With filming set to start very soon on his next flick, 127 Hours, Danny Boyle is faced with a unique challenge: How do you bring energy to the obviously static image of James Franco clinging to life all alone as trapped mountain climber Aron Ralston for much of the movie?
Well, as he revealed in the latest issue of Empire [via The Playlist] , he’s hired two cinematographers, Anthony Dod Mantle and Enrique Chediak, who respectively shot 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later. Here’s what Boyle said having two cinematographers brings to the project:
“One is from Northern Europe and the other is South American. They’ll bring different things to it. Like in a conventional film you’d have a comic character and a villain.”
Sounds like a fascinating approach to what should be an excellent movie. Hit the jump to read more of what Boyle had to say, and for a quick synopsis of the movie.
127 Hours, Danny Boyle’s follow-up to the Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire, stars James Franco as Aron Ralston, an American mountain climber whose arm became trapped under a boulder while in Blue John Canyon in Utah. After being trapped there for six days, he cut off his own arm with a penknife, rappelled down a 20 meter wall and hiked eight miles down the canyon before finally encountering a family who gave him food and water.
The film features Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara in its supporting cast, but by its very nature, much of what we will see is Franco all alone on the mountain, so what will we get for dialogue? Well, there will be some of that at the film’s beginning and end, but Boyle told Empire the long middle will have what actually amounts to a Franco monologue — or really a conversation with himself.
“There is dialogue at the beginning, and at the end, obviously, but for most of the film he doesn’t have anyone to talk to. But what came to light is that he had a video camera with him, and he recorded six or seven messages, for those he thinks are going to grieve for him, basically saying goodbye. We’ve seen the messages, he doesn’t tend to show them. … So if you like, that is the dialogue, with a future he thinks he is not going to have.”
And did Fox Searchlight, who is backing this, balk at all at the potential gore of a man having to saw off his own arm? Boyle said they did at first, but as he frankly explains here, it wasn’t quite as gory as one might expect.
“Listen, it took him 44 minutes to cut his arm off. The blood loss would have been phenomenal … [however] that’s one of the weird things: he had deteriorated by then, the blood had thickened, the arm was effectively dead. This is one of the reasons he survived (because the blood had congealed, the arm had clotted and therefore the loss was minor).”
Either way, this is almost certain to be one of the best movies of 2010, and should finally bring Franco all the attention he surely deserves … and it’s quite a height to have soared to for someone who started out as one of the Freaks on Freaks and Geeks.