If you've been following us for sometime, you know that Collider has provided the fans of I Am Number Four, with some amazing interviews with the cast and film makers. Today, yet another has been released. This time it's a roundtable discussion with Alex Pettyfer and Director DJ Caruso on the making of the film, the differences between the book and film, and John Smith as a character. Check out some excerpts below.
COLLIDER: Alex what did you get to do on this film that you’ve always wanted to do that’s a little different from, like you did on Beastly, is there something on this that you got to do and went “Yes!”?
Pettyfer: You know every film that you go from, you have different experiences, and this experience was working with people that I idolize. DJ, I love his movies from Disturbia to Eagle Eye. I remember reading Disturbia, one of the first scripts I ever got, and I go “Pfft, who wants to make a movie about a guy in a house?” And you watch it and you are blown away about what DJ does, you know he makes an intimate story about a guy who you care about. That’s what I loved about I am Number Four, is that you have all this great action and explosions and etcetera etcetera, but at the core of it DJ makes a story where you care about every single character and you feel like it’s real. That’s why the new Batman worked so well, cause it’s real. You don’t have people flying around and this and that, you have real situations with real people and you start to care about them.
COLLIDER: Obviously, a book is a book, a movie is a movie. Could you talk about the differences from the book to the movie? And also, this is the first of what could be a series of films, how much do you know about where it might go past here?
Caruso: Well I know for me, it was really trying to make—you know you have the book, you have the novel, you have the outline for where the second book goes, the third book was sort of on track to some of the thoughts that they had. But for me, it was really very selfishly trying to make the best movie that I can, trying to stick to some of the themes and elements from the book. But we did do some tweaking and changing, for example I think the biggest change would be—and it’s not a major change, [well] it is a major change dramatically—in the book when it starts he knows who he is, he knows exactly what he’s gotta do, he already has all these powers, most of these powers. We decided for the film to make it a discovery, that he kind of knows he’s special and he’s be chosen, he doesn’t know what’s gonna happen, and so as these powers kick in we, the audience, are discovering with him for the first time what’s happening to him and then how are these gonna relate to what happens later in the movie. So for me, dramatically, that was sort of the biggest shift that we took. And then also just, there’s a lot of sort of folklore and backstory about where he came from and how he got here and flashbacks and things, and I decided in the film just to keep it straight, make that the Chinatown of the movie. We know he’s not, wherever he’s from there’s some horrible things that happened, but for this particularly first film it wasn’t an important element of dramatically telling the story. So I think those were probably the two biggest shifts.
COLLIDER: Okay the tortured souls in different ways. This kid moves all the time, he’s got this horrible background, and your guy in Beastly is a high school student as well who’s paying for his arrogance basically. So do you pick roles like that on purpose? Why do you gravitate towards these guys?
Pettyfer: I think John isn’t a tortured soul, he is a guy who—everyone in life comes to a point where they have a choice, and John’s choice is he wants to lead a life of normality and that’s not his destiny. His destiny is he is essentially this warrior who is from another planet, and that is what’s so torturing for him. He isn’t a tortured soul; he is very vulnerable because of the situation that he’s in. And he may feel tortured, but really it’s about choice for him and him wanting one thing, yet him having to do another to actually essentially get what he wants. Because if he doesn’t become this warrior, and doesn’t go down this path he’s gonna actually lose everything he’s ever wanted. He wants to be normal.Head over to Collider to read the full interview, there's a lot more with Alex and DJ!