Obviously, some screenplays are adapted from other works, whereas others are written from scratch.

Intuitively, it seems like there would be fewer original scripts now, given the prevalence of superhero films (based on comic books) or adaptations of YA novels, and the increasing amount of older material to draw upon. But perhaps that's simply perception.

How, if at all, has the ratio of original screenplays to adaptations changed over time in Hollywood, from its inception to the present day?

  • 2
    You might get better answers if you change the question slightly to "has the prevalence of original film scripts getting produced changed?" That takes away the ambiguity of whether studios have original scripts but are just not producing them, which, as pointed out in an answer below is probably unknowable. May 11, 2019 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


There are an unknown amount of original scripts that have been bought by studios that have not been greenlit, only the studios themselves know how many.

The reason for them basically sitting on shelves collecting dust is that studios are investing in films that are fairly guaranteed to make them money, hence the prevalence of superhero movies and remakes and reboots of existing commodities. Once the superhero trend dies down, as all trends eventually do, they will shift to the next trend, which will hopefully allow some original scripts to see the light of day.

  • What are the numbers, though?
    – Obie 2.0
    May 11, 2019 at 14:06
  • 1
    Only the studios know the actual numbers, anyone who actually throws out a number is guessing.
    – Athanatos
    May 11, 2019 at 14:15

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