If there is one guy who seems to be giving Guillermo del Toro a run for his money in the “projects in the works” category, it would have to be writer/director/producer Robert Rodriguez.
While in San Diego for Comic-Con, Rodriguez not only announced the brand new partnership between his Quick Draw Productions and the AMD design company but also unveiled his plans for a slew of brand new projects that he has in the works including Sin City 2, sequels to Machete, a new Heavy Metal and the work of legendary artist Frank Frazetta, which includes a museum of Frazetta’s work in Austin and a remake of the 1983 classic flick Fire and Ice.
While at SDCC, Dread Central had the opportunity to chat with Rodriguez about his new partnership with AMD, why he keeps his production plate so full continuously, and his thoughts regarding the upcoming projects that were announced during his panel at the convention. Check out some excerpts below, and look for more on Rodriguez and all of his projects very soon!
Rodriguez on Keeping Busy:
”You kind of work on a lot of things to see what will be ready to go first so that’s why I have always developed multiple projects at once, and when one is ready over the others, that’s the next to get to go forward in production. What used to happen was that I’d write a script, make a movie and finish it and wonder what was next. So I realized I needed to develop projects more in conjunction alongside each other to maybe layer them so I’m always working. Like animated movies, those can be made while we’re shooting other movies and even when you’re doing regular features, we can make a few of them back to back to back- like Sin City 2, Fire and Ice and the next Machete.”
“We’ve got a system in place with our studio where we can be working on all the visual effects simultaneously and then stagger the films out from there so that we can release them when we feel ready, not the studio in charge.”
Rodriguez on Quick Draw’s Newly Announced Partnership with AMD:
”This new partnership gives me more freedom definitely. If you ask anyone who has ever made a movie, it’s always about waiting for the funding. The funding always seems to hold people up, or if you’re working with a large studio, they may be waiting to make some key decisions that hold everything else up production-wise. So when you are your own studio, you can eliminate that red tape and you also have better control over your work so you know for yourself when projects are ready to go forward and when they’re not. It’s a nice feeling as a filmmaker to have that kind of control so that all your efforts aren’t going towards all the red tape you deal with before you even begin shooting.”
“We’ve been already working with AMD for 12 years now so this partnership feels incredibly right. And by doing this, it gives both Quick Draw and AMD the opportunity to help other filmmakers out there get their projects made without a lot of the hassles involved in the Hollywood machine.”
Rodriguez on His Plans for a New Heavy Metal:
“I already have my story ideas written out for Heavy Metal, but we have to wait and see what we get submitted from the other filmmakers before the entire scope of that movie is fleshed out. And what’s really cool is that if we get really strong ideas that we can’t use in the movie itself, we can always incorporate those ideas into marketing and other avenues of storytelling for the project online or elsewhere. It’s pretty exciting. We are already starting with pre-production on Heavy Metal because we can always add to the project as the new stories come in along the way. That’s the beauty of this kind of project.”
Rodriguez Addressing Fan Expectations for Sin City 2 and Machete 2:
“It always comes back to yourself. I, too, would only want to make this if I felt sure this is a movie that I’d want to see. The first Sin City I didn’t make it with the audience in mind at all. Who knew if they’d even want a black and white movie to begin with? They may have thought it was too weird, but I knew I wanted to see it so that’s why I made it that way.”
“So I always have to make sure I’m really passionate about something before I start working on it, and with Sin City, that was a movie I was incredibly passionate about. Fans can tell when you make something you don’t really care about. Really, it comes back to me, and when I read the script for Sin City 2, does it move me and get me to the point where I say to myself, ‘I really have to make this movie.’ I know the audience really wants it, but that’s not good enough for me. It’s got to be great enough so when it’s done I can say to fans, ‘This is what you’ve been waiting for’ and I know I delivered.”
“With Machete, I wouldn’t do another Machete just because the first one was successful unless I felt like I was really excited to get to do another film. Danny and I are always talking about ideas for what we want to do with the new Machete. The key to the Machete sequel is that there were so many incredible things we pulled off in the original that of course we need to amp things up for the next one, but everything still has to be organic to the story so it’s not just shock for shock’s sake. But we know this next one has to be crazy, it has to be fun and I know we can definitely come up with something.”
Rodriguez Chats About His Plans for the Frazetta Gallery and the Fire and Ice Remake:
“I worked with Frank on From Dusk Till Dawn, and I’ve always been a huge fan of his work. I’ve been up to the family’s house to visit several times over the years and to see his gallery at the house. I spoke with the family about what they wanted to do with his collection, and they just knew they didn’t want to sell any of his paintings. So I said, ‘Let’s not sell the paintings’, and we have worked out a way to use his intellectual property to fund ways to keep the entire collection intact and able to be displayed in a way where fans can enjoy them, which I know was important to Frank. He never once sold a painting so now that he’s gone, why should that change? He did it for a reason so we want to keep his legacy alive in this way.”
“We’re already writing the script for Fire and Ice and are doing some pre-production art right now. As soon as the script is ready, we’ll be ready to go, but I think it’ll be early next year. Our goal is to also have the gallery ready to go in time for next year’s South by Southwest Film Festival.”
And since Rodriguez’s new partnership with AMD is about being able to help other filmmakers (something that Rodriguez himself is well known for as well), we also asked him about his thoughts on Jason Eisener’s recent exploitation flick Hobo With a Shotgun, which happened as a result of Eisener winning a trailer competition sponsored by both Rodriguez and SxSW a few years back.
Rodriguez said, “I enjoyed Hobo immensely, and I am incredibly proud of it. To me it’s like having your child bring you his work to show you, and I couldn’t be happier for Jason. The movie is incredibly great, but I could be a bit biased, too. But I have to congratulate him because so many people out there have an idea but they never follow through with it. The fact that Jason made a fake trailer for next to nothing and then turned it into a great feature film that took the concept to the next level was just awesome to see happen over the last few years. You learn so much by doing, and I think Jason has a huge future ahead of him in film.”
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