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If you’re like me, you were left scratching your head in wonder at the news that Tarsem Singh, who is currently directing an untitled Snow White project, was going to make a Greek God fantasy film. His previous films, The Cell and The Fall, had slight elements of fantasy but everything has always been grounded in reality. More to the point, the director does next to no special effects in post-production, so why would a movie about Greek Gods, a film that will most definitely be laden with post effects, appeal to someone like Tarsem?
Well, in an interview with SFX, he admits that the script initially did not appeal to him. However, Tarsem explains how over time ideas were drummed up that would allow him to shape the movie into something interesting, something he wanted to be a part of.
I’ve been an atheist since I was nine years old. And my mom is really religious, so we have a strange relationship. But if my mother was right, what would be the reason that the gods could let anything bad happen in the world? I took two or three months and I came up with a reason that I thought was enough and I went with it: if there is a God he’s definitely not benevolent. We should mean less to him than ants. And if there is a God or there are gods they would value, more than anything, free will.
Singh goes on to explain why this free will is important in his film, and how it would be affected if gods just showed up at your doorstep. Though, he does it with some panache...
If a God showed up tomorrow, we’d go, ‘Oh my fucking God, he’s amazing…’ and our free will would be compromised. The example I always give is, I’d have a very hard time taking a Barely Legal magazine and masturbating in a bathroom if I knew that Jesus could walk in. Your true nature doesn’t come out. So the gods let you do what you want because free will would be compromised if they showed up at the White House saying, ‘Take us to your leader.’
That’s one way to get your point across. So his ideas were molded from something that he thought would be boring to something that he would be proud to put his name on. The studio, Relativity, liked his ideas and themes so much that they agreed to let him make the movie he wanted to make.
Now the only question left is, will this movie actually be great, or will it tumble like Clash of the Titans? So far, Immortals looks like it will be a pretty excellent, if nothing else entertaining, film. Tarsem creates some of the most beautiful visuals and does it effect-free. There’s no reason not to expect that some sort of visual beauty when Immortals hits on 11-11-11.