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Jonah Hex articles Empty Jonah Hex articles

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:20 pm

http://www.cowboysindians.com/art-entertainment/tv-film/2010-06/reelwest.jsp

The Hex Files

by DAVID HOFSTEDE

Josh Brolin stars as a hero with a dark past in the upcoming Jonah Hex film. Photo by Frank Ockenfels ©️ 2009 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures

Given the current Hollywood obsession with movies based on comic book characters (Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Batman) it was only a matter of time before some of the classic comic book cowboys also found their way to a theater near you. And it is no surprise that from a diverse and colorful variety of Western characters that have entertained readers for decades, including Kid Colt, the Ringo Kid, and the original Ghost Rider, the first comic book cowboy to merit the big-screen treatment is Jonah Hex.

Modern westerns, much as we would prefer it to be otherwise, are hardly a guarantee of box office success. But with Jonah Hex, elements of science fiction and horror are mixed with traditional cowboy action, making the character an easier sell to teenage moviegoers. And while Kid Colt and the Two-Gun Kid haven’t been viable comic book characters since the days when fans bought their adventures off spinner racks at 7-Eleven, Jonah Hex remains a popular seller for DC Comics. The current series published its 50th issue in December 2009.

“Jonah Hex has a wonderful legacy behind him,” says Jimmy Palmiotti, the cowriter (with Justin Gray) on the current Hex comic series. “The character has been published by DC Comics since the 1970s, and it makes sense that people in Hollywood making films right now are in their 40s and younger, so they remember the character lovingly from their childhood. This simple fact helps put Jonah on their radar, as well as Justin and I reviving the ongoing comic book series for a new, younger audience.”

Even back in the ’70s, however, there was a contemporary appeal to the character, which helped the book stand apart from other western series. Many of the cowboys created by Marvel Comics and DC had their origins in the 1940s and ’50s, a time when good and evil were defined by who wore the white hat and the most popular movie cowboys included such wholesome stars as Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.

Jonah Hex came of age in a more cynical time, amid the popularity of spaghetti westerns with their amoral heroes and brutal violence. “Most of the other western characters...have the feel of a really dated approach to history and the importance of the cowboy in the Old West,” Palmiotti says. “Jonah Hex doesn’t have that one bit. The wild facial scar, the killer attitude, and the simple way he lives his life make for some interesting tales to be told.”

Enlarge
A draft for a Jonah Hex comic book cover drawn by Tony DeZuniga

Created by writer John Albano and artist Tony DeZuniga, Jonah Hex debuted in DC’s All-Star Western Vol. 2 #10, cover date March 1972. The former Confederate soldier became a bounty hunter after the Civil War ended, the scars on his face a punishment from an Apache chief for killing the chief’s son. Multiple revamps later, the character has conjured a strong following and several attempts at a film, but fans first got light of a serious Jonah Hex project in 2007 when The Hollywood Reporter carried an item about a project in development with a script from Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Jimmy Hayward was brought in to make his live-action directing debut, after helming the animated hit Horton Hears a Who!, and Josh Brolin, who recently established himself as a solid western lead in No Country for Old Men, was cast as the dark cowboy hellbent on avenging the innocent.

In an interview with MTV, Brolin said he was intrigued by “the absurdity of it all” when he took the role. “It almost allows you to create a new genre. I love going back into the spaghetti western idea and completely turning it around.” Brolin worked with three-time world championship gun spinner Joey Dillon to develop his quick-draw and tomahawk-handling skills—necessities for a cowboy fighting the unusual enemies that Hex faces.

Batman has his Joker, Superman his Lex Luthor, and for Jonah Hex, the role of arch-villain is filled by Quentin Turnbull, who served in Hex’s regiment and blames Hex for the death of his son, surrendering to the Union Army, and betraying his unit’s position. It was Brolin’s idea to approach veteran actor John Malkovich to play Turnbull. “I love Josh Brolin—he’s a friend of mine, and he said, ‘Would you be interested?’ And I like the guy, Jimmy Hayward, who’s directing him, so I said, ‘Sure.’...It was fun,” Malkovich told Empire Online.

Enlarge
Comib book artist Jimmy Palmiotti visualizes another adventure in the Jonah Hex series.

Occasionally, the Hex comic veered into supernatural territory, when the bounty hunter turned his six-shooter on zombies and vampires. It was a fitting challenge for a character depicted as having one foot in the grave and one foot on earth. However, the film’s director, Hayward, promises no scary monsters in the movie. Instead, the film features current Hollywood “It” girl Megan Fox, which is more than a fair trade. Photos of Brolin in the Hex makeup were kept under wraps during production, but images of Fox in a saloon girl costume appeared on pop culture websites in April of 2009. She became the face of the film last summer, though she originally worked just five days on the project.

Jonah Hex needed a setting that was historical, bizarre, and seeping with mysticism, so New Orleans was the obvious choice. Filming took place at Louisiana’s historic Fort Pike for two months. Afterward, the film’s production team helped the Fort Pike museum with its post-Hurricane Katrina repairs by donating some of the set props and painting the interior, the sally port, and the citadel.

“Andy Lazar, [one of] the producer[s], and Jimmy Hayward had both approached Justin and me about reading the script, asked our opinion, and even invited us to the set in New Orleans to meet the cast and crew, and for us, it was just amazing to see the characters and background of our book come to life,” Palmiotti recalls. “We are extremely excited with what we saw while we were down there.”

The writer was also impressed by the casting choices, particularly Brolin as Hex. “Josh looks just amazing in the makeup, and I don’t think it was possible to cast the part any better than they did. He is just perfection in my eyes. He read the comics and he gets the attitude, dead-on. His enthusiasm for the project was contagious.

“We had lunch with John Malkovich and the cast, and he has a wicked sense of humor, is smart as a whip, knows about comics, and as the bad guy in the film is just amazing,” Palmiotti says. “We were humbled by the amount of talent around us.”

Originally intended as an R-rated release, the movie was cut to accommodate a PG-13 rating, but Palmiotti, who was raised on westerns and describes Clint Eastwood’s The Outlaw Josey Wales as “my Star Wars,” believes that fans will not be disappointed in the action or violence, which is true to the harsher elements of the character’s history. “Once you see the trailer, you will get it instantly. It’s a heavy metal, balls-to-the-wall western. A summer blockbuster set in the West,” Palmiotti raves. “I think it’s aggressive and dead-on and a franchise film if I ever saw one. It’s going to do well because it’s hitting all the right points that moviegoers love.”

But however well Jonah Hex translates to the big screen, regardless of whether the film becomes an Iron Man-level hit or a Catwoman-level flop, the character will keep on riding through countless more grim adventures in the comics.

“After the film hits, it’s back to business as usual for us,” Palmiotti says. “We just hope the release helps get some new people interested in the books.”

Who’s Next?

Back in 2005, we discussed the possibilities of a wave of comic book cowboy films, following the box office success of the Spider-Man, X-Men, and Blade franchises. It took five years for the first of these proposed projects to materialize, but if there’s an enthusiastic response to Jonah Hex, perhaps we’ll also see one of these characters ride off the pages of a comic book.

|The Rawhide Kid | Next to Jonah Hex, the Rawhide Kid stories might be perceived as the most marketable to adapt, since the character’s origin reads like a western take on Batman. After his parents are killed, young Johnny Bart is adopted by a Texas Ranger who also suffers a tragic fate, but not before teaching Johnny about the code of the Rangers—and turning the young man into an expert marksman.

|Tomahawk | Part western, part Revolutionary War story, Tomahawk follows the adventures of Tom Hawk, a Massachusetts colonist rescued by Native Americans after a battle. Hawk becomes a member of their tribe and later serves as a middleman between the Indians and the early Americans.

| Kid Colt | A pacifist with a hair-trigger temper, Blaine Colt is also a crack shot who stays away from guns because he knows he’ll kill the first man who looks at him cross-eyed. With the aid of time travel, Kid Colt even makes his way to the future to aid The Avengers and The Fantastic Four.

| Cinnamon | A gorgeous redheaded female gunslinger? How has Cinnamon not been turned into a movie already? Perhaps because film adaptations of female comic book characters have not exactly pulled Avatar-level grosses. Catwoman and Elektra were disasters, and several writers have tried to find a fresh take on a Wonder Woman film, thus far without success. But Cinnamon doesn’t have a complicated back story, so a good western writer could take the character anywhere without worrying about angering a large existing fan base.

| The Two-Gun Kid | Matt Hawk is a Boston lawyer who gets a quick lesson in frontier justice after moving West and later learns the cowboy way from legendary gunfighter Ben Dancer. He assumes the identity of the Two-Gun Kid and partners up with “Boom Boom” Brown to fight criminals and supervillains.
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Post by Admin on Thu May 13, 2010 4:23 pm

http://www.superherohype.com/features/articles/100870-visiting-the-set-of-jonah-hex

Visiting the Set of Jonah Hex
by Edward Douglas
May 13th, 2010
Page 1 of 5
Down in Louisiana for Warner Bros.' Weird Western film

When ComingSoon.net/SuperHeroHype were told we were going down to the set of Warner Bros.' movie based on the DC Comics "Weird Western Tales" hero Jonah Hex, we had a lot of expectations on what we might have a chance to see there... hopefully a lot of horseback riding, some gunfights, maybe even Megan Fox in lingerie.

With our anticipation building up, we learned we were heading to the bayous of Louisiana, to some of the most dangerous areas in which only the bravest filmmakers would dare shoot. We received incredibly-detailed instructions about the location where the film was shooting, essentially stating, "It is very humid and warm here with plenty of mosquitoes and other biting bugs, poison ivy, poison oak, and even crocodiles, so it is better to be covered in layers than to wear shorts and flip-flops." And "Tell them to pretend they are going camping for the day!" As we were being driven away from the center of New Orleans, we were even told by our driver that he would be taking us to a place called "Violent, Louisiana," which certainly sounded promising for a movie about Jonah Hex.

For those unfamiliar with the character in comics form, Jonah Hex was created by John Albano and artist Tony DeZuniga for a 1971 issue of "All-Star Western." At first, not much was known about the scarred Western character, but the story goes that Hex was sold into slavery to the Apache by his father as a boy, where he was adopted by the tribe's chief until a conflict with the chief's actual son led to Jonah's face being disfigured with "The Mark of the Beast" in disgrace after he was accused of cheating in battle. The dark and gritty Western character proved popular enough to dominate the book once it was retitled "Weird Western Tales," and Hex thrived under the pen of Michael Fleischer until the mid-'80s when the character was thrust into the future as part of DC Comics' intercompany crossover "Crisis on Infinite Earths." The less said about that the better, but in the '90s, horror novelist Joe R. Lansdale and artist Tim Truman revived Hex with a darker, supernatural-based Western take on the character for Vertigo Comics. Five years ago, the character was revived in a more traditional Western format by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray for what's turning into the character's most popular run in the comic books since the '70s.

In the movie, Jonah Hex is played by Josh Brolin, the second-generation actor who was heavily involved with getting the film made based on the strength of his appearances in the Coens Brothers' Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men and his Oscar nomination for Gus Van Sant's Milk a year later. Joining him is director Jimmy Heyward, who previously co-directed the animated Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who, and this strange combo brought together a cast that included John Malkovich as Hex's long-time foe Quentin Turnbull, Will Arnett, Michael Shannon and Michael Fassbender. Oh, and did we mention Megan Fox? If you've watched the trailer than you already will know that Hex's origin is tied closer to Turnbull than in the comics.

Imagine our surprise when we finally arrived to our destination and it was a fairly placid field with makeshift tents, which we were told was the Union army encampment where Brolin's Hex was in conversation with Will Arnett's Lieutenant Grass, coordinating how to capture the outlaw Turnbull. No fistfights broke out and no guns were drawn, but at least we were going to be able to talk with all involved. The production was roughly midway through shooting the film, on Day 22 of 47 planned days, and unfortunately, we hadn't picked the best day to visit. Just one week earlier, we hear they were shooting an enormous river battle between Ironside battleships, too. Oh, well.

Click Next for our interview with director Jimmy Hayward.

As soon as we arrived on set, director Jimmy Hayward came over to talk to us with a diet coke in hand - yes, he was already getting caffeinated at 9:30 in the morning. The energetic filmmaker previously co-directed the animated Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who, so he was following the likes of Andrew Adamson, Andrew Stanton and Brad Bird into the realm of live action filmmaking.

Q: You come from the world of animation and you're not just directing a big live-action film but also one shot primarily on location, so why did you decide to do that?
Jimmy Hayward: This is the type of film I've always loved. I loved animation. I got into animation by accident. I'd always intended to go to film school. I just never got there. By the time I was in my early 20's I was already animating (films) like "Toy Story," so it really seemed like it made sense. And then I just kind of stayed there and stayed there and stayed there for a really long time. I got my way here through writing, but it's something I always wanted to do. I think all filmmakers experiment with animation, and I just wound up doing it. I didn't go to film school or anything like that. I went to film school at Pixar for 10 years, and I wound up here. It makes a lot of sense to me. People ask me that question a lot, fair enough, but it makes perfect sense to me. Almost everything in this movie is practical, too. There's not digital stuff. We just blew up a battleship the other day. Blew it up. Helicopters and seven cameras and crash-cams and stuff. No digital.

Q: What was the draw for you with Jonah Hex and what was your vision for this?
Hayward: I've always been a fan of Jonah Hex, and when I found out they were making this movie, (that) it was in development, I was like, "Damn, I wish I'd thought of that!" Then when I got an opportunity to come on it, develop it, write on it and then direct it, it was great for me because I actually came into my first meeting at Warner Bros., I had a small "Weird Western Tales" digest that I'd had since 1978 with me. I'd been reading the comic when I was a kid and I always loved Jonah Hex because he was an anti-hero. Everybody else had like big packages and spandex pants and capes and stuff, and Jonah Hex was just a triple badass. I always had an iron sense of humor and I really loved that about him when I was a kid. And so Josh and I are trying to maintain that in the film.

Q: So what are you making here? Would you call it an origin story?
Hayward: Yeah. It's an origin story set amongst other origins. It's kind of like the legend of Jonah Hex and how he got the scar on his face and the whole back story to who he is, and telling the story in reverse, starting with a murderous, scarred bounty hunter and finding out how he got that way. (It's) tearing off the layers and exposing who Jonah Hex really is and why.

Q: Do you have a favorite Jonah Hex run?
Hayward: You know, I don't. I love Albano and DeZuniga, all that old '70s stuff. Jimmy Palmiotti has become a friend. Justin (Gray)… those guys are great guys. Love those guys. They actually came to visit us not too long ago. Actually, when they showed up, Jimmy was like, "Dude, wow!" because I had the cover from one of their issues with Jonah Hex strapped in a big X in his front yard, on fire. I didn't have the Confederate diapers on that they had, but it was him strapped to the X with even the same rivets and stuff. They were like, "It's the cover." I was like, "Yeah, dude, that's what we're doing." So he was very stoked. Jimmy is a great guy. We're pals with those guys, so I love the new stuff, too. It's really cool. I love the way they constantly evolve with different artists. It all works for me.

Q: Some of the stories are pretty much straightforward Westerns and much of the newer material pushes the fantasy element. Which way are you going?
Hayward: There's traditional elements and there's a little bit of supernatural. There's not a ton. But the dead show Jonah Hex his destiny. There are elements where he doesn't know really quite what he's looking at, but for the most part we play it traditional, and then, when you least expect it… There's a battleship in the movie, so…

Q: What about the Joe R. Lansdale stuff? That went into straight horror. Are you trying to do some of that?
Hayward: No, I don't know. There's a fine line there, but this isn't a horror movie. We're not making a horror movie. We're making a Western. We're making an action picture, and hopefully a thrilling picture. I think it hops genres, that's what's cool about it, but it's not a horror picture, even though I love horror movies. Tobe Hooper's "Texas Chainsaw" is one of my favorite movies from when I was a little kid. I watched that over and over.

Q: There was some controversy after you took over from Neveldine and Taylor. Was that daunting?
Hayward: No, we loved it, we thought it was great. Josh was like, "Dude, if you know this guy you'd be more surprised that he directed 'Horton Hears a Who,' not 'Jonah Hex.'" If you know me as a person, as an individual, you're surprised that I directed "Horton Hears a Who" and not this. People out there are like, "He directed that and he worked at Pixar and that's all he's capable of. He sees everything in cotton-candy colors and only does talking animals." Like I have friends that are unicorns. I actually rode here on one. My only friends are talking animals. You get painted with that brush. At Pixar, we were a bunch of young dudes that are making movies that make us laugh. We had these big, four-quadrant, huge, successful movies, but we're all just normal people. Most of my taste, if you look through my film collection, you'll find Disney films with wrapping on them and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff from all over the world that I'm totally into. I just happened to wind up doing (animated films).

Q: It's hard to picture you and Steve Martino in a room making a movie together…
Hayward: Steve Martino and I? Oh my God. Steve's a great friend of mine and a wonderful guy, but, yeah, it's like (he makes a buzzing sound). It balances it all out. He's like, "As a parent, I don't know if that's appropriate." I'm like, "What are you talking about, dude? This is going to be amazing!" He's like, "Hmmmmm, I don't know." He's like my PTA.

Q: Neveldine and Taylor wrote the original script. Did you keep any of that?
Hayward: Yeah. They wrote a good script. They wrote a cool script. I did rewrites on it, but they wrote a cool script. I based the movie off the original script and then I rewrote a bunch of stuff, but I kept a bunch of stuff.

Q: Did you keep any of their visual sense?
Hayward: I mean, visuals I know, obviously. There was a lot of like "Look at the bone snapping in half!" or ‘"Watch the eyeball." There was a lot of that stuff that I'm just not interested in that as much as a filmmaker. I know people are like, "Well, what's the rating going to be?" Who knows what it's going to be? We'll see what's successful or what's not by the time this comes out. There's a lot of intense action in this movie. A lot of people die in this movie, a lot of people get killed. I've got John Malkovich. He puts a gun to somebody's back. Do I want to watch John Malkovich's murderous face as he pulls the trigger or do I want to the blood fly out of the guy's heart? I want to watch Malkovich's eyes. For me, that's kind of where I'm going with this movie. Where it lands, I don't know.

Q: What's Josh bringing to the table as Jonah?
Hayward: Josh Brolin? Not very much. He's talentless. No, Josh is amazing. Josh totally gets this character inside out and backwards. He does all the research he needs to do. Obviously, we had a totally shared feeling for who this character was and who he should be, and when to turn him up and down. He's become a good friend and he's been just amazing to develop this character with and to put this together with. He's a great guy. He embodies this guy.

Q: How does his voice sound with the makeup covering his mouth? Is it difficult for him to get lines out?
Hayward: Like all new superheroes he talks (puts on a deep voice) like this all the time. He practiced. Christien Tinsley (the make-up supervisor) is amazing. Christien built this crazy thing that hooks his face back so he can put rope up. One of the things that I really fought for was keeping the rope over his mouth. I really fought to make that happen because, to me, even when Jonah Hex was wearing a leather-studded codpiece in the future, he still had that one thing. It was the one thing that survived every incarnation of him. That's probably the only Hex that doesn't have a part in this movie. Even when I was adapting a Dr. Seuss movie I looked at that entire body of his work to be able to inform (the movie), because it always felt false to me when I went and saw other ones where I didn't feel like it had embodied his world. I didn't feel like I'd stepped into that world. So I think with Jonah Hex, it's really important to embody that. When you do anything that has a core fanbase, you can't please everybody all the time, but you need to try and embody the whole realm of that character rather than being like, "This is specifically going to be Jonah Hex from 1976." To me, that would get the 1976 guys stoked and everybody else would be like, "Dude?" And it's not trying to please everybody all the time, but it's trying to find unity in the work. That's one of the things we've really tried to do with this movie, with (production designer) Tom Meyer and (cinematographer) Mitch (Amundsen) and everybody.

Q: How are you doing the make-up?
Hayward: All practical.

Q: Can you talk about how it compares with Two-Face from "The Dark Knight" which used digital enhancements?
Hayward: Three-Face? You know what? First we talked about that and I just feel like that it doesn't really even matter. That was so digital, so alive. To us, we're doing it practical, old school. We don't want it to feel like it stepped out of 2010.

Q: What can you tell us about Megan Fox's character?
Hayward: She plays Jonah Hex's girlfriend.

Q: She's a prostitute?
Hayward: Yeah, but Jonah is the guy who gets to stay all night and doesn't have to pay.

Q: What are you doing in this particular scene?
Hayward: This? I have no idea. The U.S. government is pushing out into the new frontiers of technology. Will Arnett plays Lt. Grass, who is sort of like the new face of the United States. He's corporate, like, "Technology, this is the future." They're wiring telegraph wires to set up this communications network all across the country. He's basically telling Hex that he's going to be a thing of the past, and they're interrogating one of Quentin Turnbull's guys that Quentin Turnbull left for dead when he was robbing an armory. So it's just Hex interrogating a dead guy.

Q: So this takes place in 1866?
Hayward: 1870s. Six years after the Civil War.

Q: Any flak about using the Confederate elements?
Hayward: Not yet. (Laughter). And I won't apologize later. I think it's one of those where this is a guy who redeems himself for his acts in the Civil War. He didn't believe in what he was fighting for. That's why he took a French leave. That's why he quit. And I think that his war is not over in his head. So he kind of wears that jacket until he kind of squares that up.

Q: This scene you're shooting now, where in the movie does it fit?
Hayward: It's like the middle of the movie, kind of midway through.

Q: Has there been one particular sequence that's been the most challenging to shoot so far?
Hayward: I'd say the battleship we just shot, with this huge action and flamethrowers and cannons and boats.

Q: Is this battleship sequence something specific? Do you get into Gettysburg?
Hayward: No, they talk about some of the battles. This movie is entertainingly correct, not historically-accurate. That's a term that I've used for a long time, just in terms of authenticity, because I want I want this world to be believed in, but if you want to see beard-growing, Gettysburg-style battle plan movies, go watch "Gettysburg" for four or five hours.

Q: Anything on a sound stage or is it all outside?
Hayward: A little bit. Ninety percent of it is out in the open.

Q: How important is that to you?
Hayward: Huge. Massive.

Q: In what ways?
Hayward: The authenticity of it, just being out on the dirt. We just shot a sequence of guys fighting in this red clay for days, just beating the hell out of each other. Just rolling around in the dirt is always more interesting. Digital stuff looks digital. There's people doing it incredibly and beautifully, and we'll do a little bit of it, for sure, but it just felt authentic to this movie (to do it out on location). I love that feeling, like early ‘70s a little bit.

Q: Did you go to Civil War reenactment camps to get these guys we're seeing or are they all extras?
Hayward: Some of these guys are reenactors and some of them are extras. And then (costume designer) Michael Wilkinson... I don't know if you guys know who he is, but he's amazing. He makes it so that I can't tell the difference. He puts his own spin on everything.

Q: Weather gives you authenticity, but how about its unpredictability, where you can plan to shoot something one day and then you can't because of the elements…
Hayward: You plan as much as you can with cover sets and stuff, but at the end of the day, that's genius of it, right? That's the thing, is adapting on the day.

Q: Have the elements ruined a day?
Hayward: They've made it interesting, but we've always figured out a way to blend it into the story. That's the whole deal. It's a business of change. That's one thing you don't get in animation.

Q: So going back to what you said earlier, will this be PG-13 or R?
Hayward: I'm not sure yet. I'm not making this for the MPAA, but we'll find out.

Q: The later comics had more black comedy…
Hayward: Yeah, I think we'll keep the ironic frontier justice aspect of it alive. I like the kind of thing that Jonah Hex looks at the world with an ironic sort of a twist, just in terms of when people get it. But it in terms of it being a blood and gore fest, that's not my intention. To me, that doesn't drive story, really. I think that's one of the changes that I brought. I just changed the tone of his sense of humor a little bit. To me, watching brains fly out of someone's head is less interesting than watching someone's eyes. I think it's because I come from Pixar. Not because of a G-rated thing, but just that story drives everything. Story should drive every decision you make. I don't know how much story you can tell watching exit wounds and brain matter splatter all over stuff. So I'd rather do more pulls and wraps and things like that and less squibs, you know what I mean.

Q: Isn't more than two "f*cks" an R?
Hayward: They didn't say ‘f*ck' back then. It's one of the first things that Brolin said. "Jimmy, I'm not into all the f*cking cuss language." Josh and I talk like Marines, but back then… he said it feels false when you say. It's like in "McCabe & Mrs. Miller," when they used tons of foul language. Does that really make sense? I don't know if that's our perception of it or not.

Q: Are there some favorite Westerns in the back of your mind, inspiring you as you make this movie?
Hayward: Yeah, sure, totally. I think we're all inspired… I love really early, early Peckinpah, that era stuff. I love Corbucci, those movies are totally crazy, Communist, anti-American movies where they'll try and crack the safe through the whole movie and at the end the Mexican revolutionary opens the safe and the prize inside is a sheath of wheat and a sickle, which is just ridiculous. But just the style of those movies, there's always a lot of ridiculous characters in them that I really like. There's a lot of great camerawork and staging that I really love. There's so many bad oaters and so many good Westerns. We were talking yesterday; some magazine just put out a list of the top 100 Westerns. I'm like, "Yeah, the top 100 Westerns are my favorite 100 Westerns." Like, who calls that? There are so many millions of them. I'm inspired by a litany of them. There are obscure ones. There's Fuller, Corbucci, Peckinpah. I love all those dudes. And Leone. The silly Leone movies, I love so much. Those movies are great. I loved it when I was a little kid. To me, the Spaghetti Westerns stopped and then Westerns kind of died for me. Then there was this "Unforgiven" era of intelligent, grown-up Westerns that are cool, but less fun for me. Those movies were like comic books to me. They had crazy SuperScope. We're shooting this movie anamorphic. It's expensive, but it's totally worth it.

Q: What's the risk factor here? It's a popular title to people who love the comic, but it's not Spider-man. How much do you worry about the commerciality of the final product?
Hayward: You know, it's funny… No, not really. Let's just go make a cool story with really great characters and tell a good story and make it badass, and hopefully people will come. At the end of the day, Josh is amazing. The cast is great. The cast is amazing. It's such a cool character. And it's kind of time for a Western that people can attach themselves to, that's not old dudes riding around on their horses, talking about their wives or redemption or whatever. It's blowing sh*t up and cool stories about people having a love that can never be and wrapping it up in something cool with Megan and Josh and John and Will Arnett and all these other crazy people we've put together.

Q: What part does music play in the film?
Hayward: A huge part.

Q: Any musicians in the film playing musicians?
Hayward: Not really. People have actually asked to be in the movie, but we said no because we didn't want recognizable people to just pop you out of the film.

Q: So no Ry Cooder, no Jack White…
Hayward: No. Definitely people expressed interest in doing it. We just didn't feel like it. I'm getting John Powell to score it. And he's going to get some help from some secret squirrel friends that are friends of mine.

Q: If this one is a huge hit, what's the next story from this world that you'd like to tell?
Hayward: I'm not telling you that! I mentioned to Jackie Earle Haley… I don't know where everybody got the idea that Malkovich was playing a guy trying to stop an army of the dead. I don't know where they got that from. I remember, everybody flipped out. Jimmy Palmiotti called me and was like, "Dude, is this real?" I was like, "Totally, dude. It's going to be a huge zombie army. Amazing." He was like, "What?" I was like, "Oh, yeah, totally."

Q: So, is Haley in this?
Hayward: No. I was just talking to him about playing a part, but yeah, there's no army of zombies or anything like that.

Q: But to the sequel question. What other stories interest you?
Hayward: There's a lot, but having had an opportunity to work on a sequel in the past, to me, it's like you've got to get to the other side of it and see how it's responded to, see what works and doesn't work, to be able to dive into the next side. To me, the character has to evolve and go somewhere. He can only evolve so far, but to me, when they blew up the Death Star, the movie was over. You know what I mean? There was a finality in that. And the genius is, "We're rebuilding it and we can come back later!" That's what I mean. I want this movie to end. I feel like sometimes, you know when you go and see the first part of a trilogy or a sequology or whatever the f*ck they're called, I just feel so ripped off. I feel ripped off when there's no ending. So to this movie, we just ended it, and we'll pick that up if it's a success. I can't look that far (ahead). I'm looking at the end of today's scene. Then after that I'm going to go to my set for the Civil War scene for tomorrow. I'm going to walk my set and I'm going to think through that day. That's how I have to do it, because we're doing so much for this movie. Our schedule is so packed and so crazy. I just finished six nights on a battleship. Our second unit just finished throwing flaming men off the side of it and we blew up. Six nights of that and we were straight into yesterday.

Q: Any other cool characters from the comics, like El Papagayo, that we might see in the movie?
Hayward: There's plenty of room for that later.

After our lengthy interview, Hayward went back to the work over on the set for what ended up being a fairly straightforward dialogue sequence of what he described. Will Arnett's Lieutenant Grass greets Hex to the camp and proudly shows off the latest wonders of modern technology as they walk through the field. Arnett had his hair slicked back and had seemingly grown a mustache for the role of Grass, but we were more interested in seeing Brolin's make-up and how it added to his performance. Because they were walking with the left unscarred side of Brolin's face toward us, we wouldn't really be able to tell how he looked until much later.

"Let me show you something," Arnett says to Brolin as they walk through the field showing the telegraph wires being strung up. "This is the future." As they walk past, one of the soldiers stringing telegraph wires screams and falls backwards into an airbag conveniently below him. In the background, two soldiers are surveying the land for where to put the next telegraph pole.

As they continued to walk, Grass continues his speech, "When this is strung up, we'll be able to send men wherever we need them. We'll be able to stop men like Turnbull and their second-rate attacks." They finally arrive at a wagon cart with bars on it in which one of Turnbull's men has been imprisoned, laying motionless. What we only learned much later from watching the trailer was that this man was dead but that Hex has powers to get information on Turnbull's whereabouts by communicating with that corpse.

We then had a few brief moments to talk with producer Andrew Lazar, a long-time producer with Warner Bros. who worked on movies like Get Smart, Clint Eastwood's Space Cowboys and Cats & Dogs, which gets a sequel later this summer. As they were shooting only ten to twenty feet away, we couldn't talk very loudly, and unconveniently, this was at a point when the wind started blowing a little more violently obscuring at least one of Lazar's answers.

Q: How did you first get involved with this?
Andrew Lazar: I've actually been involved with this as a producer for a really long time. I think my first deal at Warner Bros. was in 1995, after I produced "Assassins" with them. I'm a movie person, I love movies, I kind of live and breathe movies. Every now and again, people who like movies watch TV, and there was a show growing up I loved "Wild Wild West," it was a TV series. Another TV series as an adult I watched--it was very funny because I don't watch a lot of television--was "The X-Files." I loved the way they were kind of able to mix the FBI and that kind of procedural show with the supernatural and how there's all those sort of personal stories about what was going on with his sister. Was she abducted? Was she not? I knew about the (Jonah Hex) comic but it wasn't until I was at Warner Bros. and I read the comic and I realized it was a DC property that I was like, "Oh my God this is the perfect, perfect movie to make!" First of all, he's an iconic character, but you are able to do a Western--which I did grow up loving like the Spaghetti Westerns--they're so bold. And I love the John Ford westerns. Being a fan of that genre, being able to take something you've always loved and be able to turn it on its ear so to speak and to breathe some new life into it, because you have this ability to have the underpinnings of the supernatural. I just never got the script right. What happens when you're developing a movie is you cook your baby until it's ready to be born. I developed several drafts. Matter of fact, there was even a brief go-around that I was gonna do Jonah Hex as a TV series, and we never really got a script. We got good scripts but we never got a great script and then Neveldine and Taylor came in and pitched me. They asked me what I was doing. In fact, I actually saw and loved "Crank" and had them in for a general (meeting), and they asked me what I was doing. I said, "You know, something I've always wanted to crack as a property was Jonah Hex." Brian Taylor particularly was a total fan of the comic, knew it inside and out, was a fan when he was eight years old, and within two weeks, they came back in and pitched me their version of Jonah Hex, which was, in broad strokes the beginning of the script. And they truly wrote a really, really good script right out of the gate.

Q: Can you comment on why they left?
Lazar: You know, they had a lot on their plate. They were in post on "Crank 2" they were in post on "Gamer," and it was just kind of proverbial creative differences. We all still wanted to make the movie. They're involved with the movie, they wrote the script. Josh talks to those guys, I talk to them, but it just… you know, we moved on.

Q: Can you talk about the commercial prospects? "Jonah Hex" is a fairly obscure title and not that widely-known though there are people who love it. Is the plan just to try and make a good movie and hope for the best in terms of getting the non-fans to see it?
Lazar: Unless it's… I don't even know… are there are any sure fire (things)? Like with "Get Smart." When I did that movie, we did not take for granted that there are big generations of people who did not know "Get Smart." I knew that series and you could see what age group was seeing it on Nick at Night, from 32 to 37, there's a lot of people who don't know it, and then it recycles itself. We want to make a really good movie, and we want to make a really exciting action movie, and the movie should work because it's a really good movie. The fact that there will be fans of Jonah Hex I think are great. I think that the script and Jimmy's vision for it is really represented. I think there are certain cornerstones of our film that are gonna really appeal to the fanbase but it's a horror-western that has a very simple but elegant revenge plot so I think and hope the people that went to see "Taken" will like the movie. It's a really exciting action movie that on the one hand feels like a Western but on the other hand feels a little heightened, a little stylized. It came from a comic, but I don't think you need to know the source material to enjoy the movie.

Q: We've heard that there's some sort of supernatural aspects to the story, like maybe the are vampires involved?
Lazar: No, no…. the truth is that the logline that sometimes is used is not actual. It connotates a very different movie. I think that the supernatural is there, but it's more subtext and it's kind of an underpinning. It's not overtly - it's not "From Dusk Till Dawn." This is like an origin tale, and I think there's a subtlety with the use of the supernatural, that's not to say that as the character evolves… Hopefully, the first movie is as good as we all want it to be and a franchise is born so we can explore other areas of the supernatural, but it is definitely a subtle use in this one, because it's a character piece. It's Jonah Hex first and foremost, and you've gotta be careful that we don't want the trappings of the supernatural to overtake what's really important, which is introducing who this character is and what makes him special. It's got really big scope, it's got really big set pieces and the US Military is involved and all that stuff, but I think it's important that it's a very personal tale, you learning who Jonah Hex is and how he got to be where he is. What's nice about the story is that Jonah is hired to find Quentin Turnbull, who allegedly is not alive. That big story dovetails into (at this point, a big wind blows making the rest of Lazar's answer undiscernable)

Q: Is Quentin Turnbull not being alive where the supernatural element comes in?
Lazar:Turnbull's here and he's alive. People are saying that Turnbull has an army of undead – that's not the case.

Q: Do you see it as the start of a franchise?
Lazar: You know, that's funny because even Josh, who is undeniably the greatest Jonah Hex…. I mean, I'm glad I got a good script for many, many years because he is so perfect for the movie. I think we all would like the first movie to be really good and if it is than we're up for making more, but we've first gotta make this one as good as it can be. You can't say that, because it's presumptuous to say anything other. Making a movie is so hard. Making a good movie is so hard. I mean, you know that because you guys are all fans of films; you know how hard it is to make a good movie. So for us to go out of the gate and say this is going to be a franchise and the greatest thing since sliced bread is really arrogant.

Q: If it did get into sequels, do you see more supernatural elements coming into it, like a "Pirates of the Caribbean" in the Old West kind of thing?
Lazar: There's an underpinning that has to do with Jonah's mythology that he has one foot in the grave and one foot here on Earth, so that will always be relevant for the character, but I do see opportunities to explore different areas of the supernatural. But, again, we want to be careful not to let that overshadow what's great about the movie.

Unfortunately, Lazar had to head off while they started shooting again and we didn't get to see him for the rest of the shoot because this was conveniently also the day that other big-wig Warner Bros. executives were visiting the set. (Apparently, they weren't going to be out in the swamps of Louisiana facing crocodiles and mosquitoes either.)

Click Next for our interview with Will Arnett.

After shooting that earlier scene a number of times, they decided to change the camera angle, which meant that our interview area had to be dismantled, but we used that time to talk with John Gallagher, the newbie of the film, who plays Arnett's second-in-command Jr. Lieutenant Abbott. (Unfortunately, it just wasn't as interesting as some of the other interviews; it happens.)

When Will Arnett finally had a chance to come over and talk to us, we were all fairly surprised by how serious and deadpan he was, not even cracking a smile during the interview, let alone showing the clever wit and timing that's made him famous as one of the funniest men on television and in films. Even though Arnett's famous for comedies like "Arrested Development" and Will Ferrell's Blades of Glory, his previous collaboration with Hayward on Horton Hears a Who as a villainous vulture may have been why Hayward thought of him to play the pompous Union soldier in Jonah Hex. Arnett shed some light on his character and his relationship with Hex.

Q: You're doing a serious, dramatic role here with no humor. There's humor in the comics, but does that play a role in what you're doing or not at all?
Will Arnett: Not really. The character I play, if there's any kind of corporate figure, it would be him. He represents the new U.S. government, the Union, the winning side in the Civil War. He's really kind of an outsider in this environment, and he's been sent from Washington with very clear orders to take care of this job and to get Hex to do some stuff for him. So he's a pretty humorless guy. If there is any humor, it comes out of the fact that he's pretty humorless.

Q: Were you actively looking for a role that wasn't comedic?
Arnett: Not necessarily. This was something that kind of came to my attention because of Jimmy Hayward, the director, who was a guy I'd actually worked with before on "Horton." We got along on that really well, we have a lot in common, we're both Canadian, so he kind of said, when he was putting this thing together that he wanted to meet up and talk about it.

Q: What's it like working with Josh Brolin, especially as an actor whose covered in prosthetics?
Arnett: Oh, it's great. To be able to work with such an awesome, really intense, great dramatic actor, one of the best actors alive today. It's a real treat for me to be able to do something like this. As you guys maybe or maybe don't know, I'm used to doing a lot of really goofy, not necessarily always very good, stuff. So to be able to do something like this is interesting, and super-rewarding.

Q: Do you have any scenes with Malkovich at all?
Arnett: I don't. I wish! Everyone in this cast is so great, so any scenes you do have with anybody is amazing.

Q: How are you doing shooting on location? Is there kind of an element to it?
Arnett: Absolutely. I mean, the whole thing, it really kind of helps with getting into the rhythm of the piece. We're down here and the sets are so incredible and the costumes, it's pretty amazing.

Q: Is this the first period piece you've done?
Arnett: Yeah, other than "Semi-Pro. "

Q: As a comedian, you always have to be on, ready to ad-lib and come up with stuff. Is it hard to turn that off?
Arnett: I think there are probably moments. Even moments like today where Jimmy has to say "All right, let's just really straighten it out, I want it straighter, I want it harder." But there ARE moments with my character where he's kind of absurd in a lot of ways. We find the humor in different ways. Of course, I'm always thinking "What's the joke in this?" but there's no room for that. But you know, this particular scene starts with my character being shaved by a guy. Originally these guys come into camp and they're just looking at maps. And I thought well, if this guy's kind of an absurd guy, it would be kind of funny if everyone's so dirty and down, and even at a camp, he has a [barber], and he would. Guys like this would, and it's kind of absurd, and you come in, and here's dirty Jonah Hex and these guys, and here's this one [character] who's kind of ding!

Q: Is that facial hair, is it a stunt moustache or is it real?
Arnett: It's stunt. Looks good though, right?

Q: Is this a more physical role for you, as far as stunts go? Is there anything you'd done before?
Arnett: You know, the only physical aspect of it is the horseback riding. I hadn't done that before in a movie. But that's about it. I've done stuff before that had to be a little bit physical, but the horseback riding was a little bit challenging. The first scene that we shot a few weeks ago, John Gallagher and I had to ride into town on horseback, and you just want to try and make it look authentic. You don't want to look like some Yankee coming in, kind of stumbling around, so we worked pretty hard in trying to do that. It was pretty cool to do. It's the coolest entrance I've ever had in a movie, that's for sure.

Q: What kind of stuff did you guys shoot on the battleship?
Arnett: Our characters kind of come in on this scene that's already happening, thinking we're gong to arrest people and have a big impact, and of course we have very little. We threaten them with arrest, and I sort of ridiculously proclaim through a bullhorn in front of the bow of the ship, like "You're all in custody of the United States military" and they start launching at us. I run for cover, and kind of cower behind a turret on the boat, and then watch the boat explode. And of course, Jonah has been responsible for all of this, and we kind of walk back out after everything has calmed down. "That's what they get for messing with the United States military." And then Gallagher's character says, "Well, there's Jonah Hex." And I'm like "Oh…"

Q: Is there any kind of respect between your characters or do you just flat out hate the guy?
Arnett: I think that I probably flat out hate him, because – and this is the scene that kind of establishes and distinguishes the differences. Where I have more respect for technology and information, and that all kind of thing. I really think of him as this savage guy who has no respect for laws and all these things that I think are important in civilization, and here he is, this guy who kind of goes by his own rules, if any, and roams.

Q: Is there any kind of rift between you guys because of the war, because he's ex-Confederate and you're obviously Union?
Arnett: Yeah, probably doesn't help, you know? Yeah.

Q: Did you have any familiarity with the comics?
Arnett: I really didn't before I got involved, I did not, I'm embarrassed to say.

Q: Did you read them prior to filming?
Arnett: You mean since I got (the part)? No, I kind of researched online a little bit, what it was about ... I ran into people who, when they found out I was doing it, were psyched. Friends of mine who I didn't realize were Hex fans, "Oh my God, I can't believe you're doing Jonah Hex!"

Q: What was your reaction when Jimmy called you? What was the thing that convinced you to do this?
Arnett: I was excited that he thought about me for something like this. I thought wow, it would be a real kind of challenge to come in ... not that I had grand designs to redefine myself or anything, I was just excited that he wanted me to be a part of it, and that he thought potentially that I could do a relatively decent job at it. So yeah, I was really psyched to jump in and do it.

Q: Were you a fan of Westerns at all?
Arnett: Not really. I think I probably watched a healthy dose of it just as much as anyone else, but not particularly, no.

Q: Now that you've worn a Civil War uniform, do you see yourself as getting into historical reenactments?
Arnett: I'm going to get into some historical modeling.

Q: You're part of a fairly distinguished group now – not many people can say they've been in a Western. Is there anything you're going to keep from the experience, a keepsake?
Arnett: Yeah. I'm pretty dumb, but I hope that I learn something while I'm here. Am I going to steal anything? Oh, absolutely. Mostly camera equipment.

Q: If they do a sequel to this, is there potential for your character to return?
Arnett: Well, I'm doing a lot of spin-off stuff. That's kind of the chatter of the set. "The Grass is Always Greener" is the spin-off. We're going to shoot three movies at the same time.

Q: Are you interested in franchise potential?
Arnett: Listen, I'm having so much fun that if they ask me to jump off a bridge, I'd probably do it. I wouldn't, by the way, for the record. I'd be very excited to do whatever they wanted, it's been such a great experience for me.

Q: Do you have anything lined up after you wrap this?
Arnett: I'm going to work with on this thing with David Cross in London. He's doing a new series over there, so I'm going over there at the end of this week for a little bit, then Mitch and I are working on a new show.

Q: Are you going to do any more voiceover work?
Arnett: Yeah, I really enjoy doing it. There's not as much preparation, of course, you can kind of make a 10am appointment and kind of roll in at five after 10, because you always have to be a little late. But you can get a lot done in a couple of hours and move on. Do whatever it is you do.

Click Next for our interview with Josh Brolin.

After speaking with Arnett, they started to shoot another scene in which Grass is being shaven while having another conversation with Hex. Unfortunately, being out on location led to all sorts of things that no one could expect, such a biplane buzzing over the set, something that ruined a couple of takes much to the frustration of Brolin. We finally had a chance to talk to the Oscar-nominated actor and got a good close-up look at the make-up, which looks quite grotesque because it looks very realistic even up close. Brolin calmly smoked through the malformed mouth of his character while talking to us.

Q: Is that make-up as painful as it looks?
Josh Brolin: Yep.

Q: Can you talk about that piece in the back of your head, and what that's doing to your face?
Brolin: I'll tell you the sequence of events in the morning. We have a piece of fabric that's glued on this side here, and that has a piece on it. Then behind my ear, there's another piece of fabric glued. We attach it, and it pulls back one side of my face. Then we do a full prosthetic from here to here, then we put pieces in with wire that pushes in my cheek, and it holds part of my mouth back, then over that we do this prosthetic. Then we paint. See, I walk around in New Orleans, where it doesn't really matter, with half a mustache and half a beard. Nobody cares, no one can tell. So we put hair on here, and then we paint my face.

Q: What does it add to the performance? Does it makes it much easier to get into the character, rather than adding it in later with dots and digital effects?
Brolin: I feel like I just got it yesterday. I feel like I was just doing a scene with John Gallagher and I just got it for the first time. I mean, I hope I'm wrong. But there's such a razor's edge between this kind of drama and absurdity, and kind of comic book feeling to it. I'm not sure where we are tonally. My wife put it best. She goes "It's a strange set, it seems like everyone's at sea in their own canoe, but tethered together." And so I think we're doing extremely well, in spite of ourselves, because there's no model for this. Even the studio's going "How are we supposed to sell this? What is it, what's the tone?" If we succeed, I think we'll succeed in incredible originality. And then if we don't, you just move on to the next one, you know?

Q: Do you see this as a return to genre, or a way to mix the two things you've done over the course of your career such as the Western aspect of "No Country for Old Men"?
Brolin: No, it is a mix. I've been offered a lot of comic book stuff, and big movies and all that. And the money's really attractive because I do like money. But this was really original to me. I read it the first time, and I didn't like it at all. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. I kept waking up – I dream a lot, you know, and I kept waking up in the mornings going why [does] this thing keep coming back? There's something within it that I really enjoy, and this kind of anti-hero thing, and this kind of Western with cajones as opposed to these new, stylized Westerns that I don't care for very much. It brings that into it, and it also brings this idea of one foot in death, one foot in reality where you can get away with anything, and justify it, and I love having that luxury. We can pull off anything and justify it, because of that, and no one can really call us on our sh*t. No "Well, Jonah Hex doesn't do that." Well you know what, Jonah Hex can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, whether it's here or in the afterworld. It becomes, to me, very metaphysical, very spiritual, existentialist. That's what keeps me interested. I may be full of sh*t, but that's what I create in order to keep me interested.

Q: At the core of this guy, who is he to you? Who is Jonah Hex?
Brolin: Well, he's a loner, he's a guy who has lost an incredible amount. He's watched his wife and his kid die right in front of him. He accidentally killed his mentor's and his best friend. There's also this revenge factor, but it's so emotionally wrought with all these different feelings of love, and of loss, and revenge, and avenging, and all of this stuff. I love how convoluted it is, because the hero's not necessarily the hero. That guy isn't necessarily the bad guy. Everybody's kind of intertwined, and its something I've always believed in [real] life – that the greatest guy is capable of doing the worst things, and the worst guy is capable of doing something wonderful. You don't see that a lot in film. And then on top of it – and that's if you want to watch it in a serious way, look how I'm talking – the other side of it is, it's a fun, entertaining... I don't say that as a pitch. It is entertaining to me. And we found yesterday in that scene with Jonah, or at least I did, a lot of humor where I took his alcohol, and drank it, and it started flowing out of my mouth. That wasn't scripted or anything, we just start improvising and playing, which I like to do. And also with Jimmy Hayward on the set, it brings a kind of I don't know, a spasmodic, adolescent tone to it, and I like that, because he doesn't know what the rules are yet. So anything goes with Jimmy. He brings an incredible energy to it, and he doesn't understand what not to do, and I love being around that. It reminds me of Robert Rodriguez.

Q: Did you have any input with Jimmy when he was doing a rewrite on the character? Did you collaborate with him a lot on that?
Brolin: Yes. Yes, structurally. But I also improvise a lot, it's just what I do. If it was up to me, I'd never cut the camera, I'd just go and go, and you feel this, and you do this and then something happens, and then you worry about it in editing. You know, editing to me is where it all happens, so you create as many options as you can here. So as it's this work of art in process. Yeah, we collaborated. Yeah, we talked a lot together, got together a lot. We watched a lot of different movies, we talked about who we wanted to be the DP and all that. I'm the one who pulled Jimmy in. [Laughs] Bringing Jimmy to the studio, I had to write a really long e-mail to Jeff Robinov to prepare him for Jimmy, because when you see him, he's just like "f*cking rad, dude! It's going to be awesome!" as he pitched him the idea, "All I know is that it's going to be f*cking awesome, dude!" And I knew, how is the head of the studio going to go for it? And yet when you really get into Jimmy, and past all those adolescent idioms, that he's really an accomplished guy whose worked for a flawless company like Pixar. They do not do failure. So yeah, I like the idea of that.

Q: You mentioned that you screened some films, so what movies did you watch during that process?
Brolin: Oh, a lot. We watched Italian spaghetti westerns, we watched the wackiest B-movies, there was a ton. There was a ton. I even turned him on to Martin McDonough's plays, "To Kill a Man," "Lieutenant of Innishmore," which has that dramatic [element] that makes you cringe, but you can't stop watching it. You're laughing but you don't know why you're laughing. You know what I mean? That's the tone that I wanted for this, personally. It's not my movie, but you know, I'm a control freak.

Q: The comic book artists were really inspired by Clint Eastwood, so are you guys trying to avoid any self-conscious links to Eastwood?
Brolin: Totally, but it's also there, and we're not going to deny it. It is. It's the wandering nomad with no name, but he has a name, but he doesn't really have a name. There's also some parallels, just as easily, with Javier (Bardem)'s character in "No Country." Very, very similar. Is he there, is he in the room, did he go out the vent, was he even there in the first place? I like that. There's a lot of hybrids between character and genre, and who I wanted to do, and I'm not going to go out and do exactly Clint. I was really worried about coming out and doing this deep voice, because it seems like all these characters are doing deep voices now. You look at Batman, you look at "Watchmen," (starts talking in really low voice) everybody's talking like this. You go, why is everybody talking like that all of a sudden? Me in "Grindhouse"! But it's a generic character, and it's okay that it's a generic character. We're almost making fun of the generic character, and then allowing him to be fun, and allowing him to be emotional and allowing him to be all these different facets that you wouldn't necessarily get in a normal "genre" film.

Q: Can you talk about the humor in the piece? When we spoke to Will, he was being deathly serious, but in the comics, there's a humor that comes through because of who Jonah is, because he doesn't care about anything.
Brolin: But he does. Again, there's an exaggeration to the character. We'll only know this when we see it, but there's a bit of absurdity, a theater of cruelty and bizarreness of the character. So it allows me to go further, allows me to (laughs)… I mean, there's sometimes that I do a scene, and I think I'm Carl from "Sling Blade"! I start going "Mm-mm, hmmm," and I go, that's what it is! It wasn't thought out, it would just happen and I go, that's ok.

Q: So the humor comes from improvisation rather than the actual script?
Brolin: Absolutely. And you know, the writers from "Jonah Hex" (Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray) came to the set, and that was huge for us, to get their approval. They were very approving, and they were very hyped about what we were doing.

Q: Did you read a lot of the comics to prepare for the role?
Brolin: I did. For me, the collaboration with Jimmy (Hayward) was getting together and extracting those lines that were fun, fun lines that were right on the verge of being dramatic and absurd, and kind of humorous, and all that, so we tried to take a lot of those lines out and say what we could incorporate into the script?

Q: Are you now going to become a collector of Jonah Hex back issues?
Brolin: It's funny that you say that, because I have all these drawings that Jimmy and the guys did at Pixar, and I like them. And I want to have a big one in my office.

Q: "Jonah Hex" as a comic book is kind of popular again, did that help at all to get this going again or was it just a coincidence that DC had a comic book which people were liking again?
Brolin: Well, there were three series, and almost a failed comic. It's this thing that won't go away, and yet it's not a huge hit. It's not like "Watchmen" where it's the most read graphic novel of all time. Jonah Hex, you have to be a real geek to know what it is. I like that aspect of it. I'm as much of a geek as you are.

Q: But the series is popular so people clearly wanted to see the character again.
Brolin: I don't know if people want it again. It's not because of public demand that we're doing this, you know, very obviously. It was one of these things that it almost went away, and I really kind of tackled it again. I talked to Warner Bros. and I said hey listen, if I put together actors that ... it's more obvious with Batman because again, it's one of those things, it's been around, it's been proven to be successful. You have a guy [Christopher Nolan] in who is an incredible filmmaker, that everybody knows because of "Memento," but if I bring in this wackadoo, and if I pull together some amazing actors, why for this? It's only because of like favors and stuff like that. And yet these guys are coming in - Michael Shannon, Michael Fassbender, Malkovich, and Megan, I just couldn't be happier. They're giving performances that are unreal to me. I look at what Michael Shannon did, and I was just like oh, thank you God! It's like a godsend.

Q: So you were responsible for bringing in a lot of these guys? I remember you said ‘If I could get Malkovich in this script ..."
Brolin: I'm not going to say solely, but I was on the phone a lot. Oh, did I say that before? It's true! It's true. I talked to John. And the other thing is, we're not making this for a lot of money. That's another way to entice people – you say, "Hey, I'll give you three million bucks to come and do this thing for three weeks," and people go, "Yeah, okay." I can figure out the character without even reading it. But you say hey, I'll give you a third of your price, will you do this with me? This is what I think it could be if we really get together and really create something wonderful. Then you know they're doing it out of some kind of inspiration.

Q: Haven't you worked with some of these people before?
Brolin: Shannon, this is my third time… Fassbender I know through my agent, we have the same agent, and we hung out a bit, me, him, and Sean in Toronto for a couple of nights. I saw "Hunger," I thought he was just phenomenal. And who else? Malkovich I've known as a friend for quite awhile.

Q: Were you a producer on this?
Brolin: On this? No, I should be, but I'm not! But in the future, if we continue ...

Q: Obviously this thing has franchise possibilities. How appealing is the possibility of playing this role a few times?
Brolin: Now that I have this on my face? No, but I know that when it's done, and I go home, and I forget. It's like having a baby – until you feel it again. I like the idea of it for me, selfishly, only because... I don't know, it's not obvious. It's not obvious. As a character, and as a tone, and what we could do with this. We can do anything. With Megan Fox's character, I love that character, I love what it represents because you have this beauty and the best idea. You have this incredibly beautiful girl – you know, people say "Oh, well you hired Megan because she's Megan Fox." No, there were a lot of people we were looking at. We were looking at Melissa Leo at one point. We were looking at a lot of different people. But to me, I watched Megan on an interview one day, and I was like .. God, you know, there's a lot of pain. I saw pain. This girl was just kind of being rebellious, but youthfully rebellious, and there was something there. Then I heard about a strip joint, or something like that, and I was like, I want to meet this girl. Seems to be who I'm attracted to. And she was something. I really really liked who she was, and I liked the idea of this incredible beauty being amongst this setting, and her being the most broken out of anybody, you know? And then that's the connection between her and I. Well you'd never put that gorgeous of a girl with this guy, but yeah, you would. You really would, as long as there's this emotional parallel. It's not all this serious, but honestly, this is the stuff that I do at home just so I have something to talk about.

Q: You mention that you're a big geek. What are some of the franchises that you're really into?
Brolin: Not franchises. I just love movies, man. I remember when I was living on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, and we were one of the first people to get a VCR--just because my dad had access to it--and we had "Grease," we had "Saturday Night Fever," and we had "The Warriors." I've seen "The Warriors" 65 times.

Q: Who is your favorite character in "The Warriors"?
Brolin: Probably Ajax. Ajax or Swan. I like Swan just much. Ajax is kind of an idiot.

Q: How do you feel about the remake? Would you like to be involved in that?
Brolin: I would love to, man! Walter Hill, is that who is doing it? Tony Scott, right, right. No, I thought that might be an interesting thing to do.

That was it for our interviews and our day on set. Sadly, the only thing that was even remotely terrifying was that we were told that if we needed to go to the bathroom, we were told to watch out for snakes. No, we didn't see any snakes, but we did see a giant spider, possibly a tarantula, one that clearly wasn't going to be attacking anyone as long as we left it alone.

Interviews done, we were off to lunch at the mess tent where we got a taste for real New Orleans cooking--crawfish, fried green tomatoes, red beans and rice--and that alone made the trip worth it.

Even after the actual set visit was over and we were being driven back to the hotel, we were reminded of the rich history of the area as our driver regaled us with stories of Fats Domino, even driving by his house and studio in the Ninth Quarter. Even if it wasn't the most exciting set visit we've ever done, it was a great reminder why New Orleans has become such a hotbed for film productions, because there is so much going on that helps set the mood for movies like Jonah Hex.

Now, if you want to get a sense of any of the action in Jonah Hex, well you'll just have to go see it when it opens everywhere on June 18 for that.
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Post by Admin on Thu May 13, 2010 4:28 pm

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=26209

"Jonah Hex" - The CBR Set Visit

On most movie sets, a level of precaution has to be taken to ensure the safety of crew members, creative cast and onlookers. Explosions have to be monitored. Sets have to be fortified. Guns have to be checked and double checked to make sure they only contain the proper trace amounts of gun powder. However, when CBR News was invited out to the set of Warner Bros. June 18 adaptation of the famed DC Comics Western series "Jonah Hex," we were warned to keep an eye out for two additional potential hazards: mosquitos and crocodiles.

And so, as we arrived on the outskirts of New Orleans early last summer, our eyes were on the swamp in case a gruesome lizard decided to slink across our path, but soon after hitting the set, all focus was given over to the towering, torchlit centerpiece of the night's shooting.

"Have you seen my boat?" laughed "Hex" director Jimmy Hayward, gesturing to the 100 foot red and grey recreation of the infamous Confederate "iron ram" battleship the USS Merrimack. The imposing structure was promised as only one major set piece for the film, which tells the story of Josh Brolin's title character – a disfigured former Confederate soldier turned bounty hunter in the early 1870s – and his battle against former plantation owner and anti-government outlaw Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). The cast is rounded out by Megan Fox as Hex's prostitute girlfriend Leila, Michael Fassbender as Turnbull's psychotic lackey Burke and Will Arnett and John Gallagher, Jr. as the Union Army officers tasked with bringing Hex in.

"This is Turnbull's boat and he's going to take it to Washington to blow up the White House," Hayward chuckles again, checking the monitors to line up a shot where Malkovich will give an impassioned speech to his Confederate fallout followers. Dressed in a Consolidated Skateboards T-shirt featuring a graphic of an army tank, the director bobs back and forth between chatting up the press, discussing shots with his cinematographer and goofing around with his cast. Though "Jonah Hex" is his first live-action feature, Hayward comes from a high-caliber creative background as an animator for many of classic Pixar films, including the first two "Toy Story" movies and "Monsters, Inc." before directing the 2008 animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hears a Who!" The director was chosen for the picture after impressing both WB studio brass and Brolin with his enthusiasm for the material and his strong visual style.

"My animated background has kind of nothing to do with what I'm doing," Hayward explains of how he'll pull "Hex" together. "Really, at the end of the day, rhythm comes later; I have to provide the material to create that rhythm. It's a totally different way of working. This is like – you go out and capture something and then you shape what you capture. That's shaping something and shaping it and shaping it and shaping it, getting to do it five and six times."

Of course, the big question surrounding the movie is what shape "Jonah Hex" will take. Unlike more marquee DC character such as Batman or even comics with a central story arc to draw from like the recent "The Losers," the Western anti-hero with the grisly-skinned outlook has run through multiple permutations since he was introduced by John Albano and Tony DeZuniga in 1972's "All-Star Western" #10. Hex comics have presented traditional Western revenge tales, gruesome supernatural stories, far-flung future shoot 'em ups and the current more straighforward character study courtesy of writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. The film's road to the big screen comes by way of a screenplay by Hollywood's new schlock masters Neveldine & Taylor (of the "Crank" franchise) with subsequent rewrites by Hayward with Brolin's input. The recent trailer for the film reveals a mix of classic film Western, steampunk style gadgetry and maybe even a bit of the supernatural.

Asked what he'd be drawing on to bring his vision to life, Hayward explained, "There's lots of action, lots of sort of seventies-feeling western stuff and sixties-feeling stuff. There's a lot of really traditional stuff. And the supernatural pops up; it comes in there. The undead show Jonah Hex his destiny. I'll leave it and that. Or the dead rather...the seemingly undead to him. He doesn't know when it comes or when it goes, so that's the cool part for us."

Even though "Hex" looks to aim for different goals from the average superhero movie, Hayward (sitting back in a crew chair embroidered with the logo from the current "Hex" comic) professed a history of comics study as part of his own creative life and a strong connection to Jonah Hex in particular. "I would go through phases. I fell out of superheroes and got really into stapled-together stuff and became a big Dan Clowes fan. [I] got into that whole scene for a long time before I came back. I actually lived over Al's Comics in San Francisco for ten years, right above it. Sacred Rose Tattoo and Al's Comics are right across the street from the 500 Club. So I could get drunk, get tattooed, and get geeky books all within forty feet of my house and go pass out. So I really stayed with comics for a long time.

"I sorta dipped in and out of it, but this is a book that I always loved. When I came into the meeting with Warner Brothers, I had a digest, a 'Western Tales' digest, with me. I told Josh this story; it was one of my favorite ones when I was a kid – when Jonah Hex is tied to a stake out in the desert, and [his dog] Iron Jaws bites off his bonds and then gets bitten by a rattlesnake. So Jonah Hex staggers through the desert for miles to get to the town, but when he gets to the town there's only a person doctor, so he kicks in the door and goes up the stairs and the nurse yells, 'You can't come in here, you can't bring a dog in here, this is a people doctor!' And there's this guy getting his foot worked on upstairs and he's like, 'Take that thing outside and put a bullet in his brain! It's a stupid dog!' So Jonah Hex opens the window and grabs the guy getting his foot worked on and throws him out the window to his death and then goes, 'Doc, you gotta fix my dog!' His sense of comedy, his sense of humor...I was into it that long ago that I still remember those stories that I loved so much."

Hayward kept up with the comics and their creators after he landed the directing gig as well. "I talk to Jimmy pretty regularly. I love Jimmy, and Justin's great too. Those guys are hilarious, great guys...great sensibilities," he says. "I can't help but be influenced by the comic because we've done so much, but whenever we can stick stuff in there, it's great to be able to do it. But, I do really love the idea of his native background – a tomahawk's one of his weapons for sure. When we first started on the movie, he had a knife, and I'm like, 'Dude! It's got to be a tomahawk!' It's like little things like that that I draw from the comic that I think are so important. Like I said, the choice of Turnbull's story, and mixing in some of the old comic book reasons for why his face has been burned into some of the lore and stuff like, that, really drawing upon the origin material as opposed to just creating new stuff out of nothing."

However, a heavy amount of film influence played into "Jonah Hex" as well. As Malkovich waved a torch high upon the deck of his battleship and worked up a frenzy with his drawling Southern accent, Brolin sat below, slurping a bit through his Hex prosthesis, and explained the films he thought of while helping the studio assemble the creative team. "There's a lot of them. There's things that I saw recently, and there was a director, and I don't mind saying so, that we were trying to get - Chan-wook Park, who did 'Old Boy.' There was a Japanese director [Takashi Miike] who did 'Ichi the Killer' that I liked very much. We talked to Sergey Bodrov who did 'Mongol,' who I thought was incredible. There was a lot of people who've done a lot of things that I really appreciate, and then you go back to the Italian Spaghetti Westerns that our Spaghetti Westerns were based off of so I've seen everything. Everything.

"I think...at least my idea was 'Let's bring something again that's primitive and guttural but then let's also do something beautiful where you're outside and this isn't a typical Western setting. It's lush. It's green. It's beautiful.' To me I love that the studio is like 'We don't have a model for this. We don't know.' They don't know whether to be supportive or angry or anything, and I like that. It's good. So if it works, we'll have created something original that other people can copycat, other people can splinter from and try to make their money based on what we did. That's my hope. Who knows if it'll work or not, but that's my hope."

On set, everyone from creative producer Andrew Lazar to Production Designer Tom Meyer tried to nail down exactly what this "Hex" will be. A Gothic, Southern Western pulled back from the typical dusty trails of movie gunslingers. A "hyper-real" action movie that slides in and out of physical reality. An over the top comic book picture with a cast of tortured souls at its center.

Later, as Brolin got into place to film a scene where Hex sneaks around Turnbull's men beneath a dead, starless sky, Hayward talked about finding the balance between big and small, classic and modern. "We did a big finale battle a little while ago where we did a lot of very traditional, classic sort of Spaghetti-ish sort of stuff, and then we mix it in with a lot of crane work and a lot of modern action film techniques. So you kind of fuse those things together, and when you go back out to the really snappy stuff, it really has more value and meaning. I honestly think that if you tried to show like a [Sergio] Corbucci movie to today's audience, they would be texting each other like, 'WTF?' I don't think the pace and everything would [work], you know, and so I think it's a matter of utilizing, using that as a starting, a jumping off point, because I don't want to copy anything. But using it as a jumping off point and really using it as a touchstone and starting from there, you're going to new places with it."


"Jonah Hex" opens in theaters on June 18. Check back with CBR later for more with film stars Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Will Arnett and John Gallagher, Jr. and be sure to take a look at our new Jonah Hex Hub!
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Post by Admin on Thu May 13, 2010 5:11 pm

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/2008-12-6-motion-captured/posts/the-m-c-set-visit-visiting-jonah-hex-in-nawlins

Set Visit: Josh Brolin, Will Arnett, and John Malkovich talk 'Jonah Hex' in N'awlins
Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2010 By Drew McWeeny

The M/C Set Visit: Meeting 'Jonah Hex' in N'awlins

Josh Brolin lays down some hurtin's in 'Jonah Hex,' the new DC Comics adaptation directed by Jimmy Hayward.
Credit: Warner Bros

Even for someone who has done dozens of set visits at this point, the chance to visit a Western shooting on location is a rare thing.

I know a filmmaker who is a big fan of Westerns. You could argue that most of his movies are Westerns, only disguised as other things. I asked him one time why he didn't just make a Western finally, especially with the movie star he frequently works with, since that would be... you know... awesome.

"The horses. I hate the horses."

The thing about shooting a Western is that you make a commitment. If you're going to do it right, you have to really go for it. You have to build the world as carefully as you would a sci-fi film or a fantasy film... you have to consider your work as something with texture... and my favorite Westerns are the ones that feel lived in... worn. Leone did amazing work in that regard, and that's one of the reasons I sort of revere him. I think he understood how much dirt and distress affected the reality of a Western, and what a balance it is. He pushed it just enough to make it mythic, more so each time he made a movie. When he started, I think his style was a result of budget. In the end, the budget was the result of his style. And that's because it got more pronounced. Leone made the commitment. He knew what he wanted to create.

Jonah Hex is a character who has been around in one form or another since the early '70s, and basically, he's the Man With No Face. He's the archetypical Western hero, and he happens to have a crazy scar that covers half of the available real estate above his neck. He's taken on many forms and been reinvented several times over his life span as a DC Comics mainstay. His most recent successful run, helmed by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, was obviously on the mind of Jimmy Hayward when we arrived on-set.

You know how I know? Because he told us. Emphatically.

Before we get to him, though, just getting to the set was an adventure. Heck, just getting to New Orleans was an adventure.

Just before leaving for New Orleans, Warner Bros contacted me privately to explain that Megan Fox would not be on set the day we were there because... and I quote... "she is intimidated by your raw magnetism and respects the sanctity of your marriage." I told them I understood.

I am sure her schedule on another film had nothing to do with it. Almost certain.

Believe what you will.

Once we were there, our hotel was in downtown New Orleans, and the location was a swamp. A real New Orleans swamp, about 45 minutes outside of New Orleans. On a hot and sticky night. This was the sort of location where there were guys whose job was just to watch the water for alligators drawn by the light.

And to get to that location, they put us on a bus. And then they put a young actor named John Gallagher Jr. on the bus with us. Since there weren't a lot of Broadway nerds on the bus, no one realized he'd already won a Tony for "Spring Awakening," and he was gracious enough not to bring it up himself. Right now, he's on Broadway again in the Green Day musical "American Idiot" getting amazing reviews, but in "Jonah Hex," he's a Second Lieutenant working under Will Arnett, who was picked up after Gallagher.

We headed out to the location, giving us time to chat with Arnett and Gallgher together. Arnett struck me as a guy who knows that because of some of the great extreme comedy character work he's done, people think of him a certain way, and he was very careful to act in a way that went totally contrary to the image of him. He was serious about the character he's playing, who is the Army Captain who presses Jonah Hex into service in the first place.

Doing what?

Stopping John Malkovich. Quentin Turnbull. The Joker to Jonah's Batman. He's the big bad guy who gave Jonah that scar. He's the guy who took Jonah's family. He punked him out and left him for dead. Which is almost never a good idea in Westerns. If I were in a Western, I would think twice before slaughtering someone's family and leaving them for dead. Seems like an invitation for trouble. Sure enough, Turnbull is on the radar of the military, and they recruit Jonah to help them stop him.

See, he's got a boat.

And he's got a plan.

I can tell you about the boat.

I probably shouldn't tell you about the plan.

First, though, the bus ride. Will Arnett and Gallagher talked about their scenes with Brolin, and about the production in general. Any attempt to pump Arnett for "Arrested Development" movie information was understandably futile. Keep in mind, this was a year ago, last May. Look how much has happened on the film since then. Like every other cast member, he seemed upbeat about people's continued interest.

Once we go to the set, Arnett and Gallagher were taken away to start getting ready for their scenes later in the night, and we were taken to meet Jimmy Hayward. Hayward was a Pixar animator on the first two "Toy Story" films and both "Bug's Life" and "Monsters Inc," Wanting to direct and not seeing an open slot at the studio for years in the future, Hayward left to go to Blue Sky Studios, where he was able to make "Horton Hears A Who," which somewhat redeemed the idea of Dr. Seuss on film after the sheer nightmare machine of "Cat In The Hat." Hayward's movie was broad, but it hit most of the Seuss beats right, and the designs were cool and interesting. And it was a hit.

So now Hayward's making the jump to live-action. From the moment we met Hayward and started talking to him, he struck me as a guy who had done his homework, and who really wanted to turn this opportunity into a sneak surprise hit. He had something to prove, and not just on his own behalf, but on the behalf of Jonah Hex. He talked about the full history of the character and the various ideas that he'd wanted to play with from each different writer's take.

What went unspoken during our time on-set was the switch in directors, since Hayward wasn't the first guy in the chair. Originally, it was supposed to be the guys who made "Crank" and "Crank 2," Neveldine and Taylor. But when Josh Brolin came onboard as Jonah Hex, suddenly it was his project, not theirs, and they evidently didn't click with Brolin. From what we saw when he walked over to join us chatting with Hayward, Brolin is a relaxed but focused presence on-set.

Oh, wait... the first thing we saw when he walked up to us on the set was the face.

Jonah Hex is disfigured, like a man who melted halfway and then stopped, and the prosthetic they put on Brolin was profound. He told us right away that he would most likely be drooling in front of us because it's a near-constant part of wearing the make-up. It's so dramatic that it doesn't look real. I can't imagine what would do that to a cheek, even having seen the brand that Turnbull uses to do it to Hex. It's startling, but it's not particularly gross because it's so exaggerated.

Broiln has, of course, been on a roll in the last few years in films like "Milk" and "No Country For Old Men" and "W.," doing the most serious and demanding work of his career, and what became crystal clear within moments of talking to him was that he wanted to have fun, and "Jonah Hex" struck him as fun. That may have been before he put the make-up on, but even so, he has been in this business long enough to know that the wonderful run of work he's done translated into new opportunities for him, including his very own potential franchise.

After Brolin walked away, we took a look around the set for the night, which really was built on the shore of a river somewhere at the back end of nothing. It was a giant Ironclad, Turnbull's war ship, and the work by production designer Tom Meyer was amazing. We walked the entire thing, top to bottom, and every detail was exact. I grew up in the South, and whether you want to or not, you become an expert on the Civil War when you're raised in the South. The period work on everything we saw was impressive, stylized but accurate. The weapons, the clothing, the provisions stored below on Turnbull's ship... all accurate.

And yet what we saw play out as Jonah spied on Turnbull's rallying speech to his troops was pulp cartoon, and that's exactly what Hayward says he's making. Talking to John Malkovich between takes, he made it clear that he was pitching this somewhere fun, not someplace completely terrifying. Everyone we spoke with was careful to de-emphasize the idea of the supernatural in the film, but in the first trailer, you can see what role the supernatural plays. Jonah can speak to the dead, and he uses that ability several times in the film.

Because we showed up early in the production, there was no footage to show us, so you've actually seen more at this point than we did that night. What I took away from the few hours we were there (aside from about 4700 mosquito bites) was the sense that everyone there felt like they were getting away with something by making a Western, like they'd snuck one over on the studio. "Tell 'em it's a comic book. They love comic books. And tell 'em it's supernatural. But for god's sake... don't tell them it's a Western."

Well, it is. Unabashedly. Horses and all.

And on June 18, 2010, we'll see if "Jonah Hex" works.
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Post by Admin on Thu May 13, 2010 5:12 pm

http://jonahhex.blogspot.com/2010/05/trip-to-set-of-jonah-hex.html

Thursday, May 13, 2010
A trip to the set of Jonah Hex
Okay, stick with me here, because this is going to be one heck of a long post. I wanted to break it up into parts but I wasn't allowed to, so it will be one huge long ramble. Here goes:
------------------------------------------
Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex

Last year I received an email from Warner Brothers publicity department asking if I would be interested in helping them advertise the new Jonah Hex movie.(?!) After double-checking the IP address to insure it wasn't a joke from my Eldest son, I replied in the affirmative, asking what all was entailed in 'helping advertise'.

They said that they usually try to get a fan blog involved in a movie and they would send me some pictures, maybe a film clip, and other goodies to post on my site. They also mentioned that at times they send folks out to the set for a visit. I chuckled, yeah, like THAT would ever happen.

A week later, that is exactly what happened. I got another email asking if I would like to be on the set either May 14th (Josh Brolin and John Malkovich) or May 19th (Josh Brolin and Megan Fox) . My jaw hit the keyboard in disbelief. WHAT?!?!?!?

I speedily replied that the first date would be best for me and shortly thereafter I was informed of my flight reservations and hotel accommodations. I was told that I would on the set and they would be shooting a night scene between Josh Brolin and John Malkovich. Not only would I watch them shoot, I would be able to partake in an interview with Brolin, Malkovich, Jimmy Hayden (the director), and various other folks working on the movie.

I was urged to get an audio recorder but I couldn't take any photos, ask for autographs, nor could I post anything on this site until WB gave me the go ahead (since they want to control the buzz about the movie). As we say in Oklahoma, It's their rodeo, so they get to load the horses into the chute!

Anyway, my flight took off Wed, May 13th at 0600 and I land in New Orleans around 10. I ride in an airport shuttle to the JW Marriot near the French Quarter and that was fun in and of itself.
Megan Fox as Leila

The van was very crowded and there were a couple of talkative guys in it. One from St. Louis and one from Staten Island. Staten Island says that he's in town with his best friend who just won Employee of the Year at their job. Staten Island says he's in town on business. They both start comparing hotels when the driver calls out "Who's staying at the JW?"

I raise my hand and Staten Island says "Wheee, what did that set you back a night?"

I hesitate, "I don't really know, I'm not paying for it."

"Really? Who is?"

"Warner Brothers."

You could have heard a pin drop in that van! St. Louis asks what I'm doing in town for WB. I tell that that I'm doing some publicity on a movie they are shooting.

Really? What movie?

"Jonah Hex." Well, they want to know who's in it and I start to tell them. When I get to Megan Fox St. Louis hollers at his buddy "Hey, Bill? You go on without me. Me and my new best friend...What's your name?"

"Dwayne"

"..Dwayne here are gonna be hanging out with Megan Fox!"

About that time Staten Island wants to know who I write for. "Well," I say, "I really don't. I have a blog about this comic book character in the film..."

"Wait wait wait. Youse gots this blog thing?"

"Yeah."

"And they sees it and calls youse?"

"Yeah, pretty much."

"And how are you gonna be handlin your click-through things? Youse gonna get some money offa all this traffic? Youse know what youse need?"

"Uhhh, what?"

"A manager. I can be a great manager for youse to be sure the money comes your way. I'm used to dealing with lowlifes like these."

"That's okay. I think I can handle myself. Thanks."

"Well, just give me a call, I can make things happen."

The rest of the ride was about the same with me talking about the Jonah Hex film and what all was supposed to happen once I hit town.


I spent most of Wed walking around the French Quarter and I took a trolley ride into the Garden District to take photos in the Lancaster Cemetery. While I was in the cemetery I noticed that the area was overgrown and looked neglected. Walking further into the cemetery I saw a sign stating that the area wouldn't be mowed until film production was complete on May 29th. Wow, looks like I accidentally stumbled onto a location for the Jonah Hex film!

Thursday was when the set visit would take place but I didn't have email access and hadn't heard anything from anyone regarding the visit. I was getting pretty antsy by noon and dug out a hard copy of an email that listed the names of the journalists. I rang the front desk and asked to be connected to the first name I saw.

Speaking with that gentleman, he said that he hadn't heard anything yet but it would probably be later that evening. I had some lunch and walked around the Warehouse district and while doing so I stumbled onto some shooting for The Expendables. Snapping some pics of New Orleans I kept walking around town and was getting rung out from the humidity so I head back to the hotel, shower and take a nap.

Around 4 I get a call from the publicist in charge of our group saying that everyone is meeting for dinner in the hotel and we'll head out to the set afterward. I get ready and wait for dinner.

I head down to the steakhouse and find a group of young folks milling about (I'm talking 20's and early 30's) and I learn that they are the journalists. I introduce myself and shake hands (one of them stating that handshaking was 'old school'. Hell, I'm 48. I have jackets older than these guys and was probably married before they were born). One guy insists on a fist bump and I oblige. But I explode it. When he doesn't, I say "You don't bump and boom? That's old school." and head into the restaurant.

We get a table and sit down and there is a little talk about my blog and Jonah Hex, but most of their talk is shop talk, what movies they have seen, what stars they have interviewed, what sets they have visited. I listen politely and a few times I get included in the conversation. They do give me some pointers about how they take turns asking questions and everyone will get a chance.

After dinner they load us up into a coach bus and we go pick up John Gallagher, Jr. who we get to interview and then we head down Bourbon St. to pick up Will Arnett and they will both ride with us out to the set (more on that later). The coach ride is about 30 minutes out into a swamp area/gravel road/residential/shrimp boat launch and we arrive on the set.

Getting off the bus I can see the night lit up and can hear men shouting. Straining to see, I spy what looks like a rock fort but past that are two large smokestacks!?! As we get closer we can make out that the smokestacks are part of a large ironclad boat that is in dry dock and the filming is taking place on top. We get closer, winding through all the trailers and equipment, walk through the small rock fort and then we see the huge monstrosity that is the dry docked ironclad.

I'm trying to keep my jaw from hanging open. There are a dozen of so extras on the boat with Malkovich, the cameras, and all the movie crew. There are tons of prop crates, boxes and prop equipment around the boat and there are some large tubes running into the nearby swamp and it appears they are pumping smoke into the water so that it bubbles up out of the water.

We are guided to a canopy structure near the bow of the boat and there are several monitors under the canopy, showing us what is going on the deck of the boat. A few minutes later we are joined by Jimmy Hayward and we talk for a bit prior to the interview. Jimmy is talking about how he read Hex back in the WWT days and brings up the issue where Jonah's dog saves his life, and Jonah ends up taking the dog to a doctor and tosses the patient currently being attended to out the window. I mention that was back in Weird Western Tales #14 and Iron Jaws was the wolf's name.

Jimmy also mentions that they have had folks from DC out to the set, including Jimmy Palmiotti as well as John Albano. I politely mention that Mr. Albano passed away a few years prior, and Jimmy says that they had his family out. I ask if Michael Fleisher had been contacted and Jimmy leans back talks to a publicist, she tells him "No" and he tells her to get on it. (Sadly, as far as I can determine, they never did contact Mr. Fleisher, even after I sent them his contact information, with his permission, of course.)

After the interview with Jimmy Hayward, we talked to one of the producers, the set director, got a tour of the floating ironclad as well as getting to crawl all over the large dry docked boat. Then we interviewed John Malkovich.

John Malkovich as Quentin Turnbull

There was a long wait due to some shooting changes and we all walked down to the mess tent where we had dinner (I think that was around midnight or after) and then we strolled back to wait for Josh Brolin. During the wait I was wandering around and one of the folks asked if I was with the journalists.

I laughed because I have never thought of myself as a journalist, but I admitted that I was with them but I was just a blogger. The guy asked if I was the fan blogger and when I confessed to being said 'fan blogger' he said, "You would not believe how many times Jimmy has had us read your stuff to look up pictures so we could get a feel for this film." He introduced himself as the 'Extras Director' which is not directing the extra actors, but the director for the DVD extras ('making of' type stuff, bloopers and such.) and he asked if I had a business card.

My wife had made up a bunch of cards for me to hand out (just in case) so I handed him one and he said that he might be in touch, depending on what type of extra features were needed for the DVD. Immediately I had visions of being billed as "Jonah Hex historian" on a DVD extra feature. We chatted a little longer and then I headed on back to the boat.

When folks say that movies are a lot of standing around, they aren't kidding. And while you're standing around in a night time swamp, you drink a lot more water than you would expect. And when you drink a lot more water than you would expect, you end up having to head for the latrine trailer, standing in line between two cowboys, and when you get back to where you're supposed to be, you learn that the interview with Josh Brolin has already started. (Holy Crap!)

I only missed the introductions and the first question, but the other reporters helped me fill in the blanks (Thanks guys and gal).

After that we were allowed to wander around and talk to whomever we could find which included the make-up guy as well as the guy in charge of weapons. I'll have little bits from them next week when I get that transcribed.

We got back to the hotel around 0400 (if I remember, it IS kinda fuzzy) and since I don't like flying in the afternoon (chance of thunderstorms in Oklahoma can destroy a fine trip) I ended up getting to my early morning flight back to OKC on time, but very very tired.

Michael Fassbender as Burke

Having never done interviews before, I have no idea what to highlight, what to cull, what interests folks reading this blog. Therefore, I present here in all their glory, all the interviews.

John Gallagher, Junior - Bus interview

Will Arnett and John Gallagher, Junior - Bus interview

Jimmy Hayward - Interview

John Malkovich - Interview

Josh Brolin - Interview


On a final note, I want to thank everyone at Warner Brothers and the cast and crew of Jonah Hex. You guys made the dreams of this fanboy come true. Also, a big thank you to the other journalists on the trip for helping out a newbie blogger with all the transcribing (in no particular order):

Todd from CHUD
Steve from Collider
Drew from (Crap! I forgot where Drew was from. Sorry, Drew!)
Jenna from JoBlo
Jeff from BloodyDisgusting
Joe from FearNet
Kyle from Comic Book Resources

Whenever WB makes a Scalphunter film, you guys give me a call and I'll bring you up to speed on that character as well.
Posted by Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 12:00 PM
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Post by Admin on Thu May 13, 2010 6:02 pm

http://www.cinematical.com/2010/05/13/cinematical-saddles-up-with-jonah-hex/
Cinematical Saddles Up With 'Jonah Hex'!

by Elisabeth Rappe May 13th 2010 // 5:15PM

There was no doubt that visiting the set of Jonah Hex was going to be an adventure from the get go, as the press kit warned us that we were going into undeveloped country. Wear boots, jeans, long-sleeved shirts, hats. Pack bug spray and sunscreen. Do not wear flip flops or heels. We've had snakes, bugs, and alligators on set! (Advice that would be repeated when we arrived on set: "Anywhere you step, kick the grass first. There's a lot of snakes here!") But when you're off to meet the cowboy with over 800 kills to his name, you're stepping into his snake-bitten world, and mosquitoes are the least of your problems.

The frontier was a trip back in time in more ways than one, as it allowed me to experience the scars of Hurricane Katrina firsthand. I hadn't been to New Orleans since I was a teenager, and I was keen to see how the city had recovered. The result was comforting and haunting, as I was relieved to see most of my favorite landmarks remained untouched, but that neighborhoods around them were, which was disorienting. Blocks that had held houses and apartment buildings were still empty, and nearly retaken by the persistent Louisiana greenery. Houses and restaurants throughout the French Quarter were still boarded up, with streaks of brown indicating where the water level had risen. Those that had reopened smacked of fresh paint and repair. The impression was reminiscent of a Western boom town, and that's really what New Orleans is now – a city waiting to be reclaimed and made rich again. It's the perfect place for Jonah Hex to hole up in.




Our visit took us out of the French Quarter, past the Ninth Ward and sunken shells of supermarkets, houses, and restaurants, and into the swampy backwoods of Louisiana. A short hike took us from the modern base camp and into a U.S. Army camp of the 1870s, filled with rows of tents and blue uniformed soldiers. The frontier army was a mix of Civil War re-enactors and hired extras. It was pretty easy to spot who was who. The re-enactors were "on" and alert even if the cameras were currently off, sitting with their hats propped on their bayonets and "cooking" on their fires. The extras were chewing gum, drinking Cokes, and talking on their cell phones.

We're led to the tent of Lt. Grass (Will Arnett), which is a big, roomy thing befitting his rank. Will Arnett strides out of it as we watch, resplendent in a full-sleeved shirt, silk waistcoat, and Victorian mustache. He's observing a group of soldiers "wiring" telegraph poles. Forlornly watching the march of technology is a poor captive in a prison wagon. As exciting as this is, we're looking for Jonah Hex himself, the man with no face. Where is he? Is he still in his trailer? Is he even in this scene? Suddenly, he's there, full of swagger in his rotten duster and Confederate hat. I'm not being dramatic, as Josh Brolin will prove he's tapped into some kind of supernatural power throughout the course of the day. One minute, he'll be in front of the camera and the next he'll be standing beside you, or you'll see him striding away from the monitors when you hadn't even seen him there at all. It's more than a little unsettling.

The Hex fans among our group are craning to see his face. Jonah Hex isn't known for his duster, boots, or hat, he's known for the grisly scar that leaves a gaping hole in his cheek, and an eyeball budging out of its socket. But Brolin is in just enough shadow that we can only see it that it resembles raw hamburger. We have to wait a little longer to get up close though, because it's time for action. Arnett's voice booms across the field. "Gaze on the future, Mr. Hex! Once these wires are strung up, we can stop that g--damn Turnbull and his second rate attacks!" One of the soldiers wiring the poles hits a live one, and electrocutes himself, falling to the ground. Hex smirks. "Future's bright."

He's not a man concerned with a little thing like electricity, and instead strides over to the prison wagon to meet Grass' captive, a preacher who may have some vital information on John Malkovich's Quentin Turnbull. (If you think Jonah Hex is drenched in nothing but steampunk and the fantastic, know that he's got some history worked in where you least expect it. The production designers reveal the grim prison wagon was based on an original they found at a plantation, where men would be left for three or four days at a time.)

When they break, we're introduced to director Jimmy Hayward. He's likable, brash, and funny and is impish with what he won't tell us. "[Jonah Hex] is an origin story set among origin stories," Hayward says. "It's kind of like the legend of Jonah Hex, and how he got the scar on his face. [It's his] whole back story of who he is in reverse, starting with this murderous, scarred bounty hunter, and finding out how he got that way, tearing off the layers, exposing who Jonah Hex is and why."

Fans will remember that Hayward came on board with a fair bit of sniggering, as the Horton Hears a Who director replaced Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. I asked him about the negativity that followed his hiring, and he grins, proud of having caused an Internet outcry. "I loved it! I thought it was funny ... It's like, if you know me as a person and as an individual, you're surprised I directed Horton Hears a Who!, not this! But people out there are like 'He directed that and he worked at Pixar! That's all he's capable of!" Brolin had complete faith in Hayward, and couldn't stop praising his enthusiasm and creativity. "With Jimmy Hayward on the set, it brings a kind of I don't know, a spasmodic adolescent tone to it, and I like that, because he doesn't know what the rules are yet. So anything goes with Jimmy. He brings an incredible energy to it, and he doesn't understand what not to do, and I love being around that. It reminds me of Robert Rodriguez."

While Hayward was full of praise for Neveldine and Taylor's treatment (praise that was echoed by Brolin and Andrew Lazar), he was also determined to make something more than a bloody shoot-em-up. "We based the movie off their original script, and then I rewrote a bunch of stuff. I kept a bunch of their stuff ... There [was] a lot of 'Look at the bone snapping in half!' I'm not interested in that as a filmmaker ... I've got John Malkovich in this movie. He puts a gun to somebody's back. Do I want to watch John Malkovich's murderous face as he pulls the trigger? Or do I want to watch the blood fly out of the guy's heart? I want to watch Malkovich's eyes. That's where I'm kind of going with this movie."

But if you're thinking Jonah Hex abandoned all of the Neveldine / Taylor craziness in favor of a serious and Unforgiven route, you're dead wrong. "Every time Jimmy gets the chance to burn something down and have Hex walk out of it, he's gonna do it," says visual effects supervisor Ariel Velasco-Shaw. "We're aiming for a redefinition of the Western ... There are some very fantasy like, dark elements with respect to Hex. Hex is essentially Clint Eastwood, but in a more fantastical world, in the comic book world. He really is hard to kill. He's High Plains Drifter's guy, he's the Man with No Name, he's Pale Rider's Preacher Man, he's all of that, but even more so. That's even more what we're supposed to try and achieve."

The unearthly angle of Hex was a big part of the character's appeal to Brolin. "I love having that luxury. We can pull off anything and justify it, because of that, and no one can really call us on our sh*t. No 'Well, Jonah Hex doesn't do that.' Well you know what, Jonah Hex can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, whether it's here or in the afterworld. It becomes, to me, very metaphysical, very spiritual, existentialist. That's what keeps me interested. I may be full of sh*t, but that's what I create in order to keep me interested."

But don't expect Jonah Hex to spend too much time messing with zombies and voodoo. "The supernatural is there, but it's subtext, it's kind of an underpinning," says Andrew Lazar. "It's definitely a subtle use of it in this one. We don't want the trappings of the supernatural to overtake what's really important which is introducing who this character is and what makes him special ...There's an underpinning to Jonah's character that's always going to be the mythology of [having] one foot in the grave, and one here on earth. That's always going to be prevalent." Fans who have seen the trailer are focusing on that, but on set, the emphasis was all on the characters and the fun of trying to recreate the boldness of spaghetti westerns. "It's a hardbitten Western that has a very simple but elegant revenge plot," says Lazar. It's a real exciting action movie that on one hand feels like a Western, but on the other hand feels a little heightened, a little bit stylized like it came from a comic book."

Shooting stops as we're talking, and no one notices Brolin until he silently appears at our table and startles everyone. He's an intense and imposing man, but much the uneasiness really stems from his make-up. All of his good looks are buried beneath layers of gruesome, raw latex. There's no bulging eyeball, but they've kept the skin flap over the mouth. His face is twisted into a permanent Eastwood sneer, with rotten teeth visible through the hole and scar tissue of his lip. None of us can stop staring, and there's something in Brolin's demeanor that suggests he's careless and self-conscious about it, just like the Hex of the comic books. When he smokes, he's forced to plug up the hole in his cheek to inhale. When he breathes through it, it's accompanied by a slurping, wheezing sound. It's pretty gross, and its perfect for the character. I certainly hope they let his natural sound effects and obvious discomfort show onscreen.

Brolin is sick and weary from a long shoot, but he's so fully in character that you're half-convinced it's because he just rode across miles of prairie and desert. Left alone by the cast and crew, he sits down, puts his boots up, puts his hat over his eyes, and falls asleep. He's not doing this for our benefit. Brolin is Jonah Hex inside and out. As he clinks around set, it's impossible to think of anyone more suited to the character. All I can do is hope that all the promising talk and cultish dedication translates into the film they described to us.

There's been a lot of rumors, reshoots, and changes to the film since we visited the set last May. We've seen a trailer that suggests the supernatural plays a much bigger part than was hinted on set. But regardless of what that film ends up being, there was enough promise that I hope it all comes together in a way that allows Hex to keep on riding. I want to see him send more souls into hell, riding the western wastelands with only the acrid smell of gunsmoke as his companion.
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Post by Admin on Thu May 13, 2010 6:11 pm

http://www.collider.com/2010/05/13/director-jimmy-hayward-interview-jonah-hex-on-set-read-listen-here/

JONAH HEX Set Visit – Plus Some New Images from the Movie
by Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub Posted:May 13th, 2010 at 10:00 am

It’s hot and humid and I’m standing by a very large lake. On my left is a massive 150 foot reproduction of a Merrimack ship from the late 1800’s. All around extras are wearing heavy coats and dentures to make sure their teeth look period specific. When I’m not careful, mosquitoes try and bite me. I’m an hour outside of New Orleans and spending the night on the set of Jonah Hex. I love my job.

Last June, when Jonah Hex was filming near New Orleans, I was invited – along with a few other online reporters – to visit the set and talk to the cast. While I’ve done a lot of set visits and told to bring certain things to make the trip more comfortable, I’ve never been warned to be careful of crocodiles while standing on set. It was definitely one I’ll always remember.

Of course I got to see many things on set and learn about the movie, so hit the jump for my recap:

Before getting started, I’d suggest watching the trailer. Because while I could tell you what the movie is about, I think the trailer will do a much better job:

-

For those that didn’t watch… Jonah Hex stars Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and Michael Shannon. Here’s the official synopsis:

Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) is a scarred drifter and bounty hunter of last resort, a tough and stoic gunslinger who can track down anyone…and anything. Having survived death, Jonah’s violent history is steeped in myth and legend, and has left him with one foot in the natural world and one on the “other side.” His only human connection is with Leila (Megan Fox), whose life in a brothel has left her with scars of her own. But Jonah’s past is about to catch up with him when the U.S. military makes him an offer he can’t refuse: in exchange for his freedom from the warrants on his head, he must track down and stop the dangerous terrorist Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). But Turnbull, who is gathering an army and preparing to unleash Hell, is also Jonah’s oldest enemy and will stop at nothing until Jonah is dead. Based on the legendary graphic novel, “Jonah Hex” is an epic adventure thriller about one man’s personal quest for redemption against the vast canvas of the battle between good and evil.

Megan Fox Jonah Hex movie imageWhile every set visit is different, this one was unlike any other I’d done before. That’s because before we left for our adventure, the unit publicist gave us a list of things to bring with us:

* Good hiking or work boots
* Loose clothing — long pants and long sleeved shirts (layering is good)
* Hat
* Sunglasses
* Umbrella or rain poncho
* Bug spray
* Sunscreen
* Cortisone 10 or Benadryl Itch Stick for itch relief once you’re bitten
* Any other medications you may need for allergies given the high pollen content in these areas
* Small flashlight (for those who want to take notes on the night shoot)
* Extra batteries for tape recorders (as they seem to wear out quickly in this weather)

Keep in mind, I’ve never been given a list of what to bring on any set visit before.

Anyway, while we were staying in New Orleans, filming was taking place an hour outside the city, so the small group of reporters on the visit climbed on a bus to make the trip. But we weren’t alone. While we thought we’d be taking the trip by ourselves, we actually made two additional stops and picked up John Gallagher Jr and Will Arnett. Even though the two weren’t filming that night, they accompanied us to set and we spent the entire ride talking with them and doing a great interview. If you’d like to listen to the conversation, click here.

After a very bumpy bus ride, we finally arrived on set and that’s when I realized the scope of what we were going to see. While many movies build a small part of what they might need, Warner Bros. had commissioned a 150 foot reproduction of a Merrimack Ship! And not only that, we ended up climbing to the top and watching filming on the main deck. While I’m not happy about climbing small stairways with not much railing, I’ll admit the view was awesome.

But that’s getting a little ahead in the story.

When we first started to watch filming, we saw John Malkovich on the monitors as Turrnbull giving his men a motivational speech. I immediately noticed the movie was being shot in anamorphic widescreen and the way Malkovich was framed with the smoke behind him and his men in front of him was very cool. If you’re not familiar with anamorphic widescreen, it’s when the movie looks more like a rectangle than a square.

After watching a few takes of Malkovich talking to his troops, we got the chance to talk with director Jimmy Hayward. Even though he was very busy trying to get all his shots for the night, Hayward gave us a lot of time and explained how he got involved in the project and what he was going for.

A little while later, we walked around the set with Tom Meyer (the production designer). He explained to us the massive ship that was standing in front of us was designed only seven weeks before shooting started and they actually built it in three. That is a very short amount of time for something so large. He went on to say that a lot of the ship was made out of styrofoam and when the production ended, it would be recycled. As we toured the grounds, he told us that they reproduced some cannons from the era and the reason the ship was a bright red was they were going for a hyper real look in the film.

After getting a tour on the ground, we finally made our way towards some sketchy looking stairs and we climbed up towards the top of the ship. While the stairs didn’t feel school kid safe, for the cast and crew, it was good enough. Since I’m not great with heights, let’s just say I walked carefully and slowly.

When we finally reached the top, I could see why they built the set where they did. With the water on the left side of the ship, from certain angles and if the camera crew cheated a bit, they could make it seem that the boat was sailing on the water.

As we stood and watched filming, we were told the movie was going to take place in New Mexico, Texas, Mexico, Georgia and New Orleans. Needless to say, using New Orleans as a real location was a wise choice, as Tom Meyer told us some locations only needed a coat of paint and then they were ready to go. After all, New Orleans has been around for a very long time and some of the buildings are well over a hundred years old. The other thing that filming in New Orleans meant was a savings in the budget. The more practical locations that could be used meant more of the budget could be spent on other things.

After a little while watching from the top of the boat, we descended to the base and with all the folks in period gear, I sort of felt like I was walking through an episode of Deadwood.

As the set visit continued, we learned the set we were on was going to be used for 6 days of principal photography, a few days on a soundstage subbing for the interior of the ship, and then they had a few days scheduled for cleanup. While some locations might be used for a half a day or maybe a whole day, six days meant the ship is a big part of the movie.

Later on, we left the ship area and walked through what appeared to be a small town set. While it was very dark, I could tell the ground was covered with hay and I could make out some places to tie up horses and some small store fronts. When the back wall was covered, I couldn’t see the ship, which meant they could film on the set and cheat the location for somewhere else.

As we looked around, Josh Brolin had some time in his schedule and we walked over to where he was seated and took turns asking questions. While the makeup was clearly an issue in his ability to speak to us, Brolin couldn’t have been nicer talking about why he wanted to make Jonah Hex and what making the movie was really like. Also, while talking to Brolin, I got to stand next to him and stare at the makeup. You couldn’t tell where the makeup ended and his real face began, and I loved the look and what they were going for.

From there we talked to Christien Tinsley (special makeup effects) and he told us the makeup was being done practically and they didn’t want to use CGI. He then told us he was giving John Malkovich a prosthetic nose in the movie and a scar and the only reason he gave Malkovich those additions was to add character.

Other interesting things I learned was Brolin’s makeup took two to two and a half hours a day to put on and every character in the movie wears dentures to make the teeth look authentic to the period. Thumbs up to that. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve always thought that Hollywood movies that take place in the 1800’s have characters with way-too-perfect teeth.

After speaking with Tinsley for awhile and also checking out some of the guns used in the movie, we made our way to where some of the crew was building a submarine to be used later on in the film.

To get to see the sub, we had to walk in a very dark and muddy area. As we approached the riverbed, with a lack of light and thin wooden beams meant to provide safety across the mud and low level water, I couldn’t help but hear in the back of my mind, “be careful of the crocodiles.” I really had one eye on the ground and one where I needed to walk.

After we reached the dock, we approached a few people building the sub and while it was dark, we could see it was going to look period specific and it was pretty large. Also, in the distance, we could see the huge Merrimack ship and the lights shining all around the water and on the ground to keep the filming going at night. I stood there on the water taking in the scene…impressed with how many people it takes to make a movie and thinking this might be very cool when it’s done.

A short time later, we left the dock and walked across the muddy ground and hurried back to where I didn’t think crocodiles could catch me. We then walked around a bit more and eventually made our way onto the bus to take the long ride back to New Orleans. Just like that, many hours had gone by and the set visit was over.

Final Thoughts

After getting to visit the set, I left thinking Jonah Hex could end up being a very cool movie as it’s original and unlike anything that’s been made before. What I liked about the film is that it takes a genre we have seen a thousand times (the revenge film) and throws a new twist on it, as Hex takes place in the late 1800’s and it mixes in the supernatural and some crazy weapons. While I have no idea if the finished film will work, I definitely left Louisiana excited by what I saw and looking forward to seeing the movie. We’ll know how it all came together June 18. Until then…
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Post by Admin on Thu May 13, 2010 6:14 pm

http://www.joblo.com/arrow/index.php?id=22112


SET VISIT: Badass Jonah Hex in the house!
Comments:

Strike Back below!
by: Jenna Busch May. 13, 2010

I got a chance to visit the set of the upcoming film JONAH HEX based on the comic book series about a Confederate officer with a scarred face. A day or so before we left for New Orleans, we were warned that on set, we were going to be surrounded by mosquitoes, poison ivy, poison oak and alligators. No, I'm not kidding. I was constantly worried about the random dogs that seemed to be roaming around the set. Some of the crew told us that these lovely reptiles would often climb up out of the water to check out what was for lunch. Director Jimmy Hayward told us that the locals named one Speedy and that he would shoot through the water every evening.

The scene we watched being filmed was Turnbull (John Malkovich) on his ship making a rousing speech to men and waving the Confederate flag. We were told that, in this scene, he's about to travel to Washington D.C. To attempt to blow up the White House as part of his diabolical plan. We didn't get to hear it with earphones, but just watching the brilliant and quirky Malkovich deliver anything...well, he could read the back of a Cheerios box to me and I'd end up devoting my life to breakfast cereals. We saw the scene shot from different angles, and later, the attack on the ship by Hex (Josh Brolin). They tested out the shots and flares as we walked around the deck of the ship.

The extras milling about the ship never seemed to talk or smile. We were told that many of them were a bunch of historical re-enactors, which tend to bring their own period weapons. They seemed to be taking this extremely seriously (though I did spot a few on their, I'm sure, historically accurate cell phones) and the mood was so eerie that I kept expecting someone to jump out and say “Boo!”. Later, we were herded under the side of the ship as they sent off flares above our heads and out over the water. We walked down to the coast a bit and got to check out the Union ship and watched it sail down the coast and out into the water to set up for the next shot.

On the way back to Turnbull's ship, we were engulfed by a giant cloud of smoke. Meyer explained that this was from a lawn fogger, which would block the monitors and assorted camera equipment from the shot. He told us that the military uses these because, with the right lighting, this can hide even the largest ship.

Makeup artist Christien Tinsley talked about creating the makeup for Brolin's Hex and balancing the fan's expectations with Brolin's ability to speak. He added that we should try to get Brolin to smoke. He explained that since he can't close his mouth completely, he had to cover the hole with two fingers. Poor guy. He certainly seemed to be in a good mood, no matter what he said about the discomforts.

Right before leaving, we were shown one of the guns by second assistant props master Dave Baumone. We saw an 1873 Springfield 4570 Trapdoor that weighted 11 lbs. Though those spooky re-enactors brought some guns with them, they had to acquire quite a few more. Other weapons that he mentioned were a Lamont French Made Revolver, a 45 Single Action Army, a Remington Conversion converted to a cartridge weapon, an 1866 Yellow Blade and an 1873 Winchester. These were mostly reproductions since, as Baumore explained, old guns are notoriously unreliable. He also mentioned that they had a bigger variety than most period films, both because of the long time span and the fact that this is, after all, a film based on a comic book. He revealed that someone gets to use a flamethrower, something not exactly seen in the Civil War.

Stay tuned for our interviews with the cast of the film from the set!
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Post by Admin on Fri May 14, 2010 2:42 am

http://movies.ign.com/articles/108/1089503p1.html

IGN Saddles Up With Jonah Hex
We head down to the bayou for the DC gunslinger's movie debut.
May 13, 2010

It was almost exactly a year ago that IGN Movies visited the set of Jonah Hex in a rural area outside of New Orleans. Jonah Hex is an adaptation of the DC Comics title about a scar-faced gunslinger-bounty hunter whose adventures sometimes extended beyond the realm of outlaws and hombres and into the supernatural. His big screen debut will likewise be, as befitting the DC title he debuted in back in the '70s, a Weird Western Tale.

Josh Brolin plays the title role of a former Confederate-turned-bounty hunter who is hired by the U.S. Army to hunt down outlaw Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), the same man responsible for the death of Hex's family. Megan Fox co-stars as a frontier prostitute/love interest of Hex's. (Alas, neither Fox nor Malkovich were on set the day we visited.) As director Jimmy Hayward explained to us over a break in filming, "It's an origin story set amongst other origins. It's kind of like The legend of Jonah Hex and how he got his scar on his face and the whole backstory of who he is and telling the story in reverse. Starting with a murderous, scarred bounty hunter and finding out how he got that way, tearing off the layers and exposing who Jonah Hex really is and why."

Speaking of the scars of Jonah Hex, Brolin's look in the film is fairly close to that of his comic book counterpart save for the lack of a grotesquely bulging right eye. That wasn't added to the look of the movie character so that Brolin could be able to fully emote and not basically just have one eye to work with. Brolin's "disfigurement" was accomplished via wiring in his mouth that pulled his lips back, prosthetic appliances and face paint. This apparatus may have made talking difficult, but Brolin still managed to sneak a cigarette through when we sat down to talk to him on the set of a Union Army encampment, an eerily realistic recreation that made this Old West buff feel like he had stepped back in time.

The makeup, as grueling as it was for the actor to endure having to wear all day in the sweltering Southern heat and humidity, helped him find his character. But it took awhile for him to accomplish that -- or to even fully understand what kind of movie he was making. "I feel like I just got it yesterday," he admitted to the group of invited press. "I was doing a scene with John Gallagher and I just got it for the first time. I mean I'm probably wrong, I hope I'm wrong. But there's such a razor's edge between this drama and absurdity and comic book feeling that I'm not sure where we are tonally. My wife [Diane Lane] put it best: 'It's a strange set. It seems like everyone's at sea in their own canoe but tethered together.' But I think we're doing extremely well in spite of this. There's no model for this. Even the studio's going. 'How are we going to sell this? What is this? What is the tone?' And if we succeed I think we'll succeed in incredible originality. And if we don't then you just move on to the next one."

The actor, who earned an Oscar nomination for the neo-Western No Country for Old Men, initially passed on Jonah Hex. "When I read it for the first time and I didn't like it all, but I couldn't stop thinking about it," he recalled. "I kept waking up – I dream a lot – and I wake up in the morning like, 'Why does this thing keep coming back?' There's something within it that I really enjoy and this antihero thing is a Western with cajones as opposed to these new stylized Westerns that I don't care for very much. It brings that into it. It also brings this idea of one foot in death and one foot in reality where you can actually get away with anything and justifying it. And I love having that luxury that we can pull off anything and justify it because of that and nobody can really call us on our s***. 'Well, Jonah Hex doesn't do that.' 'Well, you know what? Jonah Hex can do whatever he wants and wherever he wants whether it's here or in the afterworld. It becomes for me very metaphysical, very spiritual, very existentialist. That's what keeps me interested." But then the surprisingly candid, self-effacing star added, "I may be full of s***, but that's what I create and that's what keeps me interested."

To Brolin, Hex is "a loner. He's a guy who has lost his wife and his kid when he accidentally kills the bad guy's son and his best friend. So there's this revenge factor but it's so emotionally wrought with all these different feelings of love and then of loss and revenge and avenging. I love how convoluted it is because the hero's not necessarily the hero. And the bad guy's not necessarily the bad guy. Everybody's kind of intertwined and that's something that I've always believed in life is that the greatest guy's capable of doing the worst things and the worst guy's capable of doing something wonderful. You don't see that a lot in film. And that's if you want to watch it in a serious way. And the other side of it is a fun entertainment."

The scene Brolin and Hayward were filming that May 2009 day was a dialogue scene between Hex and Lieutenant Grass, an Army officer played by cast-against-type Will Arnett. The Arrested Development star relished the opportunity to play a more straightforward role. "If anybody in the script is kind of a corporate figure it would be him. He kind of represents the new U.S. government, the Union, the winning side in the Civil War," Arnett explained. "And he's really kind of an outside in this environment. He's been sent from Washington with very clear orders to take care of this job and to get Hex to do some stuff for him. So he's a pretty humorless guy. If there is any humor it comes out of the fact that he's pretty humorless."

Arnett landed the role thanks to having worked with Hayward on Horton Hears a Who!, and Brolin cites Hayward -- who is making his live-action directing debut following a decade-long stint at Pixar Animation -- as one of the reasons he agreed to do the project. Brolin personally wrote a letter to Warners production honcho Jeff Robinov to get Hayward the job. "With Jimmy Hayward on the set it rings of a spasmodic, adolescent tone to it and I like that because he doesn't know what the rules are yet so anything goes with Jimmy and he brings an incredible energy to it," said Brolin. "And he doesn't understand what not to do and I love being around that. It reminds me of Robert Rodriguez."

Hayward reciprocated the kindness when we had a chance to speak to him. "Josh is amazing. He knows this character inside and out. He does all the research he needs to do. He knows who this character was and who he should be and tears him up and down," he said, adding, "He's become a good friend and he's been amazing to develop this character with and he's a great guy. He embodies this character."

Hayward is a lifelong fan of the character, and he even brought an old comic of his to his first meeting with the studio about the project. "I always loved Jonah Hex because he was an antihero. Everyone else [in comics] had big packages and spandex pants and capes and Jonah Hex was this triple badass," he recalled. "And he had that wry sense of humor that I loved and Josh and I are trying to maintain that in the film."

Through the years, the Hex comics have been everything from straight-up horror to black comedy and even sci-fi. While Hayward won't be including any of the sci-fi aspects of the character's legacy, he did say he was trying to make a Jonah Hex film for fans of all his eras and not just a particular run. "When you do anything with a core fanbase, you can't please everybody all the time but you need to embody the whole of that character," he said. "It's about trying to find unity in the work. And I think that's one of the things we've tried to do with this movie." Hayward was adamant, however, that "this isn't a horror movie. I don't want to make a horror movie. We're making a Western. We're making an action picture and hopefully a thrilling picture. I think it hops genres; that's what's cool about it. But it's not a horror picture, even though I love horror movies."

Jonah Hex opens June 18.
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Post by Admin on Fri May 14, 2010 3:15 pm

http://jonahhex.blogspot.com/2010/05/more-bits-and-pieces-from-jonah-hex-set.html

Friday, May 14, 2010
More bits and pieces from the Jonah Hex set visit.
I went back through my notes and memories to pull up a few more items about the Jonah Hex movie:

* Makeup - Talking with the makeup artist he said that their major problem was Jonah Hex actually has parts missing from his face and with makeup you are adding things to the actor's face. They did the sketch work for the look of Jonah Hex, but every problem they solved created one or two more other problems. What they finally came up with included "a rig" that has tabs that pull the right side of his face backwards, dentures with wires that pull back his lips to create the hole in his cheek and then two layers of prosthetics to create the depression in his cheek.

With all of this on, however, Josh Brolin is unable to eat and since he can't get any suction (due to the hole) he can't even drink through a straw (or smoke. I would have loved to have seen smoke leaking out of his mouth during the film.), meaning that he went a whole day without eating.

Also, this rigging also meant that half of Josh's face was more or less paralyzed. Of course this impacted Brolin's ability to act so the makeup team had to go through a couple of versions to allow some mobility in order for Brolin to accomplish his job.

They did consider post production work to augment the makeup but since Jonah Hex appears in about 90% of the film the decision was made to forgo any post work and utilize the practical makeup to its full potential.

Regarding the right eye? They did play with pulling the eye down and exposing it but the decision was made leave the eye itself alone but use the makeup to create the illusion that the skin below the eye is drawn downward. By leaving Brolin's eye alone they not only kept his eyes from injury (the possibility of infection and damage was greatly increased, if not insured, by pulling back the eyelids) but also allowed Brolin to be able to have some emotion on the right side of his face. Josh also explained that he ended up drooling quite often because of the manipulation of his lips and mouth.

Probably the most interesting quote from the makeup artist was when I asked if the scarring was medically accurate for a burn from a heated tomahawk. The response? "You know, this is interesting. There is the tomahawk version to the face, which is part of the scarring, but there is something else that gives him the scar and in the process of trying to design this makeup one of the things that we did is that we went out and we bought a pork butt and we heated up the element that gives Jonah his scar and we burned into it. We studied that, we took casts from there and we duplicated that look into a prosthetic that Josh wears for some of the earlier scenes. So we tried to base everything in reality...when it comes to a fight sequence and any trauma that occurs to the characters." During the interview, when he said "tomahawk version" my mind was racing, because there is only one version of how Jonah Hex was scarred. After seeing the previews, I understand that he was referring to the branding iron that Turnbull uses on Hex. Re-reading the answer now, my interest revolves around the phrase "we duplicated that look into a prosthetic that Josh wears for some of the earlier scenes". Does this mean that there is additional scarring or damage inflicted upon Hex? Hmmmmm.

Burke, played by Michael Fassbender, is covered in tattoos via a backstory of that he was stranded on a Polynesian island while he was being transported to a "prison island" (Australia?). The tattoos were all transfer tats.

They also gave John Malkovich a prosthetic nose that was patterned after another actor (unnamed, of course) that has a scar running down the middle of his nose. The scar is not explained in the film or even has a reason other than to add visually to the character.

Every character also has dentures in order to have a period look to their teeth. Did Megan Fox get these as well? Nobody asked, but I would venture "No."

* Weapons - We spoke with the 2nd assistant prop master (missed his name, sorry) and the partial list of damage inflicting hardware includes Jonah carrying:

Horse mounted Gatling guns
.45 single action Army
Remington conversion Civil War cap and ball (converted from cap and ball to cartridge)
Two old .45 caliber cap and ball Dragoons
A 1866 Yellow Blade Winchester 44-40
1873 Winchester

What does Turnbull tote around (other than the branding iron)?
A LeMat, a French revolver, with a nine shot cylinder with the equivalent of a 410 shotgun barrel below the regular barrel so you get nine pistol shots and then a shotgun blast. It's the same type of weapon that Jeb Stuart carried. You can get a nice reproduction from Regalos Line dancing and Western Store in the UK (from whence I stole this photo) for only 82 pounds.



They did include weapons from the Civil War up to the mid 1870's for this film.

* Bits and pieces that I missed in my earlier post - We did see several extras during the shoot. Several of these were period re-enactors who brought all of their own equipment and also helped the prop people in locating various items for use in the film. One extra that I saw was actually wearing armor that consisted of 2 in square pieces of steel tied together with rawhide strips and hung over him like a poncho. Not sure effective that would be, but it might be better than nothing.

In addition to climbing all over the large version of the CSS Virginia (aka ex-USS Merrimack) we also were given a tour of the Monitor-type iron clad. While the Virginia-type was in dry dock, the "Monitor" was actually built on a stripped down boat and would tool around the swamp area. The turret was incapable of movement since that held not only the wheelhouse be several pieces of film equipment as well. During the filming the boat was taken out and used in an assault on the dry docked iron-clad.

A few times we were warned to be on the lookout for gators that often wandered ashore during the production. I didn't spot any however.

One thing that struck me was the lighting. We were (as far as I knew) in the middle of nowhere, actually we were a few hundred yards from some houses and shrimp boats down the road, in the middle of the night and everything had that weird soft blue night-time glowy thing going that you see in the movies. This was due to huge lighting rigs that were either set up or suspended from cranes so everyone could see what they were doing during the shoot. There were similar lights set up in the woods across the water to give definition and outline to the to treeline and the shore. When they were shooting they would turn off different sets of lights to get the night sky behind the characters.

Finally, what scene did we see filmed? Quentin Turnbull is on the large dry docked vessel and he is giving a speech to his men, rallying them into a wild vengeful frenzy. The Union ship cruises in and flares, or some sort of airborne weaponry is launched against Turnbull. We also saw Jonah Hex poke his head over a fence and give a few lines. As far as "acting"? Nothing sounded or looked incredibly dramatic. I guess it really is all in the editing (according to my Eldest).
Posted by Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 8:18 AM
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Post by Admin on Sun May 30, 2010 11:13 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/31/business/media/31hex.html?src=busln

Betting on a Bounty Hunter, and Perhaps Love

Josh Brolin stars in “Jonah Hex,” based on a DC comic character from the 1970s in stories that reveled in his violent nature.

By MICHAEL CIEPLY
Published: May 30, 2010

LOS ANGELES — His nasty scarred cheek flashes by in an instant. The potentially offensive Confederate stars and bars are nowhere to be seen.

But, yes, that is Jonah Hex, one of the meanest antiheroes in the comic-book world, romancing Megan Fox and, as played by Josh Brolin, looking rather more appealing than usual in the teaser on a Warner Brothers Web site that promotes his namesake film.

Set for release on June 18, “Jonah Hex” is Warner’s latest effort to find a movie hit in the trove of graphic novels and hard-edged comics locked within its DC Entertainment unit, behind the two major moneymakers, Batman and Superman. It has not been easy.

While dark graphic novels and sophisticated comics have long been hot properties on Hollywood’s development circuit — on July 22, the annual swarm of filmmakers, agents, producers and executives will descend on San Diego for its Comic-Con International fantasy convention — much of the film audience has yet to buy in.

Apart from those featuring the big-name heroes, including Marvel Entertainment’s Spider-Man and the X-Men, only a tiny handful of properties from the comic book world have spawned a true blockbuster for any studio.

To date, the best performer in an on-screen pool of comic-based lurkers (as in “The Spirit”), lunatics (in “The Mask”), and antiheroes (in most) has been “Men in Black,” about a pair of black-clad alien hunters, which attracted $250.1 million at the domestic box office when Sony Pictures released it nearly 13 years ago.

Warner’s only major comic-inspired hit, apart from its lucrative Batman and Superman series, was “300,” about the battle of Thermopylae. Based on a series published by Dark Horse Comics and illustrated by Frank Miller, the film had domestic ticket sales of $210.6 million in 2007.

Executives at Warner and producers of “Jonah Hex” declined to be interviewed for this article.

But the studio, under Jeff Robinov, president of the Warner Brother Pictures Group, has been quietly trying during the last year to refine its approach to properties owned by its DC unit.

It has stripped producers from projects that were stalled in development, delayed a tricky ensemble film based on its Justice League of America series, and tried to impose a strategy that would create new franchises, in the mold of Marvel’s “Iron Man” series with Paramount, from some of the less-recognized characters.

Past efforts to mine DC, which was acquired by Warner in 1969, have often hit a wall. Its “Watchmen,” one of the most revered of graphic novels, about a tawdry group of banished crime fighters, took in barely more than $100 million at the box office last year, despite months of prerelease hoopla and a costly court battle that left 20th Century Fox with a portion of the receipts.

“V for Vendetta” and “Constantine,” also based on DC comics, were stuck at about $70 million, while “The Losers,” another DC-based film, was a major disappointment, with only about $23.1 million in ticket sales since its release last month.

“There’s a limit to all these things,” said Mark Evanier, an author and screenwriter who has been a fixture at Comic-Con. Speaking by telephone last week about what he perceived to be a new wariness in Hollywood toward the darker and more esoteric comics, Mr. Evanier added: “It’s starting to feel like there’s a fall coming.”

Warner is betting heavily that its “Green Lantern,” which is now shooting and is set for release in June 2011, will open the door to a new wave of DC-based films. But first it has to make something out of “Jonah Hex.” A relatively inexpensive film, with production costs of about $50 million, it occupies prime real estate on Warner’s summer schedule — and points up the difficulty of turning an outsider’s art form into movies with broad appeal.

The comic “Jonah Hex,” begun as a DC character first written by John Albano and illustrated by Tony DeZuniga in the early 1970s, reveled in the violent nature of a hero whose skills as a killer, honed as a Confederate fighter in the Civil War, later made him an unholy terror (though with an urge to protect the innocent) as a bounty hunter in the Old West.

Eventually, DC compiled the early stories in a book entitled “Jonah Hex: Face Full of Violence.” The title referred to a trademark facial scar so deep that Mr. Brolin, in the extended movie clips that Warner has been showing around fan conventions for the last year, appears to have a hole in his cheek.

While Hollywood’s early summer movies have typically been softer stuff, “Jonah Hex,” which had no rating posted on the Classification and Rating Administration Web site as of Friday, appears pointed toward an R for violence, not to mention Mr. Brolin’s bawdy exchanges with Ms. Fox, who plays a hooker with the heart of, well, a hooker.

Speaking on a panel at Comic-Con last July, Ms. Fox at least slightly shocked the nearly shock-proof crowd by saying that she had reached for authenticity by telling a co-star, Michael Fassbender, that it would be all right to “smack me” or otherwise beat her while shooting. “I said, leave your fetishes at home, please, we’re here to work,” said Mr. Fassbender, who was also on the panel. In creating a hit from “300,” based on similarly tough material, Warner and its partner Legendary Pictures — which is also a producer of “Jonah Hex” — changed the underlying story to expand a female-oriented subplot that considerably widened the film’s appeal.

(Women outpace men as frequent filmgoers ages 18 to 39, according to statistics compiled by the Motion Picture Association of America.)


Perhaps inevitably, some Jonah Hex purists are now complaining that Warner and Legendary, along with the director Jimmy Hayward — whose only previous directing credit is the animated “Horton Hears a Who!” — have softened their favorite bounty hunter by leaning into a love story, of sorts, and playing up a supernatural dimension to his skills.

“They have low expectations,” said James Thompson, who periodically teaches a course in genre film, television and comics for Duke University’s visiting program at the University of Southern California.

After watching scenes from “Jonah Hex” at a horror convention recently, Mr. Thompson said he had the impression that Warner and its allies were straining to make a movie in the mold of its hero-oriented comic book hits, “instead of having enough faith to use the actual material.”

In fact, the Jonah Hex comics went through enough changes through the years — some of the later story lines involved time travel — that authenticity is less an issue than the cinematic integrity of a film that required some widely reported reshoots, with help from the “Constantine” director Francis Lawrence, to iron the kinks out of its plot and character portrayal.

Even before those adjustments, Mr. Brolin allowed that getting a movie out of this particular part of the DC canon had not been easy.

“I don’t know why, but I said, ‘It’s a phantasmagoria of insanity,’ ”Mr. Brolin told the crowd at Comic-Con last year. “And I think that pretty much depicts what our experience was.”

A version of this article appeared in print on May 31, 2010, on page B3 of the New York edition.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:12 am

http://news.popstar.com/Article/1915

Written by Ian Spelling on Monday, June 7, 2010 at 2:05pm

Movie Preview & Trailer: Jonah Hex (2010), Starring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich

Jonah Hex is on his way to the big screen. That's either huge news to you... or not. If it's huge news, it's because you're an aficionado of the DC/Vertigo comic book series that's fast approaching its 40th birthday or you're a fan of the film's talented star, Josh Brolin, and know that it's his next project. If not, it may take more to win you over... and the June 18 release just might have what it'll take to do that. You want atmosphere? It was shot on location in New Orleans. You want explosions? It's got 'em, and the real thing, too; not CGI blasts. You want a few really good actors trying something offbeat? Jonah Hex stars not only Brolin, but also John Malkovich and Michael Shannon and Michael Fassbender. And you want, need, gotta have a foxy woman in there, too? How about the foxiest of them all, Megan Fox? Yes, the former Transformers beauty is in this movie as well.

So for those with little to no knowledge of Jonah Hex, what the heck is it? It's a western, but not quite, a horror film, but not exactly, and a supernatural thriller, but not entirely. It's a few years after the Civil War and Hex is a gruesomely disfigured bounty hunter who's got some serious demons and plenty of enemies, and he's been made an offer he can't refuse by the U.S. government: they want to put an end to the nefarious doings of Quentin Turnbull (Malkovich), a terrorist of sorts who -- and here comes part of the supernatural element -- is aiming to unleash Hell on Earth. Meanwhile, Fox plays Leila, a hooker with a heart who also happens to be Hex's loyal girlfriend.

Jonah Hex has had a long and slow road to the screen. Various writers took stabs at it over the years. The writer-director team of Neveldine and Taylor came close at one point, so close that much of their script was retained even after they departed the project. Once they left, in jumped Jimmy Hayward, making his live-action debut after years spent at Pixar, where he worked on the first two Toy Story films and several other acclaimed animated blockbusters. Hayward also directed Horton Hears a Who! (2008). For fans of Jonah Hex, pretty much every step in the process of bringing the comic book to life as a film has been put into question. Are they doing this era Hex story or that era Hex story? Is any supernatural aspect too much of a supernatural aspect? Can a "cartoon guy," as detractors have referred to Hayward, really pull this off? And those questions -- and doubts -- gained momentum when it was announced that Jonah Hex would go back before the camera for twelve days with a different director, Francis Lawrence, calling the shots.

At the end of the day, the film will open with Hayward's name listed in the credits as director. What really happened behind the scenes, whether or not Hayward returned to assemble the new footage into the finished film, or that was handled by Lawrence or the studio, none of it will matter if the finished product works. And if the finished product is half as good as the butt-kicking second trailer, Jonah Hex just might surprise a whole heck of a lot of people.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:09 am

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/jonah_hex/news/?a=19058

Can Jonah Hex be profitable?
This Friday's latest comic book movie will make back what it cost

JONAH HEX the scarred up badass bounty hunter of the old west comes a blazing into theaters this Friday.

For those of you that don't follow the box office: This summer has been a down year compared to last year's record breaking summer. Specifically down this year are the comic book movies' box office. KICK-ASS and THE LOSERS both underperformed, even IRON MAN 2 is a bit of a disapointment-- currently at $299 milion at the US box office, it might not out gross the original that made $318,412,101.

JONAH HEX is not exactly a well known property. In case you didn't know about its coming out, don't blame yourself, Warner Brothers has horribly marketed the film since the first trailer was only released seven weeks ago. The good news is, according to a critic friend of mine who saw a press screening, it was a fun action packed movie and Brolin was awesome. The bad news though is that it has to go against TOY STORY 3 which opens in more theaters. We all know that everyone's going go see it over JONAH HEX. The really bad news is that the movie tracking badly, what that means is that the averavge American has no idea the movie's even coming out.

All in all this pretty much means that, unless by the the grace of god, this movie probably won't make back its budget, which means no sequel for it and probably no more obscure comic book movies.


The film stars Academy Award®️ nominee Josh Brolin (“Milk,” “No Country For Old Men”), two-time Academy Award®️ nominee John Malkovich (“In the Line of Fire,” “Places in the Heart”), Megan Fox (“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”), Michael Fassbender (“Inglourious Basterds”), Will Arnett (“Blades of Glory”) and Academy Award®️ nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road.”).

Jonah Hex is in theaters June 18, 2010
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Post by Admin on Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:03 pm

http://www.nola.com/movies/index.ssf/2010/06/south_louisiana_puts_its_spell.html

South Louisiana puts its spell on 'Jonah Hex'
Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 12:00 PM
Mike Scott, The Times-Picayune Mike Scott, The Times-Picayune

Thanks to hours in the makeup chair, Josh Brolin gets to put on a new face in the locally shot "Jonah Hex, " playing the grotesquely disfigured title character in the supernatural Western that opens Friday (June 18). In the process, he also shows a side of himself audiences likely aren't used to.

Jonah HexJosh Brolin, as the title character in the locally shot 'Jonah Hex,' beats a hasty retreat as the fictional town of Stunk Crick goes up in smoke.

South Louisiana also gets to play dress-up in the Warner Bros.-backed action film, with help from movie magic every bit as impressive as the prosthetic scarring used to transform Brolin into the comic-book cowboy.

The region plays itself for much of the film -- a lot of the story is set here -- but during several weeks of shooting last summer, it also doubled as a turn-of-the-century Mexican mission town, a desert mining town in Nevada and seemingly all points in between.

"That was one of the things I wanted to do coming in, was shoot everything in Louisiana, " director Jimmy Hayward said during an on-set interview this past June, adding that he wanted to use minimal CG enhancements in the process.

That would be easy for scenes shot at such ready-for-their-closeup locations as Rosedown Plantation in St. Francisville, and in New Orleans' Lafayette Cemetery, Fort Pike (renamed "Fort Resurrection" for the film), and the French Quarter.

"We wanted to do Dumaine and Royal Street a hundred years ago, " Hayward said. "So we just threw some dirt on the street, took out the fixtures. ... New Orleans is authentic, so it's a great place to shoot.

"We did a scene with Meagan Fox and Josh Brolin at that old brothel on Dumaine there, at Dumaine and Royal. We did interiors, we did exteriors, we did a chase sequence with Michael Fassbender and Josh Brolin where they ran into the streets of New Orleans, " he added.

As he spoke, however, Hayward was sitting inside the main building in the fictional Nevada desert town of "Stunk Crick, " a considerably more difficult setting to find in South Louisiana. A stunningly authentic collection of 14 buildings set amid sand dunes, it was created from the ground up by the "Jonah Hex" crew amid the sandy waste heaped alongside a gravel pit in St. Francisville (See "Cut him down!" clip below)

"In City Park we did the same thing -- we made Mexico in City Park, " Hayward said, referring to the film's adobe-rich mission town of "Cactus Hole, " built on the site of the park's Katrina-shuttered golf course.

"Then we did the Southwest right here (in St. Francisville). We just had to find sand. There's not a lot of hills (in South Louisiana), there's not a lot of dunes, but we managed to figure it out. We also have a red-clay valley sequence we did here in St. Francisville."

For one of the movie's many action scenes -- this one involving horses, an explosion and the New Orleans-based Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive No. 745, which for years was on display in Audubon Park -- crews also spent time in Raceland. Eagle-eyed viewers might spot Hayward playing the train's wood tender in that scene. (See "Train heist" clip below.)
'Jonah Hex' clip: 'Train heist'

The whole thing builds up to a supersized face-off between Brolin's gunslinging title character and his nemesis, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), involving two ironclad gunboats. For that scene, crews built a pair of replica warships -- inspired by the historic Monitor and Merrimack -- then staged an explosive sequence at Bayou Gauche in St. Charles Parish. (See "Can You Shoot?" clip below)

Along the way, there were challenges -- namely the stultifying New Orleans summer heat, which is a particular problem when the star of your movie, and legions of extras, are outfitted in wool Civil War-era military uniforms.

"But there are ways around it, " Hayward said.

In Stunk Crick, for example, a white church building being used only for exterior shots doubled as a comfort station on the inside, filled with fans, chairs, tubs of iced beverages -- and wilted crew members. Cool air also was pumped into a small period structure adjacent to the town's main building that housed the production's "video village, " a series of playback monitors for the director and producers.

For Hayward, any inconvenience caused by the heat was well worth the trouble.

"New Orleans is a great place to shoot, for accommodations, for a place to live for five months -- amazing, great place, with great food and great culture.

"It's great to do prep here, because the movie is set here, so that the influences of old New Orleans are all around you, " he added. "It was really great to have that opportunity to really immerse ourselves in the city. ... It's been fantastic. We love New Orleans. I love New Orleans. I'll definitely come back here to make a movie."
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http://musicremedy.com/m/mastodon/album/jonah-hex-ep-8838.html

Mastodon: Jonah Hex EP

Following the June 18th opening of the feature film Jonah Hex, Reprise Records will release a 6-track EP from Mastodon from the film’s original motion picture score Jonah Hex on June 29th, 2010.

Jonah Hex features an original score by Reprise recording artists Mastodon and Oscar®️-nominated composer Mario Beltrami (The Hurt Locker, 3:10 to Yuma). Mastodon were asked to create the score personally by the film’s director, Jimmy Hayward who was inspired by repeated listenings of Mastodon’s 2006 album Blood Mountain. “Jimmy called us out of the blue as a fan,” bassist Troy Sanders told Paste magazine in an interview. “It was the most beautiful, authentic way to collaborate.”

Details
Title: Jonah Hex EP
Release date: Jun 29, 2010
Record label: Reprise Records
Single:
Official website: Mastodon

Reprise Records will also release an exclusive EP of six of Mastodon’s tracks from the film Jonah Hex score on June 29th. For their first film scoring experience Mastodon recorded the tracks for Jonah Hex by viewing movie footage and actually composing the score spontaneously on the spot in the studio. This method of experimental and immediate composition proved to be a daring, daunting and ultimately fun way of creating music together over a short period of time. The resulting sessions yielded incredibly exciting results produced in a completely different way than they normally would approach writing and recording for a Mastodon album. Fans will get a chance to hear the four new tracks: “Death March,” “Clayton Boys,” “Indian Theme,” and “Train Assault” with two bonus versions as they become available through iTunes and all other digital outlets.

Based on the legendary character from the comic book series from DC Comics, Jonah Hex is an epic action adventure about one man’s personal quest for redemption against the canvas of the battle between good and evil. The film stars Academy Award®️ nominee Josh Brolin (Milk, No Country For Old Men), two-time Academy Award®️ nominee John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire, Places in the Heart), Megan Fox (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds), Will Arnett (Blades of Glory) and Academy Award®️ nominee Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Legendary Pictures, a Mad Chance/Weed Road Production: Jonah Hex. Jimmy Hayward directed the film, marking his live-action directorial debut. The screenplay is by Neveldine & Taylor from a story by William Farmer and Neveldine & Taylor, based on comic books written by John Albano, illustrated by Tony DeZuniga and published by DC Comics. The film is produced by Academy Award®️ winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) and Andrew Lazar (Get Smart). Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, William Fay, Matt LeBlanc, John Goldstone and Ravi Mehta served as executive producers.

Globally-celebrated and critically-revered hard-rock masterminds Mastodon have created one of the most daring and highly praised albums in recent years with their current and fifth full-length effort, Crack the Skye, which entered the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart at #11. Following a spate of late-night TV appearances and a pair of groundbreaking Roboshobo-directed videos, the band toured the world non-stop following the album’s March 2009 release. Crack the Skye placed on numerous “Year End / Best of 2009” critics lists and readers polls, including an impressive No. 8 entry on the prestigious Village Voice Annual Pazz & Jop Critics Poll’s “Top 25 Albums of 2009” list. Time magazine placed it third on its list of the top ten “Best Albums of 2009,” writing, “Thunderous, disciplined and expansive…the ambition and tenacity of Mastodon’s music makes Crack The Skye sonically unforgettable.” In recent months Mastodon has performed on their own, co-headlined with Dethklok and toured Europe and Latin America with Metallica, further expanding their notoriety as a peerless live force of nature.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:57 am

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1641843/20100617/story.jhtml

Jun 18 2010 8:01 AM EDT 24
'Jonah Hex' Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know
Before heading off to the Wild West with Josh Brolin and Megan Fox, check in with our cheat sheet.

By Eric Ditzian

The 2010 summer-movie season has given us swords-and-sandals epics, superhero melees and a cavalcade of 3-D animated blockbusters. What we haven't yet seen is a straight-up western, partly because that gun-toting, tobacco-chewing genre has largely fallen out of favor in Hollywood. All that changes Friday (June 18), as "Jonah Hex" rides into theaters in a storm of CGI dust and supernatural-inspired storytelling.

Josh Brolin stars as Hex himself, a facially scarred bounty hunter with a taste for bullets, broads and revenge. His adversary is John Malkovich's Quentin Turnbull, who thinks it would be a good idea to unleash the fires of hell on the entire planet. Hex doesn't think that's such a swell idea, plus Turnbull's the dude who killed his family and hot-branded his face, so a quest for vengeance sounds like a pretty good idea.

Before you take your own quest to the cinema this weekend, be sure to check out MTV News' cheat sheet: everything you need to know about "Jonah Hex."

Wrangling the Horses
In the early 1970s, writer John Albano and artist Tony DeZuniga created "Jonah" for DC Comics, and the surly antihero continues to appear within DC pages to this day. It wasn't until summer 2007, though, that Warner Bros. began to ramp up plans to bring the character to the big screen.

Brolin began circling the role of Jonah in late 2008 and stayed interested even as directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor ("Crank") parted ways with the production over creative differences. Why did Brolin stay on?

"When I first read it, I thought, 'Oh my God, it's awful!' " Brolin told MTV News. "And then I had a moment a week later, and I thought, 'Why is it awful? Maybe the thing to do is to do the most awful movie I can find.' "

Malkovich found the movie in early '09, followed shortly by Megan Fox as a Wild West prostitute named Lilah. In April, we got our first look at the Louisiana-based production, thanks to some rather revealing on-set pics of Fox. Not to be outdone by his sultry co-star, Brolin made his presence as Jonah known in June, when the first photos surfaced of the actor in full, facial prosthetics.

Enter the Hex
As the year pushed forward, we began to hear from almost everyone with a key role in the production. Brolin spoke glowingly of new director Jimmy Hayward ("Horton Hears a Who!"), Malkovich told us why he signed on for the role, and Fox said of the production, "I think it's a really good interpretation of the comic. It somehow manages to be super-violent while still having a PG-13 rating. I don't know how they did that."

Neither do we, but the whole thing seemed to be shaping up quite nicely. Comic-Con brought us the film's first poster and fresh promo pics followed in the fall.

Then trouble set in. Re-shoots kicked off in January of this year, intended to fix unspecified problems with the footage and to be overseen by "I Am Legend" director Francis Lawrence, who was hired as a consultant. And as the June release date approached, fans started to wonder when the first trailer would arrive. It finally appeared at the very end of April — and it looked fairly rad — but questions remained.

Days before the trailer dropped, Brolin himself told us the film was very much in flux. "We're still in the process of solidifying that tone," he said. "There's a lot of humor to use in this cut. We've been going, 'How much humor do we use? Do we stay with the emotional line of the story? How can we release some of the exposition so we can just rely on the action?' All this kind of sh--. We're in the midst of it, man!"

We're Going Straight to the Wild Wild West
From Will Smith and Escape Club songs to the decades' worth of face-off-at-high-noon flicks, the Wild West has proved fertile creative ground across the pop-culture spectrum. It remains to be seen, however, if "Jonah" can overcome its troubled production history and win big at the box office.

The sneak peeks certainly look good: there's Jonah facing off against Turnbull; Jonah and Lilah trying to get out of a jam and then showing off their shooting skills; Jonah getting a little sensitive about his disfigured face; and Jonah riding a horse with a Gatling gun strapped to its side.

So will fans come out in support of this latest comic book adaptation? Is there a chance there will be more cinematic "Jonah" coming down the line? Producers have certainly planned for that possibility.

"They leave it open for a sequel," Fox told us. "They tweaked the script so there might be a sequel if necessary."

Check out everything we've got on "Jonah Hex."
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:09 am

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2010/06/jonah-hex.html

Jonah Hex is Hollywood ugly but riding tall in his first graphic novel
June 18, 2010 | 9:11 am

"Jonah Hex" the Jimmy Hayward film starring Josh Brolin and Megan Fox opens in theaters Friday, and the reviews have been just like the anti-hero himself -- brutal and ugly. But the Old West loner still rides tall on the page, especially with "No Way Back," the first full, original graphic novel featuring the character whose adventures date back to 1972. The book was drawn by Tony DeZuniga -- who actually co-created the avenging cowboy back during the Nixon administration -- and written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. I caught up to Palmiotti and Gray for this edition of five questions. Down below you can also find a four-page preview of the graphic novel. -- Geoff Boucher

Jonah Hex page

GB: Like other long-time readers of "Jonah Hex," I was intrigued to see Tony DeZuniga's name on this project -- he was a defining part of this character's publishing odyssey. Can you talk a bit about your collaboration with him and also what he means to the character of Jonah Hex, as we know him.

JP: Tony drew a large number of Jonah's adventures. When we first got the book, we immediately looked Tony up and got him working with us, and when the movie was announced, we pitched the graphic novel with him as artist. I have always been a huge fan of Tony's work and have followed his career, and whenever I get to shows on the West Coast, I make sure to see Tony at them.

Jonah Hex No Way Back GB: This is the first original graphic novel for the Jonah Hex character. That's both an opportunity and a challenge -- what can you tell us about the tale you tell and the way you approached this project?

JG: There were several factors involved, one is that we had to tell an important and engrossing story that meant something to the progression of Jonah Hex for existing fans and hopefully anyone that is curious about Hex as a result of the film. Two, we had the pressure of trying to do something that would make John and Tony proud, and lastly we wanted to do something original rather than an adaptation of the film.

JP: The simple idea of Jonah having a brother came from Tony telling us he and John Albano talked about one day writing an issue that dealt with just that, but they never got around to it. We figured that idea and a few others we had put together could make for one big, epic tale, and the graphic- novel format was perfect to dig in and write 128 pages -- something we never get to do.

GB: The idea of Jonah Hex having a brother will make a lot of readers lean forward with interest. There were a lot of ways you could have gone with that story thread. What were your priorities as you made your story choices.

JP: To give the reader something they haven't seen in the monthly title and at the same time make the book approachable to people who have never read a Jonah Hex comic before. For a lot of people, this will be the first time ... and the format demands that we give them their money's worth. It had to read easy, look fantastic and be a story that a reader would take with him long after they were done with the book.

JG: It was very important to make the relationship work on a number of levels to have the emotional impact needed. Hex is very different from his brother in many ways, but there are strange similarities. There's a fun-house-mirror effect and a questioning of nature-versus-nurture taking place in this story. It forces you to ask what kind of man might Hex have been if he hadn't been abused, abandoned, enslaved and scarred. In meeting Joshua, who appears almost saintly in comparison, there are also questions about his mind, and his behavior illustrates how no one is perfect. Joshua may appear to be morally superior and yet he doesn't have the courage and conviction to uphold that morality under any circumstances the way Jonah does.

Jonah Hex GB: Superheroes rule in comics. War, romance, horror and western themes really faded through the decades as the capes took over. Why is it then that the Old West anti-hero Jonah Hex has endured since the Nixon administration?

JG: Maybe I'm nuts, but I like to think the attraction goes beyond the violent nature of the character and keeps alive some memory that America has had to fight and die for ideological freedom and that we built a nation on the idea of rugged individualism, courage and exploration. The world knows cowboys and westerns; we created the genre based on real lives and real hardships. Not all of it was pretty, not every cowboy was as noble as John Wayne, and Hex took the Man With No Name into a more cynical and angry place, but his morality and sense of justice also appeal to people. Jonah Hex is not some pretty boy who wears his emotions on his sleeve and can't stop talking about himself. Hex feels like a cultural dinosaur, and yet he's charming and dangerous; he smokes, drinks and [has sex] and doesn't care what anyone thinks of him.

JP: Jonah Hex is just damn cool. He looks like half a monster, has a short temper and rights just about every wrong on his radar with some pretty extreme violence. This kind of character was created in a time when anti- heroes were popular, and it seems that in a world where we really never feel there is sufficient justice because of politics, it's fun to read a character that doesn't have that day-to-day stuff to get in the way of him gunning down a guilty man. For a lot of people, these books are an unfulfilled fantasy and a pretty solid escape from a very complicated world to simpler times.

Jonah Hex film

GB: Watching Hollywood take Jonah Hex to the big screen must be a bit surreal and a jumble of emotions. Not to be rude, but the advance word on the film hasn't been wildly optimistic either. How are you feeling about the entire experience right now?

JP: Like everyone else, I will be seeing the film Friday, and the scenes I have seen so far have been a lot of fun. The movie itself is a Hollywood version of the character, and we respect that it has to appeal to a wider audience than the book has. The entire experience has been a bit surreal, and fun, and exciting and somewhat odd. ... We happen to love the casting on this film ... especially Josh as Jonah and Megan as Tallulah.

JG: I genuinely want the film to do well, and I think if you go into it looking to have fun and escape reality for two hours, that's what you'll get. We've been writing every issue of Hex primarily to entertain ourselves because we didn't expect to still be here five years later, and we sure as hell weren't thinking about a film being made. I really like Josh, Jimmy and Andy. They were extremely passionate and energetic about the film, they welcomed us with open arms and genuinely wanted our thoughts on set. There are some fantastic actors in the film; [costar Michael] Fassbender is going to be huge, but you never know what kind of movie you have until it is done and even then you have no idea how people will respond to it. If you've never seen or heard of Jonah Hex, you're going to have a completely different experience than someone who has been following Hex for three decades. There is some imagery and similarities, but the only tangible connection between what we've added to the monthly comic book and the film is the character of Tallulah Black. I couldn't be more proud or excited to see a character we created and I personally love take a leap that far in pop culture that quickly. I really respect Warner Bros. and everyone on the film for giving her a chance to be a bigger part of the Jonah Hex mythology.

-- Geoff Boucher

Keep reading to see a four-page preview of the graphic novel ...
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:15 am

http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b186461_five_things_you_need_know_about_movie.html

Five Things You Need to Know About That Movie Where Megan Fox Plays an Old-Timey Hooker

Today 8:01 AM PDT by Todd Gilchrist

Megan Fox costars with Josh Brolin in Jonah Hex, a comic book adaptation whose success or failure may determine her post-Transformers career. But what's this thing about, anyway? And can it make you forget all about those giant robots?

Here are five things you should know about Fox's latest flick, which opens today:

1. Megan Fox is fearless, which is perfect for a hooker.

Brolin told us at this week's press junket that it was the actress's offscreen persona that made her great for the part of Lilah, a prostitute and Jonah's main squeeze.

"When I read some of these articles that she had done, it showed how acerbic and rebellious she could be," he said. "I wanted to see how real that was."

Fox told us that fearlessness only applies to her career:

"I don't really have a lot of fears as far as this industry is concerned, and I'll do things that maybe other people are afraid to do," she said. "But in my personal life, I'm actually very responsible with my personal relationships."

2. Megan Fox loves Westerns and sci-fi both just fine, thank you.

When asked how it felt to get away from Michael Bay's big robots and into an Western, Fox explained, "I like working on action films and movies that are comic-book-based, because they're things I watched or loved as a kid. So it wasn't really about getting away from the robots. I enjoyed making both films."

3. Megan Fox is a nerd and knows that you can't ever make nerds happy, and that's OK.

See, she knows how to tune into fanboys and fangirls—because she's one of them.

"It's impossible to really please the hardcore comic book fans, because they'll never be happy no matter what you do," she said.

"I go on to Lord of the Rings forums because I'm a fan and they'll complain that Frodo was eating the Lembas bread outside of Mordor instead of the mines of Moria. Peter Jackson won like thirtysomething Oscars for that movie!

"So you can't focus completely on pleasing them because you'll never win, and then you're excluding a whole other world of people who weren't aware of the comic in the first place."

4. Megan Fox would do anything—even play a whore—to get near John Malkovich.

"'Hooker with a heart of gold' was not in the character breakdown when I got it," said Fox. "But I felt like it was an amazing opportunity for me to be involved in a project with Josh [Brolin], and John Malkovich, and [Michael] Fassbender. With all of these incredible actors, I just wanted to be a part of it any way that I could."

5. Megan Fox looks great in 19th-century fashions.

"I loved the corset," she said of the body-hugging bustier she wears throughout Jonah Hex. "When I showed up for camera tests, everyone thought I was in pain or hurting because my waist was so small, but I enjoyed it. I wish they'd come back into style."

Working on that one, Megan.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:16 pm

http://filmreviewonline.com/2010/06/19/jonah-hex-on-set-with-producer-akiva-goldsman-and-the-perils-of-combining-genres/


jonah Hex – On-set with Producer Akiva Goldsman and the perils of combining genres
Posted by maestro1 on Jun 19, 2010

If you sit down for a chat with Akiva Goldsman, it quickly becomes apparent that the Oscar-winning writer-turned-producer not only understands genre fare very well, but he also enjoys it. A conversation with Goldsman can run the gamut from which comic book characters he would like to tackle, to rumors about a micro-budget zombie film making the rounds on cyberspace.

On this particular spring morning, the producer is on the New Orleans set of Jonah Hex, where star Josh Brolin, virtually unrecognizable in scarred prosthetic makeup, is about to shoot the next section of a major action sequence. Between camera set-ups, Goldsman sat down to talk about the challenges of producing a moderately-budgeted action-adventure film, the perils of combining genres, and his feelings about westerns in general…

Were you involved with Jonah Hex from the outset of the project?

‘The outset’ is a complicated question. I wrote a version of Jonah Hex as a TV pilot for Warner Bros TV eight to ten years ago and it couldn’t have gone less well. Andrew [Lazar] was simultaneously developing a feature script, so we all combined to do this TV thing but nobody was interested. So we took it to TNT and then started developing it on parallel tracks, recombining again three years ago on the Neveldine & Taylor draft.

That’s a very convoluted path.

I like that. My partner always says, ‘Stop calling my company your broken toy store!’ but I love these things that are broken or have been around for a long time. They’re durable for a reason. I Am Legend had been around for 10-15 years, and we’re now trying to get The Incredible Mr Limpet going; I think that’s been around more than 20 years. These things stay in the imagination, so for better or worse, I’m attracted to the broken toys.

How would you describe this film?

I say it’s a supernatural western. It’s an action western too, but that’s more about the way the camera moves than anything else. All westerns are fundamentally action westerns but it’s modern action in terms of the way it’s shot.

I think we also wear supernatural on our sleeve than something like High Plains Drifter, although that’s obviously in our iconography, both in the character and the movie. But I think part of what appealed to me about the character was when it moved into something a little more naturalistic.

There was something about Jonah Hex, not when he traveled to the seventies to fight the Justice League, but there was something about him that was trying to be a little more forceful.

Westerns are kind of laconic, but we are not. This leans into you a little bit more, so I think I will come out and say ‘supernatural western.’

Having written for Jonah Hex yourself before producing this version, what appealed to you most about the character?

It’s funny; I wrote a Jonah Hex vampire story, so I was very compelled by the most supernatural iterations of the comic. In fairness, I’m not a western guy. I get attached to westerns when they’re Stephen King. I’ll go The Gunslinger route [which Goldsman is currently working on] and then I suddenly love it, but everybody says sci-fi is like a western that’s been moved, and I never find that. I find science fiction to be very clearly science fiction and westerns to be something I don’t process as easily.

I think Andrew is very much the western guy and what I kept doing was agitating to put a little more supernatural in. Neveldine & Taylor wrote this scene we’re doing today, and the creature that Jonah will fight can be imagined as entirely supernatural or entirely real and as you’ll see, he gets right on to the edge of not human, so we’ve been pushing it in that direction a little bit

What were some of the major challenges, creatively and financially on this film?

We’re all at the same horrible moment in the business where you literally have to make a movie for 72 cents, so it’s really all about accommodating expectations. Jimmy is spectacular and it’s really quality work and really fast, but it’s also very strenuous.

But don’t you save a lot of money by doing a lot of it physically, as opposed to post-production visual effects?

Oh sure, but in fairness, nobody quite understands what this movie is because it’s trans-genre. There are a lot of practical effects in it and traditionally you do that to save money in post, but you also have to give yourself enough time, so that’s the trade-off. We’re shooting this movie in 45 days two and a half second-unit days. Even as I say it, it seems impossible.

I think part of what happened is that Josh Brolin became the anchor for a lot of really good actors to say, ‘Oh, this is cool to do!’ and I think that really served this film, because he’s almost the Jonah archetype; he’s square and handsome and a great actor, so once you have that, you get people like Michael Shannon.

By the way, this kid Michael Fassbender who plays Burke; holy s**t, he’s like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. He pops off the screen and there’s also the implication that he’s an old rival of Jonah’s, because they seem to know each other so there’s an unexplained history, which is kind of useful.

Part of the way we made this movie is that actors are in and out, in and out. Michael is only here for three days. Megan Fox was only here for a week, but it looks like they were here for the whole thing, so Fassbender plays Burke who dies and all I can think about is that he comes back as one of the undead if we ever get to make the next movie.
So we’re talking about a zombie western?

I would love that!
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:16 am

http://scifipop.com/news/2010/06/18/jonah-hex-is-hollywood-ugly-but-riding-tall-in-his-first-graphic-novel/

June 18th, 2010 - 55 views
Jonah Hex is Hollywood ugly but riding tall in his first graphic novel

"Jonah Hex" the Jimmy Hayward film starring Josh Brolin and Megan Fox opens in theaters Friday, and the reviews have been just like the anti-hero himself — brutal and ugly. But the Old West loner still rides tall on the page, especially with "No Way Back," the first full, original graphic novel featuring the character whose adventures date back to 1972. The book was drawn by Tony DeZuniga — who actually co-created the avenging cowboy back during the Nixon administration — and written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. I caught up to Palmiotti and Gray for this edition of five questions. Down below you can also find a four-page preview of the graphic novel. – Geoff Boucher

Jonah Hex page

GB: Like other long-time readers of "Jonah Hex," I was intrigued to see Tony DeZuniga's name on this project — he was a defining part of this character's publishing odyssey. Can you talk a bit about your collaboration with him and also what he means to the character of Jonah Hex, as we know him.

JP: Tony drew a large number of Jonah's adventures. When we first got the book, we immediately looked Tony up and got him working with us, and when the movie was announced, we pitched the graphic novel with him as artist. I have always been a huge fan of Tony's work and have followed his career, and whenever I get to shows on the West Coast, I make sure to see Tony at them.

Jonah Hex No Way Back GB: This is the first original graphic novel for the Jonah Hex character. That's both an opportunity and a challenge — what can you tell us about the tale you tell and the way you approached this project?

JG: There were several factors involved, one is that we had to tell an important and engrossing story that meant something to the progression of Jonah Hex for existing fans and hopefully anyone that is curious about Hex as a result of the film. Two, we had the pressure of trying to do something that would make John and Tony proud, and lastly we wanted to do something original rather than an adaptation of the film.

JP: The simple idea of Jonah having a brother came from Tony telling us he and John Albano talked about one day writing an issue that dealt with just that, but they never got around to it. We figured that idea and a few others we had put together could make for one big, epic tale, and the graphic- novel format was perfect to dig in and write 128 pages — something we never get to do.

GB: The idea of Jonah Hex having a brother will make a lot of readers lean forward with interest. There were a lot of ways you could have gone with that story thread. What were your priorities as you made your story choices.

JP: To give the reader something they haven't seen in the monthly title and at the same time make the book approachable to people who have never read a Jonah Hex comic before. For a lot of people, this will be the first time … and the format demands that we give them their money's worth. It had to read easy, look fantastic and be a story that a reader would take with him long after they were done with the book.

JG: It was very important to make the relationship work on a number of levels to have the emotional impact needed. Hex is very different from his brother in many ways, but there are strange similarities. There's a fun-house-mirror effect and a questioning of nature-versus-nurture taking place in this story. It forces you to ask what kind of man might Hex have been if he hadn't been abused, abandoned, enslaved and scarred. In meeting Joshua, who appears almost saintly in comparison, there are also questions about his mind, and his behavior illustrates how no one is perfect. Joshua may appear to be morally superior and yet he doesn't have the courage and conviction to uphold that morality under any circumstances the way Jonah does.

Jonah Hex GB: Superheroes rule in comics. War, romance, horror and western themes really faded through the decades as the capes took over. Why is it then that the Old West anti-hero Jonah Hex has endured since the Nixon administration?

JG: Maybe I'm nuts, but I like to think the attraction goes beyond the violent nature of the character and keeps alive some memory that America has had to fight and die for ideological freedom and that we built a nation on the idea of rugged individualism, courage and exploration. The world knows cowboys and westerns; we created the genre based on real lives and real hardships. Not all of it was pretty, not every cowboy was as noble as John Wayne, and Hex took the Man With No Name into a more cynical and angry place, but his morality and sense of justice also appeal to people. Jonah Hex is not some pretty boy who wears his emotions on his sleeve and cant stop talking about himself. Hex feels like a cultural dinosaur, and yet he's charming and dangerous; he smokes, drinks and [has sex] and doesn't care what anyone thinks of him.

JP: Jonah Hex is just damn cool. He looks like half a monster, has a short temper and rights just about every wrong on his radar with some pretty extreme violence. This kind of character was created in a time when anti- heroes were popular, and it seems that in a world where we really never feel there is sufficient justice because of politics, it's fun to read a character that doesn't have that day-to-day stuff to get in the way of him gunning down a guilty man. For a lot of people, these books are an unfulfilled fantasy and a pretty solid escape from a very complicated world to simpler times.

Jonah Hex film

GB: Watching Hollywood take Jonah Hex to the big screen must be a bit surreal and a jumble of emotions. Not to be rude, but the advance word on the film hasn't been wildly optimistic either. How are you feeling about the entire experience right now?

JP: Like everyone else, I will be seeing the film Friday, and the scenes I have seen so far have been a lot of fun. The movie itself is a Hollywood version of the character, and we respect that it has to appeal to a wider audience than the book has. The entire experience has been a bit surreal, and fun, and exciting and somewhat odd. … We happen to love the casting on this film … especially Josh as Jonah and Megan as Tallulah.

JG: I genuinely want the film to do well, and I think if you go into it looking to have fun and escape reality for two hours, that's what you'll get. We've been writing every issue of Hex primarily to entertain ourselves because we didn't expect to still be here five years later, and we sure as hell weren't thinking about a film being made. I really like Josh, Jimmy and Andy. They were extremely passionate and energetic about the film, they welcomed us with open arms and genuinely wanted our thoughts on set. There are some fantastic actors in the film; [costar Michael] Fassbender is going to be huge, but you never know what kind of movie you have until it is done and even then you have no idea how people will respond to it. If you've never seen or heard of Jonah Hex, you're going to have a completely different experience than someone who has been following Hex for three decades. There is some imagery and similarities, but the only tangible connection between what we've added to the monthly comic book and the film is the character of Tallulah Black. I couldn't be more proud or excited to see a character we created and I personally love take a leap that far in pop culture that quickly. I really respect Warner Bros. and everyone on the film for giving her a chance to be a bigger part of the Jonah Hex mythology.

– Geoff Boucher
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Post by Admin on Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:33 am

http://www.purepowerd.com/blog/2010/07/pure-power-favorite-solar-movies/

Pure Power favorite Solar Movies

Pure Power has just completed providing solar power on our FIFTH FEATURE FILM for a major Hollywood studio, and before we start on number 5 and beyond, we’d like to review our favorite feature films that have used renewable energy as part of the power mix. Today’s Pure Power Solar Film pick is JONAH HEX.

Based on the DC Comics classic, starring Josh Brolin as Johan Hex, “a scarred drifter and bounty hunter of last resort who can track anyone… and anything.” Highly stylized with lots of fast-action, this film also featured Megan Fox, John Malkovich and Michael Fassbender.

Pure Power’s role with this film was to provide a portion of the base camp’s power requirements. We developed an advanced Mobile Solar Power System (for its time), the S10, built a pair and delivered them to New Orleans. It was the second time, to our knowledge, that Mobile Solar Power had be brought to a feature film set.

Coming soon: Pure Power’s first feature film project.

Tags: Hollywood, Jonah Hex, mobile solar, mobile solar power system, Pure Power, renewable energy

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 at 6:25 pm
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Post by Admin on Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:26 pm

http://www.the-editing-room.com/jonah-hex.html

Jonah Hex: The Abridged Script

Posted by Alexander Wiebe on Jun 10th, 2011 | Movie: This entry has a rating of 1

Exfoliation was way more hard-core back in Old West times.

FADE IN:

EXT. THE WILD WEST

JOSH BROLIN is being tied to a WOODEN POLE while his HOUSE BURNS.

JOHN MALKOVICH

You’ll pay for what you done to me, Jonah Hex.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Wait, his name is ALREADY Jonah Hex? I thought that was a nickname he gets after he becomes a feared bounty hunter, but instead he’s the son of, let’s say, Mortimer and Prudence Hex? Not sure why would we choose to f&#! with any family called the frikkin’ Hex Family. Wouldn’t it be smarter to go beat up on the Milquetoasts down the road?

JOHN MALKOVICH

I don’t care if his last name is Hex, I’m going to leave him here to die for what he did.

JOSH BROLIN

Maybe we should actually get in to the details of what I did, or mention it at all, so the audience knows whether I deserve this fate or not.

JOHN MALKOVICH

Dude, I’m John Malkovich. I think that makes it pretty damn obvious who’s the bad guy here. But just to drive the point home, it’s time to BURN YOUR FACE!!!!! …oh, and your family.

JOSH BROLIN

(face burning)

Arrrgh! Why, God, why?!? Why did I pick the only DC hero with a gruesomely disfigured face to try and build my own franchise with?? This will mean countless hours in the makeup chair if I succeed!!

NICOLAS CAGE

Hey, at least you get to act all your scenes. When my character turned into Ghost Rider I just sat around in my trailer not paying taxes.

JOSH BROLIN

What the hell? You’re not even in this movie!

NICOLAS CAGE

Actually, I’m in every movie now, even ones that have already happened. Remember that not paying taxes thing I mentioned a moment ago? Well, I’m at least working on it, unlike certain Wesley Snipeses I could name.

JOSH BROLIN

Clearly, this is all a near-death hallucination.

(dies)

Yup, thought so.

CUT TO:

INT. MAGICAL INDIAN TEEPEE

JOSH is revived by MAGICAL INDIANS.

JOSH BROLIN

(in a gravelly slur)

Wow, if you guys had one-tenth the crazy powers in real life that you have in movies, Europe would still be wondering what’s on the other side of the ocean.

MAGICAL INDIAN

What was that? It sounded like “Wzhzhzwha grrgehrwaz flzzbh Europe zbzisazwhghrm”.

JOSH BROLIN

(normal)

Oh, I was just doing the obligatory Christian Bale Batman voice that all “dark” comic heroes must do now, layered with the fact that half my mouth won’t move with all this g*&^%$# makeup over it. Plus, my horoscope said that this year a rugged older actor starring in a Western, who slurs all his lines, will get an Oscar nomination.

MAGICAL INDIAN

That’s Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”, buddy. Sorry.

JOSH BROLIN

Dammit.

(pause)

Hey, I’m in “True Grit” too. Maybe you could siphon the Oscar buzz from that movie into this one using a Common-Actor Prestige-Transfer spell…

MAGICAL INDIAN

Woah, dude, even WE don’t have that kind of power. Need I remind you that Megan Fox is in this heap o’ turd.

JOSH BROLIN

Fine. I’ll just go get revenge on John Malkovich, then.

MAGICAL INDIAN

Actually, we’re pretending that he died offscreen during the opening credits.

JOSH BROLIN

Well, that ought to fool UTTERLY NOBODY AT ALL IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE FOR EVER AND EVER AND FOR ALL TIME. All right, I’ll just bounty hunt until we admit he’s still alive.

MAGICAL INDIAN

Oh, I should also mention that even though the Jonah Hex of the comics has no powers, we’ve given you the ability to resurrect dead people by touching them.

JOSH BROLIN

Huh. Why’d you…

MAGICAL INDIAN

But if you hold on to them too long they burn up. And how long it takes depends on how long they’ve been dead.

JOSH BROLIN

So someone wrote this screenplay while sky-f#%@#&!-high. Got it.

CUT TO:

EXT. SMALL WESTERN TOWN

JOSH BROLIN rides in dragging FOUR DEAD PEOPLE.

EVIL WESTERN MAYOR

Thank you for killing these varmints for us, Jonah Hex. Now prepare to be astonished as I decide NOT to pay you, and instead pull an OBVIOUS EVIL MAYOR DOUBLECROSS! Kill him!

JOSH BROLIN

For f&#!’s sake, my name is Jonah HEX, as in Curse, as in Bad Karma, as in f#%@#&! With Me Will Come Back To Bite You Ten Times As Hard, why do people not GET that?

EVIL WESTERN MAYOR

Ah, every bounty hunter has some scary made-up name!

JOSH BROLIN

No, it’s my actual FAMILY name, not just… oh, never mind.

JOSH rears up his HORSE to reveal he has mounted IMPOSSIBLE CGI GATTLING GUNS on BOTH SIDES and uses them to KILL THE EVER-LOVING f&#! out of THE EVIL MAYOR and TWO DOZEN BAD GUYS. It is ALMOST COOL ENOUGH to make you overlook that it is UTTERLY f#%@#&! RIDICULOUS. Almost.

EVIL WESTERN MAYOR

(choking on blood)

But… the recoil alone… should have torn his horse… in half…

(dies)

HORSE

Yeah, well I also should have died of exhaustion, dragging five tons of steel and four dead bodies across open desert, but I didn’t. That’s right, I talk now. At this point, why the f&#! not? Hit it, boys!

The HORSE performs a TAP-DANCE NUMBER while singing “OKLAHOMA”.

JOSH BROLIN

(sighs)

I guess we can’t put off the obligatory brothel scene any longer.

CUT TO:

INT. BROTHEL

MEGAN FOX

Good to see you, Josh. As you’ve no doubt deduced, my one function in this movie is to put on a sexy Wild West prostitute outfit and be sexy in it. Strangely, I will fail.

(fails)

Suddenly WILL ARNETT bursts in!

JOSH BROLIN

What the…? Is this whole thing just a 30 Rock sidebar joke?

WILL ARNETT

No, but you might think so since I’m doing my exact character from 30 Rock, but in a Civil War outfit. I’ve been sent here by Jeff Bridges to undermine this crappy movie even further, just to be on the safe side. He read the same horoscope as you.

JOSH BROLIN

Okay, but what’s your official character motivation for being here?

WILL ARNETT

Shockingly, John Malkovich is still alive. And he’s gotten himself an anachronistic-steampunky-doomsday machine, as is traditional in these kinds of movies. Help us stop him.

(pause)

So, what do you say?

JOSH BROLIN

Oh, I was waiting for Alec Baldwin to deliver a punchline. Sorry. You’re waiting to find out if I’ll agree to take revenge on the man who burned my family alive? You get three guesses what my answer is, and the first two are OF COURSE, YOU MORON.

WILL ARNETT

Excellent! I shall take you now to be briefed personally by Ulysses S. Grant, as played by Aidan Quinn.

JOSH BROLIN

Wait, the first time anyone sees Aidan Quinn in years is going to be in this crapfest? No thanks, I don’t want that on my conscience. Let’s skip ahead to where I interrogate John Malkovich’s dead son, whom I killed, oh did I mention that was the thing I did before to make Malkovich angry with me?

WILL ARNETT

But if we do that we’ll also miss the scene with Tom Wopat from TV’s “Dukes of Hazzard”… hmm, I see your point. So how will we “skip ahead” as you put it?

JOSH BROLIN

Dude, everyone’s watching this on DVD or their computer, if at all. This thing made like twelve dollars in theatres.

SKIP TO:

EXT. GRAVEYARD

JOSH BROLIN digs up a CORPSE and REANIMATES it.

JOSH BROLIN

Hey, you’re Jeffrey Dean Morgan!

JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN

Ssssh! I had my name taken out of the credits for a reason, you know.

JOSH BROLIN

Alright, Unnamed Character Actor, just tell me where to find John Malkovich so we can put a merciful end to this garbage. This is already feeling like the longest 81 minutes ever known to mankind.

JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN

Well, in this movie full of coming-back-from-death references, he’s hiding at Fort Resurrection. What are the odds?! Now please let me get the hell out of this movie.

JOSH RELEASES JEFFREY and his spirit goes back to an old DVD of GREY’S ANATOMY.

SKIP TO:

EXT. FORT RESURRECTION

JOSH BROLIN

I’m here for my revenge!

JOHN MALKOVICH, MICHAEL FASSBENDER and VARIOUS BAD GUYS SHOOT JOSH BROLIN ALL TO HELL.

JOSH BROLIN

Well that was pointless.

(dies)

(AGAIN)

JOSH BROLIN gets RESURRECTED by MAGICAL INDIANS. AGAIN.

JOSH BROLIN

Phew, thanks, guys! Did I get any more bonus powers this time around, like before when you gave me essentially a variant of Ghost Rider’s powers?

NICOLAS CAGE

(aside, to audience)

That was my idea.

MAGICAL INDIAN

Yes. You can now transform disco music into glittery light effects that can temporarily mesmerize, or “dazzle”, people. Also, you are Black Lightning.

JOSH BROLIN

Dy-no-MITE!

(rides off, playing funk music)

SKIP TO:

INT. JOHN MALKOVICH’S GIANT SHIP

JOSH BROLIN

Face me, John Malkovich!

JOHN MALKOVICH

I did that way back in the first scene. Oops, I thought you said “DE-face”. BA-ZING!

JOSH BROLIN

At least take this a bit seriously, okay?

JOHN MALKOVICH

Very well! You shall never defeat me and my goofy doomsday device, Jonah Hex! It is unstoppable!

JOSH BROLIN

Just tell me it isn’t a giant mechanical tarantula with Kenneth Branagh on top…

JOHN MALKOVICH

No, it is far better, though just as needlessly complex! And now, you will die! …Yet again!

They FIGHT, and this is INTERCUT with them ALSO FIGHTING in some WEIRD DREAMLIKE LANDSCAPE.

JOSH BROLIN

What the f&#! is this? Are we supposed to be actually experiencing this other fight, or is it a shared hallucination thing, or instead a cunning cinematic metaphor to dramatize the fact that we’re, I dunno, fighting?

JOHN MALKOVICH

Who the hell knows? Let’s just get on with it.

(on dream level)

Pow! Biff!

(on ship level)

Biff! Pow!

JOSH BROLIN

(ship level)

Oof! Bam!

(dream level)

Bam! Oof!

DENNIS QUAID FROM THE 1980S

No, Josh! If you die in Dreamscape, you die in reality too!

JOHN MALKOVICH

Dammit, Quaid, I told you not to interfere!!! QUAAAAIIIDD!!!!!!

While MALKOVICH is distracted, JOSH throws his TOMAHAWK into the DOOMSDAY MACHINE, JAMMING it! It EXPLODES in a HUGE PLOT-RESOLVING FIREBALL!

AIDAN QUINN

Congratulations, Jonah Hex! You’re a national hero!

JOSH BROLIN

Aw, I was gonna keep you out of this debacle. Actually, the audience has all turned off their DVDs and are watching “Castle”, so I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.

AIDAN QUINN

I’m impressed how you escaped that giant fireball. Let me make you Sheriff of America.

JOSH BROLIN

Escaped? No, I just died again, and came back with even more powers.

(stretches arm thirty feet to grab beer from next door)

Ah, that hits the spot. SHAZAM!

(flies off)

STOP

EJECT
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