A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend the press junket for Repo Men (which opens in theaters today, btw). The junket was held in the penthouse of the lovely Le Parker Meridien Hotel here in NYC and in attendance where Repo Men stars Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber and Alice Braga, along with director Miguel Sapochnik.
The topics of conversation ranged from the current health care debacle debate here in America, to updates from the stars themselves about the status of Wolverine 2 and Sherlock Holmes 2. Keep reading to find out what they had to say.
If you don't know the plot of Repo Men, here's a detailed synopsis:
In the future humans have extended their lives using highly sophisticated and expensive mechanical organs created and sold by a company called “The Union”. But if you don’t pay your bill, “The Union” sends its deadly repo men to reclaim its property – with no concern for your survival. Former soldier Remy is one of the best repo men in the business – however, when he suffers an injury on the job, he awakens to find himself fitted with the company’s top-of-the-line heart-replacement, as well as a hefty debt. When Remy can’t make his own payments, The Union sends its toughest enforcer and Remy’s former partner, Jake (Whitaker), to track him down.
Judging from that premise, you can easily see how the film would seem to be addressing the current turmoil over what some say is an out of control system of health care in the U.S. - a system motivated by greed rather than actually helping and healing citizens.
Well, sorry to burst your balloon, but Jude Law reminded us that Repo Men was actually filmed 2 1/2 years ago, a little too far back for this sci-fi/black comedy to be overly concerned with the political angle. Still, that didn't stop cast and director from addressing the obvious parallels:
Liev Schreiber: “I liked that they were trying to reference social and political issues 20 years into the future...Clearly it deals with the credit issue in a very dark way. And what’s so chilling about it is that it’s not too far from the truth. The idea that people are dying in this country for health care is real."
Jude Law: “It’s fortuitous that the world is as messed up as it is and references our movie...The more interesting thing to the film is how corporations will sell you things that are bad for you, because then they can sell you things that are good for you.”
Director Miguel Sapochnik wasn't too concerned with the politics of the film (and that's an understatement). He just thought it was a great story for the big screen and hopes the current cultural context (and the cranked up gore level of the film) will provoke people to either love it or hate it - so long as they don't remain ambivalent.
It'll be interesting to see how the cultural parallels affect Repo Men's box office - will people turn out for a film that is literally stabbing health care in the gut?
You can't have Liev Schreiber sitting in front of you without raising at least one question about Wolverine 2. It would be irresponsible of us as journalists!
Here's the update Schreiber had to share about his character Victor Creed's (Sabertooth) involvement in the Wolverine sequel:
I just had dinner with [Hugh Jackman] last night and he's read the first draft of the script and was really excited about it. It's still not...clear whether or not Victor will be present. In the Japan storyline as I remember it from the Wolverine comics, Victor wasn't there, right? So I don't know, of course I've got my fingers crossed because I love the character so much, to have the chance to do it again would be a lot of fun, but I'm not sure.
Schreiber later added that he 'missed his claws deeply.'
Hmmm... Wolverine 2 - Sabertooth or no Sabertooth? For sure Schreiber was one of the only things I enjoyed about Wolverine, so you'd think that having him back would be a no-brainer.
However, as our own Rob Keyes has stated, The disconnect between "Victor Creed" in Wolverine and "Sabertooth" in X-Men is already enough of a head-trip, continuity wise. Adding yet another level to Creed's history with Wolverine before those memories all get wiped away (again) by the start of Bryan Singer's X-Men film would be a dangerous stretch of plausibility. We'll keep you updated on how this issue develops.
SHERLOCK HOLMES 2
The oddest bit that came out of the Repo Men press junket was the news that Jude Law doesn't yet have Sherlock Holmes 2 locked into his schedule for 2010. Law of course starred as Dr. Watson opposite Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes, and the pair had great on-screen chemistry. It was previously announced that Holmes 2 will shoot this summer - so why was Jude saying the following?
"I think we are probably going to make another one...I haven't been given the absolute... it's not like next week but I think it's sometime this year is what I get."
OK, so no cause for MAJOR concern but still, you'd think Warner Bros. would have this thing locked down and ready to roll by now. Having one of your stars out there saying he "thinks" a sequel is going to be made doesn't exactly set the hype machine into motion. However, until we hear otherwise, expect Sherlock Holmes 2 to be underway this summer.
Repo Men opens today, March 19th. Be sure to check back for our official review.