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