For some reason, the rumor that legendary screenwriter William Goldman wrote or rewrote “Good Will Hunting” has never gone away. Maybe it’s because the two guys who wrote it haven’t worked together to pen anything before or since, and didn’t actually write anything at all for a decade (Affleck co-wrote “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town”). Maybe it’s just jealousy that Damon and Affleck won an Oscar en route to big bucks and superstardom and all that. (Okay, it’s probably the “only real writing credit together” thing.) Now comes news that legendary and reclusive-ish director Terence Malick actually came up with the movie’s ending. It’s not really earth-shattering or anything, but it’s still an interesting factoid, if only because that movie and its screenplay Oscar are a source of fascination to me. [via]
Steven Soderbergh has said he wants to retire by the time he’s 51, which is in three years. Considering the number of movies he has in development right now, that seems a somewhat unlikely goal, but Matt Damon says he’s for real. Speaking to Geoff Boucher, he said:
“He wants to paint and he says he’s still young enough to have another career,” Damon said. “He’s kind of exhausted with everything that interested him in terms of form. He’s not interested in telling stories. Cinema interested him in terms of form and that’s it. He says, ‘If I see another over-the-shoulder shot, I’m going to blow my brains out.’ “
Damon told the LAT that he’s doing “Liberace” with Soderbergh and Michael Douglas next summer, and then Soderbergh might make a movie with George Clooney (perhaps “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.“?), and that’ll be that. If it’s true, it’s a goddamn shame, though it does make sense given Soderbergh’s relentless productivity; he churns out movies at a ridiculous rate, and it would make sense if he’s burned through any and all techniques, formats and stories he finds interesting. Oh, and he wants to be a painter.
Tony Gilroy called up Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere to clarify some things about the fourth “Bourne” film, which he is going to write and direct. To whit: No Damon, no Bourne. Instead, it will expand upon the universe established in the first three films. Head over to HE to read more.
It’s a damn interesting move for Gilroy and Universal. The “Bourne” films, which succeeded largely as the anti-Bond (and provided a template for the Bond reboot with 2006′s “Casino Royale”), were very much a star-driven enterprise. Matt Damon was the series. While recasting the role for “The Bourne Legacy” and future films would be very Bond-ian, simply showing other things in the same universe is actually very original.
I cannot remember the last time a major film franchise did that while under the same title and same banner. The most recent examples I can think of is “X-Men,” but those were prequels and therefore not star-less spin-offs (remember, the biggest star from the “X-Men” films went off to play the same character in a prequel). There are also the more outright spin-offs like “The Scorpion King” (spun off from “The Mummy”) and “Elektra” (from “Daredevil”) (and yes, apparently only terrible movies get spin-offs). But to straight-up introduce a new lead, a new set of characters and only have some plot elements tying the earlier “Bourne” films to these would be a very, very innovative move.
No idea if it’ll work. This sinks or swims based on the project, and will probably have less of a built-in guaranteed audience than, say, an “X-Men” prequel. Whereas an “X-Men” film still has the X-Men characters, a new “Bourne” with no actual Bourne or Damon is something else entirely. Hey, if they’re going to stick to franchise movies, at least they’re trying something different (and letting talent like Gilroy take the mast).
[UPDATED: Embedded trailer added above.]
There’s a newer, longer “True Grit” trailer that Paramount Pictures just unveiled. It gives you a better idea of the story’s scope and shape, if you weren’t already aware, along with better sketches of the characters played by Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld.
It looks downright magnificent. As I’ve blogged before, I am an easy target for this movie. My favorite movie is “The Big Lebowski” (which is why an image from that film adorns the top of this here site). My favorite directors are the Coen Brothers. The prospect of the Coens reuniting with Jeff Bridges would have been enough to guarantee my purchase of a ticket. Adding in Damon, Brolin and the concept of doing a sterner, harsher and more faithful adaptation of the book (I’m trying so very hard to avoid saying “grittier,” if you can’t tell) — not to mention the Coens doing a Western, a legitimate Western, after what they accomplished with their neo-modernistic take in “No Country for Old Men” — and I couldn’t be more excited. This has been on my Must See List for as long as I’ve known of the project; every glimpse only serves to deepen that excitement. Can’t. Wait.