Painter Mark Rothko was opinionated, annoying, and perhaps a little nuts. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) People have allegedly wept upon viewing his big canvases of blurry, floating rectangles of color (dubbed "multiforms" by critics) and still pay tens of millions for them.
John Logan, who also scripted the films Gladiator and Hugo, is comfortable with world-changing megalomaniacs, so he wrote the Tony-winning play Red about Rothko's adventures in creating a series of commissioned works for the new Four Seasons restaurant in New York in 1958. Though Rothko was tickled to beat out his contemporaries for the job, he ultimately returned his fee and kept the paintings. He feared that the chi-chi diners would like them too much -- his original intention was "to ruin the appetite of every son of a bitch who ever eats in that room."