Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Island (update)

The weekend usually is slow for movie news, but I have got a couple of posts for you today. This first one is about Michael Bays newest movie The Island:

Although The Island won't heat up theaters until July, the futuristic sci-fi adventure starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson is already generating a lot of hype and buzz in Hollywood. The film isn't even finished yet, however the anticipation and excitement is already stirring and thus prompted DreamWorks to show a sneak peek of the unfinished action thriller. got a chance to talk with director Michael Bay and stars Johansson, Djimon Hounsou and Michael Clarke Duncan.

Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor) and Jordan Two-Delta (Johansson) are chosen to live in a utopian controlled environment and have hopes of going to "The Island," the only pure and uncontaminated place left on Earth. However, Lincoln senses something is wrong and soon discovers everything he has been told is a lie. He and the other residents of the facility are actually clones and learn the sole reason for their existence is to supply their original person with supplementary parts as needed. Realizing he is only going to live until his human counterpart needs him, he daringly escapes the institute and takes Jordan along for a desperate attempt to save their lives.

In the beginning of the film, Lincoln has nightmares and wakes up to flashbacks of him as a child. He knows something isn't right and questions his surroundings. Since he is an "Echo" he is a more highly developed clone, but we don't find out until later in the film what he is really capable of.

"My character is completely unaware of the past. [Ewan's character] is advanced. He is little bit younger than I am in clone years…he has memories of his past somehow, real memories of his real past. I don't have those," Johansson said.

In the first few minutes the audience can also sense something isn't quite right, but you can't place what it is. Everything is too perfect and controlled. The inhabitants of the institution believe they survived some sort of toxic contamination and the only other safe place to live is on "The Island." Since there are too many people for everyone to go, there is a lottery and if you're chosen you get to leave the facility and live on the island.

However, as the movie goes on you will discover the lottery isn't what everyone thinks it is.

"I thought it was a great script. It was exciting and fun. I love genre movies when they are done really well… I wanted to work with Michael (Bay) and I wanted to work with Ewan," Johansson said.

"I met Ewan and I knew we were going to have a great time together. He's a wonderful guy and very easy to get along with. He's charming and he's a family man. He's got a lovely wife and beautiful two kids. He's just a lovely guy, Johansson continued.

The actors were all too happy until the first day of shooting. Bay said he likes to start the shoot of with the most intense scenes first.

"If you start off slow, that sets the pace for the entire film. So I like to start off with a high energy level."

"I was so sore after my first day of work…I think my muscles were atrophied or something, but I couldn't run any longer and that was the first day of a five-month shoot. I was running so much I thought I was going to die," Johansson laughed.

Duncan, who worked with Bay on Armageddon, was excited to work with him again until it was time to shoot his scenes.

"I am running a lot too. They shot these things into my legs, and they were attached to my calves. They shrunk my calves down so badly and I was sweating…Michael Bay owes me big-time for doing this movie," Duncan joked.

Hounsou, who plays a security agent concurs, "We were running, running, running and it occurred to me, 'Did anyone read the script?'"

The Island opens in theaters on July 22.


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