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Alex Proyas Explains Why He Decided to Direct Knowing

by
February 25, 2009
Source: SciFi

Knowing

So you get to talk with Alex Proyas, director of such cult classics as The Crow and Dark City, what do you ask him? How about why he would choose to direct Knowing next? Okay, maybe that's a bit too harsh, because I actually really like Proyas and still think he did a great job with I, Robot, but that is the actual question that SciFi asked Proyas in their interview. Fortunately, he gave a good answer that reasonably explained why this is not the next sci-fi flop and that it is actually something we should probably be excited about. Now I just want to know why he chose to cast Nicholas Cage instead of someone else better?

"As a filmmaker, you're always looking for an original story to tell, one that hasn't been told a million times before. It seems like -- in this time of remakes and reboots -- if you can find something with even the whiff of uniqueness to it, I think that instantly piques people's interest. It certainly did for me," Proyas told SciFi. If you don't already know the plot in Knowing, a teacher finds a note in a time capsule that has accurately predicted the exact location and timing of various disasters in history. If you've seen the trailer, you know that there seems to be some deeper interpretation in the story, as Proyas goes on to explain.

"As we got deeper and deeper into this concept, it just kind of created all these wonderful possibilities. All these notions that, if you knew the day you were going to die, or if you could have that information, would you want to know it or not? And it's a question that many people find hard to answer. You can see the merits of both sides of the argument. So it's just one real small example, but there's just so much, there was so much possibility in the story that we developed."

Although that concept seems to read a lot better on paper than it does with Nic Cage acting it out on screen, I'm still very interested in seeing Knowing. Proyas adds: "To me, it was a very kind of disturbing, intriguing concept. That was really the genesis of my interest in it." I really hope that it's as disturbing and intriguing as Proyas is making it out to be, because I really don't want to see a forgettable movie with a weak plot in the end, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that desire. Head over to SciFi to read their full interview with Proyas, including more discussion about the concept. Knowing will hit theaters everywhere on March 20th.

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  • Chrisbo
    Its Nic Cage. No matter how good the script may be, its destined to suck ass. How do people shell out money for movies to be made and watch him on the monitor going trying to act and say, "Cut, print that." Boggling. Stick with comedic roles or none ya bum.
  • ?????
    Nic Cage isn't the greatest actor ever but I do believe there have been worse. I'm excited to see Knowing because it looks fantastic and Proyas is a decent director and might just be able to get a good movie out of Cage. Who knows?
  • Knight Rider
    Bangkok Dangerous????. . . .Nope Next????? . . . Nope! Ghost Rider?????. . . .NOOOOPE!!!
  • Richard
    I liked Next and National Treasures, other then that I don't like Nick Cage, so there's defiantly room to do a good job.
  • Cody
    I never put a movies success upon the main actor even if its cage, if Proyas directed him well and did it right then it shouldnt matter what the face is.
  • CrimsonSnake
    Nick cage's career didn't begin with Ghost Rider and he shouldn't be judged by pretty bad movies he's made recently, he's also done a whole bunch of movies I loved. I mean Con Air, Face/Off, Matchstick Men and many others I quite like him actually. But I do admit the receding hair-line is not helping him much. Anyways, I'm pretty excited for this movie 'cause anything that Alex Proyas does.
  • Jeff
    People are always down on Nick Cage these days, and for good reason. Still, I remain a loyal Cage fan in spite of his latter-day sins (Ghost Rider, Next, Bangkok Dangerous, Windtalkers, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, National Treasure, etc.). It's always more fun to remember the bad stuff than the good, but I think people are all too quick to forget the great roles he's chosen and the great performances he's delivered. Just look at Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Red Rock West, Leaving Las Vegas, The Rock, Face/Off, 8mm, Bringing Out The Dead, Adaptation, Matchstick Men and Lord of War. Some all around great performances in some very good movies. The performances he gave in 'Leaving Las Vegas' and 'Adaptation' alone are better than most's career bests. I completely agree that Cage has fallen off, but I'm not yet jumping on the 'Fuck Nick Cage' bandwagon. I still think there's hope for him, and hopefully 'Knowing' will it.
  • Jmoney
    so the guy has had a bad run, he does have some acting chops, Leaving Las Vegas?
  • Blue Silver
    Are you serious Alex?? You think Nic Cage is not a good actor. Sure, Sean Penn once ragged on him a few years back saying that Cage is more of "a performer" than he is "an actor". Cage does bring a quirkiness and simplicity to his roles, and yet, great directors choose to work with him--that should tell ya something. "Windtalkers" was one damn good movie. I like "Next" (Sooo underrated) and "Bangkok Dangerous" was ok. I will check out "Knowing" opening day.
  • Spider
    I second that #7. Couldn't said it better myself! :) . Although, some of his newer stuff isn't all that bad either.
  • Shelby
    also agree with you #7 but u did leave out the best ones like Rumble Fish!!! Racing with the moon, the family man, gone in sixty seconds , city of angles , snake eyez , and offcourse fast times at ridgemont high!... j/k .. just kidding on the last one there he only played an extra on that one ..haha!
  • Frank
    I can't believe that anyone would call themselves a Nic Cage fan and not mention Vampire's Kiss. That, to me, is quite possibly his best work. Yeah, he's picked some questionable roles and dialed in a lot recently, but the guy has a pretty strong body of work. Heck, I'll even go as far as to say that Valley Girl is one of my guilty pleasures.
  • Jamie
    I have said this once before about John Travolta. Put him into a film with a great director and your bound to get a great movie. Yes Ghost Rider, Next, Bankok Dangerous, The Wicker Man and a lot of other films Nic Cage has done lately have been bad, but that's because he is working with bad director's. three of my fav films with Nic Cage are "Face Off" "Lord Of War" & "Gone In 60 Seconds". And the reason they are so good are because he is working with really good director's (John Woo/Andrew Niccol/Dominic Sena). Alex Proyas is a great director and the trailer for "Knowing" has got my interest, so who knows, mybe this film will be great after all.
  • Timothy
    Cage's record of late doesn't bode well but hey, it could be good. He's so good in Matchstick men and a ton of other movies, so . . . he can be great.
  • Shelby
    well ive never seen vampires kiss but ill check it out...
  • Jack
    Yeah Proyas gets too much crap for I Robot, while I cant say I like it that much, I will say its enjoyable. I am really curious to see how Knowing turns out, both trailers were kind of different. I like the concept though. I think Cage gets too much shit too. Yes he does steaming piles of shit a lot but he also was in Adaptation, Rasing Arizona, Lord of War, Weatherman, Rumble Fish, Peggy Sue got Married, and he was pretty funny in Wild at Heart.
  • I can see why Proyas wanted to do this project. It is a concept that hasn't yet been done to death. But for Nick.. I don't want to say he's a bad actor, but I can't off the top of my head think of a film where his acting floored me.
  • Fisherr
    I am anticipating this movie, Hope my prediction doesn't let me down this time.
  • lando
    "As a filmmaker, you're always looking for an original story to tell, one that hasn't been told a million times before. It seems like — in this time of remakes and reboots — if you can find something with even the whiff of uniqueness to it, I think that instantly piques people's interest. It certainly did for me," THANK YOU MR PROYAS!!!!! Id rather watch someone attempt and fail something unique and original than watch some remake of a classic or surebet formulaic committee made film!! Proyas has a great style and more importantly he brings a certain sense of authenticity to his works! Its funny to read about "forgettable movies with a weak plot in the end" when this guys movies tend to stand on their own, hell...his Dark CIty was in my opinion a much better version of the concepts the matrix tried to portray and in a much more original way than that overextended gap commercial/mtv video.

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