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“I ask two questions: Why tell this story? And why tell it now?” Dan Lin told the Producer Roundtable. “The values and themes of a movie, if they align with my personal values, I think I’m much more motivated in telling that story, but also I look at why tell the story now?”
“The world is in dissension right now,” he went on to say. There are “all these different sides fighting, and each of these Popes represents a different side, a different point of view.”
When it came to casting the film, Lin said, “It was Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins. There was literally no backup. … I appreciated the honesty [of Netflix head of original films Scott Stuber], but also, it’s very clear as a producer: This is the assignment. You land these actors, you have a green light — you don’t, you have no movie.” Lin’s other recent work from 2019 includes Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Aladdin.
The full Producer Roundtable is set to air Jan. 26 on SundanceTV. Lin appears on the roundtable panel with Charlize Theron (Bombshell), David Heyman (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Peter Chernin (Ford v Ferrari), Emma Tillinger Koskoff (Joker, The Irishman) and Debra Martin Chase (Harriet). Follow all the Oscar season roundtables at THR.com/Roundtables.
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