David Slade

Hannibal Face Eating

At the PGA-sponsored Produced By Conference, Hannibal show runner Bryan Fuller offered some straightforward advice to aspiring filmmakers: make what you’d want to see. That’s something a lot of filmmakers say, and for good reason. At a panel focused on genre television, Fuller discussed how Hannibal, Pushing Daisies and his more unconventional shows aren’t the most mainstream pieces of entertainment. What’s hip and cool and now at any given moment is never what should dictate the creative process, and Fuller won’t let it. If what’s trending puts him to work, though, there’s nothing wrong with that. “Nobody wanted to do horror,” Fuller told a packed theater on the Warner Bros. lot. “I had been trying to do a horror show for the last ten years. Everyone says it doesn’t work on television, because people do not want to be exposed to that for a prolonged period of time.” That all changed when The Walking Dead came along. When AMC’s comic book adaptation became a hit, that’s when NBC and a lot of other networks came calling for horror.

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David Slade

Editors’ Introduction: Normally this feature is created by diving into the deep end of interviews, but when David Slade agreed to write an entry himself, there was no way for us to refuse — partially because he’s a very talented filmmaker and partially because he has us tied up in his store room. Slade earned cinephile street cred with Hard Candy and then scored genre love for 30 Days of Night before doing his best to beef up the Twilight saga. Now he’s the executive producer and director of Hannibal – a cooking show, we think — whose season finale is this week. He’s opened up about the Daredevil movie that never was, waxed at length about his role as a storyteller, and now he has some tips for those of you who may want to hop behind a camera. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) directly from a man who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty in the kitchen.

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After five episodes of NBC’s Hannibal, it’s already fair to say creator Bryan Fuller‘s horror drama is one of the most atmospheric series on television. From the mood to the show’s bold textures, each episode leaves a cinematic impression — an impact director David Slade (Hard Candy) had a hand in sculpting. According to Slade, production in the often chilly Toronto weather and fast-paced production is no cakewalk — which you can read more about in a production blog he wrote — but the final reward is worth it. Speaking with the show’s executive producer for well over an hour, it’s obvious Hannibal encapsulates the genre work Slade wants to see more of on television, and he’s proud to be a part of Fuller’s new show. The two men have different sensibilities, but Slade those two distinct outlooks fused together rather nicely. Here’s what else Slade had to say in part two of our massive discussion with him (you can read part one here), where he touched upon the show’s striking atmosphere, the long-gone music video industry, and how the film business is not one to inspire noble actions:

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D

Acclaimed directors often drop in to shoot the pilot for a TV series. They don’t often stick around for seconds. Director David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) is one of those rare film directors who must love brains and chianti a lot. He went from directing the pilot of Bryan Fuller‘s Hannibal to serving as an executive producer and moving on to direct more episodes, fully immersing himself in the world of Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter. The material for Hannibal is right up Slade’s alley, a director known for having a moody and atmospheric eye. It’s very much in the genre mold we’ve seen on television in recent years, the type of television Slade says he’d prefer to see more of. We recently had a long-form interview with Mr. Slade regarding Hannibal and many, many, many more subjects. As you can tell by our chat below, Mr. Slade isn’t exactly a man ever at a loss for words. Because of that, we’ve got two big interviews with the filmmaker on tap. For now, here’s what director David Slade had to say about Hannibal, how digital can’t touch film, the obsessive nature of filmmaking, and why The Man Who Fell to Earth is really an allegory for working in Los Angeles:

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For a television show, NBC’s Hannibal goes to some fairly dark and bloody places. Sticking to the nature of Thomas Harris’s “Red Dragon,” television honcho Bryan Fuller has made a series faithful to the mood of the writing. Will Graham is no longer the smooth and reliable Edward Norton we saw in Brett Ratner’s movie, but rather a damaged man whose own genius eats away at him. Giving Harris’s fans that version of Graham was important to Fuller, as well as turning Hannibal into a “psychological and kinky” program, not another procedural with Hannibal thrown in. While many would wager some of the suspense behind Will Graham and Hannibal’s relationship is weakened by the fact we know the psychiatrist likes him some Ray Liotta brain, Fuller cautioned that isn’t the case. This isn’t the Hannibal we know from movies and pop culture. Here’s what else the man behind Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me had to say about showing the bomb under the table, carnage on network television, and more:

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Daredevil Yellow

20th Century Fox’s re-adaptation of Daredevil had been kicked around a bit too long. After the 2003 film came out, the studio never seemed sure how to move forward with the Man Without Fear. There were talks of a direct sequel, but those were squashed when starting from scratch came into the equation. But how do you start fresh? Hiring director David Slade (Hard Candy) was a good start. There were rumors of taking the character into a darker direction — which hopefully meant fewer playground romance fights and a soundtrack featuring far less Nickleback — and Slade’s sensibilities would have suited that more faithful, grounded take on the character. Then again, dark and edgy aren’t adjectives we generally associate with 20th Century Fox. Unsurprisingly, the Slade reboot never happened. Speaking with Slade about his work on NBC’s new series, Hannibal, he told us what we missed out on.

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It’s a good news, bad news day over at Fox when it comes to their ripe-for-reboots (at least in their minds) Marvel properties. Over at Deadline Hammer Falls, (via Cinema Blend), the outlet reports that Josh Trank is now officially set to helm their Fantastic Four reboot, just as David Slade exits their latest take on Daredevil. While Chronicle director (and comic book adaptation director It Guy) Trank is apparently still signed on for two other comic adaptations- “Shadow of the Colossus” and “Red Star” – and he’s been rumored as a top pick to helm a “Venom” film, the outlet reports that the studio expects that he will direct Fantastic Four next. The film will feature an all-new cast, and Fox is planning on scheduling its production after their new The Wolverine and the X-Men: First Class sequel, which means we’re due for massive casting speculation as of sometime last Tuesday.

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Hard Candy director David Slade has been said to be the guy Fox has hired to direct a reboot of its Daredevil franchise, but according to a recent report by Variety, rethinking the adventures of blind vigilante Matt Murdoch isn’t the only comics-to-film work that the director has on his plate. Apparently he has also been chosen to direct a film called Coward, which is the initial storyline that kicked off the first five issues of the comic book “Criminal”. The exciting part of this news, apart from the fact that Slade is working on something new outside of the Twilight franchise, is that “Criminal” was a smaller book done by Ed Brubaker, who is one of the best comic book writers of the last ten years. Apart from his smaller original works like the “Criminal” books, Brubaker has had legendary runs on books set in the Batman universe, “Captain America”, and even Slade’s other upcoming adaptation “Daredevil”. Coward tells the story of a pickpocket and master thief named Leo. It’s the typical professional with a set of rules who takes one risky job and has everything blow up in his face storyline, but it’s also really cool and seems like it would be easily adaptable to film. Brubaker himself has written the screenplay, which is why I’m so interested to see how this one turns out. I think that his writing and Slade’s directorial eye could prove to be a great match, and if this one works out then […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that comes from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow. A-ah-ahh-ah! When it first hit the web, the consensus was that this red-band trailer for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was nothing more than an illegal leak of someone video taping in a European theater. But since then, after some inspection, speculation and hearsay, it’s now believed to be a strategic leak in accordance with the styles of Lisbeth Salander. That could be the case. Lending credence to that theory is the fact that the audio is pretty clean, there’s an MPAA warning on the trailer (which was supposedly recorded in Europe) and days later, Sony has not taken it down. Either way, it’s a wicked trailer. If it’s a plant by Sony, it’s a brilliant maneuver.

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NBC has decided to be a prima donna today, scattering all their announcements throughout the day. NBC has picked up three more pilots to series, rejected one, and made two more renewal announcements. First is The Playboy Club. As if I even need to explain the plot of the series with a title like that and a cast that includes Amber Heard. Think of the series as a Mad Men style period piece set within the classic chain of night clubs. Next up is Awake (formally known as R.E.M.), from Lone Star creator Kyle Killen, Awake is an Inception-style thriller starring Jason Isaacs. The pilot was directed by David Slade. Finally there’s Grimm, starring David Giuntoli as “detective whose mission is to protect humans living in a world where Grimm’s Fairy Tale characters actually exist.” As for the rejected pilot? It turns out that the reports from Monday were in fact false as NBC has decided to pass on David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman. The producers are open to shop the pilot to other networks, but it seems highly unlikely it’s going to fall anywhere else before Monday’s upfronts. Well, it was fun while it lasted. As for the two renewals? Some rumors were in fact true on Monday as the other David E. Kelley series Harry’s Law has been renewed for a second season. Also renewed tonight is the hit Jason Katims series (and one of my personal favorites), Parenthood for a third season.

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In all fairness, Daredevil is not a bad movie to take a mulligan on. Plus, if the rumor is true, they’ve got a solid talent at the wheel. According to Variety, David Slade will be directing a new entry into the Daredevil world for Fox. Call it a reboot, a sequel, a redo, a second shot or whatever you want, but the film won’t feature Ben Affleck or make mention of the previous film. So, it’s a reboot. Just for fun, if we consider the Spider-Man retooling going on and this new announcement, the timeline for when we’ll see other reboots becomes clear. The 2002 Spider-Man is now a 2012 version. The 2003 Daredevil will now probably be 2012 as well, meaning that we might see reboots of 2004’s Hellboy at some point, followed next by 2005’s Sin City, and 2006’s V For Vendetta. The new Superman puts a dent in that imaginary timeline, but the point is clear: the cycle must start over. We’ve run out of comic books to make. That’s just a best guess as to what order they’ll come around again in. Hopefully we’ll hear word of the Batman rebooting no more than ten minutes after The Dark Knight Rises premieres.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, co-director of the Oxford Film Festival Melanie Addington joins fan favorite Luke “Fat Albert” Mullen to discuss the prospect of being sued by Bill Cosby, the prospect of “just doing it,” and the prospect of stealing David Slade’s agent. Plus! We find some spare time to review The Last Exorcism and Make Out With Violence without devolving into a fist fight.

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No matter who it is that finds his way into the director’s seat for Wolverine 2, we’ll have our fingers crossed that Wolverine doesn’t get too angered by the noticeable lack of chocolate scones in crafts services and go all Snickety-Snick on everyone, leaving the entire crew in a bloodbath of Fox-funded terror. You didn’t know they were using the real Wolverine instead of an actor? It’s going to surprise everyone, we think. The real challenge for anyone in the director’s seat is pulling the franchise out of the quality gutter that it finds itself in. Rumors are circulating that the production may have found just that – a talent that took another series from appallingly bad to mildly annoying in one fell swoop.

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Hollywood turned in its assignments early this week with releases on Wednesday and Thursday. Now Fat Guy Kevin Carr hands out his grades for the latest installment of The Twilight Saga and the big screen adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

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Squeeeeee! Kevin and Neil run around the Magical Studio in the Sky without their shirts on, desperately trying to shape-shift into a werewolf so they too can be worthy of sickly-looking Bella Swan’s fickle infatuation… yet they still have a better time than they did when they saw The Last Airbender.

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Twilight Eclipse

In this line of work, there often comes a time when the ability to be objective comes in handy. When it feels great to throw away prejudgments and biases and give a movie a chance, no matter how bad its bloodline may be. Such is the case with The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. There’s bad blood in this family — really bad blood — in the form of two films that were poorly constructed and shoddily executed on just about every level. But like any interesting rebellious child, Eclipse breaks the mold at the hands of a craftsman. It becomes something new — something oddly watchable, at times enjoyable and surprisingly unlike what has come before.

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Matthew Vaughn might be the top choice for Fox, but they’ve got a list of talent a mile long. And by a mile, I mean there are six names on it.

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Twilight: Eclipse

I never — not in a million, gazillion years — thought I would type the above headline. But here we are. Record this date into history. I have been impressed by a trailer for a Twilight movie.

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Twilight: Eclipse

It all begins with a choice, says the poster for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. I’m certain that for some of you — many of our regular readers — that means the choice to completely ignore and avoid Twilight like the plague. And for good reason, there isn’t much in these movies for those who have not already been indoctrinated into the cult of Twilight. Yet for those who are, this concept of “choice” means a lot.

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