Q: How did this idea come about, and why TNT?
A: The writer, David Titcher, pitched me this idea for a movie, and I thought it was a terrific concept and said, "Let's go take this out to the town. Let's go set this up and make a major motion picture out of it." By coincidence, I was having lunch with Michael Wright that day, and he asked what I was doing next. I told him I was going out with this pitch, and he said, "I'll buy it." I told him I wasn't really thinking of doing it for television, and he said, "You know, we're not a normal network. Our movies are really feature-film quality." So I started watching some of the films that had been made for TNT and agreed. We developed the script, and very quickly it all came together.
Q: How is this film different from other adventure films?
A: One of the things that was really important for TNT and for us was the idea of taking a genre movie that we've seen like Raiders of the Lost Ark or Romancing the Stone but giving it a new hero - a hero who really fits with today. What was really important to us, rather than a muscle guy or a cigarette-smoking tough guy, was to have someone who spent their life learning and reading. This is the hero.
Q: What makes Noah Wyle the perfect librarian?
A: He's a perfect fit because he's literally the most prepared actor I've ever worked with. He's amazingly well-prepared. He approaches his role how he probably approaches life: He has to know everything and be fully educated.
Q: How did you decide on Jane Curtin for this movie?
A: She is the perfect person for her character because, on one hand you get this feeling that, when she was younger, her character may have been more like Nicole, more adventurous and then been one of the people who worked for the library. On the other hand, now you get the feeling that she's the mother of this place and protects it like it's her children. And she brings an enormous amount of humor.
Q: How about the newcomer actors in the movie, do you look at those people and think maybe you've discovered new talent?
A: One of the greatest thrills you have as a producer is finding actors who a lot of people haven't heard of but you know they're about to become something. So when we find someone like David Dayan Fisher, it gets really exciting because you know here's a guy who's just about to break and become one of the actors that we all come to know and love. David, along with Kelly Hu, just brought so much more depth to these characters. As villains, the two of them really become interesting, fun characters, and you can't wait to see them show up again.
Q: Where do you think the drama comes from in a story like this?
A: These movies really only work when the characters work. That's why we're so lucky to have the incredible cast we have with Noah Wyle, Sonya Walger, Kyle MacLachlan, Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin. This is one of those movies where it's the characters who you get caught up in the story. Olympia Dukakis plays the mother of Noah's character in the movie, and the scenes between them add such heart, and they just make you care. The thing I am most proud of about this movie are the characters.