A new "Trespass" in Joel Schumacher's film career

Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:03pm EDT
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In present-day Hollywood dominated by bland business executives and political correctness, the outspoken director Joel Schumacher stands as a refreshing throwback to an era when 'show' shared equal footing with business in 'showbiz'.

Schumacher started out as a costume designer for Woody Allen, then helped create The Brat Pack with such seminal hit films as "The Lost Boys" and "St. Elmo's Fire," before going on to direct "Batman Forever," "The Client" and "Phone Booth."

Schumacher's latest film "Trespass," due to hit theaters on Friday, is a tense, twisting thriller starring Oscar winners Nicholas Cage and Nicole Kidman as a wealthy couple facing the nightmare of a home invasion robbery.

The 72 year-old director spoke with Reuters about making the film, his long career and his own nightmares on set.

Q: You obviously love making thrillers like this: "Phone Booth," "8mm" and "The Number 23." What's the secret to making a great one?

A: "First, you need a great premise, and this has the primal fear we all have of someone breaking into your home in the middle of the night. Then you ratchet up the tension and hopefully keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

"But I also like to make films with lots of layers, even if they're not readily apparent. So this is also about class warfare and the sorry state of the American dream today. In fact, I saw Nic Cage's character and the gang's leader as being two sides of the same coin. They've both over-reached for that dream and been foolish and landed in big trouble. It's what's happened in this country today. People had to have the big house, the jewelry, the paintings, and many were encouraged by our corrupt financial system, but simply couldn't afford it."

Q: You also like making films about flawed characters.   Continued...