Ismail Merchant
Merchant-Ivory Productions
(Howard’s End, Remains of the Day, Surviving Picasso)

"Jim Ivory had read the book Remains of the Day
when we were doing Mr. & Mrs. Bridge in Kansas City.
He told me to find the rights. We found out the rights were with
[someone else]. We were disappointed, but from time to time we made
inquiries. [Columbia] was going into production. They were planning to
do it. There were other directors who came in -- Sydney Pollack,
Mike Newell -- previously when Mike Nichols had [been on
board] the budget had been $28 million. Columbia didn’t
want to go forward on that kind of money. And we kept
on making inquiries about whether the rights were
available to us. Finally they saw we could do
what nobody else could do. So Merchant-
Ivory was approached at the success of
Howard’s End. The producer’s title
(Mike Nichols & John Calley)
was still carried from the
earlier days of them
wanting to do the

"We all know; we also have experienced:
good scripts are far few to come by. If you are lucky
to have a writer like Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who is our collaborator,
you have to be so grateful. Because we have been given many, many scripts which come. And they are all very substandard. People pay
a lot of money to write substandard scripts."
(Out-takes from an interview) Copyright Q. Johnson


There is a revolution happening, one script at a time.

Screenmancer Staff
Executive Producer,