There's a level where the themes of a film are very relevant to me and also the idea of finding out how relevant one genre is to another. I think that westerns and samurai films and superhero films have a lot in common. It's just that the scale of the visuals in tentpole films can sometimes overwhelm the drama.
[They had a beginning: the loss of Jack and his father's reproach. They had an end, with the love reconciled between June and John. But] the middle wasn't there, ... I was nibbling around the edges. The dynamism of their attraction, the struggle, was the middle of the story. The movie was dying here.
The big thing that I wanted to do was touch on the very start of rock and roll, I loved this moment in rockabilly music. I loved the idea of people making music because they loved music and not because they saw the video or how to market themselves. A very big point for me in this movie is that John didn't arrive at Sun as the man in black. He didn't already know his marketing angle. He didn't have it worked out. He was just trying to be heard and however that would work or not work was fine, but he just needed to be heard. What was magic to me about that moment in time was that it was a moment before the term 'rock and roll star' existed.
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There are so many things that came to a head in 1968, ... It was the greatest concert of his life and resulted in one of the greatest albums of the century. A month later he proposed to June [Carter]. In the six months previous, he gets himself off drugs, and in the process he finds himself.
For me, making a lot of dramas on one side it's a different sort of challenge, and on the other, it's not a challenge at all, meaning that my goal is to try and bring the realism and acting you might find in a straight drama with the intentions and conflict, where it doesn't feel tongue-in-cheek, but rather committed and real.
As for the Folsom Prison show, ... would anybody have the guts to do that show now 50 Cent, maybe I think the whole idea of even playing to a crowd of people like that is so politically unfavorable now - it's like, 'What are you doing, singing for these people Do they deserve it' There's such anger in our culture right now, that kind of grace and forgiveness, we don't see that very often.