After former “Call Me By Your Name” collaborator Armie Hammer was revealed to have sent cannibalistic messages and was accused of abuse, Guadagnino shut down any tie between cannibal love story “Bones and All” and Hammer’s real-life controversies.
“David Kajganich and Theresa Park, the writer and one of our producers, have been working on ‘Bones and All’ since the book was released [in 2015]. Many years ago, probably around the time when we were shooting ‘Call Me by Your Name,'” Guadagnino explained during a masterclass presentation at the Zurich Film Festival (via Variety).
Guadagnino continued, “It was to be directed by my great colleague Antonio Campos, but he decided not to go for it. That’s when they gave me the script. Any correlation with this kind of innuendo and silliness is preposterous.”
“Bones and All” stars Hammer’s “Call Me By Your Name” co-star Timothée Chalamet as a disenfranchised drifter who falls in love with a fellow nomad (Taylor Russell) and embarks on a bloodthirsty, thousand-mile odyssey that takes them through the back roads, hidden passages, and trap doors of Ronald Reagan’s America. The film premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival and screened at the New York Film Festival. It opens in theaters November 23.
Guadagnino noted that production “never talked” about the darker implications of the plot line and called on real scientists to make the cannibal sequences legitimate.
“When it came to the topic of cannibalism, we took it very matter-of-factly,” the filmmaker said. “Several pathologists provided us with answers on how you perform a bite on the body of someone who just died, for example. We learned practical stuff. It takes a lot of effort to bite through the skin. Someone was wondering if we would need [more defined] jaw muscles, but Americans are like that anyway. It’s from chewing gum.”
Director Guadagnino previously told IndieWire that “only Timothée can play this role” in a cannibal love story that is distinctly not in the horror genre.
“I think ‘Suspiria’ was aggressively provocative. I think this one is much more serene in its sense of self,” Guadagnino previously said. “My true hope is that the audience doesn’t reject the movie as a provocation because it deals with a taboo like cannibalism.”
Guadagnino continued, “With ‘Bones and All,’ I wasn’t interested at all in the shock value, which I hate. I was interested in these people. I understood their moral struggle very deeply. I understood what was happening to them. I am not there to judge anybody. You can make a movie about cannibals if you’re there in the struggle with them, and you’re not codifying cannibalism as a topic or a tool for horror.”