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Martin Campbell on Edge of Darkness

Published January 26, 2010 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
Edge of Darkness Poster Edge of Darkness
Martin Campbell has reinvented franchises like James Bond (twice) and Zorro as modern movies. Edge of Darkness is the first time he’s reinvented his own thing. Campbell directed the 1985 British TV series. Nearly 25 years later, the film version stars Mel Gibson.

Campbell Directs Edge of Darkness

“It all depended on the script,” Campbell said. “It entirely depends on the script. I think the idea of a father who’s lost his only daughter and sets out on a voyage of discovery, I always thought that was a great story. To be honest, it was simply a matter of the script coming right. Andrew Bovell did a terrific job, the first writer but Bill Monahan took it to the finish line. I could put the series out of my mind and it was a very good script so I had no hesitation.”

Even though it was his own previous work, Campbell tried to maintain a fresh perspective on it. “I simply forgot the series and treated it as a new movie. I think it was the only way to go about it. I think it’s much more about loss. It’s about grief and it’s about retribution. It’s all of those things. I think the political story is the least interesting of the elements in the film.”

It’s a gritty action thriller, but not the kind of big set pieces a Bond or Zorro film have. “Cumulatively, it’s actually not that much. There’s not a great deal of action in it but we designed the action so rather like a car crash, most violent acts come out of nowhere. They simply happen in the blink of an eye. You never quite know exactly what happened and that was the principal of this, really. So that was a decision that we took.”

One new addition to the film is a final scene in the aftermath of the resolution. This came about through Gibson’s suggestions. “Oddly enough, we had a slightly different ending to the film and it just wasn’t comfortable. It didn’t work and in fact Mel said to me, ‘This is not working. It doesn’t feel right’ and so forth. We discussed it and he said to me, ‘Well, why don’t we put it in the hospital? In the hospital corridor.’ That’s precisely what we did so that’s where that came from.”

You’ll know it when you see it. Actually, another widely publicized scene in the film was also Gibson’s idea. “There’s also another scene which is, I think, one of the best scenes in the movie which is the flashback scene to the little girl and the shaving scene. Well, I have to say that was entirely Mel’s idea. It wasn’t mine and that was a scene that Mel improvised with the little girl. We shot it in two or three hours I think. We shot the scene and it’s probably my favorite scene in the movie, or certainly one of my favorite scenes in the movie.”

Edge of Darkness opens to theaters January 29th.

For the trailer and more movie info, go to the Edge of Darkness Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of 20th Century Fox

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