The Part Of 65 That Adam Driver Preferred Over The Action, The Sci-Fi, And The Dinosaurs

Opening up opposite two proven franchises in Scream and Creed seemed like it might present a problem for Adam Driver’s sci-fi thriller 65. Outside of the lead actor’s presence, and his reputation for playing Kylo Ren in three Star Wars movies, 65 didn’t have a ton to hang its hat on. It was original sci-fi. It had a clever premise. And it had a killer Super Bowl commercial that revealed 65 to be a dinosaur movie. Awesome. But the movie surprised analysts by making north of $12 million in its opening weekend, falling short of Scream 6 and Creed 3, but still doing well for a mid-budget adventure. And Adam Driver thinks he might know why the story appealed to a wider audience. 

We spoke with Adam Driver on behalf of 65, which also did well with critics heading into the weekend. In the film, he plays a space pilot on a lengthy transport mission whose ship encounters an unexpected asteroid field, causing him to crash land. We eventually learn that he has landed on Earth… only, 65 million years ago. But at the heart of 65 is the story of a father in distress about possibly never seeing his family again, and doing everything possible to protect a surrogate daughter (Ariana Greenblatt) he finds on his ship. I asked Driver, himself a father, if those aspects of the production and the character appealed to him even moreso than the action sequences, and he told CinemaBlend:

Yeah, no, I mean, that’s why I am interested in doing these things. The spectacle is obvious. What’s exciting about it, is that there’s not a lot of dialogue, it’s really physical, there’s laser guns, there’s dinosaurs. But I like being a part of movies where the spectacle is nice, but it’s second to what the story is. And if you don’t care about the people, then obviously, you’re not going to care if they’re in danger. And to be able to do something on a big scale that a lot of people can see. You know, that’s a family movie that you can watch with your kids, (but) it has these big themes of people processing grief. And he’s been alone, you know, for a long time with just his thoughts on a ship. And she is processing grief in real time and they kind of become a found family at the end. I thought that was a really ambitious thing. They’re not what we consider cipher characters that are just placeholders for plot. They actually are… there’s something emotional going on.

More March Movies

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4.

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

In addition to 65, several key movies are reaching theaters this month including Shazam: Fury of the Gods and John Wick: Chapter 4. Use our guide to Upcoming 2023 movies to stay up to date on all the newest releases. 

There has to be in a movie like 65. You can aspire to just be Jurassic Park meets Aliens, as the co-directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods described their film. But if you put in extra effort by properly developing your characters and giving them emotional stakes, then you can elevate above simple genre fare, and connect with a larger audience, as 65 did.

The official CinemaBlend review wasn’t crazy about 65. But I personally plugged in to the difficult journey facing Adam Driver’s character, and thought it was more compelling than just watching a soldier and pilot running around prehistoric Earth, staying away from dinosaurs. I’d hope that 65 would continue to find new audiences, and that is possible. But with Shazam: Fury of the Gods heading to theaters this weekend, expect competition for moviegoing eyeballs to only increase. So let’s see where things settle as box office plays out in March.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.