ROBERT SCHENKKAN

PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT & SCREENWRITER

‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Writer Robert Schenkkan on Taking Notes, Writing Routines & More!

"If I had to choose a writer to emulate, it would be Robert Schenkkan. With a relaxed and amiable presence, and an organized, professional approach to writing for the screen and the stage, he makes hard work look easy. This, as we know, is the mark of excellence. He has a Pulitzer, a Tony award, and multiple Emmy nominations as further proof. He has carved a comfortable space for himself in the entertainment business with his passion for telling truthful stories through historical events. I had the pleasure of meeting Robert to discuss his career. Not surprisingly, the interview was nothing short of a master class in the requisite skills necessary for success and sustainability in the finicky industry of making movies. Robert’s latest screenwriting work is Hacksaw Ridge; a film based on the real-life events of U.S. Army medic, Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector, who saved the lives of over 50 soldiers in World War II without ever using a rifle. Doss received a Medal of Honor for his service, but shied away from the public spotlight, refusing interviews for years." To read more, click here.

Hacksaw Ridge: Why It Took a Lifetime to Make (Plus 10 Years)

"Hacksaw Ridge, this weekend’s new and poignant World War II film from director Mel Gibson, has been a long time coming. More than 70 years since those hellish days on the island of Okinawa, the courage and heroism of Desmond Doss, a Medal of Honor recipient who ran into combat and saved dozens of lives while refusing to ever lift a gun, has been mostly lost to the sands of time. This is in part because Doss, a Seventh-day Adventist, never felt comfortable sharing the story of his life to strangers—especially to those of the Hollywood variety, war movie icon Audie Murphy notwithstanding. Yet, near the very end of his life, his church was able to convince Doss to welcome the spotlight, illuminating how a man written off as “Conscientious Objector” by the Army became the pride and inspiration of his platoon in ‘45. Sadly, by the time Robert Schenkkan, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and screenwriter, was brought onboard to adapt the harrowing wartime trials and tribulations of Doss for the screen, Desmond was already on his way out, passing away in 2006. And it took Schenkkan, as well as producer Bill Mechanic, another decade to get that story on the screen." To read more, click here.

Hacksaw Ridge is a red-state movie about a WWII hero who won't touch a gun

"Hacksaw Ridge, the first movie Mel Gibson has directed in a decade, is about as Mel Gibson as you can get: grisly, devout, and patriotic, with a deeply complicated core." To read more, click here.

Raúl Esparza and Patrick Page Join Dramatists Guild Fund Gala Lineup

"The Dramatists Guild Fund has announced additional performers for its annual benefit, Great Writers Thank Their Lucky Stars: The Presidential Edition, to be held on November 7 at Gotham Hall. The annual event is the most critical fundraising event of the year for the Dramatists Guild Fund, the charitable arm of the Dramatists Guild of America. It will feature Nell Benjamin, Mindi Dickstein, Carol Hall, Tom Kitt, Nan Knighton, Robert Schenkkan, Stephen Schwartz, and Stephen Sondheim introducing the stars who brought their work to life onstage." To read more, click here.

Review: ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Has Guts and Glory. But Where’s the Gun?

"Mel Gibson can be accused of many things, but subtlety is not one of them. Even at his worst — I mean as a filmmaker, not a political thinker — he consistently proves to be an able craftsman and a shrewd showman. “Hacksaw Ridge,” the first feature he has directed since “Apocalypto,” a decade ago, is a bluntly effective faith-and-flag war drama, the true story of a remarkable hero with a knot of moral tension at its center." To read more, click here.

Andrew Garfield goes to war in Mel Gibson's pacifist bloodbath 'Hacksaw Ridge'

“Hacksaw Ridge,” Mel Gibson’s latest high-minded cinematic massacre, tells the story of Desmond T. Doss, a God-fearing American pacifist who served as a combat medic during World War II and personally carried 75 wounded soldiers from the Battle of Okinawa, ultimately becoming the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. His journey straddles two war zones — the first a largely psychological one, in which Doss endures the scorn and harassment of his fellow soldiers, and the second an intensely physical one, atop a treacherous 350-foot escarpment that gives the movie its title. Steeped in blood, guts and Christian iconography, “Hacksaw Ridge” is a tribute to one man’s courageous adherence to his deepest beliefs, made by a director whose commitment to his aesthetic principles is no less unswerving." To read more, click here.

'Hacksaw Ridge' Review: Mel Gibson Returns With a War Movie About Peace

"Mel Gibson is back, directing the bloody hell out of a war movie about ... peace. You may have issues with the star's past history of anger and intolerance. But you'll have no issue with Hacksaw Ridge, a movie about a different kind of brave heart." To read more, click here.

‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Review: Mel Gibson’s World War II Film Is Remarkable & Inspiring

"It has taken decades for Hollywood to get around to making a movie about World War II hero Desmond Doss, but it hasn’t been the industry’s fault. Doss, the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor for bravery in battle, did not want his story told on the screen and resisted all studio attempts — including those from Darryl F. Zanuck and others — to turn it into a film about his heroic efforts in saving 75 men during the ferocious fight for Hacksaw Ridge. As I say in my video review above, it is no wonder filmmakers came calling because being a conscientious objector and never touching a gun was unheard of for soldiers actively involved in the war." To read more, click here. 

Hacksaw Ridge Screenwriter Robert Schenkkan Talks Heroism and Writing Battlegrounds

"Robert Schenkkan returns to our podcast to discuss heroism and writing battlegrounds in his latest, Hacksaw Ridge - in theaters now." To listen to the podcast, click here.

'Hacksaw Ridge,’ a Gory War Movie for Both Hawks and Doves

LOS ANGELES — Is Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” another “American Sniper”? Mr. Gibson, who has been largely sidelined in Hollywood for a decade because of appalling behavior off camera, may not be that lucky. Directed by Clint Eastwood and telling the true story of a celebrated member of the Navy SEALs, “American Sniper” sold a tremendous $547 million in tickets worldwide in 2014 and was nominated for six Academy Awards. Cultural and commercial lightning of that magnitude rarely strikes twice." To read more, click here.

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