Philip Molloy speaks to the helmers of 'Dr Strange' and 'The Light Between Oceans' on how they both campaigned for months to get the gig
Horror film specialist Scott Derrickson admits that he spent “obnoxious amounts” of his own money to get the director’s gig on the latest Marvel superhero movie Dr Strange. In a frank interview on The Picture Show this week, Derrickson says he was determined to outspend every competing director to show that he wanted the job more than anyone else.
He hired a team of illustrators, “storyboarded” the film, wrote a 12-page action scene and he attended no fewer than eight meetings with Marvel executives to prove that he was the man for the job. Derrickson also explains the thinking behind his campaign and his determination to cast Benedict Cumberbatch and, controversially, Tilda Swinton in the film, the second feature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s so-called Third Phase.
Meanwhile, Derek Cianfrance, who did Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines, displayed almost equal commitment in getting the director’s assignment on the florid Australian love story The Light Between Oceans.
Cianfrance met Steven Spielberg during an awards campaign in 2010 and the Jaws-director told him that Blue
Valentine was one of his favourite films. Spielberg’s company Dreamworks subsequently sent him a stack of books and
he was immediately taken by the 2012 ML Stedman bestseller of the same name.
The problem was that Dreamworks didn’t have the rights – they belonged to London-based Harry Potter producer David Hayman and Cianfrance flew to the UK to explain his interest in the M.L. Stedman book.
In our interview, Cianfrance recalls how he bombarded Heyman with requests to adapt the novel over a period of 18 months and the producer ultimately relented.
Also, on this week’s programme, Scottish screenwriter Paul Laverty talks about writing for legendary director Ken Loach on his new movie I, Daniel Blake, while co-star Hayley Squires will discuss acting for him.
That’s all on The Picture Show on Newstalk at 6pm on Saturday, or you can listen back to the podcasts here.