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Brett Ratner Webchat
The full script of the director's visit

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Brett Ratner dropped into the Empire offices today to chat about his latest job, editing Bollywood film Kites for Western audiences, and his career to date, from the Rush Hour films to The Family Man to X-Men: The Last Stand. He knows everyone, he hangs out with lingerie-clad Playboy models and he's mates with Roman Abramovich - but today he was answering YOUR questions...
Brett Ratner on the set of Rush Hour 3


Hello, I'm here in sunny London, hoping that the volcano does not explode.

Harry Fender: Hi Brett! I saw on Empire's Twitter feed that you were in Cannes last week. How crazy is that place? Did you get any deals done?
I made a few deals, I met a few pretty girls, but mostly I had a great time.

crazymoviesdude: Do Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan get on as well off screen?
They like each other but they don't understand a word they're saying to each other.

Chip Denver: Hey Brett, big fan! I think you're over for Kites, is that right? How did you get involved with that, and what are you doing? Re-editing? Remixing?
Rakesh Roshan came to my house for dinner and asked would I like to see a film that he produced. I saw the film, and thought that it was really good. What he attempted to do was make a Bollywood film that appealed to international audiences. So he asked me, if he was to release this movie in the United States, what would I suggest? I rattled off a bunch of ideas, and he said, "Could you do that for us?" So he tricked me, and now I'm here in London, talking about Kites. [pauses to remove jacket] Right now my shirt is off.

Rgirvan44: 3D: Genuine artistic tool, or attempt by studios to swindle more money out of customers? Would you ever make a 3D movie?
I love that it's helping us keep Hollywood afloat, but I think it doesn't work on every movie, which Hollywood is probably attempting to apply. The big joke is that every movie made there's a conversation should we shoot it in 3D. Thank god for Jim Cameron or we'd be in big trouble. He made enough money for the whole industry. But 3D should only be used if it services the story, in my opinion.

Harry Fender: It's been three years since you got behind a camera, New York I Love You notwithstanding. Is that going to change any time soon?
I'm retired until I have something to say of importance. In all seriousness, I've been working for two and a half years on a script I am passionate about called Tower Heist. I am very close to launching that this fall, and we are in discussions with Ben Stiller to star in it.

familyman: What’s the best rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
The best one? That I'm a slut.

Supernova: Was X3 an enjoyable experience for you? How do you feel about the direction the franchise has gone since then (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and also the direction that it is heading (X-Men: First Class)?
I love the X-Men series, and I'm a fan and I'll go see any X-Men movie opening weekend. I'm not as fanatic as all you people out there in live-webchat land. I know how difficult the process of making a movie is, and how you can't please everyone. So I'm more tolerant, and try to just sit back and enjoy any X-Men film as any regular audience member.

JamesMM: If you had to watch one of your own films for the rest of your life, what one would it be?
The one of me and a supermodel whose name I won't mention – but probably Family Man.

Neil Fearn: Brett, what's your favourite flavour of crisp?
Salt and vinegar. (Helen: We've just handed him a bag)

L'ilLecter: Red Dragon is a better movie than Manhunter: discuss.
Is this an actual Lecter offspring? I don't think it's a better movie; I just think it's a different movie. Michael Mann is my hero. I only got the balls to do that movie because Jonathan Demme told me not to worry about what he did with Silence of the Lambs. He said if he worried about what Mann did with Manhunter there would never have been a Silence of the Lambs.
Brett Ratner and Anthony Hopkins in Red Dragon

jebutlin: Hey Brett, what's in the pipeline for you directing-wise at the moment?
I answered that earlier, but I am developing a Playboy biopic on Hugh Hefner. I am developing an adaptation of the comic-book Young Blood. I am developing Beverly Hills Cop. I am producing several movies, like Horrible Bosses, and a great new documentary called Catfish, which will blow your mind when you see it.

Chip Denver: Is the filmmaker in you looking at the volcano/ash cloud and thinking, 'movie potential!'?
How did you know?

Jay: How do you choose your cinematographers/editors to your films? Who is the best cinematographer you would like to work with (living or dead)?
Well, when I did movie videos I worked with a different cinematographer every video. I used Dante Spinotti to shoot Family Man, and I've done four films with him since and three pilots. My editor's cut every feature film I've shot. His name is Mark Helfrich. I would like to work with Harris Savides, Bob Richardson and/or Roger Deakins. I'm also a big fan of Emmanuel Lubeszki and Pawel Edelman, who shot New York I Love You for me.

The Jackal: So – what's the dream? If you could get your hands on any character or franchise, or create one of your own, what would it be?
I'm hoping Young Blood is a new franchise; I'm not really a strategist when it comes to picking my films, I go with my instinct. If I read a book, or a comic-book, or an article that interests me, then I'll go with my gut. I grew up, of course, loving Superman. But that came and went, so on to the next.

NozzDogg: I recently watched the episode of Entourage where you appear as yourself. What was that like?
That was fun. I hate acting more than anything. But I did it because I thought it would be easy to play myself. And the hardest part of it was actually listening. Talking was something that I'm used to doing, but listening is the hardest part of acting.

Harry Fender: You were developing Superman before Bryan Singer, and he was obviously working on X3 before you took it over. Do you ever wonder what might have happened had you both stayed with the original project?
I would have been hated much less than I am today. But I hope that both our films will get a second life in the year 2020. And that they're re-released in 3D.

Chip Denver: I don't know if you saw the last issue of Empire, but they totally ripped off your photobooth idea, dude! But I love that booth... and the book that came out. Can you tell us where you got it? I want one!
(After being shown the offending article) My photobooth is a vintage one. My booth has an actual chemical lab within the booth. The Empire article was digital pictures, which I do not respect. It actually wasn't my idea; it belongs to Andy Warhol.

jebutlin: Which directors of all time do you most admire? And who do you think is a good new and up-and-coming director?
OK, good question. My favourite dead director is Hal Ashby. My favourite living director living is Roman Polanski. My favourite contemporary directors are the Hughes brothers. My favourite up-and-coming directors, and there are so many: Nash Edgerton from Australia, Borys Lankosz from Poland, Anurag Basu from India, Asger Leth from Denmark, and too many others.

zloben: From Russia: Thanks for “Prison Break”. Is there any chance of PB – The Movie?
I heard that they're making a Chinese version of Prison Break: The Movie, so I'm looking forward to seeing that.

jolly_ramon: What films have you been approached to direct and turned down? And why?
I turned down Memoirs of a Geisha, which I loved. I loved the script, and Asian women, but I didn't think I could bring much else to the project. I turned down Charlie's Angels, you know why. I turned down Ocean's Eleven because I wasn't available. I developed that; that was my movie damnit! I'm jealous of Steven Soderbergh. And I was not offered Avatar.

AxelFoley: How far along are you with Beverly Hills Cop 4? Have you and Eddie sat down to discuss ideas? Anything you can tell us?
Well, Axel, I'm working very hard on the fourth. It's very difficult, especially since there were three before. We're trying to figure out some important things, like where do we start? Is Axel retired? Is he in Beverly Hills? Is he on vacation? Does Judge Reinhold return as the loveable Billy Rosewood? Many questions to figure out, but I'm hoping to have a script before film disappears from our existence.

Chip Denver: I've heard all kinds of wild rumours about the reason why Jean Grey doesn't speak in the second half of X3... what's the real story?
I have no idea. It wasn't a plan that she was mute.

JamesMM: What comedic actor/actress that you have worked with is the funniest off-screen?
Charlie Sheen is by far the funniest human being I have ever worked with. Chris Tucker would say a joke in Money Talks, and Charlie was the straight man in the movie, but when the camera stopped rolling Charlie would have a brilliant comeback. He's an incredibly funny man.

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