Screenwriter Tony Gilroy's script rules

Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter behind the Bourne series, joins Salon’s executive editor Andrew O’Hehir to discuss the making of the spy thriller he wrote, “Beirut.” The Oscar-nominated writer and director of “Michael Clayton” shares the story behind the screenplay he 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.

Gilroy wrote the first draft of “Beirut” in 1991, but the screenplay was deemed “politically inflammatory at the time,” he told Salon. Twenty-seven years later, much to Gilroy’s disbelief, the film, directed by Brad Anderson and starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike, finally got made. For Gilroy, getting a chance to revisit the script nearly three decades later with a fresh perspective was a unique opportunity to assess his growth as a writer. “I'm so experienced now, and I've spent so much time making stuff, and the offset for being older and slower, is being much more accurate and much more self-critical,” Gilroy said. “I'd like to be much more confident that my first drafts are much more highly evolved than they ever were 30 years ago, certainly on this script,” he told Salon.

Watch the video above to learn more about Gilroy’s screenwriting process and check out the full episode to learn more how “Beirut” made it to the big screen so many years later. Tune in for 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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