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Opponent

Multiple Opponents

In both Film and Television, it’s possible to have multiple Opponents in any particular story or storyline. Multiple Opponents can add even more conflict, which can be great! But take care not to overload your project with too many Opponents, at risk of confusing the audience as to who we’re meant to focus on.

In Ferris Beuller’s Day Off both Jeanie (Ferris’s sister) and Ed (the principal) are Opponents.

In Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, everyone on Beatrix’s list is an Opponent – O-Ren Ishii, Vernita Green, Budd, Elle Driver, Bill (of course), as well as any of their henchmen, like The Crazy 88

More examples of single-Protagonist feature screenplays that have multiple Opponents:

Despicable Me

Saving Private Ryan

Risky Business

Midnight Run

Batman Begins

Finding Dory

Aliens

The Mist

John Wick

Moana

Serpico

Life of Pi

Despicable Me

Saving Private Ryan

Risky Business

Midnight Run

Batman Begins

Finding Dory

Aliens

The Mist

John Wick

Moana

Serpico

Life of Pi


Ensemble projects naturally lead to multiple Opponents because there are multiple Protagonists to follow, each usually having their own respective goal.  In The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sauron, Gollum, Saruman the White, the Ringwraiths, and the Orcs are all Opponents to the Protagonists – Frodo, Samwise, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Merry, and Pippin – throughout the trilogy.