Literature: The Player

"No stars, just talent."
Griffin Mill

A 1988 satirical novel by Michael Tolkin, The Player was brought to the screen in 1992 by Robert Altman with a screenplay also by Tolkin. The film version starred Tim Robbins, Peter Gallagher and a ton of stars as themselves.

Griffin Mill is a sleazy studio executive whose job it is to decide which screenplays get produced. He finds his life threatened by a stalker, supposedly a screenwriter whose pitch he once rejected. In a confrontation with a disgruntled screenwriter he believes to be the stalker, they escalate into a fight and Griffin accidentally kills the other man. Naturally, this is where things go to hell for Griffin, not helped by not being certain he was the right man in the first place.

The film is incredibly self-referential that attacks the film industry and the Development Hell each film has to go through to get made. It drops you into the social atmosphere of Hollywood and is ultimately an inverted murder mystery, with a man worried about his evil act being discovered.

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