The director of A Ghost Story might not be the first filmmaker you would suspect of being a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But David Lowery is most assuredly so according to a recent interview, and would be totally up for doing a Turtle movie. Not only that, but he’s got aspirations to do a surprise blockbuster movie that would fly under the radar and make a splash at the cinema, in a similar style to Cloverfield.
A Ghost Story is just hitting cinema screens in the US, and it’s as unlikely a summer film as you’re ever likely to see. Despite the title, the film is neither a scare-fest or a comedy spoof, even with Casey Affleck wandering around with a sheet over his head. Instead the plot (which was also written by Lowery) sees a man return to his home after a fatal accident, taking the form of a Scooby-Doo-type ghost, and trying to connect with his emotionally devastated wife. It’s a quirky Indie production with serious themes exploring love, loss, and the enormity of existence. The film premiered at Sundance this year and currently has a rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes with a lot of positive feedback. Lowery is able to shift between Indie films (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) and more mainstream fare, as proven when he recently made the live-action Pete’s Dragon for Disney. Even so, his love for the Turtles remains a little surprising and admirably honest.
Whilst speaking to Uproxx, Lowery indicated the difficulties in getting A Ghost Story made and convincing the leads Affleck and Rooney Mara of his vision with the story. He also asks that people don’t make memes of Mara’s 5-minute pie-eating sequence. However, when talk turns to the Turtles, he says:
“I would do a Ninja Turtles movie … I thought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze was the best movie ever when that came out. I went back and watched that and I was like, oh man, I feel so bad for my parents for having to sit through this three times with me. I bought the soundtrack on cassette …”.
When asked about the most recent Turtles movies, he adds “I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first one, but had high praise for the sequel, The second one actually felt like a literal recreation of the cartoon. It was so true to the cartoon. Even with Krang flying away at the end, saying, “I’ll be back” – like shaking his tentacle at them. It was so goofy, but I liked it”
With many auteurs and Indie filmmakers spurning mainstream cinema, it’s actually refreshing to hear those candid and unashamed quotes from a respected director. Away from the green characters though, Lowery wants to continue to surprise the audiences with his work. His ultimate aim is produce a film that misses festivals and publicity drives, and yet still gets positive word of mouth and box-office when it arrives on cinema screens. “The Cloverfield movies I guess are the closest where that’s happened“, he says. Hopefully the response to A Ghost Story will increase his reputation, as will his next projects, the comedy drama Old Man and the Gun, and another live-action Disney remake of Peter Pan. In the meantime, we’re tempted to keep an eye out for Lowery’s reboot of the Turtles, as unlikely as that is.
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