Rian Johnson’s Looper Pitch Reel Reveals A Darker Tone

By Rudie Obias | Published

Why wait for Blu-ray/DVD to get insight from a director on how they made their films? Director Rian Johnson is soaring high with the release of his sci-fi time travel film, Looper, so it seems fitting during the Internet Age to release bonus features while the film is still in theaters. Johnson recently released a pitch reel that illustrates the tone and concept of his latest effort. Check it out:

Taking clips from various movies, including Days of Heaven, Fight Club, Blade Runner, and Se7en, Rian Johnson assembled a one-minute-and-thirty-second glimpse into the high-concept world of Looper. The pitch reel even has one of the stars of the film, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, doing the voiceover for the role he eventually took. Johnson put this together after he finished the script but before he actually started the pre-production process of Looper. Gordon-Levitt’s voice over also hints at a darker tone than what audiences would eventually see on the big screen.

The pitch reel isn’t the first bonus feature Rian Johnson has released to the Internet recently. Last week, Johnson released an in-theater commentary track on his website for Looper. The idea would be, you’d download the commentary track, go back to the theater to watch Looper, and play the commentary track on your MP3 player while the film is being screened. Obviously, you’d wear headphones while the commentary track plays so you wouldn’t disturb the people around you trying to watch the film. Also, I’d recommend sitting towards the back of the theater so you wouldn’t have people behind you as you wrestle around with your MP3 player.

Rian Johnson also wrote on his website:

“This is a strange curiosity I thought might be interesting – just after I finished the script for Looper but before we began preproduction I asked Joe to record some voice-over, and with help from my friend Ronen Verbit constructed this “fake trailer” using clips from other movies. This is a fairly common thing to do when you’re trying to get a movie off the ground, but it was the first time I tried it. It was meant to show more some of the film’s tone, and to show how the odd concept could be presented in a clear and compelling way in the marketing. Zach Johnson did the sketches. Note that we hadn’t begun the casting process yet, and the clips were chosen just based on their visuals and not by who is in them.”