A Weekend of Firsts…

Firsts hit the box office this “first” weekend in March.

Rango, an animated feature about an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff, was the first cartoon feature directed by Gore Verbinski (he is known for directing the Pirates of the Caribbean series starring Johnny Depp). It was also the first full-length work of animation created by Industrial Light & Magic, the pioneering special-effects film company.

It was competing with The Adjustment Bureau, the Matt Damon and Emily Blunt thriller that was directed by first-timer, George Nolfi. He cut his teeth as a writer (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Sentinel, and Ocean’s Twelve). A New York Times article, talked about why Mr. Damon agreed to star in the movie despite Mr. Nolfi’s lack of directing experience. He said it was because of “The Bourne Ultimatum,” where parts were rewritten at the last minute.

“Once I watched George problem solve on the fly like that, I knew he could do anything,” Mr. Damon said. The story also noted how good experiences with Mr. Nolfi on the Bourne franchise also contributed to Universal’s willingness to entrust him with such an ambitious project.

So you have two creative movies where studios took a “fashion risk” that had a lot to do with the relationship the directors had with their lead actor. That’s pretty impressive.

And speaking of risks, Rango is NOT in 3-D. Mr. Verbinski told the Times “Rango” is a film where I could sit down by the fire and tell you the story. It didn’t feel organic (for it to be 3-D).

Hopefully the break from formula, and the return to a focus on storytelling, will find lasting audiences.


Enjoyed this read? Want more ponderables?

Sign up to our mailing list!

Our weekly DragonBustR Reader will provide you with a nice snapshot of what’s new and ponderable at Jedemi. Plus, you will get updates on The Jedemi Chronicles (Trilogy & Series).


Speak Your Mind