Frank Darabont On TPM In 2000

sabreman64 sent me this link to an interview from 2000 with Frank Darabont, who had a lot of good things to say about TPM:

The problem is that everybody who saw those movies has grown up, and their memory of the impact of those films has been diluted through the years. [The films have] become so iconic that disappointment was inevitable. George Lucas is capable of many, many things. But making you feel like that wonder-struck eight-year-old again isn’t one of them. It can’t be done. You’re not eight years old; you can’t be wonder struck in the same way. Sorry. In terms of its intelligence and its approach, I’d put MENACE up there with EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, which was the darkest and most adult of the original trilogy.

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16 Responses to “Frank Darabont On TPM In 2000”

  1. oxward321 Says:

    NICE!!! Well stated!!!! I have a new respect for Frank Darabont!!!!

  2. Simon Maxwell Says:

    I wonder if Darabont feels differently now, after that Indy IV fuss with Lucas.

    By the way, sabreman64 is me.

  3. oxward321 Says:

    What happened with Indy 4?

    For the record I LOVED Indy 4! I’m not a Indy fan, I enjoy the films but I wouldn’t call myself a fan. Last Crusade was my favorite but Crystal Skull now holds that place.

  4. Simon Maxwell Says:

    I think Lucas rejected Darabont’s Indy IV script and Darabont was none too happy about it.

  5. maychild Says:

    No, he wasn’t happy that Lucas rejected his Indy IV script. He went on public record as being very sore about it. He also apparently filed a lawsuit saying that some of the ideas in his script were stolen and put in KOTCS. I don’t know what the outcome of that was.

  6. TPF1138 Says:

    Lucas, Spielberg & Ford all agreed years before that they would not make a forth Indiana Jones flick unless all of them were happy with the script. As such, both Spielberg and Ford each rejected their share of screenplays over the course of the movie’s protracted gestation period.

    When Darabont finished his last draft of Indy 4, both Ford and Spielberg were happy and eager to proceed with that version of the movie. Lucas however felt that Darabont’s script veered too far from where he, the originator of the story being told, had wanted the thing to be. He expressed this to his partners (Spielberg & Ford), who upheld (as Lucas himself had done with previous scripts which the star or director had expressed reservations over) the trio’s long standing agreement not to proceed unless everyone was happy with the script.

    In truth Lucas, seeing the enthusiasm his two friends had for darabont’s final draft, actually offered to table his own reservations, and defer to the creative impulses of his director and star. It was Spielberg who refused to proceed unless George was happy.

    As for Darabont, I can understand his feeling put out after spending a year beating that thing into shape, only to have it rejected. But I’m sorry, it was work for hire, get over it…

    If his opinion of TPM has changed because of the Indy 4 stuff, then that can only be described a petty. I don’t think Darabont’s that guy. I’m a big fan. I hope he and Lucas were able get past this.

  7. maychild Says:

    Well said, TPF, and I didn’t know most of the details you related about Lucas’s rejection of Darabont’s script. Not surprising, because all I heard from Darth Media and the bedwetters was, “Lucas rejected Darabont’s script, which was so much better than the Indy IV we got, and he had some nerve rejecting Darabont’s script when his own scripts for the prequels were so awful.”

    I too can understand Darabont feeling put out after his script, which he’d worked so long on, was rejected, but I too hope/think he isn’t so petty he’d to change his view on TPM because of it, and hope he and Lucas were able to get past it.

    I imagine the bedwetters think that Darabont feels “vindicated” because of what they keep wrongly insisting was the “failure” of KOTCS, but I hope/think Darabont isn’t petty enough for that either. I know Lucas isn’t the greedy, heartless monster that the bedwetters think (want?) him to be, and it would really be sad if Darabont sunk to the bedwetters’ level. But I don’t think he would. He’s had ample time to come forward and trash KOTCS so as to kiss up to the bedwetters, as Shia LeBoeuf recently did, but he hasn’t. I’m sure the bedwetters would dismiss that as him “just being classy,” never mind that they wouldn’t know class if it came up and slapped them in their petulant little faces, and never mind how ecstatic they were over LeBoeuf’s whingeings, promptly labeling him as “gutsy” and so forth.

    But back to the point. Yes, Darabont has a lot of acclaim under his belt, but surely he knew going in that his script could be rejected…that Lucas does not treat anyone like a deity, no matter what their credentials or his personal relationship with them, when it comes to one of his movies. Lucas refused to back down from Spielberg, who’s not only hugely acclaimed but has been his best friend for just about ever, when Spielberg wanted to use traditional film for Indy IV instead of digital, which Lucas wanted.

    Also, Lucas has done that before…thrown out a script entirely, never mind the credentials of the person who wrote it. He did it with Leigh Brackett’s script for ESB, although in that case he never had to tell her to her face because she died very soon after completing it. He gave her a script credit nonetheless, as a tribute to her and so her heirs could receive royalties from the movie.

  8. TPF1138 Says:

    For the record, Darabont’s script (which can be found on-line) is bloody good, and despite some elements which didn’t quite work for me personally (namely the characterisation of Marion Ravenwood) would have made a great movie. Lucas’s issue weren’t with the quality of the thing, but with the detail.

    As for Shia… it’s interesting that he said these things while he was out selling a sequel to another 80’s movie he was involved in. “Hey kids, you know that sequel I was in to that 80’s movie last year. Yeah the one that got way more good reviews than bad, but the bad reviews became the story because otherwise there is no story. So now its taken as writ that that movie was bad. Well this other sequel I’m in, for this other 80’s movie, it’s not like that. We dropped the ball on that one, but not this one. Go see my movie!”

    I will see his movie, because I liked the original, and Oliver Stone is always interesting if nothing else, and because despite this nonsense, I do like Shia. I think he’s a talented actor, and ultimately a decent guy. But that was Classless son… cop on!

    • maychild Says:

      Yes, I’ve heard that Darabont’s script was good and would’ve made a good movie. I’ve only read excerpts, myself, and I’ve sarcastically referred to it as The Greatest Script Ever Written…but rest assured that that’s not a snipe at Darabont, but rather, at the bedwetters who treat his script like the greatest ever written and get all outraged on his behalf that it got rejected so Lucas could rape their childhoods again with KOTCS.

      Because KOTCS’s “failure” was all Lucas’s fault. Not Spielberg’s, not Ford’s, and not LeBeouf’s, at least now that he’s come forward and shown he’s “one of them” by saying what they wanted to hear about KOTCS. And the fact that KOTCS was NOT a failure, either financially or critically, and aside from the noisy Internet bedwetters, filmgoers seemed to like or at least enjoy it, gets ignored, because, as you said, otherwise there is no story.

      I didn’t see the original “Wall Street” and I have no desire to see either it or the sequel. I’ve never really been a fan of LeBeouf, though as I said on lazypadawan’s LJ, I liked him in “Constantine.” His whining about KOTCS left a very bad taste in my mouth. But I noticed that that bit of hand-biting triggered quite a bit of disgust, instead of universal gushing and praise over his “gutsiness,” as such hand-bitings always do when they center around a movie Lucas was involved with. LeBeouf never mentioned Lucas in his interview, but bedwetters and their representatives in Darth Media immediately included Lucas’s name, or substituted it for Spielberg’s, when circulating/discussing the issue.

      In fact, I daresay that what triggered the disgust was that LeBeouf DIDN’T mention Lucas, and instead referred to Spielberg, even saying pompously, “He needs to hear this”, If he’d said that about Lucas, no one would have blinked at his pomposity; after all, “everyone hates Lucas’s crappy prequels, which were even bigger failures than KOTCS.” No they don’t and no they weren’t, but again, otherwise there is no story.

  9. oxward321 Says:

    Damn, I didn’t know about all this crap! So this stuff goes on with Indy too? Sad! Very classless Shia. You know if he’s in Indy 5 he’ll be kissing Lucas’ ass! I didn’t realize the Darabont from 2000, I just read the interview. 😉 I hope he and Lucas have worked it out. Lucas seems like a down to Earth all around good guy. I don’t know about Darabont. What is this other 80’s film?

  10. oxward321 Says:

    “Wall Street.” Thanks, I never seen the original.

  11. TPF1138 Says:

    It’s a good flick Ox, you should check it out.

  12. Bob Clark Says:

    I always figured Darabont must’ve liked TPM, at least somewhat. I mean, he teamed up with Lucas’ cinematographer, Dave Tattersall, on “The Green Mile”, “The Majestic” and now that upcoming “Walking Dead” series for AMC. Obviously, he thought they all got at least one thing right about the prequels– the look.

    As for his INDY IV script– wasn’t his the one that still had Nazis as the bad guys? Personally I wish they’d gone further with the Soviets. Maybe they should’ve gone to John Milius…

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