Screenwriter Richard Curtis is a legend in romantic comedy writing — Bridget Jones’s Diary, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually to name a few. So, how did one amazing rom-com writer get to adapt a period drama about a boy separated from his horse during World War I? He got a call from Steven Spielberg, that’s how.
“I wanted to see if I could do it before I agreed to it,” Curtis says of being asked to co-write War Horse, Spielberg’s Christmas-opener, starring Jeremy Irvine and Emily Watson. The script is co-written by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot and Gabriel & Me), and adapted from the children’s novel, of the same name, by Michael Morpurgo.
The War Horse experience is one Curtis will always remember. Script sat down with the famed screenwriter to get some insight into his process.
- How to overcome writer’s block …
- “At every point, we try to work out what’s the richest thing you can do …”
- “I’ll do a day on plot, a day on scenes, a day on character, do the different bits separately …”
- “Lil’ piece of advice: Call your girl characters by girl names and your boy characters by boy names …”
Click below to listen: