jonas-cuaron interview

Desierto is Jonás Cuarón‘s sophomore effort as a filmmaker. The co-writer of Gravity made his directorial debut in 2007 with Year of the Nail, a movie he wrote, produced, shot, co-edited, and did the art design for. He had slightly fewer jobs to do on his second feature, but that doesn’t mean it was less of a challenge to make, thanks to some brutally hot weather.

But harsh weather conditions hardly compares to what the characters in Desierto experience. Cuarón’s lean thriller, which is almost more of a horror movie at times, follows a group of men and women illegally crossing the US-Mexico border, hoping to find better lives in the States. Most of the people Moises (Gael García Bernal) is traveling with are killed at the start of the film by a lone gunman (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a deadly racist who ends up in a game of cat and mouse with Bernal’s character.

Cuarón recently made the time to discuss crafting his thriller with us. Below, read our Jonás Cuarón interview, in which he discusses the film’s unnerving use of sound, a horrific death scene, movies that inspired the thriller, the Zorro film he’s directing, and the significance of Steven Spielberg‘s Duel.

Below, read our Jonás Cuarón interview.

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Gael García Bernal in Desierto

Jeffrey Dean Morgan‘s got villainous swagger to spare, as anyone who’s seen his introduction in The Walking Dead can attest. And this fall he’ll put it to good use on the big screen in Desierto.

Produced by Alfonso Cuarón and directed by his son Jonás CuarónDesierto stars Morgan as a gun-toting vigilante who drives out to the U.S.-Mexico border, looking for migrants to use as human target practice. One morning, he sets his sights on a group of border-crossers led by Moises, played by Gael García Bernal, and a tense cat-and-mouse game ensues. Watch the Desierto trailer below.  Read More »

Gael Garcia Bernal in Mozart in the Jungle

The new Zorro has a new Zorro. Gael García Bernal has been cast as the legendary swashbuckler in Z, a futuristic reboot to be directed by García Bernal’s Desierto director Jonás Cuarón. (Because they don’t have Rs or Os in the future, I guess?) García Bernal was previously attached to an earlier iteration of this project which was in development several years ago.  Read More »

jonas cuaron zorro movie

It’s been a decade since The Legend of Zorro came and went, ending Antonio Banderas’ run as the famed masked hero. Since then, reports of a new movie starring the iconic swordsman have arrived like clockwork, only for the actual film to fail to materialize. Remember when Gael Garcia Bernal was supposed to play Zorro in a futuristic riff on the character called Zorro Reborn that would have taken place in the post-apocalypse? Meanwhile, a completely different Zorro movie has been in development at Sony for a few years now.

Now, word has come down that Jonas Cuarón, the co-writer of Gravity and the director of the upcoming Desierto, has been been tasked with resurrecting that futuristic Zorro tale with Z, which is one of those weird titles that seems oddly embarrassed of the character it’s representing. Just call it Zorro, guys.

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desierto trailer 2

Is there anything more inherently cinematic than a good old fashioned “cat and mouse” story? One character wants to kill another. That other wants to stay alive at all costs. Put them in an interesting setting, ratchet up the emotional stakes, and watch humanity boil over for two hours or so.

Desierto, the feature directorial debut of Jonás Cuarón, son of Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón, looks familiar and fresh in all of the right ways. The mouse is a Mexican migrant played by Gael Garcia Bernal. The cat is a vigilante with a rifle and a willingness to pull the trigger played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Their maze is the arid desert of the American southwest.

Check out the new Desierto trailer after the jump.

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Gael Garcia Bernal in No

Jonás Cuarón‘s last team-up with his father Alfonso Cuarón resulted in the smashingly successful Gravity. So it’s no surprise that his next film Forsaken, which also involves his dad, is being billed as a “de facto prequel to Gravity.” Even though, as far as we can tell, Forsaken doesn’t actually have anything to do with Gravity.

But that’s okay, because Forsaken sounds pretty interesting in its own right. Formerly titled Desierto, the chase thriller sends Gael García Bernal on a dangerous journey across the Mexican desert. Get more details after the jump.

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Aningaaq-1

In Gravity, only a few moments that are not focused entirely on the experience of Sandra Bullock‘s character Dr. Ryan Stone. One takes place when Stone attempts to contact help via radio, only to contact someone completely unable to assist her. The conversation, while divided by a language barrier, is deeply moving, as Stone and the man hundreds of miles away achieve a strange connection.

The film’s co-writer, Jonas Cuarón, made a short film, Aningaaq, depicting the other side of that conversation. You can watch it in full below. Read More »

THR-writer-Roundtable

One of the highlights of each new Oscar season is the set of roundtable discussions created by THR. In each of these, the trade gathers a set of people involved in various films likely to be highlighted in the awards season, and just allows them to talk about making movies. They can be pretty great, especially since one byproduct of awards season is a tendency to talk about superficialities rather than substance, and these talks can really dig into the meat of making movies.

Here’s the new 50-minute screenwriting roundtable, featuring George Clooney and Grant Heslov (Monuments Men), Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), John Ridley (12 Years A Slave), Danny Strong (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Jonas Cuaron (Gravity). Read More »

Aningaaq

(Note: Spoilers for Gravity follow.)

Alfonso Cuarón‘s Gravity doesn’t really need extra frills to make it better, but a companion short film directed by Cuarón’s son and co-writer Jonás Cuarón could enhance the experience all the same. “Aningaaq” revisits a key scene from the feature in which Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) happens to make contact with someone on Earth — only from the perspective of the Inuit fisherman (played by Orto Ignatiussen) on the other side.

The short didn’t play in front of U.S. screenings of Gravity, unfortunately, but it could get some added attention as the Oscar race heats up for both it and Gravity. In a recent interview, the Cuaróns took the time to explain “Aningaaq,” and how it came about. Hit the jump to see what they had to say.

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Briefly: In the wake of the success of Gravity, co-writer Jonás Cuarón has a new deal, and it will take him to the depths of the ocean rather than the outer reaches of Earth’s atmosphere.

Cuarón will script The Lost City, a film Warner Bros. has in development about Atlantis. It’s a project the studio once wanted Peter Jackson tot tackle, but given how well Gravity has done, the younger Cuarón seems like a good choice. Not much is known about what story the film will tell, other than that it will be “a new take on the mythical underwater kingdom.” Akiva Goldsman is one of the producers, with Torry Tunnell and Joby Harold from Safehouse Pictures.

In addition, Cuarón has his own directorial debut in the prepping stages: the thriller Desierto, set on the Mexican border, will star Gael Garcia Bernal and has Alfonso and Carlos Cuarón producing. [Variety]