Joe Cornet is an American director known by his works on western films such as Gunfight at Rio Bravo, Promise, Incident at Guilt Ridge, and A Prayer for the Damned.
How did the idea of GUNFIGHT AT RIO BRAVO come about?
Alexander Nevsky and I were in discussion about doing a film together. He came up with the idea of combining elements of great action films in the context of a very stylized, spaghetti and/or traditional western. Screenwriter Craig Hamann created the original story with Alex and we were off!
What made you want to star as well as direct?
I usually appear in most of the films I direct. I enjoy the different challenges of being in front of the lens as well as behind the camera. It has become second nature for me to do both and I am having a wonderful time.
You’ve made a Western but sometimes it felt like a throwback to 80’s Action classics; what influences were behind it?
Certainly, the great action films of the 80’s and 90’s loomed large on this set. I mean look at who is in it! There was certainly a good deal of Sergio Leone vibe on that set, as well as a bit of Howard Hawks. In fact, our sheriff’s office set is an almost exact duplicate of the one in the 1959 classic RIO BRAVO.
It’s great to see you working with Alexander Nevsky; how did you guys meet?
Alexander and I met through film composer Sean Murray. Sean had already composed five film scores for Alexander and he was just then completing the score for my western PROMISE. The three of us had a meeting and Alexander and I hit it off immediately. We started planning this film right then.
You’ve got a fantastic cast: Nevsky, Matthias Hues, Olivier Gruner, Natalie Denise Sperl; can you talk about getting them all together?
From the beginning we wanted to get iconic giants who were identified with classic action. What could be better than the two stars from DARK ANGEL and SAVATE? Matthias (more sinister than ever!) and Olivier (truly heroic) were a blast to work with, wait till you see their action scenes.
After several discussions about the character of Nora, we called Natalie Denise Sperl. She is a real pro and brought her “A” game. Watch for Kerry Goodwin in the film as well. The combination of all this talent is electric.
What were the most challenging moments of working on the film?
The most challenging moments of shooting a film like this are always the action sequences, the choreographed fights, the gunplay and the horses. This is especially grueling when the temperature gets above 95! However, the job is always more pleasant when working with the great fight/stunt coordinator Art Camacho. Talk about a pro and a legend.
What’s the deal with the sequel? When should we expect Taken from Rio Bravo?
Expect more action, more epic, sweeping vistas! You will see some characters you already know, a few new, intriguing ones and the most vile bad guys ever. TAKEN FROM RIO BRAVO is already in the can and you should see it in the very near future. – Growing up, what were some of the Westerns that you loved the most?
Here’s a quick list of the westerns that informed my vision:
A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
THE WILD BUNCH
THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES
GUNFIGHT AT RIO BRAVO is out now in North America. Would you like to say something about who you’re hoping the audience is for this film?
I am counting on action fans as well as classic western fans will watch. Certainly it will appeal to those who are curious what the mash up of these two genres might look like. Most importantly. I hope the audiences have fun!
Thank you for you time today and your continued support!