Interview: Thunder Levin of “Sharknado” and “Sharknado 2”
Posted on July 30, 2014 at 7:37 am
One of the highlights of Comic-Con was the chance to catch up with Thunder Levin, screenwriter of the sensation, “Sharknado” and the sequel, “Sharknado 2,” which premieres tonight on Syfy. The original was remarkable for its over-the-top storyline and even more for the Twitter-nado it inspired. In an era of time-shifted consumption of media, it was a rare example of a genuine event broadcast, with sharing OMG reactions online was part of the fun. He is always fun to talk to and I hope I get to talk to him again for “Sharknado 3.”
Isn’t it the ultimate compliment to have the Rifftrax guys provide snarky commentary for your movie in the theatre? Is that kind of being a musician and having Weird Al take you on?
Absolutely and I went to see it and it was just hilarious. They were remarkably respectful and good natured. They were in on the comedy of the inherent material and it’s just great.
Are you expecting another twitter avalanche for film?
I don’t know if it’s going to be like it was for the first one. I’d like to surpass that, I’d like to crash Twitter this time, but that might be asking for a bit too much. The last time it was so organic. They see us coming this time. So we’ll see, but I’m sure it will be a big thing. The first communal TV movie. It’s like having a theatrical experience with a thousand people in one room.
Tell me where we begin on this one.
It’s about a year later and Fin and April were on their way to New York. April is going to a signing of a book she wrote called I Survived Sharknado and Fin is going to be seeing is sister and his brother in law who is an old friend.
So this one takes place on the East Coast?
Yes, they are on their way to New York City where things just happen.
What is it about Comic Con that makes Sharknado such a perfect fan opportunity?
Well Comic-Con is an over the top event in itself so to take an over the top movie and add it is just adding fuel to the fire I guess.
Is the lady with the Sharknado costume here again this year?
She came back this year and she updated the hat reference the so it’s got the Empire State state building on the top.
What else are you working on?
I’ve created an original TV series called “Dive,” which is “Sharknado-esque” in tone, and I’m working on getting financing for an independent feature called “An Ordinary Hero.” And I’m writing an novel, quite a change of pace from “Sharknado,” a very dark thriller. I’ve never tackled that medium before. I wrote a script that ended up being a trilogy, so I thought, “If I can do this, maybe I can write a novel.”
And “Thunder” is your real name, right? Where does that come from?
It was the 60’s!