ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — You have more objects in your living room than are present on the massive soundstage housing the production of “Will Eisner’s ‘The Spirit.’ ” The director is a Hollywood newcomer, on the verge of his 51st birthday. Samuel L. Jackson is wearing a black-and-white fur coat, with similarly colored eyebrows to match. Welcome to the set of Tinseltown’s most unlikely potential blockbuster.
“This is the only way I have been trained to direct, and I love it because it brings [directing] closer to the art of the page,” Frank Miller explained this week, moving from his “Sin City” co-directing apprenticeship to his very own Home-Depot-size warehouse drenched in green. “I am a kid in a candy store.”
The candy store is called “Will Eisner’s ‘The Spirit,'” based on a 67-year-old character and the decades-long friendship Miller shared with its creator. Eisner may not have lived long enough to see actors like Jackson, Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johannson and Gabriel Macht bring his eccentric characters to the silver screen, but Miller still feels his presence every day.
On the set of ‘The Spirit’
By Rob M. Worley
November 16, 2007
“Cut! Why are you smiling?”
“You told me to smile.”
“No, no, SNARL, not smile.”
So goes the exchange between Frank Miller and actor Gabriel Macht on the set of ‘The Spirit’, Frank Miller’s new film based on Will Eisner’s long-running comic strip. Macht, decked out in a fedora, black eye mask, dark suit and red tie has been hanging off a mock up of what looks to be a fire escape for several minutes. Once Miller has gotten his shot, Macht takes a few moments to speak to us about what it is like to play the title character of the latest Frank Miller project.
Macht, last seen opposite Mandy Moore in ‘Because I Said So’ and ‘The Good Shepherd‘ has died his typically blond hair brown and his once brown eyes are now a light blue comes off as incredibly gracious. He is humbled to be starring as the title character in ‘The Spirit’ and is thrilled with the opportunity. Then again, for this thirty-five year old actor, this could be the role that launches Macht from virtual obscurity to Hollywood’s latest leading man. “To have Frank as a Director, it’s a dream come true for me; it’s mind blowing how fortunate I feel. I am having a brilliant time and everyone is at the top of their game.”
On the Set of Will Eisner’s The Spirit
November 14, 2007
Earlier this week, ComingSoon.net/Superhero Hype! flew down to Albuquerque, New Mexico to visit the green screen sets of Will Eisner’s The Spirit, which director Frank Miller has been shooting at the city’s new facilities, Albuquerque (ABQ) Studios. It brings to life Will Eisner’s classic comic book character Denny Colt, a police officer in Central City who was killed in action, but then returned as The Spirit, a masked crimefighter who has a way of attracting the ladies—and not only the nice ones—but who’s thwarted at every turn by the evil mastermind The Octopus.
The film is being made much like Miller’s Sin City and Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Miller’s 300 with actors doing all of their performances in front of a green screen and all the backgrounds and environments created using the latest computer graphics. This was ComingSoon.net’s second visit to an all green screen set after spending some time on the set of 300 two years ago, and while one might not expect there to not be a lot to write about when a movie is being made with no actual sets, in fact, there’s still stuff to see, since it’s an interesting process that requires a lot of clever workarounds for things that tend to be easy when using practical sets, such as how actors interact with objects within their environment, or lack thereof.
The production had taken up two of the larger soundstages at the brand new Albuquerque Studios facility, where security was extremely tight. Cameras and audio recording were verboten, and anyone who wanted to visit the stages needed to turn in their personal ID in order to get a special badge with an image of what looked like a Frank Miller drawn full body portrait of The Spirit. There wasn’t any question that it was worth losing or forgetting your driver’s license or passport there, if it meant a chance to watch a master like Miller at work. The Spirit is the first production to use the complex’s two newest stages and they were on Day 27 of a shoot that would be going through December 14.