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    First look on the suicidal squad and their new look.

Legion: a Supernatural Action-Thriller

When God loses faith in Mankind, He sends a legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse, in Columbia Pictures’ new supernatural action-thriller “Legion.” Humanity's only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner and the Archangel Michael.

Directed by special effects whiz kid Scott Stewart, “Legion” stars Paul Bettany (“The Da Vinci Code”), Dennis Quaid (“The Day After Tomorrow”) and Tyrese Gibson (“2 Fast 2 Furious”).

Scott Stewart talks about his feature directorial debut after bringing to life the special effects of such sensational films as “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy, “Superman Returns” and “Iron Man.”

Question: What elements of the story attracted you so much that you decided to make “Legion” your feature debut?

Scott Stewart: I liked the idea of these characters stuck in a diner in the middle of nowhere. Why they're necessarily the ones you're following and they're not just disposable people waiting for the next one to die. I wanted it to be a morality tale. I was raised Jewish so I was an Old Testament guy with no experience reading Revelations so I read a fundamentalist view, a teaching guide of Revelations. It was nuts. Crazy stuff. Let's make a movie about that stuff. The big line in the movie, that the Archangel Michael says, is "The last time God lost faith in man, he sent a flood. This time he sent what you see outside." You sort of ground that question in, "What would we do if the Noah's Ark scenario happened again?" What if it manifested itself in the contemporary world? It's sort of about the madness of suburban life becoming monstrous and attacking us. These characters are all dealing with family issues and on top of that angels with machine guns. Highway to Heaven with machine guns!

Q: Did it ever occur to you, during shooting, that a lot of directors cut their teeth on siege films like this? George Romero and so on?

Stewart: Oh yeah, it felt like a great place to start. What was also fun was creating a new mythology, taking stuff that was familiar to people, things that people find scary... There's something about these religious ideas, whether we believe in them or not, that instantly gets you in different ways than other things in the horror genre. Also, I love comic books. I love “Close Encounters,” I love “The Terminator” and it mashes everything together. It's a heavy action movie, but at the same time it's a horror movie and there are some fun moments.

Q: The “Terminator” elements are pretty apparent…

Stewart: That was the story as it was unfolding, absolutely. Unabashedly so. We're doing our own thing with the story, but it has those elements but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a major influence. Steal from the best.

Q: How did having the effects background influence knowing what you could and couldn't pull off?

Stewart: That's the other thing, even though I've worked on some of the "money is no object" visual effects movies as a visual effects artist, invariably a lot of times they're amazing and a lot of times you see them and you're like, "It was just about the effects." The movie was an excuse for those things. “Terminator” was amazing in that it was a $6 million movie, totally staggering that's all it cost. The effects were amazing for that time, they're still great. “Terminator 2” pushed the boundaries. I don't think you watch those movies and say they're effects films. I guess the short answer is I just wrote in effects what I wanted to see for the story.

(Opening soon across the Philippines, “Legion” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.)

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