CRANK 2 – Producer Tom Rosenberg Interview

     January 14, 2008

At yesterday’s junket for “Untraceable,” Tom Rosenberg -the head of Lakeshore Entertainment -spoke at length about all the projects his company has in development. While I’ll be posting the entire transcript in the next day or two, I wanted to post the comments on “Crank 2,” “Underworld 3” and “Game” immediately.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I thought the first “Crank” was a real surprise. The movie was written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and it had Jason Statham playing a poisoned man trying to get revenge on the people who did it to him. The film was like nothing I’d seen, and it showed me that Mark and Brain were two people to watch. If you haven’t seen it…try and watch it. Also… it has one of the best sex scenesI’ve seen.

Anyway, for the last number of months Mark and Brain have been busy filming “Game,” which stars Gerard Butler. But it looks like on April 1st they’ll jump right into making “Crank 2.” If you’re a fan of the first film…this should come as great news. I also got some info on “Underworld 3,” as well as Tom’s thought on how “Game” is going. Lots of great info on all the projects…you’ll like it.

As always, you can either read the transcript below or listen to the interview as an MP3. However, the MP3 is the entire interview and not these selected quotes. Look for the full transcript very soon.

Q: A lot of people really like the movie Crank, you guys have talked about doing Crank II?

Tom: We are doing a Crank II.

Q: Obviously with the writers strike things have been affected…

Tom: We have a script.

Q: Oh, you do?

Tom: We have a script and we are starting it right about April 1st.

Q: Crank was such a stylistic piece based on his condition, now that they’ve changed the hook—now that it’s an electric heart how does that change the style.

Tom: It’s…the last time I mentioned a little bit about it the writers and directors almost went nuts that I said something because it got on the internet but it doesn’t affect the style. It’s actually similar and more extreme, so what propels Jason is even more extreme than the drug that he took.

Q: With the success of the first film—it was a very popular film—you guys…is it a similar kind of budget? Are you guys spending more on it?

Tom: It’s actually similar. We had to pay Jason more and the director’s more and so forth, but it’s not…. we generally don’t do that where the sequel becomes so much bigger and less likely to be successful. No, the style will be the same, the shooting schedule is within 2-3 days of the other one.

Q: Are you thinking more in terms of trilogy and future sequels now that it’s established?

Tom: We’ll see… it leaves off where that’s possible. If the public embraces it—I think it’s going to be bigger than the first one.

Q: It’s interesting you talking about trilogies and at what point did you decide to go with straight to videos as opposed to theatrical releases. You’ve got Underworld 3 for instance coming out, is that a theatrical release and how do you go about…?

Tom: It’s a theatrical release definitely. I feel great about that. I think it’s the strongest story that we’ve put together of the three. I think it’s really terrific. I think it leads to a 4th. When we did the 1st Underworld, we imagined three–the 1st one, a sequel and then a prequel. The 3rd is a prequel, so the 4th would carry on where Kate and Scott Speedman left off after 2, so I think this is going to be terrific really this one.

Q: So what’s it been like working on Game, or how has that been shaping up?

Tom: It’s wild, that’s wild. It’s the wildest film I’ve ever been involved in. It makes Crank look tame. It’s insane. I mean, it’s insane. This could be a different movie where it’s qualitatively a different experience for the audience. It really could be.

Q: I understand the “Underworld” prequel focuses on Michael Sheen’s character. Can you talk about…

Tom: And Bill Nye.

Q: And Bill Nye. Can you talk about giving these characters like leading storylines for a 3rd film?

Tom: Well, this is really…remember in the first one Michael Sheen’s wife Sonia was killed by Bill Nye—by Victor and that was his daughter. That was the back-story for Michael Sheen. Obviously this is how they meet and Michael Sheen becomes the leader of the werewolves. This is told from the werewolf’s perspective, not the vampire’s. It’s their story and their battle with Victor.

Q: Is it a similar style of action or has that changed up a little too?

Tom: No, it’s similar. Now we’re going back. It’s a prequel. It’s more like the flashback scenes in 2.

Q: I’m also curious…you’ve been working with Mark and Brian—the guys did Game and Crank pretty much non-stop. Do you have some sort of pact with them that they’re only going to make movies with you?

Tom: No, first of all they’retwo smart, very eccentric people. So we get along but I think they understand that they wouldn’t get along with too many people. So they’re very smart that way. So whoever gets them after me or if we don’t keep on they’re in for a ride.

Q: Do they just do special requests or they just act a certain way? What’s a funny story about them?

Tom: No, they’re…I don’t want to tell a funny story about them because I have to deal with them, but I haven’t really…what saves them is they’re absolutely sincere and honest, so they’re not tricky that way, you know what I mean? They’re not manipulative, but they’re wild and very, very opinionated and counter-intuitive but at bottom they have really good hearts and they’re decent people so we get along. We’ve obviously had tremendous fights along the way but always we’re together.

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