I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a “guilty pleasure.” If you like something, own it with pride. That’s why I have absolutely no qualms about cranking my stereo up while driving downtown when Stacey Q’s “Two of Hearts” starts playing. Hell, I’ll sing along with the windows down!
When it comes to films, the Death Race series that was kicked off in 2008 from director Paul W.S. Anderson is a franchise I delightfully put it on when I want to watch some high-octane carnage.
Enter Tony Giglio, the man who wrote each of the sequels, including the upcoming Death Race: Beyond Anarchy, which changed its name, and whom some of you might remember as the director of 2007’s horror flick Timber Falls or the 2013 action film Extraction.
I recently caught up with Giglio to discuss Anarchy to find out what people might expect. Interestingly enough, he had just seen a finalized cut of the film, so he was able to share his thoughts not just on his script, which was revised a bit by director Don Michael Paul, but also on the movie itself!
Head on below to read Giglio’s thoughts on Death Race: Anarchy and make sure to give him a follow on Twitter!
Dread Central: How well does the version you watched match with your script?
Tony Giglio: Paul Anderson and I came up with the film’s story, and then I wrote the first two drafts. This has been the way we’ve done all the previous films (sans 2008’s Death Race, which Paul wrote solo). Once Don was hired to direct, he did the revisions. We all share credit: Paul and I story, Don and I screenplay. The idea, concept, characters, and story are still intact from my early drafts, but Don’s additions are definitely present and good. Don really stayed within the world and kept the themes we started with. So, to answer your question, the finished film doesn’t match my script, but it keeps everything from those scripts, and then Don added his vision.
DC: How exciting do you feel the movie is?
TG: The film is the fastest 1 hour and 50 minutes you’ll ever see. It went by so quickly. That’s the unrated version. The rated version is four minutes shorter. But do yourself a favor… watch the unrated version to experience the film properly. It’s incredibly exciting. What Don, the production team, the stunt players, and Universal have created is impressive considering the budget is probably less than the sushi budget on the last Fast & Furious.
This film is a sequel to the 2008 Jason Statham film. No more prequels. We felt strongly the story of Luke Goss and Tanit Phoenix was done. Plus, any more prequels would’ve been silly. It was time to move on. And we did. In fantastic fashion. The world of Death Race: Beyond Anarchy is darker, more dangerous, and mixes all the best parts of Escape from New York with Mad Max: Fury Road.
DC: Does it leave itself open for more Death Races?
TG: Yes, oh my God, yes. It’s actually going to be more interesting and easier to do because we are no longer confined to being a prequel. The future isn’t written [though] I hope to write it!
DC: How much more work needs to be done for a final cut?
TG: The film is 100% complete. The delay in the release is simply to not have our audience confuse our Death Race universe with the recent Corman release, Death Race 2050.
DC: Is there anything else you’d like to share about this film and your overall vision?
TG: I feel like with this film we’ve entered a new chapter in our Death Race world. It was really liberating to write. I loved 2008’s Death Race, and it was a blast telling the origin of Death Race and Frankenstein. But, like all prequels, you know where you have to end. It’s a bit of a cheat. Here, we didn’t have that. We had a new storyline and new characters (although we do bring back some familiar faces). The most exciting thing writing the script was, for the first time, Frankenstein is the bad guy. It’s weird, right, but Statham and Goss played Frankenstein; and even though his legend was of a bad man, he’s always been a good guy/protagonist. No more. Frankenstein is the bad guy, and he’s really bad.