Set Visit Preview: Sucker Punch!
You know you're excited about this one. You've seen the pictures. You've gotten the t-shirt from Comic Con. Well, I can finally tell you what I saw at the set visit for SUCKER PUNCH. Zack Snyder is directing, so you know it will be visually stunning. It stars a large group of hot girls like Emily Browning, Abby Cornish, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Carla Gugino. But what the heck is it about?
Here's what executive producer Debra Snyder had to say.“SUCKER PUNCH is a story that deals with a girl, Baby Doll, who's played by Emily Browning. And basically she's been abused by her step-father. Her mother kind of dies in a mysterious way. And something goes really wrong and there's an incident where her sister gets accidentally killed. So her father takes her to an insane asylum. It takes place in 1967, in kind of an alternate reality of 1967. Because in 1967 was like the last lobotomy, so that's kind of how we have it.'
In this asylum, Baby Doll is scheduled for a lobotomy to keep her pretty little mouth shut. But Madam Gorski (Gugino) prefers music therapy. Baby Doll begins to imagine herself in a MOULIN ROUGE sort of world where she and her fellow patients must dance for a high rollers and face a series of challenges to escape the asylum. We got to check out one scene, where Baby Doll and her gang, dressed in WWII garb fight fantastical enemies. Emily Browning chatted with us for a few minutes between takes, saying she'd done tons of training for the role. She also joked about her skimpy costume before she ran back out into the field. As they shot the scene, giant clouds of dirt were thrown into the air. I found them in my hair for a few weeks.
One of the things all the actors stressed is how much of a team they were. They trained together, and from what they said, it was a pretty intense boot camp. They spent time together off set. They rehearsed their dances, learned their songs and sat in the audience to support each other while they shot their individual scenes. They also suffered what was referred to as a 'clean set,' which meant there was nothing but healthy snacks around. I have to say, after being on set after set, there is rarely anything to snack on but Fritos and M&M's between meals. Here, they have granola and yogurt. If anything is going to make you bond, it's lack of snacks.
And speaking of dance scenes and supporting each other, we witnessed it first hand. We got to sit in the audience while Malone, dressed in a sexy nurse outfit, rehearsed her dance number with a ton of extras. (All her fellow cast mates stayed around to watch and applauded like crazy to encourage her.) Boys, I'm telling you, see the film just for this. I could appreciate the amount of effort that went into something like a full chorus number since my first job was a singer/dancer in musical theater, but all the lovely gentlemen who visited the set with me had visible drool running down their faces. (Alright, maybe not visible drool, but trust me when I say, it was difficult to get these boys off the set.) Malone did a fantastic job and I'm looking forward to seeing the other dances.
We got to check out some of the sets where these would take place, including a brothel room that was so elaborately decorated that I considered moving in. No one would have minded, right? What was clear with every piece of concept art we saw, every set we visited, every costume and weapon we checked out and every actress we spoke to is that Zack and Debra were taking every single detail seriously. Nothing was out of place. Every teeny tiny little piece of the story from the correct button on a dress the charms hanging from each character's weapon to every piece of makeup in the dressing room was correct and story-serving. I could have spent hours wandering and asking questions. Movie sets are not always as glamourous as the final product. This one was. We happened to see a drawing on the set which gave away the ending of the film and I have to say, it didn't dampen my desire to watch this one at all. Not one iota. It's going to be a visual feast.
SUCKER PUNCH opens in theaters on March 25th, 2011.