We Have A Ghost Director Christopher Landon On The Secret To A Great Amblin Homage [Exclusive Interview]

So you’ve made movies for theaters and now movies for streaming. Given the volatile nature of especially the last year or so, how do you feel about the state of the industry right now?

I mean, look, I think it’s clearly in a state of flux, and I think that people tend to draw themselves toward panic, like moth to a flame kind of stuff. But I think they can happily coexist.

I will always love making movies for the movie theater. That’s where I want to be. It’s like my church. So it’s a really special place to see a film, but the economics of the business can’t make that possible for every film. I look at a movie like “We Have A Ghost,” and that was never going to get green lit by a studio for a theatrical release. It’s just not in the cards, and it hasn’t been in the cards for a while. What I do love about streaming is that I think it has allowed for much, much, much more diversity and the opportunity to make mid-level, mid-budget films that the studio system has all but forgotten and ignored. So I appreciate that.

Do I wish that this movie was going to be in theaters? F*** yeah. Because it’s really pretty and I’ve had the benefit of seeing it with an audience. So I know how people react to it in a room, and it’s a lot of fun to see with an audience. But that’s just sort of the give and take of it all. I accept that, no, I won’t get the theatrical experience, but at least the movie got f***ing made, and people will see it. So I’m okay.

I have to ask you about the status of “Happy Death Day 3.” Is there any movement on that? I’m a big fan of those films.

No movement at all, sadly. There was a tiny moment where I really felt like I had Universal’s attention, but they forgot about me. [laughs] I think it’s a really tough one for them, and I’m being really blunt and honest in that the first movie was very successful. It made a lot of money. It was well-received. And the sequel was not. The sequel is loved by people who have seen it, but it did not make a lot of money, and it was not a success for them. So it’s very hard to motivate them to make a third movie when the last one just didn’t perform. Those are the hard economics of the business. 

So I don’t know what it would take. There was talk for a minute of it maybe being a Peacock thing. Maybe. Maybe one day. The beauty of it is that my idea, the whole idea for the third movie, it is not dependent on any sort of specific window or timeframe. So I could make it any time, but I mean, as the years draw past, I feel like our chances are dimming.

Does my asking about a project like that provide any value for you as someone who’s trying to get a movie made? Do you ever point at interview questions like this and try to make the case to a studio and be like, “See, people want more of this! You should green light this thing!”

I mean, I wish I could. What’s funny is that every time Jason Blum is on Twitter and he talks about projects they’re doing and whatnot, there’s inevitably, there’s always at least a few people who say, “But what about Happy Death Day 3?” So there are a lot of people out there who want the movie, but I just think it just isn’t enough.

Leave a Comment