The American script
The American (2010)
Synopsis: When an assignment in Sweden ends badly, master assassin Jack (George Clooney) retreats to the Italian countryside with the intention of remaining anonymous. In an uncharacteristic move, he becomes friends with a local priest and pursues a torrid romance with a beautiful woman (Violante Placido). But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be making a fatal mistake.

FADE IN:

1 EXT. NORTHERN SWEDEN - TWILIGHT 1

A lake.

A forest.

A dacha.

A Saab outside the winterhouse.

A light within.

2 INT. NORTHERN SWEDEN - HOUSE - NIGHT 2

JACK (dark, fit, mid-forties) is staring at the embers of a

log fire. He sips from a thick cut-crystal glass of whiskey.

The impressive US Army Special Forces crest tattooed on the

shoulder of his bare torso is at odds with JACK’s quiet

manner and the distinguished silver that flecks his hair and

stubble. JACK is no longer young.

A creak behind him and his eyes flick over his left shoulder.

INGRID (34) is naked. With an intimate familiarity she kisses

JACK on the top of his head, sits close behind him and wraps

her arms around her lover, linking her slender hands across

his upper chest.

Her head resting on his shoulder, her face beside his, INGRID

and JACK watch the fire together in easy silence.

3 EXT. WOODS- MORNING 3

INGRID leads JACK through the trees. Her coat has a white fur

collar. They are fresh-faced and warm from bed.

They head towards a vast and frozen lake.

JACK senses something in the woods.

Beneath the Conifers: impenetrable darkness.

JACK looks around.

Thick snow blankets the world and muffles any sound. There is

not the slightest breeze.

"The American" June 21st, 2010

page 2.

4 EXT. LAKESIDE- MORNING

4

They continue through the woods until they reach the

shoreline of the lake.

INGRID steps onto the ice.

Holds out her hand.

A beat.

JACK takes INGRID’s hand.

Solid as stone, the frozen lake takes his weight.

They walk out, INGRID slipping and laughing.

The landscape is magical.

JACK begins to relax, slipping and swearing.

Suddenly, he stops.

There are footprints in the thin snow going out across the

lake.

Beside the Snow-hare’s prints are those of a man.

INGRID:

A hunter?

JACK studies the two sets of tracks.

INGRID:

Don’t they always travel in two’s?

Those of the Snow-hare are heading out into the lake. The

man’s prints are heading in the opposite direction, towards

the shoreline.

JACK spins around in the direction they’ve just come from.

No one.

4A

EXT. FOREST - MORNING 4A

A man sits in a Mercedes Benz.

"The American" June 21st, 2010

page 3.

4B

EXT. LAKESIDE - MORNING 4B

Then, about ten metres inland from the edge of the lake, a

low branch dips and a thick rug of snow falls from the

branch.

JACK grabs INGRID, yanks her towards the cover of the

lakeside trees and pushes her down into the snow.

She grunts, winded. He lies besides her.

We hear the CRACK of a bullet- so quiet it might be a bough

snapping under the weight of winter.

It isn’t.

INGRID:

Jack?

JACK pulls a WALTHER PPK/S semi-automatic handgun from the

pocket of his Parka.

Cocks it.

INGRID:

You have a gun...why would you have

a gun...

There’s another CRACK from the trees.

JACK pinpoints the spot from the drift of BLUE SMOKE, almost

invisible in the winter air.

There’s someone in the shadows.

He rubs snow into his woollen hat, edges up until he can just

see over the snow and pumps THREE SHOTS into the dusk under

the trees.

We hear a muttering groan and then a sliding sound, as if

JACK has just shot a tobogganist.

More snow slides off the trees.

4C

EXT. FOREST- MORNING 4C

Man steps out of the Mercedes, pistol in hand. Leaves car

door open.

4D

EXT. LAKESIDE- MORNING 4D

JACK waits.

INGRID gathers her breath but loses her wits:

"The American" June 21st, 2010 page 3A. page 3A.

INGRID:

You have a gun!

JACK keeps his eyes fixed on the trees.

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Rowan Joffé

Rowan Marc Joffé is a British screenwriter and director. He is the son of director Roland Joffé and actress Jane Lapotaire, and half-brother of actress Nathalie Lunghi. more…

All Rowan Joffé scripts | Rowan Joffé Books

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