The following letter was sent by Hunter S. Thompson to Holly Sorenson, executive at The Shooting Gallery, a film production company, regarding the proposed making of Hunter's novel, The Rum Diary, into a feature film.
Signed at top: Hunter S. Thompson, Woody Creek
Holly Sorenson / Shooting Gallery / Hollywood / Jan 22 '01
Okay, you lazy bitch, I'm getting tired of this waterhead fuckaround that you're doing with The Rum Diary.
We are not even spinning our wheels aggresivly. It's like the whole Project got turned over to Zombies who live in cardboard boxes under the Hollywood Freeway... I seem to be the only person who's doing anything about getting this movie Made. I have rounded up Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Brad Pitt, Nick Nolte & a fine screenwriter from England, named Michael Thomas, who is a very smart boy & has so far been a pleasure to talk to & conspire with...
So there's yr. fucking Script & all you have to do now is act like a Professional & Pay him. What the hell do you think Making a Movie is all about? Nobody needs to hear any more of that Gibberish about yr. New Mercedes & yr. Ski Trips & how Hopelessly Broke the Shooting Gallery is.... If you're that fucking Poor you should get out of the Movie Business. It is no place for Amateurs & Dilletants who don't want to do anything but "take lunch" & Waste serious people's Time.
Fuck this. We have a good writer, we have the main parts casted & we have a very marketable movie that will not even be hard to make....
And all you are is a goddamn Bystander, making stupid suggestions & jabbering now & then like some half-bright Kid with No Money & No Energy & no focus except on yr. own tits.... I'm sick of hearing about Cuba & Japs & yr. Yo-yo partners who want to change the story because the violence makes them Queasy.
Shit on them. I'd much rather deal with a Live asshole than a Dead worm with No Light in his Eyes.... If you people don't want to Do Anything with this movie, just cough up the Option & I'll talk to someone else. The only thing You're going to get by quitting and curling up in a Fetal position is relentless Grief and Embarrassment. And the one thing you won't have is Fun...
Okay, That's my Outburst for today. Let's hope that it gets Somebody off the dime. And if you don't Do Something QUICK you're going to Destroy a very good idea. I'm in the mood to chop yr. fucking hands off.
<-- Signature -->
I have attempted to keep the original feel as much as possible, and have emphasized the parts Hunter did, and even kept his spelling mistakes.
Harry, over at Ain't It Cool News, was the first to get his hands on this letter.
At the bottom, Hunter scribbled a "cc" list. The letter went to Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Nick Nolte and B. Monkey screenwriter Michael Thomas, all of whom were mentioned in the letter as connected to The Rum Diary. But while he was at it, Mr. Thompson fired off copies to friends and colleagues, seemingly at random as their connection to the project is tenuous at best. Mr. Nolte’s partner in Kingsgate Films, Greg Shapiro; Mr. Thompson’s friend, legal advisor and President Clinton’s former National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger; Mr. Thompson’s editor, Doug Brinkley; and actor John Cusack all received their own souvenir copies of the note.
But a month after sending the letter, Mr. Thompson had only warmth for Ms. Sorenson. "Not everybody would take that letter with any real grace and humor," he said. "But she called me after that and said I’m the only person who could write her hate mail and make her smile. I like her."
Indeed, Ms. Sorenson seemed pretty chill about the exchange. She said that work on The Rum Diary is proceeding apace, and that she’s very excited about the project. As for Mr. Thompson’s phone calls, she said she would return them faster "if Hunter didn’t insist on calling me at 3 a.m."