DreamWorks Pictures has provided us with some all new photos from the upcoming Michael Bay directed thriller, The Island, starring Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Clarke Duncan, Steve Buscemi and Sean Bean.
CLICK HERE for access to the high or low resolution 'Movie Stills' gallery for the film.
In addition, we've also got your first look at the final poster!
CLICK HERE for a closer look at the new one-sheet.
Just as well, MovieWeb's own, Fred Topel, was recently treated to a sneak peek of the film. Here's what to expect...
The Island Final PosterWith only 45 minutes of footage cut together, Dreamworks SKG previewed their big summer blockbuster, The Island to press two months before its release. With director Michael Bay and stars Scarlett Johansson, Michael Clark Duncan and Djimon Hounsou to answer questions, the quartet filled us in on what to expect.
It seemed like Johansson was looking for a big budget action movie to lift her out of the indie typecast. She said The Island just fit into her schedule.
"I was in the middle of doing Match Point and we were going to be finishing that," she said. "It was five weeks ‘til they started production on The Island, and I read the script when I was in London. It just was a great script. It was exciting. It was fun. I love genre movies when they're done really well. I think they accomplish what a film is trying to do, to allow you to escape your life for a couple of hours. I was in a world all of my own when I was reading this script."
She added that The Island did not conflict with Mission Impossible 3. It was her next Woody Allen film that took her out of the running for that. "I've been working this summer with Woody and we just had a scheduling conflict. When you have a big production like that, they can't move stuff around that easily. I wanted to work with Woody and, unfortunately, that was the casualty."
Comparing the sets of Woody Allen, Sofia Coppola and Coen Brothers movies to Michael Bay's, Johansson found the differences minimal. "Making a movie is hard. It's the kind of job where even if you've got the flu and you have a 103 fever you have to come to work. Time is money when you're making a film. People work harder in film than most jobs. It's just that kind of intense work for five months or whatever. I mean, it was very physically exhausting. We were running around all the time and, you know, we'd work 14 hours a day and then we'd get off work and hit the gym for two hours, you know. It was, it was a lot of work. But, you know, once you start doing that after a couple of months, you just go into, you know, sort of this mode that allows you to just keep getting up at 5:30 and going to work, you just do it."
In The Island, Johansson and Ewan McGregor play clones escaping a facility that breeds clones as insurance policies. When their owners need new organs, the clones get harvested. They're told they've won a trip to "The Island," the last uncontaminated place in a post-apocalyptic earth. But the earth is just fine and the clones are on the run.
Johansson knew she'd get along with McGregor from the beginning. "He's a wonderful guy. He's very easy to get along with, super charming. He's a family man. He's got a lovely wife and two beautiful kids and he's just a lovely guy. So when I met him I knew immediately that this was going to be a good time.' And he was like, ‘Well, we're in it now.' We didn't have to do that much work at how we were going to have a chemistry. I think either chemistry is there or it's not there. You can't rehearse that kind of thing."
On the outside, Johansson's character finds out that her owner is a famous fashion model. That did not affect her performance though. "Not at all because my character is completely unaware of her past. Ewan is a little bit younger than I am in cloning years and he's more advanced and he has memories of his past somehow, real memories of his real past. I don't have those so I didn't have to think about what it would be like to walk down a runway."
Dealing with issues of morality and ethics in scientific technology, The Island is a more thoughtful Michael Bay movie than usual. "You'll be proud of me," Bay said. "There's only one little explosion in this movie. Seriously."
Of course, the chase movie still has plenty of action, and Bay began the shoot with those scenes to get the actors pumped. "That's always my M.O. is to keep that energy high, especially when you're doing action stuff because the intensity, you have to keep it there. I don't do 16 hour days. I do 12 hour days because I think it's counter-productive to keep long days. It's harder on Scarlett because she has to get there early and make-up and what not. Directors don't have to do that. But, working with them, they're consummate actors."
In fact, Bay does that with all of his films. "I actually plan productions that way where you start off where you do little about character and it's a machine you have to ramp up. If you start on a slow scene, that's going to be the pace for the entire film. You start really fast and hard and you do a lot of set ups and show this is how fast we're going to shoot this entire movie. This is the energy level. I oftentimes like to start at a very high energy clip when I do these movies. But, I love working with actors. That's the joy of directing when we can come up with something. That's your goal right there. You see it in their eyes. I love these intimate moments. I care about them very much."
As fast as he went, sometimes Bay's crew could not keep up. "We had one crew member run out of money but keep spending money. That was really the only bad snafu. Construction was way behind. There was a day I had to shoot inserts when I had these gigantic sets not built. I always walk into a set, I map it out in my mind and go to my production designer and I say, ‘Where's my balcony?' And he goes, ‘Uh, well, we ran out of money.' And I'm like, ‘But my whole scene is with the balcony.' He goes, ‘No, we don't have it.' And you've got to pull it out of your ass and you've got to figure it out. I was winging it."
For his first film outside of Jerry Bruckheimer's production company, Bay was impressed by the intimate nature of Dreamworks. "First time I got the script I called back and said ‘I'm very interested'. I came in to meet with Walter, Laurie, Steven, Adam Goodman. We had a really nice meeting. I left the office and realized, ‘That is the smallest studio in town'. It's kind of interesting because the whole studio was there besides Jeffrey and Geffen. Every studio is a little different. But, I did enjoy the experience. You've got to see how studios work. You've got to see the vibe, how we get along and they've got to understand me and what I'm after and how I work because we all have different processes but I very much enjoyed it. And it was nice that Steven's a filmmaker. He understands what directors go through and he's got your back."
Michael Clarke Duncan essentially has a cameo in The Island. He is the clone whose harvesting shows the audience, and McGregor's character, what is really going on.
"He called me and asked if I would do a favor and I really don't turn Michael Bay down," said Duncan. "He's very persistent. He uses a core group of people that he depends on a lot and I was very fortunate that he called me but he knows that right now he's in big debt to me. He owes me big time. That's really why I did it so I could have something to hold over his head."
Duncan's character actually wakes up on the operating table and tries to run away. Running down the hall with an open chest, Duncan had to get the waterworks going. "When I came to Michael before we did the scene I said, ‘Do you want me to cry? Do you want me to show emotion?' He said, ‘No. F*ck that. You're a football player. You're not a sissy.' I went back and we ran down this long hallway, and I told one guy, ‘He's going to want me to cry. I know he is.' And I started thinking of if this were actually happening to me, if I were actually in this situation, I wake up with all these metal things hanging out of me and I just started getting the tears up and ten minutes later he gets on the bullhorn, ‘Hey. Get Michael some f*cking tears.' I said, ‘I'm all ready to go. Let's soot the scene. I already have the tears' because I knew that he was going to do that. That's how it came about."
On the outside of the clone facility, we see another side of Michael Clarke Duncan as well. "My biological clone on the other end is a football player who gets injured and they need his liver right away and that's why I get chosen so early because the football playing clone on the other end needs that liver right away to survive. So that's why I was chosen. But, actually I'm in football uniform. They have a big poster hanging on the side of the wall which is going to be really cool, on the side of the building actually."
Finally, Djimon Hounsou is the leader of the hunt to find the clones. Since he only enters the story after the big escape, little of his footage was screened in the first 45 minutes. "I'm the head of the French Special Forces who was hired to specifically take care of the escapees," he said. "I'm not a clone."
Wanting to keep audiences guessing, Hounsou revealed little of his character. "A lot of action, but you haven't seen me yet so. Most of it is coming later. It's going to be a beautiful ride. Just be patient, please."
The Island opens July 22.