Thunderheart script
Thunderheart (1992)
Synopsis: When a series of murders stuns a small Native American reservation, the FBI sends in agent Ray Levoi (Val Kilmer) to investigate. While Ray is relatively inexperienced, he is one quarter Sioux, and the FBI hopes that will make it easier for them to gather information from the locals. While the reservation police officer (Graham Greene) views the agent as an outsider, the tribal elder (Chief Ted Thin Elk) believes him to be the reincarnated spirit of Thunderheart, a Native American hero.

FADE IN:

EXT. THE GREAT PLAINS SOUTH DAKOTA - DAWN

Something is rising from the Black Hills. A sphere of light,

too red to be the sun. A sphere of contained fire, undulating

in crimson and ochre, and rising slowly, majestically, to

the pulse. To the DRUM. It is the sun. But it is a Paha Sapa

sunrise. A Black Hills sunrise. And it is spectacular.

The DRUM, pounds deeper, bigger, as the sun gets higher.

Stronger. Igniting a vast landscape of gentle slopes and

foothills; throwing shadows on the plains that look like, as

the Indians say, an old man dancing. The grass is golden.

And high. The wind moves through it, snakes through it.

Slowly.

BEGIN CREDITS.

Voices; a TRADITIONAL INDIAN SONG (Lakota), summoning Wakan

Tanka - The Great Mystery.

And now, rising up over one of the small land waves, a head

comes into view. Shoulders. A man, running in ghostly SLOW

MOTION, his long black hair trailing in the wind. The INDIAN

MAN wears only buckskin pants and a bone choker around his

neck.

Legs and arms churning, the man runs with antelope grace,

backlit by the sunrise, bounding toward us. Running... his

heart pounding. SONG RISING... DRUM POUNDING... FIVE MORE

VOICES in high-pitched tremolo join the song.

And then the runner soars, like an eagle from a bluff,

airborne, flying over a small dip, arms outstretched, and it

would be a wondrous thing if there were not a fine, crimson,

mist all around him and if slow motion was not suddenly

overtaken by LIVE SPEED, revealing the brutal force of gunfire

which has slammed the Indian into the air, throwing him.

Slamming him hard into the grass. And it is over as quickly

and violently as a deer shot dead.

LAKOTA SONG ends abruptly.

LONG SHOT - THE GREAT PLAINS

the sun burns like lava at the horizon. DRUM beats like a

heart. And Somewhere off in a distant cottonwood, an OWL.

Then Silence. Deep, disturbing stillness.

EXT. CAPITAL BELTWAY - WASHINGTON. D.C - DAY

ROCK N'ROLL shatters the silence.

Cars -- a multicolored metallic criss-cross reflecting off a

building made of mirrors -- races past an electronic billboard

that blinks in red skyhigh digital: PRUDENTIAL LIFE INSURANCE.

7:
59. 73 degrees.

The D.C. Superhighway. And off behind it, in the distance,

Capital Hill holds imposing vigil, the massive cast iron

dome of The Capital, catching the sun. But everything is

soon smothered by a METRO BUS, hogging the far lane of the

Beltway, leaning on its HORN.

Good morning.

And the rock n'roll is everybody's radio, everybody's tempo.

CARBON MONOXIDE WAVE

shimmers across the beltway hugging then releasing a solitary

vehicle that we stay with... move with... A black Nissan 240

SX, hard-waxed.

INT. 240 SX - TRAVELING

Behind the wheel -- an intense young man with close-cropped

black hair, eyes hidden by sunglasses. Whatever he does for

a living, he does in a suit (not expensive but well-fit. But

we might also note that any extra suit cash has gone instead

into the silver-plated watch on his left wrist). Lean as a

rake, sallow in the cheeks, there is something insatiable

about him -- a hungry energy that won't let him go.

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John Fusco

John Fusco is an American screenwriter born in Prospect, Connecticut. His screenplays include Crossroads, Young Guns, Young Guns II, Thunderheart, Hidalgo, and the Oscar-nominated Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. more…

All John Fusco scripts | John Fusco Books

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"Thunderheart" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 16 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/thunderheart_415>.

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