UPDATE, 2:10 PM: Conan the Barbarian script doctor Sean Hood has sent along to Deadline the following regarding his piece we told you about last night, focusing on the part that could have been construed as throwing the screenplay’s previous drafters under the bus:
“Actually my words “I made vast improvements on the draft that came before me” weren’t very classy because it does sound like I’m throwing the previous writers under the bus, and I need to publicly apologize to Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Andrew Lobel. All I can say is that I didn’t mean it that way and I should have chosen my words more carefully.
What I meant to say that I was proud of the work I did solving problems that that had emerged in the development process, over many years and dozens of drafts. To suggest that I did better work than the writers before me would be both un-classy and flat out incorrect.
Many people have read Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer’s early drafts of Conan when it showed up on the internet, and a great, great number of them think theirs was the best draft of any, including the shooting script. Andrew Lobel’s draft was filled with great humor, which some critics thought the movie lacked.
I didn’t write this to point fingers. As the last writer on the project, the criticism of the story, dialogue, and characterization should fall primarily on me… not my peers, not producers, not studio executives, not the director.”
PREVIOUS, 11:37 PM TUESDAY: Sean Hood is one of the four credited screenwriters on the remake of Conan The Barbarian released last weekend to dismal grosses. Today he writes on the Internet Q&A site Quora about “What’s it like to have your film flop at the box office? Don’t they know how bad it is before it comes out?”:
When you work “above the line” on a movie (writer, director, actor, producer, etc.) watching it flop at the box office is devastating. I had such an experience during the opening weekend of Conan the Barbarian 3D.
A movie’s opening day is analogous to a political election night. Although I’ve never worked in politics, I remember having similar feelings of disappointment and disillusionment when my candidate lost a presidential bid, so I imagine that working as a speechwriter or a fundraiser for the losing campaign would feel about the same as working on an unsuccessful film.
One joins a movie production, the same way one might join a campaign, years before the actual release/election, and in the beginning one is filled with hope, enthusiasm and belief. I joined the Conan team, having loved the character in comic books and the stories of Robert E. Howard, filled with the same kind of raw energy and drive that one needs in politics. (more…)