×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Luca Guadagnino Talks Making ‘Splash,’ Next Is ‘Suspiria’ Redo

Six years after launching “I Am Love” from Venice, Luca Guadagnino is back on the Lido with the more ambitious “A Bigger Splash,” a psychological drama about a rock star and a photographer (Tilda Swinton and Matthias Schoenaerts, respectively) whose vacation on the sun-drenched Sicilian island of Pantelleria takes an unexpected turn when a record producer (Ralph Fiennes) and his daughter (Dakota Johnson) burst on the scene. Guadagnino spoke about the process that led to making “Splash,” which Fox Searchlight has set for a May 13, 2016, U.S. release.

“I am Love” took your career to the next level, after “The Protagonists” and “Melissa P.” Now comes “A Bigger Splash.” What took you so long?

Last month I counted how many scripts I’ve read since “I am Love,” and it’s more or less 500. It gave me a fantastic read of the business. Many things I was reading six years ago seemed to be very much the thing to be done then, and then the effect evaporated immediately. I got the feeling that even if I had great stars, a great studio, I knew there was something false, like a trompe l’oeil,  so I ran away from trompe l’oeils. Having said that, I truly would love to be making films at a brisker pace, and I’m dedicating myself to that. But I am a control freak. I need to have a great deal of control and the ability to share my control with my collaborators and grant them the freedom and the quality of work I think these people deserve. If I don’t have those elements, I walk away.

StudioCanal, which asked you to direct this remake of Jacques Deray’s “La piscine,” seem to have been instrumental in creating the conditions to get “Splash” done.

I think that StudioCanal — and I’m not saying this to be unctuous — these people are the real thing. I grew up with a concept of cinema as a directorial thing, meaning the director is allowed to sail the ship. Not a dictatorial thing. Studiocanal believes in this. The inspiring quality of the collaboration that came out between me and them, Olivier Courson and Ron Halpern, and the rest of the team, it’s really remarkable.

On “Splash,” you worked with writer David Kajganich. How did this film come together creatively?

I think a script is great when it starts with the structure and works with the structure without falling into the typical three-act system in which the audience is ahead of the movie. I hate that; but that is like 99% of what I read. I like the idea that you do not precede the narration, and that’s what we tried with David.

The actors, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenaerts, really gave you a lot. Tell me about working with them. 

I am glad that they were so generous. Moviemaking is a dirty, tiring affair. The joy comes from the possibility to be free on set and really let loose.

The music obviously plays a very important part. Can you tell me about your relationship with the Rolling Stones?  Did they know that you were going to have a character (Harry) who had been their manager?

From day one the Rolling Stones were the spirit of the film, not just the soundtrack. We gave them the script and they gave a tip: they said: ‘Change that thing you had in Ralph Fiennes’ monologue to this.’ That was a great moment.

What’s on the horizon?

I’m going to direct a remake of Dario Argento’s “Suspiria.” I’m going to shoot the movie this winter. I think my friends at StudioCanal will be part of it.

More Film

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • I Lost My Body

    'I Lost My Body' Director Jeremy Clapin On His Critics’ Week Breakout

    CANNES  — Jeremy Clapin’s feature debut “I Lost My Body” follows Naoufel, a young man who moves to France, falls in love and tries to create a new life.  Then in a parallel storyline, it follows Naoufel’s severed hand, which runs, jumps and rolls across Paris in an attempt to find the rest of its [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Writers Guild Expands Suit Against Agencies With New Fraud Allegations

    The Writers Guild of America has bulked up its lawsuit with additional fraud allegations against Hollywood’s four biggest talent agencies. The WGA amended its suit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court with the claim that CAA, WME, UTA and ICM partners have engaged “constructive fraud” by allegedly placing their own interests ahead of their clients [...]

  • 'Heroes Don't Die' Review: A Peculiar,

    Cannes Film Review: 'Heroes Don't Die'

    Just when you think modern cinema has exploited the found-footage conceit from every conceivable angle, along comes a tragicomic mockumentary tracing Bosnia’s recent war-ravaged history via the travails of a young French film crew getting to the root of a reincarnated identity crisis. Aude Léa Rapin’s first narrative feature “Heroes Don’t Die” is nothing if [...]

  • Mediapro, Complutense, NFTS Team On Screenwriting

    The Mediapro Group Launches Master’s Program at Madrid’s Complutense University

    Madrid-based production hub The Mediapro Studio has announced finalized details of an arrangement with Madrid’s Complutense University (UCM) and the National Film and Television School of London (NFTS) on a new Master’s program designed to develop new screenwriting talent. Mediapro general director Juan Ruiz de Gauna, UCM dean of information sciences Jorge Clemente and Irene [...]

  • Argentina, A New Member of Co-Production

    Argentina Joins European Co-Production Fund Eurimages

    CANNES – Argentina will join the European Council’s co-production fund Eurimages as an associate member starting  on October 1 2019, it was officially announced Monday at the Cannes Film Market. The agreement was unveiled by Ralph Haiek, president of Argentine agency Incaa, Eurimages executive director Roberto Olla and the president of global producers assn. Fiapf, [...]

  • "Black Coal Thin Ice" in Berlin

    Chinese Director Diao Yinan Drills Down on 'The Wild Goose Lake'

    Diao Yinan is the only Chinese director with a film in the main competition this year at Cannes. He’s already a known entity on the arthouse circuit having won the Golden Bear in Berlin in 2014 for his hardscrabble coal-blackened detective thriller “Black Coal, Thin Ice.” Now he makes the leap to the Croisette with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content