>> / Truman Show, the

/ Truman Show, the ( 2)

: / Truman Show, the.

/ Truman Show, the

EXT. WAREHOUSE - MARLON'S WORK. DAY.

MARLON is loading boxes of candy into the back of his van. TRUMAN hurries up to him.

TRUMAN Marlon. I've gotta talk to you.

MARLON (surprised) Truman! Sorry, I'm up against it today.

TRUMAN I've fallen over something, Marlon. Something to do with my Dad. I think.

MARLON (looking at him for the first time) Are you okay? You look like shit.

TRUMAN (ignoring the inquiries about his health) It's big, Marlon. You wouldn't believe who's in on it.

MARLON (distracted) In on what?

TRUMAN There's no point trying to show you, they cover their tracks too well. But I've been going into a lotta strange buildings, seeing a lotta familiar faces, y'know what I mean?

MARLON (still engrossed in his own problems) Something's definitely in the air. My last delivery, a kid got crushed to death. tilting a vending machine. They won't even let me take the rest of the day off.

TRUMAN Do it, anyway.

Marlon scoffs at the suggestion then realizes Truman isn't joking.

TRUMAN I'm deadly serious. Marlon. We can't talk here. I'm being followed.

MARLON (suddenly concerned) Who?

TRUMAN I don't know. They look just like regular people. (producing a notebook from his jacket pocket) But I've been writing down numbers - license plates, taxi numbers, ID numbers - the same ones keep cropping up over and over.

MARLON Is someone leanin' on you, Tru? Cos I got some friends here, they owe me. We can lean back. (pointing out a taxi parked outside the yard) Is he one of them?

TRUMAN (anxious) I don't know. Could be. One thing's certain. The key is spontoneity. Be unpredictable. They can't stand that. That's why we've got to get outta here. Can you come with me?

MARLON (weakening) Christ, Truman. You're gonna get both our asses fired.

Marlon shuts his van and gets in. Truman enters the passenger side.

MARLON Where're we going?

TRUMAN The beach.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM. DAY.

CHRISTOF is in deep conversation with two executives. MOSES, a contemporary of Christof but more jaded and debauched-looking and ROMAN, a fresh-faced, younger man. CHLOE hovers in the background. A monitor, suspended from the ceiling shows a surveillance shot of TRUMAN and MARLON pulling into a beach parking lot in Marlon's van.

The glass conference room looks out onto the vast control facility where SIMEON continues to call the shots, all too aware of the closed-door discussion taking place in the background.

CHRISTOF (marveling, excitedly referring to Truman on the monitor) I can't believe how much he's shoved down. That he sensed the significance at aged seven and clung to it so fiercely.

Roman paces, agitated, unimpressed. Moses, mnore respectful.

CHRISTOF (gesturing to the clifftop on the monitor pointedly excluding Roman from the conversation) You remember, Moses, it used to end right there, before the expansion.

ROMAN (unable to contain his anxiety any longer) Christof, the cracks are starting to show.

CHRISTOF (reassuring, keeping himself in check) I'll paper over them.

CHLOE (coming to the defense of her mentor) Truman's had bouts of paranoia before and recovered.

ROMAN (adamant, faintly hysterical) No, not like this. It's compromised. Becoming unwatchable.

Too much for Christof. He wheels on the young man.

CHRISTOF Fear? Doubt? Is that what you have trouble watching? Perhaps you don't like watching yourself.

Roman is stung into silence.

MOSES (realizing his colleague is in over his head, including Chloe to save Roman's face) Why don't you two wait outside?

Reluctantly Roman and Chloe exit and join Simeon at the video wall.

CHRISTOF (instantly more comfortable in the company of a man his own age) He's jumped the rails, Moses, that's all. We'll get him back on.

MOSES You know why they're so nervous. The birth of Truman's child is going to double revenue. For God's sake don't let him upstage you. (indicating Simeon through the glass walls) You've been grooming a successor.

CHRISTOF He's not ready.

MOSES Him or you?

CHRISTOF (jaw setting firm, referring to Truman on the monitor) You can't pull him back in without me. (more reflective) He's just acting out of character.

MOSES What if he's in character? What if he's starting to act in character at last? Have you ever considered that?

EXT. LONG ISLAND BEACH. DAY.

TRUMAN runs down the beach towards the cliff he attempted to scale as a seven-year-old boy.

EXT. CLIFFTOP. DAY.

TRUMAN sits on the clifftop, staring out at the view his father had been so desperate for him not to see twenty-seven years earlier. However the deserted bay beyond is exactly as his father described - almost identical to its neighbor. MARLON, laboring, crests the rise and joins his friend on the clifftop.

MARLON What're we doing here, Truman?

TRUMAN This is where it started.

MARLON Where what started?

TRUMAN Things. Things that don't fit. Loose threads. False steps. Slips of the tongue.

MARLON (irritated) Make sense, Truman. You going religious on me?

TRUMAN (tears of bitterness welling in his eyes) My father didn't want me to see what was over here. Whatever it was, it's gone now. I never shoulda listened to him that day. I knew it was wrong.

We see a quick flashback of SEVEN-YEAR-OLD TRUMAN on the cliff- face twenty-seven years earlier.

TRUMAN There were a hundred people on the beach that day. Everybody knew what was going on except me.

MARLON I don't want to put you down but why would anybody go to all this trouble over you?

TRUMAN Maybe I've been mistaken for somebody else. (a memory triggered) A couple of years ago, I tried to get hold of a copy of Time Magazine. The week before an ad said, "Next Week: Truman Burbank and the Lost Generation".

Marlon shrugs, unimpressed.

TRUMAN A guy with the same name as me in Time Magazine. It ain't a common name so I looked out for it. But the day it came out, every newstand was sold out. No library had it. I even wrote off for a back-issue. Never seen a copy to this day.

Marlon remains unconvinced.

TRUMAN Maybe I'm being set up for something. You ever feel like that, Marlon? Like your whole life has been building to something?

Marlon looks skeptically at Truman. He hasn't had that feeling.

MARLON (becoming testy) A coincidence. Haven't you ever heard of a coincidence?

TRUMAN I'm a walking coincidence. I can't count 'em. No something's happening, Marlon. I've got to get to the bottom of it.

MARLON (shaking his head in exasperation) Of what?! Why're you doing this to yourself?

TRUMAN I'm scared, Marlon. I'm as scared as hell. But I've never felt more alive. It's just like she said.

MARLON (suddenly intrigued) Who?

TRUMAN It doesn't matter. She was too beautiful for here.

Now Marlon is really confused.

TRUMAN Can you lend me some money? A hundred bucks.

MARLON All I got on me is the takings from the machines. Why do you need it?

TRUMAN I'm going away for a while.

INT. SYLVIA'S BEACH HOUSE. DUSK.

The comfortably furnished room of a writer. Walls lined with books. Desk overlooking the sea, strewn with notes, photos and other reference material. Sylvia's name on the spine of several published volumes. Pages of unfinished manuscript, handwritten in blue ink.

SYLVIA stands at a bookcase, looking for inspiration. As she pulls out a book, a magazine falls to the floor. Truman's missing copy of Time Magazine. His face on the cover with the headline, "Truman Burbank and the Lost Generation".

Sylvia retrieves the magazine. In front of a nearby mirror, she holds Truman's photographed face next to her own, for a moment imagining them together. Then, catching herself, she quickly lowers the magazine, left alone with her own reflection.

INT. TRUMAN'S HOUSE. NIGHT.

We see TRUMAN's disturbed face reflected in the screen of his television set, montaged over that of ROBIN LEACH, host of "Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous". MERYL, wearing her robe, head against Truman's chest, sips from a bottle of beer.

MERYL (attempting to open him up) What's going on, Truman? You're not yourself.

TRUMAN (vague) Maybe you just don't know me very well.

INT. DINING ROOM SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF eats a sumptuous meal in an ornate private dining room with an elegant WOMAN, thirty years his junior. Playing silently on a monitor on an antique side table is a surveillance shot of TRUMAN and MERYL slumped in front of their television.

CHLOE, enters the room and nods an apology to Christof's dinner companion - a woman her own age. Christof's companion shrugs resignedly. Christof registers Chloe's thinly disguised resentment, enjoying the rivalry.

Chloe inserts a cassette tape into a nearby VCR. Christof wipes his mouth with his napkin and picks up his wine glass as he gives the television his full attention. A commercial for "GLOBAL TRAVEL" begins to play.

INT. TRUMAN'S HOUSE. NIGHT.

TRUMAN continues to watch "Lifestyles" restlessly. However, as he goes to get up from the sofa, MERYL starts to slide down his chest towards his lap.

MERYL We could do it right here, like we used to.

The program cuts to a commercial break. The commercial is for "Global Travel".

NARRATOR (from television) Travelling Down Under? Global Travel is turning rates to Australia upside down. Round Trip to Sydney only $829. One way, $465. Global Travel at Broadway and 44th...

Truman perks up at the commercial while Meryl's attention is elsewhere.

TRUMAN (abruptly getting up) Lemme go to the bathroom.

MERYL Don't be too long.

Truman exits the living room. However, on his way to the bathroom he hesitates at the kitchen table. He surreptitiously lifts the platic-coated plaid tablecloth to reveal numerous bills laid out flat beneath it to keep the stash hidden.

INT. CHRISTOF'S BEDROOM. DAWN.

CHLOE pulls back long, white silk drapes to reveal a spectacular view overlooking the Hollywood Hills. CHRISTOF rouses from his enormous round bed. His DINNER COMPANION also stirs, waving coyly to Chloe as she modestly covers herself, only mildly perturbed by the intrusion. Chloe switches on the television set in the extravagent bedroom. Playing on the set are TRUMAN and MERYL still fast asleep in their own bed.

CHRISTOF What happened overnight?

CHLOE He couldn't do it, even on the sofa.

CHRISTOF (smiling to himself) God, that thing of his must be psychic. (matter-of-fact) He didn't masturbate?

CHLOE Not for the last two inonths.

Chloe exits and Christof climbs out of bed.

INT. TRUMAN'S HOUSE. MORNING.

MERYL emerges from the bathroom, ready for work, surprised to find TRUMAN sitting at the kitchen table.

MERYL (rubbing ointment into her wrists) Aren't you gonna be late?

TRUMAN I got a call in the area. (nodding to her wrists) What's the case? Anything interesting?

MERYL (dispassionate) Rape on the subway.

Truman's eyes widen. We see a quick flashback in Truman's head of the two YOUTHS assaulting the WOMAN on his train.

MERYL They're guilty as hell but they'll walk. No witnesses. Her word against theirs. (picking up her bag to leave) Maybe we could meet for lunch today.

Meryl gives him an affectionate kiss and exits the back door. Truman waits for the sound of Meryl's car to disappear down the road and exits himself.

INT. COURT BUILDING. MORNING.

TRUMAN enters the courtroom building. A crush of DEFENDENTS, FAMILIES, ATTORNEYS and POLICE OFFICERS. Truman goes to enter a courtroom but a SECURITY GUARD blocks his path.

SECURITY GUARD You a witness?

TRUMAN Er, yes... (suddenly losing heart) No, no I'm not.

SECURITY GUARD Closed session.

Before the guard can move him on. Truman sneaks a look at proceedings through the courtroom door window.

He recognizes the two YOUTHS sitting at the defendent's table. A PROSECUTOR is on his feet, addressing the JURY. MERYL is working attentively at her stenotype machine, her fingers rapidly pressing the keys. However, Truman notices a glaring omission. There is no paper emerging from Meryl's machine. The roll of paper tape sits on the floor beside her chair leg.

INT. TRAVEL AGENCY. DAY.

The EMPLOYEES and CUSTOMERS inside GLOBAL TRAVEL are all doing a last-minute primp, fixing their hair and checking their clothes. Suddenly, in unison, they take their positions and begin working. As TRUMAN enters GLOBAL TRAVEL, one CUSTOMER looks up a fraction too quickly, anticipating his arrival.

Truman takes a seat at the only unoccupied desk, opposite a female TRAVEL AGENT. Feeling uneasy about a surveillance camera in the corner of the room, he nervously obscures his face with his hand.

TRUMAN I wanna book a flight to Australia.

AGENT Where exactly?

TRUMAN (believing she is being deliberately obtuse) Australia.

AGENT (a trace of condescension) Where in Australia? What city?

TRUMAN Sorry, Sydney. Sydney, Australia. That's right.

AGENT (entering the destination in her computer) For how many?

TRUMAN (finding the question suspicious) One.

AGENT When do you want to leave, remembering, of course, that you do lose a day on the way there?

TRUMAN (more urgent than he intended) Today.

AGENT (reading off her computer screen) I'm sorry. I don't have anything for a week.

TRUMAN (suspicious) A week.

AGENT (patiently explaining) It's the busy season.

TRUMAN (paranoia showing) You sure you're not trying to keep me here? You are a travel agent, aren't you? Your job is to help people travel, not keep 'em where they are. (pointing to the agent's name tag, "DORIS - Travel Agent") Or maybe you're a different kind of agent, Doris?

AGENT (showing amazing restraint) I do have a fabulous rate on a cruise ship departing for Australia tomorrow. But you wouldn't want to do that.

TRUMAN Why wouldn't I?

AGENT I thought you were in a hurry.

TRUMAN (calming down) That's right.

AGENT You want to book the flight?

Truman pulls out a wad of money from his pocket and several rolls of quarters from Marlon's vending machines. The agent looks askance at the pile of cash.

TRUMAN You were expecting me, weren't you?

The travel agent ignores the question and prints the ticket.

AGENT It's non-refundable.

EXT. SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA. DAY.

CHRISTOF stands with a PRODUCTION MANAGER, mid-thirties, on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House, its sail-like roofs soaring above them. Framing the background, the coathanger-shaped Sydney Harbor Bridge.

PROD. MANAGER (unable to conceal his pride) Happy?

Christof gives a grudgingly complimentary nod.

CHRISTOF (staring out at the pleasure craft littering the harbor) Can we contain him long enough?

PROD. MANAGER I think so.

Christof looks skyward at the cottonwool clouds above the harbor.

PROD. MANAGER (anticipating his next question) He flies at night. Thick cloud cover to disorient him. Hopefully we'll knock him out with complimentary cocktails, pull the shades down during the movies. He'll never know.

Christof gives another grudging nod of approval. The Production Manager is beckoned by a group of CONSTRUCTION WORKERS who are putting the finishing touches to a corner of the Opera House. CHLOE drifts to Christof's side, a Watchman TV in her hand.

CHLOE (referring to the surrounding scene) Why go to all the trouble?

Christof glances at the TV screen in her hand, showing TRUMAN sitting in his office gazing at his composite picture of SYLVIA.

CHRISTOF He believes she has the answer.

CHLOE Why not just tell him she's dead?

CHRISTOF It's too late for that. That won't satisfy him. He's going to have to find out for himself. See it with his own eyes. Right now he needs something genuine. (rueful, all too aware of the contradiction) Even if we have to fake it.

INT. INSURANCE COMPANY. DAY.

Close up on typewriting appearing on a page.

"Please accept my resignation from American Life & Accident, Inc. to take effect immediately.

Yours tru"

TRUMAN gets up from the typewriter in mid-word and strolls to a fellow AGENT's desk.

TRUMAN (to agent, picking up a dictionary) "Yours truly..." You spell "truly" "l...y" or "e...l...y"?

INSURANCE AGENT I always write "Yours faithfully..."

Truman finds the appropriate page in the dictionary and gazes at the entry for a long moment. He looks up, staring into the middle distance. His eyes widen as something clicks in his mind. Suddenly LAWRENCE snatches the dictionary from his hand.

LAWRENCE Where the hell have you been, Burbank? What the hell's going on?

TRUMAN That's what I'd like to know, Lawrence.

The AGENTS in the other cubicles turn in their direction.

TRUMAN I was just about to resign. Isn't that a laugh? I just realized there's nothing to resign from, is there?

LAWRENCE Listen, don't bother with the resignation. Just get the fuck outta here.

TRUMAN (addressing the whole office) Why're you all pretending? Huh? (gesturing to a computer terminal) What is this a front for? Why aren't I in on the joke? Was I away that day?!

Noting two colleagues exchanging a look, he pulls the computer off the desk to get their attention. It lands on the floor with an expensive crash.

TRUMAN (hysterical) I'm talking to you! Who am I?!

LAWRENCE (taken aback by the sudden violent act) You better get outta here or I'm calling Security.

TRUMAN (mimicking) "Security! I'm calling Security".

Truman picks up the framed photograph from his desk, containing SYLVIA's hidden likeness. Suddenly he wheels on Lawrence, pinning him to a cubicle wall.

TRUMAN You don't believe a single word you're saying! (to the assembled group) None of you do! (suddenly talking to a sprinkler head in the ceiling) You hear me?!

We see Truman's manic face from the sprinkler head's POV. Truman stomps off down the corridor, other Insurance Agents giving him a wide berth. He shoves computers, desk lamps and pot holders off desks as he goes.

EXT. MANHATTAN STREET. DAY.

TRUMAN steps out of the office, suddenly able to breathe again, pleased to be outdoors despite the gloomy sky overhead.

INT. CONTROL ROOM SOMEWHERE. DAY.

CHRISTOF is once again standing at the picture window in the dimly-lit control room where we first encountered him. Behind him, the fronds of the palm tree sway in a gentle breeze. The sky, a cloudless, cobalt blue in sharp contrast to the overcast day in New York City.

SIMEON, co-ordinating camera angles, sits in front of the largest of the monitors that shows a live picture of TRUMAN stuck in his car in gridlock.

SIMEON (talking quietly into a slim headset) ...and back to the close-up...

CHLOE's attention is focused on a subsidiary monitor displaying a freeze frame of TRUMAN reading the dictionary a few minutes earlier.

CHLOE (to a hard-bitten Operator, staring at the dictionary) Do you think he sees the entry?

OPERATOR Hard to tell.

CHRISTOF (sarcastic) Why don't we ask him?

CHLOE (snapping back, referring to the book) I don't know how it got there! (to Operator) Enhance.

Christof turns his back on the screen and stares out the window. We focus on an enhanced picture of the dictionary's text.

genuinely, etc. 2. in fact; really.

Trumansque (sk)a. characteristic of the experiences of Truman Burbank (a Trumanesque town, conversation, etc.) [circa. 1972) trump,n. [<triumph], 1. playing-

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET IN QUEENS. DAY.

TRUMAN drives erratically down a quiet suburban street. On the sidewalk up ahead, he spies a YOUNG MOTHER pushing an INFANT in a baby carriage.

Truman suddenly swerves sharply and jumps the curb in front of the mother and child, the car straddling the sidewalk. He has the driver's door open almost before the Oldsmobile has come to a halt. Truman dashes from the car and plucks the infant from the carriage while the mother stands rooted to the spot.

The startled infant immediately begins to wail as Truman holds the crying bundle in both hands above his head.

TRUMAN (to the Mother, motioning to the sidewalk) Say my name or I'll smash its head open.

The young mother, frozen with fright, does not reply.

TRUMAN (vehement) Say my name!

YOUNG MOTHER (composing herself, reaching out for her child) Please, give him to me...

TRUMAN (screaming above the baby's cries) Say my name! You know my name! Say it!

YOUNG MOTHER (bewildered) I don't know you.

The commotion has attracted the attention of an OLD MAN across the street, watering his garden. He drops his hose and hurries towards the fracas. Halfway across the street, the old man stops in his tracks as he sees the baby, perilously poised in the air.

TRUMAN (hysterical) I mean it! I'm ready to do it! What's my name?!!

Truman lifts the screaming baby as far above his head as he can, his arms shaking, fighting the urge to dash the fragile innocent to the concrete. We see a view of the scene from the POV of a streetlight. The young mother, recognizing Truman's seriousness, opens her mouth to speak but no sound comes.

TRUMAN (entreating the young woman, tears in his eyes) This is your last chance!

The anguish in his voice convinces us that Truman is truly on the brink. The young woman now has tears rolling down her cheeks. She is at a loss, powerless.

TRUMAN (his entire body shaking) What...is...my...name?!

The young woman mumbles but is unable to supply the name. Truman, arms shaking, face red with rage, realizes he can't go through with it. With everything he has, he gathers himself. After what seems like an age, he ever so slowly lowers the child into the safety of the mother's outstretched arms.

YOUNG MOTHER (clutching the baby to her breast, without thinking) Thank you, Truman.

Truman shudders at the sound of his name and backs away from the young woman, as if it is she who now represents the threat.

He jumps into his car and slams it into gear, driving over the sidewalk and back onto the street. The young woman and the old man stare after Truman's car as it roars away.

INT. TRUMAN'S CAR. DAY.

As TRUMAN drives, he stares, paranoid, at seemingly innocuous features in his Oldsmobile - his rearview mirror, steering wheel insignia, speedometer, airconditioning ducts - and peers up at the streetlamps lining the roadway.

INT. SYLVIA'S BEACH HOUSE. DAY.

A dozen-or-so of SYLVIA'S FRIENDS, including the MAN we have seen before, sit around a table on the balcony in the afternoon sun, talking animatedly. A TEN-YEAR-OLD SON of one of the guests has strayed into the living room and switched on the television set hidden away in an antique bureau.

SYLVIA. emerging from the kitchen, is taken aback by what she sees playing on the screen. The MAN on the balcony catches her look as she swiftly switches off the TV. She gently takes the child's hand and leads him outside.

EXT. TRUMAN'S BACKYARD. DAY.

TRUMAN, staring at the freeway from the bottom of the garden. doesn't bother to look up as MERYL approaches.

TRUMAN (referring to a distant car on the expressway) See that car way down there? I bet it's a Suburu station wagon.

Meryl looks idly over the fence at the approaching car. Finally a Suburu station wagon motors by. Meryl is unimpressed. Truman turns his back on the Expressway to continue his game.

TRUMAN I predict the next four cars will be a white Honda Civic, a blue and white Dodge Dart with the front hubcap missing, a Volkswagon Beetle with a dented fender and a motorcycle.

Meryl doesn't wish to participate in the game and makes for the house. Truman holds her arm, forcing her to watch. He turns to check his prediction. A convoy of cars approaches.

TRUMAN There's the Honda...the Dodge...here comes the dented Beetle...

Meryl's attention wavers. Truman tightens his grip.

TRUMAN Look, damn you!

Following the VW is a school bus.

MERYL (mocking) Where's the motorcycle?

Truman is momentarily disappointed. Meryl seizes her chance and heads for the house. Truman follows her inside.

TRUMAN (yelling after her) Don't you want to know how I did that? Maybe you already know. Is that it?

Behind Truman's back, a motorcycle putters by.

INT. TRUMAN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN. DAY.

MERYL is pouring herself ice tea when TRUMAN enters.

MERYL Where have you been? I've been calling you all day.

TRUMAN Have you been concerned, Meryl? Nice name. "Meryl". I always liked it.

MERYL (matching his sarcasm) Nice of you to say so after eight years.

TRUMAN Actress's name, isn't it? What's your real name?

MERYL (rolling her eyes) Oh, God. What's got into you?

TRUMAN Take a break. Meryl (a knowing, almost foolish grin) I know.

MERYL I invited Marlon and Rita for a barbeque Sunday. I thought I'd make my potato salad. Remind me...

TRUMAN (irritated) Drop it, I said. It's over.

MERYL (rambling on) ...we need more charcoal.

TRUMAN Shut up!

MERYL I'm gonna take a shower.

TRUMAN (catching her wrist) No. We're going for a drive.

MERYL What?!

Despite her protests, Truman drags Meryl out the back door and towards his car.

TRUMAN (as he shoves her into the Oldsmobile) For years I've been saying I want to go some place, well now I'm ready to go. Let's just jump in the car and go.

INT. TRUMAN'S CAR. DAY.

TRUMAN holds MERYL's wrist to stop her exiting the car and accelerates out of the driveway in reverse without looking.

TRUMAN (as they speed down the suburban street) I thought maybe, Atlantic City.

MERYL (trying to mask her anxiety) You hate gambling.

TRUMAN That's right. I do, don't I?

MERYL So why do you wanna go?

TRUMAN Cos I never have. That's why you go places, isn't it? Cos you're curious. I haven't been curious since I was seven years old, y'know that? Back then you'd have to nail me to the floor to keep me in one place.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

All eyes watch the large monitor as surveillance cameras track Truman's speeding car.

CHRISTOF How long to take Atlantic City out of mothballs?

SIMEON We could be up and running...three hours maybe.

CHRISTOF Give me a number five gridlock on the Jersey Turnpike.

INT. TRUMAN'S CAR. DUSK.

TRUMAN and MERYL are hemmed in by a traffic snarl on the New Jersey Turnpike. We observe the Oldsmobile on a television lens from the POV of a tail-light on the car ahead.

TRUMAN (a manic edge to his voice) So much traffic, this time of day. Does that strike you as peculiar?

On the side of the road, TWO MOTORISTS, are arguing over a minor collision.

TRUMAN (sneering at the sight of the motorists) Look at them. You believe they're fighting? I don't believe it. (shouting out the window to the motorists) Why don't you slug him, really make it authentic?

Without warning, Truman suddenly exits the freeway. But his move is anticipated. At the end of the offramp a pack of cars suddenly appears. Other vehicles fill the gap behind.

TRUMAN (to Meryl, marveling) Blocked at every turn. Beautifully synchronized, don't you agree?

MERYL (incredulous) You blaming me for the traffic?

TRUMAN Should I?

MERYL You've never been on this road before. You don't know what it's like.

TRUMAN (manic) That's true. We could be stuck here for hours. Could be like this all the way to Atlantic City.

Truman suddenly veers the Oldsmobile onto the sidewalk.

MERYL What the hell are you doing?

TRUMAN You're right. Let's go back. I'm sorry. I don't know what got into me.

Truman rejoins the New Jersey Turnpike, heading back towards Queens, the roadway now relatively free of traffic.

MERYL Would you please slow down, Truman?

Truman floors the Oldsmobile. The car flies past the exit for Route 276. He continues along the Jersey Turnpike.

MERYL Truman, that was the turnoff!

TRUMAN I've changed my mind again. What's Maine like this time of year?! I've never been to Maine. (Truman looks up through the windshield at a helicopter tracking his progress) Or let's just see where the road takes us.

MERYL (pleading) Let me out, Truman. You're not right in the head. You wanna destroy yourself, you do it on your own!

TRUMAN (eerily calm) I think I'd like a little company.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DUSK.

CHRISTOF, CHLOE, SIMEON and the other OPERATORS follow Truman's progress from a helicopter shot - the Oldsmobile optically circled to ease identification. Christof jabs his finger at the rapidly thinning traffic surrounding Truman's vehicle.

CHRISTOF (to Simeon) What the hell is wrong with the "carousel"? Keep them together.

SIMEON (agitated) They're rusty. We can't keep up. (rueful aside) We don't know where he's going any more.

CHLOE Oncoming is very thin.

INT. TRUMAN'S CAR. DUSK.

As he speeds erratically, TRUMAN glances at the streets either side of the freeway, where he discovers a distinct lack of moving traffic.

TRUMAN (to the anxious Meryl at his side) Look down there, Meryl!...No cars! I don't run into traffic. The traffic follows me around. (excited by his discovery) We're in a moving pack, don't you see?

Truman abruptly exits the rapidly emptying freeway.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DUSK.

CHRISTOF (enthusing) He's so close! It's tantilizing!

CHLOE You want to pull him over?

CHRISTOF No police. Not yet. We shadow him. We don't want him to panic.

CHLOE He's trying to outrun the traffic.

CHRISTOF He's trying to outrun the world. Keep him on this route. (to Simeon who is consulting someone on his headset) Are we ready?

Simeon nods. Executives, MOSES and ROMAN have entered the control room. They hover nervously in the background.

INT. TRUMAN'S CAR, WESTCHESTER. DUSK.

TRUMAN is forced to slow once again behind a line of other cars at a police roadblock. At the head of the line, the cars are being turned around by POLICE OFFICERS, who are also contending with a swarm of NEWS REPORTERS and TELEVISION CREWS.

TRUMAN (to Meryl) It's hard to go places, isn't it?

MERYL There's been an accident, Truman. We have to go back.

TRUMAN No. There's no accident. It'S just more stalling.

Truman slows beside a POLICE OFFICER.

TRUMAN What's going on?

OFFICER (grim-faced, indicating the nearby Indian Point nuclear power plant) Leak at the plant. They had to shut her down.

TRUMAN Is there any way around?

OFFICER The whole area's being evacuated. A precaution.

Truman falls in line behind the cars making a U-turn when, all of a sudden, he guns his car and swerves past the barricade.

EXT. SYLVIA'S BEACH HOUSE. DUSK.

In the twilight sun, SYLVIA'S GUESTS wander up the gravel path, leading away from the beach house, the younger children carried in their parents' arms. Hanging back from the rest of the group, Sylvia's admirer, wheeling his bicycle, turns back to the house. As the MAN is about to lean his bicycle against the side of the beach house, he looks in a window.

Lit by a blue-glow, SYLVIA sits transfixed by the television playing in her antique bureau, the screen obscured from our view. She is unaware of the man's face at the window.

Recognizing what is playing on the screen, the man regards Sylvia with a resigned smile. He mounts the bicycle and rides back up the path.

EXT. NUCLEAR POWER PLANT. DUSK.

Truman's car slides to a stop, blocked by Hazardous Waste vehicles straddling the roadway leading up to the power plant, the pursuing police car blocking his retreat. TRUMAN flees the car, leaving MERYL in the passenger seat.

MERYL Truman!! Come back!!

Truman bursts past the alien-looking HAZARDOUS WASTE WORKERS in their protective suits carrying detection instruments. The workers give chase in their cumbersome suits, trying to cut off his path to the power plant. As he crests a slight rise beyond the plant, he is finally tackled to the ground. However, peering through the long grass, Truman is able to make out the lights of a cityscape in the distance.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DUSK.

CHRISTOF, a trace of panic in his eyes, turning to CHLOE.

CHRISTOF Did he see it?

CHLOE I don't think so.

The reason for Christof's concern becomes all too apparent as the helicopter passes over the power plant, where the struggling TRUMAN is being escorted away. We see an aerial shot from the helicopter as it emerges directly above the Sydney skyline.

INT. TRUMAN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN. NIGHT.

MERYL and TRUMAN sit at their kitchen table. Truman stoic, tears rolling down Meryl's cheeks. Truman's airline ticket torn to shreds on the table in front of them.

MERYL Let me get you some help, Truman. You're not well.

TRUMAN (ignoring her tears and medical advice) Why do you want to have a child with me? You can't stand me.

MERYL That's not true.

TRUMAN (suddenly angry) Don't lie to me!

Truman's raised voice backs Meryl to her feet. Truman follows, getting in her face.

TRUMAN Tell me what's happening?!

MERYL (frightened but remaining poised) I thought you knew everything. What could I tell you?

TRUMAN (backing her up against the kitchen bench) You're part of this, aren't you?!

Meryl grabs a kitchen knife from a wooden block to protect herself.

MERYL Truman, you're scaring me!

Truman looks in her eyes and, with surprising swiftness, grabs her wrist and disarms her.

TRUMAN No, you're scaring me, Meryl!

Truman grabs Meryl by the hair and turns the knife on her. While pressing the blade to Meryl's throat, Truman starts to march her around the room, talking to the walls, light fixtures, a mirror, doorknob, framed picture, blank television.

TRUMAN Stop this now or I kill your leading lady. (to a lamp) I know you can hear me.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF and the OTHERS watch the monitors spellbound as TRUMAN looks directly into one camera lens after another. ROMAN is the first to crack.

ROMAN (entreating Christof) Get somebody in there!

CHRISTOF (quiet but firm) No.

SIMEON (siding with the executive, showing his true colors) She's in trouble! We've got to help her!

Christof, never taking his eyes from the monitor, leans into the microphone.

INT. TRUMAN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN. NIGHT.

We see an extreme close up of MERYL's ear. Unheard by TRUMAN, from her inner car, we hear a familiar voice.

CHRISTOF (O.C.) He's bluffing. Call his bluff.

MERYL (in reply to the voice in her head, half-strangled due to the pressure of the knife) Do something...

Upon hearing her remark, Truman's eyes widen. Sensing that she too is addressing a third person, he jerks her head around to read her face.

TRUMAN (wild-eyed) Who are you talking to?!

MERYL (incredulous) You're the one talking to the walls!

TRUMAN No. You said, "Do something." Who were you talking to? I swear I'll kill you, if you don't tell me.

Meryl takes the chance to spin out of his grasp and dashes to the bedroom but before she can barricade the door, Truman forces his way inside. They both tumble onto the waterbed causing it to rock back and forth. Gripping Meryl's hair, Truman throws aside the bed covers.

TRUMAN (distraught, referring to the bed) How could you buy this damn thing when you know he drowned in front of me?!

Truman raises the kitchen knife but instead of stabbing Meryl begins to slash viciously at the waterbed, opening a large gash.

TRUMAN You have any idea what it's like to drown?

Truman drops the knife and forces Meryl's head into the gaping hole in the bed, submerging her head in the tepid water. She thrashes her arms wildly trying to free herself.

Truman reluctantly jerks her head back out of the water.

MERYL (gasping for air) Truman, stop it! (to the ceiling) Don't let him do it!

TRUMAN (to a light fixture, threatening) I'll kill her!

He dunks her head into the water a second time, holding her head down longer this time. She continues to struggle.

Suddenly, the front door chimes. Startled, Truman lets Meryl up for air.

TRUMAN (sneering at Meryl) Right on time. Cops must be telepathic.

Meryl spots the kitchen knife within her reach but Truman beats her to it. Grabbing the knife by the blade, he slices his hand.

TRUMAN (wincing in pain) Damn!

At knifepoint, Truman marches Meryl down the hallway to the front door. The doorbell chimes a second and third time, more insistently.

TRUMAN (shouting through the closed door) Stay where you are or I'll kill her!

MARLON (O.C.) Truman? It's me, Marlon.

Truman flinches. He was so convinced it would be the police. He takes a step back against the hallway wall. Before he can decide what to do, Marlon has opened the unlocked front door to be confronted with the sight of Truman holding the knife to Meryl's throat, blood streaming from his own wound.

Marlon locks eyes on Truman. Sizing up the situation, he slowly but decisively removes the knife from Truman's hand. Meryl wrenches herself free from Truman's now limp grasp, and collapses into Marlon's arms, sobbing.

MERYL (distraught, dropping character, forgetting herself) They were going to let him kill me!

EXT. ABANDONED FREEWAY. NIGHT.

MARLON and TRUMAN, both nursing bottles of beer, sit on the end of their abandoned freeway off-ramp.

TRUMAN People know who I am, my every move, complete strangers know my name. Even when there's no one around, I feel the eyes on me.

MARLON (reluctant admission) I was in the bank today. The Federal on Lewis. A clerk was talking about somebody named Truman messing with her baby. Is that the stranger you're talking about?

Truman closes his eyes as he takes in the explanation.

TRUMAN (half to himself, refusing to accept it) No. No. I've never seen her before. (registering Marlon's skepticism) I know you already think I'm going out of my mind but I genuinely believe the world revolves around me somehow. Everybody seems to be in on it.

MARLON It's a lot of world for one man. You sure that's not wishful thinking, you wishing you'd made something more of yourself? Christ, Truman, who hasn't sat on the John and had an imaginary interview with Barbara Walters? Who hasn't wanted to be somebody?

TRUMAN That's just it. I think I am somebody.

MARLON (sympathetizing) I used to dream all my friends and family got together in a hotel room, thinking of ways to fuck me up.

TRUMAN Sometimes I think it's in my head, sometimes I think it's for real.

Marlon looks around as if drawing inspiration from somewhere in the night.

MARLON Tru, we've known each other since before we could get a hard-on.

Truman half-smiles at the ribald remark.

MARLON The only way we ever made it through high school was cheating off each other's test papers. Jesus, they were identical. I always liked that, because whatever the answer was, we was right together and we was wrong together.

Truman nods fondly at the memory.

MARLON The only night either of us ever spent in jail, we spent together and I wet myself but you never told anyone. I was best man at your wedding and my brother was best man at my wedding and you didn't talk to me for a month over that and I didn't blame you because you've been more of a brother to me than he's ever been. And I never shoulda let my Goddam father talk me into that.

Truman is slowly coming around. Marlon's speech from the heart soothing away his pain.

MARLON I know things haven't worked out for either of us like we used to sit up on Freemont Street all night and dream they would. We all let opportunities pass us by, none of us asks for the dance as often as we should. I know that feeling when it's like everything's slipping away and you don't want to believe it so you look for answers someplace else. But, well, the point is, I would gladly step in front of traffic for you.

Truman grins a melancholy grin, nearly all the way back. We see a close up of Marlon's ear. From inside, unheard by Truman, CHRISTOF dictates Marlon's heartfelt speech.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF leans over a microphone at the mixing desk, feeding the lines to Marlon, immersed in the role.

CHRISTOF (hushed tones) ...and the last thing I'd ever do is lie to you...

Recognizing the importance of the moment, his colleagues stand around in awe at Christof's spontaneous performance, arguably superior to Marlon's own delivery.

MARLON (staring into Truman's eyes, repeating the words in his ear) And the last thing I'd ever do is lie to you. (pause) Think about it, Truman, if everybody's in on it, I'd have to be in on it too. I'm not in on it cos there is no it.

Truman's head slowly drops in surrender, his doubts draining away. Marlon embraces Truman in a bearhug.

Truman looks over his shoulder to the sky where a single star shines.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

From his chair, CHRISTOF modestly accepts the congratulations of his COLLEAGUES. The two executives, MOSES and ROMAN are at the head of the line, their earlier disagreement suddenly forgotten.

CHLOE gives Christof a warm hug.

MARLON, accepting a towel from a P.A., still in wardrobe, approaches and kneels beside the arm of Christof's chair. grasping his hand.

MARLON (leaving his head close to Christof) I can't thank you enough. I don't know what happened. He was so close. It threw me. I'm indebted.

Christof gives Marlon a consoling pat on the shoulder and Marlon withdraws.

Finally Christof's Assistant Director, SIMEON, approaches and offers his hand. Christof hesitates before shaking. Simeon returns to the monitors, now showing TRUMAN alone at the dock or Long Island. Christof stares out the window to conceal an expression of quiet vindication.

INT. A LTVING ROOM SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

The two OLD WOMEN we have seen before sit on their sofa gazing straight ahead. On the teievision in front of them, a live picture of TRUMAN - the first time we have seen him broadcast to a viewer's set.

He is reading a book at his kitchen table, unaware of the cameras recording him.

The scene alternates between a wide master shot, a medium tight shot, a close up of Truman's face and two insert shots - one over the shoulder shot of the page he is reading and one from another angle showing the book's title, "To The Ends Of The Earth - The Age Of Exploration".

At one point, a sponsor's border appears on screen, tastefully framing the "action" with the message, "FOLGERS Coffee - Good To The Last Drop." After several seconds, the border disappears.

Suddenly tbe live picture of Truman shrinks into a window on the screen to accomodate a title sequence that begins to piay around the edge of the image. Overlapping scenes from Truman's life appear in chronological order, from infancy to adolescence and finally adulthood. A graphic, "TRUMAN - Total Record Of A Human Life", appears on screen accompanied by an introductory narration.

NARRATOR (O.C.) You are watching "Truman - Total Record Of A Human Life". Everything that occurs here is real. There are no re-creations or interruptions. Due to the live and unedited nature of the program, viewer discretion is advised.

The title sequence is replaced by an INTERVIEWER, mid-fifties, conservative suit and hair, sitting opposite CHRISTOF in a Larry King-style interview setting. Projected in the background is the live picture of Truman, immersed in his book.

INT. STUDIO. NIGHT.

INTERVIEWER (to camera) Welcome to week seventeen hundred and sixty eight of "Truman" and there can scarcely have been a more momentous week in the show's history. I'm your host, Michael Conners, and this is a special edition of "Tru Talk", the forum where we discuss and analyze recent events with the show's award-winning creator and producer, Christof. (referring to the image of Truman in the background) I remind viewers that as this is a living history, it is our practise to keep the image of Truman on screen at all times. (turning to Christof) Welcome.

CHRISTOF Thank you.

INTERVIEWER Before we start taking calls, the huge surge in ratings over the last few days, how do you hope to sustain that audience now that Truman appears to have reconciled himself, returned to "normal"?

CHRISTOF Ratings have never been our primary goal. I imagine we'll lose those voycurs only interested in witnessing Truman's latest torment. However I'm certain our core audience will remain loyal.

INTERVIEWER But recent events have been so dramatic, it does raise the perennial question. What keeps us watching one man twenty-four hours a day - eating, sleeping, working, sitting for hours in contemplation?

CHRISTOF It has to be the reality.

During this segment, we cut to a cross-section of VIEWERS - the NIGHTWATCHMEN, the two OLD WOMEN on their sofa, the BARMAN and the WAITRESS - listening to Christof's theories on their viewing habits.

CHRISTOF We've become increasingly frustrated watching actors give us phony emotions, bored with pyrotechnics and special effects. While the world he inhabits is counterfeit, there's nothing fake about Truman himself. No scripts. no cue cards. It's not always Shakespeare but it's genuine. That's how he can support an entire channel.

INTERVIEWER A window onto the human condition?

CHRISTOF I prefer to think of it as a mirror. Not only does he give us a glimpse of the truth, he gives us a glimpse of ourselves.

INTERVIEWER But how do you account for the popularity of those eight hours a day when Truman sleeps?

CHRISTOF We find many viewers leave him on all night for comfort. Haven't you ever watched your child or your lover sleep?

INTERVIEWER Let's go to some of those viewers' calls.

The Interviewer presses a blinking illuminated button on his desk's high-tech phone terminal.

INTERVIEWER (into speaker phone) Charlotte, North Carolina, for Christof.

MALE CALLER 1 (O.C.) Hello?

INTERVIEWER You're on, caller. Go ahead.

MALE CALLER 1 Christof, it's a great honor to speak with you.

CHRISTOF Thank you.

MALE CALLER 1 Truman has never been closer. The way he looked directly at us, spoke to us for the first time. Do you think he'll ever work it out?

CHRISTOF I don't believe so. Not now. He tested his world, as we all do at certain times, and eventually it passed the test. You have to understand, he is a man made-for-TV, the world he occupies his only frame of reference. No, for him to come even this close to the truth is a remarkable testament to his instincts.

The Interviewer presses another line on his terminal.

INTERVIEWER Sacramento, California, you're on "Tru Talk".

MALE CALLER 2 (O.C.) How much of a strain has the last few days placed on the actors?

CHRISTOF Working on "Truman" has always been a huge commitment for an actor, not just in terms of separation from friends and family, but since Truman essentially drives the plot, it's a never-ending improvisation. Recent events have raised the pressure but also the prestige.

INTERVIEWER (cutting off the call) Of course Truman has always been very much in on casting.

CHRISTOF As with our own lives, the only people he can't cast are his family. Otherwise he has final approval, able to elevate an extra into a lead role as was the case with his only real friend, Marlon, or alternatively relegate a star to a bit player.

INTERVIEWER (pressing another line) Istanbul, Turkey, you're on with world-renowned videographer, Christof.

MALE CALLER 3 (O.C.) Christof. I've admired your work my whole life, although I can't say I've seen it all.

CHRISTOF Who can?

MALE CALLER 3 Can you settle an argument for me? What's the longest time Truman has been off-camera?

CHRISTOF (trace of pride) In his entire life, forty-two minutes. A technical fault in 1978 accounts for most of that time. The remainder generally results from blindspots, in the early days, when Truman would stray out of range of our cameras.

INTERVIEWER The Hague for Christof...The Hague?...lost them. (pressing another line) Amagansett, Long Island, you're on "Tru Talk".

FEMALE CALLER 1 (O.C.) How can you say Truman lives a life like any other?

CHRISTOF (sensing the thinly disguised resentinent in the caller's voice) I believe that to be so. I often feel the only difference between Truman's life and our own is that his is being more thoroughly documented. We all play our allotted roles--

FEMALE CALLER 1 (O.C.) --He's not a performer. He's a prisoner.

The Interviewer goes to cut off the call but Christof holds him back.

CHRISTOF (rising to the challenge) --He can leave at any time. If his was more than just a vague ambition, if he were absolutely determined to discover the truth, there's no way we could prevent him. I think what really distresses you, caller, is that ultimately he prefers the comfort of his "cell"--

FEMALE CALLER 1 (as if trying to convince herself. giving herself away) --No, you're wrong! He'll prove you wrong! He can still do it!

CHRISTOF (a thought occurring, looking directly into camera) Do I know you, caller? Your voice sounds familiar.

INT. SYLVIA'S BEACH HOUSE. NIGHT.

SYLVIA, finger on the button of the phone where she has cut off the call, stares at CHRISTOF on her television screen.

It is she who is the Female Caller. Christof seems to stare back at her as the talk show continues.

INTERVIEWER (from television) Recording a human life from birth to death, that's still the intention? You still believe Truman has more to contribute?

CHRISTOF (still reflecting on the last call) More than ever. By unwittingly allowing us to witness his struggles, he's constantly forcing us to evaluate our own lives. He gives us hope.

INTERVIEWER Let's take another call. (pressing a line) London, England you're on "Tru Talk".

FEMALE CALLER 2 By definition Truman has to be free of censorship, but has the recent violence and profanity caused a problem for the sponsors...?

Sylvia shuts out the conversation on the television, focusing on the window that displays TRUMAN, still buried in his book.

She comes close to the screen, catching his melancholy. She has a camera and a white envelope in her hand. With a look of resolve, she takes her fountain pen and writes Truman's name on the envelope in her familiar blue ink.

INT. MASTER TAPE ROOM. NIGHT.

Row upon row of digital video cassettes occupy one entire, cavernous room - "Truman" and a date on the spine of each cassette. Suspended from the ceiling, a monitor shows a live picture of TRUMAN sleeping on the sofa.

Sitting in front of a playback monitor, CHLOE is transfixed by Truman thirty-four years earlier, a FETUS in his mother's womb.

CHRISTOF (O.C.) What are you looking for?

Chloe tries to conceal her startlement at CHRISTOF's unexpected entrance.

CHLOE (not taking her eyes from screen) He was premature, wasn't he?

CHRISTOF Only by two weeks.

CHLOE Curious even then? Like he couldn't wait to get started?

CHRISTOF (feeling out where the conversation is headed) His eagerness to leave his mother's womb also meant he was the one selected.

CHLOE What was it like, the first show?

CHRISTOF The ultimate live television. In competition with five other unwanted pregnancies - the casting of a show determined by an air date - he was the one who arrived on cue.

CHLOE Is it true what you said...on the show tonight? About letting him go if he wanted it badly enough. Would you really do that?

Christof stares at his assistant, weighing her loyalty.

CHRISTOF It won't come to that.

INT. OFFICE. DAY.

The suitably crestfallen TRUMAN stands in front of his boss, ERROL, sitting behind his ostentaciously large desk. LAWRENCE lounges on the guest sofa, enjoying Truman's dressing-down.

INT. BANK. DAY.

TRUMAN approaches the bank window. The teller is the YOUNG WOMAN whose child Truman attacked in the street. She takes a step back at the sight of Truman, apprehensive, the confrontation fresh in her memory.

Truman glances at the names on the checks in the young woman's hand, realizing how she was able to identify him in the street. He begins to apologize profusely.

INT. TRUMAN'S GARAGE. DUSK.

TRUMAN enters the garage, carrying Sylvia's sweater. He breathes in the scent one last time and reluctantly replaces it in the trunk. With a sense of finality, he lowers the lid and fastens the lock.

EXT. TRUMAN'S BACKYARD. DUSK.

TRUMAN emerges from the garage, wheeling his lawnmower, deliberately averting his eyes from the back of the house.

Staring out of the kitchen window, a tall glass of iced tea in her hand, MERYL has been anticipating her husband's appearance. She wears a neckbrace, we sense more as a reminder to Truman than for any benefit she might derive.

Feeling Meryl's eyes burning into his back, Truman fires up the mower and heads directly towards the symbolically uncut section of grass. We focus on the errant blades of grass as they are severed by the mower. The lawn is now uniformly trimmed.

From a mechanical platform above the Expressway, CHRISTOF and CHLOE watch Truman's final act of defiance laid to rest.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING, LOWER MANHATTAN. MORNING.

In an office building high above Manhattan's financial district, a ROBOTIC MANNEOUIN in a 3-piece suit stands at an upper-story window mechanically lifting a coffee cup to its mouth.

EXT. LOWER MANHATTAN STREET. MORNING.

In the street below, something is different about the rush-hour traffic. The PEDESTRIANS are all standing around, no one walking. Some are chatting with each other, others primping. The cars, vans and taxis are also idling.

Camera locations are being checked. A miniature camera inserted into the head of a streetlamp, a CAMERA TECHNICIAN waves his hand in front of an innocent-looking fire hydrant, the eye of a MDDEL on a bus shelter's cosmetic ad is wiped clean, the head of a parking meter is replaced, a buttonhole camera is placed on a BUSINESSMAN's double-breasted jacket by a TECHNICIAN - we see from the button's POV, a CONTACT LENS CAMERA is carefully inserted into the eye of Truman's colleague, LAWRENCE, another TECHNICIAN we observe from the contact's POV.

Finally a surveillance camera on the outside of a bank building and a TOURIST'S camcorder are positioned.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

CHRISTOF is seated at the control desk, directing the morning session, SIMEON assisting, CHLOE at his shoulder, a buzz of excitement in the room.

CHRISTOF I hope we've got fresh extras.

CHLOE (consulting a clipboard) The rotation was made this morning.

CHRISTOF (staring at a monitor, irritated) I don't like the couple with the baby. They'd never be together.

The COUPLE with the stroller are promptly moved further along the street.

CHRISTOF Who's doing wardrobe? I keep seeing the same wardrobe...

INT. SUBWAY STATION. MORNING.

TRUMAN spills out of the subway car with hundreds of other COMMUTERS. We hear Christof's off-camera voice, as always unheard by Truman.

CHRISTOF (O.C.) ...everybody back to One...

EXT. LOWER MANHATTAN STREET. MORNING

CHRISTOF (O.C.) ...and, action background...

At the command, the PEDESTRIANS and VEHICLES begin inoving normally, TRUMAN exits the subway, suspecting nothing. He begins his trek to work, accompanied by the cued rush hour traffic.

CHRISTOF (O.C.) ...nice...nice...I like the woman with the dog... let's keep it moving...I want that traffic kept together...everybody look like you've got places to go...

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

CHRISTOF covers his microphone to deliver an aside to SIMEON, from whom he has temporarily assumed the role of director.

CHRISTOF I bet he doesn't stop at the newstand.

As predicted, Truman walks by, barely glancing at a newspaper's banner headline, "NUCLEAR POWER PLANT REOPENED". Christof scans the shot options available to him on the video wall.

CHRISTOF ...Bodycam Two...

The large On-Air Monitor cuts to Truman, via the point-of-view of an approaching PEDESTRIAN. For an instant, the unaware Truman looks directly into the lens of the disguised camera.

CHRISTOF ...streetlight eight...

The monitor cuts to an overhead shot from a streetlamp. The camera continues to follow Truman's progress.

CHRISTOF ...ready, Car-Cam One. Go to One...

TRUMAN enters his office building as a taxi cruises by.

CHRISTOF ...and cut to interior...

Truman is immediately picked up by a hidden camera inside the building where he exchanges a half-hearted greeting with an ancient SECURITY GUARD.

CHRISTOF ...looser...

The camera widens the angle.

CHRISTOF ...and action, Vivien... (aside, proud of his casting) Looks just like Truman's mother at that age.

VIVIEN, an insurance adjuster approaches the elevator button at the same time as Truman. However she reaches for it after Truman has already turned his back.

CHRISTOF (incensed) Damn, she missed her mark! (impatiently to Simeon) Why do we bother with walk-throughs if nobody pays attention? Give me a two-shot of Truman and Vivien...go to the master ...hold the elevators... (mustering patience, into microphone) Vivien, press the elevator button again ...and make sure you catch his eye this time...

INT. INSURANCE OFFICE LOBBY. DAY.

A second time, TRUMAN's brief encounter with VIVIEN goes like clockwork. As instructed, she hammers away at the elevator button and throws a conspiratorial look to Truman. The elevator car duly arrives and Truman's eyes follow Vivien's rear as she sachets into the lift. For a moment he appears to glance at a piece of gaffer tape on the marble floor.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

CHRISTOF Good! Perfect! Cut to the interior...

The monitor cuts to the inside of the elevator, rapidly filling with co-workers.

CHRISTOF ...and Lawrence...

Just as the doors are about to close, LAWRENCE oozes in. He gives Truman a smug smile.

CHRISTOF ...nice look, Lawrence...and, Vivien...

The elevator doors open and Vivien exits with two co-workers.

LAWRENCE (admiring aside to the remaining fellow-males in the elevator) I wouldn't kick her out of bed.

Truman doesn't seem to share Lawrence's enthusiasm for the comely young woman. He is miles away.

INT. STUDIO - CONFERENCE ROOM. DAY.

Assembled around a long oval table for a story confernce are several principal characters in Truman's life - MERYL, MARLON, ERROL, TYRONE, RAQUEL, VERONICA and the new actress, VIVIEN, sitting slightly apart from the rest of the cast.

CHRISTOF takes his place at the head of the table, a large monitor showing TRUMAN drinking coffee in his cubicle at American Life plays silently behind Christof's head.

CHRISTOF (to the meeting, referring to Meryl by her real name) Regrettably, I have to inform you that Hannah has chosen not to renew her contract.

All eyes turn to Meryl. She looks at the floor.

CHRISTOF I'm sure we can all respect her reasons.

Meryl receives a sympathetic squeeze of the hand from her co- star Marlon, now out of wardrobe, wearing an Armani suit.

CHRISTOF Her separation from Truman will be orchestrated over the summer. (more up-beat) However, I'm pleased to announce that television's first on-air conception will still take place. You witnessed the initial contact this morning. (glancing to Vivien, once again using her real name) You all know Claudia from her work in theatre. Thankfully, Truman doesn't.

The rest of the cast nod politely in Vivien's direction.

CHRISTOF (referring to the bound documents CHLOE passes to each cast member) This is a copy of Claudia's back story. Her character's name will be Vivien. She's the new adjuster at the office.

The cast idly flip through the documents, prominently stamped on the cover, "NOT TO BE TAKEN ON SET".

CHRISTOF We intend to entice Truman into the affair as soon as possible. Claudia will make her advance at the seminar Truman's attending next week. Details are in your schedules. I'm sure you'll all make Claudia welcome.

MARLON (injecting a note of levity, more sophisticated than the character he plays) Question is, will Truman make her welcome?

The cast snickers.

CHRISTOF (immediately back to business) I don't have to tell you, how critical the next few weeks will be. This takes us into the next generation. When Truman's child is born, the network will be switching to a two-channel format to chronicle both lives.

VIVIEN What happens when Truman and the baby are both on camera together?

CHRISTOF There will simply be duplicate coverage.

VIVIEN (mischievous) Let's just hope we don't have twins.

CHLOE (uncharacteristically flippant) When Truman dies do we go back to the single channel?

The cast turn in her direction. Christof has a second occasion to question his Assistant's loyalty.

INT. A BAR SOMEWHERE. DAY.

The BARMAN, WAITRESS and PATRON we have seen before, observe TRUMAN on the television above the bar. The cameras track Truman's progress, walking along Broadway. As he ducks into a sex shop, the threesome at the bar exchange looks. Inside the store, Truman appears apprehensive.

BARMAN What's he doing in there?

PATRON Meryl's at her mom's. Maybe he's got an urge.

On screen, Truman looks through some X-Rated video titles.

WAITRESS (referring to Truman's overcoat) What's with the coat?

BARMAN (smirking at the irony) Maybe he doesn't wanna be recognized.

Truman bumps into a display of sex paraphenalia, knocking an item to the floor.

PATRON (remarking on Truman's clumsiness) Nervous.

Truman tries to right the display and hurriedly exits the store, the cameras following his journey as always.

BARMAN (exasperated) Oh God, he never bought nothing.

WOMAN Give him a break. It's taken him thirty- four years to get the nerve to go in there.

INT. TRUMAN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN. NIGHT

We focus on a list left by Meryl on the refrigerator, several pages long. The kitchen itself is a bombsite. More than the cliche dishes in the sink - dozens of cardboard boxes stacked haphazardly on the floor.

INT. TRUMAN'S HOUSE - BEDROOM. NIGHT.

The usually orderly bedroom is also a mess. Blankets piled in a heap. Several large, half-filled cardboard boxes cluttering the room. A chair in an odd position near the bed. Clothes strewn everywhere. Hardly an inch of floor space remains uncovered.

TRUMAN is asleep in bed, the damaged waterbed replaced with a standard mattress. Although he is completely covered from head to toe in bedding, the outline of his body is still clearly visible.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

Close up on the On-Air monitor in the temple of a control room. It displays a wide shot of Truman's darkened bedroom filmed through the green hue of the night vision cameras. Assistant Producer, SIMEON, and his VIDEO OPERATORS slouch in their swivel chairs paying scant attention to the screen. Simeon gives his instructions in a lethargic, metronomic manner.

SIMEON ...Ready two. Go to two.

Operator, eating a doughnut, presses one of the illuminated buttons on the panel and the camera angle changes to a close shot of Truman's covered head. The camera stays on the blanketed head for a long moment.

SIMEON And back to the medium.

Another button is pressed and the angle changes. A trace of frustration is evident in the control room. Recording a sleeping subject is unrewarding enough without also having to contend with Truman's recently aquired camera-shyness.

SIMEON ...and wide...

OPERATOR (aside to Simeon) Could we have picked a bigger loser if we tried?

SIMEON (shrugs) That loser pays our salary.

OPERATOR He's given up on himself again.

SIMEON Who cares? Makes life easier for us. He is what he is.

At the far end of the great room, one of the large double doors opens and CHRISTOF enters, as always accompanied by CHLOE, carrying a leather-bound folder. Simeon and the Operators subtely straighten in their chairs. Christof pretends not to notice. He is staring intently at the On-Air monitor.

CHRISTOF When did he start sleeping like that?

SIMEON About the time Meryl left.

CHRISTOF Is that the best shot we can get?

SIMEON What's to see?

Christof watches Truman, a trace of concern in his eyes.

CHRISTOF (referring to the debris in Truman's bedroom) What happened to the room?

SIMEON He started to reorganize. I was going to call you. But half-way through, he gave up and fell asleep.

Apparently satisfied, Christof turns to an operator.

CHRISTOF I want to check the set-ups for tomorrow's insurance convention.

Reading off the notes in Chloe's folder, the operator punches up a batch of camera angles on smaller preview monitors. They show a generic-looking Marriott Hotel, devoid of actors. A banner in reception reads, "WELCOME AMERICAN LIFE & ACCIDENT". The Operator looks to Christof for approval and realizes his producer's attention has wandered. Christof is staring at the sleeping figure of Truman on the On-Air monitor.

CHRISTOF Give me a shot from his wedding band.

SIMEON (pointing out the ring on Truman's bedside table) He took it off.

CHRISTOF (a trace of concern) Why is he so still? He's too still.

Christof picks up a spare headset from the panel and puts it to his ear.

CHRISTOF Isolate the audio in the cans and amplify.

An operator pushes up an audio fader on the panel. Christof and his colleagues listen to Truman's steady breathing in their headphones. Simeon and the Operators nod, reassured that nothing is amiss. Christof is not so easily convinced.

CHRISTOF Give me a preview. An ECU on his torso.

A camera hidden in the room's bedside lamp zooms in to Truman's prone outline...while the breathing remains steady, the body does not rise and fall.

CHRISTOF (anxious, barking a command to Chloe) Phone him.

Chloe picks up a phone connected to the desk and dials.

CHRI STOF (anticipating Chloe's question) Wrong number.

The phone on the bedside table, inches from Truman's head, begins to ring. Truman doesn't flinch.

INT. SYLVIA'S BEACH HOUSE. NIGHT.

SYLVIA walks up from the seashore where she has been taking a late night swim. Hearing the telephone ringing; she rushes to pick it up. However, after lifting the receiver, the phone continues to ring.

The sound is coming from her television, left on in the bureau. On the screen, TRUMAN sleeps, seemingly undisturbed by the call. Sylvia, drying herself, watches with fascination.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF and the CREW are now highly agitated.

CHRISTOF (a trace of panic) He didn't drink tonight? No pills?

Every question receives a shake of the Assistant's head in reply.

CHRISTOF Hang up!

Chloe promptly cuts the connection and Truman's phone ceases to ring.

CHRISTOF Get Marlon over there.

CHLOE Under what pretext?

CHRISTOF (letting his anxiety show) Any fucking pretext!

Christof turns his back on the monitors, his mind racing.

EXT. TRUMAN'S HOUSE. NIGHT.

MARLON's car squeals to a halt outside Truman's house. Hurriedly dressed in jeans and coat over a bare chest, he dashes barefoot to the front door. He tries the doorhandle, pounds on the door and rings the doorbell simultaneously, shouting Truman's name all the while.

MARLON Tru!..Tru!..

Frustrated, Marlon runs to the bedroom and thumps on the window. He can see the shape of Truman lying on the bed but his shouts fail to rouse him. Marlon picks up one of Meryl's carefully nurtured flower pots from beneath the bedroom window.

MARLON (shouting a warning) I'm comin' in, Tru!

Marlon hurls the flower pot through the window sending a shower of glass over Truman's bed. Still he doesn't move. Marlon reaches his hand through the shards of glass clinging to the window frame and unlatches the window.

NT. TRUMAN'S HOUSE - BEDROOM. NIGHT.

MARLON clanbers headfirst through the opened window and lands in an awkward heap on the floor beside TRUMAN's bed.

He pushes away the clutter in the bedroom and finally stands at his co-star's bedside. There is a hissing sound. Marlon gingerly lifts the bedcover. Beneath the bedding is a life-size inflatable female doll.

The doll has been punctured by the glass and is slowly deflating. Lying beside the doll's chest is Truman's portable tape recorder. Marlon picks up the recorder and places it next to his ear. The cassette plays the sound of Truman breathing.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF, wide-eyed, stares at the image on the On-Air monitor of MARLON and his bizarre companion. Marlon is frozen, staring into camera.

CHRISTOF (quiet but firm) Cut transmission.

Simeon hesitates, unsure if has heard correctly. He looks to Christof for confirmation, his finger poised over an "EMERGENCY" button.

CHRISTOF (enraged) I said, "Cut"!

Christof lunges forward and presses the button himself.

INT. SYLVIA'S BEACH HOUSE. NIGHT.

SYLVIA watches agog as the scene in Truman's bedroom on her television screen is replaced by the "TRUMAN" logo and the message, "TECHNICAL FAULT. PLEASE STAND BY."

INT. CONTROL ROOM NIGHT.

CHRISTOF has taken his place at the control panel. On the bank of monitors in front of the mixing desk, the OPERATORS systematically search through the numerous set-ups in Truman's home and neighborhood. Occasionally MARLON or an EXTRA appear in frame as they fan out and begin a man-hunt.

While the on-Air monitor continues to play its test-card, Christof and Simeon concentrate on another isolated monitor playing in fast-rewind, time code in the bottom right corner. It is a recording of the night's transmission. Simeon stops on the last on-camera appearance by TRUMAN.

They watch Truman, on-screen, switch off his bedroom light and climb into bed fully clothed, immediately pulling the covers over his head. As the light is switched off, the recording camera automatically switches to night vision. Simeon continues to play at normal speed, now and then scrolling forward in fast- forward mode. Christof suddenly points to the screen.

CHRISTOF There. Freeze...Zoom into the chair...

Simeon types the appropriate command.

CHRISTOF Enhance.

On the blown-up screen, between a cardboard box and a chair leg, it is barely possible to make out Truman's hand as he crawls commando-style from his bedroom, his inflatable replacement already positioned in the bed.

CHRISTOF (referring to the debris) He wasn't making a mess. He was engineering a blind spot.

CHLOE How does he know where the cameras are?

CHRI STOF I don't know. (noting the time-code on the monitor, staring into the back of Simeon's head) All I know is we've been filming a blow-up doll for the last three hours.

Simeon feels the hostility.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

The systematic search of the monitors continues. They now reveal that dawn has broken on the set.

SIMEON (hanging up the phone) We've declared a curfew. Only the extras required for the search are on the set. Everyone else is at first positions.

CHRISTOF All prop cars accounted for?

SIMEON He has to be on foot. He has the world's most recognizable face. He can't disappear.

All heads turn to CHLOE as she enters the grand control room with a status report.

CHLOE The sponsors are threatening to pull the plug if we don't make a statement within the next hour. The media is in a feeding frenzy. The phone lines are jammed. Every network has a pirated shot of Harlon and the dummy.

EXT. VACANT LOT. DAY.

TRUMAN rolls in the dirt of a construction site, tearing at his clothes and caking his face and hair with black inud.

He struggles up a slope onto an adjacent roadway where a shopping cart awaits, loaded with soiled plastic bags. Looking every inch a derelict, Truman begins to wheel his shopping cart through the empty streets of Brooklyn.

EXT. BROOKLYN BRIDGE. DAY.

TRUMAN wheels his shopping cart over a deserted Brooklyn Bridge. Over his shoulder, in the far distance, we see a lone car approaching. As it nears, we recognize a police car.

Truman takes a look under the bridge, as if participating in the search. The car slowly draws alongside, the POLICE OFFICER looking straight into Truman's blackened face.

POLICE OFFICER Any sign of him?

TRUMAN (deliberately gravelling his voice) Not yet.

The Police Officer takes a second look at Truman. After what seems like an eternity, he motions his PARTNER to drive on.

POLICE OFFICER (to Truman, as the car pulls away) Take it easy.

EXT. LOWER MANHATTAN. DAY.

We pan down one concrete canyon after another. The usually bustling financial district is totally, eerily deserted.

Suddenly we see a line of PEOPLE fanned out across a street. Then another and another.

PEOPLE of every description, shoulder to shoulder, marching down the otherwise empty streets the way a search is conducted at a crime scene. The lines include PRINCIPALS and EXTRAS linked arm in arm, wardrobed for their usual roles as EXECUTIVES and SECRETARIES, STORE CLERKS, TELEPHONISTS, MAINTENANCE and CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, WAITERS and WAITRESSES, COOKS, SHOPPERS, HEALTH WORKERS, SECURITY GUARDS, POSTAL WORKERS, POLICE OFFICERS, FIRE FIGHTERS AND HOMELESS PEOPLE. On one occasion we glimpse Truman's colleagues, LAWRENCE, ERROL and VIVIEN, amongst the searchers.

A building-to-building, floor-to-floor, office-to-office search is also being conducted, each structure secured as they go, the searchers paying special attention to potential blind spots such as closets, dumpsters, man holes, sewers, car trunks, trees and shrubbery.

We focus on one of the waves of searchers. TRUMAN has linked arms in the middle of a row, his disguise still holding up.

A swarm of helicopters fills the sky.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

While his COLLEAGUES monitor the bank of screens, CHRISTOF has been joined by the two ever-anxious studio executives, MOSES and ROMAN.

MOSES (to Christof who is still studying the faces in a row of SEARCHERS) Rumors are circulating he's dead.

ROMAN (pacing nervously) The sponsors are threatening to rip up their contracts.

CHRISTOF (unconcerned, referring to the static "STAND BY" graphic, now accompanied by soothing classical music) Why? We're getting higher ratings for that graphic than any time in the series.

INT. BARROOM. DAY.

The television behind the bar carries the still graphic. BAR PATRONS animatedly discuss Truman's fate over their drinks. Some place bets with each other over the outcome.

EXT. ELECTRONICS STORE. DAY.

A crowd of PASSERS-BY hover around a display of televisions in the window of an electronics store, awaiting developments.

INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY.

The two OLD WOMEN we have seen before stare intently at the graphic on their televisions.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

The fan of EXTRAS reaches the harbor and automatically turns to make another sweep.

CHLOE (referring to the empty streets) When we flush him out how do we explain this?

CHRISTOF (deadpan) We tell him the truth.

Chloe looks askance at Christof.

CHRISTOF (joking darkly) We're making a movie.

SIMEON (hopeful) We'll get him on this next sweep.

CHRISTOF What have we missed?

SIMEON It's just a matter of time.

CHRISTOF No. We've missed something.

Christof turns his back on the screens. Over his shoulder, we see a monitor displaying a view of the harbor.

EXT. LOWER MANHATTAN - PIER 13. DAY.

TRUMAN has broken away from the line of searchers, on the pretext of taking a leak. He is standing on the edge of Pier 13, facing the harbor, his back turned to those beginning their next sweep. Suddenly Truman ducks behind one of the green and white inflatable canopies that enclose the Wall Street Racquet Club.

We see a close up of Truman's terrified eyes in his blackened face, staring down at the lapping water. It triggers a montage of flashbacks. As usual the images all appear to play on a television screen.

TRUMAN on the CLIFF FACE at seven years old, his second grade teacher SISTER OLIVIA, a close-up of DROWNING STATISTICS at his insurance company, mesmerized by the water in the FERRY TERMINAL, seventeen-year old SYLVIA jumping in the fountain, his WATERBED rocking, and seven-year old Truman sitting on the UPTURNED BOAT in Long Island Sound crying into the darkness.

EXT. PIER 13. DAY.

TRUMAN comes back to reality. He steels himself, shuts out the doubts and dives into the water.

EXT. NEW YORK HARBOR. DAY.

Underwater we see TRUMAN panicking at the shock of the cold sea, arms and legs flailing. Suddenly he stops and sinks for a moment in the weight of his clothes. Then slowly he rises to the surface and begins to swim.

Moored in the harbor is the scaled-down replica of Columbus' flagship, The Santa Maria.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

CHRISTOF is spooling through significant scenes in the history of "TRUMAN" on a preview monitor.

He pauses on the scene of SYLVIA and TRUMAN at the fountain in Flushing Meadow Park in the show's seventeenth season. Sylvia has her finger to Truman's lips. Christof presses "PLAY" on the mixing desk.

SYLVIA (from monitor) You remember when you were a little boy...

Christof fast forwards, then presses PLAY once again.

SYLVIA ...Trust that boy...

Christof jabs the "PAUSE" button, freezing the picture. He recites the words to himself.

CHRISTOF Trust that boy... (to Simeon) We're not watching the sea.

SIMEON (confused) Why would we?

CHRISTOF Sweep the harbor.

EXT. NEW YOUR HARBOR. DAY.

TRUMAN is at the wheel of the Santa Maria, wind filling her sails. Covering the face of the ship's compass is Sylvia's composite picture.

His is the only craft afloat in New York Harbor. As the archaic vessel passes under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridget, the bridge appears on fire in the glow of the sunlight. Truman steers around Norton Point and sets a course for the open sea - the horizon.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

CHRISTOF and his colleagues concentrate on a live aerial shot on a preview monitor, skimming over the calm, featureless sea. Suddenly in the distance there appears a single sail etched against the horizon.

SIMEON That's him!

CHRISTOF Resume transmission.

Simeon punches a button and the image of the sailing ship is instantly transferred to the large On-Air monitor.

INT. SYLVIA'S BEACH HOUSE. DAY.

SYLVIA, dozing on the sofa, suddenly blinks open her eyes as the classical music on the television is abruptly replaced by the sound of a helicopte's rotor blade.

Sylvia focuses on the screen, her breath taken away by the sight of TRUMAN at the wheel of the Santa Maria.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

CHRISTOF (staring intently at the On-Air monitor) What do we have on that boat?

Simeon scans a computer shot list. He types in a code. A camera from the main mast of Truman's ship activates. Truman, unaware of the camera, is concentrating on steering the vessel.

EXT. ATLANTIC OCEAN. DAY.

TRUMAN is out of sight of land, the sea choppier now, rising and falling beneath his boat. He nears a large buoy bobbing clumsily in the strong swell. An official-looking sign is attached - "DANGER. NAVAL EXERCISES. DO NOT ENTER." We see an extreme close up of the nautical signpost where a disguised miniature camera tracks Truman's progress.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

CHRISTOF and the other PRODUCTION STAFF watch TRUMAN from the buoy's POV as he sails by.

EXT. ATLANTIC OCEAN. DAY.

TRUMAN hears a helicopter overhead. By now the ocean spray has washed most of the dirt from his face, only a residue remains. The rags he wears, including Sylvia's sweater under his open coat, are soaked. Her picture clings stubbornly to the compass.

As he steers, he occasionally refers to a "HOW TO SAIL" book from his coat pocket. He tacks against the wind, as he watches the military chopper circle his boat.

CHOPPER PILOT (over P.A.) Alter course immediately. You are entering a restricted area.

Truman screams defiantly back to the chopper.

TRUMAN Fuck you!

EXT. A STREET SOMEWHERE. DAY.

Two YOUNG MEN on a street corner watch, transfixed, the image of TRUMAN steering the Santa Maria on a portable Watchman TV.

YOUNG MAN 1 I knew he wasn't dead.

INT. HELICOPTER. DAY.

The HELICOPTER PILOT continues to circle.

PILOT (over P.A.) Alter course or we fire on your vessel.

TRUMAN screams again at the chopper and gestures wildly at the pilot.

TRUMAN Get the hell away! It's my life!

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

CHRISTOF (into microphone to pilot, eerily composed) Fire a warning.

EXT. ATLANTIC OCEAN. DAY.

A round of machine gun fire strafes the water across the bows of Truman's boat, several rounds striking the deck. TRUMAN flinches. In his eyes we see the ghosts return. With great effort he shakes the doubts from his head and retrieves a flare gun from the storage cabinet in the boat's wheel house.

CHOPPER PILOT (over P.A.) Alter course. Drop your sails.

Truman takes aim at the chopper and fires the flare gun. The distress flare hurtles towards the hovering helicopter, narrowly missing. Truman ejects the spent cartridge and reloads.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

SIMEON (shocked at the near miss) Jesus! God! Is he out of his mind?

CHRISTOF (composed, into microphone to pilot) Pull back.

EXT. ATLANTIC OCEAN. DAY.

Before the chopper can take evasive action TRUMAN takes aim a second time and fires. The distress flare fishtails into the sky and to Truman's surprise and delight, finds its mark, striking the rear rotor blade. Truman lets out a whoop.

The helicopter immediately begins to spiral downwards towards the sea. The CHOPPER PILOTS bail out of the cockpit, splashing down safely into the coean while the helicopter enters the waves in a spectacular belly flop, sinking out of view in seconds like a stone. Watching the pilots bobbing around in the ocean in their inflatable life jackets, thoughts of duty invade Truman's head. He shuts out the thoughts and turns his back, steering away from the drifting pilots. A look of resolve in his eyes we have never witnessed before.

INT. SYLVIA'S BEACH HOUSE. DAY.

SYLVIA kneels on the floor in front of the television. As Christof's cameras dwell on her likeness - the composite picture still covering the ship's compass - she allows herself a brief moment of satisfaction but she does not dare to hope too much.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

CHRISTOF, CHLOE, SIMEON, and the OTHERS have been joined in the control room by MARLON, MERYL, KIRK and AUDREY.

CHRISTOF How long will another chopper take?

SIMEON By the time we pick up the pilots, too long.

CHRISTOF We have to stop him for his own good. Turn him back with the elements.

SIMEON (hesitant) There's no rescue boat in the area. He won't know what to do.

MOSES (trying to appeal to Christof's sense of reason) For God's sake, Chris. The whole world is watching. We can't kill him in front of a live audience.

CHRISTOF He was born in front of a live audience. (never taking his eyes from the screen, reassuring) Don't worry, he's not willing to risk his life for the truth. His doubts will turn him back.

Simeon reluctantly turns to a panel of controls on the desk marked "WAVE", "WIND" and "RAIN". After typing in a command, he winds the controls towards their maximum settings.

CHRISTOF Kill the lights.

Chloe searches Christof's face, trying to find the man in whom she has believed for so long.

EXT. ATLANTIC OCEAN. DAY.

Darkness suddenly descends as storm clouds roll towards Truman's boat at an alarming speed. High winds buffet the boat. TRUMAN fights the wheel. Hurricane force winds shake the masts and keel, ripping the sails to shreds.

The picture of Sylvia is torn from the compass and lost to the sea. His "HOW TO SAIL" book skids off the deck.

Truman takes a rope from beneath the wheel house and lashes himself to the wheel to secure himself on board.

TRUMAN (shouting above the storm) I'm coming to find you Sylvia! I'm making myself deaf! (screaming up to the sky) You're going to have to kill me! Come on!

Monstrous waves continually submerge the deck. Truman continues to head into the teeth of the gale.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

In contrast to his panic-stricken COLLEAGUES, CHRISTOF gives an outward appearance of calm. However a bead of sweat appearing at his temple betrays him.

SIMEON (agitated) It's not working. He can sail that thing!

ROMAN How can he sail?! He's in insurance! He hasn't set foot on a boat since he was seven!

MOSES (to Christof) On the behalf of the studio, I demand you cease transmission.

CHRISTOF (defiant, to Operators) Keep running! (to Moses) I take full responsibility. (to Operator in front of radar-style screen) How close?

OPERATOR Very close.

CHRISTOF Capsize him! Tip him over!

CHLOE (unable to contain herself any longer, entreating him) You can't! He's tied himself to the wheel. He'll drown!

SIMEON (staring at Truman on the monitor, becoming affected by his display of courage) He doesn't care...

CHLOE (to Christof, lunging for the control panel) You lied, you hypocrite! The only way he can leave, is dead!

Chloe lunges for the control panel but Christof throws her to the floor.

CHRISTOF (enraged) Do it!

All eyes turn in Christof's direction, as he confirms Chloe's accusation.

SIMEON (staring at the On-Air monitor, numb) It's too late...

EXT. ATLANTIC OCEAN. DAY.

TRUMAN appears to be losing his fight against the storm, each successive breaker taking its toll on his body, sapping his strength, his bindings the only thing holding him upright, his head slumps, the wheel goes loose in his grasp, spinning out of control. His will, draining away.

As he is about to be overcome by the next wave, he thrusts his arm into the handles of the spinning wheel. He cries out in pain at the blow to his forearm but succeeds in halting the wheel. He braces for one last wave.

But the wave does not come. A strange phenomenon is occurring in the ocean. A distinct division has appeared in the ocean swell. Between the large rolling waves lies a corridor of calmer water, several hundred yards wide, a curious escape lane.

The wind and the rain are also subsiding, the darkness lifting. Truman steers his vessel down this "sea-lane".

After some time, several large, dark shapes emerge on the horizon. Land? Islands? As Truman steers towards the nearest shape, he discovers what is behind the peculiar wave formations. It is certainly not the moon.

The dark shape is a huge iron roller, only half of which is exposed above the surface of the sea. The ocean swell is being caused by the roller slowly turning, mechanically-driven on either end by massive steel arms pumping from the sea bed. In fact there are rollers spaced four hundred yards apart in both directions along the horizon as far as the eye can see, the calm sea-lanes formed by the gaps between the rollers.

Truman's boat is dwarfed by the gigantic machines. The exposed half of each roller, the height of a ten story building, its length equivalent to several football fields. The massive arms perpetually churn.

Truman's face is thrown into shadow as the boat slips quietly past the giant rotating drum. The water beyond the rollers is dead calm. Truman stares ahead desperately trying to focus his eyes.

But if the sight of the wave machines was difficult to comprehend, it pales in comparison with the next sight that greets him. His boat is drifting inexorably, on a slow collision course with the sky. That infinitely receding horizon line recedes no more.

The sea really does meet the sky. The join is only too apparent. Looming above him out of the sea is a cyclorama of colossal dimensions. The sky is nothing but a painted backdrop. Truman looks upward, straining his eyes to see the top of the sky, but it curves away at a steep angle beyond his sight.

The bow of the boat comes to rest against the sky, bumping gently into its latex surface. Truman unties his bindings and stumbles across the deck to the side rail. Clinging to the rail with one hand, he tentatively reaches out towards the painted cyclorama. He touches the sky.

He feels the surface, puts both terrified hands against it. Hie eyes well up with tears. He presses his distraught face into it. He screams at the top of his voice. No words. A primal scream. A pained, animal howl.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DUSK.

CHRISTOF and his PRODUCTION STAFF take in Truman's reaction in silence.

INT/EXT. BARROOM/ELECTRONICS STORE/HOME. DUSK.

TRUMAN's cry echos around bars, offices, shops, homes and streets - wherever a television is to be found. No VIEWER speaks. They are stunned to silence, many teary eyed.

EXT. CYCLORAMA. DUSK.

As the boat drifts alongside the seemingly never-ending curve of the cyclorama, TRUMAN's attention is drawn to an outline in the otherwise flawless backdrop. He clambers to the prow of the boat.

There, camoflaged in the painted skyscape just above the water line, is a door. Truman grabs hold of the recessed doorhandle and halts the drifting boat. He stands in front of the door and closes his eyes in a silent prayer.

He opens the door in the sky and steps through.

INT/EXT. VIEWERS. DUSK.

Spontaneous cheers and shouts of joy erupt from VIEWERS in their various locations - bars, homes and offices. Strangers hug each other and dance in celebration.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DUSK.

Even the cynical VIDEO OPERATOR jumps out of his seat - for the first time in the film - and lets out a joyous whoop, forgetting himself for a moment, caught up in the drama.

OPERATOR Yeah!

Self-conscious, he takes his seat again almost immediately. His COLLEAGUES are transfixed by the live on-air monitor continuing to play its only available shot, the open door in the sky - Truman out of view.

INT. SOUNDSTAGE. DUSK.

TRUMAN finds himself on a small metal landing. A steel ladder rises above him to the height of "sky", the soundstage roof, so high as to be barely visible. The rungs also continue downward, the depth of the "ocean-bed", to a studio floor far below.

Truman turns and looks back through the door he has just entered. Unsecured, the Santa Maria is beginning to drift away. The sea he has feared since childhood, is nothing but an enormous tank. The sky, a massive cyclorama. New York City, an elaborate set. And it is all housed within an impossibly large soundstage.

Truman makes no effort to save the boat. He shuts the door to his world. A sign on the back of the door reads, "CLOSED SET. No Unauthorized Access." Gradually he becomes aware of another strange phenomenon taking place in the soundstage. All around him, thousands of light fixtures mounted in the cyclorama to masquerade as stars, are slowly illuminating - switched on by an automatic timer. (The light fixtures match the one that almost struck Truman's car at the beginning of the film.)

By artificial starlight, Truman begins his long descent of the step ladder. Below, a studio tram makes its way along the soundstage perimeter, on the last tour of the day.

INT. STUDIO TRAM. DUSK.

As he drives, a well-scrubbed, young TOUR GUIDE delivers his tired commentary into a microphone for the thousandth time to the half-full tram of STUDIO VISITORS.

GUIDE ...the soundstage roof houses over eight hundred thousand lights of varying intensities to faithfully recreate the constellations...

However, the passengers are paying less attention than usual. They stare, perplexed, at the television monitor above the Guide's head, continuing to play the show's only available shot of the open door in the sky.

INT. SOUNDSTAGE. DUSK.

TRUMAN suddenly steps in front of the tram. The TOUR GUIDE stands on the brakes, tram lurching to a stop. The Guide looks from Truman's haunted face to the monitor, hardly able to believe his eyes.

Truman leaps on board, pressing his flare gun into the side of the guide's head.

TRUMAN (to the shocked passengers) Nobody move! (to the guide) Drive!

The terrified Guide pulls jerkily away in the tram, resuming the tour.

TRUMAN (to the guide, gesturing to the microphone) Keep talking. Say whatever you say!

The Guide hesitantly resumes his commentary into his microphone.

GUIDE Er,...the ocean tank contains over six hundred and fifty million gallons of man-made salt water, temperature-controlled...

Truman's attention drifts to the logo on the side of the tram - "TRUMAN STUDIO TOUR". He is suddenly aware of the tourists gawking at him.

TRUMAN (to TOURIST, camcorder around his neck) Act normal! Keep filming!

Truman ducks out of sight as a fleet of STUDIO SECURITY CARS speeds towards the tram. But they streak past, on their way to the site of Truman's escape. As he tentatively gets back to his feet, Truman finds a CHILD standing in front of him with an autograph book.

CHILD Please, Mister Truman.

On the child's T-shirt, a large photograph of Truman's face.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DUSK.

CHRISTOF talks anxiously on the phone, unaware of a shift in the balance of power taking place behind his back. The executives, MOSES and ROMAN are huddling with SIMEON, making him an offer he appears to welcome.

CHRISTOF (into the phone) What do you mean he's not there? We can't have lost him again.

On the far side of the control room, behind a huge curved glass wall on a mezzanine floor, a studio tour tram passes by.

INT. STUDIO TRAM. DUSK.

TRUMAN crouches behind a seat on the tram, flare gun still trained on the guide's head, taking in the gigantic video wall displaying pictures from every facet of his life.

His heart sinks as he spies the monitor revealing the private spot where he and SYLVIA met.

GUIDE ...on your left, the control room where the angles are selected and the actors receive direction. Of course, the one place we can't show you is the story department. There is none. (hesitant) ...Truman writes the script...

From Truman's POV we watch CHLOE approach CHRISTOF. She has a pure white envelope in her hands. As Christof looks up to acknowledge her, he almost makes eye contact with Truman on the tram.

INT. STUDIO LOT. DUSK.

Still inside the studio complex, the tram enters the courtyard of an indoor shopping mall. Truman gift shops.

TRUMAN is momentarily frozen by the sight of window displays full of books and board games carrying his likeness with titles such as, "TrumanTrivia". Video cassettes offering "Truman Highlights". His face emblazoned on T-shirts, caps, coffee mugs and posters. Even Truman Dolls and a model of his decaying Oldsmobile are offered for sale.

The tram slows to a stop behind other trams at the tour's end. STUDIO POLICE are checking the disembarking PASSENGERS. Truman, using the TOUR GUIDE as a shield, also exits the tram.

GUIDE (frightened for his life) Here he is! It's him!

Truman contemptuously backhands the Guide across the face and makes a run for it. The guards give chase. Truman runs into a lookalike mannequin, dressed in a brown suit identical to his own, promoting "TrumanWear". He pulls his "double" to the ground to block the guards' path.

Sprinting along a featureless corridor, he reaches a dead end.

GUARD (into radio) We've got him trapped.

Truman enters a doorway marked "NO ENTRY" to find a stairway leading upwards. He takes the stairs three at a time.

The footsteps and shouts of the guards not far behind. Flight after flight of stairs. At one point, he loses his grip on the stair's railing and his gun falls from his hand, clattering for an eternity down the stairwell.

He finally emerges on a landing. Lungs bursting. One more door. He tries the handle. It opens.

EXT. SOUNDSTAGE. DUSK.

TRUMAN finds himself on the roof of the soundstage. Outside. Really outside for the first time in his life.

He looks frantically around him. Nowhere to hide. The soundstage stretches for miles in both directions as far as the eye can see, an interminable expanse of roof.

Facing him, a colossal Burbank. Several other soundstages almost as gigantic as his own. The palm trees lining the streets, dwarfed by the mammoth barns.

The Hollywood Freeway in the distance, carrying its ribbons of traffic, twenty lanes wide. Gargantuan office buildings eclipse any skyscraper Truman has ever known.

Directly below him, a dizzying drop to the studio lot and its arched entranceway.

Above him, a large yellow moon in the twilight sky. The real moon, not the planetarium projection he has been contemplating for the last thirty-four years.

Truman wheels around, suddenly realizing he is not alone. A GROUP has emerged on the rooftop, standing still and silent in a semi-circle, cutting off any escape.

Along with the STUDIO GUARDS, keeping their distance in the background, are CHLOE, SIMEON, and the two studio executives, MOSES and ROMAN. In front of them, the co-stars in his life - MARLON, MERYL, sister RAQUEL, mother AUDREY and supposedly dead father KIRK. No one moves or speaks as Truman scans the familiar faces. Marlon, in particular, cannot look him in the eye.

Truman's gaze finally falls on the white-haired old man standing at the head of the group. CHRISTOF. He approaches Truman alone, carrying a white envelope, calling his name the way a father calls to a son.

CHRISTOF Truman...

Truman seems to sense the significance Christof has had in his life, drawn to and repelled by him at the same time. As they stand together looking into each other's eyes for the first time, they seem to be the only two figures on the roof. For a moment Truman averts his gaze to the night sky.

TRUMAN (quietly, half to himself, half to Christof) Even the stars I wished on...

As Truman turns his attention back to Christof, he suddenly lunges at him, catching him off-guard, the envelope slipping from Christof's hand. With a strength he never knew he possessed, Truman forces Christof to the edge of the soundstage roof, threatening to throw them both off his counterfeit world.

Christof clings desperately to Truman to save himself. The studio guards dare not move.

CHRISTOF (staring into the chasm, remaining eerily calm) You won't do it, Truman. I've watched you your whole life.

TRUMAN (meeting Christof's gaze) You never had a camera in my head.

Suddenly the doubts flood into Christof's eyes, fearing he has misjudged Truman, fearing for his life.

TRUMAN (incensed) Something was real! (a terrifying anguish) Something had to be real!

It takes all of Truman's will not to hurl the old man into the abyss. Christof, petrified, looks to the pristine, white envelope that lies half over the edge of the roof, glinting in the moonlight.

Truman follows Christof's gaze. Contemptuously tossing Christof aside, he retrieves the envelope. Christof crawls to safety, thankful to still be alive, suddenly appearing very small and insignificant.

But Christof and the other figures on the rooftop no longer exist in Truman's mind. Truman gazes at his name for a long moment, handwritten on the envelope in blue ink, then carefully breaks the seal. Truman allows the sole item in the envelope to be slowly revealed. A photograph. A close up of SYLVIA's face including her eyes, mouth and that perfect, ever-elusive nose.

A serenity comes over Truman. He lifts up his eyes to the mountains on the far horizon. As he stands on the very edge of the soundstage roof without fear, clutching the photograph, we commence a long, slow pull-back.

Truman is unaware that directly beneath his feet on the wall of the enormous soundstage is a billboard acrrying a gigantic picture of his face and proclaiming, "TRUMAN - Total Record of a Human Life. 34TH GREAT YEAR!"

We continue to pull back until Truman is nothing but a speck on top of the soundstage so large it never completely clears frame.

A MONTAGE OF VARIOUS LOCATIONS

The two OLD WOMEN in the living room, the NIGHTWATCHMEN, the two YOUNG MEN with the Watchman TV, the PATRONS in the bar, PASSERS-BY outside an electronics store are all captivated by their television sets.

We focus on the screen of a television. A small FEMALE BABY sucks a toy on a blanket in the backyard of Truman's old suburban home in Queens, the lawn he mowed for ten years of his life. The infant's doting parents, MARLON and the new actress VIVIEN, enter frame and begin to fuss over the child. A border around the action on the screen announces, "ZOE - Total Record Of a Human Life".

Suddenly we see a child's hand on top of the television screen. A BABY stands unsteadily, supporting herself against the television set in Sylvia's house.

TRUMAN bends down and picks up his baby, tossing her into the air, much to the child's delight. Truman dwells for a moment on the mirror-image scene on the television before very deliberately shutting it off.

SYLVIA joins Truman and their daughter. Together, they exit the beach house. We follow them as they make their way onto the deserted sand and down towards the sea.

FADE OUT

<<<

/ Truman Show, the.
Copyright 2005-2018. ! ! homeenglish@mail.ru