The Genius of Good Will Hunting

Will Hunting is a genius with a giant chip on his shoulder. He's a self-taught prodigy from South Boston who has recently been released on probation. His first two assigned psychiatrists are teased and tormented so much that they refuse to work with him, but he eventually finds a partner in Dr. Sean, a community college teacher.

The two have a rocky start, which ends with Sean's hand around Will's throat, but they slowly become friends. Will also meets and falls in love with Skylar (Minnie Driver), a pre-med student at Harvard. However, he pushes her away when he tries to get too close. Actress Minnie Driver says she was initially told she wasn't hot enough for the role of Skylar in the Oscar-winning film Good Will Hunting.

Rob Reiner, the director of Castle Rock production company, purchased the screenplay for “Good Will Hunting” and suggested that they leave the whole thriller and focus on Will and his therapist. They also received some advice from director Terrence Malick, who suggested that they finish the film with Will going to California to follow Skylar, which is in fact how the film ends. Nobel laureate in Physics Sheldon Glashow of Harvard told Damon that the subject should be mathematics rather than physics in an early version of the script. Much of “Good Will Hunting” was shot in Toronto, including scenes set inside MIT and Harvard.

Part of the reason Affleck and Damon were able to become big stars after “Good Will Hunting” is that the film was a massive success. At the end of “Good Will Hunting”, Ben Affleck's character, Chuckie, is happy to discover that Will has left South Boston to chase Skyler and get out of town. The blackboard in the main hall is used twice to reveal Will Hunting's talent, first to the public and second to Professor Lambeau. Goldman was a consultant on “Good Will Hunting”, which led to a long-standing rumor that he had done a strong doctorate in the screenplay, perhaps even being largely responsible for it.

Goldman consistently denied the persistent rumor that he wrote Good Will Hunting or acting as a screenwriter. At first glance, Good Will Hunting is about a mathematical genius with a giant chip on his shoulder, who wastes his potential drinking in bars and fighting in the streets. However, Driver has moved on from the Good Will Hunting years and has developed an impressive career, effectively silencing detractors. Although Good Will Hunting is best known as a showcase for Damon, Affleck and Williams, there's no doubt that Skylar from Driver played a key role in the overall story. In the 1990s, struggling actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon wrote Good Will Hunting and sold it to Miramax for more than a million dollars.

Dorothy Magni
Dorothy Magni

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