Distrib/release date: Paramount Vantage/Dec. 26
Storyline: A man’s zealous pursuit of money and power in the guise of oil.
About the script: Anderson indicates the script’s raison d’ecrire evolved over time. “I remember thinking how exciting it was that I was in a venue about the history of California,” he explains. “But by the end of it, (even though) it’s there to a certain extent, it’s not about that at all.”
Biggest challenge: “Getting the ending just right. We really did lots of work on that to make it the best it could be. Just making up our minds was hard.”
Breakthrough idea: “I remember writing a scene when Daniel grabs the little girl, in front of her father, and says, ‘No more hitting,’ and feeling really good about that scene. That’s a little defining moment for the story and for Daniel, and until that point, I was working with scenes based on the book — and that was a completely original creation, and I felt OK about straying from the book.”
Choice lines: “I like it when Daniel says to his son, ‘All we need is a good, strong, expensive meal.’ That makes me laugh every time I hear it.”