It’s been quite a while since we’ve mentioned anything about The Thaw to you guys, so long you may have forgotten what it’s about altogether, but that’s all right cause it’s time to refresh the memory and really start getting excited for it since things are moving forward on it quickly.
The Thaw will be produced by Anagram Pictures, the same team behind Andrew Currie’s badass debut Fido, with directing duties being handled by Mark A. Lewis. The story is about a group of ecological students who discover that a prehistoric parasite has come back to life after a woolly mammoth is defrosted and their race to stop the bug from infecting the entire world, even as they themselves fall victim to it.
We learned this week that The Thaw is finally getting ready to shoot in mid-June and that Val Kilmer (yes, that Val Kilmer) and Superbad’s Martha McIsaac have both signed on to the film! This brings The Thaw to a whole new level of respectability since you don’t attract that kind of talent with some throwaway script.
”I think ultimately where this story comes from is the idea or, more accurately, the feeling of vulnerability,” Lewis told me during a recent e-mail conversation about the origins of The Thaw. ”The discussion eventually evolved into one about the vulnerability of our species and how we’re about to experience the wrath of Mother Nature as a result of global warming. Remaining faithful to our inspiration [an experience Thaw‘s co-writer’s girlfriend had with bed bugs], we chose to make Mother Nature’s device the most hideous parasite we could imagine.”
Don’t worry, though, The Thaw won’t be a preachy movie about how we’re facing the End of Days or anything. ”I don’t consider it my job to tell people about how or why we’re fucking up the world,” Lewis continues. ”The older I get, the more vulnerable I see people are (as individuals and communities). Global warming is a very scary part of our place in time on this revolving rock in the middle of God knows where. I consider it my job to translate, into a story, the emotions (in particular the fear) I’m experiencing around an issue that is extremely interesting to me. Hopefully people will find the result enjoyable, relatable, and perhaps even cathartic.”
Now for the most important part: the monsters. Of course I had to ask Lewis what we could be looking forward to in terms of practical/CG monsters, and his response was pretty encouraging. ”A combination of both, really,” he revealed. ”Fortunately the aforementioned parasite doesn’t have any hair (a CG giveaway), and we’ve partnered with a terrific VFX company. The tests have been amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s going to be very creepy to say the least.”
In terms of his inspiration, Lewis told me that of course Alien is sitting comfortably at the top, as well as The Shining, but one recent film really showed him all about vulnerability, ”The Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men is a film that I have a special relationship with because it’s also about vulnerability. And the Coens nailed it. For me the film is a touchstone that I refer to from time-to-time to give me confidence that I’m on the right track. Because God knows, when on a creative journey, it’s a vast landscape out there. And it’s nice to see some tracks along the way… as big as the shoes that made them might have been.”
So far it sounds like we’re in pretty good hands for this one. Nothing like a good monster movie to point out just how weak humans can be in the face of Mother Nature. Keep it here for more updates on The Thaw as the film nears its production start date!
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