“One of the reasons I make entertainment is because life is brutal, life is hard and if we can get a chance to escape it — not be in our troubles for a couple hours — then I think that’s a service,” Dean Devlin — producer of TNT’s Leverage and the 1990s blockbusters Independence Day and Godzilla — tells Celebuzz.
Read what else Devlin said about violence in film and TV …
Devlin was talking about the tragedy in Aurora, Colo., in which 12 people were killed and 58 injured. The alleged gunman, James Holmes, 24, was charged July 30 with 142 criminal counts, including 116 for attempted murder and 24 for murder.
“I think when real life interrupts fantasy, it’s always shocking,” Devlin added.
“A tragedy like this, it’s like getting punched in the gut, when these things happen. All you can think about is the victims — and how awful it is for them and their families. What it means to movies, who cares. It’s meaningless, considering the loss these people are suffering.”
He said, “I think that’s the service of genre entertainment, which is what we’re here to celebrate tonight. It’s traditionally called escapist entertainment. And, it’s things like that you want to try and escape.”
Celebuzz talked to Devlin at last week’s 38th annual Saturn Awards in Burbank, celebrating sci-fi and horror films. Devlin’s show ‘Leverage’ — which just wrapped its 77th episode — was up for several awards at the event.
Also at the Saturn Awards was Lea Thompson, star of Back to the Future, the notorious would-be 1986 blockbuster Howard the Duck, TV’s 1990s hit show, Caroline in the City and ABC Family’s fall show Switched at Birth.
Thompson echoed Devlin’s sentiments.
“Guns kill people, not movies. What can I say?” Thompson said.
Thompson sounded lukewarm, though, to the idea of seeing The Dark Knight Rises in theaters.
“Well, I hear it’s a little too violent. I don’t know,” she says. “I kind of like it when there’s not too many long fight scenes. I like the more intellectual heroes — like Howard the Duck.”
Producer Harvey Weinstein called last week for a meeting of Hollywood filmmakers, to discuss limiting violence in movies. Weinstein’s film companies have produced many violent films over the years.
“I think as filmmakers we should sit down — the Marty Scorseses, the Quentin Tarantinos, and hopefully all of us who deal in violence in movies — and discuss our role in that,” Weinstein said last week.
Do you think violence in movies and TV should be limited? Do you agree with Devlin and Thompson?