end of the bat. They
sip their drinks as they appear in deep thought.
...I think rust.
As a color, not as rust. You know, a
rust colored paint or wood?
Megan leans slightly closer.
I didn't know that. Mine's still
My turn. What's your favorite song?
Soft and Wet, by the Artist Formerly
Known as Prince.
What was that?
We're supposed to be honest.
Beat. David brings his stool closer.
Soft and Wet. That's very interesting.
When was the first time the thought
popped into your head that we might
not make it?
David's grin slowly fades.
That's not the game.
Megan moves her stool closer. They're only a foot or so apart.
It's a second date. There aren't any
Beat. David sips his drink slowly.
I'm not sure.
What about the game?
It's finished. I won.
Beat. David glances at Megan. She waits for his answer.
Maybe it wasn't a specific moment,
I had a nightmare one night and I
didn't wake you up so you could tell
me it was okay.
I think that was the first time.
Does that count?
Beat. Megan takes her glass up to her lips. Doesn't take a
sip. Brings it back down.
Do you knowingly keep Jeremy and me
at a distance?
Megan's face tenses. She's on the verge of getting upset.
I don't know Megan.
It's like you resent us David. Resent
the life you have.
Beat. David doesn't answer.
You know even if it meant we couldn't
be together, I would never have wished
that injury on you? What you could
do physically was a gift. I would
never have wished it to go away.
Megan's eyes glaze with water. Beat.
You know that right?
David takes a sip with a trembling hand. David's eyes look
up and make eye contact with Megan's. He stares at her for
the longest time.
Husband and wife sit close together in the corner of the bar
on their second date.
INT. FRONT DOOR - NIGHT
Megan stands next to David as he pulls out his wallet.
The babysitter with the black dyed hair and Buddy Holly
glasses stands ready to leave in the doorway.
DYED HAIR GIRL
You got two calls. One came through
while I was on the line -- I wasn't
talking too long. There was an
emergency with my sister. She tried
to do her own perm and now she looks
Who called through?
Megan tries to hide her smile.
DYED HAIR GIRL
Someone from New York.
The smile instantly fades.
DYED HAIR GIRL
About a security job at a museum.
They want to hire you.
I didn't know you guys were moving
to New York. Thanks for telling me.
We're not moving.
DYED HAIR GIRL
I let the answering machine pick up
the other call.
The babysitter fixes her Buddy Holly glasses as she looks at
the two suddenly quiet faces.
David hands her the money. She opens the door. It's started
DYED HAIR GIRL
The babysitter covers her head with her jacket and runs down
the walkway. David closes the door. Beat.
Look let's be honest here. We're
just at the beginning. I don't expect
you or I to change the course of
where our lives were headed because
of two dates.
If you do go to New York, we can
still develop this. We'll just be
forced to take it slow. And in the
end, that's definitely better.
This is our second time around David.
I don't expect us to get carried
I guess congratulations is the right
thing to say.
Megan takes off her coat as she moves to the guest bedroom.
She disappears inside. The door closely behind her.
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Only the COUNTER LIGHT is on in the kitchen. David stands by
ELIJAH'S VOICE IS HEARD ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE.
...David. It's Elijah. It was so
obvious. It's referred to over and
over. That's the key you see. The
repetition across time. That means
at some point it was all based on
common thought, a common event -- a
It was this one issue that brought
it back for me... Century Comics One-
Seventeen. That's where this group,
the Coalition of Evil, tried to
ascertain the weakness of every
superhero... Because they all have
Just like you.
The cells that make up your muscles
and your bones react to forces that
act upon it, slightly different from
than mine. That's clear... Your cells
react to bacteria and viruses slightly
differently than mine... That's also
clear... But for some reason, you
and I react the exact same way to
water. We swallow it, we choke. We
swallow too much of it, we drown.
However unreal it may seem, we are
connected, you and I, we are on the
same curve... just on opposite ends.
The point of all this is, we now
know something we didn't... You have
a weakness... Water. It's your
You hearing me David? Call me back...
I got rugby practice in an hour.
THE SOUND OF ELIJAH HANGING UP IS HEARD. THE ANSWERING MACHINE
BEEPS AS IT TURNS OFF.
David hits a button on the answering machine. It makes a
WHIRRING SOUND before ANNOUNCING.
INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT
The master bedroom is very narrow. A bathtub and toilet are
at one end. Two identical sinks sit opposite each other.
David sits on the edge of the tub. His shirt is unbuttoned.
He sits in a daze staring at the tiled floor.
His eyes slowly move to a small white and red box laying on
its side under one of the sinks.
David rises and picks it up.
It's a BOX OF BAND AIDS. David looks up to Megan's sink.
Perfume and lotions sit on its edge.
David opens her mirrored cabinet. He starts to put the band
aid box back, he hesitates.
His eyes begin to roam the cabinet shelves. They stop on
certain items... A CONTAINER OF TYLENOL... A LOTION FOR DRY
SKIN... A BOTTLE OF ALLERGY DROPS... COUGH SYRUP... A TUBE
OF MUSCLE PAIN OINTMENT...
David just stands quietly for a beat before turning and
looking across to his own identical mirrored medicine cabinet.
There are three things on the shelf... DISPOSABLE RAZORS.
SHAVING CREAM. AND COLOGNE.
David's mouth opens just a little bit as he stares.
INT. FRONT HALL - NIGHT
ALL THE LIGHTS ARE OUT.
David moves through the darkness down the stares in jeans
and a sweatshirt.
He moves to the coat closet. Pulls out the dark green rain
poncho. The word "security" is almost faded away.
He opens and closes the front door with virtually NO SOUND.
EXT. THIRTIETH STREET STATION - NIGHT
Rain falls like gunfire from the sky.
David's car pulls into the massive rain station parking lot.
David steps out and pulls the hood of the poncho over his
EXT. METAL STAIRS - NIGHT
A steel fence leads to a set of stairs that travel down to
the dozens of interconnected tracks below. David walks down
about forty feet. A fenced gate with a lock stops his
David looks through the fence down to the tracks. Just to
the side is a construction site. Cranes and lifts and various
equipment stand idle in the area next to the section of train
wreckage that has been brought to the station grounds for
dismantling and salvaging. The bent shapes of the train pieces
can only be glimpsed in outlines as they sit in the darkness,
hundreds of feet away from the immaculately lit train station.
Beat. A HUGE METALLIC CRACK ECHOES THROUGH THE TRAIN YARD as
David kicks open the fence door that holds him back from
EXT. TRAIN WRECKAGE - NIGHT
Frightening twisted pieces of metal glisten in the rain.
David walks along the body of the caved-in passenger car.
The passenger car is split in two. Just before the tear,
along the window line, the windows have been crushed in.
A huge hole has been ripped below the windows exposing the
David stands before this heavily damaged area of the car.
He just stares at the wreckage. Water falls off the rim of
his hood in front of his face.
His eyes drift over the ominous pieces of deformed metal.
He takes a couple slow breaths as THE SOUNDS OF HARSH RAIN
FADE AWAY TO SILENCE.
FLASHBACK: EXT. STREET - NIGHT
SILENCE. BLACK. OUR VISION CLEARS TO REVEAL the glazed icy
top of a street.
THE SOUND OF DISTANT FIRE COMES INTO THE SILENCE.
A TWENTY YEAR OLD DAVID DUNNE rises to his feet from the
ground where he was laying amongst the fragmented pieces of
windshield. He looks down at himself. His football jacket is
torn. So are his jeans... He's trembling slightly, but not
HE LOOKS UP TOWARDS THE NOISES.
About thirty feet away is a Honda, upside down, wrapped around
a telephone pole. It's front is on fire.
Through one of the crushed door windows, WE SEE A WOMAN'S
Young David heads toward his car. He slips a couple of times
on the slick iced surface of the road.
He kneels down next to the inverted car. He looks in the
crushed window frame.
THE FACE OF A TWENTY YEAR OLD MEGAN IS UPSIDE DOWN. She is
She doesn't answer. Her body is twitching as it sits pinned
behind the wheel.
David pulls at the handle of the mangled door. It's wedged
tight. It won't move.
The heat from the fire is tremendous.
David's powerful arms keep pulling with all their strength.
WE HEAR THE CREAK OF METAL... THE DOOR BENDS UNNATURALLY AND
THEN PRACTICALLY RIPS OPEN.
David leans into the car and unbuckles Megan. He works her
out underneath the steering column. He slides out.
Her leg is bleeding.
David picks her up and carries her to the grass next to the
road. He lays her down gently.
He just stares at her. She doesn't respond.
A LIGHT WASHES OVER THEM. David turns to see a truck
approaching up the road.
David waves frantically. The truck slows.
David turns back to Megan. Her eyes are open.
Tears fall from David's face as he moves the hair out of her
eyes. She looks at David.
I thought I was dead.
The driver of the truck slips and slides his way over to
Is she all right?
I think her leg is fractured.
Are you injured?
Beat. David looks at Megan who lays shivering in the grass.
He looks back at the driver.
My shoulder's hurt.
The driver nods.
Hold on. I got a C.B. in the truck.
The driver moves back to his truck.
David takes Megan's hand in his and waits in the grass by
the sight of their car on fire.
PRESENT: EXT. TRAIN WRECKAGE - NIGHT
David stands utterly still in the graveyard of train 177.
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
The wheels of Elijah's wheelchair move down the hall as he
follows the SOUND OF THE PHONE RINGING.
He follows THE SOUND to a PHONE RINGING in the storage room
of the store. There are shelves and shelves of comic books.
Thousands of them filed away in neat piles.
Elijah picks up the phone a little out of breath.
Nothing is said on the other line for a couple of beats.
WE HEAR THE ECHOED DIN OF A LARGE ROOM FILLED WITH PEOPLE
AND MOVEMENT IN THE BACKGROUND.
What am I supposed to do?
Elijah closes his eyes. His face fills with strength.
INT. THIRTIETH STREET STATION PHILADELPHIA - NIGHT
The interior of the station is a mystical sight. One huge
cavernous room, a football field in size, lined on both sides
with giant pillars that rise into a misty hand painted
David, it's okay to be afraid. Because
this part won't be like a comic
book... Real life doesn't fit into
little boxes that were drawn for it.
David stands in a quiet corner and watches the faces of
passengers arriving and departing late night trains. Even at
the late hour, there is heavy traffic throughout the station.
Go to where people are... You won't
have to look very long.
David stares out at the midnight travelers. Beat. He starts
He passed the towering black statue standing at the far end
of the station. It watches over the whole building.
It's in the form of an angel lifting a soldier to heaven.
David moves through the first group of people -- a crisscross
of arriving passengers from tracks one and two. They brush
by him and lightly bump him as they move.
FLASH CUT: WE ARE NO LONGER IN THE TRAIN STATION. A BLOND
WOMAN IN HER TWENTIES STANDS AT A COUNTER IN A CROWDED STORE.
SHE SLIDES THE SILVER BRACELET AND EARRINGS SHE WAS LOOKING
AT OFF THE GLASS COUNTER AND INTO HER PURSE. NO ONE SEES.
SLAM CUT BACK TO PRESENT:
David turns and glances at the blonde woman as she walks
away from him towards the exit of the train station. He
doesn't stop moving.
David heads towards the densest part of the floor. The area
near the information board. Sleepy friends and tired family
members stand and wait. A steady spider-like web of movement
flows as six tracks let out on either side.
David moves to the center. His rain poncho almost touches
the marble floor. Lines of passengers emerging from trains
below the main level move steadily on either side of him.
David looks down and gently turns the palms of his hands out
as they hang at his side.
His finger tops graze the jackets and clothes of the
passengers walking by.
Dozens and dozens of people pass. Nothing happens. Then a
man in a crumpled shirt and slicked back hair brushes by...
FLASH CUT: THE SLICKED BLACKED HAIRED MAN LEANS OUT THE WINDOW
OF A TRUCK. HE'S HOLDING A BOTTLE OF BEER.
SLICKED HAIR MAN
Go back to Africa!
THE SLICKED HAIR MAN THROWS THE BOTTLE WITH FORCE AS HE PASSES
A BLACK FAMILY WALKING ON THE SIDEWALK. THE BOTTLE SHATTERS
AS IT HITS A WOMAN IN THE GROUP.
SLAM CUT BACK TO PRESENT:
David's eyes dart up as the slicked haired man turns the
corner at the information booth. He watches him for a beat.
FLASH CUT: WE ARE IN A BEDROOM. A YOUNG MAN IN HIS LATE TEENS
LOOKS DOWN AT A GIRL LAYING IN A PILE OF OVERCOATS ON A BED.
THERE IS LOUD MUSIC AND LAUGHTER COMING FROM SOMEWHERE
What's your name? I think you drank
THE GIRL MOANS SOMETHING INAUDIBLE AS SHE ROLLS ON HER SIDE.
HER SKIRT RIDES UP HER THIGH.
THE YOUNG MAN STARES AT HER AND THEN GETS UP. HE MAKES SURE
NO ONE IS LOOKING BEFORE CLOSING THE DOOR. HE LOCKS IT FROM
SLAM CUT BACK TO PRESENT:
David watches the teenager with baggy jeans hanging off his
hip. He walks and greets a group of identically dressed
Beat. David turns his hands back in. He seems shaken. He
takes a couple of deep breaths as he gathers himself.
Then David steps back to look around. HE BUMPS the shoulder
of a man standing behind him.
David takes a sudden breath like someone punched him in the
FLASH CUT: AN ENORMOUS MAN WITH GLASSY EYES STANDS BEFORE A
SCREEN SIDE DOOR.
HE'S BALDING. THE HAIR HE DOES HAVE IS SHOULDER LENGTH.
HIS ECLIPSING SHADOW FALLS ON THE CONSERVATIVE LOOKING MAN
WHO STANDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SCREEN DOOR INSIDE THE
GLASSY EYED MAN
Can I come in?
MAN IN HOUSE
Who are you?
GLASSY EYED MAN
I like your house. Can I come in?
MAN IN HOUSE
What is this?
No you can't come in.
GLASSY EYED MAN
Are you sure?
The enormous glassy eyed man takes hold of the screen door
handle. He turns it.
The man inside the house grabs the door handle on the inside
to stop him.
MAN IN HOUSE
What are you doing?
The man inside the house uses all his strength to keep the
door from opening...
It opens slowly anyway.
SLAM CUT BACK TO PRESENT:
David stands frozen in the train station. His face is almost
David is standing less than a foot away from the man he
bumped. They're standing shoulder to shoulder. David's eyes
slowly move from the ground over his right and then finally
onto the man.
He's huge. At least three inches taller than David. His
shoulders are massive.
He's wearing a one piece ORANGE UNIFORM.
The man in the orange uniform leans over a trashcan next to
him and removes the full trash bag within it. He replaces it
with a fresh one. He throws the full trash bag into a gray
plastic bin with wheels and starts pushing it.
David watches the man head across the floor towards a double
door marked "Station Maintenance Staff Only".
Four identical gray bins sit outside the door. The huge man
disappears with his bin inside.
David waits. He just stares hard at the double doors.
Nothing happens for the longest time... No one comes out.
David makes a decision. He starts towards the doors.
And then they open.
The huge glassy eyed man in orange emerges carrying a bag
over his shoulder. He's wearing a baseball hat with his
uniform now. He heads toward a back exit.
David lets him get about twenty feet away before deciding to
EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - NIGHT
The man in the orange uniform walks in the driving rain down
a residential city block. Almost all the lights in the middle
class homes he's passing are off at this late hour. No one
is out walking except him and David Dunne fifty feet behind.
The orange figure turns the corner onto a block of modest
stand alone homes. The uniformed man walks slower in this
block. He looks around carefully as he moves.
He turns into a driveway of one of the homes. He stops and
pulls a wad of mail out of the mailbox.
David stands with the hood of his security coat covering his
head and face. He stands in the shadows and watches silently
as the man in the orange uniform looks over his massive
shoulder before turning a knob and entering the white paneled
house through a familiar side door with a screen on it.
INT. LAUNDRY ROOM - NIGHT
The side door opens with almost no sound. The hooded figure
of David Dunne steps into a narrow laundry room. THE SOUND
OF A TELEVISION IS HEARD FROM ANOTHER ROOM.
A very large pile of unopened mail sits in a mound on the
clothes dryer. Two or three days worth.
David shuts the door very slowly.
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
THE SOUNDS OF CHEERING FROM THE TELEVISION IN THE NEXT ROOM
SPILL INTO THE KITCHEN.
David stares out from under his hood at the mess.
Cabinets are left open. Empty cans of food sit on the counter
with a handful of unwashed dishes. The breakfast table is
the eeriest thing in the room. It sits frozen with a plate
of half-eaten, now moldy eggs at one setting and two bowls
of colorful cereal in another. The cereal has dissolved in
the old milk. Two cockroaches are crawling in the bowl.
David moves slowly to a door in the kitchen. It's slightly
open. As David gets closer, he shields his face from the
strong smell. He pulls the door open quietly.
A SHAFT OF KITCHEN LIGHTS FALLS DOWN THE STAIRS INTO THE
BASEMENT. At the bottom of the stairs is a MAN'S BODY.
The same man who answered the door in the flashback lays
partly in the shadow, partly in the light. His crumpled tie
lies folded over itself on his still chest.
INT. FAMILY ROOM - NIGHT
A BOXING MATCH BLARES ON THE TELEVISION. Empty beer bottles
and coke cans sit in a pyramid on the coffee table.
David steps into the unoccupied room. His movements are slow
THUDS OF HEAVY FOOTSTEPS COME FROM THE CEILING OF THE ROOM.
David looks up and follows the SOUND AS IT MOVES AROUND ABOVE
David moves to the stairs as SOMEONE GETS KNOCKED OUT ON THE
INT. GIRL'S ROOM - NIGHT
Three closed doors converge on a landing. David opens the
It's a young girl's room. Posters of boy bands are on her
wall. Clothes are everywhere. The room is empty.
A NOISE COMES FROM THE HALF OPEN BATHROOM DOOR ATTACHED TO
INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT
A slightly overweight girl, probably fourteen years old is
tied by her wrists with a phone cord to the metal towel rack
in her bathroom. She sits with her arms pointed upward over
her head. He knees tucked up to her chest.
Next to her is her younger brother. A skinny boy, maybe
twelve. He's tied and seated in the same way.
Their heads are leaned back against their arms. They're
completely listless. Eyes half mast. They watch as the door
to the bathroom opens and the dark hooded figure of David
Dunne steps in. His long dark slowing rain poncho still
dripping water. He stands in the doorway for a moment before
moving towards them.
They don't react in anyway as David reaches for the phone
cord and unties them.
They're arms flop to their laps as they gaze up at the figure
leaning over them.
They boy blinks once slowly.
David takes a step back and stares at them from under his
You need to leave now.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT
An exercise bike in the corner of the bedroom has been turned
into a clothes hanger long ago. The t.v. across the bed has
framed family photos displayed on top of it.
David's shadow passes over them as he moves towards the open
bathroom on the other side of the bedroom.
A woman is tied to the bathroom door handle. She sits on the
tiled floor slumped against the door. Her eyes stare blankly
at the ground. She has considerable bruises on her face and
David stands before her.
Where is he?
The woman doesn't answer, but a SOUND COMES FROM THE SCREEN
DOOR nearby. The curtains draping the screen door move with
the wind from outside.
David crosses the room and pushes aside the curtain. It leads
to a small balcony.
An empty lawn chair is the only thing on it.
David steps onto the balcony and looks down.
The rain still pours down unmercifully. It comes down on a
black tarp that covers a pool in the backyard.
David turns to go back inside.
A BLURR OF ORANGE ATTACKS HIM.
The collision is sudden and explosive. The huge man drives
his shoulder into David's chest and takes him off his feet.
David's body flips over the railing.
The dark green rain poncho flaps in the wind as he falls two
stories directly towards the black tarp.
EXT. POOL - NIGHT
David lands on his stomach with a TREMENDOUS SLAP onto the
nylon black tarp.
There's a thin layer of rain water on the tarp's surface.
David is laying on his cheek. Half his face is covered in
Beat. David's exposed eye looks around in a daze. The surface
of the tarp gets pounded by the rain.
David uses his hands to push his body off the tarp. His hands
sink into the water as his pressure pushes the tarp down.
THE FIRST SOUNDS OF NYLON SLIDING AGAINST CONCRETE START.
David stops pushing. His vision catches the corner of the
swimming pool as the tarp slides out from under the sand
bags that hold it in place.
The tarp sags. David becomes utterly still. THE SOUND
One by one the tarp starts sliding out from under the sand
bags all around the edge of the pool.
And then without warning, the tarp caves in. It folds around
David as he and the tarp get pulled UNDER THE COLD DARK WATER.
EXT. UNDER WATER - NIGHT
David's body is tangled in the pool cover. His legs and arms
thrash against the constricting black tarp. He's drowning.
GLIMPSES OF LIGHT FROM THE HOUSE PIERCE THE DARKNESS UNDER
WATER. THE BLURRED IMAGE OF A DISTANT FIGURE HIGH ABOVE ON A
BALCONY FLICKERS AND DISAPPEARS.
The last of the tarp slides out from under the sandbags that
old it in place around the edge of the pool.
The rain keeps falling.
The tarp moves like it's alive underwater. It shifts and
wraps David tighter with every movement.
GLIMPSES OF LIGHT AGAIN. TWO SMALL FIGURES NOW STAND IN A
BLURRED SILHOUETTE NEAR THE EDGE OF THE POOL. FLASHES OF
SOMETHING SHINY THEY'RE HOLDING... A ROD OR POLE... IT'S
SHAKY NEBULOUS IMAGE WAIVERS IN THE AIR ABOVE THE SURFACE.
David's only free hand reaches for the light. It catches the
The tangled mass of David and the tarp are pulled slowly
towards the edge of the pool. David's head and shoulders
emerge from the darkness. He takes hold of the pool's edge.
Huge desperate breaths as he pulls his body out from the
water and the grasp of the tarp. He hauls himself onto the
He sits hunched over in a dark mass, his head down under his
hood. The rain poncho covering him like a blanket.
He rises to his feet. The water rushes off of him. His
breathing is slowing, calming.
He stands in a silhouette from the light of the house. He
turns and looks to the two small figures standing near the
edge of the pool.
The children from the bathroom stand still in the rain.
They're holding an aluminum pole with a brush head for
cleaning the pool. They stare up at the hooded figure.
No one says anything.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT
The man in the orange one-piece uniform stands over the woman
tied to the door handle of the bathroom. His back is to us.
He's drinking from a beer bottle as he looks down at her.
He doesn't notice the third presence come into the room.
He doesn't hear him move closer. Right behind him.
The man in orange takes another sip of his beer, not realizing
an arm is reaching over him... He doesn't get to swallow the
sip in his mouth.
David Dunne's powerful arm wraps around the man's thick neck.
David's hands clamp together like and iron vise. He squeezes.
The man's beer bottle crashes to the ground as his neck begins
to get crushed.
David yanks back hard, pulls the man off balance. The man's
legs push back violently, sending both of them backwards
across the room. They come to a hard stop as David's back
gets RAMMED INTO THE BEDROOM WALL.
The huge man in orange pulls away and then SLAMS DAVID harder
against the wall.
David's arm remains locked around his throat.
The man becomes frantic. His face turning dark red. He
clutches at David's arm.
He spins, taking David with him into another wall. The IMPACT
IS TREMENDOUS. The room shakes. David holds on.
His face bent low and hidden under his hood.
And then the man in orange throws a powerful elbow back.
It lands hard right in David's side. David groans. The huge
man delivers another one. Savage, desperate blows.
WE HEAR THE IMPACT OF EACH ONE WITH DAVID'S BODY. And David
never lets go.
The elbows slow and then stop. The legs of the man in orange
start to buckle.
David pulls him back onto his heels. He turns him in a half
circle. All of his tremendous weight is hanging from David's
arm now. David LETS OUT A YELL AS HE APPLIES ALL HIS STRENGTH.
The man's legs stop kicking.
David keeps turning him. The man's body goes completely limp.
David's just dragging two hundred and seventy-five pounds of
weight in a circle over the carpet now.
David slowly comes to a stop. He stands there with his arm
wrapped around the man's neck....The man's limbs dangle down
to the ground. Beat.
David's hands let go of each other. His arm slips out from
under the man's jaw.
The man in orange crumples to the ground like a rag doll.
The only SOUND IN THE ROOM IS DAVID'S HEAVY BREATHING.
He moves to the woman slumped against the door. He starts to
untie the phone cords that bind her wrists to the handle. He
whispers to her.
It's over now.
Your children are fine. They're
He unties her wrists. Her arms stay above her head where
I'm going to go now.
He stares at the woman whose eyes stare blankly at him.
She sits unnaturally still against the door with her arms
above her head. The mascara that has run down her face and
dried, has tracks where countless tears have rolled down.
David moves his hand near her mouth and nose. He checks for
the feeling of breath against his hand. Beat.
He rises up. Removes his hood. David Dunne stands silently
in the master bedroom of someone's house and gazes at the
dead woman frozen in a slumped position against her bathroom
INT. FRONT HALL - NIGHT
The front door opens to SILENCE. The silhouetted figure of
David steps into the darkness of his home.
INT. CLOSET - NIGHT
The dark green faded security poncho gets hung back on its
hook in the closet next to the family winter coats.
INT. JEREMY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
David enters the quiet of Jeremy's room. Jeremy lays sound
asleep. David stares down at the shadowy figure of his son.
He pulls the blanket over the boy's small shoulder.
INT. DAVID'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
David sits on the edge of the empty bed in the darkness of
He doesn't makes a sound. He doesn't move an inch. He is so
still, he seems to disappear into the shadows of the room.
INT. GUEST BEDROOM - NIGHT
Megan stirs in her sleep. She shifts her head on the pillow.
Then her body RISES INTO THE AIR.
She starts to wake as she floats across the room. She opens
her eyes and sees David close by. He's carrying her in her
arms. He moves up the stairs with her.
No words are spoken.
INT. THEIR BEDROOM - NIGHT
They enter their bedroom. David lays her down gently on her
side of the bed.
She watches as he walks out of sight. He lays down right
He covers her with his arm... His hand is shaking. Beat.
He speaks softly.
I had a bad dream.
David tucks his head in close to hers and closes his eyes.
Megan lays stunned in her husband's arms. Beat.
It's over now.
She closes her eyes too as the tears start coming.
EXT. STREET - DAY
People move up and down the sidewalks in front of the
storefronts. David Dunne is among them.
He crosses the street in front of The Limited Edition.
The front doors of the store are open.
A banner over the door reads, "Annual Sale."
INT. LIMITED EDITION - DAY
The compact store is crowded with customers.
David spots Elijah with a group of people before a framed
painting of a comic hero.
David moves to a less crowded area of the store and waits.
He turns and looks at a framed sketch.
Beat. An older woman walks over from a near by picture and
...See the villain's eyes. They're
larger than the other characters'.
They insinuate a slightly skewed
perspective of how they see the world.
Just off normal.
David stares at the drawing.
He doesn't look very threatening.
That's what I said to my son. He
said, there's always two kinds. The
soldier villain who fights the hero
with his hands, and then there's the
real threat. The brilliant and evil
arch enemy who fights the hero with
David turns and looks at the striking and beautiful African
American woman in her sixties who stands next to him.
Are you Elijah's mother?
The woman turns and looks at David for the first time.
I am. I'm helping him with the sale.
It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm
He's spoken of you. He says you're
David looks across the store at Elijah talking with the
He's doing well today.
I'm very proud of him.
He's been through a lot in his life.
A lot of ups and downs, a lot of bad
spells. A couple I'd thought had
broken him... I mean emotionally.
They were bad... But he made it. Yes
He's kind of a miracle.
Yes he is.
They both watch Elijah from across the room.
I'll tell him you're here.
David watches as Elijah's mother walks across the store and
waits for Elijah to finish talking.
David turns back to the framed sketch. He looks at it with
his hands in his pockets. Beat.
David's stare turns into a gaze. His gaze turns into
THE SKETCH is of a withered man with large tense eyes. He
sits in the shadows.
He's seated in some type of machine. There are lots of buttons
and levers on the machine. The machine has wheels.
David turns from the sketch. He looks across the room to
Elijah seated in his wheelchair. Elijah's large eyes stay
focused on the customer's as he finishes negotiating.
David turns back to the sketch. He looks at it with growing
confusion. The more you look at drawing, the more the machine
the man is seated in looks like a wheelchair.
David looks back across the store. Elijah and his mother are
talking. Elijah has spotted David.
Beat. Elijah starts across the crowded store towards David.
He wheels up to him.
Did you see this?
Elijah has a newspaper on his lap. He holds it up.
There's a drawing on the front page. It's a hooded figure
shielding two huddled children behind him.
It has begun.
David stares quietly at the sketch of himself.
When I saw it this morning. I felt a
part of the world again.
Elijah looks down at the newspaper.
David hesitates and then reaches forward.
He reaches past the paper... And TOUCHES ELIJAH'S ARM.
FLASHCUT: AN AIRPORT GATE. ELIJAH IS STANDING AT THE WINDOW
LOOKING OUT ONTO THE AIRFIELD. HE'S CRYING.
SIRENS START SOUNDING THROUGHOUT THE AIRPORT.
WAITING PASSENGERS START GETTING UP AND MOVING TO THE WINDOWS.
What's going on?
Elijah speaks to no one in particular as he stares out the
window with tortured eyes.
A plane just crashed.
FLASH CUT: ELIJAH AND AN ELDERLY MAN IN A UNIFORM ARE SEATED
IN A HOTEL BAR.
I've worked here twenty-five years.
I know all its secrets.
Like if there was ever a fire on
floors one, two, or three... Everyone
in this hotel would be burned alive.
ELIJAH LOOKS UP FROM HIS DRINK.
FLASHCUT: ELIJAH LEAVES THE ENGINEERING ROOM OF AN AMTRAK
TRAIN. HE PASSES THE ENGINEER WHO HAS JUST ARRIVED WITH
Passengers aren't allowed in there.
Elijah doesn't answer and doesn't turn around as he exits
SLAM CUT BACK TO PRESENT:
David takes two unsteady steps back. Elijah has tears in his
eyes as he gazes down at the newspaper. He looks up to David.
I almost gave up hope. There were so
many times I questioned myself. I've
made so many sacrifices but it's all
been worth it.
There are millions and millions or
mediocre people in the world David.
Isn't it great that we aren't one of
David looks like he stopped breathing as he backs up in the
Customers step between him and Elijah. Elijah becomes obscured
and then blocked from view.
EXT. STREET - DAY
David emerges from the store slowly. He braces himself against
a parked car and then keeps on walking in a nightmarish daze.
WE PULL BACK as David Dunne blends in with dozens and dozens
of ordinary people, walking on an ordinary street, in an
FADE TO BLACK:
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