‘Twisters’ Preview: Glen Powell Teases What Awaits Fans of the Original Film

“Twisters,” set to be released July 19 and one of IndieWire’s most anticipated movies of summer 2024, arrives a whopping 28 years after the original “Twister” landed in theaters. That was the perfect amount of time for a whole fandom to spring up around the 1996 movie, with devotees obsessed with its scrappy stormchasers in it for the science, all vying with evil meteorologists only in it for the money (because meteorology is such a lucrative field!), its windblown CGI cattle, Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton’s make-the-most-of-it line readings, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his best early roles.

Glen Powell, the star of “Twisters,” alongside Daisy Edgar-Jones, shares that fandom. During a recent interview with Powell, this writer mentioned how much I love the original film and how unique it is as a “comedy of remarriage.” It’s the specific type of screwball comedy that’s about a separated couple learning to love one another again — “Twister” is basically “The Awful Truth” or “The Philadelphia Story” plus the Fujita scale — and that it’s my favorite blockbuster of the ’90s, and Powell interjected, “So good, right?”

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Making “Twisters” appealed to Powell on a deep level, because, like the original, it’s a film that’s not just about one thing.

“I think I learned a lot about how to make a movie of this size on ‘Top Gun: Maverick,'” Powell told IndieWire of “Twisters,” which has a story credited to “Top Gun: Maverick” director Joseph Kosinski. “How to keep a movie really, really big in scope, but also intimate in terms of the emotion, and I think what’s going to really surprise you on this movie is how — it’s obviously fun. Returning to that world and storm-chasing in the back of Oklahoma, it’s like, it’s a rowdy good time, just like the original.”

He continued, “But just like the original, that movie was about a marriage that had fallen apart. And because they started chasing the thing that brought them together in the first place, they fell in love again, and really, this movie is about re-inspiring love in the same way. [It’s about] what we chase, and what we run from. I think it’s got a lot of heart, this movie, and it’s really the reason I started in this business is to tell stories that weren’t just critical, or commercial, or for an indie audience, or a populist audience. I want to tell stories that really bring those things together, and I think ‘Twisters’ is a great example of that.”

“Twisters” came up in a larger interview about the film Powell co-wrote and stars in for Richard Linklater, “Hit Man,” which debuts on Netflix on June 7. Both of these are films that dare to be more than just a very specific genre. Making movies that are harder to pin down, that have a bunch of different tones to them is something Powell feels really committed to.

“I grew up on movies of the ’90s, early 2000s, where people were taking swings in a way where movies weren’t so binary, so genre-specific,” Powell said. “I feel like we’ve sort of gotten into a place on the film side where it’s like everybody’s sort of, I guess, maybe in self-protection mode. So it’s like, ‘I got to serve the audience exactly what they want exactly how they want it.’ And I think there were certain movies back then where it’s like it doesn’t have to fit into a certain genre. Why can’t we just entertain audiences, and why can’t we offer up really cool universal themes, and really cool adult themes, and told in a way that’s unexpected, and doesn’t fall into one category or another? And it keeps audiences electrified.”

Electrified … and sometimes that electric charge is because the movie’s literally about severe weather!

“Twisters” hits theaters from Universal Pictures on Friday, July 19, while “Hit Man” starts streaming on Netflix on Friday, June 7.

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