Juan Antonio Bayona was in high spirits following the preem of Summit’s “The Impossible” at the ArcLight, noting that the tsunami disaster movie has become a major hit in his Spanish homeland.
“We just went past ‘Titanic’ and we’re only behind ‘Avatar,’ so I have plenty to celebrate,” the helmer said Monday night at the Boulevard 3 afterparty. “I’m so amazed that we got this film done because it really seemed impossible. That’s where we got the name as we were working on it. The answer on everything was ‘That’s impossible.'”
The story is based on the survival of the family of Maria Belon, who was interviewed on Spanish radio in 2007 on the three-year anniversary of the tsunami. “I was shopping for Christmas presents and I had to stop the car because I was crying,” producer Belen Atienza recalled. “I knew that I had to make the film.”
She called Bayona and writer Sergio G. Sanchez, with whom she had worked on “The Orphanage.”
“I drive my agent crazy because I have passed on 200 scripts,” Bayona said. “But as soon as I heard about it, I told her, ‘Let’s go.'”
Sanchez said he was most pleased at the one humorous scene in the film: a dialogue about astronomy between a 7-year-old boy and a 74-year-old woman played by Geraldine Chaplin.
“We had to have something where it’s not all about disaster because that’s what happens in real life,” Sanchez noted.