Quint chats with producer Dean Devlin about FLYBOYS, ISOBAR, GHOSTING and the STARGATE sequels!!!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a rather fun interview I did with Dean Devlin at Comic-Con last month, where he showed some sequences from FLYBOYS, a WW1 air-battle film he produced. I can't say anything about the drama, but the dogfights they showed us at the Con were really fun. Below you'll see us talk about FLYBOYS and WW1 history as well as ISOBAR, a real interesting film called GHOSTING and the sequels to STARGATE. Tons of goodies below, squirts! Enjoy!!!
QUINT: I have to say I'm looking forward to seeing a good dog fight flick. We don't often get WW1 air battle films...
DEAN DEVLIN: This is the first in 40 years. The first World War 1 (air battle film) since BLUE MAX. It's so hard to get anything original done. That's why we did this independently. I mean, this is done without any studio. We did this completely independently, raised all the money without domestic (distribution) in place, without foreign (distribution) in place and we did it because there was no studio that was going to do something original anymore. I mean, not at the cost of $30 million.
QUINT: I don't know much about the movie besides what is in the trailer. Can you tell me a little about the film?
DEAN DEVLIN: It's based on the true story of Lafayette Escadrille. Now, who these guys were... It was 30 American boys who volunteered to fight for France in World War 1 before the United States entered the war, and they became the first fighter pilots. The airplane had only been invented 11 years earlier and suddenly now they're using it as a war machine. Most people had never even seen an airplane, let alone flown one. Suddenly they were in combat. It was an incredible group of people.
Their mascot was a lion, that they had runnin' around. They were not issued parachutes because they were told that the airplanes were more valuable than the pilots and they were afraid that the pilots might bale out if they got scared. They gave you a pistol with one bullet in it because if your plane caught on fire, it was better to shoot yourself in the head... And the life expectancy of a pilot was 4 to 6 weeks.
So, it was a really exciting and amazing (time). We wanted to tell their story. In fact, the real interesting part of that was... of the group, one of them was an African American and he became an Ace, but when United States entered the war he said, "I have to, obviously, go fight on behalf of the US now," but they wouldn't let him fly because he was Black.
QUINT: That's nuts, man. What attracted you most to the film? The opportunity to show vintage warfare or was it more the human element?
DEAN DEVLIN: Well, it was a combination. I always think that someone who volunteers for someone else's battle is interesting to begin with. You're not being told by the government that you have to do this, they're not doing it to save their own country... they're doing it for other reasons. Some over principal, some simply to learn how to fly, some it just seemed cool, some of 'em to run away from the law. I'm always in stories like that on the human level.
But on the other side of it was... You know... for many, many years I was told, "You can't make a pirate movie. Pirate movies suck. They die. No one wants to see them. That was something that was cool in the '50s, but now... forget it." And then, obviously, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN comes out and completely revives the genre and I have the same feeling about World War 1 dogfight movies. This was something that, when I was a little boy, people still had fond memories of. People remembered WINGS, which was the first film ever to win an Oscar, HELL'S ANGELS... and somehow the genre died. And if you talked to a studio executive they'd say, "Well, no one cares about WW1, no one cares about those airplanes. They want to see fast jets. They want to see rockets." And I thought, "You've forgotten how cool the genre is!"
So, we wanted to bring it back. We wanted to bring back how amazing these dogfights were.
QUINT: Well, that was one of my favorite aspects of the KONG remake was seeing the aerial action at the end with the biplanes...
DEAN DEVLIN: Those are '30s biplanes! These are 1917 biplanes, so these guys... When they first went up in the air, they actually shot off their own propellers. So, then later the French came up with the brilliant idea of making the propellers out of metal, so that it wouldn't shoot off the propeller, but every 3rd bullet would ricochet back at the pilot! It wasn't really until this one French engineer came up with this idea that he patterned off the movie projector, of how you can coordinate the slides of frame. He figured he could coordinate the blades with the gun and they made one plane, he had the prototype. It got shot down. The Germans got it and got the technology and they mass-produced it. They had the first guns that could actually shoot and they dominated the war for a long time.
QUINT: I remember watching a MAIL CALL with R. Lee Ermy where he went in detail on the inner-workings of this technology. Really fascinating... I love that kind of stuff. The computers and microchips of modern battle aren't as interesting to me as the mechanical ingenuity of the early weapons.
DEAN DEVLIN: Well, the thing is... These guys knew the names of the guys they fought. They'd come back and go, "Oh, I fought Baron Von Richtofen!" They had a code of honor of when you shoot and when you don't shoot. It was really interesting because in the air you had this kind of gentlemen's war, yet on the ground you had mustard gas, 9 million people killed... It's really interesting. You had modern warfare developing on the ground while you had this kind of chivalrous thing happening in the air, so it made for a really interesting dichotomy.
QUINT: What do you think the biggest hook for the audiences will be?
DEAN DEVLIN: I think the air battles because even in the best of the old movies they could only do what was safe. I think (Howard) Hughes pushed the limit the most and he lost 3 pilots doing it, but the truth is... in these real battles more people died from collisions than died from bullets. They flew incredibly close. They were incredible cowboys. So only now, being able to mix real airplanes with CG, can we actually show the way it really was.
I saw a web-blogger the other day complaining about our trailer saying "They have a guy running on top of a Zeppelin!" Well, the truth is, in WW1, they had gunners on the top of the Zeppelins, but they weren't in some station, protected. They were literally standing on the top with a little railing that they held on to and a machine gun. That's how crazy it was then!
The interesting thing is to see how these incredibly flimsy planes were flown by incredible daredevils and what they did and accomplished.
QUINT: What do you have coming up next? I heard you were going to direct a film...
DEAN DEVLIN: First I'm going to produce the third installment of LIBRARIAN and we're producing a big science fiction film called ISOBAR, but right after that I'm going to direct a film next year called GHOSTING. It's about a group of cops who flatline in order to do investigations from the other side.
QUINT: That sounds really cool!
DEAN DEVLIN: It's a bunch of cops who die for a living. (laughs)
QUINT: For those who might not know the story of ISOBAR, could you give us a little rundown?
DEAN DEVLIN: Roland Emmerich originally came to the US from Germany in 1990 to do a film called ISOBAR. It's an amazing Science Fiction adventure that takes place in a world that has so destroyed it's environment that there is no longer any oxygen on the planet's surface and all cities now exist beneath the surface of the Earth. Without air, air travel is impossible. So underground trains is the only means of travel. This story takes place on the debut voyage of the world first five story luxury liner underground train ride from Los Angeles to Tokyo. But a stow-a-way on board threatens the entire adventure.
Roland and I re-wrote the script back in 1990 but the film never got made. Over the last couple of years, I've managed to get the project back and have been developing a new draft of the script. We hope to be shooting by January next year. We're all really excited about the project.
QUINT: You mentioned on the panel that you finally have the rights back to make sequels to STARGATE. What was holding the rights up?
DEAN DEVLIN: It's not that the rights have cleared up. The previous regimes at MGM have been very wary about doing the sequel movies. There's a new group of people running MGM now and they're all big science fiction fans. So I've been talking about doing the sequels with them. There is no deal in place yet to make these films and we're only in the very early stages of discussion. But at least there seems to be genuine interest in continuing the franchise.
QUINT: Will the second film pick up with the same characters from the original, continuing that story?
DEAN DEVLIN: When Roland and I developed the original STARGATE film, we had always envisioned it as the first of a trilogy of movies. There was a larger mythology to tell and we've always wanted to finish telling the story we started.
The sequel would take place about 12 years after the original and would pick up with Daniel making a discovery that leads him back to Earth and the discovery of a new and different Stargate!
QUINT: Where are you currently with the development of the sequels?
DEAN DEVLIN: At the moment, we're only in discussions about the possibilities of doing it.
QUINT: What's your favorite dirty joke?
DEAN DEVLIN: My favorite dirty joke? It's a little long...
QUINT: That's fine.
DEAN DEVLIN: Okay, here's my favorite dirty joke: A little boy comes down stairs to go to school. His mother says, "Look, I can't drive today, you have to walk." He goes, "Mooooommm!" She says, "You have to walk!" So, as he's walking to school he sees a naked woman standing in the window of her house. She's rubbing her breasts and going, "I want a man! I want a man! I want a maaaannnn!" The kid can't believe it. He can not believe it.
Next day he comes down stairs to go to school. His mom goes, "C'mon! Hop in the car." He goes, "No, ma. I think this walking is good for me. I'm gonna walk." He walks down the street and sure enough, same naked woman in her window, rubbing her breasts saying, "I want a man! I want a man! I want a maaaannn! The kid's just blown away.
The third day, his mom goes, "You want to..." He says, "No, no, mom, I'm walkin'." So, he walks to school, but this time the naked woman is in the window with a naked man and they're making mad, passionate love. The kid can't believe it! He drops his books and he runs back home and he runs up to his bedroom and he pulls open the window and he takes off all his clothes and starts rubbing his chest and he goes, "I want a bike! I want a bike! I want a biiiiikkkkeee!"
I had a real good time talking to Devlin. He seems to really get the geeks and doesn't give off a self-important vibe that you'll sometimes feel with people in the industry, especially producers. His enthusiasm for all the projects he mentions were totally authentic and listening to someone that enthusiastic only got me to feel that way as well. I hope you enjoyed the chat. Still have tons more coming in the near future!
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Aug. 22, 2006, 5:40 a.m. CST
Ya know, Steven Furst from Animal House. What ever happened to that guy?
Aug. 22, 2006, 6:03 a.m. CST
I really hope those Stargate sequels happen.
Aug. 22, 2006, 6:48 a.m. CST
Can't wait to see it, and here's praying that everything falls into place for the Stargate sequels
Aug. 22, 2006, 6:48 a.m. CST
If he ever gets these movies off the ground , and does use the Daniel Jackson character - he then messing with the "cannon" of something he walked away from a decade ago. Since SG-1 more or less picks up where the movie left off , id just as soon create new characters and tip-toe my way around SG-1 /Atlantis by using a bit of there story and then go off on the big adventures he's got planned
Aug. 22, 2006, 6:52 a.m. CST
If he really does 'feel the geeks' then why do all his films suck shit!?
Aug. 22, 2006, 7:07 a.m. CST
Aug. 22, 2006, 7:19 a.m. CST
ISOBAR sounded like crap when I first read about it in "Tales from Development Hell" (buy this book, it's good) and it sounds like crap now. "Flyboys" sounds like an absolutely fantastic premise, but it could really go either way.
Aug. 22, 2006, 7:20 a.m. CST
by The Outlander
Do they actually think there is an audience for a Stargate 2 and 3?
Aug. 22, 2006, 7:28 a.m. CST
This is the movie that always marked to me the beginning of the end of the late-great Carolco. In 1990 at the Cannes filmfestival, Mario Kassar put Steven De Souza, the screenwriter, and the guy they were pitching it to - Sylvester Stallone - on a 737 they chartered (God only imagined how much money THAT cost) that was carrying everybody Carolco was associated with - Ah-nold, Michael Douglas, James Cameron aka half of H'wood - over to France. Carolco paid for a big fireworks display, to impress Rocky-boy, at Cannes with the Isobar lighting up the sky as the grand finale - and of course the movie never gets made - pissing away their Rambo/Total Recall profits. Stupid.
Aug. 22, 2006, 7:49 a.m. CST
"The sequel would take place about 12 years after the original and would pick up with Daniel making a discovery that leads him back to Earth and the discovery of a new and different Stargate!" So does he not know about Atlantis?
Aug. 22, 2006, 7:59 a.m. CST
SG1's done well to carry the torch for TEN YEARS. Don't you think maybe the SG1 audience is likely to go see a feature film? Don't confuse the market, do a cinematic followup to SG1 that moves the SGC/SG1 story in our galaxy onward to the next level. Oh wait, SG1 just got cancelled, hmmmmm... maybe this is all just a cover for an SG1 feature film... [As for Daniel ... maybe he gets marooned elsewhere at the end of season 10 :)]
Aug. 22, 2006, 8:10 a.m. CST
Who cares if they step on SG-1's toes, the film universe and the TV universe can (and should be) totally different. I say this because the film universe has a bigger budget and better actors, so why not just carry on with the story as if SG-1 didn't happen? I remember watching STARGATE back in the day and thinking "man, they should make sequels to this movie", so I say bring it on! It's time.
Aug. 22, 2006, 8:14 a.m. CST
The first World War 1 since BLUE MAX. Well I suppose if you ignore ACES HIGH which was 10 years after the Blue Max then Flyboys is in there! Dumb ass Devlin!
Aug. 22, 2006, 8:15 a.m. CST
thats the dean devlin movie I want
Aug. 22, 2006, 8:22 a.m. CST
by Mosquito March
...what cliche-ridden hackery this guy's films are? I'd love to see something great from Devlin, but in terms of quality and originality, his track record is atrocious.
Aug. 22, 2006, 8:31 a.m. CST
Cuz you did that in that other interview...
Aug. 22, 2006, 9:23 a.m. CST
But, in 1958 there was "Lafayette Escadrille" starring Tab Hunter with Clint Eastwood in a minor part. Should be a good film though.
Aug. 22, 2006, 9:45 a.m. CST
by Monkey Butler
Aug. 22, 2006, 9:50 a.m. CST
by Lost Prophet
It just wasn't funny. At all. like his films aren't good. At all.
Aug. 22, 2006, 10:15 a.m. CST
I honestly see MGM trying to get Devlin to incorperate the SG1 canon, Devlin trying to get them to let him make his own canon, then the whole project just dying on the vine like ID4-2.
Aug. 22, 2006, 10:17 a.m. CST
Aug. 22, 2006, 10:42 a.m. CST
Sounds like Moon 44, you know, that film that Roland Emmerich made and Dean Devlin starred in?
Aug. 22, 2006, 10:45 a.m. CST
That was a ww1 film, Devlin should really check his facts first but he does sound genuinely enthusiastic.
Aug. 22, 2006, 10:56 a.m. CST
by The Pusher
Aug. 22, 2006, 11:18 a.m. CST
by Elmore Rigby
is the new 'Too Soon'
Aug. 22, 2006, 11:29 a.m. CST
by jasper Stillwell
he talks up a basic premise which gets fan boys wanking themselves sick, delivers a promising trailer then releases a massive half-baked turd in collusion with that other celebrated lightweight dumbass, Emmerich. Sorry the guy's stuff is worthless. All of it.
Aug. 22, 2006, 11:47 a.m. CST
you can have an indepth interview without laughing at a guy who churns out repugnant shit as bad as Uwe Boll and Paul W Anderson combined?
Aug. 22, 2006, 12:21 p.m. CST
"Ginger, get me a Lewis gun!"
Aug. 22, 2006, 12:31 p.m. CST
Pfft.. You are comparing apples to apples and there's no difference between them. The movie had a 'few' common actors, while the tv show had 'a lot' of common actors. Movie actors are paid more and have the bigger Hollywood stage. That's the only difference. As for Devlin and his SG plans, they are already dying on the vine. As long as Cooper and Wright are in charge of the franchise (SG1&Atl) Devlin won't be able to do anything. MGM wouldn't take the risk on forgetting 10 years of known cannon just to make risky sequels fans won't like because it's not SG-1. I thought the series continued the story started by the movie very well, and even continued expanding it with more story arcs. ___KNEEL___
Aug. 22, 2006, 12:45 p.m. CST
"Flyboys sounds like an absolutely fantastic premise, but it could really go either way." Gee, didn't you watch the trailer? I bet even Uwe Boll makes fun of "Flyboys".
Aug. 22, 2006, 12:51 p.m. CST
It's the worst movie I've seen all year. Just insulting on so many levels. I'm glad Devlin is getting gray in his hair because it means he'll be done working sooner.
Aug. 22, 2006, 3:33 p.m. CST
Flyboys looks like a gay porno without the hot ass sex and it looks to have the depth of a snoopy vs the red baron comic strip. I will watch the stargate sequels if they bring back jaye davidson to flash his pee pee at kurt russel. I liked stargate but they should have had more gay sex in the film. Just imagine kurt russel fisting james spader..that would have been hot.
Aug. 22, 2006, 3:48 p.m. CST
His movies are ok. I enjoyed ID4, though not as much as my friend who walked out of the theater saying it was the best movie he ever saw (Don't worry, I gave him the look of "No more heroin for you"). Nonetheless, I laughed when Devlin said, "There's a new group of people running MGM now and they're all big science fiction fans." They're such huge fans, that their first act was to cancel 1/2 of their TV productions i.e. SG-1.
Aug. 22, 2006, 3:57 p.m. CST
...arguably has a lot of depth. But I certainly agree with you on "Flyboys"!
Aug. 22, 2006, 4:44 p.m. CST
SG-1 fans can suck my cock. Oh, and Atlantis fans (are there any?) can fuck themselves. Screw the series', if you take the movie as canon and NOTHING else you have a cool open-ended premise/setup to get your teeth into. I want a lot of huge sci-fi movies to happen in the next few years. Avatar plus a hell of a lot more. T4 should happen. Frankly, I don't care what any of you shitflickers say about how every sci-fi movie made now is a piece of shit, it's still a movie I want to see. Bring back crazy fucked up shit like Total Recall. Get Arnold in a sci-fi (also, get him in Conan God damn it). By the Lords of Cobol, let's see what's out there!
Aug. 22, 2006, 4:56 p.m. CST
...had an entertaining premise but it ended up being a pretty forgettable flick. How in the hell the television series lasted so long I will never know.
Aug. 22, 2006, 5:16 p.m. CST
by future help
wow. what a child. (now i'm positive those Stargate sequels would suck)
Aug. 22, 2006, 5:18 p.m. CST
by future help
it really did.
Aug. 22, 2006, 5:29 p.m. CST
I wonder what the relation of a stargate sequel towards the series would be... if they would crossover the storylines or stick to the original movie and develop the thing into a (w)hole other direction?
Aug. 22, 2006, 5:40 p.m. CST
Anyone know what the status on this is? I heard Dean got the rights to make one and then not a peep for a year or 2. Would love to see a decent one of these made to wipe away the shame of Robotjox :(
Aug. 22, 2006, 6:17 p.m. CST
Yeah!Eat beans and chili, shove a tight pipe up your ass and burst a nasty SHITSPRAY at all screens these turds will be showing on...
Aug. 22, 2006, 6:20 p.m. CST
it will add more texture to the stargate sequel!=)
Aug. 22, 2006, 6:59 p.m. CST
"We are already dead. We are Robot Jox!"
Aug. 22, 2006, 9:27 p.m. CST
for that sham of a Godzilla movie. Now the King of the Monsters is shilling for Doritos.
Aug. 22, 2006, 10:19 p.m. CST
movie to sell snack food? It just doesn't make any sense. Couldn't they use Pirates of the Carribean or something. Hell, most people I've asked about that commercial have blocked Godzilla out of their memory and think it's some sort of dinosaur.
Aug. 22, 2006, 10:38 p.m. CST
The American Godzilla was so shitty I'm not surprised that people wouldn't recognize him in that Doritos commercial. Heck I barely remember the movie...only part that sticks out in my mind was the end where he gets stuck in the bridge and shot up like a little bitch lizard. I think I would have forgiven the movie for being so bad if Jean Reno lept into Godzilla's mouth clutching a live thermonuclear warhead while shouting "This...is for Toho!".
Aug. 23, 2006, 12:09 a.m. CST
*sigh* Um, MGM didn't cancel SG-1. Sci-Fi did. MGM wouldn't dare cancel it since it's their cash cow, besides Bond. >>>Oh, performingmonkey, I love anything Stargate. From the movie to the tv series', everything makes sense. Even you do, troll. So go suck your own choad and dream of Devlin when you sleep cause that's all you are going to get. ___KNEEL___
Aug. 23, 2006, 1:17 a.m. CST
i mean...what story is left to tell?
Aug. 23, 2006, 1:35 a.m. CST
According to MGM executives back in May, they want an SG-1 theatrical film to be made that would "ideally" dovetail into a third TV series. Additionally, Wright & co have said that an SG-1 film wouldn't require SG-1 to cease production to be made. --- If Devlin makes his film, it won't have anything to do with the series. At one point a few years ago, I would have loved to have seen tha, but after sitting down and watching SG-1, SG-1 won me over, and it really makes zero sense for MGM to try to ignore SG-1 with a Devlin sequel- afterall, while the movie was good, it wasn't a smash hit or anything, and it's SG-1 that has made Stargate a huge international franchise, not Stargate the movie.
Aug. 23, 2006, 3:21 a.m. CST
by Wyrdy the Gerbil
Huummmm not to bright on the science side are you Devlin ...you tell us that the Oxygen is depleted in the athmosphere but what about the Nitrogen and even if that was gone never heard about "rockets",Isobar sounds like shit and even the basic concept isn`t original
Aug. 24, 2006, 9:53 a.m. CST
series wise if the Stargate aint got Claudia Black my interest is declining.
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