Jerry Bruckheimer Dishes on Deliver Us From Evil, New Pirates Movie, CSI: Cyber and More!

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Deliver Us From Evil Jerry Bruckheimer - Jerry Bruckheimer Dishes on Deliver Us From Evil, New Pirates Movie, CSI: Cyber and More!We’re kicking off our extensive Deliver Us From Evil interview series today with a lengthy chat with one of the industry’s great producers, Jerry Bruckheimer. Read on to find out if it was the devil who made him do it!

Dread Central: Why did you want to do a movie on exorcism?

Jerry Bruckheimer: We like to put a voice to things that are true and Ralph Sarchie’s story was very intriguing. It was something that I didn’t understand or believe but apparently these things actually happened.

DC: We heard that some weird things happened on the set. Were you privy to anything?

JB: No, but I’m sure [director] Scott [Derrickson] could tell you some of the weird things that happened. One thing that happened, it was the rainiest June in the recorded history of New York. So when you see the movie, and you’ll see it rains, those aren’t rain burns; it’s the real thing. It rained the entire month of June and we started in June.

DC: How was the morale of the cast and crew with that?

JB: They’re pros. You know they live in New York. they get through it, but it was just pouring every single day.

DC: You’ve been doing this for a very long time. When did you get the feeling that this might really be a hit?

JB: We don’t ever have that feeling. We never know.

DC: But what is it that makes you believe in a project? What does it have to have?

JB: Do I want to see it? Is it something that interests me? And this interests me and even though I’m not a horror fan, it’s something that I thought was really intriguing.

DC: Do you have a radar?

JB: I don’t have a radar; I just know what I like. I’m a big fan of entertainment movies. Two weeks ago I was in the theaters seeing Captain America, and I like movies like Philomena so I’m really bizarre. When you go from Philomena to Captain America, that’s a big stretch but, you know, I just love great stories that are told on the screen.

DC: Are you working on Pirates [#5 in the series: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales] then?

JB: We’re working on it, working on it right now. Johnny’s engaged so hopefully we’re getting closer.

DC: Is there a story for it?

JB: Oh yeah. Our writer Jeff Nathanson has been at work for a long time working on it.

DC: I’m Norwegian and I know Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning. What made you want to give them the job?

JB: I saw their movie.

DC: Kon-Tiki?

JB: Yeah. It was fantastic. So, you always go by their work. I had not met them, but I saw their movie. And I saw their movie Max Manus, which they did prior to that, which I thought was excellent too. They make movies very economically; yet, you’d never know it. They get a huge production value. They tell great stories, great characterization, they use excellent actors, and they’re great filmmakers. I’m sure you’ve sat and talked to them.

DC: Yeah, I’ve interviewed them.

JB: Yeah, they’re very passionate filmmakers.

DC: Do you always make time to watch movies?

JB: Always.

DC: How many movies would you say in a week?

JB: I would say at least two. I would imagine. Sometimes more.

DC: I thought you’d like to slip in with a real audience.

JB: That’s where I see everything. Ninety percent or ninety-eight percent of what I see is with a real audience.

DC: Because it’s very different to see it with a press screening.

JB: I don’t see it with the press screenings because it’s an audience that is not paying for it.

DC: So you don’t mind all the texting and talking and kids? That’s all right with you?

JB: If it’s a good movie, you don’t see that; it’s only when you’re bored.

DC: What is it about Scott Derrickson that you think sets him apart from other directors to be able to tell this particular story?

JB: Well, the Emily Rose that he did is an excellent movie and that’s what I saw that excited me. You know, Scott worked on the script as a writer early on and he’s a terrific writer. I don’t know if you talked to him yet, but when you talk to him, he loves this genre. I mean, he really does. He’s seen every single horror picture. He knows every director, every writer, every composer, every actor. This is something that he is really engaged in and that’s what you want as a director. He understands the audience that goes to see these movies and he tries to give them what they want.

DC: What about the leading man, like Eric Bana, or Johnny Depp for that matter? In your opinion what does it take to be a leading man?

JB: First of all, you’ve got to be a good actor; let’s start there. And then there’s something that no one can put their finger on that makes you a movie star. There’s something that captivates an audience when you’re on that eighty-foot screen. There’s something magic that happens. There are a lot of great actors in Hollywood but not that many movie stars. It’s something that an audience decides… you’re going to be a movie star. We don’t decide, they do.

DC: What is it about Johnny Depp for instance? What is it in particular that he has that you think makes him a movie star?

JB: He’s a great actor and he’s pleasant to the eyes.

DC: Which always helps.

JB: Yeah, that helps. And he’s a good person. When you project someone onto a screen that big, you can always look into their soul, and he’s got something that’s really special. He’s a really good man down deep. He always picks up his kids from school every day when he’s in town. There’s something about him that is so engaging and interesting. He’s a real artist. He’s a musician. He has a publishing company. He’s just avery learned, loves knowledge. He’s just a special individual.

DC: Why, specifically, did you want Eric Bana?

JB: We worked with him on Black Hawk Down and he’s an excellent actor. And you look at his body of work from Munich to the things he’s done, he’s really a talented, talented man. And what people don’t understand about him, even though we don’t use it in this movie, is he’s a very funny guy. He started out doing sitcoms in Australia. So he has a full depth of being, not only being a dramatic actor, but he understands comedic timing too.

DC: Do like that in Eric’s career, the fact that he’s always refused to live here? Do you think that that gives him an extra something?

JB: I don’t think it matters one way or another as long as he’s here for events like this. He gives his time for the movies he works on.

DC: Do you think it helps him be more real, the fact that he’s living this very real life back home?

JB: I’m sure it helps his craft. I’m sure it helps him to become different characters because he lives away from here.

DC: These days it seems that characters or genres in horror movies or characters like Captain America are more important than their actors.

JB: You still need movie stars in order to get movies opened. You need something unique at the box office.

DC: But the audience recognizes less the actors and more the characters.

JB: In certain movies, in other movies not true. Wolf of Wall Street, you need those actors in that to get that movie made. That movie would have never gotten made had Leo not accepted the role. But you have to have somebody who’s a good actor to play that part and who’s an engaging actor, and also it has to be someone that’s handsome to play the part.

DC: They say that production is more important nowadays than the actors, the big stars.

JB: It’s on a case by case basis. You know, certain movies, like I said, just don’t get made without big actors, they don’t. Look at Iron Man, Downey is a wonderful actor. It certainly helped his career and got that movie launched. So it wasn’t an unknown actor that was in Iron Man.

DC: I think what you said about when you put an actor up on the big screen, it shows their true self, not only the acting, but as an actual human being. I found that interesting. When it comes to the villain, does the villain have to be a good man as well in real life?

JB: You know, I think certain people physically look a certain way and they’re cast sometimes for their looks, but they could be great people too. Just because they’re playing a despicable character on the screen doesn’t mean that they can’t be. They’re actors; they can act. We were talking about movie stars. There’s a difference between a character actor and a movie star. So we’ve got to distinguish that.

DC: Is TV becoming a substitute for movie dramas these days? There are fewer movie dramas because we are being fed drama by the TV and now we have horror, too.

JB: No, I think you’ll see a cross-section if you look at all the movies that are released through the year. You’ll have a nice cross-section of dramas. There’s just all types of entertainment.

DC: What attracted you to producing this horror movie in particular?

JB: You know, I liked the fact that it’s based on a true story and the fact that I got a chance to work with Scott, who I think is enormously talented. It’s all about the people you work with and I believed in his talent and he delivered.

DC: What motivates you to be in this business still? Do you ever get fed up with movies?

JB: Not at all. I love the process. There are painful parts of the process that you don’t like, but the process of actually sitting in the editing room or sitting with the actor when you’re casting, it’s just a fascinating business because we are entertaining. I love entertaining people. My thrill is when I stand in the back of the audience and watch them enjoy what we just worked on for sometimes five, six years. That’s my thrill. The money, I’ve certainly made enough money in my career, it’s not about that anymore. In the beginning I had to make a living, but I’m beyond that now so it’s just about entertaining people. That’s my thrill.

DC: Do things constantly surprise you? With all of your breadth of experience, you must have been surprised that audiences didn’t love Lone Ranger, for example.

JB: I never expect them to be hits, I really don’t. I don’t really know. I just know what I like and just hope for the best and expect the worst. When you have something like Lone Ranger, you learn a lot from Lone Ranger and we just got caught in a perfect storm. It was one of those things, between the media and the pictures we were up against, it just couldn’t break through. So the media went against it and Despicable Me kind of crushed it. It was a date that was not good for that movie.

DC: So it was a schedule effect?

JB: I think it was a perfect storm. It was everything that happened. I’m very proud of the movie. I love the movie. I think the media has kind of turned around a little bit on it since the DVD came out. It got much better reviews. People are finding the movie. When you tell an audience don’t go see this movie, some people believe it, you know, don’t go. I’m very proud of the picture.

DC: Has that ever happened to you where you read a really negative review and you were kind of told you shouldn’t go see something and you went?

JB: I don’t buy the reviews anymore because I make movies that critics don’t like but the audiences do so I can’t go buy it.

DC: Do you have a favorite amongst everything that you produced?

JB: No, they are all your kids. You can’t distinguish one from the other. They’re all a part of your life. It’s like going to summer camp; you make a whole bunch of friends and then you go off and do the next thing but the experience of being there is the fun part.

DC: Are you still producing TV shows?

JB: Yeah, oh yeah. We’re developing another “CSI.” “CSI: Cyber”; it’s about the internet, about what they call the dark net.

DC: Is it intelligence?

JB: Yeah. We’re up here – this is the internet and we’re up here, but there’s a whole area down here that they call the dark net where you can buy and sell anything from hitmen to pornography to you name it. It’s kind of focusing on that. We found this woman who’s Irish that works for the FBI, and that’s all she deals with, what’s going on on the internet.

DC: And when’s that coming out?

JB: We don’t know; it’s a pilot. So we’ll see if they pick it up. [Editor’s Note: Since the interview “CSI: Cyber” has been picked up by CBS for the fall.]

DC: Who are you casting in it?

JB: It’s Patricia Arquette.

DC: Is the old “CSI” finishing?

JB: No, it’s still going. Going on its fifteenth season next year, tied “ER.”

DC: Which TV shows are you watching now?

JB: “Game of Thrones” I like. “Downton Abbey.” I’ve watched all the episodes of “Downton Abbey.”

DC: Have you seen “Fargo?”

JB: I have not yet, but I hear it’s very good. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

DC: What’s your experience, speaking of the dark net… have you ever bought or sold anything online?

JB: No.

DC: Never once? Nothing from Amazon?

JB: No, my wife might but I don’t. I’m sure we order stuff online. We order books.

DC: Do you Facebook or Instagram?

JB: We have a Facebook page but the company runs it, I don’t, and Instagram I don’t use, but we do tweet.

DC: You do tweet?

JB: I don’t, they do.

DC: How do you find new talent, in terms of directors you might want to work with?

JB: By going to movies, you know, by seeing things. We look at a lot of tapes, a lot of DVDs of stuff that doesn’t even come out here or of commercial directors, of TV directors, of everything. Film directors of like Kon-Tiki, which hadn’t even come to this country at that point. So we’re constantly looking for new directors.

DC: Who is one of the interesting new faces, in your opinion?

JB: I couldn’t tell you because someone else will steal it before we get to it. There are a lot of interesting people that we want to work with and hopefully we will.

DC: What do you see in Olivia Munn?

JB: She’s a wonderful actress. She really is. She can do just about anything. She’s really accomplished and for such a young lady. She’s vibrant, she’s smart, she’s got something special. She’s in “The Newsroom”; you should watch it. She’s been in a bunch of other things too. She’s really good.

DC: She is also in the fashion magazine world, which has branded her as an “it” girl. Some “it” girls manage to have a wonderful movie career, to be actresses and then they happen to have good taste, and others seem to start off fine and then suddenly it’s all about the fashion. Do you think that it can negatively affect their career when the media focuses on an actress’ appearance?

JB: No, it’s always about the work. I look at what they’ve done on screen, big screen, small screen, whatever. That’s what influences me. And their reading, they come and read for me… well, she didn’t have to, but other actors, they do a scene for us, we do a screen test, and that’s what tells me.

DC: During the years the industry changed a lot, but you just seem to be focused. Is it difficult not to get distracted by other things?

JB: No, I think you’ve got to be aware of the other things. You’ve got to read it and understand what’s going on in the business and talk to people, but it’s always about telling good stories. That’s all it is.

DC: What are you excited about this year that you produced?

JB: Well, this is the only one we have coming out this year.

DC: That’s unusual for you.

JB: Yeah, it is but we were in transition from Disney to Paramount so you’ll see a lot more work coming up.

DC: Are you happy to do that transition after so many years with Disney?

JB: Oh sure, it’s not like I’m leaving because I still have movies to make there, but what’s good for me is that the types of entertainment I can make now is much broader, like this picture. I could have never made this picture so it gives me opportunity to give you different types of entertainment, not just PG or PG-13.

Joel McHale, Sean Harris, Edgar Ramirez, and Olivia Munn star alongside Eric Bana. The film is a paranormal thriller produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Derrickson directs a script he and Paul Boardman (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) wrote.

Look for it in theaters July 2, 2014.

Synopsis
New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Bana), struggling with his own personal issues, begins investigating a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest (Ramirez), schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the frightening and demonic possessions that are terrorizing their city. Based upon the book, which details Sarchie’s bone-chilling real-life cases.

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deliver us from evil - Jerry Bruckheimer Dishes on Deliver Us From Evil, New Pirates Movie, CSI: Cyber and More!

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