Director Breck Eisner succeeded in making a great little horror film with this past spring’s George A. Romero reimagining of The Crazies, which comes to DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, June 29th. Next up for Eisner is a remake of John Carpenter’s seminal action classic Escape from New York, a project that seems to be in quite capable hands. One of the key elements in making a new version of this 1981 film work is casting the perfect Snake Plissken, which was played to perfection the first time around by living icon and Hollywood legend Kurt Russell. We caught up with Eisner earlier in the day, and he stated that Timothy Olyphant is one of the very few people in the running who could play Snake. Especially as far as the performance being a collaborative effort between the actor and the director. Which Breck thinks is the key to making a truly great Escape from New York for a new generation. He also told us why he decided to remake the film, and what we can expect from it and a possible The Crazies sequel.
Have you sampled a bit of Justified yet? The drama, based on Elmore Leonard’s novels, follows a US Marshal, Raylan Givens, who is sent home to Kentucky after an unfortunate incident where he happens to shoot a criminal. As the first season continues to gather pace, we gave cowboy-hat-wearing Timothy Olyphant a ring to chat about the show and his role as Raylan.
What attracted you to the role in Justified?
“Why did I want the role? It paid nicely! No, I love Elmore Leonard’s work and when it’s done well it’s just my favourite. And I’ve been such a fan of his. I was just kind of hoping that it would be all those things you hope out of an Elmore Leonard piece, and it was.”
Elmore said you were perfect for the role. How was that for you?
“It was so nice. He’s been really quite generous with his compliments. That means a great deal. He’s been really very available and very generous in terms of allowing us to use stuff from his other Raylan novels. I know he’s writing another Raylan Givens story – he was so sort of taken by the series that he’s writing for the character again, which I’m assuming, God willing, we’ll be able to use. It’s been great.”
Why do you think Justified has been such a critical success?
“I think it’s really well done. Elmore’s books have been really successful so I assume that the show does well for the same reason that his books do so well. I think they’re very subtle in how smart they are and they’re so terrifically entertaining. The characters are so wonderfully drawn and at times they make you laugh. You’ve got comedy and there’s drama and it’s rather simple. It’s mostly characters that are really driving the stories. The performances on the show are fantastic, the writing’s fantastic – all the ingredients for something special.”
An overseas phone interview between Asian journalists and a Hollywood star who’s oceans and time zones away can be tricky –especially if, like this one, actor Timothy Olyphant, the subject is driving during the entire process.
Luckily, he gets stuck in traffic somewhere in Los Angeles, California, at dusk (the morning after in Manila). “Should anything happen, I just hope you appreciate all my sacrifices for the show,” he quipped.
Answering questions thrown his way from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines, the lead star of AXN’s new noir Western series, “Justified” (which debuts tonight and airs Thursdays) was alternately curt and circuitous.
Whenever talk turned to the private realm, he turned on the charm machine with cryptic quips.
What’s an ordinary day like for you?
“Uneventful. I’m like everyone else … make breakfast in the morning … take the kids to school.”
Coming off of its highly successful and critically lauded first season, the creators and cast of “Justified” were invited for a special screening and Q&A at the Chinese Mann Theater on June 10, 2010. Attending were executive producers Graham Yost and Elmore Leonard, along with director Michael Dinner and cast members Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins.
Paramount has just debuted an enigmatic first teaser trailer/announcement piece for Rango, an animated feature which tells “the story of a chameleon with an identity crisis.” The voice cast is comprised of Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, and Timothy Olyphant as The Spirit of the West. Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) directs from a script he co-wrote with James Byrkit and John Logan (The Aviator).
The clip is rather beautiful in its simplicity, and really must be seen to be believed. Check it out:
Spanish helmer Daniel Benmayor is in talks to direct Hitman 2 for 20th Century Fox. While not a choice many would have guessed, Benmayor made a name for himself directing commercials for Renault, Mercedes, Heineken, Samsung and Sony PlayStation. He recently made his feature debut on a Spanish movie called Paintball which is about a group of adrenaline junkies who get dropped in a forest for a paintball match but quickly discover someone is using real ammo.
While the first Hitman didn’t get rave reviews, the $30 million budgeted film made over $100 million worldwide. It’s no surprise Fox wants a sequel. The big issue for the studio is whether or not Timothy Olyphant will return as Agent 47. That’s because the actor would have to shave his head and he might not want to, as he’s currently riding a wave of great reviews for his work on the FX series Justified. More after the jump:
According to Deadline, Fox holds an option on Olyphant – meaning they could force him to return for the sequel. But even though they could make him return, it’s bad for both sides to make an actor or anyone work on something they don’t want to, as it means the bridge will be burned for anything else in the future.
Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder in and around frozen Minnesota. Yet all of these tales mysteriously lead back one way or another to Fargo, North Dakota.
Season 4: April 19, 2020.