One foot in the present and another in the past. Just before the release of Dying Can Wait, the director told Premiere how he experienced the various postponements of the film, and if he imagined filming another James Bond.
Premiere: We spoke a year and a half ago about the initial release of To die can wait, but I feel like I have lived thirty lifetimes since …
Cary Joji Fukunaga : Don’t tell me about it! I’ve been busy pushing scripts that I had in the drawers, and I’ve been shooting for six months Masters of the Air, a miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks [suite de l’anthologie entamée avec Band of Brothers et The Pacific]. So the world of Jump seems very far away to me… but no one has seen the film yet! I feel like I have a split personality: part of me has gone forward, the other is stuck in the past and still waiting to see what will happen at the exit.
How did you react when the film was first postponed?
It was a wise decision. From the start, I observed closely what was happening in China and around the world: my first film, Sin Number, was released during the H1N1 epidemic, and theaters were closed in Mexico. So I knew where all this could take us, although I never imagined that so many people could lose their lives. I was aware that something important was going on, so it felt right to postpone the outing.
Have you been asked for your opinion?
No, the oils decide! (Laughs.) But with each shift, the question has always been whether we could allow the film to be seen by everyone on the whole planet, or almost. Sounds healthy to me. Exiting it country by country depending on the local health situation would have been detrimental. We did not miss any window of the shooting. Before October 2021, it was just impossible to release it properly.
Did you want to make modifications to the assembly?
Yes, but it is the case with all my projects! If you give a writer or a director the opportunity to change things, they are bound to do it. (Laughs.) Except that I was not given the opportunity. The movie was over, it was like that. Would I do the exact same movie again today? Probably not.
Symbolically, the output of To die can wait sign a form of return to normal for the cinema?
There is something symbolic, but I don’t know if that means anything. Disney or Marvel have released very big films, we are not the first. So that does not mean that we are done with the pandemic, but that at least we can start to find some form of normalcy. Except that we are not at all where we were before …
And that worries you? Are you going to check out the box office?
Complicated question. Let’s put it like this: we are optimistic, but we expect everything. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I’m going to look at the numbers. Above all, I will have my eyes riveted on the criticisms of the press. This is the real issue for me.
The promo has lasted for almost two years, which can give the impression of having already seen the film… You are not afraid of wear and tear from the public?
No, and that’s thanks to the marketing team who, I don’t really know how, managed to keep the flame alive all this time, with something different each time. So I am calm on that side. People think they know what the movie is, but they are wrong.
Ready to sign for another Jump ?
I do not know. Everything will depend on the timing and the potential of the project. And then it’s very rare that I do the same thing twice… We’ll see where I will be in my life at that time.
Daniel Craig: “Dying can wait is the right way to take leave”