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Joel Silver on Fred Claus

Published November 6, 2007 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros.
Fred Claus Poster Fred Claus
Joel Silver is known for his big action movies like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and The Matrix. He's got a healthy following for horror too, but he is certainly not the guy you think of for comedy, let alone a family Christmas comedy like Fred Claus. However, he will be the first to remind you of his comedy credits.

Silver Whisp of Comedy

"I thought Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was pretty funny, but nobody else saw that," lamented Silver. "I think there is a great idea for a movie. Jesse [Nelson] was tucking her daughter into bed one night and she said, 'Mommy does Santa have a family?' And what a great idea to start a concept start a movie. I think it's very smart idea and I think it's fun. I think Vince is great, I think that it's heartwarming and I think it's a big family Christmas classic movie and I think that it has a lot of things going for it and were proud of it."

When it comes to making the deals, Silver puts it together just like all the others. "David Dobkin is really critical to a movie like this. I mean, he's a great talent he understands humor so well and he has a great relationship with Vince and he kind of hand-picked everybody in the picture. He wanted Paul, he wanted Chris, he wanted everybody in the movie that he got. And I think it was a big movie it was an expensive movie. And we're fortunate with this our little people all our friends here with us and we made a vast kind of reality movie about the North Pole, and it came out good."

Having the connections he had certainly helped with Fred Claus's big inside joke. Real famous siblings came out to shoot a support group scene. "The movie was shot principally in the UK and in Chicago and for 10 days in Chicago. We shot that sequence in Chicago and the people that Dan [Fogelman] wrote for wanted to do it. It's really pretty effective. A lot of that came out of them working together and getting what they wanted to say and how they wanted to say it and it worked out pretty well."

As hands-on as Silver likes to be, he stays out of the director's way. "I'm there. I come by. I see what they're doing. It's a director's medium. Any movie you make is a director's medium. I mean, I like to do movies that are big movies. They allow me to make a contribution make me collaborative. I mean, this is a big visual effects movie. It was a complicated movie to make and there is a lot that I can do. I just think that it's David's vision, and he and Vince have a great rapport and he works very well with improvisation. I mean, they were improvising before the camera, but they improvise a lot in reversal, and Paul was a little concerned about that too. He's saying I've never done this before, and even some of the biggest jokes in the movie are ideas that kind of Paul came up with himself. It's the process of keeping all this going and making sure that every day you have to keep shooting. A lot of problems we had as we went, and we never could figure out how to do the snow globe until the very last minute. I'm really happy the way that all came out. I'm there and they need to be there and we get to the problems and we make the best movie we can."

Fred Claus opens to theaters on November 9th.

For the trailers, posters and additional movie info, go to the Fred Claus Movie Page.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros.

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