Written by Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Last week I attended the press day for David Goyer’s upcoming thriller “The Unborn”. In the coming weeks I’ll have interviews with the entire cast, but I wanted to post what producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form said about their upcoming projects right now.
In case you don’t know Brad and Andrew’s names, they’re the guys who run Platinum Dunes (along with Michael Bay) and they’re involved with a lot of remakes. Since the roundtables interviews went pretty long, I was able to find out the status of their upcoming Friday the 13th movie and what’s up with the remakes of “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Birds”. We also discussed 3-D and IMAX in their future horror movies.
Here’s what they had to say:
Question: The Friday the 13th footage got a great reaction at Comic-Con. Have you gotten any more feedback since then?
Andrew Form: Are you kidding me? I mean that movie, honestly is…not talking about “The Unborn” for a moment, if you want to talk about that I’m happy to discuss it. I would say that it is without a doubt the most…we’ve gotten the most feedback on that film out of everything we’ve worked on potentially everything all put together. It is insane. I think we all undervalued how big Jason Voorhees is and how much people love talking about him.
So what are they saying?
Brad Fuller: It’s been a really remarkably positive response.
I want to ask you about “Friday” and the test screening process on that. Have you guys tested the film?
Where did you test it?
Andrew: In Long Beach.
Was it like a blind screening or…?
Andrew: No. It wasn’t.
And what was the reaction with the audience?
Andrew: It was an amazing thing to watch. Honestly.
Brad: I would say that for us, the two of us, our greatest test screening…our first test screening for “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was kind of a magical thing. We kind of had no idea what we had and then we’ve been jaded by all the other ones we had and then this “Friday the 13th” test screening came and it took us right back to where we were with “Texas Chainsaw”. It was crazy.
So I have to ask you guys, you’re remaking an iconic character and there’s plans for you to remake another iconic character?
What’s the status of that project and how has this Jason…how has “Friday” influenced possibly what you might do with Freddy?
Brad: Well, we want to put Freddy in a hockey mask and we don’t know how people feel about that but we’re excited about it. I think that every iconic horror character you have to take on their own and kind of figure out what is appealing about that character and for Jason Voorhees, it’s one thing because for the most part in all the movies….
Andrew: He’s a silent killer.
Brad: Right. So Freddy Krueger is a much more challenging character and that is not something that we just kind of stumble into and say “Hey, let’s just make him!” and go do it.
Andrew: "Put the glove on—let’s go!"
Brad: It’s something that we are treading very lightly on and I can tell you for sure that we don’t’ have the answer yet. That is something that we’re going to work very hard to figure out just how much of the Freddy that you might know from the later movies as opposed to the Freddy from the earlier movies. I mean it’s a balance and we don’t have that answer yet.
What about those rumors that Billy Bob was cast?
Andrew: We have no idea where that came from.
But since that got out there have you had any word from him like maybe a…?
Andrew: No. No. I think that was just a crazy rumor.
Will Robert do a cameo if he’s not doing Freddy? Robert Englund?
Brad: We definitely want him in the film, without a doubt. I mean, I think it would be a travesty if we couldn’t have him in the film.
How far along in the planning process for “Nightmare” are you?
Brad: We’re in the earliest possible…
Andrew: We’re in the beginning.
Is there a horror film that just cannot be done again and why do it again? I see that you’re doing “Rosemary’s Baby” and that seems like one.
Andrew: We are not doing “Rosemary’s Baby”.
Brad: No, no. I mean… “Rosemary’s Baby” was announced and it’s like a little bit like we’re taking about with Freddy. We went down that road and we even talked to the best writers in town and it feels like it might not be do-able. We couldn’t’ come up with something where it felt like it was relevant and we could add something to it other than what it was so we’re now not going to be doing that film.
Where is Martin Campbell’s “The Birds”?
Brad: Martin has been working on the script and we’re expecting a script in the next 2-3 weeks, but that’s another one where its not like Drew, Michael and I think that we’re just going to crap all over Alfred Hitchcock’s movie. I mean, Alfred Hitchcock in a company wide opinion is probably the greatest director of what we do and other things too. And as someone, that at least Michael and I studied in college and there’s a reverence for him. So that’s not a movie that we’re just going to step up and just go have birds attacking people and trying to throw that into the box office. If we can’t make that movie unique or add something to it, I don’t think we’re going to make it.
Well, Martin’s good at reinventing things.
Brad: He’s great. I mean, once you get a film-maker like Martin Campbell and you start taking to an actress like Naomi Watts a project can pick up momentum, but they’re not interested in making the same movie that Hitchcock made. And they’re interested in something that moves it along and shows different parts of the story so that’s what’s we’re hopeful that the script will be.
I wanted to know with 3-D and you guys because clearly I think “Final Destination” is going 3-D?
And clearly 3-D is gaining a lot of momentum. As producers are you already thinking about the format/also IMAX for horror or thrillers?
Andrew: We have. We talked about it for a couple of projects. We don’t have any projects set up that we’re taking about definitely doing 3-D, but Brad and I have gone down and we’ve looked at the cameras. We’ve looked at the tests. We watched the You Too movie which is unbelievable and…
Brad: It presents a challenge for us in that our movies that the budgets of our 2nd movie and our 8th movie are virtually the same. Some production companies keep on wanting…I mean our budgets are the same. 3-D adds some money to your budget that could take us from a place of being very comfortable where we’re making our movie to the place where we might not be as comfortable and…
Andrew: You know "Bloody Valentine" went 3-D.
Brad: It’s a more expensive thing and if we have a story that lends…certainly “The Birds” in 3-D sounds like a very nice way to tell that story. Right. And so by the way, Drew and I went with Martin Campbell and we went and looked at the You Too film with him and we’re all doing our due diligence, we just haven’t been willing to commit yet.
You have a partner who’s at the forefront of technology. The guy’s a mad-man. With all respect I love his work. How is he as a partner maybe pushing the boundary, like trying to help push the technology into the movies?
Brad: You know what’s interesting is that we’ve never talked to him about 3-D in a real way. Have we?
Brad: Michael pushes….
Andrew: Some IMAX on Transformers 2.
Brad: Yeah, yeah. There’s definitely that. For Bay to get excited about it, it has to transcend being a gimmick and be a way to enhance the story. And I don’t know that we can convince him of that as of yet with what’s come out in 3-D yet. I don’t know. We didn’t see “Journey to the Center of the Earth” . We saw the You Too movie but beyond that, for Michael it’s about what makes the best movie that the most people can enjoy and I don’t know if he feels that 3-D fits into that. I don’t know.
Do you have any trouble with the censors regarding violence in either this or “Friday the 13th”?
Brad: Yes, they love us. But you know what? I think, as a company, we try and push things for this level. Actually strangely enough on “Friday the 13th” we did not have a problem, right? I mean we were…
Is that R-rated though?
Andrew: Oh it’s very R-rated.
Brad: No, no I have problems with most of our movies with R’s we…
Andrew: We’ve had to cut back a few times.
Brad: The Unborn PG-13 was a challenge to get. We went back a number of times to get it and David was very cooperative and ultimately the ratings board was.