Between 2011 and 2014, J.C. Chandor wrote and directed three movies – the always rewatchable meditation on the financial collapse, Margin Call; the almost dialogue-free meditation on death, All is Lost; and the slow-burning meditation on crime, A Most Violent Year – and then, during the last five years, there’s been nothing.
Well, that’s not exactly true. There was his high profile, very public departure from Deepwater Horizon, a movie that would wind up starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Peter Berg that would go on to gain decent reviews, but lost money at the box office. Chandor, for his part, still thinks parting ways was the best outcome for him – and he explains ahead why, specifically, that happened.
And Chandor very much disagrees with Steven Spielberg’s new crusade to block, or at least limit, streaming movies from Oscar contention. Chandor’s latest film, Triple Frontier – about five military veterans (Oscar Isaac, Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal, Garrett Hedlund) who reunite to pull off a heist against a Brazilian drug lord — is exactly the kind of film that big studios have forgotten: The mid-range budget movie that isn’t connected to any previous work. Triple Frontier has been in production in some form since 2010 and, sadly, the kind of movie that really only gets made via something like Netflix these days. (In fact, you can watch Triple Frontier on Netflix right now as you’re reading this.) And that’s why Chandor hopes Spielberg, who Chandor respects immensely, will change his mind.
I haven’t talked to you in five years, since A Most Violent Year.
I’ve been off in the hinterland so…
Where is the hinterland for you?
I mean, it was one of those things, I live far up in Westchester, so way outside of New York City, and I’ve got young, young kids. Or had young, young kids. They’re not young, young anymore. And I did three movies in four years, basically. Write, direct, and promote. I’d been as good of a father as I could have been and I needed to secure our future so that we could lock it in. I basically signed on right to go onto Deepwater Horizon, so it would have been four movies in five years. And then when that blew up, I realized, “You know what? This is a sign. I should just chill out here for a year.”