Looper Director Says Shakespeare, David Bowie And Harrison Ford Inspired His Story

Writing about Looper poses its own set of unique challenges. And I’m not just talking about describing the nature of the time travel that is essential to the film’s plot. I’m more referencing the motivations behind primary characters played by Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt. You might know who they are, based on trailers amd clips teased by Sony. But to truly understand how their fates align in Rian Johnson’s movie is, quite honestly, to ruin Rian Johnson’s movie.

We don’t want that to happen. We’ve tried to let Looper stars like Joseph Gordon Levitt and Emily Blunt explain the story in their own words, so as not to spoil the film’s various surprises. But we’d also like to point out this in-depth feature the New York Times Magazine ran on Looper ahead of the film’s release. Bookmark it, and come back to it after you’ve seen Johnson’s film to learn about the influence Shakespeare (particularly Macbeth), T.S. Eliot, David Bowie, and Harrison Ford’s Amish thriller Witness had on his narrative structure for Looper.

And don’t be surprised if you absorb a number of European influences during your Looper screening. As Johnson explains, most of the city scenes he conceived and penned for the movie happened while he was living in Belgrade, Serbia and nursing a bruised heart over a girl he actively pursued. That helps explain the deeply romantic subplot coursing through Looper that gives Willis a motivation to … well, you see? I’m saying too much. See Looper for yourself when it opens on Sept. 28. Then hit the Web and read up on the influences of this unconventional thriller. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.