QUANTUM PROJECT: ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1 INT. A BIOCHEMICAL LANDSCAPE 1
A violent electrical storm. Veins of light pulse outward, branching
off into a spidery network of
We are inside a human brain. A pack of neurons FIRE OFF to the left,
and rocket their way across synapses to the optic nerve. Passing the
eye socket, they speed toward a silky, curvilinear membrane (the
retina) on which we see an image projected:
AN UPSIDE DOWN COMPUTER SCREEN
Neurons PING into the membrane: the picture suddenly FLIPS RIGHT SIDE
UP and we follow the light, flashing in a blur through the iris and
cornea until, exiting the eye we reverse POV and
2 EXT. THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT - DAY 2
CLOSE ON A PAIR OF EYES
Deep deep blue. Radiating more intelligence than wisdom. Inside
each pupil is the reflection of a COMPUTER SCREEN. A deferential
VOICE sounds from off camera.
3 INT. ATOMIC LABORATORIES (PROFESSOR PAUL PENTCHO) - DAY3
Twenty-nine, athletic, owlishly handsome.
Pentcho raises his blue eyes from the computer screen and up at
ARLETTE (50's), his mannish Swiss assistant.
We can start the descent now.
4 INT. THE LABORATORIES (MOVING) - DAY 4
A SERIES OF SHOTS
as Pentcho and Arlette stride through the facility. They pass a
group of green-tagged VISITORS and their Swiss-accented GUIDE.
Two hundred feet below us is the world's
largest particle accelerator...
His VOICE continues on overlap as they reach a hallway.
GUIDE (OC) (CONT'D)
27 kilometers in circumference, the beam
pipe actually runs beneath the borders of
Switzerland and France...
Did you get that data off to Braverman at
They are facing the CAPSULE/ELEVATOR that leads to the tunnel.
Next to the elevator, two plants are dying in their pots, their
growing lamps off. Pentcho looks around, finds the plug, pushes it
into the socket. The lights glow. He peers at a leaf: a tiny bug
...at the moment of impact the electrons
inside the pipe are travelling six hundred
sixty six million miles per --
We need to progress.
He breaks out of it, swipes his I.D. card. The capsule doors WHOOSH
open. Pentcho nods at the man inside. This is JACQUE, his accent
Hey, it is 3-P-O! P, P, P! Professore
That's not an official nickname, Jacque.
Pentcho looks from Jacque to Arlette, who blushes. Pentcho sits down
in the heavily consoled captain's chair.
Beh! Eets just tun-nel humor.
The giant lab disappears from sight as they DROP twenty stories below
Did they recalibrate the 3k turn?
Jacque nods. They hit bottom. Pentcho keys in data on the console
computer as the capsule moves LATERALLY on a track parallel to the
beam pipe, stopping in front of the RF CAVITY, bursting with a
billion dollars worth of nanotechnology.
Give me more angle-control on the bounce.
ON PENTCHO: a little bored, manning the console.
Fifteen seconds Arlette...
5 INT. PENTCHO'S BRAIN FIELD - DAY 5
The camera surges forward into Pentcho's eyes:
We see an image draw itself on the empty 'page' of the field:
A BLACK DOT LOOPING INTO A STRING
accompanied by the following thought text:
"...two spatially separated particles will
MOUSE CLICK - A WOMAN'S FACE
wide-set brown eyes brimming with emotion. A hint of a SONG playing
somewhere in the BG.
to the previous 'page' where the LOOP has formed into a sheet moving
through space, followed by the floating thought text:
"...until the force of the collision fuses
Ten, nine, eight...
MOUSE CLICK - POV: LOOKING STRAIGHT DOWN AT
the BROWN-EYED WOMAN, her face dreamy, her body naked beneath silk
sheets. PULL BACK: she's floating on an enormous Renaissance mural -
a wedding scene - that is a bedroom floor. Off in the corner,
PENTCHO sits hunched over a clunky laptop, his fingers dancing,
dervish-like, across the keyboard.
PENTCHO'S VOICE (CONT'D)
Four, three, two...
CRACK! Suddenly, the woman drifts away. Pentcho looks up: THEIR
EYES LOCK WITH LONGING AS:
6 INT. THE CAPSULE CONSOLE - SAME TIME 6
Pentcho's FINGER depresses the START button.
7 INT. PARTICLE ACCELERATOR - DAY 7
as we follow the PULSE SIGNAL from the keyboard to the CPU, across
the LOCAL AREA NETWORK to the MAINFRAME in the RF cavity, sending its
own signal into the BEAM PIPE, where two soon-to-be accelerated
ELECTRONS are released, like horses bolting from the same starting
gate, but in opposite directions. THE ROLLER-COASTER RIDE BEGINS.
POV - ONE LIGHT INFUSED ELECTRON
BLASTING through the beam pipe like a COMET, fused inside of a
looping, twenty seven kilometer single lane race track. WHOOOSH!
As the electron accelerates, so too does the sound, rushing to GUT
SPLITTING, EAR WRENCHING DB'S. Heading around the turn, it barrels
STRAIGHT INTO THE PATH OF THE SECOND ELECTRON on its own speed-of
light power surge.
HERE COMES THE IMPACT POINT... but SCREEEEECH!
What disc brakes might sound like, slammed to the floor of a vehicle
travelling six hundred sixty six million miles per hour.
SUDDENLY THE ELECTRON HAS STOPPED, SUSPENDED,
its phosphorescent glow trained like a spotlight on:
PENTCHO - EXTREME CLOSE UP
the dual computer screens reflecting out of his pupils, again. A
VOICE speaks from nowhere, sonorous and packed with reverb:
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
The camera SURGES into Pentcho's eyes as the brain field opens to the
sounds of a nine alarm fire. DING DING DING DING DING! The thought
text marches by in giant, attention-getting letters: "ELECTRONS DON'T
FEMALE VOICE (CONT) (CONT'D)
WHAT DO YOU WANT, PAUL?
More thought text scrolls by on the field, now in RED LETTERS:
"I'm having a psychotic episode."
The field collapses back into PENTCHO, ashen-faced, watching his
computer screen, and seeing: the cursor (electron) blinking.
Suddenly, we are back inside the pipe, HURTLING toward
KABLOOM! THE SUB-ATOMIC EXPLOSION
A particle meteor shower of magnificent proportions. They glow and
charge off and disappear, as the laws of E=mc2 take visual flight
inside this billion dollar kaleidoscope.
8 INT. AIRPLANE IN 1ST CLASS (ON PENTCHO) - DAY 8
staring out the window, not really seeing the clouds as we SURGE into
his eyes and CLICK
9 INT. THE BRAIN FIELD (POPPING OPEN) - DAY 9
stacking up windowlike flashbacks with startling ferocity.
The glowing electron - CLICK - Arlette: "multi-tasking again?" CLICK
- the capsule doors closing - CLICK - "you're having a psychotic
episode" - CLICK - the echo of the electron's voice: "WHAT DO YOU
10 INT. THE AIRPLANE (PENTCHO) - DAY 10
puts down a drink glass on the tray table of the seat next to him.
Places headphones onto his ears. Fiddles with the music channels:
country, stand-up, classical... Stays put on a Mozart concerto. He
gazes back out at the clouds, fails to notice that
HIS DRINK GLASS IS MOVING
sliding slowly across the tray table. It stops near the edge and
waits, as Pentcho looks up from the window. As his head drifts back
toward the clouds outside
THE GLASS MOVES ACROSS THE TRAY TABLE IN THE OTHER DIRECTION
11 EXT. SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - DAY 11
Pentcho's plane touches down.
12 INT. A RED VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE - DRIVING 12
On the freeway, heading for Berkeley, in eternal rush hour. Stop,
go, sixty miles per hour, then five, then thirty.
Pentcho drives, distracted, stares at his own eyes reflected in the
rear view mirror. The camera SURGES in: CLICK
13 INT. FLASHBACK - AIRPLANE - DAY 13
It's Pentcho himself, on the airplane, listening to Mozart. In the
foreground, the tray table and glass. In the BG, his eyes fixed
aimlessly on the clouds outside. Suddenly, Pentcho's face
SPLITS INTO TWO DIMENSIONS
One stays focused forward, while the SECOND ONE turns to the side and
watches in amazement as
THE GLASS SLIDES ACROSS THE OPEN TRAY TABLE
Suddenly a horn BLARES, and CRASH!
14 INT/EXT. THE BEETLE (PENTCHO) - DAY 14
SLAMS into the car in front of him, triggering
SLOW MOTION EFFECT
A three car COLLISION with Pentcho in the middle, an object lesson in
physics seen from ten different camera angles:
SCREECH CRUNCH CRUNCH
Bumpers crumple, metal tears, human molecules SNAP forward. POP POP
POP! Like gunfire, bullet AIRBAGS clamp the drivers' heads back
against their headrests.
15 INT. PENTCHO'S BRAIN - DAY 15
The field ROCKS SIDEWAYS, in total OVERLOAD, so flooded with messages
that each one is undecipherable.
16 EXT. THE FREEWAY ACCIDENT SITE - DAY 16
The three cars form a tangled metal sculpture. Incredibly, as
Pentcho himself sees, they are all RED VW BEETLES. He sits in a
daze. A man's voice interrupts, scaling up into a SHOUT.
What the hell were you thinking? What? I
want to know! WHAT?!!
This is WILL (30's), a scratch over one eye, peering in at Pentcho,
still behind the air bag/steering wheel, craning his stiffening neck
forward and back at the crumpled row of red automobiles. He blinks,
then answers in an eerie voice.
Probability of this happening, same make,
model, color and year is less likely than
the proof for the existence of God.
Sorry I asked. (beat) You got insurance?
17 EXT. THE FREEWAY SITE (LIGHT RAIN IS FALLING) - DAY 17
A tow truck backs up to Pentcho's car. He stands, dazed, off on the
shoulder, luggage next to him. His eyes drift toward Will, giving
instructions into his cell phone.
Up the ramp. Yeah... I'll -- (he turns)
There you are! See me? See? They won't
let you in? Just walk... Here I am.
He waves at a red Dodge Durango on the street below.
PENTCHO stares idly at the Durango as we
18 INT. PENTCHO'S BRAIN - (MUSIC ON OVERLAP) 18
The picture is blurry but the song clear.
I know this world is kil...ling you...
CLICK - THE PICTURE SHARPENS
on a man and a woman, MAKING LOVE on a big brocade couch. Their
bodies rock in unison, faces unseen.
SINGER'S VOICE (CONT'D)
My aim is true-ooooh.
The field collapses closed upon:
19 EXT. THE FREEWAY ACCIDENT SITE - DAY 19
A woman from the Durango is approaching, as Will, back on the phone,
argues with his boss.
I'll be there, Trent. Yes. 20 minutes --
Click. Will reddens, sees the sunglassed face of the woman, looking
past him and over to PENTCHO, signing the tow truck papers. The
battered front end of his Beetle CRANKS upward.
Son-of-a-bitch. As if it was my fault I got
The woman stares, curiously, at Pentcho.
...some schmuck dreaming about God. Mia?
She doesn't hear him. Takes off her sunglasses, slowly. Wide-set
Finished now with the tow truck driver. His head turns. She moves
closer. Will's voice protests from the BG.
ON PENTCHO - SEEING HER, REALLY, FOR THE FIRST TIME
20 INT. PENTCHO'S BRAIN - (PRESENT DAY MIA) 20
overlapped by another photograph that slowly comes into focus - top
third, middle third, bottom - like a downloading Internet image from
his personal files.
IT'S MIA, YOUNGER, THE SAME WIDE-SET DARK EYES
Pentcho's heartbeat pounds LOUDER, drowning out the whisper:
21 EXT. THE FREEWAY ACCIDENT SITE (BACK TO REALITY) - DAY 21
They lock into a stare, the molecules around them swirling with
emotion. Barely audible:
Less likely than the existence of God.
Mia brushes back a strand of hair. Bites her lip.
I've been dreaming about you.
Day or night?
Pentcho loses himself in her brown eyes.
Atoms are vibrating, interchanging by the billions. Another voice
gets in the way.
Is that your...
No. (beat) Not yet.
She shifts her weight from one slim leg to the other.
Could we go somewhere?
I'm heading out of town.
Mia does a tiny double-take. It's very sexy.
I could go out of town.
Mia laughs. This is so preposterous.
A place you've never been.
That's the physicist's playground.
22 EXT. ADVENTURE WILDERNESS STORE - DAY 22
Will SLAMS the Durango door shut and stalks into the store.
23 EXT. HEADING TO XANADU (A SERIES OF INTERCUTS) - DAY 23
as the Durango motors into the alpine landscape. Mia turns, looks at
her former lover. He stares back, smiles.
Why am I doing this?
It's an experiment.
Mia turns onto a private road. A MANSION appears in the distance,
cresting the hill.
23a EXT/INT. XANADU - NIGHT 23a
A massive wooden door. Mia holds a flashlight, slips an oversized
key into the lock and turns.
POV: THROUGH THE DOORWAY
An enormous hall. Scaffolding rises from the stone floor. Forty
foot high walls are draped in thick sheets of plastic.
They enter like thieves.
23b INT. XANADU - A SHORT TIME LATER 23b
Mia stands on top of an eight foot riser. Pentcho passes up
harnesses and rope to her outstretched hands.
We flopped the first time out.
At the sub-atomic level, particles obey
their own logic. They connect in
Mia slings the gear over her shoulder. Looks very much in her
And you think this is relevant to our
Pentcho starts his own climb up the scaffolding. Reaches the first
What universe are you in, Paul?
A quantum one.
23c INT. A HIGHER SCAFFOLDING - A SHORT TIME LATER 23c
Pentcho clips a safety line to his belt. The two of them wear
yellow hardhats and climbing harnesses. They suddenly KICK OFF the
scaffold and DANGLE twenty five feet above the stone floor. Hand
over fist, they start to ascend, hoisting themselves up the tug
The shorthand is, when you send electrons
through space, it's impossible to say
precisely what they are: particles or waves.
They spin around slowly like tops as they hoist themselves up.
They come into being as one or the other at
the moment we observe them.
His words echo off the giant walls.
Nothing is real until it's perceived.
The Buddhists have been saying that for a
Mia reaches an electric box, hanging a yard below the ceiling.
Baby, reality is what you choose to make it.
She flips the switch. A set of lights FLARE ON. Pentcho swallows a
breath. In awe.
WE SEE WHAT HE SEES:
A GIANT RENAISSANCE-STYLE FRESCO COVERS THE ENTIRE CEILING.
Flocks of ANGELS fly above a GODDESS. Cherubs. Heralds.
Pentcho's face flushes. He's exhilarated. She takes note:
But only if you live your life that way. If
you experience every moment as discovery.
Pentcho's already there. He kicks his legs out. Joyrides on the tug
rope, arcing back and forth like a mad pendulum.
Mia! You're restoring heaven with dabs of
paint. You're bringing new order to the
She beams from his excitement.
I always said we were in the same
His wayward motion swings him STRAIGHT INTO HER. They lock arms.
The ropes shudder.
If you're right, we have a chance. (beat) To
Pentcho reaches out to kiss her. Doesn't see that their collision
has jogged the clutch on his harness rope. Now it opens all the way.
In an instant, he's gripping air, FALLING at the speed of Newton's
He hurtles downward in slow motion. There's a SOUND rushing in
behind him, the RUMBLE OF A MEGA-EARTHQUAKE.
Pentcho catches a glimpse up over his shoulder: the angels, the
goddess, Mia, all of it has been
SUCKED OUT OF EXISTENCE...
as Pentcho's eyes stare for a millisecond at
THE VOID. NOTHINGNESS. NADA.
And then he's FALLING again, accelerating toward his own last
particle collision, when a VOICE murmurs from somewhere.
I'm not done.
THWACK! The safety line holds, dangling Pentcho a meter above the
23d INT. XANADU - SOME TIME LATER 23d
They camp on old couch cushions, side by side, staring up at the
illuminated fresco. Pentcho is bruised, battered, vulnerable.
When I was a kid I used to snap my head back
like a gunfighter on the draw, hoping to
catch a glimpse behind me.
Mia props her head up on one elbow.
ON THE FRESCO: A CHORUS OF ANGELS
God. I dunno. The eternal nothingness.
It's a plea. She turns, stares directly into his eyes.
The universe is snapping my head back. I'm
losing my focus.
Mia's face fills with light. Her best smile.
Welcome, Paul. Welcome.
She traces a line from his forehead to the bridge of his nose,
quoting Yeats (from "The Second Coming") as a celebration:
"Things fall apart; the center will not
hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the
He pulls her close to him. They lie, spooned together, breathing in
unison, gazing up at the painted heaven.
A firefly enters from outside, flutters in the air above them,
blushing a trace line of yellow light.
An electron spoke to me yesterday. (beat) I
Mia tries to suppress a giggle. Can't.
What did it want?
That's what it asked me. "What do you
want?" I didn't answer. I was in the
middle of an experiment.
He hesitates, then surrenders to the fact.
The firefly dances above them. Pentcho sits up (and away from her).
Did you know electrons have lovers?
Mia notes his distance. Faces him, cross-legged.
No. I didn't. (dryly) I'm listening.
Inside every semi-conductor... you have two
particles, with opposite charges, separated
by an impassable barrier...
She looks, sees him disappear into his head.
A strip of silicon, which for you and me
would be like...
The vulnerability is gone. And Mia, with it.
She's in L.A., he's in the Bay area --
A five hundred foot thick steel wall. But
the connection between these two electrons
is so --
That they tunnel, magically, through any
obstacle, defying the practical laws of
physics, in order to end up together --
And glow happily ever after.
Silence. The story hangs between them like a fog.
Don't science me Paul. (beat) What do you
ON PENTCHO'S FACE: It's blank.
MIA looks up at the angels, closes her eyes, TURNS AWAY.
(OMIT SCENES 24, 25, 26, 27, 28)
29 EXT. CITY STREET - EARLY MORNING 29
The Durango pulls up, stops. Pentcho gets deposited on the curb.
Barely closes the door before the car SPEEDS away. He looks up.
Sees the sign on the bus stop bench:
"LOVE NEVER FAILS" Corinthians 13:8
30 EXT. THE BAY AREA - DAY 30
Storm clouds gather over the ocean.
31 EXT. THE BERKELEY HILLS - POURING RAIN 31
A taxi stops in front of a two story cottage, looking abandoned in
the wet weather. Pentcho walks out, passing his dented VW BEETLE in
the driveway. Ascends a flight of brick steps to the:
32 INT. PENTCHO'S COTTAGE - ENTERING 32
An alternately stark and cluttered space, less lived in than occupied
by a man on the run between his office and his mind.
Rivulets of water run from an open window, across a large desk, and
down onto the wood floor. Pentcho scans around, unfazed. Locates a
towel. Mops up. Dries off the computer and keyboard. Bag still on
his shoulder, he fires up the machine and logs
ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN
E-mail. Lots of it. Hundreds and hundreds of messages scrolling by
on the screen. He turns away, sees his own rain soaked clothes
forming a puddle on the floor. LIGHTNING cascades across the sky,
visible through the large bay window behind the desk. Pentcho's eyes
stray back to the screen
STILL SCROLLING E-MAIL MESSAGES
as the thunder follows almost immediately. CRACK! He looks up:
Veins of light pulse outward, branching into a spidery network
OF GLOWING INTERCONNECTEDNESS
A voice SOUNDS from somewhere non-local:
Pentcho leans toward the glass, looking out as we reverse POV:
A SINGLE LIGHTNING BOLT descends from the heavens on its own speed-of
light path straight at...
WHOMP! It strikes the BEETLE dead on -- (SLOW MOTION) -- scorching
the roof. Reverse POV:
ON PENTCHO - pupils dilated as we surge inward to
33 INT. PENTCHO'S BRAIN - (OPENING ON) NIGHT 33
AN OLDER MAN
wild, white Einstein hair. He CLUTCHES suddenly at his chest, like a
heart attack victim. His lips call out, but no voice follows. He
fades, ominously, to black at the sound of
34 EXT. THE SKY - (ROARING THUNDER) DAY 34
Pentcho blinks once, his face illuminated by a dozen flashes of
lightning. He touches his fingers to the glass:
A SECOND LIGHTNING BOLT DESCENDS
on the exact same path toward... KABOOM! THE RED BEETLE.
A plume of smoke rises out of the punctured roof.
35 (OMIT) 35
36 (OMIT) 36
37 INT. THE AIRPLANE - NIGHT 37
Pentcho sits in his window seat, staring at the open tray table next
to him. There's a glass. It doesn't move.
37a EXT. STOCK SHOT - LANDING IN LAX 37a
The plane touches down. We see the landmark spider-restaurant.
38 EXT. CAR RENTAL FACILITY - NIGHT 38
Pentcho crosses the lot with the rent-a-car EMPLOYEE.
Rented every last ve-hicle. 'Cept one.
I'll take it.
It's a red 2000 BEETLE.
39 EXT. THE 110 FREEWAY - NIGHT 39
The sign says: "Hollywood - North. Long Beach, San Pedro - South."
40 EXT. SAN PEDRO/HOUSE - NIGHT 40
The rain has stopped. The red bug parks in front of a
GRAND HOUSE GONE TO SEED.
Ditto the neighborhood. A 7-Eleven sign blinks on the corner.
Pentcho walks up the cracked sidewalk to a sagging wooden porch.
Looks for signs of life. A light. Something.
He pushes on the front door. Locked. Rummages through his key ring
in the dark. Slides one into the top lock. Won't turn.
Tries another key. Gets stuck. He pulls it out. Presses his face
close against the window.
TIRES SCREECH. POLICE SIRENS BLARE.
Pentcho turns, his EYES lit by the flashing bubble lights.
41 INT. THE BRAIN FIELD - POPPING OPEN ON 41
THE EINSTEIN MAN
Crumpled on the floor, hands still clutching his chest. The screen
COLLAPSES at the sound of
42 EXT. HOUSE (VOICES SHOUTING FROM THE CORNER) - NIGHT 42
Foreign voices, jabbering at high speed. Policemen BARK BACK on
Pentcho RAPS ON THE GLASS. He's frantic. Harder now. A THUNK
sounds from inside. Or was it? He picks one last key out in the
glare of the blue lights. Jams it in the lock. Twists and
43 INT. THE HOUSE - PENTCHO 43
bursts into the darkened foyer. His foot catches on a thick doormat.
He SPRAWLS forward as
A GUNSHOT ERUPTS ABOVE HIS HEAD
He drops, convulsed with fear. Snaps his head back to see:
THE EINSTEIN MAN (ALEXANDER)
in bathrobe and slippers, hands shaking around a shotgun.
Pentcho struggles to breathe. Staccato:
I... I thought you were dead.
Alexander drops the gun. In shock, a whisper:
I must be.
44 INT. BAR AREA (A TEA KETTLE WHISTLES) - NIGHT 44
Alexander, recomposed, marches to the burners. There's anger in his
every movement. Restlessness. This is no feeble old man. He pours
tea like he was filling shot glasses. Doubles.
Look at me.
Pentcho stirs in a lump of sugar first. Raises his eyes.
"Alexander the Great."
He lifts a kitchen chair, spins it around, straddles the back.
22 I built the first machine to transfer
digital bits over a land line. I wrote the
TCP/IP protocol before thirty. This mind
(tapping his temples), the one and only, was
OBGYN at the birth of the Internet. And
where has it taken me?
He shoots upright. Peers out the row of double sash windows, covered
by impenetrable iron grates.
To isolation. To an armed camp. To a
biblical spoof of a crazed father firing a
gun at his only son.
You taking any medication?
Alexander's eyes FLARE in anger.
Don't waste it Pauly. This is not an
everyday talk. Just input the information
and ask relevant questions. One: how did a
celebrated life of the mind bring me
(pulling the gun out) to this particular
He shoves the shotgun into an open trash can.
Two: what if I didn't miss?
Spare me your classical answer.
Measurements in. Results taken. What if I
You did miss --
-- What if your seven and a half precious
liters were downloading over the parquet
floor? What then? (softer) What did your
life mean? (beat) Who did you nurture,
Pauly? Who did you love?
Pentcho shifts, uncomfortably, in his seat. Ditto Alexander's mood.
He does a startling one-eighty into nonchalance.
What was her name?
What was her name? The one I met.
Alexander reaches out a finger, touches the dab of paint on Pentcho's
He rubs the paint between his fingers.
Now he wanders off, disappears into the dark.
ON PENTCHO: wired, incredulous, heart thump thump thumping.
He calls out after his father.
I need some air. (beat) Don't shoot me.
ALEXANDER'S VOICE (OC)
INT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - A SHORT TIME LATER
Pentcho paces in front of the open window, stops. He turns to walk
out, is surprised by
Standing in the dark.
We've been kidding ourselves, Pauly. Until
you look for it, it doesn't even exist.
45 EXT. SAN PEDRO WHARF - NIGHT 45
Pentcho slogs down the wharf. Running from it. Looking for it.
Past homeless people slipping in and out of the shadows. He snaps
his head back over his shoulder, sees an OLD WOMAN playing the
accordian. She stops. Her eyes bore in on his own.
You would have a son with me...
Pentcho blinks. The woman is suddenly FIFTY YEARS YOUNGER:
YOUNG OLD WOMAN
...and his name would be Hope.
46 INT. PENTCHO'S BRAIN - (A MATHEMATICAL FORMULA) 46
Numbers fly up on the field, are inscribed, erased, considered and
measured. Pentcho's own VOICE is heard on overlap:
"If you could look back fast enough, at near
to the speed of light, then there would be
no reality behind you, because it hadn't yet
been created --
47 EXT. THE WHARF - (A FOGHORN) NIGHT 47
BELLOWS in the dark. Pentcho twists his head forward, spots:
A PINK NEON HEART
blinking above a tatto parlor. His eyes lock on, see the heart
GLOWING BIGGER AND BIGGER,
its electric pulse mimicing the beating of a real organ.
CLOSER STILL - ON PENTCHO
Running from it. Looking for it. He stops dead in his tracks, tries
one last time to play gunfighter with the quantum reality:
HE SNAPS HIS HEAD BACK OVER HIS SHOULDER
and we see him, making the same move, from four different camera
angles: from his LEFT, his RIGHT, from the TOP OF HIS HEAD, and
looking up FROM GROUND ZERO as
HE FINALLY WINS THE DRAW.
The RUMBLE OF A MEGA-EARTHQUAKE is unleashed. Here it comes,
rolling in with a giant WHOOSHING SOUND...
POV PENTCHO: WATCHING REALITY SUCKED OUT OF EXISTENCE
The ships, the dock, the harbor OBLITERATED by an onrushing,
transparent cloud of NOTHINGNESS, EMPTINESS, a tabula rasa
superimposed upon the disappeared wharf.
ON PENTCHO, FALLING TO HIS KNEES
hammered by his own victory, numb from shock and ecstasy, staring
into the void as we surge forward
48 INT. THE BRAIN FIELD 48
It's completely blank, just like the void. The VITALS are flatlined.
A single piece of thought text floats across the emptiness, almost
like a screen saver:
Say Uncle.... Say Uncle...
49 EXT. THE WHARF - (A VOICE) - NIGHT 49
A face, peering down at Pentcho. The face belongs to the MAGIC MAN,
in a mad hatter hat, and a potpourri of found item clothing. Like a
Baptist preacher on his sidewalk pulpit:
Can you feel it, uncle? Can you feel it
right down to your bones?!
ON PENTCHO: EXTREME CLOSE UP
Inside each pupil is the reflection of the NEON HEART. We pull back
on Pentcho's face. Calm. Serene.
Yes. (beat) Yes I can.
50 EXT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - NIGHT 50
Pentcho turns the key, effortlessly opens the front door.
INT. UPSTAIRS HOUSE - AN ORNATE TILE SHOWER - NIGHT
He stands beneath the stream of hot water, cleansing himself of a day
that began a very long time ago.
INT. THE GUEST BEDROOM - NIGHT
Pentcho dresses, taking in the smell and texture of fresh clothes
against his body. He sits down on the bed. Sees a clock. 5:00 a.m.
TUGS UP one of the double sash windows that faces the 7-Eleven.
VOICES rise from the parking lot.
Pentcho stretches out on the musty bedspread, eyes on the carved
plaster ceiling. Suddenly, floating up through the open window:
What do you want?!
Pentcho cranes his head.
WOMAN'S VOICE (CONT'D)
Tell me! Now! Now!
The old sash falls shut. BOOM. It's like a dam bursting inside him,
only the flood is LAUGHTER that starts deep in his belly, as a
giggle, then a chuckle that cascades upward and out into enormous
GUFFAWS. The sound rocks the house. Pentcho's smile is a mile wide.
His eyes sparkle, then tear up as the
FRONT DOORBELL RINGS
He jumps off the bed, and bounds down the stairs.
53 INT. THE FRONT HALL - NIGHT 53
Alexander's already there, ushering MIA inside to:
54 INT. THE LIVING ROOM - AT THE MOMENT THAT 54
Pentcho arrives. He stops, incredulous, at the sight of her.
Guess who's coming to dinner.
Mia jumps right in. To Pentcho:
I didn't want to leave things the way we
did. Not this time.
Wait. I want to tell you something.
He takes her arm, steering her away from Alexander, into the living
room. She stops cold at the sight of the MURAL.
I've been dreaming about this.
Then you get it. You'll understand.
His face has the look of the little boy who has just stumbled upon
the pirate's treasure.
I know what I want. I let go, and a second
later you materialized at the door. You
CLOSE ON PENTCHO
feeling the feelings.
Mia. I can create reality. (beat) I can
choose to love you with all my heart.
Tears pool along the rims of her eyes. She stares straight at him,
You know those people who won't be
photographed because they're afraid you're
stealing their souls...?
I came to take back my picture. The one I
keep leaving with you.
His heart deflates. His voice follows. Barely audible:
So I can move on. You too.
A horn blares from outside.
Be who you are, Paul. I love who you are.
She turns and runs out the front door.
55 EXT. ALEXANDER'S HOUSE - SECONDS LATER - NIGHT 55
Mia runs down to the curb where where boyfriend WILL holds open the
passenger door of the red Durango.
She circles the car, disappears behind the wheel. Will gets in his
ON THE FRONT PORCH
Pentcho, agitated, pushes open the door. Alexander's already
outside, watching Mia motor off. He turns, stares at his son.
Do you want to think about it some more?
PENTCHO SPRINTS DOWN TO THE CURB. Jumps into the Beetle. The
headlights FLASH ON in the pre-dawn night.
56 INT. THE DURANGO (DRIVING) - NIGHT 56
Mia grips the wheel with two hands. Will feigns nonchalance.
She nods. Barely. They merge onto the highway.
57 INT. THE BEETLE (DRIVING) - NIGHT 57
Pentcho grips the wheel. Eyes focused. We surge into
58 INT. PENTCHO'S BRAIN FIELD - OPENING ON 58
PEARLS, PLAYING OUT, LOOPING INTO A STRING
whose shape recalls the original brain field. Thought text scrolls
below, accompanied now by Pentcho's own inner voice.
VOICE AND TEXT
Each part of physical reality is constructed
of all the other parts...
EXTREME CLOSE-UP, ON A SINGLE PEARL
inside of which, the entire strand is reflected.
VOICE AND TEXT (CONT'D)
A web of connections created by the
interdependence of all things...
The field collapses back into:
59 INT. MIA IN THE DURANGO (DRIVING) - NIGHT 59
eyes on the rear view mirror, as a horn BLARES from the entrance to
the Long Beach bridge.
She re-checks the mirror, filled with bobbing headlight beams. One
beam LOCKS ON, straight into the center of the glass, blinding her
for a split second. She blinks. Gasps to herself as the beam seems
LIFT OUT OF HER MIRROR
and train its phosphorescent glow on:
MIA - EXTREME CLOSE UP
the point of light reflecting out of her pupils. PENTCHO'S VOICE
speaks from nowhere, sonorous and packed with reverb:
What do you want?
Mia blinks again. The beam is gone. She looks over at WILL,
oblivious, checking his watch.
BACK ON MIA
the understanding flooding her eyes as
SHE SNAPS HER HEAD BACK (JUST LIKE PENTCHO THE GUNFIGHTER)
And we see her making her move from FOUR DIFFERENT CAMERA ANGLES,
from her left, right, up above, and from the back seat of the car as
the RUMBLE OF A MEGA-EARTHQUAKE WHOOSHES BY...
POV MIA: THE BRIDGE, THE CARS, THE BAY
all sucked out of existence until nothing remains but
THE VOID. NOTHINGNESS. NADA. CRASH!
60 INT. THE DURANGO (SLAMMING INTO THE CAR AHEAD) - NIGHT 60
triggering a chain reaction of vehicles fish-tailing across the
bridge. In quick succession come a STREAM OF IMAGES:
The pearls colliding...
Mia and Will exchanging a LOOK...
Traffic HALTING on the bridge...
Will getting SCORCHED by the MAN they plowed into...
Mia, exiting her side, looking BACK BEHIND HER...
PENTCHO, ditching his Beetle, ten car lengths south...
HE RUNS FORWARD, straight down the path of a tunnel-like headlight
MIA PICKS UP SPEED, churning from the other direction.
PULL BACK: FROM THE BRIDGE
as the two of them move toward the same point. Suddenly, tiny sparks
of light GLOW and JUMP from portions of the bridge cable.
SLOW MOTION: PENTCHO AND MIA
gliding still closer. A VOICE sounds:
Their bodies CONNECT, arms intertwine, lips touch lips...
PULL BACK - HIGHER
It's like a plug in the socket of the physical landscape
LIGHTING THE ENTIRE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM
Every cell line, radio wave, satellite feed, fiber-optic cable, all
stretching in every possible direction
FROM BRIDGE TO SEA TO SKY
pulsing outward into a spidery network of