Your screenplay is full of good guys and bad guys. Screenwriters grapple with the heroes overcoming their obstacles to achieve their goals to write a satisfying story.
Let’s examine some of these obstacle characters:
Villains and anti-villains are almost always antagonists, in that they oppose the protagonists goal. The difference between the three lies in their motivation and their personalities.
Sometimes the antagonist may be more esoteric or non-human, such as society, a natural disaster or the physical universe.
The antagonist may simply want the same thing as the protagonist or not want to the protagonist to achieve their goal for a noble cause. They are not necessarily bad people. A typical example is Elsa, Anna’s sister in the Disney movie “Frozen.”
Villains are evil and are driven purely by their dark sides. They are destructive and their means are as important to them as their end game. Think Voldemort in Harry Potter.
Anti-villains are bad guys, but not evil. However, they are far more ethical or moral than most villains and can even be heroic at times.
Anti-villains represent the gray areas of the dark characters. They have a moral code of ethics and only act out their evil when they have to. They value human life and believe their destruction of human environments (but not life itself) justifies their actions.
They may have become villains to save humanity from itself. There is nobility, honor and justice in their cause. A higher good.
Consider Deadpool, who blurs the lines between good and evil. Foul mouth aside, we sometimes don’t know which side he’s on.
Finally there are the wretched villains. They may have been heroes at one time, but driven to evil activities due to circumstances. They’re not evil at their core and feel guilty about their deeds, but they need to survive.
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