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‘Upgrade’ Director Leigh Whannell Wants To Make A Kids Movie

Leigh Whannell is slowly begininning to make a name for himself as a director in the horror genre. Whannell helmed Insidious: Chapter 3, taking over from James Wan, and now the critically acclaimed Upgrade from Blumhouse. Like James Wan (Aquaman) and David F. Sandberg (Shazam) before him, Would Whannell be up for directing a new genre?

Our friend Simon Thompson from Forbes got to speak with the director, and he has an idea for a film that is different then what we are used to from him.

many years ago I wrote a children's fantasy film along the lines of Labyrinth. It was difficult to get people to get excited about it because they just couldn't square it up with what it was known for. It's literally as simple as, "Hey, you're the horror guy! Why would I give you money to make a children's film?” And you're standing there thinking, "You do know I can do other things, right?" I feel the only way to get that film made is to have already had some success in that area but you can't get that until you make the film. It's a closed loop; it's classic Catch 22. It is kind of left up to you to somehow make it all happen

Thompson also asks Whannell if hes tempted to get behind the camera for a comic book movie.

So much of that stuff isn't up to me. When it comes to that type of movie for the likes of Marvel or DC you don't choose them, they choose you. They look out across the landscape and choose the people they want to work with. That phone call would be pretty flattering. Even the most ardently independent filmmaker has to want to receive that phone call, to hear that you'd been anointed. It would be like, "We have knighted you! Young man, you may step forward and make the Plastic Man movie." I haven't received that phone call and I have no idea how I react if I did. I think that would come, if it came, to me via other movies meaning that I have to make films that impress those people enough for them to call me and bring me in for a meeting. But it's not something I'm striving for. I'm not looking at each film as a stepping-stone to something else, I'm never strategic and I'm not interested in sending years of my life effectively making a demo reel for a giant superhero movie. Each film is so important to me; I want each one to be successful in and of itself. Right now, what I'm thinking about is my next movie not what I'm going to be doing three or four films on from that. I'm just thinking about the next project. That approach seems to have worked for me so far.

You can check Thompson's full interview with Whannell over at Forbes.

Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.

The film stars Logan Marshall Green, Betty Gabriel (Get Out, Purge: Election Year), Harrison Gilbertson (Picnic at Hanging Rock, Hounds of Love), Simon Maiden (The Dressmaker, Killer Elite) and Benedict Hardie (Hacksaw Ridge, The Light Between Two Oceans).

Upgrade is in theaters now.


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