From the GATW Archives: GATW Exclusive: Director Spencer Susser says HESHER’s name won’t change

Out of all the anticipated films I had marked in my iCal at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the one that did not disappoint was Spencer Susser’s HESHER, a film that brings out the gritty, badass side of Joseph Gordon-Levitt (I always knew you had it in you, Joe). After its Sundance premiere, HESHER was quickly picked up by Newmarket Films - the same company that released DONNIE DARKO, MEMENTO, WHALE RIDER, REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES and THE PRESTIGE, just to name a few from their repertoire. If you’re with me, then you know what I’m saying - this company has an eye for great films.

Today it was reported that HESHER’s name was changed to REBEL. Changing the name of this film is a huge deal. HESHER represents an amalgamation of the angst of every character in the film. He is the essence of all that is dark and misunderstood…the grim reaper, if you will. If you change the name, you lose the essence of what the bold, yet simple title represents.

I just received an email from the man himself, Spencer Susser, to clear up the confusion over the title. Susser was also kind enough to send along a new photo of Levitt as Hesher. Check out Susser’s note and the photo after the break.

Hi everybody,

Spencer Susser here.

I was horrified to read a posting about the title change for my film “HESHER” to “Rebel”. Actually I spit my breakfast all over my keyboard!

Now that my laptop is working again.. I assure you this is not happening. The film is being released as HESHER, not any other title it’s being sold with overseas.

The film is being released in the U.S. by Newmarket Films, an awesome company that totally gets the film and supports my vision 100%. I’m so excited to be working with them. They have released a few of my favorite films, “Donnie Darko,” “Monster,” and “Memento” to name a few.

Anyway, I’m in the final stages of finishing off a few things I didn’t get to do to the film before Sundance and I’m feeling really good about it. I can’t wait for people to see Joe as Hesher, all I can say is he’s fucking awesome!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Hesher

From the GATW Archives: SXSW 2011 Video Interview: HESHER co-writer/director Spencer Susser


A year ago, Spencer Susser’s HESHER made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Like a bat out of hell, I fell in love with this film and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt; with HESHER, Joe strips down his handsome face, bangs the world over the head to prove he’s a truly talented actor who’s here for the role, not the fame. He took a chance with first time feature director Spencer Susser, whose story of HESHER is very dark, very sad, and very raw, but all at the same time, very beautiful.

A few days ago at SXSW, I finally caught up with Susser to talk about HESHER. I stress the bold and italics for the word “finally” in the previous sentence because Susser and I made several attempts to sit down to do a nice interview but, as you probably know, making plans at a very large festival is idiotic and almost insane.

I’m really glad our time spent happened right before Susser left for the airpot because our location was quiet and we had enough time to cover everything I wanted to know about HESHER (it’s a lot). He’s a really talented filmmaker and I plan on championing his career as long as I’m doing this whole movie film website stuff. Enjoy!