Bone Tomahawk: Interviews from the Red Carpet

Bone Tomahawk is the story of four men who set out in the Wild West to rescue a group of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers.

We attended the red carpet for Bone Tomahawk at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival at it's European Premiere and had the opportunity to ask S. Craig Zahler (Writer and Director), Dallas Sonnier (Producer) and Jack Heller (Producer) some questions about the movie.

Bone Tomahawk arrives in UK cinemas 19th February 2016.
You can read our ★★★★☆ review of the film here

S. Craig Zahler – Writer and Director
How does it feel to be here today at the European Premiere of Bone Tomahawk?
It feels great. Certainly there is a perception, seemingly justified, that it’s pretty distinguished to be in this festival and highlighted the way that we have been, so very, very nice. I also looked upon it as an opportunity to get to London, where I’ve wanted to come for a while, so cramming in as much sightseeing as possible. That’s been enjoyable as well, but this festival got behind the movie really early on with an obvious enthusiasm that the producers and I, and the performers, really appreciated.

When writing this movie, did you have specific actors in mind?
I did not. This is the 5th western I have written, the two I wrote prior to this one were novels. I don’t really think in those terms, but certainly once we went to casting, Kurt Russel and Richard Jenkins, these were people I thought of right away and people who had been on board the project for 2½ - 3 years, a long time they have been committed to it, with the various ups and downs and incarnations that almost happened, shooting in New Mexico, Utah and Romania and then eventually in Los Angeles. They were obvious choices to me once I had finished it, I just don’t work thinking of performers.

In terms of inspiration for this movie, where did that come from? You said you have done westerns before, was there specific motivation or inspiration for Bone Tomahawk?
I really like the genre and I like adventure stories and I felt that, in terms of me, I sold a lot of scripts to Hollywood that didn’t get made and while I made a good living doing that, it’s frustrating. I think this just plays to some of my strengths as a writer both via. the character, the ensemble piece that it is and then also touching with the nastier horror aspects. It was something that I felt showcased my skills best as a writer and it wasn’t easy to make, but I am very glad I got it done.

Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller - Producers
Bone Tomahawk is on the red carpet today for its European Premiere. How does it feel to be involved in a project like this?

Jack - It’s like a dream come true. We’ve made a western; we get to premiere it here for the UK premiere in this amazing theatre. We’ve been hanging out with four of the coolest actors around in the desert. Its kid’s dreams.
Dallas – There was a lot of times when we were on set and they were playing out a scene and Jack and I would look at each other, we’d give each other a little fist bump. Like, this is actually our lives? This is great.
Jack - The Magnificent Seven, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, that’s our breakfast and now we get to have Bone Tomahawk with Kurt Russell in his first western in, I think, 23 years, so it’s pretty amazing.

Western films are usually quite violent, but I found Bone Tomahawk to be especially violent. I had to hide behind my hands at some points. Is there a point where you think “That’s a bit too far”?
– I think that if you look at the history of the west, it was one of the most violent places in anyone’s history and I think that Craig (Director) was so specific about a vision that is real and true and these are the kind of things that would happen then, in the sense of, you are up against the wilderness and all sorts of scary things could creep upon us.
Dallas – We were actually blessed to have distributors that were willing to release, essentially, an unrated version of the movie, because there is no way this would have received an “R” rating. We wouldn’t have gotten it. So, we had that commitment and that really was important to us.

Do you at any point look back and think “I would like to have done that part differently”? Looking back are there any parts where you think that you could have done it better?
– I don’t want to pat ourselves too much on the back, but we made this movie for very little and that’s a point of pride for us and a point of pride for Craig (Director) as well. We would have loved to have had more money, who wouldn’t? But we’re pretty proud of what we have pulled off.
Jack – We set out to make a movie that we ended up getting to make, so in that situation there is nothing we look back on saying “Could we have done it differently?” because we probably would have had a different movie.


Bone Tomahawk arrives in UK cinemas 19th February 2016.
You can read our ★★★★☆ review of the film here


Article Written On:
13th October 2015 18:30 PM

Interviewed On:
10th October 2015 20:30 PM

Words By:
George Armstrong
George Armstrong

LFF 2015 Coverage
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Bone Tomahawk Review
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