1995’s Se7en – or Seven if you prefer, but we’re going by what the film’s actual opening titles tell us – has almost been memed beyond recognition thanks to its shocking and unforgettable ending. But it remains a true classic, a work of horror and beauty that holds up to multiple re-watches. It’s one of the clear highlights on the long resumés of Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow and David Fincher. Not bad for your first script.
That was the film that put Andrew Kevin Walker firmly on the map, and he’s worked steadily ever since, on films such as Sleepy Hollow (1999), The Wolfman (2010) and Nerdland (2016), as well as performing uncredited rewrites on films like The Game (1997), Event Horizon (1997) and Fight Club (1999), and writing a number of high-profile but unrealised projects including a Silver Surfer film, one of the original drafts of X-Men, and an early Batman vs Superman incarnation.
But of course, all of those credits pale in comparison to his greatest achievement: guest host on the next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates!
So which filmmaker has Andrew chosen to talk about on the show?
None other than William Friedkin!
William Friedkin is one of the greats of the New Hollywood movement.
After an eclectic start to his career that included a powerful documentary about a death row inmate, an intense Harold Pinter adaptation, and a Sonny & Cher sketch movie, Friedkin became one of cinema’s most striking voices, best known for his unmatched one-two-three hit of The French Connection (1971), The Exorcist (1973) and Sorcerer (1977). We don’t have a list to hand of how many directors have casually tossed out three of the greatest films of all time in quick succession, but it’s got to be a small club.
Friedkin’s filmography includes many other well-known works, such as Cruising (1980), To Live and Die in LA (1985), Jade (1995) and Killer Joe (2011), but also a number of films that have largely slipped under the canon’s radar: films like The Night They Raided Minsky’s (1968), The Boys in the Band (1970), The Brink’s Job (1978), and Bug (2006).
So how did the director of The French Connection influence the writer of Se7en? There’s only one podcast where you can find out, so be sure to join us on February 28.