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Jimmy Hayward on Jonah Hex

Published June 16, 2010 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros
Jonah Hex Poster Jonah Hex
Jonah Hex may face an uphill battle at the box office this summer. It’s based on a comic book, but you might be hard pressed to find it at your local Batman dealer. The film’s director, Jimmy Hayward, used that to find his own vision for the movie.

Jimmy Hayward Directs Jonah Hex

“One of the things about Jonah Hex is the fanbase is unfortunately [small],” Hayward said. “It’s not Superman, you know what I mean? People aren’t trying to pre-warn us about Jonah Hex. We are friends with Jimmy and Justin, and the guys who do the modern versions of Hex. Hex has gone to the future, and there’s a Road Warrior version of Jonah Hex, so there is an opportunity to play a little bit more with the story, because there’s different origin stories for Jonah Hex, so there’s not as many hardened rules, as opposed to Batman, or Superman. I think we had a lot more leeway. I am a fan of the comic, and have been reading it for a long time, and love the fact that Jimmy and Justin continued to do it with different artists.”

The comics have been published under DC’s edgier Vertigo label, but the movie is PG-13. “A lot of people kept talking about how bloody the movie would have to be, but really there’s only a few versions of the modern run that’s really violent. If you go back to the [John] Albano stuff, that’s pretty PG-13 stuff. It’s more Jonah in the Old West. Then there’s some supernatural stuff, and it kind of goes all over the place.”

The movie has a little bit of Jonah’s super powers. He can talk to the dead, which is useful for getting information other lawmen don’t have access too. “There are more supernatural versions of Jonah, with his history with the Indians, and whether or not he grew up in a tribe, and whether or not his father traded him to the Indians, whether or not there’s medicine men involved. So there was a pocket of some of the more middle areas of the comic that actually had some supernatural stuff in it, and that did develop later on in the process.”

The film finally reaches theaters this week after some recutting for the MPAA, and some additional shooting that took place late last year. “There’s a difference between reshoots and additional shoots. There’s always perception, like oh, is there a problem? First of all, who cares, because the end result is all that matters. The one thing is that when we saw the initial cut, the base cut, we go, oh wow, there’s a lot more humor than we thought here, so maybe it’s not as dark and gritty throughout the whole thing. We can base the movie as dark, and then we can get and find some kind of different colors of levity. It was more about enhancing what already was. I think that we missed some things during additional shooting, that we didn’t realize, because tonally, there’s no model for this. There’s not base for this. It’s like three different genres in one, not quite spaghetti western, supernatural movie, or action movie, but there’s elements of all those things. It was kind of like plowing out a completely new genre road, and sang, now okay, I know what we have, how can we extrapolate on that?”

Jonah Hex opens to theaters on August 6th, 2010.

For the trailers, posters, and more movie info, go to the Jonah Hex Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros

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