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It was your script, you wanted it produced as well, so we were more or less in the same boat. If you had just been a producer, then maybe I might have been worn down and wracked with doubts and tempted to look elsewhere.
But no other producer — and I met with quite a few over the years — would have had that killer script under their arm. The producers I met with — always at their request, and usually approaching option renewal time — were enthusiastic and persuasive and generally convinced that they could make things happen.
And the second reason is that you were also upfront with me. From the very beginning. But I think writers tend to understand each other. We understood each other pretty quickly and trust built up as a result. Plus I got it that you were trying and trying and that it was never easy. So no. I just opened your book, jotted down some notes, sat at the computer, and went nuts. I knew I was going to have to invent more plot. Movie audiences are more ADD-ish than book readers, and there were going to have to be some extra twists and turns.
Kinda, sorta. I had a general idea of where it was going to end up. But mostly, I surprised myself. And most unusually — I had never done this before — I wrote myself into a corner more than once. I found that if I had to think like a Smart Person to get Smart Eddie out of a situation, more interesting ideas presented themselves.
I used to work from slavish outlines. AG: Very interesting. This is a subject that always fascinates me. To outline or not to outline. Respectively, what were your influences in approaching this kind of material? I have always found the Manchurian Candidate, possibly just in its execution, just a bit outlandish.
Much later on, I came across a brilliant examination of this fundamental story-telling pattern in The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker. It was also the first person closeness of the narrator in The Third Policeman that I found irresistible, that clinical dissection of psychological torment. And then, as always, for tone and mood, an over- or under- lay of movies from the 70s, Taxi Driver , The Conversation , Marathon Man.
How much of you is in Original Eddie? Where things get fuzzy is when the writer draws on his or her own experience to fill in details or provide a setting.
Or are you just cannibalizing your life for convenient material? I lived in New York in the late 80s, in dingy apartments, I had very little money, I worked as a proof-reader for a cable TV listings magazine, I wanted to be a writer but had serious trouble motivating myself, I craved literary success, but seemed to be short-circuited on how to go about achieving it, or achieving anything for that matter.
So holy shit, I AM Eddie. Nice piece of casting, btw. What would you like to do in the future? Any dream projects you have in mind? Next project? But there is something a little persistent about this mini-funk. This concept, to Hollywood types, is the abyss. I really have to think about this. His prose style reminded me, a lot, of the way I write prose on the rare and secret occasions I do. I felt I could pick up the ball and continue where he left off with no interruption in service. We would meld.
This experience has made me wonder if I could stop writing scripts altogether. Okay, not priests and spinsters. But with your attitude and long experience writing whippet-lean scripts you could write a really cracking crime novel with as many f-words in it as you liked. MB: Alan, has seeing your work translated to screen had any kind of effect on your writing process? What I think of as my writing process feels like something pretty immutable at this point, and inescapable, like hair color or a tendency to snore.
Each time out, I try to do it differently essentially to speed things up a bit , but it always ends up coming together the same way, and at the same pace. Only someone who has never written a novel could possibly imagine this was a smart plan. The truth, of course, is that prose fiction has evolved over the decades and the influence of cinema on it has been enormous. With grades too odd for a scholarship, and no family money, Leslie did not go to college, instead suffering a series of menial jobs and guitar playing boyfriends before finally discovering, to her surprise, that she was venally ambitious.
The Dark Fields
Bordering on techno-thriller territory, this slick, suspenseful debut imagines a new breed of "smart drug" that produces some deadly side effects. It really works, but Eddie's initial rush is so mind-blowing that even discovering Vernon's murdered body and a hidden stash of cash and pills barely interrupts his growing addiction. He chooses to ignore the mounting side effects of MDT piercing headaches, intense bouts of rage and "trip-switching," a phenomenon in which time moves with a stop-motion quality. Day trading on the stock market like a seasoned professional, Eddie soon becomes an immensely wealthy junkie armed with awe-inspiring artistic and financial brainpower. But when he's implicated in the brutal murder of a high-profile artist's wife and also linked to pharmaceutical espionage, his perfect new world unravels and the shocking truth about MDT's origin and purpose is revealed. Glynn's sustained, rapid-fire pace hurls readers headfirst toward a gripping, if bleak, conclusion that makes for some breathless page-turning.
A Conversation with Limitless author Alan Glynn and screenwriter Leslie Dixon
Fantastic work by the writer. I would have chosen a different ending. But it's the author's choice, so we'll leave it at that. The man did a lot of great research, and the whole thing plays out quite well. Read it in a couple of days time. Alan Glynn is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. His first novel, "The Dark Fields", was released as the movie "Limitless" in