LIGHTNING FLASHES. THUNDER RUMBLES. Then BLACK. SCREECHING cuts through the air. Thousands of bats explode out of the DARKNESS, rushing towards the screen... WHITE flickers in the b.g. through the blackness. The bats silhouetted against the white of the MOON. They form a shape -- THE BAT SYMBOL. Growing as more bats mass, swamping the symbol, consuming the moon. Filling the screen with BLACKNESS... Then –OVER CARNIVAL MUSIC... AGAIN DARKNESS. The following is a quick succession of shots randomly cutting to black: EXT. GOTHAM FAIR GROUNDS - NIGHT We hear yelling and screaming. Then BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Errant GUNFIRE... Then vociferous cackling. The JOKER. More screaming and yelling... EVERYTHING GROWS SILENT... Only the sound of hard breathing and running. A quick shot of BATMAN in pursuit... trudging, badly wounded but enduring. We're in a “TUNNEL OF LOVE” type amusement ride. Dark and ominous. Knee high water splashes as the foot chase ensues down a waterway. Batman hurls himself, lands hard on top of the Joker... It's blurry, frantic. Indiscernible. A blinding mass of limbs and fists... Bodies twisting, grappling. We see glimpses of a scarred mouth and messy clown makeup... Glimpses of a dark cowl and cloak... Batman grunts... The Joker giggling and laughing uncontrollably. The struggle grows more indistinct. Chaotic. Desperate... Then we hear a vicious snapping sound! Everything settles and comes into focus. We find Batman seated, clutching his abdomen, breathing laboriously, on the verge of blacking out. He looks across at the Joker, obscured in the shadows. The Joker giggles. JOKER Still won't do it, will you? After all the things I've done... (laughs)


JOKER (cont'd) ... and you snap my neck... like a pencil... (laughs) Oh, so very disappointing. Batman considers the Joker for a moment. JOKER (cont’d) What’s the matter, bat got your tongue? (laughs; then) Do I hear sirens? Yes. Coming close. They’ll crucify you for this, you know. This time... It’s like I’ve been saying all along. Joker winks, starts laughing. Batman struggles to get up. Joker’s laughing grows louder, more foreboding. Batman moves quickly now, stumbling and bleeding. Trying to escape... The sirens echo through the tunnel. EXT. FAIR GROUNDS – CONTINUOUS Tires screech, doors fly open. UNIFORMED COPS pour out of police vehicles. INT. TUNNEL OF LOVE – MOMENTS LATER It’s dark as hell inside. Cops approach the Joker’s wrecked body warily, weapons drawn. Flashlights play across his wicked grin. Some cops wince at the sight. JOKER Oh, he ain’t pretty no more. The Joker laughs manically. Enough to freeze your blood. And we FADE to BLACK –INT. INTERROGATION ROOM, PEÑA DURO PRISON, SANTA PRISCA – DAY We’re in a decrepit, old style prison, dating back a century or more. Meet TALIA AL GHUL. Mid-20s. European with a mixture of Chinese and Arabic. Real beauty hidden beneath all the


seriousness and brooding. She’s seated in the center of the room, flanked by two massive bodyguards. Barred doors slide open. A guard unchains a prisoner and motions him inside the room. The prisoner is NESTOR MENDOZA, a bear of a man, no-age, darkly bearded, powerfully built. He stands in the shadows a few feet from Talia. TALIA Nestor Mendoza? Or is it Bane? No response from Nestor/Bane. Talia rises, steps closer. TALIA (cont’d) Do you know who I am? Again no response. TALIA (cont’d) My name is Talia. You knew my father. Ra’s Al Ghul? Bane reacts to the name. TALIA (cont’d) You were his student once. Groomed to lead. Destined to conquer... (re: prison) But then you ended up here. A beat to digest this. Talia slowly paces forward. TALIA (cont’d) My father is now dead. He was murdered. I need your help getting the man responsible. Bane raises an eyebrow. BANE And who may that be? They stand eye-to-eye. Hold. TALIA Batman.


INT. APARTMENT – BEDROOM – MORNING EYES SNAP OPEN. They belong to Bruce Wayne. He sits up, looks down at the sleeping body beside him... Meet SELINA KYLE, early 30s, exotic, her body is equal parts muscle and sensuality. INT. APARTMENT – KITCHEN – MOMENTS LATER Bruce stands, shirt unbuttoned, in front of the small kitchen TV tuned to the news. SUPER ON TV reads: “Batman: Vigilantism at its Deadliest.” During this Bruce notices a BLACK CAT leap onto the window sill. The cat holds his gaze for a beat. An almost evil stare. Then it HISSES, arching its back. A hand lands on Bruce’s shoulder. Bruce reacts. It’s Selina. She smiles seductive, wraps her arms around Bruce. She follows his gaze to the window sill. SELINA (re: cat) I think Otto likes you. WAYNE Otto? “Like” to claw my eyes out, maybe. Selina chuckles, slips her hands under Bruce’s shirt. She glances at the TV. SELINA Geez, where were the naysayers when the Joker had the city on it knees? How typical of society, shun the hero when he’s down. Bruce looks at her, surprised. WAYNE You sympathize with that madman? SELINA Batman? Sure. Why not? He’s sexy. Dark. Dangerous. Alone...


Bruce looks at Selina wondering, then musters a smile. SELINA You know, I like you like this. WAYNE Like what? SELINA With a smile on your face. Selina plants a kiss on his cheek. INT. DOOR WAY, SELINA’S APARTMENT – BIT LATER Bruce watches Selina seated by the mirror, brushing her hair. Selina notices. SELINA Is everything okay with you, Bruce? Last night you seemed more glum than usual. WAYNE Seeing you cheered me up. I’m fine. Thanks for asking. Bruce fills out a blank check as he walks up to her. SELINA (re: check) Hmm, rich as well as handsome. Selina leans in almost cat-like for a kiss. SELINA (cont’d) Mrrow... They kiss. EXT. WAYNE MANOR - LATER The family mansion stands as it once did. Tall, overlooking Gotham. INT. KITCHEN, WAYNE MANOR – CONTINUED ALFRED PENNYWORTH in his butler uniform, seated in the


mega-sized kitchen, the morning paper in hand, fully engrossed. His face wrinkles with worry as he reads -Suddenly we hear the loud ROAR of a motorcycle marking Bruce’s arrival. Alfred sets the newspaper down. He sips some tea, waits patiently on Bruce to enter -Bruce enters the kitchen. A beat as he and Alfred stare off, poker faces. ALFRED Master Wayne. WAYNE Alfred. Bruce nods, continues on. ALFRED Pardon me sir, but is that it? You’ve been gone a week, Master Wayne. A bloody week! You were with that Selina Kyle, weren’t you? WAYNE Alfred -ALFRED (stern) If I may sir, you’ve lost the damn plot! Alfred tosses the newspaper across the kitchen counter to Bruce. The front page headline reads “Joker: Broken by the Bat”. ON WAYNE struggling with this, his expression says it slowly. ALFRED (cont’d) Master Wayne, when you first endeavored on your nocturnal forays, I had my reservations. As a matter of fact, I doubted the sincerity of it all. But


ALFRED (cont’d) overtime, I was won over. I sensed what you sought to accomplish was for the greater good. And so I went along with it... When you absconded from day-today normalcy... The times you broke the law... When you put criminals on the critical list with your brand of rough justice. I believed in what you were doing, Master Wayne. I believed in what you stood for. But now you’ve gone too far. You’ve crossed that fine line, sir. And I’m rather worried. Bruce considers his old friend a moment, wearied. WAYNE Alfred, you’ve been by my side all these years, stalwart in your support. And I appreciate your honesty... Anytime you feel unable to continue here at Wayne Manor, you’re welcome to... Bruce can’t bring himself to finish the sentence. Alfred is chastened. A pause. Then Bruce turns, crosses the room and exits the kitchen. Alfred just stares after him, stung. INT. LIBRARY, WAYNE MANOR - CONTINUOUS Bruce enters the library, walks up to a piano in the corner of the room, taps four notes. The bookcase set against the far wall swings open. Bruce steps through into the darkness. INT. BATCAVE – CONTINUOUS THE BATCAVE. Dark. Dormant. In one corner of the vast cavern, a spiraling staircase. In the center: A DUMB-WAITER lift descends all the way down to the Batcave floor –The lift door swings open as Bruce steps out. The automatic activation sequence engages. Ambient lights come on. A vast bank of new-state-of-the-art, super computing systems


flicker into life. Nearby, a workbench lined with an amazing assortment of Bat gadgets and equipment. Bruce walks across the Batcave towards the MAIN CONSOLE. Several news stories play at once on different computer monitors. MONITOR 1 – a news report: NEWSCASTER #1 The whole of Gotham is still trying to come to terms over what has transpired over the last few days. Criminal mastermind and Batman nemesis, the Joker, real name unknown, was found in the Gotham county fair in the early hours of the morning with his neck broken... MONITOR 2 – a talk show: TALK SHOW GUEST #1 Gotham city can no longer tolerate such a flagrant violation of the law... How many charges of assault, battery, harassment and murder can we add against the Batman? TALK SHOW GUEST #2 How are we forgetting the events that preceded the incident? First the Joker mutilated and then set alight a school teacher. Next he... MONITOR 3 – a news report: NEWSCASTER #2 ... managed to break out several maximum-security inmates out of Arkham. During this, he shot and crippled Dr. Jeremiah Arkham, chief psychiatrist at the psychiatric facility... MONTIOR 4 – a news report:


TV REPORTER #1 ... Police and bomb experts are still combing through the county fairgrounds looking for any suspicious packages said to have been left behind by the Joker... MONTIOR 5 – a TV talk show: TALK SHOW GUEST #3 As president of the Gotham City Council, it is my opinion that this town would be a lot safer without the Batman. That one man is the cause of a whole host of problems we face in Gotham... Bruce watches the screens, somber, his world slowly caving in. INT. MAYOR’S OFFICE – CITY HALL – DAY COMMISSIONER JAMES GORDON sits opposite MAYOR HAMILTON HILL, 50s. The Mayor gestures at the paper work piled all around him. MAYOR HILL Petition from the Council of Mothers... This one from the Victims’ Rights Task Force... all of them demanding Gotham PD issue a warrant for the Batman’s immediate arrest. GORDON To be fair Mr. Mayor, we don’t know for sure which incidents of assault are the work of Batman or copycats. MAYOR HILL Dammit Gordon, he’s out of control -Seventy eight acts of assault in the past five weeks. The people of Gotham want normalcy. After all the jolts


MAYOR HILL (cont’d) they’ve lived through... And this Joker business... (then) I issued a cease-and-desist order on the Batman months ago. An investigative team was put together to hunt him down. So how is it he’s still out there? GORDON Mr. Mayor, crime has been at record levels since the beginning of the year. Not to mention all the Arkham inmates the Joker set loose three months -MAYOR HILL All I’m hearing is excuses, Jim. I get the feeling you’d rather the Batman do the policing for us. He’s a loose cannon, no better than the crooks he brings in. (then) I ran on a law and order platform, Jim. I won’t let my administration look weak. I want action and I want it now! Whatever it takes... Don’t you dare let me down. Gordon nods, not liking it... GORDON Yes, sir. EXT. GOTHAM CENTRAL - DAY Over-aggressive reporters swarm Gordon as he ascends the stairs. REPORTER #1 Commissioner, what’s the official position on the Batman? GORDON No comment.


VARIOUS REPORTERS Will the Batman be brought to trial if caught? GORDON (heated) I said no comment. INT. GORDON’S OFFICE, GOTHAM CENTRAL - MOMENTS LATER Gordon enters. He finds his secretary JANE NELSON, 40s. Also in the room a LAWYER (DANIEL PRATT, 50s) and his client (ALAN WALLACE, 30s) in a neck brace, arm in a sling, and one of his legs in a cast. JANE (to Gordon) Sir, Mr. Wallace is here with his lawyer. GORDON Who? PRATT Commissioner, my client and I have been waiting on you for the last hour. Gordon settles into a desk swamped with stacks of files and paperwork. He looks Wallace over, then smiles, amused. GORDON Sorry but I’ve been rather busy. G.C.P.D. has its hands full. (re: Wallace) There’s vermin loose on our street. (then) So what is it I can do for you counselor? PRATT My client has yet to be charged, Commissioner, and with good reason. GORDON Jane, get me the Deputy on the phone.


GORDON (cont’d) (to Pratt) Mr. Pratt, you’re client was spotted fleeing the scene of a felony, clown mask over his face, and he fired on police men with an illegal weapon. PRATT No loot, no robbery and my client has yet to be identified as having fired upon your men. As for the weapon, Batman planted it on my client after violently assaulting him. My client was beaten within an inch of his life on the night of his arrest, Commissioner... A broken nose, a shattered femur, three broken ribs, a badly fractured leg... And that brace around his neck isn’t for laughs... And not to mention his emotional trauma. GORDON Emotional trauma? PRATT The only real crime was committed by the Batman. You should hunt down that lunatic Commissioner, instead of hounding my client. Gordon rubs his face. This has been a long and exhausting day. EXT. PRISON YARD, PEÑA DURO PRISON, SANTA PRISCA - DAY Bane sits at a table alone eating his meal. He looks up, casing the place: The yard is about 35 yards wide and 90 yards long. Surrounding the yard are twenty foot walls. A wire fence with barbed wire on top run atop the walls. Armed guards patrol along the top of the walls, looking down at the inmates. ON BANE


taking all this in. A few beats later, Bane reaches for an ALUMINUM MUG sitting on his food tray, and discreetly slides it under his shirt. INT. GORDON’S OFFICE, GOTHAM CENTRAL - NIGHT Gordon is seated behind desk poring over the large stack of files and paperwork. Occasionally he glances up at the small television is his office. ON SCREEN: TV host MIKE ENGEL, 40’s, and two other guests engaged in a roundtable discussion. ENGEL For months now, criminals have been found battered and seriously wounded. The Batman’s methods of capture are seemingly growing more violent and brutal. Is Batman dangerous to Gotham? GUEST #1 Hardly as dangerous as the criminals he’s putting away. Gotham is a city of thieves and murderers and people too frightened to hope. Batman is something we need. GUEST #2 Yes, but enough is enough. The Batman bent the rules, and now he’s broken them. Is he above the law? Gordon flips the channel. Another talk show, this time a TV reporter interviews... ON THE TV SCREEN TV REPORTER What do you think of Gotham city’s most famous champion, sir? #1 Most famous champion?


#2 Well, he’s sure keeping the hospitals busy. #3 He’s putting the bad guys in jail ain’t he? So what if he’s sending them to the hospital? They ain’t out on the streets. #4 Batman? He makes me sick! Gordon frowns, shakes his head. ON SCREEN: Host of the show EDWARD NASHTON (late 30s, slender build, off-the-chart smarts, dressed in an OLIVE GREEN suit) listens to his guest... GUEST ... he’s given his life to Gotham –the city, the people... He’s our protector. EDWARD But don’t you think Batman’s terrorist actions and explicit law breaking help create the very evil he’s fighting against? What was the prevalence of costumed criminals like the Joker before the Batman? Clearly there’s a correlation. Gordon clicks off the broadcast. He takes off his glasses, rubs the bridge of his nose. He sits back, lets out an exhausted sigh. Then he reaches for a cigar in his desk, lights it. Inhales deep. Gordon gets up, moves to the open window, looks out. GORDON (to self) How did we let you get this far?


GORDON (cont’d) I don’t know if I can protect you on this one. EXT. GOTHAM CENTRAL – CONTINUOUS We CRANE UP, MOVING UP SEVERAL STORIES... Finally settling on the buttress, poised, still accordance to the wind. watching like a hawk in DARK KNIGHT, perched atop a as a stone statue, cape snapping in He gazes down at the streets below, its aerie.

INT. EDWARD EDWARD’S OFFICE – NIGHT A neat and pretentious looking office laden with books, journals and periodicals. Edward Nashton sits, quiet, working diligently through a crossword puzzle. INT. HALLWAY – A BIT LATER Nashton comes out of his office, continues down the corridor. INT. OFFICE OF THE STUDIO EXEC. – MINUTES LATER Large, regal. The executive producer, TERRY COAKLEY (silver-haired, mid-50’s), is seated behind his desk. A knock on the door and Edward enters. EDWARD You wanted to see me, Terry? COAKLEY Yeah, come in Edward. Take a seat. (a beat) We have a problem, Ed. It’s your ratings. They’re plunging. Down 15 percent compared with last month. Apparently, and perhaps not surprisingly, no one’s sold on your “the Bat made me do it” theory. You’re trying to turn the viewers against their caped crusader with your perverse opinion-spewing, and I don’t think they appreciate it. What’s more your


COAKLEY (cont’d) advertisers are getting skittish. Like it or not Ed, the public is on the Batman’s side. EDWARD I think we should give it time, Terry. After all, the evidence is there. Clear as day. In fact, I think we should seriously consider interviewing some ‘Bat’ villains on the show. This way viewers can better grasp my point. COAKLEY (laughs) Hell, you’re not serious are you? This a news show, Eddy, not a circus. Keep it dignified. Conventional. It’s what the public wants. (then) Also, cut out the holier-than-thou attitude and haughty language. It’s hugely unappealing. And get rid of the green suit. Goodness sake. It makes you look... elfish. Edward’s jaw tightens. EDWARD Let me think it over. COAKLEY No Edward. Don’t like it, you can always resign. Nashton clenches a fist beneath the table, trying to control his rage. INT. EDWARD’S OFFICE – MOMENTS LATER Nashton strides around in silent rage, a caged lion, muttering to himself. He slams his desk angrily. Then he takes a seat in his swivel chair. Beat as Edward collects himself.


PUSH IN ON EDWARD thinking, thinking. His mind churning over. Seconds turn into minutes. A dark look crosses over Nashton’s face as ideas start to flood in and firm... And Edward suddenly rises from his seat, fetches a coat, opens the door to his office and exits. INT. BANE’S CELL, PEÑA DURO PRISON – NIGHT Dark, dank cell. The only available light is the pallid moonlight. Bane has the aluminum mug in his hands. Almost effortlessly, he RIPS off the handle. He moves to the cell wall. Silent and calm, Bane scrapes one tip of the mug handle against the concrete wall, producing a JAGGED weapon. INT. AISLEWAY, PEÑA DURO PRISON – LATER It is raining outside. There is an occasional RUMBLE of thunder that echoes through the silent cell house. A prison guard walks down the aisleway. He walks by a row of cells, looking in through the barred doors at the sleeping inmates as he passes. The guard reaches near the end of the aisleway, passing Bane’s cell. The guard stops, sensing something. He turns and looks down at the ground by Bane’s cell. An aluminum mug sits on the floor by the barred door. The guard traces back, looks into the cell at Bane. Bane is perfectly still, asleep. Everything looks normal. The guard bends to pick up the aluminum mug. As he rises -In a sudden violent motion, Bane’s arm SHOOTS through the barred door, grabbing the guard by the throat with one massive arm. Bane leans in, whispers... BANE (whisper) I need your keys. Bane’s other arm shoots out and, with the aluminum weapon in hand, he stabs prison guard repeatedly in the neck,


blood spurting all over. Lightning flashes illuminating Bane and the prison guard. INT. VENTILATION SHAFT, PEÑA DURO PRISON - LATER Bane scales up a ladder rapidly. It’s a 40 foot climb. The end of the shaft opens onto the cellhouse roof. Iron bars cover the shaft preventing any exit. Bane reaches the top of the shaft, steadies himself. He pulls out a section of pipe from his waistband, slides it through the iron bars. Using the pipe as a lever, Bane bends the bars. Then using his hands, Bane bends the bars further. Muscles bulging, grunting with effort, he widens the bars enough for him to climb through. EXT. CELLHOUSE ROOF, PEÑA DURO PRISON – SECONDS LATER The night is dark and wind strong. Search lights crisscross the roof. Bane waits a moment in the darkness. He looks all around. The prison is in the middle of the ocean. There’s nothing around for miles. But Bane looks on unperturbed. The lights are turned off and Bane makes a run for the roofs edge... sprinting... He LEAPS, over a railing, hurtling into the empty night space... INT. UNMARKED POLICE CAR – NIGHT Sirens blaring. Inside: DETECTIVE HARVEY BULLOCK, late 30’s, crass and unkept, a little overweight. In the driver’s seat, BERNARD DUNHAM, 30’s, a wide-eyed ROOKIE detective... Dunham is in pursuit of a DELIVERY TRUCK. BULLOCK Damn that sucker can move! Goddamn Joker clones... Hey -- eyes on the road. DUNHAM What is that? BULLOCK What’s what, kid?


Bullock follows Dunham’s gaze... In the sky light, which catch a glimpse of a large, bat-like figure swinging along directly above the chase. BULLOCK Heh, right on time. Slow down Bernie. It’s out of our hands now. DUNHAM But we’re under orders. Arrest the Batman on sight. BULLOCK Sure. Soon as he’s finished. ABOVE THE STREETS Batman swings into view, landing on rooftops, jumping fearlessly, cape flaring dramatically. He shoots his grappling gun, swings as if gliding, lowering downwards, a heat-seeker, honing in on the speeding truck. INT. DELIVERY TRUCK – CONTINUOUS Inside, three burly thugs in CLOWN MASKS... Meet BINKY, LOOPY and POGO. IN THE SIDE MIRROR – DENIS’ POV Batman swinging in closer, bearing down like a demon. BINKY Christ! It’s him. It’s the Bat! POGO Well, lose him! Binky shifts gears, accelerating. EXT. STREET – SAME ON THE TRUCK as it swerves, bumps, scrapes through traffic. ON BATMAN as he swoops down, and then THUMPS onto the roof of the


speeding truck. He uses a PNEUMATIC MANGLING DEVICE hidden in his palm, chops straight through the roof and holds on. Binky swiftly turns the wheel. The truck veers sharply, tires screaming. Batman swings wildly on the roof –EXT. CONSTRUCTION SITE – CONTINUOUS The truck crashes through a chain-link fence sending dirt and debris flying. Binky loses control as the truck turns too sharply and begins to TILT sideways toward the driver’s side. Batman holds on as the driver side of truck slams onto its side and slides along. As this happens, Batman leaps off the toppled truck and out of sight into the shadows -The truck SMASHES into an excavator, spews smoke from the hood. Pogo kicks out the windshield, pulls himself through. Binky scrambles out through driver door window. LOOPY Oh God –- My leg! Help me. POGO (to BINKY, re: LOOPY) Leave him. Pogo and Binky make a run for an incomplete, five-story building. Soon after, Batman emerges from the shadows, stands over Loopy, DARK and MACABRE. Loopy stares wide-eyed, terrified and quaking, frightened out of his mind. LOOPY Oh, God... Please, I-I give up. I surrender... Please! Loopy screams as he is engulfed in darkness. ON BULLOCK AND DUNHAM as they arrive. Dunham spots Batman moving in the shadows, headed for the building. Dunham pulls out a handgun. Bullock holds his gun hand down.


BULLOCK Cool it Bernie, let him do his thing first. INT. BUILDING, CONSTRUCTION SITE – MOMENTS LATER Pogo and Binky skulk in the shadows, guns drawn. BINKY Damn! I can’t see a thing –POGO Shut up, will ya! And stay close. BINKY You got a spare clip? Suddenly a grapple rope wraps around Binky’s leg and yanks him down and out a window. Binky screams, freaking as he disappears into the darkness. ON POGO he sees immediately what’s happened and reacts, starts firing indiscriminately all around him. Then it’s all quiet. Except Pogo’s nervous breathing and muttering. POGO ... kill him. I’ll kill him... (yelling) I ain’t afraid of you. Right then a shadow drops in the b.g. -- Pogo whirls round, aims, squeezes the trigger – CLICK! CLICK! He’s all out. POGO (calling out) What, you gonna cripple me too? Batman runs up, leaps at him... Pogo’s eyes go wide. POGO Holy... INT. STAIRCASE, BUILDING - SECONDS LATER Dunham and Bullock scurry up the stairs.


Dunham is the first to arrive. He approaches from behind with his gun drawn. DUNHAM Freeze! Batman rises, stares Dunham down with demonic eyes. DUNHAM (cont’d) Uhh -– I mean it. You’re under arrest, Mister. Again Bullock pushes Dunham’s pistol down. BULLOCK What the hell Bernie, you just get off the short yellow bus? He’s being patient with you as it is. (re: Pogo) Heh, not a bad piece of work Batto. Say, y’mind if we take credit for this one? Bullock turns. Batman’s already gone. BULLOCK (cont’d) (shrugs) He didn’t say no. Bullock looks at Dunham, awestruck from the encounter. BULLOCK (cont’d) Need to change your pants there, Dunham? INT. NEWSROOM, GNN BUILDING – MORNING A large NEWSROOM swarming with TV PRODUCERS, ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS, CAMERAMEN, NEWSCASTERS, REPORTERS, EXECUTIVES, and other TV personnel. Phones ring. Computers hum and keyboards clack. Edward comes out of his office, crosses through the newsroom when he sees newsroom personnel gathered in and around of Coakley’s office. Something’s going on... ACROSS THE ROOM


Gordon enters, flanked by two officers. They head for... INT. COAKLEY’S OFFICE, GNN BUILDING – CONTINUOUS Several news personnel huddled around Coakley’s mahogany desk. Gordon and his men push through the crowd. GORDON Okay, no one touch a thing. What is it? Gordon looks down at the desk. It’s a small parcel with question-marks printed all over. No postmark. No stamp. Just the word “Batman” written with letters cut out from newspapers and magazines. EDITOR #1 It’s addressed to Batman. As Gordon reaches to open it. EDITOR #2 Wait! Is it safe? GORDON This is evidence found at the scene of a crime. Gordon tears the package open. GORDON How long has Mr. Coakley been missing? EDITOR #1 Not sure. His wife says he never came home last night. Gordon removes a letter from the package, again written with letters cut out from newspapers and magazines. He reads it out loud: GORDON The man who made it doesn’t want it. The man who bought it doesn’t need it. The man who needs it doesn’t know it? Curious looks around the room... EDWARD (O.S.) It’s a riddle. The entire room turns at this.


GORDON Well, anyone know the answer? A beat. EDITOR #2 Coffin... The answer’s “coffin.” Silence. Gordon again looks into the parcel. There’s a small DIGITAL TIMER inside counting down. ON GORDON, deliberating. Then... GORDON (talking quickly) Alright, everyone outside. I want this room secured and dusted for prints. Call in every available officer. Tell them to head to every funeral home, every crematorium, morgues and hospitals downtown. Tell them to look at out for anything out the ordinary. Suspicious. Beat as Gordon examines the question mark insignia printed on the parcel. GORDON (cont’d) Tell them to look out for... “question marks”. EXT. CEMETARY – LATER The place is swarming with uniforms. Gordon stands among them, tense and anxious. Bullock approaches. BULLOCK We got nothing, Commish. Gordon shakes his head at the news. BULLOCK (cont’d) So who is this guy? GORDON Coakley? Friend of the Mayor. Gordon and Bullock walk among the headstones. GORDON (cont’d) The letter said we had until noon. (looks down at watch)


GORDON (cont’d) We have less than ten minutes. BULLOCK I dunno Commish. Maybe we got it wrong Maybe “Coffin” ain’t it. EXT. INDUSTRAL ZONE – CONTINUOUS A remote, industrial part of Gotham. A four-door sedan sits, abandoned. INT. PARKED SEDAN – CONTINUOUS Coakley wakes. He looks around, alarmed. He’s in the driver seat, bound to the steering wheel, his mouth taped shut. Coakley looks up at the dashboard... There’s a bomb with a DIGITAL TIMER counting down. Coakley’s eyes widen. He starts to struggle. EXT. CEMETARY – CONTINUOUS Gordon looks around at his men. His face wrapped with concern. INT. PARKED SEDAN - CONTINOUS Coakley struggles mightily. But it’s no good. He looks at the timer... 00:17... 00:16... 00:15... Time’s running out. INT. NEWSROOM - CONTINUOUS There is a clot of people gathered around Coakley’s office, eyes on the wall clock. In b.g., Edward sits alone, quietly watching everyone. EXT. CEMETARY - CONTINOUS Gordon looks down at his watch, sighs heavily. INT. PARKED CAR The timer counts down: 00:05... 00:04... 00:03... 00:02... ON COAKLEY terrified out of his skull... EXT. INDUSTRIAL ZONE – CONTINUOUS ON THE PARKED SEDAN, we wait for the impending explosion -but nothing happens. Seconds later and we hear the BLARE of a car horn.


EXT. CEMETARY – CONTINUOUS Gordon stands, feeling helpless, a resigned look on his face. INT. NEWS STUDIO – NIGHT Edward, seated at his anchor desk, pensive. After a moment... PRODUCTION ASSISTANT (O.S.) Five seconds... Edward shuffles his papers. A beat. Edward looks into the monitor and says: EDWARD Good evening viewers. Earlier today we reported on the kidnapping and sudden passing of GNN network executive, Terry Coakley. Details are still sketchy, but one thing is clear, we have a new ‘Bat’ villain in Gotham. Soon after today’s fateful events, our network received a letter bearing this black question-mark insignia. The letter is addressed to you, the viewers. It reads: Citizens of Gotham, allow me to formally introduce myself, I am the Riddler. INT. BULLPEN, MCU, GOTHAM CENTRAL – SAME TIME The room is full of uniformed cops and detectives. Bullock and Dunham enter. BULLOCK They say he was found in a parked sedan on Koughun street... in the industrial zone. Get it? Coffin... Koughun... Dunham scratches his head, trying to makes sense of it all. A group of cops, both plainclothes and uniformed, are gathered around a TV mounted on a corner wall. Bullock and Dunham walk over. BULLOCK What’s going on?


One of the plainclothes detectives motions with his chin up at the TV. ON SCREEN: EDWARD I am the one responsible for the kidnapping of GNN exec, Terry Coakley. Again, it was I who sent the riddle which the police were unable to decode. Regrettably, this duly led to the demise of Coakley, but do not think of me as a murderer. Had the police been able to solve my rather abecedarian riddle, Mr. Coakley would be very much alive and not destined for a hole in the ground. Anyway, why am I here in Gotham? And what do I want? Simple... What takes flight at night, what sees without sight? Edward pauses a moment, looking up from the note, and back down again. EDWARD (cont’d) I do not crave money, power, influence or destruction... My motivation is simply a worthy adversary to my more cerebral and frankly, more sophisticated methods of villainy. And from now on, no more puerile nonsense and cheap world play... Let’s make things more interesting.... Until my next riddle, adieu. Edward looks up from the note. Complete silence. Millions of viewers hanging onto every word. EXT. GOTHAM CITY – NIGHT Gotham City stands, as always, sinister against the night. The BAT SIGNAL shines against the dark clouds. EXT. ROOFTOF, GOTHAM CENTRAL – SAME It’s a windy night. Bullock saunters out onto the roof.


Gordon is there standing by a giant projector beaming the makeshift BAT SYMBOL. BULLOCK He ain’t shown yet, huh, Commish? GORDAN Not yet Bullock. Tell you the truth I’m not surprised. Bullock gestures at the makeshift Bat signal, amused. BULLOCK You know the Mayor won’t appreciate it. GORDAN Let him write me a reprimand. I answer to the people of Gotham, not the Mayor. BULLOCK Oh, the Mayor requested your pleasure. Now. GORDAN Figures. BULLOCK Probably about the new color scheme for his office. Gordon checks his watch. He turns away, disappointed. GORDAN (re: bat signal) Shut it off. INT. LIMO - NIGHT Bane sits opposite Talia in the back. He stares out his window watching city blur past. TALIA How did you escape? Bane offers the slightest of smiles, doesn’t answer TALIA (cont’d) I’ve managed to assemble part of your


TALIA (cont’d) team. BANE Unnecessary. TALIA Then consider them your back-up. You failed my father once and he spared your life. I will not grant you the same leniency. Bane gives Talia a look that impales. BANE I’m a killer, Miss Al Ghul. I would kill to silence a grating voice. To darken the light in the eyes that dared look at me. (then) I will not fail you. EXT. BUILDING - NIGHT The limo pulls up in front of a tenement-like building. INT. BUILDING - CONTINUOUS The freight elevator grinds to a halt as it arrives at its destination. Elevator doors slide open allowing Bane and Talia to exit. We’re in a vast room, brick-walled, a cross between an armory and laboratory. The three men in the room approach –- meet slim and sinewy; TROGG, a muscular warrior beard/shaved head combo; and finally BIRD, Bane nods in greeting, slap hands with all ZOMBIE It has been many years, friend. Trogg hands Bane a crude homemade BALLISTIC FACEMASK with a SKELETAL image impressed on the face surface. Bane studies the mask, memories rekindling. TROGG We’re ready to begin, Bane. Bane nods. BANE Good. We have plenty to prepare for. ZOMBIE, stolid, sporting a lean and lethal. three men.


INT. GORDON’S APARTMENT – NIGHT We hear keys twisting and the door swings open. Gordon enters, weary and haggard. The apartment is dark, quiet. Gordon stands a moment, waiting, as if expecting... but he’s alone. INT. KITCHEN, GORDON’S APARTMENT - LATER Gordon sits alone at kitchen table over a simple meal. INT. GORDON’S APARTMENT – LIVING ROOM – LATER Gordon has fallen asleep in one of the living room chairs. Mouth agape, snoring lightly. A dark shape enters the frame and looms over him. BATMAN Commissioner. Gordon leaps out of his seat several feet. GORDON Christ! You scared me half to death. How did you –BATMAN Coakley, he died of a heart attack? GORDON (nods) Yes. Four open heart surgeries in the last three years. Most recent surgery was eight weeks ago. All this “Riddler” had to do was keep Coakley away from his medication long enough and then threaten his life, guaranteeing Coakley a massive heart attack. (sighs) The Mayor’s having a fit over this. As if you weren’t enough. Whoever’s responsible, he’s very smart and even more dangerous. BATMAN “Thinks” he’s smart. He’s most likely just another Joker-inspired nobody trying to impress with his riddles. GORDON Well, I wish I could be so sure.


Gordon’s phone RINGS. He answers. GORDON (cont’d) Gordon here. Yes Jane... What?! (to Batman) We’ve just received a letter back at the precinct... from the Riddler. (into phone) Read it out to me Jane... “What’s Green, whistles and covers a lot of ground?”... What the hell...? Hold on, Jane. Gordon looks across to Batman, still in the shadows. GORDON (cont’d) What do you think? Batman looks down, brows furrowed. Then... BATMAN Train? GORDON Green? The green railway line? Jesus! (into phone) Jane, get the bomb squad on the phone. And put me through to Gotham Rail. (turns to Batman) What’re you going to do -- ? Batman? Batman is already gone. EXT. STREET - NIGHT A new and redesigned version of the TUMBLER weaves dangerously through traffic, like a sleek black missile, moving at breakneck speed in hot pursuit. UP ABOVE, an elevated train blurs along at a high speed. INT. BATMOBILE - CONTINUOUS Batman drives, shifting gears, ACCELERATING... He puts the BATMOBILE in autopilot. Then he presses on a button, the driver hood slides open, cold air whips around. The seat transforms putting Batman into a prone position: FIRING MODE. Batman’s jaw sets. He slams a lever and SHOOTS out upwards spectacularly like a fighter pilot ejecting... IN MIDAIR


Batman quickly whips out his grappling gun and FIRES the grappling hook at the train –- where it latches onto the train roof. INT. TRAIN CAR - CONTINUOUS Commuters in the last car ride along in blissful ignorance, completely unaware. Suddenly a heavy THUD is heard on the train roof. A moment then the rear door is swung open. Batman appears, cloak flapping wildly behind. Commuters gasp as Batman enters the passenger car. He moves down the aisle, eyes scanning, moving hurriedly -Batman enters the next passenger car. He recommences his search, looking under seats, scanning faces... Still nothing –Then he sees an advertisement for a new, slick cellular phone, posted on the compartment wall. Written below: “So Sexy, it’ll make you Whistle”. The image gives Batman pause. He stares a beat, eyes narrowing. Batman moves to the seat by the advertisement, bends too look... And there. A bundle of plastic explosive fixed to the underside of the seat with a timer ticking down –- 01:00... 00:59... 00:58... Batman reacts, alarmed. He looks over at the passengers. BATMAN (roars) MOVE!! Commuters scamper, panicking and hollering, trying to flee. Batman reaches for the explosive and very slowly rips the tape off, removing the bomb. He stands up, looks around, moves to the car window. Batman sets the plastic explosive down on a nearby seat slams his fist against a car window. THRUSTS an elbow. No effect. Next he grabs onto the handrails, starts kicking at the window over and over, GRUNTING with each strike... until finally the window cracks and glass explodes all around. Batman hurls the bomb out the smashed aperture and -BOOOOM!! The bomb detonates creating a surging FIREBALL that shatters every window. Batman is flung backwards brutally like he weighed nothing. CLOSE ON BATMAN


on all fours, covered in glass, bleeding from the mouth, the batsuit ripped in a dozen places. INT. TV STUDIO - LATER Edward is silent a moment. Then he looks up into the camera. EDWARD You know Gotham, we saw this coming. This whirlwind of destruction and chaos we’re face to face with. I predicted this months ago. Months. The Joker maybe gone, but not long after, just days... there’s another bat villain... One who may in fact be much worse. More diabolical. Certainly more cunning. He’s got the Gotham PD scrambling around confused. And the Batman... HE’S the reason why we’re in this mess to begin with. One dead. Several injured after tonight’s attack. How many more until we realize... Until we figure out where we’ve gone wrong? Or, I don’t know, maybe we wait until after this “Riddler” bombs a school bus or a church. By putting our faith in Batman, we are putting ourselves, our children, all at risk. Now listen to me, Gotham. Listen carefully. Here’s what I want you to do. I want to you to get on the phone to the Mayor, the Commissioner, your councilman... I want you to write them letters, send emails. Whatever it takes. And I want you to say, three words: Stop Batman. NOW! – Just three words. Stop Batman. NOW! Before it’s too late. INT. BATCAVE - LATER Bruce is sits on a surgical table, still SHELL SHOCKED. He struggles to remove his Bat gear. His body suit is drenched with sweat and blood. Bruce grits his teeth as he removes pieces of glass wedged in his right arm and abdomen. More blood pours from the wounds. INT. ALFRED’S ROOM, WAYNE MANOR – EARLY MORNING ON ALFRED


as he silently packs up some of his belongings into two suitcases. EXT. WAYNE MANOR – A BIT LATER Alfred steps out onto the gravel driveway carrying his suitcases. A cabbie steps out of a parked cab to help Alfred with his luggage. Alfred stops, turns, takes one final look at the towering Wayne Manor. A look of sorrow on his face. A beat and then he enters the cab. The cab drives off, passing through the massive gates. INT. KITCHEN, GORDON’S HOUSE - MORNING Gordon grabs the coffee pot and pours himself a cup. He listens intently to a morning news show with EDWARD as the special guest. ON TV: HOST Some in the media circle say you’re acting a bit... hysterical. EDWARD Well, perhaps I’m misunderstood. You see, I’m only articulating the many fallacies in the notion that the Batman is this cities savior or guardian. Last night’s events are proof of this. Regardless of the Batman’s heroics, he continues to motivate these crazed lunatics who in turn grow more vengeful and murderous with the Batman’s continued presence. What’s more, the Gotham PD is equally to blame... HOST The police? EDWARD Exactly. Not only did their gross negligence lead to the rise of Batman and consequent Bat-Villans, but they continue to let Batman run rampant without prejudice. Batman’s is directly responsible for the murder of a cop. The murder of our beloved District Attorney, Harvey Dent. Yet nothing has


EDWARD (cont’d) been done. Gotham PD, Commissioner Gordon, all must be held accountable. Gordon frowns. EXT. GOTHAM DOWNTOWN – MORNING Moving over downtown Gotham. The sprawling metropolis begins a new day. INT. BOARDROOM, WAYNE TOWERS - MORNING BOARD MEMEBERS and EXECUTIVES have convened for a meeting. Standing in the front of the room is one of Wayne Enterprises chief officers, NORMAN HARRIS (late 50s). Bruce sits at the head of the table, his mind elsewhere. HARRIS Are you still with us, Mr. Wayne? Bruce looks up. His face is an impassive blank. HARRIS We are conferring on whether to shut down some of our outsourcing for Wayne Electronics this year and instead handle operations internally. WAYNE Hmm, scale back on outsourcing and run in-house? HARRIS In light of an impending spike in energy prices and labor costs... (beat) Mr. Wayne? WAYNE (getting up) Write up a report and I’ll review it over the weekend. HARRIS Very well, Mr. Wayne. However, failure to act with expedience may have calamitous long-term consequences for the company.


WAYNE Hm-mm, we’ll talk Monday. Bruce exits the conference room. Around the table, concerned faces of the executives and board members. INT. WAYNE’S OFFICE, WAYNE TOWERS - LATER Bruce looks out his floor-to-ceiling office window at the Gotham City skyline. Deep in thought. After a moment he pulls out his cell phone, dials a number. INT. BEDROOM, SELINA’S APARTMENT – SAME TIME The phone rings. Selina snatches up the phone in a swift, feline fashion. A MAU CAT, ISIS, leaps on top of her, nuzzles her neck. SELINA (seductive) Hello? INTERCUT INT. WAYNE’S OFFICE/INT. SELINA’S APARTMENT CONTINUOUS WAYNE Selina. Hi, it’s Bruce. SELINA Bruce. Wow, it’s been awhile. Thought you forgot about me. WAYNE Yeah I, uh, I’ve had a busy week. But I would like to make it up to you. If you’ll let me? SELINA So you find a little room in your busy schedule for little old me? What’d you have in mind? WAYNE Dinner. Friday night. My place. Selina reacts, caught off guard. SELINA Your place? WAYNE I know. It’s out of the blue. Abrupt.


WAYNE (cont’d) But I live in very big mansion, and I sure would appreciate the company. So what do you think? SELINA (smiles wide; then) I... Yes, of course. I warn you though, I don’t do anything on the first date. Bruce cracks a smile. WAYNE Great. I’ll call you later. Bruce ends the call, his lips shaping the slightest of smiles. He pockets the cell phone, pauses, then parts his jacket revealing A DARK SPOT OF BLOOD spreading across his torso. INT. OFFICE, GNN BUILDING - MORNING We’re in the plush, executive size, corner office. Edward sits opposite SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT in charge of programming, FRANK ALLEN (50s). ON EDWARD brimming with confidence, a strong sense of himself. ALLEN You know, Terry wanted you fired? That should come to no surprise to you. He hated your guts. And especially hated that green suit. According to him, you were dragging down the network singlehandily. But after seeing last night’s ratings, Edward, I can’t help but disagree. Thanks to you we have a hit show on our hands. I was a little skeptical at first with the Bat bashing. After all, he’s a monumental figure. Gotham’s famed caped crusader. But you’re drawing big ratings. And this Riddler character’s got viewers on edge. So I had the Mayor over for dinner last night, we discussed your show and its recent success... And he agreed to your request. Although only one Bat-villain will be interviewed,


ALLEN (cont’d) Edward. There will be heavy security around the studio for our safety. This better run smoothly, Edward, for your sakes. Edward smiles a big, evil cat-who-swallowed-the-canarysmile. EDWARD You’ve made right the decision, Allen. I believe we are seeing a locomotive of incalculable energy stocking up steam. Again, you’ve made the right decision. I won’t let you down. INT. DINING AREA, RESTAURANT – LATE NIGHT We’re in a modest, smoke-filled restaurant. No customers. Just five of hard-nosed crime bosses in a back booth. Armed bodyguards in suits keep guard. One of the bosses, JIMMY “NO NOSE” NOVAK, 55, overweight and thick, nose partially gnawed off. Novak owns the place, although not on paper. He talks while puffing on a cigar. CRIME BOSS #1 It’s those Joker clones. Those loons, they’re like rabid dogs foaming at the mouth, leaching off of everything. Last week it was the jewelry store. The other day it was a shipment from the docks... We’ve to do something. JIMMY “NO NOSE” Like what? Go to war? That’ll mean more bodies on the streets... the Mayor’s not going to take my phone calls after that. CRIME BOSS #2 And dare we forget the Batman. CRIME BOSS #3 I heard the Bat’s got his own problems, we don’t have to worry about him anymore. JIMMY “NO NOSE” No. We always got to worry about the


JIMMY “NO NOSE” Bat, the cops can’t stop him. Not that they’re trying. Crime boss, UMBERTO MARONI, mid-30s, a big bull with brutish manners, interjects, slams his fist on the table. UMEBRTO MARONI Enough. I am sick and tired of this constant running and hiding. The problem is that since the Joker, we’ve all gone soft. We were the untouchables once. My father used to run rackets without a care in the world. But now everyone’s looking over their shoulder... Batman. Joker. Scarecrow. We’ve given in to those masked freaks. I say no more. We take a stand now. INT. RESTAURANT – SAME TIME WE TRACK Bane and his team as they enter the rear of the restaurant from a nearby alley. They storm through, entering into the kitchen, past kitchen staff, waiters, and busboys... As this happens Bane slides on the skeletal facemask... INT. RESTAURANT – DINING AREA – CONTINUOUS JIMMY “NO NOSE” Look, I suggest we consolidate, pool our efforts. No more territories, no more wars, everyone working together as one. And with the right person as leader –UMBERTO MARONI And let me guess, you’re that leader? You got guts Jimmy. Don’t forget my father was the most powerful crime boss this town’s ever seen. JIMMY “NO NOSE” Listen kid, daddy ain’t around no more. What, you think because you got a driver’s license you’re tough enough to lead a conglomerate of gangsters? (howls with laughter)


JIMMY “NO NOSE” You’re making me laugh kid. Look at you, still got you’re training wheels on. The Maroni crime family is weak, vulnerable, your soldiers are inexperienced -UMBERTO MARONI OH! Who do you think you are Novak? No way am I going to be your salary boy, jumping through hoops... I’m a Maroni, we don’t work for nobody. Suddenly BOOM! Doors burst open as Bane and his men enter the dining area. Within a split second Zombie and Bird have the bodyguards sprawled on the ground -JIMMY “NO NOSE” What the -- What is this? Bane bears down on Novak. BANE I want only one thing... Batman. UMBERTO MARONI Another weirdo in a mask. What, the carnival in town? Bane grabs Umberto by the back of the head and slams him hard against the dining table drawing blood. JIMMY “NO NOSE” Whoa, whoa, okay... What do you want to know? BANE Everything there is to tell. JIMMY “NO NOSE” Look, no one knows nothing about the Bat. He’s just another masked nut job. Uh, no offense. Only thing we do know is that where there’s action, he shows up. BANE What sort of action? JIMMY “NO NOSE” Major action. Drugs, extortion,


JIMMY “NO NOSE” (cont’d) smuggling... Maybe we work something out? We could, uh, lure him out. And then you take care of him for us. We work together. As partners. Whaddya say? BANE A trap? Bring the Batman to us? JIMMY “NO NOSE” Exactly. I’ve got a couple of ideas. Bane stands over Jimmy, towering. BANE So do I. INT. RESTAURANT – DINING AREA – LATER The dining area is now a crime scene. Detective Bullock and a dozen uniformed cops assess the room, looking for clues amongst the bloody corpses. Detective Dunham stands back, trying to ignore the gory scene. Bullock scans the room, eyes lock on one body in particular. DET. BULLOCK Oh boy. A uniformed cop moves alongside him. UNIFORMED COP Looks like Jimmy “No-Nose” Novak. DET. BULLOCK Jimmy “no nose, no lips, ears and eyes”... Looks like a piñata. All of a sudden Dunham throws up violently in a corner. DET. BULLOCK Losing your lunch there, Dunham? UNIFORMED What do you think, detective? DET. BULLOCK (shrugs) They died hurting. Gang related maybe? Bit messy though.


GORDON (O.S.) Exactly. This lacks the hallmark of a mob hit. Gordon walks up to everyone, hands in pockets. GORDON (cont’d) Question is, who stands to gain from this. A VIBRATING BUZZ. Gordon looks down at his cellphone. GORDON (cont’d) I need some air. EXT. ALLEY – MOMENTS LATER Gordon walks out into the alley Bane and his team entered from. He looks around, lights a cigarette. In the b.g. Batman drops down behind Gordon. Gordon turns startled. GORDON You know I could die of heart failure the next time you sneak up on me. BATMAN Jimmy Novak’s was running a smuggling operation coming through the docks. GORDON The docks? That could be Waylon Jones, or Croc as he likes to be known. I’m sure you’ve heard the name. Makes sense. Croc’s big. Strong. He would have little trouble lifting his side of a grand piano. He’s certainly mean enough for a job this ugly. He’s got a four man crew. Operates out of a secluded warehouse by the docks. We’ll need a warrant to search the place... BATMAN Not me. As Batman turns to leave... GORDON Wait! One other thing. I, uh, I know you’ve been under some serious strain


GORDON (cont’d) over the last few months. And uh, well... BULLOCK (O.S.) Commissioner. Gordon looks round. GORDON I’m busy Bullock. What is it? BULLOCK Uh, the press is here. They’re going nuts. Gordon turns forward. Batman’s gone. Gordon sighs. GORDON Good. Keep them out. BULLOCK With pleasure. EXT. ROOF – SAME TIME We find Bane and his team watching Gordon and Batman four stories below. BANE There he is. BIRD We should take him now. He suspects nothing. BANE No, not yet. Now would be too easy. They watch as Batman aims his grappling gun and takes off upwards. EXT. ROOFTOP BY THE DOCKS - LATER Batman lands, crouching, melted in the shadows. Batman looks through miniature binoculars into the windows of a derelict three storey warehouse. ON BANE not too far away, shrouded in the darkness. He stands perfectly still, watching Batman.


Batman’s head SNAPS around suddenly having heard the slightest noise from behind. He looks around, alert, into the shadows, eyes searching. Silence. No movement. Batman turns forward, puts an earphone to his ear. We hear filtered voices coming from the warehouse... CHARLIE (V.O.) (filtered) Hey Croc, how comes I always gotta count the money? INT. WAREHOUSE - COTINUOUS We’re in den of sorts. CHARLIE sits by a small table in the center of the room, counting stacks of money. Working out on a bench press machine a very large BLACK MAN... Meet WAYLON JONES a.k.a. CROC. Feral, vicious, powerfully built, arms as thick as beams, his skin leathered, hardened and fissured. Croc works out on an old bench press machine... He lowers the weight on the armrest, sits up. His deep voice booms. CROC You saying I can’t trust you to count my money, Charlie? CHARLIE What? Nah... I mean... yeah sure, Croc. You can trust me. Croc lays back, does more reps with little effort. Charlie turns to MITCH and FLOYD seated by the TV. CHARLIE Hey, guys, you think you can turn the TV down a little? I keep losing count here. Mitch aims the remote, turns the TV up. Charlie frowns -Suddenly the lights in the room go out. CHARLIE What the hell? Everyone reacts. Mitch and Floyd pull out guns. ON WINDOW --


Just then the Dark Knight CRASHES right through, glass and debris spraying everywhere. Batman rolls across the floor before hurling two BATARANGS at Mitch and Floyd. They yelp in pain as their guns go flying. Charlie reaches for his gun. Starts firing over and over. The muzzle flash from the weapon strobes the room... IN THE MUZZLE FLASH: Batman landing a series of kicks and punches on Mitch and Floyd simultaneously with brutal physical power. Blood spurts. We hear the crack of bones -Then CLICK! CLICK! Empty! Everything goes dark. Croc lunges forward, grabs Batman in a mean bear hug from behind. Batman reacts quickly, striking the back of his head against Croc’s face, SMASHING HIS NOSE TO BITS! Croc is knocked back but recovers quickly. He check his bearings, goes after Batman again with a GROWL. Batman ducks and dodges as the large man swings his bear-like arms, then counters with a crushing kick to the knee and then a vicious round-house punch to the face. Croc crashes to the ground. Charlie reaches for the barbell, the 25.lbs weight discs sliding off. Batman turns as Charlie charges at him. He jumps back as Charlie swings away. Then Batman SIDE-STEPS and grabs the barbell with both hands, forces Charlie backwards towards a low window and –EXT. WAREHOUSE – CONTINUOUS -- Charlie SMASHES through the window! Batman reacts quickly, grabbing Charlie by the foot before he plummets. Charlie screams and yells. BATMAN Stop... struggling... INT. WAREHOUSE – CONTINUOUS In the b.g. Croc regains consciousness, begins to rise. A wicked grin crosses his face as he approaches the distracted Batman... SUDDENLY he is grabbed from behind by Bane and pulled away into the darkness. ON BATMAN unawares, struggling mightily until finally he manages to haul Mitch up into the building.


Batman scrambles to his feet, breathing laboriously. He looks back. Croc is splayed across the floor, unconscious. EXT. ACROSS THE STREET – SAME TIME We see a reflection of Batman in binocular lenses. Bird’s head moves back from the binoculars. PULL OUT FURTHER... Bird and the others are seated in a unmarked van parked not too far away. Bird gestures at the approaching Bane. The van doors slide open and Bane hops in, he removes his mask, a puzzled expression across his face. Beat. BANE Batman... He does not kill. BIRD Why did you let him go? BANE (stern) I let him live. There is a difference. (beat) This is a strange enemy. Complex. A stalker of the dark, a predator, a figure of fear... Yet he doesn’t kill. There is more for me to learn about Batman. Much more. INT. BULLPEN, MCU – NEXT DAY The room is packed with detectives and uniformed cops, going over case files, drinking coffee. Incessant CHATTER and TAPPING KEYBOARDS. Secretary Jane crosses the room to her desk by Gordon’s office. She finds a medium-sized box placed on the desk. JANE (re: box) What’s this? A uniformed cop looks up from paper work. UNIFORMED COP Box came in for the Commissioner. JANE How long ago?


UNIFORMED COP Ten minutes. Jane examines the box, sees a ‘question-mark’ insignia in one corner! Her eyes widen. JANE Oh my GOD --! Jane quickly dives away from desk, and -- BOOM! The box explodes in a shower of paper... Jane slowly looks up as bits of paper rain down all around her. She looks around, confused. INT. ROOFTOP, GOTHAM CENTRAL – NIGHT Gordon stands by the makeshift bat signal. He looks tired, his face creased with anxiety and worry. Bullock stands not too far. He reads from the letter sent by the Riddler: BULLOCK “... Generally my leaves aren't turned at night... Usually I'm full of worms by day... Lots of words but deathly quiet”... I think you got it right the first time Commissioner. Cemetery. Ain’t it? GORDON I want a second opinion. BULLOCK May as well pull the plug on the light. He ain’t coming. The roof doors open and six casually dressed officers tear out onto the roof. The leader of the ensemble is LIEUTENANT ELLEN YINDELL, 37, poised, no-nonsense demeanor. YINDELL Commissioner Gordon. Lieutenant Yindell. I’m heading a special taskforce unit assigned by Mayor. Gordon looks at her extended hand. GORDON The Mayor? What’s your assignment? YINDELL Batman, sir.


GORDON And it occurred to you that you find him up on the roof waiting? YINDELL We saw the signal, we figured it was a good a place to start as any. Gordon walks over to the bat signal and turns it off. He turns to Yindell... GORDON You figured wrong, lieutenant. Gordon takes one final look from the roof and then walks across to the exit. CLOSE ON THE BATSIGNAL we notice the letter Bullock was reading, is now placed within a section under the modified spot light. INT. GOTHAM UNIVERSITY LIBRARY – NIGHT Pitch black. Way past closing time. A window creaks open and Batman drops through. Everything is perfectly still. Almost haunting. Batman looks across the vast space of the deserted library... Over at mahogany tables and chairs... The tall bookshelves... Up at the balconies surrounding the room on all four sides. Batman pulls out a mini-flashlight, angling it as he walks down the main aisle, looking down the bookshelf aisles. Batman pauses, points the flashlight at the nearby notice board. He scans the notices with the flashlight... stops, the light beam landing on one notice in particular. Below a scribbled question mark, it reads: I run but cannot walk, sometimes I sing but I never talk. I lacks arms, have hands; I lack a head but have a face. Batman straightens, frowning. A moment. Then Batman lifts the flashlight, scans around, then up... finally settling on the CLOCKTOWER overhead. INT. CLOCK TOWER SHAFT, GOTHAM UNIVERSITY LIBRARY Batman looks up the clock tower shaft, FIRES his grappling gun and shoots upwards through a spiraling staircase to the


top –and Batman lands gracefully in a crouch. He rises, looks all around, The entire place is lined with SCAFFOLDING and POLYESTER SHEETS. ON BATMAN eyes carefully scanning.... And then he finds what he’s looking for. He walks up to a gleaming STEEL CASE placed by the CLOCK FACE. Batman carefully opens the case which automatically sets off the BOMB’S TIMER. It reads: 05:00. Then flips to 04:59 and begins counting down: 04:58... 04:57... 04:56... Next to the timer is a SMALL KEYBOARD and SCREEN carefully laid over the complex wiring. The screen reads: When is a formal affair like an explosion? A moment to think and then Batman takes out a mini wire cutter from one of his belt compartments. He tenses up, cautious. His hands waver over the wires, and then finally stopping over A RED WIRE with BLACK STRIPES. Batman holds the wire with his fingers, CUTS IT –- the timer stops at 00:04! EXT. LIBRARY – TWENTY MINUTES LATER The entrance to the library is a tangle of police cruisers and TV news trucks. Gordon stands behind the yellow tape surveying the scene. He hears a SCRAMBLE in his POLICE RADIO. Then a Morse code. EXT. ALLEY – A BIT LATER Gordon stands with Batman in the shadows. GORDON (reading) “When is a formal affair like an explosion?” BATMAN When it’s black-tied, and red all over. GORDON But how’d you know the bomb was in the library?


BATMAN Leaves as in pages. Bookworms. Words. Quiet. Generally... Usually... Lots... The acronyms for G.U.L... Gotham University Library. Gordon shakes his head, even more confused. GORDON So what about these bombs he leaves lying around? BATMAN The Riddler is nothing more than a scheming trickster. GORDON You think someone else is planting the bombs? BATMAN A demolition expert. I found traces of cyclonite mixed in with the explosives. GORDON Jesus. Could be ex-military? The department has a few on file. Batman turns to leave. GORDON (cont’d) One more thing, the Mayor’s assigned an anti-vigilante taskforce unit to hunt you down. Batman stops. GORDON (cont’d) Name’s Ellen Yindell. She’s an up-andcoming lieutenant within the department. She will be heading a team of six. She’s a tough one. Very aggressive. Committed. Once she latches on... She won’t be deterred until you are brought to justice... Listen, we can’t keep meeting. I’m a cop first. Batman turns, shoots his grappling gun. BATMAN Thank you.


Batman rises, pulling farther into the shadows. INT. MULTI-LEVEL CAR PARK - NIGHT DING-DING. Elevator doors slide open and out walks former M&A consultant lawyer, REESE. He looks thinner, wearied, a few grayed hairs. He walks straight to his car parked all the way down. A van on the other side of garage starts and pulls out. It approaches, gradually building up speed. Reese notices as the van gets closer. As he nears his own car, the van SCREECHES to a halt beside him. Reese reacts but it’s too late. The van doors slide open and he is yanked in as the wheels PEEL out, burning rubber. INT. BUILDING – LATER ON REESE in a dim-lit room, tied to a chair and his head encased in a burlap sack. Everything is quiet. REESE Hello? Suddenly the burlap sack is removed. Reese is sweating heavily, his hair and clothes disheveled. Bane stands in front of Reese, his face hidden in the shadows. BANE Mr. Reese? REESE Yes? Who -- Where am I? What’s going on here? Bane steps forward, pulls out a chair and sits down opposite Reese, leans in so that they’re almost face to face. REESE Wh-what do you want? Bane grabs a finger, bends it in a direction it can’t go and –- SNAP!! Reese howls in pain, tears streaming from his eyes. BANE I ask the questions, Mr. Reese. Your mind is in possession of this city’s


BANE (cont’d) best kept secret: The true identity of the Batman. Reese looks at Bane, twitching and sweating. BANE (cont’d) Now, what I want is for you to share that very secret with me. Do you understand my words? REESE I-I can’t –BANE You will. Bane takes another finger and slowly bends it until it breaks. Reese screams in unimaginable agony. REESE I-I...Buh-B-Batman! BANE No, BANE! Bane breaks another finger. Reese screams. He is close to blacking out. Bane slaps him across the face. BANE You will not pass out on me, Reese. We have ways of keeping you awake. Reese musters the strength. And finally... REESE B-Bruce... Wa-ayne... Pause. Bird lets out a hearty laugh. Bane looks up at him. BIRD C’mon? Bruce Wayne? BANE Who is Bruce Wayne? BIRD Billionaire playboy. Richest man in Gotham. He dates models. Drives sports cars. He ain’t no Batman. REESE No! It’s the honest truth. Please.


Bane regards Reese a moment. Then he rises. BANE Keep trying, Mr. Reese. REESE No, wait! I-It’s the truth. I swear it! Bane exits the room leaving Reese alone with Zombie and Bird. REESE Please!! INT. ARSENAL/LAB - LATER Bane examines newspaper articles on a big screen computer monitor. CLOSE ON MONITOR: A Gotham Globe article. A photo of a boy, aged 10, a haunted look on his face -– a young Bruce Wayne. A headline reads: “WAYNES MURDERED!” Bird enters whilst wiping blood off his hands onto a cloth. BIRD Well, he won’t change his story. The Batman must really have him spooked. (re: screen) What’s this? Another article downloads into view: “MISSING MILLIONAIRE RETURNS TO GOTHAM.” Below that a recent photo of Bruce Wayne. BANE Reese wasn’t lying. BIRD So? Doesn’t make it true. Maybe he’s confused. Other images download on the screen: Bruce at a black-tie function, Bruce emerging from the revolving doorway of Wayne Towers, Bruce hosting a charity function at the Manor... Then back again to a picture of young Bruce. Bane leans in closer to the computer monitor, eyes searching, looking for the slightest hint. BANE Perhaps.


INT. NEWS STUDIO - NIGHT Edward Nashton at his desk, shuffling his notes, looks to his right, tonight’s guest: DR. JONATHAN CRANE a.k.a. SCARECROW. CRANE Nervous? Edward ignores him, looks up for his cue. INT. COMMISSIONER GORDON’S OFFICE - NIGHT Gordon is at his desk, sifting through stacks of paper work. He looks exhausted. The phone goes off. GORDON Jim Gordon speaking... WHAT!? INT. TV STUDIO – NIGHT Edward and Crane sit across from each other, Crane looking comfortable. CRANE You see, the Batman represents an aberrant psychotic force terrorizing the economically disadvantaged and socially misaligned... The effects of his presence here in Gotham are far from positive. Clearly. He’s a danger to every citizen of Gotham with his excessive force, assault, reckless endangerment, creating a public hazard... Simply put, the Batman is dangerous. NYGMA Would you argue Doctor, the Batman is the root of many of Gotham’s problems? Perhaps, the Batman creates many of Gotham’s “problems”? CRANE You’re referring to the Bat-villains, such as myself? I think it could be


CRANE (cont’d) argued that Batman has spawned a new generation of criminal, confused and angry, mentally divergent... criminals who have no real motive in the traditional sense. EDWARD No motives, doctor? Not even revenge? CRANE Well, without getting overly hysterical, some of them may indeed harbor grudges over real or imagined slights. EDWARD Slights? CRANE The police, judges, persecutors, orderlies, wardens, anyone they feel may have treated them unfairly or inflicted harsh treatment... Even parents. Nashton stiffens, then a slight twitch, facial tic... as if he’d received and electrical shock. Then he’s composed again. EDWARD And the Batman? CRANE (smiles) Oh, him especially. INT. STUDIO CONTROL ROOM – SAME TIME Gordon dives in the room, breathing hard. Bullock is there with Dunham and two uniformed officers. Also in the room, various TV personnel (technical director, production assistant, lighting director, audio man, etc.,) manning a double bank of monitor screens.


GORDON What the hell’s going on here? Who authorized this? BULLOCK The Mayor did. Relax Commish. Everything’s under control. Gordon doesn’t look so sure. All eyes on the show monitor screen. INT. TV STUDIO - CONTINUOUS CRANE The Bat villains have one primary target, one idée fixe: and that would be Batman. Now, were there to be no Batman. No one for them to pin their deep-seated ill will... EDWARD You know what I find most upsetting? It’s the arrogance he has shown with his terrorist actions. He’s like a demon hell-bent on shock and pain. How can we condone behavior that’s so blatantly illegal? What about due process and civil rights? CRANE His motives may be pure. His intentions may be honorable –- but his guilt in unmistakable. INT. STUDIO CONTROL ROOM – CONTINUOUS ON GORDON, deeply concerned. GORDON This is madness. INT. TV STUDIO – CONTINUOUS EDWARD So... Batman’s to blame?


CRANE Absolutely. I’m a victim of the Batman’s psychosis. EDWARD Batman’s psychosis? CRANE That’s right. The Batman’s sexually repressed. Can’t you tell? Edward forces out a laugh. EDWARD Let’s take some phone calls. INT. STUDY, WAYNE MANOR – SAME TIME Wayne, working on his dress shirt and bow-tie as he watches Edward’s news show. All of a sudden, the door bell goes. INT. DINING ROOM, WAYNE MANOR – EVENING Candles, roses, dimmed lights, fire place blazing. An intensely romantic setting. ON SELINA seated at one end of the fifty foot long dining table. she looks absolutely breath-taking. But Bruce is seemingly disinterested, preoccupied with other things. Selina rises from her seat, pulls her chair all the way across, sauntering sexily, and right next to Bruce. She taps on his glass. SELINA Earth to Bruce. Selina sits then seductively reaches across to Bruce’s plate. She carves out a piece of his dinner and takes a bite. WAYNE Sorry, my mind is elsewhere.


SELINA Must be. This is my best outfit. WAYNE You look beautiful. SELINA That’s better. They kiss. EXT. PATIO, WAYNE MANOR – LATER Selina and Bruce walk out into the patio, hand in hand. SELINA Didn’t you say something about a surprise? WAYNE Did I? Selina punches him playfully. They lean over the balcony, staring out into the distance. SELINA Bruce, why do you stay in Gotham? I mean, it’s so dreary and miserable. Crime ridden. The jet-setting playboy who can have it all... Why not leave? WAYNE I left once... I was gone for a long time. But I was drawn back. Selina looks at Bruce puzzled. SELINA Bruce Wayne, the profligate wastrel and selfish elitist playboy who sleeps all day and indulges in high profile debauchery. But that’s not you at all, is it? You have all the money in the world. That there is virtually nothing, nothing at all, you can’t have if you wish for it.


WAYNE I don’t like to flaunt my wealth. SELINA What would it take to let go, Bruce? Let go of it all. WAYNE Honestly? SELINA No, lie to me. They kiss. A loud BOOM across the sky. Selina breaks away from the kiss, looks up. She sees the fireworks, a mesmerizing display of pyrotechnic splendor that brightens the sky. SELINA Oh! I love fireworks... She looks at Bruce, realizing. She pulls him in for a deep kiss... They gaze into each other’s eyes. SELINA What’d I to do deserve the attention of Gotham’s most sought after bachelor? WAYNE I’m the lucky one. Bruce tilts up her face. They kiss again, lit by the fireworks blast above. SELINA I know places, Bruce. Things we could do... together... They kiss, more passionate –- Bruce swallows her up in his arms. INT. KANE COUNTY MORGUE - NIGHT Batman and Gordon stand over the body of Reese laid on an autopsy table. Batman reacts.


BATMAN Reese? GORDON What’s left of him. According to forensics Reese was held captive and tortured for about two days before he died. We know this because the decay on the cuts and wounds were forty-eight hours old and some fresh. He has a skull fracture, ribs and fingers all broken... And they were only getting started. They put his eye out. Smashed his toes with something blunt, maybe a hammer. They found burns of the electric variety. He was slowly cooked alive while they carried on working on him... Ears, nose... (pause) Now, the question is who and why? What was in Reese’s possession for someone to go through all this trouble. Gordon looks at Batman. GORDON (cont’d) He did know your identity. Something criminals in this town crave most. BATMAN Where did you find him? GORDON In a dumpster behind a grocery store on Goggins Avenue. Forensics went over the place with tweezers, found nothing. Not a hair. What do you think? CLOSE ON BATMAN still staring, very troubled. INT. CORRIDOR – A BIT LATER Gordon and Batman walk down the long stretch of corridor. BATMAN Any word on the Riddler? GORDON He sent us a codeword to help us


GORDON (cont’d) distinguish him from the crank calls. The codeword is Oedipus. Solver of the riddle of the sphinx. He’s a fanatic. I’ve already got offers from every news channel to interview –- should we ever find him. (then) But whatever his game is, we have to play for now. BATMAN I found our weapons expert... Name’s Joseph Rigger. INT. BATCAVE – FLASH BACK Batman, bent over his lab table, studying material extracted from the bomb in the library. BATMAN (V.O.) I traced the explosive from the bomb in the library. The manufacturer had a break in over a month ago. INT. CORRIDOR, FACTORY BUILDING – FLASH BACK Batman drops through a ceiling vent landing on the corridor floor. INT. STORE ROOM, FACTORY BUILDING – FLASHBACK Batman sifts through a pile of files in a file cabinet in the corner of the room. He extracts one file, sets it on the desk and reads through. BATMAN (V.O.) A former employee. Discharged from the military for personality disorder. He’d been employed with at the manufacturing plant. Was let go early last year. Reason unknown. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM, MCU, GOTHAM CENTRAL - LATER Seated inside is JOSEPH RIGGER, 40’s, black, rawboned and hardened... Gordon is seated across from him leafing through some paperwork. RIGGER When can I go home?


GORDON In a moment, Mr. Rigger. (then) You hear about the train bombing last week? RIGGER Heard about it. GORDON You know who was responsible? RIGGER Nah. I don’t watch much TV. Never got the time. GORDON Tell me, Mr. Rigger, do you like riddles? RIGGER What? GORDON Riddles? Like, “where’s a fish keep its money?” (then) A river bank. RIGGER Look, I don’t have time for this –GORDON Here’s another riddle... You have a daughter with special needs enrolled in one of the best private schools in the city. You have a minimum paying job. How are you able to afford that? RIGGER Have you seen where I live? What kind of car I drive? Every penny I earn goes to my daughter. Each and every penny. Gordon studies Rigger’s demeanor. INT. BULLPEN, M.C.U. – LATER Yindell watches as Dunham leads Rigger out of the building.


INT. PARKED SEDAN – CONTINUOUS Edward watches with concern as Rigger descends the stairs of Gotham Central. INT. LIVING ROOM, EDWARD’S APARTMENT – LATER We find Edward seated, brows furrowed. He has a gun in his right hand which he twirls around calmly. INT. BEDROOM, EDWARD’S APARTMENT – A BIT LATER Edward, studying his reflection in the mirror. He now wears a HALF-FACE MASK that covers his nose and mouth. In one black-gloved hand, he holds a RETRACTABLE STEEL BATON... Edward practices fast-drawing deleterious weapon, over and over... Edward reaches for a FEDORA HAT, places it on his head. EXT. UNMARKED POLICE CAR - NIGHT Two plainclothes detectives keep watch outside of a five story apartment building. Yindell opens the passenger side door and enters. DETECTIVE #1 So why are we here lieutenant? YINDELL (gestures) Waiting on him. The detectives follow her gaze to see: Rigger, across the street, walking up to an apartment building and entering. YINDELL (re: Rigger) Where he’s going, Batman won’t be too far behind. INT. RIGGER’S APARTMENT – CONTINUOUS We hear keys turning in the lock and the front door opens. Rigger enters his apartment and is immediately grabbed from behind with a gun pointed at his head. EDWARD/RIDDLER Inside.


Rigger is shoved inside. He looks round providing us with the perfect view of -THE RIDDLER trench coat, fedora hat, half-facemask, sun glasses, blackgloved hands. EDWARD/RIDDLER You talking to the cops, Joe? RIGGER What? No, man. I told them nothing. They got nothing. It’s the God’s honest truth. EDWARD/RIDDLER There’s going to be a change of plans. I won’t be requiring your service any longer. RIGGER Whoa, hey, slow down man. RIDDLER How about a riddle? What’s sweaty, scared and totally expendable? RIGGER Oh, God...? EDWARD/RIDDLER Getting warmer. BATMAN (O.S.) (half-growl) Riddler. Edward/Riddler turns to see Batman leap out of the shadows and land on top of him in one deft movement. Rigger scrambles away from the ensuing melee. Batman hauls Riddler up to face level. BATMAN End of the line Riddler. RIDDLER But it’s just the beginning for me -And Riddler releases the retractable baton from down his sleeve, swings it hard, aiming for Batman’s head -- Batman


blocks the blow with his gauntlet and knocks Riddler down with a vicious punch. SUDDENLY FROM BEHIND Rigger emerges, now wielding a FLAMETHROWER! He OPENS FIRE, spraying a jet of LIQUID FIRE, bathing the entire living room with fire –Batman raise his cape, shielding himself and the Riddler from the hellish flames... Then he FIRES the SCALLOP BLADES out of his GAUNTLET... one of the blades punctures one of the FILLER CAPS and -EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING – CONTINUOUS Yindell and the detectives witness the EXPLOSION OF ORANGE that rips through Rigger’s apartment. Flaming debris rains all around. YINDELL That’s Joseph Rigger’s place! The detectives scamper out of the car and head for the building. INT. RIGGER’S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS Smoke wreathes the room. Riddler pushes himself up. He looks himself over. He’s unscathed. He finds his gun, points it at the badly burnt Rigger... RIGGER M-My daughter... Riddler smiles pityingly. RIDDLER Question: Why do people think having family gives them more of a right to live? RIGGER P-Please? RIDDLER Sorry friend. Just trying to ease the overburden of over population --- BANG! Rigger goes limp. Riddler turns to Batman, buried under a heap of debris, smoldering but undamaged. The Riddler aims his gun. A beat.


Batman comes to. Silence. They eye each other. The Riddler lowers his gun. RIDDLER No. You’re time will come soon enough. Riddler quickly makes his way to the door and bolts down the hallway. Batman staggers to his feet, his mind swimming with dizziness. He suddenly hears Yindell and her team make their way down the hall and to the apartment. INT. CORRIDOR, APARTMENT BUILDING - CONTINUOUS Yindell and Detectives #1 and #2 approach the apartment door cautiously. Yindell gestures for the detectives to follow her in -INT. APARTMENT – LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS As the detectives burst in, they find only Rigger’s smoky remains. Suddenly they hear a noise coming from the bedroom. Yindell is quickest to react as she moves across the room, down the corridor of the small apartment –INT. APARTMENT – BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS Yindell levels her weapon at the DARK FORM that quickly moves out the window and scrambles up the rickety FIRE ESCAPE to the roof. YINDELL Meet me on the roof! Yindell holsters her gun, FLITS in the direction of the window after the caped crusader. EXT. APARTMENT ROOFTOP – SECONDS LATER Yindell reaches the top of the roof, her eyes are wide, almost frantic as she tries to control her breathing. She draws her gun, looking all around her. It’s dark and hard to see. SILENCE. Advancing carefully, she doesn’t notice the DARK FIGURE in the b.g. leap down from a rooftop POWER SHACK. The BLACK APPARITION rises slowly, looming, NIGHTMARISH... Yindell hears a flapping cape behind her and whirls round to face the GREAT SHADOWY FIGURE, her gun pointed –-


but Batman is quickest to react. He SWATS the gun away catching Yindell completely off guard. Batman stares Yindell down a beat. Fierce. A moment and then Batman turns away. Yindell is frozen in place, unable to move. She snaps out of it when detectives #1 and #2 barge through the “EMERGENCY EXIT” doors. They follow Yindell’s gaze to see Batman standing on the roof ledge, his cape open –- then he GLIDES, soaring across the 30 foot expanse to another building. Yindell curses softly to herself as Batman disappears into the night. EXT. SELINA’S APARTMENT – NEXT DAY A ROLLS ROYCE pulls up by the curbside outside of Selina’s building. Bruce steps out, hurried, a small brown paper bag in hand. INT. SELINA’S APARTMENT – CONTINUOUS The door bell goes off a third time. SELINA (O.S.) Two seconds. Selina enters the frame. She opens the door to find Bruce. WAYNE Hey. My flight out of Zurich got delayed. I tried to call but no one picked up. I’m sorry. SELINA What do you think, Otto? She's addressing Otto, who non-committally licks a paw. WAYNE I brought muffins. Blueberry... And something. SELINA Bruce... This is not working out. Last night... I decided we were over. WAYNE Oh. Okay. A beat and Bruce turns to go. Selina grabs Bruce by the collar and leads him inside.


SELINA Jesus Christ, Bruce. You could at least stay for breakfast. WATCHING FROM DOWN THE STREET: Bird, clad in black, on a parked motorbike. He speaks into a cell phone. BIRD Pretty lady looked mad but one glance at the Rolls parked outside of her building, all was quickly forgotten. Ain’t that always the way. INT. ARESNAL/LAB – SAME TIME BANE Bird, go in loud. With a bang. I want him disorientated and off balance. But don’t kill him. INTERCUT EXT. STREET/ INT. ARESNAL/LAB - NIGHT BIRD What? Why not? BANE Because Bird, the Batman is mine. Mine to crack. Mine to break. INT. ROLLS ROYCE – LATER A whisper-smooth ride. Bruce sits silently, contemplating. THROUGH THE BACK WINDOW: We see Bird on the motorcycle accelerate towards the limousine, closing fast. And then he swerves right and around the Rolls, overtaking, then taking off like a torpedo. EXT. STREETS – SECONDS LATER Bird whips the bike around bringing it to a SCREECHING halt in the middle of the road. Bird dismounts, waits. WINDSHIELD POV: THE DRIVER sees Bird standing 100 yards ahead, unassuming. Then calm as you like, Bird pulls out an M16 ASSAULT RIFLE and trains it on the Rolls before firing off a long BURST of SEMI-AUTOMATIC GUNFIRE –- BBRRRDDDTT! INT/EXT. LIMOUSINE – CONTINUOUS The windshield shatters as bullets rain in and a blizzard of tiny glass shards blast through the car. The Driver


involuntarily SLAMS on the brakes, yanks the wheel sharply to one side... The limo vaults violently off the sidewalk and goes into an ass-over-tea-kettle ROLL down an embankment... The Rolls settles with a thump, lying on its roof. Smoke billows. EXT. OVERTURNED LIMOUSINE – CONTINUOUS The passenger door is pushed open and Bruce pulls himself out. He is bloody, still dazed. An easy target. In the b.g. Bird approaches, rifle in hand –Bruce rises, still trying to orient himself. He turns to face his assailant. Bird gives him the once over. Pause. Then he tosses the rifle aside. He gestures. BIRD (points) Bruce Wayne? WAYNE Wha –Bird lunges forward with a vicious side kick to Bruce’s mid-section. Bruce goes flying backward several feet, landing painfully on his back. Bird saunters forward. Regaining his breath, Bruce tries to pull himself up. But Bird launches another attack, sending a couple of low kicks to the knee and torso in quick succession. Then an elbow to the face. Bruce goes down. Bird smiles, motions for Bruce to get up. As he rolls his sleeves... BIRD Better fight back, Mr. Wayne. Otherwise you won’t last five minutes. Bruce pushes himself up, wincing in pain. He gets into a combat stance. Bird regards him, amused –- Then he charges but this time Bruce ducks, dodges and blocks, then slams Bird in the chest, shoving him back. Bird approaches again, more cautious, right leg slightly cocked, ready... Bird lets one fly but Bruce blocks with his arm. Bird makes another attempt with right but it’s a FEINT... he quickly switches over to his left, foot coming out like a shot, and knocking Bruce on the side of the


head. Bruce goes down one knee. Bird throws a knee but Bruce quickly blocks and rolls away. Bruce rises, breathing hard. Bird circles, assessing. WAYNE Who are you?... What do you want? Bird just smiles, contemptuous. He gets into a martial stance, a predator ready to pounce -He throws himself at Bruce, unleashing punch after Bruce beats back the attack and then counters with of his own. The matchup is fast, dirty, brutal, as fighters exchange harder, faster punches and kicks punch. a flurry both --

Locked together now, they grapple until Bruce flips Bird over his shoulder with a karate move and leaps on top of him... They wrestle furiously. Bird manages to get Bruce in a guillotine chokehold. Bruce struggles. Bird holds, strong and determined. Bruce fights on. He picks himself up, lifts Bird and drives him back several feet before dumping him hard on his back. Bruce follows up -- a knee in the ribs, then a left hook catching Bird hard. Bird rolls away awkwardly... Bruce throws a kick, Bird catches the kicking leg, drives Bruce back and down to the ground. They wrestle. Animalistic. Relentless. The two men tiring now... Until finally Bruce gets Bird in rear naked chokehold using his legs as hooks for leverage... CLOSE ON BRUCE as he tugs hard, using all his strength. Until finally Bird slumps... Bruce pants for air. He forces the body off and pulls himself up. Bruce stands there, still in shock. Breathless. He stares down at Bird’s sprawled form. Then he half-sits, holding his ribcage. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM, MCU, GOTHAM CENTRAL – LATER Bullock sits across from Bird.


BULLOCK So, you know who he was, don’t you? That you attacked? Bruce Wayne. You’re never gonna see the light day, you know that? Maximum lock-up. And fellas inside’ll have you singing a whole opera. Bird bursts out laughing. BIRD Do I look worried? Your country clubs don’t scare me, fat man? Bird laughs again. Bullock also laughs... Then suddenly jumps on top of Bird, pounds into him like a punching bag. Dunham and two officers burst in the room. They grapple with Bullock, trying to restrain him. Bird keeps on laughing, impervious to the pain. INT. PRECINCT – OFFICE – SAME TIME Still stunned, Bruce sits waiting. He is bruised up, looks very tired and dirty. Gordon enters. GORDON Mr. Wayne? Bruce rises. They shake hands. WAYNE Commissioner Gordon. GORDON How are you doing? WAYNE I’m fine. Still jittery but managing. GORDON This “Bird” came at you with an assault rifle. I’d say you’re managing pretty well. (then) You have a martial arts background? WAYNE Some Aikido. I took self-defense in college.


GORDON Princeton, right? Bruce nods. Gordon sizes him up. Then... GORDON Well, he’s not talking. He’s most definitely a stooge, under orders from someone. WAYNE Do you have any idea who? GORDON None. His lips are sealed. Such loyalty is a rarity among hoods. EXT. PRECINCT – A BIT LATER Bruce moves past swarming photojournalists and overaggressive TV reporters. As he descends the steps he sees Alfred standing before him. INT. BAR/RESTAURANT – LATER A low-ceilinged cottage pub. Bruce and Alfred sit at a corner table. ALFRED So, what’d this “Bird” character have to say for himself? WAYNE He’s tight-lipped about everything. ALFRED What do you think he wanted? WAYNE I don’t know. What’s even more strange is that he just hurled away his weapon before coming at me. ALFRED You’re saying he wasn’t looking to kill you, but to fight? WAYNE I’m saying he maybe knows who I am, Alfred. Alfred reacts, shocked.


ALFRED How? We’ve been so careful. WAYNE Reese was found dead. He was tortured and badly beaten. ALFRED You think there’s a connection? WAYNE I think so. What’s more, I’m certain I’m being watched. Also followed. A beat to digest this. ALFRED I hear that another task force has been assigned to take you down. BATMAN Had a run in with them not too long ago. ALFRED You can’t keep doing this, Master Wayne, going against criminals and the police. You look quite drained. Bruce nods, smiling, appreciative of his long time friend’s concern. WAYNE I should go. Thank you, Alfred. ALFRED Anytime. Oh, by the way, I forgot my Lee Enfield rifle back at the manor. Would there be a suitable time for me to stop by... WAYNE You still have the keys? Stop by anytime. ALFRED Thank you. I will. WAYNE See you Alfred. Bruce nods and then exits.


INT. UNMARKED VAN – CONTINUOUS Zombie sits in the driver seat, Trogg in the passenger side. In the back, Bane watches Bruce exit the bar/restaurant. BANE This Bruce Wayne is nothing but a mask... A mask that soon will no longer serve any purpose. TROGG Shall we go after him now. BANE No, continue your surveillance. Now is not the time. But soon. Soon the Batman will be ready to fall. ZOMBIE What about Bird? BANE Bird can manage on his own. We’re closing in our prey, there should be no distractions. EXT. STREET - NIGHT We see a man integrated in the shadows. He wears a trench coat and a fedora hat. A black-gloved hand reaches down to pick up a NIGHT CLUB FLYER. INT. NIGHTCLUB - LATER Dramatic décor, spinning strobe lights and pounding music. The place is packed with hundreds of people, bodies thriving against each other. Edward is the middle of it all, moving through the mass of moving bodies. ABOVE HARLEY QUINN exits a VIP booth and saunters down an empty hallway. She wears white make up with a black domino mask over her eyes. Her untidily kept hair is dyed black and red and runs over the sides. We follow as she makes her way down the narrow hallway... WATCHING FROM DOWN THE HALL


The Riddler. Collar up, hat pulled down low. He waits for Quinn to turn down another corridor and then he follows. DOWN THE CORRIDOR Quinn reaches her destination, opens the door and enters. Riddler follows close behind. Edging closer, he removes a .22 from inside his trench coat. He stands a moment by the door, reaches for the door knob and twists -INT. OFFICE – SECONDS LATER As Riddler enters two men in clown masks grab him from behind and force him inside. Quinn seated as if waiting on him. CLOWN #1 seizes the gun and looks inside. CLOWN #1 It isn’t loaded. QUINN Sit him down. CLOWN #2 reaches for the Riddler’s face mask. QUINN No. Leave it. Whatever’s underneath is just another layer. Besides, I’m not interested in the man behind the mask. (to Riddler) Do you know who I am, mystery man? Riddler nods almost imperceptibly. HARLEY QUINN Interesting. You know who I am, yet you come here with an unloaded .22 caliber. Hmm... You’re either hopelessly naive or just incredibly stupid. Either way, Mister, uh... RIDDLER Riddler. HARLEY QUINN Aah... Was wondering when our paths would cross. Little sooner than I had hoped. So riddle me this, Riddler... (leans in)


QUINN (cont’d) ... what does Gotham’s most wanted criminal mastermind want with me? Riddler raises his hands slightly in a peaceful gesture, then with a sudden FLICK of his right hand and the retractable steel baton POPS out and into his hand and he strikes CLOWN #1 and #2 with vicious abandon. HARLEY QUINN Impressive. RIDDLER You will be even more impressed when you hear my plan. HARLEY QUINN (smiles) I’m all ears. INT. GRAND HOTEL BALLROOM – NIGHT A luxurious BANQUET, lavishly decorated, filled with wealthy, generally important people elegantly dressed in formal attire. Waiters circulate with HORS D’OEUVRE and flutes of champagne. A signboard reads “G.C.P.D. Widows and Children Relief Fund”... Mayor Hill stands in one corner with his retinue of lackeys and two discreet security men. Guests are mingling, chatting, being pleasantly social. Wayne stands on his own, his mind elsewhere. MAYOR HILL (O.S.) At last, the most elusive Mr. Wayne? Wayne turns to see the Mayor stepping over. WAYNE Mayor Hill. Glad you could make it. MAYOR HILL Well it’s for an important cause. You know, Gotham’s widows don’t have too many people to turn to for financial support. WAYNE Gotham’s been good to me. I’m just returning thanks.


MAYOR HILL Indeed. You know, so much has been overlooked over the years, and we certainly appreciate your generous donations -ALLEN (interrupting) Mayor Hill, allow me to introduce Edward Nashton. Edward, your greatest fan, Mayor Hill. Everyone turns to see Edward walk up... EDWARD It’s an honor, Mr. Mayor. MAYOR HILL Aah, Mr. Nashton. The Mayor’s office certainly appreciates your work. Wish we had more like you, in fact. This is Bruce Wayne, one of the founders and chairman of the board. WAYNE (nods in greeting) Gentlemen. Edward extends his hand. Bruce takes it. EDWARD Gotham’s favorite son. It’s a pleasure. MAYOR HILL Edward here is on the forefront of the anti-Batman movement that’s been gaining traction of late. WAYNE So you’re the rage? EDWARD Well, I’m merely providing clarity. What about you, Mr. Wayne, you’re not a fan of the Batman, are you? WAYNE Well, I’m hardly abreast with the latest views on the matter. But from what I hear, Batman’s got the got the criminal’s running scared. Albeit


WAYNE (cont’d) through illegal means. But surely, there is a need for the Batman’s continued presence here in Gotham. Who else is going to battle these masked crazies? This Riddler fellow for example? EDWARD But you see, it’s the Batman’s continued presence that attracts this particular brand of criminal, one who claims no particular agenda and makes no specific demands... That kills out of lust and not greed. WAYNE So how do you suggest we cope against this new brand of criminal without the Batman if, as you have claimed many times on air, the Gotham Police aren’t up to it? MAYOR HILL Well, I think with the right amount of funding and training for law enforcement, we could have more successful policing to combat this more violent criminal element. GORDON (O.S.) And perhaps that’s where I come in. The CAMERA SWINGS to Commissioner Gordon as he steps over. MAYOR HILL Commissioner? GORDON Gentlemen. Mr. Nashton, according to you, once the Batman ceases to be, masked criminals will respond in kind. But what if that isn’t the case? What if you’re wrong? EDWARD Well, clearly the status quo is unacceptable. So either we change things, remove Batman entirely, or we


EDWARD (cont’d) watch Gotham continue to devolve into something akin to absolute anarchy. WAYNE You make a fair point Mr. Nashton. However, what’s often overlooked is that crime was eating Gotham alive before the Batman. Yes, he’s breaking the law, but his methods have worked. Maybe there’s a middle ground. Edward smiles icily while conjuring up a response. EDWARD Mr. Wayne, I think it’s frightening you see things that way. Pinning our hopes on a flying rodent -WAYNE Bats aren’t rodents, Mr. Nashton. Edward, jaw rigid, looks at Bruce like he wants to reach and rip his throat out. But he doesn’t. He just smiles. Mayor Hill interjects. MAYOR HILL Gentlemen, this is party. Shall we save the debate for another night? INT. BALLROOM – A BIT LATER Wayne is up at the podium. He hands over a novelty check to a city official. Musters a smile for the cameras. In the crowd, he notices -GORDON, approached by a uniformed officer, and then exiting the ballroom. INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS Gordon has gathered of group of cops from the party. They discuss quietly, careful not to alert anyone. Gordon looks troubled. ON WAYNE watching discreetly from afar. EXT. STREET Several marked and unmarked police cars accelerate past.


OVERHEAD Batman swings into view, leaping onto rooftops, landing perfectly, keeping pace with the speeding police cruisers. EXT. EMPTY ROOM, INDUSTRIAL BUILDING – MOMENTS LATER A dozen uniformed police, Bullock, Dunham and Gordon stand before another bomb placed in one corner of the empty room. CLOSE ON GORDON’S HAND an envelope with a question mark. Gordon pulls out whatever it is in the envelope... A PHOTO of the bomb sitting before them. ON GORDON perplexed. GORDON A deserted tenement. No one, nothing even close to the vicinity... No riddle! Just an address. The question mark insignia. A photo of the bomb. This doesn’t make a lick of sense. BULLOCK Could be another hoax, sir. GORDON No, the Riddler sent us the codeword. This is the real thing. But something’s amiss. BATMAN (O.S.) The bomb’s a fake. Everyone’s twists round, guns aimed. A large shadow detaches itself from a wall... Batman! GORDON Hey... HEY! Lower your weapons dammit. Batman approaches. He produces a nifty, HAND-HELD DETECTION DEVICE and then a small card which he swipes against the surface of the bomb. Then he inserts the card inside the detection device. A moment. Batman reads the display. BULLOCK Well?


BATMAN Riddler threw us a curve this time. Why? GORDON He’s never done anything like this before. BATMAN He wants to prove that he’s smarter than we are. GORDON And I doubt a simple false alarm would suffice. Batman consults the computer connected to the bomb detonators. BULLOCK Hey, careful. INT. HOTEL BALLROOM – SAME TIME SUDDENLY the powers goes out. Everything is shrouded in darkness... ALTERED P.O.V. SEEN THROUGH NIGHT VISION GOOGLES, observing the panicked guests. Then focuses on the mayor, seated, surrounded by his bodyguards. The observer calmly but quickly moves across the room through the scrambling crowd, headed for the mayor -ANGLE ON THE OBSERVER -- HARLEY QUINN in a HAREQUIN MASK and three cronies in clown masks and dressed in black suddenly descend upon the Mayor and his bodyguards from several direction at once like hungry wolves... Harley a blow brutal strike moves acrobatically. She disarms one bodyguard with to the neck and then spins into the second with a kick to the midsection followed by a reverse elbow to the face.

The Mayor sits up now, panicked, preparing for the worst when suddenly -A HAND grabs him from behind and YANKS him forcefully OFFSCREEN.


INT. CITY HALL - LATER Commissioner Gordon stands in front of a mic-jammed podium addressing the gathered press. GORDON ... Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming. Mayor Hill was kidnapped by an unknown in the late hours of last night while he attended last night’s charity ball. Murmurs go up, shocked voices, cellphones get keyed. GORDON (cont’d) As of yet we’ve received no telephone calls, ransom demands or any other communication. Now I want to emphasize that this investigation is ongoing, and we continue to pursue a number of leads as we gather useful intelligence related to the kidnapping. I’ve cancelled leaves, put extra men on duty and double shifts... We will follow every lead, exhaust every possibility. Be assured that those responsible will be brought to justice. BULLOCK (O.S.) Commissioner? Gordon turns. Bullock motions for Gordon to follow him out the room. INT. OFFICE, CITY HALL – MOMENTS LATER Gordon and other officers gather around a TV in one corner of the room. ON TV: HARLEY QUINN (O.S.) Are we on? Harley moves so that she’s before the camera. She wears the harlequin, waves at the camera. Behind her we see the Mayor mouth-gagged, hands tied back to a chair. HARLEY QUINN Evening Commissioner, people of Gotham, pardon the interruption but the


HARLEY QUINN (cont’d) following is of utmost importance... Mayor Hill has been kidnapped... by ME!... Harley Quinn. The Joker Queen. The price is 20 million. And the Joker released to St Luke’s Hospital where he can get the right kind of medical care. You have 48... No, 36 hours. Or I start carving. Quinn slides behind the Mayor. She looks up at the screen trains a blade across his mouth. The Mayor struggles. QUINN Now, now, Mr. Mayor, how about a smile for the camera’s. Quinn laughs, haunting. The image cuts to static. ON GORDON AND OTHERS stunned looks all around as a silence envelopes the room. INT. APARTMENT – LATE NIGHT We’re in an empty, dark apartment. The door knob twists... As the door swings open -WALLACE (O.S.) Hey guys, it’s crazy out there. Cops is –- Hey! Wallace looks across at the empty apartment. There’s no one around. Then, from behind... BATMAN (O.S.) Your friends left... Knew I would track them down. The doors SLAMS behind as Wallace turns... His eyes widen in terror –- and Batman grabs him by the lapel and lifts him up so that his feet are off the ground. BATMAN You remember me, don’t you? You remember what happened that night? I was feeling mellow then. But not tonight! Batman hurls Wallace sending him crashing to the floor. Batman descends on him like a cloaked nightmare, throws a punch.


WALLACE No! Get away from me -BATMAN The Mayor’s been kidnapped. I know you’re very concerned about that. Wallace tries crawling away. WALLACE No... Stay back! Stay away! BATMAN Give me the Joker Queen! WALLACE What? No man, she’s just a rumor! There is no Joker Queen. She doesn’t exist. Batman lifts Wallace by the neck then KKERRASH! -- puts Wallace through a window HEAD FIRST! Wallace screams and yells – Batman pulls him out then dumps him on the floor and clamps a gloved hand around his throat. BATMAN Next time you go flying out. WALLACE Oh God. Ha-Harley Q-Quinn -- S-She’s -No one sees her. She’s behind the scenes, orchestrating -BATMAN WHERE IS SHE?! WALLACE M-My arm -- Help me! BATMAN WHERE?! WALLACE I-I don’t know -- No one knows -- S-She just shows up... The pain... Please? After a moment Batman releases Wallace. He rises, turns, disgusted with himself. Wallace weeps uncontrollably. A beat. Batman exits the apartment.


EXT. ROOF, APARTMENT BUILDING – MINUTES LATER Batman is caved forward against a wall, mask off, his face in a grimace of affliction... an inner turmoil we couldn’t begin to comprehend. Bruce’s right hand clutches at this chest as he draws long breath and lets them out slowly. ON TROGG watching from several rooftops away. TROGG (into mic) He’s at the end of his rope. He don’t know which way to jump. INT. BUILDING – CONTINUOUS Bane and Zombie review a blue print of Wayne Manor. BANE The moment is drawing close. Keep us informed, Trogg. ZOMBIE (re: map) This area below stretches across the entire Wayne estate. BANE He’s got something under there. ZOMBIE A war room perhaps. If so, it will more than likely be rigged with a sophisticated security system in order to prevent all measures of infiltration. Bane considers the map. Thinking. INT. GORDON’S OFFICE - NIGHT Gordon is seated in his office. Yindell enters, takes a seat. YINDELL The Bat-Signal’s been on for over an hour. GORDON You have your men posted on the roof?


YINDELL Absolutely. Gordon regards Yidell a moment. GORDON You have a problem with me, Lieutenant? YINDELL I don’t like that you’re consorting with a rogue vigilante, Commissioner. All due respect. I don’t like that you constantly apologize or even come to his defense. He’s murdered cops. A city official. That’s according to you. GORDON It was dark Lieutenant, all we saw was a masked man in a cape. Could’ve been anybody. YINDELL Perhaps. GORDON It was my family that was kidnapped that night, lieutenant. Many often forget. YINDELL I know. (then) The Mayor has me in mind to replace you. I thought you should know. GORDON I’m aware. Tense beat. YINDELL I wonder Commissioner, what would it take for you to turn on Batman. Gordon looks at Yindell as she rises and exits. He looks out the window, wonders to himself. INT. WAREHOUSE – NIGHT Harley Quinn sits across from the Mayor. She wears the harlequin mask to conceal her identity.


HARLEY QUINN You’ve been using mob money to further your political ambitions, Mr. Mayor. The Mayor reacts, surprised. HARLEY QUINN (cont’d) I can prove it too. The Mayor regards Harley Quinn with disdain. MAYOR You won’t get away with this. HARLEY QUINN Oh, but I will. We’re several steps ahead on this one. And thanks to you, Batman has been marginalized. The Riddler walks in a huff. RIDDLER What is this? I said the Commissioner. Not the Mayor. Quinn walks over, calm as you like. QUINN What’s the difference? RIDDLER The difference? Look, everything was planned and arranged, intricately. To be executed precisely. Everything. QUINN (laughs) That’s the problem with criminals in Gotham. With all you’re planning and scheming... You don’t realize you’re playing into Batman’s hands. RIDDLER (raging) So obvious and tactless. That’s your problem. QUINN It’s the way we do things. The way the Joker would’ve wanted it.


RIDDLER The Joker’s insubstantial, dammit. He’s a cripple. In a flash of an eye, Harley Quinn lashes out, chops Riddler in the throat. He staggers. QUINN That’s where you’re wrong, Riddler. The Joker’s the nightmare Batman can’t awake from. The rest of you are just... practice. Quinn turns and walks up to the Mayor. One of the clowns hands her a POUCH full of FEAR TOXIN. RIDDLER Wait, what’re you doing? QUINN Mr. Mayor needs to know what abject terror feels like. Quinn walks up to the Mayor, leans in. MAYOR What is that? QUINN Fear toxin... A very potent dose. Something for you to remember us by. The Mayor is shaken to his very core. INT. BATCAVE - NIGHT Wayne consults a TACTICAL MAP on the computer flat screen closely. He appears depleted, he hasn’t slept for hours. Wayne looks across, at the location of the Riddler’s first attack. He taps the keyboard to mark the location. Then he moves on to the location of the second attack. Taps the keyboard and then again until he has all four locations. Then a realization hits... Again he types quickly on the keyboard, working intently now. ANGLE ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN: the computer draws up a discernible pattern... WE PULL BACK TO GET A CLEAR VIEW OF THE COMPUTER MONITOR and see what


looks like a large QUESTION MARK. Wayne reacts. He ZOOMS IN on the final point on the map... EXT. CENTER OF FAIR GROUNDS - LATER It’s dark. The place is deserted. Batman stands, glancing around, eyes roving, deducing. His attention is drawn to a notice board in one corner. He walks over. There’s an envelope marked with a question mark pinned on the board. Batman pulls it down and opens it. The note inside reads: I am the only thing that always tells the truth. I show off everything that I see. I come in all shapes and sizes. So tell me what I must be! Batman looks up, across. His eyes land on the HALL OF MIRRORS. INT. HALL OF MIRRORS – CONTINUOUS Batman enters. It’s dark, eerily quiet. Batman examines his surroundings with a PENLIGHT. Nothing out of the ordinary. He walks through, cautious. The mirrors are of various geometric shapes, curved, concave, convex... It is darker, more distorted as Batman steps further into the LABYRINTH... SUDDENLY... INCESSANT LAUGHTER coming from all directions... JOKER CLONES, menacing and burly, approach, wielding an assortment of deadly weapons –- baseball bats, switch blades, tire chains, lengths of pipe, crowbars, etc... ON BATMAN his eyes narrow, harden. He glances from one side to another as his assailants close in. They attack all at once. Batman JUDO-FLIPS one into a mirror, roundhouse kicks one across the jaw knocking out teeth. Batman SWEEP KICKS knocking another off his feet...


Batman ducks a swinging tire chain, STRIKES a Joker Clone in the throat and then DRIVES a fist into his nose. Another Joker Clone emerges with a FLAMETHROWER, aims the nozzle at Batman and squeezes the trigger... the gas-fed stream of flame forces Batman back and then –Batman steps onto TRAPDOOR, falls through! INT. BASEMENT ROOM – CONTINUOUS Batman lands hard, his ankle TWISTS beneath him. Ankle high water splashes all around as Batman reorients himself. He looks all around at his surroundings... We’re in a bright, fluorescent lit room. There’s a CHAIN LINK fence about four feet from the floor on all four corners. ICE COLD WATER seeps through the many NOOZLES in the ground. Computer SPEAKERS and two security cams are seen mounted high on the walls. Through the speakers: RIDDLER (O.S.) Welcome Batman. Welcome to this protracted tale’s final chapter... Welcome to the ultimate death trap. Batman staggers to his feet with a pained expression. INT. UNKNOWN - CONTINOUS We’re in a dark room. Location unknown. Edward as the Riddler watches Batman through a monitor. He speaks into a microphone. RIDDLER (O.S.) This is the king of keen-witted conundrums. This is... the Riddler. INT. BASEMENT ROOM - CONTINUOUS RIDDLER (cont’d) I went through pains with its design and implementation. It’s a bit of a rush job but it’ll get the job done.


Batman notices the Mayor curled in a ball in one corner, trembling with fear. RIDDLER (cont’d) Oh, don’t mind Mr. Mayor. He’s been pumped so full of fear toxin, he’s hallucinating like sunburned hippy. MAYOR’S P.O.V.: Batman, hellish and fierce, The Riddler laughs, then... RIDDLER (cont’d) So here’s the setup: the chain links all around the wall are electrically charged. The water’s flowing through the nozzles in the ground continuously... To stop the water, you will need to answer my riddles, correctly... Now here’s the nasty part... Answer wrong, and the level keeps rising and rising until they touch the voltage in the fence and fry you. Ha, pretty good, don’t you think? Now, you can’t go back because the trapdoor is now blocked. You can’t dig your way out because you’re on a concrete floor... There isn’t much a point to all this I suppose. You joining the halo and harp crowd is something of an inevitability. INT. UNKNOWN - CONTINOUS RIDDLER It’s merely a matter of when. You’re always so calm and even keeled... It’s going to be fun watching you squirm. Are you ready, Batman? Batman looks up at the mounted camera, jaw grinding. RIDDLER Let us begin, shall we. Question,







INT. DRAINAGE SYSTEM – CONTINUOUS Batman climbs down into this labyrinth of round PIPEWAYS. He shines the penlight and splashes onwards with the Mayor in tow. INT. EDWARD’S APARTMENT – SAME TIME Edward slowly sits, his head in his hands. A long beat... Then all of a sudden Edward EXPLODES -- he grabs one end of the table and hurls it up in the air as he rises... the TV goes flying, crashing into the ground and into a million pieces. INT. ARSENAL/LAB – EARLY MORNING We find Bane in the middle of strenuous work out. Zombie is in the b.g. standing over a lab table mixing a concoction of chemicals into tubular glass vials. Meanwhile, ON TV: NEWS ANCHOR ... Mayor Hill was found in the early hours of the morning seated on the steps of City Hall looking pale and sick. The Mayor was quickly rushed to an undisclosed location for immediate evaluation... Bane abandons his workout and walks up to the TV. NEWS ANCHOR (ON TV) Unidentified sources claim that Batman was seen on a ledge over the entrance of the newly named council building opposite City Hall. Whether that denotes direct involvement in the kidnapping or rescue of Mayor Hill remains to be seen. A cellular phone next to the gym equipment rings. Bane answers. TALIA AL GHUL (O.S.) One of your team was arrested.


INTERCUT INT. ARSENAL/LAB / INT. UNKNOWN - CONTINUOUS BANE Bird. The situation is taken care of. He knows not to talk. TALIA I’ve seen to that. QUICK SHOT of Bird collapsed, convulsing, FOAM running down his mouth. BACK TO: Bane’s face contorts, showing the slightest bit of remorse. TALIA Time is running out for you. I want Batman dead. If you can’t manage that then I can find someone who can. Are we clear? Bane’s face grows angry and hard. BANE Yes. Bane hangs up the phone. Zombie hands Bane a gas-powered pistol-injector with a vial inserted. Bane presses the injector against his neck –- he tenses, grits his teeth, neck muscles contracting and bulging. Bane fights to keep his body thrashing as the serum enters his bloodstream. The pain is excruciating but he keeps it together... When it's over, Bane turns and walks over to the gym equipment. He hits the weights hard, raging like a bull -pushing and heaving, muscles pulsing, mad, frenzied, powerful, grunting loudly as he exerts. INT. STUDIO, GNN BUILDING – MORNING Edward sits amidst all the usual bustle and activity, staring into the distance, thinking. INT. ALLEN’S OFFICE – MINUTES LATER There’s a knock on the door.


ALLEN Come in. EDWARD Allen. You know I was thinking maybe we could look into getting another Batvillain to interview. ALLEN Not a chance Edward. Too much red tape. Especially after what’s happened with the Mayor. EDWARD But Mayor Hill assured me -ALLEN Mayor Hill has been hospitalized. God knows what’s been done to him. It’s too dangerous right now. We have to be careful. Matter of fact, you’re going to need to tone it down on the Batman rhetoric. Gotham is a ticking time bomb at the moment. We should refrain from stoking the flames of fear and hysteria into a roaring inferno. Edward fumes like a scolded teenager. EDWARD Maybe so. But why should you care. So long as the viewers are tuning in... ALLEN What viewers? You’re rating are sinking Edward. Engel is back on top now. EDWARD Engel? Edward’s face loses all its warmth and it seems as if his flesh was carved on granite. INT. DRESSING ROOM – LATER Edward watches a recent recording of Engel’s show.


CLOSE ON EDWARD his face burning red with fury. Suddenly a cellphone rings from somewhere. Edward removes a cellphone from his breast pocket, looks at it hesitantly. Finally he answers... EDWARD Hello? HARELY QUINN (O.S.) (discreet) What the hell have you done? EDWARD Sorry? Who is this? INT. UNKNOWN LOCATION - CONTINUOUS CLOSE ON HARLEY QUINN Minus the Harlequin mask. For the moment we only see the back of her head. HARLEY QUINN You know who this is. What were you thinking? I told you not to harm the Mayor until after I gave the go ahead. INTERCUT INT. DRESSING ROOM/ INT. UNKNOWN LOCATION - NIGHT EDWARD Uh, I think you have the wrong number. HARLEY QUINN Joker always said, you have to do everything yourself. EDWARD (angry) Now you listen. This was my plan all along. And next time you ought to check where your men’s loyalties lay. They were practically throwing themselves at me soon as I through a little money around.


HARLEY QUINN And next time we meet Riddler, I’m burying you in a hole so deep no one will ever get close to digging you out. Do you understand me? ON EDWARD as Quinn hangs up abruptly. He looks increasingly agitated. He looks back to the TV monitor playing the recording of Engel’s show. A dark cloud passes over his face. His month twists into an angry snarl. INT. LOCKER ROOM – CONTINUOUS Harley Quinn puts the cell phone away. Her back to us, her face hidden. A moment and then she turns around... And it strikes us how soft and innocent she looks. She slides on a white coat and glasses, checks her reflection in the mirror and exits. INT. CORRIDOR, HOSPITAL – CONTINUOUS Quinn enters the corridor and immediately blends in with other doctors and nurses. She smiles and nods to patients as she makes her way down the hall. Her attention is drawn to the TV mounted on the wall, blaring the latest news: ON TV: NEWSCASTER ... Latest reports indicate that all deals are off with the terrorist group known as the “Joker Clones.” CUT TO: GORDON The Mayor is in an undisclosed location. Safe. I see no reason we should bow to their demands. The Joker will be returned to Arkham as soon possible.


REPORTER But are the facilities at Arkham are suitable enough for a quadriplegic? GORDON To my knowledge, yes. The Joker will have access to the same health services you and I get. Courtesy of our tax payers. What more can one ask for? ON QUINN shaken. Emotions ripple across her face. VOICE (O.S.) Hey doll, what’s eating you? Quinn turns. A male nurse drapes one arm around her. MALE NURSE I know just what you need to put a smile back on that face. QUINN (smiles) So do I. INT. LOCKER ROOM, HOSPITAL – CONTINUOUS Quinn leads the male nurse into the locker room. They smile and giggle. The male nurse leans in to kiss but Quinn ducks her head playfully, leading him by the hand to her locker. QUINN I want to show you something. But I warn you, once you see this, there’s no turning back. MALE NURSE I like where this is going. Quinn opens her locker. There’s a duffel bag which she pulls out and lays on the floor. QUINN There’s something about masks... Something that fascinates me.


Quinn removes the HARELQUIN MASK. The male nurse looks at the mask confused. QUINN The harlequin’s associated with the Italian Theater form, commedia dell'arte, a forerunner to the Whiteface clown... Typically regarded as a clumsy personality, a buffoon constantly playing fool... But in actual fact he’s meant to be a more sly and sinister character... very dark and dangerous. Harley smiles at him just the way a predator might. She puts on mask. QUINN What do you think? MALE NURSE Uhh... Quinn raises an arm and a small puff of GAS sprays from her sleeve. The male nurse recoils, coughing and choking. Then he looks up at Quinn. Through his eyes: The Harlequin mask turns DEMONIC, horned, with sharp teeth and glaring eyes... QUINN What about now? The male nurse stares -- glassy eyed -- coming apart. INT. ENGEL’S APARTMENT - NIGHT A knock on the door. Engel looks through the peep hole and lets out a slight guffaw. He opens the door. It’s Edward. INT. LIVING ROOM, ENGEL’S APARTMENT – NIGHT Edward sits across from Engel. Engel laughs as he pours himself a drink. ENGEL So you watched last night’s segment? It


ENGEL (cont’d) was a good one too: “Edward Nashton, Entertainment fluff or dangerous mind?” (laughs) Don’t think what you’ve done has gone unappreciated, Eddy. Engel waves around a TV magazine with Edward’s face on the front cover. ENGEL (cont’d) You’ve changed the face of TV news, Eddy. With your feverish, heavily emotional style. It has resonated well with viewers. Controversial yet popular. You’ve achieved a lightningrod status that no other news anchor has ever acquired. You should be proud. No response from Edward. Engel laughs, rises and moves across the room to the mini-bar to get more drinks. ENGEL Something to drink, Eddy? Again no response. Engel regards Edward a moment, then laughs. ENGEL (cont’d) You know, Eddy, there’s something about you I find unsettling. You haven’t said but two words since you walked in. You’re not one of those introvert/extrovert types we get on the radio, are you? Quiet off air but raging like a wildfire on air. Engel laughs again. Nothing from Edward. He fixes Engel with a dead stare, jaw twitching slightly. ENGEL (cont’d) Seriously Eddy, I can just about hear your gears grinding. Whatever’s on your mind, better to let it out.


Edward’s mood suddenly lightens up. He laughs harshly, slaps a knee gleefully. He laughs and laughs, wheezing now. Engel grins nervously. ENGEL (cont’d) Something funny, Eddy? (gestures) What’s in the bag? Still laughing, Edward wipes away tears. He zips the duffel bag open. EDWARD Well Engel, a couple of things... First... Edward removes the fedora hat. Puts it on has he stands. EDWARD Second... Edward slides on the black hand-gloves as he strides over, cool as they come. Engel giggles nervously. ENGEL Eddy? EDWARD And third... Edward flicks a wrist and steel baton slides down one sleeve -– Edward swings, STRIKES Engel across the face. And then a second time on the head. Engel tries to speak but his jaw is broken. EDWARD What’s that Engel? Why? Life’s full of questions, isn’t it? Though naturally I prefer to think of them as riddles. Edward swings a third time, slashing Engel across the back. EDWARD So you like riddles, Engel? Here’s a good one...


Edward lashes out again. EDWARD (cont’d) How does an unpopular TV pundit suddenly become Gotham’s most celebrated personality? Hmm? I’ll give you a clue, shall I?... I confound with conundrums, unnerve with enigmas, I perplex with puzzles. I entrap with riddles... Edward follows as Engel tries crawling away. EDWARD (cont’d) See what I’ve done Engel? It’s so brilliant, so Machiavellian, I had to tell someone about it... Otherwise I’d have suffocated... But now I have to kill you Engel. I can’t let this get out. It would ruin me. And I’m just getting started. And Edward begins to lose it. With a sudden violence, he attacks, vicious, unleashing a TORRENT of kicks and strikes... And then it ends. Edward stands, breathless, eyes wild. He stares at Engel’s lifeless form for a moment, watching as Engel’s blood seep slowly across the floor. INT. COFFEE SHOP – NIGHT Bullock and Dunham talk over coffee and donuts. DUNHAM You know what Harvey, I don’t get it. Batman’s a murderer. And yet you sit there, nonchalant, not giving a damn. Worse, you just stood there and watched when he beat on those joker thugs. BULLOCK All I know is since he’s been around, I ain’t have to work half as hard as I used to.


DUNHAM That’s nice. That’s the kind of attitude we need here in G.C.P.D. BULLOCK If having Batman around means I get to go home without a bullet in my head, well... DUNHAM So you don’t care that he’s killed cops? Gordan said -BULLOCK I know what Gordon said. But listen Dunham, you gotta learn to look beneath the surface. I mean c’mon, the Mayor’s been on his ass about it and he ain’t even raised a finger. DUNHAM So what’re you saying? BULLOCK All is not what is seems. Gordon’s a cop first. He ain’t letting no cop killer go scot-free, breaking the law... That’s what I’m saying. Long beat as Dunham thinks. INT. UNMARKED POLICE CAR – CONTINUOUS Bullock and Dunham hop in. Dunham still has perplexed look on his face. BULLOCK Jesus, Dunham, you look like you’re having aneurysm. We HEAR THE RADIO go off... DISPATCH (RADIO) All units respond... Hostage situation at 45th and Sprang... St Luke’s Hospital... All units respond.


Dunham floors the accelerator. EXT. ST. LUKE’S HOSPITAL - NIGHT Police cars, Ambulances, Emergency Response teams... Swirling red and blue lights bathe everyone and everything in PSYCHEDELIC PATTERNS. Yindell, Bullock, Dunham and other cops stand behind a LINE OF COP CARS. UNIFORMED COP (O.S.) That’s the last of the hostages Lieutenant. YINDELL Good. A squad car pulls up. Gordon jumps out strides forward with purpose. GORDON What’s the situation, Bullock? BULLOCK Some fifteen people are unaccounted for. Nurses, doctors. Some patients. One of the hostages who managed to escape claims a group was lead into the GORDON By whom? YINDELL The Joker Queen. Or Harley Quinn as she says she likes to be call. GORDON What does she want? COP Tactical is moving in, Lieutenant. YINDELL Good. Let’s end this now. Gordon looks at Yindell, incredulous.


EXT. HOSPITAL – SAME TIME SWAT OFFICERS pour out of vans and race for the corner entrance. INT. 5TH FLOOR, HOSPITAL - CONTINUOUS ON QUINN watching from above. She holds a remote in one hand. QUINN Tick, tick, tick, tick.... Quinn presses down –EXT. HOSPITAL – CONTINUOUS –- BOOOOM!! A fiery explosion erupts taking out the whole ground floor. The police take cover behind their cars. ON YINDELL, as her face loses colour. BULLOCK Jesus... There’s laughter coming from somewhere. One of the officers produces a radio. Hands it over to Gordon. He raises the radio to his lips. COMMISSIONER What do you want, Joker Queen? QUINN Please, call me Harley, Jim. I told that bitch lieutenant I wanted the Joker released into Gotham University medical facility... NOW! Someone needs to tell Lieutenant Yindell how things work here in Gotham. Us masked crazies are not to be toyed with. Do as I say or I start hurling bodies out of the window.


Gordon shakes his head. GORDON More madness. BULLOCK Want me to put in the call into Arkham Commish? Gordon thinks long and hard. Then a CRACKLE in the radio: BATMAN (V.O.) No more moves, Jim. I’m going in. Everyone looks up as a dark figure swoops down overhead... Batman! Cape open –INT. 3RD FLOOR, HOSPITAL - CONTINUOUS And Batman crashes through the glass, landing roughly. Its pitch black inside. Batman snaps on the NIGHT-VISION and moves down the corridor -Something clatters on the ground then WOOSH –- A STUN GRENADE goes off! Batman reels from the flash. Suddenly he is attacked from behind... HARLEY QUINN, wielding a large AXE! She attacks, ferocious. She knocks Batman down with the hilt, over and over again. HARLEY QUINN Hi, I don’t think we’ve met. Batman rolls away, quickly gets back on his feet. Quinn swings away, barely keeping her balance but driving Batman backward. Batman ducks one swing, then another, then several more -Then he catches the axe hilt mid-swing. They wrestle. Batman flips her over his shoulder. Quinn lands hard on her back. She crawls away then turns over, getting up on her feet. She gets in a martial arts stance, hurls a flurry of kicks and punches. Batman deflects. Then catches both arms by the wrist.




I N T . A



L L E N ’ S O F F I C E , G N N B U I L D I N G – D A Y A k n o c


INT. ALLEN’S OFFICE, GNN BUILDING – DAY A knock on the door and Edward enters. EDWARD Allen, you wanted to see me? ALLEN Yes, come in Edward. I’m pulling you off the air, Ed. EDWARD What? Why the hell?! ALLEN Engel was murdered last night. Things are getting dangerous. EDWARD No. You can’t do this to me. I’m the face of the network. ALLEN It’s done Edward. Nothing you can do about it. For a moment Edward just stands there, jaw clenched, barely concealed rage. EDWARD You can’t do this to me Allen. I won’t let you. ALLEN What’s that supposed to mean? EDWARD You’re trying to get me quit. I won’t. I have the highest rated show on the network. I should be celebrated. Instead you’re casting me out like -ALLEN I think you better leave, Edward, before I have you thrown out. Edward stares, staring angrily at Allen. Smoldering.


A moment then Edward wheels away in a rage. INT. ENGEL’S APARTMENT – LATE NIGHT Engel’s apartment, the scene of his demise, now surrounded by yellow police tape. Batman, moving about the room among the shadows, silent as he investigates. His eyes become set on something on the coffee table -PUSH IN ON a TV magazine with Edward’s face on the front cover. Batman’s eye’s narrow, a thousand thoughts firing at once. And then sudden realization. INT. BATCAVE - LATER Bruce, still in his Bat suit, glares at the computer monitor, watching a recording Edward’s interview with Dr. Crane a.k.a Scare Crow. He rewinds and resumes playback -ON COMPUTER MONITOR: CRANE Well, without getting overly hysterical, some of them may indeed harbor grudges over real or imagined slights. EDWARD Slights? CRANE The police, judges, persecutors, orderlies, wardens, anyone they feel may have treated them unfairly or inflicted harsh treatment... Even parents. Wayne studies Edward’s reaction to Crane’s comment. Rewinds and watches again, his mind reeling. EXT. ARKHAM ASYLUM - NIGHT Gotham’s famous insane asylum. Grim. Gothic.


INT. DR CRANE’S CELL, ARKHAM ASYLUM – CONTINOUS We find Crane lounging in a small cell with padded walls. He is dressed in orange pajamas, surrounded by books. A bat shadow looms. Crane smiles... CRANE Well, well... What took so long? You know, there’s an empty cell adjacent to mine. And the food is just murder... Highly recommended. Batman finally emerges from the shadows... BATMAN You did your homework on Edward Nashton before your interview? CRANE Oh, extensively. BATMAN Tell me. CRANE Not so fast. What can I expect in exchange? Let’s see what’s under that mask? BATMAN (through gritted teeth) How about I rearrange your facial cartilage? Batman slaps a STICKY BOMB on the glass. CRANE Whoa, easy there. BATMAN Nashton’s personal history is inaccessible. CRANE But not to me. As a former psychiatrist I still have my contacts in the mental health arena. Well, where to begin. Edward Nashton. Raised in orphanage. Unrealized genius at eleven. Bullied and beaten to a pulp by his peers.


CRANE (cont’d) Funnily though, he relished it. The attention. An ostentatious fellow. And then his mother resurfaces only to meet her end soon after in the most peculiar of ways. BATMAN How peculiar? CRANE The mother was found bludgeoned and strangled. And the boyfriend found with a bullet to the head. An apparent suicide but no note. BATMAN What reason would Nashton have to murder his own mother? CRANE I can think of several. But you’ll have to ask him that. Crane regards Batman cannily. CRANE So many questions... I wonder. Batman turns and walks away, disappearing in the shadows. INT. BEDROOM, EDWARD’S APARTMENT – NIGHT Edward enters, opens the bedroom closet. He runs his fingers along the wall seams, presses on something... the BACK WALL of the closet SLIDES OPEN revealing a small secret compartment. Edward removes a small case from the compartment and lays it down on the bed. Edward opens the case revealing: a fedora hat, gloves, a trench coat, shades, half-face mask, shades, the retractable steel baton, a pistol... Edward puts on the fedora hat, then picks up the retractable steel baton, moves to the bed. He pulls a pillow from the head of the bed and then proceeds to STRIKE the pillow in an aggressive fashion... And then he hears a noise –Edward looks up, alerted.


INT. EDWARD’S APARTMENT – CONTINOUS Edward exits the bedroom, gun first, cautious... SUDDENLY FROM BEHIND, BATMAN lunges, knocks the gun away, grips Edward by the collar, feet hanging off the ground. Batman sends Edward flying across the room -Batman stalks toward Edward as he scrambles to his feet. Edward rises, throws a punch... Batman catches his fist, elbows Edward across the jaw then punches him in the SOLAR PLEXUS. Edward doubles over then falls to his knees -Edward whips out the retractable steel baton and lunges. Batman blocks two strikes then grabs Edward by the wrist, exerting pressure to turn his hand over... until Edward releases the weapon. Then Batman SLAMS Edward into a wall, knocking the air out of him. Edward lets out a whimper as Batman grabs a fistful of shirt and pulls him in close so they’re nose to nose. BATMAN No more riddles, Riddler? RIDDLER Ha, just one. Why did the cluster crave a credit card? So he could CHARGE! Unobtrusively, Edward raises a hand revealing a TASER and puts it to Batman’s chest between the plates of armor. Batman convulses. Then against Batman’s torso... Batman drops to his hands and knees as the electric current SURGES through his body. Edward seizes the moment, escapes into the kitchen. Batman struggles to pull himself together. He shakes any residual effects of the shock... Suddenly all the lights in the apartment go off. Batman tries the night-vision in his cowl. It short circuits. Batman forges on without it. When all of a sudden the several TVs in the apartment all turn on simultaneously playing several of Nashton’s interviews in HIGH VOLUME. Batman maintains his composure as he slowly moves through the apartment. ON EDWARD as he tracks behind, a NAIL GUN in hand. He follows,


bearing down on Batman, seen in silhouette... and finally squeezes off two shots -But Batman doesn’t budge. Edward looks on perplexed. He stalks closer to the dark figure. TV blaring loud in the b.g... Edward reaches for the cape, grabs at it, it collapses to the floor. Edward pulls the cape away revealing a COAT RACK! ON EDWARD as he realizes he’s been had. Right then a blurry shape descends on top of Edward -Bruce without his cape and cowl. In the darkness he pummels Edward with a flurry of punches. Then he moves away, slides on his cape and cowl before Edward can look over. Edward starts to giggle as Batman’s shadow slowly drapes over him. BATMAN What’s green, narcissistic and bruised all over? Edward is not laughing anymore. He curls into a ball on the floor as Batman’s shadow completely envelopes him. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM, MCU, GOTHAM CENTRAL - LATER The usual one-way mirror and table. We find Edward seated, calm. Bloodied lip, bruise on his nose. Gordon sits opposite, waiting for Edward to speak. Then Edward musters a smile, nonchalant... EDWARD A magician was boasting one day at how long he could hold his breath under water. His record was six minutes. A kid that was listening said, “that's nothing, I can stay under water for ten minutes using no types of equipment or air pockets!” The magician told the kid if he could do that, he'd give him $10,000. The kid did it and won the money. Can you figure out how, Commissioner? No?


Edward sits back, smiling proudly. EDWARD (cont’d) I filled a glass of water and held it over my head for ten minutes. And that’s how it all started. I’ve always been a step ahead of everyone. GORDON You grew up in orphanage? EDWARD Which is not such great place to grow up. I would get beat up on occasion, for being too smart. Even my teachers, when I would show just how small minded and pathetic they were. They were all jealous of me. And they made me know it. Every day. But regardless, I persisted. I thrived on it. On my genius. Flaunted it every chance I could. So that they would all know... Ultimately that led to work on TV. I needed an audience, I suppose. But they tried to ruin me. So I did what I had to... GORDON You mean murder all those people? EDWARD No no, what I did was compose a game of intellect, all very solvable and thus preventable. Unfortunately I overestimated the detective skills of Gotham’s finest. GORDON And what about Engel? Edward’s lips curl in a wicked smile. EDWARD Well sometimes when sheer brilliance isn’t appreciated as it should, things


EDWARD (cont’d) can go wrong. GORDON And Batman? How does he figure in into all this? EDWARD Well, Batman was the main draw. If I could baffle Gotham’s dark knight detective, even for a moment... And I had done. More than once. (snorts) He must’ve cheated to get to me, you know? Or got lucky. In many ways Batman was like the bullies at the orphanage. (points at head) They don’t have what it takes up here and so they use brute force and intimidation to get their way. But that didn’t work against me. Not against my scheming and chicanery. GORDON Yet here you sit? Edward’s smile slowly fades. EDWARD You know I had Batman at my mercy? I had my gun pointed and there he was, helpless. So don’t heap praise on the man. He’s not deserving of it. (then) There are no ultimate ends, only games and more games. The winner this round is the loser next round... GORDON So what was the motive? Not money. Ratings? EDWARD Maybe in the beginning.


GORDON Batman’s identity? EDWARD Oh no. No no no... It was much too soon for that. Truth is Commissioner, I haven’t a clue? None. Whatsoever. It started out as one thing then completely turned into another. But the thrill of it was exhilarating. It’s only later that I realized that this was my life’s work. Everything, every trick, every puzzle, all of it, led me to this point. To Batman. It all centered around him. (laughs) Imagine it Commissioner, the face of prime time TV is also Gotham’s most wanted criminal... (a very dark laugh) The pathos. The cunning. The genius. Edward leans back on his seat. EDWARD (Cont’d) What an epic of larceny and murder... Once upon a crime hahaha... Gordon adjusts his glasses and rises. GORDON You know Nashton, I watched your show on occasion, and I have to admit you were right some of the time. About Batman. Gotham is a city with complex problems. And lone wolves and vigilantes belong out west, not here. But your antics over the last few days, kidnapping the mayor, murdering Engel, well you’ve proved why Gotham needs Batman. To stop the likes of you.


Gordon turns to go then... GORDON (cont’d) You certainly are a genius, Mr. Nashton. But you’re the worst kind there is. Gordon exits the room. ON EDWARD’S FACE his smile and casual demeanor fading... He looks at the one-way mirror and then he leaps to his feet, fists flexing, marches over -EDWARD That’s right. I am a genius. The worst kind? Oh no... the kind that has the likes of you eating out his palms. The kind that has you running around like headless rats in a maze. Gotham’s finest? Pfft... more like –Suddenly, a fist BANGS on the one-way mirror. Through the INTERCOM -BULLOCK (O.S.) HEY! Sit down, shut up! Edward pipes down. INT. OBSERVATION ROOM, MCU, GOTHAM CENTRAL – CONTINUOUS Bullock and Dunham watch Edward. BULLOCK (re: Edward) Goddamned glory hound. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM, MCU, GOTHAM CENTRAL – CONTINUOUS Edward steps back from the one-way mirror. Then turns, walks back and sits, his disposition now docile, cold realization slowly dawning. INT. HALLWAY, M.C.U. - CONTINUOUS Gordon walks down the hallway. He talks into hidden a mic


in his coat. GORDON Did you get all that? EXT. ROOFTOP OVERLOOKING GOTHAM CENTRAL – CONTINUOUS Batman, crouched low. He listens through an ear piece in his cowl. BATMAN Loud and clear. Batman clicks off. He slumps against a wall, looking wearied, close to exhaustion. WATCHING FROM AN ADJACENT BUILDING TROGG is spying on Batman through a pair of miniature binoculars. He looks up and reaches for a tiny phone. TROGG He looks whipped. We could take him now, finish him off. Wouldn’t take long. ZOMBIE (O.S.) Not yet. INT. PARKED VAN - CONTINUOUS Zombie sits in the back, a headset over his ears. INTERCUT EXT. ROOFTOP, BUILDING/ INT. PARKED VAN - NIGHT TROGG Dammit... What are we waiting for? ZOMBIE For Bane. Remember He wants Batman all to himself. Batman represents his greatest foe. TROGG Bane is obsessed. And obsession clouds judgment. We should go in alone. We’re ready. Finish Batman off. As was instructed. ZOMBIE Bane wouldn’t like that. Trogg takes another look through the binoculars... Batman’s


gone! TROGG What the -- ! Suddenly from behind... BATMAN (O.S.) Looking for me? Trogg whirls round... The Dark Knight, crouched in the shadows before Trogg. Trogg grins. TROGG Oh yeah... THROUGH THE RADIO: ZOMBIE Trogg? What’s happening? Trogg?! Trogg switches the radio off. Rises. BATMAN Why have you been following me? Trogg just smiles –- then he hurls himself at Batman with ferocity and skill, swinging his massive arms. Batman is on the defensive, blocking and weaving -Batman beats back the attack, spins round and knocks Trogg high on the side of head with an elbow strike. Trogg falters. Batman whirls again, catches Trogg with a back fist strike. Trogg’s head spins as he reels backwards. Batman wastes no time and leaps at Trogg, fist cocked back. This time Trogg reacts quickest, he lunges out, grabbing Batman by the throat and hurling him several feet through the air. RIGHT THEN The stairwell door BURSTS OPEN revealing the sinewy Zombie. He sees Trogg and a subdued Batman. ZOMBIE I thought you were in trouble. Bane is on his way. TROGG He should hurry. There won’t be much left. Batman rises to his feet. Trogg smiles fiendishly.


TROGG (cont’d) Too late... Trogg BULL-CHARGES... tackles Batman’s midsection and they go straight over the parapet -They PLUMMET two stories, Batman atop Trogg... They crash through the wooden roof of a storehouse -– An explosion of glass and wood! Dust swirls for a moment. Batman pulls himself up. Limps forward, his entire body pulsing with pain. Batman finds Trogg splayed on the floor, unconscious from the fall. Batman winces, feels at his ribs. Two, maybe three are broken. He looks up... UP ABOVE Zombie descends soundlessly, travelling quickly, with such fluidity, leaping acrobatically down sections of building, through the bored opening and into the storehouse –- and at Batman... we hear the SHING of a sword being unsheathed -Batman is barely ready as Zombie swings his blade with blinding speed. He spins away at the last minute. Another blow arcs for him and he parries with his gauntlet, striking sparks. The relentless onslaught continues. ZOMBIE MOVING FAST TO KILL. He leaps at Batman, sword held high. Batman falls back under this attack, letting Zombie land on top of him - using the soles of both feet, Batman tosses Zombie over, sends him sailing... Zombie lands on his back but quickly reorients himself, wheels round and sends a hail of shuriken at Batman. Batman blocks, ducks and twists away from some of the shuriken, but at least three find their mark, striking flesh. Zombie is a BLUR as he drives in again at Batman. Advancing at full speed like a whirlwind, blade moving in a blur in all directions... Batman blocks and parries... More SPARKS dance... Zombie strikes downwards at his head... Batman blocks with his arm, trapping the blade in the scallop. He twists, wrenching Zombie’s blade from his grasp. Zombie draws a short, ANGLED BLADE and brings it slashing down at Batman’s neck... Batman intercepts, whirls round and knocks Zombie down with vicious side kick.


Batman then catapults forward... and he connects with a flying knee, smashing Zombie as he rises, full in the face. Zombie is out cold, down for the count. Batman drops to his knees, exhausted and hurting. EXT. WOODED PATH - LATER Leaves swirl as the Tumbler II speeds past. INT. LIBRARY, WAYNE MANOR – EARLY MORNING Bruce steps through the bookcase portal, body aching. Right then, a large shadow comes to life, detaches itself from a wall, stepping into the dim light... it’s BANE! Bruce reacts to the skeletal mask. WAYNE You! You’re the one who’s been following me... How did you know? BANE Reese. But after it made perfect sense... a victim of a crime committed in the darkness. Lost to the night in terror and pain... Mysterious and seemingly aloof. But with enough wealth, the means and the opportunity... You could be no one else. Bane just stands, seeming scarcely to breathe as he stares Bruce down. WAYNE Who are you? Bane strides forward. BANE A warrior who hurls himself unhesitatingly into combat. I am... Bane. WAYNE What do you want?


BANE To break you. So that there will be nothing left to piece together. A sudden blur of action and Bane soars forward. He attacks strongly, SWIFTLY, his strength appalling. Bruce defends himself as best as he can, ducking blows, using his arms to block and parry. Bruce tries to beat back the attack but Bane is strong, his reflexes superb. Bruce draws Bane in close and they grapple, Bane overpowering Bruce and then slamming him savagely against a wall. Then with an arm twisting around Bruce’s throat, Bane cuts off Bruce’s WINDPIPE. Bruce throws a fist but Bane just catches it... BANE I will take my time... Make sure you feel every blow. Every crack. Every break. Bruce puts a hard foot into Bane’s chest, sending the big man backwards. Bruce SPRINGS forward. Bane swings an arm and connects with a back-handed fist. Bruce crashes backwards with a grunt of pain. Bane grabs Bruce, with incredible strength he HOISTS him him over his head like he weighed nothing and hurls him through the bookcase. Bruce lands by the dumb-waiter lift with a crunch. He is hurt. Winded. After a moment he crawls inside dumb-waiter lift, pulls the lever and with a mechanical whine, the lift descends... INT. BATCAVE - CONTINUOUS Bane races down the winding staircase after Bruce, moving like an express train, murderous rage in his eyes. Bruce finds his feet, stumbles out of the dumb-waiter lift. Trying to focus. Bane is approaching fast -- as Bruce turns to face him, Bane bolts forward, charging forward like a bull and –- WHAM!! Bane sends Bruce hurtling in the air... and CRASHING over a work station, tumbling violently.


Bane stalks toward Bruce. BANE You’ve spent your nights fighting evil. But you’ve never face anything like me. As he talks, Bruce discreetly produces the gauntlet and fires off the double blade scallops into Bane’s torso! Bane growls in pain as he reels backwards. He looks down at himself, at the blade scallops entrenched in his abdomen. Bruce regains his bearings. Bane moves towards him like an angry beast -Bruce rolls away awkwardly on the floor, quickly reaches for TWO ESRCIMA STICKS –He pounces on his feet, lets fly with a dazzling barrage of strikes and maneuvers, STRIKING FORCEFULLY. Bane only manages to block some of the blows with his forearms but otherwise looks unperturbed. Bruce attacks with increased furor but Bane again dominates with his incredible strength. Then he catches Wayne by both hands, pulls him in close and HEAD-BUTTS him! Bruce falters, staggering backwards. Bane pounces, moving with monstrous swiftness, his massive muscles working with astounding fluidity as he delivers crushing blow after crushing blow. EXT. WAYNE MANOR – SAME TIME Alfred walks headed for the kitchen door. He stops, suddenly alert. The kitchen door hangs slightly ajar –- the LOCK’S been smashed. Alfred furrows his brow. Something’s up. INT. BATCAVE - CONTINUOUS Bruce stumbles away as fast as he is physically able. He seems no match, the awful truth dawning on us. Bane lands several crushing blows... Wayne is backed into a wall, blocking and parrying desperately.


BANE You’re slow... Giving me all the time I need... Bane using his fists and knees with enormous force. Bruce ducks one punch, gets clipped by the next...then a vicious shot that breaks three ribs. Wayne tries to throw a left hook out of desperation, dropping his guard –- and Bane unleashes his own left hook connecting hard with Wayne’s jaw. Wayne crashes to the ground with a sickening thud. Bane appraises Bruce. BANE Disappointing. ON WAYNE bruised, bloody and beaten. Barely conscious as Bane looms closer. Bane pulls Wayne up by the hair, leaves him standing on his own. Bruce stands in obvious pain, tries to attack. Bane avoids the halfhearted assault deftly. BANE (smirks) You are already broken. Wayne throws a left and right, Bane intercepts, get Wayne in an armlock and –- SNAP! Bane breaks Wayne’s arm. Wayne reels back, landing on one knee, clutching his throbbing arm in agony. BANE It’s over. Finished. You. Are. NOTHING! Bane grabs Batman around the back of the neck with one hand, hauls him to his feet... And he drives a FIST savagely into Bruce’s back producing a sickening sound! Batman screams, a violent shock against his spinal cord! Bane drives his fist in a second time with even more brutal force -– CRACK!! Bruce crashes to the ground, beaten, blood sodden, lying inert, motionless. Bane stands over Bruce crumpled body. He removes his mask,


starts to speak. BANE I am here to kill you, but death would only end your agony, silence your shame. You are nothing. No more. I have broken you. Then suddenly from behind –ALFRED (O.S.) Oi, bastard! Bane turns round, sees Alfred COCKING a LEE ENFIELD .303 CALIBRE RIFLE -ALFRED Get your dirty mitts off! Alfred squeezes off a shot. And then another. Bane just staggers like a wounded bear. Then he growls, turning, eyes fixed madly on Alfred, he takes several steps towards him like some creature on an unstoppable path. Alfred fires a third shot... Bane stumbles back, then with a feral roar he falls back and down into the BATCAVE CANYONS. ON ALFRED on his expression when he sees what’s left of Bruce. He rushes to Bruce’s side. ALFRED Master Wayne...? Bruce opens his eyes, tears glinting. WAYNE Alfred?... You came back? Bruce struggles to keep his eyes open, eventually slips into unconsciousness... And FADE TO BLACK. FADE IN:


INT. WAYNE’S ROOM, HOSPITAL ICU - DAY Bruce opens his eyes, a two day growth on his face. ALFRED (O.S.) Well it’s about bloody time. Alfred approaches, smiles reassuringly. Bruce tries to speak. WAYNE Bane...? ALFRED That beast of a man? Gone. Down the canyons. If that didn’t kill him, then the four bullets from my rifle surely did. WAYNE How... am I? ALFRED Rather poorly, I’m afraid Master Wayne. But you’re alive. WAYNE No feeling in my legs... It’s my back, isn’t it? Alfred looks at Bruce but can’t find the words. WAYNE’S FACE taking this in, tears forming. INT. SELINA’S APARTMENT - DAY Selina on the couch, picks up her cellphone and dials a number. A MACHINE picks up. VOICEMAIL Hi, this is Bruce. Sorry I’m in Cabo. Or Dubai. But attractive ladies do leave a message. SELINA Oh, c’mon...


Selina hangs up, frustrated. Isis mews, rubs against Selina’s leg. SELINA Yes, Isis, mommy’s mad. Very mad. How about something to drink, huh? Selina gets up and moves towards the kitchen. INT. KITCHEN, SELINA’S APARTMENT – CONTINUOUS Selina walks over to the fridge and grabs a bottle of water. She takes a drink and pours the rest into Isis’s water bowl. SELINA Men. They’re not worth the trouble Isis, I promise you. Hmm, where’s Otto? (calling out) Otto? Suddenly Selina is yanked by the hair from behind. A bear of man throws an arm around her neck as he pulls her backwards. Selina fights valiantly. Like a tigress. She wrestles her way out of the hold and then flips the man over. Two more men come from out of nowhere, bigger and more menacing. Selina gets into a martial arts stance. As they near, she lets loose with a barrage of kicks and punches, knocking them off their feet. Applause off screen and then -VOICE O.S. What a wonderful display of audacious skill, acrobatic prowess, athletic ability... All gung-ho yet so graceful. Selina’s blood turns cold at the sound of the voice, realization dawning. A man comes into view. His face remains UNSEEN. This is BLACK MASK, dressed in an expensive suit. We notice his gloved hand move back and forth in a stroking motion and then we realize he has a cat under one arm.


Black Mask takes a seat opposite Selina. She stands, frozen with fear. Black Mask regards her a moment then opens his mouth to talk again, his voice dangerously calm... BLACK MASK My dear Ms. Kyle, you’re shaking. Please, sit. SELINA I’d rather stand, thank you. BLACK MASK No, I think you better sit. Selina sits after a moment. Black Mask’s men get back on their feet, groaning and sore. BLACK MASK Now, there’s the matter of diamonds you stole from me. Twenty million dollars worth. We will forget that happened for the moment. Move on to other things. Times are chaotic. A lot of rumours flying around. And certain opportunities have to be seized. You have an expertise I am very interested in making use of. The mob in this town has frittered away. Every major mob boss is either dead or locked up. Crime families are now a thing of the past. There now exists a power vacuum so vast... What’s more, Batman has deserted Gotham. The city is on the brink. So, the moment to act is now. (then) So, Ms. Kyle, I need you to do two things. One, you will return my diamonds to me. All of the diamonds. Two, you will work for me, for as long as I need your services. Is that understood? Wonderful. I can see you’re having one of those Road to Damascus moments as I speak.


Black Mask flings the cat off screen and we realize it was dead all along. Black Mask rises. We still don’t get a clear view of him. BLACK MASK (cont’d) They say when you cut a monsters head, a new one grows back. I’m that new head. And this town, all of it, is mine to take. Black Mask heads for the door. For an instant we catch a glimpse of his face/mask: he wears a BLACK/SILVER MASK from MEDIEVAL times. BLACK MASK (cont’d) I’ll be in touch, Catwoman. Black Mask exits the apartment. INT. WAYNE’S ROOM, HOSPITAL ICU - MORNING Bruce on his back staring up at the ceiling. Alfred is also in the room, seated in one corner, leafing through the GOTHAM GLOBAL NEWSPAPER. WAYNE What are you reading there, Alfred? ALFRED You should be resting. WAYNE Your concern is appreciated Alfred. But I would like to know. I need to know. ALFRED Later. For now Master Wayne, you must focus on you. WAYNE So how did explain this one to the doctors? ALFRED Told them you were involved in a car wreck. The Lamborghini.


WAYNE The Lamborghini!? ALFRED Hm-mm... Had to use a sledgehammer. WAYNE What!? ALFRED And then I pushed it off a cliff. WAYNE Alfred!? ALFRED Had to make it convincing, y’see. You were driving reckless, and as the Lamborghini veered off the road, you jumped out as it went of the off the verge... Wayne thinks a moment, smiles. WAYNE You got worried when I didn’t show up back at the Manor –- and you came out looking for me. ALFRED Found you on the roadside. Very badly hurt. WAYNE The Porsche wasn’t available? ALFRED I like the Porsche. Bruce allows himself a smile. Then... WAYNE Thank you, Alfred. ALFRED That’s better.


A beat. WAYNE Any word from Selina? ALFRED (shakes head) No. Nothing. INT. TENEMENT BUILDING - FLASHBACK Alfred enters Selina’s building. Removal men move in and out Selina’s apartment carrying furniture, belongings in boxes, etc... Alfred looks on, puzzled. ALFRED (V.O.) I went by her apartment yesterday. There was a moving van parked out front... Removal men were moving in and out of her apartment, carrying furniture and such... INT. WAYNE’S ROOM, HOSPITAL ICU – PRESENT DAY Bruce looks away in sad reflection. Then... WAYNE I owe you an apology Alfred. I sent you away because I thought I needed to be alone. To face what Gotham has become... alone. (then) I become consumed Alfred... Consumed by the violence. Causing pain... Just so I didn’t have to feel my own. I lost myself somewhere along the way. After Rachel. Bruce opens a hand, revealing THE NATIVE AMERICAN ARROW HEAD given to him many years ago by Rachel... ON WAYNE memories of Rachel flooding back. Emotions overwhelming. Alfred gets up, walks over.


ALFRED Master Wayne, you never have to apologize to me. Ever. We clear? WAYNE Maybe this is the end, Alfred. Maybe... ALFRED No, Master Wayne, not yet. The war goes on. And so must you. (smiles heartily) Now let’s focus on you getting better. We have a city to take back. EXT. PORCH, HOSPITAL – DAY Bruce is alone, seated in wheel chair taking in the light breeze. VOICE (O.S.) Accident while spelunking, Mr. Wayne? Bruce turns his head, sees LUCIUS FOX smiling warmly. WAYNE Lucius! It’s good seeing you again. FOX I wish it was under better circumstances. Alfred not around? WAYNE I gave him the day off. Truth is he was getting on my nerves. FOX Alfred’ll do that. (beat, then) I’m sorry Bruce. WAYNE It’s only a setback Lucius, not the end. (re: newspaper) What do you have there?


FOX Nothing but bad news. Bruce gives Fox a look. FOX (cont’d) Shouldn’t you be resting, Mr. Wayne. WAYNE I’m rested enough. Fox regards Bruce a moment. FOX Okay then. (pause; then) On the front page there’s a detailed breakdown on the rise violent crime in Gotham... In particular, batmaninspired crime. WAYNE “Batman-inspired”? FOX (reading) “The rate of crime has risen exponentially and is virtually out of control... This is attributed to the sudden disappearance of Batman...” (turning the page) Mayor Hill refuses to declare there’s an all out war on Batman... Gotham PD is understaffed... The editorial on page four argues that the degeneration of the Joker clones and its apparent leader, Harely Quinn “has produced a power vacuum at the worst possible moment, when Gotham is on its hands and knees”... Let see... “Where is our Dark Avenger? ...Without Batman, our city continues to fall apart”... Looting, rioting, burning fires going


FOX (cont’d) unchecked... A city wide curfew is under consideration. (beat; amused) And yet another costumed character has emerged. INT. JEWELRY – NIGHT We find a FIGURE IN BLACK dressed in form fitting black armor, facing off with three burly THIEVES. In a dazzling display of acrobatic agility and maneuvering, the shadowy figure gives Thief #1 a roundhouse PUNCH to the head, Thief #2 a spinning back kick and Thief #3 a side kick to the sternum. All three men go down like bowling pins! MOVING IN CLOSER and we learn the shadowy figure is none other than CATWOMAN. A bound and gagged NIGHT GUARD watches the event unfold in wide-eyed surprise. THIEF #4 appears from out of nowhere with a SHOTGUN, aimed at Catwoman. The guard mumbles something indiscernible -- Catwoman turns, spins on her heels... She descends on Thief #4 with a whirlwind of acrobatic kicks and punches slamming him down on the ground. WE HEAR POLICE SIRENS APPROACHING... Catwoman moves to an opened SAFE. She reaches inside, grabs a handful of bright, glittering DIAMONDS and stuffs them into a bag. The guard looks on surprised but can do nothing. Catwoman blows him a kiss and then she BOUNDS out the EXIT –EXT. JEWELRY STORE – CONTINUOUS Catwoman leaps acrobatically onto a dumpster and then a fire escape ladder as she makes her getaway. EXT. ROOFTOP – CONTINUOUS Catwoman, silhouetted against the moonlight as she SPRINGS


onto the rooftop, landing gracefully and cat-like. She removes her mask revealing to us her identity... SELINA KYLE. EXT. PORCH, HOSITAL – PRESENT DAY Fox studies AN ARTIST'S RENDITION of CATWOMAN, made to look far more menacing and mean. WAYNE A cat-woman? FOX Hm-mm. As in cat burglar. Wayne looks out, frowning. FOX In short, Gotham needs a miracle. WAYNE Or maybe Batman will suffice. FOX Best thing you can do, Mr. Wayne, is to focus on other things. Your recovery for starters... and on what the future holds for Bruce Wayne. Bruce looks at Fox, considering his advice. INT. WORKOUT ROOM, HOSPITAL - EVENING Wayne, naked from the waste up, working out alone on a PARALLEL BAR doing TRICEP DIPS... He falls back onto the wheelchair exhausted. After a moment he wheels himself out. INT. BRUCE’S ROOM, HOSPITAL – LATE EVENING Bruce wakes up. Finds himself alone. He looks at the plasma TV set on mute. A reporter gives the news of the day. He turns to look out the window with a sigh. EXT. ROOFTOP, GOTHAM CENTRAL - NIGHT Bullock walks out onto the roof, cigar smoke trailing behind.


We find Gordon standing by a newly constructed BATSIGNAL. It shines brightly into the dark night sky. BULLOCK Chilly night Commish? GORDON Like most nights. BULLOCK No sign of him? It’s been four months. GORDON I know. (then) I pity him. Sometimes I wish he didn’t have to do the things he has chosen to do. BULLOCK He can quit if he wanted? GORDON No. Gotham belongs to him. He’s Gotham’s silent guardian, watchful protector... BULLOCK Yeah? Well, where is he? GORDON For his sake, as far from Gotham as possible, enjoying a cold one in the company of friends. But personally I hope he’s out there, keeping watch. Bullock looks up at the shining signal. BULLOCK If you ask me, he’s gone for good. Gotham has that effect on people. GORDON Yeah. Bullock wipes his forehead.


BULLOCK It’s as hot as Lucifer’s hind tit out here. Gordon turns to leaves. BULLOCK Sir... the light? GORDON Kill it Harvey. EXT. WAYNE’S ROOM, HOSPITAL – SAME TIME GORDON (O.S.) It’s over. ON WAYNE staring out the window. Then a slight knock on the door. VOICE O.S. Uh, Mr. Wayne? Wanye turns his head. DICK GRAYSON, early 20’s, handsome with an athletic build, is standing by the door. GRAYSON Uh, hi. My name is –WAYNE Richard Grayson. Of the “Flying Graysons”. Grayson looks at Wayne, genuinely surprised. GRAYSON Um, yeah. Last time we met I was fifteen... I’m surprised you remember. WAYNE Come in. Have a seat. GRAYSON Thanks. I’m an intern here and I heard you were admitted so I thought I’d pay a visit, see how you were doing.


WAYNE I appreciate it. The only visitors I’ve had last few days have been treating me like a three month old. GRAYSON So how are you feeling? WAYNE Better than I look. GRAYSON I heard about the Lamborghini. WAYNE Just pieces of metal. GRAYSON Very expensive pieces. WAYNE So you’re an intern here? How’s that working out for you? GRAYSON So far so good. It’s a 12 week program. And after I’ve enrolled to volunteer on a hospital ship out in West Africa. WAYNE You’re adventurous? GRAYSON I think risk-taking flows through my veins. WAYNE I think doing the staggeringly difficult triple somersault seventy feet up in the air before the time you hit thirteen, makes that pretty clear. GRAYSON My dad never wanted me in the circus. He wanted me to focus on school instead. But I think even when there’s


GRAYSON (cont’d) slightest indication or feeling that you’ve found your calling in life... If there’s something you’re meant to be... You shouldn’t hesitate. Not for a moment. Wayne and Grayson share a look, a connection forming... And a knock on the door. Alfred pops his head in the room. ALFRED Oh, sorry. I’ll come back later. BRUCE No, Alfred come in –- You remember Richard Grayson don’t you? Alfred enters. ALFRED Oh yes, of course. Richard, how are you? GRAYSON Fine, thank you Alfred. Been a while. Um, I should go. It was nice meeting you all after so long. WAYNE Thanks for dropping by. GRAYSON Sure.No problem. Grayson turns to leave. WAYNE Richard... You should come by and visit again. You’re welcome anytime. GRAYSON I will. See you Mr. Wayne. Grayson exits. ALFRED Mr. Grayson looks all grown up, I


ALFRED (cont’d) hardly recognize him. You did the right thing in helping him through a troubled time. WAYNE I’ve always regretted not having taken him in. ALFRED You were but a young man yourself, Mr. Wayne. In no way were you ready for that sort of responsibility. And then your five year hiatus... And in addition to your being CEO of multibillion dollar company, there are certain extracurricular activities that fully occupy your time. In any case, you did your utmost to ensure that he was well taken care of. Perhaps even it was for the best. He’s turned out alright. Seemingly. Polite and wellmannered. Nothing like you when you were his age. WAYNE Actually, Alfred, he reminds a lot of myself. Alfred looks at Bruce a moment, wondering. And then knowingly, an almost telepathic exchange between the two... CUT TO BLACK. CREDITS. END.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful