The trailer comes via an exclusive announcement on ‘The Battle of Long Tan’ facebook page, which is the official page for the upcoming movie ‘Danger Close’, which also stars Sam Worthington. Both projects are being produced by Sam and his Full Clip Productions partners John and Michael Schwarz.
HB – You haven’t been as visible of late.
Sam – I’ve finished around seven movies that haven’t come out. I wanted time off, (from leading roles) and did what I felt like doing. It’s more interesting to be in movies where you support actors, even if sometimes it’s kind of bizarre. I came in four weeks after they started filming Everest—two to three months after the guys had been up the mountain. You’re the gun for hire, and you come in armed up with a character and a direction you want to take, that you present to the director.
HB – Still, you will be the lead in James Cameron’s three Avatar sequels. Is it difficult not knowing when they will to start?
Sam – No, no. I’ve a rough idea when we’re meant to start, but that’s been shifting for the last four years. Jim’s in no hurry. No one tells him that he has to go and do it. He’s the boss, and when the boss says, “Come!” I’ll come and jump. That’s it.
HB – What effect did the first movie have on you?
Sam – It changed my life. James Cameron changed my life.
HB – What is your relationship with him?
Sam – He’s one of my closest friends. He’s a man who took an extreme risk on an actor who had primarily worked in Australia, and who was unknown anywhere else, to front a $200million-plus movie, and he backed me from the very beginning, even up until now. Without him, I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity, so I’m indebted to him, forever.
HB – He has a farm in New Zealand.
Sam – Yeah, he bought half of New Zealand! He turned it into an eco-friendly farm.
HB – You’ve been there?
Sam – No, but we keep crossing paths. He’s a guy, who’s very passionate about saving the planet, and I think Avatar helped him cement that idea in his head, that there is something bigger than this industry, there’s something bigger than our own lives. I think the success of that movie made him realize that others felt the same way. He hit on something that affects us all, and how we view our position in the world.
HB – Did it affect you in any way, on an environmental level?
Sam – It’s about connectivity; we’re all connected. You can’t tell me that we’re just solo on this big ball of mud. We’re inclined to sit in a room like this, and do interviews, but our world has got to be a bit bigger than this. This can’t be the pinnacle.
HB – Given your recent run of movies, are you now like a travelling gypsy?
Sam – Yeah pretty much. I want to have a base and home, but because of the nature of the job I’m always travelling. I have a house in Hawaii, but I’m never there. LA’s my office–I go there to get a job, but I never really wanted to live there.
HB – Will you keep doing this for many years?
Sam – Yeah. I just did a job with Anthony Hopkins (Kidnapping Freddy Heineken). That guy’s turning 77, and he’s still making movies and TV shows.
HB – You were born in England, and your parents migrated to Australia when you were six months old, and you grew up in Western Australia. How important is it for you to make films in Australia?
Sam – The greatest thing that a movie like Avatar does, is to give you the power to come back to your home country, and help finance movies and stories that might not get financed. You’re giving back to the hand that helped craft you, and set you on your way. In Paper Planes I have a small role, where a 13 year old is the lead, and the director has a well-known career in Australia, but this could be the biggest movie of his career, because it’s travelling so much. (Paper Planes premiered in Toronto, and will soon screen at the Berlin Festival). So if my being involved with that helped them get over the line with the financing, that’s great. I went back to WA to make Drift, and it was the same thing. I only had a week’s work, but that got them the money to get over the line to make the movie.
James Cameron has pushed the release date for the sequel to ‘Avatar’ back to 2017 – a year later than anticipated.
He had planned to write the scripts for all three proposed sequels, and film them back-to-back this year, but the undertaking has proven to be more ‘complex’ than he had anticipated.
Speaking to the Associated Press on Wednesday he said -
‘There’s a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films, that you don’t get when you’re making a stand-alone film.’
The first installment for the trilogy was initially planned to hit theaters later this year.
However, citing a barrier in the creative process, and technological staging for the live-action/animated epic, he has revealed that it will take more time to create a cohesive product.
The expected release date is now Christmas Day next year.
Adding further roadblocks, he explained that each film will have elements that connect one to the next, but they will not conclude as cliffhangers – unlike sagas such as Twilight and The Hunger Games.
‘We’re writing three simultaneously,’ he said, adding, ‘We’re not just going to do one and then make up another one and another one after that.’
‘And parallel with that, we’re doing all the design. So we’ve designed all the creatures and the environments.’
Speaking to Variety, he said:
‘We’ve had a couple of years to think through the story arc of the next three films, and every day that goes by, I believe in the stories I’m telling more and more.
‘We’re not coming out of the block fast to capitalize on the last film.’
‘Avatar’, which James directed, wrote and produced, took in $2.8 billion in ticket sales, making it the highest-grossing film of all time.
The 2009 film starred Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Joel David Moore, Giovanni Ribisi and Sigourney Weaver.
A lovely new pic for you of Sam, and Ed Oxenbould, in a scene from ‘Paper Planes’.
‘Live action kids’ films generally fall into two categories: over-the-top, action-packed and silly (such as last year’s Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) or pared back, simpler and gentler, like this one from Australian filmmaker Robert Connolly (Balibo).
Both Alexander and Paper Planes share the same lead actor, Sydney youngster Ed Oxenbould, who is equally convincing whether playing Steve Carell’s American son or Sam Worthington’s West Australian one. The versatile young actor (also seen in TV’s Puberty Blues) is going places.
In Paper Planes he’s Dylan, a 12-year-old in a sleepy country town who discovers one day at school that he’s a whiz at folding sheets of paper into aerodynamic shapes.
A regional competition for young paper plane makers beckons, as well as the national final in Sydney, if he can rouse his father to take him.
Sam Worthington gives possibly his best screen performance yet as Jack, Dylan’s dad. Crippled by depression, he can barely muster the energy to leave his couch: all he can do is view old VHS tapes of big sporting events.
The spark of fatherly affection that occasionally flares up in his face is quickly and movingly drowned in sadness and lethargy.
Jack is in sharp contrast to Dylan’s elderly grandpa (Terry Norris), whose joie de vivre makes him popular with all the women at his retirement home and who, as a former air force pilot, has some words of wisdom to help Dylan succeed in crafting a champion flyer.
Dylan gets a love interest in Japanese junior paper plane maker Kimi (Ena Imai) and a hissable rival in the arrogant and ruthless Jason (Nicholas Bakopoulos-Cooke). But as Jason’s golf pro dad, David Wenham has little to do.
Connolly’s film has flair and a bit of comedy but most all it has heart.
Its simple storyline could have done with either a few more twists or a bit of trimming. It’s not a completely smooth journey but it does end with a near-perfect emotional landing.