At the Russian premiere of The Physician (2013) film in Moscow, which happened as a part of the Promotional Tour for the movie, we caught up with its creators for the new story based on the Noah Gordon’s novel. Director Philipp Stölzl and actor Tom Payne during their European voyage. The film also starred sir Ben Kingsley, Stellan Skarsgard, Emma Rigby and Olivier Martinez.
Philipp Stölzl told us that he had been working on this film for 2,5 years. The script differs from the original book and reminds its shortened version grabbing the most important essence and many iconic scenes. The adaptation was penned by Jan Berger. In our Interview, we are presenting to you below in the Video format in HD-quality, we discussed with him the vital features of this story’s adaptation and its connections with the book. Full Text of this entire conversation is also available on our website.
The Physician is the first book in the Rob Cole dynasty’s trilogy. The original novel appeared in late 1980′s. The story takes place in the Middle Ages. Starting in England with one orphaned boy, who becomes an assistant to the barber surgeon learning the basics of medicine mixed with some tricks. However, he desires more real knowledge, which at the time could only be obtained at the Isfahan’s academy in the heart of Persia located in the Far East. There the hero would like to travel to, while meeting his new crush along the way. He will have to survive many dangers in the background of the war for Isfahan.
The director looked suprprised, when we told him about the plans of the producers to shoot new sequels based upon two other stories from the Noah Gordon’s trilogy. Therefore, he didn’t rush to express his confidence in helming them. Philipp called the project ambitious and long, preferring to keep currrently his creative freedom. For the chance of sequels to work out the producers need good box office figures in the main markets for the movie located in Germany and in Spain, while Russia became one of the few other countries, where the film is released theatrically as well.
Philipp Stölzl is proud of his work with many international stars. Being also an Opera director and music videos helmer he has had a chance to collaborate with Garbage, Madonna, Rammstein and other performers. He penned scripts for his films and directed movies several times, proving his ability to interact with many international acting teams. For example, in The Expatriate (2011) he directed Aaron Eckhart, Liana Liberato and Olga Kurylenko. Here the most unusual moment of all the casting process was to choose young Tom Payne as the lead person strengthening him with such acting veterans as sir Ben Kingsley and Stellan Skarsgard getting their second plan roles in The Physician.
Philipp Stölzl (Director): «The novel was a big bestselling hit in the late 1980′s. In 1986 it came out reaching up to 20 mln. readers all over the Europe. Since that time various directors and producers tried to handle this adaptation, but the film was considered a cursed project. No one could really pull it off, because the novel is so huge with 850 pages, 50 years of narrative time, a lot of character arcs, locations where heroes travel to. It looks nearly impossible to this into a movie. In order to make one, you have to cut and to find the 5% of the script that really can be the heart and soul of the novel. It was really difficult for most people.
Running Time: 8 minutes and 37 seconds.
Philipp Stölzl about The Physician