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'Salt' DVD release stirs Phillip Noyce's spy senses [video]

December 17, 2010 |  4:46 pm

Noycesalt Phillip Noyce is not paranoid, but his belief in sleeper spies such as Evelyn Salt, the title character played by Angelina Jolie in the film "Salt" that he directed, is palpable.

"I do believe that there are tens of thousands of sleeper spies all around the world, not placed to gain information but rather to gain positions of influence. Imagine if, at the highest levels of our governments, there were enemy agents? Just think about if the man with the finger on the trigger is an enemy agent, and what a coup that would be. Essentially, that’s the ending of the extended versions."

The "extended versions," of course, reference the film's DVD/Blu-ray, to be released Dec. 21. Like most of the releases in today's home entertainment market, there are different versions of the film offered, including three separate endings.

"My favorite version is the director's cut extended version, which to me provides the most appropriate ending to the story, because it is an ending yet just a beginning -– and it's an ending that turns the whole story on its head," says Noyce.

In addition, there was a drowning scene that had to be shortened for the theatrical release to gain a PG-13 rating. Noyce was happy to be able to add the more visceral version to two of the offerings on the Blu-ray.

"In the version that was released theatrically, we see the event, but it was all over in a few seconds. We feel the event, but we feel it in a different way. It's a shock moment. In the other two versions, we’re made to feel that loss with Evelyn Salt. We get into her heart and her soul. It's excruciating for her, and it's agonizing for us an audience to experience that with her."

Because Noyce, also director of "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger," had worked with Harrison Ford, we asked him about the similarities between Ford and Jolie as action stars.

"There's a lot of similarities between [them] because both of them like to be in the action scenes as much as possible. Of course, in the old days, when I was working with Harrison more than 10 years ago, we were not able to make such extensive use of CGI to shield our actors and stuntpeople from real danger.

"There's one difference, and that is that Angelina really enjoys taking part in these derring-do stunts. She wants to feel her own adrenaline rush. I think she is a bit of an adrenaline junkie in that sense. She likes to put herself, not in harm's way, but to feel what it would really be like to be out on a moving vehicle or on the side of a tall building.”

Some of that "derring-do" was illustrated in the following exclusive clip from the Blu-ray in a featurette evidencing Salt's meaner fighting style.

-- Jevon Phillips

Photo: Phillip Noyce instructs Angelina Jolie on the set of "Salt." Credit: Andrew Schwartz / Columbia Pictures