Marvin Landisman: That's it. I'm going back to the original script! I'm not making any changes. Any changes!
Stuart Stratland Jr.: Marvin, what are you talking about? They won't make the film! Don't be self-destructive.
Marvin Landisman: Help me, Stuart. I mean, you're a smart guy. There's a great story here. Just help me use these women to tell it. It's my fault. I never told you what this all came out of.
Stuart Stratland Jr.: It's about that actor comitting suicide on your film.
Marvin Landisman: No. It's about how I killed him.
Stuart Stratland Jr.: What?
Marvin Landisman: Believe it or not Stuart once I was pretty hot. From an old novel I wrote a script about a ruthless gambler who destroys someone he loves. Life changes for him and then isolated and desperate, he realizes who he is and he kills himself. Pretty grim stuff but I got Warren Zell. Warren was a very special actor. He was an original but he had been through a lot and he wasn't acting anymore. See, I had been his student. He trusted in my plan and I convinced him that I could give what he had been through meaning. Warren was amazing. The film suddenly had an incredible mystery to it. Actually it was too good. The producers loved the rushes and thought it might be a Christmas release. Oh, they had one small change. Take out the suicide. Instead have the character recite some speech like, "There's always another day." It was at four o'clock in the afternoon. I had a terrible headache. I can still hear the thud.
Stuart Stratland Jr.: God, that's sick. He was crazy!
Marvin Landisman: Of course he was or he wouldn't have jumped. But he was too weak to fight us any other way. He had to remain honest to himself and the suffering he represented. I was betraying him. Turning this into an insane farce. Don't you see, Stuart? This is what the film *needs* to be about. The fact that not everything is for sale. That some things just have to be left as they are. Help me, Stuart. I want his death to mean something.
Stuart Stratland Jr.: Marvin, they're only making this to put their girlfriends in it.
Marvin Landisman: Then take out the painter.
Stuart Stratland Jr.: He's a photographer and we can't take him out. The whole thing revolves around him!
Marvin Landisman: Okay, leave him in. But take out the suicide.
Stuart Stratland Jr.: What are you, crazy? After all the trouble we went through to sell it? That's the only element everyone agrees on!
Marvin Landisman: I can't bear him dying amidst all this crap! Let him get hit by a car. Let him leave town! Some shit!
Stuart Stratland Jr.: It's a little late for that, Marvin. The suicide stays!
Marvin Landisman: You take it out! I'm not gonna have him turned into a comic book. I'm not gonna murder him again!
Evan: Theres no sex in your movie, there has to be more sex.
Marvin: No there is some, it's just not obvious
Evan Wright: "Theres no sex in your movie there has to be more sex!"
Marvin Landisman: "No there is some...it's just not obvious"
Beverly: Thats right I'm fucking both your investors so don't fuck with me, any questions?
Jack: You know I've never had Sushi before
Beverly: "Thats right I'm fucking both your investors, so don't fuck with me.....any questions?"
Jack Roth: "You know I've never had Sushi before"
Jack: So when do we all get to meet your fabulous friend Beverly?
Evan: I'll give you her number, I'm not seen with her in public my wife wouldn't like it.
Jack Roth: "So when do we all get to meet your fabulous friend Beverly?"
Evan Wright: "I'll give you her number, I'm not seen with her in public my wife wouldn't like it"
Jack Roth: You know, that script of yours has all the right elements. I mean it's got good characters and a terrific story. I don't know if you agree with me but I think story is the most important element of a script.
Marvin Landisman: Well, yeah. I do agree. Story is very important.
Jack Roth: You know, I liked it so much I re-read it last night after we talked. It was a real pleasure. I mean it's got great parts for actors. It's modern. It's timely. I mean, what the hell more could you ask for?
Marvin Landisman: Well, thanks. I worked hard to get the right balance throughout.
Jack Roth: That's a good way to put it Marvin. It is balanced. I don't know if you'll agree with me but it does get heavy in places.
Marvin Landisman: Well, the painter kills himself.
Jack Roth: That's what I mean, Marvin. The whole thing is very heavy.
Marvin Landisman: Well, suicide is a dark subject.
Beverly: I'm fucking both your investors. So don't fuck with me.
Jack Roth: Stuart here's very talented. He wrote a terrific science-fiction thing. Now, the backer I've got. He wants to do a smaller film. Something a little more artistic but I'm not entirely sure he'll go for a script about suicide.
Marvin Landisman: It's not about suicide. It's about an artist's courage. He's driven to kill himself. I won't change that.
Jack Roth: Naturally. I'm not asking you to change it. That's an important element. I found it very moving but maybe it could be handled a little differently.
Stuart Stratland Jr.: For instance, does he have to kill himself? Couldn't he just leave town at the end?
Marvin Landisman: The whole point of the film is that he's destroyed by society. No, he can't just leave town.
Stuart Stratland Jr.: What if he was killed in an accident or hit by a truck before he could kill himself?
Jack Roth: Stuart here had the same teachers as Spielberg at Cal State.
Stuart Stratland Jr.: Marvin, they're only making it to put their girlfriends in it!
Marvin Landisman: I could have made this film years ago if I wanted to play footsie-wootsie with it but I don't!
Jack Roth: Marvin, we're just talking here.
Marvin Landisman: I knew this was gonna happen. I'm not changing *one* word! I don't *need* to make this film and I don't need your damn turkey sandwich okay? Just... let's just forget it okay?
Jack Roth: Jesus I love your passion. It's so refreshing.
Marvin Landisman: [after meeting Stuart] Who the hell does he think he is saying the script isn't finished? I've been working on that script for years. Who the fuck does he think he is?
Jack Roth: He's a little green. He made a mistake.
Marvin Landisman: Jack, as a matter of fact, who the fuck is he? I mean, what has he done? What does he even have to do with this film?
Jack Roth: I thought you knew.
Marvin Landisman: No, I don't. I don't even know why he had to be at this meeting. Jack, who is he?
Jack Roth: You never heard of Stuart Stratland?
Marvin Landisman: Stuart Stratland?
Jack Roth: Two Academy Awards. He wrote "Sound In The River"? "Death by Any Other Name"? "Diary of a Lover"?
Marvin Landisman: He-He's so young.
Jack Roth: No! Not him! That's his son. Stuart Stratland Jr. He's just out of college.
Marvin Landisman: His son? His son! What are we doing with his son?
Jack Roth: I know his father. He did a picture with me years ago. He loves this kid. Don't you understand? If we get in trouble with the script he'll help us out. You know how much he gets? Five-hundred thousand easy. The kid's on spec, it's like getting the father for free.