While on the red carpet for the 37th annual Saturn Awards, we got the chance to speak with Cloverfield and Let Me In director Matt Reeves. He gave a wide-ranging interview, talking at length about Let Me In (including his comments on the ending of the film), giving updates on his upcoming projects The Passage, This Dark Endeavor and a new script he’s currently writing, discussing the similarities between the creatures in Cloverfield and J.J. Abrams’ Super 8, and much, much more.
Hit the jump to watch the interview. If you missed our other coverage from the Saturn Awards, be sure to check out our conversations with makeup artists Rick Baker and Dave Elsey, Brandon Routh, Fringe’s Lance Reddick, producer Dean Devlin, Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd for The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.
Here’s a few of the choice quotes from the interview. The full video interview is below.
“You know I never would have guessed I would be making science fiction and horror films. That kind of stuff. They were the kind of movies that frankly as a kid scared the hell out of me and so I really had a hard time watching them… I never thought I would be making them and then after Cloverfield happened it obviously created a lot of opportunity for me to do those kind of films. I discovered the fun of genre is…you get to explore your fears and you get to use the metaphor of the genre – whether it’s a giant monster or a… 12-year-old vampire. Whatever it is you can sink something underneath the surface and make a personal film under the guise of great fun romp.”
3:34 – What’s Next
There’s a few things I’m doing – there’s a project called The Passage, which is a novel by Justin Cronin and I’m developing that and that’s one I might direct. There’s one called This Dark Endeavor, which is a young Victor Frankenstein – kind of a creation myth. It’s a book that’s coming out this summer by Kenneth Oppel. It’s a terrific book and Jacob Estes is writing that. Jason Keller is writing The Passage and I myself am doing a script I hope to direct as well for Universal, which is based on a short story by Ray Nelson called Eight O’Clock In The Morning, which was actually the source material for John Carpenter’s They Live but it won’t have anything to do with the original They Live.
“We (J.J. Abrams and Reeves) met in an 8mm film festival when we were thirteen years old and the movie the way it affects me most profoundly is not – I know people when Super 8 was first announced [thought] is this the Cloverfield sequel? – but really I know it’s about his (Abrams) childhood and I shared so much of that time with him. When I saw that movie, in addition to loving the movie, when it got to the end titles and it had that film the kids had made [it was] just so evocative of the films J.J. and I made when we were kids that it blew me away.”
9:41 – On thematic similarities between Let Me In and the Columbine tragedy
“What it made me think of was this idea of alienation and being on the outside and these feeling you can’t express being bottled up. [It] definitely made me think of Columbine. So without being too direct about it – that was the first thing that came to mind: the idea of what should be an ideal American suburb in Colorado and nature and should be a place of what you would imagine [of] classic Americana but under the surface was isolation and loneliness. That was really the inspiration of why it was in Colorado in the script.”
- :10 Talks about the ending of Let Me In
- :48 His process of adapting material that already existed.
- 1:37 Talks about going from directing a dark comedy like The Pallbearer to now doing more science-fiction material.
- 2:44 His future projects. Talks The Passage, This Dark Endeavor, and a script he’s writing based on the short story 8 O’Clock in the Morning off of which They Live was based.
- 3:33 Talks about what appealed to him about The Passage
- 4:13 Elaborates on This Dark Endeavor and what drew him to the Frankenstein story.
- 5:18 Discusses the similarities between the monsters in Cloverfield and Super 8.
- 6:19 His answer as to whether or not the Super 8 creature is the same creature that lands in Cloverfield.
- 6:42 Talks about the similarities between the child stories in Let Me In and Super 8 and his connection with them.
- 7:40 His history with the Frankenstein story.
- 8:18 Tells a story about how they changed the location of Let Me In from Colorado to Los Alamos.
- 8:57 Talks about the youth-violence aspects of Let Me In and the parallel to the Columbine incident, and funneling that through a genre film.
- 10:35 Talks about his penchant for long-takes and why he likes to use them.
- 11:37 The Saturn Awards. Talks about what it means to be recognized by the genre community.