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May 2006
X-MEN: The Last Stand: An Interview with Brett Ratner

X-MEN: The Last Stand: An Interview with Brett Ratner, continued
By Wilson Morales
May 22, 2006

The actors mentioned that you shot a lot, huge coverage...

Ratner: That what makes it rich and makes it feel like a movie, instead of a TV show.

How does this affect your editing process? Do you pre-edit while you're shooting?

Ratner: Oh, yeah.. I'll be done with a scene two days after I shot it. You have to because visual effects have to start months and months and months before. My editor has cut every one of my films so he knows how I shoot. It's just like dropping it in..the guy just knows what I'm going for, he gets it. He knows me like the back of my hand.

So what was the biggest scene you shot to fit your own sense... that's different from the previous two films? What will people who know your work as a director see as distinctively something of yours?

Ratner: I don't think it's a shot. I don't think it's something like Spike Lee with the shot of the guy floating down the street. (laughter) I think it's more of an energy. If you watch the other movies and you watch this movie, I think this movie has a pace that's my kind of ADD frenetic... I get bored very easily so... next scene, next scene, next scene, keep it moving, keep it moving, keep it moving... I mean, did you fall asleep at all in the film or no? A few times?

You mentioned trying to be really top secret about the things going on. Does it bother you as a director when certain elements leaked online?

Ratner: Cause they weren't right. Were they right? Did you go back and look at it?

Do you follow what's online like at www.aintitcool.com or www.SuperHeroHype.com?

Ratner: I don't actually. Now, I do. I love SuperHeroHype now, but when I was doing the movie, I wasn't really worrying about it because there was so much negativity and I was trying to stay focused and stay positive, and when I took the movie, Bryan gave me incredible advice, he said, "Whatever you do, don't read the stuff on the internet about you." I said, "Why is that?" He said, "Because they wrote the exact same stuff about me when I did the [first] movie, so just do your own version of the movie and don't worry about it."

So how do you feel about the negativity? Do you consider it another challenge? Do you say that you're just going to do the best you can to prove them wrong?

Ratner: I just followed Bryan's advice. I didn't really pay attention to it. I know it's out there.

(SPOILERS) The after credit sequence in this film... is that something that was in the script? Do you know the whole time that you want to put that after the credits?

Ratner: Yeah, the studio didn't even know I did it until.. I didn't even put it on the schedule. I shot in between set-ups, just went over there and shot it, and then I showed it to the studio and they went "Oh My God, we love that!" because it keeps Xavier. Look, in the last one, Jean Grey died and then I saw her on the first day of shooting X3, so nobody dies in these movies? What the hell are they talking about?

Why did you put it at the end of the credits cause a lot of people don't wait til the end?

Ratner: Let them come back and see the movie again.

Before you leave, can you talk about Rush Hour 3?

Ratner: No, I can't. Yes, I can. (laughter)

How excited are you about getting the team back on Rush Hour 3?

Ratner: Oh, god, I can't wait, I'm so excited. I really am.

Just tell us which one is going to die in the trilogy, Jackie Chan or Chris Tucker?

Ratner: Both of them.

The last one ended as if they're going to go to New York

Ratner: This one starts in New York and then goes to Paris.

At what stage are you?

Ratner: We're going to start shooting August 16th in New York and Paris, we're going to start shooting in Paris

Do you have a female lead?

Ratner: We're looking...

Are there any new additions to the cast you can mention?

Ratner: Well, I'll tell you who I want, who I'm going after. I want... who can I say? I want Yao Ming to be in it? The basketball player. I want to recreate this fight sequence from the Bruce Lee movie where he fights Kareem Abdul Jabar, but I want to do the reverse and have Chris Tucker fight Yao Ming. I would love that to happen. I want whatsername? Aishwarya Rai to be in the movie, I'd love her to be in the movie. I'd love Gong Li to be in the movie. There's some people that I want, I don't know if I'm going to get them.

Do you think the dynamics is going to be very different from when you did the last movie over four years ago?

Ratner: No, I don't think so. These guys have great chemistry. They love each other. They both don't speak a word of English, though. (laughter)

Do you think Tony Jaa...

Ratner: Tony Jaa, I want too... I love him.

What's going on with The Cleaner?

Ratner: It's coming out. It's with the studio. I don't really get the dates but they're trying to figure it out. It's a hard thing.. it's a very busy time. A lot of movies being made.

X-Men movies usually do pretty well so I'm sure you're signed onto the next project. Have you started thinking about it?

Ratner: No, not until they pay me, I don't think about anything until I get the check.

What was the most difficult scene to shoot in the script, anything you didn't know how you were going to do it?

Ratner: Oh, how am I going to do it? The whole third act! The bridge sequence really, is so complex. You can't even imagine. If you dissected that and broke it down, it's crazy.

Will we some of how you did that on the DVD?

Ratner: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

How many cameras did you use on that?

Ratner: 27. No, I'm kidding. (laughter) It wasn't just cameras. It was just elements. It was miniatures. We built a four-lane bridge in Vancouver, a quarter mile long just to shoot some of the action. It was unbelievable! Then we shot the real bridge in San Francisco, then we did a scale model of it, then we extended it with CGI, then we had real people, fake people, cars, fake cars, then we did...

How much time was spent on shooting it?

Ratner: We started shooting it the day we started shooting the movie. That thing was just a monster.

X-MEN: THE LAST STAND opens on May 26th, 2006


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