Category Archives: Film Producer

Behind Lawrence Bender’s Good Will Hunting Success

Good Will Hunting is a 1997 film produced by Lawrence Bender and directed by Gus Van Sant. The script was written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, both of whom played in the film. The movie also starred Stellan Skarsgard and Minnie Driver. Robin Williams starred therapist and college professor Sean Maguire, a role that netted him an Academy Award win.

Damon starred in the title role as Will Hunting, a self-taught genius. Affleck played his working-class best friend, Chuckie Sullivan. Hunting, who had a tumultuous youth, finds himself on the wrong side of the law. His parole required him to maintain employment, and he secured a position as a janitor at M.I.T., one of the most prestigious technical institutes in the United States.

Will discovers an unsolved mathematical equation on a hallway chalkboard while working and solves the equation. Professor Lambeau, who posted the problem, discovers Will’s legal problems and brokers a deal with the judge: Will was to assist Professor Lambeau at the university and undergo counseling. Will does not enjoy his time with Sean or Professor Lambeau. He complicates his relationship with the math instructor and girlfriend, Skylar, while eventually opening up to Sean about his traumatic childhood. Will’s friendship with Chuckie strengthens as Chuckie challenges Will to reach his full potential.

The film, which worked within a $10 million budget, scored big at the box office. Good Will Hunting netted more than $220 million and received favorable reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 97% approval rating out of 70 reviews.

Lawrence Bender launched his film industry career in the 80s and worked on the series Tales from the Darkside. He went on to produce some of the most favored movies in pop culture including Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol. 1, and Inglorious Basterds. Lawrence Bender also produced An Inconvenient Truth,a documentary that brought heightened awareness to climate change.

Bender attended the University of Maine where he majored in civil engineering. He graduated in 1979 and started a career in dance, but an injury forced him to switch careers. Lawrence Bender’s films have received a total of 29 Academy Award nominations and netted six.