The Los Angeles Times has a long, interesting article on screenwriter Shane Black, whose Lethal Weapon not only kick-started the action genre, but also begat the million-dollar spec screenplay meme.

After considerable success, and a few disappointments, Shane sort of dropped off the face of Hollywood for a few years. He’s a neighbor of mine, but I never met him until the Austin Film Festival — we were on a panel together this year. He’s a bright and funny guy, and easily had the best explanation for how to keep a pitch engaging. Two words: “But then..!”

One thing the article makes clear is that success can have its own perils:

“The biggest task I had to face was managing to believe that I in any way deserved it,” Black said of his swift rise, “especially in light of all the people who had worked just as hard, as strenuously, but to whom it didn’t come quite so easily.”

In many ways, a professional athlete might experience the same thing. The difference is that an NBA player has to suit up and get on the court, while a screenwriter is free to hide himself away. Which is sort of what Shane did for a few years. He’s back with a new movie he wrote and directed, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which is set to come out in the fall.

You can read the whole article here.