The Royal Tenenbaums
Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson
May 29, 2003
A first edition copy of The Royal Tenenbaums.
On the dust jacket there is an illustration of a cream-colored note card that looks like a wedding invitation. The title of the book is engraved on the card.
The next page says “Chapter One.”
Royal Tenenbaum bought the house on Archer Avenue in the winter of his thirty-fifth year.
A five-story limestone townhouse. A forty-three-year-old man in a raincoat rings the front doorbell. He is ROYAL.
Over the next decade, he and his wife had three children and then they separated.
INT. DINING ROOM. DAY.
Royal sits at the head of a long table. He is surrounded by his children.
Chas is twelve, with curly hair, dressed in a black suit and tie. Margot is ten, with a barrette in her hair, wearing a knitted LaCoste dress and penny loafers. Richie is eight, with long hair, parted on the side, dressed in a Bjorn Borgstyle tennis outfit with a headband.
Chas wears a blank expression, Margot looks as if she is about to cry, and Richie has tears all over his face.
Are you getting divorced?
At the moment, no. But it doesn’t look good.
Do you still love us?
Of course, I do.
Do you still love Mom?
Very much. But she asked me to leave, and I had to respect her position on the matter.
Was it our fault?
No. Obviously, we had to make certain sacrifices as a result of having children, but no. Lord, no.
Why’d she ask you to leave?
I don’t really know any more. Maybe I wasn’t as true to her as I could’ve been.
Well, she says —
Let’s not rehash it, Chassie.
An Indian man with salt-and-pepper hair, dressed in pink
pants, a white shirt and a white apron, comes in from the
kitchen with a Martini on a tray. He is Pagoda.
They were never legally divorced.
Pagoda hands Royal the Martini.
INT. HALLWAY. DAY.
A gallery of the children’s art, done mostly in crayon, but with beautiful frames and careful lighting. The subject matter includes: spaceships, wild animals, sailboats, motorcycles, and war scenes with tanks and paratroopers.
A stuffed and mounted boar’s head with its teeth bared hangs in the stairwell. A label on it says “Wild Javelina, Andes Mountains.” Under the stairs there is a telephone room the size of a closet. Old messages are tacked to the walls, and the children’s heights are marked on the door frame.
A thirty-three-year-old woman with a scarf around her neck
and sunglasses on top of her head talks on a rotary
telephone. She is Etheline.
This is a template for writing a script in MS Word.
Make a second copy, and save it as a Document Template (.dot) for use in writing your feature scripts. Each time you start a new script, just delete these words and start writing selecting the appropriate paragraph style as you go to ensure correct formatting of your script.
The paragraph styles are as follows:
slug line / DESCRIPTION
This gives you the slug line (eg 1. INT. ROOM – DAY) and then when you press ENTER or RETURN automatically sets up the next line for the descriptions.
Description: for all the description of action, visuals, sound, etc.
Which gives you the name of someone speaking and when you press ENTER or RETURN automatically sets up the dialogue style
Dialogue: for speech.
For those little comments about the way someone speaks (use them rarely!). This style also automatically sets up dialogue style upon hitting the ENTER or RETURN key.
1. Turn off the automatic numbering on the slug line style for every draft except shooting script. When in Slug Line style go to Format/Style/Modify/Format/Numbering and click on none and then OK until you’re back in the document.
2. Use the Format/Style menu option to set up shortcut keys for each style for ease of use.
Make sure you have a look at example scripts!