Thursday, November 28, 2002

Romeo and Juliet Screenplay
By Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce
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Cast
ROMEO: Leonardo DiCaprio
JULIET: Claire Danes
BENVOLIO: Dash Mihok
MERCUTIO: Harold Perrineau
TYBALT: John Leguizamo
BALTHASAR: Jesse Bradford
GREGORY: Zak Orth
SAMPSON: Jamie Kennedy
ABRA: Vincent Laresca
FATHER LAURENCE: Pete Postlethwaite
NURSE: Miriam Margoyles
GLORIA CAPULET: Diane Venora
FULGENCIO CAPULET: Paul Sorvino
CAPTAIN PRINCE: Vondie Curtis-Hall
TED MONTAGUE: Brian Dennehy
CAROLINE MONTAGUE: Christina Pickles
DAVE PARIS: Paul Rudd
UNDERTAKER: Farnesio de Bernal
PHARMACIST: M. Emmet Walsh
ANCHORWOMAN: Edwina Moore
EXPRESS CLERK: Catalina Botello
RICH RANCHIDIS: Michael Corbett
SUSAN SANTANDIAGO: Harriet Harris
PETER: Pedro Altamirano
LITTLE BOY'S MOTHER: Margarita Wynne
LITTLE BOY WITH TOY GUN: Rodrigo Escandon
ATTRACTIVE GIRL: Lupita Ochoa
NUN: Gloria Silver
GAS STATION ATTENDANT: German Fabregat
EXPRESS DELIVERY MAN: Jorge Abraham
MONTAGUE LIMO DRIVER: Harry Porter
ALTER BOY: Ricardo Barona
ALTER BOY: Fausto Barona
SACRISTAN: John Sterlini
HUGE BOUNCER: Mario Cimarro
MIDDLE-AGED OCCUPANT: Carolyn Valero
MIDDLE-AGED OCCUPANT: Paco Morayta


Abbreviations
In the script, directions for the camera are written in capital letters. Some terms are abbreviated; below is a guide to the abbreviations:

E.C.U. = extreme close-up
EXT. = exterior
INT. = interior
O.S. = off screen
P.O.V. = point of view
V.O. = voice-over


Screenplay
EXT. HIGHWAY. AFTERNOON.
A ribbon of freeway stretching into a blue and pink late afternoon sky. A huge dark sedan, windows tinted gold, powers directly for us.
CUT TO: A heavy, low-slung pickup truck traveling toward the sedan.
WIDE SHOT: Sky, freeway, the cars closing.
TIGHT ON: The sedan.
TIGHT ON: The pickup.
Like thunderous, jousting opponents, the cars pass in a deafening cacophony of noise.


INT. TRUCK. AFTERNOON.
TIGHT ON: The fat face of GREGORY, yelling at the disappearing sedan.

GREGORY
A dog of the house of Capulet moves me!

He and the pimply-faced front-seat passenger, SAMPSON, explode with laughter.
The red-haired driver, BENVOLIO, keeps his eyes on the road.


INT. TV STUDIO. DAY.
An ANCHORWOMAN; behind her, the faces of two middle-aged men. The caption reads, "Montague; Capulet. The feud continues."
She speaks to the camera.

ANCHORWOMAN
Two households, both alike in dignity.
(In fair Verona, where we lay our scene)
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.


EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.
The truck is in the busy driveway of a large gas station, being filled with gas. The surrounding walls are painted with murals of blue sky and palm trees.


INT. TRUCK. AFTERNOON.
Inside the truck, Gregory and Sampson are boasting outrageously. The driver's seat is empty.

GREGORY
I will take the wall of any man or maid of Capulets.


EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.
SAMPSON
I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men I will be civil with the maids, I will cut off their heads.

Gregory; mock outrage.

GREGORY
The heads of the maids?

Sampson leers lecherously at a minibus full of Catholic schoolgirls next to them.

SAMPSON
Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads - Take it in what sense thou wilt.
GREGORY
They must take it in sense that feel it.

Gregory and Sampson pump up the song on the sound system while gyrating crudely at the girls.

GREGORY/SAMPSON
(singing)
I am a pretty piece of flesh!
I am a pretty piece of flesh!
Me, they shall feel while I am able to stand;
I am a pretty piece of flesh!


EXT. GAS STATION - MINIMART. AFTERNOON.
The teacher nun from the minibus returns to the vehicle.
GREGORY'S P.O.V.: The girls' minibus pulls away, revealing . . . a tough-looking Latino boy, ABRA, leaning against the huge, dark sedan.


INT. TRUCK. AFTERNOON.
Gregory suddenly stops gyrating.
CLOSE ON:

SAMPSON
Here comes the house of Capulet.


EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.
Abra stares coldly towards the boys. His goateed side-kick PETRUCHIO takes notice.


INT. TRUCK. AFTERNOON.
CLOSE ON: Gregory; eyes locked to the Capulets. With fake bravado he pulls back his shirt to reveal a handgun. He nudges Sampson.

GREGORY
Quarrel!
I will back thee.

CUT TO: Abra. He unfolds his arms to reveal an even more ferocious holstered gun.
CLOSE ON: Sampson. Trying to quell his rising panic. He nervously unbuttons his shirt to clear his side arm.

SAMPSON
Let us take the law of our sides. Let them begin.

SUDDENLY: BANG! Gregory and Sampson jump.
WHIP PAN: It was the gas station attendant slamming the hood.
Gregory and Sampson are mortally embarrassed.


EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.
Abra; with a snort of contempt, he turns towards the car:


INT. TRUCK. AFTERNOON.
Sampson, furious, tries to save face.

SAMPSON
I will bite my thumb at them, which is a disgrace to them if they bear it.

Sampson quickly bites his thumb toward Abra's back as he gets into the sedan.


INT. SEDAN. AFTERNOON.
Abra's eyes flick to the rearview mirror; Sampson biting his thumb.


EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.
Suddenly, a bloodcurdling screech of tires. The sedan, rubber burning, reverses full speed towards Sampson and Gregory. The Capulet car shudders to a halt inches from the truck, blocking its path.


INT. SEDAN. AFTERNOON.
CLOSE ON: A scurry of limbs scrabbling across seats and reaching for door handles.


EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.
Abra hauls Sampson from the truck. Gregory leaps out, Petruchio covers him. Abra slams Sampson against the side of the vehicle, then, goading him for his gun, screams:

ABRA
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

Sampson's shaking hand hovers, ready to draw.

SAMPSON
I do bite my thumb, sir.

CUT TO: Attendants and customers run for cover.


INT. MINIMART. AFTERNOON.
A packet of bullets hits the counter. A hand with a cat ring picks them up.
TILT DOWN: To shiny, black boots decorated with cat-shaped spurs. A LITTLE BOY with a toy gun runs past. He stares through the glass doors towards the confrontation outside. The LITTLE BOY'S MOTHER has not heard the disturbance through the thick glass of the minimart windows.


EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.
CLOSE ON: Abra, a hysterical rage; he shrieks:

ABRA
Do you bite you thumb at us, sir?
SAMPSON
(sweating, murmurs to Gregory)
Is the law on our side if I say "Ay"?
GREGORY
No.

CLOSE ON: Sampson, still sweating.

SAMPSON
No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I do bite my thumb, sir!

CUT TO: Gregory; a ridiculous inquiry.

GREGORY
Do you quarrel, sir?

CUT TO: Abra; a dangerous smile.

ABRA
Quarrel, sir, no, sir.

CLOSE ON: Sampson; unconvincing bravado...

SAMPSON
But if you do, sir, I am for you. I serve as good a man as you.

CLOSE ON: Abra; a lethal question.

ABRA
No better?

CLOSE ON: Sampson, trapped.

SAMPSON
Well, sir...

WE HEAR: The sound of a toilet flushing.
CUT TO: Benvolio leaving the gas station wash room.


EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.
CUT TO: Gregory. He whispers maniacally.

GREGORY
Here comes our kinsman. Say "better"!

E.C.U.: Sampson; he screams:

SAMPSON
YES SIR, BETTER!

DISTORTED OUT-OF-CONTROL CLOSE-UP:
Abra shrieks:

ABRA
You lie. DRAW IF YOU BE MEN!

CUT TO: Benvolio. Terror-stricken, he sees the boys.
LIGHTNING CUT: Four hands reaching for guns.
SLAM ZOOM: To Benvolio; weapon outstretched, he screams:

BENVOLIO
Part, fools! You know not what you do!

MUSIC STING; A SUPER MARCO SLAM ZOOM along the barrel of Benvolio's gun; the engraved gun type reads:
"Sword 9mm series S"
CUT TO: Benvolio. He screams in desperation:

BENVOLIO
Put up your swords!

CUT TO: Gregory,
CUT TO: Sampson,
CUT TO: Abra,
CUT TO: Petruchio.
Frozen, still, weapons undrawn.
CUT TO: Benvolio. A moment, then, from behind, the unmistakable sound of a match striking.
CLOSE UP: The match. It falls to the boot.
E.C.U.: The black cat-spurred boots.
CRANE UP: To find the dark, cold eyes and feline smile of the wearer of the boots. His name is TYBALT; he lights the cigarette clenched between his teeth while holding his gun outstretched in the other hand.

TYBALT
What, art thou drawn amoung these heartless hinds?
Turn thee Benvolio and look upon thy death.
BENVOLIO
(desperate)
I do but keep the peace: Put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.

Tybalt; a mocking smile.

TYBALT
What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and . . .

E.C.U.: Tybalt's finger squeezing the trigger . . . Suddenly we hear firing from Tybalt's blind side. Tybalt redirects his weapon, cracking off a single shot at the surprise attacker.


EXT./INT. MINIMART. AFTERNOON.
It is the five-year-old at the minimart door. The bullet shatters the glass of the minimart.
CUT TO: THE HYSTERICAL MOTHER, screaming as she throws herself on the child.


EXT. GAS STATION. AFTERNOON.
Tybalt; a lightning turn, his second gun out.
CUT TO: Benvolio. He brings his gun around on Tybalt.
Tybalt fires, blowing Benvolio's gun out of his hand.
CUT TO: Gregory firing at Tybalt. Tybalt combat-rolls.
CUT TO: Sampson firing toward Abra while simultaneously kicking over the truck.
CUT TO: The truck squealing away from the gas pump.
The gas hose bursts, spewing gas everywhere.
CUT TO: Gregory firing at Tybalt from the moving truck.
CUT TO: The windows blowing out of the car Tybalt is using for cover. He springs to his feet from the combat-roll, simultaneously mounting his long-distance sight.
CUT TO: Abra and Petruchio's sedan screeching off after the truck.
CUT TO: Tybalt. Ignoring the gunfire, he slowly draws the high-powered sight to eye level, launching a shot that rips through Gregory's arm.
CUT TO: Gregory. He falls in his seat, screaming with pain. The truck races away, Capulet's sedan pursuing.
CUT TO: Benvolio picking up his gun; he runs onto the roadway.
Cars squeal to a stop. Benvolio fires back at Tybalt over a halted car.
Taking evasive action, Tybalt hits the ground. Benvolio turns and runs up the road.
CLOSE ON: Tybalt. He throws his spent cigarette to the ground and runs off in pursuit of Benvolio.
TIGHT ON: The discarded cigarette igniting a lick of gasoline.
CUT TO: Benvolio, running full tilt through the cars.
CUT TO: The flame traveling fast.
CUT TO: Tybalt, running full tilt against the cars.
CUT TO: The flame wooshing toward the gasoline-soaked gas station as people and staff run in all directions.
AN ALMIGHTY ORCHESTRAL CHORD. The gas station ignites into flame. We push toward the painted walls of blue sky and palm trees as they are consumed in flame.
CRANE UP: Over the burning walls through the smoke to discover . . .


EXT. VERONA BEACH - MATTE SHOT. AFTERNOON.
STATIC SUPER WIDE SHOT: As the flame and smoke clear, we see in the distance towering over the smoggy city an enormous statue of Christ flanked by two glass towers. One is neon-crowned CAPULET, the other, MONTAGUE.



On the horizon a squadron of choppers flies toward us.


EXT. AERIAL SHOTS. AFTERNOON.
CUT: From inside an armed chopper to another flying past Capulet Mansion (Chapultepec).

VOICE-OVER
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.


EXT. HIGH ANGLE WIDE. NEAR JESUS STATUE. AFTERNOON.
SECOND OPTICAL: From behind the towers. The words "Montague" and "Capulet" in reverse crown the frame. Jesus looks away from us. In the distance, we see fires burning all over the town and, on the horizon, the faint outline of a beach.

VOICE-OVER (cont.)
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows doth with their death bury their parents' strife.

The choppers thunder through frame.


EXT. RIOT AREA.EVENING.
TIGHT ON: Tybalt, screaming demonically, gun outstretched. A standoff over the hood of a car.
The MIDDLE-AGED OCCUPANT screams manically.
CUT TO: Thundering close above them, a heavily armed gunship. A command booms from the chopper's public address system.

CAPTAIN PRINCE
(over PA)
Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground.

CUT BACK: To the standoff.
WHIP PAN: VERONA BEACH POLICE patrol cars swerve to a halt. Cops leap out, rifles aimed.
WHIP PAN: To another patrol car sliding in.


INT. CHOPPER. EVENING.
CLOSE ON: The steely grey eyes of CAPTAIN PRINCE, chief of the Verona Beach Police Department. He repeats the command.

CAPTAIN PRINCE
Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground!

CUT TO: Benvolio. He quickly looks to the guns pointed behind and above; Tybalt does the same.
TIGHT ON: Tybalt, considering.
TIGHT ON: Benvolio, his rage subsiding.
Like a surreal ballet, the boys mirror each other precisely; they slowly back away and, with perfect synchronicity, turn to the chopper and raise their guns into the air. As they do, we pull up into the chopper's P.O.V. The wider we get, the more devestation we see. Riot police subduing looters, cars burning, shop windows smashed.
TIGHT ON: Tybalt's gun.
TIGHT ON: Benvolio's gun.
CUT TO: The guns falling serenely through space. ONE touches down, then the other, then . . .


INT.CAPTAIN PRINCE'S PRECINCT OFFICE. NIGHT.
CLOSE ON: A golden badge. It reads: VERONA BEACH POLICE. IN GOD WE TRUST.
SLAM OUT TO: Captain Prince's grim features.

CAPTAIN PRINCE
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets.
If you ever disturb our streets again,
Your lives will pay the forfeit of the peace.

TIGHT ON: The ruddy, bulldog face of TED MONTAGUE.
TIGHT ON: The dark, dangerous eyes of FULGENCIO CAPULET.
PULL BACK: To reveal Tybalt and Benvolio handcuffed to POLICE OFFICERS. Montague's and Capulet's LAWYERS stand at the back of the room.