This past weekend, co-writer/director Nimrod Antal’s concert/post-apocalyptic mash-up Metallica: Through the Never made its IMAX 3D debut and to mark the occasion, Daily Dead had the opportunity to speak exclusively with Metallica’s own legendary guitarist Kirk Hammett about the project.
A blending of Metallica concert footage and a narrative story, Through the Never follows a young roadie (Chronicle‘s Dane DeHaan) on a mission during another legendary concert event only to find that when he hits the road, the world has gone to hell and he must fight his way through a post-apocalyptic landscape complete with bodies hanging from light poles, bloodthirsty rioters, a gas mask-wearing psycho and so much chaos that filmmaker Antal chose to shoot both the concert and the narrative part of the film specifically for IMAX.
During our chat with Hammett, we heard more on the origins of Through the Never, Hammett’s thoughts on the film’s young star DeHaan, what bonus material fans can expect for the home release of the movie, plans for a new Metallica album and much more.
Daily Dead: Thanks for chatting today. I heard about the different appearances so I’m sure this is a crazy week for you guys.
Kirk Hammett: It is. I’m actually driving through the streets of New York right now on my way to an event. It’s been really crazy, but what I think is really cool is that when you make a movie like this, it allows you a rare opportunity to do some cool stuff for the fans. And the fans have been really supportive of this project every step of the way, so it’s awesome to get to pay that back.
Daily Dead: Through the Never was absolutely unlike anything I have seen before, concert film-related or otherwise, so congrats on pulling off what seems to be a pretty risky concept for a movie. Was this something you guys approached Nimrod for or did he come to you with the idea?
Kirk Hammett: It was kind of both. I think we knew we wanted to do a totally unconventional concert movie and then Nimrod came to us with this incredible idea and it just went from there. We knew that we wanted to stay as far away from the ‘conventional’ concert movie in every way possible- no interview footage, none of that crap. This had to be different and unique, but still have that Metallica identity to it. We wanted our fans to get something they weren’t going to be expecting at all and I think we succeeded.
Daily Dead: I thought Dane (DeHaan) did a remarkable job in Through the Never, especially considering I don’t think we hear him say a single line throughout the movie. Was it his incredible work in Chronicle that got him noticed for this role?
Kirk Hammett: That was definitely a big part of it. It’s hard to describe, but Dane has a certain intensity to him and there’s also this kind of vulnerability to him too. You want to root for him, you want to see him survive when the world goes to hell- Dane was great. He was so intense.
Daily Dead: I noticed that the guitars you were using in Through the Never were both horror themed- there was the White Zombie one and the other one was The Mummy. Do you have other horror-fied guitars too in your collection? I know you’re a lifelong genre fan.
Kirk Hammett: Yeah, I’ve loved horror movies since I was five years old and I have a pretty extensive collection of horror movie posters and memorabilia too. Because I’m such a fan of those iconic poster images I thought it would be cool to pay homage to some of my favorites, so I do have a bunch of classic horror-themed guitars. You saw The Mummy and White Zombie, but I also have a Bride of Frankenstein and Dracula too and am in the process of designing two more.
Daily Dead: Speaking of horror memorabilia, do you have a favorite poster in your collection?
Kirk Hammett: I do- it’s an original three-sheet from the 1932 version of The Mummy; the thing is bigger than I am and I think it’s my favorite because it’s not something I ever thought I’d ever be able to find. The thing is over 80 years old now and it’s really rare, which is why it’s so special.
Daily Dead: Going back to Through the Never for a moment, I wanted to talk a bit about the ending. I’m not going to give anything away, but there’s some stuff that’s definitely open for interpretation there. Does that mean you guys have plans for another movie?
Kirk Hammett: Well the whole thing about the ending is that we wanted to keep that part open to interpretation because we thought it would only leave the audiences with more to think about after they leave the theater. The ending is really whatever you want it to be; the whole movie was created like that, in fact. We wanted you to interpret the visuals for yourself, not how we think you should be seeing them.
We’re really happy with how this one turned out, so I’m not sure if we’ll be doing a sequel or anything like that. We just wanted to make something that could take our music to an entirely new realm visually and Through the Never is exactly that. Fans will get to see the songs that didn’t make it into the movie on the DVD and the Blu-ray when that comes out and I think what’s next for Metallica is that we need to get back into the studio. We need to make a new album and that’s our priority now.
“Metallica Through the Never stars Metallica, one of the most popular, influential rock bands in history. In this music driven, 3D motion picture event, award-winning filmmaker Nimród Antal immerses audiences in a bracing, raw and visceral cinematic experience with spectacular live performance footage of Metallica’s most iconic songs — created exclusively for film — combined with a bold, narrative story featuring imagery drawn from the band’s trailblazing iconography. Dane DeHaan portrays Trip, a young roadie sent on an urgent mission, during the Metallica’s roaring live set in front of a sold-out arena. The film features dazzling pyrotechnics, the most elaborate live-performance stage ever built and state-of-the-art 3-D photography, captured using up to 24 cameras simultaneously.”
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