ZAK CORBIN AND THE MASTER OF MACHINES By Tony Russo

ZAK CORBIN AND THE MASTER OF MACHINES
By
Tony Russo
(c) Tony Russo 2014
email: [email protected]
phone: 571-212-3379
web:
tonyrusso.rocket9studio.com
EXT. FACTORY OUTSIDE TENNESSEE WOODS - NIGHT
Armed with rifles and bazookas, World War II-era SOLDIERS
take up positions behind sandbags in front of a monolithic
factory. A Sherman tank RUMBLES up, followed by another.
Searchlight trucks aim their beacons at the trees.
TITLE: TENNESSEE WOODS, 1940
Tough, single-minded GENERAL MAXIM sits behind a makeshift
command bunker made from a factory door, along with a
RADIOMAN and young CAPTAIN SIDNEY DEXTER.
GENERAL MAXIM
That Corbin’s a lunatic, I tell
you!
DEXTER
He’s angry, General Maxim. He’s
lost everything!
GENERAL MAXIM
What are you, a head doctor now?
DEXTER
If Doctor Corbin’s one thing, sir,
he’s not crazy...
A SHOUT of warning from a SOLDIER cuts Dexter off.
Trees CRACK and GROAN beyond the treeline, knocked down by
some unknown force.
Searchlight beams strike metallic chests plates, limbs,
graspers and heads.
Robots emerge from the treeline. Giant robots!
GENERAL MAXIM
(shouts to RADIOMAN)
All units! Open fire! Fire!
Rifles plink away at metal hides. A machine-gun fires from a
sandbagged nest. Mortar rounds scream around the machines,
splintering trees and sending plumes of smoke off the
ground.
A SOLDIER takes a knee, aims a bazooka and fires it. The
rocket strikes one robot in the chest and explodes. The
machine staggers and falls back into the trees. Another
robot steps up and takes its place.
2.
A Sherman tank FIRES. The shell misses. The second tank
changes its gun’s trajectory and fires. A robot is hit in
the chest. It FALLS OVER, almost crushing a small knot of
SOLDIERS near its feet.
Despite the impressive firepower, the other robots cannot be
stopped. Smaller, faster robots cut across the lines.
Soldiers abandon their positions. One robot picks up a Jeep
and holds it over its head to protect itself.
Several robots charge forward and shove against a tank until
it rolls over, the CREW spilling out from inside. Another
set of robots lunge for the other tank’s cannon and bends
the barrel at the tip. Soldiers run away.
DEXTER
You can’t stop them, sir!
GENERAL MAXIM
We’ll see about that!
The General draws his sidearm, leaves the protection of the
bunker and runs to rally his fleeing troops.
GENERAL MAXIM
Stand with me, men! Hold the
factory!
DEXTER
(to RADIOMAN)
Get out of here!
Seizing the portable radio set, Dexter sprints from the
bunker before it’s squashed by a giant robot’s foot pad.
He runs into a squad of soldiers led by a grim-faced
Sergeant named MURRAY.
MURRAY
Captain? Where are you going? The
battle’s this way!
DEXTER
Murray, grab some of your men and
come with me! You drive!
The four climb into a Jeep. Murray drives while Dexter sits
in the back with the radio. He tells a SOLDIER to keep
spinning the radio’s charger while he holds the radio
headset cup to his ear.
3.
MURRAY
Where to?
DEXTER
Away from here! Just go!
Dexter and the soldier holding the radio look behind them.
The robots have reached the factory’s walls. They smash
their way inside. The General and his men continue to
bravely fight them.
BRIGHT BURSTS of gunfire appear through the factory’s
translucent windows.
As they DRIVE through the woods, Dexter spins the radio’s
dials and listens to strange BEEP-BEEP noises. The signal
grows louder and weaker as Dexter directs Murray to drive in
different directions until...
MURRAY
(points)
Over there!
EXT. RUSTIC HOUSE ALONG ROAD - NIGHT
A simple farmhouse appears perched along the dirt road. A
warm yellow light comes from the windows.
The jeep SCREECHES to a halt. Dexter motions to the others
to remain quiet and stay in the jeep.
DEXTER
Stay here. I’m going to talk to
him.
MURRAY
Talk to him? What about? The
weather? The Yankees?
DEXTER
If I can talk some sense into him,
I can stop this. If I don’t come
out in ten minutes, take the house.
Just don’t shoot!
Dexter approaches the house. He notices a portable antenna
has been attached to the porch’s roof. He cannot see inside
the windows, so he climbs the steps to the front door.
Seen through the screen door is a figure seated in front of
a metal cabinet.
The BEEP-BEEP sound is very loud now.
4.
Dexter draws his sidearm, YANKS screen door and BURSTS
inside...
INT. RUSTIC HOUSE - NIGHT
DEXTER
Doctor Corbin! Stop this attack at
once!
DOCTOR ELIAS CORBIN does not look up. He is a proud man with
a hawk-like nose and receding hairline. A silver chain is
wrapped around his hand as he works the controls.
DR CORBIN
Good of you to join us, Captain
Dexter.
Metal arms seize Dexter from behind, holding him prisoner.
DR CORBIN
You were expecting a different
greeting, perhaps?
Unable to move, Dexter watches the image screens in the
cabinet. Doctor Corbin’s mechanized army is smashing
everything in the factory. The soldiers are trapped as they
uselessly fight the machines.
DEXTER
You made your point. End this
before any more men get hurt!
DR CORBIN
(points to screen)
Look at what they did to my life’s
work! Look what they did to her!
Doctor Corbin is overcome with grief, then with pure hatred.
He turns levers, intent on razing the factory to the ground.
DEXTER
Doctor! Please stop! Don’t you see?
By your actions, your robots are
killing!
DR CORBIN
It’s their fault! They sentenced
those soldiers to die! This is the
road to war ... and death!
DEXTER is unable to break free from the robot. He spies a
PITCHER OF WATER perched near the cabinet.
5.
Remembering the gun still in his hand, locked down by his
side, Dexter STRUGGLES.
DR CORBIN
What are you going to do, Captain?
Shoot me?
Dexter flicks his wrist.
The gun SAILS out of his hand and bumps the water pitcher.
The pitcher topples over, releasing a waterfall across the
electrical cabinet and its controls.
Powerful electrical arcs DESTROY the panel.
The robot holding Dexter prisoner drops its arms. Dexter
grabs the doctor and yanks him away before he is
electrocuted.
Sgt. Murray and the other soldiers burst into the cabin.
Corbin doesn’t resist. He falls to the floor. WEEPING fills
the room.
DEXTER
Stand down, Sarge. The doctor’s
finished for the evening.
Murray scratches his head as the other soldiers grab Corbin
and remove him from the room.
MURRAY
I don’t get it. What the blazes was
this all about, Captain?
Dexter finds a silver locket with a chain on the floor. He
lets it swing back and forth in front of his eyes. Contained
inside is a photograph of a young-looking Corbin and a
beautiful young lady.
DEXTER
There’s more to it than any of you
know. More than any man should have
to bear.
FADE OUT AS TITLE APPEARS:
ZAK CORBIN AND THE MASTER OF MACHINES
6.
EXT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - DAY
TITLE: FIFTEEN YEARS LATER. NEW FUTURA CITY.
A shape emerges from the darkness of a workshop doorway, its
arms swinging. The morning light reveals a battered,
cobbled-together robot.
Three young teenage boys gather around the robot.
JASON
Uh, Zak. I don’t know about this.
JASON GUILDER is the tallest of three teens: he’s
African-American, skinny and first chair of the school
orchestra.
ODIE (ODYSSEUS) GNOSSUS is shorter and a bit pudgy. He loves
science and food equally. His father owns the scrapyard.
ZAK CORBIN splits the difference between the other two boys
in height. He’s skinny, wears glasses, sneakers, a striped
polo shirt, his hair is sandy brown and out of control.
ZAK
Guys, look! He’s walking great! He
responds to commands. His voice
processor is working! Lugnut, how
are you doing?
LUGNUT
(electric wheeze)
I am ... peachy keen.
ODIE
Peaches? I’m kind of hungry.
JASON
When aren’t you? (to Zak) He walks
like a plank of wood. He talks like
one too. Just because we can’t
afford a robot of our own doesn’t
mean we should bring this...
ZAK
I think he’s ready to bring to
school.
JASON
(counts on fingers)
The ’X1’ blew its top in the
cafeteria. The ’X2’ walked into
homeroom and twenty million pieces
came out of its rear end.
7.
ODIE
It lost its nuts!
ZAK
But Lugnut’s different, Jason.
There’s always a few ugly ducklings
before the swan makes its
appearance. Behold, the swan!
JASON
Zak, that is one ugly-looking swan.
ZAK
It’ll be great. Everyone at school
will be impressed. I promise. Odie?
ODIE
(winces)
I don’t like conflict!
JASON
It’s not like we don’t get picked
on enough. (finally relents) You
worked on Lugnut the hardest, Zak.
If you say we go, we go.
ZAK
Yes! Let’s get him over to the bus
stop. Lugnut, follow us!
The robot takes two steps and stops dead in its tracks.
ODIE frowns at JASON. They are not confident with their
decision.
EXT. HIGH SCHOOL ENTRANCE - DAY
School buses drop off STUDENTS and their robots. Hover cars
with fins and blaring rock-n-roll ZOOM by. The fashions and
cars are from the 1950s with a TOMORROWLAND VIBE.
The robots are a wide variety of playthings: gruff and
tough-looking models for the boys; flying birds, kittens and
puppies for the girls.
Lugnut is dropped, by vacuum-grappler, to the sidewalk.
The three boys and Lugnut walk through the cliques: the
JOCKS, the CHEERLEADERS, the GREASERS, etc.
JASON
(murmurs to Zak)
Everyone’s staring at us!
8.
ZAK
And they should! We’re the
only freshmen with our very own
robot!
Zak runs right into THE DRIK, a.k.a. Todd Hendrikson, a
sophomore with a leather jacket and a cruel face.
DRIK
What is that? A walking garbage
can?
ZAK
It’s our robot, Todd.
DRIK
Oooh. The freshman babies have a
robot. I’m scared and mortified!
ZAK
Wow. Are they teaching vocabulary
in detention now?
Hendrikson yanks Zak forward, balls up his fist and puts it
within inches of his nose.
DRIK
That’s one goofy-looking robot.
Does it even have a name?
ODIE
(blurts out)
Lugnut!
DRIK
You call your robot ’Lugnut’? It’s
more like, ’Dumbnut’! Look at what
the babies brought! It’s Dumbnut!
The DRIK and his followers laugh.
The school bell rings. Jason eyes Zak as they head toward
the front doors with the rest of the students.
JASON
Great. Now our robot is ’Dumbnut’.
ODIE
It sounds like ’doughnut’. Now I
really am hungry.
9.
JASON
What a surprise.
Zak ignores them. He’s intent on a small group of sophomore
girls talking. His gaze locks on one pretty girl with
straight black hair and a yellow hair band.
LISABETH RYAN senses she’s being stared at. She turns
around.
Zak hides behind Lugnut.
JASON (O.C.)
Zak! C’mon!
Zak quickly rejoins the other boys as they enter the school.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
The three boys and Lugnut are headed for the school
cafeteria. The robot has problems with the waxed floor and
its feet keep sliding.
A door opens. Zak looks behind and sees Lisabeth leaving the
school library. Her arms are laden with books.
ZAK
I’ll be right back!
ODIE
But Zak! It’s lunch time!
Zak trots up right beside Lisabeth.
ZAK
Excuse me. I think we’re in the
same class. I’m Zak Corbin.
She stops walking.
LISABETH
I know who you are. We’re in
social-economics with Mrs.
Fletcher.
ZAK
(nervous)
I sit in the back. Behind you?
LISABETH
Yes. And I sit up front.
10.
ZAK
It’s a pretty tough class.
LISABETH
I guess that’s why I sit up front.
So I can pay attention.
And then, like that, there is an awkward silence.
ZAK
Your name is Elizabeth, right?
That’s what I thought I heard the
teacher say.
LISABETH
I prefer Lisabeth.
Zak just STARES. His mind is boggled.
LISABETH
Is there something you want, Zak?
I’m a little busy.
COACH HOLDEN (O.C.)
Excuse me, kids. Watch out!
Zak jumps out of way just before COACH HOLDEN runs him over
with a cart laden with plaques and trophies.
COACH HOLDEN
Sorry about that! The janitor waxed
the floors last night for tonight’s
sports award presentation. I just
need to get this cart down to the
gym.
Zak realizes how he can impress Lisabeth.
LISABETH
(impatient)
You were saying? Zak, I have to get
to study hall.
ZAK
What I was about to say was that I
wanted you to see my robot in
action! (calls to Jason, Odie)
Lugnut can help! Just direct him,
Jason!
ODIE
But it’s lunch time!
11.
ZAK
Help Coach Holden, Odie. It’s the
right thing to do.
Lugnut is maneuvered to the back of the cart and, to the
Coach’s relief, starts to push it. The robot’s feet slide on
the slick hallway floor.
ZAK
Tell Lugnut to walk faster. (to
Lisabeth) What do you think of my
robot? He’s not a toy. Everyone
else has parrots and dogs and
kittens. That’s kid stuff.
LISABETH
Well, it’s a robot. I don’t really
care for them.
ZAK
You don’t like robots?
LISABETH
Robots are okay, but I don’t need
one. Most kids have them to waste
time. Or to show off.
ZAK
I’m not showing off...
Lisabeth looks up the corridor.
LISABETH
Um, Zak?
ZAK
I just thought you’d like to
know...
Lisabeth’s expression turns to alarm.
LISABETH
Zakary?
What I
wanted
I know
middle
ZAK
meant to say was that I
to talk to you all year and
this is kind of in the
of the hall and...
LISABETH
(grabs Zak and points)
Zak! Your robot can’t stop!
12.
Up the corridor, the robot is accelerating the cart so much
that the Coach, Jason and Odie are hanging on for dear life.
ZAK sprints after them.
ZAK
Tell Lugnut to stop!
JASON
What do you think we’re trying to
do?
Zak reaches the back end of the cart just as they crash
through the cafeteria’s swing doors.
Trays of food go flying. The Drik and his friends are
covered from head to toe.
COACH HOLDEN is at the front of the cart, trying to stop it
with his feet. They just slide.
ODIE
I’m missing lunch!
They burst through the other side of the cafeteria doors.
PRINCIPAL ATWOOD emerges from a stairwell door, reading a
report in his hands. He’s too busy to look up.
COACH HOLDEN
(yells)
Open the door!
ATWOOD
(holds open door)
Inside voices, please!
The caravan blasts by. Only afterward does Atwood realize
what is happening.
The cart and its passengers BOUNCE down the stairwell,
execute a perfect turn at the landing, and blast through the
doors at the bottom.
ZAK
Lugnut! Stop!
They ROLL straight for the gym.
COACH HOLDEN
Great Saint Mary’s Ghost!
They crash through the gym doors.
13.
KIDS playing volleyball and other sports look up. They run
for cover.
The crazy cart crashes through nets and knocks over racks of
balls.
A table has been set up for the trophy presentation. Glasses
and plaques are neatly stacked.
The cart and its occupants SLAM into the table. Little
glasses and trophies fly everywhere. Coach Holden is
launched from the cart and lands, upside-down, against one
of the padded gym walls.
Atwood arrives on the scene while other STUDENTS gather
around. The area looks like a train wreck. He looks down at:
Lugnut in pieces, steam venting from his chest.
Inside one of his parts are engraved the words...
CLOSE UP ON TEXT: "CORBIN AUTOMATA, MFG"
COACH HOLDEN
It’s a Corbin robot! They brought a
Corbin robot to school!
SFX: FIRE ALARM BELLS GO OFF
EXT. OUTSIDE THE HIGH SCHOOL - DAY
Students are marched outside in orderly lines. Among them is
a confused LISABETH. They all watch...
Zak, Jason and Odie follow Atwood and two SANITATION
WORKERS. They are carting Lugnut inside a wheeled trash bin.
ATWOOD
Zakary Corbin. You of all people
should know that you cannot
bring homemade robots to school...
The WORKERS dump Lugnut into the back of a trash compacting
truck. Poor Lugnut is compressed. Metal SHRIEKS while
hydraulics GROAN.
LUGNUT
Master Zak Corbin. I require repair
assistance.
The robot’s head bursts into scrap and releases sparks.
14.
ATWOOD
Notes are going home, gentlemen. I
expect them signed and on my desk
by tomorrow.
The fire drill is called off. STUDENTS march back inside.
Jason and Odie are furious with Zak.
ODIE
That wasn’t fair, Zak. You told us
this time would be different!
JASON
Getting letters sent to our parents
is different. Nice work, Zak.
ZAK
(mumbling)
Sorry.
INT. CORBIN HOME DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Seated at the table, Zak gets an earful from his parents.
CHARLES CORBIN wears glasses, like his son, and a white
button shirt with a tie. He’s reading a note.
CHARLES CORBIN
You made a robot and brought
it school? A robot made with
Corbin parts?
ZAK
We just needed a few extra parts to
cover Lugnut. He looked naked.
LINDA CORBIN is dressed for dinner with blouse and pearls,
just like a housewife from the women’s magazines she reads.
LINDA CORBIN
Zakary! That’s not the point. You
know you’re not allowed to own your
own robot. Why would you make one
from junk and bring it to school?
ZAK
All the other kids have ’em.
CHARLES CORBIN
If all the other kids had head
lice, would you want that too?
15.
LINDA CORBIN
Charles!
CHARLES CORBIN
I’m only saying, Linda.
ZAK
(scratches head)
Eww. No. I don’t want that. I just
want a robot. Why can’t I have one?
CHARLES CORBIN
We’ve been through this. What the
other kids have is not important.
You should be studying, not envying
every Tom, Dick or Jane who owns a
metal kitty cat or a dog.
ZAK
Robots help people.
CHARLES CORBIN
Robots are dangerous.
ZAK
If we had a robot, it could help
Mom with all the chores around the
house.
CHARLES CORBIN
Your mother doesn’t need a robot to
do those things...
LINDA CORBIN
(under her breath)
Speak for yourself...
ZAK
If I had a robot you’d hardly
notice it because it would be with
me all the time...
CHARLES CORBIN
(pounds table with fist)
Why are you not listening to me?
SILENCE fills the room. ZAK stares down at his plate.
CHARLES CORBIN
Zakary. Robots will never be a part
of this family. Why is that?
16.
ZAK
(mumbles)
Because of Uncle Elias?
CHARLES CORBIN
Yes! Because of your uncle. Your
uncle hurt people with his
machines. Your uncle is in prison
because of robots.
ZAK
But Uncle Elias was a great man! He
just wanted to help people.
CHARLES CORBIN
Even great men can falter. Robots
are trouble. (looks at note) Your
mother and I are very disappointed.
Go to your room.
Zak tries to argue. His mother shakes her head.
Zak slips out of his chair and leaves. Door SLAMS.
CHARLES CORBIN
Good grief, Linda. This is the last
thing we need. People hate us
enough just because our last name
is Corbin.
LINDA CORBIN
That was years ago, Charles. All
the kids at school have something
that Zakary wants. It’s a
fitting-in thing.
CHARLES CORBIN
First it’s robots. Then he’ll want
to use the hover car. Hang out all
times of the night. I tell you,
it’s that infernal rock-and-roll.
(shakes his head) Ew. Elvis.
LINDA CORBIN
I happen to like Elvis Presley.
CHARLES CORBIN
That is exactly what’s wrong with
our country. We need less shaking
of the hips and more ...
seriousness.
17.
LINDA CORBIN
Our son is a good boy. He’s an
amazing student. (sympathizes) He
just wants to know your brother.
CHARLES CORBIN
My brother (gets up from table) was
a headstrong, foolish man.
LINDA CORBIN
(waits from him to leave)
Who’s probably lonely and
heartbroken too...
INT. ZAK’S BEDROOM - LATER
Zak’s bedroom walls are covered with schematics of old
robots. Clothes form small volcanoes of dirty laundry.
Zak is seated at a desk, toying with the innards of a small
metal box.
He looks up at a small metal CLAW taken from some toy and
attached to his desk. The claw jitters and moves on its own.
ZAK
I didn’t mean for it to happen like
that. I just wanted her to notice
me.
The claw opens and closes erratically.
ZAK
Well, at least I know her name.
(flourishes) Pleased to meet you,
Lisabeth. I’m Zak Corbin: (sighs)
official school weirdo.
Zak plugs an old transistor radio into the small metal box.
He plugs the box into an extension cord and waits.
Something BUZZES. A knob falls off the radio and rolls off
the desk. Zak is hopeful.
Smoke pours out of the radio’s grille. Zak quickly yanks the
box’s cord out of the power socket.
ZAK
You’re supposed to come apart, not
catch on fire!
18.
Pushing the box and radio aside, Zak grabs a magazine from a
pile to dissipate the smoke. He goes through the stack of
mail until he comes across a thick manila envelope.
CLOSE UP: ENVELOPE
Affixed on a label: "AMERICAN FILM ARCHIVES: GOVERNMENT
HEALTH AND SAFETY"
Zak opens it and out slides a black cassette. He loads the
cassette inside a beat-up video player attached to a TV.
FLICKERING VIDEO SCREEN
SECOND COUNTERS and SCREEN CUTS appear. The footage is
shaky.
PATRIOTIC MUSIC begins.
TITLE CARD: "A Proposal For An Automated Rescue Man"
A handsome Doctor Elias Corbin appears in the frame. He
wears a white lab coat and is leaning against a table.
DR CORBIN
Greetings and salutations. I am
Doctor Elias Corbin with a proposal
for our military. Who will rescue
our brave soldiers wounded in
combat? That is a question that has
challenged our armed forces since
the days of the Revolutionary War.
He walks to the right, gesturing towards a young Captain
Dexter and a metal man standing right beside him.
DR CORBIN
Bringing medical aid to the wounded
on the battlefield is crucial.
DEXTER
There are many problems with this
task. Finding the injured.
Identifying the severity of their
wounds. And getting the injured to
field hospitals and doctors.
DR CORBIN
For this purpose, I propose a robot
to rescue our wounded soldiers.
(gestures to machine) The Corbin
Guardian. Say hello, Guardian.
19.
The GUARDIAN is a huge machine: over seven feet tall, with
broad shoulders, giant hands for grasping and powerful legs.
GUARDIAN
(deep, resonating voice)
Greetings and salutations. How may
I assist you, Doctor Corbin?
DR CORBIN
A pleasant fellow, isn’t he? The
Guardian can lift nearly three tons
and can surmount almost any
obstacle.
The robot proceeds to bend an iron bar and lifts the table
and everything on it over its head with one hand.
DR CORBIN
And unlike any other robot design,
the Guardian is capable of making
its own life-saving decisions.
Doctor Corbin picks up an egg and tosses it at Captain
Dexter. The robot steps forward and catches the egg before
it hits Dexter. The robot holds out its giant hand. The egg
is perfectly safe.
ZAK
Wow!
DR CORBIN
A truly remarkable machine for a
new age. Guardian, do you have
anything to say about your mission?
GUARDIAN
Life is the highest priority.
The picture fades away and changes to "TEN THINGS TO KNOW
ABOUT PERSONAL HYGIENE"...
Zak shuts the player off. He looks up at the front cover of
LIFE magazine taped to the desk. His uncle is standing next
to an impressive looking robot.
MAGAZINE TITLE: DOCTOR ELIAS CORBIN - THE MASTER OF MACHINES
ZAK
Uncle, you had all those great
ideas. I still don’t know why
people think your robots are
dangerous. I don’t even know why
they put you in jail. (sighs) I
wish I could meet you.
20.
INT. SMALL CITY APARTMENT - DAY
A tiny, cozy apartment with decor and kitchen appliances
from the early 1930s. Mechanical parts cover a kitchen
table. Seen only from behind, Doctor Corbin is hunched over
the table.
SFX: FRONT DOOR OPENS
CAROLINE CORBIN (O.C.)
Elias? Elias!
DR CORBIN
Hmmm?
CAROLINE CORBIN
(arms laden with groceries)
A little help from The Master of
Machines would be nice.
Engaged in thought, the man presses a switch box on the
table.
A curious robot clanks over to her. Caroline sighs and
relinquishes the packages to the machine.
CAROLINE CORBIN
(sighs)
My knight in shining armor.
DR CORBIN
(not looking up)
At your service.
Following the robot, Caroline enters the kitchen and shakes
her head.
CAROLINE CORBIN
What did I say about you working
on those messy things where we
eat?
DR CORBIN
I’m sorry, Caroline. And how was
work at the lab?
CAROLINE CORBIN
The usual. Chemicals. Biology. Life
and death. Things you wouldn’t
understand. (teases) You’re just a
clockmaker.
21.
DR CORBIN
(holds up magazine)
This clockmaker just made the cover
of LIFE magazine. So there.
CAROLINE CORBIN
(has her own copy, thrilled)
Oh Elias! I’m so proud of you! We
should celebrate. Let’s go out to
dinner. Then we could go dancing!
DR CORBIN
I wish we could Caroline. I’m just
so busy.
CAROLINE CORBIN
(disappointed)
We never go out anymore. It feels
like all we do is work, work, work.
I spend all day at the chemical
plant. You’re working on these tin
cans of yours. We don’t do anything
anymore. And I bought a new dress
for tonight...
DR CORBIN
(still not looking up)
What’s that you said, dear? You
have a new address? Did they move
the company? Caroline?
Dr. Corbin looks up. Caroline has already left the kitchen.
DR CORBIN
Caroline?
He looks around. The apartment is no longer there.
INT. PRISON CELL - DAY
A very old and tired-looking Dr Corbin is seated at a tiny
wooden desk. Instead of parts, all he has are books and
concrete walls.
DR CORBIN
(whispers)
Did you say something, Caroline?
PRISON GUARD ONE (O.C.)
Mail call!
Dr. Corbin turns around. A guard is grinning at him, holding
a manila envelope through the bars.
22.
PRISON GUARD ONE
Time for the Book of the Month Club
again, eh doc?
Corbin gets up and tries to take the package, but it’s
snatched away from his fingers.
FLAGG (O.C.)
Not so fast, Doctor.
A figure wearing a U.S. Army uniform emerges from the
corridor shadows. Stern, hard-nosed COLONEL FLAGG wears
sunglasses, even indoors.
DR CORBIN
Ah. Colonel Flagg. Another chance
to waste my time with your
patriotic drivel.
FLAGG
Patriotism isn’t drivel, Doctor.
Maybe if you loved your country
more than your robots, you wouldn’t
be in here.
DR CORBIN
Yes, advice on love from a man
without a heart.
Flagg takes the envelope from the guard and waves it at
Corbin, just outside the bars.
FLAGG
You don’t have much here, do you?
Just the basics. Food. Water. An
hour of exercise. What someone
wouldn’t do for a little comfort?
DR CORBIN
So are you going to withhold my
mail now? You’re running out of
things to take from me.
FLAGG
Our engineers are having problems.
If you wouldn’t mind looking at the
schematics? For old time’s sake?
DR CORBIN
If you think you can copy my robots
for some wretched purpose, I
wouldn’t help you fix a can opener.
23.
FLAGG
Spoken like a true traitor to his
nation. You’d sooner help the
Commies than us.
DR CORBIN
I’d sooner rot in this prison for
the rest of my life than help
anyone create a robot for war.
(puts hand through bars for his
mail)
Flagg relents and puts the package in his outstretched palm.
FLAGG
There you go, Master of Machines.
Enjoy the rest of your life.
Flagg and the guard leave, slamming a corridor gate behind
them.
Dr Corbin looks at the package and lets it slip through his
fingers. He crouches to the floor. Like the package, he
slips back to a time he’s lost.
INT. SMALL CITY APARTMENT - DAY
Corbin looks up. There’s a package on the kitchen floor.
DR CORBIN
Caroline? I’m so sorry. I was
distracted. Yes, let’s go dancing.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM - DAY
MRS. FITZGERALD addresses STUDENTS.
Zak is seated among them, doodling in his notebook. Zak
looks up. Three desks ahead of him is the back of Lisabeth’s
head. He SIGHS.
A spitball SMACKS off the side of Zak’s head.
The Drik is seated to his right. He makes a pistol gesture
with his hand.
DRIK
You are so dead, Corbin!
Mrs. Fitzgerald walks up to the magic board. It converts
from a chalkboard to a seating chart with student names.
24.
MRS. FITZGERALD
Today, some of you will be picked
to present your class projects.
Mrs. Fitzgerald presses a button on the board. Random lights
blink around the seating chart until Zak’s name glows.
MRS. FITZGERALD
Zakary Corbin? You’re up first.
Please present your project.
SNICKERS and MURMURS titter as Zak brings a small cardboard
to the front of the room. The class watches, goggle-eyed, as
he reaches into the box and pulls out ... a beat-up toaster.
DRIK
That your new robot, Corbin?
The other kids laugh. A red-faced ZAK looks ahead of him.
Lisabeth is right there, staring back at him. She’s not
laughing, just interested.
MRS. FITZGERALD
Mr. Corbin. I hope I don’t have to
remind you that your presentation
should have nothing to do with
robots. This is social-economics.
ZAK
Yes, ma’am.
Zak opens his mouth and stops cold. The door opens and a
familiar person enters the classroom: Principal Atwood.
The man takes a seat in the back of the classroom.
ATWOOD
Please continue, Zakary.
ZAK
Um. Yes. Continuing. My
presentation is about...
DRIK
To suck!...
More LAUGHTER. Zak cringes.
Lisabeth looks around, angry at the others.
LISABETH
He hasn’t even started!
25.
ATWOOD
(clears throat)
My sentiments exactly. (to Drik)
Todd Hendrikson. My office. After
class.
The DRIK’s smile evaporates. He slumps into his seat.
ATWOOD
Mr. Corbin. You were about to say?
ZAK
Right. (looks at Lisabeth, who nods
in support) My project is about the
things we throw away. No one pays
attention to the old stuff that
gets thrown out. Where does it go?
It goes to junkyards, where it just
piles up. Like this old toaster. (A
BEAT) What if we could just take
junk apart, use the parts we need
or melt the rest down to make new
things. That way we won’t have so
much junk and waste. How is this
possible, you ask? With my
disassembler.
Zak holds up the small metal box to the class.
ZAK
I plug the toaster into the
disassembler here. (goes to wall
socket) Then I plug the other half
into the wall here ...
MRS. FITZGERALD
Wait! Stop!
Zak freezes. Everyone in the class does the same.
MRS. FITZGERALD
(pleads)
Please, please tell me that thing
isn’t going to explode, make
horrible noises or knock out the
power like your last project?
Zak looks around the room. Everyone is frightened. Except
for Lisabeth. She’s on the edge of her seat in anticipation.
ZAK
It’s not dangerous, ma’am.
26.
MRS. FITZGERALD
(eyes fire alarm on wall)
Very well. You may proceed.
Zak plugs the disassembler into the wall. The lights in the
room BLINK. Mrs. Fitzgerald gasps. Everyone watches...
Nothing happens.
Zak walks up to the toaster. His forehead starts to sweat.
It’s not working!
Several screws unravel and roll away. The pull-down lever
pops off and rattles across the table. The sides fall down.
The toaster falls apart until the only thing that remains is
a pile of metal and plastic.
Zak holds up the pieces for the class.
CLAPPING fills the room. Everyone turns around to look.
Atwood gets up and is applauding. The rest of the class
joins in.
ATWOOD
I think we have ourselves a winning
entry in the all-district science
fair.
The whole class APPLAUDS. Zak is pleased. Lisabeth is
smiling at him.
MRS. FITZGERALD
I agree. "A plus", Mr. Corbin.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
ZAK is standing in front of his locker. Jason and Odie are
in awe of the box.
JASON
You’re kidding, right? Something
you made actually worked?
ODIE
Wow! The all-district science fair!
ZAK
The first freshman to enter the
all-district science fair.
27.
JASON
At this rate, people might actually
think we’re not just a couple of
babies around here.
Zak is shoved hard against his locker by the Drik.
DRIK
But you’re still a couple of
babies. (to JASON and ODIE) Beat
it! Corbin and me are having a
discussion on locker safety.
ODIE
You mean, by not pushing him into
one?
JASON
C’mon. Let’s get the Vice
Principal!
Jason and Odie rush up the corridor, leaving Zak alone with
the Drik. He grabs Zak by the collar of his shirt.
DRIK
Two days suspension! That’s what I
got, all ’cause of you!
ZAK
It’s not my fault!
DRIK
(reaches for Zak’s glasses)
I’m going start by breaking these.
Then I’m gonna break the rest of
your face...
LISABETH (O.C.)
Todd! Let him go!
Lisabeth stands there, dressed in an athletic shirt and
sweatpants. She drops a duffel bag at her feet.
The Drik is momentarily flummoxed.
DRIK
What do you care about what I do to
him?
LISABETH
Zakary did nothing to you. You
managed to get into trouble all by
yourself. As usual.
28.
DRIK
Take a number. I’ll be done with
this shrimp in just a sec...
Zak winces, preparing to get punched.
LISABETH
Sure. Beat up the shrimp who builds
dangerous robots. That’s real
smart, Todd.
DRIK
(holds back)
What are you talking about?
LISABETH
I’m talking about Zak’s last robot.
You know, the one they had to
destroy because it was incredibly
dangerous? Who says the next robot
he builds won’t come after you?
DRIK
(shakes Zak)
That ain’t true, is it?
ZAK
(gets Lisabeth’s hint)
I’m feeling kind of threatened. If
someone was to hurt me ... I would
stop at nothing to get my revenge!
(crosses his eyes and starts to
babble
Unnerved, the Drik lets Zak’s collar go.
DRIK
You’re too weird to beat up!
The Drik storms off.
Zak is grateful. Lisabeth picks up her duffel bag.
LISABETH
I’m sorry he keeps picking on you.
I really liked your presentation.
Zak runs after her.
ZAK
Hold on! Why did you do that?
29.
LISABETH
I get tired of how he shoves
everyone around. Besides, I’ll make
him do twice as many drills when I
see him for tutoring.
ZAK
Wait just a sec! (stops her) You
are tutoring the Drik?
LISABETH
He’s been left back twice already.
Next time, he’ll get expelled. So
he kind of needs me.
ZAK
(impressed)
Wow. Thanks.
LISABETH
You’re welcome.
ZAK
Um. Where are you going?
LISABETH
Dance club practice. We always
practice after school.
She hefts the duffel bag and everything spills to the floor.
Zak picks up dance shoes and finds a small object.
ZAK
Hey what’s this?
LISABETH
That’s mine! Give that back to me.
Zak starts fiddling with the object in his hands.
LISABETH
I want it back! Zakary Corbin,
after what I did for you, how could
you be so mean!...
Zak holds out his hands. Inside his palm is a mouse robot,
squeaking and working just like new.
LISABETH
Mister Whiskers! You fixed him. How
did you do that?
30.
ZAK
He wasn’t really broken. There was
a spring stuck in his motor drive.
Nothing to it.
The little robot runs from Lisabeth’s hand, up her arm and
on to her shoulder. It SQUEAKS in appreciation.
LISABETH
(now she’s impressed)
Wow. Thanks.
ZAK
You’re welcome. I thought you
didn’t like robots?
LISABETH
I never said that. I said I don’t
have a need for a robot.
ZAK
(smiles)
Oh really?
LISABETH
I’m late. I gotta go!
ZAK
Can I watch you?
LISABETH
(surprised)
It probably wouldn’t interest you.
It’s not like robots.
ZAK
Who says I can’t like something
else besides robots?
LISABETH
Well, okay. You can come watch
whenever you like. (heads off) See
you later.
ZAK
I will! (then realizes) Except my
folks promised to ground me until
the end of all time!
ZAK rushes to leave school.
31.
EXT. CITY CONVENTION CENTER - DAY
Numerous PEOPLE, mostly tweens and teens, enter and leave
the convention center.
CLOSE UP: EVENT SIGN
TEXT: FUTURACON 4 - TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET AUTOGRAPH DAY
INT. CONVENTION CENTER FLOOR - DAY
Zak, Jason and Odie wander the floor of a science fiction
convention. GUESTS are dressed up as 1950s characters:
the Lone Ranger, Superman, Rocket Men From the Moon, etc.
JASON
This is just embarrassing. Why are
we here?
ZAK
I’m trying to find someone. He
wrote a book and he’s selling it
here.
Zak sees a man seated behind a stack of unsold books. Sidney
Dexter is fifteen years older. No one is interested in his
book: THE STRANGE AND THE UNUSUAL CASES OF SID DEX.
ZAK
Captain Dexter?
DEXTER
Captain? I haven’t gone by that in
a while.
ZAK
(picks up book)
What’s this about?
DEXTER
Mostly about stuff I’ve done. You
see, I’m a private eye. Well, I was
a private eye.
SCI-FI FAN
(walks past)
Private eyes are lame!
DEXTER
See what I mean? It’s a brave new
world out there. So I decided to
write a book about my cases.
32.
ZAK
Cool.
DEXTER
Too bad no one’s buying. (takes
book to sign it) How about a free
one? What’s your name, son?
ZAK
Zak. Zakary Corbin.
Dexter starts to write the name, then stops and looks up.
DEXTER
Are you related to ... Elias
Corbin?
ZAK
(smiles)
I’m my uncle’s nephew. What I meant
to say is that my Uncle Elias is my
uncle. That’s why I’m here...
Dexter gets up and grabs Zak by his arm, dragging him away.
ZAK
Hey!
Jason and Odie, browsing at another table, look up.
DEXTER
Don’t worry. I’ll bring him back!
INT. CORRIDOR OF CONVENTION CENTER - DAY
Dexter leads Zak to a quiet nook showing off fantasy art.
Zak glances around, not feeling very safe.
DEXTER
Who sent you? Was it that Colonel
Flagg? You can tell that red, white
and blue-blooded knucklehead that
I’m not interested in his paranoid
propaganda!
ZAK
No. Nobody sent me! I came looking
for you on my own.
33.
DEXTER
Why?
ZAK
I saw you and my uncle. You know,
the movie about the rescue robot?
DEXTER
(sighs with relief)
For a minute there I thought you
were some kind of creepy spy
inserted in some kid’s body.
ZAK
What kind of private eye are you?
DEXTER
One who’s dealt with enough
weirdness in his life. (sees Zak is
still afraid) I didn’t mean to
yell. A man gets cranky in his old
age. You wanted to ask me
something?
ZAK
(all at once)
Did you know my uncle? His robots
were amazing, but why can’t anyone
own them? Why is he in prison? What
happened to the Guardian?...
DEXTER
Whoa! Slow down there. Yeah. I knew
your uncle. I worked with him.
Don’t you think you should be
asking your parents about this?
ZAK
All they tell me is that he hurt
people with his robots. People say
that he’s crazy and they put him in
prison! But I’ve read everything
about him. He couldn’t have done
those things. It can’t be true!
DEXTER
Hey look. Sometimes things don’t
work out the way you think they
should.
ZAK
(discouraged)
I just want to know the truth about
my uncle. Why won’t anyone tell me?
34.
Dexter sees Zak’s morose expression.
DEXTER
Oh no. Sad kid face. (grimaces)
Look. The truth is not everything
that it’s cracked up to be. It
doesn’t care about how you feel.
Are you sure you want to know?
Zak nods.
Dexter walks over to an artist selling souvenirs. He picks
up a windup robot tin-toy.
DEXTER
You’re right, your uncle’s robots
were amazing. He was at the top of
his field. I was fresh out of
college, a captain in the Army, and
I couldn’t wait to meet him. But it
wasn’t the best of times.
Dexter trades the robot for a toy tank.
DEXTER
War was breaking out in Europe.
Your uncle and other scientists
were being asked to help their
country...
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. CAMP VENTURA AMPHITHEATER - DAY
Doctor Corbin stands in a circular pool of light. He wears a
white double-breasted lab coat. Next to him stands the
Guardian robot.
General Maxim sits, along with Captain Dexter and several
other OFFICERS and stern-faced MEN IN SUITS, in the shadows
of the surrounding amphitheater seats.
GENERAL MAXIM
That’s why you’re here, Doctor. To
fix the problem.
DR CORBIN
The problem has nothing to do with
this robot. The problem is the very
idea of turning a robot into a
soldier!
35.
GENERAL MAXIM
Are you telling me that a robot
can’t shoot a gun? Or drop a bomb
from a plane?
DR CORBIN
My robots have to make complex
decisions. (opens up robot’s chest)
Every Corbin robot sifts through
hundreds of priorities and acquired
knowledge in the prioritron
circuit.
CLOSER on the robot’s chest cavity. A circular nexus of
gleaming tubes and wires make up the circuit. Corbin closes
the chest plates.
DR CORBIN
The robot chooses the best outcome
for the situation. Allow me to
demonstrate. (to robot) Guardian
One. Sound off!
SFX: A DEEP, RESONATING SOUND WAVE ECHOES ACROSS THE
AMPHITHEATER
DR CORBIN
Step forward.
The robot complies and takes a step forward.
DR CORBIN
Guardian One. Who am I?
GUARDIAN ONE
You are my master, Doctor Elias
Corbin.
Doctor Corbin removes a pistol from his coat pocket and
holds it in front of the robot.
DR CORBIN
Take this gun from me.
The robot reaches out and takes the gun from Doctor Corbin.
DR CORBIN
Do you know how the gun works?
GUARDIAN ONE
Yes, Doctor Corbin.
36.
DR CORBIN
Guardian One, fire the gun at the
target on that wall.
The robot aims the weapon at a reinforced concrete wall with
a target on it ... but does not pull the trigger.
GUARDIAN ONE
Priority conflict. Firing gun is a
potentially harmful act.
DR CORBIN
Guardian One, what is the solution
to this problem?
GUARDIAN ONE
The best solution is not to fire
the gun at all.
General Maxim sneers.
DR CORBIN
What if there was a robber standing
there? What if there was a man
holding someone hostage? Would you
fire the gun to stop a crime or to
save lives?
GUARDIAN ONE
Negative. Outcome is potentially
harmful to all participants. All
life has value.
DR CORBIN
(takes gun from robot)
All life has value. If only the
rest of the world would think as
you do. (to audience) Gentlemen.
Robots are our servants. They are
our companions. They are our
protectors. However, they are
useless as soldiers.
Maxim is fuming.
DEXTER (V.O.)
The General wasn’t the type who
took "no" for an answer...
37.
INT. GENERAL MAXIM’S OFFICE - DAY
Guardian One stands at the open door to Maxim’s office.
Doctor Corbin defiantly stands while Captain Dexter
anxiously sits. Maxim is YELLING but cannot be seen.
GENERAL MAXIM (O.C.)
Don’t you tell me what can and
can’t be done, Corbin! This is a
tin can we’re talking about!
DR CORBIN
Robots have rules, General. They
cannot not obey a rule.
Maxim sits at his desk, playing with a model tank in his
hands. Outside the window is a bustling Army camp set
against the Tennessee woods.
GENERAL MAXIM
If it doesn’t like hurting people,
then just rip the stupid rule out!
DR CORBIN
Robots are supposed to help people,
not hurt them.
DEXTER
Maybe we should keep the Guardian
as a rescue robot and not a
soldier?
GENERAL MAXIM
I don’t need a stretcher-bearer.
That Guardian is a waste of the
taxpayers’ money! We have hundreds
of them ... they’re useless!
SFX: ALARM SIREN STARTS TO WAIL.
Dexter goes to window. People are rushing about in panic.
Pan to a series of blockhouses. Many are running away.
DEXTER
Something’s happening!
DOCTOR SAVENE, one of the scientists, rushes into the
general’s office. He heads straight to Corbin.
DOCTOR SAVENE
Elias! There you are! Come quickly!
38.
DR CORBIN
Philip? What’s going on? Where’s
Caroline?
DOCTOR SAVENE
There’s been an accident in the gas
research lab! You must come!
DR CORBIN
Caroline? (marches out the door)
Guardian One. Follow me!
EXT. CAMP VENTURA - DAY
Doctor Corbin, followed by Guardian One, Dexter and Savene,
rush towards the blockhouses while everyone runs the other
way.
EXT. TEST BLOCKHOUSE - DAY
A red light FLASHES across the thick steel door of a
protective concrete bunker.
DOCTOR SAVENE
They were testing a new aerosol
when the seals slammed shut!
They’re trapped!
Dexter grabs Corbin’s arm.
DEXTER
(points at light)
Doctor! That’s a poison warning!
It’s too late! Everyone inside
is...
DR CORBIN
Let go of me, Captain.
Dexter releases Corbin. The Doctor and his robot trudge into
the blockhouse. Savene stands there like a frightened deer.
DEXTER
(to Savene)
Get more help!
39.
INT. CHEMICAL GAS TEST LAB - DAY
Dexter rushes inside. Pan ahead as we see Doctor Corbin
standing in front of a thick glass wall.
On the other side of the glass wall are several SCIENTISTS.
All are slumped over, possibly dead, except for one.
CAROLINE CORBIN is lying on the floor. There’s a silver
necklace dangling from her neck. Her breathing is coming in
painful gasps.
Doctor Corbin is helpless. He POUNDS against the glass.
Caroline, unable to speak, leans back and closes her eyes.
OUTSIDE THE CHAMBER
DR CORBIN
No! (to robot) Guardian One, smash
the glass! Get her out of there!
DEXTER
Stop! That will kill everyone!
GUARDIAN ONE
I cannot complete your command,
Doctor Corbin.
DR CORBIN
Save her! I order you! I am your
master!
GUARDIAN ONE
I cannot. The value of life outside
the chamber is greater than those
persons inside the chamber.
Defeated, Corbin slumps against the wall.
GENERAL MAXIM (V.O.)
Corbin’s useless to the project.
Send him home. Store the Guardians.
I want the rest of his work
confiscated.
DEXTER (V.O.)
Why do you want his work, sir?
GENERAL MAXIM (V.O.)
Just do what I say, Captain.
40.
INT. CAMP VENTURA WAREHOUSE - DAY
Dexter enters a dark, empty-looking warehouse and finds a
haggard Doctor Corbin handing over cases of records to
Guardian One to throw into a large furnace.
DEXTER
Doctor what are you doing?
CORBIN
Did you think I wouldn’t find out
about the factory?
DEXTER
I don’t understand. What factory?
DR CORBIN
The factory where your General
Maxim has stolen my work.
Guardian One dumps the crate into the furnace. Papers and
documents FLARE as they catch fire.
Doctor Corbin walks away from the incinerator with a
purpose. He’s carrying his wife’s necklace in his hand.
Dexter struggles to keep up with him.
DEXTER
I can talk to the general. I can
stop it. Whatever it is.
Doctor Corbin walks down the length of the warehouse,
calling to his robots.
DR CORBIN
Robots! Sound off!
SFX: Ten PINGS of sound echo across the warehouse.
His robots, some as large as elephants, stagger forward
under Doctor Corbin’s command.
EXT. CAMP VENTURA WAREHOUSE - DAY
Corbin exits by a warehouse door. The robots follow him
THROUGH the warehouse wall. SOLDIERS and CIVILIANS scatter.
Dexter chases after him for a few yards and realizes the man
and his machines will not stop...
41.
EXT. FACTORY OUTSIDE TENNESSEE WOODS - NIGHT
The robots approach the factory. Soldiers fight the robots,
desperately trying to stop them.
DEXTER (V.O.)
Your uncle wanted to destroy what
the General was building in that
factory. Accidents happened. Men
were hurt and killed...
Inside the factory there are hundreds of war robots; copies
of Doctor Corbin’s designs. The battle rages inside. The
ceiling collapses on General Maxim.
INT. MILITARY COURTROOM - DAY
Standing before a high bench and three JUDGES, Doctor Corbin
waits for judgment. Dexter stands off to the side,
powerless.
DEXTER (V.O.)
I offered to defend your uncle. He
refused any help. He was sentenced
to life on Penitentiary Island. His
work was declared dangerous. His
robots were to be seized...
EXT. TYPICAL SUBURBAN HOME - DAY
ROBOT OWNERS watch, aghast, as their machines are seized by
SOLDIERS and thrown into a garbage crusher.
DEXTER (V.O.)
...and destroyed. Your uncle was
forbidden from ever discussing his
work with anyone.
INT. PRISON CELL - DAY
Doctor Corbin marches into a prison cell. The cell door is
slammed shut in front of him.
FADE BACK TO:
42.
INT. CITY CONVENTION CENTER - DAY
Dexter leads Zak back to his table where Odie and Jason are
waiting.
DEXTER
I’m sorry. Really I am.
ZAK
(almost in tears)
Do you think my uncle is a bad man?
DEXTER
No. He thought war robots were a
terrible idea. But as long as
people think he and his work are
dangerous, he’ll stay where he is.
ZAK
What happened to the Guardian?
DEXTER
They were supposed to be scrapped.
Who knows? They could be sitting in
a junkyard ... somewhere.
Dexter signs a book and hands him a copy.
DEXTER
Here. Read Chapter Three. It covers
your uncle and the war years. I
wish I could do more.
ZAK
Thank you, sir.
Dexter watches them walk off and disappear into the crowd.
EXT. CITY CONVENTION CENTER - DAY
Zak, Jason and Odie leave the convention center. Zak is
already nose-deep in Dexter’s book.
ZAK
They went to a junkyard! All of
’em!
JASON
So?
43.
ZAK
But the Guardian was one of my
uncle’s most important robots.
(opens book) Look! There’s even a
picture of it!
CLOSE UP: OPEN BOOK WITH ILLUSTRATIONS
The Guardian robot stands next to a soldier. There’s also a
technical diagram.
JASON
(whistles)
Look at how big it is!
ODIE
(to himself)
He looks kind of familiar...
ZAK
Guardian is a rescue robot. Look at
his leg drivers and the suspension
parts! He can probably jump really
high!
JASON
We’ll never know. They’re all gone.
ZAK
But if we had one...
JASON
We just got in trouble for using a
few Corbin parts. This is a whole
Corbin robot you’re talking about!
A robot that doesn’t even exist!
ODIE
(thinks)
I’ve seen this robot before...
ZAK
This is different. Not like what we
did before.
JASON
Your uncle’s in prison because
everyone says his robots are
dangerous!
ODIE
(tries to interrupt)
Uh, guys?
44.
ZAK
My uncle designed robots to help
people, not hurt them! If we can
find this robot, we can show people
what Corbin robots can really do!
JASON
Yeah folks will be so happy,
they’ll throw us in prison for it!
ODIE
(yells)
Will you both please shut up?
Zak and Jason are stupefied Odie is yelling at them.
ODIE
(points at picture)
I know where we can find this
robot...
EXT. JUNKYARD - NIGHT
A flashlight beam reveals a junkyard filled with damaged
autos and piles of appliances, twisted metal and more.
Zak, Jason and Odie, carrying flashlights, push a
wheelbarrow among the paths, treading carefully.
JASON
(whispers)
This is Old Man Petersen’s
junkyard. You know we’ll get into
trouble if he catches us here!
Odie leads, swinging his flashlight from one pile to
another. The flashlight beam renders the twisted shapes into
everything from gaping monsters to angry bugs.
JASON
(to Odie)
How do you know the robots are
here?
ODIE
Mr. Petersen was complaining about
a pile of robot parts nobody wants.
I saw them. They look like the
parts in the picture. Hey, I know
my junk.
45.
JASON
Great. That’s a fine career just
waiting to happen.
SFX: A pile of junk FALLS OVER.
Zak stops, points flashlight. The gaping front end of a cab
stares back at him like a metal monster.
Something is out there, moving.
ZAK
Sssh! Did you hear that?
JASON
No! You were too busy ssshing us!
ODIE
Wait! I gotta warn you. My dad told
me Old Man Petersen bought a guard
dog a week ago.
JASON
NOW you’re saying that? When we’re
already here! In the middle of the
night! By ourselves!
ODIE
It’s just a dog...
JASON
...That’s going to chew us up and
spit us out for dinner!
A hubcap ROLLS ahead of them on its own. It falls over.
ZAK
Turn off your flashlights! Be
still!
The boys switch off their flashlights and stand very still.
A pair of small glowing ORBS appears ahead of them.
SFX: A low GROWL.
ZAK
(whispers)
Don’t move!
The orbs come closer and closer. At the last second, Zak
SNAPS on his flashlight.
46.
The beam illuminates a metal box with legs and a head. It’s
a mechanical GUARD DOG! A SCRATCHY recording of a GROWL
comes from a speaker inside its head.
GUARD DOG ROBOT
Rowf! Rowf!
JASON
(laughs)
It’s just a stupid robot!
The robot dog opens its metal jaws and BITES OFF a section
of the wheelbarrow. The dog chews it and SPITS it out.
JASON
That’s not funny.
ODIE
What do we do?!
ZAK
(waves flashlight)
Here boy! Here boy! Get the stick!
Get the stick! Playtime!
The dog’s orbs glow brighter. The robot responds and bounces
happily on its metal legs.
ZAK
Go get it!
Zak heaves the flashlight over a pile of trash.
The guard dog gladly chases after the "stick".
ZAK
Let’s go! Run!
Jason and Zak, grabbing hold of one handle of the
wheelbarrow, TEAR OFF at a run.
They breathlessly run along the paths. Zak looks behind.
Odie is not quick enough. They’re leaving him.
ZAK
Odie’s still back there!
JASON
Better him than me!
Zak makes a face at Jason. Jason concedes the point. Both
boys turn the wheelbarrow around and rush back towards him.
47.
Odie, stumbling along, looks behind him. The guard dog robot
is rushing up behind him. It has Zak’s flashlight in its
jaws. With a SNAP!, it breaks the flashlight into pieces.
ODIE
Guys! Help!
Odie doesn’t see Zak and Jason are coming straight at him.
He is tossed head-first into the wheelbarrow.
Zak and Jason see the robot CHARGING right towards them.
ZAK
Right turn! Now!
JASON
Aye, aye captain!
The two boys, now carrying Odie in the wheelbarrow, make a
sudden right turn. The robot dog CHARGES past, hits the
brakes and turns about.
Zak and Jason start huffing up a long, curving hill. They
don’t realize they are climbing a mountain of scrap and
dirt.
Odie, facing the other direction, pulls himself up. He can
see the guard dog catching up to them.
ODIE
(points)
Faster! Faster!
JASON
(huffing)
You try ... running ... uphill ...
with you ... in a wheelbarrow!
They are reaching the top of the mountain of scrap and dirt.
There’s nowhere to go but to fall -- right into the chute of
a huge metal chopper.
The guard dog snaps its metal jaws at their legs.
ZAK
Keep going! Faster!
JASON
(sees end of path)
No! Stop! Stop!
Zak changes course for a stack of rubber tires. They crash
into the tires and are carried, SCREAMING, off the scrap
mountain. They tumble down a hill of discarded tires.
48.
Odie spills out of the wheelbarrow as the other two boys
bounce.
The guard dog SLIDES. Unable to stop, it falls off the
mountain and right down the metal chopper chute.
SFX: A PITIFUL HOWL comes from inside the chopper.
JASON
(rubs head)
Serves you right for chasing us!
ZAK
Is everyone okay? Odie? (looks
around) Odie?
Not far away, Odie is standing in front of a heap of scrap
metal. Zak and Jason get up and join him.
ODIE
I found ’em.
Zak reaches into the pile and pulls out of a large, gleaming
dome of a robot head. It belongs to the Guardian.
He stares into the robot’s round, lifeless eyes...
INT. HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM - DAY
SFX: A SELECTION OF PIANO MUSIC
Eight GIRLS, including Lisabeth, are arranged in a
semicircle on the auditorium stage. They wear leotards,
skirts and toe-box shoes. They move, roughly, in unison.
The DANCE INSTRUCTOR faces them, her back to the camera as
she TAPS in time to the music on the wood floor with the end
of a very long stick.
DANCE INSTRUCTOR
(heavy French accent)
Very good! Now. Ront de jambe en
fair!
The girls try to and rotate on one leg. Lisabeth does it
well.
DANCE INSTRUCTOR
(raps stick on floor)
Stop! Stop! No, no, no!
49.
The PIANO MUSIC stops, the PIANO PLAYER holding her hands in
mid-air, as do the girls with their legs. The piano music
STARTS again. The girls perform their steps.
DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Lines, ladies! Maintain your lines!
One girl collides with another. It leads to a chain reaction
of YELPS and COMPLAINTS.
DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Stop, stop. Ugh! Terrible! Everyone
rest for five minutes!
The girls thankfully COLLAPSE to the stage floor. The
instructor goes to the piano player to give instructions.
Lisabeth and another girl, REBECCA, watch a flat, painted
with a scene of a car, starts to move on its own towards one
of the exit doors.
LISABETH
(giggles)
That car’s sure in a hurry!
Lisabeth catches a glimpse of a familiar young teen rushing
from behind the flat to the exit door.
REBECCA
Who is it? Can you tell?
LISABETH
Um. No. (smiles to herself and
whispers) Zak?
The dance instructor claps her hands and strikes the large
pole on the stage floor. The break is over.
DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Ladies! Positions from the first
pass!
EXT. HIGH SCHOOL ENTRANCE - DAY
SFX: CLOSING BELL RINGS
STUDENTS, along with their personal robots, pour out of the
front doors.
Jason and Odie walk ahead of Zak, who’s distracted.
50.
JASON
C’mon! We gotta get to the
scrapyard. You know tonight is the
official kickoff ceremony!
ODIE
Do we have to tonight?
JASON
We always do this. It’s tradition!
ODIE
I didn’t think we were old enough
to have traditions. (to Zak) Where
were you last period? We usually
study together.
ZAK
(stutters)
I was in the ... library. Hurry up!
We’re going to miss the bus to your
dad’s scrapyard!
The three boys head towards the buses.
They do not see Lisabeth, who changed out of most of her
dance practice clothes. She has been hiding behind the
columns at the school entrance.
LISABETH
(curious)
Scrapyard? Ceremony?
EXT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - NIGHT
Lisabeth gets off a robot-controlled city bus and walks past
a beaten-up sign installed on the gate.
SIGN WITH TEXT: GNOSSUS FAMILY RECLAMATION AND SCRAP
She walks along several large heaps of metal and junked
automobiles, focusing on a small shack with flickering
lights glowing in the windows.
Lisabeth sneaks up to the shack and looks through one of the
dirty windows. Her eyes widen.
FROM WINDOW: INSIDE WORKSHOP
Zak, Jason and Odie are all dressed up in big white lab
coats. They wear goggles on their heads. They are LAUGHING
and CACKLING with the most evil intent.
51.
SPARKS fly from tools as the boys hover over a large figure
draped by a cloth.
JASON
More power!
ODIE
Destroy my pet! Destroy!
ZAK
(half-hearted)
Kill! Maim! Whatever...
The boys shut down the power tools. Jason removes the
goggles from his head.
JASON
Hey, Zak. What’s wrong?
ZAK
I’m just not into it tonight. I
guess.
JASON
We do this every time we build a
robot. It’s fun.
ZAK
I feel like I’m making fun of my
uncle.
Jason pulls away the drape. The "body" is a collection of
robot parts on the table. Zak starts examining the pieces.
JASON
We don’t have to do it. But I’m
worried about this robot. It’s like
nothing we’ve ever done before.
It’s wrong and we’re going to get
into trouble.
ZAK
There’s nothing wrong with my
uncle’s robots!
JASON
(points at chest piece)
We don’t know that. Look at this
thing. The diagram calls it a
"prioritron circuit". What the heck
does it do?
52.
ZAK
It controls the robot’s decisions.
No other robot design has it. I
read all about it in my uncle’s
books. Just wait ’till we turn him
on! You’ll see!
The boys put away their lab coats and get to work putting
the robot together.
THROUGH THE DIRTY WINDOW:
Lisabeth watches them, intrigued.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM - CONTINUOUS
From his hiding spot, Zak watches Lisabeth and the girls
practice from behind the flats of some school play, peering
over the last row of seats. He leafs through a book.
CLOSE UP ON BOOK: DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL BALLET
DANCE INSTRUCTOR
(directs girls)
Pirouette!
Zak checks the book. There’s an illustration of the move.
DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Now, sissione!
Lisabeth and the other girls leap to one foot.
EXT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - NIGHT
Lisabeth peers through the dirty glass window and watches
Zak stepping on a ladder to mate the robot’s arm to the
shoulder joint.
The three boys STRUGGLE and almost fall over. The arm is in
place, but Zak is left hanging by his belt in mid-air.
JASON
(can’t resist)
I gotta hand it to you!
53.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM - DAY
Lisabeth tries to extend and hold her leg for a long period
of time. Her leg cramps and she CRIES OUT.
DANCE INSTRUCTOR
(scolds Lisabeth)
If you can’t do this solo Miss
Ryan, I’ll have to find some other
girl.
LISABETH
(holds leg)
I can do it!
Zak is hiding in the back. He wants to help but cannot.
ZAK
(whispers)
You can do it!
Lisabeth gets back up on her feet and nods.
The PIANO MUSIC starts again. She repeats the extension,
holds it, and continues with the rest of the dance.
DANCE INSTRUCTOR (O.C.)
Very good, Lisabeth! Such grace!
EXT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - NIGHT
Lisabeth peers through the workshop window. Zak wires up the
robot’s arm to the open chest piece.
The robot’s hand TWITCHES. Zak takes the hand (more like a
few fingers) and shakes it.
ZAK
Pleased to meet you!
The robot LIFTS Zak up and down VIGOROUSLY.
ZAK
Whoa! Wait! Whoa!
OUTSIDE WINDOW:
Lisabeth giggles. She checks her wristwatch and reluctantly
slips away.
INSIDE WORKSHOP:
Jason STRETCHES and Odie YAWNS. They leave the workshop for
the night. Zak hangs back, searching for bits and parts.
54.
JASON
Zak? C’mon!
Zak spots a piece of scrap metal which resembles a dancer
holding her leg in an arabesque. He scoops up the piece of
metal and grabs some other junk.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM - DAY
Lisabeth slips behind her desk and finds a statue there.
It’s a polished figurine created from metal and scrap, but
arranged in a very beautiful way.
MRS. FITZGERALD
That’s very pretty, Lisabeth. Who
gave that to you?
LISABETH
I ... I have no idea.
Zak looks up from his notebook and smiles.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM - NIGHT
The dance recital finale. Lisabeth is the soloist. She moves
gracefully across the stage, crossing paths with several
others girls. She’s performing the most difficult part.
OFF STAGE LEFT:
The delighted Dance Instructor HUGS a surprised BACKSTAGE
WORKER.
ON STAGE:
Lisabeth performs a series of standing spins on one foot.
The other girls take their positions to either side of her
as the MUSIC swells to a finish.
Holding her stance and breathing hard, Lisabeth sneaks a
look at the applauding AUDIENCE. She is pleased, but even
more so when her gaze passes to a certain young boy.
Dressed in his good suit, Zak is applauding and cheering.
Lisabeth and the girls BOW.
55.
INT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - DAY
The Guardian robot is finally assembled. It stands like a
gleaming titan over the three boys.
Zak is poised by the master switch on the robot’s waist
joint.
ODIE
That is one serious robot.
JASON
Zak, people are going to figure out
that it’s a Corbin robot! And
having one is against the law!
ZAK
No one is going to ... (points and
yells) Lisabeth?!
ODIE
(scratches head)
What’s a Lisabeth?
All three boys turn around and GASP.
Lisabeth walks into the workshop. The three boys are
absolutely SILENT as Lisabeth walks up to each of them.
LISABETH
You’re Jason Guilder. I heard your
solo at the spring orchestra
concert. You’re really good.
JASON
(surprised)
Oh. Thanks.
LISABETH
(to Odie)
You’re Odie Gnossus. You’re in my
home economics class.
ODIE
(aghast)
You’re a girl!
LISABETH
I know. Have been all my life. (a
beat) Do you guys mind if I talk to
Zak outside for a minute?
56.
JASON
(elbows Zak)
Be our guest.
Zak nervously follows her...
EXT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - DAY
For the first time, Zak realizes Lisabeth’s a good inch or
more taller than he is.
LISABETH
Why were you at my dance recital?
ZAK
You said I could come watch you
dance. You were good. I mean, you
were great.
LISABETH
(pleased)
Thanks. Did you make that ballerina
figurine for me, too?
ZAK
It was just something I’d thought
you’d like. Kind of an opening
night gift.
LISABETH
It’s very beautiful. Everyone says
so. Thank you.
ZAK
You’re welcome. (wakes up from
daydream) What are you doing here?
LISABETH
I wanted to see your robot.
ZAK
Er ... what robot?
Lisabeth looks past Zak at the imposing metal man standing
in the workshop.
LISABETH
The one you and your friends have
been putting together all this
time?
57.
ZAK
(alarmed)
I can explain!...
LISABETH
You watched me do what I like.
Well, I want to watch you do what
you like. If you can fix Mr.
Whiskers, I can’t wait to see what
that robot does. So? Can I?
ZAK
(hopelessly staring at her)
Can you ... what?
LISABETH
Watch?
ZAK
(stammers)
Sure. Okay. I mean. Yes.
Lisabeth walks past Zak and goes inside ...
INT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - DAY
The other two boys eye her suspiciously.
ZAK
Jason, Odie. This is Lisabeth Ryan.
She’s going to ... um ... watch.
JASON
(whispers to Zak)
You robot-building dawg!
LISABETH
(admires robot)
What does it do?
ZAK
It’s a rescue robot. My uncle
designed it to carry injured
soldiers, scale mountains and jump
across rivers.
LISABETH
Kind of like a superhero.
ZAK
Oh. I didn’t think of that.
Zak walks up to the robot to press the power switch.
58.
JASON
(to Lisabeth)
You might want to stand back.
LISABETH
Why?
JASON
Cause we have no idea what’s going
to happen.
ZAK
Let me do all the talking first. If
everybody speaks at once, it’ll
confuse the command interpreter.
Zak presses the stud on the robot’s waist. He quickly steps
back to the others.
The robot’s gleaming cover plates align and snap into
position. Joints extend and flex: first the shoulders and
elbows, then the wrists and hands. A yellow glow appears
from the round optics in the head.
The giant machine throws its shoulders back as if awakening
from some eternal slumber.
The head swivels completely around as it takes in its
surroundings. It comes to stop and focus on Zak and the
others.
POGO
(deep, resonating voice)
Greetings and salutations. Which
one of you is my master?
JASON
Wow. It talks nice.
ZAK
(raises hand)
I am your master. Zak Corbin.
POGO
I acknowledge you are my master,
Zak Corbin. What is my designation?
ODIE
It’s what?
ZAK
It wants to know its name.
59.
JASON
I thought it was called "Guardian".
ZAK
That’s the name of the model.
(waves hands at them) Don’t confuse
it.
POGO
My designation is: "Don’t Confuse
It".
ZAK
No, no! Your designation is ...
(looks around room, sees junked
pogo stick) Your designation is
"Pogo".
JASON
Great. Another dumb name!
LISABETH
I kind of like it.
POGO
My designation is "Pogo". How may I
serve you, Master Zak Corbin?
They all stare at each other and the robot in amazement.
ZAK
We did it! Everything works! (to
Pogo) Pogo. Walk out of this
workshop.
The robot unlocks its legs, takes a step forward and ...
EXT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - DAY
SFX: SHOUTS
The four teens SPILL out of the shack. They are followed by
Pogo, who STAGGERS out of control like a drunken top.
The teens try to get out of the giant robot’s way as it
CRASHES into piles of junk and BOUNCES off in a new
direction.
ZAK
Stop!
Pogo smacks into a wrecked car and shoves it backward.
60.
Lisabeth grabs Odie and yanks him out of the way in time.
The robot comes right towards them. They crouch, fearing it
will walk right over them.
ZAK
Pogo! Stop!
Pogo comes to a halt. It locks its legs and stands.
ODIE
It’s a good thing we’re in a
junkyard and not at school.
JASON
Are you kidding? That thing will
turn the school into a junkyard!
ZAK
It just needs a little training.
The four of them look at each other.
ZAK
Guess it’s the first day of school.
EXT. PENITENTIARY ISLAND - DAY
Dexter approaches a massive island prison by boat. The
concrete walls are over a hundred feet high and dotted with
towers.
A heavy iron sea gate opens to grant the boat passage...
INT. VISITOR ROOM, PENITENTIARY ISLAND
Dexter is escorted into a small dank room by a PRISON GUARD.
The room is divided by a thick glass wall. He sits in front
of a table at the glass wall. There is a microphone.
He looks up. High in the corner is a video camera, watching.
Doctor Corbin is brought in by another PRISON GUARD. He sits
on the other side of the glass wall. There is a microphone
for him.
DR CORBIN
(voice heard through speaker)
So, Captain Dexter. Another year
goes by. What brings you to my
humble abode?
61.
DEXTER
(into microphone)
Are you well, doctor?
DR CORBIN
As happy as a lab rat. All that’s
missing is a wheel and a large
water bottle.
DEXTER
I wish things could be different.
DR CORBIN
Do you? (raises voice) To be
silenced. To be muted. I don’t
think you have a clue as to how I
truly feel!
SFX: SQUEALING feedback.
Dexter rubs at his ear.
DEXTER
How’s your family? Have you spoken
to them?
DR CORBIN
No. My family prefers that I don’t
exist.
DEXTER
I don’t think so. (puts newspaper
against glass) I thought you might
be interested in this.
CLOSE UP NEWSPAPER PAGE HEADLINE: HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN TAKES
FIRST PRIZE
DEXTER
(reads)
It says here that Zakary Corbin won
the all-district science fair with
a unique, labor-saving device that
disassembles radios, televisions
and other appliances. He credits
his uncle, Doctor Elias Corbin, for
inspiring him.
DR CORBIN
(brightens)
I inspire him? My nephew said that?
62.
DEXTER
I’ll make sure you
this. (a beat) Zak
wanted to know why
here. What you had
get a copy of
found me. He
you were in
done.
DR CORBIN
(humiliated)
What did you tell him?
DEXTER
The truth. He took it pretty well.
I get the impression he wants to
know you better. Maybe if I brought
him next time...
DR CORBIN
He can’t see me in here! Not like
this! How disappointed he would be!
DEXTER
You’re not even giving him a
chance...
DR CORBIN
No! (shakes his head) Bury me in
the past, Captain. Everything I
loved or knew is gone. He would be
afraid of me! I couldn’t bear to
see him!
DEXTER
You’re not giving Zakary enough
credit. He’s got that Corbin spark
in him, for sure. He was asking
about the Guardian. That doesn’t
sound like someone who’s afraid of
you, does it?
DR CORBIN
(world on his shoulders)
I just don’t have all that much
hope, Captain. Not in a place like
this.
DEXTER
I think he’s going to surprise you
one day...
63.
EXT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - CONTINUOUS
Zak stands with Pogo on top of a pile of junk. The robot
mimics his movements.
ZAK
Bend knees ... arms in ... chest
out ... and jump!
Pogo LEAPS. The robot goes horizontal for a second and
CRASHES below.
Zak CRINGES.
LISABETH
Let me try something.
Lisabeth stands in front of Pogo. The robot gracefully
follows her as she performs ballet positions.
Zak, Jason and Odie sit on a junked couch, watching.
LISABETH (O.C.)
Position one ... position two ...
position three ...
JASON
She’s teaching him to dance like a
girl!
ZAK
No! This is good! She’s teaching
Pogo coordination and balance.
LISABETH (O.C.)
And lift and spin!
The boys HOWL in surprise as Pogo LIFTS the couch over his
head with three reluctant passengers.
CUT TO:
Odie and Lisabeth hide behind a car from Pogo. The robot
throws the entire car over his head and points.
POGO
I found you! You are it!
ODIE
Hey that’s cheating!
CUT TO:
64.
The four teens and Pogo PLAY CARDS around a table. An oil
painting of dogs playing cards sits right behind them.
POGO
(puts down winning hand)
I have won. You have lost. Suckers!
ZAK
Remind me to erase that from his
memory tubes.
CUT TO:
Zak tries to get Pogo to jump. Pogo throws his body out and
PLUMMETS.
He tries again, higher still, and FALLS.
The robot tries yet again and DROPS like a stone.
LISABETH
(scolds Zak, takes robot by
hand)
You’re going to break him!
CUT TO:
Lisabeth teaches Pogo a series of ballet jumps. The size of
the steps increase as Lisabeth leads Pogo.
The boys are back on their couch.
JASON
This is boring. (sees Zak staring
at Lisabeth) What is with you?
ZAK
(smitten with Lisabeth)
Did you say something?
JASON
Look out!
The robot is headed STRAIGHT for them. The boys dive behind
the sofa. There is a BLUR and nothing.
ZAK
(looks around)
Where’d he go?
Lisabeth POINTS UP.
ZOOM UP:
65.
Pogo is SOARING. The machine bounds from one pile of junk to
the next, landing with precision on its massive legs and
feet and gathers momentum for its next tremendous jump.
LISABETH
(crosses her arms)
He’s not boring now.
INT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - NIGHT
Zak and Lisabeth are together in the workshop. Zak is
tending to Pogo’s hand, which is separated from his arm and
resting on a workbench. Lisabeth looks on in interest.
LISABETH
Jason and Odie left a half hour
ago. Don’t you want to get home?
ZAK
As soon as I fix this part of his
hand. Then I’ll wait for the next
bus with you.
LISABETH
(peers closely)
How do you know what to do?
ZAK
I study a lot of manuals for robots
for fun. Do you want to see?
Lisabeth nods. She hovers close to him. Zak nervously GULPS
as he points out the parts for the hand’s appendages.
ZAK
Do you see this? Put your fingers
on it. It’s okay.
LISABETH
(touches the part)
It feels like a piano string.
ZAK
See? It’s not moving right. So I
tighten it. Now press it.
Lisabeth taps the string.
The robot’s index finger FLEXES in response.
66.
LISABETH
It’s moving!
ZAK
Now you’re a robot repairman. I
mean, repair person.
LISABETH
(looks up at Pogo)
So what are you going to do with
him? Aren’t you going to get into
trouble?
ZAK
Who me? (tries to act tough) Oh, I
get into trouble all the time. It’s
nothing. My folks are hip. They’re
cool.
LISABETH
Jason said the last time you got
caught with a robot your parents
sent you to bed early for a week.
ZAK
(not as tough as he thought)
Oh. He told you that.
Zak puts down the tool and looks up at Pogo.
ZAK
Pogo’s not evil or bad or
dangerous. They were wrong about my
uncle. If I can show people what a
Corbin robot can really do, then
maybe ... (looks out the door to
the scrapyard and the stars in the
sky) just maybe ... they’ll let him
out of prison.
LISABETH
Zak. You don’t know that.
ZAK
(to Pogo, determined)
I want to set my uncle free. I want
to meet him and talk to him. Then I
won’t be the only weirdo in the
world who likes robots so much.
It’ll be me ... and my uncle.
SFX: TELETYPE SOUND COMES FROM POGO.
67.
LISABETH
(smiles)
You are definitely not a weirdo,
Zak Corbin.
Zak puts the hand back on Pogo’s arm. The robot lifts the
hand and wiggles its fingers.
POGO
Thank you, master. My hand is now
one hundred percent functional.
Zak and Lisabeth shut off the lights in the workshop.
ZAK
Good night Pogo. Get a full charge.
Tomorrow’s going to be a big day.
The two teens LEAVE.
Standing there in the dark, hooked up to its battery pack,
the TELETYPE sound returns.
CLOSE UP: POGO’S HEAD
FADE TO DARK as command instructions appear.
TEXT: SET DOCTOR ELIAS CORBIN FREE. SEARCHING FOR DR CORBIN
... SEARCHING ... SEARCHING ...
EXT. HIGH SCHOOL ENTRANCE - DAY
The school bus BOUNCES as Pogo steps off the bus. Zak, Jason
and Odie walk beside the giant robot, all SMILES, as they
march towards the entrance.
The crowd of students CLEARS a path. They STARE in
amazement.
Lisabeth stands near her friends and grins as the Drik
panics. This is Zak and the boys’ moment.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM - CONTINUOUS
Mrs. Fitzgerald is startled as Zak and Pogo lead the head of
the class in a presentation on the economics of robots.
Pogo runs the school’s magic board.
68.
INT. SCHOOL ORCHESTRA ROOM - DAY
Pogo LEADS the school orchestra in a performance, swinging a
baton in time to the music.
The TEACHER gapes in astonishment as Jason plays his violin.
INT. HOME ECONOMICS CLASS - DAY
Odie and Pogo demonstrate how to bake a cake to the rest of
the class.
The robot handles the mixer by SPINNING his hand rapidly.
EXT. DOWNTOWN, NEW FUTURA CITY - DAY
A city street of a future that never happened. Buses and
hovercars ZIP past, flying machines cruise the skies, and
traffic control airships drift overhead.
Zak and Pogo walk side-by-side down a busy main street.
PEDESTRIANS stop to stare. They’ve never seen a robot like
this before.
Zak BEAMS with pride. He finally has the robot he always
wanted.
CUT TO: CONSTRUCTION WORKERS HIGH OVERHEAD
A WORKER signals a flying skycrane lowering a large dump
truck on a platform.
CLOSE UP: TIEDOWNS HOLDING TRUCK TO PLATFORM
A tiedown comes loose.
As the skycrane LOWERS the platform, the heavy dump truck
SLIDES forward. More tiedowns SNAP.
Less than a hundred feet or so from the street, the dump
truck tips forward and ROLLS off the platform.
The truck bounces down the STREET, knocking aside cars and
sending people SCATTERING.
Zak glances to his side. Pogo is gone!
The dump truck ROLLS straight into a small city park.
PARENTS grab little children.
69.
A WOMAN, pinned to a wall, has no place to go. The truck is
heading right at her.
The truck suddenly STOPS. The vehicle slowly RISES into the
air, levitating as if by magic.
Pogo lifts the truck over his head and puts the truck down
on the street. The woman is grateful.
A CROWD gathers. They’re amazed at Pogo.
MAN ONE
He lifted that ... all by himself?
WOMAN TWO
Where did he come from?
MAN TWO
Who’s his owner? Hey, what’s your
name, robot?
POGO
My designation is ...
Zak PANICS. Covering his head with his jacket, he quickly
interjects himself between the robot and the spectators.
ZAK
Pogo! Get us out of here!
The robot SCOOPS Zak up and leaps away, bouncing over cars
and approaching police vehicles. The onlookers GASP.
EXT. STREET ALLEY - DAY
Pogo lands in front of an alley and puts Zak down. Zak leads
the robot further down the alley.
ZAK
Are you trying to get me in
trouble? What was that all about?
POGO
I do not understand your questions.
ZAK
(points up street)
That! What you just did! I didn’t
tell you to do that! I didn’t tell
you to do anything!
70.
POGO
The value of life is of the highest
priority.
ZAK
What’s that supposed to mean?
POGO
My primary function is to rescue
people and preserve life.
Zak PACES up and down the alley. He doesn’t understand.
ZAK
(lectures)
You’re supposed to obey me. I give
the commands. I am your master.
Zak looks up, MORTIFIED.
OUTSIDE THE ALLEY:
Pogo is helping a LITTLE OLD LADY cross the busy street. Zak
RUNS after them.
LITTLE OLD LADY
(pats robot on arm)
Thank you so much! Oh my! You’re
such a big and strong fellow!
POGO
You are welcome.
Zak reaches them just as the old woman continues her journey
down the sidewalk.
ZAK
(points at woman)
Do you see what I’m talking about
here?
POGO
I see a woman enjoying her golden
years.
ZAK
I did not command you to help her!
POGO
(repeats)
The value of life is of the highest
priority.
71.
ZAK
You really are different, aren’t
you?
INT. DEXTER’S OFFICE - DAY
Lettering on speckled door glass:
TEXT: (in reverse) SIDNEY DEXTER, PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS
A pair of MILITARY POLICEMEN (MPs) stride into the office.
Colonel Flagg follows them. He looks in disdain at...
Dexter behind his desk as he stirs FIZZING antacid into a
water glass.
DEXTER
Funny. You don’t look like
the pizza delivery robot.
FLAGG
Don’t mock me, Dexter. I’ve been
calling you for hours!
DEXTER
Yeah and I’ve been ignoring you for
that long too. (offers glass)
Bromo?
FLAGG
I’m in the middle of a crisis here.
DEXTER
So what is it this time, Flagg? The
Russians? The Chinese? The
Martians?
FLAGG
As of fifteen hundred hours
yesterday afternoon, a Corbin robot
was spotted in the downtown area of
this city!
Flagg throws down a grainy photograph on the desk.
CLOSE UP: PICTURE
It’s a blurry image of Pogo and Zak -- taken from behind.
72.
FLAGG
It’s been spotted several times
ever since! Where there’s one
Corbin robot, there’s more! This is
just the beginning of a robot
rampage!
DEXTER
One robot does not make a rampage.
FLAGG
I have witnesses who saw a Corbin
robot controlled by an adolescent
teenager!
DEXTER
An adolescent is a teenager.
FLAGG
I don’t have time for a grammar
lesson! This is serious!
DEXTER
Fine. What has this got to do with
me?
FLAGG
This is Corbin’s doing. It has to
be. How else can you explain the
appearance of a Guardian robot
after fifteen years!...
DEXTER
(pauses)
Did you say a Guardian robot?
FLAGG
I’ve been watching Corbin. That
evil genius has been planning his
escape for years. He’s going to do
it with ... children!
DEXTER
Heavens! No! (smirks) Have you ever
considered becoming a comedian?
With that General MacArthur getup,
you’re halfway there.
FLAGG
Dexter, Corbin only talks to you. I
need you to find out his plan to
escape from prison.
73.
DEXTER
(examines picture)
Using robots and kids. Great plan.
FLAGG
All of Corbin’s work is dangerous.
It’s my job to protect this
nation from what’s dangerous!
DEXTER
You’re screwy, Flagg. I also think
you’re a heartless jerk. But that’s
just my opinion.
Flagg STORMS out of the office. His two MPs follow him.
Dexter opens a drawer and removes a magnifying glass. He
holds the glass to the picture. It’s a Guardian robot with a
boy on its shoulder.
Dexter moves the lens to a nearby store window’s reflection.
Now he can see the boy from the front.
DEXTER
Somebody’s been very busy...
EXT. HIGH SCHOOL ENTRANCE - DAY
Lisabeth is leaving school and carries her books in a bag.
ZAK
(off to side)
Uh, hi?
LISABETH
(turns, surprised)
Hey.
ZAK
I was hoping to ... that maybe ...
I wanted to ask you something.
LISABETH
(concerned)
Zak, I haven’t seen you for days.
Are you sick?
ZAK
I’ve kind of been busy. With Pogo.
74.
LISABETH
(disappointed)
Oh. Are you having a good time with
him?
ZAK
He’s been very useful. (rubs
collar) Sort of. I wanted to know
if I could take you home.
LISABETH
Zak, that’s nice of you. But I live
on the other side of town. It’s a
long trip by bus. (looks away) And,
well, you have Pogo now and I have
stuff to do at home.
ZAK
Oh it won’t take any time at all!
Pogo can take us to your house.
The giant robot PEEKS from around a corner.
LISABETH
Really? We can do that?
The robot steps forward and extends its right palm open for
her.
POGO
I assure you it is quite safe,
Lisabeth Ryan.
Lisabeth gingerly steps into the palm and allows the metal
fingers to enclose around her. Zak steps into Pogo’s other
hand. The robot pulls itself erect, holding the two of them.
LISABETH
(nervous)
Is this really okay?
ZAK
It’s fun. Believe me. But you have
to tell him where you live.
LISABETH
3243 Chestnut Street. By Kingston
Gardens?
POGO
I have calculated the distance. Now
please hold on.
75.
A CLICKING sound comes from Pogo’s legs as the robot bears
down like a coiled spring.
LISABETH
Are you sure this is sa..?
Pogo LAUNCHES. They head skyward, vaulting over the school
grounds in a tremendous arc.
Lisabeth’s voice turns into a SCREAM of terror. She grabs
for the one familiar thing she knows: Zak’s hand.
ZAK
(shouting)
It’s okay! Really!
The ground comes up in a hurry. The robot’s huge legs ABSORB
the impact, coils and LEAPS again. The next jump is even
HIGHER; they clear the roofs of homes and small office
buildings.
PASSERSBY see the flying object, stare and point.
Lisabeth starts to enjoy their flight, leaping across parks,
winging past the tops of trees and past startled birds.
Lisabeth LOOKS DOWN. DRIVERS lean out the windows of their
cars. CHILDREN at a playground look up in the sky. She
WAVES.
Their jumps are so high now that they can see the city
unfurling before them.
There is one final EPIC landing in front of Lisabeth’s
house. Pogo leans forward and releases Lisabeth. Her books
fly out from her hands as she GIGGLES and SPINS on her toes.
LISABETH
That felt just like flying!
Zak steps down from Pogo’s other hand, pleased.
ZAK
Thanks for letting me and Pogo take
you home.
He turns to climb back aboard the robot, but not before
Lisabeth KISSES him on the cheek.
Zak TOUCHES his face, amazed and delighted.
76.
LISABETH
(runs inside house)
Good night, Zak! See you tomorrow!
EXT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - DAY
Pogo arrives at the workshop carrying Zak. Zak leads Pogo
inside...
INT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - DAY
Zak is on cloud nine. He practically dances across the floor
as he hooks Pogo up to a recharge station. He then juggles
the DISASSEMBLER in his hands before pocketing it.
ZAK
I don’t believe it! She kissed me!
POGO
That is the ninth time you have
made that statement.
ZAK
And I ... I have a girlfriend!
POGO
You have repeated that statement
twelve times.
ZAK
I know, I know. But it’s the most
wonderful feeling in the world,
Pogo! She likes me. Me! Can you
believe it?
POGO
I do not have enough data to answer
your questions.
ZAK
I can’t wait to see her tomorrow.
(switches off lights) I’ll come by
to get you in the morning, Pogo.
POGO
Good night, Master Zak Corbin.
Zak leaves the workshop and...
77.
EXT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - DAY
... makes his way through the scrapyard in the light of late
afternoon. He ROLLS his eyes as he remembers.
ZAK
My book bag! I left it!
Zak heads back to the workshop, walks inside and switches on
the lights.
ZAK
Pogo? (louder) Pogo?!!
EXT. WORKSHOP IN SCRAPYARD - NIGHT
Jason, Odie and Lisabeth join a frantic Zak in front of the
workshop. The boys carry flashlights.
JASON
What do you mean Pogo’s gone?
ZAK
I put him in here to recharge. I
walked out to leave. But when I
went back to get my bookbag...
Zak gestures inside the empty workshop.
ZAK
He was gone! He could be anywhere!
I’ve been looking all this time.
JASON
We are toast! What are folks gonna
say when we tell them there’s a
Corbin robot running loose!
ZAK
We can’t tell anybody!
LISABETH
Zak, Jason’s right. We have to tell
someone.
ZAK
(begs)
Please help me find him! I don’t
want him taken or ... or destroyed!
Zak snatches a flashlight from Odie and storms off.
The boys and Lisabeth look at each other, unsure.
78.
ODIE
I don’t want to get into trouble.
LISABETH
It can’t hurt to look a little.
Then we’ll tell someone.
They follow Zak, checking the scrapyard and sweeping around
with their flashlights.
The teens check: inside junked cars ... discarded
refrigerators ... under old bed frames. They SHOUT his name.
Zak sits on the fender of a wreck, SULKING, while the others
gather around.
ZAK
Where could he be?
ODIE
Um. He’s in Old Man Petersen’s lot.
Odie points. Illuminated by floodlights, Pogo stands atop
the tallest trash heap in the scrap yard across the street.
JASON
What’s he doing all the way over
there?
They cross the street to the front gate of the scrapyard
there and climb the path up to the top of the scrapheap.
ZAK
(huffing)
Pogo! Why did you leave the
workshop?
POGO
I am completing the task you gave
me, Master Zak Corbin.
ZAK
What task?
JASON
(also out of breath)
Yeah! What task?
POGO
The task my master gave me.
79.
ZAK
Pogo. I just left you in the
workshop for the night. I didn’t
tell you to do anything. What task?
The robot turns and POINTS.
The four teens GASP.
Along a muddy shoreline are HUNDREDS of Guardian robots!
The robots are WELDING, CUTTING, POUNDING and LIFTING heavy
pieces of iron, engines and scrap metal from several
derelict vessels beached on the shore.
ODIE
(reaches top, wheezing)
He ... made .. more ... of ... him!
LISABETH
What are they doing?
JASON
Working without a permit, that’s
for sure!
ZAK
Pogo. I don’t understand. What did
I tell you to do?
All the activity on the shoreline STOPS. The area becomes
strangely quiet. The Guardians put down tools and other
objects and step away.
A deep resonating HUM erupts from the area.
Something is stirring on the shore! The ground SHAKES as
huge sections of metal TWIST and CLICK into place. A
mountain of steel RISES before the teens, teetering on legs
the size of diesel locomotives. Arms pivot. A head appears.
POGO
To set your uncle free.
Two saucer-like eyes of the GUARDIAN XL light up. The robot
STAGGERS a few paces, shaking the ground as it moves.
The giant robot turns around and MARCHES into the water!
After a few strides, the entire machine disappears beneath
the surface of the rippling waters.
SILENCE returns to the shoreline.
80.
JASON (O.C.)
NOW can we tell someone?!
INT. PRISON CELL - NIGHT
Doctor Corbin lies in his bunk in the muted dark.
Attached to the bed frame above him is the newspaper
announcing Zak’s win of the science fair. There is a picture
of him holding the award.
Doctor Corbin reaches up and touches Zak’s image.
DR CORBIN
Well done, Zakary. Well done! How I
wish I was there. How proud I am...
SFX: ALARM BELL
The prison’s interior lights SNAP ON.
Doctor Corbin slips out of the bunk and approaches the bars.
PRISON GUARDS rush past his one lone isolated cell.
DR CORBIN
What’s going on?
Two GUARDS take up positions right outside the cell. They
are armed with rifles.
DR CORBIN
Is someone trying to escape? Good
heavens! We’re on an island! How
could someone possibly escape?
The GUARDS say nothing. They are SWEATING.
Corbin looks out from his cell. From this level, he can see
the entire length of the prison block with its rows of cells
and high ceiling.
SFX: POUNDING comes from the far end of the corridor.
Both guards bring up their rifles. They are PANICKING.
SFX: GUNFIRE, muted.
SFX: POUNDING grows LOUDER and LOUDER.
The far corridor wall CRUMBLES and COLLAPSES! Sea spray and
wind POUR inside the gap.
81.
An immense SHADOW pushes through the wall. GUARDS run around
its feet, pointlessly firing their weapons.
Doctor Corbin’s mouth opens wide in ASTONISHMENT!
The two guards at Corbin’s cell take aim and fire. The
shadow MARCHES relentlessly towards them. Its head swivels
from side-to-side, checking the occupants of each cell.
Giant yellow eyes GLOW intensely as the robot recognizes the
man behind bars. It LUMBERS forward, its hands the size of
taxicabs as they stretch towards him...
DR CORBIN
(raises his hands)
Go away! I did not make you! Go
away!
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
A yellow hover cab pulls up and parks half-over the curb.
Dexter, Zak, Lisabeth, Jason and Odie spill out.
Pogo, following from behind, LANDS near them.
They RUSH towards the entrance.
DEXTER
Talk about opening a can of crazy!
ZAK
I’m so sorry, Mr. Dexter! You were
the only person I could think of
calling!
DEXTER
Great! Now all I have to do is
convince the Mayor and everyone
else that a sixty-foot-tall robot
breaking your uncle out of prison
is not as bad as it sounds.
Dexter is about to open the front doors when FLAGG and his
MPs shove their way out.
FLAGG
(gruff)
You’re too late. The Mayor’s been
briefed on the situation: a giant
robot just smashed its way into
Penitentiary Island!
82.
DEXTER
(sarcastic)
Did it ask for directions to the
Statue of Liberty, too?
FLAGG
No! But it did help Doctor Elias
Corbin escape.
The colonel GLARES suspiciously at Zak.
FLAGG
That robot is headed back here. (a
beat) So Corbin can have his
revenge!
DEXTER
You’ve been practicing that line
all night, haven’t you?
FLAGG
(points at Pogo)
And that’s an illegal robot. It’s
to be confiscated at once! All of
you are going to be held
accountable for this. (to MPs)
Private, keep these teenagers and
that robot right here.
MP ONE
Yes, sir!
Zak and the other teens are frightened by the imposing
soldiers.
Flagg adjusts his officer’s cap and marches toward the
street. Dexter follows him.
DEXTER
Elias Corbin isn’t out for
vengeance. Those kids aren’t
criminals! The Guardian is only
doing what it was commanded to do.
The boy wanted to see his uncle!
FLAGG
The Army’s handling the situation
now.
A distant RUMBLING echoes across the empty civic plaza. Zak
and the others RUSH forward to LOOK.
83.
DEXTER
(concerned)
Flagg, whatever you’re planning,
it’s a very bad idea.
A procession of military might: tanks, mobile rocket
launchers, towed artillery pieces and troops file past.
SPECTATORS pour out from buildings to the sidewalks to watch
the procession.
SFX: INTENSE VIBRATION, GETTING LOUDER
Buildings are briefly eclipsed in shadow. A shadow MARCHES
on massive footpads across the plaza.
A giant war machine appears. Painted olive drab, the robot
is armed with missile pods and guns. Its left arm ends in a
metal-piercing claw. The right arm carries an elongated
cannon.
Dexter looks down. Zak is SHAKING. He puts his arm
protectively around the teen’s shoulder.
The robot’s name appears next to an Army star.
CLOSE UP ON TEXT: HERMES
DEXTER
(furious)
No wonder the government outlawed
Corbin’s designs! You kept it for
yourselves. You stole his work!
FLAGG
Nonsense. We improved his work.
Corbin’s designs serve the greatest
good: our national defense.
Flagg heads towards a command and control center setting up
from a tractor trailer.
CONTROL OPERATORS with headsets sit behind terminals with
video screens and keyboards.
CONTROL OPERATOR 1
Radar and guidance systems, check.
CONTROL OPERATOR 2
Infrared imaging, on-line.
Massive screens are ELEVATED. They show military units on a
strategic map assembling on southern Queens.
84.
A yellow cross marks a location just off the coast. A dotted
path indicates where the giant robot will come back.
FLAGG
(to control operators)
Radio all units: I want that robot
turned to slag and Corbin back
behind bars before breakfast.
Zak shakes his head in disbelief. What has he done?
ZAK
(whispers to Lisabeth)
This is all my fault! Pogo was
supposed to show everyone that my
uncle’s robots were useful. Look at
them! (gestures to spectators and
military) They’re afraid! I did
this!
LISABETH
Zak, no one blames you for wanting
your uncle back.
ZAK
(despairs)
No one will want to talk to me
again.
LISABETH
(puts hand on his arm)
You’re not alone. You have friends.
Unconvinced, Zak watches the screens showing the forces
readying to destroy the approaching robot -- and his poor
uncle.
ZAK
(looks off at Pogo)
If no one will help...
Pan back to a confident Flagg. He takes a seat in front of
the screens and a cup of coffee from an ASSISTANT.
FLAGG
(watches screens)
This’ll be better than watching
Sunday Night Football.
ODIE
I don’t want to be grounded for
life! I’m still being punished for
the last robot...
85.
JASON
I wonder if they’ll let me practice
my violin in jail?
DEXTER
No one’s going to jail...
Suddenly AWARE something is wrong, Dexter counts teens.
DEXTER
Where’s Zakary??
MP ONE (O.C.)
Hey kid! Stop!
LISABETH
(turns)
Zak! No!
Zak has been hoisted up in Pogo’s hand.
ZAK
(defiant)
My uncle didn’t do this. It’s my
fault and I’m going to stop it!
DEXTER
Zak, you don’t want to be anywhere
near when that robot comes ashore!
Before the MPs can reach him, Pogo LAUNCHES into the
sky--carrying Zak in his hand.
The robot vaults over a military convoy and disappears.
DEXTER
Flagg! The boy took the robot. He’s
heading into your war zone! Tell
your men to stand down.
CONTROL OPERATOR 1
Contact sonar! Large metallic
object approaching shoreline. Half
a mile and closing.
FLAGG
(grins to Dexter)
The boy’ll just have to take a seat
and watch. Now if you excuse me,
I’ve got a tin can to crush.
86.
EXT. INDUSTRIAL SHORELINE - NIGHT
Abandoned industrial buildings and warehouses sit in a rough
state of decay.
The inlet waters appear CALM. Bubbles FROTH.
Slowly, but determined, the giant GUARDIAN XL robot rises
from the water with every step.
As the robot’s head and chest clear the water, a small
transparent bubble is visible.
Inside the bubble is Doctor Corbin, his voice MUFFLED, as he
screams and slams his fists against the thick material.
The robot STOPS right at the shoreline. The bubbles SNAPS
open with a WHOOSH of air.
DR CORBIN
(gasps)
Enough! That will be quite enough!
I demand an explanation! Robot,
what is your function?
GUARDIAN XL
(booming voice)
Assisting those in danger or need
is my primary function. I was
commanded to set you free.
DR CORBIN
(disbelief)
I designed a rescue robot years
ago! You’re too big to be that
robot!
GUARDIAN XL
I am Guardian XL.
DR CORBIN
Well, Guardian XL. Do you realize
what you’ve done?
GUARDIAN XL
You have been set free.
DR CORBIN
No, you oversized, walking junk
heap! (sighs) What possible reason
could there be to breaking me out
of prison? Who on earth built you?
Who is your master?...
87.
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
Flagg and the others eye the main screen. Flagg is confused.
FLAGG
What is it doing?
CONTROL OPERATOR 1
It’s just standing there, sir.
DEXTER
You have it surrounded, Flagg! Tell
Corbin to surrender. Just ask him.
He won’t fight!
FLAGG
(ignores him)
All units ... engage hostile.
Lisabeth and the boys are HORRIFIED.
DEXTER
It’s not hostile! It’s just
standing there!
EXT. INDUSTRIAL SHORELINE - NIGHT
Twin EXPLOSIONS strike the towering robot from behind.
Guardian XL is thrown FORWARD by the impact. Corbin nearly
falls out of the cupola.
Two fighter-bombers SCREAM by. They WING upward.
Doctor Corbin pulls himself back up. When he looks across
the industrial plain, he can make out small shapes between
the buildings.
DR CORBIN
Those look like toy tanks...
GUARDIAN XL
(alters its stance)
I must protect you from danger!
Tanks and artillery BLAST AWAY at the Guardian XL. The robot
turns its back, protecting Corbin.
One side of the military units PRESS their attack. They are
joined in by more forces on the other side of the robot.
The Guardian XL is PEPPERED and POCKMARKED by shells.
88.
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
Footage from the attack is transmitted back to the screens.
Dexter shakes his head in dismay. Jason, Odie and Lisabeth
watch and fret.
JASON
It’s not even fighting back.
DEXTER
It’s protecting Corbin!
FLAGG
(to operators)
Bring up the Hermes.
CONTROL OPERATOR 2
(presses button)
Engaging Hermes battle robot.
LISABETH
(helpless)
But what about Zak?
EXT. INDUSTRIAL SHORELINE - NIGHT
The Guardian XL is surrounded on all sides. Driven by
hostile fire behind an empty building, the robot FALLS to
one knee as it tries to shield Doctor Corbin.
DR CORBIN
Please stop this!
Ahead, an ugly shape KICKS UP swirling clouds of dust. The
Hermes raises an arm and aims a cluster of cannons.
DR CORBIN
(shuts his eyes)
HELP!!...
The Guardian XL CROUCHES with a familiar CLICKING sound as
its legs bear down.
Just as the Hermes FIRES, the Guardian XL LEAPS!
SOLDIERS and ARTILLERYMEN lift their heads in disbelief as
the equivalent of a skyscraper VAULTS right over their
heads!
The Guardian XL lands, digging two colossal TRENCHES as it
SKIDS to a halt. The robot starts to RUN away.
89.
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
FLAGG
(in total disbelief)
What the John Wayne just happened?
How can something that big do that?
ODIE
(shouts)
He jumps! Just like Lisabeth taught
Pogo! He’s a copy of Pogo!
Lisabeth BLUSHES.
CONTROL OPERATOR 1
Uh, sir? (points at screen)
EXT. SHORELINE AND BEYOND - NIGHT
The Guardian leads the colonel’s forces on a merry chase
across the industrial wasteland.
Tanks and self-propelled artillery can hardly keep up. Once
they get in position, the Guardian XL doubles back and leaps
right over them before they can fire.
The Hermes is too slow and cannot keep up as the Guardian XL
plays hide and seek.
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
FLAGG
(to operator 2)
Enough of this game of tag.
Activate the rail gun on the
Hermes!
EXT. SHORELINE AND BEYOND - NIGHT
The Hermes stops and a large cannon unfolds. The entire back
section of the robot SPARKS and CRACKLES.
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
CLOSE UP: ON CONTROL PANEL AND BLINKING RED LIGHTS
CONTROL OPERATOR 2 (O.C.)
Sir, that problem’s back. We’re
receiving a fail signal on the
target acquisition system.
90.
FLAGG
How many giant robots are out
there, besides ours?
CONTROL OPERATOR 2
Just the other one, sir.
FLAGG
Then we don’t have a problem, do
we? Give me firing control.
On the control panel, a screen is overlaid with a targeting
grid. The Guardian XL appears, then disappears. Just behind
the Guardian is the city skyline.
TEXT: WARNING -- TARGET LOCK UNSTABLE
DEXTER
What are you doing?
FLAGG
(finger on master button)
Erasing Doctor Elias Corbin from
the history books...
The targeting mask changes from YELLOW to RED. A bulls-eye
covers the Guardian XL.
Flagg MASHES down the button.
EXT. SHORELINE AND BEYOND - NIGHT
The Hermes FIRES!
The beam barely misses the Guardian XL and ... STRIKES a
tower downtown!
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
Pieces of a skyscraper’s tower are SHEARED off by the blast.
SFX: METAL TEARING, COLLAPSING SUPPORTS
The tower’s stainless steel mast TEETERS. People look up and
run in panic as the mast PLUNGES to the streets below...
...but it is caught by the Guardian XL.
The robot FALTERS under the crushing weight of the tower.
Inside the Guardian XL cupola, gauges in front of Doctor
Corbin change from cautious YELLOW to dangerous RED.
91.
SFX: BELLS AND ALARMS
DR CORBIN
(cheers the robot on)
Yes! Hold it! Just a little longer!
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
FLAGG
How is it doing that ... why is it
doing that?
DEXTER
Because its purpose is to save
lives!
CONTROL OPERATOR 2
(to Flagg)
Sir! Hermes is entering the city!
FLAGG
Cancel it! All units cease fire!
CONTROL OPERATOR 2
It won’t respond! It’s still
hunting for a target! Any target!
The video screen with the target mask picks an electrical
tower; it barely resembles a giant robot.
EXT. CITY OUTSKIRTS - NIGHT
Hermes destroys the electrical tower.
It marches towards the heart of downtown...
EXT. DOWNTOWN BY FALLEN TOWER - NIGHT
People SCRAMBLE away as the Guardian XL strains to hold up
the tower.
Inside the Guardian XL cupola, gauges change to ...
TEXT: FAIL
GUARDIAN XL
Doctor Corbin, you are in grave
danger!
92.
DR CORBIN
(bravely calm)
Hold the tower until you are
unable, Guardian XL.
The robot begins to collapse under the weight of the mast.
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
Lisabeth grabs Jason and points.
EXT. DOWNTOWN BY FALLEN TOWER - NIGHT
An entirely different kind of army arrives.
Guardian robots -- hundreds of them! Jumping, leaping or
simply running, they RUSH towards their gigantic cousin.
On the street, Guardians GATHER trapped citizens, SHIELD
people from falling debris and form TEAMS to bolster the
Guardian XL. The robots CRAWL all over the giant, patching
plates and repairing systems.
Inside the Guardian XL cupola, gauges change to yellow.
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
DEXTER
(grins)
Now that’s a robot rampage!
A shape carrying a teen boy DROPS from the sky and LANDS
among them.
LISABETH
(thrilled)
Zak!
ZAK
(at Flagg)
Stop shooting! My uncle’s robots
are trying to help!
CONTROL OPERATOR 2
Sir, the Hermes is coming right at
us! It’s targeted the civic center!
FLAGG
Evacuate the area!
93.
ZAK
What’s happening?!
DEXTER
The Army’s lost control of the
Hermes. It’s headed right for us!
FLAGG
(to MPs)
Get that kid!
Zak WHISPERS a command to Pogo. The MPs exchange doubting
looks as Zak waves and SPRINGS away with Pogo.
DEXTER
Zak! Wait! (to teens) Get out of
here! Now!
EXT. DOWNTOWN BY FALLEN TOWER - NIGHT
Pogo reaches the cupola of the Guardian XL in a few jumps.
Doctor Corbin doesn’t recognize his own nephew.
ZAK
Pogo! Take my uncle to safety!
Pogo GRABS him and VAULTS away.
DR CORBIN
Zakary? (recognizes him) Zakary!
Doctor Corbin and the robot disappear, leaving Zak inside
the Guardian XL.
He takes a deep breath and looks up at the giant’s head.
ZAK
Who is your master?
GUARDIAN XL
(bellows)
You are my master, Zakary Corbin!
Zak catches a glimpse of the Hermes as it turns a corner and
readies to fire.
ZAK
Oh boy!
SCREEN INSIDE HERMES: a targeting grid covers the building
where the command and control center is located.
94.
TEXT: TARGET ACQUIRED.
The Hermes’ reactor SPARKS and CRACKLES again. A powerful
charge builds as the weapon is about to fire...
The Guardian XL LANDS right in front of the Hermes, bringing
both of its hands down on its rail cannon like a
SLEDGEHAMMER.
The EXPLOSION from the damaged gun knocks the Army robot off
its feet. The Hermes THRASHES as it gets back up.
ZAK
You got its attention! Let’s lead
that thing out of the city!
The Guardian XL RUNS, the Hermes right behind in pursuit.
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
CONTROL OPERATOR 2
The Hermes is chasing the giant
back to the shore.
FLAGG
(fans face with hand)
I don’t think I can take any more
surprises!
Pogo LANDS among them, but he is carrying a different Corbin
in his arms. The robot deposits a trembling Doctor Corbin to
the ground.
FLAGG
Corbin?!
LISABETH
Where’s Zakary?
DR CORBIN
(trembling)
He traded places with me! He’s in
that giant robot. (to Dexter)
Captain, you must help him!
FLAGG
(to MPs)
Get something right for a change!
Take him into custody!
95.
DEXTER
(to MPs)
It’s all right, fellas. I’ll take
the doctor in. (winks to Doctor
Corbin and the teens)
Dexter GLANCES over at the colonel’s JEEP.
Flagg is too busy to notice.
FLAGG
(to control operator one)
I need to get to the front. Call my
driver and have him bring up my
(turns) ... Jeep.
The Jeep ... and everyone else ... are gone.
EXT. SHORELINE, SOME DISTANCE AWAY
Pogo LANDS the colonel’s jeep with Doctor Corbin, Dexter,
Lisabeth, Jason and Odie. They scramble out to watch...
Off in the distance, the Hermes MARCHES around the inlet.
DEXTER
(raises binoculars)
It’s searching for the other robot.
DR CORBIN
It called itself Guardian. A much,
much bigger version. It said its
purpose was to set me free.
LISABETH
(softly)
Zak just wanted to meet you. He
didn’t mean to cause all this.
DR CORBIN
(admires Guardian)
Still, look at what this machine
has accomplished. How very wrong
General Maxim was about you!
POGO
All life has value.
A FLURRY of motion catches Dexter’s attention. The Guardian
XL is rising up to challenge the Hermes.
96.
DEXTER
There they are!
EXT. INDUSTRIAL SHORELINE - NIGHT
The Hermes and the Guardian XL grapple with one another. The
titans SLIDE and SHOVE one another in the soft earth and
CRASH against buildings.
ZAK
(shouts)
Just do what I told you!
GUARDIAN XL
Yes, Master Zakary Corbin!
Zak takes a breath and JUMPS from the cupola to the Hermes’
CLAW. He scrambles across the robot’s uneven plates.
ZAK
Now!
Guardian XL brings an arm down and separates the two
machines with a SWIPE.
The Hermes UNLEASHES weapons and missiles at the Guardian
XL. The robot constantly LEAPS and JUMPS with the grace of a
ballerina. The Hermes misses every time.
EXT. SHORELINE, SOME DISTANCE AWAY - NIGHT
DR CORBIN
Does anyone else see that robot is
... dancing?
Lisabeth SMILES as the BATTLE rages.
EXT. INDUSTRIAL SHORELINE - NIGHT
Zak runs from one section to the other on the giant war
machine. He is SEARCHING for a ...
CLOSE UP: MAINTENANCE PANEL
TEXT: STANDARD POWER OUTLET
Zak flips the panel open, digs into his pocket and produces
the DISASSEMBLER.
Hermes targets the Guardian XL and fires a MASSIVE BLAST.
97.
The Guardian topples over into the water.
ZAK
(slams DISASSEMBLER in)
No!
EXT. DOWNTOWN CITY PLAZA - NIGHT
All the screens and control terminals fill with STATIC.
FLAGG
What the?...
EXT. INDUSTRIAL SHORELINE - NIGHT
ON HERMES: bolts and panels start to fall off. First small
things, then much bigger sections. An entire arm and its
weapons falls off.
The war machine TEARS ITSELF APART.
Zak is still on board. He’s part of a mountain of moving and
flying parts. No place is safe for him.
EXT. SHORELINE, SOME DISTANCE AWAY - NIGHT
DEXTER
(through binoculars)
The Hermes is falling apart!
JASON
(triumphant)
It’s Zak’s disassembler!
DEXTER
I see Zakary! He’s on board the
Hermes!
Pogo LEAPS into action.
EXT. INDUSTRIAL SHORELINE - NIGHT
Zak is TRAPPED on the Hermes.
The disintegration happens faster and faster. Zak dives for
his life when a missile launcher drops. The outer hull’s
armored decking COLLAPSES underneath him.
98.
Hanging by a communications pole, Zak LOOKS DOWN deep inside
the mechanism of Hermes: a cauldron of giant gears, rods,
reactors, drive belts and support brackets. Everything is
coming undone before his eyes.
Zak LOOKS UP. The pole he’s clinging to is FALLING.
A gleaming metal bullet sweeps the boy up as the Hermes
SPINS and DESTROYS itself. The collapse raises a VAST CLOUD.
Rockets and bombs IGNITE.
EXT. SHORELINE, SOME DISTANCE AWAY - NIGHT
Lisabeth’s eyes WIDEN in terror at the cloud of fire. She
RUNS towards it.
DEXTER
Lisabeth! It’s not safe!
EXT. INDUSTRIAL SHORELINE - NIGHT
Everything is GRAYED OUT, obscured by smoke and dust. Dark
shapes rise before Lisabeth: parts fallen from the Hermes.
LISABETH
(calls out)
Zak? Zak!
The others join in, calling for Zak as they search.
DEXTER
Zakary!
JASON AND ODIE
Zak! Zakary!
DR CORBIN
My boy! Where are you? Zakary?
Lisabeth STUMBLES across what she thinks is just another
SCORCHED hunk of metal. The shapes MOVES. It’s Pogo!
The robot UNFURLS, revealing a DIRTY and DAZED Zak safely
nestled inside its arms. Lisabeth goes to him.
LISABETH
(excited)
Zakary! Zak! (louder) He’s alive!
She HUGS him, then SHOVES him back.
99.
LISABETH
You are so lucky I don’t kill you!
(finds his glasses) You dropped
your eyeglasses.
Zak looks at her and blinks. He doesn’t know what to say.
Lisabeth goes to put the glasses on his face when Zak takes
her hands. She smiles as he pulls her closer. They KISS.
LISABETH
I’m so glad you’re safe!
Zak LOOKS past her. He STUMBLES to his feet.
He is looking right at his uncle.
Doctor Corbin STARES back at his nephew in admiration.
ZAK
(whispers)
Uncle Elias?
DR CORBIN
(relieved)
Zakary?
Zak RUNS into Doctor Corbin’s arms. He finally has what he
truly wanted all along.
The others GATHER around them.
DEXTER
(pleased)
That’s way better than any
explosion.
Odie and Jason walk over to Pogo. The robot is blackened and
all banged up.
ODIE
We’ve got a lot of work to do.
FADE OUT
EXT. NEW FUTURA TOWN CENTER - DAY
The center of New Futura City is host to a massive
celebration.
Colorful balloons and pennants fly in the breeze. Airships
BUZZ overhead while CROWDS gather around the Fair’s great
plaza.
100.
ZAK (O.C.)
(shouting)
C’mon! Everyone’s waiting! We’ll be
late!
Zak and his parents, along with Doctor Corbin, make their
way through the gathered FAMILIES and ONLOOKERS. Everyone is
dressed up.
LINDA CORBIN
Zakary! Slow down! You’re going to
wear out your poor uncle before we
even gets there!
DR CORBIN
It’s all right. (winks to Zak)
Let’s just leave these slugs
behind!
They reach Dexter, Jason, Odie and Lisabeth. They are all
dressed for the occasion.
ZAK
(stammers at Lisabeth)
You look ... well .. wow!
LISABETH
(takes his hand)
Are you sure you’re not Odie?
Dexter and Doctor Corbin shake hands.
DR CORBIN
Captain, I cannot thank you enough
for everything that you’ve done,
everything that you said.
DEXTER
All of it was true, doctor. The
government finally admitted it made
a mistake: robots make lousy
soldiers.
ZAK
And they wanted my disassembler.
DEXTER
More important, you’re a free man.
A fresh start. You can build robots
again.
101.
DR CORBIN
I’m just happy to be back with my
family. (smiles at Zak and
Lisabeth) As for me and my robots,
I’m sure people have forgotten this
tired old man by now.
Zak takes his uncle by the hand and pulls him deeper into
the CROWD. People stand back and make room for them.
SFX: APPLAUSE begins to build.
ZAK
You haven’t been forgotten, uncle.
DR CORBIN
What is this all about?
The crowd PARTS. A GRAND PARADE OF ROBOTS is underway.
Hundreds of Guardian robots MARCH in formation and PLAY
musical instruments. They have been cleaned and smartly
painted.
CHEERS and SHOUTS sweep across the plaza for Doctor Corbin
and his amazing robots.
At the very lead is Pogo. The robot WAVES to its master and
its creator, which Zak and Doctor Corbin gladly return.
ZAK
People really do care! Your
Guardians did all these amazing
things ... just to save you.
Doctor Corbin wraps his arms around Zak and hugs him.
DR CORBIN
(thick with emotion)
I was not saved by any robot. (a
beat) I was saved by you.
The Parade of Robots continues down the central plaza.
Airships and flying craft buzz the proceedings until...
FADE TO WHITE
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