Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz & John McLaughlin
January 11, 2010
1 INT. DARK STAGE - NIGHT 1
A SPOTLIGHT slices black space.
In its beam, a DANCER materializes. She is fair-skinned.
Beautiful and pure.
The maiden twirls on pointe, a smile on her face, light as
air and carefree.
She pauses, her face grows worried. Sensing someone watching.
Scared, she peers into the darkness.
She moves now, looking, growing more frantic.
Then, a SINISTER MAN emerges out of the darkness behind her.
She stumbles backwards, frightened.
She tries to escape, twirling away, but he pursues. His true
form is revealed, the demon ROTHBART.
He flings his open hand towards her, casting the spell.
She wants to scream, but nothing comes out. She looks at her
body, sensing something happening to her. Something
She spins, panicking, but it's too late. She disappears
beneath the beast's cape.
She emerges as the WHITE SWAN, the iconic protagonist of SWAN
CUT TO BLACK.
2 INT. NINA'S BEDROOM - MORNING 2
In the darkness, a pair of EYES. They belong to NINA, the
same dancer. She lies awake in bed, thinking about her dream.
The room looks like it hasn't been redecorated since she was
a teenager. Stuffed animals. Dolls. Pink and frilly.
The door opens, throwing LIGHT on her face. Nina looks
towards the door and smiles softly at whoever opened it.
Nina sits up and hangs her BARE FEET off the side of the bed.
Like all ballerinas, she's beautiful and her feet are
atrocious. Covered in corns, broken blisters and bunions. She
arches them, doing her first extensions of the day.
3 INT. LIVING ROOM - MORNING 3
The room is empty of furniture to leave space for dancing. A
large mirror covers the opposite wall entirely.
Nina rubs her knees to get them warm, and then begins her
morning exercises, extending and contracting her feet and
legs in precise and rhythmic motions.
The skin on her chest stretches tautly over her sternum.
Defined vertebrae run up her back, sinewy muscles contract as
she moves. Her slender neck leads into her hair, contained
in a ballerina's bun.
Nina looks serene as she moves, completely in her element.
She hears someone fussing about in the kitchen.
I had the most amazing dream last
night. I was dancing the White
Different choreography, like the
Bolshoi's. It was the prologue,
when Rothbart casts his spell.
Still no answer.
Nina continues to stretch.
4 INT. KITCHEN - MORNING 4
Nina sits at the table. An older woman, ERICA, places a
POACHED EGG and a QUARTER-GRAPEFRUIT in front of her.
You're in a good mood.
I'm just excited to get back.
Off-season always makes you grumpy.
Look how pink. So pretty.
(inside joke) (inside joke)
They giggle and Erica resumes packing Nina's shoulder bag
with extra clothing, shoes, snack filled tupperware, duct
tape, ribbon, thread, etc.
Plus he promised to feature me
He certainly should. You're the
most dedicated dancer in the
Nina smiles, comforted, and begins taking her vitamins.
Erica walks over with a SWEATSHIRT and holds it above her.
Nina pulls it over her head and starts to push her arms
through the sleeves.
Erica points to her shoulder. Nina feels and finds a small
She shrugs and shakes her head.
Erica gives her a suspicious look, but lets it go and smiles.
Nina finishes pulling down the sweatshirt.
Erica hugs Nina into her chest and kisses the top of her
Erica releases her and Nina begins eating.
5 INT. SUBWAY TRAIN - DAY 5
Nina rides inside a crowded subway, staring absentmindedly at
her faint reflection in the train's window.
Suddenly, another train roars by on the opposite track,
snapping her awake.
In the next train car, she sees the back of a BALLERINA
standing in the midst of the crowd. Her head bops to music
playing through iPod earphones.
Nina moves a strand of hair out of her eyes, and at that
exact moment, the girl in the next car moves in the same way.
Unnerved, Nina slowly lowers her arm. So does the other girl.
Although Nina can't quite see her face, the girl seems
IDENTICAL from Nina's vantage point.
The train jerks to a stop as it arrives at a station. Nina
sees the girl head to the exit. She cranes to see her face,
but her view's obscured.
The doors slide shut and the train pulls out. Nina watches
the platform whisk by, keeping her eyes peeled, but she
doesn't see the girl.
6 OMITTED 6
7 EXT. LINCOLN CENTER - DAY 7
Nina emerges from the subway station onto a city street.
She arrives at the MAJESTIC-LOOKING THEATER, where a few
other BALLERINAS likewise trickle towards the entrance. They
all look strangely similar: slender, carrying shoulder bags,
wearing leggings and loose sweatshirts.
She passes a ROW OF POSTERS featuring the company's prima
ballerina, BETH MACINTYRE.
Nina looks at them, a little envious, before continuing on to
the STAGE DOOR.
8 INT. SOLOIST DRESSING ROOM - DAY 8
Crammed into a single dressing room, Nina and the company's 5
SOLOISTS get ready for rehearsal. Chatting, sewing ribbon
onto shoes, applying makeup, putting band-aids on blisters.
Nina removes a new pair of BALLET SHOES, admires them for a
moment, before cutting off the satin toe with scissors.
In the background, catty VERONICA and Russian GALINA gossip.
Can't believe she's back.
Of course she is.
She can't take a hint? Company's
broke. No one comes to see her
No one comes to see ballet period.
That's not true, I heard the Royal
had one of their best seasons yet.
He needs to try something new.
No, someone new.
Like someone who's not approaching
I think it's sad.
Beth's such an amazing dancer.
So's my grand-mother.
Fonteyn danced into her 50's...
Yeah, we know.
Irked, Nina starts POUNDING the shoes against the floor to
soften the toe.
Her eyes are drawn to a NEW GIRL standing in the doorway.
Nina pauses to scrutinize her. She wears vampy make-up, hair
down. Dark and sexy.
Wary, the girls mumble mmm-hmm's and nod.
NEW GIRL (CONT'D)
She slinks past the suspicious group of girls and plops down
at an open spot.
NEW GIRL (CONT'D)
Fucking got off the wrong stop and
had to hoof it from 79th.
Nina exchanges glances with the other girls, taken aback.
The new girl notices the looks, smirks to herself and starts
9 INT. LARGE REHEARSAL SPACE - DAY 9
Nina wears a look of intense concentration as the entire
company warms up, including the pubescent CORPS MEMBERS and a
handful of MALE DANCERS.
LEGS, HANDS, and FEET repeat the same movements all around
her, led by a severe BALLET MISTRESS.
To the back, fondu, to the back,
plie. Fourth, fourth, and one and
fifth, to the back...
(to a corps member)
Like this. Push it. Why can't you
Using the mirror, Nina monitors her movements carefully. The
mistress surprises her.
BALLET MISTRESS (CONT'D)
It needs to be looser. Relax. Let
Flustered, Nina nods and tries to follow her instruction.
Suddenly, the girls around Nina begin stripping off their
sweatshirts and insulated pants.
Nina sees that the intense and brooding director of the
company, THOMAS LEROY, has entered the space. He has the
unkept look of an artist. Magnetic and intense.
The ballerinas remove their warm-up gear to show off their
Leroy walks around the room, judging his flock. Smiles and
glances are thrown his way.
He goes up to the ballet mistress, takes her hand and kisses
her on the cheek. Even she manages a smile.
He heads to the line of soloists, studying them.
We all know the story: virginal
girl, pure and sweet, trapped in
the body of a swan. She desires
freedom, but only true love can
break the spell.
He taps a dancer on the shoulder, she lights up. He walks,
then taps another. A selection process of some kind.
Nina looks nervous, has an inkling of what it means.
Her wish is granted in the form of
He nears Nina. She sneaks peeks at him, eager and hopeful.
He acknowledges her with a small nod and a smile.
But he walks on without tapping her. She deflates.
But before he can declare his love,
her lustful twin, the Black Swan,
tricks and seduces him.
He approaches the New Girl. Nina watches, threatened.
But he doesn't tap her either.
Devastated, the White Swan leaps
off a cliff, killing herself. But,
in death, finds freedom.
He taps one more soloist and then CLAPS.
The music stops and all the girls face him, attentive.
Good morning, company.
They respond "Good morning" in nervous, unsure voices.
We open our season with Swan Lake.
Done to death, I know. But not like
this. We strip it down. Make it
visceral and real.
He pauses for effect.
And a new production needs a new
Swan Queen. A fresh face to present
to the world.
Surprised, the soloists glance at each other, trying to keep
But which of you can embody both
swans? The white and the black?
Nina prepares for disappointment.
All the soloists I touched...
Please go to your scheduled
rehearsals this afternoon.
The girls are confused.
And the girls I didn't touch, meet
me in studio B at five.
Nina breathes, realizing the girls he didn't tap are the ones
he's selected, purposefully toying with them.
10 INT. BACKSTAGE HALLWAY - DAY 10
Hidden inside a nook, Nina has her eyes closed, nervously
HUMMING the score to Swan Lake.
She makes small motions with her feet and hands, going
through the choreography in her mind. Preparing for the
A loud CRASHING sound snaps her out of it.
She goes out into the hallway to investigate.
The door to a PRINCIPAL DRESSING ROOM is halfway open. Nina
Inside, she can see someone moving around the room in a fury,
Suddenly, the door swings open and BETH MACINTYRE bursts out.
She makes brief eye-contact with Nina.
Nina just shakes her head.
Beth scoffs as she slams the door behind her. She clips down
the hall in the opposite direction.
Nina waits until she's gone, then moves closer to the door
and peeks inside, curious.
She checks to make sure no one's around and quickly enters.
11 INT. PRINCIPAL DRESSING ROOM - SAME 11
Large and comfortable. Beth's presence is everywhere.
Photographs, clothing, and personal belongings scattered
across the space.
Nina looks at herself in the mirror and smiles, imagining how
great it would be...
Then she notices a LARGE VASE lying on the floor. The flowers
have been shredded, water everywhere.
She moves to the vanity counter and touches Beth's
belongings in reverence. The items are neatly laid out:
ballet supplies, jewelry, and makeup.
Her fingers brush a tube of LIPSTICK. She picks it up.
Nina slips the lipstick into her bag and exits the room.
12 INT. PRINCIPAL REHEARSAL SPACE - DAY 12
In the middle of her audition, Nina dances Odette's Variation
from Act II of the ballet, a frightened look on her face.
Although her movement is incredibly precise, there's a
definite vulnerability. Exactly as the White Swan should be:
fear tinged with melancholy.
Leroy waves his arm. The music and Nina stop abruptly.
He approaches her and, when he gets close, taps on her
sternum with two of his fingers.
So Nina, would you like to be the
If you want me to be.
He leans in and talks softly so the other girls can't hear.
Well, if I was just casting the
White Swan, she'd be yours.
She can't help but smile, flattered. He pulls away from her.
But I'm not.
He turns to the PIANO PLAYER.
Maestro, Odile's Coda.
The piano player rifles through the song book.
Show me your Black Swan, Nina.
Nervous, she glances over at Veronica and Galina, who
anxiously await their turn.
She takes a few breaths, then looks towards the piano player
The music begins.
Nina dances a few steps, and then launches into the most
difficult and famous part of Swan Lake: The Black Swan's
Coda. It consists of 32 consecutive fouettes (spins).
Come on, not so controlled.
The music builds in intensity, she pushes herself into the
Seduce us! Not just the Prince, but
the court, the audience, the entire
world! The fouettes are like a
spider spinning her web. Come on!
Attack it! Attack it!
Leroy runs his hand through his hair, dismayed.
A look of worry spreads across Nina's face. Knows she's
The door CLANGS open and throws Nina's focus completely. She
stumbles, several spins short of finishing.
The New Girl obliviously marches into the room, listening to
Good of you to join us.
The New Girl notices everyone staring and pulls out her
earphones to talk.
Girls, this is Lily. Straight off
the plane from San Francisco. She's
filling Rebecca's old spot.
LILY gives a small wave. Nina eyes her with scorn as she
catches her breath.
Go on, get warmed up.
Lily starts stripping off her layers, revealing her lithe
body. On her back, she has a TATTOO OF LILIES.
Should I go again?
(distracted by Lily)
I've seen enough. Thank you, Nina.
She looks down, getting his meaning.
Okay, Veronica. Your turn. The
White Swan's variation...
Furious, Nina marches out of the room.
A13 INT. THEATER BATHROOM STALL - NIGHT A13
Nina stands up from a kneeled position and flushes the
toilet. She wipes her mouth with the back of her hand and
exits the stall.
13 OMITTED 13
14 OMITTED 14
15 EXT. STREET - NIGHT 15
Nina walks along a quiet side street. She clutches her
jacket, for warmth and comfort.
Her CELL PHONE starts ringing. She digs it out of her bag and
checks the CALLER ID: MOM. She silences it and puts it away.
Up ahead, she sees the sidewalk dead end at a construction
site, and detour into an enclosed PASSAGEWAY beneath the
Nina slows, a little scared, but decides to push on.
The passageway is dark. The temporary lighting dim and
She walks quickly, trying to get to the other side.
She hears the sound of soft FOOTSTEPS approaching. She
stops, and the other FOOTSTEPS stop.
She looks up and sees the faint outline of a SLENDER WOMAN
standing there, almost ghostlike.
Nina starts walking again, keeping her head down, and the
other woman continues as well.
As they pass each other, Nina glances at the woman's face and
The woman looks EXACTLY LIKE HER.
But the moment passes as the woman continues walking.
Nina stares after her, perturbed.
Her cell phone starts RINGING again, piercing the silence.
Nina continues out, ignoring the phone.
16 INT. UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT - NIGHT 16
Nina enters and locks the deadbolt and chain-lock behind her.
She turns and is startled to see Erica standing right there.
How did it go?
Nina looks at her confused. Erica helps take off her coat.
You were late, so I called Susie in
the office. An audition?! Can't
believe he just sprung that on you.
It went okay.
Erica hangs up her coat, turns and sees Nina tearing up.
The tears start falling now.
Erica goes to her and wraps her in an embrace.
Shhh, shhh, tell me what happened.
17 INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 17
Nina lies on the floor, stewing. Her legs straight in the air
to drain the lactic acid in her muscles.
I told them it doesn't matter how
talented their daughter is, if she
misses any more classes, she's out.
She forgets half of what I teach
her, and I waste time catching her
up. It's ridiculous.
Nina sits up and retrieves a pair of point shoes from her
bag. She considers them for a moment, then starts to put them
She stands, takes a breath, and does a single spin, testing
She takes a breath and spins again, then again, then again.
Each spin is punctuated by a jab of her foot into the floor.
THWACK, THWACK. THWACK.
She jabs her toe down, hard...
She winces in pain and automatically grabs her foot.
Nina leans her back against the mirror and removes her shoe.
Her right big toenail has split, oozing blood.
Nina breathes through the pain and puts her shoe back on.
She reassumes the position, takes a couple breaths, and
starts spinning again.
Her toe jabs into the floor. She winces a little with pain,
but keeps pushing.
Her face grows more determined, focused. 20, 21, 22 spins....
She starts to look powerful, willing herself to succeed.
At the end of the 32nd spin, Nina jabs her foot down hard.
She's done it!
Nina looks at herself in the mirror, glazed in sweat, a
slight smile of satisfaction.
18 INT. NINA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 18
Nina sits on the edge of the bed, as Erica douses some GAUZE
with PEROXIDE and dabs it on the split toenail. Nina reacts
to the sting.
Shhh. Almost done...You're working
yourself too hard. We all have off
If that girl hadn't barged in.
I'm sure she didn't mean to.
Remember when you started? If I
hadn't taken you to each of your
classes, you would have been
I'm gonna talk to him. Tell him I
He knows you can do the coda. It
won't convince him one way or the
Annoyed, Nina lies down, looking away from her mother.
Oh, sweetheart, I know it's
disappointing. When you start to
get older, there's all this
ridiculous pressure. God knows, I
Erica squeezes some arnica gel into her palm and massages it
into Nina's calves.
But it's alright. No matter what.
You'll probably get to dance the
Pas de Quatre again. That's such a
wonderful part. Or maybe he'll make
you a Big Swan. Either way, you'll
I know, mom.
Erica removes Nina's EARRINGS, then opens a JEWELRY BOX
sitting on the night stand and drops them inside. A TOY
BALLERINA spins to TINNY MUSIC.
Nina gets under the covers. Erica tucks her in and sits down
on the edge of the bed.
Everything will be better in the
morning. It always is.
She strokes Nina's hair, humming along to the music.
Nina watches the ballerina spin and spin with a determined
19 OMITTED 19
20 OMITTED 20
21 INT. SUBWAY - DAY 21
Nina applies the lipstick she stole from Beth, using the side
window as a mirror. The jerky motion of the train makes it
difficult, but she manages.
22 INT. BACKSTAGE HALLWAY - DAY 22
Nina waits anxiously outside Leroy's office.
She hears someone approach, looks up and sees Leroy coming
down the hall.
She puts on a nervous smile. He doesn't reciprocate.
Do you have a minute?
He doesn't answer, just opens the door to the office and
She takes a breath and then follows.
23 INT. LEROY'S OFFICE - SAME 23
Nina closes the door and faces the cozy, dark space. Large
couch, posters from the ballet on the wall--several featuring
Leroy lights a cigarette, quietly studying her and not making
this easy. He takes a drag, and exhales.
If now's not a good time...
Now's fine, what is it?
I just wanted to tell you, I
practiced the coda last night, and
I did it.
How thrilling for you.
Okay, Nina, listen, I honestly
don't care about your technique,
you should know that by now.
Anyway, I've already chosen
He lifts his hands in the air, "there you go."
She makes a move towards the door.
You're not going to try and change
She looks back at him, uncertain.
Leroy nonchalantly stubs out his cigarette.
You must have thought it was
possible, coming to find me like
He pauses, looks her up and down as if trying to decipher
Why are you here? All dolled up?
I came to ask you to give me the
She doesn't know what he means. He comes around his desk and
Truth is, when I look at you, all I
see is the White Swan. Yes, you're
beautiful, fragile, fearful. Ideal
casting. But the Black Swan...it's
a hard fucking job to dance both.
I can be the Black Swan too.
Really? She's hungry, volatile. In
four years, every time you dance, I
see you obsess over getting each
move exactly right, but I never see
you lose yourself.
Insecure, she looks like she wants to run out of the room.
All that discipline, for what?
I want to be perfect.
Perfection's not just about
control. It's also about letting
go. Surprising the audience.
Surprising yourself. Transcendence.
He considers her for a moment.
Very few have it in them.
Without warning, he slowly plants a kiss on her mouth.
It lasts for a moment, but he suddenly jerks away.
He touches his lip, stunned.
You bit me.
She's too scared to respond.
I can't believe it. That fucking
He goes to the mirror to check for damage. He glances back at
She quickly leaves, shell-shocked.
24 INT. LARGE REHEARSAL SPACE - DAY 24
The company stretch and go through their usual warm-up
routine, a tension in the air. The casting decision still
Nina touches her lips, thinking about the encounter. Then
looks over at Veronica, knowing the good news in store.
Veronica notices. Nina looks away.
Nina shakes her head.
A sudden energy sweeps the room, and she hears the sound of
scuffling feet and whispering. "It's up." "She just posted
The dancers start exiting into the hallway. Veronica turns to
Veronica turns around. It's hard, but Nina decides to be a
Nina subtly glances at the exiting girls and Veronica
immediately gets it.
She excitedly pushes through the crowd of girls, wanting to
see for herself.
Knowing the outcome already, Nina continues stretching in the
deserted space, resigned to her fate. She finishes, grabs
her belongings and walks out.
25 INT. BACKSTAGE HALLWAY - SAME 25
A crowd of dancers surround the bulletin board, jostling to
get a look.
Nina starts walking down the hall in the opposite direction.
Behind her, she can hear a small commotion and then:
Why did you tell me that?
She turns and sees Veronica, her face flushed with anger.
Your idea of a joke?
Veronica storms away.
The group of girls stares at Nina, making her very self-
Nina tentatively approaches the bulletin board, to see what
Veronica's outburst was all about.
First a few, then more and more of the girls smile at her.
They make room for her as she pushes through.
She finally gets to the CASTING NOTICE, finds "Swan Queen"
Stunned, she turns around to face the mass of ballerinas.
She sees Lily eyeing her with a flat expression, which turns
into a smile to mask her disappointment.
The other girls start congratulating and hugging Nina, some
more sincerely than others.
26 INT. THEATER BATHROOM - DAY 26
Nina bursts in through the door and heads directly for one of
She locks herself in for privacy and dials a number on her
CELL PHONE. She holds it to her ear, anxiously waiting for
the person to answer.
Hey...Everything's fine...He picked
She waits for a response.
Did you hear me?...Yes, I'm going
to be the Swan Queen.
Nina laughs at her mother's response and can't help but start
I'll be home soon, okay? I just had
to tell you.
Nina hangs up and the tears really start flowing. She's
dreamt of this for so long, it's almost too much to bear.
She wipes the tears off with the back of her hand and pulls
herself together. She comes out of the stall...
Horrified to discover "WHORE" written on the mirror in RED
Nina looks around the bathroom, to make sure she's alone.
She snags a paper towel and wipes off the insult, smearing
the mirror with red streaks.
27 INT. UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT - AFTERNOON 27
Nina unlocks the door to the apartment.
Nina looks around, puzzled she isn't there.
28 INT. ERICA'S BEDROOM - LATER 28
Nina opens the door and pokes her head in.
But Erica's not in there either. Nina glances at the walls.
Where several homemade PAINTINGS hang, all of the same
subject: Nina as a young girl, posing in a tutu. On a desk,
the ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH is clipped to a painting in progress.
Out of the corner of her eye, one of the portraits seems to
shift. Nina turns towards it, but the painting's now
Unsettled, Nina withdraws.
29 INT. APARTMENT BATHROOM - NIGHT 29
Post-shower, Nina's fuzzy reflection stares back in a steam
Nina takes her hand and wipes a streak across, to see herself
She looks nervous. The enormity of what's in front of her
She turns side-to-side, scrutinizing her body. She lifts her
arm and pinches the skin to check her weight.
She notices a small cluster of RED BUMPS on her shoulder. A
She feels the bumps with her fingers, bothered.
She checks the same place on her other shoulder.
There's no rash, just faint streaks of SCAR TISSUE.
Nina slides the hamper in front of the door to block it.
In the mirror now, one of the bumps is scratched and
Nina quickly wipes the blood off with her finger.
The sound of the front door opening steals her attention.
30 INT. UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT - NIGHT 30
Nina exits the bathroom wearing a robe.
In the kitchen, she sees a CAKE with a lit SPARKLER sitting
on the table. Her mother smiles anxiously.
My daughter, the Swan Queen.
She opens her arms and Nina falls into a hug.
She looks at the cake. It has a ballerina sketched with
frosting. Nina hides her disdain.
It's our favorite, vanilla with
Erica picks up a knife and slices into the cake.
Just a little piece.
Erica ignores her and starts cutting a very large piece.
That's way too much.
It's a celebration.
My stomach's still in knots.
Erica grabs the whole cake and heads towards the trash.
Mom, don't. I'm sorry.
Erica hesitates, but returns. She sets the cake back down.
I'm just so proud of you.
Erica lifts the slice onto a plate.
It looks yummy.
31 OMITTED 31
32 INT. PRINCIPAL REHEARSAL SPACE - DAY 32
First day in the new role, Nina stretches alone.
Muffled sounds of other ballerinas chatting and giggling
drift in from the large rehearsal space. Makes Nina feel a
Nina turns and sees DAVID, the high-cheeked, cocky dancer
playing Prince Siegfried.
It is so full, where do I stand.
It is his version of a joke. Nina politely laughs.
Yeah...good luck finding a spot.
I am David.
I know you are. I'm Nina.
Yes. Here we go, huh?
She nods, nervous.
33 INT. PRINCIPAL REHEARSAL SPACE - LATER 33
David dances around the space, miming a hunt with a cross-
Nina enters, stretches her body to illustrate her
transformation into human, then sees David and acts spooked.
She dances away from him, a scared look on her face,
undulating her arms to resemble a bird's flapping.
David gives chase, but Nina spins out of his grasp,
disentangles from him.
But he eventually snags her, and they come very close
The music stops. Nina breaks out of character and looks at
Leroy, anxious for his reaction.
The Russian ballet mistress nods and smiles, clearly pleased.
Okay, Nina. Very good.
Nina smiles, relieved. Leroy hops out of his chair and
But I knew the White Swan wouldn't
be a problem. The real work will be
your metamorphosis into the Black
I saw a flash of her yesterday. Get
ready to show me more of that bite.
He gives her an impish smirk. She looks down, embarrassed.
34 INT. BACKSTAGE HALLWAY - DAY 34
Nina takes a drink from the water fountain. She hears music
emanating from the large rehearsal studio.
Curious, she walks to the open doorway and stops to watch.
CORPS MEMBERS and a few soloists form two lines on both sides
of the room. In the middle, Veronica dances along with Lily.
Nina pays close attention to Lily, sizing her up. Her dancing
is explosive, exudes sex.
Watch the way she moves...
Leroy has snuck up behind Nina at the doorway and gets very
close to her.
Imprecise, but sensual. She's not
faking it. Pay attention.
Lily makes a small mistake, but cracks up laughing, amused
rather than bothered by her blunder.
Nina stares at her, attracted and threatened.
A35 INT. PRINCIPAL DRESSING ROOM - DAY A35
The company's administrator, SUSIE, shows Nina into the room.
You share with Beth from now on, so
Awed, Nina looks around the room. She scans Beth's
photographs and personal belongings, and lands on a large
bouquet of FRESH FLOWERS.
Those are for you. From Mr. Leroy.
Nina pulls a card out from the flowers and reads. A faint
smile curls her lips.
She opens her shoulder bag and removes a SMALL SATCHEL. She
pulls out a pair of DIAMOND STUD EARRINGS and puts them on.
35 INT. PATRON OF THE ARTS APARTMENT - NIGHT 35
Leroy pulls Nina through a fundraiser gala, filled with rich
looking PATRONS and some DANCERS from the company.
Bewildered, Nina takes in her high-society surroundings,
getting the occasional curious glance as she passes.
Leroy grabs a couple CHAMPAGNE glasses off a WAITER'S tray.
He hands a glass to Nina with a smile.
He leads her up a staircase to a landing that overlooks the
Ready to be thrown to the wolves?
We need their cash, so smile.
She smiles, as instructed.
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
The crowd turns their gaze towards them. All eyes on her.
As I stand here tonight, I see so
many familiar faces. Your
contribution to the art we all
cherish profoundly goes straight to
my heart and I am very grateful.
Let me begin with a very important
announcement. You all have had the
chance to be enchanted,
transported, sometimes devastated
by the performances of this true
artist of our company. She has been
an exceptional inspiration to my
work, a role model to our dancers
and a deeply satisfying presence on
our stage. You all know who I am
talking about...Beth Macintyre
More applause. Nervous, Nina unconsciously picks at her
As we all know, every great career
comes to an end. Beth is retiring
at the end of the season. She will
be giving her farewell performance
as Melpomene, the role she
originated in my first ballet.
People start whispering, stunned by the news. Nina sees Beth
in the crowd, giving a sad smile to the surrounding guests.
Trying to remain dignified.
She will be greatly missed, but she
will always be remembered. My
Amidst the mummering, Nina sees Beth quietly sneak out of the
crowd and out the front door. Leroy quickly covers.
But as we bid adieu to one star, we
He looks at Nina. She stops picking her nails, self-
As you know, we open our season
with my new version of Swan Lake.
Taking the role of our new Swan
Queen is the exquisite Ms. Nina
Nina steps forward and curtseys. Someone seems to GIGGLE at
her. Insecure, Nina glances towards the source and sees Lily
flirting with a RICH GENT, uninterested in the official
Soon you will have the pleasure of
seeing her perform, tonight we
raise a glass. To all of you, to
Nina, to Beth, to beauty!
He downs his drink and the crowd follows suit.
36 INT. LIVING ROOM, PATRON OF THE ARTS APARTMENT - LATER 36
PARTY GUESTS surround Nina and Leroy, trying to meet the
company's newest star. Nina basks in all the attention.
Dr. Brinson and his lovely wife,
Ellen, tonight's sponsors.
She shakes DR. BRINSON'S hand and curtseys to MRS. BRINSON.
Such a beautiful event.
Not as beautiful as you, dear.
Nina demurs. They're replaced by another HUSBAND and WIFE.
And this is Mr. and Mrs. Stein.
Nina repeats the pleasantries, this time noticing that one of
her cuticles is bleeding. She awkwardly pulls her hand away.
Leroy leans in and whispers in her ear.
Relax, you're doing great.
37 INT. BATHROOM - LATER 37
Nina washes her hands. She looks at herself in the mirror and
takes a deep breath.
Someone KNOCKS on the door.
Just a second.
She turns off the water and wipes her damp hands on the back
of her neck, trying to cool herself.
She checks her finger. No blood, but there's a HANGNAIL.
Nina takes hold of the small flap and tries to yank it off.
Accidentally tearing a strip of skin from the nail to her
More KNOCKING startles her.
Come on! I'm about to burst!
Nina quickly balls up the peeled skin and throws it away.
She opens the door.
Lily pushes in.
Hey! Look who it is.
Lily closes the door behind her and locks it.
I'm Lily, by the way. Don't think
we've officially met.
Our New Swan Queen! That is so
huge! You must be freaking out.
Lily slides her PANTIES out from under her dress and puts
them in her clutch.
I should probably get back.
Stay. Keep me company.
Lily starts to refresh her makeup.
Nina stays put for a second, uncertain.
She opens the door and steps out, where she's immediately met
Ah, there you are.
Lily closes the door behind her.
38 EXT. UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT 38
Leroy escorts Nina out. It's a couple hours later and she's
tipsy. She stumbles a little and grabs onto Leroy.
I think I drank too much. All those
You did well.
They tried to eat you alive, but
here you are, in one piece.
I'll get you a cab. Where you
Oh, Upper West Side.
Why don't you come to my place
first? It's on the way.
She gives him a coy glance, reading between the lines and
hiding her excitement.
For a drink. Unless you've had
No, that's good.
He starts to look for a cab.
MRS. BRINSON (O.S.)
They turn, see Mrs. Brinson, the host of the party, standing
at the door.
MRS. BRINSON (CONT'D)
You need to say hello to Karen
Halloway before you disappear.
She's from Texas. Correction: she
A minute more of ass-kissing. Wait
He runs back inside to say his goodbyes.
Nina smiles after him, giddy and anxious.
She notices a slender figure watching her from the shadows of
the adjoining doorway. In the dark, she looks like Nina.
Spotted, the figure backs up, seeming to disappear.
Nina cautiously approaches, but can't see anyone.
She gets closer to the doorway...and someone JUMPS OUT,
It's Beth, drunk and shivering. Cheeks streaked with mascara.
Beth? What are you doing out here?
Beth stares her down. Nina backs up, nervously grabbing her
I was crushed to hear that you're
What'd you do to get the role?
Nina shakes her head, confused.
He always said you were a frigid
Her words needle Nina, too close to the truth.
So what did you do to make him
change his mind? Suck his cock?
Some of us don't need to do that.
Nina's struck a nerve. Beth starts to come at her.
You fucking little whore.
What's going on?
They both turn to see Leroy returned.
I need to talk to you.
You're drunk. You should go home.
Don't do that! Don't just dismiss
Poor, poor little princess. Try to
hold it together.
I'm going to drop by later, okay? I
have something I want to give you.
He puts his arm around Nina, starts to lead her away.
A token of my appreciation.
He ignores her and raises his arm to hail a cab. As they
enter the cab, Beth calls after them.
Make the most of it Nina.
Through the cab window Nina looks at Beth, troubled by her
39 INT. LEROY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 39
Tasteful but spare loft. Modern and expensive furniture.
Nina stands alone, looking around his inner sanctum, wide-
She explores the pieces of art, the furniture. She touches
some of it, in awe.
She turns, finds Leroy holding out yet another flute of
champagne. For himself, a scotch.
She looks up at him, expecting him to make a move. Instead,
he walks away, and sits in a chair. He gestures for her to
sit as well.
Confused, she sits across from him, alone on the large couch.
He takes an unceremonious sip of his drink and studies her.
Uncomfortable, she takes a drink as well.
I thought it'd be good to talk
about the role. Ground us a little.
The better we get to know each
other, the more productive we'll
be. I don't want there to be any
boundaries between us.
Good. So, do you have a boyfriend?
She's caught off guard by his question and just smiles
uncomfortably. He waits for an answer. Finally she manages a
Have you had many in the past?
A few. But no one serious.
You're not a virgin, are you?
Her expression sours at this line of questioning. She shakes
Then there's nothing to be
embarrassed about, is there?
(she shakes her head)
And you enjoy making love?
Sex. Do you enjoy it?
Blushing and feeling awkward, she takes a sip of champagne.
We need to be able to talk about
Nina looks at him, embarrassed, and shrugs.
He smirks, and joins her on the couch.
I have a homework assignment for
Go home and masturbate. Live a
She blanches, scandalized. He finishes off his scotch and
It's late. Lots of work tomorrow.
The doorman will find you a cab.
He leaves her alone in the living room.
40 INT. NINA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 40
Nina looks at herself in the mirror, removing bobbie-pins, as
Erica folds clothing and puts it away.
Sounds like quite an evening. Wish
I could have been there.
You know I asked.
I know, Susie told me. Guess he
wanted you all to himself.
That's not why.
Erica looks adoringly at Nina's reflection in the mirror.
I don't blame him.
Erica starts to remove Nina's DIAMOND EARRINGS, but pauses.
Where did you get these?
Erica removes the earrings, then walks behind Nina to unzip
her. Nina faces her.
I can do it.
Nina turns back around, reticent.
ERICA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
He must have been at your side all
night, showing you off.
Erica finishes unzipping the red dress and sees Nina's
Remembering, Nina pulls away from her.
It's just a rash.
Erica gruffly pulls Nina to the mirror and turns her around.
What are you talking about?
Nina checks her reflection and sees the RASH, red and
irritated from scratching.
It was worse a couple days ago.
It's already getting better.
You've been scratching again.
Erica yanks her out of the room.
41 INT. APARTMENT BATHROOM - NIGHT 41
Nina sits on the toilet, stripped to her underwear. She does
her best to cover herself.
Erica finishes dabbing her back with HYDROGEN PEROXIDE and
replaces the cap on the bottle.
She pulls out NAIL CLIPPERS and cuts Nina's nails down to
their base. Each CLICK makes Nina twitch.
I thought you'd outgrown this
disgusting habit.(click) You
haven't done it for years. (click)
Erica grabs Nina's other hand.
It's the role, isn't it? All this
pressure... I was worried it'd be
Nina stares at her, seething.
42 INT. NINA'S BEDROOM - LATER 42
Nina crawls into bed, avoiding her mother's eyes.
Don't be mad at me. You know I love
you, you know I want what's best.
But we have to take care of you.
Nina doesn't respond.
Erica opens the JEWELRY BOX and the tinny music begins
She hums and starts to stroke Nina's hair.
Nina tries to brush her hand away.
But Erica brings it back and keeps stroking.
43 INT. NINA'S BEDROOM - MORNING 43
Nina lies wide awake after a restless night.
She slowly reaches down under the covers, down between her
legs, to complete Leroy's "homework assignment."
She closes her eyes and starts to maneuver.
She suddenly hears a RUSTLING sound and a short SNORE.
She freezes and opens her eyes. She slowly sits up in bed and
sees Erica SLEEPING on a chair in the corner of the room.
Nina glares at her.
44 INT. LARGE REHEARSAL SPACE - DAY 44
Nina waits her turn as a row of DANCERS perform grand jetes
diagonally across the room.
She watches Veronica perform her leaps. She rejoins the
group, giving Nina a nasty stare.
Nina avoids it, looking towards Lily, who gives her a small
Just as Nina's turn arrives, a panicked YOUNG CORPS DANCER
rushes in and makes a beeline for the severe ballet mistress.
Nina takes one leap and then stops dancing, sensing
The corps dancer whispers into the ballet mistress' ear. A
look of shock on the mistress' face.
The dancer collapses into the older woman's arms.
The piano music trickles to a halt.
Nina exchanges glances with some of the other dancers.
First a few, then more dancers approach the two women,
wanting to find out what's happened.
Nina hangs back, filled with a sinking feeling.
45 EXT. LINCOLN CENTER FOUNTAIN - DAY 45
Nina sits as Leroy, worse for the wear, stares at the jets of
She walked into the street, got hit
by a car.
Oh my god...
I'm sure she did it on purpose.
How do you know?
Everything Beth ever did came from
within. From some dark impulse.
It's what could make her so
thrilling to watch. Even perfect at
times. But also destructive.
Nina hesitates, but has to ask.
Was it right after we saw her?
It's not your problem. This has
nothing to do with you.
She looks away, not so sure.
Nina, don't let yourself be
distracted. Dance is not
immortalized like music, poetry or
art. It lives for now. For this
moment only. And this is your
She attempts a nod.
A46 INT. PRINCIPAL DRESSING ROOM - DAY A46
Beth's belongings have already been packed up and cleared.
Guilt-ridden, Nina tries to get ready.
She picks up her duffel bag, and removes her SATCHEL. She
unpacks its contents onto the counter: needle and thread,
cigarettes, a makeup compact, and the tube of lipstick.
She looks over at the vase of flowers. A few have wilted.
She pulls them out to make the bouquet look fresh again.
46 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY 46
Nina exits the elevator with a BROWN SHOPPING BAG. She walks
down a stark hallway and approaches Beth's hospital room.
Members of BETH'S FAMILY surround the bed, blocking Beth from
Nina considers going in, but shyly sulks past, drawing the
attention of an OLDER NURSE.
You can go in.
The older nurse gives her a skeptical glance and continues on
Nina walks a little further and leans against the wall to
She hears the sound of shuffling feet, looks over, and sees
the group of people exit the room and walk down the hall,
comforting one another.
Nina steps out from hiding and goes inside.
47 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM- DAY 47
Beth is bandaged and unconscious, attached to MACHINES.
Nina stands at a distance, too intimidated to approach at
She looks around the room. It is lined with large, EXPENSIVE-
She removes the flowers Leroy gave her from the brown bag,
and sets them next to the others.
Nina slowly approaches Beth's bedside.
Beth's face is heavily wrapped with bandages. Only her closed
eyes and pale lips can be seen.
She scans down her body, sees a sliver of her thigh, purple
Curious, Nina lifts the top edge of the blanket and peeks
The legs are bloated and horribly bruised, pierced with large
pins to reset the shattered bones.
She looks lower and lower, and discovers MAGGOTS feeding on
Nina turns away, confronted by the Older Nurse.
What are you doing?!
Nina doesn't have an answer. She just stumbles out the door.
A48 INT. UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT A48
Nina steps out of her apartment into the dim hallway, lugging
a bag of trash.
She notices some WOODEN DEBRIS from an apartment renovation
sitting near the trash chute.
Nina drops the trash bag in the chute, then picks up a piece
of BROKEN WOOD.
She considers it for a moment, and hides it inside the sleeve
of her sweatshirt.
B48 INT. UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT - LATER B48
Nina quietly steps inside and heads towards her bedroom.
Through Erica's open bedroom door, Nina can see Erica busily
sewing ribbon onto pointe shoes, humming to herself.
Nina quietly slips back inside her room.
She removes the wood piece and jams it between the door
closet, creating a makeshift doorjamb
She tests it. Holds pretty well.
She hears a creek. FOOTSTEPS approach. She removes the wood
and sticks it inside her dresser, not ready just yet.
She quickly lies down on her bed and waits to be tucked in.
The door SQUEAKS open, and Nina looks towards it.
48A INT. PRINCIPAL REHEARSAL SPACE - DAY 48A
Nina, David, and the dancer playing ROTHBART rehearse the
Black Swan and Prince Siegfried's Pas De Deux from Act 3.
David lifts her, then sets her down, and they lean-in towards
each other, almost kissing.
No, no, not so stiff. Don't be
scared of him.
She pulls away from David, not at all coyly. Leroy exhales,
48B INT. LARGE REHEARSAL SPACE - ANOTHER DAY 48B
Nina and David dance the next part of the section, looking
more worn out.
Forget about control. I want to see
She still looks tense, not getting it.
Let it out!
48C INT. LARGE REHEARSAL SPACE - ANOTHER DAY 48C
Nina practices with an OLDER BALLET MISTRESS. She
demonstrates a movement, and Nina mimics her. The mistress
A49 INT. PHYSICAL THERAPIST'S OFFICE - ANOTHER DAY A49
Nina is worked over by a PHYSICAL THERAPIST. Every joint and
muscle aches, but Nina breathes through the pain.
49A INT. PRINCIPAL REHEARSAL SPACE - YET ANOTHER DAY 49A
Nina and David finish the section, completely soaked with
They look at Leroy, heaving breaths.
David, answer me this question: are
you interested in fucking her?
David snickers, embarrassed, shakes his head.
No, of course not. No one would be.
Leroy comes face to face with her.
Nina, your Black Swan still looks
no different than your White Swan.
She's's just as...frigid.
49B Suddenly, the lights turn off, throwing them into total 49B
Leroy angrily marches to the door and whips it open.
(to someone in hall)
Hey! We're still working in here.
Lights back on.
There's a momentary pause, and then the lights return.
(to David, Piano Player)
Okay, you guys can go. Thank you
for your patience.
David gives her an insinuating glance, then shakes his head.
Very used to Leroy's "methods."
David and the Piano Player leave them alone.
49C Leroy approaches Nina and takes her hands in his. 49C
I'll be the Prince.
Made nervous by his touch, she nods.
He walks behind her and puts his hands on her waist.
He starts humming the score. And then they begin.
They do a series of lifts and spins, Leroy bracing her.
He lets go, she moves away from him.
Use each finger, your face, your
tits, everything. Entice me!
He grabs her wrist. She spins. He lets go. He grabs her other
wrist, she spins to face him.
They get very close.
Just before they kiss she dips, pulls away.
He grabs her arm again, she spins, then he stops her, her
back to him.
He runs his hands down her arms. Slowly, seductively. She
Just feel my touch and respond.
She turns and leans in close, as though to kiss him... almost
touching lips...but then she tries to push off again. He
tightens his grip, holds her there.
She looks back at him, questioning. He looks at her
intently, pulls her to him, and kisses her.
She melts and eagerly kisses him back. He pulls away,
Slow down. Open your mouth.
Nina follows his instruction.
The kiss grows more heated and he wraps his arms around her.
He pushes her back against the mirror. She whimpers.
He runs his hand down her body, then reaches between her
legs. She GASPS, tries to pull his hand out, but he persists.
She throws her head back as he kisses her neck. She breathes
deep, emits short MOANS, succumbing...
Suddenly, he pulls away from her. She looks at him confused,
flushed and breathing hard.
That was me seducing you. It needs
to be the other way around.
He turns and starts to walk away. She can't believe it.
He ignores her and walks out of the room.
50A INT. PRINCIPAL REHEARSAL SPACE - LATER 50A
Nina sits on the floor, head in hands.
Nina startles and looks up. Sees the dark figure of somebody
watching her from the doorway. Looks like HERSELF.
Lily emerges from the darkness, dressed to leave.
50B Lily sits down beside her, oblivious of Nina's desire 50B
to be left alone.
She digs out a cigarette from her bag. Offers it to Nina.
Nina doesn't take it.
We can't smoke in here.
I won't tell if you won't.
Nina reluctantly takes the cigarette, holds it a little
awkwardly, clearly not a regular smoker.
Lily sparks a flame for her and then lights one for herself.
Nina puffs, but doesn't inhale. Lily smirks.
Big day's getting closer and
closer, huh? I can't wait. You're
going to be amazing.
Nina wipes off her tears with her hand.
So, want to talk about it?
Just had a hard day.
Leroy play too rough?
Nina looks at her surprised.
He seems like a prick.
Sure, but not exactly warm and
You don't know him.
Lily smirks with a realization.
Someone's hot for teacher.
Nina gives her a withering glance.
It's okay. I don't blame you.
Nina stands up.
I should go. It's getting late.
Hey, I was only playing.
Nina walks towards the door.
She ignores Lily and exits.
51 OMITTED 51
52A INT. APARTMENT BATHROOM - NIGHT 52A
Nina lies in the bath, eyes closed, concentrating.
Her body jostles slightly, moving her hand between her legs,
Growing frustrated, she moves more and more aggressively.
She abruptly stops and submerges herself under the water,
She lies still, her arms wrapped around her chest.
She opens her eyes, her vision distorted by the water.
Suddenly, her blurred Double appears, staring down at her.
Nina shoots up.
The Double is gone.
Nina scans the bathroom, but she is alone.
Nina notices some water dropping off her fingers, onto the
lip of the tub.
Then a few drops of RED land on the white porcelain.
Worried, she examines her fingernails, which have started to
grow back. She discovers blood and bits of skin.
52B LATER 52B
Out of the tub, Nina checks herself in the mirror. Her
shoulder is streaked with deep SCRATCHES.
She grabs a pair of little SCISSORS from the medicine cabinet
and starts trimming her fingernails.
She looks up at the mirror and sees her reflection snip off
the tip of her index finger.
Nina GASPS and drops the scissors, CLANGING in the sink. Two
of her fingers are bleeding, their tips sliced.
Nina looks at the door, already blocked by the hamper.
I'll be out in a second.
She stays still, hoping she won't try to come in.
Footsteps recede and Nina breathes.
She runs her hands under some water to clean off the blood.
53 OMITTED 53
54 OMITTED 54
55 INT. LARGE REHEARSAL SPACE - DAY 55
David and Nina dance the Black Swan's Pas de Deux. Once
again, Nina's rigid and self-conscious.
Try it again.
They resume dancing. She finishes, out of breath, and looks
at Leroy and the Russian ballet mistress.
The piano music starts up again, and she begins dancing.
When she finishes, she looks at him, eager for feedback.
The music starts up again. Nina stays still, frustrated.
Do you have any corrections?
She doesn't understand. He gets up from his chair and goes to
Lily talked to me. Said she saw you
Nina looks away. Can't believe Lily talked to him.
She said you were upset and I
should "take it easy" on you.
I didn't tell her that.
Maybe you'd like a break for a day
Or a fucking month.
She shouldn't have said anything!
I don't care! You shouldn't be
whining to her!
You could be brilliant. Taking it
easy would be a betrayal.
He walks away from her.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
Stop saying that! Stop being so
He tosses his chair across the room. SMASHING into the wall.
56 INT. BACKSTAGE HALLWAY - DAY 56
Furious, Nina heads towards the soloists' dressing room.
Hears them chatting in their usual manner.
Nina KNOCKS loudly at the door, interrupting them.
Look who's gracing us with her
Lily, I need to talk to you.
(you're in trouble)
The other girls giggle.
And they do.
57 INT. BACKSTAGE HALLWAY - DAY 57
Nina leads Lily to a private nook, fuming.
You told Thomas about last night?
Lily falters, guilty.
I ran into him this morning. He
said you guys were having some
Why would he talk to you?
Whoa your highness, I just told him
you're working your ass off and I'm
sure you'll be great.
You shouldn't have done that.
I didn't fucking do anything.
Lily takes off. Nina stares after her, at a loss.
A58 INT. SUBWAY - NIGHT A58
Nina sits on the subway, going home. She notices that one of
her fingernails has a jagged edge. She removes an EMORY BOARD
from her bag and begins filing it down.
A SKEEZY MAN across the aisle ogles her.
Nina keeps her eyes down, trying to ignore him. He starts to
sing an OLD LOVE SONG from the 20's.
Nina stands and goes to the other end of the car. He
continues singing, undeterred.
58 OMITTED 58
59 INT. UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT - NIGHT 59
Nina sits on the floor in a loose sweatshirt, sewing ribbon
onto pointe shoes.
Erica sits across from her, sewing ribbon onto another pair.
Has he tried anything with you?
Nina doesn't respond.
He has a reputation...
Nina tries to ignore her.
I have a right to be concerned,
Nina. You've been staying late so
many nights. "Rehearsing." I hope
he's not taking advantage, that's
Good. I don't want you making the
same mistake I did.
Not like that. I just mean as far
as my career was concerned.
The one I gave up to have you.
You were 28.
Nina bites her tongue.
Erica glares at her.
How's your skin?
We leaving it alone?
Let me see.
Nina stares back defiantly.
Take off your shirt.
Erica starts to come towards her.
The DOORBELL RINGS.
Erica looks at Nina questioningly. Nina shakes her head.
Erica goes to the door and cracks it open, keeping the chain
(to person outside)
Can I help you? (pause) I'm sorry,
she's not in.
Erica shuts the door. Nina rushes out to see who it was.
Who was it?
Erica doesn't answer.
Irritated, Nina walks around Erica and quickly opens the door
to find out.
It's no one.
60 INT. BUILDING HALLWAY- NIGHT 60
Nina sees a ballerina walking away from the door.
What are you doing here?
Nina steps out of her apartment and closes the door.
I wanted to apologize.
Nina just stares, incredulous.
You were right, I shouldn't have
talked to him about you.
Erica opens the door and sticks her head out.
Give me a second.
Erica closes the door.
She's a trip...
How did you know where I live?
I have my ways.
Nina looks at her, darkly.
Relax, I got it from Susie in the
office. I feel really shitty. Can I
make it up to you? Take you out to
I don't think-
Nina's tempted. Erica pokes her head out again.
Sweetie, you need to rest.
Nina pushes the elevator call button.
Nina walks to the door, and grabs her coat.
What are you doing?
I'm going out.
Nina ignores her and shuts the door.
61 INT. CORNER BISTRO - NIGHT 61
A noisy bar and burger joint, packed to the brim. Lily and
Nina sit at a small table.
Can't believe that's what he called
her. So gross!
I think it's sweet.
Little princess? He probably calls
every girl that.
Well, I'm sure she lost the title
after her game of chicken.
Nina's smile fades.
Bet he'll be calling you little
princes any day now.
I don't think so.
Sure, just gotta let him eat the
Nina blushes, embarrassed, and Lily cracks up. A WAITER drops
a plate in front of her.
Cheese burger, extra bloody.
Let me know if it's not juicy
Oh, I will.
He smiles, keeping his eyes locked on Lily, as he rudely
plops down Nina's plate.
Lily watches him go, then notices Nina looking annoyed.
Guess I'm invisible.
Lily studies her and digs into her purse. Pulls out a SEXY
Here, wanna spruce up?
Nina gives her a puzzled look.
I always carry a spare, case I wake
up somewhere unexpected.
Lily picks up her ungainly burger and takes a big bite, a
little grease dripping down her chin. Nina cuts into her dry
Not like you need more attention
these days. How is he?
Nina doesn't understand the question.
I wouldn't know.
I don't want to talk about it.
Relax, you're so tense.
Lily pulls out a cigarette case and clicks it open. Inside,
CIGARETTES and a couple PILLS.
One for you...
Lily grabs one of the pills and slides it over.
And one for me.
Lily grabs her pill and downs it with a beer.
Nina stares at her pill, too embarrassed to admit she doesn't
know what it is.
Don't worry, it's pure. Brought it
with me straight from San
What is it?
You're kidding? You never rolled?
Oh boy. It'll just make you have a
good time. Loosen up. See the night
How long does it last?
Couple hours. Tops.
Nina looks at the pill, thinks about it for a second...
Nina nods. Lily puts the pill back, and SNAPS the case
62 INT. GRUNGY BATHROOM - NIGHT 62
Wearing the SKIMPY SHIRT Lily offered her, Nina rinses her
mouth out with water from the sink, then checks herself out
in the mirror.
It's broken and covered with graffiti and stickers. One
particularly bright one says, "Seize the Day-glo."
Nina's cell phone RINGS. She checks the ID--"MOM"--and
Nina puts her SWEATSHIRT back on over the shirt, and exits.
63 INT. CORNER BISTRO - NIGHT 63
Nina returns to her table, but when she gets there, Lily is
gone and the table is cleared.
She looks around the crowded room, doesn't see her anywhere.
She heads towards the exit, and sees Lily at the bar,
flirting with TWO ATTRACTIVE MEN. She's very touchy-feely.
Intrigued, Nina stays put, wanting to observe Lily from a
The BARTENDER sets a drink down in front of Lily. The men
compete to pay for it.
Lily takes out the CIGARETTE CASE from her purse, and removes
Nina looks on, suspicious.
Lily opens the pill, and dumps its contents into the drink.
She stirs it with her finger.
She holds out her finger to one of the men, he sucks off the
Lily looks over and catches Nina watching. She waves for her
to join them.
Nina reluctantly walks to her.
Heeey, thought we could use some
I'm gonna go.
This is Tom and this is Jerry.
The guys laugh.
Actually it's Andrew.
You can't leave, I bought you a
Lily holds out the doctored beverage. Nina eyes it, tempted
to go down the rabbit hole...
I really shouldn't, we're on the
What, you gonna go home to mommy?
Live a little.
Nina grins sheepishly and takes the drink. Lily smiles.
Just a couple of hours?
Nina takes a tiny sip.
Nina takes another sip and smiles.
Let's go sit somewhere a little
more comfortable. Gentlemen?
She gets up and holds out her hands. The two men each grab
one and she leads them deeper into the bar.
64 INT. CORNER BISTRO - MOMENTS LATER 64
Nina's drink is half gone. The foursome sits snugly at a
booth. Nina next to Andrew, shyly avoiding his gaze. She
takes another tentative sip of her drink.
You haven't told me who you are.
Oh, I'm a dancer.
No, I mean your name.
You two sisters?
We're blood sisters.
We dance in the same company.
Ahh, ballerinas. So that's why you
Tom and Jerry are gay lovers.
Oh, I just assumed.
I've never been to the ballet.
In that case you're definitely NOT
It's pretty boring, isn't it?
No, it's not.
It's not for everyone. You probably
aren't sophisticated enough.
You've got some mouth, you know
Isn't that compliment a little
Lily sips her drink, staring at Tom flirtatiously.
You guys should come sometime. I
can comp you tickets.
Tom laughs, amused by Nina's earnestness.
Yeah...that'd be neat.
I think we all need another round.
She looks at Nina and sucks down her drink, challenging her
to follow suit. Nina takes a breath of courage and empties
She waits for something to kick in.
Tom, come with me?
Lily slips out of the booth and Tom follows, leaving Nina and
Andrew alone. She avoids his gaze, nervous.
So...what are you guys working on
Her cell phone RINGS, interrupting him. She quickly turns it
off and gives him an embarrassed smile.
Sorry. Swan Lake.
You know it?
Oh, no, not really. Heard of it
though. What's it about?
It's about a girl who's been turned
into a swan. She needs love to
break the spell.
Yeah, but her prince falls for the
wrong girl and she kills herself.
So a happy ending, then?
It's beautiful, actually.
She starts to feel the initial tingles of the drug.
I said you're beautiful.
She gives him a flirtatious glance.
My hands are all sweaty.
Andrew touches them. She grabs onto his hands. She looks at
his face. His eyes twinkle at her.
Lily slides in next to her. Nina sees her and melts into her
body. Lily hugs her back.
Uh oh! Looks like someone's
rolling. Let's get you dancing.
A65 OMITTED A65
65 INT. DANCE CLUB - NIGHT 65
Nina kisses Tom on the floor of a crowded dance club. The
drug is in full effect.
The world has soft edges, colors are vivid and bleed into one
Lily twirls her around.
Nina attaches herself to her, hungry for the attention. A
cheering section of guys surrounds them.
Nina lets loose. Dances with abandon.
66 INT. CLUB BATHROOM - LATER 66
Nina makes out with someone, her back pushed up against the
wall. Her eyes are closed, she's shiny with sweat.
She opens her eyes, confused to find that it's not Andrew or
even Tom, just a STRANGE MAN.
She backs away. He reaches for her, but she swats him off.
67 INT. DANCE CLUB - SAME 67
She stumbles around the dance floor, looking for Lily, but
only sees a mass of moving bodies.
She finally spots a girl that looks like her from behind.
Nina grabs her shoulder and the GIRL spins around. Not Lily.
68 EXT. DANCE CLUB - LATER 68
Nina pushes her way out of the club, starting to panic. She
looks around, trying to figure out where she is, but the city
is dark and non-descript.
Nina turns towards the voice and, with relief, sees Lily exit
Where you goin'?
69 INT. TAXI - NIGHT 69
Nina stares adoringly at Lily, who has her eyes closed,
enjoying the cool air blowing in from her open window.
Lily opens her eyes and catches Nina staring. Lily smirks.
Using her index and middle finger as "legs," she "walks" her
hand over the vinyl seat, all the way to Nina's leg and pokes
Nina watches her hand with a smile on her face, glances at
Lily smiles back, and then "walks" her hand up the leg, until
it reaches the edge of Nina's dress.
Lily looks at Nina questioningly. Nina doesn't protest.
Lily slips her hand underneath the dress, gently makes
Nina shudders, but pulls Lily's hand back out and holds it.
Lily snickers and looks out her window.
Nina looks at their clasped hands, then out her own window,
70 INT. UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT HALLWAY - LATER 70
Nina quietly opens the front door.
Lily GIGGLES. Nina SHUSHES her.
They slip off their shoes and tip-toe inside.
71 INT. UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT - SAME 71
Nina eases the door shut.
Lily taps her on the shoulder and points towards the hallway.
Erica emerges from the darkness, approaching them slowly.
Do you have any idea what time it
Where have you been?
To the moon and back.
You've been drinking.
Ding ding ding.
Lily snickers, Nina tries to keep a straight face, but ends
What else have you been doing?
Nina smiles coyly.
You want to know their names?
Erica grabs Nina's wrist.
You need to sleep it off.
There were two. Tom and Jerry...
Be quiet, Nina.
I fucked both of them.
Shut your mouth!
Erica violently jams her fingers over Nina's lips, trying to
Nina runs into her room and SLAMS the door.
72A INT. NINA'S BEDROOM - SAME 72A
She grabs the broken PIECE OF WOOD from the dresser and jams
the door. She backs Lily away, preparing for the storm.
Don't come in here!
Erica tries to open the door, but it gets stuck. She peers
her eye through the crack.
It's called privacy! I'm not
fucking twelve years old anymore!
Erica struggles a little with the door, but can't get it to
You're not my Nina right now!
LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
Nina SHOVES the door shut.
Erica's FOOTSTEPS retreat, followed by the SLAM of her
72B Nina is worked up, breathing hard. 72B
Nina turns around and sees her Double smiling at her.
Nina flees to the door. Pauses. She peeks back and sees that
it's actually Lily.
Relieved, she grabs Lily and kisses her, revved-up.
Lily responds with equal force. They claw at each other,
passion exceeding coordination.
Lily pulls Nina's shirt off and throws her onto the bed.
She straddles Nina, who looks up at her carnivorously.
Lily takes her own top off, plunges down and kisses Nina.
Nina flips Lily over, becomes the dominant one.
Lily scratches Nina's back, over some of the rash.
There's subtle movement underneath the skin. Little pin
pricks push up the flesh, trailing behind her hand.
Self-conscious, Nina grabs Lily's hand and holds her wrists
She bites her neck. Lily smiles, likes the violence.
She digs her nails into Nina's hands.
Then Lily gets back on top of Nina. The tattooed lilies on
her back undulate and spread out. Morphing into dark wings.
She kisses down Nina's body. Further and further...
Lily starts to go down on Nina.
Nervous, Nina whimpers. Glances down and sees the DOUBLE.
She tries to pull away.
LILY shushes her.
Nina calms back down, seeing that it's her. She takes a
breath and succumbs.
Bumps shoot up all over her skin as her breath quickens.
She closes her eyes, allows the sensation to invade her body
She breathes her way back to earth. Slowly her eyes open.
She rolls over towards Lily. But Lily is gone.
Instead her DOUBLE hovers over her.
She SMASHES a pillow over Nina's face.
A73 OMITTED A73
73 INT. NINA'S BEDROOM - MORNING 73
Nina lies alone in bed, the sheets and comforter in disarray.
She sits up, clutches her head in pain.
She looks around, but there's no sign of Lily or the Double.
Then her eyes drift to the alarm clock: 11:36.
She snaps out of bed.
74 INT. UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT - MORNING 74
Dishevelled, Nina races towards the front door. She sees
Erica brooding at the kitchen table, watching her.
Why didn't you wake me up?
Erica just stares at her, devastated.
I'm moving out.
Nina whips out the front door and leaves her.
75 INT. BACKSTAGE - DAY 75
Nina races. She hears muffled Black Swan music playing,
rehearsal clearly in progress.
She runs into the wings and sees the full company rehearsing
on stage for the first time...
Another girl dancing her part.
The girl spins and Nina sees her face. It's Lily!
Horrified, Nina runs onto
76 STAGE 76
and makes a beeline for Leroy, looking beyond apologetic.
The dancers and piano player stop at the interruption.
Keep going. Let's finish the Act.
The piano music resumes, and the dancers pick up where they
Nina meets Lily's eyes. She makes a sorry face, but then
Nina is forced to watch from the sidelines as Lily and David
finish the Black Swan's Pas de Deux.
That was good. Let's take 10, then
we'll move on to Act 4.
He turns to Nina and his smile fades.
Get warmed up.
Thomas, I'm sor-
He ignores her, and walks off stage.
Lily tentatively approaches with the PRACTICE TUTU.
Nina snatches it, avoiding eye contact. She puts it on.
He wanted to go through the
spacing. Asked me to step in.
Nina starts stretching.
Oops... Least you had a good time,
Nina doesn't answer.
You put something in my drink.
And took off this morning.
Yeah, you slept over.
Uh, no. Unless your name's Tom and
you have a dick.
Nina stops herself.
We what, Nina?
Lily can read something on her face.
What, you have some kind of lezzy
Nina glances at the dancers, nervous they've heard.
Oh my god, you totally fantasized
Was I good?
Other dancers look over.
Nina resumes stretching. Lily just walks away.
A77 INT. STAGE - DAY A77
Nina dances the end of the ballet, the White Swan's suicide.
The Black Swan has stolen your
love. There's only one way to end
Nina climbs the stairs of the set and arrives at the "cliff,"
stopping at the precipice.
You're not at all fearful. Filled
Nina looks down. It's a short drop to a stack of pads, but a
HARD FLOOR surrounds it.
You look at the Prince, then down
at Rothbart, and, yes, up at the
She hesitates, fearful.
Go ahead. You'll be fine.
Nina takes a breath and leaps in a swan dive.
She falls...and lands in the pads, unhurt. Slight applause
from the other dancers.
LEROY (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Everybody get a drink then it's
Nina lies in the pads, completely exhausted.
B77 INT. BACKSTAGE - LATER B77
Nina sits backstage, toweling herself off.
She pauses, noticing Leroy and Lily conversing near the
Lily nods and touches his arm. He smiles warmly, then notices
Nina watching. His serious demeanor returns and he pulls
away. He says goodbye to Lily.
Lily follows his gaze and smirks at Nina, rubbing it in,
before exiting herself.
77 OMITTED 77
78A-B OMITTED 78A-B
79 OMITTED 79
80 OMITTED 80
A81 INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT A81
Nina kneels in front of the toilet, a finger down her throat.
She gags, but nothing comes up.
Her eyes tear up, and she tries again, but still just heaves.
Frustrated, she wipes her mouth and flushes.
81 INT. UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT - NIGHT 81
Nina exits the bathroom and approaches her mother's bedroom
door. It's closed, but the light's on underneath.
She's about to knock, but hesitates. Through the door, she
can hear the sound of her mother watching an INFOMERCIAL on
TV. An unfamiliar, lonely noise.
Nina stands there for a moment, just breathing. She
strengthens her resolve and backs away from the door.
82 INT. NINA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 82
Nina collapses on her bed.
She opens the JEWELRY BOX sitting on her night stand.
She watches the ballerina spin for a moment...
Then suddenly SLAMS the lid shut and throws the box hard
against the wall.
She shoots out of bed and starts gathering all her childish
possessions--stuffed animals, dolls, keepsakes, etc.
83 INT. APARTMENT CORRIDOR - NIGHT 83
Nina shoves her belongings into the TRASH CHUTE, a pile of
her next victims strewn at her feet.
She grabs a TEDDY BEAR IN A TUTU, and jams him in.
A84 INT. STAGE - DAY A84
Nina dances the Black Swan in front of the nearly completed
A few TECHNICIANS complete last minute touch-ups.
Leroy watches from his down-stage post, his focus split
between her and...
Lily, stretching with the other ballerinas. She stares at
Nina with a dark expression.
Fueled by the competition, Nina pushes herself. Her dancing
becomes more impassioned and aggressive.
She finishes the section, breathing deeply, covered in sweat.
The company enthusiastically claps.
She stares intently at Leroy, awaiting his response.
At last, I saw the Black Swan.
B84 INT. COSTUME SHOP - DAY B84
Nina wears the BLACK SWAN COSTUME, facing a mirror. Another
mirror behind her creates an infinite array of reflections.
The overworked COSTUMER checks each seam, pulling the costume
taut, analyzing what needs to be taken in and let out.
Nina looks uncomfortable, disliking the scrutiny of her body.
She hears a sharp RUSTLE. Like someone's scratching.
She looks up at the mirror. Her reflection stares back.
Behind the first reflection, another Nina has her arm behind
her back, like she's scratching her shoulder.
Nina leans to get a better look...
Sit still, I'm almost done.
Nina startles. The reflection has returned to normal, its
hand back at its side.
Costumer checks one more thing, makes one more note.
Okay, all set.
The costumer leaves her to change.
Relieved, Nina quickly takes off the costume and starts to
dress in her sweats.
She hears someone enter the costume shop.
Hey...Thomas sent me.
Nina pauses, recognizing her voice.
Yeah, need to get you measured for
your Swan Queen costumes.
Nina steps out from behind the privacy curtain, and finds
What's she doing here?
He made me your alternate.
(can't help it)
Just in case...
Nina pushes past her.
C84 INT. BACKSTAGE HALLWAY - DAY C84
Nina chases after Leroy, in mid-conversation with the STAGE
MANAGER and two STAGEHANDS.
He stops and faces her.
She's trying to replace me.
(to stage manager,
Go ahead. I'll catch up.
They continue walking.
What's going on?
Lily. You made her my alternate.
There's always an alternate, you
know that. Lily's the best choice.
She wants my role.
Every dancer in the world wants
No, she's different. She's after
me. She's trying to replace me.
Please believe me.
He studies her for a moment, not sure what to make of this.
Listen, I know it's been a
struggle. But you had a
breakthrough this morning.
Nina starts to speak, he holds up his hand to silence her.
Tomorrow is yours. Give a great
performance, and you won't have to
worry about Lily, or anyone else.
No more. Go home and rest.
Shut down, she watches him walk away.
84 OMITTED 84
85A INT. PRINCIPAL REHEARSAL SPACE - NIGHT 85A
Nina practices the Black Swan, alone with the jaded piano
player, working herself hard.
He suddenly stops playing.
I gotta life, deary.
He closes the music book and stands.
PIANO PLAYER (CONT'D)
Don't work too hard. It's your big
Annoyed, she watches him leave.
85B She faces herself in the mirror and takes a breath. 85B
She resumes dancing without music, her feet CLICKING on the
As she moves, she notices something strange out of the corner
of her eye:
The reflection's dancing lags a little behind hers.
Nina stops. The sound of her footsteps stops a second later.
She stares at the mirror...troubled.
The door to the room BANGS shut.
She whips towards it and she's suddenly plunged into
Freaked, she stumbles towards the door, and pushes out into
86A INT. STAGE - NIGHT 86A
Where it's equally dark. Lit only by the stage's "ghost
light," a single bulb on a stand.
Hey! Hey! I'm still in here.
No one answers.
She looks at the cavernous auditorium. All those empty
seats, faced towards her. Very overwhelming...
She hears a noise in the wings.
Hey! Turn the lights back on!
She gets to the other side of the stage, but the wings seem
86B Then she hears the faint sound of MUFFLED BANGING. 86B
No one answers.
She heads towards the noise. The banging now accompanied by a
87 INT. WINGS - SAME 87
It's pretty dark but the sound is unmistakable: two people
going at it.
Nina tiptoes past some off-stage SETS and LIGHTING EQUIPMENT.
And peeks around a piece of SCENERY...
Catching a glimpse of Leroy fucking Lily further backstage.
She's wild, clearly enjoying it.
Nina looks away, disgusted. She peeks back one more time.
Leroy has become the demon Rothbart, ravishing the Double.
She meets Nina's eyes and smiles.
Nina jumps back, knocking into a piece of the set. The
lovemaking pauses at the sound.
A88 INT. PRINCIPAL DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT A88
Nina runs in and quickly jams her belongings into her bag.
She notices her reflection in the mirror and removes her
Then gathers the other trinkets sitting on the counter and
puts them all inside her bag.
B88 EXT. THEATER - NIGHT B88
Nina pushes out the stage door, and passes the ROW OF
They now advertise Swan Lake and feature a beautiful
photograph of Nina.
Nina stops and looks at them.
88 INT. HOSPITAL - NIGHT 88
Nina slowly enters Beth's room, but remains at the threshold.
Beth sits in a wheelchair faced towards the window. Sleeping.
Nina gets up the nerve and quietly walks further in, trying
not to wake her.
Nina pulls out the tube of lipstick from her bag and gently
places it on the hospital table.
She pulls out the diamond earrings, sets them down.
Followed by the makeup compact, the pack of cigarettes, a
needle and thread, and an emory board.
A hand suddenly GRABS Nina's arm.
Awake, Beth stares Nina down.
What are you doing here?
Stunned, Nina's unable to answer.
Beth follows her gaze to the random items on her table.
I'm so sorry.
Beth begins touching the objects, vaguely remembering.
I didn't mean to make you feel this
way. It's happening to me now.
She's trying to replace me.
Beth sees the earrings and it all clicks in.
You stole all these things?
I just wanted to be like you.
Beth shoots Nina a dark look and turns away.
I'm not perfect. I'm nothing.
It's not true.
Beth grabs the emory board and stabs herself in the face.
Nina spins Beth around. She is now a bloody version of THE
DOUBLE! She continues stabbing herself.
Nina grabs the Double's hand and struggles to restrain her.
Stop it! Stop!
The emory board stabs into Nina's arm.
Nina rushes from the room.
89 INT. HALLWAY - SAME 89
She BANGS into a empty stretcher sitting in the hallway,
causing a CLAMOR.
The older nurse looks up.
Nina jumps into an open elevator.
90 INT. HOSPITAL ELEVATOR - SAME 90
She hits the GROUND FLOOR BUTTON, and hides in the corner.
As the doors close, she looks down and sees that, in one
hand, she holds the BLOODY EMORY BOARD.
She drops it, disgusted.
91 INT. UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT - NIGHT 91
Nina runs in and quickly shuts the door behind her. Takes a
breath, and notices some blood still on her hands.
A92 INT. KITCHEN - SAME A92
She flips on the light. The room's empty.
She goes to the sink and washes her hands.
She finishes, and flips the light off as she walks out of the
She pauses, rushes back and flips on the light. The Double
stares at her from the corner, her face covered in blood.
Terrified, Nina runs.
B92 INT. BATHROOM - SAME B92
She goes straight to the toilet and VOMITS.
She hears a creaking sound in the apartment and looks towards
the open door.
She goes out to investigate.
92 INT. ERICA'S BEDROOM - SAME 92
Nina flings open the door, but Erica's not in there.
She hears RUSTLING, then WHISPERING.
Nina looks around the room. The paintings of herself seem to
move slightly. Blink. Mouths move.
They whisper: "Sweet girl" and then start chanting "My turn,
my turn, my turn!"
Nina cups her hands over her ears, trying to block it out.
She hears a BANG and looks towards the door. No one's there.
She glimpses the mirror, which reflects down the hallway. She
sees her Double rushing towards the room.
Scared, Nina whips around, just as her mother arrives in the
What are you doing?
Nina pushes past her, in a frenzy.
93 INT. BEDROOM - SAME 93
Nina closes the door. Sticks in the broken piece of wood.
A pain shoots through her shoulder. She SCREAMS,
instinctively reaching for it.
She quickly yanks off the sweater and looks at the vanity
Her back pulsates unnaturally. Tiny black tips poke through.
The door opens and catches on the doorjamb.
Erica starts POUNDING.
She digs into the open bump on her shoulder with her
Open the door!!!
Erica violently pushes and pulls, jostling the piece of wood.
Nina concentrates, takes hold of the growth and yanks.
Blood vessels in her eyes explode, making the white turn red.
Nina looks at the object held in her fingers: a sharp, TINY
BLACK SPINE. Like that of a sea urchin. Damp, feathery wisps
hang off of it.
The door flings open.
Erica rushes in and finds Nina half-naked, her skin inflamed.
Oh my god...
Nina starts forcing her out the door. Erica pushes back.
Stop, you're sick!
She manages to get her all the way out the door.
But ROTHBART'S HAND grabs the door frame.
Nina SLAMS the door, SMASHING the hand.
Erica SCREAMS in pain.
Nina slams the door again, and again. The hand now human.
She finally gets the door all the way shut.
She steps away from it, nervous...
She looks down, sees one of her knees SNAP backwards, like
that of a bird. Then the other knee SNAPS back.
Nina stumbles and falls.
And SLAMS her head into the radiator.
SMASH TO BLACK.
TINNY MUSIC plays in the darkness.
94 INT. NINA'S BEDROOM - EVENING 94
Nina flutters open her eyes. The world comes into focus and
she sees her mother hovering over her, stroking her hair.
Sshh, shhh, it's okay. I'm here.
Nina looks around, disoriented. Sees her hands jammed inside
thick socks, held on by rubber bands. Groggy, she tries to
pull them off.
You were scratching all night.
Erica helps remove the socks, her smashed hand wrapped in
Nina weakly tries to sit up, but Erica pushes her back down.
Rest. Shhh, rest.
Nina gives in, too tired to fight her. Her eyes drift to the
source of the tinny music: the open jewelry box. The
ballerina's been broken off, all that remains is a single
amputated leg, spinning morbidly on the base.
ERICA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
That's good. Rest.
Nina's eyes drift to the alarm clock. It's gone.
Where's the clock?
Nina looks at the dark window.
It's dark. What night is it?
Nina reads Erica's face. Reality clicks in.
What time is it?!
Nina tries to sit up, but her mother pushes her back down.
I have to go.
Don't worry. I called the theater
and told them you weren't feeling
Nina freaks, struggles more violently.
No, I want to.
Get off me!
Nina squirms free of Erica's grasp and gets out of bed. She
gets to the door...
But the doorknob's been knocked-off, leaving just a metal
post sticking out of the hole.
We're staying in here until you
Nina grips the metal post and pulls and pulls, shaking the
Where is it?
Erica calmly sits down in her CHAIR, waiting for the storm to
This role is destroying you.
Nina rifles through her dresser drawers.
She notices her mother sitting calmly.
Nina grabs her by the wrist.
What happened to my sweet girl?
Nina yanks Erica off the chair onto the floor.
Please, you're not well.
Under the cushion Nina grabs the hidden brass DOORKNOB.
Erica lunges for her daughter's legs.
You can't handle it!
I can't?! I'm the fucking swan
queen! You never even got out of
You fucking ungrateful-
Nina jams the knob onto the post, opens the door.
ERICA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Don't leave! Nina!
95 EXT. THEATER - EVENING 95
Nina approaches the theater with harried steps.
Quickly past the row of SWAN LAKE posters.
She reaches the side of the building, flings open the stage
door and enters.
96 INT. BACKSTAGE HALLWAY - EVENING 96
Nina frantically makes her way down the bustling hallway,
chaotic with dancers. Excitement in the air.
She nears the soloists' dressing room.
Just outside of it, she spots a group of DANCERS excitedly
chatting around a smiling Lily.
Nina stops in her tracks.
Lily glances in her direction, and her smile quickly fades
into a sneer.
What are you doing here?
The other girls follow her gaze towards Nina, and their
smiles turn to confusion.
She turns and finds that Leroy has approached from behind
You're supposed to be sick.
Lily, give us a minute.
Leroy pulls Nina towards her room. Lily glares at Nina as she
97 INT. PRINCIPAL DRESSING ROOM - SAME 97
Leroy closes the door behind them. He looks at Nina, wheels
Are you okay?
Nina goes to her wardrobe, finds her two costumes hanging.
One for the White Swan, one for the Black Swan.
She doesn't heed him, pulls out the White Swan leotard and
sets it on her chair.
I already asked Lily-
Fuck. Have you announced it?
After Beth, do you need more
Leroy smirks at her directness.
I'm here, Thomas. I'm doing it.
He looks at her, considering, and gives her a reluctant nod.
The only person standing in your
way is you. It's time to let her
go. Lose yourself.
She nods. He takes one last look at her and leaves. She
breathes a sigh of relief.
Curious, she cracks open the door and peeks outside:
98 INT. BACKSTAGE HALLWAY (NINA'S POV) 98
Leroy has pulled Lily down the corridor to break the news.
Lily takes off, furious.
99 OMITTED 99
100 INT. PRINCIPLE'S DRESSING ROOM - LATER 100
Through the PA, music from ACT 1 plays.
Nina sits at her vanity in a robe, wearing the full White
Swan makeup and FEATHER CROWN. Pale, with red lipstick and
dark eyeliner, she looks like a porcelain doll.
She drops the robe off her shoulder and covers her rash with
The STAGE MANAGER'S voice comes through the PA speaker:
STAGE MANAGER (V.O.)
Act 2's starting. Ten minutes.
She removes a slipper off one foot. Her big and second toe,
and her pinky and fourth toe are stuck together. Puzzled, she
peels them apart.
She removes her other slipper and finds the same toes
completely FUSED, forming two large toes with double toenails
on either side of the middle toe.
She touches the bird-like foot, concerned, but slips on her
tights and hides the feet.
101 INT. BACKSTAGE - NIGHT 101
Nina stretches nervously in the wings, awaiting her entrance.
She peeks out through a small hole in the wall, sees the
AUDIENCE sitting expectantly in their seats.
The music begins and they shift and mummer in anticipation.
Nina pulls away, taking deep breaths and clenching her hands,
trying to stay calm.
On stage, David enters, beginning the Act. He traverses the
stage, "hunting" with a crossbow.
Nina takes a last breath and runs on.
102 STAGE 102
Under the spotlight, she begins dancing her intro.
David runs towards her and she startles away from him,
He grabs her and they begin their first Pas de Deux.
103 INT. BACKSTAGE - LATER 103
Nina comes offstage, catching her breath. All around her,
CORPS MEMBERS dressed as little swans rush back on stage,
where FOUR LITTLE SWANS begin the Pas de Quatre.
Nina looks into the opposite wing and sees Leroy watching
her. He gives her a small, contented nod, then disappears
behind a swarm of dancers.
On stage, the Four Little Swans perform. In their identical
makeup and costumes, they look disturbingly alike.
During the applause, Nina catches a glimpse of David
backstage, sweaty, laughing and holding someone's hands. Nina
can't see who, her view obscured by moving bodies and limbs.
Suspicious, Nina moves to get a better look.
Revealing that David's flirting with Lily.
Then the Four Little Swans rush offstage past Nina. She
watches them go, unsettled.
What are you doing? You're on!
He gently nudges her, and she has to run back on.
104 STAGE 104
Nina rushes from the wings, directly into David's arms.
All the swans are frozen in two rows on each side of the
stage, looking downstage.
David launches Nina into the air, hands around her waist.
He slowly turns her around, keeping her held high.
From her swirling, bird's eye view, Nina sees the rows of
identically dressed Little Swans glaring at her...
Nina freaks, jerking her body.
David's grip SLIPS and Nina SLAMS onto the stage.
It's a horrific moment that feels like an eternity.
Gritting her teeth, Nina looks up around her, sees the faces
of the other ballerinas. Staring at her sadistically.
Nina finds Lily, glancing at David. He snaps to and quickly
helps Nina up.
What the fuck?
She's too freaked to respond.
They resume dancing, Nina barely keeping it together.
Behind them, Rothbart appears and commands his flock to exit.
The Little Swans start swirling off stage.
Leaving Nina and David alone.
David tries to pull her in one direction, but the dark hand
of Rothbart summons her, transforming her back into a swan.
She pulls away from David, frantically flapping, until she
disappears into the wings.
105 INT. BACKSTAGE - SAME 105
As soon as she's off, she breaks down, hyperventilating. The
dancer playing ROTHBART eyes her with concern.
She looks up, sees his creepy MASK, and backs away.
Rothbart has to go back on stage to finish the Act.
Other CORPS MEMBERS surround her, chirping "You okay?, "What
Dazed, Nina doesn't answer. The music ends and there's a weak
smattering of applause.
That's intermission! Act 3 in
The other dancers scurry to get ready, abandoning her.
Nina sees Leroy on stage chewing David out, behind the closed
David spots Nina, glares at her, and sulks away.
Leroy runs his fingers through his hair, his back to Nina.
Nina cautiously approaches.
It wasn't my fault. He dropped me.
He can't even look at her.
What a fucking disaster!
He walks away.
All alone, Nina sees everyone backstage looking at her.
She runs, escaping their stares.
106 OMITTED 106
107 INT. PRINCIPLE'S DRESSING ROOM - SAME 107
She closes the door behind her, ready to cry.
She looks up, and finds Lily putting on makeup and wearing
the Black Swan costume.
Rough start, huh? Pretty
Get out of here.
Lily coyly smiles, and continues applying makeup.
I'm worried about the next act. Not
sure you're feeling up to it.
Stop. Just stop.
How about...I dance the Black Swan
Nina looks into the mirror. Instead of Lily's reflection
there's the Double.
Leave me alone. Leave me alone.
But it's my turn.
Nina's fury rises up from inside.
Leave me alone!!!
And smashes her into the WALL LENGTH MIRROR, shattering it.
Shards fall everywhere.
The Double flips Nina over and wails on her. Punch after
Nina does her best to block the onslaught.
They scuffle, knocking things over, bumping into walls.
The Double gets her hands around Nina's neck...
Gasping for air, Nina tries to pull the hands free, but she's
Her hands frantically scramble along the surface of the
floor. The fingers barely touch the edge of a MIRROR SHARD,
but can't grasp it.
The Double squeezes down.
The blood vessels in Nina's eyes BURST again. Her neck starts
to stretch unnaturally. Strength surges through her body and
Finally grabbing the SHARD.
And DRIVES it into the Double's stomach.
Nina glances at her hand, cut by the mirror, then back up.
The Double is now LILY. Stunned, Lily looks down and touches
the stab wound.
It's my turn.
Lily coughs up blood and collapses, dead.
Nina stares at her, breathing heavily, high on adrenaline.
A KNOCK on the door.
STAGE MANAGER (O.S.)
Black Swan, places in 5.
Nina drags the stiffening body into the wardrobe closet.
108 INT. PRINCIPAL DRESSING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER 108
Nina zips up the back to the Black Swan costume.
She deliberately applies the Black Swan makeup. Dark eye
shadow and rouge, maroon lipstick.
Dressed in black and wearing the dark make-up of the Black
Swan, she looks fierce.
She stares at her reflection, her eyes burning RED. New
rash bumps pop up on her arms, the intensity building within.
109 OMITTED 109
110 OMITTED 110
111A INT. STAGE - NIGHT 111A
Nina bursts onto stage as the Black Swan, accompanied by
She looks powerful, intense as she moves towards David.
His face shows his surprise.
Nina dances the first Pas de Deux with him. They finish and
111B BACKSTAGE 111B
She walks away from him.
Alone, she looks at her arms, sees black points trying to
push through again.
Some fully emerge as shiny BLACK FEATHERS.
She just watches them, not panicking, but accepting the
transformation taking place. Even beckoning it.
Her second entrance cue is played.
She leaps back on
111C STAGE 111C
For the Coda. She takes a brief pause, closing her eyes once
more, and then completely lets herself go.
She spins with ferocity. More BLACK FEATHERS burst out from
her shoulders and back.
At last, she truly embodies the Black Swan.
She finishes the Coda, punctuating her last spin with a sharp
step that echoes through the theater.
The audience looks on, mesmerized. Too stunned to clap at
111D Nina looks down at the stage, her face glazed with sweat 111D
She has returned to normal. No feathers. Normal eyes. A
She finally looks up at the audience, and they ERUPT in a
Nina walks to the front of the stage, takes her bow.
Nina looks up at the MASS OF BODIES filling the auditorium,
vibrating with applause.
Proud, Nina smiles and bows again. Again and again.
She finally runs off stage, the applause still going strong.
112 INT. BACKSTAGE - SAME 112
Nina enters the wings, other dancers cheer loudly. Even
Veronica and Galina.
She pushes past all the smiling faces. It feels very
She sees Leroy clapping and shaking his head. Blown away.
Get back out there! Get back-
She stops his mouth with a kiss. The kind of kiss that you
can't stop. Not desperate, but adamant.
Finally she disengages, staring at him in the eyes, but
before he can say anything...
She turns and rushes back on stage. He's stunned. Like he's
been run over by a truck.
113 INT. BACKSTAGE HALLWAY - LATER 113
She walks towards her dressing room, a satisfied smile on her
She passes the stage manager.
Great job. You got fifteen til the
She nods and arrives at her room.
She opens the door, makes sure no ones looking, and enters
114 INT. PRINCIPAL DRESSING ROOM - SAME 114
She closes the door behind her, locks it. Turns and sees the
broken glass all over the floor.
She eyes the closed wardrobe. A pool of blood drips out from
under the door.
She picks up a towel and lays it over the blood.
She starts to undress.
115 INT. PRINCIPAL DRESSING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER 115
Back in the White Swan costume, she re-applies the makeup.
There's a KNOCK on the door. She looks towards it, her face
only halfway made-up.
She goes to the door, opens it just a crack.
She peeks through and finds...
LILY looking back at her.
Hey...you were amazing.
Seriously. I'm sorry things got so
messed up between us. Just, holy
shit, totally blown away...
Nina barely manages a nod.
Anyway, wanted to tell you. I'll
let you finish. Merde.
Lily turns and walks away.
Nina swiftly shuts the door.
She turns around, stares at the wardrobe.
She steps cautiously towards it, her face repeated
countlessly in all the reflective shards.
She lifts the towel from the ground and looks at it.
It is clean. No blood. She looks down at the floor. No blood
She slowly opens the door to the wardrobe...
And finds it empty. No body whatsoever.
She looks over at the broken mirror. Sees her reflection
staring back at her.
She stares at it for a long beat, and realizes something.
She touches her stomach and winces a little. Pulls back her
hand. It's coated with red liquid. Blood.
It's started to soak through the costume, creating a faint
red spot. The fabric is ripped at the center of the stain.
She feels inside for confirmation.
And discovers a stab wound, in her own stomach.
She pulls out the sharp tip of mirror still stuck inside.
Blood begins flowing more rapidly.
She drops the mirror.
STAGE MANAGER (V.O.)
(On the PA)
White Swan in 5.
In a daze, she sits down at the vanity, and finishes applying
the rest of the White Swan's makeup.
116A INT. STAGE - LATER 116A
Nina dances the final Pas de Deux as the White Swan. Losing
blood by the second, everything is woozy and blurry.
She can't do all the steps, but her performance is pained,
making it poignant.
A spot of red begins to soak through at the center of her
The music turns ominous, and VON ROTHBART, the evil sorcerer,
comes onto stage.
Nina dances away from him, back upstage, towards the cliff.
It's time for her final leap.
Her energy fading, she teeters up the stairs of the set. One
step at a time...
She gets to the top, takes one last look around, at all the
eyes watching her.
She notices a familiar face in the audience: HER MOTHER. She
watches with a profound sadness, tears streaking her cheeks.
In the front of Nina's costume, a dark circle has started to
form. Her blood fully seeping through.
And Nina leaps...
116B INTO BLACKNESS 116B
She falls through an endless void, her eyes closed.
She slowly twists around in the air, so that she's falling
She hears something. Soft and muffled.
The faint sound of applause.
116C She lands slowly and comfortably on PADDING. 116C
The sound of applause is now loud, uproarious.
A group of BALLERINAS surround the mattress, clapping for
her, each one dressed as a WHITE SWAN.
Leroy pushes through the group to get to her.
Listen to them! They love you! Get
up, get up!
I always knew you had it in you,
little princess. Go take your bow!
Nina is too weak to move.
Lily pushes her way into the group and GASPS, pointing at
Leroy follows her gaze and discovers the spot of blood, which
has grown in size.
What did you do?
I felt it.
Oh my god.
Someone, get help.
Leroy looks back at her. She smiles.
It was perfect.
The APPLAUSE grows more and more faint. Her eyes glaze over
and everything goes completely SILENT.
Nina lies there motionless, a smile frozen on her face.
CUT TO BLACK.