VARIOUS: FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA TAKES BEST-SELLING NOVELIST JOHN GRISHAM'S "THE RAINMAKER" TO THE BIG SCREENRecord ID: 387341
- Title: VARIOUS: FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA TAKES BEST-SELLING NOVELIST JOHN GRISHAM'S "THE RAINMAKER" TO THE BIG SCREEN
- Date: 27th October 1997
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 18, 1997) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) EXTERIORS OF PARAMOUNT STUDIO MATT DAMON ARRIVING (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) DANNY DEVITO SAYING OF HIS CHARACTER, "DEC IS A GUY WHO IS BANGING HIS HEAD AGAINST THE PAVEMENT TRYING TO MAKE ENDS MEET. HE'S A LAWYER, HE'S FLUNKED THE BAR SIX TIMES, HE'S LIKE, WORKING VERY HARD, BASIC THING IS I GET UP IN THE MORNING, I LOOK FOR BANDAGES BECAUSE THAT'S THE THING, TRY TO GET OUT THERE, AND TURN THOSE FEES MAN, YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?" FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA ENTERING THEATRE. (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) COPPOLA SAYING OF LAWYERS, "THAT'S A NOBLE PROFESSION, THAT'S WHAT THE FILM IS ABOUT. IT'S A NOBLE PROFESSION AND THERE ISN'T A HIGHER PROFESSION YOU CAN GO INTO AND IT'S ABOUT A KID WHO WANTS TO BE ONE BECAUSE HE BELIEVES IN IT AND HE DOESN'T WANT TO SELL OUT."
- Reuters ID: LVA9TS816GGCAKX3XYVJ36DLDVPR
- Location: ST. HELENA AND LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:45
- Story Text: - The man who brought such film classics as "The Godfather," "Apocalypse Now" and "The Conversation" to the big screen is tackling one of America's most popular authors, John Grisham.
Francis Ford Coppola attended the world premiere of his new film "The Rainmaker," based on Grisham's best-selling novel, at Paramount studios on Monday (November 18).
For his leading man, Coppola tapped a relative unknown, 27-year old Matt Damon, to play Rudy Baylor, an idealistic law school graduate taking on his first big case against a multinational insurance conglomerate.
Damon said working with Coppola was different. "What he does that sets him apart from other directors is he plays these kind of games, these kind of acting games. He's very indulgent of the actor's process", he said.
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, like most of Grisham's thrillers, Baylor is accompanied on his quest for justice by a colourful cast of characters.
They include a sleazy lawyer named Bruiser Stone (Mickey Rourke), a paralegal named Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito) who can't quite manage to pass the bar examination despite six attempts; and a young battered woman named Kelly Riker (Claire Danes) who captures Rudy's sympathy and then his heart.
DeVito obviously enjoyed his role as a lawyer but said he thought they were an easy target for criticism.
The all-star cast also features Jon Voight as Baylor's legal nemesis Leo Drummond; Mary Kay Place as the mother of a dying boy who sues the insurance company for fraud; and Danny Glover as Judge Tyrone Kipler, who helps Baylor find his place in the courtroom.
Some have questioned why a director of Coppola's calibre would take on a Grisham adaptation, many of which are viewed as simple, commercial fare.
He defended his choice of movie. "You approach any genre, any director wants to make the best of the John Grisham films or the best of the gangster films.... and not to afraid to do it on its own terms. I very much feel that I'm the servant of or the interpreter of John's work", Coppola said.
Previous films made out of Grisham's books include "The Firm" with Tom Cruise, "The Pelican Brief" with Julia Roberts, and "The Client" with Susan Sarandon. All have been box office blockbusters but have met with mixed critical reviews.
But Coppola sees "The Rainmaker" much like he first saw "The Godfather." Both were based on popular novels of their time. "The Godfather" was based on the book by Mario Puzo, who some consider the Grisham of the early 1970's. Both contain many characters and sub-plots that Coppola admits he had difficulty retaining in his film versions.
"The Rainmaker" sold 4.3 million copies in book form and was on the best-seller list for 28 weeks. In all, Grisham's novels have sold over 60 million copies worldwide.
This is Matt Damon's first feature film lead role. He has previously had small parts in the Denzel Washington drama "Courage Under Fire" and in Julia Roberts' early film "Mystic Pizza." But Damon is on the rise in Hollywood, and his face is currently gracing the covers of several American magazines.
He is shortly set to release his feature film screenwriting debut, "Good Will Hunting," in which he also stars opposite Robin Williams. Next summer, he will be seen opposite Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's World War II saga "Saving Private Ryan." Coppola's credits are legendary. He has won five Oscars, received ten nominations, and his films have won two Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or awards. In addition to "The Godfather" series, Coppola has also directed "Tucker: The Man and his Dream," "Peggy Sue Got Married," "The Outsiders," "The Cotton Club" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula." "The Rainmaker is set for release in the UK and Europe in the New Year.
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