There isn’t any flashy action in director Rupert Goold’s big screen adaptation of Michael Finkel’s true encounter with accused murderer Christian Longo, but the dialogue-driven mystery certainly sparks enough unease to keep you on the edge of your seat. Jonah Hill leads True Story as former New York Times reporter Mike Finkel. After getting caught fabricating story details, he’s publicly disgraced and can’t land a new gig. However, when he comes to learn that an accused killer has stolen his identity, Finkel suspects Longo’s (James Franco) story could be the key to revitalizing his career.
With True Story due for an April 17th limited release, I got the opportunity to sit down with Goold to run through his experience making the movie. He discussed making the move from theater to film, the challenges of working with such dark material, the alternate ending they shot that didn’t make the final cut and more. You can check it all out in the video interview below.
- 00:00 – Making the move from theater to film; pitching himself as a first-time feature director.
- 00:54 – Why he wanted this story for his first feature.
- 02:34 – Was he influenced by Silence of the Lambs; the challenge of creating unease.
- 03:26 – On respecting the true story while making it cinematic.
- 04:42 – Why he didn’t reach out to the real Christian Longo while making the movie.
- 06:06 – Working with such dark material about an especially distressing true crime.
- 07:18 – Having his own son on set the day they shot the scene when the children are murdered.
- 08:07 – On the shot of an execution table that never made it into the final cut.
- 08:58 – The alternate ending.
- 09:38 – On the drawings and hand-written notes featured in the film.
- 11:08 – What does he have coming up next?