We recently got a pretty huge interview here at infamous Horrors, speaking with Andre Ovredal director of such fan favorites Troll Hunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, and Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark. Here we discuss his new superhero tale Mortal.
AJ Friar: Nice to meet you Andre. So how did Mortal come about?
Andre Ovredal: I wanted to make a Norwegian take, a different take on the Northern mythology than what I've seen in the Marvel movies, and also in a way what the mythology really is. I wanted to make a grounded, modern take on how we would behave around a character who is both a human and a god. What would society do with a person like that? It's almost like, what if Jesus came back and walked on earth and would we embrace that or would we push it away? And what devastating powers this person in this case has? How would that affect society? I wanted to create a realistic mythology around a Thor character.
AJ Friar: And that's what I really appreciated about Mortal, it's the fact that it was much more grounded than the MCU take on it. So what are some of your favorite mythologies stories that you grew up loving?
Andre Ovredal: I mean, the ones that I grew up loving were more fairy tales, actually, more than the mythology of the Northern mythology I grew up with. These Norwegian fairytales that are kind of universal, and I think they have similarities with other fairy tales around the world. But I think those were... Especially the ones with obviously Trollhunter, especially the ones dealing with trolls and dealing with these unbelievable things were very fascinating to me when I was a kid. So definitely a big impact.
AJ Friar: And throughout your career, you stretched budgets a lot, from Trollhunter was very low budget, vein moving, found footage, and I'm not a fan of found footage per se, but I really loved what you did with Trollhunter. And with that connection, with the mythology, which you had a mortal with that being much more on a lower back scale, and then scary stories to tell in the dark as a film maker, which budgets are you more comfortable with filming, if any?
Andre Ovredal: I mean, it's the way part of our budget is that it has to fit the movie that it's meant to play with. I mean, there are movies that are, it's a five million dollar movie and it's inside the house and it's like the autopsy agenda is, I can't remember. It was three, three and a half million dollars. And in a way it was a little bit, it's always too tight. But it was doable and with smart producing, it was doable. And that's fit for that. But then you have scary stories that it's more like a 25, 30 ish million dollar movie, and then you have, but it's a much grander canvas. It's much more complicated effects work. It's much more bigger sceneries and you have to block city streets and you have to shoot for a longer time. And it's just a bunch of stuff. So it's just a budget, it's only a number as long as you can do your days in a logistically logical way, then it doesn't actually matter.
AJ Friar: And when you were growing up, what films kind of spoke to you on becoming a film maker, if any, or it just started kind of wanting to become a filmmaker in your life, what kind of got you to take that job to become a filmmaker?
Andre Ovredal: I mean, I grew up watching Bond Movies and obviously Star Wars and especially the Ambulant Movies. That's what really formed me, I think. Was that blend of something happening in your own your little town that was unbelievable. It was amazing whether it's grumblings or it's the Goonies or whatever it is. It's quite an amazing experience when you're somebody in some unknown part of the world to feel that anything could happen. And I think that Spielberg and his gang at that time were really nail that for a whole generation. And so that was a big impact. But then a little bit later in life, I started really appreciating the movies that were made in the decade. I was born in the 70's. And to the end, to such a degree that movies close encounters, that's basically become my favorite movie.
AJ Friar: That's one of my favorite science fiction films too. And my dad and I happened to catch that reasonably some few years ago in Dolby Cinema when that came out. Dolby Cinema probably and that was really cool seeing it on the screen for the first time.
Andre Ovredal: All right.
AJ Friar: Of that dudes, 3D sound that it had. So knowing that immortal, it kind of left it open to do more when you love the exist, kind of create your own grounded mythology, hero, universe, if you could.
Andre Ovredal: Absolutely. I mean, to me, this movie was only the beginning of a larger story. You could easily call it a trilogy. That's the natural number, I guess, but as you point out, the ending is really setting up a sequel and there is so much mythology and so many characters to play with, and it would be wonderful to be able to see what happens to these characters in a different mood, because it would definitely be a very different story.
AJ Friar: And one more question, Andre, if you could mess with any character from mythology, outside of kind of the Thor mythology that you did in mortal, once more, which character would it be?
Andre Ovredal: Oh my God. That's a hard question, huh. But I wouldn't want to mess with any mythology.
AJ Friar: No.
Andre Ovredal: I know. That's Oh God. I mean, I'm just happy to be able to portray. I mean, to me, scary stories is American mythology. It's urban mythology. It's not like would send patrols and that stuff, but it's urban myths and urban mythology. And I think that's such an exciting world to play with as well. So, but of course, I'm also attached to direct a movie about Dracula, the last voyage of the diameter. A very infamous script in all, because it's been around for 20 years trying to get made. And I'm hoping one day to direct that. And that obviously is about Dracula. So that's the character I would love to put on screen in our new version that nobody's ever seen before.
AJ Friar: Well, Andre, thank you so much for joining us. No worries. It's been real fun.
Andre Ovredal: Been great talking to you. Very nice to see you.
AJ Friar: Finally, nice to meet you. Have a great afternoon.
Mortal is now on iTunes Amazon Prime and other digital platforms.