BPS 172: The Art of Writing Adaptations with Joe Wright

02.09.2022 - By Bulletproof Screenwriting™ Podcast with Alex Ferrari

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Today on the show we have Oscar® nominated filmmaker and screenwriter Joe Wright.Joe has established himself as one of Hollywood’s top directors with his rare ability to captivate global audiences through his extraordinary cinematic craft.Most recently, Wright directed the psychological thriller THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, starring Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, and Gary Oldman. The film follows an agoraphobic psychologist whose life is turns upside down when a befriended neighbor suspiciously disappears. The film was released by Netflix in May 2021.Previously, Wright directed the war drama the Academy Award winning film DARKEST HOUR. Written by Anthony McCarten and starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, the film follows Churchill’s early days as the British Prime Minister during World War II. At the 90th Academy Awards, the film earned four nominations, including ‘Best Picture’ and won for ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Makeup and Hairstyling’. The film was also additionally nominated for nine BAFTA Awards including ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best British Film’, four Critics Choice awards, and a Golden Globe award.Wright made his directorial debut in 2005 with the critically acclaimed film PRIDE & PREJUDICE. Starring Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen and Donald Sutherland, the film was adapted from the Jane Austen novel of the same name and garnered commercial and critical success.Wright received the BAFTA Award for ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ and also won the ‘Best Director of the Year’ award from the London Film Critics Circle. The film also received an additional five BAFTA nominations including ‘Best Screenplay-Adapted’, four Academy Award nominations including ‘Best Actress’ for Knightley and ‘Best Original Score’ and two Golden Globe nominations including ‘Best Film’.His sophomore directorial feature was an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s ATONEMENT, which was released in 2007 by Universal Pictures. Reuniting with Keira Knightly and also starring James McAvoy and Saoirse Ronan, the film opened the 64th Venice International Film Festival, making Wright the youngest director to ever open the event.The film went on to receive thirteen BAFTA Award nominations in major categories including ‘Best Director’ for Wright and ultimately won for ‘Best Film’. At the 80th Academy Awards the film also picked up seven nominations including ‘Best Picture’ and won for ‘Best Original Score’ and earned seven nominations at the Golden Globes, winning ‘Best Motion Picture – Drama’ and ‘Best Original Score’.In 2012, Wright released his film adaption of Leo Tolstoy’s historical romantic drama ANNA KARENINA, which first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Marking his third collaboration with Keira Knightley, the film depicts the tragedy of Russian aristocrat and socialite ‘Anna Karenina’, whose affair with ‘Officer Count Vronsky’ leads to her ultimate demise.His adaptation earned four nominations at the 85th Academy Awards, six nominations at the BAFTA Awards including ‘Best British Film’, a Golden Globe nomination, and two Critics Choice Awards.Additional filmmaking credits include the 2015 prequel PAN starring Hugh Jackman; the 2011 action thriller HANNA with Saoirse Ronan; and the 2009 drama THE SOLOIST starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.His new film is the magical Cyrano starring Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, and Kelvin Harrison Jr.Too self-conscious to woo Roxanne himself, wordsmith Cyrano de Bergerac helps young Christian nab her heart through love letters.  This musical adaptation of Edmond Rostand's classic play tells the story of Cyrano de Bergerac as he pines for the affections of the beautiful Roxanne, who has fallen in love with another man named Christian de Neuvillette. Though Cyrano understands that his social status and physical appearance will forever keep him apart from his lady love, he offers his...

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