Any aspiring writer knows it’s not enough to watch as many movies as possible – you must read as many screenplays as possible.
But where do you find Hollywood-level screenplays online for free? Don’t worry, I’m here to help.
Table of Contents
1. Go Into the Story.
The writer Scott Myers and his blog series on Medium called Go Into The Story are exceptional educational resources for any writer, be it professional or aspiring.
The blog contains many interesting articles, riveting quotes from top writers, and a recurring series breaking down the first pages of great screenplays from popular movies.
The blog also shares script sale news headlines, and as is most pertinent to this list, libraries of over 100+ script PDFs cataloged that are ready to download to help you along the way to screenplay literacy. Many of these are sourced from years of FYC campaigns, so enjoy!
2. The Internet Movie Script Database.
Internet Movie Script Database, otherwise known lovingly by its acronym IMSDb, is trying to be what IMDB is to movies but with scripts.
Something to remember – while other sources on this list will share the pdf of the script in question, IMSDb keeps the movie scripts it shared embedded into the website. This could sometimes be due to them not existing in PDF format or could be IMSDb’s style.
On the site, you can sort by Title or Genre, and there are even a few TV transcripts there, but the selection is fairly limited.
3. Simply Scripts.
Simply Scripts has a strong database of feature film scripts at its disposal and even has some TV scripts, though, with any of these resources, the TV selection is always fairly limited.
That could be because it’s rare that TV episodes other than pilots get put up online. Usually, the only TV scripts we can find are select episodes shared as part of an FYC campaign.
In addition to movies and TV, there are unproduced radio and anime scripts on the site and scripts for plays and musicals. They even have a separate section for Oscar-nominated scripts.
One last tip – check out the treatment section, as treatments are sales documents, and reading treatments from films that are sold might provide a good insight into what a treatment looks like and how to create them for those of you who aren’t familiar.
4. TV Writing.com.
TV Writing is an understated website with a ton of value. If you want to write TV, you have to check out the catalog of TV pilots available on TV Writing and read as much as you can, as often as possible.
In addition to pilots, TV Writing will often post as many episodes as possible, whether it be the first few episodes, season premiere episodes, or whole straight seasons of Supernatural. Having a variety is nice because that’s not always the case.
The only challenging aspect about this website is not going to it and finding 100 scripts to download immediately. Also, if you’ll notice, the website publishes scripts in batches around pilot season – with everything shifting around, who knows when the next will be.
5. BBC Writer’s Room.
I didn’t even know this existed until this week, but the BBC has a huge resource for TV creators and aspiring writers on their website, the BBC Writer’s Room.
In addition to uploading and sharing access to TV scripts from BBC shows – including the whole season’s worth – the BBC Writer’s Room also has video interviews and behind-the-scenes footage associated with each show when applicable.
This is a unique resource, especially if many of these shows are new. One thing that’s good when it comes to reading screenplays is reading scripts of movies you haven’t seen, so if you want to have a unique learning experience, try reading an episode, then watching it, and then reading it again.
6. Script Reader Pro.
While Script Reader Pro is primarily a source for helping screenwriters with coverage and mentorship services, they also have a blog that will share pro screenplays occasionally.
For instance, check out this piece they put together with the “50 best screenplays to read and download in every genre.”
You might find duplicates between Script Reader Pro’s posts and some of the other sources on this list, but that will happen a lot because some popular screenplays are all over the internet, while other older ones have never been scanned and uploaded.
7. Selling Your Screenplay.com
Another surprising script library comes from screenwriter Ashley Scott Meyer’s Selling Your Screenplay.com website.
The website offers an overview of how to sell your screenplays but boasts a robust catalog of mostly older script PDFs.
It’s worth checking out if you didn’t find what you were looking for elsewhere.
8. Daily Script.
Daily Script is an interesting source of scripts, as it is an ongoing project meant to be a resource for upcoming writers and those learning the craft.
The premise is every day, a new script is chosen and uploaded onto the website, so if you’re following along, you can see the progress as the site’s growing script index is being built out.
This would be a good source for screenplays when you don’t know what you want to read, as you can use the day’s script as inspiration. It’s always good to start your day by reading a script to hone your craft better!
Studiobinder is a company you might be familiar with from reading about filmmaking online, and that’s because besides developing video, photo, TV & film production management software, they also have a killer content team developing tons of informative articles and videos.
One of their recent endeavors has been growing a steady catalog of screenplays in their database. While it might look modest compared to other resources on this list, Studiobinder’s catalog is curated with some of the best movies ever made.
One caveat – there may be a significant amount of crossover repeats on this list compared to some of the other categories, but its solid curation makes this one of the first sights I would check out if I were looking for a good screenplay to read. Access their screenplay collection.’
10. Script Slug.
Script Slug is the last on our list, but certainly not the least. As far as web design goes, it’s one of the most straightforward designs on this list, as each script is listed on the site by its movie poster.
There is a handy search bar at the top of the page so you can search for specific scripts, and if you are interested in the 2019 Oscar-nominated films, there’s also a link underneath the search you can follow to look at those specifically.
Otherwise, it’s an infinite scroll through many eclectic titles ranging from very recent films to old-school films to everything in between. It seems it was updated recently with many 90s nostalgia movie scripts, which is pretty cool.
For instance, I was surprised to find the screenplay for Batman Mask of the Phantasm, a somewhat obscure animated Batman movie, on there. I would be surprised if it were something many people asked for, but it was cool to have on there.
Other places to find Hollywood movie scripts
When in doubt, you can always search for the title of the script you are looking for along with the keywords “PDF” and “download” and see what you can find.
It’s not always reliable, but I’ve found plenty of scripts doing that, and I don’t think I would have found them otherwise. Ensure you don’t click a link that mimics your search terms because that site is not legit.
If you find another resource in your searches, send any of them in the comments, and we’ll gladly include them!
Reading scripts from movies that made it into production and got published is a great way to learn the tools of the screenwriting trade.
They’re also an excellent resource for actors looking for practice material for voice-acting or college applications.
There are no better places to find free Hollywood movie scripts online than those mentioned above, although you might have to try a couple of them to find what you’re looking for.
Some screenplays aren’t found online, though. In that case, you must get your local library to order it home or see if you can find a place to purchase it online.