Flight

Synopsis: Commercial airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) has a problem with drugs and alcohol, though so far he's managed to complete his flights safely. His luck runs out when a disastrous mechanical malfunction sends his plane hurtling toward the ground. Whip pulls off a miraculous crash-landing that results in only six lives lost. Shaken to the core, Whip vows to get sober -- but when the crash investigation exposes his addiction, he finds himself in an even worse situation.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 42 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.3
Metacritic:
76
Rotten Tomatoes:
78%
R
Year:
2012
138 min
$89,400,000
Website
2,401 Views


CHYRON -- ATLANTA 6:12 AM

EXT. SOMEWHAT SEEDY TWO-STORY HOTEL IN ATLANTA -- PRE-DAWN

It’s still more night than day as we look down on the HOTEL

ATLANTA. The lit sign for the HOTEL ATLANTA may be the only

source of light as we hear a metallic rattle.

EXT. HOTEL ATLANTA -- SECOND FLOOR -- PRE-DAWN

We follow the metallic rattle to a door. The rattling stops

and we watch the knob slowly turn.

Tight on a feminine arm with a tattoo that announces “hope.”

We pull back to find that both arms are employed in the

pulling of what looks like a large suitcase.

NICOLE MAGGEN, a beautiful but tired woman, finishes pulling

the suitcase that we now surmise to be a folded-up massage

table out of the motel room. With her bra in one hand and

the rickety table resting against the wall of the exterior

2nd floor hallway of the motel, she assesses her situation.

She digs in her purse, lights a cigarette and continues

digging in her purse. She finds a beat-up candy tin. She

opens it and quickly sorts through a collection of burnt

foils, heroin foils, looking for residue. Nothing.

She now finds and holds up the 100 bucks she just made. She

flips open her cheap phone and makes a call...she thinks

better of it and hangs up.

EXT. HOTEL ATLANTA -- PARKING LOT -- MOMENTS LATER

NICOLE forces the clumsy table into the hatchback of a 1988

Toyota Tercel and slams it shut.

INT. 1988 TOYOTA TERCEL -- PARKING LOT -- SAME TIME

We hear the electronic ring of her cheap cell phone on

“speaker phone” mode. The phone rests on the passenger seat.

We pull up to find NICOLE slumped with her head resting on

the steering wheel. She is exhausted and irritated...

NICOLE:

(as the phone rings)

Don’t pick up...don’t pick up...

don’t pick up...

2.

A MAN answers with music in the background...”Yo..” NICOLE

quickly picks up the phone.

NICOLE (CONT’D)

It's Nic, do you have any? Good

morning to you too. You’re what?

Well, where are you guys shootingtoday? Where? Text me the

address. You have some...Okay.

She hangs up the phone and catching herself in the rearview

she tries to smile.

CHYRON --ORLANDO 7:14 AM

EXT. AMERICAN VALUE SUITES - HOTEL -- ORLANDO -- MORNING

The sun would be rising if the sky wasn’t swirling with grey

clouds. We see the American Suites Hotel and recognize it as

a decent commuters’ hotel near the airport in Orlando. The

sound of a clock radio breaks the calm of our picture.

INT. AMERICAN VALUE SUITES - HOTEL -- ORLANDO -- MORNING

Through the clock radio we loudly hear two morning drive-time

radio personalities spewing nonsensical patter...

An attractive YOUNG WOMAN wrestles free of the covers and

gets out of bed. She crosses naked through the room as acell phone starts ringing.

Back to the bed as WHIP WHITAKER rises into frame and

inhabits the room like a lazy ape at the zoo. WHIP wears his

40 some years of life experience like a medal. Smoke hangsin the air and empty beers, a pint of vodka and two emptycarafes of cheap hotel wine clutter the table as WHIPsnatches up his phone and answers...

VOICE:

For the love of Christ! Look...justhold...HOLD ON.

He aggressively drains the last four inches of beer from aclear bottle and cracks the last fresh one that bobs in the

hotel ice bucket.

The naked, YOUNG WOMAN bends over to pick up her clothes.

We witness her ass as a tanned glass vase with a perfectcrack down the middle. Whip smiles, taking it all in...

3.

WHIP:

(into the phone)

I've been up since the crack 'adawn. What check? Tuition? How

much does it cost to go there?

The YOUNG WOMAN has re-lit the last half of a joint and ispuffing it to life as WHIP is beckoning with his large hands.

The YOUNG WOMAN, looking more like a stripper by the second,

hands the joint to WHIP who takes a masterful drag. WHIP

shakes his head in violent disapproval to what he hears onthe phone. He exhales in anger as he shouts into the phone.

WHIP (CONT’D)

NO! NO! NO! You decided he needed

private school...lemme talk toKnuckles. He’s not? Tell’em the

phone works both ways. Oh he's myson because you need a tuitioncheck...that's great Deana. I'mglad you tracked me down in Orlandoat 7 in the f***ing morning toshake me down for money. Does he

even like the f***ing school? No

I’ve never seen it. Yeah I wonder

why not too. I gotta 9 o'clockflight, sit tight 'till I get backto Atlanta. How am I a liar?

What? No, I’ll call you.

WHIP hangs up and continues to make quick work of the lastbeer as he stares through his thoughts and out the window.

YOUNG WOMAN:

Was that your wife?

WHIP:

That was my ex-wife. But youTrina, you could be my second orthird wife if you’d just C’mere.

The YOUNG WOMAN we now know as TRINA smiles seductively...

TRINA:

Whip, don’t even joke about that.

Our flight's at 9, let’s hit it.

TRINA is still naked but she holds a navy blue skirt and awhite blouse as she hands WHIP his pants. WHIP can’t helpbut pat that perfect ass as TRINA tries to skip away.

ON THE RADIO We hear the opening bars of a familiar rockanthem...JOE COCKER’s “I’m Feeling Alright”

4.

WHIP:

Yeah, I'm feelin' a little lightheaded.

I shoulda ate somethin'.

WHIP leans over the motel table, picks up a soda straw that'sbeen cut in half. He efficiently sniffs up a line of coke.

INT. AMERICAN VALUE SUITES HOTEL-ORLANDO-HALLWAY-MORNING

WHIP wears his pilot Blues and carries his hat as he strides

confidently down the hallway. JOE COCKER continues to wail,

perfectly narrating the hero’s swagger that WHIP maintains

while passing bad light fixtures and ornate wall paper.

EXT. AIRPORT SOUTHJET TARMAC - AIRPLANE - MORNING RAINING

WHIP leans against the landing gear of the JACKSON-RIDGEFIELD

88 PASSENGER JET -- He takes a swig from a small bottle of

mouthwash -- gargles, then spits the green foam on the

tarmac. WHIP wipes fatigue from his face as he stashes the

mouthwash in his pocket, then quickly completes his visual

walk around. He looks at the sky again as he steps on to the

jet way ladder. His foot slips, sending his shoe SPLASHING in

to a puddle.

WHIP:

Son of a b*tch!

Whip shakes the rain out of his shoe as he continues up the

stairs.

INT. ORLANDO AIRPORT TERMINAL - JETWAY -- DAY

WHIP enters the jetway from the exterior door at the entranceof the plane. TRINA is greeting a MAN and his SON.

WHIP:

Morning Miss Marquez.

TRINA:

Morning Captain Whitaker.

WHIP waits as TRINA politely parts the stream of folks toallow WHIP to enter the plane.

INT. AIRPLANE GALLEY -- MOMENTS LATER

WHIP exchanges a look with a MATURE FLIGHT ATTENDANT,

MARGARET THOMASON. She can’t help but smile...

5.

MARGARET:

Captain Whitaker, that sky gonna

hold? You’re not gonna make me

spend another night in Orlando?

WHIP:

Don’t worry, Margaret I’m gonna get

you home for your prayer meeting

at...what is it? Jesus Christ

Superstar 27th Baptist King Church?

TRINA and CAMELIA SATOU, the other flight attendant, laugh.

Rate this script:4.5 / 2 votes

John Gatins

John Gatins (born April 16, 1968) is an American screenwriter, director, and actor. He is credited with writing and directing Dreamer and writing Coach Carter, Real Steel, and Flight, among others. As an actor, he has collaborated three times with Eddie Murphy. more…

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Submitted on June 30, 2016

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    "Flight" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jul 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/flight_233>.

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