Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

‘Widows’: Steve McQueen wants to engage with wider public

Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen of “12 Years a Slave” fame likes making serious movies, but his new heist thriller “Widows” is made for multiplexes, not art houses. He says he wants to engage with a wider audience.

After a career of largely limited releases — his biggest hit, “12 Years A Slave”, earned $188 million worldwide — but his other films all made less than $20 million, “Widows” may introduce McQueen to a new audience.

He told Hollywood Reporter: “I want to engage with a wider, broader public. If you want real change, you have to engage with the people you’re making films about. But I’m not lowering my political, intellectual engagement. I’m rising toward something, not lowering.”

“Widows” will be the closing film at the 20th edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star in Mumbai.

McQueen made “Hunger” followed by “Shame” and then “12 Years a Slave”, the story of the real-life Solomon Northup that won the Oscar for best picture.

“(They tell you) movies starring black protagonists don’t make money abroad. And then of course it made $56 million in domestic-plus. We made $25 million-plus on [domestic] DVD sales that year – we exceeded our year’s expectation of DVD sales in one week,” he said.

The director has few desires in life and even fewer friends.
“I’m not’- I’m not very friendly. All my friends, I can count on one hand and take away maybe one or two fingers, and ‘hat’s enough,” said the 49-year-old who is married to Bianca Stigter and has two children.

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