Steven Knight Talks ‘Pawn Sacrifice’, ‘World War Z 2’, ‘Taboo’ and More

     September 13, 2015

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Opening this week in theaters is writer Steven Knight and director Edward Zwick‘s great new movie Pawn Sacrifice. Tobey Maguire stars as the gifted, yet troubled chess- prodigy Bobby Fischer who takes part in “The Match of the Century,” the 1972 World Chess Championship match between Fisher and the USSR champ, Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber). While it’s hard to believe it now, the ’72 match was the biggest story of the year and it was watched by millions of people, capturing the attention of a world on the brink of war. Pawn Sacrifice also stars Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Lily Rabe, and Robin Weigert. For more watch the featurette or trailer.

At the Los Angeles press day I sat down with screenwriter Steven Knight for an extended video interview. He talked about how this was a situation where reality obeyed the laws of drama, Bobby Fischer’s mental issues, how the end of the film was what made it such an attractive project and disciplined the script process, his upcoming TV series Taboo starring Tom HardyWorld War Z 2his Robert Zemeckis romantic thriller starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, the film he’s planning to direct next year, and so much more. Here’s what he had to say:

Steven Knight Time Index:

  • Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber star in Pawn Sacrifice.

    Image via Bleecker Street

    :21 – How did the project originate? Says it’s all thanks to Tobey Maguire.

  • 1:27 – Talks about how this was a situation where reality obeyed the laws of drama.
  • 1:50 – On Bobby Fischer’s mental issues.
  • 3:10 – What was the biggest surprise he stumbled on during research?
  • 4:35 – Talks about how the end of the film was what made it such an attractive project and disciplined the script process.
  • 5:34 – On his TV series Taboo starring Tom Hardy and the process of making television in the UK.
  • 7:11 – What excited him about making Taboo?
  • 8:35 – Talks about the tone of the series, which he describes as “drama with action”, the shooting schedule, and whether it will extend past one season.
  • 9:55 – World War Z 2 Discusses script status and what he admires about the first film.
  • 11:15 – What’s his writing process?
  • 12:15 – On his romantic thriller starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, directed by Robert Zemeckis.
  • 15:52 – Will he be directing again? Says he’s doing a film next year about the skipper of a tuna fishing boat who gets involved in a murder.

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