Exclusive: Colin Trevorrow On “Heartbreaking” Negative Reaction To The Book Of Henry

Colin Trevorrow Jurassic World

by John Nugent |
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Director Colin Trevorrow has spoken candidly for the first time about the critical lambasting of his latest film, the unconventional indie drama The Book Of Henry. Currently sitting at 23% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film's tonal twists and risky subject matter have earned scathing notices and polarising opinions, a reaction Trevorrow admitted was "a little heartbreaking".

In an interview with the Empire Podcast, due to be broadcast tomorrow, the director of Jurassic World and the forthcoming Star Wars Episode IX spoke openly about his disappointment from the reaction (carefully avoiding the well-trodden rebuttal that this was a movie 'made for the fans').

"It came to us as a bit of a shock," the director said. "We did not anticipate that level of vitriolic dislike for the film. In the end, do I want to be somebody who pleases both audiences and critics? Absolutely. Is that hugely disappointing? It is."

Trevorrow passionately defended his film, accepting that it was experimental and would not be for everyone. "I do stand by the movie. I know it's something I'm very proud of, and everyone who made it is very proud." But he acknowledged that his high profile status, as a director behind two of Hollywood's biggest franchises – Star Wars and Jurassic Park – earned him greater attention than he anticipated.

"What I may have underestimated is how my visibility as somebody who is responsible for two things that we all care about deeply, and are massive parts of our public consciousness and shared mythology – how that level of visibility would shine a spotlight that I hadn't considered."

The extreme critical reactions – which included a clutch of one-star reviews – did seem "a little disproportionate" to the filmmaker, but he did laugh at one reaction from a Star Wars fan forum, as discovered by his wife. "This guy was making the case to the Star Wars fans: 'this movie is terrible, this guy must be stopped!' And then at the very end, he's like, 'Actually I took my wife and two kids to go see it... and it's pretty great. I really liked it. It was not what I expected!' So I would at least ask anybody: please go see the movie."

The Book Of Henry is in UK cinemas from Friday 23 June. To listen to the full interview with Colin Trevorrow, listen to the Empire Podcast, out tomorrow.

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