'Red Riding Hood' Blows Into Hollywood

Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman and director Catherine Hardwicke attend film's windy, elaborate premiere.
Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images
Amanda Seyfried

It was a fairy tale evening as Warner Bros. premiered Red Riding Hood, the studio's modern take on the classic story, at the Chinese Theatre Tuesday night.

The night's gusts of wind, some reaching up to 49 mph according to weather forecasters, added to the fairy tale vibe which was taken to the next level at the after-party, which saw the grounds of the nearby Jim Henson Studios, already designed in English Tudor-style, turned into a storybook village.

"They really pulled the stops out," noted Gary Oldman, who plays a zealous werewolf hunter in the movie, which stars Amanda Seyfried as a young woman caught in a love triangle while also caught in the sights of a lycanthrope.

Hood has an unmistakable Twilight vibe, not surprising since it was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the woman behind the first installment of the vampire franchise.

Here she is once again in the topic of young love, this time with a werewolf in the mix.

"I think I like that time period," she said about her predisposition for youth-centerd protagonists. "It's tumultuous, it's chaotic, and you have every possibility. You get boobs, you get a body, it's the first time you kiss a boy or drive a car. It's the first impulses and you're trying to figure out, who am I? What kind of person am going to be be?"

Hood is on the beginning wash of a wave of movies based on fairy tales and classic literary works, Hollywood's latest obsession.

Shiloh Fernandez, one of the Hollywood's rising male stars who makes up one of the points in the love triangle, easily summed up why Hollywood likes fairy tales: "It's something that is familiar to everybody so your marketing is kind of done for you already. Everybody is going to talk about it. Even if you hate it, you'll talk about it. 'Screw you, you're adapting my favorite fairy tale and I won't go see it.' But it's still in their psyche."

From a storytelling point of view, what make fairy tales endure is that characters and objects often sublimate for deeper subjects, with the Little Red Riding Hood having more levels than most, judging by college thesis papers alone.

"It's part of our culture in a way so many other fairy tales are not," said Jennifer Davisson Killoran, who produced the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio via the duo's Appian Way production company. "For example, everybody's got a big bad wolf in their life and the story allows you to deal with it in a figurative manner."

Julie Yorn and Alex Mace also produced the movie.

Still, a few people think there's an over-analysis going on with these fairy tale movies.

Said Oldman: "Someone asked me if my character and his coming, which causes a lot of mistrust and paranoia, could relate to the paranoia that was around 9-11. And you go, 'F---ing hell man, it's Little Red Riding Hood. It's a werewolf movie. For 14-year olds!' "

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