Study Guide

Shakespeare in Love Screenwriter

Screenwriter

Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard

Marc and Tom are an interesting duo. Tom Stoppard had experience fiddling with the Bard from his play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a critically acclaimed and existentialist play about two minor characters from Hamlet. Marc Norman wrote the notorious flop Cutthroat Island, the biggest money-loser in Hollywood history.

How, exactly, did this odd couple team up?

Well, it all started with Marc Norman's son. Norman's son had an idea: a movie about young Shakespeare in the theatre (source). 

And… that was it. 

Nice try, son.

But dad loved the idea (as dads are required to do) and he developed a script and networked his way to Universal Pictures, who hired Stoppard for his Shakespearean expertise. He tinkered around with the story, even adding the Christopher Marlowe character, and Viola… er, voila! Shakespeare in Love was born.

This little bit of backstory proves that you can take any idea and run with it. Maybe that idea you have about baby Meryl Streep in pre-school will one day win a record-number of Academy Awards (including one for Meryl Streep, playing baby Meryl's mother).

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