Video:Michael Davis Interview - Shoot 'Em Upwith Rebecca Murray
New Line Cinema's Shoot 'Em Up is a non-stop action film loaded with gunfights and starring two big name actors-Clive Owen & Paul Giamatti-as adversaries. At the San Diego Comic Con, writer/director Michael Davis spoke about his cast and the action.See Transcript
Transcript:Michael Davis Interview - Shoot 'Em UpRebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the 2007 San Diego Comic Con.
Writer/Director Michael Davis - Shoot 'Em Up
So Clive Owen is just perfect in this movie. How did you get him attached to this?
Michael Davis: "I ended up animating 10 of the action scenes with hand-drawn animation. It ended up being 15 minutes and it was basically shot for shot how I wanted the movie to be filmed. And so he read the script; he was intrigued by the character. And then when he saw the animated version of the movie he was like, 'Oh, this guy's going to totally pull it off. He knows exactly what he wants to be.' He could see, 'I want to be this guy in these action scenes.' So my ability to draw and animating all the action scenes got Clive."
And did he actually do most of his stunts or did you guys use stunt doubles a lot for this?
Michael Davis: "Clive did a lot of the stunts in the movie. When he's coming down the stairwell and he's rappelling and he's shooting the gun, that was all Clive. When he was diving, he dived into the pad. There was one day where one of the producers says, 'Oh, we're so close. We don't want Clive to get hurt. Don't have him do the big jump.' He comes up, 'No, no, no. I'm going to do this! This is going to rock. I can do it.' And he totally did a lot of his stuff."
How close was that first draft of the screenplay to what you actually ended up shooting?
Michael Davis: "You know, I shouldn't say this but the movie is very, very close to the first draft. The only change was is when we cast Paul Giamatti, they go, 'Paul Giamatti's so great. You've got to write more stuff for Paul.'"
So that character got padded out a lot?
Michael Davis: "Well you have to use Paul Giamatti. He's great so yeah!"
Any worries about having Clive Owen doing two baby rescue movies in a row?
Michael Davis: "You know I never really thought about it. The only really danger I thought was we wouldn't get him because of that. But he was so intrigued and the movies are so different. Children of Men is a very, very smart, intriguing, sci-fi future. This is just fun. Great action, and they're so different."
It's an action, it's a comedy, but to me it's almost like an action fantasy. Would I be off saying that?
Michael Davis: "The movie takes place in the real world. The action is larger than life, but I wouldn't want to say fantasy because it's grounded in the real world. I would call it an American John Woo or a blue collar Bond."
Did the studio ever tell you to tone it down or did they just let you go?
Michael Davis: "New Line let me make Shoot 'Em Up the way I wanted. I never got any notes to tone it back. In fact they wanted to keep going for it. You know, Bob Shaye started John Waters' career. He made Boogie Nights, P. T Anderson's career. They are not afraid of sort of pushing the envelope in cinema. They said, 'Go for it.'"
Was there any scene that you would have liked to film but just couldn't or did everything that was in your vision get into this movie?
Michael Davis: "Everything that I wanted to make and every kind of gunfight that I ever wanted to have is in Shoot 'Em Up. And that's what makes it so much fun. There's a great scene where they're skydiving and there's a gunfight in mid-air. There's a scene where Clive's making love to Monica Bellucci and it's a gunfight while they're still making love. It's all the crazy things you can do with a gunfight. And I got to make my movie exactly how I wanted to."
You've always been a James Bond freak obviously. Are you going to do any James Bond movies in the future?
Michael Davis: "Am I going to do any James Bond movies? They haven't come calling and so you know what? I'm just going to keep making my own action movies."