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Script Apart

English, TV & Video, 1 season, 106 episodes, 4 days, 19 hours, 49 minutes
About
A podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. Hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek.
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No One Will Save You With Brian Duffield

Brian Duffield is one of the most original writer-directors in genre cinema right now – a spec script maestro whose films are homages to the popcorn thrill rides he grew up on, without being nostalgic replays of those ‘90s classics. Instead, his movie’s always offer something new. Take Spontaneous, for example – his brilliant coming-of-age directorial debut romcom, set in a high school in which students are spontaneously combusting. Or even more pertinently, one of last year's most thrilling horrors: No One Will Save You, Brian's tale of a young woman with a chequered past, whose solitary life is interrupted by an alien invasion. The film plays out almost entirely without dialogue. We had the pleasure of chatting with Brian about who Brynn was to him, the idea of this story being about alienation in more ways than one, and exactly what is happening as the film reaches its ending – a moment that had the internet rife with theories as to exactly what goes down as Brynn’s fight to survive takes on a dreamy, seemingly utopian turn. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the Show.
5/15/20242 hours, 25 minutes, 22 seconds
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The Fall Guy with Drew Pearce

Drew Pearce is the writer of movies like Iron Man 3, Hobbs and Shaw and 2018’s Hotel Artemis – the Scottish-born storyteller’s directorial debut. This week, he’s back in cinemas with The Fall Guy – a car-flipping, boat-exploding, bullet-dodging, unicorn-hallucinating love letter to practical filmmaking that’s pure adrenaline and charisma. The David Leitch-directed film – loosely adapted from the 1980s TV show of the same name – stars Ryan Gosling as Colt Seavers, a Hollywood stuntman whose career isn’t the only thing derailed when he suffers a terrible accident on the set of an action movie. His fledgling romance with emerging director Jody Moreno, played by Emily Blunt, also hits the rocks – that is, until an opportunity arises to perhaps win her back. The star of Jody’s new sci-fi blockbuster, Metalstorm, has gone missing. If Colt can use his stuntman skills to track down the Hollywood A-list actor he used to double, he decides that Jody might give him another try. In the spoiler conversation with Drew that you’re about to hear, you’ll discover how the film began life as a more straight-action, Mission: Impossible-inspired stunt bonanza. You’ll also hear how there was a moment where The Fall Guy was going to be a “jukebox musical” devoted to the band Kiss. We talk about how the movie fits into a lineage of films about filmmaking that runs from Singing In The Rain to Babylon; what the movie is designed to express about the replacement of practical filmmaking techniques with VFX tools; and how a near-death experience years ago, in which Drew technically died for a minute or two, gives him a different appreciation of moments like this one, on the brink of releasing one of summer 2024’s most joyful, exciting blockbusters.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the Show.
5/3/202456 minutes, 35 seconds
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Air with Alex Convery

“You’re remembered for the rules you break.” So says Ben Affleck in Air, the 2023 sports marketing drama that took its own advice. Written by our guest today, Alex Convery, Air shouldn’t have been the captivating cinematic slam-dunk it turned out to be. At least, not on paper. A drama about the creation of the Nike Air Jordan trainer? That sounds like a film that’s gonna play out largely in grey, air conditioned boardrooms. It sounds like a film that’s gonna have limited suspense, because we all know that Air Jordan became this huge sports brand. It also sounds perhaps like it could be a nakedly capitalistic celebration of a product – Hollywood scraping the barrel in a time of endless IP and emphasis on “brand recognition."But Air turned out to be a film about Nike. At least, not entirely. It’s a drama about our connection to “things” and the intelligent people that foster those connections – who recognise how, for better or worse, in a capitalist world, products like an Air Jordan trainer can become these symbols of the lives we want to lead and the people we aspire to be. Directed by Affleck from Alex’s spec script, it starred Matt Damon as Sonny Vaccaro and Viola Davis as Deloris Jordan, mother to Michael Jordan – the greatest basketball player of all time. Alex had the idea for the movie after watching Netflix documentary series The Last Dance and – well, we'll leave the rest for him to explain. It was a total pleasure chatting with Alex about what Air says about 1980s America, and about stories that use an un-obvious perspective to frame their subject – Jordan through the eyes of a marketing exec, like Jesus through the eyes of the devil in Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ. We also get into how Air fits into a new Hollywood trend of movies based on products: Barbie, Blackberry, Tetris and so on. Alex had great insights on it all.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the Show.
4/25/20241 hour, 6 minutes, 28 seconds
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The Blair Witch Project with Eduardo Sánchez

 If you went down to the woods in July 1999, you were in for a big surprise. The Blair Witch Project – our movie this week, one of the most notorious horror films in modern movie history – was a phenomenon that no one saw coming. Its reverberations are still being felt today, not just in horror but in movie-making at large. Is tale of a group of indie filmmakers out in the wilderness, making a documentary about a mythical witch, is credited with birthing the found footage genre – a huge staple of blockbuster filmmaking for decades to come. But maybe more importantly, the film announced to emerging storytellers that, in a new era of digital video and the internet, anyone could be a filmmaker, able to make and market a film to audiences. All you needed was imagination. The Blair Witch Project was written and directed by Daniel Myrick and our guest today, Eduardo Sánchez – two friends fresh out of film school. In the conversation you’re about to hear, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the movie, Ed looks back at the film’s conception. We get into what psychological tricks found footage as a format plays on the audience’s brain to heighten their sense of terror. And you’ll discover how deep mythology of the Blair Witch goes – a mythology that, as you’ll hear towards the end of our chat, isn’t finished scaring audiences yet.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
4/20/20241 hour, 19 minutes, 47 seconds
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Stage Apart: The Hills of California with Jez Butterworth

Today on Script Apart – another in our "Stage Apart" series about great plays! Our guest this week is a storyteller beloved across stage and screen, whose 2009 play Jerusalem is frequently referred to as the best play of the century so far. His acclaimed theatre productions includes 1995’s Mojo, 2012’s The River and 2019’s The Ferryman – but movie fans might know him better for films like Edge of Tomorrow, Ford v Ferrari, the James Bond movie Spectre and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.  Yes, Jez Butterworth is here, discussing his triumphant return to London’s West End with The Hills of California, directed by Sam Mendes. The play tells the tale of a group of sisters reuniting in the faded seaside town they grew up in, aspiring towards musical stardom. Decades after the death of that particular dream, they’re left to reckon with what their lives became versus what they once imagined for themselves – with one painful secret no longer able to be confined to the past. It’s an incredibly moving and at times, hilarious meditation on regret, Britishness and the vultures that circle showbiz – inspired in part by Jez’s run-ins with disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, who the playwright once punched in the face.In the spoiler-free conversation you’re about to hear, he tells us why he continues to gravitate towards  “death of a dream” stories. We also discuss how the experience of tragically losing his beloved sister informed the play, and have a beautifully vulnerable discussion about a period of Jez’s life in which his mental health was suffering – and how that intersected with his experience of working on Edge of Tomorrow. We hope you enjoy. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
4/17/202447 minutes, 23 seconds
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Civil War with Alex Garland

This week on Script Apart – a storyteller who began penning films like 28 Days Later and The Beach, before stepping behind the camera as the writer-director of stories that go to fascinating philosophical places, asking borderline unanswerable questions about humanity along the way.  Alex Garland's fourth time in the director's chair, Civil War, is his most explosive film yet – a film that riffs on America's intensely fractious present by imagining a future in which the country has torn itself in two. The tale of a group of photojournalists – led by Kirsten Dunst’s Lee – travelling towards Washington as the country unravels is a tour de force on par with Ex Machina, Annihilation and other movies in Alex’s impressive filmography. But how does the movie connect (or decline to connect) to our current political landscape and what are the storytelling philosophies that continue to make Garland one of the most interesting filmmakers operating today? Find out by tuning in.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
4/13/202444 minutes, 43 seconds
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Stage Apart: Stranger Things – The First Shadow with Kate Trefry

This week on Script Apart, we’re broadcasting from the Upside Down. Yes, grab your Eggos and Metallica CDs for a special, spoiler-free conversation all about Stranger Things: The First Shadow – the first theatre production that we’ve covered on the show, as part of a new strand of episodes called "Stage Apart." The First Shadow is a show that, as reviews have underlined, accomplishes things not thought possible in a play till now; as a spectacle, it's breathtaking in the way it conjures all manner of demogorgon-related chaos, live in front of you. But also staggering is what the show achieves as a piece of storytelling. Which is why this week, we’re delighted to be joined by the wonderful Kate Trefry – writer of a great many of the show’s best episodes, and writer of The First Shadow.Working from a story created by Jack Thorne and show creators The Duffer Brothers, Kate penned The First Shadow as a prequel, pulling the curtain back on how and why the Upside Down came to Hawkins in the first place. Set in 1959, it introduces us to younger versions of fan favourite characters like Hopper, Joyce and Bob Newby, as a mystery unfolds in their sleepy hometown; beloved household pets are turning up not just dead but grotesquely disfigured. This spate of killing coincides not just with the production of a play at Hawkins High School that Joyce is directing, but also with the arrival of new kid Henry Creel – a kid that, those up to date with the latest season of Stranger Things will know, has a dark future he’s about to inherit.Stranger Things is one of the biggest TV shows of the last decade by pretty much any metric and in the conversation you’re about to hear, we talk to Kate about why that is. We get into how the tale of Eleven, Hopper and co has become almost a new American myth – and discuss what The First Shadow does to extend and complicate that fable. Without giving anything away, we discuss how The First Shadow ties the horrors of the Upside Down to 1950s racism and America’ involvement in World War II. You’ll also hear about the supposed “real-life” incidents – including a horrifying alleged event called The Philadelphia Experiment – that intersect with what happens in Hawkins in the astounding The First Shadow. Listen out, also, for a tease at what season five has in store, as Stranger Things approaches its final ever episodes. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
4/10/20241 hour, 48 seconds
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Script Club: Children of Men with Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties)

Welcome to another Script Club episode of Script Apart, in which storytellers we admire pick a film or show they love and talk about why it's special. Today, revered Folio Prize-winning author Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties, In The Dream House) breaks down the dystopian delights of Alfonso Cuarón's Children Of Men, co-written with Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. Based on a 1992 novel by P.D James, this 2006 action thriller forecast a Britain in the mid-2020s on the verge of collapse, governed by a party waging a cruel war on asylum seekers as a distraction from its problems. The UK may not currently be staring down a fertility crisis like the one depicted in Cuarón's film, but Children Of Men was, in other ways, eerily ahead of its time in some of its predictions. In the spoiler conversation you're about to hear, Carmen shares what she finds so impactful about the tale, and the influence it has had on stories of her own, such as 2017's chilling Inventory.  Carmen is one of Al's favourite working writers, and someone whose work has been a north star in his own fiction, so we were delighted to have her on the show, breaking down a drama that only grows more relevant with each passing year.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
3/4/20241 hour, 16 minutes, 47 seconds
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Expats with Lulu Wang

“We are what we survive.” That’s the message of Expats, the powerful new limited series from our guest this week, Lulu Wang. Lulu is a writer-director whose stories are unflinchingly intimate portraits of characters captivatingly full of contradictions. In this show, adapted from a novel by Janice Y.K. Lee, those characters are three women, different in age, class, personal circumstance and relationship to motherhood, who become linked by an unthinkable tragedy. These women’s stories combine to tell a tale of grief and privilege in a modern day Hong Kong battered by typhoon weather and simmering political dissent. And they do so movingly. Lulu till now has been best known as the writer-director of 2019’s The Farewell, based on a radio story she wrote in 2016 for This American Life, about her own Chinese-American immigrant family. This follow-up to that breakout hit sounds like from the outset some kind of thriller: Nicole Kidman plays Margaret, an American living in Hong Kong whose youngest son disappears at a night market. Instead of a pulse-pounding pursuit, full of cops, clues and criminals like most abduction dramas, Expats instead unfolds at a meditative, mournful pace, against the backdrop of the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests in Hong Kong. In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, celebrating the magnificent finale that dropped today, Lulu discusses about what happened to Margaret's child Gus, why the show refused to give an explanation for his disappearance and instead prioritised what it means to grieve; how grief doesn’t shrink, leaving us instead to grow around it.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
2/23/20241 hour, 40 seconds
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How To Have Sex with Molly Manning Walker

Today on Script Apart, we're heading to Malia with Molly Manning Walker, writer-director of How To Have Sex. Since wowing audiences at Cannes last summer, the sun-sea-and-consent drama has proved a box office hit, been hailed as one of the strongest feature debuts by a British filmmaker in recent year and sparked long-overdue, nuanced conversations about the attitudes towards sex that young people inherit. The film  tells the tale of Tara, a sixteen-year-old played by Mia McKenna-Bruce, on a rite-of-passage summer holiday blowout with friends while she awaits school exam results. What begins as a sun-soaked adventure, full of borrowed hair straighteners, karaoke and bright-blue-coloured cocktails, soon becomes something bleaker when the girls meet a group of lads in the holiday rental apartment opposite them. Amid the thumping music and blinding lights of Malia’s club scene, a taboo-shattering expose of everything wrong with the way teenagers are encouraged to view sex unfolds – and it's absolutely heartbreaking.Molly wrote the film while revisiting memories of going on a number of clubbing holidays herself between sixteen and eighteen, and realising what little room there was for discussion about the pressuring sexual elements of those trips and the harrowing experiences they can result in. When she was the victim of a sexual assault at age sixteen, she remembers “wanting to talk about it. But I’d walk into rooms and it would suck the air out of the room. How are people supposed to move on if no one’s allowed to talk about it?” How To Have Sex is a movie that does to talk about it – and does so movingly without ever lurching into lecturing or sentimentality.In the spoiler-filled interview you’re about to hear, Molly break down key scenes from the film, including the heart-wrenching final exchange in the airport between Tara and Skye – what isn’t being said in that moment, and why. We talk about what she’s learned about how global the problems depicted in How To Have Sex are by the response to film beyond Britain – and how working on this film at the same time as Scrapper, Charlotte Regan’s brilliant surrealist comedy set out on a UK council estate – taught her about the necessity of female coming-of-age stories. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Magic Mind and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
2/9/202445 minutes, 47 seconds
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American Fiction with Cord Jefferson

American Fiction is two films at once – a farcical comedy take-down of white gatekeepers who only want one type of Black storytelling and a beautifully tender drama that underlines the richness possible when filmmakers of colour are allowed to operate outside of the boxes they’re often put in. Written and directed by Cord Jefferson, whose past writing credits include work on Succession, The Good Place and Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen TV adaptation, the film tells the tale of Monk, a frustrated academic played by Jeffrey Wright, who becomes an accidental literary sensation when a manuscript he writes as a joke, perpetuating Black stereotypes, becomes a best-seller. There’s sensitivity beneath the scathing satire of that premise, however: American Fiction is a movie that reels you in with its funny premise, then moves you to tears with its elegant portrait of a family as they search for meaning in grief and growing older.In this spoiler conversation, Cord tells Al what struck him about Erasure, the 2001 novel by Percival Everett that American Fiction is an adaptation of. We get into the personal experiences that helped him relate powerfully to Percival’s story – and what inspired the changes from page to screen, such as the omission of a storyline involving a murder by an abortion protestor. Listen out, also, for what Cord has to say about the film’s meta ending and the symbolism behind the enigmatic image that closes the film. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Magic Mind, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
2/6/202455 minutes, 38 seconds
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The Holdovers with David Hemingson

Alienation, abandonment and dislocated shoulders: not really your usual ingredients for a tender festive heart-warmer. But then again, The Holdovers – unequivocally one of our favourite films of the last twelve months – isn’t your average Christmas movie. Directed by Alexander Payne and written by our guest today, the brilliant David Hemingson, it's a drama steeped in the pain of reaching the so-called “most wonderful time of the year” and feeling nothing but loneliness. The film tells the story of three loners thrown together by circumstance over the  Christmas break at a New England boarding school, each disillusioned with a world that doesn't seem to want them. They have their differences. One – Paul, played by Paul Giamatti – is a miserly middle-aged academic with an odour problem. Another – Angus, played by newcomer Dominic Sessa – is a brash student of his, on the brink of being sent to military school. The third and possible heartbeat of the movie, Da'Vine Joy Randolph's Mary Lamb, is their school cook – a woman who recently lost everything. These characters find a richness in each other that's uplifting without ever feeling schmaltzy or sentimental. It's a staggeringly beautiful film.In the spoiler conversation you're about to hear, David tells us about Uncle Earl, the real-life family member he based the character Paul on. You'll hear how his first draft involved a woman Paul used to date with porcelain fingers, after injuring her hand in a car accident. We also spend some time debating the words "not for ourselves alone are we born" – the lesson, if there is one, of The Holdovers, and a mantra we could all doing with reminding ourselves of more in our fragmented 2024.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI, Magic Mind, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
2/1/20241 hour, 4 minutes, 53 seconds
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All Of Us Strangers with Andrew Haigh

This week we're joined by writer-director Andrew Haigh, whose new metaphysical drama All Of Us Strangers is a bruise in movie form: all swirling blue and purple hues, symbolic of hurt and longing to heal. The film tells the tale of a quiet screenwriter named Adam, played by Andrew Scott, who lives in a lonely London tower block, divorced from the world. His only neighbour is Harry, played by Paul Mescal, who one night makes a drunken move on Adam, only to be turned down. Instead, we follow Adam as he boards a train and visits his childhood home. The unexpected reunion that follows takes the film on a dream-like turn representative of the scars he still wears as a gay man who grew up in conservative 1980s Britain. As the drama goes on, that dream quickly curdles into a nightmare.In the spoiler conversation you're about to hear, Al speaks to Andrew about the "aloneness" rather than loneliness that powers All Of Us Strangers. We get into the construction of its devastating twists, the process of adapting the 1987 Japanese novel on which it's based, the meaning of the pop music threaded into the house and the catharsis of writing this powerhouse story – one that audiences have found themselves unable to shake for weeks after viewing. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI, Magic Mind, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
1/30/202451 minutes, 8 seconds
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Maestro with Josh Singer

The acclaimed new Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro is about more than just the life and times of arguably America’s most famous composer. It’s about the idea of genius and what allowances those in the presence of gifted creatives sometimes permit, at great personal cost, to allow that artistry to flourish. Starring Carey Mulligan and Bradley Cooper, who also directs, the film’s another example of the supreme storytelling talents of Josh Singer – a screenwriter renowned for telling the true-life tales of people who sent ripples through our culture for decades to come. In the Oscar-winning Spotlight, it was a team of Boston journalists who exposed a church cover-up. In Damien Chazelle’s First Man, it was astronaut Neil Armstrong – the first man on the moon. When it comes to writing dramatically compelling, non-sensationalised biopics, you won’t find many better. In our latest episode, the 51-year-old breaks down his latest exploration of a public figure and the demons hidden beneath the surface of his fame. It’s a fascinating spoiler conversation about how and Bradley Cooper co-wrote the script, spanning the meaning of its ambiguous title and how he approached the movie’s devastating ending. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI, Magic Mind, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
1/24/20241 hour, 19 minutes, 47 seconds
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Beau Is Afraid with Ari Aster

This week, we're joined by the great Ari Aster –  one of the boldest and most enigmatic voices in American cinema right now. He’s a filmmaker that Al first met in May 2019. The New York-born writer-director’s debut horror, Hereditary, was a few months old at the time, and Ari was deep in the edit for Midsommar at the time. Al had been sent by Empire Magazine to write a profile that championed him as a new king of horror. Which made sense in the moment: Midsommar, his Wicker Man-esque follow-up to Hereditary, about a Swedish cult, promised more frights, more decapitations.One problem, though. Ari rejected the idea of himself as a horror filmmaker. He kept emphasising to Al, in his quiet, charming way, that horror wasn’t where his heart was. At least, not exclusively. No, Ari longed to make a comedy. A comedy musical, if possible. What would a comedy musical by this filmmaker, best known for chilling audiences to the bone, look like? In 2023, we got our audience – the jaw-dropping Beau Is Afraid.Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Beau Is Afraid is indeed a comedy. Its punchline just happens to speak to the existential treadmill-to-nowhere that life can sometimes resemble. It may not have songs to qualify it as a musical, but its case is populated by icons of musical theatre, known for their stage work (Nathan Lane, Richard Kind). Following a middle aged man on an Oedipal trip through an absurdist America en route to his mother’s funeral, the movie began life as a short film in 2011. In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, we get into what evolved from Ari’s initial vision for Beau, as the character made his way to the big-screen. We talk about how in early drafts, the orphans of the forest weren’t a theatre group but a cult – something Ari had to change when he realised his first two movies had dealt heavily with cults and he couldn’t go three-for-three. We also discuss the horror and hilarity of the monster in the attic and what the religious iconography of the movie represents in Beau’s journey. It’s a riveting peek into the mind of a filmmaker out here making films unlike anyone else. We hope you enjoy.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI, Magic Mind, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
1/19/202434 minutes, 29 seconds
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Poor Things with Tony McNamara

Today on the show – a movie in which Emma Stone attempts to punch a baby, by a playwright and screenwriter whose stories never fail to pack a punch. Yes, Tony McNamara is here, talking all things Poor Things, his latest collaboration with director Yorgos Lanthimos. Having previously worked together on the ten-time Oscar-nominated historical comedy The Favourite in 2018, this awards-tipped odyssey is a Frankensteinian creation as beguiling and impossible to pin down as its protagonist, Bella Baxter. It’s part coming-of-age comedy, part sexual conquest and part travelogue through an eye-popping steampunk planet both like and unlike our own. You might also classify it as a father-daughter drama – except here, the father is a mad scientist whose home is a cornucopia of unholy experiments, his daughter, played by Emma Stone, just one of them.Stone is astounding as Bella, a reanimated dead woman, whose body, dragged from the Thames, has had life breathed into it once more. The horny journey of self-discovery that the character goes on from there, adapted from a 1992 novel by Alasdair Gray, comments on our culture’s (male-driven) obsession with control, explains Tony in our conversation. It’s a riveting chat with a storyteller whose other screen credits include creating the TV show The Great, loosely based on Empress Catherine the Great of Russia’s rise to power in 18th century Saint Petersburg and 2021’s Cruella. Listen out for insights on the changes made to Gray’s novel, the scene that Yorgos and Tony sadly had to cut for time, the idea of sex as a liberating force for the film’s main character and what each of the new lands Bella visits are meant to bring out of her evolving character. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
1/11/202446 minutes, 58 seconds
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Society Of The Snow with J.A. Bayona

On October 13, 1972, a plane carrying 45 passengers and crew – 19 of whom were young rugby players – took off from Carrasco International Airport in Uruguay heading to Santiago, Chile. The plane never reached its destination. Adverse weather conditions caused Flight 571 to crash into a mountain ridge, ripping the aircraft in two over the Andes mountains – one of the most inhospitable places on earth. Those who didn’t die immediately in the wreckage – the so-called lucky ones – faced unimaginable horror. For 72 days, these survivors, aged between 19 and 26, endured frostbite and an avalanche. They watched as, one by one, friends and teammates perished in the plummeting temperatures each night. Starving to death in this endless white abyss, the passengers of Flight 571 were forced to do the unthinkable to survive, resorting to eating the bodies of the deceased as a means of desperately clinging to life. You probably know all this, because the story of the Miracle in the Andes as it became known is a story that’s been told many times before, in books, films, documentaries and TV shows. What happened – how 16 people not only survived, but forged their own rescue – is well-known. How it actually felt to be out there in the wilderness, though – the philosophical and spiritual conundrums the survivors faced – has never really been truly translated to screen until now. Society Of The Snow – directed and co-written by our guest today, the great J.A. Bayona – is a drama that finds transcendence in the true-life tale of Flight 571. Yes, the film abides by the facts of what went down in that frosty mountain range across those agonising 72 days – Bayona spent hundreds of hours interviewing the survivors before penning the movie’s screenplay with his co-writers Bernat Vilaplana, Jaime Marques and Nicolás Casariego. But more importantly, inspired by a great book – La Sociedad de la Nieve by Pablo Vierci – it takes a lyrical approach to the story. One bordering on the metaphysical, full of dialogues between the living and the dead. In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, JA tells us what it is about tales of people forced to confront the full might of nature that he finds himself drawn to as a storyteller (his previous films include tsunami drama The Impossible and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which had similar themes nature versus man). We talk about crafting the plane crash scene on the page, the bold decision he made involving the narrator of the tale and why the film doesn’t end on a note of triumph but something more melancholy. If you haven’t seen Society Of The Snow yet, be sure to hit pause now, watch on Netflix then come back as we dive into every detail. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
1/4/20241 hour, 1 minute, 23 seconds
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Toy Story 3 with Michael Arndt

In our final episode of 2023, Michael Ardnt – the acclaimed writer of films like Little Miss Sunshine and Star Wars: The Force Awakens – drops by for a two-hour dissection of his script for a Pixar sequel that went to infinity and beyond.  Directed by past Script Apart guest Lee Unkrich, 2010’s Toy Story 3 could have repeated the formula that made past the franchise’s previous films a global phenomenon, making instant icons out of Woody, Buzz and their found-family of fellow play-things. Instead, it leapt forward in time to find Andy, the toys’ owner, all-grown up and about to head to college, heaping huge existential questions on fans’ beloved characters. Questions like: if a toy is retired to an attic, never to be played with again, what is their reason to be? What does it mean to be outgrown by people you love, who no longer love you in return? If that sounds heavy for what is ostensibly a kids’ tale, wait till we remind you that Toy Story 3 was a movie set mostly in a brutal toy internment camp that ends with our heroes about to be incinerated. That boldness is why many regard the film as being “peak Pixar” – and can you blame them? Toy Story 3 came on the back of a remarkable run of hits for the animation studio that included Ratatouille in 2007, Wall-E in 2008 and Up in 2009. Working on Toy Story 3, Michael and co felt emboldened by the success of those films to take an impressive number of storytelling risks.Michael was picked by Pixar – presumably via email or a phone call, rather than a giant mechanical claw like the ones in Pizza Planet – because few storytellers do grounded emotion and dysfunctional families like he does. At the onset of his career, across three days in May 2000, he’d written a screenplay about a family on a road trip that became a monster hit. Little Miss Sunshine earned the Virginia-born screenwriter a Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 2006 and catapulted him onto the radar of Pixar, whose brain trust would soon begin cooking up a story for a third movie in their Toy Story franchise.In the conversation you’re about to hear, Michael breaks down the many early iterations of this movie, including an abandoned Toy Story 3 from before his time on the project, in which the toys travel to Taiwan after Buzz is shipped there following a global product recall on the toy. We get into the original ending for the film, the machinations of Lotso Huggin’ Bear, how the story is deep down one about parenthood and of course, that traumatising moment our heroes hold hands, staring down certain death. Michael’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@michaelarndt8848Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
12/21/20231 hour, 52 minutes, 56 seconds
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A Murder At The End Of The World with Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij

On today’s episode, an interview at the end of a TV show: A Murder At The End Of The World. That’s right, Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij are with us, breaking down every detail of their phenomenal techno-thriller whodunnit, which reached its breathtaking conclusion last night. As we’ve come to expect from the creators of head-spinning drama The OA – which felt like the signalling of a bold new era of ambitious narrative television when it hit screens in 2016 – A Murder At The End Of The World was a triumph of both ideas and emotion. Few filmmakers today combine both as seamlessly and elegantly as Brit and Zal, whose latest show offered meditations on the following: artificial intelligence, online misogyny, the desensitisation in our culture around violence towards women, extreme wealth, climate crisis, the deification of tech company CEOs… the list goes on. The fact that A Murder At The End Of The World can so smartly probe all those topics without ever toppling in on itself like a house of cards in an Icelandic snow storm is an incredible feat. The fact that all those big intellectual ideas never overshadow the emotion of the show – the journey we go on Emma Corin’s courageous hacker Darby Hart – is even rarer. Darby’s story, zigzagging across three different periods of her life, is the heartbeat of this tale, about a group of high-achievers and industry leaders invited to a mysterious retreat among the frozen fjords of the Fljot Valley. The aim of this gathering? To solve the challenges facing humanity, its tech billionaire host Andy Ronson explains. A slight snag in that plan emerges, though, when one by one, guests begin to be bumped off in terrifying ways. Only Darby can solve the mystery of the killer’s identity.In the conversation you’re about to hear, Zal and Brit discuss philosophies behind the show, the world war origins of the whodunit genre, the ethical way to approach violence against women on screen without perpetuating that violence in the real world, and of course, the revelations of the show’s final episode. As ever, this is a spoiler-filled interview, so if you haven’t watched A Murder At The End Of The World in full, please be sure to catch up before tuning in.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
12/19/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 6 seconds
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Leave The World Behind with Sam Esmail

New disaster movie Leave The World Behind deals with themes that its writer-director, Sam Esmail, finds impossible to leave behind himself. Eight years ago, the filmmaker introduced himself with Mr. Robot – a techno-thriller piece of prestige TV that warned of the ways that society might grow fragmented, unreliable and open to exploitation, the more it hinged on technology. The show ran for four seasons, winning three Emmys along the way. Now, he’s back with another tale that highlights the dangers of digitalism and how quickly our technology-dependent society might be dismantled with the click of a button, or more accurately the right line of hacker code. Leave The World Behind stars Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke as parents who escape to a Long Island vacation home, only for a stranger and his daughter – played by Mahershala Ali and Myha'la Herrold– to turn up unannounced in the middle of the night, bearing tales of electrical blackouts in New York City. It’s a great watch that keeps you guessing till the very end, punctuated by some incredibly unnerving imagery that will rattle around in your brain for days after. And it speaks very much to anxieties of our time. In the years since Sam created Mr. Esmail, we’ve seen Russia hack the 2016 US election and Cambridge Analytica influence Brexit. We live in a time of global superpowers seeking to disrupt society via digital means. So maybe the question isn’t why Sam would go back to the themes of Mr. Robot. Perhaps the question is: why wouldn’t he?In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, which covers every important plot point and detail of this great movie, Sam discusses the huge departures made from the Rumaan Alam novel this movie adapts, the meaning of the menacing animals throughout this film, and how the TV show Friends came to be a massive motif running through Leave The World Behind – resulting in one of the best movie punchlines of 2023. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
12/7/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 4 seconds
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Eileen with Ottessa Moshfegh and Luke Goebel

Something sinister simmers beneath the surface of suburbia in Eileen, a psychological thriller about pent-up desire, parental neglect and escaping the shackles of the life expected of us. It’s a story that first existed as a novel, launching the literary career of Boston-born author Ottessa Moshfegh in 2015. Since then, Ottessa’s career has skyrocketed: novels like Lapvona and the tremendous My Year of Rest and Relaxation have seen her lauded as one of her generation’s most exciting voices. Or as the fantastic Jia Tolentino once described her, “easily the most interesting contemporary American writer on the subject of being alive, when being alive feels terrible.”Through all that success, though, Eileen has followed her. The character, a secretary at a correctional facility for teenage boys in a small American town, lost in time, never quite left her side in all that time, and in the new film adaptation of her story – penned with husband and screenwriting partner Luke Goebel – it shows. The movie, directed by William Oldroyd, stars Thomasin McKenzie as Eileen and Anne Hathaway as the older woman, Rebecca, she becomes enchanted by. The closer they get, though, the closer Eileen gets to a dark truth involving one of the young inmates at the prison where she works.On this week’s show, Ottessa and Luke take time out on a recent trip to London to break down their screenplay and take us inside the mind of the film’s Hitchcockian anti-heroine. Ottessa recounts the parts of herself she left on the page when she initially wrote the story, while Luke – a great author in his own right, whose Fourteen Stories, None of Them Are Yours collection is a brilliant read – unravels the meanings of key scenes as he sees them. We also crucially debate whether the festive backdrop of this film – all snow and fairy lights, to the tune of constant carols –  makes this a Christmas movie. This is a spoiler conversation, as ever on Script Apart, so do be sure to check out the movie, in cinemas now, before tuning in.  Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
11/30/202346 minutes, 25 seconds
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May December with Samy Burch

May December – written by our guest this week, Samy Burch – tells the serpentine tale of a TV actress, Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) who descends upon the home of a family founded on scandal. Two decades have passed since Gracie, portrayed by Julianne Moore, and her now-husband Joe, played by Charles Melton, hit the headlines after beginning a relationship when Gracie was in her mid-thirties and Joe was just thirteen years old. Elizabeth, researching the couple ahead of a film based on their lives, joins the couple (now married with kids) and attempts to understand what makes them each tick. In the process, she discovers that debris still remains from the tabloid storm that engulfed their lives. And we, as an audience, discover that Elizabeth herself has exploitative, machiavellian tendencies of her own.It’s a story that Samy wrote in 2019 after landing on the idea with her partner, Alex Mechanik. “What would make a 36-year-old woman start an affair with a seventh grader?” you may be wondering – in which case, you’re not alone. Gracie’s former husband echoes those exact words in the film. But May December isn’t interested in answering that – not declaratively, at least. This is a film that refuses absolutes, asking more questions than it answers. Does the twenty years of stability and apparent happiness that Joe and Gracie have shared together justify the wrongs of how their relationship began? Does the family life they’ve built paper over how predatory and problematic Gracie’s behaviour was, in initiating a sexual partnership with a kid whose voice must only just have broken? And what does it say about us, that as a culture, we’re so drawn to the transgressions of people like Gracie? Are we as parasitic as the prying actress who dismantles their lives, almost on a whim? These are all questions left to us to ponder after its credits roll. They’re also questions that Samy was delighted to give her take on, in my revealing conversation with the first-time screenwriter. Spoilers ahead, so be sure to watch the fantastic May December first before tuning in.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Stowe Story Labs and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
11/23/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 5 seconds
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The Killer with Andrew Kevin Walker

Stick to the plan. Anticipate, don’t improvise. Trust no one. Never yield an advantage. Fight only the battle you’re paid to fight… and if you can do all that while listening to The Smiths, even better. That’s the mantra of the eponymous assassin at the heart of The Killer, directed by David Fincher and written by our guest today  – the fantastic Andrew Kevin Walker. The Killer is a movie that deconstructs the hitman movie genre like Michael Fassbender’s glassy-eyed gun-for-hire deconstructing a McDonald’s sandwich on a park bench in Paris. It opens with a blaze of images that tease the explosive action typical of these films then swerves in a different direction. The result is a defiantly meditative two hours in which the violence of the movie’s revenge plot is almost incidental to the character’s meticulous ways and detached observations about the world.It’s an absolutely riveting watch but then again, what did we expect? Unlike The Killer himself – who misses his target early on in the film, sparking the film’s descent into chaos – Andrew and Fincher rarely miss their mark whenever they work together. The pair first teamed up on 1995’s Se7en, which began life as a spec script that Andrew wrote after moving to New York from suburban Pennsylvania. Since then, Andrew’s taken passes at Fight Club and The Game for Fincher, on top of his solo adventures in Hollywood, penning films like Sleepy Hollow and 2022’s excellent Windfall.In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, Andy answers our questions about the subtle commentary on materialist culture woven into the film. We get into the influence of the novelist Somerset Maugham on Andy’s work and break some of the film’s most intriguing moments, including its enigmatic ending – in which a life is spared but existential questions loom.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
11/17/20231 hour, 45 minutes, 2 seconds
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Killers of the Flower Moon with Eric Roth

Can you find the wolves in this podcast? Our guest today, Eric Roth, is the Academy Award-winning writer behind films like Forrest Gump. He wrote The Insider for Michael Mann, Munich for Steven Spielberg, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for David Fincher and 2018’s A Star Is Born for Bradley Cooper, and two years ago, we had the delight of his company as we broke down his script for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune on this very show. Today, we're joined by him once more to discuss what – whisper it – may just be his crowning accomplishment. Few films this year have left the extraordinary imprint left behind by Killers of the Flower Moon – a tale of love, murder and quite-literally-poisonous greed in 1920s America, directed by Martin Scorsese. Eric’s script for the film, which he co-wrote with the beloved auteur, was adapted from a non-fiction book by author David Grann, but with a very different approach to the story told in that tome. The book investigated a series of killings of members of the indigenous Osage Nation – deaths caused, then covered up, by white men who coveted their oil-rich land. At the heart of all this was a woman: Mollie Kyle, played in the film by Lily Gladstone, who marries a first world war veteran named Ernest Burkhart, played by Leo DiCaprio. Ernest had a corrupt uncle, William King Hale, portrayed by Robert DeNiro, who masqueraded as an upstanding member of the community. Molly was forced to watch in horror as at least 24 family members and friends were systematically killed as a result of Hale’s scheming – unaware that her uncle-in-law was masterminding these deaths and unaware that the man she loved was helping him. Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon, however,  was subtitled “the birth of the FBI” for a reason – it focused on the white law enforcement response to the killings rather than the Osage Nation itself. As you’ll discover in this episode, Eric’s first draft of this movie adaptation followed suit – before he and Scorsese realised they had a responsibility to navigate this tale from a different perspective. It wasn’t as simple as making Molly the lead. That story, as non-indigenous filmmakers, Scorsese has implied, wasn’t theirs to tell. Instead, they set about making a film about complicity that would centre Ernest in all his cowardice and employ Molly as the movie’s moral heart.In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, we break down all of the film’s key scenes, uncover some fascinating details about its first draft and break down the meaning of the movie’s astounding finale – a moment on film unlike anything else in Scorsese’s filmography. Eric, as ever, was a total pleasure to chat with: a storyteller so inspiringly in love with what he does, that at 78-years-old, there’s no sign of him slowing down. Writing screenplays is simply what he does. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
11/9/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Royal Hotel with Kitty Green

Film history is full of troublesome hotels, isn’t it? A few of them we've even covered on this very show, from the haunted Overlook in The Shining to the labyrinthine, unsettling Airbnb in Barbarian – the kinds of places that make you vow to never complain about a Premier Inn again. This week, revered writer-director Kitty Green releases a thriller that adds to that long list with the sublime The Royal Hotel – an at times unbearably tense exploration of gender and toxic masculinity, set in rural Australian. On today’s episode of Script Apart, Kitty stops by for a spoiler breakdown of the movie, in which two young women in need of money check into a dilapidated pub in a remote mining town. What happens next, as the line is blurred between drunken boys-will-be-boys and truly dangerous behaviour, is impossible to tear your eyes away from, beautifully written and impeccably directed.In the conversation you’re about to hear, Kitty tells us about her own family connections to the mining town pub culture depicted in the film, which was co-written with Oscar Redding. We unpack what’s going on in the heads of the film’s two leads, Hannah and Liv, as they encounter some of the community’s many microaggressions towards them. She also breaks down the film’s connections to her last movie, The Assistant, and what the two dramas combined express about the epidemic of male violence towards women. Please be sure to check out the film before listening as this episode has more spoilers than you can shake a taxidermied snake at.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
11/5/202341 minutes, 28 seconds
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Bottoms with Emma Seligman

The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. But when it comes to Bottoms – the new queer high school comedy from Emma Seligman, in which two teen lesbians start their own Fincher-esque Fight Club in an attempt to get closer to cheerleaders – well, there's really no helping it. On today's episode of Script Apart, the acclaimed filmmaker breaks down an early version of the smash hit new movie that began with our heroes, PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (The Bear star Ayo Edebiri) “masturbating at a militaristic boot camp for horny girls.” In this version of the film,  a steroid epidemic that "causes people to hate women" was wreaking havoc at Rockbridge Falls High, with it up to PJ and Josie to save the day.Listen to our spoiler conversation with Emma to discover the thematic connections between Bottoms and her groundbreaking debut Shiva Baby,  the inspiration behind fragile football star Jeff, her process of writing the script with Sennott and much, much more.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from MUBI, ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
11/3/202345 minutes, 20 seconds
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem with Jeff Rowe

This week, we're delighted to be reunited with the talented Jeff Rowe, who first appeared on the show in 2021, breaking down his and Mike Rianda’s hilarious The Mitchells vs the Machines. On today’s episode, the animation auteur returns to talk all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The heroes in a half shell returned earlier this year in Mutant Mayhem, which Jeff directed from a script he co-wrote with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The film packed laughter,  action and emotion unlike any Turtles film before it – a result of the trio approaching the story as a coming-of-age tale, inspired by films like Ladybird and Stand By Me.The story behind how Turtles was written is almost as radical as the movie itself. Jeff, Seth and Evan worked hard on one version of the film only to realise fairly far into production that the story was “fundamentally broken.” So, they got together and across a whirlwind, high-pressure 48 hours, wrote an entirely new story for this Turtles reboot. In the conversation you’re about to hear, Jeff and I discuss that discarded version of the film in which the iconic villain Shredder was a “Vince Vaughn type” wreaking havoc on New York. There’s thorough analysis of all the key scenes in the film, and Jeff opens about his difficult family life growing up and how it fed into the story he wanted to tell here, about the beauty of found families. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
10/26/20231 hour, 30 minutes, 31 seconds
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Storyteller Sessions: Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects)

This episode is part of our Storyteller Sessions event – a weekend of career-spanning conversations with game-changing storytellers, raising money for the Entertainment Community Fund. If you enjoy this episode or any of the episodes still to come across this weekend, please do consider donating via the link below: Donate to our fundraiser here!Gillian Flynn is an author, screenwriter and showrunner who delights in writing what she calls “bad women” – fascinatingly flawed female characters who she grants the freedom to kill, lie, harm and harass in a way that sometimes ruffles feathers. Take her 2012 novel Gone Girl, for example, which she later adapted into a smash hit movie with David Fincher. That murder-mystery tale of a marriage steeped in deceit captivated the world and sparked near-endless conversation about the poison and/or empowerment of its main character, Amy Dunne. That novel and movie – released within two years of each other – didn't just make Flynn a literary darling. It also catapulted her to the summit of film and TV. In 2018, she co-wrote the brilliant Widows with Steve McQueen, and adapted her first novel, Sharp Objects, into a gloriously slow-burning limited series starring Amy Adams. Since then, she’s won cult acclaim for her streaming adaptation of Utopia, the British Channel 4 series. In the conversation you’re about to hear, we ask Gillian how she pens her captivating characters and the social importance of allowing women to run riot on-screen and in her novels, the way that male anti-heroes are frequently permitted to do. She reflects on the accusations of misogyny that her work attracted from some female writers in the aftermath of Gone Girl’s release and reveals an alternative ending to that story that would have taken the tale of Nick and Amy Dunne in an entirely different direction.Again, this conversation is in aid of the Entertainment Community Fund, who do extraordinary work lifting up storytellers of all descriptions and have been a vital support for entertainment industry workers affected by this summer’s strike action. If you enjoy this episode, please do consider clicking the link in the show notes and donating any amount you can to this great cause. It was a huge privilege to share this conversation with Lilly who we can’t thank enough for her openness and insights. Again, this conversation is in aid of the Entertainment Community Fund, who do extraordinary work lifting up storytellers of all descriptions and have been a vital support for entertainment industry workers affected by this summer’s strikes. If you enjoy this episode, please do consider donating via the link below: Donate to our fundraiser here!Support the show
10/22/20231 hour, 1 minute, 4 seconds
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Storyteller Sessions: Lilly Wachowski (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas)

This episode is part of our Storyteller Sessions event – a weekend of career-spanning conversations with game-changing storytellers, raising money for the Entertainment Community Fund. If you enjoy this episode or any of the episodes still to come across this weekend, please do consider donating via the link below: Donate to our fundraiser here!On today’s episode – a conversation about writing with the incredible Lilly Wachowski. Or at least, we were meant to speak about writing. The plan was to talk about Lilly's creative practice. About the queer-coded stories of collective resistance and love in the face of dystopia that she’s told across a glittering three-decade career. One of those stories in particular – The Matrix trilogy, co-written and directed with her sister Lana Wachowski – was the looking glass through which Al stepped into a new way of seeing both cinema and the world when he was eleven-years-old, so you can imagine his excitement to discuss her relationship with the page.That is not what went down. Yes, there's plenty in our conversation about how Lilly approaches writing. About why she prioritises telling stories not about individualist heroes, but about communities coming together to defy power. About how writing film and TV right now a release valve for the filmmaker, helping her channel her “trans rage” at a system that tramples over marginalised groups. You’ll also hear her discuss why she believes great stories can offer an escape path for audiences out of that system. But that’s not all we talked about. Across a hugely moving two-hours, Lilly explains how, when she looks back on her and Lana’s early movies today, she sees clearly the “scratchings on the wall as they were clawing their way out the closet.” She speaks beautifully about her experience transitioning and about how she found her way back to herself after a period of burnout and about the amazing women around her growing up that she credits with shaping her.  Listen out for candid discussion about the “impossible bar” that The Matrix set for her and Lana, and Lilly’s thoughts on A.I in 2023, as someone who co-created one of our culture’s defining works about that technology. You'll also hear about the joy of her experience on Work In Progress,  and why the next chapter of her career is going to be all about “throwing my trans body against the mono culture that Hollywood is gravitating towards.” It was a huge privilege to share this conversation with Lilly who we can’t thank enough for her openness and insights. Again, this conversation is in aid of the Entertainment Community Fund, who do extraordinary work lifting up storytellers of all descriptions and have been a vital support for entertainment industry workers affected by this summer’s strikes. If you enjoy this episode, please do consider donating via the link below.Donate to our fundraiser here!Support the show
10/21/20232 hours, 3 minutes, 30 seconds
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Storyteller Sessions: Adam McKay (Anchorman, Don't Look Up)

Welcome to the Script Apart Storyteller Sessions – three days of career-spanning conversations with truly game-changing storytellers, talking about their relationship with the page. 100% of proceeds are going to the Entertainment Community Fund, a brilliant charity doing hugely important work – so if you enjoy this episode or any of the episodes across this weekend, please do consider hitting the link below and donating to that wonderful cause:Donate to our fundraiser here!Today, we’re kicking off with what is basically the Catalina Wine Mixer of podcast interviews. Our guest today is a filmmaker responsible for some of the great comedies of our time, and someone whose storytelling has undergone a fascinating transformation as the world has slipped into climate emergency, economic emergency and political disrepair. Somehow, in a time with dwindling things to laugh about, this writer-director has found a way to engage with those crises in ludicrously entertaining ways. He's the filmmaker behind Anchorman, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights, The Other Guys, The Big Short, Vice and Don’t Look Up – it's Adam McKay! Adam got his break on Saturday Night Live, becoming the show’s head writer in 1996. His collaborations on SNL with another emerging comic, Will Ferrell, immediately caught the eye and simply could not be contained to the small screen for long. By the early ‘00s, the pair had turned their anarchic chemistry into a wave of outrageously quotable comedies that fast found themselves woven into our shared pop culture landscape. “It escalated quickly,” as Ron Burgundy might say. Then came a change of pace. In 2015, after his father lost his home as part of a devastating economic downturn, Adam released The Big Short – a white collar crime comedy about the 2007 financial crash. It won him and his co-writer Charles Randolph the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar at that year’s Academy Awards, and signalled a sea change not just in the content of Adam’s movies going forward, but also in the cinematic language he was using to tell his stories. His films since then – and to a lesser degree, titles he’s worked on as a producer, such as the smash hit Succession –  have doubled down on that new storytelling style, full of frantic edits and experimental flourishes.Adam’s monumental success has come in the face of a couple of challenging moments medically across his life. In 2000, he was diagnosed with a condition known as essential tremor, and in 2017, he suffered a heart attack on the set of Vice. In the conversation you’re about to hear, we discuss how that heart attack sharpened his resolve to make 2021’s bracing Don’t Look Up. We get into why Step Brothers is a film that “tells you all you need to know about America” – a nation in which “consumer culture has turned us into children,” Adam insists. You’ll hear why he decided to abandon the three-act structure of his old films in part as a response to the rise of Donald Trump and what he’s learned about to fix the world from his recent string of movies grappling with its many problems.The Entertainment Community Fund do extraordinary work lifting up storytellers of all descriptions, and have been a vital support for entertainment industry workers affected by this summer’s strike action. So if you enjoy this episode, please do consider donating below.Donate to our fundraiser here!Support the show
10/20/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 56 seconds
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Elemental with Kat Likkel and John Hoberg

This week on Script Apart, the writers behind Pixar’s latest heartwarming spectacle take us down to Element City where the tree people are green and the Vivisteria Flowers are pretty. Yes, today we’re joined by Kat Likkel and John Hoberg, the husband-and-wife duo whose script for Elemental – co-written with Brenda Hsueh and director Pete Sohn – has been enchanting audiences all summer. The film a hugely affecting tale whose premise, on first glance, looked to have a certain shared DNA with past Pixar hits. One popular internet theory suggests that the studio’s best-known films all ask variations of the same question: “What if X abstract concept – toys, cars, monsters, rats – had feelings?” Elemental, though, is more than a movie about elements with emotions. It’s a family drama about parental expectation. It’s an immigrant tale, about the struggle to assimilate into a new society while keeping your own culture alive. It’s a romantic comedy – When Harry Met Sally with fire and water. And it’s also a disaster movie that takes side-swipes at how structural racism leads to minority communities being put in harm’s way.In this week’s episode, Kat and John join us to discuss an early draft of the movie, in which Elemental was shaping up to be Pixar’s answer to Chinatown. The finished film follows fire element Ember as she fights to save her father’s shop from closure, with the help of Wade, a water element working as a city inspector. Along the way, they uncover a leak in the city's canals emanating from a problem with a nearby dam, neglected by authorities. In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, however, John and Kat explain how Wade’s mother was initially intended to be the film’s shock antagonist, orchestrating an evil cover-up. We talk about how Ember was originally written with much more of a Disney princess vibe before being retooled as an older, more streetwise character. And we uncover the meaning and power of “the bow” – a motif in the movie that ends up becoming one of Elemental’s final, most emotionally devastating shots. Get fired up – this is a fun and fascinating deep dive into one of the year’s best animations.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from MUBI, ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
9/12/20231 hour, 42 minutes, 19 seconds
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I Love My Dad with James Morosini

Think of your worst experience with online dating – the most excruciating Hinge disaster or Tinder catastrophe. However bad you might think that ordeal was, it’s nothing on the tale told in the extraordinary recent indie I Love My Dad. Part cringe comedy, part family drama and part horror movie for the MySpace generation, the film followed a screw-up father who’s desperate to reconnect with the child he pushed away. Blocked on social media, this father – Chuck, played by Patton Oswalt – resorts to posing online as a beautiful young waitress whose friend request his estranged son will surely accept. The scheme is soon complicated, however, when the teenager begins to fall for this stranger in his DMs, growing determined to meet her in person.That premise – a teenager cat-fished by his own father – might sound like the logline for a zany, high-concept Hollywood romp, but what’s so special about I Love My Dad is how grounded it is in the loneliness of being a certain age and desperate for connection. The lure of the internet, the versions of ourselves we present online and the sometimes unhealthy fantasies that permits – these questions are all explored in the film by the film’s outrageously talented writer, director and star, James Morosini, who it was a delight to chat with for this week’s episode.In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, James explains how I Love My Dad has such an air of emotional truth to it because, well, “this actually happened” to quote the film itself. There are ways in which James’ story deviates from the one in the film but yes – his father really did cat-fish him in real-life, in events that inspired his screenplay. We discuss Age, Sex, Location – the title of James’ first draft of the film – and why an early ending in which Chuck has a heart attack and Franklin gets together with the real-life Becca had to go. It’s a fascinating conversation about the inherent performance of social media – how we’re all cat-fishing one another to less explicit degrees – and why running towards our most embarrassing moments and most vulnerable parts of ourselves, rather than running away, makes for great storytelling.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from MUBI, ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
9/8/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 8 seconds
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Knocked Up with Judd Apatow

Judd Apatow needs little in the way of introduction. He’s a filmmaker synonymous with an entire era of American comedy – that mid-’00s explosion of zeitgeist-grabbing movies about incapable men, grappling with the realisation that it’s about time they grew up. There’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which Apatow wrote and directed. There’s also the cult classic music biopic satire Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, which he co-wrote with Jake Kasdan. The Cable Guy, Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Step Brothers, meanwhile, are just some of the projects he’s served on as a producer.A remarkable run of movies since the beginning of the 2010s have seen his comic signature evolve into something more tender. Films like Funny People, This Is 40 and The King of Staten Island are all funny, sure – but there’s an introspection to his work nowadays that has been fascinating to behold. On this week’s episode, Judd revisits one of his best-loved movies: 2007’s Knocked Up. But it’s not his first draft we delve into. Instead, as a window into his creative process, we uncover emails that the filmmaker sent to himself in the run-up to writing the movie, full of lengthy streams of consciousness about what the comedy could be – and why a stoner played by Seth Rogen having a baby with a high-flying media personality played with poise by Katherine Heigl would be hilarious. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
8/31/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 59 seconds
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Joy Ride with Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao

Our guests this week are Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao – writers of Joy Ride, 2023’s rowdiest comedy. The film tells the incredibly explicit tale of four friends on a wild journey of self-discovery following a business trip gone awry. Each character has a different relationship with their Asian heritage, which they’re forced to confront in hilarious and moving ways as a series of chaotic events sees them travel across the continent. Cherry and Teresa, who met in the writers’ room on Family Guy, didn’t fill their script with hilarity and depravity, though there’s plenty of that. Their script packed an emotional punch too, reminding audiences that “home” is maybe best defined as the place in which we love and are loved in return.In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, Teresa and Cherry tell us all about the parts of themselves they brought to the page in Joy Ride. We discuss the genesis of its wildest jokes, how they wrote the movie’s hilarious K-pop scene and the “Asian good girl” trope they wanted to take a flamethrower to across the course of this story. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
8/10/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 5 seconds
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Erin Brockovich with Susannah Grant

She brought a small town to its feet and a huge company to its knees – that’s right, this week we’re talking all things Erin Brockovich with the film’s screenwriter, Susannah Grant.Susannah is a talent who, over an impressive three decade career, has gone from writing on the ‘90s teen TV drama Party of Five and conquering animation with Pocahontas to penning dramas like 28 Days, romcoms like In Her Shoes and science-fiction with The 5th Wave. She’s also a force to be reckoned with behind the camera: having made her directorial debut in 2006 with the comedy drama Catch and Release, Susannah wrote and directed episodes of the recent searing Netflix series Unbelievable, which took a scalpel to the problem of rape culture in America.Erin Brockovich, though, remains one of her best-loved works. Her witty script for the Julia Roberts-starring, Steven Soderbergh-directed legal drama earned her an Oscar nomination on release in 2000, and it’s both a testament to her writing and an indictment about our society’s lack of progress that the film still feels so relevant today. The film told the true-life tale of a single mother who fought and won a landmark legal case against the Pacific Gas & Electric Company over contaminated water supplied to residents in the town of Hinkley, California. In order to secure justice for the hundreds of people made sick by PG&E’s malfeasance, the real-life Erin had to navigate misogyny, classism and the demands of parenthood. Susannah’s script captured all of that with poignancy and punch.In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, Susannah tells us all about grabbing burgers with the real-life Erin Brockovich, the importance of David vs Goliath stories like this, the balance of fact versus fiction in the film – and the one line that had to change at Erin’s request.  Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI, Magic Mind and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
8/4/20231 hour, 21 minutes, 2 seconds
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Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One with Christopher McQuarrie

The world is changing and truth is vanishing in our very special episode today, accomplishing a mission we’ve been hoping to make happen since the very inception of the show. Yes, this week’s guest is a true maestro of modern blockbuster filmmaking – a writer-director who won a Best Screenplay Oscar before his 30th birthday for the timeless neo-noir, The Usual Suspects. Since then, he’s leaned into action cinema of most breathtaking spectacle, without ever losing sight of the stripped-down dramatic principles that made The Usual Suspects such a gripping introduction to his work. He’s one half of a director-star symbiosis arguably up there with Ford and Wayne, Scorsese and DeNiro, Scorsese and DiCaprio and Spielberg and Hanks. And this summer, he and his close collaborator, Tom Cruise are back with a terrifyingly relevant spy thriller sequel that needs to be seen to be believed. Yes, this week on Script Apart – it’s the phenomenal Christopher McQuarrie.Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One lights the fuse on a number of fascinating questions. Questions like: how do you take a series that’s already threatened the world with nuclear bombs and all sorts of other threats, and raise the stakes even further, seven films into this franchise? Christopher’s answer was to take the anxiety around artificial intelligence that’s been such a fixture of our recent news cycle and fashion those fears into a espionage adventure pulsing with paranoia. What’s all the more impressive about this is how long-delayed Dead Reckoning Part One was by the Covid-19 pandemic – meaning McQ predicted this. In the conversation you’re about to hear, the filmmaker is really articulate about the real-life threat, its overlap with his movie and how he anticipated it,  far in advance. You’ll also hear how Christopher constructed the story and crucially, the emotional arc of this latest Mission movie – the journey Ethan Hunt, played by Cruise, needed to go on this time around, to make all the film’s stunts and spectacle mean something to those in the audience. Get ready to discover the rationale behind that shocking death, and how the film’s astonishing climax – a train sequence that acts as a literal cliffhanger – came together on the page and the rationale behind that shocking death at the end of the film’s second act. One thing you won’t hear much about, unlike in most episodes of Script Apart, is the film’s first draft. And there’s good reason for that – there wasn’t one. What you’re about to hear is a tale about how writing a Mission: Impossible movie isn’t all too different from what it must feel like for Ethan, surviving one of these films. There’s a lot of improvising out of tight spots – the screenwriting equivalent of Tom riding a speeding motorbike off a Norwegian cliff top into a base jump and landing on a moving train. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI, Magic Mind and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
7/27/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 8 seconds
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Return To Seoul with Davy Chou

Pack your bags, everyone. Today on Script Apart, we’re making an emotional Return To Seoul guided by Davy Chou – the writer-director behind one of 2023’s most alluring slow-burn dramas. Davy is a Franco-Cambodian writer-director whose own dual cultural heritages helped inform Return To Seoul, a film that poignantly probes questions of identity and displacement. It follows first-time actor Park Ji-min as Freddie – a young woman wandering through the home country of her biological parents in search of answers and in search of herself. Part inspired by the real-life experiences of artist Laure Badufle, with whom Davy co-wrote the screenplay, it’s a delicate, raw character study that will both move you immeasurably and made you want to visit Seoul right this very second.There really is so much beautiful nuance to this story. In real life, we human beings are messy and contradictory. Return To Seoul basks in that complexity, forging characters out of it who are flawed, who let themselves down, who push people away when they ought to let others in. Around Freddie are a supporting cast of characters who are all similarly entangled in their own messy wants, desires, hopes and regrets. In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, Davy shares with me how he crafted these characters and this story. We talk about the clever ways the film accents the cultural disparities between Freddie and the parents who once abandoned her. We get into what the film seeks to say about transnational identity. And we break down the meaning of the film’s enigmatic ending – so be sure to check out the film, available on MUBI now, before listening in.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI, Magic Mind and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
7/20/202352 minutes, 55 seconds
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The Sopranos with David Chase

“Lately, I’m getting the feeling I came in at the end. That the best is over.” 24 years ago, a man stepped into a therapist’s office and with those few words, transformed television forever. That man was, of course, Tony Soprano – a great big brooding bull of a mob boss, whose violence as the head of a New Jersey crime family hid a subtle sweeter side to his personality. The Sopranos balanced scenes of his brutality with glimpses at his capacity for more humane behaviour, and it was these duelling elements that powered the show, created by our very special guest today, the one and only David Chase. Tony was a doting father with a twinkle in his eye. The kind of guy who would wade into a swimming pool in his dressing gown to play with a family of ducks, when he wasn’t wading through a sea of cocaine and criminals at the Bada Bing. He was complicated, and with that complexity, the series took a hit out on basically everything TV execs thought they knew about the kind of protagonist that viewers would root for on the small screen. Walter White, Don Draper, Bill Hader’s Barry – Tony Soprano walked so other morally dubious men could run rampant through our TV landscape for decades to come.In the conversation you’re about to hear, which was recorded before the writers strike, David tells us about his memories of devising The Sopranos’ iconic characters. We talk about what David and members of his writing team – a staff that includes past Script Apart guest Terry Winter – took from the 1990s political ether and poured into the show’s storylines. And crucially, we also discuss how the question that drives The Sopranos isn’t which family will come out on top in any of the show’s vicious mob disputes. It isn’t whether Tony will be caught by the cops or if he’ll make it out alive, either. It’s whether it’s possible for a man with so much blood on his hands to better himself. The turf war for Tony Soprano's soul. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
6/22/202349 minutes, 51 seconds
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Jurassic Park with David Koepp

Life found a way – Script Apart is back! Season four begins with an episode 65 million years in the making, about a movie lauded as one of the greatest blockbusters of all time. Yes, today on the show, we're venturing into Jurassic Park, with the film’s brilliant screenwriter, David Koepp, as our guide.The film follows palaeontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sadler (Laura Dern) as they're invited alongside mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to an island populated by living, breathing dinosaurs. These creatures have been cloned from DNA found in mosquitos by eccentric billionaire John Hammond, who insists this soon-to-open tourist attraction is perfectly safe. Famous last words. Our heroes soon find themselves pursued by prehistoric threats.At least, that’s how the finished film goes down. Did you know in the first draft of the screenplay, there was no Ian Malcolm at all? In the conversation you’re about to hear, David explains how the film originally had a different ending – in which Alan Grant starts blasting raptors with a shotgun – and different characters. We get into why Jurassic Park is essentially the ancient Greek myth Prometheus (with added pterodactyls), how David and Steven Spielberg modelled John Hammond on Walt Disney, and why the story is a fable about capitalism. After all, it’s not the dinosaurs that doom the island to carnage – it’s the greed of human characters, trying to make a buck. David is a storyteller who we're always overjoyed to chat with (you may remember listening to our conversation with the writer/director on Script Apart roughly a year ago, discussing another great movie of his, the original Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible). Elsewhere in his filmography are collaborations with David Fincher (Panic Room), Sam Raimi (2002’s Spider-Man), Steven Sodeberg (Kimi) and Brian de Palma (Carlito’s Way). His other collaborations with Spielberg include The Lost World, War of the Worlds and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. His latest novel Aurora is out this week on paperback, and a fantastic page-turner – be sure to pick up a copy.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
6/8/20231 hour, 30 minutes, 59 seconds
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Doctor Sleep with Mike Flanagan

This week on Script Apart, the return of Mike Flanagan! The response to our last episode speaking to the horror auteur, one of this generation’s true titans of the genre, was so emphatic, we couldn’t wait to invite Mike back on the show to get lost in the Overlook-esque hedge maze of 2019's Doctor Sleep, his near-miraculous sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep. We use the word “miraculous” because it really is astonishing what the Ewan McGregor-starring chiller managed to achieve, marrying the legacies of two notoriously different visions of The Shining. Stephen King wrote The Shining in 1977. When Stanley Kubrick made drastic changes to King's source text in his adaptation of the story three years later, it led to contempt between these two masters of their craft. Fans have been divided ever since over which version is the more powerful – King’s novel, which had a different ending and a sunnier message about the capacity for love to triumph over evil, or Kubrick’s ruthless cinematic journey into male madness; the bloody end game of toxic masculinity, as embodied by Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrence. When Mike was presented with the chance to adapt King’s 2013 literary sequel to The Shining, which continued the canon his story, ignoring Kubrick’s changes, the Haunting of Hill House filmmaker decided to attempt the impossible. His Doctor Sleep was to knit together the visual language of Kubrick’s Shining with the storytelling that King favoured,  honouring both iterations. The story of how he pulled it off, and the seismic personal changes it sparked in Mike’s own life, is a tale as fascinating as the film itself. Which is saying something. Doctor Sleep is a fevered festival of telekinetic children, travelling vampiric bohemians and the courage it takes to beat addiction. And though the film didn’t perform well at the box office, it’s since found a passionate community of devoted fans who rightly consider it a masterpiece. Listen out at the end for some mind-blowing information on the sequels and spin-offs that its disappointing commercial performance sadly stopped from going ahead – and a note of optimism that we may see some of Doctor Sleep’s characters again, featuring in Mike’s upcoming adaptation of King’s incredible The Dark Tower.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
3/14/20231 hour, 52 minutes, 51 seconds
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Babylon with Damien Chazelle

Unlike Margot Robbie in the hedonistic tour-de-force Babylon, we at Script Apart have never fought a rattlesnake. We have, however, now had the pleasure of chatting with one of our favourite filmmakers working today, Damien Chazelle. The Whiplash writer-director’s latest epic is a fevered telling of how 1920s Hollywood reacted as the industry transitioned from silent film to sound, shining a spotlight on the drug-addled dreamers chewed up and spat out by Tinseltown as it underwent that seismic change. It’s a story that puts the “sin” in Singing In The Rain, following an ensemble cast of characters as they experience both the divinity and destruction of the American moviemaking machine, with Margot Robbie astonishing as the doomed Nellie LaRoy – a character loosely based on real-life actress Clara Bow.If all that sounds drastically unlike Damien’s previous work, well, that’s intentional – the La La Land filmmaker wanted to make a movie at the other end of the storytelling spectrum to that acclaimed 2016 musical when approaching Babylon. “If La La Land was a love letter to Hollywood, then Babylon is written with a poison pen,” he told Al when they last spoke before the film’s release. Catching up now for a spoiler breakdown of the movie and its incredible screenplay, the pair discuss how early iterations of the film centered on Brad Pitt’s character Jack Conrad, the eye-opening real-life stories of 1920s Hollywood debauchery that Damien pulled from, and where next for the filmmaker now that he’s conquered his boldest, most ambitious project to date.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
3/7/202350 minutes, 26 seconds
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Something In The Dirt with Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are a duo who don’t wait for permission and refuse to let small budgets reign in their storytelling ambitions. Since announcing themselves as a fierce new force in independent filmmaking a decade ago with the meta-horror Resolution, the pair have released a further four films, each one a staggeringly original triumph of imagination over budgetary restraints. Spring was a low-cost Lovecraftian tale set on a gorgeous stretch of Italian coast that corkscrewed between romance and brutal body-horror. The Endless was a time-loop sci-fi head-scratcher involving a UFO cult that proved similarly spell-binding made on a similar shoestring. By 2019’s Synchronic, about a designer drug that allows users to step through time, they had A-list actors like Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan queuing up to work with them, and superhero studios keen to collaborate (they’ve since helmed episodes of Marvel’s Moon Knight and Loki). Together, they're storytellers capable of building epic worlds without requiring epic resources.While Benson and Moorhead have enjoyed their recent excursions into the MCU, unsettling paranormal puzzles made on a dime are where they say their hearts truly lie. Which is why, when the pandemic struck and the world was thrown into lockdown, they began planning a supernatural mystery they could shoot in Benson’s apartment, star in themselves (the duo often act in their own movies) and craft almost entirely themselves. Something In The Dirt – their most compelling film to date – tells the tale of neighbours John and Levi, drawn into an unlikely friendship by unexplainable phenomenons in their apartment block. They decide to document this activity in search of fame and fortune – but can each party trust the other, as revelations about their secretive lives follow them down a rabbit hole into the unknown?We met with Benson and Moorhead in person last summer, before Something In The Dirt’s release, while they were filming Loki season two. They told us about their writing habits and helped us decode one of the most jigsaw-like cult dramas in decades – a must-watch for fans of David Robert Mitchell’s Under The Silver Lake and films like it. This is a spoiler conversation so be sure to catch the film before tuning in – it’s available on Hulu for our listeners in America, and video on demand if you’re tuning in from the UK.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
3/1/20231 hour, 44 minutes, 46 seconds
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Midnight Mass with Mike Flanagan

Mike Flanagan is one of the defining horror storytellers of the last decade. He’s a trusted custodian of tales by some of the greatest horror authors of all time, with Stephen King, Shirley Jackson and Edgar Allan Poe just some of the names he’s adapted into acclaimed shows and movies. His credits as a writer, director and showrunner include The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor and The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep. No work is more personal to the filmmaker, however, than 2021’s astonishing vampire drama Midnight Mass. In the conversation you’re about to hear, Mike delves into his show’s creation, going back in time over a decade to a version of Midnight Mass he intended to write as a novel. The story of its evolution into one of the most moving meditations on religion in memory (not to mention one of Netflix’s most acclaimed ever series) is the story of a series of huge life changes for the 44-year-old, as his relationship to alcohol, faith, family and other facets of his life began to alter.The show starred Zach Gilford as Riley, a recovering addict returning to his small isolated hometown of Crockett Island after serving four years in prison for killing someone in a drunk-driving incident. There he reunites with an old flame, named Erin Greene, played by Kate Siegel, Mike’s partner and frequent collaborator. Erin is pregnant, but that pregnancy takes an unexpected turn following the arrival of an enigmatic young priest on the island, who unleashes upon members of the local church-going community a series of seemingly impossible miracles. What follows is an unholy, blood-soaked baptism, as the line between what’s miraculous and what’s monstrous becomes dangerously blurred.Discover why Mike’s love for Midnight Mass is so great, he still has the angel-slash-vampire’s prosthetic wings in his garage. Find out all about abandoned plans for a second season of the show, in which Riley was to be revived as the show’s antagonist. And learn why there’s a musicality to monologues that makes them a joy to write (with some tips on how to write your own).Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
2/21/20231 hour, 30 minutes, 19 seconds
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Tár with Todd Field

This week we’re joined by acclaimed writer-director Todd Field, whose new drama Tar recently picked up a number of BAFTA and Oscar nominations, and understandably so. It’s an up-close portrait of a prodigious but problematic classical pianist named Lydia Tar, played by Cate Blanchett, whose achievements as the first female conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic are blighted by a history of sexual misconduct now threatening to unravel her life and mental health. Lydia’s abuses of power in this tense, sensory drama have seen the film become a lightning rod for conversations about so-called “cancel culture.” But as you’ll discover in this episode, Tar began life long before that term had been coined. There are deeply human questions of power, corrosion and culpability within this story that dovetail in interesting ways with our current climate – but are bigger than that buzzword and the volatile conversation around it. In the conversation you're about to hear, Todd breaks down key themes, scenes and characters in fascinating detail. Is Lydia really being haunted? What was the early incarnation like that before the project was rooted in the high stakes world of classical music, when the character was set to be the head of a media conglomerate? And when the film ends with a reference to a video game named Monster Hunter, how accurate is it to interpret that this has been a narrative about a cancel culture fall from grace – the titular monster, finally hunted? Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
2/10/202351 minutes, 46 seconds
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The Whale with Samuel D. Hunter

Today on the show, we’re joined by Samuel D. Hunter – playwright-turned-screenwriter of moving new drama, The Whale. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, the film tells the tale of Charlie (Brendan Fraser) – a reclusive former teacher who developed destructive eating habits following a devastating past tragedy. With seemingly days to live, Charlie desperately attempts to reconnect with a daughter who resents him, and is sinking into a cynicism that Charlie finds heartbreaking.It’s a film that, you may have heard, has stoked a wide range of reactions, which Sam and I get into in detail. We talk about its provoking title, which he explains was designed to prod at people’s prejudices before taking on a completely different context in the story. We discuss the challenges and opportunities presented to Sam when it came to adapting his stage play into a screenplay – and what the scarcity of media telling the tales of plus-size protagonists does for the fabric of our society.This is a spoiler-filled conversation so please be sure to watch The Whale before listening in.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
2/7/202351 minutes
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Groundhog Day with Danny Rubin

It’s thirty years to the day since a grouchy weatherman named Phil Connors found himself reliving the same day over and over again in Groundhog Day – a comedy that’s timeless in more ways than one. On today’s episode, we're joined by the film’s writer, Danny Rubin, as we delve into his initial screenplay for the iconic time-loop farce, which became one of the most beloved comedies of its generation.Danny wrote the film as a spec script in the early ‘90s. It soon landed in the hands of Harold Ramis of Ghostbusters and Caddyshack fame, and the pair began to develop the screenplay together. From there, Groundhog Day went through a number of changes as the pair decided to lean into the comedic potential of the premise – and lean away from some of the more "indie" and experimental elements of Danny’s original vision for the movie. Their hard work paid off – Groundhog Day was met with rave reviews on release and won a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay. It became one of 1993's highest grossing movies and its influence has only grown from there: today, the story lives on not just in the form of the acclaimed stage musical that Danny wrote – there’s also the small matter of films and TV shows like Edge of Tomorrow, Palm Springs and Russian Doll, all of which took Groundhog Day's time-loop concept and ran with it in new directions.In the conversation you’re about to hear, Danny tells us how surreal it's been witnessing “Groundhog Day” become ingrained as an idiom in the English language. We hear about the vampire fiction that served as the movie’s surprising inspiration and talk about why weatherman”was the perfect profession for Phil and his detached, icy personality. Listen out also for details on Danny's original ending for the movie – a twist that found the character Rita beginning her own time loop on February 3rd. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
2/1/202357 minutes, 28 seconds
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The Fabelmans with Tony Kushner

Tony Kushner is the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of Angels in America and the long-time writing partner of a certain Steven Spielberg. His latest collaboration with the director, co-written with the Close Encounters filmmaker, sees Steven pulling the curtain back on his fascinating childhood, delving back to a time in which his blossoming love for filmmaking began to entwine with seismic changes in his family life. It was no surprise to see the drama collect a Best Picture nod at this week's Academy Award nominations – it's a peerless portrayal of a family shattering in real time that acknowledges both the joy of storytelling and the havoc it can wreak to us and those around us.Tony co-wrote the film with Steven having worked closely with him since 2005 – their previous collaborations include Munich, Lincoln and West Side Story. This project was different, though, with Tony required to act almost as a therapist to his friend as part of the writing process. For fifteen years, he’d been trying to convince Steven to tell the story of his adolescence. As you’ll hear in this episode, it was only after a blazing row between them on the set of West Side Story that Steven, as an olive branch to Tony, agreed to finally begin work on it. When it came to writing, Tony had to coax intimate details from Steven in a series of Zoom conversations, pressing his friend to delve deep into his recollection of those years – even the painful parts. In fact, especially the painful parts.In the spoiler-filled conversation you’re about to hear, we unpack his and Steven’s screenplay for the film in its entirety, discussing why The Fabelmans is more than a love letter to cinema as it’s been billed in some places (to Sammy, filmmaking is as much a curse as a gift, unravelling his family). We also touch on his own past experience of writing from a place of autobiography with his musical Caroline or Change, and talk about the film’s intriguing sequence with Sammy’s school bully. Oh and if you think Al was going to chat to Tony and not ask him about the brilliant end sequence involving David Lynch as John Ford, you have another thing coming – that’s one of our favourite final scenes of any film in recent memory, so of course we dig into that. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
1/27/20231 hour, 2 minutes
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Avatar: The Way of Water with Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa

Buckle up, listeners – we’re heading to Pandora. Avatar: The Way of Water is the long-awaited sequel to one of the biggest movies of all time, and our guests today are two of its talented co-writers. You might know Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver as the screenwriters behind the brilliant Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy and 2015’s Jurassic World. If you’re familiar with those movies, you’ll know exactly why legendary director James Cameron chose the pair as collaborators for this sequel to his 2009 sci-fi fantasia – both of those franchises snuck sideswipes at man’s exploitation of the natural world into their exciting set-pieces and blockbuster action.The Way of Water is a much more complex movie than the first Avatar, with a lot more moving parts, some of which are seeds for movies to come (this is the first in a number of sequels that Amanda and Rick have also worked on, in production now). The film picks up with our heroes from the first movie, Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), fighting another battle fourteen years after the Battle of the Hallelujah Mountains – parenthood. The pair have had a family and now have an even more pronounced reason to protect their land from the colonisers from Earth, seeking to make Pandora man’s new home, having wrecked their own.Rick and Amanda – who have been married since 1989 and collaborating since 1992’s The Hand That Rocks The Cradle – told us all about how the Way of Water’s screenplay came together. We get into exactly how they, Cameron and fellow co-writer Josh Friedman brought back the villainous Colonel Quaritch, the Mowgli-esque origins of new character Spider, and the environmental truths about our own climate change-stricken world that the film takes aim at. There’s also a thorough breakdown of that death in the film’s final act, and Al at various points attempts to speak Na’vi. Badly, naturally.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
1/17/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 5 seconds
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Aftersun with Charlotte Wells

Today, we have with us the extraordinary Charlotte Wells – writer-director of one of the most affecting feature debuts in recent memory. Aftersun is a meditative drama about a father and daughter on a resort holiday in Turkey, told through the eyes and camcorder footage of 11-year-old Sophie, played by Frankie Corio. She shares a sweet relationship with her father Callum, played by Paul Mescal. Across their holiday, however, she’s able to steal glimpses of him wrestling with problems beyond her comprehension, – problems he attempts to hide from the world. It’s a story about memory, parenthood and the heartbreak of growing up and realising that your parents are people, too, with their own burdens to carry. Inevitably, it’s being described as an awards season frontrunner, and one of the best movies of 2022.In the conversation you’re about to hear, Charlotte tells me how the film began as an exploration of her relationship with her own dad, who she sadly lost aged sixteen. There’s a certain overlap between her life and the events of the movie that we unpack in this chat, as well as some big differences between her early drafts of Aftersun versus the final film. Initially, the film was set to feature an adult version of Sophie wandering through scenes following her childhood self, like a sun-soaked Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. There was also a romantic relationship at the holiday resort for Callum that got jettisoned, and much more melodrama, a more pronounced plot.We talk why she stripped away those elements to drill deeper into the father-daughter tensions at the heart of the film, what it is about the pressures and repetitions of a family holiday that make for such an interesting backdrop to the film, and what exactly is happening in the film’s astonishing emotional climax: a dance sequence set to Queen’s Under Pressure, whose lyrics take on a poignant new meaning in the context of Callum and Sophie’s relationship. It’s a spoiler conversation, so be sure to watch the film on Mubi before tuning in. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
1/13/202354 minutes, 4 seconds
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White Noise with Noah Baumbach

Is White Noise a disaster movie, a family drama, a drugged-out conspiracy thriller or a satirical comedy? The truth is it’s all of the above, and for its writer-director Noah Baumbach, something else altogether – a dystopian delight that represents the biggest left turn of his career so far. Since bursting into the spotlight two decades ago, the New Yorker – famous for movies like Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding and Marriage Story – has become renowned for creating intimate snapshots of American family life. Whether working on his own or collaborating with the likes of his partner Greta Gerwig or Wes Anderson, his movies are typically small in scale but big in emotional depth, delving deep into the interpersonal lives of characters you can’t help but fall in love with. At least, that’s what used to define a Baumbach movie. White Noise is the sound of an auteur stepping boldly out of his comfort zone. It’s an apocalyptic  adaptation of a novel that till now was thought to be unfilmable (Don DeLilo’s revered post-modern classic was full of dense prose, lyrical absurdity and satirical sharp-shooting at American hysteria; not the easiest thing to translate to screen). A lot of the film takes place in a supermarket that’s both a community hub and a cathedral to American consumerism. And a large chunk of the movie involves grand CGI depictions of a toxic cloud engulfing a community who descend into panic and lawlessness. All things far removed from the grounded domesticity of Noah’s normal storytelling.In the conversation you’re about to hear, Noah talks about why the time was right for such a departure. We discuss the film’s Covid-19 and Trump-era commentary, and his love for hiding in the opening scene of movies an encapsulation of the thematic content to come. You’ll also find out why he made one major change to the novel involving the character Babette, and why White Noise isn’t a cautionary tale – we as a society are already living in the disorientated, misinformation-filled world of this story, he explains. The future is now – both for America, and for Noah Baumbach.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
1/3/202356 minutes
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Script Club: The Shining with Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3, Coco)

Today on Script Apart – something new! For a while, we've wondered how to cover great screenplays by writers who are not able to come on the show or are sadly no longer with us. Which led us to the idea of Script Club – a book club, but for screenplays. We'll be inviting great storytellers onto the show in the coming months to discuss scripts they adore by screenwriters who are not able to come on the show themselves. Kicking off this intermittent series of bonus episodes is an icon of modern animation – Lee Unkrich, director of films like Toy Story 3 and Coco.Lee was an integral creative force at Pixar for over 25 years before stepping down in 2019 following the incredible success of Coco two years earlier. That film told the tale of a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead. Lee's favourite movie, a film that he's poured a decade of his life into quite literally writing the book on, is similarly inhabited by ghosts and apparitions from the great beyond, in a very different way. Since he was a teenager, Lee has been obsessed with The Shining – Stanley Kubrick's seminal horror, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson. It's an obsession that recently culminated in a genuinely epic three volume book for publishing house Taschen, full of brand new interviews with all sorts of creatives who worked on the movie, as well as unseen photos from the film's creation.During his research, Lee – who was granted unheralded access to the Kubrick archives – read draft after draft of the film, gaining an astonishing insight into Kubrick's writing process. On the episode, recorded in early December in London's Picturehouse Central, he recounts some of the biggest changes across those different iterations of the Shining screenplay – including a subplot involving a scrapbook that would drastically change the feel of the film, and a more blood-soaked ending that saw practically every character meeting a grisly end. Yes, even poor little Danny.Lee also weighs in on the film's unique place in our film culture as this subject of constant speculation and theorising about its hidden meanings, sharing some of his own interpretations of the script, and breaks down key scenes and characters. This was a fun experiment to record. If you like it, and want to see us record more in this bonus format, let us know! We'd love to hear your feedback. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
12/16/20221 hour, 30 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Wolf of Wall Street and Tulsa King with Terence Winter

Terence Winter didn’t just write The Wolf of Wall Street – he almost was The Wolf of Wall Street. The 62-year-old creator of Boardwalk Empire – also renowned for penning some of some of the most beloved ever episodes of The Sopranos – was a stone’s throw away from the film’s subject, Jordan Belfort, on the day of the infamous “Black Monday” stock market crash of 1987. They moved in some of the same circles, and Terence – by his own admission – had a certain “conman, bullshit artist” streak to his behaviour as a young man. He sometimes wonders what might have happened had they met in real-life; the degree to which he might have been seduced into a life of selling penny stocks in the hedonistic world of high finance.Instead, Terence moved to Hollywood in 1991, intent on writing screenplays. What happened next would help define the future of television. The Brooklyn-raised writer, after a brief stint writing for sitcoms, became a man synonymous with American criminality and the humans beings behind the most monstrous behaviour imaginable. He wrote 22 episodes of The Sopranos, including the famous Pine Barrens episode. After that, he stepped out on his own with the Prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire, which ran for five brilliant seasons.This month, Terence added a new show to his list of accomplishments: Tulsa King, co-created with Yellowstone’s Taylor Sheridan. Starring Sly Stallone as a mobster rebuilding his life and criminal empire following a lengthy stay in prison, it hits some familiar beats for fans of Terence’s work, while also gravitating into exciting new territory. In the conversation you’re about to hear, Terence breaks down his script for The Wolf of Wall Street and gives a spoiler-free guide to how he crafted Tulsa King – delving deep into his unique storytelling philosophies and writing habits. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
12/6/20221 hour, 23 minutes
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Barbarian with Zach Cregger

Don’t go down to the basement. Rule number one of surviving a horror movie, right? One of the many miracles of Barbarian – the debut feature from writer-director Zach Cregger that became one of the year’s biggest hits – was how it took one of the most tried and tested tropes of the genre and managed to weave something so surprising and unpredictable out it. The film – much like the basement-dwelling creature at the heart of the movie – roared out of the shadows following a low budget production in Bulgaria to become a box office-topping behemoth admired by everyone from Stephen King and Jordan Peele. Driving its success was good old fashioned word-of-mouth, as moviegoers implored their friends to rush to the cinema to experience a story that needs to be seen to be believed; whose twists it’s near-impossible to be braced for.It might not surprise you to learn that such an unusual film was written in an unusual way. As you’ll discover in this episode, the movie began as one scene. A woman, Tess, checks into an Airbnb, only to discover there’s someone else already inside. There, she must decode a situation fraught with potential danger. Is the man she’s marooned in the apartment with a friend or a threat? Cregger wrote the scene unsure where it was leading until eventually, his subconscious took over. The rest of the movie, as you’ll hear, spilled out of him intuitively as he asked himself: what’s the most surprising thing that could happen now?If you haven’t seen the film, pause this episode until you’ve experienced Barbarian for yourself. If you’re up to speed, listen on for fascinating revelations about how Cregger’s own experience of an alcoholic father quietly informed the script, why it was important to leave no ambiguity around the true nature of Justin Long’s character AJ and what the film expresses about toxic masculinity, as well as his original ending for the movie.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the showSupport the show
11/23/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ocean's Eleven with Ted Griffin

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Well, not this week on Script Apart. Today we're joined by the wonderful Ted Griffin, the screenwriter behind a heist extravaganza that, for fans of dazzling set pieces, A-lister chemistry and Brad Pitt inexplicably eating snacks in every scene, was truly like hitting the jackpot. Ocean’s Eleven – based loosely on the 1960 Rat Pack vehicle of the same name – starred George Clooney,  Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and just about every other adored actor of that era, all operating with charisma and star wattage dialled up to the max. It told the story of Danny Ocean – a fresh-outta-prison conman, played by Clooney, who’s plotting a robbery like no other. His plan is to raid the vaults of the three biggest casinos in Vegas. $150m is on the line, as well as something far more important to Danny – the affections of Tess, his ex-wife, played by Roberts. The film was directed by the great Steven Sodebergh, who – alongside Ted – pulled off the kind of lucrative score Danny Ocean would be proud of. The movie grossed $450m worldwide, launching a franchise and wowing critics to this day. In the conversation you’re about to hear, Ted tells me how he approached its charming, clockwork-intricate screenplay. We talk about capturing the seedy, neon-splashed soul of Vegas on the page. He reveals why it was important to find an emotional heartbeat of the film, that meant it wasn’t just money motivating Danny. And you’ll also hear some wild stories from a rollercoaster six weeks on set, as the biggest stars on the planet at that time descended on Vegas en masse to bring this story to life.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
11/9/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 17 seconds
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Donnie Darko with Richard Kelly

“28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12 seconds. That is when the world will end.” In October 2001, a six-foot demonic rabbit named Frank materialised in front of a teenage Jake Gyllenhaal to issue that grave warning, setting in motion the plot of one of one of the great Halloween movies of all time. Donnie Darko was a time-twisting sci-fi curio about an emotionally troubled teen who after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident involving a falling jet plane engine, begins to experience strange visions. The result was an emotional, unknowable gem still inviting scrutiny and analysis today.The film initially struggled to find an audience in the aftermath of 9/11, then gradually became a legit cult obsession. 21 years later, fans across the world continue to attempt to unravel its mysteries. But the thing about Donnie Darko is the more you attempt to unravel it, the more it ends up unravelling you – that’s the level of emotion and existential that writer-director Richard Kelly was operating at when he wrote the film, aged just 24.In the conversation you’re about to hear, we break down in detail the mysteries and meanings of all the most intriguing motifs and moments in Donnie Darko. Discover the origins of the unsettling rabbit Frank, who shares an unlikely connection with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Hear how Y2K concerns and election time anxiety influenced the film’s atmosphere. And find out why the true evil in Donnie Darko is the puritanical streak that ran rampant in suburban America in the film’s 1980s setting and still sadly exists today. You should probably also listen out for some intriguing details at the end about a bigger, even more ambitious sequel that Richard has been in contact with Jake Gyllenhaal about developing. Donnie’s story may not be over yet…Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
10/27/20221 hour, 1 minute, 8 seconds
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Freaks & Geeks and Spy with Paul Feig

Our guest today is a storyteller who knows great comedy. As a director, Paul Feig has manned beloved movies like Bridesmaids, Ghostbuster and The Heat, not to mention memorable episodes of smash hit TV shows like Arrested Development and The Office. When it comes to writing, he more often than not passes the baton to brilliant collaborators, like Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig and Katie Dippold, concentrating on bringing their scripts to life from the director’s chair. On the occasions that he does write his own screenplays, however, it’s always an absolute laugh riot, full of warmth, affection, inclusivity and infectious positivity. In the late ‘90s, Paul created Freaks and Geeks – a deeply influential sitcom following the exploits of a band of high school misfits. The actors portraying those misfits would go on to dominate American comedy for decades to come: James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel all got their breaks in the show, which ran for just one season in 1999.Its legacy has lived on, though, as has Paul’s reputation as a storyteller who aspires to bring people together in the movies and shows he creates. In this revealing conversation, he breaks down for us not only that show’s pilot, including the scene that he believes got the show cancelled, but also elements of his hilarious 2016 espionage comedy Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy,  for a sense of how writing comedy for TV  back in the '90s differs from writing comedy for the big screen today. It’s a fascinating conversation – we hope you enjoy.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
8/30/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 44 seconds
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Hacks with Jen Statsky

We owe one of the most moving comedy-dramas in recent TV history to a monster truck rally. Jen Statsky was en route to Portland, Oregon to film a comedy sketch at the Monster Jam rally back in 2015 when she got chatting with her road trip accomplices, fellow comedy writers Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs. They spoke about the history of pushed-aside women in the entertainment industry – female comedians like Singin' In The Rain star Debbie Reynolds, whose careers were derailed by misogynistic practices in Hollywood. On that day, Hacks was born – a HBO series up for a number of awards at this year's Emmys and deservedly so. The show – starring Jean Smart as a comedian in the twilight of her career and Hannah Einbinder as the young comic sent to write new material for her – is as funny as you'd expect from Jen, whose previous TV writing credits include The Good Place, Parks and Recreation and Broad City. But it's also tremendously emotive. She and fellow series creators Lucia and Paul have crafted a show that's both heartwarming and heartbreaking in its depiction of an unlikely female friendship that makes each party look at the world a little differently.  In this episode, Jen talks about the thousands of titles explored for the show before they landed on Hacks, the evolutions in the streaming market that have allowed for shows like this and Barry to so ambitiously blend comedy with drama, and how some of the show's most memorable moments to date were written. This is a spoiler conversation so you might want to catch up on the series in its entirety before tuning in.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
8/19/202257 minutes, 29 seconds
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Westworld with Lisa Joy

Violent delights have violent ends, to quote one of the most daring TV shows of the last decade. And listeners, we are now officially approaching that end of that incredible series. Today on Script Apart, Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy reflects on the creation of the smash-hit HBO series, reveals the thinking behind some of the thrilling creative decisions within its gripping fourth season and confirms that next season will be the show's last, should HBO officially give it the greenlight.With Westworld, writer-director Lisa and her husband Jonathan Nolan have delivered a dazzling, dystopian vision of a future in which AI has run amok. Originally centred on a theme park recreation of the Wild West, the show has since zoomed out significantly to depict a robot uprising that, by season four, is threatening to bring an end to the human race. Though the show's ambitious philosophising hasn't been to everyone's tastes, there arguably hasn’t been a show more packed with mystery and intrigue since Damon Lindelof’s Lost. The constant swings Westworld takes demand to be admired.Lisa was born in New Jersey to immigrant parents, and grew up balancing a love of poetry and storytelling with a sense of obligation to her parents, who longed for her to follow a career path with plenty of job security. Which is how she became a lawyer, before deciding to risk it all to pursue her love of writing. In this episode, we talk about how that immigrant background influenced some of her storytelling sensibilities and how everything changed while pregnant with her first child, when she wrote a brilliant spec script titled Reminiscence, that announced to Hollywood that here was a writer capable of threading huge questions about nostalgia and the nature of human existence into captivating popcorn entertainment. We also delve into the shocking twists in Westworld that were originally going to happen in the show’s pilot, as she and Jonathan debated how to pace this series and the many secrets contained within. Also if you’re wondering what’s in store in season five, we have you covered. Lisa speaks eloquently in this episode about the parallels between the ending of Westworld season four and the predicaments that we as a species are staring down in real life right now.This is a spoiler conversation so be sure to have caught up with the show before tuning in. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
8/15/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 29 seconds
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The Orphanage with Sergio G. Sánchez

Un, dos, tres, toca la pared. In 2007, there was no more chilling a sentence for moviegoers, as the gripping ghost story El Orfanato swept cinemas worldwide. The Orphanage, as it was known in the UK and America, was an instant classic tale of grief and obsession that remains a cherished piece of ‘00s horror cinema. It followed a mother, Laura, who must grapple with the mystery of what happened to her adopted son, after he disappears at a party in the former orphanage she and her husband have bought and made home.The film was directed by JA Bayona, produced by Guillermo Del Toro and written by our guest today, the talented Sergio G. Sánchez. Sergio, as you’ll discover in this episode, reached deep into his own childhood to write this moving tale, interweaving stories like Peter Pan, into a script that confronted his own experiences of severe illness as a child. He told us all about his fight to keep the movie a Gothic slow-burn, resisting studio pressure to turn the film into a carnival of jump-scares. We get into all of the hidden meanings and messages of the movie, including the mythology of the orphanage itself that formed a big part of his original script, and the movie’s many misdirects that craftily keep viewers guessing till its dying embers. Also broken down in detail is the film’s devastating final reveal and bittersweet closing moments, and the plans for an American remake that never came to fruition.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
8/2/20221 hour, 18 minutes, 36 seconds
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Dune with Eric Roth

Where to begin describing today’s guest and his lengthy list of accomplishments? Eric Roth is the Academy Award-winning writer responsible for films like Forrest Gump,  The Insider, Munich, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and 2018’s A Star Is Born. At 77-years-old, Eric is as potent a storytelling force as ever: last year, he delivered a sci-fi epic so huge, you’d have had to have buried your head pretty deep in the sand of a distant sand planet named Arrakis to have missed it. Dune, co-written with director Denis Villeneuve and previous Script Apart guest Jon Spaihts, achieved the impossible. It translated one of the densest, most complex and widely beloved science-fiction novels of all-time into a thrilling blockbuster spectacle that somehow remained true to its source material. Timothée Chalamet starred as Paul Atreides, young prince of the noble House Atreides, as an intergalactic battle erupts over control of the deadly, inhospitable desert planet. Author Frank Herbert wrote the book as a warning about society's tendencies to “give over every decision-making capacity” to a charismatic leader. Eric, Jon and Denis did a terrific job threading that insight into a “chosen one” story that challenges and interrogates that narrative template. For many, the film felt like the moment that theatrical cinema felt “back” after the closures of the pandemic. In a captivating conversation recorded earlier this year, Eric told us all about how the film’s towering sense of scale was achieved, how the opening he originally envisioned for the movie would have bankrupted the entire production and what keeps him hungry after all these years. Next on the docket for Eric is a collaboration with Martin Scorsese, penning the upcoming Killers of the Flower Moon. There’s no slowing down for this veritable titan of the screenwriting universe.This episode contains spoilers for Dune.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
7/19/202252 minutes, 13 seconds
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Mission: Impossible with David Koepp

Greetings, Script Apart listeners. Your mission today, should you choose to accept it – listen to the one and only David Koepp regale us with fascinating stories and insights from an astonishing three-decade career in Hollywood. Having written movies totalling over $9bn at the box office, David is a giant of the screenwriting world. Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, Carlito’s Way, Panic Room and War of the Worlds are just a few of the iconic films that David has penned over the years, making the decision of which movie of his to cover today a tricky one. We threw the question over to him to decide, and his pick of the bunch was 1996’s masterful Mission: Impossible – a Tom Cruise espionage epic that spawned five blockbuster sequels, with two more now on the way.David’s Mission: Impossible was markedly different to the most recent instalments in the series. His adaptation of the 1960s TV series was a lean, patient spy slow-burn that had action and excitement, but thrived on tension and paranoia. It followed Ethan Hunt, a secret agent framed for the murder of his friends and colleagues following a botched mission in Prague. It’s full of the sort of storytelling smarts that is commonplace in David’s work, evident in everything from his 1989 debut Apartment Zero to last year’s collaboration with Steven Soderbergh, the Covid thriller KIMI. In this wide-ranging conversation, David tells me about the chaos that submerged Mission: Impossible at multiple points in its development, the explosive prison break scene that was cut from his screenplay for budgetary reasons, the artful exposition that’s a regular feature in his storytelling (seriously, study the Mr. DNA sequence in Jurassic Park if you don’t believe me) and how he approaches screenwriting versus his work as a novelist. Last month, he released Aurora, his second novel, about a solar flare that knocks the Earth’s electrical grid out and sends society into disarray. It’s soon to be made into a movie, with Katheryn Bigelow.This episode will not self-destruct in five seconds – but you should still hurry to listen to it, because you don’t want to miss David’s incredible stories and advice for emerging writers. This was a one fun. Enjoy.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
7/5/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 9 seconds
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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with Michael Waldron

Script Apart listeners, fortify your minds – this week, we’re joined by Michael Waldron, the screenwriting sorcerer supreme behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Directed by Sam Raimi, this latest Marvel blockbuster is superhero storytelling with the handbrake off. A cosmic adventure packed with inter-dimensional chases,  one-eyed squid monsters and motivational talks from zombie corpses, this 28th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe well and truly lived up to the “madness” of its title. The film follows surgeon-turned-superhero Stephen Strange as he attempts to protect a young hero, America Chavez, with the power to open portals between locations in the multiverse. It’s a journey that sends the wizard on a horror movie-descent into darkness and violence, as familiar characters from the MCU make shocking lurches into villainy. Wrestling all of that into some kind of coherent story would be challenging for any writer. Luckily, Michael was pretty well-prepared for such a task, despite having been roped into the project at the last minute following the departures of original writers Scott Derickson and C. Robert Cargill. Michael had prior experience bringing complex sci-fi concepts to life with a lightness of touch, having written for the hit animated series Rick and Morty. He was also on the Black List a few years ago for a genius spec script called The Worst Guy Of All Time, And The Girl Who Came To Kill Him. That screenplay contained a lot of the unrelenting momentum and time-hopping shenanigans that we see in Strange 2. It also helped, of course, that he was the head writer on Loki, the Marvel series that introduced the multiverse concept in the first place.Michael told us how the darkness of the Covid-19 pandemic helped him craft that second act surprise. We also discuss how hard it was to balance the terror and tragedy of a certain witchy character in this movie, and address the meaning of the question “are you happy?” that Doctor Strange is faced with again and again in Michael's screenplay. Even superheroes, it seems, experience dissatisfaction and feelings of “what now? Is that it?” The film is out today on Disney+ so be sure to watch it before you dive into this spoiler special.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
6/21/202254 minutes, 59 seconds
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Turning Red with Julia Cho

This week on the show – an animated tale that puts the “panda” in “pandemonium.” Julia Cho is the co-writer of Pixar’s incredible Turning Red. The film follows a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl called Mei, who transforms into a giant red panda whenever she experiences strong emotion. What at first seems like a curse quickly becomes an opportunity for Mei and her friends, who are able to secretly raise money for tickets to see their favourite boy band, 4*Town, live in concert. That is, if the teenager can find a way to deal with her loving but protective mother, Ming.Being a Pixar movie, it kinda goes without saying that Turning Red is packed with laughter, emotion, spectacle and sublime animation. But Julia and director/co-writer Domee Shi’s film broke new ground too, not just for Pixar but for Hollywood at large. It took a subject matter seldom addressed in mainstream movies – female puberty – and approached it with a cultural specificity that was utterly joyous to watch.I had the pleasure of chatting with Julia about the difficulties and opportunities for change presented in the writing process on Turning Red. We talk about why the question “what if?” is such a vital storytelling tool, the significance of the film’s early 2000s backdrop, and why Julia and Domee refused to hide behind metaphor when it came to talking about periods in the movie. This is a very spoiler-filled conversation covering every plot point in the film all the way up to its exciting ending so if you’re yet to watch Turning Red, it’s probably best to do so before listening on. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
6/7/202256 minutes, 44 seconds
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Drive with Hossein Amini

Today on the show, we’re overjoyed to be joined by the talented Hossein Amini, writer of 2011's cult smash thriller Drive. Based on the 2004 James Sallis novel of the same name, and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive told the story of a stuntman by day and getaway driver by night, whose dual lives collide after he strikes up a friendship with his neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan). From there, Hossein’s screenplay submerged audiences in a dangerous, hyper-stylised LA criminal underworld, strapping viewers into the passenger seat next to a captivatingly unknowable protagonist, simply named the Driver (Ryan Gosling).If you’ve read the novel, you’ll know that Hossein had quite a task taking the lyrical, very interior prose and plot of the book, and turning it into a movie. Luckily, the Iranian-born storyteller is a bit of a master when it comes to adaptation: from 1997’s The Wings of the Dove to his 2014 directorial debut The Two Faces of January, Hossein relishes the task of taking a story from page to screen, adding a subtle sprinkle of his personality and past to the recipe along the way.Across an engrossing chat, Hossein explains why Drive is in fact a fairy tale. We talk about what the film expresses about our culture of violence, why an early draft of the film featured the death of Irene, and how his storytelling habits were shaped by a childhood in the shadow of his parent’s divorce and the Iranian revolution. We also get into the meaning of The Driver’s Scorpion jacket, how the film’s iconic elevator sequence came to be, and the writer’s dark, gritty vision for the upcoming Obi Wan Kenobi TV series that he worked on briefly before stepping away from the project.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
5/24/202259 minutes, 51 seconds
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Everything Everywhere All At Once with Daniels

It’s not often you encounter a movie as staggeringly original as Everything Everywhere All at Once. The latest film from our guests this week, writer-director duo the Daniels, is surreal, hilarious, heartbreaking  and full of mind-blowing action – occasionally involving characters with hot dogs for fingers. We mentioned it’s original, right?The film follows Chinese-American laundromat owner Evelyn, played by Michelle Yeoh, whose business, marriage and relationship with her daughter are simultaneously crumbling. As if that wasn’t enough chaos for the character, one day she’s thrown by the revelation that she’s not the only Evelyn that exists. It's revealed that an infinite array of Evelyns exist, occupying different parallel universes. One is a movie star, another is a Kung-fu master, so on and so forth. What happens from that moment on, is too manic and complex to describe here. Just trust us when we say it's one of the most joyously inventive sci-fis in memory.For this spoiler conversation, we met up with Daniels in person – that’s right, the first ever IRL Script Apart! – to talk about their wildly different original opening to the movie, and early plans to use a narrator, quite possibly to be voiced by Susan Surandon. We go  deep into the meaning of the “Everything Bagel” at the heart of this movie, the scientific theory that fed into the film's plot and the conditions under which they'd consider making a Marvel movie.Do be sure to watch Everything Everywhere All At Once before listening in – this is a spoiler conversation covering all of the film's major plot points in detail. Don't let us ruin it for you. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
5/12/20221 hour, 1 minute, 18 seconds
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Prometheus with Jon Spaihts

A decade before his recent Oscar nomination for his work on Denis Villeneuve's Dune,  Jon Spaihts co-wrote Prometheus – a bold prequel to the Alien franchise that celebrates its tenth anniversary this month.  It was a philosophical sci-fi horror odyssey like no other, that upended expectations and made the New Yorker one of Hollywood's go-to names for science fiction drama that both provokes and thrills.You might know Jon as the man who co-wrote the first Doctor Strange movie along Scott Derrickson and past Script Apart guest C. Robert Cargill. He’s also shepherded his own sci-fi worlds to the screen, such as Passengers – a Jennifer Lawrence-starring romance among the stars that hit cinemas in 2016. Prometheus was his introduction to the world, however. He’d written a couple of impressive spec scripts that got him into rooms with high-powered Hollywood directors. Ridley Scott was one of them. As you’ll discover in this episode, the idea of an Alien prequel was kind of sprung on him. In an instant, he blurted out an idea for an epic that took the franchise and its mythology in a bold new direction, switching up the series’ visceral frights for grand existential contemplation and freaky robots. In this fascinating conversation, Jon delves into about his original draft for the film, titled Alien: Engineers. It followed roughly the same beats as Prometheus but with a few notable exceptions. For starters, Engineers made the bold move of suggesting that Jesus Christ was an alien, and therefore related to the Xenomorph of the first movie. It also had a different ending that set up a planned trilogy of movies with these characters, which Jon explains in detail.  You might also want to listen out for Jon’s pitch for a Star Wars series – one of the few sci-fi sandboxes he’s not had a chance to play in yet…This is a spoiler-filled conversation – in space, no can you hear you scream that we ruined the plot for you. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected]. Support for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
5/10/202253 minutes, 40 seconds
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The Good Place with Michael Schur

We're back – and this season, we're covering TV shows as well as movies! Joining us today to kick off Script Apart season three in style is none other than Michael Schur – co-creator of shows like Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Rutherford Falls, and  a key creative force on The Office during its early seasons. Michael's most personal work, however, is undoubtedly The Good Place: a hilarious, philosophical probing of what it means to be a good person that ran for four seasons between 2016 and 2020. It starred Kristen Bell as Eleanor, a self-described “Arizona trash bag” with an insatiable crush on the wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin, who dies and finds herself in an afterlife that may not be all that it seems.It’s the kind of show that could only have been created with the freedom afforded by Michael's  earlier small-screen successes – you hardly notice it while you’re watching because its jokes are so sharp and its plot so pacy, but The Good Place really did say “fork you” to a tonne of TV conventions. In this in-depth exploration of The Good Place's creation, we dig into into the screenwriter's vision for the show, how he crafted the jaw-dropping twist in its season one finale, why his original pilot screenplay doomed The Beatles to the Bad Place (sorry if you’re listening, Paul and Ringo) and what recently compelled Mike to write How To Be Perfect, a New York Times best-selling book that built on the themes of The Good Place. It’s a riveting and revealing chat with plenty of laughs along the way, as you might expect of someone with Mike’s resume. This is a spoiler-filled conversation that touches on plot points from all four seasons of The Good Place, so be sure to have watched the show before tuning in – we don't want to be sent to the Bad Place for ruining the series for you.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected]. Support for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.Support the show
4/26/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 52 seconds
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Back To The Future with Bob Gale

Great Scott, it’s the end of season two so we're going out with a 88mph, 1.21 gigawatt bang. Joining us before we make like a tree and get out of here, as Biff Tannen might say, is none other than Bob Gale –writer of the iconic Back To The Future. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this 1985 time travel adventure needs no introduction – but trust us when we say it was almost a very, very different movie. In this special season finale, Bob delves into his radically different first draft of the film: one that included a time-travelling fridge (that's right, no Delorean) and Marty McFly and Doc Brown running a VHS film piracy operation out of the back of a rundown cinema. They have a pet chimp and there's even a shootout with the US military. The script climaxes with our heroes driving into the mushroom cloud of an atom bomb explosion, rather than using a lightning storm to get back home, as they do in the finished film.You'll also hear about the elements of Bob's original screenplay that Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg borrowed for Forrest Gump and Indiana Jones 4 respectively. Bob also shares what it's been like working on the musical retelling of the film that recently hit London's West End, and exactly a film this outlandish – in which a teenager goes back in time and almost gets together with his own mother – took over the world. As for us? Well, we'll be taking a break while we work on some of our filmmaking projects, and generally try to catch a breather. Don’t worry though – we'll be back with season three and some surprises in the near future so don't go anywhere – we are your density, to quote George McFly. Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen.Support for this episode comes from Screencraft and WeScreenplay.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 50 pages of interviews with screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
12/21/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 25 seconds
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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with Shane Black

As the writer of movies like Lethal Weapon, The Nice Guys, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Iron Man 3, Shane Black is a true screenwriting auteur, known for his scripts' pulse-racing action, quippy dialogue and genre-skewing surprises. At the heart of his stories are usually two odd-couple characters, who must overcome their differences to solve a problem or often a police case. And did we mention all of this is often happening against a Christmassy backdrop? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – Shane’s 2005 festive film noir – ticked all the above boxes, and plenty more. As Christmas movies go, it's a cult classic renowned for its sharp satire and creative meta commentary on Tinseltown past and present. Robert Downey plays Harry – a petty thief who lands a Hollywood screen test after accidentally crashing an acting audition while running from cops after a botched toy story burglary. Adrift in LA over the holiday season, a string of strange events finds him reunited with his old childhood crush, Harmony (Michelle Monoghan) and entangled in a murder mystery with a gay private investigator named Perry (Val Kilmer).Shane wrote the movie after a nine-year layover between projects. His previous film, spy thriller The Long Kiss Goodnight, has a huge cult following now but struggled at the box office on release, sparking a period of soul-searching for the screenwriter. In the conversation you’re about to hear, Shane explains how Kiss Kiss Bang Bang revitalised his love for movie-making. We discuss what is about Christmas that he can’t stop himself coming back to as a storyteller, to what degree this movie provided a comic template for Iron Man and the MCU, and how his first draft of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was a romcom with intoxicating characters but no real plot. That is, until he planted a murder at the centre of it…Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen.Subscribe to our new spin-off show How I Write here.Support for this episode comes from Screencraft and WeScreenplay.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 50 pages of interviews with screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
12/14/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 16 seconds
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Dead Poets Society with Tom Schulman

Today’s guest is none other than Tom Schulman, the Oscar-winning writer of timeless school drama Dead Poets Society. Released in 1989, Tom’s affecting and uplifting story of seven classmates who take a stand against the uniformity of the elite boarding school they attend is a valentine to never letting the world smoulder that flame in you that makes life worth living. Best remembered for an astonishing turn by Robin Williams as the kids’ teacher, John Keating, the movie walked away with Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards and Best Film at the BAFTAs, and remains an ingrained part of our pop culture three decades later: the boys’ emotive calls of “oh captain, my captain” and Keating’s advice to “carpe diem – seize the day” deeply embedded in our collective consciousness today.Writing the film involved deep soul-searching from Tom, whose life story overlaps with the characters in his screenplay. He went to an elite boarding school and was inspired by an iconoclastic teacher. Speaking from his home in Los Angeles, he told us about an abandoned sub-plot in which Keating has cancer in his first draft, about the improvisational magic that Robin Williams brought to the role, and what he thinks the movie’s legacy is today. No need to stand on your desk at home to listen along – a sofa will do just fine.This episode is sponsored by ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay.Subscribe to our new spin-off show How I Write by clicking here.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 50 pages of interviews with screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
11/30/20211 hour, 35 minutes, 3 seconds
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Point Break with W. Peter Iliff

Surfing into the Script Apart hot seat this week is W. Peter Iliff – writer of the astonishing Point Break. Peter was waiting tables in restaurants around LA when he began work on this dazzling adrenaline-hit of a movie, about a FBI cop who goes undercover with a bank-robbing surfer gang. The idea came to him while hanging out with the filmmaker Rick King who helped him flesh out the story, before Peter turned it into the blueprint for one of the great movies of the 1990s. The resulting film, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, was both an electrifying action thriller and something that transcended the genre entirely, with plenty to say about America, adventure and the bonds forged between men. In this fascinating conversation, Peter explores the connection between his own struggles with alcohol and the film’s life-on-the-edge characters, always chasing their next buzz. He also details how the film's most stunning sequences came together on the page, and how the iconic climatic fight between Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze’s characters drew inspiration from samurai movies. You may also want to listen out for a tantalising breakdown of a Point Break TV show that Peter’s currently writing. You’ve met Johnny Utah. Now get ready to meet Joanny Utah, in a climate change-inspired sequel series that Peter’s been hard at work on.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. Subscribe to our new spin-off show How I Write here.Support for this episode comes from Screencraft and WeScreenplay.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 50 pages of interviews with screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
11/16/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 2 seconds
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Last Night In Soho with Edgar Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Today we’re joined by none other than Edgar Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Krysty you’ll remember from our recent episode on the fantastic 1917. Edgar, meanwhile, is one of British cinema’s best-loved blockbuster auteurs – the writer-director behind movies like Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim and of course, his Three Colours Cornetto trilogy with Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End). We could spend the next few minutes giving you our glowing appraisal of the pair’s latest film, Last Night In Soho, but Stephen King probably said it best when he tweeted:  "This one is special. Time travel with a twist.” As reviews go for your first real horror movie, Krysty and Edgar couldn’t ask for much better than that.Yes, Last Night In Soho is a horror movie. But it’s also a time-travel movie, an ode to ‘60s Soho and a brutal dismantling of British pining for “the good old glory days” that politicians and cultural commentators love to invoke. It follows Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer played by Thomasin McKenzie, who moves to London for uni and forms a seductive, supernatural connection to a girl in ‘60s Soho – Sandy, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. Full of intrigue and surprises, the film packs all the directorial flair and storytelling invention we’ve come to expect from Edgar, and all the powerful characterisation and dramatic tension that are becoming Krysty's calling cardsWe spoke to the pair to hear how Edgar pulled on his mother’s own experience of supernatural phenomenon to help craft the story, how Krysty approached the infuriatingly relevant issue of exploited women in the script and the subtle condemnation of Brexit that this movie may or may not have simmering under its surface. The pair asked to not delve too deep into the movie’s ending as they want to allow people to form their own conclusions for now, but otherwise this is a spoiler-filled conversation, so be sure to check out the movie before tuning in.Oh and one last thing – stay tuned to the end of the episode for an exclusive sneak peek at a brand-new podcast from the Script Apart team! How I Write is a show in which great screenwriters reveal their step-by-step creative process, from outline to the finish line on incredible TV shows and movies. ** Click here to subscribe to our new show How I Write! **Support for this episode comes from Screencraft and WeScreenplay.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. The show is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 51 pages of interviews with great screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
11/2/202148 minutes, 36 seconds
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The Mitchells Vs The Machines with Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe

Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe are the creative minds behind one of the most riotously funny and inventive movies of this year. In The Mitchells Vs The Machines, two terrible things happen to young filmmaker Katie Mitchell. First, her dad decides to surprise her by taking the entire family on a cross-country road trip on the eve of her going to college. And second, the tech apocalypse strikes, enslaving pretty much all mankind. It’s neck and neck as to which one is worse for Katie, voiced by Abbi Jacobson. Together, it’s up to the Mitchells to stop the robot uprising and save the world.Featuring groundbreaking animation, hilarious movie references and Olivia Colman as an evil Alexa, The Mitchells vs The Machines had it all. But, as you’ll discover in today’s episode, the film almost went in a very different direction. Originally titled Control Alt Escape, their first draft found the Mitchells on a mission with the President of the United States. It had a drastically different ending and a reduced role for two of the movie’s standout characters: glitching robots Eric and Deborahbot 5000. In the conversation you’re about to hear, we dig into all of those changes, as well as the film’s graceful LGBTQ+ representation, its chances of a sequel and yes, that scene with the demonic Furby.This is a spoiler conversation, so be sure to watch The Mitchells Vs The Machines on Netflix before listening.Support for this episode comes from Screencraft, Caveday and Coverfly.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. The show is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 51 pages of interviews with great screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
10/19/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 33 seconds
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Brokeback Mountain with Diana Ossana

Today’s episode was an emotional one to record. Earlier this year, celebrated author and screenwriter Diana Ossana lost her long-term collaborator, and the man she won an impressive haul of Oscars, BAFTAs and Golden Globes with – Larry McMurtry. She and Larry enjoyed a creative partnership that spanned multiple decades and many acclaimed projects prior to his death in March 2021. None were more important or culturally impactful, however, than the incredible Brokeback Mountain. Their screenplay for Ang Lee’s 2005 drama drastically moved the needle in terms of same-sex representation in mainstream cinema. Adapted from a short story by Annie Proulx, and starring Jake Gyllehaal opposite the late, great Heath Ledger, the film was broadly acclaimed for its astonishing performances and alternating moments of life-affirming passion and impossible-to-stomach heartache. It was derided by some in Hollywood as “the gay cowboy movie” upon release. But the sheer storytelling power and emotional weight of this tale of two sheep farmers – who fall for each other in a 1960s America where men are meant to be macho – saw Diana and Larry get the last laugh. Today, the film is regarded as one of the defining love stories in modern movie history.We spoke to Diana about the tricky process of building out Annie’s short story into a fully realised film. We discuss all the ways the screenplay evolved from its original outline, how the film was almost directed by Pedro Almodovar, and why it was so important to Diana and Larry that their script attended to the emotions of the wives and girlfriends caught up in the debris of Ennis and Jack’s infatuation for each other. Diana was also kind enough to share a number of incredibly touching stories about her close connection to Heath Ledger, who reminded her of her own son, who had tragically passed away. As we mentioned – this was an emotional one to record. Support for this episode comes from Screencraft, Caveday and Coverfly.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. The show is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 51 pages of interviews with great screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
10/5/20211 hour, 28 minutes, 25 seconds
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Mogul Mowgli with Riz Ahmed

Today we’re joined by the multi-talented Riz Ahmed. Riz is not only an award-winning actor known for roles in films like Four Lions, Nightcrawler, Sound of Metal and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – he’s also a gifted musician, and a prominent voice for change in the film industry, frequently advocating for a more diverse range of stories and storytellers. Last year, he added screenwriter to his lengthy list of talents with the mesmerising Mogul Mowgli – a dark drama about a British-Pakistani rapper who suffers the sudden onset of a debilitating autoimmune disease. Zed – played by Ahmed – is a talented MC hungry for fame but growing disconnected from his roots, when illness sends him spiralling into a string of dangerous hallucinations, stalked every step of the way by a mysterious masked figure with links to Pakistan’s past.Co-written by director Bassam Tariq, the film won huge critical acclaim for its intimacy, imagination and ambition, innovatively weaving in songs from an accompanying concept album that Riz released roughly in tandem with Mogul Mowgli. In this episode, he tells us about his relationship with writing and the parts of his own life he brought to the screen in this deeply personal movie. We also talk about the film’s prescient echoes of the Covid-19 pandemic and why “our scars can be a road map to our creativity” as Riz so beautifully puts it. Do make sure you’ve seen Mogul Mowgli before listening in, as this is a spoiler-filled conversation exploring all of the movie’s major plot points. Once you have, come back and brace yourself for a fascinating insight into what for my money is one of the best movies of the past 12 months.Support for this episode comes from Screencraft, Caveday and WeScreenplay.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 51 pages of interviews with great screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
9/23/202137 minutes, 50 seconds
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1917 with Krysty Wilson-Cairns

This week we’re joined by Krysty Wilson-Cairns, co-writer of one of the year’s most hotly anticipated thrillers: Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho. Audiences are in for a seriously gripping white-knuckle ride if that movie turns out to be anything like Krysty’s first-produced feature film, the incredible 1917. Co-written with director Sam Mendes, 1917 followed two British soldiers as they embarked on a nail-biting mission across No Man’s Land in the first World War. With communication lines down, the lives of 1,600 men rest on this duo delivering a message to a stubborn battalion captain that his soldiers are about to walk into an ambush. On release, the film garnered more attention for how it told its story, rather than the story itself. 1917 used long, intricately-choreographed takes to give the impression of a story told across just two uninterrupted shots. It was heralded as an unrelenting real-time glimpse into the horrors of war unlike anything before it. But the movie’s technical accomplishments would have felt empty were there not an emotive plot powering it forward. In the conversation you’re about to hear, Krysty pulls the curtain back on every element of that plot, detailing the painstaking research that went into forming the film’s characters. We also talk about discarded plans for a mustard gas attack sequence, why a certain central character simply had to die, and why we as a society continue to tell World War I stories a century on.Support for today's episode comes from Screencraft, WeScreenplay and Caveday.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 50 pages of interviews with screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
9/21/202154 minutes, 29 seconds
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Sinister with C. Robert Cargill

Today on the show, we’re joined by screenwriter and novelist C. Robert Cargill. In 2012, Cargill and frequent collaborator Scott Derrickson put a chill down the spines of audiences with a supernatural horror that was low in budget but sky-high in imagination. Sinister saw Ethan Hawke star as Ellison Oswalt, a washed-up true crime writer who goes to extreme lengths to reignite his career. After moving his wife and kids into the small-town home of a recently murdered family, whose gruesome killing remains unsolved, he discovers in the attic a box. In it are a collection of unsettling home videos that hint at a demonic conspiracy at play. As Ellison closes in on the truth, a terrifying entity closes in on him. The film put Cargill and Derickson on a path towards bigger projects – a Marvel movie, 2016’s trippy Doctor Strange soon followed. It’s easy to see why they were suddenly in demand. Sinister is a brutally effective masterclass in horror filmmaking that shows the power of a screenwriting philosophy Cargill swears by. The key to telling an engaging horror tale is to write a gripping grounded drama that’s then gatecrashed by a supernatural other, he explains in this episode, also delving into the origins of the film’s Bablyonian deity antagonist, Bagul the eater of Children, and all the ways Sinister evolved en route to the big screen. For example, did you know Sinister was originally titled Super 8 and presented Bagul as a “fucked up Willy Wonka” as Cargill puts it?Support for today's episode comes from Screencraft, WeScreenplay and Caveday.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 50 pages of interviews with screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
9/7/202159 minutes, 42 seconds
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Contact with James V. Hart

Our guest this week is James V. Hart, whose screenwriting talents have seen him enlisted to pen scripts for everyone from Steven Spielberg to Francis Ford Coppola. There's one movie in his extensive filmography that he looks back on with particular pride and emotion, however. Contact – the Robert Zemeckis-directed story of a scientist played by Jodie Foster, who discovers proof of extraterrestrial life – was a novel before James adapted it into one of the most celebrated sci-fi dramas of all time. The book was written by renowned astronomer Carl Sagan – a close personal friend of James'. Carl sadly didn't live to see the film's completion, passing away after a long illness just months before Contact's release.James looks back on the movie today as a tribute to his friend and the astronomer's brilliant partner, author Ann Druyan, both of whom he worked with closely while adapting Contact. It was a tricky screenplay to get right. As you'll discover in this episode, the book was a dense meditation on what would happen if contact were made with life from another planet – the ripples it would send through politics, through religion, and everything in between. It was a book rooted, as anyone who knows Carl's work might expect, in scientific fact. Translating the novel into a piece of blockbuster entertainment without losing any of the book's authority and spirit of scientific discovery, in a time dominated by the explosions and spectacle of alien movies like Independence Day, was a daunting task. This is the story of how James pulled it off. Over an engrossing sixty minutes, we reflect on the movies that Contact helped inspire, a version of the script that included the Pope as a major character, and why James is not satisfied with the film's ending. Truly, they should have sent a poet to interview James. Instead, you guys have Al. Sorry about that.Support for this episode comes from MUBI, Screencraft and Launchpad.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected] a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 50 pages of interviews with screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
8/24/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 52 seconds
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Black Widow with Eric Pearson

Today on the show – a deep dive into Marvel's latest superhero adventure, Black Widow with Eric Pearson! Eric is the screenwriter responsible for giving Natasha Romanoff – the Avengers’ super-spy with a dark past and powerful fighting skills –  the solo movie she’s always deserved. His account of writing the film is a fascinating glimpse inside the Marvel machine: how their movies are written, the relentless pace at which that machine moves, and how each film is made to fit into a much bigger interconnected story at script-level. We’ll warn you now, though – you may well feel stressed just hearing about the challenges in front of him as he came onboard the project.Eric had inherited an outline mapped out by Ned Benson and Wandavision showrunner Jac Shaefer. Within that outline was a bunch of puzzle pieces, and not much time to make them fit – production was looming and sets for the movie were already being constructed for Black Widow. In this episode, Eric shares how he navigated that intense pressure, what guided him towards the theme of family at the heart of this movie and all the different avenues the movie explored – including the truth behind rumours of a planned cameo from Tony Stark.This is a spoiler-filled conversation so if you’re yet to see Black Widow, hit pause now, get yourself to a cinema then come back as we jump into all of this movie’s twists and turns.Support for this episode comes from Screencraft, MUBI and WeScreenplay.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected]. Get a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! Featuring 51 pages of interviews with great screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
8/19/202154 minutes, 58 seconds
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Speed with Graham Yost

Pop quiz, hot shots – which pedal-to-the-metal Keanu Reeves blockbuster set a breakneck new pace for action cinema in 1994? The answer is, of course, Speed – directed by Jan de Bont and written by our guest today, the fantastic Graham Yost. Graham had the idea for the film after a conversation with his father about Akira Kurusawa’s unproduced script, Runaway Train. Taking the Japanese auteur’s loose idea and throwing a bomb into the mix, as well as a maniacal bomber played by Dennis Hopper, the film saw Keanu star as Jack Traven, an LAPD officer tasked with saving a bus full of people from a device that will explode if the vehicle slows below 50mph. Full of nerve-shredding tension and death-defying set pieces, it’s regularly voted among the best action movies of all time, and rightly so if you ask us.We caught up with Graham, who you might also know for his work on Justified and From The Earth To The Moon, to hear about how he wrote Speed. We talk about his shockingly different original villain for the movie, the alternate way his first draft ended, the lines from the film that Joss Whedon punched up and his pitches for two further Speed movies that sadly never got off the ground. You don’t have to listen to this episode on a runaway bus tearing through traffic, but it might heighten the experience.Support for this episode comes from Screencraft, MUBI and Launchpad.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected]. Get a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 51 pages of interviews with great screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
8/17/202151 minutes, 39 seconds
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The Suicide Squad with James Gunn

And we’re back! Welcome to season two of Script Apart – a podcast about the first draft secrets of great movies. Each episode, a brilliant screenwriter revisits their initial screenplay for what became a beloved movie, discussing what changed, what didn’t and why – from first draft to the big screen. Because we’ve missed you, we’re kicking off the season with not one, not two, but three episodes over the coming week. Joining us for the first is a writer-director who needs very little introduction. James Gunn’s hyper-bright, ludicrously funny adventure comedies have made him a blockbuster cinema household name, known for ripping up the rulebook on superhero storytelling. Having made two acclaimed Guardians of The Galaxy movies for Marvel, James recently turned his attention to another comic book stable of characters – DC. The Suicide Squad, his latest movie, starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, sees a group of incarcerated villains from the world of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman blackmailed into taking on a dangerous mission for the US government.Part reboot, part sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, The Suicide Squad features, among other things, a talking shark, a grumpy sharpshooter, a homicidal cheerleader and a man made up almost entirely of polka dots. Together, they visit a remote South American island, where they do battle with a giant starfish from outer space, as you do. On today’s episode, we hear how the film’s hilariously sharp screenplay came together. Get ready to discover why James originally toyed with pitting his ragtag team of misfits up against Superman in the movie, why the American government is the real villain of the film, why he loves rooting outlandish characters in a humanising sadness and how he originally planned to kill a beloved character in The Suicide Squad – only to decide that it would be just too heartless. This film famously coincided with a tumultuous time in James’ life: in 2018, he was fired by Marvel over historic tweets that were deemed offensive by his Guardians Of The Galaxy bosses. This was the project that, in his own words, saved him. He’s since been rehired by Marvel, and is back working on Guardians Of The Galaxy 3, but at that time, James feared for his career. Listen out for the philosophy about storytelling that got him through that difficult time, and ensured he came out of it a better writer and filmmaker. Also in the episode, James’s guide to writing great action and how to get yourself out of a corner when you kill a character in your script who – uh oh – it transpires DC aren’t done with yet.This is a spoiler-filled conversation so if you’re yet to see The Suicide Squad, hit pause now, get yourself to a cinema then come back as we dive into this film’s major plot points like a javelin-wielding Harley Quinn into the eyeball of a giant alien starfish.Support for this episode comes from Screencraft, MUBI and WeScreenplay. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on [email protected]. Get a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 51 pages of interviews with great screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show
8/12/202145 minutes, 50 seconds
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The Last Of Us Part II with Neil Druckmann and Halley Gross

Script Apart is a podcast about the first drafts of great movies. Or at least, it usually is. Today, in the final episode of our 2021 awards season mini-series, we’re delving deep into this year’s BAFTA Game Awards’ Game of The Year – The Last of Us Part II, with director Neil Druckmann and co-writer Halley Gross.If you’ve played this emotionally devastating survival thriller, you’ll know exactly why we wanted to cover it on this show. Set in a post-apocalyptic America brought to its knees by a parasitic infection, the game caught up with teenage survivor Ellie, five years after the events of the first Last Of Us. What begins as a tale of revenge eventually gives way to a profound meditation on the futility of violence, split into an ambitious two-part structure that forces players to empathise with the so-called enemy. There’s a reason why it sold over four million copies in its first weekend alone: The Last of Us Part II is a masterpiece in storytelling, full of brilliantly realised characters and sharp observations on who we are and who we could be as a society. We caught up with Neil and Halley to hear about how they wrote the game, turning back the clock to an early, open-world iteration of the Last of Us Part II that had a very different ending. Across a fascinating conversation, covering as much about this 20-hour game in forty minutes as humanly possible, we discuss the parts of their own lives they drew on to tell this story, the theme-building advice of author Robert McKee that helped shape The Last Of Us, and how a single detail in their first draft of the game’s final scene almost cast the future of the franchise in a totally different light.Speaking of the future – you may want to stick around till the end for some tantalising updates on a potential Last Of Us Part III, as well as the upcoming HBO TV series based on the first game. This is of course a spoiler-filled conversation so if you’re yet to play this astonishing game, hit pause, grab a copy on PlayStation today, then come back as we delve into every detail of this phenomenal game.Support for this episode comes from Arc Studio – the beautifully-designed screenwriting programme whose intuitive interface and host of innovative features helps you get the most out of your writing time – and Coverfly, who curate the best screenwriting talent-discovery programs into one place and connect emerging screenwriters with industry professionals who can bring their ideas to screen.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected] the show
4/27/202143 minutes, 59 seconds
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Sound Of Metal with Darius Marder

In our latest awards season mini-series special, we chat with Darius Marder – director and co-writer of the astounding Sound of Metal. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, the film’s an intimate look into the life of a punk drummer with a history of substance abuse, whose world is thrown into disarray when he suffers hearing loss. Desperate to avoid relapsing into drug dependency again, our hero Ruben joins a community of deaf recovered addicts on a remote farm, where he begins on a path towards relearning who he is and reconstructing his life. Riz Ahmed is sensational as the wiry, introverted Ruben, working from a script that treats its characters not as conduits to tell a story, but living breathing people with depth and flaws.Achieving that depth on the page required an intense amount of work for Darius and his brother/writing partner Abraham. On top of the countless hours spent writing out hundreds of pages of back story for their characters, the pair put a massive amount of emotional labour into Sound of Metal to make their story as grounded as possible. As you’ll hear in this episode, Darius drew on his own experience of a crumbling relationship while writing scenes between Ruben and his partner Lou, while Abraham let his own history of debilitating medical problems inform the feeling of freefall that Ruben finds himself in when his hearing begins to falter.We spoke to Darius about the many meanings of the film’s title, the punishing process of writing the film and why it was important to him not to present deafness as a problem to be fixed. Darius also shared with me how Sound Of Metal was originally envisioned as not just one film but two – with another movie delving into what happens to Lou intended to be released simultaneously. This is a spoiler-filled conversation, so if you haven’t yet seen Sound Of Metal, you know the drill by now – hit pause, head to Amazon Prime Video to watch it, then come back as we dive into every detail of this great movie. Support for this episode comes from Arc Studio – the beautifully-designed screenwriting programme whose intuitive interface and host of innovative features helps you get the most out of your writing time – and Coverfly, who curate the best screenwriting talent-discovery programs into one place and connect emerging screenwriters with industry professionals who can bring their ideas to screen.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected] the show
4/13/202145 minutes, 49 seconds
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The Trial Of The Chicago 7 with Aaron Sorkin

Our guest this week is one of the most celebrated screenwriters in film and TV today. Aaron Sorkin is the storytelling titan behind The Social Network, Steve Jobs, The West Wing, Moneyball, A Few Good Men and Charlie Wilson’s War… the list goes on. Across a glittering three-decade career, his screenplays – full of snappy dialogue, rousing speeches and engrossing drama – have imagined an America in which principled heroes stand tall against Goliath-like institutions. His latest film, The Trial Of The Chicago 7, which Aaron also directed, is no different. When a group of eight anti-war activists are charged with inciting a riot outside the 1968 Democratic Convention, the future of free speech seems to hinge on the ensuing court case. It’s a timely true-life tale that was this week nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Aaron took time out of pre-production on his next movie to tell me about how it took fourteen years and multiple rewrites to bring Chicago 7 to the screen. We also delve into the troubling Trump-era political developments that gave the story new urgency, his own process when it comes to writing first drafts, the importance of writing dialogue as though your characters are yelling at God, and what happened when he took a meeting about writing movies for Marvel.Since we started this show, our DMs have been full with listener requests for incredible screenwriters they’d love to hear on the show. Aaron is as you might expect among the most requested so we’re delighted to bring you this episode, the latest in our awards season mini-series talking to writers behind this year’s Oscar and BAFTA contenders.This is a spoiler-filled conversation so if you haven’t seen The Trial Of The Chicago 7, hit pause now, go check it out on Netflix and then come back as we delve into every detail of this great movie.Support for this episode comes from Arc Studio – the beautifully-designed screenwriting programme whose intuitive interface and host of innovative features helps you get the most out of your writing time – and Coverfly, who curate the best screenwriting talent-discovery programs into one place and connect emerging screenwriters with industry professionals who can bring their ideas to screen.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected] the show
3/23/202140 minutes, 11 seconds
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Wolfwalkers with Will Collins

Next up in our awards season mini-series is an insight into the creation of one of the most enchanting animations in recent memory. Wolfwalkers is the latest gorgeously-drawn and beautifully-told adventure from Irish studio Cartoon Saloon. It follows a young named Robyn, living in 17th century Kilkenny. One day while exploring forbidden woodland, she meets Mebh: a free-spirited girl by day with the ability to transform into a wolf. The pair join forces to search for Mebh’s missing mother, uncovering secrets along the way that park a tense standoff between the townsfolk, Robyn’s father, the sinister Lord Protector and Mebh’s tribe of wolves. Inspired by Irish folklore, screenwriter Will Collins wrote the film based on a story by the film’s directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. On the surface it’s a children’s fairytale, full of adorable animal sidekicks and flourishing forests where there’s adventure to be had and magic at every turn. Look deeper into this densely layered drama, however, and you’ll also find environmental worry, coming-of-age excitement, exploration of society’s fear of the “other” and empowering messages about choosing your own path in life. Wolfwalkers almost was a very different movie. As Will reveals in this episode, the film’s creative team originally flirted with a much darker story, in which Mebh’s mother is discovered dead and Robyn is shot by her own father. We get into all of those abandoned plot threads in this episode, as well as the real-life historical darkness underpinning this magical tale.As you may have already guessed, this is a spoiler-filled discussion, so we highly recommend watching Wolfwalkers before listening. Support for this episode comes from Arc Studio – the beautifully-designed screenwriting programme whose intuitive interface and host of innovative features helps you get the most out of your writing time – and Coverfly, who curate the best screenwriting talent-discovery programs into one place and connect emerging screenwriters with industry professionals who can bring their ideas to screen.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected] the show
3/9/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom with Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Today we’re launching a very special Script Apart awards season mini-series! Yes, it’s that time of year again: the Oscars and Baftas are around the corner, and to celebrate, over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be chatting to writers behind some of the most astounding movies of the last 12 months – all of which would make worthy winners if you ask us. First up we have Ruben Santiago-Hudson – writer of the superb Netflix drama, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Adapted from a play by the legendary August Wilson, Ruben’s screenplay transported audiences to a swelteringly hot 1920s Chicago, where across one eventful afternoon, blues pioneer Ma Rainey is scheduled to record new material. Things don’t go quite to plan, however, and as the temperature rises, so do tensions between Ma – played by Viola Davis – and ambitious but emotionally wounded young trumpet player, Levee (the late, great Chadwick Boseman in his final performance). We spoke to Ruben to hear how he brought these two beautifully complex characters to life, delving into his close friendship with August Wilson, some curious differences between his early drafts and the final film, and the importance of acknowledging onscreen that the real-life Ma was a woman whose sexuality was fluid and whose generosity of spirit was strong. This is a spoiler discussion as you might have guessed, so if you haven’t already, you may want to check out Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, available now on Netflix, before listening.Support for this episode comes from Arc Studio – the beautifully-designed screenwriting programme whose intuitive interface and host of innovative features helps you get the most out of your writing time – and Coverfly, who curate the best screenwriting talent-discovery programs into one place and connect emerging screenwriters with industry professionals who can bring their ideas to screen.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected] the show
2/23/202149 minutes, 26 seconds
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Terminator 2: Judgement Day with William Wisher

It’s the final episode of Script Apart season one, and here to help us say “hasta la vista” is William "Bill" Wisher, co-writer of the timeless Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Released thirty years ago this summer, the film was the most expensive blockbuster in Hollywood history upon release. The 1984 original had been a sleeper hit. Written and directed by James Cameron, The Terminator was a lean sci-fi slasher movie, in which the unstoppable killer was not a Freddy or Jason monster, but a machine, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in a role that catapulted the Austrian to superstardom. Writing a sequel was a daunting task for James: how could he unleash on audiences a follow-up that retained the surprise and innovation of the first movie? To help answer this question, James turned to an old friend. Bill used to make DIY movies with James back home in the small town of Brea, California. He was an emerging screenwriter at the time, with some Hollywood experience but nothing of this scale and magnitude. The pair had a lot of big ideas and not a lot of time to come up with a function screenplay for T2. They knew they had to bring back Arnie, despite the exoskeletal assassin he played in the first film dying in that movie’s final moments. The challenge of bringing back the character in an organic, meaningful way was one problem. Getting Arnie to agree to the daring creative solution they came up with, they feared, might be another. T2 was frenzied, intense work for James and Bill, but worth it. The movie took no time at all to become regarded an action classic, grossing over $520m and introducing the world to more than one iconic catchphrase. Key to its success was the way Judgement Day added heart to the horror of the first movie, turning the 1984 original on its head by making the T-800 a good guy and giving him a tender relationship with future leader of the resistance John Connor, played by Edward Furlong.We spoke to Bill over Zoom from his home in California to hear how the foundations for Terminator 2 were laid out across six years’ worth of racquetball games with James Cameron. We also delve into the creation of the villainous T-1000, his own blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in T2, and why Judgement Day is deep down a film about family.We’re already hard at work on season two of Script Apart, which we’re excited to bring you very soon. As Arnie might say: we’ll be back.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected] the show
1/26/20211 hour, 24 minutes, 30 seconds
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Inside Out with Meg LeFauve

Pixar movies are always emotional journeys – quite literally in the case of Inside Out. Having sent audiences into the cosmos with Wall-E and into the clouds with Up, the revered animation studio went for a more introspective approach in 2015 with this heartwarming story set entirely in the mind of an adolescent girl. Riley is eleven when her family relocates to San Francisco, forcing her to leave behind her friends and classmates in the Midwest. Inside her head, as she attempts to navigate her daunting new life, are five emotions controlling her actions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger. When catastrophe strikes, Joy – voiced by Amy Poehler – is sent on a mission across Riley’s mind with Sadness. Along the way, Joy learns that sorrow isn’t something to be stamped out or fixed – it’s an emotion to be embraced.Our guest this week, Meg LeFauve, co-wrote the film with Josh Cooley and director Pete Docter, who came up with the idea for Inside Out after observing his own daughter’s changing emotions as she dealt with adolescence around 2009. It was a hard story to crack, as you’ll hear in this episode. Meg came onboard with Inside Out at an impasse: Pete, co-director Ronnie del Carmen and their collaborators had the concept of these emotions as characters, battling it out within Riley’s head, but had yet to figure out a way of translating that idea into a transformative feature film adventure. We caught up with Meg – who you might also know for work on Captain Marvel and The Good Dinosaur – to hear how she, Pete and Josh overcame this hurdle to craft one of the best-loved and most unique Pixar movies yet. We get into how the tragic loss of a colleague at Pixar helped inform the film, the importance of accepting sadness and what the chances are of a sequel ever seeing the light of day. Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected] the show
1/13/20211 hour, 24 seconds
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Soul with Kemp Powers

In this bonus mini episode, we’re delighted to be joined by Kemp Powers - co-writer and co-director of the latest Pixar masterclass in joyous, heartfelt storytelling, Soul. Released yesterday on Disney+, it's a movie that feels made for these times: co-written by Mike Jones and revered Pixar veteran Pete Docter, it’s an eye-popping, existentialist comedy that packs a tender, timely punch plenty of people will be able to relate to after a year of lockdowns and uncertainty. Jamie Foxx stars as Joe – a music teacher who aspires to be a New York jazz piano great. On the day of his big break, Joe suffers a fatal accident. What follows is an emotional, cosmic trip that invites you to think about mortality, our purpose in life and the characteristics that define us.Kemp whisked us through the development and creation of Soul, discussing the wildly different versions of the movie that almost were. In some, Joe was an animator instead of a jazz pianist. In other versions of the script, there was no Joe at all. We also chat about the dark fate that almost awaited the character, before faring badly with test audiences, and get into the genesis of that crazy second act left turn. This is a spoiler-filled chat, so if you haven’t seen this wonderful cosmic adventure, we highly recommend you find it on Disney+ first.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support for this episode comes from Caveday, providing focused group work sessions to a worldwide community of writers and creatives via Zoom,Support the show
12/26/202032 minutes, 33 seconds
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Die Hard with Steven E de Souza

Welcome to the party, listeners. On this very special festive episode, we’re celebrating the holidays the only way we possibly could: with a deep dive into the writing of Die Hard, courtesy of none other than the film’s co-writer, Steven E De Souza. Yes, it’s a Christmas film. In fact, for countless fans, Die Hard is the ultimate Christmas movie: a touching yuletide tale of family reconciliation, that just so happens to feature a tonne of explosions.What’s there to say about Die Hard that you don’t already know? Bruce Willis became a megastar thanks to his performance as John McClane, a no-nonsense New York City cop who becomes embroiled in a terrorist takeover of the Nakatomi Tower in Los Angeles. McClane ventures to LA for the holidays, intent on winning back his estranged wife, Holly. He’s not the only uninvited guest who turns up at Holly’s company’s Christmas party, though. Enter Hans Gruber, one of the greatest action villains in movie history, played by Alan Rickman. Steven came on board the project after screenwriter Jeb Stuart originated the project, adapting the 1978 novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp. In the conversation you’re about to hear, we discuss the development of Die Hard, charting how it went from an gun-toting B-movie pitched to studio 20th Century Fox as “Rambo in an office block”, to something grander: an action movie that broke almost every action movie roles, hiding a sentimental heart and redefining American movie masculinity in the process.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected] the show
12/22/20201 hour, 37 minutes, 14 seconds
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Carol with Phyllis Nagy

Carol is a modern Christmas classic. American director, screenwriter and playwright Phyllis Nagy fought for decades to bring this heart-wrenching tale to the screen. The film is a story of forbidden love between two women: Therese, an aspiring female photographer played by Rooney Mara, and Carol, a glamorous older woman played by Cate Blanchett. Set in 1960s New York, the film’s a raw, romantic drama set against a snowy festive backdrop that accentuates the emotion of Carol and Therese’s longing to be together, in a society that won’t allow it.Phyllis adapted the story from an acclaimed 1952 novel by Phyllis’s friend, the late, great Patricia Highsmith. Bringing The Price of Salt, as the novel was originally titled, to screen involved overcoming several hurdles, not least a film industry that was then reluctant to give a voice to LGBTQ stories. Eventually made for release in 2015 with Todd Haynes in the director’s chair, the movie became an instant cult smash, beloved by LGBTQ audiences and celebrated all over again every December since. Here’s what Phyllis had to say about her 20-year struggle to get Carol made, the subtle screenwriting details that decorate Carol and Therese's relationship, why there'll never be a sequel and more.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected] for this episode comes from Caveday, providing focused group work sessions to a worldwide community of writers and creatives via Zoom, and Script Sirens, a collective of female and non-binary writers from the West Midlands, UK whose new six-part audio horror anthology Siren Screams is available now on Spotify.Support the show
12/15/20201 hour, 1 minute, 13 seconds
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Edward Scissorhands with Caroline Thompson

This week we’re welcoming back the wonderful Caroline Thompson, who joined us a few weeks ago to discuss her script for The Nightmare Before Christmas. Today, we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of her much beloved debut – Edward Scissorhands. Directed by Tim Burton, this fantastical, gothic fairytale saw Johnny Depp play a Frankensteinian man with metallic hands, who falls in love with the daughter of makeup saleswoman. Three decades on, this fish-out-of-water story is still cherished by fans worldwide, who continue to find heartbreak and hilarity in its surreal depiction of suburbia.Caroline shared with us some fascinating secrets from the creation of the movie, including how it was initially conceived as a musical, the message about disability and difference she wanted the film to convey, and the jaw-dropping reason why Tom Cruise walked away from the part, having come close to playing Edward instead of Depp.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.  Support for this episode comes from Caveday, providing focused group work sessions to a worldwide community of writers and creatives via Zoom, and Script Sirens, a collective of female and non-binary writers from the West Midlands, UK whose new six-part audio horror anthology Siren Screams is available now on Spotify.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected] the show
12/1/202050 minutes, 26 seconds
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Zodiac with James Vanderbilt

This week we’re joined by the excellent James Vanderbilt, screenwriter of the 2007 David Fincher thriller, Zodiac. James has had an impressively eclectic Hollywood career: on top of writing action adventures like White House Down, detective comedies like Murder Mystery, sci-fi sequels like Independence Day 2 and the odd Spider-Man blockbuster or two, he’s also produced horror hits (Slender Man, Ready Or Not) and stepped behind the camera to direct his own gripping historical drama (2015’s Truth). Before all that, though, came this cult smash: a slow-burn dramatisation of the hunt for the most notorious serial killer in American history.Zodiac was a labour of love. Vanderbilt obsessed over the mysterious murderer’s identity for decades before writing the film, based on the 1986 non-fiction book of the same name by Robert Graysmith. Graysmith was a cartoonist working at the San Francisco Chronicle when a string of gruesome killings across the Bay Area, by one unknown assailant, left the region in a state of panic and paranoia. The killer, known as the Zodiac, wrote cryptic letters to Graysmith’s paper that perplexed police, and sent Graysmith on a personal mission to uncover the killer’s identity. The Zodiac was never caught. Vanderbilt’s film tells the story of Graysmith’s ultimately unsuccessful search for the truth. If you’re wondering how you write a satisfying thriller in which the killer gets away, don’t worry: James did too. I chatted to James from his home in LA to hear about the conventions he had to break to make this incredible movie, the dizzying amount of research that he and Fincher undertook to make sure they were telling the victims’ stories responsibly, and whether or not he’d ever consider making of sequel of sorts, about the notorious 1970s killer the Son of Sam.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected] the show
11/18/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 31 seconds
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10 Things I Hate About You with Karen McCullah and Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith

Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith and Karen McCullah are the writers behind the timeless high school comedy 10 Things I Hate About You. Released in 1999, their Gil Junger-directed teen reworking of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew had it all: big laughs, blossoming romance, coming-of-age emotion and a ridiculously fun soundtrack. The film told the tale of two sisters: a smart but abrasive outcast called Kat (Julia Stiles) and her younger sibling Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), who’s banned from dating until her sister does. When new kid Cam (Joseph Gordon Levitt) falls for Bianca, a plan is hatched to set Kat up with mysterious bad boy Patrick, played by the late, great Heath Ledger.Karen and Kiwi told us all about the rebellious fun of turning a classic literary tale into a high school romp, the ahead-of-its-time feminist message they wanted the film to have, and the erotic fiction-loving character they cut out of the movie to cast the story in a whole new light. There’s also revelations about a secret, swear-word-related CGI shot you’ve probably noticed before, and what they’d do differently if they were writing the film today. Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support the show
11/11/202051 minutes, 56 seconds
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The Nightmare Before Christmas with Caroline Thompson

In this very special Halloween episode of Script Apart, we step inside the ghoulish, gothic holiday musical that’s enchanted millions worldwide since its release in 1993. We’re talking of course about The Nightmare Before Christmas – the timeless, twisted story of a pumpkin king named Jack Skellington and his ragdoll friend Sally. Our guest this week, Caroline Thompson, wrote the film’s screenplay, based on a poem by producer Tim Burton, with songs by composer Danny Elfman.Caroline, who also wrote Edwards Scissorhands, came onboard the project at an eventful time. Things hadn’t worked out with another screenwriter. With production already underway, it was up to Caroline to turn a loose story into a living, breathing script, with a convincing love interest for Jack Skellington. The pressures facing Burton, Caroline and director Henry Selick led to a frenzied creative environment where, as you’ll discover in this episode, tempers often flared. It was worth it, though. Animated movies don’t come much more beloved than the deliriously imaginative Nightmare Before Christmas.Here’s Caroline on her chaotic experience making the movie, why she’ll always a place in her heart for Frankensteinian sweetheart Sally, why she fought but failed to change the villainous Oogie Boogie, and the likelihood of a Nightmare Before Christmas sequel ever seeing the light of day.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support for this episode comes from virtual co-working hosts Caveday – sign up for a free three-hour Cave using the promo code "SCRIPTAPART" at checkout.Support the show
10/30/202050 minutes, 12 seconds
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John Wick with Derek Kolstad

Derek Kolstad is the writer responsible for one of the biggest action franchises in cinema today. 2014’s John Wick was a gripping neo-noir revenge flick that saw Keanu Reeves play a retired assassin grieving the loss of his wife. When a chance encounter with a Russian gangster leads to the death of his beloved dog, the character embarks on a violent crusade for vengeance, drawn back into a murky criminal underworld he thought he’d left behind. The film was a frenzy of breathtaking fight sequences and emotional character beats, directed by Keanu’s former Matrix stunt-person Chad Stahelski. Two equally acclaimed sequels soon followed, with further sequels and spin-offs currently in development.Derek wrote the movie after finding himself wondering one day what he would be capable of if someone ever hurt one of his two dogs. His original vision for the movie, however, was a little different to the film we know today. As you’ll discover in this episode, Wick was originally envisioned as a Rambo-esque former boxer in his ‘60s. Scorn, as the film was originally titled, had a different backstory for the widowed assassin, a different ending and scenes that didn’t make the shooting script.We spoke to Derek from his family home in Wisconsin to hear about the film’s evolution, the heartbreaking hidden tribute to his grandparents he snuck into John Wick, and the future of the character – a future that he’s decided to step away from. If you’re a fan of Marvel and the MCU, by the way, you might wanna stick around till the end for an intriguing update on Derek’s next project – The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support for this episode comes from virtual co-working hosts Caveday – sign up for a free three-hour Cave using the promo code "SCRIPTAPART" at checkout.Support the show
10/20/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 11 seconds
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The Simpsons Movie with Al Jean

This week’s guest is Al Jean, long-time showrunner of The Simpsons and co-writer of 2007’s The Simpsons Movie. Homer, Lisa, Bart, Marge and Maggie’s big-screen debut was a long time in the making. By 2007, The Simpsons had been a global sensation for approaching 20 years. The show, about the escapades of an endearingly dysfunctional family, set in the fictional town of Springfield, had struck a cultural chord unlike any other. Its success, and the show’s constant references to cult classic movies, made the prospect of a Simpsons film seem a no-brainer. Al and the Simpsons writing staff, however, were determined to wait for a Simpsons story that felt truly cinematic before bringing it to the big screen. In 2007 they found one. The Simpsons Movie took America’s favourite family on an adventure involving environmental catastrophe, epiphanies in the Alaskan wilderness and a giant glass dome being placed over Springfield. The film was as expected, a giant smash.As season 31 of the show gets underway on TV, we caught up with Al to hear how creating the Simpsons Movie almost broke him, why he and the film’s writing team opted for a new villain instead of Hank Scorpio – and whether or not its environmental message foreshadowed our current climate crisis.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support the show
10/6/202041 minutes, 56 seconds
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In The Loop with Armando Iannucci

Armando Iannucci is one of the defining voices in British contemporary comedy. You might know him as the creator of Veep, the co-creator of Alan Partridge or as the writer-director behind 2017’s superb The Death of Stalin. Maybe you know him as the man responsible for acclaimed new HBO sci-fi show Avenue 5, or as the filmmaker behind the excellent recent Personal History of David Copperfield.Armando is probably best known, however, for one character: Malcolm Tucker, the terrifying spin doctor at the black heart of BBC comedy The Thick of It. In 2009, Tucker hit the big screen. In the Loop, a spin-off movie about politicians in the US and UK scrambling for power as both countries contemplate a military invasion, left a massive imprint: not only did the film receive an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, but 11 years later, the film's referenced often, whenever politics spills into the absurd or surreal.Armando joined us to explain how he and his Thick of It collaborators went about outlining and scripting In The Loop, the anarchic joy of writing dialogue for Malcolm Tucker, and why The Thick of It couldn’t exist in today’s political landscape. Oh and look out for a great tale about the time he committed a spot of light international espionage at the US State Department.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support the show
9/22/202058 minutes, 29 seconds
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BlacKkKlansman with Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz

This week, we’re joined by David Rabinowitz and Charlie Wachtel, writers of 2018’s incredible BlacKkKlansman. Directed by the one and only Spike Lee, the film told the true-life tale of Ron Stallworth – a Black police detective working in 1970s Colorado, who attempted to infiltrate the white supremacist world of the KKK.The movie walked away with Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2018 Oscars, and for good reason. BlacKkKlansman was tense, darkly comic and disturbingly relevant – famously, the film ends with real-life footage of recent racist rallies in America, drawing a line between the events on screen and the times we’re living in today.Co-written by Lee and frequent collaborator Kevin Wilmot, the film’s a stylish, powerful thriller that speaks to violence and division of both Trump’s America and America’s past. We caught up with Charlie and David to hear about the racial fault lines they wanted the film to expose, the tricky task of laughing at bigots on screen without minimising their monstrousness, and the compelling character within the film that Jordan Peele secretly helped shape. Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, screenwriters behind beloved films share with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support the show
9/8/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 41 seconds
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A Quiet Place with Beck/Woods

Scott Beck and Bryan Woods are two childhood friends from Iowa who, in 2018, scored a box office smash with A Quiet Place – a sensory horror movie unlike anything before. Directed by John Krasinski, the movie was a post-apocalyptic alien survival story with a twist: after the Earth is invaded by creatures who prey on sound, we’re introduced to a family living out their their lives in silence on a remote farm, aware that the slightest noise could doom them all.With an emotional undercurrent to match the film’s high concept, A Quiet Place was an almost unbearably tense rollercoaster ride – one that, between terrifying monster attacks, touched on topics of grief, loss and what it means to be a parent.Beck and Woods told us all about how they wrote the hit movie, the car crash mystery they initially had propelling the movie, and the debt they owe to M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen.All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support the show
8/25/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 13 seconds
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Moonlight with Barry Jenkins

Adapted from an unpublished play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight was a mesmerising three-part journey through the young adult life of Chiron, a boy grappling with his identity and sexuality, played by three different actors representing different stages of his adolescence. The movie was the first LGBTQ-themed film to win Best Picture, the first with an all-black cast to win Best Picture, and is regularly voted among the greatest films of the century so far.Barry wrote Moonlight’s first-draft on a solo trip to Europe, after discovering echoes of his own life in Tarell’s story. Like the playwright, he had grown up in Liberty City, raised by a mother with drug dependency issues. As he explains in our fascinating and at times emotional chat, Barry didn’t know where his life and career were leading before this screenplay spilled out of him on that trip, putting him on a path to Oscars glory.Here’s Barry – and an incredibly well-behaved puppy he adopted before lockdown – on the origins of Moonlight, the LGBTQ legacy of the film’s success, and why his original ending for the film might have resulted in the actor Alex R. Hibbert being eaten by sharks.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen.All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support the show
8/11/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 7 seconds
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Saint Frances with Kelly O'Sullivan

Every now and again, we’re going to be spotlighting a new film or lesser-known gem that we love, chatting to the talented screenwriter behind it to uncover its first-draft secrets. This episode, we hear from Kelly O’Sullivan, writer/star of the affecting new indie-drama Saint Frances. Saint Frances tells the story of 34-year-old Bridget, a reluctant nanny whose relationship with the smart, tough six-year-old in her care sends her on a moving journey of self-discovery. Kelly plays the lead role in the film as well as having written its fantastic screenplay. Funny, relatable and unflinchingly realistic, it’s rightly being championed as one of the year’s best movies.Listen to find out what Kelly had to say about the film’s abandoned kidnapping plot twist, the sexist mainstream movie tropes she wanted Saint Frances to rebel against, and why imagining the life you might have had is a great exercise for storytellers. This is a spoiler-filled conversation so if you haven’t seen the film yet, you may want to do so first. Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen.All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support the show
8/1/202050 minutes, 24 seconds
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The Post with Liz Hannah

There aren’t many first-time screenwriters who sit down to write a script, and soon find themselves on set with Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, bringing that script to life. That’s what happened to Liz Hannah on the back of her gripping screenplay for The Post, about America’s first female newspaper publisher, Katharine Graham, and her role in exposing one of the most notorious government cover-ups in US history.Co-written by Josh Singer, the Steven Spielberg-directed film went on to become one of 2017’s most celebrated dramas – a nail-biting account of a woman facing an impossible decision, set in the 1970s but with a message relevant to our own era of fake news and democracy under attack.We spoke to Liz about the movie’s journey from her kitchen table to Oscars acclaim, how she shaped the feminist story at the movie’s heart, and whether or not she foresees herself ever writing a spiritual sequel to The Post, about Donald Trump’s battles with our current media.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen.All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support the show
7/28/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 8 seconds
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Watchmen with David Hayter

In 2009, David Hayter realised a decades-long dream: writing a movie adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel, Watchmen. Co-written by Alex Tse, Hayter’s Watchmen told the story of retired superheroes in an alternate 1980s America. It was a gripping, morally complex deconstruction of society’s superhero obsession that ushered in a new era of caped crusader cinema.With Watchmen back in the public consciousness thanks to last year’s fantastic HBO TV series, we spoke to Hayter to hear about the incredibly different film Watchmen almost was – directed by Paul Greengrass, set in modern day, with character deaths and story arcs that veered away from the graphic novel. Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen.All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support the show
7/14/202058 minutes, 45 seconds
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Fighting With My Family with Stephen Merchant

In 2019, The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant scored a big-screen smash with Fighting With My Family – a heartfelt wrestling comedy set in Norwich, England. Telling the true-life tale of WWE athlete Paige, and the eccentric family of wrestling fanatics she left behind to chase her dream, the film was a critical and commercial hit – a fact that still surprises Merchant, a self-confessed wrestling novice who was asked to make the film by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and soon found himself immersed in a world of suplexes, choke-slams and spandex.He tells host Al Horner about how he wrote the acclaimed movie, the story threads that throw back to The Office, the title the film was almost given, and the parts of his first draft he opted to leave out of the final film.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen.All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity. Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support the show
6/30/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 10 seconds
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Attack The Block with Joe Cornish

Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. All proceeds go to Black Minds Matter UK, the NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and the Film and TV Charity.In our first episode, host Al Horner chats to Joe Cornish about his 2011 sci-fi comedy Attack The Block. Joe tells us about how he wanted his script to challenge preconceptions about young (predominantly Black) teenagers living on council estates, the film's abandoned title, a slightly alternative ending and why he inserted more Brewis into his screenplay after this first attempt. We also discuss trips to buy weed with Louis Theroux, the power of John Boyega's recent Black Lives Matter London rally speech and the possibility of an Attack The Block sequel.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. You can follow Script Apart on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email us on [email protected]. Support the show
6/15/202054 minutes, 1 second