×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: A Showbiz Lawyer Satirizes Hollywood In His New Novel

Author Kevin Morris counts Matthew McConaughey and Mike Judge as clients, but they make no cameos in 'Gettysburg'

Don’t jump to conclusions about the new novel “Gettysburg,” a showbiz satire from someone who knows of what he writes, veteran Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris.

Yes, there are characters that resemble some real-life industry figures like Norman Lear and Tom Cruise. And yes, the protagonist, John Reynolds, happens to be a middle-aged attorney who’s seen it all in his time working in the entertainment business. But don’t confuse anyone in the book for actual people, least of all himself, he says on the latest episode of the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.”

Listen to the podcast here:

“I decided to take on the challenge of fiction, frankly, because of the flexibility you get when you make stuff up,” said Morris, whose real-life clients include Matthew McConaughey, Mike Judge and the creators of “South Park.” “Reynolds is actually a nice guy. He’s probably a nicer guy than me.”

A comic romp about a weekend misadventure at a Civil War re-enactment, “Gettysburg” (Grove Atlantic) is Morris’ third work of fiction following a short-story collection, “White Man’s Problems,” and his first full-length novel, “All Joe Knight,” which depicts a coming of age in 1970s Philadelphia.

Morris admits he he had to be coaxed by his publisher into training his literary eye on his own day job, but felt comfortable finally going there after proving himself as a writer with the worlds he created outside of the business. “At first I didn’t want to touch Hollywood because it was too close, and I would be perhaps pigeonholed,” he noted.

But even as he moonlights as a novelist, he remains active at the firm he co-founded, Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner and Gellman. He discussed a range of subjects roiling showbiz, from the rise of the streaming services to the ongoing standoff between writers and agents. As someone who has packaged over 150 deals for writers over the course of his career, he expressed optimism that a resolution will come in time to help all parties capitalize on a “platinum age” for content creation.

“Boy, it’s stupid to throw any kind of sand in those wheels,” said Morris. “We’re doing great and the only thing that can destroy us is us. I just hope, like everyone, that cooler heads prevails and we really get solution-oriented here.”

Strictly Business” is Variety’s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. Past episodes include conversations with Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Dana Walden, co-head of 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Television Group. A new episode debuts each Wednesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    Charlie Rose Sued for Sexual Harassment by Longtime Makeup Artist

    A makeup artist who worked for Charlie Rose for 22 years has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing the former CBS and PBS host of years of unlawful behavior toward female employees. Gina Riggi alleges that Rose was verbally abusive with her and would often make derogatory comments about her weight. She also alleges that [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Music Chief Rob Stringer on Sustaining Growth and Recovering From the 'Dark Times'

    The Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, now in its 28th year, gives top executives at major companies the opportunity to make their case to investors — and the Goldman analysts the opportunity to keep things on the up and up. While the analysts don’t necessarily grill the executives, they don’t lob softball questions either. That was [...]

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

  • Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton

    Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton to Head Programming

    Nexstar Media Group has become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations after completing its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal creates a broadcasting colossus with more than 200 stations serving more than 100 markets, although a number of stations will be divested to keep Nexstar in compliance with FCC ownership limits. Nexstar, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content