A Yahoo Movies interview with Shane Black whose writing credits include Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, and The Long Kiss Goodnight, and writing-directing credits Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, and Nice Guys.
Do you consider yourself a writer first and director second? Or have those artistic roles now merged together?
I tend to find they go hand-in-hand. The only problem as a director, in trying to consolidate or solve some issues filming-wise — I always realize it goes back to the script, and I end up in a room for two days adjusting or clarifying the script so that it flows along with the story. And then it makes it easier as a director to solve those problems.
I don’t think there’s really a difference, except that a lot of directors don’t really know how to write. They’re intuitive, and they know how to interpret writing. But I think the gift, if you can blend them, sort of a one-stop shopping toolkit for how to fix your director’s problems, is that you go back to your keyboard for a day, and then you return to the set.
How hard is it to get an R-rated film like The Nice Guys — or your upcoming The Predator — released by the studios, especially in the summer, given their apparent preference for PG-13 event pictures.
It’s tough. And the thing is, it’s not that it’s impossible to do. It’s just that studios are loath to spend the same amount of money either financing or promoting an R-rated movie if you can make it PG-13. They’re always asking the question, “Can we do this as a PG-13 movie?” And I usually say, well, not really. So with The Nice Guys, we actually had to go outside the studio. Which is to say that, we got foreign money and went off to make the movie, understanding that some of the budget would come from Warner Bros. distributing the picture.
If you haven’t seen Nice Guys, you’re in for a treat as it’s excellent. Here’s a trailer:
For the rest of the interview, go here.