I got scooped again! Thanks to Francesco Manga from the DD Facebook fan page for this. Enjoy!
I got scooped again! Thanks to Francesco Manga from the DD Facebook fan page for this. Enjoy!
So in case you missed it, The Boss dropped this little tidbit out to the internet:
“So yesterday morning brought a fun day trip to Fotokem in LA to screen the final film print (with final sound mix) of Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. In one word: amazing. In two words: #$%@#ing amazing. Everyone did a great job. So it’s done. Finally. Now back at Lucasfilm doing preproduction, however now with a case of post-partum depression. Eagerly awaiting getting DD set up domestically once and for all!! More to come on that front as we can now show the movie to distributors… Stay tuned.”
Jeez…give a guy a forum to answer a few questions and suddenly he thinks he’s the King of the Internet! OOooo, look at me, I’m designing fairies for Lucas now so I can announce anything I want wherever I want to! Ooo!!!
Just kidding, Kev. Glad you’re so happy with the final product. I was blown away, too, and you deserve a big congrats for being the guiding force on it all. It turned out even better than I had imagined. And just to clarify, the movie WILL be in the theaters domestically. As I’ve said before, we had that before we shot a bit of film. Having a distributor take over all that work and do it for us (which is what Kevin is referring to here) is a whole different animal. It’s very complicated and best left for those with bigger brains than mine to fully explain, but you will see this movie on the big screen, it’s just a matter of who it’ll be through at this point.
Ask the Boss Part 2
Will we see a trailer online first or do you expect to show it at the theaters first as the feature upcoming promo?
Personally, I would love to see the trailer in theaters first (just the difference between a 15″ Macbook screen and seeing a kick-ass trailer on a 70 foot theater screen, y’know?), but I’m sure it’ll pop up online. If they (“they” being the people who get to make final decisions on this stuff) premiere it online, I think the thing I love most about that is that it would reward the fanbase first and foremost. Nothing against a general movie-going audience (they’ll be the thing that makes this movie a financial success and a better chance at a sequel), but the online fanbase has been what’s keeping this project (and me) going. And I think nothing would be cooler than giving that first glimpse there. And on top of that, I’ve had such great support from the main online sites on the project – IESB, CHUD, Shock, IGN, Bloody, etc. In fact, we had them all visit the set (I think a few of them had great set visit reports… or at least teases) and be in the movie as decaying and forgotten zombies trying to eat a dangling Sam Huntington above them. It was a lot of fun. And for that reason, I have such an allegiance to everyone online. Between the fans and great guys like that, you can’t go wrong.
Do you plan to be at Comic Con in July, having a booth or showing the movie clip, maybe even having cast there again?
As for Comicon, I know at least I’ll be there personally as I haven’t missed one in probably 16 years. As for the movie being there with me, I’m not sure. Again, that’s a producer/studio question. To put all this in context – we are just finishing color timing (where you play with the saturation, contrast, colors, etc of the film) and sound mixing. We should have the final film done at some point in May, with it being output to film stock, digital print, etc. So in theory, come July, we’ll have had the final film for some time. If there wouldn’t be a sneak peak of it, I think it would be a major lost opportunity. I know that I would, as would all of the cast, enthusiastically be there with bells on if needed. We had a blast last year with the trailer teaser and signing posters with me, Brandon, Sam, Anita and Gil Adler. I’m sure they’ll get something going for it.
When will the new website be open?
As for the website, I know it’s still being worked on. In addition to all the cool ramp-up things that I’ll know will start to be put up there, there will be something VERY cool for fans. Somewhat of a coup, in my opinion. We’re all really excited about it here.
How did you familiarize with the world of Dylan Dog, and when did you first heard about this fummeti?
I first heard about Dylan Dog when I was doing some development work at Dark Horse Entertainment (the TV/film division of Dark Horse Comics). At the time they had access to the property of Martin Mystery and I was developing it for a TV show that ultimately didn’t happen. But that’s when I was exposed to the Bonelli line up. And in it, I found a property called Dylan Dog that I thought looked really really cool. Found out they didn’t have any English translations, which just led to a big online search that brought up small fan groups. And all I remember was asking them if they had the rights to Dylan, and they said “no”. So cut to close to 10 years later, and I get a call from Platinum Studios and Hyde Park asking if I’ve ever heard of “Dylan Dog” as they had a script they wanted me to read. And I just smiled. If you’re ever looking for proof, that’s the universe at work right there.
As far as familiarizing myself with the world, I read the English translations with the Mignola covers. Did a lot of online research to look at the background and history. And then probably the most helpful was just listening to one of our producers, Gioj DeMarco, speak so passionately about the character and the books that she grew up with in Italy from childhood. You can’t beat real enthusiasm as an inspiration to do a good job and understand the zeitgeist behind a property.
Zeitgeist. That’s right. I said it. I stand by it.
How many issues have you read, and what is your favorite?
I answered the “favorite issue” in an earlier post. Not that I don’t want to ignore your question. BUT, I’ll give you another tidbit about the book to make up for it. Our last night of shooting was an exterior location, with Dylan speaking on a payphone. (naturally, as he’d never use a cell phone, being a technophobe to some degree) We fought long and hard to get this, as I thought it was more his character to do that, even though it would have been WAY easier to have him on a cell phone at… (fill in blank New Orleans location). So we found a great rural location… right next to a take-out Daiquiri Shop in New Orleans. (there are a ton there… but that’s a whole other post) And yes, that was totally on purpose. Anyway… when we finished the last shot, Brandon gave out wrap gifts to everyone on the crew from himself. And they were the new Dylan Dog collection that were printed last year. And he inscribed a personal note to every person on those covers. Hopefully not betraying any kind of confidence here, but that’s how nice and genuine of a guy he is.
And, while tenuously an anecdote relating to Dylan Dog comics, I figured it was a nice story to pass along.
Have you met Tiziano Sclavi, did he gave you any advice, and did he see the script?
Maybe I’ll think of more! And thanks to Kevin for bringing Dylan Dog to the movie screen!
I have never met Tiziano, and I’m not sure if he read the script. This script has existed for almost 10 years to the day when we started shooting. It’s been around for quite a while and has probably gone through many iterations with many different producers. But, as always is the case in Hollywood, we went back to the very first draft when we started developing the shooting script. I never read any of the other ones. Maybe Mr. Sclavi may have read one of them, but I’m not sure. And we have a great reference to him in the movie as well. While not as on-the-nose as having Stan Lee in the movie as a cameo… he has a cameo of another kind.
From: Cool Monty
1. Without jinxing the movie, let’s imagine the this film is successful and a sequel is ordered, and you decide to incorporate Dylan’s primary antagonist and father, Dr. Xabaras. Knowing his character from the research you’ve done on DD, who would be your dream casting for the role?
Good question! For Dr. Xabaras, I think I would cast Hugh Laurie (the guy who is Dr. House on TV). I think he has a phenomenal villain character in him, with a wicked sense of humor. Almost like a young Vincent Price. Y’know, casting is always a funny thing. I kind of look at casting like life – you think you can control it, you think have all the right answers, but somehow what’s supposed to happen happens… and it turns out that’s the way it should have always been from the start. And there are actors like Sam Huntington who were my first and only pick for his role, and there are others we found along the way. Or actors who found us. Or who we managed to pick up for a fun day of shooting. I might make a casting post sometime on the Facebook fanpage.
Maybe this question is old, but, is Dylan still English in film?
No, Dylan’s not English in the film. I can see it being crucial in a lot of ways (not just because that’s the mythology of the comic world), but in a lot of ways, Dylan’s character is very English in his dry wit, affectation, etc. But then once you see Brandon embody that role, it feels that way in spirit, so I think we’re still being very truthful to the franchise in that respect. We didn’t get a wise-cracking, always-has-to-be-funny, off the wall character portrayal for Dylan. THAT to me would have been a much bigger infraction. As an example, I actually liked Keanu Reeves as John Constantine – he wasn’t blonde and wasn’t English, but he still was a great movie-version of that comic character. I think Brandon nailed the essence and the subtlety of Dylan – I’m proud of what he did.
As a sidebar, we also hint at Dylan’s international past in the movie. So I think the idea that he lived in London is still perfectly intact. New Orleans just happens to be where we find him now. I mean, if London is THAT much of a part of who he is as a character, then imagine what horrible event compelled him to leave? That’s a back-story I’d love to see in a sequel…
Vampires. werewolves and zombies we have seen a lot over there, who different/unique will be this monsters in Dead of Night?
Yeah, that’s been one of the challenges of this project. There are a lot of those movies out there. Rarely do we see all of them together, but there has to be something more to it than just that. I really wanted to showcase how one of these creatures could live in our world, undetected and protected. That’s a pretty unique approach to these creatures that I don’t see a lot in movies these days. Especially with our Zombie characters. But as far as UNIQUE type of characters, we have a couple of them. As a tease, both are played by Brian Steele. One is a cautionary tale about what happens when a Zombie who is trying to harmoniously live among humans starts eating human flesh.. it ain’t pretty. Ok, so that’s just a super-Zombie… not that new. BUT, Brian is also playing the Armageddon creature in our movie… the creature that is threatening to come back to life throughout the movie. And no one knows what creature race is trying to bring him back. Ok, so I might have just spoiled it… as if we cast Brian in the role, then we probably have him in the movie. Ergo, the creature comes to life… maybe I should stop now.
Not sure how I’m going to change this blog title around, but wanted everyone to know that the film’s title has now been officially changed to: (Drum-roll, please!)
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
For both domestic and international distribution. Some very important people had to give their blessing to make this possible, so a big thank you to everyone who did. Next up: more Ask The Boss!
Alrighty, you asked for it, you got it. Straight from the Big Boss’ mouth:
Hey Everyone – knowing how patient everyone has been over the past year, I’ll try to make these answers as informative as possible, as opposed to 3-word responses. We’ll see how this goes – knowing that it’s quite possible that the 3 word versions may be more humane on you all. For now tho… enjoy and thanks for your patience.
From: Claudio Martino
The trailer is ready? When we see him?
Hey Claudio – there have been a few trailers over the past few months. Now the word “trailer” means a lot of different things in different venues. But the rumors are true that a few have been produced. We did a sneak peek one for Comicon last year in San Diego. It was a mix of trailer-ish shots with behind-the-scenes footage of us making the movie, plus a snippet of a scene where Dylan and Marcus encounter one of the nastier creatures in the movie.
Then, as a lot of these films do, we have to do a couple more trailers for International Film Markets – namely Berlin Film Festival/Cannes, American Film Market, etc. These are places where, behind very closed doors, international buyers can see the film and decide if they want to pay to show the movie in their territory (i.e. Italy, France, England, wherever) This is how a lot of the financing of the movie is made. So THAT trailer is a much slicker production than the Comicon version, but it’s one of those trailers that gives away WAY too much – you see most of the creatures, the plot, a lot of gags, etc. But the reason for that is that these buyers need that info in order to make a decision to buy or not buy the movie.
But the big one that is still up in the air is the THEATRICAL TRAILER – i.e. the one we’ll see before another movie in a theatre. That one is still under construction, and we’ll have to work with whatever studio gets the movie domestically here in the United States as well. And that decision will be coming very soon. We’re also working on one-sheets (Hollywood has a habit of creating their own lingo to feel special – you see, it’s too lame to call it a poster, so some movie exec decides to call it a “one sheet”. But yeah… it’s pretty much just a poster.) We had a lot of great on-set still photography when we were making the movie by this guy called David James – who does a TON of big movies. He left us with thousands of amazing photos to play with for the one sheet.
So the answer? Trailers – yes. Theatrical domestic trailer – almost. When – hopefully within a couple of months.
From: Ivica Serdarot
What is your favorite episode in the Dylan Dog comic book series? (Also asked by hunter)
My favorite book of the series is unfortunately picked from a limited selection as i have only “read” the 6 that were translated into English. I’ve looked at dozens more in Italian, but I’ve only read the 6 reprinted from Dark Horse. Of those, there was a tale with a lead female named Morgana that was my favorite – set in the world of zombies, but it was also very supernatural. It was a lot of fun and I thought really captured the tone of Dylan Dog. (again, from the 6 i could read) I really wanted to read more with Xabaras, but unfortunately was just relegated to reading issue synopses online or getting told the stories from Platinum’s Gioj DeMarco – unquestionably the biggest fan I know of the series.
Will we see any sign of Xabaras in the film?
We won’t see any sign of Xabaras in this film. But I wouldn’t rule it out at all for future installments. This movie is a much more personal introduction to Dylan and his recently haunted past as it happens in our New Orleans setting. But I would love to see the more Xabaras-themed storyline be introduced in coming sequels. We haven’t shied away from saying that Dylan has had an eclectic and international past (there’s even a Scotland Yard coffee mug on his desk if you look closely), so it would be great (at least in my opinion) to see that past catch up to him. Or to see Dylan return to his European stomping grounds in a sequel. Xabaras is a great character. But I think, in order to properly introduce Dylan to a mass audience who doesn’t know him yet, we had to focus on him as a character and the world he lives in. Dylan and Xabaras have such a past that I think it should be the focus of a whole new feature story… again, at least in my opinion.
What is your favorite horror film?
My favorite horror film is hard to pin down. American Werewolf in London, because it’s such a great combo of horror and dark comedy. The Exorcist, because I still get freaked out by it to this day. Dawn of the Dead (Romero original) because I love the juxtaposition of setting and story. Alien, because it’s still horror before it’s sci-fi to me. And the original Halloween because it’s even creepy during the day scenes.
What are the differences in the marketing of Dylan Dog for the U.S. and European markets? Please be as detailed as possible…
There hasn’t been much movement on American marketing of the movie, simply because there isn’t a studio attached yet. But I think that there are a lot of core similarities between the two campaigns whenever they get up and running. Dylan is a very marketable character and I imagine you couldn’t do anything without keying off of that first and foremost. I’m sure the monster/thriller/detective aspects will be prevalent in both. I hope that they play up the comic pedigree roots of the movie a lot in Europe. We worked hard to maintain that tone in everything from the visuals, humor, monsters and even music. I think American audiences will be introduced to it as a fun movie with a really charismatic cast and a great detective monster story. It’s always funny to see what different territories do with movies. I’ve had things that have been total action be marketed as pure comedies because that’s what “that” market needs. It can be a funny business.
Would you do Neil Gaiman’s Sandman if given a chance? Why?
I would do Sandman as a movie in a heartbeat. Tho, i’d be really curious to see how the script would turn out. That is such a huge universe. But I love Neil’s writing and how immersive his worlds can be without losing character. The Doll’s House storyline is great fun. On a sidenote, I’d probably want to do a movie of Death as well. She’s a fun character.
What is the balance between horror, humor, etc. in the film?
Great question. Balancing those elements are always rough. It’s like drawing eyes – the subtlest change in angle or line width can change the whole character of a face. Similarly, it’s the same thing with tone and genre. The hardest part is that I’m really drawn to mixing tones. Be it Lethal Weapon as a balance of action/comedy, Shaun of the Dead as a horror/comedy/action, whatever. It would be so much easier to just make a horror film. Or a straight comedy. Or action film. But I think Dylan Dog is great mix of them all. Mainly a suspenseful action movie that features horror film characters. (I seem to remember that being one of my main points when I was meeting about directing the movie) But like the Dylan Dog property, we treat the “monsters” as regular characters – some are good, some are bad, and most aren’t the “real” monster as we’ll see in the movie. And likewise with the comedy – there is a LOT of it in there, but no character seems aware they’re BEING funny. And that’s when, I think, it works best. So when we were balancing these tones, my goal was to always keep it real and believable – keep the threats real, comedy unaware of itself and action (although big and comic book in style in some spots) adhere to its own believable logic.
I’m not incredibly well-versed in the comics, but pop culture (well, mostly movies) references have a definite presence. Is there any of that in the film?
Yeah, there are a few references to other films/franchises/ideas in the film, as in the comics. The comics are a little different tho, as many of them are obvious homages to actual horror movies or icons. They can get away with it in the comics much easier, but it would come off like a bad Scary Movie installment in movie form. But that said, there are a few things that fans will get a kick out. As an example, there is a certain street name that should make fans smile.
From: Luca Zanzi
How did you get involved in the project? An ad “seeking film director to tackle Italian comic adaptation with vampires, zombies, and werewolves”?
I got involved with the project very early in 2008. I had just left another project that I sunk a lot of work and passion into, but ultimately wasn’t going to be done the way it deserved. And then one morning I got a call from Patrick Aiello at Hyde Park saying they were producing this movie with Platinum Studios based off of this Italian comic book and asked if I wanted to read the script. I knew Dylan Dog and had read the 6 english translations years earlier and liked them a lot. I read the script and freaked out. It was everything I wanted to do in a live action film, and it was one of those moments when you read something and say “I know how to make this. I need to make this. ”
So the next and big step was to meet with Scott Rosenberg and everyone at Platinum Studios and basically jump around the room convincing them that I was the nutjob to do the movie. Luckily Scott and I got along really well from the start, and by the time I left the meeting I think we were all on the same page.
The entire process of pitching to get a movie as a director is pretty crazy. Here’s a link to the story of how I did it with Dylan Dog along with a special treat for everyone.
The IMDB page lists a good dozen or so producers, exec prods, co-prods. Did you get pressure from everyone to make “their” idea of the film, or were you given free rein? Similarly, did you ever get a list of do’s and don’ts from the people at Bonelli?
Yeah, we are very producer friendly on Dylan Dog. :) The truth is, is that people get producer credits for a variety of reasons. Some are given them for literal reasons – “i am on set, producing this movie”. Others financial – “I am instrumental in bring XXX millions of dollars to the budget”. Others are varied – “I orchestrated bringing all the parties together” “they won’t pay me more money so I all I got was this credit” to “i own the property” or “I just work in the film commission where you shot the movie”. So to that end, yeah, it’s a pretty easy group to get along with, without compromising pretty much anything. To that end, I can have a healthy ego, but I have no problem putting it aside when it comes to making the movie better. And anytime we’ve adjusted stuff in script, on set or in post, it’s made this movie better at each stage.
And no, no do’s or don’ts from the people at Bonelli. They visited the set on the first day and were nice people. They were so excited about the movie being made as well. Plus, it was neat as the first day was a scene where we shot Dylan speaking italian with a VERY old friend.
How many Kevins can Kurt Angle bench press?
Kurt could probably preacher curl about 6 of me if he wanted. Kurt’s a really nice guy. It’s funny as we’ve probably called on him a number of times to come back for ADR, or whatever and he’s made his crazy schedule work each time without hesitation. So I call him “sir” mainly for that reason… and because he could totally kick my ass.
On a scale of 1-10 (low-hi), how tempting is it to use your powers as a director and use Brian Steele or another “suit guy” for late-night pranks?
I would give Brian a blank check to answer the door at Halloween at my house. So, yeah, a 10 on that scale. I’ll always remember how gentle and fun Brian was. And here is this imposing tall guy, dressed in a great monster suit by Drac Studios, standing probably 8 and a half feet from toe to tip of his horns while we were filming the big end battle. He’s roaring, tossing Brandon and/or his double all over this immense abandoned theatre, and then I yell “cut”, and he would look over and this small sweet voice would come out of this horrific creature – “how was that Kev?”. I could never get used to that. It’s like Freddie Kruger sounding like Mr. Rogers or something.
More answers to come!
Have questions you want to ask Kevin Munroe, the captain of this little ship of ours? Now you’ll get a chance to ask them in an ongoing guest column here called “Ask The Boss”. Submit your questions in the comments section here, and I’ll round them up and nail him down and periodically (depending on how many we get) I’ll nail him to a computer and make him answer them. (No nails will be harmed in that process. Can’t promise anything on the director, though.) So line them up! Want to know all the seedy tales from the set of DON? Want to just know what color socks he wears? No holds barred! Well, maybe some. Fire away, though!
In case some of you don’t see it in AntoBlueberry’s comment, the Italian release date has been officially announced.
And for those of us not fluent in Italian:
Thanks, Anto! (And Ron for the translation link.)