Director Talks About Why Elektra Failed

Elektra was a total bomb in almost every meaning of the phrase. Critics hated it, the audience hated it and it’s probably already reserved it’s place on most “Worst Movies of 2005” lists. Considering it forerunner Daredevil enjoyed modest success and Jennifer Garner was to be in even tighter and skimpier outfits this time out (not to mention a very well marketed kiss with another woman)… you’d figure it would have at least done “ok”. Nope.

But hand it to the guy. Rob Bowman, the director of Elektra had the guts to sit down with Now Playing and talk about his failure (say what you want… that takes a man) and offer some idea as to why the film failed so badly. Here’s an excerpt from that article:

“I knew going into the project, because of the short prep, because I only had Jennifer for her hiatus from Alias, which was ten weeks, and [because of] the short postproduction, that we weren’t going to be able to make Spider-Man,” says Bowman. “We didn’t have the time to make Spider-Man. We didn’t have the time to make Daredevil!”

Bowman is refreshingly candid – and good-natured – about the failure of the film, but he also is quick to defend his picture while also maintaining that he is aware of its shortcomings.“That was OK, because I was not making a movie about size and spectacle, about giant visual effects,” he continues. “The best movies are stories about people and their inner struggles – those are my favorite films. I finally said, ‘Let’s not get down about the fact that we don’t have the time to make Batman or Spider-Man. Let’s embrace what we do have, which is a very interesting character.’

Bowman goes on to talk about how surprised he was critics disliked the film since they usually cheer for a film that gets made with a relatively low budget (Elektra only had a $43 million budget… which is REALLY low for a comic movie).

My question is… why did they have to make it so fast? Why not wait until Garner had more than just 2 and a half months to shoot? Can you imagine that? A comic action film where you only have the lead character for 10 weeks of shooting? What was the rush? Were they afraid Garner was suddenly not going to be popular anymore in 12 months? To me that’s just crazy… and stupid.

In the end, Bowman seems to have a pretty healthy way of looking at it all. He goes on to say:

“The critics don’t care – they don’t care if you’re tired, they don’t care about anything except judging the movie,” he says. “It’s not like I didn’t try. It’s not like I didn’t use every trick in the book I had to pull that movie off in that short amount of time. And if you can’t handle people not liking what you do, you shouldn’t be in the business. That’s part of it, because telling a story on film is subjective, and not everybody is going to laugh at the jokes you laughed at. Your favorite movie may not be many other people’s favorite movie. And that’s the risk in making a product with a mass appeal – how do you figure out what all those people want? Don’t even try. Everybody likes ice cream, but not everybody likes chocolate ice cream.”

Good words. I’ll be interested to see what he ends up doing next… cause it sure won’t be Elektra 2.

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