Jackson almost walks over title disagreement

Samuel L. Jackson stars in Snakes On A Plan. The 57-year-old actor almost walked away from the movie over talks to change the title to Pacific Flight 121. The title of Snakes on a Plane stayed and so did Jackson.


It may sound like the name of a 1950s drive-in B-rated horror flick, but Snakes On A Plane could be the sleeper hit of the summer.

The thriller involving, well, exactly what the title suggests, has received unprecedented online buzz with bloggers actively pumping the Samuel L. Jackson-led cast, and reportedly influencing decisions to re-shoot a scene where Jackson asserts his disdain for the film’s slithering villains with his trademark blue language.

Some film industry-watchers have even speculated that the online chatter inadvertently boosting the action-thriller Snakes On A Plane could change the way studios promote their movies.

A confident-looking Jackson, sitting in a New York hotel suite clad in Armani with a poorboy cap turned backwards, agrees that electronic armchair critics are influencing box office success like never before.

“The box office is down because there were a lot of bad movies this year and because we have a bit more access than we used to in terms of the information network,” he says.

“People can go on the Net and blog and text message when they’re in the movie, ‘Don’t come see this shit!’ There’s a lot of ways to keep people out of the movies.”

Jackson, no stranger to action roles after turns in Star Wars Episodes I to III and both XXX films, almost walked away from Snakes when it was decided that the name would be changed to Pacific Flight 121.

The 57-year-old star flexed his thespian muscle and had the name changed back to the original title — a round of thankful applause could almost be heard across the Internet.

“When I opened that script and it said Snakes On A Plane, I was excited immediately,” he recalls.

“You put Pacific Flight 121 on a billboard and you put Snakes On A Plane on a billboard, I’m going to choose that one because Pacific Flight 121 says nothing to me whatsoever. Snakes On A Plane says everything. You’re afraid of flying and you’re afraid of snakes, there you have it.”

And there you have the recipe for making a summer popcorn hit. No one said a blockbuster should be produced to please the MENSA set, a point Jackson readily concedes.

“You’re not giving away the plot, because there is no plot,” he says of the self-explanatory title. “It’s who survives and who doesn’t. When you have a title like that, the most important thing you have to do is get some really dangerous snakes and some really good victims that people care about a lot or want to see dead.”

Snakes On A Plane slithers into theatres today.

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