Derek Haas co-wrote the screenplay 3:10 to Yuma, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. He also co-wrote the film Wanted, starring James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, and Angelina Jolie. The Silver Bear is his first novel. Derek lives in Los Angeles.
Question: What was your first movie to make it?
Derek Haas:First movie we wrote that was made was the sequel to The Fast and The Furious. It was called, Too Fast, Too Furious, which I still have a hard time saying. We always called it The Fast and The Furious 2 for months and months and months and then three weeks before the movie came out it became Too Fast, but that was a great experience for us. We had turned it down and our agents wisely told us- we didn’t have anything produced and Michael and I thought we were just above writing a big, dumb, action movie. We wanted to write big, smart, action movies and our agents wisely said this movie has a release date, this movie has a start date, so this could be your first credit and we were lucky enough that we hit it off with the director, John Singleton and we stayed on the movie all the way through from fade-in until 13 weeks of production, into the editing room and got to be a part of that movie all the way. It taught us a ton. It was a huge budget studio movie and fortunately, it did well. We always say it accomplished its goals. With that script, we just both said, rules be damned. You always hear write what you know and I grew up in the suburbs and Michael, too, and write what you know works if your dad is in the CIA or your mom’s a mafia boss or something but for us we said, “Screw write what you know, write what you think is cool.” And hopefully what we think is cool is what the rest of the audiences will think is cool, so we broke the form, we wrote camera moves in which is a big no-no when you’re learning to write scripts. We zigged every time we thought we would zag and we zagged every time we thought we would zig. It was a quirky thing, the timing was right, this was a few years after Pulp Fiction when studios were seeking those kind of down and dirty crime centered, quirky scripts so everything just hit at the right time. That advice of know all of the rules so that you can break them, is really what helped us.