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EXT. AN ISLAND - DAY
with Odysseus' SHIP nearing it...
ODYSSEUS' VOICE OVER
Poseidon, lord of the wine dark sea wasted no time in his campaign to destroy me.
ON DECK
Odysseus, next to POLITES, (very thin; he's 40, a born pessimist) stares at the island. Next to him is EURYLOCHOS, 40, a sober second in command.
POLITES
I see nothing.
ODYSSEUS
(shades his eyes)
So much the better. We seek no trouble; only food and fresh water.
SEVERAL SHOTS
Odysseus' ship approaches the island.
CU THE SAILORS' FACES
as they search for tell-tale signs. What is this place?
EXT. BAY - DAY
Odysseus' ship drops its ANCHOR with an ECHOING SPLASH...
ON DECK
ODYSSEUS
Elpenor, pick ten men and we'll go ashore. The rest stay aboard and make ready to sail on the instant, should we meet trouble.
He fetches forth a LEATHERN WINESKIN -
ODYSSEUS (cont'd)
Let us take some sweet wine - we may have to trade with the natives...
The men take their full WINESKINS...
EURYLOCHOS
How long will you be gone?
ODYSSEUS
(considers)
If we have not returned in three days, you must sail without us.
Reactions to this.
ON THE ISLAND
Odysseus, Elpenor and the men, 12 in all, march off the beach, with
weapons and skins for water, baskets, etc. Polites shakes his head unhappily - a bad idea...
SEVERAL ANGLES
as they penetrate the interior of the island. It is mountainous, craggy above the tree line. They look about.
ONE MAN stops, looks at the ground, eyes wide.
HIS POV
a SHEEP HOOF PRINT - only HUGE. His hand fits in it!
THE OTHERS LOOK
there are MANY HUGE SHEEP TRACKS.
lst MAN
Sheep.
2nd MAN
(looks around)
Where there's game there's water.
ELPENOR
(smiles; to Odysseus)
Mutton tonight.
ODYSSEUS
(frowns)
Whoever saw sheep this big?
They move on. Odysseus stops, looks -
ABOVE THEM ON THE MOUNTAIN
the MOUTH OF A CAVE - also large...
Frowning, Odysseus waves his men forward towards it.
INT. CAVE - DAY
Cautiously, Odysseus and his men enter. The place is deserted but inhabited - there is a LARGE BED of SKINS, IMPLEMENTS and ENORMOUS SHEEP PENS. A HUGE CAMPFIRE SMOLDERS...
Neatly arranged are CHEESES and other supplies, stacked...
ELPENOR
Look - here's plenty for all. Let's seize what we can and flee.
Wondering, Odysseus attempts to lift an ENORMOUS STAFF.
ELPENOR (cont'd)
(nervous)
Lord Odysseus..!
Suddenly a DISTANT RUMBLING is HEARD...
The men look at each other, bewildered. The GROUND BEGINS TO SHAKE as the RUMBLING becomes ENORMOUS.
Odysseus tries to lead his men out of the cave, but they are scattered by the arrival of a HERD OF GIANT FLEECY SHEEP. Their BLEATINGS and BAAS ECHO, like elephants bellowing...
Before the men can recover and renew their attempts to escape, a ONE-EYED GIANT, twelve feet in height or more, enters the cave and ROLLS a HUGE BOULDER across the cave mouth with a THUNDERING NOISE, blocking the EXIT.
They are trapped.
Odysseus motions to his men and they do the best they can to conceal themselves as the giant closes his SHEEP in their pens, and throws huge LOGS to restoke his dying FIRE.
In the fire's GLARE he espies his visitors.
The ONE EYE in the middle of his forehead blinks, surprised.
GIANT
Who are you?
They don't answer, terrified by his BOOMING VOICE.
GIANT (cont'd)
You are pirates, come to rob me...
Odysseus steps forward, his empty hands outstretched.
ODYSSEUS
We are no pirates but soldiers returning to our homes from the siege of Troy. A storm has blown us from our course and thrown us upon your mercy. In the name of Zeus, king of the gods, we invoke your hospitality.
The monster stares at him with his one baleful eye.
GIANT
Zeus? King of the gods? I am Polyphemous, son of Poseidon, Earth-shaker and lord of the wine dark sea...
Odysseus takes this in, unhappily...
ODYSSEUS
Son of Poseidon -
POLYPHEMOUS
Even so, we Cyclops recognize no gods but ourselves, for who are as mighty as we? (pause, then, with elephantine cunning) Where have you moored your ship?
Elpenor starts to tell him but Odysseus is faster.
ODYSSEUS
Our ship is at the bottom of the ocean, split apart by the storm which drove us to your shores... These men alone have survived the wrath of your mighty father...
Polyphemous looks at Odysseus and his men.
POLYPHEMOUS
Not for long.
With one swift motion, he reaches out, GRABS TWO MEN and DASHES OUT THEIR BRAINS on the rocks by his fire.
CU ODYSSEUS and ELPENOR
eyes wide with shock. As they watch, Polyphemous EATS the TWO DEAD men. All we HEAR is an awful CRUNCHING, then a resounding BELCH. Odysseus and his men are stunned - it all happened so fast.
Polyphemous wipes his victims' juices off his mouth with the back of his hand. He yawns. You don't want to look to closely at his gaping mouth.
As Odysseus and his horrified companions watch, Polyphemous rolls onto his furs and skins and soon goes to sleep.
Quietly Elpenor slides his SWORD out of its sheath. He starts forward but Odysseus grabs him.
ODYSSEUS
Wait -
ELPENOR
What for? Breakfast? Now's our chance!
ODYSSEUS
(frantic whisper; holds him)
Think. THINK! If we kill him, we will never escape this place.
He points to the HUGE BOULDER blocking the cave mouth.
Elpenor is stunned. So are the rest of the men. They withdraw into a frightened knot, leaving Odysseus to squat by the waning fire and stare at his enemy, THINKING...
ODYSSEUS' VOICE OVER
It was a long night - made longer by the melancholy prospect that I would die horribly in this lonely
(cont'd)
place... and never lay eyes again on my beloved wife and innocent son... that Poseidon would win...
THE SUN APPEARS ON THE HORIZON
EXT. ODYSSEUS' SHIP - DAWN
The MEN watch the SUNRISE.
POLITES
Second day...
He follows Eurylochos' gaze to the hillside. No sign.
A BELCH OVER brings us back to -
CU A FINGER POPPING MORE FOOD INTO A MOUTH
WIDEN TO REVEAL
POLYPHEMOUS
finishing breakfast - two more of Odysseus' men.
CU ODYSSEUS' HORRIFIED FACE
more crunching sounds. The BELCH again.
The SHEEP are now BLEATING NOSILY to go out. In response, Polyphemous rises ponderously and goes to the STONE.
Odysseus watches carefully. There's a THUNDERING NOISE
and a SHAFT OF DAYLIGHT hits his face as Polyphemous ROLLS the BOULDER away from the cave-mouth, but stands GUARD at the EXIT as he shoos his HUGE SHEEP outside with piercing WHISTLES that cause Odysseus and his remaining men to clap their hands over their ears to protect them from the NOISE.
Then, grinning, he follows them, rolling the STONE in place and stopping the mouth of the cave like a cork in a bottle.
SEVERAL OF THE MEN
sit crying, hopelessly. Odysseus walks about the cave, surveying the same familiar objects. Elpenor stares at him.
ELPENOR
We are doomed.
ODYSSEUS
We still have our brains.
lst MAN
(bitter)
For how long?
ODYSSEUS
Athena, grey-eyed goddess, be my guide...
He instantly TRIPS on something: the HUGE STAFF he saw when they arrived. He tries again to lift it; waves to his men.
ODYSSEUS (cont'd)
Help me. Quickly.
The seven remaining men and Elpenor help lift the staff.
ODYSSEUS
Bring it to the fire and heat the end -
ELPENOR
What for?
ON ODYSSEUS
ODYSSEUS
To make a sharp point.
Puzzled reactions to this, but
SEVERAL ANGLES
the staff end toasting in the fire and the men taking turns hacking at it with their swords until they've whittled a sharp, hard, blackened SPEAR tip. An exhausting day's work.
LATER
They are panting and frightened as the GROUND RUMBLES...


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