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Splat Chat: Exclusive One-on-One with 'Hatchet' Director Adam Green!

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Welcome! You’ve got Splat Chat!  Yes, that’s right, it’s our second installment of Splat Chat.  The interview series where our resident horror geek Scott Weinberg IM’s with a mover and shaker in the horror industry.  Last week he talked with Gregg Bishop, Director of Dance of the Dead.  This week he set his A.I.M. on Adam Green, writer/director of Hatchet and the upcoming title Frozen!  Log in now to see their chat about everything from Hatchet 2 to the remake of Friday the 13th and Disney’s Bolt!

Adam -- Just walked in and have to go back to the airport in 10 hours.

Scott -- OK, so lets get this out of the way, and move on: As of this second, what is the status of Hatchet Part Deux?
 
Adam -- As of this second H2 is happening sometime next year.  (The first one made AB too much money to NOT do it.)  But I still can't say for sure if I will be back at the helm due to my schedule and the time frame that they are currently considering. I am contractually committed to 2 other films and a TV show right now, so it's tough.

(At this point, Adam (an AIM newbie) vanished for about four minutes.)
 
Adam -- Back!
 
Scott -- OK, but you will be involved as writer, director, or producer. You don't seem likely to just wash your hands of it...
 
Adam -- I'd like to guarantee that, but I honestly don't know. Hatchet is Anchor Bay's only hit.  I trust that they will do right by it and not make a bad sequel that I can't put my name on and get behind.
 
Scott -- Cool. The fans will still be there. So have you watched any horror lately?
 
Adam -- My favorite movie lately was Bolt.  I know that's not too horror of me -- but damn did I love Bolt.
 
Scott -- Really. Bolt. Interesting. I just finished the very charming Horton Hears a Who. So take that, horror geeks! This is what gorehounds watch sometimes!
 
Adam -- Bishop's Dance of the Dead  is the best horror movie I've seen in months.

Scott -- Yeah, Dance is lots of fun. Holds up to repeat viewings, too, which is key.
 
Adam -- Script and acting and direction in Dance were all top-notch.  My kind of movie.
 
Scott -- So yeah, speaking of fancy dresses ... someone just got engaged! Let's publicly announce the impending nuptials of Adam Saul Green to Rileah .... Vanderhuseuen? Something fancy...

Adam -- Adam HARRIS Green and Rileah Vanderbilt (aka Young Victor Crowley from Hatchet).  Kinda sick when you think about it.
 
Scott -- Well, congrats man! 
 
Adam -- Thank you.  I just wanted to prove to the world that I loved Victor Crowley more than anyone in the world.
 
Scott -- Sudden topic shift! Let's hear your thoughts on the upcoming Friday the 13th remake. You and I are old-school purists, but SOME of the remakes actually work.

Adam -- I CAN'T WAIT FOR IT.  Man, that is one series that needed a reboot BADLY.  I love the team of Marcus Nispel and Daniel Pearl and I have high hopes that they can bring Jason around again.  Plus, there was never really a quintessential Friday film that everyone can agree is the ONE.  Personally, I love 2 and 4 the most, but Jason looked the best in 7.  Here's their chance to take everything that worked and put it together.
 
Scott -- Thats a good point: If you're gonna go with ANOTHER sequel or a new remake, I'd go with the reboot. Jason was gonna get another movie either way, so hopefully this is a good one. On my scale, 1, 2 and 4 are the class of the series, but I do like the snarkiness of 6.

Adam -- Nispel's TCM is one of my favorite remakes.

Scott -- I happen to think the TCM remake was a damn good horror movie, TOTALLY different from the brilliant original -- but damn good in its own right.

Adam -- Totally agree.
 
Scott -- OK, so wait a minute. You just got engaged, you've got a few projects that are hot right now, and ... um... A film you produced got into Sundance? Did you sell your soul to the devil, Harris?
 
Adam -- Holy shit... um...yes.  That is pretty crazy.  I guess my parents were right when they told me that GWAR was the devil's music. It worked!  Oderus Urungus is in control of my career.
 
Scott -- Better enjoy it now then!
 
Adam -- I bet in Hell they only do remakes.
 
Scott -- OK, so who the hell is is Paul Solet and why should we see his flick?
 
Adam -- Paul Solet is a FANTASTIC new talent on the genre scene and his film is calld Grace.  It is fucking great.  Yes, I produced it -- so you can't take my word for it.  But I'm telling you, this is something new and fresh for the genre.  It's morbid as hell and very disturbing ... but it's very real. Paul's vision of a horror movie is very much about the horror of human emotions.  Don't go in expecting a slasher or blood and guts or creepy Asian chicks crawling across the floor.  This is old fashioned Cronenberg body-horror type stuff.  Uncomfortable.  Sad.  Beautiful.
 
Scott
-- This is the first film you've produced that you didn't write, direct, or co-direct. So what sort of duties were you handling, and which stuff did you leave to your writer/director? 
 
Adam -- I was the one to champion Paul and my company (ArieScope Pictures) was the one to get the financing and distribution behind it.  My duties as producer (aside from the business side of it, which no one really cares about) were mainly to act as an advisor.  I did not direct a scene of this film. I did not write a word of it.  I merely did my best to offer Paul guidance.  It's his movie.  I am just part of what made it happen.

Scott -- Might be kinda tough for a first-timer to have a young director as a producer.
 
Adam -- Paul insists that my directing intuitions were a benefit to him on this.  He was able to lean on me for questions that a "money guy" wouldn't normally have answers to.  Plus, as a director, I was able to wear my producer hat with some knowledge of what's really going on.  So when Paul needed "X" and the money side of things dictated that "X" couldn't happen, Paul had someone on the inside to really help argue for the creative and not always just the financial responsibilities it came with.  Does that make sense?
 
Scott -- Sense enough. So when was the movie finished? Like, "we can show it to Sundance" finished.
 
Adam -- It was "show it to Sundance" finished in the end of September.  But we're still making some sound tweaks.
 
Scott -- You've done festivals before, and you've won some awards too, but Sundance is a big deal. So explain how you all heard about Grace getting in.
 
Adam -- Sundance is a HUGE deal!  But Grace is the perfect Sundance movie and we submitted with great hopes this time rather than "hell, it's worth a shot".  I got home from a GWAR concert (seriously) and one of my producing partners at ArieScope (Cory Neal) sent me a text.  It was 1am.  I called Paul and told him the good news -- and he texted Jordan Ladd -- and by 3 am, most of the Grace family knew. Then we had to sit on the news for like two weeks which was so hard!
 
Scott -- Speaking of Jordan Ladd, what do you think when you see IMDb posts that say 'OMG SHE HOT. DOS SHE GET NAKED?'

Adam -- I feel sad.  However, had you not sent me that link there is a good chance I would have never seen it. I totally get the "fun" of message boards to the folks who use them (for good and for bad) but once you start working on the other side, you know better than to look at that stuff.  No good can come of it.  8,000 people can say how much they love you, but it's the one ignorant vicious jealous vindictive asshole (who is probably your friend or somene you knew growing up) anonymously talking shit.  No thanks.

Scott -- My position is that if you want to talk shit about a film or a filmmaker, there are a few obvious guidelines: Don't get personal, make sure you have a decent point, write like a human being, and use your REAL NAME. Othwerwise I dont care what you think. You're graffiti to me.

Adam -- It's a weird, weird world.  I just wish I had that kind of time.  It's scary.  But come on "I hope she gets naked"?  And you had to POST that, dude?  What a loser.
 
Scott -- So are we talking about horny pervs or trash-talking haters?

Adam -- Both.  Horny pervs should be on Youporn, not IMDB. Haters will always be there.  I remember the first time I saw something negative written about my work -- and I felt so bad... until I went and looked at the boards for films like Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Godfather and saw all the trash talk.  Then I realized I had made it.  Can you believe that literally 11,000 morons on IMDB rated The Dark Knight a "1." One! Worst movie ever made? Really?  

Scott -- Ha! [Gregg] Bishop (Dance of the Dead) said the SAME THING last week:  But here's my question to you (and to him): Why would you care about a total stranger's opinion? A legit criticism from a film critic or an intelligent movie-watcher is one thing, but IMDb message boards?
 
Adam -- That's why I don't look.  And you know, critics, message board folks, none of it really matters.  And that's not just a figure of speech.  It helps your product when it's good and it stings when it's overtly bad -- but it's just an opinion.  At the end of the day, I have one of the greatest lives imaginable, getting to do what I do and live the way I live.  A negative comment about my movie that made millions of dollars and pleased a lot of people isn't going to get me down when I am climbing into bed at night. I think the annoyance is knowing that it's there and that OTHER people have to read it. 

Scott -- OK, we got off-topic for a sec, but that's sorta what Splat Chat is all about. Wheeeee! So which of the Grace gang is headed up to Park City? We can meet up for a warm beverage.
 
Adam
-- Well, Solet of course.  But from what I am hearing, Zoran Popovic (our DP) will be there as well as Austin Wntory (our composer -- who just may find himself nominated for an Oscar this year for a different film he did) and then probably me, Cory Neal, and Will Barratt from Ariescope, as we may already be in the neighborhood prepping Frozen. I think Jordan will be there, too.
 
Scott -- Aw, you stole my segue! I was gonna go from Sundance to Frozen, but you beat me to it!
 
Adam -- That's why they call me segue stealer.
 
Scott -- They so do. That and Harris.

Adam -- I leave to start location scouting Frozen in 8 hours.
 
Scott -- OK, so wait. You didn't tell anyone about Frozen. Not even me, and we talk about projects while we kill pre-teens in Halo 3... So you knew you had a nifty lil concept there, didn't you?
 
Adam -- This is a prime example of how you always have more going on than what you're willing to talk about.  I finished writing Frozen while on set for Grace, but kept it dead silent because I assumed I wouldn't even be considering making it until after (my romantic comedy) God Only Knows.  Well -- GOK pushed (again) and then all of a sudden, Frozen was hot.  The whole deal came together within days of showing it. It was remarkable. And to be working with Peter Block and be his first film out of the gate ... this could be big. They're not letting anyone read the last 15 pages.  Not even actors.  Not even the companies that already BOUGHT it worldwide.  Nuts.
 
Scott -- When I first heard the premise, which we'll get to in a minute, I wrote about it on Cinematical and called it "sorta like Open Water, but with hypothermia instead of sharks." Was I close? (No spoilers!)

Adam -- Yeah, that's close.  It's Open Water on a chairlift in terms of the set-up. Most when they read it (having heard the set-up) felt confident that it would fall flat, but then found themselves very surprised when it was at page 90 and they were still riveted.  It's very REAL.  The dialogue is REAL. The suffering is REAL.  The despair is REAL.  And the hope for survival is REAL.  There's a scene in the film when Parker (the girl) realizes that her puppy at home is going to starve to death as no one knows that she is there.  I mean think about it, if you died tomorrow in a car accident ... would someone know to go feed your cat?  Or even be able to?  What if they probably wouldn't know you were actually dead for weeks?  It's that type of shit that has me so passionate about this movie.  I get EXTREMELY emotionally involved with my actors heads -- and I am prepared for a ROUGH winter, let me tell you.
 
Scott -- It seems like a good psychological hook: Trapped, above, alone, freezing, trapped. Do you have a start date?
  
Adam -- Right now they're saying February 12th.  But I'd safely say before the end of February we will be rolling.
 
Scott -- How close are you on casting?
 
Adam -- My first casting session isn't until this Thursday.  While we are seeing "names" in some cases -- every single person is coming in and auditioning in front of me.  There's no "offers" going out on something where the acting is this important. I need to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that you're not gonna ruin my effing movie.  One bad performance in this and the whole thing goes out the window.
 
Scott -- Quick! Name four good horror movies that take place in mostly snow-covered locations (I made it four becaue one of 'em is too easy.)
 
Adam -- The Thing, The Shining, The Last Winter, Gremlins.

Scott -- Wow, nice. OK, two were too easy.
 
Adam
--  I've been looking at lighting in snow-covered movies.
 
Scott -- And whats the best?
 
Adam -- Children of Men. It's ash, not snow... but damn. Oddly, Will and I are not studying many horror movies for this one. We are looking at alot of dramas and action...

Scott -- Logical segue to ... Let the Right One In.
 
Adam -- OH.  MY.  GOD.  Saw it at FrightFest in London this past August and just loved, loved, loved it.  My Girl with a Vampire.  The last scene in the pool was so beautiful.  But thankfully we get a remake now because GOD FORBID we accept a foreign filmmaker's work if they're not Spanish...
 
Scott -- Spanish? [REC] got the remake deal. Timecrimes also. So nyeah.
 
Adam -- I suppose.  But The Orphanage and Pan's Labyrinth were good enough to come out here as is.  Why not Let the Right One In?  What are they gonna do better?  I get [REC] only because it's a "found footage" movie and for many Americans, unfortunately, that would be hard to get into if they had to read while believing it is real.
 
Scott -- Well, Del Toro has that clout, but remakes or originals, a good movie is a good movie. Plus LTROI has been making its way across the country. Magnolia's handling it pretty well!
 
Adam -- Del Toro is amazing. That is all.

Scott -- So what about this James Gunn thingy?
 
Adam -- James Gunn's thingy?  Gross, dude.
 
Scott -- I know, I've seen his Youporn videos.

Adam -- Gunn and Xbox teamed up to do this whole "Horror meets Comedy" thing where eight horror directors were asked to create comedy web pilots exclsively for XBOX LIVE consoles.  I was one of them. Mine is called Fairy Tale Police, and it will be available on your XBOX December 17th.
 
Scott
-- Just mine??

Adam -- Yep. Invite friends over, please.
 
Scott
-- OK, so the question is: If you were Guillermo del Toro, who can apparently make and remake any genre film he wants, what would you do?

Adam -- Geez. I suppose I would put a worldwide search out there to find me my own E.T. -- I read scripts every day and I just can't find anything that makes me feel like that.  Even when I play John Williams behind it as I read it.  I would love to have been the one to remake Clash of the Titans, because with the combination of today's technology and real prosthetics and miniatures ... that movie could be sick as hell.  I'd also like to do a werewolf movie that is actually scary.  Like go back to Landis' Thriller video and remove the dance number, and add the killing.
 
Scott -- Y'know, after American Werewolf in London, theres a big drop-off. There's a handful of good werewolf movies, but not many great ones.
 
Adam -- American Werewolf is the standard to which all werewolf films are held.
 
Scott -- Of course -- but the original Universal, maybe a Hammer, The Howling, Ginger Snaps, Dog Soldiers. What else?
 
Adam
-- Did you see Trick r Treat?  Not a werewlf movie -- but a great werewolf scene.
 
Scott -- No. I DONT LIVE IN L.A.
 
Adam -- BEST HALLOWEEN MOVIE EVER!
 
Scott -- So why is the studio dumping it? I dont get it. If the genre fans really like it, release the damn thing somehwere.
 
Adam
--  I wish the world understood how this shit really worked?  Do you know why movies like Saw make the money they do?  Because Lionsgate spent SO MUCH money chucking it down your throat that you went to go see it and it opened huge. Warner Brothers isn't really a "horror studio" hungry for horror hits like Lionsgate used to be.  They aren't gonna spend 20-50 million marketing a genre title with no stars,  But the budget was too big to just throw to DVD ... so instead, they're just sort of sitting there with it.
 
Scott -- And you just said Trick 'r' Treat is better than the original Halloween. Fucking blasphemy dude, I dont care how good it is.
 
Adam -- All I'm saying is that you will forever throw BOTH films in religiously every Halloween from here on in.  Halloween is a scary slasher set on the holiday... Trick r Treat is a HALLOWEEN movie.  You'll see.  They can't be compared.
 
Scott -- OK, so tell us about your big superhero project.
 
Adam -- Right, so I went in on a general meeting with the D.C. guys and they mentioned how they are going to be making a new slate of animated movies about their characters,  And I mentioned this storyline that I had for a cool Aquaman movie that was really scary and dark.  And then they asked me to come back and tell them the full story. So I did.  And they literally bought it in the room -- and since summer, I have been working on writing this animated Aquaman movie -- tentatively called AQUAMAN: HERO OF ATLANTIS.
 
Scott -- Between Entourage and that failed TV pilot, the poor guy has had a bad run lately. But I always liked him on Super Friends.
 
Adam -- My film actually pits Aquaman and Ocean Master TOGETHER fighting against THE KORDAX (a giant Kraken-like / Cloverfield-like monster). It's PG-13 so they are letting me get away with a lot more than what you would normally get in a Justice League animated feature.
 
Scott -- WB and DC has done a few of these already for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman ...So this will be a series of DVD movies, one for each major chartacer?

Adam-- Pretty much.  I am not 100% sure how many other characters they are doing.  Aquaman doesn't go into production til next year and it takes a YEAR to make.  So it won't be done til 2011 or maybe even 2012.
 
Scott -- So did they ask you to pick which heroes you like? Or did they say "Hey, you like Aquaman?"
 
Adam -- They asked me, and I offered up Aquaman because of this specific story I had in mind.
 
Scott -- Are they doing a GREEN LANTERN one??? Woohoo! 
 
Adam -- I honestly have no idea.  All I know is that I'm almost finished with my second draft and I'm excited to turn it in.
 
Scott -- Nice. I love animation and I love superheroes. Good to see DC doing something with their cool characters. The Wonder Woman one looks pretty good!
 
Adam -- Wonder Woman is hot.
 
Scott -- So let's wrap up with something big: I just read in the trades that Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2) was hired to direct "Adam & Rileah's Wedding Video." Can you comment on that?
 
Adam -- Joe Lynch isn't even invited.  He can direct the traffic outside though.  Or will he find a way to direct traffic in a way that disturbs sexual deviants in Australia, again?  Sorry, but I don't want my wedding video on the DO NOT WATCH list down under.

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