Doug Liman is the director of Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson's latest film, Jumper. He recently talked to Movie Web about making the flick:
Q: Your past films have been grounded in a recognizable reality. Why did you choose to take on something that has such a fantastical premise this time out?
Doug Liman: I fell in love with the character of David Rice. I fell in love with someone discovering they can teleport, and the first thing they do with it is rob a bank. I loved him for that. In the hands of another filmmaker, that would have been an act that ultimately required some sort of retribution. He is doing unlikable things. In the end, they would have him redeemed.
They would turn him into a hero. I actually didn't want him to change. And I loved him for robbing that bank. The same way I loved Vince Vaughn's character in Swingers, for saying those things about women. For me, there is an honesty. It is very human, and I am not going to get ripped apart for being cynical.
What message is this giving the youth of America? I didn't want this to be a mirror back into society. I didn't want to tell people this is what you should do.
Obviously, Spider-Man is a better message for the youth of America. That you should save the world versus Jumper, which says, "With great power comes whatever you want." There is something very honest and lovable about David Rice.
It was one of the reasons why I knew I should make this movie and not someone else. Because I knew if I made this film, I would not feel the compulsion to make him a hero. The generic Hollywood version of this film writes itself. It is screenwriting 101. A selfish hero comes across a destructive villain and then changes in order to save the world.
We've seen that a thousand times before. I thought, "What if we had a selfish superhero that doesn't care about anyone else and he wants to save his own ass. He uses his power for himself." And we love that. He only reluctantly does something heroic because he has no other choice. He hasn't really changed. He is still the same guy at the end as he is in the beginning.
That, to me, is a much more interesting story. And it keeps in line with the more character driven stories that I have been doing. It is like the movies I have made in the past.
Read the complete interview now.