Frank Darabont is unhappy with Hollywood, claiming he can’t even get a film made with the name value of Kubrick and Ridley Scott attached.
To say Frank Darabont is frustrated is putting it mildly.
Speaking on Mick Garris’ podcast (via Movieweb), the veteran filmmaker has been voicing his frustration regarding the current state of Hollywood. The problem? Darabont has a civil war project with some serious name value attached to it that he can’t get made.
Amazingly, Darabont claims that he can’t even get any meetings to discuss the project. He’s not wrong about the name value either: the story treatment for the film is by legendary auteur Stanley Kubrick. Ridley Scott is attached to produce, along with Darabont, whose own credits just happen to include The Walking Dead, one of the most popular TV shows of all time and The Shawshank Redemption, still the most popular film of all time on the IMDb database after all these years.
Darabont was chatting about his frustrations with Garris, stating: “I spent the last year writing a script. And I know when I’m hitting on all cylinders or not. I was hitting on all cylinders. It’s a magnificent project based on a treatment that Stanley Kubrick wrote in the late 50s-an incredible Civil War piece. It’s a very meaningful script and [when] I finished, I said, ‘This is the best thing I’ve ever done.’ And we shopped it around town and we didn’t get a single meeting. .. It’s not just me [involved], Ridley Scott was one of the producers on it! And it’s Kubrick’s idea that he developed with Shelby Foote, a noted Civil War historian.”
For Darabont, over-saturation of the market is a major part of the problem, with projects, even with the creative pedigree of his civil war one, simply struggling to cut through the noise.
“They’re making superhero movies-Marvel movies. They’re making things for the 12-year-old comic book collectors. .. Are they making any movies anymore, really? My thesis is this: it was the art form of the 20th century. But now in the 21st century, it’s just another venue for distraction. It’s one of a thousand different ways that the public and the audience can distract themselves. You can find good stuff, absolutely, and a lot of good writing emigrated to television. Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul ended up being jewels in the crown of great television writing, for example. But you know what? There used to be three networks and a handful of little local stations! Now it’s 10,000 stations!”
It does seem strange that a creator with the background that Darabont has, is struggling to convince studio executives to even sit down in a room with him, especially given the names attached to the project. You can check out the full interview with Mick Garris here.
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