THE MAKING OF THE TRIP TO ITALY (PART 2)

LONDON – Following on from PART ONE (Click here), we conclude the making of The Trip to Italy, considered one of the most difficult films ever made.

Michael Winterbottom:

Rob became very impatient with the film making process. For us to get the Batman meal we needed them to talk and eat for seven hours straight. They were both going out to vomit and then coming back again. Rob’s Michael Caine impersonation just wasn’t working, so at one point we decided just to get Michael Caine to come in and do ADR for us.

Steve Coogan:

To be fair we did use Rob’s script for the Batman dinner.

MW: Rob also wanted to have sex in the film as a way of making his character more interesting, but now it was Rob who was insisting on realism.

Rob Brydon:

The way I saw it was that if I was going to carry my own bag in the getting to the hotel scene, then when it came to the lovemaking I was going to damn well do that as well.

SC: He just became this egotistical monster. God knows what his wife is going to make of it when she sees the film. I mean it was very awkward.

MW: By the end of the production neither Rob nor Steve were talking to each other. As we moved south to Rome and then Naples, the weather got better but we increasingly had difficulty with organised crime. Some of the scenes were interrupted by gunfire and had to be totally redone. Also Don Cicco, a local heavy threatened to have Steve and Rob both assassinated if we didn’t include his son in the film. We quickly wrote a subplot in which Steve’s son comes to meet them and cast Don Cicco’s son.

SC: He didn’t speak a word of English so we just spoke around him and then over dubber everything. Which of course meant that along with being forced to use sections of Rob’s script that all the spontaneity of the original idea was totally gone.

RB: They didn’t just abandon my script they pissed on it. And I don’t mean that metaphorically. They took the script and in a scene reminiscent of  Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut they pissed on the script. That’s when I stabbed Steve.

MW: They had been fighting since the beginning. Physical fighting. They would kick each other under the table as we were filming. It was like Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, we had to put a wooden board to divide them under the table. But after the screenplay pissing incident, Rob actually stabbed Steve with a knife. We were re-enacting the revenge scene from The Godfather: Part 2 and Rob used a real knife.

SC: I felt what can only be described as a ‘stabbing pain’.

MW: We rushed him to hospital and fortunately we managed to get him stitched up. The scene worked perfectly so I kept it in, as a dream sequence. It became obvious though that the two couldn’t work together again.

SC: Not only will I never work with Rob Brydon again, if I ever have the opportunity to do him harm, I will do him harm.

RB: I don’t know why we shouldn’t do another one. We are after all artists and I’ve already started working on the script. I see a series like the ‘Road to…’ movies.  The next one is going to be called The Trip to Afghanistan.

The Trip to Afghanistan will be released in 2016.

For more of The Making of CLICK HERE.

THE MAKING OF THE TRIP TO ITALY (PART 1)

LONDON – Despite its apparent luxury, Michael Winterbottom’s Trip to Italy was actually a highly fraught production and for the first time the principals discuss what became known as the ‘the most difficult film ever made’.

Michael Winterbottom:

The first film was done in 2010, and originally it was a TV series which we then edited together as a film. We were very happy with the result and it was easy to do. There was good food, and Rob and Steve got along well. There was no script and so we just let them develop their characters and improvise. The idea of doing the same again but now in Italy felt like getting paid to go on holiday, but it soon all began to go horribly wrong.

Steve Coogan:

I’d worked with Rob and enjoyed his sense of humor and so I was very keen to make the sequel, but the moment we arrived in Italy things began to go wrong.

Rob Brydon:

I knew that Steve and Michael were both looking at this like a holiday, but I was deeply unsatisfied with the original film. I thought it was facile and I blamed the improvisational technique so this time I wrote a script.

MW: The script was five hundred pages long. Even if we had wanted to shoot it, which we didn’t, we would have gone over budget and over schedule. We’d still be there now.

RB: I don’t think they even read it.

SC: I didn’t read it.

MW: So already there were disagreements about how to proceed. We arrived in Piedmont and the weather was atrocious. It was the worst rainfall in the history of the region.

SC: It rained and rained and rained. Most of the outdoor shots you see were green screen. And the food was just disgusting. I hate pasta and Rob is allergic to garlic.

RB: At one point, I get out of the car and I get my bag. Now, what you don’t understand just watching the film is that that bag is actually full of my stuff and is quite heavy. Michael insisted I carry it myself, for realism he said. Something you understand that as a top flight comedian, I’m not used to doing. And Michael would insist on doing take after take after take. Sometimes as many as three takes.

MW: Rob became very impatient with the film making process. For us to get the Batman meal we needed them to talk and eat for seven hours straight. They were both going out to vomit and then coming back again. Rob’s Michael Caine impersonation just wasn’t working, so at one point we decided just to get Michael Caine to come in and do ADR for us.

SC: To be fair we did use Rob’s script for the Batman dinner.

MW: Rob also wanted to have sex in the film as a way of making his character more interesting, but now it was Rob who was insisting on realism.

RB: The way I saw it was that if I was going to carry my own bag in the getting to the hotel scene, then when it came to the lovemaking I was going to damn well do that as well.

SC: He just became this egotistical monster. God knows what his wife is going to make of it when she sees the film. I mean it was very awkward.

MW: By the end of the production neither Rob nor Steve were talking to each other. As we moved south to Rome and then Naples, the weather got better but we increasingly had difficulty with organised crime.

The Making of The Trip to Italy will conclude shortly.

For more of The Making of CLICK HERE.

STEVE COOGAN TO PLAY MORRISSEY

MANCHESTER – Actor, comedian and writer Steve Coogan is to play Morrissey the lead singer of legendary group The Smiths in the film version of Morrissey’s best-selling autobiography.

The Trip and Philomena star told Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

This for me is a real labour of love. We have a great script by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Danny Boyle, another Manc, is going to be directing. We are all huge fans. When we had the first meetings we just sat around talking about our favourite songs. Mine is The Boy with a Thorn in his Side, Frank loves Girlfriend in a Coma and Danny rather predictably likes How Soon is Now? I met Morrissey about five years ago and I was absolutely starstruck. I was speechless. Which was a first for me.  Ha ha. Because I talk so much usually.

With filming set to begin in December, what does Morrissey himself think of the film?

We had a few meetings with him, because of course we are adapting his book and so we wanted his input and he told us at the first meeting that he was happy about the film.

Happy?

His exact words were ‘I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour.’

Great.

Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now will be released in 2015.

PHILOMENA VS. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS FOR 2016

HOLLYWOOD – Oscar contenders Philomena starring Judi Dench and Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks are also going head to head in a new film mash up inspired by the Batman Vs. Superman superhero collision.

Paul Greengrass who will directed the new film said:

The Philomena universe and the Captain Phillips universe are actually the same universe, and so I got to thinking what if they actually met. The Irish mother with the long lost son could be returning from America by boat and she would meet Captain Phillips who would have taken the job as captaining the cruise ship as a way of recovering from his hostage ordeal. However, the brother of the dead Somali pirate is out for revenge. Will Captain Phillips once more be able to save the day helped by the ‘fish out of water’ housewife with the ready Irish wit?

Will she say ‘fecking eejit’?

Of course she will.

The new film will have competition however when August: Osage County Vs. Nebraska begins production later this year. Ron Howard says that the film ‘will combine the bitter sweet bitter family dramas of mouth cancer and Alzheimer’s in a fun for all the family black and white misery ride’.

Philomena Vs Captain Philips will be released in 2015.   

PHILOMENA: REVIEW

VENICE – Evil Irish nuns steal M’s baby and so Alan Partridge teams up with M and they head to America to steal him back!

It should be a sad story, this time round but 1. Peter Mullen did sad with The Magdalene Sisters and 2. we want a nice film to watch while we eat our custard creams. If you painted a B. an A, an F, a T and another A on the negative, the film wouldn’t have any more BAFTA written all over it as it alraedy has. Judi Dench is Oirish and calls Coogan a fecking Ejiit at one point. There’s laugh and tears and acceptance speeches to come. It’s the King’s Last Exotic Full Monty Speech all over again! Watch and feel good. 

WINTERBOTTOM – SODERBERGH FILM OFF

HOLLYWOOD – Michael Winterbottom and Steven Soderbergh announce a film off during which the two famously prolific film makers are going to make a complete feature film every day for a month.

‘The challenge is to go from script to editing in a day,’ says Michael Winterbottom sneering. ‘And then you have casting, photography, special effects, soundtrack and post. The red carpet premières take place at 9 o’ clock and 11 that evening with the order switched each day.’

‘Mikey ain’t got a chance in hell, he’s gonna cry like a little girl when I’ve finished with him,’ Soderburgh giggled feverishly. ‘Matt Damon will be in every other film. I’ll do some Oceans movies as well. And then some experimental stuff and I’ll be calling in some favours from my vast array of talented friends. Who does he have? Tell me who you have? You got maybe, MAYBE, an Affleck.’

‘Casey said…’

‘You got nothing my friend. You hear me? Nothing!’

‘Soderburgh is full of bunkum,’ Winterbottom spat on the floor. ‘It’ll be easy. I’ll just adapt some Thomas Hardy novels and then get Steve Coogan to ad lib the rest. Throw in some fellatio. Everyone’s happy. What? You wanna go and see Contagion 2, 3 and 4?’

‘Is there a danger that quality might be compromised in this rush?’ Studio Exec had the opportunity of asking.

The directors take a moment before answering as they fight for breath and wipe the tears from their eyes.

Soderburgh recovers first: ‘Quality? Compromise? I think not.’

Tess of the Flipping D’Urbevilles and Sex, Lies and Memory Stick start filming on Monday and will be released the same day.