“From my point of view, the design was a great technical challenge, because a lot of what is there is based on history, [and you] really have to kind of work within that world,” Greyhound production designer David Crank says about finding the perfect balance in the Tom Hanks starrer from Apple TV+. “We certainly took a lot of liberties with it, but it has to appear as if it’s in that world.”
Crank and costume designer Julie Weiss discussed the Aaron Schneider-directed drama at Deadline’s Contenders Film awards-season event. Adopted by Hanks from CS Forester’s 1955 novel The Good Shepherd, Greyhound has all the hallmarks of a classic WWII film, with a unique intimacy.
Debuting on Apple TV+ around the world on July 10, this film has a lot of battleship action as Hanks’ Capt. Ernest Krause, newly minted in his position and charged with heading a vital supply convoy to the UK through treacherous waters and Nazi U-boat attacks during the infamous Battle of Atlantic. The 1942 set movie also dives into the burdens and conflicts that Krause as a man of faith faced within himself, his command and his times.
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It is disarmingly subtle film, from the real-world and cinematic philosophy of the uniforms and more, as Weiss notes.
“That hotel, you had color there,” Weiss, who was Oscar nominated in 2003 for her work on Frida, noted of the heartbreaking San Francisco opening scene with Hanks and Elisabeth Shue. “It was Christmas, it was a holiday, and David was able to show that level where you saw the last time of happiness, where as a costume designer you could have the people dressed in their glory. And then, you go to the ship, the ship, the grey that matched the Atlantic, where you had theses soldiers, where you had Levi’s.”
As much as Hanks’ Krause and the other crew were characters in Greyhound, so was the ship itself.
“We were also filming between a set and a real ship,” Crank says, noting the use of the USS Kidd, the preserved WWII destroyer that is now a museum ship in Baton Rouge, LA. “So, it was a constantly evolving kind of idea of how they were filming this because of all the sea portions. So we never really knew what was going to be on the ship and what was going to be on our set, so it all had to match.”
The swiftly paced 90-minute movie certainly did match on more than the aesthetic level. While not giving out any hard numbers, Apple TV+ has said that Greyhound was the largest opening-weekend release ever for the streamer.
Check out the panel video above.
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