Pandorum arrives in theatres tomorrow without much hype, but should pleasantly surprise audiences with its mix of sci-fi mythology and monster movie thrills.
Lead actor Dennis Quaid had the same feeling when he picked up the screenplay many months ago.
“I read the script without thinking much of it and thought it was such an interesting and unique story. I found it really scary and wanted to do it right away,” Quaid told Metro. He signed on to star as the captain of a spaceship who wakes up from hypersleep later than expected and discovers that the ship has been taken over by a collection of half-human monsters.
It’s all classic science fiction movie material, which was nice for the actor who has always had a soft spot for the genre.
“I grew up in Texas and that’s where the space program started when I was a kid. That immediately replaced my desire to be a cowboy,” joked Quaid.
Science fiction of course means plenty of special effects work, which can be tough for actors who have to imagine everything that will be animated into the film once the shooting is complete. However, Quaid claims he prefers the new techniques to the way it was done in the old days.
“Special effects movies are so much easier to do now,” revealed the actor. “I did Enemy Mine at least 20 years ago and there was always some mechanical effect that wouldn’t work. You’d have to do everything over and over. It was really a pain in the a— and it would take hours to get one shot. Now you just stand in front of a green screen and they can create everything around you later. It makes it so much easier from an actor’s point of view.”
Quaid took a risk signing up for Pandorum, which was directed by the unproven filmmaker Christian Alvart, who had only made two low-budget features in Germany before coming to Hollywood for his big budget debut. But the actor claims that he had no problems working with the fledgling director.
“Alvart’s a really great storyteller,” said Quaid. “He’s a 34-year-old wunderkind, but he performs like he’s been doing this for 40 years. He storyboarded the entire movie himself and really elevated the script. He created an entire mythology, which was fascinating. He’s even come up with a prequel and a sequel if this connects with audiences.”
Dennis Quaid will have to wait and see how Pandorum does at the box office before he knows if he’ll be back for the sequel. But that’s fine with the actor who enjoys dabbling in as many types of films as possible.
“I like doing all different kinds of movies, that keeps it interesting. Going from GI Joe to Smart People and then from Pandorum to playing Bill Clinton. I’m just grateful to still be here and I’m happy to try out different things. I’m actually having more fun now as an actor than I did in my 20s.”
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