Sharknado: The 4th Awakens - Season 2016

What was the decision to skip ahead five years and not immediately deal with the cliffhanger on the beach?

I think that came from Syfy originally which I thought was good. It’d be very hard to have Fin Shepard running around with a newborn baby. Just production-wise, that would’ve made our lives a lot of hell. But I also think it was one of those things where we talked about what can we do that’s different? I think I discussed this a lot of times. Why isn’t the government or someone figuring out what to do with these tornados and stuff? Given five years, I think someone would’ve figured it out and it wouldn’t be the government. It ended up being a Steve Jobs dude.

Did it give you a chance to address the commodification of sharknado, since everyone knows about them now?

I can’t remember when this line came up but it kind of summed it up. We’ve established that sharknados are a threat and that they’re not sharks, they’re not tornados, it’s just this anomaly that they’re attracted to each other and they exist. If you eliminate one of the elements, because there were a couple instances we talked about. My pitch was, they rounded up all the sharks and put them in Guantanamo Bay basically. The only way they thought they could stop this was to corral them. The thing is, that’s kind of a little unrealistic. In dealing with sharknado, thinking you could get every single shark, and it is a big crazy concept but we also are crazy and weird. The thing that really made more sense was what if they could neutralize the tornados? Because then you’re not really hurting the sharks, you’re not killing the sharks. You’re not doing something horrible to them, even though we do in every film. In just the broad scope, there still is this real world that exists in the movie and I don’t think the public would be very happy corralling sharks. That would be a different political statement in the film. So neutralizing tornados made the most sense and again, it would make sense that it was an outside source to figure out how to do that. Now it’s an even playing field and nature starts going, “Hey, I can create a sandnado and here’s an oilnado.” And the sharks survive in it because it’s sharknado sharks. It’s like Two-Face in Batman. On one hand, we’re going we’re completely ridiculous and crazy, and yet there are moments of lucidity where we go, “Yes, but in reality we can’t do that. That would be horrible.” We try to have our cake and eat it too sometimes.

How did it feel to hear Wayne Newton sing “The Ballad of Sharknado?”

That actually was very cool. We were in Vegas and we found out Wayne Newton was going to be in it. I go, “We’ve got to get him to sing ‘Ballad of Sharknado.’” So I had to send him the song with the lyrics and he said, “I’ll do it!” Basically 30 minutes before we were going to shoot, I sat there and taught him how to sing the song. I think we have a video clip of me singing it with him. That’s just so surreal when those moments like that happen. Making movies is the thing I set out to do. I love making movies. Music is an important part of all of this but it also is sort of a hobby. When you write something that transcends just being a hobby, it’s kind of neat.

And technically, you are now a shared universe with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, aren’t you?

Yeah, yeah, I guess MGM’s going to have to pair up with us with that. I heard that Bill Moseley was mad that we didn’t have him play Chop Top in the movie. I feel horrible. I think we tried reaching out to him but how fast we move, it’s one of those things. Okay, we’re shooting this on Tuesday and it’s Sunday night. That’s not a whole lot of time to get a hold of people and negotiate and do all that stuff. If we can’t get ahold of someone it goes past, so I have to make it up to Bill Moseley. Bill, if you’re out there and you’re reading this, we love you and we would have loved you in this movie but we will find a way to pay you back.

When April said, “Come with me if you want to live,” was it her idea to pause?

Yeah, we knew we wanted to do a few of those lines. It’s so tricky because we don’t want them to ape the other movies. We want them to feel organic, but they sort of veer into that. She did that a couple different ways. We had her doing it very big and very small. I think that was the best one.

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