Gareth Edwards, Justin Simien, Louis Leterrier discuss blockbuster allure

Gareth Edwards
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At this weekend’s Comic Con, Gareth Edwards, Justin Simien and Louis Leterrier chatted about getting pulled into the tentpole movie-making machine. 

Gareth Edwards, Justin Simien and Louis Leterrier all know a thing or two about getting involved with big projects and the sacrifices that come with that.

Gareth Edwards (pictured) famously underwent some serious struggles during the shooting of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and wouldn’t helm another movie for seven years. Justin Simien went through the Lucasfilm machine too and after lots of development work, his Lando project would eventually be shelved. Leterrier has seen his fair share of problems too, including a tricky process in getting 2008’s The Incredible Hulk to the screen and picking up the reins on a studio behemoth like Fast X with virtually no notice.

The three directors were on a panel together as San Diego Comic Con and were chatting about some of the difficulties involved with studio filmmaking.

Says Simen: “You have a bunch of great initial meetings and the people are meeting with are genuinely excited, and then their bosses come into the picture. And they’re not so sure or they were in a shareholder meeting or whatever goes on above our pay grade. And somewhere in the middle, it changes.”

The attitude then becomes, in his words, “the very thing we hired you to do, let’s not do that.”

Leterrier echoed Edwards’ experiences, revealing that he once spent the best part of a year working with James Cameron on a Fantastic Voyage adaptation which was then killed in a moment by the studio.

The story is a good one.

“It was killed in the room,” he said. He also recounted how Cameron was not present at the pitch where the project was canned and he tried to to contact  him. “Did you get ghosted by him?” asked Simien. “No, no,” Leterrier said. “He had a good excuse. He was in the Mariana Trench.”

Not a bad excuse for being unavailable we suppose but trust a studio to wait until Jim Cameron is in one of the remotest places on Earth before canning one of his projects. Probably safer that way?

Edwards added his thoughts too, stating: “When I first came to L.A., I was like, ‘I’m not going to do it. I’m just going to make my own films and figure out the next one. There’s no way, you can’t talk me into it,’” he recalled. “And then what happened was ‘do you want to do Godzilla? Fuck. Of course you say yes … And after that, it was, that’s it, I’m not doing another. That’s the end of it. Then came, do you want to do Star Wars?”

Edwards has reverted back to working on an original film, The Creator for his return to Hollywood. Given the nature of their experiences, we wouldn’t be surprised if Simien and Leterrier followed suit for their next projects too. Or in Leterrier’s case, once he’s done with the next Fast film at least…

The Hollywood Reporter

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