Sean Paul Murphy, Writer

Sean Paul Murphy, Writer
Sean Paul Murphy, Writer

Friday, July 13, 2012

RIP: Richard D. Zanuck

The famous producer Richard Zanuck died and I want to express my condolences.

He was one of the most successful producers in modern Hollywood.  His credits include The Sting, Jaws, The Verdict and Driving Miss Daisy. 

I never met him, but he was very helpful to my career.  My agent, Stu Robinson, who is now also deceased, sent him my script "The Fourth Mrs. Jones" and, although he didn't buy it, Dick sent a very nice rejection letter back praising my ear for dialogue.  Stu sent me the letter.  It hung on my wall for years.  Whenever I sent out a pitch letter, I would always use his quote.  It opened doors for me.


"The Fourth Mrs. Jones" was the biggest near miss of my early career as a screenwriter.  It was to be sold to the producers of "Dead Poets' Society."  It was to be their follow-up film.  The deal was negotiated.  I was going to make a great deal of money.  The papers were to be signed on a certain Friday, but the deal fell apart at the last second.  Never heard why.

The script was one of my favorites.  I am currently undertaking a page-one rewrite.

I am sorry Dick Zanuck won't be there to read the rewrite.

Rest in Peace.

And thanks for the boost and the encouragement.

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