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The Truman Show

Written
by Andrew Niccol

A FOGGED MIRROR

Behind the fog we hear the sounds of a bathroom. After a long moment, a hand wipes the condensation from the glass to reveal the face of TRUMAN BURBANK. He wears a sleeveless Hanes undershirt and blue-stripe pajama bottoms, behind him a white glazed tiled bathroom wall. It is immediately apparentthat we are viewing him through a two-way mirror.

Truman, expressionless, studies his reflection in the mirror.

For a long moment, he does nothing. He continues to look impassively into the mirror for what becomes an uncomfortably long time. Still nothing. Finally he speaks, talking to himself in the mirror as if participating in a TV interview.

TRUMAN
…personally I think the unconqueredsouth face is the only one worthscaling…of course it’s a 20,000 footsheer wall of ice but then when did thatever stop me before?…Naturally, I intend to make the ascent without thebenefit of oxygen but also withoutcrampons or even an ice pick…risks?…
(smug, TV smiles)
…sure I’m aware of the risks–why elsedo you think I would spend seven years asan adjuster in a life insurancecompany…?

MERYL (O.S.)
Truman, you’re gonna be late!

Truman resignedly opens the door of the cabinet and replaceshis shaving tackle. It partially obscures the lens of thehidden camera. He closes the door and exits.

INT. KITCHEN. MORNING.

MERYL, wearing a stylish robe, sits at the kitchen table sipping coffee. On the table in front of her lies a parcel.

TRUMAN enters and glances at the gift.

TRUMAN
What’s that?

MERYL
It’s a surprise.

TRUMAN unwraps the parcel – an expensive-looking set of exercise sweats.

MERYL
(eager for his response)
Well, what do you think?

TRUMAN
They’re…
(the merest hesitation)
perfect. Thank you.

Truman returns Meryl’s kiss.

MERYL
(handing him the sweat top)
Try it on.

Truman pulls the top over his head. As he does so, a closer shot focuses on the manufacturer’s name.

MERYL
I thought you could wear them when you do your exercises.
(afterthought)
Pre-shrunk. And they breathe.

EXT. TRUMAN’S HOUSE. DAY.

Wearing a business suit, briefcase in hand, TRUMAN emerges from his pleasant, Victorian-inspired, picket-fenced house into an idyllic suburban street of similarly picturesque homes. A neighbor, SPENCER, is taking in trashcans, whistling a tune. Spencer breaks off abruptly as Truman approaches his car. His license plate reads, “Seahaven – A Nice Place To Live”.

SPENCER
Morning, Truman.

TRUMAN
Morning, Spencer. And in case I don’tsee you, good afternoon, good eveningand good night.

Spencer’s dog, PLUTO, bounds happily over to Truman.

TRUMAN
(petting the dog)
Hey, Pluto.

Truman exchanges a polite nod with the WASHINGTON’s, an African-American family across the street. MR. WASHINGTON is farewelled by his WIFE and CHILD.

Truman is about to climb into his car when he is distracted by a high-pitched whistling sound. Suddenly, a large spherical glass object falls from the sky and lands with a deafening crash on the street, several yards from his car.

The startled Truman looks to Spencer but he has abruptly disappeared inside his house with Pluto. Mrs. Washington and Washington Junior have also made themselves scarce.

Truman investigates. Amidst a sea of shattered glass are the remains of a light mechanism.

He looks around him but the street is deserted. He checks that all the surrounding street lights are accounted for, even though the fallen fixture is far larger. He looks up into the sky but there is no plane in sight. With some effort, Truman picks up what’s left of the crumpled light andloads it into the trunk. A label on the light fixture reads, “SIRIUS (9 Canis Major)”. As he drives away, we hear the sound of his car radio.

RADIO ANNOUNCER
Another glorious morning in Seahaven, folks.

INT/EXT. TRUMAN’S CAR – SEAHAVEN. DAY.

TRUMAN makes his way along the streets of Seahaven past a series of quaint, pastel-shaded cottages.

EXT. SEAHAVEN ISLAND TOWNSHIP. DAY.

A high-angle reveals an anonymous mid-sized town built around a small, pretty bay. A cluster of high-rise buildings stand at the water’s edge overlooking a marina. Surrounding the commercial center lie neatly arranged suburbs.

EXT. OCEANSIDE STREET. DAY.

Pausing at a traffic light along a seaside road, TRUMAN looks through a curious wooden arch to the beach and ocean beyond.

The sight triggers a memory in his head.

PLAYBACK – EXT. LONG, WIDE BEACH. DAY.

Unlike a conventional flashback, the scene in his memory appears to be playing on a television screen.

FOUR-YEAR-OLD TRUMAN runs towards a bluff on the beach.

The boy’s father, KIRK, late-thirties, beer bottle in hand, flirts with TWO TEENAGE GIRLS at the shoreline. Suddenly, the father remembers his son. He looks anxiously around.

The sight of the boy at the far end of the beach causes him to drop his bottle in the sand and run to Truman.

The boy is near the top of the cliff before his agitated father comes within earshot.

FATHER
(out of breath, clutching his side)
Truman! Truman! Stop!

Truman turns from his perch and waves happily down to his father. But the smile quickly vanishes when he registers the anger and distress on his father’s face.

FATHER
Come down now!

His father’s unnatural anxiety makes the next bay even more tantalizing. The boy considers defying his father. He puts his hand on the rock above him to stretch up and sneak a peek at the other side. One good stretch would do it.

FATHER
(reading Truman’s mind, enraged)
No!

TRUMAN
Why? What’s there?

FATHER
(unconvincing)
Nothing. It’s…it’s dangerous.
(trace of desperation)
Come down, now! Please!

Truman is suddenly aware that the hundreds of other BEACHGOERS have stopped their activities to stare at him.

Reluctantly, he starts to retrace his steps down the rocks. When he finally jumps to the sand, his father embraces him and leads him away.

FATHER
I told you to stay close. Don’t ever leave my sight again.
(pause)
You’ve got to know your limitations. Youcould’ve fallen.

INT. TRUMAN’S CAR – DOWNTOWN SEAHAVEN. MORNING – PRESENT.

Through his car window, TRUMAN buys a cup of coffee from a streetside VENDOR.

VENDOR
How are ya, Truman?

TRUMAN
(placing his fingers to his pulse)
Vital signs are good.

He pulls into a parking space and sips on the coffee. As he drinks, he becomes aware of a school bell summoning children to class in the adjacent Elementary School. The image prompts another childhood memory.

PLAYBACK – INT. SEAHAVEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – CLASSROOM. DAY.

Once again, the flashback appears to be playing on a television screen.

SEVEN-YEAR-OLD TRUMAN sits in the middle row of an Elementary School classroom surrounded by twenty-or-so other well-scrubbed, uniformed YOUNGSTERS. MARLON, the boy next to Truman, is on his feet under the scrutiny of a kindly Norman Rockwell-style SCHOOL MISTRESS.

MISTRESS
What do you want to do when you grow up, Marlon?

MARLON
I want to be an entrepreneur like my dad.

SCHOOL MISTRESS
(impressed)
Tell the class what an “entrepreneur” does, Marlon.

MARLON
He makes a lot of money, Ma’am.

SCHOOL MISTRESS
A good one does, Marlon.
(looking in her purse, hamming it up)
Perhaps I’ll be coming to you for a loanone of these days.

The CLASS titters. Marlon sits down and winks to Truman.

SCHOOL MISTRESS
What about you, Truman?

Truman rises to his feet, gathering his nerve.

TRUMAN
I want to be an explorer(with reverence)
…like Magellan.

The School Mistress smiles benevolently.

SCHOOL MISTRESS
(slightly condescending)
I’m afraid no one’s going to pay you todo that, Truman. You might have to findsomething a little more practical.
(glancing to a pulldown wallmap behind her head)
Besides, you’re too late. There’s really nothing left to explore.

The class roars with laughter as the crestfallen Truman takes his seat.

EXT. PARKING LOT. DAY – PRESENT.

TRUMAN, briefcase in hand, crosses from the parking lot to the town square, surrounded by similarly suited, briefcase-toting OFFICE WORKERS.

EXT. DOWNTOWN SEAHAVEN. DAY.

TRUMAN walks briskly down the bustling city street. A snarl of taxis, buses and COMMUTER traffic. A STREET VENDOR thrusts a pretzel under Truman’s nose, a CAREER WOMAN triesto catch his eye.

Truman stops at a kiosk and buys a newspaper – “THE ISLAND TIMES”.

VENDOR
Is that all for you, Truman?

TRUMAN
That’s all. Thanks, Errol.

Other CUSTOMERS also purchase the morning paper. Tucking his copy under his arm, Truman selects a glossy magazine from a rack, quickly flicking through the pages.

Glancing in the direction of the NEWSPAPER VENDOR and finding him busy with another CUSTOMER, Truman deftly tears a portion of the open page and pockets the cutting. He hastilyreplaces the magazine and departs.

As Truman hurries away, the vendor exits the kiosk and picks up the magazine, instantly turning to the torn page. It is a cosmetics advertisement with the MODEL’S NOSE missing. However, the vendor makes no effort to confront Truman, almost as if he were expecting it.

EXT. SEAHAVEN LIFE AND ACCIDENT, INC. DAY.

Truman passes along a row of shops and offices, finally entering a building that proudly proclaims, “Seahaven Life & Accident Inc.” above the entrance. He has evidently taken his teacher’s advice.

INT. INSURANCE COMPANY – SEAHAVEN LIFE AND ACCIDENT, INC. DAY.

In a cramped, cluttered cubicle, TRUMAN talks on the telephone.

TRUMAN
(into receiver)
…okay, okay, let’s call it what itis…I’m not going to lie to you…lifeinsurance is death insurance…you’vejust got to ask yourself two questions… one, in the event of your death, willanyone experience financial loss?…andtwo, do you care?

A CLERK drops a large reference book on Truman’s desk.

Truman checks the spine – “MARITIME ACCIDENTS”.

TRUMAN
(into receiver)
Hold on, will you?
(to Clerk, referring to the book)
This is no good. Lumps all maritime accidents together. I need drownings asa separate category.

The Clerk shrugs, returns the book to his cart and continues his rounds.

TRUMAN
(returning to his call)
…just think about what I’ve been sayingand let me…hello?…

The person on the other end has hung up. With an apathetic shrug, Truman replaces the receiver. He looks over his shoulder and places another call.

TRUMAN
(lowering his voice)
Can you connect me with directory inquiries in Fiji?

A CO-WORKER suddenly pokes his head over the neighboring cubicle.

CO-WORKER
What do you know, Truman?

TRUMAN
(embarrassed, mouthing the word)
–Can’t talk.
(waving off his neighbor, pretendingto be on a business call)
I’m sorry, ma’am. If he’s in a coma, he’s probably uninsurable.

The Co-Worker disappears back into his own cubicle.

TRUMAN
(lowering his voice again)
Hello, operator…yes, Fiji…Do you havea listing for a Lauren Garland?
(pause)
…nothing listed?…what about a Sylvia Garland…”S” for Sylvia…nothing?
Okay, thanks…

The disconsolate Truman replaces the receiver. Other INSURANCE AGENTS are heading to lunch. Truman puts on his jacket and follows them to the elevators.

INT. LOCAL ITALIAN DELI. LUNCHTIME.

Behind a deli counter, TYRONE, fifties, is having his hair brushed by a YOUNG MAN. The man fusses one final time, then swiftly departs through a rear door just as TRUMAN entersthe store. Tyrone has anticipated Truman’s order and has already begun preparing a meatball and mozzarella sandwich on an Italian roll. Truman gazes at the sandwich skillfully under construction, pained by his own predictability.

TYRONE
(nauseatingly cheerful)
How’s it going, Truman?

TRUMAN
(deadpan)
Not bad. I just won the State Lottery.

TYRONE
(not listening to Truman’s reply)
Good. Good.

TRUMAN
Tyrone, what if I said I didn’t want meatball today?

TYRONE
(not missing a beat, passingTruman his wrapped sandwich)
I’d ask for identification.

Truman forces a half-smile and exits.

TYRONE
See you tomorrow, Truman.

TRUMAN
You can count on it.

EXT. SECLUDED PARK. DAY.

TRUMAN eats lunch alone at a small, out-of-the-way park dominated by a gazebo. From his briefcase he pulls out an old, hardcovered book, “To The Ends Of The Earth – The Age OfExploration”. He reads to himself, his sandwich uneaten beside him. Struck by a particular passage, he reads aloud.

TRUMAN
“With a mutiny but half-repressed and starvation imminent, he pressed southwardtill he found the long-hoped-forstraits…”

Truman is interrupted by a TRANSIENT in a wheelchair. It is the man’s sneakers Truman notices first, over the top of his book – they are distinctively initialed, “T.S.”. Still underthe spell of the account of Magellan, he hands the grateful man his sandwich.

INT. A CONFERENCE ROOM SOMEWHERE. DAY.

A group of a dozen MEN and WOMEN of varying ages sit around a circular conference table in a sterile, windowless meeting room.

All stare at a single telephone placed in the center of the table, anticipating a call. On cue, the phone rings and one ofthe men, after waiting for the second ring, picks up.

MAN
Hello?…I’m sorry, I’ve got more thanenough life insurance.

He hangs up. After a moment the phone rings again.

INT. INSURANCE COMPANY. DAY.

TRUMAN sits at his desk, making a cold call.

TRUMAN
(into receiver)
…this isn’t about insurance, this isabout the great variable – when willdeath occur? Could be a week, a month, ayear. Could happen today…A sunbather, minding his own business, gets stabbed inthe heart by the tip of a runaway beachumbrella… No way you can guard againstthat kind of thing, no way at all…

The prospect on the other end, unimpressed with Truman’s pitch, hangs up. Truman’s supervisor, LAWRENCE, younger than Truman by several years, sharper suit, sharper haircut, appears around the corner of the cubicle.

LAWRENCE
(handing Truman some documentation)
Hey, Burbank, I’ve got a prospect in Welles Park I need you to close.

Truman’s face falls. He stares out of his third floor window at the hazy skyline of a nearby island across the bay.

TRUMAN
(referring to the island)
Welles Park on Harbor Island?

LAWRENCE
(sarcastic)
You know another one?

TRUMAN
I can’t do it.
(searching for a plausible excuse)
–I’ve got an appointment–er, dentist.

LAWRENCE
(insistent)
You’ll lose a lot more than your teeth ifyou don’t meet your quota, Burbank.
(the threat in his voice is unmistakable)
They’re making cutbacks at the end of themonth. You need this.
(as he exits the cubicle)
Besides, a half hour across the bay. Seaair. Do you good.

Truman sinks back into his seat and stares out at the distant skyline. The buildings appear very still. Truman picks up a photo of his wife, Meryl, deposits it in his briefcase and exits.

EXT. SEAHAVEN. DAY.

Truman’s car heads out of the city on its way to the ferry.

INT. SEAHAVEN FERRY TERMINAL. DAY.

TRUMAN exits his car. Mustering all his nerve, he marches into the Seahaven terminal and buys a token for the ferry.

Out of his hearing, TWO FERRY WORKERS observe Truman’s agitated behavior.

FERRY WORKER 1
I got a feeling this is the day.

FERRY WORKER 2
No way. I say he makes it through theturnstiles but he never gets on.

The two men shake on the wager. Unaware of the scrutiny, Truman passes through the turnstiles with a herd of TOURISTS and COMMUTERS. He makes his way across the terminal, but abruptly pulls up at the gangway.

As the other PASSENGERS impatiently brush past him onto the boat, Truman remains frozen to the spot, mesmerized by the scummy water rising and falling beneath the dock. It triggers a memory in his head.

PLAYBACK – EXT. SEAHAVEN HARBOR. DAY.

As always, the flashback appears to play on a television screen.

SEVEN-YEAR-OLD TRUMAN, wearing a lifejacket, sits alongside his father, KIRK, in a small sailing dinghy, sailing into a stiff breeze.

A second sail boat circles them. We observe the father and son from an angle atop the mast of the neighboring vessel.

TRUMAN
(shouting above the wind)
Let’s go further, daddy! Let’s go further!

KIRK
(shouting back)
It’s getting rough, Truman.

TRUMAN
(entreating his father)
Please!…

Kirk shakes his head ruefully and indulges his son by heading towards the gathering storm clouds on the horizon.

INT. SEAHAVEN FERRY TERMINAL. DAY – PRESENT.

Truman turns and begins to fight his way back against the tide ofPASSENGERS boarding the ferry, emerging back onto the street, gasping for air. The FERRY WORKERS settle their wager.

EXT. ROADWAY ADJACENT TO THE FERRY TERMINAL. DAY.

TRUMAN stands at a payphone. By stretching the payphone’s receiver cord as far as it will go, he is just able to reach his arm and leg into the driver’s door of his car. He punctuates his conversation with blasts on the car’s horn while revving the car’s engine with his outstretched foot.

The few passing MOTORISTS and PEDESTRIANS regard Truman curiously.

TRUMAN
(shouting into phone)
–I tell you the traffic’s insane.
(blasting his horn severaltimes to imitate the sound ofof gridlock)
…I’ll never make the ferry in time.
What can I do?–what?…Lawrence, I can’t hear you!

Truman hangs up the phone.

INT. TRUMAN’S CAR. DAY.

On his way home, a large “DETOUR” sign forces him onto a secondary road.

INT. TRUMAN’S CAR – PARKLAND, SEAHAVEN. DAY.

TRUMAN drives along a winding road through parkland. Hepulls up at a red light – no other traffic around. His attention is caught by an attractive YOUNG WOMAN, sitting ona park bench not far from the intersection. She is being taunted by TWO YOUNG THUGS. She attempts to ignore theyouths by concentrating on the book on her lap.

YOUTH 1
(to woman)
You wanna read to me?

His companion smirks.

YOUTH 1
(more insistent)
You wanna read to me?

The boy reaches over and snatches the novel from her grasp.

YOUTH 2
(menacing)
My friend asked you a question.

The woman picks up her bag in a reflex and holds it to her.

She looks about for assistance, briefly catching Truman’s eye.

The youths also look in Truman’s direction, staring him down.

WOMAN
(reaching for the book)
Please…

The boy returns the book to the woman, but before doing so rips out the last page from the novel and stuffs it in his shirt pocket.

YOUTH 2
Now you’re gonna have to ask me how it ends.

One of the youths grabs the woman, dragging her toward the surrounding woods.

YOUTH 1
We’re gonna tell you how it ends, baby.

WOMAN
Help! Please help!

As they drag her towards the undergrowth, Truman, horrified, half gets out of the car – fearful of his own safety as much as the woman’s. Truman shouts to the youths, his voice cracking with fear.

TRUMAN
Hey! Let her go!

A huge truck suddenly appears behind Truman’s car, its horn blasting, the DRIVER hurling abuse. Truman hesitates as the youths drag the woman into the bushes, conflicted overwhether or not to help. The truck driver keeps his hand on the horn. Truman retreats back into his car and reluctantly drives on.

EXT. PARKLAND – WOODS. DAY.

Truman’s car safely out of sight, the YOUTHS promptly release the YOUNG WOMAN. She calmly brushes herself off, no longer afraid. The young men, no longer angry, retrieve her bag.

WOMAN
Thanks.

The threesome walks back towards the roadway as if life-long friends.

WOMAN
(pondering the incident)
He did nothing.

YOUTH 1
(shrugs, suddenly more couth)
Physical violence paralyzes him. Always has.

EXT. TRUMAN’S HOUSE – DUSK

Beyond the pretty picket fence at the end of the property flows a busy highway.

TRUMAN is mowing the lawn. From his expression it would seem that he’s still reflecting on his inaction in the park. He switches off the mower and leans on the handle.

He is distracted by the arrival of his wife, MERYL, exiting the house. She wears a nurse’s uniform and carries a curious metal device attached to a card board backing. She kisses Truman affectionately on the cheek.

MERYL
Hi, honey. Look at this.
(proudly referring to the device)
It’s a “Chef’s-Mate.” Dicer, slicer andpeeler in one. Never needs sharpening.
Dishwasher safe.

TRUMAN
Gee, that’s great.

Looking over Truman’s shoulder, Meryl notices a small, uncut patch of grass missed by Truman in one of his passes.

MERYL
(referring to the uncut grass)
You missed a section.

Meryl enters the house. Truman restarts the lawnmower and obediently pushes it towards the offending patch of lawn. As the mower brushes up against the unconforming blades ofgrass, Truman pulls back abruptly. He checks the kitchen window for Meryl and wheels the mower away, leaving the patch uncut.

INT. TRUMAN’S HOUSE – LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

MERYL is removing the cap of her nurse’s uniform when TRUMAN enters.

TRUMAN
How did it go today?

MERYL
(matter-of-fact)
A man tripped and fell on a chainsaw.
(shrug)
We got three of his fingers back on.

Truman retrieves a bucket of golf balls and a golf club from behind the door.

MERYL
(disappointed at the sight ofthe golf equipment)
I was hoping we could have a special evening.

TRUMAN
I won’t be late.

MERYL
(sensing something odd in hisdemeanor)
Did something happen today?

Truman turns to her too sharply, his guilt showing.

TRUMAN
What could happen?

Truman exits.

EXT. UNFINISHED BRIDGE. NIGHT.

A half-constructed bridge, paved but unmarked, ends abruptly in mid-air – reinforcing steel protruding from the concrete.

TRUMAN stands at the end of the unfinished bridge withMARLON, thirties, a well-filled physique. Marlon drinks beer from a can while Truman addresses a teed-up golf ball with a number three wood. The headlights of their two parked cars light the cement “fairway”. Their target is a sign at thefar end of the bridge proclaiming, “THE SEAHAVEN CAUSEWAY – Linking Seahaven Island With The Rest Of The World – Your Tax Dollars At Work” – an upturned plastic cone at the foot of the sign is the “hole.”

Truman winds up and swings, making a healthy contact with the ball. The ball arches away into the night sky. From a new angle we see the ball take a huge hop on the outside lane of the abandoned freeway and continue down the asphalt beyond the sign.

Marlon tosses Truman another off-white ball from a bucket of badly scarred golf balls. Truman sets the ball up on the makeshift tee area and launches himself into his second shot. With a slight fade, the second ball carries even further than the first.

MARLON
Whose nuts were those?

Truman hands Marlon their sole golf club without comment. Marlon tees up a ball of his own He uses orange golf balls.

TRUMAN
I’m thinking of getting out, Marlon.

MARLON
(mild interest only)
Yeah? Outta what?

TRUMAN
Outta my job, outta Seahaven, off thisisland…out!

Marlon takes a practice swing.

MARLON
Outta your job? What the hell’s wrongwith your job? You gotta great job. Yougotta desk job. I’d kill for a desk job.

Marlon addresses the ball and swings – a sweeping hook shot that bounces off the freeway and into the water hazard.

MARLON
(annoyed by the errant tee shot)
Sonofabitch.
(still looking in the direction of his ball)
Try stocking vending machines for a living. My biggest decision of the dayis whether the Almond Joys look betternext to the Snickers or the Baby Ruths.

Truman selects another “M” ball from the bucket and tosses it to Marlon.

TRUMAN
(adamant)
Haven’t you ever gotten itchy feet?

Overcompensating with his second shot, Marlon slices the ball inthe other direction. A lucky bounce keeps it on the “green.”

The ball rolls in the direction of the upturned cone.

MARLON
(skeptical, picking up his beer)
Where is there to go?

Truman gulps his beer as he prepares his answer.

TRUMAN
(unable to disguise hisreverence)
Fiji.

Marlon considers Truman’s suggestion as he sips his beer.

MARLON
(impressed)
Fiji? Where the hell is Fiji exactly? Near Florida? You can’t drive there, can you?

Truman picks up a golf ball to demonstrate. He points to a dimple on his make-shift globe.

TRUMAN
See here, this is us.
(sliding his finger aroundthe other side of the ball)
All the way round here, Fiji. You can’tget any further away before you startcoming back.
(tossing the world in hishand, warming to his subject)
Y’know, there are still islands in Fijiwhere no human has ever set foot.

MARLON
(still dubious)
So when are you leaving?

TRUMAN
It’s not that simple. Takes money, planning. You can’t just up and go.
(heading off Marlon’s skepticism)
Oh, I’m going to do it, don’t worry aboutthat. I’ve just got to move slow. Pickmy moment. Bonus time’s just around thecorner. Soon as I finish the…

MARLON
Nursery?

TRUMAN
Spare room – I can start thinking aboutselling up…and I’ll be gone. Up andaway on that big steel bird.
(as if to convince himself)
I’m going, don’t you worry about that.

Marlon nods even though the concept of taking flight isbeyond his imagination.

MARLON
I never knew anybody who wanted to leaveSeahaven.

An awkward moment. Truman, once again, not so sure of himself.

INT. A DIMLY-LIT ROOM SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

A MAN looks up sharply. He stares into camera. CHRISTOF, latefifties – a vitality in his eyes that belies his years. A newsanchor-style earpiece disappears down the neck of his suit.

EXT. BRIDGE. NIGHT.

TRUMAN and MARLON wander along the empty bridge, retrieving the golf balls.

Marlon goes to say something to the disconsolate Truman, but is momentarily distracted. He raises his hand to his ear. Truman places another of the balls in the bucket.

MARLON
Truman, you know, I did think about moving away one time.

TRUMAN
(interest piqued)
Yeah, what happened?

MARLON
I figured, what’s the point? I knew I’djust be taking my problems with me. Oncethe kids came along, it made me look atSeahaven with new eyes.
(gazing out at the lights ofSeahaven)
I realized, what the hell could be betterthan this?
(putting a hand on Truman’sshoulder)
I’m telling you. What you really need issomeone to carry on the “Burbank” name.

TRUMAN
You think so?

MARLON
Trust me.

Marlon picks up the last ball at the mouth of the upturned cone. The ball is white.

MARLON
(checking the ball)
You win.

They approach Truman’s car. Truman opens the trunk todeposit their humble golfing equipment. Inside are the remains of the fallen light fixture.

TRUMAN
(referring to the light)
You really think it could’ve dropped offan airliner?

MARLON
(unimpressed)
Sure. It’s halogen. Shame it didn’t hityou – you could’ve sued.
(quickly changing the subject)
You coming for a drink?

TRUMAN
I can’t tonight.

INT. LIGHTHOUSE. NIGHT.

From the POV of the lighthouse’s lantern room, we observe TRUMAN sitting on the beach staring out to sea.

Closer on Truman. He has a portable tape recorder slung over his shoulder and points a corded microphone at the surf. We watch Truman’s impassive face as he makes the recording ofthe lapping waves. The lamp from the lighthouse occasionally falls upon Truman.

PLAYBACK – EXT. OCEAN. DAY.

As always, the flashback appears to play on a television screen.

The sky is black with storm clouds. Gale force winds lash rain into the faces of SEVEN-YEAR-OLD TRUMAN and his father, KIRK. As Kirk stands up to get his hearings, a freak gust of wind catches the sail. The boom whips across the stern and strikes Kirk flush in the head, knocking his overboard.

Truman, wearing the sole lifejacket, desperately reaches for his father. He momentarily has hold of his father’s handwhen Kirk is abruptly dragged beneath the surface.

TRUMAN
(crying out)
Daddy!!…Daddy!!…

His cries go unanswered. Seven-year-old Truman finds himself alone – the storm abruptly passed, the wind suddenly dropped, the water stilled.

The frightened Truman examines the ring he holds in his open hand – his father’s ring – wrenched from his finger in Truman’s fight to keep him afloat.

EXT. BEACH. NIGHT – PRESENT.

A close up of TRUMAN from KIRK’S RING that Truman now wears.

Then, from the lighthouse POV, we observe Truman get to his feet and walk towards the dark water. He stands at the water’s edge.

TRUMAN
(shouting at the surf)
I’m sorry, Dad! I’m sorry!

As if in reply, a tongue of lightning flashes across the distant skyline, followed by a growl of thunder.

INT. A LIVING ROOM SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

TWO OLD WOMEN, seventies, sit beside each other on a sofa looking directly into camera as they talk.

OLD WOMAN 1
(playing amateur psychiatrist)
It left him with more than his obviousfear of the water.

OLD WOMAN 2
He was never the same curious littleboy again.

OLD WOMAN 1
Half the women I know named their children after him.

EXT. BEACH PARKING LOT. NIGHT.

TRUMAN is forced to leg it through a sudden rain shower tohis car.

From Truman’s point-of-view, the shower appears quite normal.

However, viewed from a distance, we see that the shower is extremely localized, encircling only him, as if a small cloud is directly above his head, tracking his progress.

As Truman crosses the parking lot, the shower crosses with him. Sensing something amiss, Truman dances back and forth across the street, intrigued by the curious phenomenon. He hums a few bars of “Singin’ In The Rain.”

The rain becomes heavier, covering a wider area. Truman runs the remaining distance to his car.

INT. TRUMAN’S HOUSE – NURSERY. NIGHT.

The drenched TRUMAN enters to find MERYL, in the unfinished nursery, comparing wallpaper samples. Meryl wears a robe, a glimpse of black negligee beneath.

MERYL
Where have you been?

TRUMAN
(wringing out his jacket)
I’ve been thinking–

MERYL
(rolling her eyes)
Oh, God.

TRUMAN
(ignoring the reception)
–I figure we could scrape togethereight thousand.

MERYL
(exasperated)
Every time you and Marlon–

TRUMAN
–We could bum around the world for ayear on that.

MERYL
And then what, Truman? We’d be back towhere we were five years ago. You’retalking like a teenager.

TRUMAN
Maybe I feel like a teenager.

MERYL
We’re mortgaged to the eyeballs, Truman. There’s the car payments. Are we justgoing to walk away from our financialobligations?

Truman, still dripping on the floor, holds Meryl by the arms. He talks excitedly to her the way we imagine he did when they were courting.

TRUMAN
It’d be an adventure.

MERYL
I thought we were going to try for ababy. Isn’t that enough of an adventure?

TRUMAN
That can wait. I want to get away. Seesome of the world. Explore.

Meryl gives a derisive laugh.

MERYL
You want to be an explorer? You don’teven have a passport, Truman. I bet youdon’t even know how to get one.

The words sting. Truman turns away. Seeing the pain she’s caused, she changes tack.

MERYL
This’ll pass. Everybody thinks like thisnow and then.
(making an attempt at seduction)
Come to bed.

TRUMAN
I think I’m going to stay up for a while.

INT. AN OFFICE BUILDING SOMEWHERE – RECEPTION. NIGHT.

In the reception area of an office building, TWO UNIFORMED GUARDS drink coffee.

GUARD 1
How can they have a child?

GUARD 2
It’s not gonna be his, you idiot.

GUARD 1
Why not?

GUARD 2
You think she’d go through with it?

GUARD 1
Sure she would.

GUARD 2
(reassessing his own opinion)
Guess I always thought they’d adopt.

EXT. TRUMAN’S STREET. DAWN.

There is something peculiar about the way the sun rises over Seahaven Island – the light appears in an arc that’s slightly too perfect and well-defined.

INT. TRUMAN’S BEDROOM. MORNING.

In front of his bedroom window, TRUMAN, wearing his new sweats, performs an exercise routine of his own invention. He counts off the exercises to himself – cheating as he does so. He counts five leg-lifts for every two he completes.

TRUMAN
–Five…
(two leg-lifts later)
Then…fifteen…two more makes twenty.

INT. A BEDROOM SOMEWHERE. MORNING.

A middle-aged MARRIED COUPLE in identical matching sweats repeat the same eccentric exercises in perfect sync, as if they were in a class led by Truman.

EXT. CAR. DAY.

TRUMAN climbs into the car and switches on the radio. He drivesdown the street.

RADIO ANNOUNCER
Another glorious morning in Seahaven, folks. Don’t forget to buckle up–

Truman mutters to himself as is his custom.

EXT. DOWNTOWN SEAHAVEN. DAY.

TRUMAN emerges from the parking lot and as usual stops at the newspaper stand. He picks up a glossy magazine and flips through the cosmetic ads, surreptitiously tearing a pair of EYES from one of the pages. He returns the magazine to the rack. As usual, the NEWSPAPER VENDOR fails to intervene.

Truman begins his daily pilgrimage to work through the rush hour pedestrian traffic.

As he enters the street leading to his office, he glimpses a HOMELESS MAN reflected in the window of a parked car.

Truman, spellbound by the man, suddenly wheels around to face him. The Homeless Man, late-fifties, more well-groomed and well-fed than the average vagrant, has a serene smile on his face.

The Homeless Man places his hand ever so gently on Truman’s cheek. Truman makes no effort to withdraw. He is transfixed by the man’s eyes. He appears to recognize him.

TRUMAN
(almost to himself, mouthingthe word)
Dad…

Suddenly an ELEGANT WOMAN SHOPPER walking a small WIENER DOG and a BUSINESS EXECUTIVE carrying a briefcase, walking in opposite directions along the sidewalk, grab the HomelessMan. One under each arm, lifting the Homeless Man off the ground, they start to whisk the bewildered derelict down the street.

TRUMAN
(calling out)
Stop! Stop!!

Truman begins to give chase. However, the shopper and the businessman are surprisingly fleet-footed. Even more surprising as Truman embarks on the pursuit is the behaviorof the PEDESTRIANS and COMMUTERS. They appear to part forthe fleeing trio, then close ranks in front of him. Is it accidental, or are the pedestrians working together, running interference?

TRUMAN
(shouting at the pedestrians)
Outta the way! Outta the way!

They are escaping.

Truman finally breaks through the pack, bowling over several of the pedestrians in the process. Just as he gets within reach of the shopper and the businessman, a bus suddenly screeches to a halt beside the abductors, doors already open.

The Woman Shopper and the Executive bundle the Homeless Man onto the bus. Truman lurches after them, but he is met by the bus doors, closing sharply in his face.

TRUMAN
(to BUS DRIVER)
Hey, stop! Stop the bus!!

Truman thumps against the doors, but the BUS DRIVER ignores his cries and the bus roars away. The other PASSENGERS in the bus, apparently oblivious to the incident, keeps staring straight ahead.

Truman continues to give chase when a taxi appears out of nowhere and cuts in front of him, blocking his path. When he recovers, the bus has disappeared. The mysterious crowd of pedestrians has also dissolved as if it never existed.

Retracing his steps, head reeling, wondering if the could have imagined the whole incident, Truman discovers that the Woman Shopper has left her WIENER DOG behind. The dog wanders aimlessly on the pavement, its leash trailing behind it.

INT. MOTHER’S HOUSE. DAY.

TRUMAN paces impatiently in the living room of his Mother’s cramped, fussy, doilyed little house full of Burbank family memorabilia – a cluster of framed photographs is dominated by one of his FATHER trimmed with a black ribbon. A toilet flushes and Truman’s MOTHER finally emerges from the next room.

She presents something of a contradiction. Although shewalks with the aid of a “walker,” she is actually a well-preserved sixty. She wears a glamorous nightgown and a full head of bleached-blonde hair.

TRUMAN
(kissing Mother on the cheek)
How are you, Mother?

MOTHER
Well, I made it through another night.

TRUMAN
How’s your hip?

MOTHER
Oh, just so.

Truman supports Mother.

MOTHER
You know surprises aren’t good for me. You should really call before you comeover, dear.

TRUMAN
I’ve got something to tell you. You’dbetter sit down.

Truman helps her into an overstuffed armchair.

MOTHER
You look very pale, Truman. Are youtaking your vitamin D’s?

TRUMAN
(exasperated)
I spend half my life out in the sun, Mother, why would I need vitamin D?

MOTHER
I feel certain my condition runs in thefamily.
(putting the back of her handdramatically over her forehead)
Can’t this wait, dear?

He kneels beside her.

TRUMAN
No, I’m afraid it can’t.

Truman takes a deep breath as he prepares to give her the news.

TRUMAN
I know this is going to sound insane, Mother, but…I saw Dad today onLancaster Circle. He’s alive.

Mother smiles condescendingly.

MOTHER
It doesn’t sound insane, Truman. I swearI see him ten times a week–in a hundredfaces. I almost hugged a perfect strangerin the salon last Thursday.

TRUMAN
It was Dad, I swear, dressed like ahomeless man. And you know what else wasreally strange? A businessman and awoman with a little dog appeared fromnowhere and forced him onto a bus.

MOTHER
About time they started cleaning up thetrash Downtown. We don’t want to end uplike the rest of the country.

TRUMAN
They never found Dad’s body — maybesomehow —

MOTHER
— Darling —

TRUMAN
(already doubting himself)
I’m telling you, if it wasn’t him, it washis twin. Did Dad have a brother?

MOTHER
You know he was an only child, like you.
(placing a comforting armaround him)
I know how bad you feel about whathappened–sailing into that storm. But I don’t blame you, Truman. I never have.

Mother kisses Truman on the cheek.

MOTHER
(referring to her platinum blonde hair)
I was thinking about going lighter. Whatdo you think?

Truman regards his Mother. Her hair is already impossibly blonde.

INT. TRUMAN’S BASEMENT. DUSK.

The basement is cluttered with junk – ships in bottles, a train track without trains, an oxygen mask, a stringless guitar, many abandoned projects. The basement is dimly lit by a single, naked bulb. TRUMAN looks over his shoulder before opening a large walk-in cupboard. On the cupboarddoor is a wall map of the Pacific Ocean – the Fiji Islandsare carefully circled. Amongst the many tools and household implements inside the cupboard is a trunk under a dusty canvas sheet. He pulls the trunk into the room, unfastens the lock and opens the lid.

Inside, mementoes from his youth. A “HOW TO SAIL” book, a stack of “GREAT EXPLORERS” magazines, and beneath it all, a garment in a drycleaning bag. Truman carefully lifts up the plastic to reveal a young woman’s cardigan sweater. He puts the cardigan to his nose and takes in its scent.

Footsteps. Truman hastily drops the cardigan in the trunkand shuts the lid. MERYL’s legs appear on the stairs.

MERYL
What’re you doing down here?

TRUMAN
(turning attention to an upturnedmower on the basement floor)
Fixing the mower.
(matter-of-fact)
I saw my father today.

MERYL
I know.

TRUMAN
(suspicious)
How do you know?

MERYL
Your mother called. You shouldn’t upsether like that.

Meryl’s response takes the wind out of Truman’s sails.

TRUMAN
What did you want?

MERYL
I made macaroni.

TRUMAN
I’m not hungry.

Meryl nods, not at all convinced.

MERYL
We really ought to toss that mower out. Get one of those new Elk Rotaries.

Truman does not reply. After an uncomfortable pause, she turns back up the stairs.

Truman waits a moment before re-opening the trunk. Heremoves the cardigan and holds it up, reminiscing.

INT. A KITCHEN SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

A MOTHER, DAUGHTER about 12, and a BABY in a highchair stare into camera.

DAUGHTER
What’s he doing?

MOTHER
They removed all physical trace of her but they couldn’t erase the memory.

DAUGHTER
The memory of who?

MOTHER
(finger to lips)
Shhh!

PLAYBACK MONTAGE – EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS – STEPS. DAY.

Once again the images appear to be playing on a television screen.

On the steps of a typical college campus, TRUMAN, 21, in a college band uniform, participates in a football pep rally.

MARLON, 21, a member of the football team, and MERYL, 21, a cheerleader, are nearby. Truman observes an ethereal-looking young woman walk by – LAUREN.

PLAYBACK – INT. DANCEHALL. NIGHT.

At a college dance, TRUMAN dances with MERYL. LAUREN dances by with a PARTNER of her own. However, Truman only has eyes for Lauren. Suddenly, she is escorted from the dance floor.

PLAYBACK – EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS – STREET. DAY.

TRUMAN almost trips off the curb as he waves to LAUREN, riding towards him on a bicycle. However, she rides right by with her nose in the air, not even acknowledging his presence – Truman puzzled by her change of heart.

The montage ends at a scene in a college library.

PLAYBACK – INT. COLLEGE LIBRARY. NIGHT.

In the school library, TRUMAN, 21, sits with MARLON, 21, and wife-to-be, MERYL, 21, doing a final cram for a test. The STUDENTS begin to pack up their books. Meryl gives Truman a peck on the cheek.

MERYL
Come on, Truman. Haven’t you studiedenough?

TRUMAN
I still want to look over a couple ofthings.

MARLON
(punching Truman in a chummy way on the arm, referring toTruman’s book)
Take the “C” average. That’s what I do.

Truman looks up from his books. The library is almost deserted. He spies a GIRL’s hand around the table divider.

Truman musters the nerve to poke his head over the divider. Hefinds LAUREN on the other side, buried in a book.

TRUMAN
Konichi-wa.

Lauren looks blank.

TRUMAN
(referring to the Japanese text in front of her)
You take Japanese.

LAUREN
(quickly closing the book)
Oh, yes.

TRUMAN
(glancing to the name carefullywritten on the front of the book)
Lauren, right?

LAUREN
(as if unaware of her own name)
That’s right. Lauren.

TRUMAN
(extending his hand)
I’m Truman, Truman Burbank–

LAUREN
–I’m not allowed to talk to you.

Truman is not surprised.

TRUMAN
(resigned)
It’s okay. I probably wouldn’t talk tome either.

LAUREN
(softening)
I’m sorry. It’s not up to me.

TRUMAN
(crestfallen)
You have a boyfriend? Of course you do.

Lauren looks about her, unsure.

LAUREN
No…I, er.

TRUMAN
(hopeful once again)
No? Really? Good, I mean, I thoughtpossibly a pizza. How about Friday?

LAUREN
No.

TRUMAN
Saturday?

Lauren looks around the almost-deserted library.

TRUMAN
Actually, I’m free Sunday.

LAUREN
Now.

TRUMAN
Right now? We’ve got finals tomorrow.

LAUREN
If we don’t go now, it won’t happen.

Truman hesitates.

LAUREN
(impatient, looking anxiouslyaround)
Well, what do you want to do?

TRUMAN
(closing his books, still a little uncertain)
I think I’ve studied enough.

PLAYBACK – EXT. VARIOUS LOCATIONS NEAR SEAHAVEN COLLEGE. NIGHT.

LAUREN, taking TRUMAN by the hand, runs down various streets and paths through the campus. She occasionally pauses and looks about her, often changing direction or looking up at streetlights and the towers of houses along their route, asif trying to elude an unseen pursuer.

The excited and apprehensive Truman runs with her although he is unsure exactly who, or what, they are running from.

The further they get from the campus, the higher, wider and less effective the coverage of the scene – some camera angles are even partially obscured.

PLAYBACK – EXT. HIGHWAY – WESTERN END OF TOWN. NIGHT.

TRUMAN and LAUREN eventually cross an empty highway on the edgeof town.

They run over the dunes onto a strangely deserted beach and down to the water’s edge under a hyper-real full moon.

Lauren throws off her cardigan and hitches up her skirt, wading out into the inviting water without another thought. Truman stares down, transfixed by the shimmering water.

LAUREN
(splashing)
It’s beautiful! What are you waiting for?

TRUMAN
(nervous)
I…I can’t.

Lauren suddenly stops splashing.

LAUREN
That’s right. Oh, God, I’m sorry.

She wades out of the water.

TRUMAN
(confused)
Why, Lauren? You’ve got nothing to besorry about?

Lauren, dripping wet, stands besides Truman at the shoreline. Shemeets his gaze.

LAUREN
My name’s not Lauren. It’s Sylvia.

Truman looks into her eyes and believes her. Truman wipesthe water from her face, then leans forward and gently kisses her lips. She kisses him back.

INT. A BAR SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

In a quiet bar room, a WAITRESS explains her viewpoint to the BARMAN. A PATRON on a barstool eavesdrops.

WAITRESS
Don’t you get it? She was willing to losehim, lose everything, if it meant he couldfind himself.
(registering the barman’s blank look)
Never mind. You wouldn’t understand.

PLAYBACK – EXT. BEACH. NIGHT.

As we return to Truman’s reminiscence, TRUMAN and SYLVIA (as she is now called throughout the remainder of the movie) sit on the sand at the water’s edge. With great delicacy, Truman traces the outline of her nose with his finger, at the same time inhaling her scent. Sylvia looks nervously around her.

Truman goes to say something, but Sylvia hushes him.

SYLVIA
They’re coming. Any minute.

TRUMAN
(looking around the deserted beach)
Who?

SYLVIA
They’re going to stop me talking to you.

TRUMAN
(confused)
There’s no one here.

SYLVIA
(looking over her shoulder nervously)
Just listen. You remember when you were alittle boy, you stood up in class andsaid you wanted to be an explorer likeMagellan–

TRUMAN
(incredulous)
–How do you know about that?

SYLVIA
–And your teacher said, “You’re too late, Truman. There’s nothing left to explore.”

TRUMAN
Were you there–how do you know?

SYLVIA
–It doesn’t matter. Everybody knowsabout it. They know everything you do. The point is, you got scared.

TRUMAN
I don’t understand.

SYLVIA
(looking over her shoulder, increasingly nervous)
You must listen. Everybody’s pretending, Truman.

She points to the sky and scoops up the sea at their feet.

SYLVIA
You think this is real? It’s all foryou. A show.
(frustrated, raving)
The eyes are everywhere. They’rewatching you – right now.

Suddenly a car’s headlights come bouncing over the dunes. The car roars across the beach towards the couple.

SYLVIA
(scared)
I told you, Truman!

The car skids to a stop and a large MAN, 40ish, with a shock ofred hair, jumps from the car. The man yanks the frightened Sylvia to her feet, causing her cardigan to fall to the ground.

MAN
(to Sylvia, oddly sympathetic)
Lauren, sweetheart, not again. Get inthe car!

Truman jumps in.

TRUMAN
Hey, who the hell are you?!

MAN
I’m her father!

TRUMAN
We weren’t doing anything.

SYLVIA
He’s not my father! He’s just sayingthat! Does he look anything like me?!

MAN
Come on, Sweetheart.

The Man gently, but firmly, pushes Sylvia towards his car. Sylviaresists. Truman crosses to them.

TRUMAN
I’ll take care of her!

The Man takes Truman aside and whispers in his ear.

MAN
(whispered, out of Sylvia’s earshot)
Schizophrenia. She has episodes.

Doubts start crowding into Truman’s head.

SYLVIA
(calling out from the car)
Don’t listen to him, Truman. I’m telling youthe truth!

MAN
(getting into the car)
Don’t bother! We’re moving to…Fiji – theFiji Islands! This place has donesomething to her head.

INT. A DIMLY-LIT ROOM SOMEWHERE. NIGHT – PRESENT.

CHRISTOF stares intently into camera. Beside him is his assistant, CHLOE, an androgynous-looking young woman. Shetoo stares into camera.

CHRISTOF
At least he didn’t say “New York City.”

PLAYBACK – EXT. BEACH. NIGHT.

TRUMAN stares after the car as it roars away. He turns back toward the ocean where his attention is caught by an object lying on the sand – Sylvia’s cardigan.

INT. TRUMAN’S BASEMENT. NIGHT – PRESENT.

TRUMAN carefully places the cardigan back into the trunk.

INT. A KITCHEN SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

MOTHER, DAUGHTER and BABY stare into camera.

DAUGHTER
But why didn’t he just follow her to Fiji?

MOTHER
Because his mother got sick – very sick. He couldn’t leave her. He’s akind boy, maybe too kind.

DAUGHTER
I can’t believe he married Meryl on the rebound.

INT. BASEMENT. NIGHT.

TRUMAN turns his attention to the framed photograph of Meryl that he carries everywhere. Hidden behind her photo is a composite picture of Sylvia which Truman has constructed by pasting together individual facial features – nose, mouth, ears, chin, hair – gathered, presumably, from women’s magazines. He attempts to put the jigsaw puzzle together – although he has particular difficulty finding a pair of eyes that match.

From his pocket he takes a recent collection of eyes which, like a detective working on an identikit picture, he tries to match. They are still not quite right.

INT. AN APARTMENT SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

The eyes of a YOUNG WOMAN – blue-green eyes. She turns slightly, looking directly into camera. We pull back to reveal her face – SYLVIA.

EXT. TRUMAN’S STREET. EARLY MORNING.

Dawn breaks over Truman’s street. On cue, the sound of birds.

EXT. STREET OUTSIDE TRUMAN’S HOUSE. MORNING.

TRUMAN leaves the house, lost in thought. SPENCER is taking out the trash.

SPENCER
How’s it going, Truman?

Truman hardly acknowledges Spencer. PLUTO the dog fails to receive his usual pat. The wave from the WASHINGTON’s across the street is also not returned.

INT/EXT. CAR/STREET OUTSIDE TRUMAN’S HOUSE. DAY.

TRUMAN motors down the street, switching on the car radioas usual.

RADIO ANNOUNCER
–Don’t forget to buckle up out there inradioland. It’s another glorious… ..morrrninggg…innn… Seaaaa… haaaa…vennn…f…o…l…k…s…

The Announcer’s voice slows down – now revealing itself to be a tape that has worn out. Truman, perplexed, looks at the radio and pushes buttons in an attempt to find another station. He finds one.

FEMALE VOICE
(from radio)
…west on Stewart…he’s making a righton Holden…

Truman glances up at the street signs along his route and finds that they correspond exactly with the streets quotedon the radio. Distracted, he almost bowls over an OLD LADY
on a crosswalk.

MALE VOICE
(from radio)
…God, he almost hit Marilyn! He’s onthe move again, passing the library…

Truman, readjusts the radio as it starts to fade out. Suddenly, there is a piercing blast of feedback. He looks up and, as far as the eye can see, every PEDESTRIAN, MOTORIST and SHOPKEEPER along the street suddenly winces in pain and holds their right ear at exactly the same moment.

MALE VOICE
(from radio, in distress himself)
…Something’s wrong. Change frequencies…

Truman tries to pick up the channel once again but without success.

EXT. PARKING LOT. MORNING.

TRUMAN sits in his car, drinking his coffee, taking in the recent incident. From inside the adjacent school, he hears the familiar, excited squeals and chatter of SCHOOL CHILDREN. Truman suddenly throws aside his coffee and sprints acrossthe parking lot and into the school.

INT. SEAHAVEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. MORNING.

TRUMAN slams through the front doors into the reception area. It is deserted, no one stationed at the administration desk, the corridors empty. He runs down a vacant corridor, finally standing outside a classroom. The children’s voices canstill be heard from inside. Truman bursts through the door.

The room is empty save for a large reel-to-reel tape recorder on the teacher’s desk playing a continuous tape of children’svoices. The recorder is attached to speakers on tall stands facing the ventilation ducts. Truman stares at the machinein disbelief.

EXT. STREET – DOWNTOWN. DAY.

TRUMAN, still lost in thought, exits the school. He stops at the newsstand and picks up a magazine to resume his ritual search, but his heart is not in it. He replaces the magazine without taking a cutting – much to the surprise of the NEWS VENDOR.

Truman starts his trek to work, pausing to stare at his reflection in the mirrored building, hoping that the Homeless Man will appear once again at his side. No one joins him.

EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET. DAY.

Entering his own building with fellow OFFICE WORKERS, TRUMAN remains in the revolving door and re-emerges on the street.

EXT. CITY STREETS. DAY.

TRUMAN wanders aimlessly through a city park, observing. We sense, truly observing for the first time.

A YOUNG WOMAN walks a pair of AFGHAN HOUNDS. An OLD MAN answers the incessant questions of his GRANDCHILD. Nothing appears amiss, Truman takes a seat at a small, outdoor cafe.

He fidgets with his father’s ring on his finger that contains one large stone, still looking for a false move.

A DELIVERY MAN unloads boxes from the back of his truck and carries them into a store. Further down the street CONSTRUCTION WORKERS take their time tending to an electrical repair in an exposed manhole. A POSTAL WORKER does his rounds. An OLD WOMAN struggles with two heavy shopping bags. Everybody appears natural, places to go.

INT. A DIMLY-LIT ROOM SOMEWHERE. DAY.

CHRISTOF and CHOLE stare into camera. Christof leans forward and speaks.

CHRISTOF
…Everybody stay focussed. Remember whoyou are.

EXT. CAFE. DAY.

TRUMAN turns his attention to a group of CUBAN-LOOKING MEN at the only other occupied table at the cafe. We see extreme close-ups as Truman scans the men’s faces for any sign of phoniness. They are talking loudly, making suggestive comments to the WAITRESS. Their behavior passes the test –
all seems genuine.

Then, Truman notices TWO JOGGERS out for a morning run, making their way down the street towards him. Truman happens to glance at the sneakers of one of the joggers. He suddenly springs to his feet. Truman blocks the joggers.

TRUMAN
It’s you…isn’t it?

The Joggers attempt to sidestep Truman.

JOGGER 1
Excuse me.

TRUMAN
Remember? Two days ago I gave you mymeatball sandwich in the park. You werein a wheelchair. Same sneakers.

The jogger looks down at his distinctive sneakers bearing the initials, “T.S.”, and visibly blanches.

JOGGER 2
(coming to his companion’s aid)
Get the hell out of here.

The second jogger roughly shoves Truman aside. Truman calls out after the two men.

TRUMAN
(ironically referring to theJogger’s new-found mobility)
It’s a miracle!

Truman picks himself up, dusting dirt from his suit. He retrieves his briefcase and continues down the street with renewed purpose.

EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET. DAY.

Wandering down the bustling street, TRUMAN suddenly boltsinto a building at random.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING. DAY.

An imposing office building clad in the kind of reflective glass that shields its occupants from the world – a building Truman passes every day. A steady stream of EMPLOYEES and VISITORS enter and exit the building’s high-ceilinged lobby past an intimidating security desk manned by TWO UNIFORMED GUARDS. Beyond security are banks of elevators, ferrying executives, clerical staff and delivery personnel to and from their floors of business.

Truman abruptly enters reception and strides confidentlypast the security desk trying to look as if he belongs.

SECURITY GUARD 1
(to Truman)
Can I help?

TRUMAN
(sneaking a glance at the building directory)
I have an appointment at, er…GableEnterprises.

SECURITY GUARD 1
They went bust.

The second Security Guard is rising from his seat to block Truman’s path to the elevators, but Truman reads his mind and makes a dash for it – into one of the elevators.

A YOUNG WOMAN in the elevator looks in horror at Truman – thecause of her concern all too apparent. Looking beyond the Woman, Truman discovers that there is no back to the elevator car. The PEOPLE Truman has just witnessed entering other elevators are milling around a refreshment table, primping or sitting on folding chairs. Gradually, they all turn to gape at Truman, who in turn stares back, appalled. Truman’s view is abruptly blocked as a rear panel is hastily attached tothe elevator. A Security Guard pulls Truman from the car.

TRUMAN
What’s going on?

SECURITY GUARD 1
(glancing to the lights above the elevator, trying to appearinnocent)
Nothing.

Truman observes the upward progress of the elevator via the light display above the doorway. Before he has time to make sense of it, the guards drag him away.

SECURITY GUARD 2
You’ve got to leave.

The Guards frog-march Truman out of the facade towards an Emergency Exit.

TRUMAN
Just tell me what’s going on?

SECURITY GUARD 2
We’re re-modeling.

TRUMAN
No, you’re not!! What were those peopledoing in there?

SECURITY GUARD 1
(shrugs)
It’s none of my business.
(ushering Truman off the property)
None of yours, either.

TRUMAN
(not going quietly)
You don’t tell me what’s really going on,
I’ll report you.

TRUMAN continues to struggle as the GUARDS usher him to the street.

SECURITY GUARD 2
For what? You’re trespassing!

EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET. DAY.

TRUMAN continues to struggle as the GUARDS unceremoniously dump him on the pavement. He picks himself up, head reeling, and starts to run along the street. He suddenly enters another building at random. An office block with a bank on the ground floor.

Truman rushes to the elevators. The lights above the doors show all the elevator on upper floors. Frantic pressing ofthe elevator button gets no response. A RECEPTIONIST rises from her desk. Truman heads for the stairs, but is intercepted by a BANK OFFICIAL barring his way.

TRUMAN
I want to…

The Bank Official, the Receptionist, and a BANK TELLER back Truman towards the door.

BANK OFFICIAL
…Open an account?

TRUMAN
Yes. Er, why not?

RECEPTIONIST
Savings or checking?

BANK OFFICIAL
Let’s go up to my office.

Truman hurriedly exits the bank.

EXT. STREET. DAY.

Back on the street, TRUMAN feels the eyes of the PEDESTRIANS. Is he simply drawing attention to himself by his behavior? Truman wheels around, trying to make eye contact with passersby. They shy away. He continues to run down the street.

Finally, Truman finds himself standing in front of thewindow of an electronics store staring at his own face on aTV set. It is taking a feed from a camcorder aimed out the store window.

INT. A BATHROOM SOMEWHERE. DAY.

A MAN stares into camera from a bath of stale water – a layer of soap scum on the top.

MAN
Don’t look at me, pal.

EXT. STREET – ELECTRONICS STORE. DAY.

TRUMAN shudders at his video reflection. Further down the street, he notices Marlon’s van parked outside a supermarket.

INT. SUPERMARKET. DAY.

The door of a vending machine is open. MARLON, half inside the machine, loads a stack of Baby Ruth candy bars into one of the dispensing slots. The paranoid TRUMAN appears at his shoulder.

TRUMAN
Marlon–

MARLON
(startled)
–Truman, what are you doing here?

Truman looks nervously around him. Even the STORE OWNER’s friendly nod from behind the counter is cause for suspicionin Truman’s mind.

TRUMAN
(whisper)
I’ve got to talk to you.

MARLON
Sorry, I’m way behind.

TRUMAN
I’m onto something, Marlon – something big.

MARLON
Are you okay? You look like shit.

TRUMAN
I think I’m mixed up in something.

MARLON
Mixed up? Mixed up in what?

TRUMAN
There’s no point in trying to explain it, but a lot of strange things have beenhappening – elevators that don’t goanywhere, people talking about me onthe radio, you know what I mean?

MARLON
(bemused)
No. Truman, if this is another one ofyour fantasies…

TRUMAN
I think it’s got something to do withmy dad.

MARLON
Your Dad?!

TRUMAN
(looking around nervously)
I think he’s alive. I’ll tell you aboutit later. I’m definitely being followed.

MARLON
(looking around, instantly protective)
Who?

TRUMAN
It’s hard to tell. They look just likeregular people.

MARLON
(referring to an OLD COUPLE
entering the deli)
How about them?

TRUMAN
(seriously considering thepossibility)
Could be. Beard looks phony.
(leaning closer to Marlon)
It’s when I’m unpredictable. They can’tstand that. That’s why we’ve got to getout of here. Can you come with me?

MARLON
(closing up the vending machine)
I told you I can’t.

TRUMAN
I’ve got to show you something.

Truman fixes Marlon with a look of deadly seriousness.

MARLON
(weakening)
Christ, Truman. You’re gonna get bothour asses fired.

EXT. SEAHAVEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. DAY.

TRUMAN hurries MARLON up the school steps. The sound of children’s voices continues to drift out from inside the building. Truman and Marlon storm into the school reception area – still empty.

INT. SCHOOL CORRIDOR. DAY.

TRUMAN and MARLON stand outside the classroom, the source of the children’s voices. Truman throws his friend an “I-told-you-so” look and swings open the door with a flourish.

INT. CLASSROOM. DAY.

The once-empty classroom is now full of SCHOOL CHILDREN in an art class. A hush falls over the students and all eyes turn to TRUMAN and MARLON.

TEACHER
(gesturing to two unoccupied easels)
Would you care to join us?

EXT. CLIFFTOP – DUSK

Hand-over-hand, TRUMAN climbs the cliff he once scaled as a seven-year-old. Finally, he sits on the clifftop, staringout at the view his father had been so desperate for him not to see twenty-six years earlier. However, the deserted bay beyond is 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
What exactly?

TRUMAN
Things. Things that doesn’t fit.
(another thought occurs)
Maybe I’m being set up for something. You ever feel like that, Marlon? Likeyour whole life has been building tosomething?

MARLON
(blank)
No.

TRUMAN
(ignoring the remark)
When you were hauling chickens for KaiserPoultry, what was the furthest you everwent off the island?

MARLON
I went all over but I never found a placelike this.
(nodding to the setting sun)
Look at that sunset, Truman. It’s perfect.

TRUMAN
(in a daze)
Yeah…

MARLON
(glancing heavenwards)
That’s the “Big Guy”. Quite a paintbrushhe’s got.

TRUMAN
Just between you and me, Marlon, I’mgoing away for a while.

MARLON
Really?

INT. LIVING ROOM – TRUMAN’S HOUSE. NIGHT.

Truman sits cramped on his sofa. Pulling wider, we discover the cause of his discomfort. He is sandwiched between MERYL on one side and MOTHER on the other. Mother, the family historian, a stack of photograph albums at her feet, turnsthe pages of the album on Truman’s lap.

TRUMAN
We ought to be getting you back, Mother.

MOTHER
Hold on a minute, dear.
(pointing out a photo in the album)
Here’s us at Mount Rushmore. You remember, Truman–when Dad was still withus – that was quite a drive. You sleptall the way there.

TRUMAN
(taking an interest in themonument)
It looks so small.

MOTHER
(quickly turning the page)
Things always do–when you look back.

Mother skips several pages in the album, finally stopping ata spread of wedding photos.

MERYL
Look, Truman, there’s my cousin Errolputting the bouquet down his pants – itwas the happiest day of our lives.

MOTHER
(referring to Meryl)
Didn’t she look beautiful, Truman? Shestill does.

Mother turns to a blank page in the album.

MOTHER
And there’s plenty of room for baby photos. I’d like to hold a grandchildin my arms–
(dabbing her eye with a handkerchief)
–before I go.

Meryl rises from the sofa and helps Mother to her walker.

MERYL
I’ll take you home, Angela.
(referring to the album)
Why don’t you leave those with us fora while?

TRUMAN
(kissing his emotional mother)
Good night, Mother.

MERYL
(a wink to Truman)
See you in a minute, sweetheart.

Meryl departs with Mother. Left alone in the living room, Truman slumps back down onto the sofa and switches on the television set – an old-fashioned model with rabbit-ears. He idly studies the photograph album as an over-earnest television HOST announces the upcoming program.

TV HOST
–Tonight’s golden-oldies is the enduring, much-loved classic, “Show MeThe Way To Go Home”. A hymn of praiseto small-town life where we learn thatyou don’t have to leave home todiscover what the world is all aboutand that no one is poor who hasfriends…

However, when we turn our attention away from thetelevision, we find that Truman is peering intently at a wedding photograph of Meryl and himself taking their vows ina civil ceremony in a beachside gazebo. Under the scrutinyof a magnifying glass, he discovers that Meryl has herfingers crossed.

INT. A LIVING ROOM SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

The TWO LADIES sit on their sofa, a rug across theirknees, sipping a night cap of hot chocolate. They stare into camera.

OLD LADY 1
Remember at the wedding – that dog?

OLD LADY 2
Started howling when they took their vows.

OLD LADY 1
And the plastic horseshoe fell off whenthey cut the cake.

OLD LADY 2
(shaking her head ruefully)
They never had a chance.

INT. KITCHEN. MORNING.

TRUMAN, dressed casually in weekend attire, is at the stove preparing an omelette. MERYL hurries into the kitchen in her nurse’s uniform. She gulps down a cup of coffee and reaches for her nurse’s cap.

However, she still has time to adjust the position of a pack of”FiberCon Cereal” – squaring it a little more to camera.

TRUMAN
I have to talk with you.
(looking about, suspicious)
But not here. Let’s go for a walk.

MERYL
(kissing him on the cheek)
I’m sorry, I’m late.

TRUMAN
What’s the hurry?

MERYL
Surgery. The elevator disaster downtownon the news last night. Cable snapped, acar dropped ten floors. Non-unioncontractors. Monsters. We’re startingwith an amputation.

Truman’s eyes widen. Meryl adjusts her hat in the mirror.

MERYL
That building’s near yours. Imagine ifyou’d been in there for some reason. Itdoesn’t bear thinking about.

Truman, lost in thought, picks up the scalding frying pan withhis bare hand. Letting out a howl of pain, he drops the pan.

TRUMAN
Arrah!

MERYL
Oh, my God!

TRUMAN
What do I do?

MERYL
I don’t know–

TRUMAN
–you’re a nurse, aren’t you?

MERYL
Put some butter on it–or ice?

She looks up the kitchen clock.

MERYL
(hurrying out the door)
Oh, look at the time.

Truman stares after her, the pain of his hand forgotten for themoment. He watches Meryl ride her bicycle down the driveway. Truman exits the house.

EXT. SEAHAVEN STREET/HOSPITAL/PARKING LOT. DAY.

Riding a bicycle of his own, TRUMAN follows MERYL to work, staying a safe distance back. He watches her enter the hospital.

INT. HOSPITAL. DAY.

TRUMAN makes his way along various corridors. All seems asit should – DOCTORS confer with NURSING STAFF and PATIENTS, gurneys are wheeled about with their PASSENGERS looking suitably traumatized. Truman approaches a NURSING SISTER.

TRUMAN
I’m looking for my wife–Nurse Burbank. It’s important.

NURSE
(checking her clipboard)
I’m afraid that’s impossible–she’s in pre-op.

TRUMAN
Sure. Okay. Fine. Can you pass on amessage?

NURSE
I’ll try.

TRUMAN
Tell her, tell her…I had to go to Fiji. I’ll call her when I get there.

NURSE
When you get to Fiji?

TRUMAN
You got it.

NURSE
Fine. I’ll tell her.

The nurse walks off, disappearing through a set of doors. Truman hesitates before following her.

INT. VARIOUS HOSPITAL CORRIDORS. DAY.

The NURSE walks briskly – fewer people about, TRUMAN discreetly following behind. The nurse breaks into a jog. Truman hurries to keep up with her – dodging around gurneys, JANITORS mopping floors.

INT. OUTSIDE OPERATING THEATRE. DAY.

The NURSE, hastily scrubbed and gowned, enters the theatre. TRUMAN hesitates but dares not enter. He grabs a mask of his own.

Looking through the glass window in the operating theatre door, he sees the YOUNG WOMAN (seen in the hastily fixed elevator car the day before) lying on the operating table, a blood-soaked bandage covering her left leg. MERYL, wearing a surgical gown and mask, assists the SURGEON. The SISTER hovers nervously in the background.

SURGEON
Scalpel.

Meryl very slowly selects a scalpel from a tray of instruments and awkwardly hands it to the surgeon.

SURGEON
I’m now making my primary incision justabove the left knee.

The patient’s eyes blink open in horror. The ANESTHETIST steps in Truman’s view before he can get a good look. Suddenly, a SECURITY GUARD appears beside Truman and takes him by the arm.

SECURITY GUARD
(referring to the operation)
This isn’t gonna be pretty. Unlessyou’re family of the patient, I’ll haveto ask you to leave.

TRUMAN
No problem. I don’t want to cause anytrouble.

INT. TRAVEL AGENCY. DAY.

TRUMAN takes a seat at the only desk in an empty travel agency. The travel brochures and posters that adorn the walls all feature destinations that bear a striking similarity to picturesque Seahaven. Another poster spells out the dangers of travel – “TRAVELLERS BEWARE – Terrorists, Disease, Wild Animals, Street Gangs”. A female TRAVEL AGENT enters from a rear door.

AGENT
I’m sorry to keep you. How can I help?

TRUMAN
I want to book a flight to Fiji.

AGENT
Where exactly?

TRUMAN
(believing she is being deliberately obtuse)
Fiji.

AGENT
(a trace of condescension)
Where in Fiji? What island?

TRUMAN
I’m sorry, er…the biggest one.

AGENT
(entering the destination inher computer)
Viti Levu. For how many?

TRUMAN
(finding the question suspicious)
One.

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

TRUMAN
Today.

AGENT
(reading off her computer screen)
I’m sorry. I don’t have anything for atleast a month.

TRUMAN
(suspicious)
A month.

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

TRUMAN
(paranoia showing)
You are a travel agent, aren’t you?
(reading her nametag)
“Doris”? Your job is to help peopletravel.

AGENT
(showing amazing restraint)
I do have a fabulous rate on a cruiseship departing for Fiji tomorrow. Butyou 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
It doesn’t matter. I’ll make other arrangements.

EXT. CITY STREET. DAY.

Emerging onto the street, TRUMAN looks across to the building which he entered the previous day. It is now cordoned off with police tape after the elevator disaster. Flowers have been laid at the doorway.

EXT. GREYHOUND BUS STATION. DAY.

A Greyhound Bus, bound for “CHICAGO” according to its destination sign, sits idling at the stop. Just as a burly SUPERVISOR is about to wave the bus on its way, TRUMAN dashes into the station.

BUS DRIVER
Last call for Chicago.

Truman jumps onto the bus behind the last boarding passenger – a YOUNG SOLDIER.

TRUMAN
(to the Bus Driver, as he boards the bus)
Windy City, here we come.

INT. GREYHOUND BUS. DAY.

TRUMAN takes a seat by a window. An awkward silence descends over the bus. The other passengers – a MOTHER with a restless CHILD, several TOURISTS, an OLD COUPLE and the YOUNG SOLDIER – all stare stiffly straight ahead, averting their eyes from Truman.

No one is more uncomfortable than the BUS DRIVER. Beads of perspiration on his head, he fumbles for the gear shift, apparently unsure how to operate it. The gears grind.

The OTHER PASSENGERS try not to notice. The CHILD, tugging her MOTHER’s sleeve, points to Truman. Her mother makes her face the front of the bus. Finally the SUPERVISOR enters the bus.

SUPERVISOR
Everybody off. We’ve got a problem.

The relieved passengers hurriedly exit until Truman is the only one remaining on the bus. The Bus Driver looks almost sorry for Truman who sits resolutely in his seat – the hint of a tear of frustration in his eyes.

BUS DRIVER
(softly)
I’m sorry, son.

INT. A BAR SOMEWHERE. DAY.

The bar seen earlier. A small group of PATRONS discuss developments. The WAITRESS seems upset, occasionally glancing to camera as she pours a beer.

PATRON 1
Why would he want to go to Chicago? Whodoes he know from there?

PATRON 2
His doctor came from Chicago, didn’t he?

PATRON 1
Wasn’t his father from Chicago?

WAITRESS
(upset)
He’s not going to Chicago. He’s not going anywhere. He has to have it out with Meryl.

EXT. STREET – TRUMAN’S BICYCLE. DAY.

As TRUMAN rides home on his bicycle, he stares wildly about him – the rearview mirror on his bicycle is suddenly cause forconcern, so are the trees and streetlamps lining the roadway.

EXT. TRUMAN’S BACKYARD. DAY.

TRUMAN, staring at the highway from the bottom of the garden, doesn’t bother to look up as MERYL, still wearing her nurse’s uniform, approaches.

TRUMAN
(referring to a distant car onthe expressway)
See that car way down there? I bet it’sa 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 highway to continue his game.

TRUMAN
I predict the next four cars will be awhite Honda Civic, a blue and white DodgeDart with the front hubcap missing, aVolkswagen Beetle with a dented fenderand 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…herecomes that dented Beetle…

Meryl’s attention wavers. Truman tightens his grip.

TRUMAN
Look!

Following the VW is a school bus.

MERYL
(mocking)
Where’s the motorcycle?

Truman is momentarily disappointed.

TRUMAN
Don’t you want to know how I did that?

A motorcycle putters by. Meryl turns and walks back to the house. He hurries after her.

MERYL
I invited Marlon and Rita for a barbequeSunday. I thought I’d make my potatosalad. Remind me–

TRUMAN
I won’t be here Sunday.

MERYL
–we need more charcoal.

TRUMAN
Are you listening to a word I’m saying?

MERYL
You’re upset because you want to go toFiji. Is that it?

Truman is puzzled by her conciliatory tone.

MERYL
Okay, do it. Get it out of your system. Save for a few months and go. There. Happy now? I’m going to take a shower.

She turns away.

TRUMAN
(catching her wrist)
Let’s go now.

MERYL
What?!

Despite her protests, Truman drags Meryl towards his car.

TRUMAN
(as he shoves her into the car)
I’m ready to go now. Why wait?

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 – almost running over PLUTO the dog and SPENCER with his garbage can.

Truman starts circling a gazebo at the center of aroundabout, faster and faster.

TRUMAN
Where shall we go? Where shall we go? Spontaneity is what it’s all about. Forget Fiji. We can’t very well drive toFiji, can we? What about 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 want to go?

TRUMAN
Because I never have. That’s why you goplaces, isn’t it?

MERYL
Truman, I think I’m going to throw up.

Truman roars off down the street.

TRUMAN
Me too.

Almost immediately, Truman encounters a traffic snarl.

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

Without warning, Truman suddenly dives down a sidestreet. Buthis move is anticipated. At the end of the street, a pack ofcars 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?

Truman reverses suddenly and makes a U-turn.

TRUMAN
You’re right. We could be stuck herefor hours. Could be like this allthe way to Atlantic City. Let’s goback. I’m sorry. I don’t know whatgot into me.

Truman starts heading back the way they came, the roadway now relatively free of traffic.

MERYL
Would you please slow down, Truman?

Truman floors the car. The car flies past their house.

MERYL
Truman, that was our house!

TRUMAN
I’ve changed my mind again. What’s NewOrleans like this time of year? MardiGras. Or let’s just see where the roadtakes us.

MERYL
(pleading)
Let me out, Truman. You’re not right inthe head. You want to destroy yourself,
you do it on your own!

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

As he speeds erratically, Truman glances at the streets on either side of the main road where he discovers a distinct lack of moving traffic.

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

INT/EXT. TRUMAN’S CAR – BRIDGE. DAY.

But TRUMAN’s clear path is short-lived. He is forced to slowonce again behind a line of other cars at a bridge.

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

MERYL
(looking up ahead at anoverturned car)
There’s been an accident, Truman.

TRUMAN
Uhuh. There’s no accident. It’s justmore stalling.

Truman floors the car again and swerves into the oncoming lane. He roars along the bridge on the wrong side of the road. Near the end of the bridge, a distraught MOTORIST dashes into the middle of the road, waving his arms. Truman slams on the brakes.

MOTORIST
(pointing to a small BOY lyingvery still on the groundbeside a wrecked car)
–is there a doctor, a nurse?

MERYL
Truman, it’s a child. I’ve got to help –

TRUMAN
(hardly glancing to the boy)
He’ll be fine.

Truman roars on, almost bowling over the concerned motorist.

MERYL
Truman, I took the “hypocrite” oath!

TRUMAN
I bet you did.

Truman roars past a sign that reads, “YOU ARE NOW LEAVING SEAHAVEN – Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

Back at the accident scene, the little boy, apparently uninjured, sits up.

INT/EXT. CAR. DAY.

They roar pass an illuminated sign – “FOREST FIRE WARNING – Extreme Danger”.

MERYL
Truman, what about that sign?

TRUMAN
I’m sure they’re just exaggerating.

Suddenly, a 20-foot high wall of flame shoots across the roadway in front of them – as if someone flicked on a gas switch.

MERYL
What about that – do you believe that?!

TRUMAN experiences his first moment of doubt. He looks to the terrified MERYL, then closes his eyes tightly and accelerates through the fire wall. He is startled to find that they have emerged on the other side, singed but unscathed.

However, the open road in front of them now disturbs Truman for a different reason – its sheer lack of anything unusual. Signs along the road advertise motels and give directions to other destinations – “I-6211 – 2 miles”, “Notel Motel – Pool, Color TV”.

Meryl also now appears to be resigned to the journey.

MERYL
So what do we do for money when we get toNew Orleans?

TRUMAN
(not so confident now)
I’ve got my Seahaven Bankcard.

MERYL
So we just eat into our savings, is thatthe idea? I’d better call your motherwhen we get there. She’ll be worriedsick – I don’t know how she’s going totake this.

Truman appears very unsure of himself.

EXT. ROADWAY. DAY.

However, there is still a barrier between TRUMAN and Bourbon Street. The highway, leading to a cloverleaf freeway junction in the distance, is completely blocked off by Seahaven police cars. No way past. Nuclear silos in the distance spew out an ominous puff of smoke. A sign reads, “SEAHAVEN ISLAND NUCLEAR POWER STATION – Clean, Safe, Economical – More Power To You!”

Truman is forced to slow at the police barricade.

TRUMAN
Now what?

OFFICER
(grim-faced, indicating the nearby 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.

TRUMAN
Well, thank you for your help.

OFFICER
You’re welcome, Truman.

Truman’s eyes widen at the mention of his name from an apparent stranger. As the officer turns, Truman bolts from the car, leaving MERYL in the passenger seat.

MERYL
Truman!! Come back!!

Truman flees into the forest.

INT. A LIVING ROOM SOMEWHERE. DAY.

The TWO OLD LADIES we have observed before are almost overcomewith tension. One lady reaches out for her companion’s hand.

EXT. FOREST NEAR SEAHAVEN NUCLEAR POWER PLANT. DAY.

TRUMAN bursts past the alien-looking HAZARDOUS WATER WORKERS in their protective suits carrying detection instruments.
The workers give chase in their cumbersome suits, trying to cut off his path.

Nearing the edge of the forest, Truman hears the sound of hammers and saws. But before he has time to see the source of the sound, he is tackled to the ground.

As SEAHAVEN POLICE OFFICERS drag him away, one of the WASTE WORKERS walks the remaining few yards, pushing aside a wall of tropical foliage. We now see what Truman was prevented from seeing.

A Polynesian island is under construction by dozens of RIGGERS, PAINTERS and SET DECORATORS. Large cranes are lifting palm trees into place, a fake volcano is being testedin the distance and rehearsals for a firewalking ceremony areunderway complete with hot coals, DRUMMERS and FIREWALKERS innative dress.

The wings and fuselage of an airliner are being constructed on a hydraulic gimbal. Leading into one side of the airliner is a covered walkway, emblazoned with a sign, “Seahaven Island – Departures”. Emerging from the opposite side of the airliner is an old-fashioned airline stairway with the sign, “Welcome to Fiji”

At the foot of the steps, TWO WOMEN in Fijian dress are being shown the correct way to present a floral lei.

FIJI WOMAN
Did he see us?

WASTE WORKER
(into microphone)
Negative.

INT. TRUMAN’S HOUSE – KITCHEN. NIGHT.

MERYL shows TWO SEAHAVEN POLICEMEN out the back door.

MERYL
Thank you.

POLICEMAN 1
You’re lucky he’s not glowing, Ma’am. Next time we’ll have to file charges.

Meryl joins TRUMAN at the kitchen table. Truman applauds ironically.

MERYL
Let me get you some help, Truman. You’renot well.

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

MERYL
That’s not true.

Meryl picks up a package and holds it to camera.

MERYL
Why don’t I make you some of this newMococoa Drink? All natural. Cocoa beansfrom the upper slopes of Mount Nicaragua. No artificial sweeteners–

TRUMAN
(incredulous)
–What the hell are you talking about?!

MERYL
I’ve tasted other cocoas. This is the best.

Truman rises from the table and backs her around the room.

TRUMAN
What the hell has that got to do with anything? Tell me what’s happening?!

MERYL
(frightened but remainingpoised)
You’re having a nervous breakdown, that’swhat’s happening.

TRUMAN
(backing her up against thekitchen bench)
You’re part of this, aren’t you?!

Meryl grabs the “Chef’s-Mate” from the counter to protect herself. She points the potato peeler at him.

MERYL
Truman, you’re scaring me!

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

TRUMAN
No, you’re scaring me, Meryl!

Truman grabs Meryl and turns the Chef’s Mate on her. He stares wildly about him.

TRUMAN
Stop this now. I’ll do it. I swear.

MERYL
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 were you talking to?!

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

TRUMAN
No. You said, “Do something.” Who wereyou talking to? Tell me!

MERYL
Truman, stop it!

Suddenly, the front door chimes.

TRUMAN
Right on time. Cops must be telephatic.

Truman grabs his peeler and 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!

MARLON (O.C.)
Truman? It’s me, Marlon. I need to talkto you.

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 peelerto Meryl’s throat.

Marlon locks eyes with Truman. Sizing up the situation, he slowly but decisively removes the peeler from Truman’s hand. Meryl wrenches herself free from Truman’s now limp grasp and collapses into Marlon’s arm, sobbing.

MERYL
(distraught)
How can anyone expect me to carry onunder these conditions? This is…unprofessional.

EXT. UNFINISHED BRIDGE. NIGHT.

MARLON and TRUMAN, both nursing bottles of beer, sit on the end of the unfinished bridge.

TRUMAN
I don’t know what to think, Marlon. Maybe I’m going out of my mind, but I get the feeling that the world revolvesaround me somehow.

MARLON
It’s a lot of world for one man. You surethat’s not wishful thinking, you wishingyou’d made something more of yourself? Christ, Truman, who hasn’t sat on the Johnand had an imaginary interview on”Seahaven Tonight”? Who hasn’t wanted tobe somebody?

TRUMAN
This is different. Everybody seems to bein on it.

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

MARLON
Tru, we’ve known each other since beforewe were in long pants. The only way weever made it through high school wascheating off each other’s test papers. Jesus, they were identical. I alwaysliked that, because whatever the answerwas–

Truman chimes in, nodding fondly at the memory.

TRUMAN & MARLON
–we were right together and we werewrong together.

MARLON
The only night either of us ever spentin jail, we spent together and I wetmyself but you never told anyone. I wasbest man at your wedding and my brotherwas best man at my wedding and you didn’ttalk to me for a month over that and I didn’t blame you because you’ve been moreof a brother to me than he’s ever been.

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

MARLON
I know things haven’t worked out foreither of us like we used to sit up onMonroe Avenue all night and dream theywould. We all let opportunities pass usby. None of us asks for the dance asoften as we should. I know that feeling when it’s like everything’s slipping awayand you don’t want to believe it so youlook for answers someplace else. But, well, the point is, I would gladly stepin front of traffic for you.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF stares intently into camera, holding his distinctive earpiece to his head. Beside him, his ever-present assistant, CHLOE.

CHRISTOF
(hushed tones)
And the last thing I’d ever do is lieto you.

EXT. FREEWAY. NIGHT.

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

TRUMAN
So what are you saying, Marlon, the whole thing has been in my head–?

MARLON
(meeting his gaze)
Not the whole thing, Truman. You wereright about one thing.

TRUMAN
What’s that?

MARLON
The thing that started all of this.

TRUMAN looks up in the direction of MARLON’s gaze. A FIGURE stands at the end of the freeway – a homeless man. It is hisfather, KIRK.

MARLON
Yes, he survived somehow. He’s got quite astory to tell.

Marlon helps Truman to his feet – Truman still transfixed by the figure.

MARLON
Go to him.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF continues to direct the action from what is now revealed to be the control room of a television studio.

CHRISTOF
Go wide, LightCam Eight…

In a wide shot, from one of the streetlights lining the empty freeway, we see TRUMAN walking towards his long-lost FATHER.

CHRISTOF
…CarCam Twelve…and…cue music…Beethoven, Third Symphony, SecondMovement.

Music swells. Kirk and Truman embrace in the middle of the freeway. Truman takes his father’s ring from his ownfinger.

CHRISTOF
…RingCam…

We see a close up of Kirk from the ring’s POV. Truman places the ring in the palm of his father’s hand.

CHRISTOF
…ButtonCam Three…

We see a close up of Truman from a camera on Kirk’s coat.

TRUMAN
I never stopped believing.

KIRK
(gazing at the ring, then upto Truman’s face)
Thank you…my son.

CHRISTOF
And wide…

SIMEON looks to his director.

SIMEON
Close up?

CHRISTOF
(staring intently at hismonitor)
No, hold back…

The CREW watches Kirk and Truman embrace.

KIRK
All those years, wasted.

TRUMAN
We have a lot of years ahead.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF allows himself a smile of satisfaction.

CHRISTOF
And fade up music…now go in close…

As a tight two-shot of father and son fills the screen, the orchestra swells with triumphant music.

EXT. FREEWAY. NIGHT.

FATHER and SON remain in the embrace. Over Truman’s shoulder, we see a flash of guilt flicker across MARLON’s face.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF, emotionally drained by the events, slumps in his chair. CHOLE rests a supportive hand on his shoulder. The headof the network, MOSES, a man in his seventies, enters with hisyoung assistant, ROMAN – their faces full of admiration.

MOSES
Well done. Well done, everyone.

INT. A BEDROOM SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

A YOUNG WOMAN reclines on a bed, her back against the wall. Propped up on her knees is a book. However, she’s not reading but staring straight into camera – a look of profoundsadness on her face. It is SYLVIA.

From her point-of-view, we see a portable television set on a table at the foot of the bed.

On the television is a live picture of TRUMAN – the first time we have seen him on a television screen. He is sitting at his kitchen table, unaware of the cameras recording him.

The shot is static. He just sits there in silence, a steaming cup of cocoa in front of him and a plate of untouched cookies.

At one point, a sponsor’s border, appears on the screen, tastefully framing the “action”, with the message, “MOCOCOA – Cocoa beans from the upper slopes of Mount Nicaragua”. Afterseveral seconds the border disappears.

Suddenly, the live picture of Truman shrinks into a window on the screen to accommodate a title sequence that begins to play around the edge of the image. “The Truman Show” theme music begins.

The camera cranes up and over the Hollywood sign, the flatlands of Burbank stretching into the distance.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
From the network that never sleeps – broadcasting live and unedited 24 hours aday, 7 days a week, around the globe…

During this continuous aerial shot, overlapping scenes from Truman’s life appear in chronological order, from infancy to adolescence and finally adulthood. Photographs of leading CAST MEMBERS also appear in individual frames.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
…with Hannah Gill as Meryl Burbank, Louis Coltrane as Marlon, Alanis Montclairas Mother, re-introducing Walter Moore asher husband, Kirk…

The music swells as the camera approaches a mammoth structure atthe base of the mountains – a dome so vast it dwarfs everythingaround it. At the top of the dome is a huge painting of Truman’sface encircled by satellite dishes – inside each dish is a singleletter spelling out, T-H-E T-R-U-M-A-N S-H-O-W – a bannerproclaims, “30th Great Year”

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
…and Truman Burbank as Himself, tapedin the world’s largest studio, one ofonly two man-made structures visible fromspace, comes the longest runningdocumentary soap opera in history, now inits 30th great year – “The Truman Show”!

The camera rushes towards the outside wall of the gigantic domebathed in sunlight. When we emerge on the other side, it isnight. The camera cranes up from a calm, moonlit ocean to thenightsky above. As we near the crescent-shaped moon, wediscover that it is actually a window overlooking Seahaven. Standing in the “crater” window is the suited CHRISTOF.

INT. LUNAR STUDIO. NIGHT.

Pulling back from the window we reveal an INTERVIEWER, mid-forties, conservative suit and hair. A large television shows a live picture of Truman. Immersed in his book.

INTERVIEWER
I’m your host, Mike Michaelson, coming toyou live from the Lunar Room on the 121ststory of the OmniCam Ecosphere, 2800 feetabove Seahaven Island. Tonight, aspecial edition of “Tru Talk”, the forumwhere we discuss and analyze recentevents on the show. We are honored tobring you a rare and exclusive interviewwith the show’s conceiver, creator, tele- visionary, the Man-In-The-Moon himself– Christof.
(referring to the image ofTruman between them)
I remind viewers that as “The Truman Show” isa living history, it is our practice to keepthe image of Truman on screen at all times.

A TITLE APPEARS: Due to the Live and Unedited nature of the program, viewer discretion is advised.

The Interviewer turns to Christof.

INTERVIEWER
Welcome.

CHRISTOF
Thank you.

INTERVIEWER
The catalyst for the recent dramatic events was of course Truman’s father, Kirk, and his infiltration onto the show. Before we discuss that, it’s worthreminding viewers that this isn’t thefirst time someone from the outside worldhas tried to reach Truman.

CHRISTOF
We have had our close calls in the past.

Behind the two men, the constantly playing image of Truman engrossed in his book is relegated to a window of the screen.

PLAYBACK – INT. TRUMAN’S HOME. CHRISTMAS MORNING.

TRUMAN, 7, is opening presents under the tree – KIRK and MOTHER proudly looking on.

INTERVIEWER
Who can forget the infamous “ChristmasPresent” incident in the seventh season?

Suddenly, a small MAN bursts from a large, Christmas parcel. Kirk and the man grapple on the floor in front of the stunned seven-year-old. Kirk drags him away.

PLAYBACK – EXT. CITY STREET. DAY.

As the adult TRUMAN makes his way to work, a PARACHUTIST dropsfrom the sky into the main street, only yards behind him.

INTERVIEWER
And only last summer “Billie Blackbird” made his third attempt, leaping from alighting gantry.

The parachutist is dressed entirely in black with a message emblazoned on his chest, “TRUMAN, YOU’RE ON TV.” COMMUTERS grab the man and drag him away – Truman blissfully unaware ofthe incident.

CHRISTOF
(dismissive)
These people have their own agendas. Many just want to be on television themselves.

PLAYBACK – EXT. CITY STREET. DAY.

The encounter between TRUMAN and the homeless KIRK is replayed up to the point where Kirk is bundled onto the bus.

INTERVIEWER
Of course, there hasn’t been anything to compare with this – the first time anintruder has been a former cast member–

CHRISTOF
–a dead one at that.

INTERVIEWER
–and certainly the first time that anintruder has been rewarded with astarring role.
(gushing)
I really must congratulate you on writingKirk back in. A master stroke.

CHRISTOF
(feigning modesty)
Since Kirk started this whole crisis inTruman’s life, I came to the conclusionthat he was the only one who could end it.

INTERVIEWER
I understand he’s hardly had a life ofhis own since he left the show. How didyou convince him–was it the opportunityto be close to Truman again?

CHRISTOF
That and a fat, new contract.

INTERVIEWER
How do you intend to explain his twenty-two year absence?

CHRISTOF
Amnesia.

INTERVIEWER
(impressed, nodding inagreement)
Of course.

The Interviewer consults his note.

INTERVIEWER
Let’s talk ratings. “Truman” has alwaysenjoyed top ten status but the huge surgeover the last few days–how do you hopeto sustain that audience now that Truman appears to have reconciled himself?

CHRISTOF
As you know ratings have never been ourprimary goal. I imagine we’ll lose thosevoyeurs only interested in witnessingTruman’s latest torment. However, I’mcertain that our core audience willremain loyal.

INTERVIEWER
But recent events have been so dramatic, it does raise the perennial question. What keeps us watching this one mantwenty-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 WAITRESS and BARMAN in the bar, the TWO OLD WOMEN on their sofa, the TWO SECURITY GUARDS, and the MAN in the bath – listening to Christof’s theories on their viewing habits.

CHRISTOF
We’ve become tired of watching actors giveus phony emotions, bored with pyrotechnicsand special effects. While the world he inhabits is counterfeit, there’s nothingfake about Truman himself. No scripts, nocue cards. It’s not always Shakespearebut it’s genuine. That’s how he cansupport an entire channel.

INTERVIEWER
A window onto the human condition?

CHRISTOF
I prefer to think of it as a mirror.

At that moment, Truman – still live on the screen – unwittingly punctuates the pretentious remark with a belch. Christof and the Interviewer try not to notice.

CHRISTOF
Not only does he give us a glimpse of thetruth, he gives us a glimpse of ourselves.

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

CHRISTOF
We find many viewers leave him on allnight for comfort. Haven’t you everwatched 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. During this segment, various windows open on the screen advertising products from the “Truman” catalogue.

INTERVIEWER
Charlotte, North Carolina, for Christof.

MALE CALLER 1 (O.S.)
Hello?

INTERVIEWER
You’re on, Caller. Go ahead.

MALE CALLER 1
Christof, it’s a great honor to speakwith you.

CHRISTOF
Thank you.

MALE CALLER 1
How much of a strain has the last fewdays placed on the actors?

CHRISTOF
Working on “Truman” has always been ahuge commitment for an actor, not just interms of separation from friends andfamily, but since Truman essentiallydrives the plot, it is a never-endingimprovisation – witness Marlon’sextraordinary performance in the recent”Father And Son Reunion” episode.

INTERVIEWER
(cutting off the call)
Are we talking Emmies?

CHRISTOF
Certainly a nomination.

INTERVIEWER
Of course, Truman has always been verymuch in on casting.

CHRISTOF
As with our own lives, the only people hecan’t cast are his family. Otherwise hehas final approval, able to elevate anextra into a lead role as was the casewith his only real friend, Marlon, or alternatively relegate a star to a bitplayer.

INTERVIEWER
(presenting another line)
Istanbul, Turkey, you’re on with mastervideographer, Christof.

FEMALE CALLER 1 (O.S.)
Christof, I’ve admired your work my wholelife, although I can’t say I’ve seen it all.

CHRISTOF
Who can?

FEMALE CALLER 1
Can you settle an argument for me? What’s the longest time Truman has beenoff-camera?

CHRISTOF
(trace of pride)
In his entire life, forty-two minutes. A technical fault in the twelfth seasonaccounts for most of that time. Theremainder generally results fromblindspots, in the early days, whenTruman would stray out of range of ourcameras.

INTERVIEWER
We should remind viewers that Truman, especially as a child, presented a challenge for the production.

CHRISTOF
(turning to the screen)
Let me demonstrate some examples.

Footage of TRUMAN as a baby appears on the screen – as a newborn INFANT, held in a pair of anonymous latex-gloved hands, and as a TODDLER, dressed in various baby outfits – on one occasion looking through the bars of his crib.

CHRISTOF
He was curious from birth – premature bytwo weeks, as if he couldn’t wait to getstarted.

INTERVIEWER
Of course, his eagerness to leave hismother’s womb also meant he was the oneselected.

CHRISTOF
(enthusing)
In competition with five other unwantedpregnancies – the casting of a showdetermined by an air date – he was theone who arrived on cue.

INTERVIEWER
Who knew that a show originally meant tolast one year – “Bringing Up Baby” – would turn into a “cradle to grave” concept. He is in fact the first childin the world to be legally adopted by a corporation.

CHRISTOF
That’s correct.

INTERVIEWER
And the show now generates a yearly income equivalent to the gross nationalproduct of a small country.

CHRISTOF
People forget it takes the population ofan entire country to keep the show running.

INTERVIEWER
No, of course not.
(quickly changing the subject)
And since the show runs 24 hours a daywith no commercial breaks the staggeringprofits are all generated from productplacement.

CHRISTOF
Yes, everything you see on the show isfor sale – from the actors’ wardrobe, food products, to the very homes theylive in–

INTERVIEWER
All products carefully chosen and tested by you for quality and aesthetic value.

CHRISTOF
There’s nothing on the show I don’t use myself.

INTERVIEWER
And it’s all available in the “Truman” Show” catalogue. Operators arestanding by.

Christof nods.

INTERVIEWER
Why do you feel that Truman’s never come close to discovering the true nature of his world?

CHRISTOF
We accept the reality of the world withwhich we’re presented. As the showexpanded, naturally we were forced tomanufacture ways to keep Truman inSeahaven – demonstrating that everyventure is accompanied by a risk.

The SEVEN-YEAR-OLD TRUMAN we have seen in other flashbacks appears on the screen. Wearing a cowboy outfit, he goes to cross the walkway of a bridge when he is suddenly confronted by a savage DOG wearing a spiked collar.

CHRISTOF
Later, Kirk’s drowning made much of this kind of intervention unnecessary.

We freeze on seven-year-old Truman’s terrified face.

INTERVIEWER
You’ve never actually met Truman, yourself. Never thought about doing acameo–playing a veterinarian, or apriest, something like that?

CHRISTOF
I’ve been tempted. But I think it’s important to retain objectivity. I wouldn’t want to get emotionally caught up.

INTERVIEWER
The Hague for Christof…TheHague?…lost them.
(pressing another line)
Hollywood, California, you’re on “Tru Talk.”

FEMALE CALLER 2 (O.S.)
How can you say he lives a life likeany other?

CHRISTOF
(sensing the thinlydisguised resentment in theCaller’s voice)
As the Bard says, “All the world’s astage, and all the men and women merelyplayers.” The only difference betweenTruman and ourselves is that his life ismore thoroughly documented. He is confronted with the same obstacles andinfluences that confront us all. Heplays his allotted roles as we all do–

FEMALE CALLER 2
–He’s not a performer. He’s a prisoner.

The Interviewer goes to cut off the call, but Christof stops him.

CHRISTOF
(rising to the challenge)
And can you tell me, caller, that you’renot a player on the stage of life – playing out your allotted role? He canleave at any time. If his was more thanjust a vague ambition, if he wereabsolutely determined to discover thetruth, there’s no way we could preventhim. I think what really distresses you, Caller, is that ultimately Truman prefersthe comfort of his “cell” as you call it.

FEMALE CALLER 2
(as if trying to convince herself, giving herself away)
–No, you’re wrong! He’ll prove youwrong! He can still do it!

The Interviewer hangs up on the caller.

INT. A BEDROOM SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

In a darkly lit room, we see SYLVIA. It is she who is the confrontational Caller – phone still in her hand.

CHRISTOF
We’ve learnt about life as Truman hasand, despite the complaints of aminority, it’s been an overwhelminglypositive experience, for Truman and forthe viewing public.

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

MALE CALLER 2 (O.S.)
Christof? Congratulations on the way you’vealways handled Truman’s “sex” life – theclassical music, soft lighting and so on. But has the recent violence caused a problemfor the show’s sponsors?

CHRISTOF
The sponsors know the risks going in, although we do try to maintain standards- a level of decorum. For instance, I’venever put a camera in the toilet.

Still in silhouette, SYLVIA turns down the volume on the television. Focusing on the window on the screen that displays TRUMAN, she comes close to the screen, catching his melancholy, saddened by his regression.

INT. TRUMAN’S BASEMENT. MORNING.

TRUMAN breathes in the scent of Sylvia’s sweater one last time before reluctantly replacing it in the trunk, together with his book, “To The Ends Of The Earth – The Age Of Exploration”. For a final time, he regards his unfinished picture of SYLVIA inside – two holes where the eyes should be. As he does so, he finds two lost paper cuttings – a pairof eyes on the basement floor. He tries them. Ironicallythey fit – the picture completed. He closes the trunkanyway. With a sense of finality, he fastens the lock.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

The giant ON-AIR monitor in the control room plays a close-up shot of Truman sleeping.

CHRISTOF comes close to the monitor and almost touches the screen. As he does so, Truman twitches in his sleep.

INT. BATHROOM. MORNING.

TRUMAN wipes the mist from the mirror of the bathroom cabinet and stares into it in a way he has never done before.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. MORNING.

Close up on the giant ON-AIR monitor in the control room. It displays a wide shot of Truman staring into the bathroom mirror.

We slowly pull back to reveal SIMEON and the other VIDEO OPERATORS sitting at the mixing desks arranged in tiers reminiscent of an auditorium or NASA’s Mission Control. Each mixing desk contains a dozen-or-so built-in monitors and is designed with a location such as “Truman’s House – Interior”, “Truman’s Office – Cubicle”, “Tyrone’s Deli”. The operator at each desk, sitting in a swivel chair and wearing the slimmest of headsets, is responsible for monitoring a particular location.

The monitors cover virtually every facet of Truman’s life. Camera angles from the interior of Truman’s house, his backyard, car, office, the deli he frequents, the seashore to which he is drawn, the unfinished bridge where he golfs with Marlon – many of the locations strangely devoid of people.

Simeon, seated in the front row of mixing desks, stares back at Truman’s image on the monitor, slightly unnerved.

SIMEON
(to a nearby COLLEAGUE)
Is he looking at us?

As if to reassure the technician, Truman begins one of his familiar monologues. He talks to the mirror as if being interviewed.

TRUMAN
–What are my plans now? Well, next I’mthinking of tackling the Yuba River in anauthentic canoe from the Algonquin tribe. –I’m talking about the north fork, a class five rapid – only I’m not goingdown the Yuba, I’m going up. Do youhonestly think for one minute I’d go backto some dreary office to rubber stampmeaningless documents…do you?

MERYL (O.C.)
–Truman, you’re gonna be late!

Truman sighs as he exits the bathroom.

EXT. STREET. MORNING.

TRUMAN exchanges a cheery greeting with SPENCER.

SPENCER
How are ya, Truman?

TRUMAN
Inhale…exhale…same old thing.

He waves to the WASHINGTONS across the street. He petsPLUTO the dog.

INT. OFFICE. DAY.

Back at work at the insurance company, TRUMAN sits in his cubicle making another of his cold calls.

TRUMAN
–a forty-two year old woman sitting inthe second row at an amateur productionof Hamlet, Hamlet’s dagger slips from hishand and flies into the audience…

A YOUNG WOMAN, carrying a stack of files, catches Truman’s eyeas she passes. VIVIAN. She is faintly reminiscent of Sylviaat the same age – even wearing a similar sweater.

TRUMAN
(returning to his call)
–what I’m saying is, life is a fragilething…hullo?

EXT. TRUMAN’S BACKYARD. DUSK.

TRUMAN wheels 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 aneckbrace, we sense more as a reminder to Truman than for anymedical 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 – a new Elk Rotary. The lawn is now uniformly trimmed – Truman’s final act of defiance laid to rest.

INT. STUDIO – CONFERENCE ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF stands at a large, specially screened window, silhouetted against the twinkling stars and full moon of a hyper-real nightsky.

Members of the cast enter the room – principal characters in Truman’s life – MERYL, MARLON, MOTHER, KIRK, TYRONE, LAWRENCE and the new actress, VIVIAN. They take their places around a long, oval table for a story conference – Vivian sitting slightly apart from the rest of the cast.

We glimpse over Christof’s shoulder at what he sees – the town of Seahaven far below, bathed in moonlight. He comes out of his reverie and joins his cast, sitting at the head of the table. In front of him, a TV “tablet” plays silently – showing Truman drinking a glass of milk in his kitchen.

CHRISTOF
(to the assembled cast)
First of all, I’d like to welcome Walterback onto the show.
(nods in Kirk’s direction)
You may have done us more of a favor thanyou ever imagined.
(turning to Meryl, using herreal name)
Regrettably, I also have to inform youthat Hannah has chosen not to renew hercontract.

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
As you all know, we have already begun toorchestrate her break-up from Truman.
(more up-beat)
However, on a more optimistic note, I’mpleased to announce that television’sfirst on-air conception will still takeplace. You witnessed the initial contactthis morning.
(glancing to Vivien, onceagain using her real name)
You all know Claudia from her work intheatre.

MOTHER
I loved your Ophelia.

CLAUDIA
Why thank you.

The rest of the cast nod politely in Claudia’s direction. CHLOE passes out a bound document to each cast member.

CHRISTOF
(referring to the documents)
This is a copy of Claudia’s back story. Her character’s name is “Vivien”.

The cast idly flips through the documents, prominently stamped on the cover, “NOT TO BE TAKEN ON SET”.

CHRISTOF
We intend to entice Truman into the affairas soon as possible. Claudia will make apass at the insurance seminar Truman’sattending. Details are in your schedules.
(pause for effect)
I don’t have to tell you how critical thenext few weeks will be. This takes usinto the next generation. When Truman’schild is born, the network will beswitching to a two-channel format to chronicle both lives.

CLAUDIA
What happens when Truman and the baby areboth on camera together?

CHRISTOF
This will simply be duplicate coverage.

CLAUDIA
(mischievous)
Let’s just hope we don’t have twins.

MARLON
(uncharacteristically flippant)
When Truman dies do we go back to thesingle channel?

The cast turn in his direction. Christof shoots him a disapproving look.

INT. TRUMAN’S BASEMENT. NIGHT.

TRUMAN sleeps on a cot bed in his basement – more cluttered than usual. A virtual bombsite – dozens of cardboard boxes stacked everywhere. Although he is covered in bedding, his sock-clad feet stick out of the bed covers. The outline of his body is still clearly visible. He snores quietly.

INT. VARIOUS VIEWER LOCATIONS. NIGHT.

The TWO OLD LADIES have nodded off on their sofa in front of the television, their breathing and occasional snores echo those of Truman.

In the BAR, the WAITRESS – normally an avid viewer – only idlyglances to the screen as she passes with a tray of drinks.

The MAN in the bath resignedly lets the water out of the tub and goes to get out.

The MOTHER only occasionally glances to the screen as she feeds her BABY. Her DAUGHTER has her eyes closed, bopping to her Walkman.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

SIMEON sits at his control desk, directing the “night-shift”. He pays scant attention to the big screen, giving his instructions in a lethargic, metronomic manner.

SIMEON
…Ready two. Go to two.

An OPERATOR, eating a slice of pizza, 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 onthe blanketed head for a long moment.

SIMEON
And back to the medium…

Another button is pressed and the angle changed. 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 acquired camera-shyness.

SIMEON
…and wide…

OPERATOR
(aside to Simeon)
What a loser.

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

At the far end of the control room, one of the large double doorsopens and CHRISTOF enters, dressed in a smoking jacket. Simeon andthe Operators subtly straighten in their chairs. Christof pretendsnot to notice. He is staring intently at the ON-AIR monitor.

CHRISTOF
Why is he in the basement?

SIMEON
He moved down there after Meryl packed upand left.

CHRISTOF
Why wasn’t I told? Any unpredictablebehavior has to be reported.
(returning to the screen)
Is that the best shot we can get?

SIMEON
What’s to see?

CHRISTOF
What’s on the ClockCam?

The operator punches up the camera hidden inside a broken cuckoo clock. A box obscures the view.

OPERATOR
There’s an obstruction.

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

CHRISTOF
(referring to the debris inTruman’s basement)
What happened down there?

SIMEON
He was tidying up his garbage.
(sensing Christof’s concern)
I was going to call you. But half-waythrough, 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 upa batch of camera angles on smaller preview monitors. They showa generic-looking hotel, devoid of actors. A banner in receptionreads, “Welcome Seahaven Life and Accident”.

The Operator looks to Christof for approval and realizes his producer’s attention has wandered. Christof has wandered down to the front of the room to stand beside the giant ON- AIR monitor still displaying the sleeping figure of Truman.

CHRISTOF
Give me a shot from Truman’s ring.

SIMEON
He gave it back to his father.

Christof nods.

CHRISTOF
(a trace of concern)
Why is he so still?

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

CHRISTOF
Isolate the audio.

An Operator pushes up an audio fader on the panel. Christof and his colleagues listen to Truman’s steady breathing in their headphones.

SIMEON
(shrugs)
He’s still breathing.

Simeon and the Operators nod, reassured that nothing isamiss. Christof is not so easily convinced.

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

A camera hidden in the room’s lamp zooms in to Truman’s prone outline. While the breathing remains steady, the body does not rise and fall. Christof, still listening to his headphones, detects a faint scratching sound followed by a strange thud.

CHRISTOF
(anxious, barking a commandto Chloe)
Phone him.

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

CHRISTOF
(anticipating Chloe’s question)
Tell him it’s a wrong number.

The upstairs phone begins to ring. Truman doesn’t flinch.

INT. AN OFFICE BUILDING SOMEWHERE – RECEPTION. NIGHT.

The TWO SECURITY GUARDS are intrigued by Truman’s unanswered phone on their television set.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF and SIMEON concentrate on another, separate monitor playing in fast-rewind, time code in the bottom right-hand corner. It is a recording of the night’s transmission. Simeon pauses on the last on-camera appearance by Truman.

They watch Truman, on-screen, switch off the basement light and climb into the cot bed fully clothed, immediately pulling the covers over his head. As the light is switched off, therecording 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 screen.

CHRISTOF
There. Freeze…Zoom into the chair…

Simeon types the appropriate command.

CHRISTOF
Enhance…there!

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 beneath the covers and behind a cardboard box near the large tool cupboard.

Simeon points out an angle of the empty staircase.

SIMEON
He hasn’t gone up the stairs. He’s stillin the room.

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 up the porch 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!..Earthquake alert…flood! We’ve gotta get outside onto thestreet! Tru?!

Frustrated, Marlon picks up one of Meryl’s carefully nurtured flower pots from beneath the porch window.

MARLON
(shouting a warning)
I’m coming in, Tru!

Marlon hurls the flower pot through the window.

INT. TRUMAN’S HOUSE – BASEMENT. NIGHT.

MARLON switches on the light and clambers down the wooden stairs to the basement.

He pushes away the clutter and finally stands at his co-star’sbedside. He gingerly lifts the covers. Beneath the bedding, clothes have been carefully piled to resemble a sleepingfigure – socks placed on the end of two tree branches.

Buried amongst the clothes is Truman’s portable tape recorder. Marlon places the recorder next to his ear. The cassette playsthe sound of TRUMAN BREATHING.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF stares, wide-eyed, at the image on the On-Air monitor of MARLON.

CHRISTOF
Find him, Marlon!

INT. BASEMENT. NIGHT.

MARLON starts frantically pushing aside the clutter, sending Truman’s model ships and other hobbies crashing to the floor. Eliminating all over possible hiding places, he confronts Truman’s tool closet, the wall map of the Fiji Islands still hanging on the door. Marlon rips open the door and is hit with a shaft of light – moonlight.

The top of the closet has been removed and a crude tunnel containing a ladder heads almost directly upwards to the outside of the house. The bottom of the closet is ankle deep with dirt. Embedded in the tunnel wall is Meryl’s Chef’s Mate – Truman’s digging implement.

EXT. TRUMAN’S HOUSE. NIGHT.

MARLON’s head pops up outside the house. Unable to help himself, Marlon looks directly into a wide shot camera concealed in a streetlight.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF
Marlon, don’t look at the camera! Say something!

MARLON
(to streetlight, stunned, breaking the fourth wall)
What? He’s gone!

CHRISTOF
(to Simeon, quiet but firm)
Cut transmission.

Simeon hesitates, unsure if he 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. The scene in Truman’s bedroom playing on the on-air monitor is abruptly replaced by the “TRUMAN” logo and the message, “TECHNICAL FAULT. PLEASE STAND BY.”

INT. A LIVING ROOM SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

The TWO OLD WOMEN on the sofa are stunned to see their TV screen go blank.

INT. A BAR SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

HEADS also turn in the bar permanently tuned to the “Truman” channel.

INT. AN APARTMENT SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

The other loyal viewer transfixed by the test card is SYLVIA, alone in her darkened apartment.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

Reminiscent of a military headquarters in wartime, the control room is a scene of barely controlled panic. SECURITY GUARDS come and go, phones ring, lights flash, every available VIDEO MIXER is working. The monitors – the “eyes” of the searchers – are systematically scrutinized for any sign of Truman. CHRISTOF orchestrates operations from his position at the center of the control panel.

SIMEON
(nervous)
We’ve declared a curfew. Everyone elseis 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.

EXT. SEAHAVEN – MAIN STREET. NIGHT.

We pan down one empty street after another. The town center istotally, eerily deserted. Suddenly, a line of PEOPLE comesaround the corner, fanned out cross the street – a man-hunt.

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 andEXTRAS lined arm and arm, wardrobed for their usual roles asEXECUTIVES 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.

We occasionally glimpse Truman’s friends and colleagues amongst the searchers – MARLON, LAWRENCE, MOTHER & KIRK, VIVIEN and TYRONE. Even the WASHINGTON’s and SPENCER and PLUTO have joined the search – a snarling Pluto straining at the leash has now assumed the role of tracker dog – Truman’s pajamas waved in front of his nose (clearly miscast as the friendly, neighborhood pooch).

Searchlights from Seahaven’s many towers sweep the town. Once, the light falls on a blackened face cowering in the bushes beside a picket fence – the fence now faintly reminiscent of prison bars. Even the beam of the full moon appears to be sweeping the town like a searchlight.

EXT. BRIDGE. NIGHT.

Barriers have been erected at the bridge leading out of Seahaven, guarded by several Seahaven police cars.

An extra dressed as a DERELICT wheels his shopping cart toward the bridge.

The derelict takes a look along the walkway alongside the bridge as if participating in the search. He finds a POLICE OFFICER standing on the walkway.

POLICE OFFICER
Any sign of him?

DERELICT
(gravelly voice)
Not yet.

POLICE OFFICER
Take it easy.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

A VIDEO OPERATOR in the sixth row watches the scene on one of his monitors – the derelict standing with his back to camera.
Just as the derelict turns toward camera the Operator turns away to take a sip of coffee. He misses what we see on his monitor – the derelict’s blackened face belongs to TRUMAN.

EXT. BRIDGE. NIGHT.

The disguised TRUMAN heads back to town.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF turns to a LIGHTING TECHNICIAN.

CHRISTOF
We need more light.

EXT. SEAHAVEN STREETS. NIGHT.

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 potentialblind spots such as closets, dumpsters, manholes, 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.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF glances impatiently at his watch.

CHRISTOF
We’ll never find him like this. Whattime is it?

CHLOE
(anticipating the request)
It’s too early.

CHRISTOF
It doesn’t matter. Cue the sun.

EXT. STREETS. NIGHT/DAY.

The sun instantly rises over Seahaven. CAST and EXTRAS shade their eyes from the sudden glare.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

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

MOSES
(to Christof who is stillstudying the faces in a row of SEARCHERS)
Rumors are circulating he’s dead. Themedia is in a feeding frenzy. The phonelines are jammed. Every network has apirated shot of Marlon in the closet.

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

CHRISTOF
(unconcerned, referring to thestatic “STAND BY” graphic, now accompanied by soothingclassical music)
Why? We’re getting higher ratings forthat graphic than any time in the show’shistory.

INT. BAR. NIGHT.

The television above the bar carries the test card. PATRONS animatedly discuss Truman’s fate over their drinks. Some place bets with each other on Truman’s fate.

EXT. ELECTRONICS STORE. NIGHT.

A CROWD of passersby hover around a display of televisions in the window of an electronics store, awaiting developments.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

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.

EXT. HARBORSIDE. DAY.

However, as he bypasses the entrance to a ticket box, he hasn’t bargained on coming face to face with another straggler from the search.

MARLON. Truman freezes in front of his childhood companion – Marlon instantly seeing through Truman’s homeless disguise.

Truman glances nervously in the direction of the searchers. Their backs to the two men, they are beginning their next sweep. One shout from Marlon will give Truman away – he is at Marlon’s mercy.

Without a word, Marlon walks past Truman and rejoins the search.

Truman glances back to Marlon’s retreating figure but Marlon never looks back.

EXT. DOCKSIDE. DAY.

TRUMAN reaches the edge of the dock. He looks out over the bay. There, riding at anchor some two hundred yards out, is a sail boat – the same boat that circled Kirk and Truman’s sail boat many years earlier.

We see a close-up of Truman’s terrified eyes in his blackened face, staring down at the lapping water. He steels himself, shuts out the doubts and dives into the water.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

SIMEON
(hopeful)
I’m sure we’ll get him on this next sweep.

CHRISTOF
(distracted)
What have we missed?

SIMEON
It’s just a matter of time.

CHRISTOF concentrates on a monitor displaying a view of the harbor.

CHRISTOF
(to Simeon)
We’re not watching the sea.

SIMEON
(confused)
Why would we–

CHRISTOF
Sweep the harbor.

His COLLEAGUES begin to flick through dozens of waterborne hidden camera shots – in moored craft, lighthouses and buoys – trying to locate Truman.

Suddenly on one of the monitors there appears a single sail etched against the horizon.

SIMEON
That’s got to be him!

ROMAN
How can he sail?! He’s in insurance!

CHRISTOF
Resume transmission.

Simeon punches a button and the image of the sail boat is instantly transferred to the large ON-AIR monitor.

INT. OLD WOMEN’S APARTMENT. NIGHT.

The TWO OLD WOMEN doze against each other on the sofa in front of the TV.

The classical music on the television is abruptly replaced by the sound of the wind and the sea. One Old Lady blinks her eyes open, her breath taken away by the sight of Truman at the wheel of the sail boat. She rouses her companion.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF
(staring intently at theON-AIR monitor)
What do we have on that boat?

SIMEON scans a computer shot list. He types in a code.

A camera from the mast of Truman’s sail boat activates. Truman, unaware of the camera, is concentrating on his sailing.

EXT. HARBOR. DAY.

By now the ocean spray has washed most of the dirt from TRUMAN’s face – only a residue remains. The rags he wears are soaked.

As he steers, he occasionally refers to a “HOW TO SAIL” book from his coat pocket.

INT. A BATHROOM SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

The MAN in the bath we have seen earlier continues to watch from his tub.

MAN
(to himself)
I knew he wasn’t dead.

EXT. HARBOR. DAY.

TRUMAN is at the wheel of the sail boat, wind filling her sails.

Seahaven left far behind, his is the only craft afloat in the harbor. He sets a course for the open sea as he and his father did long ago.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

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

CHRISTOF
Get another boat.

CHLOE
The ferry.

EXT. FERRY TERMINAL. DAY.

A PRODUCTION ASSISTANT runs down the dock towards the FERRY CAPTAIN and his CREW.

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Get that boat out there!

FERRY CAPTAIN
(who also played the bus driver)
I don’t know how. We were just told toput on these clothes.

EXT. HARBOR. DAY.

The sea choppier now, rising and falling steeply beneath his boat, TRUMAN nears a large buoy bobbing clumsily in the strong swell. An official-looking sign on the buoy reads – “DANGEROUS WATERS. DO NOT ENTER.” We see an extreme closeup of the nautical signpost where a disguised miniaturecamera tracks Truman’s progress.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

ROMAN
(anxious)
How do we stop him?

CHRISTOF
(glancing to Simeon)
How else?

Christof nods to controls on the mixing desk marked, “WIND” and “RAIN”.

EXT. HARBOR. DAY.

Storm clouds roll towards TRUMAN’s boat at an alarming speed. He looks back towards the Seahaven skyline, rapidly receding behind him. Doubts invade Truman’s head but he shuts them out and steers into the teeth of the storm – a look of resolve in his eyes we have never witnessed before.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

MOSES and ROMAN pace at the back of the control room. CHRISTOF is focused on his monitor. Like Truman, he steels himself for a fight.

CHRISTOF
Cue music…

SIMEON
(hesitant)
What music?

CHRISTOF
(irritated)
Storm music…Wagner…

CHLOE
(watching the monitor)
There’s no rescue boat in the area. Hewon’t know what to do.

MOSES
(trying to appeal to Christof’s sense of reason)
For God’s sake, Chris. The whole worldis watching. We can’t let him die infront of a live audience.

CHRISTOF
He was born in front of a live audience.
(never taking his eyes fromthe screen)
Don’t worry, he’s not willing to risk hislife. His doubts will turn him back.

Simeon reluctantly winds the controls for “WAVE”, “WIND” and “RAIN” towards their maximum settings.

CHRISTOF
Kill the lights.

EXT. HARBOR. DAY.

Darkness suddenly descends. High winds and horizontal driving rain buffet the boat. TRUMAN fights the tiller. Hurricane force winds shake the mast and keel, ripping the sails to shreds.

Suddenly, the mast of Truman’s boat is struck by a bolt of lightning – snapping the rigging and knocking Truman overboard. Flailing in the tempest, Truman manages to grab hold of a trailing rope from the mast and hand-over-hand drags himself back on board. Truman takes the rope and lashes himself to the wheel.

Monstrous waves continually submerge the boat. With what little is left of his rigging, Truman continues to head into the gale.

TRUMAN
(shouting above the storm,
screaming up to the sky)
Come on, is that the best you can do? You’re gonna have to kill me!

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

In contrast to his panic-stricken COLLEAGUES, CHRISTOF gives an outward appearance of calm. Only we witness the minute bead of sweat appearing at his temple that betrays him.

SIMEON
(shocked at the sight of Trumanbinding himself to the boat)
Is he out of his mind?

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

CHRISTOF
(defiant, to Operators)
Keep running!

MOSES
–That’s not for you to say.

CHRISTOF
I take full responsibility–

MOSES
–I’m telling you for the last time.

CHRISTOF
(to OPERATOR in front of radar-style-screen)
How close is he?

OPERATOR
Very close.

CHRISTOF
Capsize him! Tip him over!

MOSES
(overlapping)
For God’s sake, Christof!

CHLOE
(unable to contain herself any longer, entreating Christof)
You can’t! He’s tied himself to theboat. He’ll drown!

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

CHRISTOF
(enraged, to the Operator)
Do it!

All eyes turn in Christof’s direction. None of the Operators is willing to touch the controls.

Christof reaches to the panel and does it himself, turning the “WAVE” controls to their maximum settings.

EXT. OCEAN. DAY.

A series of giant breakers march in formation across the sea – arising from an unseen source.

EXT. OCEAN. DAY.

The waves break across Truman’s vessel. TRUMAN appears to be losing his fight against the storm, each successive wave taking its roll on his body, sapping his strength, his bindings the only thing keeping him upright. His headslumps, the tiller goes loose in his grasp, rocking out ofcontrol. Truman’s will is draining away.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

The control room CREW watch the heroic image of Truman on the ON-AIR monitor, awestruck, as if they too are now spectators watching a movie.

EXT. OCEAN. DAY.

As he is about to be overcome by the next wave, TRUMAN clamps the wheel with his whole body and braces for onelast 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. A mist clings to the surface of the water. Truman steers his sail boat down the eerie corridor.

Several large, dark shapes emerge on the horizon. Land? Islands? The shapes, containing some enormous mechanism including a huge wheel, only half exposed above water level, appear to be the source of the peculiar wave formations.

Truman continues to steer his wrecked sailboat towards the infinitely receding horizon. All is calm until we see the bow of the boat suddenly strike a huge, blue wall, knocking Truman off his feet. Truman recovers and clambers across the deck to the bow of the boat. Looming above him out of the sea is a cyclorama of colossal dimensions. The sky he has been sailing towards 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.

Clinging to the boat with one hand, he tentatively reaches out towards the painted cyclorama. He touches the sky.

He looks about him and simply laughs.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF and his PRODUCTION STAFF take in Truman’s reactionin stunned silence.

INT/EXT. BARROOM/LAUNDROMAT/STOREFRONT/APARTMENT. NIGHT.

Truman’s laugh echoes around bars, offices, shops, homes and streets – wherever a television is to be found – no VIEWER speaks. They too are stunned into a hushed expectancy. The collective audience holds its breath.

EXT. OCEAN/CYCLORAMA. DAY.

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 retrieves the identikit picture of Sylvia from his coat pocket and clambers to the prow of the boat.

There, camouflaged 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.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

The control room CREW stare in silence at the monitor – theirvery livelihood on the brink of vanishing. CHRISTOF opens asmall panel on his desk, breaks a seal, and speaks into theemergency P.A. system that is linked to the entire studio.

CHRISTOF
Truman!

INT/EXT. OCEAN/CYCLORAMA. DAY.

CHRISTOF’s voice booms over the now calm ocean.

CHRISTOF
Truman!

TRUMAN drops the handle as if his hand has been burned. He looks all about him.

CHRISTOF (O.C.)
You can speak. I can hear you.

Truman takes a moment to overcome his fear and astonishment.

TRUMAN
Who are you?

CHRISTOF
I’m the creator.

Truman looks up to the “heavens”.

TRUMAN
The creator of what?

CHRISTOF (O.C.)
A show – that gives hope and joy andinspiration to millions.

TRUMAN
(incredulous)
A show. Then who am I?

CHRISTOF (O.C.)
You’re the star.

Truman struggles to take it all in.

TRUMAN
Nothing was real.

CHRISTOF
You were real. That’s what made youyou so good to watch.

Truman takes out the drenched picture of Sylvia, recalling her words at the beach.

TRUMAN
(to himself)
“The eyes are everywhere.”

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

CHRISTOF picks up a slim, flat monitor. He swivels in his chair and gazes intently at the image of Truman he now holds inhis hands.

CHRISTOF
Listen to me, Truman–

On the screen, Truman again reaches for the door handle.

EXT. CYCLORAMA. DAY.

We focus on TRUMAN’s hand. CHRISTOF’s voice echoes across the water.

CHRISTOF
You can leave if you want. I won’t tryto stop you. But you won’t survive outthere. You don’t know what to do, where to go.

A wave of doubt washes over Truman’s face.

TRUMAN
(referring to the photo)
I have a map.

CHRISTOF
Truman, I’ve watched you your whole life. I saw you take your first step, yourfirst word, your first kiss. I know youbetter than you know yourself. You’renot going to walk out that door–

TRUMAN
–You never had a camera in my head.

INT/EXT. VARIOUS LOCATIONS. NIGHT.

The VIEWERS stare into camera in fascination.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

TRUMAN turns back to the sky, looking up towards CHRISTOF.

CHRISTOF
Truman, there’s no more truth outthere than in the world I created foryou – the same lies and deceit. Butin my world you have nothing to fear.

Truman seems to be considering the possibilities. He looks to the identikit picture of Sylvia in his hand.

CHRISTOF
(suddenly angry)
Say something, damn it! You’re still oncamera, live to the world…!

INT. A ROOM SOMEWHERE. NIGHT.

SYLVIA gazes at the picture of herself on her television screen as if it is her reflection in the mirror.

EXT. CYCLORAMA. DAY.

TRUMAN hesitates. Perhaps he cannot go through with it after all. The camera slowly zooms into Truman’s face.

TRUMAN
In case I don’t see you–good afternoon, good evening and good night.

He steps through the door and is gone. Silence. Then –

INT/EXT. VIEWERS. NIGHT.

Spontaneous jubilation from VIEWERS in their various locations- bars, homes and offices. We follow the figure of SYLVIA, running through the streets. Some of the viewers outside anelectronics store glimpse her as she runs by.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT.

Even the cynical SIMEON jumps out of his seat – for the firsttime in the film – and lets out a joyous whoop, forgettinghimself for a moment, caught up in the drama.

SIMEON
Yes!

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.

Gradually, the attention of those in the control room shifts from the monitor to CHRISTOF. He sits slumped, staring at the open door in the sky.

Eventually MOSES looks to Simeon. Moses nods to the “ON AIR” button. Simeon presses the button and the screen – the moviescreen – goes to static.

MONTAGE/END TITLES.

Highlights from “Truman – Total Record of a Human Life” beginto play.

FADE OUT

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