Rob Zombie interview
After months of speculation, rumors, supposed “on-set reports” and blogging, the wait is finally over for the fans and curiosity-seekers– Rob Zombie’s Halloween has arrived. Writer/director Zombie, 42, has done his best to keep the details a secret, but the prequel/remake of John Carpenter’s 1978 classic wasn’t even something that he had considered doing, especially after the success of his original films, The Devil’s Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses. He says, “It never even crossed my mind. I had a meeting with [movie studio head] Bob Weinstein and he mentioned that they owned the Halloween franchise and he didn’t know if they wanted to do a sequel, remake or what they wanted to do. They had seven or eight scripts for part 9 but I didn’t think I wanted to be involved because I thought the series had run its course. I went away and thought, “It seems exciting to start over. I wouldn’t want to do Part 9, though, because at that point it just screams “direct-to-video."
Although his films are known for being a little extreme, he dismisses reports that this is an extremely violent remake. He explains, “I hate fake violence in movies. I don’t understand it. I like things to seem real. There are no heads exploding or being chopped off or anything like that. It’s not some gory bloodbath.”
Here’s more from Zombie, in an exclusive interview by Paul Salfen:
Did you feel pressure from the studio, the fans or anyone else involved to stay true to the original film?
As far as the studio – no pressure. In fact, they wanted it to be as different as possible. Everyone seems to think the studio is this big scary monster, but I got to cast who I wanted to cast and do what I wanted to do. The fans are all over the place. I wasn’t trying to make the same movie that already existed. I think a lot of these remakes look, sound, feel and unfold like the originals – they just have different actors. I wanted to retain the essence of what made Halloween great but adding a lot of young Michael, which makes it a different animal.
hat was your conversation like with John Carpenter when you received his blessing to remake Halloween?
It was pretty short. I just called him to tell him first so he would hear it first from me. I’ve known John for about ten years now and he’s a great guy and I had respect for him, so I wanted him to know, so we ended up talking about other crap, but he was like, “Hey, great – go for it. Do your thing, man.”
Did you require your cast to see the original if they hadn’t already?
I wanted everyone to come in totally fresh. Malcolm McDowell hadn’t seen the original. Anyone who hadn’t seen the original, I didn’t want them to see it because I didn’t want them to come in thinking about what had come before. What usually makes the original great is because they weren’t going with anything that had come before and they created that character.
Were you frustrated by the leaked script and the constant online speculation about every detail of the movie?
It doesn’t really frustrate me because that’s the way things are. I think ultimately a lot of the fans ruin the experience for themselves in advance. They go in going, “Well I know the script, I know the plot lines and I know everything else.” And I’m going, “Let me guess – it wasn’t a shocker to you”. When I went in and saw Jaws when I was a kid, I literally knew nothing. I assumed that there was a shark in the movie and you sit there and you’re blown away. So I tried to keep some things secret, which leads people to think you’re lying about stuff, but really it’s a tent to try and protect the surprise. I know they’re fans, but they ruin it for themselves in the long run. You can’t really protect anything. As soon as you hand out scripts, you don’t know where the hell they go.
So will you continue the franchise if you feel you have revived it?
I’m done. I came in and made a movie that I thought was a self-contained film and now I’m walking away.
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