Alex Proyas took part in a web video chat today for his new film, Knowing, and it didn’t take long for him to kick Fox right in the balls. Proyas made I, Robot at the studio, and the experience he had was apparently not that unusual – it was bad.
‘I’ve warned people off,’ from working with the studio, Proyas said. He mentioned that he heard horror stories about the production of Wolverine second hand, but had gotten many other first hand stories about people having problems dealing with the behind the scenes folks at Fox. Which, of course, includes his own.
While making I, Robot Proyas dealt with lots of interference, but found that while the orders came from Tom Rothman the studio head wouldn’t bring the message himself. According to Proyas, Rothman sent his ‘evil minions to do his bidding.’ Among other things the studio head asked the director of Dark City, the man who was adapting a classic Isaac Asimov science fiction story into a film, ‘[w]e needed to inject more jokes in the movie; stupid stuff like that basically.’
Don’t think that Proyas is some idealistic artiste who just can’t work well with the money people. He says that he really gets the dynamic between studio and filmmaker. ‘It’s the constant tension of what we do. Filmmaking is a business, it’s not just an art form as much as we’d like it to be,’ he said. ‘You have to make money back for the investors, otherwise you won’t be allowed to make another movie.’
I had to know: would Proyas ever work with Fox again? ‘Never again,’ he said definitively. And why would he? Proyas says that he is very happy with his experience with Knowing. ‘I’d rather work with a good studio like Summit than a really bad studio.’
Knowing opens March 20th.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey