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Last Witch Hunter Set Visit: Vin Diesel Rules the Underground

 

Vin Diesel stars in The Last Witch Hunter

What genre would you put this in? Action-adventure, horror?

EISNER: It’s a bit cross genre, which is always fun and always a challenge. It’s not horror. It’s definitely more towards dark-adventure, although the action is slanted towards scaring, dark tension, tense action, rather than bombastic like Fast and Furious action.

Are the witches all female?

EISNER: No, no. There’s warlocks and witches and it’s pretty much an even mix. Some of our leads are female and some of our leads are male.

Is it black and white where the witches are decidedly bad or is it more of a gray area?

EISNER: Well, in Kaulder’s mind it starts out that the world is black and white and clearly, like anything, the world is never that simple and via his relationship with Chloe who happens to be a witch, he realizes that what he saw as black and white truly is a more world of grays, absolutely. Magic is good, magic is bad, magic is neutral, it’s neither good nor bad, it is part of the fabric of the world in our movie. It’s kind of the DNA of the planet. Definitely more in the world of grays, but the fun is watching the perspective of magic from our hero’s point of view shift as the movie goes via his relationship with the female lead.

ROSE LESLIE: My character... she is a witch. A good witch. Hopefully we like Chloe. And Chloe, she runs a bar...she has worked up her bar business, her dream…her concoctions, which allows one to escape, another witch into another realm and kind of see their past. So she has been able to build this business herself and that is how she and Kaulder first meet because he walks into her bar... She runs the memory bar.

JOSEPH GILGUN: She’s a drug dealer.

ROSE LESLIE: She’s a drug dealer. Exactly. Do not mess with her.

Vin Diesel and Rose Leslie in The Last Witch Hunter

JOSEPH GILGUN: [My wizard character] Ellic is mentally insane, not dissimilar to myself. He is a child killer. He has also murdered a priest. Ellic works on behalf of the queen... He’s a zealot....He’s a shapeshifter, so he’s an unusual one. He practices very old practices. Tends to shapeshift. So I think he becomes people he’s murdered, so he can become children he’s killed. He’s a total swine of the highest caliber. He’s a nasty bastard... He truly believes that what he’s doing is right, so sacrificing the children, killing the priest. I think he knows that it’s probably wrong by society’s standards, but he knows that he needs to get it done in order to pursue his sort of goal for this queen.

ROSE LESLIE: For you it’s a noble cause.

JOSEPH GILGUN: Yeah, absolutely. He’s quite a brave soul. But he does stand alone and what he’s doing is atrocious. So he’s the bad guy, basically, or one of the baddies.

Do you guys have a lore bible with all of the history in it?

CANTON: We have everything. We’ve created everything and we’re gonna continue to do that. The storyboards on this movie are fantastic. I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but Breck has…I’ve never seen such seamless storyboards from anyone. He really lays out the entire journey of the movie, and of course if you’ve met with [Vin] Diesel, which I think you did, right?

Yeah.

CANTON: I’m sure he told you that we’re looking forward to continuing this.

Vin Diesel in The Last Witch Hunter

That’s my question. Obviously, going in today we’ve heard how much lore has been built up then alluded to - and a little bit about what could be coming down the chain. This is a franchise starter. You don’t get somebody like Vin for something like that. Can you talk a little bit about maybe some of the plans you guys have been talking about?

CANTON: I’m sure Vin told you the plan. I don’t do that because my attitude is truthfully always you got to get the first one right. That’s my plan. My plan and the studio’s plan, and all of the filmmakers is to get the first one right so that we can go forward, but we definitely will end the movie with a sense of ‘there’s more to come’, so it’s been designed that way. I feel very confident about it. The quality of the crew, from the production design to the DP [Director of Photography], there’s so many high-end talented here that we’re sort of set upon to create something that will carry on with characters and a lot of surprises and stuff. I wouldn’t really want to talk about that because we don’t even want to tell people how this one’s gonna end. It’s good, we’re almost there, you know?

One more question about that. Is there a pressure at this point to always have that in mind when you start a movie like this?

CANTON: When you start a movie like this, yes. I just came back from New York because I had the diametrically opposed, my little movie called Cake which we just said we’re doing our Academy and Golden Globes and all of the screenings for Jenn[ifer] Aniston and Sunday night we had the Tastemakers screening in New York and it was like a hundred and fifty Tastemakers. This movie’s not about the Tastemakers. This movie’s about the core franchise audience, so of course with a movie like that it’s one end of the spectrum. With a movie like this…I don’t feel pressure. I’m very confident about it, but it’s a hard marketplace, so we have to get in between now these other humongous competitors and the studio has got to step up in marketing and distribution, but you know they’ve announced next October 23rd, and that’s a big date. So I think that was the first step in their relief, and of course they’ve had at Lionsgate fantastic success with Twilight and now with Hunger Games. I know they had the premiere last night in LA, I heard it went great. So they know how to definitely build and market a franchise, and that’s their intention with this.

Last With Hunter Poster

I know you guys said there’s going to be a graphic novel to accompany this. Is it going to come out ahead of the movie?

CANTON: Of course.

Do you guys have any idea on a timeline for that?

CANTON: We’re working on it. I’m not hiding from it, I don’t know the answer.

Do you guys know who you’re going to publish through? Are you going to do in-house?

CANTON: Lionsgate is organizing it. They haven’t signed the deal yet, but it’s a big place.

We were just talking about, before you came in here, how you guys need to do tie-in graphic novels to fill in the 800 years.

DIESEL: We are doing that. We are doing that. That was one of the first things we wanted to do, because there’s such rich story, this character gets to be your guide for the last millennium and in such an interesting way, such an interesting perspective. There’s so much depth to this movie, it’s fun on so many levels and it attempts to bring fantasy into kind of a very familiar modern-day setting. But because… [Laughs] Sorry guys I forgot what I’m saying, (people talking in the background)

The Last Witch Hunter will be in theaters on October 23rd.

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