– . – Writer – Peter Morgan
Knowing When to Say Goodbye
As the screenwriter of films like The Queen, Frost/Nixon and The Damned United, Peter Morgan knows how to pen a hit. But that’s not to say he’s always confident in his work. Here, he explains why he found it difficult to let go of his script for Hereafter…
British screenwriter Peter Morgan has become a household name during the past decade,
thanks to a prolific run of high profile film scripts that have attracted the cream of worldwide
filmmaking talent. movieScope caught up with him in Vienna to talk about his latest big-budget film Hereafter, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Matt Damon, together with his eagerly anticipated Freddie Mercury biopic, which puts Sacha Baron Cohen in the challenging shoes of Queen’s colourful singer.
Your words are back on the big screen with Clint Eastwood’s latest feature, Hereafter. What’s been the reaction to the finished film?
It’s got a mixed reception in America. To be honest, I have pretty mixed feelings about it myself. When you put aside, just for one minute, the sort of ‘pinch yourself’ factor of working with Clint and Steven Spielberg [who serves as executive producer], there was a simple issue. This is the first time that I felt that the script I had written was possibly not ready to be filmed yet. Clint doesn’t do much development and shoots the film as it was written, which really took me by surprise. I had no involvement whatsoever. Everybody who had worked with him before said that even if I had done more work, he would only have gone back to what he liked in the first place. He wants something raw and not worked out. Some critics responded to the honesty and purity of the filmmaking, while others probably felt it too slow and ponderous.