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Producer Joel Silver Talks "Speed Racer" and "Whiteout"

And What's Happening with "Logan's Run" and "Wonder Woman"

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Producer Joel Silver Talks

Joel Silver and Karen Fields at the Hollywood Premiere of "The Reaping" presented by Warner Bros Pictures.

© Richard Chavez

April 3, 2007 - At the press junket for The Reaping, a thriller directed by Stephen Hopkins and starring Hilary Swank as a miracle debunker, the always busy, always in demand producer Joel Silver caught the media up on a few of the films he has in various stages of production.

The Status of Whiteout: Silver had just returned from the set when he sat down for The Reaping junket. Commenting on that production Silver said, “It was cold up there. Look, they built the set on the shore of that Lake Winnipeg up there. It’s such an expansive ice; you could really see the curvature, and it really looked like an arch. It was fantastic to land those planes on that frozen lake. It really felt like it was the bottom of the world.”

Silver, who doesn’t mind cold weather shoots, reports filming has moved on to Montreal. “I prefer shooting in cold rather than shooting in hot because you can make yourself warm. You really can’t make yourself cool, so at least you can bundle up. When I was there it was 15 degrees, but there was a day at negative 40 at one point. It was cold. But, they got out of there, so they’re through with the exterior stuff now.”

Emile Hirsch Lands the Lead in Speed Racer: Silver and Warner Bros have confirmed Emile Hirsch (Alpha Dog) is Speed. Silver also says the Wachowski Brothers are set to make something special out of the live-action Speed Racer film. “First of all, they approach everything from a stand point of story and script. They’re writers first so the script they wrote is really spectacular. It’s a really great story and incredible characters.

They were impressed by Speed Racer because it was the first Japanese animation they saw when they were kids. It was the first time they were aware of a different kind of animation. It made them learn about Japanese animation, so it’s kind of seminal. They always like the idea of the material, so they’ve always known about it. And they’ve always wanted to make a movie that could be seen by the whole family. Every movie they’ve made have been adult movies.”

Silver continued, “They’re also great film buffs. They love Capra movies. They wanted to make a movie that could have real sentiment. And they feel that a lot of the adult films they see or are aware of are very cynical. But they feel that when they come to the family movies, some of the animated movies that we see…they feel they return to a kind of filmmaking that they love, so they feel like they can do that in this movie. It doesn’t have to be a cynical story, it can be a movie that is as human and as accessible and is sentimental. So you’re going to see a very kind of real story, and then technologically, you’re going to see things that you’ve never even dreamed of - or you’ve seen before.”

The Wachowski Touch: Asked if Andy and Larry Wachowski will be adding some of their own beliefs and philosophies to the mix, Silver said they definitely will. “But the way it’s being made is – I keep showing the studio tests and they sit in their room, and I put the lights down, I show them the test. Everybody just looks at me and they say, ‘Can you show that to us again?’ They can’t believe what they’re seeing; it’s just the way they’re working with images and how they’re putting it together. It’s going to be the first HD movie they’ve ever shot because they’ve never shot in HD.”

What’s going on with Wonder Woman?: Joss Whedon’s out after having worked on a Wonder Woman script for months and months, and Silver admits they’re still a ways off from being close to getting Wonder Woman into production. “We’re struggling with it, but we’ll fix it. We’ll solve it.”

One possible solution is to have Wonder Woman appear in the Justice League of America movie that’s being set up at Warner Bros. “I hope that happens. I don’t know where that… Again, I said this over at Wonder Con: for years now, Marvel’s just been kicking the DC Comics’ characters ass. They’ve been killing them. And look, I don’t know if that’s because the Marvel characters are more self-deprecating and more [of a] twist on the super hero character. But I mean, DC is the foundation of the super hero character. They’re where it came from. And Watchmen, it’s definitely not – it’s more in the Marvel direction but I would hope that we can bring some of these DC characters. They’re doing the new Batman now and I hope they can do another Superman. I hope we can figure out Wonder Woman. I hope they make Justice League and I hope we can do a lot of these characters because I think it’s good to get them out there. I’d like to try to win that war.”

Logan’s Run is Still in the Works: “Look, I’m passionate about that. Bryan Singer was really excited about it and then he made Superman. He left Logan’s Run to do Superman and it was kind of out of his system. But I’ll figure out a way to do it.”

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