Even coming off the momentum of a best picture Oscar, producers Danny Boyle and Christian Colson faced an uphill battle when it came to selling their “Slumdog Millionaire” follow-up.
“It was a terrifying prospect for the studio,” quips Boyle of the man-against-wilderness drama “127 Hours,” which Boyle also directed. “I mean, it’s one guy on his own the whole film. He has no one to talk to. And at the end, he cuts his arm off.”
In order to entice Fox Searchlight and other financial partners, Boyle and Colson took a page from their producing playbook for “Slumdog” — another project that was initially deemed too commercially risky.
“We simply presented a fantastic screenplay,” explains Colson. “We pitched it to our partners, and they said, ‘OK.’ Then, we were like, ‘Oh God, now we’ve gotta do it.’ ”
After receiving the green light, the pair moved fast.
“Danny shot seven days a week for eight weeks,” recalls Colson of the frenzied production. “The plan was to shoot fast and intensely. We knew we couldn’t keep (the film’s star) James Franco in a canyon forever. He’d go crazy.”