Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Tarsem Singh Says He Initially Had "No Interest" For 'Immortals,' Spent A Year Retooling Script

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist April 11, 2011 at 4:30AM

Director Says He Made Necessary Changes In Mythology To Suit His StoryWhen fanciful visualist Tarsem Singh was first offered the chance to direct "Immortals," initially he wasn't having it.
0

Director Says He Made Necessary Changes In Mythology To Suit His Story



When fanciful visualist Tarsem Singh was first offered the chance to direct "Immortals," initially he wasn't having it.

"Genre rarely interest me, so when everybody wanted to make the film, immediately I said, 'No interest,' " the director recently admitted in an interview at WonderCon. Eventually Singh was swayed, but not before he demanded to put his stamp and overhaul what he thought was fairly predictable material. "The script I [initially] got... in the end it reflects nothing of what I originally came to it with," he said. "I just saw the script and said, 'right now it’s a genre,' but that will…let’s say open the vault [to other things]." After marinating on the basic idea, the director of "The Fall" and "The Cell" thought, "I can I bring enough of my DNA to get into this particular film. It will take me at least a year and a half to design it, and a year and a half to make sure that enough of what I want to do ends up in the movie."

"Originally I think Henry’s character was the King’s son and blah blah and everything, in the end he’s the son of a peasant now. I knew it was going to evolve," he said. "Forget about when the Romans imagined them, when the Renaissance came in and they saw the Greek tales they switched them up, especially in painting renditions of the war, and I said, ''If I’m making it today I don’t want to remain true to a particular period. I didn’t go as far as Romeo and Juliet in Mexico, which I adored, but I had to kind of figure out, what are the rules that apply to this world and it’s not consistent in that particular form."

The filmmaker demanded a hand in the casting and "everything." And of course some of his choices were second-guessed, including lead actor Henry Cavill. But the recent casting of Cavill in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" suddenly made Tarsem "look like a genius," he said.

Though Singh sounds tough, Isabel Lucas ("Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"), who plays Athena in the film, said he was easy to work with (and easier than Michael Bay). "He’s not a boss at all, that’s the point," she said. "He was more like a friend, we’d all be going out for dinner all the time and shouting at dinners everywhere and yeah, like very technical and very vision-driven director, but also an actor's director and really encouraging us to explore our individual creative styles. It’s very different from Michael Bay, with him you’re nearly like a chess character and you know that’s what you sign up for but with Tarsem it’s much more creative in a way."

As for knowing Roman and Greek mythology well and sticking to those folklores, Singh said, "it was drilled into us in school," but he didn't feel obligated to stick to either legend if it compromised what he wanted to do with the narrative. Changes were necessary.

"Do I think I followed it enough? I don’t think so," he said. "It’s a story about Odysseus, it’s a caveman telling a caveman story in dinosaur times, they do not exist together but if it solves all of your theatrical problems you try to go with it."

"I mean I loved [the 1981 film] "Caveman" with Ringo Star and dinosaurs in it. I saw that movie in India and I thought it perfectly worked until someone said, '[Dinosaurs and cavemen] never together,' he said as an example of the necessity for changing history for dramatic purposes. "When I look at Odysseus being intervened with the gods, I took what I thought worked with the tales of the gods. The issues of immortality, do you really want to live forever? So those subject matters I was interested in I said okay, gods stay and we put them in the time of Odysseus. [But no], they were never together."

Singh also preemptively told purists to stick to their books if they're going to complain as the two are simply different mediums. "If you are really a literature fan, I suggest you should read more literature, because I don’t think films should stay that close to books because literature’s brilliant and books are brilliant and if the two don’t mix …don’t."

"Immortals," is set to bow into 3D theaters on November 11.

This article is related to: Films, Tarsem, Immortals


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates