If you had told me that one of my favorite films of the year would be about the making of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, the infamous cult film that’s frequently cited as one of the worst movies ever made, I would have never believed you. But I’m here to report not only is The Disaster Artist one of the best films of the year, it’s easily James Franco’s best work behind the camera and his performance as Tommy Wiseau is one of the best of his career. Trust me: you want to see this film as soon as you can. The film also stars Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, Jacki Weaver, Ari Graynor, and Jason Mantzoukas.
With The Disaster Artist opening in limited release this weekend before expanding into more cities in a week, I recently sat down with screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. During the wide-ranging conversation they talked their approach to adapting this stranger-than-fiction tale, how the goal of the film was not to be a Rosetta Stone for The Room, working with Franco as a director and how he directed using Tommy’s voice, what they learned from test screenings, recreating scenes from the original film, and so much more.
Check out what Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis. For more you can read Matt Goldberg’s review.
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber:
- Their experience working on The Good Shepherd and how they re-typed Eric Roth’s script into Final Draft.
- Their admiration for Aaron Sorkin’s work.
- How did they balance truth with fiction in The Disaster Artist? Talk about diving into the source material.
- What pieces of the film are stranger than fiction? Talk about Tommy Wiseau
- Talk about how the goal of the film was not to be a Rosetta Stone for The Room.
- The first cut vs. the final cut. Tease DVD extras and scenes recreating The Room.
- Talks about how Franco was so ahead of schedule when making the movie that he had more time to make recreations of scenes from The Room.
- Working with Franco as a director and how he directed using Tommy’s voice.
- Talk about the one day where James didn’t have any Tommy scenes, so he didn’t directing using the Tommy voice or mannerisms.
Response to the first test screenings and how audiences didn’t realize The Room was a real movie.
- Talk about their work on The New Mutants.
- Tease upcoming projects The Beauty Inside and the World War II film Salt to the Sea.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Disaster Artist:
A delightful tribute to the joy and madness of making movies, The Disaster Artist follows the outrageous adventures of eccentric filmmaker Tommy Wiseau and his best friend, actor Greg Sestero. These two endearing misfits move to L.A. and try to live the Hollywood dream by making their very own feature film, but end up embarking on a wildly unpredictable and hilariously unforgettable production. Leading to one of the most infamous, bizarre, and beloved midnight movies of all time, The Room.