INTERVIEW:Rim of The World Writer Zack Stentz talks about the film, Marvel, Summer Camp and Aliens

Get ready to return to summer camp because that is exactly what will happen this Friday when Rim of the World will premiere on Netflix. On this movie, four teenagers that are on a summer camp vacation must save the world from an alien invasion. They all must band together to give the aliens a much deserved defeat so they can live to tell the tale when they go back to school in the fall. The movie stars Jack Gore, Benjamin Flores Jr., Andrew Bachelor, Miya Ceth, and Alessio Scalzotto and is directed by Mcg. The film is written by Zack Stentz who is known for his work on Marvel Cinematic Universe film Thor, X-Men: First Class, and The Terminator: The Sarah Chronicles. I got a chance to speak with him for a few minutes about the film along with his previous work as well in this great interview below.

You have many movies under your name such as X-Men: First Class, Marvel’s Thor, and Agent Cody Banks along with The Flash television show. How does it feel to see your work on those series with those larger than life characters play on screen and was there any high pressure on you and Ashley Edward Miller at all to write those characters that we have seen over the years? 

Zack: There is nothing like the rush of something that once existed only in your imagination or as pixels on a screen appear 30 feet tall in a darkened theater. And there was HUGE pressure on me and Ash on the Marvel films. Thor was considered a huge gamble at the time (a space viking with a magic hammer??) and with X-Men First Class we only had 10 days to write a script that could get a greenlight from a director. But sometimes insane pressure like that results in your best work!

Oh my! 10 days for that script for X-Men? I can imagine how stressful it is. But the finished product turned out great as I did actually liked that film. Going back to the early stages of the development of Thor, Do you have any funny stories of Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston during your time writing Thor? And also, it was recently announced that Chris Hemsworth will star in the upcoming Hulk Hogan biopic. What was your reaction to that news when it broke? 

Zack: Honestly, I didn’t interact a lot with Hemsworth or Hiddleston during filming, though whenever I see either of them they’re lovely and being embraced by Hemsworth is like being hugged by a friendly oak tree. I think he’s a terrific actor though I’m not keen to see him play Hulk Hogan, especially given the sleaziness and racism that are now attached to Hogan because of that leaked tape. 

So that means that the upcoming Hulk Hogan film will not do it for you. I do believe that there will be backlash about the film one way or another. But that is absolutely great that both of them interacted with you! Now on to Rim Of The World. How did this film started and how many ideas went through your head before the casting of the actors even begun?

Zack: I wrote the original script back in 2016 and it was completed in a form pretty close to what you’ll see onscreen long before the young actors were cast. We were really delighted with all four of the kids, who are very close to what I envisioned. Zhenzhen is a little younger than I first imagined and Dariush was originally written as Iranian-American but Benji Flores came in and gave such an incredible audition that we rewrote the character to be half-black and half-Persian to more closely reflect his ethnicity. 

How long did it take for the kids to get in character if you have seen them act their scenes on set? and based on what I seen on the trailer, summer camp with an alien invasion is a nice twist. Was summer camp always the setting you had in mind when you were going through the script in your head? And have you ever went to summer camp when you were younger?

Zack: The kids did a lot of rehearsals and lived together at a hotel resort up near Mammoth Lakes for the first week of shooting, where they got a chance to really bond and get into character for the film. And yes, the premise of the film was summer camp + alien invasion from the start, because the camp environment seemed like a natural place to get kids away from adult supervision so they could have their own adventure. And the alien invasion took away their smart phones and other technology so they were even more knocked out of their comfort zones!

That is great that they all got along during the production of the film. Now since this will be up on Netflix in a few days, were there any scenes that you had in your script that were filmed that got cut from the final version of the film? And If those were your kids on a summer camp trip that turned into an alien invasion, would you believe them if they told you that it happened the same way as the film?

Zack: A few scenes were cut from the original script before filming and we filmed a lot of improvisational comedy especially during the summer camp sense where we let the actors go on anon but only used a little bit of it. Especially when the humor got a little too raunchy for a family movie. And if my kids were caught at summer camp in the middle of an alien invasion I would be happy if they were a quarter is smart and resourceful as our heroes of the movie!

Rim of the World will premiere worldwide on May 24th, 2019 on Netflix! Be sure to check it out.

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