Sep 18, 2019
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Headline, Industry News

Canadian film gets boffo launch at box office

“It’s been a long, hard journey to make it to this point. Many times I thought it would collapse under its own weight.”

Director Vincenzo Natali is talking about Splice, his remarkable sci-fi thriller that opens on 3,000 screens across North America on Friday. It’s blockbuster season, so that number would not be such a big deal if Splice weren’t a Canadian film. But it is. An independent English-Canadian film. Three thousand is a very, very, very, very big number.

The Toronto-based Natali and French star Delphine Chaneac are in town this week to talk about Splice, and the series of “miracles” that took his fevered brainchild from a potential straight-to-video release to one of the most buzzed-about Canadian movies in memory.

Splice is the story of two hotshot Toronto genetic engineers (played by Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody) who specialize in splicing DNA from different animals to create incredible new life forms. When they step across the ethical line by throwing human DNA into the soup, they get Chaneac’s Dren, a creature who is part human and part something else. The genie has left the bottle.

The script is by Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant and Montreal-based Doug Taylor, and it sets one mighty great hook from the opening scene. No wonder there were actually enough interested parties to pony up $25 million, an astonishing budget by Canadian standards. But that doesn’t mean making Splice was a gentle walk along the waterfront on a warm spring afternoon. The gestation took 10 painful years. There was no anaesthetic.

“On the one hand, it’s an intimate film,” says the appealing director of the 1997 cult hit Cube. “There are only five speaking roles, and Dren is at the very centre of things.

“Unlike most monsters, she’s on the screen all the time. She has to be perfect for audiences to buy into the story.” How felicitous then, that relative newcomer Chaneac was the first actor auditioned in Paris. And she is perfect in a tremendously complex role.

Then there are a couple of transgressive scenes that will not be described here but did put off any number of potential investors, including Hollywood, which would not touch the thing with robotic arms. Natali’s most important requirement of a filmmaker? “Patience.”

Fortunately, nothing bothers the French, who signed on as co-producers. Or Guillermo del Toro, director of Pan’s Labyrinth, one of the few recent films to parallel Splice’s deep, deliciously creepy exploration of Freudian psychology. He became a producer, adding an important seal of approval.

For all the difficulties, the 42-day shoot around Toronto in December 2007 went well, with unexpected snow showing up, and staying for the duration, adding yet another element to the mix. Post-production special effects took another chunk of time, but were worth every penny and all-nighter. Dren is completely believable, in an “of course she’s got legs like a deer and hands for feet,” kind of way.

Still, even as Splice premiered at Sundance last winter, Natali thought “we were going straight to video. But the response was good. We knew some would hate it, and some did. The sex scenes got a rise out of some people.”

One who saw the film and loved it was Joel Silver, mega-producer of The Matrix trilogy, the Lethal Weapon franchise and, most recently, Sherlock Holmes, a franchise in the making. Silver liked Splice for exactly what it was, a film both tremendously entertaining and elementally troubling. He took it to Warner Bros., as U.S. distributor. Seville and E1 Entertainment do the honours here.

“I really respect Silver,” says Natali. “He has the vision and the power to make things happen.

“If you had told me six months ago Warner’s would pick up the film and release it during the summer blockbuster season, I wouldn’t have believed you. We finished the film just in time for the economic collapse. It seems everything had to go wrong for everything to go right. We were operating out of the box. Through dumb luck, it all worked out. Like the creature, Splice just couldn’t be killed.”

Splice opens in theatres Friday. Read an interview with Chaneac in The Gazette and at montrealgazette.comon Friday.

Source: Montreal Gazette

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Headline, Industry News

Canadian film gets boffo launch at box office

“It’s been a long, hard journey to make it to this point. Many times I thought it would collapse under its own weight.”

Director Vincenzo Natali is talking about Splice, his remarkable sci-fi thriller that opens on 3,000 screens across North America on Friday. It’s blockbuster season, so that number would not be such a big deal if Splice weren’t a Canadian film. But it is. An independent English-Canadian film. Three thousand is a very, very, very, very big number.

The Toronto-based Natali and French star Delphine Chaneac are in town this week to talk about Splice, and the series of “miracles” that took his fevered brainchild from a potential straight-to-video release to one of the most buzzed-about Canadian movies in memory.

Splice is the story of two hotshot Toronto genetic engineers (played by Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody) who specialize in splicing DNA from different animals to create incredible new life forms. When they step across the ethical line by throwing human DNA into the soup, they get Chaneac’s Dren, a creature who is part human and part something else. The genie has left the bottle.

The script is by Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant and Montreal-based Doug Taylor, and it sets one mighty great hook from the opening scene. No wonder there were actually enough interested parties to pony up $25 million, an astonishing budget by Canadian standards. But that doesn’t mean making Splice was a gentle walk along the waterfront on a warm spring afternoon. The gestation took 10 painful years. There was no anaesthetic.

“On the one hand, it’s an intimate film,” says the appealing director of the 1997 cult hit Cube. “There are only five speaking roles, and Dren is at the very centre of things.

“Unlike most monsters, she’s on the screen all the time. She has to be perfect for audiences to buy into the story.” How felicitous then, that relative newcomer Chaneac was the first actor auditioned in Paris. And she is perfect in a tremendously complex role.

Then there are a couple of transgressive scenes that will not be described here but did put off any number of potential investors, including Hollywood, which would not touch the thing with robotic arms. Natali’s most important requirement of a filmmaker? “Patience.”

Fortunately, nothing bothers the French, who signed on as co-producers. Or Guillermo del Toro, director of Pan’s Labyrinth, one of the few recent films to parallel Splice’s deep, deliciously creepy exploration of Freudian psychology. He became a producer, adding an important seal of approval.

For all the difficulties, the 42-day shoot around Toronto in December 2007 went well, with unexpected snow showing up, and staying for the duration, adding yet another element to the mix. Post-production special effects took another chunk of time, but were worth every penny and all-nighter. Dren is completely believable, in an “of course she’s got legs like a deer and hands for feet,” kind of way.

Still, even as Splice premiered at Sundance last winter, Natali thought “we were going straight to video. But the response was good. We knew some would hate it, and some did. The sex scenes got a rise out of some people.”

One who saw the film and loved it was Joel Silver, mega-producer of The Matrix trilogy, the Lethal Weapon franchise and, most recently, Sherlock Holmes, a franchise in the making. Silver liked Splice for exactly what it was, a film both tremendously entertaining and elementally troubling. He took it to Warner Bros., as U.S. distributor. Seville and E1 Entertainment do the honours here.

“I really respect Silver,” says Natali. “He has the vision and the power to make things happen.

“If you had told me six months ago Warner’s would pick up the film and release it during the summer blockbuster season, I wouldn’t have believed you. We finished the film just in time for the economic collapse. It seems everything had to go wrong for everything to go right. We were operating out of the box. Through dumb luck, it all worked out. Like the creature, Splice just couldn’t be killed.”

Splice opens in theatres Friday. Read an interview with Chaneac in The Gazette and at montrealgazette.comon Friday.

Source: Montreal Gazette

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Headline, Industry News

Canadian film gets boffo launch at box office

“It’s been a long, hard journey to make it to this point. Many times I thought it would collapse under its own weight.”

Director Vincenzo Natali is talking about Splice, his remarkable sci-fi thriller that opens on 3,000 screens across North America on Friday. It’s blockbuster season, so that number would not be such a big deal if Splice weren’t a Canadian film. But it is. An independent English-Canadian film. Three thousand is a very, very, very, very big number.

The Toronto-based Natali and French star Delphine Chaneac are in town this week to talk about Splice, and the series of “miracles” that took his fevered brainchild from a potential straight-to-video release to one of the most buzzed-about Canadian movies in memory.

Splice is the story of two hotshot Toronto genetic engineers (played by Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody) who specialize in splicing DNA from different animals to create incredible new life forms. When they step across the ethical line by throwing human DNA into the soup, they get Chaneac’s Dren, a creature who is part human and part something else. The genie has left the bottle.

The script is by Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant and Montreal-based Doug Taylor, and it sets one mighty great hook from the opening scene. No wonder there were actually enough interested parties to pony up $25 million, an astonishing budget by Canadian standards. But that doesn’t mean making Splice was a gentle walk along the waterfront on a warm spring afternoon. The gestation took 10 painful years. There was no anaesthetic.

“On the one hand, it’s an intimate film,” says the appealing director of the 1997 cult hit Cube. “There are only five speaking roles, and Dren is at the very centre of things.

“Unlike most monsters, she’s on the screen all the time. She has to be perfect for audiences to buy into the story.” How felicitous then, that relative newcomer Chaneac was the first actor auditioned in Paris. And she is perfect in a tremendously complex role.

Then there are a couple of transgressive scenes that will not be described here but did put off any number of potential investors, including Hollywood, which would not touch the thing with robotic arms. Natali’s most important requirement of a filmmaker? “Patience.”

Fortunately, nothing bothers the French, who signed on as co-producers. Or Guillermo del Toro, director of Pan’s Labyrinth, one of the few recent films to parallel Splice’s deep, deliciously creepy exploration of Freudian psychology. He became a producer, adding an important seal of approval.

For all the difficulties, the 42-day shoot around Toronto in December 2007 went well, with unexpected snow showing up, and staying for the duration, adding yet another element to the mix. Post-production special effects took another chunk of time, but were worth every penny and all-nighter. Dren is completely believable, in an “of course she’s got legs like a deer and hands for feet,” kind of way.

Still, even as Splice premiered at Sundance last winter, Natali thought “we were going straight to video. But the response was good. We knew some would hate it, and some did. The sex scenes got a rise out of some people.”

One who saw the film and loved it was Joel Silver, mega-producer of The Matrix trilogy, the Lethal Weapon franchise and, most recently, Sherlock Holmes, a franchise in the making. Silver liked Splice for exactly what it was, a film both tremendously entertaining and elementally troubling. He took it to Warner Bros., as U.S. distributor. Seville and E1 Entertainment do the honours here.

“I really respect Silver,” says Natali. “He has the vision and the power to make things happen.

“If you had told me six months ago Warner’s would pick up the film and release it during the summer blockbuster season, I wouldn’t have believed you. We finished the film just in time for the economic collapse. It seems everything had to go wrong for everything to go right. We were operating out of the box. Through dumb luck, it all worked out. Like the creature, Splice just couldn’t be killed.”

Splice opens in theatres Friday. Read an interview with Chaneac in The Gazette and at montrealgazette.comon Friday.

Source: Montreal Gazette

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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