Exclusive: Producer Brian Oliver Talks Ron Howard’s RUSH, Reveals Anthony Dod Mantle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) is the Cinematographer

     October 3, 2011


While Ron Howard has had more than a tough time trying to get his ambitious adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower off the ground, the director has moved on for the time being and is currently busy working on the Formula One racing drama Rush. The pic centers on the 1970s rivalry between Austrian driver Niki Lauda and British driver James Hunt, with Inglorious Basterds star Daniel Brühl playing Lauda and Chris Hemworth taking on the role of Hunt.

Steve recently got the chance to speak with producer Brian Oliver about his upcoming political drama The Ides of March, but during the course of the conversation Oliver talked extensively about Rush. In addition to confirming that Academy Award-winning cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire) will be the director of photography on the project, he spoke about why they started production early even though Hemsworth isn’t available until January, Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan’s development process, Mantle’s unique approach to filming the races, and whether or not the film will be in 3D. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

ron-howard-imageOliver confirmed that they recently filmed some scenes in Germany. What we didn’t know, however, is that filming is going to continue right up through next April, even though Hemsworth doesn’t come on until January:

“We started production last weekend in Germany.  We shot 4 days of principal photography because we wanted the plates to start the special effects.  They have these classic races with the original cars from the period so we wanted to get some footage so that we could start doing the plates.  But it was also because we wanted to start the movie.  We’re all excited and we’re waiting for [Hemsworth], who doesn’t become available until January.  But we’re going to continue to shoot some B-roll stuff all the way up until January.  So we will be officially in production on the movie from now until we wrap in April.”

Oliver confirmed that Brühl was present for the shoot in Germany. He went on to talk about the partnership between Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan and their unique development process:

“I think reteaming Ron Howard and Peter Morgan, who teamed together on Frost/Nixon, is a really great combination.  To see the way that they work and the development is amazing.  They go through line by line and continually rewrite it and do the script.  It’s a great process to watch.”

anthony-dod-mantle-image-2Additionally, it sounds like Howard and Co. are going all-out to capture the thrill of the Formula One races. DP Anthony Dod Mantle has some tricks up his sleeve:

Anthony Dod Mantle is the DP.  Anthony Dod Mantle is well known for being very experimental, interesting, and for doing crazy camera work with multiple mediums.  So Rush will definitely have some very exciting photography.  We are going to have some interesting camera mounts on cars and we are going to do some stuff that no one has seen.”

Mantle’s work is definitely impressive (especially on Slumdog and 127 Hours), so it’s exciting to hear that he’s cooking up something special to capture the Formula One races. Finally, Oliver confirmed that Rush will not be shot in nor converted to 3D. While it’s a bit disconcerting that Howard’s The Dark Tower has stalled for the moment, Rush sounds like an intriguing project and I’m anxious to see the director’s take on the Formula One world.


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