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I Am Number Four director D J Caruso

Submitted by Commandrea on February 17, 2024 – 11:44 pmNo Comment

I Am Number Four pits humanoid aliens battling against one another in a high school setting. Teens coping with popularity at school or worried about fitting in with the crowd should warm to this sci-fi adventure. John Smith is the alias of our hero alien, himself from the planet Lorien. Smith is one of nine people from his planet with special powers. With an adult guardian also from his planet, Smith lives a double life trying to act like a normal teenager while also developing his powers.
Director D.J. Caruso tells Free Press Houston in a phone interview that the movie was in production even before the book was published. “The book is part of a proposed six book series,” Caruso explains. “ The second book, The Power of Six, will be published in August of this year.” James Frey and Jobie Hughes writing under the pseudonym Pittacus Lore pen the books.
Halfway through I Am Number Four John Smith meets Number Six, a femme counterpart whose talents include telekinesis. There’s also a small lizard that turns into a dog, also from Lorien, and Smith, the dog and Six all continue their adventures in the upcoming novel.
Caruso wanted the bad aliens to have “strong silhouettes.” He has them wearing western style long coats and “facial tattoos to indicated they’re tribal warriors.” The film starts with a long tracking shot that starts in outer space and pushes in on Earth, finally zipping down to the ground like a Google map zoom and coming to rest on Smith’s house. “We digitally merged two helicopter shots and a crane shot,” Caruso says. The opening of the seamless shot was provided by CGI from effects house ILM.
Caruso sees the film as being in the tradition of Amblin movies from the 80s like Back To The Future and Goonies. Caruso knows his movies and relates that his previous film Eagle Eye was an homage of sorts to the 1970 computer takes over the world film Colossus: The Forbin Project. Caruso apprenticed with director John Badham in the 90s on projects like Nick of Time and Point of No Return. For the Badham movie Drop Zone, Caruso’s duties including producing as well as sky diving and filming some of that movie’s exciting aerial stunts. Caruso’s other directorial credits include Disturbia and The Salton Sea.

- Michael Bergeron

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