To celebrate the release of his new movie, Drive Angry 3D, we recently sat down with director Patrick Lussier to talk about the film. Lussier, most well known for 2009’s My Bloody Valentine, is also tapped to direct the upcoming reboot of the Hellraiser franchise and Halloween 3, so you’ll be seeing a lot of him in the near future.
With Drive Angry 3D, Lussier is giving moviegoers an exciting, over the top and thrilling action film that is a perfect throwback to 70’s grindhouse action films. We talk to Patrick about the idea for the film, what it was like working with Nicolas Cage, updates on Hellraiser and Hallowen 3, and more!
Check out the interview below. Audio version included at the end of the page.
We Got This Covered: So tell us how Drive Angry came about? How did you evolve the idea for the film?
Patrick Lussier: The concept of the film came after the end of My Bloody Valentine. Todd Farmer and I were talking about wanting to do another movie in 3D. And not necessarily just a straight horror movie, we wanted to do something slightly different and something with a different edge to it.
We talked about action movies and we started talking about these 70s car movies that had characters that were total badasses and who weren’t necessarily on the right side of the law, but you loved anyway. So we wanted to create a car movie with a bad guy doing a good thing.
WGTC: You’ve worked with Todd Farmer before, why do you think you guys work so well together?
PL: We really compliment each other. The things that we do best aren’t the same thing. We have different strengths which allows us to create a whole person when we work together, which is really fantastic. It’s great to have a working partner that sees things from a completely different angle then you see them. And then to have those ideas mesh together and unify, that’s something that’s made our partnership very successful. We approach the same concept from different directions and meet in the middle and then twirl it together and arrive on something that we wouldn’t have got to on our own.
WGTC: You did My Bloody Valentine in 3D, and now Drive Angry in 3D, do you think 3D really benefits a film?
PL: I think the key for us was to shoot in 3D, we didn’t want to do post-conversion. Both My Bloody Valentine and Drive Angry were conceived as 3D movies right from the get go, from the ground up. It was all about creating a world that had dimensionality to it and that you could immerse the audience in. A world that the audience could engage in and a world that would engage with them. I think 3D can benefit a film when it’s native 3D, 3D captured in camera, where you’ve adjusted the stereography on a shot by shot basis.
A stereo path that works specific to the shot, the characters and the story that’s unfolding, as opposed to something that’s just slapped on. I think there’s a lot of merit to that. Whether the format will continue, that’s up to everyone else. It’s certainly something I enjoy working with though. It’s not right for every movie but some films can really benefit from the dimensionality.
WGTC: Tell us about Nicolas Cage, was he your first choice and how was it working with him?
PL: When we were writing we talked about various different people for Milton. And when we went out to producers and Michael De Luca signed on board, he suggested Nicolas Cage and we completely agreed. Both Todd and I were big fans of Nic. Nic read the script and loved it. He’s a big car guy and loves supernatural stories and loved the idea of the journey that the character goes on and the redemptive angle of the story. It’s something he hasn’t really done before.
In all our conversations with Nic throughout the pre-production, he just got more and more focused on Milton’s journey and how to really get the most out of the character and get the most out of the film.
WGTC: Recently we talked to one of the film’s other stars, William Fichtner. He was telling us that a lot of people are describing the film as a 70s grindhouse action flick. Do you think that audiences in today’s day and age are going to resonate with that and relate with it?
PL: We’ll find out. I think the movie has a lot to offer. It’s a great Friday night at the movies. The film is designed to be fun and entertaining and put you on the edge of your seat. It will let you laugh and have a good time with it. It’s more than just a grindhouse movie, there are other components to it. It has a really strong goal for the main character, there’s also a great female lead role for Amber Heard. There are absolutely grindhouse features but there is also more to it.
WGTC: When you were making My Bloody Valentine you had some battles with the MPAA. Did you have any issues with them for Drive Angry?
PL: We didn’t. I’ve dealt with the MPAA before but with Drive Angry, because of the tone of the film, which was much more fun than My Bloody Valentine, they embraced the chaos that we went for right out of the gate. And when in doubt, just slam a rock and roll song over your sex scene and you’re in pretty good shape.
WGTC: Can you give us any update on Hellraiser or Halloween 3?
PL: Todd and I are writing Hellraiser right now and we’re working on fleshing out the story and characters and hopefully we can present it to team Dimension by end of March or beginning of April. For Halloween 3, the script is finished but right now Dimension’s focus is on Hellraiser so that’s what we’re focusing on.
WGTC: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us and good luck with the film!
Be sure to check out our other Drive Angry 3D interview with William Fichtner.