JC Chandor And Lars Ulrich Bring The Noise On Netflix Monster, Triple Frontier
It’s undeniable that the latest Netflix Original, Triple Frontier, is something of a flex.
Not only is the Oscar-nominated JC Chandor the man behind it, but with a cast of Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal, it’s the biggest sign yet of the streaming giant coming out fighting ahead of tougher competition in 2019.
And it turns out that this power move doesn’t restrict itself to the cast alone.
“OK, this is an awesome story,” explains Chandor excitedly. “I was at a screening of All is Lost at a film festival somewhere in northern California, and was getting asked a question – a very smart question may I add – but as I zeroed in on the guy asking it, I stopped in my tracks. I'm thinking… is that Lars Ulrich from Metallica? Turns out it was.
“I happened to be with a friend who lived close by and we were heading out for dinner, but as we're walking down the hallway after the Q&A, I look up and see somebody waiting to talk to me. I turn to my friend and say, ‘hey, so I think we're about to go to dinner with Lars Ulrich.’
“It turns out he's a huge movie buff so we talk and end up staying in touch. Completely coincidentally when I wrote Triple Frontier, the first draft, I put For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica as the music for the title sequence.”
For Chandor, the song was perfect, not simply for what he was trying to convey as the film opens, but also in the story that inspired it. Drawing on the Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the same name, this is an ode to warriors and the dishonour of modern warfare. Based on Hemingway’s experiences of the Spanish Civil War, the specific scene features five soldiers – much like the five male leads in the movie.
“I didn’t know if we’d get the rights,” admits Chandor. “Not only is this is a very important song to them – I don’t think they’ve ever licensed it out for a movie before – but they also have a very close connection in the States with the military. Luckily, they watch the movie, love it, and we’re good to go, but that’s not where it ends.
“At this point I’d hired Rich Ireland to do the score, and he’d written all this great music – including some amazing drum solos. But they’d all been produced on a drum machine. So, in one of my conversations with Lars – and this is a good life lesson here, always ask the question – I just said, ‘hey, Lars, would you ever take a few days and play the drums when we record the soundtrack for real, like, for the movie?’ And, you know, he said yes.
“Lars Ulrich played drums on my movie, and it was cool.”