In his role as The Octopus in Will Eisner's The Spirit, Samuel L. Jackson is expected to do battle against the film's titular hero, The Spirit (Gabriel Macht). But as he told SCI FI Wire, fighting on a green screen doesn't mean that the fight work isn't still real.
"Gabriel and I fight all the time," Jackson said. "I fight with the Spirit. We had choreographed fights. We did them, and there's no imagination. The big green is just for what the setting is, what the city looks like, for the mudflats where we're at, and not for things that are coming at you."
Will Eisner's The Spirit is being directed by comic legend Frank Miller, who received a co-directing credit alongside Robert Rodriguez for Sin City. And much like in that film, adapted from Miller's own comics, Will Eisner's The Spirit is filmed entirely in front of a green-screen, using real actors opposite computer-generated sets.
"Acting in the big green room is like being a kid in your room by yourself, and you just imagine all this stuff jumping out at you, and you fight it until you get tired," Jackson said.
This is hardly Jackson's first time working on primarily green-screened films, having played Jedi Master Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. "You turn your own music on," he said. "It's 'Dun-dun-duh, dun-dun-duh,' and you just go for it. The more stuff you can do, the more stuff they have to draw around you."
Will Eisner's The Spirit also stars Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes and Jaime King. The film is set for release on January 16, 2009.