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Quint and Danny Boyle talk SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, India's filmmaking future, TRAINSPOTTING 2 and much more!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I’ve been a big fan of Mr. Danny Boyle’s work since TRAINSPOTTING and was even one of the only people, seemingly, to dig the hell out of A LIFE LESS ORDINARY. So when the opportunity to sit down with him as he came through Austin promoting his newest, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, I jumped at the chance. I walked into the movie, screening the night before the interview, knowing nothing about it other than it had some good word of mouth out of festivals and Danny Boyle directed it. The movie blew me away. I don’t know what I was expecting, but what I got was a fantastically crafted emotional rollercoaster ride about a young Indian man who appears on India’s branch-off version of WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? and does so well at it that he is suspected of cheating. Afterall, he’s just a regular boy without a college education. How could he know all these answers? So, he’s violently interrogated by the police, demanding to know how he cheated. Through this interrogation we get to know his life’s story and come to find out each question has significance to life. It’s a fantastic, gut-wrenching story, but one that lets you leave with a smile on your face. At this screening I ran into a friend of mine, a local filmmaker named Emily Hagins… You might have heard us talk about Emily here on AICN in the past. She’s a (now) 16 year old girl who makes feature length movies. She made her first feature length movie, a zombie film, at the age of 13. Danny Boyle is one of her favorite filmmakers so I invited her along to sit in on the interview. I bring this up only because this influences some of the chat, which I think is a great one. We cover everything from the burgeoning film industry in India, specific choices and obstacles in making a movie like SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE as well as a little bit about TRAINSPOTTING 2. But we start out talking 28 DAYS LATER, a conversation spurned by Emily’s presence. Beware of some SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE spoilers throughout the interview! Enjoy!

Danny Boyle: 28 DAYS LATER, the first one… The guy who wrote it, Alex Garland, is a massive zombie fan. I mean he knows everything about them. He could go on that show MASTERMIND about them and answer really detailed questions about them. He knows everything and I didn’t really know that much about them... I knew a bit about them, obviously, because everybody does, but I wasn’t like a geek; I wasn’t like a massive fan. And I kind of kept it like that because he was so…insane about them. I thought it balanced it out a bit, if I’m not quite so knowledgeable about them. So that was sort of how we did it really.

Quint: You can tell he was a big fan of zombies, because you have to know them so well in order to kind of turn it on its head.

Danny Boyle: Yeah. Well, it helps if you’re not like… he was like, he was so respectful of them, where as I was like, I wasn’t quite as respectful, which you can’t be if you’re going to turn it on its head. You’ve got to like them but then want to change them….and so anyway…very good well done! Thirteen! That was pretty good.

Quint: I saw the flick last night.

Danny Boyle: Did you? What did you think?

Quint: It was great, man. Like its funny, because I’d only heard… like you were talking about how film festivals are kind of the saving grace of the movie right now. I knew you were doing a movie called SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, but the only thing I knew about the film was that everybody was talking about it coming out of these festivals. So, I knew more after your intro than I did walking in. I had no idea what the story was about at all.

Danny Boyle: That’s fantastic. I love seeing films like that, when you kind of go into them and you don’t really know anything.

Quint: Yeah, no that’s why I love going to Sundance. That was one of the big revelations when I finally went, starting three years ago. I saw movies completely without any baggage. You’d see a movie without anybody that you know in it… That’s how I saw ONCE and ONCE blew me away. The market now is so driven by pre-sell. You have got to get your trailer out six months before the movie… you got to get five different posters out in theaters…

Danny Boyle: …you leak all the stuff onto the net…

Quint: Yeah, we contribute to that, too…I mean I’m not saying “boo” to that, I’d be out of a job if we didn’t have that, but it is. It’s refreshing to walk into a movie like yours, especially last night, especially when it’s so good. To kind of have you knocked on your butt. But can we talk a little bit about the challenges of getting the movie made? For all I know it was a dream and you had a blank check to go do what you want… I doubt it. I mean you’re doing a movie that’s a drama… without anybody that Americans would recognize.

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Danny Boyle: Yeah. Well that was obvious at the beginning, we could tell… you kind of knew that really right up front, so we raised as much money as we could really based on me I suppose and a bit of Simon Beaufoy, the writer, because he wrote THE FULL MONTY which was such a massive hit. So, between the two of us put together we managed to raise about eight million dollars from Pathe from Europe and about five million dollars from Warner Independent as it was then and we set off with that amount of money, and that was it. That was all we could have, because there aren’t any stars there that… I mean they’re huge stars there, but obviously nobody knows them here. So that was it and that was great. I love that kind of…you go “alright that’s it, I’ve got a hundred dollars and I’ve got to kind of make my way on a hundred…” and you just get there and you say “well we’ve got to make it for that amount of money” and it helps you make lots of decisions, which is actually…it’s one of the ways that a restricted budget is quite liberating; you just go.

Read along with this part of the interview by clicking here for some Amazing Sound-O-Text!

Anyway it’s quite a lot of money obviously. It’s like thirteen, fourteen, fifteen million dollars or something it was and that is a lot of money, you know? So, we set out to make it there and the big problem that we had is that once we’d made it is that Warners closed Warner Independent, so our ostensible distributor in North America was gone like that. And Warners, who are obviously are massive, whose skill is releasing huge movies like you were talking about, that gets the trailers there six months before… 300, WATCHMEN, and it’s DARK KNIGHT. They’re massive, massive movies that we all love watching, but they obviously weren’t going to be the kind of people who could release this kind of film… this strange, odd beast you know with no stars and set in India and all this kind of stuff. So it looked disastrous far as back as six weeks ago, and then there was this interest from Telluride and Toronto. It was like I was saying last night; it is amazing how you must never ever forget no matter how smart you think you are how important film festivals are, because they just… something from behind you that you’ve never heard of just comes right around the front and says “There, what do you think?” And there’s no other mechanism for doing that than the film festivals, because you get all these like-minded people who are sitting there and are open to watching films.

Quint: It’s almost like the best test screening audience you can have, because it’s people who understand film, that love film, that want to be there.

Danny Boyle: That want to be there, but they’re critical as well because they’re not fools cause they see a lot of movies, but also they’re prepared to entertain things that they might never have had the time to during a regular working week. During your regular time. It was amazing and the bus started there and Warners cleverly gave it, they shouldn’t have done this, but they let Peter Rice see it from Fox Searchlight and he of course I think is the best guy to distribute this kind of film and to work with this kind of film. He and his staff watched it together and I wasn’t there. I was in England finishing the soundtrack and they all sent me these emails, because I know a lot of them from all the other films and you could tell they’ve had a wild time watching it. It had been a great screening, one of those that had just taken off.

Quint: Well and I’m telling you that last night… we have a lot of film festivals in Austin. Austin’s a really big movie watching community, but you know each film festival has different kinds of people that go to it. AFF kind of skews older, it skews more of the…I wouldn’t say the elite of Austin but it’s more, it’s more people you don’t see at the genre festivals. It’s more the serious-minded people, so as a result their screenings usually don’t end up like what you had last night. Where you have standing ovation, where you have people going crazy. I just want to tell you that’s very much a testament to the film, to what you did.

Danny Boyle: It was amazing, because they… they also screened SHALLOW GRAVE after it.

Quint: …Which I love by the way. I haven’t seen it in years, but I couldn’t stay for it last night.

Danny Boyle: I haven’t seen it for ages! I watched the first twenty minutes of it and it was like so fast. I couldn’t believe how fast it was. It was like “whoa.” If you miss anything you have no chance you’re going to back on anything! It was great to see it! Anyway, sorry…

Quint: What was the reaction? Was the reaction similar?

Danny Boyle: Yeah, it was pretty good. There was a good sound out and they were enjoying it. I left after about twenty minutes, because I was like… “I’ve only just got in from England,” I was like jet lagged a bit, so I left, although I would’ve stuck it out. Actually I was enjoying it, but I thought “ah better go to bed,” because I had you guys now.

Quint: Yeah, I don’t know why they started this so early. I’m an internet geek, so I’m always up very late. I’m a night owl, so when they told me to be here at 8:30am I was like “Wwwwhat?”

Danny Boyle: Working in India, with the Indian crews, because it was mostly a Bollywood crew, they can’t get up in the morning. They will do anything for you, anything, but they can’t get up in the morning. They just cannot turn up in the morning. They’re really late birds you know? Early calls… just forget it! And you can’t get mad about it either, because they’re all like that. They can’t get there in the morning, but they’ll stay as late as you want no problem, but they can’t get up in the morning.

[Both Laugh]

Quint: They’ll keep the energy up they just can’t…

Danny Boyle: …they just can’t get there in the morning.

Quint: John Carpenter works like that. He doesn’t wake up early. He just doesn’t, so it’s in every one of his movies… it’s almost all night shoots. Cause he’s a night owl. So it’s like his poor crews no matter where he’s shooting… they’ll be shooting stage stuff and they’ll be almost all nights just cause those are his hours.

Danny Boyle: That’s what he did on FIGHT CLUB, wasn’t it? Fincher? I think he worked through the night, even when they were doing studio shoots, to get the guys in that mode, in that kind of night mode even when it was daytime. I think the shot…

Quint: Yeah, I totally see that. I mean you kind of get that…

Danny Boyle: …you get that feeling off the film. Yeah definitely, because even when it’s daylight he’s like… it looks like he belongs in the night.

Quint: Yeah, you’re right. He’s like I was this morning with the sunlight going. It’s like I’m used to the sun being like up there maybe, but coming up off the horizon… Okay, last night one of the things that I really liked about your Q & A was you were talking about how when you first got the script and you were like “I don’t know, I don’t want to make a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire movie. I don’t think that’s something I’m interested in.” You said you got about ten pages in before you’re like “this is brilliant” and my question is: was it the moment when the kid jumped into the shit.

Danny Boyle: Probably. I can’t actually… actually… I wish I could say it was definitely that. It must have been. The way you make the best decisions is not when you get to the end of the script. At the end of the script it’s a terrible place to decide, because then all the other questions come in like: who can we cast? What’s with the money? Who can we do the deal with? Where you want to commit is when you’re about fifteen pages in and you just know you’re going to make this film. You’re just on board, so by the time you’re finished you’re part of it anyway. So it must have been around that time cause that’s about fifteen, twenty pages in. It was a fantastic scene and I’ve done a scene like that before obviously in TRAINSPOTTING. It was a bit reminiscent of that, but it was such a good scene you just thought “forget it being similar, it doesn’t matter. Just do it.”

Quint: Well and there’s something so joyous about it. It’s like it is disgusting, but at the same time it’s so innocent and pure. The kid doesn’t care that he’s covered in shit because he’s getting to realize one of his dreams.

Danny Boyle: It’s so difficult to convey to everybody here how famous that guy is, because you think Tom Cruise, he’s pretty famous, Tom Hanks pretty famous, Paul Newman…this guy’s all those guys put together and people literally…when he goes into a hospital when he’s hospitalized for anything, there are thousands of people outside the hospital praying. It’s absolutely amazing. So, yeah. To get his autograph… makes everything else immaterial completely immaterial.

Quint: And then in some brilliant way if he hadn’t jumped into the shit he probably never would have gotten the autograph. It was because he was covered in shit that the crowd parted.

Danny Boyle: Yeah, that’s right and he got through! (laughs)

Quint: He got through. It’s such a moment of pure happiness, for this character who really doesn’t see that again until the end of the movie.

Danny Boyle: He has a tough life, yeah. They have a tough time. He’s interesting… I thought he was really interesting as a character, because he…although there’s a lot of money involved, he’s not really interested in the money. He’s just dedicated to this girl and she keeps getting taken away from him by whatever happens and yet he maintains his devotion to her and then when they actually get together… I think that’s why you feel what you feel about it. It’s because he has been so dedicated over so much time to her and I think we all, even guys I think really love… I mean we don’t behave like that all the time, but I think we like that romantic ideal of actually having that dedication to someone in particular the love of your life.

Quint: Definitely. Yeah, I mean I’m a romantic…

Danny Boyle: Me too! I am very romantic although sometimes people think I’m not, because the films are quite dark humored sometimes and has quite graphic stuff in them, but actually yeah, I’m very romantic as well.

Quint: You can have both which is why I really liked the movie cause it is… it’s such a sweet love story between two people set in the really fucked up, evil, dark world.

Danny Boyle: What a place that is. I tell you there’ll be more films, you’ll see a lot more films out of there. I can’t understand why there hasn’t been… it’s the most amazing place for thrillers…really dark like twisted thrillers it’s just extraordinary what goes on there.

Quint: Yeah we’re only really kind of seeing the beginning with like this and DARJEELING LIMITED…

Danny Boyle: Yeah, it’ll be a lot more work comes out of there I think you can see it. In fact when I was there, I was there for about eight months, Will Smith was there twice not shooting or anything, doing deals, because he has that company of his, so you can see, I mean there are no flies on Will Smith, he’s smart and they’re obviously setting up… Then Spielberg obviously is doing this deal for Dreamworks based on Reliance which is a big company there. It’s beginning to come around, you can see it. And their love of movies is like America, you notice how similar it is. I mean it’s fanatical. It’s not like England where movies are just… they’re absolutely fanatical about movies. They all go! Everybody goes and everybody knows all the lines from the movies. And the kids do the dances from the movies, they’ll do little dance movements for you and quote lines from the movies. You can feel it. I mean some of the movies aren’t very good by our taste, but the people love them.

Quint: Well and that’s weird too, because it’s like…Bollywood is something that I haven’t really delved into. I’ve seen movies from all over the world and I’ve seen Bollywood films, but it’s like they exist on some weird level where I get an immediate smile whenever one comes on, but it’s hard for me to watch it from beginning to end, you know? So I don’t know if that’s my ignorant American speaking or if it’s just...

Danny Boyle: No, they are… they’re hard work. And there are some straight ones which are really good. There’s a few filmmakers who are making straight films, like films like we’d… like thrillers and things like that don’t put song and dance in them. They are about two hours and they’re kind of proper narrative. They are fascinated by Hollywood and by western disciplines in filmmaking as well, it’s just that in the mainstream stuff the song and dances still have to be there and there’s about five or six of them in the movie still and they have to be there. In fact everything, because the rest of it is melodrama or very kind of syrupy or… you know and to our tastes it’s quite difficult to take, but that’ll change, because they’ve got… They reckon there’s a billion people in that country which is like enough people to start a planet if you think about it. They reckon of that there are about two or three hundred million who are now what you’d call middle class and they’re young aspirant professionals whose tastes is going to be for more interesting movies than what they’ve grown up with and they’re going to start to want to see… Claire Danes or Natalie Portman as well as some of their girls in a film. They’re going to start to want that and that will drive the market and that’s why Spielberg’s there, and that’s why Will Smith’s there. The leaders in the business are going to be there. Fox had just set up a big distribution network there, so it’s all coming you can see it.

Quint: It’s interesting, the world’s changing. You have so many different levels with the internet distribution, with digital download, and then you also have the shift of power going now to different studios because the economy in the U.S. has been on such a downfall. It’s fascinating; it opens up places like Dubai and the Indian financers. I don’t know… It’s going to be an interesting time for movies, so we’ll see what that kind of mix we end up with.

Danny Boyle: I’d love to jump forward twenty years when you’ll (points to Emily) be sitting here and see what it looks like then. It will be really interesting, and it may not have changed very much because sometimes when you anticipate these things they don’t happen, but you think they will.

Quint: Well, I think there’s a whole lot of people making a whole lot of money that don’t want things to change.

Danny Boyle: Yeah true, but I think it is going to change. I think it really is. It’s such a… I mean capitalism needs to be constantly expanding, that’s its problem isn’t it? That’s why we’ve had a problem in the last few months, is that it suddenly hit a wall and it didn’t kind of expand anymore, so it goes into crisis, but there it’s just the potential to expand is just infinite at the moment. There are so many people who don’t have anything and yet they begin to want things. They can get these things like movies and stuff like that.

Quint: Well let’s talk about the casting. Your leads are children, teenagers and young adults over the course of this story. How did you go about…

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Danny Boyle: I know it’s a weird one, the “three” thing, because you find one person and you’ve got to be careful not to get too over excited. You might never find another two who could at all match with them, you know? So it’s this balancing act that you’re weighting really. The biggest problem I had is that, because I went there to cast it all there and I couldn’t find the kid Jamal, the older Jamal, because the guys I saw were all really like… all the young lads in Bollywood, if they want to be a hero they’re all built like fuckin’ this (strikes a muscle man pose), like in the gym six hours a day and they’re walking in and they literally can’t put their arms down to the side. There are so many muscles here and their shirts are open like this and I didn’t really want a guy like that. I wanted a guy who looked like an ordinary guy, that he was just ordinary, because he’s an underdog you know he’s not like a bristling possible hero. He’s like an underdog.

Quint: When you’re seeing him interrogated, he’s not the guy that fights back.

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Danny Boyle: Yeah, he just has to take it and that’s sort of what he does a lot. So I found this guy, my daughter who is seventeen watches this show on the U.K. called SKINS which has just been released in America. It’s a very, very racy teenage show. It’s quite like… I don’t think it will work in America it’s very, very hardcore some of it and she said “you should see the guy in SKINS” and it was this guy Dev Patel and he plays a comic character in SKINS, quite small comic character, but he was interesting and I saw him and met him a couple times in London. It became more and more clear it was going to be him and it skewed it younger, because he was seventeen when we shot it, so then I made the other ones twelve and the other one seven, so that we separated the three ages and you have to wait until you find the key to the three and then you hope you got all the people locked in who will match with them.

Quint: Well I’m sure you also had to juggle… especially with the younger kids, I mean when you kind of get that age of seven to eight…six months of shooting or three months of prep or something can change them.

Danny Boyle: Yeah, I went back recently and they are different, so you couldn’t do pickups now. You couldn’t go back and do some pickups now, because it wouldn’t match. Definitely not, you’re right, because obviously six months in a seven year old kid’s life span is a long time. A lot of changes go on and…

Quint: That translates into like four inches and mustaches I don’t know maybe not that age but who knows.

Danny Boyle: Not at that age, no, but the twelve year old has, they definitely changed as well. The little kids, two of the little kids are from slums and they literally have… like one of the them the boy who plays “Salid,” he went home one night and we heard that the government sort of flattened his house, because he lives in a shack and they just cleared the shack from this area, and we had to send out all these people looking for him trying to find him and they found him on a car rooftop asleep which is where you sleep… you don’t sleep on the floor, you sleep on the cars, you lie on the bonnet of the car and sleep there and that’s where we found him. It’s awful, it’s like… I mean they rebuilt the shack like a couple of weeks later and they still live in that area, but they are proper kids from that area you know.

Quint: Well, that’s part of what drives the movie. The location shooting and the casting… you could have told me that they were hired out of some talent pool and I’d be like “Well they just did a great job,” but there’s an authenticity to it and I think that’s what makes it so powerful. I mean it’s kind of like when you see CITY OF GOD and you just kind of see it and you’re like “that’s real”. I mean that’s it.

Danny Boyle: If you go there and film, because the Bollywood films, they don’t want the streets, they film in the studios, but if you go and film on the streets there you’re going to see that there’s so much life going on, even if you try not to capture it, it’s going to happen anyway even if you’re trying to be difficult and avoid it. It’s going to pour into the film anyway, because it’s just everywhere, over spilling everywhere.

Quint: Did you always intend to have the Bollywood number at the end or was that something that you just…

Danny Boyle: You can not work in Bombay… you cannot live and work and not dance, you have to dance, so I had to have it somewhere, but I wasn’t sure where to put it. I was thinking about different places to put it, but then it felt like the right place was right at the end of the movie.

Quint: Well yeah, in the celebration of the love and that’s where all the symbolism is.

Danny Boyle: Yeah, and that’s what they use those dances for really. They are a symbol of love, so yeah we put it in and it was wonderful fun doing it, because again everybody there dances and everybody can do a bit of (Boyle twirls his hands, like a Bollywood number). You can see their hands and they can all bend their hands like that, all the way back just naturally like that! But the guy, Dev, of course he’s from London and he doesn’t dance. He’s embarrassed about dancing, so he had to be trained. They had to train him, actually Frieda (Pinto), the girl, helped him a lot in learning how to dance to do the dance so he can join in. It was great fun doing it. I love doing it, it is wonderful… you do realize how wonderful musicals must be; to shoot a musical which is so difficult of course to get up, but to shoot one must be fucking… It must be so amazing to do one!

Quint: Yeah and just seeing…just the energy of it, like I was telling you it’s hard for me to watch them from beginning to end, but like when that scene came up there’s an immediate smile on my face. Where there’s just something so…it’s alien to me, because it’s a completely different way than anything that I know from my culture, or from the British culture or the Australian, New Zealand, the Canadian… all these different… It’s so alien, but it’s also so full of joy. I don’t know it’s hard to pinpoint.

Danny Boyle: The other thing that’s happening though, and it’s quite interesting, is that rap and hip-hop is… They really get into that and it changes, because they “Indianize” it, but it is modernizing their music. It’s one of the big influences that’s changing their music, their traditional music and there’s this hybrid being created. They’ve got on the once, you got the traditional music and then you can feel hip-hop coming in this way, and then there’s also house music which was kind of European ten years ago. That’s also bleeding through and they love that, because it’s got the disco beat and they love disco, because it modernizes dance for them and you can feel these different things being drawn into it like that you know.

Quint: Again it’s a melting pot. You’re just going to get something…

Danny Boyle: Yeah, you realize culture is just changing all the time, people take bits of this and bits of that and scramble it up and come out with this other stuff you know. It’s really nice actually.

Quint: So, what do you got on the books next? You have this one coming out and then are you developing anything?

Danny Boyle: I have nothing. I literally finished this a few weeks before all this debacle started with Warners and so now because FOX said you got to get here and kind of present it everywhere and I’ll be doing this through until January when it’s released in India and the U.K. and I haven’t got anything. I mean I’m a bit like that anyway, I don’t really have a kind of raft of things. I tend to do one thing a time, just throw myself into it, but I have nothing. I’ve read a few scripts and stuff but I haven’t really got anything at the moment no.

Quint: I remember there was a lot of talk a while back about there being a TRAINSPOTTING sequel.

Danny Boyle: Yeah, there’s a… the guy who wrote the original book Irvine Welsh, he wrote a sequel to it and we had a look at it, and there’s an idea we’ve got for it, but it depends on the guys, all of the same guys, playing all the same characters but twenty years later and they look twenty years older and the problem is at the moment they don’t. They all look exactly the same!

Quint: They look too good!

Danny Boyle: They just look exactly the same and I don’t know how they do it, well we do know how we do it don’t we? Actors. They’re in the sauna on the weekend and they’re kind of like moisturizing and it’s kind of like… (laughs)

Quint: They’re trapping the youth in! (laughs)

Danny Boyle: Yeah, and you think they’re hard drinking, partying and they’re not. They tucked up in bed at ten o’clock at night and all that kind of stuff, so they do look very well kept, so it wouldn’t work at the moment. You’d have to do so much makeup and stuff to change them enough.

Quint: Now Kevin McKidd has changed a lot and I just spent some time with him in Romania of all places.

Danny Boyle: On what?

Quint: BUNRAKU. He’s doing this thing where’s he like this assassin in a very hyper stylized movie. He was the nicest guy, really laid back, but it’s funny that out of all the guys he’s changed…

Danny Boyle: He’s a lovely guy. He’s beefier, isn’t he… Yeah Kevin… Well of course he dies in TRAINSPOTTING so he wouldn’t be in… sadly he wouldn’t be in the… it was the other ones, the other ones all look a bit heavier yeah, they’ve put a bit of weight on, but they don’t look any different. They don’t look like particularly older, so we have to wait really until, because it is a good idea… I think to go back to those characters twenty years later and they’re still in the city and the trigger is that Begbie the Bobby Carlyle character has been in jail for twenty years for murder and so him being released kind of retriggers everything.

Quint: As long as it’s not BLUES BROTHERS 2000. That’s all I got to say from the fan community.

Danny Boyle: (laughs) I hope it won’t be. Anyways we’ll see, hopefully it will…I think they’re all interested though. We just did this, they’re re-releasing it on DVD and they just did all these new interviews with all the actors and they all did all the interviews, the lot of them, so I think they’re all interested in doing it.

Quint: That’s cool, so is that going to be like a Blu-Ray release?

Danny Boyle: Yeah, it’ll be… I guess, it’s not been in Blu-Ray yet.

Quint: No, not yet. I think that if they don’t do it for this release then it just means it’s coming soon. I mean Blu-Ray is the next wave.

Danny Boyle: Yeah, I’ve got one at home. I love it.

Quint: Well most of your stuff is on Blu-Ray. Like I have both SUNSHINE and 28 DAYS LATER on BLURAY. Which is funny, you know, 28 DAYS LATER, because it’s in the high def format, but you shot it on…

Danny Boyle: It was shot really cheap and all that kind of stuff. Yeah trying to make it look better than it actually is…

Quint: Have you ever read Robert Kirkman’s WALKING DEAD, the graphic novels?

Danny Boyle: No.

Quint: The comic book. It’s like one of my favorite… it’s like the zombie story that George Romero never told, essentially. It’s that kind of thing. It’s a great book, but it came out maybe within six eight months after your movie. And it opens almost exactly the same.

Danny Boyle: Does it?

Quint: And he got a lot of crap for it and he’s like “no I swear, when I wrote it, it hadn’t come out,” but it’s a cop who in the first page it’s the only page of the entire series that is pre-zombie and so it’s a cop with him and his partner in a shootout, and he gets hit, and then in the next page he’s in the hospital waking up.

Danny Boyle: Well, we stole it, of course it’s all stolen from DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS… and it’s all stolen from I AM LEGEND. (laughs)

Quint: I think Kirkman even made that point, he’s like “we just stole from the same people”!

Danny Boyle: Yeah, we just stole from the same people absolutely yeah!

I had a blast talking with Boyle. His enthusiasm is contagious, even at 8:30 in the damn morning! I hope you guys enjoyed the chat and I also really hope you guys check out SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. It is a wonderful film and I don’t say that too often. Thanks for reading along. I’m hard at work compiling this year’s Holiday Shopping Guide and have got some great suggestions from you folks so far. I think it’s going to be a great list this year. If you have any further suggestions, drop me an email! I’ll be back soon with a few more interviews and (Shock! Gasp!) the results of the Sideshow Anakin Vs. Obi-Wan maquette contest! -Quint

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 17, 2008, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Need more Trainspotting

    by TallBoy66

    And I also need to see Slumdog Millionaire, assuming it opens up where I live. And it probably won't.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 12:21 a.m. CST

    I wish India had continued going

    by seppukudkurosawa

    the direction guys like Satyajit Ray started with the Apu Trilogy. Bollywood seems just about as far as you can get from those movies. Though I guess it's got its fans, as my local cinema at least seems to show a couple different Bollywood movies a week. I won't deny, I've sat through a few just to catch a glimpse of some of the most gorgeous women (and men) on earth prancing about like the director slipped them a ketamine and lysergic acid milkshake.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 12:25 a.m. CST

    Shallow Grave

    by Symposium

    It's also getting a re-release with a load of extra I believe. About time too.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Good read Quint

    by Johnno

    There are some exceptionally good Bollywod movies that are a break from the norm. Usually Indian films are forced by marketing to include song and dance and cliche stuff because the masses in India still demand it be there. But there are filmakers that are breaking from the mold. If I could remember the damn titles to these films I'd recommend some...

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 1:16 a.m. CST

    Thanks Danny Boyle

    by iwontwin

    for aiming your lens at interesting culture full of contradictions and real hope. My parents left 30 years ago to make a new life in the west, but our roots run deep in mumbai...I can still remember visiting film city, and how much it impacted my life. The poverty modernization, and opulence provide a contrast worth capturing

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 1:29 a.m. CST

    wow, that was fun..

    by soup74

    shit quint, you should put the whole interview up somewhere for download, the few parts of both of you talking were a good listen.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 1:35 a.m. CST

    A life Less Ordinary is super cool.

    by JediRob

    Always dug that flick. <br> This new movie looks great. This man know how to make interesting choices. I'll be in for whatever he tries.<br> Trainspotting 2? 28 Months? Bring it.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 1:36 a.m. CST

    I thought McGregor said the book was shit.

    by biggerjohn

    So he didn't sound to interested in making 'Porno'. And they can't replace him.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 2:40 a.m. CST

    My reveiw for Slumdog

    by geraldbeans

    I think Danny Boyle is a wonderful filmmaker. The way he composes a shot, the way cuts his movie together, his use of music...the guy understands the art form of cinema better than almost any filmmaker working today. I just love looking at his films. But Danny has a problem. He doesn't understand story structure. A lot of his movies began to fall apart near the end (The Beach, Sunshine to name the two biggest of his disasters) and it's because he doesn't totally understand what to do after a great set up. The first half of The Beach remains one of the best halves a movie I've ever seen. Ever! And he managed to screw it up (to his credit, a decade later he admits that he had no idea what he was doing with the second half of that film). Slumdog Millionaire is an experimental screenwriter's dream. It jumps back and forth in time, giving us glimpses of what's happening in the present as well as the past. The movie's about a "slumdog" (a young indian man who lives in the slums) who's an answer away from winning a million dollars on India's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - which I guess is a phenomenon out there. The biggest problem with the film, in my opinion, is that it never establishes a rhythm. We see him asked a question on the show, and then we flash back to the moment in his life when he learned the answer. We watch him grow up in these flashbacks with his older brother, and the girl he falls in love with. But there's no real set time limit for each flasback. One will be quick while another takes its time. In addition you have a third timeline where he's being interrogated by the police for possibly cheating on the show. Because of this I always felt unsettled. Which it can be argued Boyle was going for. But it was unsettling in a negative way. And it made the movie feel a little messy. The other big problem with the film (major spoiler) is when his brother takes the girl from our hero. I never bought it. Not for a second. While his brother rolled with some suspect characters, we knew he loved him, and for him to either take the girl for himself or for the bad guy he was now working for (it wasn't very clear) was miscalculated and took me out of the movie. It wasn't a bad moviegoing experience, but this film stops just short of me being able to recommend it. Since it was obviously released late in the year for Oscar consideration, I'll be interested to hear what others think of it. p.s. Just so you know, the final question in Indian Millionaire is worth 20 million rupees. I assumed it was 1 million, and that was reached midway through the film. Since I never knew when the final question was coming, it was a little frustrating to watch.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Millionaire in India

    by Abhimanyu

    Just for information's sake:</p> India uses a couple of different measures from the million/ billion format. 10,000 is a "lakh" and 10,000,000 (a thousand lakhs) is called a "Crore". In fact, in India you would see the comma formatting applied as such: 1,0000 and 1,000,0000. </p>ANYWAY, the name of the show literally translates to "Who Wants to be a Crore-illionaire?" with a top prize of 10,000,000 rupees. For new sesaons, they doubled it to 2 Crores (20,000,000) which is what this movie uses. </p> 1 dollar=approximately 50 rupees, so the top prize would be about 400,000 dollars. Here the lesson endeth.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 5:40 a.m. CST

    McGregor said that nothing new happened.

    by MMacKK

    And to an extent he's right, but that was the point. Nothing changes. The same shit goes down because no-one has learnt. It would be a gret watch though.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 6:18 a.m. CST

    Trainspotting on Blu-Ray?

    by DerLanghaarige

    See all the shit, vomit and filth in HD quality!!!

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 6:45 a.m. CST


    by abn3r p3pp3r72

    Actually Danny Boy , the Trainspotting sequel 'Porno' is set ten years later not twenty mate. The characters are at 'the fag end of their youth.'

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 7:30 a.m. CST

    For all the good a Trainspotting sequel would do...

    by Cletus Van Damme

    ...we may as well have shoved it up the studio's ass!

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Trainspotting 2:

    by Kid Z

    ...Old Scottish Junkies. Or maybe, Trainspotting 2: An Even Worse Toilet In Scotland!

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 8:22 a.m. CST


    by abn3r p3pp3r72

    Is the drug of choice in Porno.Given how rife it's use in Britain is now a sequel would be most timely.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Sunshine soundtrack?

    by Shoegeezer

    Whatever happened to that? Why no release?

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Trainspotting was excellent, but-

    by Flyingcircus

    -that dead baby thing still haunts me. Horrifying.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Quint- who is Boyle talking about in regards to famous Indian a

    by Jugdish

    Is it Amitabh Bachchan? I heard he is the host of Indi'a version of Millionaire- He's king-fucking-kong in India- that would be an incredible feat if he got him in this film

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 10:15 a.m. CST


    by unkempt_sock

    hey quint, i would personally like it if there was a separate link or something of the WHOLE interview in sound-o-text, and not just snippets. Unless there's some secret reason why you can't do that. Like for all the interviews you do. Cause that'd be neat.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST

    @ Shoegeezer

    by Fromez

    Read this: Then this:

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Trainspotting Sequel: Please please please!

    by DarthCorleone

    The book (Porno) was pretty good.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I thought it was ten years and not 20 as well.

    by DarthCorleone

    It's been five years since I read the book and didn't remember all the details. Now is the time!

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 12:54 p.m. CST

    I Though He Didn't Like Calling..

    by pr1c3y

    His 28 day later running things zombues?

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Excellent interview!

    by My Mom Is A Whore

    I really enjoyed reading that. Can't wait to see Slumdog!

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 2:20 p.m. CST

    I don't think it's Amitabh, Jugdish

    by Kurutteru Yatsu

    While I would absolutely love to see Big A in some Western films, India's version of Millionaire is now hosted by Shahrukh Khan, who's an even bigger deal. If Boyle's gotten either of them it's automatically a win though.<p>On that subject, as long as more Hollywood actors are going east, can't some Bollywood stars come west? I'd love to see an American film with Shahrukh and Kajol onscreen together again. Or Aishwarya...yes. *drools*

  • If anyone can do it- its him...I'd love to see Big B play a doctor or somethign to that affect- he could do it with his eyes closed.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Amitabh was supposed to be in a Johnny Depp film.

    by Kurutteru Yatsu

    It's called Shantaram, but I just checked and it's still being cited as "in pre-production." As for M. Night, I'd rather they were in something good, you know?<p>Also, speaking of Amitabh Bachchan if you want to watch a Bollywood film without the song and dance I liked 'Black,' a 'Miracle Worker' story with AB as the teacher and Rani Mukherjee as his deaf, blind and insanely attractive student.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Harry finally uploaded a new cartoon

    by Eyegore

    Does anyone know WTF the last one was about? People standing in shadows? WTF was that shit, and why was it up for like 3 months straight?

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 5:34 p.m. CST

    I'd rather see cartoons of Harry's wife.

    by Kurutteru Yatsu

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Anyone besides Yatsu see Kaante? if such a blatant ripoff

    by Jugdish

    Its the Indian version of Resevoir Dogs and Usual Suspects mixed into an Indian film..its almost too funny how they can make a direct lift of american films. Yatsu- thanks on the Black recomendation- will have to travel to Devon street and pick it up

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 8:30 p.m. CST


    by paulrichard

    I think the cartoon you're talking about was from Prince of Darkness.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Jugdish, is that Devon Street in Chicago?

    by Kurutteru Yatsu

    That's where I grab my DVD's as well. My best friend and I make a day of it since we're coming from Madison, I scour for movies while she visits the sweet shops and grocery stores. And yeah, as much as I love Bollys it's hard not to notice the 'extreme similarities' that crop up from time to time. Btw, I snagged a copy of 'The Last Lear' with AB and Preity Zinta from online, watching it later tonight. I'll let you know.

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Yatsu- There is only one Devon & you got it!

    by Jugdish

    Swing by Tahoora and grab a few Samosa's ( its one of the few clean places!) two questions for you pal- #1- Have you seen the Sholay remake? ( I have not) # 2- which places should I hit for DVDs since there are so many to go to. - (Al Mansoor? Video palace? )

  • Nov. 17, 2008, 11:10 p.m. CST

    I don't mind sequels... but no TRAINSPOTTING 2!!!


    Please, Danny, don't do it!!!

  • Nov. 18, 2008, 5:19 a.m. CST

    Bollywood are notorious for hollywood ripoffs

    by theycallmemrglass

    But boy do they rip them off in a jaw dropping way. If any of you want to watch the best Bollywood film ever (not a remake but a "curry" western) then get Sholay. If you want to see the most fun filled that is a rip off of Matrix, ET, and Back to the Future all rolled into one then see KRIISH, its a fucking riot!

  • Nov. 18, 2008, 5:23 a.m. CST

    There's a suitcase full of money and nobody wants it

    by theycallmemrglass

    Shallow grave is still the best fucking film he's made to date. But I dont know what the fuck he was trying to achieve with Sunshine, that was kinda terrible.

  • Nov. 18, 2008, 6:33 a.m. CST


    by Fromez

    is incredibly underrated. As is A Life Less Ordinary. Don't see why people think it's so horrible.

  • Nov. 18, 2008, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Krrish sounds AWESOME!

    by Jugdish

    I wonder how you say 1.21 Gigawatts in Hindi!!!

  • Nov. 18, 2008, 11 a.m. CST

    Jugdish and Yatsu

    by Abhimanyu

    *spoiler* The host is neither AB nor SRK - actually played by Anil Kapoor. AB is, however, who I think Danny is talking about in this interview, which leads me to believe that AB is probably the guy whose autograph the kid wants. Maybe that's the reason they couldn't have him play the host? How could you say it was the greatest star of all time and the host of the show? It wouldn't make sense anywhere outside of India.

  • Nov. 18, 2008, 11:44 a.m. CST

    No Trainspotting 2?

    by DrLektor

  • Nov. 18, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST

    No Trainspotting 2?

    by DrLektor

    Are you mental? It's a given that they'll turn Porno into a movie, I bet almost every reader of that book imagined the actors from Trainspotting spouting the lines, I know I did. I believe Irvine Welsh is planning a third too, but like the time between the first and second books, you have to give it a few years. Or maybe he just hasn't thought of a plot yet.

  • Nov. 18, 2008, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Forget Trainspotting 2...

    by Royston Lodge

    There are tonnes of Irvine Welsh stories that are crying out for the big-screen treatment. I'd love to see another short film anthology like The Acid House.

  • Nov. 18, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Sunshine is a great film, very underrated

    by Lovecraftfan

    It has an absolutely gorgrous last five minutes and its just a beautiful film overall. Also has anyone read Filth or Glue by Welsh? How are they?

  • Nov. 24, 2008, 12:46 a.m. CST

    Slumdog is Danny Boyle's best film so far

    by Bass Bastardson

    And I have been a fan since I first saw Shallow Grave in the theater.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 3:37 a.m. CST


    by BurgerKing

    That was hilarious. Quint talking about how everything is so pre-sold, even though this site is that very tool they use to pre-sell and Danny reminded him of that. Awesome, again, Boyle is the man.