Monsters: Dar k Con­ti­nent

The trailer’s big on beasts and blasts but di­rec­tor Tom Green as­sures Stephen Kelly that he’s made a Monsters se­quel with a mes­sage

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Front page -

It’s not a se­quel. Di­rec­tor Tom Green tells us why.

Four years ago, di­rec­tor Gareth Ed­wards would un­wit­tingly au­di­tion for the job of re­boot­ing Godzilla with

Monsters: a low- bud­get film that fol­lowed a young man and woman through Mex­ico’s “In­fected Zone”, an area where a crashed NASA probe has helped spawn huge ten­ta­cled crea­tures. As any­one who’s seen Ed­wards’s de­but knows, Monsters wasn’t re­ally about monsters at all. It was an oth­er­worldly, almost tran­quil study of character and re­la­tion­ships, and the fear of monsters both in­ter­nal and real. Made on a shoestring bud­get of $ 500,000 with a six- strong crew and ex­tras mostly made up of who­ever was on lo­ca­tion, it earned crit­i­cal ac­claim and $ 4.2m. And now it’s time for Monsters: Dark Con­ti­nent – the se­quel that isn’t re­ally a se­quel at all.

Gareth Ed­wards re­mains as ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer but has passed di­rec­to­rial du­ties to

Mis­fits’ Tom Green, who, like Ed­wards circa 2010, is mak­ing his full- length de­but. And then there’s the film it­self. In the trailer re­leased ear­lier this year, fea­tur­ing a spo­ken- word poem about “gi­ant sand bugs”, it was re­vealed that the set­ting had shifted to the Mid­dle East and, rather than re­la­tion­ship drama, fo­cused heav­ily on ex­plo­sions and large- scale mon­ster at­tacks. Re­ac­tions were, nat­u­rally, mixed. Had the film­mak­ers used the first film’s in­die

cred plat­form to shovel out just another mon­ster movie?

“No one’s try­ing to coin it in from the first one, it re­ally isn’t about that at all,” says Green, who has also co- writ­ten the script with Jay Basu. “It’s not ‘ let’s just make a shoot- em- up ver­sion of the first’. It’s about the con­ver­sa­tions the first one started. I think, from the trailer, it looks very much like an ac­tion movie and I’m not sure that’s com­pletely rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the film that’s be­ing made. I think what peo­ple can ex­pect is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent film from the first one but one that’s very much part of the legacy. It’s con­tem­pla­tive and has slightly qui­eter mo­ments – like Gareth’s film does. It’s a character film. It’s go­ing to get seen as a se­quel but it isn’t, re­ally. It’s only a se­quel in terms of ethos, to have that hu­man story against a sci­ence fic­tion back­drop.”

That hu­man story is told through two sol­diers: eight tour veteran Noah ( Wel­come To

The Punch’s Johnny Har­ris) and young rookie Frankie, Game Of Thrones’ Joe Demp­sie. It’s set ten years after the events of Monsters and the In­fected Zones have spread across the world – in­clud­ing to the Mid­dle East, where the pair must not only deal with the crea­tures, but a new wave of in­sur­gen­cies. Like the first film, Monsters: Dark Con­ti­nent will follow the

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