James Sallis (b. 1944, Helena, Arkansas, USA)

Written by James Sallis

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Drive, 2005

Best job Driver ever had was a remake of Thunder Road. Hell, two-thirds of the movie was driving. That ‘56 Chevy, with Driver inside, was the real star.

The production was one of those things that just fell together out of nowhere, two guys sitting in a bar talking favorite movies. They were brothers, and had had a couple of minor money-makers aimed at the teen market. Both pretty much geeks, but good enough guys. The older one, George, was the front man, took care of the production end, finding money, all that. His younger brother, Junie, did most of the directing. They wrote the films together during allnighters at various Denny’s in central L.A.

They’d been running scenes and lines from Thunder Road for three or four minutes when they both got quiet at the same time.

"We could do it," George said.

"We could for damn sure try."

By the next day’s end, with nothing on paper, no treatment, not a single word of script, nary a spreadsheet or projection in sight, they had it together. Contingent commitments from investors, a distributor, the whole nine yards. Their lawyer was looking into rights and permissions.


© 2005 James Sallis; Scottsdale: Poisoned Pen Press

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