My name has wound up on about fifteen motion pictures. I like a couple of them, or at least parts of a couple of them, but most aren't all that good. A few are really quite dreadful. How much of this is my fault? I can share the blame with directors, producers, executives, actors, set designers, composers, et al, along with my habitual collaborator and other writers ("Catwoman," for example, had 27 altogether: fourteen before me, one after I was fired the first time, and eleven after I was fired the second time). And there's always that inevitable gap between human imaginings and an intractable world. But some of the stink still clings to my skin.
Rather than dwell on the failures of the last movie, I've tried to think instead about the possibilities of the next one. Every screenwriter must confront the fact that they've signed on for a creative career where they have no control over the result. 'Tis better to release than to hold, amnesia is an important survival skill, etc. And yet, I've been masochistic enough to cruise reviews and internet postings, accusing me and Mike Ferris of being the worst writers in Hollywood, loathsome hacks who represent everything that's wrong with the movie business.
"Correct the record," advised my wife, "get the truth out there." "Fuck 'em," said my agents, echoing the immortal Robert Evans. I've never tried to answer criticism, better to act as if it's beneath my notice. Never excuse and never explain, as a college roommate who later committed suicide used to say. So silence has seemed to me to be the most articulate response. I'm not naive enough to believe that I can justify myself, that I can get anyone to appreciate my perspective or understand me. I know the attempt only contributes more noise to the cacophony.
Yet now I appear to be writing this blog.