The approaching release of Source Code, synchronised across much of the globe for 1 April, has not escaped the notice of the March issues of the big film magazines. No fewer than six pages of Empire have been devoted to Source Code, including new images and interviews with Duncan Jones and original writer Ben Ripley, while Total Film features a few words from Jake Gyllenhaal.
What is particularly interesting about the Empire article is that it allows Duncan and Ben to talk about how the script of Source Code evolved, even through the shooting phase. What started off as a rather heavy tale of ‘a soldier returning home’ was lightened by Duncan and Jake, and by the other actors on the set, creating something more quirky with, what Duncan describes as ‘Hitchcock elements’.
While you might expect Ben Ripley to be disheartened by what one imagines to be quite drastic changes to his original script, it is heartening to hear from Ben that he found the whole experience ‘a delightful surprise’.
I was very nervous when I went to the set and when I watched the finished film that it would somehow be diluted. And there was certainly a lot of work done on the dialogue by other writers, or perhaps by Duncan and Jake in the moment. So that was different. But what I found very gratifying was the circumstances were the same. It was still my story – these were my characters, this was my situation…
Duncan’s focus on his actors, which Ben noticed on set, paid off:
They’re all incredibly talented actors and all come with their ideas… I can’t speak for other directors, but for myself, if you hire good actors: let them do it. If you’re hiring incredibly talented people to do their job, let them do it the way they think it needs to be done. I really believe that a director’s job is to get the best out of the people around him, not to impose his views on everyone.
The article also gives Duncan a chance to talk about how he first fell in love with making movies – being on the set of Labyrinth, running around the amazing goblin village. Source Code gave him the chance to play with a giant train set.
Being a kid in your own imagination is terrific.
Jake tells Total Film how Moon drew him to Duncan:
Yes, I was a huge fan. That was what made me want to work with him. He rightfully holds the badge of one of Britain’s new talents, because he is incredible.
Although, for Duncan, the difference between the two films is enormous:
It has been a seismic shift on how I would normally work, but I think I have adjusted… Source Code is very different than Moon.. It’s quite a bit different from a lot of films, to be honest, and I hope that when we are ready to show people, the patience will pay off.
Ready and waiting!
Aside from WDW: It is a delight to be able to post on MMM. Many thanks to the proprietor for his hospitality.