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Immersed in Movies: VFX Vet Dean Wright Talks Directing Mexico Period Drama 'For Greater Glory'

Photo of Bill Desowitz By Bill Desowitz | Thompson on Hollywood May 31, 2012 at 7:32PM

Dean Wright is the latest VFXer to cross over into directing with "For Greater Glory" (opening tomorrow in limited release), following in the footsteps of James Cameron, Peter Jackson, and Andrew Adamson...
For Greater Glory

For a WASP from Michigan, this inspirational story resonated deeply. Wright says everyone involved personalized it: Garcia saw it as a Cuban; O'Toole as a European; all the Latinos saw it from their individual perspectives. As part of a grass roots promotional campaign a la "The Passion of the Christ," distributor Arc Entertainment has hosted a series of screenings for Hispanic cultural and political organizations. From Wright's perspective, the response has been encouraging

Meanwhile, "For Greater Glory" opened a month ago in Mexico, and while it's done well, this long suppressed atrocity has also opened old wounds. Theater owners, for example, told patrons that screenings were sold out during the second week even though there were seats available.

"At some point, individuals can only be oppressed so long," Wright continues. "And the atrocities were far worse than we showed. But it has international appeal. Look at what happened when that fruit vendor set himself on fire in Tunisia and toppled governments."

Ironically, Wright only gravitated toward "For Greater Glory" after his pet project, the biblical "Kingdom Come," was aborted weeks before production when the economic crisis hit in 2008. Wright would still like to resurrect "Kingdom Come." It's big and bold: "Ben-Hur" meets "Lord of the Rings."

"I enjoy VFX and popcorn movies as much as anyone, but it's such a pleasure discovering scenes on location with actors and blocking them out," Wright enthuses.

This article is related to: Immersed In Movies, Genres, Interviews, Period, VFX

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.