Recently at the 2006 Comic-Con International we had the pleasure to sit down one on one with Snakes On A Plane director, David Ellis. In this highly anticipated film, Samuel L. Jackson stars in the intense action feature Snakes On A Plane from director David Ellis (Final Destination 2, Cellular). Jackson plays an FBI agent who is escorting a witness on a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles when an assassin releases hundreds of deadly snakes on a commercial airplane in order to eliminate the witness. The FBI agent, along with a rookie pilot, frightened crew and passengers must then band together in a desperate attempt to survive.
How do you continue to make films in a marketplace that seems to value profit over the product? How do you continue to make fun films?
David Ellis: My movies don't have the box office impact that Pirates does, but obviously my movies don't cost what Pirates cost. So they've all been financially rewarding for the studio, but at the same time I think it's important to make movies that are fun to see, where you laugh and you cry and you have all these emotions. You applaud at the end of the movie and you talk about it on the way out and you go back and see it again. I don't think that there are that many movies aren't that aren't sequels, or retreads of something you've already seen. So I like to just go and take a script and have people enjoy it. Go have a good time with it.
Did you have anything to do with making Snakes On A Plane critic proof?
David Ellis: Yes, I did. Absolutely, I did. And the reason for that was... we didn't test screen the movie because we knew the movie worked. The internet buzz was so strong and the only thing we could do was pop the bubble. We weren't going improve what we had on the internet... and we believed in the movie. We showed it to a lot of people, they were really powerful people in Hollywood and they gave us the very honest opinion that it worked on the level that this movie should work on.
So we didn't do test screenings because we didn't want to, by chance, get that one person who it isn't their kind of movie, but can't wait to be a hero on AINT IT COOL NEWS and put out a negative review. In regards to the critics we felt that, because they'd been so influential, give it to the fans first. A lot of people are saying it's going to be the best "Worst Movie Of the Year" and things like that, they're going to be really surprised by what this movie is.
Roger Ebert has been a fan of your last few movies. Snakes On A Plane seems like something he would like. With him being in the hospital is there any chance you'd let him view this before anyone else?
David Ellis: Roger, I hope he gets better, but this is going to the fans. It's for the critics too but hopefully it's for the critics that are fans. If they're critics or not, and they just want to trash this movie, great. For the critics that want to see this kind of movie and understand that it is what it is, it's going to be snakes on a plane with Sam Jackson, then they'll get to see it with the fans. That's who they should see it with. Instead of sitting in a room with 200 critics, go play off the fan reactions of the experience of seeing this movie.
Snakes On A Plane opens nationwide on August 18 through New Line Cinema.