Director Peter Weir returns to movie directing after 7 years

“It would have been different,” said the Australian director Peter Weir, whose new film, “The Way Back,” is his first in more than seven years, “if I’d changed professions during those years, or done nothing but read and hang about.” But since his previous movie, “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” he has worked on three different projects that fell through, he said: “So if I can use the analogy of a pilot, for those five or six years I was constantly inside the simulator, doing a lot of writing, thinking about how to make a story work on the screen.” He paused. “As is the purpose of the simulator, you create all kinds of difficulties for yourself to overcome, so by the time of the actual flight you’ve been through it in a sense.”

Russell Crowe portrays Capt.”Lucky” Jack Aubrey who commands a British navy fighting ship in the new film “Master and Commander The Far Side of the World”

It’s amazing to think that a filmmaker as experienced, as respected and as successful as Mr. Weir — four times nominated for a best director Oscar — could have been stuck in that simulator for so long. But, as one of his “Way Back” stars, Jim Sturgess, put it, “It’s kind of a scary cinematic climate at the moment.” And the weather is perhaps especially inhospitable to the ambitious, adventurous sorts of movies Mr. Weir is happiest making. (This film, with a relatively modest $30 million budget, had to be produced independently.)

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Directors, New Movies


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