Toronto Film Festival
Jake Gyllenhaal previously worked with director Antoine Fuqua on the 2015 film “Southpaw” and the pair had been hoping to work together again soon. That opportunity came with “The Guilty,” a…
Jake Gyllenhaal previously worked with director Antoine Fuqua on the 2015 film “Southpaw” and the pair had been hoping to work together again soon. That opportunity came with “The Guilty,” a remake of the 2018 Danish film about a police officer demoted to being a 911 operator who gets closely entangled with a caller who’s been kidnapped. The pair discussed the film at Variety‘s TIFF Studio presented by Canada Goose.
When Gyllenhaal first saw the original film, he was immediately taken by it – though he says he didn’t go in looking for a new role for himself. “I felt something in my bones,” he said of the character. “Partially its from my theater background – people play Macbeth, people are allowed to play Hamlet again and again, different interpretations. I felt this had a very universal theme that was essentially very strong. I could feel a different form of interpretation coming through me. I went, ‘Let’s try and see if we can make this.’”
After developing it with Fuqua for a couple years, Gyllenhaal said his feelings were confirmed when the director signed on to helm the project. “I think we felt what a transposition of that story could be in an American context and what it was saying at the time meant a lot to both of us,” Gyllenhaal notes.
Fuqua admitted when he first saw the Danish film he thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t remake this movie, it’s really well done! But the opportunity to make it with Jake and deal with issues that I feel this country is still dealing with when it comes to policing and mental health and how we are quick to judge each other – I thought that would be a challenge and important to do.”
Shot in 11 days (Gyllenhaal originally wanted five), Fuqua said the shoot was “intense” but also that he appreciated it. “If I’m being honest, I enjoyed Jake going through this process. I liked seeing him handle it.”
“The Guilty” will begin a limited release on Sept. 24, followed by an Oct. 1 release on Netflix.