Almost a year ago, I ran an extended interview with William Monahan for his directorial debut London Boulevard. Starring Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Anna Friel, Jamie Bower, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone, Stephen Graham, Eddie Marsan, and Ben Chaplin, the film is about a man just released from prison (Farrell) who falls in love with a reclusive young movie star (Knightley) and finds himself in a duel with a vicious gangster (Winstone). At the time, the movie was about to hit theaters in the United Kingdom, and our wide-ranging conversation covered the making of the film and all the other projects he was involved with. When I posted the interview, I said it was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had with any filmmaker.
However, with London Boulevard now available on VOD in the United States and hitting theaters November 11, I recently sat down with Monahan again and we have bested our last conversation. During our 45 minutes conversation we covered everything from his thoughts on VOD and what changes were made to the film, the digital revolution, the crime genre, writing dialogue, and working with actors. In addition, he gave me updates on The Departed sequel/prequel, Sin City 2, The Gambler, Tripoli, Becket, Mojave (which might be his next film), and revealed there is another version of Kingdom of Heaven that no one has seen. Hit the jump for more.
March, 2009. That’s the first time I started talking with William Monahan about doing an interview for his directorial debut London Boulevard. At the time, he was in prep in London, and we talked about why he wanted to adapt Ken Bruen’s novel and what the experience was like for him. But for many reasons, the interview fell apart, and we decided to continue talking at a later point. Of course later became a few months, and then we started and stopped a few more times. Until last week. That’s because about a week ago, at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, I finally sat down with the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Departed to talk about his directorial debut, which stars Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Anna Friel, Jamie Bower, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone, Stephen Graham, Eddie Marsan, and Ben Chaplin. The film is about a man just released from prison (Farrell) who falls in love with a reclusive young movie star (Knightley) and finds himself in a duel with a vicious gangster (Winstone).
During our extended interview, which lasted close to an hour, we covered everything from the genesis of the project to what it was like in the editing room. Of course we also covered things like his writing process, why it is coming out in the UK before America (it gets released November 26 in the UK), the test screening process, why the British gangster genre is so popular, his other projects like The Gamblers, Becket, what’s up with Tripoli, what got him involved in Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion, and so much more.
While I hate to compare interviews against one another, I can honestly say this is one of the best conversations I’ve ever had with any filmmaker. Hit the jump to check it out:
by Jason Barr Posted: November 12th, 2010 at 1:49 pm
Oscar-winning scribe William Monahan (The Departed) has signed on to write/direct an adaptation of the 1959 Jean Anouilh play, Becket. Calling the project “an adaptation, or re-invigoration, of an older play, which has already been a brilliant film,” Monahan will have his work cut out for him if he’s to match the critical success experienced by 1964′s adaptation which starred Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole as Becket and King Henry II respectively. That film was nominated for twelve Academy Awards and brought home the statue for “Best Adapted Screenplay” for writer Edward Anhalt.
For more on what the writer/director had to say about the project as well as a brief overview of the story itself, hit the jump. Monahan’s directorial debut, London Boulevard, stars Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley. It is slated to open in the UK on November 26th and in the United States in February 2011.