Set in 1942, Midway is an action packed film with an all-star cast that depicts the U.S. battle against the Japanese during WWII.
The star studded cast including Mandy Moore, Nick Jonas, Patrick Wilson, Dennis Quaid, Aaron Eckhart, Woody Harrelson and Luke Evans— just to name a few— gathered at the Regency Village theatre in Westwood to celebrate their latest project.
The production value was promising to say the least. With size to scale naval ships, a fully paid trip to the historic Pearl Harbor and authentic uniforms from the original war heroes themselves. But despite the $59.5 million dollar budget, getting to the premiere was no easy feet. This was years in the making. Director, Roland Emmerich, came up with the concept almost 20 years prior. But looking back, Emmerich is optimistic about the challenges he faced to get his vision to the big screen.
“I’m so happy I did it now because I think technology and everything is so much better now and if I would have done this 20 years ago when I first wanted to do it, it would be a different movie…” said Emmerich. “…maybe not as good. It was worth it… the wait.”
The somewhat slow start didn’t cause any real hiccups to the production overall but finding the perfect cast to portray the narrative was non-negotiable for Emmerich.
“I take casting really serious… For me as a director, that’s probably the most nerve-racking of the whole process.”
According to Emmerich, availability due to busy schedules and interest in the characters are always big factors for scoring the big names. He was able to pull through with high caliber talent signing on due to the writings of Wes Tooke.
“We got lucky in this movie because it was a very good script,” said Emmerich.
Recreating the bombs and explosions that took place during the war took some help from movie making magic. Brandon Skelnar who plays “George ‘Tex’ Gay” talked about working with CGI for the first time.
“You’re in a plane, in a giant blue room, looking at a dot on the wall, pretending it was a plane.”
There’s a strange paradox of warfare and whimsicality as Skelnar remembers his time on set.
“The funny thing is, you tap into this spirit… like you’re a little kid again, playing outside pretending,” said Skelnar.
While some actors try to get technical with their preparation for this unique process, Skelnar recalls his tactics drawing from a place of the heart.
“When I was a little kid, I’d pretend I was a pilot all the time, build the thing, sit in the cockpit and shoot at people ya know so it’s the same thing just tapping into that energy ya know…”
Midway hits theatres November 8th.