After a couple years of anticipation, the 3D film "Metallica: Through The Never" opens today (September 27) in IMAX theaters and in regular theaters on October 4.
The movie focuses on the group's live performance on a special stage but contains a side story about a crew member named Trip, played by actor Dane DeHaan ("Chronicle," "Lawless," HBO's "In Treatment") who's sent to retrieve a mysterious bag for the group and endures a variety of violent encounters in the streets while accomplishing the mission.
Director Nimrod Antal ("Predators," "Armored") tells us that getting involved in the project was a no-brainer:
"It felt like a completely original, different thing. I'd never seen or heard of anything like it, so I was immediately intrigued. I think that the idea of work with them, beyond that, it was this incredibly strange concept they had. They challenged me to come up with some sort of narrative that would be able to fill that requirement, to meet the thing that they wanted to do, and I went away for a few weeks and I came back and pitched them an idea."
The director says his script was inspired by Paulo Coelho's 1988 novel "The Alchemist" as well as the Occupy movement that was raging across the U.S. while he was working on it. He also worked closely with the band before the concerts and says Metallica was willing to "manipulate" its set list to accommodate the script's needs:
"Lars and James and Kirk and Robert were aware that we were potentially going to manipulate their set list, but they were always about what was best for the film. That has always been their take. They've been super supportive. I was very, very fortunate to get this job on a few different levels. I mean, to work with the band is a big deal, but as artists they are completely aware of the artist's process, and they were very giving in that regard."
Metallica frontman James Hetfield says doing the film has been unlike anything the band has ever done before:
"Well, it's been pretty scary, but it's been something on our radar for awhile. But it's a total free-feeling with it...'If we're gonna make a movie...why don't we have a story in there,' and then it became, we just started to run with it, and it became more unique than we had ever thought. We came up against lots of people saying, 'No' and 'It's never gonna work' and this and that. We think it does work and it's pretty unique."
Bassist Robert Trujillo, meanwhile, predicts that "Through the Never" might change the way rock 'n' roll films are approached in the future:
"I wouldn't doubt that this inspires other bands to step up and do something similar. But I mean this is not anything new; bands were doing this back in the day, all the time. I think it's nice to try something a little different than just a straight-up concert."
More information about the film and a list of IMAX theaters can be found at www.ThroughTheNeverMovie.com.
CLICK HERE to learn out more about Gary Graff and his award-winning music journalism including the books he has written on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.
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