(Joyce) #1


“The story drops you into the pilot
house of a 1942 Fletcher-class
destroyer, and all of its authenticities,
and about five minutes later you’re
going 100 miles an hour, in this tactical
emergency, and it doesn’t let you catch
up. It forces you to engage and acquaint
yourself with how things work on a
destroyer. And, by the time you know
what you’re looking at, you’re fighting
a dozen Nazi U-boats.”
Complicating matters further is that
Krause – unlike Private Ryan’s cool-
headed Captain Miller – is still learning
on the job. “There’s the war drama, and
there’s the human drama underneath it
all,” says Schneider. “The engine of the
human drama is the fact that this man,
in the September of his naval career,
has been given an opportunity, and the
pressure’s on. It’s a trial by fire. He’s
got a lot of young men looking to him
at every step of the way for the kind of
leadership they need in crisis.”
independently to
the tune of some
$50 million
(modest for a
modern action
movie), before
Sony snapped
the film up for
distribution, the
filmed key scenes
aboard the USS
Kidd – a restored
destroyer currently moored in Baton
Rouge, Louisiana. “We were not an
expensive studio film, we were a true
independent movie. We shot this in 35
days,” Schneider smiles. “One of the
first challenges of independent film is
to find a production method that you
can pull off with the time and budget
that you have. Of course, we knew that
visual effects would be a big part of the
film, because you can’t take these old
ships out to sea.”
It was another WW2 story – William
Faulkner’s Two Soldiers, adapted as
a short in 2003 – that launched
Schneider’s directing career. But
Greyhound is Schneider’s first film since
his celebrated feature debut – Get Low,
starring Robert Duvall and Bill Murray

  • in 2009. To put it bluntly, what took
    so long? “Mainly, I’ve had a commercial
    directing career, and I’ve been
    hibernating in that world while trying

to find the right project,” Schneider
explains. “I like to make adult dramas
for the big screen, and it can sometimes
be a little bit of a hunt to find
something that you really believe in.”
Schneider was attached to an early
version of Hacksaw Ridge, and several
other projects. But nothing materialised
until Hanks’ script landed on his desk.
The enormity of adding to Hanks’ WW
canon was not lost on the filmmaker.
“Saving Private Ryan had a huge
influence on my career,” Schneider says.
“You feel like you’re walking into a holy
church of World War 2 when you’re
talking about making a war film with
Tom Hanks. That said, Greyhound is a
much, much different film than Saving
Private Ryan. Tom’s vision for what he
wanted to do was really interesting to
me, and one of the reasons it interested
him is because it was somewhat of a
departure from anything else he’d done.
But there was a lot of responsibility.”
Hanks didn’t
neglect his
writing duties on
set – quite the
opposite, in fact.
“I could turn to
him, and say,
‘Hey, a question
about the
Schneider recalls.
“He’d cross his
legs the other
way, put on his
writer’s hat, and we’d have a
conversation. And when it was done
he’d be back into ‘Tom Hanks, the
actor’ mode. Which, by the way, he’ll
try anything, he’s so enthusiastic. But
he trusted me, and put the reins of it all
in my hands, and was very supportive.”
As for what’s next, Schneider reveals
it could be something of a reunion. “I
reached out to some of the old Get Low
cast,” he says. “I’ve got a screenplay by
the Get Low writer, who’s a dear friend
of mine. We’ve got a really cool new
project, and we’re putting some of the
Get Low band together on it. We’re
actually trying to assemble and put it
together right now. It’s very different
from Get Low, but it represents a return
to that world, and some of the wonderful
people we worked with on it.” JF







Free download pdf