Phillip Noyce, Kurt Wimmer Salt Interviews
We thought we'd just do a word search and change "he" to "she" and
Phillip Noyce: "Again, fabulous. First time 10 years ago on Bone Collector, a fearless youngster. Second time 10 years later, one of the most famous people in the world, incredible power, accomplished actress, Academy Award-winning, same fearlessness, same person. Down to earth and fearless."
Was it that you had to dial her back a bit because she wanted to do all of her own stunts?
Phillip Noyce: "Oh yeah, she wanted to do everything - some things that she just didn't need to do."
How tough is it to convince her that she needs to let someone step in?
Phillip Noyce: "It's tough because you know she has a great team around her and that's the good thing because I knew whenever they said that she couldn't do that she couldn't do it."
Could it be a more timely film at this point?
Phillip Noyce: "It couldn't."
Could you have planned this better?
Phillip Noyce: "What do you mean? We did plan it. Those 11 actors that were arrested, they're coming back - don't worry."
They're going to be at the premiere tonight, right?
Phillip Noyce: "No, no, no, not this premiere. They'll be at the Russian premiere in two weeks time and then they'll come back. Anna Chapman, she's under contract to Columbia."
You have a background in this. Your father was...
Phillip Noyce: "My dad was a spy in the second World War, a military spy in the Z Force in Australia which was the Australian equivalent of the OSS. He was training covert operatives to go behind the Japanese lines to practice sabotage and assassinations and all that stuff that spies do."
Kurt Wimmer: "Yeah, I mean it was Tom Cruise at first obviously and then we couldn't quite make the deal with Tom and so they said, 'How about Angelina Jolie?' I thought it was a great idea, but we were pretty cavalier about it at first. We thought we'd just do a word search and change he to she and penis to vagina and it was a done deal. But it wasn't that easy. It actually took like four months of really hard work and then we got it done, and I'm very happy actually."
Were there characters lost because this is a female character and it wouldn't have played...
Kurt Wimmer: "No. It stayed very much the same in that respect. Every character is the same. You know, there were some interesting changes based on sex because you know in the original film the male - which would be Tom Cruise - would have to save his wife. In this female the female doesn't necessarily have to save the husband. She can let him die. That's an interesting difference, you know? It's a strange fact of filmmaking that we discovered but we never fully appreciated before we made the film."
And she didn't want the tone to change from when it was a male character to when it became a female character.
Kurt Wimmer: "Well, you know, because it's Angelina, she's a little bit darker than most people. She's darker than Tom Cruise, let's face it. And she's not afraid to be bloody and beaten."
And you're also working on Total Recall, right?
Kurt Wimmer: "I am."
You're going back to the novel though, not using the movie?
Kurt Wimmer: "We're doing both. I mean I'm using both. The original film was great; I respect it a lot. I'm using a lot of the structure. We're also returning to the novel and we're making a hybrid. We're not going to Mars - we're on Earth."
What do you think fans of the original film are going to think about the changes made?
Kurt Wimmer: "They're going to love it. They're going to love it because I respect the original film so much that I preserved it in its genetic form."
Are there things that you're doing in this one that just wouldn't have been possible in that one because of the way technology has progressed?
Kurt Wimmer: "I think the budgets have progressed. That's the thing that progressed, yeah."
Are you writing it with anyone in mind?
Kurt Wimmer: "No, not me. That's not up to me."
Don't you picture someone though when you're writing?
Kurt Wimmer: "Me. That's the only person I can - that's me. No, I don't. It frees me up to not picture anybody."
Do you have to worry about the rating on this or are they letting you play with that?
Kurt Wimmer: "Listen, the rating's always going to be PG-13. I mean, let's be real. But this film, Total Recall, doesn't demand an R rating. It just doesn't. I know the original was R, but this film was about the ideas. It's not about the rating. If it was a Bad Lieutenant and we were making it PG-13, that would be a crime against humanity."
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