Last week the San Diego Comic Con hosted a special 3-D event where they premiered footage from all of the 3-D films arriving in theaters this year and next, one such film was New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Final Destination. After the event, B-D caught up with Producer Craig Perry who talked exclusively about the difficulties in keeping the franchise fresh, while also hinting that he has a special idea for a fifth film, assuming there is ever real talk of one. Read on for thre skinny and don’t forget that YOU can talk directly to Mr. Perry yourself over at the official Final Destination Group page right here on Bloody-Disgusting. Go get involved and check out The Final Destination in theaters August 28th.
One of the many highlights of the San Diego Comic Con was catching up with FINAL DESTINATION franchise producer Craig Perry, who talked a bit about the challenges of keeping the franchise rolling.
“The challenges of making FINAL DESTINATION 4 now, THE FINAL DESTINATION, there are actually a lot of them. A ways of making sure things simply themselves, the more you throw new things in the more complicated the rules become and suddenly you have endless kinds of character yammering away about rules…then you start wondering how the heck they’d find this stuff out,” he continues, “at the end of the day, the simple schematic, what’s happening married to great set pieces, it’s what people want to see and have fun with, and if you add one little twist, it keeps the thing fresh.”
The franchise is set up around one major set piece, and coming up with something fresh is only the first of many tough tasks. Sometimes even the kills don’t work as well as they originally thought…
“After every movie, coming up with new set pieces that you can have your characters be in that would be something that you and I could find ourselves in and we could get killed in [is tough]. As we mentioned in there [during the panel in Hall H], there was a supermarket sequence – a full sequence that was totally written – at the end of it, we read it again and thought, `this kind of sucks, he slips on a Mayonnaise jar that broke?’ It was kind of stupid, so we killed it and replaced it with something that was even better.” He continues, “Those are the real challenges as we get deeper and deeper in is keeping the formula clear – and adding a bit more to it so it doesn’t feel like an imitation, and ultimately coming up with set pieces [that are] fresh and original despite [being] part of the formula. If anyone would accuse us of being repetitive, well that’s true, but every set piece is different in the last three movies. That’s why I don’t feel like were repetitive, we have to be even more creative because we do have a formula we are following that is distinct and different to the locations that we choose.”
When we asked about the title change, Perry revealed a shocker… this could be the actual final destination for the FINAL DESTINATION franchise.
“It was really born out of – FD3 we were exploring shooting in 3-D, but there weren’t enough 3-D screens to make it economically viable to do. Now we get to FD4 and were like, `ehhhhh FD4 3-D, WTF does that even mean? It doesn’t make any sense.’ ” adding that the franchise started to look cheesy in name alone. “The more we looked at the “4” it looked like LEPRECHAUN 4, it became one of those movies. I think they took the queue from THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS; we rented the “THE” from them. I feel like it also speaks to the fact that this very well be the last one,” he reveals explaining that it’s tough to come up with a fresh spin. “These things are hard to figure out, they’re getting more and more expensive to do. This is kind of the intersection that makes everything come to bear. It has a healthy budget, the special FX is great, a great marketing department and it has a really nice franchise loyalty to build from and to deliver to, why push it any further than this?”
But don’t fret; Perry had an idea, just in case…
“Of course, Freddy had a FINAL NIGHTMARE too, and that didn’t last very long,” he jokes, “I do have an idea which would make it less expensive, but make it more interesting, [assuming] we’re fortunate enough to even have the conversation about what a fifth one would even be. I think that the fans in particular will appreciate the spin it pouts on the notions.”
Something many people don’t know is that FINAL DESTINATION 3 was New Line Cinema’s highest grossing film of the year. I think Michael Myers might be in some serious trouble, so does Perry.
“…and biggest opening and most profitable,” he injects into our conversation about the success of FINAL DESTINATION 3. “It paid for the LAST MIMZY. I do know that Warners has been engaged initially with The Weinstein Company, saying, `look, both of us will lose, you will lose more than we will, just move off the date.’ We can’t move because of the 3-D, were stuck with this date. The WB team is putting on a full court assault; I heard a rumor that we’re going to have 1800 3-D screens, every 3-D screen in the country is going to have this. It’s going to prove a point. Regardless, we’ll lose money from the presence [of HALOWEEN II], but I still feel confident that we will deliver.”
Some B_D insiders tipped us off that there were some reshoots, Perry isn’t hiding anything, in fact, it’s quite common practice for this franchise.
“The ending that we had just didn’t work, and you know what, we’ve reshot the ending since the first 3 [FINAL DESTINATION films] too.” He continues, “We went down to Orlando and reshot the ending and it was challenging. What we ended up having to do, we had narrative action on this side that had to stay the same, and had to cut out everything on the other side and replace it with something. It was a bit trickier than we thought. Ultimately, all of the reshoots that we did really helped all of the set pieces. There’s a lot of strategic fixing [for] the little things, the one thing about this franchise is that they’re so complicated…”
To see how Death’s tactics unfold this time, check out THE FINAL DESTINATION in theaters August 28th.