Metallica: We Looked to ‘The Wall’ and the Monkees for Concert Movie

3D ‘Through the Never’ features storyline regarding a young roadie

Who wants to be a gofer for Metallica? Well, after watching Metallica Through the Never , you may just want to stay put at McDonald’s. The unique live concert documentary, which opens in IMAX theaters Friday and in regular 3D cinemas Oct 4th, has a narrative woven throughout the 92-minute film that is suspenseful, apocalyptic and intriguing.


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Directed by Nimrod Antal ( Predators , Kontroll ) and co-written with the band’s James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo, it stars actor Dane DeHann ( Kill Your Darlings , Devil’s Knot , The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ) as one dedicated younger roadie named Trip, given a good urgent task – while Metallica is performing to a sold-out stadium – that takes him on an adventure most people would not see through. Luckily, he has a Little Man totem. Oh yea, never mind. We don’t wish to give too much away.


Some of the 3D pictures for the concert portions of the film make you feel like you’re a 5th member of Metallica, like I should be up there with a tambourine or even given something to do. Sorry I sat on the drum riser. The reason why am I on the stage?
Hetfield: Why am I on fire? [ Laughs ]


Hammett: Why is this particular thing falling towards me? Must i duck?


James, I understand you wanted to perform a concert doc but something a lot more interesting, but didn’t quite know what, at first?
Hetfield: Once we saw that we were financing it and how much it was gonna price, I started thinking, “We better make this pretty special. ” [ Laughs ] I don’t know the number of times we’re going to be able to do this within our careers, but let’s go the extra distance. Lars and I started getting a little freaked out – I think we all did – that it’s just a 3D concert film. I’ve been to see a few of those, and they’re novel, all right [ laughs ]. At the end of the day, I how to start if I’d see it again. In case you have a 3D TV at home, maybe, eventually we might get there, but it required something way more than that. And I just started thinking, “Let’s obtain creative, ” thinking The Song Remains the Same, thinking The Wall , thinking even the Monkees movie [ Head ], or the Beatles.


Do you watch them all to refresh your memory?
Hetfield: I did not. Whatever I remembered about them was good enough. I thought, “Why don’t we go crazy with it? We’re all pretty creative, and we’re all networked in different things. We know people in the animation world and all of that. Let’s try everything. ”


The main character, this poor kid, must’ve actually loved Metallica to not quit.
Hammett: When [Dane] first looked at the script, he couldn’t make heads nor tails out of it, because there’s no dialogue. The whole script is only four or five pages long, because it’s just a description of scenes.


As a viewer, you actually don’t know that he doesn’t have any words, which shows how much you get swept into his story and what a great actor Dane is.
Hetfield: He’s got the face for that. He is got the right face. He’s got these eyes, [like] they’ve been through life a few times. Seems like he’s an older soul and he’s got depth, and his motions, his actions, his facial expression say it all.


Hammett: He definitely has an strength about him onscreen that’s great for us, because his onscreen efficiency balances out the intensity of our efficiency.


You weren’t there for the narrative pictures, so you really didn’t know what this particular thing was going to look like in the end.
Hammett: It was a total jump of faith, a total shot at nighttime.


Whenever you saw it for the first time, what components stood out?
Hammett: After reading the synopsis of the script numerous times, I was having issues just grasping it all. So I requested Nimrod for storyboards, and then he storyboarded the entire thing out and gave it to all of us. Then, for me, it was a lot more clear. It was a lot more consistent in terms of a storyline emerging. But when we first saw the first edits, after they shot the particular footage for the narrative, I was frightened [ laughs ]. I was thinking, “Wait a second, this is not what I was thinking it was gonna turn out like. inch It needed a lot of work. And me not being experienced in making movies, I didn’t know that which was part of the process – you see the rough cut and you put in your ideas, your opinions and whatnot, and you slowly help it and push it along and try to get it as close to your vision as possible.


As apocalyptic a tale as it is, the story is partly about loyalty, and Metallica has a dedication as a unit and probably your crew and everyone who works with you. But we never find out the true story, because there is something main that is not revealed. I don’t wish to spoil it for anyone going to see it.
Hetfield: That’s what we want. We want it to be what you need. And we want it to be what we want.


Hammett: Actually is all open for interpretation.


Hetfield: That’s the great it. It’s open-ended, and that’s what will help people maybe talk about it – “What does it mean? ” It’s the journey for him. He went out on a journey to get something. Which was a mission, that was a location, but all that happened in between had been he went from some small runner boy to a hero at the end of the day. You never know what’s gonna take place in 12 hours.


Working for Metallica.
Hetfield:[ Laughs ] Exactly.


The next tour, you need to have a bag to provide someone who works for you.
Hetfield: Definitely.


Hammett: They’ve been through a bit more than just looking to get a bag.


Hetfield: Our road crew continues to be through a lot of stuff [ laughs ]. They have better movies than this .


Do you think there could be merch – an action figure of this Small Man?
Hetfield: Merch? I have no idea.


I thought it was cute. Excellent on a T-shirt.
Hetfield: It is cute. Little Man toy. Little Trip doll. He’s his conscience. He’s his guardian angel, whatever it is. What I really loved is inside, as his center, there is actually a wishbone.


Hammett: I didn’t see that.


You shot the concert video footage in Vancouver and Edmonton. They were real audiences, but they seemed to be on the best behavior. Not a lot of cell phones raised or activity in the aisles through people going to get beer and hot dogs.
Hammett: Well, they knew we were recording.


Hetfield: I don’t know if we said to do or even don’t do that. We pretty much allow it to be. It’s the film first. I was there to film a film, plus they knew that. So they were going to be a part of something extra special, so that you don’t need to film it [ laughs ] – we’re filming it.


The stage is amazing – therefore large it won’t fit into 60 percent of arenas?
Hetfield: Something crazy like that.


It is not in the circular, but in the rectangle.
Hetfield: Yes, it’s in the rectangle. It takes up the whole hockey glaciers, pretty much.


Where it is now?
Hetfield: It’s waiting to be used. It is the Swiss Army knife of stages. It’s got everything in it. It’s the ultimate stage for us.

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