The action-packed new thriller Til Death Do Us Part hits theaters this week, and we recently talked to the film’s director, Timothy Woodward Jr., about making a different kind of wedding movie, finding his ultimate ass-kicking bride, and more.
Starring Natalie Burn (Black Adam, The Enforcer), Til Death Do Us Part portrays the grim reality that not every romance story ends with happily ever after. After running away on her wedding day, a bride-to-be must fight for survival against her former fiancé and his seven deadly groomsmen. In the ultimate horror showdown that blends the thrills of John Wick with the twisted revenge tale of Kill Bill, the groomsmen soon discover that she has no intention of going back to the life she left behind.
Woodward tells HDN that it was actually Burn who brought the script to him for closer look after he initially passed on the project. “I was sent the script by a writer named Chad Law a while back, but I looked at the script and I didn’t actually pick it to do. Then Natalie Burn, who I was looking to collaborate with on something, she actually sent it to me and said, ‘You have to read this.’ So I looked at it and I saw that it had a Def Leppard quote in there from ‘Love Bites’, and I’m like, oh man this is cool.
“It read a little bit more straightforward, not as genre-bending and comedy, when it came to me, and I thought about it and said, ‘It’s cool but we need something to make it stand out.’ And I feel like there’s just so much opportunity here for some comedy, for some gory deaths, just really taking this thing and just bending it and let’s just twist it. So it came to me like that, and then I thought about it, and was like, let’s rock and roll.”
Woodward said that Burn’s background as a ballerina allowed her to perform all of her own stunts, which proved to be a major advantage during filming. “She’d be like. ‘What if I just backflip off this bookcase?’ And I’d say, ‘You’re just going to be able to backflip?’ She says, ‘Yeah.’ Two tries and there it is, she backflips over the guy holding on to him, and can hit him. Having these (stunt) performers who are able to to that, and then having Natalie, who’s able to do her own stunts, really opened up the world to me to be able to go, ‘Wow,’ I can kind of be a kid in a playground. I can kind of do whatever I want.
“But we didn’t want to get stuck in a world of choreographed action – swing, punch, miss – so we opened up with one fight that was a little more traditional, and then we just went completely haywire and ape-shit, and that was idea. As it goes and she’s out of ideas, and it’s more survival and it’s just crazier, it just gets wilder with the kills.”
Of course we also discussed celebrating Halloween with the Emmy winning director, as well as the challenges of making each of the many violent fight sequences seem different and never too repetitive.
You can watch our full exclusive interview with Timothy Woodward Jr. below.
Til Death Do Us Part opens in theaters this Friday, August 4.
For more Halloween news, follow @HalloweenDaily.