Recently, I’ve begun buying published screenplays, and many of them seem to be written in Times or Times New Roman. Furthermore, the action in those scripts is italicized. Is that just for publishing purposes, or are scripts better written in Times (New Roman)? This is just something that’s been bugging me.
"Real" scripts are still written in Courier, for no better reason than that’s how it’s always been. Publishers sometimes change the typeface to Times in order to make it more readable by the mass audience, but I honestly think it’s worse, particularly when action is italicized. (Italics are a holdover from published plays, where this is the norm. But plays have a lot less scene direction than movies.)
Several companies have recently started publishing screenplays that directly reproduce the original formating (one is Wheelhouse Books). If you have the choice, always pick the Courier version. It’s more like the original script, and it will hopefully convince publishers to give up their reformatting.