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Traitor: Second Thoughts

By November 25, 2008No Comments

Eugene Levy, Queen Latifah and Steve Martin in Bringing Down the House

Steve Martin (right) uses the 90 per cent of his brain that isn’t required for act­ing in Bringing Down the House to write Don Cheadle’s Traitor.

Actually, not so much second thoughts as some­thing inter­est­ing dis­covered after the the review went to print.

In the blog roll to the right you will find a link to the Creative Screenwriting pod­cast, which is nev­er less than inter­est­ing des­pite host Jeff Goldsmith’s some­times annoy­ing abil­ity to miss the inter­est­ing follow-up question.

Anyway, I make a point of not listen­ing to a pod­cast until after I’ve seen and reviewed a par­tic­u­lar film – I try and watch everything unme­di­ated by any­thing more than the trail­er – but that some­times means I miss a gem of con­text that might illu­min­ate (or add value in some oth­er way).

Last week I was listen­ing to writer-director Jeffrey Nachmanoff talk about the Don Cheadle war-on-terror thrill­er Traitor and he out­lined how the film got its start: an idea from comedi­an Steve Martin that he had while work­ing on the Queen Latifah “com­edy” Bringing Down the House. Evidently, he had the idea, wrote a treat­ment, sold it to Disney and then got the heck out of the way.

It obvi­ously went through a few changes since then (as these things always do) but that whole “ter­ror­ists want to blow up 50 buses, tricked into all get­ting on the same bus” thing? All Steve.