Producer Randall Emmett Talks LONE SURVIVOR, Producing Team Structure, Production Challenges, Peter Berg’s Intense Passion & the Status of EVEREST

     January 8, 2014

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Randall Emmett has come a long way since his gig as Mark Wahlberg’s assistant.  He’s got over 70 completed titles to his name.  Six of those films have 2013 release dates, one of which grossed over $131 million worldwide and another put $122 million in the bank, and now there’s Lone Survivor, which not only could be on its way to putting up a big number at the box office, but it’s also getting an awards season push.

The film is an adaptation of Marcus Luttrell’s book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, which recounts his true experience during a mission in the mountains of Afghanistan during which three of his Navy SEAL brothers lost their lives in an ambush.  In the film, Wahlberg steps in as Luttrell while Taylor Kitsch play Lieutenant Michael Murphy, Emile Hirsch portrays Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Danny Dietz and Ben Foster takes on the role of Sonar Technician 2nd Class Matthew Axelson. In the film, the four men are assigned to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative, but find themselves totally isolated and fighting for their lives when their op is compromised. Hit the jump for more.

Between the riveting and exceptionally moving source material, the immense production hurdles involved in bringing that narrative to the big screen, and the pressure to ensure that Lone Survivor is a film that honors the SEALs’ sacrifice, there’s a lot to talk about and Collider was fortunate enough to get a full 20 minutes with the man responsible for assembling a good deal of the project. Check out what Emmett told us about Lone Survivor and a few of his upcoming projects in the video interview below. 

lone-survivor-posterRandall Emmett Time Index:

  • 00:00 – Why Lone Survivor took so long to make.
  • 01:00 – The challenges of financing the film and the significance of showing Peter Berg’s passion for the project at Cannes.
  • 03:40 – How they divide the work amongst the seven-person producing team.
  • 04:35 – The financial responsibility of the film’s many executive producers.
  • 04:56 – Breaking down the budget and the importance of Berg’s ability to shoot the film on a tight schedule.
  • 07:00 – On the intense emotional investment involved in making this movie and how it destroyed Emmett’s “tough guy persona.”
  • 09:12 – The challenge of shooting the movie on such steep terrain and the motivation that came from having real Navy SEALs on set.
  • 12:48 – On Berg as an actor’s director.
  • 13:48 – The extent of Emile Hirsch’s physical transformation.
  • 14:30 – Who’d really win the race, Emile Hirsch or Taylor Kitsch?
  • 14:55 – Emmett is attached to so many projects. What constitutes actively working on a film.
  • 17:40 – Why he backed away from the Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin and John Hawkes-starrer Everest and the movie’s epic potential.
  • 19:28 – An update on the 2 Guns sequel, 3 Guns.  

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