This Famous Director Saved ‘Good Will Hunting’

Photo via View Eskew Productions

goodwill hunting it came out in 1997 and put actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck on the map as Hollywood’s new golden boys. The film grossed over $200 million at the box office and earned the late great Robin Williams his only Academy Award.

Apparently, it also almost didn’t get made, according to its stars. Damon recently interviewed Affleck for a cover story on entertainment weekly, and the film that put both actors on the map emerged. There was a point where he was going nowhere, and Damon revealed that director Kevin Smith was the one who saved him.

“Kevin also saved goodwill huntingDamon said. “This is not a little side note. he is the reason goodwill hunting It was done. We were dead in the water. All offers had expired.

“I promised him that I would appreciate it if we ever got an Oscar and I promptly forgot about it,” Affleck added. “And then I said, ‘If I ever win again, I swear to God I’m going to thank you.’ I forgot again.

Damon also credited Williams with helping get the project off the ground, as well as Francis Ford Coppola. But ultimately, it was Smith who took the script personally to Harvey Weinstein, who historically loved the film so much that he put the full weight of his studio behind it.

Before they were movie stars, Damon and Affleck were old family friends (their mothers were in college). As children, they talked about wanting to be actors and work together on summer jobs to save money for audition trips. As the oldest, Damon went to Harvard for a year and was assigned a final project for his drama class. He wrote a 40-page script that eventually became goodwill hunting.

When Damon moved to Los Angeles, sleeping on couches, he turned his college project into a completed, movie-ready script with Affleck. The original film was more of a thriller, but when Castle Rock picked it up (before Miramax), that studio wanted to focus more on the relationship between Damon and Williams.

It garnered nine Academy Award nominations in one year that year and competed with films like Titanic Y LA Confidential. Affleck and Damon won the Academy Award for best screenplay, becoming the youngest ever to do so.

“Ben and I talked about it recently,” Damon said. boston magazine in 2013. “We were younger than we felt. I was 22 and Ben was 20 when we started writing it. And then it came out when I was 27 and Ben was 25. I mean, Ben is still the youngest writer to ever win an Oscar for screenwriting. He would be the youngest if it wasn’t for Ben. Damn imbecile.

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This Famous Director Saved ‘Good Will Hunting’

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