Early Script Review: Possible Spoilers


In Downtown Philadelphia, we meet our hero in his early thirties ELLIOT MOORE, an aspiring musician (guitarist) who works as a science teacher. He gets into an argument with his wife ALMA MOORE who has decided to leave him. You see, Elliotís problem is that he has a difficult time accepting things for what they are. He is in constant denial and that is his character arc which he must overcome by the end of the script.

Next scene at 8:36 a.m. in Central Park, a pair of women sit on a blanket at the dead center of the park. One of them is pregnant, the other has her hair in a bun. They each have a book. The wind blows the grass around them and the next thing you know, the woman with the bun in her hair starts stabbing herself in the throat!

Three blocks away from Central Park at a construction site in New York City at 8:59 a.m., the wind blows.

THUD! A construction worker falls to his death. Then another five more bodies crash down. The terrified Foreman looks up at the top of the twelve story steel framed structure and watches in horror as his workmen casually walk along the beams and step off the edge, one right after the other, like dolls off of a shelf.

Inciting incident time: In the next scene we are in Elliotís classroom as he teaches a science class. The Vice Principal interrupts the class and takes Elliot to the teacherís lounge where on page 10 the Principal tells us that there appears to be world events happening. Major cities in every country were hit with what seems to be a terrorist act.

Itís some kind of airborne chemical toxin that has been released. New York is one of the cities. They donít know what the chemical does. They donít know who is responsible for all this. All they do know is that the attacks originated in public parks in every city. The Principal spoke with the head of schools and said school is now dismissed.

In the same scene we also meet Elliotís buddy, a math teacher named JULIAN. After Elliot dismisses his class, he meets up with Julian in the parking garage where Elliot tells Julian that Alma is leaving him. Julian is going to get his daughter Jess and wife Evette and meet up with Elliot at the train station.

At 10:04 a.m. on The New Jersey Turnpike (sidenote: Jersey drivers are the worst!) six miles outside of New York, both directions of traffic are crawling. Motorists inch forward down the highway. Most of the cars have their windows down.

Uh oh! A gentle breeze moves over the cars!

The highway is nestled by trees. They tower on either side. We see the reflection of the trees on the windshield of the cars as they move.

Suddenly, cars start crashing. One right after another. A man gets out of one car, walks up to another car with the windows up and smashes his face through the windshield!

Back at Elliotís apartment, Alma is concerned at the news. She gets a call on her cell from her lover JOEY. Poor Elliot, Alma is going to leave him for another man.

Anyway, she declines the call as Elliot comes in.

The news thinks it is one of three major terrorist groups but then again Moscow, Paris, Amsterdam, Nairobi and some other cities were hit. There is no political connection. Elliot and Alma pack their things.

At the Boston Music Institute in, of all places, Boston, Massachusetts (Ugh! New England!) at 10:36 a.m., we are at a student concert. The wind from the street blows through the windows. A handful of people start falling off their chairs. A young man takes his bow from his violin and shoves it down his throat like a sword swallower. Ouch.

Back in Philly, Alma and Elliot meet up with Julian and his seven year old daughter Jess at the 30th street train station. Reports have come in that the toxin being released is not synthetic but organic. Forty five cities have been hit now including Boston.

Jessí mother Evette didnít make it on time, she got stuck in traffic and is taking the next train. She was buying a dollhouse as a birthday gift for Jess.

Julian, Jess, Elliot and Alma board the train.

At Rittenhouse Square Park in Philadelphia at 11:51 p.m., the wind blows through the park. More suicides. A police officer shoots himself in the head. Then a taxi driver picks up the gun and blows himself away. Then a woman walks over and picks up the gun to do the same.

Back at the train, Elliot, Alma, Julian and Jess discover that Philadelphia has just been hit and Julian is worried because Evette is still in Philly.

Julian text messages Evette and he finds out she has indeed made it out of Philly and is now on a bus headed to Princeton, New Jersey. We find out more about the neurotoxin that it effects speech first, then motor functions, then causes you the desire to hurt yourself.

The Crossing of the First Threshold scene/END OF ACT 1: The train stops in Filbert, New Jersey which is now the last stop because train service has been discontinued. Apparently, the train conductor has lost communication and contact with everyone. They are an hour away from Philly.

Our group heads into a diner where Julian is going to catch a ride back to Princeton to find Evette. He leaves his daughter Jess with Elliot and Alma. Sad and painful parting.

Now we all know that Julian wonít make it. He commits suicide by cutting his wrists early in Act II. One of those ďAw, manĒ scenes where a likable (the good dad) character doesnít make it.

At the back of the diner, on the radio we find out that it is not a terrorist group after all. The trees, the plants, the grass, anything green is poisoning the air. It started at a Bio Lab in Alaska. People are being eradicated around the world by a poison made strictly for humans. It doesnít affect animals.

Do Elliot, Alma, and Jess make it?

Youíre going to have to find out after Shyamalan does his rewrite, submits his budget and goes back to round two with the studios. Apparently, he has hired his casting directors to cast the flick.