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Homeentertainment'Fatal Attraction' Boss Explains Detective Detective Reveal, Twist Ending, Big Movie Changes

'Fatal Attraction' Boss Explains Detective Detective Reveal, Twist Ending, Big Movie Changes

[This story contains major changes to the ending of Fatal Attraction Spoiler).]

end to Fatal Attraction has been going on since the classic movie was first released on It has been a topic of debate for decades. Glenn Close plays villain Alex Forrest, who spoke about the way she felt the film lived up to her character; it was revealed that despite Close’s advocacy of the raw treatment, the studio Reworked the movie ending.

Looking back at the film in modern times, all of this is why showrunner Alexandra Cunningham was initially hesitant to reimagine the TV story . However, when it came to the series as a whole, Cunningham revealed that she ultimately jumped at the opportunity because she not only wanted to expand Alex’s horizons, since the character was created by Lizzy Caplan , but also explores influences on Ellen (Alyssa Jirrels), daughter of Dan and Beth Gallagher, by plays Joshua Jackson and Amanda Peet from the series.

As the finale released in May revealed, the ending of the show is very different from the movie. After set detective as Dan, Years after Alex was murdered, released on parole and trying to clear his name, the series eventually reveals that Arthur (Brian Goodman) was the one who murdered Alex that fateful night. Arthur is a friend of the Gallagher family, becomes Beth’s partner after Dan’s arrest, and Ellen’s father. Then, at the last moment, the show reveals that Ellen has been secretly infatuated with her professor, whom she meets at home.

The cliffhanger finale, Cunningham said, is meant to kick off a potential second season. “The arc I proposed was for a limited series that would take the form of ‘Oh, damn it!’ It was a moment rooted in the neural pathways of a person with a personality disorder that she experienced as a child by her father The emotional and psychological trauma caused, she’s a narcissist, she’s Alex’s dissident. In a way it’s like echoes now.”

Below, in a chat with The Hollywood Reporter that took place on May 2 Before the writers’ strike , the producers explained the major changes to the series — including keeping the rabbit alive instead of Alex murdering Beth’s mother — because Her readiness to take on the series, including Close’s own response: “Walking like a razor’s edge, and I totally understand if people think I’m not” made it. No one can say that Lizzy wasn’t successful. Lizzie lives there all the time. You have to give it to her, even if you don’t want to give it to me, that’s totally respectful. ”

We talked about your initial hesitation when you were asked to adapt Fatal Attraction for TV When and how you were drawn to the idea of ​​expanding Alex Forrest’s story. Can you elaborate?

Daughter is me One of the things that was really impressive. I kept watching Ellen go through all this emotional trauma and wondering, “How does she handle it all?” ’ The movie ends with a cold shot of the family, as if everything is going to be alright. Like they’ve escaped this harpy and now they can move on. I’m like, “This is 1012, apparently they may have decided not to talk about it And hope Alan forgets to deal with it. ’ But we’re not going to forget anything, how is she dealing with all this emotional violence that she’s just been through the past few weeks? What started all this? What does love, trust and relationship mean?

If I were to do a series, that’s something I could really explore. I could explore this The effect on Ellen and how the body keeps score. Also, writing fathers and daughters, it fascinated me. Also, in Hugh Laurie playing a neuropsychiatrist [on on Hulu Chance], he was based on a real person who was our mental health counselor, who read all the scripts and then talked to the actors when they had problems, learned about personality disorders and their The genetic pathways necessary to take root and also someone who understands trauma advocates and the hard work of being a human being who has a hard time can’t take out your emotions on someone stronger than you who is going through chaos [Alex works in victim services in the Los Angeles court system and Dan is a prosecutor].

And, read all the comments on Glenn Close( Glenn Close, where she talks about all the mental preparation and the work she did to get a full picture of a real person who was struggling with pain and isolation — and that’s what I saw when I saw the movie — — See how it turns out, “We need to end this bitch with extreme prejudice” [

Paramount Shirleyland Shin’s head cites in her biography about the restructuring ending]. Feels like there’s a lot of opportunity to say things that interest me, see if anyone else wants to join me in asking these questions .

The series tackles them all — privilege, mental illness, the criminal justice system — and the complex legacy of an iconic film. In Fatal Attraction , what are your fears about solving the problems people ask?

Well, this movie works really well. To the point where I don’t remember actually seeing it. I know I must have. But it’s an inundation of reaction culture to the movie. When I think , “What do I remember? ” — and Josh [Jackson] said this too — I think I remember we all saw the movie Memory is in this very Jungian collective, we all feel the same way.

After watching this iconic stuff, it really matters more – and Lizzy [Caplan] said this — when it comes out, you can’t use headspace from someone who’s been through it Come watch it. We’ve all changed so much. Even people who saw it in theaters were married and scared of what would happen if they were caught cheating, this movie terrified them all – even if they couldn’t watch it again movie and experience those emotions. So it’s more about using this opportunity to explore what a then-iconic movie was all about.

The The series flips back and forth from the future, with Dan Gallagher (Jackson) paroled for the Alex (Kaplan) murder, reliving events from past films. Why you want to jump into the future with Dan Also, why do you think the jury found him guilty in the first place?

Jump ahead with Dan From Jumping Forward with Ellen. Watching the kid in the movie and thinking about how she handles all of these things and seeing them come to light in adult Ellen was one of my first ways. Everything Glenn Close said about If anyone is going to assume Fatal Attraction comes up again to make sure Alex’s point is more represented. That’s all of it, except wanting to respect what she did that wasn’t in the script work, and expand on it in our own way. How do we see that impact on Ellen and what kind of young person she has become, and how she sees relationships? The only way to do that is to have dual timelines .. so it naturally becomes, what are we telling the story of how we meet Ellen in the future? Who is Dan that she meets? What does he learn, or doesn’t he learn, as a human being with his own problems – He’s clearly a narcissist, maybe undiagnosed – so this is where all the scaffolding starts to go up with both timelines.

I listen obsessively Dateline podcast with a true crime case about an ex-husband in a very calculating way of who goes to jail for second degree murder Lived in California for many years, then for years. I asked my EP colleague Kevin J. Hynes, , with whom I have worked on several shows, who comes from a criminal prosecution and defense background in New York, “What the hell, 05 years?” We talked about that and the power dynamics of the movie, and wanted to really move forward and try to show cause and effect, but also say something about the justice system being broken and how it looks at people with mental illness, even demonizing them when they are victims. At one point, Dan was on the show talking about his defense, and he said, “I mean, there’s no way something could happen to a guy like that?” His defense, essentially, was crazy or dead.

And then there’s the Fatal Attraction of it all: with death, with responsibility? So, from the perspective of entertainment and fun, how can a murder suspense be inserted? That’s the selfish part of me saying, frankly, I’m just putting everything I love into this show because it can support it. In my opinion, the structure they’ve given us is strong enough that people might disagree to maintain the few different narratives we really want to talk about.

The series starts off into the murder mystery you mentioned, implying that Dan doesn’t know who killed Alex (at the end of the movie Dan tries to drowned Alex in the bathtub, and when she popped up, his wife Beth shot her). Now that we’ve seen the ending, the audience can see you rewrite the ending. Is it to make the audience go in and be curious?

Actually, I was pleasantly surprised when I went out for a walk. Everyone will know about this project. I don’t want to talk too much about it. I already felt like I was being watched in a good way because you should do things that scare you. But, really scary [take it]! I’m amazed at the age of people who don’t know Fatal Attraction and then I have to explain, “You know, Michael’s movie Douglas…” They’ll say, “Oh, the one with Sharon Stone?” We want people to think that the homage is done, as far as someone who’s been on this journey. But, is it?

Lizzy Caplan in Fatal Attraction TV series

Alex Forrest (Lizzy Caplan) Michael Moriatis /Paramount+

'Fatal Attraction'

you talked about about how you had the opportunity to talk to Glenn Close about the series, but you chose not to in the end so she could be an unbiased viewer. You told her this in your letter, what was her reaction?

Basically, “That’s a good idea.”

She talked about the character work she did for Alex about mental illness, but never made it into the film. You said you found out that Alex had Group B disease, but the show didn’t say that directly. How does your research inform what you do on the show?

Undiagnosed, yes. If you know it from the knowledge of the diagnostic criteria, I think you understand most of it. Apparently she has sought treatment for seconds on several occasions. Being with someone you don’t know for the first time may not have a self-image and want to seduce you emotionally, so I don’t think the therapy she went through early on was working at all. But then she did get lucky enough to meet someone who really understood her. Unfortunately, this gave her the power to make really big moves, which then led to her doom. It gave her the strength to try to get rid of the toxic energies otherwise, she couldn’t survive unless she separated, but separation is what destroyed her. When I first started working on [Chance], I was really fascinated by it all. The DSM of Cluster Bs is somewhat of a guiding influence for us here, although if you meet someone who is struggling, you meet someone who is struggling.

So you can’t diagnose her in the series because she doesn’t ask to be diagnosed?

right. It’s about when you think you’re well maintained, we’re also trying to touch on [the scene between Kaplan and Michael Cassidy]. Even those who are willing to go through fire and water to help you, the scariest thing is that they have already taken off your mask. People who want to help have to be turned away because they have seen that you are not the person you want to introduce. That’s important. We have a concept that when we are going to help people, they should accept help with tears in their eyes.Most of the time when you help someone who is really struggling it takes a while even to be successful and you don’t get greeted like “you are awesome you extended this to me thank you for being amazing it’s really difficult. And most of us are like, “This is too much. Helping people is too hard.”

As the episodes go on, each Each episode reveals more about who and what failed Alex.

Yes. If Group B personality disorder has a genetic component, the neural pathways that exist in your body, it can be affected by how you are treated and what you learn about yourself and who you think you are. We’re shown what’s going on in Alex’s life, for better or worse, and her parents are struggling too. One of them [her father] would never even admit to anything that was going on because he was so arrogant and so preoccupied with his vision of being king that no one deserved it. His daughter was his golden child, and then turned into something to destroy. Then Alex was abandoned by her mother because of the behavior he was involved in, and he told Alex, “Well, you don’t want to hurt your mother by telling her what you know, you’re going to ruin her. And she Left you. What kind of child would be abandoned by a mother? You have broken the most basic mother-child relationship in human nature, you must have a problem.” All of this was there, and then Alex continued to work hard to become a grown woman, She knows how to function in a relationship with a bunch of decks. We wanted to show a version of people fighting the kind of psychological warfare that people are supposed to protect you from.


Arthur Tomlin Sen (Brian Goodman) and Dan Gallagher (Joshua Jackson).
Michael Moriatis/Paramount+ Brian Goodman as Arthur Tomlinson and Joshua Jackson as Dan Gallagher in Fatal Attraction Ellen (Alyssa Jirrels) and Dan Gallagher (Joshua Jackson) in the finale.

The series ends in two parts . For the first part, the sleuthing detective who answers the question of who killed Alex – everyone can choose the killer, why would you target Beth’s current partner Arthur (Brian Goodman)?

I always tend to pre-schedule entire seasons so that studios and networks react to everything we think , so there is no unpleasant surprise process for anyone. When Kevin and I do this, we’re building everything for Beth. Beth is the “raw killer,” right? Alex was drowned, then she popped up and was shot. Anne Archer’s signature performance on the phone comes from her: “I’m Beth Gallagher. If you don’t stay away from my house, I’m going to fucking kill you.” ”

But we wanted to tell a story, and we also looked at things from Beth’s point of view, because when I saw the scene in the movie when Dan came home in his Alex was found in the apartment pretending she wanted to buy it, he reacted, and then Alex played him in front of Beth, and the whole atmosphere was very tense. It wasn’t about Anne Archer, but she said, “Great, I’d love to sell you the apartment! Here’s our new undisclosed phone number!” Looking at that scene, I thought I Will notice what happened. Especially the premise: a good man, a happy marriage, making mistakes again and again. At this moment, how will he deal with himself? You’re like, “Why are you sweating?” I wish I could write another version of the scene where Beth really feels the vibe; Amanda isn’t a won’t Actors who will notice what’s going on.

So why isn’t Beth your version of the killer?

Knowing that people knew how the original movie ended, we said, “Okay, we’ll do it, but we’ll take it completely Different ways to get there.” We wanted it to be emotionally fulfilling in that “I’m Beth Gallagher, I’m going to fucking kill you” kind of way, instead of Beth just reacting to the jump scare of the moment . It’s great, but there’s no psychological motivation beyond that.

So, here’s what I’m saying, I don’t remember how many days we’ve been in the writer’s room and I’ve come in and said, “Guys, I don’t think this is satisfying enough .” From a murder mystery perspective. We could definitely do a great version and Amanda would be crushed. By the time we wrapped up episode 7, I did try to have my cake and eat it [Beth left sleeping Dan the night Alex was murdered]. And then going into the finale, we really tried to keep you thinking [it could be Beth] for as long as possible. Dan was asleep in bed, and Beth was going down the stairs—where had she been?

I thought it wouldn’t be Beth, and then after that scene, I said, “Oh, it’s going to be Beth!

Yes! That’s all. But then I really thought about it, and how unsatisfied I was when I thought it was that person. For those who haven’t seen the movie, they won’t know that Beth kills Alex in the book. So I want it to be satisfying on that level, but I also want it to satisfy people who saw the original movie and give them something new to feel the psychological impact of what everyone is going through. excitation. I wanted the murderer to be someone in Dan’s world, ultimately, as an extension of the aftermath and how you can’t control the narrative.

Dan has no idea what Arthur is thinking on any of the shows, apparently they both know he’s going through some really difficult things with his wife [dying], every Everyone loves it. They do have the perfect marriage on the show. Arthur is losing her, he’s a very capable guy, a problem solver, but he can’t do anything, so he’s already in the most helpless place and has been in our story for years. Then when this started happening to his best friend [Beth] and her family and Dan, he always thought Dan was very capable and he Instead of doing anything — and the level of stress alone without a highly narrated paramedic is frightening — he does something. How many people care for people on the thinnest line? He wants to attack the universe. It’s the only thing he feels he can do to help anyone in our story.

Emotionally, he’s not a killer. He probably has to be a bit of a sociopath to figure things out this way, but again, Dan achieves this in an indirect way, which makes it doubly tragic. Because Arthur has ruined himself as a person by doing so. He divides into categories. Dan is a narcissist, and Beth, the adult child of an alcoholic, always competent, is now incompetent. Arthur is dealing with everything I just described. Dan ruined everyone. Mike (Toby Huss). Everyone. Unable to feel affection and distracted, he was rejected.


Alan (Alyssa Jirrels) in the finale.
Michael Moriatis/Paramount+ 'Fatal Attraction' Brian Goodman as Arthur Tomlinson and Joshua Jackson as Dan Gallagher in Fatal Attraction

And thus the series enters the second part of the finale, This is the final twist where Ellen turns into a stalker with her professor.

Exactly. and09 Years later, Dan still cares more about whether Ellen believes he’s innocent than asking if she’s okay. He learned something, but obviously not a lot.

But Beth misses it too. What was she thinking about that last look as she watched Dan and Ellen make up?

I think that’s a season 2 issue.

Are you planning to do a second season?

(laugh.) I don’t have a second season . I mean, I probably won’t get a second season! But I do feel like, “What does that look mean?” is the question for season two. Because there’s a lot out there, right? What are we sure Beth knows? I don’t have time to tell you. ( Laughing .)

Beth’s last expression, this Ellen Between the ending and the question of If Dan finds redemption, you’re left with a lot in the last few minutes. Did you get involved with planning a limited series, but then found more stories to tell?

One hundred percent. Starting with Steven Spielberg, who said to Paramount Pictures, “You guys should do a limited series of the Fatal Attraction anthology,” which is It all started. Then I thought with the background of Desperate Housewives, Dirty John, I was going to do a limited anthology again. So the arc I’m proposing is for a finite series that’s going to be “oh shit!” That moment is rooted in the neural pathways of someone with a personality disorder, who experienced emotional and psychological trauma as a child caused by her father, who was a narcissist, who was Alex’s dissident. Like the Echo now, in a way. And Alex took her [when she was younger]. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that when Alex kidnaps her that day, they don’t speak at all in the movie, except at the very end when she leaves, “Alan” and Alan has to kiss her goodbye. There was no conversation. So I watched the movie again and thought, if I were to do that and make them talk, what would I have them say?

How much do you think Ellen was affected by the day she was kidnapped by Alex?

A little bit. And that was a kind and beautiful woman, she seemed to know her parents, answered every question, she was clearly not a stranger, and the life advice given to her seemed to be well-intentioned. It said a lot of things that Ellen was worried about, but she was a child and couldn’t express it, here is Alex’s answer to Ellen. They’re horrible answers, but they seem to be true. To the person who told you these words, they were true.

Alex thinks this won’t be her last conversation with Ellen because she doesn’t know you and she won’t survive tonight. Alex tells Ellen: Your father loves you, but he’s a liar. Then Alex was murdered, and her father said he didn’t do it. She loved her lying father who said he was innocent and then he went to jail and didn’t speak to Ellen for many formative years because he tried to selflessly let her live her own life. She’s already a very quiet person, with inner monologues building fairy tales and exotic stories, so that’s Ellen. She’s the one who plays her cards so close to the vest that she’s the only one who will read them, and that’s the legacy of all of that.

So seriously, season 1 was Ellen’s origin story, her story will continue in season 2, maybe her parents are supporting role?

Maybe! It’s definitely an option, yes.

Do you think Ellen has done this kind of stalking before, or is this professor her first?

Yes, I think she’s done it before. I think she’s had trouble with relationships before, and I think it might have taken a different form. The conversation in season two — the cloud talk we’re having here — she never had a lot of friends. And when she has friends, things are complicated and difficult, and each time needs to be burned and start over. I think about it a lot. It’s not in the show, but it’s in my head, and it’s in Alyssa’s head.

Ellen (Alyssa Jirrels) and Dan Gallagher (Joshua Jackson) in the finale.

Ellen (Alyssa Jirrels) and Dan Gallagher (Joshua Jackson) in the final.
Michael Moriartys/Paramount+

The “rabbit boiler” of it all is such an important moment for the film. Why did you decide to keep the rabbit alive instead of Beth’s mother (Jessica Harper) as Alex’s life?

You can’t live without a bunny, let’s start there. You know you’re in when you agree to do it, you’re not going to leave that. [The rabbit appears alive in the series. ] But if our mission statement is to do our best to portray and characterize a human being who is struggling in pain and isolating himself from mental health, we can’t have Alex intentionally killing a child’s pet. Because we’re going to check any opportunity to give that person empathy; that’s a bridge too far.

I know it sounds like I’m saying killing people is relatively okay, but – again, this isn’t a criticism of the original – it’s against having Alec Bryce broke into their house and arranged this operatic animal murder, designed to have the greatest possible shock and horror impact. The relationship between Alex and Beth’s mother is almost accidental.Alex doesn’t want anyone in the house, let alone with Beth’s mom Mom Sophie [Harper] confronted, she doesn’t live there. She knew where Dan was, and she saw Beth leave. She knew Alan was at school. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not the first time she’s been out. So when she went to the back of the house because she’d been looking and she knew the door was open, she thought, “Let’s go and see. What can I make happen?

Sophie is a daytime alcoholic. Her family is tired of hearing anecdotes about her and she thinks Alex is her neighbor. This lovely young woman in the backyard helps her catch the dog so she doesn’t get caught Beth “murders”, she invites her in, and Alex follows. What can Alex learn? Maybe she can bring a few gadgets. Maybe she’ll go to the medicine cabinet. It’s gathering information In the end, Sophie just managed to trigger a lot of things in Alex that she didn’t, and unconsciously tried to talk to the young woman with friendly sympathy. She managed to touch a lot that made Alex Things where Max had seriously intrusive thoughts.

Lizzy and I talk about that scene a lot. “You don’t go in there and do this, but hear this woman blah Saying how much she loves her daughter, how she’ll pretend to leave but if she does, it’ll just make everyone’s life easier, you can’t do that, right? Hahaha. ’ About Beth and her dad being best friends, even if this woman is drinking in the afternoon, the love is there, right? It is the most important thing in the world. Frankly, I probably love her more than my granddaughter. I’m just talking to you like you agree with everything I say. In the meantime, it just puts Alex in a vortex of mother leaving and father pretending to be your friend.

Back then, she still thought she might She’s kidding herself about being pregnant, but, she’s thinking, “Am I going to be a terrible mother? Am I even worthy of anyone’s love, let alone a child? ’ It was Sophie’s perfect storm, so imperceptible. Then, when Sophie collapsed in the pool, Alex had a horrible muscle spasm of fear and destruction, and he had power over someone. She There was never that. Also, I don’t want Alex to escape; she’s not in a fugue state. She’s just in a heightened story where she’s in power for a moment, which is death and destruction. It’s psychologically motivated.

So, this is where we go . If people think this is another demonization, I totally Respect that point of view, but again, there is a level of storytelling to this property. We want to make it happen. Walking is a razor edge, and I totally understand if people think I’m not successful. Nobody can say Lizzy wasn’t successful. Lizzy Live it there every moment. You have to give it to her, even if you don’t want to give it to me, with total respect.

this is max Did you talk about movie changes in the room?

Yes. It has to be. You don’t want to get into it like, “Oh, so we don’t kill an animal, we kill a human! ’ I hope this will happen. If not, I’ll have to live with it. I saw a movie a few years ago and I’ve seen it with Charlotte Rampling many times since, called Swimming Pool. It’s a psychological thriller, and there’s a pool cover. When I first saw it, I thought, “I’m hiding it. ’ because it was horrific on so many levels. Obviously, this is the day. With Fatal Attraction and this stat boost, if someone was going to die in a swimming pool Under the covers, that’s it. But it also has to do with the character’s responsibility and what she’s going through, and if people would, I totally understand: just making things worse. Totally respect that opinion.

What about the question of whether Dan gets his redemption at the end – or is this a season 2 conversation too?

I would say no because he still doesn’t understand what he did. He understands part of it. He doesn’t understand what he did to his family and how he made everyone complicit What man does, he doesn’t understand how he’s trying to take advantage of his position. He’s the voice of the victim. As part of what we’re trying to talk about about the justice system, it’s important to us that he knows how to talk to a jury. It was very important to him that the jury and everyone liked him.

I always wondered in the original movie, Alex went to him after the weekend, She said, “I have tickets for Madama Butterfly Can we be friends. ’ And he said, ‘Yeah, that’s not going to work. ’ She said, ‘Okay. ’ and shook his head. He could have walked over and just shook her hand. Instead, he hugged her. In this moment, she acted appropriately, basically saying, “See you later. “Who’s hugging that woman?! What are you doing? You’re so self-conscious about your own wonder and charm that you can’t let this woman, after everything you’ve been through her, walk out of your office without liking you. Everything that happened after that happened because of that moment. The look on her face over his shoulder was the rest of it all. How can a person be redeemed when they still don’t understand how they contributed to it all What? We put it in Mike’s mouth: You’re writing a story, how can you not understand ?

Interview edited for length and clarity.

Fatal Attraction is playing on Paramount+.



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