ComingSoon.net is launching “Faster The Chronicles,” a multi-chapter series narrative of the production of Faster from some of your favorite movie sites. Each installment will highlight a different aspect in the process of the making of Faster, the action thriller hitting theaters on November 24.
We’ve got an intro to “Faster The Chronicles” featuring Dwayne Johnson which you can watch using the player below!
In the film, co-starring Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, Maggie Grace, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Moon Bloodgood, Driver (Johnson) has a singular focus after 10 years in prison – to avenge the murder of his brother during the botched bank robbery that led to his imprisonment. Now a free man with a deadly to-do list in hand, he’s finally on his mission…but with two men on his trail – a veteran cop (Thornton) just days from retirement, and a young egocentric hitman (Jackson-Cohen) with a flair for the art of killing and a newfound worthy opponent. The hunter is also the hunted. It’s a do or die race to the list’s finish as the mystery surrounding his brother’s murder deepens, and new details emerge along the way hinting that Driver’s list may be incomplete.
As part of The Chronicles, CBS Films has started a sweepstakes for a chance to win “The Ultimate Guy’s Getaway” – a trip for two to Las Vegas, which includes roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations (2 nights) and $1000 in FAST cash. You can enter the sweepstakes on the official Faster Facebook page at Facebook.com/FastertheMovie. Each week, a new question will be posted that’s related to The Chronicles story that comes online that day.
The series is kicking-off with our exclusive interview with Faster screenwriters Joe and Tony Gayton. The Gaytons moved to Los Angeles about 30 years ago to pursue their writing careers and it didn’t take long for the brothers to find their place in the industry.
ComingSoon.net: How did you two get involved in the project?
Tony Gayton: We wrote it on spec. I had this idea for a screenplay and I went to Joe to talk about it and we outlined it together. I had some real clear ideas on the style of writing and the scene description. Joe wrote the first draft on this. We don’t sit down together per se and write. We outline together. Some scripts come to you fully armed and some are a struggle. This one I just saw a lot of imagery in my head real clearly on this script. When I went to do my pass at it, it was like, I hate to say writing itself because it’s never that easy, but that sort of vibe.
CS: Where did the idea come from? I understand the inspiration derived from 70’s films.
Tony Gayton: The style is 70’s, but the opening scene just came to me. I saw this guy pacing in a cell. I thought of just the idea of a guy getting out of prison and sort of being told by the warden that this is your chance to turn your life around and just sprinting out the front of the prison to go and kill someone. His first act getting out of prison is to kill someone. To take a character who you think is the antagonist – the villain and then by the end of the first act, finding out that he is indeed out protagonist.
CS: When you were writing, did you have Dwayne Johnson in mind?
Tony Gayton: No, I did not. I rarely think of actors and I think Joe is the same way. We rarely think of actors when we write. To tell you the truth, if I thought of any actor it would be Steve McQueen. He wasn’t available. We’re happy to have Dwayne. He’s great. You just really needed one of those masculine actors for this part. There’s nothing metrosexual about him.
CS: What was your reaction when you heard Johnson was getting back into action films and he wanted to do this movie because of your script?
Tony Gayton: Flattered. We heard that he didn’t just like the script, but that he loved it. He got it… he got the 70’s sort of vibe. Once we heard his passion for it, we were just thrilled. I think some actors would be nervous playing a part like this because there’s not a lot of dialogue. He never asked for more dialogue. The studio asked for it a few times, but Dwayne never asked. I think that’s a guy who feels comfortable with his screen presence. I don’t think he minded that – in fact I think he embraced it.
Joe Gayton: I was very excited especially after talking to him the first time. He understood it and knows that it’s a throwback movie to movies that we love. I think it’s a really great role for him too because it’s got all the action, but it’s a lot deeper than that. I think this is a good character – a strong character, a nuance and layered character. I hope people appreciate that.
CS: Fans have been waiting to see Johnson get back into the action genre so is there pressure on you two for this movie to do well?
Tony Gayton: Nah, that’s not pressure for us. Not at all. I think it’s a great move on his part. If you want to do those family roles, and I think it’s cool he does though, but I think they only work if you go and do some movies like this now and again to reestablish that badass persona. Then go play the family roles and it works even better. I think everybody thought it was time for him to do this and I’m just glad he picked our script.
CS: What do you think Johnson brings to the role?
Tony Gayton: An incredible physical presence first and foremost, but at the same time there is a vulnerability to the character. There is the sort of sense of redemption. He’s a little like the Terminator in this thing because he goes from point A to point B, but there are moments of reflection which Dwayne can handle without doing a lot of dialogue. He has a great face and great eyes that really say a lot on screen without having to do too much.
Joe Gayton: I think he brings an absolute intensity and a sort of singularity of purpose in his mission and you believe it completely. I think also this is a tough character who does some rough things, but you have a real sympathy for him too. I think he’s very relatable. I think there’s something about him that people can relate to… men and women, which I think is important.
CS: For the role of Killer, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, an unknown actor was cast. How did you feel about that?
Tony Gayton: We loved that. Joe and I thought all along it’s a great role to cast someone like that. We were just so happy it turned out that way. He holds his own on screen and it’s hard to hold your own against Dwayne because he’s just so massive. It’s a very verbal role as opposed to Dwayne’s role and he pulled that off.
Joe Gayton: I was excited by it. I’m a great believer in discovering people. I think it’s a perfect role to get someone unknown to bring him on the scene. Hopefully it will make him a star. When I heard he was British–we didn’t write the character British–but when he heard he was, we’re like why not just go with that? It adds another layer to it. The fact that this guy is British.
CS: Why doesn’t Johnson have a lot of dialogue?
Tony Gayton: He’s a man of action. He doesn’t need to say much. That was on purpose. This is almost like a contemporary Western in a way. It’s very much patterned after those [Clint] Eastwood roles.
Joe Gayton: It’s because of movies that we love. Clint Eastwood’s great roles were ones where he spoke very little. It made him a star. The characters have become icons on cinema. We’re great believers that you don’t need to speak much if you have that presence, then it will be powerful and sometimes more powerful without talking.
CS: Why have certain movies in the 70’s been such a big influence on you? What is it about them?
Joe Gayton: I’ll tell you what I think. From the late 60’s to the mid 70’s, I think it’s the golden age of American cinema. A lot of people look back to the 30’s and 40’s, but I think some of the movies being made by big studios then were absolutely amazing. We think about movies like “Taxi Driver” and “The French Connection.” These were really hard-boiled movies that were big studio releases and they were experimenting. I just think it was a freer time and a time when people were really taking chances with movies and making movies that were unforgettable.
CS: Talk about your writing process. You said you outline together, but you don’t write together.
Tony Gayton: We’d probably kill each other if we sat in the same room. We trust each enough. A lot of times, Joe will do the first draft and I will come in and do a rewrite after. He comes in and puts the foundation down and the studs up and the drywall and I come in and do all the finish work and try to sharpen up the characters and dialogue as much as I can. It seems to work. We write by ourselves to. We both started writing independently of each other and we respect each other’s independence and space as far as that goes.
Joe Gayton: This was actually Tony’s original idea. We sit down and very thoroughly outline it and come up with all of the characters. We’ll do outline and note cards. We very specifically figure out the story. In this case, I wrote the first draft and he came in and wrote the second draft. He did great as far as I’m concerned. I did a pretty rough first draft and he did a beautiful second draft. Everything we do is like that. We figure out very quickly who will write the first draft and then the other one will come in and do the second draft. Then we kind of take it from there.
CS: I know you two have written screenplays together before, but this is the first time you’ll get credit as writers and producers on a film together?
Tony Gayton: We’ve written several scripts together and it’s the first one we’ve gotten made together. Unfortunately, we’ve written some good scripts together that did not get made. It makes it that much better that I’ve got my name up there with my brother. It makes it that much sweeter.
Joe Gayton: I enjoy getting stuff made that I’ve written with him as much as stuff that I’ve written alone.
Head over to Latino Review for Chapter Two in “Faster The Chronicles”!