Chinatown Screenwriter to Join Mad Men Writing Staff
As if the Mad Men writer’s room needed any more critical clout, Variety reports that not only will Chinatown screenwriter Robert Towne join the Emmy-winning AMC show’s writing staff for its seventh and final season, but he will also hold a consulting producer credit.
A pioneering figure in the American New Wave group of filmmakers that dominated ‘70s cinema, Towne wrote the screenplays for such classics as 1973’s The Last Detail and 1975’s Shampoo. His script for Chinatown, the 1974 revisionist noir film directed by Roman Polanski, won the Oscar that year for Best Original Screenplay and is frequently cited as being among the best in film history. He’s also worked as a script doctor and creative consultant for equally acclaimed films such as Bonnie and Clyde, Marathon Man and The Godfather
The previous two decades, however, has seen Towne working primarily as a writer-for-hire, most notably with a flurry of Tom Cruise vehicles like The Firm, Days of Thunder and the first two Mission: Impossible installments. He also continued to earn income with uncredited re-writes on such blockbusters as The Rock, Crimson Tide and Armageddon. His most recent project—Ask the Dust, based on John Fante’s novel of the same name—was released in 2006 to mostly negative reviews.
Just today, AMC announced that final season of Mad Men will be split into two parts, with the first segment scheduled for spring 2014 and the second for spring 2015.
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