The interview starts very punctually. Joseph Kosinskidirector of “spider-head”, and Eric Newman, producer of the film, welcome us with a big smile on their faces. The first to speak is Kosinski, who narrates why this film is special to him. “The first thing we shot on this tape was the ending, as sometimes happens when filming a movie. We’re on a man-made lake with the yacht with Miles (Teller) and Jurnee (Smollett) jumping into the boat trying to escape while Chris Hemsworth is on the plane.”.
Tape “spider’s head” is a long adaptation of the short story by George Saunders, which was published in the New Yorker magazine. Both Kosinski and Newman consider themselves admirers of the American writer’s work. “I liked his work long before I read ‘Spiderhead.’ Like George’s other works, this story has a profound commentary on people, science, the future, and consciousness. The adaptation was not easy because the real story is so short, but having the opportunity to expand it with the writing team and with Joe as director was an honor for me. Life is an adaptation. The first thing I thought was this is going to be challenging, but as it was done it was amazingNewman says.
For his part, Kosinski reveals that the first thing he read about this film was the script and affirms that he never “I had read something similar”. “The tone, the characters, it was entertaining, it was funny, it was shocking, it makes you think. Then, I read the original story and was blown away by how Rhett (Reese) and Paul (Wernick), the film’s writers, were able to adapt and expand the original idea into a futuristic film,” he recounts.
George Saunders appeared during the recordings and was part of the creation of the adaptation. “Then, during filming, I got to meet George Saunders himself, who was also part of creating the script and wrote the final part of the film. It was great to be able to share with who had the original idea”Kosinski happily recalls.
The characters in the film find themselves in the spider’s head by choice. Some of them murderers and other criminals were given the opportunity to choose between going to a traditional prison or being part of a project that experiments with new medicines to “help humanity”. The benefit? On this island they would have everything from private rooms, hot food, comfortable common places. As it is a prison, they would not have access to electronic devices but would be able to make a weekly call to their relatives. But at what cost? Allowing them to inject substances that they do not know what they will do in their body.
Although human experimentation is unethical and should not be done, animal experimentation is real and is still used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Eric Newman is against these processes, because although he had not thought about it before, this tape could generate a connection on animal testing.
“I’ve always been opposed to animal testing, so I think this film reinforces that belief. That is wrong”adds Newman. Kosinski agrees with the showrunner. “I think that taking someone’s freedom, be it human or animal, to experiment with it is wrong. I believe that the tape can show that this is not correct”, he complements.
It’s not futuristic
The director and producer agree that what they have presented with “spider-head” is not very far from reality somewhere on the planet. “There are so many things that have happened in the last twenty years that have happened in some movie that if they had told me it would happen, I wouldn’t have believed them, that I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a spider head in the near future, where they were deleted human rights. I think it’s 15 minutes from our future or even now”, indicates Newman.
“Yes I agree. I think this could happen right now. I don’t think the movie is futuristic. With all the technology out there today, it could be happening”, he concludes.