[Movies] Bryan Singer Talks Jack The Giant Slayer, Nicholas Hoult
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 02.26.2013
Singer talks about balancing the adult and kid elements and more...
Bryan Singer recently spoke with IGN about Jack the Giant Slayer, which opens this Friday. Check out the highlights:
On balancing the scarier elements of the story with more family-friendly elements: "Well I knew that this one was going to have a body count, so I figured that if I balanced the action or any of the intense stuff with some humor, and taking a cue off The Princess Bride and that kind of tone, that I could get away with it and make a film that is scary, potentially, but not upsetting. There's a difference between a child seeing a movie and being scared - which is good, that's the fun that gets you excited - as opposed to having them upset. If you were to show Zero Dark Thirty, they'd be upset."
On his approach to making the classic story for a contemporary audience: "I wanted there to be traditional elements like Jack, the hero's journey, the rags to riches hero's journey and the love story with the Princess. I wanted to kind of play on those. By having the tone be a bit heightened and reminding the audience that it's a story about storytelling - certainly with the opening scene and the ending of the movie - it let's you get away with the fairy tale aspects without being too sappy. I think the acknowledgement was that it is a fairy tale, but you have some cool stuff in it too."
On the film's target audience: "I think families. I mean listen, it would be great if teens went because they're going to be entertained too. They're not going to be bored during it, I don't think. But also, it's something that families can go to that they can just sit back, pull out the popcorn and just enjoy the adventure. Awards season is over. Enough. It's time to have an adventure. I even asked Warner Bros. if they could create an ad for around the Oscars that would kind of speak to that idea. So they created this intersticial where there is a red carpet and a limo drives up and a big foot squashes it."
On how realistic he wanted the giants to be: "It was a very delicate balance, because I didn't want them to be monsters and yet I didn't want them to be big people, either. So they had to be a hybrid. So we used the surfaces of nature. If you look at them they look like living, breathing creatures, but if you look close the boils on their skin can resemble rocks, weeds or grass. So my feeling was that they were created by something. They don't have a culture, I mean they have a culture in terms of this community, but they were crafted magically somehow. So that was our inspiration for the giants, mostly making sure that they were humanoid, but not too human, and not too monster."
On his lesson on the film being "don't overreach": "Yeah, don't mess with mother nature. I mean there is a lesson to overreach in a way. There's Isabelle and Jack who seek adventure, and seek each other. For Jack as a farm boy, his dream of being with Isabelle is a big dream. The beanstalk represents a big dream and I think giants are big. So in a way it is asperational, but at the same time I had to create a mythology to the giants so that I knew what they should look like. Because it was very challenging. There was a version of the script before I came on board where there were baby giants. and what started to happen was that it started to get confusing like, 'It's Jack the Giant Killer or Slayer, but what if I like the giants?' Whenever I read the story Jack and the Beanstalk as a kid I felt sorry for the giants. I mean Jack went into the guy's place, stole his stuff and then killed him. So I was like, 'We're not going to have sympathy for these giants, these giants will not be sympathetic.'"
On Nicholas Hoult: "I think he's like a young British Jimmy Stewart...He also has a sense of humor and vulnerability which was very necessary, particularly for Jack, so that the audience roots for him. And you root for Nick, he doesn't alienate you, he invites you in. Some guys are hunks and you're like, 'Okay, I get that he's a hunk and he's appealing but I can't relate to that character.' I may not look as good as Nick Hoult, but I can relate to him. I can relate to his awkwardness, his fears and his desires."