John Carpenter Gets Back to Work with The Ward
09.14.10 by Ryan
Director John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) took a long hiatus since 2001's Ghosts of Mars. Carpenter previously explained that he took a break after experiencing "burn out," but now the director is back with The Ward, a ghost story and horror movie that sees Amber Heard slowly realize that she, and the other patients in a psychiatric hospital's isolation ward, are not alone. Carpenter told Collider how The Ward, which screened at the Toronto Film Festival, lured him back to making movies.
Years ago, in 2001, I was just completely burned out on the business of directing. I had to stop. I had to relax and get away from it. I made a pledge to myself that when I stopped loving cinema and loving the job, I wouldn’t do it anymore, and I didn’t love it then. Mick Garris, who is a friend of mine, organized this Masters of Horror TV series for Showtime. I shot a couple of those and I really enjoyed myself. It was fun getting back. They were small-budget, very quick, hour-long stories, but I realized, "Oh, this is fun again." So, The Ward came along and it fit all of my requirements. It wasn’t a big budget, it wasn’t effects driven, it was character driven and I had a chance to work with really talented actors and actresses, so I took it.
Carpenter calls The Ward a "psychological thriller" though he says the movie may contain a little blood and gore as well.
There’s a bit of gore. There’s a touch, here and there. You play with everything you’ve got. I’m not a lover of cheap tricks. I’ve always loved playing with people, but there’s no rule about it. You try everything you can.
With the rejuvenation of The Ward, Carpenter now has a few projects lined up. One is Fangland, an adaptation of the the fictional novel by 60 Minutes producer John Marks about a TV news producer who ends up interviewing Dracula. Carpenter told FEARnet that the script is still being worked on.
That's being worked on. That's a slightly different project. It's real interesting. We'll see how it goes. It'll be a little change of pace for me.
Carpenter has another project in the works as well, the formerly titled L.A. Gothic, and Carpenter admits is now "called John Carpenter's Hollywood, which I find funny." The movie is an intertwining of five different horror stories centered on a vengeful ex-priest's attempts to keep his daughter safe from the supernatural evils of L.A. Carpenter says the script is "coming right along" but that he's still "developing it." After The Ward, Carpenter says he has another project that seeks his attention.
Well, I have a lot of projects in development. I can't say anything specific yet. The one specific in my life, and it's very important that you get this down, is in a couple of months basketball season begins. The NBA starts up, and that's the most important thing.