[With the highly anticipated Baggage Claim in theaters today, director David E. Talbert tells SOHH readers about convincing Fox Searchlight to turn his 2002 novel into a big screen potential blockbuster.]
I wrote the novel in 2002 and it was released in 2003 and we were developing the movie for about five years.
When Paula Patton showed her interest, then it really started picking up traction. Then Jill Scott came on and Derek Luke and the movie really started snowballing.
Fox Searchlight is used to winning Oscars. They do everything from Slumdog Millionaire to Black Swan to The Wrestler so they’re used to movies that get Oscar buzz. So they’re always looking at, “How can we make it look better, too? How can we get the best location, the best lighting, the best cast?”
So they were really a big support. They were a huge support to me. They would be like, “No, man, we can get a better location. We can get better wardrobes.” It was really a collaborative effort thing.
That’s what a film is. It truly does take a village to raise a film. It’s really a collaboration more than any other medium. This was a great collaboration. I had some great people that I had the opportunity to work with.
Playwright, filmmaker and novelist, David E. Talbert has written and directed multiple nationally acclaimed touring productions that have garnered an unprecedented 24 NAACP nominations, including a win for Best Playwright of the Year and the prestigious NAACP Trailblazer Award. He has most recently completed a 40-city record-breaking tour of his 13th stage production What My Husband Doesn’t Know. In addition to his many successful stage productions, the multi-hyphenate directed the Sony Pictures comedy First Sunday starring Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan and Katt Williams. Talbert just wrapped his second feature film, an adaptation of his Best-Selling novel Baggage Claim. The movie, which stars Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Taye Diggs, Jill Scott, and Djimon Honsou, will be released by Fox Searchlight on September 27, 2013.
Check out the new flick’s trailer: