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IESB Exclusive Interview: Guy Ritchie on Revolver, RocknRolla and Gamekeeper PDF Print E-mail
Written by Silas Lesnick   
Tuesday, 04 December 2007

His new film Revolver hitting theaters this weekend, Guy Ritchie sat down with IESB to talk new films including the upcoming RocknRolla and an adaptation of his comic series, Gamekeeper as well as what Revolver means to him and how he'd like audiences to understand what they're getting into at the door.

IESB: There's a lot of stylistic choices in Revolver, such as the animated scene. What the idea behind them?

Guy: It's funny, because I wrote it before Kill Bill came out so I really wanted to have a whole animated sequence in the thing and fucking Kill Bill came out and people went "oh, he's just copying Tarantino. So I always wanted to integrate somehow, an animated sequence. I was always interested in 3-D/2-D. So it's the old 2-D fashion, but in 3-D. In fact, I wanted to make a movie like it so it got in there. Actually, it was about - well, there's the simple version and there's the complicated version - let's stick with the simple one. The simple one is that I just wanted to use animation in the movie.

IESB: But you think that it ties into the film's theme?

Guy: Well it does. That's the complicated version. The complicated version is about, sort of dual universes, parallel universes and whatnot.

IESB: And that comes through, too with the car crash scene.

Guy: Yeah, well the idea is that it's all a game. So within that world, it's all a game. So things can be manipulated. It's a game so obviously the whole film's a conspiracy within itself. So one thing affects everything else. So yes is the answer to that.

IESB: You produced under Samuel Goldwyn and the ethereal villain is called Sam Gold. Is that completely a coincidence?

Guy: It's completely a coincidence. How funny is that? By the way, someone just pointed that out half an hour ago and it had never even occurred to me. Very funny. Complete coincidence.

IESB: Your buddy Matthew Vaughn is doing Thor.

Guy: He's doing Thor? Is that a Viking thing?

IESB: It's the Marvel Comics character.

Guy: Oh, really?

IESB: Are there any comic book properties you would ever want to be involved with?

Guy: Yeah, I think there is one we're supposed to be doing called Gamekeeper.

IESB: Can you go over a little what the plot of that is?

Guy: It's about a gamekeeper and what happens when things go personally he suffers a tragedy. But it's about how dangerous a gamekeeper could be and about how efficient he could be at dispatching the enemy because - a gamekeeper - that's what they do. That's what they do professionally. I mean, they kill more things than any professional soldier. So a gamekeeper shoots five, six foxes a night. He probably kills a half-dozen deer a week and dispatches all kind of cunning vermin. So they're magnificent at tracking and exterminating things. So it's really about a guy who exists in the wild and then when urban life comes and interferes with the way he sees things - how effective he can be at quelling things that he doesn't wish to continue. It's a comic I wrote. It came out about a year, two years ago. Virgin comics.

IESB: Any superheroes you'd ever want to do?

Guy: No, not that I'm aware of.

IESB: Back to Revolver, why the delay to releasing it?

Guy: Simply because we found that the first version left too many people flummoxed. So I took ten minutes out of it. Tried to make it shorter in order that we didn't make it too complicated - a few less lines to wrestle with. What I want people to understand is: Don't go see this movie if you're not into head things. If you're into head things, go and see it but if you're not you'll be disappointed.

IESB: When it comes to those two cuts, which one do you prefer?

Guy: I prefer this one, actually. Just because I think it has a straighter - it's simpler.

IESB: Are we going to get both on the DVD?

Guy: Yeah. I'm sure about that one actually.

IESB: And what about a better DVD for Lock, Stock?

Guy: Oh, I don't know. I haven't seen that for years. What's wrong with it?

IESB: There's nothing on it. Snatch is great, but Lock, Stock is just the movie with no extras.

Guy: Oh really? Change that! (He jokingly shouts to his publicist)

IESB: So it's RocknRolla next. Can you tell me a little about that?

Guy: It's about contemporary London. How London has become sort of the colorful center - the financial center - of the world and how the Russian guns have sort of moved in. It's a commentary on the nefarious activity of what happens when old world meets new.

IESB: You mentioned that in titling Revolver, you were happy to claim it as no one else had ever called a movie Revolver.

Guy: Oh, I just think it's kind of a cool name. But it seemed to fill the many boxes that we had and that's why I chose it, yeah.

IESB: When you see the money in Revolver, it's 12 dollar bills. Is that part of the game mentality?

Guy: Well yes, sort of. There's all sorts of different - well, the reason it took us a long time to write the film is because you can watch it many times and when you watch it you get different things. And that's just one of those things that correlates with it on another level. Because there's numbers going on all over the place. So, no, the 12 dollar bill is one of those clues about games.

IESB: Any particular reason it was the number 12?

Guy: Sure! But that's a bigger conversation.

IESB: Stylistically, you have the classical music. What was the reason for that?

Guy: Just because I thought it worked.

IESB: I'm guessing you're a fan of chess.

Guy: I am. I'm not a very good chess player. I find it hard to evolve. Chess is just a great metaphor for everything that's in the movie. Chess doesn't follow the same formula - well, everything follows that formula. Every game will follow that formula. So it's about tricks, ultimately.

IESB: Let's go back to the car crash scene. How do you view that as relating to a game?

Guy: Well, if you take this path, it leads to this conclusion. If you take this path, it has a different conclusion. Right? So it's really a question of taking paths. That was one path where he could have gone down but as it just so happened, he took the phone call. It's all about, you know, when you're driving down a motorway. You only need to pull the steering wheel three inches one way and you'll collide with a car at 200 miles per hour if you're going 100 miles and hour and he's going 100 miles an hour. So death's certainly two inches away almost 50 percent of your life. You're crossing roads. It's all about how close you are to death. You only need to be pushed one way or another or just be held up by a phone call or be distracted for a second and it's lights out. You're out of the game.

IESB: I'll be careful leaving the building.

Guy: Well, you've made it this far.

IESB: Does it bother you if people are confused by the film?

Guy: No, it doesn't bother me because I understand that you - well, some people are going to be confused by the film. But the idea of the film is fucking simple. Right? It's simply a struggle against that voice in your head that you're familiar with. That I'm familiar with. That everyone else on the planet is familiar with. That's what the movie is about. Being about to overcome the voice in your head that, when you're running and you get tired tells you to stop. That's what the movie's about. It's no more complicated than that. The trick - why it's a con movie - is that your mind is making it complicated so you deliberately don't understand that. And that's what the movie is about. So I understand that some people think it's complicated so I'd rather they just wouldn't go and see it if they're not prepared to understand what kind of movie they're getting into.

IESB: Is it hard for you, knowing that people are familiar with you from Lock, Stock or familiar with Snatch?

Guy: Not necessarily. The important thing is that I'm clear with people about the fact that this isn't that. RocknRolla's that. This isn't that. So unless you're interested in head stuff, don't go and see it. I want to be clear about that. So don't ask me for your money back or get really upset with me when you get confused.

IESB: Do you think there's something to be gained from people who are confused seeing it again?

Guy: I want people to get what they want to get out of it. I didn't make this movie to make a fucking fortune. I made this movie because it's an interesting concept and if you enjoy it then you can really enjoy it. My experience - if you go on the IMDB and read all that quaffle - you'll see that when people have watched it a few times, they get into it. Other people fucking hate it. I understand why people hate it, right? But I also understand why people really like it and obviously I made it for the people that like it. There's an audience there that is interested in head-fucking stuff and I'm into that.

Revolver opens December 7th.






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