Return to Transcripts main page


Interview with Brett Ratner

Aired May 28, 2010 - 16:49:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): In Hollywood, if you're in with Brett Ratner, you're pretty much set.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: God, dear God. I'll give you what you want.


FOSTER: Best known for blockbusters like the "Rush Hour" franchise and "X-Men," Ratner is one of the industry's most successful directors. At 26, he directed his first film, the surprise box office hit, "Money Talks," with Charlie Sheen and Chris Tucker.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a funny guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's hysterical.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make no mistake, my brothers...


FOSTER: From there, he went on to make eighty feature films which have grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide.

And now, with the release of "Kites: The Remix," he's branching out into Bollywood. The film, which was released on the 21st of May, is the first Indian movie to enter the U.S. top 10 box office chart, making success look easy.

Brett Ratner is your Connector of the Day.


ANDERSON: What a clever man.

I spoke to him in London when he was here about his latest venture, bringing Bollywood to a Western audience.

And this is what he said.


BRETT RATNER, FILM DIRECTOR: You know, it was -- it was just, actually, an accident. I -- I met Rakesh Roshan, the producer of the film. He had dinner at my home. He said, you know, we just did a movie that my -- starring my son, would you like to see it?

I go, of course.

I go see the movie. And it was incredible because it was a -- it was a Bollywood movie that was made for an international audience. It was already kind of intended to be that.

And he said, well, what would you do if you were to release this movie in the United States?

I said well, I would take it from two hours and 40 minutes to 90 minutes. I would -- I would change the music. I would, you know, maybe mix it in a way, where the sound was fuller and not just with the dialogue.

And he goes, well, could you do that for me?

And I go, can I do that for you?

And I said, OK, fine, because I loved the movie. I thought the movie had incredible heart. And at the heart of it, there was a simple love story -- a simple love story that made movies like "Titanic" so successful, that made "Avatar" so successful.

ANDERSON: So there are two versions of "Kites," "Kites" and the "Kites Remix."

If I were to see them both, how would they differ?

RATNER: The story is the same, but you'll see it's a great -- I think it's a great experiment to -- or to -- or a process to show these two films in a film class back to back and to show, really, the Western version and the -- kind of the Indian version. And, really, the difference is that in -- in -- in a Bollywood movie, there's multiple genres. There's action, there's comedy, there's drama, there's romance.

So I kind of just simplified it. I took out the dancing. I took out stuff that stops the narrative. In an American or Hollywood movie, the narrative is flowing. In a Bollywood movie, it stops to dance.

ANDERSON: Bret, of all your films, what are you most proud of?

RATNER: I actually love the experience of making all my movies are wonderful. I think the movie that was most personal for me was "The Family Man," the movie that I made with Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni. I just loved the -- the film and I loved the experience of making that movie.

But I love "Rush Hour," I love "X-Men," I love all of them. All the movies were great experiences.

ANDERSON: But Jo has written to us. He says he's very excited about an "X-Men" spin-off and says: "Will you be involved?"

RATNER: No. I think I've kind of done the biggest and best version of what I could ever do. To revisit it kind of would be -- and it's not really my franchise. I mean if someone else did a "Rush Hour 4" and I came back to do a 5, maybe. But I started "Rush Hour" from scratch. It's really Brian Singer's franchise. So for me, I'm going to take a back seat and say, OK, I'm going to go start my own -- my new -- a new franchise.

ANDERSON: A viewer question here. Meredith asks: "What do you aspire to do next?"

RATNER: Retiring. No.


RATNER: No. I aspire to do -- I mean I've never done a musical. I've never done -- there's a few genres that I haven't tackled. And I just -- I love making films. It's -- it's -- for me, you know, I've done movies in four different genres. I'm not -- I'm not a strategist. I don't just go OK, I'm going to make three outtakes, I'm going to make three -- I -- like I go with my instincts.

So if I read a script and I love it, I've never made a -- well, I never made a science fiction movie. So there's a lot of movies that I still need to do. I'm still young. I still have many years to make films.

Woody Allen is in his '70s and he's making movies, so I look forward to -- to getting there.


ANDERSON: Good man. (INAUDIBLE) and talented, sheer genius.

Our next Connector of the Day was a full time college student at the age of six. This is Llewellyn Sanchez Werner or Werner. Now 13, he's already on his third degree, studying at the prestigious Julliard School of Music in New York. He is performing here as a special guest for the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra in Baghdad.

Now, if you've got anything you want to ask this music prodigy, do send us your questions. It's your part of the show. Do remember to tell us where you're writing from. And you can do all of that at That's the site.