TSR Exclusive: John Woo at Chicago Film Festival with Red Cliff wants to do Avatar-style action flick
The stars are not too visible in the skyscraper lit skies of Chicago – instead, they are glowing at the 45th annual Chicago International Film Festival.
On Thursday, Uma Thurman was in town to promote her film Motherhood, which opened the festival. On Friday night, super-action director John Woo walked the red carpet at the festival for the United States premiere of his Chinese epic, Red Cliff. The film was met with resounding applause, followed by an excited Q&A from the audience afterward (I will have a review of Red Cliff available in the near future).
Released in China as two movies and condensed to one for American audiences, Red Cliff is an epic war film about the end of the Han Dynasty, and the fight by Liu Bei and Sun Quan to remain free from the order of the emperor of which Cao Cao is prime minister for.
I talked to Mr. Woo briefly on the red carpet about action films that still inspire him, and what the action genre maestro has planned next.
You have made some amazing action films in the past. What about the genre still excites you?
I have so much influence from the old time gangster films – Humphrey Bogart, Howard Hawkes. Also, I have a very big influence from the French new wave movies. Jean-Pierre Melville, I always like [those films].
I hear you’re going to remake Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samourai?
Is that in the works?
It’s in the scripting process right now. And to be honest, we’re having a little bit of copyright business. But I wish I could make it, there is so much I admire about Melville.
Do you have any actors in mind for the part played by Alain Delon? Possibly Tony Leung?
Well, it’s going to be an English film – an American film.
Is there anything you’d like to try out with style or special effects in your later films?
I want to make a huge special effects movie. I have seen James Cameron’s Avatar, that 17 minute clip. It was amazing. I want to make one.
Do you want to use the motion capture technology [that is used in Avatar]?
Last question, do you think this will be the largest scale film you’ll ever make, or do you want to make an even bigger film?
(Laughing) I do want to make an even bigger film.