Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here
Note: This is the synthesis. See scene by scene analysis here
|Characters||8.7||93||Breaking bad, episode 306: 8.6||American beauty: 8.7|
|Emotional Impact||8.2||88||The usual suspects: 8.1||Casablanca: 8.2|
|Dialogue||8.2||83||Mo: 8.1||a few good men: 8.2|
|Character Changes||6.7||78||Inglorious Basterds: 6.5||Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): 6.7|
|Conflict Level||7.7||58||Killers of the flower moon: 7.6||sense 8: 7.7|
|Concept||7.8||51||Stranger things: 7.7||Get Out: 7.8|
|Overall||8.2||44||The sweet hereafter: 8.1||Donnie Darko: 8.2|
|High Stakes||7.1||41||Mo: 7.0||Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): 7.1|
|Story Forward||7.4||28||Fear and loathing in Las Vegas: 7.3||Bonnie and Clyde: 7.4|
|Plot||7.7||24||The whale: 7.6||groundhog day: 7.7|
|Story Content||Character Development||Scene Elements||Audience Engagement|
|Scene Number||Full Analysis||Tone||Overall Grade||Concept||Plot||Characters||Character Changes||Conflict||High stakes||Story forward||Emotional Impact||Dialogue|
|2||Chaos at the Theater||"tense"||8||8||9||8||6||9||9||9||8||8|
|6||Meeting Mike Shiner||"sarcastic, contentious"||8||8||7||9||6||8||5||7||7||10|
|7||Costume Fitting Chaos||"Humorous, awkward"||7||6||6||8||3||5||3||3||4||8|
|11||Conflict over Cast Member||"Tense"||8||8||8||9||6||9||8||8||7||8|
|12||Financial Woes and Family Ties||"somber"||8||7||6||9||8||7||6||6||10||8|
|13||Confrontation with Mike||"Intense"||8||8||9||9||8||9||10||9||10||8|
|14||The Importance of Reviews||"tense"||8||8||7||9||7||9||7||7||8||9|
|20||Truth or Dare||"introspective, tense"||8||8||7||9||7||5||4||6||8||8|
|21||The New York Times Review||"tense"||7||7||8||7||5||8||9||8||6||6|
|22||Riggan and Mike's Confrontation||"intense"||8||9||8||9||8||10||9||9||10||9|
|26||Love and Betrayal on Stage||"Intense"||8||9||8||8||6||10||9||7||8||8|
|27||Riggan's Public Breakdown||"chaotic"||9||8||9||8||7||10||9||9||10||7|
|28||Riggan's breakdown on stage||"tense"||8||7||8||9||6||10||9||8||9||7|
|30||Tabitha Destroys Riggan's Play||"Intense"||9||8||9||10||7||9||8||8||9||10|
|31||Riggan's Delusion||"Magical realism"||9||9||8||8||7||6||7||8||7||8|
|32||Opening Night Chaos||"Tense"||9||8||8||9||7||5||6||8||6||7|
|33||Revisiting the past||"somber"||8||7||7||9||8||4||6||5||9||9|
|34||Final Performance and Suicide||"Intense, emotional, dark"||9||8||9||9||10||10||11||10||11||8|
|35||Aftermath and Acceptance||"bittersweet"||9||9||9||10||8||6||8||8||9||8|
|36||Riggan's Final Choice||"Melancholic"||9||9||10||8||8||3||8||7||9||8|
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Alexander Dinelaris, Jr.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Alexander Dinelaris, Jr.
© 2013 DINOSAUR OUT, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PORTION OF THIS SCRIPT MAY BE
PERFORMED, PUBLISHED, REPRODUCED, SOLD OR DISTRIBUTED BY ANY MEANS, OR QUOTED OR
PUBLISHED IN ANY MEDIUM, INCLUDING ANY WEB SITE, WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT
OF DINOSAUR OUT, INC. DISPOSAL OF THIS SCRIPT COPY DOES NOT ALTER ANY OF THE
RESTRICTIONS SET FORTH ABOVE.
1 BLACK 1
We hear a clock ticking.
1 INT. RIGGAN'S DRESSING ROOM - THEATER - DAY 1
Close on the brilliant colors of a middle eastern rug, the
center of what seems to be a makeshift “meditation” space.
We slowly tilt up to discover the back of Riggan Thomson (55).
He is in the proper ‘Lotus’ position, dressed only in tight
white briefs and he appears to be meditating deeply. And if all
this seems a little odd, it becomes all the more so when you
notice that he is levitating almost two feet above the floor.
His breath is calm and measured... in and out... in and out.
How did we end up here?
This place is a fucking dump.
We begin to slowly move toward Riggan's back while his measure
breathing continues. We see a clock on the wall, ticking.
Smells like balls.
A slight twitch in Riggan's neck.
We don't belong in this shithole.
A Skype call shatters the silence. Close on his back, we follow
Riggan as he walks over to the computer and answers the call.
On the computer screen appears Sam (21), in a pair of Levi's
and a Led Zeppelin T-shirt. She has simple and striking good
looks, with an edge in her voice and behind her eyes. She
stands in a Korean Deli among the flowers, talking to Riggan
through her iPhone.
The Korean Store owner (50) stands in the background screaming
at her the whole time.
Sam, I can't--
10/29/14 / 2.
Dad? What kind of--
(Turning to Korean.)
(Back to screen.)
What kind of flowers did you say you
Alchemillas. Or something soothing that
smells nice. Listen I can’t--
It all smells like fucking Kimchi!
Then whatever looks nice. Anything but
roses. No roses.
Flowers don't need you touch! They need you
(Close into the screen.)
I hate this job.
And the Skype call is over. Riggan closes the laptop and leans
forward trying to regain his calm. His reflection appears in
the mirror, and for the first time we see his face. He has a
dark goatee and his hair looks strangely abundant. There is a
piece of paper on the mirror with the handwritten phrase “A
thing is a thing, not what it is said of that thing.”
ANNIE ON SPEAKERS
Riggan, they’re starting scene
five. We need you on stage.
Riggan throws on a sweater and stumbles into his slacks. He
2 INT. HALLWAYS - THEATER - CONTINUOUS 2
...through the narrow corridors of the theater. There is a lot
of activity as various workers and stage hands appear and
disappear carrying equipment and scenery. As Riggan descends the
stairs, a Stage Hand· passes by in the opposite direction.
10/29/14 / 3.
Riggan continues on until he arrives backstage. He runs into
Jake (42) his producer and friend.
How’s it going, buddy.
Great. It’d be even better if I
could get Ralph to stop acting like
he’s in an educational video for
The camera moves off of them and onto...
...the stage. Suddenly we are in the midst of an Americana style
Around the kitchen table sit Lesley (35), plain and no nonsense,
her simple hairstyle and makeup can't hide how attractive she
is. Laura (35), dark, exotic, the kind of woman who makes every
person she meets feel like she's seducing them. And Ralph (40),
slightly handsome, slightly balding, slightly invisible.
A half empty bottle of gin on the table, they drink from
highball glasses as they chat...
He loved me.
Yeah. He loved her so much he tried
to kill her.
He tried to kill you?
No. (A beat.) Okay, well, he did
beat me up one night. He dragged me
around the living room by my
ankles, yelling "I love you, I love
10/29/14 / 4.
you, bitch." What do you do with a
love like that?
How is that-- That is not love and you know
it. Why do you insist on calling it--
You can say what you want, but I know what
What about you, Nick? Does that sound like
love to you?
Riggan arrives at the table and sits.
Sorry I’m late.
(Beat. In character.)
I'm the wrong person to ask. I didn't
know the man. I've only heard his name
mentioned in passing. You'd have to
know the particulars. But I think what
you're saying is that love is absolute.
Yeah. The kind of love I'm talking about
is... The kind of love I'm talking about,
you don't try and kill people.
It was love, Mel. To Eddie, it was. I don't
care what anybody says. He was ready to die
Ask her what he did after she left him.
He shot himself in the mouth. But he
screwed that up, too. Poor Ed.
Poor Ed, my ass. The guy was dangerous.
How'd he screw it up if he shot himself in
(By the numbers.)
He used to carry this twenty-two. We lived
like fugitives those days. I never knew--
10/29/14 / 5.
(Breaking character to direct.
Okay. Fugitives are on the run, Ralph. How
many times do I have to-- Fugitives are
scared. Give me more of that.
Ralph nods. He takes a breath and dives in once again...
(The same but louder.)
We lived like fugitives those days...
Extremely frustrated, Riggan stares out into the auditorium.
From his POV we see Jake who is now sitting in the third row.
His head buried in his hands, tortured by Ralph’s performance.
Riggan turns back to Ralph.
...I never knew if he was going to come out
of the bushes or from behind a car and just
Riggan watches Ralph act and sees his whole production headed
down the drain. Ralph is just that bad.
The man was crazy. He was capable of
The actors all wait for a cue from Riggan, who is now staring
up into the lights above the stage. Laura finally picks up
Christ. What a nightmare...
He used to call me at the hospital and
(Over the top.)
"Son of a bitch. Your days are numbered."
Silence. Ralph looks over to Riggan.
Too much? Little bit? I just wanted to give
you a range, so you could--
And with that a light comes barreling down from it's perch and
crashes into Ralph's head, making him hit the floor like a rag
10/29/14 / 6.
Lesley and Annie (35), the Stage Manager, run over to Ralph
who is out cold. Not knowing what to do, they stare at him.
Is he breathing?
Jake runs toward the stage.
Someone call 911!
Riggan slowly backs away from the chaos.
Is that blood coming out of his
Where are you going?
Okay, he’s breathing. What did he
have for lunch?
Did anyone call for help?
Wake up! Wake up!
Two crew members try to help Ralph.
Grab his legs. I got the top.
Don't move him! Wait for the ambulance.
For the love of God! I could get a black
audience in this theater faster than a
Riggan heads off the stage, and Jake chases after him. We
follow them as...
...they walk through the corridor.
Where are you going? We’ll have the
understudy ready to rehearse in five--
10/29/14 / 7.
Forget the understudy. We have to postpone
What are you-- It’s a full house. We would
have to refund all the--
Then do it.
A crew member· passes in the opposite direction.
He’ll be fine.
Wait. Wait. Fuck. Wait.
Listen to me. It was going to be a
disaster. That guy’s the worst actor I've
ever seen. The blood coming out of his ear
was the most honest thing he's done so far.
He's not that bad.
Riggan stops in his tracks and stares at Jake.
Okay, he's fucking horrible. But--
Riggan starts walking again.
You have the press in your dressing
room in a few hours. How are we--
I'll make something up.
Two Technicians· hurry up in the opposite direction.
Jake. This happened for a reason. It wasn't
What do you mean?
10/29/14 / 8.
I-- (A beat.) I made it happen.
Are you drunk?
Find me an actor. A good actor.
Philip Seymour Hoffman...
He’s doing the third Hunger Games.
Doing the prequel to the X-Men
They arrive at Riggan's dressing room.
What’s his name? Jeremy Renner...
The... the Hurt Locker guy.
Yeah. He’s an Avenger.
Fuck. They put him in a cape, too?
(A beat.) Look, I don’t care. Find
...his dressing room and tries to shut the door. Jake, still in
the corridor, stops it with his foot.
(Sticking his head in.)
Ralph'll sue us. He'll sue us. And he's got
10/29/14 / 9.
Riggan releases the door.
Then make him go away.
How do you suggest I do that?
You're my lawyer, my producer and
my oldest friend. We are going to
make this work. Now just get out
there and do what you were born to
I have no idea. But I have faith.
Now go away from me.
Do you think we should--
Riggan slams the door shut on Jake. A beat. On a television, a
segment of E! News. A busty blond, with an exaggerated smile,
...and when we come back, an exclusive
interview with Robert Downey Jr., who tells
us about the billion-dollar Iron Man
franchise. The talented actor invited us
onto the set of Iron Man 3...
Riggan slams the tv off, his mind racing. He sits on a chair.
That clown doesn’t have half your talent
and he’s making a fortune in that Tin Man
Riggan stares into the mirror, in the reflection he catches
sight of a poster from a movie called "Birdman 3". The
superhero, Birdman (a younger Riggan in a bird costume), wings
widely spread, stares directly back at him. A hand written
note on the top of the poster reads: "Thomson, break a wing!
From the boys at Local 1." Riggan tries to calm himself with a
"Breathing in, I embrace my anger.
Breathing out, I smile to it."
10/29/14 / 10.
Embrace it. Kiss it. Turn it around and
fuck it in the--
A knock on the door behind him.
Laura opens the door and sticks her head in.
Can I come in?
Okay. Two words. Shia La Beouf.
That's three words.
I love you.
She closes the door. Riggan tries to calm himself down, but
Laura opens the door again.
I take it we’re not going to dinner
I don’t have an actor.
I don’t have a life.
(Goes to leave but stops.)
You remember at Joan's when you
asked me to come do a Broadway play
with you? You said it would be
10/29/14 / 11.
So far? No fun.
Riggan closes the door and looks at the Birdman poster.
Fun? You know what would be fun? Getting
the fuck out of here before we humiliate
ourselves. That would be fun.
Riggan looks at himself in the mirror and begins to pull at
his hair. As it comes off his head, we discover it was a wig.
He turns away from the mirror, trying desperately to stay
calm. Something catches his eye: a vase of roses on the end
of the table. A card in them says, "They didn't have the
whatever you wanted - Sam". Enraged, Riggan focuses on the
vase. It begins to shift. Then, with a surge of anger,
without ever touching it, he sends it crashing against the
wall on the other side of the room.
The camera pans over the roses scattered across the floor. It
hovers over the carpet and around the perimeter of the room,
until it finally settles on Riggan, now dressed in a casual
It is later the same day. He is sitting on the sofa and on three
chairs in front of him are three journalists:
Gabriel, a geeky theatre journalist, wearing thick glasses and
a thin tie. Clara, a reporter from an entertainment blog. And
Han, a polite, obese Japanese journalist, who sits next to his
translator, another Japanese guy.
Why does somebody go from playing the lead
in a comic book franchise to adapting
Raymond Carver for the stage?
Riggan tries to remain calm.
I mean, as you're probably aware, Barthes
said, “The cultural work done in the past
by gods and epic sagas is now done by
laundry detergent commercials and comic
strip characters.” It's a big leap you've
Riggan shifts nervously.
10/29/14 / 12.
Well... Absolutely. As you said... that
Barthes said... Birdman, like Icarus...
Hang on. Who's this Barthes guy? Which
Birdman was he in?
Roland Barthes was a French philosopher,
Oh. Okay. Sure. Now, is it true you’ve been
injecting yourself with semen from baby
As a method of facial rejuvenation.
Who told you that?
It was tweeted by... (checks her notes)
It's a lie.
I know. But did you do it?
Are you afraid at all that people will say
you're doing this play to battle the
impression that you're a washed-up super
No. I’m not. And that’s exactly why
20 years ago I refused to do
Birdman 4??? You do Birdman 4???
Jake opens the door and the camera pans to him.
10/29/14 / 13.
Okay. That's enough for today.
Thank you for coming. We’re
expecting some great pieces from
Riggan stares at the Birdman poster.
Publicity guys are trying to get
you a Times feature.
Riggan stands up and pulls the Birdman poster off of the
So, How’d it-- Whoa. If I were you
I wouldn’t do that.
I don’t want to look at it anymore.
That was a present from the crew.
Don’t fuck with those guys, they’re
I don’t care.
Riggan leaves the poster on the floor, facing the wall, and
walks to the window. He opens it. We can hear distant drums
coming from the street.
So... How'd it go?
Did they ask about Ralph?
Good. He did it, you know? The
motherfucker threatened to sue us.
Didn’t even wait to get out of the
And, what did you say?
10/29/14 / 14.
What’d I say? I said, "You
motherfucker. You’re threatening
me? ME? I swear to god, you fuck, I
so much as get a letter from a
lawyer, the press’ll get the
pictures we got off your computer.”
The guy has a thing for nuns... in
diapers. What do you care? You
shouldn’t have any knowledge about
it anyway. The important thing is
that I made him go away.
Right. That's great.
Yeah, it’s fantastic. One problem.
We don't have an actor. And if we
cancel the first preview the press
will smell the blood. We can't
afford to lose any more money. At
What do you want me to do?
We pay an understudy, let’s use the
No? Riggan, listen to me. Our dream actor
is not going to knock on that door and
say: "Hey fellas, when do we start?"
There is a knock at the door. Leslie peeks in.
Can I talk to you for a second?
Yeah. What’s up?
10/29/14 / 15.
Did you find another actor?
Okay. Well... Mike's available.
I thought he was doing--
He was. He quit. Or got fired.
Which one? Quit or fired?
With Mike it's usually both.
Mike Fucking Who?
Yes! How do you know Mike Shiner?
We share a vagina.
You think he'd want to do it?
10/29/14 / 16.
How do you know?
Because he said he'd want to do it.
Jake. Hang on a minute.
Ask me if he sells tickets.
Does he sell tickets?
A shitload of tickets. Now ask me if the
critics like him?
Do they like him?
They want to spooge on him.
Right on his face.
Everything for a reason, right?
You think he'll be able to come tonight?
I can call him and find out.
Riggan gives Jake a look.
I'll call his agent.
Jake charges out of the room. The camera follows him into...
10/29/14 / 17.
...the hallway and as Jake makes a left turn, Annie enters from
Annie, turn the work lights on and get me a
fresh copy of the script. We’re gonna have
a “put in” tonight.
You’ll find out...
Jake disappears down the hall and we follow Annie through the
theater and onto...
7 INT. STAGE - THEATER - EVENING 7
...the stage, where she turns some of the stage work lights on.
We pan along the stage until we find Riggan, wearing the same
clothes as before, scanning the empty auditorium.
Intimidating. Isn't it?
Riggan sees Mike Shiner (39) coming down the aisle, slovenly
dressed with mussed hair and intense eyes.
Do you have any idea who walked these
boards before you?
Geraldine Page, Marlon Brando,
Helen Hayes, Jason Robards... And
now you. Riggan Thomson.
Riggan, trying to hide the intimidation.
Thanks for coming on such short notice,
Mike. I appreciate it.
Hey. This is what we do.
(Indicates a script.)
So, you wrote this adaptation?
10/29/14 / 18.
And you're directing the adaptation and
A sly smile from Mike. He leaps onto the stage.
Why don't we do a bit of it?
Hey, I wasn't expecting you to--
First preview is tomorrow, right?
Yeah, but you can go on with the script
until you feel comfortable--
Let's just do some of it.
Riggan tries to hide his excitement. He grabs the script from a
nearby table and walks it over to Mike.
Take a look at page twenty--
Yeah. I don't need that.
I don't need the script. Just give me a
What are you talking about?
Feed me a line.
I don’t-- What?
10/29/14 / 19.
Feed. Me. A line.
Riggan drops the script and begins the scene.
“I'm the wrong person to ask. I didn't
know the man. I've only heard his name
mentioned in passing. I wouldn't know.
You'd have to know the particulars. But
I think what you're saying is that love
Mike stares at Riggan, hyper-focused.
Am I saying that love is absolute?
"Yeah. The kind of love I'm talking about
is. The kind of love I'm talking about you--
(An intense pause.)
Well, you don't try to kill people.
Riggan is transfixed, and almost immediately intimidated.
How do you know the lines?
I have a thing, a whatever, a gift.
(A beat.) Come on, I helped Lesley get
off book. Hey, give me that cue again.
"I'm the wrong person to ask. I didn't
know the man. I've only heard his name
mentioned in passing. I wouldn't know.
You'd have to know the particulars. But
I think what you're saying is--”
Okay, can I-- Do you mind if I--
No, go ahead.
Follow me. He says, "I'm the wrong
person to ask." What's his intention?
Is he fed up with the topic?
Deflecting? Guilt about his wife maybe?
Then four sentences all say the same
thing... "I didn't even know the man."
10/29/14 / 20.
"I've only heard his name mentioned in
passing." “I wouldn't know.” "You'd
have to know the particulars." First of
all, particulars? What are you, my
grandmother? But the point is, YOU
DON'T KNOW THE GUY, WE FUCKING GET IT.
Make it one line. "I didn't even know
the guy." Right? ...
You pretty much know my lines too, huh?
Can we-- Are we doing something here? Come
on let's go. Cut it down, give it to me
"I'm the wrong person to ask--"
Oh, right, sorry, you see? "I'm the wrong
person to ask?" That's another fuck you.
"Don't put me on the spot. Don't make me
self conscious about my marriage when my
wife is sitting right here..." See? Give
it to me. Give me a good fuck you. Come
Okay, let me--
Come on. Give it to me right now. Fuck me.
Right now. Right here. Let's do it.
(Jumps in w/out thinking.)
"Hey. I'm the wrong person to ask, okay? I
didn't even know the guy. So what's your
"What's my point?"
"What's your point? What are you saying?
Spit it out. You're saying, what? That love
is an absolute?"
10/29/14 / 21.
"Yeah! Alright? The kind of love I'm
talking about is absolute. The kind of love
I'm talking about you--
(A painful memory.)
Well, you don't try to kill people.
Riggan stands silently, his heart pounding.
So what do you think, boss? Do I have a
Riggan calls over to the wings.
What do you think?
Mike turns to see Sam, who has been there for a bit.
Larry needs to see him for a fitting.
I'm gonna take that as a yes.
(Walking to Sam.)
And you are...?
That's my daughter, Sam.
Right. Yeah. I can see it around the... (A
beat) She doesn't look anything like you.
And your job is...?
She's my assistant.
And can you speak?
Yup. I can even 'sit', 'stay' or 'roll
over' if you have any treats.
Welcome aboard, Mike.
10/29/14 / 22.
Thank you, Captain.
We follow Mike and Sam off as they...
...advance through the hallways.
I'm Mike Shiner, by the way.
I know who you are.
I saw you in 'Hothouse' at the Geffen. It
That ass is great.
She turns her head toward him with a disgusted expression.
Moving by her, into a dressing room.
This is the theatre, honey. Don’t be so
She follows him into the room where we see...
...Larry stressing out while he works on a costume. He turns
to see Mike standing there. Sam stands against the wall,
focused on her cell phone.
Oh, thank the Lord and pass the
biscuits! I finally have an actor to
dress. Hello, Mr. Shiner.
How're you doing, Larry?
Better, now that you're here. Take off your
10/29/14 / 23.
Mike takes off his shirt and hands it to Sam. She doesn't budge,
and it hits the floor. He begins to unbutton his pants...
You gonna stand there?
(Glancing at her cell.)
This is the theatre, honey. Don’t be so
Larry searches for a few costume pieces.
Okay. I'm gonna have to start from
scratch, with less than twenty-four
hours... Let's see if these--
He turns to see a completely naked Mike.
Holy-- What is happening? Where are
At home, under the bed, I think.
Sam glances at Mike for a second, then returns to her phone.
Larry begins to help Mike into some pants which, given the
situation, is very awkward.
Okay. Everything is too small.
Yeah, you're not kidding.
Lesley enters the room immediately coming face to face with a
naked Mike. She doesn't notice Sam who is partially hidden by a
clothes rack. She just goes about trying a costume shirt.
Oh, that's nice...
Forgive him, Larry. Mike's like my five
year old son. Neither one of them has
Or pubic hair, I imagine.
(Folding the pants.)
Okay, well, I can take out the suit but
we're going to need some new pants and
10/29/14 / 24.
Mike just stands there naked, staring at his penis in the
This is too small.
What the hell are you doing?
Waiting for Larry to finish.
Larry disappears deeper into the costume room.
Okay, well, then I'm just standing here
with my balls out.
Get dressed. Riggan's daughter is hanging
around, and I don't need her to walk in
No, Mike. You haven’t seen her. She’s
always hanging around, just-- I don’t--
Watching everyone. It’s creepy. It’s--
I don’t know if the drugs fried her
brain or what, but I don't need her
running to her father saying you showed
her your junk.
Okay, then we should probably get her out
Lesley's expression goes blank.
Oh, God. Really?
10/29/14 / 25.
Sam steps forward.
I didn't mean--
It's cool. He's a handful, huh?
They both look back at Mike.
Sam smiles at her and exits. Lesley wheels on Mike.
Jesus... How is it you always manage to find
a new way to humiliate me?
To be fair, you make it really easy.
What the hell was she doing here?
She brought me.
I know, right? She's a little--
Look at me, Mike. This is Broadway. I'm
here. Finally. And I'm begging you, if you
love me, please, do me a favor... don't
fuck it up.
10/29/14 / 26.
Lesley moves toward Mike. He cups her face in his hands
tenderly. They are face to face.
Play with my balls...
She twists his nipples hard and walks out.
I won't fuck it up... Probably!
Larry reappears holding some clothes. We follow him out...
...through the hallway. He walks by Jake and Riggan who are mid
conversation. We stay with them.
I don’t care, sign it.
Listen to me.
No you listen to me--
I can’t afford to listen to you...
I’m gonna need to go shopping
Fucking sew something, you old
I don't care. Give him what he
His agent is asking for almost four
times what we were paying--
Then go into the reserve.
The reserve is gone. You spent it
on the fog. And those fake trees...
10/29/14 / 27.
It’s a dream sequence, it--
And three union midgets that dance
You’re not supposed to call them
The reserve is gone!
Listen to me, you didn't see what I
just saw. But you will, at the preview
tomorrow. Look, get the contract done.
I'll get the money.
Riggan begins marching toward the stage.
(Calling after him.)
Laura comes down some stairs and chases Riggan.
Hey, is it true? Shiner?
Holy shit! When can I meet him?
He's in a fitting with Larry.
Lesley comes down the hallway.
I’m going to Starbucks. You guys
I’m fine. How’s Mike?
Did you talk to your daughter?
10/29/14 / 28.
(To Lesley. Matter-of-
Honey, your tits look like fucking
anjou pears in that top!
Okay, well I'm gonna-- Thank you.
She walks away.
And that ass. Like two eggs in a hanky!
Riggan walks, Laura follows him.
Okay, I was going to tell you this over
dinner, but everything-- I have some news
Good or bad? Cause right now--
A technician walks by.
I missed my last two periods.
I think it's happening this time.
Riggan stops. Silent. A beat.
Is that good or bad?
(He stares at her.)
It's good. It's great.
She smiles, her eyes filled with emotion. Riggan smiles back,
and nods absently.
Say something else...
10/29/14 / 29.
You're pretty sure it's mine?
(Unamused but plays along)
Well, let's see. There's you. Jake. That
masseuse wore a condom so... Yes, it's
She puts her head on Riggan's chest. We see his mind racing.
Laura is moved, and confused.
Are you excited?
Laura moves slightly away from him and suddenly slaps him across
the face. Riggan looks at her, confused.
You're not funny.
She kisses him intensely on the lips and briefly places his
hand on her belly, then moves it up to her breasts. After a
moment, she backs away.
First preview tomorrow. Here we go!
Laura turns and walks away. Riggan continues down the
corridor. He passes by a Security Guard· in front of a small
TV. The camera becomes Riggan’s POV and advances until...
...we go through the stage door. We scan the backstage area to
see the stagehands ready to do their jobs. We can feel the
electricity of a first preview.
On stage part of the kitchen set from before is visible. Annie
stands at her podium, calling the cues for the show.
(Into her headset.)
Cue 34 and 35. Go.
10/29/14 / 30.
She turns and looks directly into the camera.
Riggan walks on screen wearing his costume, carrying a bucket of
ice and a bottle of gin. He goes to the opposite side of the
stage and takes his place in the wings. He peeks out at the
audience who seem to be watching with interest.
Then we pan to the stage to find Mike, Lesley and Laura
performing the scene we saw at the beginning, around the table.
Mike looks comfortable, sipping at his drink. A half empty
bottle of gin on the table.
The maniac shot himself right in front of
us. I rode with him in the ambulance to the
I’ll never get that image out of my head.
Right before he did it, his eyes-- they
were so sad... lonely.
Did you have to treat him?
I didn’t have to. But I did.
(Pouring another drink.)
He was in bad shape. His head swelled
up to like twice the size of a normal
head. I'd never seen anything like
it. And I swear to God, I hope I
never do again.
Riggan stands near Annie.
He’s incredible. I think he's
drinking real gin.
Riggan looks out at Mike, who is refilling his glass.
10/29/14 / 31.
A stagehand gives Riggan a bottle. Riggan watches and waits
for his cue.
Ask Nick what real love is. He’ll
agree with me. You watch.
Why don’t we just head to the
Don’t get him started, Mel. You
haven’t seen how he’s been lately.
He’s been depressed. I’m worried
about him. He’s been--
She gently pushes Riggan and we follow him on stage...
...where Mike goes to refill his glass with the last of the
real gin. Riggan snatches the bottle out of his hands and
gulps the rest, straight from the bottle.
Been what? (Beat.) I'll tell you
what real love is. This happened a
few months ago.
(Drops bottle on table)
And it ought to make us ashamed
when we talk like we know what
we're talking about when we talk
Nick, for God's sake. Are you
(Pointed at Mike.)
I don't have to be drunk to say
what I think.
Nobody’s drunk. We’re just having a
You’ve had more than a few.
What are you, counting?
10/29/14 / 32.
Don't you talk to her like that.
Don’t talk like a drunk if you’re
Shut up. For once in your life.
Will you do me a favor and shut up
for a minute?
Like I was saying... There's this
old couple, had a car wreck out on
the interstate. Some drunk kid
plowed his dad's pick up into their
We begin to hear the underscoring of violins.
Fucking teenager. By the time I got
to the hospital, the kid was dead.
He was off in a corner laid out on
a gurney. We took the old couple up
to the O.R.. They were a mess. We
worked like hell on them for most
of the night...
Over the speech, Mike reaches for the new bottle that Riggan
placed on stage. He refills his glass.
When we were done, we wrapped them in full
body casts. The husband was depressed.
Even when I told him his wife was gonna
pull through, he was still depressed. So,
I got up to his mouth hole and asked him,
and he told me it was because he couldn't
see her through the eye holes. Can you
imagine? I’m telling you, the man's heart
was breaking because he couldn't turn his
goddamn head and see his goddamn wife.
Riggan is doing a good job. Lesley and Laura are genuinely
moved. Mike notices. He sips his drink.
I mean... It was killing him. Killing him
I'm tired of this shit.
They all look at Mike. In silence.
10/29/14 / 33.
What the fuck is this? Water?
He hurls the glass against the wall. Some laughter from the
audience. Riggan stares at him, confused. He presses on.
It was killing the old bastard...
Did you just give me water?
Come on, Mike.
Come on what?
Take it easy. You're drunk.
Of course I'm drunk! I'm supposed to
be drunk! This is Carver, man! The guy
lost a piece of liver every time he
wrote a page! If I’m supposed to drink
gin then bring me fuckin gin! I mean,
you fucked the time period! You took
all the good lines for yourself! At
least let me--
The audience is now hysterical. Dozens of cell phones
pointing at the stage. Mike walks toward the apron, facing
Oh, okay. Seriously? You people are
pathetic. Put the cell phones down and
join the real world! Will somebody
please just live in the real world?!!
He crosses to the refrigerator.
Where's he going?
Mike, cut it out.
Mike rummages through the fridge.
10/29/14 / 34.
Look at this. It’s all fake.
(Tossing items out of the
The milk is fake. The butter is fake.
Riggan storms off the stage.
Your performance is fake.
(He finds some fried
Hey! There's chicken. Real chicken. The
only thing real up here is the chicken.
So I'm gonna stick with the chicken.
The audience laughs harder.
MIKE (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Hey, this is good bird, man!
Riggan charges through the chaos backstage running into a
Get Mike out of here.
How do you want me to do that?
Riggan keeps walking up to...
...the hallway. Jake chases him.
I want him gone.
We can't do that.
What are you-- Of course we can do that.
It's our show.
10/29/14 / 35.
Riggan, listen to me--
Riggan comes to a halt and faces Jake.
No. You listen to me. Get him the fuck out
of my play. Did you see him out there?
It was a preview! Nobody gives a shit about
previews. Nothing matters until that old
bat from the New York Times is sitting in
that audience on opening night.
We're getting rid of him. I’m not going to
stand up on that stage and--
Shut up! Just shut up for once and
listen to me. As soon as we announced he
was taking over, the advance doubled. We
can't afford to lose a preview. We can't
afford to lose money. We can't afford to
lose Mike. This is about being
respected, validated, remember? That's
what you told me. That's how you got me
into this shit. Now, you're the
director. Get him under control.
(A beat. As a friend.)
These are not the nineties anymore.
Jake storms away. Riggan heads toward his dressing room. Out
of nowhere, Mike barrels into him, pinning him against a wall.
Mike presses up against Riggan, breathing down his neck. After a
(Like he's possessed.)
You were good...
Meet me in front of the theater in
Mike chuckles and slaps Riggan gently on the face before he
disappears into his dressing room. Riggan begins walking
again. We follow him into...
10/29/14 / 36.
...his dressing room. He goes into the bathroom and quickly
washes his face.
What the hell was going on up there?
We pan over to see his ex-wife Sylvia (43), standing in one
corner, staring at Riggan. She is elegant and simply beautiful.
I didn't know you were here tonight.
That guy's an asshole, huh?
Riggan dries his hands with a towel and comes out of the
What are you doing here?
Sam and I are going to grab a bite
after she's finished with--
No, I mean here. Now.
Well. I know how much this means to
I appreciate that.
So, how's it going?
No, you and Sam.
It's good. (A beat.) It’s the same.
Do you talk to her?
10/29/14 / 37.
We talk. We-- I don't know, it's been crazy
You understand where her head is at right
She's trying to stay away from everything
and everyone that got her into rehab in the
first place, but...
...I know, Sylvia...
...But that's all she had. So she's--
I really do get it.
I know you're caught up in all this stuff,
You know what I mean.
Riggan... You don't have to be a great
father right now, you just have to be one.
Suddenly, Laura opens the door and sticks her head in.
She closes the door. Awkward silence.
So how is that going? Is she and
I don’t wanna talk about it.
10/29/14 / 38.
He goes to a small fridge, takes out a beer and closes it.
I'm having a beer.
He sits and sips in silence for a moment. Then he begins to
take out the wig.
So, what's going on with you?
Me? Nothing. Everything's the same I guess.
I'm going back to teaching.
I’m thinking about refinancing the Malibu
Wh-- I’m sorry?
I’m thinking about--
No, I heard you. I just need a second to--
(A beat.) That's gonna be Sam's house. Why
would you-- (A beat.) What? For this play?
(Honest and vulnerable.)
I need the money.
Do you have any idea how crazy that sounds?
What do you want me to say? My health
lasted longer than the money... Go figure
Riggan seems pensive and lost.
What’s going on?... Look at me.
10/29/14 / 39.
Riggan gently looks up to Sylvia.
I have a chance to do something right. And I
have to take it. I have to.
It’s funny. I was sitting here waiting
for you, and all of a sudden I couldn’t
remember why we broke up.
Silence. Then, as if he hasn’t heard what she said.
The last time I flew here from LA, George
Clooney was sitting two seats in front of
me. With those cuff links, and that...
chin. We ended up flying through this
really bad storm. The plane started to
rattle and shake, and everyone on board
was crying... and praying. And I just sat
there-- Sat there thinking that when Sam
opened that paper it was going to be
Clooney's face on the front page. Not
mine. (A beat.) Did you know that Farrah
Fawcett died on the same day as Michael
She smiles sadly. She kisses him on the head and goes to the
Why did we break up?
(Looks him in the eye.)
You threw a kitchen knife at me...
Riggan is smacked by that memory. His eyes on the floor.
...and one hour later you were
telling me how much you loved me.
Just because I didn't like that
ridiculous comedy you did with Goldie
Hawn didn't mean I did not love you.
But that's what you always do. You
confuse love with admiration.
She smiles sadly. He looks at her. As Sylvia opens the door,
she turns back to Riggan...
10/29/14 / 40.
It's your house, so do what you want with
it. Just make sure you're there for our
You're not Farrah Fawcett, Riggan.
She exits. Painful silence... until...
We should have done that reality show they
offered us. "The Thomsons." That would’ve
been good. Crazy, druggy, wise ass daughter.
Milfy wife with the perky tits. People would
have watched that.
(To the poster.)
Riggan stands up and grabs his jacket. He opens the door and
goes out to...
Where are we goin'?
Leave me alone.
Riggan walks between crew members. Annie interrupts him.
The sun bed is here.
What does that mean?
It means there's a sun bed out there
being delivered to in here.
Who ordered a sun bed?
10/29/14 / 41.
Mike. He says it’s for his character.
Carver’s red necks, “people of the
land”. Part of his process and that
Riggan cannot deal with this right now. He continues walking
until he arrives at a metal door that takes him out to...
16 EXT. AN ALLEY WAY - OUTSIDE THE THEATER - CONTINUOUS 16
...an alley way. Riggan walks toward the street. There is a man
playing drums. Riggan finds Mike leaning against a parked car,
dazed and looking up at the marquis...
Let’s go. Walk.
Riggan begins to walk, Mike follows.
Where are we going?
To get you some coffee. Have I done
anything to disrespect you?
I have a lot riding on this play.
Is that right?
People know who I am, and--
Bullshit. People don’t know you. They
know the guy in the bird suit. They
know the guy who tells those quaint,
slightly vomitous stories on Letterman.
Well, I’m sorry for being popular, but
10/29/14 / 42.
Popular? POPULAR?... Oh God, popularity is
just the slutty little cousin of prestige.
Okay, I don’t even know what that--
My reputation is riding on this play.
And that's... That is...
A lot. Exactly. Fuck you. Yes. This
doesn't work out for you, you get to go
home to your studio pals and jump right
back into that cultural genocide you
guys are perpetrating. “There’s a
douchbag born every minute”. That was
P.T. Barnum’s premise when he got rich
inventing the circus. And you and your
pals know nothing’s changed, and
whatever toxic shit you make people are
still gonna pay to see it. But, after
you’re gone, I’ll still be here. I’ll
still be making my living on the stage.
Baring my soul. Wrestling with emotions,
Right. Is that what tonight was about then?
(Mocking him.) Wrestling with “complex
Tonight was about making it alive. About
making it bleed. This isn't the Warner
Brothers lot, Riggan. This is the city, and
this is how we do things.
Mike turns and opens the front door of The Rum House.
Where are you going?
They have coffee in here.
He walks into the restaurant. Riggan backtracks and we follow
10/29/14 / 43.
...The Rum House. Mike stands at the bar, the bartender
already pouring two whiskeys.
Tommy nods and walks away.
(Getting back on point.)
People were laughing in our faces.
(Handing Riggan a drink.)
Tonight they were laughing, tomorrow
they'll be... be.. tweeting about us. Fuck
‘em. Who cares??? These are the people who
pay half price to watch us rehearse. Stop
We’re doing Raymond Carver. This play is a
drama. This play is--
You don’t know what this play is. These are
previews. This is where we find out what
the play is.
Mike points to an Older Woman sitting at the bar. She sips a
martini and scribbles in a notebook with a sour expression.
You see that woman over there? The one that
looks like she just licked a homeless guy’s
ass? Nothing matters until she writes five
hundred words about us in the New York Times.
Tabitha Dickinson. Yes. And, believe it or
not, the only thing that matters in theater
is whether she likes us or not. She does,
we run. She doesn't, we're fucked.
She does look like she licked a homeless
10/29/14 / 44.
Do me a favor, don't get your panties in a
twist over a preview, alright? And don't tell
me how to do my job. Cause, this is my town.
And, to be honest, nobody gives a shit about
you around here.
You're Riggan Thompson, right?
Two fat tourists in "Mamma Mia" t-shirts, with a seven year old
kid, approach the table.
We're sorry to interrupt...
Would you mind terribly if we got a
Of course. It's no trouble at all.
The Lady shoves her camera into Mike's hands.
Would you mind?
Mike gets up with a blank expression and takes the camera.
The Lady pushes the kid into the booth next to Riggan.
The button right on top there.
Who is this guy?
(To his son.)
Come on, Billy. He used to be like Batman.
She yanks the kid closer and they squeeze up against Riggan.
Mike takes the photo and holds the camera to the lady.
I think you screwed that one up. Take
Mike takes another picture.
10/29/14 / 45.
God bless you, darlin’. You're very sweet.
She kisses Riggan hard on the mouth. Then gets up, giddy, and
takes her son by the hand. As the couple leaves, husband shoves
a five dollar bill into Mike’s hands.
We really appreciate it.
An agitated Mike takes a sip of whiskey.
Are we good here? Cause I’m gonna go.
See you tomorrow.
Mike places the dollar under one of the shot glasses and begins
to walk away, but then stops and turns curiously.
Why Raymond Carver? You never told me.
Riggan looks at Mike for a second, than reaches for his wallet
and produces an old cocktail napkin with some writing on it. He
slides it to Mike.
A long time ago, I did a play back in
high school in Michigan. He was in the
audience. He sent this backstage after.
"Thank you for an honest performance. Ray
Carver." What is this?
Riggan looks vulnerable. He is trying to make Mike understand
the importance of the napkin, to build a bridge between them.
And that's when I knew I was going to
be an actor.
Mike can't stop himself from smiling.
Why is that funny?
He wrote it on a cocktail napkin.
10/29/14 / 46.
Mike slides the napkin back to Riggan.
He was drunk.
He walks away and we follow him as he passes by the bar next
to Tabitha Dickinson, the Critic.
You headed to Hollywood, Mike?
Hollywood's headed here, Tabby.
(A devilish smile.)
Good luck with that.
Mike looks directly into her eyes.
"A man becomes a critic when he can not be an
artist, in the same way that a man becomes an
informer when he cannot be a soldier."
He flashes his own devilish smile. She stares back. If she
weren't so much older than him, you'd swear there was sexual
electricity between them.
He's a Hollywood clown in a Lycra bird
Yeah. And at 8 o'clock tomorrow, he's gonna
get on stage and risk everything. What're
you gonna be doing?
Don't you ever worry that I'll give you a
10/29/14 / 47.
Oh, I'm sure you will. If I ever give a bad
Mike smiles and waves over to an obviously nervous Riggan. He
goes toward the exit, but we stay with Tabitha, scribbling on
her notebook. Suddenly she raises her eyes and, with a dark
expression, looks at Riggan who is passing by.
We follow Riggan toward the exit. Through the window we see him
leave the restaurant. Then we pan to a wooden wall, and this
wall takes us to...
...the theater hallway. Riggan walks through the quiet corridor,
until he arrives at...
20 INT. GREEN ROOM - THEATER - CONTINUOUS 20
...the Green Room. Sam sits listlessly, drawing some lines
across a roll of toilet paper.
What're you still doing here?
Nothing. I’m-- Nothing. Your costumes are
hanging in your room.
I got the coconut water you wanted. If you
want me to get--
I'm not sure if I said thank you.
10/29/14 / 48.
All of it. You've been doing a good job.
And I've been...
So, I just wanted to say that--
(He stops abruptly.)
What is that?
Look at me.
What are you--
Look at me.
She does. He examines her eyes, then immediately rises, scouring
(Continuing to search.)
You have to be shitting me... Where is it?
Could we not do this?
Riggan pulls a jar of peanut butter from the trash.
What is this?
That is chunky peanut butter that happens,
by the way, to have Omega--
10/29/14 / 49.
Riggan pulls a stubbed joint out of the jar.
Oh. That's pot.
Alright, just relax.
Relax? What the hell are you doing?
Protecting myself from cataracts?
You can't do this to me!
SHUT UP! You know what I'm talking about.
Yeah. You're talking about you. What else
Don't try to--
What? Make it about me? I wouldn't dream of
Listen to me. I'm trying to do something
This is not important.
It's important to me! Alright? Maybe not to
you, or your cynical playmates whose sole
ambition is to end up going viral and who,
by the way, will only be remembered as the
generation that finally stopped talking to
one another. But to me... To me... This is--
God. This is my career, this is my chance
10/29/14 / 50.
to do some work that actually means
Means something to who? You had a career
before the third comic book movie, before
people began to forget who was inside the
bird costume. You're doing a play based on
a book that was written 60 years ago, for
a thousand rich, old white people whose
only real concern is gonna be where they
go to have their cake and coffee when it's
over. Nobody gives a shit but you. And
let's face it, Dad, it's not for the sake
of art. It's because you just want to feel
relevant again. Well, there's a whole
world out there where people fight to be
relevant every day. And you act like it
doesn't even exist! Things are happening
in a place that you willfully ignore, a
place that has already forgotten you. I
mean who are you? You hate bloggers. You
make fun of twitter. You don't even have a
Facebook page. You're the one who doesn't
exist. You're doing this because you're
scared to death, like the rest of us, that
you don't matter. And you know what?
You're right. You don't. It's not
important. You're not important. Get used
Silence. Riggan seems devastated, and Sam can see that.
She looks at him sympathetically, but not knowing what to
After a moment Riggan gets up and heads for the trash can. He
digs out the roach, grabs some matches and lights it. Music
begins to sound. He inhales deeply and holds the smoke for a
few seconds and finally exhales. He coughs, tosses away the
joint and heads out of the kitchen. We follow him...
...as he slowly walks until he disappears into the darkness of
the corridor. We keep moving forward until we end up...
10/29/14 / 51.
A21 INT. BACKSTAGE - THEATRE - EVENING A21
...backstage. We are in the middle of the second preview. The
music continues, it belongs to the play.
Laura is by herself on stage performing the end of a scene. She
stands in the middle of a surrealistic forest set, at dusk.
There is fog, and trees. A strong, artificial wind blows
through Laura’s hair. Desolate music.
(To the audience as soliloquy.)
In the days before Nick’s depression really
started to eat away at him, he had no idea
I was pregnant. And I never intended on
telling him. I guess we make choices in
life, and we choose to live with them. Or
not. I didn’t want that baby...
Three dancers on stage pass by in front of Laura. We follow
the dancers backstage where we find Mike and Lesley wearing
LAURA (O.S.) (CONT’D)
...Not because I didn’t love Nick. And not
because I didn’t love the-- The idea of
it. But because I just wasn’t ready to
love myself. There’s a certain distance to
it all now. A wistful distance.
Underscored by a gentle breeze and the
sound of the birds... laughing at the
whimsy of it all.
A stage hand helps Mike and Lesley into a double bed. The
camera slips under the covers with them and stays there.
No, you're not. It's just that sometimes
you don't consider other people's feelings.
No. I'm hard. Feel.
10/29/14 / 52.
Oh, you gotta be kidding.
The stage begins to revolve as we hear...
...music through the transition. It remains dark.
Let's really do this. Let's fuck.
Are you crazy? No.
Mike rolls on top of Lesley.
Cut it out...
Mike continues to maneuver himself.
I'm serious, Mike. Stop!
I'm Mel. Not Mike. Mel.
A knock on a door.
A furious Lesley tries to reposition herself under Mike.
RIGGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Terri! I know you're in there!
The knocking gets louder.
RIGGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Mike, lost in his libido, has begun to have sex with Lesley.
The camera comes out from under the covers and pans to Riggan
who stumbles into what is now the Motel Room set. He wears a
mustache and a long wig, that makes him look like a wild man.
He holds a gun in his right hand. A neon "Motel" sign is
illuminated. A clever effect of falling rain is visible behind
the set, accompanied by the appropriate sound effect. Riggan
is wet because of the "rain".
Lesley uses Riggan's entrance to escape from Mike.
10/29/14 / 53.
Mike hops out of bed, unaware of the very noticeable erection
protruding underneath his pajama bottoms.
Some laughter from the audience.
What are you doing here?
Lesley doesn't understand the audience response, until she
notices the erection herself.
Why? I need you to tell me why. I lived for
you. I worshipped you...
Listen Ed, I know this is hard but--
More laughter. Riggan is disturbed, but he continues...
Fuck you. Shut up. Fuck you.
He shoves Mike violently to the floor.
Riggan points the gun at Mike's head.
What's wrong with me? Why do I end up
having to beg people to love me?
Ed. Eddie. Please... Give me the gun.
She begins to cry. Her performance is beautiful.
Just look at me. I was drowning. I
was not capable of-- You deserve to
be loved. You do.
I just wanted to be what you wanted.
Now I spend every fucking minute praying to
be someone else. Someone I'm not. Anyone...
10/29/14 / 54.
Put down the gun, Ed. She just doesn't love
The audience is silent.
(A sad smile.)
You don't, do you?
And you never will...
I don't exist. I'm not even here. I don't
exist. None of this matters.
Riggan points the gun at Lesley. Then at Mike. Finally, he puts
the gun to his own head and pulls the trigger. PUM! And with the
explosion, a fake blood mechanism splatters brains onto the
stage. Riggan drops to the floor.
A blackout. The audience applauds politely. The curtain falls.
We follow Riggan off stage and into...
23 INT. BACKSTAGE - THEATER - CONTINUOUS 23
...the wings, where Annie immediately helps him remove the
bloody and wet wig with the propeller mechanism. Laura waits
next to them for their bows. Meanwhile, a stage hand crosses
behind them, and we follow him as he goes on stage to...
...reposition some scenery for the curtain call. The camera
carries us to the other side of the stage, where Mike and Lesley
are in a heated exchange...
Just, keep your voice down...
You have to be shitting me. You can't get it
up in six months...
10/29/14 / 55.
(She starts hitting him.)
...and now you try to fuck me in front of
eight hundred strangers???
What do you want from me? I have to feel it.
You know that. I told you that from the--
Oh, fuck you...
Music begins and the curtain rises. The audience applauds as
Lesley and Mike stride onto the stage and take their bows,
smiles plastered on their faces.
...I was in the moment...
I told you to stop. You fucking animal.
But... You were incredible.
What is wrong with you?
Lesley starts back for the wings, and Mike follows her. In the
background we see Riggan and Laura enter from the other side to
take their bows.
Listen I’m sorry, alright, I--
I want your shit out of the apartment.
They go back on stage and join Riggan and Laura for the company
No we can't. Maybe up here you’re Mr. Truth,
Mike. But in the real world, where it counts,
you're a fraud. How's that for truth? You...
Lesley storms off, leaving Mike and a confused Riggan on stage.
Laura chases her off and straight into...
10/29/14 / 56.
25 INT. HALLWAY - THEATER - CONTINUOUS 25
What's going on?
He's an asshole.
What did he do now?
Oh, nothing. He just tried to fuck me in
front of a full house.
Oh, my God...
That’s kind of hot.
She follows Lesley into...
...the dressing room and closes the door. Lesley proceeds to
smash everything on her dressing table. Then she looks in the
mirror holding a hairbrush.
Why don't I have any self-respect?
You're an actress, honey.
Lesley begins to cry. Laura hugs her.
I’m pathetic. You know, I’ve dreamt of
being a Broadway actress since I was a
little kid. And now I’m here. And I’m not a
Broadway actress. I’m still just a little
kid. And I keep waiting for someone to tell
me I made it.
(Hiding how moved she is.)
Hey. You made it.
10/29/14 / 57.
Sadly, it was with Mike Shiner, on a fake
motel bed, in front of--
(A little laugh.)
Riggan steps into the doorway and sees Laura hugging Lesley.
Is she okay?
She's gonna be fine.
Riggan enters gingerly and walks up to Lesley.
None of this is your fault.
(Into her eyes.)
You're beautiful. And talented. And I'm
lucky to have you. Okay?
Riggan leaves the room. Laura leans on the makeup table.
That was very sweet.
Laura is suddenly teary.
Nothing. Two years, he's never said
anything like that to me.
10/29/14 / 58.
(Into her eyes.)
Hey. You're smart. And beautiful. And
talented. And I'm lucky to have you. Okay?
Laura smiles and caresses Lesley’s hand. They look at each
other. Then Laura leans forward, close to Lesley’s face...
What are you doing?
Laura kisses Lesley tenderly on the lips. Lesley seems
confused. A few seconds of silence. Then...
Do it again.
Laura kisses her again. A knock at the door. They separate.
Mike opens the door holding the prop gun.
Can we talk about this like two--
Lesley hurls the hair brush at his head.
Okay, well, you're not ready.
Mike points the prop gun at her, pretends to fire and...
That was hot.
He exits the room. We follow him...
27 INT. HALLWAY - THEATER - CONTINUOUS 27
...down the hallway up to Riggan's dressing room. Riggan sits
at his table, picking the brains out of his hair.
10/29/14 / 59.
(Holding the gun.)
Your gun is ridiculous. It looks like a
plastic toy. And it still has the red plug
in the barrel.
(Shows the plug.)
You look like a seven year old when
you’re holding it. I'm not threatened
by it at all.
He tosses the gun onto Riggan's table.
Have some self respect and get a new one.
(Takes a step then turns.)
That was a fun crowd, huh?
We follow Mike to...
28 INT. STAIRS - THEATER - CONTINUOUS 28
...the stairs. He climbs them as he lights a cigarette. He goes
through a metal door that takes him out onto...
...a rooftop. The Marquis' of the other theaters glowing with
the street lamps, a classic Broadway view.
Mike is surprised to find Sam sitting on the cornice of the
building, a good fifty feet above 45th street. He goes next to
her, looking down at the street.
I don't think it's high enough.
Sam turns to him, uncomfortable by his presence.
So, what are you doing up here?
Adrenaline. Just came out of rehab. Closest
I get to a drug.
You were in rehab?
10/29/14 / 60.
It wasn't all Dr. Drew or anything, but
that dude from American Pie was there.
(From the street below.)
Okay. Jump on my face!
I love this city.
Why do you act like a dick all the time? Do
you just do it to antagonize people?
Sam turns and faces Mike.
You really don't give a shit if people like
you or not...
God, that's cool.
Mike leans on the railing, looking down at the street. For a
moment, he is somewhere else...
10/29/14 / 61.
(Mike doesn't respond. She pushes
Let's play a game.
What are you, eight?
What are you, seventy-eight? Truth or
You gotta be--
Truth or dare?
He looks at her, intrigued.
The first time we met, you made a comment about
my ass. Why'd you do it?
Because you have a great ass, and I noticed
it. So, I said it.
Truth or dare?
10/29/14 / 62.
A moment of tension.
(Looking at the street.)
There’s a bald guy about to walk by down
there. Spit on his head.
You said dare.
She stares into Mike's eyes, knowing she's being tested. She
leans over the railing and spits down toward the street.
(From the street)
Sam laughs. Mike smiles at her carefree laugh. It could be the
first time we've seen a genuine smile from him.
Truth or dare?
She stares him down.
Do you want to fool around with me?
10/29/14 / 63.
Really? Why not?
That's a second question.
It's a second part.
I'd be afraid I couldn't get it up.
Impressed with his honesty.
That didn't seem to be a problem for you on
Nothing’s a problem for me on stage.
I wanna ask another question...
You just asked--
If you weren't afraid. What would you want
to do to me?
He carefully considers it, then moves his face close to hers.
I would want to pull the eyes out of your
...And stick them in my skull, and then
look out at this street and see it the way
I saw it when I was your age.
10/29/14 / 64.
Mike turns and stares out at the street once more. Sam stares
at the mystery that is Mike.
She walks away and into the building, never looking back.
Mike stares out into the night. We move to his POV. The street.
Night turns to day. Pedestrians begin to walk below.
We crawl down the wall until we arrive at Riggan's dressing
room window. We push in to find...
...Riggan siting with his feet on the window frame, staring at
a manila envelope in his hands that reads... "R, MALIBU
REFINANCE DOCS. SIGN AND SEND ASAP. J." Riggan sighs and props
the letter up against the mirror.
With a soft knock, Laura enters. She stands in the doorway with
an odd expression on her face.
Laura lays the Arts section of the New York Times down in front
Don't kill the messenger.
Riggan picks up the paper. His expression immediately changes.
Laura watches him sympathetically.
He's an asshole.
Now we see the cover of the Arts section. There is a picture
of Mike lounging on a black sofa, his bare feet on a table as
he sips a glass of wine. The Title of the article reads...
"CARVING OUT HIS PLACE IN THEATER HISTORY. Shiner says Raymond
Carver is the reason he became an actor." Riggan involuntarily
squeezes the paper as he reads on, filling with rage.
He’s fooling you.
10/29/14 / 65.
I didn't say anything.
Fuck. This is it?
(He passes a few pages.)
This can't be it.
Riggan searches desperately for page twelve. When he gets
there, he finds a huge ad of the new Toyota Camry that almost
fills the entire page, and down in the left corner a tiny
press release with the title:
"From Birdman to Carver: An aging Action Hero Grasps for His
"Riggan Thompson, better known as the face of
the Birdman films, tries not to lay an egg on
Where's the rest of it?
There is no rest of it.
They didn’t use the photo I sent them.
The one you liked. The one you said
I look like a young Jack Nicholson.
(She lights a candle.)
Don't worry about it. Someone'll be using
that to pick up dog shit tomorrow.
How can you be so calm about this?
What are my other choices?
10/29/14 / 66.
Aren't you scared at all?
About being humiliated out there.
It won't be the first time I've been
I bet it won't.
Laura looks at him with fire in her eyes.
You're an asshole.
She charges to the door and is about to leave when she turns
back to Riggan...
By the way... I'm not pregnant. So there's
one thing you don’t have to worry about.
She leaves, slamming the door behind her.
Riggan remains still. Mike seems to be smirking at him right
through the cover of the Arts section...
That pretentious, little, theater fuck is
stealing your thunder.
Riggan charges out of the room and into...
31 INT. HALLWAY - THEATER - CONTINUOUS 31
...the hallway. He walks to Mike's dressing room, finds the
door half opened and enters...
...discovering Mike lying in a sun bed. His arm is sticking
out of it, holding on to a copy of Borges's 'Labyrinths'.
Riggan yanks the sun bed open. Mike is asleep, wearing tiny
sun goggles. Riggan slams the lid down on him.
10/29/14 / 67.
What the fuck is going on!
Riggan slaps Mike on the arm.
Ow, fuck that hurts!
So, Carver is the reason you became an
This is my play! I did the work. I raised the
money. I arrange the press.
They called me for an interview. I said-- I
don't know, I said the first thing that
came to mind. Jesus, we got the cover of
the Arts section!
You said the first-- Fuck the Arts section.
The first thing that came to mind? Right.
Cause that's you. Mr. Natural. Mr. Fuck the
scene, just stare at my massive hard-on.
Because that's the truth of the moment.
You think it looked massive?
Shut up. Shut the fuck up. You don't get
hard on my stage unless I tell you to.
Your stage? This stage belonged to a lot of
great actor's, pal. But you are not one of
Mike storms out of the room. Riggan follows him into...
10/29/14 / 68.
33 INT. HALLWAY - THEATER - CONTINUOUS 33
...the hallway. He slaps Mike on his sun burned back.
So, you wrote your own lines?
He slaps him again.
Ow. Fuck. Yes I did.
You changed a few words, and mumbled a
little, you self absorbed prick.
Look who's talking...
Let me tell you something, you spiteful
nobody piece of shit.
Nobody? My hard-on has already fifty
thousand views on youtube.
Fifty thousand views? A cat playing with
a dildo has more than that.
I don't care.
Yes you do.
Everybody says: "Mike is so honest". (Smacks
him.) "So truthful". (Smacks him again.)
(Like a child.)
Ouch. Fuuuuuck. Cut the shit!
Riggan corners Mike against the wall.
You said in the interview that your father
was a drunk, like Carver. Is that true
Mike? Is it really true?
Riggan stares intensely into Mike's eyes. Mike looks away.
10/29/14 / 69.
Because my father was. My father was a mean
fucking drunk. Beat the shit out of us. But
we were okay with the beatings. You know
why? Because at least when he was beating
us, he wasn't thinking about taking us out
to his tool shed...
Mike's expression changes.
That sonofabitch would smile and say, "Do
you want to kneel down and unbuckle my
belt? Or do you want me to take it off and
use it?" I learned how to make myself numb.
But my sister-- (Holding back tears.) My
Riggan can't go on. Mike is horrified.
Jesus, Riggan. I'm really sorry. I
didn't-- That's fucking horrible...
Yeah. It's also not true. See? (Cracking
up.) I can pretend too, you little dick!
Riggan shoves Mike violently.
Don't fuck with me, Mike.
You have no idea what I'm capable of. You
Riggan pulls the paper out of his back pocket.
Working with Riggan Thomson is like
waltzing with a monkey?
He smacks Mike in the head with the paper and begins to jump in
front of him, ready to fight.
Let’s go. Put your hands up.
10/29/14 / 70.
Don't you want to go put on your tights and
Riggan punches him on the face. Mike needs a few seconds to
understand what has just happened. Then they begin to wrestle
in the hallway. Mike breaks free from the headlock.
What are you gonna do? You gonna get rid of
me? Huh? What do you think my friend
Tabitha is going to write in the Times
after you get rid of me?
Riggan stares at Mike, paralyzed by the truth. Finally, he
turns and marches to his dressing room, and we follow him...
...Riggan slams the door shut and paces in a rage. He glares at
a make-up box on the table and, points his finger at it, and
sends it flying across the room.
You are lame, Riggan. Rolling around
with that third rate actor in an 800
seat shithole like this.
Breathing in, I feel my rage. Breathing
out, I embrace my mental formations.
You're going to let that poncey theater
fuck threaten you?
Riggan continues breathing deeply with his eyes tightly closed.
He smiles a tiny artificial smile.
Breathing in, I am calm. Breathing out,
I ignore my mental formations. This is a
mental formation. This is a mental form--
Stop that shit. I am not a mental
formation. I am "you", asshole.
Riggan looks down at the poster on the floor.
10/29/14 / 71.
Leave me alone.
You were a movie star, remember?
Pretentious, but happy...
Riggan opens his eyes, slowly. A sad expression on his face.
I was not happy.
...Ignorant but charming. Now you are a
tiny bitter cocksucker.
Shut up! Stop whining! I was miserable!
Yeah. But fake miserable. Hollywood
Riggan points his fingers at a lamp and sends it flying.
What are you trying to prove? Huh? That
you’re an artist? You’re not.
Riggan points his fingers at a chair and sends it flying.
Fuck you, coward! And fuck those critics
that made you quit. Our franchise
grossed billions worldwi--
And billions of flies eat shit everyday!
So what? Does that make it good? (Beat.)
And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but
that was 1992! Look at me! (He takes off
his shirt.) This is what's left!
(Grabbing his neck.) This! (Grabbing his
chest.) This! (Totally exploding.) I'm
fucking disappearing! I'm the answer to a
fucking trivial pursuit question.
Riggan sits down, exhausted.
10/29/14 / 72.
What part of that don't you get? You're
We are not dead. We’re--
Stop saying 'we'! There is no 'we'. I am
not you. I'm Riggan fucking Thomson.
No. You're Birdman. Because without me, all
that's left is "you". A sad, selfish,
mediocre actor, grasping--
Riggan points his finger and sends the poster flying, spearing
it on a coat rack, piercing Birdman right through the heart.
Finally, silence. Until...
What the hell did you do that for? I liked
A confused Riggan looks over to the wall, where the lamp on the
floor is creating a shadow of his figure. Only in the shadow, it
appears as if Riggan is wearing the Birdman costume. Stunned,
Riggan slowly lifts one arm and in the shadow we see a wing.
It's always 'we' brother.
The television turns on by itself, playing an episode of the
original Birdman cartoon. Riggan points his fingers at the tv
and sends it hurling at the shadow. Then he proceeds to
destroy everything in his room with his telekinetic powers.
We slowly pan to see that, behind Riggan, Jake stands on the
other side of the half-opened door. We push in on Jake,
watching in shock. The camera turns and becomes Jake's POV...
...and now, from his view, we see Riggan yelling at the shadow.
Fuck you! Fuck you!
He picks up a chair and throws it down. He then picks up the
newspaper from the floor and tossing it all around. And now we
understand that he is not using telepathy. He has been using
only his hands. Completely mad. As Riggan turns to pick up
something else, he spots Jake on the other side of the door. He
immediately calms himself and walks over.
10/29/14 / 73.
Um... Well. Two hours to curtain. Why don’t
you rest a little bit?
Last preview, buddy. We’re almost there.
How ya doin?
Good. That's good.
The, uh, money came through. I just have to
transfer it to the account.
Oh, that's terrific...
Okay. Well, I'm gonna do that.
(He stares at Riggan who
seems about to collapse.)
You know I’m proud of you, right? This took
balls. And you did it.
Riggan nods. An exhausted sadness in his eyes.
I can’t do this anymore, Jake.
I think I’m gonna cancel the
preview. I’m exhausted.
It’s a joke, right? (He forces a
laugh.) Good one, Riggan.
10/29/14 / 74.
I’m starting to believe that this is not
for me. The applause is... lukewarm. I
think they’re laughing at me.
What are you--? Listen. There’s a three
block line of people waiting to see you.
We are sold out. It’s a full house.
Yes. And the French embassador is
coming. And the prince of Saudi Arabia,
with one of his wives. And... I wasn’t
going to tell you this, but-- Martin
Scorsese. He’s casting for his new
film. But don’t tell anyone, okay? This
is between you and me.
Okay. I’ll be ready.
Riggan smiles. He has forgotten about his existential doubts.
A worried Jake closes the door. He walks a few steps and
finds Laura and Lesley. They’ve been listening to his
conversation with Riggan.
How is he?
He’ll be okay.
Is it true? Scorsese?
Yes. And the new Pope too.
They both understand.
You’re an asshole, Jake.
I’m the one keeping this boat afloat.
10/29/14 / 75.
So there is no line of people out there?
I don’t know. Now go and get ready.
That’s your job.
(He begins to walk.)
I’ll better invest in a taco truck, or
a strip joint near the airport.
Laura leaves. We follow Lesley up to Riggan’s dressing room.
She knocks on the door. Nothing. Silence. She half-opens the
door and, from behind her, we see Riggan examining his right
hand. He has blood falling from the palm to the wrist.
Are you okay?
Yeah, I-- This is nothing. Shaving.
He cleans his hand against his trousers.
I just want to say I'm sorry.
I knew what Mike was capable of,
and I brought him in, anyway.
You did good.
Lesley nods. A beat.
Tomorrow's my first opening night
And I want you to know that,
whatever happens, I'll always be
grateful to you for that.
Me too. It’s going to be great. Full
10/29/14 / 76.
She looks at him with tender eyes. Then we follow her along
the corridor until she passes by Mike’s dressing room. Mike
half-opens the door and sees Lesley walking by. He has a
black eye. He waits for Lesley to be completely gone, and
then he comes out of his dressing room and we follow him up
the stairs to...
...the rooftop. He finds Sam standing on the cornice, looking
at the street.
For fuck's sake, just jump already.
Sam stares out, a smile creeping over her face.
How did you know I'd be up here?
I didn't. I was just hoping.
Silence. Mike walks up next to her and stares out as well.
I appreciate that.
Ready for the last preview?
(Noticing his black eye.)
Who did that to you?
Mike smiles. No answer.
Could have been anybody, I guess.
(After a beat.)
I’m sort of hoping it was Lesley.
He barely says no, smiling, and lights a cigarette. She
10/29/14 / 77.
Oh, don’t tell me...
What's the worst thing he ever did to
Sam is surprised by the question. She thinks for a moment.
He was never around, so...
No. That was-- Who gives a shit. It
was the way he tried to make up for
it by constantly trying to convince
me I was special. (A beat.) What
He pretended I was his son.
She stares him down. Silence.
So, what happens now?
I have no idea...
He was right, though.
About your being special. You’re hanging
around here trying to make yourself
10/29/14 / 78.
invisible behind that fragile little fuck
up routine. But you can’t. You’re
anything but invisible. You’re big. And
you’re sort of this really great mess, a
candle burning at both ends, and no
amount of booze or pills is gonna hide
Sam tosses Mike’s cigarette over the balcony, and kisses him.
He leans into the kiss.
She suddenly pulls away.
It's a good thing you're an actor and not a
writer cause that little speech was just
like, Oprah... Hallmark... R. Kelly bad.
She kisses him lightly one more time and then walks away. When
she gets to the door she stops and leans on the frame.
Truth or dare?
No. Truth or dare?
The slightest smile as she exits through the door, and after a
short pause, Mike follows...
39 INT. HALLWAYS - THEATRE - CONTINUOUS 39
...along a darkened hallway. They reach a tiny wooden door and
Sam leads the way through it.
Do you have any idea where you're going?
10/29/14 / 79.
She continues on until she gets to...
...the "grid" above stage where the lights are located. We can
see, below us, the empty seats of the auditorium and the
Mike reaches up to kiss her. She stops him.
How do you do it?
How do you go out there and pretend to be
someone else in front of all those people?
I don't pretend. Not out there. Just about
every place else, but never out there.
Good to know.
They stare at one another...
What are we doing here?
What do you mean?
I mean, what are we doing here?
She moves in.
They kiss. The camera begins to drift down toward the stage...
As the camera continues down from the grid, we discover an
auditorium full of people staring at the actors on stage.
10/29/14 / 80.
RIGGAN (O.S) (CONT’D)
By the time I got to the hospital, the
kid was dead. He was off in a corner
laid out on a gurney. We took the old
couple up to the O.R.. They were a
mess. We worked like hell on them for
most of the night...
We pan along the auditorium back to the stage to find Riggan,
Mike, Lesley and Laura in the kitchen.
When we were done, we wrapped them in
full body casts. The husband was
depressed. Even when I told him his
wife was gonna pull through, he was
still depressed. So, I got up to his
mouth hole and asked him, and he told
me it was because he couldn't see her
through the eye holes. Can you imagine?
I’m telling you, the man's heart was
breaking because he couldn't turn his
goddamn head and see his goddamn wife.
(In genuine tears.)
That's terrible. (Beat.) Perfect.
She is crushed. Laura holds Lesley, trying to control her own
(Taking this in.)
Yeah. So I guess what we have to
ask ourselves is... What do we talk
about when we talk about love?
The lights go to a blackout and the audience applauds as some
scene change music plays. As we follow Riggan off stage, the
lights are turned on again, but now they have an orange mood.
Lesley is the only one on stage, doing a monologue.
Mel and I have been together five
years, been married for four. But
it was Ed who taught me something
no one else could... He taught me
what it felt like to really feel
loved. And the terrible thing is
that if something happened to Mel
or myself, if something happened to
either one of us tomorrow, I think
the other one would grieve for a
while, you know, but then would go
10/29/14 / 81.
out and love again, have someone
else soon enough. All this-- All of
this love we’re talking about... it
would just be a memory. Maybe not
even a memory. Am I wrong? I mean,
I don’t know anything. And I’m the
first one to admit it.
A Dresser waits in the wings to help Riggan with his change.
That was amazing!
Riggan looks proud. Things are finally going well. He undresses
to his underwear and puts on a robe and his moccasins, as the
stage begins to revolve. Laura, in costume, walks up beside
him. Over the following dialogue, the kitchen gives way to the
extravagant garden set we saw before.
(A bit distant.)
It's actually going well.
Yeah. (A beat.) Hey. I think we have to
No. We don't.
Right. (Beat.) We will eventually,
though, ‘cause that’s the only way I get
to say I’m sorry. I really am.
We could've made good parents.
Horrible. We would've been just--
Awful. Would have raised, like...
...a serial killer...
...or Justin Bieber.
(She smiles at him.)
10/29/14 / 82.
I'm not really the housewife type anyway. I
thought I could be a mom. My body seems to
The lights come up and Laura walks onto the stage.
(Back to him.)
You were right. This was fun.
Riggan watches her go, but something else grabs his attention.
We pan across the stage to see Sam and Mike on the other side.
They talk and laugh. Sam kisses Mike softly. Mike playfully
grabs her ass.
We pan back to Riggan. His expression morphs from broken-
hearted to rage. He marches over to a stage hand.
You have a cigarette?
The stage hand holds out a pack, Riggan takes one.
You need a light?
Riggan snatches the lighter and storms out through the hallway,
and out the back door of the theater to...
...the alley. Down at the end, we can see the tourists making
their way about the streets. Riggan lights the cigarette and
leans back against the stage door trying to calm himself.
Breathing in, I calm myself. Breathing out,
I ease myself.
But this is New York City. A fluorescent light buzzes above his
head. Taxis honk their horns. The sound of pedestrians yelling
at one another. All fueling his agitation.
Riggan checks his watch. He pulls one last drag from the
cigarette before he tosses it, and turns to head back in, only
to realize the door has locked. He tries to pull it open to no
avail. He begins to knock loudly on the door. There is no
response. He knocks louder. Nothing.
He is turning to walk away when he realizes that his robe is
caught in the door. He checks his watch again and now is
beginning to panic. He tries to tear at the robe but the terry
cloth is too strong for him to rip. Frantically, he looks around
for an answer. No answer. No time. He pulls the robe off of him
10/29/14 / 83.
and, wearing only his underwear and moccasins, he charges down
the alley way toward...
42 EXT. STREET - CONTINUOUS 42
...the street. Now, rushing down the block in his underwear. A
tourist spots him.
Hey, aren't you...?
I'm sorry. I can't really--
Riggan Thompson! Holy Shit! Let me get an
Riggan marches on as a few more people begin to notice. The
Tourist runs in front of him, forcing him to stop.
Come on, man. Don't be a dick. Let me have
The man produces a pen and a magazine from his pocket. More
people begin to gather...
MAN ON STREET
Seeing no other way out, Riggan signs the autograph.
Dude! You fuckin' rock!
Directly in front of him stand a lady and her two kids.
Can we take one picture?
Are you kidding me?
Why is he naked?
I can see his weenie.
10/29/14 / 84.
Riggan tries to get past them, but a crowd has formed. A swarm
of cell phones begin to glow like fireflies.
(To her kids.)
Get next to him!
Give me a fucking break, lady.
The kids run up next to him. Even more people crowding around.
Riggan puts up his middle finger, just as the Lady takes the
shot. He shoves the kids aside and moves on.
WOMAN ON STREET
He looks so old in person.
MAN ON STREET
(From across the street.)
Riggan pushes through the crowd to get to the lobby. The people
begin to chant. Dozens of cell phones recording him.
Bird-man! Bird-man! Bird-man!
Riggan pushes his way through to the lobby doors...
43 INT. LOBBY - THEATER - CONTINUOUS 43
...to be stopped by the vision of Ralph in a wheelchair. His
head wrapped in a bandage. A man in a suit next to him.
Jesus Christ! What're you doing here?
Waiting for Jake. This is Mr. Roth, my
Riggan continues walking toward the auditorium. Ralph and Mr.
Roth follow him.
We're pursuing financial remuneration for the
injuries Mr. Pinkus suffered while rehearsing
I have a play to do.
10/29/14 / 85.
I'm going to ruin you!
Riggan storms toward the auditorium, but is stopped by an old
I'm sorry sir, you're going to have--
Riggan shoves the old lady aside and enters...
...the theater. Riggan stands in the back among the audience.
He sees the "rain" falling on the stage. The "Motel" sign is
lit. Mike and Lesley are in bed, for the motel scene, waiting
for the knock on the door. With nothing else to do, Riggan
yells his line from the back of the auditorium...
Knock knock knock! Terri! Terri!
The audience turns to see Riggan standing in his underwear.
They begin to murmur and laugh and point at him.
Riggan marches down the aisle. He looks haggard and covered
Lesley and Mike, confused, come out of bed.
Ed! What are you doing here?
Why? I need you to tell me why. I lived for
you-- I worshipped you...
Listen Ed, I know this is hard but--
Fuck you. Shut up. Fuck you.
Giggles from the audience. Riggan turns threateningly and points
to an audience member on the aisle who is giggling at him.
The guy stops smiling. The audience goes silent. Riggan arrives
at the apron of the stage. Annie from the wings slides the gun
towards him. Riggan grabs it and points it at Mike.
10/29/14 / 86.
Riggan climbs onto the stage. Exhausted. He goes to Mike and,
with a last effort, pushes him lamely.
What's wrong with me? Why do I end
up having to beg people to love me?
Ed. Eddie. Please... Give me the gun.
We pan to the wings where Jake is staring in disbelief. His
cellphone begins to vibrate, and he answers.
Yeah. (A beat.) What?... No no no no no no
no. Wait there. I'm coming out in--
He walks toward the hallway and we follow him...
45 INT. HALLWAY - THEATER - CONTINUOUS 45
...through the corridor.
No. Wait. Wait for me. I'll be there in a
second. (Beat.) What is that, a threat?
(Beat.) What wheelchair? (Beat.) Wait.
Don't hang up. Mr. Roth, we can discuss--
He goes out one of the exits and we are left with the silence of
the empty hallway. After a few seconds, the sound of the gunshot
from the scene echoes through the theater. The audience
applauds. The camera starts to move forward. A few seconds later
Riggan takes over the POV with his bloody long wig and the fake
gun. We follow up to...
...his dressing room. He puts on a robe. He walks to his
refrigerator without acknowledging Sam who is sitting on the
couch, scribbling her dashes on the toilet paper once again.
Riggan takes out a plastic container of bologna and a jar of
mustard. He sits in front of his dressing table, peels open the
bologna and opens the jar of mustard. Slice by slice, he dips
the bologna in the mustard and shoves it into his mouth.
10/29/14 / 87.
Hey. How ya doin'?
Are you okay?
I don't know. You seem--
I'm good. This is good.
(Holding out a piece.)
You want some?
He continues to eat. She tries to fill the odd silence.
So. Opening night, tomorrow.
That's exciting, huh?
Yeah. Well... I don't know. The previews
have been a train wreck. We haven't been
able to get through a performance
without a raging fire... or a raging
hard-on. I'm not really sleeping, you
know, at all. And I'm pretty much broke.
Oh, and also, this play feels like a
miniature, deformed version of myself
that keeps following me around, hitting
me in the balls with a tiny hammer.
Sorry, what was your question?
(Looking through phone.)
Never mind... Tonight wasn't bad. It was
weird. But that's sort of cool. People
seemed to like it.
10/29/14 / 88.
Silence. Riggan notices the toilet paper.
What are you doing? Some homework?
No. I don't-- When I was in rehab, they
made us do this.
Yeah. These dashes, represent the six
billion years the planet has existed.
Each dash represents 100 years.
She unravels the roll and we see that there are thousands of
black marks running along the toilet paper. She takes the last
two panels and tears them off.
And this... (Hands them to him.) ...is
supposed to represent the entire time us
humans have been here. One hundred and
fifty thousand years. That's it.
I guess they were trying to remind us
that that's what all our egos and self-
obsession are worth.
Riggan stares at the paper, and then at Sam.
I was a shitty father, wasn't I?
No. You were a-- (She stops herself.)
You were fine.
He stops chewing and stares out.
Fine... You're right. I am just
"fine". Adorably mediocre.
He smiles to her sadly, and then he wipes the mustard from his
face with the piece of toilet paper.
10/29/14 / 89.
Sam looks at the ruined toilet paper in his hands.
Oh... Shit. I'm sorry.
It's okay. You just destroyed the entire
human race in one blow.
Riggan looks at her with the saddest of expressions.
Dad. (She hesitates.) Do you know
you’re becoming a trending topic?
Really? What does that mean?
Sam searches for something on her iPhone and then hands it to
Riggan. Riggan looks at the phone and sees a hand-held video of
himself in the streets in his underwear.
350,000 views in less than an hour.
Believe it or not, this is power.
Riggan looks at more footage, seemingly confused. After a
moment, the phone vibrates and the video is interrupted by a
text message, which reads “Truth or Dare?”
It’s for you.
She grabs the phone and looks at the screen. Then at her
father. Riggan is staring at her. She looks down.
A sympathetic smile. An understanding. Sam exits.
Riggan stares into the mirror absently. His eyes locked on
his reflection trying to find himself in the image. Then he
spots a vase with dying roses, the same roses he flung to the
10/29/14 / 90.
He gets up and goes into the bathroom. He pulls off the long
wig and the mustache. He washes his face. Then he opens a
small bottle and uses the liquid to scrub his goatee. The
dark dye begins to run out, leaving only white hair. For the
first time we see that Riggan has a white beard.
He puts on new clothes and comes out of the bathroom. He grabs
a beige raincoat and heads out of the dressing room and
...the hallway. As he passes by Mike’s door he can hear Sam and
Mike. They’re trying to be as quiet as possible, but we can hear
them flirting and laughing.
He pauses for a moment but continues on. After a few seconds,
his phone vibrates. He looks at it. A text from Jake reads:
“Have you seen this??? Awesome!!!” He clicks the attachment and
sees the, now infamous, video of his underwear escapade in the
street. We zoom in until the image fills the screen, when we
finally pull away, we discover that...
48 INT. RUM HOUSE - LATER 48
...Riggan's video is being played now in a television in the
bar. We see the MTV logo on the bottom of the screen and a video
caption that reads: “Birdman goes viral, 930.000 views and
counting”. The camera pans to find Riggan sitting at the bar,
drunk. He is one of the few customers. He polishes off his
Let me have another one.
You got it.
The bartender pours another whiskey for Riggan. A waiter steps
up to the bar. The bartender points to a martini.
(To the waiter.)
That's going over to Ms. Dickinson.
Riggan's head tilts at the mention of the name. He looks over to
see Tabitha sitting at a table, scratching in her notebook.
(Hands the waiter a bill.)
I got it. She's a friend of mine.
10/29/14 / 91.
The waiter pockets the money and gives Riggan the drink. He
walks it over to Tabitha and places it down in front of her. Not
looking up, she pulls the drink closer and takes a sip.
Riggan sits down across from her. She looks up and immediately
recognizes him. He takes out the Carver cocktail napkin and
pushes it in front of her. She looks at him, and then down to
the napkin. She reads it in silence.
(Re: The napkin.)
That was twenty years before I put on that
A pause. Then she pushes the napkin back toward him.
I don't care.
I'm just saying, when you come tomorrow
night, I want you--
It doesn’t matter.
What are you--
I'm going to destroy your play.
You haven't even seen it. I don't-- Did I
do something to offend you?
As a matter of fact you did. You took up
space in a theater which otherwise might
have been used on something worthwhile.
But you don't even know if it's--
That’s true. I haven't read a word of it,
or even seen a preview, but after the
opening tomorrow I'm going to turn in the
worst review anybody has ever read. And I'm
going to close your play. Would you like to
know why? Because I hate you. And everyone
you represent. Entitled. Spoiled. Selfish.
Children. Blissfully untrained, unversed
and unprepared to even attempt real art.
Handing each other awards for cartoons and
10/29/14 / 92.
pornography. Measuring your worth in
weekends. Well, this is the theater, and
you don't get to come in here and pretend
you can write, direct and act in your own
propaganda piece without going through me
first. So, break a leg.
Tabitha goes back to her writing. Riggan sits for a moment.
What has to happen in someone's life,
for them to end up becoming a critic?
She looks up at him.
Whatcha writin’? You reviewin’ a play? Was
it good? Bad? Did you even see it? Lemme
He snatches the notebook from her.
I will call the police.
No you won’t. Let’s read your review!
(He scans the notebook.)
“Callow”. A label. “Lackluster”. Label.
“Marginalia”. Sounds like you need
penicillin to clear that up. None the
(Looks to Tabitha.)
All labels. You’re a lazy fucker
(Looks one last time at
Tabitha wants to reach for the notebook, but her pride won’t
let her. Riggan takes a flower from a vase at the center of the
You know what this is? You don’t, do
you? You can’t even see it if you don’t
label it. You mistake those sounds in
your head for true knowledge.
Are you finished?
(Wrinkling one of the pages.)
Nothin’ about intention, structure,
10/29/14 / 93.
technique. Just crappy opinions backed
up by crappy comparisons. You’re
incapable of writing more than a couple
of paragraphs, and you risk nothing of
(He tears out the page and tosses
Well, I’m an actor and this play has
cost me everything. So you can take
your cowardly, malicious, shittily
written reviews and shove them up
your... (Showing her the wrinkled
page.) ...wrinkly, tight ass.
Riggan wears a proud smile. And suddenly, Tabitha begins to
smile with him.
You think you’re an actor?
(Calls to the waiter.)
Eddie the waiter approaches the table.
Yeah, Mrs. Dickinson?
Give us some Shakespeare.
No problem. Got anything in mind?
Tabitha looks over at Riggan picking the perfect verse.
The Scottish Play. Act five...
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to
day, To the last syllable of recorded
time; And all our yesterdays have lighted
fools. The way to dusty death...
He is brilliant. The monologue is perfectly played and powerful.
Riggan being mercilessly reminded of his mediocrity... by Eddie
...Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a
walking shadow, a poor player, That
struts and frets his hour upon the
stage, And then is heard no more. It is
10/29/14 / 94.
a tale told by an idiot, full of sound
and fury... Signifying nothing.
A few drunks clap at the beautiful performance. Then, a powerful
silence rings out for a moment, until...
Thank you, Eddie.
You got it.
(To Riggan. A derisive laugh.)
You're no actor. You're a celebrity.
Let's be clear on that.
Tabitha rises from her seat and grabs her things.
I'm going to kill your play.
She walks away. Riggan sits numb. After a moment, he reaches
over and gulps down Tabitha's entire martini, gin pouring out
the sides of his mouth. Unaware, he slams the empty martini
glass on top of the Carver napkin and gets up. We follow him
...the street, where he walks through the theater district.
Tired. Drunk. Empty. Neon lights all around him. A crazy, old
homeless man passes by in the opposite direction shouting
furiously. Riggan keeps walking until he arrives at a bench,
with a tree behind. Everything is quiet. Riggan sits on the
bench, lost. We begin to tilt up, slowly, toward a tall tree.
We move closer into the branches and the green leaves.
Night turns into day. The sounds of the city disappear and
birds begin to sing. The branches now caressed by golden shafts
of morning sun. Finally, we tilt down slowly and find...
50 EXT. STREET - DAY. 50
...Riggan still sleeping on the bench. He looks like a bum. His
raincoat is dirty and wet.
10/29/14 / 95.
God. You look like shit, brother. You
get that mongoloid look when you're hung
over, don't you?
Riggan opens an eye. He scratches his hair.
Let's go. Get up. It's a beautiful day.
Riggan sits up slowly. He is really hung over.
Stand up! Forget about the times. Everyone
else has. So you're not a great actor...
Who cares?!! You're much more than that.
Fuck! You tower over all these theater
douchebags. You're a movie star! A Global
force! Don't you get it?
Riggan stands up and begins to stumble forward. We pan around
to find Birdman (a stronger Riggan wearing a cool Birdman
outfit), following behind him.
You spent your whole life building a
reputation and a bank account, and now
they're both blown. So what? Fuck it. We
make a come back. Something huge. Take what
belongs to us. Take back the spotlight.
Magazine covers and billboards. Happy meals
with Birdman dolls. Remember that? That’s
who you are. That’s who we are!
Riggan just marches on. People and cars pass by, but nobody
notices Birdman. Riggan tries to ignore him.
C'mon, buddy. Tell me we're going back
to the big leagues. Let’s do this.
Shave off that pathetic goatee, and put
the mask back on! Batman my balls.
We’ll start a new franchise. Birdman:
Phoenix Rising. Trust me! A billion
world wide. Swear to God.
Riggan keeps walking. Birdman, insistent, chases, until
suddenly he begins to flutter off the ground.
Do you hear me? You can do anything! You’re
10/29/14 / 96.
Desperate, Birdman flies a bit higher around him.
You’re bigger than life. You save people
from their boring, miserable lives...
The camera pans to the street in front of them. People carry
out their everyday routines. There is a deli, a souvenir shop,
a small bank...
BIRDMAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
...You make them jump, laugh, cry,
shit their pants... All you have to do
is snap your fingers and...
Riggan snaps his fingers, once, twice, and the bank suddenly
explodes. The sound is so loud that it seems to belong to
another movie. The earth shakes. People run. Dust all over.
Fire. An unsteady camera pans back to Birdman.
That's what I'm talking about! That is
cool! Explosive! Big, fast, loud!
(He turns directly to the camera
and talks about the audience.)
Look at them. They love that shit!
They starve for blood and action,
not this artsy-fartsy-philosophical
We hear a loud roar, and the camera pans to discover a huge
alien about to crash a cab against the asphalt. Birdman uses his
powerful blow to send the alien flying away.
And when you shout "whooaa!"...
(Riggan shouts "Whooaa!")
...it explodes in the eardrum of
millions. Your power is unlimited.
Riggan slows down his pace, as he starts to listen.
You glimmered on 3000 screens, over 5
continents, in 47 countries at the
same time. You are ubiquitous. You're
a God! You can do it again. You can
soar above all of them.
10/29/14 / 97.
Riggan suddenly begins to levitate.
There you go, you mother fucker! See?
Gravity doesn't even apply to you.
The camera flies up with Riggan as he floats above the street.
There is something magical in his ascension, gently impelled by
the breeze. A beautiful backlight makes his body glow. Birdman
flutters around him.
Listen to me. We gotta go back! We have to
do this. We have to end it on our terms.
With a grand gesture.
A strange light suddenly palpitates in Riggan's eyes. Something
makes sense in what Birdman is telling him.
The camera becomes Riggan's POV. He looks down to see the
people on the street, watching him in awe.
BIRDMAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
We’ll go back. We’ll show them how much
they're going to miss us. Flames. Icarus.
We tilt up again to Riggan's face. He has a plan.
BIRDMAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Let’s go back one more time and show them
what we’re capable of. You can do it.
You're Birdman. Do you hear me? You're...
A GUY'S VOICE (O.S.)
And as the camera pulls away, we discover Birdman is gone and
Riggan is standing on the ledge of a tall building. The camera
tilts down and we see that more people have gathered around,
and more cars has stopped, and they all point at Riggan,
worried about the situation.
A guy wearing shorts, a Bob Marley t-shirt and a robe opens his
window, one floor below Riggan, and looks up at him.
Dude, what are you doing?
Riggan looks down at the people on the street far below.
10/29/14 / 98.
You okay, buddy? Do you want me to
We pan to a lady on her balcony filming Riggan with her phone.
Is this for real, or you're shooting a
The lady looks around but sees nothing.
Oh, you people are full of shit.
She goes into her apartment.
I’m calling 911.
The guy goes inside his apartment.
One more time...
Now, from the door of the rooftop, a good neighbor calmly
Hi, sir. Can I help you? You should be
Sorry. Can’t talk. I'm late.
Some underscoring music begins to sound. The neighbor is now
close to him and helps Riggan step down from the edge on to the
floor of the rooftop.
Are you alright? Do you want me to
call someone? Do you know where to go?
Riggan closes his eyes for a moment as the camera moves slowly
toward him. He opens his eyes. The music begins to swell. Riggan
stands up straight and proud, and in a voice that sounds like
Yes. I know where to go.
10/29/14 / 99.
He turns and begins to run on the rooftop. The music is rousing.
As he runs, he holds out his arms, spreading them wide. The
camera runs behind him, until suddenly...
Riggan jumps, and the camera jumps after him. He rapidly
falls toward the street, toward the asphalt. But in his face
there is no fear. No. He spreads his arms again and...
He takes flight, soaring high over Manhattan. The music becomes
epic. There is something beautiful about this broken man flying
like a superhero. We fly next to him, and we can see below the
spectacular sight that is Manhattan, until...
...he finally lands on 45th street and calmly approaches the
theater. An Usher acknowledges him with a look of surprise.
Mr. Thomson. I think you forgot to--
Stop the music.
The music stops.
I beg your pardon?
Riggan enters the theater.
The confused Usher watches him go by, as he points to the
street. We pan to see a taxi driver coming out of his car,
running like a mad man toward us.
We stay with the Usher and the taxi driver as they argue. They
take it inside the lobby, but we remain out front.
Day turns to night, igniting the lights of the marquee, which
reflect off of the lobby doors. We hear wild applause coming
from inside the theater. Seconds later, the doors of the
theater open and the audience files out for intermission.
10/29/14 / 100.
(Tweeting on his phone.)
It's really good.
I know. I can’t believe it...
We begin to move up, outside the theater. We see the marquee of
the play that reads, "What We Talk When We Talk About Love".
Above the title, in smaller print, "Riggan Thomson and Mike
Shiner". Below on a banner, "Opening Night".
We keep climbing until we arrive at Riggan's dressing room
window. We push in to find...