January 10, 1999 |
Screenwriters are a wretched lot. Ask any screenwriter. Someone is always messing with your work--if you are fortunate enough to get work. You are vilified when the film you have written opens to bad reviews and all but forgotten when the notices are favorable. Producers don't want you sharing their profits, directors don't want you visiting their sets, and actresses (or actors) don't want you. Period.
December 20, 1998
Mimi Leder took issue with a statement by Peter Berg that differentiated writer-directors from "shooters," i.e. directors who do not write their scripts (Letters, Dec. 6). Her point is well taken that there have been many great directors who were not screenwriters. However, as a screenwriter who has also directed four features, I question, as do many other writers, why these collaborating directors feel the need to take the "A Film By" credit. You can't have it both ways. If you are a collaborator, how can you, with a straight face, claim total authorship of the film?
August 22, 1999
The widow of screenwriter Martin Goldsmith makes a case for her husband's script having been the primary determinant of "Detour" (1945) having become a film noir classic (Letters, Aug. 15). Were Goldsmith's detailed screenplay singularly responsible for the good outcome, wouldn't a remake from the same screenplay be expected to be just as much a classic? "Detour" was remade, yet the 1992 version scarcely enjoys the reputation of the original directed by Edgar Ulmer. The remake is faithful, even incorporating the 20 minutes of additional script that Ulmer excised to deliver his movie at the 69-minute length that suited his studio's desire to place the film on double-feature programs.
June 26, 2012 |
Four more actors have been added to the cast of “Jobs,” the new biopic about the late Steve Jobs, the computer designer and inventor who was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive ofApple Inc. Joining Ashton Kutcher, who is starring as Jobs, are Ron Eldard (“Super 8”) as Apple designer Ron Holt; John Getz (“The Social Network”) as Jobs' adoptive father Paul Jobs; Lesley Ann Warren (“Victor/Victoria”) as his adoptive mother; and James Woods (“Salvador,” “Nixon”)
September 26, 2013 |
Peter Morgan wouldn't be the first screenwriter you'd think of to tell the story of the 1976 Formula One rivalry between the uptight clinician Niki Lauda and the seat-of-his pants swashbuckler James Hunt. Known for upscale real-life stories about presidents and royals ("Frost/Nixon," "The Queen"), the screenwriter would be far down the list among people putting pen to paper on two hyper-competitive auto jocks. But Morgan - who wrote the script for this weekend's wide Ron Howard release “Rush” starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl - found himself stirred by the idea when it first struck him on a Spanish beach.
December 31, 1994
Responding to Lauren Bacall's "itching to get back on stage" ("Aimee: The Book Can Wait," Dec. 20): As a screenwriter, I was put off by Bacall's remark: "Can't anybody write anymore?" It's not as if undiscovered writers have abandoned their creative verve. I do believe that the majority of producers of stage and screen are not on the lookout for original material. And that in itself is another barrier writers are forced to endure. Playwriting, as in screenwriting, is a lonely and time-consuming career, but I absolutely adore writing, so I stick to it listening to constructive criticism and bypassing rejection letters.