Slither: Exclusive 1-on-1 Interview with James Gunn!

So the Comic Con was a complete disaster for me, does that mean it was the same way for my reporter? Yep. But at least they got some coverage out of their weekend. Brian Myers sat down for five minutes with writer/director James Gunn about his upcoming film Slither’s, which Universal will be releasing in theaters January 2006. Read on for a exclusive one-on-one with the man, and watch for more coverage in the coming week!
Slither’s James Gunn
Interview by: Brian “Pukey McDrinksalot” Myers

Q: Well I have to say it’s nice to see a fellow former Troma employee making it.

JG: It’s a rare thing, it’s good, I loved working at Troma. Troma I learned everything, the great thing about working at Troma is you learn everything about being in pre-production, post production, marketing the film, everything. People pay a lot to go to film school, I didn’t get paid much at Troma, but I got paid a little and I didn’t have to pay eighty thousand dollars to go to film school.

Q: A lot of what I’m hearing about Slither is that it’s reminiscent of Night of the Creeps.

JG: Yeah, people keep bringing up Night of the Creeps, for me, I’m just sick of the basic PG-13 horror, I’m sick with the same horror movies coming out again and again. Hollywood does the same thing, when a horror movie comes out and does well, which is great, like Scream came out then there were a million Screams, Dawn of the Dead there were a million Dawn of the Deads, The Grudge comes out there’s a million of those. I wanted to do something that was complete different, I wanted to do something that was complete extreme, that had a lot of heart, but was humorous that harkened back to the old body horror films of the eighties. The Cronenberg movies like the Brood, It Came From Within, Videodrome, The Thing, Carpenters film, Re-Animator, all these great films with that gristly, gory prosthetic effects just doesn’t happen anymore today. I don’t want to say it’s too serious, but in some ways too boring, too slick, trying not to be in your face. So I wanted to do something that was over the top and extreme, that still had great actors, with a great cast with Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, and Elizabeth Banks, and Gregg Henry, I’m really excited.

Q: How would you contrast doing something like Slither for Universal vs. doing something like the Specials?

JG: The Specials was my worst film making experience in my life, so it’s not exactly the best one to bring up. I really had so many fights with people on that movie that it was difficult for me, a lot of which was my fault and I take full responsibility for that. Gold Circle financed this film so I’ve had free reign to do whatever I wanted to do with the movie. Paul Brooks is one of our producers along with Eric Newman and in the end he owns the movie and he’s the one person who has the right to tell me not to do something and his opinion means a lot to me, but in the end he’s stated many time he’s really happy with the what the movie is so if there is a fight between me and him he lets me have my way and so I’ve been able to do whatever I’ve wanted to with the movie. So I haven’t had any hampering what so ever from Universal and they were great during the casting process, I really expected to have nancy boy actors pushed on me, the truth is they were really up for getting the best cast for the roles. I think we have a great cast and which is rare for a movie like this is to have the seasoned actors that we do. To have someone like Nathan, who is the lead, who at the time he’d done Serentity which was far from coming out, he’s starting to get some steam now, but it was a big risk to make this with someone like him. I think it’s great.

Q: When you were writing the script did you have certain actors in mind?

JG: Rooker I had in mind, Rooker for the role of Grant Grant was somebody I had thought of early on he would be good for this role, so I had him in mind from the beginning. I’m glad I got him, I’m excited the agreed to it, and the rest of the people fit.