Platinum Dunes producer Brad Fuller was on two panels for the Television Critics Association today, for the Starz pirate series “Black Sails” and the TNT naval pandemic drama “The Last Ship.” We got a one on one with Fuller to talk about both shows, and he welcomed inquiries about the company’s movie projects as well. Platinum Dunes co-produced The Purge so Fuller gave us story and character details for The Purge 2. Spoilers for The Purge 1 included.
Platinum is producing the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which became controversial when producer Michael Bay referred to the Turtles as aliens. They are developing a sequel to their Friday the 13th remake, confirming that found footage is on the table, but also implying there’s a non Jason sequel. Notice when he talks about Derek Mears returning only “if we’re going to go for a Jason Voorhees.” Friday the 13th is only happening because Warner Brothers traded its stake in the franchise back to Paramount for a partnership on Interstellar. There is also a Ouija board movie. We’ll have the rest of our interview on “Black Sails” and “The Last Ship” in our TV channel.
CraveOnline: When The Purge was such a surprise hit, did you have some sequel ideas ready to go or was it a very quick development?
No, we did not. Listen, when you make a movie for $3 million, there is no way that you can expect that anything like what happened to The Purge is going to happen. In this business, it’s so rare to be surprised on the upside like that so we never talked about if there was going to be a sequel. I think if we were really serious and we thought that it was going to be a franchise and we would have multiple versions, we probably wouldn’t have killed Ethan Hawke. He’s a great actor and he really grounded that movie I thought. We just kind of figured we’re going to do this experiment and hopefully it will get a theatrical release. That was the way we went into it and the movie just ended up better.
So the sequel, obviously Ethan Hawke is not a part of it and I’m hopeful that fans in the audience will feel that the sequel to The Purge delivers on the promise of the original in that we’re not staying in the house. It’s not a home invasion movie. This is you’re out in the streets with people purging and a group of people who get stuck in the middle of it and have to get from point A to point B.
Blum’s mandate is $3-4 million or under, so how much bigger is the budget for The Purge 2?
Well, it’s not $3-4 million but it’s not that much bigger. As a company for the most part, we try and be fiscally very responsible. There are realities to shooting a movie in Los Angeles. For example, tonight we’re shooting ‘til six in the morning. Tomorrow night, Saturday night, we’re shooting ‘til six in the morning and Sunday night we’re shooting ‘til six in the morning. You’re closing streets and you’re in downtown L.A. and you have extras populating the streets, vehicles and that is a little bit more expensive than shooting a movie in a house. So it’s certainly more than the first one but it’s definitely still one of our lowest budgeted films.
Why is Frank Grillo, who we love, right for that part?
Frank’s character is a grizzled guy who’s on a mission and he’s the strong, silent type who kind of discovers a misfit group of people who he helps out. When you sit down with Frank, he embodies this kind of quiet strength that you believe he can go out into that night and be okay.
Are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles really aliens now?
No. They’re not aliens.
How did that get misinterpreted?
The turtles come from alien ooze so I think that it probably came from that, but our turtles are not aliens.
So it is a familiar origin story?
At one time, a Friday the 13th sequel was problematic because of the multiple studios involved. Is that solved by the five year deal between Warner Brothers and Paramount?
Yes, the studio issues are absolutely solved. Now it’s a matter of getting a script that we all love, that we feel like we can execute in a great way. That’s always the battle, isn’t it?
Is found footage the angle you’re trying to take?
It’s something that we’re looking at, yeah. I never know because it depends on the story and what the story is. It’s been reported, that’s something that we’re looking into but I can’t tell you definitively that that’s what the movie is.
Why do you think so many Friday the 13th fans are against the idea of combining it with found footage?
Well, I can understand that. The Purge was a little bit of a found footage movie. We have a movie called Welcome to Yesterday that’s a found footage movie. I’m well acquainted with some very loud members of the audience who hate found footage and I understand that. I think for us it’s more about what the story is and what’s the best way to tell it. Until we figure out exactly what the story is for the next Friday the 13th movie, I can’t tell you what it’s going to be.
The next one is number 13, isn’t it?
Yes, and that’s a very daunting task.
Is it definitely Derek Mears returning?
Again, I don’t know because I don’t know if we’re going to have Jason, I don’t know which Jason we’re going to have. I can tell you this: I love Derek Mears, I love working with him and he’s a dream so we’d be lucky to have him.
Would you ever go back to Kane Hodder in any situation?
I think if we’re going to go for a Jason Voorhees we would go with Derek. He’s our guy.
Where is Ouija right now?
Today is day 17 out of 25. We’re shooting it here in Los Angeles. That is a fairly low budgeted movie. It’s in the Purge-ish range. It’s the story that you think it is. It’s the story about a group of kids who take out a Ouija board and start playing a game, and all hell breaks loose.
That’s the thing. A lot of movies have done ouija board stories. What did the movie names Ouija have to bring to it?
In our movie, the ouija board is a communication device. Our kids tap into something horrible and the ouija board is the way that the entity comes in and is going to have to go out.
Is it going to be a PG-13?
Listen, I don’t know until it’s done but our intention right now is for it to be a PG-13 movie, which as you know we don’t frequently make. I’m keeping blood away from the set.
Well, ghost stories aren’t usually bloody.
Right, but we love blood in our movies, you know that. In that one, I think that we’re going to try and make that a PG-13.
What is the status of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise?
You know what? I haven’t heard a thing. It’s a little bit disappointing. We were very proud of that movie. It was Rooney Mara’s first starring role. In terms of pure box office, I think that’s our highest grossing film worldwide. I’d love to do another one but I feel that way about all of our films. We don’t jump into these films unless we actually loved the characters or the story. I’d love to make Freddy Krueger movies every couple years. It’d be fantastic.
You have Jackie Earle Haley for two more. When does that option run out?
I don’t know. I don’t know Jackie’s deal. I really don’t know his deal so I don’t know when it runs out, but that’s up to New Line and if they want to do it, they will. New Line had such a huge hit with The Conjuring and that was a fantastic movie and it feels like New Line might be moving away from the kind of horror with a lot of blood and that kind of thing in their movie, more towards what The Conjuring was. At least that’s what I’ve heard but no one has talked to us about Nightmare on Elm Street.