Exclusive Interview With Director Adam Green On Hatchet III
We Got This Covered: Now I’ve already heard you claim in some interviews that you were still heavily involved in Hatchet III and that letting BJ McDonnell direct this time wasn’t that much of a big deal, but c’mon, you weren’t even the slightest bit jealous not being in the director’s chair?
Adam Green: Nope, not at all. That was part of the reason for promoting from within and picking somebody who was not an established director so I could keep that control. [BJ McDonnell] has been part of the whole [franchise], so it wasn’t like somebody new was coming in saying “This is what I’m going to do.” It really wasn’t hard, it was actually very seamless. The crew already knew him, the cast knew him, and it really just worked well. Also, there was no ego there, so the process was really collaborative and easy creatively to make things go. We had the same DP, same makeup effects, so it really just felt think things just kept going. Luckily I didn’t have to do what they did with 80s slashers where they would tell previous directors “Go with God, see ya!”
Everyone who understands filmmaking knows that it’s the script that dictates everything, that’s where exactly what’s going to happen is decided, who’s going to say what, how it’s going to play out, so the fact that I still wrote Hatchet III was kind of like I was the ultimate puppet master of the whole thing. Add the fact that I had final cut, and there really wasn’t a problem with any of that. We were very much in tune together, so there was no arguing or seeing things different ways. It really worked out well.
We Got This Covered: Did you enjoy shooting mostly in the swamps this time around and doing less on the sound stages? I heard the weather and bugs were pretty bad…
Adam Green: No, no, that sucked, [Laughs] but it’s worth it for those few really wide shots. We were in the swamps for Hatchet and Hatchet II, but only for a few days, whereas with this one we were in the swamps for about 15 days. A good portion of the movie was actually shot here, in my office [motions to the room behind him]. The setting in the ambulance boat, Abbott’s house, and even a lot of the swamp stuff, specifically one of the cameos that we won’t mention now, was all shot in my office. It wasn’t all in the swamp, but those shoots were really tough. We had people going to the emergency room nightly – it was really, really hard.
I just watched all three movies back to back at a marathon in Boston, and Hatchet III definitely has the biggest scope. We wanted this to feel like the biggest movie out of all of them, and I think shooting in the swamp helped with that a lot. Whether it’s Hatchet, Hatchet II, and whether it was shot on a sound stage or in a parking lot, like Hatchet was just shot in regular woods, I think the production team has done such a good job of making it all seamless. Hatchet II, as we did fifteen days on a sound stage, every tree and plant were all real – it’s all brought in, just there’s a roof above our heads so we can shoot the appropriate amount of hours.
Other than that though, people were getting sick from the moss, the mushrooms – [the swamp] was a toxic, disgusting place. It’s not like shooting on a sound stage where you’ve got fake trees and a fake backdrop.
We Got This Covered: Now in Hatchet III you cast Derek Mears to play one of the SWAT officers. Everyone knows Kane Hodder has played Jason a few times, and everyone also knows Derek has stepped in to play the iconic slasher as well. Was there a little bit of fanboy fantasy brewing in you, knowing you’d have two Jasons fighting, that helped you cast Derek?
Adam Green: Actually, Derek was supposed to be in Hatchet II, but because of his schedule for Predators, he couldn’t do it. I like having horror icons be in these movies and have a chance to be comedic, and Derek is a very, very funny guy who I worked with on Holliston as well. He’s just a good actor. Of course there’s also the added bonus of having Kane kill another Jason, because that’s the only icon Victor Crowley really hadn’t killed yet, so that was really fun. I know fans are really excited to see those two go head to head, which is funny because who do you think is going to win? Like all of a sudden Derek Mears is going to take out Victor Crowley and go “Alright, that’s it!” and the credits role? [Laughs] That’s not going to happen.
We did have fun with that though. In Hatchet II we had the throwdown between Trent, R.A. Mihailoff’s character [R.A. has played Leatherface], and Victor Crowley. That fight was so epic and so big, but you don’t want to repeat yourself and do the same thing again.