Exclusive: William Monahan Candidly Discusses THE GAMBLER, His Severe Bike Accident Earlier This Year, His Approach to Writing, MOJAVE, VENGEANCE, John Le Carre’s A DELICATE TRUTH, Television, and More

by     Posted 6 days ago


With director Rupert Wyatt’s (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) The Gambler opening soon, I recently landed an exclusive interview with Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed).  As most of you know from the trailers, the remake stars Mark Wahlberg as a literature professor whose gambling spirals out of control, affecting both himself and those around him.  The film also stars Brie LarsonJessica LangeJohn Goodman, and Michael K. Williams.  As you might imagine with a script by Monahan, the film is loaded with incredible dialogue and tense, edge-of-your-seat sequences.

Over the past few years I’ve landed a number of great interviews with Monahan.  While all the interviews were informative and insightful, I think the one you’re about to read is the best yet.  Not only is it really in depth and candid, but he talks for the first time about his severe motorcycle accident where he almost lost his foot and discusses the process of writing The Gambler and how the project came about, if he ever had to make huge changes to a project and why, his approach to screenwriting, the inception and intent of a great scene from the film that sees Mark Wahlberg delivering a lengthy monologue about talent, his thoughts on the current state of television, why he avoids writing about the middle class, the status of other projects like Mojave, American Desperado, Tripoli, Blood Meridian, John Le Carre’s A Delicate Truth, The Throwaways, Becket, Vengeance for Charlize Theron, and so much more.  If you’re a fan of William Monahan or simply interested in screenwriting, I promise you will love this interview.  Hit the jump to read.

Fran Kranz Offers MOJAVE Update; Says William Monahan Has “Very Different Cuts” of the Movie [Updated]

by     Posted 17 days ago


It’s been a while since we’ve reported on William Monahan’s Mojave, but the film is currently in post-production and apparently it’s moving along in a rather unique manner.  The film stars Garrett Hedlund as Tom, a depressed writer-director who’s fed-up with Hollywood.  He opts to go to the desert to clear his head and that’s where he runs into Oscar Isaac’s character, Jack, a brilliant and homicidal drifter.

Fran Kranz also has a small role in the movie, so while discussing his upcoming release, Murder of a Cat, I asked him how everything’s going with Mojave.  He did note that at this point, the film is out of his hands and he hasn’t seen any footage yet, but he has heard that there’s “very different” cuts of it being considered.  Hit the jump for more.

Update: Steve here. I’ve been interviewing Monahan for The Gambler and asked for clarification about Mojave. His response is after the original article.

William Monahan to Adapt Teen Informant Exposé THE THROWAWAYS

by     Posted 84 days ago


Paramount Pictures and Academy Award winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) just snatched up some rather riveting yet tragic source material.  Via his two-year first-look deal with Paramount through his company Henceforth Pictures, Monahan will adapt Sarah Stillman’s 2012 true-crime New Yorker article, “The Throwaways.”

The piece chronicles what happened when police turned young offenders into informants and sent them on dangerous and disturbingly risky assignments.  Hit the jump for more on the planned The Throwaways adaptation.

Mark Wahlberg Talks TRANSFORMERS 4, Rupert Wyatt’s THE GAMBLER, Peter Berg’s AMERICAN DESPERADO, William Monahan’s MOJAVE, and More

by     Posted 269 days ago


Just a short time ago in Las Vegas, I landed a great video interview with Mark Wahlberg on the red carpet before Paramount’s presentation at CinemaCon.  During the interview Wahlberg talked about making Transformers: Age of Extinction, the action sequences, working for director Michael Bay on a big budget summer movie versus a smaller film like Pain & GainRupert Wyatt’s The Gambler, Peter Berg’s American DesperadoWilliam Monahan’s Mojave, and the New England Patriots (we’re both fans of the team).

The big news is that Wahlberg revealed American Desperados will be shooting this September and he has a small role in Monahan’s Mojave (which hadn’t been revealed until tonight).  For those unfamiliar with the story for American Desperado, it’s based on a series of interviews between Generation Kill author/journalist Evan Wright and super-criminal Jon Roberts, who was the focus of the documentary Cocaine Cowboys.  Roberts’ life story can be filed under “stranger than fiction,” as he recounts being born into Mafia royalty, running guns for the CIA, smuggling cocaine for the Medellin cartel, and brushing elbows with the likes of Richard Pryor and Jimi Hendrix.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Oscar Isaac Talks INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Collaborating with the Coen Brothers, Alex Garland’s EX MACHINA, William Monahan’s MOJAVE, and More

by     Posted 349 days ago


Now playing in theaters is one of the best films of the year, Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Inside Llewyn Davis.  The story takes place in the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961, and follows singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he struggles with his career and strained personal relationships.  Loaded with incredible performances, an all-star cast (featuring Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John GoodmanGarrett HedlundF. Murray AbrahamAdam DriverStark Sands, and Max Casella), and a fantastic soundtrack (put together by T-Bone Burnett), Inside Llewyn Davis should not be missed.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

At the Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Oscar Isaac.  He talked about what it was like working for the Coen Brothers, how he felt landing the role, what it was like performing the songs and how much changed along the way, and more.  In addition, Isaac talked about working with Alex Garland on Ex Machina and William Monahan on Mojave.  Hit the jump to watch.

First Images from William Monahan’s MOJAVE Starring Garrett Hedlund; Monahan Talks about Challenges of Selling the Movie

by     Posted 1 year, 41 days ago


We’ve reported on William Monahan‘s Mojave for a couple years, but he’s been working on it for much longer.  In a recent interview, the Oscar-winning screenwriter (The Departed) said his second directorial feature was written “part time and on weekends for about 10 years now.”  He finally got it finished, filmed it, and now the first three images have been released.  The film centers on a near-suicidal artist (Garrett Hedlund) who escapes into the desert to take an existential crisis head-on, only to encounter a doppelganger-like antagonist in the form of a brilliant, homicidal drifter (Oscar Isaac).  Monahan mulled over selling the script and came to the conclusion that rather than “let it go be distorted and made improperly” he would do the right thing and just make it myself and forego the money.”

Hit the jump for more.  The film also stars Walton Goggins and Louise BourgoinMojave is currently making the rounds at the American Film Market to pick up distribution.

Mark Wahlberg to Star in Peter Berg’s AMERICAN DESPERADO, Written by William Monahan

by     Posted 1 year, 174 days ago


Though they only just finished working together on the Navy SEAL thriller Lone Survivor, director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg are already planning a reunion project.  Fresh off a new adaptation by Oscar-winning The Departed screenwriter William Monahan, Wahlberg has become attached to star in American Desperado with Berg directing.  The book is based on a series of interviews between Generation Kill author/journalist Evan Wright and super-criminal Jon Roberts, the focus of the documentary Cocaine Cowboys.

Roberts’ life story can be filed under “stranger than fiction,” as he recounts being born into Mafia royalty, running guns for the CIA, smuggling cocaine for the Medellin cartel, and brushing elbows with the likes of Richard Pryor and Jimi Hendrix.  Hit the jump for more on the project.

William Monahan in Talks to Adapt John le Carré Novel A DELICATE TRUTH

by     Posted 1 year, 237 days ago


William Monahan is adding yet another project to his slate.  The Oscar-winning The Departed scribe is currently prepping his next directorial outing Mojave, starring Jason Clarke and Oscar Isaac, but Deadline now reports that he’s also been tapped to pen the screenplay for the next John le Carré adaptation.  Monahan is in advanced talks to adapt the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy author’s upcoming novel A Delicate Truth, which tells the story of a spy who is trying to uncover the truth behind a counter-terrorist operation that presumably went according to plan.  BBC Films is developing the adaptation, but there’s no timetable for when the pic might get in front of cameras.

In addition to Mojave and A Delicate Truth, Monahan is also penning a remake of Park Chan-wook’s Sympathy for Lady Vengeance for Charlize Theron to star and he also penned the remake of The Gambler, which has Todd Phillpps attached to direct.  Hit the jump for the full synopsis for A Delicate Truth and to watch the book trailer.

Jason Clarke Talks ZERO DARK THIRTY, William Monahan’s MOJAVE, Roland Emmerich’s WHITE HOUSE DOWN and More

by     Posted 1 year, 337 days ago


One of my favorite films of 2012, director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, is finally playing in theaters nationwide.  Loaded with amazing performances, an incredible script by Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker), and perfect direction, Zero Dark Thirty  should definitely be seen in a theater, and it’s absolutely worth the price of admission.  In the film, Jessica Chastain plays a CIA operative spearheading the manhunt, and she stars alongside Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Scott Adkins, Joel Edgerton, and James Gandolfini.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

During the Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Clarke. We talked about what the last few years have been like since he’s landed some high profile projects, the way people are responding to the film, his reaction to seeing the film for the first time, deleted scenes, and more.  In addition, we also talked about some of his upcoming projects like Roland Emmerich’s White House Down and William Monahan’s next film, Mojave.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE DEPARTED Screenwriter William Monahan Developing Period Drama CRIME for Starz

by     Posted 1 year, 350 days ago


The ever-busy William Monahan is looking to dip his toe into the world of television.  The Oscar-winning The Departed scribe is currently gearing up to direct his second feature film, Mojave, with Oscar Isaac and Jason Clarke in the lead roles, and now word comes that he’s poised to delve into pay-cable TV as well.  THR reports that Monahan is developing the 1960s Britain-set drama Crime for Starz.  Monahan will write the script, and the project is described as “a study of criminal enterprises and scandal across 1960s Britain.”

Crime was originally developed as a feature film from a treatment by Vanessa Sadler, but Monahan will take the reins to turn the property into a television series.  The scribe has been keeping plenty busy as of late, recently signing on to pen a remake of Park Chan-wook’s 2005 film Sympathy for Lady Vengeance as a star vehicle for Charlize Theron.  He also penned the sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and a remake of The Gambler.

Oscar Isaac and Jason Clarke to Topline William Monahan’s MOJAVE

by     Posted 2 years, 13 days ago


Just a couple of days ago, we ran an exclusive interview with The Departed screenwriter William Monahan regarding the news that he’s set to pen a remake of Park Chan-wook’s 2005 film Sympathy for Lady Vengeance with Charlize Theron in the lead.  In addition to talking about that adaptation, Monahan provided a brief update on his next directorial feature, Mojave.  While he was remiss to provide plot details, he revealed that filming is set to begin in the first quarter of next year and that he has already set his cast.  Indeed, the news broke today that Oscar Isaac (The Bourne Legacy) and Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) are poised to topline the thriller.  Hit the jump for more details.

Exclusive: William Monahan Talks SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE Remake & Directing MOJAVE; Says MOJAVE Is Cast & Films Next Year

by     Posted 2 years, 15 days ago


A few days ago we reported screenwriter William Monahan (The DepartedKingdom of Heaven) was going to adapt Park Chan-wook’s fantastic 2005 film Sympathy for Lady Vengeance with Charlize Theron set to star and produce along with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.  For those unfamiliar with the original, Lady Vengeance “is the story of a woman who for reasons of her own completes a prison term for a murder she did not commit, reemerging to punish the killer, and avenge the dead.”  The film is the final chapter in Park’s “Vengeance Trilogy” following Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy.

Shortly after the news broke, I reached out to Monahan to see if he could offer us any additional information about how the project came together.  In addition, we talked about whether he’s started writing it yet, if Sympathy could take place in Boston, whether it would be watered down for American audiences, when did he first see Park Chan-wook’s movies and does he have a favorite, his adapting process and much more.  Finally, as we reported earlier this year, Monahan is set to get behind the camera again with Mojave.  He told me he starts to shoot early next year and we’ll hear about casting in the coming weeks.  Hit the jump for more.

Charlize Theron to Star in Remake of Park Chan-wook’s SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE Adapted by William Monahan

by     Posted 2 years, 19 days ago


With Spike Lee‘s remake of Oldboy well underway, Hollywood is turning its eye to remaking another Park Chan-wook film.  Annapurna Pictures has sent out a press release announcing that it will remake Park’s excellent 2005 film Sympathy for Lady Vengeance with Charlize Theron set to star and produce.  For those unfamiliar with the original, Lady Vengeance “is the story of a woman who for reasons of her own completes a prison term for a murder she did not commit, reemerging to punish the killer, and avenge the dead.”  The film is the final chapter in Park’s “Vengeance Trilogy” following Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy.  While Oldboy is my favorite of the three, Lady Vengeance is a close second.  Theron is a strong choice for the lead role, and I’m curious to see what Oscar-winner William Monahan (The Departed) will do with the script.  The press release says he’s “adapting” the original, but that could mean he’ll serve as both writer and director or as the writer only.  He previously directed London Boulevard and will next direct Mojave.

Hit the jump for the press release along with the trailer for Park’s Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (a.k.a. Lady Vengeance).

Todd Phillips in Talks to Direct Crime Drama THE GAMBLER

by     Posted 2 years, 119 days ago


Though he’s currently gearing up to direct the comedy sequel The Hangover Part III in September, director Todd Phillips is planning on trying his hand at a straight drama in the near future.  THR reports that Phillips is in talks to direct the crime drama The Gambler, a remake of the 1974 film of the same name starring James Caan.  The Paramount project previously had Martin Scorsese attached to direct with Leonardo DiCaprio circling the starring role, but it now appears that Scorsese has left the remake.  Hit the jump for more details.

First Official Synopsis for Joseph Kosinski’s OBLIVION Starring Tom Cruise

by     Posted 2 years, 172 days ago


The first official synopsis for TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski’s sci-fi pic Oblivion has landed online.  The film is described as “an original and groundbreaking cinematic event,” and Tom Cruise stars as one of the last remaining drone repairman stationed on a future Earth.  He works as part of a mission to extract vital resources from the ground following a decades-long war with a threat known as the Scavs, which lead to humans moving civilization to the skies thousands of feet above.  When Cruise’s character rescues a beautiful stranger (Andrea Riseborough) from a downed spacecraft, events are set in motion that force him to “question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands.”

It’s an ambitious follow-up to the (visually) spectacular TRON: Legacy, and having Cruise onboard as the lead is a major plus.  The synopsis release also notes that Kosinski is shooting Oblivion in digital 4K resolution in the U.S. and Iceland.  The supporting cast includes Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Olga Kurylenko, Melissa Leo, and Morgan FreemanOblivion hits theaters on April 26th, 2013.  Hit the jump to read the full synopsis.

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