The screenplay for the Riz Ahmed-starring Sound Of Metal has been released – you can read it below.
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Directed by Darius Marder, the film, which is due to come out in UK cinemas later this year, follows Ruben, a heavy metal drummer who grapples with his immediate and intermittent hearing loss.
Ahmed plays Ruben, who struggles with the prospect of becoming deaf while also confronting his past addiction to drugs, having been sober for four years. His girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) takes him to a rural community led by Joe (Paul Raci), a deaf Vietnam War vet who teaches Ruben a new way of life.
The film is deliberately subtitled in order for both hearing and non-hearing audiences to be able to understand. Ahmed took six months of drum lessons before filming, and also learned American Sign Language.
Early pages of the script, which have been shared by Variety, take readers inside Ruben’s life-changing situation, showing how the sound is muffled when he tries to run water or make coffee. There are also moments where you can read what some of the characters are communicating via American Sign Language that weren’t subtitled in the movie’s final cut.
You can read the 90-page screenplay here.
Speaking last year on Variety‘s Awards Circuit Podcast, Ahmed, who is an accomplished rapper who goes by the moniker Riz MC, explained that drumming is a lot different to rapping.
“After my first session, [my drum teacher said], ‘You’ve got rhythm but we need to work on everything else,'” he said. “It was very psychological actually, playing the drums. A very technical and athletic, explosive instrument.
“You can’t think your way to playing the drums, you kind of have to let them play you. You have to kind of surrender to them. And in that, I think that it opened me up in new ways. It made me step outside of my thinking mind and step more into my body.”