Chappaquiddick script
Synopsis: Ted Kennedy's life and political career become derailed in the aftermath of a fatal car accident in 1969 that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne.

EXT. DIKE ROAD - NIGHT

A pair of FINE LEATHER SHOES, soaking wet, SQUISH along a

gravel road. With each step, water seeps through the tongue,

reflecting the amber hues of a nearby porch light.

Distant at first, the faint sounds of strained breathing growinto loud gasps for air. Glimpses of an exquisitely tailoredsuit drenched from head to toe. Water drips from the sleevepast a dead, gold Rolex.

Beads of sweat fall from a masculine brow revealing SENATORTED KENNEDY, 37.

EXT. LAWRENCE COTTAGE - NIGHT - MOMENTS LATER

Ted stumbles toward a quaint, Martha’s Vineyard vacationhome, which would resemble an Edward Hopper painting if itweren’t for the raucous party bursting from inside.

He lumbers over to an empty, WHITE PLYMOUTH VALIANT out

front. Opens the rear door and sits in the back seat. Afigure approaches, but Ted doesn’t look back.

TED:

Get me Joe Gargan. We got a problem.

INT. TED KENNEDY’S SENATE OFFICE - THE PREVIOUS DAY

A phone SLAMS down -

TED:

Get me Joe Gargan! We got a problem!

A SECRETARY rushes to her desk and dials frantically. Ted’saide DUN GIFFORD, 30, peeks his head through the door.

GIFFORD:

They’re ready for your interview,

Senator.

TED:

(to secretary)

The second you have him, patch him

through to me.

Ted storms out of his office as Gifford trails behind.

INT. SENATE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

STAFFERS and CAMERA CREW add to the chaos as Ted plows ahead.

DAVID BURKE, 33, Ted’s loyal chief of staff comes running up.

2.

DAVID BURKE:

Just spoke with the Majority Leader.

Ted scowls. Gifford hands him a sheet of paper with abulleted list of talking points.

TED:

(to Gifford)

When does this interview air?

DAVID BURKE:

Senator, you’re not going to like it.

GIFFORD:

Sunday. Just before Apollo 11

starts its descent.

TED:

And these are the talking points?

DAVID BURKE:

Senator. Your health care bill is

making us enemies in the partyleadership --

Ted shoves the talking points in David Burke’s face.

TED:

This is why we’re focused on nationalnews. My name gives me a platforminto every American home. I can speakdirectly to the people instead ofwaiting for the leadership to knowshit from Shinola.

Ted picks up a phone on a corner table, smashes a few buttons.

TED (CONT’D)

Did you get Joe yet?!

SECRETARY (V.O.)

He’s not answering.

TED:

Well, keep trying him!

Ted slams the phone down and enters through a double doorway.

INT. SENATE CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS

A TV CREW with multiple cameras overrun the conference room.

DICK DRAYNE, 31, Ted’s press secretary, catches up to him at

the entryway and guides him past the lights and cables. Tedreviews the talking points with growing frustration.

3.

TED:

What are they thinking I can saythat’s remotely intelligent aboutthe moon landing?

DRAYNE:

They just want you to talk aboutPresident Kennedy. I don’t thinkthey’re expecting anythingintelligent.

Ted tosses the talking points aside.

TED:

My point exactly.

They reach an empty chair across from an ABC REPORTER. Tedshakes his hand.

TED (CONT’D)

So, you’re the man they got to

represent all three networks.

ABC REPORTER:

Well, I represent ABC. But this eventis so historic that we’re licensingyour interview out to the other two.

Ted settles in while a MAKEUP GIRL powders his face and anAUDIO TECH mics him up.

TED:

Good! I don’t get out of bed for lessthan two networks worth of coverage.

The reporter and crew all force smiles and strained chuckles.

ABC REPORTER:

Alright, I think we’re set. Let’sroll camera.

The red lights of the cameras turn on, capturing Ted’ssignature politician smile.

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"Chappaquiddick" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 22 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/chappaquiddick_1243>.

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