He’s the man behind the original movie “The Langoliers” & “Thinner“, based on King’s novell’s with the same title.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Tom Holland: I am a writer/director. I started out as an actor, working under the screen name of Tom Fielding. I was the juvenile in a movie called “A walk in the spring rain” with Tony Quinn and Ingrid Bergman. I wanted to direct and started writing to that end.
SKSM: When did you make Thinner & The Langoliers? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Tom Holland: Both films were done for a price. I shot the miniseries The Langoliers in 16 millimeter to save money. I don’t remember the cost of either one, but money was a constraint.
SKSM: How come you picked Thinner & The Langoliers into develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Tom Holland: I thought Langoliers had a very strong narrative line and was an audience pleaser. Thinner was always a difficult story. It had sat around for over ten years when I did it. It has been turned down by almost every director in Hollywood. I believe the reason was because it had a bitter ending.
SKSM: Do you might see a possibility to create a new Childs Play movie. And then with the old horror chucky and not the humor chucky. I may assume you saw the last one too and for me it was something to cry about. What Do you think of this all?
Tom Holland: I have heard they are talking about a remake of the original Childs Play. I have had nothing to do with any of the sequels.
SKSM: Did you change your mind about the gypsy spells and cursed dolls after making the movie Thinner and Child’s PLay ?
Tom Holland: LOL (laughing out loud) Sometimes I thought I was cursed with Thinner, especially when I was going through the audience testing process after the movie had been shot. Every audience hated the ending of the movie where the lead character, Billy Hallaeck, lost in his struggle to avoid the curse. The original ending, which was removed by the production company, had Billie’s daughter inadvertently eating the cursed pie. Knowing she was going to die, he, too, ate the pie, thereby committing suicide.
The moral of story, as Stephen King told, was that “moral jellyfish get crushed in the end.” Unfortunately the audience hated the moral. The experience has made me very leery of ever doing an ending where the protagonist loses.
SKSM: Most of your movies that you direct/wrote and act are from the horror/thriller gerne. Did you never thinking of making a comedy?
Tom Holland: Fight Night had a lot humor in it. But a straight broad comedy? No, I don’t think it’s my taste.
SKSM: What are your current plans? You didnt shót any movies since awhile? Are you retire from shooting movies?
Tom Holland: No, I am writing a movie at the moment and hope to secure financing.
SKSM: Why did you direct those stories? I mean, why the Langoliers & Thinners, and not others stories… what interest you in those stories?
Tom Holland: As I said, I thought Langoliers was a terrific story. As to Thinner, I thought it was a terrific character study, but in the end it was a commercial mistake because audiences rejected it, and in Hollywood, it is all about box office success.
SKSM: Some people think you are from the netherlands because of youre name, do you know whether your relatives are originally from the Netherlands?
Tom Holland: My mother’s maiden name was Schoonmaker, which I have been told was Dutch for Shoemaker. Yes, on my mother’s side we are Dutch.
SKSM: I always wondered how Bill Halleck’s (I think) Make-up was done. He starts out as a fat man, and he gets Thinner and thinner, and at a certain point he is so thin, creepy thin. I would like to know: How did you do this?
Tom Holland: It was done with a combination of a fat suit which was constantly thinner and the actor, Robert John Burke, losing weight. I shot as much in continuity as possible to help this affect.
SKSM: What was Stephen King’s reaction to the two movies that you made?
Tom Holland: I don’t know, but hew was present on both sets and was supportive and helpful.
SKSM: Are you plans to adapt another Stephen King book?
Tom Holland: No.
SKSM: When you are at home or going to the movies, what kind of movie genre would you prefer.
Tom Holland: I like horror, suspense and action, leavened with humor.
SKSM: Are there any movies that you have made, where you say now I would be done this diffrent?
Tom Holland: Yes, all of them. (grin) I don’t tank there is a director who wouldn’t like to go back and make their movies better. Also, the more you direct and the old you get, the more you know, so therefore you work should be better.
SKSM: You made in 1996 “Thinner” and “Driven” in 2006. What have you been doing between those years?
Tom Holland: Resting.
SKSM: You wrote the screenplay of “Class of 1984” What was Mark L. Lester thinking of it?
Tom Holland: Mark did a modern remake of “Black Board Jungle“.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Tom Holland: I think Langoliers was a success, Thinner less so. I wish the studio had left the original ending on Thinner. it was more faithful to the book.