In 2014, Kiah Roache-Turner directed Wyrmwood: Highway of the Useless, a micro-budget zombie movie impressed by Mad Max that he co-wrote along with his brother, Tristan Roache-Turner. Eight years after that movie developed one thing of a cult following, the brothers are again with Wyrmwood: Apocalypse, a gory follow-up to their zombie/road-movie hybrid. Wyrmwood: Apocalypse follows Rhys (Luke McKenzie), a soldier dwelling in an Australian wasteland who’s intent on discovering a remedy for zombiism. Rhys quickly crosses paths with a few of the protagonists from the primary movie, who present him that the folks he works for are contributing to the present atrocities of their post-apocalyptic society quite than attempting to vary it for the higher.


Kiah Roache-Turner was capable of sit down for an unique chat with CBR to debate the upcoming launch of his zombie sequel. The director opened up about avoiding sequel tropes, switching central protagonists for the sequel, and the 10-year course of that led as much as the manufacturing of Wyrmwood: Apocalypse.

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CBR: By way of evolving the world of Wyrmwood, what would you say was your primary aim when creating the sequel?

Kiah Roache-Turner: The primary aim for Wyrmwood: Apocalypse was for the manufacturing of the movie to be accomplished as near how we did the unique as doable. That is a bizarre aim as a result of the unique was shot on the smell-of-an-oily-rag over a three-and-a-half-year interval. Half of it was shot simply in our mother’s yard or in our pals’ backyards. We did not wish to do it like that once more, however we needed to do it with the spirit of the primary one, that means a bunch of passionate filmmakers coming along with their pals to make one thing that they imagine in and never flip it into some studio model.


Once I take a look at the primary Mad Max and the second Mad Max, there’s a consistency to the imaginative and prescient throughout these two movies. You take a look at the primary Evil Useless and the second Evil Useless, that is the identical world. There is not any feeling of the filmmakers promoting out the idea. So I knew that we had a reasonably cool idea, and I simply needed it to be accomplished the way in which I knew it must be accomplished.

My brother and I wrote it, and we conceived of it, and we knew the way to do it. Crucial factor was that we discovered producers and collaborators who simply needed to allow us to do our factor. They beautiful a lot stated, ” your world. Let’s get you slightly bit more cash. Let’s shoot it in six weeks this time versus three-and-a-half years, however let’s just about proceed what you guys creatively arrange within the first one”. So I see this course of as a miracle of miracles, the place the unique intention was met.


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So in different phrases, you had a much bigger funds for this movie, however you needed to try to hold the essence of a lower-budget movie?

Effectively, we initially went from a tiny, minuscule, micro-budget movie to a $10 million studio movie known as Nekrotronic. Now, it is a enjoyable film, however it’s not my film. I used to be like, “I do not need that to occur once more.” Nekrotronic was a film that was made with about seven totally different folks making the choices. Each single artistic choice was made by the movie committee, which is how most studio movies are made as a result of there’s a lot cash concerned.


No person needs to belief some dude from movie faculty in Sydney who shot his first movie in his mother’s yard with 10 million of their {dollars}. They will go, “Okay, properly, each single choice must be financially viable.” Whenever you begin fascinated by a movie like that, lots of the singular imaginative and prescient is minimize off. I believe I am a giant fan of singular imaginative and prescient. All my favourite administrators — David Lynch and Fellini and Scorsese — all of them had management over the artistic decision-making on their movies. You possibly can inform a movie made by a committee from a movie made with a singular imaginative and prescient, and I a lot want the singular imaginative and prescient movies. Even in a $200 million movie like Dune, you’ll be able to nonetheless see that director Denis Villeneuve maintained his imaginative and prescient. That is the factor that was actually necessary.


So we went into this pondering that if we’ll make a sequel to Wyrmwood, we will not make it in a studio company paradigm. It simply cannot occur. So we made positive that the funds was low sufficient in order that we might preserve artistic management and make the movie that we needed to make.

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What sequel tropes have been you hoping to keep away from when making this movie?

Effectively, you’ll be able to’t simply make the identical movie. I take a look at all my favourite sequels, they usually’re all totally different from the originals. I believe that is the primary trope to keep away from, pondering you must do a template movie and be sure that everyone will get precisely what they received within the first one. It’s important to make a unique movie, and you must let the story be what the story needs to be. Whenever you take a look at the primary Mad Max and the second Mad Max, they’re two very totally different movies. Mad Max 2 is funnier, it is extra uncommon, and it has weirder characters. It is the identical with even The Godfather and The Godfather Half II; though the themes are the identical, they’re very, very totally different movies. You have to let the film be what it needs to be.


So to me, I believe the largest factor that we needed to do was to essentially take a look at our primary influences, which was the Mad Max collection. So, Wyrmwood: Highway of the Useless is like our Mad Max 1 and Wyrmwood: Apocalypse is like our Mad Max 2. We actually needed this sequel to be greater, badder, and extra hardcore.

Numerous the scenes in Wyrmwood: Apocalypse have been really scenes that we wrote again in 2010 and could not afford to do on the primary one. We knew that we have been going to have slightly bit extra of a funds, so we needed to throw in a few of our previous concepts. We have been now capable of throw a cyborg zombie into the combo. [laughs] This time, we have been capable of construct the lead character’s enclosure, which we needed to construct within the first one. the opening scene the place Rhys is in his enclosure, the place he does his regular day by day routine and will get up, does his workout routines, kills some zombies, and he is received a barbecue powered by zombie breath, and the zombies are all powering his turbines and stuff? I wrote that with my brother in 2010. That was purported to be the beginning of Wyrmwood: Highway of the Useless, however we simply could not do it. It was too huge.


So we determined to return to the origin story of how the apocalypse occurred within the first movie. We figured possibly seven years later or so we’ll have the ability to have the funds to make the one which was initially in our heads, and that turned out to be Wyrmwood: Apocalypse. So Wyrmwood: Apocalypse is definitely one thing that has been 10 years within the making. It is actually enjoyable to see a scene that was really the primary scene that we wrote for this authentic undertaking lastly up on the large display screen 10 years later.

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What precipitated you and your brother, who co-wrote Wyrmwood: Apocalypse with you, to modify central protagonists from the primary movie to the second movie?

We sort of wrote ourselves right into a nook with Barry. Initially, Barry was really purported to be Rhys. That is how we began writing the primary movie. Then we went again and determined to inform the story of the Barry character. Within the telling of that story, he might not be Rhys as a result of it would not make sense to out of the blue have Barry doing the issues Rhys does in Apocalypse. The place would his sister be? It wasn’t persevering with their story anymore. So we determined to only make it a random soldier dude. It wasn’t till the final minute, once we have been form of casting round, attempting to work out who was going to play Rhys, that we made the choice that we needed to work with Luke McKenzie once more. Then we realized we killed him off within the first one!


We determined to comply with that basic cleaning soap opera trope of creating Rhys the dual brother of McKenzie’s character from the primary movie. It was nice as a result of we have been attending to work with our pal once more, and we received to have an emotional connection and consistency between the primary and second movies. So we have been capable of do a rewrite that really emotionally connects Rhys to Brooke and Barry.

One of many hardest issues with a screenplay is while you’ve received unconnected characters, and you find yourself losing lots of exposition connecting them via motion. This time, once we made that call to make McKenzie Rhys — who, spoiler alert, can be the brother of the principle antagonist within the first one who Brooke and Barry killed — they’re emotionally related. It is a deep connection of familial, sibling homicide, which is narratively on level. So really, making the choice to solid McKenzie because the lead character opened up all types of issues for us by way of writing and made the piece loads higher. So yeah, I believe that was choice.


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Wyrmwood: Apocalypse feels just like the second movie of a trilogy in lots of methods. Is that supposed?

Oh, yeah, 100%. I imply, I might like to make Wyrmwood 3 after which do Wyrmwood TV. This can be a world the place the riffs might be limitless. We have provide you with this factor that melds two actually cool worlds that have been initially created with Mad Max and Daybreak of the Useless, and it delivers sufficient new concepts and themes to make it simply the best factor to write down for us.

If someone advised me to take a seat down and write a random Wyrmwood TV present set in Spain, I might do it tomorrow. It is a world that works. So I am glad to maintain doing these so long as they’re going to let me, you already know? I imply, I’ve already began writing down the construction of the concepts and whatnot for Wyrmwood 3. I might most likely write the therapy in a single day after which write up a primary draft in per week. Writing these movies is sort of a scorching knife via butter.

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Do you’ve got any concepts that you simply’re keen to share in regards to the potential third movie?

Yeah! So once more, we have written ourselves right into a nook with Brooke and Barry as a result of they’re changing into increasingly monstrous, so that they’re much less relatable. They’re now going into the territory of virtually these darkish Grecian gods, they usually’re nearly too huge to write down. So that they grow to be fairly full-on characters. They’re like Darkish Jedi. The enjoyable factor is now, the Grace and Maxi elements performed by Shantae Barnes-Cowan and Tasia Zalar are taking up the Brooke and Barry roles. So I get to repeat these arcs however in a very totally different method. We now have these wonderful indigenous actresses who’re simply firing on all cylinders, and I simply cannot wait to begin writing their characters once more. These two get to sort of take over the Brooke and Barry arcs, and Brooke and Barry get to go to a extremely full-on darkish place, and I am actually wanting ahead to that.

I even have a number of different concepts. I’ve had this concept the place a personality chops a zombie’s legs and arms off, wears the zombie like a backpack, and attaches the mouth to a flamethrower, utilizing the zombie as a flamethrower. Concepts like that hold coming to me. I additionally would like to do a zombie on a drone bit, like a drone powered by a zombie. How cool would that be? , when you begin with these concepts, they simply hold coming. So yeah, I hope we get to do the third one. That’d be nice!

Wyrmwood: Apocalypse premieres digitally on April 14.

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