Danny Boyle Capitalized On 'Slumdog Millionaire' To Make '127 Hours'

'We obviously had a short, small window in which to strike,' director recalls of his Oscar-winning glory.

Given the intense, harrowing story line of "127 Hours" — the upcoming film from "Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle and starring James Franco — it stands to reason that the film's production was just as challenging.

Based on the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston, who was pinned beneath a boulder in Utah and freed himself by amputating his own arm, "127 Hours" wasn't a particularly easy sell with the major film studios.

"We obviously had a short, small window in which to strike, when people really believe in you for all sorts of reasons," Boyle told MTV News of pitching the project and capitalizing on his "Slumdog" success. "We used it to try and make this film, obviously. It was an amazing challenge. I'd always wanted to make it. I've always been fascinated by the idea of trapping someone. In a medium that's all about movement and change, constant vibration of images, I thought it would be wonderful to challenge that and see if we could make an action movie where the hero doesn't move."

That's where Franco's performance came in, a feat he said he accomplished with varying degrees of frustration and perseverance. "You could write [in a screenplay] that he tries to tie the pulley and then he gets frustrated, you can do that moment, but actually trying to do [that while] being trapped, and doing it with my left hand, and doing that for like 15 minutes, I remember yelling out [the F-word] a couple of times," Franco told MTV News of his experience. "That was like the character and me blurring at that moment.

"For me, that really showed how parts of the way we approached this performance are authentic on a real level," Franco added. "[We're] blurring the line between acting and experiencing, giving yourself physical tasks and trying to really complete them in a way."

Check out everything we've got on "127 Hours."

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.