Just back from shooting Saw IV, Darren Lynn Bousman took time out from talking about that movie to tell me about his next directorial effort. It is entitled, Repo! The Genetic Opera!.

Here is what he had to say:

Darren Lynn Bousman: We start Repo on Monday. It's my next film. It's a rock opera. Lionsgate is producing it. We went straight into it. Production starts August 22nd. It was a play that I did two years ago right down the street from here, in Hollywood. It was a rock opera called Repo!. I'm going to give you my two minute "What I'm doing next story." Because I need as much help promoting it as I can get.

We had this play called Repo that some guys gave me. I love musicals. I love The Rocky Horror Picture Show. And these guys handed me this script. We opened it at the John Wright Theater. It was only supposed to play two nights. This was a weekend thing. It ended up staying open for six weeks. Sold out shows every night. People dressed as the characters at the very end. I said, "Dude, I'm onto something here." Then I went onto Saw II, and they took the play to a bigger theater, and did the same thing all over again. They opened for a week, and ended up staying open for five weeks. All the people that saw it during its first run came back. More people were dressing up.

Now it was huge Off Broadway. I told them, "I want to do a Rock Opera." They laughed at me and said, "Fuck you, you're not doing a Rock Opera." So, instead, I did Saw III. It came out, made a lot of money. Again, I said, "I want to do a Rock Opera. They said, "Fuck you. You're still not doing a Rock Opera." So I said, "No, Fuck you. I'm going to shoot a short. And you're going to let me do it." So I went off and shot this short. It starred Michael Rooker and Shawnee Smith. Then I brought it to their desks and said, "This is my next fucking project." They said, "This is actually pretty fucking good."

They heard the music, and said, "Yes. This is your next project."

What kind of music is it?

Darren Lynn Bousman: Its all kinds of music. From Opera, to extreme rock, to Nine Inch Nails.

Is it comedic in tone at all

Darren Lynn Bousman: No, it's not. It's pretty serious. There is defiantly camp to it. But it is much more serious than the The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It is more violent than Saw. It makes all of the Saw movies look a Disney film. The premise is organ repossession in the future. The idea is that everybody is buying up organs, and they cannot afford to pay for these organs. Thus, legalized organ Repo-men come into the picture. Murder becomes sanctioned by law. So, if you buy a heart and can't afford it, someone can burst through the door and take your heart out. And they don't get in trouble for it. The very first scene sees them singing while they are ripping the spinal cord out of someone. It's very much like Nine Inch Nails. In fact, we have someone form Nine Inch Nails working on it. It's not Trent. I can't give out who is working on it. The cast is amazing. I can't give it away.

Can we expect cameos?

Darren Lynn Bousman: Yes, you can. Michael Rooker is not in it, but you will know the cast. They are big actors. It was extremely crazy. People sing that you didn't know could sing. We finish casting tomorrow. I'm actually meeting with...I want to reveal it, but I can't. And we start recording the music next week. It is as violent as hell. And the music is so catchy, you can't get it out of your head. It's all actors who sing. No singers who can act. No Clay Aiken. There are no American Idols in this. And the movie is insane.

It is insane. It is set in 2018, a little bit in the future. Tons of sex. Tons of violence. It is as sexy as hell. And I don't mean sex, just as in nudity. I mean that it is sexy. The costume designer started showing me ideas, and I have never been more turned on by drawings in my entire life. I showed some of the stuff to the actors, and they were like, "Oh, my God. My mom wouldn't let me wear this. I can't let my mom see this movie." It is so sexy. And exciting. We start filming in August. We don't have a release date yet. Unlike Saw, it's a hard film. How do you promote a Rock Opera? There hasn't been one done since the 70s. This thing has seventy-seven songs. From the second it starts, its all singing. There is no dialogue. And the music is not campy. It is very Nine Inch Nails, very Tool-esque.

I wanted to do something crazy next. I couldn't do something safe. So, I have this Steven Soderbergh mentality now. One for them and one for me. I wanted to do something that I wanted to do. It's been hard. Getting them to like it or believe in it. Who wants to make a Rock Opera? When was the last Rock Opera released?

Tobin Bell, who plays Jigsaw in the Saw films, walked up to the table.

Is there going to be a part for Tobin?

Darren Lynn Bousman: I've talked to Tobin about Repo. He's heard the music.

Can you sing?

Tobin Bell: Yes. Yes I can sing. I'm a guitar player and a singer. We were so ensconced in Saw IV, I was hard pressed to get beyond what I was doing at the moment. I did hear some of the music, and its great. I think this movie is going to be remarkable.

Stay tuned for more information on Saw IV, which opens October 26th, 2007.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange