Warner’s “Jack the Giant Slayer” had an exceptionally long genesis dating back to the 20th Century. At least that’s the way screenwriter Darren Lemke told it at Tuesday’s preem at the Chinese.
“I saw Tim Burton’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and began to obsess over how to make another fairy tale, but it’s not easy,” Lemke said at the Hollywood Roosevelt afterparty, decorated as a British castle with an enormous beanstalk growing out of the bar area. “I was channeling my inner 8-year-old and realized that the way you make ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ work is to have a lot of giants.”
Lemke’s breakthrough came a few years later at a lunch with David Dobkin, who was in post-production on “Wedding Crashers.” “Darren really took me back to when I was a kid in Washington, D.C., and loved things like ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ and ‘Star Wars,'” said Dobkin, who wound up as a producer.
Bryan Singer did not start production until 2011. “It’s probably just as well that it took so long since there’s so much done with special effects,” Dobkin said.
Dan Studney, who worked on the script for the final three years, said his task was complicated for a fairy tale. “Getting the tone right is crucial because it has to be fun even though the body count is higher than ‘The Usual Suspects,’ ” he said.