Nat, Cody, and Robert are joined by Andy DiGenova to talk about 1995’s WATERWORLD and what goes into making the WATERWORLD attraction for Universal Studio’s park in Beijing.
1995 was abuzz with WATERWORLD, particularly with how much the film cost. Perhaps that unfairly influenced the critical and public perception for a film that would be dubbed “Kevin’s Gate”. Regardless, the film would go on to be one of the biggest grossers worldwide of the year and spawn a following and specifically a number of theme park attractions.
WATERWORLD was developed as “Mad Max on water” with storms and the difficulty of filming on water complicating the production and ballooning the budget. Unquestionably a star vehicle for Kevin Costner at the height of his popularity, it finds Costner taking on the roaming loner ala Max, sailing the endless ocean and wanting very much to just be left alone. Fate isn’t going to allow that though and he’s essentially forced to get involved.
Full of practical effects, large set pieces, and lots of stunt men, WATERWORLD is from a different era of blockbuster filmmaking. The expense and less than desired return on investment probably helped pave the way for our current cgi and green screen era of blockbusters featuring existing IP. However, all of the things that no doubt led to the cost overruns, like shooting on location, no doubt contribute to a unique feeling watching it today. These are real people on real locations and there’s a lot of ambition on display.
But, WATERWORLD is also a film with an offputting lead character, little chemistry between leads, and tonal inconsistencies. That may partly explain why its biggest lasting legacy is an amusement park stunt show.
Regardless, there’s a long full discussion on the movie. If that’s not enough, Andy DiGenova takes the time to talk about what it was like to develop the Waterworld attraction in Beijing and what personal touches he added to the park.
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WATERWORLD Discussion: 0:00 to 1:21:51
Next Film and Outro: 1:21:51 to End
Next month, we turn on one of Michael Crichton’s hot button topical thrillers with Michael Douglas and Demi Moore in DISCLOSURE. We hope you’ll join us.