Any time Ivan Reitman produces a comedy, the ads are happy to proclaim, "From the producer of Ghostbusters or some such credit." Reitman also produced the teen thriller Disturbia, but his name's not on the poster. Though it may seem out of character, Reitman has a thriller background to go with his comedy.
Ivan Reitman Produces a Thriller
"You may not remember, but I produced the first two David Cronenberg movies," Reitman said. "My very first movie was a movie called Cannibal Girls as a director. As you've correctly surmised, it is more of a comedy than a scary movie. But I was always a fan of thrillers and horror movies as a 13-year-old. I remember having my own scrapbook and sort of subscribing to Fangoria and all sorts of things like that, being very involved. My real love of course was comedy. By the time I got to college, it was clear that that was going to be my voice despite the Cronenberg movies which I'm very proud of in the beginning. This just came, this was a spec script that we bought as a company before the studio. Actually, the studio wasn't even interested in it initially and then we developed ourselves."
Of course, star Shia LaBeouf is about to break out in this summer's Transformers. "No, no, excuse me," Reitman interrupted with a smile. "We've not seen Transformers but we have seen Disturbia and he breaks out in this movie."
Common Hollywood wisdom may have told them to wait until after Transformers to cash in on LaBeouf's grand exposure, but Reitman didn't want to play that card. "It's an interesting question actually because there was a lot of conversation with the studio about when this movie should come out and there was a strong contingent over at Dreamworks when anticipating the success of Transformers said, 'We should wait until Transformers comes out. By then he'll be a big star and it'll help the release of this small movie.' And we argued strongly that we should just stand on our own, that this film could actually help Transformers because he plays such a rich character in this film that it will help strengthen what is more of a kind of large action extravaganza in Transformers because he will have already been preset more as a personality as a result of this."
Continuing to serve in both directorial and producorial capacities on various projects, Reitman finds the two jobs at odds. "It's left/right side brain things but I've been producing since I was in college, producing and directing and doing the two things. When I direct myself, I almost don't think as a producer at all except conceptually initially. Is this a good thing to do, is this going to work out? And then I'm the director in the movie and I have partners that I've worked with for over 30 years that sort of deal with all the more producorial roles in the film. And then when I just produce as on this one, yes, I function like your traditional producer but who can't really turn off his directorial brain. So I have a lot to say about casting and script and editing. I don't go on the set very much because it's too complicated both for the director and for myself. So I find if I'm going to be on the set, I should direct it. That's sort of my attitude. I mostly just look athte dailies, I'll make suggestions if I think they're necessary. Just kind of play a supportive role in the whole process."
Disturbia opens to theatres tomorrow, April 13th.
For the trailer, clips, movie stills and more movie info, go to the Disturbia
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