But before his latest projects take the stage, however, it'll be his turn as the Milwaukee Film Festival celebrates his stellar career Saturday night with "An Evening with Paul Attanasio" at p.m. Before Attanasio gets peppered with questions then, On Milwaukee got a chance to ask him some of our own about his career, the state of film and TV and the state of a certain local baseball team that he might have some family ties to.On Milwaukee.com: When did you start getting interested in film and film writing?Less than a decade later, Attanasio put on his executive producer hat and helped bring "House," one of the most successful network TV shows in the past 10 years, to the small screen.Now, he's doing rewrites to a big-screen reboot of "Scarface" (only two beloved movies to live up to; no pressure) and writing the high-profile new Showtime series "The Vatican" (once again, no pressure).There's a mentality in Hollywood that critics don't know anything.Well, they do know something, and I'm not the only one who's done it. OMC: Right now, you're working on a remake of "Scarface." What is it like taking on such a high-profile character that people love so much? The original 1932 film was one of the best movies Hollywood ever made and was written by one of my heroes, Howard Hawks.PA: Well, he's said that it was a disappointing year. That said, I think you've got incredible young talent on that team, with Gomez, Segura, Khris Davis.
In the '90s, the critic-turned-screenwriter was nominated for two Academy Awards – one for "Quiz Show," another for "Donnie Brasco" – along with a stack of numerous other awards.It was bad, but good enough to get a job with Jerry Bruckheimer and the late Don Simpson. It was like going over the wall or the spy who came in from the cold, from being a critic to being on the other side.I had a job, and I had kind of a compelling story because very few film critics are able to make the transition. I think all the critics at the time were rooting for me because it was validation.PA: What happened was they had fired their film critic – Gary Arnold, a good film critic – and then they couldn't replace him. OMC: How do you feel about the current state of film criticism?
Everybody they tried to get to replace him wouldn't move to Washington. PA: I think film critics really perform a valuable function.
I was thrown into the deep end of the pool and really had to learn about film and how to use that platform to learn about film.