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Stone weighing up second 9/11 movie

London Guardian | September 8 2006

Fresh from the success of his controversial World Trade Center, Oliver Stone plans to make a second film about the 9/11 attacks. The director revealed in a British Academy of Film and Television Arts lecture last night that the subject matter was too "huge" to cover in one film and that he uncovered countless other tales about the terrorist assault that he now wants to bring to the big screen.

"It [9/11] was huge. I think it's the basis of another film for me," Stone told the Bafta audience, according to a news story by the World Entertainment News Network.

World Trade Center has been acclaimed in America for its rousing portrayal of two Port Authority police officers - Will Jimeno and John McClaughlin - who risked their lives to save others in the rubble of New York's Twin Towers in 2001. Others, however, have taken issue with the movie. Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw suggested that it was the worst film of the year, and that it plays fast and loose with the facts in suggesting a link between 9/11 and Iraq. Elsewhere, the film has been criticised for coming too soon after the tragedy.
However, the Oscar-winning director defended his decision to make the film, insisting it was important the tale was told while survivors were able to speak out. "There is no right time to do it," he said. "It should be done when people are ready to do it. Most drama is based on contemporary events. These guys are alive. We should grab the moment and tell it quick. Five years is as fast as it gets. We are not the media. It took Will [Jimeno] and John [McLaughlin] a year to recover and then they had to tell their stories. I became involved in year four and this is year five."

Comparing this film's history to his other work, he added, "It took me 18 years to make JFK, 25 years for Platoon and 30 for Nixon."

Stone admitted that the issues of the film meant that it had to be handled carefully. "It's a complicated landmine," he said. "We met with survivors, New Yorkers, firefighters' groups. It's a sensitive subject because people died. It could have blown up in our faces." He added that he wants his film to help New Yorkers reclaim 9/11, claiming that the tragedy has now been turned into a political issue. "The media lock on 9/11 must diminish because it has been made a political event," he inisted. "The reaction was political and we forget there was a physical impact."

The producers of the film are donating $1.3m (£683,000) to the September 11 memorial, keeping their promise to give 5% of the film's opening weekend box office receipts to help in its construction. World Trade Center opens in the UK on September 29.


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