Cannes 2011: Neil LaBute talks Crooked House
We were a little surprised to hear that Neil LaBute would be directing Agatha Christie adaptation Crooked House, so we decided to quiz him about it.
When we caught up with the writer-director in Cannes, we sat down with him for an intriguing Q and A:
How did you get involved in this?
“Every decade I like to take a hallowed English writer and adapt their work and prepare myself to be stoned. First it was A.S. Byatt and now Agatha Christie. I’ll get to Coward and Wilde eventually.
“But seriously, I saw Julian Fellowes’ script and I like a mystery and I thought everything from the title on down was intriguing.”
What did you like?
“This one has never been touched on television or film; it was sort of outside the safe zone for her in terms of having a romance as well as the requisite murders.
“And when I realised it was quite morally questionable by the end, I was like, “Wait, they’re singing my siren song.” It’s her 49th book, I think, but she still had a difficult time with her publishers with Crooked House, who did not want it to end the way it did.
“It’s that nice grey zone of morality that I like to operate in.”
Matthew Goode and Gemma Arterton are your lovers, then…
“She’s an heiress whose grandfather passes away. She believes he was murdered and brings a beau from her past who’s now working at Scotland Yard into the mix, so that bristling tension that they never quite made it as a couple comes to the surface.”