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Director Jim Mickle discusses COLD IN JULY

October 20, 2014

DVDFilm + EntertainmentInterview | by Francesco Cerniglia


Jim Mickle_Cold In July

After its theatrical run in the summer, indie thriller Cold In July is released on DVD today and the occasion has allowed me to have a quick chat with filmmaker Jim Mickle about his genre-splitting film which I reviewed when it was released in June.

It’s a unique film that shatters your expectations before building something completely new out of them. The story revolves around Dane, played by Michael C. Hall (Dexter), who kills an intruder and soon finds out that the man’s father is after him wanting revenge, well, at least until things turn out to be not what they seem.

What inspired you to adapt this book for film?

A big part of it was how many genres there were in it and how many of them I’m a fan of, for example Western and film noir. It was so unpredictable that the script really knocked me out.

What made Michael C. Hall stand out during casting?

Interesting… For me it was about filming the role so seamlessly and he’s such a chameleon we don’t usually see much of that in him. His character here is very normal and we hadn’t seen him do that yet.

The movie is very tense and dark throughout, were things on set more light-hearted?

Yeah, very light-hearted – we’ve always had fun. I’ve been on dull sets and I didn’t want to do that. It was always very fun and everyone was great to work with, the cast and crew – it wasn’t dull at all. We worked in a small town where not many films were shot, it was a fun experience.

You co-wrote the film, which is based on a book. Did you feel constricted artistically by the novel?

Not at all, we tried our best to make the film our own but we also really loved the novel. The only pressure was to make it just as good as the book, that was really it.

Was there anything from the script that you cut but you wish you hadn’t?

Not that I wish we hadn’t, I’m glad we did what we did. We shot a lot of explanations which we cut because the audience didn’t want to be told what was going on but then we were told we didn’t explain at all. Also Michael C. Hall’s character, Dane, had scenes that were fun to make but were cut.

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You’re moving to TV with Hap and Leonard. Do you find the switch easy to do? This is the golden age of TV so are you able to do the same things?

So far we didn’t get to shoot but we are writing the script and I love it! There’s a lot of freedom, very Wild West like and it’s interesting to tell a story that can be broadly told.

Cold In July is out on DVD on October 20th

Sunny Ramgolam