Director Sylvain White Talks The Losers
03.27.10 by Ryan
Sylvain White has a varied background as a director starting with the 2006 slasher sequel I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer to the street-dancing drama of 2007's Stomp the Yard, but White has found a home in the comic book movie genre. With The Losers opening April 23, White is already at work adapting Frank Miller's Ronin. White told MTV that comic books have always been an interest for him, which is what drew him to the project.
Well, to tell you the truth, I grew up in Paris reading a lot of graphic novels — mostly European material, but some American stuff, too. So when I was looking for projects, I always looked into the graphic novel arena. What appealed to me about The Losers was that it wasn't the typical superhero-with-superpowers thing. It was based on real characters — realistic characters — and based in reality, like a lot of the European graphic novels that I had grown up reading.
Secondly, I loved the unique tone that [artist] Jock and [writer] Andy Diggle brought to the comic, which is this sort of great combination of light humor and fun with this really bad-ass action. And I thought, especially in recent years, there's been a lot of really cool, pretty realistic action, but at the same time it's usually paired with a dry, realistic tone. It's never necessarily combined with light, fun characters. So I thought, just like in the comic, that this is the opportunity to create something like that. That sort of fun tone in action movies seems to be coming back around, but I think we're going to be the first ones out there to really break ground with it.
The Losers has changed release dates several times, once to June and then back to April. White says the moves had nothing to do with reshoots and everything to do with other movies changing their release dates.
I have to say, as a filmmaker, I'm really proud because this is basically my fifth movie that I've done and I've never had to do reshoots. So I'm very happy about that. The change of dates was basically due to a shift in some releases between the studios. They moved Clash of the Titans, and then they had to move another release date in June. So I think the marketing department decided, "Let's maybe move to the June date," but then the April date opened up again and they went back to it. I'm not quite sure how the science of these things work, that's not really my department and I trust the marketing at Warner Bros. to make the best decision for the movie. I'm just excited it's coming out in April. I think the date is great. I think it's a great spring movie.
White promises plenty of action in The Losers, so much so that he had trouble choosing a favorite scene.
There's a great fight between Aisha (Zoe Saldana) and Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) which is pretty amazing, and I think it's going to be quite a bit of benchmark for boy-girl fights. There's a great scene with Jensen, played by Chris Evans, which is really funny and cool. We see a little bit of it in the trailer that is lifted from the comic, in which he infiltrates a building in Houston. There's also a great shootout with Aisha in a hotel room that's pretty fantastic because it's really exciting. I shot it like those old gangster movies from the '70s. It's pretty bad-ass.
But that scene with Jensen was always so funny in the pages of the comic, and you really want the humor to translate. Chris Evans really is a great Jensen. All the humor that the character had in the comic, he's really able to bring to life — and he's really a fun character to watch in this movie. That's why it's one of my favorite scenes.