"I look at real life and I'm going, 'This is like a time warp,'" says Albert Brooks, who watched some of his 1987 film Broadcast News recently. "That scene where they're letting people go and consolidating all that's been happening."
The struggles in Broadcast News aren't just over corporate downsizing, but balancing journalistic ideals with the need for ratings-grabbing news. As Brooks observes: "The news business is still undergoing a transformation, as recently as the Ted Koppel and David Letterman debacle."
Still, the movie didn't get seven Academy Award nominations (including best picture) for presenting a treatise on ethics and business. "It's a real [love] triangle movie," says Brooks.
Indeed, the romantic struggles among overlooked reporter Aaron Altman (Brooks), driven producer Jane Craig (Holly Hunter) and rising news-star Tom Grunnick (William Hurt) embody the film's moral conflict. Which may be the reason writer-director James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment) could not decide which man Jane should end up with. "I shot three different endings," the helmer reveals on Backstory: Broadcast News, a behind-the-scenes look at the movie airing tonight at 10:20 pm/ET on American Movie Classics.
"I hadn't seen the film in years, but every day of my life, I do a half hour on the treadmill," says Albert Brooks, who's currently busy writing a movie, recording the voice lead in Pixar's summer 2003 release, Finding Nemo, and soon begins filming Till Death Do Us Part with Michael Douglas. "That's the time to watch a movie again. But I only do a half hour. Even my own movies aren't good enough to keep me on the treadmill for an hour!"