CANNES, France (Reuters) – Not everyone is enamoured with Robert Rodriguez’s ultra-violent movie “Sin City,” based on the dark comics of Frank Miller, but the creators are working on a sequel and the cast of stars is keen to carry on.
The film, which has earned more than $72 million at the U.S. box office alone, is in Cannes as part of the main competition, raising eyebrows among veteran festival-watchers who are used to more artistic, less commercial fare.
There have also been grumblings about the relentless and graphic violence as well as accusations of sexism in a film where the women are generally scantily clad.
But none of that bothers Rodriguez and co-director Miller, who created the original comic strips that have been faithfully reproduced on screen by using advanced digital technology.
“We’ve been talking about it (the sequel) since day one,” Rodriguez told Reuters on Thursday.
The next film will be based on Miller’s “Dame to Kill For,” a part of the Sin City plot that was not included in the original movie, and Rodriguez wants to keep his cast if he can.
Mickey Rourke plays Marv, a hulking, tough-as-nails fighter out to avenge the murder of a blonde beauty he failed to protect from Elijah Wood’s evil, flesh-eating character Kevin.
Bruce Willis plays John Hartigan, the last good cop in town, Clive Owen is hard-nosed Dwight, Benicio Del Toro takes on the role of good-cop-turned-bad Jackie Boy, and Jessica Alba plays Nancy, a 19-year-old exotic dancer who loves Hartigan.
“We’d always thought ‘Dame to Kill For’ was the story (for the sequel),” Rodriguez said. “It has all the characters; Mickey’s in it, Clive is in it, so it would be great to bring everybody back.”
During a news conference on Wednesday, the American director said work could begin later this year.
IS CANNES THE PLACE FOR SIN?
While its star cast has been a welcome sight at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which has been light on acting royalty until now, the appearance of “Sin City” in the main competition came as a surprise.
The directors and actors defended its portrayal of violence, which has been a popular theme among the 21 contenders for the coveted Palme d’Or prize awarded on Saturday.
“It’s a very particular piece,” Owen told Reuters. “It bears no relevance to any violence you would see in your own life, or on the streets out there. It’s got tremendous wit and intelligence about it. It’s not dumb violence at all.”
Miller added: “Considering that most of drama since the Iliad and before was extremely violent, it’s a bit ridiculous,” referring to the epic ancient Greek poem.
“As far as encouraging anyone to commit violence, I don’t believe in the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ theory of entertainment.”
Rodriguez took considerable risks with “Sin City,” spending his own money to prepare images he used to convince a reluctant Miller to back his project, and resigning from the Directors Guild of America which said only one director could be credited.
When Miller saw Rodriguez’s concept, staying true to the grim black-and-white world but adding rare splashes of color for effect, he was finally convinced.