Marc Maron Shares Details On The “Bleak” Script He Co-Wrote With Lynn Shelton & Says He’s Still Considering Making It
Feb 13, 2023
Marc Maron might be one of the most famous podcasters in the world, but let’s not forget he cut his teeth and made his career in stand-up. His terrific new HBO Original stand-up comedy special “Marc Maron: From Bleak To Dark” debuted this past weekend and is now available to stream on HBO Max. The special is funny, insightful, and empathetic, and also cuts to the core of today’s political discourse—Maron has kinda had it with the conspiracy theorists, the Qanon heads, the wackos, and the galaxy brain thinkers, and he takes them all to task.
READ MORE: Marc Maron Remembers His Partner, Lynn Shelton, In Emotional New Podcast
It’s a hilarious and deeply personal hour, and Maron explores such universal topics as getting older, antisemitism and faith, and the superiority of having cats over children— especially during the pandemic
There’s the elephant in the room, too, and Maron eventually addresses it head-on. During the height of the pandemic, in May 2020, Maron lost his romantic partner, the filmmaker Lynn Shelton. Known for her associations with the mumblecore movement but also humanist and vibrant small-scale indies, “Your Sister’s Sister,” “Touchy Feely,” and “Outside In,” Shelton died suddenly of acute myeloid leukemia at the age of 54, after several days of ill health.
Shelton’s tragic and untimely death shocked the film world and upended Maron’s life. He speaks emotionally and candidly in the special about his time with Shelton, their work together, and more.
I recently caught up with Maron about the special—full conversation soon— and like the special, I had to address Shelton too eventually. One of the subjects I brought up specifically was the “domestic dramedy “screenplay that Maron and Shelton were writing together before her death.
Maron was not only very open to talking about Shelton, their collaboration, and that screenplay, but he said he was also not entirely ruling out making the screenplay one day. While clearly still conflicted about what to do with it, he did reveal that he sent the script to filmmaker Nicole Holofcener (“Enough Said,” “Friends With Money”) to get her feedback on it, and it’s been obviously on his mind.
“That script, look…” Maron said with a pause. “Her old friend and publicist has been pestering me about it, and I actually sent what I had to Nicole Holofcener to look at, but I dunno, man, if I want to pull the trigger on it.”
“I love the story of it,” he continued, “But it really would have required [Lynne], and it would require somewhat of a real kind of overhaul, I dunno. Oddly that script existed for us; in a weird way, it was what brought us together and really what we built our relationship around. We knew we liked each other, but we were both with other people, so it was one of the only ways we could spend time with each other regularly. So it never got done for a couple of reasons.”
I’d asked if the screenplay was born out of their “Sword Of Trust,” movie collaboration, her final film and one that Maron stars in, and he corrected the timeline a little bit.
“Well, it was born out of Lynne wanting to make a movie with me,” he explained. “So we were going to write this movie, and then she lost patience with that, and she went out and came up with ‘Sword Of Trust’ with [screenwriter] Michael O’Brien and then put me at the center of it. So that was her way of making a move with me.”
Maron even enthusiastically shared details of the screenplay unprompted. “Let me tell you something, dude, the one we were writing on was bleak,” he shared. “I mean, it’s bleak. It focuses on a pair of brothers, one of whom is dying, and in light of Lynn passing the way she did, there are bits and pieces of that screenplay that were sort of similar to what she went through; it’s creepy.”
More from this conversation soon, but if you haven’t seen “Marc Maron: From Bleak To Dark,” dial it up on HBO Max as soon as you can; it’s a great treat.
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