Theslightlyscarlet talks to director Tom Green about his new film Monsters: Dark Continent.
“It’s not a small film. They [the audience] are going to get a lot of ideas and a lot of spectacle but also an integral human story” British director Tom Green promises. The 34 year old creator of the BAFTA winning television series Misfits has put the Channel 4 show on hold for his début feature film Monsters: Dark Continent. Given the success of Gareth Edwards’s first film it was inevitable that someone, somewhere, would have made a sequel. It is unlikely, however, that they would have had the support of Godzilla (2014) director Edwards in the process. “Monsters was a very personal film to me”, says Edwards, “so it’s been a surreal honour to have such talented film-makers and actors work so hard to create such a beautiful and heartfelt sequel.”
“Gareth Edwards is the executive producer”, Tom Green tells us, “and he has been amazing”. “It’s his innovation that has kicked this off in the first place and I want this film to be a legacy of his first one. He’s seen the film and to me the biggest compliment was the fact that he was proud of that legacy. He was really impressed – he loved the movie. He’s been very kind but he’s also been good enough to leave me alone in the process.”
Monsters: Dark Continent leads on ten years later from Edwards‘s own 2010 science-fiction directorial début which featured a NASA probe crashing in Mexico igniting the arrival of giant tentacled creatures. In Green‘s sequel the “Infected Zones” have now spread worldwide. We are thrown into the Middle East where a new insurgency has begun at the same time a proliferation of monsters have arisen in the region.
“The original Monsters“, Green says, “was one of the most innovative pieces of film-making I’d seen for a while. The building blocks were there to give me some freedom to go and create a world and build a world on a great scale as well as building on the ethos of that actual film-making.” However, Green is keen to stress the importance of this being a completely different film from the first.
“It is a sequel in the sense that it leads off from Gareth‘s Monsters from 2010 but we started a completely new narrative with this film. It focuses on a group of soldiers – some young lads from Detroit who are shipped out to the Middle East where they are caught between an insurgency and the creatures. It’s a film in its own right and an individual piece of work.”
Green continues to talk about his first experience with film and why he believes he will receive support from the fans of the first film.
“It was fantastic, I had an amazing time. It was low-budget shot quickly so it’s a transferable environment. It’s an exciting place to be working with some of the finest actors. I thought we were going to make something that was going to last and have longevity – that’s important to me. They [the fans] will still get that intimacy, that human story, that I think a lot of people were connected to and so we have been true to that principle.”
The power of Edwards‘s monsters was that they worked as a metaphor – to expose human conflict and fears through the unknown “other”. What do the creatures represent for Green?
“We are deliberately ambiguous in terms of what the monsters represent for people and that’s the beauty of it. I think people project a lot of their own agenda onto the creatures. They give you a lot of scale but really it’s a study about men at war and that’s really what the film is about but it still plays into that sense of who the real monster is I guess. Like any good science fiction film its relatable to social issues and is relevant – that was the intention of the film making.”
Monsters: Dark Continent stars Johnny Harris and Joe Dempsie. It is due for release 27th February 2015.