As we mentioned yesterday, Titan Books has released an updated edition of The True Adventures of the World’s Great Stuntman by Vic Armstrong (with Robert Sellers). The book recounts many of the incredible stunts, action sequences, and behind-the-scenes stories of Armstrong’s film career, including his involvement with The Amazing Spider-Man.
One thing not included in the book, however, is the most recent project that Vic is pursuing: a non-action film that may wind up being his first directing effort since Joshua Tree in 1993. (He notes in the book that Joshua Tree was a crash and burn picture and was ultimately hobbled by the producers.)
Armstrong’s directed a number of great action sequences as a unit director, including the opening future war in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the action in both Henry V and Thor from Kenneth Branagh, the ice car chase from Die Another Day, the pre-credits boat chase of The World is Not Enough, and the carnage in Gangs of New York. He’s also directed commercials and an episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
After the cut, Vic Armstrong talks a little bit about the project and says what he can. I’ve also included a brief clip of the Young Indiana Jones episode he directed. Keep an eye out for our full interview with Vic Armstrong at the end of the week.
What projects are you working on now? Is there anything sort of going on?
No. It was going to do Akira— it’s a bit of a funny period in the film business at the moment. I was going to do Akira, a Japanese anime film. I started on it, went up to Canada, and that went into rewrites and budget problems. So I finished on that, came home. Then I was going to China for a huge film, and that went away — budget problems on it. And I’m just talking about films at the moment, but nothing I can talk about to anybody else. It’s been quite good because I’ve been home seeing my granddaughter, and get a lot of stuff done around the farm.
Are there any chances that you’ll be directing more television or a full feature?
Umm, actually, at seven o’clock I have a conference call with an actress in LA about a [possible] feature to direct. A really nice little storyline. That’s the one I’d desperately like to do.
I’d like to do that, yes, it would be lovely. A really nice story. We’re going to keep our fingers crossed on that one, but I’ll put it on the website if it comes off. [laughs] The hardest past, we’ve done casting. Nobody’s worth has been foreign until they’ve done something, and of course, when they’ve done anything, bloody agents want the world for them, you know? [Editor’s note: My recorder quality was a bit spotty for this sentence, so this is my best attempt to reconstruct it.]
It’s a catch-22. It’s so funny.
Is it an action picture or would you get to work more with actors on this one?
It’s an acting piece. You know, I do like dealing with acting. I did a Young Indiana Jones which is one of the most fun things I ever did. What I don’t want to do is a crash and burn thing — they’re a dime a dozen and not worth it. I’d much rather do a $20 million second unit on a big film than a $5 million crash and burn. This is actually a good story. It starts off as a relationship movie and then halfway through it kicks into a bit of a surreal [picture], and a little bit about God. It’s quite an interesting story. [laughs]
You’ve got some really good relationships in it, and you’d finish watching it and go, “Hmm, that makes me think a bit,” which is nice.