That Was Then... This Is Now
|That Was Then... This Is Now|
|Directed by||Christopher Cain|
|Screenplay by||Emilio Estevez|
|Based on||That Was Then, This Is Now|
by S. E. Hinton
|Produced by||Gary R. Lindberg|
John M. Ondov
|Cinematography||Juan Ruiz Anchía|
|Edited by||Ken Johnson|
|Music by||Bill Cuomo|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$8,630,068 (United States)|
That Was Then... This Is Now is a 1985 American drama film based on the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was directed by Christopher Cain, distributed by Paramount Pictures, and stars Emilio Estevez (who also wrote the screenplay) and Craig Sheffer. This is the only S.E. Hinton adaptation not to feature Matt Dillon.
Mark Jennings' (Emilio Estevez) only link to society is the attachment he feels towards an older brother-figure. When Bryon Douglas (Craig Sheffer) starts spending time with a new girlfriend (Kim Delaney), Mark begins to feel even more alienated and gets involved with drugs and the police.
- Craig Sheffer as Bryon Douglas
- Emilio Estevez as Mark Jennings
- Jill Schoelen as Angela Shepard
- Larry B. Scott as Terry Jones
- Kim Delaney as Cathy Carlson
- Barbara Babcock as Mrs. Douglas
- Frank Howard as M&M Carlson
- Morgan Freeman as Charlie Woods
- Francis X. McCarthy as Mr. Carlson
- Diane Dorsey as Mrs. Carlson
- Ramon Estevez AKA Ramon Sheen as Mike Chambers
- Dan Lyon as "Car" Guy
- Sharon Thomas as Doctor
Emilio Estevez played Johnny Collins in Tex and Keith "Two-Bit" Matthews in The Outsiders. While making Tex in 1982, Estevez read That Was Then, This Is Now and he loved the book so much he wrote a screenplay.
"I wrote the screenplay before I even had the option on the book", he said. "I wanted to see if it would translate before I purchased the rights. . . . I just kept developing draft after draft, and it kept changing, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, and finally I came up with something that was acceptable."
"I talked to Susie (Hinton) and she said, 'I think you'd be terrific as one of the characters,' and I said, 'I think I should do it.' I tried peddling it around the studios but they all said, 'Let's wait and see how Tex and The Outsiders do.'"
The films of Tex, The Outsiders and Rumble Fish did not do particularly well at the box office. However Estevez became increasingly in demand as an actor, appearing in Repo Man, The Breakfast Club and St Elmo's Fire.
Estevez found two Midwest producers interested in making the film and they succeeded in raising the finance. One of them, Gary Lindberg, ran a production company that mostly made TV commercials, based in Minnesota.
Estevez did a rewrite of the film during the making of The Breakfast Club. "I'd go to work at 7 in the morning, come back at 7 at night and then write – sometimes until 5 in the morning – then get two hours sleep and do it all again. It was intense."
Estevez described the book as "a very intense, dark piece. It's kind of like the old Pat O'Brien-Jimmy Cagney movies where O'Brien becomes the priest and Cagney becomes the gangster." Estevez, against his father's suggestion, decided to tackle the Cagney-type role. "I told him I wanted to play the villain and he said, 'No, play the hero. Play the jock.' I said, 'No, because I just played that.' We had a huge argument about it, and he said, 'You don't want to play the bad guy,' and I explained to him that the bad guy was drawn so sympathetically that you understood why he had so many problems, why he was the way he was."
The character in question, Mark Jennings, had previously been played by Željko Ivanek in Tex (which takes place chronologically after That Was Then... This is Now). Estevez said, "There's probably a lot of him in me, the alter ego screaming to get out every once in a while. Fortunately, I was able to vent it in a film and not in real life."
Estevez said "we've been able to learn from the other" Hinton adaptations. "We made it very contemporary, hired a brilliant cinematographer. The cast is primarily unknowns so it has a real feel – you're not watching movie stars. The emotional content is so rich, so full, it's absolutely draining. It's a terrific movie."
Paramount picked up the film for distribution.
The film opened November 8, 1985 and finished sixth place for the weekend with a gross of $2,502,780, behind other openers such as Target and Translyvania 6-5000. It was a minor success at the box office, grossing $8.6 million. The film's critical reviews were mostly negative. The film currently holds a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 5 reviews.
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