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Friday, March 03, 2006

Time Magazine Exclusive - the Apocalypto Watch Breakdown

What does Time Magazine's exclusive visit to the set of Apocalypto tell us about the movie?

First, Mel Gibson will be appearing in a brief television spot on this Sunday’s Oscar broadcast speaking in the Mayan tongue. Also, Time will be publishing a full story on Apocalypto in an upcoming issue, so stay tuned.

What else have we learned? Apocalypto is going to be very historically correct movie:
  • And the obvious care that has been taken with costumes, sets and the dialect-correct language suggests the kind of cultural attention filmdom has rarely if ever accorded the Mayas, who were the Greeks of the New World.

Other things revealed by the Time magazine interview:

Are controversies already starting?

  • "Could those human sacrifices cause as much of a stir among the politically correct as what some saw as anti-semitism in Gibson's depiction of the crucifixion of Christ?"
  • Yet Apocalypto promises some surprises. The film, which Gibson co-wrote with first-time screenwriter Farhad Safinia, is an allegory about the collapse of civilizations--with warnings about environmental abuse and political fear-mongering, not the sort of thing to comfort conservatives. {An interesting mix}

A small plot revelation was made:

  • "[Mel was] choreographing scores of extras-- many of them local Mayas who’ve never seen a movie, let alone acted in one-- in a fiery scene depicting a Mayan city’s obsession with the kilned limestone used for the temples in which some of the crowd may soon be sacrificed to the gods."

... and we've got some fiery quotes from Mel Gibson:

  • "I wanted to shake up the stale action-adventure genre. So I think we almost had to come up with something utterly different like this."
  • [To extras:] "Show more fear, more trepidation! It’s like Mars! It’s hell on Earth!" {Mel is keeping his reputation for an intense on-set presence}
  • After what I experienced with The Passion," [Mel] says, "I frankly don’t give a flying f--- about much of what they think."
  • "The Maya, the subtitles, it won’t even matter in this film."
  • And the last one: [Mel shouting at the extras, again] "Try to think of what makes you most afraid!" he shouted. "My mother!" an extra shouted back. Gibson smiled and nodded at the crew: "I told you this film was going to be very, very different."

Looks like things are starting to move. Be sure to checkout our FAQ on the sidebar to catch up on all the Apocalytpo buzz. And if you haven't already, go watch the teaser trailer.