“I wanted to see if I could make something good come out of something so so awful,” says Michael Markowitz (In-Laws, It’s All Relative, Becker), who started writing the R-rated comedy Horrible Bosses based on his real-life experience in 2005. Markowitz spent the next few years perfecting his draft until teaming up with screenwriters John Francis Daley (Bones) and Jonathan M. Goldstein (Bones, $#*! My Dad Says, The New Adventures of Old Christine).
The film is about three friends, played by Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, who hate their bosses so much, they decide life without them would be much better. When the friends finally conclude that whacking each other’s boss is the best way to find peace, raunchy, offensive, and often horribly lewd wackiness ensues. The film also stars Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, and — in her most surprising role yet — Jennifer Aniston. Script sat down with the writing trio to see how they sought creative justice against all their “horrible bosses.”
Podcast highlights teach you how to write like the pros:
- “It’s constant rewrites and demands … It was right up to locking picture, we were changing …”
- “You have to be collaborative, it’s the only way to work in Hollywood …”
- “The ‘likability note’ is code for two things …”
- “The thing that separates the amateur writer from the guy who actually sells something is an outline …”