It’s a strange thing to see 6,000 people try to simultaneously clap their hands and scratch their heads. But that’s what happened at Comic-Con after 10 minutes of footage from The Fountain, the long-awaited opus from Requiem For A Dream genius Darren Aronofsky. “Is everyone confused?” laughed Aronofsky as he took the podium. Fortunately, Total Film was on hand to corner him for a proper explanation. Sort of. “It’s about a man [Hugh Jackman] who finds out his wife [Rachel Weisz] is dying of cancer. He searches for the fountain of youth, trying to save her and his own life,” explains Aronofsky. “And it takes place across a thousand years.” Er... why? “Because it’s fun to watch conquistadors fight Mayans and it’s fun to shoot guys into outer space! I wanted to do a little of everything. And the tree of life is something that’s been in human mythology forever, but Hollywood’s never made a movie about it.”
The film was originally slated for production in 2002 with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, but when Pitt quit, the $90 million project fell apart. Everyone thought it was doomed – except Aronofsky. “About seven months later, I woke up in the middle of the night and I was like, ‘This is still in my blood; I can’t get it out. What’s the guerrilla version of a $90 million movie?’ It’s this $35 million movie, an epic action-adventure and yet it’s cheap.” Having watched the clip, Total Film can attest it’s beautiful, mysterious and, yes, jaw-dropping...