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