Geostorm is out now, so we couldn’t miss the chance to chat with the film’s leading man Gerard Butler. He discusses the making of the movie, his rapport with co-star Jim Sturgess, and the climate issues that the film covers.
After an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world’s leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate and keep everyone safe. But now, something has gone wrong—the system built to protect the Earth is attacking it, and it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything…and everyone along with it.
Dean Devlin (writer/producer of Independence Day) makes his feature film directorial debut with suspense thriller Geostorm, which stars Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Daniel Wu, Eugenio Derbez, Ed Harris and Andy Garcia.
Butler stars as Jake, a scientist who, along with his brother, Max, played by Sturgess, is tasked with solving the satellite program’s malfunction. Cornish stars as Secret Service agent Sarah Wilson; Lara as Ute Fassbinder, the ISS astronaut who runs the space station; Wu as Cheng, the Hong Kong-based supervisor for the Dutch Boy Program; Derbez as space station crew member Hernandez; with Garcia as U.S. President Andrew Palma; and Harris as Secretary of State Leonard Dekkom.
The film also stars Zazie Beetz, Adepero Oduye, Amr Waked and Robert Sheehan.
How did you first get involved with the project?
I’ve known Dean Devlin for many years but not very well, and suddenly he called me and said ‘Dude, I’ve been thinking about you for this project, it’s a dream of mine to make this movie, I’ve wanted to make it for a long time and I think you’d be great in it’. And it went from there… I thought this is a pretty epic concept when I read the script, and I loved it. It was a sci-fi, an action movie. It felt very funny, it was a conspiracy theory and it had a lot of heart as well.
It was a great family story about a man who had to become a father and really own up to being an older brother, and also a very cautionary tale of what’s going on in our world. It really touches your soul on that deeper level so it felt like it ticked all of the boxes – this multi-genre film. So I thought that if we could get that right then it would be an amazing piece of entertainment.
I thought that one of the films strongest points was your relationship with Jim Sturgess. How did you develop that rapport for the film?
It’s funny that you say that, because I just had lunch with Jim, and we were chatting and I thought what a great rapport we had. Not that we didn’t sit and talk back-story and going into detail about who these two brothers were to one another, what we liked about each other and what we struggled with… but the chemistry and rapport – we just had that. He’s got such a great energy and I find that if I’m close with somebody in a movie it’s normally not so hard to make that happen onscreen, but there are certain people who are really easy to make that happen. Whether that rapport is friendship, or whether they make you crazy, or excite you in one way or another, that would be me and Jim.
Given that, would you consider a sequel?
Well Dean, our director, has joked about it a couple of times (or maybe he wasn’t joking) but he said ‘hey, sequel’ and maybe there would be a sequel, but we need to see how this movie does. But I definitely loved the character, he was very juicy to get into – this sort of strong scientist who on the one hand is a brilliant scientist with a equally sharp attitude, and is stubborn and gets into trouble all the time, but he’s also incredibly inspiring.
He’s the type of guy who’ll go out with his mates to watch the football, but also you’d probably want to punch him in the face during that game because he would have said stupid shit that would just make you crazy! And yet with a huge amount of heart and soul you know… and you kinda grow with him with this movie, so I’m sure if you made a second one you could really extend that personal journey and his family aspect as well.
Could I get your thoughts on climate change, and why this film is so relevant now?
There was a time when I went into a kind of depression in between making this movie and it coming out, because every time I did any reading it was like ‘we are in the fifth grade of extinction’, and ‘the new results are out and our climate and the environment is heating up more’, ‘it’s the hottest year on record’… Every day just seemed to have awful news. And despite knowing that, no-one really knows the results that are going to come from that. I felt that this Summer we did, where we talked about this half-degree that we are allowed to absorb by 2050, but we are realising now that we don’t know if that’s going to stop by 2020, and therefore I love that this movie touches on that and yet doesn’t hark on about it.
It is what it is. Global warming is dealt with very quickly and then it takes us off into this whole other stratosphere but the idea always being that we are going to have to do something to take care of this. And it’s going to involve us coming together and digging a little deeper than what we are doing right now.
Geostorm is out now.