Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Henry Cavill and Luke Evans both have jobs lined up in which they’ll be playing larger-than-life characters, personalities that vast portions of the viewing audience already have plenty of background with: DC Comics superhero Superman and Aramis of The Three Musketeers, respectively. As you might expect, they’re pretty excited about the opportunities they’ve been handed.
“[It feels] fantastic, obviously,” Cavill said in a paired interview with Evans over the weekend at WonderCon, where they appeared to promote Tarsem Singh’s upcoming Greek(-ish) epic Immortals. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to play such an iconic role. I can’t wait, I really can’t wait. It’s like a dream.”
Now that the cast is coming together for Zack Snyder’s comic book adaptation, Cavill is able to share his feelings about his co-stars. “I’m very excited to see all of the actors there. Wow! That lineup already [for] an actor of my experience, only 10 years, to be a part of that cast and to be leading it, is fantastic.”
Evans, predictably, is also feeling no small amount of joy at being given such an opportunity. “I’m very lucky to be in this position. I’m proud of what I’ve done so far,” he said. “[The experience] changed me forever. Really literally, it changed me physically forever.”
Both men had to bulk up for their roles, naturally. Aramis is an unparalleled swordsman and Superman is an alien in possession superpowers beyond measure. Cavill agreed with his Immortals co-star on the physical change accepting such a role has wrought. “Once you get into that kind of shape it changes your standard for yourself. That becomes your idea of what great shape is.”
Of course, Evans is also set for another iconic role in Singh’s Immortals: the top dog in the pantheon of Greek gods, Zeus. Not only does he have to deal with the enormity of playing the Don Corleone of deities, he’s also got some sizable shoes to fill. Zeus has been portrayed on screen a number of times, and Evans sought to bring a little something different to it with his own rendition.
“I think everybody did a great job [in past Zeus roles], but … I came to this with the fresh eyes of a director who had an opinion on what he wanted,” he explained. “It informed me of how I was going to play the character. He left it to me.”
“I created somebody that I know is completely different from every other Zeus that’s been played,” Evans continued. “I know that it’ll be different, because it’s me. I’m Luke. I’m not Laurence Olivier, I’m not Liam Neeson. I’m probably the youngest actor that’s ever played the role. That’s enough to make it different.”
Singh’s involvement is also going to play a key role in bringing something different to what appears on the surface to be a Greek myth-based action film. As the director of The Fall and The Cell, he has proven himself as a filmmaker with a unique artistic flair. He brought that with him into Immortals, creating a wealth of art assets during pre-production before a single frame had even been shot.
“The thing about Immortals was there was a huge amount of original artwork designed for the movie,” Evans explained. “Before we even began, there were corridors and corridors and rooms and models … we were so lucky that they indulged artists to draw these incredible places which are the finished product.”
“So we were never stuck for the image even if we didn’t have the image. The sets that you see, even in the trailer, they really did exist, that’s not fake. The Mount Olympus … went up about five stories. So you’re talking about size and you’re talking about making it even bigger with a green screen.”
“We knew exactly what we were looking at when we were working with that green screen,” Cavill added. His character Theseus is central to the story and in direct conflict with King Hyperion, played by Mickey Rourke.
“The guy has such a presence in person anyway, with such a serious wealth of acting experience,” Cavill said of his on screen nemesis. “You turn up and the work’s half done because you’re working with King Hyperion! It was ideal. You could learn so much just doing those scenes.”
Unfortunately, neither of the actors would go into specifics on what to expect from the final cut. It seems more because they were at a loss when asked to pick a single set piece to highlight than concern over maintaining any sense of secrecy.
“From the word go, it’s visceral and literally, there’s a pulse,” Evans said. “It’s difficult to say that there’s one [standout scene]. Some of these scenes we took weeks to shoot. Literally, weeks. The final scene took almost two weeks to shoot. They stand on their own as iconic moments in the movie.”
Cavill dropped a small hint before the two actors were pulled away to their next interview, seemingly nodding to what will be his final showdown with King Hyperion as a scene to watch for. “There’s a build-up to a crescendo at the end. I think that crescendo is going to be extraordinary.”
Immortals, which also stars Kellan Lutz, Isabel Lucas, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto and John Hurt, will be released in 3D on Nov. 11.