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When a quirky, eccentric, investigator is pulled from his burning building in New York City at the exact time as a jewel thief drive off Tower Bridge in London, he has no idea their worlds are about to collide. Seeing the footage of the London crime on CNN, he not only suspects the getaway is an elaborate illusion, but evidence recovered from the crime scene, stirs a powerful memory within him which he can't quite place. When a new female client seeks his services to investigate the disappearance of her brother from Paris, he jumps at the opportunity to go to Europe as long as she agrees to let him stop off in London first, so he can investigate the crime scene further. When she reluctantly gives in after he is able to use his peculiar skills to deduce many things about her brother's mysterious disappearance, he travels with her and his much-harrowed male “babysitter” assistant to London. In the meantime in London, the police are stumped by another “illusion crime” when a multi-million dollar piece of jewelry and the criminal literally “disappears” into thin air, in front of 100’s of people during a charity event. Back at the police station as they are reviewing CT footage of the first crime they look at a live shot of Tower Bridge and notice a person crawling around underneath. When they are dispatched to investigate what is thought to be a potential suicide attempt they find the American detective, now in London, in the process of proving his illusion theory. After an altercation on the bridge, the police end up arresting him. However, when he uses his eccentric skills to sheds light on both of the illusion crimes and promises to share more if they will allow him to investigate any potential crime scenes. They reluctantly agree to allow him to tag along. When priceless paintings are stolen from the Royal Art Gallery during a third illusion crime he uncovers more than he bargained for when he finds a vital clue to a personal mystery from his own past. He then travels to Paris, to investigate his client’s brother’s disappearance. While he is there, and drawn by a powerful memory he had when examining the evidence collect at the London crime scene, he revisit an old theatre where his father disappeared during an illusion performance thirty years before. At the now rundown theatre he's is finally able to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Solving the illusion crimes and also unravels the details of his father’s disappearance thirty years before.
FIRST 5 PAGES OF ILLUSION FADE IN: INT. A NEW YORK CITY APARTMENT - PRESENT DAY - 11:57PM A dank, dark, shoddy, apartment is crammed from floor to ceiling with hoards of useless collections, magazines and books. In the middle of the apartment, a ragged light illuminates one pristine, sterile room, painted a fluorescent white. Sitting at an immaculate metal table is VICTOR DERCHELLIE (mid thirties). Placed on the walls, in military precision, is every conceivable style and make of clock. They all read the same time, and tick rhythmically, but all moving a hair’s breath out of alignment of the other. Victor’s eyes flick nervously from one to the other as whispers of gray smoke creep under the door of his apartment. EXT. STREETS OF LONDON 4:57PM - SAME DAY A silver gray Maserati tears through the streets, pursued by what appears to be the whole of London’s Metropolitan Police Force. Lights flash, sirens blare. Hitting its top speed on the brow of a hill the car bucks high into the air and lands hard, breaks grinding, it skids, then screeches away. INT. NEW YORK APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS Tiny beads of perspiration form on Victor’s motionless forehead. He watches all the clocks hands move to 11:58PM. Thick black smoke now billows under the door, enveloping and consuming the apartment with its suffocating presence. Frantic banging on the front door. A desperate voice and someone shouting Victor’s name over and over again. A window implodes shattering glass through it angry fingers of fire lick their way inside the building devouring every thing in their path. Victor shifts slightly in his seat and tightens the grip on his chair arms. He barely breathes as he patiently waits. INT. THE LEAD POLICE CAR IN PURSUIT - LONDON - 4:58PM JOHN HOLMES (mid forties) is hanging on for dear life as PC HAWKINS (early thirties) drives like a bat out of hell. PC HAWKINS We can cut him off at the bridge Sarge, East Side are already there. Hawkins swerves to narrowly miss a Ballard. HOLMES (sarcastically) Oh, they would be; and try not to kill us; hey, Hawkins? This isn’t an episode of “24”. EXT. TOWER BRIDGE - LONDON - CONTINUOUS Surrounded from both sides of the bridge the Maserati skids to a stop, then circles like a trapped animal. Surrendering to it’s fate, the driver stops and revs the engine. An over-excited voice explodes onto the police radio in Holmes’s car. VOICE East One in position. Do you want us to go to an armed status? Over. PC Hawkins zealous, starts to unstrap a gun secured in his car. Holmes speaks into the radio. HOLMES That would be a negative East On. Hold, please, Over. PC Hawkins is disappointed and starts to voice his objections. HOLMES The Metropolitan Police Force has managed to survive one hundred and eighty years without running in and shooting people’s heads off. HAWKINS Yes Sarge. HOLMES Watch and learn Hawkins. INT. NEW YORK CITY APARTMENT - 11:59PM As Victor starts to cough, the sound of someone trying to break down the front door is heard. EXT. TOWER BRIDGE - LONDON - 4:59PM Holmes gets out of the car and speaks into a loudspeaker. It crackles into life. HOLMES OK. You’ve had your fun, time to pay the piper. You are surrounded on either side of the bridge. Please open your window and show us your hands. After a brief moment the driver opens the window and slowly lifts both hands out. PC. Hawkins takes an offensive position using his door as a shield. HOLMES You see how easy that was. He knows he’s caught. May as well surrender like a gentleman. As the driver lifts his hands high he slowly gives the police the double “Vs” (The British version of “the finger”.) PC HAWKINS Well, that’s not very gentlemanly, is it Sarge? Holmes puts down the loudspeaker puts on his hat from his car and prepares to move towards the car as he does he stops and turns to speak to Hawkins. HOLMES Well, he’s pissed off isn’t he? He’s on this bridge surrounded by one of the best police forces on the planet and there is absolutely nowhere he can go. INT. NEW YORK APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS - 12:00PM PRECISELY Victor closes his eyes. Suddenly all the clocks start to chime. They’ve been painstakingly set to play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony - Ode to Freedom. Each clock individually hits its chime on the right notes at exactly the right time in the music, it is a masterful feat of precision. The door is finally broken down and firefighters rush in. Victor is in his chair smiling. As they try to force him out of it, he grips the sides of his chair even tighter. They eventually pull him free. He’s in his own world, smiling, unaware of what is going on. As he is carried out the door to safety he appears to be mumbling something like a prayer to himself. The fire reaches the clocks and they start to explode and fall off the walls, some melting most of them still chiming in a cacophony of mangled metallic sound. EXT. TOWER BRIDGE - LONDON - 5:00PM PRECISELY At exactly the same time Big Ben chimes the hour. With a screech of tires the car suddenly roars into life full throttle. He drives over the edge of the bridge, smashing the guard rail, taking off into the air, and then plunging towards the water. Holmes is still looking at Hawkins. HOLMES ... He’s gone hasn’t he? EXT. LONDON BRIDGE - CONTINUOUS From either side of the road block, officers race to the side of the bridge trying to locate the car in the water. They can see nothing. HOLMES Bloody Hell! Hawkins get a torch quick. Some of you spread out on the other side and see if any of you can locate this plonker. Hawkins shines a powerful beam over the edge. He just catches the front end of the car in the light as it begins to emerge from under the bridge. PC HAWKINS Here Sarge! The whole group race to the other side of the bridge to see it appear bobbing along, half submerged in the flowing water. Holmes starts to shout commands. HOLMES OK. East... secure the bridge. My team pursue... along the left bank. Hawkins... get onto the divers, and call the city. Let them know that there’s a hundred thousand pound car joyriding down the river. Everybody moves at speed. Tearing off in different directions. Holmes jumps into his car and PC Hawkins joins him barking orders into his walkie-talkie. They drive off at speed. HOLMES And I was hoping for a nice quiet Sunday for a change.