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Space! Time travel! Clones! Technology! Existential mysteries! Science fiction is a genre that has it all. Sci-fi films spark audiences’ imaginations, taking them on exciting journeys to unknown worlds and introducing them to mind-bending concepts.
While blasting off to a galaxy far away is fun to watch in a movie, it’s much harder to craft in your writing. A good science fiction script requires engaging ideas, a unique vision, and relatable characters to ground the story.
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Studying scripts can help aspiring writers better understand how to craft a story in their desired genre. So, if you’re interested in learning more about science fiction stories, keep reading because today, I’m exploring five sci-fi scripts to learn from!
Written by Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan
One of my favorite sci-fi movies in recent years, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is a bonkers film that will have you laughing one minute and then crying over rocks the next. This ambitious script follows a middle-aged Chinese American immigrant, Evelyn, who discovers she must connect to parallel universe versions of herself to save the multiverse.
This is the kind of script that permits writers to take big swings. This script embraces the strange and absurd, utilizing those things to subvert expectations and break traditional narrative structures. Being a sci-fi film allows the script to blend many genres while also exploring diverse characters, creating abundant experiences.
While the film is full of spectacle, at its core, there is emotional depth in the form of a relationship between a mother and daughter. “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is a unique and memorable cinematic journey.
Written by Charlie Kaufman
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is a thought-provoking science fiction romance all about the complexities of love and memory. The film follows a couple who, when their relationship deteriorates, both undergo procedures to have the other person erased from their memory. This script does a great job of melding emotional depth with a surreal, mind-bending concept.
Being a Charlie Kaufman script, the film is full of themes about identity crises, love, loss, and the meaning of it all. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is a great example of nonlinear storytelling and how it can be used to direct how and when the audience engages with certain plot points.
Written by Juel Taylor and Tony Rettenmaier
“They Cloned Tyrone” is a science fiction mystery that also serves as a callback and celebration of blaxploitation films from the 1970s. This film is one of the most fun and innovative sci-fi releases in recent years!
“They Cloned Tyrone” follows an unlikely trio who stumble upon and investigate a cloning conspiracy in their neighborhood. This is another sci-fi script that encourages writers to take bold risks.
The melding of genres in this film makes “They Cloned Tyrone” feel like a fresh and groundbreaking take on the sci-fi genre. The film also expertly uses the genre as a vehicle to explore social commentary.
Written by Lana and Lilly Wachowski
“The Matrix” is an iconic science fiction film that pushed the boundaries of visual effects and introduced many to the cyberpunk subgenre. The film follows computer hacker Neo as he discovers that the world he lives in is actually a simulation created by malevolent machines.
The first “The Matrix” script does an incredible job of introducing and establishing a dystopian world with many complexities in an accessible way. The franchises’ themes of transformation and breaking free are fully felt in the first film.
The script’s strong character development takes Neo from a disillusioned hacker to an empowered savior of humanity. This is a must-read script for writers seeking to build unique worlds while keeping their characters relatable and grounded.
Written by Alex Garland
“Annihilation” is a mind-bending science fiction meets horror film that combines science themes with existential mystery. The film follows as a biologist joins a group of explorers investigating a quarantined zone that doesn’t seem to obey the laws of nature.
The script successfully creates an eerier and mysterious atmosphere that intrigues the audience. “Annihilation” uses scientific concepts and philosophy to explore the unknown. This script demonstrates a melding of science and imagination in its writing. The film's use of horror and philosophy makes for a storyline that haunts audiences long after the movie ends.
Science fiction scripts can push the boundaries of our imaginations and challenge the concept of reality. By studying science fiction scripts like those mentioned in this blog, aspiring writers can learn about combining emotional depth with genre conventions, building unique worlds, and using a genre to explore social commentary. Hopefully, these scripts can inspire you in your own sci-fi writing! Remember, science fiction has no limits! Happy writing!