Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Usual Suspects

On The Dallas News site there's a fascinating article about this complicated and wonderful film. Director Bryan Singer and writer Christopher McQuarrie collaborated on the project. In 2006, the Writers Guild voted The Usual Suspects the No. 35 greatest screenplay. (h/t Kottke)

But many continue to wonder just how much of The Usual Suspects, how much of Verbal Kint's (Kevin Spacey) story, is true. (True, that is, within the movie's plot.)

McQuarrie says only after finishing the film and preparing to do press interviews about it did he and Singer realize they both had completely different conceptions about the plot.

"I pulled Bryan aside the night before press began and I said, 'We need to get our stories straight because people are starting to ask what happened and what didn't,' " recalls McQuarrie. "And we got into the biggest argument we've ever had in our lives."

He continues: "One of us believed that the story was all lies, peppered with little bits of the truth. And the other one believed it was all true, peppered with tiny, little lies. ... We each thought we were making a movie that was completely different from what the other one thought."

So who believed what?

With a broad grin, McQuarrie responds: "I'll never tell."

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