The odd conglomeration of names involved in the inception of what became Clint Eastwood’s signature movie include John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Irvin Kershner, Terence Malick and John Milius. The first two, along with Robert Mitchum and Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, turned down the role while the others were among the writers of numerous drafts, many set in New York rather than San Francisco. Bouncing from studio to studio, it almost ended up a tv movie for ABC! When Eastwood was approached he insisted on returning to the first draft and hiring Don Siegel to direct, as they had enjoyed working together on the offbeat flop The Beguiled.
About Josh Olson
Josh Olson was the only student in his second grade class to see The House That Dripped Blood. Many years later, he wrote and directed the no-budget horror film, Infested, a brutal assault on The Big Chill, with zombies. He went on to write the screenplay for A History of Violence and was nominated for the WGA, BAFTA and Academy Awards for Best Screenplay. He kept losing to Larry McMurtry, but that’s okay. He co-wrote the teleplay for the Masters of Science Fiction episode, The Discarded, with Harlan Ellison, and is currently writing a sophisticated thriller, Tabloid, for Mick Jagger.