The John Milius Book Club (plus, a Brooks special!)

Dan Showbiz

Talked with director John Milius this morning, regarding a Basil Poledouris tribute project I’m involved with. We ended up talking for about an hour, on a range of topics, but apparently with an emphasis on recent war movies. Specifically, 300 and Flags of Our Fathers / Letters from Iwo Jima – none of which he had seen yet. But he was very familiar with the real-life material, and recommended two books for me: the 1998 novel Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield about the Battle of Thermopylae, and To Hell and Back, the 1949 autobiography by Audie Murphy, the most decorated U.S. combat soldier of World War II.

Later this afternoon, I was at Fox for a scoring session, and Mel Brooks popped his head in. I hadn’t met him in person before, but as you probably remember, I did interview him last year for the Spaceballs soundtrack liner notes. I went up to introduce myself, and he said he remembered who I was, which was very nice of him. He apparently was on the lot to record voices for the new Spaceballs TV show – cool! He’s also working on a new Broadway musical, based on Young Frankenstein. But he won’t use any of the themes from the film, since he didn’t write them – John Morris did. Should be interesting!