"See? It says so right here, us having sex prevents World War 3."


"See? It says so right here, us having sex prevents World War 3."

THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. NEW YORK

MATT DAMON is running for SENATE with the help of his friend MICHAEL KELLY.

MATT DAMON

I'm a young and inexperienced politician whose quick rise to prominence is being challenged by an older and more established opponent. Eh? Eh? Yeah.

MICHAEL KELLY

You've got a comfortable lead in the polls, Matt. Oh wait, the press has dug up a copy of The Brothers Grimm! Now everybody's voting for the other guy!

MATT loses the ELECTION. While practicing his CONCESSION SPEECH, he meets EMILY BLUNT.

MATT DAMON

Hey, it's Emily Blunt! Are you sticking to your natural British accent or will you be painfully forcing an American one?

EMILY BLUNT

British, guv.

MATT DAMON

Good, then I don't have to pretend you're sexy. Wait, why are you looking at me like that?

EMILY BLUNT

It's nothing, I --

MATT DAMON

You want to say my name in a retard's voice, don't you?

EMILY BLUNT

MAAAATT DAAAAMMOOONNN!

MATT DAMON

Damn you, Team America!

EMILY BLUNT

Now let's exchange witty banter to show we're so comfortable around each other that our first kiss won't seem implausible.

They KISS, and are interrupted by MICHAEL KELLY.

MICHAEL KELLY

Time for your cookie cutter concession speech, Matt.

MATT DAMON

Wait, I think Emily's inspired me to throw that out in favour of an impulsive and impassioned speech that only works in movies but would result in me burning all my bridges in real life.

He DOES, and regains the PUBLIC'S FAVOUR.

EXT. NEW YORK - ONE MONTH LATER

MATT is now working for MICHAEL'S COMPANY.

MICHAEL KELLY

I'm glad you decided to come work for me, Matt. Although I have my doubts about that solar panel project you're championing.

MATT DAMON

Am I promoting alternative fuels just to be likable? I'm Matt Fucking Damon! All I need to do to be likable is smile.

MICHAEL KELLY

I also need you to go donate this box of kittens to an orphanage.

When he gets on a BUS, MATT runs into EMILY again.

EMILY BLUNT

Oh hey! Let me show you how quirky and spontaneous I am by dunking your cell phone in your coffee cup, hah!

MATT DAMON

Whoa, that ought to really piss me off! You're lucky I'm the most likable guy on the planet, so I'll just let it slide with one of my patented shit-eating grins.

EMILY BLUNT

I think I really like you now, because you've clearly demonstrated that I can get away with a lot. Here's my number.

MATT DAMON

Digits! Awesome! If only I had a phone to call you.

When he enters his OFFICE, MATT finds that TIME HAS MYSTERIOUSLY FROZEN and MYSTERIOUS MEN are doing MYSTERIOUS STUFF to MICHAEL KELLY.

MATT DAMON

Holy fuck! If these mysterious men have all these mysterious capabilities like manipulating time and teleportation, I'd hate to see what they'll use to capture me!

MATT is CAPTURED with CHLOROFORM. SERIOUSLY.

INT. EMPTY PARKING LOT

MATT wakes up and meets JOHN SLATTERY, who looks like he walked straight off the set of MAD MEN.

MATT DAMON

Who are you?

JOHN SLATTERY

I'm from the Adjustment Bureau. We're the people who make sure everything goes according to the Plan that's been laid out for humanity. If anybody starts deviating, we introduce subtle changes to put them back on track.

MATT DAMON

A butterfly effect thing? Please don't start talking about --

JOHN SLATTERY

-- ripples that can have disastrous effects! So now you know the truth, Matt. You're in an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick short story.

MATT DAMON

Really? That means you're just lifting out the core idea, cutting out all the interesting and poignant questions the story raises, and creating an overblown action movie, right? So when do I break free and kick your asses up and down this parking lot?

JOHN SLATTERY

Easy there, Bourne. This isn't your typical Dick adaptation.

MATT DAMON

You mean it's actually faithful to the source material, like A Scanner Darkly?

JOHN SLATTERY

Lord no! This one is a smarmy love story!

JOHN burns EMILY'S NUMBER.

JOHN SLATTERY

You're not allowed to be with her! There, that ought to do it. Explicitly telling lovers they can't ever be together is the perfect way to keep them apart.

MATT DAMON

One last thing. What were you doing to Michael Kelly?

JOHN SLATTERY

We were changing his mind on the solar panel project, because alternative fuels totally rock. Yes, we actually need that sort of stuff to be likable.

MATT is brought back to his OFFICE.

MICHAEL KELLY

You're here! And acting unbelievably strange!

MATT DAMON

I know! But I can't even question my own sanity, which is a recurring theme in Dick's work that's rendered moot here by the Adjustment Bureau explicitly stating that they exist.

MICHAEL KELLY

Also, that solar panel project? I suddenly love it inexplicably!

EXT. NEW YORK - THREE YEARS LATER

MATT, who is now back on the POLITICAL FIELD, runs into EMILY again.

MATT DAMON

Hey, did you know I've been riding that same bus every day for three years in the hopes of running into you?

EMILY BLUNT

You really shouldn't make that the first thing you say to me after three years.

MATT DAMON

I feel vindicated because I spotted you on the sidewalk from that bus! Michael Kelly needs me to give an important speech somewhere, but how about we go for a drink instead?

EMILY BLUNT

I like you even more now that I know you're actually willing to risk your political career for me!

They are being WATCHED by THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU.

JOHN SLATTERY

WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?

(beat)

Hey Anthony Mackie, see how the squiggly lines are all moving one way in this book?

ANTHONY MACKIE

Yeah?

JOHN SLATTERY

Well, they were moving another way before!

ANTHONY MACKIE

OH MY GOD!

JOHN SLATTERY

Help me clean up this mess, will you? But if you decide to go against my orders and help Matt instead, that's fine too.

ANTHONY MACKIE

No problem.

JOHN SLATTERY

And could you just relax your face? You look like you're constantly worried you won't make it to the nearest bathroom.

After JOHN keeps MATT and EMILY apart, ANTHONY approaches MATT.

ANTHONY MACKIE

Hey Matt, I'll help you by answering any questions you may have about this whole elaborate setup.

MATT DAMON

Okay, why does the whole Adjustment Bureau thing have this obvious theological bent? I mean, you're taking this from a short story written by Philip K. Dick, a science-fiction author notoriously opposed to organised religion.

ANTHONY MACKIE

Don't even bother going there, my original character in the short story is a talking dog. Anyways, I'd advise you to stay away from Emily. If you don't, they're going to bring in Terence Stamp. And he can outact us all without even trying.

MATT nonetheless gets involved with EMILY after he sees her DANCE.

EMILY BLUNT

Look, I'm doing most of my own dancing! Shame I don't also have to be batshit crazy, otherwise there might've been an Oscar in it for me.

TERENCE STAMP

Matt, you can't be with her.

MATT DAMON

Why not?

TERENCE STAMP

Because she will stand in the way of your political career. You have a gift, Matt. You inspire people.

MATT DAMON

Really? Then why didn't you trust my inspirational capabilities to sway Michael Kelly on the solar panel project? You felt you had to go in and change his mind for me.

TERENCE STAMP

Clearly you won't see reason! Now I will stamp out this little fling, or my name isn't -- oh.

EMILY is distracted by TERENCE'S ACTING PROWESS and sprains her ANKLE.

TERENCE STAMP

That was just a warning, Matt. I'll flush her dancing career down the toilet if you keep this up.

MATT DAMON

This is one of those if-you-love-her-stay-away dealies, isn't it? Fine.

MATT leaves EMILY and focuses on his POLITICAL CAMPAIGN.

EXT. NEW YORK - ELEVEN MONTHS LATER

ANTHONY MACKIE

Matt, Emily's getting married to the most generic guy you can imagine.

MATT DAMON

You have to help me win her back!

ANTHONY MACKIE

Alright, I'll do that by teaching you my teleportation powers.

MATT DAMON

Aha, time for a fun little training montage!

ANTHONY MACKIE

No, my hat does it. Here, take it.

MATT DAMON

You're just making this shit up as you go along, aren't you?

ANTHONY MACKIE

Sorry, what? I can't tell what's happening when I'm near a water source.

MATT is pursued all over NEW YORK and eventually reaches EMILY.

MATT DAMON

Emily, you can't marry Blandy McHumdrum! We're meant for each other, even though it's been repeatedly established that our love is in fact a leftover from a previous draft of the Plan!

EMILY BLUNT

So we're the equivalent of a deleted scene? I LOVE YOU TOOOOO!

MATT DAMON

Come on, let's have another chase sequence so your low-cut wedding dress can come within an inch of no longer containing your breasts!

They are CHASED and CORNERED by THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU.

MATT DAMON

Oh no, there's no way out! Give me some sugar, Emily! Love conquers all!

They KISS FEVERISHLY, after which EVERYBODY JUST LEAVES. ANTHONY appears.

ANTHONY MACKIE

Good job, Matt. You've convinced our boss to rewrite the Plan to accomodate your love for each other. Yup, this is about as literal as a deus ex machina can get.

MATT DAMON

But what happens if we decide to separate later on? Won't John Slattery's and Terence Stamp's blind adherence to the Plan cause them to do their utmost to keep us together in that case? Or what if this rewrite is actually part of a larger scheme where we'll break up only because we got together?

ANTHONY MACKIE

Whoa dude, those are some pretty heavy questions!

MATT DAMON

And what about all those outright implications that free will is an illusion and that fate is nothing more than a bureaucracy lined with red tape and paygrades?

ANTHONY MACKIE

Uhh --

(beat)

MAAAATT DAAAAMMOOONNN!

END

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