V/H/S is the latest release to capitalize on the found-footage craze. The anthology film is structured around a group of criminals who are hired to break in to a desolate house and retrieve a mysterious videotape. When they arrive at the house they find the owner dead in his recliner, facing a stack of TVs and a massive pile of videotapes. In order to locate the correct video they begin watching the tapes one by one, each being a segment in the film. These shorts include new interpretations on a monster, a masked stalker, a killer in the woods, a ghost story and some good ol’ Satanists; effectively providing a snapshot of the horror genre. V/H/S is directed by Adam Wingard, Ti West, David Bruckner, Joe Swanberg, Glenn McQuaid and newcomers Radio Silence.
During the press conference for the film, I was able to sit down for a one on one phone interview with Adam Wingard, director of the wrap-around story “Tape 56”. During the interview we discussed his approach to the found footage subgenre, the benefits of collaborative filmmaking, and taking a break from horror for Dead Spy Running. In addition, we also talked about You’re Next, The ABCs of Death, and a lot more. Hit the jump for the full interview.
Director Adam Wingard and co-writer Simon Barrett are set to adapt Jon Stock‘s novel, Dead Spy Running. Per Deadline, the story follows “Danny Marchant, a young DJ on the rise in the international world of electronic dance music,” who is forced to go on the run after he’s framed for the murder of his father, an MI6 agent. Here’s my favorite part of Deadline’s description: “he gets deeper into the world of espionage while never forgetting his background and skills as a DJ.” I haven’t read Stock’s series of novels, but I assume this is a comedy of some kind. Right? Or does scratching records defeat the terrorists? It’s worth noting that the synopsis of the book makes no mention of the character being a DJ, so I don’t know where Deadline is getting their info on that detail.
Whether it’s played straight or not, Dead Spy Running will be a change of pace for Wingard and Barrett, who previously created the horror films A Horrible Way to Die and the great You’re Next (my review), the latter of which recently received a released day of August 23, 2013. The duo also provided one of the segments in the upcoming horror anthology V/H/S (my review), which opens October 5th. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Jon Stock’s Dead Spy Running.
When we spoke with This Means War director/producer McG last month, he mentioned Dead Spy Running, a spy project he developed with Stephen Gaghan (Syriana). McG hoped Gaghan could direct, but suggested there could be a scheduling issue. If Gaghan can’t find the time, Twitch hears McG found a promising replacement in Jonathan Levine, now in negotiations to direct. Levine’s resume—50/50, The Wackness, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane—does not necessarily prepare him for a spy thriller. But Levine crafted one of the finest films of 2011 in 50/50, and his next project is the high-concept zombie genre piece Warm Bodies. Now is a great time to get into business with an up-and-coming director who has demonstrated his competency with a variety of material.
McG described Dead Spy Running as a spy story for this generation, “the Social Network age.” Hit the jump for his full pitch.
Opening this weekend is the action-comedy This Means War. Directed by McG, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy portray the world’s deadliest CIA operatives who are also inseparable partners and best friends…until they fall for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). Rather than giving up and allowing one of the two to continue seeing Witherspoon, Hardy and Pine put their CIA gadgetry and know-how to work in order to derail each another’s relationship with the girl. For more on the film, here’s six clips and Matt’s review.
During the recent Los Angeles press junket, I was able to land an exclusive video interview with McG. We talked about making This Means War, the battle with the MPAA over rating and what they had to cut to get a PG-13, test screenings, deleted scenes, and what will be on the Blu-ray (it’ll have a Bond-style title sequence). In addition, with McG attached to so many other projects, I got updates on his TV pilot Guilty (about a lawyer that’s been disbarred), Spring Awakening, Dead Spy Running (a spy movie that Stephen Gaghan is writing and possibly directing), Face It (a romantic comedy), Monster Squad (he’s not involved anymore), Medieval (the status is up in the air at Regency), Tink (will star Elizabeth Banks as Tinkerbell), I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President (they haven’t cracked the script yet), Puzzle Palace (a thriller like Die Hard about a boy who has to break in to 1 Police Plaza in New York), Ouija (he’s not involved anymore), The Girl Who Conned the Ivy League (will star Amanda Seyfried as a girl who steals someone’s identity to attend an Ivy League school), and we also talked about the 30 to 40 minutes of deleted scenes from Terminator Salvation and an alternate ending where Skynet wins. Hit the jump to watch.
Director McG has had quite the versatile career. He began by working in music videos before making his big screen debut with 2000’s Charlie’s Angels. The pic was a big success, and led McG down a career path that’s included dramas (We Are Marshall), television (pilots for Chuck and Fastlane), and a stab at the Terminator franchise with Terminator: Salvation. McG is now trying his hand at the romantic comedy genre with an action bent in this month’s This Means War starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy. Steve recently got the chance to speak with the director about the film, but McG also gave updates on pretty much every single upcoming project listed on his IMDb page.
The director talked about his adaptation of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening (his passion project), Dead Spy Running with Stephen Gaghan, the Tinkerbell update Tink, his Die Hard-esque project Puzzle Palace, The Girl Who Conned the Ivy League starring Amanda Seyfried, and more. He also informed Steve that his feature version of Ouija doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon.. Hit the jump to see what he had to say about his upcoming slate.