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Sarah Michelle Gellar in ’The Grudge 2’ ? - Raimi & Tapert Interview
By Andrew Weil
vendredi 4 février 2005, par Webmaster
Raimi & Tapert on Evil Dead, The Grudge 2 and Spidey !
Boogeyman, which was produced by Ghost House Pictures’ Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert (they also brought horror hit The Grudge to the big screen), opens today with an eye to the top spot at the box office. ComingSoon.net talked to both Raimi and Tapert about their upcoming projects, including two new entries in the "Evil Dead" franchise, The Grudge 2, and Spider-Man 3, scheduled for a May 4, 2007 release.
CS : What do you think of the backlash against an Evi Dead remake ?
Sam Raimi : Well, I respect the fans and their wishes, and more than anything, Rob and I want to please the fans of the films. But I’ve never thought that making a film ever takes away from an existing film. No matter what you do, they’re just two separate realities. Evil Dead was made by Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell and myself, in 1979 we were shooting it. It bridged over into 1980. It was a 16mm film and although we think it was effective in a lot of ways, we actually think that it’s not like it couldn’t be improved in so many ways, from characterizations - there’s like no real characterizations - the dialogue is not very good, the photography is like I mentioned 16mm, we had a small lighting kit. I think Tom Sullivan did a great job with the makeup but if he was given a little more time and a little better budget, I think he could have even gone further. And I love Bruce Campbell, so I don’t think you ever replace Bruce but I just think there’s a lot that a new director could bring to it that I didn’t. I’m kind of excited to see it be born again in a strange way. I think it could be a lot of fun for the fans of the first one, and I think there are so many people that have never seen the thing that it’s exciting to realize that gee, that horror story we told could be retold to a much larger audience, and maybe if it was told in a finer quality, maybe they would like it.
CS : Would it be grounds for a new trilogy ?
Raimi : I haven’t thought that far ahead.
CS : Would it be PG-13 like the other Ghost House movies ?
Rob Tapert : I think that would be a mistake.
Raimi : No, I don’t think so.
CS : Would remaking it seal the doors for a part four ? Wouldn’t Evil Dead IV confuse people then ?
Raimi : Oh, I think the fans are really smart. I don’t think they’d be confused. I’d like to make a part four. There’s this very small audience for Evil Dead IV, and if we ever make a movie called Evil Dead IV, which I’d like to make with Rob at some point and starring Bruce Campbell, I’m not saying there’s a million people, but there’s 100,000 people that will know exactly what it is and that’s about as big as the crowd is, honestly. It’s not a giant crowd. They’re a great crowd.
Tapert : And you might have to call it Army of Darkness II oddly enough because only the fans really knew that that was Evil Dead III. Even the people at Universal Home Video called us up one time and said, "We want to do a direct to video Army of Darkness II because that’s a really good title." We said, "No, that’s really Evil Dead III." They said, "Oh, well, we don’t care about that Evil Dead stuff but the Army of Darkness was really good." They’re totally confused.
CS : Will Bruce be involved ?
Raimi : Evil Dead IV would just be made with Bruce, but if we make a new Evil Dead movie, which we’re hoping to produce, Rob and I would try to get a young director with brand new ideas with his own cast and his own take on the thing.
CS : No Bruce cameo ?
Raimi : I don’t know.
Tapert : Bruce has said no. He said he’d rather wait and do something else rather than strictly playing a cameo.
CS : What are his feelings on the remake talk ?
Tapert : The only thing that Bruce has asked is that nobody is called Ash. He wants to sit on that name.
CS : How far out are you ?
Raimi : We’re way out in development. We’re waiting to find the right director for the project, that thinks he can really bring something new to it so that we can say to the fans, "We really believe in this guy. He loves the material. He’s got a great new take on it. He’s told us all these different ways he can improve it. And therefore we can go ahead with a clean conscience thinking it’s going to be a really good project, something that the fans would like."
CS : Would it be a Ghost House release ?
Raimi : Would it be, Rob ?
Tapert : I don’t know. Meaning, eventually it’ll probably end up back in the Ghost House library. We actually haven’t even thought about it.
Raimi : It’s probably not, but we don’t know.
CS : Did Bruce want to do Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash ?
Raimi : He might have been. I don’t want to speak for Bruce. I don’t really know how he felt about it.
CS : What do you look for in a young director ?
Raimi : Somebody that can create really good characters, because I think that would be a great way to improve Evil Dead. Somebody with a real desire to terrify the audience, that has a morbid, sick fascination with punishing them. Someone who is really a great visualist, good campfire storyteller.
CS : More scary than funny now ?
Raimi : Well, the Evil Dead movie was always intended to be the scariest movie we could make with elements of black humor. Then Evil Dead II, we tried to change the balance of that and mostly make a dark comedy that had elements of a horror film. But to remake Evil Dead 1, that much I would like to insist upon, our goal and the goal of this director should be to terrify the audience in a very intense, and merciless way.
Tapert : As Sam would say, to punish them.
CS : When do you start Grudge 2 ?
Tapert : Grudge 2, we’re working on the script right now. Shimizu San and Taka were here for about two weeks, and sending treatments back and forth, ideally off to script in the next month or so.
CS : Takashi Shimizu would direct again ?
Tapert : That’s the intention. Based on him being here, there’s a deal, there’s everything, he said he loves it, he wants to do it. if he came back tomorrow and said no, he wasn’t going to, he would legally be able to do that but I think everybody’s aboard. Certainly Taka’s aboard and we desperately think Shimizu san is fantastic.
CS : Will Sarah Michelle Gellar be Back ?
Tapert : We loved working with Sarah and right now our intention is to use her character in the sequel. It’s really her decision if she wants to come back and do it, but we loved the experience and love working with her and think she was not only an asset to bringing in an audience but to taking an American cast and an all Japanese crew and working in a strange land, she was the camp leader. She was the one who when the new people came over, she rallied, ’Hey, let’s go out to dinner, let’s go to the fish market, let’s do all those things.’ So she was really kind of the beacon for all the non Japanese speaking people who came to Japan. So to work with somebody like that again would be great.
CS : You’ve decided on the Spider-Man 3 villain. Has he been established in your previous films or starting a new story ?
Raimi : Actually, I’m not at liberty to say because I think Sony corporation, they’re very particular about the presentation of the Spider-Man story aspects to the press. So it’s really in their hands. When they decide they want to release the villain, I think then they’ll make some formal presentation. They’ll probably have a mock up of what he looks like and announce the actor that they’re going to cast. I think because they’ve done this in the past. I haven’t yet talked to them about it if that’s how they want to put it forward, so I don’t think I’m at liberty to say ?
CS : What is the theme ?
Raimi : I can’t say yet. I’m sorry.
CS : You don’t know ?
Raimi : No, I know. But I want to allow Sony really to say when they want to say what aspects of the film they want to put out to the public. I think they’re just thinking it’s way too early and people have just had enough of Spider-Man for the time being. They want to give him a rest. And when it comes time in a year or year and a half to start talking about that movie, to start getting the audience interested, I think then they want to probably make their presentation around then.
Tapert : Bruce, I think he’s more in touch with the fans all the time over Evil Dead, he was the one who came back and said, "Oh, there’s this huge backlash. People don’t want to do it." And of all the crazy people, our original investors who would profit from it said, ’Geez, we don’t know why you’d even do it. We’ve done very well, but...’ But there is somebody out there who is going to be able to reinvent that movie for a whole new group of people who are never going to experience it in a theatrical event. And it really, even though it’s great DVD, it’s a great theatrical experience. To bring that to a whole new generation and a whole new group of people with somebody who wants to honor the first movie and take it to the next level of entertainment, in building the better roller coaster so to speak, we would be denying the people who originally like it and the people who will never see it and experience it that opportunity if we don’t at least investigate to the best of our ability how can we go about that task.
CS : If you don’t get a script or director, will you abandon it ?
Raimi : I would say we’d put it on hold. I don’t think we’d abandon it, but we won’t make it unless we have a really good script and a really great director, somebody we feel is just right for it.
CS : Is there anything you can tell about Spider-Man 3 ?
Raimi : I’m really not at liberty to honestly. I can tell you I think what you probably already know if you’re interested and that is that Alvin Sargent is hard at work on the screenplay now. My brother Ivan and I turned in a few different drafts of stories and we finally decided on one direction we wanted to go. I am starting to work with my storyboard artist now. A lot of the guys that worked with me on the last two Spider-Man pictures, coming up with the visuals, starting to design some of the action sequences. I’m having the first discussions now with Sony Pictures Imageworks on how to create some of these different characters. What improvements, for instance, would we do to Spider-Man. They’ll be subtle and the audience probably won’t even be aware of them but to that character specifically, how will we improve his style of movement, his density, the sense of weight ? How can we take the next step ? Where did we fail and what should we do about it to bring it to the next level ? I’m really trying to shoot for a level of reality that we haven’t yet achieved yet with Spider-Man films.
CS : Will you make the release date ?
Raimi : I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll make it because there are so many things that have to come together very, very quickly now and it’s hard to be able to say if they’re all on course and a lot of them depend on the success of others. So it’s a guessing game. But the answer is actually I must be ready, because Sony’s demanding that release date. So I’m just going to say yes, I’ll be ready. 2007.
CS : And when will you start shooting ?
Raimi : Well, I’m actually going to start shooting tests next month. Tests, experiments with costume and the characters, movement, new CG types of technology that we’re going to develop, combinations of existing technologies that are put together in new ways to make it seem new but that stuff already exists. Our stunt people are going to be working in a month also, shooting tests, mechanical effects tests.
CS : You shot the Doc Ock hospital scene during tests ?
Raimi : Yes, we’re going to do big scenes earlier and probably the first thing to shoot really early might be plate photography and maybe as early as September. Maybe a unit to shoot three days of plates, could be as early as that.
CS : When will actors start filming ?
Raimi : I think in September, it will just be myself, the director of photography, visual effects supervisor shooting environments. The actors probably wouldn’t start, I don’t know, but I think at this point, maybe in October ? That’s a guess.
CS : Will Bill Pope be back ?
Raimi : Yes, Bill Pope will be coming back as the director of photography.
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