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This is a Southern story, full of lies and fabrications, but truer for their inclusion. FADE IN: A RIVER. We're underwater, watching a fat catfish swim along. This is The Beast. EDWARD (V.O.) There are some fish that cannot be caught. It's not that they're faster or stronger than other fish. They're just touched by something extra. Call it luck. Call it grace. One such fish was The Beast. The Beast's journey takes it past a dangling fish hook, baited with worms. Past a tempting lure, sparkling in the sun. Past a swiping bear claw. The Beast isn't worried. EDWARD (V.O.) By the time I was born, he was already a legend. He'd taken more hundred dollar lures than any fish in Alabama. Some said that fish was the ghost of Henry Walls, a thief who'd drowned in that river 60 years before. Others claimed he was a lesser dinosaur, left over from the Cretaceous period. INT. WILL'S BEDROOM - NIGHT (1973) WILL BLOOM, AGE 3, listens wide -eyed as his father EDWARD BLOOM, 40's and handsome, tells the story. In every gesture, Edward is bigger than life, describing each detail with absolute conviction. EDWARD
I didn't put any stock into such speculation or superstition. All I knew was I'd been trying to catch that fish since I was a boy no bigger than you. (closer) And on the day you were born, that was the day I finally caught him. EXT. CAMPFIRE - NIGHT (1977) A few years later, and Will sits with t he other INDIAN GUIDES as Edward continues telling the story to the tribe. EDWARD Now, I'd tried everything on it: worms, lures, peanut butter, peanut butter-and-cheese. But on that day I had a revelation: if that fish was the ghost of a thief, the usual bait wasn't going to work. I would have to use something he truly desired. Edward points to his wedding band, glinting in the firelight. LITTLE BRAVE (confused) Your finger? Edward slips his ring off. EDWARD Gold. While the other boys are rapt with attention, Will looks bored. He's heard this story before. EDWARD I tied my ring to the strongest line they made -- strong enough to hold up a bridge, they said, if just for a few minutes -- and I cast upriver. INT. BLOOM FRONT HALL - NIGHT (1987) Edward is chatting up Will's pretty DATE to the homecoming dance. She is enjoying the story, but also the force of Edward's charisma. He's hypnotizing. EDWARD (CONT'D) The Beast jumped up and grabbed it before the ring even hit the water. And just as fast, he snapped clean through that line.
WILL, now 17 with braces, is fuming and ready to leave. His mother SANDRA -- from whom he gets his good looks and practicality -- stands with him at the door. EDWARD You can see my predicament. My wedding ring, the symbol of fidelity to my wife, soon to be the mother of my child, was now lost in the gut of an uncatchable fish. ON WILL AND SANDRA WILL (low but insistent) Make him stop. His mother pats him sympathetically, then adjusts his tie. WILL'S DATE What did you do? EDWARD I followed that fish up -river and down-river for three days and three nights, until I finally had him boxed in. Will regards his father w ith exasperated contempt. EDWARD With these two hands, I reached in and snatched that fish out of the river. I looked him straight in the eye. And I made a remarkable discovery. INT. TINY PARIS RESTAURANT (LA RUE 14°) - NIGHT (1998)
WILL, now 28, sits with his gorgeous bride JOSEPHINE. This is their wedding reception, crowded with their friends and family. They should be joyful, but Will is furious. Edward has the floor, ostensibly for a toast. The room is cozy and drunk. EDWARD This fish, the Beast. The whole time we were calling it a him, when in fact it was a her. It was fat with eggs, and was going to lay them any day. Over near the doorway, we spot Sandra, just returned from
I could gut that fish and get my ring back. As he leaves. She looks gorgeous.about her more than anyone. He just leaves. Will can't articulate his anger. EDWARD Now. but doing so I would be killing the smartest catfish in the Ashton River. EDWARD Now. the only way to catch an uncatchable woman is to offer her a wedding ring. Edward doesn't even notice. Will mutters in perfect unison with his father -EDWARD AND WILL We were part of the same equation. we can see that thirty years of ma rriage has not lessened their affection for each other. She couldn't be any happier if this were her own wedding. we had the same destiny. SANDRA Honey. Will can't take any more. A LAUGH from the crowd. EDWARD Sometimes.the restrooms. I was in a situation. -. why did it strike so quick on gold when nothing else would attract it? (closer. he holds up his ring) That was the lesson I learned that day. As she crosses. This story is has always been -. you may well ask. soon to be mother of a hundred others. He focuses his words on Sandra. Will reaches the door.and . Josephine tries to hold him back. it's still your night. well. EDWARD Did I want to deprive my soon -to-beborn son the chance to catch a fish like this of his own? This lady fish and I. where his mother intercepts him. the day my son was born. but he gets up and leaves. since this lady fish wasn't the ghost of a thief. Edward motions for Sandra to get up here with him.
I do not like the story. WILL No Dad. Edward downs his champagne in a gulp. Everyone likes that story. Which never happened! Incidentally! You were selling novelty products in Wichita the day I was born. then. I am the context for your great adventure. they don't. It revolves around me and my wife.. Both men are a little drunk.. WILL Friend of yours? Did you help him out of a bind? EDWARD Come on. EXT. especially as it gets more heated.As they kiss. Occasional PASSERSBY take notice. the universe does not revolve around Edward Bloom. EDWARD (shaking his head) Jesus Christ.NIGHT We come into the middle of an argument on the sidewalk. Edward tweaks her chin a special little way. Dad. EDWARD (low) . EDWARD What. Edward toasts the happy couple. OUTSIDE LA RUE 14° . Josephine covers well for her absent husband. I know all the punchlines. one night in your entire life. (closer) For one night. not after a thousand times. How can you not understand that? A long beat. a smile as warm as summer. Not anymore. Will. a father's not allowed to talk about his son? WILL (disbelieving) I am a footnote in that story. I can tell them as well as you can. The crowd APPLAUDS.
still fuming with righteous anger. Edward takes a seat.P.. my mother would write for both of them. ANGLE ON Edward.) After that night.O. NEWSROOM (PARIS) . Sandra talks on the phone while Edward fixes a sandwich. WILL (ON PHONE) (without pauses) William Bloom with the Associated Press if I could just. Returning to the mail. He walks away. INT. WILL (V. enough of you. Will won't let him get the last word. starting to eat his sandwich. On hold with the phone cradled under an ear. INT.) When I'd call. WILL (V.NIGHT . WILL (V. WILL True to form.O.) We communicated indirectly I guess. he finds a hand-addressed envelope.DAY A typically busy day. I didn't speak to my father again for three years. ANGLE ON Will. You just don't see it. In her letters and Christmas cards. A hand to wa ve. we never talked about our not talking.. He's put back on hold. Dad.Sorry to embarrass you. Rips it open. Or swimming in the pool.DAY At the table. Fine. Will sorts through a bundle of mail dropped on his desk. BLOOM HOUSE MASTER BEDROOM .O. WILL You're embarrassing yourself. BLOOM HOUSE KITCHEN . Mom would say that Dad was out driving. It's then we FREEZE FRAME. A. INT.
RIVER . watching as. EXT. then the Beast spits out Edward's gold ring. I didn't see anything of myself in my father. He brings the catfish up to his face. this Edward thrusts both hands into the water.) The truth is.) It doesn't always make sense. EXT.O. and most of it never happened. The best I can do is to tell it the way he told me.. Smiling. something changes. WILL (V. WILL (V. where Edward's reflection is caught in the dark water.O. He's born to the water. as we LOOK UP again.DAY Edward stares intently into the water. WILL (V. BLOOM BACK YARD . We LOOK DOWN at the river. it's a younger EDWARD BLOOM.NIGHT [CONTINUOUS] Edward swims laps in the family pool. grabbing hold of THE BEAST. it's impossible to separate the fact from the fiction..O. the man from the myth. a lion in wait.) But that's what kind of story this is. then throws the Beast back .Sandra stands by the window. staring into the water. As the water ripples past. He's not just handsome. 20's. and I don't think he saw anything of himself in me. A beat. It's as if all the forces of the natural world had conspi red to create him.) In telling the story of my father's life. WILL (V. Sure enough. Looks it right in the eye.O. not just charming. Suddenly. Edward takes the ring. We were like strangers who knew each other very well.
Everyone lets out a collective sigh of relief. No longer than most men's. the newborn knocks over a tray. And as strange as his stories got. but the infant is slippery like a fish. INT. TITLE OVER: BIG FISH INT.DAY Bursting through the doors -YOUNG DR. the endings were always the most surprising of all. I'll need you to give me on e good push. BENNETT Grab that baby! A NURSE finally scoops up the slippery baby. HOSPITAL ROOM . Bennett stands between the Wife's legs..) My father's birth would set the pace for his unlikely life. but the doctor has a comforting bedside manner. Mrs. As the newborn sails upward TOWARDS CAMERA. On three. but no one can hold it. It shoots up into air. As it falls. but larger.O. HOSPITAL HALLWAY .into the water with a spla sh. Suddenly.DAY Young Dr. The NURSES and the Husband try to grab the baby. which provides it a ramp to slide right out of the room. One. we hear a POP as a slimy mass of human being rockets into the doctor's unprepared hands.. YOUNG DR. Bloom. BENNETT Now.. Everyone races after it. INT. She's flustered and sweating.. Bennett tries to hold tight. WILL (V. we can see a GIGGLING SMILE on its face.(PRESENT) DAY . HALF -DARK PARIS APARTMENT .
Uh-huh. No. WILL (on phone) Hi. JOSEPHINE Allo oui? Will begins stripping out of his wet clothes. a phone RINGS on a chair. trying to get a reaction out of Josephine.Over the sound of rain. He plays it up. JOSEPHINE It's your mother. He covers the mouthpiece. His wife Josephine (28) pushes past him to get the phone. She listens carefully to Will's side of the conversation. we see she is very. just a few half -unpacked boxes. we look to see the apartment is mostly empty. JOSEPHINE (on phone) Yes. LAUGHTER in the hallway. This won't be good news. the bottoms collapsing from the rain. As it keeps RINGING. sure. Uh-huh. WILL (CONT'D) What does Dr. each layer unleashing a new drizzle. The door swings open to reveal a dren ched Will (29) carrying four sacks of groceries.it . KEYS in the lock. She hands the phone to Will. I'll wait. has that insistent European sound. Bennett say? Okay. As Josephine takes off her rain co at. concerned. Looks over to Josephine. we know we're not in the U. A cradle is still in its carton. he's here. JOSEPHINE It's bad. WILL -. Half-stripped.S. Will takes the phone. very pregnant. let me talk to him. trying to gauge how bad the news is. By the tone of the ring.
including Josephine.. Most of t he PASSENGERS are asleep. Off the glow of the reading light.NIGHT Hours later. and finally a dog. WILL Probably tonight. Will has a window seat in coach. EDWARD (O. A beat. putting on hand lotion. AIR FRANCE 747 . and the lights are dimmed. JOSEPHINE (a simple fact) I'm going with you. INT. then he notices a BORED BOY in the next row over. Taking his hands. a STEWARDESS recites the welcome spiel in French. the boy is using his hands to cast shadows on the seat back. PRELAP) So which one's it gonna be? The Monkey in the Barn. she rubs the excess into him. INT. JOSEPHINE I'm going with you. We PUSH IN on the silhouettes. her hands tucked under her belly. the Dog in the Road? . brushing back her hair. They're going to stop chemo.NIGHT As the plane continues boarding. Will watches her sleep. 747 / FLYING . a passable monkey. There's an effortless intimacy between them.S. Josephine sits beside him. Her head is propped against Will's shoulder. She can pinpoint what he's feeling before he can.It's more than they thought. JOSEPHINE You need to go. A beat. The kid is pretty good. WILL You don't have to. making a convincing bird.
WILL The one about the witch.NIGHT . Ruthie. we COME TO: A flashlight SWEEPS past. seeing if his wife is in earshot.come to find Edward making the shapes. But there were five of us out there that night: Me..NIGHT . we. Edward holds up his hand. Wilbur Freely.Focusing on the final shadow. We are. Don and Zacky.. its shade off to cast big shadows on the wall. WILL I'm not scared. on account of the snakes and spiders and quicksand that would swallow you up before you could even scream. EDWARD Not a one of us knew what was in store. Will (6) sits in his pajamas on the floor next to him. EXT. counting the names on his fingers. You get nightmares. Will smiles. EDWARD Neither was I. FIELD AT THE SWAMP EDGE . MATCH CUT TO: INT. Kids weren't supposed to go out in the swamp. and the Price Brothers... Edward looks around for a beat. EDWARD This all happened in the swamp outside of Ashton. The endtable lamp lies between them. excited to hear the forbidden story. BLOOM HOUSE . He then leans in.. As his hand moves past the light.. EDWARD Your mom says I can't tell you that one anymore. At first. complicitous.
EDWARD Is it true she got a glass eye? WILBUR FREELY I heard she got it from Gypsies. EDWARD Zacky. DON PRICE Then why'd you bring it? ZACKY I don't want to be in the swamp with a witch and no flashlight. Five kids walk past in silhouette. His brother D ON PRICE is 12. casting long shadows. and a lot bigger than the others.The night is WHIRRING and BREATHING. The fifth keeps tripping. alive. Redheaded RUTHIE MACKLIN. ZACKY Damn. 8. WILBUR FREELY Screw. WILBUR FREELY. The moon hangs low. DON PRICE Shit. is the black asthmatic son of a sharecropper. Four have flashlights on. EDWARD . also 10. RUTHIE You shouldn't swear. DON PRICE Your momma's a bitch. crashing into YOUNG EDWARD (10). turn your flashlight on! ZACKY I don't got any batteries! Red-headed ZACKY PRICE is 10. There's ladies present. EDWARD What's a Gypsy? ZACKY Your momma's a Gypsy. is happy just to be there.
and BACK. WILBUR FREELY I hear if you look right at it. it's common knowledge that most towns of a certain size have a witch. DON PRICE You're so sure. Who knows what is lurking in the shadows? ADULT EDWARD (V. strangling vines. and eerie gargoyles half -buried in the dirt. if only to eat misbehaving children and the occasional puppy who wanders into her yard. Even bats are afraid to fly over it. A CREEPY OLD HOUSE ..NIGHT ADULT EDWARD (V. Witches use those bones to cast spells and curses that make the land infertile.O. For she had one glass eye. Edward looks back at the spooky house. that is..) Now. We finally come to the kids.(whispering ) Turn off your flashlights! She'll see 'em. there was one who was the most feared. staring in through the gate.O. you can see how you're gonna die. why don't you go in and get that eye? I heard she keeps it in a box on her nighttable. She's not even a real witch.) Yet of the all the witches in Alabama. EXT. which was said to contain mystical powers. In the moonlight. MOVING UP behind the kids. We PULL BACK. revealing more of the Gothically creepy house: its broken windows. . DON PRICE Or are you too scared? EDWARD I'll go in right now and get that eye. we find ourselves at the gates of. the house is especially sinister. EDWARD That's bull -s-h-i-t.
DON PRICE Then do it. EDWARD Fine, I will. DON PRICE Fine, you do it. EDWARD Fine, I'm doing it. He hands Zacky his flashlight, then starts climbing the gate. RUTHIE Edward, don't! WILBUR FREELY She'll make soap out of you! (to Ruthie) That's what she does, she makes soap out of people. Edward drops down on the far side of the gate. Truth be told, Edward is scared, but he forges ahead anyway. Wilbur looks to Ruthie, and they're in complete agreement. They get the hell out of there. Zacky would run too, but Don holds him by the collar. EXT. APPROACHING THE HOUSE Edward curves around the tall bushes that hide the front door. Anything could jump out of them. He steps on the porch. The boards SQUEAL and CREAK, but he continues on. A cat SCREAMS OUT from a rocker. Catching his breath, Edward reaches the front door. The doorknob is ancient brass, two projections that look like horns. Yet Edward extends his hand, reaching closer and closer before he finally RINGS THE DOORBELL. Impossibly fast, the door opens, revealing an OLD WOMAN with a patch over her left eye. She looks like she's been dead for years, but too stubborn to lie down. broken wicker
EDWARD (calm and straightforward) Ma'am, my name is Edward Bloom, and there's some folks'd like to see your eye. EXT. BACK AT THE GATE - NIGHT Zacky and Don Price wait for Edward, each moment more convinced he's already dead. B ut suddenly, he's back at the gate. DON PRICE You get the eye? EDWARD I brought it. DON PRICE (dubious) Let's see it. The Old Woman steps out of the shadows behind Edward, flipping up her eye patch. When their flashlight beam hits her left eye, it shines with a hellish glow. We RUSH IN on Zacky, who is paralyzed by what he sees. CUT TO: EXT. FRONT PORCH OF HOUSE - DAY An OLD MAN -- Zacky -- stands on a wobbly stepladder, changing a lightbulb. Suddenly, the ladder gives way and he falls. Dead. EXT. AT THE GATE - NIGHT We RUSH IN on Don Price. CUT TO: INT. FRATERNITY HOUSE BATHROOM - DAY Twenty-year old Don Price falls face -forward on the tile, face mushed in the grout. Very much EXT. AT THE GATE - NIGHT Don and Zacky both tremble with fear. The latter has tears in his eyes. dead.
ZACKY I saw how I was gonna die. I was old, and I fell. DON PRICE I wasn't old at all. The brothers suddenly bolt. Still standing next to the Old Woman, Edward smiles. EXT. AT THE OLD WOMAN'S DOOR - NIGHT Edward helps her back inside. He could leave now, but curiosity gets the better of him. EDWARD I was thinking about death and all. About seeing how you're gonna die. The Old Woman turns to him slightly, still not facing him. EDWARD I mean, on one hand, if dying was all you thought about, it could kind of screw you up. But it could kind of help you, couldn't it? Because you'd know that everything else you can survive. The Old Woman smiles a little, a crooked grin of broken teeth. EDWARD I guess I'm saying, I'd like to know. The Old Woman t urns leaning her face right in front of his. And on a silent count of one, two, three looks into The Eye. This time we don't cut. Instead, we HOLD ON Edward as he witnesses his death . He stares transfixed, perplexed and amused. Whatever he sees, it's not as dire as the other boys. His future has something strange in store. EDWARD Huh. That's how I go? The Old Woman nods. Still a little overwhelmed, Edward turns and leaves. ADULT EDWARD (V.O.) From that moment on, I no longer -- Edward
it's not that big really.. I was as good as immortal. And for that. MATCH CUT TO: INT. The Atlantic. He leans in and hugs her. But. BLOOM HOUSE . As Edward leaves. SANDRA I'm so glad you're here. REVERSE to Will's mother Sandra (53).feared death. WILL Hi. She surrenders. Sandra pushes past her son to her daughterin-law. surprised and a little annoyed... That hug finished. SANDRA (simply) You didn't need to do that. They've always been close. the door swings SHUT on its own.(PRESENT) DAY The front door opens to reveal Will and Josephine on the porch with their bags. You just didn't. A beat. squeezing her son tight. They hug. Mom. Seeing the size of her belly -SANDRA You shouldn't have flown. You look . SANDRA Ruth McHibbon offered to pick you up at the airport. SANDRA How did you get here? WILL We swam. Will and his mother are cut from the same cloth -strong-willed but practical. JOSEPHINE It's good to see you../EXT. WILL We rented a car. Starting over.
-. DR. he doesn't want to eat.beautiful. KIDS are playing on the street. WILL Is that Dr. we get to see the house for the first time: an older suburban home.be . JULIUS BENNETT (85) enters from the foyer. He was the town's first Black physician. WILL How much time does he have left? SANDRA You don't talk about those things. SANDRA Thank you. You have to really pull it.. It's the truth. big for the neighborhood. It's not flattery.. a smile to her husband nice. KITCHEN . Not yet. He's still t he town's best physician. and nicely grown into the lot. He won't eat. The door sticks. three bedrooms. SANDRA Down the hall on the right. Josephine squeezes past. Will heads back to the rental car to retrieve luggage. I'll bet you need to -JOSEPHINE Yes. Coming down the driveway. WILL How is he? SANDRA He's imposs ible.DAY Sandra is pouring iced tea for Will and Josephine. he gets weaker. INT. And because he's weaker. still winded from coming down the stairs. Bennett's car? SANDRA He's up with your father. And because he won't eat. Sandra follows him. Heading back to the house.
Sandra hands Will a squat can of Ens ure from the case on the counter... BENNETT You're seven mo nths. (they shake) My wife. Will looks over -what did he say? Josephine shakes her head. but tell him he has to. BENNETT Absolutely. JOSEPHINE (impressed) To the day. She smiles.. He leans close to her. DR. BENNETT Will.everyone here knows they haven't spoken in years. It's good to see you. He won't. WILL Dr. DR. He judges her belly. Josephine. I would say he's the same. SANDRA Get him to drink one of these.. And in the silence that follo ws. surprised but not doubting. A moment of awkwardness -. It wasn't the upbeat reply Sandra was hoping for. Bennett. DR. DR. BENNETT It's a boy. a lot is said. . whispering in her ear. SANDRA You don't think he looks any worse. Be good for you to talk to him. BENNETT A pleasure. BENNETT No.DR. Back to the main subject. WILL Can I see him? DR.
nothing. GUEST ROOM . Gets his breath. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY . he stops for a beat. Will walks towards it. Almost at the door. The illnes s has been quick. but no words come out. INT. and left him largely intact. running a hand along the wallpaper. He looks over at a pitcher on the nightstand. A very long. FOYER . Coming up to the bed -WILL Dad? Edward cracks open an eye.. no monitors. He tries to say something. INT. Although he's not the vibrant man we've seen before. The wall is filled with family photos. Finished. we can see him growing up with every step.V.DAY Coming out from the kitchen. EDWARD You -(he points) .'s.INT. 61. Will pours him a glass of water. There are no I. it's not as bad we feared. a beat before he focuses. lies asleep on the bed. As he climbs the stairs. happier times. Will almost speaks again to fill the silence.DAY A crack of sunlight spills around the half -open door at the end of the hallway. helping him hold it to his parched lips. They CREAK with every step.. Finally. Most of the pictures are of Will. Then goes inside. tense beat. starting when he was an infant and ending at his wedding.DAY Edward Bloom. Will slowly climbs the stairs. Edward sets down the glass by himself.
. WILL The Old Lady by the swamp. This isn't how I go. WILL Am I? EDWARD Having a kid change s everything. I saw it in The Eye. A beat. Will doesn't rise to the challenge. there's the diapers and the burping and the midnight feedings. Then you spend years trying to corrupt and mislead this child. WILL Really. she was old and probably senile. Holds it up. fill its head with nonsense and still it turns out perfectly fine. Edward recoils. EDWARD She was a witch. WILL Just drink half the can.-. WILL No. Everyone wins. WILL Did you do any of that? EDWARD No. It's not my time yet. EDWARD People needn't worry so much. I mean. then Edward rolls his eyes. A beat. Maybe schizophrenic. EDWARD Truly. finding a straw o n the nightstand. I'll tell her you drank the whole thing..are in for a surprise. but I hear it's terrible. Will cracks open the can. WILL You think I'm up for it? EDWARD You learned from the best. EDWARD . then he remembers the can of Ensure. Fine.
Edward slurps down as much of the Ensure as he can stand. I speak mine out. WILL So how does it happen? EDWARD Surprise ending. We're talking fine. We're storytellers. Wouldn't want to ruin it for you. WILL Really. both of us. EDWARD And every day I gave him a quarter. Then I got sick and was out for a couple of weeks. He walked into that. EDWARD There was this panhandler who used to stop me every morning when I came out of this coffee shop near the office. And when I went back there. A beat. He swallows with difficulty.I saw my death in that eye. And this is not how it happens. Every day. WILL You're right. And look at us. then pushes the can away. WILL Okay. EDWARD Your mother was worried we wouldn't talk again. EDWARD True story. you know what he said? WILL What did he say? EDWARD You owe me three -fifty. Edward gives a wry smile. you . WILL When did you ever work in an office? EDWARD There's a lot you don't know about me.
The HACKING escalates until another drink of water gets it under control. Will won't commit to Edward's assessment. Edward LAUGHS a little. WILL Dad. Will gets up to go. WILL I will. while I'm here. Events. And this. It's too confining. The last part is much more unusual. . here. EDWARD I said this isn't how I go. Taking the halfempty Ensure. Dying is the worst thing that ever happened to me.. remember? I used to do it a lot.. It's not clear whether any of this was an act to keep from talking.. He smiles at his joke. EDWARD Your mother hasn't been keeping up the pool. EDWARD You know where the chemicals are? WILL I used to do it when you were gone. Will. I'm hoping we can talk about some things while I'm here. EDWARD You mean. EDWARD I was never much for being at home. WILL I'd just like to know the true versions of things. He's at the door when. Same thing.write yours down. You. WILL I thought you weren't dying. Trust me on that. He didn't mean for that to sound so pointed.. Being stuck in bed. which becomes a COUGH. If you wanted to you could. Stories.
Then pulls again... CUT TO: INT. Heading for the stairs. but he gives it his all. I once had to stay in bed for three years.DAY [FLASHBACK] . Bennett says I'm going to have to be home for a week. And then another.. wondering what's wrong. His voice is high and thin. Starting to panic.DAY Wearing a white shirt and tie. his face covered with chicken pox and pink calamine lotion. He pulls at his collar. As he leaves frame. He's starting to undo the collar button when it POPS off by itself. Will drinks the rest of the Ensure himself. YOUNG WILL Dr. Edward just keeps SINGING.DAY Shutting the door behind himself. Edward was right. One hits a CHUBBY WOMAN in the neck. Two more buttons fly off. WILL'S BEDROOM . his voice CRACKS and DROPS a half -octave. we STAY BEHIND to look inside. Embarrassed. trying to follow along with the baritone part. YOUNG WILL Did you have chicken pox? EDWARD I wish. Suddenly.. INT. his face getting red. His friends Wilbur Freeley and Ruthie look over.INT.still . EDWARD That's nothing. It tastes horrible.where an eight -year old Will is propped up in bed.sings "Down to the River My Lord" along with the CONGREGATION. Will walks past an open door. he loosens his tie. He's showing Edward how many bumps there are on his arm. YOUNG EDWARD about 10 -. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY . TINY CHURCH . -.
or quadruple its size. EDWARD (V.DAY Young Edward lies in bed. The crowd CHEERS the sw ing. I found myself in a hurry.) It occurred to me then. Edward's pant cuffs rise inch by inch -that's how fast he's growing. with the World Book Encyclopedia being my only means of exploration.O. EDWARD (V. YOUNG EDWARD'S BEDROOM . So I spent the better part of three years confined to my bed. no one quite knew what was wrong. a giant man can't have an ordinary-sized life.ON HIS SHOES As we watch. EDWARD (V.) My muscles couldn't keep up with my bones. EXT. and especially the batter as he rounds the bases.) Truth is. I had made it all the way to the "G's. After all. when I uncovered an article about the common goldfish.DAY The CRACK of a bat announces the game -winning home run. a person grows up gradually. the fish can grow double. . and another dozen on the floor. Most times. his limbs connected to various pulleys and levers to support his weight.O. the gold fish will remain small. BASEBALL FIELD . INSERT: The encyclopedia article.O." hoping to find an answer to my gigantificationism. that perhaps the reason for my growth was that I was intended for larger things. triple. INT. YOUNG EDWARD (reading) "Kept in a small bowl. With more space. He has a dozen encyclopedias around him. complete with drawings." Young Edward thinks this through. and my bones couldn't keep up with my body's ambition.
BASKETBALL COURT .DAY Edward wins a blue ribbon for his invention. I set upon my plan t o make a bigger place for myself in Ashton. It's one of his teenage EMPLOYEES. a PRETTY GIRL admits the name of her secret love: GIRL Edward Bloom! The other GIRLS SQUEAL in agreement. "Bloom Landscaping. a machine labelled "Perpetual Motion. winning the game. EDWARD (V. EXT.DAY SINGLE SHOTS: Football hero Edward leads his team to victory." He has workers on every lawn.Although we've seen him briefly before. Naturally. glowers. He signs an autograph for an ADMIRING CUB SCOUT. but it's not Edward. EXT.O. who we'll follow from roughly the ages of 18 to 30. We LOOK UP to see who's pushing it. EXT. INT.DAY SINGLE SHOT: A lawnmower ROARS along the grass. Don Price is the only teammate who doesn't mob him. Don Price looks over. this is our first real exposure to GROWN -UP EDWARD. he makes it. TOWN . As the crowd goes wild for Edward.DAY Edward takes an impossible shot at the buzzer from the other end of the court. which is painted to read. NEIGHBORHOOD . SCHOOL FIELDS . INT.) As soon as my bones had settled in their adult configuration. SCIENCE FAIR . On the sidelines. Edward is back at the truck." He and the JUDGE pose for a .DAY Edward carries a dog out of a burning house.
.DAY Two fat ewes look up. EXT. a stranger arrived. EXT. EXT. Pissed. but no human could be that large. The PRINCIPAL hugs him tight. one under each arm. Until one day. FARM .photograph. Edward soaks in his applause. we REVERSE to a show a massive hole punched through the side of a barn. Don Price throws his crappy lima bean plants in the trash. SHEEP PEN . Their protests continue as they're carried away. COURT HOUSE . many of them with shotguns. SHARECROPPER He ate an entire cornfield! LITTLE GIRL He ate my dog! HOT-BLOODED SHOTGUN TOTER and gracious. we see Don Price is the ass -end of a horse costume. He's the star of the show. INT. a shadow falling across them. A FLASH. GRADUATION STAGE . We still haven't seen the full stranger. They BLEAT in panic as TWO OVERSIZED HANDS reach in and scoop them up. It's roughly the shape of man. Off to the side.DAY A dashingly handsome Edward leads the CAST out for a curtain call.O.DAY Edward accepts his diploma. HIGH SCHOOL STAGE . EDWARD (V.DAY A MOB of about 50 have gathered. smiling EXT.DAY As two FARMERS shake their heads. Amid the crowd we see Don Price.) I was the biggest thing Ashton had ever seen.
bones picked clean. Edward calls out: EDWARD Hello! There's no answer. buzzards squabble over the remains of the giant's feast: broken barrels. EDWARD My name is Edward Bloom! I want to talk to you! From deep in a cave. A VOICE (O. The crowd parts to reveal none other than Edward Bloom.. he'll have to try. a thunderous voice: VOICE (O. HILL OUTSIDE ASHTON . See if I can get him to move on. reaching the mouth of a cave. Outside.S. In his most serious voice. Don Price glowers. EDWARD I'll talk to him. has someone tried talking to him? SOME FARMER You can't reason with 'im! SHEPHARD He's a monster! Agreement from the crowd. And then. EXT. that creature could crush you without trying. Everyone turns to see who said that.If you ain't gonna stop him Mayor.DAY Edward climbs up the last bit of the steep hillside.) I'll do it. EDWARD Trust me. MAYOR Son.S. Now. we will! MAYOR I won't have mob violence in this town..) GO AWAY! .
Karl's eyes narrow. the giant bursts forth. blocking the sun. if that's what it's going to take. All the same. Edward throws his rock. I knew the giant couldn't kill me. KARL Why are you here? Edward ponders the best response. Karl lean s over Edward. confused. ready to play David to Goliath. Edward stands up. Just how big is this guy? EDWARD (V. He's completely feral.O.) Armed with the foreknowledge of my own death. God knows what's living in his matted hair. EDWARD I'm not going anywhere unti l you show yourself. he slams into a stunned Edward. Even Edward starts to worry. then we hear a RUMBLE. KARL THE GIANT is bigger than any man you've ever seen. but it just bounces off. EDWARD So you can eat me.. The town decided to send a human sacrifice. A beat. EDWARD . with a beard to his elbow and skin scratched and blistered. As the RUMBLE gets louder. The giant didn't even notice it. it blows Edward's hair back. and I volunteered.. Not just tall. Hunched over. knocking him halfway down the hill. Edward braces himself. I preferred to keep my bones unbroken. What remains of his clothes are ragged and muddy. fists ready for a fight.The giant's voice has such force. Then suddenly. like a train coming. the ground starts to shake. Edward picks up a stone. but mas sive. settling on.
My arms are a little stringy, but there's some good eating on my legs. I mean, I'd be tempted to eat them myself. (beat) So I guess, just, if you could get it over with quick. Because I'm not much for pain, really. Edward closes his eyes, hands at his side, ready to be eaten. Karl just stares at him, not sure what to do. After a beat, Edward opens his eyes a tiny bit, just to see what the giant is doing. Relieved to see he's not licking his chops -EDWARD Look, I can't go back. I'm a human sacrifice. If I go back, everyone will think I'm a coward. And I'd rather be dinner than a coward. Karl sits down with a BOOM, dejected . EDWARD Here, start with my hand. It'll be an appetizer. Reaching up, Edward shoves his hand into Karl's mouth. But the giant spits it back out. KARL I don't want to eat you. I don't want to eat anybody. It's just I get so hungry. I'm too big. And that's the sad truth. Karl is less a monster than a freak -a giant man, but in the end, just a man. Edward takes a seat beside him. EDWARD Did you ever think maybe you're not too big? Maybe this town's just too small. I mean, look at it. Circling behind them, we look down at Ashton town in a tiny vall ey. EDWARD Hardly two stories in the whole place. Now I've heard in real cities, they've got buildings so tall you can't even see the tops of 'em. -- a tiny
KARL Really? EDWARD Wouldn't lie to you. And they've got all-you-can-eat buffets. You can eat a lot, can't you? KARL I can. EDWARD So why are you wasting your time in a small town? You're a big man. You should be in the big city. Karl smiles, but then it fades. A certain sad suspicion -KARL You're just trying to get me to leave, aren't you? That's why they sent you here. EDWARD What's your name, Giant? KARL Karl. EDWARD Mine's Edward. And truthfully, I do want you to leave, Karl. But I want to leave with you. (closer) You think this town is too small for you, well, it's too sma ll for a man of my ambition. I can't see staying here a day longer. KARL You don't like it? EDWARD I love every square inch of it. But I can feel the edges closing in on me. A man's life can only grow to a certain size in a place like this. (beat) So what do you say? Join me? Karl thinks a moment. Then -KARL Okay. EDWARD Okay. They shake on it.
EDWARD Now first, we gotta get you ready for the city. EXT. RIVER - DAY IN A SINGLE SHOT, Karl cuts his hair with hedge clippers, while Edward cuts up a surplus army tent to make him a shirt. EXT. MAIN STREET OF ASHTON - DAY Spirits buoyed by the high school MARCHING BAND, all the good CITIZENS of Ashton are gathered to see off Edward and Karl. There's a few tears amid the familiar faces. MAYOR (loudly, for the crowd) Edward Bloom, first son of Ashton, it's with a heavy heart we see you go. But take with you this Key to the City, and know that any time you want to come back, all our doors are open to you. Edward ducks a bit so the Mayor can put the key around his neck. The crowd CHEERS. And with that, Edward and Karl start walking, waving as they go. Only DON PRICE, smoking on the corner, isn't sad to see Edward go. He crushes his cigarette under his heel. He wishes he could crush Edward. Many of the townfolk come onto the street to hug Edward or shake his hand. EDWARD (V.O.) That afternoon as I left Ashton, everyone seemed to have advice. VARIOUS TOWNFOLK Find yourself a nice girl! Don't trust anyone in Kentucky! Watch your pride, Edward Bloom! EDWARD (V.O.) But there was one person whose counsel I held above all others. As the crowd parts, he find s himself face to face with
EDWARD (V. as if a strange spell has been cast. The advice only succeeds in confusing Edward. The old road is blocked with signs and warnings of danger. where the paved road veers left and an overgrown dirt road runs straight. Although we're VERY CLOSE. EDWARD (V. Edward and Karl come to a bend.DAY We TILT UP from the road to reveal Edward and Karl walking out of Ashton. and an older one that wasn't.) She said that the biggest fish in the river gets that way by never being caught. and it had developed the reputation of being haunted.) There were two roads out of Ashton. this seemed as good a time as any to find out what lay down that old road. KARL What did she say? EDWARD Beats me. The Old Woman shuffles off. The ruckus slows and quiets.THE OLD WOMAN. we can't hear her voice. She motions for Edward to lean down. . EDWARD (to the Old Woman) Okay.O. somehow knowing her advice will go unheeded. Thanks. Edward and Karl keep walking. People didn't use the old road anymore. EDWARD (V. Karl looks at the dirt road. a new one which was paved.O. so she can whisper something to him.O. Each wears a backpack with all his earthly possessions.) Since I had no intention of ever returning to Ashton. ROAD . EXT. wary.
because no one ever heard from him again. he realizes the birds have stopped singing. because it's a day meant for whistling. Edward WHISTLES. You take the other way and I'll cut through h ere.KARL You know anyone's who's taken it? EDWARD That poet. He carefully steps through the thorns. thorny vines growing across the path. even though it means more for him to carry. He was going to Paris. Coming around a bend. He looks back the way he came. His trouser legs catch on the barbs. The sun is still shining. Meet you on the far side. France. Spikes of sunlight break through the thick canopy. But Edward presses on. It would be easier to go back. Karl perks up. DIRT ROAD .. A little paranoid. FURTHER ALONG . and the birds still CHIRPING. but not altoget her creepy.ROUGH PATH The road has narrowed to a rough path. It's tempting to go back. Edward WHISTLES. his PITCH DROPS as he sees thick. He must have liked it. EXT. FURTHER ALONG . you can take my pack. Still. (beat) Tell you what. KARL You're not trying to run away? EDWARD Just to be sure. The forest is dead quiet. Norther Winslow did. For the first time. He stops. catching particles in the air. EXT.DAY The road is overgrown. We c an hear the fabric TEAR.. Spinning the Key to the City.
EXT. Even then. heavy from the rain. each step still precarious. finally whipping off his hat to swat at them. Edward tosses the sign and forges ahead.. Just then a CA WING crow swoops down and grabs the hat right out of his hands. the more rewarding it was in the end. Reads it: WARNING! JUMPING SPIDERS! Sure enough. A half-broken sign lies in the road. CLEARING / THE ROAD .) There comes a point where a reasonable man will swallow his pride and admit he's made a terrible mistake.. he . up ahead he sees the path is overgrown with thick cobwebs.A scratched and sweaty Edward waves off various STINGING BUGS flying at him. EDWARD And what I recalled of Sunday School was that the more difficult something became.DAY [LATER] Edward is bruised. battered and bee -stung. THE DARK FOREST . EDWARD You stupid sonofa. I was never a reasonable man. but grabs a rock and throws it. and he has to dance to get it out. Edward picks it up. EDWARD (V. The stone ricochets off a tree and into a BEE'S NEST. He stops his swearing.O. The truth is.DAY Edward emerges from the forest. Edward high -tails it. EXT. One is stuck in his sleeve. brushing the last cobwebs off and shaking the sp iders from his shirt. The swarm roars out. into the spiderwebs.
He's carrying a clipboard. Edward Bloom. BEAMEN Bloom like a flower? EDWARD Yes. all of these people are barefoot. We weren't expecting you yet. In fact. There are even a few tears of joy. but this isn't a ghost town. Friendly but a little drunk. Here! Right here. Everything is old. he flips forward a few pages. He passes a sign that reads "Welcome To Spectre!" EXT. Ahead lies a tiny one -street town -. BEAMEN Oh. Most are smiling.DAY It's a main street with stores on each side: Cole's Pharmacy. What's your name? EDWARD Edward Bloom. Beamen checks the clipboard.. THE TOWN OF SPECTRE . Talbot's Five and Dime.smaller even than Ashton -with powerlines emerging from the woods to feed it. their laces tied together. he's the closest thing the town has to a mayor. At his feet. Al's Country Store. Dangling from the line above he sees two dozen pairs of shoes. . What's more. MAN'S VOICE Friend! A forty-year old man named BEAMEN comes out of the seed store to greet Edward.still keeps twitching. the gravel road has returned. convinced another one is left behind. BEAMEN Welcome to ya. smoot h and dusty and comforting.. Not finding the name. there's a group of about 20 CI TIZENS spilling out to see Edward approach. Still looking.
Hell. peering around to look at the handsome stranger. I'm already ru nning late. EDWARD What is this place ? BEAMEN The town of Spectre. INT.. but it's longer. BEAMEN Mmm-hmm. Life'll do that to you. And truthfully. A helpful woman named MILDRED chimes in: MILDRED You must have taken a shortcut.. EDWARD You were expecting me? BEAMEN Not yet. Best kept secret in Alabama.Still confused. EDWARD I did. BEAMEN And you're here now. Says here you're from Ashton. MILDRED Much longer.DAY . He didn't mean it as a joke. but for some reason. I'll have him tell you. I'll tell you all about it. EDWARD No. Let me buy you a drink. BEAMEN'S HOUSE . the long way is easier. You're early. and that's what matters. EDWARD The poet? What ever happened to him? BEAMEN He's still here. everyone's laughing. BEAMEN Son. I've gotta meet somebody. Beamen's daughter JENNY (8) hides behind her father. It nearly killed me. right? Last person we had from Ashton was Norther Winslow. I already told you.
Reaching the edge of town. too cold. She races for the door. BEAMEN Now tell me if that isn't the best pie you ever ate. she tosses the shoes up and around the power line -. he's . EDWARD Wait! I need those! NORTHER WINSLOW There is no softer ground than town. The gathered citizens of Spectre CHEER for Edward. TOWN / MAIN STREET . EDWARD It truly is.DAY As she runs. Jenny ties Edward's laces together. He and Beamen are joined by NORTHER WINSLOW (30). Never gets too hot. Still focused on his shoes. At night the wind goes through the trees and you'd swear there was a whole symphony out there.Sitting at the kitchen table. Men shake his hand.. UNDER THE TABLE Young Jenny is stealthily untying the laces on Edward's shoes. too humid. who is confused and overwhelmed. playing just for you. who fancies himself a cultured artist.a perfect throw. EXT. Even the water is sweet. NORTHER WINSLOW Everything here tastes bette r. though never left the state. Suddenly. There's no way he's ever getting them down. The women hug him. Edward takes a second slice of apple pie.. EDWARD Hey! He chases after her. Jenny YANKS OFF Edward's shoes.
EDWARD Really. filled with friends you've never met. The townsfolk continue to congratulate Edward.) Sometimes in a dream. Norther hands him his noteboook. EDWARD (V.O. EXT. and I had arrived. The fireflies are out.O. NORTHER WINSLOW There's a lot of expectation.MILDRED That rhymes! BEAMEN He is our poet laureate. Thousands of them. do you ever regret not making it to Paris? NORTHER WINSLOW I can't imagine any place better than here. You oughta be able .DUSK Edward sits with Norther Winslow. A beat. Norther grabs his notebook back. NORTHER WINSLOW This is why you don't show work in progress. I don't want to disappoint my fans.) A man might travel his entire life and never find a place so inviting. EDWARD It's only three lines long.. UNDER A TREE . you'll visit places that seem instantly familiar. EDWARD Norther.. EDWARD (V. NORTHER WINSLOW I've been working on this poem for 12 years. My journey had scarcely begun. EDWARD You're a poet.
BY THE RIVER . I got the snake. As the splashing subsides. Edward looks at what he holds in his hands. It leaves a break in the water. . He stares at himself in the reflection.to. On pure instinct. trying to make sense of it all. It's a cottonmou th. oblivious to his presence. and he doesn't dare move lest he frighten her away. its small reptilian head aiming for her flesh. you could. Which isn't a snake at all. it's okay! I got it. Norther doesn't answer. but rather a common stick. She stands in the river with her bare back to Edward. He smiles.NIGHT By the light of the full moon. Edward is breathless. He swims as hard as can. Edward dives in. And a non -threatening one at that. The Key to the City dangles around his neck. No telling where she came from -. There's no decision to be made.she must have been swimming underwater. squeezing the water out of her golden hair. understandably terrified that a man is coming at her. EXT. Edward soaks his feet in the water. It's the first woman he's seen in her natural state. Just goes back to his notebook. The woman dives back underwater. GRABBING THE SNAKE just as it's about to strike. It's then that a WOMAN emerges at the far side of the river. EDWARD No. Then he sees the snake. We never see her face. has to be. And maybe if you'd seen more.
NIGHT .) There's leeches in there! Edward looks to the ban k. she.. but she never does. EXT... Edward climbs up onto the shore. uh. EDWARD Yeah. He stands alone in the river. BY THE RIVER . No one ever catches her.. it's a fish. .CONTINUOUS A GIRL'S VOICE (O. wondering what tricks his eyes are playing on him. EDWARD Wait! I'm sorry. He never even saw her face. JENNY (matter-of-fact) It's not a woman.S. Edward isn't inclined to follow up on the issue. EDWARD Did you see that woman? JENNY What did she look like? EDWARD Well. somewhere. Hello?! Edward keeps expecting her to surface. Given the day he's had so far. JENNY Was she nekkid? Embarrassed to admit it. He starts to wade back to the bank. He pulls up his pant legs to reveal three shiny leeches clinging to his skin..While Edward ponders his mistake. completely drenched. he looks around to discover that the Girl in the River is gone. back from the dead. My daddy said it looked like the coon dog he had when he was kid. JENNY (CONT'D) Fish looks diff'rent to diff're nt people. where young Jenny Hill is watching him..
EDWARD (a little wary) You're pretty good at arithmetic. MAIN STREET . JENNY How old are you? EDWARD Eighteen. you'll be 28. And that's not much diffe rence at all. The whole town is ther e in celebration of its newest citizen. who finds himself tossed around like a stick caught in a whirlpool. you'll be 48. you'll only be 38. And when I'm 28. Before he can protest.. JENNY I'm eight. Eager to get off this subject. That means when I'm eighteen. From FARMER to BAKER'S WIFE. He starts to work pulling them off. two WOMEN have grabbed him by the arms. Street. huh? EXT. and a small stage has been built at one end to hold FIDDLERS. Lanterns and streamers hang on cables across the street. Still. EXT. pulling him in to dance with them. The resulting dance number seems both choreographed and complete chaos.. though.EDWARD Shoot. he's having a blast. they find . PATH BACK TO TOWN .NIGHT Edward and Jenny walk back. everyone wants to dance with Edward. Edward Bloom.NIGHT As Edward and Jenny approach Main "downtown" has been transformed. Jenny grabs bo th his hands. EDWARD Sure is a lot now. and they spin wildly. JENNY And when I'm 38.
I'm not ready to end up anywhere. JENNY How are you gonna make it without your shoes? EDWARD I suspect it will hurt a lot. But the fact is. Poor Edward Bloom's gone crazy. The townspeople stop dancing. some shaking their heads. Then Mildred cuts in to dance with Edward. . BEAMEN No one's ever left. And if I were to end up here. It's hard to hear over the MUSIC. EDWARD I have to leave. And with that. MILDRED Jenny thinks you're quite a catch. BEAMEN (calling after him) You won't find a better place! EDWARD I don't expect to. A beat. We all do. then he heads for the edge of the crowd. Tonight. Jenny runs to him.Beamen plucks his LAUGHING daughter away to dance with her. She'd tackle him if she could. disbelieving. I'd consider myself lucky. Edward walks down Main Street. EDWARD (not hearing) What? MILDRED I said you're quite a catch! Edward stops dancing. Beamen is there. with Jenny on his shoulders. BEAMEN Why? EDWARD This town is eve rything a man could ask for.
. their spiky crowns bending down to crush him. He leaps up. He SCREAMS up at the night. Scrambling forward.O. THE DARK FOREST . but it will have to do. At first. When I'm really supposed to..JENNY Promise me you'll come back. but the chain finally breaks. But the trees have encircled him. EDWARD I promise. this wasn't the end of my life. After all. until his breath is gone. And then it gets worse. grabbing for his ankles. The trees ahead are moving. Now all the trees are moving to block him. The silver key disappe ars into the mud. the chain holding the Key to the City gets caught. lands and rolls. no man can avoid reaching the end of his life. he looks for a way out. kicking off one tree trunk to grab another one's branches.) As difficult as it was to reach Spectre. He swings off.NIGHT VARIOUS SHOTS: Edward negotiates the thorns in his bare feet. EDWARD (V. it just seems to be the wind blowing the branches. there's no mistaking it: they're trying to block him. He's almost strangled. It's horrible. As he ducks under branches. I was fated to get there eventually. EXT. but as we hear the wood CRACKING and GROANING. With a sudden calm. . It's not good enough. Almost unendurable. Snake-like WHITE ROOTS shoot out of the ground. their dark shapes towering over him in the fla shes of LIGHTNING. Edward keeps walking. EDWARD And then I realized. Someday.
Another lightning FLASH. each CLINK and SCRAPE of a knife or fork resonating.DAY His bare foot steps onto asphalt. THE ROAD . the men start walking down the larger road. Will finally breaks the silence. WILL I don't know if you've seen it. and suddenly the trees are back where they've always been. coming down the larger. SANDRA has a lying shoeless . Although Edward small plate of food in front of him. EXT. Edward is and torn in a muddy puddle. He's exhausted from the trip downstairs. The other three eat awkwardly. but Josephine has some photos in the most recent Newsweek. DINING ROOM . staring up at the rain. paved road. he hasn't touched it. And LAUGHING. with Sandra and Josephine in the middle. KARL What happened to your shoes? Edward looks down at his muddy. CROSSFADE TO: INT.EDWARD (aloud) This isn't how I die. With that. A DEEP VOICE Friend! Edward turns to see KARL to his right. bloody feet. EDWARD They got ahead of me. but determined to maintain the family dinner ritual.NIGHT Edward and Will sit at opposite ends of the table.
A beat. Those parrots talk about everything: politics. movies. JOSEPHINE I spent a week in Morocco for the story. It was incredible. As Will scoops out another ser ving of potatoes. JOSEPHINE (amused) Really. Edward suddenly speaks: EDWARD I don't know if you're aware of this.Really! That's wonderful. you'd hear them speaking the most elaborate French. Dad? EDWARD It's rude to talk about religion. You never know who you're going to offend.NIGHT Will shakes a shopping cart free from the pile -up while his mother checks her list. GROCERY STORE . in their native home of the Congo -they speak only French. fashion everything but religion. Josephine. WILL Why not religion.. But if you were to walk through the jungle.. EDWARD You're lucky to get four words out of them in English. SANDRA We'll have to pick up a copy. AT THE PRODUCE SECTION -- . INT. so you know. EDWARD Oh. WILL Josephine actually went to the Congo last year. Taking the ba it. but African parrots. A beat. All three stop to listen.
Sandra starts to bag string beans. you only see me as your mother. It's exactly the same. She's more amused than annoyed. SANDRA No it's not. Will. and not as someone's wife. And don 't presume things you don't know. (decidedly) You can't honestly say you know him. you both think William Bloom is a very smart man. You can't discount that. and we married -. Just the same as you two. WILL Josephine and I have a lot in common.. we dated.. SANDRA Would you say you understand Josephine? WILL Yes. Your father and I met.we chose each other -because we understood each other on some fundamental level. would you say you understand Dad? SANDRA Of course. But that's a different. (beat) The problem is. WILL How is that possible? I mean. . WILL What I mean is. SANDRA Yes. SANDRA Yes. She moves on to the carrots. WILL Mom. but Will is entering dangerous territory. And I've been his wife longer than I've been your mother. do you really know what's going on in his head? SANDRA Yes. you try to ask him a question and suddenly it's another one of his stories. I do.
with blue jeans and sneakers. Sandra hands Will is approaching with a Newsweek magazine. and I don't feel like I know him at all. You just ended up together. your father has papers in the basement I'd like you to go through. an ATTRACTIVE BLONDE WOMAN in her 50's is getting her change. SANDRA Well. Just remember. she carries herself like a much younger woman. We HOLD ON the woman.WILL True. who tracks Will as he reaches Sandra. .NIGHT Reaching the CASHIER. or just find him attractive? Will notices the gaze. SANDRA I know it's not easy. I wouldn't know what's important. Will racks his brain -. clearly you don't. AT THE CHECKOUT . If you ask me. The woman turns away. With a look. But I'm not the mystery you're trying to solve right now. WILL (distracted) over her coupons. Sandra acknowledges the stakes. But I've known him my whole life. Mom. I always have. Or ever will. Two checkstands over. She accidentally makes eye contact with Will as he passes. Though she's Sandra's generation. it's a wonder parents and children can stand each other at all. It's hard to read her reaction: does she recognize him. he didn't choose to be your father and you didn't choose to be his son. INT.does he know this woman? SANDRA Before I forget. You could pick numbers out of a dark bag and it'd be just the same. WILL But I understand you.
Edward lies asleep on his back. GUEST BEDROOM . SANDRA (no idea) Was she one of your teachers? WILL No. just a wash of background chatter. though.Mom. She smiles. She reaches over Edward to switch off the radio. the RADIO on the nightstand is playing a call -in AM sports show. CASHIER Never seen her before. Sandra looks. But it's weird. the Blonde Woman turns again. EDWARD (playfully lecherous) Hello. JOSEPHINE What were you dreaming about? . He stirs from the silence -he wasn't fully asleep -. JOSEPHINE Hi. Turned low. At the window. semi-casually. SANDRA (to the cashier) Do you know who that is? The Cashier turns to look.NIGHT A portable fan quietly WHIRRS in the corner. INT. How are you feeling? EDWARD I was dreaming. After a be at. Noticing that both Will and Sandra are looking. She seemed to recognize me.and sees Josephine stretched over him. Josephine quietly lowers the shade. she smiles a little before taking her cart to leave. He can only get a profile as the woman leaves. do you know who that is? Blonde hair. Pretty.
"Your Daddy is going to die." I was so scared I woke up my parents. his strength returning.He tries to recollect. But finally I told my father." (beat) Well. Wasn't three weeks later that the crow came back to me in a dream and said. but I could see there was trepidation. portentous? She shakes her head. he wasn't himself. young boy with that kind of power. EDWARD Terrible for her. but think about me. he went into town early and was gone for a long time. He sits up a bit in bed." Well. But the next morning. Josephine motions. EDWARD I don't us ually remember unless they're especially portentous. He said to . but it's already gone. that next morning my Grampa was dead. And he said not to worry. EDWARD Means when you dream about something that's going to happen. just those words: your Daddy is going to die. he looked terrible. My father said. waiting for something to drop on his head. I didn't have another dream. Gramps is fine. EDWARD For the next couple weeks. JOSEPHINE That's terrible. to go back to bed. but I could tell he was rattled. And true enoug h. Until one night the crow came back and said. my Aunt Stacy was dead. (beat. Because the crow didn't tell how it was going to happen. You know what that word means. "Your Aunt is going to die. I had a dream where this crow came and told me. always looking arou nd. no. They told me it was just a dream. And when he finally came back. like he was waiting for the axe to fall all day. Well. I didn't know wh at to do. I ran right back to my parents. "Your Grampa is going to die. gathering) Like one night. That next day. is it okay for her to sit on the bed? He nods.
which gets him smiling too.. a bit more of a laugh. EDWARD They were squeezing the cheese. I understand. Just look . he stops. With that. As Edward continues. Licking the popsicle. EDWARD Because see. my mother was banging the milkman. she can't help but laugh harder. Then.my mother. She regains her composure. Clanking the bottles. EDWARD Spooning the sherbet. She's start ing to cry from laughing. "Good God. EDWARD Cracking the eggs and making an omelet." she said. especially as the metaphors get more vulgar. Splashing milk in her box. deadpan. "This morning the milkman dropped dead on the porch!" Josephine smiles. He was making deliveries around back. EDWARD He was slipping her a little extra cream. EDWARD He was buttering her rolls. a half -laugh. JOSEPHINE (interrupting) Can I take your picture? EDWARD You don't need a picture. Pumping her churn. I just had the worst day of my life." (beat) "You think you've had a bad day. A long beat.. JOSEPHINE No. EDWARD He was filling her basket. JOSEPHINE Stop. She nods.
MATCH CUT TO: . we settle on the whirling fan. She was engaged to somebody else. it's not a short one. EDWARD Will never told you that? (she shakes her head) Probably just as well. a flash of pain. JOSEPHINE (O. Edward smiles. JOSEPHINE Please? He rolls his eyes. JOSEPHINE Oh.) I have photos from the wedding to show you. All the facts and none of the flavor. trying to push through it. JOSEPHINE (loading film) I never knew. Around others.S. EDWARD That's because we didn't have a wedding. doing a good job masking the pain. A devilish smile. heading down the hall to get her camera. JOSEPHINE I want to see pictures of your wedding. he's hiding how much it hurts. Pushing past Edward. She returns with her camera. Josephine leaves. Edward grimaces. Your mother -in-law was never supposed to marry me. I've never seen any. He controls his breathing.up handsome in the dictionary. so this is a tall tale? EDWARD Well. We STAY WITH Edward in bed. I had an extra print made. There's a great one of you and my father. why not. but alone we can see how bad it is. He would have told it all wrong anyway.
you may think you've seen the unusual.O. we spot Edward. He's still carryin g the backpack we saw earlier. EDWARD (V. His fellow workers called him El Penumbra -. and was on my way to discover my destiny. the circus' owner -andringmaster AMOS CALLOWAY (50) approaches the stands. AMOS When I found this man . He may only be four feet tall.) I had just left Ashton. Joining the cr owd. and let me tell you.The Shadow -because when you were working beside him. 20 ish. AMOS Ladies and Gentlemen. INT. But I've travelled to the five corners of the world. . CARNIES start rolling a massive ball towards the crowd. I explored every opportunity that presented itself. and scratched up from his trip through Spectre. he was picking oranges in Florida.NIGHT A troupe of STILT -WALKING FIREBREATHERS finishes their act to tremendous APPLAUSE.. As the performers clear away. EXT. From behind Amos. being carried towards a big -top tent. Not knowing what that would be exactly.where the second -rate carnival is parked for the moment in an Alabama field. I had to pay his crew boss $10. BIG TOP . He could take a whole tree in his hands and shake off the fruit. but Amos has a titanic presence. OLYMPIA CIRCUS . he heads into the big -top..NIGHT ..000 just so I could take him with me. I've never seen anything like this.SPINNING PINWHEEL held by a LITTLE BOY. We are. he blocked out the daylight. halfway through a bag of peanuts. He's slumped over his FATHER's shoulder. You may think you've seen the bizarre.. To the left.
Some reach out to touch him. a YOUNG BOY's Colossus walks down the row. This is COLOSSUS. Finally. a quieter moment. Ma'am. A tight spotlight follows him. a second foot breaks out. (she trembles) But he won't. As the drum beat intensifies. we look up to see just how massive he is. In the stands. Ladies and Gentlemen. AMOS Not to alarm you. he could crush your head between his toes. A moment. A foot suddenly bursts out from within. letting the crowd get a better look at him. From a very LOW ANGLE. That foot is massive. Colossus passes Edward. Shoulders. because he's our own Gentle Giant.Amos comes up to a MIDDLE -AGED WOMAN in the first row. I give you Colossus! The carnies back away fr om the ball as a deep DRUM ROLL begins. who seems unimpressed. Edward looks closer. With his shaved head and giant club. GASPS from the crowd. Intrigued. But if this man wanted to. He leans with the spotlight. . WHISTLING to get the big man's attention. folks. He seems to fill the Heavens. where his friend is sitting on the dir t -KARL THE GIANT stands up. Followed by hands. In the bandstands. then the ball starts to bulge from inside. he seems more ogre than man. (a long beat) He's not going to hurt her. so big the spotlight has to widen just to hold jaw drops in awe. He points to the edge of the stands. the head. revealing faces in the crowd. disbelieving.
AMOS Tell me Karl . ANGLE ON Colossus. She's wearing a blue dress and hat. EDWARD (V.him. stunned.NIGHT / LATER As the stands empty.O. Edward notices a BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN (16) leaving with her family. And I met mine. CUT TO: INT. flames locked in place. INT. The two make eye contact.NIGHT . Edward and Karl talk to Amos. have you ever heard of the term "involuntary servitude?" Karl shakes his head. she looks back at Edward. AMOS "Unconscionable contract?" Nope. A fiery baton remains mid -twirl. That's fantastic. KARL Karl. realizing the gig is up. And as they do. Almost. BIG-TOP . A -- . AMOS What's his name? Does he talk? It's not important. along with nervous anticipation what will happen next? ANGLE ON Amos.CONTINUOUS As Amos pulls Karl aside to give him the hard sell. great. all motion FREEZES. AMOS Great. megaphone dangling. BIG TOP . he rests his club on his shoulder and walks away into the shadows. There's a GASP from the crowd. He's a good foot taller than Colossus.) It was on that night Karl met his destiny. With a resigned shrug. Fo r no good reason.
What they don't tell you. CROSSFADE TO: THE EMPTY LOT Colossus is thumbing for a ride.spilled box of popcorn hangs in mid -air. running down the rows. DIRT PARKING LOT . the love of his life. Amos hands off the contract to a CLOWN. winding his way between the frozen bodies. each kernel like a snowflake. Not finding her. Suddenly.) They say when you meet the love of your life.NIGHT Amos leans over so Karl can sign a contract on his back. BIG-TOP . Now it's Edward who's frozen. EDWARD (V. And that's true. AMOS Hey kid! Your friend just made himself a star. pickup truck arms to get closer . Only Edward is free to move. time stops. ducking underneath and closer to this woman. Mr. Soggybottom. The crowd becomes a blur. is that once time starts again. The last stops and lets him climb in back.O.NIGHT Edward checks in windows as cars pull out. helpless in time. it moves extra fast to catch up. He spots Edward walking back into the tent. Even the elephant is mid -poop. searching for his fated love. everything RUSHES. He'll never find that girl. (INTRODUCING) My attorney. EXT. and the young woman is lost in its wake. EDWARD That's great. As the truck pulls out. INT. it passes a dejected Edward. he becomes more frantic.
Mr. kid? I haven't seen a customer so depressed since the elephant sat on that farmer's wife. AMOS What's the matter with you. (realizing) Let me guess.EDWARD Good to meet you. then waddles off. EDWARD Who is she? Where does she live? AMOS Kid. She's out of your league. Real pretty. As Amos starts to walk away. That or die alone. Friends of the family. blonde hair. blue hat? EDWARD Yes! AMOS I know her uncle. (beat) Get it? "Depressed?" Karl chuckles. Most men have to get married before they lose their wives. Edwar d hurries to catch up with him. AMOS Tough break. I know it. kid. AMOS See! The big guy likes it. Karl follows as well. But then I lost her. Soggybottom HONKS his horn. EDWARD I just saw the woman I'm going to marry. Don't waste your time. EDWARD (with absolute conviction) I'm going to spend the rest of my life looking for her. EDWARD What do you mean? You don't even . AMOS Jesus.
I'm going to find that girl and marry her and spend the rest of my life with her.know me. I do. Take my advice and go back to Puddleville. and you won't have to pay me. where no backpack is to be found. you were a big fish in a small pond. You'll be happy there. but I have more determination than any man you're ever going to meet. What the hell. I'll tell you one thing about her. Amos smiles. you got squat. AMOS Kid. That's my final offer. And I may not have much. EDWARD (realizing) Someone stole my backpack. kid. You were hot shit back in Hickville. EDWARD I don't have a job. You don't have a job. EDWARD Wait. . EDWARD I've got a whole backpack full of clothes! He points to the bleachers. You said I don't have a plan. AMOS Every month you work for me. He shrugs. You don't have anything but the clothes on your back. Edward stops him. You don't have a plan. AMOS Sure I do. Amos takes a long look at him. This here is the ocean. EDWARD I'll work night and day. but here in the real world. there's no way he can say no. and you're drowning. AMOS Sorry. I don't do charity. You just have to tell me who she is. Getting in front of Amos. Ultimately. but I would have a job if you gave me one. amused.
and as we PULL BACK. EDWARD (V. where he's unwittingly stepped in front of a line of motorized birds. We move into a MONTAGE: INT. Which makes Edward antsier. throwing him up and away.DAY Edward chases a costumed pig. Edward mans the whirling amusement park rid e. Edward is dead. EDWARD (V. EXT. I'd go three days without stopping to eat.Edward shakes Amos's hand before he can retract the offer. we see why: he's holding it in a MASSIVE LION's open mouth. tripping over tent cords. falling in the mud. EXT. To the left. The CROWD applauds. FIELD . I did everything Mr.O. His head is tilted to the side. smiling nervously.DAY His eyes droopy from lack of sleep. BIG TOP CENTER RING . Edw ard falls backward. One of the Hydra cars hits him square in the gut. sailing 200 feet through the air. The beast's sharp teeth are just poking his skin. THE HYDRA . CUSTOMERS are shooting with rifles. and four days without sleeping. He dodges four SHOTS that knock down the birds around him. Nodding off. If the lion so much as flinches. Calloway asked. .O. His hunt leads him through the back of a tent. and a lot of things he didn't.NIGHT CLOSE ON Edward. which makes the lion antsy. into the path of the spinning arms.) The only thing that kept me going was the promise of meeting the girl who would be my wife.) From that moment on.
AMOS This girl. Amos stops..DAY Karl the Giant bandages Edward's arm as well as he can.O. a smile on his face.NIGHT CLOSE ON Edward. He walks away. Amos is walking past . We PUSH IN on Edward. He goes back to shoveling. EDWARD (V. lost in qu iet reverie. STABLES .NIGHT [CONTINUOUS] . But all he can think about is. EDWARD (to himself) Daffodils! The wonder of it. EDWARD Daffodils. (to Karl) Daffodils! INT. enraptured by the concept. hitting him in the shoulder. Finally. EXT. BIG TOP . INT.DAY Edward shovels shit in the nastiest stables you've ever seen.) True to his word.He catches his breath. every month Amos would tell me something new about the woman of my dreams. A DARK PLACE .. looks at the young man. pondering his latest bit of information.. INT. the love of your life. Then a half -blind OLD WOMAN pulls her trigger.. Her favorite flower is daffodils. Calloway! It's been a month today... BEHIND A TENT . lucky. EDWARD Mr. EDWARD College! She's going to college! A sudden EXPLOSION as Edward is shot.
I like music too! EDWARD (V.) Over the months.. EXT. EDWARD Mr. they roll across the dirt. then the door handle b egins to RATTLE. Suddenly.NIGHT Under a full moon. A lot. Calloway! It's Edward Bloom. I need to talk to you. Edward turns the knob. Mr. and not where to find her.NIGHT Under a full moon. the door BURSTS OPEN. biggest you've ever seen. Blocking with an arm. STABLES . but not her name. I learned a lot about the woman I was going to marry.hold on tight. Edward feeds the animals. there's MOANING coming from inside. A beat. The other nearby CARNIES scatter for cover.O. But Edward KNOCKS anyway . Suddenly. It has green glowing eyes and a lick of fire for a tongue.. its mouth snapping at his throat. That time had come.it has hands instead of paws . the rocking and moaning stop.out of a giant cannon. INT. Edward tries to push himself free. Soggybottom pulls a revolver out of his clown suit. Loads a silver bullet. I couldn't wait any longer. Edward is knocked down by a massive black dog. Not just that. EDWARD (to himself) Music! She likes music. Edward wrestles with the beast.. and is about to knock when he notices it's rocking. It seems to be stuck. Entwined. AMOS CALLOWAY'S TRAILER . Edward walks up to the battered camper. . but the creature's hands -.
He finds only a small stick. and lacking in the social niceties. Edward throws the stick as far as he can. Licking its chops. The dog bounds after it.PRE-DAWN Exhausted from playing fetch all night. It bounces excitedly. He rolls to his feet. At the last moment. ready for another leap. Seeing an opportunity. looking for some kind of weapon. aiming the revolver at the dog. Like magic.. knocking him down. GROWLING. who feels the ground around him. It returns a beat later w ith the flaming stick. The carnies GASP. Its tail whips back and forth. Edward throws the stick again. The hell hound squares back on its haunches. FIELD . wait! Edward moves just as Mr. the dog approaches the helpless Edward. the dog's whole demeanor changes. ready to play fetch. ready to strike it. SMASHING DOWN THREE CARS. EDWARD No. He waves it at the dog. The dog takes off in a new direction. Soggybottom FIRES. EDWARD It was that night I discovered that most things you consi der evil or wicked are simply lonely. Edward throws the . The bullet catches Edward in the shoulder. which it drops at Edward's feet. TRANSITION TO: EXT.. Mr.Edward finally succeeds in throwing the beast off. Soggybottom sheds a clown tear.
Edward tosses him his jacket to cover his privates. but I think one of them was already dead. It's gone for a long time. INT. He still has the stick in his mouth.) After saying my go odbyes. WOODS . AMOS Didn't kill anything. A beat. you got a lot of. You may not have much. so you better hurry. EDWARD Thank you. AMOS That would explain the indigestion.DAY Edward shakes Karl's giant hand. but what you got. did I? EDWARD A few rabbits. EDWARD There's only one I want. AMOS I was wrong about you kid.DAWN Amos Calloway stands up behind a bush. long enough that Edward becomes concerned. buck naked and hairy. which he takes out as Edward approaches. Edward walks away. He follows it into the woods. BIG TOP . AMOS Her name is Sandra Templeton. Then starts running.O. Amos sits down and scratches his ear with his foot. kid. EXT. The semester's almost over. EDWARD (V. She's going to Auburn. They hug. The still -spry dog goes after it. AMOS Good luck. He has to get there as soon as possible. You could get any girl.stick into the woods. I hopped three trains to get to Auburn that .
I knew that from the first moment I saw you at the circus. overwhelmed. now. Through the crack we can see the edge of a YOUNG WOMAN. it could be any era. It's the mid -1960's. just out of the package. He half laughs. He changes out of his grubby shirt into a new one. had my ribs broken twice. and to finally get to talk to you. but my name is Edward Bloom and I am in love with you.. She's effortlessly beautiful. talking in hushed tones with another girl we can't see. SORORITY HOUSE . . nervous. EXT..DAY Edward stands with a bouquet of daffodils in front of a halfopen door. but by the conservative dress of the passing STUDENTS. Finally. ON SANDRA. And I know it now more than ever. but it's all worth it to see you here. pure and simple as sunlight. EDWARD Don't need to apologize to me. That makes her laugh. He can't believe he's finally reached her. AUBURN UNIVERSITY . not sure what's going on.afternoon.. The door opens to reveal the woman of Edward's dreams.. SANDRA I'm sorry. to find Edward Bloom dunking his head in the fountain. EDWARD You don't know me. Sandra Kay Templeton. I've been shot and stabbed and trampled a few times. I'm the luckiest person you're going to find today. Because I am destined to marry you. I mean. All she can finally think of to say is. a decision is reached. EXT. I've spent the last three years working to find out who you are.DAY We DESCEND ON the main quad.
SORORITY HOUSE . He tries to suppress the reaction. SANDRA But you're wrong. He turns and walks down the front steps. Congratulations. baseball and basketball highlights. With all the strength he can muster. ATHLETIC COMPETITIONS 93 Recapping earlier football. I'm engaged to be married. I.She puts her hand on the door frame. CREEPY OLD HOUSE .. I do know you.THE DOORWAY Edward is dumbstruck. But eventually she goes back inside.. BACK TO: EXT/INT. feeling genuinely horrible for what's happened.S. I'm actually engaged to a boy from Ashton. EDWARD Oh.NIGHT Young Don Price shines his flashlight on Edward. See. put on a brave front. . we find Edward beats Don every time. ON EDWARD as his heart falls 20 floors. SANDRA No I'm sorry.THE GATE . He was a few years older than you. VARIOUS H. THE STREET CORNER / ASHTON PARADE A smoking Don Price crushes his cigarette as Edward leaves town. EDWARD Well. we see a diamond. Edward Bloom from Ashton. She stays in the doorway for a few beats. On her left ring finger. FLASHCUTS TO: EXT.. at least by reputation. Don Price.. I'm sorry to have bothered you. We hear GIGGLES from inside as her sorority sisters get to the bottom of this.
Written on the projector is "I Love Sandra Templeton.DAY The tweedy ECONOMICS PROFESSOR continues his explanation. LECTURE HALL . Edward steps back INTO FRAME. He switches on the overhead projector without looking at it. There's a TITTER from the STUDENTS. and that only a fool would continue. We CIRCLE as he shouts: EDWARD Sandra Templeton! I love you! And I am going to marry you! INT.) Fate has a cruel way of circling around on you. looking at the sorority house. Is this guy crazy? INT. It's not funny. A classmate nudges Sandra. that the ship has sailed. He EXITS FRAME. EDWARD (V. After all this work to leave Ashton.) There's a time when a man needs to fight.O. who looks up. SORORITY HOUSE FOYER .SANDRA Stop it. Sandra isn't paying a lot of attention. tears just starting to form.O. EDWARD (V. the girl I loved was now engaged to one of its biggest jerks. leaving only the sorority house in the background.O. I've always been a fool. We LEAD Edward as he walks away. and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny is lost." She's horrified and . That poor boy.) The truth is. EDWARD (V. but he doesn't notice.DAY Sandra and her SISTERS peer out through the curtains. A beat.
a just -woken Sandra looks out the second-story window to find the lawn filled with TEN THOUSAND DAFFODILS. The professor finally notices what's written there. SANDRA How did you get so many? EDWARD I called everywhere in five states and explained this was the only way I could get my wife to marry me. EDWARD I have the rest of my life to find out. He's waited there six hours. joyful and scared. We look up to the blue sky. SANDRA'S BEDROOM . EXT. She wipes it off. QUAD . where a giant sky -written heart floats in the wind.DAY Sandra walks out to him. SANDRA Daffodils? EDWARD They're your favorite flower. She's smiling.[THE NEXT] MORNING At her Sisters' prompting. confused.DAY Walking with her books. SORORITY HOUSE . INT. STUDENTS are coming out to see the display. From down the street. EXT. Edward stands amid the sea of flowers. Out of nowhere. a tear drops down Sandra's cheek. All down Greek Street. Sandra shakes her head..excited at the same time. A MAN'S VOICE Sandra! . disbelieving.. SANDRA You don't even know me.
O. fraternity -proud muscle. Skynyrd -loving. I swear to it. A gang of his BROTHERS walk behind him. The adult DON PRICE arrives.SANDRA It's Don. He's 230 pounds of footballplaying. Don shrugs. Don Price decks him. Then proceeds to kick Edward's ass nine ways to Sunday. Bloom? Too scared to fight back? EDWARD I promised I wouldn't. A beat. Don slugs him again. DON PRICE Bloom! EDWARD Don. we INTERCUT WITH: . it was Don Price who was ultimately defeated. Promise me you won't hurt him. Mine! EDWARD I didn't know she belonged to anybody. SANDRA Stop it! DON PRICE (ignoring) What the matter. EDWARD (V.) While I took the beating of a lifetime. DON PRICE What the hell are you doing? This is my girl. EDWARD If that's what you want. And he's pissed. knocking him down. but makes no move to defend himself. As the ass -whupping continues. Edward gets right back up. fine. Unfazed.
Sandra pulls off her engagement ring. MATCH CUT TO: EXT.DAY The thrashing continues. his mind reeling. . whose eyes are swollen almost shut. ready to be knocked down again. Don stands stunned. he grasps his chest and collapses face -first on the tile. THE SORORITY HOUSE . SANDRA Don! Don is about to slug Edward again when he turns. There's an audible AHH! from her sisters.DAY [FLASHFORWARD] Sitting on the can. his heart wasn't strong enough. RETURNING BACK TO: EXT. Don Price pinches a loaf while reading the new Playboy. Edward somehow fights his way back to his feet. trying to shit the unshittable. and an OHH! from Don's brothers. WITCH'S HOUSE / GATE . A beat. keeps waiting for the next punch. Where is it? What's going on? DON PRICE What. Don Price squeezes down hard. EDWARD (V.NIGHT [FLASHBACK] The same image of Don's dead face on the tile is reflected in The Eye.O. Edward. You love this guy? SANDRA He's almost a stranger and I prefer him to you. FRATERNITY HOUSE BATHROOM . Suddenly.) All the physical activity had worsened a congenital valve defect. SANDRA I will never marry you.INT. Put simply.
) As it turned out. his teeth bloody. we suddenly. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY . reaches the top of the stairs. While he's drinking. Another beat.O.NIGHT [CONTINUOUS] Will. but Josephin e already has it for him. Sandra was able to keep her same date at the chapel. He reaches for his glass of water. EDWARD Well.. thirstier than he imagined. but there was a complication.) Is it the medicine that's making you .She hands him the ring. GUEST ROOM .. She watches him while he slowly drinks the entire glass. we CRANE UP above the flowered battlefield. SANDRA How can I convince you to stop? EDWARD Go out with me. CUT TO: INT. CUT TO: INT. JOSEPHINE (O. As the MUSIC reaches a crescendo. But not before decking Edward one last time. we were all set to. we.NIGHT [PRESENT] JOSEPHINE I thought you said you didn't have a church wedding.. He hears voices coming from the bedroom.. His head lies on the daffodils. back from the grocery store. As the crowd of students APPLAUDS and CHEERS. He smiles. Only the groom had changed.S. then Don storms off. EDWARD (V. SANDRA Okay. Sandra leans over Edward's broken body.
The door is open a few inches. JOSEPHINE (gently) You were talking about your wedding. but not exactly announcing his presence. Will quietly approaches the door. EDWARD During the four weeks I was in the hospital. Edward sorts through a big bag of mail with help from Sandra. H e rips open an official looking .S. I was just working on a tangent. The thing about working for a circus is you don't have a regular address. HOSPITAL . the postmaster finally caught up with me. letting him look in on his father and his wife. they'll tell a story straight through. most men.. He doesn't let the moment linger with undue sentimentality. See. I've been thirsty my whole life. There's a story to be told. EDWARD I didn't forget. but it won't be interesting either. letting himself listen to the story one more time. and after three years I had a lot of undelivered mail. not exactly sneaking. In the hallway. INT.) Truth is. JOSEPHINE I like you r stories.thirsty? EDWARD (O. INTERCUT HALLWAY / BEDROOM EDWARD There was one time when I was eleven. Never really known why. EDWARD Now. and it won't be complicated.. EDWARD And I like you.DAY Bruised and bandaged. Will shifts to a new position.
but he's stuck. with the hope of getting my time down to less than a year. . Looking down. Edward jumps from the plane. EDWARD (V.. and having waited three years just to meet Sandra. He twists and struggles.S. Edward gets t o work cutting through the cable. Reading it.NIGHT A THOUSAND CHINESE SOLDIERS sit. Edward squats with a dozen other SOLDIERS. ARMY AIRPLANE . It finally POPS. OUTSIDE STAGE . So I took every hazardous assignment I could find.O. The JUMP LEADER yells.. trying to free himself. FLUTE and DRUM. their chutes clipped to a main line. . I knew I couldn't survive being away from her that long. A CHINESE VENTRILOQUIST is on stage with his Communist puppet. but Edward is engrossed in an Asian phrasebook. Digging a knife out of his pocket.. but every act is fundamentally the same.. Government..) A hitch in the Army was up to three years at that point.O. The noise of the ENGINES is deafening. His cord is caught up in the assembly. he can see the white parachutes disappearing into the darkness.letter. We have no idea what they're saying to each other. INT. show.S. They're already long gone. JUMP LEADER GO! GO! GO! One by one the men jump out. When his time comes. bored..NIGHT With a buzz cut and paratrooper gear. the rest of my body belonged to the U. EXT. EDWARD (V. watching the equivalent of a U. his face drops.O. Edward leaps.) It turned out that while my heart belonged to Sandra. music rising to a military cadence.
The two men begin to SCUFFLE. He's helpless. UP ON THE CATWALK. The lights go out as a DRUM ROLL begins. MUSIC starts. The Emcee makes a "shoot him in the neck" motion to one of the ARMED GUARDS off -stage. She knows what they want. He lands with a CLANG on the lighting catwalk above the stage. Edward is surprised by an ENEMY SOLDIER. Every one of them would kill him. Sometimes it's so bad.NIGHT We LOOK DOWN with Edward. The Ventriloquist protests. she wants to explode.The EMCEE comes on to usher him off the stage before he's finished. a vampy torch song. HIGH ABOVE THE STAGE . She stands with her hips turned in profile. He's the legless cricket left on the anthill. disconnecting his chute just as the curtain goes up. who is drifting right for the stage. WHISTLING and HOLLERING. She's as gorgeous a woman as you'll ever see. He can't steer. A ROAR from the soldiers. The soldiers are on their feet. PING Sometimes a girl can feel so alone Without a lo ver to call her own. a BLAST of fireworks from the sides of the stage. EXT. But then. but finally gives in. Edward looks out at the sea of excited soldiers. EXT. ON STAGE The curtain rises to reveal PING (27) at a microphone. He barely grabs on. dress cut to reveal skin. Ping sings melody while an off-stage voice carries perfect harmony. It's just enough cover for Edward to remain unseen. Her body is a knockout. Wants to grab the first man she sees and tear off his clothes. .
Ping turns. Cried double the tears. For the first time. They are two separate women who join at the waist. Edward jumps for a pole on the far side of the catwalk. Two times the bad times in half the years. but she has needs. does a double -take. Because that girl.Still fighting. who's been singing harmony all this time. PING Say hello. the two men are still fighting. Jing. His determined o pponent follows him down. Edward sees the twins from behind. one set of perfect legs beneath them. No. She needs a special special different unusual man. She has wants. She's Jing. sliding down it to end up BACKSTAGE. She's the good one. Backstage. PING (CONT'D) But she won't. because I've got Twice the love to give. I need a strong man. PING (speaking) Any of you got needs? The soldiers ROAR LOUDER. Ping is one -half of SIAMESE TWINS. JING Hello Jing. . she can't. It costs him a punch to the jaw. and now we see why she was standing in profile. PING (to the crowd) I'm Ping. PING (chorus) I've had twice the adventure. Her identical twin is JING. Who looks like me. STOMPING on the bleachers.
The Emcee yells for the Guards to search. Ping HUFFS. their backs forming the curves.(closer) I'm the bad one. JING You weren't alone. their arms forming the arches. As the MUSIC builds towards the climax. knocking the guard out with a right hook. Jing reaches into her cleavage to pull out her eyeglasses. PING How could you miss your cue? You make me look like a fool. out there alone. sweet and bookish. subtitled. their personalities become quite ap parent: Ping is brash. bitchy and ambitious. INT. they strike a final pose in the shape of a heart. trying to get away. In Chinese. they start to change outfits. revealing EDWARD'S PARACHUTE. DRESSING ROOM . while Jing is quiet. ON STAGE Ping has no idea what's happening. At the closet. Ping and Jing shut the door to their dressing room. The curtain slowly lowers. She GASPS. The soldiers are SHOUTING for an encore. As Ping and Jing reach the last chorus. Jing reaches deeper into the closet to find a new dress. replaced by a concerned RUMBLE. lighters waving. .. Edward finishes the fight. Edward slips behind curtains. The APPLAUSE dies. Off -stage. turning her back on her sister.. exposing Edward's hiding place.NIGHT As ARMED GUARDS search the halls below the stage. Ping turns to look.
I need your help. Jing wipes away a tear. this love was my salvation. Hearing the story. It's Sandra.PING Who the hell are you? EDWARD (in Chinese) I'm not going to hurt you. EDWARD Please.) We put together an elaborate plan for escape. It was destined to be. A rifle-toting GUARD looks in.. As it had always been. Even Ping is a little affected.) Over the next hour. CROSSFADE TO: VARIOUS SHOTS EDWARD (V. and the ordeal that brought me before them. PING Damn right you're not. but it's too late. PING What makes you think we'll help you? Edward pulls a photo out of his flak jacket. a hand over her mouth.. (yelling) GUARD! Jing grabs her. Pretending to be her bitchy sister -- JING Tell your men not to bother us! And lock that door! The guard obeys. involving a whaling ship to Russia. he finds. Ping shakes her sister off. We all knew it would be dangerous. I described my love for Sandra Kay Templeton. dirty canoe to Miami. Still subtitled: . a barge to Cuba and a small. Desperately flipping through his Asian phrasebook.O.O. EDWARD (V.
) And so it was no surprise that the Army believed I was dead. watching the shadow ripple across the white fabric. EDWARD (V. Sandra had gotten over the worst of the nightmares.PING And what are we supposed to do when we get to America? EDWARD I can get you bookings.DAY Sandra hangs sheets to dry on the clotheslines. JING Bob Hope? EDWARD Bigger. there was no way to send a message back to America. BEHIND THE TEMPLETON HOUSE . forming a tunnel of fabric.O. hoping for a letter from Edward. Sandra looks up to see A MAN'S SILHOUETTE on the sheet in front of her.) And so the twins and I began our arduous journey halfway around the world. When a car drove past. blowing so softly in the . TEMPLETON FAMILY HOUSE . I know the biggest man in show business. Two ARMY OFFICERS get out. The pain of her shout makes church bells RING. When the phone rang.) After four months. EDWARD (V. Hearing the news. EDWARD (V. TRANSITION TO: EXT. Sandra CRIES OUT. She freezes. she didn't get up to check out the window. Pulling a dress out of the basket. she didn't thin k it was somehow me calling her. A black car pulls up. EXT. Unfortunately.O.O.DAY Sandra checks the mail.
Will is watching her. It is destiny. INT.DAY .. Legs entangling. A beat. With all the strength she can gather. she kisses him. she hangs up that dress and digs another one out of the basket. He's been up for a while. She GASPS. WILL Did you? A look to say. WILL . She knows it can't be him. Neither wants to get up.. but his hand is real. We are actually. JOSEPHINE I talked with your father last night. should I be worried? JOSEPHINE You never told me how your parents met. We're under the covers.where the couple stays cocoone d under the sheets. Looking up. JOSEPHINE What about the details? How they fell in love. He's dead.. where a man's hand traces the curves of a woman's bare back. WILL AND JOSEPHINE'S ROOM . Without another moment's hesitation. a kind of limbo. disbelieving. then she turns over in bed. A kiss good morning. revealing her to be JOSEPHINE. just waking up. You never told me any of that..breeze. She blinks slowly. The Circus. She turns away. WILL They met at Auburn. CROSSFADE TO: BRIGHT SUNLIGHT filters through soft sheets. The War. she sees not a shadow but Edward himself standing before her.
He moves his hea d out from under the sheet. JOSEPHINE But it's romantic.. maybe he likes that second life better. Or maybe there is no family. he goes to them. When I was growing up. WILL Look. But whatever it is.That's because most of it never happened. another family. he was gone more than he was here.. what. And the reason he tells all those stories is because he can't stand this bor ing place. I . what? WILL Mmm. WILL (non-committal) Mmm. I know why you like him. WILL What is "true?" I've never heard my father say a single true thing. JOSEPHINE (repeating) Do you love him? Will doesn't want to answer yes or no. A beat. I know better than to argue romance with a French woman. JOSEPHINE But it's not true. Off her silence. With another house." JOSEPHINE Do you love your father? WILL Everyone lov es my father. He's a very likeable guy. She follows him to the "outside. Maybe he never w anted a family. He leaves us. And I started thinking -maybe he has a second life somewhere else. JOSEPHINE Mmm. WILL You have to understand.
For his part. Edward is startled. WILL (interruptin g) Yes. which attracted the flies. Edward is looking better.know why everyone likes him. Certainly not recovered. WILL (interrupting) Dad? EDWARD . We heard it. which got stuck to it and flew off with the whole car. JOSEPHINE You're not. You see.DAY The family finishes eating breakfast off T V trays set up around the bed. but there's an optimism to his expression. WILL I need you on my side. JOSEPHINE I am always on your side. EDWARD (re: Josephine) I think someone hasn't. And I think you should talk to him. He watches as Sandra puts the cap back on the syrup.. WILL The maple tree and the Buick.. spilling the syrup. But I need you to tell me I'm not crazy. EDWARD (undeterred) But the real story is how I got the car. GUEST ROOM . A beat. JOSEPHINE The tree fell on the car. he's actually hungry. And for the first time. EDWARD Did I ever tell you about how... INT.
. The women clearly want this to happen. only they didn't count on an elephant being frozen inside. JOSEPHINE I'll help you. The other 90 percent is below the water where you can't see it. WILL (interrupting) Dad! EDWARD What? WILL I'm trying to make a metaphor here. And that's what it is with you Dad. I'm only seeing this little bit that sticks above the water. Because people want to answer questions. "The thing about icebergs is.Son? WILL Can we talk? Sandra SNAPS the cap back on the syrup.. They were hauling it down to Texas for drinking water. You should have started with." WILL (frustrated) The thing about icebergs is you only see 10 percent of them. It settles for a beat after they leave. you're seeing down to my nose? My chin? . Will and Edward both smile. The woolly kind. EDWARD (joking) What. EDWARD Then you shouldn't have started with a question. Dad? EDWARD Do I? I saw an iceberg once. Both women quickly gather plates. A mammoth. WILL Do you know much about icebergs. SANDRA I'm going to get started on dishes.
It would kill me if he went through his whole life ne ver understanding me. And the thing is. You tell amusing lies. angry and disbelieving. That's all I do. And if you can't see that. And then when I realized that everything you said was impossible -everything! -. Just as charming and just as fake. EDWARD You think I'm fake. WILL You tell lies. Will? Who do you want me to be? WILL Yourself. EDWARD It would kill you. not mine. I'm about to have a kid of my own here. Stories are what you tell a five-year old at bedtime. I believed you. it's your failing.WILL I have no idea who you are because you have never told me a single fact. BACKYARD . Dad. huh? Finally -EDWARD What do you want. Edward looks away. everything. EDWARD I've told you a thousand facts. They 're not elaborate mythologies you maintain when your son is ten and fifteen and twenty and thirty. Just show me who you are for once. WILL Dad. You were like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny combined. I believed your stories so much longer than I should have. EXT. EDWARD I have been nothing but myself since the day I was born.DAY . bad. WILL Only on the surface.I felt like such a fool to have trusted you. But that's all I've ever seen. I tell stories. Good. Will.
an underwater shape RIPPLES against the water's surface.DAY The doors open to reveal Sandra. With a HISS. INT. Sandra leads Will to a roll -top desk. Two beaten metal file cabinets sit beside it. Frankensteinian lawnmowers. which disappears into the murky water. a neighbor's cat makes a run for it. relieved that no one saw that. Will is so startled that he drops the pole. A memory. SANDRA Your father decided he needed to have an office. Will cleans the leaves and debris out of the pool.With a skimmer pole. INT. WILL What is it? . Will forces up the desktop. Suddenly. With some effort. A beat. Clearing a path. He casually walks away. Will and Josephine. a shiny slick of algae on the surface.DAY [LATER] Will. its ribs covered in dust. slime covering the cemented rocks. Sandra and Josephine have worked through two trash bags of papers to throw out. We also find boxes of products Edward used to sell. Sandra makes a small sound. Looking through a new file. dead bonsai trees. staring into the mouth of oblivion. The pool has long since gone native. BASEMENT STORAGE AREA . but it's a fool's errand. He looks around. and it wouldn't do to have it in the house. Will's getting used to being startled. You'll know better than me what's important. BASEMENT STORAGE AREA . The storeroom is a museum of hasty decisions and half -finished projects: partially built outboard motors.
looking for work. then follows Sandra. Josephine kis ses him. . while I was -. held in the hand. O. a TOUPEED MAN.DAY [STORY] Edward shakes hands with his new boss. Each had an advantage over me. EDWARD (V. Will can't believe what he's reading.Sandra hands Will a yellowed telegram. SANDRA It was during the war.officially -deceased. WILL Go. Looking for a place to put it. SANDRA I'm going to check on him. Will smiles. INT. The company is called "Confederated Products. It clamps down automatically. Edward's VOICE begins as a memory. A beat.) After the war. still bewildered. the sons of Alabama returned home. DOWNTOWN OFFICE . JOSEPHINE I need to lie down for a bit. They were alive. We slowly PUSH IN on the telegram." The OFFICE LADIES all love Edward.. He hasn't thought about this device in years. He shares it with Josephine. WILL That really ha ppened? SANDRA Not everything your father says is a complete fabrication. a memory. Will re reads the telegram.. then Sandra stands. he tucks it into a strange mechanical hand on the desk. They thought he was dead. Your father went missing.
I took a job as a travelling salesman. Open a letter.O. It suited me. Hold a book. is we could all use a hand around the house. The crowd LAUGHS.DAY Edward drives.. Hold a baby. with this product you can. and if there's one thing people have in common. a remarkably agile Edward is able to support his entire weight on it. Like a flower. The hand points a finger at an HEAVYSET MAN IN OVERALLS.O.) With my prospects few. his hand out in the wind. EDWARD You can use it to point out important information. Or dangers. you can do a handstand with no hands at all. The crowd APPLAUDS. EDWARD We're still working on that one.. EDWARD (V. EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD .EDWARD (V. which looks something like a metal lava lamp. Edward pitches a brilliant new product to the crowd. EXT. Or beautiful women. Hold the dog away from kittens. Indeed. Edward sets down a contraption. it unfolds to reveal five fingers and a thumb. COUNTY FAIR . EDWARD I've travelled from Tennessee to Timbuktu. If there's one thing you can say about Edward Bloom. QUICK MONTAGE as he demonstrates: EDWARD Open a jar.) . Scratch yourself while wearing mittens. it's that I am a social person.DAY [STORY] On a low platform. It's strong enough.(TM) EDWARD Why. This is th e Hand Around the House.
I saw France. INT. EDWARD That's great. So I travelled. EDWARD (V. until my territory stretched from the coast to western Texas..O. Norther Winslow. disbelieving this lucky coincidence. and other cities. Taking his place in line. when you left Spectre it opened my eyes. as much in love as ever.DAY Establishing this Texas institution. that's my motto. I'm happy for .O. NORTHER WINSLOW It's me. EDWARD I don't believe it! NORTHER WINSLOW I want you to know. I'd put all the money I'd made into an account set aside for a proper house with a white picket fence.) I was astonished to see the greatest poet of both Ashton and Spectre all the way out in Texas. Edward fills out a deposit slip. Every day a new adventure. we come.. Norther. THE MAN Edward? Edward Bloom? The man is none other than. But every other Friday. the man in front of him gets a look at Edward. The men shake. half of South America. HORIZ ON SAVINGS & LOAN . EXT.Soon I added other products. As the line snakes around through the ropes.) I could be gone for weeks at a time. TRAILER PARK . HORIZON SAVINGS & LOAN . EDWARD (V.. There was a whole life out there that I was not living. EXT..DAY Edward kisses his pregnant wife goodbye. and Africa.DAY The bank is busy with the lunch -hour crowd.
The guard takes out his gun and slides it over. FIRING both into the ceiling. (pointing to a Teller Woman) You help my friend. I just don't want anybody to get hurt.DAY The Teller Woman is crying as she works combination. He's genuinely proud. but Norther waves him off. I'm really sorry. Reaching the front of the line. Edward senses it would be best to do as he says. The skinny SECURITY GUARD makes a halfhearted reach for his gun. He decides he better go. AT THE VAULT . SCREAMS all around.he . INT. Edward feels horrible.you. He has a gun. TELLER WOMAN the -. He takes the guard's gun. but he truly doesn't want to shoot Norther. I'm gonna be cleaning out the cash drawers. EDWARD Look. not sure what to do. and my associate here is going to handle the vault. ANGLE ON Edward. Norther p ulls two pistols out of his coat. NORTHER WINSLOW (to Edward) Would you mind grabbing that? There's nothing threatening about his delivery might as well be asking for a Budweiser. okay? The TELLER WOMAN nods. I want all of you to lie down. The Teller Woman is already waving him to the back. I can't believe I helped. EDWARD So what are you up to now? NORTHER WINSLOW I'm robbing this place. Still. NORTHER WINSLOW (to the crowd) Now.
.. NORTHER WINSLOW This is it? The whole vault. We're completely bankrupt.DAY The inner sanctum of the Horizon Savings and Loan holds exactly one folding chair. but doesn't say anything yet. Norther HOLLERS with body -tingling joy as he counts the money. TELLER WOMAN (dead serious) You gotta promise you won't tell anybody. Let's see what you got from the vault.DAY Edward drives the getaway car. but by speculators in Texas real estate. Norther is surprised to find single deposit envelope. TELLER WOMAN . Edward winces. EDWARD (V. She pulls open the vault door.not by armed bandits. INT. NORTHER WINSLOW Edward. Eighty. It's an empty country road for miles. it's got your deposit slip on it. ) It turned out the savings and loan had already been robbed -. Four hundred dollars! Not bad for just the drawers. Even some dimes and pennies. it's just. THE VAULT . No one's following them. Nothing else. He rips it open. EDWARD'S CAR .. Digging through the vault bag. EDWARD 'Fraid so.It's not that. only a . revealing just a little cash inside. though truthfully they're going just a little over the speed limit..there's no money. CUT TO: INT.O. NORTHER WINSLOW Sixty.
TEXAS ROAD .O. There's something you should know. I just didn't want you to go empty-handed.) I knew then that while my days as a criminal were over. NORTHER WINSLOW I should go to Wall Street.) .) I told Norther about the vagaries of Texas oil money and its effect on real estate prices..O. Will (5) runs past her to greet Edward.. Hearing this news. BLOOM HOUSE [MID/LATE '70'S] ... and how lax enforcement of fiduciary process had made savings and loans particularly vulnerable.DAY Norther leans in the driver's side window..) When Norther made his first million dollars. he sent me a check for ten thousand. No rther. We HOLD ON Norther f or a beat. Edward looks over at Norther. EDWARD (V. Norther's were just beginning. EDWARD (V.Caught. At the last moment.. EDWARD Look. Norther was left with one conclusion: EXT. dreaming of his future.DAY Sandra is watering the garden. just returned from another trip. The two men wave at each other as Edward drives off.O. I protested. You see. the reality sinking in. EDWARD (V. Edward has to confess. the reason why. That's where all the money is. Edward continues his narration. Norther calls out: NORTHER WINSLOW Edward. EDWARD (V.O. thank you for the hand! He's talking about his Hand Around the House. but he said it was my fee as his career advisor. EXT.
We can spray you like a fern. BLOOM HOUSE BATHROOM . then stop. Bubbles rise fro m his nose for a few beats. TRANSITION TO: INT. Edward's eyes are closed.Ten thousand dollars is no fortune to most men. EDWARD (V. letting it run on the lawn. the nicest one in the neighborhood.) And for that. Edward suddenly slides UNDERWATER. EDWARD I was drying out. We reveal the Bloom house. CLOSE ON water SPLASHING into the claw -foot bathtub. SANDRA I see. But it was enough to buy my wife a proper house with a white picket fence. He sits up to find SANDRA sitting on the edge of the tub. it was all the riches a man could ever want. A long beat. Carefully lowers himself. Then the SPLASHING water goes silent. except for the distant SPLASHING of water from the spigot. Still wearing his pajamas. Sandra drops the hose. Edward climbs into the tub. Edward kisses his wife. .her husband has always done this.DAY [PRESENT] CLOSE ON Edward's hand as he turns knobs. It's quiet. The other eye. She doesn't seem particularly worried -. Another. As the water reaches the third button up on his pajama shirt. which begins to fill. Edward opens one eye. We need to get you one of those plant misters.O.
Takes another look. making room for her in the tub. WILL Mom? SANDRA Yes? Will quickly debates whether or not to ask her. He leans forward and kisses her. He turns. Will's made it through another file cabinet. BASEMENT STORAGE AREA . When they separate. INT. then pulls his knees up. Her dress is soaked..He smiles. but usually ends up tossing the whole thing in the trash. Sandra steps out of her sandals and climbs into the tub. He's about to toss a file when he stops. but she doesn't mind. INT. BLOOM HOUSE / STAIRS . A beat while she considers. including her wet dress. WILL Did you and Dad have any other property? SANDRA . She passes him. He goes through the folders page by page. WILL Is he awake? SANDRA He just fell asleep.DAY Perched awkwardly on a canoe. Something doesn't make sense.DAY Will is headed upstairs when his mother comes around the corner with an armful of laund ry. EDWARD Come now. she has tears hanging in her eyes. He wipes them away.. SANDRA I don't think I'll ever dry out. facing him. Josephine's with him.
EXT. who points him in a direction.DAY Sitting at the edge of a swamp. "Ashton. WILL'S CAR . Will notices this. identical to his mother's. He continues heading up. SANDRA Heavens no. then gestures a series of left. EXT. He checks the number: 33. just curious.(thinking) I suppose y our grandmother's house when she passed on. ROAD . Takes his keys off the nightstand. WILL So you never bought any land. a light breeze swaying the branches.DAY Will's rental car drives past a sign reading. This is the house. Dapples of light brea k through the trees. 10 miles. INT. left. the little two -story feels lonely. WILL AND JOSEPHINE'S ROOM . Your cousin Shirley bought it. And then we realize why: a roadsign reads "Welcome to Spectre!" EXT.DAY / DRIVING Will checks the address on one of his father's files.DAY Will talks to the ATTENDANT. A LONE HOUSE . As Will walks from the car.DAY Will changes his shirt. right. But we sold that right away. rights. We had a hard enough time keeping the mortgage on this place. Will nods.DAY Will drives down a road that seems somewhat familiar. It is surrounded by a white squar e-picket fence. ASHTON GAS . set deep in its lot. COUNTY ROAD ." INT. the WHIRR of cicadas grows. EXT. .
.Reaching the porch. The piano stops. has stopped. Will KNOCKS. Will checks the name on the f orm. She hands him five dollars out of her pocket. (a beat) Like this. The PIANO STUDENT. WILL Are you Jenny Hill? JENNY I am. JENNY I wasn't expecting you. The door opens to reveal a blonde woman in her 50's the woman from the grocery store. Right hand only. And you're Will. The piano starts again. She and Will are startled to see each other. JENNY (to the student) Listen. JENNY Oh. -- . that's how I recogniz e you. FOOTSTEPS.) Go back to the start. Why don't we skip the lesson today? We can go again next week.. but it would have been awkward. Re-checking the number on a form he's carrying. STUDENT Do I have to give it back to my Mom? JENNY I won't tell her if you won't. I've seen your picture. Oh. WILL Hello. Speaking of awkward. WOMAN'S VOICE (O. Confused. Her name is Jenny Hill. Kenny. we hear a PIANO playing inside. a black boy of eight.S. I almost said something at the store. He's watching the conversation at the door. Badly.
Especially this late in the game. He always has. She's a tangle of conflicting emotions. Jenny is taken b ack by the suddenness of it. JENNY Look. I just never had proof. Everyone in town knew him. JENNY'S KITCHEN .You don't have to tell him twice. WILL I've seen him with women. She hands it back to Will. . trying to get out of the corner he's boxed her into.. He's out the door in a flash. A beat.DAY While Will sips his iced tea. WILL Were you and my father having an affair? JENNY (taken aback) Wow.. I presumed he was cheating on my mother. You have one image of your father and it would be wrong for me to go and change it. I don't know how much you want to know about any of this. why didn't you just ask Eddie? WILL Because he's dying. JENNY Can I ask you a question? Why did you come here today? If you found this deed. WILL How did you know my father? JENNY This was on his sales route. She moves. INT... Jenny flips through a form she never expected to see again. Not flinching. I was expecting to dance around this for another half hour. you just said it. so he was through here all the time. A long beat. Wow. On some level. He flirts. Once she's finally free.
a deluge descends.NIGHT . but softly SPLASHING. JENNY The first thing you have to understand. Fair enough. No choice. he was early. It's like being caught in a waterfall. The first raindrops hit the windshield. Puts on the handbrake. It's that loud. EDWARD'S CAR .NIGHT -. Three catfish swim in front of his headlights.) Those days.[THE STORM] Suddenly. it's that he was a social person. If there was one thing you could say about Edward Bloom. and Edward is pensive. One night he was returning from three weeks on the road. INT. your father was working for himself. INT. he was late. because -EXT. The tires are still on the road. the sound changes -.WILL My father talked about a lot of things he never did. It's not even rain anymore -there's no space between the drops. twice.O. The world is close and echoing. and I'm sure he did a lot of things he never talked about. EDWARD'S CAR / DRIVING . Just as suddenly.NIGHT It's late.no longer pounding. The second time. INT.the car is underwater. is that your father never meant to end up here. EDWARD'S CAR . Jenny takes a seat across from him at the table. I'm just trying to reconcile the two. when he hit a thunderstorm unlike any in his life. Edward turns on the wipers. JENNY (V.NIGHT . Edward sto ps the car. And yet he did. THE CAR . and people took a liking to him. but where there used to be air is water. The first time.
She's swimming outside the car. And smiles.The Girl in the River. For now. ROAD . We pass a rusty sign. Edward gathers the clothes that have spilled out of his suitcase..) Fate has a way of circling back on a man. She puts her hand to the windshield.O. While we never see her face exactly. rubs it off. he's fine. MAIN STREE T . He puts his up to meet hers. but very slowly. he notices a shiny piece of metal sticking out of the dirt. He pulls it out.Realizing his plight. she remains just as beautiful. FLASH CUT TO: EXT. That's when he sees her -. Edward tries to remain calm. and taking him by surprise. Bird s CHIRP." EXT. As Edward gathers his last pair of socks. It's the Key to the City he lost years ago. FIELD BY DIRT ROAD ..DAY Carrying his busted suitcase. a tired Edward walks toward a one-street town in the distance. just as mysterious. "Welcome to Spectre.DAY It's morning. It's a key. still wet from last night's rain. Trees drip and the grass shines. which broke open when he dropped it from HIS CAR. which balances precariously ten feet up in an elm tree.DAY . and the sun shines brightly. as the first time we saw her. EXT. JENNY (V. Water is trickling in through the crack between the window and the door.
He looks up to find his faded shoes still dangling from the power line.) Two different corporations were looking at buying the town.Amazed and disbelieving. on and off Main Street.O. Spectre would be destroyed. EXT. INT. EDWARD Fifty-thousand! Everyone turns to look at this new bidder.O. and with it. One wanted to open a chicken processing plant. JENNY (V. This town didn't seem the same now that he was older.O. Two very corporate MEN IN SUITS. JENNY (V. Almost everywhere you looked.) And so Edward Bloom decided to buy the town.O.O. EXT. The other. along with the rest of the town's.) He was never a wealthy man. NORTHER WINSLOW'S MANHATTAN . people were bankrupt. a municipal dump.) A man sees things differently at different times in his life.) A new road had brought the outside world to Spectre. and now he . SPECTRE . TOWN OF SPECTRE . Edward raises his hand. Either way. liens and debt. JENNY (V.DAY We slowly MOVE THROUGH a foreclosure auction to find Edward watching.DAY Edward pitches his plan to Norther.VARIOUS SHOTS We look around the town. if they could get the price low enough. There are "FOR SALE" signs in many of the windows JENNY (V. JENNY (V. in order to save it. no cars coming from either direction. but he had made other men rich. Edward walks down the center of the road. stick out among the bidders. banks.
He walks toward it.DAY VARIOUS SHOTS: Expressive and passionate as always.) Most of them had never seen Spectre -they only had Edward's words to describe it. the people were not asked to leave or pay rent or anything. the road having literally stopped. he sees a shack. Edward KNOCKS on the half -hung door. He sold them on the dream. he could make sure the town would never die. The sun is shining.. INT. They were just asked to keep doing as they were doing.DAY Edward climbs out of his car. In that way. . Edward talks to Ping. Edward shakes hands.) So first he bought the farms. In the distance./EXT. but it can barely penetrate the trees' thick canopy. his trust had purchased the entire town. INT.O.asked for their favors.O. But you'll need every contiguous piece of property. ROAD IN THE SWAMP . JENNY (V. JENNY (V. VARIOUS LOCATIONS . With one exception. As Edward takes notes.) Whatever he bought.O.DAY Finishing up with AL. It's all or nothing. JENNY (V. EXT. AL'S COUNTRY . which swings open by itself. JING You can structure it as a historical trust.O. We hear a PIANO playing from inside the shack. Then he bought the houses. JENNY (V. the marshy ground SQUISHING up around his feet. so old it's nearly fallen.. Then he bought the stores. soaking the hems of his trousers. That's all they needed.) Within six months. Jing and Amos Calloway.
And you know you won't have to move.. You're buying the town. in order for the town to be preserved. her piece not quite finished. JENNY No one would come out here unless they had business.. EDWARD Apparently I've overlooked this one piece of it . -girl who . and I'd like to remedy that. yes. You see. she says.DAY The inside is nicer than you'd think. but EDWARD In so many words. Edward doesn't recognize her as the little used to have a crush on him. You'll own the house. the trust must own it in its entirety. Jenny stops playing. but I'll stay in it. Without turning. a real home. EDWARD I'll offer you more than it's worth. I'll be here. but it'll still be mine. She turns to face him. With her back turned to him. and curtains hang in the windows. And no one would have business with me except for you. Do I have that right? Strange to hear it put that way. SHACK . EDWARD How did you know? She keeps PLAYING. and you'll come and go as you please to one place or another. JENNY You must be Edward Bloom. JENNY So I've heard. JENNY Now let me get this straight. Edward still doesn't recognize her. A fire burns in the stove. You'll buy the swamp from me. you have my word. Nothing will change except the name on the deed.INT. Jenny Hill plays the piano.
EDWARD It's not like you're going to lose anything.. you did exactly what you promised. Your last name is different.DAY Finally realizing who th is woman is. EDWARD Helping people makes me happy. Have I offended you? She finally turns to face him. Bloom. Bloom. . FLASHBACK TO: EXT. I'd just as soon it not change in the way it hasn't been changing all this time. I was just expecting you sooner. BACK TO: INT. JENNY No.NIGHT Young Jenny Hill watches barefoot Edward leave Spectre for the first time. A long beat. SHACK . you buy a town? He looks at her. why are you buying this land? Some sort of midlife crisis? Instead of buying a convertible. You came back.JENNY Then I don't think so Mr. You can ask anyone in town. No one has really asked before. SPECTRE . puzzled and surprised. I've been nothing if not generous. JENNY Mr. (realizing) You married. EDWARD I'm sorry. I want the best for everyone. If nothing is going to change.. EDWARD You're Beamen's daughter. JENNY I'm not convinced you should be happy.
EDWARD I'm sorry. JENNY It's okay.. JENNY Go. just leave it.. EXT/INT. It's not the clean exit he was hoping for. but it breaks off in his hands. EDWARD I'll. SWAMP SHACK .. EDWARD I can get it. . SMASHING a small table... EDWARD I see. I'm sorry I. surprised and annoyed.. He was 28. Mr.JENNY I was 18. He tries to lean the door against the frame. I can just.. I thank you for your time. A bit bewildered. Inside Jenny looks out. It holds for a beat then falls in.. Before he can say anything more. Edward tries to lift the door back on the hinges. Just go.DAY Edward pulls the door shut behind him as he leaves. The door frame buckles and the whole shack CREAKS. EDWARD Lord. Bloom. He leans the door a different way. Turns out that was a big difference. Go. JENNY I won't be selling you this house. Edward tips his hat t o her as he leaves. JENNY Please. but it keeps slipping. but they SNAP off.
) As the months passed. INT. We STAY ON Jenny. Jenny is making soup. SHACK . half -annoyed. with black shutters and a steep roof. he finally backs away. A white picket fence. until the shack no longer resembled itself. In every detail it is impossibly charming. EXT. he found more and more things to fix. letting in a flood of light.) Most men in that situation wo uld accept their failure and move on. Edward puts in new windows himself. INT. EXT. Edward unloads a brand new door from a pickup truck. SWAM P . JENNY'S HOUSE . Edward tries to set the door square.ANOTHER DAY With Karl the Giant's help.O. Something softer. SWAMP SHACK ROAD .DAY . But Edward was not like most men. Karl pushes against the side of the house until it fits. She's furious. but there's something more in her feelings for him. EXT. laughing at the story he's telling. watching him go.ANOTHER DAY Edward and Karl cut down a tree. Turns and heads back towards his car.DAY While Jenny watches.O. JENNY (V.She's dead serious. SHACK . Weighing the scales of chivalry. It's tiny and white. JENNY (V. we RISE UP to see the shack is now THE LOVELY HOUSE we saw before. Through the golden pollen hanging in the air.ANOTHER DAY Holding nails between his lips. half -amused.
Edward holds his ground. Jenny leans against the doorframe listening to his story. Don't be embarrassed.Edward is screwing a hat rac k into the wall in the foyer. lifting his hat up to the peg. with just a ukulele and a harmonica. the best part was creating new material. Perfect. Does she really mean it? She comes closer. we had a whole new routine worked out for them. EDWARD I suppose I should..Edward gently holds her back. stunned and humiliated. JENNY I know. EDWARD And from the moment I saw her until the moment I die. She pulls away. A look between them. And watching him with deepest affection.. JENNY Lucky girl. She takes his hand. EDWARD Don't. there's no reason for him to be staying any longer. (beat) I am in love with my wife. She's very close -just a half -inch from kissing him when --.. I should never have let you think that. A beat. Finished with his work. EDWARD No. She freezes. she's the only one. .. With that last job done. JENNY You can leave it there. he takes his hat off the chair and hangs it on the rack. By the time the twins and I got to Havana. He takes his hat off the rack. EDWARD Of course. A beat.
A beat. JENNY Wait! Edward! She finds a pen and hastily signs the deed to the house.PRESENT DAY Will and Jenny are still sitting at her table.O. he thanks her. JENNY (V. it's logical if you think like . JENNY HILL'S HOUSE . then they run away. Jenny.DAY TO NIGHT As we watch. We REVERSE to find FOUR KIDS looking in through the rusty iron gate with flashlights. SPECTRE .EDWARD I'm sorry. and crazy at that. Hands it to him. I am. She became something of a legend herself. swallowing it in a tangle of vines and mossy branches. Snakes slither through the marsh. and never returned to the town he'd saved.O. Edward Bloom left. EXT. With a look. INT.O. the common be lief was that she'd become a witch.) As for the girl. WILL Logically. JENNY (V. JENNY No. a pitcher of iced tea between them. JENNY HILL'S KITCHEN . Day becomes night. EXT. you couldn't be the Witch. the swamp begins to overtake the house. With that.MAGIC HOUR Edward takes a final look at this perfect little town. Then goes. he begins to leaves. JENNY (V.) And the story ended where it began. He climbs in his car and starts the engine. because she was old back when he was young.) One day. Shoots burst up through the planks in the porch.
that's the thing. I mean. I wanted to be as important to him as you were. there 's only two women: your mother and everyone else. and I was never going to be. Every moment he loved you. And one day I realized I was in love with a man who could never love me back. not the first ones she's shed over this. to him. now. both staring at their iced tea. JENNY Well. Will smiles to hear it called t hat. therapy. that award you won. See. JENNY I wanted to meet you for the longest time. A long beat. They hurt each other without meaning to.. every time he left it disappeared. incidentally. WILL No. I was make-believe and his other life. ANGLE ON Will. JENNY People aren't like they are in stories.your father. (a smile) I envied you so much. Jenny is working herself into more of a state by not talking. Congratulations. you. She's fighting tears. I'm not sure I should have told you any of this. . were real. They are kind and unbelievably cruel at the same moment. I'm glad I know. I wanted to know. JENNY And as brightly as the sun would shine when he was with me. sorting through his swirling thoughts. he was so proud of you.P. Her composure is starting to break. And when you got the job at the A. I did. everything. Like me. WILL You didn't become crazy. The way Eddie would talk about you when you were at Missouri. I was living in a fairy tale.
There's a subtle change to his expression. Will grabs his keys off the table. WILL (calling out) Hello? Mom? Dad? INT. FOYER . didn't you? CUT TO: INT. BLOOM HOUSE . INT.DAY / DRI VING Will skips through the stations on the radio. A beat. The sheets are in a tangle on the floor. it's not even finished thick -- . He aims for the guest room at the end of the hall. a dark cloud lifted. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY .NIGHT The hospital is so new. INT.DUSK We follow Will.DUSK Headed out. EXT. looking into his and Josephine's room. Will sets his keys on the table. INT. He unlocks the door. WILL'S CAR . we see his father's bed is empty. BLOOM HOUSE FOYER .JENNY You knew that. He's trying to think.DUSK Will walks up the front steps.DUSK Looking over his shoulder. HOSPITAL ENTRANCE . GUEST ROOM . no talking. KITCHEN . Empty. then Will half -runs back down the hall.DUSK It's half -dark and quiet in the house. W e LOOK RIGHT. no TV. but ultimately turns it off.DUSK Will looks in. INT. Back down the stairs. where the "MESSAGE" light blinks on the answering machine.
INT. There's no one at the information desk. We HOLD ON Will. I'm sorry. Sandra squeezes Will's hand tightly.NIGHT Edward sleeps peacefully. so Will forges ahead. She cuts him off -JOSEPHINE No. How can she answer? He half-smiles. trying to decide the best place to start.S. it's done. Bennett. And like that. will he get back to the way he was when. She's holding herself together.) Will! He turns to see his wife at a payphone. HOSPITAL HALLWAY . no blinking lights. Then. There are no beeping monitors. Bennett has just gone through the details for the third . behind him -JOSEPHINE (O. just an oxygen tube und er his nose.. but it's been a tough day. Dr.NIGHT Will reads a directory board. WILL What I mean is. He's upstairs with your mom and Dr. It's mercifully quiet. WILL What happened? JOSEPHINE Your father had a stroke.. Of course his father's not going to be okay. WILL Is he going to be okay? A beat. She hangs up. He won't. reeling from the news. INT. HOSPITAL ROOM . She was calling him. realizing the idiocy of his question.plastic hangs from exposed frami ng.
do you want some time with Dad? SANDRA Yes... JOSEPHINE I'm sorry. (beat) In case he wakes up. she t weaks her chin with them -. SANDRA (to Will) You'll call if. WILL Mom. TRANSITION TO: INT. . SANDRA I don't suppose one of us could stay with him. WILL I'll stay.. HOSPITAL HALLWAY . A beat.time. Josephine emerges. Thank you. She neatens his hair. A nod. BENNETT It's fine. then Will holds the door for Dr.his signature move. Bennett) That's okay? DR. In case he. WILL I will. Sandra is alone in the room with her husband. Why don't you go home with Josephine and I'll stay tonight. SANDRA (to Dr. As she kisses his fingers. Her face is a study in strained composure -.acknowledging the inevitable but refusing to surrender to it.... one of us should be there.NIGHT Sandra waits outside the women's restroom. It seems ever y hour I have to. Holds his hand. Bennett and Josephine as they leave. I'll call.
when people talk to those who can't hear them. A KNOCK as Dr. With a few breaths.. Like clockwork. then Sandra finally melts. It's one of my greatest annoyances. SANDRA Do you like it. Bennett smiles as he checks Edward's chart. WILL . BENNETT Glad to see you're not trying to have a heartfelt talk. JOSEPHINE Don't stop. A beat. ready to leave for the night. but I felt lik e I always had a piece of him with me. She struggles to keep it in check. The two women start to walk. Hold back. It was alive and kicking. Almost a whisper. SANDRA I loved it. Josephine holds her. The two women stand together in the hallway. I did. no hurry. but I loved every minute of it. letting the moment be. Bennett ente rs with his overcoat and bag. A little part of his soul inside me. being pregnant? JOSEPHINE I do.NIGHT Will sits in a chair beside the bed. Don't.SANDRA I know. HOSPITAL ROOM . Sandra has accidentally evoked a storm of emotion. We never talk. WILL My father and I have an advantage. DR. so he was gone.. I could feel it. INT. Eddie was travelling a lot. It was the same when I was carrying Will. SANDRA I really miss that. Sandra tries to hold on. Dr. working through the crossword puzzle. It sounds peculiar.
He caught an uncatchable fish. DR. The real story. A long silence. your father was sorry to miss it. DR. It was a perfect delivery. so I can't see as it would have been much different had he been there. Regulated hypertension. DR. Did he ever tell you that? WILL (suddenly interested) No. Will searches for an answer. is it? And I suppose if I had to choose between the true version and an elaborate one involving a fish and a wedding .How long have you known my father? DR. BENNETT Thirty years. but it wasn't the custom for the men to be in the room for deliveries then. on account of your father was on business in Wichita. You were born a week early. Dr. And that's the real story of how you were born. Maybe more. BENNETT Did your father ever tell you about the day you were born? WILL A thousand times. One -eighty. Her neighbor drove her. but there were no complications. He doesn't have one. doctors being paged. Now. (beat) How would his son describe him? Tables turned. Bennett hangs the chart back on the bed. just the sounds of the hospital. BENNETT Your mother came in about three in the afternoon. BENNETT (re: chart) Five-eleven. BENNETT Not very exciting. DR. BENNETT Not that one. WILL How would you describe him? DR.
then Will takes his pen and starts making a list. Will half -smiles. then we slowly CROSSFADE TO: INT. WILL What can I do? Can I help? Can I get you something? Water? His light of . He smiles. A beat.ring. he looks up at his motionless father. On his fourth page. silently GASPING for breath. Still in his chair.VARIOUS SHOTS Will flips to a new page. Bennett leaves. but doesn't push it. INT. crooked from sleepin g on it wrong. HOSPITAL ROOM .PRE-DAWN It's very early morning. WILL Dad! Do you want me to get a nurse? Edward shakes his head unambiguously. I might choose the fancy version. WILL Dad? His father is awake. He cracks his neck. eyes are open. Holds his gaze for a breath. Will wakes up a bit at a time. the pen in his hand. The notepad is on his lap. and the first blue day is glowing through the vertical blinds. scared and confused. We STAY ON Will and his father for a long time. remembering something. But that's just me. The list keeps getting longer. Patting Will's shoulder. Dr. HOSPITAL ROOM . Will already has his finger on the orange "nurse call" button. What woke him up? He looks to his right.
WILL The river? It takes Edward all his strength to put together each thought. A long beat. There's nothing else to do. but doesn't know exactly what's coming. Without the story.Edward nods. realizing. If you help. Will pushes his fingers under his father's heavy hand. He sees the end approaching.. EDWARD Like this. that's what he was trying to say. Just tell me how it starts. You never told me that one. Dad. he's lost. but Edward won't drink. . WILL You mean what you saw in Th e Eye? Edward nods. confused and increasingly scared. He pushes it away. Yes. ON WILL. EDWARD Tell me how it happens. EDWARD (whispering) The river. Fighting the urge to panic -WILL I can try. Edward looks around. He holds it to his father's lips. WILL I don't know that story. Dad. He wanted something else.. WILL How what happens? EDWARD How I go. Will pours a glass from the pitcher on the nightstand. It's like he's only half -there. and holds it. fighting to hang on to this world.
and you and I are in the hospital. and the first golden gl ow is shining through the vertical blinds. you're in no condition to.. waiting for Will to begin. CUT TO: INT. ON EDWARD. Sure enough. combing his hair.. Will heads for the bathroom. You're getting ready to go.) Somehow. He really wants to press it.WILL Okay. you're better.. EDWARD There's a fold -up wheelchair in the bathroom. WILL (louder and concerned) Dad? We LOOK OVER to find a nimble Edward sitting up in bed.DAY [STORY VERSION] WILL Dad? It's dawn. I wake up and I see you. WILL Dad. WILL (V.. WILL Okay.. Different. As soon as w e get off this floor. He looks to the nurse call button.. And I say. the wheelchair is there. I'd fallen asleep in the chair. increasingly desperate. we'll be in the clear. It's mo rning. Okay. But Edward throws back the covers. EDWARD Let's get out of here. Wrap a blanket around me. Will looks around the room. HOSPITAL ROOM . EDWARD Hurry! We don't have much time. and. .O.
bowling them down. DR.O. NURSE Security! Stop them! DOWN THE HALL At the elevators. INT. PARKING LOT . Will spots Edward rolling the chair himself. Bennett. they nearly crash into Dr. ELEVATOR . who turns to look. EXT. finally reaching the Chevrolet. Edward points for his son to steer the wheelchair thataway.DAY Will races Edward down the row. .DAY Will brakes hard. HOSPITAL HALLWAY . WILL (V. What are you doing? Before he can answer. Sandra and Josephine step out to find Will and Edward barreling straight at them.INT. The Heavyset Nur se leans out of Edward's hospital room..DAY With the blanket draped over his head like a ghost. Rounding a corner.. The chair nearly crashes into the back wall as the doors close.) I pick you up and you hardly weigh anything. AT THE CAR Will lifts his father out of the chair. sliding with both feet. EDWARD Faster! They pass a HEAVYSET NURSE. BENNETT Will! I. Will dashes to catch up with him. I can't explain it. EDWARD No time to explain! Follow us! Seeing SECURITY GUARDS heading their way. pumping both arms. a quick thinking Sandra shoves a nearby cart into them.
Will sets him in the passenger seat. EDWARD Water. I need water. Scrambling in back, Will finds a liter of Arrowhead. Hands it off. Edward unscrews the cap, but instead of drinking it, he douses himself. Soaks the blanket. Will pops the trunk. Starts to fold up the wheelchair. EDWARD Leave it! We won't need it. TIRES SMOKE as the car peals out. BACK TO: INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY [REALITY] TIGHT ON Will, trying to hold back tears as he talks. WILL And we have to take Glenville to avoid all the church traffic, because those damn church people drive too slow. TIGHT ON Edward, enjoyin g that detail. He's focused completely on Will's story. WILL I ask... BACK TO: EXT. GLENVILLE BLVD. - DAY [STORY VERSION] The Chevy slaloms through the Sunday -morning traffic. WILL (O.S.) Where are we headed? WILL (V.O.) You say... INT. CHEVY - DAY EDWARD The River! Will stops short, the traffic backed up. trying to get around the jam. But it's no use. He HONKS,
Then, up ahead, the cars start moving, shoved aside by massive hands. It's Karl the Giant, clearing a path by brute force. Edward leans out the window and waves. Karl waves back. EXT. ASHTON RIVER - DAY The same stretch of the river where it all began. A CROWD of more than 100 waiting. WILL (V.O.) As we get closer to the river, we see everybody's already there. And I mean everybody. Amos Calloway is here with the circus folk, including Mr. Soggybottom. We also find Edward's Mother and Father, the Mayor, and many others from along the way. No one has aged a day since we saw them last. While Ping scans the horizon, Jing nuzzles with her boyfriend, Norther Winslow. It's Ping who first spots the Chevrolet. PING He's here! The crowd CHEERS. The Ashton marching band PLAYS. Jenny Hill smiles. So does the Old Woman. We PUSH IN on the Old Woman's glass eye, where we see... YOUNG EDWARD reflected. This is what he saw. INT. THE CHEVROLET - DAY Amazed, Will turns to his father. WILL It's unbelievable. EDWARD Story of my life. EXT. RIVERSIDE - DAY Will gets out of the Chevrolet, overwhelmed by the crowd.
Behind him, Sandra, Josephine and Dr. Bennett pull up. Karl comes just after that. Crossing to the passenger side, Will lifts his father out. Strangely, he's gotten even lighter. Will carries him easily. Edward pulls off his shoes, tying the laces together. He hands them to Josephine. She throws them up at the powerline. They loop over. APPLAUSE and CHEERS. The crowd parts to let Will and Edward get to the river. As he passes, Edward shakes some hand s, pats some people on the cheek, and gives others a good poke in the ribs. WILL (V.O.) And the strange thing is, there's not a sad face to be found. E veryone's just so glad to see you, and send you off right. Will walks into the river, up to his knees. He turns back so his father can face the crowd. Edward waves. EDWARD Goodbye everybody! Farewell! Adieu! THE CROWD (VARIOUS) Goodbye Edward! / See ya! / We'll miss you! But one face is missing from the crowd turns to see she's already standing in the river beside them. The reflection of the light off the water gives Sandra an unearthly glow. Sh e's more tranquil and more beautiful than we've ever seen her. EDWARD My girl in the river. She kisses him. He tweaks her chin. The crowd HOLLERS in approval, but their moment remains strangely private. Only Will is there to witness. As the kiss ends, Edward tries to pull off his wedding ring. -- Sandra. Will
cutting a beautiful arc across the sunset. In every atom of his body. he sucks on it. We watch as the catfish circles. HOSPITAL ROOM . (he smiles) And that's the way it happens. CROSSFADE BACK TO: INT. Josephine is back on the shore. WILL You become what you always were. Edward Bloom is entirely happy. then. Will and his mot her stand knee -deep in the water. Down the riv er. For he's no longer a man.DAY Will has tears hanging in the corners of his eyes. A very big fish. disappearing. in every thought. Will takes the ring out of his mouth. Edward smiles. pullin g it free with his teeth. INT. a smile with a glint of gold. HOSPITAL HALLWAY . a GIANT FISH suddenly jumps out of the water. but rather A FAT CATFISH swimming at his feet.But it's stuck. p roud of both of them. Exactly. along with the entire crowd. A look to Will. EDWARD (a whisper) Yes.. watching Edward Bloom swim away into the sunlight. then heads for deeper water.. MUSIC BUILDS to a climax. And this is how he goes. It then dives back under with a SPLASH.DAY . Finally. His eyes are so pale and so open. we can almost see his soul. Edward suddenly drops out of Will's arms with a SPLASH.
but they're the kind that need links. MUSIC begins that will carry us through the next passage. That's all he can get out before the dam breaks inside him. He finds a quarter.DAY Josephine opens the curtains. for Will to wear at the funeral. It's ringing. INT. He presses closer to the phone. not nearly the wreck we might have expected.DAY Will waits at reception as Sandra and Josephine come off the elevator. CEMETERY / ROAD . trying to shield himself. INT. He smiles. EXT. Further down.DAY Will helps his mother out of a black sedan.Will shuts the door to his father's room behind him. he finds a ribbon tied to THE KEY TO THE CITY. . WILL (voice cracking) Hi. And ringing. HOSPITAL REC EPTION . BEDROOM . He has to squint to see through the water in his eyes.DAY Will and his mother pick out one of Edward's ties. INT. letting white sunlight in. Will tries to button the cuffs on the shirt he borrowed. The other end answers. It's a real thing. He goes through the top drawer of the dresser. GUEST ROOM . She's wellcomposed. trying to find a matching pair. She strips the bed. The walk to the payphones seems to take a lifetime. disbelieving. starts to dial.
DAY As the service gets ready to begin. and ZACKY PRICE. Bennett and shakes hands with his WIFE. Will doesn't recognize him. Will looks left to see an Oldsmobile parking.DAY [LATER] After the service. but the man who steps out is barely visible over the door. CEMETERY . This man is KARL. an identical face with glasses peers out -. Josephine spots a stunning ASIAN WOMAN (50) behind them. The service is crowded. We TILT UP to see this man is huge. the MAYOR. A beat later. From this a ngle the sisters seem conjoined. many more than expected. He's not 12 feet tall. The passenger side opens. Missouri. Will guides his mother to a seat near the grave. CLOSE ON the license plates. The Driver climbs out.Josephine hugs Dr. They're really two separate people. As his mother talks to a WELL -WISHER. more than 200 people. By the LAUGHTER and hand gestures. we can see they 're telling . all of them aged through the years: BEAMEN. EXT. It's PING and JING. bewildered to see that this man really exists. CEMETERY / GRAVESIDE . but at least six-eight. EXT. we see the crowd gathered in small groups.the woman's twin sister. CLOSE ON Will. a size 15 foot on the gravel. Sitting beside Will. Josephine almost GASPS. He shuts it to reveal himself to be 70. It's Amos Calloway. but then Jing steps forward. NORTHER WINSLOW. A sea of familiar faces. now 55. who turns to look. She elbows Will.
TRANSITION TO: EXT. that's right. which FADES. letting it black out the screen.stories.. SON (to the other boys) So he said he'd fight the giant who was fifteen feet tall.DAY [SUMMER] Will sits on the porch with Sandra and Josephine.O. isn't it? WILL Something like that. KID No way. laughing. CROSSFADE TO: .) Have you ever heard a joke so many times you've forgotten why it's funny? But then you hear it again and suddenly it's new. We find Will watching them. You remember why you loved it in the first place. They're telling Edward's stories. We slowly CIRCLE BEHIND a monument. just listening. watching his SON play in the pool with two NEIGHBOR KIDS.) That was my father's final joke I guess. SON See. WILL (V. WILL (V. Will joins in.O. They live on after him. BLOOM HOUSE BACKYARD .. Sandra takes Will's hand in hers. So he was a giant but my grampa was going to fight him because he wasn't afraid of anything because he'd seen how he was going to die in this old lady's glass eye. Will smiles as his son continues the tale. SON (calling over) Dad. A man tells his stories so many times he becomes the stories.
The fish passes us with a SPLASH .) And in that way.DAY A fat and happy catfish swims towards us.O. . CUT TO BLACK. RIVER / UNDERWATER .EXT. he becomes immortal. WILL (V.
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