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Jonah Hex Movie Production Notes

Bringing the Comic Book Legend to the Screen

MEGAN FOX as Lilah and JOSH BROLIN as Jonah Hex in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' action adventure "JONAH HEX," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. TM & © DC Comics. Photo by Jamie Trueblood

In the action-packed adventure thriller "Jonah Hex," Josh Brolin brings the tough Civil War veteran and bounty hunter to life with a bad-ass attitude and wry humor. A man who has gone to hell and back and has the scars to prove it, Jonah Hex is not your typical hero. In his quest for revenge, he will take down any villain with a price on his head to rid the Earth of all the evil he has witnessed. "He's an absolute complete loner from every point of view," says Josh Brolin, the acclaimed actor playing the title role. "He's tortured. He's full of rage and guilt. His journey in this movie is personal--he wants revenge."

Megan Fox plays Lilah, the beautiful yet tough courtesan at a New Orleans brothel who becomes his partner in crime. Together, in a sprawling adventure that takes them to the heart of the deep South, Lilah joins forces with Jonah to bring down Quentin Turnbull, played by John Malkovich, a former colonel in the Confederate army.

Jonah lost his family to Turnbull's murderous vengeance and will stop at nothing to see him dead, but Turnbull has his own score to settle with the gunslinger. When Jonah and Lilah come face to face with Turnbull's mad schemes, Jonah has to draw on all his powers--both of this world and beyond--to stop him.

"'Jonah Hex' is a classic revenge tale with the future of the union hanging in the balance," says producer Akiva Goldsman. "Jonah Hex has access to the netherworld. He can talk to the dead and is unstoppable, possibly even unkillable, though Turnbull will try. Jonah is a unique hero."

"There is a spiritual element that follows Jonah everywhere he travels," Brolin adds, "and no one really knows how he got that way. What is the truth? What's not the truth? Half of his whole background is lore."

The roots of DC Comics' popular and long-running Jonah Hex comic book series trace back to the 1970s. Originated as a purely Western tough, the character has crossed boundaries and genres that steeped him in elements of the supernatural.

The film's screenplay, by the team of Neveldine & Taylor, emerges from the look and tone of the graphic novels but creates an all new adventure for the gunslinger. "People who read the comic came out loving the character," Neveldine says.

Taylor adds, "We were drawn to the character of Jonah Hex...he's a haunted soul driven by revenge, a man of violence; but he's got a sense of humor too. He's vulgar, he's sarcastic...the flawed human being behind the campfire legend."

Producer Andrew Lazar, who has wanted to bring Jonah Hex to the screen for almost 15 years, observes, "Jonah Hex is a guy who has his own version of what justice is. He's the kind of guy that would prefer to save an animal than a human, especially if that human is morally corrupt, and is not afraid to kill somebody if he needs to. He has taken many bullets and not died--a guy who's got one foot in the grave, one foot out of the grave. So, between that lore and the scar on his face, he has become this kind of mythological figure in the West."

"This is a tortured, mutilated man that is tough as nails, can take on anybody and can virtually hear bullets coming at him," director Jimmy Hayward offers. "He's a hero to some, a villain to most. Wherever he goes, people speak his name in whispers. As Turnbull says, 'Hex doesn't know how to die.' But as you tear off the layers of Jonah Hex, you realize he's a guy who paid for his role in the Civil War and has redeemed himself, and then had everything taken away from him in a time and place where life is cheap and good men die like dogs. And he wants his revenge."

The key component in realizing Hayward's vision was the man playing the title role. "When Josh Brolin is playing Jonah Hex, he carries that complete bad-ass attitude," says Hayward. "He carries the scar as if it's been with him all his life, and all you've got to do is look in his eyes to see everything you need to know about Jonah Hex."

"Josh is a world class actor," producer Akiva Goldsman adds. "He's a great anchor and speaks to the emotions of the movie and of the narrative. In his work, he's a lot like Jonah Hex--he does what it takes to get it done. He brings a real depth of emotion to the character."

The disfiguring scar that mars Jonah's face and in many ways defines him is barely noticed by Lilah, one of Jonah's last remaining connections to humanity and possibly his only weakness. Megan Fox feels her character's own journey in life mirrors Hex's in many ways, and was drawn to the star-crossed nature of their relationship. "Jonah Hex is very jaded from his past," she says. "He's so afraid of loving someone because he can't ever be vulnerable. And then you have Lilah, who is in love with him, and this struggle exists between the two of them, with her trying to get him to open up and accept her and love her fully."

Unlike Jonah, Lilah carries her scars on the inside. "Megan did an amazing job bringing both toughness and sensuality to this role," Goldsman says. "Megan easily moved back and forth between being 'the girl' to being somebody who's going to do some ass-kicking on her own. And she makes the connection Lilah shares with Jonah palpable and real. She wants to be his partner in crime."

But Jonah resists being close with anyone, much less Lilah. "He's a hardened bounty hunter and thinks that if anyone gets close to him, they're going to die," Brolin notes. "That created an interesting balancing act for us between telling that kind of anti-love story and having them be intimate with one another. Ultimately, they can't be together because they both have unfinished business."

For Jonah Hex, the unfinished business is Quentin Turnbull, the man who murdered his family in an act of revenge against Jonah for killing his own son, who was Jonah's best friend and fellow soldier. "Quentin is a guy who had his heart ripped out in the Civil War," Hayward notes. "He has a shared history with Jonah Hex: they both brought brutal tragedies to each other's lives. When Jonah learns Turnbull is alive, nothing on this earth--or the next--can stop him from finding the man who took away his family."

John Malkovich notes that Turnbull's quest for revenge is a broad, wide-ranging assault, "Turnbull holds Jonah Hex responsible for the death of his son, who was in the same unit as him. But I think, in a bigger sense, his problem is the fact that he holds the North responsible for a kind of annihilation of a way of life. He still has immensely hard feelings and a sense of grievance unleashed by those terrible years."

Working in the shadows with stolen munitions and cutting-edge military devices, Turnbull has set his sights on nothing less than destroying the Union that emerged from the war and ended what Turnbull perceived as the South's primacy. "Most people who do bad or even questionable acts are described as villains, but I don't think they see themselves particularly as villains," the actor states.

Malkovich made the character a worthy adversary for Brolin's embodiment of Hex. Lazar states, "There's nobody better than Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex, and as good as your hero is, you want to weigh the movie with a villain that has just as much power."

Brolin says, "It was very easy to act against what John created, which was something that was far and beyond what any of us foresaw. John brought so much to the movie in the role, and in his demeanor and generosity as an actor. He can carry unpredictable rage like no one else. You don't know when it's coming, but when it does it comes straight at you. He's such an incredible inspiration."

"It's pretty fun to see John and Josh go toe to toe at one another," says Lazar. "You couldn't get two finer actors. 'Jonah Hex' is based on this really iconic comic book, then you've got a center, Josh Brolin, whose body of work is completely unique and credible. And then you have John Malkovich. So, you've got this amazing comic book and heightened western experience, and at its center are these two phenomenal actors."

After Turnbull and his crew hijack a Union train and rob from it dangerous munitions, President Grant, played by Aidan Quinn, starts to see the warning signs of Turnbull's violent plot to execute a catastrophic terrorist attack on the Union. "Turnbull is leading a gang of marauders in hopes of organizing them to overthrow the United States government in Washington," Malkovich comments.

Grant himself sets Jonah back onto Turnbull's trail, sending Lieutenant Grass, played by Will Arnett, along with his younger counterpart, Lieutenant Evan, played by John Gallagher, Jr., to enlist Hex in the hunt for Turnbull.

Though Arnett is better known for his career in comedy, this is a serious role. The actor observes, "Grass is a representative of the Union army, which has just won the Civil War, and he's kind of pompous about that. His attitude is, 'We put down this revolt. We're in charge now, and this is how the world is going to work. We're going to use information; we're going to use technology; we're going to use communication systems that haven't existed prior to this. And you're all going to get in line.'"

Lieutenant Evan, by contrast, is less admiring of the U.S. government and more taken with the myth surrounding Jonah Hex. "He really admires Hex and has a bit of hero worship for him, but is himself a rather meek and mild Union soldier who is just following orders from Grass," Gallagher says. "But you get the sense that Evan would rather be galloping off with Jonah Hex, taking orders from him."

At the top of Turnbull's ruthless pack of outlaws is Burke, a tattooed, maniacal Irishman, played by Michael Fassbender. "He's a pretty shifty character," Fassbender relates. "I don't think he's got much of a conscience, really. He does what he pleases. He's a survivor essentially, kind of like a rat, but he's smart. He'll adapt and improvise to whatever circumstances he's in. But he'll always keep an eye on his own back."

Goldsman points out that having to take on both Turnbull and Burke stacks the deck against Jonah Hex, "Between the deviousness and madness that Michael brings to Burke and the quiet rage of John's Turnbull, together they combine to be a formidable force for darkness."

Also aiding in Turnbull's plan is Adelman Lusk, a wealthy plantation owner who doesn't grasp the full scope of the former Colonel's madness. Lusk, played by Wes Bentley, simply believes the South will rise again and is in league with Turnbull for profit, while Turnbull becomes less and less rational each day. "I imagined someone who would do this as being an extremely weaselly guy," Bentley says. "He's a bit of a mole or a traitor. He has enough involvement with the government to provide the information for the traitorous acts that Turnbull wants to inflict on the country."

Despite being outnumbered, Jonah has resources of his own, including the wily Lilah, who comes to Jonah's aid when he needs her most. His path to finding Turnbull is informed by the dead--whose secrets only Jonah can hear--as well as strange and brutal survivors of the war living out in the margins of society. To locate a former Colonel in the Confederate army, played by Tom Wopat, Jonah ventures into the carnival sideshow of Doc Cross Williams, played by Michael Shannon. "On the evening that Jonah Hex finds his way to Doc Cross's carnival, he's presenting these brutal contests, like the wolf versus the mongrel," Shannon describes. "We wind it up with a very special presentation of Doc's unique beast, which is a creature possibly from the netherworld, or maybe just a disfigured human. It's hard to tell when you see him. But Jonah finds a special use for this abomination, and I won't say how that turns out except that it's the last night of Doc's carnival for now," the actor grins.

He also pays a visit to his old friend, Smith, a former slave and a weapons expert, played by Lance Reddick. "In his travels, Jonah has made friends and enemies both," Brolin says. "Lucky for him, Smith is a friend, and helps him obtain the resources he needs to face down his enemies."

HEIGHTENED REALITY

Creating the world of Jonah Hex

To bring the Jonah Hex graphic novels to life, Hayward and the producers collaborated with the key department heads to craft an original, visceral world that would reinvent the iconic Western aesthetic and reflect the story's comic book origins. "Whether it was the cinematography, production design, makeup or the costume design, we wanted it all to be a little heightened," Lazar explains. "We asked ourselves, 'How far can you take it while staying authentic? How do we keep one foot in reality but also pay tribute to the fact that Jonah Hex has been this amazing comic book?' Essentially, we were able to take reality and stylize it just enough to make it seem totally unique."

The character's trademark, of course, is the disfiguring scar that takes up half his face. It is the result of Quentin Turnbull's branding iron and a lifelong reminder of the lust for revenge Jonah carries in his heart. "Jonah Hex was my favorite comic book character growing up, and the scar is so much a part of who he is," says Hayward. "To me, the most striking part of Jonah Hex was that rope of skin that stretches over his mouth. If I look at all the different versions of Jonah Hex that have been drawn over the years, the one unifying idea is this scar.

To create a lifelike prosthetic that would reflect the production's vision for the character's look while nodding at the tradition of the comic, Brolin and the filmmakers worked with makeup effects artist Christien Tinsley and his effects company, Tinsley Studio. "We went through all these different variations of what it should be and what it shouldn't be," Brolin recalls, "and Christien came up with this ingenious contraption to make it real. Doing something practically gives you a lot of freedom to be creative."

Tinsley began by attaching a silk tab to the right side of Brolin's face to make the skin taut and allow for a thinner look. Next, he applied the first layer prosthetic and placed dentures that housed a high gauge dental wire to draw back the lips and push the cheek inward to create the negative space that is the Jonah Hex trademark. Finally, Tinsley applied a silicone prosthetic, painted the pieces to blend into Brolin's skin and added facial hair stubble to complete the look.

The complexity of creating a realistic version of a comic book character through makeup and without the aid of VFX enhancement was a challenge the makeup artist reveled in. "From the beginning, I knew we could not match exactly the comic book's exaggerated look nor did we want to," he comments. "We were balancing an emotionally complicated character that audiences needed to connect with while offering the flavor of the comic book drawings. In order to achieve the look, we knew that it would be an uncomfortable process for the actor. However, Josh was always very encouraging and didn't want to detract from the look simply because of the discomfort. He wanted reality...and he was willing to go through the process in order to achieve that."

The notion of heightened reality infused the entire production, particularly the costumes created by costume designer Michael Wilkinson and his team. For Jonah Hex, Wilkinson offers, "I like the ambiguous quality that Jonah has in that he seems to be unkillable. People have taken shots at him over the years and he keeps going. He's a true anti-hero, not just a two-dimensional 'good guy." With his costume, I wanted to explore how he walks the line between a gritty, sweaty realism and the stylized world of the graphic novel."

Wilkinson started with the Confederate wool grays that are right out of the graphic novels, and topped it with a linen duster jacket that would help tell Jonah's tale. "You have the litany of his past in his duster jacket," Wilkinson says. "There are many gunshots through it as well as bloodstains, rips, tears, dried mud and dirt. He has been wandering the Southern states since the Civil War ended, and he presumably hasn't changed clothes in that time. They're all aged beautifully--scraped, sandpapered, sprayed and splattered. And the filmmakers really liked the vision of him riding through the ranges with his cape flowing behind him almost with a kind of quasi-superhero kind of feel."

Jonah comes equipped with impressive weaponry. In addition to his tomahawk, his 1873 Colt in one holster, and a Remington conversion in the other, Jonah has rigged twin Gatling guns affixed to his horse, which he puts to good use in bringing in his bounty. He also obtains from Smith a crossbow rigged to shoot sticks of dynamite instead of arrows.

Property master Keith Walters wanted to stay within the realm of believability for the era but also invent new types of weapons for the story. "The Gatling guns on Jonah's saddle and the dynamite crossbow are complete inventions," he notes. "We had both of these fabricated to look like the real thing but lighter. Jonah also uses a flame thrower in his final fight with Turnbull's men; those weren't used in the Civil War, though they did exist. But the Gatling guns Turnbull has armed his ship with are the real things."

Lilah's weapons of choice are a push-dagger and a single shot Derringer that are both easily concealable within her garter belts and corsets. In crafting costumes for Megan Fox's Lilah, Wilkinson says he wanted them to be as character-driven as Jonah's. "Megan has an amazing physique and we wanted to show her like she's never been seen before. So, we corseted her right down to her twenty-inch waist, which is kind of unbelievable. But we wanted to beat up her costumes to show that her clothes weren't just a fashion statement. She looks beautiful, but her character has a back story. She's very worn around the edges; she has limited resources, and there's an element of desperation to her. So, we put a lot of work into aging all of her costumes so it felt like she'd been wearing the same pieces for awhile, in different combinations. All of her clothes have a sense of history to them."

"Michael is a brilliant man, and the costumes he created for Lilah were amazing," raves Fox. "I had never worn a corset before, so I had to get used to it, but it definitely helped with the character. It changed the way I held myself, the way I walked, the way I breathed, which even changed the way I speak. It really helped me get into Lilah's skin and experience, moment-by-moment, the kind of restrictions she's used to living with."

As with the other characters, Wilkinson layered Turnbull's history into Malkovich's wardrobe. "For John's costumes, there's a sense of Turnbull's past and what he has given up," Wilkinson describes. "Prior to the Civil War, he had a beautiful plantation down South. He gave all that up. He escaped into the woods and formed his own army and went totally underground. So, I liked the sense that you could get a feel of the richness of the clothes that he used to wear--the lustrous wool, the beautiful silk vest, the velvet frock coat. But he had maybe worn these clothes year in, year out, slept in them, eaten in them, ridden horses in them. The top layer is a long suede duster jacket with gritty fur. There's an element of a wild man superimposed over a rich plantation owner, and I liked the clashing of those two worlds." Completing the look is Turnbull's cane, which Keith Walters fabricated at Hayward's direction.

Using a local tailor and a wealth of research, Wilkinson and his team put together the entire film's wardrobe from scratch--from mining town desperados to brothel workers to U.S. soldiers--to ensure the authenticity of the clothes. "I like the sense when you're looking at a tableau on the screen that nothing feels cheated, it is complete, and finely detailed," he states. "I love when you notice that there's a stain on a cuff or a rip on a collar, or unmatching shoe laces. When the camera sweeps past the background performers, I want every last one to be worthy of a close-up."

For production designer Tom Meyer, the challenge was to create a rich, detailed, believable world that would inform Jonah's tumultuous journey. "As he meanders across the West, through the Southwest, and eventually into the deep South into Louisiana, you are getting closer and closer to his past and deeper into his true character and history," Meyer explains. "The deep South itself is a great visual metaphor for the ghosts that he's either running from or trying to conquer and put to rest. So, we start off in the West--in the hot, dry desert sand--and as we move South, things get wetter and deeper and a little more complicated."

Remarkably, the production managed to find all of these different vistas in and around New Orleans, Louisiana. "We shot in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans, but we also shot in every direction outside the city," Meyer comments. "One of the things that we wanted to do throughout the film was to shoot as much in-camera as possible and not augment the sets with too much CGI. The idea was to layer the supernatural elements over a real, very dirty post-Civil War America. This isn't the future where you can get away with things that are imagined. People have a sense of history and especially Americana and the West and the Southwest. And so if we could build something real in three dimensions, it would give us the kind of depth and realism we wanted."

One of the company's largest builds was the silver mining town Stunk Crick, where Jonah delivers his bounty of four corpses to the sheriff and engages in an explosive shoot-out with the town's toughs. Stunk Crick was built from the ground up, 14 buildings including a five story mining building and a road nearly two miles long that extended into the backwoods of a private property in St. Francisville, Louisiana.

"It's from comic books, so it needed to be surreal to some degree," Meyer observes. "I saw these photos of sand dunes in Louisiana, and having looked at daguerreotypes and tintypes of the period of silver mining towns, these sand dunes just clicked for me. It was literally a giant sandbox that we could push around with bull dozers and sculpt into a desert valley. So, we built the Stunk Crick set at this location, with the kind of wide-open streets and flat facades that were common for the era. I wanted it to be a believable, three-dimensional space so the camera would be able to move around in it. We had lumber milled specially for the town so it would appear period, and you could see the fibers of the wood."

"We built this small Nevada mining town in a sand spit in Louisiana," Hayward recounts. "When you look at the storyboards, it's amazing how close Tom got the location to what we dreamed up because Louisiana doesn't look anything like this."

The New Orleans area offered the production a wealth of divergent settings, beginning with the historic French Quarter, which only required a layering of dirt over the street, signage, horse drawn carriages and set dressing to look as it might have in the 1800s; the historic Rosedown Plantation in St. Francisville; City Park, a former golf course that became overgrown post-Hurricane Katrina, which became a town called Cactus Hole, complete with the narrow alleys of low slung adobe buildings and a fully built Catholic mission church with four-story bell tower co-opted into Lilah's brothel lording over the town; and Crown Point, on the edge of the Jean Lafitte Preserve. Another key location was historic Fort Pike, which is one of the only standing forts left from the early 19th century. Relatively unscathed from the war (though it did not escape Hurricane Katrina), it became Fort Resurrection, where Turnbull prepares his onslaught.

For the sequence in which Turnbull and his men hijack and destroy a train, the company set up tracks in Raceland, southwest of New Orleans. This was one of the most challenging sequences, involving horses, a moving train and live explosives, and to accomplish it all practically, the production required a real working train.

"We built 500 feet of full-scale running train cars at Raceland," Meyer recalls. "We looked at a lot of locomotives all across the country and ended up using one that was based out of New Orleans, The Spirit of St. Louis. Its scale was much bigger than anything of the period of the 1860s or '70s, so I had to make everything else over-scale--we added the big diamond smokestack, cow catcher and a giant lantern. We built two flat cars for armament transport, an open air troop transport car, a fully built first class car, and an agriculture cart for sugarcane that literally rains down fire following the explosion. The idea was to take the reality and turn it on its head a little bit. I still wanted it to look like something of the period but tweaked to match the aesthetic of the movie."

"The train looked amazing and the people that operated it were incredible," says Hayward. "Seeing what those guys actually had to do to keep that thing rolling was pretty remarkable. The amount of work that went into it, with the heat and the belching sparks and flames, was pretty cool."

To complete some of the interiors for the film, production set up soundstages in Harahan, where Meyer and his crew created sets such as the brothel where Lilah has a room; the Union officers' tent; the interior cannon deck of Turnbull's ship; a Native American sweat tent; and Doc Cross's elaborate fight carnival theatre tent.

But perhaps the largest set piece of the film was Turnbull's technological creation--an armed battleship from which he plans to launch his attack on the United States. A full-size 150-foot ship based on the period Merrimack was constructed in Bayou Gauche, a scenic marshland criss-crossed with interlocking canals, about 36 miles southwest of New Orleans. Here, Meyer, supervising art director Seth Reed, art director Jonah Markowitz and construction coordinator Chuck Stringer and their teams constructed the ship as it stood in dry dock, waiting to set sail and take on the new Union navy.

"We based the ship on the Merrimack and other ironsides of the period," says Meyer. "This is the vessel that Turnbull is resuscitating to make his big charge up the Potomac and attack D.C. We also built a 90-foot boat modeled after the Monitor in a boatyard and then barged it up from the shipyards to our set, through several drawbridges and around Lake Ponchartrain. Building these huge 19th-century battleships was pretty exciting. The sculpting and plaster department made a full gun deck of 14-foot cannons that SFX rigged to fire and recoil for the final battle."

Additional shooting was completed in and around Los Angeles, including exteriors at Disney Ranch and at Melody Ranch, both in Newhall; interiors at L.A. Center Studios; and City Hall, which stood in for the Federal Reserve. A tank in Long Beach was used for a water sequence with Jonah and Lilah.

THE SOUTH RISES

The Action of Jonah Hex

Of all the battles seen in the film, the most complex and elaborate took place on Turnbull's ship, where production utilized the largest number of extras in the production. Many of them were Civil War reenactors, who came with their own period-specific costumes and weapons for the fight between Turnbull's boat and a Yankee cutter.

"We used a lot stunt people to perform the falls and high risk stunts, but the reenactors did a lot of shooting because they came with their own period guns and know the drill," says stunt coordinator and second unit director Steve Ritzi. "With so much mayhem, this scene required really careful choreography and a lot of collaboration with Tom Meyer's crew to ensure maximum safety."

In addition to the sequences shot on location in Louisiana, some of the tight hallways and other spaces within the belly of the ship were shot at the USS Lane Victory, a ship docked in San Pedro. This is where Lilah engages in a cat and mouse stand-off with Turnbull's thugs. "Megan is accustomed to action through her work in the 'Transformers' movies, so she was ready to take out five guys in a gunfight," stunt coordinator Chris O'Hara offers. "On the ship, the hallways are really tight and we worked with her on how to move through them. She picked it up quickly and is very convincing in this tense stand-off between Lilah and Turnbull's men."

O'Hara also worked with Brolin and Malkovich to bring bone-crunching realism to the stand-off between the two longtime enemies, Hex and Turnbull. "We tested this sequence with a team of stuntmen to make sure it could be done safely, considering how intense the fight is, and John and Josh came in and did it flawlessly. Having such intense actors as Brolin and Malkovich delivering lines as they're beating the hell out of each other was definitely the highlight of the experience."

Doc Cross's carnival tent was another site of a major action sequence. Built like a Western-style gladiator arena with a pit and raised bleachers above for the audience, the ring is the site of dog fights as well as fights between men. Although real dogs performed in the sequence, animatronic puppets were also used to ensure the animals weren't harmed.

This sequence features an arena fight with an incredibly nimble man who looks more like a creature than a human being. To fill this role, the filmmakers enlisted free runner, stuntman and extreme skateboarder William Spencer, whom Christien Tinsley made over as a feral subhuman killing machine. "William was able to do all these crazy moves wearing prosthetics," describes Ritzi. "He did an amazing job playing this character where he was running across walls and flipping over Jonah. It helped make it a really visceral fight."

But through all the action--both natural and unnatural--the cast and filmmakers sought to ground the story in the mythos of these original characters originating from the acclaimed graphic novels. From the shoot-out at Stunk Crick to the ring fight in Doc Cross's carnival tent, to the final confrontation on board Turnbull's ship, Hayward sought to merge gritty realism with a comic book sensibility.

"In the graphic novels, the whole Western mythology is a jumping off point that takes Jonah into deeper, stranger realms," Hayward says. "Visually, we wanted the movie to take the audience on the same kind of journey."

"We have full-tilt action sequences in this movie, but we also have quiet moments where you see Jonah with Lilah and get a window into his soul," says Lazar. "I think that in non-sentimental ways, in the midst of this cocktail of action and revenge, this movie really brings out the heart of Jonah Hex. It may be dark and blackened, but it shows why this character has endured for so long and gained a fanbase. So, whether you're a fan of Westerns or even supernatural Westerns, we made a real conscious decision to try to bring a sense of excitement and a new world to 'Jonah Hex.'"

Goldsman adds, "This story, this tone, and these characters are plumbed from comics across the lifetime of the character. 'Jonah Hex' is the embodiment of western myths, but twisted together in fun, bizarre and totally fresh ways."

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