The Abridged Script
The AUDIENCE spends countless hours researching whether to see the movie in 35MM, 70MM, DIGITAL 70MM, DIGITAL IMAX 70MM, 4XDIGITAL IMAX 70MM, or PRESTIDIGITAL ORGASMAX 94000MM, all the while unaware that what they're REALLY searching for... is a father's love.
INT. MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY'S FARMHOUSE
MATTHEW has breakfast with his 10-year-old daughter "MURPH", played by MACKENZIE FOY.
Dad, random objects in my room keep getting knocked over and broken when I'm not around! Despite having an older brother, I've concluded it must be ghosts.
Ghosts? See here, little lady, in THIS house we believe in hard, scientific fact. Which is why I named you after RoboCop.
But don't we also believe in bending science over the kitchen table and making it sentimentality's bitch?
Not 'til the third act, sweetie. Now eat your corn dirt.
MATTHEW arrives for a PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCE.
Your daughter needs to stop using old textbooks, and get in line with the new curriculum that says the Moon landing was faked, Obama was gay-married to ISIS, and Bane was one of the great movie villains of all time.
It's a fucking travesty that you idiots are in charge of my children's future. To think I had to interrupt teaching my daughter how to drive stick at full speed, while chasing down a rogue military drone, to come talk to you irresponsible assholes.
Look, Matthew, we wanted to sit down with you so we could explain this dystopian future to the audience. Specifically how there was a big war that killed millions of people, and afterwards we threw away all our machines, even the really useful ones, because I guess we were fighting Terminators on Maximum Overdrive.
Blight is ravaging our crops, meaning there are only three jobs allowed now: farming, teaching about farming, and impersonating the New York Yankees. We think your son should farm.
Why the hell did we sink all our hopes into traditional open-air farming anyway? What about plankton or insects? Is anyone building biodomes? Besides, the only crop that hasn't totally died out is corn! What can we do with nothing but heaps of corn, we can only cram so much into my dialogue!
Yeah yeah, we know that you're a big-shot engineer, but the world doesn't need any engineers right now. Except to build completely autonomous farming equipment that harvests far more food than we ever could manually. But otherwise fuck off.
INT. MATT'S FARMHOUSE
MATTHEW finds some DUST forming a strange interference pattern in MACKENZIE'S room! He throws a COIN which snaps into the pattern.
Wow, you can detect fundamental forces of Nature just by looking at them? Cause it sure looked like magnetism from here.
MATTHEW sits down and concentrates for MANY MANY HOURS on the weird phenomenon.
This sure would be a good time for my future self to contact me through the bookshelves I'm staring directly at!
MATTHEW eventually decides the pattern is MORSE CODE, the only source of binary patterns in existence. This generates NUMBERS, which he decides are CO-ORDINATES, the only thing numbers are ever used for.
MATTHEW and MACKENZIE drive to the co-ordinates in the middle of nowhere, and find a FENCE plastered with "KEEP OUT / SECRET GOVERNMENT SHIT INSIDE / SERIOUSLY FUCK OFF" signs. MATTHEW approaches the gate and--
(turning on 3000 floodlights)
OH MY GOD HOW DID YOU FIND US, WE WERE PERFECTLY DISGUISED AS A SECRET GOVERNMENT BASE!!! WELL DON'T BE SCARED!!!
(waves chainsaw in Mackenzie's face)
DOOON'T BEEEE SCAAAAAAREEED
MATTHEW and MACKENZIE are taken to meet NASA.
Welcome to NASA, Matthew! The bad news is, humanity is totes fucked.
Good news is, we have a plan. I just need to solve... GRAVITY.
Uh-huh. Could you be any more specific, at all?
But of course. There's... an EQUATION.
Oh, okay. And when you solve this EQUATION, then you'll immediately have Godlike control over all gravity and be able to launch immense ships across the Galaxy with your cock? You won't need money or raw materials or political will or any of that shit?
Nope, once I have that, we'll have everything we need. Well, except a pilot. Which sure makes it lucky you showed up! Yes, we sunk all our hopes into a specialized vessel with no pilot because we all went to the Pacific Rim school of disaster planning.
Kids, I don't know when or if I'll be back, but all humanity is at stake. I'm sorry.
MATTHEW'S SON WHO APPARENTLY EXISTS
I get your truck though, right Dad? I get the truck? Okay, cool.
That was very straightforward and honest of you, Dad. Too bad you don't say anything like that in the actual movie but instead dick around the subject until I'm an emotional basketcase. Way to parent.
MATTHEW DRIVES AWAY which segues directly to...
All right, we're off! I suppose we should introduce oursel-
CUE: HUGE THUNDERING ROCKET BLAST BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMM
Thanks for those wise words, Matthew. Well I'm a scientist and-
CUE: TWELVE ELEPHANTS DROPPED ON THE WORLD'S LARGEST PIPE ORGAN BWAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHPPPP
That was fascinating, Anne. My character is also complex, in that-
CUE: JUST SOME FUCKING RANDOM LOUD NOISE SPLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHH
And I'm the black guy on the mission! But don't worry, Christopher Nolan promised me that I absolutely, positively, definitely won't be the first to be killed off!
I'm dying second, aren't I.
ROBOT BILL IRWIN
I'm your goofy robot built from some oversized LEGO knock-off toy. My voice won't be digitally altered in any way, so half the time you'll think there's another actor standing just off-screen.
They dock with a BIG SPINNY RING MODULE, kind of like in 2001. But instead of going to JUPITER like in 2001 THE MOVIE, they head to SATURN like in 2001 THE BOOK.
EXT. JUST OUTSIDE SATURN
Oh crap, the wormhole... is a SPHERE? I'm supposed to drive us into a SPHERE?!? The fuck guys, I thought spacetime was a flat circle!
This REALLY seems like a conversation that would have happened back on Earth, but yeah, a three-dimensional hole is a sphere. Anything else I should cover?
No, I'd rather people continue to explain things to me just as they happen, instead of us all having been fully briefed beforehand.
They fly into the WORMHOLE and SHIT GETS WEEEIIIIIIIRRRRD!!
Look guys, I'm shaking the hand of some strange apparition thing! We'll see the other side of this interaction later, which will complete the set, thus creating Art.
INT. SPACESHIP -- ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORMHOLE
So there are three potential planets to choose from, and one has a character we talk about a lot, so you KNOW we're winding up there eventually. But the closest one is orbiting right by a giant black hole.
And can I just quickly point out that this scenario has been verified as possible by leading astrophysicist Kip Thorne, scientific consultant for this movie?
Oh good. I'm glad that it's actually possible to park the entire human race on THE EDGE OF A GIANT FUCKING BLACK HOLE. Are we going to build our new colony inside an active volcano just because we can?
We need to check it out. One teeny tiny complication is that gravitational forces will make time go slower. An hour there will be like 7 years.
Gosh, I could become my own hero in like, 85 minutes. Let's go!
Say this works out, what happens when we need to branch out from THAT planet? "Come explore the Galaxy, you'll only age hundreds of times faster than everyone back home!" And we already need to compensate for time discrepancies with Earth satellites, this planet will be a fucking nightmare.
We can't worry about any of that! Look, I've got a whole zany plan to minimize our exposure to slo-mo-time. Of course we could minimize our exposure right down to zero if we sent hyper-intelligent robots planetside instead of us, but hey we only have TWO OF THOSE.
EXT. APPROACHING WATERWORLD
MATTHEW flies one of the SCOUT SHIPS into the upper atmosphere of the water-covered planet along with ANNE, WES, ROBOT BILL, and a DOZEN SURFBOARDS because hey, water-covered planet.
Does anyone think we should scan the surface before we land? Or, y'know, look out a window or something? Just in case there's some giant threat that would be visible from space--
Fuck that, I'm going right into an insane air-brake maneuver to save fuel! And make it impossible to see outside! Those precious drops will be worth almost killing everyone! WHEEEEEEE!!!!!
ROBOT BILL IRWIN
I could probably calculate a perfect air-brake trajectory if you'd let me...
Phew! And now it's finally time to check outside in case there's any small, puny inconveniences that AW CRAP A BILLION-FOOT-HIGH TIDAL WAVE, FUUUUUUUUUCK
(turns ignition key frantically)
Sorry dudes, engine's flooded.
You dipshit. Just for that I'm gonna fucking die right here.
INT. BACK AT THE MAIN SPACESHIP
MATT and ANNE return to be met by TOUCH-OF-GREY DAVID.
You guys were gone 23 years, which I could have just cryo-slept through, except I got caught up arguing this movie's science on Twitter and next thing I knew two decades happened. Anyway you've each got a massive backlog of video messages.
Aw nuts, I've missed my daughter's rebellious fuck-you teenaged years and sullen emo young adult years! I have to skip ahead to where she's a rational, fully realized person! ...sorry, what's the downside again?
Fuck you Dad! I'm old enough now to understand that you left to try and save all of Humanity, but still, fuck you!
I still love you Dad. But also, fuck you.
You've already forgotten I was even in this movie, but nevertheless, fuck you.
INT. BACK AT NASA -- WHAT, YOU THOUGHT WE WOULD MAINTAIN THE SENSE OF ISOLATION AND REMOTENESS BY STICKING EXCLUSIVELY WITH MATTHEW'S POV? SILLY, SILLY AUDIENCE
JESSICA CHASTAIN is working with MICHAEL CAINE to solve the
PLOT GRAVITY EQUATION.
Dammit, I keep getting 42. I think we're missing something. Is there any crucial information you're waiting to mention until you're on your deathbed?
(unintelligible, guttural, accented mumbling)
The McCOSMONAUGHTS discuss their next move.
Matt Damon's planet is our next best shot. The thing is, when you're a PARENT, you realize that the hard data Damon sent us is consistent with a viable environment. And AS A FATHER, I note that our fuel situation precludes easily reaching both remaining planets. So I HAVE TWO KIDS we should go there.
I should simply agree. But first, I'm going to throw away a lifetime of scientific thinking and seriously argue in favour of hunches, gut feelings, and the power of looooove. Yeah, I can't fucking believe it either, just tell me when I'm done.
EXT. PLANET DAMON
They LAND and remove CRYO-ACTION MATT DAMON from its ORIGINAL PACKAGING.
Thanks! Look, this planet actually sucks, and I sent false information back so that someone would come rescue me. But I'm banking you're decent enough people not to strand me here.
Oh wait, that approach doesn't lead to a cheesy Original-Trek-style fistfight. I mean, everything's great! Super great! No dark secrets here at all!
(twirls handlebar moustache)
ROBOT BILL IRWIN
ATTENTION ANNE YOUR DAD MICHAEL CAINE IS DEAD!! Also I have an extremely awkward video from Earth I'd like to play for everybody, because my Sensitivity function has been set to "Asshole".
I ran Michael Caine's dying phlegm-blast through a decoder, and it said "Plan A", saving everyone on Earth, was total bullshit! Apparently he didn't trust you guys to save the species if there wasn't something in it for you personally. Granted it looks like he was right, but I'm still terribly upset!!
So that means starting a new colony from scratch with "Plan B"... which ironically involves CAUSING hundreds of pregnancies... is the only hope for our species. Now let me continue to pretend this planet is habitable while you unpack and use up all your colony-building resources. You see this way, I can escape alone, while humanity dies. It's a foolproof plan!
Everybody goes about their futile jobs, while DAVID works on repairing MATT'S busted robot.
MATT'S BUSTED ROBOT
Bleep boop! Here is the real data, that shows the planet sucks. Also, this makes me explode for some reason.
OH FOR FUCK'S
MATT DAMON steals a SCOUT SHIP and tries to DOCK with the MAIN MODULE! However he forgets that when it comes to whether your seals are AIRTIGHT or not, rounding up to 100% just DOES NOT FUCKING CUT IT. His ship EXPLODES, taking a chunk of the MAIN MODULE with it!
Aw yeah, more fancy flying time! I'm gonna do a another 2001-style spinning dock, but this time at 3000 rpm!!
CUE: "THE BLUE DANUBE" BY MEGADETH
Shouldn't the main ship be spinning off-centre now, since the centre of mass has shifted? Not to mention the force of the explosion itself...
ROBOT BILL IRWIN
Again, I can't help but think that my hyperfast processors would have done that with relative ease. But I get it, I'm mostly here for comic relief.
Well there's only one planet left, but we can't simply go there. Freytag's Pyramid demands we keep raising the action, and all that's left is to transmit data from inside a black hole, which is impossible!
Hold on a minute. What if we use Robot Bill Irwin, to transmit DATA, from INSIDE the black hole?
That is exactly what I said three seconds ago was impossible.
Maybe, but we can ALSO use Newton's Third Law of Motion Pictures, which states that for every dramatic sacrifice, there exists an equal or better narrative payoff! Farewell!
MATTHEW boosts ANNE towards the final planet which sends him into the BLACK HOLE. His SHIP, rather than being instantly crushed, begins RATTLING so he uses his EJECTOR SEAT, INSIDE A MOTHERFUCKING BLACK HOLE, which LOOK YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND CHRISTOPHER NOLAN OKAY, HE'S AN AUTEUR SO FUCK OFF.
Oh my God, it's full of spines! ...of books! This must be some crazy fifth-dimensional construct, presumably created by future advanced humans to help me send messages into the past!
Hey future humans, remember how my dead wife might still be alive if we'd diagnosed her cancer in time? Huh? Don't suppose we could rewind just a LITTLE further back?
Well, can we undo "Failure to Launch", at least?
Meanwhile (whatever THAT fucking means anymore) JESSICA CHASTAIN and TOPHER GRACE (...huh!) go to rescue CASEY AFFLECK'S FAMILY before their diet of non-stop DIRT turns them completely into DIRT. JESSICA creates a diversion by SETTING THE CROPS ON FIRE and endangering CASEY'S entire livelihood, then decides to go wandering around the house.
Ah, my old room. Brings back memories...
Uh-oh, Casey is coming back, and he's got murder eyes! Hurry!
Yup, I sure did love my old room. Hm, I wonder...
Aw man, he's loading a pump-action shotgun with shots of Jack Daniels! Hurry the fuck up!
Maybe... something about... that watch?
HOLY SHIT JESS HE'S WATCHING NASCAR AND THE SUPER BOWL AT THE SAME TIME WHILE THUMPING A BIBLE AND MUNCHING ON LIVE AMMO AND CRYSTAL METH, GET THE FUCK OUT NOW
That's it, the second hand is twitching! Either the battery finally ran out after 23 years, or it's a coded signal from inside a tesseract within a black hole from my long-lost Dad. Well I know which possibility my scientifically trained mind is going with!
Casey, it's OK! From your point of view, I've finally gone totally delusional and crazy, so you have to do whatever I say now!
Not like I have no experience playing second fiddle to a more successful sibling. Fine, whatever.
While the others go deal with the raging crop fire, JESSICA returns indoors and MATTHEW sends her what is undoubtedly TERABYTES OF COMPLEX, EXPERIMENTAL DATA via Morse Code, ONE GODDAMN LETTER AT A TIME, a pace which should summarily complete the job in an afternoon give or take THREE MILLION YEARS.
ROBOT BILL IRWIN
Um, how are you going to represent exponents in Morse Code? Or subscripts? Or Greek letters? Or parentheses, or brackets, or integral symbols, or…
With paternal love and soaring orchestral background music, THAT'S how!
The task completed, STRANGELY-NON-MULTIMILLENNIGENARIAN JESSICA takes the DATA and solves GRAVITY, FERMAT'S LAST THEOREM, the HODGE CONJECTURE, JACK THE RIPPER, MALAYSIAN FLIGHT 370, THE JFK ASSASSINATION, and NICKELBACK, thus making EVERYTHING ALL BETTER FOREVER.
INT. EVEN MORE FUTURE SPACE STATION
MATTHEW wakes up in a future hospital bed.
Hey there Matthew. We found you floating off Saturn, miraculously not-dead. Fifty more years have passed, but don't worry, this isn't the opening of "Aliens". Everything is awesome now!
So thanks to Jessica, you built a tube-shaped space station orbiting Saturn, with rotational gravity. Didn't we have that level of technology when I left? What was stopping us from building this in Earth orbit?
Anyway your daughter is super old now, and is here to see you along with her entire extended family that will shun you like some kind of leper. Have fun!
Also, I was supposed to remind you to please leave a note or something for Future Humanity to build that tesseract you used, or we are all fucked.
MATTHEW finds JESSICA who has aged into ELLEN BURSTYN.
Well, look at you! That's what us girls love about Relativity, Matt; we get older, you stay the same age.
Er, thanks, I guess...
Anyway now that we've reunited for two minutes after decades apart, why don't you fuck off and go look for Anne. She's all alone out there.
What, seriously? It's been half a century, nobody sent a rescue ship for the sole survivor of the mission that saved the entire human race?
We sure as shit didn't. But it maybe wasn't as long for her, you guys were real close to the black hole when you separated. Thanks to slo-time she might still be young and in love with her dead boyfriend, so there's a chance at some grief sex at least...
Those are the best odds I've had in 75 years! All right, I'm off to reunite with the only other person in existence I share any bond with whatsoever!
MATTHEW steals a SHIP with ridiculous ease and flies off to live happily ever after with ANNE.
90-YEAR-OLD CASEY AFFLECK
Yeah, sure sucks to be alone and forgotten, Dad. Way to fucking parent.