In Contention‘s Kris Tapley spoke to Up In The Air director Jason Reitman earlier today about a suspicion voiced in a 1.3.10 HE story (“Bingham vs. Cancer”) that Reitman might have shot the film with an undercurrent of fatality in mind. Here’s how Reitman responded:
“You find out at the end of [Walter Kirn‘s] book that Ryan Bingham is dying of terminal disease and that he’s going to the Mayo Clinic. That’s something I never really wanted to include in the movie. I never shot a scene that suggested that the character was dying. For me, at the end of the movie, he’s making a choice about where he wants to go for the rest of his life, and he certainly does have a rest of his life.
“The ‘do you want the can, sir?’ scene came out of a real moment in which I was on a plane and I overheard a flight attendant ask someone, ‘Do you want the can, sir?’ and I literally did a double take, then I realized what she was saying.
“It’s inclusion had to do with two things. One, I thought it would be a cute nod to the people who’ve read the book, and two, more importantly, it kind of speaks to the idea of how Bingham collects things and the way we obsess over travel in the sense that it’s a disease, being that addicted to traveling and the obsessiveness over miles or any kind of fruitless collection is like having a disease.”