Who reads screenplays?

Who’s read 'em before?

And by that, I mean from cover page to final page, and more than one screenplay. Teleplays count, too. Transcripts do not.

I know we have a few film and tv buffs, and plenty more that count as big fans of either or both medium. But screenplays – for those who aren’t part of making the product itself, are generally considered boring, jarring and even ugly to read.

Get at me.


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P.S. I’m gonna say exactly 1 person here does. The first script is probably Fight Club, and it’s also his favorite movie of all time…

The second and final script he’s ever read is either Goodfellas, Scarface or The Godfather Part II, because he’s super deep and just loves classics, bro.

Whoever this guy is, he has good taste. :slight_smile: :2cents:


In a previous life, I would occasionally read them.

I remember liking this one:

I have. I do. So? :idunno:

Oh, interesting. What drove you to?


I guess actors and directors and film company execs read them. But as a form of entertainment? I think you’re you’re better off reading plays, or watching the movie itself… or even the storyboard.

… but that’s just me. I like the visuals of a movie (kinda the whole point).

You don’t have to guess, I can tell you they do. It’s in the job description.

You have to think? I mean… :point_down:

Good Will Hunting
No Country For Good Men

I suppose I was interested in how the screenplay became the film. What was changed, how they set each scene up.

I dunno. I read a lot. :idunno:

Impressed how you read the whole thing, though. If you’re not reading them for your job, like I said they’re not fun to read. It’s like looking at blueprints instead of the photoshop mock up, or the building itself.

Fanboys sometimes try to dig for scripts to gain any sequel spoilers they can (Star Wars franchise, MCU, Game of Thrones etc), but it’s curious to me how outside of being paid or getting points on Reddit, that anyone else would want to read them.

Did you regret spending the time?

I’ve read plenty and will say the screenplay for Saving Private Ryan was absolutely terrible. It read like a ‘rambo’ style film. I distinctly remember Tom Hanks’s character being more along the lines of “Go go go, shoot em boys!” rather than what turned out in the final product.

I’m assuming what I read was a very, very rough first draft.

EDIT: example taken from http://nldslab.soe.ucsc.edu/charactercreator/film_corpus/film_20100519/all_imsdb_05_19_10/Saving-Private-Ryan.html as the soldiers are on the landing craft approaching the beach.


           Do their best to stare straight ahead.  But the fear infects
           them.  It starts to spread.

                                 A FIGURE
                     Pushes through the men.  Puts himself
                     in front of DeLancey.

           The figure is CAPTAIN JOHN MILLER.  Early thirties.  By far
           the oldest man on the craft.  Relaxed, battle-hardened,
           powerful, ignoring the hell around them.  He smiles, puts a
           cigar in his mouth, strikes a match on the front of DeLancey's
           helmet and lights the cigar.

           DeLancey tries to look away but Miller grips him by the jaw
           and forces him to lock eyes.  Miller smiles.  DeLancey is

           Delancey Captain, are we all gonna die?

           Miller Hell no, two-thirds, tops.

           Delancey Oh, Jesus...

           Miller I want every one of you to look at the man on your
           left.  Now look at the man on your right.  Feel sorry for
           those to sons-of-bitches, they're going to get it, you're
           not going to get a scratch.  A few, including DeLancey, manage
           thin smiles.  Miller releases his grip on DeLancey who moves
           his jaw as if to see if it's broken.  Miller pats him on the
           cheek and moves on to the bow.

good lord what a difference

and yes, I had to read them for my old job.

Well sometimes I want to write them but it seems my ideas are far better in my head than they are when I try to put them to paper

No. I read fast.


Also, sometimes a script is better than the finished product. Also also, a script may have an explanation of something that isn’t exactly hidden in the film but isn’t exactly clear either. When I saw Pulp Fiction, the 50’s restaurant was just a 50’s restaurant to me (like a cigar just being a cigar). But in the script, Quentin explains the concept of the restaurant (poking fun at an explosion of similar restaurants in LA and showing what they would be like if they took themselves seriously), so when I read that it suddenly made sense. :bulb:

@Rockefeller are you just curious, or are you looking for feedback?

Nope. I’ve never read them regularly, although I vaguely recall reading one or two years and years ago, probably for academic purposes.

Even with that limited experience, I do wonder how people can say things like “I read the script, and I just had to be involved!” But I suppose reading the script and thereby imagining a film is a skill that many can and do develop.

What job?


Was that the only one you read? What a fun movie that was. It’s on Netflix now!

? getting great ones now — don’t think the two are mutually exclusive. Thanks guys.

That’s true! The Russell Crowe Robin Hood comes to mind— allegedly the script for that one was highly lauded and sought after, it was told from the perspective of the Sheriff and Robin Hood was the villain. Then Crowe comes on board as Robin Hood, whereupon he insists that RH must be the hero because he was always the hero, so they switched it back again.

Yep. Like I said— blueprint VS Photoshop mock up VS actual building.

I vaguely recall reading some others years ago. Feel free to send me some. :slight_smile:

Reddit is a great resource :innocent:

Or, there is a annual Black List in our industry that highlights the most well-liked but unproduced screenplays that you can look up. If you go back far enough, you’ll find some that eventually got produced, such as The Imitation Game (it got a since unseen number (100+) of mentions on the Black List).