>>/ Troy

/ Troy. .

: / Troy.

/ Troy

FADE IN:

1 EXT. THESSALIAN VALLEY - DAY 1

A mangy, bone-thin DOG lopes across the broad valley floor, sniffing at the ground. At first the scene appears bucolic: tall grass, patches of wildflowers, blue sky above.

But as the dog keeps running we see signs of conflict. A spear, half imbedded in the earth, rises at an angle. A bronze helmet, cracked and bloodied, lies on its side. The dog pauses to sniff the helmet then continues his search. Finally he stops, hackles on his back rising, ears pricked up. He growls, and we see what the dog sees. Dozens of CROWS have descended into a shallow ravine. They squabble and peck, clustered around something on the ground.

The dog growls louder and charges at the crows. The black birds flap away to safety, shrieking in protest. A DEAD SOLDIER lies facedown in the ravine. Whatever armor he wore was stripped away, leaving his body to the elements.

The dog walks slowly to the dead man, sniffing at the corpse's hands. The dog whines and licks the man's fingers.

Something in the air disturbs the dog, who looks up. And now we hear it, faintly, in the distance. HOOF BEATS and chariot wheels, marching men, the clank of bronze armor and weaponry.

The dog runs, abandoning his dead master.

1A THE MYCENAEAN ARMY 1A

five thousand strong, storms into the valley from the south. Armored with bronze breastplates, helmets and shields, the soldiers glitter in the morning sun. Riding alongside the infantry are dozens of horse-drawn CHARIOTS, each holding a DRIVER, a SPEARMAN and an

OFFICER.

On the opposite side of the valley, three thousand THESSALONIAN SOLDIERS march into view. The Thessalonians are less disciplined, their armor and weaponry less impressive.

(CONTINUED)

2.

1A CONTINUED: 1A

When each army reaches the battlefield they stop and stare one another down, two hundred yards distant.

1B A MYCENAEAN CHARIOT AND A THESSALONIA CHARIOT 1B

emerge from their respective sides and meet at the center of the field.

AGAMEMNON, king of the Mycenaeans, rides in his chariot with a DRIVER and a SPEARMAN. Agamemnon holds a gold SCEPTER, symbol of command. His breast plate is engraved with an Alpha.

His counterpart in the Thessalonian cart, TRIOPAS (60), does not project equal confidence. He eyes the size of the Mycenaean army with evident unease. He holds his own

SCEPTER.

Both kings step down from their chariots and approach each other. They stare at one another for several seconds. Agamemnon smiles and looks into the sky. The crows wheel overhead, cawing.

AGAMEMNON

It's a good day for the crows.

TRIOPAS

I told you yesterday and I'll tell you again today. Remove your army from my land. Agamemnon smiles again and turns to examine the valley.

AGAMEMNON

I like your land. I think we'll stay. (beat) I like your soldiers, too. They fought bravely yesterday. Not well, but bravely.

TRIOPAS

They'll never fight for you.

AGAMEMNON

That's what the Messenians said, too. And the Arcadians. And the Epeians. They're all fighting for me, now.

(CONTINUED)

3.

1B CONTINUED: 1B

TRIOPAS

You can't rule the whole world, Agamemnon. It's too big. Even for you.

Agamemnon surveys Triopas's army.

AGAMEMNON

I don't want to watch another massacre. Let's end this war in the old manner. (beat) Your best fighter against my best. For the first time, Triopas looks hopeful.

TRIOPAS

And if my man wins?

AGAMEMNON

We'll leave Thessaly for good. (beat) I'm a generous man. If mine wins, you keep your throne. But Thessaly falls under my command, to fight with me whenever I call. Triopas considers before nodding. He shouts to his army.

TRIOPAS

Boagrius! The Thessalonians murmur and step aside. A giant emerges from their midst, BOAGRIUS, a foot taller than the other men, his face gouged with old knife scars. He marches out to his king.

TRIOPAS

Here is my champion. Agamemnon raises his eyebrows as the giant comes closer.

AGAMEMNON

(shouting to his army) Achilles! The Mycenaeans murmur amongst themselves, looking for Achilles. Nobody emerges. Agamemnon frowns.

TRIOPAS

Boagrius has this effect on many heroes.

(CONTINUED)

4.

1B CONTINUED: (2) 1B

AGAMEMNON

Be careful whom you insult, old king.

An OFFICER on horseback gallops from the Mycenaean ranks to the center of the field. He bows his head to Agamemnon.

OFFICER

Achilles is not with the army. Triopas laughs and looks up at Boagrius, who chuckles.

AGAMEMNON

(furious) Where is he?

OFFICER

I sent a boy to look for him.

2 EXT. WOODS - DAY 2

A BOY (12) on a roan HORSE gallops through the woods.

3 EXT. MYCENAEAN CAMP - DAY 3

The boy rides into the camp. Scores of tents stand on the banks of a river. The only men around are COOKS tending fires and ARMORERS, mending armor and weapons. The boy dismounts at one large tent in the corner of the camp. He pulls open the tent flap and steps inside.

4 INT. ACHILLES' TENT - CONTINUOUS 4

The boy pauses for a moment inside the tent, eyes adjusting to the dim light. Evidently last night was a wild party. Jugs of wine are everywhere, and the remains of a large feast.

Sleeping on a fur rug are two NAKED WOMEN and one NAKED MAN, tanned arms and legs entwined. The boy sidesteps shards of a broken jug. He bends to tap the sleeping man's shoulder.

Before his fingers make contact, a hand shoots out, grabs his wrist, and pulls him to the rug. The boy finds himself flat on his back with a dagger to his throat.

(CONTINUED)

5.

4 CONTINUED: 4

ACHILLES

Shh. The boy stares into the eyes of ACHILLES (30), who seems to have barely moved. Somehow he managed to seize the boy and put a knife to his throat without waking the women.

ACHILLES

(whispering) I was having a good dream. (beat) A very good dream. The boy nods, dumb with fear. Achilles has the lean, efficient physique of a boxer. His face and body are dark from a summer spent in the sun.

BOY

King Agamemnon sent me. He needs --

ACHILLES

I'll speak with your king in the morning.

BOY

But my lord -- it is morning. Achilles frowns. He stands and walks naked to the tent flap, holds it open and stares at the empty encampment.

BOY

They're waiting for you.

5 EXT. MYCENAEAN CAMP 5

Achilles prepares for battle, strapping on his breastplate. The boy assists him, fixing the bronze greaves to his legs.

BOY

Are the stories about you true? They say your mother is an immortal goddess.

Achilles lifts up his shield. He slips his left forearm into the leather straps on the inside of the shield.

BOY

They say you can't be killed.

(CONTINUED)

6.

5 CONTINUED: 5

ACHILLES

I wouldn't be bothering with the shield then, would I?

BOY

The Thessalonian you're fighting -- he's the biggest man I've ever seen. Achilles mounts the boy's horse.

BOY

I wouldn't want to fight him.

ACHILLES

That's why no one will remember your name.

Achilles gallops away, leaving the boy standing alone.

6 EXT. THESSALIAN VALLEY 6

Agamemnon confers with his OFFICERS on the battlefield, including KING NESTOR (65), his trusted advisor. When Achilles rides into view the Mycenaean soldiers CHEER. Some cry out his name. Agamemnon and his officers turn to watch Achilles dismount and approach them.

AGAMEMNON

Perhaps we should have our war tomorrow, when you're better rested?

Achilles ignores the king and examines the waiting giant.

AGAMEMNON

I should have you whipped for impudence.

Achilles wheels on the king.

ACHILLES

Who's giving the whipping? He walks toward Agamemnon, fingers curling over the hilt of his sword. Nestor slides in between Achilles and the king.

NESTOR

Achilles.

(CONTINUED)

7.

6 CONTINUED: 6

Achilles, nostrils flared, eyes narrowed, stares at Agamemnon. Neither man is willing to turn away.

ACHILLES

(to Agamemnon) Why don't you fight him yourself? Wouldn't that be a sight, a king who fights his own battles?

NESTOR

Achilles. Achilles finally turns and looks at him.

NESTOR

Look at the men's faces. Achilles surveys the faces of the battle-weary soldiers.

NESTOR

You can save hundreds of them. You can end this war with a swing of your sword. (beat) Think how many songs they'll sing in your honor. (beat) Let them go home to their wives. The soldiers, awed in his presence, stare at Achilles. He finally turns and walks toward Boagrius. Agamemnon watches Achilles with undisguised hostility.

AGAMEMNON

(to Nestor, under his breath) Of all the warlords loved by the gods, I hate him most.

NESTOR

We need him, my king.

AGAMEMNON

For now.

6A ACHILLES 6A

When Achilles is forty yards from the giant, Boagrius turns to his army and shakes his spear over his head. They cheer, slamming their bronze swords against their bronze shields.

(CONTINUED)

8.

6A CONTINUED: 6A

Achilles keeps coming. He looks up at the circling crows. Boagrius turns and throws his spear. The bronze spearhead glitters in the sun, blazing straight for Achilles.

Without breaking stride, Achilles raises the shield. The spearhead blasts through the bronze skin of the shield, through the thick leather on the underside, stopping inches from Achilles' face.

Achilles keeps coming.

Boagrius hoists a second spear and hurls it, grunting with effort. Again Achilles raises his shield, again the spearhead tears through the shield but does not harm Achilles.

Achilles casts aside the shield and keeps coming. Boagrius unsheathes his tremendous bronze sword. He opens his mouth, lets loose a battle cry, and charges at Achilles.

When Boagrius raises his sword, Achilles lunges forward with terrifying speed. It does not seem possible that he could close the gap between them so quickly, but he does, thrusting his sword straight through Boagrius' breastplate.

Achilles pulls his sword from the giant's chest and continues walking toward the Thessalonian line, never looking back.

Boagrius stares down at the hole in his breastplate. Blood pumps out, pouring down the polished bronze. He topples over.

The Mycenaean Army ERUPTS with exultant victory cries. Achilles now stands in front of the massed Thessalonian troops. He searches from face to face. None of the soldiers are willing to make eye contact with him. Finally Triopas steps out of the ranks.

TRIOPAS

Who are you, soldier?

ACHILLES

Achilles, son of Peleus.

(CONTINUED)

9.

6A CONTINUED: (2) 6A

TRIOPAS

Achilles. I won't forget the name. Triopas offers Achilles the heavy gold SCEPTER.

TRIOPAS

The ruler of Thessaly carries this scepter. Give it to your king.

ACHILLES

He's not my king. Achilles walks west, away from both armies. The soldiers watch him go in silence.

7 EXT. IONIAN SEA - DUSK 7

We're high above the wine-dark sea, gliding north. Soon the Peloponnesian coast comes into view. The only break in the shoreline is the inlet of Laconia, and we follow it inland.

The inlet ends in a natural harbor where several tall- masted warships are beached, sails unfurled, oars locked and rowing benches empty. Dozens of smaller fishing boats are scattered about the harbor.

On top of the highest hill, overlooking all Sparta, stands a thick-walled PALACE. Torch-bearing SENTRIES, wearing plumed helmets and carrying long spears, man their posts.

MENELAUS (V.O.)

Princes of Troy, on our last night together, Queen Helen and I salute you.

8 INT. PALACE OF SPARTA - RECEPTION HALL - CONTINUOUS 8

MENELAUS (40), king of Sparta, stands at the head of a massive table that spans the length of a hall lit by torches. A battle-scarred warrior, Menelaus is already halfway drunk.

Beside Menelaus sits his wife, HELEN (25), wearing a white gown, head bowed, half listening to her husband. Fresh flowers are woven into her hair. Her beauty is so extreme she seems to exist in a separate realm.

(CONTINUED)

10.

8 CONTINUED: 8

The only woman in the room and the only one wearing white, Helen shines amidst the unwashed WARRIORS of Sparta and Troy. All sit at a table laden with platters of roasted game birds, whole fish, octopi, suckling pigs and bowls of fruit.

Menelaus holds his gold wine goblet in the air, toasting his honored guests, HECTOR (35) and PARIS (25). Hector is not the best-looking man in the room, nor the largest, but the intensity of his expression, the regality of his bearing, confirms that he is a born leader. Paris is the best-looking man in the room, by a long shot. He's not paying attention to Menelaus. He's staring at Helen.

MENELAUS

We've had our conflicts before, it's true. We've fought many battles, Sparta and Troy. And fought well!

Menelaus's soldiers cheer drunkenly. For a moment Helen looks up and meets Paris's gaze.

MENELAUS

But I've always respected your father. Priam is a good man, a good king. I respected him as an adversary, and I respect him now as my ally.

More cheering, this time from the entire assembly.

MENELAUS

Hector, Paris, young princes, come, stand, drink with me. Hector stands. Paris does not. He's still staring at Helen. Hector nudges his brother's shoulder. Paris stands.

MENELAUS

Let us drink to peace. Hector nods to Menelaus and raises his cup.

HECTOR

Peace between Troy and Sparta.

(CONTINUED)

11.

8 CONTINUED: (2) 8

The king and the princes drink deeply and slam their empty cups to the table.

MENELAUS

May the gods keep the wolves in the hills and the women in our beds. All the men in the hall cheer and rise to their feet.

GUESTS

To Sparta! To Troy! A band of MUSICIANS strike up their instruments; SERVANTS roam the hall filling goblets with wine.

POLYDORA (20), one of Helen's handmaidens, leads a dozen attractive YOUNG WOMEN into the banquet hall.

The warriors howl at the sight of the women. Soon each of the handmaidens is flanked by drunken soldiers.

Menelaus grabs Hector in a bear hug. Hector gamely accepts the embrace. When the king releases him, both men spill a few drops of wine from their cups onto the floor.

They drink the rest of their wine. Menelaus grips Hector's upper arm. SERVANTS refill the cups.

MENELAUS

A strong arm. Thank the gods we made peace -- I've seen too many of my men struck down with this arm.

HECTOR

Never again, I hope.

MENELAUS

Only one man works a sword better than you. The son of Peleus the Argonaut.

HECTOR

Achilles.

MENELAUS

That madman would throw a spear at Zeus himself if the god insulted him.

(CONTINUED)

12.

8 CONTINUED: (3) 8

Menelaus indicates Polydora, who stares at Hector openly.

MENELAUS

You see that one over there? I picked her just for you. She's a little lioness. Menelaus grins at the girl, who lowers her eyes and smiles. Helen notices this silent exchange but ignores it, conversing instead with another HANDMAIDEN who sits beside her.

HECTOR

Thank you. My wife waits for me in Troy.

MENELAUS

My wife waits for me right there. He leans forward to whisper conspiratorially in Hector's ear.

MENELAUS

Wives are for breeding. You understand? For making little princes. Come, enjoy yourself tonight. Helen stands and walks out of the reception hall. Menelaus does not notice. Hector does. He raises his cup to Menelaus.

HECTOR

You make excellent wine in Sparta. Menelaus laughs and drinks with Hector. Paris excuses himself from the Spartan generals he's been speaking with and heads outside -- in the same direction as Helen. Hector watches with mounting agitation.

9 INT. HELEN'S CHAMBER - NIGHT 9

The room is lit by a dozen tall candles. Helen removes the flowers from her hair and drops them into a bowl of water. She hears a sound and looks up. Paris stands in the doorway. For several breaths they are silent, staring at each other.

(CONTINUED)

13.

9 CONTINUED: 9

HELEN

You shouldn't be here. Paris closes the door behind him.

PARIS

That's what you said last night.

HELEN

Last night was a mistake.

PARIS

And the night before? Helen continues removing the flowers from her hair but she cannot hide a half-smile.

HELEN

I've made many mistakes this week. He approaches her.

PARIS

Do you want me to go? His hands are on her now, sliding down her bare neck, down her back, resting on her hips. His mouth is very close to her ear. Helen closes her eyes.

HELEN

(whispering) Yes. Paris kisses her neck, her ears, her closed eyes. The tightness we saw in her face when she sat by her husband's side is gone, replaced by ecstasy.

PARIS

(whispering) Where should I go? She kisses him back now and there's a hunger in her kisses, something close to violence in her desire. She lifts off his tunic and pulls him nearer.

HELEN

(whispering) Away. Far away. In a moment the white gown slips to her feet. He stares at her naked body in wonder. He opens his mouth to speak but she kisses him full on the lips. They sink onto the bed.

14.

10 INT. PALACE - RECEPTION HALL - NIGHT 10

As more and more wine gourds are emptied, the scene grows rowdier. An impromptu choir of Spartan and Trojan soldiers drunkenly sing battle songs.

Polydora sits on Menelaus's lap. She whispers in his ear while he laughs and drains another cup of wine. Bits of roasted boar fleck his thick red beard. Hector sits nearby, half engaged in conversation with several Spartan generals. He's clearly not happy that his brother's still missing.

11 INT. HELEN'S CHAMBER - NIGHT (LATER) 11

Helen lies naked on her bed. In the candlelight her flanks are mapped with copper trails of sweat. She watches Paris, who stands bedside pulling on his clothes.

PARIS

I have something for you. From his tunic he pulls a necklace of baby pearls threaded with silver. He sits beside her in bed.

PARIS

Pearls from the sea of Propontis. Paris strings the pearls around her neck.

HELEN

They're beautiful. (beat) But I can't wear them. Menelaus would kill us both.

PARIS

Don't be afraid of him.

HELEN

I'm not afraid of dying. I'm afraid of tomorrow, watching you sail away and knowing you'll never come back. She runs her fingers across his jaw line.

HELEN

Before you came to Sparta I was a ghost. I walked and I ate and I swam in the sea, but I was a ghost.

(CONTINUED)

15.

11 CONTINUED: 11

PARIS

You don't have to fear tomorrow. Helen watches him, unsure what he means.

PARIS

Come with me. For a long moment they stare into each other's eyes.

HELEN

Don't play with me, prince of Troy. Don't play. The sounds of footsteps and laughter outside the door startle them. Paris halfway unsheathes a KNIFE hanging from his belt. Whoever's walking by the door passes without stopping. Paris sheathes his knife, kneels beside the bed and takes her hand.

PARIS

If you come we'll never be safe. Men will hunt us and the gods will curse us. But I'll love you. Until the day they burn my body I will love you. Helen stares into Paris' eyes, contemplating the impossible.

12 INT. PALACE - COURTYARD - LATER 12

A group of TROJAN SOLDIERS lies on goatskins and furs around a bonfire built in the middle of the courtyard. Some sleep; some continue to drink and sing old Trojan songs. Hector stands by the fire, conferring with TECTON (30), a bull-necked captain of the elite Apollonian Guard.

HECTOR

Make the proper offerings to Poseidon before we sail. We don't need any more widows in Troy.

TECTON

Goat or pig?

HECTOR

Which does the Sea God prefer?

(CONTINUED)

16.

12 CONTINUED: 12

TECTON

(smiling) I'll wake the priest and ask him.

Tecton bows and exits the courtyard. Hector sees Paris slinking past the bonfire, sneaking toward his quarters.

HECTOR

Paris! Paris turns, smiles and waves, acting as if he hadn't seen Hector before. He ambles over to join his brother.

HECTOR

You should get to bed. We won't sleep on land again for weeks.

PARIS

I have no trouble sleeping on the seas. The sea nymphs sing lullabies to me.

HECTOR

And who sang lullabies to you tonight? Paris freezes for a moment but quickly regains his poise.

PARIS

Tonight? Tonight was the fisherman's wife. A lovely creature.

HECTOR

I hope you didn't let the fisherman catch you.

PARIS

He's more concerned with the fish. Paris smiles and starts to walk away but Hector holds him.

HECTOR

You do understand why we're in Sparta?

PARIS

For peace.

(CONTINUED)

17.

12 CONTINUED: (2) 12

HECTOR

And you do understand that Menelaus, King of Sparta, is a powerful man? And that his brother, Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, commands all the Greek forces?

PARIS

What does this have to do with the fisherman's wife? Hector seizes Paris's face between the palms of his hand. Not a violent gesture, exactly, but not gentle, either.

HECTOR

Paris. You're my brother, and I love you. But if you do anything to endanger Troy I'll rip your pretty face from your pretty skull. He kisses Paris on the forehead.

HECTOR

Get some sleep. We sail in the morning. Paris, a bit shocked by the encounter, stumbles away.

13 EXT. IONIAN SEA - DAY 13

The TROJAN SHIP sails over the waves.

14 EXT. SHIP'S DECK - DAY 14

The winds are strong. Nobody needs to row. SAILORS tend the sails or play dice. Hector stands in the bow, leaning against the rail, whittling a WOODEN LION. Paris joins him.

PARIS

A beautiful morning. Poseidon has blessed our voyage. Hector looks at the blue sky for a moment.

(CONTINUED)

18.

14 CONTINUED: 14

HECTOR

Sometimes the gods bless you in the morning and curse you in the afternoon.

Paris watches his brother work the wood. When Paris speaks again his tone is more sober than we've heard it before.

PARIS

Do you love me, brother? Hector rests his knife on the deck and smiles.

HECTOR

What have you done now?

PARIS

I need to show you something. Paris walks toward the staircase leading inside the ship. Hector watches him for a few seconds and then follows.

15 INT. TROJAN SHIP 15

Paris pauses in front of his cabin door.

PARIS

Before you get angry with me --

HECTOR

Open the door. Paris opens the door. Helen, wearing a hooded robe, sits on the edge of a hammock, swinging slightly. She stands. Hector stares at her in disbelief. He turns and glares at Paris.

HECTOR

If you weren't my brother I'd kill you where you stand.

PARIS

Hector -- Hector is already out the door. Helen looks at Paris.

HELEN

We'll never have peace.

PARIS

I don't want peace. I want you.

(CONTINUED)

19.

15 CONTINUED: 15

He kisses her -- a desperate, hungry kiss, the two of them against the world -- then turns and follows his brother.

16 INT. PALACE OF SPARTA - HELEN'S BEDCHAMBER - DAY 16

Menelaus, followed by ten SOLDIERS, storms into Helen's room.

17 INT. HELEN'S BEDCHAMBER 17

He finds Polydora polishing the queen's jewelry. Menelaus grabs her arm roughly. She's terrified.

MENELAUS

Where is she?

POLYDORA

Who, my king? Menelaus draws his sword.

MENELAUS

I swear by the father of the gods I'll gut you here if you don't tell me. The handmaiden tries to speak but no words come out. Fortunately for her, HIPPASUS, (50), a royal advisor, enters the room at that moment followed by an old

FISHERMAN (65).

HIPPASUS

She left with the Trojans, my king. Menelaus stares at Hippasus, who swallows and gestures at the fisherman. The fisherman looks as if he'd rather be fishing.

HIPPASUS

The old man saw her board their ship. Menelaus releases the handmaiden and stares at the fisherman.

MENELAUS

The Trojans?

(CONTINUED)

20.

17 CONTINUED: 17

FISHERMAN

With the young prince. Paris. She --

Menelaus holds up his hand. The fisherman shuts up. Everyone watches the king, waiting for an explosion, but the news -- strangely -- seems to focus him.

MENELAUS

Get my ship ready.

18 EXT. TROJAN SHIP 18

Hector walks quickly toward the stern, Paris right behind him. The PILOT mans the rudder.

HECTOR

(to pilot) Turn us around. Back to Sparta.

PARIS

Wait, wait. Hector spins on his brother.

HECTOR

You fool.

PARIS

Listen to me -- Hector shoves his brother backwards. The older brother's physical power is obvious. SAILORS watch in awed silence.

HECTOR

Do you know what you've done? Do you know how many years our father worked for peace? How many brothers and cousins he lost on the battlefield?

PARIS

I love her. The muscles in Hector's jaw bulge against his cheeks.

HECTOR

Say another word and I'll break your arm. This is all a game for you, isn't it?

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

21.

18 CONTINUED: 18

HECTOR (CONT'D)

You roam from town to town, bedding merchants' wives and temple maids - - you think you know something about love? What about your father's love? You spat on him when you brought her on this ship. What about love of your country? You'd let Troy burn for this woman. Paris starts to speak but Hector raises a warning finger.

HECTOR

I won't let you start a war for her.

PARIS

May I speak? (beat) What you say is true. I've wronged you. I've wronged our father. If you want to bring Helen back to Sparta, so be it. But I go with her.

HECTOR

To Sparta? They'll kill you.

PARIS

Then I'll die fighting. Hector laughs bitterly. He grabs the collar of Paris's tunic.

HECTOR

That sounds heroic to you, doesn't it? To die fighting. Tell me, little brother, have you ever killed a man?

PARIS

No.

HECTOR

Have you ever even seen a man die in combat?

PARIS

No. Hector's face is flushed with anger. Paris tries to look away but Hector won't let him.

(CONTINUED)

22.

18 CONTINUED: (2) 18

HECTOR

I've killed men, brother. I've watched them dying, I've heard them dying, I've smelled them dying. (beat) There's nothing glorious about it, nothing poetic. You think you want to die for love, but you know nothing about dying. You know nothing about love.

PARIS

All the same, I go with her. Hector releases his brother. He stares at the sea.

PARIS

I won't ask you to fight my war. Hector shakes his head, still staring into the waves.

HECTOR

You already have. For a long time Hector is silent. Finally he turns to the pilot, who awaits the prince's command.

HECTOR

To Troy. Hector walks away from his brother.

19 EXT. MYCENAE HARBOR - DAY 19

Three WARSHIPS are anchored in the harbor. Menelaus, followed by Hippasus and a retinue of SOLDIERS, climbs the long stone staircase that leads to the walled city of Mycenae, a citadel hewn from the hilltop rock.

20 INT. MYCENAE CITADEL - THRONE ROOM - DAY 20

Menelaus and his followers enter the throne room. Treasures from various conquests fill the room: statuary and urns and intricate gold work. Armed GUARDS stand at their posts.

(CONTINUED)

23.

20 CONTINUED: 20

Only Agamemnon is seated, on a beautiful throne carved from solid oak. Two robed NOBLES are addressing him when Menelaus enters -- they move away as the Spartans approach.

Agamemnon stands. The two kings embrace.

AGAMEMNON

Your messenger came two days ago. I know what happened. Menelaus's face darkens, his rage barely submerged.

MENELAUS

I want her back.

AGAMEMNON

Of course you do. She's a beautiful woman.

MENELAUS

I want her back so I can kill her with my own two hands. I won't rest until I've burned Troy to the ground.

AGAMEMNON

(smiling) I thought you wanted peace with Troy.

MENELAUS

I should have listened to you.

AGAMEMNON

Peace is for the women and the weak. Empires are forged by war.

MENELAUS

All my life I've stood by your side, fought your enemies. You're the eldest, you reap the glory -- this is the way of the world. But have I ever complained, brother? Have I ever asked you for anything?

AGAMEMNON

Never. You're a man of honor. Everyone in Greece knows this.

(CONTINUED)

24.

20 CONTINUED: (2) 20

MENELAUS

The Trojans spat on my honor. An insult to me is an insult to you.

AGAMEMNON

And an insult to me is an insult to all Greeks.

MENELAUS

Will you go to war with me, brother? Menelaus reaches out his hand. Agamemnon looks into his eyes. Finally he nods and clasps hands with his brother.

21 INT. MYCENAE CITADEL - THRONE ROOM - NIGHT 21

Agamemnon paces the vast, torch-lit room. Nestor sits at a wooden table. Spread out on the table before him is a rough map of Greece and environs, painted on a tanned goat skin.

AGAMEMNON

I always thought my brother's wife was a foolish woman. But she's proven to be very useful. Nothing unifies a people like a common enemy.

NESTOR

The Trojans have never been conquered. Some say they can't be conquered.

AGAMEMNON

I haven't tried yet. (beat) Old King Priam thinks he's untouchable behind his high walls. He thinks the Sun God will protect him. But the gods only protect the strong. (points at map) If Troy falls, I control the Aegean.

NESTOR

Hector commands the finest army in the east. And Troy is built to withstand a ten-year siege.

(CONTINUED)

25.

21 CONTINUED: 21

AGAMEMNON

There won't be a ten-year siege. I'll attack them with the greatest force the world has ever seen. I want all the kings of Greece and all their armies. (beat) Send emissaries in the morning. Nestor stands and prepares to leave.

NESTOR

One last thing. (beat) We need Achilles and his Myrmidons. Agamemnon shakes his head.

AGAMEMNON

Achilles can't be controlled. He's as likely to fight us as the Trojans.

NESTOR

We don't need to control him. We need to unleash him. The man was born to end lives.

AGAMEMNON

Yes, he's a gifted killer, but he follows no king. He threatens everything I've built. (beat) Before me Greece was nothing, a province of warlords and cattle raiders. I've brought all the Greek kingdoms together -- with the sword when necessary, with a treaty when possible. I've created a nation out of fire-worshippers and snake-eaters. (beat) I build the future, Nestor. Achilles is the past, a man who fights for no flag, a man loyal to no country. Nestor waits a respectful moment before replying.

(CONTINUED)

26.

21 CONTINUED: (2) 21

NESTOR

Your words are true. But how many battles have we won off the edge of his sword? (beat) This will be the greatest war the world has ever seen. We need the greatest warrior. Agamemnon thinks about it, pacing the room. Finally --

AGAMEMNON

There's only one man he'll listen to.

NESTOR

I'll send a ship in the morning.

22 EXT. ITHACA - DAY 22

A lean, bearded SHEPHERD (40) sits on a hillside looking over the Ionian sea. Beside him sits his faithful hunting dog, ARGOS. They watch a troop of EMISSARIES climb the steep hill. The emissaries are panting for breath by the time they reach the hilltop.

EMISSARY #1

Greetings, brother. We were told King Odysseus is here in the hills.

SHEPHERD

Odysseus? That old bastard drinks my wine and never pays.

EMISSARY #2

You ought to respect your king, friend.

SHEPHERD

Respect him? I'd like to punch him in the nose. He's always pawing at my wife, trying to tear her clothes off. The emissaries, embarrassed, begin walking away. The shepherd watches them go.

(CONTINUED)

27.

22 CONTINUED: 22

SHEPHERD

(to Argos the dog) I hope Agamemnon's generals are smarter than his emissaries.

Emissary #1 turns to look at the shepherd.

EMISSARY #1

What did you say? The shepherd scratches behind Argos's ears. The dog wags his tail happily.

SHEPHERD

You want me to help you fight the Trojans.

EMISSARY #1

You're -- Emissary #1 exchanges glances with his compatriots. They're confused. Finally the chastened emissaries bow.

EMISSARY #1

Forgive us, King Odysseus. Odysseus stands and looks down at his dog.

ODYSSEUS

Well, I'm going to miss my dog.

EMISSARY #2

King Agamemnon has a favor to ask of you. Odysseus smiles and rubs his dog's head.

ODYSSEUS

Of course he does.

23 EXT. SEASIDE CLIFF - LATE AFTERNOON 23

Achilles stands in the ruins of an ivy-covered temple on a cliff above the sea, sparring with his cousin Patroclus (17). Both men wield wooden practice swords. Patroclus is a talented, lean, flashy young fighter. His sword whirls in the air like a thing alive. Achilles, by contrast, is the apotheosis of the efficient combatant, wasting no energy, waiting for weakness.

(CONTINUED)

28.

23 CONTINUED: 23

Patroclus presses in on the attack. Achilles tilts his head to avoid one thrust, side-steps to avoid another. Spying a momentary opening he lunges forward and taps Patroclus' belly with the tip of his wood sword.

ACHILLES

You're getting fat, cousin. Patroclus grins and relaunches his attack, sword spinning with blazing speed. Achilles ducks beneath an arcing swing and sword-taps Patroclus on the back.

ACHILLES

Fancy swordplay. The girls must be impressed. Patroclus grunts and charges in again. This time a genuine duel develops, featuring splendid repartee and parrying.

PATROCLUS

A little nervous, aren't you?

ACHILLES

Terrified. Achilles raises his right hand and Patroclus lifts his sword to parry the blow -- but Achilles no longer holds his sword in his right hand. Sword in hisleft hand, Achilles taps Patroclus on the chest. Patroclus stares down at the wood blade.

PATROCLUS

You told me never to switch sword hands. Achilles rolls his head to loosen his neck.

ACHILLES

By the time you know how to do it, you won't be following my orders anymore. Achilles tosses aside the sparring sword. He cocks his head as if listening to some distant sound. Patroclus, oblivious to the noise, practices his swordplay. Achilles' foot curls around the wood shaft of one of the spears lying on the ground. In one impossibly fast motion, he flips the spear into the air with his foot, catches it, and throws in the opposite direction from where he was looking.

(CONTINUED)

29.

23 CONTINUED: (2) 23

The bronze warhead blazes between the temple's walls and drives into the trunk of an old fir. Only now do we see Odysseus, leading a black horse, standing inches from the quivering shaft of the spear blocking his path. He stares at the spear for a moment before ducking his head under the shaft and walking forward.

ODYSSEUS

(smiling) Your reputation for hospitality is fast becoming legend.

ACHILLES

I don't like that smile, my friend. It's the smile you smile when you want me to fight in another war. (beat) Patroclus, my cousin -- Odysseus, king of Ithaca.

ODYSSEUS

Patroclus, son of Menoetius? The boy nods. Odysseus grips Patroclus's shoulder.

ODYSSEUS

I knew your parents well. I miss them. Patroclus nods again, looking at his feet.

ODYSSEUS

Now you have this one watching over you, eh? Learning from Achilles himself -- every boy in Greece must be jealous. (to Achilles) We need to talk.

ACHILLES

Tell me you're not here at Agamemnon's bidding. Odysseus hesitates. Achilles shakes his head.

ACHILLES

How many times have I done the savage work for the King of Kings? And when has he ever shown me the respect I've earned?

(CONTINUED)

30.

23 CONTINUED: (3) 23

ODYSSEUS

I'm not asking you to fight for him. I'm asking you to fight for the Greeks.

ACHILLES

Why? Are the Greeks tired of fighting each other?

ODYSSEUS

For now.

ACHILLES

The Trojans never did anything to me.

ODYSSEUS

They insulted Greece.

ACHILLES

They insulted one Greek, a man who couldn't hold on to his wife. What business is that of mine?

ODYSSEUS

Your business is war, my friend.

ACHILLES

(angry) Is it? Am I the whore of the battlefield? Can my sword be bought and sold? (beat; calmer) I don't want to be remembered as a tyrant's mercenary.

ODYSSEUS

Forget Agamemnon. Fight for me. My wife will feel much better if she knows you're by my side. I'll feel much better.

PATROCLUS

Is Ajax going to fight in Troy?

ODYSSEUS

Of course. You've heard of Ajax, eh?

PATROCLUS

They say he can fell an oak tree with one swing of the axe.

(CONTINUED)

31.

23 CONTINUED: (4) 23

ACHILLES

Trees don't swing back. Odysseus chuckles, but he's alert to the boy's enthusiasm.

ODYSSEUS

We're sending the largest fleet that ever sailed -- a thousand ships.

PATROCLUS

A thousand ships! Prince Hector, is he as good a warrior as they say?

ODYSSEUS

The best of all the Trojans. Some say he's better than all the Greeks, too. (beat) Even if your cousin doesn't come, Patroclus, I hope you'll join us. We could use a strong arm like yours. Patroclus beams with pride and looks at his cousin. Achilles wraps his arm around Odysseus's shoulders and leans closer to the Ithacan. The embrace is friendly, but there's no mistaking the power in Achilles' grip.

ACHILLES

Play your tricks on me, if you'd like. But leave my cousin out of it.

ODYSSEUS

You have your sword, I have my tricks. We play with the toys the gods give us. Odysseus goes back to his horse and mounts.

ODYSSEUS

We sail for Troy in three days. (beat) This war will never be forgotten. Nor will the heroes who fight in it. Patroclus, eager but frustrated, watches him ride away.

32.

24 EXT. BEACH - SUNSET 24

Achilles makes his away across the sandy hillocks. He spies a woman in the distance.

25 EXT. SEASHORE - SUNSET 25

Achilles finds his mother, THETIS (45), standing in the surf. Her long black hair is streaked with gray. She sees a shell that she likes and stoops down to pick it up.

ACHILLES

Mother. Thetis turns and smiles at Achilles.

THETIS

I thought I'd make you another seashell necklace.

ACHILLES

I haven't worn a seashell necklace since I was a boy. Thetis looks at Achilles' bare neck.

THETIS

Don't you like them anymore? Achilles spots a good shell. He hands it to his mother.

THETIS

Oh, that's a pretty one. She surveys the beach for more pretty shells.

ACHILLES

They want me for another war. Thetis bends down and scoops up a silvery shell.

ACHILLES

Are you listening?

THETIS

Yes, my sweet. Another war.

ACHILLES

Patroclus wants to go.

THETIS

Patroclus has never seen war.

(CONTINUED)

33.

25 CONTINUED: 25

Thetis examines the shells in the palm of her hand. Finally she stands and looks at her son.

THETIS

If you stay here, with me, with your family, you'll have a long, peaceful life. You'll marry, you'll have children, and your children will have children. They'll love you, and when you're gone they'll remember you. But when your children are dead, and their children after them, your name will be lost. Thetis reaches up to touch her son's cheek. Her eyes are clear, her voice steady. She speaks these lines with no hesitation, no doubt.

THETIS

If you go to Troy, no one will earn more glory than you. Men will tell stories of your victories for thousands of years. The world will remember your name. Achilles stares at her, his eyes burning. These are words he's wanted to hear since the day he was born. His mother waits a moment before speaking again. The words hurt her.

THETIS

But if you go to Troy, you'll never come home. You'll die there.

ACHILLES

And you know this, mother?

THETIS

I know it. Achilles looks out to the sea. Thetis, tears in her eyes, smiles bravely.

THETIS

Whenever your father came home from war, he'd stare at the sea, just like that. (beat) He never stayed for long. In the distance Achilles sees a white sail. He fixates on the lonely spot of white on the endless expanse of dark water.

34.

26 EXT. AEGEAN SEA - DAY 26

We soar above the greatest armada the world has ever seen. ONE THOUSAND SHIPS sail east, crowding the sea, churning the waves with their keels.

The white sails are painted with the signs and emblems of the various nationalities represented in this alliance. One ship sails slightly out of formation. Alone amongst the entire fleet, this ship's sail is black.

27 EXT. ACHILLES' WARSHIP - DAY 27

Achilles stands in the prow of his boat, staring east. Patroclus stands behind him, wearing a new SHELL NECKLACE.

28 EXT. TROY - DAY 28

Hector, Paris, Helen, and an entourage of SOLDIERS walk through the gates of Troy. The city is magnificent, a wonder of white-washed walls, lush gardens, and towering STATUES of the gods. ZEUS, APOLLO, APHRODITE, and POSEIDON stand eighty feet high in the four corners of the main square. The princes' return is a holiday for the Trojans. Thousands of ONLOOKERS line the road, cheering. Other well-wishers, standing on the roofs of houses, throw flower petals. Paris holds Helen's hand and occasionally whispers in her ear, pointing out various sights, but Helen looks nervous. People in the crowd, mystified by her appearance, point at her and whisper amongst themselves. Helen holds her head high and pretends to ignore the murmurs and stares. Hector looks at her. She carries herself like a queen -- but she's gripping Paris's hand with white knuckles.

29 EXT. PALACE OF TROY 29

At the bottom of a long staircase leading into the palace, four APOLLONIAN GUARDS, wearing horsehair-plumed helmets, are mounted on beautiful WHITE HORSES.

(CONTINUED)

35.

29 CONTINUED: 29

Hector reunites with his wife, ANDROMACHE (30), pale skinned and dark eyed. He holds her to his chest; she closes her eyes, and they stand like that for a long time.

A NURSE standing nearby holds Hector's ten-month-old son, SCAMANDRIUS. Now Andromache takes the baby from the nurse. Hector stares into the boy's wondering eyes and puts his finger in the boy's hand.

HECTOR

He has a good grip.

ANDROMACHE

He's just like his father. He even hates peas. While this reunion is going on, Paris embraces his father, PRIAM (70), king of Troy. Priam is a regal-looking man with a shock of white hair and sharp blue eyes. He adores Paris.

PARIS

Father, this -- is Helen. Helen bows her head, paying respect.

PRIAM

Helen? Helen of Sparta? Both Helen and Priam now look at Paris.

PARIS

Helen of Troy. If Priam is disturbed by this revelation, his face doesn't betray it. He leans forward and kisses the former queen on both cheeks. Helen didn't know what to expect -- she's flustered and gratified at the same time.

PRIAM

I've heard rumors of your beauty. For once, the gossips were right. Welcome.

HELEN

Thank you, good king.

PRIAM

Come, you must be tired. He leads them up the stairs and into the palace.

36.

29A INT. ENTRANCE HALL (PALACE OF TROY) 29A

BRISEIS, a seventeen-year-old girl with an aristocratic demeanor, wearing the white robes of a temple acolyte, approaches the royal family. Paris smiles when he sees her.

PARIS

Briseis! Beloved cousin, your beauty grows with each new moon. Briseis, cheeks flushing, dips her knees in deference. Hector approaches her now, arms open. Briseis's face lights up. She hugs the eldest prince. Hector kisses the top of her head.

HECTOR

Did you miss me, little swan? Briseis nods. Hector pinches the sleeve of her robe.

HECTOR

A servant of Apollo now?

PRIAM

The young men of Troy were devastated when she chose the virgin robes. Briseis' cheeks turn bright red.

BRISEIS

Uncle. Priam laughs and kisses the girl's forehead. He takes three goblets of wine from a SERVANT holding a silver platter and hands them to Hector and Paris, keeping one for himself.

PRIAM

I thank the gods for your safe return. The king and the princes spill a few drops of wine.

PRIAM, HECTOR AND PARIS

For the gods! They drain their goblets.

30 INT. PRIAM'S MEETING HALL - DAY 30

The camera glides down the long hall, past tall columns and marmoreal depictions of the Olympians.

(CONTINUED)

37.

30 CONTINUED: 30

At the far end of the hall, Priam stands by an open archway looking over the city. Hector sits at a table that could seat fifty men.

PRIAM

It's the will of the gods. Everything is in their hands. (beat) But I'm surprised you let him bring her.

HECTOR

If I'd let him fight Menelaus for her, you'd be burning a son's body instead of welcoming a daughter. Priam closes his eyes at these words.

PRIAM

We could send peace envoys to Menelaus.

HECTOR

You know Menelaus. He'd spear your envoys' heads to his gate.

PRIAM

What would you have me do?

HECTOR

Put her on a ship and send her home. Priam thinks for a moment, staring out at his city.

PRIAM

Women have always loved Paris and he's loved them back. (beat) But this is different. Something has changed in him. If we send her back to Menelaus, he'll follow. Hector stands and joins his father in the archway. He gestures outside. The city of Troy teems with life, the CITIZENS going about their business.

HECTOR

This is my country. These are my countrymen. I don't want to see them suffer so my brother can have his prize.

(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

38.

30 CONTINUED: (2) 30

HECTOR (CONT'D)

(beat) It's not just the Spartans coming after her. By now Menelaus has gone to Agamemnon, and Agamemnon's wanted to destroy us for years. Once we're out of the way he controls the seas.

PRIAM

Enemies have been attacking us for centuries. Our walls still stand.

HECTOR

Father. (beat) We can't win this war.

PRIAM

Apollo watches over us. Even Agamemnon is no match for the gods.

HECTOR

How many battalions does the Sun God command?

PRIAM

Don't mock the gods. Hector opens his mouth to argue but holds his tongue.

PRIAM

When you were very young you came down with scarlet fever. Hector nods impatiently. He's heard this story before.

PRIAM

Your little hands were so hot. The healer said you wouldn't last the night. I went down to Apollo's temple and I prayed until the sun came up. (beat) That walk back to the palace was the longest of my life. But I went into your mother's room and you were sleeping in her arms. The fever had broken. (beat) I promised that day to dedicate my life to the gods. I will not break my promise.

(CONTINUED)

39.

30 CONTINUED: (3) 30

Hector takes a deep breath. He knows Priam has decided.

PRIAM

For thirty years I've worked for peace. Thirty years. (beat) Paris is a fool sometimes. I know that. But I'll fight a thousand wars before letting him die. Hector looks past the city to the sea. The waters are empty now, but he knows what's coming.

HECTOR

Forgive me, father. But you won't be the one fighting. He bows and leaves the old king alone in the great hall.

32 INT. PARIS'S BEDCHAMBER - NIGHT 32

Paris paces about the room. Helen stands in the archway looking out to the dark sea. The wind blows through her hair.

HELEN

They're coming for me. (beat) The wind is bringing them closer. Paris stops pacing and stares at her.

PARIS

What if we left? Tonight, right now, what if we went down to the stables, took two horses and left. Ride east, keep riding --

HELEN

And go where?

PARIS

Away from here. I could hunt deer, rabbit. I could feed us.

HELEN

This is your home --

PARIS

You left your home for me.

(CONTINUED)

40.

32 CONTINUED: 32

HELEN

Sparta was never my home. My parents sent me there when I was sixteen to marry Menelaus, but it was never my home. Paris, excited with his new-hatched plan, barely listens.

PARIS

We'll live off the land. No more palaces for us, no more servants. We don't need any of that.

HELEN

And your family?

PARIS

We'd be protecting my family! If we're not here there's no need for a war.

HELEN

Menelaus won't give up. He'll track us to the end of the world.

PARIS

He doesn't know these lands. I do. We can lose ourselves in a day. Helen stands and kisses him on the lips.

HELEN

You don't know Menelaus. You don't know his brother. They'll burn every house in Troy to find us. They'll never believe we've left -- and even if they do, they'll burn Troy for spite. Paris considers her words and finally nods.

PARIS

Then I'll make it easy for him to find me. I'll walk right up to him and tell him you're mine. Helen wraps her arms around Paris and rests her chin on his shoulder.

HELEN

You're very young, my love.

(CONTINUED)

41.

32 CONTINUED: (2) 32

PARIS

We're the same age!

HELEN

You're younger than I ever was.

33 EXT. TROY - DAWN 33

The sun rises above Troy and the Trojan countryside.

33A IN THE MAIN SQUARE 33A

dozens of SUPPLICANTS kneel before the statue of Poseidon and lay down their offerings: bundles of flowers; small carvings; goatskins filled with wine.

33B SOLDIERS 33B

prepare a series of fortifications at the beach. Men carrying torches ignite giant pumice urns filled with burning pitch. Others hammer long spikes deep into the sand to hinder enemies rushing up from the beach. There is little conversation and the men look tense. Everything is touched with an air of extreme urgency.

33C A TEMPLE OF APOLLO 33C

overlooks the beach.

33D INSIDE THE TEMPLE 33D

two PRIESTS carve strips of fat from a roasted PIG and lay them on the god's altar, muttering chants as they perform the ritual. Briseis, the temple acolyte, stands beside the priests, pouring ceremonial wine on the stone floor.

33E MERCHANTS 33E

in the marketplace set up their stalls and display their goods: wine, olive oil, dates, figs, nuts and spices. The BRONZESMITH hammers a bronze sword into shape.

42.

33F A SHEPHERD 33F

watches over his herd of SHEEP.

33G A FARMER AND HIS SON 33G

lead a team of yoked OXEN to the fields.

33H FOUR FISHERMEN 33H

in a small boat, a mile from shore, spread their nets in the water.

34 EXT. GUARD TOWER - DAWN 34

Two SENTRIES stand in a guard tower on a corner of Troy's city walls, sipping hot broth from bowls. A large flag, emblazoned with Troy's HORSE EMBLEM, flies above the tower. Sentry #1 blows steam off his soup. He raises his eyes, blinks and squints into the distance. He bolts upright. Sentry #2 stands and follows his partner's gaze out to the sea. Both of them stand slack-jawed.

34A A THOUSAND GREEK WARSHIPS 34A

clog the horizon, sailing straight for Troy.

34B SENTRY #2 34B

grabs a gong tapper and begins hammering the brass gong hanging from the tower's lintel. Sentry #1 still stares at the swarm of ships. No Trojan has ever seen such a force.

34C SENTRIES 34C

in other guard towers hammer their warning gongs.

35 INT. HECTOR'S CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS 35

Hector sits on a rug by his bed, beside his wife Andromache, watching his son. The boy plays with the WOOD LION Hector carved on the journey back from Sparta.

(CONTINUED)

43.

35 CONTINUED: 35

The city bells begin to ring. Hector looks at his wife and walks to the balcony, where he can see over the city walls to the Aegean.

He sees a thousand enemy sails. For a moment he stares at the armada before hurrying back into the palace.

36 INT. PRIAM'S MEETING HALL - DAY 36

Priam kneels before a grand statue of Zeus in the great hall. The Thunder God, his stone face a mask of rage, thunderbolts clutched in his stone hands, stares down at the old king. Listening to the bells, Priam takes a deep breath and Looks up into Zeus's eyes. The father of the gods stares back.

37 EXT. TROY - DAY 37

Panic in the streets of Troy. Merchants quickly pack away their goods; mothers run into the streets looking for their children; young men hurry to the armory.

38 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY 38

A mad rush to get inside the safety of the city walls.

38A THE FARMER AND HIS SON 38A

hastily load provisions onto a wagon.

38B THE SHEPHERD 38B

hurries his herd toward the Trojan gates. He's joined by hundreds of COUNTRY DWELLERS racing for sanctuary.

38C THE FISHERMEN 38C

row desperately for shore.

39 EXT. AEGEAN SEA - DAY 39

The armada draws closer to shore. One ship sails far ahead of the rest. Its sail is black.

44.

40 EXT. ACHILLES' WARSHIP 40

Achilles' OARSMEN holler encouragement to their shipmates and check to see that their boat is safely in the lead. Achilles stands in the prow, scanning the Trojan shore. Patroclus stands beside him. EUDORUS (40), a Myrmidon lieutenant, approaches Achilles.

EUDORUS

Should we wait for the others? Achilles marks the progress of the other ships. The nearest is a quarter-mile back. Those MYRMIDONS (Achilles' countrymen and comrades) not rowing are suiting up for battle.

ACHILLES

They brought us here for a war, didn't they?

EUDORUS

Yes, my lord. But Agamemnon -- Achilles stares at his officer until the man bows his head.

ACHILLES

Do you fight for me, Eudorus? Or Agamemnon?

EUDORUS

For you, my lord.

ACHILLES

Then fight for me. And let the servants of Agamemnon fight for him.

41 EXT. AGAMEMNON'S WARSHIP 41

Agamemnon, Nestor and Menelaus stand in the ship's prow.

MENELAUS

Whose ship is that? Nestor shields his eyes from the sun and looks. Nestor Black sail. Achilles. They watch Achilles' ship approach the beach.

(CONTINUED)

45.

41 CONTINUED: 41

AGAMEMNON

What is that fool doing? He's going to take the beach of Troy with fifty men?

42 EXT. TROJAN BEACH FORTIFICATIONS - DAY 42

The TROJAN ARCHERS check their catgut strings one last time.

43 EXT. TROJAN ARMORY - DAY 43

Tecton dismounts at the door of the armory and runs inside.

44 INT. TROJAN ARMORY - DAY 44

The cavernous building is crowded with armaments: racks and racks of spears, swords, breastplates, and shields. Hector watches as hundreds of male CITIZENS rush into the armory and are issued weapons by TROJAN SOLDIERS. The faces of the men reflect fear, excitement, and resolve. Tecton approaches the prince and bows.

HECTOR

The Apollonian Guard?

TECTON

Waiting at the city gates.

HECTOR

Good. Hector grabs the captain, LYSANDER, overseeing arms distribution.

HECTOR

How long before the army is ready?

LSYANDER

Half our men are still coming in from the countryside. We have to arm them, we have to match them with the right officers --

HECTOR

How long?

(CONTINUED)

46.

44 CONTINUED: 44

LSYANDER

(taking a deep breath) Noon?

HECTOR

Make it sooner. We've never seen the prince in martial mode before. He looks different: eyes harder, mouth set and unsmiling.

HECTOR

I want patrols to scour the countryside. Check every home, every pasture. I want every Trojan brought inside the walls. If they can't walk, carry them. Lysander bows his head. Hector walks swiftly away, followed by Tecton. Lysander and the other Trojans watch their prince with silent respect. There is no doubt who leads the city.

45 EXT. ACHILLES' WARSHIP 45

Though the oarsmen continue to pull, everyone is now armored. Achilles sees Patroclus, armed and ready to fight.

ACHILLES

Where are you going?

PATROCLUS

To fight the Trojans. Achilles shakes his head and takes Patroclus' spear.

ACHILLES

You're not ready.

PATROCLUS

I am ready. You taught me how to fight. Achilles rests his hand on the back of the boy's head.

ACHILLES

And you're a good student. But you're not a Myrmidon yet. He gestures to the Myrmidons around them.

(CONTINUED)

47.

45 CONTINUED: 45

ACHILLES

These are the fiercest soldiers in Greece. Each of them has bled for me before. (beat) I can't fight the Trojans if I'm worrying about you, cousin. Guard the ship. Patroclus looks about the deck. The only unarmored man aboard is an old, ONE-LEGGED COOK, mending spears. Patroclus angrily strips off his breastplate and drops it to the deck.

46 EXT. GATES OF TROY - DAY 46

Hector and Tecton gallop through the gate. They rein in their horses and look over the elite Apollonian Guard, eighty of Troy's finest soldiers, riding well-groomed, snorting mounts. When Hector speaks his voice is clear and steady.

HECTOR

All my life I've lived by a code, and the code is simple. (beat) Honor the gods. (beat) Love your woman. (beat) And defend your country. The men roar.

HECTOR

Troy is mother to us all. Fight for her! The men roar and thrust their spears into the air. Hector leads the charge to the beach.

47 EXT. ACHILLES' WARSHIP - DAY 47

Achilles stands in his ship's bow, scanning the Trojan dunes. He turns to face his men. He smiles.

ACHILLES

Myrmidons, we are brothers of the sword. I'd rather fight alongside you than any army of thousands.

(CONTINUED)

48.

47 CONTINUED: 47

The Myrmidons cheer. Achilles points his sword toward Troy.

ACHILLES

Do you know what's waiting beyond that beach? (beat) Immortality. The Myrmidons raise their swords and cry out with one voice. The oarsmen give one last mighty pull on their oars and beach the tar-caulked keel of the warship on Trojan sand. Achilles puts on his helmet, grabs a coiled rope anchored to a bronze cleat, and rappels down to the beach. The Myrmidons follow him, tossing the ropes off the deck and shimmying down to the beach.

48 EXT. TROJAN BEACH FORTIFICATIONS - CONTINUOUS 48

The archers behind the fortifications watch the Myrmidons climb down from their ship. Their CAPTAIN raises his hand: wait... wait... CAPTAIN of archers Now! The archers rise and release their arrows.

49 EXT. TROJAN BEACH - CONTINUOUS 49

Hundreds of arrows whistle through the air. Four of the Myrmidons climbing down cry out as arrows hit them; they tumble into the sea. Other arrows rip into the packed sand or zip harmlessly into the water. The Myrmidons, clustered together and holding their shields above their heads, look to Achilles. Achilles makes a hand signal. Half his men split off and run to the fortifications on their left, howling like wolves as arrows rain down.

50 EXT. ACHILLES' WARSHIP - CONTINUOUS 50

Patroclus huddles under the railing beside the cook as arrow after arrow screams by. A flaming arrow hits one of the sails, and then another. The sails begin to burn.

(CONTINUED)

49.

50 CONTINUED: 50

ONE-LEGGED COOK

Help me get the sails down! The cook limps over to the sails, ignoring the arrows that rain around him. Patroclus takes a deep breath and runs in a crouch to the cook. Together they lower the burning sails.

51 EXT. TROJAN BEACH - DAY 51

Achilles sprints toward the archers, half his men behind him. The archers let off another volley. More Myrmidons fall.

52 EXT. AGAMEMNON'S SHIP - DAY 52

Agamemnon, Menelaus, and Nestor watch the battle from the prow of their ship. They're still half a mile away.

AGAMEMNON

(in awe despite himself) The man wants to die. We hear SHOUTS of "Achilles!" from the other ships, a great clamor as men bash the flats of their swords against their shields and cheer their hero on. Agamemnon hears the cheering. He grits his teeth and glares at the distant Achilles. Nestor notices Agamemnon's barely concealed fury. He speaks quietly, so no one else can hear.

NESTOR

Give him his battle. You'll take the war.

AGAMEMNON

Give him too many battles and the men will forget who's king.

53 EXT. TROJAN PLAIN - DAY 53

Hector and his men near the high dunes, galloping at breakneck speed.

54 EXT. TROJAN BEACH - CONTINUOUS 54

Achilles, three arrows in his shield, sprints across the sands. Arrows tear through the air about him. No man alive can run with Achilles.

(CONTINUED)

50.

54 CONTINUED: 54

He leaps over the fortification, sword flashing before his feet ever touch the ground. The archers crumple to the ground as Achilles' sword cuts through them.

In a moment the Myrmidons catch up to Achilles and lay into the archers. Within seconds they massacre them. Achilles turns and nods to the temple: the next target. Eudorus gasps for air. Achilles regards him with amusement.

ACHILLES

Breathe, my friend. Eudorus takes two deep breaths. Achilles dashes for the temple. His Myrmidons follow behind.

54A EXT. TEMPLE OF GOLD 54A

The archers at the temple unleash a fusillade of arrows. Every few yards another Myrmidon falls. Several of them are wounded, but if they're not dead they keep moving forward.

55 EXT. AJAX'S SHIP - CONTINUOUS 55

Ajax's ship is one hundred yards from shore. Legendary AJAX (30) -- a huge man, brutally muscled, head shaved, face and body scarred -- stands in the prow, watching Achilles.

AJAX

Look at him, hogging all the glory. He walks over to his rowers, grabs an oarsmen on the front bench under the armpits and tosses him away. Ajax sits, grabs the oar handle, and begins rowing maniacally, the veins in his massive arms bulging through the skin.

AJAX

Row, you lazy whores, row! Greeks are dying! The oarsmen redouble their efforts and the ship leaps over the waves toward the shore.

56 EXT. TROJAN BEACH DUNES - DAY 56

Hector and the Apollonian Guards rein in their horses atop the dunes. Hector sees Ajax's ship plowing into the beach. Hundreds of other ships are close behind.

51.

56A EXT. BEACH DEFENCES 56A

The Trojan archers rain arrows down on Ajax's ship. Several flaming arrows catch in the hull and begin to burn.

56B EXT. TROJAN BEACH DUNES - DAY 56B

TECTON

We can't hold the beach, my prince. Hector sees where Achilles and the Myrmidons are heading.

HECTOR

They're trying to take the temple.

TECTON

No believer would spill blood in Apollo's temple. Hector, increasingly uneasy, watches Achilles dodge arrows. He turns and points to the spot where Ajax's ship has landed.

HECTOR

(to an Apollonian officer) The archers need help. Burn as many ships as you can, but don't sacrifice yourself. Bring the men back to the city. The OFFICER bows and leads 60 Guards to the fortifications.

HECTOR

(to Tecton) Follow me. He gallops toward the temple, Tecton and his men behind him.

57 EXT. TEMPLE OF APOLLO - DAY 57

Achilles, his shield now quilled with arrows, hurls his spear. It catches the closest archer just above the breastplate, tearing through the man's throat. The archers near by throw down their bows and take up the spears racked behind them.

(CONTINUED)

52.

57 CONTINUED: 57

But Achilles is already upon them, cutting them down with ruthless precision. Every time his bronze sword flashes through the air another Trojan falls, and Achilles keeps sweeping through them, his face painted with Trojan blood.

The other Myrmidons are fighting beside their leader now, and the Trojan archers are no match for the Myrmidons in hand to hand combat. Soon the temple area belongs to the Greeks.

58 EXT. AJAX'S SHIP - CONTINUOUS 58

Ajax and his men rappel down the ship's hull while arrows rip into wood and flesh. Ajax carries a giant battle-axe and a shield twice the size of most men's. When he reaches the surf he doesn't wait for his men; he roars and charges at the archers in the dunes.

59 EXT. TEMPLE OF APOLLO - CONTINUOUS 59

Achilles, not even breathing hard after the slaughter, removes his helmet and rests it on the wall. The surviving Myrmidons search the grounds, dispatching any dying Trojans. Eudorus hurries over to Achilles' side.

EUDORUS

The temple is secure.

ACHILLES

The Sun God is the patron of Troy, our enemy. Take whatever treasure you can find. The Myrmidons cheer and rush the temple.

EUDORUS

With your permission, my lord --

ACHILLES

Speak. Eudorus gestures to the sun above them.

EUDORUS

Apollo sees everything. Perhaps it's not wise to offend him.

(CONTINUED)

53.

59 CONTINUED: 59

Achilles nods and walks over to the towering statue of Apollo in front of the temple. Eudorus watches in horror as Achilles climbs atop the statue and beheads Apollo with a swing of his sword.

60 EXT. TROJAN BEACH - CONTINUOUS 60

Hector and Tecton rein in their horses.

TECTON

He dares attack Apollo? Hector spurs his horse and races toward the invaders, followed by his twenty men. The other sixty Apollonians gallop to Ajax's landing spot.

61 EXT. TEMPLE OF APOLLO - CONTINUOUS 61

Achilles gazes at the sky as if waiting for the sun to blast him for blasphemy. Nothing happens. Hearing hoofbeats, Achilles turns and spots Hector and his men, two hundred yards away.

ACHILLES

(to Eudorus) Get inside the temple, warn the men. Eudorus hurries to warn his comrades.

ACHILLES

Eudorus! Wait, wait a moment. The Myrmidon captain stops. Achilles hefts a spear, judges the distance, and throws. One hundred yards from Achilles, the spearhead finds its mark: Tecton's breastplate. Tecton is knocked from his horse and skewered to the ground. He clutches at the wooden shaft, not comprehending his fate. Hector reins in his horse and stares at his fallen captain. The man is finished. Hector turns to look at Achilles. Eudorus's eyes are wide. No other man alive could have thrown a spear that far or that accurately.

(CONTINUED)

54.

61 CONTINUED: 61

ACHILLES

Now you can go. Eudorus runs inside the temple.

Hector kicks his horse and gallops toward Achilles. His men cry out and follow him. Achilles waits. Hector raises his own spear. When he is fifty yards away, he throws. At the very last moment, Achilles bends his head to one side, an almost lackadaisical movement. The spear rips through the air occupied by Achilles' head half a moment before. Achilles smiles. Hector draws his sword and charges, his men right behind him. Achilles walks, with insulting insouciance, into the temple. A series of high steps lead inside the temple. Hector and the Trojans dismount and proceed cautiously to the temple.

62 EXT. TROJAN BEACH - DAY 62

An arrow sticks out of Ajax's leg but he doesn't seem to notice it. He bulls forward, giant shield held in front, and slams into the Trojan ranks. Where Achilles is all grace and speed, Ajax is brute force. Parrying his blows is useless: his battle axe splits bronze shields, bronze swords, bronze helmets. The sound of his axe carving through a breastplate and the man beneath the breastplate is like nothing else on earth. As Ajax drops another Trojan, he lifts his ax to the heavens.

AJAX

I am Ajax, breaker of stones, widow-maker of Salamis! Look upon me, Trojans, and despair! The Apollonians join the fight against the Greeks. The Guards are far better than the archers at hand-to-hand combat.

55.

63 INT. TEMPLE OF APOLLO - DAY 63

Hector and his men enter the temple. Eyes adjusting to the gloomy light, they gingerly advance. All is quiet. Evidence of looting is everywhere.

At the back of the temple, stairs lead up to the altar room. Hector walks toward the stairs. Blood trickles down the steps. Hector raises his eyes. Achilles stands atop the staircase, both hands wrapped around the hilt of his sword, the sword point resting on the top step. He stares down at Hector. WAR CRIES explode through the temple. The Myrmidons burst from their hiding places and rush the Trojans. Hector is an obvious target. Two Myrmidons charge him, their spears leveled. If Achilles is the apotheosis of martial grace, Hector is something altogether different -- a man of ordinary gifts who has become an extraordinary warrior by dint of experience, endless training, and powerful intelligence. As the Myrmidons charge he waits. At the last moment he swings his sword, slicing both spearheads from their shafts. The Myrmidons stare at their decapitated spears. Hector doesn't give them a chance to recover. He pounces, sword flashing, and both men fall to the temple floor. Achilles watches from the top step. Hector begins running up the stairs. Achilles disappears inside the altar room. Another Myrmidon bounds up the stairs after Hector. The prince wheels about and kicks the Myrmidon in the breastplate. The soldier tumbles down the steps. Hector continues up the stairs.

64 EXT. TROJAN BEACH - DAY 64

As more Greek ships make landfall, the Apollonian officer sees that their position is no longer defensible.

APOLLONIAN OFFICER

Back to the city! Back to the city! The Trojans begin to retreat. The archers still turn to fire whenever there's time. Mounted Guards haul fleeing archers onto their horses.

56.

65 INT. ALTAR ROOM - DAY 65

Hector finds the bodies of two PRIESTS. They lie on the stone floor, limbs splayed, throats slit. Sitting atop the altar, half-hidden by the shadows, is Achilles. He's a terrible sight to behold, splattered with blood, his bronze sword still dripping.

ACHILLES

You must be very brave or very stupid, to come after me alone. (beat) You must be Hector. Hector stares at Achilles a moment before kneeling by the dead priests' bodies.

ACHILLES

A private audience with the prince of Troy. I'm flattered. Do you know who I am?

HECTOR

These priests weren't armed. Hector closes the eyes of the murdered priests. Achilles jumps down from the altar and looks at the bodies.

ACHILLES

I didn't kill them. Cutting old men's throats -- there's no honor in that.

HECTOR

Honor? (spits) Children and fools fight for honor. I fight for my country. Hector charges. Achilles dances back, staying just out of reach. Achilles looks relaxed, almost playful.

HECTOR

Fight me.

ACHILLES

Why kill you, prince of Troy, with no one here to see you fall? Achilles backs out of an archway opening onto the bright day outside. Hector follows.

57.

66 EXT. TEMPLE OF APOLLO - CONTINUOUS 66

Down at the beach, scores of Greek ships are on the sand.

HECTOR

Why did you come here?

Achilles gestures at the invading flotilla.

ACHILLES

They'll be talking about this war for a thousand years.

HECTOR

In a thousand years even the dust from our bones will be gone.

ACHILLES

Yes, prince. But our names will remain. A band of bloodied Myrmidons, led by Eudorus, emerges from the temple. Hector, surrounded by enemies, warily backs off.

EUDORUS

(to Achilles) The Trojans are dead.

ACHILLES

Go home, prince. Drink some wine. Make love to your wife. Tomorrow we'll have our war.

HECTOR

You speak of war as if it's a game. But how many wives wait at Troy's gate for husbands they'll never see again?

ACHILLES

Perhaps your brother can comfort them. I hear he's good at charming other men's wives. Hector stares at Achilles and the Myrmidons for another moment before walking away.

EUDORUS

Why did you let him go?

ACHILLES

It's too early in the day for killing princes.

58.

67 EXT. TROJAN BEACH - DAY 67

Thousands of Greek soldiers on the beach watch as the Trojans retreat, many of the archers riding behind their Apollonian saviors.

Hector mounts his horse and rides back toward the city. When the Greeks see Achilles climbing onto the temple's roof they stare in awe, silent. Achilles raises his bloodied bronze sword toward the sun. The CLAMOR that erupts from the beach is deafening. Thousands of men cheering and yelling his name: Achilles! Achilles!

68 EXT. AGAMEMNON'S SHIP - DAY 68

Agamemnon, still aboard his ship, waits for the gangplank to be lowered. His dark eyes are cold and hateful as he listens to the men cheering.

69 EXT. BEACH ENCAMPMENT - LATER 69

Soldiers tug more and more ships onto the sand. From the landed ships, primitive cranes are already beginning to lower boxes of provisions, military materiel, and horses. Achilles walks across the beach, carrying his helmet, accepting the congratulations of the troops. Ajax, shirtless, strides over.

AJAX

Achilles! Achilles halts. For a moment there seems to be tension in the air. Everyone watches. Ajax gives Achilles a bear hug.

AJAX

You're as fearless as a god.

ACHILLES

The gods are immortal. What do they have to fear? Ajax laughs and releases Achilles.

AJAX

I'm honored to go to war with you. Achilles nods and grips the big man's thick arm.

(CONTINUED)

59.

69 CONTINUED: 69

ACHILLES

I don't have to worry about my back with you behind me.

Achilles continues walking. He sees Odysseus walking down a gangplank from his ship to the beach.

ACHILLES

(calling out) If you sailed any slower, the war would be over.

ODYSSEUS

I don't mind missing the beginning of the war -- as long as I'm here at the end. Achilles smiles and keeps walking. He arrives at the Myrmidon's newly established base. Patroclus, Eudorus, and the other surviving Myrmidons greet Achilles.

EUDORUS

We have something to show you. Achilles follows Eudorus and the grinning Myrmidons to a large tent twenty yards inland from their beached ship. A few Myrmidons hammer the last tent pegs deep into the sand. Eudorus holds open the tent flap. Achilles looks at his captain for a moment before entering the tent.

70 INT. ACHILLES' TENT - CONTINUOUS 70

No rugs have been laid down yet, so loot from the temple has been stacked on the sand: gold chalices, black amphorae, woven tapestries, goatskins filled with sacred wine. But Achilles does not look at this plunder. Bound by the wrists to the center pole of the tent is Briseis, dressed in her white robes. Terrified but trying to retain her composure, she returns Achilles' stare. Robes torn, hair disheveled, bleeding from the lip: she still possesses her innate dignity and strength. Something changes in Achilles' eyes when he looks at her.

(CONTINUED)

60.

70 CONTINUED: 70

EUDORUS

The men found her hiding in the temple. They thought she'd... please you.

ACHILLES

Leave us. Eudorus bows and exits. Achilles pulls a small, sharp knife from his belt. Briseis stares at the blade. Achilles walks over to her and cuts the ropes that bind her. She sits back, rubbing the chafed skin of her wrists, still watching Achilles. He sheathes his knife.

ACHILLES

What's your name? Briseis stares at him but doesn't answer. Achilles becomes aware, for the first time, that he's covered in blood. He wipes a hand across his face. Briseis looks about the tent, as if searching for a way out.

ACHILLES

You're safer in this tent than out there. Believe me.

BRISEIS

You killed Apollo's priests.

ACHILLES

I've killed men in five countries. But never a priest.

BRISEIS

Then your men did. (beat) The Sun God will have his vengeance. Achilles removes his bronze grieves.

ACHILLES

What's he waiting for? Briseis is stunned by such blunt blasphemy but she can't take her eyes off him, because Achilles, after all, is Achilles.

BRISEIS

The right time to strike.

(CONTINUED)

61.

70 CONTINUED: (2) 70

Achilles removes his breastplate.

ACHILLES

His priests are dead and his acolyte's a captive. (beat) I think your god is afraid of me. Briseis laughs bitterly.

BRISEIS

Afraid? Apollo is master of the sun. He fears nothing. Achilles nods and looks around the dark tent.

ACHILLES

Then where is he? Briseis has no answer. Achilles smiles and she looks away. A bucket of hot water sits beside a washcloth. Achilles wets the cloth and begins to scrub the blood from his body.

BRISEIS

You're nothing but a killer. You don't know anything about the gods.

ACHILLES

You haven't seen twenty summers and you think you know my heart? I know more about the gods than priests could ever teach you. (beat) You're royalty, aren't you? Briseis says nothing. Achilles smiles again.

ACHILLES

You've spent years talking down to men, you must be royalty. What's your name? (beat) Even the servants of Apollo have names.

BRISEIS

Briseis.

(CONTINUED)

62.

70 CONTINUED: (3) 70

ACHILLES

Are you afraid, Briseis? Briseis is quiet for a moment. She watches Achilles with a mixture of fear and curiosity.

BRISEIS

Should I be?

EUDORUS (O.S.)

(calling from outside the tent) My lord --

ACHILLES

What is it? Eudorus sticks his head inside the tent.

EUDORUS

King Agamemnon requests your presence.

ACHILLES

Why would I want to look at him when I can look at her?

EUDORUS

All the kings are there, celebrating the victory. Achilles stands.

ACHILLES

Give me a moment. Eudorus withdraws. A long beat while Achilles studies her.

ACHILLES

You don't need to fear me, girl. You're the only Trojan who can say that.

71 EXT. AGAMEMNON'S TENT - LATER 71

Two muscular GUARDS stand by the opening to Agamemnon's tent. Achilles, wearing clean clothes, doesn't bother waiting for the guards' permission to enter; he brushes past them and through the tent flap.

63.

72 INT. AGAMEMNON'S TENT - CONTINUOUS 72

The largest tent on the beach, Agamemnon's command quarters are a lush affair, decorated with the spoils of a dozen wars. Several AIDES-DE-CAMP bustle in and out on various errands. The Greek kings are here: Odysseus, Ajax, Menelaus, etc. Agamemnon sits on a heavy wood throne, garishly inlaid with gold, mother-of-pearl, and precious stones. Triopas, king of Thessaly, kneels before Agamemnon.

TRIOPAS

You've won a great victory, King of Kings. No one thought the Trojan beach could be captured so easily. He hands Agamemnon a ceremonial dagger with a gold hilt.

AGAMEMNON

A beautiful gift, Triopas. You will be among the first to walk the streets of Troy tomorrow. Triopas stands and bows. Achilles has watched this exchange with disbelief. He glances at Odysseus, who shrugs. Now Nestor, king of the Pylians, kneels before Agamemnon and hands him an urn decorated with painted warriors.

NESTOR

My father Neleus had this urn made to commemorate his victory at Cyparisseis. I present it to you in honor of an even more memorable victory.

AGAMEMNON

Thank you, old friend. Tomorrow we'll eat supper in the gardens of Troy. Nestor stands and bows. Agamemnon places the dagger and urn beside a pile of other luxurious gifts. As the kings file out of the tent, Odysseus clasps Achilles' shoulder and speaks to him out of the others' earshot.

ODYSSEUS

War is young men dying and old men talking. You know this. Ignore the politics.

(CONTINUED)

64.

72 CONTINUED: 72

Odysseus exits the tent. Agamemnon deigns to notice Achilles waiting for him.

AGAMEMNON

(to his aides) Leave us. The aides exit, leaving Achilles and Agamemnon alone. Achilles eyes the pile of gifts.

ACHILLES

Apparently you've won some great victory.

AGAMEMNON

Ah, perhaps you didn't notice. The Trojan beach belonged to Priam in the morning. It belongs to Agamemnon in the afternoon.

ACHILLES

You can have the beach. I didn't come here for sand.

AGAMEMNON

No, you came because you want your name to last through the ages. (beat) A great victory was won today -- but the victory is not yours. Kings did not kneel to Achilles. Kings did not bring homage to Achilles.

ACHILLES

The battle was won by soldiers. The soldiers know who fought.

AGAMEMNON

History remembers the kings, not the soldiers. (beat) Tomorrow we'll batter down the gates of Troy. I'll build monuments to victory on every island of Greece, and carve Agamemnon in the stone. My name will last forever. Your name is written in the sand, for the waves to wash away.

ACHILLES

First you need the victory.

(CONTINUED)

65.

72 CONTINUED: (2) 72

Achilles turns to leave.

AGAMEMNON

One more thing, son of Peleus.

Achilles stops.

ACHILLES

I don't want to hear my father's name from your mouth.

AGAMEMNON

The first pick of the battle's spoils always goes to the commander. Your men sacked the temple of Apollo, yes?

ACHILLES

You want gold? Take it, it's my gift, to honor your courage. Take what you want.

AGAMEMNON

I already have. Aphareus! Haemon! Two battle-scarred soldiers, APHAREUS and HAEMON, drag Briseis into the tent. Her face is bruised -- clearly she's been slapped around.

AGAMEMNON

The spoils of war. Tonight I'll have her give me a bath. And then -- who knows? Achilles draws his sword.

ACHILLES

(to the soldiers) I have no quarrel with you, brothers. But you'll never see home again if you don't let her go. The soldiers hesitate, then draw their own swords. Achilles advances on them.

AGAMEMNON

Guards! The two sentries rush into the tent, swords drawn. Achilles is surrounded. He raises his sword.

(CONTINUED)

66.

72 CONTINUED: (3) 72

BRISEIS

Stop! Everyone stops and looks at the girl. Despite her torn robes, her noble bearing and authoritative tone command respect.

BRISEIS

Too many people have died today. She looks at the various men in the room and finally addresses Achilles.

BRISEIS

If killing is your only talent, that's your curse. But I don't want anyone dying for me. Everyone is quiet until Agamemnon laughs.

AGAMEMNON

Mighty Achilles, silenced by a slave girl.

ACHILLES

She's not a slave.

AGAMEMNON

She is now. Achilles' eyes are flat and merciless.

ACHILLES

Before my time is done, King of Kings, I will look down on your corpse and smile. Achilles turns and leaves the tent.

73 EXT. BEACH ENCAMPMENT - DAY 73

Most of the ships have been hauled onto the beach. Hundreds of soldiers finish digging a long trench in the sand. Pikes are anchored and other fortifications constructed to protect the tents and ships from attack.

74 EXT. CITY OF TROY - DUSK 74

In the dying light, the Trojans prepare their city for siege. Gray-bearded OFFICERS oversee the reinforcement of the main gates. SOLDIERS haul thousands of arrows atop the city walls.

67.

74A EXT. TEMPLE OF ZEUS 74A

A massive CONGREGATION at the Temple of Zeus kneels before the Thunder God's statue while PRIESTS burn the BODIES of fallen Trojan soldiers on tall PYRES. The WIDOWS keen.

75 EXT. BEACH ENCAMPMENT - NIGHT 75

The beach is lit by thousands of torches. The Greeks have transformed the serene beach into a well-fortified camp.

76 INT. PRIAM'S MEETING HALL - NIGHT 76

Priam stands by the room's open archway. Beyond the city he sees his beach occupied by the tremendous Greek force. Hector, Paris, and several of Troy's leading GENERALS, ARISTOCRATS and PRIESTS sit around the long table. One of the generals, GLAUCUS (60), pounds the table with his fist.

GLAUCUS

If they want a war, we'll give them a war. I'd match the best of Troy against the best of Greece any day. VELIOR (40), a big-bellied nobleman, shakes his head.

VELIOR

The best of Greece outnumber the best of Troy, two to one.

GLAUCUS

So what do you suggest, we surrender the city, let the Greeks slaughter our men and rape our wives? Velior looks at Paris until the prince returns his gaze.

VELIOR

I suggest diplomacy. The Greeks came here for one thing. Let's be honest, my friends. Trojans are burning on the pyre right now because of one youthful indiscretion. Paris looks away from Velior.

(CONTINUED)

68.

76 CONTINUED: 76

PRIAM

Glaucus, you've fought with me for forty years. Can we win this war?

GLAUCUS

Our walls have never been breached. Our archers are the best in the world. And we have Hector. His men would fight the shades of Tartarus if he commanded. We can win. ARCHEPTOLEMUS (65), High Priest of Troy, wearing a long white robe embroidered with gold thread, now raises his voice.

ARCHEPTOLEMUS

I spoke with two farmers today. They saw an eagle flying with a serpent clutched in its talons. (beat) This is a sign from Apollo. We will win a great victory tomorrow. Troy is the eagle. The Greeks --

HECTOR

Bird signs! You want to plan our strategy based on bird signs?

PRIAM

Hector. Show respect. When Archeptolemus prophesied four years of drought, we dug deeper wells. The drought came and we had water to drink. The high priest is a servant of the gods.

HECTOR

And I'm a servant of Troy. (beat) I've always honored the gods, father. You know that. But today I fought with a Greek who desecrated the statue of Apollo. Apollo didn't strike the man down. (beat) The gods won't fight this war for us.

(CONTINUED)

69.

76 CONTINUED: (2) 76

PARIS

There won't be a war. (he stands) This is not a conflict of nations. It's a dispute between two men. And I don't want to see another Trojan die because of me.

PRIAM

Paris --

PARIS

Tomorrow morning I will challenge Menelaus for the right to Helen. The winner will take her home. The loser will burn before nightfall. Paris leaves the room. The others sit in stunned silence.

GLAUCUS

Does he have a chance? Everyone looks at Hector, who meditates before answering.

HECTOR

I want our army outside the gate in the morning. Agamemnon won't let this war end with a duel.

77 EXT. PALACE GARDEN - NIGHT 77

Priam's gardens are wondrous: palm trees grow in the courtyard; flowered vines climb the walls; Aeolian harps chime in the breeze. Priam and Paris sitting on a bench, facing a statue of Aphrodite. The king holds a cloth-wrapped bundle in his lap.

PARIS

Father, I... I'm sorry for the pain I've caused you. I --

PRIAM

Do you love her? Paris looks up at the statue of Aphrodite.

(CONTINUED)

>>>

/ Troy.
Copyright 2005-2017. ! ! homeenglish@mail.ru