SHAWKSHANK

Written by
Tim Aucoin

Based on "Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption"
by Stephen King

246 E 46 Ave
Vancouver BC V5W 2T8
taucoin@gmail.com

EXT. OUTERSPACE
A vast ocean of stars against black abyss. Their
phosphorescent glow blemished by something --- microscopic. It drifts toward us, swells into --- a monolithic PLANET, smothered with intimidating
architecture. Infinite rows of columns and spires.
TITLE OVER: SHAWSHANK MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON
NUMBER OF PRISONERS: 81,432
A small SHIP approaches a radial DOOR located at the bowels
of the massive prison. It waits for clearance with landing
lights FLICKERING.
The door YAWNS open like an iris. Light escapes as if trapped
within the prison for eons.
The ship is swallowed by the door as it floats inside.
INT. SHAWSHANK PRISON
The interior resembles that of an ominous, Gothic cathedral,
corrupted by the twisted architect commissioned to design it
several millennia ago.
Levels of cells spiral up and down as far as the eye can see.
A central elevator allows access to each level.
Amber lights HALO. Alarms BUZZ.
VOICE (O.S.)
(monotone)
ATTENTION. NEW ARRIVAL.
ATTENTION. NEW ARRIVAL.
SECURITY BOTS sentry the steel door from docking. A digital
panel outside the door flickers on, emitting a -HOLOGRAPHIC READOUT - DECOMPRESSION: COMPLETE
PRISONERS: ONE
HEALTH: STABLE
-- accompanied by an image of the prisoners MUG-SHOT and a
laundry list of his criminal offences.
Locks disengage with a series of CLICKS and HISSES.
STEAM ruptures as the door un-stitches from the floor,
exposing metal teeth that secure the ten-inch slab in place.

2.

The door SLIDES up.
One GUARD enters, a chain attached to the rear of his belt
secures him to the PRISONER trailing behind.
Blade of BLUE LIGHT scans a BAR-CODE stamped on the shaved
head as Shawshank’s newest inmate shifts inside -VOICE (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Prisoner 81433: DUFRESNE, ANDY.
THIRTY YEARS OF AGE.
-- cuffed at the hands, hips and feet. Shuffles along.
VOICE (O.S.) (CONT’D)
BLOCK: FIVE-THOUSAND. CELL:
FOURTEEN.
HADLEY brings up the rear. A Human Charm Bracelet that keeps
the volatile prisoner in line.
Dufresne’s marched along a grate-metal walk-way as Shawshank
Prison looms behind them.
Muted SHOUTS from prisoners taunting the new arrival
reverberate off oil-stained walls.
INT. SHAWSHANK PRISON / ADMITTING
Dufresne’s shackled at all four limbs, body etched with
barren trails of SCARS; remnants from a violent past.
VOICE (O.S.)
COMMENCING DE-CONTAMINATION.
An opaque WAX drizzles on him. He winces slightly from the
bacteria-killing heat.
The wax is given a moment to harden before --- BLASTS of water mercilessly punch his body. The force of
it knocks the wax free until Dufresne is squeaky clean.
A TATTOO across his abdomen reads: HOPE.
INT. SHAWSHANK PRISON / HOLDING
Dufresne chained to a stainless steel table.
Hadley glowers behind, a crude piece of REBAR in his hand,
just itching to crack some skulls.

3.

WARDEN NORTON rolls in on a specialized wheel-chair
controlled by touch pad on the arm-rest, body indicative of
someone who hasn’t walked in years.
A monitor that pops up from the table gives him Dufresne’s
rap sheet.
NORTON
Dufresne. The wife killer...
(reading from monitor)
...among other things.
Dufresne’s thousand-yard stare the only evidence that
anybody’s home.
NORTON (CONT’D)
Are you a God fearing man,
Dufresne?
Nothing, just that same “fuck you” stare.
Norton nods to Hadley.
Who happily obliges by THUMPING Dufresne in the back of the
head with the rebar.
Dufresne’s face CRUNCHES into the table.
Hadley leans in to shove Dufresne further with the rebar,
forcing it so hard into his neck his skin hugs the crooked
piece of steel.
Blood pools on the table under Dufresne.
NORTON (CONT’D)
I ask again: do you fear God?
DUFRESNE
(straining)
No.
Norton is disappointed to hear this.
NORTON
I believe in two things:
discipline,
(indicating Hadley)
...and the Bible. Here, you will
receive both.
(to Hadley)
That’s enough.
Hadley relinquishes the rebar from Dufresne’s neck.

4.

NORTON (CONT’D)
You may not have the fear of God in
you now, but I swear on his good
book if you ever live long enough
walk out of here you’ll be singing
his praises.
Norton directs his chair from the table.
NORTON (CONT’D)
Start puttin’ your faith in the
Lord, Dufresne. Your ass belongs to
me.
(to Hadley)
Give him a week in solitary to mull
it over.
Hadley GRUNTS compliance.
Norton guides his chair out. We follow him through the door
as he’s enveloped by black.
Hadley sticks the rebar under Dufresne’s neck, wrenches him
back, leaving him grappling for air.
He leans down to Dufresne’s level, mouth practically kissing
his ear, breath so foul it could melt stone.
HADLEY
Welcome to Shawshank.
Hadley further tightens the bar. GASPS escape Dufresne’s
bloodied mouth.
EXT. SHAWSHANK PRISON / YARD
PRISONERS mill about under a dome of serene landscape.
The image of the landscape STUTTERS, switches to a new one of
another scenic vista; vestiges from a world these hardened
criminals never knew.
RED strolls the yard with FLOYD.
RED
(glaring at landscape)
I never understood the point of
that thing.
FLOYD
Heywood says it’s to keep us
docile. So we don’t turn more
savage I guess.

5.

RED
Only time I ever seen earth was in
a museum with my daddy.
FLOYD
You hear about the new fish? Norton
put him in solitary first day.
RED
Shit...
INT. SHAWSHANK PRISON
We hurtle down a chasm of cell-blocks, deeper than thought
possible until we stop -SOLITARY
-- on a metal sarcophagus secured to the wall. Identical
chambers are lined up around it.
A tiny port in the front offers the temporary guest a view;
there’s not much to look at but more inmates there at the
behest of Warden Norton.
RED (V.O.)
...fool probably renounced God or
something.
The digital readout on the exterior shell displays: 81433SHNK/DUFRESNE.
FLOYD (V.O.)
That ain’t what I heard. I heard he
spit in Norton’s eye with nary a
provocation. Hadley damn near
killed him.
A FOOD-BOT floats down from above. It scans a code on
Dufresne’s coffin --- sticks a TUBE into a slot, intravenously feeding Dufresne
the liquid nutrients that serve as his allotted rations.
RED (V.O.)
He’ll learn his place. Everybody
does...
The bot putters away. We hold on Dufresne’s sarcophagus.
RED (V.O.)
...eventually.

6.

INT. SHAWSHANK PRISON / MESS
Red eats with Floyd, SKEET and HEYWOOD when Dufresne saunters
in, his face peppered with bruises.
Already the talk of Shawshank, this is the first time anyone
but guards have laid eyes on him.
Dufresne walks his tray of food and sits in the empty seat at
the far end of Reds table. He catches them stealing glances.
BOGS slithers over to Dufresne’s table, a salacious gleam in
his eye. He sits uncomfortably close.
BOGS
You been broke in yet, new fish?
Dufresne eats without acknowledging Bogs.
BOGS (CONT’D)
Hard to get. I like that.
Barely a murmur in the entire mess as everyone watches this
exchange with much curiosity. GUARDS included.
Dufresne decides to make a point --- in a blink he SMASHES his elbow into Bogs’s chin, gets on
top and SHOVES his tray in his mouth so hard it slices the
edges of Bogs mouth before --- the guards haul Dufresne off, drag him out of the mess.
Reds eyes meet Dufresne’s again; they plead to him.
INT. SHAWSHANK PRISON / SOLITARY
Dufresne’s personal sarcophagus, those same desolate eyes
stare back at us through the viewport.
HEYWOOD (V.O.)
Dufresne is a madman.
EXT. SHAWSHANK PRISON / YARD
Another artificial landscape. The image FRAGMENTS then
returns to normal.
HEYWOOD
He put Bogs in the infirmary over
nothing.

7.

RED
Bogs had it coming. Dufresne ain’t
crazy.
SKEET
What makes you say that?
RED
Seen his eyes. He looked at me,
before the screws took him. He’s
not mad, just a man trouble seems
to search out.
SKEET
Bullshit.
NORTON (V.O.)
Attention Shawshank prisoners. As
you know, our Landscape Modulator
is on the fritz. Because we’re
light years from a repair base we
will need volunteers to fix it.
HEYWOOD
That’s a sweet deal. Haven’t seen
the outside since they put me in
here.
SKEET
(to Red)
Think you can fix us up?
RED
Way ahead of you.
EXT. SHAWSHANK PRISON
Red, Heywood, Floyd and Dufresne work on circuit panels at
the base of the Modulator dome. Their specially designed
suits keep them umbilicalled to the prison by long oxygen
tubes.
Hadley, MERT, TROUT and YOUNGBLOOD keep watch in similar
suits.
The swirling red EYE OF JUPITER looms behind, studying them
intently.
HEYWOOD
(re: Dufresne, to Red)
How’d he get picked?

8.

RED
Can’t say.
HADLEY
(to inmates)
Shut up over there!
(to the guards)
So my brother died. Left me
something like a hundred thousand
credits.
TROUT
That’s great, ain’t it?
HADLEY
Not after the government takes its
piece, dumbshit. Maybe leave me
enough to buy a used ship. If I’m
lucky. I always get the short end.
Red glances over to Dufresne; who pays more attention to
Hadley’s bitching then the task at hand.
RED
(whispering to Dufresne)
You nuts?? Eyes on those circuits.
Dufresne navigates himself over to the guards. They stiffen
on sensing his presence.
DUFRESNE
Do you trust your wife, Mr. Hadley?
HADLEY
That’s funny. I’ll give you one
chance to get back to work. And
then I’ll crack your face before
sending you off this rock.
Dufresne’s unnaturally calm, eyes like ice. Doesn’t budge.
HADLEY (CONT’D)
That’s it, this fucker’s having an
accident. Mert, Trout, grab an arm.
Mert and Trout play tug of war with Dufresne.
Red, Heywood and Skeet pause from their work, stunned.
Hadley sees them.
HADLEY (CONT’D)
What the fuck are you looking at?

9.

DUFRESNE
If you trust her, you can give her
all the money. IRS can’t touch it.
HADLEY
Why should I believe a murdering
sack of shit like you?
Dufresne’s stopped listening, his eyes have moved to Hadley’s
laser pistol, which dangles from his waist.
HADLEY (CONT’D)
You hearing me Dufresne?
Inexplicably, Dufresne reaches for Hadley’s pistol, manages
to get a grip on it and fire off a shot.
It RIPS through the toe of Hadley’s suit, oxygen BILLOWS from
the hole.
Mert and Trout are at a loss: save their superior or put the
hurt on Dufresne.
Too late --- as Hadley quickly looses air Dufresne shoots his own
OXYGEN LINE, shredding it in half. Particles float into
space.
As does Dufresne when Mert and Trout choose the former;
tending to Hadley before he implodes.
The rest of the inmates gawk at the scene. Red seems to know
more than he’s letting on.
RED (V.O.)
If you asked me today why I helped
Dufresne, I couldn’t really say. I
chose my path, which put me in
Shawshank.
Dufresne drifts away, sucked into Jupiters magnetosphere.
RED (V.O.)
But there was something in his face
that day in the mess. Something
that told me this was a man who had
never had a choice.
Jupiters churning GASES reflect in the glass of his visor.
RED (V.O.)
I felt an empathy I never thought
possible.

10.

Dufresne’s enraptured by the view.
RED (V.O.)
As I watched him float away I felt
something I hadn’t felt since I
came here: excitement. Excitement
only a free man can feel.
A single TEAR tracks down his cheek. He closes his eyes,
accepting whatever fate lies ahead.
RED (V.O.)
I hope he finds what he’s searching
for. I hope I can feel that
excitement once more, even if it’s
only for a second.
Dufresne’s merely a black spec, silhouetted by the largest
planet in the solar system.
RED (V.O.)
I hope...
CUT TO BLACK:
THE END