On Writing the Dallas Buyers Club

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This week on On Story we’ll hear from screenwriter Craig Borten on writing the 2013 film Dallas Buyers Club which starred Matthew McConaughey. Borten is best known for his Oscar-nominated script for the 2013 film Dallas Buyers Club.

After hearing about Ron Woodroof, the original founder of the "Dallas Buyers Club" for the distribution of unapproved HIV medications, in the early 1990s, and interviewing Woodroof in 1992, Borten decided to write a screenplay about Woodroof and his buyer's club. He successfully sold the script in 1996, but shortly afterward the production company that had bought it dissolved. In 2001, he rewrote the script with Melisa Wallack and in 2009, Borten and Wallack were able to cast Matthew McConaughey and secure funding for the film's production. The film was released in 2013, more than two decades after Borten met Woodroof, and more than 15 years after selling his first version of the script. Dallas Buyers Club received numerous accolades, including Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Moderator Fred Strype spoke with Borten at the Austin Film Festival.

Clips of Dallas Buyers Club courtesy of Truth Entertainment & Dallas Buyers Club, LLC

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