These deleted scenes were taken from the October 8, 1999 draft of the script (presumably the first draft).
This is another flashback to when Elijah was an eight year old child. This scene would have appeared between the present two flashback scenes and just before the scene where the priest is conducting mass…
EXT. FAIR – DAY
A hazy afternoon. A fair has come to town. They have set up in the vast parking lot of the local high school.
A line of women has formed in front of the portable bathrooms. A woman steps out.
Elijah’s mother touches his head and enters the three foot square plastic bathroom. She turns back and gives him a look.
We’ll play the water pistol game next.
Elijah nods, “Yes” happily.
The mother closes the cubicle door. Elijah is left alone amongst the line of women. They stare at him blankly. Their eyes move over his leg brace. Elijah doesn’t like it. He moves away from the line.
A CRESCENDO OF CHEERS RISES IN THE AIR FROM SOMEWHERE IN THE FAIR. Elijah follows the voices. He carries the stuffed animals through the crowds of people. CLICK, CLICK, CLICK. His metal brace sounds as he walks.
For a moment, he sees nothing but bodies all around him.
He emerges amongst a huddle of teenagers who wait at a turnstile.
A man in a red and white striped coat takes their tickets and waves at them in. Elijah looks up and sees the sign above the turnstile… “The Hurricane.”
He watches the teenagers giggle as they each get into a gray cup-like seat. They pull the metal bars down in front of them.
The man in the red and white stripes leaves the turnstile.
Elijah stares up at the multi-colored sign. Beat. He moves quickly. Ducks under the turnstile and climbs onto the platform.
Elijah finds an empty seat. He slips inside the gray metal compartment and sits. He pulls down the rusted metal bar infront of him.
He looks around at all the excited faces. his eyes fill excitement too.
His small hands feel the cold metal of the interior of the compartment. His expression changes.
Elijah looks to the stuffed animals in his arms. He presses them to check their softness. He places the stuffed animals on either side of him on the seat. He’s wedged in between them. Feels good.
He reaches out and touches the hard rusted metal bar infront of him, Elijah looks a little anxious. Beat.
He pulls off his sweater and wraps it around the bar. It goes around twice before he ties the arms together. He checks its softness.
Elijah looks around the customized cup-like compartment he sits in. He smiles an eight yearold smile of pride.
AND THEN HE HEARS HIS MOTHER’S VOICE.
He searches around and finds her walking in the waves of people. He hears her calling.
She moves in his direction by chance. She finds herself at the entrance to The Hurricane ride. She looks up at the sign above the turnstile. Her worried eyes immediately start searching the young faces in the gray circular compartment.
her eyes meet Elijah’s he waves Her face goes very still.
A HUGE ROAR OF MACHINERY as the ride starts up.
Elijah yells to his mother as the platform starts turning.
I won’t get hurt momma! I’m safe!
HIS WORDS GET EATEN UP BY THE CHEERS OF THE TEENAGERS AND THE GRIND OF MACHINERY.
The platform spins. He sees a glimpse of his mother and the red and white striped man. Shes pointing at Elijah.
The platform turns… Elijah sees a flash of the red and white striped man’s angered face as he yells at the frantic woman next to him.
And then the ride speeds up.
The grey circular seats starts to spin on their own. The teenagers CHEER.
Elijah’s eyes fill with joy as the wind plays against his face.
Suddenly the ride changes directions. The cup like seats get jerked. Everyone grabs the metal bars to hold on.
Elijah laughs as he smashes into the stuffed animal on his right. It cushions him and then falls to the floor of the compartment along with the other stuffed animal.
Elijah’s expression becomes tense as his compartment spins. His hands slide over the rusted metal bar as the sweater unravels.
Elijah looks around… a sudden panic enters his eyes.
THE BLURRING IMAGE OF HIS MOTHER NOW IN A GROUP OF RED AND WHITE STRIPED MEN.
THE SOUND OF MACHINERY GRINDING IS HEARD as the ride changes directions suddenly.
Elijah’s hands rip away from the bar as he gets thrown from the side as he gets thrown to the side of the compartment. His shoulder and arm take the brunt of the impact. WE HEAR SOMETHING CRACK.
TEENAGERS SCREAM IN EXCITEMENT. ELIJAH JOINS THEM WITH SCREAMS OF HIS OWN.
The ride spins its passengers. Elijah’s small face looks up at the swirling clouds in a mixture of agony and terror.
The ride changes directions.
Elijah is thrust forward. He hits the rusted metal bar square against his chest. WE HEAR MORE CRACKS.
The world spins. Giggles and yells fill the air. Elijah slumps down onto the floor of the compartment.
And then finally, the grind of the machinery slows and then comes to a gradual stop.
THE TEENAGERS MOAN.
Elijah is facing directly up at the sky. The clouds now move slowly over him.
WE HEAR COMMOTION. AGITATED VOICES. HIS MOTHER’S DESPERATE VOICE.
His bones… he’s not well…
HER VOICE GETS LOUDER AS SHE MOVES CLOSER ON THE PLATFORM
Then her face appears as she finds the cup-like seat Elijah is in. She begins to scream.
Elijah lays on the bottom of the comparment. One arm is clutching his chest. The other is curved horrifically like an “s”. His mouth is open. His eyes are bulging. The last thing we HEAR ARE THE SHORT DESPERATE BREATHS of an eight year old child about to black out from pain.
This scene appears directly after when the priest has finished conducting mass (by naming each victim) and just before David finds the note from Elijah on his truck window in the parking lot…
INT. BACK OF CHURCH – AFTERNOON
David and the priest who conducted mass are alone in the mass preparation room. The priest looks in his fifties. Eyes tired. Blood shot.
I used to play football in college. In my first year as a
quarterback, we went on this winning streak. It just
went on and on. It didn’t matter who we played… I’d
You get superstitious when something like that happens.
You give things meaning. Like you wear the same
colors socks each game or you listen to the same B.B.
King song before you leave the apartment. I wouldn’t
even untie the shoelaces on my cleats. I’d just slip them
on and off so nothing would change… I gave things
meaning that had no meaning.
I’m here to make sure I’m not making shoelaces into
something their not again.
I was the only person to survive that accident. The only
one… It feels like it means something.
Are you a religious man David?
David nods, “No.”
The priest removes the sacred scroll from around his neck and kisses it before folding it carefully.
Good. Because I’m going to talk to you as a man. Not as
a man of the cloth.
Beat. The priest turns to David.
It was luck.
What do you mean?
Luck… Random… Without meaning.
David just sits awkwardly.
About three years ago, my cousin died on a plane that
crashed on take off at Philadelphia International airport.
Do you remember that crash?
David nods, “Yes.”
I prayed and prayed and finally I found some meaning
in the event. It gave me peace… And then not quite a
year later, an entire family from my parish burned to
death in a hotel fire downtown…
Again I prayed. Again I found meaning.
Just two days ago. my nephew rode with you on that
train back from New York. He was traveling alone for
the first time. I’m sorry if I can’t react to your survival
with the appropriate ‘It was the hand of God. It was a
miracle.’ kind of answer… I’m fresh out of those right
David is shaken. Beat.
The metal of the watch I was wearing was crushed
like a sledge hammer hit it.
Beat. The priest’s eyes fill with emotion.
My twelve year old nephew’s neck was broken in four
places… What’s your point? You were chosen?
I don’t think so.
The priest turns and continues putting away artifacts from the mass. Silence fills the back room.
In the script, this scene was cut into the scene where Elijah is at the rehabilitation center. In other words, they cut from the rehabilitation scene, to this scene, and then back to the rehabilitation center.
INT. STADIUM LOCKER ROOM – LATE MORNING
David Dunne stands in his securty uniform by a set of double doors that leads into the players locker room.
Three walls of the locker room are lined with shiny lockers. One side of the room has benches and message tables. The far end of the room has work out equipment.
About twenty players and trainers are scattered throughout the spacious room lost in their own pre-game rituals.
David watches as a massive muscular player takes a seat on the massage table and removes his dress shirt. His body is covered in old bruises. He lays down, wincing a bit from the pain. A trainer begins to massage him.
David just stares at the battered athlete. His gaze moves across the room. Beat.
David stares at something in the crowded room then he starts toward it.
He moves trought the room of players and trainers. He moves to the one area of the large room not occupied by anyone.
David comes to a stop at the foot of an Olympic bench press. Racks and racks of free weights sit begind the press.
David looks down at the thick silver bar. Three large black plates are on either side. Six in all.
David looks back and glances at the double doors where he should be standing. Beat. He looks to the twenty or so players and trainers in the room. SOme of the players have headphones on. Some are staring into space. A couple are on cell phones…
No one notices David Dunne as he reaches for a forty-five pound black plate off the rack.
The huge disc slides onto the bar with almost NO SOUND…
A matching forty-five pound disc on the other side…
And then David adds another. He matches it on the other side…
THE BENCH CREAKS just the slightest bit as David takes a seat.
No one notices the security guard lay back on the bench.
David’s hands take hold of the shiny bar.
He closes his eyes…
David’s arm becomes tense. He pushes against the weight. It doesn’t move.
His face turns deep red. He opens his eyes and sares at the bar as he keeps straining. His face and arms are shaking… he keeps staring… focusing.
And then, without any fanfare, the bar lifts off the arm rest.
The weight hovers over David. He lowers it to his chest and then breathes out as he raises it up very slowly. It reaches its peak.
The bar silently drops back down to his chest for a second time. His arms aren’t shaking anymore. He pushes the weights back up.
He carefully brings the bar back to the arm rest. it touches down with the smallest of CLINKS.
David’s fingers uncurl from the bar.
David lets out two slow soft breaths as he counts the thick black discs.
Four ten… four fourty-five…
Beat. David sits up in a daze.
He finds the entire room of athletes and trainers staring at him. Some of the players have stood up. All activity has stopped. Everyone stares at David Dunne with the same quiet disbelief in their eyes.
This scene was to appear just after David listens to Elijah’s message on his answering machine and just before he goes to look at the train wreckage.
INT. BATHROOM – NIGHT
The master bathroom is very narrow. A bathtub and toilet are at one end. Two identical sinks sit opposite each other.
David sits on the edge of the tub. His shirt is unbuttoned. He sits in a daze staring at the tiled floor.
His eyes slowly move to a slow white and red box laying on its side under one of the sinks.
David raises and picks it up.
It’s a BOX OF BAND AIDS. David looks up to Megan’s sink. Perfume and lotions sit on its edge.
David opens her mirrored cabinet. He starts to put the band aid box back, he hesitates.
His eyes begin to roam the cabinet shelves. They stop on certain items… A CONTAINER OF TYLENOL… A LOTION FOR DRY SKIN… A BOTTLE OF ALLERGY EYE DROPS… COUGH SYRUP… A TUBE OF MUSCLE PAINOINMENT…
David just stands quietly for a beat before turning and looking across to his own identical mirrored cabinet. Beat.
David quietl takes the two small steps across the narrow bathroom. he reaches up and opens his own mirrored cabinet.
There are three things on the shelf… DISPOSABLE RAZORS. SHAVING CREAM. AND COLOGNE.
David’s mouth just opens a little bit as he stares.
This alternate ending is only “alternate” in the fact that the events happen just slightly different than in the final cut of the film. The same realization is made, there is just a different way of arriving at that realization. It picks up right after David talks to Elijah’s mother in Limited Edition.
David watches as Elijah’s mother walks across the store and waits for Elijah to finish talking.
David turns back to the frame sketch. He looks at it with his hands in his pockets. Beat
David’s stare turns into a gaze. His gaze turns into stillness.
THE SKETCH is of a withered man with large tense eyes. He sits in the shadows. He’s seated in some type of machine. There are lots of buttons and levers on the machine. The machine has wheels.
David turns from the sketch. He looks across the room to Elijah seated in his wheelchair. Elijah’s eyes stay focused on the customers as he finishes negotiating.
David turns back to the sketch. He looks at it with growing confusion. The more you look at the drawing, the more the machine the man is seated in looks like a wheelchair.
David looks back across the store. Elijah and his mother are talking. Elijah has spotted David.
Beat. Elijah starts across the crowded store towards David. He wheels up to him.
Did you see this?
Elijah has a newspaper on his lap. He holds it up.
There’s a drawing on the front page. It’s of a hooded figure shielding two huddled children behind him.
It has begun.
David stares quietly at the sketch of himself.
When I saw it this morning, I felt a part of the world again.
Elijah looks down at the newspaper.
David hesitates and then reaches forward.
He reaches past the paper… And TOUCHES ELIJAH’S ARM.
FLASHCUT: AN AIRPORT GATE. ELIJAH IS STANDING AT THE WINDOW LOOKING OUT ONTO THE AIRFIELD. HE’S CRYING.
SIRENS START SOUNDING THROUGHOUT THE AIRPORT.
WAITING PASSENGERS START GETTING UP AND MOVING TO THE WINDOWS.
What’s going on?
Elijah speaks to no one in particular as he stares out the window with tortured eyes.
An airplane just crashed.
FLASHCUT: ELIJAH AND AN ELDERLY MAN IN A UNIFORM ARE SEATED IN A HOTEL BAR.
I’ve worked here twenty-five years. I know all its
ELDERLY MAN (whispers)
Like if there was ever a fire on floors one, two, or
three… Everyone in this hotel would be burned alive.
ELIJAH LOOKS UP FROM HIS DRINK.
FLASHCUT: ELIJAH LEAVES THE ENGINEERING ROOM OF AN AMTRAK TRAIN. HE PASSES THE ENGINEER WHO HAS JUST ARRIVED WITH COFFEE.
Passengers aren’t allowed in there.
Elijah doesn’t answer and doesn’t turn around as he exits train 177.
SLAM CUT BACK TO PRESENT:
David takes two unsteady steps back. Elijah has tears in his eyes as he gazes down at the newspaper. He looks up to David.
ELIJAH (low voice)
I almost gave up hope. There was so many times I
questioned myself. I’ve made so many sacrifices but
it’s all been worth it.
There are millions and millions of mediocre people in the world David. Isn’t it great that we aren’t one of them.
David looks like he stopped breathng as he backs up in the store.
Customers step between him and Elijah. Elijah becomes obscured and then blocked from view.
EXT. STREET – DAY
David emerges from the store slowly. He braces himself against a parked car and then keeps on walking in a nightmarish daze.
WE PULL BACK as David Dunne blends in with dozens and dozens of ordinary people, walking on an ordinary street, in an ordinary city.