between La Haine and Babylon AD, the Hollywood debut of Mathieu Kassovitz

When Mathieu Kassovitz signs a commissioned work for Dark Castle in order to materialize a big science fiction project, it gives Gothikaquasi-experimental fantasy thriller.

A great lover of horror cinema, Mathieu Kassovitz spread his youthful short films with hemoglobin, relying on a book by the great Tom Savini. As a bonus, he reviewed on a loop Jaws to extract the substantial Spielbergian marrow, a science of editing and suggestion that he intended to implement later. A cinematic initiation somewhat obscured in the eyes of the public by his first more social films, and in particular Hatreda huge success.

In 2003, perhaps already a little burned by the French industry, he was tempted by an American proposal and returned to horror with Gothika. Ultra-prestigious casting (Halle Berry, Penelope Cruz, Robert Downey Jr. and a hell of an army of underdogs), tortuous script, cascading special effects… A hell of an experience, yet considered as a gateway to a far more ambitious project.

Strong Berry

a black castle in Babylon

In the early 2000s, Mathieu Kassovitz was an artist well known to French audiences, both as a director and as an actor. On the staging side, he has two great popular successes to his credit: Hatred and The Crimson Rivers. On the comedy side, he played for Nicolas Boukhrief (Pleasure and its little hassles), Jean-Pierre Jeunet (The fabulous destiny of Amelie Poulain) and even Costa-Gavras (Amen.) However, his desire for science fiction will push him to export himself.

According First, he embeds a camera in a weightlessness simulator to try his hand at the genre. In 2002, he discovered Babylon Babies, novel-river deemed unsuitable. He sees it as an interesting challenge. With Eric Besnard, he wrote a script budgeted at 90 million dollars. A sum that only the Hollywood industry is ready to invest. But the fresh success of Crimson Rivers is not enough to qualify for such a project. Its producer Christophe Rossignon throws in the towel and Kassovitz realizes thathe will first have to prove himself to the Americans.

Gothika: photo, Halle BerryA test film?

Luckily, his phone rings. At the end of the line, Joel Silvera famous producer who gave the American industry half of his cult films during the 1980s and 1990s. A mogul renowned for his risk-taking, proof of this is his participation in the first Matrixwhich revolutionized science fiction just a few years earlier.

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