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National Treasure

NATIONAL TREASURE

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. SNOW-COVERED LAND

NICOLAS CAGE and his TEAM OF KICKASS HISTORIANS search for a ship buried in the snow.

NICOLAS CAGE

When we find this ship, we'll have yet another clue to lead us to the enormous treasure our founding fathers hid so that no man would ever get it. I can't wait 'till I get it!

JUSTIN BARTHA

According to my completely random calculations that can be approximate at best, the ship should be right there.

NICOLAS starts digging. After burrowing under about two inches of snow, he finds something. It's the ship! Seriously!

INT. FROZEN SHIP

NICOLAS and his CREW go deeper into the ship, and eventually come to a door that looks frozen solid, which they open effortlessly. Once inside, they uncover a single clue.

NICOLAS CAGE

(reading the clue)

"The treasure is a witness."

(pause)

Hmm. Witness, witness... You need a witness at a trial. Trial...to make a case, the prosecution will use evidence...evidence...evident! Self evident! We hold these truths to be self-evident! The Declaration! The map to the treasure is on the back of the Declaration of Independence! Let's go!

SEAN BEAN

Not so fast, Cage. I'll take this knowledge and get the treasure myself! To make matters worse, I have little to no respect for the history behind the treasure, and I think America is stupid! Har har har!

NICOLAS CAGE

Noooo!

NICOLAS pulls out a flare and lights it. Sparks land on the floor, which is literally covered completely in gunpowder. Nothing happens.

NICOLAS CAGE

You kill me, and I drop this. I'd rather kill us all than allow you to take the National Treasure, because America is totally awesome!

SEAN BEAN

Bah! If you drop that, it'll only light the ground on fire, as if the gunpowder wasn't so much explosive as mildly flammable.

NICOLAS CAGE

What? That's insane, it's gunpowder.

SEAN BEAN

Yeah?

He shoots the gunpowder, which bursts into small, survivable flames like it was gasoline.

NICOLAS CAGE

What the hell?

SEAN escapes.

NICOLAS CAGE

Wait a minute.. Fire.. Gunpowder.. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer... Oh shit!

NICOLAS and ANNOYING COMIC RELIEF JUSTIN BARTHA escape, right before a GIGANTIC EXPLOSION!

PRODUCER JERRY BRUCKHEIMER

(headbanging)

NATIONAL HISTORY IS THE MOTHERFUCKING SHIT! YEAH!

INT. DIANE KRUGER'S OFFICE

NICOLAS and OBNOXIOUS JUSTIN try to convince DIANE KRUGER that SEAN is going to steal the Declaration of Independence.

DIANE KRUGER

I don't believe a word of what you say. Nobody can steal the declaration. It's sealed in a glass case out on display. Beneath that glass is a system of lasers that trigger alarms. When not on display, the Declaration is taken via a Declaration-only elevator down to a vault, where it is sealed. The only times this is ever not the case are when it's being cleaned or when any of the security alarms go off, prompting us to take it into a less secure environment in order to deal with the situation.

(pause)

Frankly, I don't see a single flaw.

NICOLAS CAGE

You're telling me that our tax dollars have actually gone to this complicated system of elevators and alarms to protect the document while on display, instead of simply sealing the document in a vault and putting a replica on display?

DIANE KRUGER

Hey, we're the American government, would you really put it past us?

She sneezes, blows her nose with a hundred dollar bill, then rips it in half and throws it away.

DIANE KRUGER

So, like I said, you're full of shit. Good day. I assume that I'll never see you again, despite the fact that I'm way too attractive to be a government archivist, so I must eventually become your love interest.

NICOLAS CAGE steals the DECLARATION, mere moments before SEAN BEAN, whose rough-and-tumble methods of thievery are far less admirable than NICOLAS'. CAGE also takes DIANE with him as he escapes.

INT. JON VOIGHT'S HOUSE

NICOLAS enters and talks to his father, JON VOIGHT.

NICOLAS CAGE

Dad! I need your help!

JON VOIGHT

No, I won't help you. Fuck the treasure.

NICOLAS CAGE

Fine, then we'll do everything for the rest of the movie without your assistance at all. In fact, by the end of the film, it will be extremely obvious that your character could have been written out of the movie entirely with almost no impact on the story.

They spread lemon juice on the back of the Declaration and uncover the secret of Leonardo Da Vin...er, our founding fathers.

NICOLAS CAGE

A ha! We must go to the Franklin Institute for the next clue and gratuitous use of national landmarks! To Pennsylvania!

EXT. COLONIAL PENNSYLVANIA

NICOLAS CAGE tours all the boring crap in colonial Pennsylvania, except he gets to damage things and break stuff.

NICOLAS CAGE

When I use the back of the declaration to decode the secret message contained in the Silence Dogood letters, it tells me the next clue is at the Liberty Bell!

DIANE KRUGER

That's not possible. The Liberty Bell wasn't around until later, so how could thos--

PRODUCER JERRY BRUCKHEIMER

IT'S BEEN TOO LONG SINCE SOMETHING BLEW UP!

Something BLOWS THE FUCK UP!

PRODUCER JERRY BRUCKHEIMER

(headbanging)

AMERICAN HISTORY! FUCK YEAH!

They go to the liberty bell and uncover a pair of REALLY STUPID LOOKING GLASSES. Suddenly, SEAN BEAN shows up.

JUSTIN BARTHA

How does he keep showing up right behind us? He's not actually getting any of the clues we are!

NICOLAS CAGE

He's very well connected.

JUSTIN BARTHA

That's it? That's your fucking explanation? The whole goddamn premise of this movie is that the only way to uncover the secret is to follow all of these clues! If you can just advance to the next clue by being "well connected" wouldn't you, or more specifically the people you are well connected to, already have the cocksucking treasure? God damn I hate this shit, Jerry Bruckheimer is the fucking anti-christ!

SEAN BEAN chases them. They get AWAY. Then, they get CAUGHT.

SEAN BEAN

Help me find the treasure, Nicolas, or I will botox Jon Voight even further!

NICOLAS CAGE

No! He already looks so completely ridiculous! I'll help, I'll help!

EXT. NEW YORK

They all travel to some enormous underground cavern, where the treasure should be. Once there, the room is empty. Except for some torches. Which were already lit. And apparently have been burning for 200 years.

NICOLAS CAGE

There's no treasure!

SEAN BEAN

Curses

JON VOIGHT

The real treasure must be in...uh, Boston. Massachusetts was a colony. Gotta be there.

SEAN BEAN

Despite the fact that this is where the clues have led us, I won't find this suspicious at all and trust you completely, leaving you here where the treasure probably is hidden.

He does so.

NICOLAS goes into the room and presses a button, which opens up a wall and they go into another room, which is also empty.

NICOLAS CAGE

Holy shit, there really is no treasure.

Then he sees ANOTHER DAMN PUZZLE on the wall and solves it, opening another door and heading into the REAL TREASURE ROOM.

DIANE KRUGER

Why wouldn't the founding fathers just put that puzzle in the previous room? What's the purpose of a second empty room?

NICOLAS CAGE

Look! The treasure! It's hundreds of pages of new information on the origins of Christianity!

DAN BROWN, author of "The Da Vinci Code", BLOWS THE FUCK UP!

PRODUCER JERRY BRUCKHEIMER

(headbanging)

STEALING THE IDEAS OF OTHERS FUCKING RULES!!

END