The death of Anna Nicole Smith has dominated news
coverage, but director Antoine Fuqua wasn't going to let it control his
film. His latest movie, Shooter,
has a passing reference in which an ally to framed gunman Bob Lee Swagger
(Mark Wahlberg) suggests that Smith didn't actually marry for love. Though
the line may take audiences out of the film, Fuqua felt it was better than
Antoine Fuqua Talks Shooter
"I just think that it's dangerous for us to
cut it out because it was done before her passing and I think that when
movies start to do that every time the world changes we'd never finish,"
he said. "We'd be in the editing bay because the world is always changing.
And then I hope that I'm not speaking out of turn, but she seemed to have
a really light sense of humor when I saw her. I didn't know her personally,
but I think she would probably laugh at it herself. I would hope so. I don't
think that it's anything that degrading that no one has ever said before
about her. It's just some kook in Tennessee who says it."
On the filmmaking side, much has been made of an elaborate sequence shot
on top of a glacier. Only the director could reveal the truth about how
many cast and crew members fell right on their asses.
"Oh, all of us including me. You step out of the helicopter and it's
all ice there and if you're not prepared it's just one of those things that's
going to happen. It's going to happen. We had a crane up there that got
stuck and when we got evacuated we had to leave that up there for a week.
Everyone fell. Ned Beatty fell. Danny [Glover] fell. Mark fell. There is
a shot where the guy stands up after shooting way over at the other end
of the hill and they look up at the guy coming down the thing, and the thing
that's dangerous about that place is that the perspective is an illusion.
I mean, we took a guy in a helicopter and put him up there, but walking
down took forever. This guy was a mountain guy because that had to be a
double, and I was rolling film on him going, 'Oh, my God, we have to go
get this guy.' We were sitting there waiting and waiting and then he would
just disappear completely."
With Swagger as a veteran betrayed by his own government, some are already
comparing Shooter to Rambo. Fuqua hopes to stand out on
his own. "I didn't think about Rambo much until people
started saying it. As soon as you blow something up and a guy has a gun
and he's ex-military you think Rambo. So I get it. I understand
that sort of thing, but I don't think that's such a bad thing. Rambo
was entertaining and did well for it's time, but not completely here. Rambo
is kind of a different sort of thing. This is a whole different deal."
With the conspiracy unfolding to involve issues of African genocide and
oil pipelines, Fuqua got to insert a bit of a message in his popcorn movie.
"In a studio picture like this I just think that it's difficult to
make a movie that's strictly about politics. It's very difficult to get
those kinds of movies made. I think that you have to find a way to try and
make it commercial as well have some statements, have some perspective on
politics, to say something. That makes it a little easier too for people
sometimes to accept the information that you're giving them or at least
for them to listen to it. There are scenes that we have that are long speech
scenes about politics and who runs the country and who ran the national
parks and who owns what. There was some pretty heavy stuff that I cut down
only because it went on and on and on and became such an opinion. It became
a little bit like, 'Shut up already.' I found myself sitting there going,
'Shut up now.'"
Shooter is out in theatres now.
For the trailer, posters, stills, review and more movie info, go to the
Shooter Movie Page.
Stay tuned for updates.