Kathleen Kennedy Talks Daniel Day-Lewis in LINCOLN; Says ROBOPOCALYPSE Starts Filming End of Summer/Beginning of Fall Next Year

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Just a few days ago we brought you a portion of Steve’s conversation with producer Kathleen Kennedy, whom he spoke to as part of the junket for Steven Spielberg‘s World War I drama War Horse. One of Spielberg’s most prolific producing partners, Kennedy provided updates on Jurassic Park 4 and a Tintin sequel, and even talked about a 3D re-release of the original Jurassic Park.  Today we’ve got more of Steve’s interview with Kennedy and she talks about Spielberg’s next two projects: Lincoln and Robopocalypse. The producer talked about working with the phenomenal Daniel Day-Lewis on the now-filming Lincoln and revealed exactly when/where/if Day-Lewis breaks character.

In addition, Kennedy talked briefly about Spielberg’s next project after Lincoln, Robopocalypse. Based the novel by Daniel H. Wilson, the film tells the story of a sentient artificial intelligence that takes over our global technology and begins a systemic attack on mankind. Hit the jump to see what Kennedy had to say about both projects.

daniel-day-lewis-lincoln-imageKennedy confirmed that Spielberg is already three quarters of the way through filming Lincoln (an astonishing feat, given that he’s been promoting two films simultaneously). Regarding Day-Lewis’ performance, Kennedy calls him “extraordinary” and reveals that, while he stays in character throughout the duration of the shooting day, he breaks once filming has wrapped:

“He is very much deeply invested and immersed throughout the day when he’s in character, but he’s very accessible at the end of the day, once he can step outside of it and not feel that—I mean he’s giving huge scenes with massive amounts of dialogue and he needs to stay in character, it’s a very very performance-driven movie. But at the end of the day he’s Daniel.”

When asked about Robopocalypse, Kennedy revealed that production should start towards the third quarter of next year:

“We haven’t really decided yet where [we’re shooting], but that’ll probably go end of summer, beginning of fall next year.”

So it sounds like Spielberg’s busy schedule won’t be slowing down anytime soon. The director has stated that Lincoln will be released around December 2012, while Robopocalypse has a release date of July 3rd, 2013.

Here’s the portion of Steve’s interview with Kennedy where she talks about Lincoln and Robopocalypse. We’ll have their full interview up closer to the release of War Horse (which opens December 25th):

robopocalypse-book-cover-imageCollider:  You’re filming Lincoln as we speak, how has the project been going so far and what’s it like working with Daniel Day-Lewis?

Kathleen Kennedy: Daniel Day-Lewis is extraordinary; I think he may be one of the best actors ever that we’ve worked with. We’re about three quarters of the way through and it’s been amazing, I mean he is really quite remarkable. Every day you get the chills thinking that Lincoln is sitting there right in front of you.

I saw a photograph that recently got out of him at a restaurant, there’s a lot of talk that he maintains his character all the time, but then someone was saying to me that he’s in character on set all day, but when he leaves set he’s not in character. What’s the truth?

Kennedy: That is the truth. He is very much deeply invested and immersed throughout the day when he’s in character, but he’s very accessible at the end of the day, once he can step outside of it and not feel that—I mean he’s giving huge scenes with massive amounts of dialogue and he needs to stay in character, it’s a very very performance-driven movie. But at the end of the day he’s Daniel.

There’s a lot of talk that you guys are filming Robopocalypse in Montreal. Is that true?

Kennedy: It’s possible. We haven’t really decided yet where, but that’ll probably go end of summer, beginning of fall next year.

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  • Titus

    I recently finished reading “Robopocalypse” and while I really enjoyed elements of the book (it’s incredibly well-written and features cool character concepts and situations), I hope the movie changes three key elements.

    SPOILER ALERT for those who haven’t read the book.

    Firstly, I was annoyed by the presence of a new race of sentient good-guy robots that cropped up in the book. It made the book seem very similar to “I, Robot” and even “The Matrix” sequels. Why can’t the robots just be evil? I did really enjoy some of the chapters written from the robots’ point of view, but this could have been done with a just an advanced robot who was programmed to further human goals. I doubt this will be changed in the movie, though, unfortunately.

    Secondly, in almost every story that involves a protagonist and antagonist that story’s climax must feature the two meeting each other. This doesn’t happen in “Robopocalypse.” The prologue, written from the perspective of the closest thing the book has to a primary antagonist, even admits regret that this meeting never took place. Perhaps there was a certain realism in the non-meeting since the core AI was intelligently housed deep underground in a nebula of lethal-level radiation, but it made for a very unsatisfying conclusion. (And who got to face off against it? The sentient good-guy robot.) I have some optimism that this non-meeting between humans and Archos will be changed in the movie because Spielberg has a good sense of what the audience wants. I also hope that the film story allows more of the main human characters to unite in person. The book could have lasted another 50 pages or so to allow the story to breathe and make this happen.

    Thirdly, as I was reading this book, I really didn’t get the sense that Wilson was crafting a franchise, but yet at the very end, the book didn’t have a clear resolution. Whether or not Archos was destroyed was left definitively up in the air. The intense war action that Wilson includes in this book and the knowledge I had of Spielberg directing a film version conjured up ideas of a sci-fi war film that feels like “Saving Private Ryan.” That was a great standalone film, and by the same token, I think “Robopocalpyse” should be one too. The main narrator, Cormac Wallace, talks very compellingly about the New War in a way that casts it effectively as a singular, epic conflict — not simply the beginning in a series of wars.

    I’ll keep my eye on this film’s development, though, because it could be great if Spielberg and Co. successfully mine some of the excellent stuff Wilson has written and leave the less satisfying elements on the cutting room floor.

  • Maxim

    Please, somone who interviews Spielberg or his colleagues… ask about “Interstellar”!!!

    • PutMeInCoach28141

      Exactly what I was thinking! I can’t believe no one’s talking about that movie, I thought it was going to be the Big Guy’s next film after Lincoln. We need a new, well-crafted “outer space” flick. I want a thrilling, dramatic, spectacular film about the dangers and wonders of space travel!

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