IFH 571: The Ugly Truth of Being a Hollywood Screenwriter with Rich Wilkes


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Get ready for on heck of a ride. Today on the show we have screenwriter Rich Wilkes.
Wilkes' major-studio debut was as screenwriter of the 1994 film Airheads. The story revolves around a group of loser musicians called The Lone Rangers who take a radio station hostage to get their song played on the radio. Airheads was directed by Michael Lehmann and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
This was followed by a co-writer credit (alongside director James Melkonian) for the 1994 comedy The Stoned Age, set in the stoner subculture of Southern California during the 1970s.
The same writing and directing team then collaborated with The Jerky Boys to create the 1995 production The Jerky Boys: The Movie, featuring the eponymous comedians (self-described as "low-lifes from Queens") as New York City youths who get into trouble with the Mafia when one of their prank calls leads them into a money laundering business.
Wilkes is credited as the sole screenwriter for the 2002 action-adventure film XXX and a "based on characters created by" credit as being as the creator of the XXX franchise.
Wilkes co-wrote the Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt, based on the New York Times bestselling book by Neil Strauss and Mötley Crüe. The film took 17 years to get made. David Fincher was initially attached to direct in 2004, followed by Larry Charles in 2008.
Rich and I had a raw conversation about what it is really like to be a screenwriter in Hollywood, warts and all. This episode should be reqired listening for any screenwriter thinking of getting into the Hollywood screenwriting game.
Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Rich Wilkes.

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