With director Joe Carnahan’s (Narc, Smokin’ Aces, and The A-Team) awesome survival-action flick The Grey now playing, I recently got the chance to talk with the cast and Carnahan about making the movie. Starring Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts, James Badge Dale, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Nonso Anozie, and Joe Anderson, The Grey is about a group of oilmen who have crash landed in the hunting zone of a rogue pack of wolves in the Alaskan tundra. If you’re a fan of the cast, Carnahan, or just well made movies, The Grey will not disappoint.
During the press junket I got to talk to Carnahan twice. The first time was just about making The Grey. However, when we spoke the second time, we talked about deleted scenes, what his friends and family screening told him about the movie (especially what he learned from Warrior director Gavin O’Connor), why Liam Neeson is a great action star, what’s up with Mark Millar‘s Nemesis (and how Neeson would be a perfect Blake Morrow), Killing Pablo, and reveals that he’d written the opening of the The A-Team Sequel that he planned had the first film done better commercially. Hit the jump to watch.
Before getting to the interview, a huge congrats to Carnahan for having The Grey open as the #1 movie this weekend, and for giving me such honest answers during the interview. While I usually say use the time index to watch the parts that interest you, this is one of those conversations that I really recommend watching the whole thing.
- :27 Talks about whether or not he had the ability to show the film to a lot of test audiences. He showed the film to friends and other filmmakers that he trusts to get input and did only one public test screening.
- 1:33 Reveals some of the comments he heard from other filmmakers. Says Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) told him “more pop, less poetry”, and that led to Carnahan trimming the movie down from 2 hours and 20 minutes to an hour and 48 minutes.
- 2:17 Deleted scenes. Talks about scenes he had to cut out from the film and whether or not we’ll see them on the DVD/Blu-ray.
- 3:40 Says he would be partial to including deleted/extended scenes as separate supplemental material rather than releasing an “extended cut” of the movie. Talks about why he prefers to release only one cut of the movie.
- 4:39 Talks about Liam Neeson becoming an action star. Says Hollywood is full of boys instead of men nowadays, and the reason why Neeson is having a career swing is because of a lack of men.
- 5:33 Can Neeson greenlight a movie now? Says Neeson’s starpower has grown so much that he shot only a week on Battleship but is extremely prevalent in the film’s trailer.
- 6:56 Reveals that he and Mark Millar were talking about Nemesis and he mentioned that Neeson would make a great Blake Morrow. Talks about how Neeson inspires other projects for Carnahan.
- 9:15 Talks about The A-Team 2. Describes the opening for the sequel that he planned had the first film done better commercially.
- 10:13 Reveals why he thinks The A-Team didn’t do very well. Says he was leery about releasing the film on opening day of the World Cup, and was confused by critics taking the movie too seriously.
- 11:40 Talks about why he’s so brutally honest. Says you’ve gotta call yourself on your own shit.
- 12:43 Gives status update on the Nemesis movie. Says he and Mark are in discussions and it’s in ongoing discussions.
- 13:12 Says his dream project to do next is Killing Pablo, and he turned down Umbra because he didn’t want to film outside of Los Angeles on a project he wasn’t intensely passionate about.
- 14:00 Talks about how he’d love to do Killing Pablo in the fall if The Grey does well.
- 15:13 Does he have anyone specific in mind casting-wise for Killing Pablo? Talks about how success begets success.
- 16:45 Talks about the Killing Pablo script. Says it’s the best screenplay he’s ever written.