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A Bio-Pic about John Williams?


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Since this is the season for futile speculation - I wonder if they will ever make a bio-pic of John Williams, in the manner of "The Glenn Miller Story"?

If they did, who should play the maestro? And - more beserkly yet - who should do the score?

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I feel I’d much prefer a Ken Burns style documentary about JW than a biopic that (inevitably poorly) tries to dramatize some aspect of his life.

Fixed. Williams living during World War II and his time in the army will be rewritten to have him serve in WW2, in the *badoom tss* European Theater. That's where he gets his idea to steal European cl

Serious question: why do people need salacious and scandalous events to find a person's life interesting?  It seems contrary to how we value people in real life.  Most people do not want their spouse,

Richard Attenborough is an inspired idea.

I myself would go for Dick van Dyke to play John Williams, and for the score to be by an unknown with an Italian-sounding name, performed entirely by a very bad synthesised orchestra. You know the sort of thing.

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We've done this before. Instead of Dickie Attenborough I would more prefer David Ogden Stiers.

stiers.jpg

Of course a bio pic about Williams would be really boring.

We watch a man sitting behind a piano writing music for 3 hours?

David Ogden Stiers, what a superb and wasted actor. Other than Mash he's performance is The Accidental Tourist as Macon's eccentric brother that has no sense of direction is great. Even his short performance as the huffy conductor in The Man With One Red Shoe is a stand-out.

Definitely the man to play Williams!

- Tim.

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He was a mild mannered composer until they made him mad, now he'll show them exactly what a baton is capable of.....

Arnold Schwartzenegger is John Williams!!!!

Coming this summer.....

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  • 13 years later...

Was Williams life that interesting to warrant a biopic? 

 

I mean, he spent most of his life writing music, conducting and recording, it's not exactly that cinematic.

 

But if it happens, I'd like to see Jude Law as the young Williams.

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8 minutes ago, Jay said:

The part of his life that would make a good movie is breaking into the industry, falling in love with an actress, getting married, having kids... and then her suddently and unexpectedly dying, and him having to pick up the pieces and raise their three kids alone, while still trying to be a film composer.  All this happened pre-Jaws, when JW was 42!  The success of Jaws, showing he could continue on without Barbara, could be the finale of the movie.

 

Meeting Spielberg over SUGARLAND is often credited with him wanting to get back into it. But yes, there's his affair with Barbara while she was still married to Robert Horton, and then eloping to Mexico to get married in April-56 - just a few weeks after the divorce was finalized (Barbara actually broke up with Horton after the premiere party of CAROUSEL - a film that incidentally had a few Williams arrangements in it). Those kinds of stories. But there's no way a film of this kind, with that level of private material, would get the green light from Williams or his estate.

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1 hour ago, Thor said:

Meeting Spielberg over SUGARLAND is often credited with him wanting to get back into it.

 

Exactly!  Spielberg and Lucas wouldn't even factor into the majority of the movie, only the ending!

 

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But yes, there's his affair with Barbara while she was still married to Robert Horton, and then eloping to Mexico to get married in April-56 - just a few weeks after the divorce was finalized (Barbara actually broke up with Horton after the premiere party of CAROUSEL - a film that incidentally had a few Williams arrangements in it). Those kinds of stories.

 

Exactly!  All of this would make a genuinely interesting movie.  

 

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But there's no way a film of this kind, with that level of private material, would get the green light from Williams or his estate.

 

Very true.  Even if someone wanted to make this movie, we're years away from it ever happening

 

1 hour ago, bruce marshall said:

The early life of a professional musician is usually more interest than the post- success part.

 

Exactly.  Which is why they'd be looking for actors in their 30s, maybe early 40s, not actors who look like JW does now

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42 minutes ago, Jay said:

Exactly.  Which is why they'd be looking for actors in their 30s, maybe early 40s, not actors who look like JW does now

Picky....picky....

A good screenplay would skip SUGARALAND and have the meet over JAWS ( dramatic license(.

Then end with SW.

Remember, his score was slated for the unprecedented two LP treatment before anybody knew how big SW would be. You could show the recording sessions and the building excitement among musicians and filmmakers.

 

Maybe, touch in his relationship with IRWIN - a colorful character in how own right!

2 hours ago, Bayesian said:

I feel I’d much prefer a Ken Burns style documentary about JW than a biopic that (inevitably poorly) tries to dramatize some aspect of his life.

God no!

He'd probably score it with old folk tunes and Civil War era songs !

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1 hour ago, bruce marshall said:

A good screenplay would skip SUGARALAND and have the meet over JAWS ( dramatic license).

 

That would be taking creative license too far, I think. The initial SUGARLAND dinner didn't necessarily have to be the end of the movie, but it would need to be factually correct. And then at some point after that hint at his legacy to come, the end.

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Joseph Gordon Leavitt as GEORGE LUCAS.

The guy from Thomas Middleditch( KOTM and SILICON VALLEY) as SS!

1 hour ago, Thor said:

I know that I would have a field day, at least. Williams' early life is pretty much all I obsess over these days! :D

YOU have to divorce youreself from " facts" and look at It as a drama.

I know everything about Jim Morrison but didn't care about The dramatic license taken in THE DOORS.

You can too!

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19 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

YOU have to divorce youreself from " facts" and look at It as a drama.

I know everything about Jim Morrison but didn't care about The dramatic license taken in THE DOORS.

You can too!

 

That's why I'm far more interested in a thorough documentary than a fictional biopic.

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52 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

That Michael Bay film

Sounds like the Chopin biopic with Cornell Wilde.

Total fiction as opposed to dramatic license- necessary when condensing many years of living in to two hours.

1 hour ago, Thor said:

 

That would be taking creative license too far, I think. The initial SUGARLAND dinner didn't necessarily have to be the end of the movie, but it would need to be factually correct. And then at some point after that hint at his legacy to come, the end.

Thank God you didn't pursue a screenwriting career.

😊

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Fabulin,

I preferred your shorter, ' theatrical' cut.😒

4 hours ago, bruce marshall said:

God, can you imagine the nitpicking over ' historical innacuries' and ' factual mistakes' n this board?

If a JW bio a got made.

Can you imagine how much work this meme would get?

Screenshot_2020-08-03-17-46-02~2.png

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11 hours ago, Tom said:

Serious question: why do people need salacious and scandalous events to find a person's life interesting?  It seems contrary to how we value people in real life.  Most people do not want their spouse, whose's life they surely find compelling, to be unfaithful, or their kids (again, parents tend to find their young or grown children's lives to be interesting) to be criminals or such.  And in neither case do people want their loved ones to die of an overdose or other forms self-destruction--the culmination of many Hollywood biopics.  I just don't get it.  

 

I find that to be a rather curious argument, to be honest. I guess you could just as well ask why we need drama. Drama and fiction are a way for people to escape their everyday toil and worry. A vent, really. When people get pleasure out of watching a violent revenge film, for example, it's not because they want to go out and kill people, but because it's an ersatz way of nurturing a deep sense of justice.

 

Even directors who subscribe to a very socialrealist style, like Ken Loach or the Dardenne brothers, still have dramatic events at their core. The same would be true if one ever were to do a Williams biopic. One would find the most dramatic moments in his life, and weave around that. It could be his affair with Barbara (really, that on-and-off-again love story from high school onwards is one of the most interesting parts of his personal life), but it could also be the toil and sweat at Mario Tedelnuovo-Tedesco's (realized rather poorly in the MAESTRO film) or it could be the rough war years. In fact, I would consider it an injustice if these issues weren't dramatized properly; a 'robbery', almost.

 

You'll find that other composer biopics, like AMADEUS or IMMORTAL BELOVED, are organized much the same way.

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No, what we would need, if we need anything at all in this vein, is a well-made, well-researched documentary. Unlike the lives of the people who have been the subject of Hollywood biopics, we know very little about JW’s life (unless you’re Thor or Miguel, I guess). A biopic would be most people’s first glimpse of his life—and it would be a dramatization of true events whose record is nonexistent in any other source (at least until Thor’s book comes out). That would be a real problem in my book.

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