Warrior script
Warrior (2011)
Synopsis: An estranged family finds redemption in the unlikeliest of places: the MMA ring. Tommy (Tom Hardy), an ex-Marine with a tragic past, returns home and enlists his father (Nick Nolte), a recovering alcoholic and former wrestling coach, to train him for "Sparta," the biggest MMA tournament ever held. But when Tommy's underdog brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), fights his way into the tournament, the two brothers must finally confront each other and the forces that pulled them apart.

EXT. PITTSBURGH, PA - TWILIGHT

A beautiful blue-collar city approaching nightfall. Bridges.

Rivers. Churches. The working class poetry of the `Burgh.

EXT. ST. MARY'S CHURCH - SAME

PADDY CONLON (60) exits the doors of a run-down church

holding a 12-STEP BOOK. He is followed by a cluster of other

PEOPLE in the program and says his goodbyes.

EXT./INT. RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD/`75 OLDS - LATER

Paddy grips the steering wheel with labor-calloused hands and

drives over the P.J. McArdle Bridge and up a winding hill. He

listens to "MOBY DICK" on tape as the last piece of daylight

bleeds away. With rosary beads swaying from his rear view,

Paddy turns and eases the Olds past row houses in a blue-

collar neighborhood high above the city.

EXT. HOUSE - SAME

TOMMY CONLON (28), hard miles on a handsome face, sits on the

stoop of an old row house in a wool watch cap and winter

coat. A duffel bag is at his feet, a bottle of whiskey in a

brown bag in his hands. He reaches into his coat pocket, pops

a handful of prescription PILLS, and stares off into the

approaching night.

EXT. PADDY'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER

Paddy pulls up to the curb in front of the house, clicks off

the tape, kills the engine, and climbs out of the car. As he

approaches the stairs, Paddy sees Tommy. Can't believe his

eyes.

PADDY:

Tommy?

Tommy gives a drunken, crooked smile.

PADDY (CONT'D)

What're you doing here?

TOMMY:

I was just passing through. Figured

why not have a belt with the old

man.

2.

Father and son look at each other. It's obvious it's been a

long, long time. Tommy takes a bemused look down at the car.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

She looks good.

PADDY:

(patting car hood)

Yeah, she's hanging in there.

TOMMY:

Well, you always did take good care

of her. Paddy Conlon. Man of

priorities.

Paddy grins uncomfortably. Lets the remark go and climbs the

stairs as Tommy reaches into his duffel bag and produces a

fresh BOTTLE of Jameson. He offers it to Paddy.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

Got a little something for ya. Mom

always said never go anywhere empty

handed.

PADDY:

She did. But that's not for me

anymore, Tommy.

TOMMY:

What? You change brands?

Paddy shakes his head. Tommy looks at him. Paddy Conlon not

drinking? What gives?

PADDY:

C'mon, let's go inside.

Paddy pats his son on the back and heads for the door as a

confused Tommy follows.

TITLE CARD:
WARRIOR

INT. PADDY'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Paddy and Tommy walk through the front door. The house is

clean, yet all the furnishings are from the late 1970s. Tommy

stands in the den and looks around, breathing the old place

in, as Paddy makes his way into the kitchen.

TOMMY:

I like what you've done with the

place.

3.

PADDY (O.S.)

Appreciate that.

The sound of glasses CLINKING in the kitchen as Tommy takes

off his watch cap and begins to look around his old home. He

glances down at a BIBLE on a table beside a weathered Barca

lounge chair.

TOMMY:

There's not much of a woman's touch

around here.

PADDY (O.S.)

No more women for me, Tommy.

TOMMY:

Yeah? Must be hard to find a girl

who can take a punch nowadays.

Tommy takes another swig from his bottle and looks at a

series of old PHOTOGRAPHS lining the walls as Paddy walks

into the room carrying a coffee pot and saucers on an old

wicker tray. Tommy looks at him, incredulous.

PADDY:

Here you go.

TOMMY:

Coffee? You haven't seen a guy in

14 years and you're not gonna have

a drink with him?

PADDY:

I told you, I'm off it. I'm coming

up on a thousand days.

TOMMY:

C'mon, just one drink.

PADDY:

No.

Tommy shrugs. Takes another pull from his bottle and turns

back to the photos. He takes them in.

FRAMED PHOTO OF:
12-YEAR-OLD TOMMY, IN A WRESTLING UNIFORM

AND HOLDING A HUGE TROPHY, STANDING NEXT TO A YOUNGER PADDY,

WHO WEARS A TOWEL OVER HIS SHOULDER, CIRCA 1992.

FRAMED PHOTO OF:
YOUNG PADDY AND A LOVELY, THIN WOMAN DANCING

AWKWARDLY AT A WEDDING RECEPTION, CIRCA 1974.

4.

FRAMED PHOTO OF:
THE SAME WOMAN, SHIELDING HER EYES FROM THE

SUN, STANDING NEXT TO TWO YOUNG BOYS, AGED 4 AND 6, AT THE

KENNYWOOD AMUSEMENT PARK, CIRCA 1984.

FRAMED PHOTO OF:
8-YEAR-OLD TOMMY, A YOUNGER PADDY, AND A 10-

YEAR-OLD BOY STANDING IN FRONT OF A BLAST FURNACE WEARING

HARD HATS CIRCA 1988.

Tommy's eyes are drawn to another picture, likely taken at a

mall photography studio, of a MAN AND WOMAN (late 20s) POSING

WITH A YOUNG GIRL (2). The man looks like the second boy in

the other photos. His brother BRENDAN.

PADDY (CONT'D)

(OFF PICTURE)

He's a school teacher down in

Philly.

Tommy's face registers surprise.

PADDY (CONT'D)

Remember Tess? They've got two

beautiful little girls.

Tommy turns back to the photos and looks at another one of

the woman. Obviously his MOTHER. He puts it down, glances at

the bible, then stares hard at Paddy.

TOMMY:

So you found God, huh? That's

awesome. Mom kept calling for him,

but he wasn't around. I guess Jesus

was down at the mill forgiving all

the drunks. Who knew?

Paddy sips his coffee. Says nothing. Tommy keeps pressing.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

So, you gonna ask about her, or you

just gonna sit there all sober?

PADDY:

I know.

TOMMY:

Oh, you know? What do you know? Do

you know it wasn't enough just to

drive west to get away from you?

When we hit the water we drove

north, too.

PADDY:

When I got sober I hired a man to

find you.

5.

TOMMY:

(taking a swig)

Is that one of the 12 steps? Or

does a guy like you get 24?

PADDY:

Just the 12.

TOMMY:

Did your guy tell you what you

needed to know?

PADDY:

Just that your mother died in

Tacoma. And you were in the

Marines. That was all. That was

enough.

TOMMY:

That's too bad. You could've gotten

some good details.

Tommy plops himself into a recliner. Glances at the coffee

table, where a stack of classic books on tape sits. CRIME AND

PUNISHMENT. THE SUN ALSO RISES. THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO.

MOBY DICK.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

You could've heard about her

coughing up blood in a shit box

with no heat. Having me rub her

down with holy water, because she

didn't have no insurance. All the

while waiting for your pal Jesus to

save her. Did your man tell you

that?

PADDY:

I'm sorry, Tommy.

TOMMY:

It's good to know you're sorry,

Pop. Goes a long way.

Paddy chokes up. Tommy looks at him. Closes his eyes.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

I think I liked you better when you

were a drunk.

An overwhelmed Paddy sips his coffee and looks at Tommy, who

is fading. The pills are kicking in. He tries to open his

eyes, but it's no use, and after a few moments he's out.

6.

Paddy glances down, where some pills have fallen out of

Tommy's pocket and scattered on the rug. He watches his son.

Relieved and heartbroken at the same time.

EXT. BRENDAN AND TESS' HOME, PHILADELPHIA - DAY

A chaotic birthday party in the back yard of a middle-class

home in the suburbs of Philly. A CLUSTER OF 5-YEAR OLDS run

about, some whacking at a pinata hanging from a tree, some

whizzing down a large blow-up slide, some getting their faces

painted by a make-up artist dressed like a GYPSY.

TESS CONLON (29) bounces around the yard, multi-tasking like

a champion and filming the proceedings with a VIDEO CAMERA.

She trains the camera on BRENDAN CONLON (30), who sits in a

lawn chair in a scarf, hat, and women's make-up.

THROUGH VIDEO CAMERA LENS: TWO GIRLS, EMILY (5), WHO WEARS A

BIRTHDAY GIRL CROWN, AND ROSIE (3), MIMIC THE MAKE-UP WOMAN

AND APPLY MASCARA AND BLUSH TO BRENDAN.

TESS:

What's going on here?

BRENDAN:

Well, I'm not sure, but I think

Daddy is now a princess.

Tess laughs. Brendan looks at her with a "Help me out here"

expression.

TESS:

Em, you want to open your presents?

The make-over ends abruptly at the mention of "presents."

Emily, little sister in tow, runs over to a table filled with

gifts as PARENTS and CHILDREN gather around.

Brendan gets out of the lawn chair and follows Tess over to

the gift table. Amidst all the presents is one BOX, covered

in pink wrapping paper, that is far larger than the rest.

TESS (CONT'D)

(off pink box)

This an awfully big box.

BRENDAN:

It's her birthday.

Tess turns the video camera toward Brendan again. He couldn't

look more ridiculous. And he obviously didn't clear the gift

with his wife. He grins at her as she lowers the camera.

7.

TESS:

(TEASING)

I know, but that's why you call it

a budget. You set it, and you don't

budge.

Brendan smiles in his make-up. Kisses his wife.

EXT. BRENDAN AND TESS' HOME - LATE AFTERNOON

The remnants of the birthday party lay strewn across the

lawn. Tess, in a cocktail waitress outfit, says goodbye to

her MOM and the kids, who play on the swing set.

She walks toward the garage and enters to find Brendan

pressing free weights on an old bench.

INT. GARAGE - CONTINUOUS

Brendan continues to lift as Tess rushes in and tosses a bag

of garbage in the bin. A deep CUT, hidden earlier by the make-

up, is visible on his cheek.

TESS:

Hey babe, I'm late. Mom's saying

goodbye to the girls. She's gotta

get on the road. They've been fed.

They just need a bath.

BRENDAN:

I'm on it.

TESS:

Can you get them down at a

reasonable time tonight? They're

exhausted.

Brendan kisses Tess. Looks at her outfit.

BRENDAN:

Where's the rest of that skirt?

TESS:

Babe.

BRENDAN:

Listen, if any guys give you a

hassle in that joint tonight you

give me a call, okay?

8.

TESS:

(off his cut)

Yeah. Just like you gave me a call

when those Temple frat boys decided

to smash up your face.

BRENDAN:

I told you, most nights I sit on

the stool and grade papers, but

every now and then I need some

action.

TESS:

Alright, well wait up for me

tonight. I'll see what I can do

about that.

Tess smiles flirtatiously and and heads for the car.

BRENDAN:

Promises, promises.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - DAY

A big, old-school warehouse, where a handful of GUYS whale

away at MMA punching dummies and roll around on sweat-

saturated mats. Sun slants through a dirty, industrial

skylight. A no frills kind of gym.

Behind the front counter, FENROY (20s) rolls hand wraps and

watches ESPN's "MMA LIVE" on a laptop.

ON COMPUTER SCREEN: ESPN ANCHOR JON ANIK INTERVIEWS PROMOTER

J.J. RILEY, AND PUNKASS AND SKYSKRAPE FROM TAPOUT.

JON ANIK (ON SCREEN)

And we return here on MMA Live, Jon

Anik alongside billionaire fight

promoter J.J. Riley. The Tapout

crew is also here. Punk and Skrape

are in the building. Now J.J., what

led to this project that is

redefining Mixed Martial Arts here

in the States?

J.J. RILEY (ON SCREEN)

Well, Mixed Martial Arts is a sport

that I've always been incredibly

passionate about. As for where the

idea for Sparta came from, I've

always kind of dug the Grand Prix

format, so I tracked these guys

down to help me out.

9.

PUNKASS (ON SCREEN)

When J.J. came to us he said he

wanted to create the Super Bowl of

Mixed Martial Arts.

SKRAPE (ON SCREEN)

And he decided to put up the five

million dollar purse, too.

JON ANIK (ON SCREEN)

Well, there you have it. It shall

be done. Hedge fund king J.J.

Riley, going from the lion's den of

Wall Street to the cage, promoting

the biggest winner-take-all

tournament in MMA history. Sparta.

As Fenroy watches them talk about the upcoming Sparta

tournament, Tommy walks into the gym, surveys the room with

curiosity, and approaches the front desk.

TOMMY:

Fitzy still own this?

FENROY:

Don't know no Fitzy. Colt Boyd owns

this gym.

Fenroy goes back to his computer. Tommy stands there. Notices

a Sparta POSTER on the wall reading: "THE WAR ON THE SHORE.

ATLANTIC CITY, JULY 2-3. BIGGEST WINNER TAKE ALL IN MMA

HISTORY!"

FENROY (CONT'D)

Can I help you with something?

TOMMY:

How's it work here?

FENROY:

Thirty five a month with locker.

We're open at 7, lights out at 11.

You wanna join?

TOMMY:

Sure.

Fenroy grabs a pencil and an index card and puts them on the

counter in front of Tommy.

FENROY:

Put your name and contact info on

the card.

10.

INT. CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM, PHILADELPHIA - DAY

Brendan stands in a classroom, surrounded by high school

STUDENTS wearing safety goggles and raising cain. A block of

wood sits wedged in a vice, and a student, TITO, stands over

it with a Louisville slugger in his hands as his classmates

CHEER him on.

BRENDAN:

Whoa whoa whoa! There's a lesson in

this too, OK? Listen up. So we have

a body at rest, and you have the

bat which needs--

TITO:

Acceleration.

BRENDAN:

Acceleration, right. If you have

enough acceleration, you have might

have a chance to break the body at

rest. OK. Go ahead.

Brendan, sleeves rolled up and a bemused look on his face,

watches as Tito brings the bat down on the wood. As it CRACKS

in half, the other students cheer wildly. Tito smiles and

leans the bat against a blackboard with "NEWTON'S 2nd LAW OF

MOTION" printed on it.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

There we go. Alright Tito, well

done. Remind not to mess with you.

Sit down everybody. Dial it down.

As Tito high-fives his way back through the group, things

settle down and the kids take their seats.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

So, have we got it?

A room full of affirmatives, with the cocky voice of NASH, a

skinny white kid in a Flyers jersey, standing out.

NASH:

Force equals mass times

acceleration. We got it.

BRENDAN:

Alright. The third law--

A black student, STEPHON, looks up from his desk.

11.

STEPHON:

How many laws this dude got?

BRENDAN:

(LAUGHING)

The dude? The dude has three.

Newton the dude says that for every

action, there's an equal and

opposite reaction.

Brendan looks toward the classroom door, where two red-and-

white clad CHEERLEADERS are peering in, then walks over to

KC, a blonde cheerleader seated in his class. She is working

a Blackberry and doesn't notice him approaching.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

For example, if KC does not stop

the action of sending texts in

class...

Brendan stands directly in front of her desk. She quickly

shoves the Blackberry under a stack of books.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

...and tell her posse outside to

beat it...

He turns and shoos away the two cheerleaders peering in the

window.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

...then my reaction might be to

send her down to Principal Zito's

office. Thus setting our world back

in proper balance.

KC:

Mr. C, I put it away.

The class busts on KC as Brendan walks back to his desk and

sits on top of it. It's clear from the vibe in the room that

he's a very popular teacher. Then the BELL rings.

BRENDAN:

Alright, before you go, I have your

tests from last week.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - DAY

Fenroy sits at the front desk and looks at his computer.

Watches "MMA LIVE" and another feature on the big upcoming

Sparta tournament.

12.

Tommy, wearing a wife beater and old gray sweats, works a bag

and eyeballs an ENTOURAGE that surrounds a ring. Inside, a

heavily-muscled FIGHTER with a mohawk, MAD DOG GRIMES (30s),

is putting a beating on his SPARRING PARTNER. The obsequious

nature of the entourage makes it clear that Mad Dog is

somebody important.

In the ring, the sparring partner takes a vicious spinning

back fist to the chin, goes down in a heap, and doesn't get

up. COLT BOYD (40s), clearly in charge, throws up his hands

as Mad Dog laughs.

MAD DOG:

Where do you find these girls?

Colt climbs into the ring and looks at the fallen fighter.

Glances at Mad Dog.

COLT BOYD:

We got a tournament coming up. You

gonna kill every guy in the `Burgh?

(TO FENROY)

Fenroy. Get me some ice. And call

that Puerto Rican kid, the one that

fights outa the Bottoms. If he's

here in 20 minutes, he gets 200

bucks.

TOMMY:

Yo, I'll fight him.

Colt turns around and looks at Tommy. As does Mad Dog, who

smiles down at him from inside the ring.

COLT BOYD:

Do me a favor guy, go back to your

bag. We don't need anybody else

getting hurt. G'head. Take a walk.

Tommy walks back to his bag. Mad Dog smiles. Looks at Tommy's

outfit.

MAD DOG:

Yo Rock, what happened? You leave

Mick and Paulie at home today?

Tommy stops. Walks back to the ring as Fenroy approaches.

FENROY:

(TO COLT)

His phone's disconnected.

13.

COLT BOYD:

Then go through the list. Get me

Joe Bones.

TOMMY:

(TO COLT)

All I'm saying is if you need

somebody to help you, I'm happy to

keep your boy warm for you.

Colt looks at Mad Dog. What do you think? The Mohawked

fighter looks at Tommy. Shrugs. It's his funeral.

COLT BOYD:

You ever fought before?

TOMMY:

Yeah.

Colt studies Tommy. Sees he's serious. Gives in.

COLT BOYD:

(TO FENROY)

This guy sign a waiver?

FENROY:

All good.

COLT BOYD:

What's your name?

TOMMY:

Tommy.

COLT BOYD:

You get tuned up in here, it's on

you, Tommy.

TOMMY:

Sure, no problem.

COLT BOYD:

Come on in.

Colt Boyd waves Tommy into the ring. Mad Dog's entourage

starts whispering amongst themselves. Snickering at what lays

in wait for Tommy as the fallen sparring partner is helped

out of the ring.

A TRAINER tapes Tommy's hands and gives him some MMA gloves.

He slips them on, then at the sound of a BUZZER he starts

moving toward Mad Dog, who smirks at Tommy's aggression and

then starts circling him. Tommy nails him with a front kick

to the chest. Grimes staggers back and shakes it off.

14.

MAD DOG:

Gonna be a hero? Alright.

He crouches down, gets serious. He throws a right. Blocked. A

leg kick. Blocked. Tommy snaps his head with a jab. Then he

does it again. And again. Then he DECKS HIM with a hard

right, sending Mad Dog to the canvas to the shock of his

entourage and Colt Boyd.

Fenroy looks up from his post and walks over to the ring.

Within moments everyone in the gym stops what they're doing

and watches as Tommy grabs the back of Mad Dog's head, hauls

it down, and launches knee after knee into his face.

Tommy starts throwing Mad Dog around like a rag doll,

striking him with vicious punches and kicks, as Fenroy pulls

out his CELL PHONE and starts filming the action. As Colt

Boyd screams at Mad Dog to cover up, Tommy shoves him against

the ropes and blasts away.

Tommy continues to pound. It's a full-fledged beating going

on in there. Finally, he crushes Mad Dog with a vicious left

hook and sends him sprawling through the ropes, UNCONSCIOUS.

SILENCE in the gym. What the hell just happened here? The

entourage rushes to Mad Dog's aid, but he's out cold. Colt

Boyd looks on in disbelief as Tommy walks across the ring and

approaches him.

TOMMY:

You owe me two hundred bucks.

INT. FIRST UNION BANK - DAY

Brendan sits in a chair across from loan officer DAN TAYLOR

(40s). They're mid-meeting and going over documents.

DAN TAYLOR:

This is the new appraisal figure,

and this is how it effects the

monthly. As you can see, that puts

you upside down on your mortgage.

That's the problem. It's the

country that did the assessment,

not the bank. So, the numbers are

what they are, Mr. Conlon.

BRENDAN:

Brendan.

15.

DAN TAYLOR:

The numbers are what they are,

Brendan. I mean, you're a Math

teacher, you can appreciate that.

BRENDAN:

I teach Physics.

DAN TAYLOR:

Physics. OK. But the bank has got

to go by the new appraisal figures.

According to these figures, you're

upside down on your mortgage--

BRENDAN:

You said that three times already.

I get that. But I'm asking you if

there's something else you can do.

Not the bank, you. Can you shift

things around, restructure--

DAN TAYLOR:

Well, you've already refinanced

twice.

BRENDAN:

Because you advised us to do that.

DAN TAYLOR:

I presented you with that option.

It was your choice.

(BEAT)

I'm also showing you netted a

substantial payout with the refi.

BRENDAN:

We had that conversation. I was

paying medical bills. Is that in

your file?

Taylor looks at Brendan. Takes him a second to remember.

DAN TAYLOR:

Oh, right. Sorry. Your

daughter's...kidney?

BRENDAN:

Heart.

DAN TAYLOR:

Heart, right.

(off stack of files on desk)

Lot of stories.

16.

Brendan glares at him.

BRENDAN:

So my option is I've got no

options? You're not even gonna try

to help me?

DAN TAYLOR:

I am trying, Brendan. Look, I can

get you 90 days to get even--

BRENDAN:

90 days is not enough. My wife and

I have three jobs between us and

that doesn't cut it. So, what do

you suggest?

DAN TAYLOR:

Let me ask you a question: have you

considered bankruptcy? It's a

viable option. There's no shame in

it these days.

BRENDAN:

That's not how I do things.

DAN TAYLOR:

Well, then you're looking at

foreclosure.

Brendan gets up and storms out of the office.

ANNOUNCER #1 (V.O.)

Utter domination by Tommy Conlon,

the undefeated freshman from

Pittsburgh...

INT. PADDY'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Paddy sits in front of the TV and watches an old VIDEO TAPE

of a wrestling tournament. The bottom of the screen reads:

1994 PA STATE WRESTLING FINALS. CONLON VS. SPEERY.

ON TV SCREEN:
14-YEAR-OLD TOMMY DOMINATES AN OPPONENT.

ANNOUNCER #1 (V.O.)

...the prodigy has yet to yield a

single point in the entire

tournament. It's just

unprecedented.

17.

ANNOUNCER #2 (V.O.)

Tommy trained by his father since

the age of five.

ANNOUNCER #1 (V.O.)

You're talking about Paddy Conlon.

ANNOUNCER #2 (V.O.)

The controversial Paddy Conlon.

ON TV SCREEN:
A YOUNGER PADDY SHOUTS INSTRUCTIONS AS TOMMY

CRUSHES HIS OPPONENT.

ANNOUNCER #1 (V.O.)

Say what you will about the methods

of the former Marine, but he's led

his son to six straight junior

Olympic titles, and now just

moments away from a high school

state championship. And there it

is! Wow!

ON TV SCREEN:
TOMMY PINS HIS OPPONENT AND LEAPS OFF THE MAT

IN JUBILATION.

ANNOUNCER #2 (V.O.)

There's just no limit to what the

future holds for this kid!

As Paddy watches, the DOORBELL RINGS. He makes his way to the

door as the tape continues to play.

ANNOUNCER #1 (V.O.)

Tommy told me that he's chasing the

record of Theogenes, apparently a

mythical Greek fighter said to be

unbeaten in over 1400 bouts...

Paddy opens the door to find Colt Boyd standing on the stoop.

COLT BOYD:

How you doin,' sir? I'm looking for

Tommy Riordan.

Paddy registers the name "Riordan."

PADDY:

Who?

COLT BOYD:

Tommy Riordan? My name's Colt Boyd.

PADDY:

What business you got with Tommy?

18.

COLT BOYD:

None yet. That's why I'm here. I

manage fighters.

Colt looks at Paddy. Jams his hands in his pockets. He's

obviously waiting for an invite inside. It doesn't come.

COLT BOYD (CONT'D)

Tommy's been working out at my gym.

He put a beating on the number one

middleweight contender in the world

today. I want to know more about

the guy. Maybe help him out. I have

a lot of contacts, Mr. Riordan.

PADDY:

Conlon. Name's Conlon. And anything

you want to know about Tommy, you

gotta ask him yourself.

COLT BOYD:

I'm just looking for some general

information here.

PADDY:

Like I said, anything you want to

know about Tommy, you gotta ask him

yourself.

COLT BOYD:

Look, I don't mean to interrupt

your night. He put this address

down when he signed up at the gym.

PADDY:

He doesn't live here.

Paddy closes the door on a frustrated Colt.

INT. BRENDAN'S CAR - NIGHT

Brendan drives down the road on the outskirts of town and

talks on his cell.

BRENDAN (INTO PHONE)

Listen kiddo, I need you put Mommy

back on, OK? I love you.

(BEAT)

Hey. I'm just pulling in. Huh? Oh,

they've got this open mic night

thing. Should be a quiet one. Sleep

well. You too. Bye.

19.

EXT. THE TENDER TRAP - NIGHT

Brendan pulls into the parking lot of the local strip club. A

white TENT is set up outside, and the parking lot is

overflowing with cars. Something big going on.

INT. TENDER TRAP TENT - SAME

Aluminum bleachers are set up around a ring, where TWO

AMATEUR FIGHTERS go at it under a bank of sodium lights.

Hundreds of rowdy LOCALS swill beer and BOO lustily when the

action slows.

INT. TENDER TRAP RING - LATER

MIKE MOORE (20s), a FIGHTER sporting sleeves of demonic ink,

paces in his corner as a cluster of BIKERS cheer him on from

ringside. An ANNOUNCER walks to the center of the ring with a

cordless microphone.

ANNOUNCER:

It's time for our next contest!

Introducing first, fighting out of

the red corner, from Ripley, West

Virginia, please welcome Mike "The

Mutilator" Moore!

Some hollers from the crowd.

ANNOUNCER (CONT'D)

And in the blue corner. He fights

out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Please welcome "Irish" Brendan

Conlon!

A:

Lo and behold, there's a shirtless Brendan standing in the

corner of the ring wearing a pair of shorts. On his right

shoulder, an elaborate TATTOO of the CONLON FAMILY CREST.

ANNOUNCER (CONT'D)

This bout is scheduled for three

five-minute rounds, and when the

action begins your referee is Mr.

Rick Fike.

The REFEREE enters the ring and stands between Brendan and

Mike Moore.

20.

REFEREE:

Fighters to the center! I want you

to obey my commands at all times.

If you have no questions, touch

gloves, back up, and wait for my

signal. Come out fighting!

Brendan reaches out to touch gloves with Mike Moore, but his

opponent snubs him and storms back to his corner. He means

business. Brendan, looking less sure of himself, retreats to

his corner.

REFEREE (CONT'D)

Fighters, are you ready? Let's go!

The bikers raise hell as the BELL sounds. Moore comes out

bombing. Brendan dodges a couple of wild haymakers, then gets

caught in the side of the head with a right hand. He stumbles

back into the ropes and Moore presses into him, swatting at

him with his huge hands.

Brendan absorbs the blows, ducks down, grabs Moore by the

legs, lifts him, and dumps him on the mat with a resounding

THUD. Obviously bull strong and with tremendous punching

skills, Brendan sits on his opponent's chest and starts

raining down shots, banging and banging, pulverizing his face

and body.

It's a full on ass-whooping going on in there until finally,

mercifully, the referee stops the butchery amidst a mixture

of CHEERS from the crowd and BOOS from the bikers.

A winded Brendan walks to his corner, touches the side of his

head, wipes a small amount of blood on his shorts, and climbs

out of the ring, where a PROMOTER approaches.

PROMOTER:

Nice fight. Two more wins and you

take home the bacon.

INT. BRENDAN AND TESS' HOME - BEDROOM - NIGHT

The bedroom door opens and Brendan creeps through the room

and into the bathroom.

INT. BRENDAN AND TESS' HOME - BATHROOM - SAME

It's dark, except for the moonlight glowing through the

window. An exhausted Brendan takes off his shirt and begins

washing his badly SWOLLEN FACE. Then the door opens, and Tess

shuffles in.

21.

TESS:

(SLEEPY)

Hey babe. How was work?

Brendan doesn't answer. Tess slowly wakes up. As she does,

she gets a look at his face.

TESS (CONT'D)

Oh my God. What happened? You said

it was going to be a slow night.

Tess studies his face. Brendan looks at her. Reaches into his

pocket and hands her $500 in cash.

BRENDAN:

I'm not bouncing at a club.

TESS:

What do you mean you're not

bouncing?

She looks at him. Looks at the money. Puts it together.

TESS (CONT'D)

You've been lying to me?

BRENDAN:

I went in to apply. They were only

paying nine bucks an hour. Then I

saw a sign for this other thing.

Tess can't believe what she's hearing.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

They're putting us out of the house

in three months, we're running out

OF OPTIONS--

TESS:

(FURIOUS)

Then they'll put us out of the

house in three months. I'd rather

go back to the old apartment than

see you in the back of an ambulance

again.

(BEAT)

I thought we agreed that we weren't

going to raise our children in

a family where their father gets

beat up for a living.

22.

BRENDAN:

We're not giving up the house. This

is our home. We're not going

BACKWARDS:

Tess reaches up and touches his battered face. Calms herself

down. Embraces her husband.

TESS:

We'll figure it out. But this is

what we're not going back to.

EXT. TRACKSIDE DINER - MORNING

A steady rain tumbles down over an old-school diner in the

shadow of the railroad tracks.

INT. DINER - SAME

Paddy sits in a booth and takes a sip of coffee. Judging by

the spent sugar packets and the half-eaten club sandwich,

he's been there a while.

The front door swings open and Tommy enters wearing his watch

cap and sweats. He makes his way over to the booth and plops

himself down. It's clear something's on his mind but he

doesn't say anything. Finally, Paddy engages him.

PADDY:

You wanted to talk?

TOMMY:

Yeah.

(BEAT)

I'm gonna start fighting.

PADDY:

That right?

TOMMY:

Don't play babe in the woods with

me. I know that guy from the gym

came to see you.

PADDY:

Colt Boyd? I didn't tell him

anything, Tommy.

TOMMY:

We wouldn't be sitting here now if

you did.

23.

Tommy grabs a fry off Paddy's plate.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

Alright. Look. There's this

tournament. A big tournament. Top

sixteen middleweights in the world.

Single elimination. Winner take all

for a lot of money. I'm gonna do

that. But if I'm doin' it, then I'm

gonna need a trainer. Now that much

you were good at.

(off Paddy grinning)

No, no, no. This doesn't mean

anything.

Paddy tries to tether it down, but he's happy. Tommy looks at

him sternly.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

I'm serious. We train. That's it. I

don't wanna hear a word about

anything but training, you

understand? You wanna tell your war

stories, you can take `em down to

the VFW. You can take `em to a

meeting, or church, or wherever the

hell it is you go nowadays.

PADDY:

What about Colt Boyd?

TOMMY:

What about him? I told him I don't

train with people I don't know.

PADDY:

Ah, the devil you know.

TOMMY:

Excuse me?

PADDY:

The devil you know is better than

the devil you don't.

Tommy looks at him. Grins for the first time.

PADDY (CONT'D)

Chasing Theogenes. It'll be kinda

like old times.

24.

TOMMY:

(ANGRY)

I just told you, this doesn't mean

anything. You get that through your

skull right now or I'm walking.

Paddy calmly sips his coffee, then leans in on Tommy with a

stern look. The old lion's got a few teeth left.

PADDY:

Alright. Alright. But you get

something through your skull, too.

You called me. So don't go

threatening to walk every five

minutes. And since this is about

training, you dump whatever it is

you need to dump as far as those

pills are concerned. I don't want

to see `em.

Tommy gives him a hard look, but the old man doesn't shy

away.

PADDY (CONT'D)

In fact, hand `em over right now.

(BEAT)

I know they're on you, Tommy. You

sounded like a goddamn maraca

coming through the door.

Tommy considers, then reaches into his pocket and slides two

bottles across the table.

PADDY (CONT'D)

That's not gonna do.

(SHAKING BOTTLES)

When you came through that door it

was chhh-chhh-chhh.

(holding up 3 fingers)

Three.

Tommy looks at him. Fishes another bottle out of his pocket

and flips it on the table.

PADDY (CONT'D)

(off French fries)

And another thing, you don't eat

crap like this. This is for losers

and old men.

(BEAT)

And we're gonna have to bunk up. If

we're gonna do this right, you

gotta stay at the house.

(MORE)

25.

PADDY (CONT'D)

I watch your diet, we follow the

old regimen. You copy?

The two men stare at each other. Tommy looks furious, but he

doesn't get up. A silent, tenuous agreement is reached.

PADDY (CONT'D)

Copy.

INT. CENTRAL HIGH HALLWAY - MORNING

Brendan, his face BRUISED badly from the night before, walks

down the hallway toward his classroom. STUDENTS watch him as

he passes and whisper.

INT. CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM - SAME

The class is filled with the kind of BUZZING that can only

rise off a major rumor. Tito, Nash, KC, and Stephon discuss.

TITO:

My brother said he was at the strip

club and saw Mr. C fighting MMA---

NASH:

What's MMA?

STEPHON:

Mixed Martial Arts. Like, different

styles of fighting.

KC:

Your brother's a liar.

Brendan enters the room. The kids look at him. Holy shit.

It's true.

BRENDAN:

Take your seats.

Brendan puts his bag down on his desk and faces the class. He

is not amused by the murmuring in there.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

Now, please.

The kids pipe down. Then Tito speaks up.

26.

TITO:

Yo, Mr. C. My brother was at the

titty bar last night and said you

was choking brothers out. What's

up? Is it true?

STEPHON:

Yeah, Mr. C. I mean, did you really

work on some fools or something?

KC:

You have to tell us.

Before Brendan can answer, he sees PRINCIPAL JOE ZITO (50s)

gesturing to him through the window of the classroom. Zito

taps his watch and points. Come see me after class.

INT. PRINCIPAL ZITO'S OFFICE - LATER

Zito, puffy faced, hair getting thinner by the hour, hangs up

his phone as Brendan pokes his head in. Zito waves him in.

Eyeballs the marks on his face.

BRENDAN:

C'mon, it's not as bad as it looks.

JOE ZITO:

Are you being literal or

figurative? Because literally it

looks bad. And figuratively it

looks even worse. The

superintendent's coming by in a few

minutes. So gimme a little help

here, Brendan. Can you explain to

me what the hell you were doing?

BRENDAN:

I need the money, Joe.

JOE ZITO:

Yeah, but we can't have this. This

isn't moonlighting at Applebee's

for Christ's sake.

Zito stands up and runs his hands across his head.

JOE ZITO (CONT'D)

Shit, Brendan. Leaving everything

else aside, which we can't, are you

out of your mind? You're gonna get

yourself killed. I mean, you're a

goddamn teacher.

(MORE)

27.

JOE ZITO (CONT'D)

You've got no business in the ring

with those animals.

BRENDAN:

Actually, I used to be one of those

animals.

Zito looks at Brendan. Puzzled.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

I fought for a living.

(BEAT)

Guess I forgot to put that down on

my application.

JOE ZITO:

Yeah, I guess you did.

Zito sits back down.

BRENDAN:

Look, I'm sorry, Joe. It's just--

JOE ZITO:

Listen, the school district's not

going to tolerate school teachers

cockfighting in strip clubs.

BRENDAN:

It was the parking lot of a strip

club.

JOE ZITO:

Wherever it was, you can't be doing

it, alright? I mean this is a

serious--shit, he's here.

Zito sees the SUPERINTENDENT enter the foyer outside his

office. He's looking none too pleased.

JOE ZITO (CONT'D)

This is a serious problem.

(BEAT)

Guy hasn't been inside a school

since 9-11.

BRENDAN:

What are we gonna do?

JOE ZITO:

You say yes, sir. And you say no,

sir. And you say it'll never happen

again, sir. And then we just pray

to God he's in a good mood.

28.

Brendan and Joe stand up. Zito can't tether down a slight

grin.

JOE ZITO (CONT'D)

UFC?

Brendan nods. Joe shakes his head. Impressed.

JOE ZITO (CONT'D)

Sonofabitch.

INT. BRENDAN AND TESS' HOME - KID'S PLAYROOM - NIGHT

Brendan sits in a miniature playroom off the kid's bedroom,

putting glue on the leg of a TOY PIANO. Tess enters the

bedroom, where the girls sleep, and leans into the playroom.

They speak in whispers.

TESS:

What are you doing?

BRENDAN:

(OFF PIANO)

The girls have an important piano

recital in the morning. Got an

equipment malfunction.

(BEAT)

How'd it go?

TESS:

They're gonna review your case at

the end of the semester, but until

then you're suspended without pay.

Joe gave me the number of his

attorney.

BRENDAN:

How the hell are we gonna pay for

an attorney?

Tess crouches down and enters the tiny room. She sits on the

floor.

TESS:

He talked to me for free. As a

favor to Joe.

BRENDAN:

That was nice.

29.

TESS:

He said there's no precedent for

this. You'll be back by next

semester.

BRENDAN:

Next semester?

Tess sighs. They sit in silence. There are no easy solutions.

Finally, Brendan speaks up.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

Look, Tess. They have these smoker

fights all over. There's one in

Lancaster next week. There's two in

Dover the week after. Wilmington.

Camden. Baltimore. It could keep us

afloat.

TESS:

You're gonna put yourself through

this over and over, for five

hundred bucks a pop?

BRENDAN:

Some of them pay a little more than

that.

(BEAT)

I would have had to bounce for a

month to make what I made in two

hours last night.

Brendan looks at his wife.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

And these guys, they're not real

fighters. They're just guys who

have seen too much UFC on TV. If

you have a better solution, I'm all

ears.

Tess sits quietly. Knows they have limited options.

TESS:

What are we gonna tell the girls?

BRENDAN:

It'll be fine. I'll just leave the

house as usual, except now I'll be

going to the gym.

They look at each other. No choice. This is the plan.

30.

INT. TOMMY'S ROOM - PRE-DAWN

Paddy climbs the stairs with a POSTER BOARD tucked under his

arm and a cup of coffee in his hands. He enters Tommy's room,

which is also a monument to the past. Old wrestling TROPHIES,

Steelers' posters, and an EMPTY SECOND BED that obviously

once belonged to Brendan.

PADDY:

(SINGING)

Oh the duck says quack and the cow

says moo, and the old red rooster

says cock-a-doodle-doo. Cock-a-

doodle-doo.

Paddy places the cup of coffee on the night stand as Tommy

stirs, then sits on the empty bed and unrolls the poster.

It's yellowed with age and covered with a boy's handwriting.

ON BOARD:
THEOGENES 1415 WINS. NO LOSSES. TOMMY CONLON 315

WINS. NO LOSSES. ALSO, A 1994 NEWSPAPER CLIPPING READING

"PRODIGY WINS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP," AND ABOVE IT, GOALS: 1998,

COLLEGE, PENN STATE. 2000, SUMMER OLYMPICS, GOLD MEDAL.

PADDY (CONT'D)

Look what I found in that disaster

of a basement. Whattya say we sit

down and update this sometime? You

can fill me in on how close you got

to that record.

Tommy says nothing. Not a nostalgic bone in his body. The

dreams on that poster are long gone.

PADDY (CONT'D)

Did you continue wrestling after

you left with your mother?

(BEAT)

C'mon, Tommy. Tell me something.

TOMMY:

Yeah, I'll tell ya something. You

can take that thing back to where

you found it. And you can leave the

coffee in the pot. I can pour that

myself. I can wake myself up, too.

Paddy's stung but covers it amiably.

PADDY:

OK. Hurt my knees coming up and

down those stairs anyway.

(BEAT)

(MORE)

31.

PADDY (CONT'D)

Coffee pot's on til 0-500, then I

dump it.

EXT. AL ADAD AIR BASE, RAMADI, IRAQ - DAY

Marine base camp in the middle of the Iraqi desert. Blackhawk

HELICOPTERS floating in the sky. MARINES rushing about.

INT. MARINES COMMUNICATIONS TENT, RAMADI, IRAQ - SAME

MARINES of various rank huddle around a computer screen,

fired up about something they're watching.

MARINE #1

Damn dude, that's brutal.

LANCE CORPORAL MARK BRADFORD (20s) walks up to see what the

commotion is all about.

BRADFORD:

What's that?

MARINE #2

"Mad Dog" Grimes gettin' tuned up

by some dude in a gym in

Pittsburgh.

BRADFORD:

Who's "Mad Dog" Grimes?

MARINE #2

Shit, Bradford. The stuff you don't

know amazes me.

(OFF COMPUTER)

Oh my god, did you see that?

ON COMPUTER SCREEN: YOU TUBE VIDEO OF THE CELL PHONE FOOTAGE

FENROY TOOK OF TOMMY BEATING UP ON MAD DOG GRIMES. THE

MOHAWKED FIGHTER IS CRUSHED BY THE LEFT HOOK AND FALLS

BETWEEN THE ROPES.

Bradford stares at the screen, his eyes widening as the

Marines raise hell about the footage.

BRADFORD:

Wait, rewind that.

One of the Marines rewinds the video. Bradford looks at the

image in disbelief, then races out of the tent.

32.

EXT. BRAVO COMPANY COMPOUND - CONTINUOUS

Bradford hustles outside into the searing sunlight.

INT. TENT - CONTINUOUS

Bradford enters a barracks, where Private "AV" SIMERS (20s)

plays cards with other MARINES.

BRADFORD:

AV, I need to see the tape!

AV:

What tape?

BRADFORD:

The tape.

AV drops his cards, rushes to his bunk, pulls out a steel

container loaded with VIDEOTAPES and sifts through it. They

are labeled by day and month. AV finds what he's looking for,

loads it into the camera, and hits PLAY.

ON VIDEO SCREEN:
A CHAOTIC FIRE FIGHT IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT.

MUZZLE FLASHES. TRACER LIGHTS. MAYHEM. THE CAMERA FOCUSES ON

A FLIPPED TANK, HALF OF IT SUBMERGED IN WATER. A MARINE, HEAD

SHAVED BUT ALMOST CERTAINLY TOMMY, SUDDENLY APPEARS AND

CLIMBS ON TOP OF THE TANK, REACHING FOR THE HATCH.

BRADFORD:

Freeze.

AV holds the "Pause" button down as Bradford looks at the

screen in disbelief. It's definitely Tommy.

BRADFORD (CONT'D)

That's him. That's him.

INT. CAMPANA FIGHTING SYSTEM - DAY

In a top MMA gym, FRANK CAMPANA (40s) works in a ring with

Brazilian superstar MARCO SANTOS (20s) and other FIGHTERS.

The sound of CLASSICAL MUSIC fills the air.

FRANK:

Let the music sink in to you. This

is Beethoven. Breathe. Breathe.

As Frank teaches, Brendan walks in the door. The great

trainer notices him and walks over.

33.

FRANK (CONT'D)

Do I know you? I think I know you.

They embrace warmly.

FRANK (CONT'D)

Long time, brother.

BRENDAN:

Liking the place, Frank.

FRANK:

Thank you, brother.

(off Brazilian fighter)

You see this beast? Marco Santos?

I'm training him for Sparta.

BRENDAN:

Amazing, man.

FRANK:

Come on back.

The two head for the offices at the back of the gym.

INT. FRANK'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

They walk into an office filled with PHOTOS of Frank in his

fighting days. He was obviously somebody. The walls are also

adorned with SPARTA posters. Frank reaches into a mini-

fridge, pulling out a couple bottles of Vitamin water. He

hands one to Brendan and motions for him to sit down.

FRANK:

You look good, brother. How're the

girls?

BRENDAN:

Good. Good. I had another little

one. Rosie.

FRANK:

I know. Johnny C. told me she was

in the hospital for a bit. I was

gonna call, but then time went by.

I don't know. I'm a piece of shit.

I should have called.

BRENDAN:

It's alright.

FRANK:

No, Brendan. I'm sorry.

34.

BRENDAN:

It's all good. She's good now.

Frank looks at his old friend. Smiles warmly.

FRANK:

It's great to see you, man. So

everything's going good?

BRENDAN:

Yeah. Well, I've got a little

problem. The guys at the bank want

to take my house away. That's kind

of why I came to see you, actually.

Frank considers what he's hearing.

FRANK:

I've got most of my dough tied up

in this joint, but how much do you

need?

BRENDAN:

I didn't come here for a loan,

Frank.

(BEAT)

I was hoping you'd train me.

FRANK:

Train you for what?

BRENDAN:

I want to get back in the cage.

Frank starts smiling. Leans back in his seat. Then he sees

Brendan is not smiling with him.

FRANK:

You're serious?

BRENDAN:

I just won an event the other

night.

FRANK:

Ah, you won an event.

(off bruised face)

That's what this is. Let me guess,

it was in a parking lot. DJ from

the local radio station. Couple of

ring card girls you wouldn't bang

on a dare. Am I right?

Brendan smiles.

35.

BRENDAN:

Ish.

FRANK:

Ish. Brendan. I love you. I do. But

why would I train you? When you

were in shape and on the right side

of 30 you were barely a .500

fighter. You never listened to me.

You never listened to anyone. These

guys are animals. I mean, you're a

teacher, right? What're you gonna

do? You're gonna come down here for

a couple days a week after

detention? You're gonna skip out of

the girl's volleyball game early?

BRENDAN:

I've got loads of time. Time's not

an issue. The parking lot thing

kinda got me suspended. I need to

keep working the smokers.

FRANK:

Tess know about this?

(off Brendan's nod)

Yeah? `Cause the last time you

fought, I got read the riot act

sitting in a hospital waiting room.

You remember that?

BRENDAN:

No. I was unconscious.

The two friends share a laugh.

FRANK:

She's not gonna come down here with

the two puppies, screaming at

Frank?

BRENDAN:

It's not gonna happen. Come on.

Whattya say, Frank?

FRANK:

What do I say? What am I gonna say

to you? No? I mean, all my time is

wrapped up with Marco. You come

down, I'll throw you in the

rotation, you spar with these guys,

no problem. But I can't promise you

much more than that, Brendan.

36.

BRENDAN:

That's all I need.

Brendan stands up. Shakes Frank's hand.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

I appreciate it.

FRANK:

Let me know when you're coming

down.

BRENDAN:

(WALKING AWAY)

Well, I'm just gonna go get my

stuff from the car.

FRANK:

Now?

Brendan puts his dukes up and smiles as Frank shakes his

head.

EXT. BRENDAN AND TESS'S HOME - NIGHT

Brendan pulls into the driveway of his modest home, gets out

of his Camry, and looks to the street, where Paddy stands

outside his Olds, leaning on the passenger door.

Brendan carries a gym bag and wears work out clothes. He's

clearly not happy to see Paddy, who stands there,

uncomfortable and heavy hearted in the light of the street

lamp.

PADDY:

Hey, Brendan. It's me, Pop.

BRENDAN:

What're you doing here?

PADDY:

I have some news for you.

BRENDAN:

Something wrong with your hands?

Paddy shakes his head, unsure what he means.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

If there's nothing wrong with your

hands then there's no reason for

you not to phone. That's the deal.

37.

PADDY:

Yeah, I forgot--

BRENDAN:

Phone or mail, Pop. Non negotiable.

Paddy holds his hands out, palms down.

PADDY:

Hey Brendan, have you ever seen my

hands so steady? Have you?

BRENDAN:

I'm going inside.

PADDY:

I've got a thousand days. A

thousand days sober today.

BRENDAN:

Well, that's great, Pop. But it

doesn't change anything.

PADDY:

What do you mean it doesn't change

anything? Have a heart, Brendan.

Paddy's words set Brendan off. A side of him we haven't seen

before emerges. He approaches his father fiercely.

BRENDAN:

You listen to me. You take your

have-a-heart bullshit and you run

it down the road. Run it out on

someone who doesn't know you like I

do.

PADDY:

C'mon, Brendan. I thought maybe we

could break bread. Open some lines

of communication.

BRENDAN:

You got two lines of communication,

the telephone and the post office.

Just because you decide it's a

special day, it doesn't make it one

for me. I got a wife and kids

inside and they're waiting for me,

so I don't have time for whatever

this is.

38.

PADDY:

I know you got a wife and kids in

there. I got a grand-daughter I

haven't seen in three years and

another I haven't even ever met.

BRENDAN:

Why is that, Pop? Why is that? Do

you remember having anything to do

with that?

Paddy nods. Casts his eyes down in shame.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

That shit you pulled. Never again.

And all the shit I saw growing up?

That doesn't happen here.

Brendan looks at the reformed Paddy, a measure of sympathy on

his face. Then he heads for the house.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

Take care of yourself.

As he's halfway through the yard, Paddy calls out.

PADDY:

Tommy's back.

Brendan stops in his tracks. He turns and looks at his Dad.

PADDY (CONT'D)

He's in the `Burgh.

BRENDAN:

Tommy's in Pittsburgh?

PADDY:

He came to see me.

BRENDAN:

He came to see you?

PADDY:

He's over at the house. We're doing

a little training at Fitzy's.

Remember Fitzy's? It ain't Fitzy's

anymore.

Brendan walks closer. Incredulous.

BRENDAN:

You and Tommy are training

together?

39.

Paddy nods.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

Tommy Conlon.

PADDY:

Riordan. He's using your mother's

maiden name now.

BRENDAN:

I know what her name is.

PADDY:

I thought you'd want to know he's

back. That's why I drove all the

way over here.

BRENDAN:

I thought you came to break bread

over a thousand days?

PADDY:

That too.

Brendan looks at him. Considers.

BRENDAN:

Did he say if he wants to see me?

PADDY:

He doesn't say much. He's just not

that happy kid he was.

BRENDAN:

Wow, look at you. Mister inside

man.

Paddy frowns.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

You and Tommy training together

like nothing ever happened. This is

unbelievable. Now I know what

you're really doing here.

PADDY:

What's that?

BRENDAN:

You came to gloat.

PADDY:

I did not come to gloat. I came to

get my son back.

40.

BRENDAN:

Well, there you go. You got your

son back.

PADDY:

I'm talking about you, Bren--

BRENDAN:

You got your son back.

Brendan starts to walk away, then turns around again.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

You know, part of the reason I

stuck around was `cause I thought

I'd finally get you all to myself.

But you didn't have any interest in

training me. Tommy was the one.

PADDY:

Ah, Brendan. I was a drunk. I mean,

you know. I'm sorry.

BRENDAN:

Forget it. You were always a front

runner. You never had any interest

in underdogs. But I was your son.

PADDY:

You are my son.

BRENDAN:

Am I?

PADDY:

Yeah, you are. I'm just asking you

to find just a little space in your

heart to forgive me.

BRENDAN:

Yeah. Alright. I forgive you. But I

do not trust you. Tell Tommy this

is where I am if he wants to see

me.

PADDY:

Alright. But they're not different

things. You've gotta trust to

FORGIVE--

BRENDAN:

Goodnight, Pop.

41.

Paddy looks toward the house, where Emily, Rosie, and Tess

stand at the door. Paddy waves.

PADDY:

My God, is that Emily? Boy, she's

grown, Brendan. Is that Rosie?

Brendan keeps walking. Opens his door to step inside.

ROSIE:

Daddy, who is that?

BRENDAN:

Just some nice old man.

Brendan closes the door, leaving the heartbroken Paddy alone

in the yard.

EXT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - DAY

Tommy, his hoodie drenched, jogs up the sidewalk and enters

the gym.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - CONTINUOUS

Fenroy watches "MMA LIVE" on his computer as Tommy walks in

the door and heads into the gym.

ON COMPUTER SCREEN: JON ANIK AT THE MMA LIVE DESK. A PHOTO OF

KOBA, A BAD, BALD RUSSIAN FIGHTER, IS ALSO ON THE SCREEN.

JON ANIK:

Huge news breaking here at ESPN.

Koba is coming to America and will

fight at Sparta. Universally

considered to be the greatest pound

for pound fighter that ever lived,

the mighty, mythical Russian has

never fought on U.S. soil in his

legendary career...

Mad Dog Grimes trains furiously under the watchful eye of

Colt Boyd. When Colt sees Tommy approaching, he turns his

attention away from Mad Dog.

COLT BOYD:

Tommy? Got some news for ya. I got

you into Sparta. Took some doing,

but I made it happen..

(off no reaction from Tommy)

Thank you and 10 percent is

customary.

42.

Tommy heads up the stairs toward the locker room without

acknowledging Colt, though he does allow a small smile to

crease his lips.

INT. LOCKER ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Tommy pulls a crumpled PIECE OF PAPER out of a beat-up wallet

and begins dumping change into an old pay phone on the wall.

INT. PILAR FERNANDEZ'S HOUSE, EL PASO, TEXAS - SAME

More of a shack than a house. PILAR FERNANDEZ (20s), a pretty

but tired Mexican girl, watches a grainy TV with a six-year-

old BOY and a four-year-old GIRL as the phone RINGS. The

table it sits on has a FRAMED PICTURE of Tommy and another

MARINE on it, their arms around each other in the Iraqi

desert.

INTERCUT TOMMY AND PILAR

PILAR:

Bueno?

TOMMY:

Pilar. It's Tommy.

PILAR:

Tommy! Dios mio! I can't believe

it! How are you?

TOMMY:

Good good. How you doin'?

PILAR:

OK. You know me, Tommy.

(BEAT)

I was getting really worried about

you.

TOMMY:

How're things? Kids are good?

PILAR:

They're good. Maria's getting so

big. She looks more like Manny

every day.

TOMMY:

How's little man?

43.

PILAR:

He's good. He's a good kid, Tommy.

Takes care of his sister. He's a

great kid. Everyone's good.

TOMMY:

You know, Pilar, I haven't

forgotten for one minute what I

promised you. What I promised

Manny. I've got an opportunity

coming up to help you guys out. To

take care of you guys.

PILAR:

Whatever you can do, Tommy. I know

Manny would really appreciate it.

You worry too much. It's OK. We're

hanging in there.

BEGIN TRAINING MONTAGE BEGINS

EXT. P.J. MCARDLE BRIDGE, PITTSBURGH - PRE-DAWN

Tommy, hoodie up, runs in the darkness as Paddy's Olds trails

behind him, the SOUND of "Moby Dick" playing in the car.

EXT. HILLSIDE - DAY

Frank watches as a team of FIGHTERS races up a steep hill.

Marco is ahead of the pack, Brendan in the middle.

EXT. 33RD STREET RAIL YARD - MORNING

Tommy runs hard through an industrial area along the

Allegheny River. The sky, the steel, the bridges,

everything's hard and gray.

INT. MARINES COMMUNICATIONS TENT, FALLUJAH, IRAQ - DAY

Bradford and other Marines watch "MMA LIVE" on a laptop.

ON COMPUTER SCREEN: J.J. RILEY BEING INTERVIEWED BY JON ANIK

VIA SATELLITE FROM TOKYO.

JON ANIK (ON SCREEN)

With eight weeks left til Sparta,

J.J. Riley and the TapOut crew take

time out of their international

press tour to join us.

(MORE)

44.

JON ANIK (ON SCREEN) (CONT'D)

J.J., we've never seen this kind of

Grand Prix tournament in the

country before. Tell us, why the

unique format?

J.J. RILEY (ON SCREEN)

Well, Jon, you know as well as

anyone that in Mixed Martial Arts,

anyone can beat anyone on a given

night...

EXT. PARKING LOT, SCRANTON PA - NIGHT

Brendan takes steady blows from an OPPONENT in another

smoker, then turns the tables, slams his man down, and chokes

him out. His skills are improving.

J.J. RILEY (V.O.)

...but with this type of format,

it's gonna be tough to deny who the

champion is.

EXT. 33RD STREET TIRE YARD - MORNING

In an expansive and grim scrap yard along the river bank,

Tommy somehow manages to lift and flip old long-haul rig

tires. They're roughly the size of hot tubs. His strength is

astonishing.

J.J. RILEY (V.O.)

You've got four fights in two

nights, sixteen fighters down to

one. Winners gonna be the last man

standing.

EXT. HILLSIDE - DAY

Everyone charging up the hill with Frank pushing them. Marco

leads the charge again, but Brendan is gaining and a close

second.

EXT. P.J. MCARDLE BRIDGE - MORNING

Tommy runs across the bridge as Paddy follows behind in the

Olds, right at his heels. The pace is relentless.

45.

INT. BRENDAN AND TESS' HOUSE - DAY

Tess and the girls run up the stairs as ESPN plays on the TV

in the den.

ON TV SCREEN:
JON ANIK AND FIGHTER/ANALYST RASHAD EVANS

DISCUSS KOBA.

JON ANIK (ON SCREEN)

Only five weeks left `til Sparta

and the hype continues for the War

on the Shore. Fourth of July

weekend in Atlantic City and you

know what that means: the great

Koba, bringing his act stateside.

Let me ask you about the other

guys. What are they thinking

entering a winner take all

tournament against a guy that

seemingly can't be beat?

RASHOD EVANS (ON SCREEN)

They're thinking five million

dollars, and five million dollars

is a lot of money, but they've

gotta remember one thing: they're

going against Koba. Mission

impossible. Game over. Go home.

Tess comes back down the stairs and looks at the screen,

concern on her face.

ON TV SCREEN:
THE MIGHTY KOBA TATTOOS AN OPPONENT WITH A

VICIOUS STRIKE TO THE HEAD. THE FIGHTER FALLS FLAT ON HIS

BACK AND IS FINISHED OFF IN NO TIME. BRUTAL. "FROM RUSSIA

WITH LOVE" APPEARS ON SCREEN.

INT. CAMPANA FIGHTING SYSTEM - MORNING

Frank lets himself into the gym at the crack of dawn. Finds

Brendan already there, training alone with ferocity and

listening to classical music.

EXT. 33RD STREET TIRE YARD - DAY

Tommy pounds on tires with a sledge hammer as Paddy exhorts

him on. It's a brutal regimen.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - NIGHT

Fenroy watches "MMA LIVE" on his computer.

46.

ON COMPUTER SCREEN: JON ANIK INTERVIEWS MAD DOG GRIMES.

JON ANIK (ON SCREEN)

The `Pittsburgh Beatdown' has

become one of the most watched

videos on YouTube this year. Now

joining us via satellite is the

victim of the infamous incident,

Mad Dog Grimes. Mad Dog, what is

your response to all the hoopla

surrounding the video and Tommy

Riordan?

MAD DOG (ON SCREEN)

This guy's a nobody. It was just a

sparring session. It is what it is,

and he's gonna pay for it next

month in Atlantic City.

EXT. PARKING LOT, YOUNGSTOWN OHIO - NIGHT

Brendan works over another FIGHTER in a smoker. He looks

fantastic and submits the guy with slick Jiu Jitsu.

EXT. HILLSIDE - DAY

Up the hill they race, Brendan now leading the way and Marco

struggling to catch up with him.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - DAY

Tommy and Mad Dog work out, each jumping rope at blinding

speed. They eyeball each other, the hate increasing.

JON ANIK (V.O.)

With Sparta now only two short

weeks away, J.J. Riley and the

TapOut crew returned to the U.S.

after a world tour that saw them

visit ten fighters in ten different

countries.

INT. CAMPANA FIGHTING SYSTEM - DAY

As Marco and Brendan train, J.J. Riley, SkySkrape, and

Punkass walk into the gym and warmly greet Frank. All

obviously old friends.

47.

JON ANIK (V.O.)

They stopped in Philadelphia today

to check in on renowned trainer

Frank Campana and top contender

Marco Santos.

EXT. P.J. MCARDLE BRIDGE, PITTSBURGH - MORNING

Tommy keeps running, Paddy in the Olds right behind him.

FRANK (V.O.)

You've gotta relax and stay calm in

there. The cage is your home. You

set the pace.

INT. CAMPANA FIGHTING SYSTEM - DAY

Brendan and Marco grapple. They're evenly matched. Frank

looks on, impressed by Brendan.

FRANK (V.O.)

You set the rhythm. Feel the

Beethoven. Be smarter than him.

More patient. Wait for him to make

a mistake. And when he does, that's

your moment.

Brendan turns Marco and gets him in a knee bar. Marco has

nowhere to go and is forced to TAP. Frank jumps in the ring,

all smiles, and slaps Brendan on the chest.

FRANK:

No he did not tap you! Physics

teacher! That's the best in the

world there, son.

EXT. 33RD STREET TIRE YARD - DAY

Tommy keeps pushing the giant tires until he finally reaches

the end of the yard. He's ready.

EXT. HILLSIDE - DAY

Frank, Brendan, and group of other FIGHTERS stand at the

bottom of the hill and tend to Marco Santos, who has just

badly INJURED HIS KNEE.

END OF TRAINING MONTAGE

48.

EXT. ST. IGNATIUS HOSPITAL - NIGHT

An AMBULANCE pulls in front of the ER.

INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE - LATER

A sorely dejected Frank walks through an underground parking

garage with Brendan.

BRENDAN:

You gonna be OK? Wanna grab a bite?

FRANK:

Nah. I'm gonna head home. I gotta

call the boys and break the news.

I'll call you tomorrow.

Frank heads off through the lot. Brendan reaches his car,

stops, considers. Calls out to Frank while jogging toward

him.

BRENDAN:

Coach! Hey, I know this isn't a

great time. And it's too bad about

Marco. But what about me?

Brendan looks hopefully at Frank, who shakes his head as he

begins to open the door of his `70 Ford Bronco.

FRANK:

You talking about Sparta? Brendan,

please. You got a better chance of

starting a boy band. I'll talk to

you tomorrow.

BRENDAN:

It's a grand prix tournament. Which

means anything can happen. You know

that as well as I do.

Frank looks at him. Sees how serious Brendan is.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

They'll have to kill me to get me

out of that cage.

FRANK:

That's what I'm afraid of.

BRENDAN:

Frank, I need this. You're real

tight with those guys. You call

them, they'll listen to you.

49.

FRANK:

You realize what you're asking me

to do here, Brendan? We go down to

AC and you get tapped out in five

seconds, how does that benefit

either one of us?

BRENDAN:

That's not gonna happen.

FRANK:

Not gonna happen. Wish I had a

nickel for every time I heard that.

BRENDAN:

(SMILING)

It's not gonna happen.

Frank breaks. Smiles. How can he say no?

FRANK:

I'll make a call.

Brendan grins and walks back toward his car.

BRENDAN:

I love my coach!

EXT. BRENDAN AND TESS'S HOME - MORNING

Brendan pulls a garbage bin down to the curb as Tess walks

out of the house talking on a cordless PHONE.

TESS (INTO PHONE)

Yeah, the girls are good. They're

good. Yeah, you should. You've been

spending so much time with Brendan

these days it's like you're part of

the family or something. Yeah, he's

right here.

(handing phone to Brendan)

It's your boyfriend.

BRENDAN (INTO PHONE)

Hey Frank.

(BEAT)

That's unbelievable. I can't thank

you enough. I don't know what to

say. Alright, listen, I've gotta

call you back. Alright, bye.

Brendan hangs up the phone. Looks at Tess.

50.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

I'm in. I'm going.

A look of serious concern crosses Tess's face. She puts her

hands on her hips.

TESS:

Really? So that's your decision?

You decided? `Cause I really

enjoyed that conversation we just

had about making that decision

together.

Brendan doesn't say anything. Knows she's right. And that

he's about to get laid into.

TESS (CONT'D)

You told me you were gonna fight

guys that watched too much UFC. I

saw that Koba dude on TV, and he's

the guy they're watching.

BRENDAN:

It's a lot of money, Tess.

TESS:

I don't give a shit about the

money, Brendan. I told you that.

We're gonna end up cashing in your

life insurance policy before we

pick up that prize money.

BRENDAN:

You don't think I can do it.

TESS:

I think you can get killed.

BRENDAN:

I'm not gonna get killed.

TESS:

Fine, you're not going to get

killed. But can you promise me

you're not going to get hurt?

You're not gonna end up in the

hospital? You're not gonna end up

paralyzed? We'll have no prize

money. No house. Payments for

HOSPITAL BILLS--

51.

BRENDAN:

Tess, I can promise you this: if I

don't try, they're gonna take the

house. How's that for a promise?

No response from Tess, who has tears in her eyes.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

So, I'm gonna go, OK? But I'd

really love it if you'd be with me

on this.

Tess looks at her husband. Wants to support him, but can't.

TESS:

I'm not gonna watch you fight

again. I'm not.

(BEAT)

I'm gonna get the girls breakfast.

Tess starts walking back toward the house. She marches up the

lawn without turning back, leaving Brendan, alone, in front

of his house. He looks at the toys strewn across the yard.

Surveys the neighborhood. He's going to Sparta.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Fourth of July weekend doesn't

officially start until tomorrow...

EXT. ATLANTIC CITY - DAY

Sunlight pours down on the crowded beaches, hotels, and

boardwalks of AC. Thousands of PEOPLE jam the outside of the

majestic Boardwalk Hall. It seems as if everyone on earth is

in town.

CALLEN (V.O.)

...but fight fans are already

descending on Atlantic City for the

Super Bowl of Mixed Martial Arts,

Sparta.

BILLBOARDS heralding the arrival of the SPARTA tournament are

everywhere. Ceremonial Fourth of July banners hang, cars jam

Ocean Avenue, early FIREWORKS pop. The buzz is electric. The

greatest show on earth has hit the shore.

52.

EXT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME

LIMOUSINES pull up in front of the Boardwalk Hall rotunda as

"Mad Dog" Grimes, Orlando "Midnight" Le, Karl "The Dane"

Kruller, and other fighters make their way down a long red

carpet swarming with FANS.

In the middle of it all is J.J. Riley, greeting press and

guests and running the show as the Tapout crew, Colt Boyd,

and others mill about and talk shop. Announcers BRYAN CALLEN

(40s) and SAM SHERIDAN (30s) corral J.J. for an interview.

CALLEN:

J.J., you've made a fortune with

your hedge funds, yet you turned

your back on Wall Street and

dedicated your life to making

Sparta happen. Tell us, why is this

tournament so important to you?

J.J. RILEY

Growing up, we all wanted to know

who the toughest kid in the

neighborhood was, right? I wanna

know who the toughest man on the

planet is. That's why I put this

together, that's what all these

people are here to see, and come

Saturday night, that's what we're

gonna find out.

SHERIDAN:

Thank you, J.J. And here's

something fans never thought they'd

see:
Koba is here! The legend

arriving to fight on U.S. soil for

the very first time...

The great and mighty KOBA emerges from a white stretch limo,

trailed by his ENTOURAGE of tough-looking RUSSIANS.

FLASHBULBS pop. REPORTERS swarm. It looks like a movie

premiere out there and Koba's the star.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL LOBBY - SAME

As WORKERS set up for the press conference and camera crews

stake out their territory, Tommy and Paddy hug the corner of

the room and wait. Not in their element at all. Moments

later, Brendan comes walking through the doors.

As he moves through the crowded room, Brendan and Tommy make

eye contact.

53.

They haven't seen each other in 14 years, and judging by the

looks on their faces they certainly didn't expect to see each

other today. Paddy is just as shocked.

Brendan begins to inch toward Tommy, but is intercepted by

Frank, who was caught up in the media storm outside.

FRANK:

Hey. Where'd you go? You can't

leave me like that. They wanna talk

to you, not me.

Brendan looks past Frank. Tommy has risen and headed toward

the exit, trailed by Paddy, who calls after him.

EXT. RESORTS HOTEL AND CASINO - TWILIGHT

The sun descends over the boardwalks and hotels of Atlantic

City, and sinks into the sea.

INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME

Paddy sits on a couch thumbing through a Sparta program and

looks proudly at a PICTURE of Brendan. He listen to "Moby

Dick" on his headphones as a TV plays in the foreground.

ON TV SCREEN:
LOCAL NEW JERSEY NEWS ANCHOR MICHELLE MOONEY

SPEAKS OVER IMAGES OF THE RED CARPET EVENT AND PRESS

CONFERENCE.

MICHELLE MOONEY (ON SCREEN)

...the only fighter missing from

the event was dark horse entry

Tommy Riordan.

ON TV SCREEN:
A PICTURE OF TOMMY APPEARS ON THE SCREEN NEXT

TO A PICTURE OF LANCE CORPORAL MARK BRADFORD.

Paddy notices the picture of Tommy. Puts down the program and

takes his headphones off.

MICHELLE MOONEY (ON SCREEN) (CONT'D)

Recent revelations that Riordan

was not only a United States Marine

but a hero in the Iraq War, has

cast an even brighter spotlight on

a fighter who seems to have come

out of nowhere.

(MORE)

54.

MICHELLE MOONEY (ON SCREEN) (CONT'D)

Lance Corporal Mark Bradford's web

testimony to Riordan, who saved his

life earlier this year in Iraq, is

spreading like wildfire throughout

the media.

Paddy stares at the screen intently.

PADDY:

Tommy!

ON TV SCREEN:
MARK BRADFORD PEERS INTO A HAND-HELD CAMERA IN

IRAQ AND SPEAKS. HE FIGHT BACK TEARS.

BRADFORD (ON SCREEN)

...the bridge just crumbled. The

Amtrack was upside down. Water was

coming in from everywhere. The

water pressure was too much. We

couldn't get the back hatch open.

ON TV SCREEN:
BRADFORD HAS TO COMPOSE HIMSELF.

BRADFORD (ON SCREEN) (CONT'D)

We were all drowning, man. It was a

death trap.

Tommy walks into the room from the door of an adjoining suite

and stares at the TV.

BRADFORD (ON SCREEN) (CONT'D)

I couldn't have had more than

another minute. Suddenly the back

ramp gets ripped off, and there he

was. Before I could get out and

thank him, he was gone. He just

vanished like a ghost.

Paddy is dumbfounded and looks at Tommy, who glances at him

and back at the TV before heading toward the door.

TOMMY:

I'm takin' a walk.

ON TV SCREEN:
THE CAMERA PUSHES IN ON BRADFORD'S FACE. HE

SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO TOMMY.

BRADFORD (ON SCREEN)

You saved my life, brother. Anybody

seeing this at Sparta, anybody out

in Pittsburgh, reach out to Tommy

Riordan. Tell him Mark said thank

you.

55.

ON SCREEN:
BACK TO THE NEWS STUDIO, AND THE PHOTO OF TOMMY.

MICHELLE MOONEY (ON SCREEN)

Footage taken from a helmet camera

on the ground captured the heroic

incident...

ON SCREEN:
THE GRAINY FOOTAGE SEEN EARLIER IN THE MARINE

BARRACKS OF TOMMY AND THE SUBMERGED TANK.

Then the phone RINGS. Paddy grabs it.

PADDY (INTO PHONE)

Hello?

(BEAT)

Brendan.

EXT. BEACH - NIGHT

Brendan walks on the beach as the waves of the Atlantic Ocean

lap at the shoreline. Boats bob on the water. Stray bottle

rockets trace through the night sky.

In the distance, the NEON LIGHTS of an amusement park flash

and zip. Behind Brendan, the big casinos loom, advertisements

for Sparta filling their BILLBOARDS.

Brendan continues walking, then spots Tommy coming toward

him. The brothers make eye contact. Stop. Then approach each

other warily.

BRENDAN:

Been looking all over for you.

How's it going?

TOMMY:

It's going.

BRENDAN:

I was thinking maybe we could grab

a coffee.

TOMMY:

I don't drink coffee. Whattya want?

BRENDAN:

You don't want to go sit down

somewhere?

TOMMY:

I'm good right here.

56.

Brendan looks at Tommy. Sees how rigid he is. A long silence.

Finally Brendan cuts right to it.

BRENDAN:

Shit, Tommy. How was I supposed to

know I was never gonna see you guys

again?

TOMMY:

You were briefed. You had the

information. You chose the old man

and the girl.

BRENDAN:

She wasn't some girl. I married

her. She's my wife.

Brendan reaches into his pocket and removes a recent

Christmas PHOTO of Tess, Emily, and Rosie from his wallet.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

(handing Tommy the picture)

That's Tess. And that's Emily and

Rosie. They're your nieces, Tommy.

Tommy glances at the photo impasssively and hands it back.

TOMMY:

Don't know `em.

BRENDAN:

I know you don't know them. Of

course you don't know them.

TOMMY:

Why am I looking at pictures of

people I don't know?

BRENDAN:

Because that's my family.

TOMMY:

And who are you exactly?

BRENDAN:

I'm your brother, man.

TOMMY:

You were in the Corps?

BRENDAN:

What?

57.

TOMMY:

I said I didn't know you were in

the Corps.

BRENDAN:

I wasn't in the Corps.

TOMMY:

Then you ain't no brother to me. My

brother was in the Corps.

With that, Tommy walks briskly away from Brendan and up the

beach. His brother runs after him.

BRENDAN:

Jesus, Tommy. I was a 16 year old

kid. What the hell did I know?

TOMMY:

I don't know what you know. Why

don't you go ask your girlfriend

about it?

BRENDAN:

She's my wife, Tommy. So that's it?

I stay with Tess and I never get to

see you guys again? Not a single

phone call? Nothing?

No response from Tommy. He's a wall.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

God, man, I don't understand this.

You won't forgive me, but you'll

forgive Pop?

TOMMY:

Shit. He's just some old vet I

train with. He means nothing to me.

From what I hear he means nothing

to you, either, so you got balls

talking about forgiveness.

BRENDAN:

That's got nothing to do with

forgiveness. I've got a family to

protect. Everything I do is for

them.

Tommy smirks. Walks away again.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

But I forgave Pop. Just like I

forgave you and Mom.

58.

TOMMY:

(TURNING AROUND)

You forgave us?

BRENDAN:

Yeah.

TOMMY:

I'm not surprised you made the

tournament, Brendan. You got some

stones.

BRENDAN:

I fell in love, Tommy. What the

hell was I supposed to do?

TOMMY:

You were supposed to stick to the

plan. You were supposed to come

with us. Mom needed you. I needed

you. You were my big brother and

you bailed on me.

The words hit Brendan hard.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

Hey, I'm glad you stayed and

everything worked out for you,

Brendan. See, you leave, you get

the opposite. You leave, you get to

bury people.

BRENDAN:

You're not the only one who

suffered, Tommy. I didn't even know

she was sick. I never even got the

chance to say goodbye to my own

mother. You had no right to keep

that from me! That was not your

decision to make!

TOMMY:

You know what? You walk around with

your pictures in your wallet and

you're all, I forgive you, I

forgive Pop. I forgive everyone.

But you know what? You're full of

shit.

Tommy and Brendan are right in each other's faces. Standing

on the knife's edge of violence. They hold the stare down for

a few long seconds, like two fighters about to go to war.

59.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

Are we done, Brendan? Are we

finished?

Tommy and Brendan look at each other with burning intensity.

Too much baggage and both too much and nothing left to say.

Finally, Tommy turns and walks on down the beach.

EXT. CENTRAL HIGH, PHILADELPHIA - DAY

Sunny day. And a nearly abandoned school parking lot.

INT. OUTER OFFICE - DAY

Nash, Tito, and KC wait outside the Principal's office. It's

quiet and aside from one SECRETARY, there's no one around.

After a moment, Stephon comes walking in, and they all stand

up and head into the Principal's office.

INT. PRINCIPAL ZITO'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

The kids walk in. Zito looks up and shakes his head.

JOE ZITO:

You realize you're supposed to seek

my wise counsel when school's

actually in session, right?

All four of them laugh nervously. Working their way up to

something.

STEPHON:

We want to use the auditorium this

weekend to watch Mr. C in Sparta.

TITO:

What do you say?

JOE ZITO:

Let me get this straight. You want

to use the auditorium to watch a

suspended teacher engage in the

activity he was suspended for? Am I

hearing this correctly?

(BEAT)

I gotta talk to your parents. You

guys might need to be in summer

school after all.

NASH:

But everyone wants to see it.

60.

KC:

The gym's the only place that's big

enough.

JOE ZITO:

It's never gonna happen.

STEPHON:

What if we get a petition?

TITO:

Yeah. We'll get the whole school to

sign it.

NASH:

The power of democracy!

JOE ZITO:

Look, I appreciate that you guys

love your teacher. I really do. But

there is nothing I can do for you.

Zito turns and heads back to his desk. The kids, dejected,

leave the office and walk off down the hallway.

EXT. BOARDWALK HALL - NIGHT

The Goodyear BLIMP, "SPARTA IS HERE" blinking on it, floats

over Atlantic City. FIREWORKS explode majestically above

Boardwalk Hall and fall into the sea, where hundreds of boats

bob, televisions tuned to Sparta visible from many of them.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE cram the beach and boardwalk, crane their

necks toward the sky, and watch the stunning pyrotechnics. In

the streets, limos line up on Ocean Avenue. Even from a

distance, the excitement and energy are palpable.

CALLEN (V.O.)

The roof is about to blow clean off

Boardwalk Hall Arena! It might be

Fourth of July weekend, but this is

Christmas Eve for fight fans! This

is Atlantic City! This is the War

on the Shore! And this is what

everyone has been waiting for!

Enormous electronic BILLBOARDS flash outside of the giant

seaside casinos. On one, Koba hangs off the side of a ferris

wheel and swats at smaller fighters buzzing around him in a

replication of the iconic "King Kong" movie scene.

61.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Sixteen of the baddest men on the

planet duking it out over a 24-hour

period for the largest purse in

Mixed Martial Arts history. In the

town everyone knows from the game

of Monopoly, we've got ourselves a

winner-take-all affair. Buckle your

seatbelts, roll the dice, and take

riiiiide on the Reading. Sparta.

Is. Here!

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME

Play by play announcer Sam Sheridan and color analyst Bryan

Callen stand cageside. The arena is packed to capacity and

buzzing with anticipation.

CALLEN:

Welcome, I'm Bryan Callen along

with best-selling fight author Sam

Sheridan. Sam, when J.J. Riley

conceived Sparta he wanted to

create, quite simply, the biggest

Mixed Martial Arts spectacle in

history.

SHERIDAN:

Five million dollars, Bryan. Five

million dollars. J.J. Riley put his

money where his mouth is and put up

the biggest purse this sport has

ever seen.

CALLEN:

It's unprecedented, Sam. As is the

hoopla surrounding Tommy Riordan,

the war hero who has become an

overnight sensation...

INT. TOMMY'S LOCKER ROOM - SAME

Tommy lays on the ground near the showers, collecting his

thoughts. As Paddy watches a TV monitor showing Callen and

Sheridan, an OFFICIAL pokes his head into the locker room.

OFFICIAL:

Five minutes, Paddy.

62.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - LATER

Fenroy and a group of FIGHTERS gather around a TV in the gym.

A very fired up group.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

It looks as though the moment of

truth has arrived, because here

comes Tommy Riordan.

ON TV SCREEN:
A FURIOUS TOMMY MAKES HIS WAY THROUGH THE CRUSH

OF INSANE SPECTATORS, PADDY DUCKING ALONG AT HIS SIDE. LIGHTS

RICOCHET CHAOTICALLY AROUND THE ARENA.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME

As Tommy makes his way toward the cage and the strobe lights

sweep over nearly 15,000 SCREAMING FANS, not one of them

sitting.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Tommy Riordan's captured the

media's attention, but the question

still remains:
who is this guy? And

more importantly, can he compete in

this talent pool? Can he win?

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

I wish I knew, Bryan. I wish I knew

who he was, and I've gotta say the

fact that I don't know is strange.

In an internet age where there are

no secrets, this guy is a complete

mystery. I can't find out anything

about him. Tommy Riordan is

officially Google proof.

Tommy continues to storm toward the cage with a furious and

focused look on his face. He seems to want nothing to do with

Paddy. Training is over. It's time to fight.

CALLEN (V.O.)

You gotta love this guy, Sam. No

walk out music, no sponsors, no

interviews. He skipped out on the

press conference. Wouldn't have his

picture take for the program. He's

breaking every rule!

63.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

The only reason that Tommy is even

in this tournament is because of a

video showing him beating up Mad

Dog Grimes in the gym.

CALLEN (V.O.)

But the reason a lot of his fans

are in the stands is because of

another video, which is even more

stunning than the Mad Dog Grimes

video. Let me describe it for you

folks for the few who haven't seen

it, and I don't know anyone who

hasn't, but Tommy Riordan ripped

the door off a tank in the heat of

battle, saving lives in the

process, and then walked away

without claiming a medal. He ripped

the door off a tank!

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Tommy Riordan is a genuine war

hero, I'm not taking anything away

from the guy. He's a very, very

tough guy, Bryan, but the tank

don't hit back. We've seen YouTube

sensations fail on the big stage

before.

Tommy stands outside the cage and has Vaseline applied to his

face. He looks like he's ready to murder someone.

CALLEN:

Sam. He ripped the door off a tank!

INT. LOCKER ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

Frank holds mitts for Brendan as a TV plays.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Tommy Riordan definitely has his

hands full in his first opponent,

Francisco Barbosa. Barbosa is

nothing to scoff at.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Yeah, he's the real deal. Very

tough guy. Very high caliber

fighter. Tommy Riordan came out of

nowhere, and I imagine he's going

to disappear just as quickly.

(MORE)

64.

SHERIDAN (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Great story, but I think your boy

is about to be exposed as a YouTube

sensation.

ON TV SCREEN:
REFEREE JOSH ROSENTHAL (30s) GIVES INSTRUCTIONS

TO TOMMY AND HIS OPPONENT, FRANCISCO BARBOSA (20s). THE

MUSCULAR BRAZILIAN DOESN'T HAVE A TRACE OF FEAR ON HIS FACE.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Tommy and Barbosa face to face as JOSH ROSENTHAL instructs.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Gentlemen, you've been given your

instructions. I expect a clean

fight. Obey my commands at all

times. Defend yourselves at all

times. Touch gloves, go back, let's

do this.

In the crowd, two sections of MARINES in full dress uniforms

wave flags and raise about as much hell as humanly possible

for Tommy, who returns to his corner. Paddy attempts to give

him some advice, but Tommy is not listening.

CALLEN (V.O.)

We're about to get the big answer

to the big question: is Tommy

Riordan for real? And here we go!

The bell rings. DING! And Tommy comes out fast and hard.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Barbosa's gonna be looking for a

take down.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Definitely gonna be looking for a

take down.

There will not be a take down. Tommy ducks a blow, then

levels Barbosa with a massive and brutal LEFT HOOK. The

Brazilian's head snaps sideways, his MOUTHPIECE goes flying,

and he does a face plant on to the canvas. It's over.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Barbosa is down! Barbosa has been

knocked out! Tommy Riordan is most

definitely for real!

As the crowd erupts and Josh Rosenthal waves to Barbosa's

corner to get a medic in there, Tommy marches out of the cage

without waiting for an official announcement.

65.

CALLEN (V.O.)

And now he's walking out of the

cage! He's leaving the cage! There

goes another rule out the window!

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - SAME

Fenroy and the boys fired up. They can't believe the

ferocious knockout they've just witnessed.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Francisco Barbosa is out cold, and

he is out of this tournament,

Bryan.

INT. BRENDAN'S LOCKER ROOM - SAME

The official pokes his head into the locker room where Frank

and a nervous Brendan sit alone.

OFFICIAL:

Show time.

On the TV monitor, Tommy's annihilating knockout of Francisco

Barbosa plays. Then, in the distance, the strains of

CLASSICAL MUSIC can be heard. Brendan looks at Frank, who

smiles and puts his hands on Brendan's shoulders.

FRANK:

You can do this.

He grabs the nervous Brendan's head between his hands.

FRANK (CONT'D)

I want to hear you say it.

BRENDAN:

I can do this.

FRANK:

Then let's go do this.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER

BUZZING in the crowd. Another fight close at hand.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

J.J. Riley had less than 48 hours

to fill Marco Santos' spot, and he

basically had to rely on the word

of Frank Campana.

66.

CALLEN (V.O.)

And he chose Brendan Conlon, which

quite frankly is something I just

don't understand.

Brendan and Frank walk down the tunnel toward the arena,

where Paddy is waiting, his All Access pass around his neck.

Brendan notices the old man as he approaches.

PADDY:

Go get `em, son.

Brendan barely acknowledges Paddy and keeps walking. Frank

looks at Brendan with a "Who the hell is that?" expression.

As they approach the dark lights of the arena, Beethoven

continues to BOOM out over the loud speakers.

CALLEN (V.O.)

I can understand coming out to no

music, by why in the world would

you choose classical music for your

entrance?

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

This is Beethoven, Bryan. This is

Ode to Joy.

CALLEN (V.O.)

My apologies, Mr. Renaissance man.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

You want to talk about renaissance

men, you gotta talk about Frank

Campana. Very unorthodox trainer,

and one of the best in the game.

He's well known for using classical

music to train his fighters to

remain calm, to remain patient, and

to remain composed under pressure.

Brendan and Frank make their way through the crowd and toward

cageside, where Bryan Callen reaches beneath his seat.

CALLEN:

Classical music is about as fitting

to this setting as Brendan Conlon

is to this tournament. In fact, let

me show you something.

Callen holds up a plastic bag with water and a GOLDFISH

inside.

67.

CALLEN (CONT'D)

This is Brendan Conlon. He's a

feeder fish, and he's about to get

dropped into a shark tank.

Brendan gets greased up, then climbs into the cage.

SHERIDAN:

C'mon, give the guy a break. At

least we've seen him fight before.

He was in the UFC. We remember him.

CALLEN:

I remember him, too. I remember him

being very unmemorable.

INT. BRENDAN AND TESS'S HOME - LIVING ROOM - SAME

A nervous Tess sits at the table, failing to concentrate on

folding laundry. The TV in front of her is off, but she

glances at it anyway. In front of her sits a CELL PHONE. She

glances at it repeatedly.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - MOMENTS LATER

Brendan stands in the corner as his opponent, ORLANDO

"MIDNIGHT" LE climbs in, shoulders bulging and abs shredded.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Midnight Le getting ready to climb

into the cage and go to work.

CALLEN (V.O.)

When the brackets were announced,

Midnight thought he'd be going up

against Marco Santos. He's gotta be

thrilled to be seeing Brendan

Conlon standing across from him.

Brendan stands in the corner and looks at the massive

Midnight Le. Frank smiles at him.

FRANK:

You asked for it.

Brendan grins and looks out at the rabid crowd.

68.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Brendan retired from fighting some

years ago, he's actually a high

school Physics teacher now, and

Midnight had some fun with that at

the press conference.

CALLEN (V.O.)

He said he was gonna give the

teacher a serious lesson, and that

getting killed was no way to spend

a summer vacation.

Josh Rosenthal waves the two fighters into the center of the

cage for instructions.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Alright, gentleman, you've been

given your instructions, I expect a

clean fight. Obey my commands at

all times. Defend yourselves at all

times. Touch gloves, go back, let's

do this.

The fighters head to their corners and wait for the bell.

FRANK:

Have some fun, baby.

At the sound of the bell, "Midnight" Le comes out hard and

strong. He repeatedly KICKS Brendan in the leg and batters

him with STRIKES. His power is overwhelming Brendan.

INT. TOMMY'S LOCKER ROOM - SAME

Paddy stares at the TV monitor.

ON TV SCREEN:
MIDNIGHT PICKS UP BRENDAN AND BODY SLAMS HIM.

Tommy lays on the rubdown table, his eyes closed. No interest

in Brendan's fight.

INT. PRINCIPAL ZITO'S LIVING ROOM - SAME

Joe Zito sits on a couch in his suburban home and watches

Brendan on TV. He's a nervous wreck.

ZITO:

Move! You gotta move!

69.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - LATER

Frank exhorts Brendan from cageside, telling him to relax,

but it's no use. It's an unholy beating going in the cage.

INT. PRINCIPAL ZITO'S LIVING ROOM - SAME

Zito drinks a glass of Scotch.

ON TV SCREEN:
MIDNIGHT POUNDING ON BRENDAN.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Midnight is all over Brendan.

CALLEN (V.O.)

This can't last much longer. This

won't last much longer. The teacher

just has no answers.

Zito leans forward. He looks as if he's going to have a heart

attack.

ZITO:

C'mon, Brendan, get outta there!

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Midnight Le takes Brendan to the ground. Brendan tries to

escape, but turns his back, allowing Midnight to sink in a

rear naked CHOKE. He puts the strangle hold on Brendan and

squeezes his neck with his enormous biceps.

FRANK:

Get out of there! Get out of there!

Brendan tries to pry Midnight's hands off him. No use.

CALLEN (V.O.)

And now he's got the hooks in. 20

seconds left.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

The end is near. Can he make it to

the end of the round is the

question.

Midnight squeezes for all it's worth as Frank screams at

Brendan, imploring him not to tap.

70.

CALLEN (V.O.)

10 seconds left, and Brendan's face

is turning purple. Conlon's whole

world is about to go from day to

night.

Brendan is on the verge of going unconscious, but he refuses

to tap out. Then the HORN blows ending the round. The crowd

can't believe Brendan hung in there, and neither can Midnight

Le, who slams the canvas in frustration.

As Midnight walks back toward his angry TRAINER, who expected

him to finish Brendan early, the teacher heads toward a

smiling Frank.

FRANK:

Beautiful! Beautiful! He doesn't

know what hit him!

Brendan grins at Frank's positive spin on things, then looks

across the cage at Midnight Le, who glares at Brendan.

INT. PRINCIPAL ZITO'S LIVING ROOM - LATER

The frazzled Zito continues to root for Brendan.

ON TV SCREEN:
MORE OF THE SAME. MIDNIGHT ALL OVER BRENDAN.

INT. TOMMY'S LOCKER ROOM - SAME

An excited Paddy watches Brendan on the monitor.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Midnight continues pounding on Brendan, but Brendan starts

giving back, working a few leg kicks of his own. He seems to

be gaining confidence. From cageside, Frank HOLLERS words of

encouragement as the battle continues.

Back and forth they go. Midnight rocks Brendan with a right

hand. Brendan recovers and fires back. Then Midnight shoots

in for a take down, but Brendan dodges him, reverses

position, and suddenly takes a shocked Midnight down to the

ground. The crowd is on its collective feet.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

He's got a Kimura locked in.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Are you kidding me?

71.

Brendan locks up Midnight's shoulder. Applies pressure. The

bigger fighter struggles to get free, but he seems to be

trapped. From cageside, Frank screams, instructing Brendan on

how to finish the move.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Midnight is in big trouble!

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

I don't think he's got anywhere to

go!

CALLEN (V.O.)

This isn't happening! This can't

happen!

Midnight TAPS and the crowd EXPLODES. Shock and mayhem

throughout the arena.

SHERIDAN:

It just did, Bryan.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Brendan Conlon tapped Midnight! I

can't believe it!

INT. PRINCIPAL ZITO'S LIVING ROOM - SAME

Principal Zito leaps off his couch, SCREAMING in celebration.

ZITO'S WIFE (40s), drying dishes, pokes her head in the room

as the Principal pumps his fist over and over.

ZITO:

He tapped him out! He tapped him

out! He did it! He did it! He did

it!

ON TV SCREEN:
BRENDAN AND FRANK EMBRACING. CHAOS IN THE RING

AND MIDNIGHT ON THE GROUND IN UTTER DISBELIEF.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

This is what makes Mixed Martial

Arts so great. There's so many ways

to lose. One tiny miscalculation at

any time and that's it.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Frank Campana embracing his man,

Brendan Conlon. I don't think

either one of them can believe what

just happened.

72.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Frank and Brendan embrace. The arena is BUZZING. Midnight

gets off the canvas, and Brendan approaches him and bows. The

dejected Midnight bows in return.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Great show of sportsmanship from

the teacher.

CALLEN (V.O.)

That's a hallmark of Frank

Campana's philosophy right there.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Midnight Le is shocked. He thought

he had a free pass into the second

round, but instead he's going home.

He dominated the fight the entire

way, but fell prey to a very

technical finish.

CALLEN:

Very technical finish, but come on,

that's a fluke.

A jubilant Brendan raises his arms in victory. The crowd

responds to the gutsy underdog.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

You call it a fluke. I call it a

guy maintaining composure and

waiting for his opportunity.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Conlon beats Midnight!

As the celebration continues, Callen looks at Sheridan and

shakes his head. Was he ever wrong.

SHERIDAN:

I hope you got a receipt for your

goldfish.

INT. BRENDAN AND TESS'S HOME - LIVING ROOM - LATER

Tess sits on the couch, TV still off. Her phone BEEPS. She

grabs it quickly. A text reads: "I WON!!!!!!!!"

TESS:

Yes!

She starts dancing around the room, kissing her phone.

73.

INT. TOMMY'S LOCKER ROOM - LATER

Tommy and Paddy sit and watch the monitor.

ON TV SCREEN:
THE CROWD IN A FRENZY AS KOBA CLIMBS INTO THE

CAGE.

CALLEN (V.O.)

We're down to eight fighters, soon

to be seven as Koba prepares to go

to work for the second time

tonight.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - MOMENTS LATER

At the sound of the BELL, Koba sprints across the ring and

delivers a flying kick to the chest of his already retreating

OPPONENT. He picks him up with incredible strength, then

SLAMS him into the ground and pounds his brains in. The whole

thing is over in under 10 seconds.

CALLEN (V.O.)

That was quick.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Wow. Once again, Koba does not

break a sweat.

CALLEN (V.O.)

I'm afraid he might have broken

something else, Sam.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

It's certainly possible, Bryan.

Koba moving on to tomorrow night.

INT. BRENDAN'S LOCKER ROOM - SAME

Brendan and Frank stare at a monitor. They look worried.

ON TV SCREEN:
KOBA's OPPONENT GETTING ATTENDED TO AFTER THE

BEATING BY THE MIGHTY RUSSIAN.

INT. TOMMY'S LOCKER ROOM - LATER

Tommy and Paddy sit on stools opposite each other, Paddy

taping him up. Tommy keeps a lazy eye on a monitor, where Mad

Dog Grimes is fighting.

ON TV SCREEN:
MAD DOG GRIMES, HIS MOHAWK DYED PLATINUM,

KNOCKS OUT HIS OPPONENT IN BRUTAL FASHION.

74.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Mad Dog fighting like a man

possessed. Like a man with

something to prove.

ON TV SCREEN:
MAD DOG MAKES A THROAT SLIT GESTURE DIRECTLY

INTO THE CAMERA.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Mad Dog said he had a message for

Tommy Riordan and there it is right

there.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA TUNNEL - LATER

Brendan and Frank stand in the tunnel as the house lights go

down in the arena.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Here comes the underdog, Brendan

Conlon.

CALLEN (V.O.)

The teacher miraculously passed his

first test, but now he's gotta face

The Dane.

Paddy stands amidst the crowd in the tunnel and gives Brendan

a thumbs-up.

PADDY:

You can do it, Brendan.

Brendan glares at him and marches toward the cage.

INT. BRENDAN AND TESS'S HOME - LIVING ROOM - LATER

Tess, now watching the fights on TV, stands in front of the

screen and bites her nails. She looks like she's about to

throw up.

ON TV SCREEN:
BRENDAN TAKES A BEATING FROM KARL "THE DANE"

KRULLER (30s), WHO POUNDS ON HIM WITHOUT MERCY.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Halfway through round three now and

the beating continues.

CALLEN (V.O.)

I honestly don't know how Brendan

Conlon is still standing, Sam.

(MORE)

75.

CALLEN (V.O.) (CONT'D)

He has been absolutely battered in

both his fights tonight.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

KARL "THE DANE" KRULLER presses Brendan against the fence and

knees him repeatedly in the midsection.

INT. BRENDAN AND TESS' HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - SAME

Tess can barely watch the beating.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - MOMENTS LATER

Frank shouts instructions as Brendan and The Dane tangle

against the fence.

FRANK:

Take him down!

Brendan grabs Kruller and FLIPS him to the canvas. Then he

spins for an ARM BAR, a move similar to one seen earlier in

the smoker fights.

INT. PRINCIPAL ZITO'S LIVING ROOM - SAME

Zito, now joined by his wife. Both on the edge of the couch

and sucked into the action.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Brendan twists Kruller's arm. He's got him in a terrible

position, much like Midnight. The Dane SQUIRMs. Looks for an

escape. It's not there. With Brendan applying tremendous

pressure to his arm, he TAPS.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA TUNNEL - SAME

Paddy watches from the tunnel as the crowd goes insane.

PADDY:

That's it, Brendan!

INT. BRENDAN AND TESS'S HOME - LIVING ROOM - SAME

Tess does a wild JIG in front of the TV.

76.

ON TV SCREEN:
BRENDAN CELEBRATING IN THE CAGE WITH FRANK.

INT. PRINCIPAL ZITO'S LIVING ROOM - SAME

Zito and his wife, arm in arm in celebration.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Do it one time, it's a fluke, do it

twice, that's something else!

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME

Frank and a victorious Brendan embrace.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Pull the bandwagon over, I think

I'm hopping on! I think I'm a

believer!

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA TUNNEL - LATER

Paddy's waiting in the tunnel for Brendan, who comes through

full of adrenaline.

PADDY:

Way to go, Brendan!

BRENDAN:

I'd doing this!

PADDY:

OK, son.

BRENDAN:

I'm doing it!

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - LATER

Fenroy and the gang around the big screen again.

ON TV SCREEN:
TOMMY WADING FURIOUSLY THROUGH THE CROWD, WHERE

A "TOMMY" CHANT HAS BEGUN.

CALLEN (V.O.)

The crowd catching fire for war

hero Tommy Riordan.

77.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

He doesn't seem to want anything to

do with all this adulation, Bryan.

He's just here to fight.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL CAGE - MOMENTS LATER

Tommy climbs into the cage. A Mexican fighter, DIEGO SANTANA

(20s), is waiting for him. Josh Rosenthal points at both men.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Gentlemen, you ready? You ready?

Let's go to war!

The bell RINGS and Tommy goes right after Santana and starts

administering a beating. He bullies him into the cage and

starts raining BLOWS all over him.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Here he comes again like a buzzsaw.

Tommy is all over Diego Santana!

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - SAME

The crowd raising cain for Tommy.

ON SCREEN:
HURRICANE TOMMY POUNDS AWAY, THEN SLAMS SANTANA TO

THE GROUND AND BEATS HIM TO A PULP.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Josh Rosenthal pulls Tommy off the brutalized Diego Santana

before he kills him. Once again, Tommy marches straight out

of the cage.

CALLEN (V.O.)

There he goes again! Storming right

out of the cage!

Tommy marches past Paddy again, then off through the crowd.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Tommy Riordan marching through the

crowd, and straight into the final

four!

The arena is on its collective feet CHANTING "Tommy! Tommy!

Tommy!" As Paddy looks on and Tommy disappears into the

darkness of the tunnel, the sound of cheering fades.

78.

EXT. BOARDWALK - DAWN

Dawn breaks over Atlantic City.

INT. CASINO FLOOR - SAME

A CLEANING WOMAN vacuums as an elevator door DINGS and opens.

Out comes Paddy. The casino is nearly empty, the only sounds

coming from the tinny RINGING of a handful of slot machines.

From a distance, Paddy spots Tommy sitting at the far end of

a bank of Triple 7 American Glory slot machines, mechanically

feeding the slot from a tray full of silver and pulling the

lever with a thousand-yard stare. Paddy approaches Tommy, who

doesn't acknowledge him.

PADDY:

Can't sleep, huh?

Tommy feeds the machine and pulls. Says nothing. Paddy sits

down in front of a slot machine next to Tommy.

PADDY (CONT'D)

I know that other thing's bothering

the hell out of you, but I'm proud

of you. What you did for that kid

in the tank? That was really

something.

TOMMY:

How about deserting my unit? Is

that really something, too? Yeah. I

was on my way outta country when I

came across those guys. What was I

supposed to do, let `em drown?

PADDY:

No.

(BEAT)

What'd you do?

TOMMY:

What'd I do? I took off.

Paddy starts putting things together.

PADDY:

That's why you go by Riordan.

That's why the press can't find

your service records.

Tommy doesn't respond.

79.

PADDY (CONT'D)

What the hell happened over there,

Tommy?

TOMMY:

That is none of your business.

PADDY:

Come on, kiddo. I've been there.

I've done it. I've seen it. You can

trust me. I'll understand.

TOMMY:

Spare me the compassionate father

routine, Pop. The suit don't fit.

PADDY:

I'm really trying here, Tommy.

TOMMY:

You're trying? Now? Where were you

when it mattered? I needed this guy

back when I was a kid. I don't need

you now. It's too late now.

Everything's already happened. You

and Brendan don't seem to

understand that. Let me explain

something to you: the only thing I

have in common with Brendan Conlon

is that we have absolutely no use

for you.

Paddy's shaken. He can't fathom the anger in Tommy, yet he

knows he's responsible. It's written all over him. Tears well

up in his eyes. They seem to make Tommy madder.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

Look at you. Yeah, I was right. I

think I liked you better when you

were a drunk. At least you had some

balls then. Not like now. Tip

toeing around like some beggar with

your cup out. Take it somewhere

else, old man.

Tommy reaches down and picks up a plastic CUP made for

holding coins and dips it into his tray, filling it with

QUARTERS.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

In fact, you know what? Here's a

cup. Why don't you take this and go

buy some more of your shitty tapes?

(MORE)

80.

TOMMY (CONT'D)

Go back to the room and listen to

some more fish stories no one gives

a shit about. Go on, get outta

here.

(BEAT)

Get the fuck outta here!

Tommy whips the bucket toward his father, splashing COINS

into his face. A stunned Paddy, tears streaming down his

face, walks off. A handful of late-night GAMBLERS look at

Tommy, who stares angrily ahead and bounces a quarter off his

slot machine as his destroyed father limps away.

EXT. ATLANTIC CITY - DAY

Fourth of July weekend in full swing down the Shore.

INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME

Paddy staggers about in pajama bottoms and a stained V-neck,

clutching his Walkman and a bottle of WHISKEY. "Moby Dick"

plays from ear phones that are half on his head and half off.

LIQUOR BOTTLES are strewn everywhere. He has obviously fallen

off the wagon. Hard.

PADDY:

God pity `em! All shall perish

except me! You bastards! Stop the

ship, you bastards!

He staggers around the room, giving a fragmented soliloquy to

no audience.

PADDY (CONT'D)

Ishmael! God pity `em! Stop the

ship! Please stop the ship!

Somebody help `em!

Suddenly the adjoining door swings open. Tommy, hair

disheveled, looks in and sees Paddy's state. The old man

thrusts his hand up in the air and screams at Tommy.

PADDY (CONT'D)

Ahab! You Godless sonofabitch!

Paddy staggers over and gets in Tommy's face, his own face

blotched and contorted. The old Paddy Conlon revealed. The

monster from the past.

PADDY (CONT'D)

You stop the ship, you Godless

sonofabitch!

81.

There's no anger in Tommy. He simply walks toward the old man

and tries to pry the bottle out of his hand. As he struggles

to take it, the Walkman falls to the ground. Faint dialogue

is heard coming from the earphones.

PADDY (CONT'D)

Captain. Oh captain. Stop the ship.

For the love of God. We're lost.

The old man is running out of steam. He begins WEEPING.

PADDY (CONT'D)

Please stop the ship.

Paddy wobbles, tears streaming down his face. Tommy looks at

him. The first time we've seen anything resembling compassion

on that relentless face of his. He HUGS his father and pries

the whiskey bottle from his hand

PADDY (CONT'D)

We're lost. We're all lost, Tommy.

We'll never make it back.

Tommy pulls his father back on to the bed. Puts his arms

around his chest and tries to quiet the old man. It's a

tender moment, and it seems as if Tommy is only able to

relate to the brutal, former version of the father he knew.

PADDY (CONT'D)

(MUMBLING)

I always loved you. You know that,

don't you Tommy? I always loved

you. You and your brother. My two

boys.

Tommy continues to hold his father as sunlight streams into

the room. The end of a very long night.

EXT. BOARDWALK HALL - NIGHT

A bigger, even more bombastic FIREWORKS display than before

explodes over Atlantic City. If it's possible, the CROWDS on

the beach and boardwalk have swelled. It seems as if the

entire east coast has descended on AC.

Outside Boardwalk Hall, the giant electronic BILLBOARD has a

new motif. Koba still swings mightily from the side of a

ferris wheel, but now Tommy, in a camouflage superhero

outfit, flies right toward him. On a collision course.

Mad Dog Grimes holds on to Tommy's cape, trying to slow him

down, and below the three of them, in miniature, is Brendan

holding a sling shot.

82.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME

The crowd at a fever pitch. Two sections full of MARINES in

dress uniforms cheer insanely. So does an entire section of

GIRLS wearing camouflage tank tops and holding up signs

reading "TOMMY GIRLS." Everyone in the arena chants "Tommy!

Tommy! Tommy!" A cult hero has been born.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Tommy Riordan, coming down the

tunnel without his trainer.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - SAME

Colt's is packed. FIGHTERS. PEOPLE off the street. VETS in

fatigues. A bigger crowd than before.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Once again, no walk out music.

CALLEN (V.O.)

I wouldn't say no walk out music,

Sam. Listen to this.

ON TV SCREEN:
TOMMY MARCHING TOWARD THE CAGE AND BEING

SERENADED BY THE MARINES.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME

The Marines are on their feet, singing "HALLS OF MONTEZUMA"

at the top of their lungs.

MARINES:

(SINGING)

From the halls of Montezuma to the

shores of Tripoli, we will fight

our country's battles in the air,

on land, and sea...

At cageside, Sheridan leans over to Callen, raising his voice

to be heard above the Marines.

SHERIDAN:

It sounds like VJ Day in Times

Square, Bryan. I've never seen

anything like it!

Tommy climbs up the stairs and into the cage. He turns and

nods at the Marines.

83.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Tommy acknowledging his comrades

for the first time, and climbing

into the cage.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - LATER

The crowd at the gym both CHEERS and JEERS at the TV.

ON TV SCREEN:
MAD DOG GRIMES, SUPREMELY CONFIDENT, CLIMBS

INTO THE CAGE AND GETS IN TOMMY'S FACE. HE HAS DYED HIS

MOHAWK CAMOUFLAGE COLORS TO MOCK TOMMY.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Mad Dog Grimes has been looking for

revenge ever since the day Tommy

Riordan walked into his gym in

Pittsburgh and turned his life

upside down.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

It's been a very long, very

miserable few months for Mad Dog to

say the least.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Mad Dog and Tommy in a STARE DOWN as Josh Rosenthal attempts

to give them instructions. Unless Mad Dog's mother is in the

building, every single person in the Boardwalk Hall is

rooting for Tommy.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Mad Dog mocking Tommy with a

camouflage motif for his mohawk

tonight and the Marines are really

letting Mad Dog have it.

The Marines hoot and holler at Mad Dog as Josh Rosenthal goes

over his instructions with the two fighters.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Alright gentlemen, you've been

given your instructions. I expect a

clean fight. Obey my commands at

all times. Defend yourselves at all

times. Touch gloves, go back, let's

do this.

In the center of the cage, Mad Dog is practically spitting in

Tommy's face. Tommy's eyelids droop. He could not be less

intimidated.

84.

MAD DOG:

It's not gonna happen again.

Callen and Sheridan look on as the two fighters retreat to

their corners. The anticipation in the arena is incredible.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Mad Dog predicted an early

knockout. Said he was gonna knock

Tommy out with one punch.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Let's see what Tommy has to say

about that.

Josh Rosenthal looks at Tommy and Mad Dog.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Gentlemen, you ready? You ready?

Let's go to war!

CALLEN (V.O.)

And they are off!

Tommy goes after Mad Dog like it's the last night on earth.

What Tommy did to him at Colt's Gym was an exercise in

restraint compared to what's happening in that cage.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Tommy tackles him and he's on top!

He's raining blows!

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Someone has to stop this.

Mad Dog is on his back and being pounded on. Tommy's rage is

shocking, even by his own brutal standards. From cageside,

Colt Boyd SCREAMS at Josh Rosenthal.

COLT BOYD:

Stop it! Stop the fight!

It's such a savage beating, so malicious, that Rosenthal has

to climb on Tommy's back to get him off of Mad Dog. If his

mother is indeed in the crowd, she couldn't recognize him

now. Beaten to an absolute pulp.

CALLEN (V.O.)

That's the fastest knockout I think

I've ever seen.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Mad Dog Grimes has been poleaxed.

He is not moving.

85.

Tommy marches out of the cage and past Colt Boyd, Punkass,

and SkySkrape, who can't believe what they just witnessed.

Neither can anyone else at Boardwalk Hall. In the cage, a

MEDIC tends to Mad Dog.

CALLEN (V.O.)

I'll tell you what: you do that to

someone on the street and they'd

lock you up and throw away the key!

Break out the yellow tape, Sam.

Tommy's walking away from the cage

like he's leaving a crime scene.

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN, PHILADELPHIA - LATER

"ODE TO JOY" is heard coming from distant speakers as ROWS OF

CARS line up at the entrance and pull into the lot.

Pull back to reveal an enormous, old drive-in movie theater

packed with a RAUCOUS CROWD. On the gigantic MOVIE SCREEN,

Brendan makes his way through the arena and into the cage. As

he does, CHEERS erupt in the parking lot. Stephon, Nash, KC,

Tito, and some of the other students from Brendan's class

root him on. They came up with a pretty good Plan B.

As the kids get fired up for the fight, they're joined by a

familiar face that emerges from the crowd. Joe Zito. Tito

shakes his hand. Smacks Stephon. Look who's here.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME

Brendan climbs into the cage to a major OVATION from the

crowd. They're completely on his side now.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Brendan Conlon came into this

tournament as a 1000 to 1 underdog,

and now here he is in the final

four. The crowd's showing their

appreciation. They're giving him

quite the reception.

CALLEN (V.O.)

He's getting a huge reception. I

mean, this guy shocked everybody

last night.

Brendan stands in the corner. Frank leans over the railing of

the cage and smiles at him.

86.

FRANK:

You've got a visitor. Second row,

10 o'clock.

Buzzing in the arena. The lights about to go down for the

entrance of Koba. Before they do, Brendan looks up to see a

familiar face at cageside. Tess. He can't believe his eyes.

FRANK (CONT'D)

You alright with that?

Brendan looks at his wife. She smiles broadly. Mouths the

words "I love you." Brendan grins. Kisses his glove and

presses it against the cage. As he does, the lights go out

inside the arena and ominous RUSSIAN MUSIC BLARES.

CALLEN (V.O.)

And here comes the great Russian

Koba.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Koba is so intimidating. His

reputation is larger than life.

The crowd strains to get a look at the legend as he makes his

way toward the cage. Brendan watches. So does Frank. Tess

takes a quick glance at Koba, then looks away. She can't bear

it.

FRANK:

I want you to look right at him

when he comes in here. Don't take

your eyes off him.

Brendan nods, then looks at Tess. Drawing strength. Frank

leans over the railing and taps fists with his fighter.

FRANK (CONT'D)

I'm proud of you brother. This is

your cage.

Finally, the creepy music subsides, and the great Russian

climbs into the cage. He's massive, and the crowd stares at

him like an exotic animal.

Josh Rosenthal calls Brendan and Koba to the center of the

cage. The Russian looks at Brendan with the cold,

dispassionate eyes of a killer. Brendan does his best to hold

his gaze.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Alright, gentlemen, you've been

given your instructions. I expect a

clean fight.

(MORE)

87.

JOSH ROSENTHAL (CONT'D)

Obey my commands at all times.

Defend yourselves at all times.

Touch gloves, go back, let's do

this.

Brendan retreats to his corner. Takes a deep breath.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Should I be nervous for Brendan?

`Cause I am. I want to stop the

fight before it even begins.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Gentlemen, you ready? You ready?

Let's go to war!

Koba comes straight at Brendan. His speed and strength are

astonishing.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Now the question is, how long can

Brendan Conlon stay alive?

Franks screams at Brendan to keep his distance. Tess watches

through her fingers. And Koba keeps coming, snapping

Brendan's head back with a jab and bludgeoning him with an

uppercut to the chin. The Russian is doing whatever he wants

to Brendan. He slices him up with strikes. Bruises his legs

with kicks. Works him against the fence. Power slams him.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Koba just pounding on Brendan

Conlon! He's pounding on him like a

side of beef!

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME

Thousands of people staring at the drive-in screen and you

can hear a pin drop. They're aghast. Zito can hardly look. KC

buries her head in Nash's chest.

ON MOVIE SCREEN:
THE SLAUGHTER CONTINUES. HOW BRENDAN IS

TAKING IT IS ANYONE'S GUESS.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME

Koba gets Brendan in a BEAR HUG, lifts him off the ground,

carries him into the center of the ring like a sack of

laundry, and body SLAMS him on his back.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Koba's got him in the air. Oh no!

88.

As Frank screams for Brendan to remain calm, a mortified Tess

watches. Mercifully, the HORN sounds, and Brendan survives

the round. He barely makes it back to his corner.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Frank Campana has to think

seriously about stopping this.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Seriously, Sam. How much abuse can

one man take?

The minutes passes in no time. It's time to go again.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Let's go to war!

Koba comes right after Brendan, and it's soon more of the

same. Power slams. Brutal strikes. Brendan's face is carved

up and battered. He tries to go for a take down, but Koba

snuffs it, then lifts Brendan off the mat again and carries

him through the air. Frank screams, but there's nothing he

can do. Brendan is brutally SLAMMED into the ground.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Uh oh, Brendan's going for ride!

CALLEN (V.O.)

That one shook the entire building!

As Brendan writhes on the ground, Koba grabs him and slings

him against the fence like it's nothing. Brendan flies

through the air and RATTLES against the cage. Then Koba

climbs on top of him and starts whaling away. Tess can't even

watch it. Once again, just as Rosenthal is about to stop the

fight, the HORN sounds.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Everyone has gotta be concerned

about Brendan Conlon's bravery

getting him into trouble here.

CALLEN (V.O.)

His bravery can get him killed,

Sam. He's got nothing more to

prove. He's already lasted two

rounds against Koba, which is more

than anyone else can say. You

wonder what's keeping this guy up.

Brendan drags himself off the ground and limps to his stool.

Frank enters the cage. His usual positive attitude is gone.

He comes at Brendan with aggression instead.

89.

FRANK:

Sit down. Breathe.

(grabbing Brendan's face)

Look at me! Look at me! Why are we

here, Brendan? Why are we here? Are

we here to win this fight? You tell

me, `cause if we're not, I'll throw

in the towel right now. We'll get

Tess and we will go home. You don't

knock him out, you lose the fight.

Understand me? You don't knock him

out, you don't have a home.

Josh Rosenthal claps his hands. Frank takes his cue to leave,

but not before giving Brendan one last look. It's now or

never. Brendan looks across the cage at Koba. Steels himself.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Let's go to war!

Brendan comes out and meets Koba in the center of the cage,

but the Russian resumes his supremacy.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Conlon somehow answering the bell

for round three, but Koba's all

over him again.

Koba roughs the battered Brendan up some more, but then

Brendan starts responding. Throws a couple effective leg

kicks. A decent punch or two.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Brendan's giving back, Bryan. There

are signs of life in Brendan

Conlon. He's starting to mix it up!

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - MOMENTS LATER

The parking lot is quiet and tense. Zito and the kids stare

at the movie screen.

ON MOVIE SCREEN:
KOBA PRESSES BRENDAN UP AGAINST THE CAGE AND

TRIES TO CHOKE HIM OUT.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

The Russian SQUEEZES away.

90.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Koba's got him caught in an iron

vice, squeezing for all it's worth

and trying to choke the teacher

out.

Frank screams at Brendan to stay calm. To wait for his

moment. Koba continues to squeeze. Brendan's face turns more

and more red. Finally, he grabs Koba's shorts, musters up all

the strength he has left, and TOSSES the Russian on his back,

freeing himself from the choke in the process.

CALLEN (V.O.)

He just launched Koba! Can you

believe this? Conlon just shook off

a guillotine!

Brendan jumps on Koba and attempts his own choke.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Conlon's staying after him! He's

squeezing him! The tables have

turned, and the boy scout is

squeezing the bear!

Koba shakes off Brendan's submission attempt and stands.

Brendan stands with him and they exchange a vicious round of

blows. Brendan's giving as good as he's getting.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Conlon standing and trading with

the Russian! I've never seen this!

CALLEN (V.O.)

This is a fight! We've got

ourselves a fight!

Brendan snaps Koba's head back with a left, but the Russian

responds with a combination. Brendan stumbles backwards, and

Koba grabs him and tries to take him down. Brendan throws a

left ELBOW that connects with Koba's temple. The Russian is

momentarily STUNNED, long enough for Brendan to take him to

the ground and wrap his arms around Koba's KNEE.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Conlon going for a knee bar! He's

got it very deep!

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

He's deep on that knee bar!

Brendan wrenches his body for all it's worth. Frank pounds on

the apron of the cage.

91.

FRANK:

Crank it! Crank it!

The Russian tries to squirm away, but he can't. His face is

contorted in PAIN. The cageside OFFICIAL indicates there's

only 10 seconds left in the fight.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Brendan Conlon wrenching that knee

for all it's worth! He's putting

everything he has in it, and Koba

is screaming in pain!

Four. Three. Koba struggles. Grimaces in agony. Brendan keeps

wrenching his knee. Two. He can't take it. One. He TAPS!

CALLEN (V.O.)

He did it! Brendan Conlon has

tapped Koba! I can't believe it! He

can't believe it! Frank Campana

can't believe it! This whole place

can't believe it!

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME

The drive-in crowd goes absolutely BERSERK. Tito leaps into

Nash's arms. Stephon hugs KC. Zito pumps his fist in the air.

CALLEN (V.O.)

That's gotta be the biggest upset

in MMA history! Brendan Conlon has

tapped the great Koba!

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME

Tess stands on her seat, shrieking. Brendan climbs on top of

the railing and lifts his arms in the air, a look off shock

on his face. The arena goes bananas.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Brendan Conlon, the Physics

teacher! Brendan Conlon, the

civilian! He's done the impossible!

He's pulled off a miracle! This

place is going crazy `cause we've

just seen a miracle!

Pure bedlam in Boardwalk Hall. Frank going wild. Tess. The

TapouT crew. J.J. Riley. Just an extraordinary scene.

Finally, the noise fades away.

92.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)

This is CNN breaking news...

INT. BOARDWALK HALL PRESS AREA - LATER

J.J. Riley, the TapouT crew, and a few OFFICIALS stand over a

computer screen on press row. They wear headphones and

shocked expressions.

ON COMPUTER SCREEN: CNN ANCHORMAN DON LEMON DELIVERS A REPORT

AS "BREAKING NEWS" FLASHES ON SCREEN ALONGSIDE A PICTURE OF

TOMMY.

DON LEMON (ON SCREEN)

A surprising turn in the story of

Iraq War hero Tommy Riordan. CNN

has learned that Riordan's true

identity is that of Marine Staff

Sergeant Thomas Conlon, who went

AWOL from his unit earlier this

year following the friendly fire

death of his brother-in-arms,

Sergeant Manny Fernandez.

Fernandez' wife, Pilar Fernandez,

spoke with me in an exclusive

interview moments ago.

Riley and the others look at one another. They can't believe

what they're hearing.

ON COMPUTER SCREEN: A TEARY-EYED PILAR INSIDE HER HOME IN EL

PASO. BEHIND HER, THE PHOTO OF TOMMY AND MANNY IN IRAQ.

PILAR (ON SCREEN)

Bombs started dropping. They were

coming from U.S. planes. Tommy and

Manny were waving their flags to

let them know they were Americans,

but they didn't stop. Everyone

died. Everyone except Tommy.

(BEAT)

You know, my Manny used to say

Tommy was the brother he never had.

INT. HALLWAY, BOARDWALK HALL - SAME

Two MARINE MPS stand guard outside Tommy's locker room.

93.

DON LEMON (V.O.)

Conlon, who is fighting in the

Mixed Martial Arts mega tournament

Sparta, is expected to be taken

into custody by military police

following tonight's winner take all

finale in Atlantic City.

INT. TOMMY'S LOCKER ROOM - SAME

Tommy sits in his locker room. Another MP stands behind him.

DON LEMON (V.O.)

If victorious, he has pledged his

five million dollar purse to the

widow of his fallen comrade.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL PRESS AREA - MOMENTS LATER

J.J. Riley sidles up between Callen and Sheridan and WHISPERS

in their ears. They're stunned by the news as well.

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME

Tito and the kids sit on the hoods of cars eating hot dogs

and waiting for the final fight. Joe Zito looks up at the

movie screen, where Bryan Callen makes an announcement.

ON MOVIE SCREEN:
A SURPRISED CALLEN.

CALLEN (ON SCREEN)

We've just got some incredible news

that I'm having trouble putting

into context, but here it is: the

two men fighting for the

championship tonight, for the five

million dollar prize, for the

middle weight championship of the

world, are brothers.

Stunned expressions from Zito, KC, Nash, Stephon, Tito, and

everyone at the Drive-In. The wild night has taken an

unexpected turn.

INT. BRENDAN'S LOCKER ROOM - SAME

Brendan, Frank, and Tess sit in the locker room. On the

monitor, Callen and Sheridan continue to discuss the

situation. Brendan has ice packs on his shoulders and knees

and his face is a mess after three brutal wars in 24 hours.

94.

TESS:

(TO BRENDAN)

What are you gonna do?

BRENDAN:

I'm gonna fight him.

INT. TOMMY'S LOCKER ROOM - SAME

Tommy sits by himself in his locker room, the weight of the

world pulling his shoulders down. His black hoodie is over

his head. He couldn't be more alone.

EXT. RESORTS HOTEL AND CASINO - SAME

A sobered up Paddy runs out of the hotel and climbs into a

waiting taxi.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL - MOMENTS LATER

Brendan and Frank make the long walk down the tunnel and into

the arena. Unlike previous trips, there is no joy on their

faces. It's a grim march to the cage.

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME

People stand on cars. Chairs. Each other's shoulders.

ON MOVIE SCREEN:
THE BATTERED BRENDAN CONTINUES HIS WALK,

WADING THROUGH A CROWD THAT IS AS PUMPED AS HE IS SOMBER.

Tito, KC, Nash, Stephon, and the other students start

chanting "Mis-ter C! Mis-ter C! Mis-ter C!"

INT. TOMMY'S LOCKER ROOM - SAME

Tommy rises and walks toward the door.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - CONTINUOUS

He marches out the door and into the bowels of the arena,

moving past MPS as he goes. His march is as grim as

Brendan's.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Brendan and Frank embrace.

95.

FRANK:

One more time.

Brendan climbs into the cage as the house LIGHTS DIM. The

crowd is going bonkers. And they EXPLODE when Tommy appears

at the end of the tunnel with his hoodie up and begins his

march toward the cage.

The Marines shower him with cheers and "Hoo-ahs." The girls

scream. The rest of the audience stamps their feet and chants

his name. But he acknowledges no one, and the hard look on

his face never wavers.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - MOMENTS LATER

Fenroy and the crew on the edge of their seats, all staring

at the big screen.

ON TV SCREEN:
TOMMY GETTING GREASED UP AND CLIMBING INTO THE

CAGE.

INT. TAXI - SAME

A nervous Paddy sits in the back of the cab as the DRIVER

navigates through holiday traffic.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

And here it is. The two brothers face to face in the middle

of the ring, staring each other down. Tommy with his usual

controlled fire, Brendan intense, searching his brother's

eyes for some flicker of recognition.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Gentlemen, this is the final. Five

rounds. I expect a clean fight.

Obey my commands at all times.

Defend yourselves at all times.

Touch gloves, go back, let's do

this.

As Rosenthal finishes his instructions, Brendan peers into

Tommy's empty corner.

BRENDAN:

Where's Pop?

Tommy turns without answering. All business. Brendan returns

to his corner. Looks at Tess. So much emotion on her face.

96.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Gentlemen, are you ready? Are you

ready? Let's go to war!

Tommy comes right after his brother. Just like with his

previous three opponents. A natural wrecking machine. Frank

screams at Brendan to stay calm, but Tommy is all over him,

POUNDING on him with savage intensity. As bad as the other

fights were for Brendan, this one is worse.

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME

The crowd is tense and subdued. It's not going well.

ON MOVIE SCREEN:
TOMMY KEEPS TATTOOING BRENDAN WITH HEAD

SHOTS. BEATS HIS BROTHER WITH MALICE. IT'S HARD TO WATCH.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - SAME

Fenroy and company thoroughly enjoying themselves.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME

Tommy continues to batter Brendan, then he swoops in, picks

him up, and SLAMS his big brother into the ground. Then he

does it again. And again. And again.

Brendan, the wind knocked out of him, is on his back, trying

to protect himself from Tommy, who mounts him and starts

blasting away with a BLUR of lefts and rights. The only thing

that saves Brendan is the HORN. Which Tommy ignores, blasting

his brother with a brutal CHEAP SHOT to the jaw well after

the round had ended.

TESS:

What was that!

FRANK:

C'mon, Josh!

Brendan lays on the ground as Josh Rosenthal pulls Tommy off

him and admonishes him for the cheap shot. Tommy stares at

Brendan. You want more?

Frank runs into the cage with the stool and Brendan limps

over to him and sits down. Brendan stares at Tommy, who paces

in his corner like a caged animal.

FRANK (CONT'D)

Sit down. Look at me. Look at me,

Brendan! Let it go! Breathe.

(MORE)

97.

FRANK (CONT'D)

Beethoven. He's coming hard, just

like we planned. I want you to

angle out, hit, and move.

BRENDAN:

Angle out, hit, and move.

FRANK:

Good. Breathe. Relax. He's not your

brother, right? He's just a guy

who's in the way.

Josh Rosenthal claps his hands. It's time. Frank glares at

him as he picks up the stool.

FRANK (CONT'D)

I'm taking a little more time for

the cheap shot! Do your job, Josh!

Tess sits uncomfortably in her chair. Her husband's face is a

mess. In front of her, Callen and Sheridan commiserate. J.J.,

the TapouT crew, and Colt Boyd look on. The electricity in

the crowd is greater than ever. They want a champion.

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - MOMENTS LATER

Very quiet at the Drive-In. It's tough for everyone to watch

what's happening to Brendan.

ON MOVIE SCREEN:
ROUND TWO. A REPEAT OF ROUND ONE. TOMMY JUST

WHALING ON BRENDAN AND BRENDAN TRYING TO HANG ON FOR DEAR

LIFE.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME

The Marines in the crowd are all on their feet, screaming for

Tommy to end it. The chant starts up again. 15,000 strong.

"Tommy! Tommy! Tommy!" Frank tries to instruct Brendan, but

he can't hear him, and he's too overwhelmed.

Tommy presses Brendan against the cage and does the same

thing Koba did. He lifts him off the ground, carries him on a

dead run, and body SLAMS him so hard the cage shakes. Then

Tommy mounts him and starts pounding away again.

The HORN sounds ending the round, but this time it's Brendan

who pops up and pushes Tommy. Tommy shoves him back.

Rosenthal has to separate them as the crowd roars its

approval.

98.

CALLEN (V.O.)

Here we go, Mom! Time to lock up

your china, the boys are at it

again!

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - LATER

Fenroy and company watching the big screen.

ON TV SCREEN:
ROUND THREE. MORE TOMMY DOMINATION, BUT BRENDAN

IS SOMEHOW TAKING IT.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Again, Tommy is on top of Brendan, trying to ground and pound

him into submission. Frank, leaning on the apron nearby,

screams at Brendan.

FRANK:

Switch! Switch!

Tommy tries to pound Brendan out, but Brendan latches on to

Tommy's arm, wraps his legs around him, and REVERSES

position, just as he did with Midnight, the Dane, and Koba.

Tommy is in deep trouble. Brendan pushes him face down on the

canvas and cranks his shoulder. There's no escape.

SHERIDAN (V.O.)

Oh my God, that's a deep omoplata!

CALLEN (V.O.)

He's doing it again! Conlon's doing

it again! This is going to be over!

Brendan applies intense pressure. Tommy's shoulder is

contorted, WRENCHED backwards, and his face is a mask of

pain. Tommy's in agony, but he won't give in.

BRENDAN:

Tap, Tommy!

Tommy SHRIEKS like an animal, but still won't quit. In fact,

he elbows Brendan in the face in defiance. Brendan in turn

cranks the shoulder even more. It's at the breaking point.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

Tap!

The shoulder twists. Twists. And then, audible only to Tommy

and Brendan, CRACK. Dislocated. Then the HORN ending the

round.

99.

Brendan, worried he hurt his brother, leans over to see if

Tommy's alright, but Tommy, like a wounded animal, leaps up

and grabs Brendan around the throat with his one good arm. He

shoves him all the way across the cage and into the fence,

and it takes Rosenthal and Frank to separate them.

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME

The crowd fired up by Brendan's comeback, and mesmerized by

what's taking place in the cage between the brothers. It's

complete and utter chaos in there.

ON MOVIE SCREEN:
TOMMY PACES IN HIS CORNER, HIS SHOULDER

WRECKED. JOSH ROSENTHAL TRIES TO SEE IF HE'S ALRIGHT BUT

TOMMY TURNS AWAY. HE'S NOT QUITTING AND NO ONE'S GOING TO

TELL HIM HE HAS TO.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - SAME

Sheer amazement that Tommy didn't submit.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Tommy, flap down, tears of pain pouring down his face, stands

defiantly in his corner. In the other corner, Frank attends

Brendan. In the crowd, Tess covers her mouth. She can't

believe what Tommy allowed to happen to him.

Frank puts the stool down and gives Brendan some water.

Brendan's face is wracked with guilt and concern over his

brother.

BRENDAN:

I popped his shoulder.

FRANK:

Relax, breathe.

BRENDAN:

I heard it tear.

FRANK:

You popped his shoulder? Good. I

want you to pop his other shoulder.

This is not what Brendan wants to hear. He looks over to Josh

Rosenthal.

BRENDAN:

Josh!

100.

Frank snaps. Grabs Brendan by the face.

FRANK:

Hey! Hey! No Josh! Look at me! You

got two rounds left! You need both

rounds! Go in there, kick him in

the head, take him down, and finish

him!

Rosenthal claps his hands. Frank exits the cage. The wounded

Tommy stands in his corner, his ruined left arm hanging low.

Brendan makes eye contact with him.

BRENDAN:

Tommy! What are you doing?

TOMMY:

Shut up! C'mon.

BRENDAN:

What are you that crazy?

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Let's go to war!

The BELL sounds. Round Four begins. Tommy throws useless

right jabs. He's one handed and has no chance. Brendan stays

away from him, not wanting to hurt his brother.

BRENDAN:

What are you doing? It's over!

Frank screams at Brendan from cageside to take the wounded

Tommy out, but Brendan is reluctant.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

It's over, Tommy. C'mon. We don't

have to do this.

Tommy and Brendan circle each other. Tommy throwing rights

and wincing in agony at any movement. Brendan stares at him.

Everything about him says "Quit, Tommy." But Tommy won't.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA TUNNEL - SAME

Paddy runs up the tunnel, his All Access pass around his

neck, and enters the arena. Sees Brendan and Tommy in the

cage. Quickly figures out what the situation is.

101.

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME

Zito and the kids staring at the screen, imploring Brendan to

take the helpless Tommy out and win the championship.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL CAGE - SAME

Brendan continues to circle and not engage. Frank is livid.

He knows he'll lose the fight on the judges' scorecards if he

doesn't do something.

FRANK:

Finish him! You finish him!

Tommy keeps throwing defiant right jabs at Brendan. Finally,

with no choice, Brendan fires back. He batters the

defenseless Tommy up against the cage and POUNDS away at him,

blasting his left shoulder with punches that make Tommy wince

in pain. It's anyone's guess how he can take it.

Brendan presses his brother up against the cage. Begging him

to quit. But Tommy merely responds by elbowing Brendan in the

face again. This sets the older brother off, and he resumes

pounding on Tommy until the HORN sounds and Rosenthal pulls

Brendan away.

JOSH ROSENTHAL:

Break! Break!

Brendan heads back to his stool as Tommy leans against the

cage in agony. The Marines scream for him, but his eyes are

glazed over. It's unthinkable that he hasn't broken yet.

From near cageside, Paddy looks to the corner and makes eye

contact with Brendan. They exchange a small look of

understanding. A NOD. They both know what needs to be done.

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME

The crowd wants a victory. Tito and the boys start the "Mis-

ter C!" chant again.

ON MOVIE SCREEN:
FRANK ADMONISHES BRENDAN IN HIS CORNER. IT'S

OBVIOUS WHAT HE'S TELLING HIM, BUT BRENDAN'S EYES ARE FAR

AWAY. HE'S NOT LISTENING TO A WORD.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL CAGE - MOMENTS LATER

Tommy and Brendan stand for Round Five. Tommy's face is

battered after Round Four and Brendan's face is ruined.

102.

In the crowd, the "Tommy" CHANT begins in earnest. In fact,

it may be louder than ever. Having done the impossible and

carried on with one arm, Tommy is more superhuman and heroic

than ever before. But his face tells another story. Soaked in

pain and anguish. All his stoic walls crumbling down.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - MOMENTS LATER

All eyes riveted to the screen, where the brothers circle

each other as in the fourth round.

ON SCREEN:
MORE PAINFUL STABBING JABS FROM TOMMY. BRENDAN

GIVES HIM ONE LAST, LONG LOOK, BUT TOMMY RESPONDS BY KICKING

HIM IN THE LEG. FINALLY, LEFT NO CHOICE, BRENDAN SWOOPS.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Brendan SLAMS Tommy to the ground. His face is contorted in

merciless pain. Brendan slips his forearm under Tommy's neck

and squeezes. Tommy struggles, but he's got one arm and

there's NO ESCAPE. His face getting red from lack of oxygen.

As an anguished Tess and a shaken Paddy look on, Brendan

CHOKES his brother. As he does, he pleads with him.

BRENDAN:

I'm sorry, Tommy! I'm sorry!

Tommy continues to struggle.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

Tap, Tommy! Tap!

Tears pour down Tommy's face. Brendan is crushing his wind

pipe. Tommy's eyes bulge.

BRENDAN (CONT'D)

I love you, Tommy! I love you!

Tommy, about to pass out, no more air to breathe, slowly

opens his left hand, looks at Brendan, and TAPS his shoulder

on the Conlon family crest. Finally submitting.

EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME

While most of the crowd erupts in celebration and the kids

leap into each other's arms, Joe Zito stares at the screen.

ON MOVIE SCREEN:
AS PEOPLE ENTER THE RING, BRENDAN AND TOMMY

STAY ON THE GROUND, BRENDAN CRADLING HIS BROTHER IN HIS ARMS.

103.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Frank makes eye contact with the jubilant Tess. Indicates she

should meet them in the locker room. Meanwhile, people pour

into the cage. Frank pushes them aside, keeping them away

from Brendan and Tommy, who remain on the ground, exhausted.

Tommy to begins to WEEP.

INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - SAME

Silence at Colt's. Everyone spent from what they've seen.

ON TV SCREEN:
CHAOS IN THE RING. BRENDAN HOLDS TOMMY IN HIS

ARMS AND PUSHES AWAY A DOCTOR.

INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME

Tommy buries his head in Brendan's chest. A torrent of

sobbing gushes from him, years of pain pouring out in heavy

bursts. From the crowd, Paddy stares into the cage and

watches as Brendan comforts his little brother, then helps

him to his feet.

Callen, Sheridan, and J.J. Riley make their way inside for

the post-fight interview, cameras trailing behind them. With

Frank continuing to run interference, Brendan pushes through

the crush of people, arm around Tommy, and exits the cage.

The crowd parts for Tommy and Brendan. Paddy watches them, a

tear in his eye. He's overwhelmed by the sight of his two

boys together again.

As the noise from the arena fades, the brothers walk through

the wild crowd and continue on through the tunnel, arm in

arm...

THE END:

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Cliff Dorfman

Cliff Dorfman is an American screenwriter, film director and actor best known for his work on HBO's Entourage and the 2011 feature film Warrior. Dorfman's entertainment industry career began in the 1990s with recurring roles on 7th Heaven and Beverly Hills 90210. He also worked as a Hollywood club promoter, appearing in the documentary film Hollywood: Wild in the Streets and in Bret Easton Ellis' 1999 novel Glamorama, in which Dorfman is named as a friend of actor Leonardo DiCaprio. more…

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"Warrior" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 13 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/warrior_1077>.

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