The OG geek website AICN got itself an interview with Spike Jones recently. Jones is the man behind the upcoming film 'Where the Wild Things Are' based on that awesome kids book that we all grew up with. There have been tons of rumblings on the internet about how no one liked the first cut of the film, and that it was so bad they recast the kid and reshot all of his scenes. The interview goes into a lot of detail and is interesting to read but hear are som highlights that answer some questions.
Whats the overall feeling of the movie?
"From the beginning, I wanted it to feel a certain way. I wanted it to feel "real," or not-real because it's not "real," I wanted it to feel like... like when I was a kid, and I would play with my Star Wars action figures, or read Maurice's books and imagine me being Mickey in IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN, or whatever it was... it felt like it was everything, you know? It's like your imagination is so convincing to yourself that... you're there, you're in it. And I wanted this movie to take it as seriously as kids take their imagination and not, like, fantasy it up. So I think it just started from that feeling, that it could feel like you were there with them, like Max was there with them, and not just in some fantasy movie."
What the hell did the studio freak out about?
"It wasn't a studio film for kids, or it wasn't a traditional film about kids. We didn't have like a Movie Kid in our movie, or a Movie Performance in a Movie Kid world. We had a real kid and a real world, and I think that's sort of where our problem was. In the end they realized the movie is what it is, and there's no real way to... it's sort of like they were expecting a boy and I gave birth to a girl. So they just needed their time to sort that out and figure out how they were going to learn to love their new daughter."
What is the age group is the movie going to talk to?
"from the beginning, I told the studio, "I don't think this is gonna be a movie for four-year-olds." And I think they said "Oh, okay," but I think that when they saw it, that's another... you know, that's something else."
So what about Max Records Performance?
“We didn’t want [Max] to rehearse much, we just wanted him to show up on set and deal with whatever was happening. A lot of the energy on set was creating stuff off-camera for him to react to and engage in. That was like a whole movie into itself, the off-camera stuff for Max.”
Apparently there was a lot of dialogue cut from the film.
"The script is so wordy that I slowly just tried to trust that there were certain feelings in the movie that didn't need dialogue, and that we didn't have to have dialogue saying what the movie is about so much as the movie just being about it. So we slowly just tried to find places where we could strip the dialogue back and let the feeling of the photography and the mood and the performances do the work."
I think Spike Jonze is a good director and I am really looking forward to see how this movie turns out. It has got to be so hard working around a production that is constantly having problems.