Friday, January 06, 2006

Thomas Meehan interviewed

Long-time Mel Brooks collaborator, Thomas Meehan, interviewed by Dylan Callaghan for the Writers Guild of America, west.
What's it like to be sending The Producers back to its original home - the big screen?

I feel that this is Mel's screenplay. He wrote the original and won the Academy Award for it, so I'm just an assistant here (laughs). I did an awful lot of work with him on the Broadway show, had a lot of input and wrote a lot of it with Mel.

When we went back to the screenplay the summer before last out in the Hamptons, we went back to a lot of the stuff from the original movie, in terms of taking it outside and having stuff happen in Central Park and Fifth Avenue. It was more reshaping the original movie to fit in 16 songs, so you had to do a lot of cutting and reshaping.

It's a unique screenwriting experience because it's not writing a screenplay from the ground up; there was the original screenplay and then there was the book of the musical Mel and I wrote together. We had to mold it all into a new screenplay. It was tricky.

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