"Kite Runner" director surprised by controversy

Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:25pm EST
 
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By Randee Dawn

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Swiss-raised director Marc Forster made his name in Hollywood with the 2001 drama "Monster's Ball," which garnered an Academy Award for Halle Berry. He went on to direct "Finding Neverland" and "Stranger that Fiction," and is slated to take the reins on the 22nd, as-yet-unnamed James Bond film for 2008.

In the meantime, he has returned to theaters with "The Kite Runner," a drama about betrayal and redemption based on the bestseller by Khaled Hosseini. The film has already stirred up controversy for its young Afghan actors, who have relocated outside of the country with their families amid fears that it could aggravate tribal enmities in the war-torn country.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: HAD YOU ANY IDEA THAT "THE KITE

RUNNER" WOULD PROVE CONTROVERSIAL EVEN BEFORE IT REACHED

THEATERS?

Marc Forster: I didn't. It's a book that sold 8 million copies around the world, and what makes me sad is ... it's a story which doesn't deal with violence and terrorism in that part of the world. It deals with healing. It deals with forgiveness. So I really didn't think there would be a controversy. And when I cast the movie, Kabul was a much safer place. There was this feeling in the air of a new beginning, a start of democracy. Now, the situation in Afghanistan has become much more dangerous, which is why the studio (DreamWorks/Paramount Classics) wanted to take the precaution to get the kids out. There have been no threats so far. They are fine; they are going to school.

THR: YOU ARE EUROPEAN, HAVING BEEN BORN IN GERMANY AND

BROUGHT UP IN SWITZERLAND. WERE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT CRITICISM   Continued...

 
<p>Director of "The Kite Runner" Marc Forster attends the premiere of the film in Hollywood December 4, 2007. REUTERS/Phil McCarten (</p>