Spike Jonze On Where The Wild Things Are

And a new pic from the film

AICN recently sat down with Spike Jonze to discuss his new film Where The Wild Things Are, and bagged some new pics from the film.

Based on Maurice Sendak's classic novel, the story follows Max, a naughty boy who's sent to his room after causing havoc in the house but who escapes to romp with the Wild Things instead. Here's the highlights of what Jonze had to say about his approach to the film.

"I wanted this movie to take it [the Wild Things' place] as seriously as kids take their imagination and not, like, fantasy it up. It just started from that feeling, that it could feel like you were there with them, like Max was there with them, and not just in some fantasy movie."

"In the book the characters are so cuddly, but also dangerous. So I wanted to maintain the charm of Maurice’s characters, but then make them feel like they lived in this environment, and give them faces and eyes that could emote in the complexity of what the script needed them to be.

"We shot the whole movie with the voice actors on a soundstage, just shot it like a workshop. It looked like some sort of ‘70s experimental theatre or something. Puppeteering and animation isn’t spontaneous in any way, but I wanted the movie to feel alive and immediate. I knew I could get that with Max, but I wanted the Wild Things also to have that kind of performance, so by doing that with the actors where everything is spontaneous, the guys in the suits would feed off of that. They would watch the tapes, so they’d be acting along to James Gandolfini’s voice in these speakers. And then the guy in the suit would just “feel” what Gandolfini did in his body and his shoulders, so every little head movement would be intentional, because Gandolfini did everything with intention."

"When I was writing it, I kind of knew it was complicated, but I just had to be willfully naïve about that to not get bogged down in it. But it’s hard. By the time we got to Australia and were shooting it, the realities of what we were trying to do set in. It was just exhausting and insane to be out on these cliffs in southern Australia where there’s 60 mph winds, and you’ve got all these guys in suits, and you’ve got this little boy who’s freezing."

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