© 2013 Miro Roman

Avatar, 2009

AVATAR

Written by

James Cameron

THE SOUND OF DRUMS, from a great distance, growing louder.

FADE IN:

WE ARE FLYING through mist, a dimly glimpsed forest below.

VOICE (V.O.)
When I was lying there in the VA
hospital, with a big hole blown through
the middle of my life, I started having
these dreams of flying.

We are very low over the forest now, gliding fast, the drums
BUILDING to a PEAK —

VOICE (V.O.)
Sooner or later though, you always have
to wake up…
CUT TO:

EXT. CITY – NIGHT

A SCREECH OF BRAKES as a vehicle WIPES FRAME, revealing —

JAKE SULLY, a scarred and scruffy combat vet, sitting in a
beat up carbon-fiber wheelchair. At 22, his eyes are
hardened by the wisdom and wariness of one who has endured
pain beyond his years.

Jake stares upward at the levels of the city. MAGLEV TRAINS
WHOOSH overhead on elevated tracks, against a sky of garish
advertizing.

JAKE (V.O.)
They can fix a spinal, if you’ve got the
money. But not on vet benefits, not in
this economy.

The traffic light changes and Jake pushes forward with the
crowd, pumping the wheels of his chair. Most of the people
wear FILTER MASKS to protect them from the toxic air. In a
LONG LENS STACK it is a marching torrent of anonymous,
isolated souls.

INT. JAKE’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

The room is a tiny CUBICLE, prison cell meets 747 bathroom.
Narrow cot, wall-screen droning away in the B.G. —

PERKY NEWSCASTER
The Bengal tiger, extinct for over a
century, is making a comeback. These
cloned tiger cubs at the Beijing Zoo
are…

2.

Jake laboriously pulls his pants off — rocking to one side,
pushing the fabric down past his hip, then rocking to the
other, and so on.

His legs are white and atrophied. Utterly useless. But his
arms are tattooed and powerfully muscled. A “Born Loser”
tattoo prominent on his shoulder.

JAKE (V.O.)
I became a Marine for the hardship. To
be hammered on the anvil of life. I told
myself I could pass any test a man can
pass.

Jake struggles with his pants a long time.
CUT TO:

INT. ROWDY BAR — NIGHT

Not the kind of place you’d bring your mom.

We find Jake near the pool table, BALANCING his chair, front
wheels off the ground, while holding a tequila shot on his
forehead. ONLOOKERS, including some other disabled vets,
CLAP and WHOOP.

Jake grabs the glass, SLAMS down the shot as they cheer.

A WALL-SIZED SCREEN filled with the World Cup game — men
RUNNING on antelope legs.

CU JAKE, watching what he can’t have. Expression stony.

JAKE (V.O.)
Let’s get it straight up front. I don’t
want your pity. I know the world’s a
cold-ass bitch.

Jake’s eyes shift — HIS POV, seeing the bar through gaps in
the crowd. A MAN on a barstool SLAPS the WOMAN he’s with.
Hard. She cowers but he’s got her arm, shouting, raising his
fist. An eternal tableau. People look away.

CU JAKE — not looking away.

JAKE (V.O.)
You want a fair deal, you’re on the wrong
planet. The strong prey on the weak.

TIGHT ON JAKE’S HAND as he starts pushing the wheel of his
chair.

TRACKING WITH HIM as he rolls forward.

3.

JAKE (V.O.)
It’s just the way things are. And nobody
does a damn thing.

Jake stops, unnoticed, next to the bullying man. He leans
down and grabs one leg of the man’s barstool — and YANKS.

The chair flips. The guy goes down HARD and —

JAKE hurls himself from the wheelchair, toppling on the guy,
getting a grip on him like a pit bull and PUNCHING the crap
out of him, right there on the floor.

THE BOUNCER jumps in, trying to drag him off and it goes into
SLOW MOTION, everybody yelling and pulling…

JAKE (V.O.)
All I ever wanted in my sorry-ass life
was a single thing worth fighting for.
CUT TO:

EXT. ALLEY BEHIND BAR — NIGHT

THE BOUNCER hurls Jake out the door, sending him SPRAWLING on
the pavement. A moment later, his chair CRASHES down on him,
banging across the alley, landing in the trash.

Jake struggles to rise on one elbow. He’s bleeding and
bruised, but still crazed and ready to fight.

JAKE
I hope you realize you’ve just lost a
customer!

He collapses onto his back, panting.

JAKE
(to himself)
Candy ass bitch.

He stares upwards at the levels of the city. MAGTRAINS ROAR
overhead. It starts to RAIN. He just lies there, blinking —
then shouts jauntily to no one in particular —

JAKE
If it ain’t rainin’ we ain’t trainin’!

CAMERA PULLS BACK high and wide, as Jake lies spread-eagled
amongst the trash, getting drenched.

TWO LONG SHADOWS enter FRAME, coming to rest across him.

4.

Jake sees two pairs of SHINY SHOES stop next to him. He
squints up at —

TWO MEN. Matching suits. Their features unremarkable and
blandly threatening in the way of FBI agents and auditors.

AGENT 1
Are you Jake Sully?

JAKE
Step off. You’re ruinin’ my good mood.

AGENT 2
It’s about your brother.
CUT TO:

INT. MUNICIPAL CREMATORIUM – NIGHT

DOWN-ANGLE on a large rectangular cardboard box. HANDS ENTER
FRAME, pulling open the top to reveal a DEAD MAN’S FACE. He
looks EXACTLY like a clean-shaven version of Jake. His
IDENTICAL TWIN — TOMMY.

JAKE (V.O.)
The strong prey on the weak. A guy with
a knife took all Tommy would ever be, for
the paper in his wallet.

WIDER, showing Jake and the two agents in a high tech
CREMATORIUM — a row of stainless steel furnaces. Jake
stares down at his own face.

JAKE
Jesus, Tommy.

JAKE (V.O.)
The Suits’ concern was touching.

AGENT 1
Your brother represented a significant
investment. We’d like to talk to you
about taking over his contract.

The ATTENDANT closes the box and seals it with a tape
dispenser, like it’s a package for shipping. The cardboard
coffin is rolled into the furnace.

JAKE (V.O.)
The egghead and the jarhead. Tommy was
the scientist, not me. He was the one
who wanted to get shot light years out
into space to find the answers.

5.

PUSHING IN ON JAKE as he watches, bathed in orange light.

JAKE (V.O.)
Me — I was just another dumb grunt
gettin’ sent someplace I was gonna
regret.

INSIDE THE FURNACE the burners quickly eat away the
cardboard; TOMMY’S FACE is, for a moment, wreathed in flame
but not touched by it, as we —
DISSOLVE TO:

JAKE’S FACE, in icy darkness. CLOSE ON his eyes — they OPEN
suddenly, and he takes a sharp breath.

JAKE’S POV — the inside of a metal coffin. A SERVO WHINE
and we are moving, emerging into a large chamber —

INT. CRYO VAULT

JAKE’S POV — A TECH in medical scrubs FLOATS WEIGHTLESSLY
toward us. Wherever we are, we’re not on Earth.

Jake squints as the lights flicker on, revealing —

WIDE SHOT — the multi-tiered CRYO VAULT. Hundreds of CRYO-
CAPSULES are opening like morgue drawers, as med techs pull
themselves about in ZERO-G, tending to their patients.

JAKE
(a hoarse whisper)
Are we there?

MED TECH
We’re there, Sunshine.

TIME CUT — SCORES OF PEOPLE emerge from their cryo-capsules
in ZERO-G. Pale spirits of the dead rising from rows of open
coffins.

The MED TECH floats among them, using his announcement voice.

MED TECH
People, you have been in cryo for five
years, nine months and twenty two days.
You will be hungry, you will be weak. If
you feel nausea, please use the sacks
provided for your convenience. The staff
thanks you in advance.

6.

FOLLOWING JAKE as he pushes away from his capsule, gliding to
the LOCKERS across the aisle, his paralyzed legs not an
impediment in weightlessness.
CUT TO:

EXT. SPACE

Against the cold infinity of stars glides an INTERSTELLAR
SPACECRAFT — ISV VENTURE STAR. As it moves past like an
endless train, we realize this thing is ENORMOUS — over half
a mile long. PAN WITH IT 180 to REVEAL —

A GAS-GIANT PLANET called POLYPHEMUS, ringed with dozens of
moons which cast beauty-mark shadows on its vast face.

The ISV diminishes away from us toward the largest MOON– a
blue and surprisingly Earth-like world called PANDORA. The
ship dwindles to a speck against the BLUE MOON.
CUT TO:

EXT. PANDORA ORBIT

ISV Venture Star drifts above a spectacular vista — the
sapphire seas and unfamiliar continents of Pandora.

CLOSE ON ISV — two massive “VALKYRIE” SHUTTLES are mated to
a DOCKING NODE. One of them separates from the starship and
moves away, its thrusters FIRING in short bursts.

As the shuttle moves away, descending toward Pandora, we hear
the sound of DRUMS, building, louder and louder until we–
CUT TO:

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>