Forest Whitaker is Fighting for Where the Wild Things Are Too
After rumors burst out in February surrounding reshoots on Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker has made it his own mission to find out what the problem is and maybe even fight for the film he saw. Whitaker lends his voice in the film as the head creature named Ira. He spoke to MTV recently and told them that he had seen the original version that everyone is talking about and even took his 3 kids aged 9 to 16 to see it. "It was intense. They liked it, though. They enjoyed it."
You might be amazed to find out that even actors actually read the internet too. And Whitaker got concerned when he heard there were problems. He explains his involvement: "I play Ira, he puts the holes in the trees. I have a wife and kid, and we're the only family unit inside [the land of the Wild Things]. It's a good movie. I saw an early cut of it. I brought my kids to see it, and I was really impressed."
Thankfully by being involved in the film, Whitaker understands the general idea and what exactly Jonze was attempting to achieve. He defends Jonze choice to make it a more intense and mature movie:
"I'm going to call Spike and find out what's going on," he promised. "The thing is, it's one thing to read [scary stuff] in a book, but when you see an itty-bitty kid running alongside a 10-foot-giant on the side of a cliff, it gets intense. But that's the point, because we're representing the things inside of the kid. They represent his struggles, either him being too angry or being confused, or not feeling like he belongs. They're a gargantuan extension of the way he's feeling inside."
We already know that the film is a very unique blend of live-action, CGI, and enormous animatronic puppets, but what exactly is controversial, only a few know. While numerous people mentioned they were at the infamous screening in our comments section on the previous article, only Whitaker attempts to explain and rationalize some of the supposedly more controversial moments.
"[The dark scenes] are the point of the movie, and I hope that they maintain that point, because I think children can identify with a character who is upset," the father of four explained, citing one key scene of destruction as being particularly controversial. "[The main character Max] built this whole city, and nobody likes it, and he tears it all up. He's like, 'Well if you don't like it, I'm just going to tear it up!' because he wants so badly for someone to like it."
"This kid rolls by himself, no father figure; this is a single family home," he continued, with passion. "His mother ends up having a boyfriend that becomes like a monster to him…people have to build trust with the people their parent starts to date…These are real issues that the character deals with, and I hope that [the filmmakers] continue to explore them, because kids need to see that; they need to see that other kids are dealing with it."
If anything, Where the Wild Things Are sounds like it could do a lot more than just make money - it could help subconsciously teach our children important ideas. But therein lies the problem. No movie studio exec wants a film to educate children on serious issues, especially not when they're trying to push it as a family film and make as much money as possible. However, when you listen to that explanation from Whitaker, it all makes perfect sense. And it doesn't sound too scary, too intense, or too mature at all!
At least we've got another powerful voice fighting for the best side of this movie. I really hope this doesn't head down the same path as The Weinstein Company's Fanboys. Thankfully there really aren't fanboys for this movie, but there are people like us and like Forest who are fighting for what believe is true artistic integrity. Don't mess with Spike Jonze's work! Even Forest Whitaker can see the greatness and the benefits in the original film that Jonze created.