Avatar script
Avatar (2009)
Synopsis: On the lush alien world of Pandora live the Na'vi, beings who appear primitive but are highly evolved. Because the planet's environment is poisonous, human/Na'vi hybrids, called Avatars, must link to human minds to allow for free movement on Pandora. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paralyzed former Marine, becomes mobile again through one such Avatar and falls in love with a Na'vi woman (Zoe Saldana). As a bond with her grows, he is drawn into a battle for the survival of her world.

THE SOUND OF DRUMS, from a great distance, growing louder.

FADE IN:

WE ARE FLYING through mist, a dimly glimpsed forest below.

VOICE (V.O.)

When I was lying there in the VA

hospital, with a big hole blown through

the middle of my life, I started having

these dreams of flying.

We are very low over the forest now, gliding fast, the drums

BUILDING to a PEAK --

VOICE (V.O.)

Sooner or later though, you always have

to wake up...

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY - NIGHT

A SCREECH OF BRAKES as a vehicle WIPES FRAME, revealing --

JAKE SULLY, a scarred and scruffy combat vet, sitting in a

beat up carbon-fiber wheelchair. At 22, his eyes are

hardened by the wisdom and wariness of one who has endured

pain beyond his years.

Jake stares upward at the levels of the city. MAGLEV TRAINS

WHOOSH overhead on elevated tracks, against a sky of garish

advertizing.

JAKE (V.O.)

They can fix a spinal, if you've got the

money. But not on vet benefits, not in

this economy.

The traffic light changes and Jake pushes forward with the

crowd, pumping the wheels of his chair. Most of the people

wear FILTER MASKS to protect them from the toxic air. In a

LONG LENS STACK it is a marching torrent of anonymous,

isolated souls.

INT. JAKE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The room is a tiny CUBICLE, prison cell meets 747 bathroom.

Narrow cot, wall-screen droning away in the B.G. --

PERKY NEWSCASTER

The Bengal tiger, extinct for over a

century, is making a comeback. These

cloned tiger cubs at the Beijing Zoo

are...

2.

Jake laboriously pulls his pants off -- rocking to one side,

pushing the fabric down past his hip, then rocking to the

other, and so on.

His legs are white and atrophied. Utterly useless. But his

arms are tattooed and powerfully muscled. A "Born Loser"

tattoo prominent on his shoulder.

JAKE (V.O.)

I became a Marine for the hardship. To

be hammered on the anvil of life. I told

myself I could pass any test a man can

pass.

Jake struggles with his pants a long time.

CUT TO:

INT. ROWDY BAR -- NIGHT

Not the kind of place you'd bring your mom.

We find Jake near the pool table, BALANCING his chair, front

wheels off the ground, while holding a tequila shot on his

forehead. ONLOOKERS, including some other disabled vets,

CLAP and WHOOP.

Jake grabs the glass, SLAMS down the shot as they cheer.

A WALL-SIZED SCREEN filled with the World Cup game -- men

RUNNING on antelope legs.

CU JAKE, watching what he can't have. Expression stony.

JAKE (V.O.)

Let's get it straight up front. I don't

want your pity. I know the world's a

cold-ass bitch.

Jake's eyes shift -- HIS POV, seeing the bar through gaps in

the crowd. A MAN on a barstool SLAPS the WOMAN he's with.

Hard. She cowers but he's got her arm, shouting, raising his

fist. An eternal tableau. People look away.

CU JAKE -- not looking away.

JAKE (V.O.)

You want a fair deal, you're on the wrong

planet. The strong prey on the weak.

TIGHT ON JAKE'S HAND as he starts pushing the wheel of his

chair.

TRACKING WITH HIM as he rolls forward.

3.

JAKE (V.O.)

It's just the way things are. And nobody

does a damn thing.

Jake stops, unnoticed, next to the bullying man. He leans

down and grabs one leg of the man's barstool -- and YANKS.

The chair flips. The guy goes down HARD and --

JAKE hurls himself from the wheelchair, toppling on the guy,

getting a grip on him like a pit bull and PUNCHING the crap

out of him, right there on the floor.

THE BOUNCER jumps in, trying to drag him off and it goes into

SLOW MOTION, everybody yelling and pulling...

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James Cameron

James Francis Cameron is a Canadian filmmaker, director, producer, screenwriter, inventor, engineer, philanthropist, and deep-sea explorer. He first found major success with the science fiction action film The Terminator. more…

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