My Interview with BOY WONDER Director Michael Morrissey

On Saturday night, attendees at New York Comic Con were treated to a special advance screening of the new vigalante pyschological thriller, BOY WONDER. On Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of interviewing BOY WONDER director Michael Morrissey about the film. During the interview, people kept coming up to the BOY WONDER booth raving about the previous night’s screening.

Tuesday Night Movies: What is BOY WONDER about?

Michael Morrissey: BOY WONDER is a dark psychological thriller about what would really happen if the typical superhero tale existed in the real world. And not like Kick Ass in the real world, kind of like a very serious take on the genre. We don’t mention superheroes. We don’t have capes or tights or anything like that. What would the kid’s life be like?

TNM: What inspired you to make this? Was it those vigilante guys in Seattle?

MM: No, it was quite the opposite. I’ve been reading comic books since I was 10 years old and I remember when I was kid, I thought I was going to be a superhero. And this kid, Sean Donovan, loses his mother when he is 10, very violently. What if you got stuck with that idea in your head as a 10 year old? He has a really screwed up situation – his father is an alchoholic. He lives with this idea and it kind of takes hold once he’s a teenager. I like this type of story and this is what I want to see.

TNM: Does BOY WONDER take place in New York City?

MM: Yeah, it’s shot all around New York and Brooklyn. I’m from Brooklyn. I grew up in Marine Park. The kid grew up in Marine Park. Kind of write what you know.

TNM: How was filming in New York City? Did you run into any difficulties while filming on location?

MM: Filming in New York City was great but expensive. And the noise is insane. There is no quiet location outdoors, you just have to hope for the best.

And filming in the NY subways is a crazy experience. Not something I would do again unless I had lots of Hollywood money.

TNM: What kind of preparation did your actors need to do for BOY WONDER?

MM: Caleb Steinmeyer, who plays Sean Donovan, put on about 20 pounds of muscle for the role. We had him in Brooklyn for nine weeks of training. He was very dedicated.

Michael Morrissey (left) and Caleb Steinmeyer (right)

TNM: Where is BOY WONDER opening?

MM: It’s opening in New York City on 10/21/11. It’s opening at the 3rd Ave & 11th St AMC. We’ll be in Chicago on 10/28. And then on 11/8, we’re everywhere: iTunes, Netflix, DVD, etc.

TNM: Has BOY WONDER appeared in any festivals?

MM: We have. We won about 14 film festivals. We won Best Picture at the Vail Film Festival. It shocked us because there were all these high falutin films. We won the Crystal Palace Film Festival in London, Sacremento, Williamsburg.

TNM: Is this your first movie? Did you go to film school?

MM: It’s my first feature. I’m self-taught. I was a writer first, then I did a couple of shorts and learned how to edit. I worked in television for a bit. I finished the script in 2000, tried to raise the money and finally got it done.

TNM: What’s next for you after BOY WONDER?

MM: Working on a new film called MOTHER, a phycological horror/thriller that takes place in Lake Tahoe. Kidnapped kids, female serial killer, nice Disney type stuff.
BOY WONDER opens tomorrow, Friday, 10/21/11 at the AMC 3rd Ave on the corner of 3rd Ave and 11 St in Manhattan.

Interview by Billy Henehan, Photo by Graig Kreindler.