Uwe Boll Talks In The Name of the King a Dungeon Siege Tale

Recently I had the chance to chat with Director Uwe Boll about his pending film, “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale”.
The film, starring Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Jason Statham, Leelee Sobieski and Claire Forlani, is based on the popular video game of the same name and tells of a man named Farmer who sets out to rescue his kidnapped wife and avenge the death of his son — two acts committed by the Krugs, a race of animal-warriors who are controlled by the evil Gallian.

GVK: What is the Background and setting of the film?
UB: Thousands of years ago a fantasy kingdom named Ehb was ruled by King Konrad (Burt Reynolds). After creating an army of Krug Warriors & Hussarian Riders, the evil wizard (Ray Liotta) steals control of the land. The evil wizard makes the mistake of kidnapping the wife (Claire Forlaini)from our hero, ‘Farmer’(Jason Statham). Farmerr unknowingly the long lost son of the king. It’s an epic adventure filled with battles and a plight for justice.

GVK: I had heard that there were going to be two films, each one a half of the story and now the film has become one long one. Can you let the readers know how this came about and will they get to see the original cut at some future time?
UB: If we had split the movie into two parts, we would have cheated our audience. All the major battle sequences take place in part 2. The director’s DVD cut will be 45 minutes longer.

GVK: You have a very impressive cast for this film, how did you go about selecting Jason, Burt, and Ray for the film and what was it like working with them and the new cast members whom you have not worked with before?
UB: Jason was our first cast member. He had never been involved in a project of this kind. I really wanted Ron Perlman for the film and his manager happened to represent Burt Reynolds. Ron’s manager asked if Burt could play the king. Ray Liotta had worked with Jason before and was anxious to repeat the experience. Kristanna, Claire and Leelee came on board after having read the script.

GVK: It has been reported that you had a much bigger budget for this film than you normally have. That being said, how much greater was the pressure in making the film and did you alter your approach or directing style in anyway?
UB: It is easier to make a 60 million dollar film than a $20 million dollar film. We were fortunate enough to have Tony Ching as our fight choreographer ( Hero, House of The Flying Daggers). Tony developed a slightly different style for ourfilm and it looks terrific. The Same company that did the CGI effects on “Pirates Of The Caribbean” worked extensively on “In The Name Of The King”. We had up to 2000 people on set each day including 800 extras & 100 horses. It was an enormous responsibility and a great deal of fun. Everyone who has worked with me knows how disciplined I am. I consistently finish everything on time & remain within budget.

GVK: What can you tell the readers about the Krugs and how their look was designed?
UB: Vincent Guastino designed the Krugs and Vancouver West SFX modeled everything. We had three levels of Krugs – A List, B List & C List – depending how close they came to the camera. The A List Krugs required 6 hours in make-up every day.

GVK: With such a large cast, it must have presented some challenges, especially with shooting on location.
UB: All the actors were easy going and accessible. It was a Boll movie, there were no perks, personal cooks or star bullshit of any kind. It doesn’t matter to me if you are a superstar or an extra. On a Boll set, everyone gets treated as an equal.

GVK: What can you tell me about your greatest challenges and greatest moments making the film?
UB: We were granted access to a beautiful Native reserve in Sooke on Vancouver Island. We used the location for the film Stonebridge setting. The ocean, the white stones coupled with repeat visits eachday from killer whales proved to be the most awe inspiring and beautiful place I’ve ever experienced. Shooting in the Rocky Mountains with only helicopter access was challenging. A number of times the helicopter was unable to pick us up. Foggy weather conditions left us stranded for hours on top of a snowy mountain peak.

GVK: It has been roughly a year and a half since fans saw the trailer with ”Bloodrayne”, can you tell the readers why the film has taken longer to be released than originally planned?
UB: I assume you are referring to, “In The Name Of The King; A Dungeon Siege Tale”. The ‘King’ post production took a very long time to complete. We had to render 1300 CGI shots for the film while “Lord Of The Rings” had a mere 1250 CGI shots. We wanted the film to have a ‘King Kong’ CGI quality and standard. The release date was set prior to Christmas. Unfortunately the theatres were crowed with new films and we were forced to move the date to January. ‘ In The Name Of The King’ was shot in the summer with hot weather conditions. The actors in prosthetics endured insufferable heat and many of them passed out. We put ice packs in their body suits to try to keep them cool.

GVK: Since Jason has done a series of martial arts films in the past, did this alter or effect the way that you had envisioned the fight scenes as mixing martial arts abilities with swords must have been a challenge.
UB: It was a great pleasure working with Jason. He is a skilled martial artist & performer. Everyone appreciated his energy, talent & physical skills. Tony Ching (Siu-Tung Ching) was particularly happy with his work.

GVK: With the film almost out, do you think you may do future films in the series?
UB: If we make over $40 million at the box office, we will consider a sequel.