A scene taken from Interstellar and a ship inspired by Notre Dame: in the…

In 1998, Paul WS Anderson took us into space where no one hears screaming with “Event Horizon”. Now cult, the feature film is available in a restored version in a 4K collector’s box. Back to some filming anecdotes.

  • Buy the Event Horizon 4K Collector Box on Amazon for €49

“I’m proud that the film has found such an audience that really loves what we’ve done. This film reminds me that as long as you’ve given your all to make a project, even if it doesn’t meet with the success you hoped, it is never the end. I’m so proud ofEvent Horizon today. If you do a good job, one day or another it will be appreciated by someone”.

In 1998, Paul W.S. Andersonrevealed by mortal kombat and future director of the franchise resident Evilbook Event Horizon, the ship from beyonda horrific behind-the-scenes movie that plunges a pretty cast (Laurence Fishburne, Kathleen Quinlan, Sam Neill, Jason Isaacs, Joely Richardson) into 2047 on a rescue mission to determine what happened to a lost ship around Neptune after having explored the limits of the solar system…

Failure on its release (27 million dollars in US box office receipts, 185,142 admissions in France), the feature film, a sort of hellraiser space, earns its cult film stripes thanks to its video exploitation. It is now available in a restored version offered in a 4K Blu-ray collector’s box, embellished with numerous bonuses (a 1h43 making-of, deleted scenes, an audio commentary by the director…) and goodies (postcards, poster , patches, pins).

A scene taken from interstellar and a ship inspired by notre dame: in the...
Amazon

On the occasion of this event, Paul W.S. Anderson agreed to come back for us on the shooting of the feature film and some remarkable shooting secrets, as well as on his influence. A ship inspired by Notre-Dame, a Sam Neill who got (very) hot, a Kurt Russell visionary, a loan from Interstellar (and since Thor Love & Thunder): Embark on the passageways of the Event Horizon… if you dare.

  • Buy the Event Horizon 4K Collector Box on Amazon for €49

25 years later, embarking on horror…

A scene taken from interstellar and a ship inspired by notre dame: in the...
Paramount Pictures

Paul W. S. Anderson (director): VSThis is one of the movies I’m most proud of. If I had to introduce it, I would say that Event Horizon is an extreme horror film with great visual originality that also takes place in space. What’s amazing is that Paramount left me completely alone and without any interference. That rarely happens on a film like this. But I was lucky that at the same time James Cameron was shooting his titanic : the studio was very worried about budget overruns and filming in Mexico, it was one of the most expensive films in the history of cinema. Even if I have never been given so much money to realize Event Horizonit was nothing compared to the fortune spent on titanic. In short, they let me do what I wanted on the set, in London. So I was able to give free rein to my creativity, which explains a rather unique visual approach. You will thus find influences from great masters such as the Flemish painter Bosch. It really is an intense film and so dark that the producers hated it when they first saw it finished and when they realized what I had done with all that money. I think it would be an impossible film to produce today, it’s not a film that Amazon or Disney+ would make. It is therefore a unique film and I invite everyone to discover it or see it again…

Kurt Russell’s prediction

A scene taken from interstellar and a ship inspired by notre dame: in the...
Impact Pictures

Paul W. S. Anderson (director): When the movie came out, it didn’t have the impact I was hoping for. The box office was average, but enough not to cost the studio money. The movie I had done before, mortal kombathad been a big hit and so everyone was hoping it would still be the case with Event Horizon because I had worked very hard to make the best film possible. I was therefore surprised and disappointed by the results… Anyway, I then realized soldier with Kurt Russell and to whom I had to show Event Horizon. Leaving the screening, he came to see me to say: “Paul, in 20 years, you will be proud to have made this film!”. It was very generous of him and I think he was right, because now the film is considered “cult”. Kurt had a lot of experience and he knew that in time this film would find a large audience.

Notre Dame in space

A scene taken from interstellar and a ship inspired by notre dame: in the...
Paramount Pictures

Paul W. S. Anderson (director): This spaceship is Notre Dame de Paris! When I prepared our film, I knew I had to find an original inspiration for the spaceship. I started by watching two great classics: Alien and 2001. These two films had a striking and unique look. For 2001, they worked with NASA to design Kubrick’s movie starship. As for Ridley Scott, he had the chance to collaborate with the Swiss artist HR Giger, whose biomechanical approach was brilliant. So I wondered who was going to be my Giger or my NASA? When the film was being prepared, I found myself in Paris and went to Notre Dame to visit it. I was then surprised by the massive presence of this building! We feel very small in front of Our Lady, as if we were in front of God himself. I had a revelation. I thought to myself that the Event Horizon must look like the impressive structure of Notre Dame. Back in Los Angeles, we reconstructed the complete structure of Notre Dame in the computer. Then, with my designer, Joseph Bennett, we detached all the main parts of the building. Eventually we rearranged them to make a spaceship. The “crucifix” shape of the vessel comes from the shape of this cathedral, as is the shape of all cathedrals. The main engines are indeed the two towers of Notre Dame. And the stained glass windows of Notre Dame can be found everywhere. The entire interior of the vessel is therefore entirely inspired by the internal Gothic structure of Notre Dame. I believe that this very “Christian” design also gave a religious tone to the film. It’s as if I had built a haunted house from a Christian structure: the hell inside echoes the religious dimension that inhabits my film.

Very heavy suits

A scene taken from interstellar and a ship inspired by notre dame: in the...
Paramount Pictures

Paul W. S. Anderson (director): John Mollo (Star Wars, Alien) was the creator of these suits. He explained to us, in particular, the problems that they had had with the Alien costumes where the helmet was not properly attached to the main suit. He managed to make us incredible costumes with a system of pipes so that the air could enter the helmet and give oxygen to the actors. But in the end, his creations were really heavy to carry, more than 40 kilos for each actor! They all suffered and they couldn’t really sit down because the weight would have broken all the available chairs. So we had to build high posts so that the actors could rest by leaning against them while standing. These costumes were not easy to remove and therefore it was necessary to go to the toilet before putting them on and to be able to hold on for the duration of the shoot…

A Sam Neill barbecue?

A scene taken from interstellar and a ship inspired by notre dame: in the...
Paramount Pictures

Paul W. S. Anderson (director): I don’t know if he really almost died. But it’s true that he got a little “hot” during the shoot! We filmed at Pinewood Studios on the set normally used in James Bond. It is a gigantic metal structure with a concrete floor. During the winter, it is so cold there that it is like being in a giant freezer. At the end of the film, Sam Neill was naked and covered in an impressive plastic costume and covered in fake blood. Sam was so cold that we had installed ultra-heating lamps very close to him. And we kept telling him to be careful because if he got too close, he could burn alive! But everything turned out fine in the end.

Very personal easter-eggs

A scene taken from interstellar and a ship inspired by notre dame: in the...
Paramount Pictures

Paul W. S. Anderson (director): At the beginning of the film, there is a book that appears on the screen: it is my autobiography Paul Anderson: A Life. It’s funny because I was young at the time to have a biography. There are also other floating objects, including the watch that I was actually wearing at the time of filming. (…) What is certain is that the technical team, during filming and in post-production, put a maximum of easter eggs in the film. (Editor’s note: a Star Wars X-Wing would thus hide on the ship)

A major influence of space-horror

A scene taken from interstellar and a ship inspired by notre dame: in the...
Electronic Arts

Paul W. S. Anderson (director): There have been several games inspired by our film. Especially Dead Space. It really jumps out at you when you play it. Many things, apparently, were inspired by Event Horizon. I remember, for example, that the film Ad Astra with Brad Pitt is partly inspired by our film. And when Solaris came out, everyone thought thatEvent Horizon had inspired this film with George Clooney… without realizing that in fact it had been inspired, obviously, by the Russian film Solaris.

A scene from Interstellar

A scene taken from interstellar and a ship inspired by notre dame: in the...
Paramount Pictures / Warner Bros.

Paul W. S. Anderson (director): Yes, I forgot that! This is the scene where one of the actors pierces a folded piece of paper to explain a scientific concept. It’s totally taken from the same scene in Event Horizon. As they say, “If you have to fly, fly from the best”. So, if someone steals a few ideas from me, I can’t really complain!

The biggest challenge of the movie

A scene taken from interstellar and a ship inspired by notre dame: in the...
Paramount Pictures

Paul W. S. Anderson (director): Technically, Event Horizon was a colossal challenge with complex camera movements and dizzying sets. But in the end, for me, the real challenge was to work with actors of this caliber. ‘Cause back then I was intimidated by Laurence Fishburne whose caption was written with Apocalypse Now and Sam Neill who had just done Jurassic Park of Spielberg. I was really lucky to have these actors with me, and that they trusted me completely. I learned a lot with them and I’m really grateful to them.

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