"Where the hell are you hiding this time, Waldo?"


"Where the hell are you hiding this time, Waldo?"

INFERNO

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. FLORENCE

OMAR SY chases BEN FOSTER through the streets and to the top of one of FLORENCE'S ONE MILLION HISTORIC BUILDINGS.

OMAR SY

Dammit, aren't these historic sites locked? Especially the ones with precarious falls at the top?

BEN FOSTER

We're inoculating the audience to the idea that nothing with any cultural or historic significance is guarded worth a damn. Now if you'll excuse me-

(falls to death)

INT. FLORENCE HOSPITAL

TOM HANKS wakes up in a hospital bed, being attended DISEASED FACES! SCREAMING MOBS! HEADS ON BACKWARDS!

...Uh, sorry. So anyway, TOM HANKS wakes up in a hospital bed, being attended to by DOCTOR FELICICORPSES STICKING OUT OF THE GROUND!! CREEPY MASKS!!! BLURRY THINGS!!!!

...

Ahem.

TOM HANKS wakes up in a hospital bed, being attended to by DOCTOR FELICITY JONES.

TOM HANKS

Where am I? I don’t-

BURNING CITIES RIVERS OF BLOOD CHAOS AND CONFUSION BLAARRGGH

TOM HANKS

FUCKING STOP THAT!! Jesus, what’s with the Nine Inch Nails video that keeps jumping out at us?

FELICITY JONES

(muffled voice)

Oh, that’s just a thing we’ll be doing constantly for the first ten minutes of the movie. Even the non-hallucinatory stuff is full of headache-inducing blur and shadows.

(shaky-cam)

Basically we wanted to clearly warn the audience just what kind of an obnoxious mess they were getting themselves into. It seemed fitting that this movie pretty much starts with the message, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

(lens flare)

So anyway, you’re in Florence. A bullet’s grazed your head and you’ve lost your memories of the past two days.

TOM HANKS

Lost in Europe with bullet-induced amnesia? How very Bourne Identity. Next you’ll tell me I have a laser pointer on me which we can use to project my first clue onto the wall.

FELICITY JONES

(checks)

Actually, you DO.

TOM HANKS

What, seriously? Jesus. All we’re missing is a ruthlessly efficient assassin out to get me, under orders from a room full of shadowy people staring at computer screens.

STOIC ASSASSIN

(running in)

Here I am! Sorry I’m late, traffic was a bitch.

(shoots everything)

TOM and FELICITY run for it and regroup at FELICITY’S APARTMENT.

FELICITY JONES

Do you have any idea who might want you dead?

TOM HANKS

Well I have been involved in several international conspiracies before, but no I don't even bring up anyone in them at all. I have no idea.

(beat)

Okay, just to be clear, this ISN’T a remake of The Bourne Identity, is it? I know Jason Bourne tanked, but rebooting already seems a little-

FELICITY JONES

No, no, it’s another Robert Langdon movie.

TOM HANKS

OH GOD NO. Please, no, I only just managed to crawl my way back up to respectability through a careful campaign of awards-baity true stories!

FELICITY JONES

Look on the bright side! You've woken up with no memory of what you've just done, and must recover your memories by examining items on your person and retracing your footsteps. This might simply turn out to be a gritty reboot of "Dude, Where's My Car?"

They project an image on the wall, which turns out to be BOTTICELLI’S MAP OF HELL.

TOM HANKS

Ah, so once again we find ourselves in some kind of dangerous international intrigue which can only be solved through trivia about old paintings. I swear, these movies only exist so that art history majors can fantasize about a world where their degrees are useful for something.

FELICITY JONES

At least we’re up to the halfway entertaining part of the formula, where we find clever little details in old artworks which can be connected together to reveal a fictional conspiracy-

TOM HANKS

Nope, this time the bad guy has scribbled a bunch of letters on the painting and we just have to unscramble them to get our next clue.

(anagrams)

To the Palazzo Vecchio!

FELICITY JONES

Wow. Apparently we CAN phone this stuff in even harder. Who knew?

They head out to FELICITY’S CAR, but are pursued by DANGEROUS-LOOKING PEOPLE in BLACK VANS, including OMAR!

FELICITY JONES

Oh no, in addition to that assassin lady, we’re apparently being chased by agents from the World Health Organization!

TOM HANKS

Crap, we’d better - wait, we’re being chased by WHO?!

FELICITY JONES

Yes, we’re being chased by WHO. Were you trying to get an Abbott and Costello thing happening there? Cause-

TOM HANKS

No, just, shut up. You’re telling me those agents aren’t CIA or Interpol or whatever, they’re the guys in charge of stuff like vaccination drives and handing out pamphlets about safe sex? THAT’S the government agency we’re supposed to be so scared of?

FELICITY JONES

Hey, don’t make them mad, a trained WHO agent is fully capable of quoting statistics about the prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia in developing nations until we get bored to death.

WHO chases the protagonists by sending...

TOM HANKS

A single drone? The movie couldn't afford two?

FELICITY JONES

(laughing)

That looks like the drones they sell at JB Hi-Fi!

OMAR SY

Attention all WHO agents! Do not let the drone and Tom Hanks in the same shot! We must not give the audience any sense that he's really in any danger!

FELICITY JONES

Crap! They're surrounding us! What do we do?

TOM HANKS

How about: we duck through this random door that only I know about.

FELICITY JONES

Lazy writing, got it.

They GET AWAY from WHO and proceed to the PALAZZO VECCHIO.

INT. BOURNE-ESQUE COMMAND CENTER FULL OF SUITS AND COMPUTER SCREENS

Meanwhile in some OFFICE BUILDING, IRRFAN KHAN is ordering about some FLUNKY.

IRRFAN KHAN

I’ve decided I want to watch that video that our client, recently deceased biotech billionaire Ben Foster, paid us to release to the internet. I know I’m supposed to just release it without knowing what’s on it, but meh, Ben’s dead so I don’t feel particularly obliged to him anymore.

FLUNKY

Not watching a video is more than you’re prepared to keep doing for him, but orchestrating the public murder of a famous academic isn’t?

He presses play on a VIDEO of BEN FOSTER.

BEN FOSTER

(crazy)

I believe that overpopulation is going to lead to human extinction, so I’ve come up with a plan to eliminate the excess humans. At first I considered releasing a bunch of phones that would make people rage out and murder each other, but another fictional billionaire beat me to it so I’m stuck with a boring old plague virus.

IRRFAN KHAN

Oh shit, our client wanted to release a killer virus?! There was no way we could have known that a genius biologist, who hired our security firm to keep him out of the clutches of the World Health Organization while he worked on a top secret project, and had done a whole bunch of lectures and articles about how we need to depopulate the world, and wanted to release a terrorist-style internet video - okay yeah, this was something we probably should have seen coming.

FLUNKY

Should we stop trying to kill Tom Hanks, then?

IRRFAN KHAN

Yeah, I guess. The assassins on the protagonist’s tail just suddenly deciding to stop chasing him, that’s one way to utterly abandon any sense of tension.

INT. PALAZZO VECCHIO

TOM and FELICITY reach their NEXT CLUE.

TOM HANKS

Okay, after the pathetic junior jumble that was our first clue, let’s hope this one actually requires some degree of cleverness to-

MUSEUM EMPLOYEE

(popping up)

Actually you already solved this one during the two days missing from your memory, so now I’m just going to straight-up tell you what the answer is.

TOM HANKS

Oh for fuck’s - I mean, lead on!

She shows them to DANTE ALLIGHIERI’S DEATH MASK only to find that it’s MISSING!

TOM HANKS

Damn, turns out that the museum curator and I removed it yesterday, even though it ultimately turns out that there was never any reason to take it to another location!

FELICITY JONES

Can’t you just call the curator and ask him where the mask is?

TOM HANKS

No because he went into hiding and cut all communications with everybody, leaving me only an email which reveals the current location of the mask through - you guessed it - another cryptic puzzle. But hey, at least this secondary mystery-within-a-mystery finally gives us a clue that we can actually solve through brainy-think!

(reads email)

The clue is “Paradise twenty-five”. Therefore mumble mumble something something, let’s go to the Florence Baptistry!

FELICITY JONES

Wait, are you kidding? When we do have actual puzzle-solving we don’t even bother to show it properly or allow the audience to follow your deductive reasoning?

TOM HANKS

We’re trying to fit six hundred pages of non-stop exposition into a two-hour movie so it’s kind of inevitable that we wind up rushing through literally everything NOW LET'S GO!

(sprints away)

FELICITY JONES

But how do we escape the museum? It's surround by WHO.

TOM HANKS

That's easy! We take ANOTHER hidden passageway only I know about!

FELICITY JONES

Are you FUCKING kidding me? Was your degree in "exhaustive knowledge of all Italy's hidden passageways" instead of symbology?

TOM HANKS

It's Dan Brown, I'm an expert in whatever's necessary! Now come on!

(pries away painting)

Right through here!

FELICITY JONES

Oh COME ON! They didn't even board up the secret passageway? Do they want their art stolen?

They escape! But not before FELICITY walks across a BEAM over a HUNDRED-FOOT DROP wearing HIGH HEELS because she's an idiot.

INT. FLORENCE BAPTISTRY

They find the MASK and on it their next CLUE.

TOM HANKS

Aha, some blather about a doge cutting off horse heads in a museum, that must refer to a horse statue at St. Mark’s Basilica! Let’s go there and ask the tour guide what doge defaced the horse statue.

FELICITY JONES

Er, couldn’t we just google that information?

TOM HANKS

And miss an opportunity to run to a famous European building? That’s basically the only thing that happens in these movies!

But on their way to ST. MARK’S, they are caught by OMAR.

OMAR SY

Finally! Tom, the reason we’ve been chasing you is that before you lost your memory, you were working with us to find and stop the plague.

TOM HANKS

Oh! So of the two groups who were chasing me at the beginning of the movie, one of them gave up and stopped chasing me, and now the other one turns out to have been on my side the whole time? What next, the plague turns out to just be a particularly annoying type of foot fungus?

OMAR SY

See, Ben Foster jumped to his death to avoid being caught by us, but we found that projector thing on his body and then I came to your college to ask for your help, remember?

TOM HANKS

Wait a minute, I’ve just remembered being recruited, and it wasn’t you, it was my incredibly half-baked love interest Sidse Babett Knudsen! We clearly can’t trust you, liar!

(flees)

OMAR SY

Damn, I probably shouldn’t have lied about that. Seriously, there was absolutely no reason to do so, the truth would have served my purposes just as effectively. I’m an idiot.

INT. ST. MARK’S BASILICA

TOM and FELICITY go and find out that their next clue sends them to TURKEY, where the VIRUS is.

TOM HANKS

What the hell, we’ve been to Florence, Venice, now we’re off to Istanbul - did Dan Brown pick these locations by playing the second through fourth Assassin’s Creed games?

FELICITY JONES

Speaking of Brown, remember how he can’t seem to get enough of the whole “ally who turns out to be secretly evil” twist? Well, SURPRISE!

TOM HANKS

Gasp! You?! Although I guess I technically only have one ally in this movie, so it’s not that surprising that you turn out to be the rogue one.

FELICITY JONES

That’s right, I was actually Ben’s girlfriend, I agree with him about all that depopulation stuff and I’m actively trying to make sure his virus gets released! Let me explain everything through a flashback that’s way longer than it needs to be.

EXT. FLASHBACK

BEN and FELICITY are being all LOVEY-DOVEY and, weirdly, doing the only bits of GOOD ACTING in the movie.

BEN FOSTER

Hey sweetie, I’ve decided that if anything happens to me I want you to know where my virus is so you can go and release it.

FELICITY JONES

Ah, smart thinking! All right, just whisper the location in my ear then.

BEN FOSTER

Nope, I’ve encoded it into an elaborate series of cryptic clues which requires you to trek the globe and steal important museum exhibits, and which you won’t be able to solve without the help of a world-famous art scholar.

FELICITY JONES

...What?

BEN FOSTER

You love puzzles, though! We just established this!

FELICITY JONES

Dude, we both believe we’re preventing the extinction of the human race, this isn’t the time to get cute!

BEN FOSTER

Oh, the cuteness doesn't end there! Because overpopulation will create a world that's sort of similar to Hell, and Dante wrote something that was partially about Hell, I've decided to make the continent-spanning puzzle Dante-themed!

(grins)

FELICITY JONES

Dude, that's just a bunch of bullshit free association! You could make that puzzle about any author! Watch this:

(clears throat)

Allowing global warming to occur is madness, and Lewis Carroll wrote some books that were sort of about madness, so I shall make the trail to my smog-destroying laser Alice-in-Wonderland-themed!

AUTHOR DAN BROWN

OH MY GOD YOU'VE JUST WRITTEN MY NEXT BOOK WHERE'S MY LAPTOP!?

FELICITY JONES

Fine though, how will I get the first clue? Have you set up an automated email or a courier service or safe deposit box or what?

BEN FOSTER

Actually I’ll be carrying it on me, thus ensuring that it’ll fall into the hands of the very people who I want to keep away from the virus, which they would never have found if I didn’t make these clues in the first place.

FELICITY JONES

Didn’t we say something about you being a genius?

INT. ST. MARK’S BASILICA

FELICITY JONES

So yes, now that I’ve used you to find out that the virus is at the Hagia Sofia, I’m going to tell you all this and ditch you, rather than bring you with me to solve any remaining puzzles. Even though this means you’ll just tell WHO where the virus is and probably fuck everything up for me. Ciao!

(leaves)

Then to make matters worse, TOM gets caught by OMAR.

OMAR SY

The reason for my shiftiness is that, while I do work for WHO, I secretly want to get my hands on that virus so I can sell it as a bioweapon.

TOM HANKS

What possible market could there be for a virus which randomly wipes out half the population of the entire planet?

OMAR SY

I don’t know. Hopefully none, because if I sold the virus and then the buyer deployed it, there’s a fifty/fifty chance I’d wind up dying horribly. I clearly haven’t thought this through very-

Suddenly OMAR gets stabbed dead by IRRFAN!

TOM HANKS

WHAT?! How in the HELL did you know where to find me?

IRRFAN KHAN

Look man, you don’t want to still be searching for logic or cohesion in this thing, not when we’re about to unload simply the dumbest twist on you.

TOM HANKS

Dumber than Felicity’s thing? Really?

IRRFAN KHAN

It turns out that we faked your gunshot wound. Your amnesia is really drug-induced, the hospital room was a set and the assassin who came after you was using blanks and the whole thing was set up so that you would think you had to solve the puzzle for Felicity who had tricked us into working for her-

TOM HANKS

OKAY WOW, STOP. Was that even necessary? Did any of it have to be true for this story to happen?

IRRFAN KHAN

Look, how else would we have gotten you to work with us? Just hold a gun to your head?

(beat)

Shit.

TOM HANKS

Goddamnit. Fine, let’s just meet up with WHO and go to Turkey to stop this virus. We’ll be sure to beat Felicity there, an international organization like WHO would be far, far better prepared to suddenly dash over to another country than some anonymous fugitive.

INT. ISTANBUL

FELICITY is in TURKEY suddenly.

FELICITY JONES

Hey there, fellow Ben Foster fanatic, I need help releasing Ben’s virus, which is here in your city.

GENOCIDAL NUT

Okay, uh, why didn’t you just call me on the phone and give me this information so that I could have taken care of it myself hours ago?

FELICITY JONES

For the same reason we’ll now waste a couple more hours crafting bombs that we can use to create a shockwave that’ll open Ben’s big bag of virus, when I could instead have just poked it open with a sharp stick.

INT. HAGIA SOFIA

TOM, IRRFAN and WHO go and work out the precise location of the VIRUS.

TOM HANKS

We have to go down to the Basilica Cistern! And we’ll have to keep an eye on the crowd down there for Felicity.

IRRFAN KHAN

Okay, I - wait, the crowd?

TOM HANKS

Oh yeah, the cistern is a tourist attraction. The whole time the virus has been sitting down there, there have been hundreds of tourists and tour guides and security personnel passing through. Ben’s really, really lucky not one of them thought to question the lurid red bag of garbage dangling from the ceiling.

They head into the CISTERN where they find FELICITY already down there!

TOM HANKS

Felicity, don’t release this plague virus! Killing this many people would be crazy even if we assume that overpopulation is indeed going to lead to widespread death and destruction, which of course [REDACTED FOR THE SAKE OF THIS SCRIPT’S COMMENTS SECTION]

FELICITY JONES

It’s too late! It turns out the virus was released already, a week ago. Every human being on the face of the planet is already infected and everything that we’ve been doing since the movie started is pointless and hasn’t affected anything. The virus isn’t fatal though, it simply makes one third of the population infertile, and although we’ll pay lip service to what a horrifying turn of events this is, it’ll be pretty clear that deep down we regard this as a happy ending.

TOM HANKS

W-what?! FUCKING WHAT?!?

FELICITY JONES

Ha, just kidding! Don’t forget, another staple of these movies is that we frantically tear out the most controversial bits from the books and fire them into the sun.

TOM HANKS

Okay. Phew.

(pause)

But still, THAT WAS IN THE BOOK?!

FELICITY JONES

Oh yeah, aren't you glad I just blow myself up and fail to release the virus instead?

(explodes)

TOM HANKS

Actually...man, I can't believe I'm about to say this...actually no, I'm not glad they changed the ending at all. These movies have become so formulaic, and so placid, that actually having the hero LOSE and doom half of humanity would have made a hell of an ending. We don't have to keep the books' despicable hard-on for eugenics, or make Felicity into a hero. I'm just saying, we had a chance to do something new, and we blew it.

WHO succeeds in containing the VIRUS? Sorry, I mean: WHO succceeds in containing the VIRUS.

TOM HANKS

Finally, that’s over. Wow, I can’t believe this movie was even more formulaic yet ludicrous than the previous two. At least we know there aren’t any more Robert Langdon books left to adapt.

ROBERT LANGDON FANS

Very true!

AUTHOR DAN BROWN

Yes, what an astute and accurate observation.

EVERYONE IN THE WORLD nods emphatically.

INT. MUSEUM

TOM HANKS

Hey security guard! I just snuck into one of your exhibits and returned Dante's mask! You're welcome!

SECURITY GUARD

...why the fuck did we let you in after you stole one of our exhibits?

TOM HANKS

I think we've more than established that all the security staff in Italy are idiots.

(puts on glasses)

SECURITY GUARD

Oh my god! Where did he go?

END.

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