Fede Alvarez made one heck of an impression with his debut film, 2013’s Evil Dead, but when he introduced his follow-up movie at SXSW back in March, he referred to it as his first feature. While Evil Dead is connected to a pre-existing film series and called for heavy collaboration with Evil Dead veterans like Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert, Don’t Breathe is purely Alvarez’s creation.
The movie stars Dylan Minnette, Jane Levy and Daniel Zovatto as three young thieves who opt to rob a blind man played by Stephen Lang. While it may seem like a fail-proof operation, little do they know, being blind doesn’t exactly make this guy an easy target. In fact, they wind up being the ones at an extreme disadvantage.
With Don’t Breathe due in theaters on August 26th, Sony and Screen Gems opted to seize the opportunity to give the film a boost at Comic-Con last weekend. Not only was there an early screening of the movie in San Diego, but Alvarez also made the interview rounds and came by the Collider Video suite for a chat. Check out what he told me about developing the idea, auditioning his leads, the possibility of another Evil Dead movie and more in the video interview at the top of this article.
- 00:29 – Coming up with the initial idea for the movie at Comic-Con three years ago, and doing a story about suspense rather than gore.
- 01:49 – How did he audition the leads, especially when it comes to moving around in the dark?
- 03:20 – Working with Stephan Lang, coming up with the physicality of the character, and how he stayed away from the cast in order to remain scary.
- 04:50 – How everyone calls Stephen Lang “Slang,” and you’d better do it, too!
- 05:13 – The challenge of the set pieces, and which sequence was the most complicated to pull off.
- 07:00 – Does he storyboard a scene in the dark just to plot out the geography of the scene? “It was like a chess game.”
- 07:42 – The Easter eggs to look for in the house.
- 08:40 – Facebook Live questions start: did they make the actors practice in total darkness to create a sense of realism?
- 09:46 – How much of the house is real versus a stage?
- 10:32 – What he learned from Evil Dead that he kept in mind while making this movie.
- 11:48 – Evil Dead 2, and it it will it connect with Ash vs Evil Dead?
- 12:44 – Other film genres he would like to direct in the future.