One of those super-topical movies that came a few years too late, 99 Homes stars the Amazing Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, as a young construction worker who helps a shady realtor (Michael Shannon, a.k.a. General Zod in the latest Superman movie) foreclose on family homes in Florida. Director Ramin Bahrani, his voice blasted by a cold, spoke at a press conference on Tuesday about crafting a story around the American housing crisis. “I found a Faustian tale, a deal-with-the-devil film,” he whispered.
Garfield, who crashed with evicted families to prep for the role, talked (or tried to talk) about the issues raised in 99 Homes: homelessness, disenfranchisement, and the gulf between the rich and the poor. “It’s so hard to talk about,” he said. “It’s happening as we speak. People are still covering, and finding their way home—whatever that word means.”
Shannon spoke about his role as the film’s villain, and his sympathy for those affected by the housing crisis. “I don’t really care about real estate. Never have,” said Shannon. “I have no interest in it. But I did care about what happens to these people. I wanted to understand it.”