Tenet

Synopsis: Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.
Year:
2020
207 Views


ORCHESTRA TUNING, audience settling. High officials in

glassed-in boxes toast each other. Doors closing...

BAM – from behind the orchestraTERRORISTS with MACHINE

GUNS BURST in... The audience SCREAMS... The terrorists cover

the ordinary people – the HIGH OFFICIALS are held in the

BOXES...

INT./EXT. VAN, PLAZA, DOWNTOWN KIEV, UKRAINE – DAY

As POLICE FLOOD THE PLAZA, the DRIVER turns to the PASSENGER

DRIVER:

(in Ukrainian)

– Wake up the Americans. –

The Passenger turns to the back where four BLACK-CLAD YOUNG

MEN SIT, WAITING. The nearest one seems to be SLEEPING...

Hey –

PASSENGER:

EYES CLOSED, the young man C*CKS his weapon, chambering a

round, POPS it out of the slide, CATCHES it, opens his eyes –

this is THE PROTAGONIST...

The Passenger nods, ‘okay’. The Driver looks down at a

VARIETY OF UNIFORM PATCHES...

SIRENS. The Americans shoulder WEAPONS, pull on HELMETS...

A UKRAINIAN SWAT VAN SCREECHES to a halt outside the theatre

The Passenger spots its markingsTOSSES the corresponding

patches to the Americans, who slap them onto their shoulders.

Ukrainian SWATs pour out of the SWAT van –

The Americans JUMP out of the back of their van, SLIPPING

UNNOTICED INTO THE STREAM OF SWATS pouring into the lobby...

INT. LOBBY, CONCERT HALL – CONTINUOUS

SWATs mass at each entrance... the Protagonist watches GAS

CANISTERS brought in TO THE AIR-CONDITIONING SYSTEM. The

SWATs pull on GAS MASKS...

INT. BOX, CONCERT HALL – CONTINUOUS

A WELL-DRESSED MAN sitting next to a UNIFORMED OFFICIAL looks

down into the stallspeople SLUMP, UNCONSCIOUS, IN A

WAVE...

He turns to the Official – who motions calm, draws a

SIDEARM...

INT. THEATRE, CONCERT HALL – CONTINUOUS

A Terrorist wets a rag in a drinking fountain, ties it around

his nose and mouth. Others have WORKMAN’S RESPIRATORS AND

FACE MASKS. They COCK THEIR WEAPONS, preparing...

INT. LOBBY, CONCERT HALL – CONTINUOUS

THE SWATS BREACHPOURING into the theatre – exchange

GUNFIRE with the TERRORISTS...

INT. CURVING CORRIDOR – DAY

RUNNING. Fast but silent...

FOLLOW the four Americans – they hit a junction – hand

signals – they SPLIT two ways –

FOLLOW two of them – one of them PEELS OFF up a staircase

FOLLOW the last, the Protagonistchecking each box...

INT. BOX, CONCERT HALL – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist BURSTS in – takes out the Official beside the

Well-Dressed Man –

PROTAGONIST:

We live in a twilight world...

The Well-Dressed Man stares, shocked

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

We live in a twilight world...

WELL-DRESSED MAN

(focuses)

And there are no friends at dusk.

PROTAGONIST:

You’ve been made. This siege is a

blind for them to vanish you.

WELL-DRESSED MAN

But I’ve established contact

PROTAGONIST:

Bring you in or kill you – I have

two minutes. Make up your mind.

The Well-Dressed Man nods, climbs to his feet...

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Where’s the package?

WELL-DRESSED MAN

Coat check.

He hands the Protagonist a numbered ticket.

INT. CORRIDOR, CONCERT HALL – CONTINUOUS

The battle between SWATs and Terrorists rages... SWATS move

down the corridor, checking the boxes one by one...

INT. BOX, CONCERT HALL – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist SMASHES the glasschecks the drop to the

stalls, pulls out a black rope, ties it to a column...

As they DROP, Terrorist gunfire rings out – they LAND

hiding amongst the UNCONSCIOUS AUDIENCE. The Well-Dressed Man

takes a seat, FEIGNS SLEEP – the Protagonist ROLLS under the

seats –

BLAM! Terrorists near the stage open fire – SHOTS ring out –

hitting two sleeping audience members, nearby – the Well-

Dressed Man TWITCHES – the Protagonist holds his ankle

urging him to keep still

BLAM! A third sleeping audience member is shot – the

Protagonist jumps up, DRAWING THE TERRORISTS’ fire away from

the Well-Dressed Man –

The Protagonist races towards two REAL UKRAINIAN SWATS who

cover him from the Terrorists – one of them goes down.

The Protagonist takes cover beside the real UKRAINIAN SWAT

WHO IS PLANTING A BOMB UNDER THE SEATS... he gestures to the

dead SWAT’s pack... the Protagonist unzips the bag to find a

BOMB, COUNTING DOWN IN SYNC WITH THE OTHER BOMB

UKRAINIAN SWAT:

(in Ukrainian, impatient)

– What’re you doing? –

The Ukrainian SWAT uses his gun to PROD the Velcro patch on

the

Protagonist’s shoulder. It FALLS OFF...

UKRAINIAN SWAT (CONT'D)

(in Ukrainian)

– Who are you? –

The Protagonist is at a loss... BAM! The Ukrainian SWAT is

taken out by another ‘SWAT’ –

‘SWAT’

No friends at dusk, huh?

You’ll do.

PROTAGONIST:

The Protagonist GRABS the bombs, points at the Well-Dressed

Man –

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

(to the ‘SWAT’)

Get him to the rally point.

The ‘SWAT’ leads the Well-Dressed Man down a fire exit –

INT. LOBBY, CONCERT HALL – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist RACES across the lobby, gunfire RINGING OUT

LEAPS over the counter into the COAT-CHECK AREA...

Landing on the floor next to an unconscious coat-check girl.

He spots another bomb – ‘4:23’, ‘4:22’... the Protagonist

checks the number on the coat-check ticket and efficiently

moves across numbered racks until he finds a SPORTS BAG.

He unzips it to find a BLACK METALLIC OBJECT the size of a

softball.

He stuffs it into his pack and SCRAMBLES over the counter...

INT. SERVICE CORRIDOR – CONTINUOUS

– the Protagonist RUNS, checking numbers on doors... he STOPS

at a door, THROWS it open, JUMPS in low –

INT. UTILITY ROOM – CONTINUOUS

THREE ‘SWATS’, guns trained, and the Well-Dressed Man. The

Protagonist throws a bomb to SWAT 2, then shows the OBJECT to

the Well-Dressed Man –

PROTAGONIST:

I’ve never seen encapsulation like

this.

WELL-DRESSED MAN

We don’t know how old it is. It’s

the real deal.

PROTAGONIST:

Did you have an out?

WELL-DRESSED MAN

Service tunnels to sewers.

PROTAGONIST:

Swap clothes.

The ‘SWAT’ and the Well-Dressed Man start changing. The

Protagonist hands SWAT 3 the object

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Take this, take him, take his exit.

I don’t trust ours any more.

(to SWAT 2)

Can you defuse it?

SWAT 2

(shakes head)

Centrally synchronized. Are there

more?

The Protagonist nods, STUFFS the bomb in his pack –

PROTAGONIST:

Covering their tracks.

SWAT 2

Taking out the audience?

PROTAGONIST:

Just the cheap seats.

SWAT 3

Not our mission

Mine, now.

PROTAGONIST:

The newly dressed ‘TARGET’ steps up –

‘TARGET’

I’m with you – the Ukrainians are

expecting a passenger.

INT. THEATRE, CONCERT HALL – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist and the ‘Target’ race through the SLEEPING

AUDIENCE COLLECTING BOMBS – the TIMERS tick down – ‘1:58’,

‘1:
57’.

Crouched at a bomb, the Protagonist notices a BULLET HOLE in

the side of the chair – a TINY WHIFF OF SMOKE GATHERING...

CLICK – a gun is to his head – he spins around to see a

SWAT... ‘0:
34’, ‘0:33’... The ‘Target’ has his own gun on the

SWAT – A STAND-OFF – all around them, UNCONSCIOUS

CIVILIANS...

PROTAGONIST:

Walk away – you don’t need to kill

these people.

The Protagonist turns back to the bomb... ‘0:32’, ‘0:31’. At

the bullet hole the PUFF OF SMOKE THICKENS... the

Protagonist, confused, REACHES towards it... the SWAT C*CKS

his weapon...

BLAM! With EXPLOSIVE FORCE THE BULLET HOLE DISAPPEARS – A

NICK HAS APPEARED IN THE PROTAGONIST’S UNIFORM – he SPINS

the SWAT is SHOT THROUGH THE CHEST AND DROPS... revealing a

FIGURE, also in a gas mask and tactical gear...

The Figure TURNS – the Protagonist sees, on the Figure’s

pack, a small TALISMAN – a COIN with a hole tied to a zip by

ORANGE AND YELLOW THREAD – the Protagonist turns back to grab

the bomb –

‘TARGET’

That wasn’t one of us.

PROTAGONIST:

I’ll take the help.

The Protagonist GRABS the last bomb: ‘0:03’... he looks up to

the boxes, where REAL SWATS EVACUATE THE HIGH OFFICIALS...

THE PROTAGONIST LOBS THE BOMBS UP INTO THE BOXES...

EXT. PLAZA, DOWNTOWN KIEV – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist and ‘Target’ emerge – an EXPLOSION above them

-

INT. THEATRE, CONCERT HALL – CONTINUOUS

INNOCENT CIVILIANS STIR under the EXPLOSION IN THE BOXES

EXT. PLAZA, DOWNTOWN KIEV – CONTINUOUS

The van PULLS UP – rear door open – they JUMP INSIDE

INT. VANMOMENTS LATER

The Protagonist pulls off his mask. BREATHING. The Passenger

turns – grabs the ‘Target’s face, SOMETHING WRONG... the

Protagonist turns to the DriverWHO HAS A GUN POINTED AT

HIM ...

BLACK SCREEN:

SCREAMING. The Protagonist’s screaming. Close on his eyes –

FLICKERING, SWEATING, PLEADING, DEFIANT... and we are –

EXT. RAIL YARDS – DAY

The Protagonist, tied to a chair, in a windswept rail yard.

In front of him, the ‘Target’, also tied to a chair, back to

us. The Driver steps back, SWEATING. BLOODY PLIERS in hand.

DRIVER:

(breathless)

A man can be trained to hold out

for about eighteen hours.

The Driver gestures at a CLOCK on a table

DRIVER (CONT'D)

So your colleagues will clear by 7.

The Driver PUSHES the ‘Target’s chair over. The ‘Target’

lands hard on his side on the gravel. Groaning.

DRIVER (CONT'D)

He didn’t last eighteen minutes.

The Driver pulls out a KNIFE. Leans in to the Protagonist

DRIVER (CONT'D)

But he didn’t have anything to

hide. You were smuggling a nobody.

The knife moves towards the Protagonist’s throat...

Risky.

DRIVER (CONT'D)

...then to his collarwhich he CUTS

DRIVER (CONT'D)

Or were you counting on this?

...pulling out a SILVER CAPSULE. The Protagonist stares.

DRIVER (CONT'D)

Death, CIA issue.

The Driver TOSSES the pill, WAVES the pliers at the clock

DRIVER (CONT'D)

Spare yourself once they’re clear.

The Protagonist looks at the clock – ‘5:38’. A FREIGHT TRAIN

RUMBLES PAST, CLOSE... As we close in on the clock, THE

PROTAGONIST’S SCREAMS ARE DROWNED OUT BY THE FREIGHT TRAIN...

The Driver steps back. The Protagonist breathes heavy, blood

dribbling... the Driver follows his gaze to the clock

‘6:
53’ – then checks his watch. Frowns theatrically, picks up

the clock, SHAKES it –

DRIVER (CONT'D)

Running fast...

The Driver SETS THE HANDS BACK ONE HOUR. The Protagonist

watches, DESPAIRING... as the Driver puts the clock back on

the table, the Protagonist notices the ‘Target’s FINGERS

WIGGLING... in them is a SILVER PILL...

Freight trains rumble past in opposite directions, sound

BUILDING... The Driver approaches, bloody pliers in hand –

PROTAGONIST:

We were alone.

DRIVER:

I didn’t ask. Which means we’re

finally getting somewhere.

The Protagonist HURLS himself onto the ‘Target’s hands – face

SMASHING – gets the PILL into his mouthBITES DOWN

DEAFENING TRAIN NOISE...

Arms GRAB at him – HANDS PRY his jaw as he SEIZES, MOUTH

FOAMING... the Protagonist’s EYES GLAZE and we –

CUT TO:

Black screen.

Supertitle:

TENET:

FADE IN:

The Protagonist opens his eyes. A man stands beside his bed.

SWAYING gently. This is FAY.

FAY:

Welcome to the afterlife.

The Protagonist lifts his head and we are –

INT. BOAT AT SEA – DAY

The Protagonist sees the STEELY OCEAN SWELL...

FAY:

You’ve been in a medically induced

coma while we got you out of

Ukraine and rebuilt your mouth.

PROTAGONIST:

The pills are fake?

FAY:

We swapped yours for a sedative.

Why?

A test.

PROTAGONIST:

FAY:

The Protagonist runs a finger around his mouth. REALIZING.

PROTAGONIST:

Test? They pulled my teeth out.

Fay lets that dissipate. The Protagonist closes his eyes.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Did the team get clear?

FAY:

No. Private Russians, we think.

PROTAGONIST:

Somebody talked.

FAY:

Not you. You chose to die instead

of giving up your colleagues.

EXT. DECK OF THE BOAT – LATER

The Protagonist stands in the wind, contemplating the

horizon.

FAY (O.S.)

We all believe we’d run into the

burning building, but until we feel

that heat... we can never know. You

do.

I resign.

PROTAGONIST:

FAY:

You don’t work for us – you’re

dead.

The Protagonist turns to Fay, confused.

FAY (CONT'D)

Your duty transcends national

interests. This is about survival.

Whose?

PROTAGONIST:

FAY:

Everyone’s. There’s a cold war.

Cold as ice. To even know its true

nature is to lose.

(MORE)

FAY (CONT'D)

This is knowledge divided – all I

have for you is a gesture

(interlaces his fingers)

– in combination with a word –

‘tenet’. Use it carefully, it’ll

open the right doors, but some of

the wrong ones, too.

PROTAGONIST:

That’s all they’ve told you?

FAY:

The test you passed?

(beat)

Not everybody does.

Fay breaks eye contact with the Protagonist. The boat

continues to nose into the swell.

EXT. LAUNCH, WIND FARM AT SEA – DUSK

The Protagonist is driven away from the boat on a launch,

towards the GIANT WHITE TURBINES of the ocean wind farm.

The launch SLIPS amongst them, seeking the ladder of a

particular one...

The Protagonist climbs the ladder to a door. He tries it –

it’s open. He turns to see the launch move off into the

gathering dark. The Protagonist ENTERS the wind turbine.

INT. WIND TURBINE – CONTINUOUS

In the bare space, the Protagonist finds a SPORTS BAG, a COT,

a pallet of WATER and PROTEIN BARS. He opens the sports bag

to find passports, cash, credit cards and a HI-VIZ VEST.

Under the vest is a small black cylinder. He unscrews the top

to find three SILVER SUICIDE PILLS. The Protagonist shakes

his head as he tosses them back into the bag.

INT. WIND TURBINE – LATER

The Protagonist EATS, DRINKS and EXERCISES by CLIMBING the

endless interior ladder of the turbine. The stash of food and

water SHRINKS...

The Protagonist does PULL-UPS at the very top of the ladder,

FEET DANGLING over the VERTIGINOUS DROP...

INT. WIND TURBINE – MORNING

The Protagonist is woken by a repeated AIR HORN. He pulls

himself off the cot, opens the door to find –

EXT. WIND TURBINE – CONTINUOUS

A large CATAMARAN nosed up to the windmill, ladder in place,

MAINTENANCE CREW in HI-VIZ VESTS moving on and off the

turbine. Other boats service other turbines. The Protagonist

pulls on his VEST and CLIMBS down onto the catamaran.

EXT. EUROPEAN PORT – DAY

The Protagonist disembarks with the rest of the wind-farm

crew. As they file past a car the driver, also in hi-viz,

steps out into line, leaving the door open, engine running.

The Protagonist gets in. The GPS is already set...

EXT. OFFICE COMPLEX – LATER

A bland suburban office park. The Protagonist gets out of the

car, wearing his hi-viz and carrying a clipboard. Heads

inside, passing numerous STAFF coming out...

INT. LOBBY, OFFICE COMPLEX – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist moves through the lobby unimpeded. Checking

the tenant listings he sees – ‘WINDFARM TRANSITIONS – B-2’.

INT. CORRIDOR – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist walks up to B-2.

FEMALE VOICE (O.S.)

With a hi-viz vest and a clipboard,

you can get almost anywhere.

Almost.

The Protagonist turns to find a brusque young woman. This is

BARBARA. He joins his hands, interlacing the fingers...

PROTAGONIST:

A pretty obscure tenet.

Using a key card, she ushers him through a door into –

INT. OFFICE, LABORATORY – CONTINUOUS

Barbara hands the Protagonist a cup of tea.

BARBARA:

No small talk, nothing that might

reveal who we are, or what we do.

PROTAGONIST:

I thought I was here to find out

what we do.

BARBARA:

You’re not here for ‘what’, you’re

here for ‘how’. ‘What’ is your

department. And not my business.

PROTAGONIST:

Well, to do what I do, I need some

idea of the threat we face.

Barbara considers the Protagonist. Sips her tea.

BARBARA:

As I understand it, we’re trying to

prevent World War Three.

PROTAGONIST:

Nuclear holocaust?

BARBARA:

No. Something worse.

INT. SHOOTING RANGEMOMENTS LATER

Barbara hands the Protagonist a semi-automatic. He

reflexively checks the chamber and magazine – EMPTY.

BARBARA:

Aim it and pull the trigger.

The Protagonist SHRUGS, lifts the empty pistol, sights a

target 25m away with several holes in it...

He squeezes the trigger – BAM! – a shot. He is CONFUSED...

BARBARA (CONT'D)

Check the magazine.

The Protagonist checks the clip – THERE IS A ROUND IN IT.

How?

PROTAGONIST:

Barbara pulls on PROTECTIVE GLOVES and removes the round from

the clip, placing it next to an identical one on a table.

BARBARA:

One of these bullets is, like us,

travelling forwards through time.

The other one’s going backwards.

Can you tell which is which?

The Protagonist shakes his head. Barbara reaches forward

BARBARA (CONT'D)

How about now? –

One of the rounds FLIES UP INTO HER HAND, FALLING IN REVERSE.

The Protagonist is taken aback. Barbara holds the round

towards him so he can inspect it –

BARBARA (CONT'D)

It’s inverted – its entropy runs

backwards. So, to our eyes, its

movement is reversed. We think it’s

a type of inverse radiation,

triggered by nuclear fission.

PROTAGONIST:

You didn’t make it?

BARBARA:

We don’t know how. Yet.

PROTAGONIST:

So where’d it come from?

BARBARA:

Someone’s manufacturing them in the

future. They’re streaming back at

us.

Barbara places the round on the table, in front of a CAMERA.

Try it.

BARBARA (CONT'D)

He puts on a glovemoves his hand over it, nothing.

BARBARA (CONT'D)

You have to have dropped it.

The Protagonist reaches out again – it LEAPS UP INTO HIS

HAND.

PROTAGONIST:

How can it move before I touch it?

She cues up the recording of what he just did –

BARBARA:

From your point of view you caught

it, but from the bullet’s point of

view...

She plays it BACKWARDS

BARBARA (CONT'D)

...you dropped it.

ON THE SCREEN:
the round FALLS from his hand.

PROTAGONIST:

But cause has to come before

effect.

BARBARA:

No. That’s just how we see time.

She PULLS the round towards herself using one finger – the

round follows her finger as if MAGNETIZED...

PROTAGONIST:

What about free will?

BARBARA:

That bullet wouldn’t have moved if

you hadn’t put your hand there.

Either way we run the tape, you

made it happen.

She LAUNCHES it up into her other hand –

BARBARA (CONT'D)

Don’t try to understand it. Feel

it.

Barbara PLAYS with the round in increasingly IMPROBABLE,

BEAUTIFUL MOVEMENTS... The round SHOOTS AWAY FROM HER – the

Protagonist CATCHES IT...

PROTAGONIST:

Instinct. Got it.

Barbara smiles, swaps him the round for the pistol. She then

places a TRAY COVERED IN SHELL CASINGS beside him.

The Protagonist aims at the target – a shell casing LEAPS

into the gun – he FIRES, and a bullet hole near the bullseye

VANISHES –

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Why does it feel so strange?

BARBARA:

You’re not shooting the bullet,

you’re catching it.

Whoa.

PROTAGONIST:

The Protagonist examines the target – no bullet holes.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

I’ve seen this type of ammunition

before.

BARBARA:

In the field?

PROTAGONIST:

I was almost hit.

BARBARA:

Then you are exceedingly lucky...

The Protagonist turns to her...

BARBARA (CONT'D)

An inverted bullet passing through

your body would be devastating. The

inverse radiation would spread

through your body. Like polonium

poisoning. Not pretty.

The Protagonist examines the rounds...

PROTAGONIST:

These look like today’s.

BARBARA:

They may have been made today, then

inverted years from now.

PROTAGONIST:

Where did you get them?

BARBARA:

They came with the wall. I was

assigned it, like all the material

I’m studying here.

PROTAGONIST:

Do you have an analysis of the

metals?

Sure. Why?

BARBARA:

PROTAGONIST:

The mixture of alloys can tell me

where they might have been made.

Look, I know you said that ‘what’

is my business

BARBARA:

Let’s not go off-topic.

PROTAGONIST:

I’m not seeing Armageddon here.

Barbara takes the round from him, and beckons him to follow

INT. ARCHIVE – CONTINUOUS

Between tall sets of DRAWERS...

BARBARA:

A bullet may not seem like much,

but it’s a simple machine – lead

bullet, brass casing, gunpowder. If

they can invert this – I see no

reason they couldn’t invert pretty

much anything. Even a nuclear

weapon can only affect our future.

An inverted weapon might be able to

affect our past as well.

Barbara stops at a drawer. Gestures around herself

BARBARA (CONT'D)

Now that we know what to look for,

we’re finding more and more

inverted material...

She opens a drawer, revealing a VARIETY OF RUSTED BITS AND

PIECES – SCREWS, CRACKED LENSES, METAL RODS, BUTTONS...

BARBARA (CONT'D)

...remnants of complex objects.

The Protagonist reaches out and lets a RUSTED BUCKLE leap

into his hand.

PROTAGONIST:

So what do you think we’re seeing?

BARBARA:

The detritus of a coming war.

The Protagonist looks around at the MULTITUDE of DRAWERS.

EXT. CROWDED STREET, MUMBAI – DAY

The Protagonist walks out of an electronics store, opening a

new phone, and slips into the throng. He dials

Yup?

MALE VOICE:

(over phone)

PROTAGONIST:

We live in a twilight world.

MALE VOICE:

(over phone)

No friends at dusk. I was told

you’d left the building.

PROTAGONIST:

Even the dead need allies.

MALE VOICE:

(over phone)

Specifically?

PROTAGONIST:

An assist in Mumbai. To get to

Sanjay Singh.

MALE VOICE:

(over phone)

Singh? He never leaves his house,

and his house... well, it’s –

PROTAGONIST:

Yes, it is – I’m looking right at

it.

Above the bustling street, a HIGH-RISE HOUSE, at least twenty

storeys tall, with two large balconies, towers over...

MALE VOICE:

(over phone)

I’ll see who’s on deck. Bombay

Yacht Club, two hours.

As the Protagonist hangs up, he spots a figure, on the top

balcony. A WOMAN IN A SARI, standing high above the city.

INT. BOMBAY YACHT CLUB – EVENING

The Protagonist enters the quiet ex-colonial establishment.

Takes a seat. A BUSINESSMAN sits down next to him.

BUSINESSMAN:

It seems you need an introduction

to a prominent Mumbai local on

short notice. I’m Neil.

Neil offers his hand. The Protagonist takes it –

PROTAGONIST:

I need an audience with Sanjay

Singh.

NEIL:

Not possible.

PROTAGONIST:

Ten minutes, tops.

NEIL:

Time isn’t the problem. Getting out

alive’s the problem.

(thinks)

Would you take a child hostage?

The Protagonist shakes his head.

A woman?

NEIL (CONT'D)

PROTAGONIST:

If I had to. I’m not looking to

make much noise here.

Neil keeps thinking. Signals a waiter

NEIL:

Vodka tonic.

(gestures at the

Protagonist)

Diet Coke.

The Protagonist stares at Neil. Neil looks up, confused.

NEIL (CONT'D)

What? You never drink on the job.

PROTAGONIST:

You’re well informed.

NEIL:

It pays to be in our profession.

PROTAGONIST:

Well, I prefer club soda.

NEIL:

(grins)

No, you don’t.

Neil raps his knuckles on the table, thinking.

NEIL (CONT'D)

How’s your parachuting?

PROTAGONIST:

Broke an ankle in basic training.

Singh’s house isn’t tall enough to

parachute off of.

NEIL:

(thinks)

But it’s bungee-jumpable.

PROTAGONIST:

I don’t think ‘bungee-jumpable’ is

a word.

NEIL:

It may not be a word, but it may be

your only way out of that place.

(a thought occurs)

Or into it, for that matter.

EXT. HIGH-RISE HOUSE – EVENING

ARMED GUARDS patrol the balconies.

INT. HIGH-RISE HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

Inside one of the magnificent rooms, a middle-aged Indian man

mixes drinks. This is SANJAY SINGH.

EXT. LOW ROOFTOP NEXT DOOR TO HIGH-RISE HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

Neil and the Protagonist race across the roof carrying a

sports bag. Neil pulls out a WINCH, the Protagonist pulls out

a large CATAPULT, loops it around two pipes, glancing down

into the WALLED YARD at the foot of the high-rise house.

Neil BOLTS the winch to the roof, the Protagonist sights the

upper balcony of the high-rise house, FIRES a ball with a

line up and over the balcony railing...

EXT. HIGH-RISE HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist and Neil lie next to each other as the WINCH

RUNS, TENSIONING THEIR ELASTIC LINES... they LAUNCH

themselves, FLYING UP to land against the side of the

building –

They RUN SILENTLY UP THE BUILDING, onto the UPPER TERRACES,

SHOOTING TWO GUARDS with silenced pistols...

INT./EXT. HIGH-RISE HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

Sanjay Singh hands a drink to the Woman in the sari. They

move out onto the balcony

EXT. BALCONY – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist surprises Sanjay, holds him at gunpoint

PROTAGONIST:

(to the Woman)

Stay back.

(to Sanjay)

I was almost taken out by a very

unusual type of ammunition in

Ukraine. I want to know who

supplied it.

SANJAY:

My name’s Sanjay. And you are?

(silence)

No chit-chat?

The Woman pushes a RED BUTTON on the wall –

PROTAGONIST:

There’s no one at the other end. No

one who’s going to help you,

anyway.

INT. SECURITY STATION, HIGH-RISE HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

An alarm buzzes, the Security Guards are frozen, Neil has a

gun on them, a finger to his lips...

EXT. BALCONY, HIGH-RISE HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

Sanjay tries to turn to see the Protagonist

SANJAY:

Why would I know who supplied it?

The Protagonist pushes his head back around with the gun –

PROTAGONIST:

The combination of metals is unique

to India. If it’s from India, it’s

from you.

SANJAY:

A fair assumption

Deduction.

PROTAGONIST:

SANJAY:

Deduction, then. Look, my friend,

guns are never conducive to a

productive negotiation.

PROTAGONIST:

I’m not the man they send to

negotiate...

He C*CKS his weapon – puts the gun to Sanjay’s head –

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

But I am the man people talk to.

SANJAY:

(charm curdles)

I can’t. I can’t tell you.

PROTAGONIST:

You’re an arms dealer, friend

this may be the easiest trigger

I’ve ever had to pull.

WOMAN (O.S.)

To say anything about a client

would violate the tenets he lives

by...

The Protagonist GLANCES at the Woman... whose fingers are

casually INTERTWINED. The Protagonist brings his free hand up

to hold the gun in both hands, fingers INTERLACED...

PROTAGONIST:

If tenets are important to you,

then you can tell me. Everything.

WOMAN:

Not while you have a gun to my

husband’s head.

The Protagonist releases him.

WOMAN (CONT'D)

Sanjay, make us a drink.

INT. TERRACE OVERLOOKING MUMBAI, SANJAY’S HOUSE – LATER

Overlooking the extraordinary bustle of the city. Sanjay has

left. His wife hands the Protagonist his drink

PRIYA:

I’m Priya Singh.

PROTAGONIST:

This is your operation?

PRIYA:

A masculine front in a man’s world

has its uses. The dealer you’re

looking for is Andrei Sator.

PROTAGONIST:

The Russian oligarch?

PRIYA:

You know him?

PROTAGONIST:

Not personally. Made his billions

in gas, moved to London and married

an English girl. Said to be on the

outs with Moscow.

PRIYA:

Very good. Except the ‘gas’ he made

his billions from was actually

plutonium, and he’s said to be on

the outs so he can feed British

Intelligence whatever the Russians

want them to think they know.

PROTAGONIST:

None of which explains how or why

you sold him inverted munitions.

PRIYA:

When I sold him the rounds, they

were perfectly ordinary.

PROTAGONIST:

So how did he get them inverted?

PRIYA:

We believe he’s functioning as some

kind of broker between our time and

the future.

PROTAGONIST:

He can communicate with the future?

PRIYA:

We all do. Credit cards, email,

text – anything that goes into the

record speaks directly to the

future. The question is – can the

future speak back? And, if so, what

are they saying?

PROTAGONIST:

And I’m supposed to find out?

PRIYA:

To get anywhere near Sator would

take a fresh-faced protagonist...

She reaches up to touch his cheek.

PRIYA (CONT'D)

Fresh as a daisy. Get close, find

out what he’s receiving and how.

PROTAGONIST:

Is it safe to involve British

Intelligence?

PRIYA:

I have a contact who’s out of

Sator’s reach.

One of us?

PROTAGONIST:

PRIYA:

No, he thinks we’re chasing

plutonium.

SIRENS. BANGS! Priya looks over to see POLICE CARS arriving

far below, in the WALLED YARD at the foot of her house...

PRIYA (CONT'D)

You’d better get out of here.

PROTAGONIST:

Can’t you explain things?

PRIYA:

You have to start looking at the

world in a new way – this conflict

runs backwards and forwards

simultaneously. Your name on a

police report reveals your identity

to the future – they pass it back

to Sator

PROTAGONIST:

My cover’s blown before I get near

him.

PRIYA:

You got in – you must’ve had a plan

for getting out.

The Protagonist pulls a CLIP and cord from his harness

PROTAGONIST:

Not one I loved.

Priya watches him clip onto the balcony rail. Neil FLIES

PAST, dropping from the balcony above.

The Protagonist JUMPS, SLOWING as he DROPS BEHIND THE WALL,

OUT OF REACH OF THE POLICE, into a MARKET STREET and RELEASES

his harnessdisappearing into the crowd...

EXT. MEMBER’S CLUB, LONDON – DAY

The Protagonist walks down the busy Mall, and up the steps...

INT. MEMBER’S CLUB, LONDON – DAY

The Protagonist enters, is approached by a STEWARD.

STEWARD:

Can I help you, sir?

PROTAGONIST:

I’m Mr Crosby’s lunch.

STEWARD:

I presume you mean Sir Michael

Crosby’s lunch?

PROTAGONIST:

Presume away.

STEWARD:

If you’ll follow me.

INT. LOUNGE, MEMBER’S CLUB – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist is shown to a table where a distinguished

middle-aged man is already eating. CROSBY.

CROSBY:

Started without you, hope you don’t

mind.

PROTAGONIST:

I’ll catch up.

(to the Steward)

Same for me.

STEWARD:

I’ll send the waiter.

PROTAGONIST:

No, just pass on the order.

Crosby smiles at the Protagonist’s handling of the Steward.

CROSBY:

I gather you’ve an interest in a

certain Russian national.

PROTAGONIST:

Anglo-Russian. So I’ll have to

watch my step.

CROSBY:

Indeed. He’s tapped into the

intelligence services – I’ve warned

them he’s feeding them rubbish, but

they don’t seem to care.

PROTAGONIST:

Tell me about him.

CROSBY:

I assume you’re familiar with the

Soviet-era secret cities?

PROTAGONIST:

Closed cities, not shown on maps,

built up around sensitive

industries. Most of them have been

opened up and renamed as regular

towns.

CROSBY:

Not the one Sator grew up in.

Stalsk-12.

(MORE)

CROSBY (CONT'D)

In the seventies our people

estimated its population at almost

200,000. Unacknowledged to this

day. Thought to be abandoned.

Abandoned?

PROTAGONIST:

CROSBY:

Some kind of accident. After which

we think it became a site for

underground tests. Just two weeks

ago, same day as the Kiev Opera

siege, our satellites detected a

detonation in north-west Siberia,

about where we think Stalsk-12 was.

Nuclear?

PROTAGONIST:

CROSBY:

Big enough to be noticed. Sator

emerged from this blank spot on the

map with an ambition that

eventually led him here, to buy his

way into the British establishment.

PROTAGONIST:

Through his wife?

CROSBY:

Katherine Barton, eldest niece of

Sir Frederick Barton. She works at

Shipley’s, met Sator at an auction.

PROTAGONIST:

He’s into art?

CROSBY:

Like a lot of wealthy criminals, he

thinks if he covers his walls with

tasteful, expensive things it’ll

distract from the bloodshed.

Judging by the lovely girl he

married, there might be something

in it.

PROTAGONIST:

Happy marriage?

CROSBY:

No. Practically estranged.

PROTAGONIST:

How do I get to Sator?

CROSBY:

Through her, of course.

PROTAGONIST:

You may have an inflated idea of my

powers of seduction.

CROSBY:

Hardly. We have an ace in the

hole...

Crosby slides a SHOPPING BAG over to the Protagonist’s feet.

The Protagonist looks inside: a small FRAMED DRAWING.

PROTAGONIST:

You’re carrying a Goya in a Harrods

bag?

CROSBY:

It’s a fake, by a Spaniard named

Arepo. One of two we confiscated

from an embezzler in Bern. We hung

on to this one for a rainy day – I

felt the first drops when India

called.

PROTAGONIST:

What happened to the other one?

CROSBY:

A Rubens. It turned up at

Shipley’s, where it was

authenticated by Katherine Barton

before going under the hammer. And

who do you suppose bought it?

PROTAGONIST:

Her husband? Does she know it’s a

forgery?

CROSBY:

Hard to say. Rumour had it that she

and Arepo were close.

Crosby looks the Protagonist over –

CROSBY (CONT'D)

Look, no offence, but this is a

world where someone claiming to be

a billionaire gets asked if they’re

just a dollar billionaire.

And?

PROTAGONIST:

CROSBY:

Brooks Brothers won’t cut it.

PROTAGONIST:

I’m assuming I have a budget.

CROSBY:

(tosses him a credit

card)

Save the world, then we’ll balance

the books. Can I recommend a

tailor?

PROTAGONIST:

I’ll manage. You British don’t have

a monopoly on snobbery, you know.

CROSBY:

Not a monopoly. More of a

controlling interest.

The Protagonist rises, taking the credit card and the bag.

PROTAGONIST:

Thanks for this. By the way, is she

a Kate or a Kathy?

CROSBY:

A Kat, I believe.

The waiter arrives, bearing food, supervised by the Steward.

PROTAGONIST:

Could you box that for me?

STEWARD:

Certainly not.

The Protagonist smiles at Crosby, who nods goodbye.

PROTAGONIST:

Goodbye, Sir Michael.

EXT. WEST LONDON PRIVATE SCHOOL – DAY

Mothers stand at the railings waiting for their kids. One of

them, a smart YOUNG WOMAN, stands a little apart from the

group. SCHOOLKIDS pile out of the school...

INT./EXT. CAR – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist watches from across the road as the Young

Woman SPOTS her son. She offers him her hand, but he reaches

up to take his NANNY’S. She moves her hand to pick something

off his jumper before he is put into the back of a BLACK

RANGE ROVER with tinted windows.

The Protagonist watches the Young Woman wave at the departing

car carrying her child. Utterly alone.

EXT. SHIPLEY’S, LONDON – DAY

A BENTLEY pulls up – a DOORMAN opens the rear door, the

Protagonist emerges, IMMACULATELY TAILORED, holding a

beautiful leather briefcase.

INT. SHIPLEY’S – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist is approached by a REPRESENTATIVE

REPRESENTATIVE:

How can I help, sir?

PROTAGONIST:

I have an appraisal with Ms Barton.

REPRESENTATIVE:

(to receptionist)

Tell Kat her client is in the

Fallow Room.

INT. APPRAISAL ROOMMOMENTS LATER

The Protagonist admires the paintings on the walls. The door

opens and the Young Woman from the school gates comes in,

dressed for business. This is KAT BARTON. She looks bemused,

but gives him a genuine and friendly smile

KAT:

I’m sorry, I wasn’t notified of any

appointments, Mr...

Goya?

Mr Goya?

PROTAGONIST:

KAT:

The Protagonist opens his briefcase...

PROTAGONIST:

No, I’m told you’re the person to

see about...

Offers the drawing to her...

...Goya.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

She takes it, suddenly interested...

KAT:

Wow. It’s extraordinary.

She lays the drawing on the table and grabs a loupe

PROTAGONIST:

What’s it worth?

KAT:

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

There’s a lot of work before any

kind of valuation – provenance,

microscopic examination, X-rays...

She is bent over the table, peering through the loupe.

The Protagonist studies her reaction as he –

PROTAGONIST:

But what does your heart tell you?

She steps back. Something about the drawing BOTHERS her...

KAT:

I’m sorry, where did you say you

acquired this drawing?

PROTAGONIST:

Tomas Arepo.

Kat rises and turns to face the Protagonist. Cold.

KAT:

What do you want?

PROTAGONIST:

What I want is complicated.

KAT:

Do you work for my husband?

PROTAGONIST:

I’ve never met your husband. That’s

the reason I’m here. Is there

somewhere we can talk?

KAT:

In London? Not really.

INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT

The Protagonist and Kat sit at a corner table.

PROTAGONIST:

I bought my Goya for cents on the

dollar from an irate Swiss banker.

Traced it to Arepo, and realized

I’d scored a bargain when he told

me who’d paid top dollar for

another one of his pictures. Your

husband.

KAT:

Where’s the bargain? Your drawing’s

an obvious fake.

PROTAGONIST:

My drawing’s a very good fake – you

know that better than anyone. The

information’s the bargain.

KAT:

The information that I helped

defraud my own husband?

PROTAGONIST:

He and I are in related businesses,

but he’s a hard man to meet. If you

and I were to make an arrangement

KAT:

Arrangement? You mean blackmail.

Don’t be afraid of the word – my

husband isn’t. And I’m sorry to

tell you he got there first.

PROTAGONIST:

He knows? And he’s never done

anything about it?

KAT:

Why would he?

PROTAGONIST:

He paid nine million dollars

KAT:

Which would barely cover the

holiday he just forced us on.

PROTAGONIST:

Where’d you go – Mars?

KAT:

Viet Nam. On our yacht. His yacht.

Kat looks the Protagonist up and down...

KAT (CONT'D)

You’ve got the suit. The shoes, the

watch. But I think you’re a little

out of your depth.

PROTAGONIST:

(sharp)

People who’ve amassed fortunes like

your husband’s aren’t generally

okay with being cheated out of any

of it.

Kat sips her wine. Wanting to talk. Knowing she shouldn’t.

KAT:

The drawing is his hold over me. He

threatened me with the police,

prison, the works. He controls me,

my contact with my son, everything.

Leaving him would never have been

easy, now it’s impossible. My life,

now... You can’t fight. Just beg.

Or worse. In Viet Nam I tried to

love him again. If there were still

love, he might give me my son. We

sat on that bloody boat and watched

the sunsets, imitating an earlier

time. He seemed happy, so I asked.

And he made me an offer. To let me

go if I agreed to never see my son

again. I expressed myself

INSERT CUT:
a CRYSTAL BOWL of RASPBERRIES SMASHES onto the

polished wood of a yacht’s deck –

KAT (CONT'D)

Then took Max ashore. He called us,

contrite. But when we came back...

INSERT CUT:
Kat and Max on a launch – Kat follows Max’s gaze

to see a FEMALE FIGURE SLIDE into the water...

KAT (CONT'D)

I glimpsed some other woman diving

off the boat. And he’d vanished.

I’ve never felt such envy.

PROTAGONIST:

You don’t seem the jealous type.

KAT:

Of her. You know how I dream of

just diving off that boat? Of

freedom?

PROTAGONIST:

But you share a son.

KAT:

And that’s my life.

PROTAGONIST:

Did you know the drawing was a

fake?

KAT:

The authentication took months

Arepo and I became close, maybe too

close. Maybe my judgement was

clouded. I failed.

(MORE)

KAT (CONT'D)

But Andrei can’t conceive of

failure, only betrayal. I didn’t

betray my husband. In retrospect,

maybe I missed my chance.

PROTAGONIST:

And he let Arepo walk free?

KAT:

If you’d actually met Arepo, as you

claimed, you’d understand that he

no longer walks anywhere.

PROTAGONIST:

We spoke on the phone

KAT:

He can’t do that, either.

The Protagonist considers this.

PROTAGONIST:

Where’s the drawing?

Why?

KAT:

PROTAGONIST:

Get me the introduction, I’ll take

the drawing out of the equation. No

picture, no prosecution. No hold

over you.

Kat looks at the Protagonist. Not daring to hope.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

I might just be your second chance

KAT:

(snaps)

I don’t need redemption.

PROTAGONIST:

At betrayal.

A LARGE, WELL-DRESSED THUG sits down at the table. He takes a

green bean from the Protagonist’s plate and chews it

vacantly. This is VOLKOV. The Protagonist looks at Kat –

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Friend of your husband?

(she nods)

You knew this would happen?

KAT:

They won’t kill you. Andrei

dislikes tangling with local law

enforcement on that level.

PROTAGONIST:

You must really not have liked the

look of me.

KAT:

(rising)

The look of you is fine. It’s

better to get to the nasty part

before I care one way or the other.

He takes her hand, pulls her forward to kiss her cheek.

PROTAGONIST:

(whispers)

There’s a number in your left coat

pocket. Don’t call from home.

A Thug puts a MEATY HAND on the Protagonist’s shoulder.

KAT:

You won’t be taking my call.

PROTAGONIST:

I might surprise you.

She leaves, BREEZING out through the kitchen... at Volkov’s

nod, two Thugs escort the Protagonist from his chair, heading

towards the kitchen – a WAITER moves to object – Volkov,

eating the Protagonist’s leftovers, pulls the Waiter up

short, shaking his head.

EXT. ALLEY BEHIND RESTAURANTMOMENTS LATER

Kat exits the restaurant, DISTRAUGHT, walking past a waiting

THUG, then sliding into the back seat of a MERCEDES.

INT./EXT. MERCEDES – CONTINUOUS

The driver is a GAUNT RUSSIAN.

KAT:

Please, let’s go.

The Gaunt Russian does not react, but watches through the

rear-view mirror as a THUG enters the kitchen

KAT (CONT'D)

Can we get going?

INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist enters the kitchen, followed by the two

thugs. CHEFS and BUSBOYS retreat as the other thug

approaches...

INT./EXT. ALLEY BEHIND RESTAURANT – CONTINUOUS

Kat turns from the window

Please!

KAT:

GAUNT RUSSIAN:

He wants you to see...

INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist JACKKNIFES HIS LOWER LEG UP into the crotch

of the thug behind him – SPINS him into the Thug next to him

POTS and Pans flying

INT. RESTAURANT – CONTINUOUS

Volkov wipes sauce with bread, enjoying noises from the

kitchen...

INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS

The Third Thug SWINGS – the Protagonist DODGES, takes the

blow on the shoulderSLAMS his head into the Third Thug’s

neck, leaving him GASPING – the Protagonist GRABS the Third

Thug, RACING for the WINDOW...

INT./EXT. MERCEDES – CONTINUOUS

Kat FLINCHES as, with a CRASH of plates, a body TUMBLES down

the stairs...

GAUNT RUSSIAN:

And he gets what he wants.

Then she sees something else... the Protagonist exits.

KAT:

Not always, apparently.

EXT. ALLEY BEHIND RESTAURANT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist brushes himself clean, SPOTS the Mercedes,

starts moving towards it –

INT./EXT. MERCEDES – CONTINUOUS

The Gaunt Russian SCRAMBLES to get the car moving. Kat looks

back at the Protagonist as the car ROARS away...

EXT. SCHOOL GATES – DAY

Kat is crouched, talking to her son, MAX. The Nanny hovers

MAX:

Anna says we’re going to Pompeii

and see lava.

KAT:

We’ll go together. I’ll be there,

too.

Max looks up at the Nanny. Kat hugs him, tight. The Nanny

TAPS Kat on the shoulder. Kat smiles at her son, tears in her

eyes, as the car pulls away. She pulls out her phone,

dials... hears a RINGTONE behind her –

The Protagonist is there.

PROTAGONIST:

I said I’d surprise you. He’s a

cute kid.

KAT:

Max. He’s everything.

PROTAGONIST:

Where’s the drawing?

KAT:

Oslo. At the airport.

PROTAGONIST:

The airport?

INSERT CUT:
a Rotas car drives across an airport apron, and

down a ramp...

KAT:

Do you know what a freeport is?

PROTAGONIST:

A storage facility for art that’s

been acquired

...into a SLEEK facility – the OSLO FREEPORT – as a STAFF

MEMBER stands ready to greet a new CLIENT...

KAT (V.O.)

But not yet taxed. We started a

network – Rotas, his construction

company, built them, I brought in

clients. The facilities are tax

havens...

The client is NEIL... he takes in the security

arrangements...

PROTAGONIST (V.O.)

The clients can view their

investments –

EXT. OSLO OPERA HOUSE – DAY

The Protagonist is standing on the roof of the Oslo Opera

House, briefing Neil...

PROTAGONIST (V.O.)

without importing them, so they

avoid paying tax.

NEIL:

Sort of a transit lounge for art?

We go back to Kat, on the street, briefing the Protagonist...

KAT:

Art, antiques, anything of value,

really.

Anything?

PROTAGONIST:

KAT:

Anything legal...

Then back to the Protagonist briefing Neil...

PROTAGONIST:

But it’s not unlike the Swiss

banking system. Opaque.

Back to Kat –

KAT:

Rotas has assets in the Oslo

Freeport. I’m guessing it’s there.

Guessing?

PROTAGONIST:

Back to Oslo –

Guessing?

NEIL:

Back to Kat –

KAT:

We make trips there four or five

times a year.

PROTAGONIST:

To view art?

KAT:

And whatever he does – it turns out

art is of no importance to Andrei.

PROTAGONIST:

But the freeports are.

Kat nods.

INT. FREEPORT – DAY

A STAFF MEMBER brings Neil into a LUXURIOUS GALLERY

STAFF MEMBER:

Some freeports are just warehouses

– here, you can actually enjoy your

possessions...

Then through doors into an ANGLED INNER CORRIDOR...

STAFF MEMBER (CONT'D)

The structure of the vaults is

based on The Pentagon – each vault

a separate structure within the

others. Damage to one structure

won’t compromise the others.

They arrive at a door in the corridor. The Staff Member uses

his thumb to unlock a door –

STAFF MEMBER (CONT'D)

Clients have biometric access

straight in off the tarmac.

NEIL:

From the terminal?

STAFF MEMBER:

(confused)

From their private planes.

Of course.

NEIL:

Neil checks the locks as the Staff Member opens the door into

INT. FREEPORT SHIPPING AREA – CONTINUOUS

A VAST SHIPPING AREA filled with SHIPPING CONTAINERS

STAFF MEMBER:

Our logistics department ships to

and from other freeports without

customs inspection...

Neil notices ROTAS containers marked for delivery to TALLINN.

NEIL (V.O.)

What’re you hoping to find?

EXT. OSLO OPERA HOUSE – DAY

PROTAGONIST:

You really want to know?

NEIL:

I’m not sure.

PROTAGONIST:

Bring some lead-lined gloves.

NEIL:

Jesus. Nuclear?

PROTAGONIST:

When you’re on the tour –

INT. FREEPORT – DAY

Neil is shown back into one of the vaults...

PROTAGONIST (V.O.)

Pay attention to the fire

precautions.

NEIL:

Documents are vulnerable to –

STAFF MEMBER:

Fire. Absolutely

NEIL:

I was going to say, water damage

from sprinkler systems.

STAFF MEMBER:

We don’t use sprinklers.

(points to vents)

The facility is flooded with halide

gas, displacing all the air within

seconds.

NEIL:

Can you show me?

STAFF MEMBER:

If I did, we’d suffocate.

NEIL:

What about the staff in here?

STAFF MEMBER:

Halide only fills the vaults – they

just have to get into the corridor.

There’s a ten-second warning.

NEIL:

You only give them ten seconds?

STAFF MEMBER:

Our clients use us because we have

no priorities above their property.

Blimey.

NEIL:

STAFF MEMBER:

Well, sir, you asked.

INT. OSLO AIRPORT – DAY

The Protagonist and Neil walk through the terminal.

NEIL:

Vault doors are fireproof,

hydraulic closers, simple key and

electronic triggers. Surprisingly

easy, once there’s a lockdown.

PROTAGONIST:

Why a lockdown?

NEIL:

Power switches to fail-safe,

sealing outer doors, but inner

doors revert to factory settings

and pickable locks. Child’s play,

really.

PROTAGONIST:

Child’s play? They’re inside

airport security. They have to

worry about climate control, not

armed raids.

NEIL:

So how do we get fire power through

the perimeter to trigger a

lockdown?

EXT. CROWDED AIRPORT BUS, OSLO AIRPORT – DAY

The Protagonist and Neil look across the tarmac to the

freeport structure.

NEIL:

Back wall of the freeport...

The Protagonist notices Neil start to smile...

PROTAGONIST:

You’ve got something?

NEIL:

You’re not going to like it.

EXT. OSLO STREET – DAY

The Protagonist looks at Neil in disbelief.

PROTAGONIST:

You want to crash a plane?

NEIL:

Not from the air, don’t be so

dramatic. I want to run a jet off

the taxiway, breach the rear wall,

start a fire.

PROTAGONIST:

How big a plane?

NEIL:

Well, that part is a little

dramatic.

They approach a MAN sitting on a harbour-front bench.

NEIL (CONT'D)

This is Mahir. His team will work

the plane.

PROTAGONIST:

There can’t be passengers

MAHIR:

Norskfreight. They use the hangar

on the west side of the freeport.

PROTAGONIST:

You want to crash a transport

plane? What about the crew?

MAHIR:

We’ll pop the slides, chuck ’em off

PROTAGONIST:

On the move?

MAHIR:

What’s the problem? They’ll be

fine.

PROTAGONIST:

It seems... bold.

MAHIR:

(smiles)

‘Bold’ I’m fine with – I thought

you were going to say nuts.

PROTAGONIST:

And if you get caught?

We won’t.

If you do?

MAHIR:

PROTAGONIST:

MAHIR:

Everyone assumes terrorism, but no

one’s died. Swift extradition, then

lost in the system. It’ll barely

make the news.

NEIL:

That may depend on the size of your

explosion.

MAHIR:

Actually, the gold bars might get

some play.

Gold bars?

PROTAGONIST:

NEIL:

Norskfreight ships treasury gold

once a month.

MAHIR:

We blow the back, drop the gold out

on the runway.

NEIL:

No one’s going to be looking at

your building, I guarantee you.

INT. HOTEL ROOM, OSLO – DAY

Neil takes LUNGFULS of air, hyperventilatingMahir starts a

stopwatch. The Protagonist studies some plans...

PROTAGONIST:

The space at the centre of the

pentagon’s too big... there’s

something there, not marked.

Neil runs out of air. Mahir checks his watch.

NEIL:

A vault within a vault?

Maybe.

PROTAGONIST:

MAHIR:

Eighty-five seconds.

Ample.

NEIL:

MAHIR:

Won’t you be running?

(turns to the

Protagonist)

Start packing.

The Protagonist starts BREATHING HARD...

EXT. FREEPORT – NIGHT

The Protagonist and Neil, carrying BRIEFCASES, head inside.

EXT. APRON, OSLO AIRPORT – CONTINUOUS

Two WORKERS (Mahir and his associate, ROHAN) back up a MEAL

TRUCK to a TRANSPORT PLANE. They LIFT the cargo until it is

level with the front side door...

INT. FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist follows Neil through security. Their

briefcases are examined, finding FRAMED DOCUMENTS...

INT. TRANSPORT PLANE – CONTINUOUS

Mahir and Rohan carry crew meals through the door and into

the galley, where they stack them into the catering units,

supervised by a GUARD...

INT. GALLERY SPACE/LOUNGE, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

The Staff Member brings Neil an espresso. The Protagonist

subtly checks his watch...

INT. TRANSPORT PLANE – CONTINUOUS

Mahir points past the Guard

MAHIR:

You gonna eat that?

The Guard turnsMahir GRABS him from behind, Rohan stuffs a

COTTON PAD over the Guard’s face, rendering him unconscious.

They ROLL him into the catering-truck lift... Mahir pops out

and signals ANOTHER GUARD...

THREE GUARDS have been dumped into the truck lift – Rohan

sends it DOWN, SEALS the plane door. Mahir approaches the

cockpit as the PILOTS perform checksSHOWS THEM HIS GUN...

MAHIR (CONT'D)

Alright, lads?

INT. CORRIDOR, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

The Staff Member leads Neil and the Protagonist into the

vaults...

INT. TRANSPORT PLANE – CONTINUOUS

At gunpoint, the Pilots nervously pull back from the hangar.

Rohan checks the stacks of GOLD BARS secured in the rear.

EXT. APRON, OSLO AIRPORT – CONTINUOUS

The plane is TOWED back onto the taxiway and lifts its

engines, easing forward...

INT. TRANSPORT PLANE – CONTINUOUS

Rohan SLASHES the restraining strapsCROUCHES behind the

pile of gold – pulls out a GRENADEGRABS the nearest gold

bar and STUFFS it into his waistband before PULLING THE

PIN...

INT. VAULTS, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

The Staff Member shows Neil and the Protagonist into a vault.

Neil puts down his briefcasepulls out the framed

documents.

EXT. TAXIWAY, OSLO AIRPORT – CONTINUOUS

The transport plane BARRELS down the taxiway...

INT. TRANSPORT PLANE – CONTINUOUS

Rohan TOSSES the grenade behind the gold at the tail of the

plane and DUCKS as it BLOWS

EXT. TAXIWAY, OSLO AIRPORT – CONTINUOUS

BLASTING a hole in the rear of the plane... GOLD BARS POUR

OUT, CLATTERING ACROSS THE TARMAC...

INT. VAULTS, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

Hearing the distant explosion, the Protagonist and Neil start

PACKING AIR... the Staff Member stares at them, quizzical

Yoga.

NEIL:

(between breaths)

INT. COCKPIT, TRANSPORT PLANE – CONTINUOUS

Mahir forces the Pilots from their seats

EXT. TAXIWAY, OSLO AIRPORT – CONTINUOUS

The INFLATABLE SLIDE BURSTS OPEN, DRAGGING on the asphalt, as

the Pilots roll onto it, SCRAMBLING DOWN to the ground,

ROLLING AWAY from the giant plane...

INT. COCKPIT, TRANSPORT PLANE – CONTINUOUS

Mahir TURNS the stick HARD LEFT, AIMING AT THE REAR WALL OF

THE FREEPORT

INT. TRANSPORT PLANE – CONTINUOUS

Rohan lowers a ladder behind the forward landing gear – he

and Mahir climb down –

EXT. TAXIWAY, OSLO AIRPORT – CONTINUOUS

Mahir and Rohan jump down onto the asphalt, racing back

between the wheels as the giant plane SMASHES INTO THE BRICK

WALL OF THE FREEPORT, ERUPTING IN A MASSIVE EXPLOSION...

INT. VAULTS, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

The vault is ROCKED by the explosionALARMS SCREAM – DOORS

START CLOSING – Neil looks, panicked, at the Staff Member

NEIL:

Ten seconds, right?!

The Staff Member BOLTSPUSHING PAST THEM – they take a last

gulp of air – GAS HISSES IN. They pull apart the frames of

the documents, BREAKING THEM INTO LOCK-PICKING APPARATUS

lockpicks, small crowbar – they go to work on the INNER DOOR,

PRYING open a panel – HOT-WIRING it – the door SLIDES UP

INT. CORRIDOR, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

They BURST into the corridor, GASPING – the door SLAMS DOWN

behind them – they HUSTLE down to the next vault door – get

to work. The door opens, they GULP AIR, then RACE inside

INT. VAULT 2, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

round the corner past RACKS, CRATES, some BROKEN – stop at

the next door, the Protagonist picks the lock – his PICK

BREAKS – Neil BOLTS back to where they entered – the

Protagonist STRUGGLES, pulling out pieces of the pick – Neil

gets to the first door –

NO HANDLE – the Protagonist uses a different tool – Neil

SMASHES the door, full-blown PANIC – he looks to the end of

the vault where the ROLLER DOOR is BROKEN at the bottom,

halide gas HISSING OUT

Neil races towards it – the Protagonist gets his door OPEN

Neil STUMBLES past – the Protagonist DRAGS him through the

door –

INT. INNER CORRIDOR – CONTINUOUS

They lie GASPING. Neil hears something, looks around

NEIL:

(urgent whisper)

There’s someone in here with us!

The Protagonist is up, moving down the corridor...

They arrive at two doors, side by side: the Rotas vault. They

each work on a door. Neil’s OPENS

NEIL (CONT'D)

Need a hand?

The Protagonist works his door... nothing.

PROTAGONIST:

Actually, yes.

Neil leans over, hits ‘ENTER’, the door OPENS.

INT. ROTAS VAULT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist enters a room, one side of which is a LONG

GLASS WINDOW. Neil is on the other side of the glass, in an

IDENTICAL ROOM. There are BULLET HOLES in the glass. At the

end of each room is a tube, like a sealed in REVOLVING DOOR.

The Protagonist’s feet crunch BROKEN GLASS...

Neil examines BULLET HOLES in the wall opposite the glass.

WISPS of SMOKE gather near the holes – Neil reaches up –

PROTAGONIST:

Don’t touch them –

NEIL:

What the hell happened here?

The Protagonist sees a STRIPPED AUTOMATIC PISTOL on the

floor. He picks it up, thinking

PROTAGONIST:

It hasn’t happened, yet.

Neil looks at the Protagonist, quizzical – A LOUD HUM STARTS

UP from the revolving door... the Protagonist looks down –

MOVEMENT beneath his feet – the DEBRISSMOKE GATHERS – the

revolving doors ROTATE, OPENING – a BLACK-CLAD FIGURE in a

GAS MASK LEAPS BACKWARDS from the tube – reaching behind

itself to GRAB the stripped automatic in the Protagonist’s

hand –

On Neil’s side an identical BLACK-CLAD FIGURE LEAPS out

FORWARDS – knocks Neil over, moving for the vault door –

A SLIDE jumps into the Backwards Figure’s hand – he

REASSEMBLES the gun in the Protagonist’s hand – a MAGAZINE

jumping up to LOAD IT – BLAM!

A bullet is SUCKED OUT OF THE WALLTHROUGH THE GLASS

‘HEALING’ THE BULLET HOLES – the Protagonist STRUGGLES with

the Backwards Figurewhose REVERSE MOVEMENTS seem ALIEN and

IMPOSSIBLE –

Neil gives chaseRACING out of the vault door –

The Backwards Figure pulls the Protagonist sideways, lining

up his head with the next bullet hole – BLAM! GLASS FLIES UP

as the shot JUST MISSES the Protagonist’s head –

INT. CORRIDOR, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

Neil CHASES the Forwards Figure down the corridor

INT. ROTAS VAULT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist STRUGGLES – the Backwards Figure PUSHES him

towards the next bullet hole, STRANGE REVERSE GROANING

building in its throat, behind the black gas mask, the GROAN

PEAKING AS the Protagonist takes his PICK and STABS the

Backwards Figure in the arm and SMACKS the Figure’s gun out

of its hand – it BOUNCES out the door –

The Figure RISES into the Protagonist’s arms – PULLS him

backwards – we can’t tell if it’s PUSHING or the Protagonist

is PULLING as they move backwards through the door –

INT. CORRIDOR, VAULT – CONTINUOUS

The Figure PUSHES/PULLS the Protagonist down the corridor

INT. CORRIDOR, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

Neil RACES around a corner, GRABS the Figure’s MASK, which

COMES OFF – he looks, SURPRISED, at the Figure’s face, WHICH

WE CANNOT SEE, then TURNS, RACING back the way he came...

INT. CORRIDOR, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist and the Backwards Figure struggle into –

INT. VAULT 2, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

They SMASH into the racks and crates – the Protagonist GRABS

the gun – raises it to the Figure’s head –

NEIL (O.S.)

NO! Don’t kill him!

The Protagonist freezes – Neil steps up, DESPERATE

NEIL (CONT'D)

We need to know if you’re

compromised.

The Protagonist THROWS the Figure to the ground

PROTAGONIST:

Why are you here?!

The Protagonist tries to rip off the gas mask, but it is

strapped tight – the REVERSE KEENING gets LOUDER and LOUDER.

The Protagonist STEPS onto the Figure’s injured arm...

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Who sent you?!

The Figure’s reverse screaming gets louder – the Protagonist

KICKS its arm, HARD, AGAIN AND AGAIN

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

HOW DID YOU KNOW WE’D BE HERE!

A BOOM! from outsideAIR starts BLOWING ACROSS the

Backwards Figure, SUCKING underneath the broken roller door –

the Backwards Figure SLIDES impossibly across the floor and

underneath the door which SLAMS shut, unbroken behind him.

The Protagonist and Neil look at each other...

NEIL:

We have to go.

EXT. APRON, OSLO AIRPORT – CONTINUOUS

One of the plane’s JET ENGINES has come loose, STILL

THRUSTING, SWINGING AROUND, wreaking HAVOC for the EMERGENCY

SERVICES – an AMBULANCE SKIDS SIDEWAYS, avoiding the

THRUST...

Mahir and Rohan stand at a distance, watching the MAYHEM

along with DOZENS of other UNIFORMED AIRPORT WORKERS...

INT./EXT. FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

EMTS race in past the Staff Member...

INT. VAULTS, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

Neil moves to the other door – works the lock – SIRENS sound

PROTAGONIST:

What happened to the other guy?

NEIL:

I took care of him.

The door opens – they slip into the outer vault

INT. OUTER VAULT, FREEPORTMOMENTS LATER

They reassemble the document frames, then LIE DOWN,

‘unconscious’ – EMERGENCY SERVICES BURSTS IN...

INT. HOTEL ROOM, OSLO – DAWN

Neil hangs up his phone

NEIL:

Mahir and Rohan slipped out clean.

(turns to the

Protagonist)

I’ve seen too much and I’m still

alive. Which means you’ve decided

to trust me.

PROTAGONIST:

Or I’ve lost my edge.

NEIL:

Oh, your edge is intact.

The Protagonist looks at Neil.

PROTAGONIST:

There’s a cold war.

Nuclear?

Temporal.

NEIL:

PROTAGONIST:

NEIL:

(skeptical)

Time travel?

PROTAGONIST:

No. Technology that can invert an

object’s entropy.

NEIL:

You mean reverse chronology. Like

Feynman and Wheeler’s notion that

a positron is an electron moving

backwards in time.

PROTAGONIST:

Sure, that’s exactly what I meant.

NEIL:

I’ve a master’s in physics.

PROTAGONIST:

Well, try to keep up.

NEIL:

The implications of this are –

PROTAGONIST:

Beyond secret.

NEIL:

Then why’d you take me in?

PROTAGONIST:

I thought we’d find the drawing and

a couple boxes of bullets.

NEIL:

You were as surprised as I was.

PROTAGONIST:

I’m going back to Mumbai for

answers. I’ll set you up as go-

between. But remember – to you, all

this is about plutonium. Or when

we’re done, they’ll kill you.

NEIL:

Won’t you have to anyway?

PROTAGONIST:

I’d rather it was my decision.

NEIL:

So would I. I think.

INT./EXT. FERRY BOAT, MUMBAI – DAY

The Protagonist boards, approaching Priya at the rail.

PRIYA:

I don’t like to leave my house.

PROTAGONIST:

And I don’t like bungee jumping.

But we need to talk.

PRIYA:

What about?

Inversion.

PROTAGONIST:

PRIYA:

We spoke about it –

PROTAGONIST:

I don’t remember anything about

people being inverted

PRIYA:

We’re trying to do with inversion

what we couldn’t do with the atomic

bomb – uninvent it. Divide and

contain the knowledge. Ignorance is

our ammunition – the more any one

of us knows, the greater the risk

that we’re actually making the

situation worse.

Risk more.

PROTAGONIST:

Priya gestures at the paper. A headline: ‘OSLO GOLD FREIGHT

CRASH – TERRORISM? ROBBERY? BOTH?’

Your work?

PRIYA:

The Protagonist nods.

PRIYA (CONT'D)

What did you find in the vaults?

PROTAGONIST:

Two antagonists, one inverted. We

took out the regular one, the

inverted one got away.

PRIYA:

Both emerged at the same moment?

Yeah.

PROTAGONIST:

PRIYA:

They were the same person. You saw

someone re-inverting. Sator’s built

a turnstile in that vault.

Turnstile?

PROTAGONIST:

PRIYA:

A machine for inverting.

PROTAGONIST:

You told me the technology hasn’t

been invented, yet.

PRIYA:

It hasn’t. He’s been given it by

the future.

For what?

PROTAGONIST:

PRIYA:

You’ve the best chance of finding

out.

EXT. MUMBAI STREETMOMENTS LATER

They walk, BODYGUARDS at a discreet distance.

PRIYA:

Have you met him?

PROTAGONIST:

I was close.

PRIYA:

Get closer.

PROTAGONIST:

I’ve been compromised. Unless that

antagonist was a coincidence.

PRIYA:

The wife set you up?

PROTAGONIST:

Maybe. There’s a good chance I get

killed as soon as I go back in.

PRIYA:

This was always a suicide mission

that’s why they recruited a corpse.

PROTAGONIST:

Who did? Who are we working for?

PRIYA:

Everyone. Survival. You need more,

consider yourself working for me.

PROTAGONIST:

Well, Boss, I need a way to

succeed.

Priya thinks. Looks at the Protagonist. Deciding.

PRIYA:

What if you have something he

needs?

Such as?

PROTAGONIST:

PRIYA:

Plutonium 241. Sator tried to lift

the only loose 241 from under a CIA

team at the opera siege in Kiev. He

got the team, but not the 241.

Who did?

PROTAGONIST:

PRIYA:

Ukrainian security services. It’s

moving through Tallinn in a week.

PROTAGONIST:

Helping an arms dealer steal

weapons-grade plutonium is

unacceptable. I’m just gonna take

him out.

PRIYA:

No. Sator has to stay alive until

we know his part in things.

Leverage the situation without

losing control of the 241.

PROTAGONIST:

It’s too dangerous.

PRIYA:

A terrorist bomb, even one that

kills millions, is nothing compared

with what happens if we don’t stop

Sator.

PROTAGONIST:

From. Doing. What?

Priya looks up the road at the cars STREAMING past...

PRIYA:

We’re being attacked. Not by

terrorists or rogue states...

Who, then?

PROTAGONIST:

PRIYA:

We’re being attacked by the future.

And we’re fighting over time.

Time?

PROTAGONIST:

PRIYA:

Theirs is running out, so they’re

coming for ours. And Sator is

helping. You have to find out how.

EXT. TERRACE, AMALFI COAST – DAY

The Protagonist leaves the tourists behind, heading down a

leafy path to emerge at a terrace overlooking the sea. Kat

stands there, alone. The Protagonist falls in beside her.

KAT:

I saw the news from Oslo. Do you

have the drawing?

PROTAGONIST:

You don’t have to worry about it

any more.

KAT:

You destroyed it?

PROTAGONIST:

I didn’t think you’d want it back.

KAT:

Does he know?

PROTAGONIST:

Not yet, so sit tight.

KAT:

Sit tight? Why? Every day my son

spends with that monster, he thinks

a little less of me.

PROTAGONIST:

It won’t be long. In the meantime,

introduce me.

As what?

KAT:

PROTAGONIST:

I’m a former First Secretary from

the American Embassy in Riyadh, we

met at a party last June –

KAT:

We were at a party in Riyadh, but I

don’t think it was June –

PROTAGONIST:

June 29th. 7 for 7:30, salmon on

the printed menu swapped for sea

bass on the night. Sator left

early, that’s when we met. Don’t

offer any of this, it’s there if he

asks. I came into Shipley’s in

London, you ran into me here and

want to show me the yacht.

KAT:

He’ll think we’re having an affair.

PROTAGONIST:

And he’ll want to meet me.

KAT:

Or have you killed.

PROTAGONIST:

Let me worry about that.

KAT:

Did I look worried?

EXT. DOCK, AMALFI – DAY

The Protagonist and Kat look out at an enormous yacht.

KAT:

Sleeps 70, with crew. Four tenders,

two helicopters, missile defences

PROTAGONIST:

Jesus. Worried about pirates?

KAT:

Andrei loves playing one government

off another. The day they turn,

that’s his refuge.

PROTAGONIST:

What if I joined you?

She nods at Volkov, holding the launch’s line.

KAT:

I’m not sure Volkov’s taking

passengers just now.

PROTAGONIST:

Then let’s take mine.

The Protagonist nods at Volkov as they walk past.

EXT. HARBOUR, AMALFIMOMENTS LATER

The Protagonist GUNS his boat hard, carving a GLITTERING PATH

across the calm harbour. Kat sits, enjoying the speed.

The Protagonist pulls up alongside the yacht, CREW MEMBERS

SCRAMBLE, unaccustomed to unauthorized approaches. The

Protagonist follows Kat’s gaze to a FIGURE above, but the sun

is behind it. Kat steps onto the yacht.

The Protagonist gives the figure a JAUNTY SALUTE. No

response. The Protagonist ZIPS back towards shore, passing

the yacht’s launch. He waves at Volkov.

INT./EXT. YACHTMOMENTS LATER

Follow Kat into the enormous lounge. She drops her bags –

MALE VOICE (O.S.)

Who’s the American?

She turns. A middle-aged man with cold eyes and a thin beard

stands in the doorway. THIS IS SATOR.

A friend.

KAT:

SATOR:

The man from Shipley’s?

KAT:

Who you tried to have beaten up?

SATOR:

I ask again. Who is he?

KAT:

We met in Riyadh. In June at the

American Embassy.

SATOR:

Good with fists for a diplomat...

KAT:

Paranoia’s your department. He

seems nice, I invited him to the

dinner.

(turns away)

Max?... Max?!...

SATOR:

He’s visiting Pompeii and

Herculaneum.

KAT:

Overnight? You just sent him off?!

SATOR:

He’s my son.

KAT:

Our son. I told him I’d go with him

SATOR:

I explained you were busy. With

your friend.

He turns, walks away. She watches him leave.

INT. RESTAURANT, AMALFI COAST – EVENING

The Protagonist walks towards a table where Sator, holding

court, attacks some crabs. Volkov stops the Protagonist and

FRISKS him, in full view of the diners.

PROTAGONIST:

Where I’m from, you buy me dinner

first.

Without looking, Sator gestures at a seat, Volkov lets the

Protagonist pass. He sits.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Mr Sator? I’m –

SATOR:

(quiet)

Don’t bother. Just tell me if

you’ve slept with my wife, yet.

The Protagonist glances up at Kat, opposite, chatting.

PROTAGONIST:

No. Not yet.

A glance from Sator between buttery mouthfuls of crab.

SATOR:

How would you like to die?

Old.

PROTAGONIST:

SATOR:

You chose the wrong profession.

Sator returns a toast from a grinning guest. Reaches a greasy

palm to the Protagonist’s cheek, as if in friendliness...

SATOR (CONT'D)

There’s a walled garden up the

road. We’re going to take you

there, cut your throat, not across,

in the middle, like a hole. Then we

take your balls, stuff them in the

cut, block the windpipe.

Complex.

PROTAGONIST:

SATOR:

It’s gratifying to watch a man you

don’t like try to pull his own

balls out of his throat before he

chokes.

PROTAGONIST:

Is this how you treat all your

guests?

SATOR:

The ones using my family to get to

me.

PROTAGONIST:

How else is someone supposed to get

to you?

SATOR:

Only a fool wants to be near me.

PROTAGONIST:

Or someone who has something worth

delaying your gratification for...

Sator signals Volkov – Kat glances over as Volkov RISES

SATOR:

We’re finished.

PROTAGONIST:

Do you like opera?

At this, Sator pauses. Waves off Volkov.

SATOR:

Not here. You sail?

PROTAGONIST:

I’ve messed around on boats.

SATOR:

Be on the dock at eight. Ready to

do more than mess around.

Kat, relieved, watches the Protagonist leave.

EXT. DINING ROOM, YACHT – MORNING

Kat enters, dressed in sailing gear. Sator is already seated,

similarly dressed, reading his phone, with a cup of coffee.

KAT:

Max has missed too much school this

year. I’m taking him back to

England.

SATOR:

No, you’re not. He has a tutor

here.

KAT:

The school won’t be okay with –

SATOR:

Yes, they will.

KAT:

Can I finish?!

SATOR:

Look around you – he has everything

he needs here.

A SERVANT places a plate with a silver cover in front of Kat,

then pours her coffee.

KAT:

You don’t care what he needs. You

bought the trappings of a king, but

we both know you’re a grubby little

man playing power games with a wife

who doesn’t love him any more.

Sator looks at her.

SATOR:

You seem spirited today.

Do I?

KAT:

(defiant)

Sator barely nods at the servant, who pulls off the lid...

SATOR:

Yes. You do.

On the plate, instead of breakfast, is a small drawing. A

‘Rubens’. Kat freezes.

SATOR (CONT'D)

Were you worried it had been

destroyed? Rest assured, instinct

told me to remove it from the

vault. I’ve always had instincts

about the future. That’s how I

built this life you no longer

value.

Kat looks up at him, not knowing what to say or do.

EXT. DOCK, AMALFI – MORNING

The Protagonist stands on the dock, dressed for sailing,

watching the launch approach...

Morning.

PROTAGONIST:

As he gets on, Kat ignores him. Sator enjoys this.

EXT. OPEN OCEAN, AMALFIMOMENTS LATER

The Protagonist tries to catch Kat’s eye, but she will not

look his way.

Sator hands the Protagonist a HARNESS and a HELMET... he

looks at them, taken aback, then looks aheadtowards TWO

GRAPHITE DARK, HIGHEST TECH AMERICA’S CUP SAILING YACHTS,

trimmed and ready.

PROTAGONIST:

(impressed)

When you said sailing...

EXT. SAILING YACHT DECKMOMENTS LATER

Kat gets on, followed by Sator and the Protagonist. The

rigging crew departs. Kat checks the sheets and winches.

Sator indicates the harness.

SATOR:

You know how?

PROTAGONIST:

Aye, Captain.

Sator gestures at Kat.

SATOR:

She’s captain.

EXT. OPEN OCEAN, AMALFI – LATER

The boats FLY, SKIMMING THE WATER ON THEIR HYDROFOILS...

Sator and the Protagonist are next to each other, standing on

one pontoon, LEANING OUT IN THEIR HARNESSES... Kat is at the

wheel, concentrating...

SATOR:

What do you know about opera?

PROTAGONIST:

In 2008 a remote Russian missile

station was overwhelmed and held

for a week. When the station was

retaken, the plutonium 241 on one

warhead was three quarters of a

kilo lighter. The missing 241

surfaced at the opera-house siege

in Kiev on the 14th.

SATOR:

You’re well informed. But that

doesn’t mean you have the

plutonium.

PROTAGONIST:

I didn’t say I had it. I’m saying I

know how to get it –

KAT (O.S.)

COMING ABOUT!

Kat SWINGS the boat into the wind, SAIL FLAPPING FURIOUSLY as

the wind catches it on the other side, and Sator and the

Protagonist DUCK under the boom, RACING to the other side,

their harnesses SNAPPING TAUT as they lean out...

SATOR:

What do you propose?

PROTAGONIST:

Partnership.

SATOR:

I wouldn’t partner with you.

Kat works the wheel, tracking the other boat. Her look is one

of BOTTLED RAGE...

PROTAGONIST:

What’s wrong with me?

SATOR:

You know how to handle yourself,

you have no record.

PROTAGONIST:

Someone in the arms trade with

training who covers his tracks? Not

that shocking.

SATOR:

For an intelligence agent.

Sator holds the Protagonist’s gaze...

KAT:

Secure your jib line.

The Protagonist turns – Kat leans in to Sator

KAT (CONT'D)

Burn in hell, Andrei

– and YANKS HIS QUICK-RELEASE – he FLIES off the boat,

SMASHING HEAD-FIRST into the waves

The Protagonist sees Sator FACE-DOWN, UNCONSCIOUS – he

UNCLIPS, JUMPS to the wheel, SPINNING the boat OFF THE WIND

KAT (CONT'D)

YOU CAN’T JIBE A BOAT LIKE THIS – !

The Protagonist STEERS the boat across the wind, SNAPPING THE

BOOM ACROSS, ALMOST LOSING THE MAST

PROTAGONIST:

You can if you have to –

He RELEASES THE SHEETS, SPILLING WIND, LOSING SPEED – as they

pass Sator he DIVES into the waterGRABS the oligarch

PULLS his face out of the water... Sator starts COUGHING...

INT. STATEROOM, SATOR’S YACHT – DAY

The Protagonist dries himself – the door opens – Kat BURSTS

in –

KAT:

WHY DIDN’T YOU LET HIM DROWN?!

She is on him, smashing her fists into his chest

PROTAGONIST:

I need him.

KAT:

To sell guns?!

PROTAGONIST:

I’m not who you think I am.

KAT:

That, I know – he showed me the

drawing.

I’m sorry.

PROTAGONIST:

KAT:

Do you have any idea what you’ve

done?

PROTAGONIST:

I had to get close to him. I don’t

know what you think your husband is

KAT:

We both know he’s an arms dealer.

PROTAGONIST:

He’s so much more.

KAT:

What, then?

PROTAGONIST:

Andrei Sator holds all our lives in

his hands. Not just yours.

She looks bemused. A KNOCK at the door – she hides behind it

VOLKOV:

Mr Sator wants to see you.

The Protagonist nods – pushes the door – Volkov stops it –

Now.

VOLKOV (CONT'D)

PROTAGONIST:

He wants to see me without pants?

Volkov lets the door shut. The Protagonist turns to Kat –

Trust me.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

KAT:

Save it. I’m not falling for it

twice.

The Protagonist looks at Kat. Sighs.

PROTAGONIST:

You have a better option?

She looks into the Protagonist’s eyes. Assessing.

KAT:

Whatever it takes to

want. Just like him.

thought about me. My

you think he’s going

now?

get what you

Not a second’s

son. What do

to do to me

He pulls a gun from his bag. Offers it to her.

PROTAGONIST:

Try not to use this –

She takes it – lets it point at him.

On anyone.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

INT. STUDY, SATOR’S YACHT – EVENING

The Protagonist is shown in. Sator is sitting behind his

desk. A DOCTOR is taking his blood pressure.

Enough –

SATOR:

Sator RIPS the cuff off his arm, sending the doctor out –

checks a fitness tracker on his wrist.

SATOR (CONT'D)

See? Pulse of a man half my age.

Drink with me.

Sator pours them both tumblers of vodka.

SATOR (CONT'D)

It seems I now owe you my life.

PROTAGONIST:

It’s nothing.

Sator fixes his black gaze on the Protagonist.

SATOR:

My life is not nothing. And I don’t

like to be in debt.

PROTAGONIST:

Then pay me. No retribution against

your wife.

A dangerous beat. Then Sator GRINS

SATOR:

You think she released my harness?

(laughs)

It was my own mistake.

PROTAGONIST:

Then help me steal the 241. I need

resources. It’s weapons-grade

plutonium – that means special

handling, containment facilities

SATOR:

I know what it means. You lecture

me about radiation. Andrei Sator,

digging plutonium from the rubble

of my city as a teenager?

Where?

PROTAGONIST:

SATOR:

Stalsk-12. My home.

Sator sips his drink. Looks the Protagonist in the eye.

SATOR (CONT'D)

One pod of a warhead exploded at

ground level, scattering the

others. They needed people to find

the plutonium...

INSERT CUT:
IN A DESOLATE STREET, SNOW FALLS ON A HAZMAT-

SUITED SCAVENGER – A YOUNG SATOR WALKING IN FRONT OF A

MASSIVE MINING MACHINE, CARRYING A GIANT CROWBAR AND A GEIGER

COUNTER...

SATOR (CONT'D)

It became my first contract

nobody else even bid. They thought

it was a death sentence.

INSERT CUT:
YOUNG SATOR SPOTS THE MACHINE UNEARTHING A LARGE

METAL CAPSULE. A FELLOW WORKER SEES THE SAME THING...

SATOR (CONT'D)

But one man’s probability of death

is another man’s possibility for a

life...

INSERT CUT:
YOUNG SATOR OPENS THE CAPSULE. HE LIFTS OUT SOME

PAPERS, WHICH HAVE HIS NAME ON THEM, REVEALING GOLD BARS

UNDERNEATH. THE FELLOW WORKER LEANS IN, STUDYING THE GOLD.

THEY MAKE EYE CONTACT... SATOR STRIKES THE FELLOW WORKER WITH

HIS CROWBAR, KILLING HIM...

SATOR (CONT'D)

I staked my claim in the new

Russia. Even now, my company is the

only one to operate in the ruins.

PROTAGONIST:

The 241’s being transported through

Northern Europe on its way to the

long-term nuclear storage depot at

Trieste. I’m told you have

resources in Tallinn.

Sator downs his vodka.

SATOR:

Stay with us tonight. I insist.

INT. KAT’S STATEROOM, SATOR’S YACHT – NIGHT

Kat slips the gun under her mattress, feels the lump – pulls

it out – moves to the desk, puts it in her jewellery case –

hearing a noise she jumps onto the bed, picks up a book. The

door opens. Sator. He locks the door.

KAT:

What do you want, Andrei?

SATOR:

We’re going to talk about today.

KAT:

No, we’re not.

He removes a DIAMOND CUFFLINK...

No?

SATOR:

Kat starts to get off the bed –

KAT:

Don’t think for a minute you can

treat me the way you treat your

other women.

Sator shifts to lean on the desk, cutting her off from the

jewellery box. She sits back down. He removes his belt...

SATOR:

And how do you imagine I treat

these other women?

Sator slips the cufflink through a belt hole...

SATOR (CONT'D)

You think I force them into

conversation?

Sator tests the diamond studded belt against his palm.

SATOR (CONT'D)

You want to be quiet? Fine...

He tosses her a pillow.

SATOR (CONT'D)

Bite down on that...

Sator moves towards her – she looks at the jewellery box on

the desk – no way around him – Sator looks down at her. She

looks up at his cold eyes...

KAT:

Even a soul as blank and brittle as

yours needs a response. Is fear and

pain enough? Because that’s all I

have to offer.

SATOR:

Then it’ll have to do.

KAT:

Why didn’t you just throw me out?

SATOR:

If I can’t have you, no one can.

KAT:

At what point do you give up and

kill me?

Sator shrugs, wraps the belt a turn around his fist...

Turn over.

SATOR:

KAT:

Touch me, I scream so loud he

hears.

SATOR:

You think I’d let him interfere?

KAT:

If he tried you’d have to kill him.

End of deal. So leave me the f***

alone.

A KNOCK at the door.

NOT NOW!

SATOR:

But he hears a RUMBLING... Sator, without a word, exits

EXT. SATOR’S YACHT, AMALFI COAST – NIGHT

Sator GRABS binoculars from one of his men, peering out –

A helicopter EMERGES from the darkness, THUNDERING IN...

INT. GUEST STATEROOM, SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist listens to the incoming chopperpulls on a

black Windbreakerquietly opens his door...

INT. PASSAGE, BELOW DECKS, SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist makes his way, looking for an exit...

EXT. SATOR’S YACHT, AMALFI COAST – CONTINUOUS

The chopper descends to the landing pad – rotors turning as

Sator signals his men to head in...

EXT. SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist is on a roof overlooking the helipad...

He watches Sator’s men remove a LARGE, GRUBBY CAPSULE and

take it below as the chopper LIFTS OFF...

INT. STORAGE AREA, SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist makes his way through the storage area.

Peering through a window, he sees –

INT. ENGINE ROOM, SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

Crew gathered around the capsule. Sator enters, wipes dirt

from the latches and opens it. Sator puts his hand over the

open capsule, letting small, flat GOLD BARS leap from the

capsule into his hand... he looks up, expectantly...

The Crew SHOVES a CREW MEMBER forwards, onto his knees...

eyes downcast, he reaches behindpulls a gold bar from his

rear pocket. He offers it to Sator with TREMBLING hands.

Sator takes it, eyes never leaving the Crew Member... who

finally, tentatively looks up –

BAM! Sator JABS him in the mouth with the gold bar, then

SMASHES him over the head –

INT. STORAGE AREA, SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist is REPULSED by what he sees...

INT. ENGINE ROOM, SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

Sator steps back, breathless, from the Small Crew Member, who

lies motionless on the ground.

As Sator raises his wrist to check his fitness tracker, BLOOD

drips from the gold bar in his hand.

SATOR:

Ninety-eight. Not bad for such

exertion.

EXT. STORAGE AREA, SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist SENSES, TURNS – CRACK! Volkov smashes his jaw

KICKS him in the ribs – pistol-whips him...

INT. ENGINE ROOM, SATOR’S YACHTMOMENTS LATER

The Protagonist, bleeding, is SHOVED into the room –

VOLKOV:

He was at the window.

Sator looks at the Protagonist, who nods at the capsule

PROTAGONIST:

I was curious.

SATOR:

My property shouldn’t concern you.

Who are you? How do you come by

your information about the opera?

PROTAGONIST:

Do I work for intelligence

services? Several, just like you.

You wouldn’t do business with

someone who wasn’t savvy enough to

be recruited. Hell, the CIA

provides two-thirds of the market

for fissile material.

SATOR:

They’re usually buying, not

selling. But we do live in a

twilight world...

PROTAGONIST:

Is that Whitman? It’s pretty.

SATOR:

Next warning’s a bullet in your

brain.

PROTAGONIST:

No balls in my throat?

SATOR:

There’ll be no time for such things

in Tallinn.

Sator gestures to his men – they lift the capsule. The

Protagonist spots DRIED MUD from the latches on the table...

SATOR (CONT'D)

Make your way there. I want Volkov

on the team.

The Protagonist struggles to his feet.

PROTAGONIST:

No. I spring the materials, you pay

me off. Your wife does the

exchange.

SATOR:

I never involve her in my business.

PROTAGONIST:

That’s why I trust her.

SATOR:

(to Volkov)

Put him ashore.

PROTAGONIST:

How do I contact you?

You don’t.

SATOR:

PROTAGONIST:

How do you advance me funds?

Sator TOSSES the Protagonist the BLOODY GOLD BAR – the

Protagonist FUMBLES it onto the table. Volkov SNEERS

SATOR:

Handle the plutonium better than

that.

The Protagonist, looking Volkov in the eye, picks up the gold

bar, scooping DRIED MUD into his hand, unseen.

EXT. DOWNTOWN STREETS, TALLINN – DAY

The Protagonist walks the crowded streets with Neil.

PROTAGONIST:

What did you find on the gold?

NEIL:

Three hundred thousand at today’s

price, no franks, mould marks.

Nothing. Like it came from outer

space.

PROTAGONIST:

Or the future.

How?

NEIL:

PROTAGONIST:

Dead drops. He buries his time

capsule, transmits the location,

then digs it up to collect whatever

inverted material they’ve sent.

NEIL:

Instantaneous. Where’s he bury it?

PROTAGONIST:

Someplace that won’t be disturbed

for centuries. What did the soil

sample show?

NEIL:

Northern Europe or Asia,

radioactive. Dried blood was

European.

PROTAGONIST:

Pretty broad.

NEIL:

This is the start of the run.

The Protagonist looks back where they came. Then up ahead.

PROTAGONIST:

When does the material arrive?

NEIL:

Thursday. When does Sator arrive?

PROTAGONIST:

I don’t know. But he’ll be here.

NEIL:

Cargo’s in a reinforced truck.

Nuclear police front and back –

SUVs with serious armour – you

can’t break in through the windows.

PROTAGONIST:

And they can’t break out.

NEIL:

I don’t follow.

PROTAGONIST:

You will. So, light convoy through

downtown, what’s the thinking?

NEIL:

A crowded, unpredictable traffic

pattern makes planning an ambush

almost impossible.

The Protagonist looks around at the congestion.

PROTAGONIST:

They have a point. Is the convoy

monitored from the air?

NEIL:

No, tracked by GPS – a wrong turn

or an unscheduled stop, in comes

the cavalry.

Neil and the Protagonist hop a tram. The Protagonist studies

the journey along the multi-lane road out of town.

PROTAGONIST:

We need big guns, guns that make

the point without being fired. We

need a fast car that doesn’t look

fast and four heavy vehicles, all

different – bus, coach, eighteen-

wheeler...

Neil nods.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

One of them has to be a fire truck.

Neil looks up, interested.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Most of all, we need to set this up

with nothing in the record

nothing electronic, nothing paper

I don’t want Sator ambushing us the

second we spring the material. His

ignorance is our only protection.

INT./EXT. MERCEDES ON TALLINN STREETS – DAY

Kat sits beside Sator in the back, staring out the window.

SATOR:

Everything salvaged from Oslo’s

been shipped here.

KAT:

Why am I here?

SATOR:

I don’t trust anyone else to assess

the pieces.

EXT. FREEPORT, DOCKSIDE AREA, EDGE OF TALLINN – DAY

The MERCEDES pulls into the Tallinn Freeport. Several

BODYGUARDS emerge, Sator heads inside. Kat follows, looking

through a metal fence – an AUDI sits there, idling. Its

driver is wearing an OXYGEN MASK...

INT. STORAGE FACILITY, TALLINN FREEPORTMOMENTS LATER

Kat enters. Sator is at a table covered in WEAPONS.

SATOR:

See, Kat? Some of my favourites...

He picks up a MACHINE GUN.

SATOR (CONT'D)

Singed but salvageable, wouldn’t

you say?

She stares at the weaponry as if she’s never seen anything

like it before...

KAT:

It’s not my area of expertise.

SATOR:

That’s right. You’d never have

anything to do with such things.

But this is where our worlds

collide.

KAT:

Andrei, what is this?

SATOR:

You know perfectly well what it is,

Kat – the filthy business that put

those clothes on your back and our

boy in his school. That you thought

you could negotiate your way

around.

VOLKOV:

(in Russian, subtitled)

The convoy’s due downtown in ten.

Sator checks his watch. Nods at Volkov. Turns to Kat.

SATOR:

It’s time to go.

KAT:

I’m not going anywhere with you.

Sator SLAMS the machine gun back down on the table. Kat

FLINCHES. Sator TURNS, enraged...

SATOR:

Look at me and understand – you

don’t negotiate with a tiger – you

admire a tiger, until it turns on

you and you feel its TRUE. F***ING.

NATURE!

Sator moves towards her – Kat pulls out a gun.

Don’t...

KAT:

EXT. TALLINN STREET – DAY

A LARGE UNMARKED TRUCK, with an ESCORT FRONT AND BACK, makes

its stop and-start way through the downtown traffic.

INT./EXT. BMW, TALLINN STREET – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist and Neil watch the convoy cross an

intersection, then pull forward, squeezing through traffic to

get ahead. Neil raises a walkie-talkie –

YELLOW CO-PILOT

(into radio)

Green? Two minutes.

INT./EXT. GREEN TRUCK, TALLINN STREET – CONTINUOUS

The GREEN DRIVER nods at the GREEN CO-PILOT who holds the

radio.

Check.

GREEN CO-PILOT

He puts the radio down and pulls out a LARGE AUTOMATIC RIFLE.

INT./EXT. BMW, TALLINN STREET – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist checks his watch – Neil speaks into the radio

NEIL:

Yellow? Sixty seconds.

YELLOW CO-PILOT

(over radio)

Sixty. Check.

NEIL:

Blue? Forty-five seconds.

BLUE CO-PILOT

(over radio)

Forty-five. Check.

NEIL:

Red? On our way to you.

INT./EXT. FIRE ENGINE – CONTINUOUS

RED DRIVER and RED CO-PILOT are dressed as FIREFIGHTERS.

INT./EXT. BMW, TALLINN STREET – CONTINUOUS

The BMW pulls out, running behind the nuclear convoy. As the

convoy passes the cross street where the green truck, a

FLATBED TRUCK, is sitting, it pulls out beside them, settling

in to the right of the convoy.

INT. STORAGE FACILITY – DAY

Sator steps towards Kat –

KAT:

Stay right there!

She lifts the gun, intent

SATOR:

You wouldn’t kill me.

KAT:

I already tried.

SATOR:

You pushed me off a boat. You’re

not going to shoot me in cold blood

KAT:

My blood’s not cold, Andrei.

SATOR:

No, but you’re not angry enough.

Sator edges towards Kat...

SATOR (CONT'D)

Because anger scars over into

despair. I look in your eyes...

He casually GESTURES at her –

SATOR (CONT'D)

I see despair.

He SMACKS the gun out of her handsPUNCHES her – she DROPS

SATOR (CONT'D)

Vengeful b*tch. Living off me,

pretending to be better...

With a primal, animal viciousness, Sator SPITS at Kat.

ENOUGH!

SATOR (CONT'D)

Sator KICKS her once, in the side.

SATOR (CONT'D)

You wanted to know when it’s better

to kill you? You’ll have your

answer.

He motions to Volkov, who, with a guard, lifts Kat and

carries her towards the door. Sator puts an earpiece in his

ear...

SATOR (CONT'D)

Tell me everything as it happens.

Volkov nods, leavingSator walks through a large door.

SATOR (CONT'D)

Seal us this side!

As the door shuts behind him, he walks towards a RED DOOR

WITH A SMALL PORTHOLE, finding a spot in the shadows

nearby...

EXT. TALLINN STREET – CONTINUOUS

The BMW watches the yellow truck, a BROADCAST TRUCK, which

pulls out just ahead of the nuclear convoy... the Protagonist

looks back through the BMW’s side mirror, which is CRACKED...

The BMW sees the blue truck, a WRECKER, which pulls out onto

the larger street, just behind the convoy, which is now

SURROUNDED ON THREE SIDES by the coloured trucks.

INT. MERCEDES – CONTINUOUS

Volkov follows the convoy...

VOLKOV:

(into radio)

Three trucks in place...

SATOR:

(over radio)

Watch everything, give me all the

details...

INT. STORAGE FACILITY, TALLINN FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

Sator sits in the shadows, listening intently...

EXT. TALLINN STREETS – CONTINUOUS

The BMW ZIPS ahead, weaving through traffic, pulls alongside

the fire truck.

The Protagonist, DRESSED AS A FIREFIGHTER, jumps out of the

BMW and grabs onto the side of the fire truck, BANGING the

side to signal the driver. The fire truck pulls out onto the

three-lane highway...

INT./EXT. FIRE TRUCK – CONTINUOUS

The fire truck pulls alongside the nuclear convoy, slotting

in on the left, so that the convoy is now SURROUNDED... the

Protagonist CLIMBS onto the roof beside the ladder, puts on a

pair of heavy-duty gloves, pulls a diagonal backpack around

onto his front, checking his tools.

Blue Co-pilot and Yellow Co-pilot COUNT DOWN in unison

BLUE CO-PILOT

(over radio)

Five, four, three, two, one, go...

Blue truck, behind the convoy, GUNS THE ACCELERATOR, as

yellow truck, in front of the convoy, SLAMS ON THE BRAKES...

The two SUVS are ACCORDIONED against the nuclear truck, then

CARRIED FORWARD WITH THE NUCLEAR TRUCK as the coloured trucks

CLOSE FORMATION and PULL FORWARD, maintaining pace –

Go yellow!

BLUE CO-PILOT (CONT'D)

The YELLOW CO-PILOT in the broadcast truck sends out STATIC

INT./EXT. SECURITY SUV – CONTINUOUS

The SECURITY DRIVER is trying the radio – STATIC...

INT. CONTROL CENTRE, TALLINN POLICE – CONTINUOUS

A POLICE OPERATOR is frowning, trying the radio. He calls to

his SUPERVISOR

POLICE OPERATOR:

(in Estonian, subtitled)

– Radio’s down. –

SUPERVISOR:

(in Estonian, subtitled)

– Are they still moving? –

The Police Operator checks his screen – NODS...

EXT. TALLINN STREET – CONTINUOUS

TYRES HOWLING, the convoy GRINDS forward – Blue Co-pilot

tosses a DYE PACK onto the windshield of the SUV – it BLASTS

across the glass, obscuring the view – Yellow Co-pilot does

the same in the front – the Guards are now BLIND, CANNOT OPEN

THEIR DOORS OR SHOOT OUT THROUGH THE BULLET-PROOF VEHICLES...

The Protagonist CLIMBS ONTO THE LADDER, lying on top...

Inside, the Red Co-pilot operates the ladder controls...

The ladder SWINGS OUT AT NINETY DEGREES, hanging the

Protagonist DIRECTLY OVER THE NUCLEAR TRUCK... he PULLS a

frame from his pack, unfolds it – fixes it to the roof. The

ladder SWINGS him away – the frame EXPLODES – he SWINGS back

through the smoke to find an OPENING and climbs into –

INT. NUCLEAR TRANSPORTATION TRUCK – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist lands, gets his bearings, finds the SAFE. He

reaches into his pack...

EXT. TALLINN STREET – CONTINUOUS

An Estonian POLICE CAR pulls up behind the fire truck – the

POLICEMEN spot SPARKS from the dragging bumper of the SUV

the Policeman Passenger tries his radio... STATIC...

INT. NUCLEAR TRANSPORTATION TRUCK – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist affixes a CHARGE to the safe – he runs a

wire, pushing back into the farthest cornerBLASTS the door

open –

INT./EXT. FIRE ENGINE – CONTINUOUS

Watching the Police through his mirror, Red Passenger rolls

down his window and props his ASSAULT RIFLE on the sill...

INT. NUCLEAR TRANSPORTATION TRUCK – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist reaches into the safe... PULLS OUT an ORANGE

PLASTIC CASE... reaches up to climb through the roof...

INT./EXT. FIRE TRUCK – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist, orange case in hand, CLIMBS onto the ladder

– Red Passenger SWINGS his rear-opening door out and SHOOTS

OUT the engine block of the police car which DROPS BACK as –

The fire-truck ladder SWINGS the Protagonist back onto the

fire truck – he climbs down onto the side – the BMW pulls

alongside – he JUMPS into the car, which SPEEDS away...

INT./EXT. BMW, TALLINN STREET – CONTINUOUS

Neil, driving, glances at the orange case –

We got it!

NEIL:

The Protagonist opens the latches, flips open the lid...

revealing the BLACK METAL SHAPE the size of a softball.

PROTAGONIST:

I’ve seen samples of encapsulation

in every weapons class – this is

not one of them.

Neil looks back at the Protagonist. Serious.

NEIL:

It’s what he’s after.

The Protagonist looks around at the surrounding traffic...

PROTAGONIST:

Check the radio chatter.

Neil clicks on the radioEMPHATIC GIBBERISH...

NEIL:

I can’t understand

PROTAGONIST:

You said you spoke Estonian

NEIL:

It’s not Estonian, it’s...

backwards –

Up ahead, an Audi is weaving through traffic, towards them,

BACKWARDS... Neil STARES...

The hell?

NEIL (CONT'D)

The BACKWARDS-RUNNING AUDI flies at them, CLIPPING the wing

mirror, ‘HEALING’ its crack. Behind them it SPINS AROUND, to

CHASE them, still running BACKWARDS...

The BMW DODGES around traffic, trying to lose the backwards

Audi, which pulls up to the back bumper – then ALONGSIDE – in

the back is Sator, black eyes peering over a RESPIRATOR, a

gun to Kat’s head. She is BOUND and GAGGED, eyes TERRIFIED

Sator rolls the rear window down, holds up his hand, FINGERS

EXTENDED. He C*CKS the gun at Kat’s head then starts COUNTING

DOWN on his fingers... the Protagonist looks down at the

BLACK METAL SHAPE in the case...

NEIL (CONT'D)

You can’t give it to him!

The Protagonist LIFTS the closed case, LOWERS the window...

PROTAGONIST:

This isn’t plutonium.

Sator is down to TWO FINGERS... Ahead of them in the road,

the Protagonist sees a CRASHED, SMOKING, UPSIDE-DOWN SAAB...

NEIL:

It’s worse, goddammit!

Both cars race towards the crashed Saab, which starts SHAKING

as they approach – as they pass, THE CRASHED SAAB ROLLS

VIOLENTLY OVER AND OVER between them until it is on its

wheels, RACING BACKWARDS ahead of them, UNDAMAGED

Neil regains his line, looks over at Sator who holds up his

LAST FINGER... the Protagonist looks ahead to the Saab,

STRUCK BY AN IDEA... the Protagonist looks at Sator

Then TOSSES the orange case at him –

The Saab brakes, CUTTING BETWEEN THE TWO CARS...

THE ORANGE CASE GLANCES OFF ITS WINDSHIELD, INTO SATOR’S

HANDS...

A forwards-driving Mercedes pulls up alongside the backwards-

driving Audi. Sator opens the rear door – he and the Audi

driver climb BACKWARDS into the MercedesLEAVING KAT IN THE

ACCELERATING BACKWARDS AUDI – the Mercedes DROPS FAR BEHIND

the BMW, Neil WATCHES

NEIL (CONT'D)

He’s getting away!

PROTAGONIST:

He left her in the car!

Neil looks forward to the backwards Audi, SPEEDING AWAY

INT./EXT. BACKWARDS AUDI – CONTINUOUS

NO ONE IS AT THE WHEEL as the car continues to accelerate

Kat lies in the back, breathing, groaning, but unconscious...

INT./EXT. BMW, TALLINN STREET – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist stares ahead at the backwards Audi –

PROTAGONIST:

Pull up alongside...

Neil looks back at the receding Mercedes, followed by the

BACKWARDS SAAB... he turnsRACING to pull alongside the

runaway backwards Audi, the Protagonist OPENS his door...

– Ahead, a LOGJAM of traffic...

The Protagonist FUMBLES to open the Audi door.

Kat! Kat!

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

In the back, Kat swings her bound legs around

– The LOGJAM of cars and buses LOOMS CLOSER... The

Protagonist OPENS the Audi door, but his own door hits it and

SLAMS IT CLOSED AGAIN...

– The LOGJAM is DANGEROUSLY CLOSE...

The Protagonist OPENS it again, Kat JAMS it open with her

feet – the Protagonist CLIMBS ACROSS and PUSHES THE BRAKE

WITH HIS HAND...

The Audi SKIDS to a halt, the BMW ZOOMING PAST...

The Protagonist starts to untie Kat, fumbling with his radio

The BMW SKIDS to a halt, Neil JUMPS OUT – a CAR SKIDS to a

halt between the BMW and the Audi – BLAM, BLAM! Neil DUCKS,

avoiding GUNFIRE

NEIL:

(over radio)

Sit tight – I’m calling in the

cavalry.

PROTAGONIST:

What cavalry?!

SMASH!!! The Protagonist and Kat are THROWN LIKE RAG DOLLS

across the car – the Mercedes has SWIPED the nose of the Audi

Volkov lays down COVER FIRE, pinning Neil as Sator’s men

descend on the CRASHED Audi and pull the PROTAGONIST out of

the car – shoving him around the back of the Mercedes. Kat is

pulled from the wreck and put into the Mercedes

As they put the Protagonist INTO THE TRUNK, he sees Sator

MOVING BACKWARDS behind the line of cars, from the BMW...

EXT. DOCKSIDE AREA, EDGE OF TALLINNMOMENTS LATER

The TRUNK OPENS – the Protagonist is PULLED OUT. Marched

towards an entrance, he sees, through a steel fence dividing

the yard in two, SATOR, IN RESPIRATOR, WALKING BACKWARDS,

PULLING KAT, FORWARDS, TOWARDS A DIFFERENT ENTRANCE...

The Protagonist passes a stack of SHIPPING CONTAINERS,

several of which are marked OSLO FREEPORT...

INT. STORAGE FACILITY, TALLINN FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist is taken past the table of weapons, through a

large door, and through RED DOORS with a PORTHOLE...

INT. TURNSTILE, TALLINN FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

Into A LONG CHAMBER DIVIDED IN TWO BY A GLASS WINDOW – A MUCH

BIGGER VERSION OF THE ROTAS VAULT. The Russians push the

Protagonist into a chair. This side is lit by RED LIGHT.

On the other side of the glass, lit by BLUE LIGHT, Sator

‘ENTERS’ BACKWARDS, ‘PULLING’ Kat, who is now in a

respirator. Sator ‘SHOVES’ her hard into a chair, removes his

own respirator, ‘FLIPPING’ it up onto a hook on the wall.

The Protagonist looks into Kat’s frightened eyes... between

them, embedded in a whirl of cracked glass, is a BULLET...

Sator TURNS to meet the Protagonist’s gaze – his movements

have the surreal edge of backwards motion as he places his

GUN AGAINST KAT’S HEAD and pulls out his phone...

He holds his PHONE up and plays a recording IN REVERSE

SATOR:

(via recording)

If you’re not telling the truth,

she dies.

Sator moves the phone to his lips, SPEAKING IN REVERSE... the

Protagonist stares at him, bemused.

PROTAGONIST:

I don’t know what you’re talking

about.

Sator listens to this played backwards...

SATOR:

(via recording)

You left it in the car not the fire

truck, right?

PROTAGONIST:

Who told you that?

SATOR:

(via recording)

Tell me, now! Is it really in the

BMW?

PROTAGONIST:

I don’t know!

SATOR:

(via recording)

Tell me or I’ll shoot her again!

The Protagonist looks at Kat, who is TERRIFIED

KAT:

(pleading)

Tell him!

– then at Sator

PROTAGONIST:

Leave her alone!

SATOR:

(via recording)

I don’t have time to negotiate.

The Protagonist looks at the bullet hole in the glass – WISPS

OF SMOKE are gathering...

PROTAGONIST:

Listen to me! I can help you!

SATOR:

(via recording)

Three...

Don’t!

Help me!

PROTAGONIST:

KAT:

SATOR:

(via recording)

Two...

PLEASE!

KAT:

A FAINT TRICKLE of glass dust rises to where the bullet is

lodged in the window...

Wait!

PROTAGONIST:

SATOR:

(via recording)

One...

Sator LIFTS Kat – PUSHES her up against the glass...

PLEASE!

NO!

KAT:

PROTAGONIST:

The SMOKE COALESCES as BANG! The bullet RIPS THROUGH KAT’S

SIDE on its inevitable journey to Sator’s gun. Kat SCREAMS

SATOR:

(via recording)

Next one’s a bullet to the head...

He holds up a finger – Kat is SCREAMING

SATOR (CONT'D)

(via recording)

One...

Please!

PROTAGONIST:

SATOR:

(via recording)

Two...

No!

PROTAGONIST:

SATOR:

(via recording)

Three...

PROTAGONIST:

Okay! Okay! The car! The BMW! I

left it in the BMW!

Kat’s screams subside to moans as she PASSES OUT...

SATOR:

(via recording)

We’re going to check this is real.

PROTAGONIST:

It’s in the glove box!

The door OPENS behind the Protagonist

SATOR (O.S.)

Where did you leave it?

The Protagonist spins around – Sator, BEHIND HIM, SMASHES his

gun into the Protagonist’s cheekTHIS SATOR IS FORWARDS

SATOR (CONT'D)

Car or truckwhich one?!

Sator HITS him again – the Protagonist falls near the glass

looks up through the glass to see ‘backwards’ Sator, on the

blue side, staring at him dispassionately...

SATOR (CONT'D)

Which vehicle did you leave it in?!

I need to know before I go out

there!

PROTAGONIST:

I already told you!

Forwards Sator looks through the window at his inverse self –

then turns back to the Protagonist

SATOR:

I believe you...

Sator puts his GUN to the Protagonist’s forehead

SATOR (CONT'D)

(indicates Kat)

You wanted her here. I hope you’ll

be happy together

Sator C*CKS his weapon – BLAMBLAMBLAM! – the double doors

behind the Protagonist SMASH open – PARAMILITARIES BURST IN,

GUNS BLAZING – the two guards are SHOTSator JUMPS FOR THE

VAULT – HITS A BUTTON

On the other side of the glass, INVERTED SATOR runs backwards

towards the other vault door –

BOTH SATORS JUMP INSIDE AND ARE GONE

A Paramilitary SERGEANT enters, gun drawn

Clear!

PARAMILITARY SERGEANT

The Protagonist looks at the empty vault

PROTAGONIST:

Where’d he go?

The past.

PARAMILITARY SERGEANT

INT. TURNSTILE, TALLINN FREEPORTMOMENTS EARLIER

Sator runs out of the turnstile – into the blue side of the

room – on the other side he sees the paramilitary AMBUSH IN

REVERSE... for a few seconds he watches his older self

interrogate the Protagonist, then fires up his phone, steps

up to the glass – the Protagonist SHOUTS PASSIONATELY

PROTAGONIST:

(via recording)

It’s in the glove box!

SATOR:

We’re going to check this is real.

PROTAGONIST:

(via recording)

Okay! Okay! The car! The BMW! I

left it in the BMW!

The sound of Kat’s MOANING is BUILDING and BUILDING. Sator

holds up one finger

Three...

No!

SATOR:

PROTAGONIST:

(via recording)

Adds a second finger – Kat is SCREAMING now –

Two...

SATOR:

PROTAGONIST:

(via recording)

Please!

And a third

SATOR:

One. Next one’s a bullet to the

head.

Kat’s SCREAM CRESCENDOS as Sator GRABS her and pushes her up

against the glass, PULLS HIS TRIGGER, ‘HEALING’ her wound

One...

Wait!

SATOR (CONT'D)

PROTAGONIST:

(via recording)

Holds up two fingers

Two...

SATOR:

PROTAGONIST:

(via recording)

Don’t!

Sator holds up three fingers

Three –

SATOR:

PROTAGONIST:

(via recording)

Listen to me! I can help you!

SATOR:

I don’t have time to negotiate.

The Protagonist looks confused

PROTAGONIST:

(via recording)

Leave her alone!

SATOR:

Tell me or I’ll shoot her again!

PROTAGONIST:

(via recording)

I don’t know!

SATOR:

Tell me now! Is it really in the

BMW!

PROTAGONIST:

(via recording)

Who told you that?

SATOR:

You left it in the car not the fire

truck, right?

PROTAGONIST:

(via recording)

I don’t know what you’re talking

about.

SATOR:

If you’re not telling the truth,

she dies.

Sator GRABS his respirator from the hook, PULLS Kat to her

feet – DRAGS her backwards through the door, down a corridor

into an AIRLOCK, pulls off her respirator, puts his on...

INT. TURNSTILE, TALLINN FREEPORTTHE PRESENT

The Protagonist looks through the glass at Kat –

FEMALE PARAMILITARY

She’s been shot!

PARAMILITARY SERGEANT

Get her this side!

Respirator-clad Paramilitaries pull Kat out of the room. The

Paramilitary Sergeant turns to the Protagonist.

PARAMILITARY SERGEANT (CONT'D)

Was she shot with an inverted

round?

The Protagonist NODS. Neil entersgestures to the Sergeant

NEIL:

This is Ives. He’s one of us –

The Protagonist GRABS Neil, THROWS him up against the wall –

PROTAGONIST:

Us?! Who are these guys?

NEIL:

Priya’s. Ours.

The Paramilitaries bring Kat into the room – the MEDIC,

moving SWIFTLY, examines Kat’s wound.

The Protagonist puts his arm AGAINST NEIL’S THROAT

PROTAGONIST:

How did Sator know about the

ambush?

NEIL:

Posterity. An ambush on the streets

can’t stay out of the record

PROTAGONIST:

Bullshit – he knew every move we

made! Somebody talked – was it

you?!

No.

NEIL:

PROTAGONIST:

At every stage, you’ve known more

than you should. I’m asking you one

more time. Did you talk?

IVES (O.S.)

Nobody talked. They’re running a

temporal pincer movement.

Ives is next to the Protagonist, ready to help Neil...

A what?

PROTAGONIST:

IVES:

A pincer movement. But not in space

– in time. Half his team moves

forwards through the event – he

monitors them, then attacks from

the end, moving backwards. Knowing

everything.

PROTAGONIST:

Except where I stashed the

plutonium.

The Protagonist lets Neil go...

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Which is not plutonium, is it?

NEIL:

I told you – it’s what he’s after.

And you just told him where it is.

I lied.

PROTAGONIST:

Neil looks at Kat, bleeding out on the gurney.

Jesus.

NEIL:

PROTAGONIST:

He couldn’t verify from inside the

room, he’d have shot her anyway.

Lying is standard operating

procedure.

The Medic steps away from Kat, shakes his head.

MEDIC:

It’s spread too far.

PROTAGONIST:

Meaning what?

IVES:

She’s going to die.

NEIL:

(to Protagonist)

Standard operating procedure?

(MORE)

NEIL (CONT'D)

(to Ives)

Can’t you stabilize inverse

radiation by inverting the patient?

IVES:

That takes days –

The Protagonist points at the turnstile

Let’s go.

PROTAGONIST:

IVES:

We took control of this machine

minutes ago – before that it’s

Sator’s.

PROTAGONIST:

How long will she live on this

side?

MEDIC:

Three hours, tops.

The Protagonist thinks. He looks at Kat, who is dying.

PROTAGONIST:

I’m taking her through. I’m not

going to let her die, I’ll take my

chances out there.

IVES:

Chances of what? We’ve got no way

to bring you back.

PROTAGONIST:

We find another machine.

IVES:

A week ago? Where?

The Protagonist looks at Neil – they have the same idea –

Oslo.

NEIL:

IVES:

That facility’s impregnable. It’s

inside an airport security

perimeter.

PROTAGONIST:

Not last week, it wasn’t. We’re

going in. You might as well help.

Ives, shaking his head, joins in. As they carry Kat towards

the vault door, Ives points at the glass partition

IVES:

This is the proving window... as

you approach the turnstile if you

don’t see yourself through the

proving window, do not enter the

machine.

Why not?

PROTAGONIST:

IVES:

If you haven’t seen yourself

reverse-exit the machine, you won’t

be getting out. Okay, first in,

last out. Get into the turnstile,

pass through – I’ll already be

there with her.

PROTAGONIST:

Is that gonna work?

Ives pauses, watching activity on the other side of the

window –

IVES:

(points)

Yeah...

The Protagonist turns to see HIMSELF on the other side of the

glass, MOVING IN REVERSE, wheeling KAT ‘TOWARDS’ THE VAULT

DOOR –

Let’s go!

IVES (CONT'D)

Ives OPENS the door – the Protagonist takes one last look at

his backwards self ‘entering’ the machine, then STEPS INSIDE

We follow him in as the door SHUTS behind him – he puts his

back to the wall – the machine starts CLANKING like an MRI

the door opens on the other side – he STEPS OUT...

To see Ives struggling with Kat – he moves to help – Neil is

already there (first in, last out).

The Protagonist looks through the glass to where he and Ives

now appear to be moving backwards...

The Medic tends to Kat.

MEDIC:

She’s stabilizing slowly. I’ll

clean and close, the rest is time.

PROTAGONIST:

How long does she need?

MEDIC:

4 or 5 days. A week to be sure.

PROTAGONIST:

(to Neil)

Figure out how to get us to Oslo –

I’ve got to get back out there

NEIL:

To do what?

PROTAGONIST:

To stop Sator getting away with the

whatever it is I just gave him.

NEIL:

You didn’t – you lied about where

it was. Wait, you’re going out

there for her.

PROTAGONIST:

He threatened to kill her in the

past... if he does, what happens to

her here?

NEIL:

It’s unknowable. If you’re there to

make a change, you’re not here to

observe its effect.

PROTAGONIST:

What do you believe?

NEIL:

What’s happened’s happened. We have

to save her here and now. And if

you go back out there you might

hand him exactly what he’s after.

PROTAGONIST:

Don’t let them take her back

through –

I won’t.

NEIL:

IVES:

You can’t stay here.

NEIL:

And we don’t have much time – so

find us a nice cosy shipping

container that just came off a ship

from Oslo...

The Protagonist moves towards the door.

Ives steps up –

IVES:

This is cowboy sh*t. You have no

idea what you’re getting into if

you go through that door.

PROTAGONIST:

Well, I’m going, so any tips would

be welcome.

Ives sees determination. Shakes his head.

IVES:

Wheeler, brief him.

The female Paramilitary, WHEELER, hands the Protagonist a

respirator –

WHEELER:

You need your own air – regular air

won’t pass through the membranes

of inverted lungs. The number-one

rule – don’t come into contact with

your forwards self – that’s the

whole point of these barriers

Wheeler BANGS on the proving window

WHEELER (CONT'D)

And protective suits – if any of

your particles came into contact

The Protagonist is putting on the respirator

What?

PROTAGONIST:

WHEELER:

Annihilation.

PROTAGONIST:

That’s bad, right?

The Protagonist follows Wheeler into a corridor lined with

RESPIRATORS and HAZARD SUITS... at the end is an AIRLOCK...

WHEELER:

When you exit the airlock, take a

moment to orient yourself – things

will feel strange. When you run,

the wind will be at your back. If

you encounter fire, ice will form

on your suit, as the transfer of

heat is reversed. Gravity will feel

normal, but appear reversed for the

world around you. Don’t worry about

things falling, so much as rising.

(MORE)

WHEELER (CONT'D)

If you see an object demonstrating

unprompted instability, stay clear,

it may be about to leap into the

air. You may experience distortions

to your vision and hearing – this

is normallight waves and sound

waves are propagating away from

you. This should clear as your

brain adjusts.

PROTAGONIST:

Can I drive a car?

IVES:

Cowboy sh*t.

Ives and Neil are grabbing respirators...

WHEELER:

I can’t vouch for the handling,

friction and wind resistance are

reversed. You’re inverted, the

world is not. You can’t fight the

prevailing wind of entropy. Don’t

try flying a plane – it’d fall out

of the sky. Once again, you’re

inverted, the world is not – and

those forces will be pushing back

on you continuously.

The Protagonist turns to Neil –

PROTAGONIST:

Was there a transponder on the

case?

NEIL:

He’ll have tossed the case –

PROTAGONIST:

I’m going backwards – that’s the

ball I have to follow. Give me the

reader.

Neil hands him a phone. The Protagonist sticks a Bluetooth

earpiece in his ear, passes into the airlockWheeler shuts

it behind him. Then opens the OUTER DOOR...

EXT. YARD, TALLINN FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist emerges into a strange world – the air feels

different, the friction of his feet on the asphalt feels

different. He looks up at birds flying backwards... at steam

contracting... at a pile of dust sucking itself bigger...

In the yard he spots the SAAB... he runs over, finds the keys

sitting on the front tyre –

INT./EXT. SAAB – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist LOOKS in the glove box – NOTHINGLOOKS in

the wheel well – NOTHING – the back seat – NOTHING. He gives

up – starts the engine... pulls out, gently, feeling out the

strange handling of the vehicle...

INT./EXT. SAAB, TALLINN STREETSMOMENTS LATER

The Protagonist steers the car around BACKWARDS-MOVING

TRAFFIC and BACKWARDS-WALKING PEDESTRIANS, MARVELLING...

People STARE at the car as it approaches, as if they already

know a backwards-driven car is heading their way (which, of

course, they do).

He checks the phone – a blinking dot half a mile away – he

GUNS it, FISHTAILING unexpectedly...

EXT. HIGHWAY – CONTINUOUS

We see the fire fight from before IN REVERSE – Neil laying

down fire from between cars, Kat carried ‘back’ to the

Audi...

Behind Neil, Sator, MOVING FORWARDS, checks the glove

compartment of the BMW... NOTHING. FUMING, he heads back to

the Mercedes, DUCKING behind cars, bullets FLYING...

INT./EXT. SAAB – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist pulls onto a busy highway where the cars are

FACING HIM, BUT MOVING IN HIS DIRECTION...

The Saab races along, the only normal-looking car on a road

full of cars SPEEDING BACKWARDS...

On the phone, the flashing dot is CLOSER...

Slowing, the Protagonist spots the ORANGE CASE lying empty by

the side of the road. He PULLS OVER some distance away –

JUMPS out of the car – pulls out his BLUETOOTH EARPIECE and

WEDGES it between the foam padding and the orange plastic...

The Protagonist heads back to his car, checks the signal from

his phone... PEERS at the case...

The case SHUDDERS TO LIFELEAPS INTO THE WINDOW OF A

PASSING CARTHE MERCEDES

The Protagonist PEELS OUT, DUST FLIES UP IN CLOUDS THAT DON’T

FULLY BLOSSOM as expected, but CONTRACT...

The Protagonist STRUGGLES with the wheel, trying to keep the

car on the road with its unaccustomed handling...

Christ!

PROTAGONIST:

He can see the Mercedes up ahead, weaving through traffic...

EXT. HIGHWAY, TALLINN – CONTINUOUS

The Mercedes races back up the off-ramp – the Saab follows,

weaving through traffic which faces him, but travels

backwards –

As the Saab gets within a couple car lengths, his phone cuts

in with audio from his Bluetooth bug in the Mercedes

SATOR:

(over radio)

– the material’s not in the case –

Sound cuts in and out – FRAGMENTS of voices – he struggles to

keep pace with the Mercedes – he listens hard –

SATOR (CONT'D)

(over radio)

–Get the other sections of the

algorithm to the hypocentre– –He

was lying– –it wasn’t in the BMW–

INVERTED DRIVER:

(over radio)

So where is it?

INT. /EXT. SAAB – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist finds a clear lane and guns the engine,

tracking the Mercedes as it pulls alongside the Audi, racing

‘forwards’, and Sator, orange case in hand, climbs from the

Mercedes into the Audi...

The Audi pulls alongside the BMW – the Protagonist, sensing

the moment, LOWERS HIS WINDOW... Sator lifts the orange case,

BUT HIS EYES ARE ELSEWHERE

Inside the Saab, the Protagonist hears BANGING – the BLACK

METAL SHAPE ‘unwedges’ from where it’s been stuck down the

side of a seat – ‘BOUNCING’ around the interior

The Saab CUTS between the Audi and the BMW

The orange case FLIES OUT OF SATOR’S HANDSBOUNCES OFF THE

SAAB’S WINDSHIELD, ‘LANDING’ IN THE BMW

JUST AS THE BLACK METAL SHAPE JUMPS OUT OF THE SAAB AND INTO

THE (FORWARD) PROTAGONIST’S LOWER HAND...

Sator, SEEING THIS, YANKS the wheelCLIPS the Saab – the

Protagonist STRUGGLES for control – but the Saab SPINS AND

ROLLS DOWN THE HIGHWAY, COMING TO REST ON ITS ROOF.

The Protagonist, upside down in the car, regains

consciousness... fuel leaks, pooling outside the window... he

sees expensive shoes approach, then Sator’s face peering in

at him. In his hand is a LIGHTER.

SATOR:

I saw the hand-off. You made me

shoot her for nothing.

Sator tips his lighter to read his fitness tracker...

SATOR (CONT'D)

You did get my pulse above 130. No

one’s done that before. Not even

my wife.

Backing away, Sator DROPS the lighter, the fuel EXPLODES,

THROWING THE CAR SIDEWAYSBUT INSTEAD OF FULLY BLOOMING,

THE FLAMES CONTRACT, SPARING THE PROTAGONIST WHO LIES THERE,

FREEZING. HE PASSES OUT.

FADE IN:

INT. SHIPPING CONTAINER – LATER

The Protagonist comes to on a stretcher. Kat is on a

stretcher next to him. Neil sits between them. The

Protagonist looks at his hands, feels his face, confused.

NEIL:

The heat transfer was reversed

you may be the first case of

hypothermia from a gasoline

explosion in history.

PROTAGONIST:

At this point, nothing surprises.

The Protagonist looks around the shipping container.

NEIL:

You left Ives and his team one hell

of a clean-up.

PROTAGONIST:

We’re on our way back to Oslo?

NEIL:

In a Rotas shipping container.

PROTAGONIST:

He’s got the material, Neil. I

handed it to him on a plate.

NEIL:

I warned you –

PROTAGONIST:

‘What’s happened’s happened.’ I get

it, now. But it’s tough to take

things on trust from people

speaking half-truths.

NEIL:

That’s not fair –

PROTAGONIST:

You were part of this before we

met. Were you working for Priya?

No.

NEIL:

PROTAGONIST:

Who recruited you, Neil?

NEIL:

It can’t possibly do you any good

to know that right now. When this

is over, if we’re still standing

and you still care, you can hear my

life story, okay?

Kat GROANS, her eyes flicker open to see the Protagonist.

PROTAGONIST:

I’m sorry I involved you.

KAT:

You need to tell me what’s going

on.

PROTAGONIST:

Apparently, Neil here knows more

about it than I do.

(to Neil)

Good luck, pal.

NEIL:

By telling Kat anything we’re

compromising her in Priya’s eyes.

PROTAGONIST:

In Priya’s eyes she’s already

compromised. And she has a right to

know why she might die.

KAT:

I’m going to die?

PROTAGONIST:

Not if we have anything to say

about it.

And we do.

NEIL:

KAT:

Who are you?

NEIL:

Let me start with the simple stuff.

Every law of physics operates the

same forwards and backwards, except

one. Entropy...

The Protagonist moves to the back of the container, pulls out

his phone, checks Neil’s attention is on Kat...

SATOR:

(via recording)

–bring– –final section– –directly

to the hypocentre– –with the other

parts– –the algorithm–

The recording breaks up. The Protagonist puts the phone away,

FLEXES his elbow, feeling out some pain... He rolls up his

sleeve – there is a DARK PATCH of skin forming

NEIL:

Are you injured?

PROTAGONIST:

What’s the ‘algorithm’, Neil?

NEIL:

The 241 is one section of it. One

out of nine. It’s a formula

rendered into physical form so it

can’t be copied or communicated. A

black box with one function.

Which is?

PROTAGONIST:

NEIL:

Inversion. But not objects or

people. The world around us.

KAT:

I don’t understand.

NEIL:

As they invert the entropy of more

and more objects...

Neil holds his hands, fingers spread, pointing at each other

NEIL (CONT'D)

The two directions of time are

becoming more intertwined...

He slowly brings his fingers together, into the ‘Tenet’

gesture –

NEIL (CONT'D)

But because the environment’s

entropy flows in our direction...

He pushes one hand back with the other

NEIL (CONT'D)

...we dominate. They’re always

swimming upstream. It’s what saved

your life – the inverted explosion

was pushing against the

environment.

PROTAGONIST:

Pissing in the wind.

NEIL:

But the algorithm can change the

direction of that wind. It can

invert the entropy of the world.

KAT:

And if that happens?

NEIL:

Oh, end of play.

PROTAGONIST:

‘End of play’? Can you be a little

more precise?

NEIL:

Our present wiped out, our past

obliterated. Everyone and

everything who ever lived destroyed

instantly. Precise enough?

KAT:

Including my son.

Neil nods, gravely. Kat winces, clearly in pain.

NEIL:

Let me sedate you – the more you

sleep the faster you’ll heal.

Neil injects Kat in the arm. Her eyes close.

EXT. CARGO SHIP – LATER

Close on the hull, we see the water UNSPLASHING at the bow

and SUCKING UNDERNEATH the stern as the ship steams

majestically backwards through the cold North Sea...

INT. SHIPPING CONTAINER – LATER

BANGING wakes the Protagonist – Neil is at a peephole.

NEIL:

We’re on a truck. Shouldn’t be too

long now.

INT. SHIPPING CONTAINER – LATER

Neil is awake. He looks over at the Protagonist, who is

examining a LESION on his right arm...

NEIL:

You in pain?

PROTAGONIST:

Must’ve got nicked in Tallinn.

(rolls down sleeve)

I’ve been thinking... we’re their

ancestors. If they destroy us,

won’t that destroy them?

NEIL:

Bringing us to the grandfather

paradox.

The what?

PROTAGONIST:

NEIL:

The classic thought experiment – if

you went back in time and killed

your own grandfather, how could you

have been born to commit the act?

PROTAGONIST:

What’s the answer?

NEIL:

There is no answer, it’s

But in the future, those

clearly believe that you

Grandpa down the stairs,

eyes and slit his throat

consequence.

PROTAGONIST:

Could they be right?

a paradox.

in power

can kick

gouge his

without

NEIL:

It doesn’t matter. They believe it,

so they’re willing to destroy us.

Can I go back to sleep?

PROTAGONIST:

No. I thought of something else.

Great.

NEIL:

PROTAGONIST:

This reversing the flow of time...

doesn’t us being here now mean it

never happens? That we stop them?

NEIL:

Optimistically, I’d say that’s

right.

PROTAGONIST:

Pessimistically?

NEIL:

In a parallel-worlds theory, we

can’t know the relationship between

consciousness and multiple

realities. Does your head hurt yet?

Yes.

Try sleep.

PROTAGONIST:

NEIL:

INT. SAME – LATER

A final THUD, then STILLNESS. The Protagonist moves to the

peephole, unplugs it and peers out:

The WRECKED PLANE, FLOODLIT, sitting outside the COLLAPSED

WALL which has been sealed with STEEL FENCING.

PROTAGONIST:

Sh*t. They didn’t take us inside.

NEIL:

What do we do?

PROTAGONIST:

We use the breach. The chaos right

after impact. Get ready.

They both turn to look at the unconscious Kat.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Is she healed enough?

NEIL:

I don’t know. I’ve never done this

before.

INT. SAME – NIGHT

The Protagonist is at the peephole – the ground is WET. CLEAN-

UP CREWS and INVESTIGATORS swarm backwards over the scene.

SIRENS start... Water FLOWS UP ONTO THE PLANE’S WINGS. FIRE

CREWS ‘unpack’ their equipment around the wreck...

PROTAGONIST:

Fire crew’s there...

The Protagonist WINCES as he pulls his arm into its sleeve...

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

We get Kat through the breach, I

take care of Sator’s man and secure

the vault. Then you bring her in.

NEIL:

How’s the arm?

Not good.

PROTAGONIST:

The Protagonist spots a HOLE in the fabric of his black suit

directly over the lesion on his arm...

Neil straps a respirator to the gurney – puts the mask over

Kat’s face, then puts another on himself. He gives Kat a

sedative.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

We move the second we hear the

engines.

Neil looks at Kat, unconscious on the gurney. He TIGHTENS the

straps – throws a reflective blanket over her...

The SIRENS are DEAFENING – the Protagonist flexes his arm,

clearly in a lot of pain. Neil spots BLOOD dripping from the

Protagonist’s wrist

NEIL:

You’re bleeding. Let me take a look

SUDDENLY THEY HEAR THE BUILDING WHINE OF JET ENGINES. The

Protagonist YANKS up the handle, THROWS OPEN THE DOOR

EXT. APRON, OSLO AIRPORT – CONTINUOUS

Onto PANDEMONIUMFIRE CREWS BATTLE the blaze, chunks of

metal on the ground IGNITE, SHUDDER and LEAP ONTO THE

AIRFRAME... STREAMS of water RISE up onto the plane

The Protagonist HURRIES BACKWARDS, PULLING THE GURNEY towards

the plane, steering around debris that might suddenly

A SHEET OF FLAMING METAL SPINS off the ground, shearing into

them, KNOCKING the GURNEY – they duck, HOLDING ON TO THE

GURNEY, the metal FLIES into the air, SLAMS into its hole on

the side of the plane... the Protagonist spots a line under

the fuselage, between flames, towards the breach...

Come on!

PROTAGONIST:

Neil looks up as BLACK SMOKE GATHERS, FORMING A MASSIVE CLOUD

OVER THE PLANE... a SHOCK WAVE starts to BUILD in the air

around them – the Protagonist PULLS Kat and Neil under the

fuselage as CURTAINS of FIRE start GATHERING around the

wings, CENTRED on a HALF-DESTROYED JET ENGINE

They pass through the hole in the wall LICKED AT BY FLAMES

WHICH LEAVE FROST ON THEIR CLOTHES

As they clear

start SHAKING

CLIMAXES in a

REASSEMBLES –

into the building, DEBRIS in front of them

– they DUCK as the MASSIVE BUILD OF ENERGY

CACOPHONOUS REVERSE EXPLOSION as THE JET ENGINE

LOOSELY ATTACHED TO THE WING, THRUSTING

INT./EXT. FREEPORT SHIPPING AREA – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist draws his gun – turns to Neil –

PROTAGONIST:

I’m going in. Wait here.

The Protagonist turns, rushing up onto the loading dock –

The LOOSE JET ENGINE, under FULL THRUST, ATTACHED to the

wing, SWINGS BACK AND FORTH, wreaking REVERSE HAVOC...

The Protagonist pauses, LISTENING – he can hear BACKWARDS

VOICES on the other side of a ROLLER DOOR – the loose jet

engine TURNS, BLASTING AIR at the Protagonist with its

INVERTED THRUST – the Protagonist is SMASHED through the

bottom of the roller door –

INT. VAULT, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

INTO HIMSELF AND NEIL, DRESSED AS BUSINESSMEN AS IN THEIR

EARLIER VISIT TO THE ROTAS VAULT – the Protagonist (wearing

black clothes and gas mask) TACKLES the EARLIER PROTAGONIST

(wearing business suit), the Earlier Protagonist THROWS the

Protagonist onto the ground, getting his gun –

SHOUTING at him INCOMPREHENSIBLYKICKING his INJURED ARM

AGAIN AND AGAIN – the Protagonist SCREAMS... The Earlier

Protagonist puts his GUN TO THE PROTAGONIST’S HEAD... EARLIER

NEIL GRABS HIS ARM, RESTRAINING him...

The Protagonist and Earlier Protagonist STRUGGLE, ROLLING

across the floor with the unique physics of forward action

merged with backwards action...

They STRUGGLE through the BLUE DOOR of the Rotas vault. The

Protagonist gets his gun – the Earlier Protagonist STABS him

in the arm with his lockpick – ‘HEALING’ his wound

ENERGIZING him –

He FLIPS the Earlier Protagonist up against the glass, LIFTS

his gun – SHOOTS past the Earlier Protagonist’s head, putting

a BULLET HOLE through the glass

Glancing at the OPEN TURNSTILE DOOR, the Protagonist FIRES

again, forcing the Earlier Protagonist TOWARDS the door... he

looks through the proving window – no one there...

PROTAGONIST:

Come on, come on...

The Protagonist FIRES AGAIN AND AGAIN, forcing the Earlier

Protagonist closer and closer to the open turnstile...

The Earlier Protagonist takes hold of the gun – the barrel

coming around onto the Protagonist who instinctively EJECTS

the magazine, REMOVES the SLIDE, tossing it aside, leaving

the Earlier Protagonist with a useless STRIPPED AUTOMATIC

Earlier Neil RACES backwards into the other half of the room

Through the bullet-riddled glass the Protagonist sees

HIMSELF (GAS MASK, BLACK CLOTHES) RUN BACKWARDS into the room

The Protagonist LEAPS INTO THE TURNSTILE – we FOLLOW the

Protagonist through the machineBURSTING OUT on the other

side – straight into Earlier Neil, who now MOVES FORWARDS as

the Protagonist PUSHES past –

As the confrontation on the other side of the glass plays out

again, FORWARDS... the Protagonist RACES for the RED DOOR,

Neil in PURSUIT

INT. VAULT CORRIDOR – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist runs, pursued by Earlier Neil, skidding

around the corners of the vault corridor

Earlier Neil gets a hand on the Protagonist’s GAS MASK and

YANKS – it comes off in his hands... this time we see that

Neil is looking at the UNMASKED PROTAGONIST. Neil, surprised,

turns and BOLTS back the way he came – the Protagonist

watches him go, then TURNS

INT. VAULT CORRIDOR – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist races down the angled corridor

The Protagonist SKIDS through the doorway leading out of the

corridor and into the SMOKE-FILLED cargo area where he

left...

INT. VAULT 2, FREEPORT – CONTINUOUS

Neil races up to the Earlier Protagonist, grab his arm –

NEIL:

NO! Don’t kill him!

INT./EXT. FREEPORT SHIPPING AREA – CONTINUOUS

...Neil (respirator on) guarding Kat, STRAPPED to the gurney.

Behind them, the fire crew battle the blazing plane. Neil is

already looking up at the Protagonist who POINTS right – The

Protagonist DUCKS THROUGH the breach, into the chaos... Neil

moves BACKWARDS towards the outside...

EXT. BREACH – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist RUNS THROUGH THE SMOKE AND FLAME, DODGING

DEBRIS FALLING FROM THE PLANE... heading towards the

EMERGENCY SERVICES...

The Protagonist CREEPS along the side of an AMBULANCE... the

AMBULANCE DRIVER spots him in the mirror – the Protagonist

DARTS in, HITTING the driver in the face –

INT. VAULT CORRIDOR – CONTINUOUS

Neil (moving FORWARDS) ducks back behind the corner as

Earlier Protagonist (business suit) and Earlier Neil

(business suit) walk backwards away from the Rotas vault.

Neil pushes Kat towards the broken roller door and pushes her

inside...

EXT. APRON, OSLO AIRPORTMOMENTS LATER

The Protagonist SWERVES the ambulance, trying to get close to

the breach – the Protagonist SPINS the ambulance around as

close to the breach as possible. He JUMPS out – opens the

back – PEERS into the smoke and water... waiting...

Neil EMERGES, pushing the gurney with Kat on –

INT./EXT. AMBULANCEMOMENTS LATER

The Protagonist DRIVES, sirens blaring.

PROTAGONIST:

You knew it was me coming out of

that vault. Why didn’t you say?

NEIL:

That’s a lot of explaining when

someone’s about to put a bullet in

their own brain.

PROTAGONIST:

But afterwards

NEIL:

With things the same, I knew you’d

be okay. What’s happened happened.

If I’d told you and you acted

differently... who knows? The

policy is to suppress.

PROTAGONIST:

Whose policy?

Neil GRINS, offering his hand –

NEIL:

Ours, my friend. We’re the people

saving the world from what might

have been...

INT./EXT. PARKED AMBULANCE – NIGHT

Neil and the Protagonist are in the back, checking on Kat...

whose eyes OPEN.

Kat?

I’m here.

PROTAGONIST:

KAT:

Neil checks the dressing on her wound

NEIL:

Be quite a scar, but you’re okay.

We did it.

KAT:

Did what? Andrei’s got the

algorithm. You don’t know where he

is –

Neil looks at the Protagonist

Or when.

NEIL:

PROTAGONIST:

Get Priya here to Oslo.

Why?

NEIL:

PROTAGONIST:

If I don’t do something now, in two

days she’ll tell me about the 241.

NEIL:

Nothing can change that.

PROTAGONIST:

We’ll see. Just get her here.

EXT. OSLO WAR MEMORIAL – DAY

The Protagonist makes his way through the crowd, following an

elegantly dressed lady... Priya. He takes her by the arm,

away from the crowd...

PROTAGONIST:

Hello, Priya.

PRIYA:

What’s going on? Where’s Neil?

PROTAGONIST:

Nursing Katherine Barton. Who

almost died because of you.

PRIYA:

What did I do?

PROTAGONIST:

It’s what you’re going to do. In

two days you’re going to have me

dangle plutonium 241 in front of

the world’s most dangerous arms

dealer... I want to know why.

PRIYA:

You let him get hold of 241?

PROTAGONIST:

No. I let him get hold of the

algorithm.

Priya looks at the Protagonist, surprised he knows the term.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Tell me about it, Priya.

PRIYA:

It’s unique. The scientist who

built it took her own life so she

couldn’t be forced to make another.

PROTAGONIST:

A scientist in the future?

PRIYA:

Generations from now.

PROTAGONIST:

Why did she have to kill herself?

PRIYA:

You’re familiar with the Manhattan

Project? As they approached the

first atomic test, Oppenheimer

became concerned the detonation

might produce a chain reaction,

engulfing the world.

PROTAGONIST:

They went ahead anyway, and got

lucky.

PRIYA:

Think of our scientist as her

generation’s Oppenheimer – she

devises a method for inverting the

world, but becomes convinced that

by destroying us, they destroy

themselves.

PROTAGONIST:

The grandfather paradox.

PRIYA:

Unlike Oppenheimer, she rebels,

splitting the algorithm into nine

sections and hiding them the best

place she can think of...

PROTAGONIST:

The past. Here. Now.

PRIYA:

There are nine nuclear powers. Nine

bombs. Nine sets of the most

closely guarded materials in the

history of the world. The best

hiding places possible.

PROTAGONIST:

Nuclear containment facilities.

PRIYA:

Sator’s lifelong mission, financed

and guided by the future, has been

to find and reassemble the

algorithm.

PROTAGONIST:

Why did they choose him?

PRIYA:

The necessary combination of greed

and ambition. But mostly, he was in

the right place at the right time.

PROTAGONIST:

The collapse of the Soviet Union.

PRIYA:

The most insecure moment in the

history of nuclear weapons.

PROTAGONIST:

And there he was. How many of the

sections does he have?

PRIYA:

After the 241? All nine.

PROTAGONIST:

Christ. And that’s why you’re going

to do it differently this time.

PRIYA:

To change things? So Katherine

won’t get hurt?

PROTAGONIST:

So Sator won’t get the algorithm.

PRIYA:

If that universe can exist, we

don’t live in it.

PROTAGONIST:

Let’s try. You’re going to warn me.

PRIYA:

No. I’m not. Ignorance is our

ammunition. If you’d known what the

algorithm was, would you have let

it fall into Sator’s hands?

PROTAGONIST:

You want him to get the last

section?

PRIYA:

It’s the only way he’ll bring

together the other eight.

PROTAGONIST:

I was supposed to steal it, then

lose it?

PRIYA:

(smiles)

Mission accomplished.

PROTAGONIST:

You used me.

PRIYA:

As you used Katherine. Standard

operating procedure. You’ve done

your part.

PROTAGONIST:

My part? I’m the protagonist of

this operation

PRIYA:

You’re a protagonist.

(off look)

What? You thought you were the only

person capable of saving the world?

PROTAGONIST:

No. But I am. Because I haven’t

told you where he’s assembling the

algorithm, or when.

PRIYA:

You’re about to.

PROTAGONIST:

No, I’m not. So deal us in.

PRIYA:

Why would you involve her again?

PROTAGONIST:

She can get close to him.

PRIYA:

Does he still trust her?

PROTAGONIST:

He thinks she’s dead. But he used

to.

PRIYA:

You have started looking at the

world in a new way.

PROTAGONIST:

And now it’s your turn. Assuming

she makes it out alive, whether or

not you feel she knows too much...

I can’t.

PRIYA:

PROTAGONIST:

If you don’t have the authority,

talk to whoever’s in charge of

loose ends. I need your word that

she and her son will be safe.

PRIYA:

(frustrated)

What good is someone’s word in our

line of business?

The Protagonist just looks at her. She NODS.

PRIYA (CONT'D)

They’ll be safe. There’s a rally

point offshore at Trondheim. Get

yourselves up there...

EXT. WIND FARM, NORWAY – DAY

Chinooks cross BACKWARDS through WHITE TURBINES. Service

boats pull people off ladders. A large ICEBREAKER sits nearby

EXT. ICEBREAKER, BARENTS SEA – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist, IN RESPIRATOR, does PULL-UPS on deck, the

movement ‘shaking’ snow back up onto the pipe...

PRIYA (V.O.)

Ives has a team ready to invert.

CUT BACK TO THE PROTAGONIST IN OSLO

PROTAGONIST:

You have a turnstile? The exact

technology we’re trying to

suppress?

EXT. ICEBREAKER – DAY

The Protagonist watches a CHINOOK long-line a container...

PRIYA (V.O.)

Fighting fire with fire is a

treacherous business, but there are

people in the future who need us to

continue the algorithm’s journey

into the past. You see...

Taking a look at the sea CHURNING BACKWARDS into the stern as

the inverted ship ‘progresses’, he heads below deck...

CUT BACK TO PRIYA IN OSLO

PRIYA:

...Tenet wasn’t founded in the past

– it will be founded in the future.

INT. HOLD, ICEBREAKER – CONTINUOUS

Coming out of an AIRLOCK, he removes his respirator. Walks

past Wheeler drilling TENET SOLDIERS – non-inverted soldiers

in respirators SPAR with inverted soldiers. Neil is amongst

troops practising ‘LIFTING’ weapons from the floor.

INT. CABIN, ICEBREAKER – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist enters. Kat sits at a window.

KAT:

I can’t get over the birds...

The Protagonist follows her look to a bird flying backwards.

PROTAGONIST:

How are you feeling?

She lifts her shirt to reveal a LARGE, JAGGED, ANGRY SCAR.

KAT:

Tell me you’re going to kill him.

I can’t.

PROTAGONIST:

Neil enters without interrupting. Kat rises. Steady.

KAT:

Why not? I think you’ve probably

killed a lot of people

NEIL:

Not with a dead man’s switch.

A what?

KAT:

PROTAGONIST:

That fitness tracker he wears...

KAT:

He’s obsessive about his health.

NEIL:

It’ll be linked to a switch.

Probably a simple email burst,

revealing the location of the dead

drop, set to fire if his heart

stops.

PROTAGONIST:

In effect, his death activates the

algorithm. He dies, the world ends

– no one dares kill him.

Kat realizes...

KAT:

No, you’ve missed the point. He’s

intending to end his life.

Why?

PROTAGONIST:

KAT:

He’s dying. Inoperable pancreatic

cancer.

PROTAGONIST:

And he’s taking the world with him.

KAT:

If he can’t have her, no one can.

What?

PROTAGONIST:

KAT:

Something he said, once. He has a

child, for God’s sake.

NEIL:

Kat, he gets to choose the time and

place for the end of the world.

What moment? What does he choose?

PROTAGONIST:

You told me about a holiday, where

you let him feel loved...

KAT:

Viet Nam. On our yacht. His yacht.

PROTAGONIST:

You said he vanished – what day?

KAT:

I went ashore with Max, he flew

off. I don’t know what date it

was...

NEIL:

The 14th. Ten days ago. He was in

Ukraine, stealing a section of the

algorithm from an American team.

PROTAGONIST:

At the Kiev Opera siege. How do you

know about that?

NEIL:

The point is – he wasn’t on the

yacht, so that’s his window.

KAT:

To come back to that golden moment

and have it be his last.

PROTAGONIST:

Everyone’s last. We have to lift

the algorithm from the dead drop

without Sator knowing. If he

believes it’s in there, he kills

himself.

NEIL:

And not the rest of us. Where’s the

dead drop?

PROTAGONIST:

Knowledge divided, friend.

NEIL:

You’re not going to tell me?

PROTAGONIST:

Ignorance is our ammunition.

(turns to her)

But I need you back on that boat.

Why?

KAT:

PROTAGONIST:

You have to stop him killing

himself until we know that

algorithm is out of the dead drop.

KAT:

But if I’m caught there... and my

son sees... I don’t want those

moments full of anguish if they’re

going to be his last.

PROTAGONIST:

They’re not.

INT. ICEBREAKER, BARENTS SEA – DAY

The Protagonist watches the troops prepare.

IVES (O.S.)

Cough it up. It’s time.

The Protagonist turns to face Ives.

IVES (CONT'D)

We’re working our way back to the

14th. But without knowing where

the dead drop is, there’s only so

much I can prepare.

(no response)

You need me to get you there.

PROTAGONIST:

Know what a hypocentre is?

Ives shakes his head.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

Ground zero for an underground

nuclear test. Sir Michael Crosby

told me about a detonation at

Stalsk-12 on the 14th – the dead

drop is at the bottom of the

hypocentre. That explosion seals up

the algorithm.

IVES:

Then we’d better pull it out of

that hole before the bomb goes off.

INT. TURNSTILE, ICEBREAKER – DAY

Soldiers in respirators file into the turnstile. Through the

proving window we see them ‘back’ into the exit... The

Protagonist checks his gear at the back of the line. He sees

Kat watching from the airlock. He goes to her.

INT. AIRLOCK – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist pulls off his respirator.

KAT:

Where’s Neil?

PROTAGONIST:

He must’ve already gone through...

KAT:

I didn’t get to say goodbye – this

is goodbye, isn’t it?

PROTAGONIST:

Today’s the 14th. Offshore of

Siberia – time for us to go. You

keep going back another day, give

you time to make it to Viet Nam.

KAT:

Who gets me back on the yacht?

PROTAGONIST:

I’ve got somebody good lined up.

I’d like to say you don’t have to

do this, but...

KAT:

I once told you I didn’t need

redemption. But the chance to save

my child? You can’t know what that

means to a mother.

No.

PROTAGONIST:

KAT:

The worst thing Andrei ever did to

me was that offer – to let me go if

I never saw my son again. I

shouted, swore

INSERT CUT:
Kat FLINGS a crystal BOWL OF RASPBERRIES,

SMASHING it on a wooden deck...

KAT (CONT'D)

But he’d seen it on my face – just

for an instant.

Kat looks at the Protagonist. Who says nothing.

KAT (CONT'D)

I don’t know if I hate him more for

the things he’s done, or because he

knows that about me. You’ve killed

people you hated before?

PROTAGONIST:

It’s not usually personal.

KAT:

He’s dying, anyway. It might not

even count

PROTAGONIST:

It always counts. You’re not there

to kill him – you’re the backstop.

If we haven’t lifted that algorithm

and he kills himself, he takes us

all with him, instantly.

Kat moves to the Protagonist, in close

KAT:

Just keep up your end, okay?

The Protagonist nods. She kisses him.

PROTAGONIST:

When it’s over, and you’re raising

your boy. Carry this –

The Protagonist hands her a DUMB PHONE.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

There may be a time and place you

feel threatened. Hit talk, state

your location, hang up.

KAT:

Who gets the message?

Posterity.

PROTAGONIST:

INT./EXT. CHINOOK – LATER

The Protagonist watches the icebreaker recede...

EXT. VAST BARREN PLAIN, DUSTED WITH SNOW – DAY

Three CHINOOKS zoom low across the barren landscape, followed

by another three CHINOOKS long-lining SHIPPING CONTAINERS...

INT. CHINOOK – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist sits amongst a DOZEN SOLDIERS. They watch the

endless northern plain unroll beneath them...

EXT. TENET CAMP – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist gets off the Chinook, watching another

Chinook gently set down a container. He follows the others to

a tent.

INT. BRIEFING TENT – CONTINUOUS

Soldiers in folding chairs facing a screen. The Protagonist

looks aroundstill no Neil. Ives steps up, signals for the

projector:
a devastated CITY, grey CONCRETE and ABANDONED

industry amongst terraced strip mines...

IVES:

Stalsk-12. Hidden from the world. A

city where anything can happen, and

today, gentlemen, for ten minutes,

it most assuredly does.

Ives switches to a GRAPHIC: a childishly simple diagram of a

LANDING AREA, BUILDINGS, then an UNDERGROUND CAVERN...

IVES (CONT'D)

You were divided into two teams for

a temporal pincer movement. We

are Red team, moving forwards. Our

friends out there

(gestures at containers)

– Blue team, led by Commander

Wheeler, are inverted. One hour

from now, they had this briefing...

INSERT CUT:
Neil, in RESPIRATOR, in the front row of

Commander Wheeler’s briefing of BLUE TEAM. All are in

respirators...

BACK TO RED-TEAM BRIEFING

IVES (CONT'D)

Then were dropped on the ridge

above the hypocentre as close in

time to the detonation as possible.

Their objectives were clearance and

clarification. This briefing has

the benefit of their experience

and yes, some of you specialists

are on both teams.

The Protagonist overhears

RED SOLDIER 1

Why don’t they let us see them?

RED SOLDIER 2

Maybe we won’t like what happened.

EXT. COAST OF VIET NAM – DAY

A SPEEDBOAT bounces through the chop, Mahir (from the

freeport heist) at the helm. Kat, beside him, shields her

eyes from the glare as they head towards Sator’s yacht. They

pull up some way off. A chopper sits on the yacht.

Mahir hands Kat binoculars – Kat watches her EARLIER SELF and

HER SON board the tender and head for shore...

INT. BRIEFING TENT – DAY

Ives gestures across the whole area on the schematic

IVES:

The entire area is radioactive, so

both teams wear full protection. To

distinguish teams, wear these

A soldier starts passing out RED ARMBANDS...

INSERT CUT:
Neil, in respirator, takes a BLUE ARMBAND, and,

like the rest of the team, puts it on...

BACK TO RED-TEAM BRIEFING

Ives points to each of the three elements in turn:

IVES (CONT'D)

Landing zone, LZ, well defended,

including ground-to-air ordinance.

We drop in, clear the LZ for Blue

team’s evacuation... We make our

way into the city proper... these

buildings are abandoned, but we

learned they have a turnstile in

this one... so expect a bi-temporal

response.

RED SOLDIER 1

They’ll have inverse ordinance?

IVES:

Inverse, conventional, forwards

antagonists, inverted antagonists

they have it all, and it can all

end you. Got it?

Ives goes back to the diagram

IVES (CONT'D)

On the other side of the city, the

ground rises to the ridge above the

hypocentre.

(MORE)

IVES (CONT'D)

Most of you will proceed up the

hill – a splinter unit will take a

tunnel from the city to the floor

of the hypocentre. Blue team

located an entrance here –

Ives points to the city’s edge. Then to the CAVERN.

IVES (CONT'D)

The bomb is in the rock high above

to trigger a collapse, sealing the

cavern.

RED SOLDIER 2

How do we defuse the bomb up there?

IVES:

We don’t. The explosion takes place

as planned, exactly ten minutes

after our landing. Everything is

synchronized to that explosion.

Both teams have countdown watches

ours counts down from ten at

landing, to zero at the explosion.

He holds up his wrist to display a BLOOD-RED ‘10’ –

IVES (CONT'D)

Blue team is the reverse

INSERT CUT:
a PREVIOUS BRIEFING (BLUE TEAM). NEIL watches as

Wheeler holds up her wrist to show a VIVID-BLUE ‘10’ –

WHEELER:

Ten at the explosion, to zero at

our extraction. If you are not at

the LZ by zero, you are not

leaving.

BACK TO RED-TEAM BRIEFING

IVES:

Our job is to fail to defuse the

bomb, while the splinter unit

achieves its task undetected.

Which is?

RED SOLDIER 1

IVES:

Need to know. And you don’t. Any

other stupid questions? Right,

let’s get ready.

Everybody RISES. The Protagonist approaches Ives.

PROTAGONIST:

I wanted to be on the first wave.

IVES:

There is no first wave – Red team

and Blue team operate

simultaneously. Do not get on the

chopper if you can’t stop thinking

in linear terms. You want to be on

the team who lifts the contents of

that capsule?

PROTAGONIST:

Absolutely.

IVES:

That’s us. We’re the splinter unit.

Just us?

PROTAGONIST:

IVES:

No one who knows the contents of

that capsule can leave the field. I

thought we’d manage ourselves.

EXT. COAST OF VIET NAM – DAY

Mahir shows Kat how to use a small pistol. Kat wears a two-

piece bathing suit with a shirt over. He puts the pistol in a

diver’s bag, loops the lanyard round Kat’s bare ankle.

MAHIR:

It’s forty feet from the private

deck to the water. Can you jump it?

KAT:

I can dive it.

They hear the chopper SPIN UP. Mahir shows her a FLARE GUN

MAHIR:

Until you see my signal, you don’t

let him die.

Kat nods. The chopper lifts off and ZOOMS overhead. Mahir

guns the powerboat, STREAKING towards the yacht...

EXT. TENET CAMP – DAY

The Soldiers head for the Chinooks. As they pass the

containers, some stare at them... the Chinooks lift off, some

Chinooks rise, LIFTING the containers...

EXT. COAST OF VIET NAM – DAY

Mahir pulls up fifty yards from the stern of Sator’s yacht...

Kat grabs the pistol bag and slips into the water...

INT./EXT. NORTHERN PLAIN – DAY

The Chinooks BEAT LOW over the windswept plain. Stalsk-12

appears on the horizonterraced strip-mined land leading to

a set of CONCRETESTRUCTURES FUSED TO THE EARTH...

EXT. SATOR’S YACHT, COAST OF VIET NAM – DAY

Kat quietly pulls herself out of the water and onto a rear

platform. She STEALTHILY makes her way up through the boat...

EXT. LZ, STALSK-12 – CONTINUOUS

The Chinooks long-lining containers RISE, slowing, as the

other Chinooks BARREL in towards a large flat area – ANTI-

AIRCRAFT GUNS start FIRING...

The Protagonist grabs his gun and LEAPS from the Chinook as

it hovers close to the ground...

EXT. HYPOCENTRE RIDGE, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Chinooks long-lining containers fly BACKWARDS towards a

giant DEPRESSION...

INT. CONTAINER – CONTINUOUS

Neil looks out a peephole

WHEELER:

We’re coming in on the shock

wave... hang on, people! –

Neil GRABS his belts as WHUMMMMM!!!! The container SHUDDERS

EXT. HYPOCENTRE RIDGE, STALSK-12 – CONTINUOUS

The SHOCK WAVE CONTRACTS – the Chinook ‘SURFING’ backwards in

on the shock as it approaches the hypocentre... ENERGY

BUILDING... GROUND LIFTING AND FLATTENING...

EXT. LZ, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist joins a unit of Red team soldiers who CHARGE

an antiaircraft emplacement TAKING IT OUT BEFORE IT CAN FIRE

ON THE SLOW-MOVING CHINOOKS...

The Protagonist uses his assault rifle to take out a

gunemplacement. Ives uses an inverse grenade to violently

‘reassemble’ an enemy gun emplacement out of existence,

shredding the enemy with reverse shrapnel...

IVES:

Draw them back into the city, away

from Blue team...

The Chinooks drop down, land the containers – the Protagonist

looks back to see, a hundred metres away, the containers OPEN

– Blue team ‘SCRAMBLING’ BACKWARDS from the containers...

SOME CARRY INJURED COMRADES, ALL SEEM EXHAUSTED...

The Protagonist and Red team press forward, blasting at the

remaining enemy troops who run for the cover of the city...

the Protagonist checks his watch – a BRIGHT-RED ‘9:59’,

‘9:
58’...

EXT. HYPOCENTRE RIDGE, STALSK-12 – DAY

The reverse explosion PEAKS. SUDDEN CALM as the Chinooks

place the containers down – they open and Blue team runs out,

‘FORWARDS’, Neil at

the head, guns raised, BLASTING at the ENEMY SOLDIERS on the

ridge... Neil checks his watch – a BRIGHT-BLUE ‘9:57’,

‘9:
56’... he turns to see a GREY TRUCK ‘REVERSING’ towards

the hole, tyres sucking up dust... a rope from its rear hitch

TAUT into the hole...

BANG! BANG! SHOTS are sucked out of the ground around him –

Blue team FORCES the enemy away from the hole, towards Red

team (whose members fight ‘backwards’) – Neil shouts to

Wheeler –

NEIL:

Draw their fire! Pull them away...

He RACES down the ridge, following Wheeler...

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

Kat comes out to find a JUNIOR CREW MEMBER cleaning up a

SMASHED BOWL OF RASPBERRIES. He looks up at her, surprised.

JUNIOR CREW MEMBER

Ma’am? We thought you’d gone

ashore.

KAT:

I snuck back to surprise Andrei.

JUNIOR CREW MEMBER

The Boss left...

He trails off – they hear an INCOMING CHOPPER.

KAT:

I’ll get the mess. Have Mr Sator

find me here. Don’t tell the

others.

The Junior Crew Member nods, leaves – Kat moves to the RAIL,

checks Mahir in the distance, the DAYBED, the water HOSE...

EXT. LZ, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist, Ives and Red team head towards the large

concrete turnstile building on the outskirts of the city –

The Protagonist sees Wheeler running backwards towards a

BUNKER on their right which UNEXPLODES

GUNFIRE CRACKLES around them, pinning them down...

They hit the bunker with an RPG, then race around the left of

the turnstile building...

EXT. HYPOCENTRE RIDGE, STALSK-12 – DAY

Wheeler leads Blue team down the hill – ‘chasing’ the enemy

who run BACKWARDS – a BLUE TEAM member TRIGGERS A LANDMINE

another triggers an INVERSE LANDMINE

WHEELER:

Hit the deck! Mines!

As Blue team goes to the ground, Neil sees mines start to

EXPLODE/IMPLODE in a wave towards him as the GREY TRUCK RACES

BACKWARDS down the hill through the minefield, REVERSE-

TRIGGERING THE MINES – Neil DIVES out of the way, almost run

over...

Then gets up to follow the ‘path’ of the grey truck...

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHTLATE AFTERNOON

Kat unzips the diver’s bag, feels the handle of the gun, then

slides the bag under the daybed, checking she can reach. She

moves to the rail, crouches to UNCLIP the bottom safety

cable. She looks at Mahir’s boat across the water...

EXT. CITY STREETS, STALSK-12 – DAY

Ives leads Red team into the deserted concrete structures via

an efficient cover-and-move formation... the Protagonist

shelters behind LARGE CONCRETE CHUNKS. Which VIBRATE...

GATHERING ENERGY...

The Protagonist JUMPS AWAY as the chunks RIP FROM THE GROUND,

BOUNCING VIOLENTLY, DUSTILY OFF EACH OTHER AND FLYING UP INTO

A GAP IN THE SIDE OF A BUILDING as an INVERSE RPG ZIPS back

up into a WINDOW

Ives has spotted the window and calls for an RPG to ‘follow’

the inverse one, BLASTING the building... the Protagonist

checks his watch – ‘8:10’, ‘8:09’...

EXT. HYPOCENTRE RIDGE, STALSK-12 – DAY

Neil checks his watch – ‘8:08’, ‘8:07’... he heads downhill,

towards the city, where the rest of Blue team BEAT BACK the

enemy...

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHTLATE AFTERNOON

Kat hoses the raspberries and glass from the deck... Sator

appears, watching as she turns the water on herself.

SATOR:

They told me you’d gone ashore.

KAT:

They told me you’d flown off.

SATOR:

I came back. To see you and Max.

KAT:

Max is on shore with Anna. We need

time, just you and me. After what -

SATOR:

I was joking. A stupid joke –

KAT:

You think I’m a terrible mother.

SATOR:

We both know my opinion of you is

higher than yours of me.

KAT:

I want things to be better, Andrei.

She moves towards him. Sator nods. Picks up the phone

SATOR:

Have the captain turn the boat so

we’ll see the sunset from here.

EXT. CITY STREETS, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist RUNS across the street, FIRING at the

enemy... he SPOTS the TUNNEL ENTRANCE between two buildings.

PROTAGONIST:

Ives! Splinter unit here!

Ives nods. RACES over, drawing fire the whole way...

EXT. HYPOCENTRE RIDGE, STALSK-12

Neil races into the city streets... he sees Commander Wheeler

and a BLUE SOLDIER take shelter in a large jagged BREACH in

the ground-floor wall of a massive structure.

Neil is FORCED to hit the deck, ducking INVERTED fire all

around... he looks over at Wheeler, and sees DUST GATHERING

AROUND THE BREACH...

NEIL:

Wheeler! Get out of there! Wheeler!

Wheeler hears him – tries to grab the Blue Soldier – MASSIVE

CHUNKS OF CONCRETE SCRAPE OVER NEIL’S HEAD, FLYING TOWARDS

WHEELER, who DIVES CLEAR – the wall REASSEMBLES ON TOP OF the

Blue Soldier, CRUSHING HIM...

Neil winces. Starts crawling for better cover... checks his

watch – ‘6:
24’,‘6:23’...

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHTLATE AFTERNOON

Sator looks past Kat to the lowering sun.

SATOR:

It’s going to be a beautiful

sunset. I’ll get Max brought back –

we should share the moment with

him.

Sator picks up the phone. Kat looks at the shore, uneasy...

EXT. CITY STREETS, STALSK-12 – DAY

Ives and the Protagonist shelter as Red team exchanges fire

with the Enemy further up the street. The Protagonist checks

his watch – ‘5:15’, ‘5:14’...

PROTAGONIST:

Let’s go. We’re running out of

time.

IVES:

If they see us, it’s all for

nothing.

PROTAGONIST:

We need a distraction.

Ives looks ahead to the LEANING RUIN OF A BUILDING TOP...

IVES:

Don’t worry about that...

EXT. CITY STREETS – DAY

Neil checks his watch – ‘5:10’, ‘5:09’... frustrated, pinned

down, he looks around for a way to break cover...

Commander Wheeler, with the rest of Blue team, SHELTERS in

the shadow of the RUINED BASE of a building, pinned by ENEMY

FIRE from the base of the building...

WHEELER:

RPG! Take out the base – on my mark

She checks her watch – ‘5:04’, ‘5:03’...

The BLUE RPG SOLDIER takes aim...

EXT. CITY STREETS, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist spots SMALL DEBRIS ROLLING across the

street... GATHERING MOMENTUM...

Ives!

PROTAGONIST:

Ives sees LARGER and LARGER debris is ROLLING down the street

towards the LEANING RUIN OF A BUILDING TOP...

IVES:

It’s about to get distracting...

He signals a RED RPG SOLDIER...

IVES (CONT'D)

On my mark!

He looks at his watch – ‘5:01’, ‘5:00’ –

Fire!

IVES (CONT'D)

The leaning ruin THRUSTS UPWARDS

EXT. CITY STREETS, STALSK-12 – DAY

Wheeler watches as the Leaning Ruin’s UPPER STOREYS

REASSEMBLE, as its BASE EXPLODES...

EXT. CITY STREETS, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist takes cover as the Leaning Ruin’s BASE

REASSEMBLES as its UPPER STOREYS EXPLODE... the Protagonist

and Ives race at the tunnel entrance – the GREY TRUCK RACES

at them as they dive for the tunnel...

EXT. CITY STREETS, STALSK-12 – DAY

Wheeler ducks as the weight of the upper storeys COLLAPSES

the building...

Neil lifts his head after the EXPLO/IMPLOSION. Clear. He gets

up and starts RUNNING...

EXT. TUNNEL ENTRANCE, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist and Ives RACE into the tunnel, HITTING A

TRIPWIRE WHICH BLOWS THE TUNNEL ENTRANCE DOWN BEHIND THEM AS

THEY JUMP INSIDE...

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHTLATE AFTERNOON

Sator hangs up. He holds a SILVER PILL in the sunlight,

studying it...

KAT:

What’s that?

SATOR:

I borrowed it from the CIA.

KAT:

But what is it?

SATOR:

The way the world ends, not with a

bang but a whimper.

KAT:

I don’t understand.

SATOR:

When I take this, it’s all over.

KAT:

Then don’t take it, yet.

Sator looks at her, needing her to care.

Why not?

SATOR:

KAT:

We’ve got the sunset coming and a

little vodka left...

SATOR:

And Max will be here soon... they

thought it was you, not Anna, on

shore with Max.

Kat steps up in front of Sator, seductive...

KAT:

As long as you can tell the

difference...

Sator smiles appreciatively, but pulls out his phone

SATOR:

A moment’s business, my love...

EXT. MAHIR’S BOAT – CONTINUOUS

Mahir checks his radio

IVES:

(over radio)

Not clear. Repeat, not clear...

INT. TUNNEL, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist and Ives look back at the COLLAPSED ENTRANCE

PROTAGONIST:

We’re committed now.

They turn and RACE through the mining tunnel...

IVES:

(into radio)

Just hold tight – we’re almost

there...

EXT. CITY STREETS, STALSK-12 – DAY

Neil spots SATOR’S GREY MI8 OVERHEAD, a rope hanging down.

Across the street he sees VOLKOV REVERSE-EXIT the tunnel

mouth, CROUCHING to ‘DERIG’ a tripwired booby trap, carrying

it towards the chopper, then LEAPING up onto the line –

RISING from the streets...

Neil STARES. CONCERNED. Checks his watch – ‘4:10’, ‘4:09’...

Then TAKES OFF, SPRINTING

Neil!

WHEELER:

She watches him go ahead, then signals Blue team to keep

pushing forward...

INT. TUNNEL, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist and Ives run down the tunnel... they slow as

they see a BODY, blue armband, lying on the ground on the

opposite side of a SET OF BARS at the end of the tunnel.

They can see into the hypocentre, the GIANT ATOMIC-HEWN

CAVERN, daylight above, CAPSULE on the rock floor next to the

mouth of a BORE HOLE. The Protagonist checks his watch

‘4:
06’, ‘4:05’ ... Ives checks the ELECTRONIC LOCK

IVES:

We don’t have anything big enough

to blow this. Try him –

The Protagonist reaches through the bars and checks the body

– FREEZES:
attached to a zip, a TALISMAN – A COIN WITH A HOLE

HANGING FROM A SMALL LENGTH OF ORANGE AND YELLOW STRING...

The Protagonist looks at it, quizzical, rises

PROTAGONIST:

Nothing. Can you pick it?

SATOR (O.S.)

I hope not. I paid a lot for that

lock...

WHAM! Ives goes down – SHOT BY VOLKOV, bullet SPARKING off

his helmet – on the other side of the bars – gun pointed at

the Protagonist, FIELD RADIO held out... Sator’s voice ECHOES

through the tunnel

SATOR (CONT'D)

(over phone)

How do you like where my journey

began, and yours ends?

Volkov takes the Protagonist’s gun. Forces him to push Ives’s

gun through the bars.

PROTAGONIST:

A little radioactive for my taste.

Volkov drops the guns into the water, places the radio by the

bars...

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHTLATE AFTERNOON

Sator steps away from Kat as he speaks quietly into the

phone.

SATOR:

My fate was always bound up with

radiation. We’d work where no one

else would. We made a devil’s

bargain – money for time. We sold

our futures.

Kat looks at Mahir’s boat. Nothing. She looks to the shore.

Far in the distance, she can see the TENDER APPROACHING...

INT. TUNNEL, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist looks at Volkov. At the bars between him and

the capsule...

PROTAGONIST:

Now you’re making the same mistake

for the entire world.

SATOR:

(over phone)

It wasn’t a mistake. I made the

bargain I could. What was yours?

You fight for a cause you barely

understand. With people you trust

so little you’ve told them nothing

about what you’re doing. When I die

the world dies with me. And your

knowledge dies with you. Buried in

the tomb like an anonymous Egyptian

builder sealed in the pyramid to

keep his secret...

INT. TURNSTILE BUILDING, STALSK-12 – DAY

Neil comes into the turnstile room... he watches ENEMY TROOPS

enter/exit the machine, inverting to join the battle. He

waits for his chance... the room is empty... he sees himself

through the proving window, and RUNS at the machine...

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHT – EVENING

Sator speaks into his phone

SATOR:

Your faith is blind. You’re a

fanatic.

PROTAGONIST:

(over phone)

What’s more fanatical than trying

to destroy the world?

Kat moves towards Sator, but he raises a finger...

SATOR:

I’m not. I’m creating a new one.

Somewhere, sometime, a man in a

crystalline tower throws a switch

and Armageddon is both triggered

and avoided. Entropy inverts the

same way the magnetic poles have

switched 183 times over the

millennia. Now time itself switches

direction.

Sator looks out at the lowering sun...

SATOR (CONT'D)

The same sunshine we’ve basked in

will warm the faces of our

descendants generations from now.

Kat looks at Mahir’s boat. Nothing. She looks to shore,

watching the TENDER APPROACHING...

INT. TUNNEL, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist looks at his watch – ‘2:12’, ‘2:11’...

PROTAGONIST:

How can they want to destroy us?

SATOR:

(over phone)

Because their oceans rose and their

rivers ran dry. Don’t you see –?

Their world shrivelled because of

us. They have no choice but to turn

back, there’s no life ahead of

them. And we’re responsible.

Knowing this, do you still want me

to stop?

PROTAGONIST:

Yes. Each generation looks out for

its own survival.

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

Sator looks out at the glittering water

SATOR:

That’s exactly what they’re doing.

PROTAGONIST:

(over phone)

Sure, but not you. You’re a

traitor. Bringing death to all

because you have no life of your

own left.

SATOR:

When I’m done, life continues.

PROTAGONIST:

(over phone)

Not your son’s.

SATOR:

My greatest sin was to bring a son

into a world I knew was ending...

do you think God will forgive me?

PROTAGONIST:

(over phone)

For killing your son? No.

SATOR:

He should understand – he killed

his own.

EXT. CITY STREETS, STALSK-12 – DAY

Neil, FORWARDS NOW, spots a GREY TRUCK outside the turnstile

building – he jumps in, FIRING IT UP

RACING THROUGH THE STREETS, PAST THE IMPLODING/ EXPLODING

BUILDING, racing for the tunnel mouth, trying to head off the

Protagonist and Ives –

NEIL:

Wait! Wait!

They dive into the tunnel, which COLLAPSES. Neil sets his

sights on the hypocentre ridge above, GUNS the engine...

EXT. LZ, STALSK-12 – DAY

Wheeler leads Blue team towards the CHINOOKS LOWERING

CONTAINERS... as they carry their wounded and lurch towards

the containers, they see Red team ‘REASSEMBLING’ the anti-

aircraft guns...

INT. TUNNEL, STALSK-12 – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist watches Volkov pick up a BLACK, METAL,

GEOMETRICALLY COMPLEX BAR... the algorithm.

PROTAGONIST:

You don’t believe in God. Or a new

future. Or anything outside your

own experience.

SATOR:

(over phone)

That’s all any of us knows. The

rest is belief, and I don’t have

it.

PROTAGONIST:

Without it you’re not human. You’re

a madman.

SATOR:

(over phone)

Or a god of sorts.

PROTAGONIST:

Like I said.

Volkov slowly backs towards the capsule with the algorithm...

The Protagonist looks down at Ives – whose hand is MOVING...

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

A BEEP. Sator checks his watch.

SATOR:

Our time is up.

He looks across at Kat standing by the rail.

SATOR (CONT'D)

I’ll give my wife your love.

PROTAGONIST:

(over phone)

You’re forgetting, I haven’t met

her, yet.

SATOR:

That’s right, after you meet her,

she dies. I’ll just give her my

love, instead.

INT. HYPOCENTRE, STALSK-12 – DAY

Volkov seals the capsulehooks it to a winch... the

Protagonist watches Ives’s hand emerge with a SIDEARM...

Volkov raises the capsule up over the mouth of the DEEP BORE

HOLE, then steps back, preparing to release the winch and

drop the capsule into the well...

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHT – SUNSET

Sator goes to hang up, pauses... an afterthought

Volkov?

SATOR:

INT. TUNNEL, STALSK-12 – CONTINUOUS

Volkov RUSHES FORWARD with his gun...

SATOR:

(over phone; in Russian,

subtitled)

Shoot him in the head. –

Volkov PULLS HIS TRIGGER – but the Dead Tenet Soldier has

‘RISEN’ to be in front of the gun ‘ABSORBING’ the bullet

then LEAPING to one side, ALIVE

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHT – CONTINUOUS

Sator hears the shot, SATISFIED – Kat pulls the phone away –

KAT:

Enough business, Andrei...

INT. TUNNEL, STALSK-12 – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist DIVES to where Ives is lying, GRABS his gun –

Volkov TURNS, RUNNING FOR the winch-release –

PROTAGONIST:

WAIT! WAIT!

He FIRES at Volkov, who goes down just short of the winch...

Ives struggles to his feet, checking his watch – ‘1:07’,

‘1:
06’...

Hearing BEEPS, Ives looks up. THE LOCK is open –

EXT. HYPOCENTRE RIDGE, STALSK-12 – CONTINUOUS

Neil RACES up the slope to the ridgethrough the MINEFIELD,

setting off personnel mines in his wake, NARROWLY AVOIDING

RUNNING HIMSELF OVER...

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHT – EVENING

As Kat pours him a drink, Sator looks out at the glowing

horizon, fiddling with the silver pill... he POINTS

SATOR:

Tomorrow the sun will rise in that

same spot. For the first time in

history. Because I’ve told it to.

(looks at her like she’s

a loyal dog)

You have no idea what I’m talking

about, do you?

She looks at him, smiles sweetly.

KAT:

It sounds terribly important,

Andrei.

He reaches for her – she gets up, moves to the rail –

SATOR:

Where’re you going?

She grabs the hose, starts spraying herself

KAT:

Aren’t you hot?

Kat sprays the deck in front of the rail –

SATOR:

What’re you doing, now?

KAT:

I spilled sunscreen.

So what?

SATOR:

KAT:

It’s slippery.

SATOR:

Just come here...

She looks at Sator lying on the daybed like an appalling

emperor. Moves towards him. Grabs the sunscreen.

Turn over.

KAT:

SATOR:

The sun’s almost gone.

KAT:

You’ll like it.

He rolls over, obedient. She squirts a large dollop across

his back. Looks up at Mahir’s boat, hopeful. Nothing.

She checks her watch as she lazily smears the sunscreen

across Sator’s back. He groans. Kat watches the TENDER

APPROACHING, she can just make out HERSELF AND HER SON...

INT. TUNNEL, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist watches the Dead Tenet Soldier RACING

BACKWARDS from the gate, out of the tunnel

COME ON!

IVES:

The Protagonist TURNS – Ives swings the gate open – they RACE

through, just before it closes, SLAMMING SHUT behind them –

IVES (CONT'D)

Tunnel’s sealed!

The Protagonist steps over Volkov, STRUGGLES with the

capsule, it swings, HANGING precariously over the well...

IVES (CONT'D)

(into radio)

Mahir, do you copy?

EXT. MAHIR’S BOAT – EVENING

Mahir looks through binoculars, FRUSTRATED, flare gun ready

IVES:

(over radio)

Hold! Repeat, hold!

EXT. HYPOCENTRE RIDGE, STALSK-12 – DAY

Neil REVERSES towards the hole – jumps out, pulling a line

from the rear winch...

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHT – SUNSET

Kat looks at Mahir’s boat. Nothing. She checks her watch...

looks down at the tender approaching – it’s close enough she

can clearly see HERSELF CHATTING AND LAUGHING WITH MAX... she

jumps up from the daybed, holding the diver’s bag. Sator

looks up at her, surprised.

KAT:

I can’t do this.

SATOR:

Don’t spoil this moment, Kat.

KAT:

I can’t let you think you’ve won...

Sator looks at her, suddenly wary...

SATOR:

What are you talking about,

Katherine?

KAT:

I’m not letting you go to your

grave thinking we’re all coming

with you. I can’t give you that –

She pulls out the SILENCED PISTOL. He is UTTERLY UNAFRAID.

KAT (CONT'D)

You’re dying alone, Andrei.

SATOR:

(contemptuous)

No, I’m not.

KAT:

Andrei, look in my eyes. Which do

you see, despair... or anger?

What?

SATOR:

KAT:

I’m not the woman who could find

love for you even though you’d

scarred her on the inside...

Kat pulls up her shirt to reveal the MASSIVE, ANGRY SCAR

KAT (CONT'D)

I’m the vengeful b*tch you scarred

on the outside.

Sator realizes he’s been connedLUNGES FOR HER

You –!

SATOR:

KAT SHOOTS HIM IN THE UPPER CHEST – his hands go to his chest

– he GASPS, air leaking from his lungs... Kat ROLLS Sator off

the daybed onto his back – he GURGLES – she GRABS his legs –

SLIDES HIM AT THE GAP BELOW THE RAIL

Sator SHOOTS off the deck, TUMBLING DOWN to the sea – his

head CRACKS on the rear platform as he HITS the water

EXT. MAHIR’S BOAT – CONTINUOUS

Mahir lowers his binoculars, STARTLED, as he sees Sator’s

body pitch into the sea –

MAHIR:

(into radio)

She’s killed him! She’s killed him!

Mahir GUNS the engine, racing towards the yacht...

INT. HYPOCENTRE, STALSK-12 – DAY

The Protagonist opens the capsule, revealing the algorithm

IVES:

She jumped the gun – she killed

him!

The Protagonist looks at Ives, ashen – A LINE DROPS BETWEEN

THEM –

EXT. HYPOCENTRE RIDGE, STALSK-12 – CONTINUOUS

Neil is at the wheel of the truck. Through the rear-view

mirror he looks at his line running into the hole. Through

the windshield he watches Red and Blue soldiers finish

loading and LIFT OFF. He checks his watch – ‘00:09’,

‘00:
08’...

F*** it –

NEIL:

He GUNS it, PULLING AWAY FROM THE HOLE

INT. HYPOCENTRE, STALSK-12 – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist and Ives are YANKED into the air, the

Protagonist CLUTCHING the algorithm – as they approach the

rocky edge of the hole, Ives raises his boots to cushion the

– IMPACT! They BOUNCE PAINFULLY over the lip –

EXT. HYPOCENTRE RIDGE, STALSK-12 – CONTINUOUS

The truck DRAGS them along the rocky ground, away from the

hole as... BOOOOM!!!! THE ROCKY GROUND BUCKLES WITH FORCE

SMOKE and FLAMES BLAST up out of the hole in an ANGRY PLUME

The ground around the hole COLLAPSES IN AN EVER-GROWING

RADIUS –

The line SNAPS, leaving the Protagonist and Ives TUMBLING to

a stop... The SUBSIDENCE approaches, SLOWING, SLOWING... the

ground OPENS UP under the Protagonist – Ives GRABS HIM – the

Protagonist has the algorithm in his hands, Ives PULLS him

back onto solid ground...

EXT. LZ, STALSK-12 – DAY

Wheeler PULLS a last Blue team soldier into the container as

her watch hits ZERO – the container door SLAMS shut –

BLUE TEAM SOLDIER

Do you think they made it?

EXT. PRIVATE DECK, SATOR’S YACHT – SUNSET

Kat picks up the shell casing, drops it in the diver’s bag,

zips it up, attaches the lanyard to her ankle, sprays down

the deck, WASHING away BLOOD and SUNSCREEN...

Kat steps up to the railing. Watches Mahir, down below,

getting a line on Sator’s body. Kat glances over at the

TENDER ARRIVING WITH HER EARLIER SELF AND HER SON... Kat

DIVES, ARCING GRACEFULLY THROUGH THE SUNSET...

Kat’s earlier self, stepping onto the yacht, catches a

glimpse of a graceful form SLICING into the water. She looks,

CURIOUS, but Max TUGS her sleeve and she turns.

EXT. COAST OF VIET NAM – CONTINUOUS

On Mahir’s SPEEDING boat, Kat hands Mahir the diver’s bag and

looks up ahead to the last light of day...

PROTAGONIST:

(over radio)

Kat, you jumped the gun!

Mahir hands her the radio

KAT:

I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t let

him die thinking he’d won. And I

knew you’d find a way.

Silence. She glances Mahir, suddenly concerned

KAT (CONT'D)

Wait, you found a way? We’re okay,

right?

PROTAGONIST:

(over radio)

Yeah. We found a way. Be safe.

Mahir’s boat SPEEDS AWAY through the twilight...

...DRAGGING Sator’s body behind.

EXT. WINDSWEPT PLAIN OUTSIDE STALSK-12 – EVENING

A Chinook swirls snow around the blasted ruins... Ives and

the Protagonist slump, bruised, exhausted, gas masks off,

breathing hard. On the ground between them – the matte-black

algorithm... Neil approaches, removing his gas mask...

PROTAGONIST:

I thought you were inverted.

NEIL:

Changed gears halfway – you needed

help here.

IVES:

We needed help down there.

(to Protagonist)

How’d you get that lock open?

PROTAGONIST:

It wasn’t me.

(to Neil)

Didn’t your team need you?

NEIL:

I’ll get them on the next pass.

Right, Ives?

IVES:

Once I’ve caught my breath.

The Protagonist reaches for the algorithm – Ives PULLS it out

of his reach – his gun laying casually across his leg. As

Neil and the Protagonist watch, Ives takes his weapon in

hand, gets to his feet... He lifts the algorithm... looks

around at the deserted plain above Stalsk-12...

IVES (CONT'D)

Nice and private.

Ives SEPARATES the algorithm into THREE COMPONENTS

PROTAGONIST:

No one who’s seen this leaves the

field...

IVES:

We hide it, we end our lives. It’s

the only way to be sure.

Ives TOSSES them each one component...

IVES (CONT'D)

But as to when...

Ives HOLSTERS his sidearm.

IVES (CONT'D)

Maybe that’s every man’s decision

to make for himself.

NEIL:

You’re not going to kill us?

IVES:

If I ever find you I will.

NEIL:

But you won’t look too hard.

IVES:

Yes, I will.

Neil shakes his head, smiling at this. Ives heads towards the

Chinook. Neil and the Protagonist watch him go...

NEIL:

You’re not heading back to London

to check on Kat, are you?

PROTAGONIST:

Of course not. That would be too

dangerous.

NEIL:

Even from afar.

PROTAGONIST:

Even from afar.

Neil thinks of something. Looks at Ives –

NEIL:

Ives, wait!

Neil takes his section of the algorithm, REATTACHES it to the

Protagonist’s.

PROTAGONIST:

You’re really going back in?

NEIL:

I’m the only one who could’ve got

that door open in time, right Ives?

Ives looks at Neil, sizing him up.

IVES:

I don’t have any locksmiths as good

as you.

Neil turns to the Protagonist, grabs his BACKPACK...

NEIL:

See? That’s me in there, again.

Weaving another pass in the fabric

of this mission.

Neil SWINGS his pack onto his back, revealing a TALISMAN – A

COIN WITH A HOLE TIED to the zip WITH ORANGE AND YELLOW

THREAD –

PROTAGONIST:

Neil, wait.

NEIL:

We just saved the world – we can’t

leave anything to chance.

The Protagonist thinks. Struggles.

PROTAGONIST:

But can we change things? If we do

it differently...?

Neil looks back at the Protagonist. Sees his struggle...

NEIL:

What’s happened’s happened.

(smiles)

Which is an expression of faith in

the mechanics of the world, not an

excuse to do nothing.

Fate?

PROTAGONIST:

NEIL:

Call it what you want.

PROTAGONIST:

What do you call it?

NEIL:

Reality. Now let me go.

The Protagonist lets him walk, tears welling up... CALLS OUT

Hey!

PROTAGONIST:

(Neil turns)

You never did tell me who recruited

you.

NEIL:

(smiles)

Haven’t you guessed by now? You

did. Just not when you thought. You

have a future in the past. Years

ago for me. Years from now for you.

PROTAGONIST:

You’ve known me for years?

NEIL:

(nods)

For me, I think this is the end of

a beautiful friendship.

PROTAGONIST:

But for me it’s just the beginning?

NEIL:

And we get up to some stuff. You’re

gonna love it. You’ll see. This

whole operation is a temporal

pincer.

Whose?

PROTAGONIST:

NEIL:

Yours. You’re only halfway there.

I’ll see you at the beginning,

friend.

Neil turns. Follows Ives to board the Chinook. The

Protagonist watches him go...

NEIL (V.O.)

We’re the people saving the world

from what might have been...

The Protagonist looks down at the algorithm in his hands.

NEIL (V.O.)

The world will never know what

could’ve happened...

He pulls up his collar and walks into the snow...

EXT. SCHOOL GATES – AFTERNOON

Kat is walking up the road to the school gates.

NEIL (V.O.)

...and even if they did they

wouldn’t care...

She feels something wrong. Looking across the road, she sees

a car with tinted windows shadowing her.

NEIL (V.O.)

...because no one cares about the

bomb that didn’t go off...

She gets out the dumb phone the Protagonist had given her...

NEIL (V.O.)

...just the one that did...

INT./EXT. CAR – CONTINUOUS

Priya is in the front passenger seat. The DRIVER next to her

has a GUN and SILENCER sitting on his knee...

PRIYA:

Do it before the boy comes out.

The rear door opens – a dull thud – the Driver is SHOT by a

silenced pistol

PROTAGONIST (O.S.)

That’s your idea of mercy?

Priya turns – the Protagonist has a gun to the back of her

seat.

PROTAGONIST (CONT'D)

You gave me your word.

PRIYA:

And I told you what it would be

worth. Here. Today. How did you

know?

He holds up a dumb phone, plays a voicemail

KAT:

(via recording)

Cannon Place, 3 o’clock, it’s –

Posterity.

PROTAGONIST:

EXT. SCHOOL GATES – CONTINUOUS

Kat hits send, speaks into the phone

KAT:

Cannon Place, 3 o’clock, it’s

probably nothing...

INT./EXT. CAR – CONTINUOUS

The Protagonist watches Kat.

PROTAGONIST:

I told you you’d have to start

looking differently at the world.

PRIYA:

I have to tie up the loose ends.

PROTAGONIST:

That was never your job.

PRIYA:

Then whose was it?

The Protagonist brings his focus back to Priya.

PROTAGONIST:

Mine. I realized I wasn’t working

for you. We’ve both been working

for me... I’m the protagonist.

PRIYA:

Then you’d better tie up those

loose ends.

He shoots her through the seat back. She slumps forward.

PROTAGONIST:

Mission accomplished.

The Protagonist looks across the road. The kids stream out...

Kat sees Max coming, takes one last look at the dark car...

NEIL (V.O.)

...but it’s the bomb that didn’t go

off...

Kat shakes her head, smiling at her own folly, looks at the

phone like it’s silly

NEIL (V.O.)

...the danger no one knew was

real...

She tosses the phone carelessly into her bag.

NEIL (V.O.)

That’s the bomb with the real power

to change the world.

The Protagonist watches Kat and Max walk away. Max offers Kat

his hand and we –

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Christopher Nolan

Christopher Edward Nolan (born 30 July 1970) is an English-American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is one of the highest-grossing directors in history, and among the most successful and acclaimed filmmakers of the 21st century. more…

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    "Tenet" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Sep. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/tenet_25772>.

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