Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Berg on "Hancock," and, yes, on "Dune"

Peter Berg had to go a couple of rounds with the MPAA's ratings board to win a PG-13 rating for Hancock --the Will Smith super (anti-) hero blockbuster.

"They hate sexual intercourse," says the director. "They hate sex, and they hate the word f---. It’s really that simple."

There's also the issue of "general intensity," a catch-all category that had Berg trimming seconds from the movie's final hospital room scene. An opening sequence in which Smith's Hancock tries to kill himself was also excised -- "just very dark," says Berg. "And there’s a lovemaking scene with Hancock and a groupie which I thought was pretty hilarious. That will be on the DVD."

Berg, who went from acting (The Last Seduction, TV's Chicago Hope) to directing (Very Bad Things, a bachelor party nightmare, was his first), has a bunch of things in the works. Right up there is a new version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic, Dune. The same desert planet epic was adapted for the screen back in the Eighties: David Lynch directed, and Kyle MacLachlan , Virginia Madsen starred and a giant sand worm starred.

"We’re looking for writers right now," Berg reports. "That’s probably a couple of years off in the distance, but, yeah, I definitely want to do my interpretation."

And what of the Lynch Dune?

"I thought it was intresting, and I think it left the door open for some interpretation. My experience with Dune, reading the book in highschool, is [it's] kind of a more muscular adventure tale than I think has been realized onscreen. Something a little rougher and a little more muscular. And I think our worm’s going to be a bit more ferocious."

Berg is also doing a new TV series with Ron Moore, the creator of Battlestar Galactica, called Virtuality, that starts shooting next month.

"And then I think I might do a movie called Lone Survivor, a kind of Black Hawk Down-style film about a gunfight that the Navy Seals get into in Afghanistan."


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