Screenwriting team hit it big with summer blockbusters

Everyone knows that screenwriters get no respect in Hollywood. But that goes double -- or maybe triple -- for the screenwriters who work on Jerry Bruckheimer movies. Whenever you read a batch of reviews about the latest Bruckheimer picture, as you will later this week when "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" hits the theaters, you can pretty much be certain that if the screenwriters are mentioned at all, it is with derision and scorn, as if they were completely in cahoots with the legendary action producer's efforts to dumb down another big-screen extravaganza.

But as it turns out, the view from the screenwriters' perspective is altogether different. Over the years, I've bumped into a number of writers who've worked on Bruckheimer projects, almost all of whom have spoken well of the experience, saying that the 64-year-old producer is a true old pro, a shrewd judge of storytelling and surprisingly collaborative, at least in the sense that as long as you buy into his overriding cinematic philosophy -- movies as mass-production vehicles -- he always wants to hear what everyone in the room has to say before he makes a decision.

Perhaps that's why so many talented writers gravitate into the Bruckheimer orbit, the latest recruits being Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard, who share writing credits on both of the producer's big movies this summer, "Prince of Persia" and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," due out in mid-July. As it turns out, Miro and Bernard have quite a back story. Born on exactly the same day in 1972, the 38-year-old writers have been best friends since they first met in the second grade in suburban Detroit.

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