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Peter Morgan Talks Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, James Bond, Freddy Mercury, 360, and Tony Blair

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 24, 2010 at 11:48AM

Screenwriter Peter Morgan is unusual: a Brit based in Vienna, he's a prolific writer of self-generated screenplays, and not so often a writer-for-hire. (He's been nominated for two Oscars, for The Queen, an original, and Frost/Nixon, adapted from his play.) Hereafter is an unusual original, even for him, written in a "disgracefully short period," he says. After Steven Spielberg flirted with it, Clint Eastwood scooped it up and shot it without making any changes. Morgan still isn't sure how he feels about it. Would he have liked to work on it more, or is the movie as good as it is because it's idiosyncratic, not polished, and emotionally raw? (The movie opened well this weekend; Metacritic rates it at 56.) The script weaves together three stories about people trying to reach the hereafter--or in the case of the character played by Matt Damon, avoiding it.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Screenwriter Peter Morgan is unusual: a Brit based in Vienna, he's a prolific writer of self-generated screenplays, and not so often a writer-for-hire. (He's been nominated for two Oscars, for The Queen, an original, and Frost/Nixon, adapted from his play.) Hereafter is an unusual original, even for him, written in a "disgracefully short period," he says. After Steven Spielberg flirted with it, Clint Eastwood scooped it up and shot it without making any changes. Morgan still isn't sure how he feels about it. Would he have liked to work on it more, or is the movie as good as it is because it's idiosyncratic, not polished, and emotionally raw? (The movie opened well this weekend; Metacritic rates it at 56.) The script weaves together three stories about people trying to reach the hereafter--or in the case of the character played by Matt Damon, avoiding it.

PART 1: Morgan talks about how he wrote Hereafter and how it became Clint Eastwood's project.

PART 2: Writing Hereafter's multi-layered stories and working with Eastwood, who Morgan is confident will be making movies well into his 100s.

PART 3: His aborted flirtation with directing and his unlikely future with the Bond franchise.

PART 4: Writing the Freddy Mercury/Queen screenplay vs. trying to resurrect James Bond for director Sam Mendes.

PART 5: Comparing Hereafter to his other works, i.e. Frost/Nixon, The Damned United, The Queen.

PART 6: Morgan's upcoming original script 360, his writing process, living in Vienna.

This article is related to: Directors, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Studios, Video, Stuck In Love, Interviews , Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Biopics, Matt Damon, Warner Bros./New Line, Screenwriters


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