09:00am ET, 27-July-04
Constantine Is Gritty
Francis Lawrence, who directed the upcoming supernatural film Constantine, told SCI FI Wire that he deliberately avoided shooting the movie in the style of a comic book, even though it's based on the Vertigo graphic novel Hellblazer. "My approach to this from the beginning was to never shoot it like a comic-book movie," Lawrence said in an interview at Comic-Con International in San Diego over the weekend. "I think that's been done before."
Lawrence added, "It was done very, very well with Tim Burton's original Batman. From then [on], I don't think anybody's really topped that. Everybody's built Gotham City again, whether it's called Gotham City or not. Everybody's done the dutched angles and all the bright colors and made things super-campy. And what I wanted to do, and what I always loved about the comic, was it was rooted in a reality and in real places. What I really wanted to do was make it really feel real. And it seems to be working. It seems to be what people are responding to. It's not all hyper-real. It's not super-stylized. It's rooted in a gritty reality."
To play up Constantine's gritty look and feel, Lawrence transferred the action of the story from the comic's London to Los Angeles, scene of many films noir. "I was referencing the movie Training Day, because we were shooting in L.A., and it's sort of this different side of L.A. you don't see," Lawrence said. "It's a little more ethnic. It's a little more realistic L.A. It's not just sort of the landmarks of L.A. I like the colors of that. The feelings and the textures of that. And I actually worked with the production designer of that film on this as well. If you want a reference for [the film's] look, you can go with that. The 'noir' comes more in the tone of the character and the structure of the story and the way Constantine interacts and deals with people and the world around him."
Constantine stars Keanu Reeves as supernatural detective John Constantine, who is facing death by lung cancer and must find a way to stave off the demonic forces that want to drag him to hell. "There are plenty elements of horror in this," Lawrence said. "There are plenty of scares. It's creepy throughout. What's interesting about this movie, and what I'm really proud of, too, is that it's not really genre-specific. It's not a supernatural thriller. It's not a horror film. It's not four kids in a van going off and getting chopped up by an ax murderer. It's not just fantasy. It's this weird blend of all these things."
Of...course it is.
One more from SciFiWire:
09:00am ET, 26-July-04
Reeves Talks Constantine
Keanu Reeves--who stars in the upcoming Constantine, a film based on Vertigo Comics' Hellblazer series--told SCI FI Wire that the movie deals with redemption in a world that's not always a great place. "He's fighting for his life," Reeves said of his character, John Constantine, in an interview at Comic-Con International in San Diego over the weekend. "Constantine committed suicide to get out of here. He can see things and has knowledge about how the world works that is distressing to him. He committed suicide. Now he's trying to find his way into heaven and the Lord's grace, and I think that's symbolic of him trying to find ... a better life. It's a struggle with his own nature, because he's not the nicest guy all the time, which is fun."
Reeves plays supernatural detective Constantine, who has had to strike deals with demons in his work and now faces death due to lung cancer, with hell lapping at his feet. Reeves, who plays the blond British comic character as a brunet American, added, "I really love the guy. I love his anger, and I loved his wry sense of humor about the awfulness of the world and having to deal with [it] day in and day out, and what that's kind of turned him into. [Co-star] Djimon [Hounsou's] playing Midnite [a witch doctor], and we're like warriors in this world of shit, just trying to deal with it. And I like that." Constantine, directed by Francis Lawrence and co-starring Rachel Weisz, is slated for release in February 2005.
From Upcoming Horror Movies:
Director Francis Lawrence talked with SciFi Wire recently about the Keanu and the film, saying...
"Well, I don't want to get into anything sort of personal, but, I mean, Keanu is kind of a haunted guy, and he's sort of elusive and he's kind of mysterious," Lawrence said in an interview on the set in Compton, Calif., last December. "He's had some sort of tragic things happen to him, and I think [he] ... lives that life a little bit. He's also, I would say, a little self-destructive, which I think Constantine is, you know?"
He then added... "What I think first attracted me to this project was just the character himself. Not the fact that he was English, not the fact that he had blond hair and not the fact that he wore an olive-colored trench coat. It was sort of what made him who he was. And I think we've maintained that."
What is that, exactly? "I think it's the whole idea of an antihero. This guy that sort of understands the world to be a place that normal people don't know exists. I think that he's sort of a supernatural, hard-boiled detective. He reminds me of the Sam Spades and characters from the classic film noirs."
Huh. Um...huh. Maybe this film won't completely tank. Maybe Keanu can pull it off. Why, Constantine and Keanu are so much alike...they're both sort of elusive and mysterious, and kind of haunted, and have to stand in buckets of water for their powers to...wait.
That's neither Keanu Reeves nor John Constantine. Sorry, forgot there for a moment...