I’ve been sent the script of Danny Strong‘s Recount, and it’s as good as I’d heard and hoped it would be. As I wrote a couple of days ago, it’s the basis of an HBO feature that Sydney Pollack will start directing within a few weeks’ time (for airing in early ’08), about the battle over the Florida returns in the wake of the 2000 presidential election and how the George Bush forces managed to finagle things in their favor at the end of the day.

I don’t want to give anything anyway, but I thought I’d let everyone read a five-page excerpt that covers the back and forth between the Gore and Bush campaigns at the moment when everyone realizes the Florida election is too close to call. I chose this portion because much of the dialogue has been used and repeated in news stories and books about this historic political spin battle. But these five pages give you a sense of how cleanly written and down-to-it Strong’s script is. Tell me if you don’t agree.

One presumes that Pollack will refine and augment as he goes along, but even if he shoots exactly what’s on the pages of this draft he’ll have a pretty good film at the end of the day. The draft I have is 137 pages long. Here’s page #20, #21, #22, #23 and #24.

The following quote appears on page 137, and again, I am revealing nothing as it is from a published dissenting opinion by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens regarding Bush. vs. Gore: “Although we may never know with complete certainty the winner of this year’s presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”