Here is that rarest of things -- an actual western out of Hollywood. As writer/director David Von Ancken freely admitted at this week's junket for the film -- his first feature -- his agents scoffed when he first proposed the idea of writing and selling a western spec script in Tinseltown. Unless you're selling something that will appeal to the horror fan base or the romantic comedy fan base, you almost shouldn't even bother trying these days, apparently. But miracles do happen! Seraphim Falls, which has shadings of the Clint Eastwood classic The Outlaw Josey Wales, is set in the aftermath of the Civil War, and follows a disgruntled Confederate officer, played by Liam Neeson, who is systematically tracking down the Union captain who torched his home, with wife and child trapped inside. Pierce Brosnan, as the now hunted yankee, spends the first half of the film as a man literally on the run -- he has no dialogue in the first half hour, except for a few grunts and muffled screams.
The two stars, as well as Von Ancken, were on hand at the junket -- showing up about 40 minutes late, but still on hand, eventually -- and appeared eager to promote the film, which is opening in the unfortunate dead-zone of late January. Aside from the samplings below, you may also be interested to know that Liam Neeson is incredibly tall. He probably had to duck to get into the hotel room where the roundtables were conducted:
Cinematical: What are your thoughts these days about giving up the James Bond character? Barbara Broccoli has been pretty frank about the fact that there were some hurt feelings there in the beginning, when it all went down. "I thought it took great courage to do what they did, because it was so far down the road with our deal-making, and as far as I was concerned.....it was great to do a fifth and then say goodnight. It really does take a toll on you. You've got to be fit and you've got to be present for six months, and then some, to sell the bloody thing. So as much of a shock and a surprise as it was to get that phone call on that day, it was also in the next breath a great liberation of 'I'm out there again. I'm in the field. What's going to happen next?' That's always driven me as an actor. The next one is gonna be great, and I'm gonna give my Oscar-winning performance and be the mightiest of the mighty....and then nobody shows up [laughs]. That's the thing you live for as an actor, and when you have Bond, there's a comfortability there and you have a responsibility to that character and you live with it for many years. So it was mixed emotions, but I knew Daniel and I was at the BAFTAs that year and he was toiling with it...'what to do....' and I said 'for God's sakes, go and do it...enjoy it...you're a great actor...bite the head right off it.' I haven't seen it, because I'm living down in Hawaii and I've been off the grid and kind of enjoying life. But I'm looking forward to seeing it."