Spielberg keeps ‘Hereafter’ screenwriter in the dark
BY DENNIS KING
NEW YORK – The vague eccentricities of movie moguls are something screenwriters have endured since the earliest days of Selznick, DeMille and Goldwyn.
But British screenwriter Peter Morgan said he encountered a particularly odd and endearing one in the process of getting his new film, “Hereafter,” through the first stages of pre-production. “Hereafter,” produced by Steven Spielberg, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Matt Damon, tells three interlinking stories of people dealing with sudden death and pondering ethereal questions of an afterlife.
“I knew because (the screenplay) had three stories and was somewhat unconventional, I wanted some feedback. So I gave my agent the script and said, ‘what do you think?’” Morgan said during a press conference before the movie’s premiere at the New York Film Festival. “And they gave it to (producer Kathleen) Kennedy. And I kept waiting for the notes, and Kathy Kennedy gave it to Steven Spielberg, and it started getting more and more ridiculous.
“And then Steven Spielberg asked me to fly out (to Los Angeles),” said the London-based screenwriter, whose reality-based movies include “Frost/Nixon,” “The Queen,” and “The Last King of Scotland.” “So, of course, I went – you know, for an English screenwriter this is a rite of passage, you’re on the plane, off to meet Spielberg. And he said, ‘would you mind if I gave this to my friend Clint Eastwood?’
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