We got the chance to sit down and talk with Chris Sparling, the screenwriter for ‘Down A Dark Hall’, ‘The Warning’, ‘The Sea of Trees’ and the director and screenwriter for ‘Mercy’. He also wrote the screenplay for Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming film ‘Greenland’ and the below excerpt of our interview (full interview will release very soon) features Nicholas‘ discussion with Chris Sparling on the film and it’s status.
INTERVIEWER: You are writing the screenplay for Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Greenland’, are you able to give a status update on what’s happening with the film currently?
CHRIS SPARLING: Still on track to start shootings in January and it’s shooting up in Toronto, trying to think of what else I can say and not say, it’s a big movie, definitely a big movie. I’m excited about that because at the heart of that is a very small movie, it is a movie about an impending asteroid strike, it’s not Armageddon, it’s not that type of movie at all, it’s more like Bayona’s ‘The Impossible’, where we look through the specific lens of a family as to say let’s get a drill team up into space or let’s see the government figure out what they’re going to do, no you are already past that point, we care about this family trying to survive. I hope it turns out well, Neill is super talented and he’s a good guy but it’s just like anything else, there’s so many moving parts in making a movie that everybody hopes for the best, everybody tries their best and then you see what you have at the end and hope it’s all good. It’s certainly a exciting thing to look forward to next year.
INTERVIEWER: Definitely, can you talk a bit about your reaction when you discovered Neill Blomkamp got involved in the film?
CHRIS SPARLING: I was really excited. I really like ‘District 9’, I like ‘Elysium’ I think that film got mixed reviews from critics and fans but I don’t know I really like that film. I felt like ‘Elysium’ spoke to me more on a level of what I was thinking with ‘Greenland’, the desperation and lengths people will go for people and things that they love. He’s a visionary especially in that sci-fi world.
INTERVIEWER: It’s a shame too, because I’m a big fan of his work, he’s got such a eye for design in his sci-fi work, it’s a shame though that his ‘Alien’ project never happened too.
CHRIS SPARLING: Truth be told, I didn’t know until it didn’t happen like I didn’t even know that was something Neill was developing, it was only recently when it officially was said not to be happening, it would’ve been cool. I’m not giving any inside baseball thing, I truly know nothing more about the ‘Alien’ film than you do but that’s the nature of this business, there’s always a second chance to resurrect these things and if it’s not one it’ll be in 10 years, especially when valuable IP is involved. That’s why there’s constantly movies being remade and sequels and prequels, there’s so much to choose from and I think that’s what made IP valuable as you have a sense of what you are getting. Sometimes you don’t want to take the chance on something that seems completely foreign to you, maybe you like the stars or director, but studios are getting around that uncertainty with IPs. If Alien was to be remade, people want to see it I mean look at the new Halloween film that just released, people know what Halloween is, if there’s a really unique spin on it, even better but there is real value there.
INTERVIEWER: Going back to ‘Greenland’, you have Chris Evans still involved correct?
CHRIS SPARLING: Yep, that was exciting as well, Chris is a huge star.
INTERVIEWER: It’s cool also because it’ll be one of his first projects after his work in Marvel as Captain America.
CHRIS SPARLING: I think for him it’s just the excitement of what his post-Marvel career will be, it’s such a run to have been on for 10 years so I’m sure it’s a very exciting place for him to be career wise as being in those movies has likely provided him all of these new opportunities that are available.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have the rest of the cast assembled and have scouted locations?
CHRIS SPARLING: Yep they are up in Toronto scouting and more of the cast have been filled out, we’re not that far off from our scheduled start date, this is when the wheels really start spinning. I imagine casting announcements will also be imminent too.
As for the castings, we at DiscussingFilm have heard of a potential casting for the female lead of the film who is RUMORED to be Kate Mara however, we are currently still looking into this story and will report it as it’s own separate story if true.