Monster - Still 3

Is this the beginning of a film career, or did you just want to tell this one story and then get back to music videos?

Anthony: Yesterday I announced my next movie. I’m making a film called Man of Cloth, back with Bron and myself producing, written by Joshua Zetumer, a very prolific writer. I’m actually doing a bit of scouting in two weeks in Australia.

Is that based on another book?

Anthony: It’s based on a couple books. The backdrop is 1780s England and Botany Bay Penal Colony, Australia. Yeah, it’s a big-scope, sweeping tale. It’s about a farmer/preacher whose wife and son get sentenced to life in prison in Botany Bay for stealing in that era, and he goes down there to basically help save them and steps into just absolute chaos of the new land. It’s a really crazy, violent, interesting film about a cultural war and an ethnic war between the Aboriginals and the British, and what happens to his wife and son. It’s like watching a man hit every stair on the way down to losing everything, and what does he do. It’s really unique. I read it nine years ago. It’s really raw and really emotional. It’s fucked up. It’s exciting. It’s like the polar opposite of Monster.

Have you cast anyone yet? 

Anthony: We’re in casting right now. I’ve been offered like 10 movies in the genre [as Monster] already.

And you have other avenues you want to explore.

Anthony: Yeah. I developed a movie about Vlad the Impaler with Plan B for three years. I’ve been on different movies, but they’re always about central male characters going through very disruptive moments. That’s the work I’m interested in.

Were there any films or filmmakers that were particularly useful to you in constructing your vision for Monster

Anthony: [Sidney] Lumet and Kids [from director Larry Clark]. Those are the two.

There is so much Lumet in this. Any particular Lumet films?

Anthony: All of them. Pounding the drum at you, throttling you, and pushing. I always feel like Lumet shoved you. His style pushed you and drove you, and you were on this ride, and that’s what I wanted, while being forced to think and feel. Obviously, stylistically, we make different movies than we did in the ’70s, but we wanted that courtroom to feel really photographic, and there was a lot of stillness in the movie and talking heads.

[Noticing that Ethan Hawke is sitting just behind Mandler] You say “Lumet,” and I look over your shoulder and see someone who starred in his last movie. Ethan Hawke is behind you, and he was in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.

Anthony: Such a shame that one, such a shame. Him and [Sydney] Pollack. It’s like so crazy the two of them died just a few year apart.

What does it mean to be here with this movie, and getting that reaction last night? What does it just mean to have your first movie out of the gate play Sundance?

Anthony: Incredibly grateful to the festival and blessed, and everybody that’s a part of Sundance. They’ve just been so supportive of us and given us our platform to show this movie at the highest level of American cinema that we have.

Do you have a distributor yet?

Anthony: [laughs] I’m looking at my phone. It’s all starting.

Have you been here before, Kelvin?

Kelvin: No, it’s my first time. I was in The Birth of a Nation and Mudbound, but I never came out, so this is my first time. It’s been super fun, very different.

Anthony: I didn’t know you were in Mudbound. I missed you. Where are you?

Kelvin: Yeah, I missed me too [laughs]. I was in the war scenes. I was there for two weeks, in the movie for two seconds.

Anthony: Where’d they shoot, in Louisiana?

Kelvin: We went to Budapest. I was in Budapest for two weeks. But the rest was shot in New Orleans, yeah.

Anthony: It went to Budapest to shoot the World War II scene? I’m not mad; I got a free trip [laughs].

Anthony: With who, Garrett [Hedlund]?

Kelvin: No, with Jason [Mitchell].

Anthony: He’s great. Amazing.

I just ran into him a couple days ago. He’s here. 

Anthony: He’s in what film?

It’s called TYREL.

Anthony: It’s sort of like Get Out-y though, right?

I can see why people would say that, but it’s not quite that.

Kelvin: Is he in Sorry to Bother You too?

Lakeith Stanfield is the lead in Sorry to Bother You.

Anthony: How is that?

It’s aggressive and energetic. It actually reminds me of Spike Lee’s first three movies, just going for broke. Yeah, that’s a good one. 

Anthony: We’ve got to try to get tickets to that, Sorry to Bother You.

Well best of luck with this.

Anthony: Thanks for appreciating the work.

Kelvin: Thanks, man.

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