SDCC EXCL: Goyer’s Unborn Origins


Batman writer’s possession thriller

“This was my first original script in about ten years,” writer-director David Goyer tells We’ve just stepped off stage from the Rogue panel at the San Diego Comic-Con and are taking a few moments to talk about the origins of The Unborn, his latest horror film. “I was just wanting to do something that wasn’t developed at the studios. Where I wouldn’t get a bunch of notes and I could just do what I want. On Batman Begins, Chris and I were given no notes. We made it and it was great. Same thing on Dark Knight, it was such an amazing experience and it was the only time I’ve had that experience. I was so tired of getting the same bullshit studio notes.”

In The Unborn, Odette Yustman is a young woman tormented by dreams and visions that give way to possession. Gary Oldman plays her spiritual advisor; Idris Elba, Meagan Good, and Cam Gigandet co-star. “I had this notion of: What if you found out you were a twin and you were being haunted by your unborn twin? That’s eerie. I just started researching twins and one thing led to another, six months later we were making the movie.”

Casting the right leading lady was a bit tricky: “The lead girl is in every single scene. The bar is higher for this film, it’s not a slasher and it’s not a remake. I was trying to find someone like the Naomi Watts/The Ring thing. Someone that’s credible, the guys will think is hot and is a really great actress. Odette came in and gave a great audition. My wife, a producer on the film, said we should go back and look at her audition again. I did and she’s great.”

Pre-WGA strike, Goyer anticipated taking the helm of Fox’s X-Men spin-off Magneto. When the studio moved on Wolverine first, however, it offered the writer-director a chance to present his agent with Unborn. “He didn’t even know I had it,” Goyer laughs. Coincidentally, Platinum Dunes and Rogue had a movie drop out of their production slot. In came Unborn, an original horror-thriller requiring a modest budget. “Literally, we started pre-production the week after I showed them the script and shot the first draft. They were into it – this was more of a grown-up horror film and I think Platinum Dunes was excited to move away a bit from the remake thing. Michael [Bay], consequently, gave me a lot more free reign than he usually does. It was super easy.”

“There are no expectations with this so we don’t have to live up to the new Batman or Blade thing,” he continues. “I wanted to do something original. Although there’s an exorcism involved, it’s not just The Exorcist. There’s a whole mythology in there that has never been in a movie before, that’s for sure.”

Goyer says when he’s through with the next spate of studio projects flying at him in the coming months, there’s another horror film he’d like to do. “I’m definitely going to write it up and make it next year.”

The Unborn opens in theaters in 2009.

Source: Ryan Rotten