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Darren Aronofsky and Rachel Weisz Talk About "The Fountain"

Interview with Aronofsky and Weisz on the Sci-Fi/Drama "The Fountain"

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Darren Aronofsky and Rachel Weisz Talk About

Rachel Weisz at the San Diego Comic Con

© Richard Chavez
What is “The Fountain?” Writer/director Darren Aronofsky follows up “Pi” and “Requiem for a Dream” with “The Fountain,” a mix of sci-fi, drama, and romance. “The Fountain” takes place over the course of 1,000 years and follows one man’s struggle to save the life of the woman he loves.

In a Nutshell – The Story of “The Fountain:” “The Fountain” star Rachel Weisz said, “It’s a love story, very passionate, raw love story. And it’s also about life and death. That’s what I think it’s about.” Aronofsky added, “It’s about the search for the Fountain of Youth for a man trying to save his own life and his wife’s life.”

Darren Aronofsky on His Passion for “The Fountain:” “Why? Because it’s fun to watch conquistadors fight Mayans, and it’s fun to shoot guys into outer space floating around, so I wanted to do a little bit of everything. But I think one of the initial things was, ‘How come no one’s ever made a film about the Tree of Life?’ In Genesis, there’s two trees: the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. It’s something that’s been in human mythology forever. People wanting to live forever.

In our oldest story it’s Gilgamesh through the Bible through the tree that Buddha sat underneath to Ponce de Leon as a conquistador. It’s just been throughout mythology forever, but Hollywood’s never really made a movie about it. Yet wanting to live forever is so deep in our culture and youth culture’s so big from ‘Nip/Tuck’ to everything. People pray to be young so I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a good thing to write about.’ So that’s sort of where it started. And then to tell the story I realized, because it’s about immortality, it’s pretty hard to tell it within a film that takes place just in the present, so it spans a thousand years. Everyone knew what the millennium was because we just had the millennium so it’s kind of cool - a thousand years. So it takes place in the 16th century, 20th century right now, and the 26th century.”

Darren Aronofsky on Changes Between the Brad Pitt Version and the Hugh Jackman Version: “It was a $90 million movie when it was with Brad and then when it fell apart, no one wanted to make it. Partly because there was a lot of money against it and also because it kind of got, it just had stalled and everyone gets scared of that. So about seven months after it fell apart and I had been looking for another project, I woke up one night in the middle of the night and couldn’t sleep. I went into my office and right across from me were all the books that I had read to do research for it. I was like, ‘You know what? This is still in my blood; I can’t get it out of my blood.’

I realized that I was an independent filmmaker and I made ‘Pi’ for $60,000. I knew how to do that so I was like, ‘So what’s the gorilla version of a $90 million movie?’ And what it is is a $35 million film, which is what it became.

I rewrote it so that they couldn’t say no to it because it was such a good deal, because it was big, epic action adventure and it was cheap. It’s changed a lot, but I only stayed with it because at the core it was the same material that I wanted. It was the same story, it just became something more reignable. I could reign in.

I just reduced it down to one thing. It used to be a much different type of action [movie] and I just said, ‘What is it really about? Well, it’s about a guy trying to live forever. That’s what it’s about. So how do I show that?’ So it became Hugh Jackman versus the forces of evil versus him having a whole army. I just reduced it to its core and it actually became better. So it’s a much better film than it would have been, but it still would have been a good film - I know that.”

Rachel Weisz on Her Attraction to Sci-Fi/Fantasy Films: “…It’s the supernatural, the world outside our normal world. Different rules apply, anything’s possible, [and it’s] a world of the imagination. I just I think I’m just drawn to magical, supernatural things. I think as children we’re all drawn to that, and then maybe as adults most grow out of it. Some of us don’t and I definitely haven’t grown out of it.”

PAGE 2: Rachel Weisz on Her Character and Working with Darren Aronofsky

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