How does one deal with press? For both Jon M. Chu, and Rupert Wyatt, both are walking into a battlefield with their next films. For Jon M. Chu, he’s been signed on for the G.I. Joe sequel, but is known for his musicals, while Rupert Wyatt, he’s putting out a new Planet of the Apes film after the franchise has struggled to reboot itself. Both have offered themselves to the press to make their case for their films.
For Rupert Wyatt, the trailer and advance buzz for the release of Rise of the Planet of the Apes began in earnest this week for the August 5 release of the film. The trailer offers glimpses of the film to be, and he talked about the movie (as much as he could) with Alex Billington. Here’s a money quote:
Rupert Wyatt: This film is, what I hope and what I think the studio hopes, it’s laying the foundations for future films to come. I personally think what would be wonderful after this story is that the real conflict between humans and apes is told in this next film, because that’s what we’re setting up.
Todd Gilchrist of Box Office Magazine talked to Chu about the upcoming G.I. Joe sequel. The main takeaway from this is that the casting rumors about who was coming back or who wasn’t isn’t locked in stone. As he says, they’re just digging in:
Jon M. Chu: We just got the deal done, so now I get to get my hands dirty; this is the fun part, where we get to do pre-vis, to design characters, design worlds and literally the things I would create in my backyard.
Chu is in a different position than Wyatt. Wyatt came from independent cinema, so people don’t hold his older films against him, while Chu got a number of negative fanboy appraisals when he was hired on for this film because of his work on the Step Up franchise. It’s not fair to call either piece damage control, but both are smart to reach out to the press and establish not only their identities as filmmakers, but their perspectives on what they want to do. Both have taken on massive franchises that generate a lot of knee-jerk responses. Whether the films work or not is always the final arbiter.
Do you feel sympathy for filmmakers after interviews like this?