“You cannot make a good film from a bad screenplay” ~ George Clooney in the Washington Post

Image courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.com

Image courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.com

RA is facing some serious decisions; I hope his Pinter/PROUST project – a script by a brilliant writer, based on the work of a brilliant writer – is an indication of his future focus. Until we hear about his next project, I thought some observations that George Clooney made to the Washington Post were incredibly insightful – and sound – and I’d love for RA to take them to heart.

Background: Producer-director-actor-writer George Clooney’s career was rocking along nicely until it was almost killed due to a disastrous turn as an iconic hero (Batman), even though the film was helmed by a highly respected director. Today, Clooney is an international superstar and one of the most respected filmmakers around. Clooney recently sat down with the Washington Post to talk about his career, and reveals what the “Batman” experience taught him.

The Post calls his subsequent professional choices a “strategy borne of what might be called the “After ‘Batman’” era of Clooney’s career…”

Clooney learned an invaluable lesson from “Batman.” In fact, he tells the Post simply, “I don’t have the same career without that film.”

His explanation may surprise you.

“Until then, I had just been an actor,” he said. “I had only been an actor in TV series, and then I got ‘E.R.’ and ‘E.R.’ became this big thing.” His breakout feature roles — “One Fine Day,” “From Dusk Till Dawn” and “The Peacemaker” — all came about because he was eager for the work and what looked like juicy roles. “And then I get a call, ‘Do you want to be in ‘Batman?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah.’”

“With all of those things, it was just me as an actor going, ‘Look at the part,’” Clooney continues. “And after I got killed for ‘Batman & Robin,’ I realized I’m not going to be held responsible just for the part anymore, I’m going to be held responsible for the movie. And literally, I just stopped. And I said, ‘It now has to be only screenplay. Because you cannot make a good film from a bad screenplay.’”

That bears repeating: “You cannot make a good film from a bad screenplay.”

The rest of the article is here.

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About Richard Armitage US

Richard Armitage US is a respectful blog with a sense of humor and POV, and is designed for fans of British-born actor Richard Crispin Armitage, star of – among other productions – North & South, The Vicar of Dibley Wedding Special, Robin Hood, SPOOKS (MI-5 in the US), Chris Ryan’s Strike Back. He also starred as Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit trilogy, and was nominated for an Olivier Award for his work as John Proctor in Yael Farber's production of The Crucible at the Old Vic. Upcoming films include Urban and the Shed Crew, Sleepwalker, Pilgrimage and Brain on Fire, based on Susannah Cahalan's memoir. He recently completed his arc on the NBC series Hannibal as Francis Dolarhyde, also known as "The Red Dragon." Although this page is US-based, we encourage RA’s fans from across the globe to enlist in the RArmy, and join us here, on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

6 responses to ““You cannot make a good film from a bad screenplay” ~ George Clooney in the Washington Post”

  1. crystalchandlyre says :

    There are studio heads that I wish would pay attention to this.

    • Richard Armitage US says :

      I agree! I dearly hope RA doesn’t sacrifice words for work, just so he can be seen as “successful” in Los Angeles. (“I feel like if you don’t try LA, then people will think you’ve failed.” ~ The Mirror, May 2010.)

      His choice of “Unnamed Into the Black Tornado Storm Sky Project” and his discussions with the late Paul Walker’s people worry me a bit.

      • crystalchandlyre says :

        Well he was recently seen in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, which could have been vacation and seeing friends (McTavish lives here, and other “Dwarves” were here during that time, before McTavish was to go back across the pond to resume filming Outlander.)

        Personally, I think that Richard flying to Hell-Ay without doing something remotely business related would be unlikely. Friends being in town might have been a plus, but in a way I do hope it was regarding work. And it could have been an independent art-house Sundance-worthy masterpiece with a decent budget, and not necessarily a soul-crushing big budget blockbuster.

  2. Perry says :

    George Clooney – another guy is who is so much more than a pretty face.

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