Author`s Note: (excuse me for the lengthly A.N.`s) This is the half- materialization of an idea I came up with of "Mars" as a motion picture. It is an "Americanized" version of the story for the reasons that A) a manga being made into a movie has never been done in America as far as I know, B) if I tried to show the story in the setting it`s supposed to be in, my interpretration of high schools in Japan would be pathetically innacurate, and C) American audiences are ignorant and stubborn and only respond to things that they`re familiar with. So I quite reluctantly changed most of the names, so this is written to be a completely American film. Besides, something has to be changed or else it would just be exactly like the manga. If you think this is wrong please don`t let me take up your time and ignore this. Just to give some visualization of "Mars" as a movie, I imagine it to have lots of interesting camera angles, close-ups, and a visually intriguing use of color in the art direction and maybe even what the actors wear. I imagine it having a very beautiful other-worldly score as well as a unique soundtrack with artists like Bjork, Sister Soleil, and Vast (if you can, download the song "Gorecki" by Lamb and I think you`ll agree it fits this story very well and would be a killer "love theme" for the movie.) It wouldn`t be very hard to find good actors for most of the people. To name one, I think Orlando Bloom from "Lord of the Rings" could work well in the role of Rei. If you R&R this tell me any other ideas for actors you have while you`re at it, cause I always like visualizing those kind of things.


A motion picture screenplay

Simple light gray text appears on a black screen, reading the following:




Text vanishes, and screen opens slowly to a fair spring sky. The clouds are edged with brilliant colors of yellow and orange like in a painting. There is silence except for the soft chirping of birds.


Scratch. A pencil makes gentle markings on a paper that fills the whole screen. We see pencil strokes and shading but cannot see what the entire drawing is. Close-up: Kira`s eye blinks and looks up at her model, then back down at her lap, concentrated. We see what she is looking at; a mother laughs with her two children in a sandbox, picking them up and holding them. Then we see the back view of Kira, sitting at a bench by herself, looking small and isolated. We see the front of Kira, a sixteen-year-old girl. She is dressed simply and has brown hair in two braids. Her eyes are sad. Camera returns to her subjects to reveal someone who wasn`t there before; Leo, a tall boy with long blond hair who looks like a model, looking around and staring at a note on a slip of paper. Kira sees him and immediately jerks her head down, hunching her shoulders. But she can`t avoid him. He makes his way around to the bench.

LEO: Excuse me. The medical center is supposed to be somewhere around here...Do you know where it is?

Kira doesn`t reply, but turns the sketchbook in her lap over and starts drawing long, vigorous lines on the blank sheet.

LEO: (leaning over) Hey! Did you hear me?

She quickly rips out the map she drew him and hands it to him, then immediately stands and runs away.

LEO: (looks down at paper) What`s her problem?

Kira runs across a street and up the steps of her house.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: He doesn`t know me. But I know him. We go to the same school.

Shot of Leo standing against his motorcycle outside school, smoking a cigarette.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: He`s always skipping classes, smoking cigarettes behind the teachers` backs. That kind of stuff.


Kira runs inside and her mother looks up from washing dishes.

MOTHER: That was fast. I thought you just left.

KIRA: ...Yeah.

MOTHER: Did you get hungry?

KIRA: No...There was just this guy there that I don`t like.

Kira goes to the kitchen window which views the park, and sees the distant figure of Leo, walking slowly away with his eyes on the map she drew him.

KIRA: He probably didn`t even realize we go to the same school.

We see him through the window again, looking even smaller, and then the camera rests on Kira`s watching face.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: Every girl at school is in love with Leo.

Shots of pretty girls talking with Leo with big smiles, and a group of girls watching as he rides up to school on his motocycle and takes off his helmet, letting out a head of wild blond hair. Then a close-up of Leo`s eyes looking back and forth, maybe following a basketball.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: Popular girls lose their dignity dropping left and right just to talk to him, or to possibly get a ride on his motorcycle. I cringe when he walks into a room. The look in his eyes gives me chills.

We see Kira walk uncomfortably by a wall where Leo and another girl are pinned, kissing eachother, and she bows her head nervously to avoid looking up.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: I don`t like him.


MOTHER: Did he bother you?

KIRA: No...He was just asking for directions.


Leo walks with his eyes down on the paper from Kira, then looks up to see a large building, the medical center.


Leo is sitting on a chair by a bed where his racing coach, Deric, lays.

LEO: So your leg has to come off?

DERIC: Yep. They`re amputating it from the knee down.

LEO: I had no idea it was that bad.

DERIC: Yeah, I guess that`s it for me as far as riding. You`re just gonna have to go out and steal the splotlight for me. You`re racing in the 8- endurance , aren`t you?

LEO: ...No.


LEO: I can`t afford the repairs my bike needs. Let`s face it, I`m screwed. And my old man stopped sending money, too. I don`t think he wants me to race.

DERIC: He`s just worried about you. (pauses, eyeing his leg) I guess with good reason.

Leo looks uncomfortable.

LEO: You were lucky, you know.

DERIC: ...Yeah, I know. (pause) Leo, you`ll be okay out there, right? I mean, everybody always says you`re the only person who rides just about as ludicrously as I do. Maybe you take it as a compliment, but...

LEO: Nothing`s gonna happen to me, Deric. Besides, nobody would care if I die.

DERIC: Don`t say things like that! Karen and I would both be devastated if that happened.

LEO: Yeah...sorry. My fucking loose mouth.

DERIC: ...For every person there`s someone else out there who would be completely alone without them...whose life would just stop. Maybe you just don`t know it, or you haven`t met them yet.

Close bird`s-eye view of the map Kira drew for Leo that is now sitting on the small table in the room.

LEO`S VOICEOVER: I often wonder what it would be like to die.

Leo leaning against a tree at a park, smoking a cigarette while children move on swings in the background.

LEO: Every day you ride, you`re blowing a kiss at death.

Leo on his motorbike, helmet on, speeding down a track. Close-up on his eyes looking determined.

LEO: Everyone knows it`s dangerous. Some people aren`t in it all the way like I am; they don`t push themselves. They don`t go over the limit. ...But I would rather die than not be able to go fast. I guess I get a thrill from it because it would be a hell of a way to go. I live my life by the moment. I don`t think about where I`ll be in the future. But I anticipate death with almost numbing curiousity. Where does it take you? Somewhere where you can`t be a prize, where nobody is telling you what you should care about, where nobody is even watching. I know that much. And that much...that excites me.


Deric`s wife, Karen, enters the room holding a bouchet of fresh flowers.

KAREN: Oh, hi, Rei.

LEO: Hey, Karen.

She goes to the table where there is a vase of withered flowers, picks up a trash can to put the old flowers in there and replaces them with the new ones.

DERIC: That`s not your job.

KAREN: What else am I supposed to do around here?

She wipes papers and other garbage off the tabletop into the can, stops and looks at a paper with creases from being folded. She holds up the map that Kira drew for Leo.

KAREN: What`s this?

LEO: Oh, you can throw that away. I couldn`t find my way here so somebody drew me a map.

KAREN: You sure you don`t want it? There`s a picture drawn on the back. Look, it`s really beautiful.

She hands him the paper and Leo looks at the back side where there is a detailed drawing of a mother holding her baby. He stares at it unbreakingly in surprise.


Students loudly lounge in a classroom before the bell rings, scattered anywhere but in their seats. Kira enters holding her books with her head bowed in a self-contained manner, and two kids who see her whisper something to eachother as she goes to the teacher, Mr. Lanman, and he points to a desk that she`s been assigned to. The bell rings.

LANMAN: Okay, everyone, settle down. I have a seating chart for you if you can all get quiet enough to hear me...

Mr. Lanman starts naming students and pointing at desks. As he`s in the middle of this, Leo runs in through the door and immediately finds his friend, Aaron.

AARON: Your punctuality blows me away as always, Leo.

Kira is seated silently as Lanman keeps giving off names.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: What a delinquent. He`s late on the first day.

Lanman points to the seat next to her.

LANMAN: Martez...

Kira`s eyes go wide and Leo goes to sit in the desk next to her.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: What?! How is this possible? Out of all of the places in the room he has to sit...

Teacher puts an arm up to silence everyone and starts taking attendance.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: (runs her hand through her hair nervously) It doesn`t matter. It`s not like he`ll pay any attention to me. He probably doesn`t even remember that.

Leo`s eyes slowly wander to the side at Kira, and he turns his head and stares, obviously recognizing her. She looks ahead and pretends not to notice him.

KIRA`S VOICOVER: No, he can`t possibly...

LEO: (pointing at her) Hey.

KIRA`S VOICOVER: ...recognize me!

LEO: (trying to get her attention.) Hey! Hey, you.

Kira slowly and reluctantly looks at him.

LEO: It`s you. I saw you at the park the other day. I didn`t know you went to this school. What`s your name?

She looks back away and doesn`t answer.

LANMAN: Webber?.....Kira Webber? Not here?

KIRA: (reluctantly)

LEO: Kira? That`s a cool name. How do you spell that?

AARON: (from the seat behind Leo) K-I-R-A.

LEO: She can talk, you jackass. (to Kira) Don`t you remember me? You drew me that map when I asked you for directions.

LANMAN: Leo Martez?

LEO: Here.

AARON: (leaning in obnoxiously) That would be spelled L-E-

LEO: Shut up! (looks at Kira, who still hasn`t looked back at him) I kept your map. Cause on the back of it, you know...

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: Can`t he just shut up? God, could this get any worse?

We see Mr. Lanman with a clipboard at the front of the class and hear Kira shout:


LEO: (has one of her pigtail braids in his fist, having grabbed it) Hey, why are you ignoring me?

An object comes flying from the front of the class and hits Leo`s head.


Leo is clawing his hands angrily through his dampened hair as Aaron leans against the wall behind him.

AARON: Real smooth, Casanova. That`s what you get for hitting on girls before school has barely started.

LEO: I told you, Aaron. I wasn`t hitting on her. Jesus...I`ve still got chalk dust in my goddamn hair.


Kira is alone in front of the mirror, unbraiding one side of her hair that got some chalk dust on it. She wets her hand and tries to rub it out. A tall girl comes out of a stall. Kira has no eye contact with her as she goes to the mirror and puts on lipstick. Then as she walks away her foot catches with Kira`s and trips her so she has to grab the sink to keep from falling.

GIRL: (unsincerely) Oh, sorry.


Leo and Aaron are walking down a hall.

AARON: You know, you shouldn`t be talking to Kira anyway. She`s not exactly...well...openly conversive.

LEO: So she`s shy. So what?

AARON: It`s not just that she`s shy. That girl is strange. All she does is lock herself up in the art studio and draw. And on top of that she`s probably guy-phobic. Believe me, I know. I`ve gone to school with her since junior high.

Kira walking down another hall with her backpack on.

AARON`S VOICEOVER: There`s something about her that kind of gets on your nerves. Makes you want to rough her up a bit.

Back to the hallway where Leo and Aaron are.

LEO: So even you have those kind of thoughts.

AARON: (angered) Don`t pull that shit on me, Leo. You know what I meant. Like I would really...

LEO: Yeah, yeah, I know.

AARON: I mean, who would actually do something to her?

LEO: (looking ahead at a group of girls) Oh, I can think of a couple people.

He is looking directly at the girls. One of them, Hanna, notices him and her face lights up.

HANNA: Leo! (runs to walk by him and Aaron) Hey. I heard you broke up with that vicious hag Rita.

LEO: That was two weeks ago.

HANNA: (tugs at his arm) Hey, take me for a ride on your motorcycle some time.

LEO: My bike gets jealous when I let other people ride.

Next to him Aaron rolls his eyes.

HANNA: (giggling) No kidding?

LEO: (with no enthusiasm) No kidding. (turns to Aaron) I`ll see you tomorrow, man.

AARON: Yeah. Don`t forget to bring your money. We`re playing after school.

LEO: Right.

Leo goes down another hallway, leaving Aaron and Hanna.

HANNA: What was he doing in class today talking to Kira Webber? That picture doesn`t fit together one bit.

AARON: Oh, you know Leo; he`s a walking sex organ. He`s not even worth contemplating the actions of.


Leo comes into his apartment. It`s a tiny and sadly empty room with only a bed and small desk. He sits on his bed which creaks and takes a cigarette out and puts it in his mouth. He digs around in his pocket for a lighter and then takes out a folded piece of paper. He unfolds it to reveal that it`s Kira`s drawing. He lays it on his lap, lights his cigarette and smokes it, staring at the drawing with his eyes full of thought.

Flashback of Leo sitting in the guidance office in front of Mr. Quinlan`s desk.

QUINLAN: We just don`t know what to do with you, Leo. You don`t seem to care about keeping yourself out of trouble. You used to be one of our best students.

LEO: Yeah, well...I guess I used everything up my first year of high school.

QUINLAN: I`d like to talk to one of your parents about this. Can I reach your mother at this time?

Close-up of Leo`s eye in the present with the reflection of the mother and child in the drawing in it.

LEO`S VOICEOVER: I don`t have a mother.

Return to flashback.

QUINLAN: What about your father? Is he at home right now?

LEO: I wouldn`t really know. I moved out of his house two years ago.

QUINLAN: You live by yourself? I don`t know if I think that`s the best situation for you to be in right now. I would feel better if I knew you weren`t living all on your own.

Leo sits silently.

QUINLAN: (more quietly) Listen, Leo. I understand what you went through. What you`re still going through. Even an adult couldn`t handle what you had to cope with. It`s not like I`ve forgotten about that...But, I just think you`re capable of being more than what you are right now.

Leo`s face is like stone, unchanging, as he says this.

Back in the present, Leo puts out his cigarette and lies back on his bed, still holding the drawing in front of him and staring at it.


Mr. Lanman is at the board talking and Kira is sitting and listening silently.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: (as she glances over at Leo beside her) At least Mr. Lanman is always here if Leo tries to bother me again.7

Brief flashback of Mr. Lanman yelling at Leo and throwing the chalk eraser at his head.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: Mr. Lanman seems like a pretty nice guy. I guess he`s a gentleman, unlike a lot of guys you meet nowadays.

A folded piece of paper is tossed onto the corner of her desk. She looks at the desk next to her where Leo is facing forward but his eyes drift to the side at her for an instant. Kira unfolds the note and it reads in unique but masculine handwriting: "I kept your drawing of the mother and child from the other day. You can have it back if you want it."

Kira looks confused for a second, then her eyes widen.

KIRA: (hands flying to her face) Oh my God!

LANMAN: (looking up, along with the rest of the class) Miss Webber? Is something the matter?

Kira is caught off guard and can`t come up with an answer.

LEO: It`s my fault, Mr. Lanman. I`m bothering her.

LANMAN: Whatever. Quit fooling around, Martez. Next time I`m sending you out.

Lanman goes back to lecturing and Kira looks over at Leo with a shocked expression.

LEO: (grinning) See? You can be loud.


Kira and Leo are standing by the lockers while students pass them.

LEO: You`re a really good artist. Did you use models for that drawing or anything?

KIRA: No. Well, I was just from watching mothers in the park with their kids and stuff. It was more like the idea.

LEO: Wow. That`s incredible. I could never do anything like that.

Farther down the hallway, Aaron and another guy are watching them talk.

GUY: The legendary sex god is talking to *her*? As a good friend of Leo`s, how do you explain that?

AARON: (shaking his head, confused) Don`t ask me, man. I have no idea.

KIRA: Um...Leo. Why did you bother holding onto my drawing? Why didn`t you just throw it away?

LEO: (looking flabbergasted) Why?...Because it was beautiful.

Kira`s eyes become surprised and lighted.

LEO: I really like it. It`s an awesome drawing.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: It`s strange. I didn`t even like him before. And now, his words...

AARON: (as he`s approaching) Hey, Leo!

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: ...they reach right inside me.

AARON: Leo, we`re supposed to be on the court now, remember?

LEO: (hitting his head) Oh, shit! (looking back at Kira) Hey, do you have any money on you?

KIRA: ...Yeah.

LEO: If you lend it to me I`ll pay you back double.

Looking confused, Kira reaches into her purse and takes out fifteen dollars.

LEO: (as she gives it to him) Are you going home now?

KIRA: No. To the studio.

LEO: Oh, you`re in the art club?

KIRA: Yeah. Are you on the basketball team?

LEO: (laughing) Oh no. I go to the court to work.

He eyes her for a second, thinking, and picks up the end of one of her hair braids, his fingers on her red hair tie. As he does this the camera view closes on the two of them from the neck down, and camera focuses on the background behind them where Hanna is watching them.

LEO: (slipping it out of her hair) Let me borrow this, too. I owe you one.

She stands speechless as he walks away with Aaron, who`s twirling a basketball on his finger. As Leo puts his hair up into the hairtie, they pass Hanna standing against a locker.

AARON: (waving) Hey, Hanna.

She is glaring at Kira and not looking happy.

KIRA: (staring after them) ...Work?


Leo slams a basketball into a hoop and hangs from it for a while, his shirt coming up so that his waist is exposed.

AARON: Show-off.


Leo drops back down onto the pavement and gives Aaron a high-five. They are playing ball with other kids. Two guys are watching the game from a distance.

GUY #1: That guy is good. The one with the long hair. He`s tall, too.

GUY #2: Yeah, that`s Leo Martez. He`s Aaron`s friend.

GUY #1: Is he on the team?

GUY #2: No. Aaron told me he only plays for money. The way he put it, he only really cares about racing. He races bikes, you know.

Aaron throws the ball into the net.

LEO: Come on, guys, is this the best you can do?


Leo and Aaron are sitting on the pavement of the now less crouded court sorting some dollar bills into two stacks.

AARON: Well, that was easy.

LEO: (scoffing) Yeah. All I need is twice this much money every other day. I`ve got to get a real job.

AARON: No kidding. When your girlfriends won`t even go into your place cause it`s so dirty I think you`re in trouble.

LEO: (smirking) Yeah...but not minding my apartment, it sucks being broke. (Runs his hand through his hair) You can`t even go get a haircut.

The hairtie slips out into Leo`s hand. He looks at it thoughtfully and then looks at the school building.


Kira is sitting at an easel sketching. Her hair is now completely unbraided on both sides. Before her is an armless statue of Mars that she is using as a model, sitting on a wheeled table.

Flashback of Leo taking her hair tie.

LEO: Let me borrow this, too. I owe you one.

Back to the present.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: (as she grins slightly) He has no manners...But I don`t really mind anymore.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER (FLASHBACK): Why did you bother holding onto my drawing?

LEO`S VOICEOVER (FLASHBACK): ...Because it was beautiful.

Brief flashback: the image of the mother and child in Kira`s drawing.

Kira stops drawing and her face goes serious, pensive. Then the door opens and she turns in her her chair. Mr. Lanman comes in.

LANMAN: Kira? Shouldn`t you be going home now? School`s been out for almost three hours.

KIRA: Sorry. I guess I lost track of the time.

Kira does not notice as he takes care to close the door behind him quietly.

LANMAN: Don`t apoligize. It`s not often you see students as dedicated as you are.

He walks over to stand behind her chair, bends over and looks at her drawing of the statue.

LANMAN: You sure like to draw, don`t you? Look at that...Such amazing talent.

Close-up: his hand reaches down to where her right hand rests on her leg, covering it.

LANMAN: Such a talented hand...

Close-up: Kira`s eyes widen in shock, and then dart down in the direction of his hand touching her. POV returns to his right hand, which moves over her hand and further down her thigh.

Close-up of the eyes of the statue of Mars staring, strong like stone, like it can see them. The only witness.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: (almost gasping) Why??....

Close-up of Lanman`s other hand, sliding under the collar of her shirt. Then we see only their feet, inanimate beside the legs of Kira`s chair and the legs of the easel.


We see the doorknob of the closed classroom door start to turn slowly, making just the slightest sound.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: Nothing will come out...

Close-up: Kira`s eyes become desperate and scared.

POV shows only the door as it opens and Leo walks in. He looks across the room. Finally the camera moves across the classroom to reveal what he sees; Kira sitting in the seat and Mr. Lanman standing behind, not touching her.

LEO: Mr. Lanman?

Kira looks surprised to see him and still scared, like a hunted animal.

LANMAN: L...Leo. What are you doing in here? You`re not even in the art club.

LEO: Oh, is that the way it is? You have to be in the club to come into the studio. (wanders around the room casually as Kira just stares, completely still. Stares at paintings and sculptures around the room) Well, maybe I`ll join the art club. Get in touch with my creative side.

LANMAN: You, Leo? That`s a laugh.

LEO: Why not, Mr. Lanman? I could have a hidden talent. And you know, I may be stupid...(turns and looks right at him) ...but at least I go after girls my own age.

Kira gasps softly and her shoulders stiffen.

LANMAN: (angry) What? That`s nonsence! You think I`m going to let you talk to me like that?

Leo picks up a blade from a supply table.

LANMAN: You can`t just get away with...(eyes the blade in his hand) Leo? Leo, what do you think you`re doing with that?

Leo quickly produces a pencil out of his back pocket.

LEO: Relax, Mr. Lanman. I thought I`d sharpen my pencil.

Lanman still stares at the blade wide-eyed as he holds it up.

LEO: It`s not like I was thinking about cutting your face up or anything.

Lanman stands for about one second, and then turns and dashes quickly out of the room. Leo tosses the blade back onto the table.

LEO: Amateur.

He looks over at Kira, who is still speechless, sitting in front of her easel. He walks over to her side.

LEO: Kira, you just let that creep feel you up without saying anything? You could have at least said you wanted money from him or something.

She says nothing, and he smiles slightly. He leans over to look her straight in the face.

LEO: (softly) When you look scared like that, it makes people think they can take advantage of you.

KIRA: (blinking and starting to recover) ...Really?

Leo looks at the sketch in front of her.

LEO: Hey, that`s really good. How long did it take you to do that?

KIRA: Um...a couple hours. It`s still not finished. But I don`t need the model anymore.

Leo looks up at the Mars statue and walks past the easel to get closer to it. At this moment the sky outside the windows of the classroom is turning to bright shades of red and orange, contrasting to the lighting and mood at the beginning of the scene.

LEO: And this is your model, huh? (turns table so that the statue is facing him)

Close-up of the word 'Mars' engraved at the bottom of the staue.

LEO: 'Mars'...Like the planet?

KIRA: ...The god. There`s the planet, and there`s a Mars in mythology, too. Mars is the god of war.

LEO: No kidding? The god of war...I think I would have hung out with this guy.

Leo leans over with one hand on the edge of the wheeled table. With his other hand he strokes the face of the statue with a finger.

LEO: Hm. For someone so violent, he has kind of a gentle face, doesn`t he?

He leans in slowly and Kira`s eyes widen as he kisses the statue. A striking image of Leo kissing the statue against a shocking sunset outside of firey red. Kira watches, her still tear-streaked face now in an expression of overwhelmed awe. For an instant we see everything from farther away, Kira and Leo and the statue appearing only as dark sillhouettes against the sky outside. Then a close-up of Kira`s left eye with the sunset reflected in it; it looks as if she is staring at a burning flame.

AARON: (from the hall) Leo!

Kira jumps and looks at the door. Leo stands up straight as Aaron walks past the art studio door and sees him inside.

AARON: (as he comes into the room) Leo, what the hell are you doing in here? Let`s go.

LEO: I`m coming. Oh, yeah.

Leo takes some money out of his pocket that is rolled and wrapped with Kira`s hairtie. He tosses it to her and she barely catches it, still somewhat paralyzed.

LEO: I told you I`d double it.

She looks up and watches in shock as he and Aaron leave.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: What is this feeling?

Distant view of Aaron and Leo leaving the school and walking outside. The sky is like a screaming painting now.

KIRA`S VOICEOVER: Something was just born in me...

LEO: (gazing up as he walks) Geese. Check out that sunset...It`s the color of blood.

Kira watches him leaving from the classroom window, holding the rolled bills in her hand.