Splice was just another indie movie playing the Sundance Film Festival. Then Joel Silver decided it should get a wide release this summer through his Dark Castle production company, and therefore Warner Brothers studios.
Joel Silver Talks Splice
“I saw a little picture in one of the trade papers of it and I was intrigued by the Frankenstein story,” Silver said. “I’m a big fan of gothic horror anyway and I love the Frankenstein story and when I read what it was about, I thought this was interesting and I asked to see the movie. They sent a print to me which I saw and I was impressed. I thought it was really fresh, unique and original and I thought people would really respond to it. Warners doesn’t even have that division or department anymore. I mean, they don’t really acquire that many pictures but Dark Castle could. We have a provision to do that. So we saw it and we decided we wanted to take a shot. We showed it to the studio and they agreed with us and here we are.”
Usually, Silver spearheads his own projects, like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and The Matrix. “I mean, I’ve been involved in all different things: scripts that came to us, ideas we started from scratch, remakes of movies that we’ve seen. I mean, we’ve tried it all, but this is the first time that we acquired [one]. Dark Castle has released 11 movies up until now. This is the 12th picture that we’ve released. This is the first acquisition that we’ve made, but we thought let’s take a shot so here we are.”
If you’re trying to see the pattern in Silver’s hits, there’s no real science to it. “I’m a lucky guy. I’ve just been doing this for a long time. Not to minimize what I do, but I’m a journeyman producer. I get up in the morning and I try to find movies that I can make and people want to see and sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I work hard and I always try to take [risks]. I mean, every movie you make is a risk. Just the act of making a movie is a risk. I kind of think I know what I’m doing sometimes and sometimes I don’t but I just push forward and hope that they work. As long as they let me make movies, I’m going to make them. I hope they don’t stop me but some day they probably will and that will be all I get to. I think that Splice is #63 for me and then Unknown White Male will be #64 and then Apparition is #65. So we just keep going.”
It not even necessarily instinct, according to Silver, aalthough it probably is. He’s just being modest. “I’ve been doing it a long time. I think I’ve been doing it a long time but I think I have a lot of great movies ahead of me. So I keep going. I just try to keep working. Try to keep making movies. A movie like <B>Splice</B> comes along. I see it. I like it. We make a deal, acquire it, put it out.”