INT. LIFE EXTENSION CORRIDOR – DAY
David storms around the corner from the bathroom, yelling, raving.
I want to wake up! I want to wake up!
Building Guard grabs him. David wrenches free.
Aaron appears, with weapon drawn.
Stop! Don’t fire!
David rounds the corner in the split second before Aaron can fire. He
tackles Another Guard by the elevator, knocking him out. He enters
the elevator, as the doors close.
It’s a nightmare!
The doors shut. Music rising.
INT. SKYSCRAPER LOBBY – DAYS
David rushes out of the elevator, jumping a turnstile, moving through
the crowded lobby.
Nearby, a Security Guard hangs up the phone, reaching for his
FREEZE! Sit on the floor with hands on your head!
David moves directly for the Security Guard. He simply takes the gun
out of the Security Guard’s hands, and begins to wave it wildly. Lobby
patrons ducks for cover. Prison Guard appears, and sees David in his
sights. David turns wildly. he turns a corner.
I’ve been dying to do this since I first met you.
He shoots and misses. David shoots Aaron in the shoulder. It blows
People clear the lobby plaza. David stops in the middle of the pandemonium. Camera speeds change as faces race past him, diving for cover. David advances on Aaron. Music continues.
It’s a dream!
He fires into Aaron. A pool of blood gathers beneath him. David turns
back to the entrance. People are crouched and hiding all around him.
Guards enter holding high-powered guns.
SECURITY GUARD 2
Don’t move. Drop the weapon!!
Where is tech support?! I want to wake up!
SECURITY GUARD 2
Last chance. You can’t shoot us both.
WAKE. ME. UP!
McCabe runs through the lobby, yelling. Everyone yelling.
In a last desperate attempt at nobility, McCabe throws himself onto
David as we hear the crack of gunfire, loud super-charged pops, amid
the cries of people disbursing.
Silence. Doctor McCabe is lying on top of David. The doctor breathes heavily.
You’re crushing me.
I can’t move. I’ve been shot in the back.
How do you know?
McCabe begins to move. He rises unsteadily. He looks to where the
two guards once were. There is nobody in sight.
Well . . . because.
There’s no blood. You can move your arm.
So I wasn’t shot! I don’t fucking know. There’s a welt on
my back! I’ve been tazered. Or something.
He kicks a trashbin, frustrated and trying to make sense of it all.
(rising to his feet)
I told you. It’s all a dream.
Shut up!! Shut up!! Shut up!!
They are Laurel and Hardy in a twisted empty universe. McCabe
runs his fingers through his hair, and begins to pace. Trembling. Trying
to hold himself together, truly scared for the first time.
SHUT UP! (yelling upwards to emphasize) You did a great
job! I loved it! You got me! I took drama in high school, and
I know a good performance when I see on. Everyone, all
of you, you were great!
He applauds. There is only silence. And then, the ding of a distant
elevator. David is drawn to it.
On David, slowly approaching the elevator at the end of the lobby.
He turns to see a largish compartment with five sides. And standing
toward the back is Edmund Ventura, calmly waiting.
David Aames. I think it’s time we had a proper
re-introduction. I’m Edmund Ventura from the Oasis
Project, formerly Life Extension – L.E.
(coming back to him)
I’m your Tech Support, and our Account Liaison. We met
a hundred and fifty years ago.
Angle toward lobby through elevator doors.
McCabe appears in lobby, still searching.
There’s got to be people around somewhere. Hey, where are you go –
Doors to the elevator close. The compartment begins to rise.
When did the dream begin?
Remember the day of the nightclub?
EXT. SOFIA’S APARTMENT – NIGHT – FLASHBACK
David is collapsed on the ground. His mask clutched in his hand,
passed out. Rhythmic score.
That night, when you feel asleep on the pavement, was the
moment chosen for the splice . . .
Splice. The end of your ‘real’ life and the beginning of L.E.’s Lucid Dream . . . the one you purchased from us.
Fade up on mask.
A moody day dawns. David’s mask is just outside the reach of his outstretched hand.
A splice of 150 years which you didn’t notice because you
happened to be frozen at a temperature of 196 degrees
On David, passed out on the street.
From the moment you woke up on that street, nothing was
‘real’ in a traditional sense. Your life was monitored by Life
Extension, and a panel of experts who followed your every
thought. (truthful, conversational) Forgive me. I’m blowing
Sofia’s hand reaches into frame, shaking him awake. Everything
becomes a touch more vivid.
Abre los ojos . . . Open your eyes!
INT. ELEVATOR – DAY
The scene continues as David Aames rides the elevator. The compartment
now rises above the first seven floors to reveal they are traveling
upwards in an exterior elevator. Other skyscrapers pass by outside the
I’m not a fan of heights.
I know. We erased what really happened from your memory.
. . . erased?
Replaced by a better life under these beautiful Monet-like
skies. Your mother’s favorite. A better life because you had
On Sofia and David – flashback: walking down the center of the
And that life was sculpted out of the iconography of your youth.
A flash of familiar images from the life and psyche of his youth.
Mirrored in David’s life in moments we’ve already seen.
An album cover that once moved you . . .
On Dylan and Suze Rotolo.
The cover of ‘Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’. Same pose. Same street.
. . . a movie you once saw late at night that showed you what a father could be like . . .
On ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ – movie clip.
Atticus Finch sits at the breakfast table with his kids.
On Curtis McCabe and David Aames in unit – flashback: the exact
pose as McCabe and David talk in one of their prison conversations.
. . . or what love could be like . . .
On Sofia laughing at a table of Florentine’s – flashback. Her head held
On Jeanne Moreau – movie clip – laughing in the same way, a
moment from Jules et Jim.
INT. ELEVATOR – DAY
The compartment hurtles upwards, rising higher than the surrounding
This was a kind woman, an individual, more than your
Ventura nods wistfully. He fell in love with her a little, too.
You barely knew her in real life, but in your Lucid Dream,
she was your savior.
On David, trying to remember, feeling the flashes of truth in brief
moments. Did he ever deserve her? The compartment rises higher.
Slight push in on David. Ventura knows he’s ready to learn more.
What did you erase? What really happened?
Do you really want to know?
EXT. NIGHTCLUB STREET – DAY
Match push in on David rising to his feet. His disfigured face thunders
with a massive migraine. The exact shot we once saw as David and
Sofia walked away together. This time David is alone.
(voice over, simply)
You woke up on that street, despondent and alone. You shut
yourself away for months. You battled your Board, the
Seven Dwarves, for control.
On David, in elevator. The pain of the truth is nearly unbearable.
INT. AAMES PUBLICATIONS – DAY – FLASHBACK
David exits the company elevator and returns to Aames Publications.
Tipp is out in front of the employees and staffers who welcome him
In the end, it was Thomas Tipp, your father’s friend whose
job you saved, who wrenched the company back into your
control. You were alone, with diminishing physical
capabilities. You could barely function.
We hear the Beatles, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.
INT. DAVID’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
David sits in front of the computer.
You found us. You and I signed a contract. And on a day in
late December –
On David in body-bag – flashback. It’s zipped up.
– you gave yourself to us.
On cryonic tank – flashback. The plastic-wrapped body of David
Aames is slipped into a tube, which is clamped shut. A Christmas tree
in the background, as music continues.
On David’s apartment/memorial – day. Friends and family clog the
old apartment. ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ continues.
Your friend Brian Shelby threw a three-day memorial. He
was a true friend.
Shelby looks out into the hallway and sees an old acquaintance.
INT. DAVID’S APARTMENT – DAY
Sofia ventures into David’s apartment alone, taking in the environment
and remembering the best moments of her brief encounter with David.
In some strange way, she knew him best of all. She knew him that one
blindingly honest night when all things seemed possible.
She moves into close-up, and we see the wonder and joy of a perfect
love, nearly attained. She soaks in the beautiful, painful mystery of life.
It was Sofia who never fully recovered. It was she who
somehow knew you best. And, like you, she never forgot
that one night where real, true love seemed possible.
Squandered when you got in the car with Julie Gianni.
Consequences, David. It’s the little things, isn’t it – they
often loom largest of all.
Sofia exits the shot and we’re left with an empty frame. Ventura
whispers an aside:
And that’s about as close to the secret of life as I’m allowed
to tell you.
INT. ELEVATOR – DAY
The elevator rises high above the city.
I want. Sofia. Back.
Who wouldn’t, baby?
The elevator stops, the door opens into a hallway.
INT. ROOFTOP HALLWAY – DAY
So I created everything? I created Julie Gianni to come
back? The Board to steal my life? I threw myself in prison?
Look, I tried to warn you in the bar. I told you to exercise
control over yourself, that it all depended on your mind.
I gave your technical support. I gave you everything. I even
gave you the Beatles, which is very hard material to
acquire. Follow me.
He pushes open the door at the end of this hallway. Ventura leads us to
EXT. ROOFTOP – DAY
We exit a structure atop the roof to see blue sky. We are alone at the
top of a skyscraper towering over all of New York City. David is
paralyzed briefly by the height and turns to Ventura.
And all I have to do is imagine something? If I wanted
McCabe to come back, right now –
McCabe exits the upstairs elevator. He looks panicked, rushes to
David’s side, whispering:
David, listen to me. These people are dangerous. We’re in
trouble. We gotta get off this roof.
Your subconscious did create problems. Your dream became
a nightmare. And this gentleman was able to oncover the
fabric of our work. (off McCabe) The glitch has been
McCabe looks offended.
(looks at McCabe)
David. I tell you this with my heart and soul. This man
is a con-man. Let’s go down there and look for people.
Take no notice of him. He’s not real. He has no real feelings.
He’s no more real than the image of John Coltrane in your
I’ll kill you, you fuck! What do you know about mankind?
What do you know about my feelings?
Easy, Doctor, you’re a man of peace.
You son of a bitch. I am an honored psychologist. I have
two daughters. And I’ll uncover this hoax with one-fiftieth
of my intellect!
(focused on David)
We’re now on ‘pause’. And you’re about to return to your
Lucid Dream, with all the upgrades. On the house. All
available to you the moment you choose to continue. You
won’t remember any of this, nor be charged for the technical
support. You can continue your dream, or you can choose
the world out there if you wish. But it’s very different now.
People live to be two hundred years old. Your face and body
can be fixed, of course. You’re a very young man at the
beginning of your life. But you will enter it with few of the
resources you once had. Your money will run out soon,
and there are no guarantees. You can go into this world . . .
but remember, even in the future, the sweet is never as
sweet . . . without the sour.
The words bring a memory back. David turns to see Brian Shelby.
He nods to his old friend. McCabe watches in increasing anxiety.
Ventura may be telling the truth.
How you doing, Brian?
Living the dream, baby. Livin’ the dream.
David turns to Ventura.
How do I wake up?
Ventura gestures to the edge of the roof. David advances warily, and
senses the tremendous height. Far below, New York looms.
You know what they say. You never die in your dreams.
You’ll wake up before you hit the ground. The decision is
My God. David. You were right. This is the Seven Dwarves.
They want you to commit suicide. If you jump, they’ll win.
We’ve been set up.
Give yourself a little credit, David. Your attention to detail
is magnificent. The stunning man is your creation. He’s a
very complex and winning manifestation of the loss of your
father. You created him to say goodbye. And I must say –
I’m not your father. I’m a doctor.
– he’s fabulous. (Beat.) And thank you for this suit as well.
I would have never thought of it myself.
I have two daughters.
What are their names?
Amy and Debbie . . . I’m real . . . I’m . . . Mortality as home
entertainment . . . this can’t be the future. (to Ventura) Can it?
I hate heights.
And yet you chose this scenario to conquer your last
remaining fear. It was a brilliant journey of self-awakening.
And now you’ve simply got to ask yourself this – what is
happiness to you?
David shuts his eyes.
Let them out there read my mind.
When he opens his eyes, he sees Ventura smiling at something just over
David turns to see Sofia, running into view. McCabe watches with the
supreme dignity of a man facing the fact he may not be real.
I have two daughters. Help me.
We hear the music of REM’s ‘Sweetness Follows’. David moves to
Sofia and they embrace, the stunning vanilla sky behind them. As we
travel from behind a flare of the sun, we see that David’s face has been
Look at us. I’m frozen . . . and you’re dead. And I love you.
It’s a problem.
I love you. And I can’t settle for a dream. Because as great as I imagined you . . . you were even better.
I’ll find you again.
How will I know it’s you? What’s out there?
Sofia looks at him enigmatically, the way she looked at him whey they first fell in love.
In the way someone looks at you, in the way the wind blows
on a cool summer day . . . a laugh you hear somewhere . . .
you’ll remember a feeling . . . and that will be me. I love
you. Good morning. It’s time for you to wake up.
He kisses her.
Where are my little girls? Can I get a message home? (then) David, we can Defend the Kingdom together.
David recognizes the words of his father, as he says goodbye to McCabe
and the others.
I love you all.
He turns his back to Sofia.
I’ll see you in another life . . . when we are both cats.
David arrives at the edge, looking down at the stupendous distance to
the ground, stopping himself at the precipice.
Don’t do it!!!
David looks back to Sofia one last time, and then leaps out. For a
fraction of a moment, he is suspended in mid-air. And he hurtles to
the ground. And the ground hurtles to meet him.
The sound of a breath. A gulp of life. Someone’s heart is beating. An
eye opens and the pupil darts to the right and left. Life again.
Abre los ojos. Open your eyes . . .
We hear the Beatles, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’.