A Young Writer Accepts a Challenge
To understand the story of Apocalypse Now, we have to go back to the beginning. The story all started with screenwriter John Milius. Born in St. Louis, Milius spent much of his youth reading stories and writing them, too, trying to imitate the styles of his favorite authors like Ernest Hemingway, Herman Melville, or Joseph Conrad.
One of the many novels he read in his youth was Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. His college English professor, a man named Irwin Blacker, once told Milius and his classmates that nobody had ever made a successful film adaptation of the story. For Milius, this was a challenge, and he was ready to accept it.