Michael Clayton script
Synopsis: Former prosecutor Michael Clayton (George Clooney) works as a "fixer" at the corporate law firm of Kenner, Bach and Ledeen, and takes care of his employer's dirty work. Burned out and deep in debt, he is bound tightly to the firm. Clayton faces the biggest challenge of his career when a guilt-ridden attorney (Tom Wilkinson) has a breakdown during a huge class-action lawsuit.

INT. KENNER BACH & LEDEEN/VARIOUS SHOTS -- NIGHT

It’s 2:
00 a.m. in a major New York law firm. Ten floors

of office space in the heart of the Sixth Avenue Canyon.

Seven hours from now this place will be vibrating with thebeehive energy of six hundred attorneys and their attendantstaff, but for the moment it is a vast, empty, half-litshell. A SERIES OF SHOTS emphasizing the size and power ofthis organization; shots that build quietly to the idea that

somewhere here -- somewhere in this building -- there’ssomething very important going on. MUSIC and CREDITS alreadymixing with the crazed, manic, express train chatter of -

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

...Michael. Dear, Michael. Nurse

Michael. Dr. Clayton. Secret Hero.

Keeper of the Hidden Sins. Of course

it’s you. Who else could they send?

Who else could be trusted? Smoke on

the horizon -- hole in the bucket --

voices crying from Milwaukee to

Manhattan, “Where’s our hero?”

“Where’s our Cleanser Of The Hidden

Sins?” And here you are, sleeves

rolled up, lips sealed -- broom --

dustbin -- bankroll at the ready!

Fifties, is it still fifties? When

you came to Boston, you remember?

God, you must’ve had a thousand of

them! The cash -- the smile -- the

quiet word in the corner -- of course

it’s you, Michael, who else could it

ever be? But Michael, please, before

you sweep, please just hear me out --

just try -- because it’s not like

Boston -- it’s not an episode -

relapse -- fuck up -- I’m begging

you, Michael, make believe it’s not

just madness, because it’s not just

madness --

(continuing, as--)

INT. LAW FIRM OFFICE/DUPLICATION CENTER -- NIGHT

A XEROX MACHINE -- cranking out high-speed copies -- tenpages a second flashing before our eyes -- all informationa blur except for the letterhead which is constant:

KENNER, BACH & LEDEEN LLP

ATTORNEYS AT LAW

As...

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- I mean, yes -- okay, yes --elements

of madness -- the speed of madness --

yes, the occasional, euphoric, pseudo-

hallucinatory moments that, yes -- fine

--agreed -- distracting -- nostalgic --

all of that --

(continuing, as--)

A HUGE EMPTY OFFICE BULLPEN. CUBICLES AND WORKSTATIONS.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- but that’s just the package -

the plate -- think of it as a tax --

The Mania Tax -- The Insanity Tax -

or like advertising on TV -- it’s the

freight -- the weight -- it’s the

price of the show --

A LONG, DARK CORRIDOR. A CLEANING CREW IN THE DISTANCE.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- just please, just hear me out,

Michael, because I swear to you, this

is so much, so very much more, than

the ravings of some hypo-maniacal,

bipolar attorney -

DOCUMENT AREA. ODD THIS LATE. THREE ASSOCIATES STACKING

PAPERWORK ONTO A TROLLEY --

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- Two weeks ago I came out of the

building -- I’m running across Sixth

Avenue -- there’s a car waiting -- I

have exactly thirty-eight minutes to

get to Laguardia,and I’m dictating --

there’s this frantic associate running

to keep up --

A SENIOR PARTNER’S OFFICE. A SECURITY GUARD SNEAKING A

SMOKE IN THE DARK BY AN OPEN WINDOW.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- we’re in the middle of the street --

the light changes -- the traffic --

unleashed -- it’s coming -- serious

traffic -- but there I am -- I’m

babbling -- my mouth -- I can’t stop --

some ridiculous, involuntary part of my

brain just keeps going -- I’m standing

there dictating this trade secret,

Motion to Suppress...

AN OFFICE PHONE. TWELVE LINES BLINKING IN THE DARK.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

...and there, Michael, in the middle

of Sixth Avenue -- as I stood there

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Tony Gilroy

Anthony Joseph "Tony" Gilroy is an American screenwriter and filmmaker. He wrote the screenplays for the Bourne series starring Matt Damon, among other successful films, and directed the fourth film of the franchise. more…

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"Michael Clayton" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 13 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/michael_clayton_125>.

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