“What if Scarlett drives all day and nothing happens?”: Scarlett Johansson’s Alien Film Frustrated Studio Execs After Director’s Insane Idea

2013’s sci-fi film, Under the Skin, took nearly a decade to reach the big screen. Directed by Jonathan Glazer, the film follows an otherworldly being, played by Scarlett Johansson, who is in human disguise to seduce and capture unsuspecting men in Scotland.

Glazer’s remarkable direction, combined with the film’s dialogues and stunning visual composition, creates a thrilling atmosphere.


Scarlett Johansson in a still from Under the Skin (2013)
Scarlett Johansson in a still from Under the Skin (2013)
Glazer’s aim was to portray an alien view of our world. It took years to get there but that idea was quite risky and Glazer decided to go with it. The film was shot using hidden cameras and gave the audience a unique experience.

Jonathan Glazer’s idea for Scarlett Johansson’s Under the Skin worried the studio

Scarlett Johansson in Under the SkinScarlett Johansson in Under the Skin
The director of 2013’s Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer, was told that he should come up with a plan B in case, his unique idea of portraying an alien view of our world didn’t work out. The director took a leap of faith and went with it. The producer of the film, James Wilson, once recalled (via The Guardian),


“I was saying: ‘What if Scarlett drives all day and nothing happens? What if there are no happy accidents?’ But Jon was insistent. And he was right.”
It took one entire decade to create Under the Skin. From the story to production, everything was well thought out. The director was firm on getting Scarlett Johansson for the role of the alien, who gave an outstanding performance in laying out Glazer’s vision.

The film was shot using hidden cameras

Scarlett Johansson in Under the SkinScarlett Johansson in Under the Skin

With its compelling storytelling, Under the Skin narrated an immersive story about the otherworldly creature’s journey of exploring the Earth. The film’s deliberate complexity was an attempt to make the film a thought-provoking one.

There were many challenges, some of the cast was inexperienced, and the film was shot in public places using hidden cameras, however, in the end, Glazer’s exceptional film was named the best film of the year by various critics and publications. Despite the positive reviews, the film was a box office failure as it only earned $7 million on a budget of roughly $13 million.

The audience’s initial response to the film was quite disappointing. When it was screened at the Venice Film Festival, the audience booed it. The incident left Johansson quite heartbroken, but as time passed, cinephiles managed to recognize this film as a hidden gem.

Under the Skin is available for streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.

Source: The Guardian

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