IO (2019) Movie Script

It's like we were doomed
to destroy our planet.
Some say it was
because of the increasing pollution.
I just call it human nature.
A few scientists predicted
what would happen.
They started working on a power station
that could be sent into space
to harvest geothermal energy
from other planets.
But it was too late.
People would start dying in their sleep...
suffocating in the streets,
the blood in their veins turning black.
"An unexpected change
in atmosphere composition," they said.
To me it was just our planet desperately
trying to survive by kicking us out.
So one day, a hundred ships
flew off into the sky.
It was the Exodus mission.
They turned the power station
into a colony,
like a lifeboat floating above
Jupiter's volcanic moon,
also known as
What do we have here?
Audio memorandum initiated.
Begin audio log entry 46809.
Researcher ID Sam Walden.
I'm looking at what appears to be
rafts of mosquito
or midge fly spawn. Period.
Something resembling
blooms of black algae
identifiable in subsurface ponded water
despite minimal opportunity
for chemosynthesis. Period.
That's what I thought.
Sample 181A. Water-striding insects.
Found in a zone apparently in the presence
of a strong concentration of ammonia.
Sample 181B.
Drawn from sediment strata,
should confirm or disconfirm
the presence of bacterium able to use
ammonium as a main oxygen source.
"A shudder in the loin engenders there,
the broken wall,
the burning roof and tower...
and Agamemnon dead."
Plants are changing colors.
I keep having this dream.
I'm on a beach.
I can feel the wind blowing in my hair,
hear the sound of the waves
crashing on the shore.
I can breathe.
You won't believe
what I discovered this morning.
Anaerobic reproduction
in a water-striding insect colony.
Yet another new species.
Imagine if the bees could adapt
like those insects.
It would prove that my dad is right.
Earth is not dying, it's being reborn.
I know things aren't easy
on the IO Colony, but...
please write back soon.
I love you, Elon.
From Earth until the end of the universe.
I'm sorry.
Dear Sam,
your scientific discoveries
never cease to astound me.
Unearthing the last bits of life
hanging onto that dying world...
that's amazing.
Imagine what you could find
in a whole new galaxy.
Just a week from now, we'll have harvested
enough of IO's volcanic energy
to power the entire
New World Expedition fleet.
Life is in the stars, Sam.
Your father can't hold you back
any longer.
Very soon, the last pocket of air on Earth
will be gone.
You both need to be
on the next Exodus shuttle and come here.
I love you.
From IO until the end of the universe,
This is Doctor Harry Walden,
transmitting on frequency 90-43,
listening on frequency
95-60 kilohertz daily.
The world we once called home
appears to have turned against us.
However bleak the situation may seem,
death is only a part of the process.
The fundamental principle of nature
is survival.
More than in our DNA,
it is in our mind, in our soul,
to seek life no matter what.
Plant life has already evolved
to resist ammonia toxicity.
Once bees and other pollinators adapt,
our model predicts vegetation growth
will decontaminate the air
in less than 20 years.
We take to the stars
in search of our salvation,
but we fail to recognize
that we are already on the most
significantly equipped spaceship.
People can, and inevitably will,
adapt and flourish again
on our beautiful planet.
Don't lose yourself
looking into the darkness of space.
Your home is shining blue
just in front of your eyes.
Safe travels and hope
to welcome you here among us soon.
Generally, the queen bee
is marked so she's easy to find.
But sometimes she's replaced
during a season.
In thousands of bees,
she blends in pretty well,
but if you look closely, you'll notice
her thorax, her middle segment, is...
is not like the worker bees...
There's amazing news here, Sam.
The council officially announced
the first New World Expedition.
They chose Proxima Centauri.
The exoplanet Proxima B
really is a near-identical Earth twin.
It takes ten years to get there.
All my friends are applying
for the mission. They need engineers.
But it has grave implications
for the Exodus program.
Damn it.
The Council's decision
changes everything.
Effective immediately,
all spacecraft personnel,
energy, everything
has been redirected
to the New World Expeditions.
The Exodus shuttles
that are on Earth right now
will launch in four days
and will be the last ever sent to IO.
You have to leave with your father, Sam.
The universe is calling for us.
Can't you hear it?
A giant storm
hit our camp yesterday.
My father's entire bee colony is gone.
All the progress we'd made,
dozens of new genetic strains,
all lost.
I don't know what I'm supposed to do.
Even if I accept that you might be right
about going to IO,
we can't carry enough oxygen
with the ATVs.
I don't think we could ever make it
to the launch site.
I'm here for Dr. Harry Walden.
I heard the radio transmission.
Can I have some water?
It's only cloudy like that
because of the charcoal.
We filter our drinking waterthrough sand
and charcoal. It's all it needs.
Is he in there?
I'm Dr. Walden's research assistant.
I'm sure I can answer
any of your questions.
I'm here to see Dr. Walden.
Not you.
Not anybody else.
We haven't had anyone make the pilgrimage
to see Dr. Walden in a long time.
Why you're here, isn't it?
To meet Dr. Walden.
Where did you say he was again?
He's off in the mountain right now,
gathering specimens for our work.
I need you to take me to him.
I can't. I don't know his exact location.
Where's everyone else?
There is no one else.
I'll wait.
You're going to Exodus.
Your balloon.
You're going
to the final Exodus launch to IO?
That's right.
It sure took you long enough
to decide to leave Earth.
I'll fix you some food.
I'm not gonna take any of your food.
We have plenty.
You have fresh vegetables?
Yeah. I have an entire greenhouse.
It's better with that.
Do you know
if there's any animals left in the sea?
I've always really wanted
to go to the ocean.
There's nothing.
There's nothing anywhere.
Even the birds all died.
You'd think they could
live up high like us.
Yeah. Birds gotta land too, you know.
Have you ever seen a swan?
Yeah, when I was a kid..
You're from before.
You've seen other cities?
Just from the sky.
Is it the same everywhere?
Yeah, it's the same everywhere.
I don't believe you.
No way you could've seen everywhere.
When is Dr. Walden getting back?
Sometimes he's gone for days.
You have
a lot of electronic equipment in here.
We scavenge
and salvage what we can from the zone.
What are you doing?
We're trying to establish
a variant breed of honeybees
that can adapt to the toxic atmosphere.
Immunogenics is
pretty fascinating actually.
No, right now.
What are you doing right now?
Oh, um...
I'm writing a letter.
What are you talking about? To who?
Someone on the Colony.
You have contact with IO?
My friend Elon is an engineer
working on the solar cell mission
to Alpha Centauri.
He can access the main transmission link
between Earth and IO.
You're gonna have to sleep
in here tonight.
Dr. Walden's work is very important
and I can't have you interfering.
Is that his room there?
It's his office and living quarters.
This is Dr. Harry Walden,
transmitting on frequency 90-43,
listening on frequency
95-60 kilohertz daily.
That's 31 meters band frequency,
- 95-60 kilohertz.
- Is that what I heard?
A recording?
It's protocol.
When he's not here, I play the tape.
So he's been gone more than two days?
Uh... I guess that's right.
He'll be back tomorrow probably.
What's your name?
I'm Sam.
It's nice to meet you, Sam.
Wanna make yourself useful?
I have to repair a broken solar panel too.
Should be able to seal it, but it'll never
put out as many amps as it used to.
You do a lot of work around here.
You have a rope?
Looks pretty good, right?
So, you know my friend Elon
I mentioned before?
He's not really my friend.
Well, he is, but he's,
you know, more than that.
Is that right?
How does that work?
A lot of letters,
a lot of, uh...
What about you? Do you have a wife?
I guess you must think it's stupid.
Me and Elon.
I mean...
Do you think it's absurd to love someone
that's millions of miles away?
Not at all.
So ancient is the desire for one another
which is implanted in us.
Reuniting our original nature,
seeking to make one of two
and healing the state of man.
What's that?
What does it mean?
He says...
humans originally had two faces.
Four arms, four legs.
And they were happy like that.
Then they defied the gods,
so the gods split us in two as punishment.
Tore us away from our other halves.
He said each of us, when separated,
is always looking for our other half.
It's our nature.
But when one is met
with this other half...
the pair are lost in an amazement of love,
And one will not be seen
out of the other's sight.
See, the reason is...
human nature was once originally one.
And we were whole.
And the desire
and the pursuit of the whole...
is called love.
You know a lot about this stuff.
I was gonna be a teacher...
I wasn't gonna tell you this...
Harry Walden is my father.
Come with me.
Bees used to do
almost all the pollinating, but...
now I have to do it all by hand.
- The three sisters.
- Yeah.
Corn provides the structure
for the beans to climb,
squash spreads out over the soil
like mulch,
and that keeps the moisture in.
And then the beans
provide the nitrogen in return.
Everybody wins.
What are those tattoos?
E to the i pi plus one equals zero.
It's Euler's equation.
But this one's my absolute favorite.
It's, uh...
Nowak's Evolvability Equation.
Symbols on the left represent
all possible strings ofmolecules
and symbols on the right represent
selection pressures and fitness ratings.
Basically that just means, um...
all that's necessary for life to emerge
are molecules subject to forces
of selection and mutation.
If those conditions are met,
self-replication emerges.
People can change.
Don't you see how important that is?
I mean...
What about the markings on your rib cage?
Uh... It's nothing. It's just something
we do as part of our research.
We do it to build up our immunity.
Does it hurt?
Not that bad.
That's Lucy.
How is that possible?
It's complicated.
You see, for my Dad...
IO was just a last resort.
A lifeboat.
- What happened to Lucy?
- She died...
She gave us hope.
I wanna see this.
Planet Earth
is a miracle in the universe.
We are its caretakers,
and it is our duty to stay...
stay and fight for our world.
Humans may have nearly destroyed our home,
but we can make it habitable again
and we will breathe the air again.
The strong, brave souls that will stay,
if any do choose to stay,
will become a new civilization
of its own design.
A special thanks to Dr. Walden.
A note to our viewers
that this will be our final program
due to the shut down of all broadcast
television from midnight tonight.
There is too much to say,
and I will end the program as I have
every day for the last eight years.
From all of us, to all of you...
See you tomorrow.
Thank you.
For a long time, you must've
thought it was the right thing to do.
Staying on Earth.
For a long time.
I was foolish.
I think you were really brave.
My dad would have thought so too.
So I see you found
my parents' old bedroom.
Your mother's name
was June, right?
Yeah, that's right.
How'd you know that?
What did he do to her?
What do you mean?
What did Dr. Walden do
to cause your mother's death?
My mom got sick.
That's it.
But he kept her here, right?
- He kept all of you here.
- No.
What do you mean "no"?
Sam, she died because he kept her here.
You're wasting my time.
I have a lot of work to be doing.
Open the door.
Samantha, listen to me.
It's not worth it,
you continuing my experiments.
Dad, what are you doing in here?
It's my lab, isn't it?
You shouldn't be in here,
not without your oxygen.
Sam, it's fine.
You don't need to take care of me anymore.
I'm fine.
No, you're not fine.
Where have you been?
Sam, it's...
If there was a discovery, a miracle
discovery, I would've found it.
What about Lucy?
How are things with Elon?
I'm not talking to you about that.
Don't underestimate
the power of human connection.
That's all there is.
There is no bigger meaning.
Just human connection.
You used to say that about science.
Sam, we have to leave this place.
Sooner or later you'll have to.
You're all alone here.
I'm not alone.
I don't count.
Why not?
I'm dead.
My dad buried my mom here.
I buried him here beside her.
I'm sorry I yelled at you.
I have to tell you something, Sam,
and you're not gonna like it.
I've decided I'm taking you to Exodus.
And I can get you there in the balloon.
You won't understand it now,
but it's not up for debate.
You've got your entire life ahead of you.
And I'm not gonna leave you here alone.
Do you understand what I'm saying?
I'm taking you away from here.
You're going to IO
and you're never coming back.
When do we leave?
We'll have to plot our course
and wait for favorable wind conditions,
but it has to be soon.
We've a long way to travel
and we're running out of days.
I have good news.
A traveler arrived at the Enclave today
in a helium balloon.
I thought I was dreaming.
His name is Micah.
I'm not even sure where he's from
or how he's survived this long on Earth.
He's offered to take me to Exodus.
And I've agreed.
My life on Earth is over.
It's been over for a long time.
We'll finally be together on IO,
just like you've always wanted.
Are there oceans on Centauri B?
Write back soon, okay?
I really need to hear from you.
We're gonna have to wait for the wind
to change direction before we can leave.
It will.
What were you gonna do
if I hadn't shown up here, Sam?
You know, people aren't meant to be alone.
You think I don't know that?
I'll go and get the rest of them.
Oh, fuck.
You're never gonna believe this.
Come on.
That's how I found them.
I think it's trapped under that grate.
She's trapped.
The holes are big enough
to let the workers and drones through,
but they're too small for her.
She must have just hatched,
which means she's a virgin queen.
How is that possible?
I don't know.
So what does it mean?
It doesn't mean anything.
thank God you made the decision
to travel to the Exodus launch.
I'm sorry I haven't been able
to write sooner,
but there's been a change here as well.
Yesterday my commanding officer
asked me to join
the first New World Expedition shuttle.
This morning I accepted.
I hope you of all people
will understand that I had no choice.
This is my destiny,
my purpose.
We can still be together,
but it won't be for many, many years.
Please write back before you leave.
All transmission links with Earth
will be cut after the final Exodus launch
and I am desperate to receive
one last letter from you before I leave.
All my love,
from IO until the end of the universe,
You ever have squash spaghetti?
What was it like?
I'm sure your father told you
what it was like.
I want to know what it was like for you.
Where are you from?
I grew up in the suburbs.
In a neighborhood.
By the time I was old enough,
I was in the city every chance I got.
We weren't ready for this.
No matter what warning we got
from people like your father.
What we saw with our own eyes.
The future we got was unthinkable.
For everybody.
Unexpected things can be good too.
Damn it!
We'll never be able to get off the ground
if the wind doesn't change.
Trust me.
It'll change.
That song.
I remember that song.
I'm sorry.
It's okay.
I can't.
We have to.
Do you see the glimmer?
To the left of Jupiter?
Is that the Colony?
It's the Colony.
It's actually orbiting IO,
but the Colony's so much brighter
in the sky that IO becomes obscured.
I never thought I'd see it.
There's this...
art exhibit I really wanted to see.
An art exhibit?
The Museum of Art.
It's one of the last exhibits from before.
"Modern Myths."
Would you have taught
your students about myths?
I think I would have.
4.36 light years away.
Is that the same as saying forever?
The space between us will become more vast
until it's too far to cross.
I've lied to you, Elon.
My father's dead.
He's been dead for a long time now.
It was my decision, all along,
to stay on Earth.
I think we're both looking
for worlds to call our own...
but different ones.
I hope you find yours.
Attention. Urgent notice.
Due to catastrophic weather event,
Exodus shuttle number 127
is unable to launch.
Your departure
has been changed to Exodus 134
at 49.5466 degrees
by 16.4059 degrees.
Exodus shuttles will begin embarkation
in 26 hours and 12 minutes.
They moved the launch site.
What are you talking about?
Is that a problem?
We don't have enough helium
to fly that far!
We're stuck here!
It's never gonna end.
I must be cursed.
What do you mean?
You wanna know why I really came here?
Your father told us to stay on Earth.
I saw dozens of people starve to death
because of him.
Because he gave us hope.
My wife was sick.
Food would have kept her alive
for a few more days, but...
that was all.
Then the food would have been gone.
I hid rations so I could survive.
I watched my wife die...
so I could be the survivor.
I couldn't live with that.
So I came here to find him.
And all I found was you instead.
I won't make the same mistake twice
and let you die too.
Thank you.
Thank you for telling me, Micah.
I know where we can get helium.
It's in the zone.
It's really far.
It's farther than I've ever gone.
We'd have to stay longer
than I've ever stayed before.
We'd need to stay the night there.
It's not possible, Sam.
It's possible.
I think.
Adapt or die.
Isn't that what they say?
This is Sam Walden.
Transmitting on a frequency
90.43 kilohertz daily.
If anyone's still listening
to these broadcasts...
...Doctor Harry Walden,
my father, mentor, and best friend,
has died.
On October 13th of last year,
I buried him next to my mother.
What about here?
You ever been to this part before?
Should work. It's just a big open field.
We'll drop the balloon there.
Then we'll go get the helium.
Museum of Art.
I just need you to focus.
We mess up and we die.
I am focused.
This afternoon,
I'll be leaving our enclave
to travel to the Exodus launch site.
If anyone's receiving this broadcast,
I implore you to do the same.
We thought we could find a way
for humans to survive on Earth.
We were wrong.
This is Sam Walden, over and out.
Why are we stopped?
It's incredible, right?
It's a graveyard, Sam.
All I see are ghosts.
We're near the launch spot.
Let's drop the balloon and get moving.
We've got a lot of ground to cover.
- What?
- There's a lot of helium in here.
I know.
But that's a good thing, right?
It's why we came.
- Right?
- Yeah.
So, come on.
Give me a hand.
All right. We get a few more,
and then we camp here for the night.
It's getting too dark to travel.
So you know
how life started on this planet?
Was it a bacteria?
They came out of the ocean,
and here we are...
at the very end of this cycle.
Do you realize that you might be
the last woman to live on Earth?
I'm sure
there are other people alive.
Yeah, on the Colony,
working hard to find our new home,
where you won't need a gas mask
to take me to a restaurant.
Now, how does this work?
Once we switch to fresh tanks,
we turn the air valve down 50%.
We try to relax.
We should be okay.
You set your alarm?
Let's do this.
- Is that okay?
- Yeah.
I'll be right back.
We leave in one hour.
I know.
We have to go, Sam.
"A shudder in the loins engenders there.
The broken wall,
the burning roof and tower.
And Agamemnon dead.
So mastered by the brute blood of the air.
Did she put on his knowledge
with his power
before the indifferent beak
could let her drop?"
Tell me what it means.
Leda gave birth to Helen.
Helen of Troy.
A face that launched a thousand ships.
She was considered
the most beautiful woman in the world.
Her abduction by Paris,
the Prince of Troy...
brought upon the Trojan War.
The broken wall,
the burning roof and tower,
and Agamemnon dead.
Leda was related to the gods.
And the swan is Zeus.
Zeus in disguise.
Leda gave birth to God's children.
You did everything you could.
Your father would be proud of you.
Let's go.
I'm not going with you.
You're gonna have to go on your own.
Change your tank.
We can talk about it at the launch site.
I keep having this dream...
where I'm in the zone...
I'm not wearing a mask.
I strike my lighter and...
it's dark purple.
But I'm fine.
Everyone sees so much death here...
but I see life.
Why are you doing this, Sam?
Change your tank.
Promise me something.
If I survive, tell everyone on IO
that there's a future on Earth.
Sam! Sam!
I'm okay.
It's okay.
It's okay.
Dear Micah,
my father loved the T.S Eliot quote,
"We shall not cease from exploration,
and the end of all of our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time."
We have learned to fear our planet
and fled to the stars
in search of a new one.
But the fascination for other worlds
could not turn my eyes away
from the beauty of our home.
The waves are crashing on the shore...
and the wind is blowing in my hair.
Tell them it feels good.
Tell them the dark clouds have given way
to the ocean mist.
Tell them a new world awaits us.
Tell them we're waiting for you.
Waiting for you to come back.