First, Boston Magazine gives ‘Good Will Hunting’ the oral history treatment:
[Ben] Affleck: We came up with this idea of the brilliant kid and his townie friends, where he was special and the government wanted to get their mitts on him. And it had a very Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run sensibility, where the kids from Boston were giving the NSA the slip all the time. We would improvise and drink like six or twelve beers or whatever and record it with a tape recorder. At the time we imagined the professor and the shrink would be Morgan Freeman and De Niro, so we’d do our imitations of Freeman and De Niro. It was kind of hopelessly naive and probably really embarrassing in that respect.
[Producer Chris] Moore: They wrote a great script, and I read it and was like, “This is one of the best scripts I have ever read, and I would love to produce it.” The three of us agreed we would try to get it made.
Clearly, it turned out differently. As much as I love GWH (and I love it like the child I’ve never had), I think I would prefer to watch the original buddy comedy version of the movie.
Anyway, Boston.com decided to get in on the action by doing a here-and-now on the shooting locations. RIP: The Tasty.
And this is where I tell you that I got to see the film being shot in Harvard Square. It was really the first time I think I got to see something like that happen. At the time, it was billed as Robin Williams is shooting some movie that takes place in Boston. Oh, and if you ever buy me a drink I’ll be sure to tell you about the time I ran into Ben and Casey Affleck at the Crimson (post-GWH), made fun of Casey for spending the entire night playing Pac-Man — only I didn’t know it was him — and developed mad respect for Ben Affleck handling post-GWH fame that I have even defended him for Gigli to this day.