“I thought it was too good and too funny to disappear completely” – Joe Carnahan opens up about making Stretch
Stretch is a proper action comedy. Starring Patrick Wilson as the titular character, a down on his luck limo driver who is struggling to pay off some serious gambling debts. Desperate for cash, he takes on a job with a crazed passenger, whose sought-after ledger implicates some seriously dangerous criminals.
Starring Jessica Alba, The Hangover’s Ed Helms and Chris Pine (who is technically uncredited, but plays a big role), the film was initially due in cinemas in March 2014, but after endless delays has ended up going straight to DVD release and finally hits shelves on Monday (June 1st).
We chatted with director Joe Carnahan (whose previous movies include the likes of Smokin’ Aces and The A Team) about Stretch’s strange journey, working with Patrick Wilson and whether he still plans to bring Mark Millar’s dark-hearted comic Nemesis to the big screen…
Of all the films you’ve ever worked on, this one must have had the strangest journey to finally coming out?
“Absolutely. It was always intended to be an experimental film, it’s a tiny film, and it’s one tenth the size of The Hangover. Generating something with $5 million dollars for wide release that isn’t a horror film is very hard. It’s fantastic though, I really hoped it would go theatrical, but studios are quite a fickle place these days and there was no appetite for that. But as it’s come out there it’s already picked up a tremendous fanbase.”
Were you worried it would never see the light of day?
“No, not really. I thought it was too good and too funny to disappear completely. It’s a very specific kind of action comedy, but I think we check every box of what makes a funny entertaining film.”
It looks like it was a lot of fun to shoot…
“Oh it was, it was the most fun I’ve ever had making a movie. Working with Chris Pine, James Badge Dale and such a great cast of actors, it was the best 23 days. I’ve never had to prep so hard for a film, but it was such a blast.”
Why did you decide Patrick Wilson was the guy for the role?
“He was the guy I wanted. I always had him in mind. How Patrick isn’t a gigantic star I will never know! He’s so funny and powerful, he’s got so much energy and he had such great chemistry with everybody. He’s an absolute gentleman.”
Tell us more about Chris Pine’s role in the movie because he’s technically uncredited…
“He wanted to sneak in there. He’s a nice surprise and I don’t think anybody actually realises that it’s him. He made no money, but was so committed.”
So after spending the last year working on TV shows like State Of Affairs and The Blacklist, are you itching to get back to film?
“I’ve been doing a lot of TV, obviously I’m involved with the Blacklist and then State Of Affairs, but I want to make another movie again. I always want to move on after a project, I don’t know how Michael Bay can get up for those Transformers movies again and again, they’re gigantic, I couldn’t do it, I admire those who can, but I can’t.”
Is Nemesis still happening?
“I know Mark Millar really wants the version that me and my brother wrote to be the one. But it’s difficult, it’s an anti-superhero superhero movie, so it’d be a hard sell, but it’s definitely the best script my brother and I have written together. If we can get it done, it’ll be a career defining moment. I wish we could get it done, but for a movie like that you need a really strong producer, I don’t know if we have one yet.”
Stretch is out now on DVD in hmv stores across the UK.