Vietnam veteran ‘Four Leaf’ Tayback’s memoir, Tropic Thunder, is being made into a film, but Director Damien Cockburn can’t control the cast of prima donnas. Behind schedule and over budget, Cockburn is ordered by a studio executive to get filming back on track, or risk its cancellation. On Tayback’s advice, Cockburn drops the actors into the middle of the jungle to film the remaining scenes but, unbeknownst to the actors and production, the group have been dropped in the middle of the Golden Triangle, the home of heroin-producing gangs.
A writer from New York moves to Los Angeles with his fiancé to adapt a children’s book for a Hollywood producer. A series of meetings begin between the author of the book, the director, and other actors, each having their own take on the direction of the script. The writer and his financier are constantly fighting as the work becomes more and more tiring and gruesome. Fearing medication has made him mediocre, the writer is faced with a choice between having a happy life and being a successful writer in Hollywood.