Oscar nominee Peter Bogdanovich is a true Hollywood legend. Starting out as an actor, he discovered a passion for directing in his late teens. He won a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video for "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream" and a BAFTA Film Award in the category of Best Screenplay for "The Last Picture Show," as well as several others.
Bogdanovich received an offer to direct his first film by B-movie mogul Roger Corman. I had the opportunity to talk to Bogdanovich about "Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel," a documentary in which directors and other associates shared their experiences working with the icon.
Talk to me a little bit about your new movies coming up.
"Squirrels to the Nuts" is a picture that Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach are producing for me. It was a script that Louise Stratten and I wrote. It's a wild comedy set in New York about an escort who gets everybody into a lot of trouble. I'm going to direct that.
"Wait for Me" is a comedy drama about a filmmaker who had six wives and six daughters. His sixth wife died in a plane crash six years before the movie begins and it devastated him. He screwed up his career. When we meet him, he's on his last leg in Europe trying to get a picture together. The ghost of his sixth wife appears to help him and things start to change. He meets a lot of different ghosts and you meet all his wives. Everything plays out in four or five days. It's a very strange and constantly moving story. It's the best script I've ever written. It's also probably the most difficult to produce. I'll be directing that and Quentin Tarantino is producing it.
"Squirrels" will be done first. We're casting that one.
Tell me a little bit about the movie you're working on with your daughter, Antonia Bogdanovich.
"The Criminals" is a World War II story that [ex-wife] Polly Platt and I wrote for Roger back in the late 1960s. He never made the picture so it reverted back to me. I kept it when Polly and I got divorced. I've never done anything with it. A number of people have read and loved it. I already felt like I made it somehow. I saw it so intensely when I wrote it. I didn't have interest in making it.
Recently, my older daughter just directed her first film. It's a short film called "My Left Hand Man," which has won some awards. She came across the script and noticed it was written by her parents, Polly and I. It was written when she was about a year old. She fell in love with the script and wants to make it. I said, "Go ahead." She's trying to put it together and I said I'd produce it for her.
It's a World War II story set in Poland. It's based on a true incident where the Nazis were invading Poland. The Underground went to one of the main prisons. They made a deal and told the prisoners they were going to let them loose. They hope they will fly their illegal trade on the Nazis and do whatever they did to get in prison, but to the Nazis. Our story focuses on five of those guys.
Why did Roger not do the film?
It just sort of faded away. He liked it, but it was too big of a picture. I don't know what happened; it fell by the side.
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Eric Shirey is the founder and former editor of Rondo Award nominated movie news websites MovieGeekFeed.com and TheSpectralRealm.com. His work has been featured on Yahoo!, DC Comics, StarWars.com, and other entertainment websites. Eric has interviewed and worked with actors like Harrison Ford, Brooke Shields, Gerard Butler, Brendan Fraser, Selena Gomez, and many more.
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- Roger Corman
- Peter Bogdanovich