‘Fatal Attraction’ TV Star Lizzy Caplan Says Original ’80s Movie Could Never Be Made Today

Caplan stars opposite Joshua Jackson in the Paramount+ series based on Adrian Lyne's 1987 erotic thriller.
FATAL ATTRACTION, Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, 1987. © Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection
"Fatal Attraction"
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

Lizzy Caplan is reframing “Fatal Attraction” following the #MeToo movement.

Caplan, who stars in the Paramount+ series reimagining of the 1987 erotic thriller, revealed that the original movie was seen “very much through a 1980s perspective” with a perfect man (Michael Douglas) having his life ruined after embarking on an affair with a woman (Glenn Close).

“The [original] movie still is great. It’s still scary, and makes you ask big questions, but there were two different endings and there was one ending that Glenn Close preferred, but they ended up going for another one,” Caplan explained to Grazia magazine. “Glenn Close was sort of fighting to protect her character Alex’s fragile mental illness that she was dealing with. None of that was really reflected in the film. Audiences saw it very much through a 1980s perspective — this amazing guy makes one mistake and now this horrible woman is trying to ruin his life.”

Caplan is set to play Close’s character Alex, with Joshua Jackson starring as her married lover, Dan.

“Glenn Close is doing such subtle, careful work that if you’re looking for it, it’s all there,” Caplan added.

While Close has said that she hopes “fragile” Alex’s “side of the story” is featured more prominently in the Paramount+ series, Caplan confirmed the reboot will take a more modern approach.

“It really shows how far we have come. I don’t think that we’ve arrived at any finish line in terms of everything that’s happened with #MeToo and what that set in motion,” Caplan said. “But the idea that you could never make the 1980s version of this now, shows some degree of progress. I think when they’re at their best, that’s what the reboot would do and hopefully our show does that.”

So will the series take into account the original ending for Adrian Lyne’s “Fatal Attraction”? The film initially concluded with Alex killing herself but test audiences reportedly didn’t like the darker finale, and director Lyne opted to have Alex die at the hands of Dan and his wife, played by Anne Archer.

“I mean, I would be flattered if it was the one that we came up with [originally],” Close said earlier this year of the Paramount+ series. “But obviously I’ll be very curious.”

“Fatal Attraction” garnered six Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Actress for Close. Close previously told IndieWire that she “loved” playing Alex and never thought of her as a villain. “I’m thrilled that movie has become part of our culture,” Close said. “[However] it’s easy to make fun of and make unbalanced people the bad guy — that perpetuates the stigma.”

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