Salon Talks: Screenwriter Tony Gilroy

Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter behind the Bourne movies and the writer and director of Oscar-nominated film “Michael Clayton,” joined Salon’s executive editor Andrew O’Hehir to discuss the making of the spy thriller he wrote and produced, “Beirut.” The film starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike is based upon a screenplay Gilroy first developed decades ago about a former U.S. diplomat who is sent to negotiate for the life of a friend he’s left behind in Beirut.

Despite an illustrious career penning successful Hollywood movies, including “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Gilroy was admittedly the last person to think “Beirut” would ever actually get made. Originally written in 1991, studios labeled Gilroy’s thrilling screenplay too political to green-light production at the time. “It was perceived as being politically inflammatory at the time,” Gilroy told Salon. “It was really like it had this radioactive vibe to it that was like just a little too, it was just a little to political with some particular sensitivities to get made back then.” Decades later, Gilroy received a call he never expected from a production company with the funding to actually bring his script to the big screen. After 10 weeks of rewrites to finalize the script, it was ready. “It was an interesting rewrite to collaborate with yourself over 30 years,” Gilroy said.

Check out the full interview above to hear more from Gilroy about the state of screenwriting in Hollywood today and what it was like working with Jon Hamm on set of “Beirut.” Tune into SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

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