‘Death Race’ Trailer Brings Out The Haters … And We Took Their Complaints Straight To Director Paul W.S. Anderson

Filmmaker didn't want remake to be a 'cheesy cameo-fest,' but original star David Carradine will make an appearance.

On Friday, the first trailer for Paul W.S. Anderson’s “Death Race” popped up online — and almost instantly, it seemed, so did the haters.

On Web sites like Jalopnik, SlashFilm, Ain’t It Cool News and elsewhere, fans who watched the trailer all seemed to be saying the same thing, and what most of them were saying wasn’t exactly good.

We took a look at those complaints, found the ones that seemed to occur the most and brought them directly to Anderson. Read below about what he has to say to fans who think this movie is too much like “Running Man,” want to see dead pedestrians, wonder what cameos will be in the movie and more.

Complaint #1: “This isn’t ‘Death Race’ — this is ‘Running Man’ with cars!”

Anderson: Well, I love “Running Man.” What’s the problem with that? [Laughs.] But really, I see this film as almost like the prequel to Roger Corman’s original “Death Race.” In his original film, you had something that was completely sanctioned by the state [and] tendered by the U.S. president in a very fictitious American future. We did the movie that is the beginning of that race, the genesis of the death race that is portrayed in Roger Corman’s film. If you watch this movie, you can imagine how that would develop into what Roger portrayed.

Complaint #2: “No killing of pedestrians? How can you have ‘Death Race’ without killing pedestrians?”

Anderson: It’s true in “Death Race” that we don’t run over a huge amount of pedestrians. It’s true. But if you watch the end of the trailer, there’s a man on foot, and it doesn’t look good for him. He counts as a pedestrian! He was stupid enough to get out of his car, and you see the results at the end of the movie. Anyway, I think it’s good that we went in this slightly different direction. Straight remakes are always questionable. For instance, in the original “Death Race,” although there were some guns kind of mounted on the cars, they never really used them. In this movie, we’ve gone much further with that.

Complaint #3: “The trailer reveals the entire plot of the movie, including that Jason Statham’s character was framed by Joan Allen’s character.”

Anderson: Well, I’ve seen the movie, unlike the people that are commenting on the trailer, and there’s a lot more plot left in the film. What we wanted to do in the trailer is to show that there is narrative in the film, that it wasn’t just action, violence and no story. I think it’s kind of good if people are like, “Oh my God, they’ve given away the entire plot,” because that’s far from the entire plot of the movie.

Complaint #4: “No nods to the original in terms of casting? No Sylvester Stallone or David Carradine cameos?”

Anderson: I wanted to tip my hat to the original, but also wouldn’t want it to become a cheesy cameo-fest. There’s obviously been, “Oh, where’s the David Carradine cameo?” It’s there, and I think it’s a nice thing for fans. In fact, I had a conversation with David about the movie this morning.

Complaint #5: “Tricked-out, flipping cars — great, this is going to be ‘Speed Racer 2.’ “

Anderson: We were very aware of “Speed Racer” when we were doing the movie, and we always deliberately positioned ourselves as the anti-”Speed Racer.” Whereas, the Wachowskis went to go shoot that movie and then spent a year creating the look in postproduction, we spent a year building real cars, with real armor plating, real rocket-launchers, machine guns and flame-throwers on them that actually worked and then we shot it for real. There are no CG cars in the film. All that stuff in the trailer is done absolutely practical, absolutely for real. Whenever a head of department would ask me what I want, it would be, “I want sweat, I want dirt, I want rust, and I want blood.” Those are kind of the textures and the colors of the film.

Complaint #6: “C’mon, not even a hint of nudity?”

Anderson: There’s a little male nudity. And in the trailer, you see Natalie Martinez. … There’s something for boys and girls in the film.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Death Race.”

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