With movies like Starman and Stand by Me to Bruce A. Evans credit as a writer, it would seem that making a psychological thriller about a serial killer would be the last thing on his mind. Well that's exactly what Evans did as writer and director of last summers, Mr. Brooks.
Mr. Brooks looks at a successful businessman, a generous philanthropist, a loving father and devoted husband. Seemingly, he's perfect. But Mr. Brooks has a secret -- he is an insatiable serial killer, so lethally clever that no one has ever suspected him -- until now.
Recently, we sat down with Evans to discuss the film, it's DVD release and the possibility of a sequel.
Bruce Evans: I'm here awaiting the brilliant questions and boy do I have brilliant answers.
Well, I don't doubt that you have brilliant answers but you might not think my questions are so brilliant.
Bruce Evans: (Laughs)
Why do you think audiences are attracted to a movie like Mr. Brooks? Do you think it's because we all have secrets?
Bruce Evans: I think that it's a safe way to look at the boogey man. They're so horrific in real life we can get a tingle of the spine by looking at them in the safety of a movie theater.
Was that some of the attraction to you of the story?
Bruce Evans: We were kind of interested in a story of addiction. We wanted to do something dark because everybody thinks of us as being the writers of Stand by Me and Made in Heaven and Jungle 2 Jungle, all of the credited stuff that we have done has been light. We have been uncredited on things that have been much darker but it was the story of addiction and probably who the ultimate addict is and that is a serial killer. When we started out the BTK Killer had not been unmasked. The FBI profile was that they were loners and angry and had problems with their families... visible sociopaths.
Then the BTK Killer came out after we wrote the script and he was a deacon in the Church and had 3 kids and had been married 23 years. There was some question of whether or not serial killing was an addiction and in the last month the Russian serial killer, the guy who has killed 6220 people, has admitted that he was addicted to killing. That's how he saw it.
This film seems to have some roots in Jekyll and Hyde. Was it important to you to put a 21st Century spin on that?
Bruce Evans: It's really interesting that you say that. We had no idea and this is the God's truth that we were doing Jekyll and Hyde until we read a review which mentioned Jekyll and Hyde.
Bruce Evans: (Laughs) Our model was more Harvey where James Stewart had the rabbit that he would talk to when he was drunk. Everyone could see him and the audience could see him but no one else could.
Ultimately, what do you think Earl Brooks got out of killing people?
Bruce Evans: It's a drug rush, a sexual satisfaction that is a high by accomplishing something that is so intricately planned. Earl has a great deal of foreplay that he goes through before the final consummation. That's the fun, that's the excitement, the tracking the victims, the choosing of the victims, the planning of the crime it's all foreplay.
I remember reading about Kevin Costner saying that the initial script was put together with an idea that it could be sequelized. Are there any plans for Mr. Brooks 2?
Bruce Evans: If it's box office and DVD justifies it, yes. When we wrote it obviously the ending is open ended and Earl is in great pain because of his daughter. There is an open-ended... neither Earl, the daughter or Atwood has come to a conclusion.
Have you had a chance to check out the DVD? Is there is a feature on it that you're really happy about?
Bruce Evans: We were notified that they were going to do the DVD. There was some question of whether or not to include the deleted scenes, and we argued for that. Then there is a feature on it that Ray (Gideon) and I are commenting on. As we watched the movie we tell little bits and pieces, we describe why we wrote it, what happened during this scene, how this character came about, so it's a running commentary on the movie from the writer/director and writer/producer.
What do you have coming up next?
Bruce Evans: We're working on something, it kind of depends on whether or not there's a strike. (Laughs) If there is a strike we have an idea for an original. If not, there are a few things that are kind of on hold that I would direct that other people have written. They need some kind of reworking so if there's no strike then there's a possibility that those would go forward, if there is a strike, we'll sit down and write... we have two originals in mind.
Can you talk at all about them?
Bruce Evans: I would rather not.
Mr. Brooks comes to DVD on October 23 from MGM Home Entertainment.
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