At Wonder Con, we were treated to a high-octane trailer for director Sylvain White’s adaptation of The Losers. Afterward, this Screen Ranter got to sit down and chat with the Losers themselves about the film, the Con experience, and other movies they have in the works (Robotech? Captain America? Geek out). You’ll be able to tell which questions are the ones I asked, because they are extremely nerdy.
As cast members Columbus Short (Death at a Funeral), Chris Evans (Scott Pilgrim), Oscar Jaenada (Trash), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, ) and director Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard) filed into the press room, the journalists were told in no uncertain terms by Ms. Saldana, “‘We were sweating Oscar all summer, you guys.”
Mr. Short added, “This is the coolest man you will ever meet.”
Mr. Jaenada proceeded to sit in absolute silence for the rest of interview, seemingly content to emit a never-ending wave of mystery. He may in fact be the coolest man you will ever meet.
From the get go, the camaraderie of the cast members was palpable, and the sit down was filled with as many inside-jokes and as much rapport as the audience had just seen during the panel. Along with a sharp and interesting visual style, the promise of a dynamic cast with great chemistry seems a guaranteed part of The Losers experience.
Many projects here have what could be diplomatically describe as a tenuous link to comic books. How does it feel to be a part of a project that is steeped in them?
Chris Evans: Comic books can suck it.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan: It’s great to be here. You know, this is a great world to be in, and as actors you get all these scripts and what’s great about it is, the stories are original. There’s this kind of ebb and flow in Hollywood, you get the same scripts over and over, every romantic comedy reads exactly the same, and in the world of graphic novels there’s originality there, and some great characters.
Zoe Saldana: You get to expand your craft and be more creative.
JDM: Yeah! So it’s way groovy to be here, we’re all happy to be here, or we wouldn’t have done the movie. That was a crazy question!
Sylvain White: I think particularly for me as a filmmaker, and a graphic novel fan since I was a kid, it’s an absolute delight to be here among my peers and present what I’ve done with a graphic novel that’s so cool like The Losers and that’s so original in tone. And I think that’s what Jeffrey’s saying, there’s a lot of derivative material out there and now graphic novels are kind of re-boosting Hollywood in that sense, kind of giving them original stories that are sort of untapped.
SW: There’s two things that I focused on that I knew worked extremely well in the graphic novel, the first thing is the tone: the graphic novel has a unique tone combining really gritty visceral action with a really strong humorous tone. The characters are really fun to navigate the action with, so that’s the first thing. The second thing is that aesthetically, the graphic novel is amazing. And I really wanted to reflect that in the movie.
You know you can’t necessarily replicate frames out of the graphic novel, I don’t think that helps anybody, but there’s certain things that I talked about with Jock in terms of the use of colors and the graphic design of the novel that I really wanted to translate into the movie, so we have a kind of comic book aesthetic, but it doesn’t hit you over the head with it. It sort of eases you into that world.
Jeffrey – how much of the original comic do you bring to the role?
JDM: With Watchmen, that was so kind of iconic, that needed to be exactly so close to the comic or people would have ripped us a new one. With this, this was a great foundation to use. For Sylvain, invaluable. For us as characters – invaluable! Because it gives you a really great place to start and jump off. Jock and Diggle did such a good job with defining these characters, and Sylvain allowed us as actors to kind of take what we gathered out of those graphic novels and bring to life what we thought of those particular characters, and relationships, and so we got to play around a little bit more than say I did in Watchmen.
Chris, could you talk about your connection to comic books?
CE: I’m not a big comic book reader, I don’t really have a big history and a love for comic books, I didn’t grow up reading them. But they’re fantastic for films! I was saying earlier in the giant room that they’re great for films in the sense that it’s an intangible thing, you have all these different creative people coming together, trying to make something, and the director is the quarter back, trying to bridge the gap of all these different artists, together, with words.
And a lot of times the message can be lost in translation, not all the time, but the beautiful thing about comic books are, even movies based on novels, you have like a blueprint. You have a tangible thing to say this is the world we’re going for, especially in comic books, you have like a color palette, you have a visual home base to kind of root yourself in. As an actor, it’s knowing at least that the people that are behind the visual element of the film have this kind of blueprint to work off of, and as an actor you have something to go off of too, so it’s a treat, it’s always nice working off a comic book because you know what you’re getting into beforehand.
Chris – CAPTAIN AMERICA CAPTAIN AMERICA CAPTAIN AMERICA? (This question paraphrased from necessity due to a glitch in the audio.)
CE: [Flummoxed sound that defies transcription]. Aaaaah, I don’t know, I really don’t know. It was… eeh. It was just. Ah.
[The other cast members collapse into laughter.]
CE: I think Marvel is doing a lot of good things right now. And it’s a fun character – I think, even if it wasn’t a comic book, I think just the story of Steve Rogers is great, he’s a great guy. Even if it was just a script about anybody, I would wanna do it. It wasn’t necessarily about the comic itself, it was about –
ZS: It was about the tights.
CE: Any time I can get in blue tights. Um – it’s just, he’s a great character to play. Just so happens to be a comic book.
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