Ratchet and Clank movie interview with director Kevin Munroe and producer Brad Foxhoven

IMG_5095

During the Ratchet & Clank movie panel at WonderCon, we saw a few new trailers for the upcoming movie as well as the announcements of some of the voice actors including Rosario Dawson, John Goodman, Sylvester Stallone, and Jim Ward (returning as Captain Qwark). The panel included a few guests including the movie’s director Kevin Munroe, producer Brad Foxhoven, voice actress Bella Thorne, who voices a new entry into the series Cora; and the voice of Ratchet & Clank, James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye.

After the panel we had a chance to chat with each talent. Director Kevin Munroe and producer Brad Foxhoven talked about the film.

Nowadays video games seem so similar. What were you guys thinking of doing to take it to the next step on the big screen that would maybe be part of video games?

Kevin: That’s a good question. The games are meant to empower you as a player. The film is meant to entertain you as an audience member. So it’s a viewer vs player interactive experience vs nonlinear experience. It couldn’t be just about spectacle. So it couldn’t have just been about the look. It had to be about the experience. There’s something about reading comic book that’s more of a passive medium, but you feel so many things in a comic book, kind of like in video games, you play all of this and this world becomes real and it’s, “How do you take that and have that sort of immersiveness in the movie but still be compelling through the storyline, not just relying on spectacle.

During the panel, you mentioned there was a list of games you wanted to turn into movies. Can you list some of those?

Brad: You look at the DC and Marvel universe, and it’s like a candy store. Look at all these amazing franchises. PlayStation has that in this unbelievable library of franchises, and you sit there and you just go, “I can see that one, I can see that one,” and just go down the list of ones you just want to see just as a fan. So certainly we look at them and would be asking about Sly Cooper, that’s another film we’re working on. You look at this and you think, “What else can you get and what can you talk about,” because I also like that one and that one, so it’s opening up a bit more about where they feel comfortable. It’s a learning process as well. They’ve never done anything like this. They had the power to do it, and certainly the platform and the console and everything else around them made if you were Sega, Ubisoft, or Activision. You need an Xbox or a Playstation to still sell and do your game.

Kevin: Those types of partnerships rarely happen, especially in a film adaptation. We have to work with other developers like Insomniac. There was a lot of support. It was really great, everyone was on the same page and saw the potential. And it also took a lot of ppl by surprise because you’re still waiting for uncharted, you’re looking at the god of war, you’re looking at lasso, you have ridiculously high expectations, and wow there’s a poster over there, where did that come from? That’s cool.

This is a really impressive group of voice actors. How’d you draw them in? Are they fans of the game, etc?

It’s opportunistic. All these actors are really busy and their careers are doing great and even better, so as an independent group, being nimble helps in getting these actors. Other studios weren’t as nimble, but we were. Be opportunistic, and knowing what was important to us, what was important to be able to pull off, and taking advantage of that opportunity. Because they are very busy and successful actors and we’re a smaller production, not Pixar or Disney, we had to be flexible, and that’s what made it work.

Were there any voice talent that you wanted to bring in but couldn’t?

Brad: Actually, no. We went in with other lists, but all the right people said yes. The best one was Bella because a lot of the traditional film folks didn’t know her, so we said we already got these other guys, so we’re going to put her into the mix because that’s the ringer. That’s the wild card that they don’t understand, but we did, that the gamers did, the newer generation of kids do. She’s a bigger star than some of these actors like John Goodman. That was the nice mix. They’re huge actors, and she’s a huge actor but depends on which demographic you’re looking at. But none of it really betrayed what the core, what the tone of the movie was. It never felt like this person was obviously cast because they’re trying to get their names on the poster. They all did great performances and were in character. There’s always extra outtakes of stuff they did in character that was extraordinarily funny, but not appropriate for a family film. It’s great for us because it was fun to see Ratchet go off on Clank in a way where you’re like, “Wow, he’s maaaad.” Seeing the characters, as the fan side of me, that was the best part of production.

Fans used to be really angry at Ratchet due to his poor attitude to Clank. Did you feel like you had to readdress it at all in the retelling?

Kevin: Insomniac addressed it in their franchise. We just showed up after they did all the work. The newer version just takes the characters as they are now and puts them back in time to see how they’d react.

One of the things we’ve seen is that video games haven’t been translated well into movies. How did you take that into account, wanting to take a 40/50-hour game and condense it into 2 hours. How difficult was that?

Kevin: Really what it is, is not translating everything, but what you take out to make sure it still works. Because if it does well, we’ll get a chance to tell all those stories in the future. So it’s all a matter of staying true to the tone and being really selective about what you put into the film.

You can also read our interviews with Bella Throne and James Arnold Taylor with David Kaye in the links below.

Part two with Bella Thorne.

Part three with James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye.

About author

Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply