Exclusive: Thomas Jane on Why He Was Fired From HEADSHOT, THE LYCAN, His Glen Sherley Biopic, His Future in Hollywood, More

by     Posted 2 years, 294 days ago

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As the 37th annual Saturn Awards came to a close, I was lucky enough to snag a few minutes with The Punisher (2004) and Hung star Thomas Jane.

Always a blunt and shoot from the hip interview, Jane was especially candid this night, talking in detail about why he was fired from Walter Hill and Sylvester Stallone’s upcoming Headshot, his burgeoning music career, his upcoming Glen Sherley biopic, his comic company Raw Studios, a western that he’s written, a werewolf movie called The Lycan, and much, much more.  Hit the jump to check it out.

thomas-jane-imageIf you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing, here are some highlights. But seriously, you should listen to this thing. Jane is hysterical and wry.

On the western he has written:

THOMAS JANE: I’ve got a dream to do a big anamorphic, old John Ford style western. Everybody wants to do a deconstruction of a western. After Sergio Leone broke open the mold, that kind of became the mold, you know? So now the spaghetti western became the mold of the western. So, the question is, where do you go from there? I want to go back to the roots of the western and try to reconstruct a traditional western in a modern context, in a modern way. To bring all the values of what makes a western great into the modern world, which I haven’t seen yet. True Grit is a modern movie, but it’s not a new kind of western. This movie called Blueberry with Vincent Cassel, they tried to do a kind of surreal western which I thought was a really strong attempt at breaking…break open the western genre. I want to do something different. I want to go back to John Ford, back to anamorphic widescreen, monument valley, that western.

On Headshot:

JANE: Well, Wayne Kramer brought me into the project and when Wayne left the project I suggested Walter Hill to Stallone and the next week they hired Walter Hill and I was very happy about that because I’ve always wanted to work with him.

But then did the studio sort of…

rambo_movie_image_sylvester_stallone_01JANE: Well, Joel Silver came onboard the project and said that he has a quote-unquote ‘formula’ for these quote-unquote ‘buddy movies’ and it has to be a white guy and a quote-unquote ‘ethnic guy.’ And they relieved me of duty and basically paid me off, which I was really upset about, you know? I didn’t get a call from Stallone. I was a little upset about that. Maybe they didn’t want anybody on the movie with a bigger dick than him.

Wayne Kramer was sort of abruptly fired from that film too. Was it over him being too violent? Because I’ve been told that it’s still an R-rated movie and Stallone’s comment was that [Kramer had] made a [script] that was too violent and that they were doing something that was a little less extreme.

JANE: Well, Wayne Kramer is very dark, very extreme, which I personally like. But I know that Stallone is a bit more of a traditionalist. That doesn’t make it worse it just makes it different. Walter Hill for my money was the man to fulfill both. He can do great with character and he’s great with action. So he is the man…I hope they can still make a great film without me.

Is there any chance they could find another role in the film for you?

JANE: I doubt it. I’m kinda like the spurned lover…let ‘em go shoot themselves.

In the head?

JANE: No, I mean…shoot the film themselves. (laughter).

thomas-jane-image-2On the Glen Sherley biopic:

JANE: The true story of Glen Sherley who literally sang his way out of Folsom Prison. So it’s a great story of the 70s with country music.

Is there a studio behind this?

JANE: No. I don’t think it’s set up yet. So anybody reading this, you know, give us a call and we’ll swap numbers.

Is this film a comedy?

JANE: No. It’s about a country singer who is a killer in Folsom Prison. But Johnny Cash got him out of Folsom Prison to go on tour with him. He recorded an album in Folsom Prison which became a cult country hit. Johnny Recorded Glen’s song, “Grey Stone Chapel” which was a big country hit at the time. Carl Perkins recorded a couple of songs. He had money in the bank while he was sitting in Folsom Prison.

On The Lycan:

JANE: I’m doing a werewolf movie called, The Lycan, which is a gothic werewolf romance set in the late 1700s. it’s fuckin’ cool. It’s basically Alien, set in a castle, with werewolves.

On his future in Hollywood:

JANE: I’ve done my share of bad movies, but I’m done with that. I’m only going to do stuff that I personally really love and believe in. and whether it turns out great or not is not going to be my problem. I’m just going to be great in the show. I’m going to be great in the project. And I’m creating my own stuff. Directing, starring and directing, that’s my goal and my dream for the second half of my career. I’m going to produce, create my own stuff. I’m tired of other people fucking up my movies.

If someone’s going to fuck up your movies it might as well be you?

JANE: Exactly. If someone’s gonna screw it up, it should be me.

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Again, here’s the audio.  I suggest listening if you have the time. Otherwise, here’s the full interview.

00:15 Give ‘Em Hell Malone discussion; the film came from a script submitted by a fan on his website and was an effort to create a Raymond Chandler type hero.

1:40 – Jane just finished writing a western.

JANE: I’ve got a dream to do a big anamorphic, old John Ford style western. Everybody wants to do a deconstruction of a western. After Sergio Leone broke open the mold, that kind of became the mold, you know? So now the spaghetti western became the mold of the western. So, the question is, where do you go from there? I want to go back to the roots of the western and try to reconstruct a traditional western in a modern context, in a modern way. To bring all the values of what makes a western great into the modern world, which I haven’t seen yet. True Grit is a modern movie, but it’s not a new kind of western. This movie called Blueberry with Vincent Cassel, they tried to do a kind of surreal western which I thought was a really strong attempt at breaking…break open the western genre. I want to do something different. I want to go back to John Ford, back to anamorphic widescreen, monument valley, that western.

Would you be able to do that on 35 like that, or do you think you’d end up going digital?

JANE: Well I don’t know. I mean, my dream, I’d love to shoot in in 3D.

A traditional western in 3D? That’d be cool.

JANE: Well John Wayne did it in Hando. He shot Hando in 3D and it’s actually an excellent western in 3D. I donno if they’ve done it since then. A 3D western hasn’t been done since the 50’s and I’d love to do it.

4:27 – Jane unloads on the Headshot situation, explaining how he originally suggested Walter Hill as a directorial candidate after Wayne Kramer’s departure and how he was eventually fired when Joel Silver came on as a producer and decided that the film needed an “ethnic” co-lead to fit his formula.

JANE: Well, Wayne Kramer brought me into the project and when Wayne left the project I suggested Walter Hill to Stallone and the next week they hired Walter Hill and I was very happy about that because I’ve always wanted to work with him.

thomas-jane-image-5But then did the studio sort of…

JANE: Well, Joel Silver came onboard the project and said that he has a quote-unquote ‘formula’ for these quote-unquote ‘buddy movies’ and it has to be a white guy and a quote-unquote ‘ethnic guy.’ And they relieved me of duty and basically paid me off, which I was really upset about, you know? I didn’t get a call from Stallone. I was a little upset about that. Maybe they didn’t want anybody on the movie with a bigger dick than him.

Wayne Kramer was sort of abruptly fired from that film too. Was it over him being too violent? Because I’ve been told that it’s still an R-rated movie and Stallone’s comment was that [Kramer had] made a [script] that was too violent and that they were doing something that was a little less extreme.

JANE: Well, Wayne Kramer is very dark, very extreme, which I personally like. But I know that Stallone is a bit more of a traditionalist. That doesn’t make it worse it just makes it different. Walter Hill for my money was the man to fulfill both. He can do great with character and he’s great with action. So he is the man…I hope they can still make a great film without me.

Is there any chance they could find another role in the film for you?

JANE: I doubt it. I’m kinda like the spurned lover…let ‘em go shoot themselves.

In the head?

JANE: No, I mean…shoot the film themselves. (laughter).

6:38 – Jane discusses upcoming projects including Sleight of Hand and a biopic of Glen Sherley to be directed by Billy Bob Thorton.

JANE: The true story of Glen Sherley who literally sang his way out of Folsom Prison. So it’s a great story of the 70s with country music.

Is there a studio behind this?

JANE: No. I don’t think it’s set up yet. So anybody reading this, you know, give us a call and we’ll swap numbers.

thomas-jane-image-6Is this film a comedy?

JANE: No. It’s about a country singer who is a killer in Folsom Prison. But Johnny Cash got him out of Folsom Prison to go on tour with him. He recorded an album in Folsom Prison which became a cult country hit.. Johnny Recorded Glen’s song, “Grey Stone Chapel” which was a big country hit at the time. Carl Perkins recorded a couple of songs. He had money in the bank while he was sitting in Folsom Prison.

8:45 – Jane tells about his upcoming EP and discusses his influences, including Nick Cave, Johnny Cash and Nick Drake. We trade some music suggestions.

10:00 – Jane discusses upcoming projects for his comic company, Raw Studios, including The Lycan, a Comic Con exclusive issue of Bad Planet, the comic adaptation of his directorial debut, Dark Country and a reboot of Alien Worlds.

JANE: I’m doing a werewolf movie called, The Lycan, which is a gothic werewolf romance set in the late 1700s. it’s fuckin’ cool. It’s basically Alien, set in a castle, with werewolves.

14:50 – Jane explains what happened with Punisher: War Zone, why he quit that film and what he wants to do with the rest of his career.

JANE: I’ve done my share of bad movies, but I’m done with that. I’m only going to do stuff that I personally really love and believe in. and whether it turns out great or not is not going to be my problem. I’m just going to be great in the show. I’m going to be great in the project. And I’m creating my own stuff. Directing, starring and directing, that’s my goal and my dream for the second half of my career. I’m going to produce, create my own stuff. I’m tired of other people fucking up my movies.

If someone’s going to fuck up your movies it might as well be you?

JANE: Exactly. If someone’s gonna screw it up, it should be me.




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