I was lucky enough to attend the Texas premiere of Frank Miller’s Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For at the Paramount Theatre in Austin Wednesday night, along with “Skin City” singer Steven Tyler and Boyhood director Richard Linklater, and after the film Robert Rodriguez did a Q&A with those in attendance, answering numerous burning questions about his much-anticipated sequel/prequel that was nine years in the making.
Why was Sin City 2 nine years in the making?
Rodriguez explains that because of the superstar cast it was nearly impossible to find a time in which they would all be available to film together. That held up production for a bit, but eventually Rodriguez decided that given the green screen method used for the movie, he would just start filming it piece by piece with whoever was available at the time, and then just piece it all together in the editing room. Mickey Rourke and Jessica Alba shot their scenes early on, and were followed by Josh Brolin and the rest over the next few years.
Rodriguez had a good laugh talking about the different actors’ reactions to filming their scenes, often times scenes that closely involved other actors, by themselves. As an example, he pointed out that the scene in which Mickey Rourke’s character Marv carried Josh Brolin’s character Dwight McCarthy was filmed separately at different times with doubles. He added that upon seeing the final edit the actors (and even himself at times) were amazed at the results. The director was particularly awestruck by the scene with Josh Brolin’s character in a chair surrounded by the dames of Old Town — all of which were filmed at different times! He said each filmed the scene with cardboard in lieu of the other actors.
Here is a behind-the-scenes clip in which you get a clear picture of how the green screen film process works:
Why wasn’t Clive Owen in Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For?
Robert Rodriguez explained that it was his plan all along to have Clive Owen reprise his role as Dwight McCarthy in the sequel/prequel, taking over from Josh Brolin after the Dwight character goes through facial reconstruction — which was foreshadowed (postshadowed?) in the original Sin City movie. As I mentioned before, all of the various actors were filmed at separate times whenever they had the availability. Rodriguez says that Josh Brolin was so perfect handling the Dwight character that he decided to go ahead and let him finish it out, initially just as a safeguard in case Clive Owen was not able to film later for whatever reason.
So, they tossed in some facial prosthetics, ramped up Josh’s hair and filmed the remainder of his scenes, which Rodriguez (and I) thought were amazing. So, they decided to let Josh finish out the characters story arc in the film.
Will there be a Sin City 3?
Robert Rodriguez revealed that there are plans for a Sin City 3 when he was talking about Frank Miller’s reaction to seeing the first edit of Sin City 2, before the effects and everything were added. “He told me exactly which stories we’d use,” Rodriguez said of the next installment. Here’s a video of the end of that announcement from The CW Austin:
What’s the story on the Sin City 2 movie in a movie starring Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez?
If you’ve seen the red band trailer for Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For then you know that the movie features cameos from Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez in the form of an old movie being watched by Jessica Alba’s character Nancy. In the clip, Frank and Robert are sitting across from each other in an alley looking as though they have just survived some sort of brutal shootout. Here’s the dialogue with a screen cap of each:
Frank: You shot me in the gut.
Robert: It wasn’t me, Sam. It was the babe.
Frank: This rotten town… it soils everybody it touches.
SPOILER ALERT That last line is repeated at the end of Sin City 2 by Nancy. Rodriguez says that they had that line from the beginning, but he remembers thinking that it sounded like something you’d hear in an old noir movie from the ’40s or ’50s. So, he thought, “Why not have Alba’s character actually hear the line in a movie?” So they wrote the scene where Nancy was watching the clip into the script, and figured they would cast two actors later on to act out the fake scene. But, production was pretty much complete and they still hadn’t decided on anyone to do the scene. So, Rodriguez figured what the heck and decided he and Frank would do it.
Rodriguez told the crowd that the scene was the very last one they shot, and that it was done early in the AM when everyone was pretty much exhausted. He laughed at the fact that you can clearly see he is just wearing his blue jeans and contemporary shoes in the scene.
Does Robert Rodriguez and his band Chingon kick ass live?
Robert Rodriguez didn’t actually answer this question at the Q&A, but instead at the Sin City 2 Premiere After Party held at the Rattler Inn a short while later, during which the Rodriguez-led Chingon tore through a number of their songs made famous by his films as well as those by Quentin Tarantino. In other words, they answered this question with a resounding YES!
Here’s the best clip I could find, although it doesn’t do the show justice:
Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For is currently out in theaters — I strongly recommend you go see it now!
Thank you Austin Film Society for hosting the Texas Premiere of Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For! It was truly an amazing experience!