Let Me In is the American remake of the highly-acclaimed Swedish novel-turned-movie, Let The Right One In. Although fans of the Swedish original were in arms about the thought of a remake, the recent Let Me In trailer has done a lot to change their minds.
Now director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) and stars Kodie Smit-McPhee (The Road) and Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) will attempt to seduce the many vampires walking the halls of Comic-Con 2010 – and even a few movie fans as well.
- Drew McWeeny (HitFix) introduces the panel and praises the film. “It is my sincere belief that when we are done here today, you will know just how special this really is.”
- Director Matt Reeves, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins and Chloe Moretz come on stage.
- Reeves claims if they didn’t find the kids, they didn’t have a story.
- Inspired by Rosemary’s Baby scene with emotion in the simplicity of a phone call. Found Kodi Smit-McPhee to be amazing and knew he could make the movie after casting him.
- Chloe Moretz could play the role, but not play a vampire. There is no romance to it. He had not seen Kick-Ass before casting her.
- Reeves’ wife told him to look in Richard Jenkins eyes and he immediately knew he was right for the role.
- “This is my dream cast.”
- Reeves loved the snowy look of the original and wanted to keep that. American suburbia relates to the world from the book.
- Originally set in Colorado, but tax incentive in New Mexico drew Reeves’ attention. Filmed in Los Alamos.
- Moretz and Smit-McPhee’s parents read the R-rated script beforehand and both thought they were amazing roles. Each worked with their parents on developing the characters. Richard Jenkins made a joke about his mother’s input on the script.
- “I think it’s a masterpiece.” -Matt Reeves on the original Let The Right One In
- Overture presented Reeves with the idea of directing an American version of Let The Right One In.
- Reeves was taken by the way Lindquist took a vampire story and made it about pain and adolescence. He didn’t think they should even make the film and if they do that “aging the kids up” would ruin the film.
- Reeves wrote to Lindquist and told him of his interest. “It has to do with how much it reminded me of my childhood in the 80s.” Lindquist loved Cloverfield.
- Reeves wanted to honor the original story. The original and the novel will always exist and hopefully it is another interpretation that touches people.
- Richard Jenkins read the script and loved the idea of “trying to make a human being out of somebody that does what [his character] does. He foreshadows the future of the film.”
- “We’re not done with the movie yet.” -Matt Reeves
The Q&A begins:
- Reeves told Lindquist he would put the scene from the novel when Abby sucks her own blood in the film.
- “We have lots of details from the book and lots of things verbatim from the original Swedish screenplay.” -Matt Reeves
- Chloe likes to choose diverse roles and stay involved in finding the backstory of each character. “Hit Girl and Abby are very similar in a twisted kind of way. They both know what they want and are both very mature.” -Chloe Moretz
- Steven Spielberg gave Matt Reeves many tips on creating the film. Spielberg loved Cloverfield and helped Reeves with tips on directing kids.
- “Let them come up with stuff. Have them keep a journal in character.” -Steven Spielberg to Matt Reeves
- Smit-McPhee, Jenkins and Moretz did not see Let The Right One In before filming. Moretz still hasn’t seen it, mostly because of her mother’s preference. They all wanted to stay clear-minded and not allow the original performances to influence them.
- Reeves does not utilize material that deals with the gender identity of Abby. Though, in one of the clips shown today, Abby asks Owen, “Would you still like me if I wasn’t a girl.”
Reeves introduced the first clip. Bullies have slashed Owen’s face and Abby consoles him. The two are on a date and Owen does not know yet that she is a vampire. The audience knows, but he doesn’t. In the scene, Abby is offered a Now & Later from Owen and reluctantly chews it and promptly vomits. Moretz is fantastic, but Smit-McPhee seem to struggle against such a strong actress.
The next clip is radically different from the Swedish film, according to McWeeny. Reeves says the scene in Silence of the Lambs where the serial killer abducts the girl was the most fearful moment in the film and inspired the way he presented Richard Jenkins’ character. Another influence was Dial M for Murder. Reeves was excited to go through the process of witnessing a killing-gone-wrong.
The scene was fantastic. It paced itself with the confidence of Oscar-bait. If you didn’t know it was a vampire movie, it would just look like any other potentially Oscar-nominated drama. The relationship between Jenkins and Moretz was only one-upped by the tension of the kidnapping sequence. If Reeves is going for a tense, dramatic thriller, this scene was proof he will succeed.
Overall the footage was great and produced an eerie tension that should translate well into a dramatic remake. It would appear, with the right focus and determination, a remake can be successful.
Let Me In hits theaters October 1st, 2010.