- Title: USA: Samuel L. Jackson hits red carpet for "The Spirit"
- Date: 19th December 2008
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR GABRIEL MACHT ON THE WHY "THE SPIRIT" "This is a sort of wink to the forties, noir. Very similar in tone to Dick Tracy. But throw a mix of a hallucinogenic in there and it's a visually phenomenal film. But great character work. It's very different than that real thing, you know. And we're kind of making fun of it. But we're also taking the influence of Will Eisner from the forties, who was a pioneer and innovator in the comic book industry, and really trying to honour his, his vision as well."
- Embargoed: 3rd January 2009 12:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA89ISPJMSU9CKM0I3UV6D94CT2
- Story Text: Uber actor Samuel L. Jackson and his glamorous co-stars walk the red carpet at "The Spirit" film premiere in Los Angeles. The screenplay is adapted from a popular 1940s comic strip and was directed by cartoonist Frank Miller. It profiles a rookie cop who returns from the dead to fight crime.
Jackson plays his arch-enemy the Octopus. "The Spirit" opens across North America on Christmas Day (December 25).
Uber actor Samuel L. Jackson and his glamourous co-stars walked the red carpet Wednesday (December 17) night at "The Spirit" film premiere in Los Angeles.
The movie is adapted from a popular 1940s comic strip created by Will Eisner.
Cartoonist Frank Miller wrote and directed the fantasy thriller that profiles a rookie cop who returns from the dead with superpowers to fight crime in a place called Central City.
Jackson plays his arch-enemy the Octopus, a murderous villain who plans to wipe out all of the metropolis, and will kill anyone unlucky enough to see his face.
Jackson said he appreciated that Miller encouraged him to create a character of greater depth and personality.
"It was, it was great because I actually had the opportunity to create something that wasn't actually in the comics," shared the 59-year-old thespian. "He was just a pair of gloves. So, Frank allowed me to kind of be the over-the-top and sort of channel a little Vincent Price, Dr.
Fives and be very Shakespearean and very kind of wild and crazy. So, I had a good time doing it."
Miller said the endeavour to bring the story to the big screen turned out to be an exciting yet humbling experience.
"It's more fun than, than I could imagine. It's, it's working with amazingly talented people. Working as a cartoonist is a very solitary adventure. And I love that. But working in a movie is dealing with all these people who are better at their jobs than I could ever be. And so it's just my job to sort of like keep the ship on course."
Miller, who is an accomplished comic book artist, helped create the movies "Sin City" (2005) and "300" (2007).
The 51-year-old is known for creating film noir worlds for the likes of DC Comics and Marvel Comics.
Actor Gabriel Macht, who played the lead in "The Spirit"
talked about the inspiration behind the movie.
"This is a sort of wink to the forties, noir,'" explained Macht, 36. "Very similar in tone to Dick Tracy. But throw a mix of a hallucinogenic in there and it's a visually phenomenal film. But great character work. It's very different than that real thing, you know. And we're kind of making fun of it. But we're also taking the influence of Will Eisner from the forties, who was a pioneer and innovator in the comic book industry, and really trying to honour his, his vision as well."
Actress Eva Mendes plays The Spirit's one true love, a volatile jewellery thief known as Sand Seref.
Mendes, 34, shared why she wanted to land a role in the film.
"Well, what drew me to this role and project, was the fact that this was from the brain of Frank Miller, who is a creative genius and a god in this kind of world," declared Mendes. "But also that there were so many amazing female characters. There is not one damsel in distress in this movie. All the females are empowered. They're fiercely intelligent, and they're strong. And I love that."
Upcoming Canadian actress Stana Katic, 28, said Miller helped her to more fully develop her onscreen character.
"I asked, in fact I asked Frank once, I go 'Frank, what colour do you think she is at the start? Cause he works really abstract, right? What colour do you think she is at the start? And what colour do you think she is at the end?' And he goes, 'Navy blue, touch of pink.' And it all like made sense at that point. So it was a combination of just looking at Will Eisner's old stuff and finding what felt natural to me and then talking to Frank."
Katic plays a seductive policewoman who goes by the name of Morgenstern.
Actor Eric Balfour talked about making a movie set in a world shot on green screens and created almost entirely with special effects.
"I guess the best way to describe it is freeing," said 31-year-old Balfour. "I mean it's, it's so much of what we do as actors is convey the truth of a moment in life. Which is a really fun thing to do. To pinpoint those moments in life. But in this world there are no rules, there are no, you know, ways in which things are supposed to happen. So to get to have this complete freedom and go 'Well, I don't, you know, eat my dinner that way. And I don't talk to someone this way. Just get to create this whole new identity. It's really fun."
Meanwhile, character actor Louis Lombardi expressed his admiration for Jackson.
"When I was working with him, I was like 'Wow, this guy don't let up.' His foot's on the petal a hundred miles an hour all the time."
Model-turned-actress Jaime King plays a siren named Lorelei, and actress Sarah Paulson portrays a surgeon called Ellen Dolan. Both play women who are in love with a masked man called The Spirit.
Actress Scarlett Johansson is also in the film. She was cast as a sexy secretary and accomplice to the Octopus known as Silken Floss.
"The Spirit" opens across North America on Christmas Day (December 25).
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