ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke slumberland Director Francis Lawrence on the upcoming Netflix movie. Lawrence spoke about the adjustment Little Nemo and Jason Momoa’s range. slumberland Premiered on Netflix on November 18th.
“slumberland transports audiences to a magical new place, a dream world where the precocious Nemo (Marlow Barkley) and her eccentric companion Flip (Jason Momoa) embark on the adventure of a lifetime.” “After her father Peter (Kyle Chandler) unexpectedly disappears at sea, young Nemo’s idyllic existence in the Pacific Northwest is turned upside down when she joins her well-meaning but deeply awkward uncle Phillip (Chris O’Dowd) in the… city is sent. Her new school and routine are challenging during the day, but at night a secret map to the fantastical world of Slumberland connects Nemo with Flip, a rough but lovable outlaw who quickly becomes her partner and guide. She and Flip soon find themselves on an incredible journey, traversing dreams and escaping nightmares, where Nemo begins to hope that she will be reunited with her father.”
Tyler Treese: The Little Nemo comics have such a rich history, with so many film adaptations and plays in the past. I was curious if you’re familiar with the source material and if you’ve seen any of the other adaptations?
Franz Laurent: I wasn’t actually aware of the source material until I was handed an early draft of the script for it. Then I went back and got this big paperback; I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but there’s this big, beautiful paperback book with, I think, almost, if not all, of the comic strips that Winsor McCay did. Apparently I’ve looked through all of this and seen the Chris Columbus animated film. I’ve seen some of the stuff, but the idea was always to take the original idea from the source material and then kind of jump off with that and then create our own stories and look and bring it into a more contemporary world.
What really struck me about the film was the sense of wonder you are able to convey with the beautiful visuals. Everything has a childish fantasy. How was it to spice up the adventure with some extraordinary visuals?
I mean this is really fun. I know it’s a bit more wildly visual than what I do, but most of what I do is based around world building, and that’s something I really love. The idea of coming in and being able to create many worlds, in the case of the dreams in this film, is just a lot of fun. It’s really, really fun imagining what these color palettes are and how different they’ll be from each other, so you’re in a whole new place every door you walk through.
I thought you did such a great job of uncle Phillip’s story throughout the film. As a viewer, it was satisfying to see how he changed over time. So what was it like pulling back and adding new layers to it over time?
It was great fun. Those were all things we’ve been working on for a while. We worked on the script for a couple of years just focusing on the characters and what they want and what they need and what their storylines are. Honestly, one of the keys was that Chris O’Dowd did such a great job being this leader that you kind of love but is also kind of awkward but still has a warmth and can be funny as well. I think he really contributed a lot to the character’s form.
Jason Momoa’s flip is hilarious. What was it like giving this really fresh twist to a character that’s been around in one form or another for over a century?
Yeah I mean honestly again it was about creating our own version of that and I think part of what we were working on in the story… it suddenly dawned on me because I was working with Jason and getting to know him and Befriending him, there are many elements of Jason’s real personality that were like Flip. It would just be really nice for the world to not only see him again as a barbarian in a movie, but to see this whole other side of him that’s so endearing and warm and funny and irreverent and mischievous and kind of silly at times.