On the day that Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand, the triumphant culmination of his bombastic, incomprehensible-action aesthetic, finally reaches retail shelves in DVD form, the deferential director who long ago quietly surpassed his idols is finally ready to surrender some of his trademarked humility and stake a claim to his rightful place among the auteurs whose work truly defines the medium:
MTV: You got onboard late in the development process. What input did you have into the script? Did you say, "I want more of this character," or, "I want a scene in this location"?
Ratner: I did not change the plot of the film. ... Two of my other movies, I came into the project [while it was already in development]. Directors are, in my opinion, the auteurs of the movie. Not that writers aren't important, but that's why it's a Brett Ratner film and not a Zak Penn or a Simon Kinberg film. That's why it's a Bryan Singer film. I'm the most collaborative person with the writers. I actually had Simon and Zak there the whole time I was making the movie. They're the biggest "X-Men" fans in the world, so, you know, I'm not taking anything away from them. But what I'm saying is the script is not the movie. The movie's the movie. Where I put the camera, how I block the scene, the tone of the scene — but I did stay very true not only to the first two movies but to the comic books.
If anything, the studio-mandated involvement of writers provide a significant obstacle to the realization of a true Brett Ratner Film, as their pages full of "talking," "plot," and, "people doing things for realistic, motivated reasons" frequently undermines the movie playing in the auteur's head. It's a testament to his uncompromising dedication to his exacting vision that the final product gets as close as it does to faitfhully translating the split-second flashes of automobiles pirouetting through the air and suddenly bursting into flames that Ratner sees each time he closes his eyes.