How Dawn Of The Nugget Director Sam Fell Brought Chicken Run Into The Swinging Sci-Fi ’60s [Exclusive Interview]


There’s a very clear generational story this time around. Ginger being a mother really affects — in the first film, she wasn’t afraid of anything. She was just, “Let’s go for it, let’s do it. Even if we die trying.” She’s not so much like that this time around.

No, there’s a vulnerability to having a kid that everybody … I think that’s universal. But certainly for her, I think it’s probably a surprise, actually, because she’s tough. And as you said, you put it perfectly, she had nothing to lose when she was younger. So yeah, I think it’s a surprise to her, the whole thing is a surprise to her. That she’s not on top of everything anymore and that Molly’s a chick off the old block.

There is a sequence right at the start where Molly is just making a beeline for danger in every situation, which I think is relatable for a lot of parents.

It’s very relatable to me. My son particularly desired danger as he was growing up. [laughs] He was hanging off balconies and sticking his fingers in electric [sockets], running across roads without looking. So yes, it is. But I think for [Ginger], it’s a shock because she worked so hard to win freedom and that island, to her, means everything. It means freedom. It’s the thing she longed for through the whole [first] movie was that place. So to her, she couldn’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to live there forever. And to her, it’s the thing that she’s worked really hard to provide to Molly — freedom, this place — for Molly. And then for Molly to not want to be there forever and for Molly to kind of reject it? It’s really hard for her, because we saw in the first [film] how much it mattered to her.

It’s interesting how Fun-Land Farms is almost kind of an artificial version of the chicken sanctuary. Was that on purpose, that you tried to create that parallel?

Yeah. Quite deliberately. That’s an underlying theme of happiness. “What is your happy ending?” Originally, it was called Happy-Land Farms, but we couldn’t go there for legal reasons because so many food producers use “happy” in their branding that it was just a minefield. So yeah, it was definitely a parallel and a kind of shadow side. Obviously, the island at the beginning is paradise and it is Chicken Wakanda, I say. It’s the perfect place for them to be living. But yeah, Fun-Land Farms is the dark side of the idea.

And then in the long run, it turns out that’s not Ginger’s happy ending at the beginning. She might think it is, but in the end, actually, her happy ending is — there’s no such thing as a happy ending, I guess we’re saying. But in the end, her happy place is to be engaging with the outside world with her family by her side, and with Molly by her side. And actually going out into the world. Because she’s an activist, to be honest, Ginger. She’s not really the sort of person that’s going to retire quietly.

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