A FLASH OF LIGHTNING rips the HOLLYWOOD PICTURES LOGO away, and we
find ourselves in the middle of...
1EXT. STORMY SEA - NIGHT
SOUTH CHINA SEA
The dark blue waters roil and boil and foam. THUNDER CRACKS. LIGHTING
2EXT. UNDERWATER - NIGHT
An enourmous Japanese BATHYSCAPHE free-falls through the water. An
autonomous fifteen-man submersible. Almost futuristic in its design.
The nose cone is an amazing ultra-high-pressure plexi-dome. LETTERING
along the side tells us this is the "SHINKAI 90000."
COMPUTER PRINTED across the SCREEN are the WORDS:
SUB-OCEANIC SEISMIC RESEARCH.
TECTONIC PLATE SURVEILLANCE.
ABOUT TO BREAK THE WORLD'S RECORD
FOR THE DEEPEST DIVE...
3INT. SHINKAI 9000 - NIGHT
The JAPANESE CAPTAIN watches a DLD laser tracking system and barks
one-word questions to his JAPANESE CREW. The Sailors work the consoles
and give clipped monosyllabic answers.
The JAPANESE SCIENCE OFFICERS go over charts on the electronic
position board, a contiuously-shifting graphic representation of the
ocean contours below.
Behind them is an elaborate DEPTH GAUGE with computerized graphics.
34,000 feet and dropping. The Crew works at a fevered pitch.
An ALARM SOUNDS as the depth gauge sounds 35,000 feet. All eyes on the
depth gauge. Several Science Officers share excited looks.
4INSERT ON THE DEPTH GAUGE: 35,100 -- 35,200 -- 35,300 -- 35,400...
The excitment builds. Even the Captain's weathered eyes widen. And
then, as the depth gauge hits 35,801 feet below sea level, the entire
Crew breaks into CHEERS, WHOOPS, HANDSHAKES AND HIGH-FIVES.
5EXT. SHINKAI 9000 - NIGHT
As it continues its descent, it passes corroding metal drums leaking
toxic waste, radioactive waste, dumped in the depths, away from prying
eyes, and populated areas.
The vessel drops into the SULU BASIN. Imagine the Grand Canyon under
forty thousand feet of water. But the Sulu Basin is ten times the size
of the Grand Canyon. Down here, ten thousand fathoms below the storm,
all is calm.
The dual TURBO-PROPS on the ear of the submersible KICK ON. The
Bathysaphe is now mobile. It glides down the side of an enormous rock
face, carefully avoiding massive sandstone pinnacles which jut up from
the ocean floor far below.
6EXT. DEEP SEA - NIGHT
THE SHINKAI hovers near a gigantic tectonic plate.
A ROBOTIC ARM extends out from under the plexi-dome. Its "hand" is a
high-tech LASER CUTTER. It approaches the plate, steadies, then fires
a direct BLUE BEAM at the bedrock, burns the rock into magma and cuts
a perfect round pattern.
Another ROBOTIC ARM reaches forward, its CLAW rips out the cut rock
from inside the pattern, then takes the sample and sets it inside a
hydro-basket on the submersible's port side.
7EXT. MINDINAO DEEP - NIGHT
A desolate, barren, spooky place. Nothing breathes. Nothing lives. Or
so it would appear. The creepy, foreboding MUSICAL SCORE tells us
otherwise. The Shinkai ENTERS a huge ROCK FISSURE.
8INT. SHINKAI 9000 - NIGHT
The Captain and the Science Officers stare through the plexi-dome and
out into the freezing, cobalt blue of the PALAWAN TROUGH. The MUSIC
intensifies as they round each curve. Then, dead ahead, is the end of
the trough, which is half-blocked by a rock-encrusted embankment. The
The Shinkai approaches the embankment. Slowly starts to glide up the
side. The Captain and Science Officers seem mesmerized by all the
lonely creepiness. They crest the embankment.