James Cullen Bressack, director of the upcoming Bruce Willis action film Fortress, gave We’ve got this covered an exclusive interview, from which we released a series of articles from our chat this week.
Now, we’re breaking down the upcoming film with Bressack, covering everything from the films that inspired the action title coming later this month, to how he resonates with the story. father and son are the core of the story.
Earlier this week we gave you Exclusive first look behind the scenes of the film, with Bressack explaining what it was like to work with a legendary action star like Bruce Willis. This is actually Bressack’s second film to direct with Willis, with the first Survive in the game, was released a few months ago. As for how the pair worked together during this time, Bressack said the working relationship only improved from one movie to the next. The director said he enjoys working with the same talent on screen as many times as possible, whenever possible, so as not to have to “re-learn” that person’s style.
Bressack said today he and Willis have so many close friendships that the pair often joke around on set.
Overall, Bressack expressed his excitement for Bruce Willis fans to “see what he does” in the film, as “Bruce is like one of the main characters in the movie, he’s been throughout the whole movie, he’s the whole story. movie set. And he enjoys some of the scenes that are really important in the movie,” unlike the actor’s other recent outings where he’s been relegated to just a supporting role.
Willis has a lot of twists and turns in the film, but the main highlight of the story, from the screenplay by Alan Horsnail, revolves around a father and son reconnecting and that son discovering his father’s shared interest. . We asked Bressack if there was any aspect of the story that was his own, to which he replied, “Maybe that’s what really resonated with me about the movie.”
Bressack went on to explain that his father passed away just a few years ago, “which is bizarre in itself.”
“I think I’m drawn to stories about fathers and sons, you know, because I have a really special relationship with my father,” Bressack said, adding that he believes that he was able to convey his emotional connection to that subject matter to his actors. ”
“It was something that I connected with and experienced first.”
Bressack’s father is Gordon Bressack, a writer who has won multiple Emmy Awards for shows like Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs, and The Adventures of Tiny Toon. In fact, Bressack’s mother is no stranger to Hollywood when she is voice actress Ellen Gerstell.
Bressack said his father even helped him develop directorial error, when the Writers Guild of America award-winning writer asked his young son to break everything about filmmaking while watching movies. .
“I was like four years old, my father told me that I was going to be a director. And, you know, he would sit me all the time and show me movies when I was a kid and he wanted to pause the movie and ask me questions like, why, what was the character’s motivation in that scene? what, or like why is the camera moving in that direction? “
Bressack wholeheartedly credits his father for helping foster his love of writing and storytelling.
“I’d say he was definitely the biggest cheerleader and supporter of my career up until the day he passed away.”
The film features dramatic on-site action scenes in a jungle area outside of the typical secret facility, filmed in real parts of the jungles of Puerto Rico.
“We shot in a real rainforest and I have mosquito bites to prove it!” Bressack said.
We asked what action movie the director inspired for those and other scenes.
Chief among them, surprisingly enough, was Jurassic Park – especially for the jungle areas – Bressack said.
“As weird as it sounds, I was greatly influenced by the idea of Jurassic Park for all the jungle stuff,” the director laughs.
“And obviously, you know, there are effects of like Rambo and then there are things that aren’t forest-y but just fog, there’s things like New york gang which I have been affected by. And there’s a lot of that in general. But you know, I just wanted to make the world big and big and real but also magical.”
When Bressack says “magic”, he explains that he doesn’t mean it in the sense of “real magic” – the film is a fairly well-grounded action thriller – but “magic in the same sense of the word”. like, wow, like this is something, not something we usually see. Like, this is untapped land.”
Bressack went on to say that he “also made sure we were also moving to different areas of the jungle” to vary the types of shots in the film.
“I wanted to be everywhere in that jungle to create this feeling, like being huge and vast.”
When asked if it would be busy making two movies with Bruce Willis seem to have their backs turned, with both Survive in the game and Fortress released the same year, Bressack said that while the release date is close, it’s actually more manageable than you might think due to the fully-spread filming.
“Hot [Survive the Game]. And then I went back to LA and posted it. And then I go back there and shoot Fortress. So it’s like there’s a couple of months in between them. “
Fortress, whose “story by” part is credited to actor Emile Hirsch and the film’s producer, Randall Emmett, concluded on a break. We won’t go into spoilers here, but it made us curious if there were any ideas on Fort 2 floating on a script somewhere. To our surprise, Bressack explained that a sequel had already been filmed, but he didn’t know much about it since he wasn’t directing.
“It’s coming. And I hear it’s fun. But yeah, no, I don’t… I haven’t seen it and I’m not directing it,” he said.
Fort 2, directed by Josh Sternfeld and written by Alan Horsnail again, will star Bruce Willis and many of the main players from the first film. No release date has yet to be set.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves – Fortress will be available in a limited theatrical release and on video-on-demand on December 17.
Note: This is the fourth and final article in our series of interviews with James Cullen Bressack; Check out our website for the previous three articles.
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