Nacho Vigalondo Exclusive Interview!
As part of the relaunch of CLiNT #2.1, we spoke to Supercrooks director Nacho Vigalondo about his plans for the next Millarworld movie.
The interview is only available here, exclusively on the CLiNT website!
When it comes to locations for the film - are you planning to incorporate any Spanish landmarks or favourite regions into the movie?
Spain has a lot of amazing landscapes (insert Millar's joke about mountains filled with rapists and rivers filled with donkey blood here) but the movie actually sticks to a few locations. Tenerife is the place in the comic books, and it would be great to keep it in the movie. It’s a nice spot, but not in a common way. It feels like Cuba and Europe at the same time. Mark visited the Canary Islands years ago but, from what he tells about it, he only visited the creepy tourist side, designed for drunk, pink-faced British people like him.
We also know that Mark wants to turn Scotland into the Hollywood of the North, and you’ve shot teaser footage there... Will you be back in force for the actual movie… perhaps with Glasgow doubling as Johnny Bolt’s big US city?
At this point, Glasgow doesn’t appear in our production plans, but anything could happen. All I can say is how surprised I was by the beauty of the Glasgow streets. You can guess how Paris, Berlin or London will feel before actually going there, because they are iconic cities, we’ve all seen them on screen. But Glasgow doesn’t have a visual identity overseas. I fell in love with the city. If Spain keeps going Mad Max financially this fast, I’ll move there!
You have a fairly grounded directing style. From what we’ve seen so far, Supercrooks has been pretty understated compared to Superior or The Ultimates – low-powered characters and petty crimes. Was that your influence on the script, or just a perfect match?
It was something Mark was clear about from the very beginning. It’s an innate part of this franchise, and it's easy to understand why. Showing low-key supervillains involved in crime plots with a seventies feel keeps these guys close to the ground, instead of letting them fly around fighting super robots. As a filmmaker, I’m a child of the nineties, rather than the Amblin era, and that’s the reason my films deal in ‘realism’, something that can be funny if you are talking about time travel or superheroes. I think that's the reason Mark offered me this.
When it comes to a good heist movie, do you think you can have a complex plot and complicated characters, or do the twists and turns of the plan trump everything else?
I think that in a heist film, character chemistry is fundamental. One of our references, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, is a heist film that is purely based on the vibe of the characters, it has almost no plot at all. Supercrooks, by contrast, has a very intricate plot. Jesus, it has even more twists than the comic-book, and that's saying a lot, but if you don't like the characters – even the bad guy – that's empty, sterile, cleverness. Note that I’m not talking about complicated characters, I’m talking about charming characters, something that can be very complicated to build.
Do you feel like your ‘lo-fi sci-fi’ style is representative of Spanish genre cinema in general? Are you planning to change it up for an international audience, or is the idea to stay distinctive as you take on your first English-language projects?
If you think about it, the lo-fi side of my stories is something that comes from script choices, rather than visual ones. I don't think my visual and editing tricks feel underground, or even ‘European’ in and of themselves. One of my bigger influences, Quentin Tarantino, hasn’t changed his way of shooting substantially from Reservoir Dogs to Inglorious Bastards. What changes is what's in front of the camera, not the camera itself.
Are you used to turning around film projects so fast? It seems like any movie with Mark’s name attached to it is put onto the fast-track! It’s clear that Matthew Vaughn likes to get moving quickly on projects that excite him – are you the same?
I’m on the same page as Vaughn and Millar. I’m desperate for speed. You know, this industry becomes more terrified by failure every day. And terror means slowness. I love making movies, not waiting for them. My heroes from the past are people like Don Siegel, who shot six movies in five years, and Dirty Harry was in the middle!
Is there a particular scene you’re looking forward to filming the most – and which issue is it in?
Molecular Chainsaw. You'll understand in issue #4 why that's the sequence most comic lovers will die to see on screen.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Nacho!
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Category: Interviews | Posted on: 18 May 2012