Last week we got our first look at the movie poster for the upcoming Spike Jonze film Where The Wild Things Are, which is the first big screen live actioni adaptation of the classic children’s book by author Maurice Sendak. Thus far, not much of the actual movie has been seen … that is, until USA Today got their hands on some promo photos from the film that give us our first really good look at what the movie will look like … behold:
Who’s Max? Why, Max is Max. Max Records, 11, is the boy with anger issues who escapes to a land where giant beasts roam in Where the Wild Things Are, the film version of Maurice Sendak’s 1963 storybook classic. Such same-name casting is the type of coincidence that could only happen to a filmmaker who once placed a portal in an actor’s head in Being John Malkovich. “It’s just fortuitous, kismet, circumstance,” says Spike Jonze, who cast Max after a director friend sent him a tape. “I can’t imagine anyone else playing Max. Max is the soul of the movie. He’s a very special sort of kid. Deep and thoughtful. Sweet and sincere.” Audiences will get a chance to check out both Maxes on Friday in a trailer accompanying Monsters vs. Aliens. The Portland, Ore., sixth-grader spent four months on the film, which was shot outside Melbourne, Australia. His parents — Shawn, a photographer, and Jenny, a librarian — along with brother Sam, 7, joined him Down Under. Max has been in videos for Death Cab for Cutie and Cake but has almost no performing experience other than a bit part in school “that was pretty pathetic.” Save for Star Wars, he says, “I wasn’t a huge movie person. I’m not into what won the Oscars this year.” What he is into is books, and Wild Things is one of his favorites. “It’s sort of different and not a simple story.” Max, who also can be seen in The Brothers Bloom (May 29), would like to continue to act. “But not gigantic parts. I’m in school and stuff. It’s too disruptive.” He did get some encouragement — from Sendak himself. “I got to meet him last September,” he says. What did the author say to him? “Good job.”
The more I see of this movie from promo photos the more desperate I am to be able to see the movie in full. The Where The Wild Things Are book is deceptively simplistic. There isn’t much text and, to me, the story is really told in the illustrations in the book. Because the story is about one child’s imagination, the possibilities for a full-on movie are limitless. I have full faith that Spike Jonze will be able to fortify the story that we all know and love and expand upon the world that Max creates in his bedroom. While I didn’t wear wolf costumes when I was a kid, I did like to wear my Batman pajamas and pretend that my room was the Bat Cave. Where The Wild Things Are really speaks to the spark of imagination that exists in us all. I’m really anxious to see Jonze vision of the tale on the big screen. October seems like a lifetime away but we will get to see the first video footage from the film ahead of showings of Monsters vs. Aliens, which opens this weekend. I cannot wait.