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Overview for W.D. Richter
W.D. Richter

W.D. Richter


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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 7, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New Britain, Connecticut, USA Profession: Writer ... screenwriter producer director studio story analyst associate producer


Versatile writer and sporadic producer-director of offbeat genre features of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Richter debuted as a screenwriter and associate producer with "Slither" (1973), a quirky yet popular caper/road movie starring James Caan. The success of this film propelled him to the front ranks of Hollywood screenwriters and, for awhile, Richter was one of the industry's highest paid writers.

Richter's next several projects were affectionate genre pastiches. "Peeper" (1975) was a failed satire of 40s detective movies. He collaborated with director Peter Bogdanovich on "Nickelodeon" (1976), a heartfelt if uneven tribute to the early days of Hollywood filmmaking starring Ryan O'Neal, Burt Reynolds and Tatum O'Neal. Richter also scripted Philip Kaufman's creepy remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1978) as the paranoid fantasy of a West Coast conspiracy theorist. His sympathetic interpretation of "Dracula" (1979), starring Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier, received mixed reviews.

Richter's earnest screenplay for "Brubaker" (1980), a popular prison reform movie starring Robert Redford, earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. He dabbled in light romantic comedy with "All Night Long" (1981) starring Gene Hackman and Barbra Streisand. Richter made his directorial debut with "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai" (1984), a madcap, tongue-in-cheek sci-fi "serial" starring Peter "Robocop" Weller, Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Lloyd. Though largely incoherent to most, the film has developed a fervent cult following. Richter did not receive another screen credit for seven years until he produced and directed "Late For Dinner," an offbeat comedy drama about the aftermath of a cryonics experiment. He returned to screenwriting with a horror film, "Needful Things" (1993) where he faced the frightening task of adapting Stephen King's 736-page novel to the screen.

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