Today Movieweb sat in at a roundtable for The Fountain. This is new film by maverick/auteur Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem For A Dream). Attending the roundtable was Aronofsky and one of the film’s stars, Rachel Weisz. During this discussion these two showed an unbridled enthusiasm for a project that seemed to resonate very deeply for the both of them.
The Fountain is an odyssey about one man’s thousand-year struggle to save the woman he loves. His epic journey begins in 16th century Spain where conquistador Tomas Creo (Hugh Jackman) commences his search for the Tree of Life, the legendary entity believed to grant eternal life to those who drink of it’s sap. As a modern-day scientist Tommy Creo, he desperately struggles to find a cure for the cancer that is killing his beloved wife Isabel (Rachel Weisz). Travelling through deep space as a 26th century astronaut, Tom Begins to grasp the mysteries of life that have consumed him for more then a century.
“Warner Bros. was very supportive.” Aronosksy stated, answering questions about how the studio reacted when presented with the idea for backing such an ambitious project. He then went on to say that he gave them “so much persistence they wore them down.” Dealing with a film that has multiple timelines (also in different times totaling up to 2000 years), he explained “emotionally it’s linear” and that it’s “told in a Pulp Fiction kind of way.” Aronofsky then informed us that they went through “15 official drafts” of the screenplay but that “that’s all part of the process. You go too far and then you come back.” In response to questions about the type of production The Fountain was, he described it as a “$35 million dollar guerilla movie.” In regards to the FX in the film (and the effect it has on an actor’s performance), Rachel Weisz went on to say that “the green screen is the green screen” and “how much time is spent in post is irrelevant as an actor.”
Aronofsky says that for how it looks, The Fountain “should be a $90 million” dollar movie. Due to the elongated preproduction of the film they were able to work out a lot of logistical problems and bring the film in for a much lesser amount. As far as the casting of his leading man, “Hugh Jackman really wasn’t on my radar...” then Aronofsky managed to catch him in a Broadway play “and he really went for it.” They met backstage and after talking for a while Aronofsky asked Jackman “What do you want to do next? He said I want to do an ‘Aronofsky film’ and I was like ‘Okay, prove it’.” In order to get Jackman they had to wait another 8 months.
Lastly, Weisz stated that The Fountain is “all about love”. “It’ll make sense when you see it,” Aronofsky explains, “ the film is about rebirth. It was too out there of a project to happen right away.”
Stay tuned for our full transcription of the rountables soon.
The Fountain will be released in 2005 by Warner Bros. Pictures.