Tom Cruise just started filming Top Gun: Maverick. When will he be able to do Live Die Repeat and Repeat?

It could be Tom’s movie after the Top Gun sequel, but nothing firm yet.

You have some very ambitious plans for it with time travel. Are you still going to make it accessible for people who didn’t see the first one?

Oh yeah, of course. That’s essential.

Does time travel help because you can literally show what happened before?

Or what happened before is only minimally relevant. I don’t want to spoil it but you don’t need to have seen the first film. There will be moments from the first film that will make appearances in this but not as a “hey, you need to watch the previous episode to follow this one.” It’s a complete story in its own right.

Do you feel vindicated by the title Live Die Repeat and Repeat since Live Die Repeat became the preferred title of the first movie?

Yes. Yeah, for sure.


How did you get movie quality visual effects for Impulse?

I really wanted to do something different than Jumper. I had this idea that when you first start doing something, you’re so sloppy at it, whatever it is. I just was in China filming and one evening I took a dumpling making class. The Chinese person teaching was making perfect dumplings. Mine were these big hard messes. Take anything, learn to play tennis, your balls are gonna go every which way. They’re going to hit people. They’re not going to land perfectly on the court. That would be true of teleportation. I really was interested in pursuing that and being like how messy would it be? The key to action and visual effects is to have a really strong point of view about it and a specific point of view about it. That’s the bulk of the work. If you can give the action people and the visual effects people a really clear, fresh, new idea, they’ll run with it and you’ll get effects that are movie quality. Mostly what movies have is they have the good ideas. Or they hire the really smart people who help you come up with the good ideas. They have the budget to do that. I feel like what we had going for us on Impulse was such a cool approach to what teleportation would look like. That suddenly leads to really interesting story because the moment you make it big and sloppy and messy and violent, people around you can get hurt. Suddenly you have a whole storyline of somebody who’s put into a wheelchair by her. I’ve always benefited from focusing on details and I’ve always gotten story out of it.

Is that a problem with some of the tentpole movies where their effects are too perfect and we don’t believe it? If they were a little bit messier, it would seem more like real life?

Exactly. That’s the big idea is the messiness of it. Part of why the car chases in Bourne feel so real is because they’re messy. That was the mandate. I said I don’t want it to look like James Bond. James Bond is so perfect, it could be generated by a computer. These days, if you’re doing a Bond car chase, you might as well do it with computer generated cars. It would be safer. It would look the same or better. But if you’re doing a Bourne Identity car chase, you’ve got to do it for real and you’ve got to smash those cars up. You can’t fake that. A computer can’t do that yet. It’s more visceral and exciting for the audience, especially an audience that’s used to watching action on YouTube now. That’s who I’m competing against. When I’m designing an action sequence, I’m watching stuff on YouTube because people are going out there and doing outrageous stunts and filming themselves. Our audience, obviously in Impulse we’re actually on YouTube, but even if someone’s going to the movie theater to see one of my movies, when they’re not in the movie theater they’re watching stuff on YouTube.

What were you shooting in China?

I was shooting a commercial in China.

Oh, so not your next movie.


If YouTube goes ahead with a second season of Impulse would you direct more?

Yeah, I wanted to direct more in the first season. It’s just because I was shooting Chaos Walking, I wasn’t able to. Lauren’s scripts were so amazing that I was jealous of other people getting to go shoot them. We have a really cool idea for season two that was so cool I wanted to put it in season one. It really didn’t make sense but I want to be the one to put it on screen.

So you won’t be a hands off showrunner?

No, it’s too personal. This show is way too personal.

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