Tony Kushner is essentially a dramatist, and is likely to remain so despite increasing opportunitie s t o writ e fo r film an d television . As early a s 1990 , Universal Pictures optioned Kushner's Corneille adaptation, The Illusion, with a screenplay by Kushne r fo r a film tha t ha s ye t t o b e made . I n 1995 , the possibilit y tha t Kushner would write a shooting script for a projected Warner Brothers film, The Mayor of Castro Street, abou t th e life o f Harve y Milk, with Dusti n Hoffma n i n the lead role , was announced, but i t did no t pan out . Considerable pres s atten - tion wa s focuse d o n a possibl e collaboratio n betwee n Kushne r an d legendar y filmmaker Robert Altman to film Angels as one or two films. Unfortunately, thi s collaboration ended , after whic h i t was announced tha t Mike Nichols would be directing th e Angels film(s) for HBO . As o f 2001 , production ha d no t com - menced, bu t Kushne r ha d complete d anothe r screenplay-als o a s ye t unpro - duced-providing example s o f hi s theatrica l imaginatio n whic h is , i n man y respects, cinematic. Kushner worries about a shift to screenwriting, which he sees as "primarily a narrative art":
I don't think that's true of playwriting, which is dialogic and dialectic, and is fundamentally always more about an argument than it is about narrative progression. I suspect, in fact, that novel writing and screenwriting have more in common than playwriting has with either of the other forms. So, yes , I' m very worried about it,
because I think tha t a lot o f talented playwright s wound u p producing muc h les s than the y shoul d have , an d progressin g les s surel y tha n the y ough t t o have , because they'v e spen t a certain amoun t o f thei r creativ e lif e doodlin g aroun d i n Hollywood. (Hawthorne )
In his screenplays , Kushner carrie s ove r themes, language, and characters , as well as his politics, from hi s theater work .