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 Larson, Jessica Lange, John 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.