So, 11-11-11 has come and gone. Think you’re safe now? Think again. I caught up with Darren Lynn Bousman, Director of Saw II, III, and IV, Repo! The Genetic Opera,and Mother’s Day, to discuss one of his recent films, 11-11-11. Darren shared details on one of the more challenging films of his career, and sheds light on the actual meaning of the ominous date.
Synopsis: After the tragic death of his wife and child, famed American author Joseph Crone travels from the United States to Barcelona, Spain, to reunite with his estranged brother, Samuel, and dying father, Richard. However, fate has a different plan for Joseph as his life becomes plagued with strange happenings and the constant sightings of the number 11. Curiosity quickly turns to obsession, and Joseph soon realizes that this number holds a horrific meaning not only to himself but possibly to all of religion. Isolated in a foreign country with only the support of his companion, Sadie, Joseph soon realizes that 11/11/11 is more than just a date; it’s a WARNING!
Stacy Buchanan: What inspired you to explore religion?
Darren Lynn Bousman: Well, I got the idea from the producer Wayne Rice. Wayne contacted me and said ‘I’ve got this idea for a movie, pitch me the ending.’ So I put the ending in and immediately I was like ‘that’s it, I love this idea.’ And I kind of turned it religious – I don’t think he [Wayne] intended it to be. I find the whole idea of religion fascinating. Everything from Satanism –to- Christianity – to- Catholicism, I find the whole thing fascinating. And I found myself flip-flopping back and forth with my own beliefs over the years. This seemed like a good chance for me to write and get my own thoughts out.
SB: What are your thoughts on the 11-11-11 after filming this movie?
DLB: The thing about the movie is that 11-11 was not the date anything ended, and I think that was one thing that people missed when they watched it. 11-11 is really the date that it began. The date that [spoiler alert] the antichrist takes power and begins the destruction of humanity. So we still have a couple of years [snickers] if my prophecies are correct. You know, it’s a hard movie. I think it’s the hardest movie I’ve ever done due to how quickly it was shot and the quick turnaround getting it out there. I look at it now and its something that I really want my fans to see. I’m trying, as a Director, to show different sides of myself. The Saw’s are visceral, and violent, and very stylized. REPO! is an over the top carnival of insanity. And then something like Mother’s Day is a very serious kind of crime drama. So this is a different take on movies, one that I don’t think my fans really know me for. It’s a chance to see a different side of me.
SB: It felt like Timothy Gibb and Michael Landes were born to play brothers in this film. Can you talk about little bit about the cast?
DLB: Timothy Gibb is an incredible actor and is someone I want to work with again. What happened with Timothy Gibb is we were trying to find an American actor in Spain and we couldn’t find anyone. I was about to give up and pull my hair out, and this guy walks in and goes ‘Are you guys doing a movie audition?’ And I was like ‘Yeah’, and he was like ‘Do you mind if I audition?’ Come to find out that Timothy Gibb lived where we auditioning and saw the sign outside that said ‘Open Casting’. He used to be an actor in Los Angeles and New York on a soap opera, and basically retired from acting and had been living in Spain for 10 years. He just stumbled into our soundstage and I met the guy and immediately was like ‘this is him, he’s awesome.’ That was one of those weird serendipitous things that you hear about. And Michael Landes, I love that guy, he’s hilarious. When he first showed up on set I admittedly did not like him. And then about one minute after getting him on set, he became my absolute favorite person, to the point that I want to put him into every single thing that I do now. He’s seriously like a one-man comedy routine and I think the guy’s hilarious and awesome.
SB: Barcelona played a big role in the film as well. How did you find such a perfect location to help set the mood for the film?
DLB: Originally we were just going to shoot there but not have it be Barcelona. It was going to be set in Stoll Kansas. But then you walk in Barcelona you’re like ‘wow, how can you be in Barcelona and not shoot in Barcelona?’ The look of it is so fantastic. So very quickly I said ‘no way, it’s going to be set in Barcelona.
SB: Will you be exploring religious themes in any future projects?
DLB: I feel like every film I’ve done has a religious theme behind it. The Barren’s  is about the Jersey Devil, which is supposedly a sort-of devil. And the movie I just finished, The Devil’s Carnival, is about heaven and hell. The Devil’s Carnival is brilliant. We’ve been on tour for 12 days and have got another 30 ahead of us. We’re seriously in a van driving from city-to-city, staying at Motel 6’s and EconoLodges. It’s like punk rock filmmaking. 11-11-11 is available to rent on iTunes and purchase on amazon.com.