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EXCLUSIVE: 'Captain America' & 'JP4' News

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Author Topic: EXCLUSIVE: 'Captain America' & 'JP4' News  (Read 267 times)
The Gillman
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« on: January 15, 2010, 07:18:23 am »

Those mundane horrors that can be worse than the fantastic...

Exactly!

When you signed on, one of your first goals was to rewrite the script. What was it that you thought was important to have in your telling of the wolfman?

I didn't want to rewrite it completely, but I did want to make the blood and the gore and the violence integral to the story. I didn't want any of the violent scenes to be gratuitous. I didn't want to splash it with blood just because I felt the audience wanted to see a lot of blood. I wanted to justify everything that we did. All the action sequences and all the violence and all the terror, I wanted them to come out of—and evolve from—the storytelling process. In the original script, there was a lot of what I thought was a lot of scenes that turned violent and bloody for no reason. I think because the writer was conscious of the fact that he was writing “the Wolfman” and want to infuse it with a lot of blood and gore. It's not that I objected to the violence, but I wanted it to mean something. So that was one of the earliest quests that we went on once I hired David Self: to rethink the story and justify everything we were doing. And I think it's a much stronger story because of that.

This is also your first R-rated film. On one hand, you now had the freedom to make a film that was more intensely violent than you'd done before, but you're coming from a background where your action hits haven't needed blood.

I felt that because of the history of this film, and the fact that we were essentially updating a classic, it deserved an R rating. The original script, there's no question that it was an R—in fact, it was probably an NC-17. But I didn't want to pull it back so much that it was PG-13 because I wanted it to be very dark, very brooding, and I wanted it to take what was a classic film from the 1940's and re-imagine it for a modern audience. Now, the original Wolf Man is probably PG. The violence is all implied and it happens off camera for the most part, or in silhouette. You don't really see anything. There's something quaint and charming about the way Lawrence Talbot transforms. You can tell they had Lon Cheney sort of strapped in a chair. He couldn't move and they just came in and applied some hair. Shot a frame and applied some more hair. For its day, it was as terrifying for an audience as our technology with CG and prosthetics. That's why the original film has so many fans today—it has charm. Of course, it's very dated, but it exists as a time capsule of how makeup effects used to be done.

That's what I love best, when an opportunity comes around to remake a classic film. We get to see how we've changed. It's the same outline, but the stories are new again because the zeitgeist is different. Is that freeing?

It is freeing in a way. This project was freeing for me in a lot of different ways and for a lot of different reasons. When I came on, I had three weeks of prep. Standard prep is 14, 16, 18 weeks sometimes, so I really had to hit the ground running. But I also realized that this is an opportunity to go completely on instinct. We didn't rehearse anything. Not that I really like to rehearse anyway. I just realized that this is going to be very interesting because the actors in a sense are coming together for the first time as these characters. It's almost like we're there in documentary style to film these actors as they come together in a story. To be able to justify going purely on instinct and say, 'I'm going to do what feels right—I'm not going to over-analyze it,' that is very liberating. You start shooting from the hip and what you find out is that usually you've made the right decision. When you over-think something, you will sometimes go in the wrong direction. You don't have a lot of people in your ear saying, 'What if you did this? And what if you do that?' In a way, it's much more personal because you're relying on instinct. In that way, it was a really interesting experience. It was almost like a student film.
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