Now playing in theaters is Scott Derrickson’s new demonic police thriller, Deliver Us From Evil. The Jerry Bruckheimer produced chiller, starring Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Joel McHale and Olivia Munn tells a fictionalized version of real-world NYPD Sergeant Ralph Sarchie’s (Bana) lifelong struggle with evil, both manmade and supernatural. The surprisingly thoughtful film mixes elements of Serpico and The Exorcist to create a gritty, violent drama with flourishes of the grotesque and moments of real emotional sincerity.
Recently, Collider sat down with producer Jerry Bruckheimer to discuss the film. During the conversation, he told us what he looks for in a potential project, the how and why of Deliver Us From Evil and what scares him. He also gave us quick updates on what to expect from several of his upcoming sequels including Pirates of the Caribbean 5 (which he says will be more of a straight pirates movie this time), Bad Boys III, National Treasure 3, and more. Hit the jump for the video interview and transcript.
To any Collider readers wanting to enter politics, take note of Bruckheimer and his style: Poised, collected and very happy to say less, instead of saying too much. The man does not stutter, does not go off message and his skill at bringing any topic back around to his pre-established talking points is matched only by his ability to give non-answers that still feel substantive. I don’t think I have ever seen someone use fewer words in an interview. And I mean all of that as a compliment.
Here’s the transcript of what we talked about followed by the video.
Question: What are the key factors in deciding to make a movie?
JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: A book, a real character, a great screenplay, an excellent director. It all comes together and that’s what Deliver Us from Evil is
What made you want to make Deliver Us from Evil specifically?
BRUCKHEIMER: I think the fact that it’s based on fact. That it’s about a real gentleman. I met him and when you go to the precinct in the Bronx where he worked, he’s like a rock star. So it was really interesting to see how the detectives would circle around him and revered him and the tough cases that he worked on. The fact that he did all of these things, it was fascinating to me that he had worked on all of these unbelievable cases, and still does.
Did you ever consider a version of this story that was closer to the book?
BRUCKHEIMER: it was always to make a straightforward story. We didn’t want to make a documentary about his career. It would bore you. We take the highlights and put them all together.
Thoughts on William Friedkin’s Exorcist quote.
BRUCKHEIMER: I’m not sure, you know? He’s a very smart man, but I’m not totally sure I’d agree with him.
What scares you?
BRUCKHEIMER: Just about anything scares me, you know? Failure scares me, you know? Loud noises scare me, you know? Anything that can, you know, injure you, scares me.
Will there be any demonic monsters in Pirates 5?
BRUCKHEIMER: No, no. I think we’re back to more of a straight pirates movie this time.
So, you won’t have big Kraken creatures anymore?
BRUCKHEIMER: Not in the script I read recently.
Is Bad Boys III still happening?
BRUCKHEIMER: Well, we’re working on an outline right now. Hopefully we’ll get a screenplay in the next three months. And that will become a movie I hope.
Is there any overlap when you’re working on two different police movies, even in different genres?
BRUCKHEIMER: Not between these two genres, not at all. But we always focus on the place where the action’s going to take place, which is Miami. We research it and figure out what’s actually going on down in Miami with criminals and what they’re doing. We bring in experts. And that’s how the screenplays evolve.
BRUCKHEIMER: It will, the entire thing.
Are you working on National Treasure 3, or any other films with Nic Cage?
BRUCKHEIMER: Yeah, we’re working on another National Treasure. We just had a meeting on Friday with the writers and the director, so hopefully that will come together.
Same writers and director?
BRUCKHEIMER: New writers, same director; John Turteltaub.
Can you tell use what Cage might be hunting for in the new film?
BRUCKHEIMER: Not at this point, you’ll have to wait.