Deborah Del Prete, CEO and Partner of Odd Lot Entertainment, is currently Producing Will Eisner’s The Spirit. During our recent visit to the set, amidst a rush of activity including a closed rehearsal and shooting various scenes between the Spirit and the Octopus, Del Prete was able to take some time to speak to us about The Spirit and how she helped bring the project to life.
As Producer Del Prete has been involved with The Spirit from its initial development stages nearly seven years ago to the current production and will continue on through post-production.
In terms of the story Del Prete says that, “Sand Saref stories are a major component.” How developed is the story? “It’s the Frank Miller version, it’s very developed…it’s not an origin story, but there will be origin revealed in it.”
The story takes place in a contemporary world, but it’s not specific in terms of time and place, “There is no period. Central City is its own world. It’s not New York. It’s a city that’s anyplace, someplace in time. People have cell phones. It’s kind of a everywhere, nowhere anytime.”
Technology is a huge part of this particular film and though it’s all live action, there will be some CGI. “We’re taking it one more step. We’ve gone beyond Sin City and beyond 300 and we’re taking the techniques from that and going another step further.” However, The Spirit is quite a different film than Sin City according to Del Prete. “This is really Frank Miller start to finish and that’s the difference. The Spirit is a different tone; this is the darker version of Eisner, but it’s funny. There is a lot of comedy.”
The casting of the film was a process that both Del Prete and Frank Miller were involved in together. “We weren’t going to necessarily cast the Spirit as a major name actor. We spent a lot of time really searching, really auditioning, and finding the person who really embodied the qualities of the quintessential Spirit. So to that end we did a lot of auditioning, a lot of interviewing; we found Gabriel Macht who has done a number of roles in movies…we felt he really captured what we wanted The Spirit to be.”
So who is The Spirit to Del Prete, “Eisner’s Spirit is a true American hero; he’s a man who was really trying to do right and right wrongs. We wanted someone relatable, someone who gets a long great with women because The Spirit is very much a lover.”
As for the women of The Spirit Del Prete considers them to be very strong, powerful women.
“First of all we think of all The Spirit women as femme fatales. They are all sort of women with power. They have some ability, a dangerous edge to them. They are all beautiful in all different ways.
“Sand is the premiere femme fatales. She is the girl that goes bad. She becomes a criminal mastermind of her own. We cast Eva because she’s breathtaking, she’s powerful and at the same time you can believe she is the girl next door as well. She’s perfect.”
As for the character of Silken Floss played by Scarlett Johansson, the role was initially much smaller.
“When Frank met with Scarlett he said I know what I want to do with this role. I have an idea for Silken Floss; I want to take her and make her a bigger character and Scarlett Johansson is the person who can do that. So [Floss] was pretty much custom to her and I think people will find this is a different side of Scarlett Johansson. She is very funny; she’s very sexy and she is very different than we’ve seen her in other movies.”
Source: Comics to Film