A GREAT MAZE:
looms below us:
a labyrinth of tangled alleyways. We DESCEND
toward it and into the dark heart of an ancient city.
INT. CAMPO DEI FIORE, ROME -- NIGHT
The streets of Rome are locked in a 3AM traffic jam. MUSIC
spills from cafes and discotheques. We DESCEND further...
...into sidewalks overflowing with prostitutes, B-movie stars,
mafiosi, down-on-their-luck royalty and paparazzi dartingbetween cars on Vespa scooters. And now, from out of thecrowd, something even stranger emerges:
in his mid-teens, at once streetwise and innocent. A skinnykid in worn jeans with iron-on patches on the knees. The
streetwalkers in their platform shoes call out to him:
The kid smiles bashfully as they fall in around him.
Che magro, che vergogna! So skinny.
Paolo, bambino, why don't you let usmake you breakfast? We'd look after
you real nice.
I bet you would.
A car pulls up to the curb: it's time for the girls to goback to work. Maria-Donna pulls Paul close, serious now:
Hurry home, Paolo, eh? The street
is no place for a boy like you.
Don't make your poor mamma worry.
I can take care of myself. Ciao,
Paul walks on, leaving the girls to haggle with their johns.
He pulls out a folded-over issue of Fantastic Comics andwalks away into the darkened, narrow Via dei Bauillari.
A PAIR OF HEADLIGHTS
flicker to life behind him. Paul walks on, oblivious,
immersed in his comic book.
The car creeps forward. The headlights like owl's-eyes. A
white Fiat 600. It drives up behind him. Hovering.
A man climbs out. He wears a red ski mask.
Yeah -- ?
Paul turns and sees them. A moment -- and then he runs.
In an instant, they are upon him. The boy flails, kicking
and writhing to buck them off. He's got a lot of fight in
him for such a skinny kid; it's as if he knew this was coming.
They open the trunk and shove Paul inside. He doesn't fit.
Someone sits down on the trunk.
The latch clicks: it's closed. The men pull off their masks.
Their eyes are black and wild with adrenaline. They climbinto the car.
A PHONE RECEIVER
clatters into its cradle. We TILT UP to reveal a flustered
young SECRETARY in red lipstick and a tight sweater. She
rises from her desk, overwhelmed, and she begins to run.
EXT. SUTTON PLACE (SURREY, ENGLAND) -- DAY
A sprawling 400-year-old mansioned estate surrounded by
gardens and statuary.
The secretary runs across the grounds in her high heels.
She runs past a row of ancient busts of Roman emperors.
She runs past a full-grown male LION pacing in a gilded cage.
She runs past a swimming pool ringed by lounging STARLETS.
She trips and stumbles as she breaks a heel. She reaches
down, pulls her shoes off, and runs in her nylons -
INT. SUTTON PLACE -- DAY
-- up the stairs of the mansion, past walls cluttered with avast art collection. She runs down the hallway -
INT. ATELIER -- DAY
-- and opens the door to a huge room, empty but for a LouisXIV desk, a phone and an old-time paper-tape stock ticker.
A man in a bespoke suit stands at the window, gazing outupon his estate. The paper tape from the stock ticker snakesacross the room and through his fingertips. He whispersprice quotes to himself, like a monk saying the rosary.
I'm sorry, Mr Getty. I should have
knocked but -- it's --
J. PAUL GETTY turns and cocks an eyebrow. His gaze is quickand focused; he has the impatience of a man whose mind isalways sixty seconds ahead of whomever he's listening to.
To the point, Nancy, the market's