WonderCon Interview: Director Sylvain White and Actors Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Colombus Short, and Óscar Jaenada (THE LOSERS)

GATW Guest Writer

by: GATW Guest Writer
April 13th, 2010

WonderCon 2010

On Saturday, April 3rd as part of my WonderCon ventures, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a press conference for Warner Bros. latest comic book adaptation, THE LOSERS, set to release in theaters nationwide on Friday, April 23rd. Director Sylvain White and cast members Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Colombus Short and Óscar Jaenada were on hand to answer questions. Highlights from the roundtable can be read after the break.

Many projects here have what can be diplomatically described as a tenuous link to the world of comics. Is it a pleasure to be here with a project that is so clearly from that world and so clearly indebted to it?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan: It’s an absolute pleasure. It’s an absolute pleasure to be here and be in this world. You know, this is a great world to be in and as actors you get all these scripts, and what’s great about the world of comic books is the stories are original. There’s this kind of ebb and flow in Hollywood, and you get the same scripts over and over, every romantic comedy reads exactly the same and in the world of graphic novels there’s some originality there and there’s come great characters.

Zoe Saldana: You get to expand your craft and be more creative, right?

JDM: Yeah! So it’s way groovy to be here. We’re all happy to be here or we wouldn’t have done the movie.

Sylvain White: I think particularly for me as a filmmaker and a graphic novel fan since I’ve been a kid, it’s an absolute delight to be here among my peers and present what I’ve done with a graphic novel that’s so cool like THE LOSERS, and that’s so original in tone. There’s a lot of derivative source material out there and I think graphic novels are now reboosting Hollywood in that sense giving them more original stories that are sort of untapped.

JDM: That’s what I was saying.

As a brief follow-up in the presentation, you mentioned how much you appreciated the artist’s use of primary colors. Is that a substantive aid in creating the look and feel of a film? Having seen it visualized so distinctively?

SW: Absolutely. There’s two things that I really focused on that I knew worked extremely well in the graphic novel. The first thing is the tone, the graphic novel has a unique tone combining really gritty visceral action with a really strong humorist tone. The characters are really fun to navigate the action with, so that’s the first thing. The second thing is aesthetically the graphic novel is amazing, and I really wanted to reflect that in the movie. You can’t necessarily replicate frames out of the graphic novel, and I don’t think that helps anybody, but there’s certain things that I talked about with Jock in terms of the use of colors and the graphic design of the novel that I really wanted to translate into the movie so that you have sort of a comic book aesthetic but it doesn’t hit you over the head with it. It’s subtle and it eases you into that world.

Jeffrey, this isn’t your first time playing a character from a graphic novel, how much of the original material do you bring to the performance and how much do you allow yourself to add your own touch to it?

JDM: Well, a lot less with WATCHMEN, I think that was so iconic, it needed to be so close to the comic or people would’ve ripped us a new one. With this, this is a great foundation to use. For Sylvain it was invaluable. For us as characters, invaluable, because it gives you a really great place to start and jump off. Jock did such a good job of defining these characters and then Sylvain kind of allowed us as actors to take what we gathered out of those graphic novels and bring to life what we kind of thought of those particular characters and their relationships and so we got to kind of play around a little more then say I did in Watchmen.

Chris, could you talk about your connection to comic books and getting to be Captain America?

Chris Evans: I’m not a big comic book reader. I don’t really have a history and a love for comic books, I didn’t grow up reading them. But they’re fantastic for films; they’re great for films in a sense that films are an intangible thing. You have all these creative people coming together to try to make something and the director is the quarterback trying to bridge the gap of all these different artists together with, you know, words. And a lot of times the message can be lost in translation, not all the time, but the beautiful thing about comic books, even movies based on novels, you have a blueprint. You have a color palette, a visual home base to root yourself in. So as an actor it’s nice knowing that at least the people behind the visual element of the film have this blueprint and as an actor you have something to go off of too. So it’s a treat, it’s always nice working off a comic book because you know what you’re getting into before hand.

What spoke to you about CAPTAIN AMERICA?

CE: I think Marvel is doing a lot of good things right now. And it’s a fun character. Even if it wasn’t a comic book I think just the story of Steve Rogers is great, he’s a great guy. If it was a script about anybody I’d probably wanna do it. So it wasn’t necessarily about the comic itself, it was about…

ZS: It was about the tights.

CE: It was about the tights. Anytime I can get in blue tights, I do it. He’s a great character, a great character to play. Just so happens to be a comic book. That’s really where I’m coming from.

Is there less pressure to do a movie based on something like THE LOSERS, which is not as well known as say WATCHMEN, STAR TREK, FANTASTIC FOUR or any of these things that are much more well known?

SW: I didn’t necessarily see it that way. I think the pressure came from the fact that it’s really great source material and you want the translation to be as good, if not better, and I think the pressure came from there. But in terms of how aware, or not, people are of the graphic novel I think it was pretty inconsequential for me. I just wanted to make a great movie that reflected the graphic novel as best as it can.

And I’ll just say this, what’s really cool about THE LOSERS as well is that we’re not trying to jam pack all the comic books into one movie, we follow the story linearly. It’s really an origin story, how these guys became The Losers, and it also leaves a lot of room for sequels. So hopefully people will love this movie and we can keep on enjoying the adventures of the losers.

Writer's Note: This was a roundtable interview conducted with about 15-20 other journalists - 5 per table switching out talent.

Commenting Rules: Comments are intended to open up the discussion to our readers about the topics at hand, and as such should be offered with a positive and constructive attitude. If your comment is not relative to the above post or is disrespectful to the authors and readers, we reserve the right to delete it. Continued abuse of our good nature will result in banishment of the offender. Additionally, if you have any burning issues to point out to the GATW crew - typos, corrections, suggestions, or straight-up criticism - please email us instead of commenting here.

  • Recent Post