Adam Green ready to go with “KILLER PIZZA”

Originally posted on 2010-09-03 16:28:32 by Trevor Parker

Fango recently spoke at length with writer/director Adam Green (pictured) about his upcoming HATCHET II, for a two-part magazine interview that begins in issue #297 (on sale this month). In the course of our chat, he also discussed his next project, an adaptation of Greg Taylor’s YA horror novel KILLER PIZZA.

Green just began scripting the film—when he has found time between festival and promotional duties for his slasher sequel. “KILLER PIZZA is a dream project,” he says. “Now, I get called in for these bigger studio movies all the time, and that has always been a question for people, like, ‘Why do you keep making these smaller movies, why haven’t you done anything big yet?’ On the big ones, you really get put through such hell, and there hasn’t been anything I’ve believed in enough to go through all that. I’m very, very lucky that I have my own production company [ArieScope Pictures] and I can make my own movies. You know, I’m the son of a gym teacher from Boston, Massachusetts. My family was dirt poor and I had nothing, and now I have my own company and make my own movies?

“And they aren’t these big tentpole releases, they’re my movies and they’re how I want them to be,” he continues. “So when I get a call for the remake of… [Pause] I better watch what I say here, so let’s say I get a call for the remake of HATCHET, and they’re like, ‘But we don’t want Victor Crowley to be in it!’ That’s what you’re up against with these remakes. Yeah, I could do a $30-million movie with $50 million in ad support that’s going to open huge, but is it worth it to spend two years of my life going through so much shit when I can just go off and make FROZEN? Now I’m at a point in my life where money doesn’t dictate my choices, and I can do what my heart wants to do. Very few people get to live like that, so the idea of a big studio movie hasn’t been worth it.”

Green got involved with KILLER PIZZA when GREMLINS’ Chris Columbus, who’s producing the film through his 1492 Pictures, sent him a copy of Taylor’s book, in which a teenager takes a summer job at the title eatery, which proves to be a front for a monster-fighting organization. “Chris and 1492 are producing [Green’s romantic comedy] GOD ONLY KNOWS, so for a couple of years now I’ve had a very good friendship with them. On everything I’ve done, they’ve been supportive and very much behind me. So with KILLER PIZZA, I was actually on my way to Pixar, because Pixar wanted to do a screening of FROZEN for their staff…”

Wait a minute—Pixar, the company behind so many all-ages blockbusters, wanted to see Green’s intense and graphic cold-survival thriller? “Yeah; to date, it’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me. I was at Sundance, and at the end of a FROZEN screening, all these people were coming up and handing me their business cards, and one guy said, ‘We’d love to have you come out to the company, show your movie and then talk about your character development and your dialogue. I really believe our employees could benefit.’ I looked at the card and it was f**king Pixar! I said, ‘Are you serious?’ and he was like, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll fly you in for the day.’ It was like every kid’s dream; I got to see animatics for CARS 2, the new short that’s playing with TOY STORY 3, everything. Then they showed FROZEN for their whole campus and I did a two-hour Q&A. The whole time I was just laughing and saying, ‘You guys are the greatest storytellers in the world, why the f**k do you care what I think?’

“Anyway, it was on the flight back from San Francisco that I read KILLER PIZZA,” he continues, “and I thought it had all the heart of a GOONIES or a MONSTER SQUAD, like the Amblin movies I grew up loving. And Chris, between GREMLINS and GOONIES, he’s the guy for that stuff, and the fact that he wants to do something like that again on a big-studio level, and he picked me, it’s the most flattering thing. I mean, if I could talk about this with my 10-year-old self, I never would have believed it. So I went in and gave Chris my take on the book, which was very different from what was on the page. I took the basic story and changed everything to make it more cinematic, and they went for it.

“So, we made the deal, I’m writing it and at this point it looks like I’ll be directing it—but only when I’m actually on set will I be able to say for sure. I’ve seen so many things just go away for the weirdest reasons. You just never know. But KILLER PIZZA is the one I’ve been holding out for, and I know I’m the right guy for it. And I’ve got the right support, because I’m making it with people who are my friends and who believe in me, and who are going to defend my vision. It’s by far the most exciting thing in my life right now—besides getting married, of course! And when people ask about a HATCHET III, I feel like I want to do this kind of stuff right now. If I can get to a point where I can do a KILLER PIZZA or a Disney movie, and in between I can get to do something I really love like HATCHET III, I’d like to do it that way. It has been very confusing for my agents and lawyers… That’s the other weird thing that happens when you become successful; all of a sudden you have people, which I think is hilarious. You go to these meetings, see everybody sitting there and think, ‘What the f**k do you even do?’ [laughs].”

Check out the teaser trailer for HATCHET II, which opens October 1, here.

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