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12 Great & Not-So-Great Debuts From Screenwriters-Turned-Directors

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 6, 2013 4:03 PM
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  • 24 Comments
Screenwriters Turned Directors, Best/Worst
“...but what I really want to do is direct,” goes the hoary old Hollywood refrain. Actors, key grips, wardrobe assistants, the odd ambitious caterer -- sometimes it feels like everyone who’s ever stepped on to a movie set dreams, idly or with calculation, of one day calling the shots. Even the clapper loaders, who technically are the ones who call shots. But of all those jealously eyeing the director’s megaphone (metaphorical sadly, they seem to have gone the way of the plus-four as part of the director’s standard kit) perhaps those with the most reason to be covetous are the screenwriters, the hardy souls who turn in 120-page draft after draft, only to have their baby wrested from their grasp and dressed up, maybe brilliantly but often not, in clothes they might not have chosen themselves.

Dustin Lance Black Writing & Directing 'The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight,' Says It Could Be 'When Harry Met Sally' For Younger Generation

  • By Jen Vineyard
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  • May 29, 2012 9:58 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Dustin Lance Black isn't letting the rough-and-tumble experience he had with his directorial debut "Virginia" deter him from taking charge of any further films -- in fact, he's already got two in the works.

Dustin Lance Black Talks Re-Editing & Taking A Second Stab At His Directorial Debut 'Virginia'

  • By Jen Vineyard
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  • May 18, 2012 4:40 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Dustin Lance Black had a rude awakening with his directorial debut "What's Wrong with Virginia?" when it first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2010 -- critics hated it, including The Playlist. Even though he'd won an Academy Award for his screenplay of "Milk," Black discovered that the goodwill from his Oscar acceptance speech only went so far. But if it had been up to him, he wouldn't have shown the film before he was confident with what he had shot.

Watch: Trailer For Dustin Lance Black's Re-Edited 'Virginia' (aka 'What's Wrong With Virginia')

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 18, 2012 4:13 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black was coming into TIFF in 2010 on a wave a good buzz. He was riding high off the succes of "Milk" which earned him an Oscar, and Clint Eastwood was gearing up "J. Edgar" based on a script he had written. And now, everyone wanted to take a peek to see what the wunderkind would do behind the camera with his feature directorial debut "What's Wrong With Virginia." And it was a disaster. Reviews were not kind and the movie took a very, very long time to find a distributor. And indeed, Black himself was candid about the failures of the film.

Watch: Reading Of Dustin Lance Black's Prop '8' Play Featuring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John C. Reilly, Kevin Bacon & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 5, 2012 11:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments
With the election year in full swing, the gay marriage issue continues to be a major talking point, with the battle over defining the instution being critically discussed in both parties. But the battle has long been waging in California, where the right for gays to marry was recently overturned and constitutionally banned with the passage of Prop 8. It was a blow for basic human rights and equality for all, and it's a fight that continues in the state. Thus, it's no surprise that the issue has become a cause célèbre for Hollywood stars and they came out in full force over the weekend.

2011's Potential Oscar Nominees For Acting, Directing & Writing Get Together To Talk At THR's Awards Roundtable

  • By Ryan Sartor
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  • December 9, 2011 2:33 PM
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  • 9 Comments
One of the necessities for any Oscar candidate is to do a lot of smiling, gladhanding interviews where they answer the same questions over and over again. An antidote to this madness is the annual Hollywood Reporter Roundtable Interviews. They’re awesome. You take six leading Oscar potentials in the categories of writers, directors, actresses and actors, put them in a room for an hour and see how they interact.

Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio & Armie Hammer Talk The Complexities Of The Impenetrable 'J. Edgar' Hoover

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • November 9, 2011 4:58 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Gus Van Sant Says He's Still Working Out How To Make 'The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 16, 2011 1:32 AM
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  • 3 Comments
But 'Restless' Helmer Was Never Going To Direct Artist Drama 'The Golden Suicides'Gus Van Sant is not an easily predictable director. His films are always instantly identifiable, but can vary between experimental, difficult pictures like "Gerry" and "Last Days," to more nakedly commercial fare like "Finding Forrester," and, occasionally, as in "To Die For" and "Milk," a sweet spot in between. His latest, "Restless," is another left turn, a quirky teen romance from a first time screenwriter, Jason Lew, that stars Henry Hopper, son of Dennis, and "Alice in Wonderland" lead Mia Wasikowska.

New Looks At Leonardo DiCaprio In 'J. Edgar,' Film Will Keep Hoover's Sexual Orientation Ambiguous

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 12, 2011 9:40 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Last night, we got our first taste of Leonardo DiCaprio in Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" and while these new pics from EW don't do much to sway us from the opinion that the actor looks more like himself than he does Hoover, we've also yet to see the prosthetic work that will age the actor 50 years over the course of the film. As befits one of the most controversial Americans in history, the film itself will touch on his long-rumored closeted homosexuality, but don't expect the filmmakers to give you a definite answer on the matter.

Ron Howard & Dustin Lance Black Are 'Under The Banner Of Heaven'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 19, 2011 11:23 AM
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  • 1 Comment
With multi-platform "The Dark Tower" dead for now, and also freeing up years of Ron Howard's life he would have spent toiling on the picture(s), he hasn't wasted any time in lining up a batch of new projects. His Formula 1 drama "Rush" with Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl will shift into gear in late 2011/early 2012 and he's currently got a "Spy Vs. Spy" movie and the mysterious Robert Ludlum-meets-Tolkien pic "Amnesty" sitting on his backburner for now, and it looks as though they will also be competing for space alongside a new endeavor.

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