josh singer interview

First Man isn’t an average biopic. Damien Chazellle‘s drama is not a collection of CliffsNotes or an aggrandizing portrait of its subject, the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, who’s played with steel and vulnerability by Ryan Gosling. For a story as sprawling as the race to the moon, Chazelle and screenwriter Josh Singer crafted a thrillingly stripped down, point of view-driven, and as Singer says, repetitive and frustrating story more about loss than victory.

The emphasis on character and mood, not just major events and facts we all know, is a breath of fresh air in the time of the year where we generally sit through mind-numbing and by-the-numbers bio films. Those movies tend to be very easily digestible and risk-adverse stories, but First Man, on the other hand, is uncompromising in its vision and willing to challenge its audience. The journey for Neil Armstrong wasn’t easy, so why would the movie be? It’s another unshakable experience from Chazelle and screenwriter Josh Singer, who won an Academy Award for co-writing Spotlight.

Singer recently told us about his collaboration with the La La Land director, his tireless research and depicting the moon landing, and the haunting final image of First Man.

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Ryan Gosling in GANGSTER SQUAD

Ryan Gosling and Whiplash director Damien Chazelle have been working together on La La Land, and apparently they’ve had such a good time they’re looking to team up again. Gosling is being courted for Chazelle’s First Man, a biopic of astronaut Neil Armstrong. Josh Singer (Spotlight) wrote the script. More details on the possible Ryan Gosling Neil Armstrong movie after the jump.  Read More »

Neil Armstrong Biopic Coming From ‘Whiplash’ Helmer

Neil Armstrong biopic

Damien Chazelle, who made quite a splash at this year’s Sundance with the drummer drama Whiplash, may have found his next high-profile gig. The director is in talks to helm First Man, Universal’s biopic of astronaut Neil Armstrong. Josh Singer (The Fifth Estate) will write the script. More about the Neil Armstrong biopic after the jump.

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The Black List 2013

Most year-end best-of lists consist of things that have already been produced, released, and consumed. But the Black List stands apart in that it’s all about the films that haven’t come out yet. Created by Franklin Leonard and Dino Sijamic, the annual compilation shines a light on the “most liked” unproduced screenplays of each year, as voted on by hundreds of Hollywood executives.

Not all of these films will get made, let alone made well, but the Black List still serves as a good indication of what projects are being buzzed about. Last year’s list included Transcendence and RodhamDjango Unchained and Saving Mr. Banks were among the highlights the year before that. Three out of the last five Best Picture winners were Black List scripts, as were seven of the past twelve screenwriting Oscar winners. Hit the jump to read titles and descriptions for the 72 that made the cut this year.

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Tom McCarthy has made a couple of really successful little dramas, Win Win and The Station Agent. (And he was less successfully associated with the beginning of Game of Thrones.) Now McCarthy is teaming with The West Wing writer Josh Singer to tell a much bigger and more culturally loaded story: the history of “the Catholic Church’s decades-long cover-up of child molestation in Massachusetts,” and of the Boston Globe reporters that uncovered the local efforts to hide evidence of the abuse. Read More »