writer rian johnson

– . – Writer – Rian Johnson

Writer – Rian Johnson

In Bloom

With two acclaimed scripts under his belt, Brick and The Brothers Bloom, Rian Johnson explains why he won’t let his soaring status change his very personal writing style and reveals his unique remedy for writer’s block…

You know when Tom Cruise comes calling that you’ve made it. Which is exactly what happened to Rian Johnson when the script for his sophomore feature The Brothers Bloom began to circulate around Hollywood.

“I don’t think there was ever any realistic chance of him being in the movie,” smiles the genial Johnson, “but he’d read it, he liked it and wanted to meet.” And they did; a three-hour chat about the film at Cruise’s house. It ultimately led to the writer/ director making several significant changes to the script and thanking the star in the credits.

Having come to prominence with 2005’s cult high school film noir Brick, Johnson doubtless appreciated Cruise’s input-if only because, as the author of his own projects, he knows only too well how “awful” it is facing the blank page. “There’s a great saying,” he says. “It’s ‘I hate writing but I love having written.’” Admitting that it’s gratifying to realise your own story on screen, it’s why the 36-year-old filmmaker is keen to remain an auteur rather than a hack for hire. “That doesn’t really appeal to me, at least right now. And I’m not sure I’d be that good at it!”

Partly, he says, this is because writing his own scripts to direct gives him complete ownership of the idea. “It seems like it would be a much harder job to take an existing piece of material and try and find a way in and also penetrate it that deeply, to where you know it on the level you know your own stuff.” As he puts it, when you write your own script, it gives you “confidence to show up on set and tell people what to do.” But, more importantly than that, it comes from within. “I have such a personal connection to every piece of the material because I’ve been with it from the very beginning, when it was just a seed.”



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