"Robert, I don't think you understand the rules of a Chinese Fire Drill."


"Robert, I don't think you understand the rules of a Chinese Fire Drill."

ZODIAC

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE HEADQUARTERS

ROBERT DOWNEY JR. acts weird, which gives his character the appearance of DEPTH. JAKE GYLLENHAAL, cartoonist, behaves awkwardly, so we know he must either be the hero or the killer.

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.

Weird. Our paper got a secret code from some killer. He wants us to publish it. How extremely cliche.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

Oh, I like puzzles!

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.

Oh, neat. So this movie is going to be one of those "crack the secret code" chase movies like The Da Vinci Code or National Treas--

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

Nevermind, some middle-aged couple solved it. I guess that didn't really go anywhere.

The clues are NOT HELPFUL. THE KILLER kills some more, so we start following the story of some cops for a while.

MARK RUFFALO

I really want to catch this killer.

ANTHONY EDWARDS

I also want to catch the killer. We're basically the same character.

MARK RUFFALO

I will create a difference between us by having a quirk: I like animal crackers. A lot.

ANTHONY EDWARDS

What a stupid and inane character quirk.

DIRECTOR DAVID FINCHER

Hey, I based even the most insipid minutiae on reality. You can't blame me for including accurate details.

MARK RUFFALO

Sure we can. This is supposed to be a movie, not a documentary.

THE KILLER kills a few more people, as ANTHONY, MARK, and ROBERT DOWNEY all get in each other's way while uncovering clues.

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.

By killing people in different jurisdictions, the killer has really made it impossible to find him. It's a good thing that obnoxious red tape makes such compelling drama.

ANTHONY EDWARDS

What's great about this movie is that you can feel confident that you can go take a leak at any point during the two-and-a-half hour running time without missing anything remotely interesting.

They use library records to figure out who THE KILLER is, just like in Se7en, a far more entertaining movie. They discover the killer is JOHN CARROL LYNCH.

MARK RUFFALO

You? The cross-dressing brother from The Drew Carey Show? Is this movie some kind of bizarre sociology experiment on audience members?

ANTHONY EDWARDS

Well, it looks like we finally found our killer. It's been a long and boring movie, but at least it's over.

JOHN CARROL LYNCH

No wait, my handwriting doesn't match. It can't be me.

The movie continues, having wasted everyone's time introducing JOHN CARROL LYNCH. ROBERT DOWNEY JR, overwhelmed by boredom, drinks himself into a stupor and loses his job - his character does the same. Everyone gives up on the case except JAKE GYLLENHAAL and SOME PATIENT AUDIENCE MEMBERS.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

I will comb through thousands upon thousands of files, finding clues that others have missed.

MARK RUFFALO

Why?

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

Um. I like puzzles?

MARK RUFFALO

Seriously, is this as deep as your character gets? Look, I'll give you a bunch of leads to follow up on. Only a small handful will turn out to be worthwhile, though.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

I see no reason why the audience shouldn't be subjected to the details of all of them anyway.

JAKE obsesses over the case, sacrificing his marriage and family. The AUDIENCE is forced to forgive this obnoxious lack of character motivation because it is PAINFULLY ACCURATE.

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.

(drinking)

Why are you obsessing over this case? The Zodiac killer only killed like 10 people. Do you realize how many unsolved murders have taken place since he stopped years ago?

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

What an embarrassingly good point that I shall proceed to completely ignore.

JAKE uncovers more clues that mean nothing, until he eventually finds the real killer.

JOHN CARROL LYNCH

It was me after all!

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

Oh. What about the handwriting thing?

JOHN CARROL LYNCH

I used my other hand! Mwa-ha-ha!

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

What a shameful exploitation of audience good will!

END


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