MONDO EXTRAS

The Wonder Years

by Daniel Manu January 23, 2009
The Peter Berg Interview PB: We're just finishing up, doing a little more editing. I'm gonna shoot a new scene in New York this week, and it's a really interesting show. Ron Moore and Michael Taylor wrote the original script, and as you might expect if you're fans of those guys, which I definitely am, it's complicated and original and it'll be very unique and, at times, brilliant and, at times, a bit dense. So we're trying to clean up the density and focus on what's brilliant about it, but we should know what the network's gonna do with it in about three weeks.

TWoP: Some of your work has a very passionate following on the Internet. What do you think of the give and take between creators and fans that we're seeing more and more of now? Do you value that kind of feedback, or do you just want to be left alone to do what you do?

PB: I think I used to be more reactive to it when I first realized it was going on -- both reactive to the positive and the negative. And sometimes I would actually be reactive to the point where I would make adjustments just based on it. Other times I would just feel good when someone wrote something nice and feel horrible when someone wrote something not so nice. And at this point there's just so much of it that it tends to not have the impact that it used to. Every once in a while I'll read something and I'll really -- you know, it's interesting, because I still think that some of the great television critics and film critics still get it right. And for all the talk about how the Internet and bloggers are going to destroy legitimate criticism, I'm generally more inclined to read critics that I like. I'm a huge fan of, for example, Bill Simmons on ESPN, who's been a good critic of mine for a long time in terms of telling me what he likes and doesn't like -- Bill's someone that I respect. David Denby at the New Yorker is someone that I respect.... You know, my mother I still listen to. [Laughs]

TWoP: Finally, I have to ask about one of my favorite sci-fi books, Frank Herbert's Dune. Are you still attached to direct a new feature film based on it?

PB: Yes, we're gonna have a script in at the end of this month. Josh Zetumer's writing the script -- I just had dinner with him last night. I fully intend to do it. It's another example of where I'm aware that there's -- I don't think rabid is a strong enough word -- fanbase for the film, and I understand that some people support me directing it and some don't. All I can tell you is that I was as much a fan of the book as anyone, and I'm really looking forward to getting that script in.

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