EXT. EDEN FALLS PARK - DAY CLOSE ON: A groundhog nudges a small clump of straw inside its pen.

The pen sits in alone in a field near the edge of the woods. OLIVER DARSOW - the park groundskeeper, aged sixty and wearing every year of it - approaches carrying a large bowl. He sticks a gloved finger through the wire mesh of the pen. OLLIE Ready for your breakfast, you little shit ass? MAYOR COBB MALONE, a good ol' boy well into his seventies, steps up behind him. He wears a cheap suit and a cowboy hat. COBB You better not be upsetting my big star, Ollie. Ollie slumps but doesn't turn around. OLLIE Just getting ready to feed the little son-of-a-bitch, Cobb. COBB Jesus. Show a little respect. OLLIE Sorry. Mayor Malone. Ollie turns to face the mayor with a smirk. COBB Not to me, you wise-ass. Mr. Groundhog. That little feller's done more for this town than you and I put together. OLLIE He sits in a cage and eats and shits for 364 days a year. He only works, if you can call it that, one day out of the year. COBB True, but that one day he does work, it's pure magic. Cobb takes a deep breath and smiles proudly.

2. OLLIE You want to help me feed the little magician, then? Ollie spoons a gob of peanut butter into a bowl of mashed fruit and vegetables. Cobb turns up his nose. COBB No. You can take care of that. Just make sure you get him good and doped up. Can't have him biting me. Cobb adjusts his hat and eyeballs the groundhog. OLLIE You know you're going to have to get someone else to do this next year. COBB You say that every year. Cobb glares at Ollie and walks away. Ollie takes two small pills from his pocket and tosses them into the bowl. He carefully lowers it into the pen. OLLIE Most important meal of the day for the most important person in town. The groundhog looks up for a moment and then buries its face in the bowl. EXT. EDEN FALLS PARK - MEETING HALL - DAY CLOSE ON: A carved wooden sign that reads: Eden Falls, est. 1896. Small City. Big Heart. Most of the townsfolk have gathered around a makeshift stage in the center of the park. Mayor Cobb is greeted by cheers and applause as he steps up to the microphone. COBB Boy howdy, look at all those smiles. Seems like every year I see so many familiar faces and so many new faces. This is just a wonderful day for me, a wonderful day for you, and, most importantly, a wonderful day for this great town of Eden Falls. Ollie watches this from a small hill away from the madness. He puffs on a cheap cigar and spits on the ground.

3. OLLIE Cut to the chase, you old bastard. MARCUS TRUXTON, a scraggily kid in his early twenties, steps up next to Ollie. He carries a large gym bag. MARCUS Quite a turnout this year. OLLIE Yup. Ollie continues to puff on his cigar. Marcus waits for more from Ollie. It never comes. MARCUS You think he'll see his shadow this year. Six more weeks or whatever? OLLIE Doesn't matter what that smelly little critter sees. Mayor's the one comes up with it. The festivities have continued below. The mayor continues to speak. The crowd sporadically cheers. MARCUS You reckon? Does he just look at the weather forecasts or something? OLLIE Kid, the groundhog has nothing to do with the fucking weather. It's made up Santa Claus bullshit. Marcus takes a minute to think about it. MARCUS I always thought it was something like the distance of the sun and some kind of animal intuition thing. Ollie uses his cigar to point towards the stage. OLLIE Tell it to the Tooth Fairy. Here comes the big moment. ON STAGE. The Mayor reaches into a small wooden hut and lifts the groundhog high into the air. He looks at it for a moment. The crowd is silent, on needles and pins.

4. COBB (into microphone) The groundhog saw his shadow! Looks like an six more weeks of cold, folks! A mixture of CHEERS and BOOS from the crowd. ON THE HILL. Ollie turns to Mark and smiles with the cigar tucked into the corner of his mouth. OLLIE There you go, kid. Looks like the Easter Bunny's going to have to wear a jacket while he's hiding your eggs. MARCUS I know there ain't no Easter Bunny, Ollie. I gotta get to work. Mark digs into the gym bag. OLLIE What's he got you doing this year? Mark pulls a furry groundhog costume from the bag. MARCUS Mascot duty. Ollie winces. OLLIE Jesus, kid. The hell did you do to deserve that? MARCUS Want to try it on? OLLIE I'd rather be dead than running around as some shit-smelling groundhog. EXT. EDEN FALLS PARK - DAY Most of the crowd has dispersed. The stage is being taken down. Cobb stands next to a small cage. He looks down at the groundhog and smiles. COBB You done a good job today, Pete. Ollie drives up on a small electric cart.

5. OLLIE You two having a moment or can I take the rodent back to his home? COBB This rodent just bought you six more weeks to get the park ready for summer. OLLIE Oh, he did? I thought that was just you pulling some weather predictions out of your ass. Ollie lifts the cage onto the back of the cart. COBB I didn't pull nothing out of nowhere. Furry little critter saw his shadow. He told me so himself. OLLIE You speak groundhog? Across the way, Marcus - now decked out in his full groundhog costume - waves at them. Cobb waves back. COBB Look at Marcus. If only you had some of his enthusiasm. Marcus stops to pose for a picture with a small family. OLLIE The kid's an idiot. He'd do anything you told him to. COBB Isn't that your job? To do anything I tell you? OLLIE Un-fucking-fortunately. Cobb leans in for one last close look at the groundhog. COBB Take care of my little superstar. He's had a big day. Cobb snorts and spits near Ollie's feet as he walks away.

6. EXT. EDEN FALLS PARK - DUSK Ollie drives the cart across the park. He passes basketball courts, playgrounds, picnic tables. He turns the cart down a dirt path and stops near a small wooden shed. He gets out and walks to the back of the cart. The groundhog is vigorously digging in its cage. OLLIE Well, it looks like someone's drugs have worn off. The groundhog looks up and him and hisses. OLLIE (CONT'D) D'you just hiss at me? Mean little fucker. Might have feed you some more tranqs. How's that sound? INT. OLLIE'S SHED - NIGHT Ollie steps into his shed and turns on the pull-string light. An assortment of tools and landscaping equipment line the walls. A small desk sits against a wall with a few postcards and photographs hanging nearby. Ollie plops down in the chair and lets out a long sigh. He leans forward and reaches under the desk. After a few moments of fumbling he returns with a dirty silver flask. OLLIE Six more weeks my ass. He throws back a healthy gulp from the flash. WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! A frantic knock nearly startles Ollie out of his chair. OLLIE (CONT'D) What the hell? Can't I get two goddamn seconds of peace and quiet? He shoves the flask in his pocket and rushes to the door. He opens it - and is face-to-face with a GIANT GROUNDHOG. He falls backwards and then realizes - it's Marcus. MARCUS Ollie! Jesus, it's just me. Marcus lifts the groundhog mask off of his costume.

7. OLLIE What in the hell are you doing? Why are you still wearing that damn thing? MARCUS Had to. Zipper's stuck. He turns and points to the zipper. OLLIE Why are you still wearing the mask? MARCUS I don't know. Didn't feel right not wearing the whole thing. Ollie stands up and takes another drink from the flask. OLLIE You came all the way out here wearing that damn thing? MARCUS Everyone else has gone home. I thought you might be able to cut me out or spray me with some WD-40. OLLIE Yeah, we can get you out. (at chair) Sit your dumb ass down. Marcus sits in the chair while Ollie looks through his tools. MARCUS This shed's nice. You got all kinds of stuff in here. OLLIE You like it so much, I'll leave it to you in my will. Marcus pulls a postcard from the wall. CLOSE ON the postcard. It's from Panama Beach, Florida. MARCUS You know someone in Florida? OLLIE Nope. Not yet anyhow. MARCUS Expecting a pen pal or something?

8. OLLIE Moving there at the end of summer. Ollie pulls out a pair of wire cutters and turns to Marcus. MARCUS Moving? Why'd you want to leave? OLLIE Call it early retirement. Lean over. Marcus leans forward and Ollie goes to work on the zipper. MARCUS Guess that makes sense. After Mavis passed and all. Ollie eyes a photograph pinned to the wall. In it, Ollie has his arm around a smiling middle-aged woman. Happier times. OLLIE Probably not a good idea to bring up a guy's dead wife when he's got a pair of wire cutters to your back. MARCUS Sorry. The zipper breaks with a SNAP. OLLIE There you go. Free at last. Marcus stands and pulls off the costume. MARCUS Thanks, Ollie. I owe you one. SLAM! Something smacks into the side of the shed. OLLIE Jesus, now what? EXT. OLLIE'S SHED - NIGHT Ollie opens the door and looks out with Marcus behind him. OLLIE Shit. The cage has fallen off the back of the cart. Ollie rushes to it. The groundhog is gone.

9. MARCUS Was the groundhog in that? OLLIE Yup. MARCUS Where'd he go? Ollie throws the cage onto the ground. OLLIE It ran off somewhere, dumbass. MARCUS Oh, Mayor's going to be pissed. OLLIE (sarcastic) You think so? MARCUS Well yeah. He loves that thing. OLLIE Sweet Christ. Ollie runs back into the shed. Marcus is dumbfounded. MARCUS You know, Ollie, we could just go get another groundhog. Bet he'd never tell the difference, right? All groundhogs kind of look the same. Ollie returns carrying a large tranquilizer rifle. OLLIE We can't just go buy another groundhog. The only place we're going to find a groundhog tonight is out there. Ollie nods towards the woods. Marcus backs away. MARCUS Ollie, why you got that gun? OLLIE It's tranquilizers. Keep it here in case of a rabid dog or a coon. MARCUS I don't think you're supposed to use that word. It's offensive.

10. OLLIE RAC-coons, you shithead. Now come on. You're helping me. Unless you want to put that costume back on and squeeze into that cage. EXT. WOODS - NIGHT Ollie and Marcus cautiously walk through the woods. Ollie carries the rifle. Marcus holds the small cage. MARCUS Guess it makes sense you having that gun. I saw on TV once that a monkey got loose from the zoo and climbed up a tree in front of someone's house. They had to shoot it with one of those dart guns and catch it in a bag to get it down. Ollie stops and leans in on Marcus. OLLIE Would you shut up? We're not going to find anything out here if you keep running your mouth. Marcus backs away and they continue walking. After a few more steps, Marcus stops. MARCUS I understand the need to be quiet, but shouldn't we call out for it or something? OLLIE Sorry. My groundhog whistle is on backorder. MARCUS They make those? Ollie holds up a hand and signals for them to shut up. He points into the distance and nods. OLLIE (whispering) Look. You see that? A small animal moves in the distance. Marcus squints.

11. MARCUS (trying to whisper) I kinda see something. Looks like a cat or something. They continue in the direction of the animal. Ollie raises the gun. He takes careful aim. He fires. THWIP. The dart hits a tree and sticks. OLLIE Damn it all. No sign of the animal. All is quiet. MARCUS I think you missed. OLLIE I know I missed! Quiet! The bushes suddenly rustle. A cat springs out and settles next to the tree. It paws at the embedded dart. MARCUS It is a cat. I was right! More rustling from the bushes. The groundhog leaps out. The cat goes on alert and arches its back. OLLIE I'll be a son-of-a-bitch. Ollie takes aim at the groundhog. Before he can get a shot off, the groundhog POUNCES on the cat and pins it to the ground. It lets out a pained MEOW. MARCUS I didn't know groundhogs did that. OLLIE Me neither. The groundhog continues its assault on the cat. It takes a huge bite out of the cat's neck, silencing it for good. MARCUS What are you waiting for, Ollie. Shoot the fucker. The groundhog scurries away from the cat. Towards them.

12. Marcus SCREAMS. Ollie raises the rifle. Too late. The groundhog leaps in the air and clamps onto Ollie's arm. He howls in pain. Ollie swings the rifle wildly. A shot fires. The dart is stuck deep in Marcus's thigh. MARCUS (CONT'D) Ow! What'd you do that for? He clutches his leg and falls to his knees. MARCUS (CONT'D) This shit works fast. He falls flat onto the ground. Out cold. Ollie continues to struggle with the groundhog. The rifle falls from his hands. He finally pulls the chomping groundhog from his arm and hurls it into a tree. OLLIE That's it, you bastard. INT. OLLIE'S SHED - NIGHT Ollie bursts into his shed, out of breath and bleeding. He grabs a rag and wraps around the wound on his arm. After stopping to catch his breath, he takes the flask from his pocket and chugs it. He slams the empty flask on the desk and takes a large black box from a nearby shelf. The contents spill out on the desk. It's a large caliber revolver and several bullets. He loads it and puts the remaining bullets in his pocket. OLLIE We're well past the point of using tranquilizers now. The crusty and stained rotary phone catches Ollie's eye. He picks up the receiver and dials. OLLIE (CONT'D) (into phone) Cobb. Just thought you should know that your beloved groundhog has seen his last shadow.

13. EXT. WOODS - NIGHT Marcus lays on the ground, still unconscious. The groundhog creeps towards him. He begins to stir. The groundhog sniffs him. It climbs onto his back. OLLIE (O.S.) Get off of him, you little prick. Ollie stands a few yards away, pistol aimed and ready. The groundhog looks up at him and hisses. OLLIE (CONT'D) Yeah. Fuck you, too. BLAM! A shot hits the groundhog in the chest. It goes flying. Ollie follows it. He stands over it and looks down. OLLIE (CONT'D) Who's the superstar now? The groundhog jolts back to life. It leaps towards Ollie and latches on to his face. He drops the pistol and falls back into a large tree. He pulls but the groundhog stays latched. After struggling, Ollie manages to turn, facing the tree. He slams his head into the thick bark repeatedly until the groundhog lets go. It falls motionless at his feet. He picks up the pistol and fires until it's empty. All that's left of the groundhog is a glob of blood, guts, and fur. Ollie looks down at it and exhales. COBB (O.S.) You happy now? Cobb steps out from behind a tree, still wearing his suit and cowboy hat. OLLIE Happier, yeah. I suppose you're going to fire me. Which is fine. Early retirement. Florida here I come. Cobb laughs and walks closer, stepping over Marcus. Ollie clutches his arm as a searing pain shoots through it. COBB Bit ya, didn't he?

14. OLLIE He got me good, yeah. Not as bad as I got him, though. COBB I can see that. You're a pretty good shot from a short distance. Ollie looks down at the pistol and back to Cobb. OLLIE I ain't going to shoot you, Cobb. COBB Of course not. Why would you? We're friends, Ollie. Going to be for a long, long time. Another pain causes Ollie to lurch. OLLIE Think you could get me to a hospital? COBB Nonsense. You'll be fine. Cobb looks to the sky. A full moon shines down on them. COBB (CONT'D) Pretty rare for there to be a full moon on Groundhog Day. Ollie drops the pistol and grabs his gut. He kneels in pain. OLLIE Cobb, something's not right. COBB Nah, everything is as it should be. More pain overcomes Ollie. He SCREAMS and clenches the ground. CLOSE ON: Ollie's hands. Fur has sprouted all over them. His fingernails have become tiny claws. OLLIE What did you do to me? Ollie's face is now covered in fur and is starting to change shape. Buckteeth poke out from his now-chubby cheeks. COBB I didn't do a thing. Other than let nature run its course.

15. Cobb smiles as Ollie lets out one last SCREAM. Ollie's coveralls lay in a crumpled mess on the ground. Something is moving inside. Cobb picks up the cage and walks towards Ollie's clothes. A groundhog pokes his head out of Ollie's collar. Cobb quickly scoops it into the cage. MARCUS (O.S.) Where the hell am I? Marcus staggers to his feet and dusts himself off. COBB You alright, son? MARCUS Cobb? What the hell are you doing here? You get the groundhog? Cobb holds up the cage. COBB Fortunately, yes. Ol' Ollie finally snapped. Must've shot you with that tranq dart and before he tried to murder our little friend here. Marcus rubs his head. MARCUS Man. Where is he? COBB Who knows? Probably well on his way out of town by now. MARCUS Florida, I bet. He wanted to go there. Cobb puts a comforting hand on Marcus. COBB I know it might be premature, but you wouldn't be interested in his job, would you? Marcus smiles. EXT. EDEN FALLS PARK - NIGHT Cobb opens the lid to the pen. He places the cage inside and opens it. The groundhog scurries into the pen.

16. He bends down and looks at the groundhog through the wire. COBB I told you that you'd still be here next year. Cobb closes the lid and walks away. The groundhog stands upright in the pen. Its small hands clutch the wire cage. HIGH ANGLE: In the bright moonlight, the groundhog casts an imposing shadow on the ground in front of the pen. FADE TO BLACK.

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