MTV News spoke with filmmaker Zack Snyder and the cast about the making of the fantastical battle movie.
By Kara Warner
March 25, 2011
At long last, Zack Snyder's mysterious, "Alice in Wonderland With Machine Guns" film "Sucker Punch" has arrived in theaters.
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To celebrate the film's opening day, we present a few more fun facts about the film that we learned directly from the film's director/writer Zack Snyder and the cast.
1. Snyder's original plan for the movie was to build it around a big musical number.
"I had this idea that it'd be cool if we used the musical number for the spine of the movie or the spine of the action sequence," Snyder told MTV News. "And then getting in and out of it would be like, the music would start and that would draw us in. That would be the sort of mechanism for the fantasy to begin, and when the music ended, that would be the mechanism for it ending. And that was sort of how it started."
2. Inspiration for the look of the film came from the adult fantasy magazine Heavy Metal.
"I still read it, actually," Snyder said. "It's got little short stories in it and they're illustrated. And so it's like a comic strip that has more sex and violence than you would get from a normal comic book," Snyder said, adding that he started reading the magazine in his youth. "I think it influenced this movie in a pretty big way."
3. For the high-action "train sequence," Snyder used hundreds of shots to look like one, which took seven days to shoot.
"[The train sequence] is a sequence that's broken up into maybe 120 shots that look like one shot," Snyder explained. "So you just kind of have to know where the cameras are going and knowing where it came from, and put these little camera moves in and all these shifts that have to happen. ... You shoot one angle and then you shoot the other angle and then it's going to be stitched with the CG section. So you have to know what you're capable of," he said. "How far you can push the CG stitch so it doesn't break the shot. There's a whole bunch of things like that."
4. Everyone in the cast is wearing a ton of makeup.
Even for Oscar Isaac, who plays creepy institution overlord Blue Jones and has the privilege of being one of the only men in the cast, the makeup process was extensive.
"I remember they would spray-tan me and then put an extra coat of shine on it," he recalled. "Then blush and then tons of eyeliner. My hair was basically glued tight to my head."
But compared to what the ladies endured, Isaac's process wasn't that bad. Carla Gugino told us the filmmakers wanted the makeup to make a statement, and that she spent at least two hours in the makeup chair every morning.
"We definitely had so much fun," Gugino said. "Rosalina [Da Silva] designed the look of the film makeup-wise. And we did 'Watchmen' together as well," she explained. "She's amazing. But there was a point when she said, 'Carla, guess how many sets of lashes you have on your eyes?' and I was like, 'Including my real ones?' and she was like, 'Yes.' And we realized that it was four."
5. Snyder had to cut back on the violence in the movie, particularly a few scenes that involve implied or attempted rape.
"Those [scenes] of course got trimmed away," he said. "It's really delicate because even that subject matter, you have the harder version that is sometimes better because it actually makes the point a little bit more directly. The PG-13 version was difficult for me," he revealed. "I would say that the very things that they didn't like were the very things that you needed to see in order for you to understand the content of the scene. You know, to know how to feel about it, because otherwise you're sort of left in this weird middle ground," he said. "So it's difficult. It's tricky."
Snyder went on to explain why the sexual violence and lobotomy images were necessary to include in the film, juxtaposed with the idea of women not being victims and being able to defend themselves.
"For me it was all about having incredible threat in that world. Like, what is the most dangerous thing? What is the worst possible thing, and to me being lobotomized and then raped is probably the worst possible thing," he explained.
"I like the idea that the verdict or the ... like if someone were to make a sacrifice, and you have two alternatives and one is just go back to jail. OK. You know, I get that. And one is you know, be lobotomized and then possibly raped for the rest of your zombified life. You know, you really need to think about that. You're giving up a lot, I guess, is my point."