Columbia Pictures’ Silent Hill was a beast theatrically taking in nearly $100 million worldwide, so the fact that sequel talks haven’t risen sooner is a little odd to me. Today B-D reader ‘Domenic’ pointed me in the direction of a French website, which has an incredible interview with Director Christophe Gans in which is confirms plans for a Silent Hill 2, which will be written once agian by Roger Avary once he has completed Driver. Read on for the skinny.
The interview can be read in French over at DVD Rama
Translation courtesy of Silenthillforum:
BOBLECON1096 writes in the forum:
“Okay, since this is a very long interview, I tried my best to give you the important details. I’m sorry in advance for the spelling mistakes or if something is not well said and I hope others will help me completing it.
Gans worked on the Silent Hill movie for a long time. In fact, he ended it 10 days after its US release which why they didn’t have time to do bonus scenes (alternate endings, etc.).
He doesn’t want people to buy x different versions of a SH collector so he is going to make one after completing his Onimusha movie.
The 1 hour making-of present on DVD was made by Sony and talks only about the creatures and the architecture. According to him, this making of is incomplete.
Another reason he wants to release the collector so late is to have the opportunity to work with DVD and DVD-HD.
He considers the DVD Zone 1 cover and compression to be a total disaster. He then used his relations with producer Samuel Hadida to personnally give the Zone 2 DVD a better shape. Also, the features in both zones are apparently the same.
The SH collector should contain more information about game/movie translation and his workteam with Akira Yamaoka. He wants to rebuild the road he took to make the movie the way it is. He also confesses that during the making he stayed as an “illustrator” and focused more on the visual aspect of the game. Akira also wanted the movie to be released before the announcement of the 5th game to convince Konami to financially validate it.
For Gans, SH is a popular franchise in Anglo-saxon countries (US/UK) and Germany but is not loved a lot in countries like Japan and France (so why do they get all the goodies? )
Commercial success —> Silent Hill got crushed both in Japan and Germany (because of Mission Impossible 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean). However, he says the movie achieved its 100M$ and did better than Resident Evil. The country where Silent Hill did best however is the US. (50M in theatres, 30M DVD rent and 30M DVD sales)
There will be a Silent Hill 2. Avary returns after adapting the VG Driver
Gans is happy because Silent Hill is one of the biggest horror success of 2006 in terme of box-office. He arrives 3rd after Saw 3 and an american haunting.
Sean Bean —> The husband was supposed to appear only in the beginning and the end. The executives were afraid to make a movie without a man. Gans confesses he never found his scenes to be useful. These scenes created a problem in the movie: they affected the “subjective” time of the movie by the alternance of day/night. The movie worked as a Twilight Zone episode but the husband scenes messed things up. Gans realized he should have kept Sean Bean’s scenes for the DVD only. The movie testing wasn’t done with people coming from outside the studios.
Gans also confesses that his movie shouldn’t have lasted 2 hours. for a horror movie. With Sean Bean, Gans had to work faster and had to replace some long scenes with something “smaller”.
One of the causes he was forced to add Christopher is because he says the studio have a “quantity” reasonning. They want each character to be analysed in function of a particular audience (in this case, Christopher for the men). Considering the freedom he had on his project, Gans doesn’t consider it to be a big sacrifice. Also, the studios didn’t add any other comments on the movie since it cost them only 14 M$ to acquire and they wanted the movie to be released.
Censorship was blank. As long as the story was fiction and guns were useless it was fine with studios. Plus it is the story of a loving mother. Studios didn’t care about the rest. A reason why Gans finds censorship to be absurd and useless.
Cut scenes —> There is only one scene that didn’t made it in the movie: a church scene with Christabella. As for the lying figure scene attacking Anna, it is more complicated. The Lying figure was supposed to be injured and it was trying to slither on the road and go hide in the sewers. This scene was filmed but the crew had only 60 shooting days to do it. So the producers wanted to save money and told Roberto Campanella (the monster supervisor) to stay home. So the crew tried to make the lying figure scene without him but the result was way too bad. Gans and the producers had a fight about making this scene but due to budget limits, the scene didn’t made it.
Gans had also a different idea about the end (where alessa appears and slices the cult members). When Christabella stabs Rose, a black smoke comes from the woman and 6 pyramid heads appear, each one holding a different weapon. The 6 PH will then cut, dice, slice the cult members to create a Dante’s inferno hommage. Again due to budget and time, Gans had only one day and half to film this scene. Many wanted this scene but the people from the insurance asked something that could be done in one day and half.
The scene with Alessa killing the cult is inspired from the Japanese animation Legend Of The Overfiend. Plans from this anime were also used to complete the editing. Compare the first OVA of Legend Of The Overfiend to see the similarities.
Gans used what critics said about his last movie Brotherhood of the wolf to correct the mistakes in Silent hill. One of them was to put less references to movies, paintings in the SH movie. Being a former movie critique, he says that he always read what people think of his work, good or bad, to improve his next movie.
After watching Silent Hill, Gans regrets that he didn’t create fear effects. He didn,t want things like “door closing with high sounds”. He wanted a fantasy movie more than horror. His goal was not to take the audience for idiots. The idea that Silent Hill is more of a literary horror pushed him to ignore the usual ideas of slashers and high tension.
Although he tried to create a scary movie where it is more of disturbance than of jump scares just for the audience, he feels bad about the fact that many didn’t find silent Hill scary. He doesn’t want to consider an audience better than another. Although he likes to hear that Silent hill is nowhere near a slasher.
One of his goals for Silent Hill 2 is to correct mistakes he made with the 1st one which cost him a lot of energy. However, he wonders if he can truly come back for a 2nd movie because of Onimusha. He says that if he doesn’t come back, producers agree with him that the 2nd movie should keep the visual aspect of the 1st one. There is no way they are bringing a whole new vision of the town’s design. He doesn’t want a hollywoodian movie. If he doesn’t come back as a director, he strongly suggest an European (and even a French) one. He will however stay close to this movie.”