BLACK. A low KEENING which becomes SCREECHING that BUILDS
and BUILDS until-
RED flickers through black as the screen BURSTS into life:
Clouds of REELING BATS silhouetted against a blood red sky,
bolting away from camera, MASSING in the sky... FORMING a
density the shape of an enormous BAT-LIKE SYMBOL.
More BATS mass, swamping the symbol, DARKENING the screen to-
BLACK. Distant children's LAUGHTER which comes closer as-
SUNLIGHT flickers through black. Sunlight through trees
running through a SUMMER GARDEN. A BOY. Chasing a GIRL.
The Boy reaches a Victorian GREENHOUSE. Stands in the doorway
catching his breath. This is Bruce Wayne, aged 8, and we
EXT. GARDENS, WAYNE MANOR -- DAY
YOUNG BRUCE peers down rows of plants on long trestle tables.
No response. Sunlight streams through wrought iron and glass.
Young Bruce advances, cautious. He is GRABBED from behind
and pulled under a table by a young girl, aged 10. This is
RACHEL. She puts her hand over Young Bruce's mouth.
FEMALE VOICE (O.S.)
Rachel?! Master Bruce?!
A woman STRIDES past the windows: MRS.DODSON, Rachel's mother,
housekeeper of Wayne Manor.
What're you doing?!
Kidnapping you. They'' pay a lot
for precious Brucie.
Young Bruce stares, wide-eyed. She SMILES. He relaxes.
Young Bruce BOLTS out from under the trestle table - SPRINTS
for the back door. Rachel TEARS after him.
EXT. DISUSED KITCHEN GARDEN, WAYNE MANOR -- CONTINUOUS
Young Bruce crouches in the mouth of a DISUSED WELL, peering
over the stone wall at Rachel, who searches for him.
Bruce, I can see you.
Young Bruce suppresses a giggle- the BOARDS beneath him GIVE
WAY and he PLUMMETS into...
INT. OLD WELL -- CONTINUOUS
Young Bruce DROPS thirty feet- LANDS painfully on the rubble
strewn bottom of the shaft.
EXT. KITCHEN GARDEN, WAYNE MANOR -- CONTINUOUS
Rachel, hearing, RUNS to the well.
INT. OLD WELL -- CONTINUOUS
Young Bruce lifts his head from damp dirt and rocks, groaning.
EXT. KITCHEN GARDEN, WAYNE MANOR -- CONTINUOUS
Rachel SPRINTS towards the house.
MOM!! MISTER ALFRED!!
INT. OLD WELL -- CONTINUOUS
Young Bruce, in shock, groans. He hears SQUEALING- freezes,
PEERING into the DARKNESS of an OPENING between rocks...
BATS EXPLODE from the darkness, filling the air. HE SCREAMSCURLS
against their flapping, squawking, fluttering BLACKNESS.
A JOLT: OLDER GREEN EYES FLICK OPEN, WAKING... in DARKNESS.
Filthy, sweating darkness... and we are in-
INT. BHUTANESE JAIL -- MORNING
The yes belong to a bearded, weathered, young man's face.
BRUCE WAYNE aged 28. An OLD ASIAN MAN sits staring at him.
Worse than this?
Their cell is a tin box. Light seeps through gaps in the
roof. Shouts ECHO. Wayne shrugs.
EXT. PRISON COURTYARD -- LATER
Wayne and the Old Man line up for gruel. PRISONERS are
scattered in small groups. All eyes on Wayne.
They are going to fight you.
I fought them yesterday.
They will fight you every day. Until
they kill you.
Wayne holds out his plate. Watches gruel dribbled onto it.
Can't they kill me before breakfast?
Wayne turns from the table. His path is blocked by an
ENORMOUS MAN, backed by six aggressive prisoners. The
Enormous Man SMASHES his plate away.
You are in hell, little man...
He PUNCHES Wayne- Wayne goes down hard.
ENORMOUS MAN (CONT'D)
...and I am the devil.
Wayne picks himself up. Dust himself off.
You're not the devil...
The Enormous Man SWINGS again- Wayne CATCHES his fist, KICKS
the big man's knee out an, as he goes down, BOOTS his face.
Six Prisoners RUSH Wayne all at once... Wayne fights
skillfully and hard, FLIPPING one prisoner into another,
KICKING as his arms are held... several Prisoners hit the
deck before- GUNFIRE- two GUARDS break it up, shooting into
the air... they GRAB Wayne.
I don't need protection.
The Guard points angrily at the unconscious prisoners.
Protection for them.
INT. SOLITARY, BHUTANESE JAIL -- MOMENTS LATER
Wayne is tossed into the dank cell. The door SLAMS.
I often wonder at the riches to be
found in dark places.
The voice is mellifluous. European. It comes from the
shadows of a deep corner of the cell.
I thought the point of solitary
confinement was the solitary part.
Wayne can make out the profile of a MAN seated in the corner.
These men have mistaken you for a
Wayne reacts to his name. The Man steps into the light:
powerfully-built, distinguished, in a well-cut SUIT AND TIE.
Who are you?
My name is merely Ducard. But I
speak for Ra's Al Ghul. Have you
heard the name?
I've heard the legends...master
warrior, international mercenary,
feared by the all the underworld...
some even swear he's immortal.
Ra's Al Ghul uses theatricality and
deception as powerful weapons.
Ducard approaches Wayne. Looks deep into his eyes.
You have not escaped his notice- a
man like you is here by choice... or
because he is truly lost.
Wayne's eyes flick away from Ducard's penetrating gaze.
Ra's Al Ghul and his League of Shadows
offer a path to those that are capable
of upholding our code.
Code? Aren't you criminals?
A criminal is simply a man that
someone else thinks...
(gestures around them)
...should be put in jail.
Wayne nods, conceding the point.
This world is run by tyrants and
corrupt bureaucrats. Our code
respects only the natural order of
things- we're not bound by their
hypocrisy. Are you?
Ducard moves to the door. Knocks. It is opened by a guard.
There is a rare flower- a blue doublebloomed
poppy- that grows on the
Eastern slopes. Tomorrow you will
be released. Pick one of the flowers.
If you can carry it to the top of
the mountain, you may find what you
are looking for.
And what am I looking for?
Ducard looks at Wayne with a glint in his eye.
The door slams shut leaving Wayne in DARKNESS...
INT. BOTTOM OF THE OLD WELL -- DAY (WAYNE'S MEMORY)
Silence. Young Bruce lies there, exhausted, weeping softly.
MALE VOICE (O.S.)
Young Bruce looks up: a FIGURE, long coat billowing, is
lowered down the shaft... THOMAS WAYNE, Young Bruce's father.
EXT. GARDENS, WAYNE MANOR -- MOMENTS LATER
Thomas carries his son towards the house. At his side, a 50-
year-old man in a somber suit calmly coils a rope: ALFRED.
Will we be needing an ambulance,
We have everything I need to set the
bone. I'll take him for x-rays later.
Very good, sir.
They pass a tearful Rachel standing with her mother.
INT. HALL, WAYNE MANOR -- CONTINUOUS
Thomas carries Bruce up the main stairs. The house is vast
and grand, but full of flowers and life. Bruce's Mother
(MARTHA) appears at the landing, distraught.
He'll be fine.
INT. BRUCE'S BEDROOM, WAYNE MANOR -- LATER
Alfred moves to the bedside. Looks down at Young Bruce.
Took quite a fall, didn't we?
Young Bruce looks up at Alfred. Manages a slight smile.
And why do we fall, Master Bruce?
Alfred reaches up to the curtains. Young Bruce says nothing.
So that we might better learn to
pick ourselves up.
Alfred smiles gently. PULLS the curtains shut, and we-
An exquisite double-bloomed BLUE POPPY... and we are7.
EXT. HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS -- DAY
A field of the blue poppies. Wayne approaches. Picks one.
Studies its brilliant blue in the cold sunshine.
EXT. TINY HAMLET, HIMALAYAS -- DAY
Wayne, exhausted, freezing, hungry, wanders up the street.
As locals see him they head inside. DOORS SLAMMED, BOLTED.
No one will help you.
Wayne turns to find a YOUNG CHILD STARING at him. The Child
POINTS at the blue flower pinned to Wayne's chest. An OLD
MAN appears at the Child's side.
I need food.
Then turn back.
Wayne looks at the Old Man. Then carries on up the mountain.
EXT. MOUNTAIN -- DAY
Wayne, struggles through DRIVING SNOW up an ICY RIDGE...
He clears the ridge, FLOPS down into the snow, Painfully
raises his scarf-wrapped face to the cutting wind to see a
MONASTERY perched on jagged rock.
EXT. HIMALAYAN FORTIFIED MONASTERY -- DAY
Wayne climbs up the steps to the VAST DOORS of the monastery.
Unwraps a severely FROSTBITTEN FIST. POUNDS against the icecovered
wood, knocks ECHOING deep within.
Nothing. Wayne lowers his forehead to the door, shoulders
wracked by SOBS, pounding accelerating to a FRENZY.
A GRINDING noise from within. Wayne STOPS, straightens.
The doors SWING OPEN to DARKNESS...
INT. GREAT HALL, MONASTERY -- CONTINUOUS
Wayne shuffles forward into a low-ceilinged wooden hall lit
by flickering lamps. Hands trembling, Wayne pulls at brittle
scarves. He STARTS as the doors THUD shut behind him.
At the far end, on a raised platform, sits a dark robbed
figure; RA'S AL GHUL. Wayne moves unsteadily towards him...
Ra's Al Ghul?
ARMED WARRIORS of various races emerge from the SHADOWS:
BOWS taut, SWORDS drawn... NINJAS. Wayne freezes.
The Warriors hold. Wayne looks at the source of the command:
Ducard leans against a nearby pillar.
Wayne reaches into his layers of clothing. Pulls out the
DOUBLE-BLOOMED BLUE POPPY. Holds it out, shaking.
Ra's Al Ghul starts to speak in Urdu. Ducard TRANSLATES.
Fear has been your guide. But now
you must advance or fear will keep
you on your knees. We will help you
conquer your fear. In exchange you
will renounce the cities of man.
You will live in solitude. You will
be a member of the Leagues of Shadows.
And you will be without fear.
Ducard takes the flower. Considers its delicate blue petals.
Are you ready to begin?
Ducard threads the flower through the buttonhole of his lapel.
Wayne looks at Ducard, shaking with hunger and fatigue.
Ready? I... I can barely-
Ducard KICKS him- Wayne Crashes to the floor.
Death does not wait for you to be
Wayne crawls, gasping. Ducard STRIKES him in the ribs.
Death is not considerate, or fair.
And make no mistake- today, death is
Ducard turns- WHIPS his leg in a fearsome roundhouse KICK
aimed straight at Wayne's NECK-
-but Wayne BLOCKS the kick with a lateral movement of his
forearm. He stares at Ducard, eyes BLAZING. Ducard SMILES.
Wayne RISES. Assumes a martial STANCE. Ducard STRIKESWayne
BLOCKS and PARRIES, driving his body through pain into
a series of FLUID, SKILLED moves...
Tiger Crane... Ju Jitsu...
Skilled. But this is not a dance-
Ducard GRAPPLES Wayne, BRAWLING, BITING, ENERGIZED, MESSY...
Facing death you learn the truth...
Ducard's head smashes Wayne's cheek- Wayne FALTERSDUCARD
You are weak...
Ducard SMASHES him in the groin.
You are alone...
Ducard SLAMS Wayne's chin, sends him DOWN HARD.
And you are afraid...
Ducard crouches at Wayne's side. Looks into his glazed eyes.
But not of me.
Ducard pulls the flower from his lapel. Leans in close to
replace it on Wayne's chest, his lips at Wayne's ear...
Tell us, Wayne...
VIOLENT FLAPPING, SCREECHING BLACK RATS- swarming, chittering-
DUCARD (V.O.) (CONT'D)
What do you fear?
Young Bruce's eyes OPEN, and we are-
INT. BRUCE'S BEDROOM, WAYNE MANOR -- DAWN (WAYNE'S MEMORY)
Young Bruce, breathing hard. Light cuts across the
bedclothes. He looks to the door. Thomas is there.
The bats again?
Young Bruce nods. Thomas approaches. Sits on the bed.
You know why they attacked you?
They were afraid of you.
Afraid of me?
You're a lot bigger than a bat, aren't
you? All creatures feel fear.
Even the scary ones?
Thomas smiles back, reaches into his dressing gown pocket.
Especially the scary ones.
Here, let me show you something-
But you can't tell anyone, right?
Young Bruce nods, eager. Thomas pulls out a long jewel case.
He opens it: PEARLS glow in the half-light.
For your mother.
Young Bruce GRINS. Thomas winks at him, SNAPS the case shut.
INT. ELEVATED TRAIN (MONORAIL) -- EVENING
Young Bruce watches the glory of Gotham glide past. His
parents beside him, dressed up- Martha idly stroking her
pearls. She smiles at Thomas.
Did you build this train, Dad?
Your great-grandfather built the
first trains in Gotham. The city's
been good to our family- it was time
to give something back...
Thomas draws a CIRCLE in the CONDENSATION on the window...
A new public transportation system
for the whole city...
Thomas draws SPOKES through the circle, creating a WHEEL.
Thomas TAPS his diagram at the central HUB of the wheel,
then points through the glass to a tall 1930's SKYSCRAPER.
...and at the cent... Wayne Tower.
EXT. GOTHAM -- CONTINUOUS
The monorail train TURNS INWARDS on a "SPOKE"... SHOOTING
towards the central station at the base of Wayne Tower.
INT. CONCOURSE, WAYNE STATION -- MOMENTS LATER
Young Bruce STARES at the MAGNIFICENT STATION. He looks up
through the vaulted glass ceiling... WAYNE TOWER rises
above... Rich ORCHESTRAL STRINGS rise, and we are-
INT. GOTHAM OPERA HOUSE -- LATER
A gilded house packed to the rafters for Boito's Mefistofle.
Young Bruce seated between his parents, On stage: WITCHLIKE
CREATURES cavort. DARK BIRDS on wires descend, FLAPPING.
Young Bruce STARES, uneasy, at their VIOLENT motions.
INSERT CUT: BATS EXPLODE FROM A DARK CREVICE.
Young Bruce starts breathing faster, STARES fixedly.
SCREECHING, FLAPPING BLACK BATS SWARM ALL AROUND...
Young Bruce, gulping PANIC breaths, looks around for an exitthey're
in the middle of a row. He GRABS his Dad's arm.
Can we go?!
Thomas stares at his son, confused. Martha looks over.
Young Bruce looks at his father, PLEADING. Thomas nods.
They make their way along the row, Thomas nodding apologies...
EXT. SIDE ALLEY, GOTHAM OPERA HOUSE -- CONTINUOUS
The Waynes emerge from a side exit. Martha crouches before
Bruce, tries to meet his eyes. He stares down, ashamed.
Bruce, what's wrong?
Martha looks up. Thomas gives her a conspiratorial look.
I just needed a bit of air. Bit of
opera goes a long way, right, Bruce?
Young Bruce looks up at his Dad, who winks. Young Bruce
Thomas, coat over his arm, ushers his family down the dark
alley, heading for the WELCOMING GLOW of the main boulevard.
A FIGURE emerges from the shadows in front of them. A MAN.
With a GUN. Shifting uneasily.
Wallet, jewelry! Fast!
That's fine, just take it easy.
Thomas hands Young Bruce his coat, then reaches for his
wallet. The Man JERKS the gun at Thomas, eyes DARTING.
Young Bruce stares up at the gun TREMBLING in the Man's hand.
Here you go.
The man GRABS at the wallet but FUMBLES it. It FALLS. The
Man glances down at the wallet then back to Thomas, scared.
It's fine, it's fine...
The Man crouches for the wallet, eyes on Thomas.
...just take it and go.
The Man feels for the wallet, looks at Martha. Her pearls.
I said jewelry!!
She starts pulling off her rings. The Man JERKS the gun at
her neck. Thomas STEPS protectively in front of his wife.
BOOM. Young Bruce FLINCHES. Thomas looks down at his
bleeding chest. Then back to the Man, saddened.
Thomas CRUMPLES. Martha SCREAMS. The Man REACHES for
Martha's pearls- but she SCREAMS desperately for Thomas.
Gimme the damn...
But Martha FLAILS, trying to grab her fallen husband.
The Man SHOOTS her. Then YANKS at her necklace, which BREAKS.
Spilling PEARLS all over the asphalt.
The Man stands. Turns to Young Bruce. Who STARES at him.
Uncomprehending. The Man cannot bear the boy's gaze...
And then he RUNS. Young Bruce looks at the bodies of his
parents. DROPS to his knees, head down: PEARLS dot the
asphalt beneath him. Some of them are bloody.
Young Bruce starts to SHIVER.
INT. POLICE STATION -- NIGHT
CHAOS: REPORTERS and COPS vying for a piece of the crime of
the decade. In the Captain's office, Young Bruce.
Bewildered, forgotten. Still clutching his father's overcoat.
MALE VOICE (O.S.)
Is that your father's?
Young Bruce looks up: a young beat cop stands over him- JIM
GORDON (29). Gordon crouches, reaches for the coat. Young
Bruce huddles over it, protective.
Gordon's tone prompts Young Bruce to trust him. Gordon takes
the coat, DRAPES it gently across Young Bruce's shoulders.
MALE VOICE (O.S.)
GORDON! You gotta stick your nose
Gordon turns to CAPTAIN LOEB, who glares at him.
Outta my sight.
Gordon NODS at Young Bruce, whose eyes wish Gordon would
stay. Gordon leaves. Loeb turns to Young Bruce.
CAPTAIN LOEB (CONT'D)
Good news... we got him, son.
Young Bruce looks up at him dazed. Uncertain.
EXT. GROUNDS, WAYNE MANOR -- DAY
Snow falls over two open graves. MOURNERS disperse, guided
by SECURITY GUARDS. Alfred stands with Young Bruce. A man
approaches, EARLE (47). He nods at Alfred, crouching.
You're in excellent hands, Bruce.
And we're minding the empire. When
you're all grown up, it'll be waiting.
Young Bruce looks blankly at Earle.
EXT. WAYNE MANOR -- LATER
Mourners file towards the gates. Rachel walks with her
mother. Looks up at Bruce's high window. Sees him watching.
Waves. Young Bruce pauses, then returns the wave.
INT. BRUCE'S BEDROOM -- CONTINUOUS
Alfred enters. Looks tenderly at Young Bruce's back.
I thought I'd prepare a little supper.
No response. Alfred turns.
YOUNG BRUCE (O.S.)
Alfred turns back. Young Bruce is looking at him with TEARS
POURING down his cheeks. Alfred tilts his head.
It was my fault, Alfred.
Alfred's mouth opens.
YOUNG BRUCE (CONT'D)
I made them leave the theater-
Oh, no, no, no-
Alfred moves to Young Bruce, taking the boy in his arms.
If I hadn't got scared-
No, no, Master Bruce. Nothing you
did. Nothing anyone ever did can
excuse that man.
Alfred holds Young Bruce away to look directly into his eyes.
It's his, and his alone. Do you
Young Bruce nods. Then BURIES his face in Alfred's chest,
I miss them, Alfred. I miss them so
So do I, Master Bruce. So do I.
Tears well in Alfred's eyes as he HOLDS the boy, watching
snowflakes swirl past the window.
And do you still feel responsible?
INT. PASSAGEWAY, MONASTERY -- DAY
Ducard leads Wayne along a screened passage overlooking
My anger outweighs my guilt.
Ducard opens a door...
INT. DOJO, MONASTERY -- DAY
Leads Wayne onto a MEZZANINE LEVEL stacked with boxes and
bottles. NINJAS pour powders into packets, mixing compounds.
Ducard takes a pinch of a powder- throws it down- BANG!
Wayne FLINCHES- Ducard SMILES good-naturedly.
Advanced techniques of Ninjitsu employ
Or distractions. Theatricality and
deception are powerful agents.
Ducard hands Wayne a pinch of the powder.
To be a great warrior is not enough.
Flesh and blood, however skilled,
can be destroyed... you must be more
than just a man in the minds of your
Wayne listens to this. Tosses the powder- BANG!
EXT. FROZEN LAKE, HIMALAYAS -- DAY
Wayne and Ducard CIRCLE each other on the ICE, SWORDS poised
to strike. Dark figures in the white and blue landscape.
Ducard STRIKES at Wayne, who DEFLECTS the blow using a SILVER
GAUNTLET with THREE SCALLOPS (thick, hook-like projections).
Ducard SKIDS left, breath STEAMING, feinting with his sword.
Wayne steps sideways on the ice, his foot landing on a thin
patch which CREAKS, water BUBBLING underneath.
Mind your surrounding. Always.
Wayne STRIKES- Ducard BLOCKS with his own BRONZE GAUNTLET.
Wayne SLIPS right and FLIES IN with a short THRUST- Ducard's
arm flips down in a backhand move-
Ducard CATCHES Wayne's sword in one of his SCALLOPS.
Your parent's death was not your
Ducard ROTATES his arm, WRENCHING Wayne's sword from his
grasp- it SKIDS along the ice.
...it was your father's.
Wayne, ENRAGES, dives at Ducard, SWINGING at him with the
scallops, FURIOUS, RECKLESS. Ducard parries with his sword,
they LOCK- noses inches apart, Wayne BREATHING... ANGRY...
Anger does not change the fact that
your father failed to act.
The man had a gun!
Would that stop you?
I've had training-
The training is nothing. The will
to take control is everything. Your
father trusted his city, its logic...
he thought he understood the attacker
and could simply give him what he
Wayne considers this... breathing slowing... CALMER... they
Your father did not understand the
forces of decay- cities like Gotham
are in their death throes- chaotic,
grotesque. Beyond saving.
Beyond saving? You believe that?
Ducard regards the harshly beautiful landscape.
It is not right that one must come
so far to see the world as it is
meant to be. Purity. Serenity...
Solitude. These are the qualities
we hold dear. But the important
thing is whether you believe it...
Wayne stares at Ducard.
Can Gotham can be saved, or is she
an ailing ancestor whose time has
Ducard STRIKES DOWN at Wayne with his sword. Wayne BLOCKS
the strike with FOREARMS CROSSED, SLIDES BETWEEN DUCARD'S
LEGS across the ice to where his sword lies.
GRASPING his sword he SPINS, SWEEPING at Ducard's feet.
Ducard LEAPS- Wayne CATCHES his foot, brings him down onto
the ice. Wayne THRUSTS his sword at Ducard's throat-
STOPS INCHES from Ducard's bare neck. Ducard freezes, arms
at his sides. Wayne looks down at Ducard, SMILING in triumph.
Ducard smiles. Shakes his head.
You haven't beaten me. You've
sacrificed sure footing for a killing
Ducard TAPS the ice beneath Wayne's feet with his sword- the
ice gives way, PLUNGING Wayne through the surface.
EXT. SHORE, FROZEN LAKE -- EVENING
Ducard feeds a small FIRE. Wayne RUBS his arms, SHIVERING
violently against hypothermia. Ducard looks at him.
Don't rub your arms, rub your chest.
Your arms'll take care of themselves.
Wayne rubs his torso, NODS at Ducard. Ducard feeds the fire.
You have strength born of years of
grief and anger, Wayne. The strength
of a man denied revenge.
Even in his shivering, Wayne REACTS to this.
INT. WAYNE STATION PLATFORM -- DAY (WAYNE'S MEMORY)
A monorail pulls into the platform. Disgorges passengers.
Why could you not avenge your parents?
Amongst them, Bruce, AGED 20, holding a bag. He sees Alfred,
now 62, craning his neck, SEARCHING. He waves.
You didn't have to pick me up-
Well, sir, the red line... well,
it's closed. Apparently Mr.Earle
thought it wasn't making enough money.
INT. CONCOURSE, WAYNE STATION -- MOMENTS LATER
Bruce looks sadly at the DECAY to his father's station: glass
CRACKED, marble chipped, HOMELESS bundled in shuttered
storefronts... He looks up through the sparing glass: WAYNE
TOWER looms overhead, gold lettering catching the sun...
How is Mr.Earle?
INT. ROLLS ROYCE -- LATER
Alfred glances at Bruce in the rear-view mirror.
Will you be heading back to Princeton
tomorrow or could I persuade you to
spend an extra night or two?
I'm not heading back at all.
You don't like it there?
Bruce smiles, sardonic. Looks out at the trees flashing by.
I like it fine... they just don't
feel the same way.
Alfred purses his lips, IRRITATED.
EXT. WAYNE MANOR -- MOMENTS LATER
Bruce STARES up at house. Alfred pulls the bag out of the
car and, to Bruce's surprise, DROPS it at Bruce's feet.
INT. WAYNE MANOR -- CONTINUOUS
Alfred leads Bruce up the main staircase. The house is now
dark and empty. Dust-cloths cover much of the furniture.
I've prepared the master bedroom.
My old room will be fine.
With all due respect, sir, your father
is dead. Wayne Manor is your house.
No, alfred, his isn't my house.
It's a mausoleum.
A reminder of everything I lost.
And when I have my way I'll pull the
damn thing down brick by brick-
Alfred turns on Bruce, angry.
This house, Master Wayne, has
sheltered six generations of the
Wayne family, and stood patiently by
while you've cavorted in and out of
a dozen private schools and colleges.
As have I.
Bruce stares at Alfred. Eyes burning. Chastened.
The Wayne family legacy is not so
easily shrugged off.
Nor borne, old friend. I'm sorry to
have disappointed you.
Master Wayne... I was at your father's
side when you were born. And at your
side when he was laid to rest.
Your father was a great man. But I
have every confidence that you will
exceed his greatness.
Haven't given up on me, yet?
Bruce sags under the burden of Alfred's faith. He opens the
door to his bedroom, then turns back to Alfred...
I may not get another chance to thank
you for all you've done for me.
Alfred looks at him, curious.
Are you going away after the hearing?
Bruce shrugs, hard to read. Then enters his old bedroom.
INT. BRUCE'S BEDROOM -- CONTINUOUS
Bruce puts his bag on the bed. Looks around the room.
At the mantel, Bruce stares at a framed photograph: Young
Bruce on his Dad's shoulders, arms raised in triumph. Bruce
wipes dust from the photograph. Smiles at it.
INSERT CUT: Young bruce on Thomas's shoulders- thomas TIPS
back, threatening to drop Young bruce who LAUGHS and LAUGHS.
Bruce moves to the bed. Opens his case.
Inside it is a GUN.
EXT. GATES, WAYNE MANOR -- MORNING
Rachel, now 23, stands by her car looking up at the house.
She can see Bruce in the window. She gives a small wave.
INT. BRUCE'S BEDROOM -- CONTINUOUS
Bruce returns Rachel's wave. Then FINISHES LOADING HIS GUN.
EXT. GATES, WAYNE MANOR -- MOMENTS LATER
Bruce walks down the drive to Rachel. He smiles gently.
You look well. "Assistant District
You still trying to get kicked out
of the entire ivy league?
(shakes head, smiling)
Turns out you don't actually need a
degree to do the international playboy
Rachel smiles. Looks down at her shoes. Then back to Bruce.
Bruce, I don't suppose there's any
way I can convince you not to come22.
Someone at this proceeding should
stand for my parents.
Bruce, we all loved your parents.
What Chill did is unforgivable-
Then why is your boss letting him
Because in prison he shared a cell
with carmine Falcone. He learned
things and he'll testify in exchange
for early parole.
Bruce shakes his head, opens the car door. Rachel sighs.
INT./EXT. RACHEL'S CAR ON FREEWAY, GOTHAM -- MORNING
Rachel's car heads towards the golden spires of Gotham.
Bruce stares out the window in silence.
INT. RACHEL'S CAR -- MOMENTS LATER
Rachel pulls into the PARKING LOT of the COURTHOUSE. Parks.
Bruce looks at her through the strained silence.
Rachel, this man killed my parents.
I cannot let that pass.
Rachel almost says something. Then SHRUGS.
Rachel, I need you to understand.
Rachel looks at Bruce. Considering. Gently NODS. Bruce
nods back. Rachel opens her door and starts getting out.
Bruce slips out his GUN, placing it on the ground behind the
front wheel of Rachel's car as he gets out.
INT. COURTHOUSE -- DAY
A small bureaucratic proceeding. A five person PANEL. Bruce
sits amongst the OBSERVERS. Watching the back of Chili's
head. Rachel's boss, FINCH, addresses the panel.
Given the exemplary prison record of
Mr.Chill, the 14 years already served
And his extraordinary level of
cooperation with one of this office's
most important investigations... we
strongly endorse Mr.Chill's petition
for early release.
The CHAIRMAN nods, consults his paperwork.
I gather a member of the Wayne family
is here today...
Chill REACTS, TURNING. Bruce STUDIES his weathered face.
...does he have anything to say?
Chill notices Wayne's cold eyes. Has to look away. Bruce
RISES, walks out, all eyes on him. Including Rachel's.
EXT. PARKING LOT, COURTHOUSE -- MOMENTS LATER
Bruce MOVES to Rachel's car. Picks up his GUN, stuffs it up
the sleeve of his overcoat. Waits.
The side exit opens and two COPS come out. A shout goes up
from the pressmen around the front of the courthouse.
They're taking him out the side!!
REPORTERS swarm around the building as Chill emerges.
Chill, any words for the Wayne
Chill, head down, presses on. Bruce straightens. Breathes.
Starts WALKING towards Chill. A Reporter SPOTS him.
It's Bruce Wayne!
The Reporters clear a path, eager for a confrontation.
BLONDE FEMALE REPORTER
Joe! Hey Joe!!
This one catches Chill's eye- blonde, local t.v. type.
Bruce's hand DROPS to his side as he MOVES... he's BREATHING
HARD... THINKING... DECIDING...
BLONDE FEMALE REPORTER (CONT'D)
Falcone says hi!!
She THRUSTS a gun at Chill's chest and FIRES. Chill DROPSBruce
STOPS in his tracks. Reporters DIVE for cover- COPS
jump on the Blonde Reporter, pinning her...
Bruce. Fifteen feet away. Loaded gun up his sleeve. Face
as uncomprehending as the night Chill killed his parents.
Rachel moves to Bruce, pulling him away from the chaos.
Come one, Bruce. Come on, we don't
need to see this.
Bruce yanks his arm away.
INT. RACHEL'S CAR -- EVENING
Rachel drives. Bruce sits there, hands in his lap. Staring.
Rachel glances over at him. Then pulls over. Turns to him.
Are you okay?
All these years I wanted to kill
him. Now he's gone. Now I can't.
You don't mean that.
What if I do, Rachel? Chill killed
my parents. They deserved justice.
Rachel looks at him, appalled.
You're not talking about justice,
you're talking about revenge.
Sometimes they're the same.
They're never the same, Bruce.
Justice is about harmony... revenge
is about you making yourself feel
better. That's why we have an
Rachel pulls out into the street.
Well, your system of justice is broken-
Don't you tell me the system's broken,
Bruce! I'm out here every day trying
to fix it while you mope around using
your grief as an excuse to do nothing.
You care about justice..?
Rachel YANKS the wheel-
EXT. FREEWAY, GOTHAM -- CONTINUOUS
Rachel's car SCREECHES across two lanes, onto an EXIT RAMP.
INT./EXT. RACHEL'S CAR ON SURFACE STREETS -- CONTINUOUS
The streets below are DARK, crowded and THREATENINGRACHEL
Look beyond your own pain, Bruce.
Rachel gestures at the filthy streets. Down dark alleysshadowy
figures conduct business.
This city is rotting. Chill is not
the cause, he's the effect.
Corruption is killing Gotham and
Chill being dead doesn't help thatit
makes it worse because Falcone
walks. He carries on flooding our
city with crime and drugs... creating
new Joe Chills... Falcone may not
have killed your parents, Bruce, but
he's destroying everything they stood
They pull up in front of a BASEMENT CLUB.
They all know where to find Falcone...
(gestures at club)
But no one will touch him because he
keeps the bad people rich and the
good people scared.
Rachel turns on Bruce.
And what chance does Gotham have
when the good people do nothing?
She pokes him in the chest. Bruce looks down at her finger.
I'm not one of your "good people",
Rachel. Chill took that from me.
Rachel looks at Bruce strangely.
What do you mean?
Bruce pulls up his sleeve. Turns his hand over. Rachel
stares at the GUN in his hand, SHOCKED.
I was going to kill him myself.
She looks at Bruce. Then SLAPS him. Bruce does nothing.
Rachel SLAPS him again and again... Nothing. She stops.
You're no better than the rest.
Rachel points at the gun. Looks into Bruce's eyes.
Your father would be ashamed of you.
Bruce stares at Rachel. Opens his door.
EXT. DOCK AREA, GOTHAM -- CONTINUOUS
Bruce watches Rachel's car disappear. Turns to look at the
line of SHIPS in the harbor. He makes his way to the water.
Takes out his gun. Turns it, STUDIES the light off its metal-
INSERT CUT: the TREMBLING BARREL of Chill's gun, inches from
Thomas Wayne's chest.
Bruce, with contempt, FLINGS his gun into the black water.
EXT. BASEMENT CLUB, FACING DOCKS -- LATER
Bruce walks towards the entrance. A BOUNCER steps out,
looking at him with contempt.
Get lost, kid.
Bruce pulls a massive wad of cash from his pocket. Splits
it in two. Offers one half.
The other half when you give me the
nod that Falcone's leaving. Unawares.
The Bouncer looks at Bruce. Takes the money.
EXT. BASEMENT CLUB, FACING DOCKS -- LATER
Bruce watches the entrance from the shadows. Two THUGS escort
a thickset man out of a club. The Bouncer waves-
The three men move towards a waiting limo-
WHAM- one Thug takes a kick to the head, goes down- Bruce
steps from the shadows- the Second Thug goes for his gun-
Bruce GRABS his arm- CHOPS his throat- JUDO FLIPS the thug...
Bruce turns to Falcone who looks at him, curious.
The little rich kid. No gun? I'm
The First Thug lunges at Bruce with a KNIFE- Bruce puts him
down with a graceful SWEEPBRUCE
I don't need a gun.
Yes, you do.
CLICK. A gun is at bruce's head. Held by the Bouncer
Money isn't power down here- fear
The Bouncer pistol whips him once, hard. Bruce goes down.
The Bouncer drops Bruce's money onto him.
You shoulda just sent me a thank-you
Bruce looks up at Falcone. Spits blood.
I didn't come here to thank-you. I
came to show you that nit everyone
in Gotham is afraid of you.
Just those that know me. You got
But you don't belong down here with
us. We don't play fair.
Now go back to your big house, wrap
yourself in your silk sheets and
I'll send you a shoulder to cry on.
You don't dress well enough to be a
Falcone lights a cigar. Stares down at bruce. Ice.
You miss your Mommy and Daddy? Come
down here again, I send you to them.
Falcone turns. His thugs get into the limo with him. Bruce
watches it slide into the night. Struggles to his feet...
Bruce walks the docks, wiping blood from his mouth. SHADOWS
in doorways mark his progress. Three YOUTHS approach. Bruce
stiffens, but they cross the street to avoid him.
MALE VOICE (O.S.)
No one'll mess with ya.
Bruce turns. A HOMELESS MAN warming at a flaming oil drum.
One of many HOMELESS clustered around the docks.
Wander 'round here dressed like that,
means you got something to prove.
Man with something to prove is
Bruce STARES at the man. Thinking. Takes out his wallet.
Removes the money. Hands it to the Homeless Man.
HOMELESS MAN (CONT'D)
Bruce DROPS his wallet into the fire. The Homeless Man
LAUGHS. Bruce pulls off his tie, throws it into the fire.
He pulls off his overcoat, bundles it up ready to-
Lemme have it, that's a good coat.
Bruce looks at the Homeless Man, who has removed his own.
They EXCHANGE clothing.
Be careful who sees you with that.
They're gonna come looking for me.
Bruce, less incongruous in his "new" coat, moves down towards
the stacks of containers...
Bruce wanders the stacks. A HORN sounds. Bruce's eyes lock
onto the ship preparing to leave. Bruce runs towards it
trough the shadows...
And when you left Gotham...
And we are-
EXT. HIMALAYAN MONASTERY -- DAY
...what were you seeking?
Ducard LEAPS up onto a STONE WALL. GRABBING ON using pikes
on his palms and on his feet. Wayne watches.
To lose myself. I couldn't do
anything as Bruce Wayne. I felt
Ducard gestures up to the top of the 50-ft wall.
Perhaps you can beat my record.
Bruce JUMPS up onto the wall, HIGHER than Ducard. Confident.
The test is not to see how quickly
you can climb, but how slowly. The
Ninja is thought invisible, but
invisibility is largely a matter of
Ducard reaches up for another handhold. Slowly.
On your journey... you sought
knowledge of the criminal world?
I needed to understand the thoughts
and feelings of those who stand in
EXT. CROWDED MARKET, AFRICAN PORT TOWN -- EVENING (MEMORY)
The first time you're forced to steal
not to starve...
Bruce picks up a mango from a stack to examine it. As he
does so he uses his lower hand to slip a PLUM into his pocket.
EXT. ALLEY, AFRICAN PORT TOWN -- LATER
Bruce squats in a doorway. Bites hungrily into his plum.
He looks up. A CHILD in rags sits in the next doorway,
STARING. Bruce stares back, juice dripping.
...you lose many assumptions about
the simple nature of right and wrong.
Bruce hands the Child the plum. Licks his fingers. Hard.
INT. TRAIN STATION, LONDON -- DAY
Bruce (bearded, filthy) in a crowd, with an ELDERLY MAN.
I needed to feel the fear before a
The Elderly Man SPOTS a BUSINESSMAN hurrying along- STEPS
into his path, engineering a COLLISION, tumbling to the
pavement. The Businessman and Bruce both CROUCH to help.
WAYNE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
And the thrill of success...
Bruce SLIPS the Businessman's wallet out of his pocket. The
Businessman moves off. Bruce shows the Elderly Man the wallet
for APPROVAL. Then HURRIES after the Businessman.
WAYNE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
...without becoming one of them.
Bruce CATCHES the Businessman, gives him the wallet. The
Businessman thanks Bruce- noticing his destitution, he HANDS
Bruce a banknote. Bruce nods thanks.
INT. WAREHOUSE, UNDER THE ARCHES, EASTERN EUROPE -- NIGHT
Bruce tries to crack a safe under the supervision of a YOUNG
TOUGH. The Young Tough shakes his head, spins the dial and
whips open the safe. Showing Wayne the action.
I thought I would find something...
INT. SMOKE-FILLED BACKROOM, SHANGHAI -- NIGHT
At a table with a CHINESE BOSS and SEVEN CRIMINALS drinking,
laughing, showing each other their spoils (watches, phones).
I thought I would learn what I needed
to do with my skills and my anger...
INT. WAREHOUSE, SHANGHAI -- DAY
A TRUCK races through the door. Two Criminals yank the doors
shut after. Bruce and the Boss jumps down from the cab.
But the harder I looked the less I
saw. The less I knew...
Bruce turns to the Boss wary.
Where's this friend of yours?
Not friend. Friend of friend.
Bruce rolls his eyes. Looks at the Boss with contempt.
Until I wasn't even sure what I'd
been looking for in the first place...
The doors EXPLODE COPS burst in, shouting in Mandarin.
INT. SAME -- LATER
The back of the truck is opened. Cops inventory piles of
BOXES pulled out of the back.
And I was lost.
Bruce sits in a line of criminals, bands cuffed behind back.
A Cop YANKS him to his feet, hauling him over to an OFFICER.
He refuses to give his name.
The Officer smiles solicitously at Bruce.
Fool- this is china, you're a
criminal, what the hell do I care
what your name is?
(in fluent Mandarin)
I'm not a criminal.
The Officer, surprised, waves Bruce away. Looks at the truck.
(in accented English)
Tell that to the guys who owned these!
He KICKS a BOX: CLOSE ON the WAYNE INDUSTRIES logo.
EXT. WALL, HIMALAYAN MONASTERY -- DAWN
Wayne and Ducard cling to the wall just short of the roof,
eyes LOCKED. Both are in AGONY, sweat-drenched, STRAINING.
Ducard BLINKS. REACHES for the roof and pulls himself up.
Wayne closes his eyes in relief. Ducard pulls Wayne up onto
the roof. They lie there in the half-light. Ducard turns
to Wayne. Puts a hand on his shoulder. Proud.
You are ready.
INT. THRONE ROOM -- NIGHT
Close on Wayne's BLUE POPPY- now SHRIVELED DRY- on the altar.
Wayne, clad in black ninja uniform watches as Ducard, also
in black, picks it up, takes a pestle and mortar, drops in
the dried flower, and grinds it to dust.
Ducard pours the dust into a small brazier. Lights it.
Motions to Wayne, who approaches the smoking altar.
Drink in your fears. Face them.
Wayne breathes the smoke. He shakes his head, REACTING to
the effects of the smoke... his mind is plagued by IMAGES:
Chill's trembling gun- Young Bruce FALLING- Thomas STAGGERING33.
Ducard puts on his ninja mask. Motions Wayne to do the same.
Wayne STRUGGLES to think through the effects of the smoke...
Why The masks?
As if in reply, DOZENS of NINJAS step forward from the
shadows: the hall is filled with identical Ninjas. Ducard
has melted into the crowd. Wayne raises his guard...
To conquer fear, you must become
fear... you must bask in the fear of
other men... and men fear most what
they cannot see-
Ducard STRIKES at Wayne- Wayne SPINS, PARRIES- but Ducard
has gone. The Ninjas movie in unison, forming WALLS...
It is not enough to be a man... you
have to become an idea... a terrible
thought... a wraith-
The Ninja nearest Wayne TURNS and SLASHES- it is Ducard.
Wayne LEAPS sideways, ROLLING through the wall of Ninjas. He
looks at his arm- it has been slashed, the uniform torn a
dead giveaway. Wayne looks around, crouched, READY...
One wall of Ninjas PARTS, revealing a WOODEN BOX. Wayne
stares at it, MIND SPINNING from the smoke.
DUCARD (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Face your fear...
Wayne cautiously approaches the box. Carefully lifts the
lid. PEERS inside...
BATS EXPLODE from the box, FILLING the air- Wayne dives away
from the box, STARING up at the squawking bats- flinching...
Ducard LEAPS at Wayne, who ROLLS sideways, blocking- Wayne
turns to face Ducard, but he is lost in the Ninjas, bats
filling the air, Wayne FLINCHING with their attacks...
Wayne stays low, SLASHES the arm of the Ninja nearest himthe
man does not move. Wayne turns. Fighting to THINK.
A Ninja paces softly through the crowd, as he speaks, we can
tell this is Ducard...
Become one with the darkness...
Ducard falls in behinds a Ninja with a SLASHED SLEEVE... He
KNOCKS him to his knees, sword against throat34.
You cannot leave any sign...
Ducard pulls off his own mask. Disappointed.
A SWORD IS AT DUCARD'S NECK- Wayne is behind him, pulling
off his mask. Ducard looks around... several of the Ninjas
around them have slashed sleeves. Ducard smiles.
The Ninjas TURN, in unison, and sit.
Ra's Al Ghul is seated on a small stage at the head of the
room. Ducard leads Wayne to sit down in front of Ra's. A
Ninja places a tray between them: a bottle and a burning
candle. Ducard places the candle in front of Wayne and hands
him a small glass. Ra's Al Ghul begins speaking in Urdu.
We have purged your fear. You are
ready to lead these men. You are
ready to become a member of the League
of Shadows. Drink.
Wayne tips back the glass. Strong stuff.
By blowing out this candle you
renounce your mortal life. You
renounce forever the cities of man.
You dedicate your life to solitude.
Wayne leans forward to blow out the candle. PAUSES. Looks
at the rows of seated Ninjas.
Where will I be leading these men?
You will need them in Gotham.
You want me to go back to Gotham?
Ra's stares at Wayne. Starts speaking...
You yourself are a victim of Gotham's
decay. That is why you came here,
and that is why you must go back.
You will assume the mantle of your
birthright. As Gotham's favored son
you will be ideally placed...
To help us destroy the city.
When Gotham falls, the other cities
will follow in short order. Nature's
balance will be restored and Man
will finally return to solitude.
Wayne turns to Ducard.
You can't believe in this.
Ducard looks at Wayne, troubled.
Ra's Al Ghul has rescued you from
the darkest corner of your own
heart... what he asks in return is
obedience. And the courage to do
what is necessary.
Wayne stares down at the flickering candle. At the bottle.
Wayne FLICKS his sword out, SMASHING the bottle, TIPPING the
candle- FLAMES spread across the wooden floor-
(reaching to extinguish
What are you doing?
Wayne STRIKES Ducard in the head with the butt of his sword,
DOUSES his mask in the liquid fire and TOSSES it back into
the mezzanine where the explosive powders are stored...
Ra's LEAPS from his throne, STRIKING at Wayne with his sword-
Wayne parries- EXPLOSIONS roar from the balcony, shooting
flame across the ceiling- Ra's and Wayne fight as EXPLOSIONS
Wayne LEAPS clear as FLAMING DEBRIS collapses onto Ra's,
CRUSHING him... the flames are rising, Ninja bodies are strewn
around, fresh explosions rip across the hall as Ninjas flee
and Wayne spots Ducard lying unconscious.
Wayne PICKS UP Ducard, hauls him out of the Throne room,
into a passage, SMASHING THROUGH an ornate screen...
EXT. MOUNTAINS -- CONTINUOUS
Wayne and Ducard CRASH down onto a steep slope of ice and
rock, the monastery exploding above them... Wayne rolls over,
GRABS a rock, looks across to see-
Ducard UNCONSCIOUS, SLIDING down the icy slope. His limp
form ROTATES, spinning as his body gathers MOMENTUM, rushing
towards the EDGE of the CLIFF...
Wayne DIVES AFTER HIM, SLIDING HEAD-FIRST down the ice...
the cliff closer and closer as Wayne RACES after Ducard...
MERE FEET FROM THE CLIFF EDGE, Wayne GRABS Ducard- raises
his free GAUNTLET-CLAD ARM, and SMASHES AT THE ICE, DIGGING
IN with the BRONZE SCALLOPS... STOPPING on the edge- Ducard
HANGS LIMPLY over a tremendous drop- Wayne STRUGGLES with
the dead weight. Wayne PULLS Ducard up onto the ice.
EXT. TINY HAMLET, HIMALAYAS -- DAY
Wayne CARRIES Ducard down the road.
INT. SHERPA'S HUT -- MOMENTS LATER
Wayne KICKS the door open. The Old Man he saw on his way up
the mountain stares back at him. Then motions Wayne to put
Ducard down onto some mats. The Old Man wipes blood from
Ducard's temple. Looks at Wayne, who is moving to the door...
I will tell him you saved his life.
Wayne stops. Turns. Looks back at Ducard.
Tell him... I have an ailing ancestor
who needs me.
Wayne puts his hands together in formal salute. Bows.
INT. CLIMBER'S BAR, BHUTAN -- DAY
A smoky inn, full of SHERPAS and CLIMBERS. Wayne enters,
FILTHY, RAGGED. Conversation CEASES. Everyone STARES.
INT. SAME -- MOMENTS LATER
Wayne uses a phone at the bar, waiting for an answer-
Wayne SMILES at Alfred's familiar voice.
Master Wayne. It's been some time.
Yes. Yes it has. I need a ride.
And where are we, sir?
Wayne glances around.
Bhutan, I think.
A curious Sherpa nearby NODS at Wayne.
Am I to assume that you're without
money and passport?
I'm traveling a bit light, yes.
I believe there's an airstrip at
Khatmandu long enough for a G5.
Make your way there, I'll have the
jet down in fifteen hours.
Very good. Oh, and Alfred?
Bring some painkillers.
INT. PRIVATE JET -- DAWN
Wayne steps out of the washroom, clean-shaven, fresh tailored
clothes. The jet breaks cloud, revealing GOTHAM bathed in
glorious SUNRISE. Wayne looks out at the city. Alfred,
sleeping opposite, opens an eye.
Have you told anyone I'm coming home?
I thought you might like to surprise
a few people.
No one can know I'm back. Not until
I'm ready. I'll need everything on
the company- shareholders' reports,
Alfred SMILES to himself. Closes his eyes again.
You sound like a man with purpose.
Wayne stares at the vast city beneath them as the jet BANKS.
Gotham needs me, Alfred. Gotham
needs... a symbol.
What symbol, sir?
I'm not sure. Something for the
good to rally behind...
EXT. GOTHAM -- SUNRISE
MOVING over SPIRES of the city catching GOLD of first light.
...and the criminals to fear.
INT. LIBRARY, WAYNE MANOR -- NIGHT
Wayne, cross-legged on the floor, STUDIES a thick report.
Circles something, closes it. Draws another from a STACK.
INT. KITCHEN, WAYNE MANOR -- EVENING
Alfred makes tea. A television plays: business news.
INTERVIEWER (over television)
Lot of interest in new directions
Wayne Industries has been taking...
Alfred looks up: Earle is being interviewed.
...couple big defense contracts in
the bag... as well as rumors that
the board is petitioning to have
Bruce Wayne, missing for seven years
now, declared officially dead.
Our operating assumption is always
the hopeful one that Bruce'll
resurface sometime soon.
INT. LIBRARY, WAYNE MANOR -- CONTINUOUS
Wayne HEARS a CHITTERING. He rises, moving out into the
INT. MAIN HALL, WAYNE MANOR -- CONTINUOUS
Wayne STARES: a small shadow SPUTTERS around the ceiling...
A blessed bat gain, sir.
Wayne turns to find Alfred standing there with a tea service.
They nest somewhere on the grounds.
Wayne watches the dark shape FLICKER around the ceiling.
EXT. GROUNDS, WAYNE MANOR -- DAY
Wayne walks across the gardens to the greenhouse. He wears
a long overcoat, a coil of rope over one arm.
INT. GREENHOUSE -- CONTINUOUS
Now derelict. Glass cracked or missing, paint peeled from
wrought iron. Wayne stands in the entrance, remembering-
INSERT CUT: Rachel, LAUGHING, SPRINTING between the tables.
INT. DISUSED WELL SHAFT -- MOMENTS LATER
DARKNESS, punctured by LIGHT as BOARDS are YANKED, splintering
from the mouth of the well, high above.
Wayne LOWERS himself down the shaft, overcoat billowing. He
undoes his rope at the bottom. TURNS, finding-
The DARK CREVICE between the rocks. Wayne CROUCHES, pushing
into the BLACKNESS, crawling through into-
INT. CAVERNS -- CONTINUOUS
Wayne climbs down a jagged rock crevice. Air blows in his
face. The crevice WIDENS into a low-ceilinged chamber.
Wayne hears the RUSH of WATER. He crouches, advances through
the low chamber. It turns DOWNWARDS, steeper- Wayne carefully
slides on his back, LOWERING HIMSELF into...
LIMITLESS BLACK. Wayne stands. A ROAR of water now. He
REACHES into his coat, pulls out a CHEMICAL TORCH. CRACKS
it, throwing LIGHT into...
A VAST CAVERN. An underground RIVER, a JAGGED ceiling, far
above, which, as Wayne PEERS, starts to MOVEBATS
EXPLODE from the ceiling. THOUSANDS DESCEND, SCREECHING,
attracted to the light- Wayne instinctively CROUCHES. But
as they SWARM around him terrifyingly...
Wayne RISES to his feet amidst a CYCLONE of bats, watching
the fluttering blackness with a profound CALM.
And he knows the symbol he must use.
INT./EXT. ROLLS ROYCE ON GOTHAM STREETS -- MORNING
Wayne stares at the DECAY. Sadness gives way to anger.
EXT. WAYNE PLAZA -- LATER
The Rolls pulls up onto the Plaza in front of Wayne Station.
The station is deserted. Derelict. Wayne gets out, staring.
Is it closed?
They still run a token service out
of respect for your father.
INT. BOARD ROOM, WAYNE TOWER -- CONTINUOUS
A board meeting in full swing. Earle presiding. He is
addressing a portly, distinguished man at the other end.
This is JUDGE PHELAN.
Clearly, Judge Phelan, moving to
have Bruce declared dead is not
something that any of us here
relishes... but as responsible
managers it falls to us to act on
behalf of Wayne Industries...
INT. OUTER OFFICE, WAYNE TOWER -- CONTINUOUS
Wayne walks past the young, beautiful ASSISTANT sat her desk.
The Assistant gets to her feet.
Sir, you can't go in there!
Wayne turns to her. Smiles.
Yes, I can.
The Assistant RECOGNIZES him, stands there, SHOCKED.
INT. BOARD ROOM, WAYNE TOWER -- CONTINUOUS
As the door OPENS, Earle looks over, annoyed.
I'm sorry, can I...?
Earle STARES. Dumbstruck. All heads TURN- Wayne smiles.
Sorry to barge in, but I was in the
SILENCE. Earle gets to his feet, approaching Wayne, STARING.
He SHAKES Wayne's hand, claps the other on his shoulder.
My boy! We thought you were gone
What can I say? "Reports of my death
have been greatly exaggerated".
Nervous chuckles. Judge Phelan stares at Wayne, incredulous.
Can I ask where you've been?
You can ask...
Well, perhaps you'll tell us your
plans. Are you back to finish
Actually, I thought I'd get to grips
with what we actually do around here.
From the ground up- one division at
Earle takes this in, nodding.
Any idea where you'd like to start?
Applied sciences caught my eye.
Mr.Fox's department. I'll make a
call. You can start today.
Actually, I've got a one o'clock teeoff,
and it took me all morning to
convince the club to honor my old
(grins at Earle)
Apparently they don't have to meet
the same high standards as you when
it comes to declaring someone dead.
INT. STAIRCASE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE -- DAY
Rachel HURRIES down marble stairs to catch Finch.
Yes, Miss Dodson?
Mr.Finch, on the Falcone matter-
(here we go again)
The case against Falcone died with
Chill. We had our shot.
They walk out into the parking lot...
EXT. PARKING LOT, COURTHOUSE -- CONTINUOUS
That was then- but now he's importing
drugs, everybody knows it, let's
take it to Harvey Dent and-
Keep your voice down.
Look, Rachel, Falcone's got Judge
Phelan and half of City Hall bought
And paid for. So you got burned on
Falcone- let it go, we've got bigger
fish to fry.
That would make a lot more sense if
we were doing any frying.
Finch, uncomfortable, TURNS. Rachel WATCHES him exit...
INT. ROLLS ROYCE -- CONTINUOUS
In The back seat, Wayne WATCHES Rachel standing there.
Shall I park, sir?
Wayne wrestles for a moment...
No, let's go.
Alfred pulls out with a touch of disappointment.
INT. APPLIED SCIENCES DIVISION -- DAY
A massive WAREHOUSE, stacked with crates, odd-shaped under
dust covers, lab equipment. LUCIUS FOX, aged 52, leads Wayne
through the stacks, speaking in calm, knowledgeable tones.
Environmental applications, defense
projects, consumer products... all
prototypes, none if production at
any level whatsoever.
Fox pauses, turns to Wayne, a wicked gleam in his eye.
What did they tell you this place
They didn't tell me anything.
Told me exactly what it was when
they sent me here... a dead end where
I couldn't cause any more trouble
for the rest of the board.
You were on the board?
Back when your father ran things.
You knew my father?
Sure. Helped him build his train.
Beautiful project- routed right into
Wayne Tower, along with the water
and power utilities. Made Wayne
Tower the unofficial heart of Gotham.
Fox stops at a tall CRATE. Checks paperwork. Opens the
crate: a BODYSUIT- clear silicone over jointed armor.
Here it is: the nomex survival suit
for advanced infantry. Kevlar biweave,
Wayne feels the fabric of the suit.
Anything but a straight shot.
Fox HACKS at the suit with his pen- it doesn't even mark.
This sucker'll stop a knife.
Why didn't they put it into
The bean counters figured a soldier's
life wasn't worth the 300 grand.
Fox looks at Wayne. Suspicious.
What do you want with it, Mr.Wayne?
I want to borrow it. For spelunking.
You know, cave-diving.
Fox shrugs. Puts the lid back on the crate.
You get a lot of gunfire down in
Listen, I'd rather Mr.Earle didn't
know about me borrowing-
Mr.Wayne, the way I see it...
Fox waves his arm, taking in the enormous facility.
All this stuff is yours, anyway.
INT. CAVERNS BENEATH WAYNE MANOR -- DAY
Wayne, high on the cavern wall, in climbing harness, HAMMERS
a bracket into the rock securing a line of industrial LAMPS.
Okay! Give it a try.
Alfred throws a switch on a portable GENERATOR: the lamps
flicker on, dimly lighting the length of one wall. Alfred
peers at the DAMP, DINGY surroundings.
Alfred sees the BATS covering the entire ceiling.
At least you'll have company.
Wayne RAPPELS to the cave floor, looks up to a HIGH corner:
CRUMBLING BRICKWORK. Alfred follows his gaze.
Must be the lowest foundations of
the Southeast wing.
Wayne CLIMBS up: poking through the rock ceiling: the bottom
of a wrought-iron SPIRAL STAIRCASE. In the center of the
spiral: a dumb-waiter lift, fallen off its track. Wayne
grabs the chains of the lift, RATTLES them- sending a wave
ECHOING up into the darkness.
During the civil war your greatgrandfather
was involved with the
underground railroad. Secretly
transporting freed slaves to the
North. I suspect these caverns came
Wayne jumps down. Moves to the small river. Follows it
where it disappears under rocks. Steps over. Alfred waits.
The ROAR of WATER gets louder and the light gets BRIGHTER.
Wayne follows the tunnel around a dog leg, emerging...
BEHIND THE FACE OF A WATERFALL. Wayne grins, HOPS along
slick rocks right up to the beautiful CURTAIN of water.
Alfred, come up here.
Alfred is twenty feet behind on the dry rocks.
I can see it very well from here,
Wayne, mesmerized, reaches for water that is liquid light.
INT. UNMARKED POLICE SEDAN -- EVENING
Gordon, now 46 and a Detective, in the passenger seat. Worn
eyes watching his partner, FLASS, 42, glad-hand the owner of
the liquor store they are parked outside. Flass squeezes
into the driving seat holding a wad of CASH.
Don't s'pose you want a taste?
Gordon looks at Flass, cold. Flass shrugs. Counts his money.
I keep offering 'cause who knows,
maybe one day you'll get wise.
Nothing wise in what you do, Flass.
Yeah? Well, Jimbo, you don't take
your taste- makes us guys nervous
you might decide to roll over-
I'm no rat, Flass.
In a town this bent, who's there to
rat to, anyway?
Flass LAUGHS at this, hits the gas.
EXT. ROOFTOPS, GOTHAM -- CONTINUOUS
Moving in on a rooftop balustrade to discover Wayne, wearing
the bodysuit, crouched, watching the police station across
The street. He pulls on a black balaclava. CLIMBS through
the SHADOWS using Ninja SPIRES on his hands and feet.
EXT. POLICE STATION -- MOMENTS LATER
Gordon slams the car door. Watches Flass pull away. Weary.
INT. GORDON'S OFFICE -- CONTINUOUS
Gordon SLUMPS into his chair, back to the window. Reaches
for the phone- notices a BOOK sitting on his desk: an old,
worn copy of: "PHYLUM PERACOPDA: THE TWILIGHT WORLD OF BATS".
Gordon frowns at the book, CONFUSED. The light goes OUT.
Don't turn around.
Gordon FREEZES- Wayne is behind his, pressing a stapler
between Gordon's shoulder blades as if it were a gun.
What do you want?
I've been watching. You're a good
cop. One of the few. What would it
take to get Falcone?
Gordon narrows his eyes, puzzled.
He brings in shipments of drugs every
week, nobody takes him down. Why?
He's paid up with the right people.
What would it take?
Leverage on Judge Phelan. And a
D.A. brave enough to prosecute.
Rachel Dodson in the D.A.'s office.
Who are you?
Watch for a sign.
You're just one man?
Now we are two.
No response. Gordon turns around. No one. He JUMPS to the
window- looks down, looks up: a SHADOW slips onto the roof-
INT. BULLPEN -- CONTINUOUS
Gordon RACES across the bullpen, drawing his gun, hits the
stairwell- two UNIFORMS see him go, run after him.
EXT. ROOFTOP -- CONTINUOUS
Wayne moves to the edge of the roof- the gap is TOO BIG- he
TURNS BACK- the DOOR SMASHES open: Gordon GUN RAISED.
Wayne RACES for the GAP- LEAPS... DROPS FAST... misses THE
TOP STORY- GRABS the balcony below... it BREAKS AWAY- DROPS
him onto the one below. Winded, Wayne CLIMBS onto the wall.
From the other roof, Gordon watches Wayne melt into the
shadows. The Uniforms arrive either side.
The hell was that? 1
But Gordon's expression is less certain.
INT. EARLE'S OFFICE, WAYNE TOWER -- DAY
Earle sits at his desk conferring with two board members.
Is he taking over?
Not yet. I checked th trust, and
bruce can't assume control until his
Jessica, where's that coffee?
But that's in three months.
We'll have to move fast.
BOARD MEMBER 2
To do what?
An IPO. There's nothing in Bruce's
trust to stop us taking the company
public... we'll have an offering...
And Bruce will become just another
Precisely. We can't have some clown
prince running things.
No answer. Earle steps to the door and opens it.
His assistant is GONE. So is the receptionist.
EXT. ROOFTOP, WAYNE TOWER -- MOMENTS LATER
The SWISH-CLICK of a Titleist rocketing off the roof and out
towards Gotham River.
Wayne stands behind the Beautiful Assistant, hand on her
hip, adjusting her grip on a gold club. Another YOUNG WOMAN
watches, leaning on a driver.
Keep your elbows in...
They turn. Earle is standing there.
Sorry, Mr.Earle, Mr.Wayne insisted
that all junior executives need to
know how to play golf.
Junior Executive? Who's answering
Wayne smiles pleasantly at Earle.
This is Wayne Industries, Mr.Earle-
I'm sure they'll call back.
Wayne unwraps himself from Jessica and approaches Earle.
I thought a few promotions might be
good karma forgetting my new job.
Earle smiles patiently.
Of course, you're not actually
starting just yet, Bruce. Not until
Three month's time- I'm having a
huge blowout and I expect everyone
to be there.
With bells on. How are things down
at Applied Sciences?
Great- there's some cool stuff down
there. Although that Mr.Fox goes on
a bit once you gte him talking.
Earle takes Wayne by the elbow, walking him away.
Since you're here, there is a business
matter that I wanted to make you
Wayne assumes a pose of seriousness.
We've been thinking for some time
about offering shares... I think the
time is right.
It's just a way of raising capital