Movie Rating:

This entry has a rating of 1.5

Cloud Atlas

CLOUD ATLAS

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. HOLLYWOOD - 2012

LANA and ANDY WACHOWSKI are bored, lounging around and rereading their old THE INVISIBLES COMICS.

ANDY WACHOWSKI

Hey, you know what we should do? Go win an Oscar.

LANA WACHOWSKI

Great idea! How?

ANDY WACHOWSKI

Well, we could tell a deeply personal story only we could tell, about the thousand triumphs and tragedies along the long road of gender confusion, realization, and transition, giving courage to those who are facing this dangerous and sometimes deadly cultural taboo, and enlightening millions including their families, co-workers, clergy, lawmakers, and the world at large.

LANA WACHOWSKI

Sounds hard. What if we just buy the rights to a powerful literary epic, film the Cliff Notes, edit the whole thing into an indecipherable mess, and call it art?

ANDY WACHOWSKI

Brilliant!

EXT. PACIFIC OCEAN – 1849

JIM STURGESS is a young American lawyer seeking out DOCTOR TOM HANKS to cure his MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS.

DOCTOR TOM HANKS

Bwahaha! I'm actually the one making you sick so I can rob you blind!

JIM STURGESS

Huh? Why would I be seeking out a doctor to help me out with an illness I don't even have yet?

DOCTOR TOM HANKS

Umm... Hey, look! A runaway slave!

JIM STURGESS

What a disgusting, sub-human wretch whom I've grown to begrudgingly respect and now admire with all my heart as a paragon of humanity.

DOCTOR TOM HANKS

Wow, that wasn't so much a character arc as a catapult.

JIM STURGESS

Yeah, I didn't even wait for him to inevitably save me from your poisons.

DOCTOR TOM HANKS

Huh. So now what?

JIM STURGESS

I guess I'll just lock myself in my room and bluntly narrate all my thoughts on life and love to the audience in the form a journal.

INT. SCOTLAND – 1936

BEN WHISHAW is a young composer who is totally, perfectly, happily in love with JAMES D'ARCY.

BEN WHISHAW

Hey, I just found Jim Sturgess's journal! It contains the Truthâ„¢! Therefore, I am inspired to write a sextet called the Cloud Atlas.

JAMES D'ARCY

Couldn't think of a more pretentious title, huh?

BEN WHISHAW

No, and I really tried.

JAMES D'ARCY

Oh, no! Some old guy is demanding credit for writing the Cloud Atlas sextet or else he'll expose you for being gay!

BEN WHISHAW

How tragic! I'll just lock myself in a hotel room and bluntly narrate all my thoughts on life and love to the audience in the form of letters to you.

(pause)

Oh, and then I'll kill myself.

(pause)

Because spending the rest of my life with the man I love is a great big pile of dog shit compared to being famous, apparently.

INT. SAN FRANCISCO – 1973

HALLE BERRY is a foxy INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST who runs into a now-elderly JAMES D'ARCY who grew up to be a NUCLEAR PHYSICIST because why not?

JAMES D'ARCY

I don't know what to do! On the one hand, I want to stop Hugh Grant from murdering thousands of people by blowing up a nuclear power plant in the middle of a major U.S. city.

HALLE BERRY

And on the other hand?

JAMES D'ARCY

Um, I actually haven't come up with anything that could possible compare to that. But let's play this like a major ethical dilemma anyway.

HALLE BERRY

So Hugh Grant is like a James Bond villain or something?

JAMES D'ARCY

No, he works for an oil company.

HALLE BERRY

Even worse!

Suddenly, OIL COMPANY HITMAN HUGO WEAVING kills JAMES D'ARCY!

HALLE BERRY

How did you know James was giving me information?

HUGO WEAVING

I didn't. In fact, we don't figure that out until much, much later.

HALLE BERRY

Then why kill James?

HUGO WEAVING

You really don't want to start asking questions.

HALLE BERRY

Why, because you'll kill me too?

HUGO WEAVING

No, because you'll realize that only 0.8% of electricity in the U.S. comes from petroleum. Big Oil has no reason to rig a nuclear power plant explosion. Exxon doesn't give a fuck where you get your electricity.

HUGO tries to kill HALLE, but she GETS AWAY!

HALLE BERRY

What a lucky escape! Now I'll just lock myself in my apartment with Ben Whishaw's letters. They contain the Truthâ„¢, which will inspire me-

KEITH DAVID, chief of security for the nuclear power company, busts into HALLE's apartment.

KEITH DAVID

WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING IN YOUR OWN APARTMENT WHEN YOU KNOW A RUTHLESS HITMAN IS TRYING TO KILL YOU?!

HALLE BERRY

You think I should have called the police?

KEITH DAVID

Nah, let's use you as bait so we can gun down the hitman on the street in broad daylight. That was totally legal in the 1970s, right?

HALLE BERRY

Well, logic aside, at least this is somewhat interesting.

KEITH DAVID

And welcome to a Wachowski movie.

Somehow, our HEROES' brilliant plan to RAM HUGO'S CAR and then FIRE BLINDLY in his general direction FAILS MISERABLY. They flee into a SWEAT SHOP filled with ILLEGAL ALIENS.

HUGO WEAVING

At last, I have you trapped. I will kill you now. The purpose of life is to die. Humanity is a virus. Whatever has a beginning has an end. Live long and prosper.

HALLE BERRY

That's not from The Matrix.

HUGO WEAVING

I know. I'm just monologuing long enough for-

Sweat shop worker DONNA BAE UNDER 17-INCHES OF MAKE-UP shows up and bashes HUGO's skull in with a wrench.

DONNA BAE

Look, I'm totally Mexican!

HALLE BERRY

Maybe we should have tried 18 inches of make-up.

KEITH DAVID

Regardless, we've saved America's most beloved industry – nuclear power!

INT. ENGLAND – 2012

JIM BROADBENT is a failing book publisher whose client -- GANGSTER TOM HANKS -- straight up MURDERS a critic who hated his AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

JIM BROADBENT

Damn! This movie just picked up!

GANGSTER TOM HANKS

Did it? My bad. I'll disappear now and leave you in a screwball comedy where you accidently sign your life away to an old folks home when you thought you were checking into a hotel.

JIM BROADBENT

Yeah, right. Even the Wachowskis can't stretch credulity that far.

Suddenly HUGO WEAVING bursts in dressed as NURSE RATCHED.

JIM BROADBENT

Aw, hell with it. I'll just lock myself in my room and read a novel subtitled "A Halle Berry Mystery." It contains The Truthâ„¢, which blah blah blah.

HUGO WEAVING

Wait, a novel? Did we cross over into another universe where Halle Berry's character from the previous plotline is now only a fictional character?

JIM BROADBENT

Either that or the Wachowskis have never seen a nonfiction book and have no idea what they should look like.

HUGO WEAVING

Are you sure I can't interest you in some zany "prison break" hijinks?

JIM BROADBENT

Eh.

THE AUDIENCE

Eh.

THE WACHOWSKIS

Eh.

INT. NEO-SEOUL – 2144

The WACHOWSKIS jump up and down in RAPTUROUS EXCITEMENT.

THE WACHOWSKIS

Finally! The only segment of the movie we seem to have put any loving craftsmanship into! It's a dystopian cyberpunk epic about a brainwashed corporate automaton who lives her entire life in a tiny box until a bunch of ninja-hacker-rebel-prophets break her free and show her the bleak ruins of the real world, only to get overwhelmed by the inhuman forces of oppression until she sacrifices her life to free people's minds!!!

AUDIENCE

Seen it.

THE WACHOWSKIS

Fuck.

EXT. HAWAI'I – 2321

PRIMITIVE TOM HANKS hangs out on the beach with nothing but a BEACH BALL for company. Oh, and FUTURE HALLE BERRY, a cute LITTLE GIRL, and a bunch of CANNIBALS.

TOM HANKS

Yousa gonna talksa like Jar Jar Binks now?

HALLE BERRY

I say is tru-tru!

TOM HANKS

This what happens to speaky-word when mommendad let kids write in text speak.

HALLE BERRY

Yousa gonna guide me up yon there mountain in hopes yousa gonna get some snu-snu?

Suddenly, PRIMITIVE TOM HANKS has a hallucination of HUGO WEAVING dressed up as A LEPRECHAUN impersonating THE DEVIL cosplaying THE MAD HATTER.

HUGO WEAVING

KILL HER!! KILL HER!!

TOM HANKS

Huh, I guessen we are in an art film after all. But I reckon me gonna lead right pretty lass up yon mountain nee'how.

PRIMITIVE TOM HANKS and FUTURE HALLE BERRY are CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN. Why are they CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN? Because they're in LOVE.

TOM HANKS

Hey, Halle. Yousa all fancy high-techy girl. How come yousa not have helly-chop-chop?

HALLE BERRY

What?

TOM HANKS

It's the future. Where my flying car?

HALLE BERRY

Mushroom cloud go boom-boom. Civilization go bye-bye. No more fly-high gizmo and whatnot.

TOM HANKS

So your people have a fusion-powered hovercraft, but no airplanes?

HUGO WEAVING

KILL HER!! KILL HER!!

TOM HANKS

Is okay. I'z craplousy guide nee'how. This be sheer cliff we must climb.

PRIMITIVE TOM HANKS and FUTURE HALLE BERRY make it to the top of the mountain and enter an ABANDONED TEMPLE or possibly an INTERSTELLAR COMMUNICATIONS STATION. Skeletons are EVERYWHERE.

HALLE BERRY

Now we'uns just has to push yon big shiny button to call an interstellar rescue fleet to carry us away from Earth to a planet that's not a radioactive wasteland. But first, I'll show yousa a video-film that will tear down your entire religion and belief system. Just for yon shits and giggles.

HUGO WEAVING

KILL HER!! KILL HER!!

TOM HANKS

Nah.

HUGO WEAVING

Congratulations, your psychotic schizophrenia is now cured. As a reward, you now get to fly to another planet and bang Halle Berry.

TOM HANKS

Do I get to speak English now?

HALLE BERRY

No, we'uns gonna keep this wacky-dacky talk up all rest yon movie for tru-tru.

AUDIENCE

Holy fuck, this movie has to be over now, right?!

TOM HANKS

No, we'uns still got a cannibal attack and bloodshed gory galory to go.

AUDIENCE

But if you give us too much time to think, we'll start to wonder why none of the dead people in the temple bothered to push the big shiny "RESCUE US" button before they lay down on the floor and died.

TOM HANKS

Fine. We'uns will skip to big finish.

EXT. OMICRON PERSEI VIII – 2345

PRIMITIVE TOM HANKS is on the beach with his PRIMITIVE CHILDREN and GRANDCHILDREN.

TOM HANKS

...so your Uncle Barney and Aunt Lilly were eaten by cannibals while we escaped to a paradise planet. And that's how I met your mother.

END.