ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Considering he’s the man behind mega-hits like Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Forrest Gump, it’s no real surprise that the latest film from Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis takes audiences into another whimsical world. But what may surprise audiences is that "Welcome to Marwen" is based on a true story.
"Welcome to Marwen" opened in theatres nationwide December 21st, and tells the true story of artist Mark Hogancamp (played by Steve Carell), who survives a violent attack outside a bar and, in the aftermath, creates a miniature World War II-era town in his backyard. That world is populated by dolls which are based on real people in Hogancamp’s life – and the film brings those dolls to life through incredible visual effects. According to Zemeckis, who sat down with Good Day Atlanta’s Paul Milliken, the dolls took precedent when it came to planning the shoot: "We had to create the dolls. So I had to cast all my actors early, and then we had to sculpt dolls and make wardrobe for the dolls, and then when the dolls were finished, scan the dolls, because those are the characters that come to life."
Carell says he chased down the project, having seen the 2010 documentary about Hogancamp. "I thought, wow, this is something, and it really stuck with me,” Carell says. “So I immediately started trying to find out if anyone had the rights to it, mostly because I wanted to know if something was going to be done as a feature, because I wanted to know how." Starring alongside Carell in Welcome to Marwen are acclaimed actors Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, Merritt Wever, and Janelle Monae.
Click the video player above to watch more of Paul’s interview with Steve Carell and Robert Zemeckis during their recent stop in Atlanta to promote the film.