Producer Kathleen Kennedy Talks WAR HORSE, JURASSIC PARK 4, the TINTIN Sequel, LINCOLN, ROBOPOCALYPSE, and a Lot More

     December 24, 2011

Producer Kathleen Kennedy WAR HORSE interview slice

Opening on Christmas Day is director Steven Spielberg‘s fantastic new movie, War Horse.  Based on the Award winning play (which is based on Michael Morpurgo’s book) and set during World War I, War Horse tells the story of “the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert (Jeremy Irvine), who tames and trains him.”  And don’t just take my word for it, early screenings have been very positive and the drama is heading into Oscar season with very positive buzz, especially after the National Board of review named War Horse one of the best 10 films of the year.  The film also stars Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Toby Kebbell.  You can watch the trailer here and here’s seven clips.

To help promote the film, DreamWorks recently held a press junket in New York City and I was able to land an exclusive interview with producer Kathleen Kennedy.  As the longtime producing partner of Spielberg (she produced A.I., Munich, E.T., and Jurassic Park just to name a few), she talked about the way they make movies, how they pick projects, who gets to see the movies first, and the making of War Horse.  In addition, Kennedy gave me updates on Jurassic Park 4, a 3D re-release of the original Jurassic Park, the status of the Tintin sequel, Lincoln, Robopocalypse, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Finally, if you missed my group interview with Spielberg, Kennedy, and screenwriter Richard Curtis, click here.  And here’s my exclusive video interview with cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, click here

kathleen kennedyProducer Kathleen Kennedy Time Index

  • There was a lot of storyboarding and previsualization to do on War Horse to prepare for the horse.  In contrast, Kennedy and Spielberg did none for Lincoln.
  • 1:10 – Spielberg shoots very little that he doesn’t use.  He often cuts in camera, and does very little coverage.  So there isn’t much footage on the cutting room floor.
  • 2:00 – Kennedy calls Spielberg “a dream for a producer.”  He is responsible, and does not overspend.  Talks about cutting scenes out to shoot in a beautiful, but more expensive location.
  • 4:10 – Spielberg movies don’t get screened.  Just Spielberg, producers, people who work on post-production effects, and composer John Williams get to see it.
  • 5:10 – Spielberg is not indecisive, but needs to know that the project is ready before he commits to shoot it.  War Horse immediately felt right, and was in pre-production within 6-7 months from when they first started talking about the idea.
  • 7:20 – It will take a “great script” to get Jurassic Park 4 off the ground.  It was never intended to be a franchise, so they need to find a good reason to make another sequel.
  • 8:20 – Kennedy is not a fan of 3D post-conversion unless the filmmaker and the director of photography are involved.  She thinks Jurassic Park is a good candidate if Spielberg wanted to do it.
  • 10:20 – They have had conversations with Universal about converting Jurassic Park into 3D.  Kennedy only wants to do it if they can take time to do it properly.
  • 11:30 – The script for the sequel to Tintin is expected in February or March.  If they can do some camera capture this summer, Tintin 2 could be in theaters by Christmas 2014 or Summer 2014.
  • 12:30 – They are about 3/4 of the way through Lincoln.  Daniel Day-Lewis stays in character all day, but “very accessible” at the end of the day.
  • 13:30 – Robopocalypse is tentatively scheduled to shoot at the end of next summer or early Fall 2012.


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