At the press day for the X-Men: First Class Blu-Ray release I got to sit down with Lauren Shuler Donner, one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood, and the woman behind such productions as Ladyhawke, Free Willy, Any Given Sunday and, of course, all the X-Men movies. I would have loved to talk with her at length about her career, creative process, and unusual projects like Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar & Grill, her first producer credit (working with a young Joel Schumacher) but just before the interview I found out I only had three minutes to talk to her, so instead I focused on why the last two X-Men movies were sub-par, what’s planned for X-Men: First Class 2, a status update on Deadpool, and whether we’ll ever get a Ladyhawke special edition release. (Admittedly, that last one’s just for me.)
CraveOnline: Okay, well, there go all my questions about ‘Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill…’
Lauren Shuler Donner: [Laughs.] Hey, it’s a good movie!
It is a good movie. Is it ever going to get a DVD release?
Oh. No… I wish! [Laughs.]
‘X-Men: First Class.’ The best ‘X-Men’ movie so far. I think so, other people think so. A lot of people didn’t think the last two were good. Was there a concerted effort to do something differently with ‘X-Men: First Class,’ besides obviously the period change?
Yeah. Every time we make a movie we try to make it a little bit different, so that you’re not seeing the same thing over and over again. But yes, you know, we were aware that… I wasn’t too pleased with those movies. We just wanted to make something that was a fan-pleaser. There are many elements that go into making a movie, and not all of them came together. But in this one, yes, we made a concerted effort to reinvent it.
And you did a fantastic job.
Was it easy getting Matthew Vaughn back? He was on ‘X-Men 3’ for a little while, but it didn’t happen. Did he have to be convinced?
Well, this time we had a really good script! And it was sort of the right place at the right time, you know, and as I said, Bryan [Singer] said, “Hey, look at the script. I can’t do it. Read it.” And Matthew said he read the script, hoping he’d hate it. [Laughs.] And he called up Bryan and said, “I like it!” And that was it! Everybody made up and said, hey, let’s do it. And by the way, Matthew also directed Kick-Ass, which was so good…
Yeah, it was kick-ass.
Oh, it was kick-ass! It really was. I also liked that.
For future films in the franchise, will you keep doing the historical thing or will you go back to the more modern era anytime soon?
Well, if we were going to sequelize this and keep on going, we would stay in the next [time] period. Probably we’d go to the 70’s.
You’re still producing ‘Deadpool.’ Is that still in the cards?
Yes, yes! It’s still in the cards.
Are we going to ignore what happened in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine?’
Just completely forget that ever happened?
Is Ryan Reynolds still attached?
Oh, that’s going to be awesome.
Yes, it’s crazy. It’s a crazy script. It’s the Deadpool everybody wants.
Okay, my last thing. ‘Ladyhawke’ is one of my favorite movies…
Oh, thank you…
Are we going to get a special edition Blu-Ray release any time soon? Has there been any talk?
God, I doubt it. I doubt it. That movie was shared between Warners and Fox, that’s part of the problem because who would do it? And I don’t know… Gosh, that was so long ago. [Laughs.] I appreciate your feeling… I wish there would [be]. I wish. There’s a laserdisc of it. [Laughs.]
[Laughs] – Yeah, that helps.
That helps you a lot, right?