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Anatomy of a Contender

The Heartache and Hope of ‘Wakanda Forever’: Why Ryan Coogler Put the Focus on Chadwick Boseman’s Favorite Character

[This story contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.] The weekend before cameras rolled on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, filmmaker Ryan Coogler led a team of about 30 people to Chadwick Boseman’s resting place in South Carolina, where actors and key crew were joined by members of the late star’s family. It was a solemn […]

The Making of ‘She Said’: “We All Felt We Didn’t Want to Give Harvey Any More Airtime”

There’s a photo of the moment right before The New York Times published its very first story about Harvey Weinstein’s systemic sexual harassment. Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor are there, along with their editors at the newspaper. They’re gathered around a computer, giving the story one last read and waiting to press the button that […]

Making of ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’: How Directing Duo Daniels Created a Multiverse With $14M

A film about a middle-aged woman undergoing a tax audit should be a relatively simple proposition, unless it’s in the collective hands of the filmmaking duo known as Daniels. Everything Everywhere All at Once is a multiverse movie, but unlike the superhero tentpoles that typically define the concept, this everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink picture — at $100.6 million […]

Making of ‘Drive My Car’: How Ryusuke Hamaguchi Turned a Haruki Murakami Short Story Into a Three-Hour Drama About Making Art Amid Grief

In late 2019, Japanese filmmaker Ryûsuke Hamaguchi was having coffee with actress Tôko Miura in a quiet cafe in west Tokyo, discussing an ambitious new drama he was developing. Rather than holding auditions, Hamaguchi tends to cast his films simply by sitting down with actors to talk, sharing his vision for a story while getting […]

Making of ‘C’mon C’mon’: How Fatherhood (and Wim Wenders) Inspired Director Mike Mills

Mike Mills was feeling depressed. Having completed his previous film, 20th Century Women, in 2016, he was searching for his next project, but the Los Angeles-based writer-director admits, “I was quite lost. I didn’t know what to do. It was a weird struggle.” The answer, though, proved to be right in front of him: “It […]

Making of ‘Nightmare Alley’: How Guillermo del Toro Finally Achieved His Dream Project

Before his first film even was released, Guillermo del Toro already was pursuing his own version of Nightmare Alley, the 1947 film noir classic from 20th Century Fox, which ultimately would become his 11th feature. It would take 25 years, an Oscar best picture win and the culmination of a bromance and a romance before […]

Making of ‘Don’t Look Up’: How Adam McKay Created a Film He Had Been Thinking About For Years

In late 2019, Adam McKay flew to Ireland to his isolated lake house to write a draft for a project that he’d been thinking about for a few years: a film that would deal with the ongoing climate crisis. Previously, he’d written four or five premises, half a page each, to try and crack the […]

Making of ‘King Richard’: How the Tennis Drama Navigated Some Tricky Familial Terrain

Isha Price was in New York City to urge on her sisters, tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams, at the 2018 U.S. Open when she took a detour on the second day of the Grand Slam tournament to meet with film producer Tim White and screenwriter Zach Baylin. It wasn’t the first time Hollywood had […]

Making of ‘Power of the Dog’: How Jane Campion Stayed on Track Despite an Extended COVID Shutdown

It was, in fact, Jane Campion’s first rodeo. In late 2019, the first female filmmaker to receive the Cannes Palme d’Or — for 1993’s The Piano, which also landed her two Oscar nominations, for best director and original screenplay (she won the latter) — found herself at a San Francisco-adjacent rodeo with her producer Tanya […]

Making of ‘Dune’: How Denis Villeneuve’s Sci-Fi Epic Is the Culmination of a Childhood Dream

In June 2018, Denis Villeneuve and his production designer Patrice Vermette were soaring through the sky in a rented helicopter, high above Jordan’s majestic Wadi Rum desert, when they spotted a caravan of black SUVs snaking through the vast, rocky landscape below them. “Is that another scout?” Vermette remembers shouting as politely as possible over […]

Making of ‘Belfast’: How Kenneth Branagh’s Film Was Made in Between Lockdowns

For all its warmth and tenderness, there was actually a fair amount of competition on the set of Belfast. This wasn’t concerning the film or shoot itself; the cast and crew have all spoken about the joyous harmony and rapport experienced during the making of Kenneth Branagh’s semiautobiographical eulogy to his home city in Northern […]

Making of ‘Nomadland’: How Frances McDormand and Chloe Zhao Created a Story That “Crossed Cultural and Generational Lines”

The Oscar winner and indie auteur joined forces on windswept Western plains to create a modern-day odyssey of the dispossessed surviving on the edges of the American dream.