Why a Podcast About Speed?
You’re listening to 50 MPH, an oral history of the making and legacy of director Jan de Bont’s 1994 summer blockbuster, Speed.
Across 50 episodes and over the course of one year, this podcast will take you on a breakneck journey from conception to execution, distribution and beyond — with the occasional detour here and there. Join your host, Kris Tapley, as he talks to the people who made it happen and discusses their memories of an electrifying thrill ride that defied expectations and became a global, star-making phenomenon. Through conversations with filmmakers, film scholars and film fans, this series will attempt to secure Speed‘s rightful place in the canon of action cinema on the way to celebrating its fast-approaching 30th anniversary in style.
Now, don’t forget to fasten your seatbelts!
For the uninitiated, in 1994 there was a movie called Speed and it ruled. It starred Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock before they were superstars and it boasted an explosive premise that lured audiences into theaters. To wit:
There’s a bomb on a bus.
Once the bus goes fifty miles an hour, the bomb is armed.
If it drops below fifty, it blows up.
On June 10, 1994, a workhorse city bus tearing ass across Los Angeles launched the summer movie season. It was the epitome of the popcorn movie and it deserves to be recognized alongside movies of the era like John McTiernan’s Die Hard or James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, unassailable classics that enjoy agreed-upon status. It’s time for Speed to enter the chat.
That’s the stated goal of 50 MPH, a podcast with a ticking clock. Join us as we scratch off the weeks, one mile at a time, en route to the film’s pearl anniversary on June 10, 2024!
In this introductory episode, Kris lays out the 50 MPH mission statement and gives listeners a robust preview of what they can expect for the next 50 weeks. Voices include director Jan de Bont, producer Mark Gordon, screenwriters Graham Yost, Paul Attanasio and Joss Whedon, actors Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels, Joe Morton, Glenn Plummer and Alan Ruck, studio executives Bill Mechanic, Tom Jacobson and Jorge Saralegui plus a roll call of artisanal talent behind the camera, filmmakers Paul Verhoeven and Guillermo del Toro, film critics Justin Chang, Bilge Ebiri and Kate Erbland, authors Mark Harris, Alex Pappademas and Nick de Semlyen… and we’re just getting started!
A new episode drops every Monday, so set an alarm and don’t miss the bus!