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Equilibrium Commentary
Kurt Wimmer &
Lucas Foster

12. Questions for Mary

Transcription by Libby

Kurt: It's interesting, though, having gone over there and scouted the place, there are...the Dutch place a high value on art and, you know, it's pretty clear from their history that pound for pound, they've probably contributed the most to the artistic history of Europe, out of all the countries there.

And...er...you know, architecture is no exception. The Constructivist movement was founded there. And they have a lot of great stuff but unfortunately, it is all spread out, all over Holland and so it makes it very impractical. And also the...er...the 19th Century architecture, that I was also interested in, you know, palaces etc. that you usually associate with Europe, do not exist in Holland. And I, very curiously, I asked some of the, you know, Dutch people who took us around, why this was, and they said that the Dutch are...er...a very modest people. They thought that displaying wealth was in bad taste, so palaces simply were not built. You know, it's a nation of Bankers, essentially and they're very much in keeping their money, you know, in a place, in more liquid form, than in palaces.

And they told me that cell phones were slow to come into being there because people thought it would be pretentious to be seen with a cell phone. In any case, the point being, ultimately, it would not have been practical - it would have been a nightmare to shoot this...this film there.

Um...some more about the origins of this film. This was an idea that had been haunting me for a couple of years. I remember I actually pitched it to Lucas in Cozumel...we were out there diving...

Lucas: ...we were scuba diving...

Kurt: ...diving long ago. It was back in '95 or '96. And..er.. then just put it aside. I didn't think it was particularly commercial idea, but it was an idea that haunted me for a long time. And one day I just said I'll just write it and get it out of the way. I wrote the first draft in about a week or less and I just put it away for a couple of months. And then I happened to show it to Lucas and I was surprised Lucas actually liked it. And he showed no hesitation in advocating me as being the Director of it, which surprised me, but I didn't say anything. And er...

Lucas: ...and I've regretted it ever since!

Kurt: That's right. And so, we set off on this journey and as I said, we went to Amsterdam to attempt to raise the money and, you know, shelling out our own dollars to try and get this off the ground. And one of the things that the deal, the Dutch deal, would have been predicated on is the American distribution as all these deals are.  So we sent the script out, my agent sent the script out to two or three places and um...

Lucas - It got a surprising response.  Everyone liked it.

Kurt - That's right.

Lucas - And people were really interested in it.

Kurt - Dimension jumped on it instantly, overnight, which shocked the hell out of us.  I remember I got the call as I came back...as I got out of the plane from Holland as a matter of fact.  Lucas had stayed over there to wrangle with the bankers and they said they wanted it but they wanted the world and so that meant the Dutch were out and you know, it was much more sensible for us to go with an established production company.  So we went with them and they never said boo about me directing either and I never brought the subject up.