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MIDNIGHT CITY - "Pilot" / "Miracle Man"

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John Mason was a great detective, and when he fell twenty-seven stories with serial killer Earl Wayne Gibson and walked away, he became "Miracle Mason", an overnight hero. John had it all: perfect family, perfect job, perfect life.
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MIDNIGHT CITY
"Pilot" / "Miracle Man"
Written by
Dan Levinson
Registered by WGA East
Dan Levinson
4 Hillside Avenue
Great Neck, NY 11021
(516) 382-2375
Danblev@gmail.com

MIDNIGHT CITY
Pilot” / “Miracle Man”
TEASER
INT. OPERATING ROOM - TIME UNKNOWN
A lonely heart monitor beeps in blackness.
The tip of a syringe glistens, and injects a fluid into an
unknown gray surface.
Several SURGEONS are working diligently on what appears to be
a MALE PATIENT - he is partially obstructed by the doctors.
They are in a vast space. A dark space. Beyond the
illumination of their small circle of high-powered lamps is
impenetrable shadow, with one exception --
A booth, high up on the far wall. A large group of PEOPLE IN
SUITS and LAB COATS (30s-60s) look on. MR. GRAY SUIT (50s-
60s) stands in front; he appears to be their leader.
There is an old-fashioned wall clock behind them. It ticks
away the seconds. It is 2:25. No AM or PM visible.
Aside from the ticking of the clock, the heavy breathing of
the surgeons, and the sounds of their unknown work, there is
utter silence.
The face of the male patient is serene; he is a man in his
30s, average-looking, with brown eyebrows. The rest of his
hair is shaved, because --
He is undergoing brain surgery. A metal apparatus keeps his
head in place.
Gray Suit watches intently. His eyes are bottomless pits,
peering down his hooked nose without an ounce of warmth.
The clock on the wall ticks away behind Gray Suit and his
cohorts. Five, ten, fifteen minutes go by.
The lead surgeon is finishing stitching up the patient’s
scalp.
The patient’s face is still calm. Relaxed.
Suddenly the patient’s eyes snap open. Wide. In an instant
he has gone from peaceful to being in intense pain.

2.
He screams. It echoes through the vast space, a sudden burst
of noise.
The surgeons recoil.
The men and women behind Gray Suit flinch. Gray Suit remains
completely expressionless.
The lead surgeon motions for something.
LEAD SURGEON
Sedative.
Another surgeon reaches for a fresh syringe on a tray.
The patient’s eyes bulge. He screams again. Blood vessels
pop on his neck and forehead. His face turns red, and sweat
begins to bead on his skin.
There is a squealing of metal. The apparatus holding the
patient’s head breaks, and he springs upright.
The surgeon with the sedative goes to inject it into his IV.
The patient jerks his head towards her. With a sickening
crunch, the surgeon’s forearm snaps back the wrong way.
She screams.
One of the male surgeons moves to restrain the patient, but
his bottom ribs collapse inward.
The surgeon’s eyelids flare in surprise. He coughs, and
blood stains his surgical mask.
Above, Gray Suit turns to a severe, dark-haired WOMAN WITH
GLASSES (early 40s) in a lab coat.
GRAY SUIT
Kill it.
Gray Suit turns on his heel. The others part like a sea
before him. He exits through a door at the back.
Glasses tilts her head impassively. She opens a panel on the
wall and hits a red button labeled DANGER.
Immediately, sirens begin to blare down below. Red warning
lights on the ceiling spin to life.
Below, the patient has pulled completely free from his
restraints, and he wreaks havoc on any doctors in his way.
All remaining surgeons flee --

3.
But a massive steel quarantine door springs down and blocks
their path.
The surgeons yell and pound on the door.
The patient stalks towards them, slowly, his body language
frighteningly calm despite his mad gaze and blood-stained
medical gown.
Gas floods in from vents, filling the room.
The doctors go into a full-blown, futile panic.
The patient extends an arm, and the metal door crumples, then
flies across the room, taking most of the unlucky surgeons
with it.
The patient advances out of the room into a white hallway,
its florescent lights in stark contrast to the darkness in
the surgical suite from which he’s come.
His face twists itself into a gruesome grin; the expression
pulls at the untrimmed surgical thread sticking up from the
stitches on his scalp.
END OF TEASER

4.
ACT ONE
INT. JOHN’S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - MORNING
Early morning sunlight filters through shabby brown curtains.
As it plays through the cluttered, cramped bedroom, it
illuminates --
Nearly a hundred newspaper articles that cover a large
section of exposed brick wall. The headlines read:
“MIRACLE” MAN JOHN MASON SUFFERS BIZARRE TRAGEDY.
HERO COP LOSES CHILD.
AMBER ALERT: POLICE DETECTIVE’S DAUGHTER MISSING.
They are all about the daughter of DETECTIVE JOHN MASON
(30s), who is sleeping in the bed beneath the slew of
clippings. He is a handsome man, but he bears the scars of
painful memories: several days growth of stubble; eye sockets
hollowed out and haunted; brown hair unwashed and unkempt.
He is in rumpled clothing, presumably from the day before.
John’s cell phone goes off on a night table.
He takes a few seconds to wake, then answers.
JOHN
Mason.
EXT. ALLEYWAY - CONTINUOUS
DETECTIVE SERGEANT LOU HARRIS (50s), black, is on his cell
phone. He stands within the confines of yellow police tape.
LOU
John, where the hell are you?
INTERCUT PHONE CONVERSATION
JOHN
Sorry...
LOU
S’posed to be here a half hour ago.
JOHN
Lou, I’m leaving now.

5.
John swings his feet over the side of the bed, rubs his eyes.
LOU
This one’s real far out, Johnny
boy. See it to believe it kinda
thing.
JOHN
Text me the address.
John hangs up. He sits for a while, though whether it is
sheer grogginess or some deep contemplation is anyone’s
guess.
Behind him, the wall of newspaper clippings loom ominously.
INT. JOHN’S APARTMENT - BATHROOM - MORNING
John brushes his teeth. He pauses and appraises the image in
the mirror. He looks terrible.
EXT. ALLEYWAY - MORNING
John’s brown Buick pulls up on the street in front of the
cordoned-off alleyway.
He double parks behind an ambulance and gets out, holding two
cups of coffee.
At the back of the ambulance are DR. JAYA CHAUBEY (30s),
Indian American, British accent, and another CORONER (50s).
They are loading a misshapen body bag into the vehicle.
John tucks one of the coffees into the crook of his arm and
reaches to tug open the zipper on the bag.
Chaubey slaps his hand away.
DR. CHAUBEY
You spill that on my corpse and I’m
shipping two bodies to the morgue.
Their gazes meet; they have an unspoken conversation.
Finally, Chaubey acquiesces.
DR. CHAUBEY (CONT’D)
A peek.
She unzips it a bit. John looks inside, grimaces.
DR. CHAUBEY (CONT’D)
Good?

6.
John nods. She rezips the bag, resumes her work.
John heads to the mouth of the alleyway, ducks under the
police tape.
Lou is standing there, observing the CRIME SCENE TECHS.
LOU
You look like my grandmama’s
cooking after she went blind from
diabetes.
John hands Lou a cup of coffee.
LOU (CONT’D)
Saw the body?
JOHN
Yeah.
LOU
Far out, like I told you.
JOHN
Yeah.
LOU
Come on.
He leads John to a circle of techs collecting evidence, who
are centered around --
A pool of blood and an outline of the body’s grotesque
position - the upper torso face down, with the lower torso
and legs bent backwards at an impossible angle.
JOHN
This is...
LOU
Look here.
Lou takes out evidence bags from the pocket of his overcoat.
One has a wallet, cell phone, lighter, other miscellanea.
The other bag has a Glock .22.
LOU (CONT’D)
Vic’s a punk named Joe Reyes.
Holding the gun when we found him.
Has an open warrant for aggravated
assault, armed robbery. Who knows
what else we’ll get off his prints
and ballistics.

7.
JOHN
Robbery gone wrong.
LOU
Makes sense. Coulda fell from up
there, somewhere.
JOHN
No broken glass. He didn’t come
through a window.
LOU
There’s a fire escape. Or off the
top of the roof.
JOHN
Armed robbery on the roof?
LOU
He was running from the botched
robbery, jumped for the next
building over... Splat.
JOHN
He snaps himself neatly in half.
LOU
You fell twenty-seven stories with
that whacko Earl Wayne Gibson. He
pancaked and you got up and limped
away. Stranger things have
happened, John.
(beat)
Got something?
John examines the chalk outline. He turns on his heel and
begins walking back towards his car.
LOU (CONT’D)
What gives, man?
John keeps walking.
Lou, now a ways behind, says something inaudible to a CSU
tech and points to the nearby fire escape, and to the roof.
John heads straight to his car.
INT. JOHN’S CAR - CONTINUOUS
John gets in the car, starts it up.
A moment later, Lou climbs into the passenger’s seat.

8.
LOU
I’m worried about you.
JOHN
Don’t do this.
LOU
I know something ‘bout people self-
destructing, and you’re close to
another grand explosion, brother.
JOHN
Lou-
LOU
Now you listen to me a damn minute!
Lou’s sudden temper shocks John into silence.
LOU (CONT’D)
I had a brother. Older. Way
older, twelve years. Died in
prison ‘fore you and I met. Got
involved in drugs, and, well, the
rest is the same ol’ story.
JOHN
I’m not on drugs.
LOU
Your daughter... That case is your
drug, John. It’ll kill you.
John stares at the steering wheel, face filled with bitter
anger at hearing the truth.
Lou watches him. When he sees he’ll get no response, he
opens the door, gets out. He leans in to say one last thing.
LOU (CONT’D)
Let you know if we find anything.
Lou shuts the car door.
INT./EXT. JOHN’S CAR/STREET - CONTINUOUS
John’s car pulls away from the crime scene.
Seconds later, a white van pulls out of a nearby spot and
follows.
John notices the van pull out. As he drives, he keeps
checking his rearview mirror --

9.
The van keeps pace with him several cars back.
John suddenly switches lanes, makes a left at an upcoming
intersection.
He watches the mirror intently.
Just as he is starting to relax, the van pulls around the
corner behind him.
John squints, but the position of the sun creates a glare
that keeps him from getting a good look at his tail’s face.
The masculine black-gloved hands gripping the steering wheel,
however, are quite clear.
John hangs another sudden turn --
INT./EXT. JOHN’S CAR/BACK STREET - CONTINUOUS
Into a cramped back street. He pulls halfway down, edging
past dumpsters, and waits.
He looks at his watch. Five seconds. He looks up. Ten.
Fifteen seconds.
The white van pulls around the corner and --
John jumps. He grips the wheel and jolts up ten feet before
clamping down again on the brake.
The van edges up slightly.
John stares again into the rearview, forehead breaking out in
perspiration.
He takes a deep breath --
And floors the gas.
His Buick barrels forward. The van starts up behind him.
John, hands shaking, clips a dumpster. The impact jars it
out of place.
The van swerves to avoid it and sustains a minor impact
against the alley wall.
INT./EXT. JOHN’S CAR/AVENUE - CONTINUOUS
John pulls out of the alley like hell on wheels. He hangs a
right, swinging wide, and --

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