Mel Brooks says Gene Wilder didn't want Young Frankenstein filming to end: 'I'm happy here'

Mel Brooks is sharing some sweet memories from bringing Young Frankenstein to life with his close friend and collaborator Gene Wilder.

The director was asked about a moment with Wilder, who died in 2016, that made him smile during a Reddit AMA on Monday. In response, Brooks shared a heartwarming anecdote from when the pair filmed Young Frankenstein together in which Wilder, who starred as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, told him that he wished it would never end.

"There are many, but the one that stands out for me was on the final day of filming on Young Frankenstein," Brooks wrote. "When it was all over Gene said to me, 'You know, I really don't want to go home. I want to stay here. I love it here. I'm happy here. You think we could make up a few more scenes to film?'"


Everett Collection Teri Garr, Peter Boyle, Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, and Mel Brooks

Young Frankenstein was Brooks and Wilder's third film together after previously joining forces on 1967's The Producers and 1974's Blazing Saddles. In addition to their respective roles in front of and behind the camera, they also co-wrote the horror-comedy's screenplay, which went on to become a box office hit.

The film centered around Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced 'Fronkensteen'), who succeeds in his grandfather's mission to raise the dead. It also starred Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Gene Hackman, and, of course, Peter Boyle as its infamous creature. In the years since its release, it has been adapted into a Broadway musical and continues to hold a special place in Brooks' heart.

"I hate actors," Brooks previously told EW in 2007. "But [on Young Frankenstein] I had lunch with them every day, because I liked that cast so much, between Madeline Kahn, and Teri Garr, Marty Feldman, and Gene, Peter Boyle. We had a magnificent company of players. I felt like an old-fashioned English theater manager taking a cast out into the country."

When discussing Wilder's greatest roles in 2016, EW's Anthony Breznican dubbed him "the master of tightly wound characters" in reference to his performance in Young Frankenstein. He added, "The script (which Wilder co-wrote) is silly stuff and often as low-brow as the suborbital ridge on Peter Boyle's monster, but Wilder perfectly spoofs the fronting arrogance we all possess when we know only enough to get into trouble, but not enough to get out of it."

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