Danny Boyle Discusses New Film Sunshine

Despite wearing an all-black suit, Danny Boyle?s mood is anything but sombre as he approaches one of the last press conferences of a very long day.

Once the Mancunian starts to talk, you soon remember who you?re talking to – the director who, in part, dragged British films out of the niche genre and made them marketable. Before the mid-90?s, a British film meant (a) corsets, or (b) Hugh Grant. There wasn?t enough money, or foreign interest, to risk anything different. That all changed with the opening few seconds of 1996?s ?Trainspotting?. One of the critics? quotes from the infamous poster read ?Hollywood come in – your time is up?, and that?s exactly what the film felt like.

In the following years Boyle embraced Tinsel town – casting Cameron Diaz in ?A Life Less Ordinary?, working with hot property Leonardo DiCaprio on ‘The Beach’, becoming part of 20th Century Fox?s psuedo-indie wing, Fox Searchlight.

‘Sunshine’, another genre film after tackling horror with 2003?s ?28 Days Later?, stars Cillian Murphy, former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh, and ?Fantastic Four? star Chris Evans who are included in a crew of a space ship, ?The Icarus?. It?s mission? To re-ignite the sun!

Whilst it?s a Sci-Fi movie, Boyle points out that this is a ?light sabre-free zone?. ?I am a Sci-Fi fan? he says,  ?not so much Star Trek or Star Wars, but I will find myself at the opening night of, say, Contact or Alien: Resurrection. Whereas with other films I wouldn?t be as keen?.

When asked about the importance of the time frame in the film (it?s set 50 years from now), Boyle refers to ?The Red Bus rule?: ?50 years ago, in London, there were red buses, and there are red buses now. I mean they?re different now, obviously, but it is still a red bus. So, in the future, the technology will still be recognisable. It?ll be buttons and computers, not thought control or anything like that, it won?t be outlandish fantasy?. He cited this as the key to the film?s accessibility, using the element that made 28 Days Later so popular – the feeling that it could happen.

When it?s suggested he?s obsessed with the apocalypse, he gives a loud laugh and (to an extent) agrees.  ?It?s funny isn?t it? It?s so obvious looking at the two films? There?s a lot more at stake than local politics. It?s a big issue, and it?s a big canvas to use. So I love that, that?s a great place to go with characters?.

Continuing on the theme of his ?bleakness?, he goes on to say that this isn?t an ?Armageddon?, Bruce Willis-saves-the-world type movie. ?That?s why we called it (the ship) ?The Icarus?. No American movie would ever call a ship ?The Icarus?, because it?s fated. They?d call it ?Spirit of Hope? or ?Ship of Destiny?. They?d call it something optimistic? in America they would sacrifice all plausibility, because there would be hope. Hope is more important to them than anything?.