Sir Ben Kingsley can't tell you that much about his new sci-fi action movie A Sound of Thunder. It's been a while since he shot it. ''When did I do this film?'' he asks in jest. He filmed it in the summer of 2002. ''And how many movies have I done since then?'' A bunch? ''Nine!'' he bellows gaily. (After shooting Thunder, Kingsley went on to make, among others, House of Sand and Fog.) Why's the movie been so long delayed? ''I think they really wanted to work on the visual effects,'' he says. ''That's what [director] Peter Hyams said. He's a nice guy.''
Kingsley also likes Ray Bradbury, the science fiction titan who wrote the futuristic story Thunder is based on. You know that old adage about how a butterfly flapping its wings can change the course of history? Legend has it that its origins lie in Bradbury's 1952 tale. Sent by a huckster played by Kingsley, Edward Burns (Confidence) and a gang of pleasure seekers journey back in time to hunt dinosaurs but end up changing the future when they accidentally off a butterfly.
On the subject of his villainous character, Kingsley is eloquent and bonkers. ''He's a grandiose showman,'' he reports. ''In the 19th century, he'd be selling bottles of elixir that would make you the strongest person. He presses the button, pours the champagne, greets people, and sells them the ride of a lifetime! He has grand gestures and rather limited intelligence.'' He interrupts himself with a honking, maniacal laugh. ''Ha-ha-ha! I hope you write that down! Grand gestures and a rather limited intelligence! There you go, Kingsley. Wow.'' If the movie is half as entertaining as talking to Kingsley is, it'll be huge.