“I had a letter from someone in China that said they were glad about what we did to the Japanese in Pearl Harbor,” said Ben Affleck, an Oscar contender for Argo. “I wasn’t sure if they understood that it was a historical movie or what, or why they even watched the movie.”
Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) received one of his most touching fan letters from a 14-year-old Kill Bill fanatic, who wrote a treatment for a third volume of the series.
“I called her and thanked her for it,” Tarantino said. “I thought it was just so sweet that this little girl liked the movie so much that she continued the story herself. I always really hope that people take the story on themselves and take it to a different place and fill in the blanks that I didn’t tell them about.”
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) received a letter suggesting he make a film about a bipolar superhero. He noted the pitch was apropos since his most recent film featured characters with bipolar behavior.
“The letter itself was bipolar because it was delusional,” said Russell. “But it was halfway interesting. The motto of the superhero was, ‘I hate being bipolar, it’s awesome.’
The directors also spoke about some of the more memorable pitches from studio executives and journalists.
Ang Lee (Life of Pi) said a female journalist recently suggested he tackle the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, while Gus Van Sant (Promised Land) wrote a script about a bathroom attendant at the behest of an executive, who ended up not making the film.
Affleck, Lee, Russell, Tarantino and Van Sant were joined by Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) for a roundtable discussion moderated by THR news editor Matthew Belloni and executive editor features Stephen Galloway.