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script doctor

If the Script for Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter Seems Unpolished, That’s Because It Is

In his review of Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter, the interlocking tales of three people trying to grok the afterlife, David Edelstein wrote that Peter Morgan’s screenplay was “badly in need of a polish.” Turns out, that’s because it never received a polish! A story in the New York Times explains that the script Eastwood used was an early draft of the film that Morgan sent to his agent, just to have a look. Instead, the agent sent the script to a producer, who showed it to afterlife-obsessive M. Night Shyamalan. While the producer was talking it up to Shyamalan on the set of the fourth Indiana Jones movie, Steven Spielberg overheard and expressed interest in the project. (Steven Spielberg, eavesdropper!) He ended up giving extensive script notes to Morgan, who did a rewrite, before passing it on to Eastwood. Eastwood bought the rights, and the next thing Morgan heard was that Eastwood was mid-shoot and using the original draft. In Morgan’s words, “What you see on the screen is this thing I wrote very sketchily in the mountains of Austria.” So go see it? [NYT]