Screenwriting : Antagonist by Brian McAndrew

Brian McAndrew


Can the antagonist be a group of people in a screenplay? For example the protagonist's family.

Meir Sabbah

Sure, why not? there should be a leader, but it is seen all the time. A mob boss with his sons...

D Marcus

The antagonist can be anything or anyone that challenges your protagonist. The challenge doesn't even need to come from a person.

Neil Jeffery

Absolutely - in one of my screenplays the antagonist is an illness that the main characters have to fight.

James David Sullivan

Yes, as long as the act like a group. The classic example is "The Big Chill".

Tony Cella

They can. The xenomorphs in Aliens were the antagonist, with the queen as the primary villain towards the ends. Most home invasion horror films use group villains. What type of film are you writing?

James David Sullivan

Is it the one listed under your logines?

James David Sullivan

Could it be a squirrel in a trench coat?

Tony Cella

Yes it can. You can also eat a screenplay in a box or with a fox.

Simon © Simon

But Tony, I am in sox, can a person read a screenplay on a box, or eat one out of a box while thinking about Megan Fox?

James David Sullivan

I would much rather eat one with Goldilocks. I do not like green eggs with a fox. But Meagan Fox makes me think outside the box, much like a geologist finding rocks or a broker buying stocks.

James David Sullivan

Simon, is that squirrel trying to break out?

James David Sullivan

Where's Alvin and Theodore, by the way?

James David Sullivan

Toni, I am very impressed. I didn't think anyone would realize where I was headed on that post!

Rose Ellen McCaig

Great question! Yes, I think a group, and most especially family, can be collectively the antagonist and the concept really has potential because the family can act as a whole and as individuals creating totem pole conflicts!

John Young

Of course, Leather Face's entire family is screwed up.

James David Sullivan

None of them learned how to follow the chain of command, at least that's what I saw the last time I visited them.

Eva Deasy

Sure Brian. But also you can make one of the family the leader of the family. Usually that is the reality. So you can use one of them as the antagonist. Will be easier for you.

MJ Brewer

In any group of people, whether protagonist or antagonist, there is always one person the rest take direction from, even if they won't admit it. Now sometimes, not often, they will take turns, but this is usually for a short period of time. Take James Patterson's story and movie, "Along Came a Spider." This one had two protagonists, but only one was the leader in any given scene and frankly, I felt Morgan Freeman was more convincing than Ashley Judd. Never let indecision write your script. You are in charge.

Carson Coots

First movie I thought of was "The Social Network" there were lots of different antagonists- Lawyers, twins, ex-girl.

James David Sullivan

"Rush" really has two protagonists and no antagonists, in my humble opinion.

Pedro Vasquez

I don't think there's anything wrong with having a lot of "bad people" (or an earthquake) threaten your protagonist, BUT I've always heard that it's better if one find ONE PERSON/THING to represent the "evil" in the story. In your example, perhaps you can choose one of the family members to carry the baton for the family "gang."

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