Origin Trailer

Did you get to design the ship?

Yeah, from the bolts upwards. I sat down with my production designer, Ed Thomas, and we pretty much drew the whole thing up. We wanted a spaceship that people hadn’t seen before. I think it’s a very well trodden past, spaceship designs, and certainly I’ve done it in the past. I felt when we designed the Event Horizon, we had a very distinctive looking spaceship. It’s one of the reasons why I hadn’t been into space again. I felt like I’d done a really great job with that movie and the look of that movie. It’s only recently that I’ve become interested again in going into outer space and started wondering about oh, if I did another space movie, what would the spaceship look like? How could we make it look different to anything people have seen before? Obviously it needs to have all the things that a spaceship has: rooms, corridors, a bridge. But I felt like there had to be a fresh take on all of that. I think emblematic of that and one of our key focal points in terms of design was the actual bridge or control room of the spaceship. When you think about it, bridges of spaceships have pretty much stayed the same since the 1950s. It’s always been this idea that the captain would sit in his or her chair and be surrounded by officers who would do things. There’d be a navigation officer, this officer, that officer. It’s a terribly outdated concept that still you see in science-fiction. The fact is we all fly around the world in aeroplanes where the pilots never touch the controls. Aircrafts are flown by computers now. They take off and they land and the pilots, unless it’s an emergency, will never touch the controls. So the idea that a spaceship is actually going to be operated manually by human beings is completely ridiculous. These spaceships are going to be probably built by computers and flown by computers. Humans really won’t have any interface with that. That’s what we tried to do with the design of the bridge on the Origin. We tried to give it a monolithic feel. It’s basically a series of service decks with very little way to interface with them. I always refer to it as a techno Stonehenge with the idea that primitive man, when he encounters technology, can obviously think that it is magic or it has a religious connotation. That’s what we were after with the control room on the Origin, was this semi-religious feel where man was presented as being quite primitive in comparison to the technology and had no idea, was kind of overwhelmed by the technology. That’s what we were trying to do with the imagery in that room. I think as a result, on the one hand it looks very, very different to anything you’ve seen on a spaceship before, but also it’s probably a lot more like what spaceships in reality will be.

I liked the retractable ladders too.

I’m glad you liked them. They were one of my little touches. I thought it was rather cool and unusual. It’s one of my favorite deaths in the show.

Were you any help to Mika in learning the realities of creating and shooting a show?

Yeah, it was a very exciting and collaborative relationship I have to say. She was very willing to change a lot of things. I think I definitely made a lot of things better and a lot of things I didn’t need to make better because I think she’s an excellent character writer. I definitely had a hand in terms of the staging and the pacing of things and the general retractable ladder-ness of it all, and certainly the look. But the show is her and I thought she did an amazing job. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to do it in the first place, was I read her scripts and thought this is really exciting. The idea of having this techno show that could be really scary but also is a great character study. To get to do one of these every single week, that’s an exciting prospect.

Was Monster Hunter a game you were obsessed with like you were Resident Evil?

I became aware of the game 10 years ago. I’ve been a long term fan of Monster Hunter before most people in the west even knew what it was. Partly because I spend a lot of time in Japan and I fell in love with the imagery of the game and started talking to Capcom about it nine years ago. It’s definitely a passion project of mine, nine years in the making.

Is it similar to Resident Evil in that you’re creating new, original characters like Alice was?

No, the movie has a lot of characters from the video game in it. There’s The Handler and Admiral, Aiden, Aiden’s Handler. We wanted Palico. It’s very much a movie of the video game, but in Monster Hunter you get to create your own character when you go in there. You don’t get to play Lara Craft or Jill Valentine. You get to play your own creation, and there is definitely an element of that in there. Some of the leading characters will be fresh characters but that’s a reflection of what the video game is. It’s definitely a movie that is firmly and fully entrenched in the world of the video game, as you would expect with me having worked with Capcom for nine years on adapting it and bringing it to the screen.

Do you get to realize all the monsters from the game or create any new ones?

Listen, I don’t need to create any new monsters. There’s such a vast array of amazing creatures over the years. We’re leaning quite heavily on the favorite creatures from Monster Hunter World which is the latest game, but we’re also bringing in what I think are some of the fabulous monsters from some of the earlier games and well, and some of the imagery from the earlier games. So I think for fans of Monster Hunter World, you’ll recognize that world and the characters from that world very much, but also it’ll be a callback to some of the favorite moments and creatures from some of the earlier games, which hopefully will get people excited to check out those earlier games as well because there’s some magnificent imagery and monsters in those earlier games as well that I think a lot of people who have just played Monster Hunter World may not be aware of.

Has Tony Jaa taught Milla Jovovich any of his martial arts so she can get up to some new tricks?

Tony Jaa is phenomenal. We’re having a complete love affair, the two of us. He’s amazing. He’s a lovely, lovely guy as well as being an amazing martial artist. He’s also a very accomplished comedic actor. He has great comedy timing. He’s bringing a wonderful warmth and humanity to his performance which I’m very excited about. He and Milla have just excellent chemistry. We have Ron Perlman turning up in a couple of weeks who’s playing The Admiral. He’s such a genre icon and I’ve been such a fan of his for such a long time, I can’t wait to start working with him. His character, The Admiral, is such a big part of the game, such a larger than life character. It’s great casting.

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