EXT. CITYSCAPE – NIGHT
The place is Gotham City. The time, 1987 — once removed.
The city of Tomorrow: stark angles, creeping shadows,
dense, crowded, airless, a random tangle of steel and
concrete, self-generating, almost subterranean in its
aspect… as if hell had erupted through the sidewalks and
kept on growing. A dangling fat moon shines overhead, ready
EXT. CATHEDRAL – NIGHT
Amid the chrome and glass sits a dark and ornate Gothic
anomaly: old City Cathedral, once grand, now abandoned —
long since boarded up and scheduled for demolition.
On the rooftop far above us, STONE GARGOYLES gaze down from
their shadowy, windswept perches, keeping monstrous watch
over the distant streets below, sightless guardians of the
One of them is moving.
EXT. GOTHAM SQUARE – NIGHT
The pulsing heart of downtown Gotham, a neon nightmare of
big-city corruption, almost surreal in its oppressiveness.
Hookers wave to drug dealers. Street hustlers slap high-
fives with three-card monte dealers. They all seem to know
each other… with one conspicuous exception:
A TOURIST FAMILY, Mom, Dad, and little Jimmy, staring
straight ahead as they march in perfect lockstep down the
main drag. They’ve just come out of a bit show two blocks
over; the respectable theatre crowd has thinned out, and
now — Playbills in hand — they find themselves adrift in
the predatory traffic of Gotham’s meanest street.
For God’s sake, Harold, can we
please just get a taxi??
I’m trying to get a —
Three cabs streak pass and disappear. MOM grimaces in
frustration as LITTLE JIMMY consults a subway map.
We’re going the wrong way.
Nearby, STREET TYPES are beginning to snicker. DAD surveys
them nervously, gestures toward the subway map.
Put that away. We’ll look like
TWO COPS lean on their patrol car outside an all-night
souvlaki stand, sipping coffee and chatting with a HOOKER.
The HOOKER smiles at JIMMY. JIMMY smiles back. MOM yanks
him off down the street and glowers at DAD.
We’ll never get a cab here. Let’s
cut over to Seventh.
Seventh is that way.
I know where we are!
EXT. SIDE STREET – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
A deserted access street, sidewalks lined with the husks of
stripped-down cars. MOM, DAD, and JIMMY take a deep breath
and march down the darkened street. A VOICE startles them.
Hey, mister. Gimme a dollar?
The VOICE belongs to a DERELICT — nineteen or twenty,
acne-scarred — who sits between two garbage cans, his palm
uplifted. His ratty t-shirt reads: ‘I LOVE GOTHAM CITY.’
MOM, DAD, and JIMMY pause for the merest of seconds, then
move on — pretending not to hear.
Mister. How about it. One dollar?
One dollar, man. Are you deaf?
Are you deaf? — Do you speak
By now the TOURISTS are halfway across the street.
Mercifully, the DERELICT doesn’t seem to be following.
They pick up their pace. They don’t see the SHADOWY FIGURE
in the alleyway. They don’t see the GUN until a gloved hand
brings it down, butt-first, across the back of DAD’s neck.
DAD crumples. MOM grabs JIMMY and backs up against a brick
wall, too terrified to scream. The DERELICT races across
the street to join his confederate, the STREET PUNK, who’s
already searching for DAD’s wallet.
MOM’s mouth opens in panic. They can see she’s about to
snap — so the STREET PUNK, still in a crouch, trains his
gun on JIMMY.
Do the kid a favor, lady. Don’t
The poor woman is utterly horrified. TEARS stream down her
face. But she keeps her wits about her, stifles the urge to
shriek, and hustles JIMMY off down the street.
The two PUNKS watch them break into a run — then chuckle,
slap hands, race off in the opposite direction.
EXT. ROOFTOP – NIGHT
Six stories up. The PUNKS — NICK and EDDIE — hunker down
on the tar-and-gravel roof, sizing up their take.
(emptying the wallet)
All right. The Gold Card.
(tossing the credit card
in EDDIE’s face)
Don’t leave home without it.
A chill wind whips across the roof as NICK extracts the
cash and begins to count it. There’s a distant, indistinct
CLANG: metal on metal. EDDIE hears it and tenses up.
Let’s beat it, man. I don’t like
being up here.
What, scared of heights?
I dunno, man. After what happened to
Johnny Gobs —
Look, Johnny Gobs got ripped and
walked off a roof, all right? No big
That ain’t what I heard. That ain’t
what I heard at all.
I heard the bat got him.
Gimme a break, will you? Shut up…
Five stories, straight down. There
was no blood in the body.
No shit. It was all over the
NICK has no patience with campfire tales — but here on the
roof, in the pale moonlight, he can’t ignore the slight
tingle at the base of his spine…
There was no blood, man.
My brother says… all the bad things
you done… they come back and
Listen to this. How old are you?
There ain’t no bat.
My brother’s a priest, man.
No wonder you’re such a chickenshit.
Now shut up.
There ain’t no bat.
As they speak our attention shifts to a point at the
opposite corner of the roof, some fifteen yards away…
where, at the end of a line, a STRANGE BLACK SILHOUETTE is
dropping slowly, implacably, into frame…
You shouldn’ta turned the gun on
that kid, man. You shouldn’ta —
Do you want this money or don’t
you? Now shut up! Shut up —
BOTH PUNKS FREEZE at the sudden, inexplicable sound of
BOOTS CRUNCHING ON GRAVEL. They turn slowly. Their JAWS
Standing at the edge of the roof, bathed in moonlight, is a
BLACK APPARITION. IT DOES NOT MOVE.
EDDIE stands rooted to the spot, a choked gurgle in his
throat, as if he’s just seen his own death. The BLACK
FIGURE advances, spreading its arms. Or rather, its WINGS:
GREAT BLACK BATWINGS, flapping in the wind.
NICK drops to the gravel, gropes for the gun, brings it up.
And still the BLACK FIGURE draws closer, deliberate,
menacing. On its chest: THE EMBLEM OF A BAT, in an oval
yellow field, glowing like a target in the darkness…
NICK FIRES TWICE. TWO CLEAN HITS. The strange black figure
is knocked bodily to the roof.
Trembling, sweating buckets, NICK gets to his feet. He
whacks a motionless EDDIE on the arm —
I’m gettin’ outta here.
— and bends to retrieve his loot. EDDIE lets out a
strange, pre-verbal squeal…
… and NICK sees THE HUMAN BAT, BACK ON ITS FEET,
NIGHTMARISH, UNDEAD, MOVING SLOWLY AND INEVITABLY CLOSER.
Panic. Sheer, raw, unrelenting panic. Stolen money flutters
out of NICK’s hands. He scuttles around the periphery of
the roof, his feet skidding on the gravel as he searches
for a way down. The BLACK SPECTRE is blocking his path to
the fire escape. Trapped like a rat, NICK FIRES WILDLY.
EDDIE is frozen in place, his eyes glazed over, his face
drained of blood. The BAT treads calmly past. A LEG snakes
out. A BLACK BOOT catches EDDIE high on the chest —
— LIFTS HIM CLEANLY OFF HIS FEET —
— AND SENDS HIM FLYING THROUGH THE AIR. EDDIE slams into a
brick chimney and slumps to the roof unconscious, a broken,
THIS ACTION IS SO SMOOTH, SO AUTOMATIC, THAT THE BAT DOES
NOT EVEN BREAK HIS STRIDE. NICK sees his chance and CHARGES
past the black wraith, scrambling toward the fire escape…
A GLOVED HAND slices through the air, and NICK pitches
forward, his legs ensnared in a tangle of WIRES. Screaming
now, he drags himself across the gravel roof, the looming
figure of the BAT at his heels…
… until there’s no place left to go. NICK cowers against
the ledge, his pants torn, his hands and knees bloody. He
has dissolved into total mindless hysteria.
Almost by reflex, NICK keeps shooting. He’d do better if he
could manage to open his eyes. By now the hammer is falling
on an empty chamber, but NICK continues, obsessively, to
pull the trigger. He weeps; he moans; he wails…
THE BAT grabs a fistful of NICK’s shirt, and with
supernatural ease HOISTS HIM into the air.
Don’t kill me… don’t kill me…
When NICK finally opens his eyes, he realizes THE BAT is
standing on the ledge of the roof — HOLDING HIM OUT, at
arm’s length, over six stories of nothingness.
The gruesome black apparition speaks, in a rasping whisper:
I won’t kill you. I want you to do
me a favor.
NICK looks down. Far, far below, CARS wink silently past.
He looks up. And sees, in the mirrored lenses where
BATMAN’s eyes should be, the twin reflections of his own
Tell your friends. Tell all your
NICK HOWLS. Almost as an afterthought, THE BATMAN heaves
him roughly back onto the roof. And then — casually,
without a moment’s hesitation — STEPS OFF THE LEDGE OF THE
ROOF, INTO MIDAIR.
Trembling, NICK crawls to the ledge and looks over…
finding ABSOLUTELY NO TRACE of the Batman.
NICK is still screaming as we PAN UP to the bilious yellow
globe of Gotham’s moon. MAIN CREDITS ROLL:
INT. GOTHAM CITY DEMOCRATS’ CLUB – NIGHT
An oversized CAMPAIGN POSTER fills one wall: “A NEW GOTHAM.
HARVEY DENT FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY”. We TILT DOWN to find
the man himself, determined, dynamic HARVEY DENT,
addressing a crowd from behind his podium.
… it is no longer enough to go
after the small-time punks and petty
criminals who infest the streets of
Gotham City. Crime and corruption
must be attacked at the root!
ANOTHER ANGLE – THE AUDIENCE
Civic-minded politicos decked out in fund-raiser finery.
They applaud DENT’s tough talk wildly. They’ve just shelled
out $500 a plate for a chicken dinner, and by God they’re
going to enjoy this.
Tuxedoed WAITERS move among the tables, deftly refilling
water glasses. As they do, we SEE an EMPTY PLACE SETTING —
the only one in the hall. Some well-meaning moneybags has
laid out half a grand and then neglected to show up.
The engraved placecard reads: BRUCE WAYNE.
ANGLE ON DENT
If elected, my first act as district
attorney will be to return an
indictment against Boss Carl
INT. APARTMENT – NIGHT
A woman’s apartment, decorated in pastel pinks and mauves.
Original paintings and sculptures everywhere. The place
reeks of money.
In the foreground: a MAN’S HAND, long, elegant, manicured.
Manipulating a DECK OF CARDS, doing a one-handed shuffle
with extraordinary finesse.
In the background: a TV set tuned to the 11 o’clock news,
with highlights of HARVEY DENT’s campaign speech.
(on the TV screen)
Together we can make Gotham city a
safe place for decent people to live
and work and play.
THE HAND sets the deck on an end table, raps it twice,
turns up four aces off the top. This most unusual deck
sports a .22 calibre BULLET HOLE straight through the
Decent people shouldn’t live here.
They’d be much happier someplace
JACK NAPIER, 32, is right-hand man and chief enforcer to
Boss Carl Grissom. His features are delicate, almost
feminine, and he takes a vain, gangsterish pride in his
appearance. He is also absolutely merciless.
He trains a cold eye on DENT’s televised image as ALICIA
HUNT — 26, beautiful, Carl Grissom’s kept woman — glides
over in her negligee and snuggles up.
The usual gas. If this clown could
lay a hand on Grissom… I would’ve
had to kill him by now.
ALICIA finds JACK’s necktie draped over a nearby chair. She
begins knotting it playfully about his neck.
If Grissom knew about us… he
might kill you.
JACK seems uninterested in her affections. His eye darts
back and forth between the TV and his own reflection in a
Don’t think so, angel. I’m too
valuable. That’s the way I’ve
And besides, he doesn’t know.
JACK checks his watch, reaches for his topcoat, and stands
in front of the vanity. He runs a hand through sculpted
hair, checks out his Albert Nipon ensemble.
You look just fine, Jack.
He smiles at himself before turning to the door.
… I didn’t ask.
EXT. ALLEYWAY – NIGHT
The scene of the earlier mugging, a half-block off Gotham
Square. Only now, the deserted alleyway is a beehive of
activity: police cars, an ambulance, a forensics van.
EDDIE THE PUNK goes past on a stretcher, catatonic.
Watching him are a porcine cop, LT. ECKHARDT, and a POLICE
That one there won’t say a word. The
other one’s raving his head off.
Variety, huh? The spice of life.
At the mouth of the alley, we find ALEXANDER KNOX —
thirty, hyperactive, a crime reporter for the Gotham
Gazette. At the moment, he’s chatting with a uniformed
They found him hugging a drainpipe.
He was scared to come off the roof.
Great, but tell me: is this another
you-know-what? ‘Cause if so, it’s
the third one this week.
I dunno. What’s “what”?
Good answer. I’m gonna put you in
for a commendation.
KNOX spots ECKHARDT and the MEDIC, waves cheerily, and
saunters down the alley. ECKHARDT curses under his breath.
Oh Christ, it’s Knox.
Hiya, gents. This anything I should
Nothing out of the routine.
At this exact moment two uniformed PATROLMEN drag a brain-
fried NICK past the mouth of the alley.
A bat, I tell you, a giant bat!
He wanted me to do him a favor…!
KNOX tilts one eyebrow. ECKHARDT and the MEDIC trade
No offense, boys, but these guys are
seeing something up there.
No comment. Print what you like.
Come on. One question. Is there a
six-foot bat in Gotham City?
KNOX’s tone is jokey, but only half-jokey. ECKHARDT snorts
in disgust and turns away. KNOX shouts after him:
If so, is he on the police payroll?
If so, what’s he pulling down after
EXT. STREET – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
We pick up LT. ECKHARDT as he emerges onto the side street.
He’s headed for his car when he spies a STRETCH LIMO idling
across the street. Leaning on the hood, waving hi, is the
dandyish JACK NAPIER — flanked by two impressive GOONS.
ECKHARDT throws a nervous glance back in KNOX’s direction.
He turns left, gestures to JACK to meet him farther up the
block. By the time he reaches the corner JACK has swaggered
up alongside him.
ECKHARDT takes a fat brown envelope from JACK and stuffs it
quickly in his coat.
You didn’t show up.
We had another bat sighting.
I’m sure that was vitally important.
Listen: things are heating up.
Someone is leaking information to
ECKHARDT bristles. There’s no love lost between these two.
I’m doing the best I can. If it’s a
Eckhardt… our problems are your
I’ll work on it.
JACK reaches out and grabs ECKHARDT by the lapels of his
topcoat — an Italian job, obviously expensive. He rubs the
material between his fingers.
Very nice, Lieutenant. But a little
ostentatious on a cop’s salary,
don’t you think?
(knocking his hands away)
I answer to Grissom, punk. Not to
You’re a smart boy, Eckhardt. You
should be thinking about the future.
ECKHARDT laughs in his face.
(nodding his head)
Forget it, Jack. You’ll never run
And why’s that?
You’re a psycho, friend. You’re an
A-one crazy boy and Grissom knows
JACK lashes out and BACKHANDS ECKHARDT across the face. The
fat cop, stunned, turns bright red and CHARGES JACK.
JACK claps a hand on ECKHARDT’s face and shoves him back
full-force. The cop sprawls on his ass in the doorway of an
all-night Cuban-Chinese restaurant.
By now PATRONS are staring out of the restaurant windows.
ECKHARDT is livid. His hand goes instinctively to his gun.
Here. Use mine.
JACK pulls an automatic from his pocket and tosses it in
ECKHARDT’s lap. He looks down and laughs, daring ECKHARDT
to pick it up — just as the two enormous GOONS from the
stretch limo appear behind him for reinforcement.
ECKHARDT wipes blood from his mouth as JACK — an A-one
crazy-boy grin on his face — reaches down for the gun.
It’s all right, boys. Lt. Eckhardt
here is a good cop. A real good cop.
INT. GOTHAM GLOBE – CITY ROOM – DAY
Gotham city’s leading tabloid daily. COPY BOYS rush to and
fro; REPORTERS pound out articles on computer terminals.
ALEXANDER KNOX saunters in, a sheath of typed pages in his
hand, and pauses at a CARTOONIST’s drawing table.
What have you got for me, Jerry?
JERRY holds up a cartoon: a HUMAN BAT, with an awful,
fanged rodent’s face, wearing a business suit. The caption
at the top reads: “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?” KNOX nods in
Nice, but… maybe a little more gore
on the fangs, huh?
He pats JERRY on the shoulder, moves on. A BESPECTACLED
COLLEAGUE spots him and calls out:
Hey Knox, you got a visitor.
I’m real busy, Clark. Be a pal and
dust him, okay?
This one you might want to dust
Curiosity piqued, KNOX moves toward his desk… and stops
in his tracks. Propped up on the desk are a PAIR OF LEGS.
The legs — exceptionally nice ones — are attached to a
WOMAN leaning back in KNOX’s swivel chair, taking a nap,
her face obscured by a big outrageous hat.
… Vicki Vale.
The hat tips back. VICKI VALE, her face framed by a shock
of bright red hair, flashes a dazzling smile. She pulls
KNOX over for a quick smooch and laughs.
How’d you know it was me?
Honey — I would know any randomly
selected square inch of Vicki
If I had a good enough hint.
He points at the oversized CAMERA BAG on his desk. It bears
the monogram “V.V.” VICKI catches on, makes a face at him.
Where the hell have you been?
A nice, restful vacation.
She reaches into the camera bag and pulls out a stack of
glossy 8×10’s: COMBAT PHOTOS from some unspecified war-torn
corner of the world. KNOX leafs though them, impressed.
God, a girl could get hurt doing
I do get hurt.
She unbuttons her sleeve, rolls it back to show KNOX a long
fresh scar on the inside of her arm. He winces — then
points to the scar and adds, slyly:
Got any more of those?
Nothing I’m at liberty to reveal
here. What’s new and hot in Gotham
It’s too good, Vick. We got a six-
foot bat that swoops out of the
night and preys on evildoers.
Evildoers, huh? Big or small?
Small so far. I mean — they don’t
allow bats in boardrooms, do they.
Speaking of which… I hear the
notorious Bruce Wayne is throwing a
big do for the Harvey Dent campaign.
Yeah. Hottest ticket in town. Every
law’n’order freak in the city’s
gonna be there.
KNOX suddenly freezes. It’s just occurred to him that VICKI
may have a purpose in all this.
Wa-a-it. Vicki. You’re not saying —
She reaches back into her camera bag and hands over an
INVITATION. KNOX is all but panting with excitement.
Aw, Vicki. Vicki!
Got a date?
She flutters her great big eyelashes, shakes her head no.
KNOX grabs her face and plants a kiss on her forehead,
nearly knocking her out of the swivel chair.
Vicki, baby, I love you, I’ve always
loved you. Will you marry me?
(straightening her clothes)
Well, I’m starving. Will you at
least buy me a hamburger?
Yes, but please — be gentle.
Overwhelmed with glee, he offers her his arm.
INT. PENTHOUSE – DAY
A HUGE PLATE GLASS WINDOW opens on the best view in Gotham.
This spectacular penthouse suite is just one of the power
perks available to CARL GRISSOM, kingpin of the Gotham City
rackets, fat, fifty, and utterly without charm.
GRISSOM, behind a big broad desk, addresses his LIEUTENANTS
— a fearsome assemblage of bloodless white-collar types
and few outright goons, sprawled in chairs throughout this
makeshift ‘boardroom.’ The big boss waves a copy of the
Gotham Globe — with HARVEY DENT’s face on the cover.
Nine points ahead in the new poll. I
don’t like the way this is shaping
JACK NAPIER slouches in an easy chair off to GRISSOM’s
right, doing his trademark one-handed shuffle.
We can always pop him. — Or pop
someone close to him.
Let’s feed him to the bat.
This suggestion draws CHUCKLES from several members of the
crowd. GRISSOM is unamused.
He’s going after our front
companies. Specifically Ace
Chemical. Which would tie us
in with Councilman Kane, Senator
Miller… on up the line.
We have to clean out our files
before the subpoena comes down.
How do we go? The usual fire?
I’m thinking break-in. Trash the
office, remove the relevant
That’s right. And Jack —
I’d like you to handle this
JACK has just turned up the third ace off the top of the
deck. His hand freezes in midair.
At this exact moment, METAL DOORS slide back — and ALICIA
HUNT steps out of GRISSOM’s private penthouse elevator.
She’s carrying a handful of SHOPPING BAGS.
Hello, sweetheart. I wonder if you’d
mind waiting in the other room.
ALICIA’s gaze meets JACK’s as she vanishes through a side
door. The eye contact is not lost on GRISSOM.
Why do you need me to handle a
Because I want someone I can
JACK bridles, but doesn’t protest. Nervously, he turns the
fourth card off the top of the deck. It’s not an ace.
It’s a JOKER — a Joker with a neat, round, .22 calibre
HOLE through its face.
We’ll work out the details later.
But it’s got to be soon. — All
right, that’s all for now.
GRISSOM’S CRONIES get up to go. JACK, troubled, lingers
behind a moment.
You don’t mind, do you Jack? It’s an
important job. I can’t trust it to
somebody who’ll screw up.
Jack. Don’t forget your lucky deck.
JACK pockets the deck and leaves. GRISSOM sits behind the
big desk and GRINS WOLFISHLY.
My friend, your luck is just about
He reaches for the phone. ALICIA appears in the doorway
nearby, modeling her new purchases for him. He smiles
coolly at her as he speaks into the receiver.
Get me Lieutenant Eckhardt.
EXT. WAYNE MANOR – ESTABLISHING – NIGHT
A vast, rambling mansion on sixty wooded acres a half-
hour’s drive from Gotham: old money, and how. Out front, a
team of red-jacketed VALETS are parking expensive cars.
INT. BALLROOM – NIGHT
A DEALER’S HAND pushes cards out of a shoe (the card kind,
not the Florsheim kind). It’s casino night at Wayne Manor;
the ballroom has been outfitted with roulette wheels,
blackjack tables, etc., and the various members of Gotham’s
power elite are happily — and legally — throwing money
into Harvey Dent’s campaign kitty.
DENT himself is surrounded by a gang of political cronies,
telling jokes, calling in favors. VICKI’s off in another
group, looking luscious, drawing compliments from big shots
and envious, furtive glances from their wives. And, in a
corner of the room, all alone in his cheap suit, stands
ALEXANDER KNOX — staring inquisitively up at the ceiling.
A butler, ALFRED, appears alongside KNOX with a trayful of
champagne glasses. He too looks up at the ceiling.
How high up would you say that is?
I’d say about thirty feet, sir.
You know, if you cut your bathroom
in half, you’d have my apartment.
Which bathroom is that, air?
The small one.
KNOX takes a drink and ALFRED moves on. A moment later,
VICKI detaches herself from her little circle of admirers
and hooks up with KNOX.
Man, I feel like Robin Leach. You
actually know all these people?
Some. I am a rich bitch, remember.
KNOX winces at the reminder. She smiles and takes his arm.
Yeah, I guess we move in different
circles. — Though I did meet a
one-eyed pimp last week.
ANGLE ON JAMES W. GORDON
Gotham’s Police Commissioner, a distinguished-looking gent
in his late fifties. He’s at a craps table, blowing into
his fist. ONLOOKERS root him on as he lets the dice fly.
Snake eyes. Crapped out. GORDON passes the dice as KNOX and
VICKI wander up alongside him.
Commissioner Gordon! What do you
hear from our pointy-eared friend?
KNOX puts his hands up behind his head and wiggles his
fingers — like little bat ears. GORDON groans.
Knox, for the ninth time, and you
can quote me — there is no bat.
Aww, Commissioner. There’s gotta be
one honest cop in Gotham city.
HARVEY DENT is working the room. He ambles up, claps a
friendly hand on GORDON’s shoulder.
How’s your luck, Jim?
Mr. Dent. What’s your stand on
DENT exchanges a meaningful look with GORDON.
Mr. Knox, I think we have enough
real problems in this city without
worrying about ghosts and goblins
and Halloween characters.
EXT. ACE CHEMICAL CO. ESTABLISHING – NIGHT
A NEON SIGN reads: “ACE CHEMICAL. FOR A MODERN TOMORROW.”
From the SIGN we pan over to a METAL SLUICE GATE — dumping
TONS of CHURNING TOXIC SLUDGE into Gotham’s East River.
INT. VAN – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
TIGHT ON the rear-view mirror. JACK NAPIER is meticulously
applying BLACK CAMOUFLAGE PAINT to his face. He could be
getting ready for a date.
The van is parked outside a chain-link fence which
surrounds the Ace Chemical complex.
JACK’S POV – THROUGH WINDSHIELD
The SECURITY GUARD in a glass booth at the entrance to the
parking lot. ONE OF JACK’S BOYS creeps up behind the booth
and takes the GUARD out.
INT. VAN – ON JACK
He turns the key in the ignition, shifts into first.
INT. WAYNE MANOR – NIGHT
KNOX and VICKI are taking an unauthorized tour of BRUCE’s
house, wandering through rooms decorated in wildly
divergent motifs, eyeing an astounding collection of
artworks and antiques from every corner of the world.
My question is, where does one man
get all this junk.
All over the world. They say he
spends most of the year overseas —
until recently, anyway.
KNOX goes goggle-eyed as they enter the LIBRARY.
INT. BRUCE WAYNE’S LIBRARY – NIGHT
… We found the arsenal.
One wall is lined to the ceiling with leather-bound
volumes. On the other walls hang EXOTIC WEAPONS. Halberds.
Maces. Blowguns. Bolas. Thugee ropes and samurai swords…
every arcane implement of death the human mind has ever
devised. KNOX lets out a low whistle.
This guy has just gotten
interesting. What else do you know?
Just what I’ve heard. Rich.
Reclusive. Old money and lots of it.
Likes to kill?
Women find him magnetic.
I bet they like him for his big
That, and the sweet smell of two
hundred million bucks.
Well, you know me. The more they’ve
got, the less they’re worth.
(scanning the room)
This guy must be the most worthless
man in America.
Just then, A VOICE FROM BEHIND intrudes.
You disappoint me. Why not the
KNOX turns. We get our first good look at the smiling face
of BRUCE WAYNE: 32, tall, athletic, impeccably mannered…
and intensely handsome.
I assume in my usual charming manner
I’ve just insulted the host.
(extending a hand)
Bruce Wayne. — I’ve read your work.
I quite like it.
Great. Give me a grant.
I might consider it if you introduce
me to Miss Vale.
KNOX blinks at VICKI. BRUCE already seems to know who she
is. KNOX shrugs and forges bravely ahead:
“This is Miss Vale.” — That felt
You’re just back from Corto Maltese.
I saw your combat photos. Quite a
departure for you.
That’s intriguing. They haven’t been
BRUCE smiles and ignores the implied question.
… You have an extraordinary eye.
He’s laying on the charm now. KNOX, his territorial
instincts aroused, pipes up:
Some people think she has two.
VICKI shoots KNOX a sidelong glance:
Don’t mind my friend. He’s a little
KNOX, chastened, calls off the dogs and sizes up his
competition. BRUCE is charming, all right, but there’s
something formal, maybe even calculating about it — he
could be reading his clever remarks off cue cards. It’s
almost as though he’s an actor doing a brilliant imitation
This is a man who thinks three moves ahead. KNOX doesn’t
like him. But VICKI — who’s used to seeing male charm
turned on and off, at will — doesn’t seem to mind at all:
This is an amazing house. I’d love
to shoot it sometime.
I don’t… seek publicity. — Will
you be staying in Gotham for a
As far as I know.
Good. Then with any luck we’ll run
into each other.
Suddenly ALFRED, the butler, appears in the doorway behind
them. He clears his throat. BRUCE turns.
Excuse me, sir. Commissioner Gordon
was compelled to leave — very
unexpectedly. He asked me to convey
Thank you, Alfred.
I hope you’ll excuse me. It was a
great pleasure meeting you.
Without bothering to shake hands BRUCE does a sharp 180 and
strides hurriedly out of the room.
I know the rich are different, but
that guy is real different.
VICKI, staring off after BRUCE, doesn’t seem to hear him.
Oh. Sorry. I was thinking.
What were you thinking?
Well, he must like the way he
looks. He’s got a mirror in every
And indeed, the two of them are standing before an enormous
WALL MIRROR, eight feet wide, running from floor to
I get it. Bruce Vain.
She pokes KNOX. He groans at the dumb pun. And suddenly we
REVERSE ANGLE – THROUGH THE MIRROR
looking DOWN ON KNOX and VICKI — THROUGH ONE-WAY GLASS —
as they continue to chat. Behind the mirror… recording
everything that happens in the room… is a small, silent,
state-of-the-art SURVEILLANCE CAMERA.
CLOSEUP – VIDEO MONITOR
showing KNOX and VICKI in the library. CAMERA PULLS BACK to
reveal that the screen we’re watching is only one in a
whole vast bank of video monitors. From this control
center, we can see everything that’s happening in the
Now we ZERO IN on a single screen: GUESTS moving backward,
with exaggerated speed, as a videotape REWINDS.
At the panel, BRUCE WAYNE hits a button. And now we see
COMMISSIONER GORDON talking to a uniformed POLICEMAN.
… anonymous tip. Tonight. The Ace
Good Lord, it we could put our hands
on Jack Napier… Why wasn’t I told
about this? Who’s in charge of
Lt. Eckhardt, sir.
Eckhardt. Oh my God…
And suddenly COMMISSIONER GORDON is grabbing for his coat.
The monitor goes black. BRUCE reaches up, loosens his tie.
EXT. ACE CHEMICAL CO. – PARKING LOT – NIGHT
UNMARKED POLICE CARS are pulling into the lot, headlights
off. ECKHARDT circulates among his ARMED SWAT TEAM, handing
out xeroxed copies of a PHOTOGRAPH.
The PHOTOGRAPH is a full-face shot of JACK NAPIER.
Shoot to kill.
INT. ACE CHEMICAL – FILE ROOM – NIGHT
SPARKS FLY. A SAFECRACKER, in welder’s mask, trains a
blowtorch on the office safe. Behind him, JACK’S HOODS are
at work on the filing cabinets.
The SAFECRACKER kills his blowtorch and opens the metal
door of the safe, giving JACK a good look at its contents:
Just like the file cabinets.
I don’t get it. If this place is
cleaned out already, what do we need
JACK shakes his head. His boys are antsy, ready to mutiny.
By now it’s depressingly obvious: they’ve been set up.
Then, as if they needed any proof — a SIREN blares
EXT. ACE CHEMICAL – NIGHT
ECKHARDT’S SWAT TEAM goes wide-eyed as a CONVOY OF POLICE
BLACK-AND-WHITES roars into the Ace parking lot. UNIFORMED
COPS pile out of their squad cars, relieving the SWAT TEAM.
ECKHARDT goes livid as COMMISSIONER GORDON approaches.
What are you trying to do, blow the
(to SWAT TEAM)
You men are dismissed. We’ll take
over from here.
(to UNIFORMED COPS)
Any man who opens fire on Jack
Napier… will answer to me.
ECKHARDT tries to slink off. GORDON grabs him roughly.
You. Stick around.
INT. ACE CHEMICAL – THAT MOMENT
JACK and his HOODS ducking out of the office. It’s two
stories above the refinery floor, accessible by a network
of steel ladders and CATWALKS running between the walls.
Down below, a CORRUGATED METAL DOOR begins to rise.
One hood goes into a crouch and OPENS FIRE. Half of his
colleagues dive back into the office, looking for a rear
exit. The others take off across the CATWALKS.
ANGLE ON GORDON
standing in the doorway as his MEN rush into the building
and take their places behind heavy machinery. SHOTS RING
OUT as the HOODS scatter.
Nice work, Commissioner.
I’m in charge here. Not Carl
INT. HALLWAY – THAT MOMENT
TWO HOODS run down a tiled corridor in the office section
of the complex. They’re almost at the end of the hall when
a CAPED BLACK SHADOW steps into their path.
It stands there, motionless. EXTENDS ITS ARMS — like giant
WINGS — revealing the yellow-and-black insigne on its
massive chest. BATMAN.
One millisecond later, the shocked HOODS are racing back in
the opposite direction.
THE BATMAN flings a handful of STEEL BALL-BEARINGS across
the tiled floor. HOOD I tumbles to the floor and lands
hard, losing his breath. HOOD II rolls and pulls a GUN.
BATMAN hurls a BOOMERANG — its edges scalloped, like a
bat’s wing. HOOD II finds his gun hand PINNED TO THE WALL
by the twin prongs of the BATARANG.
THE BATMAN strides briskly toward them, businesslike,
taking his time. He grabs a handful of HOOD I’s hair, lifts
his head off the floor, KNEES HIM IN THE FACE.
He turns to the petrified HOOD II. CHROME-STEEL TALONS
spring out of his fingertips. He strolls past HOOD II,
reaching out casually to give him a QUICK NICK on the chin.
HOOD II slumps against the wall, unconscious.
ANGLE ON JACK
down on the floor, racing along a wall, THROWING SWITCHES
— anything to create a diversion. With every switch he
throws, ANOTHER GIGANTIC MACHINE roars to life. CENTRIFUGES
SPIN. HUGE POLYMER EXTRUDERS spit out thick strands of
plastic gunk. OVERHEAD CHEMICAL TANKS rotate into place
over giant basins.
JACK SEES a squad of COPS on his tail, moving from machine
to machine, keeping covered. He SHOOTS AND RUNS.
ANGLE ON CATWALKS
BLASTING AWAY, HOODS III and IV scuttle across the elevated
walkways, keeping down, avoiding police fire. One of them
starts up a vertical ladder leading to the next catwalk up.
BATMAN plunges past on the end of a rope. A BLACK-GLOVED
HAND snatches at HOOD III’s collar as he climbs and YANKS
HIM CLEANLY OFF THE LADDER. They drop to the lower catwalk.
HOOD IV gapes. He LEVELS HIS GUN at BATMAN, who stands his
ground, holding onto the rails of the catwalk for support.
A bullet hits him squarely in the chest. He does not fall.
HOOD IV turns and scrambles. BATMAN goes to his belt for a
miniature SPEAR GUN. He points it at HOOD IV and FIRES…
planting a BARBED HOOK in the HOOD’S LEG.
ANGLE ON COPS
staring up in utter disbelief at the action on the catwalk.
My God… it’s him.
ANGLE ON CATWALK
HOOD III, on his feet now, charges BATMAN from behind.
BATMAN — not even turning to face him — DROPS HOOD III
with an ELBOW. Now he has a HOOD on either side.
He takes a STEEL BILLY CLUB from his belt, whips it once
through the air. It telescopes out into a FOUR-FOOT STAFF.
Like a drum majorette from hell, he WHIRLS THE STAFF as the
HOODS CONVERGE on him. HOOD III takes a debilitating JAB
UNDER THE JAW. BATMAN SPINS on his heels and SLAMS THE
STAFF into HOOD IV’s BACK — knocking him OFF THE CATWALK
to the factory floor forty feet below!
INT. ACE LOADING BAY – THAT MOMENT
JACK spots a possible out. He hits a button on the wall;
STEEL DOORS RISE to reveal ACE CARGO TRUCKS in the parking
lot outside. Beyond the trucks… AN ARMY OF COPS waiting
for JACK to make his move.
No go. He turns. Behind him, other cops — the inside team
— are rushing at him in full riot gear. JACK ducks behind
a forklift and darts into the adjacent room.
INT. CHEMICAL SUPPLY ROOM – A MOMENT LATER
JACK sprints through the room, firing FOUR SHOTS at the
metal CHEMICAL TANKS on the wall. TOXIC CHEMICALS gush out
onto the floor in streams. The streams run together…
begin to SMOKE and SIZZLE.
COPS RIGHT BEHIND HIM. JACK can’t resist taking one last
pot-shot at a FIFTH CHEMICAL TANK.
AN EXPLOSION knocks him off his feet.
INT. FACTORY FLOOR – A MOMENT LATER
COPS LOOK ON IN PUZZLEMENT as a RIVER OF CHEMICALS courses
out into the main refinery. A second later, they go UP IN
FLAMES. A WALL OF FIRE bisects the factory floor.
JACK RACES ALONG behind the spreading wall of flame. The
cops can’t see him now. He ducks behind a huge machine,
hits a switch — and SLUICE GATES OPEN. CHEMICAL SLUDGE
begins to churn. A big HOLE IN THE WALL appears as a gate
opens on the East River. It’s the waste dump!
Up on the catwalk, BATMAN has a perfect view of JACK. If
JACK can just sprint through the flames without getting
shot, he’ll make it to the river. BATMAN hooks a rope to
his Batarang, FLINGS IT at a catwalk across the floor.
JACK bolts. BURSTS THROUGH the wall of fire. And just as he
BATMAN leaps off the catwalk and swings down toward him!
His foot catches a THIRTY-FOOT ROLL of plastic, six feet in
diameter, one of several standing upright on the floor. The
plastic roll DROPS into JACK’s path, BLOCKING HIS EXIT.
An instant later, BATMAN lands on top of JACK. Wraps an arm
around his throat and RAISES his free hand. DRUG-TIPPED
STEEL TALONS appear. But before he can paralyze JACK…
In all the ruckus, HOOD V has managed to circle back behind
the heavy machinery. Now he’s got a GUN pointed DIRECTLY AT
COMMISSIONER GORDON’S HEAD.
Let him go or I’ll do it.
BATMAN releases JACK and stands back. JACK chuckles to
himself: what loyalty. Then, with plenty of time, he
strolls across the floor to a Jacob’s ladder mounted on the
back wall… and BEGINS TO CLIMB toward the catwalks.
All action stops. BATMAN doesn’t move. The COPS don’t move.
HOOD V stands there sweating, his gun hand shaking as he
waits for JACK to climb safely out of shooting range.
ECKHARDT’s pig-like eyes glisten. His hand drops to his
side. He’s half-tempted to pull a gun and get the
ANGLE ON JACK
at a crouch, groping his way along the rail of the catwalk.
He reaches a paneled glass window propped open by a
supporting rod. It’s a forty-foot drop to the swirling
black currents of the East River… and freedom.
He’s about to climb out when his eye falls on a .38
AUTOMATIC — which lies, abandoned, on the gridwork floor
of the catwalk mere yards away.
ANGLE ON FACTORY FLOOR
The HOOD, one arm around GORDON. With his gun at the
Commissioner’s temple, he backs slowly toward the door.
Nobody makes a move. We go out
ALL EYES TURN to the catwalk overhead, where JACK stands
poised with the .38 in his fist. A SINGLE SHOT drops
The moment’s distraction is all BATMAN needs. He hurls a
NINJA WHEEL — a small, ratcheted, razor-sharp disc — at
the FOREARM of HOOD V. One jerk of a thin filament WIRE —
a sudden SHRIEK — and GORDON IS FREE.
The THUG lurches forward. His GUN DROPS to the floor,
AN UNGODLY HOWL OF PAIN echoes out from the catwalk above.
JACK REELS and STAGGERS, his hands CLUTCHING AT HIS CHEEKS.
BLOOD GUSHES from between his fingers.
JACK NAPIER HAS BEEN SHOT THROUGH THE FACE.
A YOUNG COP, unnerved by the sight of JACK’s agonized
pirouette, draws his gun and OPENS FIRE.
But the bullet has caught JACK in the arm. He spins,
totters to the edge of the catwalk… and TOPPLES OVER. The
COPS look on helplessly as JACK plunges TWO STORIES DOWN
into a CATCH BASIN full of BUBBLING TOXIC WASTE, SCREAMING
ALL THE WAY.
Goddammit, we had him. We —
And suddenly, with JACK out of the picture, all attention
focusses on THE BATMAN. COPS reach for their guns, circle
warily around him. Cornered now, he backs off slowly, HANDS
ON HIS BELT.
Hold it right there, Mister.
THE BATMAN raises his hands in a gesture of surrender. Then
— as the COPS advance — he flicks TWO TINY CAPSULES onto
the factory floor.
A BLINDING FLASH OF LIGHT. COLORS BURST in a wild
pyrotechnic display. COPS stumble backwards, momentarily
dazzled, as a THICK WALL OF BLACK SMOKE conceals BATMAN
A TINY GRAPPLING HOOK rockets out of the dense curling
cloud and CATCHES on a catwalk overhead.
The COPS are firing wildly into the smoke. But it’s too
late. At the end of a cord, THE BLACK MAJESTIC FIGURE OF
THE BATMAN whips upward, rising out of the smoke like an
avenging angel — and DISAPPEARING into the shadowy
heights, safely out of range.
HOLD YOUR FIRE!
… Who is this guy?
I don’t know, but he’s one hell of a
EXT. ACE CHEMICAL CO. – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
A BLACK SHADOW scurries across the roof. From the
illuminated sign with its neon ace, WE PAN DOWN past the
chemical sluice to a SECOND ACE… a card from JACK’s lucky
deck, pierced by a neat, round bullet hole, bobbing on the
oily surface of the foul, polluted river.
As deadly toxins gush forth, OTHER CARDS from the deck
swirl past: a nine. A deuce. A queen. And finally, a JOKER
— SHOT CLEANLY THROUGH THE FACE.
A BONE-WHITE HAND BREAKS THE SURFACE as we
SHOCK CUT TO:
INT. GOTHAM GLOBE – CITY ROOM – DAY
A BANNER HEADLINE on the late edition of the Globe: “BAT
MAN FOILS ROBBERY. WHO IS MASKED VIGILANTE?”
Behind the newspaper, feet propped up on his desk, is a
jubilant KNOX. He’s on the horn to COMMISSIONER GORDON.
Commissioner. Do us both a favor.
Don’t tell me some lie you’ll have
to retract later.
CLICK. KNOX grins, lowers the paper, finds himself looking
up at the smiling face of VICKI VALE.
Vick! Looks like our friend the bat
is getting ambitious. — Why the
Guess who’s got a date with Bruce
Bruce Wayne? Date? He called you up
and asked you for a date?… Shit.
HEY MIRANDA! C’MERE!
I want you to pay close attention to
this. Miranda — tell my friend here
what you told me about Bruce Wayne.
A SUPERANNUATED SOUTHERN BELLE toddles over. MIRANDA REITZ,
60, is the society editor of the Globe.
You mean Mister One-Nighter?
Yeah. “Mister One-Nighter.”
Because that’s the average length of
his relationships with women.
The current record is almost two
weeks. That cover girl — what’s her
name? You must’ve shot her, Vicki —
Tell her about the peanuts.
Yeah. Peanuts. Which is how he goes
Like Planter’s Peanuts.
VICKI is about to break out into helpless giggles.
Plain or roasted?
Alex, I’m very flattered that you’ve
gone out and done all this research.
Aw, come on, Vicki, I’m a reporter.
I’m curious. I do this for a living.
— What’d you tell him?
I told him yes.
KNOX fumes. VICKI shakes her head and laughs. She takes
KNOX’s face in her hands, plants a kiss on his forehead.
You’re awfully sweet to be
concerned, but it’s really not
necessary. I’ll call you, okay?
She exits. KNOX stands there looking poleaxed.
… What was that?
That was one of the most gracious
fuck-yous it’s ever been my pleasure
to watch. — What a nice girl.
KNOX, totally flustered, sighs and sinks into his chair.
Miranda, I’m busy. Go be productive.
EXT. COASTLINE – DAY
A CABIN CRUISER slices through the waves. In the distance,
closer to the shore, we see a throng of SAILBOATS.
EXT. DECK – YACHT – DAY
BRUCE’s forty-foot cabin cruiser, aptly christened “DIE
FLEIDERMAUS.” BRUCE and VICKI are on the deck, in chairs,
soaking up sun, gazing off at the sailboats.
Do you sail?
Too much work. I’m not really the
physical type. — Thank you, Alfred.
ALFRED has just appeared from belowdecks with a tray of
drinks for BRUCE and VICKI. VICKI watches as BRUCE reaches
for his glass. His forearm looks like a thin layer of skin
over braided telephone cables.
You do a very convincing imitation.
(sipping her drink)
Mm, this is tasty. What’s yours?
He smiles, slides the drink over toward her, gestures for
her to try a sip.
… Ginger ale?
Two drinks and I start swinging from
Tell me, Vicki. There’s something
I’m very curious about. What took
you down to Corto Maltese?
… I guess I needed a change.
You were one of the most successful
magazine photographers in the city.
Everyone wanted you.
Have you ever been to Corto Maltese?
Not since the shooting started.
We went there once when I was
little. I played on the beach. And
at nights — they had a band — I
danced with my father on the hotel
That was Corto Maltese. When the war
broke out I had to go back. And I
promised myself that this time… I
wouldn’t look away.
What did you see?
The conversation is getting rather intense — at both ends.
VICKI seems to have hit some weird chord within BRUCE.
There’s terror everywhere. Some
types are just more — familiar
For a moment BRUCE seems to be drifting back into his
familiar ‘preoccupied’ mode. VICKI laughs apologetically.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to — I
know it all seems a million miles
away, out here on the water, with
all this —
VICKI is momentarily stuck for a reply. In some way she
can’t quite grasp, he seems to be challenging her.
Bruce, really, when I say these
things I don’t mean to criticize
I think you see things very clearly.
I’m happy to talk about something
else. I don’t want to be depressing.
Do you assume that if I know you
better I won’t like you as much?
VICKI starts laughing. BRUCE is a notorious womanizer, but
if this is a come-on, it’s like no come-on she’s ever seen.
I’m sorry, Bruce, I have to ask. Are
you like this with the other women
you know? — Because I just can’t
seem to get a handle on this
(taking her hand)
Vicki, if I say anything cryptic, or…
ambiguous, I think you should put
the most flattering possible
interpretation on it. Because even
if it doesn’t sound that way…
that’s how I’ll mean it.
Bingo. The guy’s a chessplayer, but on the other hand he’s
also rather touchingly, almost childishly, sincere. Before
she knows it, VICKI finds herself melting.
INT. GOTHAM CITY OPERA HOUSE – NIGHT
Rigoletto. THE DUKE onstage, launching into his big
crowd-pleaser, “La Donna e Mobile.”
WE PAN THE AUDIENCE, finding several mobile young DONNAS in
the crowd — drop-dead beauties in slinky gowns. Although
most eyes are fixed, reasonably enough, on the stage, DONNA
#1 is staring with undisguised envy at a PRIVATE BOX above
the orchestra seats. Her mouth twists in disgust.
She scans the crowd, finds her counterpart (DONNA #2) some
rows back, on the arm of a bald bigwig. DONNA #2 is wearing
a similar sour expression, staring up at the same box.
DONNA #3 is even less discreet than her comrades. She has
her opera glasses trained on the couple in the box.
HER POV – THROUGH OPERA GLASSES – THE BOX
BRUCE and VICKI. He whispers in her ear. She smiles and
A beat. He whispers again. This time she doesn’t laugh. But
her lips part slightly. SCREEN GOES BLACK as the opera
glasses SNAP SHUT.
ANGLE ON CROWD – DONNA #3
staring icily at the DUKE as he finishes up to a round of
INT. WAYNE MANOR – NIGHT
BRUCE and VICKI enter. He takes her coat, drops it on a
chair by the door. VICKI is giddy, all champagned up.
— but it’s not fair. I’m half
drunk and you’re not even —
Would you like me to take you home?
God. You would.
(sidling up to him)
Come on, Bruce. I just want to get
two drinks in you. As an
Maybe we should just kiss.
… We could try that.
BRUCE embracing VICKI in the vastness of the darkened entry
hall, framed by long semicircular STAIRWAYS on opposite
walls. A SUDDEN FLASH OF LIGHTNING transports us to:
EXT. OFFICE BUILDING – ESTABLISHING – NIGHT
Broken windows, graffiti on the walls: a decrepit rathole
near the Gotham docks.
INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE – NIGHT
TIGHT ON a face swathed in bandages. The patient sits erect
in a wooden chair, surrounded by the grimy paraphernalia of
an unlicensed gangland doctor.
The DOCTOR, a nervous little ferret with the bedside manner
of a back-alley abortionist, steps up with a scissors.
Well, Mr. Napier, let’s see how we
He begins to snip away. As the bandages come off, we get:
JACK NAPIER’S POV
The last strands of gauze peel away. The DOCTOR stands
there, looking at his handiwork. His mouth falls open. His
eyes bug out. He GAGS.
The DOCTOR just stands there staring AT CAMERA, stock-
still, apparently transfixed by the sight of JACK’s face.
ANGLE ON DOCTOR
He clears his throat, reaches apprehensively for a hand
mirror, and passes it out of frame to JACK. Two beats.
Then, the sound of GLASS SHATTERING as the mirror drops to
JACK begins to laugh. THE DOCTOR gets a little edgy.
You understand the facial muscles
were completely severed —
JACK keeps on laughing.
The DOCTOR turns uneasily away, gestures apologetically at
his seedy equipment.
— you can see what I have to work
with here —
MORE LAUGHTER. The trembling DOCTOR covers his face with
one hand, whining now, not daring to look at JACK.
I’m sure that with proper recon–
recon– reconstructive surgery —
A DOOR SLAMS. JACK is gone. The grateful DOCTOR breathes a
sigh of relief and steadies himself on an operating table.
EXT. OFFICE BUILDING – OVERHEAD ANGLE – NIGHT
From a point high above we see JACK emerging into the
alley, pulling on a hat, wrapping a muffler about his head.
We can’t see his face. But we can’t forget his LAUGH.
INT. BRUCE WAYNE’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
VICKI nestled peacefully under the covers. Beside her is
BRUCE: hands behind his head, staring up at the ceiling.
It’s almost as though BRUCE is not used to sleeping at
night. He doesn’t know what to do with himself.
He looks at VICKI. She’s terribly lovely. But despite all
that, we can’t shake the feeling that BRUCE… would really
rather be somewhere else.
EXT. STREET – NIGHT
LOUD MUSIC. KIDS in punk regalia stand outside a rock club
as JACK stalks past. The wind knocks his hat off.
Nice hair, dude!
JACK ignores them as he bends to retrieve his hat. Then he
gazes up at the steel-and-glass facade of a SKYSCRAPER —
and strides deliberately across the street.
INT. GRISSOM’S PENTHOUSE – NIGHT
The spectacular Gotham skyline, seen through the plate-
glass window of GRISSOM’s conference room. The doors to the
private elevator hiss open and JACK wanders in. He plops in
the big plush swivel chair behind GRISSOM’s desk.
That you, sugar bumps?
GRISSOM waddles in unsuspectingly from the adjoining room.
He’s fresh out of the shower, a towel wrapped around his
impressive girth. He’s using a smaller towel to dry his
hair, and so it’s a moment before he sees the bundled-up
figure at his desk.
Who the hell are you?
It’s me. “Sugar Bumps.”
(recognizing his voice)
Thank God. I can’t believe it’s you.
I heard you’d been —
Is that what you “heard”?
JACK gestures him over to the empty chair. GRISSOM doesn’t
move until he sees the GUN pointed at his belly.
YOU SET ME UP!
Over a girl. You must be insane!
GRISSOM surreptitiously reaches for a desk drawer.
Keep your hands on the desk.
Sooner or later you would’ve tried
to take me, Jack. You may get me
now, but your life won’t be worth a
I’ve died once already. It wasn’t so
bad. — In fact I recommend it.
GRISSOM is beginning to panic now. It’s obvious that JACK
is utterly, hopelessly deranged.
Jack, listen — we’ll cut a deal —
JACK? JACK? DO I LOOK LIKE A JACK??
And now, for the first time, he flings away the hat. RIPS
THE MUFFLER from his face. And — as GRISSOM gasps in shock
— STANDS REVEALED in his full horrendous glory.
His flesh is bleached bone-white. His hair is a luminous
seaweed-green. And his cheeks are torn and puckered from
the bullet wound, TWISTING HIS MOUTH INTO A HIDEOUS,
PERPETUAL HARLEQUIN’S GRIN.
I’m not a Jack any more.
You made me a Joker!
THE CACKLE BUILDS INTO FURIOUS, HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER.
GRISSOM, revulsed, terrified, pushes himself away from the
desk, back toward the window which overlooks the city.
Jack — I’m warning you. WIPE THAT
LUNATIC GRIN OFF YOUR FACE.
HA! That’s the best part. I CAN’T!!
And with that JACK pulls the trigger. And fires. And fires
again until the CLIP IS EMPTY.
EXT. GRISSOM’S BUILDING – NIGHT
We TILT UP the chrome-and-glass facade of the skyscraper,
arriving finally at the TOP FLOOR: a PLATE GLASS WINDOW
spiderwebbed with cracks where Jack’s bullets hit.
INT. GRISSOM’S PENTHOUSE – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
The room is still dark. JACK — or, as we’ll know him from
this moment on, THE JOKER — sits in GRISSOM’s swivel
chair, staring out at the moon-drenched skyline.
What a view. Our little city. It
always brings a smile to my face.
He reaches for a nearby glass of liquor and glances down at
GRISSOM — who lies dead on the floor, the towel still
wrapped around him. THE JOKER laughs softly to himself.
Guess it’s my little city now.
Wonder what it’ll look like when I
get done with it.
I bet it’ll be something real fine.
Real fine and pretty.
INT. BRUCE WAYNE’S BEDROOM – MORNING
The sun is just up, and VICKI finds herself alone in bed. A
SOFT, OFF-KEY BARITONE VOICE drifts out of the adjacent
bathroom: BRUCE in the shower, singing “Honeysuckle Rose.”
She breaks into a huge smile and climbs out of bed. Somehow
she’s wound up wearing BRUCE’s ribbed formal shirt.
INT. BATHROOM – A MOMENT LATER – MORNING
BRUCE in his opulent deco shower stall, still SINGING to
himself. VICKI sneaks up behind him, opens the door. He
instantly STOPS SINGING — as if he’s been hit by a brick.
I didn’t mean to scare you. I just
had to come in here and see it that
was really you singing.
She smiles, teasing him. He doesn’t respond. He acts as if
she’s caught him doing something shameful — exposed him.
“Don’t buy sugar — you just have to
touch my cup.” Come on. “You’re my
(no response from BRUCE)
Bruce, you are such a case.
BRUCE seems somehow unable to sing along. But be quickly
recovers his composure — and forces a crooked, almost
I don’t sing very well.
Then there’s one thing in the world
you don’t do very well. And I know
what it is. — Now you’ll have to
He kisses her good morning, steps out and reaches for a
towel. His body is one big mass of BRUISES AND ABRASIONS.
Poor thing. You should stay off that
INT. GLOBE – CITY ROOM – DAY
KNOX, in a surly mood, examines the morning edition of the
Globe. He’s turned to page six — the gossip page — and
there, under Miranda Reitz’s byline, is a picture of VICKI.
It seems she and BRUCE are the talk of the town.
A COPY BOY approaches his desk with a MANILA FOLDER:
Here’s that morgue file you wanted.
KNOX leans back in his chair. The file is labelled “BRUCE
WAYNE: 1982-1987.” KNOX opens it and begins to leaf
through old clippings from back issues of the Globe.
WAYNE FOUNDATION TO FUND LOW-COST HOUSING. MILLIONAIRE
HEADS CHARITY DRIVE FOR GOTHAM HANDICAPPED. HURRICANE
VICTIMS SAY ‘THANK YOU’ TO BRUCE WAYNE. KNOX’s face sags in
dismay. Every article seems to be telling us just how swell
a rich philanthropist can be.
Come on. Gimme some dirt!
Then he notices something odd. In the whole fat file of
clippings, there are no pictures of Bruce Wayne — with two
One is a group shot, Bruce in the middle, waving at the
camera and blocking our view of his face. The other is an
ancient picture of a collegiate Bruce, stern-faced, hair
down to his collar. The caption reads “BRUCE WAYNE IN
1973″ — years out of date even when it ran in the paper.
… Why don’t you like your picture
INT. APARTMENT LOBBY – NIGHT
A DOORMAN DOZES in the plush lobby of ALICIA HUNT’s
apartment building on the East Side of Gotham. Through the
glass doors we see ALICIA outside in the chill wind,
peering inside, hesitant to enter.
As silently as possible she uses her key and steps in,
tiptoeing past the doorman, trying not to wake him. She’s
almost made it when he SITS BOLT UPRIGHT, startling her.
No need to sneak in. The rent’s been
taken care of.
… The rent? Paid?
INT. ALICIA’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
ALICIA, mystified, lets herself in and turns to lock the
door. She’s startled once more by a VOICE FROM BEHIND.
Honey — I’m home!
She pivots. Her eyes widen. She SHRIEKS.
Sitting cross-legged in an easy chair, a twisted grin on
his loathesome face, is THE JOKER. He’s in a smoking jacket
and slippers, reading the paper, a dry martini at his side.
This grim parody of domesticity sends poor ALICIA into a
INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE – DAY
It looks for all the world like a corporate boardroom. At a
long table sit Gotham’s most distinguished criminals:
GANGLORDS and RACKETS BOSSES from every corner of the city.
They stare suspiciously at the head of the table.
So that’s how it is, gents. Until
Grissom decides it’s safe to come up
for air… I’m running the show.
Now we see what they see: THE JOKER, dressed rather
flamboyantly in a big slouch hat. His FACE is layered with
flesh-toned makeup, and his HAIR’s been rinsed black.
Unfortunately, he can’t conceal his ghoulish SMILE.
So why don’t we hear this from
I got something I’d like to know.
How come you’re wearing that stupid
‘Cause I got an army, chum. And I
got Grissom’s army. And this city
CARMINE ROTELLI, an especially oily mobster, speaks up:
I don’t like taking orders, from
Grissom. And I especially don’t like
taking orders from Grissom’s goon.
I’ve considered that possibility.
And what happens if we say no?
Nobody wants a war, Carmine. If we
can’t do business, we shake hands
and part friends.
THE JOKER extends a hand. ROTELLI reaches out to shake it.
He doesn’t see the JOY BUZZER concealed in the JOKER’s
40,000 VOLTS course through ROTELLI’s body. He drops back
into his seat a blackened husk, SMOKE pouring out from his
sleeves and shirt collar.
The CRIMELORDS recoil in horror. Before they can make a
move, a squad of ARMED THUGS burst into the room.
Looks like Carmine got a little hot
under the collar.
… You’re insane!
The JOKER is a wee bit agitated. He removes the hat and
mops sweat from his brow, exposing a patch of CHALK-WHITE
FLESH — to the great bewilderment of the ONLOOKERS.
That’s what they said about Lee
Iacocca. Now GET OUT OF HERE. — And
THINK IT OVER!
The sickened CRIMINALS file out cautiously. That leaves THE
JOKER alone in the room with the charred corpse of ROTELLI.
THE JOKER sinks into a chair and — as is his wont —
ADDRESSES THE STIFF:
Heck, they’re not such bad guys. I
say we give ‘em a couple of days to
We-e-ll… maybe one day.
Aaah, screw it. Let’s grease ‘em.
INT. SMALL BACK ROOM – NIGHT
A poker game. A CRIMELORD from the JOKER’s board meeting
picks up his hand and fans out the cards. FIVE JOKERS.
He looks up, puzzled. The last thing he sees is a HIRED
KILLER bursting in through the door, GUN IN HAND.
EXT. GOTHAM PARK – DAY
A COSTUMED CLOWN with a wheeled cart, filling balloons from
a helium tank, passing them out to the kids. CRIMELORD #2
strolls past. The CLOWN offers him a balloon, which be
THE CLOWN reaches into his cart for a RED METAL TANK. But,
as we quickly find out, it’s not a helium tank — it’s a
EXT. HALLIDAY PLAZA – DAY
A sunny, landscaped quad surrounded by corporate
skyscrapers: trees, grass, marble fountains, flags of many
nations. Amid the pedestrians we catch BRUCE and VICKI, all
smiles, cutting through the plaza on the way to lunch.
… To tell you the truth, I’d just
about given up waiting.
I said I’d call you the minute I got
free. And I did. — And here we are.
Hm hmm. Lunch. Not even dinner.
He stops in his tracks, takes her by the shoulders.
Vicki. Do you want the whole truth?
All coyness aside?
I wish I had more time to give you.
Every day I don’t see you, I miss
Now. Are you going to waste this
lovely afternoon being all mad at
All this, of course, is delivered with devastating
sincerity. VICKI finds herself totally disarmed.
Okay, I’m a sucker. You sound so
much like someone I used to…
Bruce? I know this is silly, but —
you’re not married, are you?
He stops and laughs. She smiles crookedly, takes his arm.
ANOTHER ANGLE – ACROSS PLAZA – THAT MOMENT
PHILLY RICORSO — another CRIMELORD from the boardroom —
enters the plaza flanked by a cadre of PAID BODYGUARDS.
ON BRUCE AND VICKI
A PAINTED STREET MIME walks alongside them, feeling his way
along an imaginary wall. VICKI groans.
All street mimes should be executed.
… Looks like a convention.
And indeed, there are HALF A DOZEN STREET MIMES converging
on the center of the plaza.
RICORSO and co. approach the mirrored-glass entrance of a
skyscraper. In the lobby, A MIME — who’s been annoying the
passersby — THROWS A BOLT, LOCKING THE DOORS from inside.
A BODYGUARD bangs on the glass. Nearby, ANOTHER MIME
reaches into a trash bin — and pulls out a MACHINE GUN.
SUDDEN SCREAMS OF TERROR from the onlookers.
VICKI turns to BRUCE. Before she can get his name out, he’s
HOISTED HER BODILY and THROWN HER behind a marble fountain.
SERIES OF SHOTS
BRUCE’S EYES darting birdlike around the plaza — INTERCUT
with the following POV SHOTS, ALL IN SLOW MOTION:
– TWO MIMES with machine guns. One of them lining PHILLY
and co. up against the glass doors, the other holding
the CROWD at bay;
– A WOMAN in the crowd fainting. A THIRD MIME gleefully
imitating her swoon, to no one’s amusement;
– PHILLY and his goons, COWERING, hands in the air, as
OTHER MIMES cruelly mimic their terrified poses…
… and suddenly BRUCE is RUNNING FRANTICALLY, looking for
a secluded spot, an alleyway, anything. No go. He’s out in
the open, with onlookers everywhere. In his civvies, he’s
just another citizen… TOTALLY IMPOTENT.
He darts around a corner, backs against a wall. WOMEN,
CHILDREN, GROWN MEN race past. No privacy. He’s
practically quaking now, in the throes of some terrible
anxiety. He looks up at the sky overhead, terrified.
A BRILLIANT SUN bears down on him as MACHINE GUNS CHATTER.
ANGLE ON PHILLY AND BODYGUARDS
BODIES JERKING as GLASS rains down in shards.
ANGLE ON BRUCE
his back arched, his mouth agape, his face drained of blood
as the sounds of carnage echo through the plaza. It’s
almost as if the bullets are striking him.
A moment later, it’s all over but the screaming. VICKI
emerges from the crowd and finds BRUCE slumped against the
wall, nearly catatonic. She moves to touch him.
As if by reflex he reaches out and GRABS HER BY THE ARMS —
with a grip so strong it could crush bone. She GASPS, looks
up — and sees, in his traumatized EYES, a look so raw, so
desperate, that it virtually defies comprehension.
He blinks rapidly. He relaxes his grip. Before VICKI’s
eyes, he’s changing… becoming the BRUCE she knows.
Oh my God… are you all right?
He reaches for her. Involuntarily, she steps back.
He sees her reaction and his face goes slack — frightened,
pleading. This time she lets him embrace her… but her
face is full of bewilderment and doubt.
INSERT – TELEVISION SCREEN
… live from Halliday Plaza, where a
gangland-style execution claimed the
life of racketeer Philly Ricorso.
Ricorso’s death is the third in a
rash of underworld killings…
CUT TO TWO-SHOT: the ANCHORWOMAN and COMMISSIONER GORDON.
Commissioner, you’ve heard the
rumors. Are these murders the work
of the mysterious ‘Batman’?
A PIERCING CACKLE fills the air. CAMERA PULLS BACK from the
TV, placing us in the JOKER’s boardroom. Behind the big
desk he SWIVELS INTO VIEW, phone in hand.
All reet! I think it’s about time
we called another meeting, huh?
INT. WAYNE MANOR – DAY
ALFRED on the phone, a feather duster in his hand.
I’m sorry, Miss Vale. I’ve given him
your messages. That’s all I can do.
ANGLE WIDENS. BRUCE is sitting mere feet away, obviously
distraught, locked in some sort of internal struggle.
INT. VICKI’S APARTMENT – THAT MOMENT – DAY
Please tell him… I’m not trying to
make his life difficult. I’d just —
I’d just like to know what’s going
A KNOCK at the door as VICKI hangs up. She goes to open it,
finds KNOX — wearing a big, cheshire-cat smile.
Hiya, peanut. I got something I’d
like you to see.
INT. LIBRARY – DAY
A MICROFILM MACHINE. As VICKI looks on curiously, KNOX —
all eagerness now — threads up a roll of film and begins
cranking through back-issue newspapers.
Okay, here we go. Check it out.
He steps back. VICKI stares down at the display screen. A
FRONT-PAGE BANNER HEADLINE reads:
THOMAS WAYNE MURDERED
Prominent Doctor, Wife Slain in Robbery
Unidentified Gunman Leaves Child Unharmed
Beneath it, a PHOTO: cops kneeling over corpses. Medics
with stretchers. And off to one side, a YOUNG BOY — BRUCE
WAYNE — his arms wrapped around the waist of a BEAT COP.
The BOY stares straight at the camera. His face is a mask
of UNFORGETTABLE AGONY. You can’t take your eyes off it.
Oh my God… I’ve seen this picture.
I guess so. Pulitzer Prize, 1963.
His face. Allie, look at his face.
TIGHT ON THE BOY’S contorted face, staring out in shock and
disbelief, his features recognizable across all the years
— permanently, indelibly traumatized. The same face VICKI
saw in Halliday Plaza.
Yep. He watched the whole thing
happen. — Recognize the beat cop?
Something like this — what do you
suppose this could drive a guy to?
INT. RESTAURANT – DAY
A greasy spoon off the lobby of the Globe building. KNOX
and VICKI in a booth.
Alexander, you are on drugs.
He walks out on his own party. Half
an hour later, the Caped Crusader
turns up in full bat-drag.
Sees an execution, freaks out in an
alleyway. No place to change.
Yeah, Vicki, he’s “married” all
You’re pissing me off, Allie. I know
exactly why you’re doing this.
Oh? Why is that, Vicki?
VICKI wilts under the challenge. She holds her silence for
a second, then changes the subject.
He’s best friends with Jim Gordon
and Harvey Dent. They would know.
… Okay, Vicki, I have a confession
to make. I’m the Batman.
VICKI snorts, rolls her eyes impatiently.
Don’t believe me? Why not?
Alexander… I know you.
Right. And they know him. And
that’s why it would never occur to
them for a minute that their old
buddy Bruce puts on a cape at night
and goes out looking for —
This is pointless. I’m leaving.
(grabbing her arm)
Your little chum is out of his mind.
(relaxing his grip)
Next time you call him up and he
can’t go out Friday night — think
INT. ACE CHEMICAL CO. – DAY
LOW ANGLE on the JOKER. He stands on a catwalk high above
the refinery floor, lord of all he surveys, overseeing
production like a demented middle manager.
INT. STOREROOM – DAY
A dank, windowless room in the bowels of Ace Chemical,
which the JOKER has converted into a makeshift lair. SAP-
LIKE GOO drips in puddles from exposed pipes overhead.
CAMERA DRIFTS across the JOKER’s cluttered desk. Shipping
manifests. Ledgers. PSYCHOTIC DOODLES scrawled in crayon.
More significantly: an old CONTRACT dating back to the mid-
seventies. It’s half-obscured by other papers, but the
initials ‘CIA’ are plainly visible.
Then: a BOUND REPORT with the title ‘DDID NERVE GAS:
RESULTS OF PRELIMINARY EXPERIMENTATION.’ Across its title
page, a diagonal rubber stamp: ‘DISCONTINUED January 1977.’
And finally: a sheaf of PHOTOS. Laboratory apes, chimps and
orangutans, all DEAD. Their LIPS are drawn back, exposing
HIDEOUS, CHEMICAL-INDUCED GRIMACES.
ON ONE WALL: POSTER-SIZED BLOWUPS of the grinning apes.
ON THE OPPOSITE WALL: a large-scale photographic
reproduction of the Gotham City skyline, its bottom half
HIDDEN FROM VIEW by the JOKER’s desk.
The PHONE RINGS. The JOKER — who has been sitting on the
floor by the cityscape — POPS INTO FRAME and picks it up.
How’s that first shipment coming?
VOICE ON PHONE
Right on schedule. Oh, we got that
address for you — 79 East End,
Mmm. How’d you find it?
VOICE ON PHONE
Called her agent.
The JOKER nods in satisfaction and resumes his place on the
floor. Like a happy kindergartener, with paste pot and
scissors, he’s CLIPPING PHOTOS from a magazine — horrible
scenes of death, destruction, panic, mutilation.
One by one, he’s PASTING these shots on the blowup of
Gotham city — all along sidewalk level — creating a
massive photomontage of ANARCHY IN THE STREETS.
We’ve seen these photos before. VICKI VALE took them… in
INT. PHOTOGRAPHER’S STUDIO – DAY
In foreground, ROWS OF MAKEUP in startling profusion:
mascara, blusher, eyeliner, lipstick. HALF A DOZEN
BEAUTIFUL MODELS giggle into their makeup mirrors.
In the background VICKI wanders past with a stylish friend,
CLAIRE, who owns and operates the studio.
… of course, after Corto Maltese,
this must all seem pretty tame.
Not to me. I need a job.
Now Vicki. Everyone knows you’ve
got your hooks in Bruce Wayne.
Then “everyone” must know something
Oh. Really. Well. — Come on,
dear, Tony’s dying to see you.
In a corner of the studio, TONY, a gaunt, tubercular Brit,
is shooting a swimsuit layout with two SUPERMODELS. They
all ad lib greetings to VICKI as TONY darts around
hyperkinetically, snapping the girls in a series of poses.
Yes, ladies, smiles, show me
those smiles, fabulous, tropical
smiles, think Tahiti, I want to
see teeth, yes, those glorious
As VICKI looks on, the SUPERMODELS freeze in place
simultaneously, a strange, STRICKEN LOOK on their faces.
My God no, don’t stop now, those
smiles, I need those smiles —
Suddenly the girls are LAUGHING — but the laughter is
unnatural, involuntary. VICKI, sensing that something is
terribly wrong, lays a hand on CLAIRE’s arm.
The MODELS, now wearing HUGE SMILES, begin to TWITCH
SPASMODICALLY. TONY snaps away.
Yes! Oh baby, YES! That’s —
No! Too far, too far! Pull back,
(dropping the camera)
OH MY GOD!
The SUPERMODELS PITCH TO THE FLOOR, shuddering
convulsively, their LIPS drawn back in FRIGHTFUL, FROZEN,
LAB-APE GRINS. VICKI GASPS. CLAIRE SCREAMS. TONY SCREAMS.
INT. TELEVISION STUDIO – EVENING
The Eyewitness News set, with anchors PATSY NARITA and
DAVE McELROY. Behind them, BLOWUPS of the two dead
The fashion world was stunned today
by the sudden deaths of top models
Kelly Brinkley and Christie Emberg.
Cause of death has been attributed
to a violent allergic reaction,
although authorities have not yet
ruled out the possibility of drug
Behind DAVE, on the bluescreen: a HUGE STATUE, covered in
canvas — not unlike New York’s Statue of Liberty.
In Gotham, plans continue for the
city’s 300th birthday celebration.
The four-day event will conclude
with the unveiling, in Gotham
Harbor, of the newly restored ‘Lady
A TECHNICIAN’S HAND passes a slip of paper into frame.
This bulletin just in. Nine more
mysterious deaths at a beauty parlor
Off to the left, PATSY begins to LAUGH. DAVE FROWNS.
Patsy! This is hardly the —
(his eyes widen)
An offscreen CRASH. Suddenly DAVE is up out of his seat,
mouth agape in horror.
PATSY HAS GONE INTO CONVULSIONS. CAMERA WHIPS VIOLENTLY
RIGHT AND LEFT as she jerks out of her seat and TOTTERS
UNCONTROLLABLY across the set, LAUGHING INSANELY.
TECHNICIANS rush the soundstage in an unrehearsed frenzy.
PATSY spins like a dervish and LURCHES BACKWARD over the
newsdesk in a death spasm, giving us a quick look at the
grisly Joker’s grin etched on her now-lifeless face.
DAVE gestures frantically to the cameraman:
KILL THE CAMERA!! KILL THE —
Suddenly, CRACKLING VIDEO STATIC wipes out the screen. A
moment later, we’re looking at:
SPLITSCREEN CLOSEUP – THE SUPERMODELS
Their gorgeous faces sprout BIG, ANIMATED-CARTOON GRINS as
a BOUNCY TUNE — “Put on a Happy Face” — comes up
MODELS (CARTOON VOICE)
… Love that Joker!
INT. SUPERMARKET – DAY
THEME MUSIC CONTINUES as a grinning, deranged pitchman —
THE JOKER — pushes his shopping cart down the aisle. The
shelves are filled with products bearing his TRADEMARK
HARLEQUIN’S FACE. He waves merrily in time to the music.
INT. STUDIO – VIDEO CONTROL BOOTH – THAT MOMENT
PANICKED TECHNICIANS swarm the booth. The studio feed has
been JAMMED. Every monitor shows THE JOKER’S COMMERCIAL.
WHERE’S IT COMING FROM??
I DON’T KNOW!
CLOSEUP – THE JOKER
… new improved Joker brand. With
the secret ingredient… SMYLENOL!
(a sweep of the hand)
Let’s go to our blind taste test.
TIGHT ON an anonymous MAN — GAGGED AND BLINDFOLDED, tied
to his chair, squirming, struggling. On the table before
him is a package labelled “BRAND X.” A SUPERIMPOSED TITLE
reads: “NOT AN ACTOR.”
Ooh. He’s tense. Irritable. Out of
(wagging a finger)
He’s been using Brand X! But with
new improved Joker brand…
ANGLE WIDENS to include a BLINDFOLDED CORPSE, limp in his
chair, GRINNING HORRIFICALLY.
… it’s a SMILE EVERY TIME!!
EXT. IDYLLIC PASTORAL SETTING – DAY
THE JOKER in a field of wheat. On a picnic blanket before
him are TWO CLEAN-CUT MODELS — one male, one female, BOTH
DEAD… and GRIMACING HORRIBLY.
— and the world smiles with you!
Irresistable — oh-so-kissable —
He grabs the dead MODELS by the hair. THEIR TEETH CLINK as
he forces their heads together for a post-mortem kiss.
SERIES OF SHOTS
Television sets all over Gotham, as startled citizens react
to the JOKER’s maniacal promo.
I know what you’re saying. Where can
I buy these fine, fine products?
Well, that’s the gag, folks, you
never know. Chances are… you’ve
bought ‘em already!!!
As his RANT CONTINUES, we SEE:
– A YOUNG MAN watching the bedroom TV as he dresses for
a date. He’s got an aerosol deodorant can poised under
one arm, ready to spray. He looks down at the can,
suddenly uncertain. Could it be…?
– A FAMILY in their kitchen, eyeing a 12-inch portable
as MOM serves dinner. They dig in automatically, then
FREEZE with their forks in midair.
– A MIDDLE-AGED MATRON at the living-room TV. Shocked,
she calls to her husband — and gets no reply. We
FOLLOW HER to the bathroom door.
On the floor she sees AN OVERTURNED SHAMPOO BOTTLE.
Then: her HUSBAND, slumped down in the tub, a lethal
GRIN on his face. She lets out a SHRIEK.
INT. WAYNE MANOR – STUDY – NIGHT
ALFRED THE BUTLER in a crouch, glued to the tube.
HIS POV: THE JOKER in tight closeup. Offscreen, an INFANT
begins to squall. THE JOKER cocks an eyebrow.
Baby’s got a tummyache? Here’s
something that’ll fix him quick!
He tosses a JOKER PRODUCT out of frame. Then — leering —
he gives the camera a BIG JUICY WINK.
Now on your grocer’s shelf. So
remember — use Joker brand — and
put on a happy face!!
MUSIC UP. VIDEO SNOW fills the screen as the jammed
transmission end. ALFRED looks over his shoulder.
TRACK IN ON THE GRIM, DETERMINED FACE OF BRUCE WAYNE.
SERIES OF SHOTS
– The Gotham Globe cartwheeling into frame:
PANIC GRIPS GOTHAM
Contaminated Products Claim 72 Lives
WHO IS THE MYSTERIOUS “JOKER”?
– An ANCHORWOMAN on the evening news. Her complexion is
curiously sallow. BLACK BAGS show under her eyes.
… sixteen new deaths, with no clues
as to the Joker’s identity or
demands. The list at potentially
lethal products now includes:
perfume — mascara — cold cream —
– The makeover counter at Bloomingdale’s. SECURITY
GUARDS rush to the scene as THREE MATRONLY CUSTOMERS
go into simultaneous smiling fits.
– An ANCHORMAN with a BIG UGLY ZIT on his nose:
Men’s cologne toothpaste mouthwash
— underarm deodorant —
– A SUBWAY CAR jammed with STRAPHANGERS. HUGE PATCHES OF
SWEAT under every arm. The doors slide open; ONCOMING
PASSENGERS RECOIL VISIBLY at the unendurable stench.
– The original ANCHORWOMAN, whose look is now 100%
natural. Her hair is frizzy. Her eyebrows are missing
altogether. Every wrinkle on her face is plainly
Hair spray — eyebrow pencil —
moisturizing cream —
– A LARGE DRUGSTORE. CASHIERS sit idly by the registers.
The store is utterly devoid of customers.
EXT. STREET – DUSK
From across the street we see VICKI headed down the
sidewalk toward a museum. A GLOVED HAND reaches for a pay
She’s outside the Fluegelheim.
INT. ALICIA HUNT’S PENTHOUSE – THAT MOMENT
A BONE-WHITE HAND slams a phone receiver down. THE JOKER is
at his vanity. He’s rinsed his hair black. He’s applying
pounds of pancake makeup to his bleached face, his puckered
cheeks. In the right light he could almost pass for human.
In all the city, he’s the only person still using
A DREAMY, DRUGGED VOICE intrudes:
Jack? Who was that?
As he looks up at the mirror, we get a quick glimpse of
ALICIA behind him. The voice, the long blonde hair, are
unmistakable. But for some reason, ALICIA’S FACE is
COVERED… by a SHINY WHITE PORCELAIN DOLL’S MASK.
Get dressed. We’re going out.
INT. FLUEGELHEIM MUSEUM – EVENING
A Gotham landmark, the Fluegelheim looks like something
Frank Lloyd Wright would’ve dreamed up — a large open
atrium encircled by a stucco RAMP, which spirals up along
the interior walls to the CEILING four stories above. You
walk up this gently-inclined ramp to view the paintings.
INT. FLUEGELHEIM – ROOFTOP TEA ROOM – EVENING
The upper terminus of the ramp opens on an airy, fern-
filled dining room popular with tourists and elderly
matrons who work up an appetite looking at art. VICKI
enters, camera bag slung over one shoulder, portfolio in
I’m meeting Mr. Wayne. Is he here?
No, but your table is ready.
INT. TEA ROOM – TWENTY MINUTES LATER – EVENING
VICKI, sipping on a gin and tonic, checks her watch. A
WAITER brings her a small parcel, wrapped in brown paper,
bearing a single word: URGENT.
Miss Vale, this just arrived for
As the WAITER leaves, she tears off the wrapper. Inside is
a small white box and a NOTE — SCRIBBLED IN CRAYON.
DEAR V. VALE,
PUT THIS ON RIGHT NOW.
Unsigned, of course. VICKI, puzzled, opens the box to find
a MINIATURE GAS MASK.
She hears a strange HISSING NOISE. A few feet away, GREEN
SMOKE is billowing out of an air-conditioning vent.
TRAYS OF FOOD CRASH TO THE FLOOR as WAITERS pass out. ART
LOVERS drop forks, go face down in their pasta salad.
VICKI hurriedly fits the gas mask over her nose and mouth.
Within seconds, she’s the only one conscious in the room.
INT. MUSEUM – THAT MOMENT
GREEN SMOKE plumes up toward the ceiling as we TILT DOWN
toward the floor of the atrium. PATRONS and SECURITY GUARDS
lie sprawled on the floor, twisted at odd angles, out cold.
The mist is beginning to clear now. The doors swing open
and in strolls THE JOKER, looking quite dapper in his
street makeup and BIG PURPLE PIMP’S HAT.
A SQUAD OF GOONS enters behind him. Some of them are
carrying large cartons. They lock the entry doors, place a
“CLOSED” sign in front of them, and begin uncrating LARGE
CANS OF BLACK PAINT.
The JOKER steps up onto the ramp, examines the artwork with
an appreciative eye.
Okay, boys, let’s broaden our minds.
He stops in front of an Ingres odalisque. Stands back a
pace or two to get a better look. Then pulls out a STRAIGHT
RAZOR and cuts a LONG DIAGONAL GASH in the canvas.
He ambles up the ramp, stepping over collapsed patrons,
pausing at every fourth or fifth painting. Monet water
lilies, a Degas ballerina — all get the razor treatment.
Behind him his CRONIES work their way up the ramp, HEAVING
BLACK PAINT on every canvas the JOKER has missed.
He cocks an eyebrow at Edvard Munch’s “THE SCREAM.”
I kinda like this one. Leave it.
INT. TEA ROOM – A MOMENT LATER – EVENING
VICKI at her table, still wearing the gas mask, scared as
hell. The overhead lights wink out and the room goes dark.
The JOKER saunters over and pulls up a chair.
I think it’s safe to take that off.
VICKI recognizes the deranged smile instantly. She removes
the gas mask, tries to gather her wits.
You’re quite beautiful.
… Thank you.
Unfortunate, but I think we can work
He sets a couple of CANDLESTICKS on the table and reaches
for his lighter. A LONG JET OF FLAME shoots out, Jerry
Lewis-style, as he lights the candles.
You’re Vicki Vale. I guess you know
who I am. — Is this your
She nods. He opens it, begins leafing through the record of
VICKI’s career. Newspaper photos from the Globe, at first.
Then fashion layouts, magazine covers of celebrities.
Artier B&W shots from VICKI’s first couple of exhibitions.
Crap. Crap. Crap, crap, crap…
Ahhh. Now here’s what caught my eye.
He’s come to the COMBAT PHOTOS from Corto Maltese.
The panic. The bloody skulls. The
armless screaming fellows… you
know, the atrocities.
Somehow, when you shoot it, it all
comes out so clean, so lovely.
VICKI is squirming, but she doesn’t think it wise to debate
the point. Not with this lunatic, anyway.
I guess I’m just an old cornball,
but… I live for beauty. I look
around at my little city, it gets me
(indicating the photos)
We don’t have anything like this.
Well, it came to me that what this
city needs… is beautification. Kind
of a big makeover.
Miss Vale, I finally realized that
one man can make a difference. You
know the saying. “In his image…
created he them”?
VICKI gazes at the awful face of this deranged visionary,
getting more frightened by the minute.
And you want a —
A visual record, yes. A before-and-
after kind of thing.
This could make your reputation.
Her first impulse is to get up and run. But she fights the
impulse. She won’t run… not until she gets this maniac
on film. She reaches for her camera bag.
Maybe we should start with a
portrait of the artist. People might
like to see the face behind the
… Behind the makeup?
Then it sinks in. By candlelight, in the darkened
restaurant, with his pancake makeup and his black rinse
job, he looks practically normal. VICKI must think she’s
looking at his real face!
Oh. Yes. I see what you mean.
He finds a pitcher, pours a glass of water, and very
carefully SETS IT ON THE TABLE in front of VICKI. Then —
suddenly, inexplicably — HE BARKS AT HER:
Silly little TWIT — I can’t take
He sits back and grins expectantly. VICKI is thoroughly
nonplussed by this bizarre outburst. A moment passes.
He obviously wants her to do something, but she hasn’t
got a clue as to what it is. Growing impatient now, he
POINTS at the WATER GLASS:
Well? What are you waiting for??
Now VICKI gets the point. She picks up the glass and HURLS
ITS CONTENTS in THE JOKER’S FACE.
His hands go up. He writhes. He shrieks — like the Wicked
Witch of the West dissolving. He reaches for a napkin to
wipe his face clean… and begins to CACKLE.
His awful white-and-green clown’s face revealed behind the
running makeup, he LEERS at her.
You see, Miss Vale — that was my
What do you think?
VICKI is repulsed, but she’s determined to tough it out.
I’ve seen worse. Much worse.
Strong stomach, huh? I like that in
a woman. — Maybe we can do business
He seems to have calmed down a bit. It’s almost as if he’s
coming on to her. But just then, a tiny BELL sounds behind
them… and a VOICE intrudes:
The JOKER turns. ALICIA steps out of a ROOFTOP ELEVATOR and
moves toward them, drugged, wraithlike. She’s still wearing
the porcelain DOLL’S MASK we saw earlier.
Christ, it’s my girlfriend.
You said I could look at the
pictures before you — before you —
Shucks, honey, I forgot.
(rolling his eyes at
I’m in trouble now.
This is business, sweetie. Why don’t
you go outside and see how the boys
VICKI can’t take her eyes off this strange figure drifting
eerily through the abandoned tea room.
… Why the mask?
Alicia! Come here, have a seat. Show
Miss Vale why you wear the mask.
ALICIA sits down numbly and begins to undo the mask.
You see, Miss Vale, Alicia’s beautiful.
One in a million. A work of art. In
We’re looking at ALICIA’s profile as the mask comes off.
The side that’s turned to us is indeed beautiful. But the
side we can’t see… SENDS VICKI RIGHT OVER THE EDGE.
She makes you look sick.
VICKI lurches out of her seat, knocking it over, HER FACE
FROZEN IN HORROR. She finds her CAMERA, holds it out like a
weapon as THE JOKER advances on her.
You SCUM! You SICK FILTH!… You DID
THAT to her!
What? I improved her a little…
VICKI backs away, snapping the shutter on her camera. HE
BLINKS as the flash gun goes off repeatedly.
I’ll see you burn. I’ll see you dead.
— GET AWAY FROM ME!!
Miss Vale, was it something I said?
Do you want to sniff my flower?
There’s a BRIGHT PURPLE BOUTONNIERE in his lapel. He holds
it up for VICKI’s inspection as he moves menacingly closer.
The JOKER squeezes a concealed BULB. A JET OF CLEAR LIQUID
spurts out of the FLOWER, NARROWLY MISSING VICKI.
She GASPS. BUMPS INTO A TABLE. ACRID BLACK SMOKE rises from
the floor where the clear liquid hit. Acid.
Come on, Miss Vale… STOP AND SMELL
He backs VICKI into a corner. And then — abruptly —
A SKYLIGHT SHATTERS IN A HAIL OF GLASS! A CAPED SHADOW
DROPS TO THE FLOOR OF THE RESTAURANT! And THE JOKER is face
to face with…
On his wrist is a STEEL GAUNTLET. Ha AIMS IT at the JOKER
like a weapon. Then PIVOTS SUDDENLY — POINTS HIS ARM
THROUGH THE DOOR OF THE RESTAURANT —
— AND FIRES A METAL SPIKE into the adobe wall of the RAMP
On the end of the spike is a CORD leading to BATMAN’s belt.
In the wink of an eye he’s GRABBED VICKI — DRAGGED HER OUT
OF the tea room — and PLUNGED OVER THE RAMP WALL, FOUR
STORIES STRAIGHT DOWN TO THE ATRIUM FLOOR BELOW!!!
The JOKER races to the edge of the ramp.
GET ‘EM!! GET ‘EM!!
His GOONS are stationed at various points along the ramp,
still defacing masterpieces. They pull their guns and OPEN
FIRE as BATMAN and VICKI plummet past.
ANGLE ON BATMAN AND VICKI – AS THEY FALL
He holds the gauntlet overhead, ROPE whistling through it.
As we watch, the gauntlet sprouts STEEL WINGS — forming a
BULLETPROOF SHIELD over their heads!
TWO FEET ABOVE the marble floor, THE ROPE jerks them up
short — like a bunjee cord. GUNS BLAZE as BATMAN and VICKI
drop safely to earth and MAKE FOR THE EXIT.
The doors are LOCKED. BATMAN spots the black “CLOSED” sign
on a metal stand. He HEAVES IT through the glass doors.
VICKI hustles through. He points her to a side alley.
EXT. SIDE ALLEY – THAT MOMENT – DUSK
VICKI rounds the corner just as BATMAN lobs a SMOKE PELLET
into the doorway of the Fluegelheim.
GET IN THE CAR!
VICKI suddenly feels quite stupid. Because — while there
are many cars parked along the side alley — there is only
The BATMOBILE is sleek, futuristic, and… well,
indescribable. Imagine your own. VICKI climbs into the
passenger seat and is immediately dazzled by a stunning
array of electronic gadgetry.
As BATMAN sprints down the alley, a COMPUTER DISPLAY on the
dashboard registers his unique voiceprint. A tinny,
synthesized VOICE repeats the command:
The engines are revving up even as BATMAN vaults into the
cockpit alongside VICKI.
Guns in hand, the JOKER’S GOONS Are stumbling out of the
Fluegelheim, hacking, coughing, blinded by smoke. They DIVE
FOR THEIR LIVES as the BATMOBILE comes barrelling out of
the alley at ninety miles an hour.
THE JOKER emerges just as the BATMOBILE careens off.
I WANT HIM!! I WANT HIM!!
The JOKER climbs into the back of a van labelled “MONARCH
PLAYING CARDS.” Half his GOONS pile into the van behind
him, the other half into a second car nearby.
EXT. STREETS – THAT MOMENT
SIRENS HOWL as POLICE CARS converge on the Flugelheim.
INT. BATMOBILE – THAT MOMENT
roaring out into CITY TRAFFIC.
I called them.
Shouldn’t we —
A POLICE CAR whizzes past the BATMOBILE. TIRES SKID. The
COP CAR does a quick 180 and sets out in hot pursuit of the
BATMOBILE. BATMAN FLOORS THE ACCELERATOR in response.
INT. VAN – THAT MOMENT
TIGHT ON the demented face of THE JOKER. A GOON calls out
from the front of the van.
There they are! Dead ahead!
THE JOKER screams into a RADIO DISPATCHER’S MIKE.
ALL UNITS! SOUTHBOUND ON RIVERVIEW!
SERIES OF SHOTS
The JOKER’S ARMY. THUGS in cars. CREEPS in Italian
restaurants. CROOKED COPS at a coffee shop. LIGHTS FLASH,
BEEPERS SOUND, and within seconds they’re racing to the
streets, eager to join the chase.
SERIES OF SHOTS – THE STREETS
COP CARS. GOON CARS. THE BATMOBILE streaks through an
intersection, nearly causing a pileup. THE JOKER’S VAN
makes short work of a SABRETT’S HOT DOG STAND in its path.
INT. BATMOBILE – THAT MOMENT
PEDESTRIANS GAWK as the sleek supercar RIPS UP THE
What about her? What about the girl?
He won’t kill her.
(gritting his teeth)
They’re moving up on an EMPTY BLOCK — a NIGHT CONSTRUCTION
TEAM. A HUGE PIECE OF HEAVY MACHINERY backs up slowly and
inexorably, BLOCKING THE INTERSECTION.
BATMAN GUNS THE ENGINE. SWERVES LEFT. TRIES TO SLIDE PAST.
And HITS THE BRAKES — stopping inches short of a head-on
collision with a lamppost.
He jumps out of the car. No chance to get through. THE
JOKER’S VAN is two blocks back and coming up fast.
ONLOOKERS and CONSTRUCTION WORKERS are beginning to form a
crowd around them.
Can’t we —
Too many people. Come on!
(as she scrambles out)
The BATMOBILE’s computerized VOICE replies:
With a series or CLANGS, CHROME-STEEL PLATES slide into
place — across the cockpit, over the tires — leaving the
BATMOBILE an inert, impenetrable BLOCK OF BLACK METAL.
BATMAN and VICKI sprint through the CONSTRUCTION SITE,
vaulting over mounds of loose dirt and concrete rubble.
INT. VAN – MOVING – NIGHT
THREE POLICE CARS, red lights blazing, OVERTAKE THE JOKER’S
VAN and bear down on the abandoned BATMOBILE.
GOON AT WHEEL
Are they ours?
… I don’t know. We’d better get out
(into RADIO MIKE)
Westbound on 36th. DO YOU COPY??
The VAN does a discreet U-turn and rumbles off sedately
down the street.
EXT. SIDE STREET – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
BATMAN and VICKI zigzag past storefronts and candy stands,
dodging astonished PEDESTRIANS.
INT. CAR – MOVING – THAT MOMENT
FOUR GOONS with GUNS. They spot BATMAN and VICKI coming off
the side street. GOON I, the driver, speaks into a radio:
We got ‘em!
Take ‘em! I want his head!
EXT. STREET – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
BATMAN and VICKI race down the sidewalk. The car is gaining
on them; and then, from behind —
BATMAN and VICKI are caught in a SPRAY OF BULLETS. They
dive. Drop behind a parked car. And don’t come up.
They’ve ducked into a BLIND ALLEY.
INT. ALLEYWAY – NIGHT
Hunkered on the pavement, they watch the car glide past the
mouth of the alley. VICKI sighs in relief. BATMAN — still
alert, his muscles tensed — puts a restraining hand on her
arm. He looks overhead, sees a catwalk spanning the width
of the alleyway five stories up.
How much do you weigh?
… A hundred and eight?
He does some quick mental calculations. A beat. Then the
CAR reappears — backing up — blocking their only avenue
of escape. BATMAN unfurls a rope, HEAVES A BATARANG UPWARD,
and grabs VICKI roughly about the waist.
The JOKER’S THUGS pile out of the car. The BATARANG catches
on the catwalk, and BATMAN triggers the spring-action REEL
on his utility belt — jerking him and VICKI INTO THE AIR.
BULLETS zing past as they whip upward like fish on a line.
One story; two stories; and then…
They slow. They STOP. They DANGLE IN MIDAIR as the Joker’s
goons advance. BATMAN wriggles, twists. They lurch upward
another few feet — and stop again. VICKI SCREAMS.
Her additional weight is too much for the reel mechanism. They’re
stranded two stories up — SITTING DUCKS.
Whatever happens — DON’T LET GO!!
In the wink of an eye he’s detached the reel from his own
waist and hitched it around VICKI’s belt. Before she has a
chance to protest, he LETS GO.
VICKI rockets upward at blinding speed, shrieking all the
way. BATMAN, his cape billowing, PLUMMETS DOWNWARD.
VICKI slams up into the catwalk and BOBS on the end of the
line as BATMAN lands with a loud crash, overturning a row
of garbage cans. The GOONS are on him in a flash — one per
limb. Random kicking and flailing. BATMAN manages to slam
two GOONS into a wall, but before he can get to his feet —
— GOON #3 slams a lead pipe into the back of his skull.
BATMAN is down for the count. The THUGS dust themselves off
and circle around his prostrate form, still wary.
The LEAD THUG holds his colleagues back, draws his gun, and
fires TWO SHOTS, point-blank, at the yellow-and-black
INSIGNE on BATMAN’s chest. The body jerks.
They move closer. And stop.
… No blood.
Wait a minute.
GOON III screws up his courage and crouches beside the
body. He examines THE BATMAN’S TUNIC… and RIPS IT OPEN.
… What is that?
Some kind of body armor.
He’s human after all. — Take that
EXT. ROOFTOP – ON VICKI
Five stories overhead, VICKI has pulled herself up onto the
roof of the adjacent building. She watches transfixed as
the THUGS bend over to remove BATMAN’s cowl. But at this
height — and this angle — she can’t see his face. On a
sudden impulse she reaches for her CAMERA BAG.
ANGLE ON GOONS
peering-down open-mouthed at the unconscious face of BRUCE
WAYNE. Blood seeps from BRUCE’s left nostril.
Well?… Who is this guy?
I dunno. You seen him before?
Maybe he’s got some kind of I.D.
Good idea. Let’s check his wallet.
We’ll worry about it later. Plug
In the head.
GOON II draws his automatic. And at that very instant… A
FLASH GUN EXPLODES OVERHEAD.
Startled, the THUGS look up. ANOTHER CAMERA FLASH.
Goddam, it’s the redhead!
A chunk of ledge chips off mere inches from her head as the
GOONS OPEN FIRE. She ducks back behind the overhang, holds
the camera out over the ledge, and KEEPS ON FLASHING.
HIS EYES WINK OPEN.
momentarily idle. She’s used up her roll. The GOONS KEEP
SHOOTING as she reaches in her bag for new film. She finds
it, loads the camera with astonishing dexterity — and
then, on instinct, reaches back inside the bag for a
TELEPHOTO LENS. All the better to see you with, Batman…
ON THE THUGS
No response from VICKI. They begin to relax a little.
Did you hit her?
Who cares? Wax that freak.
They turn their attention to BRUCE. A GLOVED HAND snakes
out with lightning speed — GRABBING GOON I BY THE COATTAIL
and pulling him DIRECTLY INTO THE LINE OF FIRE. GOON II bas
pulled the trigger twice before he knows what’s happened.
In one fluid motion BRUCE HEAVES GOON I’s lifeless body
THROUGH THE AIR, knocking GOON II backward over a garbage
can. GOON II falls and CRACKS HIS HEAD on the nearest wall.
GOON III takes a rabbit punch to the throat. He’s on the
way down when he catches a STEEL-TOED BOOT in the gut.
Four seconds after all this began, BRUCE is alone in the
alleyway with GOON IV. GOON IV has his gun pointed right at
BRUCE, but he’s shaking too much to pull the trigger.
BRUCE smiles. GOON IV SCREAMS and RUNS FOR HIS LIFE.
Through all this, VICKI’s telephoto camera has been poised
on the ledge, snapping away. BRUCE looks up at the FLASH
GUN and shakes his head. He bends to retrieve his cowl.
She finally dares to peek down at the alley. Limp goons
everywhere. And, in addition, THE BATMAN — leaping up,
grabbing the edge of a fire escape, climbing up to meet
VICKI thinks fast. She may have a clean shot of BATMAN’S
FACE. She advances the film in the camera and removes the
roll, then drops it down her blouse.
But BATMAN is likely to want that roll. So she straightens
her skirt and scurries across the roof, away from the
alley. She should have a minute or so before be gets there.
It’s a three-foot drop to the next roof over. VICKI
clambers down and quickens her pace, tossing a nervous
glance over her shoulder every couple of steps.
Then, somehow — and she’ll be damned if she can figure out
how — she walks smack into THE BATMAN. And GASPS.
… Not even a ‘thank you’?
Well — I think you might consider
thanking me. You were good as
That’s because you lied about your
(a long pause)
VICKI NODS and tries to walk past him. He grabs her arm.
I’ll have to ask you for that film.
I just wanted to distract them. I
wasn’t trying to get a picture of
BATMAN looks down at the camera hanging from her neck. The
telephoto lens must jut out six inches. VICKI gulps.
I won’t let you have it.
THE BATMAN is amused. He smiles menacingly.
I know you can break my neck and
take it. But the Joker’s on that
same roll. I —
The Joker is a murderer. And you
were as good as dead. So —
Look, I appreciate what you did for
me. But this is my job. And I’m
keeping those pictures.
All right, here’s a compromise. I’ll
develop the photos. You keep the
Jokers and I’ll keep the rest.
How do I know you won’t keep them
Because I’ll take you with me.
He reaches out, holds her gently by the shoulders. His
voice is deep and soothing. True, VICKI is a little dizzy
from all that’s happened, but she’s undeniably drawn to
Still cautious, though. She reaches into her bag and hands
over a roll of film. The original roll — not the telephoto
shots, which are still stashed in her blouse.
Thank you, Vicki.
… Where are you going to take me?
No reply. She looks up into his mirrored eyes. He pulls her
closer to him. Brushes back her hair, runs one hand
delicately along the line of her cheek…
… AND BREAKS A TINY CAPSULE under her nose. VICKI SLUMPS
into BATMAN’s arms.
EXT. ALLEYWAY – NIGHT
Street level. BATMAN emerges carrying VICKI’s inert form in
his arms. He pauses and peers around the edge of a wall at
the BATMOBILE two blocks down.
The car is still there, the chrome-steel shields intact.
But DOZENS OF COPS and CURIOSITY-SEEKERS are SWARMING ALL
OVER the fearsome machine.
BATMAN snorts in frustration. AN ENORMOUS THREE-TON
CATERPILLAR WINCH rumbles up the street toward the
He’s about to get towed. BATMAN takes a RADIO TRANSMITTER
from his utility belt and SPEAKS INTO IT.
EXT. STREET – ON BATMOBILE
TWO COPS are crawling along the hood of the car. From
within they hear the tinny computerized voice:
The steel plates begin to retract.
The stunned COPS gaze into the Batmobile’s cockpit.
There’s somebody in there!
They TUMBLE OFF THE HOOD as the turbine engines ROAR TO
LIFE and THE BATMOBILE BEGINS TO MOVE.
COPS AND ONLOOKERS quickly clear a path. They stand there
stunned as the futuristic auto PICKS UP SPEED and advances
toward the end of the block. The LEFT TURN SIGNAL flashes
dutifully. And the BATMOBILE VANISHES AROUND THE CORNER.
PANDEMONIUM BREAKS LOOSE as the COPS bolt for their cars.
EXT. STREET – NIGHT
SIRENS WAIL. PASSERSBY STARE SLACKJAWED at the driverless
BATMOBILE as it tears down the street, passing, darting,
dodging buses and CUTTING OFF TAXIS — all with a squad of
COP CARS in hot pursuit.
EXT. ALLEYWAY – NIGHT
BATMAN sees the BATMOBILE rounding the corner and
approaching on the straightaway. He takes VICKI in his arms
and STEPS DIRECTLY INTO THE PATH OF THE ONRUSHING
BRAKES SQUEAL. The BATMOBILE stops one yard short of BATMAN
and VICKI. A moment later BATMAN is AT THE WHEEL.
SIRENS BUILD. LIGHTS FLASH. The COP CARS are now visible
behind them. BATMAN floors the pedal; the Batmobile’s
powerful AFTERBURNERS kick in; and the hapless cops KILL
THEIR SIRENS as BATMAN zooms off into the night at 140 mph.
EXT. BACK ROAD – NIGHT
A deserted stretch of road, lined by ancient tall pines on
either side. The BATMOBILE roars past.
INT. BATMOBILE – NIGHT
VICKI is gradually coming to on the passenger’s side.
… How long have I been out?
Quite a while. I took the scenic
(gazing around her)
Well, I’ve certainly enjoyed it.
He’s just hit a BUTTON on the dashboard.
EXT. ROAD – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
At the side of the road, a FALLEN TREE, surrounded by
underbrush, RISES HYDRAULICALLY INTO THE AIR — revealing a
SECRET ROAD invisible from the main thoroughfare.
Doing sixty, the BATMOBILE makes a hairpin turn. Seconds
later, the FALLEN TREE drops back magically into place.
INT. BATMOBILE – A MOMENT LATER – NIGHT
As they cruise down the hidden road, VICKI STUDIES BATMAN’S
FACE. KNOX’s words are very much on her mind.
I meant to ask you. Up on the roof
— how did you know my name?
BATMAN SMILES in response. VICKI smiles with him.
I’m serious. How did you know?
No reply. VICKI frowns, looks through the windshield, and
SEES — much to her horror — an enormous SHEER CLIFF WALL
LOOMING DEAD AHEAD.
Wide-eyed, she looks at BATMAN. Still smiling, he HITS THE
GAS — SPEEDING UP. She lets out a SCREAM.
ANGLE ON CLIFF WALL
One second to impact. Suddenly the cliff wall VANISHES
ALTOGETHER — revealing, in its place, the GAPING MOUTH OF
AN UNDERGROUND CAVERN.
The Batmobile zooms through. A moment later, the CLIFF WALL
— which is nothing more than a HOLOGRAPHIC PROJECTION —
winks back into existence, showing no trace of the cavern.
INT. BATCAVE – NIGHT
We all know this place. Although we haven’t had time to
acquire the familiar mementos — the dinosaur, the giant
penny — the BATCAVE is unmistakable. Vast banks of
blinking computers. A state-of-the-art crime lab. A fully-
equipped workshop for hammering out new toys. It’s the
biggest and best secret clubhouse a boy could wish for.
BATMAN climbs out of the car. He removes his cape, strips
off his bullet-riddled jersey and his body armor. There are
TWO BIG BRUISES on the center of his chest.
VICKI looks on as he goes to a rack along one wall and
picks out a fresh tunic — one of four. She wanders over to
examine the row of bat-suits — and the BODY ARMOR.
What is this stuff? Kevlar?
Better. It’s not on the market yet.
It doesn’t protect your head,
That’s why I wear a target on my
THE BATMAN takes obvious pleasure in showing her his
futuristic bachelor’s pad. His tone is jokey, almost
flirtatious. Behind the mask, he’s a lot looser, more
carefree, than some guys we could name…
… like Bruce Wayne.
VICKI is, to put it mildly, awed. She wanders around gaping
at millions of dollars’ worth of equipment.
How’d you find this place?
Stumbled across it when I was a boy.
VICKI’S HEAD jerks up abruptly. In the dim recesses
overhead, BATS ARE SCREAMING. She shivers.
They don’t come down here. They’re
afraid of the lights.
I don’t like bats. Not that kind.
They used to terrify me. But I
forced myself to keep coming back,
— I guess I became the thing I
feared the most. I’ll do your photos
He goes to a HIGH-SPEED PHOTO PROCESSING MACHINE — the
kind they have at Fotomat, only better — and loads the
VICKI wanders over to the edge of a DEEP BLACK PIT. She
kicks a pebble over. Long seconds pass; no sound.
She looks up. Suspended over the bottomless pit are a pair
of GYMNAST’S RINGS. This guy is dedicated.
Who pays for all this?
I have sponsors.
I’m running a check on the tainted
products. There is a pattern.
Beauty products. Personal hygiene.
No more makeup. — Looks like we’ll
all be showing our true faces now.
She looks straight at him. It’s almost a direct request.
But BATMAN is preoccupied with the matter at hand.
I’ve tracked all the records. Every
shipment, every warehouse, every
loading dock. Nothing. No
opportunities for tampering. Somehow
the Joker is supplying tainted
ingredients… at the source.
Wait. You can just tap into any
corporate database you want?
Oh, no. I let the FBI do that. Then
I tap into the FBI. — Your photos
He holds up a hand to VICKI: stand back. Then he checks out
the pictures — SMILING as he shuffles through the prints.
You could’ve killed him, you know.
You could have killed the Joker.
I had to save you, Vicki.
(turning to face her)
Here you go. I think I’ll let you
keep the whole set.
She looks at the photos. Joker. Joker. Joker. And four
shots of the BATMAN in action. He’s without his mask, but
there’s no clean angle on his face.
VICKI doesn’t quite know why, but her head is reeling.
Care for an autograph?
He takes one of the prints, scrawls on it, hands it to her
with the inscription: “TO VICKI. LOVE, B.”
Now he turns to shut down the photo machine. VICKI is
trembling. Her hand goes to her belt, finds the telephoto
roll concealed in her blouse. She steps up silently behind
him, reaches for his cowl. At the last second… she STOPS.
HE FREEZES IN PLACE for an indecisive moment. Then:
Are you talking to me?
He turns in seeming incomprehension. And shows her a
SMILE… the same crooked, curious, childlike smile she saw
on BRUCE’s face that morning when she caught him singing.
Maybe we’ve had enough for one
night. I’ll take you home.
Almost in a trance now, she lets him lead her to the
BATMOBILE. As she takes her seat he reaches into his
utility belt for another KNOCKOUT CAPSULE.
Do you want to do it this time?
VICKI doesn’t move. She looks at the capsule in her hand as
he walks over to the driver’s side and gets in.
Don’t be afraid. I’m here.
She takes one last look at the familiar SMILE beneath the
mask… then breaks the capsule and BREATHES DEEP.
FLAME ERUPTS from the rear of the Batmobile as the after-
burners kick in and BATMAN screeches off. A FIERY RED GLOW
fills the screen, BURNING OUT THE IMAGE as we
EXT. GOTHAM STREET – 1963 – NIGHT (DREAM SEQUENCE)
The red glow resolves itself into a DREAMLIKE STREET SCENE:
liquid, weightless figures moving in a tinted, soundless
cityscape as DISTANT, TINKLY CARNIVAL MUSIC plays
underneath. We’re outside a theatre watching first-nighters
emerge from the opening of a hit musical.
In the crowd we pick out THREE FIGURES: DR. THOMAS WAYNE,
his wife MARTHA, and — in THOMAS’s arms — their young son
BRUCE. BRUCE hasn’t made it through the show. He’s asleep,
head nestled peacefully against his father’s shoulder.
THOMAS rouses the boy gently, sets him down on the
sidewalk. BRUCE rubs the sleep from his eyes as THOMAS puts
an arm around his wife. Together they begin walking.
IN A SINGLE CUT the crowd has DISAPPEARED, and the WAYNES
are walking toward us up a deserted street. THOMAS and
MARTHA are laughing, making jokes, reaching down to tousle
BRUCE’s hair. Their FACES, as they draw closer, are FULL OF
JOY. And then, without warning —
A HANDGUN enters frame.
The WAYNES freeze in their tracks. THOMAS steps
protectively in front of his wife, reaches for his wallet,
begins unbuckling his watch. He won’t put up a fight.
MARTHA’s hand goes involuntarily to the PEARL NECKLACE at
The GUNMAN sees it, gestures for her to hand it over. But
MARTHA is paralyzed, afraid to move.
The GUNMAN steps past THOMAS, SNATCHES AT THE NECKLACE.
The instant his wife is threatened, THOMAS ATTACKS. The
pearl strand BREAKS in the GUNMAN’S HAND as he drops toward
A SILENT BURST OF FLAME erupts from the muzzle of the gun.
THOMAS CRUMPLES. MARTHA emits a PIERCING SHRIEK — a shriek
we cannot hear —
— a shriek cut short by a second burst of flame.
BRUCE stands paralyzed in shock. THE GUNMAN scoops a
handful of pearls off the sidewalk, reaches for MARTHA’s
purse, and rises slowly — his gun levelled directly at the
Almost catatonic, BRUCE stares down at the corpses of his
parents. At their hands, somehow intertwined. At the tiny
glinting pearls and the spreading pool of blood around
He looks up with a gaze so bleak, so petrifying… that the
GUNMAN turns and runs.
AND WE CUT. To an exact reproduction of the Pulitzer Prize-
winning photo… the cops bent over the bodies, the medics
with their stretchers, the boy BRUCE, his arms wrapped
tightly around the waist of OFFICER GORDON.
There’s only one difference. BRUCE’s head is turned away
from us. We can’t see his face.
And now a HAND enters the frame. Much like the GUNMAN’s
hand, but feminine, beckoning. BRUCE, hearing his name,
LOOKS UP; then, agonized, ashamed, he BURIES HIS FACE in
GORDON’s side. GORDON gestures angrily at the intruder.
But the hand keeps beckoning. And ultimately BRUCE turns.
Showing us the tear-stained face from the famous photo. A
face slack with horror. The horror of his parents’ death…
and more importantly, the horror that someone would dare to
violate this most private and terrible of moments.
At last we see what BRUCE sees: a WOMAN crouched on the
sidewalk nearby. The WOMAN is holding a camera. The WOMAN
is smiling prettily at BRUCE.
The WOMAN is VICKI VALE.
A FLASHBULB EXPLODES. FILLING. THE SCREEN with its blinding
white light, SCORCHING OUT THE IMAGE as a HARSH RINGING
SOUND cuts through the silence.
INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
VICKI AWAKENS. She sits up in bed, tremulous, distraught.
The bedside phone is ringing. She reaches for it, but her
hand freezes in midair. She knows who’s calling.
Three rings later, she manages to lift the receiver. To her
amazement, she finds she cannot speak. Finally, she hears a
VOICE at the other end of the line.
INT. BRUCE WAYNE’S STUDY – NIGHT
BRUCE at a big mahogany desk in his somber, book-lined
study. The room is dark but for a small table lamp.
Vicki, I’ve been thinking about you.
I know it’s late. I’m sorry. I —
Are you there?
INTERCUT BRUCE AND VICKI
Yes, Bruce — I’m here —
I’m sorry about the way things went
between us. I’d very much like to
see you again.
Well, Bruce… I don’t think… that
would be possible.
I wish you’d reconsider.
I didn’t stand you up today. The
museum was closed when I got there.
Her voice trails off. She’s profoundly shaken. She knows.
Vicki? Vi —
She returns the receiver to its cradle.
He hears the click. His lips part slightly. He hangs up and
sits there at the desk, staring straight ahead.
INT. VICKI’S BATHROOM – NIGHT
TOTAL DARKNESS. VICKI stands before the bathroom mirror.
She holds the OPENED ROLL OF TELEPHOTO SHOTS over the sink.
Then she strikes a match. IGNITES the film. Drops it into
the sink, and — with hollow eyes — WATCHES IT BURN.
INT. VICKI’S APARTMENT – LATER – NIGHT
It’s four in the morning. VICKI, wrapped in a bathrobe,
still shaky, pours her fifth cup of coffee. Sitting across
from her is a rumpled and stubbly ALEXANDER KNOX.
Vicki, it all fits. The stuff you’re
telling me — the car, the equipment
— somebody’s paying for it.
I just can’t —
The FBI. You know who’s got the FBI
computer contract? Wayne
(shaking his head)
The guy’s bats all right. He’s bat
shit crazy. This is gonna be the
most incredible —
But he’s not.
He’s not crazy.
KNOX slaps his forehead in frustration, sprawls back in his
Vicki. We got a wealthy millionaire
here… who dresses up like a bat. He
goes out at night and swings around
— in his cape — on a rope.
(throwing up his hands)
Okay. Maybe I’m crazy.
Allie… he wants to tell me.
That’s why he took me there. Because
he’s trying to tell me.
Gimme a break. If he wants to chat,
he can talk to his car.
The joke dies. VICKI stares dead ahead. KNOX looks on in
utter disbelief as it all comes into focus: he’s lost her
loyalty. VICKI is in over her head with BRUCE.
He has to tell someone. And I’m the
one. He’s trying to tell me.
KNOX, hurt in a way he doesn’t fully understand, gets up
and pulls on his coat. He stares at her coldly:
Well, when he does you know my
EXT. NEWSSTAND – DAY
CUSTOMERS are lining up to buy the early edition of the
Globe, which carries the full-page banner headline:
WAR OF THE FREAKS
Batman, Joker in Fluegelheim Shootout
In the midst of the hubbub a DELIVERY TRUCK cruises past,
dumping a bundle of AFTERNOON EDITIONS on the sidewalk.
“WAR OF THE FREAKS” has been relegated to the lower right-
hand corner of the page — supplanted by more pressing
STOCK MARKET CRASHES
Product Scare Drops Dow to 1100
Biggest One-Day Decline in History
INT. WAYNE FOUNDATION – DAY
BRUCE in a plush office suite downtown, on the phone to his
broker. Behind his desk is a big plate-glass window with a
fortieth-floor view of the financial district, so he can
wave at his fellow millionaires on their way down.
Don’t sell. It won’t last. We’ll
ride it out.
With exaggerated calm, he hangs up. He lifts the receiver
to dial another number, then hesitates and hangs up again.
INT. RECEPTION AREA – A MOMENT LATER – DAY
BRUCE, affecting an air of nonchalance, strolls past a
squad of SECRETARIES at desks. Phones are ringing off the
INT. HALLWAY – A MOMENT LATER – DAY
BRUCE ambles past a couple of COLLEAGUES. One of them is
shambling catatonically down the hall, bumping into walls.
The other is WAILING HYSTERICALLY.
… a nine-million-dollar bath!
BRUCE nods in sympathy as they pass. He stops outside the
door to a men’s room, looks around cautiously, then enters.
INT. MEN’S ROOM – A MOMENT LATER – DAY
A small anteroom outside the bathroom proper, with a bank
of PAY PHONES on one wall. BRUCE checks the bathroom to
make sure it’s empty, then digs out a quarter and dials a
number. He cups one hand confidentially over the receiver:
(the familiar rasp)
Vicki?… This is Batman. I thought
I’d call and see how you’re doing.
INT. VICKI’S APARTMENT – DAY
… I know it’s you, Bruce. I’m not
going to talk to you unless we can
INT. MEN’S ROOM – ON BRUCE
(a little smile)
Who’s this “Bruce”? Are you trying
to make me jealous?
I’m serious, Bruce. We have to —
At this very moment, a DAZED FINANCIER enters from behind.
BRUCE automatically claps a hand over the mouthpiece. His
face goes slack as he hangs up — with VICKI’S TINNY VOICE
still squeaking on the other end of the line.
INT. DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE – NIGHT
HARVEY DENT at a big desk, flanked by a number of
… We deal.
Harvey, please. I mean —
(shaking his head)
If your first official act as D.A.
is to cut a deal with a
Screw that, Ed. We’ve got a market
panic of national proportions.
— We’ve got 786 people dead.
I won’t sacrifice one more life for
the sake of appearing strong.
Harvey’s right. We’ve got the 300th
anniversary gala coming up. The
networks won’t even send in a crew.
Harvey, the police are working round
the clock, the feds are coming in.
This thing could break any minute
Tell him, Jim.
COMMISSIONER GORDON reaches into his vest pocket for a
cigar. He clips the end off, lights it, takes a long
drag… and STARES GLUMLY at the floor.
Cut the deal.
INT. CITY HALL – NIGHT
The MAYOR sits impatiently at a long table, flanked by JIM
GORDON, HARVEY DENT, and other prominent officials. The
room is packed with REPORTERS and TV NEWS CREWS.
… at City Hall, where the mayor is
waiting to open negotiations with
the clown-faced terrorist known as
the Joker. It is now eight minutes
past the appointed deadline, and
still no word from —
INT. GOTHAM GLOBE – CITY ROOM – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
REPORTERS cluster around a bank of four TV sets, each tuned
to a different station, all broadcasting from city Hall.
Look at ‘em sweat. Can’t wait for
the next Gallup Poll.
Hey Knox, cheer up. It ain’t the
Batman but it’s pretty choice.
KNOX, who has recently taken up smoking, responds with a
grunt. SUDDEN HUBBUB from the ONLOOKERS as a wave of VIDEO
NOISE wipes half the screen away.
INSERT – TELEVISION SCREEN
Split-screen. On one side is the MAYOR. On the other —
sitting in a director’s chair with a big yellow HAPPY-FACE
BACKDROP behind him — is the JOKER, grinning fiendishly.
Joker here. Can we talk?
The MAYOR fumbles for his prepared statement.
“While this administration remains
vehemently opposed to terrorism in
any form, we are prepared to
negotiate any reasonable demands
which will guarantee the safety of
Huh. Demands. Well, gents, this is
kinda embarrassing, but… I’m having
such a swell time, I just haven’t
thought any up.
He shrugs. STARTLED REACTIONS from the city officials.
But I’m a reasonable fella. If you
want to make me an offer…
Panicked, the MAYOR and co. go into a quick huddle.
All right, all right. Here’s the
deal. Total amnesty… and the sum of
ten million dollars, payable in —
Ten million dollars. Ten million
(flying off the handle)
Ten mi– YOU CHEAPSKATES! I’ve just
wiped out the stock market. I’ve
cost you billions!
I want ten million and one.
No, wait, please! We’ll talk. Just
tell us what you expect.
Goddammit, I expect to be treated
like an ARTIST. GET OFF MY SCREEN!!
MORE VIDEO STATIC sweeps across the screen, pushing the
MAYOR clean out of frame. The JOKER leers at the camera.
I might just think up some demands.
And I’m gonna talk to all my
friends, and see what they want,
too. And then maybe we’ll get
together — have a little party —
Happy Birthday, Gotham.
“The Shadow of Your Smile” comes up UNDERNEATH as the
JOKER’s transmission ends and the SCREEN GOES BLACK.
INT. GLOBE CITY ROOM – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
FRANTIC ACTIVITY as REPORTERS rush to their telephones and
typewriters. KNOX strolls slowly back to his desk. He’s
sitting on the biggest story of his career… and now, as
he realizes grimly, nobody knows or cares.
EXT. ANDREWS ISLAND – DAY
A tiny island in Gotham Harbor, homesite of LADY GOTHAM —
the huge, newly restored stone statue that welcomes
incoming ships. Her upper half is draped in a huge TARP
prior to the unveiling ceremony scheduled for this Sunday.
At the base of the statue, WORKMEN are assembling a big
wooden platform, complete with microphones, amplifiers and
spotlights. They raise a gigantic BANNER which reads:
“GOTHAM CITY — 300TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION.”
EXT. WAYNE MANOR – DAY
A TAXI pulls away from the wrought-iron gate at the
entrance to the estate. KNOX ambles up to a stone pillar,
glances up at a VIDEO CAMERA mounted over the gate, and
hits a BUZZER.
Alexander Knox. Gotham Globe.
Mr. Wayne is out for the day.
Actually, I wanted to talk to
Batman. Pass that on to Mr. Wayne,
KNOX starts cockily off down the driveway — then STOPS.
Behind him, the iron gates are SLIDING OPEN.
INT. BRUCE’S LIBRARY – TEN MINUTES LATER – DAY
KNOX, agitated, drums his fingers on the edge of a big
leather chair. BRUCE stands across from him.
I’ve been expecting to hear from
Well, that’s how it is, chum. She
tells me everything.
What is it you want?
Simple. You know the score. One
column — and I can bring all this
tumbling down. I can take you off
the streets once and for all.
(a shaky pause)
I want you to hang up the suit. And
I want you to stay away from Vicki.
I can’t do that. Not while the
Joker’s still out there.
Then stay away from Vicki. That’s
all I want, man. I just want your
BRUCE turns away, evading his gaze. KNOX fumbles in his
jacket for a cigarette.
See, I don’t know how it happened —
she’s a smart girl and you are an
extraordinarily screwed-up guy — but
she’s in love with you.
There’s something I don’t
understand. If you’ve got the story,
why haven’t you printed it?
Because I —
Because she’d never speak to me
KNOX is a bundle of nerves now. No longer cocky, he stubs
out his newly-lit cigarette — and begins to PLEAD OPENLY.
Come on, Bruce. Be straight. What
have you got to offer? You gonna
marry her? Batman and Mrs. Batman?
Gimme a break, huh? Who’s gonna be
BRUCE sinks into a chair, exhales sharply. He can’t even
put up an argument. The two of them sit there, not looking
at each other, as ALFRED appears in the doorway.
Do you want a drink?
Yeah, a drink. “Civilized.” Man-to-
Alfred, bring something for Mr.
Knox. — I’ll have one too.
EXT. GOTHAM PARK – LATE AFTERNOON
The weekend-long BIRTHDAY GALA is getting underway, and
Gotham Park is mobbed with CELEBRANTS enjoying a FREE
CONCERT. Onstage: FIVE ELVIS IMITATORS, dressed in
everything from black leather to white spangled jumpsuits,
representing the King in progressive stages of
INT. VICKI’S APARTMENT – DUSK
She’s on the sofa beside a disconsolate BRUCE.
… So we just pretend none of this
ever happened. We never met. We —
You’re going to get yourself killed,
Bruce. You know that, don’t you?
It wouldn’t matter much.
I don’t understand it. You can do so
much good for people. As Bruce
He sinks back on the sofa, closes his eyes. He’s had the
same argument with himself a thousand times.
Money makes money, Vicki. The
foundation runs itself. — I’m
extraneous to the process.
You’re one man. You can’t save
What it I could save a handful?
— What if I could save one?
VICKI is sick of watching BRUCE torment himself. She stands
up, almost crying now, and ACCUSES HIM DIRECTLY:
Bruce, at the rate you’re going, you
can’t even save yourself.
(staring right at her)
Sometimes… I don’t know if there’s
enough of me left to save.
VICKI is totally drained. She heads for the kitchen.
Oh, God. I’ve got to have some
coffee or something.
A moment’s breather as BRUCE sits on the sofa reflecting.
Then, suddenly, a KNOCK at the door.
VICKI reappears and moves to answer the door. BRUCE — on
his feet instantly — grabs her by the shoulder.
Are you expecting anyone?
She nods no. He goes to the peephole in the door.
THROUGH THE PEEPHOLE he sees a DELIVERY BOY.
Package tor Miss Vale.
Set it down by the door. On the
The DELIVERY BOY sets the package down and wanders off,
tipless, muttering something about “cheap shits.” After a
moment’s interval, BRUCE opens the door and bends to pick
up the mysterious package.
Another brown-paper parcel… ADDRESSED IN CRAYON.
He strides past her, handling the parcel gingerly, and sets
it down on the kitchen counter.
It’s just like the last time. He
sent me a present before he —
Very thoughtful. Don’t touch it.
As VICKI watches, he goes into the living-room and finds
his ALLIGATOR ATTACHE CASE. He opens the case, removes a
LAPTOP COMPUTER and a handful of business papers… then
lifts out a false bottom to reveal his UTILITY BELT.
Oh, Bruce. Don’t tell me you carry
it around with you.
I feel naked without it.
He takes out a tiny ULTRASOUND SCANNER — rather like a
stethoscope, with a miniature sonar display where the
earpieces should be — and runs it over the package.
Not a bomb. But it could be rigged.
Wait in the next room.
He takes a small GAS MASK from his belt, puts it on, then
SLITS THE WRAPPING with a steak knife.
Nothing. Cautiously, he pulls back the flaps. The box is
full of STYROFOAM POPCORN. BRUCE shoves a hand down into
the popcorn… and extracts a HUMAN EAR.
In the doorway behind him, VICKI lets out a squeal.
BRUCE grabs the box and dumps TWO DOZEN EARS on the
… They’re wax.
VICKI finds a hand-scrawled NOTE among the ears.
“It worked for Van Gogh. Let’s make
up. I’ll need you soon.” — Whew.
(lost in thought)
That does it. It’s going to be this
The KITCHEN PHONE rings. VICKI reaches for the receiver.
Her eyes go wide and she gestures him over.
INT. ALICIA HUNT’S APARTMENT – THAT MOMENT
ALICIA, in her porcelain mask, on the phone.
I thought you ought to know — he’s
coming for you…
ON BRUCE AND VICKI
Faces pressed together as they listen in. BRUCE covers the
mouthpiece with one hand.
Keep her on the line!
… Where are you calling from?
As VICKI struggles to keep the conversation alive, BRUCE
rushes into the living room and crouches beside his LAPTOP
COMPUTER. He plugs it in, flips open the screen, punches up
a telecommunications program.
A moment later VICKI enters from the kitchen.
I’m sorry, she hung up. What are —
Finding out where she is.
How can you do that if she’s already
off the line?
I’ve had an automatic tracer on this
number ever since he tracked you to
INT. BATCAVE – THAT MOMENT
MASSIVE COMPUTERS click and whir. At BRUCE’s prodding,
INFORMATION comes up on the monitor: a number, a name —
ALICIA HUNT — and an East Side address.
INT. VICKI’S APARTMENT – THAT MOMENT – EVENING
THE SAME INFORMATION scrolls across BRUCE’s screen.
Hang on. I have to leave a message.
HE FREEZES. He’s heard something in the hallway outside.
INT. HALLWAY – THAT MOMENT
ELEVATOR DOORS open on THREE THUGS. One of them uses a key
to lock the car in place on VICKI’s floor. The key is on
the end of a ring which contains dozens of other keys.
The KEY RING belongs to a DOORMAN, who’s riding in the
elevator with the JOKER’s trio of thugs. He’s dead, alas.
The THUGS dump him unceremoniously on the floor of the hall
and march toward VICKI’s apartment.
INT. VICKI’S APARTMENT – A MOMENT LATER
BRUCE is nowhere in sight. VICKI is at the sink washing
dishes, acting nonchalant. She pretends not to hear the
DOOR unlocking behind her.
She turns — and faces the THREE ADVANCING THUGS.
Hi, Miss Vale. Let’s not put up a
fight, huh? ‘Cause we’d hate to have
BRUCE steps into the doorway behind them. With a single
sweep of the arm, he flings THREE DRUG-TIPPED NINJA WHEELS
at the thugs, catching one in the neck, one in the
shoulder, one in the hip. They COLLAPSE in quick
There’s a garage in this building?
VICKI nods yes. BRUCE — all business now that he’s in his
element — disappears into VICKI’s bedroom.
She peeks around the corner. He reemerges carrying a BLACK
NYLON STOCKING, which he stuffs into his pocket. VICKI is
full of question, but he shushes her before she can speak.
I’ve got to take him out now.
He stoops down beside the THUGS and pulls the elevator key
off the key ring — which he then tosses to VICKI.
Pick an apartment and stay there.
And listen: call the police. Give
them that address. Every available
He starts out the door, stops just long enough to take a
dumbfounded VICKI in his arms for a kiss.
INT. UNDERGROUND GARAGE – A MOMENT LATER – EVENING
THE JOKER’S VAN, bearing the Monarch Playing Card logo. TWO
ARMED GOONS lean against the hood. They watch as the
elevator opens and an ordinary fellow in a suit steps out.
BRUCE pulls car keys from his pocket and strolls past the
thugs, head down, whistling. As he walks around the van,
his hand brushes against it — leaving a MAGNETIZED HOMING
DEVICE, almost too tiny to notice, stuck to the fender.
He walks another six paces, then stops short. He feels
around in all his pockets, making a big show of having
The GOONS eye him curiously as he strides back toward the
elevator. The doors are closing before it strikes them that
something is amiss.
Hey, boss, something’s up. The
INT. VAN – ON JOKER
Frustrated, snarling, ready to throw a tantrum.
DAMMIT! You can’t get good help
these days. — Let’s move out.
EXT. STREET – EVENING – OVERHEAD ANGLE
From high above the street we see the JOKER’S VAN pulling
out of VICKI’s building. We’re up on the roof, with BRUCE.
He hits a button on his utility belt, and a RED SIGNAL
LIGHT begins to flash.
BRUCE clamps the utility belt around his waist. Pulls the
BLACK NYLON STOCKING over his head. And suddenly, he’s
BOUNDING ACROSS THE ROOFTOPS in pursuit of the JOKER.
EXT. CROSS STREET – A MOMENT LATER – EVENING
The VAN turns right at the intersection. Nothing unusual.
But for some reason, PEDESTRIANS are pointing at the sky,
staring goggle-eyed at the rooftops.
Far above them, a MAN — dressed in a suit, a tie, a yellow
belt and a BLACK STOCKING MASK — is gliding across the
intersection on a ROPE.
INT. VAN – A MOMENT LATER
The VAN DRIVER guns through a red light. BRAKES SQUEAL on
either side. In the back of the van, the JOKER GROWLS:
Slow down, you maniac!
EXT. INTERSECTION – THAT MOMENT – EVENING
As the VAN ROARS PAST, a MOUNTED POLICEMAN shakes his fist.
His horse shies, rears back, turns in a circle. He’s just
about gotten the beast calmed down when a MAN IN A STOCKING
MASK plummets down on a rope from nowhere and lands
directly behind him on the horse’s back.
BRUCE elbows the startled COP. Now there’s only one rider.
The VAN turns left. BRUCE gallops straight ahead through
the intersection, hoping to cut the JOKER off.
INT. ALICIA HUNT’S APARTMENT – THAT MOMENT
ALICIA peers out through the window. On the street below,
UNMARKED CARS are converging.
INT. VAN – THAT MOMENT
The JOKER and co. are two blocks away from ALICIA’s. They
see a POLICE SWAT TEAM sealing off the building.
Boss! Jesus! They’ve —
They’ll be sorry. They’ll be
sorry. — GET OUT OF HERE!
EXT. SIDE STREET – THAT MOMENT – EVENING
BRUCE on horseback, charging past elegant old brownstones,
drawing stares from passersby. We get a quick look at the
FLASHING RED SIGNAL LIGHT on his belt.
EXT. RIVERVIEW DRIVE – THAT MOMENT – EVENING
A YELLOW VW BUG rips up the street at 70 mph.
INT. VOLKSWAGEN BUG – THAT MOMENT
We can’t see the driver. But we do see, on the seat
beside him, a VIDEO DISPLAY with a shifting grid map of the
city — and on it, a FLASHING SIGNAL blinking in perfect
sync with the one on BRUCE’s belt.
EXT. SIDE STREET – THAT MOMENT
BRUCE sees the VW bug rounding the corner and STREAKING
TOWARD HIM. He reins in the horse; it rears back on its
hind legs in a classic western pose; the BUG zooms past —
— and ALFRED THE BUTLER heaves out a BROWN LAUNDRY BUNDLE,
neatly tied in string.
BRUCE snatches it out of the air, gives ALFRED a quick
salute — and the BUG is gone.
INT. JOKER’S VAN – EVENING
The JOKER and his boys are stalled in heavy traffic at the
southern border of Gotham Park. POLICE BARRICADES are
everywhere; the surrounding streets have been roped off for
the birthday gala. HORNS HONK in anger.
MOVE! Can’t you do something??
It’s some kind of detour. They’re
backed up for blocks!
The JOKER snorts. He happens to glance into the side-view
mirror. What he sees there… CURDLES HIS BLOOD.
Oh my God. How does he do it… ?
EXT. STREET – A BLOCK AWAY – THAT MOMENT
THE BATMAN, IN FULL COSTUMED GLORY, GALLOPING UP THE STREET
ON HORSEBACK — passing stunned COPS, weaving in and around
the stalled autos, GAINING FAST on the JOKER.
INT. VAN – THAT MOMENT
THE JOKER climbing all over the DRIVER. He HITS THE GAS,
RUNS THE VAN UP ON THE SIDEWALK, and — at the first
opening he sees — CRASHES THROUGH A POLICE BARRICADE INTO
GOTHAM PARK ITSELF.
BATMAN is half a block behind him now. As he follows hot on
the JOKER’s heels, TWO HELICOPTERS swing into the park from
EXT. GOTHAM PARK – EVENING
CROWDS EVERYWHERE. On the central platform where we saw the
FREE CONCERT earlier, an EMCEE mans the microphone:
— the most spectacular, most death-
defying aerial stunt ever devised.
Tonight — for the first time
anywhere — THE FLYING GRAYSONS!
He points up at the two approaching HELICOPTERS, flying
side-by-side in tight formation some forty feet apart.
ANGLE ON HELICOPTERS
ONLOOKERS GASP as TWO TRAPEZES drop from the bellies of the
twin copters. Dangling from the trapezes are the FLYING
GRAYSONS — a husband-and-wife aerialist team in spangled
red-and-green suits. They begin swinging toward each other
in a plane perpendicular to the path of the copters.
EXT. GOTHAM PARK – GROUND LEVEL
PANIC DOWN BELOW as the JOKER’s van barrels through the
crowd, HORN BLARING. BATMAN is moving up swiftly.
On each wrist he’s wearing a MINIATURE ROCKET LAUNCHER. He
lets fly with TWO SALVOS. The first explodes harmlessly
against a tree. The second HITS THE REAR DOOR OF THE VAN —
driving it off the access road down into the brush, where
it nearly topples over sideways.
ANGLE ON FLYING GRAYSONS
GRAYSON has just completed a double somersault in midair,
landing in the capable hands of his wife. Now they’re
swinging again, building momentum as he prepares to make
the return leap back to his own trapeze.
INT. HELICOPTER – THAT MOMENT
In the bay of the helicopter stands a kid, fifteen,
compact, tough, and wiry: DICK GRAYSON. Like his parents,
he’s wearing a red-and-green suit. From the copter, he’s
got a perfect bird’s-eye view of the BATMAN-JOKER chase.
Ready to go, Dick?
What’s all the ruckus down there?
EXT. PARK – GROUND LEVEL – THAT MOMENT
The VAN bounces over rocks and bushes, narrowly avoiding
trees, with BATMAN in hot pursuit.
INT. VAN – THAT MOMENT
At the foot of a hill, the JOKER spies a truck. On its
side, in bright red letters, a WARNING: “DANGER –
FIREWORKS. FLAMMABLE LOAD.”
The JOKER reaches into the back for a HIGHWAY FLARE.
Head for the truck!
INT. HELICOPTER – THAT MOMENT
Hovering over the chase scene, DICK catches sight of the
JOKER. He GASPS IN SHOCK as a LIT FLARE flies from the back
of the VAN… directly into the FIREWORKS TRUCK.
EXT. PARK – GROUND LEVEL – A MOMENT LATER
THE BATMAN is thrown off his horse by the shock of a
massive EXPLOSION. All at once, THE SKY IS FULL of
BURSTING, INCANDESCENT COLORS!!
THE JOKER hangs out of the rear of the van, looking up, an
expression of PURE DELIGHT on his face.
I love fireworks!
ANGLE ON HELICOPTERS
LURCHING AND SPINNING IN THE SKY as FIREWORKS rocket past.
One of them takes a dead hit on the rotor. JOHN GRAYSON
falls to his death instantly; a moment later, the COPTER
plummets into the trees with a resounding, fiery CRASH.
MARY GRAYSON hangs from the second copter as it bobs and
weaves out of control. ONLOOKERS SCREAM IN TERROR.
EXT. STREET – THAT MOMENT
THE JOKER’S VAN bursts out of the park and speeds up a
wide, cordoned-off avenue. Overhead, THE SECOND COPTER
veers wildly, out of the park now, swinging dangerously
close to the tall buildings along the avenue.
INT. HELICOPTER – THAT MOMENT
DICK GRAYSON at the mouth of the bay, hanging on by a
canvas strap. He watches helplessly as his MOTHER swings
into a POWER LINE and drops three stories to the pavement.
His face is contorted with rage and pain. The PILOT
struggles desperately to right the copter, barely avoiding
a collision with the nearest building. And then — before
THE PILOT can make a move to stop him — DICK HAS JUMPED
OUT OF THE COPTER.
ANGLE ON DICK
With astonishing physical grace, he DIVES. GRABS A
FLAGPOLE. Executes a perfect somersault. FLIPS onto a
nearby fire escape. VAULTS to the next fire escape down.
And LEAPS OUT OVER THE STREET —
— MAKING A PERFECT TWO-POINT LANDING on his intended
target… THE ROOF OF THE JOKER’S VAN!!
INT. VAN – THAT MOMENT
THE JOKER hears a THUNK overhead. He casually lifts his gun
and BLOWS A HOLE THROUGH THE ROOF OF THE VAN.
EXT. ROOF OF VAN – MOVING – THAT MOMENT
The blast just misses DICK. He sprawls flat, YANKS at the
chrome luggage rack on the roof of the van, and BREAKS OFF
A FOUR-FOOT SHAFT OF METAL.
ANOTHER SHOT through the roof. DICK rolls forward, hoists
his chrome spear over the windshield.
INT. VAN – THAT MOMENT
SPLINTERED GLASS flies everywhere as DICK RAMS THE SHAFT
THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD. THE DRIVER dodges left and LOSES
CONTROL OF THE WHEEL.
EXT. ROOF OF VAN – MOVING – THAT MOMENT
The VAN careens wildly toward an OVERPASS. DICK rises up
into a crouch just in time to see a sign which reads
“DANGER — LOW CLEARANCE.” He’s about to get his head taken
ONE SECOND BEFORE IMPACT a BLACK-CAPED SHADOW swings across
the street and SCOOPS DICK OFF THE ROOF OF THE VAN.
EXT. STREET – NIGHT
BATMAN AND DICK tumble to the pavement. THE VAN knocks over
a fire hydrant and STOPS. DICK is already on his feet,
ready to CHARGE THE VAN, when BATMAN throws a powerful arm
around his waist.
LET ME GO! LET ME —
THE JOKER steps casually out of the van. TWO GOONS with
MACHINE GUNS emerge behind him. PEDESTRIANS SCREAM as the
GOONS level their guns at the CROWD.
YOU PIECE OF — YOU MOTHERF–
DICK is kicking, screaming, clawing, biting. BATMAN has his
hands full restraining the kid.
Like your boyfriend. He’s kinda
(glowering at BATMAN)
Hands off the belt.
Take me. Let the boy go.
Gosh, I could kill you, but then
you’d miss my party. And I’d be
real, real sad if you couldn’t make
What are you talking about?
Batman! Don’t you even recognize
your old pal Jack? After all…
You made me what I am today.
BATMAN cocks his head in puzzlement as DISTANT SIRENS
BLARE. The JOKER and his HOODS — guns still aimed at the
crowd — back away and race off on foot, vanishing into the
DICK BREAKS FREE and BOLTS AFTER THEM. BATMAN throws him to
the street with a flying tackle. The boy is hysterical.
HE KILLED MY PARENTS! HE KILLED
BATMAN flinches at the sound of the words. He reaches into
his belt and — mercifully — breaks a KNOCKOUT CAPSULE
under DICK’s nose.
INSERT – TELEVISION SCREEN
A taped report from the hallway outside ALICIA’s apartment.
COPS and FORENSICS MEN mill about in the b.g.
… on a tip attributed to the
mysterious Batman. The apartment was
booby-trapped with the Joker’s
laughing gas, leaving 17 policemen
Also found dead at the scene was
Alicia Hunt, 26, a former model —
CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal that the TV SCREEN is part of
BRUCE’S BANK OF MONITORS, deep in the Batcave. The other
screens show the various rooms of Wayne Manor, all empty.
We move now to the video display of a COMPUTER WORKSTATION,
showing TWO FACES side-by-side: a mug shot of JACK NAPIER
and a freeze-frame of the JOKER from one of his pirate
transmissions. A GRAPHICS PROGRAM abstracts the twin heads
into THREE-DIMENSIONAL, ROTATING TOPOLOGICAL GRIDS — and,
as we watch, the two spinning heads COLLIDE AND MERGE.
Except for the fearsome grin, they MESH PERFECTLY.
Yet another terminal: BRUCE’s database. The same phrase
flashes again and again, scrolling up the screen: ACE
CHEMICAL CO. ACE CHEMICAL CO. ACE CHEMICAL CO.
And, finally: BRUCE HIMSELF, slumped at a table, his head
in his hands. He’s realized, to his horror, that he is
responsible for the birth of the Joker. And frankly…
he would just as soon be dead.
INT. WAYNE MANOR – GUEST BEDROOM – DAY
DICK GRAYSON is sprawled on a huge four-poster bed,
unconscious, softly moaning. He COMES TO with a jolt.
Breaking into a sweat almost instantly, he looks at his
unfamiliar surroundings. A shadowy figure stands nearby.
… Where am I?
My name is Bruce Wayne. You’re
welcome to stay here as long as you
BRUCE steps out just as ALFRED enters with a breakfast
tray. DICK makes a puzzled face. What the hell is going on
INT. HALL OF JUSTICE – DAY
Beneath the statue of blind Justice, BRUCE and HARVEY DENT
march through the portico, engaged in a heated argument.
We’ll send a team into Ace the
moment the warrant comes through.
He’ll be ready when you do. Remember
what happened at the apartment.
All right, Bruce, what do you
I suggest a nice big bomb.
Good. A bomb. On a blind tip from
Bruce Wayne. — We do have laws.
Then for God’s sake, Harvey, cancel
the anniversary celebration.
We’ve told him we’ll deal. What
could he possibly have to gain by —
Do you still think the Joker cares
I don’t know. I’m just a D.A. I
don’t have access to all your
Mexican standoff. BRUCE stalks off fuming. DENT hangs back
a moment, then turns down the hall.
EXT. WAYNE MANOR – ESTABLISHING – DAY
The ornate, wrought-iron GATE which opens on the long
driveway snaking up toward Wayne Manor. It’s bolted shut.
INT. WAYNE MANOR – DAY
A glass-enclosed room which houses an enormous HEATED
INDOOR SWIMMING POOL. DICK GRAYSON does a couple of laps,
then climbs out and towels himself off.
He looks out at the estate: tennis courts, a riding stable
in the distance. He’s not happy. All this opulence could
drive a guy stark staring nuts in short order.
INT. GUEST BEDROOM – DAY
An OPEN SUITCASE on the bed. DICK fingers a gold ashtray
bearing the figure of Winged Victory — then shrugs and
tosses it into the suitcase on top of his gymnast’s
costume. When he looks up he sees BRUCE in the doorway
… Your butler wouldn’t gimme a ride
so I figured I’d hoof it.
Sorry. I can’t let you leave.
You can’t keep me here, man. That’s
If I let you leave, you’ll do the
same thing again. You’ll go after
the Joker… and you’ll wind up dead.
(turning to go)
Hey, man. Look at you. You’re
rich. You got everything you want.
How do you know what’s in my mind?
BRUCE turns to face him. The little hellion’s eyes are
filled with raw, burning hatred. BRUCE knows the feeling.
I don’t care what’s in your mind.
BRUCE reaches for a key in his pocket. Without warning, the
kid RUSHES him, throwing a rock-solid punch. With blinding
speed, BRUCE sidesteps him, parries the blow, and winds up
spinning DICK around — INTO A WALL.
DICK is stunned, but he has to laugh. This rich boy has a
move or two. BRUCE stands there, silently challenging him.
A second later, the kid is airborne — upping the ante with
a scissor-kick aimed squarely at BRUCE’s gut. In a blur of
motion BRUCE checks the kick, swings an arm into DICK’s
chest, and sends the boy sprawling flat on his back.
INT. WAYNE MANOR – KITCHEN – THAT MOMENT
ALFRED, in his apron, fixing a tray of snacks. He looks up
curiously at the ceiling. From the sound of it, a battle
royal is shaping up in the guest bedroom.
INT. GUEST BEDROOM – THAT MOMENT
DICK’S BODY — head down, feet up — flies through the air.
He SMASHES INTO a closet door and slumps to the carpet.
Shaken now, and sweating profusely, he looks up at BRUCE…
who stands calmly over him, adjusting his necktie.
A long, tense moment passes between them. Then:
… You’re him.
No reply from BRUCE. Their gazes lock. And suddenly…
DICK and BRUCE look around. The puny, mustachioed butler
stands in the doorway, feet spread in a Dirty Harry stance,
a .44 MAGNUM trained on DICK.
It’s all right, Alfred. Everything’s
… Very good, sir.
ALFRED relaxes, musters his dignity, and turns to go.
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – AFTERNOON
CANNED APPLAUSE as THE JOKER marches out onto a makeshift
STAGE to give his QUARTERLY REPORT to the stockholders.
Thankya, thankya. Ladies and germs,
I’m here to tell you… we have had
one helluva quarter.
He waves a pointer at three SALES CHARTS on portable
Panic’s up. Terror’s up. And fear —
fear’s gone straight through the
roof. You guys should be proud —
‘cause I couldn’ta done it without
each and every one of you!
MORE CANNED APPLAUSE. The JOKER takes a bow.
I feel it’s time to expand the
Joker line. I was askin’ myself,
what are the products that every
consumer wants most? And that’s when
it hit me: the water you drink, and
the air you breathe! Huh? Bingo!
(strutting across stage)
Now, some of you have your eye on
the profit margin. You’re thinkin’:
this boy’s too ambitious. You
don’t approve. In fact, some of you
have been talking about turning me
in to the cops. Or knocking me off.
He pauses. GLARES OUT at the audience. NO RESPONSE.
But that’s okay. I understand. Not
everyone shares my eye for beauty.
And just to show there’s no hard
feelings, I’m throwin’ a little
shindig tonight — and you’re all
THE CANNED APPLAUSE goes right off the meter.
How ‘bout it? IS EVERYBODY HAPPY??
REVERSE ANGLE – THE AUDIENCE
Familiar faces all around — the major players of the
Gotham underworld. But despite the enormous twisted grins,
no one here is laughing or applauding. No one here is
living. The JOKER is playing to a roomful of smiling
One of them topples out of his chair and lands with a plop.
Look at that, folks. We got ‘em
rolling in the aisles!
INT. BRUCE’S BEDROOM – TOWARD DUSK
VICKI lies in BRUCE’s bed, under the covers, propped up on
the pillows. BRUCE is in his robe over by the window,
looking out at his estate.
All this apparatus, Vicki… this
house, and the money, and the
power… it was never mine. It was
something I inherited. Bruce Wayne
was something I inherited.
All I ever hoped for was someone who
could see through Bruce — who could
see me — and not be frightened.
I’m not frightened of you, Bruce.
I’m frightened for you.
In all these years… why couldn’t I
see how it would turn out?
He turns toward her. His face is ravaged with guilt. Now
she’s truly afraid.
I’m responsible, Vicki. If it wasn’t
for me, there’d be no Joker.
INT. BATCAVE – EVENING
TIGHT ON a tiny electronic device: two cylindrical steel
casings bracketed together, topped by a DIGITAL TIMER.
BRUCE makes a few adjustments with a jeweler’s screwdriver,
hits a trigger, and watches the TIMER tick off seconds. 30.
29. 28. At 25 seconds, BRUCE kills the
countdown and CLAMPS THE DEVICE into an empty packet on his
He stands up wearily. He’s in his bat-suit, minus the cape
and cowl. Behind him, hanging back discreetly in the
shadows, is his loyal butler ALFRED.
Where’s the boy?
Upstairs. He’s quite docile.
I know that feeling. It won’t last.
BRUCE takes a moment to survey the Batcave as ALFRED looks
He’s a long way ahead of where I was
at his age.
I want you to treat him just as if
he were me. Promise.
He’ll be taken care of financially.
Beyond that… you know what to do.
Don’t let all this go to waste.
Their eyes lock for a long moment. ALFRED is unable to
speak. Finally BRUCE turns and starts slowly up the long
circular stairway which leads from the Batcave to Wayne
Manor. On the third step he pauses:
Alfred? — Thank you.
As BRUCE disappears up the stairs, a shaken ALFRED steadies
himself against a lab table, fighting back tears.
INT. BRUCE’S BEDROOM – EVENING
BRUCE draws the curtains, sets an alarm clock. The current
time is 7:09 PM.
He sits cross-legged on the floor, slumps forward slightly,
and closes his eyes. He inhales, exhales, taking deep,
regular breaths. His muscles relax. Ten seconds later,
BRUCE has plunged into DEEP SLEEP.
Time passes. The clock shows 7:19, 7:32.
At 7:44 we TRACK IN on BRUCE’s unconscious face, drawing
closer and closer until HIS EYELIDS FILL THE FRAME,
twitching with the irregular movement characteristic of
R.E.M. sleep. Without warning his EYES SNAP OPEN.
HOLD ON BRUCE’S GAZE — grim, alert, determined — as the
clock hits 7:45. An ALARM SOUNDS, BREAKING THE SILENCE with
its grating electronic WHINE.
EXT. ACE CHEMICAL – AERIAL SHOT – NIGHT
The trademark ace on the illuminated sign. From our vantage
point high above, we can see THREE CARGO TRUCKS rolling out
the main gates. A half-mile away, THE BATMOBILE cruises up
the waterfront, approaching soundlessly, its headlights
off… preparing for a final showdown with the JOKER’s
INT. ACE CHEMICAL – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
The JOKER’S MINIONS, working late, readying a huge
shipment. At an open loading bay, we find a DISPATCHER with
a clipboard, directing MORE UNMARKED TRUCKS in the lot
Boston, Philly: loading bay one.
EXT. ACE CHEMICAL – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
The BATMOBILE stops short of the main gate. ENGINES ROAR
and the supercar ACCELERATES, SMASHING THROUGH THE GATE and
taking half the chain-link fence with it.
In the guard’s booth, ARMED GOONS pull guns as the
BATMOBILE streaks across the parking lot and LAUNCHES A
ROCKET at the corrugated metal door which opens on the
factory floor. A THUNDEROUS EXPLOSION tears a gaping hole
in the door.
INT. ACE CHEMICAL – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
The BATMOBILE cruises through the flaming wreckage and
SKIDS TO A HALT on the refinery floor. The JOKER’S MEN are
everywhere. They take one look at the BATMOBILE, PANIC, and
PELT THE CAR with a barrage of MACHINE-GUN FIRE.
CRACKS begin to spread across the Batmobile’s plexiglass
dome. Within moments, the windshield SHATTERS — and
INT. BATMOBILE – THAT MOMENT
BULLETS rip through the upholstered passenger seats. It
doesn’t matter. The car is empty. No one’s driving.
TRACK IN on the computer console — where a familiar tinny
voice calmly repeats its pre-programmed command:
A beat. Then: BLAM.
INT. POLICE CAR – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
A CONVOY approaches Ace Chemical — GORDON’s team preparing
to raid the plant. Inside each car: SPECIAL UNIT COPS
dressed in asbestos suits, gas masks in their laps.
All at once, a BRILLIANT RED GLARE suffuses the sky.
EXT. ACE CHEMICAL – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
THE JOKER’S MEN running for their lives across the parking
lot, KNOCKED FLAT by the force of SIX DEAFENING EXPLOSIONS.
For a few seconds everything is flame and fury. And then —
All that’s left of Ace Chemical is a pile of charred rubble
and a PILLAR OF THICK BLACK SMOKE, spiraling up to the sky.
EXT. ANDREWS ISLAND – NIGHT
DAZZLING FIREWORKS explode in the night sky over Gotham
Harbor. SEARCHLIGHTS sweep across the mammoth, welcoming
stone figure of LADY GOTHAM — still wrapped in canvas,
ready to be unveiled.
THOUSANDS OF RUBBERNECKERS jam every square inch of
Andrew’s Island. COPS ON HORSEBACK speak into walkie-
talkies as they patrol the edges of the crowd. Across the
Harbor, Ace Chemical is going up in flames — but as far as
the crowd can tell, with all the noise and excitement, it’s
just another part of the celebration.
At the base of the statue, GOVERNOR GILROY speaks into a
As Governor of this great state, it
is now my honor to unveil for you a
very special lady — a lady who
stands tall for life and liberty —
America’s favorite lady… LADY
The CROWD begins to APPLAUD RHYTHMICALLY, chanting ‘LADY
GOTHAM! LADY GOTHAM!’ It’s like Times Square on New Year’s
Eve, waiting for the big ball to drop. GILROY hoists a pair
of oversized scissors and cuts a ceremonial ribbon:
hydraulic CRANES kick into gear: CABLES DROP FREE, and the
canvas cover draws back from LADY GOTHAM’s face…
… to a chorus of SCREAMS from the crowd. LADY GOTHAM IS
WEARING A GRISLY JOKER GRIN!!!
Suddenly — in the midst of the hysteria — THE
SEARCHLIGHTS DIE. The STAGE LIGHTS BLINK OUT. ANDREWS
ISLAND IS PLUNGED INTO DARKNESS. Instantaneous mass panic:
the GOVERNOR shouts to his aides as ONLOOKERS mob the
stage. COPS are knocked from their horses as the CROWD
stampedes. PANDEMONIUM RULES.
And across the harbor… block by block… GOTHAM CITY IS
EXT. GOTHAM SKIES – AERIAL SHOTS – NIGHT
QUICK SHOTS of FOUR HELICOPTERS hovering at different
points over the blacked-out city. LOUDSPEAKERS blare out a
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Gotham. Here’s a
little token of my esteem. HAVE
FUN… ‘cause THE PARTY’S ON ME!
INSANE LAUGHTER echoes. CARGO BAYS open wide. The JOKER’S
HELICOPTERS begin LEAFLETING THE CITY… with MONEY!
SERIES OF SHOTS
ANARCHY IN GOTHAM as high-denomination bills flutter to
earth, blanketing the streets. HOPELESSLY OUTMANNED COPS
try to maintain order as SOLID CITIZENS trample one another
in a paroxysm of ANIMAL GREED. BUILDINGS EMPTY as APARTMENT
DWELLERS race outside. ALL TRAFFIC STOPS as DRIVERS climb
out of their cars to SNATCH MONEY FROM THE AIR.
DARKNESS EVERYWHERE. In the pitch-black subways, TERRIFIED
COMMUTERS are seized by claustrophobia. GLASS SHATTERS,
DOORS BREAK OPEN as they claw their way out of stalled
subway cars and SPILL OUT onto the tracks.
On the streets above, GOTHAM’S CRIMINAL ELEMENT is having a
field day. The cops are preoccupied, utterly helpless
against the first waves of RIOTING AND LOOTING.
FLAMES ERUPT. PUNKS race down the street carrying fur coats
and color TV’s. LOOTERS break through the display window of
an electronics store, and climb in among the goodies…
only to FLY OUT, two seconds later, on the wrong end of a
SHOTGUN BLAST. THE JOKER’S DREAM IS COMING TRUE.
EXT. STREET – NIGHT
In a crouch on the pavement, snapping photos of the wild
street action, is VICKI — fearless, professional, doing
her job. A battered FORD ESCORT cruises up behind her.
VICKI sees KNOX, climbs into the passenger seat. He’s
wearing a big smile. They’re jazzed, oblivious to danger.
Couldn’t turn down the job, huh? A
girl could get hurt this way.
Yeah. Deja vu.
What do you say? Let’s head for the
In the distance, above the tops of the buildings, BEACONS
are sweeping the sky.
EXT. BROAD AVENUE – NIGHT
Stationed all up and down Gotham’s widest thoroughfare are
huge portable SEARCHLIGHTS — mounted on trucks with
portable generators, unaffected by the power outage.
On the money-covered sidewalks, TOTAL BEDLAM. But on the
street itself, a bizarre PARADE is taking place, just as if
nothing’s wrong. Rumbling up the avenue at two-block
intervals, moored to floats, are DOZENS OF ENORMOUS
BALLOONS in the shapes of cartoon characters and historical
figures. It’s like a hellish Thanksgiving’s day procession.
The LEAD-OFF BALLOON is a gigantic, grotesque CLOWN —
smiling ghoulishly, dressed in white pierrot frills. We
TILT DOWN to the FLOAT BENEATH IT…
… and there, atop a mountain of roses where the prom
queen should be, sits the JOKER — smiling, waving daintily
at the rioters and looters, presiding over the carnage like
some demented parade marshal.
EXT. LAKE – NIGHT
A desolate rural setting. UTTER SILENCE. Moonlight glints
on placid waters. We track in on a small sign bearing the
legend: “GOTHAM CITY RESERVOIR.”
Far off in the distance, HEADLIGHTS ARE APPROACHING.
EXT. ACCESS ROAD – AERIAL SHOT – MOVING – NIGHT
The THREE CARGO TRUCKS from Ace Chemical roll ominously
TOWARD THE RESERVOIR on their deadly mission. And then — A
STREAKING BLACK SHADOW ENTERS FRAME, overtaking the TRUCKS.
THE BATWING! A phenomenal ULTRALIGHT AIRCRAFT, swift,
sleek, jet-black and infinitely maneuverable, it SOARS
EASILY past the trucks, swooping low just long enough to
release a BOMB over a concrete bridge.
EXT. ACCESS ROAD – A MOMENT LATER
The BRIDGE EXPLODES, blocking the trucks’ path to the
reservoir. PUZZLED DRIVERS climb out of their cabs and
wonder what to do next.
They spot the BATWING in the distance — banking, doing a
sharp 180. For a moment they gape in disbelief. Then they
HEAD FOR THE TREES as the BATWING DIVES DIRECTLY AT THE
TRUCKS, firing THREE ARMOR-PIERCING SHELLS… and
destroying the JOKER’s lethal cargo once and for all.
ANGLE ON BATMAN
in the cockpit, his jaw set, not even looking back at the
wreckage as his plane screams off toward the Gotham
EXT. GOTHAM STREET – NIGHT
FRIGHTENED PEDESTRIANS race past OVERTURNED CARS. A PARADE
FLOAT, run aground on the sidewalk, begins to BURN.
Above it, a damaged BALLOON — the cartoon character
UNDERDOG — is losing helium, warping and buckling in on
itself, sinking down gently toward the flames. Down the
street, KNOX’S FORD ESCORT is coming up fast.
INT. FORD – MOVING – THAT MOMENT
VICKI snapping photos out the window as UNDERDOG drifts
downward. FLAMES lick up at his belly — and the cartoon
So much for Underdog.
THEN — as they drive past — A SECOND EXPLOSION. And all
at once the STREET IS FULL OF DEADLY GREENISH GAS!
ALLIE!! THE WINDOWS!!
EXT. STREET – A MOMENT LATER – NIGHT
The Ford Escort, windows up, swerves out of a THICK
SPREADING CLOUD of GREEN LAUGHING GAS — threatening to
engulf the entire block!
INT. FORD – MOVING – THAT MOMENT
VICKI stares back at the green cloud. Turns. And sees, up
the street, THE JOKER’S PROCESSION: BALLOONS BY THE DOZEN!
Oh my God. Compressor tanks. He’s
got the balloons rigged with
Jesus Christ, the guy’s a genius.
INT. BATWING – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
BATMAN, at the controls, gliding over the Gotham streets.
He looks down, sees a BILLOWING HAZE of DENSE GREEN FUMES.
At its periphery: LOOTERS reeling and staggering, falling
to the pavement, LAUGHING THEMSELVES TO DEATH.
INT. FORD – MOVING – THAT MOMENT
VICKI staring through the windshield. Overhead, an AIRCRAFT
streaks past… an aircraft with SCALLOPED BLACK BAT WINGS.
LOOK! IT’S BRUCE!!
Allie — the balloons. We’ve got to
find some way to tell him!
They speed up the street toward the PARADE. SPOTLIGHTS
SHINE. Suddenly KNOX’s eyes bug out. He SLAMS ON THE BRAKES
and SKIDS TO A HALT.
EXT. AVENUE – A SECOND LATER – NIGHT
Before VICKI can speak, KNOX has grabbed a tire iron from
the back of the car and RACED OUT ONTO THE STREET. He
flings the TIRE IRON through a glass STOREFRONT.
It’s a COSTUME SHOP. In the window, MANNEQUINS dressed in
party costumes: Frankenstein. Ronald Reagan. And, that
current popular sensation… THE BATMAN.
As VICKI catches up with him, KNOX drags the Batman dummy
out of the store window. RIPS OFF ITS BLACK CAPE. And
DASHES MANIACALLY UP THE SIDEWALK.
Waving the cape, he VAULTS onto the back of a SPOTLIGHT
TRUCK. VICKI’s face goes slack. Now she gets it.
GIMME A HAND UP HERE!
VICKI climbs aboard. They drape the cape over the face of
the spotlight. Then they put their shoulders to the swivel
assembly — tilting the spotlight — AIMING THE BEAM…
… DIRECTLY AT THE JOKER’S WHITE CLOWN BALLOON!!!
INT. BATWING – THAT MOMENT
BATMAN stares at the CLOWN BALLOON dead ahead. On its
massive distended belly… a BURNING YELLOW OVAL. And in
the center of the oval… THE BLACK SILHOUETTE OF A BAT.
BATMAN’S MOUTH drops open. He understands.
EXT. AVENUE – ON JOKER’S FLOAT – THAT MOMENT
THE JOKER reaches into a big sack and begins distributing
MINIATURE GAS MASKS, like party favors, to his cronies on
the float. Then he pulls out a radio-operated REMOTE
CONTROL DEVICE and points it up at the CLOWN BALLOON.
He hits a button. The CLOWN begins to INFLATE. Its joints
bulge. Its FACE SWELLS UP as the COMPRESSOR TANK concealed
inside it releases its noxious contents. The JOKER is
BEAMING, a look of PURE UNALLOYED JOY on his face…
… when his PARADE FLOAT BLOWS TO SMITHEREENS BENEATH HIM!
The JOKER and his men CARTWHEEL THROUGH THE AIR and TUMBLE
TO THE ASPHALT as THE BATWING WHIPS PAST OVERHEAD, soaring
through the stone canyons of Gotham at a 90-degree angle to
ANGLE ON CLOWN BALLOON
as it rises, rises, swelling to grotesque proportions in
the starless night. The tallest buildings are far below it
now. Finally it BURSTS — and the deadly GAS inside it
disperses harmlessly in the wind.
EXT. AVENUE – THAT MOMENT
THE JOKER on the edge of a tantrum as he digs amid the
rubble of his float for the remote device. At last he finds
it; aims it up at the other balloons in the procession;
hits a button repeatedly…
… and HOWLS IN FRUSTRATION. Nothing’s happening. The
damned thing is broken. He heaves it to the street in a
fit of pique.
A SCREAMING COMES ACROSS THE SKY as the BATWING swings back
for another pass, BUZZING the JOKER at an altitude of
twenty feet. SIZZLING LASER FIRE sweeps the street.
CABLES SNAP and BALLOONS DRIFT UPWARD as BATMAN’S LASERS
sever their moorings. The JOKER can only look on
helplessly, in stunned disbelief.
As he’s watching his plans evaporate… HIS EYES FALL ON
THE MAKESHIFT BAT-SIGNAL.
There. There. — GET ‘EM!!
ANGLE ON SPOTLIGHT TRUCK
A SPRAY OF MACHINE-GUN FIRE shatters the Bat-signal. KNOX
throws VICKI to the street, ducks down behind the
spotlight, and tosses her his CAR KEYS.
GET THE CAR!
The JOKER’S GOONS are coming up fast as VICKI reaches the
Ford, starts it, and comes ROARING UP toward KNOX. He jumps
off the truck as VICKI twists the wheel, lays a track of
rubber, and noses the car back in the opposite direction.
GUNFIRE as KNOX jumps inside and they PEEL OUT.
INT. FORD ESCORT – MOVING – A MOMENT LATER
KNOX’s breathing is ragged, but he breaks out in HYSTERICAL
LAUGHTER nonetheless. The two of them are totally
exhilarated. They can’t believe what they’ve just done.
Yeah. Yeah. Little winded. DID YOU
God yes, Allie. I’ve gotta say —
that was the ballsiest move I
Holy shit. Holy —
He GURGLES. AN ENORMOUS GOUT OF BLOOD bubbles up between
his lips — and BURSTS.
His hand goes to his stomach — and comes away bloody. He
looks down in genuine bewilderment.
That quickly, he’s dead. VICKI lets out an awful wail and
slams on the brakes. She sits there in the middle of the
street, POUNDING THE WHEEL, TEARS pouring down her face.
EXT. GOTHAM HARBOR – NIGHT
In the sky, CARTOON CHARACTERS drift lazily out to sea.
EXT. BROAD AVENUE – NIGHT
THE JOKER and his boys running like hell down the avenue,
past the parade. They reach the last of the floats — the
one bringing up the rear — then CLIMB ABOARD and disappear
through a CONCEALED HATCH.
WOOD SPLINTERS as the top of the float begins to ROTATE
mysteriously. The muzzle of a CANNON breaks through the
parade decorations. And one moment later…
A ROSE-COVERED TANK is rumbling up Broad Avenue!
INT. BATWING – THAT MOMENT
BATMAN sweeps past overhead. He sees the tank, unleashes a
burst of LASER FIRE. It bounces harmlessly off the tank,
leaves a trail of SMOKING ASPHALT on the street. He swoops
low overhead, hits a button on his control panel as he
streaks OVER THE TANK and into firing range.
INT. TANK – THAT MOMENT
THE JOKER and his MEN clap hands to their ears as an EAR-
SPLITTING ULTRASONIC SHRIEK reverberates in the tank. The
JOKER screams out commands, to no avail. No one can hear
him. He falls on the controls, begins hitting buttons.
EXT. STREET – THAT MOMENT
The TANK TURRET swings wildly. A HEAT-SEEKING MISSILE rips
through the night, narrowly missing the BATWING… and
BLOWING A HOLE in the side of a skyscraper.
INT. BATWING – THAT MOMENT
THE BLAST all but knocks the BATWING out of the sky. BATMAN
stabilizes the plane, climbs for the clouds. When he’s
clear of the buildings, he grits his teeth and rolls out.
He’s coming back for more!
INT. TANK – THAT MOMENT
The JOKER stares at a tiny BLIP on his radar screen.
He’ll be back… he’ll be back!!
EXT. BROAD AVENUE – ON BATWING
The black ultralight hurtles down Broad Avenue at full
speed, on a suicide mission. MISSILES streak past on either
side. MACHINE GUN FIRE peppers the dome of the cockpit. The
REAR STABILIZER WING takes a direct hit… and BURSTS INTO
The BATWING, trailing thick black smoke, bears down on the
tank like a kamikaze plane. BOMB BAYS OPEN as BATMAN dumps
the last of his high explosives DIRECTLY INTO THE PATH OF
THE TANK. The BATWING takes a hard bounce off the top of
the tank and CRASHES TO THE STREET.
And suddenly a GAPING CHASM opens underneath the tank as
the bombs go off — and BROAD AVENUE BEGINS TO SPLIT WIDE
INT. SUBWAY TUNNEL – THAT MOMENT
BROKEN CONCRETE SLABS rain down on a SUBWAY CAR stalled in
the tunnel DIRECTLY BENEATH BROAD AVENUE. SUPPORT GIRDERS
groan and GIVE WAY as the STREET ITSELF COLLAPSES — and
the front end of the TANK drops through, CRUSHING THE
SUBWAY TRAIN BENEATH IT!
EXT. BROAD AVENUE – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
The rear end of the TANK projects out through the rubble. A
hatch pops open. The JOKER crawls out through the smoke and
pulls himself up to the street.
He’s down to his last three GOONS. He points to the
BATWING: bent, broken, WEDGED ON ITS SIDE in the asphalt
SEAM running up Broad Avenue — half in, half out of the
You do him. I’m outta here.
The GOONS look on in dismay as the JOKER scurries off. They
sidestep blackened debris and move up cautiously on the
Batwing. Through the cockpit dome they can see BATMAN…
inert in his harness, beaten to a pulp, all but dead.
A JET OF FLAME drives them back momentarily. They reach for
their guns, move in warily…
The frightened GOONS turn in unison. An abrupt flurry of
motion — feet and fists flying — quick flashes of red and
— and THREE GOONS lie paralyzed on the street. The only
one left standing is a fifteen-year-old boy garbed in a
red-and-green aerialist’s uniform… DICK GRAYSON.
INT. BATWING – THAT MOMENT
BATMAN slumps at the controls. Beneath him, asphalt SHIFTS
and BUCKLES. The Batwing lurches to the right, drops a foot
or two into the tunnel. Metal braces collapse and the
plexiglass dome of the cockpit SHATTERS LIKE AN EGGSHELL.
TONGUES OF FIRE lick at his face. He’s helpless, pinned in
place. He manages to look up — and SEES, through a dream-
like haze, A HAND extended toward him:
HEY! COME ON!
And suddenly DICK is clambering down into the flaming
wreckage. He gets an arm around BATMAN’s chest and with an
extraordinary effort HAULS HIM OUT OF THE BATWING.
EXT. STREET – A MOMENT LATER – NIGHT
They stagger across the ruptured street. BATMAN grimaces in
agony. His right leg — shattered — is like rubber beneath
him. His ribs are crushed. He’s barely conscious.
Now we’re even, huh? Even up.
How did you…
I hitched. MOVE IT!
DICK drags BATMAN to safety as the Batwing ERUPTS INTO
FLAME behind them.
The Joker. Is he –?
Forget it. Relax.
… He’s mine now.
DICK snatches an abandoned .38 off the pavement.
THE BATMAN tries to pull himself erect. The pain is
unendurable. His body has finally failed him.
He collapses on the pavement, powerless to intervene, as
DICK races off with murder in his eyes.
EXT. GOTHAM CATHEDRAL – NIGHT
A BELLTOWER’s jagged spire, jutting up into the night sky,
piercing the moon. Down at street level, the JOKER is
scrambling up the marble steps at the entrance to the old
abandoned cathedral. He pulls a WALKIE-TALKIE off his belt.
Gotham cathedral. Come and get me.
HEAVY PANELED DOORS groan on tired hinges as THE JOKER
forces his way inside. A beat. Then DICK GRAYSON appears,
hot on his trail, sprinting up the steps two at a time.
INT. CATHEDRAL – A MOMENT LATER – NIGHT
Ancient and creepy. A huge pipe organ, shattered stained
glass windows, row after row of mahogany pews… all
forgotten, covered with dust and cobwebs. The JOKER wanders
about, staring at the statuary, the rusted icons.
DICK enters silently behind him. He kneels behind a rear
pew, brings up the gun, and squeezes off THREE QUICK SHOTS
at the JOKER. The JOKER dives, takes cover, and RETURNS
DICK’S FIRE. Then: silence.
In a crouch, groping his way along the wall, THE JOKER
finds what he wants: a small door opening on a wooden
stairway, leading to the belltower. He ducks inside and
DICK’S GUN drops with a thud. His hand slips from the back
of the pew. In the second before he slumps to the floor,
unconscious, he sees a curious sight: a TINY BLACK NINJA
WHEEL, imbedded in the flesh of his leg.
Behind him — framed in the arched doorway — A RAGGED
BLACK GHOST begins his final unholy march down the center
aisle of the old cathedral.
INT. CATHEDRAL – BELLTOWER – NIGHT
A tiny stone chamber, 8’x8′, open on four sides to the
wind. The enormous church bell has long since been removed.
The JOKER stands in an archway, gazing at the gargoyles on
the roof below. He hits a button on the walkie-talkie:
I’m in the belltower. Don’t land.
INT. HELICOPTER – MOVING – NIGHT
A PILOT replies through his radio headset.
E.T.A. two minutes. Hang on.
The PILOT swings the copter right in a wide, swooping arc.
INT. STAIRWAY TO BELLTOWER – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
BATMAN. Broken, beaten, his right leg useless, he hauls
himself up the steps one at a time. He should be dead.
Dried blood cakes his face, his chest.
Dizzy, exhausted, his body strained to the limit, he slumps
against a wall to steady himself, then reaches into his
utility belt for a painkiller — and forces the capsule
back onto his dry, swollen tongue.
Quaking all over, he tries to draw himself erect… and
TOPPLES OVER, landing with his full weight on the rotten
wood of the belltower stairs.
THE STAIRWAY COLLAPSES, turning to splinters beneath him.
And suddenly BATMAN finds himself DANGLING PRECARIOUSLY IN
MIDAIR, hanging by one hand to an upper step.
It would be so much easier to let go. He looks down at the
fragments of the shattered stairway, STILL FALLING,
vanishing into the dark depths of the stairwell.
Then he looks up. At the trapdoor. A mere six feet away.
His TEETH CLENCH in a monstrous grimace. AND WITH AN
INHUMAN EFFORT, HE HOISTS HIMSELF UP ONTO THE UPPER STEPS.
For a full five seconds he’s blind with pain. A RAGGED
WOODEN SHAFT is buried in his right shoulder. Twitching,
trembling, he reaches up and YANKS IT OUT with his last
ounce of strength.
The trapdoor is a foot above his head. It could be a mile.
BATMAN finally realizes he’s not going to make it.
He reaches down and rips open a Velcro seal on his utility
belt, revealing the strange TIMER DEVICE we saw him making
earlier. Before he can activate it his hand falls limply at
THE BATMAN is out like a light.
INT. BELLTOWER – THAT MOMENT – NIGHT
The JOKER glances casually down at the trapdoor, wondering
what all the noise is about. He draws his gun, moves
cautiously to the trapdoor, and lifts it a few inches…
just enough to see the unconscious form on the stairs.
No reply. The JOKER stands there and lets out a little
snicker. He looks out through the archway, sees no sign of
his rescue copter. Then — a look of curious amusement on
his face — he steps down THROUGH THE TRAPDOOR and LUGS
BATMAN up into the belltower.
He props BATMAN up against a wall. Still no sign of life.
The JOKER crouches beside him and — almost tenderly —
pats his face.
THE BATMAN’s lips part. But he’s too weak to speak.
I thought you’d be more comfortable
here in the belfry.
(chuckling to himself)
Before I kill you I’d like to see
who you are. Would that be okay?
BATMAN emits a tiny low moan. The JOKER takes it as a yes
and reaches over to undo his cowl.
BRUCE WAYNE stares up with dulled, sightless eyes. The
JOKER reaches into his pocket for a purple handkerchief,
moistens it, dabs at the caked blood on BRUCE’s face.
Oh my, aren’t we pretty.
I know you! You’re the rich boy!!
The JOKER is enormously tickled by this discovery. He claps
his hands together in sheer glee.
My goodness, what in the world made
you do it? It must’ve been
something pretty terrible!
He’s practically dancing now. He’s made a friend.
You know, we should’ve sat down and
had us a little heart-to-heart. I
bet we would have got on famously.
Well now, you’re not exactly the
picture of mental health, are you.
Bruce, we’re both murderers. Think
how many people you’ve killed by
letting me live.
A SPOTLIGHT cuts through the night sky. The JOKER hears his
helicopter approaching in the distance.
BRUCE reaches down furtively. Finds the timer on his
utility belt. FLICKS A SWITCH… and the countdown begins.
The JOKER pulls a straight razor from his pocket and opens
I have to do it now, Bruce, but it
won’t even hurt. Now relax. The
bat’s in his belfry, all’s right
with the world…
He has the razor almost up to BRUCE’s throat when BRUCE
reaches out and GRABS HIS LAPELS in a death grip. The JOKER
is momentarily amused by this seeming display of affection.
Then he hears ticking.
Looks down at the flashing digital display on BRUCE’s belt.
0:26 seconds. 0:25 seconds.
He SHRIEKS HORRIFICALLY and DROPS THE RAZOR.
BRUCE won’t let go of him. Finally he manages to lurch
convulsively away, sprawling on the floor of the belfry.
BRUCE is wearing a great big Joker smile.
IT’S NOT FUNNY!!!
No… sense… of humor?
The JOKER reaches out for the ticking time bomb. Thinks
better of it and retracts his shaking hand.
He can see the copter approaching now, slicing through the
clouds. He screams, waves a flashlight in the air: his
signal beacon. 0:20 and counting.
The JOKER scans the belltower frantically. His eyes fall on
the trapdoor. He races over, flings it open, starts down
the stairs in a frenzy.
There are no stairs. They’ve collapsed. 0:16 and
Screaming insanely, the JOKER vaults through the door and
makes for the open stone archway. The copter is directly
overhead now. A rope ladder drops from its belly.
EXT. BELLTOWER – THAT MOMENT
The helicopter descends, its whirling blades stirring up a
windstorm on the roof of the old abandoned cathedral. DEAD
LEAVES rise and swirl in the churning air.
The JOKER makes a futile grab at the rope ladder, almost
losing his purchase on the archway parapet. He gestures
wildly for the copter to make another pass. 0:12 to go.
A maelstrom of swirling leaves. And now, among the leaves
— roused from their resting place in the rotten rafters of
the old cathedral —
— A HORDE OF SQUEALING, CHITTERING BATS!! Filling the air
like a black cloud, HUNDREDS OF THEM, taking flight in
blind uncomprehending fury —
The JOKER leaps into empty space, grabs hold of the ladder,
cackles in mad triumph —
— AND SUDDENLY THE BELLTOWER IS FULL OF BATS. A SCREECHING
SWARM, HIDEOUS, BLACK-WINGED — SWOOPING THROUGH THE
ARCHWAYS DIRECTLY AT THE JOKER —
— WHO SCREAMS IN TERROR — LETS GO OF THE LADDER —
— and plunges into the night.
TIGHT ON BATMAN. Six seconds remain. There is still time if
he makes his choice now.
Surrounded by the flapping of leathery wings, his body
working on pure adrenalin, he unbuckles the belt. Lurches
into position. Heaves it out into the darkness.
It snags on the bottom rung of the dangling rope ladder.
INT. HELICOPTER – POV CO-PILOT
The CO-PILOT is hanging out one side of the copter, just
enough to see what’s going on.
PULL UP!! PULL —
EXT. CHURCHYARD – OVERHEAD ANGLE
It’s as if time has stopped. The world has grown suddenly
silent. We’re looking down at the JOKER, whose body lies
splayed and broken on the flagstone surface of the
churchyard. Slowly, elegantly — we have all the time in
the world, now — we DRIFT DOWNWARD, closer, until his FACE
FILLS THE SCREEN, the familiar chilling grin still intact.
Sad clown, A-one crazy boy, staring aimlessly at the stars.
Suddenly his face is bathed in a brilliant gasoline GLOW.
Looking up he sees a beautiful display of fireworks,
bursting and burning, spirals of color snaking through the
sky as the helicopter explodes in eerie silence.
REVERSE ANGLE – THE JOKER’S FACE
It’s all so lovely. The JOKER’s expression is happy, almost
childlike, as he gazes up at this private show. Gradually,
though, the bright colors fade; and the JOKER’s face begins
to relax, the twisted grin dissolving at last as darkness
FADE THROUGH TO:
INT. TELEVISION STUDIO – NIGHT
AN ANCHORWOMAN delivering an oncamera EDITORIAL.
As the details of the Joker’s
heinous plan become known, a city’s
gratitude goes out to the mysterious
Batman. His whereabouts remain
unknown, but Batman — if you’re
alive — if you’re listening —
EXT. CEMETERY – DAY
VICKI at a fresh gravesite. She places a FLORAL ARRANGEMENT
in the urn at the head of the grave; stands back to examine
it; then bends once more to reposition the drooping
I loved you too.
As soon as the words come out, she begins to CRY. Then she
gets hold of herself; rises; turns up her collar; and goes.
The headstone reads: “ALEXANDER KNOX, 1956-1987.”
INT. WAYNE MANOR – STUDY – DAY
ALFRED, in his apron, on the phone.
No, Mr. Wayne is in Thailand. I’m
afraid he’s quite unreachable.
INT. WAYNE MANOR – DAY
The glass-enclosed room which houses BRUCE’s Olympic-sized
SWIMMING POOL. Outside, snow is falling.
In the pool, on an inflatable rubber raft, is BRUCE WAYNE.
Beside him, waist-deep is the water, is VICKI — helping
him rehabilitate his leg and shoulder.
I don’t know why I’m doing this. I
half wish you’d stay a cripple.
Ohhhh… you don’t mean that.
(grasping for words)
I don’t, but… I do. It’s just… I
love you, Bruce. I —
(taking her hand)
Vicki. Do you love half of me? Or
all of me?
A hard question for VICKI to answer. She thinks it over for
several beats, then SMILES… SLOWLY, SADLY.
I guess you did it, didn’t you. You
For a moment he stares deeply into her eyes. Then he pulls
her over, takes her in a tight embrace.
I don’t know how to explain this so
it makes sense… but you saved
INT. BATCAVE – THAT MOMENT – DAY
DICK GRAYSON stands at the brink of the bottomless pit and
looks up at the GYMNAST’S RINGS suspended overhead. He sets
his jaw and then — with only a moment’s hesitation —
LEAPS INTO THE VOID.
His hands find the rings. He launches himself HIGH INTO THE
AIR and does a spectacular TRIPLE SOMERSAULT, catching the
rings on his way down.
Exhilarated, he makes a perfect landing on the edge of the
pit. 10-point-0. A SMILE OF PLEASURE comes to his lips.
EXT. ROOFTOP – GOTHAM CITY – NIGHT
A dark, moonless night. LIGHTS OF THE CITY sparkle in the
distance. CAMERA DRIFTS across the rooftop, settling
finally on the broad back of a BLACK-CAPED FIGURE poised at
the edge of the roof, gazing down on the streets below.
A SECOND FIGURE enters frame. We get a brief glimpse of his
RED-AND-GREEN SUIT in the seconds before our EYES TURN
SKYWARD… to the SEARING YELLOW SPOTLIGHT sweeping through
the clouds. In its center: the VAST BLACK SILHOUETTE of a
BAT, wings extended, DOMINATING the night sky.
We HOLD on the GLARING BAT-SIGNAL as BATMAN and ROBIN
vanish over the edge of the roof, plunging down toward new
adventures. MUSIC BUILDS and we
FADE OUT.[amazonjs asin=”B00005HC6I” locale=”JP” title=”バットマン DVD”]