Not every great screenplay has to be an arthouse darling.
With the number of prestige pictures vying for end-of-year awards attention, one could forget that some of the best reviewed films were also some of the year's biggest box office hits. What makes these blockbusters stand out from other CGI-fests, I would argue, are their excellent scripts in the hands of innovative directors. For this batch of screenplays now available to download, we present the box office behemoths Thor: Ragnarok and War for the Planet of the Apes, plus Alexander Payne's upcoming Downsizing.
Following the success of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Hemsworth stated in a candid interview that he wanted to see Thor move in a similar direction to give a boost to this thread of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was on the same wavelength as Hemsworth, bringing in New Zealand director Taika Waititi to lend his off-beat humor to the film, and the screenplay was written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher L. Yost. The result? One of the best reviewed MCU movies to date, a fresh perspective on a well-known Marvel character, and almost $200 million more in worldwide box office receipts than Thor: The Dark World.
The third and final installment in the revived Apes trilogy, War for the Planet of the Apes, managed to accomplish a remarkable feat: convincing audiences to root for the apes and against the humans. To borrow a line from another sequel this year, the film made the apes more human than human, both in terms of story and performance. Director and co-writer Matt Reeves captured the nuances of Andy Serkis, Karin Konoval and Terry Notary's portrayals, and with the help of his VFX team, transformed them into absolutely life-like, emoting animals on-screen.
Thirteen years have passed since Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor last graced the screen as a writing team on Sideways. Known for uncovering undiscovered novels and adapting them to great success, Downsizing is the first original screenplay from Payne & Taylor since their debut feature film Citizen Ruth. Downsizing proposes a reality in which scientists can shrink humans down to five inches tall in an effort to tackle the problem of global overpopulation. The film follows Paul and his wife Audrey as they downsize in an attempt to escape from the economic pressures of their lives—except all does not go according to plan.
Thanks to Disney, Warner Bros. and Paramount, here are the links to the screenplays:
- Thor: Ragnarok, screenplay by Eric Pearson and Craig Kyle & Christopher L. Yost
- War for the Planet of the Apes, screenplay by Mark Bomback & Matt Reeves
- Downsizing, written by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor
As always, please use these scripts for educational purposes only. Also, don't wait to download them because we never know when the studios will take the screenplays off the internet.
Be sure to check out all of this year's award contending screenplays available for download and stay tuned as more scripts arrive.