With nine far too long years elapsing between 2004’s “Birth” and the film festival premiere last year of “Under The Skin,” Jonathan Glazer has been asked by many what took so long for the movie to get made. Indeed, we posed the question to him last year in Toronto. “I’d like to say there were other projects I’ve made or have fallen through but they haven’t. I’ve been working very hard on getting this together,” he shared. “I had a third child, that going on, but this project has really held me for those years and it’s been a very long process of finding out what it was, finding the right language for it. The writing has taken an enormous amount of time. Then of course, there’s issues of money.” It sounds like the usual hurdles a filmmaker faces when mounting such an ambitious project, but Glazer now reveals that had things gone different, “Under The Skin” would’ve starred Brad Pitt.
Chatting with The Guardian, Glazer details the long process he took with co-writer Walter Campbell in adapting Michael Faber‘s novel, from which they largely took the conceptual idea of the story about an alien (or aliens) roaming the Scottish countryside harvesting humans. And among the many ideas tossed around was centering the story around a Scottish farmer and wife, who are really aliens in disguise, with Pitt signed to play one half of the duo. But financing couldn’t be raised.
But that turned out to be serendipity when Glazer latched on to a new concept, one that would tell the tale through the eyes of a single alien, experiencing the modern world. “We took years to get there, and suddenly it was obvious,” he explained.
The Pitt script was gutted, refashioned and here we are in 2014 with a result that is blazingly original, with Scarlett Johansson in nearly every frame, giving a mesmerizing, sensual turn in a movie more about the human experience than any sci-fi plot mechanics.
Be sure to see when it opens on April 4th. Until then, here are ten new posters from Total Film.