Posted on Wednesday, March 26th, 2008 by Hunter Stephenson
There was an instance where I was arrested at a student protest and it would have been great if Forest Whitaker had suddenly appeared to passionately articulate and argue my case to the police rather than the guy who yelled, “Dude! Run! No! Don’t!” Whitaker, who plays one of the main Wild Things in in the notoriously delayed and troubled Where the Wild Things Are, is backing the film’s director, Spike Jonze, and the flick 100 percent. Good to see, innit? So, is the film really too scary and mature for kids as test audiences have reported? Here’s what Whitaker, who saw the film with his children aged 9, 13, and 16, just told MTV…
“I play Ira, he puts the holes in the trees,” the Oscar-winner grinned. “I have a wife and kid, and we’re the only family unit inside [the land of the Wild Things]. It’s a good movie. I saw an early cut of it. I brought my kids to see it, and I was really impressed.”
And then he got all deep….
“[The dark scenes] are the point of the movie, and I hope that they maintain that point, because I think children can identify with a character who is upset. …[Max] rolls by himself, no father figure; this is a single family home,” he continued, with passion. “His mother ends up having a boyfriend that becomes like a monster to himâ€¦people have to build trust with the people their parent starts to dateâ€¦These are real issues that the character deals with, and I hope that [the filmmakers] continue to explore them, because kids need to see that; they need to see that other kids are dealing with it.”
“The thing is, it’s one thing to read [scary stuff] in a book, but when you see an itty-bitty kid running alongside a 10-foot-giant on the side of a cliff, it gets intense. But that’s the point, because we’re representing the things inside of the kid. They represent his struggles, either him being too angry or being confused, or not feeling like he belongs. They’re a gargantuan extension of the way he’s feeling inside.”
Whitaker said he’s going to give Jonze a ring and see what the deal is with the ambitious and pricey ($75 mill) kid’s film. As we previously reported, Warner Bros. has now a set the film’s release date for October 2009; you know, that’s only 19 months to go. Jonze hasn’t released any more statements for the picture after identifying the early test footage that hit the Net back in February to oooh’s, ahhh’s and hmmm’s. Let’s hope Warner Bros. takes the Oscar winner’s opinion into consideration, and don’t let your support fall by the wayside either.