Video Director Dave Meyers Works On Feature Debut But Still Awaits Bono's Call

Remake of 1986 cult thriller 'Hitcher' due in April.

When famed video director Dave Meyers, working on his feature-film debut, was unimpressed with his own race scene, he looked no further than to the movie's producer, action connoisseur Michael Bay.

"He was like, 'Shake the camera, Dave, shake the camera!' " Meyers recalled, laughing.

For the record, Bay's advice worked. And Meyers is thrilled with how his remake of the 1986 cult thriller "The Hitcher" is coming together.

"There's a lot of jumps, car action, a lot of the popcorn stuff teenagers will respond to, but I also pushed it from the creative standpoint," said Meyers, best known for special effects-driven videos for the likes of Missy Elliott and Pink.

Meyers' remake stars Sophia Bush ("One Tree Hill") and Zachary Knighton ("The Prince & Me") as traveling college students who fall prey to a murderous hitchhiker. The original starred Jennifer Jason Leigh ("Single White Female") and C. Thomas Howell ("The Outsiders").

"If you've seen the original and you're a fan, we've upgraded and taken things to another level as far as tension and the roller-coaster ride they go on," Meyers said. "We've added a girlfriend and boyfriend. It's a great love story."

Meyers' "favorite element of the movie" is Sean Bean ("National Treasure," "Silent Hill"), who plays the hitchhiker. "He'll be a new villain people will look up to," the director said.

Like the other films under Bay's Platinum Dunes production company — "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Amityville Horror" — "The Hitcher" falls into the horror-remake genre. But Meyers is promising much more.

"We have our gore, but it's not as prolific as 'Texas Chainsaw,' " Meyers said. "And of course I have car chases, which was my tribute to Michael Bay."

Meyers calls Bay a mentor and the one who made his directorial debut enjoyable. "He allowed my voice to be heard, and when you're a work-for-hire, that becomes an issue," he said. "But I was protected by him."

"The Hitcher" is due in theaters April 13. In the meantime, Meyers plans to get back into the music-video game, directing the clip for Ludacris' next single. And although he's helmed more than 200 videos since the mid-'90s, there's still one band he's dying to direct.

"I really want to work with U2," Meyers said. "I don't represent what they like in a director. I've had too much success. They're always true to the alternative, and I feel like I fall in the mainstream, even though I don't think of myself as that. Dave Matthews was scared to work with me until he met me. If I could just meet Bono, I think I'd be OK. I've been thinking about this for 10 years because they haven't called. They're pretty much the last ones. I even got a call from Coldplay."

Last month, Meyers added another Video Music Award to his collection, for Best Special Effects for Missy's "We Run This."

"I never expect it, I just focus on the work," Meyers said. "But it's a litmus test that I'm doing the right jobs and doing something with them."

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