Scott Harris from Moviefone was another lucky member of the press that got to visit the set of I Am Number Four a few months back. In a recent article, he lets us know nine of the most interesting things he learned whilst on set, ranging from changes to the script/book, the cast and crew, and a hint at the future of the novels.
Here are a few of the tidbits he picked up:
Changes to the screenplay led to changes in the books.
Fans of the book may be surprised when they see the finished film. Why? Because while the cast and crew strived to stay true to the spirit of the original text, a number of details were changed along the way.
"In the book, [Number Four] knows from page one what he's supposed to do," Caruso told us. "In the movie it takes him quite a while to kind of figure out who he is and what he wants to become. And I think that was what was dramatically and cinematically interesting to me -- who he thinks he is and who he really is are two completely different people. And he has to come to terms with understanding that who he wants to be isn't who he's going to become."
The good news is that if there's a sequel, it's likely to stay much closer to the source material for one simple reason: After reading the script for this movie, the authors will be changing the second book to match.
"It's interesting because [the authors] have just outlined the second book, so some of the stuff that we had in the movie kind of sparked different ideas," Caruso said. "I noticed that their outline for book two had changed a little bit. Which was kind of cool."
The Mogadarian Commander steals the show -- even though he's not in the book.
Kevin Durand is known for playing some of the jerkiest villains on television and in cinema (see: Martin Keamy on 'Lost,' the Archangel Gabriel in 'Legion'). So it's no surprise that his evil Mogadarian Commander steals the show. Just don't look for the character in the book -- because he's not there.
"One of [executive producer Steven Spielberg]'s bigger notes that we kind of kept working on in the screenplay was to really try and give the Mog Commander a personality. And so we wrote a few things just as a trial basis and sort of ran it by Kevin and he sent us a tape and read it and it just sort of made sense. So we started to tailor stuff for him because he's just so great.
"We definitely sort of gave the Mogadorian Commander a dynamic sort of interesting presence. I wanted him to sort of be what Chris Walken was back in the late '80s, early '90s, in those movies where he [has] the rhythms and the odd dynamics of someone that you really don't know how comfortable to get around him. Kevin's done a good job."
Most of the cast has never read the book.
Squeamish book lovers should avert their eyes now, because it's true: most of the cast and crew has never even read the book that the film is based on. But it's not because they aren't interested in being faithful to the source. It's actually for a much simpler reason: The authors actually hadn't completed the book before filming began.
"I haven't read the book," Pettyfer told us. "Not because I'm a bad person, but because the book hadn't been finished until we started the film. And I had an idea from the script who Number Four was and I didn't want to have my mind taken somewhere else while I was filming. I definitely am 100% going to read it the day I finish. But I don't want any influence from anywhere else. I sat down with both writers and got the idea what the gist of what the character was and then kind of went off and put it into my own hands to see what I could do with it."
At least one cast member has sneaked a few peeks at the book, though -- but only the parts she's in. "I skipped forward," Palmer admitted. "I wanted to see where [Number Six] came in and what her entrance was like. It's funny because it's actually a little bit different to what we're doing in the film, so it's cool to pick out all of the little differences."
And in the sequel you can expect to see...
The cast may not have read the book, but that doesn't mean they're in the dark. In fact, thanks to conversation with the authors, the members of the cast already know what happens to their characters not just in the sequel but in some cases through all six planned volumes. Try as we might, we couldn't get any of them to spill the beans. But we did learn some secrets from an unlikely source: the director himself.What a tease! I need to know what's going to happen! How many days til spring/summer when The Power of Six is released?
Unfortunately, we can't really tell you what Caruso told us without spoiling everything (sorry!) but he did allow us at least one tidbit: Fans can definitely expect to meet at least one more of the seven surviving Lorien teenagers.
But what strange activity is the mysterious Number Five up to? That's something you'll just have to wait for the sequel to find out.
You can read the rest of the list here.
I Am Number Four will be released in theateres on February 18, 2011