TMZ kicks things up a notch.


TMZ kicks things up a notch.

THE TRUMAN SHOW

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. VARIOUS LOCATIONS

A bunch of PEOPLE are being INTERVIEWED.

LAURA LINNEY

Okay, this looks exactly like a bunch of interviews with the cast and crew of a popular TV series.

NOAH EMMERICH

Yep, they’re even showing on screen both our actor and character names. Which is weird, because for like the next hour of the movie we’re gonna act all "Hey Jim Carrey's life is weird huh, what's the deal with that, IT'S A MYSTERYYYY".

ED HARRIS

So just try and forget that you saw this, okay?

(pause)

Oh and forget the movie trailers as well. And the posters.

(pause)

And the title, I guess.

INT. JIM CARREY’S BATHROOM

JIM CARREY is doing a bunch of VOICES and FACES in front of his BATHROOM MIRROR.

JIM CARREY

“Morning, Jim!” “Morning, reflection!” “Say Jim, does any real person do shitty improv with himself in the morning like this? Or are you just a nutbar?” “I don’t know reflection, but you have to admit that if my life were secretly a reality show, the network would be weirdly lucky that the random baby they cast grew up to be a compulsive entertainer who’s “on” even when he’s in a room by himself!”

He goes down to have breakfast with his wife LAURA LINNEY, who is sporting a big fake smile like she just stepped out of a 1950s advertisement for Tide.

LAURA LINNEY

Good morning, honey! Would you like to start the day with a refreshing cup of Nescafe™ Blend 43? Nescafe™: Because Real Coffee is Just Too Damn Much Work.

JIM CARREY

Uh, no thanks. Just toast for me.

LAURA LINNEY

Of course! Soon you’ll be enjoying the fluffy whiteness of Wonder Bread™, as heated in this state-of-the-art programmable four-slice toaster from Breville™, which is made primarily from steel, as is a Nissan™ Pathfinder. There’s More to Nissan™!

JIM CARREY

...You do realize that product placement is meant to be subtle and organically integrated, right? Rather than just yelling “buy this thing” at the audience? I mean how are the viewers even meant to relate to you as a real human being, like this?

LAURA LINNEY

Product placement?! I have no idea what you’re talking aboNIKEJUSTDOITut.

JIM steps outside to go to WORK. Suddenly, a STAGE LIGHT falls from the sky, nearly CRUSHING HIM!

JIM CARREY

What the...? That’s weird - it’s almost as though the sky is an artificial dome, and this is one of thousands of lights used to simulate the stars... a dome that’s like ten square miles in size, but with all that space to work with it still managed to shed a light so that it landed mere inches from my feet. Murder attempt? Or hacky screenwriting?? ONLY TIME WILL TELL! (It’s the second one.)

He goes to WORK, where he works alongside PETER KRAUSE before he got FAMOUS then went back to being NOT FAMOUS.

JIM CARREY

All right, I know I didn’t do great in the immunity challenge yesterday, but I’m now I’m ready to bake my best cake yet then get out there auction hunting. After all, I don’t want Mr. Trump to fire me!

PETER KRAUSE

No, Jim, stop. You work for an insurance provider. All you have to do is sell insurance.

JIM CARREY

...Wait, really? I’m just gonna sit at a desk and do the most boring job in the world for eight hours? And millions of people are going to watch raw, unedited footage of me doing this, in real time?

PETER KRAUSE

Look, when this movie came out, reality TV was, like, The Real World. It honestly seemed plausible that TV audiences would gladly watch some random schmuck lead his random schmucky life. How the hell were we to know how gimmicky, staged and hyper-edited shows of the future would have to be in order to keep viewer attention for even five straight minutes? We didn’t even see the Kardashians coming.

JIM CARREY

Well I'm sure I can think of something interesting to do today. Oh, I know! I'll secretively pore through a magazine, tearing out women's facial features from advertisements and putting them into a freakish collage I'm creating.

TV AUDIENCE

Oh my God this is the creepiest thing I've ever seen. I'm watching a crazy person. Tell you what, the minute he starts abducting actual women and cutting their actual faces off, I'm done with this show.

EXT. BEACH

JIM has gone to sit on a beach at night and contemplate his father's death, as you do, when suddenly it starts RAINING. But ONLY ON HIM.

JIM CARREY

Holy shit, I've gotten so mopey I've developed a personal raincloud! I thought that only happened in cartoons!

He gets up and walks out of the rain, but then the rain starts FOLLOWING HIM.

JIM CARREY

...Uh huh. Yeah, nice save there guys, that's WAY less suspicious. I was all "A tiny rainstorm, that's so weird!", but now I'm "Oh, it's just a SENTIENT tiny rainstorm, yawn-o-rama". JACKASSES.

EXT. STREET

The next day, JIM is out buying another magazine to MUTILATE, when he runs into his FATHER.

JIM CARREY

Ulp! Dad! Uh, I was just getting this magazine to, to - to jerk off to it! Yeah, that's all HEY WAIT A MINUTE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD!

Then his FATHER is GRABBED by a couple of PEDESTRIANS and HAULED AWAY. JIM tries to give chase, but a swarm of PASSERS-BY get in his way and thwart him.

JIM CARREY

Wow, what a fast and effective response! Clearly this show has an incredible degree of control over its extras. Which makes it pretty weird that an unauthorised hobo was able to just wander in and stand right in the middle of my daily route without being noticed. Oh well, off to my boring job!

JIM goes off to sell more INSURANCE and do more creepy MAGAZINE SHIT. Eventually the show tries to make this LESS BORING by throwing in a FLASHBACK.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL

JIM, LAURA and JIM'S FRIEND NOAH EMMERICH are all in HIGH SCHOOL.

JIM CARREY

We are teenagers now!

LAURA LINNEY

Yes, teenagers, even though we look one hundred percent exactly the same!

NOAH EMMERICH

Somehow the premise of this movie makes our pretend teenagerness even more obvious and distracting than usual!

JIM notices fellow student NATASHA McELHONE and approaches her.

JIM CARREY

Hello there. I find myself drawn to this weird furtive, stressed-out vibe you're giving off. Want to go out sometime?

She surreptitiously writes "NOW" on a piece of paper and shows it to him.

JIM CARREY

You want to go NOW? Is that what you're saying, that you secretly, not-wanting-anyone-to-hear-you-ly want us to go NOOOOWWW?

NATASHA MCELHONE

(sighs)

Yes, thank you Mr. Helpful. Let's get out of here, I know where the cameras are and can fool them!

JIM CARREY

You put your secret "now" message right where a camera could get a huge closeup of it. Just saying.

They run off to frolic on a BEACH, but then NATASHA'S DAD shows up!

NATASHA MCELHONE

Aw shit, I just had Jim alone for like twenty minutes and forgot to tell him anything. Well better make up for it while I still can! JIM YOUR LIFE IS BEING STAGED AS A TV SHOW, EVERYBODY'S ACTORS AND IT'S ALL BEING FILMED!

(pause)

No wait that'd be too clear and coherent. I should jabber vaguely instead! JIM THIS IS ALL FOR YOU, THIS SAND ISN'T REAL, NON-SPECIFIC DECLARATIONS JIIIIIM

(carried off)

JIM CARREY

Well now, that confusing run-in with a woman who was acting like a paranoid schizophrenic is a perfectly solid basis for a lifelong romantic obsession I think.

INT. JIM'S OFFICE

We dissolve back to JIM and his MAGAZINES.

JIM CARREY

Oh woman I met briefly over a decade ago, I love you! If only my attempts to reconstruct your face from magazine fragments weren't so horrifyingly inept!

Meanwhile NATASHA is watching this on TV.

NATASHA MCELHONE

Oh man who I constantly watch through hidden cameras without his knowledge, I love you! ...Wow, the two of us are weirdly suited to each other.

EXT. STREET

The next day, JIM is driving to work when his CAR RADIO starts fritzing out on him.

RADIO

Now he's turning onto Stewart, starting to make his approach to Lancaster Square - looks like he's distracted by something, like his car radio is acting up or SWEET CRIMINY HE CAN HEAR US! ...Uhhh, that was the latest spoken-word hit, "Sweet Criminy He Can Hear Us". Next up, that classic ballad, "Bob, Cut His Feed". Oh, Boooob... cut his fucking feeeed... today, you idiooooo-

(cut off)

JIM CARREY

OKAY! If these weird things were all happening in isolation, maybe I'd shrug them off, but it seems that after thirty years of this show operating smoothly, everything's decided to go kablooie all at the same time!

He gets out of his car and starts running around in the middle of the road.

JIM CARREY

There, see? The drivers are stopping short and acting confused! Just like people thrown off by a change to their script! ...Or, for that matter, like drivers who have to deal with a crazy person in the street. EITHER WAY!

He runs to meet NOAH at his WORK.

JIM CARREY

Noah, there's some kind of conspiracy going on! I can tell because when I deviate from my routine and do something spontaneous, they're completely unprepared!

NOAH EMMERICH

Completely unprepared, you say? You mean like, if you spontaneously decided to run off and see your friend at his workplace, that friend wouldn't be there at the workplace, working, completely prepared in case you happened to show up?

JIM CARREY

Well I never said it was a CONSISTENT conspiracy.

EXT. JIM'S HOUSE

LAURA gets home to find JIM sitting out in the car.

JIM CARREY

Honey, watch this! I've noticed that the pedestrians and traffic in this town, instead of just walking and driving around naturally, are on a really obvious loop! Soon we'll see a woman on a bike go past, then a man with flowers, then a dented Volkswagen!

PAUL GIAMATTI

(directing the show)

OH FUCK HE'S ONTO US, NOBODY DO WHAT HE JUST PREDICTED OR HIS CONSPIRACY THEORY WILL PRETTY MUCH BE CONCLUSIVELY PROVEN!!

BIKE LADY

Screw you! It's my job to ride my bike past Jim, and I'm gonna ride my bike past Jim goddamnit!

(rides bike past Jim)

FLOWER GUY

Uhhh geez, I dunno man, nobody told me when I was cast as an extra in a TV show which revolves around an unscripted lead character that I might ever have to improvise...

(walks past Jim)

VOLKSWAGEN DRIVER

I've had like thirty seconds to just turn onto a different street or pull over or something but NOPE

(drives past Jim)

JIM CARREY

THERE! SEE?! On the plus side, the inability of traffic to adjust to my behaviour means I'll have no trouble just driving out of town RIGHTFUCKINGNOW!!

He starts DRIVING and suddenly every car in a ten-block radius INSTANTLY ADJUSTS TO HIS BEHAVIOUR and creates a BEAUTIFULLY-CHOREOGRAPHED ROADBLOCK.

JIM CARREY

Fuck. Oh, but wait! If the traffic's coordination can come and go that quickly, does that mean they'll suddenly be unable to stop me if I try to escape again NOW?

He starts DRIVING AGAIN and suddenly the roads are COMPLETELY EMPTY and he can just drive freely to the edge of town.

LAURA LINNEY

Uhh, well done dear... shame that our car is going to INEXPLICABLY BREAK DOWN IN A MINUTE, repeat, THE CAR IS GOING TO INEXPLICABLY BREAK DOWN.

JIM CARREY

Nope, they didn't give themselves the ability to remotely cut off my engine, as much sense as that would have made.

LAURA LINNEY

Oh. Well it probably won't matter, as the moveable bridge out of town is probably STUCK OPEN LIKE IT OFTEN IS, man the council should really do something about that crappy old-

JIM CARREY

Nope, they can't sabotage the bridge either.

LAURA LINNEY

Seriously? What measures CAN we take to keep you from escaping?

JIM CARREY

The super reliable and scientific measure of staging my father's death at sea when I was a kid, and assuming that I would then develop a crippling phobia of water, right down to being unable to drive OVER water.

LAURA LINNEY

That's moronic. Don't tell me it worked?

JIM CARREY

It did. BUT, while I may be uncontrollably terrified of driving over water, I'm fine with driving over water with my eyes closed while not steering, somehow!

He DOES THIS, and LAURA grabs the steering wheel and they manage to get to the other side of the bridge! But then they run into a HAZMAT TEAM.

HAZMAT GUY

FUCKING FINALLY! After decades of being stationed on this side of the bridge, ready to stage this nuclear meltdown on the extremely remote possibility that Jim ever got this far, I finally, FINALLY get to say a line!

(puffs up chest, goes over to Jim)

Well good day, Mr. Jim Carrey of the Seahaven Life Lessons Insurance Company OH FUCK FUCK SHIT I BLEW IT.

JIM freaks out and runs away, only to be TACKLED by the HAZMAT GUYS and BROUGHT HOME.

INT. JIM'S KITCHEN

JIM sits sullenly across from LAURA.

LAURA LINNEY

Well that was a fucking nightmare. I'm worried about you, honey. Maybe you should see a psychiatrist. And they could prescribe you some nice relaxing Xanax™, from the makers of-

JIM CARREY

SHUT UP, YOU'RE IN ON IT TOO! I looked at our old wedding photos, and you had your fingers crossed! For, what, the entire ceremony? Because that meant the wedding didn't count somehow? You're weird!

LAURA LINNEY

YOU'RE weird! Come on Jim, do you really think I'm, what, a paid actress? An actress who decided to completely suicide her career by signing on to one role that she'd have to play twenty-four/seven for the entire rest of her life? A role which would leave her stuck in a boring middle-class suburban life, in which she'd be contractually obligated to have lots and lots of sex with a rubber-faced doofball, bear his children, and then presumably LIE to her own children about their entire reality, FOREVER? What kind of idiot would agree to something like that?

JIM CARREY

(brandishing knife)

A DEAD KIND OF IDIOT!!

Suddenly NOAH bursts in.

LAURA LINNEY

Oh thank God! That's it, I QUIT!

(remember's Shelley Long's career)

....I mean... fuck.

EXT. DOCK

NOAH takes JIM out for a serious talk by the OCEAN.

JIM CARREY

You know, for a guy with a deadly phobia of the ocean, I do seem to do an awful lot of introspection right next to the ocean.

NOAH EMMERICH

Jim, you have to let go of this "everybody's out to get me" delusion. Think about it, if everybody's in on this, then I'd have to be in on it. And if I were in on it, don't you think I'd be - ha ha - BUGGING THE FUCK OUT?

(starts trembling)

I mean we've established that I've been your best friend since we were kids! If I was a phoney, that'd mean I was a CHILD whose parents committed him to a whole fake life, and, and since then I've grown up in a fake town, doing a fake job, surrounded by fake people, living under a fake name - wh-why if THAT were true, don't you think I'd be all "HEEEELLLLP!!! MY LIFE IS A LIE, NOTHING IS REAL AAAAHHHHHH

JIM CARREY

Okay, maybe I have gotten a little crazy. It was all so suspicious, you know? It got so that even one more fake, implausible soap-opera plot point would have been enough to confirm-

NOAH EMMERICH

Oh I nearly forgot, that WAS your dad you saw the other day, he survived the boat accident all those years ago and HERE HE IS!

JIM'S DAD

I had amnesia!

JIM CARREY

...I see.

INT. STUDIO

HARRY SHEARER is a PROFESSIONAL INTERVIEWER, because apparently he spent all of 1998 playing KENT BROCKMAN.

HARRY SHEARER

Good evening ladies and gentlemen! You might have been enjoying the way this movie's subtle and layered exposition style has been slowly revealing the nature of Jim's reality, but that shit is hard and we've got places to be, so now we're going to answer the rest of the questions by having some guy outright explain it all in a Q&A. Welcome, Truman Show creator Ed Harris!

ED HARRIS

It's good to be here, Harry. Is it all right if I answer all your questions with an air of enigmatic profundity which will make you want to slap the beret off my head?

HARRY SHEARER

Please do! Now to make things as blunt and handholdingly explicit as possible: Seahaven is a big set, all the people except Jim are actors, and Jim's whole life has been a bafflingly high-rated TV show, correct?

ED HARRIS

That's right Harry. The network banked hundreds of millions of dollars on the idea of replacing literally all of their content with continual live footage of a random baby drooling and shitting itself, and somehow that paid off.

HARRY SHEARER

And by "paid off" you mean product placement! Since the show never goes to commercial, product placement provides all of your revenue. Isn't that stupidly risky, Ed? What's to stop Jim from saying "Eugh, this new oatmeal tastes like diarrhoea", or "Fucking Kia piece of crap! When we can afford a new car, I'm gonna get anything other than a Kia, lousy shitbucket garbage piles of FUCK!"

ED HARRIS

Well what else could we do? Air advertisements when Jim is taking a dump or having a shower or fucking his wife, or any of the other times when the camera is going to just be pointed at the wall anyway?

(pause)

Maybe I should write that down.

HARRY SHEARER

Now, in recent days we've seen Jim nearly make it to the world outside Seahaven. My question is, since you've been able to control every part of Jim's understanding of the world, why rely on that lame phobia idea when instead you could have told him that he had a fatal allergy to non-Seahaven places, or that everywhere else was an irradiated wasteland, or, fuck it, that he pretty much lived in Waterworld and Seahaven was the only piece of dry land on the face of the planet?

ED HARRIS

Ummmm hey why don't we take some callers?

NATASHA MCELHONE

(calling in)

Ed you fucker! Your little show is sick, profiting off of Jim's incarceration!

ED HARRIS

Mm hm, so I'm guessing you boycott it then? That you never watch it yourself?

NATASHA MCELHONE

...That's beside the point.

ED HARRIS

Face it, Natasha, Jim prefers being in his cage, his recent mental breakdown and near-suicidal bid for freedom notwithstanding! You're not the good guy here!

NATASHA MCELHONE

Uh huh, then how come YOUR OWN SHOW deliberately inserts flashbacks which paint me as the tragic love interest who Jim should have wound up with, separated from him only by the cruel machinations of THE SHOW ITSELF?

ED HARRIS

Hey, you've seen how stultifying the show is, our own psychotic mistreatment of Jim is the only conflict we have. I guess it is a little weird for TV executives to air a show on which they themselves are the official villains.

HARRY SHEARER

So yeah, I think that just about killed any lingering sense of mystery. On to the climax!

INT. CONTROL ROOM

ED and PAUL are watching JIM sleep.

ED HARRIS

Why's he sleeping in the basement?

PAUL GIAMATTI

Oh, ever since Laura left him he's been sleeping not in his bed, not on the couch, but on a rough floor-level cot in the cold, dank basement. That's normal breakup behaviour, right?

ED HARRIS

You idiot, he's escaped! He must have divined the locations of all fifty billion cameras we have scattered throughout his house, then recorded some fake snores, substituted some pillows for himself in his bed WHILE WE WATCHED, evaded the line of sight of every camera, and tunnelled his way to freedom!

PAUL GIAMATTI

All without us noticing? And then, what, he crawled out of town, bypassing all the outdoor cameras as well, whose locations he ALSO figured out and memorised?

ED HARRIS

OBVIOUSLY! Let's form everybody in town into a giant search mob and find the bastard!

PAUL GIAMATTI

Er, if he sees the entire town hunting him within hours of his disappearance it'll be pretty hard afterwards to keep claiming that nothing weird's going on...

ED HARRIS

Turn the moon into a giant spotlight! GAH, THAT'S TAKING TOO LONG, LET'S JUST HAVE THE SUN LEAP INTO THE SKY HOURS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!!!

PAUL GIAMATTI

Okay, so, we're giving up and completely and irreversibly tipping our hand now. Good to know.

ED HARRIS

Wait a minute - what if he's on a boat? Maybe his phobia is a Hollywood phobia, and Jim's just decided not to be afraid anymore!

PAUL GIAMATTI

(checks)

Hey, you're right! We've got a view from like six cameras which we installed in this one boat, even though we never expected Jim to go anywhere near a boat!

ED HARRIS

And one view from the camera inside a sailor hat Jim put on! Oh right, we have cameras in clothing as well. Why didn't we put cameras in Jim's clothes? Would've made it pretty easy to track him down. Oh well, send somebody after him in a boat!

PAUL GIAMATTI

We can't! Everybody in town's an actor, they don't know how to drive boats!

ED HARRIS

What? You're telling me an entire town full of people who live on an ISLAND, and not ONE of the cast or crews knows how to operate a boat?

PAUL GIAMATTI

Nope! Except Jim, who seems to be doing a bang-up job of it, somehow.

ED HARRIS

Come on, what about Jim's dad? We actually saw him driving a boat in the flashback to his staged death!

PAUL GIAMATTI

Uh, I guess he's a method actor and has contracted amnesia for real?

ED HARRIS

FUCK! Well fine then, let's just hit Jim with a deadly storm! I KNEW there was a reason I had us build the weather machine with a "weather that literally kills you" setting!

PAUL GIAMATTI

You do realise we're still within the United States of America, right? And therefore subject to its laws? And therefore committing attempted murder on live television isn't necessarily the smartest-

ED HARRIS

I SAID DROWN THE BASTARD! I AM THY THINLY-VEILED GOD METAPHOR, AND I'M FEELING MIGHTY SMITEY!!

(pressing all the buttons)

North winds blow! South winds blow! Typhoons! Hurricanes! Earthquakes! SMOOOOOOOOG!!!

JIM is tossed about by a huge STORM!

JIM CARREY

Nuts to you! I'll just reduce sail, steer to avoid breaking waves, and heave to lash myself to the boat and just hope I survive by sheer luck, because honestly what the fuck do I know about piloting a boat in a storm?

(survives)

Well that was a handy fluke!

EXT. FAKE OCEAN

Later, JIM is sailing along on the calm, sunny sea.

JIM CARREY

Ah, this is nice. I'm free, free to sail in a random direction without the faintest clue where the fuck I'm going, possibly trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a one-man yacht with no supplies, geez this is a terrible plan-

Suddenly he crashes into a wall!

JIM CARREY

What the fuck?! I'm boxed in! There's no way out! NO WAY OUT!

(starts sobbing hammily)

BUHHH HUHHH HUHHHHHH, I AM SO SAAAAD, LOOK AT MY TWISTED-UP CRYING FAAAACE, ARE YOU WATCHING ACADEMY I AM A SERIOUS DRAMATIC ACTOR NOW oh wait there's a door like twenty feet away. Eh heh, well. That's embarrassing.

He goes over to the ACCESS DOOR which was put there in case any TECHNICIANS needed to work on this particular RANDOM PART OF THE OCEAN I guess. He opens the DOOR and is about to go through, when-

ED HARRIS

WAIT! Stop, right there. Just stand there, in front of the sky door, seriously it's one hell of an iconic shot.

JIM CARREY

Where the hell are you even watching me from? The shot you're broadcasting seems to have been filmed from a camera hovering twenty feet over the ocean.

ED HARRIS

Look, Jim, please don't go. You're the star of a TV series, we got sweeps week coming up and we need you.

JIM CARREY

Are you fucking kidding me? You want to keep doing the show? What would it even be about now? I go to work each day and say "Morning, fake colleagues who I have explicitly been told are actors! Wanna sell more fake insurance policies to fake clients for fake money? I for one am just gonna go sit in my fake office and jack off all day because it's all pretend bullshit anyway!"

ED HARRIS

Eh, couldn't be any less boring than the show already was. Besides, what else are you going to do? You've lived all your life in a make-believe fantasy world which existed to make you happy, you have all the real-world skills of a toddler with no legs.

JIM CARREY

Ed, please. I'm the most famous person in the world, obviously I can make it rich with endorsement deals and ghost-written autobiographies and merchandise and whatever. So yeah, I may have grown up in a ridiculously sheltered environment and developed no useful skills, but since the tacky reality show about my shallow, meaningless life has made me famous for being famous for being famous, I can now go and be fabulously wealthy without contributing to society in any way whatsoever!

(leaves show, laughing)

ED HARRIS

...Okay, we were wrong. This movie TOTALLY saw the Kardashians coming.

END.

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