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Antoine Fuqua Spots for Shooter

Published March 25, 2007 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Paramount Pictures.
International Shooter Poster Shooter
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 the alternative.

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.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Paramount Pictures.

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