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Star wars art director eyes M’sia for next project


KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 – Star Wars Art Director Roger Christian is eyeing Malaysia as his next location to film and produce his upcoming zombie flick.  Christian said Malaysia, besides being rich in culture, had great and suitable spots for filming the movie titled ‘Temple of the Undead’.

He is currently in Malaysia for a corporate film project with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) to attract investors to Malaysia. He is working on the special effects and Computer-generated imagery (CGI).

“I have an idea for a movie or two, so this an ideal opportunity for me to come and explore if we could plan a movie here. So its been a very valuable trip.

“I want to make a very different movie, very ethnic and tribal zombie movie.. it will include scenes of a battle with headhunters… I see Malaysia is perfect for the filming,” he told reporters after visiting the Digital Mix Stage Studio at the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia (Finas) here today.

fortean_times_3072_7He said the movie would be 100 per cent filmed and produced in Malaysia, which would be made in the veins of eye-popping visual effect-driven films like Sin City and 300.

“We just got the ideas and the film is now in the process of writing and constructing, not yet at the shooting stage and I guess it will take a year to make the film.

“Malaysia has lots of great places so the shooting will be done in different places, also a little bit of jungle and featuring local talents,” he said, adding that the cast also had yet to be finalised.

Meanwhile, Christian urged local filmmakers to emphasise on their film quality in order to be on par with films from other countries, especially  Hollywood. He said, however filmmakers need to maintain and keep national identity in
their film product in an effort to spread the culture, tradition and language globally.

“You have to find the passion and don’t think about getting paid, fame and success, just go and make better movies.. not Hollywood movies but Malaysian, but with Hollywood standard.

“The equipment in Malaysia it’s all there and what is required in post production must be world class, so get your hands dirty as you can’t just learn from theory,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said he had no plans and will not be returning to the new franchise reboot of Star Wars.

“The franchise is in a whole new world now, it’s Disney’s now,” he said. Christian won an Academy Award for art direction for the first Star Wars movie, which was later renamed Episode IV: A New Hope, in 1977, and was Oscar-nominated for his work on Alien.

He directed the second unit on both Return of the Jedi and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace as well as other feature films including The Sender and Nostradamus, and directed Underworld and Battlefield Earth. Meanwhile, Finas Chairman Datuk Md Afendi Hamdan welcomed Christian’s desicion to carry out the shooting in Malaysia as it would bring benefits and profits to Malaysia, hence promote Malaysia to the world.