Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck The 10 Best Films Of 2003 The 10 Best Films Of 2003 The 10 Best Films Of 2002 The 10 Best Films Of 2002 Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Terry Zwigoff Talks Battling Over 'Bad Santa,' His Preferred Director's Cut & Much More In Candid Interview

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist December 20, 2012 at 1:13PM

This weekend in San Francisco, SF Sketchfest, the people behind the San Francisco Comedy Festival, are producing a day's worth of holiday-themed programming at the historical Castro Theatre. The centerpiece of this day-long event is a director's cut screening of "Bad Santa," the insta-classic by "Ghost World" filmmaker Terry Zwigoff that stars Billy Bob Thornton as a boozing, thieving St. Nick. Zwigoff will be at the screening, along with Tony Cox (who plays Thornton's midget sidekick) and Lauren Tom (who played Cox's wife), to do a post-screening Q&A.
12
Bad Santa, Terry Zwigoff

This weekend in San Francisco, SF Sketchfest, the people behind the San Francisco Comedy Festival, are producing a day's worth of holiday-themed programming at the historical Castro Theatre. The centerpiece of this day-long event is a director's cut screening of "Bad Santa," the insta-classic by "Ghost World" filmmaker Terry Zwigoff that stars Billy Bob Thornton as a boozing, thieving St. Nick. Zwigoff will be at the screening, along with Tony Cox (who plays Thornton's midget sidekick) and Lauren Tom (who played Cox's wife), to do a post-screening Q&A. We got the chance to talk to Zwigoff about the movie's surprising cultural longevity, where he's been since 2006's "Art School Confidential" (a "fiasco," according to Zwigoff), what projects he's been offered, what it was like working with the Coens (who produced "Bad Santa") and the Weinsteins (who produced and distributed via Dimension Films), and how when he read "Juno" he thought it was 'a retarded version of 'Ghost World.' " So yes, Zwigoff is nothing, if not candid.

What have you been up to? We haven't had a movie from you in so long.
It's hard to make films that are $10-$20 million films these days. Everybody wants to make "The Hobbit" or these films that cost between $100-$200 million, but they have the chance to make a billion dollars. But I just finished a script and the producer likes it. So we're going to go out with some actors with it. I have some high hopes but anything can happen. A couple of things fell through. One thing fell through because of rights, this Elmore Leonard book that I was supposed to direct and adapt and it got hung up in the legal department.

What Elmore Leonard novel?
It's called "Maximum Bob." Great book, would have made a great film. But it is hopelessly stuck in the legal department.

You don't get enough credit for directing "Ghost World," one of the all-time great comic book movies. Have you ever been approached to do something bigger?
Oh yes, I've been approached to do all sorts of nonsense. How about a remake of "West Side Story"? They wanted me to remake [Budd Townsend's] "Alice in Wonderland," which was a big hit in the early '70s. It was one of the first soft-core porns that was distributed by a major studio. 20th Century Fox put it out and it ended up making $100 million. But it's ridiculously unwatchable today. They wanted to remake it as a 3D musical and they wanted me to direct it. I said, "I'd like to take your money but I really have no interest." But I wish I did. I wish I could take the paycheck and go home.

What was the most ridiculous thing that you were the closest to sign on to?
You know, I got the script for "Juno." And my producer who I had worked with on "Ghost World" called me and said, "I've got this really hot script I want to send it to you." And the same week I got a call that same week from somebody else that said they were sending me this really hot script in Hollywood that was written by a 12-year-old girl. And I said, "Well, what's it about?" And they said, "It's a coming-of-age story." So I said, "Yeah, okay, whatever." So a couple days later I got this script called "Juno" and since I saw the name Diablo Cody I thought, "Well, this must be the 12-year-old girl." Who else would have a name like that, right? And I read it and thought, "Well this is pretty good for a 12-year-old girl trying to imitate 'Ghost World.' " So I told my producer, who went on to do it, "This is a retarded version of 'Ghost World.' I can't do it. I can't stomach it. Sorry."

This article is related to: Terry Zwigoff, Bad Santa 2


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates