RONIN script
RONIN (1998)
Synopsis: Deirdre (Natascha McElhone) puts together a team of experts that she tasks with stealing a valuable briefcase, the contents of which are a mystery. The international team includes Sam (Robert De Niro), an ex-intelligence officer, along with Vincent (Jean Reno), Gregor (Stellan Skarsgard) and others. As their operation gets underway, several team members are found to be untrustworthy, and everyone must complete the mission with a watchful eye on everyone else.

A BLOOD RED SCREEN - A JAPANESE DRUM starts to play, softly,

but tinged with a desperate edge, growing louder, joined by

other DRUMS as a BLACK LEGEND scrolls up: In feudal Japan,

the warrior class of Samurai were sworn to protect their

liege lords with their lives. Those Samurai whose liege was

killed suffered a great shame, and they were forced to wander

the land, looking for work as hired swords or bandits. These

masterless warriors were no longer referred to as Samurai,

they were known by another name: Such men were called Ronin.

The words hang on the screen and we hold for a BEAT, and then

the DRUMS are cut off by - A SILENCED GUN SHOT: Thwpfft...

FADE IN ON:

INT. A MEDIEVAL CATHEDRAL - NIGHT

It's dark, and so it takes us a minute to realize we're

MOVING UP STONE SPIRALING STAIRS, up up up in what we now see

is a medieval cathedral. And as we continue MOVING UP

something TRICKLES DOWN INTO FRAME - BLOOD. Running thin,

then thicker, as we CONTINUE TO MOVE UP the stairs and find -

A BODY, sprawled awkwardly across the stones, arms and legs

akimbo, not so much Christ-like as victim-like. In one hand

the Body holds a GUN he never had a chance to use. In the

other - A DARK SHAPE, we can't quite tell what it is.

FOOTSTEPS sound from above and - THE KILLER walks into frame,

silenced pistol dangling at his side. We don't know him, and

it's going to be a while before we see him again, but mark

his face because we'll see him again. The Killer now picks

up the dark shape in the Body's hand, and we see it's - A

BRIEFCASE. The Killer cuffs the Briefcase to his wrist and

turns to - TWO MEN standing behind him: subordinates. The

Killer shows them the Briefcase.

KILLER:

God loves me.

THE BODY suddenly twitches -- this guy is not quite dead.

The Killer raises his silenced pistol.

KILLER:

(to his victim)

But I don't think he's too fond of you...

SLAM CUT TO:

EXT. A BACK STREET - PARIS - NIGHT

A PHONE RINGS, replacing the sound of the silenced gun shot

we expected to hear.

Rain-slicked cobblestones gleam in a twinkling of

streetlight.

EXT. A PHONE BOOTH AT THE END OF THE STREET

The source of the ringing. We start to PUSH SLOWLY IN one the

phone booth, and as we do we hear the VOICE of an UGLY

AMERICAN.

UGLY AMERICAN (V.O.)

What is this?

CUT TO:

INT. A DRIVE BAR IN PARIS - NIGHT

A SOCCER MATCH is in progress on a TV which sits above the

bar in this smokey, dim dive.

UGLY AMERICAN (O.S.)

This is not football...

And now we're PULLING BACK DOWN THE LENGTH OF THE BAR. We

see THREE MEN sitting seperately at the bar, paying no

attention to each other. One of these men watches the game

with real interest. The Ugly American talks on from off

screen.

UGLY AMERICAN (O.S.)

(continuing)

...Football is three hundred pound guys,

they run way too fucking fast, they got

helmets made of kevlar they use to spear

the quarterback into the next life.

SLAM CUT TO:

EXT. THE STREET OUTSIDE

The phone is still ringing, louder now, and we're MOVING

TOWARDS it while looking THROUGH AN UNSEEN PAIR OF EYES, and

even as we drink this in we're back in -

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David Mamet

David Alan Mamet is an American playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and film director. As a playwright, Mamet has won a Pulitzer Prize and received Tony nominations for Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-the-Plow. more…

All David Mamet scripts | David Mamet Books

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"RONIN" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 20 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/ronin_741>.

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