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John Milius Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (44)  | Personal Quotes (21)

Overview (3)

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Birth NameJohn Frederick Milius
Nicknames The Dog Trainer
Viking Man

Mini Bio (1)

John Milius is a screenwriter and director who came to prominence in the 1970s, when he was associated with Francis Ford Coppola and the pre-Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) George Lucas. Born on April 11, 1944 in St. Louis, Missouri, Milius was one of the first movie industry professionals to be a film school graduate, having matriculated at the University of Southern California. In 1967, Milius won first prize at USC School of Cinema-for his student film Marcello, I'm Bored (1970).

A gun enthusiast, Milius serves as a member of the National Rifle Association's Board of Directors.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (3)

Elan Oberon (1992 - present)
Celia Milius (26 February 1978 - ?) ( divorced)
Renee Fabri (7 January 1967 - 20 January 1978) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Frequently casts Gerry Lopez
Films often reflect his conservative political beliefs
Liked to say outrageous things.

Trivia (44)

Attended Los Angeles City College and USC School of Cinema-Television, where he won an International Student Film Festival Award.
Is an avid gun collector.
Wrote the line, "Go ahead, make my day," for Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" character in Sudden Impact (1983).
Wrote "U.S.S. Indianapolis" scene in Jaws (1975).
Member of the NRA Board of Directors from 1995-2001. He currently serves on the Public Affairs and Shotgun Committees.
Is a personal friend of the Coen brothers and was the inspiration for the character of Walter in the The Big Lebowski (1998).
Milius, an avid gun collector, insisted that part of his payment for writing Jeremiah Johnson (1972) be in antique weapons.
Through his work, on Rough Riders (1997), he was instrumental in causing President Theodore Roosevelt to be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for acts of conspicuous gallantry on San Juan Hill.
Is one of the original founders of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
He wanted to direct The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) himself, but the producers were not keen on this and paid a record price to own the script outright - $300,000. He was dissatisfied with the final film.
Considers himself as a "zen anarchist".
Despite his political beliefs, he is an avid fan of director Spike Lee.
Is a close friend of MMA legends Rorion Gracie and Rickson Gracie and Jennifer Salt.
Was the inspiration for drag-racer John Milner (played by Paul Le Mat) in American Graffiti (1973).
Made an honorary member of the Sioux Nation, after his filming of Rough Riders (1997).
Turned down the role of Jack Lipnick in Barton Fink (1991).
Cigar smoker.
Despite making two films about Theodore Roosevelt, The Wind and the Lion (1975) and Rough Riders (1997), he considers himself too enamored with Roosevelt to ever make an actual biographical film about his life.
He was partially the basis for the character of Walter in the cult classic The Big Lebowski (1998).
Lost most of his fortune in the early naughts due to a corrupt accountant. Desperate to pay for his son's Law School tuition, he asked his friend David Milch to hire him as a staff writer for Deadwood (2004). Milch refused based on the absurdity of hiring a veteran screenwriter for entry-level work, and instead offered to simply pay the son's tuition in full. Milius later repaid Milch for the loan.
He didn't get on to well with Robert Redford and Sydney Pollack on Jeremiah Johnson (1972) and he was fired. Milius claims that his substitute "...couldn't write that stuff," and the only who contributed anything was Edward Anhalt. Redford and Pollack ultimately rehired Milis after Anhalt had left the project.
He is Jewish.
Suffered a severe stroke, and was treated for pancreatic cancer.
He wrote some pilots which did not go to series - Dodge City (circa 2005) - a Western series for CBS, and Saigon Bureau (2008) - about the AIP Bureau of photojournalists in the Vietnam War, a collaboration with Chris Noth based on the book Requiem. He also wrote a script about the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War, The Choisin Few for Mark Cuban's 2929 Entertainment, and The Iron Horsemen, a motorcycle feature.
He was going to direct an adaptation of Tom Clancy's novel Without Remorse with Gary Sinise and Laurence Fishburne, but the project folded in 1995 two weeks before shooting was to commence due to the financial collapse of Savoy Pictures.
When Steven Spielberg asked him to punch up the screenplay for Saving Private Ryan (1998), Milius suggested the Normandy cemetery bookends where Ryan, now an elderly hero of World War II, in a moment of survivor guilt, asks his wife "Did I live a good life?".
Sergio Leone courted him to write Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Milius, a fan of his, was enthusiastic about the idea; but Milius was working on The Wind and the Lion (1975) and the script for Apocalypse Now (1979), and could not commit to the project.
In 1986 it was reported that he was writing the script for Fatal Beauty (1987) which he hoped to direct with Cher the film was made by Tom Holland starring Whoopi Goldberg.
For years Milius was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association, where he was a leader (with Charlton Heston) in resisting a takeover attempt by advocates of the so-called Militia Movement.
He was instrumental during the startup of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) organization: it was his idea to use the octagon-shaped cage, and his association with UFC helped provide interest and investors to the startup UFC.
He worked on a script called Bad Iron, a biker movie written by Kent Anderson, which he intended to produce.
There was some talk in the 1980s that he would direct a movie for HBO, Capone, but it was not made.
His old agent, Mike Medavoy, helped establish Orion Pictures in 1978 and one of their first movies was going to be East of Suez, written and directed by Milius. It was not made.
In the early 2000s he worked on King Conan: Crown of Iron (2001-02), a sequel to Conan the Barbarian (1982).
He wrote Harlot's Ghost, for Francis Ford Coppola based on a novel by Norman Mailer; Milius described it as "a cross between The Godfather (1972) and Apocalypse Now (1979). It's about families and duplicity and danger, but this time provoked by the government.".
He developed Jornada del Muerto (Journey of Death) (2003), a biker film starring Paul Levesque and wrote a pilot for a TV show for UPN, Delta, about a military special ops team that takes on terrorists. Neither of these were made.
In 2000 Milius was hired to work as a creative consultant with the Institute for Creative Technologies to pre-visualize the challenges to peace that America will face and the advanced virtual reality technologies necessary to train U.S. troops for the future. "Through his enormous body of work, John has shown a deep understanding of the human condition and the ways that conflict can be resolved," said ICT executive director Richard Lindheim. "Furthermore our efforts will benefit greatly from his vision of the world in the near future, and the techniques and procedures that will be needed to maintain security.".
He was going to direct a film about Alexander the Great starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but that was put on hold when a mini series on the same topic was made by Italian TV.
In 1993 he replaced Andrey Konchalovskiy as director on The Northmen for Morgan Creek Productions, about an English monk who gets captured by a band of Vikings. "This was inevitable," Milius said of his directing a Viking film. "I've been a practicing pagan for a long time. Conan the Barbarian (1982) was really a Viking movie but it was disguised." However, financing fell through.
He was a passionate surfer for much of his life but gave it up when he turned fifty.
He planned to make a biopic of Senator Joseph McCarthy entitled The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy, but it was never made.
Warner Bros wanted him to update Dirty Harry (1971) and he wanted them to fund a version of The Iliad; there was also talk he would make The Alamo for HBO.
He was approached to write First Blood (1982) in the late 1970s.

Personal Quotes (21)

[on being rejected for military service due to asthma]: "I'm a very efficient director - it's my training in military tactics. I've trained my whole life to be a general but I never could. So I became the next best thing, a movie director."
[on the violence in Conan the Barbarian (1982) being rather essential]: "It's not that violent, although I was happy not to get an X rating. But if you said 'Conan the Barbarian' was rated PG, people would feel cheated. We weren't making 'Conan's Divorce', you know."
I love the bomb. It's sort of a religious totem to me. Like the plague in the Middle Ages, it's the hand of God coming out indiscriminantly to snatch you.
If there hadn't been an Arnold around for Conan, we would have had to create him". -Muscle & Fitness magazine, July 1982
I try to maintain a certain innocence toward my material. I like to say that I do what I do because I like it and that it's not preachy. When I try to put my finger on what I have to say, it's very vague. It's just an attitude. As Herman Melville put it in "Moby Dick": 'a free and easy desperado geniality.' That's my attitude. Melville was talking about men rowing into the mouth of a whale with their backs to it. I suppose that's what life is like.
I was watching Rush Limbaugh the other night, and I was horrified. I would have Rush Limbaugh drawn and quartered. He was sticking up for these Wall Street pigs. There should be public show trials, mass denunciations and executions.
[on Mexican drug traffickers] We need to go down there, kill them all, flatten the place with bulldozers so when you wake up in the morning, there's nothing there. I do believe if you have a military, you use it.
[on the "Do I feel lucky?" speech in Dirty Harry (1971)] I have a .44 Magnum, I love the .44 Magnum, in fact I still have the .44 Magnum that inspired that that line. The Second Amendment becomes more important every day.
I've led a whole life behind enemy lines. I've been the victim of so much persecution. I'm the barbarian of Hollywood.
Everything has style, everything's a bit larger than life and done with mischief. That's the way Conan is.
[on Conan the Barbarian (1982)] A feverish dream on acid.
You know, in fact, I am not a fascist. I am a total man of the people. They are the fascists [Hollywood critics]. They're creating the fascist society. I am much closer to a Maoist. However, I am a Zen anarchist. --In an interview with Ken Plume on ign.com
Luxuries and comforts are evil for humans.
[1982 interview] I love Apocalypse Now (1979)... That one movie justifies my career. I feel I really did something worthwhile by writing it. Even though I share credit (with Coppola) and I didn't direct it, it's a real piece of me.
[1982 interview] Whatever I say sounds okay when I say it, but when it's printed, it's awful. I end up being this terrible guy that has guns and likes to shoot hippies. They always take the humor out of what I say. 'Milius in Jack Boots and Leather Coat Says Facism Is On the Rise!', that kind of thing, or 'Para-Military Group Led By Director!'
[1982 interview] I will always be disliked by the Eastern critical establishment,
[In a 1982 interview] It's important to go out and do something in your life, to do something with tremendous commitment and dedication. Maybe put your life on he line to do it. It's important. It makes you a bigger person. We've gotten away from this. The pursuit of excellence - that's really one of the values I try to get into all the movies I do... It's all summed up so well in a surfer term - 'GGo for it!"
I consider The Wind and the Lion (1975) my first real movie. I approached it as a David Lean film, to do it in that style, a large epic canvas, to see id I could pull off great movements of troops. The story is even written that way. Two guys, the Rasuli and Teddy Roosevelt, yelling at each other across oceans.
[on Dillinger (1973)] I got very expensive as a writer, so I was able to make a deal with AIP, who'd have never been able to buy one of my scripts. I said I'll write whatever you want if I can direct it. I'd have paid them to direct. I looked at the gangsters of the time, and the one that had the most appeal was Dillinger. It was a subject I never would have chosen myself, but it allowed me to show how good I could do a gunfight, make the stuff cut together, make the story hold up, and make the actors act... I like it (the violence) because it's real. There are consequences in "Dillinger." You rob a bank, people are going to start shooting, and people are going to get hurt and shot. They run over a woman leaving the bank because that's what they did. They wee desperate. But you don't dwell on it. You don't dwell on the bullet hole and blood pulsing out.
A lot happens in old movies. Ideas were communicated. Ford's The Searchers (1956), for example. Sure, it's a story about a guy searching for his niece, but it's also a movie about the family. It's a movie about pioneering and what it is to be a pioneer, what it is to put yourself out on a limb. It's a movie about doing your job.
[on Francis Ford Coppola] Francis is the best of us all. He has the most talent and the most daring. There are a lot of faults in Francis, but I think he's the leader.

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