Morgan at a Hereafter press conference, 2010
10 April 1963 |
|Alma mater||University of Leeds|
|Genres||Comedy, drama, historical fiction|
|Notable work(s)||The Deal
The Special Relationship
Peter Morgan (born 10 April 1963) is a British film writer and playwright. Morgan is best known for writing the historical films and plays The Deal, The Queen, Frost/Nixon, and The Special Relationship.
Morgan was born in London. His mother, Inga (née Bojcek), was a Catholic Pole who fled the Soviets, and his father, Arthur Morgenthau, was a German Jew who fled the Nazis, arriving in London in 1933. His father died when Morgan was nine years old. Morgan attended boarding school at Downside School, Somerset, and gained a degree in Fine Art from the University of Leeds.
Morgan wrote television scripts throughout the 1990s, including an episode of Rik Mayall Presents... and the Comedy Premiere The Chest. He wrote the screenplay to the romantic comedy Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence (1998) and had some success with the TV series The Jury (2002). He broke through with The Deal, a 2003 television drama about the power-sharing deal between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown that was struck in the Granita restaurant in London. He received his Academy Award-nomination for The Deal's follow-up, The Queen (2006) that showed how the death of Princess Diana impacted Blair and the Royal Family. His work on the film awarded him a Golden Globe from the Hollywood Foreign Press, and Helen Mirren won numerous awards for playing the title role.
Also in 2006, Morgan's first play, Frost/Nixon, was staged at the Donmar Warehouse theatre in London. Starring Michael Sheen as David Frost and Frank Langella as Richard Nixon, the play concerns the series of televised interviews that the disgraced former president granted Frost in 1977. These ended with his tacit admission of guilt regarding his role in the Watergate scandal. The play was directed by Michael Grandage and opened to enthusiastic reviews.
In May 2007, the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival honoured Morgan with the year's Kanbar Award for Excellence in Screenwriting.
In July 2009, filming begins on The Special Relationship, the third film of Morgan's "Blair trilogy". The film focuses on Blair's (again played by Michael Sheen) relationship with U.S president Bill Clinton between 1997 and 2000. Morgan was originally scheduled to direct the film (making his directorial debut) but pulled out a month before filming began. He was replaced by Richard Loncraine. In 2008 Morgan adapted John le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy into a screenplay for Working Title Films.
He has since finished the script for Hereafter, a supernatural thriller "in the vein of The Sixth Sense". DreamWorks bought the screenplay on spec in March 2008. The development was later transferred to Warner Bros., and filming began in October 2009 under the direction of Clint Eastwood.
In 2008 the film Frost/Nixon, with Sheen and Langella playing the parts they had on stage, opened in the United States and Great Britain to excellent reviews.
In June 2009, it was announced that he would be the co-writer of Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film. The Daily Telegraph's Mandrake diary reported in April 2010 that Morgan had quit the production after Sam Mendes was hired to direct, and that Patrick Marber would replace him. MGM dismissed the Telegraph's claims as speculation.
Morgan lived in Battersea, south London, with his Austrian wife Lila Schwarzenberg (HSH Princess Anna Carolina of Schwarzenberg, daughter of Czech politician Karel Schwarzenberg) and their daughter and three sons, until the winter of 2006, when the family relocated to Vienna.
List of works
- Pacheco, Patrick (22 April 2007). "No sides, no prisoners". Los Angeles Times.
- Hanks, Robert (24 February 2007) "Peter Morgan: Drama king", The Independent. Retrieved on 14 January 2009.
- Andreeva, Nellie (23 June 2009). "Peter Morgan leaves 'Relationship'". The Hollywood Reporter (Nielsen Business Media).
- Martin, Francesca (4 June 2008). "Tinker, tailor, soldier, film star". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- Siegel, Tatiana (13 November 2008). "Eastwood, Spielberg talking thriller". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- The Queen writer to pen new Bond, BBC News, 13 June 2009
- Eden, Richard (10 April 2010). "Sam Mendes in James Bond mystery". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group).
- "Writer Announced for Freddie Mercury Biopic". Rolling Stone. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
- Hemley, Matthew (29 August 2010). "Horowitz, Wainwright and Morgan create three new dramas for ITV1". The Stage Online. Retrieved on 29 August 2010.
- Profile in the Observer, September 2006
- Peter Morgan at the Internet Movie Database
- Peter Morgan: Screenwriting Lecture part of the BAFTA Screenwriters on Screenwriting series.