10 things you need to know about David Gordon Green

We bring you the facts about the director of JOE

JOE is released in Irish cinemas this week, and stars Nicolas Cage as an ex-con who, through his friendship with a 15 year old boy, faces either redemption or ruin. Movies.ie decided to bring you the facts about director David Gordon Green.

1. Casting Call
For his first feature length film, GEORGE WASHINGTON, Green created the cast from non-actors. He has said that he met with Donald Holden – who plays George – on a beach near where he lived at the time and simply asked him to be in the film.

2. Reality Bites
Green’s next film, ALL THE REAL GIRLS, was made for a budget of $250,000. However, even though it was nominated for prizes at film festivals around the world, and was given a rare four out of four by the late, great Roger Ebert, the film was initially only released in six cinemas and made just $39,714 in its opening weekend.

3. Friends Forever
Green went to college with Danny McBride, and frequently casts the actor in his films. As well as this, Green has directed several episodes of McBride’s TV show, EASTBOUND AND DOWN.

4. A Confederacy of Difficulties
Green was intended to direct the film version of the John Kennedy Toole novel A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, but never actually began production due to difficulties pertaining to the publishing rights. The film was to star Will Ferrell as Ignatius and Lily Tomlin as Ignatius’s mother.

5. Comedy and Tragedy
Although he is now arguably best known for his comedic work on PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, THE SITTER and YOUR HIGHNESS, Green’s first films were filled with tragedy, and generally focused on young men coming of age in rural towns.

6. Tree of Inspiration
Green, and others, have suggested that the director’s films take a lot of influence from the works of fellow Texan Terrence Malick. Malick himself served as an executive producer of Green’s 2004 film UNDERTOW, which in turn was inspired, in part, by Malick’s film DAYS OF HEAVEN.

7. Splatter Sisters
In 2010, it was announced that Green would produce a sexploitation film starring Marilyn Manson and Evan Rachel Wood. The film, titled SPLATTER SISTERS, was to be the story of two girls who travel to Hollywood to meet the lead singer of a death metal band, and kill hoards of teenage boys along the way. Strangely intriguing as this sounds, it seems the project fell apart when Wood and Manson called their engagement off.

8. Truth is Stranger…
In PRINCE AVALANCHE, Alvin (Paul Rudd) happens upon the charred remains of a home and discovers an old lady in a pink sunbonnet sifting through the rubble. This woman is played by Joyce Payne, who has had no prior acting experience, and the rubble she is sifting through is the actual remains of her old house. David Gordon Green and his location scouts simply happened upon her and asked if they could put her story into the movie.

9. Boredom Inspires…
The premise for YOUR HIGHNESS evolved from a game that Green and Danny McBride used to play on film sets. Each would take turns in suggesting a title for a film and the other would try to concoct a viable storyline. When the title YOUR HIGNESS was put forward, the premise was, “…it’s about a prince who gets stoned and fights dragons…”.

10. Ex-ex-con
Green’s next movie, MANGLEHORN, will star Al Pacino and Holly Hunter. Pacino will play another ex-con trying to go straight. The film will also star THE MINDY PROJECT’s Chris Messina.

JOE is released in Irish cinemas on July 25th

Words: Brogen Hayes